So yeah, I've been remiss about this whole blog thing. Excuses, excuses. So much to do, so little time, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Here's how the Rite Aid Cleveland Half-Marathon went down for me:
It was cold and drizzling - which was perfect weather for running! We left Akron around quarter after five. The information packet said to be downtown no later than six because the roads would be closed, etc. With a quick pit-stop in Brecksville for my nervous gut, we made it to Cleveland right around 6am. Found a parking spot over by E 4th street and proceeded to make our way down to the starting area (Browns Stadium). P was a trouper - she insisted on walking the whole way (as opposed to being worn by daddy - ah, but that carrier would definitely come in handy as they waited for me...).
Before the race:
(I was wearing the headband at the insistence of P. I don't normally wear those.)
From the time the starting gun went off, it took almost eight minutes to get to the starting line. My goal for the race was to finish vertically, but there was a time goal (I know, I know... bad T) I wanted to accomplish: 2:30:00. In order to make that goal I knew I needed to line up in the 5:00:00 pace group. The crowd was so big and the starting line so unorganized (really, they should have started in waves) that I couldn't get close to the 5-hr pace group. I was ahead of the 5.30 group - and could still see the sign for the 5-hr pacers, so I grudgingly accepted my spot and started on my way.
The first three miles went by so quickly. Even though I was wearing my earbuds, I did NOT listen to music. I had them on only to hear the mile markers and time from my runtastic app. I couldn't believe how many people were in line for port-a-potties so close to the start line. I guess I could, though, really, because when I'm not in a race and just running for fun, I usually have to facilitize somewhere around mile 2.5. (I seem to have a nervous gullet for race-day and always manage to get that out of the way beforehand!)
Around mile 4 my right IT band started hurting. Not so bad that I was going to stop. I was making good time (for me, anyway, I was averaging a 10:12 mile). I kept plodding along, happy with how things were going.
Yes, I really was feeling good! Sore knee, but all was well.
Until mile 10.5. I sidestepped a safety cone that had been put in the most inadvertent place and when I did that, my kneecap decided to jump track and start rubbing against the cartilage. Yeah, that hurt. Slowed my progress significantly. Up until that point, my 2.5 hour half was totally doable. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. I started walking... and walking... I walked for about a mile and half until I decided it hurt just as bad to walk as it did to run, so I might as well get this over with as soon as possible.
As I rounded the corner for the sprint to the finish, the hubby was there with his trusty camera.
Finish line ahead:
As I was coming in for my finish, apparently so was the female winner of the FULL marathon! Yes, she ran the entire course in the time it took me to do half of it. *sigh* Oh well - at least there was a ton of excitement as I was crossing the finish line.
After finishing and collecting my medal, banana and chocolate milk, I wandered around trying to coordinate meeting up with the hubby. I was cranky and in pain, so it wasn't exactly the runner's high that's so promised.
We trudged uphill back to the car (another mile) and stopped to take pictures of P.
After it was all said and done, I have my medal:
...and I have my sticker:
... and then I went and ate the most disgustingly fattening thing I could think of: Strawberry-smothered french toast. It was delicious!
The aftermath of my feet. (SFW, just not safe for the squeamish). Believe it or not, they didn't hurt. Or maybe they did, but the pain in my knee was so much that I didn't notice the feet hurting.
Oh, and that 2:30:00 goal? Missed it by that much. My official time was 2:35:22. So close...