Cleveland Marathon 2011

The day started by waking up at 4a.m. to eat breakfast (a powerbar, some water and some Gatorade), get dressed and get downtown before the roads started closing. I had a really hard time sleeping the night before. I kept waking up every 30 mins and was afraid I had overslept.

All week I had been paying attention to the weather and praying that there would be no rain, there was heavy fog as I headed downtown but no rain. The temps were in the 50s which is usually pretty cold for me but I must have been really excited and didn’t even notice it being cold. I had on my singlet and shorts and over that I had my throw away clothes, an old stained sweatshirt and a long sleeve shirt.

Before the race the Browns Stadium was open which was awesome because you could use a real bathroom instead of a port-o-potty. And you could wash your hands!!! There were even people directing you to bathrooms with the shortest lines. Also, I think hanging out in the stadium provided a little more warmth before the race.

At about 6:45 I headed to the starting line and I should have left sooner because it was pretty packed. I barely made it to the 3:40 group in time. I was actually pretty warm so I decided to get rid of my sweatshirt at the start, I may have thrown it and it landed on someone’s head, sorry!

My goal was to glue myself to the 3:40 group and stay with them for as long as I could. As the race started we realized that a lot and I mean A LOT of the walkers that started at the front of the pack and we really had to push through them to stay on our pace. Luckily, the pace leaders were very loud and were able to get us through the crowd.

One of my favorite things about running with a pace group is all the tips and reminders they throw out while we are running. They told us when we should be taking Gu, and how much water and Gatorade to drink here and there. They reminded us to shake our arms and to keep our upper body relaxed  (I am really bad at relaxing my upper body, usually end up with a stiff neck the next day). They had us sing songs like “Sweet Caroline bah bah bah” and shout things like “Lebron Sucks” as we passed the Q. They also kept us on pace (duh), if we sped up they told us we were “hot” and slowed us down. The pacers also told us where each water stop was which was a huge help for me because I like to run ahead to grab water and not have race to catch up to them.

When running I pretty much zoned out for the first 10 or so miles and stick to my pace group but I like to ask myself a few questions while I am running. How am I feeling? Am I out of breath? Thirsty? Hungry? Does anything hurt? Can I go faster? Do I need to slow it down? For the most part I felt good. Like really really good. It was very tempting to speed up but I told myself to stick with my pace group and if I felt the same way at mile 20 that I could pick it up then.

I saw my family at about mile 15, so happy they braved the weather to come out and watch me run, even if they only see me for 2 secs. And I was still hanging on tight to my pace group at the time. However, right before mile 17 I lost my pace group at the water stop. I just got caught up and couldn’t get back to them and the legs were not going to move any faster. I wasn’t that far behind them so I figured I would do what I could and if I came in little after 3:40 it wasn’t a big deal.

At mile 20, I had some horrible horrible horrible shooting pains up my right shin. Never felt pain like that before. If I wasn’t running a race I would have stopped. I am pretty stubborn so I ran right through it although in order to keep moving I had to slow my pace way down. Right by mile 23 I saw my family again, and they were still cheering for me which helped perked me up but was still in pain. At mile 24, I was contemplating doing a log roll or a crawl to the finish line. At this point I was wishing that I would just hit a “wall”. I felt really good minus the pain, I wasn’t tired or out of breath, I was sore from running and could have kept up a better pace without the pain.

Shortly after mile 24 I saw Mollyberries and Finishing Firsts and they were cheering so loud and proud. Really made me want to run faster and I tried to pick it up again there. It had been somewhat misting the entire race but by mile 24 it was full out raining. At mile 25, I saw PoiseInParma, who was cheering super loud and helped give me that extra push to get to the finish line.

I was really close to going under 4 hours and tried sooooo hard to push myself to be under 4. I came in at 4:00:40, my slowest marathon time ever. And I am ok with that. I ran hard, I felt good for most of the race, I have some awesome friends and family who support and cheer me on and I finished. And sometimes finishing is all that matters.

This is the best I have ever felt while running a marathon, I really felt good and not sure what happened with my leg, maybe it just got tired but rest and ice seem to be helping right now. I am also proud to say that I had zero blisters, zero chafing, lost zero bedazzles and did not have to use the bathroom on the course. I am really surprised with the no blisters, I am pretty sure I was trying to drink Gatorade, missed and poured half the cup in my shoe. That’s some talent right there.

I was just short of my goal for Autism. I had some last minute donations that came in, which I was truly grateful for. And I have inspired others to raise money for Autism when they run.

I didn’t know what the weather was going to be like so I did not take my camera with me and my photographer failed to take any pictures at the finish  (also failed to even bring the camera) so I had a photo shoot at home.

Proud Finisher!

 Post race my hair is usually pretty gross, but it was a huge rats nest due to the rain.

Post race rats nest

 Also, post race, I got to enjoy french toast and many other things like, swedish fish, beer, chocolate milk and regular pop. 

French Toast from Deagans

I want to thank everyone who helped to make the Cleveland Marathon possible. I want to thank the many many volunteers who helped at the expo, water stops, start and finish line help and directed traffic. I want to thank all the police who also helped to keep us runners safe and kept roads closed and detoured drivers. I want to thank the many friends and family that were out cheering on the course. I know conditions were not ideal but it means so much to have people on the course. This as the most crowded I have seen it in years.

