ANN ARBOR MARATHON RECAP
Well, well, well…..yes, I am alive and fairly well. I know, I know, I’ve been MIA way too long.. Ahem….or maybe not? The good news is that race day came, I started and I finished. Oh, what’s that? You’d like a few more details? Ok, I’ll try.
This is by far the toughest post I’ve ever had to write. As I sit here and type I feel anxious. I’m even getting that damn lump up in my throat that I did for about 48 hours after the Ann Arbor Marathon. Ok, deep breath….here we go.
First things first. I never made my race goals blog-public. I’m not sure why. I thought about it many times and didn’t really feel like I needed to keep them private but I also never pulled the trigger. Interesting. I did tell a few people in person when they asked so here they are (were.) I set them up in ABC format in my head and that’s how I would deliver them in person.
A Goal: Finish in 4:15 or better (that’s the time we were training for)
B Goal: Finish between 4:15 and 4:30 (seemed respectable)
C Goal: Finish the damn race
…..and the winner is……Goal C. Yay! No, not really. I wasn’t happy about it at all. In fact, I cried a lot about it. Why? Why am I so damn emotional about it?
Let’s play the list game again.
1. I trained for 16 weeks, 112, days to play better than that
2. I hit every single one of my training sessions. I. DID. NOT. SKIP. ONE. I wanted to be rewarded for that
3. Training was hard work. I had to re-arrange and juggle my already very busy schedule. I worked hard so that my training did not to interfere with my prior commitments. I wanted it to pay off.
Sadly, it really comes down to one thing. EGO. My ego took a beating on June 17, 2012. It got battered and bruised. It wanted to crawl under a rock and hide for a very long time.
It did not want to have to tell people that my finish time was 5:28!!!
Six days later I am beginning to recognize my accomplishment. I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere close to feeling proud but the sting of defeat is easing.
Let’s switch gears.
The race expo on Saturday was at Briarwood Mall and was actually pretty fun. We ran into lots of friends and met some new ones.
We got to pick up our cool t-shirts:
A few hours later we had a pasta dinner at our house for our support team!
Special shout out to my brother, Matt, (royal blue shirt and white shorts) who walked in the 5K and raised over $1000 for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation. You’re awesome! I’m so proud of you.
Everyone slept at our house and I actually got a good night’s sleep. I woke up Sunday morning at 4:45 and was feeling pretty good. Temps were in the low 70s and it was really humid but the forecast was better than they had been predicting so I was relatively happy. Here I am at home – all decked out and ready to run my first marathon.
And here is my favorite pic of all time with my favorite training partner of all time:
Here’s the start:
and here’s Pacer Eric.
Note to self. When your goal is 4:15, don’t go out with the 4:10 pace group of which the pacer doesn’t know the course and has never paced “that slow before.” No, I don’t blame Eric at all for my failure. I blame myself for being so damn cocky that I thought I could hang with him.
We did hang with him through mile 7 and were feeling pretty good. Then mile 7 came and just as planned Doug was there with fuel and water. This wasn’t a regular water stop so our pace team ran ahead as we stopped to chow.
Because we stopped we had a lot of catching up to do uphill in the heat and humidity. It sucked. By mile 8.5 I told Kristi I couldn’t keep up with the pace group anymore and was going to back off. She decided that was a good idea and slowed down too. Problem was I just kept slowing down more and more. I didn’t want to but I just couldn’t make my body go any faster. By mile 9 I told her to go on ahead without me and I’d see her at the finish. I ripped my pacer bib off, crumpled it up and slammed it into the nearest trash can I could find. I was pissed. Then I took a walk break. Kiss. Of. Death.
As I came up to mile 12 I saw Kristi again. She was standing with Doug and her Aunt Lynne who were part of our amazing support crew. As I ran up to hear I could tell that things were not going well. She told me she wanted to stop. She was considering not finishing the race. I must admit I also had a fleeting thought that I may pull out. I quickly talked myself out of it by reminding myself that is was Father’s Day and that I had dedicated this race to my Dad who I never saw walk or run due to his battle with Multiple Sclerosis. I was also running for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation and had raised $4500 from very supportive friends and family. I was going to finish this race.
So, we continued. By this time my knee was also starting to really hurt. I’ve only had that kind of knee pain on one other long run, several weeks ago. It would get to the point where it hurt so bad I had to stop and walk. We continued the next 13 miles with a run/walk combo. It was awful.
Of course, this is when I started to see the rest of my support team! Pete and Noah first on bikes and I looked like this:
Then we met up with Alisha, Abby, and Lisa. Thanks so much guys for hanging in there with me and my very slow first marathon! A few blocks later there was Tom and Matt. When I saw Tom I really wanted to cry. But, then I saw Matt. He had fallen during the 5K and had 2 bloody knees. If he was brave enough to complete his race I sure and hell could finish mine. I sucked it up. Gave Tom a hug and kept on going.
We walked, ran and shuffled to that finish line and eventually we made it!
I wasn’t proud at that point. I didn’t feel like I had accomplished a major goal. I felt sad and embarrassed….and tired. But in the end I know I did something many people never will. In the end I learned a lot. In the end I realize that I may have tweaked a few things during the race but I don’t regret anything. In the end I know I will run another marathon. Are you ready for me Chicago? We’ve got a hot date on October 7. I’ll be prepared. In fact my new training cycle starts on Monday. I might even blog about it……