I was worried that I'd driven my entire family 4 hours to Windsor ON, stayed in a hotel for the night and got a spiffy new tutu (thanks Glam Runner) only to find that my long winter hibernation would prove to be my undoing.
I figured we might as well have fun, so we hit the pool to (and I even swam a few laps for 'training'). It turned out to be salt water, which was neat and unexpected. I tried to justify the swim by doing some laps and calling it tri-training.
Despite the fun swim and big dinner, I had a truly horrible night's sleep and woke up even worse off than I think I'd be had I just stayed up. Luckily there was a Tim Hortons in blurry-eyed distance so that made things a wee bit better. For the record, nobody flinches when you go out dressed like that. Nobody.
I lined up for the race still wondering if this was going to work at all. Figured worst case I can walk 21.1 in strange city and enjoy the view.
I was happily running along the waterfront looking around at Detroit across the river when I realized you can see Joe Louis arena so I had a happy moment running along the shoreline trying to take photos.
It was an out and back and out and back and halfway out and back loop type thing so I got to look at the same things a few times over. I managed to find the coolest pace bunny named Jim and his crew of 3 hour runners and threw myself in with them.
What a great bunch, a girl from Home Depot, a SAHM of three, a girl who managed Senior Programming and Jim, the crazy wonderful guy in the patterned running skirt (he's the pink haired guy in the photo above).
I was so thankful to have the group to run with because they were fun and a distraction that made the miles fly by. Jim kept up a great patter and was hugely motivating, I seriously would not have finished in the time I did without him.
At the last leg of the loops I fell behind the group, and they kept looking back to make sure I was okay. I tried to haul tutu and catch them but it just wasn't in cards. I just kept running since I was only 2k from the finish.
I came around the corner and could see the finish. A few hundred yards from the line, Pacer Jim came to my side. He said 'we're bringing this home' and handed me the pacer sign. Then he ran me across the line. I'm not normally one of those sappy runners, but this race was a hard one, I was out of shape and under trained, and could seriously not have finished without him, at least not in the time I did, so I was nearly in tears as he hugged me.
Luckily the firefighters at the finish line who give you the medal took my mind off the mood :-). Then I made my way over to the chocolate area and sadly discovered that they were out of the goodie bags! TRAUMA (slightly offset by the chocolate milk). **
As I was limping around I was approached by Makda Ghrebreslassie from CBC Radio Windsor. She said my outfit was fun and she wanted to interview me for the radio. (I had to laugh, not sure how the visual translated to the audio).
My lovely family picked me up and we headed across the border to the Henry Ford Museum. Yep, I wandered the museum dressed like this, and nope, nobody commented.
We wandered around the museum having a great time
After a wonderful meal at the Olive Garden (dang I miss having those in Canada), we drove home....
I've learned my lesson (sort of). You CAN run a 3 hour half marathon (3:00:12) with no training, no sleep and (did I mention) new shoes? Should you do it? Likely not. Will I do something stupid in a few weeks and run Cleveland Rite Aid? Yes, but I'm going to put some miles on my new shoes first!
Did I mention you get a PURSE of WINE for doing this race? Yep!
So by the time I got home i already had an email from the race director appologizing for the fact that they ran out of chocolate, which I thought was amazing. TODAY (May21st) I get home and THIS is was in my mailbox