“The only thing that I can mess up is execution” (note to self: Never say this before a race again, self-fulfilling prophecy alert)
About 25 weeks ago I decided to run the Grand Rapids Marathon. For the first time, I enlisted help from a coach, our very own ProFromDover. He sent me a 24 week plan on an excel spreadsheet. I believe the plan was appropriate for what I told him I wanted to accomplish and, except for substituting a 65 miles bike ride (ON A SCARY HILLY LANCASTER PA COURSE) for one 20 miles run, I followed the plan quite precisely.
Along with hillwork and speedwork and medium sized long runs… I ran 18.5 miles, (65 miles bike instead of 20 miler) 21 miles, 22 miles and 24 miles long runs.
On our way to Grand Rapids, we stopped in Ann Arbor and had a fabulous lunch with dAAve, Ms.dAAve, Rochrunner, Tim Looney, MarkGuy, and the divine dg9 (deebeegeebee)
with a coconut-curry mayonnaise, lettuce chiffonade & a medley of pickled vegetables
We walked in and I saw my old friends who I have never met, sitting at a center table. It was as if this was a weekly lunch with close friends.
After lunch, the folks who had to other things to do, did them. Deebee took the Rochester Runner, the r.s. and me to a lovely park where we walked and talked for a nice while. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this. Doug is the kind of guy you just like being around. A kind soul with a big heart. And deebeegeebee is witty and clever and beautiful.
When she dropped us off at our car, she gave Ralph and me a basket of goodies that would sustain us on our journey. She thought of everything.
On Saturday, we went to the expo and then drove over to Grand Haven on Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is beautiful and we walked a bit on a powdery white sand beach before eating at a diner, which was another real treat. http://www.harborrestaurants.com/deelite/
That was SO much fun! We talked mostly about running and we discussed race plans… they all had good ones… Dave planned to PR and win his age group. Mark planned to PR and feel good and strong the entire way. The r.s. planned to run conservatively because he always goes out too fast thinking he can PR by leaps and bounds and then crashes… this time (since he wasn’t adequately trained) he decided to run sensibly and try to run evenly.
I wanted to run a 4:22 or better. My PR is 4:05 but I am too heavy to run that right now, need to shed at least 10 pounds (15 would be better). But my training should easily take me to a 4:22.
The Grand Rapids Marathon is fun, the race director is hilarious. Instead of having “time goal” pace groups, they have pace groups named after famous people who have run marathons.
There was the “Pi” group, their goal was to beat3.14159265 There was the George Dubya group who wanted to beat 3:44 (Dubya ran a 3:44 some time) There was the Will Ferrell group at 3:56 There was the P Diddy group; 4:14 The Oprah group: 4:29 The John “The Penguin” Bingham group at 4:44 And the Al Gore group at 4:58.
At supper, I think we decided I should try to hang with P Diddy.
I loved having supper with three handsome runner guys. I am a very lucky girl.
SO. We ended the evening early. We were only 3 miles from our hotel but, we missed a turn and ended up adding a few miles and at least a half hour to trip back to the Courtyard.
Still, we were back around 21:30, plenty of time to get the chip-like thing attached to our shoes, our numbers attached to our tops, our nutrition ready to be packed, and all that pre-race stuff.
I had slept well there on Friday night so wasn’t concerned about Saturday… little do I know about life in the big city. After a couple of hours of good sleep… I hear a ruckus in the hall, some drunk broad was laughing and talking loudly, apparently looking for her room. I heard her more sober friend say, “YOU’RE ON THE WRONG HALL. WE ARE OVER HERE IN 422”
Even though I was disturbed by the sleep disruption, I was happy that 422 was mentioned because that was my B goal. (I was upset when we checked in and I saw our room number, 433… I took that as an omen)
After drunk broad found 422, I got a few more hours of sleep but was awakened by a loud siren! I thought the hotel was on fire but, it was just the bar across the street announcing last call. It really sounded like a warning siren… I guess it kind of was.
IDEAL RUNNING CONDITIONS. I swear. These were the IRCest of IRC’s. Perfect weather for running.
Since there were so many Canadians there (mostly from LONDON, Ontario)… Oh Canada was sung and the Star Spangled Banner and then we were off.
I told the r.s. that I should move back because I did not feel right up there with Pi. He said, “Oh, just start here.”
Way too fast. I went out with the r.s. About a quarter mile into it, I asked, “What pace?” He said, “8:30” I said, “See ya!” And slowed way down.
