Saturday I participated in the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. I signed up for it last November, and I have participated in it once before, in 2008. I was much better trained this year than in 2008, but extenuating circumstances caused me to complete it more slowly.
But I finished.
Friday night before the big event found me rushing my two year old to the after hours clinic because of a fever and weird behavior. That morning he and I had gone to Chick Fil A for breakfast. He didn’t eat much, but was thrilled to run around the play area. Then we went downtown to the Mini Expo.
The Expo was great. I easily got my packet (with my bib, a very cool technical shirt, some coupons and a sample of olive oil, which I find very random!) and then wandered around. Little Man was very whiny; he didn’t want to “walk myself” or ride in the stroller, he wanted me to carry him. That lasted a bit, and then we left. I sat on a bench out in the hallway and held him and he fell asleep. I put him back into The stroller and went back into the expo to buy a t-shirt and other cool running stuff.
We headed home, and he was sort of awake in the car, but fell right back to sleep at home. He had a fever off and on, and about 5:00 began tugging on his ears complaining that they hurt. Oh, and he wouldn’t eat anything except applesauce. So off to the clinic we go, where he promptly pukes all over me and the waiting room, sleeps in an exam room for almost an hour and then some quack doctor diagnoses him with “just a cold.”
Fine. Whatever. (took him to the pediatrician today…he actually has an incredibly sore non-strep throat)
We get home around 8 and he begs to eat. Three bowls of plain pasta shells and some chicken go in and stay in. But he doesn’t sleep, which has been par for the course all week.
So at 4:00 am Saturday morning, I am up with the kid. At 5:00 I hand him off to Keith and get ready. I get dressed in my cute new running skirt and then promptly change into capris and a tank. I lace up my shoes, down some peanut butter toast and head downtown with my mom (who is volunteering at the finish line) about 5:50.
We park, and I walk about a mile to my starting corral. I stretch, listen to people around me and people watch. The race is supposed to start at 7:33 and I am in my place by about 6:45. It was a long wait.
Finally we are shuffling the eight blocks to the starting line. The “real” runners are off and going before we even get close to the line. Because it was already hot and wicked humid, I had drunk a bunch of water. I ducked out of the lineup to use the port-a-potties right before the starting line.
It was a tough start. I was in the back with walkers, and most of them seemed way more interested in their conversations than actually racing. It took a good three miles before the crowd thinned out at all, but I did my fastest 5k yet (under 45 minutes).
I was doing well in the beginning. I made it to mile 5 before I had to stop and pee again, even though I kept drinking tons of water. And then, we approached then Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is the worst part. Luckily a friend of mine was working the water station just outside the track, and seeing him gave me a little mood boost. We enter the track and hit mile six. I have slowed down a little at this point, and there is zero shade available. The track is crowded, and again, I can’t break free from clumps of people slower than me.
By the time I am halfway around the track, they have yellow flagged the race, meaning conditions are growing dangerous. In other words, the combination of heat, humidity, and your exertion can cause serious problems, At this point, my goal changes from finishing in 3:30 to just finishing.
By mile 10 I have seen people collapse and medics working on numerous people. I call my husband, who is at the finish line, for encouragement. I cry. I dump water over me at every pit stop.
I slow down even more. I seriously contemplate sitting down and letting the “loser bus” pick me up.
At mile 12, I begin to just beg Jesus to carry me. At 12.1, friends from church are there. I burst into tears and collapse into Jenny’s arms, and she and her family encourage me to finish.
I know that my boys are staked out just before the mile 13 post. But that seems forever away. More and more people are being attended to by paramedics and soldiers and firemen.
I see my boys and my son is yelling, “Yay Mama! Go Mama!” They blow me kisses and I can see the finish line! Right on the other side of the finish line is my mama!!
I cross the line and hug my mom, and I am crying from exhaustion and relief. I get water and my medal and head to the party to meet my boys.
My official finish time was 3:48:16, but my watch time (stopped for potty breaks) was 3:38:33. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures. Maybe next time.
Next time? Yes, because I am insane, I am thinking of doing the women’s half in September and the Indy Monumental Half in November.
Someone talk some sense into me…