Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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.....

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