Guys, I finished a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race.
This is my third year being an ambassador and I could never say that I finished. Two years ago, I didn’t even try to start. Last year, I started the 10K and dropped out after half a mile.
But this year I finished.
I took last week off from going into the office because I needed a break after the school year to get everything unpacked and some order back into my life. I also spent the entire work week golfing every day and loving every second of it.
Friday, I golfed in the afternoon (and had to quit early because of rain) and went home to change for the VIP Reception. This is the first year I was able to go to it and I was so excited! I headed down to Cleveland to first pick up my packet and switch my race. I originally was going to run the 10K but after the HOF relay a few weeks ago, I decided that the 5K would give me a better chance of finishing and not being in pain. Switching was super easy and I was able to get my new bib and shirt. I ran into my big from college and her husband while there as well!
I made my way to the VIP Reception at the Hyatt Regency. I stayed there a few years ago when I ran the half marathon in 2014. It is such a beautiful place! I was so excited to see my fellow ambassadors and hang out with them for a bit. The food was AMAZING. Like prime rib amazing. I was a happy camper. The dessert was also great. I am obsessed with chocolate covered strawberries and lo and behold, there they are!
It was also crazy while I was in the middle of a conversation that I saw Melissa being proposed to! I just met her boyfriend, Chad and looked up and there he was proposing! How cool! I am so excited for her!
I had an amazing time at the VIP Reception and was so glad I was finally able to go! I drove back home and tried to go to bed right away so I could leave by 6:15am in the morning for the 5K!
When I got downtown, it was super easy to find the starting line. I ran into fellow ambassadors Sara and Rachel and also saw Holly before the start. My husband took some really interesting pictures of me from the start line as well..
Soon enough, we were off! I was hoping to finish under 35 minutes with some walking. I was expecting my knee to react as it did at the HOF Relay and figured I’d be walking a lot.
I’m super creepily looking at you in that picture.
I kept up with the people around me and was vowing not to look at my watch until I hit the 1 mile mark. My watch beeped and I looked down and saw 9:11. Ohhh crap. I didn’t think my body had it in me to keep that up. My PR is 28:10 in the 5K from a few years ago and I am not even close to the shape I was in then!
But for some reason, I was fine with not walking at all and keeping on running as fast as I could. Surprisingly enough, mile 2 was right at 10:03 and I was thinking in my head I could beat a 30 minute 5K if I could just go a bit faster. Mile 2 also had a giant hill in it and I walked a bit, but I was staying strong. The whole third mile, I kept telling myself to keep going. If you keep going, you’ll beat a 30 minute 5K. Once my watch hit 3.1, I still didn’t see the finish. We made a turn and there was a bit more (my watch ended up saying 3.19) but I was going to still give it my all at the end!
I ended up finishing in 30:55. I think if I would have made a better effort up the hill and towards the end I could have beaten 30 minutes but I am so happy with the fact that I finished and that I was under 10 minute miles!
While I wasn’t at the race on Sunday, another fellow ambassador Stephanie was proposed to as she finished her marathon! If you haven’t seen the video, it’s amazing and totally made me tear up. I’ve known her and Dan for a few years and I am just so happy for them.
I had a great time being an ambassador again and I am SO excited that I was able to say I crossed the finish line of a race. My knee held up and I wasn’t in too much pain later in the day, either. I want to thank the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon staff for having me and for putting on such a great event. I am hoping next year I can run the half (we will see!) but I cannot wait to be back for more!