Monday, May 20, 2013

My Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Experience

The new 10K route

Wow, what a weekend.  I had a different plan for this year's race.  I had run the full marathon in 2011 and 2012.  This year I am focusing on preparation for a Half Ironman in September and was not able to run the full.  Early on in the process, I made the decision to run the 10K and blog about different aspects of running.  With running a shorter race, this gave me a unique opportunity to participate and enjoy more of the events surrounding the marathon weekend.

The whirlwind weekend began with a quick 20 mile ride followed by the Cleveland Marathon VIP dinner.  This was my first year attending the dinner and I am really glad I went.  I enjoyed catching up with fellow runners I haven't seen in awhile and got to meet some of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Bloggers who were in town.  Everything with this dinner was top notch and I really appreciate the race directors for inviting me.

2013 Official Cleveland Marathon Bloggers

The fun didn't stop on Saturday as I had a busy day.  Things began bright and early with a 1 hour swim and 2 hour bike ride.  This weekend happened to be the beginning of my major brick workouts for Revolution 3 Cedar Point.  My plan was to run the 10K with tired legs and to focus on maintaining pace while fatigued.  Later that afternoon, my sister arrived.  She was staying the weekend and running her first Half Marathon.  We went to the expo, which I think was one of the better ones I've been too.  There were lots of informational booths and retailers with some great deals.  After dinner we met with friends Ryan and Logo for carb loading at Dewey's Pizza.

Sunday morning came early.  As in 3:45 early.  I have a 60 minute pre-race routine and we were out the door by 4:45.  Shortly on my trip.  I realized I left my ipod at home.  I had considered running without music as all music devices are banned from Triathlons and I need to get used to running without it.  Another perk of being a Official Blogger is VIP parking, which is right next to the start line.  We arrived early and relaxed for a few minutes.

About an hour before the race, we made our way into Cleveland Browns stadium.  Having access to the stadium is really nice on race day.  Plenty of clean bathrooms are very welcomed on race day and everything was clearing marked for bag checks and starting line.  After a few photos, it was time for the Cleveland Marathon and Half to begin.  The 10K starts 30 minutes later.

For 2013, the 10K was a new route.  We started up West 3rd into downtown and then snaked around West 6th and across the bridge into the Westside.  If any one has ran St. Malachi, you would be familiar with this route out of town.  We headed west down Detroit till about mile 2.5 then hit the technical part of the course snaking through a neighborhood back to the Shoreway.

Elevation profile

As we climbed back up the Shoreway, we hit mile 5 at the top of the bridge.  The next 1.2 miles were some of the most scenic I've ever ran as you could see the lake to your left and downtown was straight ahead and right.  We then joined back up with the other races as we made our way to E. 9th.  A quick left and we were on the home straight.

I really enjoyed this new route.  It was challenging, but not overly hard.  With a couple small hills, technical turns, long flats, and great scenery.  This course has something for everyone.

I had another great Cleveland Marathon experience this year.  I want to thank the Cleveland Marathon for the opportunity to be a Official Blogger for a 3rd year.  I'd also like to thank everything for checking out my blog.  Most of all, I would like to thank all of the volunteers this race weekend.  Without you, we wouldn't be able to race.

I also want to mention the security presence this weekend.  I think the city of Cleveland and Marathon directors did an amazing job giving everyone a sense of security.

Post race photo with my sister. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Time is Now

We are closing in on less than 48 hours to the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.  Oh how time flies.  It just seems like yesterday that we were strapping on our shoes for our first training run.  There has been good runs.  There has been bad runs.  We've been rained on.  We've been snowed on.  We've ran headfirst into 40 mph winds.  We've battled pollen and humidity.  We've raced up hills and down.  Some of our journey's have been longer than others.  But that doesn't matter.  As we will all join together on Sunday to run.  Some will be there to reach goals.  Others will be raising awareness.  All will be awesome.

Its not going to be easy.  Anything this great never is.  Like your training, this race will be full of ups and downs.  Be strong...Be focused...its a long day.  Manage your day.  Run your race.  You're gonna pass people.  People will pass you.  Stay true and trust in your training.

Weather may not be on our side.  It won't matter as we will remain focused.  Step by step stride by stride.  Together we will run.  Focused on the end of our journey.

