Category Archives: Indianapolis Mini Training

State #5: Indiana


Race Day:

5:00 WAKE UP!  Get dressed – running skirt, navy blue tank with Grizz Flag attached as cape and yellow headband.  Pin race number to shirt.  Put RUNMEM shirt on over to stay warm.  Eat a bowl of oatmeal and grab coffee for the road.  Shoes. iPod. Gary. Gu. Camera.

5:30 DEPARTURE! Picked up by our chauffeur Al – a fellow running buddy who luckily doesn’t get his work done during the work week and so offered to let us lounge in his office before the race while he caught up on things.  Spent the car ride reminiscing about previous races.

6:10 ARRIVE!  Touch up outfit.  Take photos. Remind Dad there’s no plan.  Watch local news coverage.  Talk a lot about chance of rain.  Watch weather. Talk more about the rain. Take pictures.

Rhodes Dad and Grizz Girl before the 2011 Mini Marathon

Best cityscape shot we could get! State #5!

7:00 HEAD TO CORRALS!  Brisk walking.  LOTS of people.  “Back Home Again in Indiana” playing.  Find F.  Talk to neighbor.  Stretch P.I.T.A.  Not so cranky at all.  National anthem.   Fireworks (hard to see in the daylight…).  Circle Centre mall and 34,000 people behind us.  NIFS and NCAA Hall of Champions and 1,000 people in front of us.


7:33 OFFICIAL START! Countdown with the crowds – GO!  But we don’t move.  It takes four minutes to get to the start line….

Started the race to “For the First Time” because I had been starting runs to that throughout my training.  Parts of the song sum up how I felt towards my relationship with running as life continued to happen tryin’ to make it work but damn these times are hard…..find a good comfortable pace and stride.  Toss the long sleeves.  Dodge a few runners. Keep an eye on Dad.  oh these times are hard, yea they’re makin’ us crazy….Over the White River, past the zoo.  Energy picking up and no P.I.T.A.! Before I know it the first song and first mile are over…don’t give up on me baby.  

Mile 2 starts of with a fist pound to Dad and a dedication to Bubba – my beloved Grandpa who passed away April 16 this year.  Dad tries to throw Mama in for mile 2 but I briefly explain that only one dedication can be made per mile.  This mile went by quickly as I thought of the things he taught me: patience, dedication, hard work is not easy, keep your family close, and that only real men keep eating when they’re full….; I remembered our special times: fishing on the lake, big hugs, woodworking (a bird house, a doll house, canadian geese – those were his projects, mine was a point on a stick!), hiking the trails at Big Canoe, arm wrestling, pimiento cheese (homemade of course), vacations and practical jokes.  A great man with a great concern for his family and great life values.  And just like that – mile 2 is gone – strength and confidence growing.

Mile 3 gets another fist pound and we dedicate it to Mama the birthday girl.  I’m feeling a little bad for running on her day but unbeknownst to me she’s at home opening her cards and gift without us….not a normal part of birthdays in our house so I’m still not sure what got into her.  Here’s to 55 Mama – may it be more fabulous than 54!

As if on cue, “Written in the Stars” comes on at the start of 4 which is one of the songs I associate with my Memphis Grizzlies.  They play tonight after the race so I run this mile for them – blue and yellow colors on, Grizz towel on as a cape.  Conley, Jr. and Z-Bo are fellow Hoosiers to some degree and I think of the team’s efforts to get past #1 seed San Antonio and run for their continued fight against the Thunder.  Gasol, Vasquez, Allen, Mayo.  And I can’t forget about Gay just because he’s injured – I know the feeling of fighting through an injury.  If a #8 seed can fight past the top, I can make it to mile 5.

Mile 5 I dedicate to my Rhodes girls thinking of all the struggles endured to make it through this freshman year of life (thanks Commencement).  A.C. traveling the country to deal with a myriad of sorority issues and all the liberties airlines take (delays, oxygen masks popping out of the ceiling, etc.), and not really feeling like there’s a place to call home.  L. surviving a move across the world, changes in plans upon her return and figuring out the next step towards graduate school.  K.O. following her dream to go back to Argentina only to find disillusionment and heartsickness, being brave enough to move back and enduring the sudden loss of her grandfather.  K.H. experiencing a first year of marriage, first year of teaching and death of her grandmother all at once and still being passionate about all aspects of her life.  A.Z. giving up everything she knows to embrace the heat of Tete and raging testosterone of dozens of teenage boys.  And despite these challenges each of you met with with strength, grace and courage you still managed to support, love and mentor me through my own struggles.  I love y’all, cherish our times in the past and look forward to many to come.

