I have a confession to make. I have never ran a marathon in the same outfit before. I know I know, breaking news, but marathons are a big deal and feel like they need something new….everytime. Actually, I only ever buy a new top but for this marathon I didn’t and I almost repeated a previous marathon top. Catastrophe! But then I went to the expo and did some shopping and came out with this top (yes I have the same top in pink, don’t judge) so catastrophe averted.
I also have another confession to make. I almost didn’t even start this race. I was violently forced awake with a horrendous Charlie horse in my calf on Saturday morning. Probably one of the worst ones I have ever had. It was so painful I had trouble putting pressure on it for awhile. Pretty scary thing to happen the day before a rather long race. I ended up doing some light (I mean extremely light) stretching to get it moving, took a nice long hot shower and then wore my compression sleeves all day saturday and even then I was still questionable.
When I woke up race day I knew I just had to at least give it a shot. I had to go out there and at least try to run the race. If I dropped out I was ok knowing that I had at least started.
Race morning I bundled as best I could because it was freezing! Ok it was probably 50 degrees but I had on pants, 2 shirts, a long sleeve throwaway, sweatshirt, gloves and those heat packets you put in your pockets to keep warm. Yes I am a freeze baby
Detroit Marathon has a corral start but was so extremely organized I was shocked. There were signs pointing you in all the right directions and tons of volunteers helping out. They had the corrals start every 2 mins starting at 7 a.m. so yes it took some time for me to cross the start but it made for way less congestion later in the race.
I started with the 3:35 pace group but figured I would finish with the 3:40 group. I go out fast as it is so why not start with the faster group anyways. I ran the first couple miles with them but it got really tight as we started to approach the bridge so I did my own thing to get over the bridge. I don’t know how many times I have said it but I freaking love running over bridges! This bridge however, was a b*tch. It took forever to get to the top, I felt like I was climbing to the top and was never going to get there. I kept telling myself that its downhill on the other side.
Once I got to the top, holy wind batman. It was laughable at how windy it was but it was pretty high up. One the way down I immediately had pains in my calf. Downhill was not going to be my friend on this race. Too much pressure on an already highly agitated calf was not good. This was around mile 3 or 4 and I couldn’t believe it, I was actually contemplating backing out. In my head I was already planning my first ever DNF post.
Before I dropped out of the race I decided there were a few things I had to try first. One, slow down my pace and run with the 3:40 group and two, I could walk if I needed to. Plus once I was over the bridge I was in Canada, it would have taken forever to get back without my passport 😉
After a couple miles in Canada, we took the tunnel back to the U.S. Pretty cool running through the tunnel. Not cool was losing satellite reception on my beloved Garmy and it was freaking hot in there. I after a couple mins I picked up my pace, I wanted out of there.
Once out of the tunnel, I realized that my calf was holding up pretty good and that I was actually holding a pretty good pace. Before I knew it the miles were flying by and next thing I knew I was already at mile 15. At this point I was just feeling overall tired. I took a Gu at mile 8 and planned on taking another one at mile 16. Worst case scenario, I ran a good race so far and if I had to walk to the finish then so be it.
By mile 16 I decided to just keep my 8:30 pace and get to mile 20. 20 miles at an 8:30 pace was something I could be very happy with. Of course when I got to mile 20 I decided “why stop now” and made it to mile 23 where I finally started to walk through the water stops.
Miles 24-25, there was so much crowd support, I couldn’t stop and I couldn’t just not stop I couldn’t slow my pace, I just kept picking it up. I have never had a kick that big at the end of a marathon. I came flying down to the finish line (last mile was at 7:30).
Official Finish time was 3:50:14, an 8:47 pace. Shaving 10 mins off of last weeks marathon was not so bad.
Overall I was extremely impressed with this marathon, check out the sweet wicking shirt below. Marathon is writen on the sleeve and 26.2 on the back. THe half and relay runners shirts are exactly the same except they say relay or 13.1 which I thought was pretty cool. The medal is probably one of the largest and definitely the heaviest that I have now acquired.