Being the "slight" A-types that we are, we decided it was best to find the start line. Hey, at least we didn't drive the whole course (this time). We knew we "landed" upon the start when we saw a line up of porta pots like none other. And we spied a little bit of this:
yours truly with the little green man we named henry
that's a lot of martians!
that two timing alien!
So we whisked Henry (the green polygamist alien) in Lisa's car, stuck him up the sunroof prom-style and paraded around Dearborn like the mature 30 something moms we are. Did I mention we get a liiiittle bit silly pre-race?
It was time to eat. Of course. So we gathered two more running buddies and had our typical spaghetti-with-too-much-bread-and-not-enough-red-wine dinner. We then went back to our hotel where we could obsess about what to wear for the race, lay out said clothes (this my friends, is about an hour long process), and watch a 20/20 special. Lights out by 10 pm. Excitement, I know.
It is 4 am. I am awake. I am thinking about what to wear for the race: jacket or no jacket? I am thinking about my pace for the race: 8:20 or 8:45? I am thinking about my ipod playlist. I am thinking that I hope there is no snow on the ground when we wake up, as is being predicted. I am thinking about what to make for dinner Sunday night.
I am thinking about that I need to stop thinking.
We wake up to a beautiful morning. No snow. No rain. No "mixed precipitation". Now I am thinking I officially hate the weatherchannel.com. We should have learned by now! After a few pre-race rituals including consuming some strong coffee to get things, a-hem, moving in the lower plumbing, we head to the start.
Lisa told me that I was to finish under 1:50. 1:49:59. Nothing under would be acceptable. Just so happens that was the same little goal I had for myself that I kept tucked in my brain. I figured after my first few miles, I'd know if I could do it. I locked in and made sure my overall pace didn't slip much under 8:20 (8:23 being the pace to run 13.1 miles). It was an out and back course and it kept me going to see my girls not too far behind me at the turnaround. And they all looked awesome out there!
Around mile 7 I noticed my Garmin was a bit off of the cute alien markers they had set out for us. Little Henrys all around! That usually happens, since they measure the course at the shortest distance. Around mile 10, I noticed I was way off that stupid green alien marker. Then came the mind games: Holy SHIT! You are running this too fast! You can't run THIS long THIS fast! You'll have nothing left at the end. Slow down! No, keep going...you'll regret it at the end if you slow down NOW.
My Garmin rang 12 miles. The freakin-stupid-martian-mother-@#$%-miler-marker was nowhere to be found. I was right on target to run the 1/2 marathon under my goal, but not according to the Martians. When I finally came up to that sucker my Garmin read 12.52. For me to hit my goal, I had to run at Kenyan speed. Yeah. Not even the 6 beautiful Oberon bottles chilling in our hotel bathroom sink could get me to do THAT.
I gave it my all, nearly stumbling over a woman at the finish (who was clearly in MY way), and stopped my Garmin at 1:50:48...and that would be 13.52 miles. My girls came in shortly after me and complained about the same thing...the course was too long!
Indeed it was. Officially the Martian Half Marathon was a 13.4 mile distance. The good news is regardless of the longer course, we ALL PRed in our half marathon times!! And I made my girl Lisa proud: 1:48:17 would be my final 13.1 time, given my pace for the race. We all truly earned those post race Oberons.
Dare I say 1:45 next go around? Now that's just spacey :)
the martian girls: me, jen, michelle, lisa and sara