Cleveland Marathon or Bust! [And I Busted :-(]

What. A. Weekend.  I was signed up for the Cleveland Marathon and had every intention of running all 26.2 miles of it.  However, it wasn’t meant to be.  On Friday after work, I ended up driving about 5 hrs of my drive to Cleveland and ended up in Monroeville, PA.  I decided I didn’t want to do 7 hrs of driving the day before a race and wanted to make sure I got to the expo in time and get into my hotel, etc.  I got to Monroeville around 11 pm and was able to find a hotel right off of I-76.  It was there that I realized I had forgotten a few things when I packed- like long running tights, Body Glide and Advil.  Some of this was no problem as I can find some at an expo or CVS.  Saturday Morning, I checked out of the hotel and made it to Cleveland by 9 AM.  I tried to check in early, but the hotel was still booked from the night before.  I headed over to the expo and volunteered at the number pick up until 2.  I was finally able to check into the hotel but had to change to a smoking floor because no non smoking rooms were available.  I went to take a shower and realized I only had 1 pair of underwear.  How, I have no idea.  I bailed on the shower and ended up going into Cleveland (since I was staying 20 min or so away) to go to mass at the Cathedral.  It was nice because it was said by the Bishop of Cleveland who said a prayer for the runners.  I was able to find a store to get some underwear and then headed to find some dinner.  Lucky me, enter Steak n Shake!!  Now, PA for some reason doesn’t believe in Steak n Shake.  Don’t know why- when I lived in Chicago, there were some and there were at least 7 on the way from Chicago to Lancaster, OH.

Anyways, after taking dinner back to the hotel, I went for a quick 2 mile run in the hotel fitness center which was ridiculously hot and humid.  Got my shower in and got my stuff together and laid out for the next day.  I got a phone call from my mom who said she was going to drive up from Lancaster (yay!) to meet up with me for the morning.  Apparently my dad was going to be mulching and planting all day and seeing me was more fun (and, they had missed me when I attempted to see them in NYC after the Broad Street Run).  I laid down to bed around 11, but never got a real good night sleep.  The walls were thin so I heard the neighbors talking the whole night and I never really felt like I fell into a complete sleep.  5 am rolls around and I get up after hitting the snooze button a few times.  I headed into Cleveland and parked in a garage about a 10 min walk from the start.  It was also where I realized I forgot my wallet which had cash/credit cards in it (apparently you need cash to get out of the parking garage- who knew?).  It was cold and misting the entire weekend and today was no different.  The start/finish was at Browns  Stadium so we at least had indoor bathrooms (wait time: 4 minutes).

I made my way to the start and we were off at 7 am.  I was doing ok and keeping with the 4:30 group but my foot felt off and something was nagging at my knee.  The first 3 miles were on Highway, not in Cleveland at all.  4-4.5  miles in I decided to switch to the half.  I just felt so off and was cramping up and didn’t want to suffer through another 22 miles.  (It was also a hint to get higher than 14 miles on training runs).  The main goal was to just get through it.  I saw a Team in Training Gorilla, a guy outside a bar dressed up like a hot dog and a few other costumes.  One of the better signs I saw was “The Kenyans are behind you!”  I was able to make it through and turned off at the 1/2 marathon split around mile 12.5.  I appreciated the marriot hotel bell hop out giving high 5s in the middle of the road.

After finishing, I met up with my mom who got to the finish right before I came across.  We walked to her car and she drove me over to where I parked (after we got on the right street) and drove to my hotel.  I was able to shower and then we relaxed for half an hour.  I was getting abdominal cramps due to that time of the month (one of the times I hate being a woman) so I was sprawled on the bed for a bit.  We checked out and headed to IHop for brunch and caught up on Lancaster OH news.

By 1, I was on the road back to Philadelphia.  It rained the whole time! I felt like I was in a fight with my windshield wipers the entire time.  At one rest stop (which I was stopping at every 65-100miles because of what long runs due to your bladder), some Pittsburgh Marathons were there and we all knew what each other were thinking.  I pulled into my apartment a little after 7 and managed to collapse on the couch for a bit.  I checked this morning and found I spent $51 in tolls round trip.  It doesn’t help 90% of drive was tolls…it’s murder!

Cleveland=bust.  Maybe it’s a sign I should run the Columbus Marathon where I can at least stay at home

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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

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