10 Mile Drop

When there’s a 10 mile race 30 minutes from your apartment, it’s a no brainer to sign up for it.  This morning’s race was the 20/10 Mile Drop put on by Lake Health Running.  Take your pick, 20 miles or 10 miles!!  I registered awhile back and was able to pick up my bib and shirt on Thursday (thanks to lecture getting out early enough).

This morning, I was out the door by 7:30, which was like a vacation after getting up early for Cherry Blossom last weekend.  I headed off to Mentor Headlands Beach, which was the finish of the race.  They had buses shuttle people to the start, which is a huge plus, you just had to be on time.  The 20 milers had already been there and gone by the time us 1o milers wondered in.  At 8:15, the buses rolled out for the start off Ravenna Road 10 miles away.  We were there by 8:30 and I was able to use the bathroom prior to the bullhorn going off.  We were off and running by 9 AM and I was kinda wishing for an earlier start.  I couldn’t argue with the nice weather though because Cleveland’s weather mood swings are coming back on Tuesday.

The first 2 miles of the race were pretty good.  I was going under 9 minute miles, but later, the quickness caught up with me.  We were primarily on a bike path for this part of the race and coming up on the first water stop was wonderful.  We got to mile 3 and we had an annoyed driver on our hands.  I could see a car trying to cross the bike path, but there was a steady stream of runners.  Volunteers were at the intersection and trying to have a discussion with the lady and you could see her on 2 occasions try and get around the volunteers.  I thought she was going to plow over some of us.  After we passed the 3.5 mile mark (and the crazy driver), we went from downhill to uphill.  Sigh.  I hate uphills.  At least there was water and a kid holding a sign to hit ‘for more power’.  We kept on chugging, this time on open road, but it was well controlled with police and volunteers.  It was warming up too (which I can’t complain about after this winter) and I could tell I was a little dehydrated.

We chugged on through miles 4, 5 and 6.  We hit more residential suburbia and then another race day first.  Somewhere between miles 7-8, I see railroad tracks.  All of a sudden, the traffic rails come down and in the distance, we hear the train’s horn coming in the distance towards us.  For a good 15-30 seconds, this was the scene:

 

Whoops.  What can you do, but it was one of the odder events of my running life.  The last few miles were uneventful, but I was more than happy when we came past mile 9 and then with the last half a mile when we could see Headlands beach.  I was able to pass a few people at the end.  My official time was 1;34:29.  For the 10 miler, I was 128th/335 runners, 60th out of 241 women and 13th of 29 25-29 yo women.  I can’t complain about that.  Or what we got post race:

Grub and Bling

Grub and Bling

 

A good race for sure, especially since it’s 10 or 20 miles.  Good weather (finally) and a decent course.  Keep coming back to this race if you can!  Results can be found here

Cleveland Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon

After 19 straight days of work, a good 11 of which were spent on surgery call, I got to spend this last weekend off and got the gift of sleeping in on Saturday morning!!  I also was able to get in a long run with the Inaugural Rock n Roll Cleveland Half Marathon.  I was able to leave work by 4:30 Friday afternoon and hustled to the convention center in downtown Cleveland.  I got even luckier in that I parked across the street for $2.25 for the hour I was there.  I went and registered my parents for the race ($150 EACH! I couldn’t even find a coupon code to work for them) before picking up my own stuff.  My parents were signed up for the Woodrow Wilson Half in DC, but because politicians in DC don’t know how to agree on anything, the race was canceled due to the government shutdown and the first 8 miles of the race was in a national park.  I picked up my gear and then my parents gear.  I find that humorous since RnR makes a big deal about not picking up other people’s stuff and then I manage to still figure out a way to do it.

Saturday, my parents came to town and finally saw my apartment.  We went to church, dinner at a Cuban restaurant and rum bar and had some Cuban Margaritas.  We rushed home for the OSU/Northwestern games.  I’ve learned I hate night games because I don’t go to sleep till after 11 and waking up at 6 for a race isn’t fun!

