I greatly enjoyed this race last year and planned early on to do this race again this year. There were many things about this race, for me, that varied from last year's edition. For one, the weather was much cooler. It was relatively warm last year, starting in the low-mid 50's. This year, it was below freezing at the start. The other big difference is was my level of training. Last year, I had a good amount of winter running, was in peak shape (up to that point) and was shooting for a big PR (which I got by over 7 minutes). This year, my winter running could be described as erratic, I had a cold that finally is about gone and I had no real time goal (though I wanted to match my time from last year, if possible). I was hoping that experience would count for something this year.
|Me, Kevin, Jeff (Detroit Runner), Ty (This is How Ty Runs) and Steph - SE MI run blogger pals|
On Twitter, Kevin and Jeff were discussing their plan for Jeff to pace Kevin to a 1:55 finish. Sounded good to me, so I asked if I could join and they graciously accepted. Based on my training thus far, I knew this would be a bit difficult for me. I've been averaging about 45 miles a month since October and my long run had been only 10 miles.
About 15 minutes before the race we walked over to the middle school where the race was to start. Timing was perfect as we listed to the National Anthem and then were ready to go, but not before Jeff took this picture:
|A very tentative thumbs up.|
Grosse Ile is scenic with it being an island and all. There are huge houses, landmarks, boats, steel mills across the way, and you can see downtown Detroit in the distance.
My race experience, at various points during the race, was as follows:
Mile 1: It's cold, but I feel good!
Mile 3: I'm not cold anymore and I feel great!
Mile 5: I'm doin' fine, but the back of my legs are feeling tired.
Mile 6: Suddenly, I feel kinda crappy, but I can keep going.
Mile 7: Second wind! Feel OK again!
Mile 9: Starting to fade (this is when I told Jeff and Kevin to go so they could meet Kevin's goal).
Mile 10: What's with the clowns? This is disturbing! Cool hanger! Cool car!
Mile 11: If I stop running, I won't start again. The back of my legs hurt really bad.
Mile 12: One. more. mile. These people should not be passing me but I'm helpless to do anything.
Finish Line: I did it! Now to make pointy hand gestures for the camera - it will be a truly ugly and now even more stupid photo! I can't move my face - it is completely frozen. Glad to have this banana - I can barely chew!
I finished in 1:57:15, which is 8 minutes off my PR and about 40 seconds slower than last year. All things considered, it was a good race and I'm glad I ran it. Hopefully, this will be a building block toward a better showing at the Martian Half Marathon in just 3 weeks. Not sure if a PR is even a possibility, but would be happy with a decent improvement.