Second, I’m gonna tell you right off the bat this was a rough race and I did not finish as I had hoped. But I did finish and I’m going to focus on that.
So, maybe it was pre-race jitters (or maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that my neighbors were having a party and being obnoxiously loud) but I was awake at about 4:30 am Sunday morning. So, y’know, that was fun. The race started at 7 am and having no idea what parking was going to be like and because I was already up and awake I decided to just head on over and got to Public Square around 5:30 am. They were still setting up the corrals and Start sign so that was fun to watch.
The race started off great. It was a gorgeous day and the course is mostly flat. I stuck to my plan of running 12-13 minutes, walking 3 minutes, rinse and repeat and it was going really well. (And my decision to use Armed Forces cadences as the walking cue was spot.on. Seriously.)
We started downtown right at Public Square which was a change from last year but I loved getting to run downtown Cleveland as I don’t get to do it often, mostly owing to, y’know, traffic and cars. After winding our way around downtown we turned onto the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge and around mile 3, the 10K runners split off from us half- and full-marathoners.
|One of the bridge’s “Guardians of Traffic.” No. Seriously.|
At the 10K split my pace was 17:24, which put me behind my pace from Rock ‘n Roll Cleveland Half Marathon, but I was going to stress it.
So all was well and good until about Mile 8 which is when my right ankle started to bother me. For whatever reason, my most recent pair of running shoes had been causing issues on my right foot since first purchased starting last week when I ran my 10 miles and end up with some chafing on the heel. Oh yay, bloody socks. Same style and size as always so I don’t know what was going on, but I bandaged that bad boy up Sunday morning and putting my shoe on the heel felt fine (although by the time I got home yesterday I had the same chafing problem with the bandages having worn through).
|Walking the Shoreway is a whole lot different than driving it|
As for my ankle, I have no idea what happened there. After the race, I took my shoes off and it felt instantly better, it’s not swollen, and while there is a bit of stiffness when I rotate it, I can put pressure on it and walk just fine. But during the race I just knew that there was no way running was going to be happening. The left foot was fine but that right foot, man. I pushed through to Mile 9 and then switched to walking and ended up walking the rest of the half. And, lemme tell ya, those were the longest fucking four miles I have ever had to deal with. After a while even walking was uncomfortable and I just wanted the whole damn thing to be over. I was hot, I was tired, my face was sunburned and it was like the finish line was never going to arrive.
Coming down the ramp to Lakeside, I saw my cousin Michelle and her daughter Katy sitting waiting for me. Once they realized that was me coming down the ramp they stood up and Michelle started jumping and cheering and it was utterly hysterical because she’s so tiny, I had no idea she could be so loud. Plus seeing as how I was feeling kinda crappy about my finish time, having that cheering section waiting for me at just the right moment was a nice reminder that no matter my time, no matter my pace I was about to finish my second half-marathon.
With that little pump of energy I decided I wasn’t going to walk across the finish line so I picked up my feet and jogged the quarter mile or so left and crossed that line!
In the end I finished in 4:12:38 (chip time) with an overall pace of 19:17. So no, I’m not thrilled with my time but, hey, shit happens. Not every run is going to be fabulous and this one wasn’t. But I did finish, I did complete my second half-marathon, and while I had to walk the last 4 miles I managed to run the first 9 so that’s something to be proud of, too!
Obviously you’ll also notice I’m not wearing the Ohio 13.1 shirt I purchased from CLE Clothing Co. a few weeks ago. Early last week, Harness Cycle sent out an email on the studio’s newsletter stating that all of us running in any of the races were eligible for a free shirt! If we wore it during the race and uploaded a photo tagging the studio they would give us a free ride as a thank you for basically providing them with some free advertising. But I did wear the 13.1 shirt went out I went to dinner at Melt Bar & Grilled Saturday night (that’s another racing ritual I forgot about!)
As of right now, my next race is the RnR Cleveland Half in October. I’ll start training for that in July, but in the meantime I might start to look for some summer 5Ks and 10Ks. I really do love the distance of a 10K, for me it’s the Goldilock distance of races: not too short and not too long.
Anyone else run any of the CLE Marathon races? How did you do?
Love from the ashes,