My adventure began on Friday, and it really was an adventure. With construction, detours, and re-routes it took me about 7 hours to finally make it up to Cadillac and my hotel about 20 minutes away from the race site. It was too late to pick up my packet so I checked into my hotel and read for a bit before getting some sleep. I headed to the race site early the next morning since Erica tipped me off that parking was difficult and I also needed to get my packet. The packet involved a lot more swag than most races. They were commemorating the 15th anniversary of the race so all runners got a tech tee, polo, sweatshirt, running hat, and pint glass. I went back to my car and got ready then wandered around the race site a bit waiting for my race to begin.
|The fire pit|
|The post race party|
|Marathoners passing through the start area after a loop|
|Perfectly flat course|
|Deer in headlights|
|That red dot is a runner far downhill|
|33 states and not sure how many countries|
|I do it in the woods or idiot in the woods, either fits|
Soon we were lined up and off we went. Bob and his friend were off and darting between runners. I stayed conservative and picked my spots for passing to keep from zig zagging all over. My first 2 miles were on the very conservative side and also pretty much all uphill. I soon settle into a rhythm and kept things at an easy effort to start. I had conversations with fellow runners along the way. Soon I found myself really chugging along and decided to just go with it since my heart rate was still on track for an easy effort. One girl I was passing made it very obvious she wanted to chat with me so I relented and ran with her talking up a storm for about a mile. It soon became obvious that she couldn't keep up with my pace even with me doing most the talking. She said I was looking stronger than her and that I should just keep going and so off I went.
|Not quite as bad as the trails|
So how did my weekend stack up? Saturday on the trails was a 2:11:57 which is pretty snazzy if you consider trail pace is 1-2 minutes slower per mile than your road pace. Then there are the hills to consider as well. Sunday's time was a shocking 1:54:29, even with an average effort level lower than what I raced at on Saturday. My weekend total was 4:06:26 which puts me close to my marathon goal of breaking 4 hours. I feel a lot more confident that I can reach that goal now considering that I ran both of these races on the conservative side and they are a lot tougher than the roads of Chicago. I also don't plan on driving 7 hours before the marathon to stiffen myself up.