Recap: Run Like A Girl 10-miler and Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben

For someone who fancies herself a writer, I can never remember to update this thing. Which is why you all are getting a recap of two races.

Run Like A Girl 10-Miler – Columbus

Run Like A Girl 5k, 10k and 10-miler is a women’s-only race put on by MaternOhio and benefitting Go Red for Women. I knew going in I wanted to race that one, with a time goal of 1:40 or better.

And holy crap, RLAG could not have been a better race.

The energy stayed high the entire time – both in myself and in the atmosphere – and it was a beautiful sunny day without the heat and humidity I had a few weeks earlier at the Air Force Half. The first three miles went through the River South district to the Arena District and back to the Scioto Mile. I kept pace behind two ladies with Team Heart and Sole since they had a solid playlist blaring through the stroller they were pushing.

I’m not even a Beyonce fan/stan, but it’s amazing how easily I can pick up the pace at “Who run this mother … Girls!”

Miles 4 – 6 took me through the woods on the Scioto to Olentangy bike trails. There’s some slight hills, which in previous races were challenges, although this time I felt great and didn’t struggle on them.

The Garmin watch helped me stay aware of my pace for the last three miles and to my pleasant surprise, I finished the 10-miler in 1:37:23.

I’m still enamored with my medal, which has the RGAL logo on it and is entirely mint green. Or light teal. No one can really decide which is which, but either way it’s still one of my favorite colors and it’s the only medal in my collection of that color.

And we got a four-pack of cranberry vodka, which was surprisingly good (A/N: I’m not a drinker) and will be residing in my fridge until I’ve decided I’m done with people.

Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben

This year has turned out to be an expensive racing year. Mainly because I like to travel for races and have had terrible impulse control with registering for new ones.

When I registered for the Indy Monumental Marathon, there was an option on the website to register for either the half or the 5k at Fort Ben as part of the IndyThon challenge. If I were to run both races, then after completing the Indy Monumental I’d receive an additional medal to commemorate the “miles of bragging rights” from both, linked-together races.

I knew I was going to run the full marathon again at the Monumental, and my ego said I could totally do the half two weeks before the Columbus Half, which meant between two events I’d total 39.3 miles and get my “Ultra Marathoner” charm.

I knew I could be ultra – and I am most certainly extra – so I went ahead and registered for the IndyThon earlier this year.

Which brings us to this past Saturday morning. The day before I drove out to Indy, picked up my packet at the expo, decided to kill time and explore the Ruins at Holliday Park when it was raining (10/10 would recommend) and made my way to my hotel in Greenwood.

Saturday morning I got up on time, got to the parking lot off Post Road easily (I constantly leave way too early as a just in case) and spent the hour leading up to the race rolling out my calves and snooping the race grounds for photo opportunities. And I said hi to a couple of dogs.

That’s an unspoken race rule: say hi to all dogs after checking with their owners that they are friendly.

Then it was time to go.

On what was an unseasonably hot and humid day.

I was also surprised by the number of hills, especially Miles 3 and 10. Physically, everything that could have happened happened during that race.

Miles 1 and 2 were great, but Mile 3 was uphill. I developed a cramp during Mile 4.5, which forced me to walk a bit.

Miles 5 through 7 weren’t killer but they weren’t easy either. Mile 8 was easily my favorite: downhill under the changing fall trees at Fort Harrison State Park. I may or may not have used that mile to lift up my arms and air some things out.

Then came Mile 10.

I heard a veteran racer make a comment about how Mile 10 or 11 was the one that had a hill that made you say “what the f**k” upon seeing it. Not even running it – seeing it.

I walked it. There was no way I was going to run it.

Mile 11 was okay, and then during Mile 12 I felt nauseous from the watered-down Gatorade. I even thought about walking across the finish line but decided that as long as I wasn’t injured, I was running across the finish. So I did.

2:36:06. My second-slowest time.

Fort Ben was the first half where I had to work and truly earn my medal. That’s not to say every race before it was a cake walk, but physically I felt Fort Ben and those hills in my bones, as well as the blisters on the bottoms of my feet.

However, Fort Ben wasn’t all bad. Runner’s World dubbed the race “one of the most scenic” in the country, and the hills and woods in early October really are a warm, vivid sight to behold. During the 12th mile, when had to walk so I wouldn’t get sick, I couldn’t get over the beautiful colors overhead and the sprawling land around me.

I felt small, and in that smallness was a calm. A feeling the universe and I were one that I usually don’t experience during races.

So for that alone, Fort Ben was a damn good gauntlet.

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