Sunday, October 21, 2012

Detroit Free Press Marathon report

26.2 miles. That is SUCH a long distance when you really think about it. Even driving that far takes a while!

I had two goals for this marathon: 1) To enjoy it more than I did the Cleveland Marathon, and 2) To finish under five hours.

I will spoil the ending, and tell you that I accomplished both of those goals today! I was pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it more than Cleveland, since everything seemed to go wrong in Cleveland (the race was "red flagged" because of the heat, my knee was absolutely killing me through the whole race, I had stomach issues around mile 22, etc.)

I felt like a sub-5:00 finish was pretty much in the bag, because that's about an 11:20/mi pace, and I've been training at a 10:30/mi pace. But I didn't want to set my goals too high, because then I'd risk being majorly disappointed, and God knows I never want to do this again.

I got up at 2:58 this morning (my alarm was set for 3:00). I didn't want to have to rush out the door, so I took my time getting ready. Jerry was running his first 5K in Detroit today, so he got up and ready as well. Then we went and picked up Rik, his wife Cynthia, and Angela from my parents' house, and we headed up to Detroit. We got there and parked by 5:15. I had to pee SO BADLY before the race, and we had to walk what felt like miles to get to the starting line, and I didn't see any porta potties the entire way. I was seriously in pain from it. But finally, I spotted some porta potties and there wasn't a line. Whew.

We made it to our corral, and smushed our way into the section near the 4:40 finish time pacer.
Why yes, I was freezing. How can you tell? (Oh wait, good thing my bib was high enough to cover my nips!) Also, is it just me, or does my head look like it was photoshopped onto my body?

I wasn't sure if I could actually stay with that pacer the whole time, but I felt a whole lot better starting there than I did with the 4:30 pacer, so that was the plan. But I didn't care who paced me, I just wanted to finish with a "4" in front of my time.

Once the race started, it took a while for our corral to get to the starting line. We inched our way forward, and then finally, we were off. It was hard to move, because there were still a lot of people, but eventually it thinned out a little. We actually were ahead of the 4:40 pacer for a while. The first big landmark was the Ambassador Bridge, which goes to Canada. That was a looong way uphill, and I actually ran the whole way, without bitching!

The scenery was GORGEOUS once we got to the top. The sun had just peeked up over the skyline of Detroit, and I thought it looked amazing over the river. The border patrol people were actually really cool! They were looking at all the runners, making sure we had our bibs visible, but a lot of them were giving high fives and cheering.

I was very impressed with the Canadian cheer stations--the Canadians definitely know how to show some enthusiasm! I think running through Canada was probably my favorite part of the race (of course, I was still feeling good at that point). Just after the relay station (there was a relay marathon as well--5 runners per team), I saw Jessica ahead of me (she was on a relay team). I wanted to catch up with her, but I knew it would exhaust me, so I didn't make a huge effort. She looked like she was going pretty fast, too.

Then we had to go into the tunnel for the "underwater mile". At mile 7, you run downhill into a looong tunnel under the river, and then uphill at the other end to come out.

The tunnel was scary. It kept getting hotter and more humid as we got deeper in there, and all the runners were shouting and cheering, which echoed and was really loud. I was so glad when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel (literally), and then to feel the cool air as we came out was so nice.

Just after that point, there were tons of people cheering, and we knew to look for Jerry, Cynthia, and Angela there. We saw them (well, heard them first, because Jerry is LOUD), waved and smiled, and kept going.

At mile nine, I heard someone say "Katie!" and I turned around to see my little cousin, Kaitlin. I knew she was running the half-marathon today, but I was shocked to see her in that kind of a crowd. I gave her a hug, and she ran along with us for the next four miles or so until the half and full marathoners split. Talking with her passed the time quickly, and before I knew it, we were halfway done!

We were still ahead of the 4:40 pacer, so we were making good time, but after about mile 15, I started to really feel my legs slow down. My calves tightened up a lot, and my legs were just feeling tired. I told Rik, "Man, an ice cold beer would be SO good right now!" And poof! At mile 16 or so, someone was handing out little Dixie cups of beer. It totally hit the spot :)

At mile 17, the 4:40 pacer caught up to us. We ran with him shortly, but he passed us, and I was okay with that. We were still going great on time, and I was sure we'd still hit a sub-5:00 finish.

