Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cleveland Marathon 2015 Race Report

Let's flash back to May 18, 2014 when I sat at the finish line of the marathon and declared that I was "retiring" from the marathon distance and never running a full marathon again.  I guess there is a lot to be said for the statement "never say never" in my case since I crossed the finish line of my 7th marathon on May 17, 2015.  Oh, did I mention that Sunday was my 41st birthday as well.  So how did I go from "retiring" to the finish line in just one short year?  Two words....peer pressure.  You see a few of my neighbors that did their first half marathon in September wanted to attempt their first 26.2 and asked me if I would be willing to train with them since I was the "marathon pro".  I told them that I would definitely train with them and then just see what happened in regards to my actually signing up to run the Cleveland Marathon.  Fast forward to early March and I made the commitment by signing up for the marathon. 

After running a few errands I headed downtown to the expo with the girls.  We spent a long while there looking at things and even getting fake eyelashes.  I can honestly say that's a first for me at a race expo.  Once we made it back home we headed over to Karrie's for our carb loading dinner that her husband so graciously prepared.  I had my usual two beers with dinner and spent some time talking about our plans for Sunday during the race.  We headed home at a reasonable hour and I proceeded to get everything ready for the morning so I wouldn't have to rush around. I turned in relatively early and slept okay.
Race Expo

Carb Loading Dinner

The alarm went off at oh-painful-early and I started to get ready for the day.  I made my breakfast to take with me in the car and eat on the way downtown to the start line.  It turned out that I was able to finish my breakfast at each of my neighbor's houses while I was waiting for them to come out to the car so we could be on our way.  We arrived downtown with very little problems and found a good parking spot, took several pictures and walked towards the start line. 
26.2 and 13.1 ready to run

Running for a reason

We did stop and use the porta potties on the way.  As we walked to the corrals it started to pour rain on us.  It stopped relatively quickly but may have made things worse because the humidity was crazy!  The plan was to stay together as long as possible.  Everything was going along great.  We made it to the 6.5 mile water stop where my friends Missi and Dave were cheering us on and giving me new water bottles.  It was at this water stop that we somehow lost Trisha.  Chrindye and I trudged on together while Karrie and Kelly stuck together just a little ways behind us.  It was incredibly hot and humid so we welcomed the rain when it came and then cursed it when it left and made it that much hotter.  As we were running along Chrindye and I took a few minutes to remember the numerous angels we had with us that we were running for.
When I was tired Angel Emily became my legs

Trisha, Chrindye, and myself near the turn around

Just before mile 18 I started having stomach cramps and slowed to a walk for just a minute.  Chrindye went on ahead of me and then we saw her family and porta potties which were both welcomed sights.  I felt better after using the porta potty and the bonus was the Trisha caught back up with us at this point.  As we rounded the turn to head back towards downtown I could feel my body temperature rising rapidly.  I told Chrindye that I was going to have to walk because I didn't want a repeat of my 2010 Cleveland Marathon that ended in Metro's ER.  I wasn't in an physical pain so having to stop to walk was frustrating but I knew it was the right thing to do at that time.  Chrindye tried to walk but it was less painful for her to run so I sent her on her way.  I ran/walked with Trisha for a short period of time and then I lost sight of her.  I did my best to stay hydrated during those last 8 miles that I had to run/walk.  At 20+ miles into the race I saw my co-worker on the sidewalk.  It was like an angel had been sent to me.  She and her husband jumped on the course and ran/walked a good mile with me.  It was incredibly helpful and I thanked them repeatedly.  Eventually I made my way towards the finish line.  I saw my son and gave him a high five and then I saw my daughter and ran over to her at which point both she and my son finished the race with me.  I couldn't have asked for a better ending to what was a tough race day in crazy weather conditions.
Loved that the announcer complimented my daughter on her "You can't squat with us" tank

Best Finish Ever!

After everyone finished the marathon, we headed to the beer tent (minus Trisha as she was feeling very ill and needed to get out of there) to enjoy the rewards of our labor.  Although my time was my second slowest marathon finish ever I couldn't help but smile for the successes of my friends.  They all completed their first marathon and are still considering toeing the line of another 26.2 mission.  I told them I was all in as long as the marathon was in the fall when there is a better chance of cooler weather! 
Sweet Emily saw me through

26.2 Run and Done

18 of the 26.2 miles run together

Happy to be done

Slow and steady but I did it

It was a wonderful day all around and a fantastic birthday that ended with a post-marathon celebration at Chrindye's house in honor of our marathon finish and my birthday!
Proudly wearing our hard earned medals

We did it

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

April in Review

My April training came to an end with a pre-dawn 6 mile run with Heather and Chrindye.  It was a great way to end the month as it was a great run with negative spilts for me.

April 2015 Stats
100.9-- running miles
5.4- walking miles
0-- stair workouts
3/4- monthly fitness challenge workout
106.3-- total miles

Current 2015 Stats
320.82-- running miles
13.67-- walking miles
3-- stair workouts
3 3/4-- monthly fitness challenge workout
334.49-- total miles

2015 Mission check-in

Mission #1: Complete 6 monthly challenges
Action Plan: Find monthly challenges online.
Action Plan: Actually complete the monthly challenge.
Mission #1 was going well in April until the last week when I just didn't get the planks in.  I still have time to complete this mission.  I haven't started a May challenge simply because I'm running a marathon next Sunday and have been focused on that.  3 months complete, 3 months to go.

Mission #2: Cross off at least 3 more states in Deb, Nikki, and I's quest to run a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states (we have 36 states left....we best get moving...we aren't getting any younger!!)
Action Plan: Research 1/2 marathons in the states we haven't completed yet.
Action Plan: Actually register and participate in said 1/2 marathons.

So far we have completed AL, AZ, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, NV, OH, PA, TN, and TX
Mission #2 had no progress in April. We need to plan our next race ASAP!  I guess I better get to researching 1/2 marathons!!

Mission #3: Run 1000 miles in 2015
Action Plan: Run.
Action Plan: Run some more.

Just Run

20 Miles Done

12 Miles Done

Mission #3 was just over 100 miles for the month. 100.9 miles run in March (679.18 miles to go).

Mission #4: Complete 4 stair workouts per month (*Edited in February to read complete an occasional stair workout*)
Action Plan: Do one stair workout per week.
Mission #4 didn't go at all in April either.  The mileage for the marathon rapidly increased in April so I didn't do much in the lines of other workouts.  There's always tomorrow.

So true
Mission #5: Cook more and eat healthier
Action Plan: Plan ahead with recipes and food prep.
Action Plan: Utilize my crockpot more often.
Mission #5 is going okay. Some weeks continue to be better than others but we are eating at home more often.  With the weather warming up we have been utilizing the grill as well.

April was a decent month overall.  I got the long runs in the best I could.  I did miss 8 miles of my 18 mile run because my daughter had a figure skating competition but I figure the 10 fast-paced miles would cover the 8 miles I missed. 

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!