Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/4/10--The Big Day!

Get braced, all--this is gonna be a long one!!
Well, when I last left you, I was in the midst of the pre-race panic. Soon after I posted my last, screaming blog entry, I found out that Brandon was able to leave work early. In that same time frame, my family decided to stay at the cabin instead of Tourist Park, and when Brandon got home I convinced him we should do the same. He had actually been thinking about getting a hotel room, so we were both on the same page about not camping.
We arrived in Marquette around 6:30, got my race packet, let the park know we wouldn't be staying, but got car tags so we could still shower in the morning.
After that, we tried to go to a few different places to get dinner, but we ended up at Aubree's for pizza (perfect pre-race fuel, btw), and we waited there to hear that my family was getting close to Munising so we could head to the cabin. We ended up getting to the cabin around 9:00pm, and settled in for the night.
The alarm went off at 5am the next morning, and we all were rushing around to get out so we could make the 50 minute drive back to Marquette. During all that, someone managed to snap a photo of me packing up my after-clothes...
We all load up in to the cars, I throw on my iPod, and away we went! I was really emotional the whole way over--I even was crying a little at one point, and I still have no idea why.
When we got to Marquette, we had to park about a 1/4 mile from the actual starting area. My sister and I immediately took off to the starting line to find bathrooms, while the rest of the family unloaded themselves. Thankfully, checking in and getting to a bathroom went VERY quickly (thank goodness for small races!! :D) So, we had some time for a photo shoot before the start...

I left the course map with the family so they could figure out where they could be when. I knew Brandon wouldn't have a problem getting around, but the others would need it.
Around 7:10 we started lining up to start.
I never actually heard the starting gun--I just noticed we started moving! I was pretty far back, but that was my way of making sure I didn't go out too fast. I did, however, pick off quite a few people along the first couple of miles.
The first time I saw part of my family along the course was at Tourist Park--My dad, Brandon, and Andy (one of my former park co-workers) were on the corner as we turned out of the park.
Just after that, I saw my sister and mom, then just after that I ran in to Dad and Brandon again!!
And, as you can tell by the smiles, I was having fun and I felt FANTASTIC. Really and truly. I was at a very comfortable pace, and I was just having a blast.
At about 4.5 miles, I was passed by the marathon leader, who was out in front by a large margin. He was flying!
Once I got across Washington St (about mile 5) I really felt like I could be going faster. I had been mentally holding back in a way, just to make sure that I wouldn't burn out, but by then I couldn't hold back anymore, so I started to really push harder. I was still having fun though, as shown by the next photos:

The first one was just before mile 6, the second one is at around 7.75. This was just after the dog-leg out and back on the course, and it was fun to see all the people ahead of me, then all the people behind me! (This is also where I had my only stumble moment of the race--the guy in front of me went to go get a gel, then collided with another runner, and then I collided with the 2 of them. Thankfully, none of us were hurt!) You can see the aid station behind me there--they were all awesome, and they had water, HEED drink and HEED gels. I stuck with water during my race, and I carried 2 vanilla Gu gels with me. I took the first one at 5, then the next one at 9, and looking back that might have been too much, because I was queasy after the race.
At just after 11 miles, we entered back in to Presque Isle Park, and I saw my mom again for the first time since mile 3 (they apparently had trouble finding me and didn't want to stand still too long because they were getting cold), and she told me the greatest thing I had heard the whole time on the course: "1:45! You did it! You're doing it!" At that point, I KNEW I could hit my goal time of around 2:00. I was so freaking happy, and that really kept me going through the last stretch around the island.
Here I am coming in to the finish:
(I caught that lady, I think. This part was a blur of cheering and pure freaking joy that I was finally here!)
I did it!!
The clock at the finish didn't have the race time but the time of day, so I had no idea what my finish time was until I saw my mom--she had me at 2:02:05 from when I personally crossed the start line to when I crossed the finish line. My official race time was 2:02:55! All along, I knew I wanted to be around 2 hours, but I honestly expected to be closer to 2:15 or 2:20. I was--and still am--so happy with that time!!

Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the finish area. The food selection was pretty pitiful, and they didn't have any kind of sport drink. I grabbed some water, a rock hard peach (that I wound up throwing out) and a piece of bagel. The queasiness really set in at this point, and they had already started the post-race bbq, and we left pretty quickly because I couldn't handle the smell of burgers and hot dogs. Also, we all were wet and COLD--a hot shower sounded fantastic.
There was one very awesome part about the finish area--our finisher's medals!
They're genuine Lake Superior stones on a braided leather cord, and there's an engraved sterling silver plate with "M2 2010" on it. I love that it's something you can wear anytime or all the time--I'm wearing it right now, and I don't plan on taking it off for a long, long time. It's a reminder to me of all the hard work I put in, and the day I accomplished a life goal.

I was pretty sore the rest of the day and in to the day after, but now I'm feeling pretty good! I got the go ahead to start running again, so tomorrow I'm planning on going out for a short 2 or 3 miler just to get out and moving.

Saturday was amazing. I'm sure it is a day I will never, ever, ever forget.


  1. Some of the pictures were cut off... click on them to see the full ones!

  2. so proud of you, obviously. You look like you really enjoyed yourself on this, which is just awesome. Keep the two of us motivated, ok?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...