Archive for the ‘ 2013 Cleveland Marathon ’ Category

I honestly don’t even know where to begin.

Cliché, I know.

Trying to adequately sum up the culmination of some of the most transformative and amazing 12 weeks of your life in a few paragraphs is nearly impossible, but I’ll give it a shot. This is a long post, but c’mon…it’s my first half marathon! Read the rest of this entry

My last training run—a nice 2 miler—is in the books!

I ran in the same area in Tremont in which I struggled to run 2 or 3 blocks back when I started running in June 2012. During those days, running 1 mile seemed like an enormous accomplishment that I might never be able to do, and the fact that I’ve been able to go from 0 to 13.1 (Lord willing) in less than a year’s time still blows my mind sometimes.

More than anything else, this entire experience has been a great reminder that I can accomplish great things in my life with hard work, dedication, tenacity, prayer, and perseverance. It has been a great reminder that the truly greatest accomplishments in life are not easy and that nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice and investment. Running has been a great reminder of how I can achieve my goals if I refuse to give up and refuse to allow temporary frustrations and obstacles to deter or distract me.

Greater Cleveland has a great community of runners, and I don’t think that’s an accident.

Why? Read the rest of this entry

I always hope that the last week or two before a race will be tranquil.

I have visions of heading into a race feeling fully rested, relaxed, hydrated, and confident.

How many times has that happened?


Ironically enough, I wound up having my worst race ever (the Run For Justice) when I headed into a race feeling great about everything. I do recall that my foot did hurt a bit the day before that run, but I do remember heading into the race feeling well-rested, stress-free, and excited.

If history repeats itself, then I’m shaping up to have a fantastic half marathon on Sunday at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, because last week was a heckuva week! Read the rest of this entry

The winner of the VIP Brunch Ticket Contest is…


I also realized that I had two other tickets to the VIP Brunch that I was given because as part of my goodie bag for being an Official Blogger that I am not going to use. I did another drawing, and the winner of those tickets is…


I’ll be contacting both of you via Twitter to get your addresses so that I can mail you the tickets today.

Thanks to all who entered! Race day is almost here–I can’t wait!

The 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is a week away!


I’m so excited! I’ve got one more “long” training run left to go and then a shorter run or two before a few “rest” days which will undoubtedly be spent taking every step with great caution so I don’t injure myself before the big day.

The race organizers have a great weekend of festivities lined up for us. I am looking forward to meeting some of the other Official Bloggers. Additionally, I’m excited for my very first Expo!

On that note, I’m excited to announce my first-ever blog giveaway!

I have two tickets for the VIP Brunch that will take place at the finish line. The VIP Brunch takes place inside Cleveland Browns Stadium, and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a spread of delicious food and celebrate a race well run. One lucky winner will receive both tickets!

Here’s how to enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me which race you’re running during the Cleveland Marathon weekend! If you’re not running a race, please share a fun Cleveland-related memory.

2.) Tweet “I want to win two tickets to the VIP Brunch at the 2013 Cleveland Marathon from @ClevelandJoe!” (Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know that you did too. You can tweet once per day!)

3.) Follow @ClevelandJoe on Twitter (and leave a comment letting me know that you did that too!)

The deadline for submitting entries is 11:59P.M. on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. I’ll choose a winner Wednesday morning using and get the tickets in the mail to you by Wednesday afternoon so you’ll have them by Sunday. (The ticket says that you have to RSVP by May 1, 2013, but since I didn’t get these tickets until last Monday I don’t think it’ll be a problem.)

Good luck!

Have you entered my giveaway for 2 tickets to the VIP Brunch at the Cleveland Marathon? Click here for the post and be sure to enter by Tuesday, May 14th at 11:59PM!

After two great training runs during the week, I was stoked for my weekend long run! I was prepared to go 9.5 miles, which would be a 1 mile increase from the distance of the long runs that I had conquered over the past two weeks.