It was shortly after that, however, that I really started feeling awful. I was just so tired, and I wanted to be DONE already. We saw Jerry, Cynthia, and Angela at mile 19, just before we went onto an island called Belle Isle. I was really upset, and was trying my best not to cry. Angela was filming us, so I really didn't want to cry on camera! I sucked it up and kept going.

Belle Isle was really pretty, but I couldn't fully appreciate it, because I was just feeling crappy. It was all I could do to run until the next water station so that I could walk for 10-15 seconds while I drank. My calves were still feeling SO tight that it was hard to run, so I suggested stopping to stretch. It felt wonderful! We stopped for maybe a minute and a half, and after stretching, I felt a lot better. Well enough to keep moving on.

When we came back off the Isle, we were at mile 23. I knew then that I would finish, but 3.2 more miles felt like FOREVER to me. My legs were so sore and stiff. We stopped and stretched once or twice more, and that enabled me to keep going. I was glad that I had banked enough time in the first 17 miles or so to be able to go more slowly at the end and still finish under 5 hours.

Someone else was handing out tiny little shots of beer at mile 24ish, and that was a total tease. I knew I wanted a cold beer at the finish! We chugged along, and when the finish line was in sight, I was SO relieved. The last quarter mile felt like forever, but I saw Jessica's relay team cheering from the side, and then we saw Jerry, Cynthia, and Angela. I love seeing familiar faces when I feel like crap!

I crossed the finish line with a time of 4:51:51, and was very happy with that! I'm happy enough with it that I don't ever feel like trying to beat that time, so I am DONE with marathons :)

It was hard to walk after that, but Rik and I got our finisher's photo, and then met up with Jerry, Cynthia, and Angela. Cynthia very conveniently happens to be a yoga instructor and personal trainer, so she stretched me out on the grass. It felt SO good!!


I was actually able to stand up after that! My legs were freezing, so I wanted to put on the pants that I had brought with me, but I couldn't bend very well (at least not without spilling my beer...) so Jerry had to help. It was pretty funny :)

I have to say, I am super proud of Jerry as well--he did great on his 5K! He finished in 28:51.
We had to laugh at the medals, though. We each got the same medal, but mine was much larger and heavier than his:

I'm exhausted now, so I'll write about the post-marathon stuff tomorrow. But here is my technical stuff (splits, official time):



71 comments:

  1. Awesome job! I bet that was the best beer ever.

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  2. Hi Katie- I have been reading your blog for a while and just wanted to say congratulations! Bet that beer was amazing- I don't blame you for not wanting to spill it! Hope you can walk tomorrow!

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  3. That is so awesome and inspirational!!!! I am so proud of you!!! It's just amazing that you have done all of that...you are really making me want to try running. I know it's hard and it hurts, but there is a satisfaction that I see from runners that I want to feel just once in my lifetime. I don't know if I'll be able or want to do a marathon, but just to run and not feel like I'm dying would be wonderful!
    I hope that you greatly enjoyed all your yummy treats and take some advil tonight so you can possibly walk tomorrow. :)

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  4. Congratulations!! I'm so excited that you hit your goals! Congrats to Jerry too ... very exciting (and exhausting) day in your household!

    This is the Shannon that you ran into. I ended up finishing my half today! Not at the pace I was hoping for, but my real goal was to finish, so ... I'm happy. :)

    Congrats again to your whole house and Rik!

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  5. So happy for you Katie! Sounds like all you needed was a good experience to say "been there, done that." Maybe you're done with that distance, for now. I still want to see what all the fuss is about!

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  6. I actually clicked on the link to watch your bib results at the very end. I was super proud of you and was anxious to see what you said about the race. Great job girl!! You so inspire me to continue trying to run.

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  7. It is sort of weird that I really don't even know you and I have been thinking about you all day! :)
    So glad that everything went so well today! You are such an inspiration!

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  8. Congrats Katie! You did so great! Bet you're relieved for it to be over and proud of what you have accomplished. You certainly should be! Awesome job!

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  9. nice job! I laughed when you said you love seeing familiar faces when you feel like crap! I hate when people see me running because I know I look awful! Today I ran into some friends at mile 6.5 (out of 11) and I was just pouring sweat and kept apologizing! lol!

