This past Saturday I ran that other fall marathon in Indianapolis, the Monumental. When I registered for this close to a year ago, I had plans to make this my grand attempt at a sub-4 hour marathon. My speedy friends bragged about the flat and fast course and I figured with a low chance of a hot and humid day, this goal was well within reach. My training was going extremely well and I didn't wuss out on a single long run.
Fast forward to August when I got hit by a car during a morning run. I was very lucky to be able to walk away, albeit with a bruised calf muscle and tendonitis in my left foot. I couldn't run at all for three weeks and even after I "recovered", my speed and endurance were nowhere near where they used to be. Running started to feel like a defeat, rather than a victory. I abondoned any sort of training and just ran small miles when I felt like it. My attitude towards my rapidly approaching marathon was "screw it." However, I was too stubborn to drop out all together; afterall, I needed another medal and another state checked off of my list.
Thankfully as I began planning my trip to Indy with my best running buddy Mary Beth, I was reminded why I do marathons in the first place: running is FUN. Trips with friends are FUN. I began to actually feel excited to run. Race morning was cold but sunny and as soon as I soon as I started running the lack of training caught up with me. My legs didn't have a lot of "go", so I just told myself to relax and enjoy the ride. I took generous walking breaks to B.S. with spectators, pet doggies, eat left-over Halloween candy, etc. The Monumental is a beatiful course and I loved all the old neighborhoods and especially running through the art museum grounds. I even saw a giant cock* at mile 20!
I ended up finishing in 5:02:06, so while definitely not a PR by any stretch, it was by far my most enjoyable marathon experience. I finished with a smile on my face and and lots of pride. There is definitely no better feeling than crossing that finish line. After our race, Mary Beth and I had a bar-hopping PR through Indianapolis.
I would love to do the Monumental again next year, not only for the fun course and fun city, but for the fact this year's medal and the medals for the next three years will all fit together to commemorate the 10th anniversary. Being the medal whore that I am, I may have to collect all four. First up though is New Orleans with many of you fine YPOMers. Fortunately my drive to train hard has returned and I'm looking for an epic PR in NOLA.