A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cleveland Marathon's 10K Race Report

First, everyone say to hi to my friend Rae. She is a newer runner who decided to tackle her first 10K this weekend. My job? Get her to the finish line at a 10 minute/mile pace. But, really, this weekend was all about having fun. And fun was definitely had.

Of course, the first thing you have to do on race weekend is pick up your packet. I'd heard exciting things about the Cleveland Marathon expo and was looking forward to checking it out. We scored some fun swag both in the goodie bag and at some of the booths. The only downer? The marathoners and half marathoners got awesome blue technical t-shirts whereas us 10K runners only got gray cotton t-shirts. Dear Cleveland Marathon race organizers, please don't make the shorter distances feel slighted. Thanks.

On top of the free stuff I was super excited that One More Mile was there. Rae and I laughed at the slogans and ended up buying a few things. Check out our haul:

New headgear (Rae's new shirt says "This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago")

Free/Goodie Bag Swag

And, of course, on race weekend what else do you need to do? Carbo load! But we couldn't have just any old pasta. Oh no. Rae decided to teach me how to make homemade herb pasta! Check it out:

Paired with tomato-basil tomato sauce, fresh roasted veggies, and Parmesan cheese it was delicious!

After some griping about how freaking early we'd need to get up and some discussion about which train to take downtown we headed to bed for our 5 AM alarm. The 10K race started at 7:15 but we wanted to make sure we got there early enough to do all that fun pre-race stuff like find the start line and use the port-a-potty.

Thanks to our wonderful husbands we had no need for gear check so after watching the marathoners and half marathoners get started we tried to figure out where to stand. Again, the 10K race was a little bit shafted as there were no pace signs to indicate where people should stand. As a result, we passed quite a few walkers in the first few miles.

Marathon/Half Marathon start

Once we got situated I realized I'd forgotten to take off my sweatshirt. It was chilly and I didn't really want to stand around freezing to death but I also didn't want to run with it on. But, I sucked it up and tied it around my waist and hoped I'd see Jason near the start so I could throw it to him. I hopped up and down to stay warm while we listened to "Cleveland Rocks" for about the 10th time. I'm pretty sure Rae thought I was nuts. Here were are, about to run 6.2 miles, it's 7:10 AM, and I'm full of energy. Let's get this party started!

The horn sounded and about 4 minutes later we shuffled our way over the start line. Almost immediately I saw Jason who was staring through the camera rather oblivious to my presence. I made a beeline for him and did my best to make him notice me.

Obviously that didn't go so well

But at least I managed to get rid of my sweatshirt

Rae and I had a pact that she didn't need to talk to me unless she wanted to. We did chat a bit at the beginning since we were going slowly as we dodged around walkers and slower runners. I had one bud of my earphones in so that I could take in the sounds around me and keep an ear on Rae. I'd promised to stick next to her the entire time and I wanted to do my best as a pacer.

The course itself was rather bland. Sure, there were some views of the lake, a few glimpses of what I think was an airplane museum, and some boat docks, but for the most part it was frontage road and people on the way out, and frontage road, people, and the occasional glimpse of the city on the way back. There was one hill as we went up and over the freeway but it wasn't too bad. Rae was doing really well and we were sticking to our 10 minute pace.

Except, apparently, I got a little carried away in mile 4 and pushed us a little too fast. I could tell Rae was starting to suffer so I slowed us back down. Every time we passed a water stop Rae asked if I wanted water (she had her own bottle) but I declined. I was in a groove and didn't want to interrupt it.

About mile 5 I could tell Rae needed some more motivation. "Hey," I said. "Let's try and pick off that girl in orange." I pointed out a woman running several yards in front of us. Rae didn't seemed to thrilled with the idea but I told her to stay steady. Sure enough, we passed her. "Now let's go for the guy in red." But just as we were closing in on him he stopped to stretch! No fair!

Then the race course designers decided to throw us a curveball. A huge hill in the final mile! "You can kick this hill's butt!" I said to Rae. "You run hills all the time! If anyone is dying on this hill it will be me!" I also told her she was more than welcome to slug me once we crossed the finish line.

As we neared the finish line I started looking for Jason. Then Rae saw her husband waving her red sweatshirt! I grabbed her hand and hammed it up for the camera. Um, I may have been channeling Phoebe or some other crazy runner. But, as Rae said, my energy level was a big factor for her.


The finish line was just up ahead. I could see the clock and see that we were nearing Rae's goal time. "Come on," I said. "Let's kick it! You can do it!" And off I went knowing that there's nothing better than a rabbit to chase when you really need to push it.


