Marathon numéro deux in the books

Miles 1-15: Damn I feel really good
Miles 16-20: Hmmm…
Miles 21-26.2: Shoot me now
Overall: 3:33:08
Goal: 3:05:00

That pretty much sums up my most recent marathon experience. This time it was the Cleveland Marathon and the route was pretty fantastic: start/finish at Cleveland Browns Stadium and along the way pass the Westside Market, Jacob’s Field (I refuse to call it anything else), the Terminal Tower, the Cultural Gardens and a bunch of other cool sites. At one point we were only a few streets away from 2207 Seymour Ave where those missing girls were found. The roads were relatively well kept and the course was overall flat, yet had a lot of deceptive undulations. Sounds like pretty good running conditions…

So where did the wheels come off?

There’s this woman and her name is Mother Nature. At times she can be a real bitch. On this occasion, she decided that we would be the ants and she would be the little kid with the magnifying glass.

I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s true. It was the hottest day I’ve run in this year (mid-80s) and humid. It’s funny how over the course of 26.2 miles the weather can change so dramatically. Thank God for the organizer’s decision to have hoses spraying throughout the course!

Why do I feel okay with this result?

Let’s be honest, I still kicked ass. For the first time since I’ve started running/racing, I wasn’t overly critical of myself, because I trained really well leading up to the race and I gave my all during. In the end, the deciding factor was out of my control.

Considering I’ve only been running since January 2012, I’m pretty damn advanced. I ran the Manchester City Marathon in 3:47:16 this past November, so I knocked 14 minutes off that. Also, given better conditions, I’d have been in the 3’10ish” range.

Post Marathon

Where does that leave me?

My goal it to qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon. That means the Smuttynose Rockfest in October is my last chance to qualify. A flat course during a cooler time of year. That means that it’s all on me to be ready. Between now and then the training will be hellish and my body will hate me, but in the end isn’t that why we runners run?



Categories: Running

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8 replies

  1. Hoping to qualify for Boston as well in October at the Chicago Marathon. 9 minutes to shave off from last year. Fingers crossed. Going with the more minimal approach I did last yr from Jeff Horowitz: running 2-3x/wk, cross-training + core/strength 3x/wk to keep my body and mind healthy. Good luck!

    • Amanda, that’s awesome. Hopefully I’ll be joining you at the starting line next year at Boston. 9 minutes to shave, I think you got this, just train honestly and with passion and it’s all you!

      Thank you so much for sharing and for encouragement. Look forward to keeping in touch and hearing about your progress!

  2. Wow, it’s very inspiring & encouraging that you’ve been running for such a short period of time and doing so well!

    • Thank you so much! How long have you been running?

      It was just a matter of finding a sport that truly tapped into my primal competitiveness.

      • Just since February. My first race was in April and I keep surprising myself with my performance. I’ve been thinking about a marathon (I’m training for my first half), and your blog gives me hope that I can do it without taking a whole day to complete. 😉

      • Once you decide to push it, you’ll continue to be amazed by your body’s capacity for endurance and tolerance for pain. The key is to mentally accept that you are capable of greater things.

        Train your mind, your body will follow 🙂

        Great job, keep it up!!!

        Best – Erol

  3. I almost chose Cleveland for my first marathon!! Awesome job on #2!! Any recommendations on a first time marathoner who’s injury prone? …I should mention I’m a turtle :). I hate heat too and too bad the fall marathons call for intense summer training. I will never complain about cold running again.

    • It was a fun marathon…well until the heat kicked in. I’d def recommend doing it in the future.

      A first marathon…I couldn’t thin of any better than the Smuttnose Rockfest in Hampton, New hampshire (Oct 6). Why? Very flaaaaat course and coastal run, followed by free Smuttynose Beer, lobster roll and chowder. Doesn’t get much better than that! Plus you’d be in NH right around peak folliage time, so would be gorgeous.

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