Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Pan5Can/Race wrap-up

Well, I can finally say that I am done racing for 2013.  I may still do a 5k/10k or something like that, but the big stuff is done!  What a year it was,  when my brother and I decided to do our Pan5Can project, we didn't realize at the time that almost all marathons/half marathons in Northeast Ohio take place in the fall.  With that being said, this meant we would have a very busy Fall, and boy did we!  I did have a couple half marathons in the late spring/early summer though.  I wanted to write a post just to put share my thoughts about this past year.

My first half this year was the Cleveland Half Marathon in May.  I gotta be honest, I wasn't really trained at all for this race.  I basically took January-March off of running completely, gained a bunch of weight, and just wasn't doing much.  I decided in April that I should probably get going because it was going to be a crazy year!  This race came before I knew it, and although I wasn't really in great shape, I did a little better than I thought and ran 2:06, not very good but I was happy with it.  Not a bad start to the season, but I really wanted to get in better shape for the coming races, and this helped get my butt in gear!!

My next race was the Columbia Station Half Marathon in late June.  I felt better about this race going in, I had a good late May early June training and was in better shape when it came to race again.  This course however was a mental game to say the least.  The course ran through Columbia Station, and if you aren't from around here, it's basically all country.  Well it sure enough was, and with a small field of runners, it was running alone through rolling hills on asphalt, which isn't my favorite.  Felt good however and ran 1:57,  good enough to place 1st in my division (shows how small the field was!)

Next up was, after quite a break was the Akron Marathon.  I'd run the Akron Marathon in 2011 so I knew what to expect, and I liked the course, so I was looking forward to this race.  Felt good leading up to this race and was ready to go!  Race morning my brother and I drove down to Akron, and while on our way I was sipping on Yerba Mate hot tea, something I do almost every morning before work.  Well, this isn't the best pre-race hydration, at least not for me!  The first half of the race was spent in the port-a-potty (sorry)!!  After mile 13 or so I started to feel better and negative split (obviously).  Ended up running a 4:36 which is alright for me at the time.

A week later I was racing again, this time it was the Rock and Roll Cleveland Half Marathon downtown.  I was pretty concerned about this race because I had never run back to back races like this. I've done back to back 5ks, but nothing longer.  Went into this race wanting to finish, that's all!!  Was an awesome course and a ton of bands were playing, definitely a race I want to do in the future when I don't have a ton of other races going on.  Legs held up somehow, and ended up running 1:59, not my best, but I survived.

Crazy as it may sound, my next race was the following weekend, this time in Fairport Harbor for the Northern Ohio Marathon.   I really went into this race with a weird mindset.  When I got to the course race morning, I really didn't even feel like I was running a marathon,  not the best mindset to be in.  This course really didn't help much either.  This course basically just ran on residential streets with traffic.  This race really was tough for me mentally.  Surprisingly, my legs felt fine even though I'd run a half marathon less than a week earlier, and a marathon the week before.  Ended up running 4:38 which I can honestly say was because of my brother Tim running about the last 10 miles with me.

The next race was 3 weeks later, the Towpath Marathon in Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I was pretty excited about this race actually for two reason, the first was that it was the Fall and I got to run through the National park, the other was that Tim was running the whole race with me!  What a race it was!! The course was amazing, Fall foliage was amazing, ran completely on the towpath (no asphalt), everything went great.  Tim really pushed me along, and I ended up running 4:01, a PR by 16 minutes.  I honestly could not believe I ran this well considering my past few weeks, and Tim honestly was a HUGE reason for that! BEST RUN OF MY LIFE!!!

Last up was the Fall Classic Half Marathon in the Cleveland Metroparks.  I really wanted to do well in this race, and possibly PR.  I had a couple weeks off and was feeling good, but well, things happen. Had some digestive issues around mile 6-8 and it really took me out of the race.  Just wanted to finish after that, did not have a good time which sucks because the course was awesome! Ended up running 1:53, which isn't bad, but I know I could have gone about 10 or so minutes faster.

All in all this was the best running year I have ever had.  I had many lows but many more highs! I really learned a lot about myself this year.  I realized that I have a lot more in me than I thought, I really never thought I could do very well running, and although I'm not the fastest runner, I love it!  I'm never going to win a marathon, but I can recover quickly after a race and be ready for the next one quick.

I want to take a moment also to thank everyone that has supported my brother and I as we completed our Pan5Can journey.  Pancreatic Cancer sucks, all cancer sucks, and we appreciate all the help and support you gave us/pancan!

I'm ready for you 2014......

Ultra-Marathon............HERE I COME.......

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