Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 Detroit Half Marathon Race Recap


On Sunday, I ran the Detroit Half Marathon.  I had an OK race.  I woke up Friday, the day we left, with a sore throat, and I think all the haning out with sick Soren took its toll.  My final run on Thursday had felt awful, so I think it was start of the decline of my health.  We got into town late Friday night, and I got to bed fairly early.  I hoped that I would feel a bit better in the morning.

Saturday, I woke up feeling worse.  Ugh, maybe on Sunday I would feel better I hoped???  It was a pretty busy day, but fairly typical of a Saturday.  We slept in, and then went to Three Cedars for some cider and donuts.  I figured that a couple donuts and some cider were not going to be the end of the world, especially given how tight my chest felt.  The big UM vs MSU game was on at noon, and so we headed home in time for that, and I took off by myself to the expo to get my packet.  In typical Melissa Detroit style, I spent the drive down talking with Cristina and before I knew it, I was already downtown with little recollection of how I got there.  I made it to the Joe Lewis parking structure, only to learn it was full.  I tried to head from there to the Cobo roof, due to road closures for the race, I had to go around and passed by the front of Cobo, and wanted to park underground instead.  Wrong, it was closed due to renovations.  I finally made it around to the correct side and into the parking garage.  Thankfully, they had reduced rates.  I was worried I was going to be out another $20 in parking for this race.  I made my way inside and stopped at the New Balance booth to talk with Dave, and he had me get my form analyzed.  I need to work on increasing my cadence.  I didn't even know that was something to work on in running!  I should be at 180, so twice that of cycling (or I guess the same, since cadence in cycling is revolutions, cadence in running is steps, so you get 2 steps for every "revolution" in cycling, right?)  I also need to work on being a midfoot striker.  I knew this, though.  I also chatted with Denisa, who is phenomenal, and saw her video of her stride.  I totally get how I am supposed to look with a midfoot strike, since she had it down.  I guess that is part of why she is so good.  The bad thing about doing this was that my whole 10 seconds or so on the treadmill resulted in a severe coughing fit and felt hard.  Fabulous.


I spent about an hour at the expo, chatting with the folks from Running Fit.  Randy, the owner, had a facebook status about friends of his using a room downtown at a hotel near the start to stay warm prior to the race, and I wanted to ask him about it.  In exchange, he wanted me to go check out the "Sexy Running Moms" booth so he could come too and check it out.  He said he needed a sexy running mom to go with him, otherwise he couldn't go.  Funny.  I am now signed up to be a Sexy Running Mom, which means I should get a newsletter a couple times a week.  I also got a free water bottle.  Also, while at the Running Fit booth, I talked with TIA teammate Robbie, and picked up a signed copy of the Jade Rabbit, which I learned about from Kim.  I saw Erin at her Stick booth, but didn't see Leah.  It was nice to go without the kids for a change, and I had more time to talk to people and check things out.  I also picked up a SPIbelt to use at Boston.  I can fit both my little camera AND my cell phone in it.  I might not be getting a new phone for Boston now after all.  The guy said I could fit a 12oz beverage can in there.  I responded with, "so I can run with my diet coke in there?"  Then we both realized how bad an idea that would be since it would be pretty well shaken!  I didn't plan to use it for Detroit, but I think I will use it at the Louisville Half.  In more typical Melissa Detroit driving style, I got on the wrong freeway getting out of the city.  Living in Novi, it would not have mattered, but going to Canton, it did make a difference.  Whoops.  Then, in CLASSIC me style, the gas light came on.  There is NO where to get gas in the city, but I made it to Novi (since I went the wrong way) before gassing up.  At least this meant that I would have a full tank for race day.  There are countless Race for the Cure and other trips to Detroit where I come close to running out of gas.  At least this would not be a problem for tomorrow and I didn't go the wrong way on any one way streets. Although, I did have someone drive at me going the wrong way!

We had our standard MI pre-race dinner at Noodles, and it was SOOOOO good.  I miss that place!  We stopped into REI, since that is also part of our usual routine, and then headed to Ryan's parent's house for the night.  I got my stuff laid out, printed a map to the parking lot I wanted to use, talked with Kari about her plan for tomorrow, and then tried to go to bed.  I was stressed a bit since I didn't feel well.  I slept horrible, coughing a lot and waking up almost every hour.

