Boom! Michigan was the 11th State.
Obvi, States completed are in pink.
I was too lazy to make a map legend.
My main objective was to just run and not die. That's a race strategy that I used to be very familiar with. Old Amy wouldn't have been nervous at all. I wouldn't have cared if it got hard and I had to stop and walk, etc. New Amy didn't want to spend a zillion hours out on the course.
After an evening of watching about 15 episodes of the most ridiculous show on television (Mountain Men), I woke up feeling pretty good and ready to jog a marathon.
The KoB and I got to the race about an hour early and basically pulled right up to the start line. (NOTE TO RACE DIRECTORS: I don't care how close I get to park to the start line. I wanna be parked close to the FINISH LINE). About 10 minutes before the race started, we ran into Coach and Cheryl.
Bitches Pre-Race. Smug, awesome, etc...
The race started a little late (NOTE TO RACE DIRECTORS: START THE DAMN THING ON TIME). Initially, I felt like shit. I missed the first mile marker and by the time I got to the 2 mile marker I was pretty much in the 4 hour pace group. That was a problem for me. I was comfortable with running their pace, but I was decidedly uncomfortable with their mindless, non-stop chatter.
I just don't get it. Maybe I'm a total asshole, but when I'm running a marathon, the last thing I want to do is hear everyone's life story. I don't give two shits where you're from, how many marathons you've ran and a I certainly don't give a rat's ass about how many 22 milers you ran in preparation. I am obviously in the minority though, because the other people in that pace group seemed to be loving it. Particularly in the first few miles of a marathon, I'm all about zoning out, trying to settle into a pace and conserving energy. So, around mile 5, I started to pull away from the 4 hour pace group.
My strategy was to try to run in between the 4 hour and the 3:55 pace group. And I did, for about a mile or so, but then I caught up to the 3:55 group and they were pretty quiet, so, I settled in.
Here is the good from the day: This was the best, most comfortable, most awesome pace group I've ever ran with. The pace felt EASY, the pack was tight (which... normally I HATE, but I was loving it on Sunday), the pacer wasn't quizzing everyone on their marital status or their hometowns. He only spoke a little and when he did, it was to tell us our splits or to comment on the race course. I was really enjoying cruising along with them.
Around mile 7 or so, I started taking a cup of gatorade and a cup of water at every fluid station. I'd drink a little of both and then dump the remaining water on my head. The sun was starting to get a little hot for me.
Everything was hunky dory until about mile 14/15. Around this time, some jackass who had been in the 4 hour pace group had caught up with our group and started chatting it up with the pacer. You know the type... loud, obnoxious, had ran 12 marathons the weekend before, so was just jogging this one and wanted to let everyone know that. He asked the pacer for his resume, only so that he could respond with his and I just started to get antsy and bitchy and decided to surge a little to get that dickwad out of earshot.
My timing was terrible. This was a particularly sunny part of the race and a little hilly and my surge only lasted about a mile. I was getting HOT. I stopped at a fluid station and made sure I drank enough and slowed a little. By the split around mile 19, the clouds had rolled in and the sun wasn't beating down on me quite as much. BUT, my endurance was slipping.
Around mile 20 I saw the KoB. We exchanged gestures to let each other know how we felt...
His: Making a gun gesture with his fingers pointed at his temple.
Mine: head tilted to the side with my tongue out and my hand above me holding an imaginary noose.
I was walking/running and just generally over the marathon at that point. Around mile 21, I COULD SEE OUR HOTEL. Fuuuuck. If only I'd carried the room key with me. I kept going... around a mall.. trying to run more than walk.
By the time we reached mile 25, I was like... Okay... practically done now. EXCEPT THERE WAS STILL AN OUT AND BACK LOOP UP A GODDAMN HILL. At mile 26.1 I saw The KoB and he started to run/hobble with me as I made it to the finish line. I ended up finishing with a time of 4:13.
I grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and reveled in the gluten. Michigan done. AND NO SHIT STOPS!!!!!!
Please note: My beer is the ginormous one.
So big, in fact, that it wouldn't entirely fit in the picture.
In the end, none of us really had good races (although, I'm calling mine a success for hopefully figuring out my shit problems). You should click over to Coach's Blog and read her report. But, the post race festivities of drinking our asses off made it all worth it. Another state off the list.
(EVEN IF The KoB then missed our exit for the airport, then pulled into the wrong rental car company's return lot, then got stopped in security for a full bottle of gatorade. Amateur).