Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cleveland Marathon: Part II

As I headed off into the neighborhood streets past Edgewater I began telling myself "focus on your breathing, keep your upper body relaxed." I remember the year before at this point in the race I had encountered a few of the wheelchair racers and had to run around them, but for a few seconds I thought to myself, "I would never be able to do what they do." I rounded the corner to begin my journey back into downtown Cleveland. I crossed the 10k mat and I knew my time was pretty good. I began telling myself okay 1/2 way done. Hunt down mile marker 7. One mile at a time. Worry about the finish at the finish. I was doing well until.... oh crap, I have to do #2 AGAIN for the third time that morning!!!! Uuuggghh!!!! Well, I thought I have run having to go to the bathroom before. I will just hold it until the end. Big mistake. The next 6 miles were very uncomfortable. I got back onto the freeway and enjoyed a quick mile downhill at mile 8-9, but then coming up the hill and into Frankli n I hit the wall.I remember the Walrus saying that he blew up on the same in the same spot last year and my time on the hill sloooowwwed significantly. I kept telling myself you're almost there, push through this. I covered the neighboorhood in a blur and as I made the turn to Lorain I had another flashback from the year before of a spectator holding a sign that said "run and do not be weary." I kept thinking it is all in my head. I went numb when I hit the bridge and said "F#ck It!" I focused on the people about 200 meters in front of me and began chasing them down. Then I focused on more people and just kept pushing myself. I passed the 11 mile marker and thought only 2 to go. You can do this. I was breathing well. My form was holding steady and other than my gastrointestinal issue flaring it's ugly head I was in the zone. I did not see a 12 mile marker because I turned off the marathon course before it so I figured I was almost there when I saw the Walrus running back toward me. He had said he wasn't coming back for me this race, but I later found out he couldn't help himself and he wanted to be there to push me to the end. Aaawww, he is the best. Together we clipped off the last 1/2 mile or so at a great pace for me. I made the turn to the finish and WHAM!!! That was it. I was literally going to explode, so I made a decision right then and there to walk and regroup. The Walrus went crazy yelling, "What are you doing? The finish is right there?" He threw his hands up and pulled off the course. I walked for about 20 seconds and then picked it back up for the last 100 meters. Oh shit, I thought, I need a bathroom and with that I rushed through the gates to the nearest porta-potty. After I went to my car to change and grab some water, but I had given myself such an upset stomach that when I got to the car I puked for about 5 minutes. I learned my lesson that day....when nature calls....answere IT!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cleveland 1/2 Marathon Pics

Me running to the FINISH of the Rite Aid 1/2

The START of Rite Aid

The "Walrus" warmed up and ready at Rite Aid

Cleveland 1/2 Marathon: Part I

Okay, so last year I ran a 1:57:48 on the 1/2 and this year I thought I might have a shot at easily replacing that time. I had been training fairly well for the past 9 weeks and was getting in some great quality runs. However, I went to bed the night before with a headache and an upset stomach, GREAT just what I need. I slept about 6 hours and woke up around 4:45am to call the Walrus (my boyfriend) to make sure he was up and prepping for the 1/2 too. Of course he was, he had already cycled for 15-20 min and was in the shower. He is the definition of a dedicated runner. I grabbed my gear and went downstairs to meet Bambi who was doing the 10K. We jumped in the truck and got to the race at about 6:10am. Sweet, 50 minutes to warm-up. We both had to go to the porta-potty first though. Good I thought, get that out of the way and then I will be free and clear to warm-up and focus. At about 6:50 runners began to assemble in the starting gate. I headed in at about 6:55 to the back by a bunch of walkers where I ran into MT. She said hi, but then decided she had to go to the bathroom with less than 5 minutes to go and took off for a bathroom of her own. The race started at about 7:01am and I waited patiently for my chance to cross the starting mats. Time was ticking away and I could already see the first runners had rounded the corner and were on their way back to the freeway and I hadn't even crossed the starting line yet! I was about 4-5 minutes behind the gun when I finally got my chance. I thought as I usually do right before, "here is your chance to pull out and go watch, you don't have to do this" and then with a deep breath and a little prayer I cross the starting line in hopes that I will run to my best and make it to that finish line. I always start in the back because I like the idea of always passing people rather than always getting passed. It did come at a small price though. I had to weave in and out of other runners and cut across the streets to run tangetially as my old high school XX coach had taught us. I looked at my watch and realized I had not hit the start button when I crossed, sh#t, so I hit it and figured I would get be able to at least get my mile splits for the race with the exception of the first one. I hit the first mile at 12:42 - WHOA I had a lot of work ahead of me. Second mile 21:10 , even with the uphill on 3rd street and all the people, Great, I was making up time like it was my job maybe this race wouldn't be so bad. I ran up Lakeshore admiring the view to Edgewater and it started to rain a little, but only enough to cool us off and then it stoppped. I saw the first runners coming back into Cleveland around their mile 7 and began to look for the Walrus. I about 10-20 runners go by and no Walrus. I was just about to run down into the neighborhood we have to run through when I saw him blazing up the street. YEAH!!!! I was so excited to see him I couldn't help but yell some words of encouragement to him right before I veered off. I smiled to myself and looked up at the sea of runners ahead of me. It was now time to focus. It was now time to rise up and run.....

Firtst but Not last

So, I had to recreate my blog and start over since there was some issue with trying to host it on another website (basically I messed it all up - operator error) and figured it would be best to just start over from scratch. I am going to try to do this at least once a week in between work, training, and hanging with loved ones. I am hoping it will reflect the improvement that is yet to come in my running and in my weight. I am currently 134 lbs. and the last race I ran was the Cleveland 1/2. My next race is the Yates 5K in Solon this weekend and I am hoping for a PR. My fastest is only 25:40. It is obvious now to all of you readers I run for the shear enjoyment and not for a place or elite status. However, I do intend to get into the 23's by the end of this season, so look out.