I wanted to push hard and keep up my streak of Boston Qualifying marathons. If you read my previous post, you'd see my goal was 3:35 on my 35th birthday. That would give me a 5 minute padding to my BQ time of 3:40 for Boston 2015 (I'm already registered for 2014). I definitely did just that and then some.
Let's start at the beginning though.
Friday evening a small group of us headed downtown to the expo to pick up my race packet, poke around for a bit and go out to dinner. My friends Jeff & Kristin have a baby 6 months younger than my daughter and they are both named Anna! Of course we had to get a picture of them with the countdown clock.
Future BFF's and marathon runners (my Anna is on the left)
me, Jeff and my dad
Packet pick it up quick, as usual. And the expo was like trick or treating for adults. I left with all kinds of free sample sized Lara bars, granola, pop corn, etc... I picked up a container of PB2. I never tried this stuff and figured it was worth the $5. I also purchased a hooded sweatshirt from the official marathon gear area.
After the expo, we all headed over to the Eastern Market district for Thai and Sushi. I've never been to the restaurant Jeff chose, Sala Thai but it was very good! It was so nice to get the expo out of the way on Friday so that I had my Saturday free since Sunday was the marathon. I spent Saturday visiting my niece and then carb loading on pizza with my dad, step mom and my son & daughter. We had a slumber party back at my house since it would make Sunday's logistic easier on everyone. I laid out my race day outfit and hit the sack by 9:30pm.
Sunday morning we were up by 4:15am and to Jeff's house by 5:15am. We made it downtown and in a structure within a half hour. We parked next to the Compuware building in Campus Martius. The Compuware building is open the morning of the marathon so you have a place to hang out, use indoor rest rooms, meet up with other runners, etc... So nice! We took a quick group photo and headed to the start line at 6:30am for a 7am start.
missing from the photo is my dad, he was in the restroom doing his "thing". LOL!
We started right on time. I felt good, even though we were off to a quicker pace than we had planned. When I am feeling good, I like to just go for it. Why hold back? One of my favorite parts of the marathon comes within the first few miles. We cross over the Ambassador bridge into Canada. Depending on the weather and when you reach the bridge, you can see a really pretty sunrise. We ran along the Detroit river in Windsor and enter the tunnel at mile 7 to head back into the US. This is another favorite part of the course. You hear people chanting "USA, USA", its a nice downhill into the tunnel and you are running 1 mile under water! it does get pretty warm in there though. I had my gloves off and sleeves up by the time we made it out. The course then takes you back into Detroit, through Mexican Town, Corktown and back towards downtown where the half and full split. Miles 13-18 are the most boring to me. I do like the MLK High School band and I enjoy looking at the unique homes in the Indian Village portion (miles 16-18). It was a breezy day and I really felt that head wind from mile 18-26.2. I knew I had a great pace so I made sure to focus and keep pushing. My left hamstring was a bit painful, but I was able to not let it get to me. I felt strong mentally! I made the turn on to Fort Street, heard "Go Stephanie, Happy Birthday baby, you got this" and saw my friend Susie who just ran a 3:37 in Chicago the week before. I smiled, waved and crossed the finish line in 3:29:50! I beat my goal by 5:10 and BQ-ed by 10:10! Happy Birthday to me!! My dad crossed just behind me in 3:30:35. He also BQ-ed by 19:25!!!
I managed to meet my goal and stay strong however, once I finished the pain set in. Oh the pain... My legs were cramping up pretty badly. I sat down, had my dad rub my legs out and then rub his out. We collected our post-race food, took a quick finishers photo and headed straight to the car! I was cold. I just wanted a hot shower and warm sweats.
Detroit ended up being a great way to celebrate my 35th birthday. I aged up this year too. I am now in the 35-39 age group. Time to go scope out my competition.... lol
Age Group Place: 6th/318
Gender Place: 40th/1,898
Overall Place: 304th/4,291
Oh and just because, I had to share with you my birthday cake. We get this every year for my husbands birthday, my son's birthday and my birthday. It's a 5lb double layer frosted chocolate chip cookie cake. Yes, that is Dora the Explorer. :-)