Oh and incase you missed it, I was on Yahoo! Officially famous.

How did everyone else do? and Who is ready to run the CLEVELAND MARATHON May 20,2012???

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About Jessica M.

30 year old runner from Cleveland, OH. I am an avid runner, marathon maniac and Boston Marathoner. I have completed 11 marathons and am an Offficial Blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I enjoy traveling, running, Nike Lunar Glides, baking, reading, sno cones, anything pumpkin flavored, swedish fish, Kinder chocolates, racing, marshmallows, my amazing husband and our puppy Bodhi. Contact me at: MojaMala2blog@gmail.com
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30 Responses to Cleveland Marathon 2011

  1. GOOD JOB!!!! What an awesome race! Hope your shin feels better today.

    Maybe I’d be in for May 2012… :)

  2. Alana says:

    CONGRATS Jessica! I hope your shin feels better asap! Get some well-needed R&R :P

  3. Awesome job yesterday Jess! It was tough for us too…I think my biggest problem was not dressing warm enough (wtf Cleveland…how does it get COLDER as the day goes on?!?) My hands basically froze off and my knees were really cold and stiff. Glad we all finished in one piece though! Does your shin still hurt???

    • mojamala2 says:

      yeah it did get pretty chilly towards the end. I was in pain so I ignored it. SHin still hurts but been icing it and that’s helping alot. Taking it easy and resting it for a few days. hoping it was just a fluke

  4. kimi says:

    Great job Jess! You are a rockstar. Such a bummer about the leg pain but kudos to you for toughing it out!

  5. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says:

    Congrats!! I hope your shin is feeling all better and you’re enjoying some rest!

  6. Heather says:

    Congrats, girl!! Way to go!
    Now take some much needed rest and let that leg heal. :)

  7. mollyberries says:

    I am so glad you felt great, aside from the shin! The marathon is truly a beast, and with each one you have the potential to learn something new about yourself, and to gain more experience about what works and doesn’t work for you. Sometimes finishing with a smile on your face, is all that really matters, and the time on the clock does not. It is so easy to allow what reads on the race clock to determine whether we had a good race or not. I am so happy you enjoyed the race and so many people did come out and make this race possible. I seriously had a total blast cheering! Keep on keepin’ on, and rest up for that next 26.2, I want you to be my Marathon Maniac sista! :)

  8. I would very much like to be a part of the half or full in 2012!!

    Great job!

  9. Way to go Jess!! So sorry I missed you!!

  10. Dan Vega says:

    Congrats to you for all your hard work paying off! I really hope to be their next year, at least for the 1/2.

  11. AWESOME JOB! Sorry about the shin pain though – that sounds rotten! So bummed I missed you – I seriously MISSED EVERYONE yesterday – I don’t know where i was looking! :P

  12. Great job Jess (especially running through the pain)! Enjoy a little R&R the next few weeks too.

    And as I tweeted this morning, I am SOOOOO ready for 2012!! ;)

  13. Kali says:

    Congratulations hun! You did awesome and I was glad I got to see you along the course!

  14. Great Job! Finishing a Marathon is always a great accomplishment!

    My pace group ran into all sorts of walkers as well. Also we ran into all sorts of half-marathoners who were already walking at mile 1, and then the group of people following that Run for 4 minutes Walk for 1 minute plan, that plus the already way too congested start made for a tough first few miles. Then there was the second water stop that was mostly being run by 5-10 year olds, after that it was not too bad. It sure did get rather quiet at mile 12 when we branched off from all the half-marathoners didn’t it?

    Great job Jessica!

  15. Morgan says:

    Every race is another learning experience and you can never be certain how it will play out. I’m sorry it wasn’t the race you hoped it would be but damn girl, for it being your worst marathon finish, it was still pretty darn fast! I hope that shin is feeling better and now that I see your post-race pic I def remember seeing you because I LOVED the bedazzle!!! Congrats on finishing another marathon!!!

  16. Glenn says:

    You go girl! Great Job! I started with the 3:50 but sensing they were off pace and slow, forgot to remember that we were on Chip Time as it took nearly 3 minutes to get the start line. I’m told that the double lane start was inadequate, especially for the poor 10k participants who didn’t have luxury of Chip-timing. Anyway, I must have passed you some time later in the race. I too was tightening as it got chillier. Yes, I’m a freeze-baby. Being afraid to walk which is nothing to be ashamed up, I knew my race would be disasterous. Fortunately, I managed a 3:49 Clock-time, 3:46 Chip-time finish and was thrilled. Wish I knew you and could have helped finish with this time. Good luck next year or perhaps a Fall ‘Thon.

  17. Kirsten says:

    Sweet! How did you get on yahoo!!!???

    I still can’t believe it’s over…I’ve been thinking of nothing but the marathon since I signed up in January that I’m having trouble hurdling over it and moving on. Guess I need to register for another race? LOL

  18. Justin says:

    I also have a little disappointment in me when I miss my time goal, but that is quickly replaced by the sheer joy that comes from realizing I just finished a freaking marathon.! Good job hanging in through the pain and finishing. We are truly blessed by being physically and mentally able to take on a marathon.

    Now go destroy Buffalo you baller! Cleveland Maniacs Unite!

  19. Pingback: My Cleveland Marathon Experiences | Moja Mala Marathon

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