We woke up Sunday morning and were out the door by 6:40 AM.  We were downtown and parked by 7:15 (we’d learn to later hate our parking spot).  We all took a bathroom break and waited for the race to start (and I ran into a neighbor of mine who’s daughter was running).  About 7:45, we went to our corals and I ran into some Half Fanatics- we always introduce ourselves by our numbers.  After a Neil Diamond national anthem, we were off.  It was 74* and 81% humidity at the start and it was miserable.  I was sweating buckets after the first few miles and my calf was store at least through mile 3.  The first few miles weren’t bad, but at mile 3 we came down a huge hill.  The mini marathon (3.5 mile) runners then had to go right back up that hill and we all laughed. Until we got to later in the race.

As the race went on, we went through Ohio City, other parts of Cleveland and parts I’m pretty sure I’ve seen on A&E’s The First 48 (a show investigating homicides).  The humidity felt like it was increasing despite no rain and about 5 miles in my clothes were drenched and there was no way I was coming close to a PR.  We weaved through Cleveland and between mile 7 and 8, we crossed one of Cleveland’s bridges to Polka music.  We then hit some parks of Cleveland and got hill pay back for laughing at the 3.5 milers around mile 10.  More cursing ensued for sure.  We also had miles 9-13 that were off for some reason (like 1/3 of a mile off), but it eventually made itself up.  After dodging pot holes, wishing for rain to break humidity and taking water at every water stop, we crossed back over the polka bridge and had 2 miles or so to go.  Seeing the Cleveland skyline was a good sign that’s for sure.  Seeing First Energy Stadium and the Q was even better.  However, not being able to see the finish was a tad obnoxious.  Even more obnoxious? Hearing the finish is ‘just around the corner.’ Five corners later…

I finished, that’s all I cared about. 2:16:31 and I blame the humidity.  I picked up my medal, grabbed some food and 2 things of chocolate milk and waited for my parents to come in.  They started about 5 minutes behind me.  Humidity got to them too during the race.  By the time we met up, we were all spent.  Luckily I drove because I was the one who could still walk and who wasn’t getting any sort of foot, calf or leg cramping.

RnR Cleveland was ok.  Not a fan of the course or the hills it involved.  Part of it has to do with some of Cleveland’s roads being less than ideal.  I think for the money we spend on it, they could do more at the expo and at the end of the race.  I did it because I needed a long run, but I don’t see myself signing up for another one any time soon.

Looking for results, finisher’s certificates and pics?  Head over here

All is Fair in Long Weekends: Erie Presque Isle Half Marathon

Oh the life of a resident.  This month, I’m spending time in the Emergency Room, which means 12 hour shifts and coming in whenever they tell you too.  This week was one of those weeks where I had a few shifts, my last one being Thursday night going into Friday.  After an early morning lecture, I headed home to nap before heading to Pittsburgh to visit family, go see some Pitt football and do some free laundry.  Saturday, after the Pitt game, dinner with the family and some outlet shopping, I headed up to Erie by way of Route 79.

I got to my hotel around 10:45 pm.  Thankfully, the Erie Marathon and Half Marathon does packet pick up day of (always important).  This morning, I woke up bright and early at 5 AM and then again for good at 5:15, got changed and headed over to Presque Isle.  After getting into the park, I was directed into lot 6 and parked (I even got a pull through spot!).  I went to pick up my packet, where I got my bib, long sleeved shirt and socks and then found out we started 30 minutes after the full marathon got started.  That meant back to my car to enjoy the heat and debate if I should add another long sleeved layer.  Ultimately, I broke my rule of never wearing the race shirt during the race because I was still cold.

The marathoners went out at 7 AM and had 2 laps around Presque Isle.  I went with the half group and we went out at 7:30.  Amen to 1 lap.  One big lap and you pretty much see the entire park.  The race itself was good and the course of flat.  Anyone who wants a BQ should look into running the Erie Marathon because it’s flat with no hills. Water water stop #1, we had the Halloween gouls and goblins passing out water. Glad we’re in the right holiday spirit (6 weeks early).   2 miles in, I took a quick bathroom break (hey, real bathrooms on course are a plus).  Around mile 3, we hit the entrance of the park and had cars stopped for us. Yes we were that important and yes I was hoping that would change by the time I left.  I was feeling decent up until mile 5.

