Monday, May 20, 2013

Cleveland Marathon Recap

First, let's talk about  the positive.   I did find a new running shirt that I love (and bought in numerous colors) because it was on sale on Lulu's website for $24(!!!)    The Cardio Kick tank has a great little, but deep pocket in back, which was awesome for holding my numerous gels.   I'm normally a Spibelt girl and loved not having the restriction of something around my waist.
Exhibit A

Can also be used for your phone or music device.    Most sizes are now sold out on the website but a little birdy told me that these are now $24 in store as well.   They were only marked down to $39 last time I was in.    Moral of the story, is RUN to Lulu if you want a Cardio Kick for $24. 

If you follow me on my Facebook page, you already know that Sunday was a real struggle for me.   I really wanted to have a funny, lighthearted, fabulous race recap so this is a real buzzkill.    Sorry bout that.

I like to primarily blame it on the weather, which was indeed the main problem.   Along with my sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.   Then there was my pre-race dinner the night before, which was NOT my norm.  In fact, it was pretty much the opposite of what I normally eat.   I don't know what I was thinking.  You don't need every detail but let's just say there were some serious GI issues happening during the race.   #lessonlearned

Everything was smooth sailing the morning of the race.   We walked to the start from our hotel in plenty of time.   The weather actually felt cool, which we were ecstatic about.  The music was pumping.  We were ready to roll.

My posse.  The running mama's.  These ladies are awesome.  They manage kids, jobs, households, and this crazy little addiction to running.   They are amazing and I don't know what I'd do without 'em.

We all started out together.   About two miles in, we were already annoyed. It was like someone had flipped a switch on the humidity and we were suddenly drenched in sweat.  That along with a very narrow, completely congested course (for miles).  It just didn't start off good.

We broke away from each other a few miles in.  A few of us stayed together.   The miles ticked by,  I got more miserable.   I just didn't feel like I could stay ahead of the amount of sweat that was happening.  

At mile 9, the sun came out BLAZING.  And never went away.  

Shocking, but I got one final burst of happiness around this time and took one pic.  I liked this view of the skyline from the bridge.    You know it's bad when I'm not taking pics.    This is the ONLY pic I took during the race.  Unheard of.  

So I start feeling more and more miserable.   My stomach felt terrible, I'm sweating profusely and again, I really didn't feel like I was able to take in the amount of fluids to compensate for what  I was losing.  I was taking Rehydrate Gels about every 6 miles, drinking water AND powerade at every water stop and just continued to feel like I was dying a slow death, right there at the Cleveland Marathon. 

The time comes for the half marathoners to split away.  I have never wanted anything more than to take a left towards the finish with those lucky mo fo's in all of my life.   I contemplated and debated and told myself this just wasn't my race and it was okay to turn.   But of course I'm stubborn.   And knew if I turned, I'd regret it every day until my next race.   And I'd be cranky.  And I'd replay that moment in my mind for weeks.  And really, I'd rather be miserable for another 13.1 miles than deal with all of that.    #craycray  So I bucked up and kept plugging away.

Meanwhile, the sun and humidity seemed to be intensifying.  We are running on nothing but open, unshaded pavement.   Shoot me now.   I ran with my BF,  Runnermommy for several miles.   We were both struggling and nothing was working.   No music or topics of conversations that usually make us laugh were even remotely sidetracking us.    We finally split and I found another mama around mile 19, who was also dying a slow, miserable death.    We commiserated for a bit and split again.

Mile 20 is when things got scary for me.   There were people passing out on the side of the course, ambulances speeding by every few minutes.  It just started getting a little frightening.    I started to really question the safety of things.    I kept taking in fluids, but nothing seemed to be digesting.   I also continued to have terrible GI cramps.   

I basically continued to do what felt like a grandma "shuffle" forward.     I also started to really doubt whether or not I'd even finish.   I was just in a bad place.   I also started to cry.   

At mile 24, the husband calls, thinking I should have been finished and to basically hollah some congratulations at me.  Instead, he was greeted with a hysterical wife saying "I can't do it.  I still have two miles.  I can't do it....(hysterics)...I can't do it....(rinse, repeat)..."  I really don't even know what he said but he helped me get my act together and I continued to shuffle forward.    

At mile 25, I met up with an unknown runner, who was also really struggling.    We encouraged each other that last stretch, talked about previous marathons we had done, how much we both wanted to die, you know, the norms.   It seemed to take my mind off the misery for a few minutes.   We finished together.   I have no idea who he was, but he was a Godsend. 

We cross the finish, I get water, a popsicle, and pretty much think I'm dying again.   I start thinking I'm going to throw up.   I wobble to the bathroom.  No throwing up but  more GI issues.     Hot mess is the only way to describe me.    After a rough walk back to our hotel room, I continued to not be able to catch my breath,  have cold chills, and a racing pulse.   I am 99.9 % sure I was suffering from heat stroke.   I was finally able to take a cold shower and continued to drink cold water.   It wasn't until last night that I felt fully normal again.   

I've done a million races and have never worked harder for a medal, which makes me love this one all the more.  

My secret goal time was between 4:00 and 4:10.   Chip time was 4:28.   So yeah, missed that one pretty good.   I'm okay with it.   I fought, dug deep, and finished, at a race when I thought I may not.   Considering everything going against me, I consider it a success. 

   But really, Cleveland Marathon, please move this race up into May or maybe even late April?  Just a few weekends?   This is the second year in a row that you've had  these treacherous conditions.   I'd like to run you again but not till you get something  figured out here.  K?

Yesterday I said, I'm done with marathons for awhile.   We all know that's a lie.   Registering for Columbus, stat. 


  1. You should run the DETROIT marathon.

  2. Way to finish it! I'm sure Columbus will be a different story altogether.

  3. Thanks for the recap. I am so sorry it was that tough. Heatstroke and people collapsing around me would freak me out. You are one tough chick.

  4. I broke a sweat just reading this! I am however very intrigued by this marathon you speak of. Do you run the whole way or ever walk? I'm thinking this may be a better fit for my season of life...and mental issues ;)

  5. Thanks ladies! Suzanne, I had never experienced such craziness. It was frightening! Niki, I'll email you! I don't walk but a lot of people start off their training with running and walking! I have a post coming up on how to start running. I just need to get my act together and get it posted!

  6. That was a very difficult race weather wise and fighting illness. Like you on the drive home I said I hated running. Monday morning when I woke up I thought, I can't wait to go run. We take the good and the bad b/c it happens. And we always will b/c WE LOVE TO RUN!! You kicked butt and I'm so proud of you!! Xoxo Runnermommy

  7. I'm having flashbacks to last year reading this! I totally agree they need to move it to earlier in the spring. Congrats though, way to power through! Fall fulls are definitely the way to go.