final marathon musings

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I can’t believe a week has passed since we kicked off Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon weekend! As I sit here by my computer admiring the blue skies and sunshine, it’s hard to believe that we were absolutely freezing our butts off on Sunday in the cold, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and high winds. I’ve been thinking a lot about the #mostclevelandraceever and have a few final thoughts I wanted to share.

  • Despite having a crazy busy weekend with working the Sparkly Soul booth, walking the 8K, and reveling in the Ambassador fun, I still ran an absolutely awesome race, in my opinion, and I’m damn proud of that! I shaved nearly 28 minutes off my previous marathon PR (4:24:52 in 2014 to 3:57:19). However, I keep thinking if I could have done just a little bit better if I wasn’t so stretched. I know for the next big race I will make sure I give myself more chill time.
  • That being said, the thing I will not cut out is participating in the 5K or 8K on Saturday before the CLE Marathon if my family is involved. My mom and dad aren’t runners, but they sure can walk. They said to me that this is one way they can take part in something I love so much, and I am proud to have them there. Possibly running a bit quicker on Sunday isn’t worth not participating with my family.
  • During this week, I said I was pretty satisfied with my marathon time and wanted to focus on improving my half in CLE next year. I said I already proved what I wanted to prove to myself, which was running a sub-4:00 marathon in Cleveland. Well….I changed my mind I think. With it being the CLE Marathon’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2017, it seems only fitting to run the full, and my thought is the weather can only be an upgrade from this year. I’m sure I will be able to shave off a minute or two for next year, providing I stay healthy and injury free. This also gives me something to work for, as I always run better when I have a goal in mind. I think I will focus on getting a new half PR this fall and then run the full for May 2017.
  • The fact I am already looking forward to my next marathon does not mean I’m not satisfied with my race last Sunday. I’m more than satisfied; I mean, it was the race of my life! I don’t think on that particular day with the other circumstances surrounding it that I could have done any better. That is a satisfying feeling. But I can envision more, which means I am driven. I can do better, and I will. Continuous improvement keeps me motivated, and seeing the progress and accomplishing goals I never thought possible are infectious.
  • I still have tingling in a few of my fingertips. I’m sure this is from the cold and wet conditions and the fact I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I didn’t ditch my gloves (which were just the cheapy cotton ones) until about mile 17, but my hands pretty much had no feeling starting around mile 12-13. I couldn’t even freaking put earbuds back in or open a gel! Note to Stephanie: next time, be smarter. My hands felt warmer and better almost as soon as the gloves were gone.
  • I will make sure that if I am staying overnight for a race, I will pack every possible clothing option. The only reason I had tights and a warmer top was because I brought it to walk the 8K with my dad. Otherwise, I would have been absolutely freezing in my tank top and shorts or wearing my throwaway pants and sweatshirt to run a marathon.
  • Anyone who was outside for the races on Sunday, May 15 is a complete badass and deserves respect. This means race participants, volunteers, race staff, spectators, police officers, EVERYONE! The conditions were, by far, the worst I have ever run in, but pride swells when I think of how we survived a race that will go down in Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon history! Hell, they are even making shirts to commemorate the craziness!

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  • I’m bummed that this race cycle is over, but that doesn’t mean that the other Ambassadors and I are done supporting one another. We are already planning to meet up again and hopefully soon! I miss you guys!
  • I need to keep my crying in check during races. Holy crap, have you seen those ugly race pics? Yuck. I can cry at the finish, but during the race, I need to hold it together, at least for the photog.
  • I have no desire to take time off from running. Following Sunday, I was not able to move around much on Monday and was thankful I took the day off. Tuesday was quite a bit better, and by Wednesday, I was hitting the pavement again for a short, easy run. I don’t feel burnt out at all from training and the race. It’s quite the opposite; I feel energized. While I don’t have a major race lined up yet, I look forward to sunshine and runs around my neighborhood, local 5Ks with my sons who are dying to test their speed, and participating in races with my entire family. This summer will be about fun, which is what running is supposed to be.
  • I know a time will come when my times starting creeping upward and setting PRs at races is a thing of the past, but that time is not now. I have more speed left in me. Who would have thought that my 35-year-old self would be running circles around my 28-year-old self? I would even be leaving 32-33-year old Stephanie in the dust! But when the time comes, I will try my best to embrace it and accept the fact I am still able to run. It is a gift.
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2 responses »

  1. Your poor fingers! It’s really difficult to race when you can’t use your hands for all the reasons you mentioned. I hope they are going to be okay. Good to see you basking in your amazing accomplishment and still enthused about more running!

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