Race morning came early as it always does. When we got to Brown's Stadium around 6:30 or so it was already 71 degrees. It was nice to use the restrooms inside the stadium instead of port-a-potties for once. After using the restroom we all headed to the start line where I saw my friends Bill and Kristin and gave them both hugs and wished them luck. After I said my hellos we took a few pictures.
|Kim, Becky, Missi, Me, and Bick|
|Our running shoes|
As we were standing at the start line, talking with Dave who had come downtown to support us during the race, we decided we were going to try and run a sub-2. During this discussion Jenn was trying to make her way to us as she wanted to run with Kim. Eventually Jenn caught up with us and shortly after that the race started. My plan was to run with the girls and run by feel. The start of the race is straight uphill and we were all feeling it. I was quite happy with our 9:33 for the first mile. Once we had the first mile behind us I settled into a good pace and we were all running together. I would check in with the girls every so often to be sure everyone was doing okay. The next 8 miles we ran between 8:35 and 9:34. The sun was beating down on us and I was definitely feeling it. I had started dumping water on my head and down my back around mile 6 to try and keep my body temperature down. I was still doing okay until we hit a crazy hill at mile 10. I knew once we hit that hill I needed to slow it down and run smart due to the heat and lack of breeze not to mention the fact that I had witnessed several people passed out and ambulances on the course at this point. I made the decision to walk the hill at mile 10 and I am glad I did. Even with walking the hill my mile split was under a 10 minute mile. At this point I had no idea if anyone was still running near me. I had lost all sight of everyone. During mile 11 I did a 3/1 run/walk and managed to pull of a 10:11 mile. Mile 12 was my slowest mile all day at 10:57, but I am totally fine with it because I did stop to walk with a girl that looked as if she may go down. I gave her some of my water and she seemed to be doing better so I continued on. At the last water stop around mile 12.5 I grabbed two glasses of water as I had been doing since mile 6. I would dump one on my head and one down my back. However at this particular water stop they ran out of water and the girl next to me had a full marathon bib on so I told her to go ahead and take both of my cups of water as she had a long way to go. I figured I could walk to the finish line if I had to. She was very appreciative and thanked me. I was more than happy to do it as she needed that water much more than I did at that point. She went on her way for the full and I continued on towards the finish line. As I was approaching the stadium I came upon a girl that was walking and told her she could do it because we were almost there. She started running with me and the next thing I knew she was long gone. I just ran a steady pace to the finish line. She had to be running fast because I ran mile 13 in 9:21. I vividly remember the final tenth of a mile because I realized I hadn't been affected by Cleveland event demons past one single time. I was in fact finishing the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon with a smile on my face with an official time of 2:06:17. I say "take THAT Cleveland!" I noticed Missi in the finisher's chute right in front of me so the two of us waited for everyone else to finish. I wasn't feeling the greatest so I downed a bottle of water, a chocolate milk, and a banana. I slowly started feeling better once I had a chance to sit down. After everyone was done we talked a bit more and had some pictures taken.
|Never so happy to be done!!|
|Congratulations 1/2 marathoners!!|
In the end I was actually incredibly happy with my 2:06 finish in Sunday's conditions. The best part is that I didn't experience any demons of Cleveland past! Oh and my time was actually a PR for the Cleveland 1/2 course so I will take it.
Will I ever run another event at the Cleveland Marathon again? Well all I can say is never say never....
Oh and for those that read my post prior to the 1/2, I did not meet my secret goal. In fact based on the temperature at the start line I didn't even try!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!