Thursday, October 25, 2012

Detroit Marathon 2012 Recap

I admitted very freely at the front half of the weekend that the race was really starting to get to me psychologically.  J and I headed down to the marathon expo Saturday morning without my wife.  She had way too many photos to edit, because, lately, her photography business is starting to get pretty busy.  So she couldn't burn two days just for me.

Ren Cen w/Marathon logo

We got down to Detroit without any issue, and I found a really nice, close, parallel parking spot for the expo.  We got in and out quick, and would have been out even sooner if J didn't need a RooSport pouch for his passport.  I tell you what, their business blew up big at that expo.

I'm standing in the "Stargate"
We goofed around in Hart Plaza for a bit, taking pictures and looking at the Cobo reconstruction before going over to our friend's place to watch Michigan/Michigan State.  That was so incredibly boring that we all quit watching and went to Motor City Brewing Works to get a personal pizza (I recommend the Mediteranean) and a very large Oktoberfest.  We managed to walk back to his place just in time to see Michigan's kicker, "Beef Supreme," hit the winning field goal for a 12-10 win while he was most likely thinking of "brunette girls."  It was a sad day for the Big Ten and both teams, and a horrible display of futility.  What's worse is being the loser of that kind of debacle.  Oh well, at least nobody from the other side actually thought it was worth rubbing in.

After that we watched "Ninja Assassin" with K-Pop star (and Stephen Colbert rival) Rain, a few episodes of Burn Notice, and it was time to hit the hay.  I had three things working against me getting a good night's sleep, other than the fact we went to sleep at about midnight when we were waking up at 4:30am.  Those were:  strange place, no wife, and sleeping on a floor.  I don't know about you, but I think sleeping on your buddy's floor before a marathon is going on my "Murtaugh List."

I did get some decent sleep, but I was lethargic, a little sore, and not really eager for running the next morning.  We found our way in the morning dark to the corral downtown, and about the time J's corral was going, we parted ways and I dropped back with my (slower) people.

I wish I would have had my camera ready before the Ambassador Bridge, because there were a lot of weird things going on in that first mile, but most importantly, there was a lady dressed up in a fluffy pig costume.  Sorry I missed that photo op.  I'll let the pictures do the rest...

Heading up the Ambassador Bridge 

Sunrise over Windsor 



Circling back near the Ambassador Bridge

Leaf Police 
Hello Big D

Heading into the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel

Gratuitous Tunnel Border Shot (actually stopped to get this one)

Back in the USA

Parade Co. has the Clown for the Turkey Trot Up

Second oldest running Catholic Church in the U.S.  (I've been here before)

Thaddeus Kosciuszko statue on Michigan Ave. heading back into downtown


Fall Colors in Indian Villiage
Entering Belle Isle

Leaving Belle Isle

Now looking at Windsor from Detroit

Heading back into town

Almost Finished

My Support System (Father-In-Law not shown)


Comerica Shot with the sign my wife made for me.

 Outside of the photos, the story is that marathons are really hard.  I know we've trained for this distance, but  we did stop for water and bathroom breaks, and we never did just go out and try to run 26 straight.  That is a completely different animal.  I came in at a 4:53, which means absolutely nothing to me.  The goal was to finish running the whole way, and not stop to walk.  I did that.  J did that.  We hit our goal.  I know I could have been faster had I not taken 126 blurry photos along the way (not all shown, and most don't deserve to be, hell the "good ones" are still bad).

I know this was the major goal of the year, and I thought I would do this and I would be good for life.  I'm not happy.  I know with a good night's sleep in a real bed and leaving a camera behind, I can knock a lot of time off this.  I pulled an oblique in mile 18, and I pretty much tanked all of 21-26.  I'm still incredibly soft.  I get that.  I gained a big chunk of weight after the Crim, again.  I have to stop that.  I kept running, but I didn't keep my caloric vigilance up.  Sad thing is, I guarantee the most likely contributors calorie-wise are liquids.

The other thing I hadn't counted on was how much of the Detroit Marathon was just you and the road.  Sure there were others out there, and spectators, but that second half of the marathon is much deader than the front half.  There's a lot less fanfare on the way to Indian Villiage and on the way back.  I had a lot of time with my thoughts, and they wandered all over the place.  I thought about my family and hoped they had good weather for the charity golf outing in honor of my cousin who recently passed away.  I thought about what my dad would think of my running craziness if he were still here.  I thought a couple times about what would happen if I collapsed dead.  My brain was just running wild to occupy the silence.