I did get up fine race morning, had my usual breakfast, and then got on the road with little problems.  I got downtown and found a lot next to the one I wanted and then called Cristina.  She was getting ready to meet Monica to come down.  I decided to go for using the hotel room at the start for my stuff.  I packed up my camera, phone, water, and some aquaphor into a little backpack, threw on my Aquaphor jacket, and walked to the start.  I got a couple pictures of the starting line.  The balloon arch broke shortly after I took this picture. 


There was a port o potty with no wait right there, so I used it, but then went to the hotel to find the room.  It was fun being there, and great to have warmth and running toilets!
There was also a great energy.  I stayed up there chatting and relaxing until about 6:30, when I went outside.  It had warmed up a bit, and I barely felt cold at all.  I was glad I wore what I did.  I did wait in one potty line outside, but it was taking too long.  I had a good corral, and I didn't want to miss the start.  Even though I felt less than great, I still wanted to start with my same plan and hold on as long as possible.  I saw Robbie and Alan in my corral before the start.  I felt really pumped to do this.  We listened to the national anthems of the USA and Canada, and then it got started.  They had Kid Rock blasting on the speakers, and I moved closer to the start.  I finally got to the start and was off.  It was nice being in the B corral, because I could just go.  The bad thing was that it was dark, and I couldn't read my Garmin.  I also realized I forgot to take the auto pause off.  I was losing signal in the overcast city streets and losing some of my time.  I should have started my timex too!  Darn!  This is only the first problem I had with this.  I felt OK for the first mile, and for mile 2.  I was actually on track for 1:36:05.  Then, I started up towards the bridge, and my sickness kicked in.  I did hit mile three at 23:00, which meant it was still doable, but I would have to kick it up a notch and go even faster.  However, I felt bad, and coughed a bit coming down from the bridge.  Uh oh.  I slowed up a little bit and felt more comfortable.  I stopped worrying about my time and just wanted to run as fast as I could and enjoy it.  I was fun running in Canada and seeing the Detroit skyline.  Then we hit the tunnel, and then I thought, Oh darn, stupid auto pause!  My Garmin paused as soon as I entered the tunnel, so I basically lost a mile from the race.  I did glance down at my timex so that I would at least have some sort of idea how I was doing and when I would get out of the tunnel.  I missed the spot on the wall with the border, so I totally got messed up thinking that I was taking way too long, and the next thing I knew I was out.  I looked for Cristina and Monica, but I was a few minutes behind my original plan, so it didn't surprise me that I missed them.  They were able to track me, though, with their iphone app for the race.  It felt good to be back in the USA.  I thought a bit about why I was running, and I thought about Soren and the medal, and how much he liked the picture of it on the front of the program.  I thought about him singing Young the Giant's "My Body".  I thought about the first time I ran this race and I had just found out that I was pregnant with Keira.  I was just happy to be out there.  I couldn't wait to have that medal!  I ran through corktown and my legs didn't really bother me until the last overpass, and I felt my hamstrings a bit, but otherwise, I was limited by my ability to breathe.   I kept pushing towards the finish.  I didn't break into an all out sprint, but I did pick it up a bit.  Right before I crossed the line, they announced me and that I was from Kentucky.  That made me smile.  It seemed so weird to hear that on the PA.  I'm not from Kentucky!  I just live there!  My friend Anna who was working the finish line gave me my medal and a great big hug, and made sure I got my blanket.  We chatted a bit, but she had to get back to her duties.  Then, Cristina and Monica broke into the finishers area.  The had tried to find me after the tunnel, and got dangerously close to it.  It is strictly forbidden to be anywhere near the borders without a bib on, and they did not.  The didn't wait for me long enough after the tunnel.  They thought they missed me, and then moved on, running a total of 9 miles along the course so far.  They whisked me away and out of the finish chute.  We had to find Kari on her marathon route.  We stopped quickly back at the hotel to grab my stuff and then went back to the marathon/half split so I could find my friend Jolyn doing the half and Kari doing the full.  I didn't get any pics with me and Cristina or Monica, or any of Kari.  We used the iphone app to learn that my finish time was 1:42:35.  Not terrible, but not what I wanted.  Not fast enough for NYC.  It was very average for me, I decided.  I have run 3 halves before this faster, 2 1:42s in fact.  We found Kari, and  Cristina and Monica planned to run the second half with her.  I could only run a few steps before I had to bow out.  My legs were tired, and my right foot was really killing me when I tried to run on it again.  I felt like I could barely walk on it now after standing around in the cold.  The new shoes helped, but I am not 100% yet.

