Cleveland Take Two

Before I start on my race recap, let’s back up to Friday and the expo. Outside of the whole parking ordeal, I was pretty excited to get my race shirt and see what other items I could live without needed. I got there around 6, so I only had an hour, which was probably better on my wallet anyway. I saw a few familiar faces, but I was on a mission to get to the pacers booth. One of my coaches from high school just happened to be in town for the race. In fact, the same coach that encouraged us to run with Second Sole back in high school. We spent a good half hour catching up and discussing a number of topics. She gave me great tips, and told me I could definitely go sub 2 soon. Encouraging, but it didn’t cross my mind for Sunday, or even this summer. More importantly, she agreed to help me pace my marathon in October. Seriously, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It was a great start to the weekend.

An inspiration

So fast forward to Sunday. I was feeling pretty good when I woke up at 4:30. I was nervous though, after running the 5k on Saturday, I was concerned on how I would handle 13 miles in the heat. I still had the words “it’s ok if you don’t finish” stuck in my head from my dad. He told me not to go all out, and just take it easy. I continued to get ready and was headed down town early enough that traffic wouldn’t be an issue. I had a parking pass, so I easily found a spot next to Brown’s Stadium and I was ready to go.

I spent the next hour trying to calm my nerves and prepare myself for the heat. I made a quick decision at bag check to run with my fuel belt. It would be my first time using it, and after a quick few steps of warming up, it was already bouncing around. Should I use it, should I go put it back, should I wear it as long as I can handle and then just toss it somewhere on the course? This became my new stress for the next half hour.

Finally the race was ready to start, I decided to use the belt for as long as I could handle it. When that moment came where it was too annoying, I would figure out what to do then. I started out behind the 9:30 pace group. If I could start faster while the weather was cooler I knew I had a better chance of finishing. The first mile was slow and congested, and the heat set in as soon as we turned the corner. I  immediately thought of last year in Columbus where I was mentally done in the first mile. But I didn’t let that thought last long, I had to stick it out, I couldn’t give up yet. Until mile two, I felt off. My fuel belt was slipping and one of the bottles was leaking. My left knee was already stressing from the few smaller hills and I started to think I’d feel this way the entire race. Soon enough I got my belt into the perfect position, just seconds before the first water stop. I grabbed a cup and noticed a familiar form running past me.

Lucky for me, my aunt was just feet from me, so I sped up and tapped her on the shoulder. My intention was to say hi, run a mile together and fall behind her quicker pace. Things didn’t go quite like that and we ended up running together until mile 10 or so. The miles in between were probably the toughest and most rewarding.

Miles 3-5 were quick. We kept up about a 9:00 minute pace and even had a chance to talk. At this point though, my left arch and knee where letting me know they were already getting tired. I could also feel a blister start on my right foot. I told her I may not finish the race, but I would hold on and see how I felt. Mile 6 came and went, and we were under an hour. The temperature was rising and shade was minimal. I had taken advantage of some Gu, all of the water stops, and my water/nuun combo I had in my fuel belt. By the time mile 8 rolled around, I was in shock with how quick the race was flying by. We were a little slower, but still bounced around a 9:30 pace. Not bad, considering everything that wasn’t on our side that day.

Mile 9 has always been my check point. If I’m over 1:30 I know I’m in poor shape, if I’m under 1:30, I better hold onto what ever I have and just run with it. We came in under and started counting down the miles. Running was getting harder, our pace was slowing at points, but we still kept going. Until the hill. This was new and I was a little hesitant on the down hill part, because when you go down, you have to get back up. I looked up and everything was in slow motion. No one was running, everyone was moving at a snail’s pace to get up there. So I shuffled as slow as I could, only to hear two phrases that sent chills up  my back. The man left to me yelled out “I think I tore my Achilles” Ouch, I could feel his pain. Then the lady next to me yelled out, “Call 911” I turned around and saw a gentleman pass out. Everyone was pretty much in a panic and just wanted to get to stable ground again.

Mile 10, just a 5k to go. I checked my watch and I was at 1:35, still at a good pace but I knew that one last bridge was ahead of me before I was home free. Half way on the bridge, my aunt told me to go on without her. She wasn’t feeling her best and didn’t want to hold me back. I felt bad, I was in her same shoes last year at the same exact point on the bridge. So here I was, alone for the last 2.5 miles, it was either fade into the crowd and coast in or see if I could keep this pace for the rest of the race.

