Tuesday, November 04, 2014

RUNDOWN: 2014 Indianapolis Monument Marathon (#22)

Well, this was a switch. Running a marathon on Saturday? Why would a city mess up city streets on a Saturday? For the answer you'll have to read through..heh heh.

By the way, there are TWO marathons in Indy: the other one (NOT "Monumental" ) runs out to the racetrack and back. I've been told it's a pretty boring course.

Just a recap of where I was in my running: 3 months ago I tore a muscle in the arch of my right foot. Since then I have only done about 250 miles of running with 50 miles of that being the Chicago Marathon and the Indy Marathon.

The foot has been healing but it's been a very weird and different process from other injuries I've overcome (AT, calf strains).  Balancing training and rest for before Chicago was difficult, but after Chicago I figured I was good to go to speed up and run a bit more. About a week after I did a normal pace run (rather than my current 11m/m easy runs) and the foot Did Not Like. That scared me a bit so I basically only ran 3 times in the three weeks before Indy. I did do some recumbent cycling and usual gym routines.

Toni and I flew out to Indy on Thursday, arriving early enough for a nice dinner in the cool and hip Union 50 restaurant on Mass Ave..a trendy revitalized area where they have kept all the old industrial bulidings and fixed them up something grand.

After dinner we walked to the Hilton and through monument circle..some cool lights on the buillding there in the background. 

The next day we hit the expo up at 11am and I got my swag and bib. The shirt is *the* best shirt I have gotten at any marathon: it's a multi-panel shirt (so has a taper to it) with the panels in different colors. 

The sponser, St Francis Hospital, has a small logo. Not like most shirts where the bank or whatever has a huge effing logo on the front. The money from this marathon goes to benefit health and fitness education in Indy schools which is really nice too.

Here's a photo of the shirt, along the medal: also really nicely done. If you run 4 years in a row they fit together and make a big medal with a hole in the center.

Not bad eh? But wait! There's more! But you'll have to read on ...heh heh.

The weather on Friday was terrible: very cold, rainy and 30+ kph winds.  It was supposed to get dry but still cold and windy on race morning.. perhaps 30F or so with 23kph winds at the start time (8am). I was really worried about this  so I bought a pair of compression pants at the Expo. I have NEVER run in anything other than shorts...even at CIM where it was 37F at the start..but there was no wind at CIM and here it would be blowing a gale.

After the Expo we took a taxi out to IMA: Indianapolis Museum of Art and spent about 4 hours there. If you are interested in art it's one you have to visit.

The rain let up a bit during the day but it was still blowing a gale and freezing when Toni and I headed out to the pasta-feed. 

Unfortunately the dinner was being held in tents set up for the race and it was very cold (32F) and windy..the food was decent as such things go but it was sending up huge clouds of steam it was so cold.

After such an unsatisfying dinner I took Toni to a nearby wine bar and we relaxed a bit there before heading back to the hotel.

I got my stuff together but scratched my head about what to wear. I would wear my normal hat but with a ear warmer and gloves. Tights on the legs, with shorts over and with bib pinned to one leg so I could have a jacket and still have it visible (Ultra runners trick).

On my upper body I had: microfiber T  + throw away cotton T + long sleeve micro fiber + greenlayer jacket. Yowza! A ton of stuff...but I knew I could always spin-up and tie the last two items around my waste if I got really hot. Not elegant but better to be warm at the start.
Unlike Chicago it was not easy for Toni to meet me to let me give up some of my clothes..so I would (and did) keep them with me.

I didn't sleep that well, wondering how the cold would work out and finally got up at 6:15am. Down in the lobby were a bunch of runners hanging out. Most of the runners I met were from a few hours driving distance away. I took a gander outside and YIKES! ...COLD and windy. Flags on top of the buildings around were standing straight out. 

Luckly the temps were not below freezing..it was exactly 32F. On of my nightmares in bed was the water stops turning into skating rinks from the spilled water. This would not happen...whew!

I wasn't in a corral or anything...just headed to the back and managed to find three maniacs hanging out and tolked with them. 

Here's a blurry shot of how crowded it was at the start...there are 3000 marathoners and a much bigger batch of halfers.

Good news was it looked like it would be sunny rather than the forecast mostly cloudy! 

Eventually we started, it took me 8 minutes to get to the starting line and then we ran. It was a bit tight as usual but since I was just doing slow paces I didn't really care.

The route takes you south of the center of town for about 2.5 miles and then heads you back up to monument circle..the place with the cool lighting in the night shot above. You come into the circle at 3 o'clock and leave at 12..headed straight north.

Nice fall colors on all the trees and the winds noticeable but not too bad. Not many spectators though but I don't mind that. 

In the shot above I'm at about mile 9 on Washington Blvd..a residential street with huge lots and fancy old houses. Hard to see but in the patch of shade at the top of the stairs there is a huge german shephard that is not leashed. He's barking at all of us as we run by.

In a few spots the road was broken up, you can see a bit of that on the bottom right in the shot above. Not too bad...I've run on cobble stones in Copenhagen and that is worse!

At about this point I lost two minutes doing wardrobe fiddling. I took off the outer two layers to get rid of my disposable T-shirt and then tied the long sleeve tech shirt around my waist.

