The Cleveland Experience

Run/Walk for Stronger Bones 5K

Saturday morning I woke up and went for a run to support stronger bones. Little did I know I was in a way supporting myself? I arrived on site much the same way any other morning would begin, talking to Gale and Gary and Bill, walking to and from cars, using the bathroom…nothing to write home about. Registration was terribly unorganized and the shirt sizing was a mess, but hey what can you do? We gathered near the start and I was telling Gale how I don’t get why I am SO tired lately! I still love everything I do, but I feel like I could just pass out and sleep at any given second. The announcer explained to us the course…up through the parking lots, 1.5 times around the big building then down through the parking lots and around this driving bend for all the vehicles 2 times before coming back up and to the finish. WOW um not confusing at all! Sadly the guy who was in 2nd place took a wrong turn and did 3 laps and lost his spot…they wouldn’t change it. Boo. Oddly my left foot went numb again and both my calves were sore and shaking. I’m not sure what to make of all of this!

At the health fair, we did some screenings and my BMI is not nearly as high as I thought it was and my percentage of body fat was lower than I’ve ever been screened before, even if it’s still high. I could stand to lose several pounds though, no debate on that topic. In fact on the way home I heard about the Pound for Pound Challenge and decided I will take part in it. I need to lose weight anyway, so why not do it along with supporting a great cause? For every pound you pledge and lose, they will donate a pound of food to a needy family. My home state of Ohio is in 3rd place right now. I pledged 10 pounds…ideally I would like to lose MORE, but 10 seemed logical and not just a WISH but a GOAL. Oh wait Jen would tell me it’s not losing weight…it’s reducing my weight…OK I’m reducing my weight by 10 pounds for a good cause.

Also at the health fair I found out my bone density is not the greatest. Ugg. Guess I need to remember that as I get older. So I stocked up on all the good calcium and vitamin d things. I got a HUGE laundry bag from Walgreens, won a free lunch at Panera, got my pic taken with a fake milk mustache and a few other goodies. After the expo I did some errands before meeting Gale for lunch at this random Deli/Café and going to the Cleveland Expo. You see Gale & I are good people and we volunteered our time at the Expo! We were supposed to do frequently asked questions, but were moved to shirts! Score! Oh and speaking of shirts, we were given cute lime/kelly green type shirts with “Race Crew” on the back. Volunteering was sooooo much fun and it was nice to interact with different runners. Some were excited, others were nervous. One girl was sad because she had hurt her foot and wasn’t able to take part anymore, another guy was sad because he drove down from Toronto and did not know it was sold out….does he NOT have the Internet? Seriously? The only potential issue was running out of men’s large shirts, but nearly everyone took it very well.

We probably had way too much fun volunteering, I’m not sure if others were liking their work as much. The guy next to me kept talking to me and I liked that, I think he saw all the fun we were having and wanted to be a part of it. Apparently he used to do marathons all the time and stopped when his children were younger. Now, he wants to get back into it, but doesn’t fully have the motivation. He is volunteering as a way to try and catch the spirit and remember the good times…or so I got from what he told me. Gale and I also looked at people and judged outfits and wondered if several ladies were naturally blessed with the chest presented before everyone. Hmm. There was on man. HOLY PRETTY. We went back and forth for like 5 solid minutes. “Pretty eyes” “Pretty purple shirt” “Pretty butt” “Pretty lips” everything about this man was ppppppprrrrretttty….to die for pretty. Too bad he went to the other line and I couldn’t talk to him. Then there was another guy who was picking up for two and we ask “are both for men?” because not everyone knew we offered ladies shirts. The guy seemed so pretend upset and says “I certainly HOPE he’s a guy or else he has a LOT of explaining to do!” OH my wonderful times! Leaving the Expo I was totally psyched about the race the next day and couldn’t wait to finish getting ready.

