“Chase after the dream, don’t chase after the money” – Old Dominion, No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
Sometimes song lyrics just speak to me, and after an opportunity to head to Indianapolis all I could think was I am not chasing the money, but the fun.
One day as I was scrolling through social media, I discovered a post “Orange Mud is looking for help at the Indy Mini expo.” Hmmmm?
The Indy Mini weekend starts with the expo at 4pm on Thursday, May 2nd. I had just returned from the Illinois Marathon, but I have a flexible job ( I buy and sell on on ebay.) Oh, what the heck …
I hopped into my rental car on Thursday morning for the road trip to Indy.
I pulled into the Gate Ten Parking lot around 2:30/3pm? I had pre-paid for this lot, 3 days for a total of $20. I then took a shuttle to the convention center and my hotel for the night. It was really easy to navigate to this spot, despite the fact that the GPS on my phone was no help.
After throwing my things in the room at the coolest hotel in Indy – you can rent a train car to stay in! I walked across the sky walk to the expo and checked in with Chad and Erinn with Orange Mud.
The expo space was huge, with all the vendors packed in on one side and bib pickup and registration on the other side. I went to register as vendors were given an entry – (FYI.) It was a simple process, and I was assigned corral O, based on a 2:25 estimated finish time. That’s A LOT of corrals!!! Also I was given a long sleeve tech tee (gender specific) and a tech hat in my bag with a flyer or two. I didn’t take much time to actually stop at every expo booth, but throughout my time in the exhibition hall I bounced around hitting some of my favorites. I even snagged a reusable straw with brush from Clif Bar, some Urban Bourbon chapstick, and I tried the new V8 hydration drink.
Ok enough about the expo. I went to work at the Orange Mud booth. (Orange Mud makes hydration packs – you should have read all my reviews by now!) I was extremely nervous. I am not an ambassador or athlete for them, I am just a consumer of the product. I am currently testing the new Gear Vest Pro for BibRave. I really enjoy the durability and innovation of their products. I knew enough about the items for sale, but I didn’t know all the little details and I didn’t want to tell anyone the wrong information. I also didn’t want to give the wrong prices, luckily I had a cheat sheet. I also didn’t want to screw up the sales and put in the wrong tax or hit the wrong button. I am weird, I just wanted to help and share the Orange Mud love.
Around 8pm, I think… the expo shut down for the night. Chad, Erinn and I googled a place for dinner and walked over to the Ram Brewery. We chatted and got to know each other better over some brews. Then we called it a day.
Friday, May 4th was going to be a long day at the expo and with a run streak on the line, I woke up early to get at least a mile in. I just tied on my shoes and ran through downtown Indy, eventually finding some coffee to end the run. When I got back to the hotel, just inside the door was a map for running routes in the area…oops! I had a mile done, and was back in time for a shower and to go to breakfast.
Wow this is already long and I haven’t even got to the race recap – oh well, I don’t care… enjoy!
Erinn suggested a place for breakfast, Cafe Patachou. I snagged some avocado toast and fruit, there was also a coffee bar. I was fueled up and ready to expo all day!!
At 10 am, participants started to trickle through… it was a slow start. At lunch time more people started to trickle through. Also the Indy Mini ambassadors were available to ask questions, so I made a point to ask if hydration packs were allowed on the course, but really it was an excuse to say hi to some friends.
A loud shriek came from the group as Rob from twitter came out of nowhere to give me a hug. I am not sure how long Josh and I have known him from twitter, but it was cool to meet him and his son in person. He was telling me of their ambitious race day goals.
I also said hi to Corey!!!
The afternoon crowd ebbed and flowed as people got off work. I had some more Clif Bars and then Lisha stopped by the booth to say hi!!
I also discovered that Frank Shorter would be making an appearance, so I went to check it out and not only did he agree to a photo, but he signed my bib!
More time passed and I excused myself to leave early. One – I had to drive out to a new hotel that I still hadn’t checked into; B – I had made dinner plans with the BibRave kids; and tres – I was running a half marathon the next day! I like to cram in as much as possible.
I did feel guilty leaving early (contrary to what you might have heard, I don’t have a cold, black heart, lol) It meant I would be skipping out on the tearing down and packing up. I really did enjoy visiting with others and sharing the love for Orange Mud – I will have a review coming soon of my new pack.
I departed the expo on scooter!!! I needed to get across town, about a mile, quick. Indy is on a block system and I kept hitting the red lights, but I made it to BazBeaux Pizza.
I was greeted by Corey, Melissa (& Garrett,) Preston and Brent. It’s always nice to meet the pros in person. Many of them were running the 5k first, then the half marathon after that. That sounded fun and I really wasn’t aware how it worked until we chatted about it.
After some pizzas, beer and a group photo, we said our goodbyes and good lucks!
It was now time to make the trek to the hotel. It wasn’t but maybe a 15 minute drive, but it was not close to the start of the race. I arrived to find out there was a group of young girls also checking in. They were noisy and all I wanted to do was lay out my race gear and grab some sleep.
