Well, I kind of freaked myself out today when I started doing some more detailed research of the Boilermaker Half Marathon (which I had chosen as my first half marathon on October 20th). Come to find out that this is the first year for this race and there are some monster hills. This wouldn’t necessarily be an issue (I’ve got plenty of time for hill training before October), but then I read that the pace required for the race is a 15-minute mile and, if you aren’t able to keep up with the pace, they will pick you up in the Sag Wagon and drive you back to the finish line.
Well, seeing as my 5k average time is close to 14 minutes, that made me pretty nervous. That, in addition to hills, was a daunting thought for me. I spent a bit of time discussing this with my trainer and he gave me some VERY valuable information about choosing half marathons.
Apparently, if you are a novice, it is best to choose a half marathon that has a full marathon attached because the required times to finish are based upon the full marathon times. Whereas, if you register for a half that has no full attached, the maximum time to finish is usually based on an average (generally around 3 hours).
Seeing as my trainer has run something like 8 half marathons and 2 full marathons and he still has not been able to break the 3 hour mark, I began to feel VERY uneasy about the Boiler Half being my first half marathon ever. I really do want to ENJOY my first big race and not be pushing my body too hard or worrying that I am about to be kicked out at any time.
It just so happens that a good friend of mine (who moved away a year or so ago) had asked me just this afternoon to run the Indianapolis Marathon. While I’m definitely not going to attempt a full marathon, there is a half marathon attached to this race (and a 5k!) and the max time allowed is 4 hours (or a 17-minute mile) – MUCH BETTER!!!
I started to do some research and checked out the website and found this info, which was very appealing to me:
What Sets This Event Apart...
• One of the most beautiful Autumn Marathon courses you will find anywhere. The course has been described as “Enchanting” and “Surreal” by participants! “No ‘down’ spots along the entire course”. An amazing treat.
• The fantastic post-race atmosphere. After the race, hang out in the Beautiful Park Setting of the Former Army Parade Grounds of Lawton Loop. Enjoy music, fire pits, a free post-race meal, and a magical atmosphere where people simply want to relax, catch up with new and old friends, and enjoy their accomplishment on a beautiful autumn day.
• The Indianapolis Marathon and Half Marathon registration fees are some of the most reasonable in the country!
• We delight in paying attention to the details. Our Goal for participants: Exceed Expectations, Amaze Them!
In light of the fact that this race is closer to me, it has great reviews, it sounds like a lot of fun AND I will get to re-connect with an old friend…I’ve changed my plan up a bit and decided to run this as my first half marathon instead. I still desperately want to do the Boiler Half Marathon, but I think it will have to wait until I am in a better space physically and mentally…maybe next year.
Best part is…these two races are on the same day, so my training plan still stands and I will continue to follow it just as it is already scheduled.
Wish me luck!