A lot of thoughts went through my mind in these last miles. I quickly did the math and knew that I would be finishing in under 2:10. I wanted to keep my pace, I wanted to finish strong. This was the first race that I didn’t rely on my watch or iPod, I just ran. I spent a majority of the race not stressing about time or where I should be with my pace. I was like everyone else, making my way through, hoping to cross the finish line. A mile to go, and I was under the 2:00 mark. I wanted to quicken my steps, but I knew I could easily ruin everything I worked for if I went in too strong. Following everyone ahead of me, I knew we were getting close, I recognized some of the streets and that final turn would be any second. And it was there. The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and I could taste the finish line. With less than a quarter mile to go I saw my uncle. I sprinted up to give him a high five and told him my aunt was on her way.  This was exactly the encouragement I needed. The winding finish felt like it would never end. I kept checking my watch thinking that seconds were flying by. In those moments, I wanted a number, I needed that number. I was suddenly on the heels of a PR.

PR Party

Crossing the line was surreal, emotional and unbelievable. A year ago I was finishing my first half. In the same place that it started, I ran a new PR. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how it happened. I am not a heat runner at all, I struggled the day before in a 5k. All I can think of is that I had the motivation of running for Team JDRF on my mind and the support of my aunt along the way. We both had low points, but we needed each other. Neither one of us would have made it if we ran it alone.

Race partners

So here I am, my second shot at Cleveland, and a completely different experience. Not only did I experience my first half here, but I ran my best half under crazy conditions. I find it bittersweet. As much as I’ve loved my Cleveland Experience, I knew it would be my last CLE half for a while. I love everything about Cleveland Marathon weekend, but my love for Green Bay wins this next round. Instead of lining of outside Brown’s Stadium next year, I’ll be outside the greatest place on Earth, Lambeau. Thanks Cleveland, for giving me my first and best.

Results:

Official Time: 2:05:55-PR!

Overall: 2593 / 14635

Gender: 1045 / 8262

AG: 139 / 898

Half number seven, The Cleveland Half Marathon

Advertisements

Earth Day Challenge Half Recap

Months ago I came across this race and was pretty pumped that it was on my birthday. What better way to spend your birthday than running, right? The race was on part of Kenyon College’s campus. I’d never been there before but waking up at 5:15 to get there was no picnic. I arrived about 45 minutes before race time, picked up my race packet and did a little warm up. Surprisingly I wasn’t nervous, I felt relaxed and I was ready to give this race a shot. I saw Molly right before the start and was excited that I’d have a fellow Muskie out there! (She ran awesome btw, finished 1st female overall and PR’d!)

Muskies!

We started the race on the track and ran about a lap before we headed off into town. The path was pretty crowded but I quickly found a pace I felt comfortable with. Unfortunately this pace was 9:00, and I knew I had to slow down if I wanted to make it through the race. Suddenly a “small mountain” appeared and we ran uphill for about the next half mile. Definitely slowed my pace down!

The next couple of miles were rolling hills, which I normally hate, but after my long run in Wooster a few weeks back I felt a lot better. Once we hit mile 4 we started the out and back in the woods. It was a paved course, and very peaceful. At this point in the race I really took time to reflect. I never really set a goal for the race. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The last time I ran back to back half marathons I felt the pain early in the race, so I was almost expecting to feel the drain in my legs at any moment.

I checked my watch about every five minutes and noticed that my pace was still a little quicker than what I was used to. I bounced around between 9:25-9:40. I came in at mile 6 right around 55 minutes,  but I was actually feeling pretty good about it. At this point, I decided to just let my legs do the work, I kept telling myself don’t think, just run. I wasn’t going to let my watch control my race. I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the next four miles and pretty soon I was closing in on the last 5k. By this point my knees were hurting and I could tell I was in need of a major water stop.

I kept checking my time, but I reminded myself that anything could happen. I was still ahead of my current PR, but I tried not to let it get to my head.  I was starting to think that all of the hard work I had put in this year could finally be paying off. I made it to mile 12 and I was right around 1:56-1:57. I knew there was no way I’d make it under 2:00, but I felt I could score a big PR. I picked up my pace by a few seconds and just let my mind go blank. I saw the finish line, and knew I was there. I still had a lap on the track to do before I could stop. By this point I had nothing left in me, no kick at the finish, just a steady pace until I crossed that line.

I could not stop smiling. I got a 9 MINUTE PR!!!!!

