Running is hard. I knew going into it that it would be a struggle with my knees, but I set a goal to at least PR. Sunday I ran my second half marathon, the Detroit International Half Marathon, and was able to set a new PR. It was an amazing experience, from the Ambassador bridge, running in Canada, to the return to the US through the underwater tunnel. I have never ran a race with that many participants, so many people sharing the same love of running. The morning of the race, everyone was lined up in the corrals, the view of people went on for what seemed like miles.
As the race began I felt great, set a good pace and continued it for the first few miles; trying to avoid all the clothes that people began to shed and drop. We soon began the ascent up to the Ambassador bridge, semi trucks and cars lined the road, occasionally beeping as encouragement. And then, there it was, a beautiful sunrise peaking through the Detroit skyline. It was breathtaking. However, focusing on that PR I did not have too much time to take in the view. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down, the descent on the bridge was definitely needed! From there we ran three miles in Canada along the river. Plenty of Canadians were cheering us on, with signs and cowbells in hand, not to forget the wonderful women who was giving out tissues. At the 10k point I was beginning to feel much discomfort, I was slowly beginning to tire. I slowed briefly to take advantage of the volunteers handing out water and Gatorade. I then felt much better. It then came time to run through the tunnel! I was excited for this part of the race, until I realized how hot it became in there. The end of the tunnel meant I was approaching mile 8. The course, back in the US, took us around some neighborhoods, first Mexican town and then through Cork town. Again with people, and pets, cheering us on from their porches. I was focused, I knew I was 3 miles from the finish line, telling myself it was only a 5k longer. From the finish line I was 0.5 mi away, I was slowly giving in to the tiredness and discomfort. Until Andrea came into the picture, high fiving me and telling me I can do it. I ran with her encouragement closer and closer to the finish line. We turned one last corner and it was in sights, looking at each other we knew we could do it. Together we sprinted across the line, holding hands and cheering. Andrea was a stranger until that moment she shared her words of encouragement. I do not know her last name or where she was from, but I truly thank her for not letting me regret slowing down.
I will definitely be signing up to be part of the Detroit International Half Marathon again next year. Again trying for that next PR!