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Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - RunMarathon


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Indianapolis, Indiana
United States
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Inc.
30F / -1C
Sunny
Total Time = 3h 10m 30s
Overall Rank = 154/2464
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 34/179
Pre-race routine:

Reader’s Note: These are my personal thoughts on running and on this race. There will be cursing, sex, drugs, and alcohol references. If you’re uncomfortable with this, please turn away now.

Running is rock and roll. You go out as long as you can as hard as you can until you hit the floor. Then you get up and do it all over again until you can’t any more. Every day, push yourself until you’re beaten, until your head is filled with stars and you swear you can’t take another step. Then keep going. In my book, that’s rock and roll.

The daily run is like a Jack Daniels, straight, no chaser. It’s a long pull straight from the bottle, Keith Richards style. And it’s fucking hard to get down at first it but will treat you like your best friend if you stick with it. Running is easily my favorite addiction. Mostly because the runners high is like mainlining dopamine, not to mention it’s way cheaper than coke or speed. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice.

But a warning. If you dick around with running, that shit will hurt you. Go out harder than you’re ready for, or enter a distance you haven’t trained for, and be prepared for an injury whose withdrawal will make you wish the only consequence of your fuckup was some pain. When you wake up in cold sweats because you can’t get your hands on a fifth of running anymore, you’re reckoning with some seriously addictive dope.

Unlike biking with all of its fancy, expensive gadgetry, running at its best is just you propelling yourself forward. Slow down? That’s your fault, not because you flatted or your bike and wheels aren’t made of carbon, or your fit isn’t perfect, or your shoes don’t have cleats. Some people even run without shoes, though to me that’s like Buddhist monks burning themselves in protest. I get it, but I ain’t doing that shit.

Throughout marathon training, I hated the morning workouts. Many times I’d just say, fuck that noise, I’m sleeping in. And I’d do my workout after work, when I’m somehow even more tired and my legs are even clunkier than they were in the morning. But I got it done on my own terms. Running is beautiful that way. Day, night, summer, winter, there’s never a bad time to run.

When I was training for Ironman Lake Placid this summer, I fell in love bad with running. Things got to the point where, even if running cheated on me with some hipster asshole with a bad haircut in a band that really sucked, I’d still take her back. Because I know that ultimately she’ll always be there for me. I know this because we’ve discussed it on a few long runs.

One time, at mile 19, I said to her, “running, you’re a bitch and I fucking hate you and I hope you get hit by a truck full of horse shit and the shit falls on your stupid face.” To which running replied, “I understand you’re angry because you’re in pain, but you’ll think of me later today and realize how beautiful I am and that you’re wrong.” And it was true. See, whenever I’m thinking of running, she’s thinking of me too.

As the illustrious Kama Sutra has taught us, it’s important to have variety. This applies to running. You can’t just pound away night and day on pavement. It gets old, and banging like that isn’t always as exciting as it once was. Sometimes you just have to get dirty. This is why I love trail running.

Sometimes I’ll do a trail run just wearing shoes and and old pair of tri shorts. And it’s awesome because it really feels like I’m some shit-crazed monkey tearing naked through the Amazon. Occasionally, I’ll hoot and holler when I make a really good decision. Like jumping over a fallen tree and realizing in midair that there’s a huge puddle on the other side and only one rock to land on and actually managing to land on it and not break my ankle. I’ll carry that decision around my neck all day like I’m Flavor Flav rockin’ his clocks.

But I wasn’t always this way. Substitute smoke, booze, and books for running, and I probably would’ve written this exact same thing just a few years ago. I’ll say it’s better this way, but who knows, life was fun then too.
Run
  • 3h 10m 30s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 16s  min/mile
Comments:

When I got off the couch a couple of years ago, couldn’t run half a mile without walking and couldn’t hold 7:15s for more than thirty seconds, I was completely in awe of Boston Qualifiers. These were super-humans in my book, and I thought I’d never be able to toe the line at any marathon, let alone get there with the intention of trying for a BQ. But a shitload of training the last few years plus the fact that running just clicked with me this year, and I got it into my head to give Boston a shot. So I trained my ass off from August to November, setting a PR for running miles in a month with 206, and using speedwork, trail variety, and an addiction to FUN as key elements in training.

Fast forward to the morning of the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis. It’s 28 degrees with a chilly 5mph breeze, and I’m armed in tights, a base wicking layer, extremities protectors, my favorite shoes, and a dream of Boston. The plan is to stick with the 3:10 pace group for at least the first 5 miles, see how I feel, and either pick it up or stay steady. I stick with this group for the first half of the run, either just ahead or right with them when the winds pick up and I need some bodies around to stay warm. The city skyscrapers have faded to the background and we’re into the neighborhoods, tree lined and quaint. Stay focused, stay steady, keep it easy. The race starts at mile 20.