At this point, I could tell working nights work well with long runs.  Coupled with lingering congestion I’m blaming on ever changing ER shifts, I just wanted the long run because I haven’t seen a lot of them.  I was happy to see the 10K mark and enjoyed the fans who did come out.  One lane was still open to traffic and people were cheering out their windows, which is always a plus.  Because of the trees, we got a good amount of shade mixed in with some sun and the smell of Lake Erie.  Eventually, we hit the opposite end of Presque Isle.  We began heading back towards the start/finish area and began hitting the double digit miles.  At water stops #9 and #10, signs up saying that water stops #11 and #12 were shut down due to high bacteria counts in the lake.  Completely kidding!

With 2 miles left, the marathon leader passed me.  Yes, completely serious.  And remember, they started 30 minutes before us so no, I don’t feel completely horrible.  I thought the bike marshall was kidding when he said marathoners coming on your left. After passing mile 12 and coming around the last curve to the finish, I passed a good 5-6 people who I couldn’t let beat me.  Officially, 2:11:46.  I’ll take it considering my last race, I thought I did worse and ended up 1:45 off my PR.  I got a medal, some food and chocolate milk and headed back to my hotel for a shower before driving back to Cleveland.  I was grateful for a 80 minute drive door to door!  I ended up running a few more miles to hit 15.5 miles for the day.  Good weekend for me and now I’m off to bed.

 

PS, looking for results?  Head over here!

Johnny Cake Jog (#JohnnyCakeJog) 5 Miler

My parents are on a 2 week vacation in Europe at the moment (I can’t complain, I spent 3 weeks in May over there) and of course, the doctor child (me) was named the emergency contact.  So, to deal with it, I turn my weekends into race weekends.

I signed up for the Johnny Cake Jog after work on Friday night.  I was searching for things to do on my weekend off of not having call and found the race pamphlet on my kitchen counter.  Thankfully, I was able to hurry over to the News-Herald to register and still get the early registration fee of $15 (why pay full price if you don’t have to?).

The Johnny Cake Jog is in Painsville, so I got up at 7:25 and was out the door by 7:45 (trying to enjoy as much sleep as possible).  When I left, I was ok with the weather.  I thought It was cooperating with me for a bit.  I ended up at the race about 20 minutes before the start and that brief period of cool weather was out the window.  Oh well.  I was able to use the fairgrounds bathrooms before rushing to the start.

My first mile was pretty good and I was keeping a good pace.  The second mile, the heat and humidity hit me (and some cramps to boot).  Thankfully, there was water about 1.5 miles in and a short time later, we saw this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 7.13.51 PM

 

A little support is always a good thing.  I read the course was flat, but somehow a hill appeared between mile 2.  Or maybe, it was just me trying to deal with the heat.  We passed mile 2 and mile 3 turned out semi decent.  And what can I say, running along Johnny Cake Drive is always a good thing.  The last 1.5 miles or so along Mentor Ave was familiar because it was the road I took in.  It’s almost like your mind is messing with you a bit because you want things to be done.  We had one last water stop with the wonderful Target volunteers before conquering the last mile.  Not going to lie, me picking off people the last 1/4 of a mile was me wanting water and out of the heat!

The ice cold water was so appreciated, not going to lie.  I headed over to one of the barns that had food in it and had a breakfast of champions that included fruit, dairy and carbs 😉

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 7.09.22 PM

 

Who wouldn’t enjoy it??  Really though, the Johnny Cake Jog has something going for it and knows what they’re doing.  This is a race everyone should do, because it’s fun for sure!!  Thanks News-Herald!

PS, results can be found here

EPIC Half Marathon

As my last weekend of freedom before living in the halls of a hospital comes to an end, I figured I needed to make the most of it somehow.  After going through a whole host of online modules for work, I figured I needed to do something running related.  On Wednesday night, while searching for races, I found the EPIC (Every Person Involved Cares) Half Marathon in Pontiac, MI.  $30.  Yes, THIRTY dollars just 3 days or so before the run.  My hotel room cost more than the run.

