I was so excited when I woke up Sunday morning to check the radar and see no rain in the forecast! When I went to bed there was a chance of rain from about 6am-8am. So I got dressed, put my hair in a ponytail and skipped a hat or braiding my hair since it wasn’t going to rain.
You know as soon as we got downtown, it started raining. First a little mist, then light rain and then rain rain. However, I think the rain helped to keep it cool, too cool for me but probably perfect for everyone else. Good thing I put on a throw away shirt before heading downtown!
The 10K is one of my favorite distances to race however, this race was more to start building fitness again and I came prepared with a plan. A plan that involved running with fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassador Andrew Runs A Lot! I told Andrew I wanted to run 7:45s and he was on board to run with me. I am so glad I had someone to run with and keep me company. This was Andrews longest run of the year and he made it seem effortless.
I could have sworn we were running 7:45-7:50 for the first mile, it felt very comfortable and every time I looked at my watch I saw something in the 7:40s. But our first mile was 7:27, oops. The second mile, my plan was to pick it up from a 7:45 to a 7:30 but I apparently didn’t know I was already there and ran 7:31 for the second mile.
The 3rd mile, I was prepared to slow down a bit since there is some uphill by the browns stadium and then some more coming out of the flats. So mile 3 ended up being 7:45. I’m not sure what exactly happened in mile number 4 since I ran a 7:34 here. I must have felt really good running through the flats. I think I even commented to Andrew “Wow, I can’t believe we only have 2 mile to go”
I knew a hill was coming, and not just any hill, the Columbus Rd hill. I know this is a tough hill so the plan was to take it slow and at the top pick it back up. I didn’t even look at my watch for this hill, just kept moving forward and when I got to the top, it took me awhile to get my rhythm back again. I wasn’t super out of breath or felt like my legs were too tired, it just took a lot out of me. With the hill, mile 5 ended up being an 8:31 mile.
I’m not sure which map makes the hill look worse, Strava or Garmin.
At one mile to go, I wasn’t exactly sure what I had left so I told Andrew he could leave me behind. I knew he was feeling good and if he had some speed left, I wanted him to use it! With about half a mile to go and 1 more hill, I started to pick up the pace. My last mile was a 7:47.
Now, I have the course at 6.32 miles and that is with running almost no tangents so that’s not too bad for a big race. Normally, I run every tangent I can find but I didn’t even try for this race since it was crowded with the full and half marathoners. Also, this is what my watch got, my watch is not a certified course, it’s just a watch that connects to a satellite somewhere in the sky. As far as I am concerned, this course is 6.2 miles, if I ran farther than that then maybe I should have ran the tangents.
My official finish time was, 48:51 and initially I was disappointed in that. I had hoped to run sub 47 and to be almost 2 minutes off hurt a bit. However, I looked at my splits and I was actually happy with those, minus going out too fast. I have a lot of work to do this summer but I’m very excited to start training more.
The best part about running “just the 10K” I joked all weekend about “training for the marathon but running the 10K” but I felt really good after the 10K, nothing hurt or felt weird. I did a light jog back to the car and turned the heat on full blast to get warm. Naturally, I didn’t really pack a change of clothes for after the race but I did pack compression socks and a hoodie. While I wished I could have changed out of my wet clothes, it was nice to have something to put on as I headed back into the cold rain to cheer on the half marathoners and full marathoners.
As I was cheering on the runners, I was paying close attention to my friend Sarah running the full. She was 3rd in the full last year and she’s kinda quiet about her training so you don’t always know how her training is going. But she won! The whole darn Cleveland Marathon!
I obviously stuck around to watch Ryan bring in the 3:25 pace group. He has been pacing this group for the past 5 years and absolutely loves helping runners reach their goals.
I had an absolute blast all weekend at the Cleveland Marathon, is it too early to count down til next year?