Okay, I do not think it is at all recommended that of three runs in a week they be divided as follows:
Run 1 – 5.1 km
Run 2 – 4.8 km
Run 3 – 21.1 km
So 31 km on the week and about 82 km away from downtown Toronto. I’m past Newcastle and almost right in Newtonville. North of me right now is the Town of Orono (I just like all the Os). Orono is the hometown of Jim Cuddy. I thought I was doing well till I saw a website describe Orono as 45 minutes east of Toronto. … How many days have I been doing this again? lol
But the more interesting part, this week at least, isn’t the imaginary run part but rather part of the real running. Those 21.1km in the third run? That was actually measured as 13.1 miles in Cleveland Ohio. I ran the half-marathon at the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon. Toby and I woke up Saturday morning, dropped Q off at my parents’ condo and headed to the border. The plan? Drive to Buffalo then turn right. Follow the lake to Cleveland. Well, google maps was a bit more precise than that. What google maps failed to remind us was how long the border can take; at about noon on the Saturday of a long weekend. If you didn’t know the Niagara crossing took about 2 hours. That wasn’t so much fun.
So add in that we slept in a little later than anticipated and then the border fun, well we got to the expo in Cleveland at 4:40 pm (it closed at 6 so we were fine that way) instead of by 1 or 2 as we had originally hoped. We found our way to the hotel and I unpacked all my running stuff in advance of the 5:30 am wake up on Sunday.
And then Toby tried to make reservations at a restaurant he wanted to try. The next ones were at 9:30. The restaurant wasn’t open on Sunday. And I couldn’t say no so off we went for supper at 9:30 at night. Yea, don’t worry, lesson learned.
The morning of the race was uneventful. I remembered to post a picture of my “flat runner.”
The race started at the Cleveland Browns’ stadium
No one does football quite like Americans I think. The stadium was great and the whole ground floor was opened to the participants so there were TONS of bathrooms that weren’t portapotties! Woohoo!
I always start towards the back of the pack. I have another 21.1km scheduled for May 26 so I promised myself to treat this like a long training run and not to push it too hard. Plus there was something like 12,000 people running the half and the full marathon. So anyway, towards the back I went.
It was wonderful to start with – a little cool and grey and overcast. The only wind was a nice side breeze, which I find doesn’t bug me hardly at all. Toby and I have been eating keto for almost three weeks now so I added a little bit of carbs on Saturday (burger with a bun at lunch and, uhm, well, dessert on Saturday night. And two beers 🙂 so maybe not the best choices but some carbs nonetheless) and was going to be sure to drink the sports drink on offer at the water tables and slowly eat my honey stinger chew things.
The sports drink on offer is one of the many reasons I’ll have fond memories of the Cleveland race – blue powerade. Seriously. My favourite sports drink! Wheeeee And the other reasons in brief: lots of music on the course – some just music out of speakers but there was a guy playing the electric guitar, a group playing spanish music outside of their church, a lady singing on one stretch and a band (with a guitar player wearing a Red Wings t-shirt) near the end. That was cool. We also went through some lovely neighbourhoods and lots of people were out on their lawns or front steps cheering us on.
I managed the first 10k in 1:23:39 which would have had me over the finish at 2:56:29. But then the humidity set in. And then it got hotter. I just have to start working more in the heat to get used to it I guess but I generally don’t do well in the heat. And then a hill came. Wheeee
The other thing I learned is that I cannot do “random” walk breaks yet. I work well with a plan. Even if it’s 10:1s, or 5:1s (which I originally thought I would do) I should stick with that for now. Instead I learned that no beep from my watch means I don’t push myself to continue until the beep. Instead, I cave. Part of me is still that lazy chick after all 😉 Sometimes I ran for 14 minutes sometimes – and honestly far more often – I ran for 3 or 5.
A friend flew (seriously!) from Detroit to see me finish (I really do have the bestest friends). And I saw her at around 12.9 miles. Turns out I was good to have posted the flat runner. She almost didn’t recognize me because I was wearing my new cap. The clothes helped her know it was me! She yelled and cheered and showed me a beer she’d brought for me from Michigan. I yelled and smiled and ran down that hill faster than I think I have ever run before. That was kinda fun but then I died and pushed the last few yards thinking “I think I can I think I can….” and I did – and then I heard Toby! That was also a surprise as we had planned on meeting up at the hotel afterwards. We found my friend, found a shady spot and I had my beer. I had hoped to finish in 3 hours and I managed it in 3:01:32. Man, that minute 32 is gonna annoy me for a while I have no doubt.
Now I’m not sure how the above reads to anyone else but just so there’s no doubt – I loved it. I run slowly but I love running. I love knowing it’s something I can do. There might be a bazillion people who can run faster than I can but you know what, that doesn’t matter one whit. I’m 40 years old and I spent way too many years not really caring about my health. So now I’m happy I’m out there. Not everyone can run a half-marathon; not every one who can bothers to. I may be slow and pokey but I’m also kinda awesome.