That's pretty much how I rolled for the rest of the race. I was sweating when the winds were behind, cold when they were ahead. The temperature regulation is a big pain of running a race in the cold. Not good if you wanted to PR.

 This race was pretty well run but the only negative I have is that a lot of running was done on roads shared with cars. There were cones put down and the drivers were reasonable by and large.

However, it was a Saturday and the marathon did mess up the city pretty badly. Often there were huge lines of people waiting to turn across the route, with a policeman stationed to pick the moment to wave somebody through. I felt bad sometimes when I was the only person going through the path...spoiling the chance for the lead car.

Twice I saw policemen losing their tempers with people that just didn't get the fact that they could not go down the street they wanted to go. In once case the cop finally shouted "If you do not turn your wheels to the left I will issue you a $250 ticket right now!" 

In the other case a women was having a hard time goosing her car at the right moment to get through the gaps in the runners.. the policeman was frustrated and shouted "Do you want me to drive your car for you ?! When I motion like this..you need to GO..else you hole everybody behind you up!"

Ouch. I never saw anybody yelling at us runners though.

So WHY was the race on a Saturday? Answer: this is a religious town. The churches and their congregations don't want the access to churches blocked. At least that is the story told to me. Perhaps they also don't think marathons are appropriate on a day of rest either? Dunno.

 The building above is part of Butler university, which we ran through. No huge crowds there, for sure. Maybe 4 people cheering ;)

Now we pop into a little part off of Butler, very pretty.

The next photo is the Lilly house, the grounds of which also house the IMA museum I mentioned above. 
 And then we come to some of the outdoor sculptures of IMA on the grounds there. I managed to snap a shot of the iconic LOVE sculpture made in Cor-ten steel by Robert Indiana. It was made in 1970...I have seen copies (mostly in concrete) all over the place ...including Malta!

Then we turn the corner and you see the museum itself. We are at about mile 19 now.

 Below is an art deco  building called the "Naval Armory", not sure why we have one in the middle of the plains but it sure is white. Looked good against the blue sky.

Below see the canal of Indy..'Canal?' you say. Yup. We were told that in the 1800's the got the idea of building a 160 mile long canal to the Ohio river...they built about 40 miles before they almost bankrupted the state and quit.   For years they were covered over, but now they make great recreation areas. We saw them on the run several times.

Now we are about 24 miles. I had been holding about a 11:07 average m/m pace but was starting to have to walk / run. 

Skyline getting closer...when I got to have mile to go I dropped my little hammer and sped up to 9m/m or so. 

Finished just a tad slower than Chicago...4:51:15. Not bad considering how little running I've been doing..

The finish was uncrowded and we got our medals and MORE SWAG, first a nice tyvek jacket with zip and hood instead of a space blanket.

And also this great beanie hat nicely embroidered


I met up with Toni and the finish and after a hot shower (didn't realize how chilled off I was! Wow felt really great) off to BruBurger for the usual post marathon feed!

By Tuesday I felt pretty good, and started exercising again. Probably run lightly tomorrow. The foot feels pretty excellent..after a week or so I will again try to up the paces a bit. 

Next up CIM on 12/7 in Sacremento!

bib number:
overall place:
2847  / 3725
M 55-59 
division place:
117  out of 153 
gender place:
1794  out of 2163 
1:05:33  (pace: 10:35 , rank: 3023 )
3:23:04  (pace: 10:54 , rank: 2939 )
first half:
2:22:01  (pace: 10:51 , rank: 3080 )
last half:
2:29:14  (pace: 11:24 , rank: 2603 )
net time:
11:07  (based on net time)


  1. That would have to be one of the most scenic marathons that I've never run. Some of the places you ran through were beautiful. Congratulations on such a good time despite your lack of training.

  2. Looks like a very pretty course. Congrats.

  3. Glad the foot is feeling better now. I love the shirts with no big sponsor logo and the hats from the finish! Looks like a pretty course. Good luck at CIM!

  4. Great run and also a great report, well done! That is some awesome swag!

  5. Does look like a gorgeous course - especially the Naval building. Weird about having it on a Saturday though. Is there really that much traffic on Sunday? God forbid people can't get to Church for the donation plate. People need to take a breath when driving around on the day of a race - lots of studies showed that having a race significantly reduces car accidents on race day by a lot.

    Had no idea about the LOVE sculpture - I've seen them in Amsterdam and NYC among other places.

  6. Just a marathon in Utah (or any race, for that matter) and it's guaranteed to be a Saturday ;). I actually like Saturday races, but I totally understand in a bigger city the Sunday races are less of a logistic nightmare.

    Pretty course. I had a friend just run a huge PR there and she highly recommended the race. Gah, looks a bit too cold for my taste though.

    CIM. A year too early for me, I guess. One year we have to get our races in sync with one another :). Nice job on the race, especially with the injury. Hope it's doing better and you've gearing up and ready for CIM in a week!

    1. Hi Jill,
      Yes, injury doing better and better. Trying to rebuild my conditioning but not easy to get back.

      But I think I should be in better shape that Indy 8)


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