Sleep deprived — that is what I am. But I had a wonderful weekend, and the lack of sleep is totally worth it.
This weekend was a race weekend for my family — the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon and 5K, to be exact. On Friday night, we went downtown to pick up our race packets and check out the expo. It was pretty crowded, so we headed straight for the packet pick-up area, where I got my bib number and bag of goodies.
After picking up our bags, we looked around the expo for a little while. I bought a pair of pink running shorts for $10 — not bad at all! After checking out the expo, it was time to go home, eat dinner and go to bed. We had an early wake-up call.
My alarm went off at 4:40am on Saturday morning. Since I’d laid my clothes out the night before, all I had to do was get dressed, eat my peanut butter sandwich, and go.
The Indy Mini is one of the largest half marathons in the country, so we were a little worried about the traffic and parking situation. Thankfully, we had no problems at all! We were able to find a spot on the second floor of a very empty parking garage, and since we were early, we had plenty of time to take pictures, go to the bathroom and get lined up.
My dad and I were running the 5K before the Mini, so we needed to be lined up by 6:45am. We dropped my sister off at her corral (she ran the half), and headed to the front of the crowd for the 5K. This was the most organized race that I’ve been to — precisely at 7:00 am, we were off.
For the first mile, I was running on people’s heels. A lot of people were speed walking, and it was hard to get around them. By the second mile, it’d thinned out a bit so I could find a good pace. I had to stop to walk twice, just for a few seconds — it was unseasonably warm, and my face felt like it was on fire.
3.1 miles later, I had finished the race in 32 minutes! My goal was to finish in 30 minutes or under, but for not training properly, I’ll take 32. My dad finished just two minutes behind me — it was difficult to stick together in that crowd!
After completing the 5K, my dad and I walked back to the starting line so we could see my sister take off. We waited for a while before realizing that she must’ve already crossed the start line. Since we had some time to kill, we walked back to the car to grab more water and my camera, then made our way to the finish line where we waited for my sister to finish.
By that time, the temps were inching higher into the 80s, and the sun was beating down on us. The announcer said that there was a “yellow” warning — meaning that the runners were asked to slow down, walk, or take an extra water break. At that time, we saw at least three people being driven away on stretchers, and I started to get a nervous when my sister wasn’t in sight. Finally, we spotted her, and she looked like she was still going strong!
She finished her first half marathon in 2:32!
After the race, we pushed through the crowd to meet her.
We took pictures, drank more water, and headed to Panera for lunch. By the time we got home, it was close to 1pm, and I was in dire need of a nap — which is just what I did for a few hours that afternoon.
Looking back on the Mini-Marathon, I learned a lot. It was inspiring, really. I saw little kids crossing the finish line, an older man crossing the finish line, new moms, dads and teenagers crossing the finish line. It just made me realize that there’s no excuse not to get up and move. No excuse not to push ourselves to achieve something we’d never thought we’d be able to achieve. Because if a 70-year-old man can run 13.1 miles, I can surely run a mud run. Or maybe someday, a half marathon.We will see .
On that note, it’s now time for me to get ready for the first day of my last week of work! Let’s make it a good week…
Have you completed a half marathon? Would you?