Tuesday, May 27, 2008

If you don’t like the weather in Cleveland, wait 5 minutes.

That is a saying in Cleveland and on May 18th – it was so true. When Micah and I started out in the morning at 7 am, it was pouring down rain. But, I was optimistic that the Cleveland saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Cleveland, wait 5 minutes,” would ring true and I wore my sunglasses in spite of the rain.

Even with the miserable weather, friends and family came out to cheer on Micah and me. It was fantastic! But, the sad news of the day was that my parents and sister only made it to one mile marker before getting caught up in a fender bender! Thankfully, everyone is okay.

The Cleveland Marathon takes you from downtown Cleveland across the shoreway to Lakewood. It is pretty amazing running across the bridges in Cleveland. Too bad it was raining in the morning and the view across the lake wasn’t that clear. Nonetheless, the beginning of the race is very exciting! You feel great and there is an amazing energy throughout the participants and the crowd. Plus, you have the bonus of having the half marathoners with you – so there are a lot more people.

By time we got into Lakewood, Micah and I had our eyes open for our friends and family. As we rounded the bend onto W. 117th, we saw them jumping and shouting in the rain. It was fabulous. Shortly there after, Micah and I saw this family that seemed to follow our pace throughout the race. There were 3 kids, a mom and a grandpa – and they were awesome. I saw them about every five miles and they had such great energy and were always giving people high fives as they ran by. I’ll tell you at mile 21 – their high fives helped me get up a wicked hill while I was running into the wind off of Lake Erie.

I must admit, that some of the euphoria of the race can wear off by time you reach mile 13. The half marathoners are heading towards the finish line and you are wondering to yourself...“um…why didn’t I just do the half? I still have 13.2 more miles to go!” The other issue at mile 13 is that the crowd REALLY starts to thin out. There are a ton of people cheering for the first half and it dwindles at the second half. So for those marathon spectators reading out there – trust me – your marathoners will love to see you later in the race. It is when they’ll need you most.

The second half of the marathon goes through midtown and then over to MLK Blvd, which takes you through one of my favorite parts of Cleveland – the ethnic gardens. We were lucky and the sun came out, but it didn’t get too hot in the second half. Heck, it was even starting to rain again as I finished mile 26.

At mile 15, it was great to see some friendly faces from back in Youngstown…the Haus family came out in full force and was cheering me on – and it was so great to see them there. At mile 16, there was this guy who was struggling…and I gave him an extra Gu that I had…I hope that it gave him the energy needed to keep moving on.

At Mile 18, I saw Rachel and Marilyn again. Plus, I got to see my friend Susan, who came with her baby Cole. It was fantastic that they were able to make it out.

My pace was great…until mile 20. Damn, the wind off the lake hit me and I went from running perfectly on pace to having my time go up by 1 to 2 minutes per mile. What a bummer…and it was so rough to have the view of downtown Cleveland in front of you, but feel so far away. During this time, I really concentrated on the Joliba Trust. I thought about their work and what hopefully they’d be able to do with the donations we’ve all raised. This helped to push me through to the end.

Then, while nearing the home stretch, I saw my friends Jed and Sarah – cheering me on. How Sarah had the energy…I don’t know considering she had already finished the race!

Crossing the finish line was great. I was happy at taking nearly 20 minutes off my old time. Even if I didn’t reach my goal of a 4 hr and 30 minute marathon – I guess that gives me a goal for next time!

I am also happy to say that we came close to reaching the goal for the Joliba Trust – we raised nearly $2,000. We feel short of the $2,000 goal by just $83. So, if you haven’t given yet – please do so – you can make the difference!

I also want to give a special Congrats to Micah and Rachel – not only did Micah have a great first marathon – he also got married a week later!

So, that is it for now…just resting, walking and hitting the elliptical at the gym. I plan on running two half marathons this summer. I’ll keep you all posted!

1 comment:

Kamden said...

Hey I was at mile 26.2 and screamed as you crossed the finish line, after doing 13.1 myself you goober! Luv, Kamden