Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cleveland ROCKS!

Cleveland Rocks - Click Here

So, I got to Cleveland yesterday afternoon, not sure what my plans were for running. I figured I would start at 9:09 mile pace (4 hour marathon) and just see how it went.

Dinner Sat Night:
Sat night, it was a torrential downpour in Cleveland. I met up with Sara and George for dinner. We waited at least an hour for plain ole' spaghetti and meatballs. But, it was terrific and my Peroni beer, was just perfect. Apparently, George has zero pull in the Little Italy section of Cleveland. LOL But, we had a few yucks, then the youngsters went out to "study". (insert beer glass picture here)

No Sleep: Saturday night I didn't get much sleep, my hotel room was right outside the elevators and all the half-marathoners and 10k people were coming in til 1:00 am and congregating in the area near the elevators. Ugh. Stupid runners.

Race Morning: So, race starts at 7:00 a.m., I get up around 6:00, get my act in gear and walk on down to the start (about 4 minutes from the hotel - very convenient). I look out my hotel window and I can see the waves ripping across Lake Erie, right beyond the Browns Stadium. Click on picture to blow it up. Great, another windy day.

I still hadn't quite figured out whether I'd run the full marathon today, knowing I had so many days off leading up to this and I still have the other marathon in 5 weeks in Duluth that I can take my last summer BQ shot.

So, I get to the startline. It's pretty wild! The music is just jamming, they're playing the Cleveland Rocks song from Drew Carey Show (which may be the best comedy show ever) and the wind is blowing like crazy. I meet a guy at the start line who lost 50 pounds and it's his first marathon. Which reminded me of Cathy S! He started out walking. Now he's running a marathon. He was pretty geeked up. It's blowing like crazy, but the starting area is absolutely electric!

No Matter where you go, there's the Browns Stadium: The race starts out and runs right toward Browns Stadium, right in front of it. This is so cool! I decided not to look at my watch today, so I have no idea how fast I'm running. I'm just running by feel. I'll cut to the chase. No, just kidding.

So, I felt really good, and was around the 4:00 pace group. Even though I KNEW they were running much faster than a 9:09 pace (I overheard a few other people talking about their pace). Why pacers start out too fast escapes me, but I see it all the time.

Course Music + Head Music: There was great music every mile. I'm not sure why, but 2 songs got stuck in my head during the race today: Sam and Dave's: "Hold On I'm Comin' Click Here if you've got rhythm and Barry McQuire "Eve of Destruction". Click Here if you don't hate this song already

Sam and Dave is still stuck in head as I write this.

Miles 3 - 10: In the next several miles 3 - 10, I wavered back and forth during the race about whether to run the full or just run a half. I felt really good, but after around mile 8 when I could see the 3:50 group in my sight, I started to question whether I'd gone out too fast to hold it together 14 miles later, and also whether I'd brought enough gu gels and other implements along to take me through the full 26 miles. But, at this point, I was still somewhat mentally preparing myself to do the full 26.

The Cramp that talks to the brain: Just then, around mile 10 or 11, there's a huge expressway bridge. I hate these long slow upgrades. Mt. Everest. Is Tenzig Norway still alive, I need to channel him RIGHT NOW! Into the wind. My right calf cramped, just a twinge, but enough that it made me stop and massage it out.

A blonde moment: Once in a while, late in a full marathon, I'd get calf cramping so I take these things called Endurolytes but I didn't bring enough to last for 16 more miles, and I lost a gu on the ground earlier, so I didn't really have enough to last. I hadn't eaten anything in the morning, and on recollection, didn't drink enough either. I don't know why I neglected to eat, but I must've forgot. (See, blonde.)

So, I thought, "There's no way I'm going to deal with this vague cramp thing for the next 16 miles." Also, I definitely knew I had been running a little too fast for too long to not have a complete blow up on the back 9 (and it'd probably be in some Cleveland neighborhood resembling East Philadelphia and Grand River).

So for the first time I thought back to the time on the 11 mile marker time and knew that I'd be well under 2 hours for a half. So, I decided at that point to just roll it in and cut it off at the half and run back through to finish up and nab myself a half medal and not trash my legs out too badly to save them for 5 weeks from now.

I never looked at my watch, but here are my splits:

1 8:58
2 9:13
3 8:45
4 8:35
5 8:34
6 8:25
7 8:38
8 8:27
9 8:25
10 8:15
11 9:06 Hill + I stopped to massage this calf which helped a little
12 8:47
13 8:05

1:53:29 is what my split says on their website(I don't remember when I actually shut my watch off, so my watch time is slower). This is almost 10 minutes faster than I ran in January, and it's on to Duluth in 5 weeks. This BQ is sooo close I can taste it.


  1. Heeeeee. I love that song. Wow, just about every mile faster! Looks like this will turn out to the tune-up to a BQtastic day in Duluth!!

  2. Geeez, you are fast! Remember how I said I want to run with you some time? Never mind, I could never dream of keeping up! But awwww, you thought of me while you were at your race. I'm touched. :)

    I love your race reports because you actually remember specific details about what happened during which mile. You need to teach me how to do that!

  3. Hey there's MaryAnn from the Sports Club. WOW! Great half in Cleveland!!! You rock! I know I've said it before but I love your writing! You never fail to make me smile with your running stories!!! Keep up the great runs! You look great!!PS..I'm fighting a minor injury too...happened after my 10 mile race (Live Like Andi) which was May 2nd. Jogged a mile yesterday and today.

  4. MaryAnn, Boo on the injury. Glad you are at least able to get back to it. Are you running Dexter/AA 10k? (I'll call you)

  5. Can't wait for Duluth! You are going to BQ! Congrats on a great 1/2 time! You always crack me up. Jackie aka Hikergirl

  6. "All the little chicks with the crimson lips...."

    Love that song, love that show....and YES, you've got that BQ in the crosshairs! Excellent racing.