First time racers mile 6 is for you.  We’re approaching the Speedway and without looking at Gary I know our pace is strong.  Completing a half marathon is not something to be taken lightly and I draw strength from the thousands that must be first timers in this race.  It requires courage to attempt something you’ve never done and I draw on the strength of those running their first race.  Approaching the Speedway.  Can see the Indianapolis skyline in the distance.  Down the ramp into the track and back up.  First time in this monumental landmark.  Lots of cheerleaders.  Beyond mile 5 marks farther than I’ve run in 6 weeks.  Dad and I high five at halfway.  Decide to take Gu pack as soon as I’m out of the track.

Mile 7 is for InsideOut – clients, members, staff and owners.  For Donna who worked so hard to cure the P.I.T.A., even giving me an extra session to make sure I was properly “integrated”.  Think to myself I certainly feel integrated!  For LIsa who spent hours building my core strength and sculpting some confidence back in a defeated runner.  For Natalie who started it all and has helped me evolve through instruction in Chi Running, and endless compassion.  For those of you who wished me luck, encouraged me along the way and have become my friends – your words, thoughts, luck and wishes fuel and strengthen my muscles and I pull well beyond halfway with y’all in mind.  Keep reaching for your goals, working for your health and fighting the good fight – you inspire me!

Mile 8 I dedicate to “The Pack” because I only have our Wednesday morning run left – 5 miles, no big deal….I take a GU.  There are blisters forming on my left pinky toe and under my right big toe.  I think of your dedication, progress, efforts and commitment to the 6 am run each week and give 8 my all.  Somewhere along here the winner crosses the finish line!  I contemplate kissing the bricks but decide to skip it for fear I wouldn’t be able to get up.  Keep the pace.  Feeling strong.  Think of our runs on the Greenline, down by the river, from the gym.  Leaving the track.

Mile 9 I give to this city we’re in.  Weaving through the backroads in an unfamiliar area I think of my high school friends and the endeavors their continuing to make – marriage, law school, architecture school.  I think of my small town that I’m often resentful of but still taught me so much.  I think of this great city.  Then my thoughts drift to my current hometown of Memphis and the near disaster state we’re in with the rising flood waters.  There’s talk of record river levels being reached and Harbortown having to be evacuated.  Luckily Midtowners are safe but many have lost homes and memories and there’s no telling what’s to come.  Water at every stop now.

Mile 10 is for Mama again but this time for mother’s day.  For being the best cheerleader  and supportive running mom and wife.  For evolving into a mom of a college graduate – listening, counseling and advising on a myriad of topics from what book to read next, how to decorate the living room to major motivational talks to do something with the free hours in the day (besides take mega naps!).  No one said it would get easier when I was  a “grown-up”! xoxo.

Mile 11 is the hardest and I give it to beginner runners.  It’s not easy getting to that first mile.  The next few come easy but getting to five is hard too.  I applaud you for taking the first step (literally) and sticking with it.  Noah, Sarah, Camren, Warr and my two groups in Memphis and people thinking about starting or in the middle of training – stick with it!  More water.  Just two miles to go – rain’s coming.  Keep running.  Pace is slowing.  Dad’s getting further ahead. Whoa Dad.

Mile 12 is a familiar path that I used to run the opposite way during my summer at NIFS.  We’re back along the White River heading towards the finish.  Walk crosses my mind over and over and over again.  And while it absolutely would not have been a failed effort if I walked, I knew once I started I wouldn’t start running again.  So one foot in front of the other – this one is for Bubba’s spirit.  “Oh, I have slipped the surly bounds of earth/and danced the skies on laughter-slivered rings.” I imagine this and draw strength.   “And when the earth has claimed your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”  I’m confident in your peace and everytime I want to quit I do another step for you.

Mile 13 seems like the longest mile of my life.  Definitely feeling the lack of training I draw on all my strength and determination – secretly pulling strength from my partner.  Frustrated with Dad for being so perky and chatty towards the end I tune him out and dedicate the last mile and last fist bump to us.  Pain in my feet.  So tired.  For the 5 mile run that started it all years and years ago, the wintry trips up and down the rail trail, virtual races, “unofficial races” in exotic places, New Years day runs hungover on tequila in cold and ice, miles and miles and miles of memories. Hard to breathe.  Half a mile to go. I’m glad to have you beside me in the race and with me during training.  Here’s to many more.

We finish hand in hand (me a step in front!) and a huge sense of relief passes over me.  I did it.  I had no expectations, didn’t worry about time, no pressures and truly enjoyed myself.  I limp along collecting my goodies along the way – medal, banana, water and water, cookie, granola bar – trying to keep up with Dad who’s making a bee-line to the beer.  I stretch a little and we enjoy our complimentary Michelob Ultra – Cheers!

Go Grizz!

On the circle after the race!


Race Weekend!