New 13.1 PR

Words can’t even describe how I was feeling. I couldn’t believe I knocked so much time off of my race. I didn’t expect I would do that well, this early, especially coming off a race the previous weekend. Colorado must have been good for me. It was the perfect race and the perfect day, and I couldn’t be happier.

Finishers mug and tree

After this weekend, I feel so much better about the rest of the year. I don’t feel pressure to really knock off the minutes, I can relax, enjoy the races and have fun. But this doesn’t stop me from setting up my next goal, to eventually break 2:00. If I don’t do it this year, it’s ok. I’m proud of my running and all that I’ve accomplished so far. It’s still early in the year and anything could happen. In the meantime I have the Love-A-Stray 5k Fur Fun Run this weekend followed by the Cleveland Half a few weeks later. I’m so excited to see what these next few races will bring, it truly is the year of races!

Half Marathon number 6!

Platte River Race Recap

Yesterday’s post explained my love affair with Denver. Today I’m excited to share my first experience of an out of state race. To catch you up to speed, I had a minor set back on Saturday when I had the joy of feeling full altitude sickness. We drove into the mountains, and a combination of curvy roads, altitude change, and dehydration caused me to be out of commission for 2-3 hours. I still wasn’t feeling up to par by Saturday evening, but I knew if I stayed in bed all weekend, I would feel even worse.

This is where I started to panic. Weak as can be, I was somehow supposed to run a half marathon the next morning. How is this even going to happen? I honestly regretted the race and trip at this point. I was pretty sure I wasted time and money just for me to end up sick. Darren wasn’t going to let me waste any more time. So after driving all over to find me food and drinks I could keep down, I was finally able to get out of the hotel and we kept the night low key, and I made sure to over hydrate.

Sunday morning came, it was race day! Good morning to an early wake up call, nervous stomach, and over thinking. Luckily I was feeling better, at least I thought I was, I always feel like a train wreck race mornings, mostly due to the nerves. One less thing to stress about was the weather, it was perfect, almost too good to be true. A little bit of sun, a little bit of a chill, and not a drop of rain or snow in sight!

Perfect weather!

How could you not relax driving towards this on the way to the race?

We got to the race early, and I took my first steps in the parking lot. My pace was slow, but I wanted to shake my legs out. I decided to wait until race day to do any running. If I had a bad run on Saturday, I knew I would worry about it right until the start and even during the race. I took my spot in wave 3 (2:15 and above) I wanted to make sure I’d start with a comfortable pace and wouldn’t try any 8:30 miles.

Ready to go!

The race started off at a good pace, and I quickly found a comfortable spot. With every turn the mountains were in the background, almost surreal. There were many times in the first mile that I still couldn’t believe I was out in Denver running a half marathon. Am I crazy?

Quickly after mile one we headed to a paved path which immediately made for a very tight run, there was even one point where we were stopped and walking because there were so many people. Water stops were every two miles, which I made sure to take full advantage of. I was already thirsty before the first stop, and I knew staying hydrated would be key to making it to the finish line.

The first couple miles I spent figuring out my pace, checking over my body to see how I felt, and trying to find my place in the crowded path. I decided beforehand I would take some Gu at mile 4 and 8. Well, it must have helped because when I got to mile 5, I was at a 9:30 pace. Whoah! Slow down and don’t get ahead of yourself.

Miles 6 through 9 I kept a pretty even pace. I stopped at all the water stops and took my Gu at mile 8. At this point in the race I felt comfortable, my body felt good, my pace wasn’t too quick and I was just taking in the moment. The wind started to pick up, but I tried not to let it get to me, and I kept pushing on. I even passed people, something I have rarely done in a half. The course up to this point followed the Platte River and we had multiple bridges to run over and under. Including a few that shook and reminded me of running at Bur Oak. There was even a dirt path next to the pavement that gave provided some relief throughout the race.

Right around mile 10 the path opened up a bit and I could tell we were getting close to the finish and into the city. The sky also darkened at this point, and it became a race to get to the finish without getting caught in a storm. Lucky mile 11 came and I started to cramp. I knew by this point I was a little dehydrated and my pace started to slow. I started checking my Garmin about every ten seconds. Throughout the race I had been on pace to PR, and like always I knew it would come down to the last two miles.