Gear: Checkered Sparkle Athletic Skirt, BibRave Rabbit Tank, Adidas boy shorts (hey I remembered pants!) Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Rudy Sunglasses, Garmin Forerunner 935, Brooks Ghost, Zensah socks, Zensah sports bra, Hawkeye hat, Nathan race belt, Brooks jacket.
If you have been waiting for the race recap – here it is!! (It will also be at bibrave.com)
It was another early morning. I get a little anxious, so I wanted to make sure I was where I needed to be without rushing. I also wasn’t sure what I was going to eat for breakfast.
I went to the lobby to check out, I discovered they had some coffee and then some pre-wrapped baked goods and granola bars that were offered as breakfast. I grabbed a hot cup and a plastic wrapped muffin and bar. These things I could always eat later if I did find an actual breakfast.
I fired up the GPS and then noticed the nearby gas station. I grabbed a Gatorade to put in my bladder of my hydration pack. I am picky, I like a certain electrolyte drink the best. I also grabbed more hot coffee.
It was rainy and cloudy, the temp was 55 degrees or so.
I arrived to the Gate Ten Parking and once again easily had a place to keep my car. I had plenty of time before the race started, but I also didn’t have to rush to get anywhere. I ate my muffin in a bag and enjoyed my coffee.
I was done waiting in the car, so I hoped the shuttle to the convention center and starting area. The convention center was open, it had real bathrooms and was out of the rain. I stood around in there for a while. I probably could have slept another hour, or found a real breakfast.
I finally decided to walk over to the starting line. I made it in time to see the 5k start. It was still rainy and misty. I decided to start walking to the O Corral, it was a long ways a way, and I know the corrals at least went to V. I made a pit stop under an overhang to stay more dry.
Finally in my corral…. a little more waiting. People were taking photos and in a good mood. There was no one checking the entrance into the corrals and I saw some people who moved up. I never realized this race was this huge, but I believe it’s close to 30,000 people!!
We were starting to move forward! Wahoo!! Finally, time to go!
The course was out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and back on the city roads.
Just before I came to the Speedway I called Josh. I told him how much fun the race was, and how well organized it was. I hadn’t even made it to the feature and it had been raining the entire time!
Running into the Speedway is one of the coolest things I have ever done during a race. Yes, I ran the Disney Marathon when the speedway was part of the course, but that track is banked and not very long.
When we first entered we were greeted by signs for those who’ve fallen in the military. ( I hope I didn’t get this wrong.) Then off in the distance you could see the main grandstands. When we were close there were signs that said to keep to the right if you wanted to kiss the bricks. I kept right. I approached the bricks, and risked taking my phone out of the plastic bag. I had prepared to take a selfie, but this other runner said that we could take each other’s photos – cool!!!
I DID IT! I put my lips on the ground! I did think we would all get herpes or pneumonia, but maybe it was worth it. As I write this, I did not get sick.
The track portion is around 2 miles long. It broke up the race perfectly in the middle for me. You ran to it and then ran back to the finish. Also, I noted that the water cups on the track were compostable – they were already breaking down in the rain.
I just kept thinking the entire way back to the finish how awesome this race was. There were so many aid stations. All had something different. I pocketed lip balm! There was a stretch where the residents came out to their porches with soup pans and spoons – banging on them and cheering us on. As many runners as there were, I didn’t have to wait at my port-o-potty stop. There were volunteers happily standing in the rain so we could run. I really enjoyed the course, congrats Indy!
When I came to the finish line, I pushed stop on my watch and it read 2:25 something… just what I predicted when I registered. A volunteer handed me a medal and said congratulations. Then another volunteer handed me a plastic bag – to put all my post race snacks in, brilliant!! There were granola bars, bananas, cookies and a bottle of water. Then from there we had to exit to the post race party area – on grass. We were not allowed to exit on the street. Why is this a big deal – the grass was solid mud!
I went to check out the post race beer situation. They were serving Michelob Ultra…sigh. I did try their new organic brew, it wasn’t super bad. I did pack a heat sheet in my pack, so I got it out and put it on to keep a little more warm while I had my beer.
I was done dilly dallying around and made my way back to a shuttle to get back to my car. I wanted to get the wet clothes off!!!! As I wandered back I thought the only part I didn’t care for about the race was the use of MarathonFoto.
I was back at my car where I tried to figure out how to change into dry clothes. I have 2 Orange Mud transition towels and brought 0 of them. I did manage to change by shirt, but then used my heat sheet to sit on as I made my way to my next destination.
That’s right, I needed a HOT breakfast, in fact something I was thinking about since mile 10. I found a WAFFLE HOUSE!!!! I put my order in for some hot coffee and the 2 egg breakfast, smothered covered and diced, cinnamon toast and bacon! Then I had my change of clothes and I totally changed into dry pants in a Waffle House bathroom! I live a glamorous life. No matter how warm it is, being wet after a run is just not pleasant.
The fun was over, my belly was full, it was time to go home.
The drive home was uneventful. I took my time, I took a rest, I listened to an audiobook, ate some snacks, drank some iced tea and before I knew I was back in the Hawkeye state.
So while the lyrics to Zach Brown’s “Knee Deep” and Luke Combs ” A Beer Never Broke my Heart” also speak to me… I am glad I was able to “Chase after the dream, don’t chase after the money.” Bring on the next adventure!