Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Detroit (Half) Marathon Recap

Another catch up post that is written way to long after the fact..... 

I was super excited to run the Detroit Half this year.  I had signed up insanely early for a super low price, and it was getting me another trip back to MI.  I love MI in fall.  However, I was getting a bit worn out of racing and traveling.  If you remember last fall, I cranked out 3 half marathons in 4 weekends.  Whew, it was rough, and I was about ready to combust and barely wanted to start the third race.  This year, I had planned to race a half marathon in Sept, Oct, and Nov, each about a month apart.  Well, this year was the year of the change of plans.  As it happened, I won a drawing and did 2 halves in Sept, and one in October.  This made Detroit my third half of the year.  I was feeling really strong going into it.  I ran really well at Brooksie, and felt like that course was challenging.  I was ready to rock it.  I was going to make a conscious effort to start out a little slower this time around to avoid my inevitable burn out around miles 8-10 that I have experienced these more recent halves.  I also wasn't going to eat as many donuts or as much cider before this race either.  I still was going to have a little, just not a ton.

I went to the expo on Saturday, and didn't spend too much time at their. Soren fell asleep in the car on the way down, and then when I got to COBO, I realized that the wheels to my stroller were in KY. Um, yeah, not so happy about that. I was a bit concerned about how I was going to keep track of the kids and get my stuff. Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought to be with the two kiddos in Detroit by myself. They have been to plenty of expos and the Detroit Auto Show at COBO a bunch, so it wasn't like they didn't know what to do or how to behave. I had a bunch of samples to drop off to Running Fit for their Running 501 class.  I wasn't sure if I would have a secure place to keep them during the race if I met up with them, so I wanted to give them to him inadvance.  They were first going to meet up just inside Cobo's lobby, and then switched to Cobo Joes.  I finally met up with Becky after getting my number and corral changed.We have really become good friends over the past two years.  It was great to see her.  We planned to meet up in the morning before the race, and head over together.  This was a training run for her for IMFL, and I wanted to go all out, so we didn't plan to run together.  I thought about taking the kids for a ride on the people mover before leaving, but was worried that it would break down and we would be stuck on it.  

Sunday morning was race morning, and I got up super early to eat.  As I was putting on my tights for the race, I noticed they were really loose.  One of the reasons I love those tights were because they were really tight, and they made me feel thin and fast.  I didn't feel that way.  The last time I had washed them was at my in laws house, in their washer and dryer, and then put them back in my pile.  I had been so soaked and dirty at the Ride for Amy when I finished, that everything went straight into the washer, and then remained clean and packed to come back for this weekend.  I was really perplexed, and threw my shorts into my bag to come downtown with me.  I was really on the fence about which to wear.  I got downtown, to the parking garage I had planned to use, and it wasn't open yet! Yikes!  I stressed.  I know this is Detroit and those kind of things can be casual sometimes, I didn't want to lose out on a spot.  Becky was staying in the Ren Cen which was farther east than I usually parked.  One guy was waiting there for it to open, and I just called Becky and told her I couldn't wait until the garage MAYBE opened.  I looped around and headed back towards COBO, and then found a parking lot right by Cobo Joe's!  Imagine that!  I spoke to the lady at the door, informing her that I was a friend of Randy's, and not on "the list" of people in the running class.  She was super accomodating, and even gave me a wristband.  I wouldn't even need to use gear check, because I could leave my stuff in here, AND have a real bathroom.  I opted to change in my shorts here, too, which was a good call.  While I couldn't find Becky, it was still great to have a close warm place with a great vibe before the race.  I ran into Chad there too.  He was just spectating.  Then it was time to head to the start.

Here is where I made my critical error.  I lined up with the 1:40 pace group, and decided to stick with them.  We started off a lot slow.  I just couldn't get any faster.  I was bummed, but trying my hardest.  Detroit is a hard course, between the bridge and the tunnel.  I had a great time running, though, I just wasn't very fast today.  I started slow, and just got slower, STILL, instead of starting a tad slow and maintaining.  I guess I am so used to starting too fast, and then slowing down some, or maybe A LOT for one mile, and then getting it back under control.  Not today.  Oh well.  It was still fun, and I still had a decent time, just over 1:43, I think.  I was 15th out of 1001 ladies in the 35-39AG, so I have to be pleased with that.  I also got to see a lot of friends.

