The First Timer’s Guide to the Indy Mini- Ambassador Guest Blog

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is great for first-time half marathoners. There’s a reason why people return to the #IndyMini year after year: it’s flat, fast and FUN! Sometimes you need a little more than that to convince you to do your first #IndyMini. 2019 Ambassador Kirstin Maguire has some tips just for first timers!

1) SIGN UP: People tend to delay signing up because they want to see how their training progresses or what’s going on in their life.  Don’t delay! Commit yourself to the goal and get signed up as soon as you can. You’ll begin to feel like you’re part of something larger than just you and progression toward your goal will inspire you and others.  

 

2) TRAINING DOES NOT HAVE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE (but there will be some sacrifices): There are many flavors of training plans, some plans keep the running steady, some  plans increase miles, then decrease miles. There are interesting terms like speed work, intervals, run/walk and fartlek (excuse me?).  Find one that works with your life! My favorite training plan is for people who work Monday through Friday, my long runs (walks in my case) are on the weekends.   This means I almost always hit my training plan. Whatever training plan you are using, it has a pattern to that will require you to make adjustments to fit your schedule. For example, if your plan schedules 8 miles on a day you’re going to be in a car on a road trip, dividing the miles up to add 2 miles to the other days is not the same intention.  The 8 miles was your long push for the week, so it’ll be better to move the whole 8 miles to another day. Flexibility and planning ahead will help you stay on track of your plan! 

 

3)TRAIN HARD; RECOVER HARDER: That’s my motto.  If you are feeling tired and in pain from your last run when it’s time for your next run, you’re less likely to hit your training plan.   Self-care such as enough sleep, eating right and cross training appropriately will all help. Foam rolling can help you with sore muscles since they can work through tricky areas like IT bands.  Start with a smooth solid roller if you are a first timer. Dropping the truth here, I cry when I roll, especially my IT bands. I roll immediately after a run before doing anything else, stop, drop, roll!  It helps with the soreness and aches and pains. My running squad also recommends Epsom salt baths as another remedy against sore muscles.

 

4) INVEST IN TRAINING: Running can be a cheap sport or an expensive sport, depending on the individual’s needs and wants.  If weather is hampering your training, you may need a treadmill at home or to join the local gym.  Shoes are very important, especially when you’re starting to run longer distances. Make sure to pick your race day shows at least 6 weeks before, you don’t want to breaking in your new shoes at IMS!  I’ve mentioned that foam roller above, the gym may have them or you can find them fairly cheap in discount stores.

 

5) MOTIVATION: There’s a meme on social media that says “How do you know someone is training for a half marathon?   Don’t worry they will post it constantly on Facebook!” This is very true. Posting on social media helps with accountability and being part of groups on social media where others are posting means you will be more motivated to get out there and get great tips.  You don’t need to post if you don’t feel comfortable, but online groups can be very helpful. Find a group you like on Facebook like the Indy Mini First Timers or follow people on Instagram for inspiration. Find what works best for you; if you don’t like the group or they don’t embrace your values, then that’s just not a fit for you.  And that’s OK! As a walker, I want to be around others that are supportive and welcoming. Hanging a giant wall calendar helps with your visual tracking or moving beads from jar to jar to count miles are other ideas to help motivate you.  One of my big motivators is to create a rewards plan for myself. Say when I hit 100 training miles I’m getting new socks! Write it up in advance.

 

6) BUILD YOUR MENTAL GAME: If your mind can believe it, your body can achieve it.  Visual yourself on race day: bib pinned on, training completed, corralled up, waiting on the wave of the green flag, entering into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, revering the Golden Mile, kissing the bricks, heading back downtown for that amazing finish line, looking up and seeing that clock, smiling in satisfaction as to how your plan worked out while a volunteer says congratulations and hands you your medal.  You have to remind yourself that you can do this and that your training proved you can do this. Run through your mental game during your training, when you want to quit, like on that first mile (why oh why is it always so hard?), remind yourself of your goal and all the hard things you’ve done in life and succeeded. Remind yourself that this person is not a quitter!

 

Still need to register? Sign up now at indymini.com/register!

#IndyMini Social Runs and Meet Ups

Our partners at Michelob Ultra, Athletic Annex and Lindsey Hein (I’ll Have Another podcast) will be hosting a series of three social runs / meetups between now and April, specifically for people who are training for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or 5K. Come out and log some miles and meet some of your fellow #IndyMini trainees. All paces are welcome!

 

The first meetup took place on February 21 in Broad Ripple. After the run, participants met at Brothers for a social hour complete with Michelob Ultra beer specials (for those over 21), #IndyMini giveaways, and product giveaways from Athletic Annex. 

 

The next two runs are scheduled for:
March 21, 6-8 pm: World of Beer
April 18, 6-8 pm: Sahm’s Ale House

 

If you would like to attend, please RSVP at the Facebook event. Join us for fun, fitness, and free giveaways, including #IndyMini registrations and beanies!

