Training for a marathon is always hard work, but combine that training with tons of snow, icy cold temperatures, and the yucky cold and flu bugs of winter… well, it’s just plain tough. For me, add on starting a new second job on Saturdays and you really throw a wrench in the plan! So you get your long runs in when you can make it work, and last weekend it made the most sense to get it in on the same day as a race.
In all honesty, if I hadn’t run the other two races in this series I probably would have skipped this race and just did my long run, but the promise of swag for completing all three races in the series made me sign up. My friend Christine and I decided we would run a few miles before the race, run the race, and then finish up whatever miles we had left. We were both a little nervous about the long run because neither of us had done a double digit run in quite some time and the weeks until our marathon were dwindling away. We hoped that breaking it up a little would make it easier.
We got about 3.7 miles in before the race. The race itself was different because the course had to be changed last minute. Unfortunately it was a little short of a 5k, but we really weren’t too worried about it because we would still have miles to go when it was all over. We finished in about 36 minutes, about a 12 minute pace, which was faster than we had been doing our training run. After the race we hung around for awards and chatted with our running friends… and somehow we started to be convinced to run a different marathon than the one we had been training for… more on that later.
After the race we ran another 4.7 miles, bringing me to a total of 11.3 miles for the day. The second part of the run was a bit slower, but we still got our double digits in. During the run after the race Christine and I chatted a lot about which marathon to run. We were debating between two different ones – The Martian Marathon in Dearborn and Glass City Marathon in Toledo. Our sights were originally set on Martian because of the awesome swag and the 6 1/2 hour time limit, but we also know a lot of people who are running the Glass City half and full marathons. We had heard good things about both races. After the Mardi Gras 5k, though, we talked to our friend Nick who started talking about the elevation changes (aka hills) in each race. We looked up the elevation map of both races and confirmed that Glass City was definitely a flatter marathon. It’s also a bigger marathon, meaning hopefully more course support. The only negatives were the 6 hour time limit (my current marathon PR is over 6 hours) and that it was slightly more expensive.
We grabbed lunch in downtown Bay City after our run and it was delish! Over our meal we discussed our run, our training plans, and what we were thinking about choosing a marathon. By the end of our nosh and gab session we were both pretty set on running the Glass City Marathon in Toledo.
So overall this post is more about our long run and deciding to run a different marathon, more than it was about the Mardi Gras race! It was a good race, with lots of my closest running friends, and the race series swag was awesome – I got a new wine glass that is customized in purple!