Thursday, November 22, 2012

Running in the D!!

This morning was the Turkey Trot. I had decided to do this awhile ago as my final 10K for the Princess. I was thinking it would be cool/cold so I could possibly bring my time down for a final corral placement update.

As I began planning this I knew a few things. First, this is Michigan and the chances for bad weather on Thanksgiving are pretty good. Second, I did not want to fight downtown crowds at 6am for an 8am race (in the cold if that was what it was). Third, I know Abby loves to be at races with me. The Turkey Trot was offering a $99 a night room at the Ren Cen. Originally Leigh and Lana were going to go with me, the kids, and my mom as a girls/kids event. Somehow they decided not to go and Jeff decided he wanted to go. I asked Hayley to come with us to help out with the kids and we had a plan (well, kind of). We were going to spend the night, I would get up, race and meet everyone at the finish and then we would head towards the end of the parade, watch it depending on the weather and be home by noon to get ready for dinner. As with everything the best laid plans....

Last night Hayley, mom, Abby, Danny and I headed down to check in about 5pm. By the time we got in and got to the room (connecting rooms on the 28th floor!!!) and got back downstairs it was time for cookie decorating! I guess this is a Ren Cen Marriott tradition and it was wonderful. They were HUGE sugar cookies (can you believe we ate them without a single picture?), and they had different colored icing bags and toppings. It was quick and so fun. We had a quick dinner at Subway/Burger King and then in Danny's words we went on an adventure. There were escalators, elevators and revolving doors and the kids had a blast!

Here is Danny outside the hotel. We had gone out to check out how things looked on the river. The night was really mild and Abby was in love with the revolving doors because she could do them herself. Outside the hotel is part of the riverwalk and there is a map of the world that I think has water that comes out of it in the summer. I was laying down on it to take this shot and I was completely shocked that Danny stood still for the whole 2 seconds it took to take the shot!
On our adventure, the kids decided to check out some of the Christmas decorations that were already up. This was one of the first stops. Now, on a non running note, GM has done a great job with decorations. The car area is set up and the focal point at the entrance is a beautiful red Corvette that is inside a HUGE present frame with a bow. It was closed but I do know I want to take Danny down there next summer so he can check out all the cars when it is open. It was so cute.

Jeff met us there after he was done and we headed back upstairs to try and get the kids settled. Because of the parade and the amount of kids in the hotel they were out of cribs so we pushed the bed next to the wall and Danny spent his first night in a big bed with me. He did great but he was talking as he usually does. It was awesome.

RACE DAY!!! My first text came from my sister at 6am wishing me luck and saying she wished she was there. I thought that was really nice. Next I started to here from the girls in my Disney Princess Running group. There were 6 of us running this race so we were going to try and meet up for a picture before the race.

Here we are before the race started in front of Hart Plaza!
Margaret, Jennifer, Me, Renee and Rebecca

Renee and I had been worried about the weather all week. I had planned for Michigan in November, that was completely silly of me, I have lived here my whole life and I should know to never plan on anything weatherwise since it changes too fast. Turns out it was fine. I ran with my sleeves pushed up and I was completely comfy. It was 43 at the start with some fog and it was 61 as a high and BEAUTIFUL!!

So, after the picture we all moved towards the start. Jennifer and I were both hoping to PR today and decided that despite my sore foot (still a problem after Vegas--it is the outside of my left foot and it is completely weird) and her cold, we would try and pace together. We decided to do 2/1 intervals (we did some adjusting). Once over we realized that getting into the corrals was going to be hard. There was 1 opening and 1000s of people. We ended up having to go through the rails of the gates (good thing we are both small) and got into the back of what should have been the first wave. The National Anthem was sung and we were off, well kind of. We walked to the mat and started to slowly move. This was 7:50am. Supposedly the first 2 waves were going off at 7:45 following 15 minutes later by the next 2 waves and then 10 minutes later the walkers. From what it seemed and what I have read, everyone went off at the same time which put too many people onto the course at once and it put too many walkers and slower runners into the mix of those who were faster. We zig zagged and walked a lot more than we planned for the first 1/2 mile until we got on to Woodward. From there it opened up and it was awesome to run through the D. We went by Comerica Park, the Fox and it was so nice to see the people waiting for the parade! We got to the first turn at about 1.4 miles and it was a stop again. People were cutting the corner it as so bad but we stuck with it. At about 2 miles we decided to get into using the intervals. Up until this point we just ran when we could. Also we both had a couple GPS blurps because of the buildings which was odd. We finally got to the 10K turn off and it got a lot better!! We could get into a good pace and it was so pleasant out. We went through Corktown and the next turn was at Slow's!! It was cool but I was shocked how far down we went.

