This weekend was the Cleveland Marathon! The race weekend includes several events, including a half marathon, full marathon, 5k and 10k. As an ambassador, I spent the weekend working the Expo, and running! It was great to be back to an in-person race (my first one since 2020!) but there were several things different this year. Including:
- I only ran one day — Saturday. This is the first year that the 5K and 10K were on Saturday and the half and full on Sunday — typically the 10K is the same day as the half and full, but they split them up this year, meaning I was only able to participate on Saturday.
- No challenge series for me! Because of that, this was also the first year I was unable to run the challenge series! The series includes running an event Saturday AND Sunday, and even when I was 9+ months pregnant with LM, I did the 5K (Sat) and 10K (Sun).
- No half marathon and less-than-stellar training for me. Since I’ve only been cleared to run for about 6 weeks, I was unfortunately not able to get back into the best shape and unable to run the half. Still, I signed up for the 10K, with the goal of running it without stopping and hopefully doing it all under 11 minute/miles (a modest goal for me) – one my fastest 10K time was in the low 50-minute range.
- New course. Typically, the 10K starts off with the marathon and half marathoners, but since it was a different day, it had a new course, running with the 5K race.
- New season. Cleveland Marathon weekend is always in May, which means the weather is either SUPER hot, rainy, or freezing (it snowed one year that I ran it!). I didn’t mind having a fall race, though the weather could’ve easily been May.
- Not feeling my best. I’ll admit that I wasn’t feeling my best on race day. Since I have a just-turned-3-month-old baby, I’m getting poor sleep (fun fact – my 3-YEAR-old woke me up at 11 pm and 1:30 a.m. the night before the race — that doesn’t account for my 3-month-old). Breastfeeding has made me semi-dehydrated. I’m not at my pre-pregnancy weight yet, so everything still feels a little awkward when running. And, I had fallen a week before race day when running and ever since then, my groin muscle has been off. And, I knew we had to rush from the race to another event for my son’s school, so I was anxious about that.
With all that, my goals were:
- Have fun. Remember that I GET TO RUN and am so grateful and lucky to be able to, especially 3-months postpartum!
- Run without stopping. Try to run the whole thing in the 10 minute/mile range (my fastest training runs were close to 11 minute/mile pace)
- Help out. As an ambassador, I was planning on volunteering at the EXPO and working the information booth. This meant I could answer questions and meet people who were running.
I successfully met my goals! And here’s more about race week:
I kept running to a minimum all week. My groin muscle has been a little tight after running, so I decided to take it easy most of the week. I ran a total of ~9 miles over 3 days in the beginning of the week, and nothing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Friday afternoon, I volunteered at the race EXPO at the info booth. It was so much fun! I was able to meet some of the other race ambassadors, and answer questions about the race from anyone who stopped by.
Saturday morning was RACE DAY! I got up bright and early to head downtown with my family. B was going to be with the kids, cheering me on. The weather didn’t look great for spectating – it was supposed to be rainy and in the low 40s, but thankfully the rain held off for the most part, making it pretty much perfect running weather!
At the starting line, I met up with my friend Cari, who was also running the 10K.
B caught this image of me at the finish line – just about I was going to cross!
According to my Garmin, this was my pace! I am SO pleased with my time. I had the course a little longer than a 10K, but I beat my goal and got my first sub-10 minute/mile 10K since GM was born.
Here’s what I thought about the race:
- The expo wasn’t as crowded and full as usual, but I loved the energy. It made me so excited to be back running, and part of an in-person event!
- I enjoyed the course and found it to be pretty flat. There were a few small hills (especially the Detroit-Superior bridge, which you go both ways), but they were manageable. And ending downhill is always great!
- The course was well marked, including mile markers and water stops. The volunteers were wonderful, as always. One station was giving out Halloween candy, which is always appreciated 🙂
- I wish there had been more crowd support – but I know that this it more typical of the marathon/half marathon, so it’s one reason I missed running with them. But it’s also a nature of the course — there were few parts that were residential, which is where the people were out.
- I didn’t get to join the after party due to having an event at FW’s school (more on that below), but it didn’t look crowded and looked like a fun event! Again, everything was well marked, from the after party, to the starting line to the gear check.
- As always, I LOVE THE CLEVELAND MARATHON. I am so glad to be an ambassador and can’t wait to be back and running longer distances next year!
After the race, we headed to FW’s school for his first race – they also had a 5K and 1 mile run/walk. FW started out the walk with the family, but then decided to run! It was fun running with him and he did a great job. It also felt good to keep moving after my 10K.
So, not a bad Saturday– I finished the week with 16.48 miles run. Not as much as usual, but glad to get in my first in-person race since 2019!
Questions for you:
- Have you raced since 2019?
- What distance would you sign up for if you were racing next weekend – 5k, 10k, half or full marathon?