My 2017 Cleveland Half Marathon training + experience

So, my plans to revive this ol’ blog may not have gone as planned. However, I used to share all sorts of running and fitness posts so I thought why not recap the Cleveland Half Marathon?

The journey to dust off my race shoes began when Team Fat Camp (aka my workout crew from Hyland) decided to sign up for the Cleveland Half. I thought, hey, why not? It may have been 5 years since I’ve participated in an official 13.1-mile run, however, when the weather is right, running is my jam. I even joined my friend Christie for 11ish miles last fall as she prepped for the Philly full marathon. (Mental thought: I got this!)

Just as blogging went on the backburner this spring, long runs did, too. Between bachelorette parties, a destination wedding, wedding showers (sense a theme?) and an always busy work and life calendar, I was lucky to get in the 3 longer runs that I did!

After placing second in my age group (old) and running fairly fast (7:13 pace), I was feeling pretty good post Cleveland Ten Miler. The timing of the ten miler was convenient in case my training continued to be stagnant, too.

The week before the half, I had signed up to run in my work’s annual 5K. Again, my running compadre encouraged me to run 5-6 miles with her before the 5K and I’m so glad she did. (Mental thought: 8+ miles the week before the half, I got this!)

Enter May 21: Race day! After all the worry and excessive checking of the weather, I woke up rested and pretty excited about the temperature and dry conditions (note: I usually loooove running in the heat).

It was also pretty great to see at least 3 friendly faces (including Tabitha) before even making my way to the starting corral. The happy thoughts are about to come to a screeching halt…

Without getting into every minute detail, here’s a breakdown of my thoughts  during the 13.1 13.34 miles:

  • Coming out strong! These first 3 miles are flying and the scenery is on point (Playhouse Square, Browns stadium, spectators everywhere!)
  • The Flats are back and I need to check out Collison Bend Brewery.
  • What mile am I on?! There has yet to be a mile marker, or a race clock for that matter. (And no, I refuse to look at Nike+ Run Club while I run.)
  • Are we running up THAT hill after the Columbus Bridge? Shit.
  • Post Columbus hill: Is this race over yet? Was that only mile 4? Shit.
  • Hi Hylanders! The Hy-5 water stop was a needed boost.
  • Mind vs. matter from here on out. Don’t worry about running fast, just finish.
  • WHY DIDN’T I CHECK COURSE ELEVATION? Note: Would be nice if the official race course was NOT a PDF.
  • Oh look, there’s Dean again! Now he’s riding his bike on the sidewalk – ‘Dean go away!’ I only asked him to go away because I wanted to ride his bike 🙂
  • I’m thirsty. I’m dehydrated. Stop running for time. Try to enjoy this.
  • Mind vs. matter is alive and real.
  • Final stretch is here! Is that a TWO (hour) on the clock!? (It wasn’t, maybe I was hallucinating.)

As I crossed the finish line, I literally got light-headed – that’s a first! After a few minutes and a bottle of water, I felt fine but it was a reminder that I should’ve ran with a water bottle or water belt – lesson learned.

I happened to PR this year’s CLE half, by 6 minutes, with a final finish time of 1:41:22. Yes, I’m definitely proud of myself – 13.1 miles is no easy feat.

Newsflash! Running doesn’t always come easy and it’s not always fun. Hello, this is life. I simply had hopes that I would enjoy those minutes pounding the pavement throughout the city.

It wasn’t all bad (I’m kidding)…My absolute favorite part of participating in the CLE Marathon is the friendly faces you see mile after mile (shout out to the dudes passing out beer in Tremont). I saw about 12 unexpected friends cheering on the sidelines (Halle, you gave me LIFE!). And Dean, your biking and cheering was on point.

Long runs aside, I wasn’t a lazy slug all winter and spring and every workout helped me achieve the goal of running fast. No specific time, just run fast. #vague.

From Fat Camp (what up Jake) to psycle and even a few Orange Theory classes, I keep active but that doesn’t equal being prepped to happily run a half.

One final thought, I AM SORE.

To all my friends, you know who you are, who want me to run a full marathon, this half doesn’t help your case. But, never say never!

So, did you participate or head downtown for this year’s Rite Aid? What’d you think of the course, city and marathon festivities?

HA – such a difference in color between short and shirt color from 7am to 9am. 🙂




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