I drove out Friday afternoon, a quick 3 1/4 hr drive to Pontiac, outside of Detroit.  Packet pick up was at the Hanson Running Shop in Utica and afterwards, I headed to my hotel.  Plus side of where I was staying?  I had a Tim Horton’s down the street and it was a mile from the Silverdome, the start of the race.  I went into Detroit for a few hours and then called it a night.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 6 and got changed and headed out the door.  I made it to the start area at the Silverdome and parked in less than 10 minutes.  That building should be torn down, but that’s just me.  Us runners waited for info on where to go, what to do and all that fun jazz.  Not only was this a small race, it was an inaugural race (my 3rd this year).  I was thinking I should quit signing up for the inaugural races as we started half an hour later than we should have.  The first 5K was a loop of sorts and we did it with the 5K runners.  It was tempting to peel off with the 5Kers at one point because of the heat, but I’m knocking off MI if it kills me.  As I kept running, we headed in a straight line for the next 2+ miles.  Looking up at some of the inclined hills wasn’t enjoyable.  Having a porta potty available 4 miles in with no one in line was appreciated!!

We finally got to make a turn somewhere after mile 5 and enjoyed some flatness.  We also began hitting the water stops that were out of cups, but not bottles of water.  One more thing to carry.  We chugged on and by the time we hit 10 miles, I was beyond the point of caring what my time was.  It was humid, hot, I wanted some rain and to finish (and not last).  Two miles later I kept telling myself 10 more minutes.  Once I saw the general vicinity of the Silverdome, I was picking off a handful of people around me.  Finishing never felt good.  As long as I got the timing chip cut off my shoe so I didn’t have to pay for it and a medal was enough for me (you know it’s an inaugural race when you get an announcement at the beginning that there are more runners than medals and if you don’t get one, it’ll be mailed to you).

Overall, I thought the race is going in the right direction.  This was the first year for it and the funds go to the Foster Care System in Pontiac, so it’s for a good cause.  Organization was good for the most part, we had 13 water stops (12 if you take out mile 9 who was out of water), police at all of the high traffic areas and a lane coned off the entire race for runners.  We were suppose to start at 7, and ended up not starting until close to 7:30.  I know it’s June and it’s hot, but you could feel it start to get warmer in that short time frame.  I was a bit concerned with it being on the road when I saw the course, but was blocked off really well.  Overall, a little bit of tweaking will go a long ways for these guys!

PS, looking for results?  Go here, Run Michigan or message me and I can email you a copy!

15,000 Women and a Few Good Men at the Nike Women’s Half

This morning, bright and early at 7 am, 15000 women (and a few good men) took to the streets of DC for the Inaugural Nike Women’s half marathon on the east coast. When I put my name into the lottery over the winter, I was expecting not to get in because people love the Nike SF run and I figured he mass interest would be (and was) the same!

Anyways, I was up bright and early this morning at 5:30 am and changed and out the door by 6:05. Got to love eating a Greek Yogurt while taking the elevator to the lobby of my hotel. I hopped on the Rosslyn Blue line and was at the start by 6:30. After rushing through a crowd to check my bag (hey,I sweat so much, my metro pass wouldn’t survive and I need my chocolate milk at he finish), I headed to the 9-9:59 min/mile corral. At 7:03, we were off and on the streets of DC. We weren’t staggered at all, which I didn’t see as a problem since everyone around me was around my pace. The fans were out in full force cheering for us, a much appreciated plus, especially at 7 am. Shortly after mile 1, we spent 1/4 of a mile under the 9th street tunnel and the poor Garmin lost a signal. Oh well. We kept on chugging and made our way past people dressed up as a playing card and Twister. Around mile 3, we began running on a route that the Cherry Blossom Run takes us on. I was ok with it because I could settle into a rhythm and knew the route. Somewhere before and after mile 4, on part of the route that was out and back, we had some awesome drummers getting us pumped up to keep on going. Miles 6-9 got a little lonely and the Oreo and beer guys who are around mile 7.5 of the Cherry Blossoms 10 miler weren’t at their spot. Sniff. However, a guy was standing with a sign before mile 5-6 which read “single and supportive.” ME TOO!!! I wanted to stop for a picture and his number. We passed mile 10 and began circling back towards downtown DC.

We passed mile 11 and I could feel the I just want to be done thinking hitting home. Being tired didn’t help so a switch of music was an order. We got to mile 12 and the 20K point and had a straight shot to the finish (YAY!). I recorded a time of 2:07:39 per Nike.