Anna gave me my medal as I crossed.  It was great to see her again.  She was volunteering with her mom, and volunteered last year too.

I hung out with Anna as long as I could before I was asked to move, and then I saw Erika from This Spartan Will come across.  I had never personally met her before today, although I feel like she is one of my best racing friends since we have been at so many of the same races, and did our first half Ironman races at the same race last year, AND both earned our Ironman status this year.  We've had lots of emails and messages back and forth since she started blogging.

Next, I found Stephanie from the Wolverine Sports Club (WSC)!  I wasn't sure when she would come across.  She is Ryan's friend (and mine too now) who got me through my first century ride. 

I found Becky next.  She had encountered one of our Aquaphor teammates, Stacy, on the course, and paced her to a 2:00 finish.  Awesome job to both of them!  Stacy got her goal time, and Becky got her there. 

I was hoping we could find Maria from WSC too, but didn't see her.  She didn't have her phone, and warned me that she would be dashing back to the car as soon as possible after finishing.  I also missed Rick and his sister.  She ran her first half marathon today and came in sometime between Stephanie and Becky.  I was bummed that I missed Austin from WSC also.  I didn't even realize he was running until I got home that afternoon and saw it on fb.  Apparently I had been living under a rock or something.  He finished in that time that I was hanging out at the finish, probably talking to Erika or Stephanie.

Even though I didn't get my goal time, I really wasn't too much slower than my time last year.  It was a blast to see so many familiar faces before and after the race.  I also didn't overdo it on cider and donuts beforehand, so I felt great afterwards.  I love this race, and I don' think I will ever get tired of doing it.  It was especially fun with Detroit doing so well in the World Series (at the time)  I LOVE Detroit!!!

Ride for Amy Recap

I am still WAY behind, and getting more and more behind.  I wish I would have written this post a while back, while it was still fresh in my mind.  Anyway, here goes:

Ride for Amy

I know most of you saw my post on Amy, who was hit by a semi while doing her final long training ride prior to Kona.  Well, this ride was a fundraiser for her therapy, and it took place at Island Lake State Park, on October 13, 2012, the day of Kona.  At the time of the ride, she was still in the hospital, but has since been moved to a rehabilition facility.  The agenda for the day was meet up with Valerie early, help set up, and then ride, and head out before the silent auction.  I had donated food for the riders, paid the entry donation, as well as donated an item for it, and bought two wristbands up until the start of the event, so while I was bummed that I wouldn't be partaking of the auction, I felt like I was contributing the best I could.  I had also planned to buy a shirt, but those were unavailable.  I ended up purchasing a visor instead, which has now become my new favorite visor.

It was a rainy morning, but it was still very well attended.  It was really incredible to see the triathlon and running community come together this way.  I got to see a lot of people from Triathletes in Action, which isn't very active anymore with their group workouts.  We had a couple really great seasons as a group, but then everyone seemed to do a lot more of their own thing.  It was fantastic to have everyone back together supporting Amy.  Also, Randy Step of Running Fit donated his time and his equipment to take credit card registration and funds for the auction.  It was truly a beautiful thing to look around and know that everyone there was there to help Amy, and that 100% of the money went to her and her recovery.  No one was getting paid, and if you used a credit card, you paid your own processing fee. 

Since it was raining, most people just did one lap of the park.  No one was going terribly fast, and it was a social ride.  No times or anything.  Not even an official roster.  Valerie had just gotten a brand new bike!  Yea! This was her first ride on it, and I was honored that I could ride with her.

The funny thing about this, and I didn't realize it until the following week, was that Valerie and I swapped tights accidently for this ride!  Since we arrived early to set up, we both had on bike shorts under yoga pants, and then brought this massive pile of all black clothes into the bathroom to start layering up.  Apparently we mixed up our tights in the process.  Too funny that we both had black under armour tights, although the sizes were different.  I think I recall her mentioning that she could barely put her feet through, but I didn't think anything of it because I have that problem too.  Duh!!!!

I am hoping to get to see Amy over Christmas break when we return to MI.  Her sister Kendi has set up a facebook page for her recover fund, and you can get the most up to date information regarding Amy HERE