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Detroit Free Press Marathon: Race Report

I ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon as a way to raise money and awareness for Type 1 Diabetes through JDRF.  My brother was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes several years ago.  It had been a few years since I have done the Breast Cancer 3-Day and I wanted to something big for a cause that I felt passionate about.  A few years ago, I couldn't run a 5k...  A marathon is something BIG that I could do.

With this goal in mind, my triathlon training was concentrated a little more on running than swim and bike.  This served to help me prepare for the marathon, but also worked to help me improve my weakest discipline.  I trained hard and felt ready for the marathon.

I got downtown WAY TOO EARLY - 5:00am.  I was the 5th car in the lot I chose.  

While I waited I set my goals.  I hate setting goals for my first race at a new distance.  No matter how I do, it is a PR... but I know without goals, I easily lose interest.  So Rock Star = 4:15, Super Happy = 4:25, Better Do = 4:45.  I thought I gave myself enough leeway based on my half marathon times.  My feet were not cooperating, but I thought 4:45 was doable.

It was a chilly start, and I had a solid plan.  I was feeling good!

I set my watch for 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.   This strategy was meant to save my psoas and my feet.  It worked for 15 miles!!  My pace was great and I felt very good!

 At mile 15 I had to use the bathroom...  Things went downhill from there.  At mile 19, I felt my foot give in.  At mile 20 I wanted to quit.  I didn't... I stuck to my run walk ratio of 4:1, but nothing I did after mile 19 could be called running.

This picture was taken on Belle Isle.  I usually love to race on Belle Isle.  I had just taken off my short sleeve shirt because I was so hot.  I saw the photographer, so I faked a smile, but I started bawling immediately after this picture was taken.  On the other side of the island, I saw Denise.  She was racing the last leg of a relay.  I told her I wasn't going to make it...  I believed that.  She gave me a huge hug and told me I was doing awesome.  Honestly, had she not been there - I would have given up.

I must have looked miserable for the last 5 miles.  I had several people come up to me from the sidelines, asking me what I needed and how could they help me.  One women told me about her friends daughter that had T1D and to think about her as I finished up.  I just wanted to be done.  I thought about my brother and my student and friend that have T1D for inspiration to keep going.  It helped, it got my feet to shuffle along.

The I saw the finish line.  I did pick up my feet a bit more.  My right foot hurt so bad...  you can see the agony on my face in these pics.

But, I finished...  It was ugly and hurt a lot, but I did what I set out to do.  I did something big for something that I care passionately about.  26.2 miles and $1000 raised for JDRF.  While it wasn't a great race for me, it was still a good day.


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