OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Part 2: Anxiety & Aspirations
I signed up for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon back in November, thinking I would have plenty of time to train appropriately and sufficiently for this mini-marathon. Little did I know that my gym would go out of business, the new gym I joined wouldn’t open until March, and the weather would suck so bad that I wouldn’t be able to run outside very often. I got a couple 8-milers and one 10-miler run in before the race but nothing like I had when I trained over the summer for the Women’s Half-Marathon in September. On my last long run, my left hip-flexor felt really tight and was sore for an entire week. I was really worried that I was going to pull something during the race.
Needless to say, when I went into the week leading up to the race, I was a bit anxious. My anxiety doubled when I checked the weather forecast… rain 40% chance. Of course – 87 degrees, sunny, and beautiful all week long and then Friday and Saturday hit and the temperature is supposed to drop and rain all weekend. Perfect. Not only did I not properly train for this run, I’m worried about pulling my hip-flexor, and now it’s going to rain. I checked the weather again on Wednesday, the percentage had moved up to 80%. I cannot tell you how much I prayed to God that the rain would hold off long enough for everyone to get through the race, but just in case I headed to Blue Mile, picked up some Body Glide, new wicking socks, and a dry-fit shirt.
Friday night, I headed to Olive Garden with some of my friends to carb it up to prep for my race. Two helpings of salad, a breadstick, and an entire plate of spaghetti with meat sauce – Delicious! (Yes – I ate it all) I headed to bed around 10:30 PM, by midnight I was starting to get a bit anxious about not getting enough sleep for my race. You know that feeling when you are lying in bed and you think to yourself, “If I go to sleep now, I’ll get 5 1/2 hours of sleep…. if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 5 hours of sleep.” Yea – that was totally me
Friday early Saturday morning.
My alarm went off at 5 AM and I had no choice but to get up. 35,000 people all heading downtown equals limited parking places which means no hitting the snooze button. I check the weather – cloudy 0% chance of rain. Hallelujah, an answered prayer! I went through my morning race rituals, woke up my
driver cheerleader husband, got him ready, and out the door we went. We got to the outskirts of downtown Indianapolis and the traffic was horrific. It was 6:30 AM and I’m supposed to be in my corral at 7:00 AM. I’m starting to get sweaty palms and heart palpitations. I HATE being late to anything. In the meantime, my husband was laughing at me and telling me to chill out. We had plenty of time, he said. Little did he know of the parking issues we will have once we get there (plus my issues with reading a map and not knowing downtown very well). Eventually he had to drop me off so I could get to my corral on time and he went off in search of a parking spot.
I found my spot, thoroughly stretched, because I did not want to injure myself nor did I want to have to walk at any point in time during my race because of a pulled muscle. The weather was cool, there was a slight breeze, and it was cloudy but there was no rain in sight. I was one happy girl! God is so good!
I took off at a relatively slow pace due to the traffic jam that is inevitable once you cross the start line. Weaving in and out, running up on the sidewalk to avoid traffic, and merging back in when I could no longer run up there – my starting time wasn’t where I had hoped it to be. My goal was to break my first marathon time of 2 hours and 2 minutes, but things weren’t looking so good. Once I got passed the first 3 miles, I got into my groove. In fact, miles 3-6 were pretty groovy. As I got onto the racetrack, things got a little congested, but being from the east coast and walking through Time Square in New York on multiple occasions, one becomes good at maneuvering their way through the masses. It was when I hit mile 10 that I noticed my feet starting to blister, my hip-flexors were getting tight, things were not looking/feeling good.
Being my second half-marathon, I know that the first 10 miles are easy, it is the last 3 miles that get you. At this point it is all about mind over matter. You have to mentally push yourself to continue. You cannot give in to your body when you are pushing for a goal. I could feel my toe starting to bruise on my left foot, blisters were forming on the sides of my big toes despite the body glide and fancy new socks, I was getting tired. I threw a quick prayer to God asking him to give me strength, to carry me those last 3 miles to the finish line. Over and over again I had a silent conversation with God asking for strength, for willpower, and for the pain to subside just long enough for me to finish.
And there it was, the mile 13 marker. All that stood between me and my goal was 0.1 mile. I took everything I had in me and I went for the finish line. I sped up, gave it all I got, passed a number of people along the way, and crossed the finish line. I had no idea how I did, but I soon got a text from my Dad saying, “Thumbs up on finishing in 2 hours!” I had done it! I had beat my last time by 2 minutes for an official time of 2 hours and 3 seconds.
I know in my heart that I did not do this alone. “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” – Psalm 103:1-2