I went back to the finish, and met up with Jolyn.  I used to work with her at Ford.  She came into town from DC to do this race.

I also found Shelby and Colin.  I was so sad that Shelby couldn't run this year.  She had hoped to do the marathon.  Hopefully I won't do something really crazy and run the Monumental Half while she runs the full, so I can try again to qualify for NYC.  I think Ryan would kill me.  A lady from my church is headed out there too to do the half.  They brought me some samples of Wheaties Fuel, my new addiction.  It is SOOO tasty.  I might have to switch teams next year, except I would eat it all and not give any way. 


I made it to the car, and got out of the city with very few problems.   I got home and the first thing I did was give my medal to Soren. 

He was a bit bummed it was so long on him, and let Keira see it with a lot less trouble than I expected.

The funniest thing was that when I walked in the door, Ryan told me that the kids needed a bath.  I think they must have told him that, since they did need one BADLY, but I just thought it was funny that they hung out all morning and now with 2 hours until church, we all still had to get cleaned up.  I got a nice warm shower, and then the kids cleaned up, and then lunch.  That is the great thing about a half.  I was done before 9, and while I was tired and sick, the recovery isn't too bad.  I threw on my compression sleeves underneath my black knee high boots, a clean sports bra, and a spandex dress.   I am such a dork, but I was comfortable.  I enjoyed church, and then a big family dinner with the cousins. 

When I got home, I checked my results.  Leah got third overall, and is the same age as me!  What?  I had no idea we were the same age.  Probably because every race we have done that is the same she wins and is pulled out of the AG awards.  It makes sense now that I think about some of the things we have in common in terms of college time period.  The results had her first in OUR age group, and I was 12th.  Not too shabby, especially because that was 12 out of 873!  That made me feel a lot better about my lackluster performance.  I have another half in another month.  The course is quite hilly, so I was doubting I would PR.  It will be interesting to see if I do better or worse than this time.  I also want to rest up my foot and let it get better, as well as get over this sickness. I was the 65th female out of 5314, and 364th out of 8494.  My overall pace was 7:50, and my underwater mile time was 7:53.  I love this race.  I probably won't do it again next year, but keep my odd years streak alive.  Plus, I bet the medal next year will have a Chrysler on it (last year had a Chevy), and I want to wait for a new style.  The main difference between this years and last's was the vehicle.

9 comments:

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Great race Melissa. I really enjoyed the day. Perfect for running. Still a great time on the half marathon.

Shelby said...

Congrats Melissa! I could only hope to ever run a half that fast.

You should DEFINITELY do Indianapolis! It is a fast, super flat course. Good seeing you =)

Erika said...

Congratulations on a great race despite not feeling 100%!! I hope to be as fast as you someday :)

Hope you are well ;)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the race, kicking myself for not signing up for that one, like it matter, maybe next year.

I love Detroit, I hate their freeway system, its too easy to miss the proper exit

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

I finally had a minute to sit down and read your report from beginning to end.

My sister lives in Canton! So, clearly, I need to get this race on my radar...2013 and I might get to meet you too?

Girl, you are speedy. I'm sorry you didn't meet your goal, but a 1:42 sick and a sore foot? You can give that finish time to me if you don't want it any more.

Neat that you got the Jade Rabbit book from the author. I really liked it.

Okay, this is turning into a novel. Hope you feel better soon.

Richelle said...

In spite of catching a cold from Soren, you did great! I'd love to have a half-marathon time like that! Congrats!

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

Congrats Melissa! I know it's not quite what you were hoping for, but a great race nonetheless considering you weren't feeling your best.,

Thanks for the shout-out! It was a good day. I'll probably do the half again next year as long as it's not the same day as the Army 10 Miler.

Anita said...

Melissa...I saw YOU!! You and I were in the same corral!! This is great to read this!! I was trying to qualify for NYC as well!! I failed by 3 seconds...I posted the Epic fail in my Blog that I posted on the with everyone elses..I feel so bad for you with getting ill. That is one of those things that can really change the dynamics of a race. Try again...I would love to see you at ING NYC~~ I pray God gives me swift feet and strength on November 6..I am going to try again.. Anita

fancy nancy said...

Congrats Melissa! I know it wasn't the time you wanted but considering how you felt...kudos to you!