I dressed in my muscle pants and the race shirt from the Rock CF Half I just did--I thought the "lungs" were appropriate with the pants I wore ;) I had a feeling I'd be too hot, but I've had those pants two years, and I've only worn them once! I ate a bagel thin for breakfast, and then went to pick up my older brother, Brian, from my parents' house at 6:00.
My younger brother, Nathan, was going to meet us as the race. I wanted to drive separately so that I could stay after and cheer on Stephanie, and my brothers could leave after the 5K. Brian and I headed to Dearborn, and just a few blocks before we got to the race, we spotted Nathan's truck. So we just followed him to the parking lot.
I went to pick up my t-shirt and race bib, and Brian had to register. A guy wearing a kilt and a pig nose and ears came up to me and asked for a picture together--I learned it was a reader of my blog! I always love when readers introduce themselves, and I feel absolutely awful, but I can't remember his name--I want to say Dave? (If you're reading this, I'd love for you to email me the pic! And I'm sorry if I got your name completely wrong. I hope you had a great marathon today!)
Then we met up with Stephanie at the starting line! She was standing with her friend Carrie, who was running the half; and Jessica, who was running the 10K. Steph seemed to be feeling good, and not nervous or anything. I was a wreck before my first!
|Carrie, Steph, me, and Jessica (we've lost a collective 450-ish pounds!)|
The marathon started at 7:15, and I waved and cheered for Steph as she got a strong start. Then I just hung out with my brothers while we waited for the 5K start. We put our shirts in the car, and used the porta potties. Brian suggested that we wait until everyone else started the 5K before we even cross the starting line. There were a TON of walkers, but the whole starting line was completely packed, so I thought it sounded good to me. It was chip timed, so there was no reason to start with everyone else.
It took several minutes for everyone to cross the starting line. Once the last person crossed, we started walking to the line. Once we crossed, we started running, and it was pretty easy to pick up the pace because the crowd had spread out a little. I really liked that strategy!
We fell into an 8:45-ish pace, and were passing people left and right the entire race (because of our late start). When Nathan said he wanted to run sub-9:00's, I assumed he meant 8:59 pace. Ugh, he had me huffing and puffing the whole way ;) I don't have the splits with me (I'm at the hotel with the kids right now), but I think our first mile was 8:45-ish. I was staying as close as possible to my brothers, and just tried to keep up with Nathan.
Mile two was faster--I think it was an 8:35-ish pace. I was glad I had held on that long, and just hoped I could keep it up. I somehow got a burst of energy at that point, and found myself in front of my brothers, setting the pace at 8:30-ish. When turning a corner toward the end of mile three, Nathan got pushed in front of me. I guess he decided at that moment to sprint hard to the finish line, because he just shot forward like a rocket.
A couple of people cut in front of Brian and I, so it was hard for us to keep up with Nathan. Brian wanted to catch up to Nate, so he took off, too. And naturally, I didn't want them showing me up, so I ran hard to try and close the gap. Brian didn't catch Nathan, and I didn't catch Brian; so at the very end, we finished one right after the other--Nathan (25:58), Brian (26:06), and me (26:11). Damn boys!
|Nathan, me, and Brian|
Yeah, I know, you can't really tell that they're brothers, right? ;)
I'm happy I kept up as long as I did, but I'm still just a little surprised at how hard this run felt for me. I want to get my fitness back to where it was a year ago!
Anyway, I'm really proud of Nathan for finishing--and with a sub-26 to boot! This was his first race, and he already wants to do a 10K. He's going to be running on my relay team for my sister's marathon in a couple of weeks. One of the girls that was going to run on her team backed out, so Nate said he'd do it. He's even going to wear a tutu. What a champ!
After the race, I said good-bye to my brothers, and then met up with Jessica so we could cheer on Steph. We got a coffee and then went to the finish line to cheer on some runners for a while, then decided to drive to mile 20 to see Stephanie. We had a hard time navigating and figuring out where to see her, but we asked some guy in a parking lot for help, and he told us how to get where we needed to go. Once we found a spot to park, we saw a few runners go by, and we cheered them on. I started to try to do the math in my head, hoping that Steph hadn't already gone by, when Jessica said, "There she is!!" and sure enough, Steph was coming. It was literally about three minutes after we got out of the car. We couldn't have planned it better.
Steph looked extremely tired, and she didn't say a single word to us--just nodded when we asked questions--but Jessica and I remembered that feeling very well, because we felt the same thing during our first marathon in Cleveland together. We asked if she needed anything, and she shook her head no. So I told her I'd see her at the finish line, and we headed back to the car. Even though she looked tired, she seemed to be going strong, so we weren't worried about her.
Jessica had to get home to her kids, so she dropped me off at the finish line, and then she left. I waited at the finish line for a while--the weather was gorgeous today!--and someone named Kelly came up to me to introduce herself. Another reader :) She had just finished the marathon (in great time, too).
I went to the 26.1 mile mark to watch for Stephanie, and I saw her coming right around when I predicted. She was still going strong, but looking like she was totally ready to be done. I sent her friend Carrie a quick text to say Steph was on her way, then I ran for the finish line to get there before Steph, so I could take some pictures.
That's her son with his arms reaching out--so sweet! Steph crossed the finish line in 5:05, and she did AWESOME!! I got choked up when I saw her finish. She trained through the worst winter imaginable, and had a great race day. I'm just so proud of her :)
Just before I left, a familiar face came up to me to say hello--it was Burt, another reader of my blog, who I'd met once before at the Halloween 10K last year. He's so sweet, and has lost a lot of weight himself! He did his first half-marathon today. A big congrats to him!
It was an awesome day--getting to hang out with my brothers, seeing Nathan finish his first 5K, seeing Stephanie finisher her marathon, spending some time with Jessica (I hadn't seen her in a while), meeting a few readers... and gorgeous weather on top of it all. Now I'm at the hotel with the family, so I'm going to head down to the pool with the kiddos.