Mile 12 finally showed up and it was the mile I had been dreading the entire race. There was a “small” hill right at the finish. This hill lasted what felt like a half mile and once everyone made it to the top, the wind took full force. I was blown around multiple times, I started to think I was going to get blown off the bridge and wouldn’t make it to the finish. Coming down the bridge, I knew I was close, and as we turned the corner I could see the balloons at the finish line. My first thought was, “OMG, it’s finally here! Just keep moving, and the cramps won’t kill you” I was so excited for this moment!

Fact: I never remember the finish to a race. I get into a weird sprint the last 50 feet and black out everything. But, I actually remembered this one, and I was thrilled to see Darren on the side, taking pictures, so of course I had to smile. I glanced at the clock and saw 2:16. I missed it. But….Garmin said 13.2, and by my calculations for a 13.1 race, I got a PR by a few seconds. WHAT!!

Couldn’t have done it without him

Here I am, in Colorado, running my first half of the year, and I ran a PR for 13.1 miles. I never even dreamed this would happen. Throughout the race I knew I had the chance of getting close, but after the last two miles, I gave up the idea of finishing strong and just wanted to finish. I don’t even know how it happened, but I felt great during the entire race. Even with cramps at the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better race. I was relaxed, and just let my legs lead the way. I was so excited to say that I finished and I had half number 5 under my belt. Half number two in the 25 challenge was in the books! I ended up placing 727/1421 of all the lady runners, and 64/110 in my age group. Not bad.

This race was exactly what I needed to jump start half marathon season. I fell in love with the distance all over again, and I can’t wait to enjoy so many more this year. Colorado, not only did you give me an amazing experience, but you’ve given me a whole new meaning to the words, I love running.

Love.

Up next is the Earth Day Challenge Half Marathon in Gambier, Ohio. Molly will be dominating the race, and I’ll be celebrating my birthday! (and running of course)

Hey Colorado!

Tomorrow I leave for the great state of Colorado! After 15.5 weeks I’m ready to take on 13.1 miles of high altitudes and a new adventure. I’ve been looking forward to this for months, as if my blog didn’t already show it. I’ve got my list of everything to pack, iPod is ready, and I’ve checked the weather about a hundred times.

I’ve had ups and downs in training, but I’ve come a long way. In no way am I expecting a PR on Sunday, but I don’t plan on just coasting through it. I’ll be running in altitudes that I can’t even imagine, and although the course is rumored to be flat, I guarantee it will be a challenge.

I’m excited to explore Denver and see this amazing city that so many people rave about. I’m even more excited to see things through a runner’s eye, find out why so many runners go out there to train. More importantly, how running in Denver will hopefully make running in Ohio much easier.

I’ve come so far, cutting down my mile pace by at least two minutes. I’ve used Gu on more than one occasion, and I’ve spent many nights with my foam roller. I’m back to the point in my running where I can just feel where a mile is. I’ve already run two PR’s this year and I haven’t even hit the peak of race season.

The greatest thing…

After running this weekend, I’ll be mentally ready to start training for my marathon. Every race this year is a challenge, and training for those wonderful 26.2 miles that await me in October.

I can tell myself to be cautious, to make sure I pace myself, drink lots of water and Nuun all weekend. But honestly, I’m going to enjoy it, soak up every single moment, and just do what feels right. I’m ready.

Training times four

After six weeks of preparation for the Platte River Half, I’m finally to the point in my schedule where I’m training for four half marathons at once. My main focus has been on my Colorado trip, only because this is the first half of the year. But, I’ve been keeping the rest of the races in the back of my mind. Besides, none of them would be possible without any of this preparation. So here are my training schedules for the next three half marathons after Colorado, all of which are a continuation of Platte River training.

Earth Day Half Marathon-April 22nd

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
(April 16) 4 Miles Easy Rest 3 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy Rest 2 Miles Easy 13.1

I’m really excited for this race for two reasons. It’s one week post Colorado, so after running in crazy altitude I should be in excellent shape 🙂 And it also happens to be on my birthday, my favorite day of the year! I’ve been looking forward to racing on my birthday since summer. To me the perfect way to celebrate my birthday is running 13.1 miles!

Cleveland Half Marathon-May 20th

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
(April 23) 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Speed 4 Miles Easy Rest 10 M Rest
(April 30) 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Tempo 4 Miles Easy Rest 9 Miles Long Rest
(May 7) 5 Miles Easy Rest 6 Miles Tempo 4 Miles Easy Rest 9 Miles Long Rest
(May 14) Rest 3 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy Rest 2 Miles Easy 13.1

Just like many local runners I’ll be participating in the Cleveland Half again this year. I’m looking forward to enjoying the race instead of being a giant ball of nerves. Plus I’m running for Team JDRF, supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I’m not running this race for me, I’m running it for those affected by Diabetes.

