Well, I did it! Last Sunday I finished the Detroit Half Marathon in 2 hours and 15 minutes and pretty much loved every second of it. To be honest, my last couple of long training runs were pretty rough so going into the race I only had one goal: to finish in one piece. But the excitement of the crowd and the awesome course kept me feeling great for all 13.1 miles. The race starts in Downtown Detroit at 7am. It was about 45 degrees and windy and my hands and feet were numb for a good 2 miles into the race. I just kept thinking “My mom is going to be furious that I didn’t wear gloves”. (I told her this later and she totally was.) Around mile 2, I finally started to warm up and we made our way to the Ambassador Bridge. It was amazing to be crossing the bridge as the sun rose over Detroit and Windsor. I met a woman on the course who had run this race a number of times before. We chatted a bit and she helped me pace myself for the first 6 miles. We ran a lot slower than I was used to, but apparently this was a good thing because it kept my stamina up throughout the entire race and I actually finished 10 minutes faster than my goal time. I didn’t realize that through all my training I was just running way too fast. Who woulda thought? Once we approached mile 7 we entered the Windsor Tunnel. I had heard that this is one of the rougher parts of the course because not only does the tunnel go uphill for a bit, but it is also really hot and stuffy. It was ridiculously hot in the tunnel, but I kept telling myself that after a mile I would be greeted by a burst of 50 degree air. God bless Michigan weather. As we ran out of the tunnel we approached Cobo Center and I knew Eric would be somewhere in the crowd. Sure enough I found my race buddy, and he snapped a few “action shots.”
Next up was a stroll through Corktown and Mexicantown but I was still feeling really good. I took a few Clif Shot Blocks at Mile 9 and 11 and water at every water station. I usually stop and walk a little at the water stations, but for this race I didn’t want to lose any momentum….which resulted in me attempting to drink tiny cups of water while running. Let’s just say most of it ended up splashed on my shirt. No wonder I came down with a massive head cold the day after race. Before I knew it we were entering Downtown again and I was passing the 12 mile marker. At this point my legs were getting a little tired but I was so excited that I was about to complete my first half marathon. I caught a glimpse of my parents at mile 13 and sprinted to the finish line. When I crossed the finish line I was so happy and a little dilerious. I collected my finisher metal and found my family to celebrate.
Before the race I told Eric I just wanted to run a half marathon once and would probably never do it again. He knew better though and said I would most likely get hooked and want to do another one. As usual, Eric was right and I can’t wait to pick out my next half marathon.
I spent the rest of the day nursing my aching muscles by laying on the couch and eating candy. A girl’s gotta refuel somehow, my friends. I’ve taken a full week off from running, (which may be the longest break I’ve taken in 5 years) but now I’m rested up and ready for the next race on my schedule- The Turkey Trot! I cannot wait to run through Downtown Detroit again with my cousins while wearing our “Thanksgiving best.” My aunt, uncle, dad and Eric will be walking the mashed potato mile, so it will truly be a family affair. Food, running and family? It’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!