Sunday, April 14, 2013

We can't all be first

I woke up before my alarm on Saturday and immediately hopped on the Martian website for news on the course.

This is only the finish line water!

The map wasn't even posted online. I looked at a paper copy at the start, although I'm not sure why it mattered. I realized there's something even worse than an out and back course - a two loop course! I know it wasn't the intended course and I give Running Fit serious props for setting up a course overnight. They did a great job, but oh man was it a bad route!

The race is only a 10-minute drive from home, so I relaxed and ate breakfast, watching Jeopardy! while I did so. At 6:35 I realized I had to get going! I made it to the course at 7:00 for a 7:15 start and the very first person I saw was Ironman! Is he stalking me or what?? :)

It started the same as last year, then we turned left on Outer Drive and went through a subdivision. Back to Hines, through another sub, back to Hines for the "normal" finish. Then we did it again! There were many places we passed four times and it was so mind-numbing!!!

It didn't help one iota that the weather was so nasty. I didn't have any gloves, but at mile 14 found a matching pair on the sidewalk. I never took them off and they're going to Lansing next week.

The first nine miles were really easy. For a long time I was two steps behind a man with red hair, then this woman joined us and the three of us ran together for several miles without ever talking. I love seeing older people run. Most of them are better than me :) The early miles felt GOOD. I wasn't thirsty, I wasn't hungry so I wasn't forcing myself to eat or drink, even though I knew I needed to do both.

At one point we were on Hines running north up to Lake Hines...

It was cold and lonely. At least when I was training on Hines I had cars driving past to distract me. It was a hard difficult run and took a ton of willpower to get through. Nita is running Boston tomorrow and has asked people to take a specific mile to pray for her. I said I'll take 24 because it's the hardest mile for me and the time I need people the most. At 24 I was all alone on the Rouge River parkway behind Henry Ford Community College, no spectators, no other runners. I've never met Nita, only know that she's a lot shorter than me and wore a fuchsia shirt at the Free Press, but I kept imagining she was just behind my right side in the pink shirt, telling me to keep going, that she knew I could do it, to stay with her.

A few steps later, a woman jogged over to me. She might have said her name was Donna, and that I looked cold and like I needed someone. I did, desperately! I asked if she had water at her tent. She said yes, water and Gatorade. I asked if I could have a water, please. She called out to the guys at the table "Get this girl a water and a hug!" I passed on the hug but her company for those few steps was much appreciated. Thank you Donna!

I had my best half split - 2:17:30. Granted it was only a 30 second improvement, but still an improvement. I hit mile 20 at 3:51 so I was happy about that. Any time I can get to 20 under 4 hours is good. I don't even know my official final time. I'm not on the results page. My watch says 5:21, so that's what it is. Then I decided a runner's personal record resets every year. I was actually sandbagging this race so I can PR the next three weeks :) Nice logic, eh? Or I can borrow Ironman's logic that it's just a training run.

I knew Ironman wasn't too far behind me, so I waited for him to finish. He took my finish line picture then we slow shuffled to our cars. Number 7 baby! I'm so tired though I can't even keep my eyes open!!!! haha This is the SECOND race I've worn this stupid Belle Tire shirt, fully intending to leave it on the course. I got it from the lost and found at school and it doesn't really fit me, but somehow it keeps coming home with me! The best part is the name Kaufman on the back - not my name!

The course may have been terrible, but the medals are SWEET! The eyes are shiny silver and the head is sparkly!!! It's tons nicer than it looked in their posted pictures. The wonderful volunteer at the finish gave it to me in a plastic bag. Someone actually complained about that, but I was fine with it - kept the medal from getting scratched! My numb fumbling fingers couldn't open the baggie. "Do you want me to open it?" she asked? Yes please.

The man volunteer asked if I wanted a bottle of water. Yes, please. "Do you want me to open it for you?" Yes please :) I grabbed a few cookies and sat on a parking block to wait for Ironman. The girls next to me said I wouldn't be able to get up. I said I knew, but some strong man would help me stand :)

Running Fit does a good job organizing the race, but both times I've done it, the weather has been absolutely nasty and I've struggled with the race because of that and due to the complete lack of spectators along the course. If I do this race again, I'm not signing up until the day before at the expo when I have a really good idea of the weather. Yes, it's in my head, but experience has shown time and time again that I run well in the sun and terribly in the overcast.

I have a monster blister on my right pinkie toe. I'm going to soak my feet, pumice stone the calluses and drain the blister. I took a picture of it, but I don't want anyone to get sick haha

Sweet dreams little Martians!


  1. Great Post Michelle!
    I have been waiting and waiting to hear how you did!
    You did Great. I can not believe that you wore shorts with the weather being so cold.
    Everytime I see those shirts and medals I just want to run that race so bad! Maybe next Year~
    Congrats on your 1st Marathon of the YEAR! One down, 4 more to go?!...
    What is your next Marathon??? Is it on a Sunday?
    If it is on a Sunday..Seriously considering running it with YOU.
    I would have to look into all the logistics of course. and Quickly, but I did RUN it by the hubby..He just rolled his eyes!

    Again WTG!

    1. Thanks. I don't like how my tights fit, so I only wear them in an emergency. Somehow 36 and rain/snow wasn't an emergency....
      Lansing, Toledo and Cincy are all Sunday races.
      Good luck tomorrow!!!! Looking forward to reading your post!

  2. OK...Just checked out Plying Pig..Online Registrtion is closed... But it looks mighty fun. I remember you sying Toledo was a flatter course..or a better course or something like this... Still ininvestigatin..I may have to look into lodging still..I amm seriously thinking this though..!
    WHICH one is Closer to home??

    1. Cincy doesn't have a sell-out number. Toledo still has plenty of open spots. I was able to register at the expo last year. Toledo is much closer to Michigan - Cincy is at the Kentucky border.