Now the real fun begins. The first part of the chute involved bib scanning and getting our bling, a Tiffany’s necklace made for the race. It was all wrapped up too!

20130428-184700.jpg

The Blue Box

20130428-184737.jpg

Tiffany’s Necklace, NWM 2013

The beat part (2nd to the necklace) were the men in suits handing out the necklaces. if they see his, 100% dingle and starting residency here!! We hit the food portion of the chute and then got to the T-shirts. I hate not getting the shirts at the expo, because now I have to hunk and compare what size I want. After leaving the shirts, it got real crowded. People were in line waiting to buy finisher’s swag (ran into someone who waited 2 hrs!) and to get pictures taken on stage with their blue box. I browsed a bit and went to look up my results. I wove in and out of people and ended up back at gear check to pick up my bag. A change of shirt and chocolate milk does wonders!!

Overall, this was pretty well done, especially for an inaugural race. I honk a few tweaks for packet pick up might be needed (there was a huge line Saturday around 5) and either relocating of the finisher’s boutique or putting finisher’s swag online would be awesome. Really, though, I had a blast and crossed a race of my bucket list!  If you’re looking for results, head over here.

If you’re looking for some swag, check Nike Georgetown if you’re still in the DC area.  They have some of the finisher gear that was offered today at the finish line.  Nike online and Run also have select NWM DC gear if you couldn’t get your hands on anything in DC.

Now, it’s time for some light reading as I take a 9 hour exam on the computer tomorrow.  Good vibes and juju appreciated!

Chocolate Rush Half Marathon

I admit it.  I’m the person who searches for half marathons in states I need when I’ll be there for an extended period of time for work.  This is how I came  to the Chocolate Rush Half Marathon in Kansas.  I’m in Overland Park for work and needed to cross KS off my state list.  It cost me all of $35 and was less then a mile from where I’m working so you really can’t say no to it.

The weather out here the past few weeks has been temperamental.  I’ve had 70 degree days and 20 degree days in the span of a week.  For yesterday’s race, it was 30 but felt like 22.  I picked up my race stuff on Friday.  It was the first time in awhile that we had chips that needed to be returned (I wasn’t going to be paying $120 for a lost chip that’s for sure).  No B or D tag this time around!  The past part for me was the 2 free one day gym passes I got, not the chocolate.

The Chocolate Rush race started at 8:45, a nice change from 7 or 7:30 AM.  I could semi sleep in and still had time to drop my stuff off at work where I’d shower afterwards.  I headed over to the race and parked a good 15 minutes before the start.  They even had door prizes, and no, I was not the lucky one who won a $1000 diamond neckless.  One would think that the young single girl would get something diamondy for once and not have to pay for it.  This was the inaugural half marathon for Chocolate Rush (they’ve had a 5K for the past few years), so there were a little over 150 of us crazy half marathoners.  We headed out at 8:45 and I felt ok at first.  Somewhere between mile 3-4 I hit a wall.  I’m worn out and tired from work and this is my 3rd half and 4 weeks.  I picked it up miles 5-6 and kept on going.  Around mile 7, tired and coldness were starting to make me miserable but the only thing that kept me going was me not wanting to come back to KS for the sole purpose of a race.  Mile 8 had us pass the start as we headed in the opposite direction for a few miles.  We had our fair share of running under underpasses and having to do these little up hills and down hills as we switched sides to continue on the Indian Creek Heritage Trail.  It was kind of amusing that we were racing and then we had other runners/bikers coming by us.  miles 10 and 11 came and went when mile 12 finally came, I was beyond thrilled because I had about 10 minutes left.  I picked it up and finished in 2:12:05.  I was 19/28 in my age group, 108 overall.  When I got back to work to shower, I was talking to a friend and she told me to go look in the mirror.  Definitely had some blue lips because of the wind.  And to think, I ran a half in 70 degree weather last weekend! Run and looking for results?  head over here.

The good: KS is knocked off my state list and I don’t have to find a half out here anymore.  The bad: if I would have done the 5K, I would have been done a whole lot earlier and would have probably placed in the top 3 of my age group!

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