Race Recap: Grand Rapids Marathon + Finish Video

I don’t know if I’ve fully let this weekend sink in yet, so my mind is kind of all over the place still….so sorry if I jump around ;). The Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon was on Sunday and it was a beautiful day for it!

We did packet pick-up Saturday morning.img_1917 I’m so glad we didn’t go later in the day because the apparel with really picked over already as far as sizing went.img_1909

I had to have the pink and gray hoodie when I saw it at the expo. The official race shirt is the green one. I also got a state of Michigan headband that I wore on race day.img_1928-1The bag had a few goodies in it like GRM socks, a mini cliff bar, and chapstick.img_1927
I took this screenshot of the hourly forecast a minute before the gun went off. It was nice cooler temperatures and low wind. I wore capris, a tank with a long sleeve top over it and was comfortable for the race. The last few miles got warmer, but it wasn’t bad at all. It sure trumped finishing in the 80’s like Nashville!

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I ended up wearing my new headband over my ears for most of the race to keep warm. This was taken walking to the starting area.img_1974

I ran into Allison (@runfarally) just before the start of the race. She was with one of the celebrity pace teams and had a great time in her first experience as a pacer. Great job! The race didn’t have traditional pace teams, they were race times of celebrities like Oprah, Will Ferrell, etc.img_1976img_1975

The crowd support downtown was pretty nice! My husband is one of those people that isn’t affected by strangers cheering haha…but I did appreciate it. 🙂img_1983

So as we were driving downtown, I said to my husband that I forgot my GoPro camera (that’s got to be the worst thing as a blogger haha!) and I forgot to charge my Garmin (and the worst thing as a runner)! I had about 52% battery left, and I love my watch even more now as I checked the battery after the race and it only went down about 20% during the race! I was shocked! I knew it had a good battery life, but that was impressive.

So during the race I pulled out my phone a few times and attempted to take “action” shots. Yeah…iphones are great but not for taking selfies while on the run haha! This was the most clear one I got as we were running over one of the bridges.img_1982

Funny thing is that when I got back to the car after the race, I opened the bag I put our Gluten Free Bar protein bars in and found my GoPro!!! hahaaa I DID pack it and just didn’t see it. Oh well!

I do love this shot of a bridge we ran over on the Kent Trails.fullsizeoutput_37bAnd this bridge downtown too was pretty cool running over…I think we ran over this one for the Gazelle Girl Half too.
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There were a large number of water/aid stations along the route. We used our hydration packs most of the time, but near the end when we started walk/running we used the water at the stations because we were already walking through there so I figured I’d save the pack in case I felt like I needed water before the next stop. I particularly appreciated the pickle juice and oranges along the route. We used organic pitted dates in a sandwich bag for our fuel, but my husband also had some of the pretzels and cookies along the way.grmaidstations

I felt pretty good until 18 and then I started feeling kind of tired, but our pace didn’t really slow until mile 22. We stayed in the 10’s for pace until mile 22 to the finish were our slowest miles (all in the 11’s, except one mile in the 12’s), which was a bummer but I’m thrilled that we still managed to surpass my big goal for the race. We were about 5 minutes faster than goal time for most of the race, but the run/walk pattern we did the last few miles ate up 3 of those.grmpreview2I made a pace band that I wore by my watch to I could keep an eye on where we were at for goal pace. I had 3 time goals for this race, and I made the band for my “big” goal. I didn’t stop my watch right away so my Garmin time is off a little (Official chip timing was 4:43:26). But when we turned the corner I knew it was going to be close. We could see the finish line, but it was still in the distance a little ways.

grmpreview3grmpreview4When the clock came into view (I have horrible eyes lol), I couldn’t believe it even though I had been looking at my watch the entire race. It was a moment of pure joy!grmpreview1

It read: 4:44:xx and we were pushing it as hard as we could that last little stretch. It didn’t even dawn on me that we had started a little after the gun went off, so we did better than the clock time. I scanned my bib after and got the official time and couldn’t believe we did it with about a minute and a half to spare.
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It was so awesome having our daughter and my parents waiting for us near the finish line. Our daughter made us a sign that said ‘Go Mom & Dad!’ on one side and ‘My Mom & Dad are MARATHONERS!’ on the other side. I don’t think there is anything better than having your family there at the finish! I loved seeing them and hearing them cheer us on that last little stretch.

I, of course, had to get a picture at the finishers banner.fullsizeoutput_37c

Here’s the video my dad took of us approaching the finish line:

Here’s a close up of the finisher medal…I love it!GRMmedal.jpg

After going home to shower and rest for a little bit, we went out to eat at Chipotle. And for the first time in my life, I couldn’t finish my veggie bowl loaded with pinto and black beans, brown rice, 3 of the salsas, lettuce and of course a big ol’ scoop of guacamole. I ended up taking half of it home and eating it later that night. I think my body was just in shock. It was weird!img_2035

Who doesn’t love indulging after a tough race?! That’s the best part, right? haha

What’s your favorite post race meal? I’m such a sucker for anything mexican (or mexican inspired) or a good veggie loaded gluten free pizza. Those are basically my go-to’s. Have you ever used a pace band for a race? I’ve used them a lot in the past, but this was the first time I was able to stick to it pretty well.

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