Indy Mini Recap: Where We All Earn the Same Medal
My 2016 recap of the Indy Mini.
This weekend was the 40th running of the Indy Mini. Around Indiana it’s just known as “The Mini”. No other explanation or clarification is needed. All runners know which one it is. Just as the Indianapolis 500 is the pinnacle of motor racing so is “The Mini” to runners. This event draws people of all shapes and sizes and abilities from all over the United States and elsewhere. It is THE main event of running. This year I participated for my 19th time. Since 1997 I have only missed one year, because my son was born in April 2003. Just didn’t think I could be ready to run it just a couple weeks after he was born!
Preparation for the Indy Mini has been slightly different every year. I have followed various training plans. One year I trained hard and ran my half marathon PR at the mini. This year was not a year when I did any PR training. In fact, I have had some allergy and asthma symptoms and have been trying to work through that. I’ve backed off running, because I’ve been plagued with nagging injuries. Nothing major, just enough to make me reduce mileage a little. So I went into this half marathon with minimal expectations.
Our mini marathon morning consists of meeting up in Shelbyville and carpooling to Indianapolis. We leave at 6:00AM for the 7:33 race start. We always stop at the Hardee’s restaurant just before getting into downtown Indy. It’s become a traditional stop for all downtown races. It’s our last flushing toilet before we hit race start lines and port-a-pots!
On this particular race morning, we decided to street park, and I was in the lead. I wasn’t exactly sure where we’d find 4 parking spaces close together, but I figured I’d give it a try. We headed towards Monument Circle, and after making a U-turn on Market Street (I didn’t see a problem with that! lol), we found some parking spots. We loaded the parking meter with quarters and off to the race start we went.
The Mini utilizes a wave start, and it’s always the goal to get a finish time that gets us up front. I used to be in C corral, and the last couple of years I’ve been in D corral. (If I want to be in D again, I’m going to have to speed up and submit a finish time before next year’s race.)
The weather was a bit warm for a half marathon race start. When you don’t really need a jacket or gloves at the start line,you know it’s a bit on the warm side. However, it became overcast and a bit breezy along the way, so the heat wasn’t really a factor.
This race goes around the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I must admit I’m not a big fan of this part of it, but it’s certainly a draw to many people, especially first timers. With so many people, both participants and spectators, you’re never alone on the course. And you have cheering sections and music all along the way. It really is a great race atmosphere.
I started struggling a bit when I got to the motor speedway. I took some walk breaks. My stomach was feeling upset. From mile 7 on, I considered taking a pit stop, and in all the races I’ve run, I have NEVER taken a pit stop, and I kept that streak! Decided against a pit stop. With every walk break, my stomach felt okay. But then when I wanted to run and maybe speed up and go into interval mode, my breathing was giving me trouble. I just wasn’t getting the inhalations that I needed at the time. So back to run walk I went. And that was how I finished the race.
My day pretty much spiraled into one of my slowest Indy Mini finish times to date. 2:16:52
But you know, that’s okay. I finished the race and got the same medal as those finishing an hour ahead of me and an hour behind me. I got to the finish line of yet another 13.1 mile event. Sure, I have to admit that I was, and still am, a bit bummed with my time. When you run so many under 2 hours, you start taking that for granted. But times, days, circumstances change, and it’s okay. It’s part of being a runner. It’s part of this process. There are always lessons to be learned.
My take away from this year’s Indy Mini is that we’re all in a race but we run it differently.
I have to run MY race, and you have to run YOUR race. We can do it together. We may start together but may not always finish at the same time, yet the prize is the same. In this case, the prize was the finisher’s medal.
You may be on a journey to a fit life. You’ll get there. It just takes time. It takes work. And it takes longer for some. You may walk towards your goal while another person is running. You may need a training plan. If that’s you, I can help. Start by signing up for my weekly email here. Join my Faith and Fitness Facebook group where we encourage each other to run our best race. Don’t put it off. Let’s get started!
Ultimately my goal is to live a life that earns a “well done, good and faithful servant.”