Along the way, I’ve been drinking Infinit and taking GUs every 45-55 minutes, just like in training. Since it’s so cold, I’m not focused on taking fluids as much as getting enough carbs to keep up with my body’s increased need to keep warm. Legs are feeling great up to mile 7, and settling in nicely to the pace up to mile 13. But something’s not right in my gut. I’m still cold all over and neither hungry nor thirsty, with a burgeoning tightness in my stomach just under my sternum. I need some space to get my head into the race, so I pick it up and pull away slightly from the pace group. “Tumbling Dice” just came on, so I've got Keith and Mick there for me too.

There’s a second group of guys doing 7:10 - 7:12s, so I hang just back from them and zone out in these middle miles, 13-18, maintaining form and trying not to let this feeling stop me from drinking and taking GUs, but the chills and inability to warm up are casting a lingering fog in my brain. The water bottle is feeling like a brick in my hand, which mirrors the feeling in my stomach as I get to mile 20, where Alaina and my parents and the Cody pup will be waiting for me, and I really need that bump. My cheering section is boisterous, giving me a huge shot of adrenaline and a chance to ditch the water bottle. There’s a slight downhill from 19-20 so my splits are looking better, but everything else inside is starting to shut down.

Miles 22 to the finish are always going to be hard. No doubt. This is where you need to tell the demons to fuck off and focus on the positive. But there’s not much positive happening physically. I’m pushing it as much as possible, using my arms to get the sticks going, reminding myself that THIS is the reason I went to the track early, THIS is why I did hill repeats. This is where Boston lives and dies.

But this is unlike the fast finishes I did in training. Every time I take a deep breath, my diaphragm hits that rock in my stomach, which sets off a nausea throughout my entire body. As the chills start to course through my system and all out nausea sets in, the pace group catches back up to me. I’m holding their pace just barely, and I try to stay with them at mile 24, but I’m seeing stars and ready to pass out or puke or both. The group pulls ahead, ever increasing its pace. Running and I are having another one of those conversations. Langston Hughes comes to me, asking, “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun? / Or fester like a sore-- / And then run?”

Luckily, the clocks the race organizers have up at this point tell a different story. One of a last bit of hope. Doing some fuzzy math, I figure that if I can just hold on to 7:30s with one foot in front of the other, I’ll make Boston by a few seconds. Coming back into the center city is awesome. As the towers get bigger, the stage becomes elevated in my ring. The crowds get louder, the buildings more historic, and the finish line just around the corner. I turn it up and glance at my splits for the last mile: 7:13s.

I can do this! I turn the final corner and see my family and Alaina screaming “GO GO GO!” with more intensity than I’ve ever heard from her, so I know it's going to be very very close. I turn on the afterburners with flashbacks of the hot corner at IMLP, where the crowd cheered en masse and the clock ticked down from 10:59 toward 11:00. I sprint the chute, crossing the finish line at 3:10:30. The catchers at that moment are all busy attending to other finishers. Calling faintly for water, I feel that burn in my stomach retch violently to my throat as I fall to all fours and throw up four times all over the street.

Now that’s rock and roll.
Post race
Warm down:

They wheel me to the med tent, which I really need to stop visiting after races, and get some chicken broth and water, feeling like a million frozen bucks for toughing out a race finish time that was once just a pipe dream. Also awesome: this is a 27 minute PR from my previous (first) marathon, and a great boon for 2011. I can’t wait to start running again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Me and Infinit aren't on talking terms anymore.




Last updated: 2010-09-07 12:00 AM
Running
03:10:30 | 26.2 miles | 07m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 34/179
Overall: 154/2464
Performance: Good
Course: Big flat scenic loop with NO out n backs. Very cool course.
Keeping cool Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2010-11-09 5:51 AM

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Expert
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon


2010-11-09 6:56 AM
in reply to: #3202133

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Regular
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Southern Indiana
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Nice run and report.
2010-11-09 7:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Your opening thoughts comparing Running and Rock & Roll is absolute Money and 'spot on'.  Running is a self-indulgent primitive addiction that, for me, trumps all other guilty pleasures -- hands down, no question.  And the true beauty of running (compared to other addictions) is the more you do it, the more it beats you up and tears you down -- the stronger you ultimately become.  Crazy great sport.  

CONGRATULATIONS again on the BQ.  You busted your hump and this is well-deserved victory.  Perhaps you and I can run together in Beantown 2012?      

Thanks for a funny, entertaining, insightful, well-written Race Report. 

BOSTON BABY!!  BOSTON!!!

2010-11-09 9:40 AM
in reply to: #3202133

Iron Donkey
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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
I am amazed at how quickly and how strong you've become in the last couple of years!

