After expo-ing all weekend, I went to bed early Saturday night as I had an early alarm clock for race day! I was waffling all morning about what to wear and at the last second switched to a tank top and I’m so glad I did because I think it would have ended up being too hot and humid in a short sleeve shirt.
As I mentioned in my last post, my relationship with running is a bit complicated these days and I plan on talking more about that on Wednesday. But because of that, I decided to walk this race instead of run it. I tried running at the very start but I knew right away that I am mentally not in the place for that. And whatever this is that I’m dealing with, it really is all mental but that somehow makes it even harder overcome. I knew that if I felt like I had to run the whole thing I would have a horrible day mentally so I decided to just walk all 6.2 miles, so that’s what I did.
There was a new course this year and I was super excited because it took me through some of my old running haunts which I haven’t seen in the year+ since I moved. For out of towners it also was a mini sight seeing tour of the city that I love.
We started downtown near the stadiums as usual but instead of going over the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge as in the past, we headed down through the heart of the city. Shortly after starting I heard someone calling my name. When I looked up I saw my dear friend Jamie, which just made my whole morning.
The course continued, taking us past the Rock Hall and then down into the East Bank of the Flats then turned and went through my old neighborhood.
At this point I knew there was a big hill coming and I loved that the Cleveland Marathon placed encouraging signs along that hill, as if they knew we’d need a little extra encouragement at that point.
We passed the 4 mile marker along the hill and at the top, the 10K split from the half an full runners. I really liked this part of the race because when I had run it in the past, the split happened much sooner. As it was, we 10K were separated from the longer distances for only about 1.5 miles before we hooked back up with them towards the end of the race.
At the split I started walking with a woman I had met on Friday at the expo so we finished the final stretch of the race together.
There was no Shoreway this year (hal-fucking-lujiah) and, instead, we came in via the Detroit-Superior Bridge. As we started to close in on that finish line, I once again heard someone call my name and this time it was my cousin Michele — the same cousin who met me at the finish line of the 2014 Cleveland Half.
As we crossed the finish line we learned that they had run out of 10K medals.
I have heard horror stories about that happening to back of the packers but had never experienced that myself, so I get to check off the box of Slow Runner Bingo. They said they were going to mail them out so okay, I guess. Thankfully, one of the benefits to being an Ambassador is having those good connections so I have a call/meeting with them today to talk about it.
So here’s something you need to know about my cousin Michele: once she learned I didn’t get my medal, she took hers off and insisted I take it. She legitimately would not take no for an answer and this was pretty much my reaction:
Up until she put that medal around my neck, I don’t think I truly realized how upset I was to not get one. But endorphins combined with monthly hormones resulted in me bursting into tears.
So there it is! I finished the 10K and no matter what, I am happy about that because, as my friend Stephanie reminded me a couple of weeks ago, a year ago this time I couldn’t walk so being able to walk 6.2 miles is pretty damn amazing.
Love from the ashes,