I’ve broken pre-race and race day into two posts so they’re not so overwhelming!  Enjoy 🙂



Date: May 7, 2011

Half Marathon #: 7

State #: 5

Participants: 35,000 – Largest half marathon in the U.S., 3rd largest in the world!

Weather: Low 50s, cloudy, drizzle at the end

Partner: Dad

Time: 1:53:29

Place: 5,206th

I remember signing up for this race – post-Thanksgiving dinner in Auntie Warr’s kitchen stuffed on Criddy’s fruity cobbler pie, deep fried turkey, Coca-Cola cake, mashed potatoes (no better time to sign up for a gigantic fitness endeavor than when feeling like it will be a great physical effort to move from the kitchen to the couch!)  Dad has run this race almost every year since 2006 (not quite as impressive as the 9 runners who hadn’t missed a race since the inaugural run 35 years ago!) and although I spent 18 years of my life claiming northwest Indianapolis as my home, I had never managed to be around for the race.  I guess it’s kind of similar to my aversion to Graceland – the locals never seem to do the things the tourists do….

Anyway – I had a lengthy five months to prepare for the race and as I sometimes reported on the blog ran hills and fast laps and fast five miles to prepare for it and then along came a pain in my ass.  This P.I.T.A. (thanks dad – King of Acronyms) basically knocked training of its track and I ran slowly when I could – never more than twice a week, continued to work out with Lisa as often as the butt would tolerate her games and had Donna’s velvet elbow pushing, rolling and rolfing all over my body to get the pain in there out.  Some days I could handle an easy five mile run and other days, especially on the road, I couldn’t make it two miles without stopping.  The race deadline was still fast approaching even though my running had disappeared.  I tossed the PR goal out the window as the anxiety of not having enough miles under my feet rose.  After the stress of traveling to Atlanta for two weekends in a row I even contemplated tossing the trip altogether BUT determination prevailed and I left the floody waters of Memphis Thursday afternoon to run, rove, walk or crawl my way to the finish line – after all, I have 40 something races to run before I die – there’s no time to waste!


Friday was the day of packet pickup and the expo.  Dad asked me that morning what our plan was for the race after our last two mile taper run – very crankily I said “There is no plan”.  Which was true – I would be running with Gary but was not planning on looking at him the entire time, I had no goal for pace or for final time.  I was going to run according to how I felt and that was that thankyouverymuch and do not ask me again…..

My cranky mood about the race began to dissipate as Dad and I walked through downtown Indy to get to the Convention Center.  I love this place and have many fond memories of these streets – field trips, running, walking, Colts and Pacer games, internships, shopping, Christmas dinners and store windows.  The expos are a great place to get the energy going for any race – free t-shirts, a hat, lots of samples and demos (Dad and I made it a point to get every free sample possible – candy, honey milk, power bars, 5 hour energy etc.)  I bought new shoes!  I’m venturing into the minimalist mindset and switched from Asics to Sauconies – we’ll see how that goes!

Mama joined us later for pre-race dinner at Monical’s Pizza.  Pizza became my favorite go-to pre-race fuel during my first marathon training.  Dad and I split a half Hawaiian, half BBQ chicken thin crust pizza and LOTS of water.  I passed on the Cold Stone ice cream and we went home to watch Dateline Investigates….exciting Friday night!

Pain in my ass….


I’m not trying to be ugly here, but I literally have a pain in my ass that is figuratively becoming a pain in my ass.  As I mentioned in this morning’s post, I excitedly set out to run to the Pack this morning around 5:35 and before I even made it to the next driveway I knew it was going to have to be a day off.  There’s been a dull “spot” in my left butt for about a week.  It’s a familiar dullness that I’d been wary about because when it turns into sharpness, it’s bad news.   I was disappointed to have to tell the group I wouldn’t be joining them but like the understanding members they are, everyone was very supportive of my decision to rest.  I’m hoping to be back with them this weekend.

I go back a few years with this spot – to the first marathon training and then we broke up (thank god) until this past marathon the spot came back on runs longer than 18 miles.  Luckily I have access to Donna, a fantastic Rolfer who has done isolated work on this spot before – last time it was around was right before the Atlanta half last October and then for the 18+ runs.  You remember from my last post I was having a session today so we focused on this spot.  This involved a lot of very painful digging, kneading, pressing, pulling and pushing into my hamstrings, IT bands, adductors and glutes.  The sessions are extremely painful and mentally tough but I absolutely attribute much of my strength gains and mental toughness to the past 8 sessions (16+ hours!) spent with Donna. 

In fact, today’s session has already dulled the sharp pain and I’ve got my range of motion back in my hips.  I hate this feeling and know it’s because I’ve been working hard but also neglecting my stretching so as I said before – it’s back to the yoga mat – starting tonight to quit this pain in my ass.