Cleveland Half Marathon

The alarm went off at 4:30 and I rolled over and looked at Emme. She tired to cover herself with her paws and ears. We kinda lay there a moment and I rubbed her back, but then I had to shut off the music. When she noticed I wasn’t getting back in the covers she jumped out of bed and dashed down the hall. She might be smarter than I am. I walked through the house gathering my bag of goodies and making sure I collected things that were charging…IPOD…Garmin. Although I HATE eating in the AM I grabbed some oatmeal and yogurt. On the way there as I was driving I attempted to eat. Scoop, chew chew, scoop, chew chew….this is hard to do…oh wait I didn’t swallow. Swallow, swallow, swallow, scoop, chew chew, swallow. UGG. Every once in a while I’d tell myself I am a good girl and will be glad I did this later. And honestly I was VERY glad! One of the first runs I’ve done in a LONG time where I didn’t feel a lack of energy or stomach distress.

I arrived about an hour before the race and met up with Gale. We put on our trash bags, waited for the bathroom FOREVER and while waiting we saw Frank run by, we saw Kelli in line for the RR and we also talked to Sheila and her sister Shelby from SARC. It seemed the start happened sooner than last year and we were on our way! At first I don’t listen to music, I like to get caught up in the spirit of things. A guy behind us who clearly was AWESOME at what he did was making fun of all the people who normally freak out. He was yelling things like “I ate too much, I didn’t sleep enough, I didn’t bring enough GU…OH MY GOD I HAVE TWO RIGHT GLOVES! Totally made my morning. About a mile later I heard a guy announced he heard there was a free taco water stop. Um worst idea ever? Perhaps.

The first two miles went well, but mile two involved going up a bridge and even though I wasn’t tired my left leg went numb again. This upset me because I was doing great time-wise and hated a cramp holding me back. So I tried to stretch and it wouldn’t move. My left calf muscle was SOLID, my right was tight but you could wiggle it a little for a massage…my left felt swollen and like someone swapped it out for a rock. Grr. I walked a little more but it hurt so bad. I sat on a railing and pressed on it with all my might until it felt a little released. Some people asked if I was OK. I really wasn’t and thought about dropping out. Walking is one thing, but walking in PAIN for 12 miles? Not gonna happen. So I waddled on and made it to mile 4 in like 50ish min..Ugg. I took a break then at the port-o-potties and took my shoe off and finally some relief set in to my foot. Clearly something in my shoes is hitting pressure point, I know it isn’t too tight, you should see how almost falling off the thing is…I dunno what it is! So I made some time up going to mile 5 and then numbness again. I said “screw it” and ran on numb feet until about mile 7 to 8. Around this area they started to tingle instead of being numb. Tingle was worse! By mile 10 I was so annoyed and felt hurt…but I made it up the high way ramps and down the highway ramps to finish around 2:52. I was aiming for 2:40 but was happy to be under 3 hours with an injury. I ALWAYS feel so accomplished when I finish a race, no matter how many I complete and no matter what the experience was in the process. Especially wearing your medal as you walk through the crowds…oh how they shine in the sun!

More highlights of the route? At mile 10 there was Burt and Ernie doing some umm dancing…not really age appropriate dancing but it made me smile. Maybe it was mile 6-ish was this “band” I don’t know what to call them. They were playing drums but on trash cans and it was sooooo cool looking and sounding. There were two different cheer teams. One just stood there chanting and giving water, the other was a dance and fitness team and were dancing for us…rather neat! Of course the designated high school bands playing music and different people with music and speakers to perk up the motivation.

Who else ran with me this weekend? What was your favorite part of the process?

2 thoughts on “The Cleveland Experience

  1. Hey girl! So proud of you. My favorite part had to be the steel drum guys and the lady with the sign that said “Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon”…that was great.

  2. Thanks for volunteering and I'm sorry I missed you at the expo! I hope your leg is feeling better and is nothing too serious. Nice job at the half. I loved bert and ernie – especially on the long boring shoreway! There were some awesome spectators out on Sunday for sure!

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