This past weekend, I finally attempted a half marathon. How did it go? Not as well as I had hoped. In fact, nowhere near as well as I had hoped. I’m having a real hard time being proud that I crossed the finish line and can only see/feel the frustration of the process of getting there. I’m working on changing my perspective right now, but it’s difficult.
Here’s how the weekend went:
My parents, The BF, The BF’s Sister (Nicole), and their Mom, all hopped in the car bright and early and went to check out the expo! It was easy to get to, as the Cobo Center is pretty much right off the highway. When we got in, there was a very long line already formed to get in! We had about a 10-15 minute wait and they let us in at 10:00am. We all Bee-lined it to the back where they were handing out Bibs, shirts, and bags. We jumped in a very short line and I got all my stuff quick and easy. I just had to flash the volunteer my passport and let them know if I’ve had any radiation treatment recently. Then Nicole stepped up to get hers. They pulled out a sheet of paper instead of her bib and she had to report to the back corner for her stuff. Border patrol had a random group of bibs that they were checking separately. She said that the process was exactly the same as what they asked me and had to report back to the table to get her shirt and bag.
After that was all settled we took to wandering around to see what was there. A lot of the booths had been at previous expos that I’ve attended, so it was fairly easy to skip those. I had a few purchase goals (a Run Detroit Shirt and a 13.1 sticker), I got those and I also got some sparkly Shwings for my shoes! My parents were also awesome and got me a purple and coral New Balance Raptor Jacket with the race logo on it. There was a really great selection of race gear there and it took a while to make a decision! When we were done we shot off on the People Mover to Greektown for Lunch at Redsmoke BBQ! YUM! The rest of the day was spent resting and preparing for the next morning!
Bright and early wake up call at 3:15am. We got down to the city very easily and parked quickly and hopped on the people mover to the Fort/Cass stop.
We walked out and realized that our Corral (K) was right outside. We all huddled inside for a while to stay as warm as possible. Everyone was in a decent mood…Even the police officers who came in to let us know it was alright to be there, just couldn’t block the entrances.
It felt like forever and we took some pictures to kill time and tried to shake off any nerves that we had.
At about 6:40 we went out to get in our corral and nervously waited. We were in the back and people were excited and taking pictures.
Some dude almost jumped on my toes multiple times and kicked me in the shins…but besides that, it was a cheerful and antsy time. They started to let the corrals go one by one with a blow of an air horn and we slowly moved up, stepping over mounds of warm clothes that people shed before they took off. There was a large screen counting down every group as they moved up. That was nice because I would have gotten lost as to who was next and would have been taken off guard!
The first 5k was great. The sun was rising and everyone was pumped. The view wasn’t awesome on this part, until you got close enough to the bridge. I thought it was really cool seeing people up on the bridge running from down on the ground! The hill to get up to the bridge was a bit tough, but nothing awful. We made it to the middle of the bridge and everyone was excited and the trucks crossing on the other side were blowing their horns and they were yelling out their windows to everyone. It was a really unique experience.
Then the bridge started to head downhill into Canada. This is where my trouble started. I tweaked my knee just right, so that it started to do the thing where it hurts…. I had it taped up with KT tape, but I must have applied it wrong or it just wasn’t working this time because it just kept getting worse. It was difficult to run, but I still could at little spurts at a time, but by the time I had gotten to the tunnel…I couldn’t run AT ALL. I felt like I’d fall over if I did. I ended up walking
through most of the tunnel and what I had in my head as a fun and exciting moment of seeing my family again, turned out to be a really not so great moment in my life. They were just past mile 9 and I was so frustrated and in so much pain, I just wanted to stop. But my dad walked a little bit with me and got me moving again. I spent the rest of the race walking as fast as I could stand. I stopped a few times to see if stretching would help a bit, but it was a no-go. I was tripping a bit on the bricks and pavement because I couldn’t lift my feet enough at some points. By then, my hip injury had joined the party and my IT band was also not happy.
I kept the BF updated via text, just in case something happened, they would have some idea where I was on the course. I feel like I speed walked most of the last two miles. As soon as I got back into the city area and knew it was almost over.
I made a deal with myself that I wasn’t going to walk across the finish line…I couldn’t do that after all the work I put in this year…so I kept pushing until I hit the last .10 miles of the course and made myself run. There are just so words to describe how much that hurt, but I had to. There was no way around it in my head. I couldn’t disappoint myself that much.
The minute I crossed that line I was so relieved, but I still had to keep moving to find my group. The volunteers were great, but didn’t quite explain that people had to keep moving forward to get out. So I was pretty confused as to where to go. If I didn’t have my phone, I wouldn’t have known what was going on.
The course itself was really cool and I honestly wish I could have enjoyed the whole thing way more. I was really looking forward to the tunnel, and though I felt like it was a bit hard to breathe, it would have been pretty cool to run through! It seemed like everyone else there was having a great time accomplishing their goals and that definitely helped me keep going.
At the end, I got a pretty cool medal.
And a sense of accomplishment…even if it was a bit disappointing. It’s hard for me at the moment to be happy with how things turned out, but I said that my C goal was to finish…and even if I did walk most of it, I got a fairly decent time for my first half.
It’s hard for me to say at this point what my race schedule will look like next year. I was thinking I’d just do a few longer distance races…but I have to work out these injuries before I try again. I really don’t want to walk the next. For now, my eyes are set on the 5k I have in a few weeks and then a 10k and maybe if I feel well enough, I’ll do the Christmas story race. But until then, it’s rest, ice, icy hot, knee braces, and easy runs.
How did your first half marathon go?
What was your worst race you’ve ever run?
Any words of wisdom?