Cold Race Morning
Detroit Travel Blog› entry 30 of 35 › view all entries
This morning started very much like any other getaway race morning: waking up to the sound of low conversation from Megan and Janie and the scent of their coffee. I crawled out of the pull-out sofa bed that I had successfully shared with Laurie--no stealing of covers as my sister claimed I did a few times in our childhood--and joined them.
As the rest of the room woke up, we all got what we needed for breakfast (bread with peanut butter for me) and dressed. We knew it was predicted to be a good one at the start of the day, somewhere around freezing. I had my high socks, running skirt, athletic t-shirt, a long-sleeve throwaway shirt, and gloves on. I also had my secret weapon: four handwarmers! Two for my hands and two for my calves.
We met up with the rest of our group (over a dozen in the final number) down in the lobby where many other runners were also hanging out until closer to the start. This was a huge advantage to our hotel with the corrals right behind the building. We were able to get a group photo on the stairs and then we stayed put until 15 minutes before the beginning of the race.
I started with Holly and Tony racing their first full and Rhonda who was hoping to break two hours in her half. I was just hoping to run decently after my four months of running nothing longer than seven miles at the most. Rhonda's goal seemed like a nice run and I decided that I would run with and encourage her as long as possible. I also kept my eye on the pacers near us so we would know if we were near our goal time without having to worry about doing the math while running.
The four of us stuck together for the first mile or so but as we neared Ambassador Bridge, Holly and Tony fell back behind us (they were running twice as far!). The early hints of morning grew brighter on our approach. Rhonda and I both were a little awed and hesitant as we saw how high the bridge curled up but we kept pushing our way up and towards Canada.
*onto the next entry to find out how the Canada portion went and then back here for the rest of the race*
I kept chatting with Rhonda as we continued adding up our miles back in the US. Somewhere between mile nine and ten Rhonda figured out that her recent bout with bronchitis was going to keep her from maintaining our early pace. However, considering what we were both overcoming, we were ok with slowing down a little.
I remember running through wide streets and down under an overpass. I also recognized a building we had driven by the day before on our arrival in the city so I realized even without the mile markers that we were nearing the finish line.
The split for the half and the full came about a quarter mile from our finish. I would find out later that several in our group would not notice the division and actually have to retrace their steps.
As always crossing the finish line was a great feeling. Getting our medal, silver "blanket" for warmth, and food was also very nice. Rhonda connected with a friend who lived in the area while I walked back to the hotel. I was amazed at how good my legs felt overall including my foot (too bad there is still pain three months later as I write this entry). I took the elevator back up to our floor where my sister was getting her shower. I chatted with her husband as I waited for my turn. The hotel had a noon checkout so we needed to make sure that we kept the clean-up cycle going.
We had hoped our marathoners would make it back in time for showers but with the exception of Scooby who wasn't staying at our hotel anyway, no one would finish with enough minutes to get cleaned up (well, Tony could've but it was more important for him to go back and watch for his wife to finish).
When the time to leave our room arrived, we gathered up everyone's bags and staked out space in the lobby. We congratulated our long runners as each one slowly returned, their legs and muscles exhausted but spirits exhilirated especially the three first timers.
Getting our vehicles retrieved from valet parking was only difficult in that they didn't remember which of two lots all of our cars were in. We got out of Detriot pretty easily and drove for about a half hour before making a stop for lunch at a rest area and then continuing home.