Monday, October 17, 2011

My First Marathon every detail Recap!

Short Story:
LOVED my first marathon!
Time: 5:28:22, 12:32 pace
Overall Place: 3044/3449
Female Place: 1122/1332
Age Group Place: 204/240

I don't have many pics yet, but will post as I get them.  Let me warn you this is LOOONG.  It's my first marathon and I have a lot of memories that are all too important not to include.  I hope you're comfy :)

Long Story:
I got up at 4am to get dressed, lube up and have some peanut butter toast - no better start to the day!  My friend Katie from Chicago and I picked up Rebecca and were in the downtown hotel with the rest of the 501 runners by 6am.   It was a great place to meet, stay warm and get excited for the race. 
My 501 running buddies :)

At 6:30, we headed down to the corrals, still in the dark.  Amanda and I were in corral K (it went A-M) and all of our friends lined up there with us even though many were faster - how nice!  There was a good chunk of us waiting for our corral to go - maybe 9 of us - and before we knew it we were finally on our way. 

It was completely surreal.  Amanda and I were in denial and treated the morning like a normal Saturday 501 group run, which helped us not freak out about the marathon that we were just starting :)  Honestly, in my head I was just focusing on finishing the first half and then figuring out a new game plan to think about the second half.  

Amanda mentioned that she was planning on staying behind me for the first part, to use me as her pacer, and I did indeed rein her in.  I tried to keep our crew to ~12:00 minute miles at the start so we would have gas in the tank to rev it up later (ha! fat chance...)

The first few miles were uneventful as we waited for the crowd to thin out.  We made a new friend Emily just before mile 2 and she was doing her first half all by herself.  She kinda snuck up behind us and mentioned casually that she was using us as her pacer and we welcomed her with open arms.  We all introduced ourselves and realized that she works in the same building in Ohio as Amanda's friend Tiffany who was also running with us.  I LOVE making friends in races!
Pretty soon we were running across the Ambassador Bridge to Canada which was pretty awesome.  It was still dark and kinda windy on the bridge, but still really cool.

Mile 1 12:04
Mile 2 12:06
Mile 3 12:20 bridge congestion
Mile 4 11:51

Miles 5-7 were on the Canadian riverfront and absolutely beautiful!  A lot of it was residential and had plenty of crowd support.  These were great miles that seemed easy (just typing that is funny to me).  Emily, Amanda and I were still together at this point and with every sign for a runner, we would yell out and pretend that was our name - sounds silly now, but was really awesome with each new sign.  

Mile 5 11:45
Mile 6 11:42
Mile 7 11:40

Mile 8 was back to Detroit through the tunnel.  The crowd was still pretty thick at this point - we could get around, but there were a lot of people there.  Some guy was skipping in the tunnel and we thought it looked fun and tried it too.  It's amazing how fun that was!  Amanda and Tiffany took off at this point ahead of us.  About half way through the tunnel, it got really hot.  Emily and I were sweating like crazy and ready to be out of there.  The light at the end of the tunnel was soon visible and we booked it out of there.  

Mile 8 11:48

Fresh air never felt so good, even if it was cold and drizzly.  Coming out of the tunnel just felt good and we looped around Cobo and out toward some of the neighborhoods.  We ran by Joe Louis Stadium and then through Mexican town, complete with a mariachi band, and Corktown, where my family sets up for the Patty's day parades each year.  

We were just rounding a corner when I thought I recognized a guy in front of us and sure enough, when we got closer it was a guy I went to grade school with.  He was a couple years older than me and I was best friends with his little sister from K-2nd grade!  What are the chances??  It was nice to catch up over a mile or so and then he kinda vanished behind us. 

Mile 9 11:49
Mile 10 11:54
Mile 11 11:39

At a water station just after mile 11, we caught up with Amanda again and ran Emily in for her last couple miles.  It really was great getting to know her this race and I felt like we'd known each other forever.  At the 12.75ish spot, she turned off to the right and Amanda and I turned left into the unknown.  

Once we split from the half marathoners, it was a ghost town - in both runners and spectators.  Just after the 13 mile marker I recognized some people in the distance and it was my parents!!  I was so excited I yelled out to my mom and dad like a little kid in grade school, "HI MOM!! HI DADDY!"  We didn't stop to say hi, but we waved and I introduced them to Amanda on the way as mom took pictures.  It was just the boost I needed to keep going on this boring stretch. 

Mile 12 11:53
Mile 13 11:49

We met up with another 501er Dave around this point - he was using the Detroit Marathon as a training run for his ultra marathon in a few weeks - how crazy is that??!!  After another water stop, Amanda hit a quick pit stop in the bushes as Dave and I kept watch.  :)  This is the part of the course that I wasn't looking forward to as it's pretty much a straight shot out to mile 16.  blah blah blah boring course here. 

Mile 14 12:48
Mile 15 12:06
Mile 16 12:21

Finally we got off the boring street and made a turn into a nice neighborhood.  I overheard another runner explaining that it was Indian Village - where all the execs had their huge, nice houses.  It was really fun to look at and with Amanda being an architect, we were entertained for the next couple of miles and they went by smoothly.  This is also where we recognized the bikers that kept racing ahead of us and then cheering for us were following us, giving us our own cheering section.  We didn't know them, but hell, we took what we could get!

