Nothing like my 3rd 26.2 mile trek to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday!
I survived the Cleveland Experience on Sunday and crossed the finish line with a mix of emotions.
On one hand, I was happy to PR and finish in 4:34 - five minutes better than Chicago in 2010. On the other hand I was frustrated that the running conditions weren't the greatest - both the hot weather and the extra .2-.35 miles extra on the course that many of us had on our Garmins.
These frustrations weren't factors I could control. Weather is always something we face as runners, and it just so happens that on my particular race day it was a much warmer than expected, with temps getting into the upper 70s rather quickly and then hovering around 80 with the sun beating down. It doesn't sound exceptionally warm, but it is when you're not acclimated to it and have been training in ice, sleet, snow, and frigid temps for months.
I started out strong and on pace to reach my goal of 4:20-4:30. However, as temps soared and more and more people were getting treated by medics - not to mention I started fighting my own fatigue - the goals were adjusted. I held out for 4:30 for a while but when I realized I was coming up short, I surged ahead to at least PR. ( Jack joked with me and said I probably would have made 4:30 if I hadn't run an extra .3 miles - what a guy!)
I've thought about it a lot the last two days - too much, I'm sure. My training runs were right on target. I surged through so many workouts and more than 500 miles with the crazy winter weather, sick kids, little sleep, etc. I feel like I really dove into training and was as prepared as possible. So why couldn't I get that 4:20-4:30?
Again, it was about readjusting the goals. And now, instead of continuing this selfish pity party, I'm gearing up for a time of relaxed training, where running isn't so structured. I'm also excited to go back to the 10K's and half-marathons...those are truly my favorite distances and I'd love to improve on them both.
I think my marathon days are over....for a while. ;) I may be up for one in the far future or I may never have the desire to do one again. We will see.
And that's ok. Because I will still love running. I will still continue being a healthy runner who loves the sport for its lifetime benefits. I will still be a runner, because the race distance doesn't define me.
I have to thank my amazing hubs and kidlets for their support in this endeavor. Jack had the difficult job of watching them during the race. He worked to not only entertain them, but also cheer me on at various spots. He even ran with me the last 1.5 miles or so - a precious memory I probably will never experience again, as my hubbie cheered me on while pushing our clapping babies in the stroller in downtown Cleveland.
This medal is truly one earned by the entire family.Thank you all for your encouragement and interest in my running endeavors!