While I enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness of the Towpath, I figured that having at least one run on the final part of the Cleveland Marathon course would be helpful. Additionally, familiarity can often breed contempt, and I’ll need to get in multiple runs on the Towpath throughout the summer as I prepare for the Towpath 10-10 in June and the Towpath Marathon in October. In order to guard against getting bored with the Towpath, I decided to head downtown for my long run. Read the rest of this entry

Whew! It’s been a crazy two weeks. I have no idea where the time goes these days!

I was somewhat dreading Week 8 because it marked the first time in my half marathon training plan during which I would be running a new distance. Read the rest of this entry

After another stressful week last week, we headed out of town for a much-needed getaway. Although we weren’t gone for a long period of time, we were blessed with an enjoyable and relaxing trip! I’ll put up a post about our trip within the near future so that all of you can see that there’s more to my life than running and showing off Butters more fervently than most parents show off their kids.

butters bun

My bride and my Butters

Many of you who know me in real life know that I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. While I enjoy being able to make last-minute fantasy football lineup changes after church on Sunday (contrary to popular belief, I don’t do it during the service itself!) and am grateful to be able to access email at all times, I absolutely hate talking on the phone, especially when it involves matters that can be dealt with via text or email. Nevertheless, I never put my phone on silent unless I’m at the movies. Why not? I’m my mom’s only son, and I want to be there for her if she needs to reach me in an emergency.

However, one of the reasons for going on this getaway was so that Sheila could escape work-related stress, so after her phone happily died 10 minutes after we were out of town, I decided to put mine on silent for the duration of the weekend. We work at the same organization and our jobs often intersect, and I wanted to make sure that she was kept unaware of anything that occurred at work while we were on our getaway. Although I did periodically check my phone, I didn’t spend much time on it at all.

Of course, this meant that I didn’t find out about the tragedy in Boston until I got home and was beginning to prepare for the 7 mile training run on the books for the week. Read the rest of this entry

I’ve never been much of a comics guy, which probably explains why I didn’t like The Avengers very much (I feel like a bad Clevelander saying that!) and why I was completely lost during the X-Men movies.

However, the one comic strip that I have consistently enjoyed throughout my life is Calvin and Hobbes, and the title of this post is a homage to one of the compilations of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that I still have somewhere in my mom’s house. My mom used to leave funny Calvin and Hobbes cartoons along with notes for me when I got home from school, and I still enjoy the strip to this day. While I understand Bill Watterson’s desire for privacy, I would love to see a Calvin and Hobbes movie during my lifetime!


Although I definitely am grateful for the benefits of adulthood, I would be lying if I said that I never wished to be able to take a trip back in time to the days when I was Calvin’s age. These past few weeks have been packed with a variety of stress in just about every aspect of our lives. Hence, I completely dropped the ball on blogging about Week 5 of training. One picture will explain why: Read the rest of this entry

Much of the focus of my previous training blogs has been on my weekly long runs. This is understandable. After all, the point of training for a half marathon is to gradually increase one’s distance, and anyone who’s ever prepared for a race knows that the rewarding feeling that one gets after they successfully knock out their weekly long run and know that they are one step closer to their goal cannot adequately be described in words.

That said, success on long runs is simply unattainable if one doesn’t adhere to their training plan during the week. I had two really great training runs during the week, and I’d like to focus on one of them.

Why am I focusing on a 3.5 mile run even though I knocked out 6 brutal, windy miles in downtown Cleveland on Sunday?

6.01 miles in 59:02 - not bad considering downtown Cleveland's omnipresent wind and the fact that the incline on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge was deceptively difficult!

6.01 miles in 59:02 – not bad considering downtown Cleveland’s omnipresent wind and the fact that the incline on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge was deceptively difficult!

I’m doing so because I want to encourage all of us—especially those of us during the half marathon—to keep following our training plans even though training could possibly be turning into a bit of a drag at this point in the midst of Cleveland’s impossibly long winter. Although running these shorter runs may not provide us with the same adrenaline rush that knocking out a new distance may provide, I’ve learned that these runs can teach me some very important lessons about running and be unexpectedly refreshing as well!

Read the rest of this entry