|Some of the Cleveland Marathon Bloggers|
|All gussied up...|
The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon was a weekend long event for me. The marathon organizers hosted a VIP cocktail party on the Friday night before the race at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Cleveland. I did not have a date to this event and none of my friends were available to attend with me. I was reluctant to go (I'm socially awkward) but put on my big girl pants and went anyway. As I was signing in at the door, I ran into a friend from social media whom I had never met in real life, Tara. She is the Program Director for the We Run This City program in Cleveland and happens to be a pretty awesome human. She was there with four of the children she works with. We sat and ate and talked together. When they were about to leave, I walked around to speak to the other bloggers and ended up chatting with Joe(and wife) and Stephanie(and boyfriend). We talked about all things running and I felt beyond motivated after chatting with Tara, her students and the other bloggers.
|Me and my Littlest Joe|
On Saturday, I headed to the Expo with my littlest Joe. We were pretty excited to have some girl time. We picked up my bib and shirt and visited quite a few booths. I bought compression sleeves and a Spibelt and she picked up a head band for running. She also stopped by the American Greetings table to make a sign for me. Apparently, The Joes were going to come to the race to cheer me on and to go to the VIP brunch that the Cleveland Marathon was hosting!!! I wore my superman shirt to the Expo. I needed the superpowers that come with it to resist the call of Krispy Kreme donuts, which would have been an exit away from the Expo, as opposed to the usual 40 minute ride it would take to get there from my house. I was able to resist those sugary sirens....until the next time I have to drive west.
|New Compression sleeves! Love green!!|
|The headband..."Some girls chase boys. I pass 'em"|
I got up pretty early on the morning of the race. According to the parking pass, I had to be in the lot by 5:30. I got up at 4:30 and awakened The Joes. Big Joe got up, took our dog (Honey) out and then explained that he was too tired to go. He was bailing. The littlest Joe was my last hope. I woke her up (or tried to wake her up) three times. She never got out of her bed. I was on my own. I hit a bit of traffic coming into downtown but I made it to the lot at about 5:35. No one seemed to care about the time. I was relieved. I pulled in and decided to do my favorite thing in the world. Sleep in the car. My race started at 7:30. I had about an hour and a half of down time. I had brought a pillow and a quilt with me. I headed to my back seat for a snooze. I have no idea why I love car sleeping so much!!!! My alarm awakened me at 7am and I got out and headed to the start line. While I was waiting, I ran into a co-worker from a previous job, Dan. We chatted about the race. He shared his goal time and asked what was mine. I answered "Oh, probably 1:10". I hadn't set a goal time but this sounded about right. The race started out great. I ran for a while and then realized that we were running over a bridge. I have never read a course map before a race. I probably should have checked this one out. I am afraid of bridges!!! Running over it was pretty easy. Running back was a little harder. I was a little nervous. I did a good job of pacing myself. Sometimes, during my practice runs, I had run the first couple of miles too fast and tired myself quickly. I ran this race pretty consistently between 10:50 and 11:10. I wore my new compression sleeves for the race and my legs felt great. I should admit that my toes were a little tingly around mile 4. I added some sport insoles and I think that maybe the running socks and insoles made my shoes a little too tight. Note to self: Don't experiment on race day! When I crossed the finish line, I thought the clock said 1:11 and some seconds. I assumed that my time was about 1:09 and some seconds but I had to wait until the results were in to find out for sure. I met up with one of my running buddies, Rebecca, who was at the race cheering on her husband as he ran the half. I invited her, her husband and their son to enjoy my tickets to the brunch since my dates stood me up. Actually, there was no standing...They were laying...in their beds...snoozing. When I got home and checked the results, I was surprised to see that my time was exactly 1:10. No seconds.
|The recipients of the Brunch tickets.|
|Me...after the race. Is she giving me the evil eye?|
This race was important to me because this is the third year in a row that I have run this particular race. It is the first year that I have run it with my bib and had a time registered. It was also important for anther reason. A co-worker of mine, Sharella Thomas was killed in a car crash on the Friday before the race. She was a beautiful person. We worked together as social workers in a local emergency room. I learned a great deal about her when we worked 12 hour shifts together. One thing I discovered was that she was a runner. She was a group leader for the local chapter of Black Girls Run. She was passionate about her role in the lives of the women she ran with. I never ran with her but when we talked running she was always encouraging me to run farther and longer. When I first started running, I would tell her my tales of woe and she would tell me that I could run farther than whatever distance I had mentioned. She believed I was capable of doing it before I realized it. She was a Master's level social worker. She was always my sounding board for difficult cases or situations. She was compassionate and caring both professionally and personally. She was a supportive mother who encouraged her son to follow his dreams. She was an amazing person who touched many lives. I'm praying for peace for her family and friends and I am most grateful for the opportunity to have known her and for her many encouraging words.