I’m not feeling 100%– pretty sure it’s a combination of running in 34 degree weather on Sunday, stress at work (2 huge events back to back, budgets and brochure copy for a recreation center), and continued training. I’ve gotten in my two scheduled runs so far this week and I’m ready to tackle my 7 mile walk on Saturday and my 17 mile run on Sunday!
But I don’t want to skip my recap my experience this past weekend in Detroit! It was my 7th Half Marathon of the year (9th overall) and my final one for the year :)
1—Getting to Detroit!
· As you can remember, I was a little nervous about getting to the airport on time. I was worried for no reason! My best friend Stacy was a great driver, got me to the airport safely, and I made it thru security in no time. Once I got to Detroit, I was able to get my rental car easily and headed straight to the expo. I made it to the expo around 5ish and had plenty of time to make it thru the expo.
My one complaint about the expo was that I had to go all the way to the back of the expo to get my participant bib and shirt. You had to weave up and down each aisle to get to the back. A huge pain in the butt!! The shirt was definitely a keeper! I’m not a huge fan of gray but the back of the shirt is awesome.
I didn’t purchase anything at the expo except for this magnet. I had purchased this hoodie a few weeks beforehand online and I’m glad I did because since I got to the expo late, sizes were pretty picked over. Other than that, I looked at the Cincinnati Flying Pig medal again (I met some ladies on Sunday who pretty much convinced me to do the marathon—they are walkers and said it is very walker friendly!) and I visited with the Pittsburgh Marathon booth (that will be my half someday for Pennsylvania).
2—Hotel and Dinner
· Sadly, hotels in downtown Detroit were very expensive for this race. I ended up having to stay about 10 miles outside of Detroit. The hotel itself was very nice except that it was very crowded with lots of young hockey players. These hockey players were very energetic and decided that running up and down the hallways until 2 am was acceptable. I was pretty tired so it didn’t bother me too much other than waking up a couple of times in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, this was my first race in awhile without a pre race dinner… major bummer! My hotel was in the middle of nowhere, but there was a mall across the street with a few good restaurants. Unfortunately, the Italian restaurant was very crowded, so I had to order my food to go—which I enjoyed in my room!
3—Pre Race Jitters
· The race started at 7 am. Unfortunately, since I was far away, wasn’t sure of the parking situation, I left my hotel around 4:45 am. I was able to secure free parking at one of the casinos around 5:15 am. It was very cold (34 degrees), so I was able to stay inside the hotel for awhile charging my phone and staying warm until closer to the race start.
4—Quick Race Recap
· After checking my bag and making my way to the start, I stood in my corral for about 20 minutes before the race started. Right before the start, they played “Lose Yourself” as well as both the USA and Canadian National Anthem. Each corral was spread out about every 2 minutes. I was supposed to be in Corral K, but I moved up to J because that’s where I thought I belonged and no one was enforcing the corrals at all. About 16 minutes into the race, I finally started! The first few miles were not good time wise for me (my first mile was the slowest one) as I was super cold and my fingers were frozen. Around mile 3, we started to make our way over the Ambassador Bridge and into Canada. It was very cool to run into Windsor with the USA flag on one side and the Canadian flag on the other. We ran for about 3 miles in Canada before going into the underwater mile tunnel to go back to the USA. It was cool but it was hot!! I was relieved when we made it out of there and back into the cold. After the underwater mile, it was just a quick 5 miles to the finish line. I remember having lots of water stops and food stops (oranges, M&Ms, GU, and even bourbon) along the race course too. About a mile from the finish, I thought I might have a chance to get around 2:20, so I started running hard. It wasn’t fast enough as I finished in 2:23:46. Am I upset? No way. I’ve had a great year of running (2 races in less than 2:20—which was my original 2014 goal) and I knew I had a difficult weekend ahead of me after the race, so I didn’t want to go all out.
· Am I happy I ran this race? Absolutely… it was a unique experience getting to run in Canada and the USA in the same race. Would I do it again? Probably not… the medal is pretty much the same each year (just the Chevy car changes) and Detroit is a bit of a scary place. I had an encounter with a person with extreme road rage on Sunday morning at 5 am and I was terrified. So, what’s next for me?! I have one more race in 2014… the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago on November 9th. 2015 is shaping up to be a great one—I’m planning 6 new states by May (yippy!! 3 flights, 3 driving ones and one is going to be a double weekend.. ahh!!).
Cannot wait to check in again next week after my busy weekend!