With all the walking and slow stuff at the start we knew we were not on track to get a PR but we were OK. We talked almost the entire race and there was never a place where I could not talk. We finally got in front of Cobo and would you believe it, there is a HILL!! There are no hills in Detroit. It was balanced out by the downhill going behind Cobo. At this point we were about at 1:10 and OK and then disaster, it was a complete bottle neck. .2 miles from the finish and it was a complete stop! We stopped our watches at 1:12 (my read 6.27 miles). We walked the rest of the way. It was completely nuts. I guess the explanation was that they had not planned on the construction outside Cobo and it took up the finish area, also with the medals they were handing out it was taking time (they should have moved this WAY back). Now the best part of my finish was I looked over towards the river and who was right there but Jeff holding Danny. I moved over to them and got to say hi and see them. It made my day. I went back to Jennifer and we got our medals. It is my first official race bling! 

I got my medal, water, said goodbye and went off to find everyone. At this point I got the awesome "you are roaming in Canada" message (seriously, how is it MY FAULT I live on an international border, I am so sick of Canadian roaming charges when I am on the river). I found my mom, Hayley and the kids pretty quick. It seems Jeff had gone to look for me and I had cut over a barrier so we missed each other. Abby was sad because she did not get to see me finish like she did the last 2 times but we took our end of the race picture and that cheered her up. Of course, Danny had other things to check out during the picture.

At this point the plan was to head to the parade. Both kids were cranky from waiting and Pattie had sent a text that where we were headed was a complete mad house (because of the good weather) so somehow it was decided to head to the People Mover so Danny could ride the train. He had saw it above them as they waited for me and of course he was in love with the idea of riding it. We got on at the Ren Cen and took it the entire loop. We did get several good views of the parade. Probably the best was Abby asking why the dance girls with the band had no pants on (they had on leotards). She was very concerned that they were out without pants! Danny and Abby both had a blast. I am sad we did not get to see the parade but the kids were tired and hungry and I think it had been a long morning for everyone. We went back to the hotel, packed up and we were home before noon!!

Overall I enjoyed the experience. I think that knowing there are going to be 22,500 runners in one place is one thing, running with them is a completely different one. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the costumes and the weather. It was also nice to run with someone. I spend so much time running alone that it was cool. It did not even turn my music on one time!

Will I do it again? Probably. It was nice and I think as the kids get older we can do the race and the parade. I will just go into the race knowing it is for fun and NOT for time!!

I love the shirt!! Can't wait to wear it on a training run soon!

Oh yeah, my "official" time was a 1:18 (it took us over 6 minutes to cross the finish line)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Training inside!

This weekend I was at the NCTE conference in Las Vegas. I knew I had to get a couple runs in while I was there but I was not comfortable with outdoor running there. I was unsure of where to go and how it would be with so many people. With this in mind, I was resigned to indoors for this trip. I checked and made sure NYNY had a gym (it did) and so off I went.

Since we were up early on Friday because we were on Michigan time, I went to the gym nice and early. I got a treadmill that overlooked the small little pool there and the service area. To put it mildly, it was NOT a lot of fun. I had a horrible pace and I could just never get into the right rhythm. I did just over 2 miles and called it quits. As always happens, as soon as I got off I felt disoriented, almost like getting off a boat. It is NOT pleasant. Once again it reminded me that I am not an indoor runner, give me the outdoors and I am thrilled. That is strange coming from the girl who cannot stand camping.

As the weekend progressed I realized I was talking a horrible about back and forth from NYNY to MGM for the conference. I was walking at a brisk pace and it was over 1.5 miles each way. By Sunday when I was supposed to run again, I knew I had walked to much. The outside of my left foot was really sore and so I took the day off since I knew I had the Turkey Trot on Thursday. I figure my walking balanced things out OK and I had Tuesday or Wednesday to run before the race!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Election and Running

This is not exactly running related BUT I am beginning to bring things all together in my mind. The last few weeks have been stressful with the election approaching. So many uncertainties are out there and it is hard to not worry about what might be. This last weekend I had committed to working the phone banks at the MEA office for Proposal 2 so I knew I had to plan my weekend around this. Even though it was only a couple of hours, it was going to break up my Sunday. Since I have been unusually stressed on Sundays I wanted to get a lot done Saturday and see if it helped.

Jeff had made me a massage appointment for Saturday morning and as always it was great. I generally don't like to run after I have a massage but the weather was perfect. It was cool (43 with a little wind) but the sun was out so I decided to get my 6 miles in Saturday afternoon. I have to say it was PERFECT. It got rid of my stress, I had a great run at a great pace and it was one less thing for me to schedule in on Sunday.

I have found that running really does help me clear my head. I am stressed tonight and I really wish I had gotten out for a run. I had a headache after work and Jeff was running late so I kind of got it out of my mind but I know I would feel better right now if I had.

Running has given me an escape and I think I have to just go with it and enjoy how it feels. I know tomorrow is going to be hard as the day goes on so I am going to make sure that I get out and run! I just hope whatever happens tomorrow is an improvement and not another rocky path until the next election.