Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Geist 1/2 Marathon (Race Recap)

State # 16- Indiana
Weather- low to mid 80s- sweaty warm mess

From the get go I knew that whatever race I chose in Indiana, it would be an Indianapolis / surrounding area race due to having the opportunity to catch up with aunt/ uncle and cousins. I got a lot of curious people asking why I didn't do the Mini 500 Festival 1/2 held May 7th since its so popular. Call me crazy, but if I can avoid a race with 40,000 runners, I will.

A few months back one of my good friends, Jenna, who was a very important piece in the "finding myself" part of my life told me her baby shower would be held the weekend of the May 21st in Louisville. The 'race crazy' part of myself immediately looked at both Indiana and Ohio to see if I was able to get a race in while already gone for a week- Behold the decision for the Geist Half was made.

**Geist is a community within the Indianapolis suburbs, and the whole point of the race is to help raise money for the surrounding area schools in regards to promoting health and wellness programs for the school- what a great way to give back! This year they raise $65,000 for educational programs.**

Since there was also a 5k option available, I convinced my mom she should walk that portion with my aunt Susie. They were both on board, so the plan was to meet at my aunts house in Indianapolis around 6pm Friday so we could leave together for packet pickup then dinner. 

Packet pickup wasn't anything special- it was held in the gym of this monstrous school with a few vendors, mostly local to the area. It was neat to watch my mom and Aunt Susie's reaction to their first expo in probably 10+ years ( they use to do a lot of MS and cancer walks) they mentioned they felt important carrying around their shirts + bibs hehe.

My mom is quite aware of my fascination with taking pictures of mascots / inanimate objects, so she kept asking if I wanting my picture with different pictures- I finally agreed for spongebob  
We left the expo in search of food, and by this time its probably 7:30. For those of you who've read other race reports, I'm generally in bed by 8:30 / 9:00, so this is late for me. After many failed attempts at other restaurants with long waits (Friday night + pristine weather), we decided on this Bar and Grill and were done by about 9pm! 

Make our way home, tie up some loose ends to get ready for morning, and I'm in bed by 10:30- I feel like a grandma because I'm freaking out since its much later than normal for me.

Race Day
Late afternoon I received a facebook message that the infamous Dave Mari had decided last minute to do this race, so that meets a half fanatic meet up. Our race was starting at 7:30, so the meetup  was for 7:00.

I get up at 5 so I can have plenty of time to get ready, have something to eat / drink, stretch, and be out the door by 6am. I have a system down, and so when there are interruptions to this system, I get a little nervous. It was looking like Mom and Susie weren't going to be ready to leave by 6am, they pulled through at the last minute, HOWEVER, mom forgot her sunglasses when we had left so we had to make a slight detour back to the house to grab them **heart beating faster as its now 6:20 when we get back on road**

Luckily there was very little traffic on the road, we had no issues parking at the school and finding the shuttle, and pretty soon after getting on the shuttle we were bussed near the start line. As we're following the masses, I happen to see the back of a half fanatic shirt belonging to Jeff D, so I catch up to him so I can figure out where in the world our picture is located (I'm terrible at reading maps... as well as elevation profiles, lets be honest though, they never really do seem accurate)

Him and I are chatting up while waiting for everyone else, and decide to get the pre race photos with the fam! 
Mom and I- I realize we look NOTHING alike, I'm not adopted, I just take after my dad
Aunt Susie, Mom, Me

Within a few minutes everyone was there and its traditional group HF photo time! 
Everyone was so nice and chatty. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable at the group photos due to being completely outnumbered by the marathon maniacs and they all know eachother and here I am, just a fanatic who knows hardly anyone. Today was not one of those days! 
Mom and Susie with their own photo!! 

Dave got excited that Susie had a Paul Frank phone cover

Dave sandwiched in between the Jameson Ladies!!

We all wish eachother luck and make our way to our respective corrals. I wish my fam good luck for their 5k (which starts 45 minutes after the half) and try to focus on the race. 

So I actually am really nervous for this race for quite a few reasons:
  • Its already pretty warm, and I generally don't perform well in the heat. 
  • I haven't gone to the "bathroom" yet- yes this may be gross, but from one runner to another you know how important this is. In fact... I didn't go to the bathroom the day before either... and I'm regular :(
  • I decided since I don't really care about this race, I wanted to experiment with my pace- basically go out a little harder and see how long I could keep it
  • Elevation profile showed lots of hills- again i'm not great at reading these, but I know a hill when I see one, and here there were multiple. 
Gearing up for start....

One of the American Idol contestants sang the national anthem
Subway Jared did the countdown to start of the race!

