*Best time in any given state is used for the 50in100 challenge.
^Mike ran the Indianapolis Monumental Full Marathon (and PR'd in 3:27!).
Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon: Recap coming soon!
Indy Mini Marathon: What better way to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary, then by running a half marathon together in Indianapolis! I was three days removed from a bacterial infection in my lower abdomen, so I knew this wasn’t going to be a super fast race – but the 95% humidity and unseasonably warm temperature made it more of a gut-it-out race. Less than a mile into the race Kristin and I both had to use the facilities, which although frustrating, was necessary. By mile 3, I was dripping wet and Kristin said she felt like she was at mile 9, not mile 3. We backed off the pace as much as possible (my GPS watch battery died at the start line so it was all based on feel), but it was kind of hard not to be motivated by the absurd number of bands playing along the course – very diverse array of music styles too! At mile 6 we entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, and set out for a two-mile lap on the track. Luckily the blazing sun had disappeared behind some clouds, but it was still humid beyond belief. Even though we were running on the inner most part of the track, about a mile in my knees started to ache. As we crossed the legendary bricks (a thin strip of bricks marks the finish line) I reached down and left my mark with a quick high-five on the bricks. While it is pretty neat to run on the track, we were both happy to be leaving the track and in search of another another set of facilities (our stomachs were not happy). The next few miles were fairly challenging, but we stayed within ourselves and backed off the pace as the heat and humidity were cumulatively beating us down. After a few lengthy water stops we were finally at mile 12 - Victory Mile! The fanfare here was pretty awesome, but honestly I was just focused on making sure Kristin stayed upright (she was really wearing down and beginning to stagger a little). We finished the race hand-in-hand, both happy to be done for the day and looking forward to a nice anniversary dinner that night!
Highlight: For our five year anniversary it was quite fitting that we both finished in 1:50:55 – that’s an awful lot of fives!
Notes: The race director did a very good job planning for the heat - an additional 6 water stations were added the day before the race and each was well equipped with fluid and volunteers. A+ work.
Indianapolis (May 2012)
Day 1 (Friday):
We headed to Lorenzo’s for our pre-race meal and were fortunate to meet up with Gary, who we met mid-race in Salt Lake City, and his belle Kristy. The host at the restaurant was a bit pompous, but that was quickly overshadowed by some great conversation with friends and good Italian food. I devoured the chicken marsala (very tasty, but the portion was large and I just inhaled it) and Kristin enjoyed roasted chicken with penne. Good food, but we should have split an entrée – we were stuffed.
We attempted to walk off dinner a bit with a quick stop at the race expo, but were still full when we got back to the hotel (insert “worried face” here).
Day 2 (Saturday - Race Day):
The beauty of staying at the city block of Marriott hotels in downtown Indy is that the start line is literally outside your front door.
Post-race we took a bit longer than usual to cool off and rehydrate – it was a hot race and we were just moving a little slow. After a quick shower we walked to Café Patachou and were lucky enough to score an outdoor table for a hearty breakfast. The made to order omelet was fresh and tasty (the salsa was especially a good topping) and the latté paired well with the fresh squeezed orange juice. Kristin enjoyed a hearty bowl of oatmeal topped with nuts, berries and brown sugar.
Directly across from our hotel was the White River Trail which is sort of like a miniature river walk that winds around the outermost part of the city. Along the banks we stumbled upon the NCAA Hall of Champions and decided to tour the facilities. The Hall is an interactive museum which not only gives background on NCAA sports and accomplishments but provides a ton of opportunities to test out different sports – standing behind a plexiglass wall as a tennis serve came at my face at 80+mph was pretty awesome, and shooting baskets on a court with historic markers on the ground was also kind of a thrill. Kristin dominated the mogul skiing machine, while I apparently would be better suited for sledding. Very kid friendly museum and a good stop.
Next we headed out to the Garfield Park and Sunken Gardens, which was basically a total bust. The Gardens may be spectacular when in full bloom, but essentially all we saw was a small green house and a lot of dirt and empty planters.
Not deterred from our swing-and-a-miss at the Gardens, we high-tailed it to the Crown Hill Cemetery. The Cemetery wasn’t creepy at all and in fact was pretty interesting. With the aid of our phone and GPS we were able to find a number of famous graves including former President Benjamin Harrison, John Dillinger (bank robber), Eli Lilly (pharmaceutical company founder) and Robert Irsay (owner of the Indianapolis Colts). All in all, it was pretty neat to see the variations in headstones and unique stone carvings throughout the massive cemetery grounds. Worth a stop.
We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. This restaurant is pretty much awesome. The food was amazing – from the famous shrimp cocktail with a side of horse radish infused cocktail sauce, to the navy bean soup (add a little of the cocktail sauce to the soup for a good kick) to the unbelievably tender and expertly prepared filet to the coup de gras chocolate brownie bread pudding. This is a five star restaurant for a reason, the food is spectacular but they avoid the “stuffy” feeling of some steak houses by toning down the ambience so that you don’t have to be in a suit and tie to feel comfortable (the waiters however are all in tuxes, so a collared shirt is still a good idea). If you like shrimp and steak, make a trip here and you won’t regret it.
We continued our celebration by bar hopping with some tri friends (Minda, Marty, Elaine, Jeremy and Jason). We had a total blast talking and telling stories over a few frothy brews.
Day 3 (Sunday):
We decided to shake the legs out with a nice easy three mile jog along the river path towards the Indianapolis Zoo. While the weather was a bit cooler today than on race day, it was still pretty hot and humid and we weren’t concerned about pace or distance, which allowed us to enjoy the run.
Breakfast at Zest was legendary. Everything is meticulously made from fresh and unique ingredients. We both thoroughly enjoyed Danny’s Throw Down – a buttermilk biscuit topped with scrambled eggs and covered with double sausage gravy. My, oh my, was this good. Very confidently we can put this up in the top two biscuits and gravy in the country (at least so far). We also had to split the crème brulee French toast, which had the consistency of more of a bread pudding but was excellent. The only problem with this restaurant is that everyone knows its good, so be prepared to wait a bit for a table (mugs with free coffee and newspapers to read while you wait - and trust us, it's worth the wait).
Indiana Half Marathon Medals
May 5, 2012: Indianapolis Mini Marathon