*Two-part Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon recap coming your way today and tomorrow!*

This past weekend was amazing! I got to spend time with my mom in the city that I love and run a spectacular marathon in the city that I love.

I have run the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon four times: it was my first marathon in 2009. I have become a more experienced runner since then and yet, this past weekend, it felt like I was running my first marathon all over again because I experienced every possible emotion that could go through you during 3 hours and 52-minutes. I got emotional at the start because I couldn’t believe I was able to run a marathon when I thought I would have to stick with half marathons due to my back issues. During the race I felt strong, invigorated, confident, tired, weak, and strong again as I saw the finish line finally appear.


I stopped by Wegmans to pick up race-day bagels and then got on the road to Ohio early Friday morning, picked up my mom after a 7-hour drive and then drove another hour to Cleveland to check into the Brownstone Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Bagels Ohio Brownstone Inn Foyer Room

After we settled in and my mom got dinner, I headed out to meet Kelly, my friend from college who I have not seen in 2.5 years. We chat every now again but unfortunately life is crazy for both of us. But when we get together, it is as if we see each other every day:

Kelly and I


Saturday, mom and I had breakfast prepared for us by Robin, the inn keeper at the Brownstone Inn. Breakfast was simple but delicious and it was so nice to read a paper with MY sports teams in it!

Dining Room Breakfast Plain Dealer

After breakfast, mom and I headed to the IX Convention Center to pic up my race packet. I just love the energy and excitement that all the runners have at packet pick-up!

Welcome Welcome 2


Packet pick-up was a breeze and afterwards, mom and I decided to be tourists for the rest of the day and head to The West Side Market.

West Side Market WS M WS M 2

It is Cleveland’s oldest public market and I have heard so much about it but I had never been there and it was so worth it! Lots of food from meats, cheese, bread, coffee, pastries, popcorn, gyros. The list goes on!

Since I didn’t plan on taking too many pictures while running in the marathon (I didn’t want to carry my phone the entire race!) I was able to take some pictures from the beautiful Lorraine-Carnegie Bridge that I would be running across the next day in the race. Beautiful scenes of the city!

LCM Skyline Skyline 2

Mom and I headed back to the Brownstone Inn after our adventures at the West Side Market and I took a nap before dinner. We then went to Houlihans for dinner where I ordered Chicken ParmesanĀ as my pre-race meal. It hit the spot!

Pre Race Meal

It was then time to head back to the Brownstone Inn where I prepped all of my race day gear and headed to bed at 9:00pm to try to get some rest before my 5:00am wake-up call!


To be continued….



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