St. Malachi 5 Mile Recap

Saturday I ran the St. Malachi 5 miler for the second time. It’s hard to believe that I haven’t run this race that much before, because it is becoming a favorite. With such a unique distance, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to race it or use it as part of my long run. I decided I’d take it easy and use it as part of my long run. Somehow I was able to convince my friend Elayna to sign up for the race so we could run it together. Because this was her first St. Malachi, I asked her to do a recap to get her perspective on the race.

“In a not-so-typical last minute fashion, I agreed to race with Chelsea for the St. Malachi 5-mile.  Prior to this, I had gone on a few runs that were between 3-4 miles, but I hadn’t really pushed much more than that.  About 20 minutes before I left that morning, I checked the map, and instantly got excited. The race ran through downtown Cleveland, up and around Cleveland Browns Stadium, and finished off in one of my favorite spots—Ohio City.  Even though I don’t really enjoy running too much, I really like spending time with Chelsea, so it always ends up being fun…and I feel pretty good when I finish running too!

So we hustled down to the Ohio City area, desperately looking for a parking spot. Luckily we had just enough cash to pay for my entry and parking. We ended up having a little warm-up jog, dodging everyone who had finished the two-mile to pick up my race packet, run back to the car, run to the bathroom, and head out for the race. As we approached the start line, it was clear the race had started just a few moments before—so we were off!!

I have done 2 races other than Malachi in my life—so I’m not exactly speaking from experience here. But the first mile felt pretty good–it was a lot of weaving before we found a comfortable pace. Chelsea was kind enough to slow down and run with me, which is typically a 10-11mi/mile pace.  About a half a mile in, we passed some cute Irish dancers accompanied by traditional Irish music, which picked up the spirits of the whole group of us running down St. Clair.  The second mile we felt pretty comfortable, and by the 3rd we spotted one of my husband’s best friends booking it around the stadium on his way around. He paced under a 7mi/mile finish, so he was quite a ways ahead of us at that point. It’s always fun to see a familiar face! The 3rd mile was a bit rough for me; drinking the night before seemed to have caught up, and I started cramping up a bit (from dehydration?) and I had some mild medial ankle pain in both feet. It was nothing worth stopping over, so we kept on trucking, nice and easy.

Honestly, there’s nothing like a few long hills to put you in your place. Miles 4-5 both had longer inclines that slowed up more than a few of us, but we kept on going. It ended up being well worth it, because as we plateaued on the Detroit-Superior Bridge, you get this great view of the mouth of Ohio City. The downhill toward the finish is full of fans on the sidewalk, cameras, and echos of the finish-line celebration down closer to the Flats.  Chelsea, with all of her wisdom, told me not to run too quickly, but honestly I thought the finish line was much sooner than it ended up being! I found myself wondering, “where the heck is the finish line?!” once the hill bottomed out.  We made it eventually, with a little bit steeper of a decline this time, and finished just over 53:00 minutes.  It was well worth it. I’d recommend the race to other people who A) want to consider running a little more seriously (there is a 2-mile option), B) want to start off St. Patty’s Day Weekend in Cleveland right, or C) want to explore downtown and the shore way a bit!

I am really excited for what Spring and Summer have to hold. This winter has been rough on all of us out here in Cleveland, and I think that cabin fever has lead me to enjoy the weather and running a bit more than I have in the past. I’m looking forward to doing a few more races before the fall, and hopefully I’ll do some of them with Chelsea. I don’t think I would have made it if I didn’t have someone to talk to who’s as great as her.”

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St. Malachi Finishers!

 

Guest Blog: In Pursuit…

I’m so excited to have my first guest blogger. I asked one of my oldest and closest friends to write a post, I was pretty pumped when she agreed.

While this won’t be your typical running post, Elayna has a lot of great topics to talk about. Here’s your chance to hear about what she has to say….

Having worked in the hospital for a week and a half now, it didn’t take me long to realize that ordinary days in the hospital can turn into extra-ordinary days in a matter of moments.  We still have our good days and bad days in the hospital.  After learning that one of our patients had passed away earlier in the day, and another one was given a terminal diagnosis of cancer, I thought my emotional rollercoaster was over—it was just a bad day in the clinic.  But instead I found myself reflecting on how even after the darkest days, the sun will rise…and that’s exactly what happened in the clinic today. Below, I reflect on three individuals’ decisions to transform one of life’s most unfortunate experiences—death—into something that brings new life to those in need: organ donation.

You see, I am a physical therapy student in my first acute care (inpatient) clinical rotation in a hospital.  My clinical instructor is a 30-something physical therapist and Cleveland native. She is the most patient, kind-hearted PT I’ve met in the field—and her smile is just about as big as her heart. There’s something about the way she manages her patient-care that I can’t quite quantify or put words to… but I hope that someday I’ll be able to reflect the quality of her care in my practice.   She has two young boys and a loving husband who was placed onto the kidney transplant list about 8 years ago or so. They have spent the last 8 years waiting.

I was sitting in the nurses’ station, charting up our treatments for the final patients of the day…when something extra-ordinary happened.  While we were finishing up our documentation and getting ready to end the day, she received a page from her husband that read: “23 911 911.” Now, “23” happens to be their anniversary date—a code they use to designate good news. (The 911 meant there was an imminent situation on their hands.)  She immediately called her husband and received the news—after 8 years of waiting, they had a kidney.  A 60-something year-old man had chosen to donate his organs.

Earlier in the week, on Monday February 27th, a very unfortunate incident at Chardon High School lead to the death of 3 students, while another victim holds a medical status that has yet to be determined.  Two of the three students who were killed by this tragic shooting, Russell King Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin (aged 16 and 17) chose to be organ donors.  Their matured decisions to be organ donors led to gifts of renewed life for up to sixteen individuals in the Greater Cleveland area in waiting. While few people anticipate death in a constructive way, especially at such a young age, both Russell and Demetrius made a commitment to life by pledging their bodies to those in need.

You can do this too—if you are not already an organ donor, you have the power to register at this link. To learn more information about organ donation, please visit http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html.

Elayna is a student in The Ohio State University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program and native Clevelander. Her interests are in wellness, volunteering, food&drink, and all things Cleveland. If you like what you’ve read, please visit her blog at enowak.blogspot.com.