So the details...we arrived in Indianapolis a little after 5:00pm. We checked into the hotel (who wouldn't guarantee us a late check out....grrrr) and headed over to the expo. It was easy to find and was in a nice, open exhibit hall in the convention center. There were no bottlenecks anywhere and you didn't have to follow a specific path to get to the packet pick up area! What a genius idea! We picked up our packets and then did some shopping. There were too many good vendors to choose from! I had been wanting to get a pair of recovery socks, so when I found a pair of Zensah calf/shin compression sleeves, I went ahead and got those. I typically don't like anything touching my toes after long runs, so the sleeves are perfect. I used them post-race and my legs feel great today! After the expo we had dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and called it a night. I had a whole king-sized bed to myself. I was in heaven....but just a tad bit lonely. I had to leave my hubby and kids at home for this race due to my son's T-ball pictures and game coinciding with the race. Bummer! Despite having a bed to myself and no kids to wake me up, I still didn't sleep well. Figures.
My alarm didn't even have to go off. I had been up well before the 6:05 alarm. I got myself ready, watched some TV and met my friends in the lobby around 6:30 am. We were instructed to be in our corrals by 6:45 am. 35,000 runners were expected to run the race! We found our way easily to our corral (we were in corral "O", out of corrals A-Z) and thus began the long freeze. Thank goodness for good tunes blaring over the loud speakers and beach balls bouncing around to keep me moving. It was a great atmosphere! The race started and 17 minutes later we crossed the starting line.
Miles 1-5 you are essentially heading out of the downtown area (passing by the zoo - they had an elephant at the fence to see us on our way) and out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There were so many people around you at all times (but not packed) that you didn't really even notice the surroundings. They had bands and DJs at least every mile. Sometimes 2 or 3 in a mile! Water/gatorade/porta-potties were offered at 17 different spots throughout the 13.1 mile course. These stations were called "Pit Areas" and had long, vertical flags announcing their location. The first one we came too I read the banner as a "pitarea" so from then on they became known as "those fancy Italian water stops". Hey - it doesn't take much to entertain me! I shed my throw-away shirt around mile 2. I would come to regret that! Around mile 5 you reach a street/area called Main St. There was lots of crowd support here, as you made your way into the race track.
Miles 6-9 were almost entirely in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I had no idea Indy was so big (not a NASCAR fan...)! There were cheerleaders and different groups located there to cheer you on. This was also the first photographer spot. We took our first potty break here. I had drank NO water (except for a little bit to wash down my
Miles 10-13 led you back into the downtown area. The scenery wasn't the best, but the bands/spirit squads/volunteers made up for it. We stopped again around mile 10 for my friend to use the porta-potty. Unfortunately those sips of Gatorade would come back to haunt me. My belly starting hurting around mile 11. I contemplated stopping to use the porta-potty, but I felt bad making them stop again. The cramps would come in waves, so I could handle it. Around mile 12 though, we were just moving too slowly so I told them that I was going to run ahead and find a porta-potty at the finish line. They were cool with that, so I went ahead. I sped up and it felt good! I felt as though I hadn't used my "running legs" all day. I probably could have run a full that day! I made my way to the finish line where there was fantastic crowd support. Once I stopped running, the pain went away. The porta-potties were too far away from the finish line, so I just waited for my friends to finish. At this point we had to check out of our hotel in about 20 minutes, so we hurriedly made our way through the recovery area and headed back to the hotel. The wind had really picked up by this point and I was FREEZING. I ended up running home, just to stay warm. I took the fastest shower ever, packed up and checked out. They had a lady going from room to room to make sure you had checked out on time. Otherwise, they were charging you $50. Everyone was pretty annoyed! The good news is that because we had to be out of the hotel so early, we made it home just in time to watch our kids' T-Ball games. All in all, it was a great race and a great time. I can't wait to do this race next year! It sold out in December last year....so I may sign up now!
Pictures from the Race: