Tuesday, May 22, 2012
We left Friday morning and drove to Cleveland arriving around 3 in the afternoon. It was my first time in Cleveland and I really liked the city. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel which is right downtown within easy distance to restaurants and all attractions. We saw a baseball game on Saturday afternoon and went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon. We even went to the new Casino. In short we had a good time, in a very nice city.
Now for the race... which was, after all, the reason for the visit. My sciatica was painful throughout the time unless I took an Advil, and even then it wasn't normal. On Saturday we went to the exhibition to pick up our bids and packages. I knew there was no way I could do the half marathon, so I decided to pay $20 to change to the 10 km, although I really doubted I could do even that.
The next morning I was in a lot of pain and took a pill before leaving. When we got there I had to stand around for a bit and then go down quite a few stairs to get to the start. As I was going down I was in such excrusiating pain and I thought "This is nuts... I can barely go down a step how can I walk 10 km???? That's like 15000 steps!"
I said as much to my friend who had encouraged me to give it a try, but now could see by my face that I was in pain, so she basically told me to do what I thought was best. She went to her start for the 1/2 marathon and I stayed where the 10km people were. I started stepping in place trying to work my hip. Finally I decided to just try it. I figured if the pay was so bad in the first km or so, I could drop out and go back to the hotel.
So off we went. The funny thing is, almost the moment we started, my hip felt better. The longer I went and the quicker I walked, the more the pain disappeared and all I felt was a circle of numbness where the pain had been. I had my music on and was feeling fine. At around 5 km, I looked at my Garmin and my time was really good, my pace was around 8:38 which is pretty darn good even without an injury. I started to think I should never have changed from the 1/2 marathon. Around 7km a dull pain started and it got worst from then on. At 9km I just wanted to get to the end. I finally did finish. Not my best 10km time, but not my worst either. I finished at 1:27.
I like the race, but was disappointed when, at the end, we didn't get any kind of token for finishing the 10 km. The day before, there had been a 5 km race. We walked down that way to do our final 3km training walk and saw some of the participants coming back with medals... so I thought the 10 k would get something. I mean, I didn't need a medal, but just something that I would have to commemmorate the event. It really was not right to give nothing. And then, to boot... I went to the race results on line. We found Linda's 1/2 marathon results, but when we clicked on the 10km results, there was no info....
I know this may sound shallow... but I am disappointed... firstly that I didn't do the 1/2 marathon and secondly that I have nothing to mark the 10 km I did do.
After finishing, I decided to stay and watch the others coming in and wait for my friend. I thought I was near the end of the 10km... but far from it. People where coming in more than an hour after me. The 1/2 marathon runners were coming in and also the first of the full marathoners. The man who came in first did the 26.2 miles (42.2 km) in something like 2 hrs and 20 mins.... or so... isn't that amazing?!
After my friend finished, we went to the hotel, showered, ate lunch and then returned to go to the Rock and Roll hall of fame. We go to the marathon site at 2 pm and there were still people coming in from the full marathon... 7 hours after the start. These were not seasoned marathoners... but mostly first timers. It was so inspirational watching those ordinary people finish something very few people in the world have done. I actually got a teary watching an older gentleman... over 70 for sure.... in obvious pain cross the finish line. And then there were 2 sisters crossing together holding hands, and a mother and daughter, and several other ordinary inspirational people
Linda and I discussed not doing any more 1/2 marathons due to the large amount of time committment required to do the training. You really do have to dedicate at least 4 months of serious, consistent training. But I really do want to do at least one more, so well see.
We are regisitered for 2 more races now. A 10 miler (16 km) in August and a 5 km night race in Sept. And then if the training goes well and all else is good, I'd like to do the Lakefront race again. It was the first one I did and the 2nd time it was my personal best time. I've put together a good training schedule but again, it is a big time committment... so we'll see.
For now... I did the 10 km. And although I'm a bit disappointed, I have to be happy that I, as a 57 year, overweight woman with an injury, finished a 10 km race in not bad time. Can't be disappointed in that can I?