Today was the day I was supposed to run the Detroit Marathon for the second time. A little over a year ago, Thomas and I made plans to run it together in 2015. Well, as you know, training didn't go so well for me. I got injured, and every time I started to pick up mileage again, my injury would flare up. On the day I was supposed to run 15 miles, my leg hurt so badly that I decided not to continue training, and to drop out of the full. I was super bummed about it, but I know it was the right decision. I stopped running for six weeks, and then started again with just 2-3 miles at a time.
A reader suggested that I switch my marathon registration to the half, and walk it. I loved that idea! When I told Jerry that's what I was going to do, he said he'd walk it with me--even better. So, we registered for the half, with plans of a scenic, fun walk together.
Thomas got into Michigan on Thursday evening, because he was still planning to run the full (solo). We spent the entire day in Detroit on Friday (Redsmoke Barbecue for lunch, Greektown Casino, a walk along the Detroit River, the marathon expo for packet pick-up, a taste test of the competitive American vs. Lafayette Coney Island coney dogs, a dive bar for a beer, and then the Red Wings game, where the Wings got crushed). It was a fun day!
|Can you tell we were going to a Wings game? ;)|
This morning, we headed up to Detroit at 5:30 for the 7:00 start time. The starting line is always EXTREMELY packed with people, so we had a hard time getting into the corrals. About five minutes after the race started, we were able to squeeze in (Thomas was in a faster corral, so it was just Jerry and me). It was super cold this morning--33 degrees and SNOWING. I was excited to get started, if only to get warm.
We had decided to just do run/walk intervals--nothing consistent, just running and walking when we felt like it. For the first mile, we ran slowly to get warm. Then we ran/walked until we got to the Ambassador Bridge.
|View from the ramp that leads to the bridge|
We wanted to walk up the bridge, so we could check out the sights. It was a really great view (which we saw last week on our bikes!), then we went into Canada. There, we ran along the river for a few miles. I saw a man holding a sign that said, "Just one country to go!" which made me laugh.
|The bridge from the Canadian side|
|View of Detroit from the Canadian side|
We came up out of the tunnel just after mile 8, and I was actually feeling really good. We continued to run/walk the course, and it was a fun way to do the race. We stopped for a picture if we saw something cool, and we weren't at all worried about our time or pace. I was hoping to finish the half before Thomas finished the full, but that was only because I didn't want him to have to wait for us to finish. I saw another funny sign when we were back in the U.S. It said, "You smell like Canada!" Haha ;)
At around mile 11, I saw that I had gotten a text from Thomas that said his legs just crashed at mile 14.5 (no doubt because he ran the Portland Marathon just two weeks ago!) and he would be run/walking the rest, which was a bummer for him.
A little after mile 12, there were some spectators handing out shots of bourbon! I've never had a shot of bourbon in my life (neither had Jerry), so naturally, we took one. I was surprised at how much (and how quickly) that warmed me up! ;)
We ran the last mile into the finish, crossing the finish line in 2:50:55. Not bad for an enjoyable run/walk! We went to the finish line party to sit for a little bit before going back to the finish line for Thomas. I was hoping to get an update from him, but I kept checking the live tracker to see how far along he was. At the finish line party, I met up with Colleen, a long-time reader of my blog. She and her husband flew in from Iowa to surprise their friend, who was running her first half-marathon!
Thomas finished in 4:21, which is not even close to his previous marathon times (he always finishes just over 3:30). He said his legs kept cramping up, so he had to keep stopping to stretch the whole second half of the race. It's kind of amazing that 4:21 is a "bad" time for him--I would be thrilled to get 4:21 on a good day! He really enjoyed the course, though (he even said he liked the course better than Portland's, which is a big compliment coming from him!).
Overall thoughts on the half-marathon run/walk today: I had fun doing it with Jerry; I love the course; I wish the weather was better but I can't do anything about that; and I am happy that I was able to complete it, after having taken so much time off of running. I've now done the Detroit 5K, the International Half, and the Marathon. If I ever have the desire to do another half-marathon, I will probably do the Domestic Half.
Tonight, we have friends coming over for a bonfire. It's super cold, which is unfortunate, but I'm sure we'll have fun!