Thursday, October 21, 2010

Have I mentioned I'm an underwater, international runner...

In my 32 years of life I have never set foot in the two countries that border the United States (I've been to plenty of other countries, but never Mexico or Canada).  Last Sunday I went to Canada and I ran back to the United States.  Yes, that's right...I was Forrest Gumping my way through Canada and back home to the mother land.  It was the Detroit Marathon and I ran a relay.  I was lucky enough that my best friend asked me to join her sorority sisters (they were desperate for someone, anyone, even if I was in a different sorority at a different school) in the race...A couple of months before the race I was excited to do it....knew I was in good enough shape to run 6 miles and thought I'd be so excited for the race.  Let's fast forward to the actual race...I was up all night the Thursday before the race throwing up and slept all day Friday because I was still so sick.  Katie had walking pneumonia.  We were doing the longest legs of the relay.  Sounds race ready to me!  I did 6 miles for my part of the race and although I didn't do the full 26.2, I still struggled, grimaced, laughed and cried with all the marathoners (no one needed to know I didn't run all 26.2 miles, until I realized relay was written across the back of my bib....).  On Sunday morning I boarded a bus at 6:30 am and rode over the boarder to Windsor, Canada.  It was beautiful, very clean and so welcoming.  I could hardly tell I had left the US...maybe that's because I could see Detroit just across the Detroit River.  What a sight! 

view of detroit from canada
I was the second leg of the relay.  And in perfect "Sissy" style, I had never met the girl that was running the first part of the relay to me.  I had e-mailed her the day before to see how fast she was and what she looked like.  I knew she would be wearing a long sleeve white shirt that looked just like mine.  Only 19,000 people had entered the race...should be easy enough to find her, right???!  I stayed extra alert for about an hour and finally a 6 ft tall girl in a white long sleeve shirt ran toward me with the same number bib on as was my turn to run!!  So there I was, in Canada for the first time running my first "marathon"... and I totally started tearing up(possibly because I was freezing, or maybe because I knew "the tunnel" was coming up).  I felt better than I had felt in a long time running...normaly I am hating life the second I start and don't really love it until I'm done, this time I was feeding off of the energy of the people around me and the excitement in Canada...and then I hit the tunnel back to the US.  All of a sudden we are being flung into a tunnel under the Detroit, stuffy, stinky, loud and long.  The first half was down hill and then you have to climb out of the tunnel like river rats....winding and winding up.  As I was running up I started thinking that it was so interesting that the girl who was suppose to do this leg had decided not to and that no one else wanted to...I guess it helps to ask a girl who doesn't know anything about the race and would be excited to run from Canada back.  The one cool thing about my leg of the race is that I ran the only international underwater mile in any race in the world and I can call myself an international runner!! :)  
running into the tunnel
running in the tunnel

After the tunnel I had 4 more miles.  I'd love to say it was a piece of cake, but I'm so mental when I run that it never is very easy for me.  I had some more small uphill parts to my run, I found some inspiration from the signs, people cheering, and some of the sayings on people's shirts and the fact that most of the people were running 20 more miles than me!  Seeing the relay spot and Katie's smiling face was by far the best part.  I ended up running a lot faster than I had anticipated and had such a great time.  The massage, bloody mary, and after party were great and the two hour nap I took that afternoon was the icing on the cake. 
pointing to our legs of the race!

 I might not love running, but the races make it worth it.  I think I'm ready to commit to a half marathon and am searching for one this winter I could sign up for.  It helps me so much to have something to work towards, it really motivates me...I may not come in first or do really well, but I've never come in last...and I live to tell about it!! Have I mentioned I'm an underwater, international runner??


  1. You're too cute! And all I can say is Welcome to Canada "eh"! Being Canadian, this was really amusing!

    BTW congrats on the running especially in a underwater tunnel, I am thinking that would have totally freaked me out!


  2. What an awesome experience, Sissy! I'm so glad you and KPR got to do this together. B is thinking about doing the whole thing next year. I'll have to have him read this!!

    Hey, MEGA congrats on the job. Let's talk soon so you can tell me all about it!!!! I miss you!