What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

08 May 2017

Sweat, Sun, Sheep, and Speedway: Indy Mini 2017

In case you missed all the fuss on Twitter or Facebook: I met my goal time at the Indy Mini by 12 seconds, AND I got the Meb high-five I was looking for. Hard to argue with that.

The weather report got progressively more depressing as last week went on, only for the skies to defy all expectations, as they are wont to do, and after a morning of the rain stopping then starting then stopping then starting then stopping then starting, it finally cleared off for good just as the winners were coming down the home stretch and I was somewhere past mile 2. (My wave started 30 minutes later than their wave. It didn't take me an hour to go two miles.)

The crowd support in Speedway, Indiana, is the best anywhere. They love this race, and it shows--I think the whole town was out on Saturday morning. Lots of high school cheerleaders were on the Speedway itself, which is much appreciated since it's the most boring stretch of the entire race. (Everybody was talking about that after--you go into this race thinking that running on the Speedway will be so exciting, and it turns out to be the most mind-numbing 2.5 miles known to half marathoning.) I did not kiss the bricks this year, partly because I was already moving faster than I had intended and there was a line, partly because since I was moving right along, I was afraid if I stopped and got that close to the ground I might not get up again, and...

Because I got my Meb-five and that was all I was after. Last year, Meb had quite an entourage running with him and everyone made a big fuss as he passed, so I was kind of expecting a bunch of people, or at least a giant "Here he is!" sign, but what actually happened was he was standing by himself on the track facing oncoming runners, and if anyone looked the wrong way they might have missed him. I mean, I've seen hundreds of pictures of Meb and heard his voice in many interviews, so it's not like I didn't recognize him, but the whole thing was so low-key I wondered a bit if I'd just high-fived some random gent who was looking for his friends. (I've high-fived so many random gents in the course of my running life that it's not like one more makes that much difference.) Anyway, I got my high-five and he said "Good job," and that was enough excitement for this race.

And the sheep. I'm pretty sure these were the same folks who dressed as the entire cast of Mario Karts last year, and I passed them all stopped at the exact same bar I saw them at in 2016, only for them to somehow get past me before the finish. Again. So, Bo-Peep and her sheep ran, walked, or otherwise goofed off for 13.1 miles, and I must have been more zoned than I thought to have missed a herd of sheep going by me in the final two miles. They were definitely having more fun than I was.

After spending the first five miles telling myself to slow down, only to look back down at my watch a minute later and seeing that I'd sped up again, I finally went with whatever my legs wanted to do knowing that I could always walk later if I ran out of steam. Except I got to mile 11 and was like, "No way am I stopping now." Y'all, Runner Su is back, and this time I hope she's back to stay instead of dropping in for a few miles and then disappearing again. I've missed her. I'm pretty sure my celestial running buddy was by my side, too, as he usually is.

The end result was an overall pace of 12:34/mile, which would have made Past Su lay on the floor and cry but is freaking flying for 2017 Su. My final time was 2:44:48, which is 20 minutes faster than 2016. Not only will I take it, my feet have barely touched the floor since I crossed the finish line.

For now, I have no races to train for (although I have a Cincinnati race calendar open right this minute--Cincy has a trail series!--so that won't last long), and there's no telling when I'll run 13.1 again. Maybe not until the Flying Pig a year from now. But (barring something really awful happening) this will certainly not be my last one.

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