Miles 1-3
This was the best / easiest part of the race. I went out to what felt comfortable, remembering there were hills and to not over do it. In the first 1/2 mile of the race I saw Dave bobbing back and forth between runners to take photos of them- here is mine
I jokingly told him I was going so fast that it blurred (i wish) 

Lot of downhills and then some rolling hills in the first quarter of the race. The beginning was run through some pretty elaborate neighborhoods- (makes you wonder what the people do for a living,) as well as around the marina which was GORGEOUS. 

I'm trying not to look at my watch too much when I run, however, I think I need to go back to paying attention to my first few miles to make sure they aren't too fast. 
Miles 1-3 were 8:04, 8:05, and 8:08- yikes! 
Shortly after passing the 3rd mile mark, it finally hit me.... I HAVE to find a bathroom. Luckily I did see some port o potties ahead and I felt so much better afterward... unfortunately I lost my "groove" / speed and the rest of the race was a wash. 

Rather than me recap every detail of how miserably hot I was, how the hills sucked, or how I literally walked every few minutes from mile 4 to mile 12 I'll just go through the cons then pros (ending on a positive note!)

  • Hills, Hills, Hills + beat up roads / pot holes, uneven roads- just made it hard to find a rhythm because you had to weave around a lot
  • Sun, heat, zero shade, humidity, high 80s etc etc etc
  • I was soooo tired- I'm not lying when I say this, but I seriously walked at LEAST every 5 minutes the whole race until I had 1 mile left. Only exception was when my pump up running song that is 7 min and 30 sec came on- everytime I hear it I ALWAYS tell myself I cannot walk during it. 
  • My garmin exited out of my screen randomly at mile 9, so I had no idea my mileage or pace- great. 
  • I knew that this race was slower than previous races, so it would be very likely I ran over 2 hours- once I figured that out, I had zero motivation to be fast, and just wanted to finish- this is an awful feeling of just not caring.... I hope I don't experience this again. 
Pros- yes there were some pros. 

  • Plenty of aide stations along the way- which was definitely needed today. 
  • They had set up overhead misters along the way to cool people off- never seen that at a race, love it! 
  • Several people in the million dollar homes were in the yard with their hoses and were spraying people who wanted it... needless to say I was soaked by end of race :) 
  • Scenery was gorgeous- amazing homes, water, foilage etc. 

  • As much as I was sucking wind, there were quite a few people right there with me. It was motivating to see the same people over and over because we just kept leap frogging eachother and it ignited a slightly competitive edge in me for the last mile to make sure I beat all my fellow leap froggers (which I did!) 
  • The medals were amazing....
  • After the race I had a GREAT conversation with Jennifer (HF in pink skirt from group pic) and her bf (forgot his name) who is trying to become a HF by June 4- swapped stories from race and encouraging words. Were trying to find a race we could meet up again, however, as of now, conflicting schedule. We swapped names so we could facebook lol
  • I had 2 guys come up to me after the race saying their whole goal was to stay with "cheetah skirt" aka me- flattered but thought this was strange because I was ashamed of how much I walked. 
  • While waiting in line for shuttles to get back to our car, DM friend Paul B came up to me asking if my name was Lisa. He said for awhile he was pacing off me, then passed me (beat me by 3 min) and that we were friends on Daily Mile. He reads my blog and thought it was neat what I was doing and how inspiring it was. Music to my ears- I'm impressed he recognized me more than anything. 

To be honest, I loved everything about the race except the running part and the hills. I realize that I'm going to have to deal with heat for my August races and for training runs in this Nashville humidity. 
The course wasn't actually hard, I think it just seemed harder due to weather and my attitude toward the race- made me realize that your attitude is such a small thing, but it can make a HUGE difference. 

I'm glad I chose this as my Indy race, that my mom and aunt got to experience a race with me, and that I met some amazing people along the way. I do suggest this one for future years, and might even do it again since I have family I can stay with. 

State #16 Complete
Official time 2:01:40 (had I known I was this close to sub 2 I probably would have walked a little less)
Overall place 892/2699
Division Place 60/228
Sex 261-1389


  1. You're funny :D That is a pretty awesome time with how much you walked and were suffering. Love the medal! Where was B??

  2. Thanks B! My B was doing a bike race for diabetes back in Nashville, so this one was solo for me.

  3. I liked your recap and agree that the medal is awesome! Great job in tough conditions. The course looks pretty!

  4. Congratulations on a very tough race!!! I'm the same way and choose any small/medium size race over a big one.

  5. i’m so impressed with how many races you have fit in this year!! jealous actually :):) congrats on another great one!!