In every race there will be a turning point.  It will be earlier for some.  Later for others, but there will be a moment.  A moment a truth.  Embrace this moment.  We have all worked too hard to let down now.  The difference between someone who  achieves success and someone who doesn't is simple.   You have to be willing to hurt to that next level.  Its not easy and never will be.  Just know that the pain you will feel will be washed away with the joy of success awaiting us at the finish.

Pain is only temporary....the memories are forever.

So, join me on Sunday.  Willing to rise to the occasion.  Willing to hurt to that next level.  We are Cleveland runners and we will own this day!!


Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm in Cleveland!!!! Now what??

So, you're in Cleveland for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and you do not know what to do?  Have no fear, Beal is here.  I've worked in downtown Cleveland since 2004 and recently moved to the suburbs last Fall.  I recently just got back from an out of town race and was thinking on the way home how I had no idea what to do when I was there.  Sure, there is Yelp and the internet but it would have been nice to have some advice from a local.  So, I thought I would list some of my favorite place to go. All these places are either downtown or within 15 minutes of the area.


Winks is a new restaurant / sports bar located downtown at the Galleria.  The food is outstanding and focuses on ingredients that can be found locally.  It also has a large selection of craft beer with emphasis on beers created locally.

J. Gumbos  Like the sign says, its the best food you can eat for 7 dollars.  The focus here is a taste of New Orleans from mild to wild.  It is located on Euclid right by Public square and is my favorite lunch place downtown.

Panini's is located on east 9th and West 6th downtown.  It is a sports bar and the home of the Overstuffed Sandwich.  If it is your first time in the area, you can't leave without getting a sandwich.  My favorite is a double capicola with an egg.

Hodges  Most foodies agree that this is the place to be.

If you're looking for a good time.  I also recommend Great Lakes Brewery,  Market Garden, West 6th street, and West 4th.  There are a lot of fun places to check out in these areas.  Also, don't forget to checkout the Cleveland Indians who are in town and try you luck at the HorseShoe Casino.

Outside, but close to Downtown

Deagan's Top notch food and a top notch craft beer list can be found here.  Located in Lakewood, you will be happy you checked this place out.

Melt This is one of my favorite places to go.  The menu is exciting and portions are filling.  Make sure you check out the Buffalo Chicken Chowder.  The fries are so good, I think they may be laced with crack.

Happy Dog  It located just across the bridge and is just minutes from downtown.  You have a choice between a vegan sausage or hot dog.  Then you are given a list of 50+ toppings to get as crazy as you want.  These toppings are as simple as bbq sauce and as crazy as fruit loops.  Also, they have tater tots you can get topped with any sauce you want.

Harp Home of one of the best patios in Cleveland and sits along the marathon route.  You have to try once of their Boxty Cakes.

There are a lot of other area restaurants located in Tremont, Ohio City, and Lakewood.  These are some of my favorites that are listed above.  I hope this helps some of you how are here for the race and are not familiar with the area.  Chances are that you may run into me at one of these places on race weekend.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

April Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K Training Recap

I'm really sure if April's weather was that great or did it seem better because the weather this Spring has been horrendous.  We had some spot days this month that were pretty good, but most of them were rainy and very gusty.  It was hard to build any momentum.  Hopefully, May is much better.  Apart from the weather, it was a pretty good month for me.  I had my highest swim total ever in April and I should exceed my total swim distance from 2012 sometime next month.  I'm feeling pretty good about my work over the winter, but we'll see when I do my first open water swim in about 2 hours.  I'm  currently in Knoxville preparing for tomorrow's Revolution 3 Triathlon.  Since it will be raining all weekend, I decided to bring my laptop to catch up on my Cleveland Marathon Blogging and my blog reading.

I've been looking forward to May as it will kick off racing season for me.  This month I will be doing the Revolution 3 Triathlon on 5/5, Nordonia Hills Duathlon on 5/11, Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K on 5/19, and Clays Park Triathlon on 5/25.  Hopefully everyones training is going as well as mine has been.
Greetings from Knoxville Tennessee 

Swimming:  11.11 miles

Running:  58.11 miles

Cycling:  297.80 miles

Total miles:  367.01 miles

Time training:  34 hours 41 minutes

Calories burned:  34,652