Mile 17 12:51
Mile 18 12:29

We were on a boring road again just heading toward Belle Isle.  At this point, we knew we had run a 20 miler before, so we were confident we could finish that and then we would start counting down the miles for our final 10K.  Getting to the Mile 19 marker was tough.  I didn't have any pain, but I was getting tired.  We had been walking through all the water stations as originally planned and this is when I started just looking forward to each water station.   

I stopped to pee in a port-a-potty around this time and was so thankful for having tp, being able to get my skirt back on and the fact that I wasn't puking my brains out like the person in the port-a-potty next to me.  This led to our slowest mile of the race. 

Mile 19 14:19

Right before the bridge to Belle Isle we saw my mom again which was awesome and even though the bridge was an incline, windy and cold, we were distracted by the runners coming off the island in the other direction.  We were just staring at them as we crossed the bridge, which made the time fly by.  I don't know why I thought I would know someone on that side of the bridge, but it was fun to watch the other runners.  

The Belle Isle miles were flat and not brutal and we made another friend who I affectionally called "orange shirt".  He was a nice guy also running his first marathon that was fun to chat with although I have no recollection of what we talked about. 

Just as we were getting to the end of the island loop, we came across another guy who just happened to look up at me just as I was looking at him and wouldn't you know we went to high school together??!!  How random is this??  He was a couple years older than me and ended up marrying my sister's friend, but how crazy is this that I saw him?  We chatted for a mile or so and he so graciously thanked us for letting him run with us as he was just about to throw in the towel before he saw us.  Amanda joked about how he had to stick with us across the bridge so he wouldn't jump off in the middle!  That's just what he did too, he wished us well and took a walk break.  

Mile 20 13:11
Mile 21 13:13
Mile 22 12:41

We spotted my mom and dad again as we came of Belle Isle and I caught my dad cheering for a Spartan runner as he was wearing the Michigan jacket I bought him!  Yes, they beat us in football the day before, but what the heck, dad!!  He quickly cheered for Amanda and I and then we were off to head into town to find and cross that damn finish line.  

At this point we were hitting new distance prs with each step and celebrating them as we continued.  We still walked through the water stations and each start up was difficult but we pushed through.  No negative words were shared out loud, but I was getting tired but still had no pain.  We hit the river walk which wasn't as straight as I had hoped and then got back into town.  

Mile 23 13:10
Mile 24 12:58

Once we hit the 24 mile marker, I was like F this, we can do 2 miles - that's nothing.  We then ran by the Northville/Novi 501 coach who told us to pass the flashing stop sign (that was weird), turn right, go up a hill, and we'd hit 25.  HILL.  she said HILL.  damnit.  We made it up the damn hill and got passed by the 5:30 pacer.  We jokingly threw a few expletives his way and he assured us we were looking great and he was a minute or so ahead of schedule.  yeah right, my ass, I remember thinking. 

Mile 25 13:17

Now, here comes the hardest part of the damn marathon for me.  We knew the end was in sight, cause my garmin told me so, but I didn't know how the f we were getting from Larned to Fort and 2nd and that's all I wanted.  So as I turned the corner and saw Fort in front of us, I was relieved but still pissed that we had to turn again.  This is where we saw Amanda's husband Justin, but I was too far in lala land to realize it was him as you can see in this pic as I'm behind cute little Amanda:

Emily and Tiffany who started out with us and finished the half, met us here, ran us up the hill and to the turn to see the finish line.  THE FINISH LINE!!  Not only was it is sight, but I then saw my husband's Lions fleece not that far away.  The good thing about being on the slower end is that the crowd thins out so I could actually recognize people!!  When I got close to my hubby, I lifted up my right hand just a little and pinched the air to represent 'just a little bit more' to him.  I wasn't able to talk or even smile, but I was still moving - running even - forward.  I saw my sister, my bro in law, his gf and my mother in law.  It was exciting, but I didn't have the energy to ham it up for them.  (I only kinda regret this but then think -  f them, they just had to stand there, why should I put on a show for them after 26 miles - not nice, I know)

Mile 26 12:06, but felt like 8:10

When I crossed the finish line, I kept running for a few seconds, then realized I could stop my garmin and then stop my body.  haha how weird.  It was AWESOME!!  Just walking through the finish fuel stop before I met my family and friends felt amazing!!  I was rejuvenated and so PROUD of myself!!  I DID IT!!

there's so much more to come, but this is far too long... consider it part one :)


  1. I loved reading every detail!! That is just so AWESOME! Sounds like you ran a really solid race. And making new friends and running into old ones along the way, well that just makes the memories that much better.

    Congrats marathoner Rose! You did it!

  2. Ahhhh! Congratulations! So proud of you! Great recap =)

    So- when's the next marathon? I kid! sort of...

  3. Congrats Rose. You are a marathoner!!!!! Nice job. I'm really proud of you!

  4. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!! Great job! Now, no matter what ... you are a MARATHONER!!! So glad your family was there and glad you enjoyed the day! Congrats!

  5. Congratulations!!! YOU are a marathoner!

    ps. if you plan to do Rock CF half again, I have a coupon code; rockcf5. :-)

  6. Congrats lady!!

    You are a rockstar and still looked amazing after it!

  7. So awesome. Your first marathon! Congrats.

  8. Welcome to the club, marathoner!! What a great recap, lots of vivid details and it felt like I could have been running it with you it was so clear. I love how you didn't feel any pain. That's strength right there! And isn't it a weird feeling just being able to stop once you cross the finish line?!? So funny! So great that you tasted glory! A glorious day for you - cherish it forever!

  9. Congratulations Rose!! You are a freaking marathoner!