Okay, so the title of this blog post sounds a bit dramatic. In reality, about 100 of the women in my group went to this race together as a small “runcation”. A fraction of the total number of women running the race. But, in actuality, it felt exactly the way I wrote it.
In October of 2018, the race opened up race registration with a door-busting registration fee of like $30. One woman announced it in our group, and all of a sudden we were all screaming “Take my money”! Before we knew it, we were full-on planning out the logistics of making a weekend of running in Indy happen. Hotel blocks, emails to race management (they were super helpful), roommate matching, carpooling and dinner planning. I grabbed 4 of my BRFs (Best Running Friends) and we quickly scored a hotel room deal thanks to a husband’s reward points. For a year, we waited in anticipation of this trip. For some women, this was their first half marathon, or their first racing trip, or well, their first trip with complete strangers. And we were all giddy about it!
The ride up was eventful for some, but I didn’t hit any traffic. We stopped at the expo first. A few dozen ladies had already arrived in Indy and made the Indy Women’s Instagram page straight away! The packet pickup was quick as the expo is small. We walked through the expo loop and said hi to several women we knew working booths and then we were on to the hotel.
We checked in and quickly found a place to grab the largest plate of nachos I’ve ever seen and a beer (and water). Then it was time to go back to the hotel for lights out. I am serious about my night before race routine and I think most other ladies in the group were as well because Friday night was quiet. Honestly, I was worried about the heat predicted for the next day and how it might impact everyone. I didn’t sleep well.
Saturday morning, we headed to the race start line. There we were would meet up with a few other chapters from other states for a large group photo. And, then, of course, we had to get our own chapter photo. Some ladies missed the photo, but as you can see, we had a great turnout. Then, it was the start time! It was already 72 and humid. We were sweating just standing waiting for the race to start. The gun went off and there we were, heading out on our big adventure.
I was lucky enough to run with a chapter member (who is also a fellow hockey mom) for the first 4 miles. After that, I went on ahead of her and started to run into other members. I loved seeing them, cheering them on. Sometimes stopping to walk with them, hug them, high five them. At mile 6, there is a turn around so I had people cheering me on and I was cheering them on in turn. It was a great boost!
For the course itself, well it is Indy and the route was on some of the roughest roads surrounding the city. I ended up running outside of the cones several places because it did not feel secure to run on the broken pavement. I have done races in this area before and knew it would be like this, so I wasn’t surprised. I do remember at some point thinking, well at least I don’t have to worry about popping a tire today – my last race in Indy was a triathlon.
Around mile 10, I started having a cramp in my right glute so I slowed up a little. Today was not a PR day (heat is my kryptonite), so I settled in at the pace I was at and walked some on mile 11 and 12. In the last part of mile 12, I started running with a woman who pushed me on through another cramp. She wasn’t a part of my running group, but she was a badass and I was grateful for her all of the same. I wish I had gotten her name, but she disappeared at the finish line. I hear ladies from the running group on the sidelines yelling my name and I smiled all of the way into the chute. I immediately got my medal and circled back to the finish line area to get some water and then take photos of other members coming into the finish. There was so much cheering, hugging, smiling and crying. I loved watching each and every member finish. I was relieved to see most everyone looking healthy despite the weather conditions.
The finish line area was amazing. It was cloudy and warm but the food (including a pancake village) was solid and the mimosa and beer were bottomless! I am not sure who thought of those finish line details, but we wanted to stay all day—we pretty much did until they kicked us out to breakdown. It was great getting to see all of us together again at the finish. I ended up leaving the area after I knew the last member was in safely. It was emotionally so draining (in a great way) that I needed to go back to the room and decompress.
After a hot shower and more food, we laid down to take a nap. Then, we got up and dressed to meet members staying over on Saturday night for a social event at a local brewing company. It was great to see everyone, sit around and relax and just talk about how the race went. We talked about non-running things too. We all then headed ways after hugs and good-nights. My roomies and I grabbed dinner and had a great evening in general (we ate A LOT of food). I slept like a baby that night. The next morning we took our time getting dressed and drinking coffee because we didn’t really want to go back to reality.
Overall, the Indy Women’s Half is a good half marathon experience. The runners are supportive! The medical support was outstanding- I always saw medical on bikes and our safety was their top concern. The finish line and the bling/swag are amazing. Considering the minimal cost for race registration, we definitely got more than we paid for in terms of an amazing weekend experience.
There are some words that can capture a finish line feeling, but there are no words to describe how I felt at the finish line with all of those other women. For a few hours, we had no cares, no children to tend to, no dinner to cook, no bills to pay. We had each other and that is all we needed.
If you are curious about what it is like to run with an all women’s running group on the daily, check out the blog I wrote about these women last year!
In this episode, Trail Sisters Louisville Co-Leader, Susan McLoughlin, chats with Stephanie about her running journey. She tells us how she started running, when she decided to take that leap to long distance running and how she ultimately found (and fell in love with) trail running. Susan shares insight on balancing running with being a mom and also shares some fun stories about her kids and her races. You will also learn more about Trail Sisters and how local races are now jumping onboard to meet the needs of women in the sport. I hope you enjoy this light-hearted chat and get some inspiration to follow your dreams, big or small.