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  10. Awesome job!! So glad you accomplished your goals :) I have been in a big rut with my running recently and this post kicked my but...in a great way, enjoy the rest of your visit!

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  11. Yea for Katie! I was so anxious to hear your results and I was so hoping you'd have a stress free and great race. Go Katie!

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  12. Congrats!!!! So Happy for you! I bet that cake was good, too.

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  13. Katie,

    You rock, girl.

    My daughter and I watched your progress throughout the race and knew you'd make your goal.

    Took a few minutes to figure out 9 splits but we got out the slide rule and followed you.

    You are a huge inspiration to us both!

    Thank you so very much.

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  14. Congratulations Katie! I'm glad you finished strong. I am so inspired by your story. I have signed up for a marathon in the spring with a goal of finishing. I dont even care if I have to walk a third of the way. You are right, 26 miles is a LONG way! I am 48 (will be 49 by the marathon) and I struggle with knee issues too. I kinda quit running this past spring on account of the pain, but have recently resumed with renewed goals of walking when I need to. But your journey has inspired me to desire distance running. Congrats again. I'm so very proud of you.

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  15. WOW!! What a GREAT story! I'm so impressed with this accomplishment, and I am also equally impressed with Jerry's awesome 5k time!! The marathon medal and "mini-me" medal are awesome. ;) And by the way, you look fantastic, too!! I would have never guessed you'd just run a marathon!! I must admit, the pictures of Jerry putting on your pants for you made me laugh out loud. ;)

    Congratulations again--you are an inspiration!!

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  16. Awesome. Sounds like a memorable experience as it should be.

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  17. Congrats! That sounds amazing!!!!!

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  18. I thought about you today!! Great job, seriously!! And jeez you burned a butt-ton of calories!

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  19. wow congratulations, you did awesome so glad that you enjoyed this run much better than last one. your husband did pretty good himself, he should be proud. you are such an inspiration :)
    DESYACV2

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  20. Congratulations, Katie!!!! You did it and met your goals.! Very inspiring! I really enjoyed reading your race recap/write up today. And look forward to the post race post tomorrow! I hope you get a good rest tonight!

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  21. Woo Hoo!!! Congrats Katie!! (and Jerry too!)

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  22. Yay! So proud of you! I checked in to see how you were doing this morning and you were almost finished! A big high-five from Omaha, NE!

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  23. So proud of you Katie! I bet that was the best beer ever!

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  24. Good job. Youre awesome

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  25. YAY! I was thinking about you all day and hoping you'd have a chance to post tonight! CONGRATS!!!!!

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  26. CONGRATS!!! I am SOOOOOO happy for you! You kicked butt girl! You are SO amazing! Oh and by the way - the picture of Jerry putting your pants on you - that made me laugh right out loud! LOVE it! I felt like that after my first 10k! HA I can't even COMPREHEND 26.2 miles!! Way to go!!

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  27. Katie! I am so proud! I popped in and used your link to see your progress. I was waiting for this to come through. Great job!!

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  28. Congraats...I know the cookie awaits u:)
    U look so good in all the snaps.
    Its funny how yours & Jerry's medals are clones of each other in look..haha.
    Hats off to U.
    ps. I just read u will run 200.(Two HUNDRED) miles in Jan?(Wow)

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  29. Congraats...I know the cookie awaits u:)
    U look so good in all the snaps.
    Its funny how yours & Jerry's medals are clones of each other in look..haha.
    Hats off to U.
    ps. I just read u will run 200.(Two HUNDRED) miles in Jan?(Wow)

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  30. Congratulations! That is fantastic! YaY for being DONE with marathons!

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  31. Congratulations. What an accomplishment! Glad you had Rik to run it with you.

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  32. I totally teared up reading this! I am so happy for you! And way to go Jerry, too!

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  33. Way to go Katie! I'm glad to hear that the Canadian section was so great ;)

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  34. Well done you ! What a great great time and such a tremendous effort of your part - you should be so proud!

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  35. I am so proud of you...I have been reading your blog for a couple months now and have enjoyed reading it! I thought of you all yesterday...cheering you on here in Florida!!! Great job! I am prepping for my first 10k in 4 weeks...and I just hit the first 100 pound weight loss mark. Thanks for all the inspiration!
    Allison, www.thereynoldsnation.blogspot.com

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  36. ConGrats Katie, Jerry and Rik,, sounds like you all had an awesome day . Katie I am so happy you had a great Marathon,, so nice to have that under your belt and move on good for you girl.
    <3
    Tammy/Texzan

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  37. That is reay awesome! I ran seven miles this weekend and I wanted to stop.....all I could think of was that you were running this marathon and were going to kick butt! You totally did! So happy for you and the fact that you finished within your goal! Do you plan on running half marathons or just running?