Early on, Pi passed me, I think Billy Baldwin’s group passed but I never saw their sign. Next came Dubya’s group. About a mile into it, Will Ferrell passed. I ran on my own for at least 8-9 miles. I knew I was going too fast but I didn’t know what I was capable of and thought I’d rip a page from the r.s.’s playbook and see if I could hold on.
At the turn off where the halfers go straight and the fools, I mean full marathoners, turn right across the bridge, P Diddy caught me and I clung to him like white on rice. I locked step and ran with that group until the 13 miles marker. And then I began to fade.
My calves just got a little tight and it was too much of an effort to try to keep that nice turnover I had while with the P Diddy group.
My breathing and nutrition and hydration were near perfect, I can’t blame any wall or even a true bonk. I just.slowed.way.down.
So P Diddy was out of sight by mile 14 or so. I saw them on a few out and backs… they were coming back.
Still, I was happy. Then at the mile 21 turnaround, I was going back and saw Oprah’s team going out! Oh no. I had to beat Oprah’s team. So with 5 miles left, I tried to pick up my pace. I kept ahead of team Oprah. I hurdled the weak and trampled the dead.
Until just after mile 24 or so… then Oprah’s team quietly and strongly passed me and never looked back.
Darn. So I kept running as best I could. Happy that I didn’t lose my head, sad that I lost my legs somewhere.
During the last half mile, I decided I was not going to let the beautiful girl in the magenta shorts who was running happily with her handsome escort, beat me. So when they tried to run past me, I found my P Diddy stride and picked up knees and quickened my cadence and.I.ran. It was about that time when I heard someone say, “There she is! There’s Rosie!” I looked and saw dAAve and MarkGuy on the sidelines. I WAS SO HAPPY to see them. It was just the charge I needed to finish that race. I came in just under my room number.
When I finished, the race director had me by one arm and a good looking medical dude had me by the other… I swooned. I didn’t mean to swoon. My legs were done. They were worried I would fall on the ass phalt… so they took me to the med tent. I told them I didn’t need to go to the med tent because I was an RN. Um, so I guess I was a bit disoriented, too. Anyway, the r.s. showed up with my dropbag and my inhaler. I was released into his care.
I LOVED THIS RACE. After we said our fond farewells to the Ann Arbor boys, I got a shower at the YMCA and then went back to the festivities. I couldn’t wait to get to that chili dog and beer!
Lessons and photos to follow.
Thank you all for the fine support.
That was some program from the pro. You ran a great race. Needing to lose 15lbs ha I bet there is more meat on a butcher's knife than on you. Sounds like you had a cracking time and meeting so many boomers.......
Well Done on a well executed race
What a wonderful race report! Glad you found your legs after the big swoon... ass phault. Snork! You are a treat, Rosie! I'm so happy you made it in just under your room number, that's the way to stomp on that omen!
I love the link to the restaurants and such... what a greta idea!
Dave and Mark. Dave is so neat. He is quick witted and I found myself having to listen closely and pay attention to catch his dry humour. Very fun to be around. Mark is sweet and gets a gleam in his eye when he talks about his daughter, he showed me a photo and she is a pre-teen beauty. He is also smart and funny.
The big guy on the right is Ralphie, the rocket scientist, my dear husband. He is a keeper. He usually runs too fast for the first half of a marathon, "in order to give himself a chance to BQ"... Well, on Sunday he didn't BQ because he hadn't trained for it, BUT. He did PR with a 3:35 and he ran very smart and consistent. He was happy with his race.
Rose!!! Finally - nice to read about your prep for the race, social activities and the day itself. Good to hear that you finished "loving the race" and congrats on finding your stride for a strong finish.
lovely photo of r.s. - what a smile he has!!!
"not yet, I have some unfinished business with the course!" Dove
Rosie, wonderful race, so positive. Did you remember to breathe instead of talking all the time? Sounds like a great time was had by all. By the way, how did RS do? Keep on training, you will have the race of your life soon.
Great detailed RR! And look at lucky you getting dinner with 3 hot guys. Usually we see pics of WRFB surrounded by hawt wimmen. Sounds like all you and RS need to do is to find a pace group and stick with them. Pass my congrats to RS on the PR!
PS, the bike ride was not hilly. Those are called rolling hills
No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch
"It's totally okay for you to be less of an ass than you thought you were"Big Gahoona
<…imagining myself sitting next to Rosie, across from those handsome doods at the table in the last photo…>
Oh, Rose! This was so fun to read. Congratulations on a well run marathon! Congrats also to RS on his PR. You all are just glowing in those pics.