And then we crossed the finish line! "We did it!" And, instead of slugging me, Rae and I collapsed into a huge hug. And then celebrated with chocolate milk.

Aside to the race organizers: Once again, thanks for making the 10K runners feel like the bastard step-children of the event. The marathon and half marathon medals were right there as we finished yet it became obvious there were no medals for us. Next year, how about a little love for the 10K people? Thanks.

I'm so proud of Rae for taking on this challenge. I've never been prouder to run with anyone. She said she couldn't have done it without me. I say she made it one of the best 10K races I've ever run. I had so much fun! And remember her goal of 10 minute miles? Well, our final time was...

1:02:48 for an average pace of 9:59


We had so much energy on the way back we were practically bouncing all over the commuter train. Jason, though, found being a spectator to be very tiring work.

He's such a good sport, though. He's an awesome spectator, takes great race photos, and was even kind enough to drive the 6 hours home so that I could sleep in the car.

I didn't want this weekend to end. Alas, after a homemade breakfast of waffles and eggs it was time to hit the road. I'm so proud of Rae for sticking with her training and getting her goal time. She'll tell you it's only because I was there that she did it, but I say, to paraphrase John Bingham, it was her courage to start in the first place that got her to the finish line.


Bones in Motion Data (which is being lame and not showing all the cool stuff)

Route:--Elev. Avg:0 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:05/16/10Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:07:19 AMDifficulty:0 / 5.0

Distance: 6.27 miles
Speed:6.0 mph
Pace:9' 59 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 03+0' 046.0-0.0-- ft
210' 02+0' 036.0-0.0-- ft
39' 56-0' 036.0+0.0-- ft
49' 45-0' 146.2+0.1-- ft
510' 00+0' 016.0-0.0-- ft
69' 58-0' 016.0+0.0-- ft
end9' 50-0' 096.1+0.1-- ft
Versus average of 9' 59 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Lacey Nicole said...

heheheeh wow you took the best race day pictures ever!!!!!!!!!!! serious energy going on there!!!! i loved the "notice me" photo hahaha :) congrats on a great race! looks like an awesome time!!!!

and i love those one more mile gear phrases. hehehe.

Anonymous said...

Great job, guys! I love your race report, too -- so fun!

Kelly said...

Awesome. And go you for rocking those booty shorts, cute! Great time and congratulations Rae! You rocked it!

Jamie said...

Awesome job pacer! Cleveland does totally stiff the 10K runners, they always have. I hope they learn to change that soon though...

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Oh my gosh what great pictures! You're such a good running buddy. I love that swag bag, very nice!

Anne said...

Great race report and love the pics! Can you come and run with me for my half-marathon...I'm sure with your energy, I could definitely get my goal time! :) :)

I agree...people running the 10K should not be made to feel less important!!

Holly said...

Wow, congrats to your friend, Rae! That is GREAT for a first 10K - or any 10K for that matter! You should really be a professional pacer (and how fun would that be?).

Glad you had a great weekend, and your hubby is so sweet to be such a good spectator. :-)

Andrea (Off Her Cork) said...

Oh oh, I somehow didn't connect you were going to Cleveland! Doh! I would have pointed you in the direction of two other bloggers who were going to be there running. One is a Cleveland local and the other is from Columbus. You're right it does seem like the 10K-ers got the shaft. Not cool!

I'm glad that you guys had a blast and congrats to Rae for completing her goal and time! YaY!

kilax said...

Yay! Great job pacer! :) I can tell you had a blast. It's so fun to run an easier race with a friend :) What was your pact to not talk? Does Rae not care to talk while running? Ha. I am so bad. All I do is talk talk talk unless I am out of breath.

I would have been upset about the t-shirts and medals. I hope they give you a chance to give some feedback!

I have never been to a race expo but am excited to go to one someday!

Lindsay said...

Great job pacing your friend. That's an excellent time. That's too bad about the race directors choking out the 10k folks.

Rae said...

Whoo! Thanks, everyone! And massive huge thanks again, Erin -- I'm now even more motivated to get better so that I can keep up with you next time! (oh by the way, did I mention that we should definitely do this again sometime somewhere where the 10K doesn't get shafted?)

d.a.r. said...

I just found your blog and have loved reading through some of your recent posts! I think it is awesome that you ran with your friend, I could have definitely used that encouragement when I started running last year! And I dang nearly peed my pants at the bastard stepchild comment...same thing happened to me at my 10K last month, gee thanks for the ribbon? What?

I look forward to reading more!

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