Sunday was the 10th annual Grand Rapids Marathon and Half Marathon. Along with thousands of other people from around Michigan and other surrounding states I laced up my running shoes and joined the madness! It was unusually cold for how it has been as of late and I wasn't exactly prepared for the elements. I am actually rarely prepared though so no surprise there! In order to understand how this race went down, I have to tell a story.
I was very ready, I woke up early, ate my breakfast, got downtown with plenty of time- I was set! Well with about 5 minutes til the start I decided, better use the bathroom before it's too late. I get in line, make it to the front and low and behold I'm in that damn port a potty and what happens? The gun goes off signalling the start of the race!
I ran out of there as fast as I could, around the block to the start corral. By the time I raced my way through the crowd to the actual start line I was over 2 minutes behind!
I ran guts out the first 3 miles, each one a little faster then the last, beginning with 6:50 on my first mile and gradually picking up til I was at a 6:40 pace. I wasn't even paying attention to the fact that I had 10 more miles to run! It was a constant zigzag through the crowd trying to work my way up to the front where I could race with others around my speed.
I finally see someone I know, Eric Zane! Eric works for our morning show on my radio station, Free Beer and Hot Wings In The Morning. I ran with Zane for about 4 miles letting him pace me and keep the whole thing under control!
I have to mention at this point I had a lot left in the tank and I started realizing that I could really race this thing! We hit a hill which aren't exactly Eric's forte and I took off. My heart was pounding becuase I knew what I was about to attempt would either help me finish the race with a great personal record, or leave me broken on the sidelines walking through the finish.
I had 4 miles left I sped back up into a sub 7 minute pace. Each mile worked its way down til I was cruising at a 6:45 pace. Every person I passed gave me more mental fuel to work my way to that finish line.
I finally rounded the corner to the end and saw the finish line! There were two people next to me and even though logically I knew, "I started about 2-3 minutes after the start, so with my chip timing I am probably still going to beat them by a lot." I couldn't help but race anyway. My legs were burning and I continued to sprint the final straight away.
I finished with my best time 1 hour and 32 minutes and I got 13th girl overall! It was the best race I have ran in years! Pardon this trip to bragging camp but I was beyond excited!
Here are a few pictures post race, I'll add more as I get them! If you ever decide to run a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon you should definitely check out this race AND message me, my contact information is listed. I am more than happy to help ANYONE who wants to start running!