November 3, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon and 5K

Scott, Andrea, and I post-race
Andrea and I traveled to Indianapolis this weekend for the Monumental Half-Marathon and 5K. Here's our race reports...

Jake - 1:05:54 (7th place)

Before I say anything about my race, I want to give a shout to the IMM race organization (especially elite coordinator Matt Ebersole) for putting together such competitive fields. All 4 course records were shattered. An interesting storyline was that 16 year old Alana Hadley and 49 year old Colleen De Reuck (who ran 2:39!) both qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Weather was ideal (low 40s and the wind from the day before died off). The course was also great - an essentially flat loop with no surprises.

I wanted to get out at just under 5:00 pace and come through 10K a little under 31 minutes. The pack was big off the start. I counted 14 guys ahead of me as we came though the mile (4:55). I tried to tuck in the back, but the Kenyans started to string it out in the second mile, and the big group already started to break up. Mile 2 was another 4:55. I had passed a few guys and moved up to a yellow singlet (Andrew Sherman). We ended up running pretty much the rest of the race together. We caught up to Jason Ordway in the 3rd mile (4:50, so 14:40 at 3 miles... too fast, borderline suicidal, although it didn't feel that way). We moved away from Jason and miles 4-6 were 4:54, 5:07, 4:58. Hit 10K in 30:48. On paper that doesn't look too bad, but it wasn't run evenly, and took a toll.

We had no one in sight in front of us, so Andrew and I were basically racing each other. The pace slowed from 7-9: 5:02, 5:08, 5:12 (ugly). A little after 15K another guy (Brandon York) moved up and caught us. Now we had a little pack of three, and the pace picked back up a little. Miles 10-12 were 5:05, 5:05, 5:08. Brandon and Andrew were both a little ahead of me with about a half-mile left. Andrea was waiting a quarter-mile from the finish and told me to be proud of my finish. That was a good thing to say and it got me going. I moved past Andrew, but Brandon still had a little gap on me. My legs felt like lead but I mustered up a some mental fortitude and was able to beat him to the finish by a few strides. I felt good about how I finished. The last mile was 4:59 and then ~29-30 for the last tenth. Here's the full results. Deep race with 9 guys under 1:06.

I knew sub-65 was a longshot, so I'm not at all disappointed in the outcome. I've said this before, but anytime you break 66 on a fair course, its a good performance and you can't be too upset because it doesn't happen by accident. I definitely learned a few things that I think will be valuable as I approach CIM in 5 weeks (and half-marathons next spring). My PR of 1:05:45 from October 2011 will unfortunately survive another year. Before I think about trying to break 1:05, I need to beat that time, and break 1:05:30. Smaller steps. And I definitely run better off negative splits, not going out hard and hanging on.

For the upcoming marathon, I need to be realistic about what my current capabilities are and try to maximize my chances for a good performance (not just go for 2:17 because that's what I want to run). That will probably mean going out a bit slower and not necessarily chasing the OTQ standard. I've got 2 years to chase it... I still haven't run a really good marathon, so that should (and will) be my main goal. Plus, anything can happen if you aren't going backwards in the last 10 miles.

Andrea - 18:16 (2nd place)

Another step in the right direction today. I consider this a better performance than the SOJO 5K and was able to finish a lot stronger.

The elite race coordinator (Matt) was nice enough to let me hang out in the elite quarters (=warm indoors) prior to the race as Jake's coach/psychologist/masseuse. The talent level in that room was pretty phenomenal - truly some of the best in the country ran today. I ran part of the warm-up with Jake and walked with the elites to the starting line. Conditions were pretty good for fast times at 41 degrees and only a little breezy. Because the 5K started after the half/full, I jogged to the half mile mark to watch (and make sure Jake didn't go out at 3k pace). I have never seen such a big race start - the masses just kept coming and coming. It made me happy to see so many people that love the sport!

Obviously I wasn't super focused on my race. Apparently no one else needed to do strides for the 5k so I didn't either. A few mascots danced for a couple minutes then we were off. I was in 50th place at 0.25 mile and I'm pretty sure there were at least 35 epic crashes. I stuck to my 5:55 goal pace and worked on reeling in the runners ahead of me. I was able to speed up in the last 0.5 mile and finish with a pretty good kick.

I hoped to run around 18:15 so I am satisfied with my performance! I haven't had the best week with quite a bit of discomfort of my lateral knee and glute, but once again race day performed its miracle and I felt completely healthy. I really do believe that the races are helping my right leg/hip muscles fire correctly and are good for me as I continue to heal.

I relaxed for a few minutes then went out to wait and cheer for Jake. He came around the corner with two guys on either side of him, and it was great to see him kick it into that extra gear and outsprint them! Overall a good race for both of us.


  1. I stole several of these pictures for my post. When you have rested and tapered legs, you will fly. You've gotten in a lot of high quality workouts, which I think point to 65 low fitness. Andrea is starting to fly as well. Pretty soon ya'll will be sweeping all of the Utah events.

  2. There's no much thing as stealing on the internet! :-)

    I feel pretty good about CIM. I think I'm on track to peak for 26.2 at just the right time.