Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Series – Half Marathon – Part 3 of 3

Um….hey…. did anyone wonder what happened to my report on the 2017 Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon? Somehow time slipped through my fingers and when I received the email notifying me of early registration for the 2018 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Series, I thought it would be a perfect way to lure all of you to want to rush right out on August 1st and get in on the early registration prices for this year’s race!

To be honest, I’m ready to sign up for 2018 because I’m hoping it’ll erase the memories of this year’s race from my mind LOL! Lucky for most of you, I don’t remember things well thanks to a head injury in a car accident in 2012, but I’ll get right to the story now…..

I usually write on and on about what happened where in a race, but this time, I’m going to cut right to it.  First you’ll see the collage, and then I’ll describe each step of the way:

I stayed at the Marriott downtown this year, the room was great, I loved being so close, but I was very restless this year right out of the gate. I shared my room with a young friend who was doing her first half marathon. She was nervous and maybe it poured over, I’m not sure, but I know that I didn’t sleep well and for too short a time. When I woke up, I felt tired and not prepared to start the race at all. After a quick look out the window, we dressed and headed through Public Square and got to the start line over by the “Q”  (is that the name of the place where the Cavs play?).

Once the race started, I felt like I had a pretty good pace – not too fast, not too slow – lots of people filtering out into their proper paces as we moved forward.  Not too far into the race, I was able to give fellow race ambassador, Jamie Johnston a big hug right there in the middle of the street as she was participating as a spectator this year! I kept going with the mass of folks feeling great with my run.  Once I got over near the Tremont area, I found one of those touristy signs that have the city name overlooking downtown and I knew I just HAD to get one of those photos. (Even though it’s in the collage, here it is again.)

and BAM! There it is! The hashtag for the photo is – #worthit – and here’s why:

I wanted to shoot a quick text to my family so they could see how cool it looked (and they could upload to Facebook for me if they wanted to). Unfortunately, I forgot a very important fact about myself which is this: even though I play the drums and love to dance, I am completely uncoordinated.  In fact, I fell UP the stairs in second grade and broke my arm. My mom signed me up for ballet classes for the next 8 years or so, and to this day, I’m still pretty uncoordinated. What does this mean? It means something very simple: I was walking back out to the street to continue the race, and I tripped, and I fell, and I got hurt.  Bad. My glasses went flying, I cut my forehead, my hip felt like it pushed through my butt and something – possibly a stump hit my “chest” really hard. As I began to fall to the ground, I extended my hand to try and catch my fall.  My poor little wrist just couldn’t bear the weight of all of me, that’s for sure.

As a result, I’ve sustained a severe sprain with torn ligaments and here’s an accessory I’ve been styling ever since May 21:

The good news is that I’m still doing boot camp with the brace on, and I think it’s healing slowly but surely. Anyway, when I started to get up, a woman ran over and hugged me, she had seen me fall and was trying her best to comfort me because I was a train wreck right then! She helped me find my broken glasses, she picked grass out of my hair, and waited until I could get myself together.  I think my watch said I was nearly at mile 5 of the 13.1 mile journey so I knew I needed to buck up and get going, so that’s what I did.

My hip hurt and my knee was sore.  My chest was throbbing and I was crying, but I kept pushing on.  I got to mile 6, the sky opened up and it began to pour like something out of a bad movie.  I called home, crying, letting my family know I was quitting the race.  I was reminded that I wasn’t a quitter, I was prayed over, and I hung up and kept moving. 

Somehow when I got to that crazy big hill coming out of the Flats, I was able to push on – limp and all.  I mostly walked the remainder of the race, but yes, I did finish.  I crossed that finish line in some crazy long finish time, but the operative fact is this: I FINISHED. I didn’t quit. I overcame….. again.

I crossed the finish line, picked up my medal and my young friend was standing there in the rain waiting.  She was waiting for me so she could go to the beer garden and get her free beer  I hobbled over to the beer garden with her, sat on some horrible cold concrete in the rain while she enjoyed her finisher’s free beer. Look at these medals – you’ll see why I kept going – I’m all about the bling and I had done the 8k the day before, so I got the extra challenge medal for finishing the half marathon too!

We went back to the hotel, packed up our stuff, and I traveled over to the west side to drop my young friend off as her ride had fallen through. I headed out to Mentor to spend the rest of the day recovering with my son and his family.

Next year, the touristy photo area won’t be so “novelty” to me.  I’ll run right past it and throw it daggers, and I’ll finish the challenge again in 2018, and I’ll kill it! 

I think all of you should sign up too! Write it down on your calendar – August 1st is early registration – let’s all get signed up right away and share our training!

Here’s the good news straight from the Cleveland Marathon’s Facebook page:

What’s going on over at Cleveland Marathon?! 2018 REGISTRATION OPENS IN 12 DAYS ON AUGUST 1st and we have some exciting news…

We’re excited to announce a new 1 mile event joining our Saturday events on May 19, 2018! This event will be chip timed and you will receive a cotton race shirt as well as access to our Health & Fitness Expo! Come out and PR or walk with your family!

We also have a BRAND NEW VIP Runner’s Package! It will be available to all Full, Half, 10K & Challenge Series participants at just $100 (in addition to registration fees. You will receive a Brooks Half-Zip, $25 Fleet Feet Gift Card, Parking Pass for Race Morning, 2 Additional Drink Tickets for the Beer Garden and an Exclusive VIP Packet Pickup. Register for the VIP package at checkout when registration opens on August 1st – only 200 spots available! We Guarantee to make your weekend one to remember!

Early bird rates will only be available for 10 DAYS and will increase on August 11th. For more info on registration prices, the new 1 Mile or VIP package, visit our website at http://www.clevelandmarathon.com!

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