Monday, May 26, 2014

My 2014 Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon Experience

The Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon kicked my butt. Prior to that, I was having a great weekend courtesy of the Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon.

I attended the reception on Friday night with my son, J1, as my date. We arrived a little late as we both had other engagements prior to this. When we arrived, we were able to hear some of the speakers and chat with a few of the other bloggers (Joe, Brian and Stephanie). We were also able to eat and J1 seemed pretty pleased with the selection!! We had a great time and he was a great date.                                                     

On Saturday, I went to the Expo alone. I was able to leisurely peruse any table that interested me without any one complaining that we were taking too long. It was awesome. I bought cute compression socks from, a snazzy 13.1 tee, Jelly Belly sport beans and some Nuun sport drink tablets. I also visited a table for the Detroit Free Press Marathon and I’m almost convinced that I should run it!!!

So…the race… I was very worried about my tummy issues this race. When I ran my long training runs, I had serious stomach issues. My stomach was very sad for almost 2 days after the 10 mile run. My time was great and on pace for the race but my stomach was troubled. I talked to the dietician at my job who suggested that I try the BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce and toast) diet for a couple days before the race. I decided that maybe Saturday was enough time for the change. I was pretty sure that this was gonna work well. While at the expo, I purchased Nuun and was convinced that race day would be a great day to try something other than water in my CamelBak. I have NEVER had anything other than water during a race or a run. For some reason, this sounded like a good plan to me. I prepared the night before. Everything was laid out and I pre-made my banana and rice milk smoothie and popped it in the fridge. In the morning, I jumped up, got dressed (in a super cute running skirt and matching socks!), blended my smoothie and was on my way. I was feeling very confident. I started my run with my cousin, J. 

We ran our first 3 miles under race pace. I was feeling great. I was feeling great until about mile 2.5, that is. I saw someone run into what looked like a hotel and I joked “I wonder would they let me use their restroom?”(I wasn’t joking) At mile three, I stopped at the porta-potty and my downfall began. I have NEVER used a porta potty during a race. NEVER!  My first poo-stop turned mile 4 into a 16 minute mile. The next stop registered an 18 minute mile. (The lines were long and the issues were troubling).
Miles 6,7,and 8 were under race pace but then mile 9 happened. My stomach was gurgling like a tiny geyser. I made my last stop (during the race). As I sat in that tiny little stink pot, I realized that I would not be making my goal. At all… Mile 9 was a whooping 21:38!!! I told my cousin J that he could leave me, but he stuck around for all 4 potty stops. (I stopped once and didn’t go because I thought that I could make it without going). After the mile 9 debacle, I tried to jog a little but my stomach was not having it. I walked and ran the last 4 miles.     

Cousin J finished his first half marathon in 3.06. He left me at mile 12. I finished in 3:10. I was super excited to see my own cheerleader J2 at the finish line.

The race atmosphere was great. There were so many people all along the course and great music scattered throughout the route. I passed a church with some young ladies on the porch singing a song from my running playlist,  Israel Houghton’s “Te Amo” which I assume means that we are all good at picking great running songs.

I am not happy at all with this time. I would calculate that I spent about 25 minutes in line for the porta potty or inside the porta potty. I actually want to scream!!! I, of course, cannot take this defeat. I have to redeem myself. I have to get a better time than my first half (2:49). I have to run another half!!!And sooner rather than later…

The highlight to the weekend for me was my little cousin Victoria Bankhead finishing her first marathon. She is a rockstar and an excellent example of hard work paying off!!! Congrats Vickie!!


  1. Congrats you ran a great half marathon. You should be very proud of yourself. Hope you do it again next year................