I want to start by saying thank you again to everyone for the support. I can’t believe how many people told me they were tracking my time. I also want to say thank you to Becky, Carolyn and her husband Michael. They spectated the entire race under weather conditions that were less than ideal. I’m very happy to call them friends.
Here are my splits so you can reference them as you read and I can use them to try and remember the race. I’m horrible about remembering details.
I got into my corral about 15 minutes before the start of the race. I had the usual jitters, but I was warm and wasn’t having any stomach issues. The plan was to beat my goal of 3:20 and to have fun doing it.
The race started and per usual it was a bit chaotic. After a couple of minutes I noticed the 3:15 pace group and decided as long as I kept them in sight I’d be fine. My Garmin hit the mile mark well before we hit the first mile marker. As you can see from the total above, it was off the entire race.
The first seven miles or so were spent alongside the half marathoners. I was surrounded by a lot of upbeat runners. The spectators were great. I was giving high fives to as many kids as possible. Also, and you’ll see this in a couple of pictures, my go to move is the Fonzie. Two thumbs up, always. I think my thumbs might be just as sore as my legs today.
I was on the lookout for Becky and Carolyn. I missed Carolyn during the marathon in April and didn’t want that to happen again. It was also nice because it gave me something else to concentrate on besides the long road ahead. Right around mile 9 I heard my name and saw my good buddy Drew. He’s a two-time Ironman finisher and all-around bad ass. He was trying to get my picture, but was struggling so he decided to come run next to me and take the pic. I felt bad because I knew he had a bad knee from his last race, but my legs were not stopping at that point. Here is the blurry result of this encounter.
Again, the thumbs. Also, he had this sign.
It wasn’t even a minute later that I saw Carolyn and Michael alongside the road. I knew because of the huge “Do Epic Shit” sign that she was holding proudly. I gave them high fives, said “thank you” and kept on moving. I felt great at this point, but I knew I was going way too fast. I was caught up in the excitement, what can I say?
I must also mention a buddy I went to high school with. He was out spectating the race for several runners, but I saw him at least six times. He was a ninja spectator. Each time I saw him he gave me words of encouragement and that really, really helped. People are awesome.
I was still feeling really great as we hit the half-way mark. I smiled as we crossed the mats because I knew a lot of you were getting updates. I won’t lie, that was great motivation.
Miles 14-18 were pretty steady. I should mention that I was taking a Gu every 5 miles. I normally stick to water at the water stations, but I got boxed out at the one around mile 15 and ended up with Gatorade. My stomach was not a fan of the Gu/Gatorade mixture.
I saw these beautiful people at mile 18. I remember running over to them with high fives and saying, “I’m dying.” I’m not sure if they made out what I said, but that was it.
Then, it happened. At mile 19 I started to hit the wall. My left calf started cramping and all I could do was cuss at myself for starting out too fast. Looking at my splits my pace wasn’t affected until mile 21, but trust me it was a struggle. I started walking at the water stops and from miles 21-23 I was walking every half mile for about 15-30 seconds.
On the 23rd mile I had quit. My calf was killing me, I had witnessed people puking on the side of the road, it was now raining pretty hard and all I wanted to do was stop. I felt disappointed in myself. I had spent so many weeks training and it was going to end like this. I was so angry for not following my race plan of going out slow and finishing strong. Also, the 3:15 pace group was gone. I kept them in sight for this long, but not anymore.
As I’m walking down the road I saw what appeared to be a homeless woman waving me along shouting, “C’mon man, c’mon.” You had to hear this lady’s voice to fully understand how funny it was. As depressed as I was, it kind of lifted my spirits. I started running again and as I passed she said, “Got damn boy, you’re fast.” That’s not a typo, that’s what she said. I will never forget that as long as I live. It was just too damn funny. I decided at that point, pain be damned, that I would only walk the water stations and I would finish as strong as possible.
I was able to run sub 8 for the 24th and 25th miles while still walking the water stations. One mile to go. You guys know that feeling. We had met back up with the half-marathoners around mile 25 so I was weaving in and out of them for the last mile. Most of them were walking and they were very encouraging as I ran past. I saw my co-worker/friend with about a half mile to go. He told me I was doing great and took this picture. Again, the damn thumbs.
I ran past supportive Becky one more time all that was left to do was finish. I crossed the finish line and it was a blur after that. My buddy Davey was there and being the awesome, supportive friend that he is. Becky found us and then I officially met Carolyn and Michael. Sadly, I tend to be a complete mess after these things so I’m sure they were underwhelmed with our meeting. I remember being angry at my body for trying to break down, but mainly I was just in pain. I had never felt anything like this and wasn’t able to enjoy the accomplishment quite yet.
Now, I’m proud. I started running to lose weight for someone else. I started racing because I wasn’t good enough for that someone else. I finished my first marathon to prove my worth. This one I did for me. I planned it, I did the training and dammit I finished it. I remember after the first marathon I said, “Worthless people don’t run 26.2 miles.” That’s damn true. You know who runs multiples marathons? Strong people. I am a strong person.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon: 3:18:11