From Mile High to Motown: A Fistful of Firsts
The first in a series of posts from Bad Angel guest bloggers Laura and Brent.
Three months, 12 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes, and 52, 51, 50 seconds. The countdown clock on the Detroit Free Press marathon website is a constant reminder that we (Draclaura and Brentaur, a.k.a. Laura and Brent) need to make the best use of every precious second we have until the starting gun puts us, and thousands of others, to the test. Our fellow Angels think it a good use of that time to share our training and race day experience with you, and we totally agree!
Our “for real” training began June 19, but we’ve been gearing up since early spring. We chose this international marathon on the recommendation of friends who have previously run it, because part of the course is in Canada, because Draclaura is from the Mitten State, and because family and friends live nearby and can cheer us on. And other than crossing the Ambassador Bridge with horns a-blazin’, this will be a race of firsts for both of us.
First and foremost: It’s a marathon. Draclaura has completed four half marathons and a dozen or more 5K/10K races. I have one half marathon and six-or-so 5K/10K races under my belt. In other words, for us casual runners, this is a big deal. And somewhat intimidating.
We each have had our reasons over the years for wanting to run a marathon, but never mustered the courage to do it. That is, until a couple of milestone birthdays, life-changing events and plain old “want to” ultimately won out — which made deciding to register for this race easier than ever before. We say it’s a “one-and-done” event, but we’ll let you know about that in three months and 13 days.
We’re training with different goals in mind, but more than anything, we are looking forward to doing this together. We’re on a bit of a hot streak in the “big challenge” department since planning our own wedding and moving across the country, and we don’t plan on stopping now.
… 39, 38, 37 …
Next “first”: Training together. Draclaura and I got hitched almost 10 months ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to the sunny confines of Denver, Colorado, a week later. We’ve been exploring the nooks and crannies of our new surroundings ever since, and running into great people and places along the way.
We’re determined and persistent, which can get the best of us sometimes, but it also helps us make light work of big goals. Her penchant for planning and my “less is more” mentality get along most of the time, and it makes life as newlyweds in a new city pretty freakin’ sweet. Though our training schedules are different, we know we’ll need each other as we tough it out and trek forward into October. As you well know, not every run will be the best, so we take it in stride –- sometimes, quite literally.
… 25, 24, 23 …
Final “first”: Training at altitude. We’re also finding out what it takes to get and stay active here, which is easier said than done some days because running, biking and playing at a mile-or-more above sea level can be a challenge. The high altitude can make even the simplest task feel like a chore, but it’s a great feeling once the ol’ lungs and brains adjust. Paces hasten, sweat evaporates a little faster (no humidity!), and our “runner’s high” seems to linger a little longer.
… 10, 9, 8 …
And with the clock ticking away, and the sun setting behind those gorgeous mountains, it’s time to go for a run. But before we lace ‘em up, we want to know your highest (or lowest) training altitude. What was it like training in one city to run a race in another, and what did you do differently to prepare?
Cheers, and no excuses!
Draclaura and Brentaur