The Turkey Trot is complete. I finished! The whole 6.2 miles and despite my fears and concerns about getting pulled off the course due to time constraints, I was not pulled! YES!
Here is the story. Wednesday night after work, I went to Jen’s house to stay the night. Our friends Virg and Ingrid had come from GR to be our race fans and were picking up our race packets so we wouldn’t have to do it in the morning. I was incredibly nervous and as you may remember from the triathlon, I get extremely chatty when nervous. Poor Jen. I am sure she simply endures me during these times! We went to dinner, came back and prepared our race day clothes/bags.
New running shirt (yes I succumbed and bought a technical shirt designed to keep me warm on a cold day)- check
pants-check…..you get the idea.
Then I had to try everything on together. Yes, as much as I deny some of my girliness, it is coming out more and more. So I tried everything on together to make sure that it fit and was comfortable and all that.
My new shirt is a “base layer” shirt and my official race shirt (which I can usually NEVER wear) is over top! Yeah, so it’s a little tight, so what…
By some miracle, I was in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10:00. However, I had all sorts of crazy dreams again. I think I am going to follow Coach in this regard. This time I had crazy dreams about being late and missing the race. So I woke up about every hour to check the time. ugh!
My alarm goes off and before long I am already chatting away to Jen. On any other day, chatting at 5:30 AM would be unheard of for me…but what can I say? Poor Jen, I hope she can forgive me. I really don’t think I was as bad as on triathlon day though. At least she didn’t have to escape into the shower this time.
After dressing and grabbing our stuff and some breakfast, we headed outside, into the cold, dark, rainy morning. Seriously?? We were expecting cold. In fact, Jen insisted on us wearing scarves so we could breathe in warm air…and that would prevent us from going into cardiac arrest. (Hey I just do what the nurse tells me to do!) At some point I just prayed. Seriously God, this is going to be hard enough…can it just NOT rain?
By the time we got downtown, a mere 20 minutes later, the rain had stopped. But it was brutally cold. I should have been a little more specific or stingy in my request for no rain and a temperature degree raise!
We got there super early. Found parking easily and headed over to Cobo Hall. People were in all sorts of costumes and they were running in them! I saw several giant turkeys, a number of elves, a guy in a speedo (that was frightful!), a few Santa Clauses, many superhero’s, and a “good” guy (superhero) chasing a “bad” guy. These two actually did the whole race like this. Chasing each other like a giant game of tag! But the ultimate costume was a group of 13 people. 12 reindeer, one of them being Rudolph and Santa. They were all tied together with “reins” and they ran the whole thing as a group. It was nuts!
We now had an hour to wait before the race began.
Jen and I had talked about the fact that with the time constraints on the race we may not be able to finish it. I know I am a slow runner. In fact some runners might dare say I am not a runner at this point because I don’t run a certain pace. I say, I will own my race/run and you own yours. Jen insisted that I would out run her and leave her in the dust. I insisted the same of her. In the end, we both agreed that we would stick together no matter what. Well, in the first mile, it was obvious that for Jen to keep pace with me, she would have to slow WAY down. To have her do that means that she is running for me and not herself and I wanted her to own her own race and run it for her. She wasn’t running this race with me like Coach ran the triathlon 5k with me. He came to that one for the purpose of keeping me going, of being a Coach. Jen and I actually signed up independently of the other, then asked the other to join. She was running for her, not for me. So after about the third time of her getting a little ahead and then falling back I just told her to go ahead. She did!! YES! GO JEN GO!!!
The morning turned out beautiful. I think God decided to shine some grace down on us because by the time we headed to the starting line, the sun had risen and the temperature had gone up too. It felt like a great day for a run! As we ran through the streets of downtown Detroit, I just couldn’t believe I was attempting this. I couldn’t believe how nice a morning it was. Such grace for us, I am certain God planned it for us to be this way!