The demand on my body got so incredibly overwhelming in those final miles, I could have quit, but I didn't.  I had some wonderful encouragement from people zipping by me.  Some people get discouraged when people do that to them, but I needed to hear those "c'mons" and those "keep going, you can make it."  Seeing my wife, good friend, and father-in-law at 25 was so necessary for my finish.  I'm not kidding.  I could have quit this thing with less than a mile to go.  It hurt that bad, and a quick kiss from my wife was like a resuscitation bringing me back to life to make it that last little bit.

I felt better after that and had a decent push at the end.  Seeing that 26 and that finish line helped a lot.  When I got nearer to the finish, I thought about busting out Gangnam Style the rest of the way, but I just hurt too much for that.  When I did get really near the finish, though, I changed my mind and went for it...and I pulled my right calf just before I crossed the finish, having to hobble-run across.  I kind of felt like a moron.

After crossing, and getting the best medal ever, Bill Laitner from the Detroit Free Press grabbed me for a quick little interview, taking note of my shirt, and how I'm a pretty big dude running a marathon.  That lasted about 2 minutes, he snapped a shot of me, and said it might make it to the online version of the paper...maybe.  Still baffled that I made it to print, with all the other people out there running for important causes, family members, etc., and here's my dumb ass just goofing off with my "National Erectile Dysfunction Awareness" shirt in the paper (see previous post).

After I was done, the muscles started to hurt, the dehydration came in, and the granny smith apple I ate at the end felt like it was trying to escape the confines of my gut.  After finding my wife, her dad, and my friend, I quickly switched into the dry clothes they had for me, and took a seat on the sidewalk trying to get my bearings.  Then we old man walked our way back to the car, took a few camera shots at Comerica, and went to the Woodbridge Pub for some awesome brunch and beers.

So that's it.  First one's out of the way.  Now I know what it takes and what to expect when I do this again, but for now, until the end of the year, I'm ramping things down a bit.  There will be nothing bigger than a 10K until 2013.
Shirt, Medal, Bib

'53 Corvette Medal


  1. These are some AMazing pictures! I especially like the bridge shots, and with the sun. Sweeet. (the belle isle pics remind me how that section is a bit boring.) well done on the race and taking photos along the way.

  2. Yeah, Belle Isle has some nice spots, but you don't hit them on the marathon, really. Better to do one of the many 5/10Ks that are on the Isle during the year, if you want that.

  3. First and foremost, congratulations on finishing your first marathon!!! So proud of you!!! The first one is always about the experience, the doing of it, the learning how to do it... And now you know what it takes and how it feels and what kind of goal you want to work towards for the next one. Sorry to hear you effed yourself up good in the final miles though! Ouch! Rest up, ice up, pop the ibuprofen like it's candy, and just bask in the afterglow of knowing you've done something most people can't even conceive! Also, fucking badass you ended up in the paper for your shirt! Frame that, scrapbook it, something!!!!

  4. Damn it Brent! I don't wanna run a marathon! You're making me actually consider it. Maybe for my 40th birthday next year? Hmmm.

  5. while you were goofing off with your shirt, you are still motivating people by proving that you don't have to look like ryan hall to finish a marathon! i think you deserved the spot in the paper :)

    congrats on your first marathon!! a sub-5 is so awesome, i know lots of people who would have loved that as their first marathon time (or a time period)! i think you had a great approach to it and while the pics may have slowed you down a bit they're a great memento to have.

    i do wish there was a video of the finish gangnam ... lol! hope the calf is ok.

  6. Hey Brent,

    Awesome job on your first marathon! I've been MIA lately and missed the build-up.Also, you've got some great photos of the race. Can't say I have many pictures of my marathons.

    And I noticed you had to one-up me in the publicity category. Here you get a an exclusive in the newspaper and I'm just a spot on a random photo from a few years ago at the local turkey day race. Okay, you win!

    Sounds like a good idea to shift into a lower gear after the marathon, but let me just say that you are too close to the pain still. Give it some time and I'm betting you're be at this marathon thing again, sooner than you now think.


  7. Congrats on your finish!!

    Thaddeus Kosciuszko must be a pretty big deal, one of the major bridges in the Albany NY area is also named after him. The highest peak in Australia is also named for him... I'll have to do some research, because I know nothing about him!


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