Noob Test: The Cleveland Marathon



I ran my first organized marathon yesterday! AND I LIVE TO TYPE THESE WORDS!

First things first, getting up at 4:50 for a 7:00 race was perhaps a bit too early. My big sis Molly and I were freaked out about getting downtown before the roads closed. Turns out, the roads closed way before we got there, anyway! But in true Clevelander style, we all just drove right around the barriers without thinking twice.

This was my first marathon with other people. My actual first marathon was conducted alone on the towpath, and not only did I win my age group, I won the WHOLE THING. Not even a boy beat me that day!

A boy beat me this time. Many boys beat me and around 300 girls beat me. There wasn’t a single cat or dog that beat me, though! And there WAS a cat running with us for about 15 crazy feet!

This was the 35th year of the Mighty Cleveland Marathon and it seemed to be very well organized. My only complaint is that they didn’t give me any gels until mile 9! What kinda BS is that?! Good thing I had one stashed in my bra so I could survive past an hour of running! Shoutout to Molly for providing me with the gel that would go on to chafe its silouette into my breast flesh.

When I finally made it to mile 9, I was sneaky and nabbed 2 gels. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to be sneaky when you’re amongst 20,000 other runners all in various shades of neon. I grabbed a Gu at the beginning of the table, put on my Groucho Marx nose/mustache glasses and grabbed another Gu at the END of the table. I then had enough nutrition for two more hours until the final Gu grab. As added bonus, the Marx glasses kept the sun off my ‘Stache for a few seconds!

Holding one gel in your bra is tricky. Holding two is a whole different league of trickery. I had some time to figure it out though, and when I did, I’m not gonna lie- I got a lot more high fives. Let’s just leave it at that!

Let’s break up this nonsense with a little mini Noob Gear Review!

NOOB GEAR: {{CEP Allsports Compression Calf Sleeves}}

I broke the cardinal rule of DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING THE WEEK BEFORE THE RACE. Not the time to experiment! Wellll I am still a Noob and impulse bought these babies at the pre-race Expo. I was pretty sure the upside-down exclamation point who measured me for them didn’t know what he was doing, as they ended up being barely tight. I was expecting to feel some compression!

These calf sleeves are Miracle #2 of Noob Lab. (Miracle #1 being the ice bath.) For every run prior to this marathon, I have had calf soreness of varying degrees. UNTIL NOW. I’m astounded to say that I experienced zero pain during or after the marathon. It’s now the dreadful day after and still no soreness.

So yes, they work. I’m sold. Enough about the function, though… the COLOR! *swoon* Definitely akin to International Yves Klein Blue.

Check ’em out.

Ok, back to the recap. I had a helluva time. I thought the hoards of people would be annoying or difficult to run my own race with, but it was actually really fun and the bodies weren’t too dense to navigate through. I probably did a little too much weaving in the first couple of miles, but I had to get away from the power walker who was kicking my ass.

My goal time was 4:30 and I ended up with a 4:24. I owe this Molly and our friend Sam. These two killed their half marathon and then waited for me at mile 21 and flanked me until the final stretch, where they handed me off to Eric. I was so humbled by this and felt so much love and support. That, and I was incredibly chemically imbalanced at this point. Chariots of Fire began playing in my head and I was almost moved to tears. Then Eric asked if I wanted a breath mint. This was literally AS I was sprinting down the hill to the finish corral. I thought it quite hilarious, however I couldn’t laugh due to, oh, my TRYING TO SPRINT THE FINISH OF MY MARATHON THING!!! I left it at, “No, thanks.”

The booty. Notice the spinny guitar. Adorable.

I felt surprisingly good through most of the race. I drank as much Powerade and dowsed myself with as much water as I could at each aid station. I walked through each aid station. I ran right in the middle of the road where possible to avoid the grade (I’ve heard that can hurt your knees over a long distance, and my right leg is already significantly longer than my left).

Have to confess, since it’s been an ongoing issue with yours Noobly… I pooped A LOT. I made 5 porta-potty stops. I could’ve shaved off at least 10 minutes on my time had I controlled the beast! *sigh*

My only real pains were blisters on my toes. I know you’re ready for some grody graphic shots. I wouldn’t want to disappoint you.

Blister #1- how did this thing not pop? I mean, LOOK AT THE TENSION!

I have crooked toes. I used to hate them, but they are good for picking things up. I wear toe socks whilst running to try to keep these little guys separated. I have found some awesome ones, especially the really thin Injinjis… I really need to do a Noob Gear on those. BUT, as great as these socks are, the Cleveland Marathon was mightier, hence the blister collection.

Blister #2. Before.


As a final note of awesomeness- someone spray painted “NOOB” across two of the overpasses in the last 5 miles of the race. Identify yourself! I have a big jar of The Husk with your name on it!

I’ll add some race pictures if I can get my paws on some. You guys really need to see how cool my outfit looked.

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6 thoughts on “Noob Test: The Cleveland Marathon

  1. hahahahaa this is awesome! i’m afraid i’m going to have an extra added 10 minutes to my marathon (in october) as well… not gonna be pretty! great job on your time tho you kicked butt!

    • Mrs. Belanger!! There was a positive aspect of the frequent porta potty needs- I found myself sprinting to get to the next one a few times… So maybe it actually helped my time? Ha! What marathon are you doing in October? Marine Corps?

  2. wow! congrats! perfect race! you should probably retire now. as in maybe before thursday.

    and maybe don’t tell bugwhiskers you stepped on the cat …

    • Ha ha! Thank you! I still need to get my head, heart and colon to work together. A lot to learn… Summer of Muskrat is going to be just the Pry-me-off-the-couch that I need. Your timing is perfect and evil. And I didn’t step on the cat- I chased it shrieking about how adorable it was until it ran up the back of one of my competitors. All is fair…

  3. First.. hahahahahahahaha!! (this is what i did most of that post…think my favorite part was the hulk thumb smash ). Second… CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You killed it! I know there will be plenty more to come!!

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