 

Don’t forget to share your pics from the events using #IndyMini!

Meet Jay Eiteljorge-2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Jay Eiteljorge
City/Town: Fishers, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 1997

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

The 2019 Mini will be my 22nd so there have been a lot of memories. I finally broke 2 hours at the 2010 Indy Mini.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

I have a great support group of friends and family that helps me to push myself. I believe success breeds success. Seeing others achieve their goals can be inspiring and motivational.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

It is a big event and great experience. I love running through the different parts of town and seeing the residents out supporting the participants. Trust your training and enjoy the journey!

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

iPod, umbrella, binoculars.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Meet David Lawrence- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: David Lawrence
City/Town: Culver, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2004

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

The first time I ran it with my wife in 2006.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Accountability of others and the community.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Find someone to train with or be accountable to.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Running” by Hillsong Worship.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

The Bible, a journal, and a pen.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini before prices increase on March 1.

 

Meet Tim Potts- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Tim Potts
City/Town: Fort Wayne, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 1987

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

So many. I remember the old course starting at the circle and ending at the track. I would have to say running the race with a couple young men I coached in cross country and guiding them along the course.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

I have been running so long that it is a personal drive to prepare myself to run the best I can.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Do it! You will not find a better course, great crowds, great entertainment, awesome post race party, a phenomenal medal, and a very organized and supported event. The runners are so encouraging….you just have to experience it for yourself.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“I just need you” by Toby Mac.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

The Bible, radio, and my dog Sophie.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Perks of Running Together

2019 Indy Mini Ambassador Guest Blog
By Tori Schuh

 

“You want me to run…with people? Nope. No way. Not happening!”

 

That was me over a year ago. Fast forward to today and I can barely get through a solo run.  So why the change?

 

For me, running was never considered a team sport.  I just wanted to put my headphones in and struggle through it alone.  Then one day I was invited to go for a run with a group.  I conveniently had “plans” that day, but ultimately I was just very fearful.  What if they are too fast? What if I can’t keep up? How will I talk and run at the same time? What if…? What if…? What if…? All of those misconceptions kept me from experiencing the thing I now crave the most—group runs or runs with a buddy.

 

So what are the benefits of running with someone or a group?

 

1) ACCOUNTABILITY: When you make a plan with a group of people and set up a date and time, it makes it much easier to show up.  When you make a plan with yourself to “run in the morning,” then the only person you have to answer to is you. Much easier.  So get a group text going and tell someone or a group of people that you will be there.

 

2) CONNECTION: We all crave community and connection, right?  It is pretty amazing what happens when miles turn into conversations that connect people to each other.  Sometimes, the challenges we face or the issues we deal with — big or small — can feel so isolated. But then we start to connect with others and find that people have been through similar circumstances.  Just having a listening ear or someone to bounce things off of (running or non-running related) can be so beneficial and helpful.

 

3) SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT: Who doesn’t love a high five or congrats every now and then?  The support and encouragement of running with a running buddy or running buddies is incredible.  It is a community of people who truly want to see one another succeed.  Whether it is someone running with you on race day or who has trained with you throughout your program, having someone who is always willing to give you that extra boost of encouragement, or support you when you have had a difficult run, is instrumental to the sport.  There are times when “non-runners” just don’t get it, and while the support of your non-running family and friends is great, there is a certain understanding amongst you and a running buddy, or multiple buddies.

 

The reasons to run with a friend or a group far outweigh the benefits of running alone.  My entire running journey changed for me the day I said “YES” to running with the Fishers Running Club.  Out of that yes, I have gained a ton of running buddies, an amazing support system and an incredible amount of accountability that has allowed me to increase my distance and my pace.  I always have someone who is willing to go for a run at the drop of a text!  Just recently, I completed the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World.  Each of the four races began in the very early hours.  Whether is was pre-race at 4 a.m. or post race, I could always count on a text or Facebook message of encouragement from multiple people in my running group.  It truly kept me going!!

Whoever said running isn’t a team sport has never been running! Grab yourself a buddy or find a running club, wipe any preconceived notions out of your head about what you “think” it will be like and hit the pavement together! You will be glad you did!

 

Grab your running friends and sign up for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon together! Don’t wait, prices increase on March 1.

2019 Challenge Shirts and Medals

All three of the shirts are short sleeved, technical shirts with gender-specific fits. For each challenge, you must be registered for the actual challenge to receive the shirt and medal for that challenge, not just each event separately. The last day to register for the 500 Festival Greatest Spectacle and the Mini Maniac challenges and the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy is Feb. 3. Register here.

The Greatest Spectacle Challenge
Participants of The Greatest Spectacle Challenge will tackle all five of the 500 Festival running events during the spring season, including the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy (February, March & April), the 500 Festival 5K (May 4), and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (May 4). Challenge participants will receive a commemorative shirt and medal as well as shirts and medals for the Miler Series, 5K, and Mini-Marathon! A total of FOUR medals and shirts!


