SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (jk totally I need sleep) aka Cleveland 10K Recap

A few lessons in “how NOT to show up for a race and expect to run fast”

… all mixed in with a, “I don’t care because being home was great and OH<3<3<3”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I don’t usually have a problem with the time change when I go back to Ohio – my internal alarm clock is so busted it doesn’t care what time it is. Until this weekend.

I was pretty disappointed when I found out there weren’t any 3am bonfire ragers being planned in my honor and people had “things to get up for in the morning”, but it was good because each night I found myself head-to-pillow at a respectable time.

Like the mature adult I am pretend to be.


what do you expect to happen when there are buschy pops and low-hanging branches??

Except I COULD NOT shut my dang brain off! The whole trip! I don’t care what we’re having for lunch or who’s pitching Sunday or what the capital of Mumbai is or what the course record is or when season two of Nashville starts!


*opens hulu+ app and watches season finale*

For a self-proclaimed “controlled narcoleptic”, it was like my only super power (being able to fall asleep, at will, wherever and whenever) was broken. And as I watched the clock tick all the way through the 1am hour with a 3:30am race day alarm set, I knew I was in trouble.



spoiler : IT’S NOT

Thanks to never committing to full REM sleep, I went through my morning routine feeling alright. Peppy even. Dance-party-in-the-parking-garage and delirious energy had me thinking maybe ZZ’s were over-rated and I’d have a great race as we walked up to the start…


mel, mom, spectator/driver gram, and cousin soaking in the magic of one of the worst franchises in NFL history…

We had plenty of time before the race, so I busied myself chatting with everyone and bumping into 1) an old softball coach, 2) an ex-boyfriend and his new wife who doesn’t like me, 3) a few friends from high school, and 4) the boy I got caught making out with on the back porch with in 10th grade. Luckily mom doesn’t remember that as vividly as he does. (still scarred, he says)

Anyway let’s fast forward – pee x3, half start, pee, warm up, 10k start.

I lined up in front of the 7:30 pace flag, knowing the crowd would undoubtedly be slower than my 7:25 goal pace. I was probably 50m or so from the front? It’s usually a fast field (lots of prize money) so I figured I was good.


We started uphill and I plowed over 100* people in the first 100 meters, and continued throwing ‘bows at WALKERS 1/4 mile in. Excuse me for the F-bombs I littered Lakeside Ave with, Cleveland.

*possible exaggeration but not by much



foolproof way to make sure you don’t go out too fast – a start line hill and front-row walkers

Anyway, the short of the race is this : Feel like crap from mile one (despite eventually getting some space to open up and stretch out), try to believe crazy erratic breathing and lead legs mean you’re doing it right (ignore being :30s off pace),swear off 10Ks forever, swear off Ohio running forever, barter with “you can walk through the next fuel stop!” (which never came, thankfully), and praise the lord race director for a downhill finish, without which I most definitely would NOT have PR’d.


Cleveland 10K, 5.19.13   –   :47.43 (*New PR)

Yeah, there were a couple hills, a seemingly never-ending cross/headwind, the route was boring as shit, and I didn’t sleep. I managed a 20ish second PR and felt like absolute hell the whole time.

To quantify my ”I know I can do better” disappointment, I ran only :01/mile faster this weekend than I did for the half at Eugene. (more than twice the distance) Soooooo YEAH. I’d say “go get ‘em next time!” but truthfully I have no desire to run another 10K anytime soon.

Or run on 90minutes sleep again. Unless it comes with a big white van and slap bracelet.

The good news is, the day was salvaged simply by being in Cleveland. We got to celebrate a bunch of great races including my mom and cousin’s first 10k, I met some cool people (hi Kaitlin, Leah, Christy, and Allison!), and I got to do something I love. Even the not-so-great races are better than no races, which I sometimes frequently need reminded.

Oh and there was baseball. AUTOMATIC WIN.


Love ya, CLE.

Sarah OUaL


20 thoughts on “SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (jk totally I need sleep) aka Cleveland 10K Recap

  1. Way to knock it out! You’re right about that boring course. I’ve run the full or the half over the last eight years, and it seemed to suck much more ass this year. I hope at least you were able to carb up on Rye of the Tiger at GLBC!


    • I heard people say they were happy that at least they took out that hill from last year. (10k course was completely diff from half/full.) AND NO, EVERYWHERE WAS OUT OF RYE OF TIGER!! So sad.


      • Yes. I dropped LOTS of F bombs in Tremont when I met the hill at mile 10 in the hottest marathon ever (it was 89 degrees when I finished last year), so I was glad to see it was gone as well. Ask the fam to keep an eye out at the grocery or carry out, RYE comes bottled as well. They should ship you some (just don’t tell UPS what’s in the box shhh) It is the Christmas Ale of IPAs!


  2. I have never raced a 10k outside of an Olympic distance tri but I think it may be one of the worst distances. 5ks are rough but at least htey are over quickly but I feel like 10ks are basically just slightly less intense than a 5k but for 2x the distance – ie more pain. Congrats on the PR even if it felt like shit! I know what you mean though – a PR doesn’t feel as nice when you know you had more in you.


  3. Cleveland is cool and all but damn, that course did have some boring miles. Maybe you can come back for the Columbus Marathon or the Flying Pig next year. Congrats again on the PR! and thanks for letting me prove how sweaty and awkward your Ohio readers really are.


  4. haha, i never sleep more than 2 hours before a tri. yes it sucks. so do the walkers during the running races!!
    i yelled a lot of internal f-bombs during my last 5k.


  5. I had the exact same sleep situation before the Eugene full this year and can totally commiserate on just how hard it makes running. It’s like you use up all your race day endorphins on just trying to fall asleep! The worst. Either way, congrats! It should make your next (sleep-fueled) race much better :)


  6. Congrats on the PR, even on just 1.5 hours of sleep. I was there too, but didn’t see you. I thought the course for the half was pretty boring too — especially the first 2-3 miles. Hate it when slower people line up in front!!


  7. Oh-Io! Have you seen Homage tees yet from Columbus? They are so soft and comfy. I steal my husbands. Um, your time beats my time on like 10 hours of sleep so way to go. :)


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