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Indy Mini Recap

If I had to describe my experience at the Indy Mini in one word, it would be AWESOME.

If I had more words, I would say this:

I had a great race and felt good the entire time. I didn’t run fast, but I ran STRONG and had a ton of FUN. My only goal was to raise money for Riley Children’s Foundation and #Run4Bronson, and we did that! So mission: accomplished! 

Unfortunately, my BRF Kim didn’t feel well and halfway through the race, she told me she needed to drop out. So we parted ways after we kissed the bricks on the Indy 500 track … a few miles later, I got a text saying she was stubborn (and yes, a little stupid) and was going to finish. She did, barely, and lived to tell the tale.

From the expo to the finish line, this race was an excellent experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. For being one of the largest half marathons in the country, it’s exceptionally well run (I expected it to be much more chaotic). All along the course, you get plenty of energy and enthusiasm, and there’s a ton of aid stations and support. We liked it so much, Kyle is already registered for next year’s race! (I don’t think I’ll be ready for a spring half after I give birth this fall.)
Brittany (Bronson's mom) snapped this photo of me on my way to the finish (after I gave her and Cory big, sweaty hugs).

Running for a Reason

I gotta say, Running for a REASON and not for a TIME was a wonderful change of pace (pun intended). Though I started out this training cycle with the possibility of a PR on my mind, my priorities shifted when I found out I was pregnant. So, I went back to the WHY of my race. 

This was my first experience running for a charity, and I think the key was feeling connected to the cause... From the very beginning, my heart told me I needed to run in memory of Bronson and in honor of his family. I'm not gonna lie, it was nerve-wracking and tough to wait for the donations to come in, but it was completely worth the effort. 

During the race, it also helped to focus on why I was running and not how fast I was going. That day, I promised it would be a victory lap, and I would run with JOY. So, I did! I danced my way past the bands (at least the ones playing songs I liked), high-fived anyone with their hand out, stopped for selfies, and I made sure to keep smiling no matter what, even when I had to run the second half of the race alone. 


Brittany is an amazing woman - her big, open heart inspires me so much!
Running a Race with a Friend
Kim is still beating herself up about the race, but I think it was great considering the circumstances. Because when you run a race with someone else, you have to HAVE to be honest with each other or else you'll both be miserable. Sure, we didn't finish together, but we were both able to do what we needed. 

At the start, she knew I wanted to take it easy, and as we ran I let her know what pace felt good (because my pregnant pace is definitely slower than her normal half marathon pace). 

Around mile 5, I let her know I needed water, Gu and a pee break at the next pit stop. Little did I know, she needed the break just as badly ... she was completely honest and told me what was happening. She also begged me to go on without her, but I didn't want to do that right away. First of all, I wasn't running for time (see above). Second, I REALLY thought she would rally and be fine. 

After her second stop to attempt to puke, I realized her situation was serious. She looked like shit (sorry Kim, you did!), so I finally told her I would go on but she needed to stop the race or walk the rest of the way. She promised she'd find a med tent, so I hugged her and went on. The decision made both of us feel better ... I felt better knowing I wasn't dragging her along, and she felt better knowing she wasn't holding me back. 

We made the most of the situation, so I think we both deserve kudos for that. BOOM. 
Kim and I were all smiles at the starting line ... 
... But she was starting to fade when we entered the track.
Running a Half Marathon while Pregnant
When I was pregnant with Kenlee, I couldn't even WALK a mile without getting winded ... so I REALLY didn't know what to expect running a half marathon while pregnant. I knew from my long runs in the previous weeks that I was more than capable, but sometimes race day can throw everything off track (see Kim's story above). 

At the starting line, I felt good, but I was cautious. I knew I needed to do two things: take it easy and stay hydrated. I kept the pace comfortable, which for me was about 9:30-9:45/mile for the first few miles. I also decided to run with a handheld water bottle ... Normally, I run half marathons with my Camelbak, but I decided a handheld would force me to stop for refills and a little rest. 

That strategy paid off. My first stop was mile 5, where as I said above I also ate a Gu and used the port-a-potty to give my poor bladder some relief. Kim and I then took a few walk breaks around the track, which started near mile 6 and finished at nearly mile 9, (Yeah, it's way bigger in person than it is on TV!) and I ate another Gu and refilled my bottle before continuing on without her. I didn't stop again until mile 11, where I needed another pee break (dang fetus dancing on my bladder! Haha).

I felt strong and steady the rest of the way, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes. I'm BEYOND happy with that time considering all the stops I had to make. (But still a little bitter my friend Scott beat me ... he hadn't run at all since MARCH! No fair!) Even better, my take-it-easy strategy paid off the next day, when I was the least sore I'd EVER felt after a half marathon. 

Fortunately/unfortunately, the Indy Mini was likely my first and last pregnant half marathon. Things just won't work out to do the local race in June, so my next chance for a nearby half marathon won't be until Labor Day weekend ... when I'll be 31 weeks versus of 14 weeks pregnant. At that point, I hope to still be running, but I doubt I'll be able to run that far. Soooo ... Yeah, I'm not getting my hopes up. 

In the meantime, I'm doing my best to stay healthy and happy because that's all that matters, right? This race was a great way to kick off the summer running season, so even though I don't plan on running any more half marathons this year, I do plan to find some more adventures.

When you're taking it easy, you have more time for selfies! Mario himself was on the racetrack. :) 

I wasn't missing my chance to kiss the bricks! 
Running with Gratitude
Once again, I want to thank everyone who donated to Riley Children's Hospital. I couldn't have done this race without your support!  

As a reminder, the #Run4Bronson page will stay active through the end of May. So if you still want to make a donation, click here: http://donate.rileykids.org/site/TR/ThirdParty/General?px=1467515&pg=personal&fr_id=2651

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