The Medical Mutual Glass City half marathon was 16 days ago. And as the CLE half marathon is 5 days out, I figure now is better than never to give a recap on my first spring half marathon of the season.
After an AMAZING final long run before the race, I was excited to crush Toledo. Unfortunately, as the week began, my allergies began to flare up. A flare up turned into a head cold! Not good! Not being able to nip the cold in the bud, I was forced to rest all week and not do any final short taper runs. My focus the week leading into the race was to get healthy and be able to run the race. I was NOT going to let a stupid cold ruin 12 weeks of hard work!
Come Saturday, I was feeling a little better, but still had a stuffy head. When I woke up I did two shots of nasal spray. Then I took some cold medicine with breakfast, and then right before my nap I took my daily allergy medicine. I decided to go back to bed and rest for a few more hours before I had to head west. When I got up to shower after my nap, I felt a little off. As I was in the shower, I was working myself up about not being healthy enough to run and started freaking out that I would have a DNF. A mild anxiety attack in the shower and too much meds, I had a moment where I thought I wasn’t going to be able to race. I started seeing colored spots, felt woozy and got too hot from my shower. I got out of the shower immediately and laid down. After laying down for a bit I felt better and went back into the bathroom to finish drying off and get ready. But then I got a rush of the same feeling again and I had to go lay back down. This was NOT good! I was really scared at that point because I could see a DNF becoming a true reality. Luckily after laying down for a second time, I felt better. I decided I needed to get ready, get some food and get on the road. I decided that I would not pack any cold medication or nasal spray to take with me because I did not want another episode.
Once I got some food in my stomach and got on the road I felt much better.
Fast forward to Sunday morning.
I was lucky enough to stay with my friend Taylor who lives in Toledo and pretty close to UT campus. She was running the 5k so everything worked perfectly! We got to the campus in plenty of time and found parking pretty close to the stadium (the start/finish line). It was pretty chilly and windy, but I knew once the sun came up it would warm up a little bit. We walked around to keep warm, talked with some members of the local media that my friend knows (she is a badass crime reporter for the Toledo Blade). After using the facilities, it was time to line up in my assigned corral and wait for the start of the race. I was excited but definitely nervous because I hadn’t run in a week due to being sick. But once the gun went off, my nerves subsided and I took off with the other half marathoners and marathoners.
The way out was definitely chilly because we were running into the wind. I had on a long sleeve shirt I planned on ditching once my body temperature got warmer. I ended up holding onto it until the 5k mark. Around mile 2, my left knee started to ache. I wasn’t happy about this happening so early in the race, but I tried to push it out of my mind and clip on at the good pace I started out on. But after the 5k mark and ditching my long sleeved shirt, I stopped to walk brief. My knee pain wasn’t subsiding and I knew I was going to have to race smart to make it to the finish without completely injuring myself.
At the 10k mark, I again stopped to walk more to relieve my knee. It felt like it was swollen to the size of a softball. It didn’t look so, but it definitely felt like it. I kept my thoughts positive and told myself run when you can and walk when you have to. This race was all about crossing the finish line and not pounding out a PR.
The runners and race supporters were awesome! They helped keep my mood up and helped the miles go by quickly. The course was relatively flat, with a few rolling hills through some pretty awesome neighborhoods and through the metropark.
Around mile 12, I saw my friend Taylor chatting with some firemen. I was surprised and excited to see her. I yelled to her “My knees hate me right now” and she responded back “but I love you!” That made me smile and helped me push forward. I approached closer to the campus of UT and could start to see the top of the stadium, I recognized fellow blogger Emily ahead of me. I was determined to catch up to her and say hi since I did not have a chance to meet her in person prior to the race. I caught up with her when she stopped to walk briefly. I ran up beside her and said “let’s go Emily” and we ran together the rest of the way into the stadium and across the finish line. I finished 2 minutes faster than I did in Akron last fall. A successful race despite the knee pain. My pace in the beginning of the race helped me finish in the time I did, and made up for my slower pace on the second half of the course.
After collecting my medal and taking my finisher photo, I was in search of the medical tent. I wanted ice and ibuprofen for my knee. I could not find a marked medical tent around, so after grabbing a finisher’s bag, water and a banana, I decided getting a massage would be the next best thing. I waited in line for almost 25 minutes, but it was worth the wait and the shivering. The sports masseuse was awesome! He really focused on my left leg since that’s where my knee pain was, but was extra careful around my knee. I hadn’t ever received a post race massage before because the thought of someone touching me as I’m sweaty, salty and just gross after 13.1 didn’t sound appeasing. However, it was definitely the right decision. I was able to walk a lot better afterward. When I got back to my friend’s house, I took ibuprofen, iced my knees and took a nice hot shower.
Taylor took me to an awesome local diner for brunch and we chowed down on some AWESOME food!
Oreo pancakes, turkey bacon and chocolate milk!
Overall, the Glass City half marathon was a GREAT race! It was well organized, the course was lovely and the weather was awesome! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a new spring race!
5 days and counting until my next half marathon. I am definitely nervous. I took the entire week off from running after my first half. I wanted to let my body, especially my knees, recover. I got in tons of cross training– cross fit, boot camp, spinning and yoga.
Last week I got in a total of 14 miles. I ran 6 miles on Saturday as a mini long run. I wanted to run 8, but 6 is what Celina and I ran. Celina ran the Indy Mini the weekend after I ran Toledo and we are running the CLE half together. It will be the first time for both of us running two big races within a short period of time.
The plan for CLE is to run smart. In the past, CLE has traditionally been warmer than earlier spring races which dictates the pace I run at. However, I’m hoping with the cooler forecasted weather and feeling much healthier, I can run a great race like I did in Toledo minus the knee pain and hopefully shave a few more minutes off my time. But my main goal is to have fun and actually enjoy CLE. My past experiences with this race haven’t left me with the best post race feeling, so I’m looking to change that this year.
Here’s to another 13.1!