Sunday, September 16, 2012

Detroit Run Wild for the Zoo

Today was my next race in my 3 race plan. After my AdvoKate race, I was really hoping for a nice, cool, fall day. Today's weather did not disappoint. Before I get into the race, I need to go over where I am and have been.

With school heading back this month, training has definitely gotten harder. I am tired after work and it is also getting darker earlier. To work out before I go into school I would have to be at the gym by 5am and I just am not there yet. Jeff has been supportive of my evening runs but I just feel like time gets away from me so quickly and I just have trouble enjoying the time.

This week I knew I had to make sure and get in my runs before the race. On Tuesday I had the brilliant idea that the kids, my mom and sister (with my niece) could meet us at the local park. I could run the 1/2 loop around while they played. It would make sure the kids had fun, I would get my run in, I could give Jeff some time. What didn't happen was I never got into a good run pattern. I was always always the kids and looking for them. Also, it was BORING to do the same loop again and again. I did it though and it did work out so I am sure we will do it again, though next time I think I am going to suggest Civic Center so I can do the 1 mile loop with some hills.

On to today's race. After some planning and moving things, my mom figured out last night she could come to the race but would have to leave right after. This was fine and actually worked out well. Abby really had wanted to come see me run (she loves yelling "Go MOMMY GO!) so the plan was for her to stay with my mom during the race and then she would hang out with me and we would head home after.

Friday after work I rushed home and got Abby from school and then Danny from my mom's. I knew I could pick up my race stuff and the Zoo was open until 5pm. Abby and Danny had been begging to go to the park and the weather was perfect so I decided we could do everything. We got to the zoo just after 4pm so they had almost 45 minutes to play on the playset there. I will admit, it is an awesome place for kids to play. So much to do and there was almost no one there so we had the place almost to ourselves. Danny wanted to stop and see the penguins so we made a quick stop there before heading out at closing time (never closed the zoo before). I was able to get my race stuff super easy, though it would have been no big deal to get it in the morning before the race.

Yesterday I did a nice 2 miles in the morning since it was so nice out and I just wanted to get out. I also had read a couple people reporting if they dropped their intervals it actually improved their time so I went from 2/1 to 1:30/1 for yesterday. It felt great and did bring my time down a few seconds but I was not going all out.

This morning started early. I was up about 6am and both kids were up by 7am. Abby was ready to leave the minute she bounced out of bed but I knew that the race wasn't until 8:45am and I did not want her to get to bored waiting around for the end of the race. Jeff and Danny were going to spend the morning doing guy stuff like reading books, playing cars and getting ready for a day of football so we knew they would be happy. Abby decided to ride with my mom so I was alone on the ride over. Due to not really paying attention, I was not prepared for the backup to exit the expressway. It was almost 3/4 of a mile back. So I got off but was in the left lane. I decided instead of being a jerk and trying to force my way over, I would just park across 696. Worked out great. No problems. I just crossed and was there about the same time Abby and my mom pulled in.

It was chilly at the start of the 5K at 8am, probably about 55. Everyone was in a good mood and Abby had a ball playing with other kids waiting around. I was completely shocked by the number of people in the 5K. According to the results there were 1916 finishers for this part. I was hoping to get out to the start to see Renee off but it was just busy and I didn't think I had a chance to find her. Here is a shot of Abby and I waiting.

It was finally time for me to head to the start. Abby wanted to walk out but as luck would have it she tripped and hurt her knee and did not want to walk any more. I was a little surprised when I got to the start. First, I had no idea there was actually a sidewalk on the service drive. Second, I did not realize that it being only two lanes, it was really not that wide.

After the Race
We had some sing the Nation Anthem and then we were off. Most of the first mile was on the service drive and it was pretty crowded but not too bad. After the golf course we went into the subdivision where most of the rest of the race was. It wasn't bad. There was a water stop at miles 1, 3 and 5. I had left my watch on my 1:30/1 setting and instead of messing with it, I went with it. By mile 3 I was in complete shock. I was under 11 min/miles. Same for mile 4 and 5. My last mile was strange. I felt OK but it seemed like it got crowded again and it was hard to get into the right pace. For the last 1/2 mile or so, we ran along the sidewalk of Woodward which was not very wide before making the turn into the zoo. It was really neat because the announcer actually said the same of the finishers. As I came around the corner though, I was in SHOCK at my time. I was going to finish under 67 minutes (unless I stopped). My official time was 1:06:22 and I was thrilled. Slightly annoyed with myself that I could not have gone a little faster to stay under 66 minutes but still super happy since it was almost 7 minutes off my time from my last race!

Abby, my mom and Renee with her friend Stacy were at the finish and it was so fun to have people there I knew. After that it was time for my mom to leave and Abby and I to have some zoo time. We did the playground, the Merry-Go-Round and the Butterflies. It was a great morning though my only complaint was the smell of the hot dogs that were served at the post race party was not at all what I wanted at 10am after a run.

I had a great day and Abby is already asking when is the next race. I think she is not going to love this one if it is a cold Michigan Thanksgiving but at least there will be Marching Bands there (her newest obsession even though she has never seen one in person).

Galloway Training for the Princess officially starts on the 1st of October and I cannot wait!!!

Update (10/2)--I was looking online tonight because I remember there was a guy at the race with a big camera who looked official. Sure enough, I found the pictures from the zoo online and the biggest bonus---There were 2 of me and a link to let me put them into my blog. So here it is (BAD PICTURES--but it was at about mile 6 since the finish was right around the corner)