3 weeks ago
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Well folks, I can proudly say that I completed my third half marathon- part of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Weekend- on Sunday. Not only that - I PRed with a chip time of 1:58. I mentally set a goal to be sub-2:00 so I'm very happy with this time. Plus, I got to spend the weekend in Cleveland with my bestie Schwemie and her husband. Winning all around.
C and I head over to Cleveland from Buffalo on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect and I kept secretly hoping that it would remain so for the rest of the weekend. We stopped at the race expo when we first arrived in Cleveland. A ton of vendors set up shop at the expo. I scored a pretty cool headband.
After the expo, we met up with Schwemie, her hubby J, and her parents, who I love, for a delicious lunch and cold beer. Except I didn't get any cold beer. #nobeerbeforeraceday #wah. Nonetheless, there is nothing like dining on a patio on a beautiful spring day with friends.
Schwemie suggested that a little Lululemon trip was in order so, after lunch, she and I headed over there while the boys continued relaxing. We don't have a real Lulu in Buffalo just a "showroom" which is lame. You hear me lululemon? Showrooms are lame. I know the intention with the showrooms is some sort of personalized cozy experience but, in all honesty, I just feel second rate. Like Buffalo customers aren't good enough for the full on awesome Lululemon experience. ok. I'm done ranting. Anyway, it is a treat to visit a real Lululemon store when I'm elsewhere so I always end up walking away with something(s). This time I scored an awesome running skort and these pants perfect for just about anything.
That night, we headed out for a yummy pre-race dinner at Burntwood Tavern. I ordered the Sugar Crusted Salmon and enjoyed every bite. My favorite part of the meal though was the chips with bacon and blue cheese that J so smartly ordered. Always thinking, J. Always thinking.
I turned in embarrassingly early that night but, because my alarm was set bright and early for 4:15, I didn't really have a choice. And, up at 4:15 I was. I tried to get ready as quietly as possible and tiptoed downstairs to fill my belly. I brought with me my pre-race meal - 1/2 a GF bagel w/ cashew butter and honey. I've been fueling up on this combo for a while now for long runs and it's been working out. And, as we runners know, when we find something that works with regards to fuel, we just stick with it. As quiet as I thought I was getting ready, I managed to wake Schwemie. She sat with me while I finished my breakfast and got ready to head out the door. An ammmmaaazing friend.
C drove me to downtown Cleveland and I arrived at the Cleveland Brown's Stadium a little before 5:30. I kissed C goodbye and he wished me luck telling me he see me at the finish line before 9am (meaning under 2 hours from the start). C didn't stay with me because I like to be alone before my races. I need that alone time. Just me and my goal. Sitting inside the stadium so early was eerily calming. As I sat there, I watched the other runners around me as they went through their pre-race routines- whether it was finishing their meals (I ate a vanilla flavored GU at 6:15), lacing up their running shoes, talking nervously with others, or just sitting listening to music like me. I kept thinking -is this normal? Why do we get up at pre-dawn hours to force our bodies to do something that is arguably not natural? I can't speak for everyone but I do it for the sense of pride I get every time I cross a finish line. I trained and conditioned my body to do that. I run to be active. I run to be healthy. And, maybe, I also run for the outfits.
At 6:30, I headed over to the starting line and found my pace group - 9:00. You can do this in under two hours is what I kept telling myself. I ran 12 miles in 1:48 two weeks ago. I so could do this. The next thirty minutes went by in a blur as I just shuffled around in the starting area. By 7am we were off! Now let me tell you, this race was packed. I think there were around 22,000 participants so you can only imagine the congestion. After the first mile I was still fighting for space. Things started to thin out around Mile 3 but by no means at anytime during the race did I not feel like I was running in a pack.
I wouldn't consider the course flat but it wasn't hilly either - just a happy medium somewhere in between. I swallowed a GU (Peanut Butter obvi) a little past Mile 5 and felt strong. Somewhere in between Mile 7 and 8 my legs started to feel heavy. It was getting hot and humid FAST. There was plenty of water along the course and I always carry water with me so I wasn't concerned about hydration. I was just concerned about my legs because I was slowing down. Can't slow down. Time to kick it up- I told myself. I powered on. With only three miles left to go, I remember thinking- This race seems to be going by faster then past ones. I'm tired but I'm good. My legs are heavy but ok. You've only got three miles until brunch. I tried to kick it up a bit more and pushed through.
The last mile flew by because of all the spectators lined up along the outskirts on the road. I love reading people's signs and most make me laugh or smile. My favorite of this race read "You trained longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage. Don't quit now." Ahhh, nothing like a Kim joke to get your mind off the fact that your legs feel like anchors. As I came into the finishing chute, I was disappointed to see the clock ticking away seconds past two hours. But, then I remembered, that's the clock time! I didn't cross the starting line until at least a couple of minutes after the shotgun went off. I still had a chance to come in with a sub-2 hr chip time. Full on beast mode as I crossed that finish line. When I looked up my chip time a few hours later, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment at seeing 1:58: 10 next to my name. Mission Accomplished. Waiting right at the end (and I still don't know how they managed to wiggly their way into such a prime spot) were C, Schwemie, and J along with the totes amazing sign Schwemie made for me WITH GLITTER. Because she knows me so well.
After the race, the four of us enjoyed a nice little Latin Brunch filled with Bloody Marys, Sangria, fresh guac, chips (and GF platains!), grits, cheese and other not-so-good for- you-but-oh-so-delish eats. The perfect way to end a fantastic weekend. And, I couldn't have done it without the support and love of my hubby and friends. Much love to the S-4Hands! xoxo
Monday, May 20, 2013
There is just something about this tee...
Mint green walls = swoon.
Just in case we didn't realize how absolutely gorgeous Murphy Brown is.
I would love to actually pull off this tablecloth DIY
Friday, May 10, 2013
As I mentioned yesterday, today my baby brother graduates from college. The ceremony is at 1pm and, luckily, it is indoors because apparently some super rain storm is headed our way. I hope this storm makes a detour to anywhere but here. Tonight, we celebrate NP with a steak dinner at EB Greens- just us immediate family. Tomorrow, my mother and I will be cooking/ baking all day in preparation for NP's big graduation party with all his pals. I am in charge of appetizers (because I love snacks) - I'm making some delish finger foods that involve store bought crescent rolls because I will jump at any opportunity to use store bought crescent rolls. They are just one of those foods that I don't allow myself on a regular basis. But college graduations are special so crescent rolls from a can are totes allowed, duh. A dip or two will also be made to accompany an assortment of fresh veggies. I'm also making these cookies (which I may have made twice last week. They are THAT good. Seriously, stop what you are doing and make these cookies right now!). Cheers to good nosh, great accomplishments, and graduation mitzvahs! Happy Weekend...xoxo.