Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Race Recap: Monumental Marathon

Finally, I got the chance to pound out 26.2 miles in my home state of Indiana! The Monumental Marathon, situated in Indiana's capitol of Indianapolis, was a great race to be a part of. The weather was perfect, the course was flat, and speedy times were up for grabs.
Riding a lion outside the expo

I had circled this race on my calendar as one where I wanted to try and break my PR, but in the weeks leading up to the race, my runs were pretty sluggish. I just didn't seem to have much energy. Because of this, my confidence level going into the race weekend was certainly not were I would of liked it to be. It was going to be an in-race decision as to whether I was gonna go for a PR or not. If I felt strong, game on. If my legs were still feeling blah, I would run it easy.

The marathon was on Saturday, which I prefer. I arrived in Indy on Friday and my sister, Katie, who lives in the area, picked me up at the airport. From the airport, we headed straight to the expo so I could grab my bib.

It's always nice to run a race in the same town where you know someone, especially when it's family. My mom even drove up from southern Indiana, which made the weekend even sweeter. I've grown accustom to traveling to many of my races alone (not that I mind), so it was nice to have some family with me.

M4M medal collection table at the expo
The marathon had a generous start time of 8:00am, so I was able to get some decent sleep the night before. Katie dropped me off around 7, which gave me plenty of time to check my bag, hit the porta pots, and roam around near the start and soak in the marathon environment that I love so much. The charity I volunteer for, Medals4Mettle, is based out of Indy and was a partner for the event. I was able to meet up with the founder, Steve Isenberg, before the race started. We chatted for a few minutes, wished each other well in the race, and headed to our respective corrals.

Start Line
The race got underway and I immediately settled into an 8:40 pace. The first few miles of the course gave you a great tour of downtown Indy before it turned you north and sent you into the suburbs. For the first 7 miles or so, the course was shared with the half marathon runners. Once the course split, it thinned out and let me focus more on my pace and less on finding gaps among the runners around me.

Right before the halfway point I ran past a woman who had a bib attached to her back that read, "1st timer". I looked over at her as I ran by and said, "Careful, these things are addicting." She smiled and said she was feeling great. She looked great too, so I'm sure she ended up having a great first marathon!

I crossed the 13.1 timing mats in 1:52:21 and my legs were still feeling fresh. I began to realize that breaking my PR was a real possibility.

The next 10 miles were great. The course wound around a lot of different neighborhoods, past the campus of Butler University and through the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Crowd support was sparse, but I didn't mind. Hats off to the Indy Police; they did a great job keeping the course clear and safe for the runners.

Nearing the finish
When I hit mile 23, my legs started to remind me that I was running a marathon. I was beginning to hit a wall, but it was a very soft one. My pace fell to about an 8:45 for the final stretch. Thankfully, I had enough time in hand and was still on track for a PR. I put my head down and kept moving. The finish was near, but those last 3 miles seemed to last forever (as they always do).

As the mile 26 came into view, I picked up my pace. As I rounded the last corner that led to finish line, I spotted my mom and sister off to the side. I ran towards them to give them high fives, but at the last moment I decided to stop and give my mom a kiss on the cheek. Yea, I'm a momma's boy. My mom has always been so supportive of my running goals. Words will never be able express my gratitude towards her (but hopefully a sweaty kiss does).

I crossed the line and looked skyward, thanking my dad for keeping me safe. After catching my breath, I glanced at my watch and saw a time I'd never seen next to 26.2 miles, 3:42:48! A new PR by almost 3 minutes!

Family + Marathon in Indiana + New PR = Best marathon weekend ever!

Garmin Upload

Indiana spinner! HOOSIER PRIDE!


  1. I've got to get this race on my calendar! The course sounds much nice than the Mini, which winds around Indy's west side en route to the Speedway.

    1. It was fun. I would def recommend it! I haven't run the mini yet, but I would like to in the future.

  2. Fantastic! Congrats on the PR and getting to do it in your home state!