Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My first marathon, The Cleveland Marathon

I finished.

My goal was to finish, and I did. Standing at the starting line, I wasn't sure I'd be able to go 26.2 miles. Even at mile 12 I still wasn't sure, but once I passed by the half marathon turn off point, I knew I'd finish, because I HAD to!

Race day conditions were almost perfect, I made it to downtown Cleveland without any problems, and I found myself SUPER lucky to be able to park right by the start/finish line. (HUGE, HUGE thank you to Liz F.)

After chatting in the parking lot, I dropped off some clothes at gear check, used a restroom in the Brown's stadium with NO LINE (that was a BIG bonus in my book), and then met up with the Grunt Girls and some other friends.

Just before heading to the starting line:

While standing with Stacy and Patty at the starting line, we were joined by Jen C and a friend of hers. It was so nice having others around that I knew. The gun went off, and about 5 minutes later we finally crossed the starting line to begin our race. We barely moved for the first mile, but I was near the 4:30 marathon pace group, and happy with that.

Every now and then when the road had some pot holes or was uneven, I had a little knee pain, but nothing too bad.

Miles one through six: 11:08, 10:21, 10:08, 10:49, 10:26, 10:45.

At mile seven Heidi caught Patty and I here:

I continued with Patty until she split off for the half-marathon finish. I was worried I had been going a bit too fast though, and slowed up a bit.

Miles seven through twelve: 10:50, 10:50, 10:57, 10:53, 11:12, 10:51

I think this is when the 4:45 pacer caught up to me, and I believe they pulled away from me just as quickly as they approached. I was happy with my 1/2 mary time, but knew I needed to slow down to get through this whole thing. I even got a bit emotional when I made the turn WITH the other marathon runners. I had never made that turn before. WOW, I then knew there was no where else for me to stop until I got to the END.

Miles thirteen through seventeen: 10:40, 11:06, 11:56, 12:49, 12:43

At mile 17.5 I looked at my garmin and realized I had never run this far before, so I stopped running to walk. I'm not sure why. It was like I was happy to have made it this far, and anything more was just a bonus. Yes, my training should have including more distance, but I was worried about my knee. So, I walked for .3 miles, found an empty port-o-pot to use, and then decided it was time to run again.

I enjoyed running down MLK. I was running alone now. Well, no one I "knew" was around me. This gave me lots of time to think. :-) I did chat with a few strangers. I even found a guy from Cincinatti that had completed the Full Rev3 at Cedar Point while I was there doing the half last year.

The rain drizzled on and off. Most of the time it wasn't too bad and almost feld good. A pic from somewhere in the second half:

Miles eighteen, nineteen and twenty: 14:52, 11:53, 13:07

THEN, the FIVE HOUR pacer caught up to me. I didn't want to let her get away, so I sped up to stay with her and the few runners hanging on as well.

Miles twenty-one and twenty-two: 11:29 and 11:48

BUT, I had to let them go. I was tired.

Miles twenty-three through twenty-six: 14:13, 14:46, 13:30, 13:11

It was a shuffle at this point, but I was finishing. When I saw the "MILE 26" sign, I got a bit emotional again.

I ran the last .2 and celebrated.

Final Time: 5 hours and 13 minutes


  1. Great job Kim! Loved all the different pictures, the one of you waving is too perfect.

  2. Woooot! Awesome job KIM! Way to go the distance!

    Seriously, great photos too!

  3. I love how you smiled through the whole thing!

    Great job!

  4. That is AWESOME!!!! Way to go! Aren't marathons great?!?! Your emotions and end-of-race shuffle remind me of my first too :) Great job!