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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