I had so many thoughts as I ran. First, I was filled with excitement as I ran with this massive amount of people. Then later as I passed the 2 mile marker (the only mile marker I actually saw) I noticed that the crowds were much thinner on my side of the street, as they were all heading back down the other side already! At this point I kept thinking about me, 2 years ago, and how everything was ok. I never want to go back to “ok” again!
Then I approached the point where I needed to turn. Going left meant I was only doing the 5k and turning right meant I was fully committed to the 10k. For a brief second I was afraid I would accidentally go the wrong way! Then I thought about actually intentionally going the wrong way. I wasn’t sure I could do another 3.1 miles. I was beginning to doubt myself. Then I thought about Jen and her long training process. I couldn’t make her do a 10k by herself when she has the same doubts and fears as I! Then I thought about my post race report to Coach, Aaron, Adam and the host of others waiting to hear how I did, and I did NOT want to tell them I gave up without trying. But mostly, the biggest deciding factor was that I did not want to disappoint myself. I did not want to face myself Friday morning knowing I gave up without trying. I would rather go all out and at least attempt fully what I said I wanted to do and risk getting pulled off the course because of time rather than take the easy route and for sure cross the finish line. I was never more proud of myself than when the young volunteer looked at my bib, then looked at me and shouted “10K this way!” and I went that way. Going big or going home! Yep, that is me! All the way Baby!
As I headed down this stretch of Michigan Avenue, the crowds got even thinner on my side of the street. And now, as I passed the others coming the other direction, many would cheer me on. I looked behind me and realized there was NO ONE in sight behind me. As far as I could tell, I was the last runner. Many would cross the center line to high five me. It was crazy! Soon I too was on my way back down Michigan, this time I could only see one or two runners in front of me. I was pretty much alone on Michigan except for the race officials who were directing us where to go.
At one point, I was approaching the final water station and I just knew that there wouldn’t be any water left. Seriously 12000 people had come before me! I looked ahead and saw the volunteers sweeping the cups off the street. They were all working hard. One hottie looked up, saw me coming and looked surprised. He set his broom down though. Poured me a cup of water and held it out, waiting for me! He was my hero of the day and I told him so!
I headed back into the downtown area and now I am passing runners again, except this time, they are on their way to their cars or to the parade. They too cheered me on, assuring me the finish line was just around the corner. LIARS!!!
It was 4 more corners!
I turned onto the street that takes me to Cobo Hall and while I KNEW the map in my head, I kept thinking, “I just have to get to that building and that is it!”
Except it was uphill! Darn those race planners!! All sorts of cheering going on and as I finally got to Cobo Hall, I hear a guy on his phone as he pulls the cones away. “alright, the last 10k’er just came in, I am removing the road blocks!”
I turn the corner in front of Cobo expecting to see the Finish line.
But I don’t. I am told it is just around the corner.
I ran another 3 blocks to another corner, where I was told it was just down the hill.
It was down the hill, around the corner, through a dark, unlit tunnel, across another stretch and finally back to Cobo Hall where they had the finish line set up. (although they were beginning to tear it down!)
Thank God, Ingrid met me on the final down hill and ran through the tunnel with me. She said she would stay with me for a little bit, then sprint ahead to get me on camera crossing the finish line!
And that is exactly what happened. Video will be posted as soon as I get it and figure it out!
Jen and Virg were nowhere to be found. They had cut through Cobo Hall to try and see me coming and completely missed me! Oh well!
When it was all done, none of us wanted to watch the Parade. We wanted food and to sit. Sooooo we went for breakfast!
After running, breakfasting, relaxing, showering, and finally getting ready to go our separate ways to be with family…this is how this girl cleans up.
oh yeah, I found out later…I wasn’t dead last. 2 others came in after me! My official chip time was 1:46 minutes. The clock time was 1:47:58. My worst fear did not happen. I did not get pulled off the course! But I was prepared to argue, to cry and if need be to out run whoever was sent to pull me off, if that happened. I was gonna finish that race by any means necessary!