Kaitlin joins the Bluegrass BAMR in the latest episode-Lucky Number 13! Kaitlin is currently expecting her second child and is an avid runner and badass stroller mom. In our local running community, you can find her at Feet Fleet runs and Moms Run This Town events, always wearing a big smile! In this episode, we chat about several topics, including the importance of finding a running community that fits you and we hear about her motivation for running her first marathon, the Flying Pig! No matter where you are in your running journey, Kaitlin’s story will inspire you.
Watch out! Stephanie is fresh off of the 2019 Chicago BibRave Pro Summit and Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon in this podcast episode. Listen in as she talks about it with BibRave Pros: Amy, Jenn, Jessica, and Renee. They will share their thoughts on the Summit weekend as well as how they started running and what motivates them to keep going. In true BAMR style, they give advice to new runners and talk about what makes someone a BAMR. Enjoy and don’t stop being a badass!
“Disclaimer: I received SiS isotonic gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”
If you read my previous blog post, you know I had an Instagram contest going on to give away 2 6-packs of Science in Sport Energy Gel. Congratulations to the winners of that giveaway @Januaryrunr11 and @samoorebrown! I hope you enjoy your 6-pack.
Now for the review of the product. Honestly, I didn’t feel sold on the idea of an energy gel that did not require water intake. I primarily use gels or gel blocks on longish runs and for marathons and I realize the need to take the appropriate amount of water with those products. Science in Sport shipped me a generous supply of 4 types of gels:
My first sample was the Apple Isotonic Gel. The flavor was pretty light, not sour, and the consistency was like a melted down applesauce or jello cup. I liked the idea of not having to take water with these. I followed the instructions on the box and used them for my first run and I definitely did not feel fatigued during or after the run. The gels did not bother my stomach at all! I feel like these could be very useful for long runs and ultra runs where I have more trouble swallowing thick gels or real food towards the later stages of the race. The pouches are easy to store in my pack, too.
I then tried both of the energy gels later in the week on different runs. These you have to take with water. The flavor of both was mild, although I preferred the Salted Strawberry flavor over the Lemon + Mint. The consistency of these is much thinner than the Apple Isotonic Gel.
Last, but not least, was the Expresso flavored caffeinated gels. These really pack a punch! I can see me using these before early morning runs (instead of drinking coffee) and also in the last half of long runs/races for a little kick.
I took some samples to friends in my running group to try. Several said they liked the flavors but there were mixed reviews on the consistency.
I was able to train with them and use them during the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Chicago this weekend. And, much to my happiness, SIS was on course for this race! I took 3 gels over the course of the race and let me tell you, they were lifesavers. Race morning was around 78 degrees but the humidity was high, making the forecast for the heat index a hot one. Let me just say, this was by far the hottest race I have run in a while and I really felt like the SIS helped me power through. Bonus: I didn’t have to take water with it, so I timed my nutrition around the water stops. Double Bonus: It was so hot, I really didn’t want to eat anything, but the gels went down nice and smooth and set well on my stomach. I ended up running that half marathon right at a 2:05, which was not my desired pace but definitely made me push my boundaries- and SIS Isotonic gels were there to help me do it!
Personally, I feel like if the product works well for you, then over time the consistency will grow on you! In summary:
If you are ready to try Science in Sport products visit www.scienceinsport.com and use code TRYSIS25 for 25% OFF your order today.
You don’t have to just take my word for it, you can see other reviews from my fellow BibRave Pros here:
Tara Jo Thomas, 2020 KDF Ambassador, mom, and Army wife shares her passions and future goals with us in this fun episode. Tara Jo shares with us how her unhealthy habits led her to start a running journey she never imagined. And, little did she realize joining a running club would help her find her current passion project; she helps motivate moms to get out and run…with their strollers! An OG of the Louisville Moms Run This Town stroller crew, she loves getting moms out to run and connect with other moms! You will laugh and get motivated with Episode 9, just “Take that baby step.”!
In Episode 8, Stephanie chats with Donna Giovenco, RDN, LD, CN, ACSM-CPT. Donna has an amazing running resume that includes earning a BQ and completing Ironman. We find out more about how Donna started running and what running has brought to her life, including great friends, her husband and an attitude that inspires new and seasoned runners alike! Donna has some great advice for new runners who might be hearing their inner critic and she shares how she has been able to deal with her own inner critic to achieve her goals. You do not want to miss this health enthusiast’s inspirational words of wisdom.
Get to know Abbi Auger in this episode! Abbi is an Ironman, Ultrarunner, Achilles Athlete and all-around BAMR. Hear more about Abbi’s running journey, including how she balances training with life, advice she gives new runners, as well as her take on living with Bechet’s disease. Abbi has a contagious spirit and is always willing to help motivate her fellow athletes. We hope you benefit from her take on running, and life in general, which is: “Don’t Overthink It’.
Click here now: https://anchor.fm/BluegrassBAMR/episodes/E7-Dont-Overthink-It-with-Abbi-Auger-e40bcs or find it anywhere you listen to your podcasts.
My mind is always running and so am I.
A father of two darling daughters, running through life, one day at a time. He shares his adventures of parenting, running, trekking and travelling as he runs each day. He runs for family, fitness, food and always fun!
I hope that someone sees this page and decides not to give up...
Getting to Life's Finish Line One Mile at a Time
My journey to a healthier life
Training, Ultramarathons and Adventure.