About the shirt: The front of the emerald green shirt says “500 Festival Greatest Spectacle Challenge.” On the back is the total distance of the challenge, and Indianapolis, Indiana surround the upper part of the gear, with “Five Races. Total Dedication.” Across the middle. Below the gear are the event logos for the Miler Series, Mini-Marathon, and 5K.

About the medal: Matching the color of the shirt, the ribbon of the medal has the Greatest Spectacle Challenge, the total mileage (35.2), and the 500 Festival logo. On the front of the medal is the mileage and name again, with challenge cut out in black. The gear and message from the shirt (Five Races. Total Dedication.) is at the bottom of the medal. The border is diamond plating like a car. On the back is the year 2019 and Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Mini Maniac Challenge
Mini Maniac Challenge participants will take on all 32.1 miles of the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy in February, March, and April, and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May. Mini Maniac participants will receive a commemorative shirt and medal in addition to the shirts and medals for the Miler Series and Mini-Marathon – a total of three medals!

About the shirt: The front of the white shirt says “500 Festival Mini Maniac Challenge.” On the back is a gear like the other challenge shirts but this time it has 32.1 miles at the top and across the middle are the distances of each of the milers as well as the Indy Mini. And beneath the gear is the two event logos: Miler series and Mini-Marathon.

About the medal: Just like the shirts, all the challenge medals follow a similar design. The ribbon on the Mini-Maniac Challenge medal is red, gray, and white to match the theme of the shirt, and has the name of the challenge, total mileage, (32.1) and the 500 Festival logo. The shape of the medal resembles the Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with challenge cut out at the top and bricks printed through the middle around the gear. The back also has 2019 and Indianapolis, IN, written in white.

The Mega-Mini Challenge
Mega Mini Challenge participants will conquer both the 500 Festival 5K and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on race morning (May 4). Participants who register for the challenge will receive a commemorative shirt and medal as well as shirts and medals for the Mini-Marathon and 5K!


About the shirt: The front of this blue shirt says “500 Festival Mega Mini Challenge.” The back follows the same design as the other shirts, with the total mileage (16.2) and Indianapolis, Indiana across the top of the gear. The quote in the center is “Two races. One Day” with the event logos below.

About the medal: Like the other challenge medals, the ribbon colors match the palette of the shirt, and has the name of the challenge, event logos, and total mileage around it. At the top of the front side of the medal, the word challenge cut out and bricks printed through the middle around the gear. The back also has May 4, 2019 and Indianapolis, IN, written below the gear.

Meet Jacob Lyerla- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Jacob Lyerla

City/ Hometown: Milroy, IN

First year of the #IndyMini: 2016

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Completing my first #IndyMini in my manual wheelchair.

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Joe Rogan.

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Just do it.

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

Podcasts, JRE specifically.

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

Wheelchair, book, and dog.

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

Meet Shawn Heiser-2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Shawn Heiser

City/ Hometown: South Bend, IN

First Year of #IndyMini: 2018

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Actually all the course support stands out. But the last stretch of the race, both sides of road lined with folks cheering you as you finished.

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

My #ComptonCrew! We have a local run group created by members of our area Fleet Feet Ambassador group that supports, encourages, and motivates!

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Don’t wait! #IndyMini is such an amazing experience! The overall organization, motivation, and support is like no other race I have ever ran.

Q:  What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Gasping for air” – by Shawn Heiser
Haha! I don’t listen to music.

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

Sunglasses, radio, alcohol.

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Accomplish Running the #IndyMini

Completing a big race is a common New Year’s Resolution for people. But did you realize that by signing up for the #IndyMini, you can accomplish even more resolutions?

  1. Become a healthier version of yourself
    New Year, New You! Training for a half marathon involves exercising, eating well, and listening to your body. Plus, having a goal is a great way to kick start your journey to better health and put together a plan. 
  1. Spend more time with family
    Running doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Invite your family along for a training session, or better yet, have them participate in the #IndyMini with you! You can also bond with the spectators in your circle by making fun race day signs to cheer you own. 
  1. Give back to your community
    Your registration for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon supports the 500 Festival’s free youth programs and events. Thanks to your participation, you create opportunities for children around the state!
  1. Get to know your coworkers better
    Did you know that we have an Employee Wellness Challenge? It’s a fun, no-cost way for companies of all sizes to promote employee wellness and be part of the excitement leading up to the Indy 500. Plus, training and participating with your coworkers gives you added accountability to achieve your goals.
  1. Run on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    Maybe this is just our annual New Year resolution but without a doubt, the lap around the IMS is a pretty wild thing to have accomplished! Kiss the bricks, pose for pics, and be inspired by the racing history at this iconic track. 

You don’t have to wait until Jan. 1 to start your resolutions.  Register now for the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon before the price increases on Jan. 1!

Share your journey and New Year’s Resolutions with us on social media by using #IndyMini and tagging @500Festival.