Indy 2k18: Stronger Now Than I Was Back Then
It was August of 2014 and I had this crazy goal of qualifying for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials. One year out of college and still unsure of what I was doing, I was running to break 1:15 in the half. When I set my sights on qualifying with a half-marathon, it hadn’t sunk in that I would be qualifying to run the WHOLE marathon. I was young and naïve, but I was also running blindly. That August, after a local 8k race, a friend mentioned if I really wanted to run a flat, fast race I should look at Philly Rock N Roll and Indy Monumental. I was sold. I called my mom and said " One, I locked my keys in my car, and two, will you come with me to Philadelphia?"
I wasn’t sponsored. Had limited PTO and funds. I had about six articles of Oiselle clothing to my name. I stuffed them all in a bag and hopped in a car to make the trip. Getting to Philly put me one step closer to breaking 1:15, and then I would just have ninety more seconds to go to qualify. Indy Monumental Marathon then became the goal race. I didn't know going into that weekend what was about to happen. I crossed the finish line in 2nd place in a time of 1:13:49. I had no idea I could run that fast. I didn’t expect it and couldn’t believe it. It was 20 something degrees but I couldn't feel it. All I could feel was that sense of accomplishment. A feeling that I never wanted to leave. A feeling that made me forget where I was. I knew absolutely no one around me. I had traveled there alone but I felt so at home in that moment.
So come February 13th 2016, during the trials, as I sat on the curb off Figueroa St. in downtown LA, I felt defeated. I repeatedly asked myself, "Am I going to be ok?" In the days and weeks that followed I honestly didn't know. Regardless, on Feb 25th, I emailed the Indy race director. I was going to run and finish my debut marathon in 2016, trials or not and Indy just felt right.
I took some time and then resumed training. With the help of Steph Bruce, I built up to race day in the best way possible. It just so happens that I finally ran my debut marathon when I was just about 26.2 years old at the Indy Monumental Marathon. The last 10k was a grind. I fought for every last step in that final mile. I had lost my splits early in the race so all that was on my mind was finishing. Breaking the tape that year was reminiscent of how I felt in 2014 when I accomplished something I didn't think possible. I had overcome so much from earlier in the year and once again I was running blindly.
Now, 3 days out from the 2018 Indy Monumental Marathon, I feel ready. I may not be as fit as I was in 2016 but I also didn’t run my best race that day. I am stronger now, a tad bit more experienced and I have my team along for the ride. I can’t say for certain what will happen on race day but this year, 4 years after my first OTQ, I am going to the start line with so much more. From Oiselle, UCAN, Jasyoga, and InsideTracker to RDP and all of our sponsors including Tribucha, New Balance Triangle, O2 Fitness, RunRaleigh, Big Spoon Roasters, and more, I have so much beyond myself to run for. Plus, the idea of chasing a big goal with my team couldn’t be more satisfying. 2020 Olympic Trials, here we come.
To follow Andie and the rest of the RDP ladies on race day, visit this page to download the app or set up text alerts for your favorite runners. The race starts at 8 AM eastern time this Saturday, Nov. 3!
Sammy: 8:35 AM (5k)
Sarah: 8 AM (13.1)
Andie: 8 AM (26.2)
Erin: 8 AM (26.2)
Rita: 8 AM (26.2)