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  38. Congratulations!! I am so excited for you! And Congratulations to Jerry what a great first 5k time!!! One day I hope to be that fast HAHA

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  39. I was thinking about you Sunday. It sounds like you did great!

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  40. Great job!! That sub 5 is hard ~ Congratulations!!

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  41. WHOO HOOO!!!! You should be INCREDIBLY proud girl! Most people never run one marathon, let alone TWO!! You rocked it! Congratulations!!!

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  42. Good job Katie, congrats!!!

    How on earth did you get your Garmin to register the full 26+ distance? Mine lost signal in the tunnel (of course), so mine was a mile short. Never mind that I forgot to turn off auto-pause, and got an UNPLEASANT surprise when I saw the clock at the finish line.

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  43. Congratulations!!! Sounds like you had a great run, and can mark that off your list of goals :)

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  44. Congratulations Katie!!! Awesome job. :-)

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  45. Congratulations, Katie! I also ran my second marathon yesterday. I posted on facebook: Dear marahon: we are never ever ever getting back together. And I'm pretty sure I mean it.

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  46. Yay for You!!! So happy that you met your sub 5 hours goal. Your comment about not being able to put on your pants without spilling your beer had me cracking up. You deserved every drop of that beer!!

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  47. Woohoo!!!! Way to go, Katie and Jerry!!! I hope you two are feeling super AWESOME about yourselves today! Congratulations! You guys are both looking very trim these days too. And the picture of Jerry helping you put your pants on was hilarious!

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  48. Good race! When is the next marathon???��

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  49. ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! Cant wait to hear whatcha did with those calories:) lol

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  50. Congratulations! Good job!

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  51. Well done Katie! So pleased you were well enough to run and you accomplished both your goals! The photos are hilarious at the end! Glad you didn't spill your beer ;)

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  52. Yay! Amazing, as always. Congrats to Jerry as well!

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  53. Congrats to you and Jerry too!! That's fantastic! :)

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  54. Hooray! You did so well! Awesome!

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  55. Congratulations! My husband and I ran the half and had so much fun. It was our first one. After we ran my plan was to go back to our room, shower, go to Starbucks and get back to cheer for you at the finish line. Well the shower felt so good and the line at Starbucks was really long, so I missed you by a few minutes. Glad to hear you had a good race.
    Jennifer Bass

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  56. Congratulations Katie! I am so happy for you and so proud of you! I am happy sticking with the half marathon distance, For now I have zero desire to run a full marathon so I give you extra props for having the guts to do it!

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  57. You're a star! Congratulations Katie :) Sounds like you had a much better time than your first marathon :) & well done to Jerry too, that's an awesome time for his first 5k.

    I bet you never thought you'd end up here when you first started your weight loss journey!

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  58. Well done, SlimKatie! I haven't been reading your blog very long, but you're such an inspiration and I'm so proud of you (even though I don't know you). I've just been tearing up reading this and hope to follow in your footsteps one day.

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  59. Ahh congratulations!!! I'm so impressed that you've run not one, but TWO full marathons! I think it's interesting you say you're done with the distance - I don't know if I could ever work up to 26.2!

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  60. You simply blow my mind Katie. I admire everything you've accomplished. Well done, girl! Well done!!!

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  61. Awesome job on your first marathon! You should be so proud of yourself!! I ran Detroit this year too! It was a great race! Keep up the great running!!

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  62. Hi Katie, im Karla from Mexico, i been reading your story and i have to say that is very inspiring!! the last year i started a diet, and i lost 19kg (42 pounds), i also started to run, and i can say that, running is the best part of the diet jajaja this year, 2013, i want to run a half marathon, i dont know if i am ready to do it, of if i should wait another year... please let me know how did you know that was ready to run it... thank u!!

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  63. I'm a year behind, but I loved reading this recap. Detroit was my first last year and you and I had pretty close finish times :) I'm getting ready to go again in a few weeks!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)