Cleveland half marathon 5/18/14. Start to finish.

So. You pretty much know how my ‘week-before-the-race’ started – With. A. Cold. Blah. Being I’m the child that got all the brains in the family, I started really treating “it”, on Friday.


I’m sure if I would have started that stuff as soon as the cold hit – on Monday – it would have been gone by today. Like I said, “all the brains”…

Anyway, The Hus, my mom, and I drove into Cleveland on Saturday afternoon and went straight to the IX Center to pick up my packet – it closed at 6 and we got there about 5. Perfect timing.

clev packet

We were supposed to check in to our hotel (which was right next to the IX center), then go meet my sista and nephew for dinner at an Italian place near them. But when we actually pulled up the directions, and realized it was 40 minutes east, we did NOT feel like driving another 40 minutes there, 40 minutes back, and then get to bed late. This race started at 7am, so 4:30 wake-up call wasn’t gonna be pretty as it was! haha 😉 So we told them we would meet them for brunch after the race on Sunday. We just drove around near our hotel and found The. BEST! German restaurant EVAAAA!!!


Now, my mom and I are German, so when we walked into the place, it was home. 😉 (No, we did not move over here from Germany, right off of a ship, or have even BEEN to Germany for that matter…it was just cool.) What is NOT really that cool, is that i’m really not a big sauerkraut fan. Well, at all really. And I would have loved to try something German – they had a German section AND an American section – but with running in the morning, I didn’t wanna chance eating something different. It was a burger and fries for me all the way. And it was the best dang burger ever!


We did order an appetizer of perogies because we LOVE some perogies! We have never had perogies that good. Period. 10 stars.



And Philco actually got a German dish – which was surprising that he branched out like that – so we all tried a bite. Don’t ask me what it was, but it was REALLY good! And my mom got a Reuben.


After dinner, we made a pit stop at Giant Eagle, because, with this being my first ‘away-from-home-race’, thinking about what and how I will eat breakfast at 4:30 in a hotel room – WITH coffee – was something that I didn’t think all the way through prior. Just grabbed some Sbux frapps, bread, and peanut butter – oh, and bananas. Then it was lights out by 10:00. I was sooooo tired after that dinner – and not taking a nap on Saturday. But of course once I laid down, I was wide awake. I fell asleep at one point, then woke myself up with a coughing spell and couldn’t get back to sleep. It was 12:22. Then it got SUPER hot in the room so I turned it down. Felt Phillipi tossing and turning. Still hot. Turned it to the fan. Listened to Phillipi snore. Still warm. Heard Phillipi turn it to the A/C. <Continues the tossing and turning.> The A/C shuts off. He turns it on high. I continue laying there wide awake and NOW freezing. I had 7 alarms set AND a wake-up call scheduled for 4:30, so I just laid waiting for them all to go off. (Great race story so far eh?)

4:30 am doesn’t agree with me btw…


Anyhow, made it to the start. Made it to the finish. Barely to the finish. I got started ok, pace was around 9:30 for the first couple miles, then the “cold symptoms” kicked in – mostly just feeling weak, dehydrated, and lightheaded (and if we all remember correctly, I just LOVE passing out. 😉 ) I did NOT want to be passing out on this race, so I started drinking some Nuun pretty early on. And the Honey Stingers got broken into around mile 5 or 6 too. I’ve never eaten the whole pack of Honey Stingers during a half before, but I did today. And I had to take probably 8-10 walk breaks. I usually eat 2 gummies at a time, so I would stop and walk every time I ate a couple. And sometimes when I had to drink. It was rough. My pace for miles 6-12 were between 10:00 and 11:45. Then of course my pace for mile 13, was like 9:45. haha At the end, I totally forgot to stop my watch, but my official time they posted, was 2:20:54. Blah. Not happy about it since this was my time for my first half last year, and then I beat this same time by 10 minutes, TWO WEEKS AGO, but no sleep and being sick did NOT help.


Anyone know how you “re-calibrate” this watch??? I did NOT go 13.44! haha

The course overall, wasn’t TOO bad, but I was kinda surprised that there wasn’t as much “excitement/hype/bands” as there are in The ‘Bus. Maybe we’re spoiled in Columbus? I mean, the first couple of miles, it was like silence. I guess with all the bands and music in Cleveland, I figured there would be more of them along the way – that kind of stuff helps BIG TIME! Especially when you are sick and tired and struggling! 😉 The course was pretty much nice and flat though – except 2 loooooong, graaaaaadual hills, of course, at the end…haha. The best part of the route, was the last 3 miles – running along Lake Erie and then the bridge (I don’t know what it’s called 😦 ) coming into downtown Cleveland – gorgeous views! I wanted to whip out my phone and take some pics, but any extra energy spent digging it out of my water bottle bag, would have probably sent me to the ground passing out. 😉

I have to say, that at mile 9.6, the half-marathoners turned right and the full turned left, and at that point, I was thanking God that I wasn’t doing the full! 😉 Then remembering I just signed up for a full…it’s all good. I’ll be prepared. 🙂 The only other thing that I don’t think ANYONE seemed thrilled about (because people were making comments the whole time…) was that there were NO mile markers. Except for mile 10. Yes, we all have watches that tell us how far we’ve gone, but seeing those mile marker flags is glorious.

My take-away’s for my first “race-away-from-home”:

~ I don’t recommend getting sick – EVER – before a race

~ Sleep. Is. Important.

~ Pack numerous outfits. I packed 3 because the weather in Ohio is so bipolar. I went with my warmest outfit, but I really wished I would have went with the coolest one – the one I had picked out first, until I heard there were frost advisories… 😦

~ Take a picture of the parking garage sign you parked in, and a couple other landmarks/stores around the vicinity. OH! And ALSO, the actual STREET you are parked on – that one is key. Just sayin’.

The Hus’ review of the whole weekend:

clev I

clev II

clev III


And the winner of the FULL marathon – 2:12 – faster than my half. haha These pics amaze me and I would love to stand at the finish line one time just to watch the elites glide by…




Then my post-race breakfast that hits the spot every the time.


And now lazy-ing it up with the usual ritual – race shirt, compression socks, nap.



So. Any tips for packing and traveling to races in other cities/states?

Ever run a race sick??

Do you get good sleep the night before, or do you toss and turn from anxiousness??? If you are able to sleep, GIVE ME TIPS!!!! 😉



Rock on and congrats to all the other race finishers today! And anyone that raced – or even just ran! – this weekend! YOU rock.


10 thoughts on “Cleveland half marathon 5/18/14. Start to finish.

  1. Congrats! I’m sorry the CLE wasn’t kinder to you. The mile markers are odd, on the 10k I only saw a 5 and 6. Sorry you didn’t get any of our fabulous pizza!


  2. You look great, even for being sick! Congrats on finishing your race – last year I had a cold for the Providence Half-Marathon, it was the first time I’ve ever ha to take my inhaler during a race. Btw, I don’t know how to “re-calibrate” those things…every time I try to save my time on my GPS, I end up accidentally erasing it! Argh!


  3. Good job on pushing through your race and finishing! It always sucks to feel sick and not into a race. You look amazing for not feeling well! Bonus-you got to eat delicious looking food. Hopefully your next race will kick booty! 🙂


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