Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Junior High Student and the kid brother...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon 2008

Want to talk about lofty goals? Ethiopian long distance runner Retta Feyissa crossed the finish line at 2:33:34 to win the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Prior to the weekend, I kept telling myself- somewhat humorously- that I have to beat this guy- and I did, well kind of. A co-worker- and avid runner- told me about a week ago that one of the cool things about running the 1/2 marathon is that you can usually have a similar finish time to the world class athletes who run the whole 26 mile course. So after standing in the holding pen for about 20 minutes, I began my trek around the Rock n' Roll capital of the world along with 10,000 other runners- 1/2 of whom who were participating in the 13.1 run.

With my feeble minded goal still at hand, I took off with a group of runners who represented the 4 hour pace team for the entire run. I figured- stick with this one dude- who had a bunch of balloons strapped to his shorts- and I can't go wrong. I'd be sure to cross the finish line in under 2 hours, which was truly what I had all along hoped to accomplish ever since I began to train back in December.

The start line was right by the Galleria, and we then proceeded down by the lake to pass the Rock Hall, Science Center, and Cleveland Browns Stadium before crossing over one of the bridges towards the Flats. So far, so good, but for the first time I started to feel some fatigue in my efforts to keep pace with balloon guy. I realized that if I was going to be able to finish this thing, I had better slow down just a bit. So looking over at the "pace team"- none of whom looked as if they had even broken a sweat...ugh!- I discreetly "let" them take the lead, and for the next mile or so watched them disappear from sight as we headed out towards Edgewater Park- hoping that the seagulls would swoop down and pop those utterly annoying balloons that were flip-flopping in front of me.

By the time we got to some extremely glitzy lakeside neighborhood before making the infamous U-turn to head back towards the downtown area, I had somehow managed to hook up with the 4:15 pace team. I can honestly say that I got my first true energy boost after the turn as I was able to see the Cleveland skyline once again and knew that I was over 1/2 finished. I was still feeling pretty strong, until we got back to the Flats area and had to begin the assent to another bridge. Once back into the downtown area (mile 10), for the first time my legs were really aching and my left hand started to tingle a little bit. (not sure what that was about...) Knowing that I had just 3 miles to go, I had no intention of stopping for a break now. Not to mention, the streets were crowded with spectators cheering the racers on towards the finish line.

The only part of the course that I was utterly annoyed with was the last mile. I knew the finish line was the same as the start- the Galleria; but to make the course 13.1 miles, you actually had to run past the shopping center for 1/2 mile and then make another U-turn down a side road to complete the run. All I know, is that THAT was THE longest mile I had ever run in my life.

But, 2:09:27 seconds later, I crossed the finish line- 15 minutes before my Ethiopian friend finished his 26 mile trek. I didn't make my two hour goal, but I was emotionally and physically spent and was so looking forward to heading back to the Hyatt hotel for a little siesta.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mountain from a Molehill
Well, kind of. Hoban has been the beneficiary of free dirt- compliments of the city and the University of Akron. In just two short years, Akron U. will showcase its new football stadium in the heart of its campus/ the downtown area, and if you would happen to wonder what the city did with all the dirt to make way for the new structure...look no further than Hoban's very own hillside... or what used to be our hillside. What has become the daily occurrence here at school is the sight of truck after truck dumping dirt/ building up the 5th Ave hill to a level plateau. No specific plans have been announced for this new-found land, but it will certainly give us growing room in the very near future.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, I may never see a championship in my lifetime for my beloved Browns, Indians, and Cavs...but it's all good after Marie and her team-mates brought home the 7th grade CYO volleyball championship to St. Matthews School this afternoon. I can't tell you how nervous I was watching these young ladies as they battled it out with St. Augustine's, but they persevered and came away with the victory by taking two out of three games.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Runnin' on Empty

I'm not having second thoughts about this...just some serious doubts about whether I can actually do this thing. This past Saturday I ran my longest practice run to date...9 miles, and I was pretty much spent afterwards. Honestly, I don't know how real "marathoners" do this on a regular basis. My race is in less than two weeks, and some how I need to muster up the energy to tack on another 4 miles in order to be able to complete the 1/2 marathon. A co-worker of mine, who has run this race before, told me that the coolest part of the 1/2 marathon is that the average finish time allows the runner to watch the professional marathon runners cross the finish line at the same time! That would be a 26 mile jaunt in the same amount of time that it will more than likely take me to finish depressing.

On a lighter note, Josh and Cindy attend the annual Mom Prom at St. Matthews this past weekend. I guess Josh was coerced into two slow dances with his mom, but spent much of the evening hanging with his kindergarten buddies, roaming the dance floor.

To cap off the weekend, Marie's team won their semi-finals tournament volleyball game, and will play for the CYO championship next Saturday. I have so enjoyed watching her team play this season- the girls really play well together, and they ended up posting the best regular season record in the league. Wish them good luck!