Sunburst Half Marathon-June 2nd

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
(May 21) 4 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy Rest 8 Miles Long Rest
(May 28) Rest 3 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy Rest 2 Miles Easy 13.1 Rest

My second out of state half and it will be on the beautiful grounds of the University of Notre Dame. Unfortunately the finish has been changed from ending inside the stadium. I still think this will be a good, flat race, and I’m excited to explore South Bend.

Compared to last year, it’s weird to think I’m training for four half marathons at once, all within a few weeks of each other. And even two weeks from now, I’ll be training for a fifth half. Knowing I’ll have a big race every couple of weekends can be a little overwhelming, and possibly tiring, but I know it will just make things go well in October for the full!

A pair of shoes and desire

Ten months ago I made the decision I was going to run a half marathon. Looking back I never thought I would accomplish so much. I set the goal to run those 13.1 miles and had no idea if I could even make it that far. Running was a passion that slowly faded, and I was hoping it would come back.

I remember doing base miles on the treadmill, struggling with the fact that I was no longer as fast as I was in college, or that I lacked the endurance to go out for five miles and feel like it was nothing. But the more I ran, the more I felt that running a half marathon would be a possibility at one point.

May 15th was a whirlwind. Less than four months ago I wasn’t running at all, I fell out of love with running, and there I was at the starting line, ready for whatever would come my way. Moments of excitement, nervousness, doubt and pride were constantly fighting to be the center of attention. I did it, I ran my first half marathon. And as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted more. I was in love with running again, and I found my new favorite race.

Over the summer I signed up for a few 5k’s, but it wasn’t enough, I was aching to run longer, so I set myself up for the impossible. Not only did I want to run another half marathon in the fall, I wanted to run twenty-five more, in twenty-five states. I came up with the 25 Challenge and knew if I trained harder I could get this goal accomplished. But I couldn’t wait until the following year, I wanted more now.

I signed up for the River Run Half Marathon and the Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon, hoping I’d be in better shape by fall. And by persuasion I added the Akron Marathon Relay to the schedule. I thought I bit off more than I could chew. I had so much doubt that I wouldn’t be able to run all these races, but somehow I was going to do it all.

I ran the River Run Half Marathon, and while I worked on improvements, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting until October to get another shot. I signed up for the Sandy Ridge Half Marathon the following weekend. Nothing else felt so comfortable. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to crush those 13 miles again.

The Sandy Ridge half marathon went through my streets, the streets I trained on during high school and college. The pavement I pounded in rain, snow, heat, stress and relaxation. The same streets that I learned to love running. I never felt so confident during a race, I knew with every stride I was getting better. This was my race.

The time in between my weekends of races and the Columbus half I struggled with keeping an injured knee manageable and trying to recover so my body wouldn’t be drained. I had second thoughts about running the race, but with finishing those miles I would be a half fanactic. And while it may be something that is overlooked and insignificant, it was something I wanted to work towards.

In Columbus I ran the hardest race to date, but it made me so much stronger. I became a half fanatic, and supported friends who were running their firsts, just something I did months ago. I knew it was time to give my body a break, but I went out giving it all I had.

Ten months ago I thought about running a half marathon. A week and a half ago I finished my fourth half marathon. I went from being scared to death of the distance, to not being able to get enough of it. Running one half to four. I found the passion again, the feeling of accomplishment that so many miss out on, the runner’s high.

Even with training and putting in the miles, I would be no where today if it wasn’t for all of the support I received. Friends, family, strangers. Every single person that wished me luck or congratulated me after a race, I owe it all to you. The support and love from having fans or a cheering section goes so much further than miles some days. Without support, it wouldn’t have meant as much. Thank you.

Ten months ago I made the decision to run a half marathon, thinking it would be the farthest I’d ever run. Twelve months from now I’ll run my first marathon and fall in love with the sport all over.

Perfecting imperfections

This past Sunday was the 12th annual River Run Half Marathon through the Cleveland Metro Parks. I picked this race months ago because of my love of running through the parks. Of course my version of the parks were the trails and smaller distances. The whole experience was a good one, I had small difficulties to overcome, but in the end, it was a great way to honor those who were lost on 9/11 ten years ago.

