I’m officially a marathoner!! All of the hard work, all of the miles ran, and all the ice baths finally paid off. For those who don’t follow me on social media or live under a rock this past weekend I ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon… And finished!!
Words can’t explain how I feel accomplishing a goal that I have worked for since I started this journey. Words can’t explain how I felt crossing the finish line…Nor can words explain how I feel as I write this post. Quite frankly I’m still in awe that I did it.
First I want to thank everyone who supported me. From the folks that cheer me on , to the folks who gave me advice along the way, to everyone who calm my nerves when things were getting crazy this past month. Thank you all!! I might have finished the marathon but this is a victory for all of us.
This shows that you don’t need to be a certain size or weight to do something like this…You just need hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I know many people want to know all the details of my race experience so let’s get in to it.
At the Expo!
On Friday I went to the expo to pick up my race packet. After I picked up my race packet I signed up for the last chance pacing team, even though I didn’t have a goal time in mind. I join the pace team strictly for strategy. The race had a time limit and if you fell behind the last chance pacer they will put you on the bus and bring you back to the finish line. That was not about to happen to me so I join the pace team so I know exactly where the pacer was.
The Dress Rehearsal
Saturday was the dress rehearsal I put on everything that I planned to wear during the race and ran a few miles… It was raining so nobody was outside, I happen to run past another running and she told me to get it in big man… Funny if she only knew what was going down the next day.
Race day I woke around 4:30 am, excitement was running through my veins but I play it nonchalant when my mother and girlfriend asked me how I’m feeling. I got to the starting line found my corral, looked around and took in the environment. There were people everywhere, funny it ended up being a record attendance for the race.
So many things running through my mind, to keep my nerves down I started to tell myself that this is a regular training run there was nothing new here, new special, just me and the road. That worked for a bit until the race officially started. While waiting for my corral to get to the line my girlfriend decided to take a few pictures because when I come back I will be a marathoner.
My corral gets to the starting line and everyone takes off like a speeding bullet. I was tempted to take off also but I decide to pull back and chat with the pacer instead. Though I’ve ran many race I still feel like that I should be running as fast as everyone at the beginning of the race but I know that they will pace for it at the end. Anyways I stuck around the pacer until we got to the Ambassador Bridge (the bridge to Canada); I took a few picture of the view and chat it up with a few people.
One person that I had an interesting conversation with this woman named Carrie; it was her 6th or 7th half marathon. We ran and talked for about a mile or so until I had to make a pit stop. After my pit stop I took a few pictures along the way until I got to the Detroit tunnel (mile 7).
They say the underwater mile is a magnificent thing to experience. Well they were right!! It was so amazing knowing that you are running underwater. What would be it better if the tunnel was clear. Here are a few pictures below.
Coming out the tunnel on the US side they had a big cheering section. It made it feel as you were a super star… Maybe they read my blog… After the tunnel we ran toward the Joe Louis Arena (where the Detroit Red Wings play).
After which I stop taking pictures to focus on my running. From mile 10-13, I listened to my breathing and feet hitting the pavement. I ran past a few people who read my blog… It was interesting because I think nobody reads my blog but a handful of friends, my girlfriend, and maybe my sister. We talked for a second or two then we went our separate ways.
Once I got to mile 13, I was in complete shock to see all the half marathoners head to the finish line as marathoners made a left turn. After the left turn it was hardly anyone on the road running. For a second I thought that I got off the courses. At that point I decided to put in my ear buds and listen to some music.
Mile 15 is where I met people again. When I started to passed folks they would get all weird and to try catch up and past me. This happened through miles 17-19, until someone ask me if I was on the pacer. Ha! This explains everything, I completely forgot that I was even on the pace team. Now I knew why was getting that “Holy Shit!” response when I pass someone.
Mile 19 was the entrance to the MacArthur Bridge which leads to Belle Isle. Between miles 19-20 I seen a few people hit the wall and it isn’t a pretty sight to see. I felt kind of bad for them because that meant they had to power through it or get on the bus. I tried my best to talk a person through it but he was done, he had lost all hope.
When I past the 20 mile marker, I thought to myself this is the furthest that I have ever ran. I’m now entering uncharted territory. I checked in with myself to see how that I’m doing. What was my pace looking like and whether I was in pain anywhere. I concluded that I was little fatigue but overall I was still good.
Once I got done checking in with myself a bus drives along side of me the driver lowers his video and says to me “You’re looking good big man,” I responded, “thanks!” Then he proceeds to ask if I would like a ride back to the finish line. I said Hell No! He laughed then drove off. I talked to a few people until the mile 21 came and the bus comes along side me again. The driver says, “You’re still looking good.” I said “Yup,” then he asks if I wanted a ride back to the finish line. “No thank you,” I responded and then he drove off again.
At mile 22 a woman gave me two hand full of Jolly Ranches, I immediately started to chewing on them. Then I past a couple that were running the race together and I jokingly said to them “look at my back” and that started the game of cat and mouse. About a ½ mile later, the couple catches and passes me with the respond, “Look at our back!” As they passed me that damn bus pulls alongside me again and the driver says to me again, “You’re looking good,” this time I don’t even give him a response. Then he asks if I would I like a ride back to the finish line. I just waved him off.
I continue to the cat and mouse game with Jodie and Jonny boy (yeah by now I knew their name) until mile 24. They passed me but I wasn’t able to catch up to them again. Then I started to feel really fatigue and my back was starting to ache. Still popping Jolly Ranchers I told myself, that I’m not getting on that bus no matter what so I needed to power through and get to the finish. After I have this conversation with myself the bus pulls alongside me again and say you’re starting to slow down, now do you need a ride to the finish line? I didn’t even respond I just kept looking forward and kept moving.
When I got to mile 25 a guy on a bike asked me, “Do I know where I am?” I said the finish line!?! He said you’re at mile 25 keep going. A ½ mile later another guy on a bike asks me, “If I would like a ride to the finish?” I look at him and said, “Are you serious I’m almost there.” However at this point my mind was starting to play tricks on me, I had thoughts like, “If you got on the bus the pain would go way or maybe if you stop and walk for a few seconds you could run faster.” It took all my mental power to say no and kept moving.
I made a left turn and I could see the finish line. I could see my girlfriend and mother cheering and that gave me the boost of energy I needed to sprint to the finish.. I did it!! I’m a marathoner!! Everyone is asking how it feels all I can say is I’m tired…. Where’s that bagel I bought before the race. That was my experience of the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
I know this post is pretty lengthy so stay tuned. Next time I will discuss what I learned from running the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
So what are you thoughts on today’s post?
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Until next time I’m 300 Pounds and Running!