Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cleveland Marathon

Yesterday afternoon I graduated from Kent State University. We quickly drove back to Warren after the ceremony and pictures to take my Grandma back home. Then my parents, sister and I made our way up to Cleveland to eat at Bruno's Restaurant to load up on carbs. We went to this place a couple years back and they have the BEST lasagna I've ever had. The place is really small inside, but has a nice local feel.

On our way up to Cleveland it hit me that I forgot my race number. We were too far to turn back and pretty hungry, so luckily my parents were nice enough to drive back later that night to get it. We stayed at the Renaissance by Tower City since the race started bright and early at 7 AM. The beds there were amazingly comfortable leaving me well rested.

In the morning, my mom and I walked down to the start while my Dad went with my sister to the press area since she was writing and article for the Runner's Gazette newspaper. The temperature felt great out, very cool out but a little windy. I made my way up to the 3:10 pace group and said hi to Nick Billock and Steve Hawthorne. Shortly after, the National Anthem was sung and everyone was anxious to begin. Just then I noticed that I had to take a crap. About 20 seconds later I hear the announcer say "OK RUNNERS, 30 SECONDS TO THE START!" Guess I had to forget about it!

The beginning of the race went well and I felt great. I ran with this kid from the University of Toledo for the first half of the race. It helped pass the time talking. It was his first marathon and he had an awesome goal of running a 3:03.

The course goes west of Cleveland then loops back around and goes east of Cleveland then back downtown for the finish. The wind wasn't terrible except a little bit along the lake. I went through the 13.1 mark in 1:32:45 with close to 2 minutes in the bank to reach my goal.

The second half of the race was tough as usual, but I didn't crash as hard this time. I trained harder than I have before for this race and could feel it as I was able to keep driving my legs forward and maintain 7:10-7:25 minute miles. I was really surprised when I got to mile 23 and saw a split of 7:10 on my watch.

I never backed off until the finish and crossed the line in 3:08 (chip time) with a new PR by over a minute and a half, got 10th out of 272 in the 20-24 age group and qualified for Boston!! I also clinched the Musick Family record :)

All in all it was a great day and perfect weather for the race. I wasn't sure how well I would do today, but was really happy that all the training paid off!


Mike said...

Great Job Jeff! You must have also spent some time thinking of Brian while you ran!

Jeff said...

Thanks Mike! Yeah, I was wondering how he was doing with his race. I was also focusing on his PR especially the last few miles :p

Clara said...

Holy cow that's fast! Awesome job!

Jeff said...

Thanks Clara!!

Clara said...

Do you think you'll go to Boston again?

Bruce said...

Great race!

Jeff said...

Thanks Bruce!!

Clara - I think I might do it again next year, but I'll have to see what's going on when it gets closer.