Your RR is an incredible read, too, it gets to the mind unlike no other one can, and you pulled me into it!

Congratulations, Ryan, on one great race!  And you're only getting better!
2010-11-09 3:49 PM
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Master
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
That was some seriously exciting stuff!!!

You continue to amaze and inspire me Now you have 2 PRs. I better get back to training or else you're going to start beating me at triathlons, too!!! Eek!
2010-11-09 8:00 PM
in reply to: #3202133

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Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Ryan - another fantastic report; I always enjoy reading about your adventures.  Congrats on a job well done.  What an incredible year you and your wife have had!



2010-11-09 8:21 PM
in reply to: #3202133

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Pro
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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
No pretenders in running a marathon.  Great race and enjoyed the RR.  Congrats on the PR and BQ!
2010-11-10 1:38 PM
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2010-11-10 2:57 PM
in reply to: #3202133

Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
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Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

I kept wondering to myself... "When's he gonna yak?" And I was not disappointed, and actually laughed out loud when I read you crossed the finish line, called faintly for water and ultimately ended up on all 4's wretching. That *is* rock'n'roll...

And I suppose, by definition then, YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!

Kiss

Congratulations! Mr. Speedypants.

2010-11-11 4:19 PM
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Expert
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Whizzzzz - 2010-11-10 3:57 PM

I kept wondering to myself... "When's he gonna yak?" And I was not disappointed, and actually laughed out loud when I read you crossed the finish line, called faintly for water and ultimately ended up on all 4's wretching. That *is* rock'n'roll...

And I suppose, by definition then, YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!

Kiss

Congratulations! Mr. Speedypants.



after the first yak, which is always rough, the rest were actually kinda funny. like, what the hell, let's get rid of all this crap and start over. weird thing is though, a few spectators were staring at me the whole time. maybe they were taking bets on what color the next yak might be. "huh, still orange, who would've guessed?"
2010-11-14 7:22 AM
in reply to: #3202133

Expert
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Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Ryan!  AWESOME race report.  Why aren't you writting for $$$$?  You should be writing for $$$$!!!!!

Congratulations sir.  It's so cool that we both had amazing days on November 6!  Sorry for your struggles with your gut, but I'm sure that makes it all the more sweet to have achieved your BQ goal! 

I am hoping and waiting to fall for running like you have.  I don't know if I'll ever have the relationship you do with it, but I'm open to new loves!  

You are an inspiration to the rest of us mere mortals...your perspective on training, the way you share it with us all in your blogs, the performace that comes from all your hard work...inspiring sir. 

Enjoy the rock n roll hangover till it's time to crank it up again!!!


2010-11-14 7:22 AM
in reply to: #3202133

Expert
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1000252525
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Ryan!  AWESOME race report.  Why aren't you writting for $$$$?  You should be writing for $$$$!!!!!

Congratulations sir.  It's so cool that we both had amazing days on November 6!  Sorry for your struggles with your gut, but I'm sure that makes it all the more sweet to have achieved your BQ goal! 

I am hoping and waiting to fall for running like you have.  I don't know if I'll ever have the relationship you do with it, but I'm open to new loves!  

You are an inspiration to the rest of us mere mortals...your perspective on training, the way you share it with us all in your blogs, the performace that comes from all your hard work...inspiring sir. 

Enjoy the rock n roll hangover till it's time to crank it up again!!!
2010-11-18 10:16 PM
in reply to: #3202133

Member
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25
Boston
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Way to stick to the plan and work through the stomach issues! You totally ROCK!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to watch you kill Boston! Cool
2010-11-19 6:43 AM
in reply to: #3202133

Coach
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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Awesome race Ryan, congrats!
2010-12-04 11:16 AM
in reply to: #3202133

Expert
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Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
First off, congrats on your BQ! Rock star, indeed.

Secondly, that is one of the best race reports EVER! Great work on all fronts, Ryan.
2010-12-12 2:02 PM
in reply to: #3202133

Veteran
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100100
North Carolina
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
I like your style. You are a true grit warrior my friend!


2011-10-11 8:09 PM
in reply to: #3202133

Champion
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Calgary
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
AWESOME RR. awesome. that was a good race. well done.
2011-10-11 8:52 PM
in reply to: #3202133

Iron Donkey
38641
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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

I just had to come back and re-read and actually absorb this better, and add a couple of quips:

"...there’s never a bad time to run..." <-- Well, how about when there is a tornado right in front of you?  Or stuck in a deep hole, like baby Jessica?


"... It gets old, and banging like that isn’t always as exciting as it once was..." <-- I guess it depends on reference here - I would think "banging your wife" shouldn't get old, but, a lot of people divorce for that reason?

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