Packet pick up was my first small panic of the race. I was confused about my “bus ticket” and realized it was only a smiley face on my race bib, thanks to those on Twitter. I also noticed that my shirt I received was a few sizes too big. Not too worried, since this happens most of the time, but once in a while I hope that a shirt will actually fit. I also picked up my inserts for my arches from my parent’s house so I’d have some support. The same inserts I haven’t worn in over a year and was going to try out during the race.

He knows the drill

For the first time that I can remember, I wasn’t nervous about the race. I was more nervous the night before, when I started thinking about the distance and the much shorter distances I had been training. Confession, the farthest I’ve run since the Cleveland half was 4 miles…once in July, and once in August. My plan was to get to 10 miles  by August but then my knee gave out. So I was pretty much going in blind, telling myself I was going to run 13.1 after doing horrible training.

I started out with a good pace. First mile was 9:57. Honestly I wasn’t asking for a PR in this race. I missed the second mile marker, but read that there was a water stop at mile two. When I looked down at the first water stop and saw that it had already been 25 minutes, I was completely confused on how I added an extra 5 minutes that early in the race. Luckily I was wrong, and I was at 29 minutes by the third mile. This was also about the same time that my one working headphone blew out so I could barely hear my music.

I took this as an opportunity to really focus on my running. I was expecting to get several cramps within the next few miles so I took the advice everyone as given me and focused on my breathing. My legs were feeling good (no knee issues yet!) and I wanted to see how far I could get without hitting the wall. Around mile seven I was definitely in need of some sports drink. The running gods were looking out for me and I was happily chugging down water and Gatorade at mile eight. I was feeling great until about 100 feet from mile 9. Goodbye anything in my stomach. This added a minute to my time, but I was determined to keep going. I did 9 miles in just under an hour and a half. Right on time for a 2:10 finish (5 minutes faster than Cleveland) This got me thinking of somehow getting a PR, so I decided I’d try to quicken my pace. Again, this wasn’t a good idea, and I was off to the side, added more wasted minutes to my time.

Mile 11 I officially gave up getting a PR, my legs hit the wall and I was ready to finish. Those next two miles were rough, and it was the first time I walked all race. I walked during water breaks because I can’t run and drink at the same time, but to me those didn’t count as actually “walking” during the race. The highlight of the race was the finish. I was about 25 feet from the finish and of course, got sick again. The biggest puker award goes to me! This isn’t the first time I’ve lost it at the end of the race, but definitely the first time I did it during a race. I finished with a time of 2:21:32.

I was a bit emotional when I crossed the line, but I held it in. I was a little upset with how I did, but for lacking on training, I’m still pretty proud of myself. I was also really excited to get to the finish line because Darren was finally going to see me run. Yes, it was long over due, but apparently running isn’t as fun to watch as football, I beg to differ.

My support system

Overall it was a great race. I was able to really focus on my running because I wasn’t nervous or trying to get a PR, at least most of the time. My legs and knee held up most of the race, but without training, I was expecting my body to give in a lot sooner. Each race  I know I’ll learn something new to help me compete the best to my ability. But for now, I guess I’m addicted since I came back for more.

Half number two, in the books

Call me Crazy…

Friends, family and coworkers have called me crazy for running a half marathon. They ask what’s chasing you to make you run that far. Why would you want to run any distance remotely close to that. I must be crazy, but aren’t all runners?

Thinking back to May, a few days before my first half, I was a nervous wreck. I had nightmares and would panic every time I thought of running 13.1 miles at one time. But here I am, two days away from my second half marathon, the River Run Half Marathon, and I’m in a completely different mind frame. I know what to expect and I know how I’m going to feel. But I also know how great it will be to cross that finish line and say I ran 13.1 miles. Again.

I’m not in as good as shape as I’d like to be. The whole Mastick knee incident put a small hiccup in my training, but I’m not going to let that get me down on Sunday. I haven’t decided on a time either. I don’t have enough half marathons under my belt to really tell what a good time is going to be for me to aim towards. However, I’m really excited for the race. It’s through the Cleveland Metro Parks, which I love. And it’s on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, so I can guarantee it’s going to be a very special race. I’ll be wearing my red and white shorts along with my blue shirt to show my support.

So if you happen to be wide awake Sunday from 8-10am and have nothing else to do, come on down to the metro parks and support your favorite runner 😉