My goal was to finish in less than three hours and my finish time was 2:39:41. Yay! I came in under the goal. I placed 6th in my age group (M50-54) out of seven participants. I finished 55th out of 65 males who ran in the race. And I was the 102nd finisher out of 127.
I left the house at 5:45 am for the 90 minute drive from the south side of Indianapolis to Muncie. The drive to Muncie was uneventful. However, once I arrived in downtown Muncie, I was totally lost. I anxiously drove around for about 20 minutes trying to find the Turhey Pool Park where the start/finish line was at. I finally stopped a pedestrian and asked him where the Park was at. He directed me and a few minutes later I was picking up the packet. The organizers suggested I park my car at the nearby high school which was about a quarter-mile walk from the start finish line. But, thankfully, I found a closer parking space.
The air temperature was about 38°F and the wind was strong. So, there was a wind chill. And, of course, I forgot to bring my heavy running shirt. Not that I ‘really’ forgot as I didn’t expect I would need it so I left it at home. The day before was such a bright sunny and warm day I assumed that the next day (race day) would be the same. Not so. I brought a normal sweat shirt to wear after the race but decided to wear it during the race, just to keep warm with the wind. Everyone else was dressed in normal running attire and I was the only one wearing a bulky sweat shirt. I’m certain people were thinking that this was my first event run.
It was my first Mini Marathon event in several years. I don’t really remember the last one I ran in. It probably was the Geist Mini Marathon in 2008. I’ve run in several Indianapolis Mini Marathons but haven’t run a Mini in several years.
Before the race started, there were some announcements, singing the Star Spangled Banner and a prayer. Then a huge cannon was fired and the race began. I was happy to get moving.
The highlight of this race for me came just after the first mile. The course ran on the east side of the Ball State University campus and next to my old freshman dorm. Except for some new landscaping, the building looks exactly like what it did when I was living there in 1982! It’s hard to believe that 30+ years ago I was living life as a college freshman.
The course eventually made its way to the Cardinal Greenway along the White River and out about 5 miles north of downtown Muncie to a turn around point. And then it was essentially the same course back to the finish line. About 11 miles into the race, I overlooked one of the course markers at a turn and wondered off course. I was running with three other people and we all stopped and tried to figure out where the course was. Someone who was walking along the street told us that we were about a quarter-mile off course. We made our way back to the course and ran to the finish. That silly faux pas added almost .4 miles to my overall distance!
Am I happy with my performance and time? Yes, I honestly am. Although I wish it was a better time. My best mini finish was 1:57:00 at the 2007 Indianapolis Mini. But this was really a finish of determination. I signed up for this event back in early June and had every intention to properly train for it. However, the 7 week layoff during the summer for that heart issue (which turned out to be nothing, thankfully) derailed my training. I ‘restarted’ the training at the first of September and two months isn’t really enough time to train for the full 13 miles. My longest training run was 6 miles.
I thought about opting out of the Mini distance and doing the 10K distance, since the promoters offered the 13.1, 6.2 and 3.1 distances. But, since finishing a Mini Marathon was one of my top 2013 goals, I thought I would give the 13.1 miles my best effort, even though my training wasn’t anywhere what it should have been.
So, my strategy for this Muncie Mini Marathon was to run as normal as I could until the turn around point and then use a walk-run strategy to the finish. I wanted to finish in less than three hours so I had to maintain an average pace of 13:45 minutes per mile. I ran a pace of 10:30 or so for the first few miles. My running was fluid and steady for the first seven miles to the turn around point. After that, I kind of broke apart. After the turn around point, I could only run for a few minutes and then had to walk for a few minutes. As I was running, I could feel my ham string and calf muscles starting to cramp. When I felt the cramp start to come on, I just stopped and walked. I did that for the next six miles. I was thankful when I crossed the finish line and was given the finisher’s medal. Yay!
Since it was my grand-daughter’s birthday and since I was near the BSU campus, I wanted to buy her an ‘authentic’ Ball State sweat shirt from the campus bookstore. So, in the midst of residual pain from the Mini, I walked to the short distance to the student center to buy the sweat shirt. When I was a student at BSU in the mid ’80’s, the book store was in the student center. But, I learned that the book store is now in another building about a quarter-mile walk from the student center. So, I painfully walked to the bookstore and bought a sweat shirt for my grand-daughter. I splurged and bought one for me too!
Here’s my pace per mile:
So my second mile was the fastest at 10:37 and the 12th mile was the slowest at 13:24. My average pace was 11:47.
The promoter of the Muncie Mini Marathon (America Multi Sport) offers three Mini Marathons in several cities in east Central Indiana. Maybe next year I will do the Henry County Mini and the Richmond Mini and the Muncie Mini for a triple crown!