On Sunday, three different runners ran three different races – all apart of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Sunday morning festivities.
I knew it would be a good morning when I spotting Charles Ramsey on my way to the start line.
There was one common thread between the three of us: lack of consistent training. My crazy work schedule, my brother battling off the long lasting cold of 2013, and Hans’ absolutely hatred of running made for an array of lackluster prep, including random maintenance runs and much fewer long runs that normally advised. Even so, I had a plan for all of us for race morning.
I drove down with Hans, fellow yoga teacher Kevin and his friend Kristen, dropping off those three half marathoners at East 9th and Lakeside at 6:30AM. (Drew drove himself down.) Finding an open parking lot was a breeze, so I was down at FirstEnergy Stadium by 6:45 to see the start of the full and half marathons.
Within moments, the 10K runners were lined up and I started reviewing my plan:
- Don’t line up too far forward in the line of runners at the start (AKA look for the folks with the 10K Walker bibs and place yourself a bit before them)
- Don’t get crazy in trying to get up that hill of West 3rd right at the start
- Power walk up any major incline
- Run down any major incline
- Otherwise, stick to running for a minute, walk for two… but listen to your body.
Mile 1 went by quickly – it was easy to be distracted by the downtown sights and the “oooh I’m running in a race!” excitement.
Mile 2 was an array of distractions: There’s No Place Like OM yoga studio, Indian Delight, the thoughts of that Silver Spoon tequila cocktail from Spice Kitchen + Bar, ice cream from Sweet Moses – apparently my pre-race breakfast hadn’t cut it
Mile 3 included a glorious downhill run along West 67 where I rocked the empty sidewalk to gain some distance in a short time.
Mile 4 was unmemorable – except for when a kind Detroit Shoreway resident offered me some of his mimosa.
Mile 5 felt like the longest mile I had ever walked. Yes, I walked the Shoreway. I think I was caught up in the views of downtown – and the fact I had a side stitch brewing. I wanted to finish strong, so I committed to power walking like hell until I got to the mile marker.
Mile 6 started with a glorious downhill patch into the Warehouse District, then flattened out in front of the Med Mart – which is looking spectacular BTW. The 10Kers merged with the half marathoners on East 9th to run down towards the Rock Hall and then to the finish.
My actual chip time was 1:14:50 – I was extremely happy when I finished, and was pulled aside by a kind woman with a video camera who wanted to interview me for being “the happiest runner” at the finish line that morning. I didn’t hit the stop button on my Garmin until after the interview, which is supposed to be on the marathon’s YouTube channel. Note to self: no more post-race interviews – you’re way too hyped up and say way too many goofy statements!
As pleased as I was, Sunday wasn’t about me. It was about the half marathoners in our crew.
Speedy McSpeederson in the middle – my brother Drew – clocked at 1:46:36 in his first ever long distance race. He did run one 14 miler before the race and was anticipating a 1:45-ish finish. I think he was pretty pleased – but vowed to never run it again when the post-race soreness set in. We’ll see about that…
Kristen and Kevin (on the left) – even though having run many halfs and fulls themselves – opted to stick with Hans for the 13.1 miles and collectively came in at 2:20. That’s right: my weight lifter husband who sporadically ran since January sucked it up to bring home quite the respectable half marathon time. I did get to watch them cross the finish line – I don’t think Hans could have been happier to be done, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Another huge thank you goes out to Kristen and Kevin for sticking by him to make it happen because accordingly to Hans, if they weren’t there, he probably wouldn’t have made it. That said, we all knew he had it in him!
LONG STORY SHORT: Three very different runners, three very different races, but one common ending: crossing the finish line with big smiles. Now we had another half marathon medal added to our refrigerator collection of race bling… which has me jonesing to add another soon…
Disclosure: While I served as a guest blogger for the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, this post or my race participation are not a part of my duties towards that role. I was provided with two VIP brunch passes for race morning that I gave away to two ladies at the start line. My thoughts and opinions are my own.