Lake Michigan Trail Marathon #22

Lake Michigan Trail Marathon Race Recap 


Number 22 is in the books!



My goal was to blow my 5:23 finishing time out of the water. Unfortunately on Thursday morning I woke up with runny nose and a sore throat, possibly allergies maybe a cold not 100% sure. I thought if I babied myself all week, that I would be better on Sunday. This was not the case I slept a majority of Saturday hoping that the extra rest would help me out.
I toed the starting line feeling unsure and allowing myself to let go of my race expectations. Although it was nice to meet up with my Oiselle buddies beforehand and run into a fellow MRTT member. The first 16 miles felt like nothing and I kept it really strong finishing them in about 3 hours. However the sun rose higher and higher in the sky. A walk run started to set in. I had 10 miles to go and two hours to get there and beat my time. I started to move pretty slowly,  this shallow breathing thing was getting to me. Because of my cold I couldn't breathe my typical pattern. I started to get some odd cramps in my chest like nothing I ever experienced. I walked a bit until they went away, not sure if it was dehydration or the chest breathing. I was at mile 18 when I just made a deal with myself. If I could just mentally pass this wall of the chest cramps and get into Seven Bridges Park, I could walk through the park. Inside Seven Bridges you go up and down stairs, so you can't move too fast anyhow. I made it through that portion back out onto the road I had another trail portion and 4 miles to go in under an hour. If I could at least move at a 15 minute mile pace I think I could make it. I came out of the trail portion. I had about 17 minutes to make it my last mile... it felt hot I felt uncomfortable, I wanted to just cave in and walk the rest of the way back.

But then I reminded myself of all I overcame to be there today, I wanted a DNS( did not start), I drove to the start line. I wanted a DNF( did not finish), at least I started the race.  I wanted to leave at a ton of points in this race. I could have made the half marathon turnaround. I could have turned around at the 20 miler. I dug to the deepest part of my soul I could and dug in for this last mile. It was horrible it felt horrible- I cant remember the last time I had to race that hard. I crossed the finish line realizing I had beat the 2014 me!!! I did it I had completed my original goal!!!! I felt relieved!!!!!
I think this race is really beautiful if it was held later in the year, I think it would be much better. I thank all the volunteers for being out on this course.  When I did this in 2014 there was not enough water. Yesterday had the same situation there was not enough water, many of the stations were unmanned. For example I'm not just being a harsh critic there was no water from mile 20 until the race finish chute. Then when I crossed the finish line, I got a Dixie cup of water and a half banana. I wish there was bottles of water at the finish line. At least I was able to walk to the food line, and trade in my ticket for a bottle of water. I'd really like to try to stick it to this course with a better time. But, I just don't see myself returning to this race. I've had two not so good experiences and I don't really want a third one. I hope that there were some people out there who are reading this and disagreeing with me and have had good experiences on this course. It unfortunate I just haven't. Now, 6 days to recover for the Brewers half!