Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Detroit 1/2 Marathon weekend recap

The best part of this weekend was not the 13.1 miles I ran. Not by a long shot.

The best part was the time before the race, and after. But lets start at the beginning...

The weekend started bright and early as I headed to the airport Saturday morning to pick up my favorite Pam in the whole world! After getting her, we headed to our hotel to try and get early check in. We were staying at the MGM Grand, about 1/2 mile from the starting line.

Big smiles because we were able to get early check in!

After getting settled, we met up with my Mom and our oldest sister, Eileen. We all headed to the Expo, and it was a mad house!

Billboard on the way to the expo!

Me and Pam with the countdown clock. The race takes you from the USA into Canada and back, hense both flags :)

Had a take a picture with the giant New Balance shoe!!

We headed to pick up our packets and I was one of the lucky randoms who got the be doubled checked by Customs and the Border Patrol!

Pam thought it was an appropriate time for a picture ;-)

After we left the Expo we headed to Hockey Town Cafe for lunch and to see a bit of the MSU vs. U of M game. Lunch was super good, and the game was awesome :)

We spent the rest of the evening hanging out at Eileen's new house (it is a construction zone, but they are making serious progress!), and then hanging at my parents house for dinner.

Pam and Eileen in the kitchen at our parents.

(are we the only family who ALWAYS hangs out in the kitchen, even though it is one of the smaller rooms of the house?!)

Pam, Eileen and myself

For dinner we had pasta with marinara (with ground turkey in it) and a bit of garlic bread. SO FREAKING GOOD.

After dinner, Eileen was heating up some amazing chicken noodle soup to take to a friend, and Pam and I managed to help ourselves to a mug (yes, this was like 10 minutes after dinner. WE WERE CARB LOADING ;-) )


Soon it was time for Pam and I to head back downtown and get settled in for the night. We went to the hot tub for a bit at the hotel to get loosened up and relaxed, and we were snug in our beds by 8:30pm.

But, sleep did not come soon for us. The rooms across the hall were having a partay, and after calling security to come up three times, we probably ended up with about 4-5 hours of sleep total. This was not ideal at all. We woke up around 530. I ate a 1/2 bagel thin with PB and drank a bit of water. We headed to the lobby to meet up with Eileen, and my Mom and Dad

The weather was cool for the walk down to the corrals, but I could tell it would be great for running. Mid-Low fifties, and cloudly.

We followed the crowdes down to the start, and soon it was time to get in our corrals. Pam and I lined up in corral J (2:30 half marathon time) and hoped that we could take it easy at first and towards the end kick it up a notch.

All smiles...if only I knew what was to come!

So...to summarize the race itself...*sigh*

It was hard. First few miles we great. Running over the bridge was so cool. The incline was...tough, but I pushed through, and maybe I pushed too hard up the bridge. Soon after we were in Canada we had to take a potty break (#1, and Pam managed to squeeze a quick #2 also. TMI?). We lost the pace group at this point, and never saw them again.

I was still crankin out miles, around 11mins each, but things were getting harder. Things fell apart in the famous under water mile. The was hot, and I was miserable. When we turned a bit and I saw the uphill that would lead us out of the tunnel, I just fell apart. I had not trained on hills (although I knew I should have) and I just didnt feel like I had it in me. I had taken my first Gu at this point, and it was not sitting well at all. Between the cramps, and the incline, I was walking. A lot. And it continued from there.

Once I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I managed to pull it together and start running again. I knew there were lots of specators and cheering, and I knew the family was out there waiting to see us.

We were at mile 8ish, and really after that, the rest of the run was a blur. I managed to run and walk through the last 5 miles. Hearing the finish line, and seeing the balloons ahead helped me run the last 1/2 mile or so. We saw Eileen and my Mom one more time as we approached the finish, and I was just putting in everything I had to get there.

Approaching the finish.

After we finished I gave Pam the biggest hug ever. She stuck by my through out this whole crappy race. And this was her FIRST half marathon. She basically had a shitty experience because she refused to leave me behind, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.

Finish time: 2:42:48

Yup, almost twenty minutes slower than my last half. I think I could beat myself up over this one for awhile, but thats pointless right? Basically, between the lack of sleep, lack of running between my last half and this one, and lack of training on hills, I screwed myself out of this race. But TIME TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE!


After the race, we grabbed food, found our family, and started the long ass walk back to hotel. I dont think I have ever had a longer walk in my life (exagerating, but seriously, hardest walk ever).

Showers we taken, bags we packed, and we left the MGM. We headed to our parents house to go get some breakfast. We went to one of my Dad's favorite places, Harvard Grill. It is your typical little restaurant. Great soups, sandwiches, etc. I had Grilled Cheese, and Chocolate Milk. BEST MEAL EVER. ;-) Seriously, it was perfect, and so great.

We watched the Lions for a bit, and then Pam and I headed back to Jackson. Pam was staying with me and Shane for the night, and I was going to drive her to the airport Monday night.

And I guess thats really all.

So really, the best part of the weekend was everything except those 2 hours, 42 minutes. I loved seeing my family, and just spending time with them. I hate when I leave them, and I especially hated when Pam had to leave on Monday night. It makes me so sad when Pam leaves, and that was all I could really think about on Monday while I was at work. Why does one of my favorite people in the world have to live so freaking far away?

Ah well. Maybe someday, she will come back to MI. I can only hope, right?

My bib, and medal.
1/2 Marathon #2 is in the books.

can't wait for another ;-).

next race on the books? The Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving morning. I cannot wait to rock it.


  1. Great recap. Look like you had an amazing time and that's what it's all about! Nice job!

  2. Congrats! Not every race is your favorite - but you still got up and ran 13.1 miles on Sunday morning! It sounds like the weekend was fun overall and I'm so happy for you :)

  3. Detroit was a tough course! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't run it myself.

    You did great and I'm positive Pam had a great time too!

    The Turkey Trot is my next one too...if your close enough to Hines Drive you should do the Festival of the Lights. That one is cool!