Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 2011

May 18, 2011

A year has passed and I ran the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon for a second time. The route was changed a bit because of the construction going on downtown and I wondered if I would be able to PR? After all I've been doing this for over a year now???

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I was concerned about the weather all week long. What would it be like to run in constant rain, since that's all the forecast was calling for? I pictured my feet soaked and cold, rain in my face... I had imagined the worse until finally I decided whatever its going to be I will deal with it as it comes.

I had debated wearing a jacket to help keep me dry if it rained but quickly decided against it since in almost every race I've ran I was over dressed and didn't want to repeat that mistake. We headed outside ready to head down to Cleveland Brown's stadium and met up with some of the other runners leaving our hotel. I was pleasantly surprised to find the temperature a bit chilly and no rain... perfect for running!

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For some reason I wasn't nervous this race? So many times heading down to the start line I can feel my nerves kicking in but not this time, it was different it was like just going out for a run with 25,000 people...lol

At the expo the day before Chelsea and I had picked up some compression socks and I was hoping these would help my legs and prevent shin splints. They worked wonders or my new shoes made the difference? Either way I was definitely feeling better.  Except when we were crossing our first bridge... suddenly my legs felt like noodles? I can't quite explain the feeling but a sense of panic came over me to be feeling this awkward at such an early point. Soon I realized other runners were feeling it to and it was in fact the bridge moving as the 25,000 of us pounded across it. While it didn't calm me quite yet, once we got off the bridge my legs felt normal again.

I knew the entire race my pace wasn't the best, I would push myself whenever possible but something was holding me back? I visited the doctor before our 10 mile run in April and after some testing they had suggested I try an inhaler since my symptoms sounded like exercise induced asthma. I had forgotten the inhaler for this run and every time my chest would get heavy I would slow my pace.

I was disappointed that after a  year of running my pace had fallen backwards instead of improving? My time from running the Rite Aid Cleveland last year was 2:26:25 and this year was 2:24:12.  An improvement, but not was I was hoping for?  And poor Chelsea at mile 2 had been hit by a wheelchair bike coming through as she was heading to a water station. She was bruised but somehow continued to run the additional 11.1 miles needed to finish the marathon. Her time 2:17:17.

It had started raining by the 8th mile, drizzling I guess you would say, and boy was it a welcome feeling.  I had no idea how much I would enjoy running in the rain! However, once we finished the race, got our medal and headed out of the coral the chill began to set in. I think as we cooled down the temperature  was cooling down and we were frozen by the time we made our way back to our hotel.

I felt more confident and experienced this run but not accomplished?  One thing a runner can see is their time and the only thing my time was proving to me is that I need to train differently for the next race. It was a lesson, a challenge to be sure and an experience that I will grow from.

Now time to get training for the next race...

 

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