Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cleveland Marathon from HER Perspective!

As many know, I’ve been on this running kick for the last 4 years because of my sister, Denise.  Yes, I blame her!  I blame my other two sisters for my other quirky behaviors.  :)

I bugged Denise to give me her race recap so that I can share it with everyone.  I really believe that there are so many awesome stories behind those finishing times.  One of my favorite pastimes is reading race recaps.

Before I get into he race recap.  I am so jealous of this girl… she just seems to have this ability to NOT look like she just ran a marathon.  She looks good walking, skipping, climbing steps, or getting out of the car.  As for me, WHERE’S my ice bath!  Here’s a video of us after the Cleveland Marathon.

So, now for Denise’s race recap…

Yes, Spectators I read your signs.

97737-065-008fI signed up for the Cleveland Marathon since my brother was coming in from Texas to run the marathon. It is something that we have in common and can share and inspire each other. I usually pace the Cleveland Marathon but I thought this year it would be fun if we both ran the full. No, we don’t share the same pace but we would be running the full course separately together.

I did not train like I would normally do, not that I did not want to but life sometimes just gets in the way. So going into the marathon I was already anxious with lack of training and concerned whether I was able to finish at all. I was on weather alert about a week before the race. Watching the weather forecast get warmer and warmer, but I thought hey this is Cleveland it could change. Not this time. It was going to be a hot start. I am not at all a hot weather runner. So I had to have a strategy and/or a backup plan, perhaps an escape route. `

97737-3068-025f-2Race morning was all about doing this. Getting it together. Staying positive. Staying focused. Weather was going to be hot. So now what? Okay, game plan. Instead of trying to run an easy pace I decided to run nice and strong early on and bank the extra time figuring that the heat would get to me slow me down or put me out of the race. This would be doing the very opposite of everything we are taught when we are training for a marathon. We are taught to start off slow and then you can pick up the pace and finish the race strong. Okay so much for clear headed thinking.

I really wanted to see my friend, Libby before the start of the race to wish her luck as she was doing the half. We have trained and shared a lot of road and trail miles together. We texted our locations back and forth but never was able to connect. I said good bye and good luck to my brother knowing he would be finish well before I would. I am now in line around the 4:55 pace group. I started to panic, I really need to see a familiar face, someone who knew me, I needed to see ….no way! Libby! Thank you, Lord. We hugged each other good luck. And I knew I was going to be okay. Passing the start line, I hear someone call my name and it was her boyfriend Eric! Woo Hoo! I am riding this wave! YES I got this!

97737-065-007fDear God, give me a sign. And God did, it said Go Runner. Yes that’s me! Woo Hoo. You can do it!, said another sign. As I ran my name might have been Mary, Sharon or whatever name that was on the sign. Some were funny and some were silly. But I read every one of them.

Dear God, It’s hot out today. Guess you know that, right? Could you make it rain, Lord?

No? Ok. Water stop. Ok. Thank you, Lord. Oh no! They have run out of cups as I now see runners cupping their hands together for a drink of water. I was grateful that I carried my water bottle with me.

I received the following text from my son during the race. Go! Go! Go!

Keep going Denise. Your brother is just up ahead. Keep going. Hey that’s cool, a priest is blessing us with holy water as we run by. I smile. It’s hot. Maybe I should go back and get blessed again with holy water, ha maybe I could go faster.

I hear my phone ring, do I answer that? Don’t look. Save your breathing. Conserve energy. Focus.

2012-05-20 13.05.24How long is this race anyways? Is it too late to just do the half? Look over there (a sign) …You are strong!_insert name …how clever I thought. I love signs. I wish I could remember them all. Mile after mile. People cheered and held their signs. The thing I can tell you is that, yes, Spectators I read your signs. Thank you. Thank you for being out there. Thank you for believing in me. I finished this race. I did it! Every time that I cross the finish line feels like the first time. I am strong. Thank you Lord for carrying me to the finish line. I could not have done it without you.

Just minutes after I crossed the finish line, I received a text from my son, with a picture of my running partner. I smile as it is a picture of Jackson my Weimarunner. Thank you, Adam.

Thanks Denise for your race recap and getting me into this crazy sport!  Love you and this sport!

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