22 May 2013

recap: Cleveland Marathon 10K

At the Cleveland Marathon Expo, runners were advised to get to Cleveland Browns Stadium by 6 am in order to avoid traffic and get through gear check. As I only live about a mile and a half away from the stadium and decided to walk and would only be carrying my keys and phone (which could easily fit into my SPIBelt), that meant no parking or gear check for me!

But, it was still going to take me about half an hour to walk downtown and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to use the restroom and figure out where I needed to go before the race so I made sure to give myself an early wake up call. I also set all of my gear out on my dining room table so I'd be all set when I groggily woke up.

"I run so I'll be able to keep up with The Doctor on our adventures"

Surprisingly, I actually woke up before my alarm. Race day always feels like Christmas morning, just so excited to get out there and get going. Had some overnight oats for breakfast, got ready, and headed out.

With not going through gear check I was a little worried that it would be chilly in the morning and I'd have to take a jacket that would be too hot to run in, but when I left my apartment at about 6:20 am it was already 65 degrees out.


I got to the stadium around 6:45 and the marathoners and half-marathoners were already lining up which meant, among other things, I didn't have to wait in a super long line to use the restroom!

It's the little things.

One thing I've always loved about the running community is how friendly and supportive everyone is. My parents weren't able to make it -- I actually told them that with the early start time they didn't have to come. They'd have to leave their house around 6:30 just to get downtown and that doesn't take into account finding parking and then finding me -- so after a couple asked me to take their picture for them, I asked if they'd take one of me.

Good goddess, take a look at those skinny legs!

The marathon and half-marathon started at 7, so those of us in the 10K and spectators cheered and applauded them as they set off with the gun. With so many people it took awhile for them to all get through the start line but once the road was cleared, those of us running the 10K began to line up. 7:30 rolled around and we were off! 


Now, I don't know if it was the heat or the fact that I didn't do as much training this time around as I did for my first 10K back in February, but holy hell that first mile was tough for me. There were a couple of inclines and after my experience at the zoo last year I almost always walk up hills during races so it took me about 16 minutes to reach that first mile marker. After that I knew there was no way I was going to PR, although I know I picked up speed with each following mile, so I'm happy and proud about that. 

The rest of the course was fairly flat and looped up and around the Near West side of the city, over near Gordon Square, before looping back onto the Shoreway around Mile 4. 

I had this friend in college who used to say that as long as you could visibly see your destination, it couldn't be that far away. This mental motivation was running through my head as I hit the final couple of miles because the long stretch of Shoreway was intimidating, but if I looked up ahead I could see the crazy bright orange stands of Browns Stadium. 


Now. Around Mile 5 I developed a really annoying stitch in my right side. While I obviously can't say for sure what caused it, looking back I'm going to chalk it up to dehydration. Regardless, it made breathing while running nearly impossible so around 5.5 I slowed down to a walk, pressing my hand into my side, taking deep breathes. I was able to get it to hurt less but I didn't want to walk across the finish line, so at the 6 mile marker I started running again. Of course, the stitch came back but I pushed through it and finished strong. 


Once I got some water and a banana, stitch completely went away. I think I took the temperature for granted: it was overcast for most of the race, but as you can see in the above picture the sun eventually did come out near the end and here I've been running for 5 miles and sweating and I skipped the last water station, so that's why I'm going with dehydration. So just something for me to keep in mind in future races. 


I also don't know what happened with my chip -- they were the kind attached to your bib -- but my chip time and clock time were exactly the same (1:34:05). Unless you're at the very start of the pack, there is going to be lag time. Knowing I'm a slow runner I started near the back and it took a good 4-5 minutes to get up to the start line, which is when my chip should have triggered. I start my Polar HRM when I cross the start mat and compared it to the clock along the course and was consistently 4-5 minutes behind. So I don't know if the chip somehow wasn't activated at the start and only the end so it had to default to the clock time? Whatever, I'm going with my HRM and calling it a 90 minute 10K. 

After, my friend Sandie and I met up for brunch at BRGR9 where I had myself a well-earned mimosa. 


And yes, I was one of those runners who wore her race t-shirt around for the rest of the day.

Let me tell you, I was starving after this race. I've also decided that after I run the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in October I want to celebrate at the Horseshoe Casino. Not with the slots, but with food: I've been wanting to indulge in their brunch buffet since the casino opened a year ago, I just can't justifying paying $22 knowing there is no way in hell I'll manage to eat $22 worth of food. But after running 13.1 miles? Hell yes. 

Aside from the inclines at the beginning this course was really pretty flat and fairly easy to run. The 2014 Cleveland Marathon weekend is obviously a year away, but they already have registration available and if I register before the end of the month I get the Early Bird discount so I may just have to sign up for next year's 10K! 

Anyone else participate in any races over the weekend? How did you do?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

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