I made it to Ohio! Now I just have to run 167 miles to Pennsylvania over a six day period starting Monday. I believe that I am prepared for the challenge and I am stoked to get started on this adventure! Today I explore Cleveland!
I have not written much over the past few months but that is all changing starting today! I have promised many of you that I would provide daily updates about this adventure through my blog so here goes nothing!
I landed in Cleveland last night, grabbed my luggage and made my way to the hotel shuttle pick-up area of the airport. All week long I had been looking at the weather forecast for this area and had seen high temperatures in the upper 70’s. After doing the majority of my training runs in Texas with temperatures ranging from the 90’s to 100’s I could not believe that luck would provide me with cooler weather for my relay segment. As I stepped out of the airport doors I could feel a huge smile growing across my face as the cool air welcomed me to Ohio. Even running after the sun went down in Texas it was not as cool as it was here already. After checking into the hotel I walked to a gas station to pick up a couple of waters. The sun had gone down and it was even colder outside. The previous night I shook my head as I packed a hoodie in my suitcase (just in case). I just might need it after all!
My internal alarm clock woke me up at 6:20 this morning (5:20 Texas time). Gotta love routine! I brewed some coffee, ate a Clif Bar, showered and scheduled an Uber ride to the West Side Market. My Uber driver was awesome. We discussed running, diet, Cleveland, and Texas on the drive. He is going to open a restaurant in town and I believe that I will be back here one day and will check it out! West Side Market did not disappoint! I started exploring the produce part first and it was awesome! Locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as a huge organic selection. I bought some locally grown peaches to snack on throughout the day. I also purchased some ground açaí, turmeric, black maca, and catuaba from one of the vendors there. I made my way over to the market building and was blown away by the selections that they had there. Had I been there a few years ago I am pretty certain that I would have given them all of my money. All of my food choices now are 100% plant-based. I realize that may come as a shock to many people. There will be more on that in my blog post tomorrow. My transition to plant-based has been an incredible journey and I have been working on writing share that story for a while now. The market side had every kind of meat that you could imagine. They also had any kind of bread or pastry item that ones heart could desire. Like I said, earlier life for me they would have taken all of my money. I made my way around and found a vendor that had bulk nuts and I knew that I would be spending some money there. I bought Brazil nuts, almonds, and had a great conversation about plant-based foods and why I was in town. She wished me luck on my run and I was off to my next stop of the day.
I knew that I wanted to go visit the Rock and Roll Hall of fame so I started walking in that direction. I crossed the Veterans Memorial Bridge which took me over the Cuyahoga river and I was supposed to make a left but I was distracted by Progressive Field on my right so I went that way instead. As I strolled down to the ballpark I passed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I continued on to Progressive Field. There were no ballpark tours today, so I walked around the entire ballpark and even stepped inside the team shop and browsed for a little bit. I still want to catch a game in every MLB park one day!
Time for the Rock and Roll Hall of fame! I do not really have words for how much I enjoyed my visit here today. So much music history! The amount of creativity that was celebrated in that building was almost overwhelming. I believe that I have a memory tied directly to every song that I have ever heard and I spent a large portion of my day reflecting over the songs in my life! I have so much that I want to say about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I will spend some time gathering my thoughts. I will dedicate an entire post to it after my segment is completed.
I walked out to Voinovich Bicentennial Park and watched boats in the Cleveland Harbor while small planes took off from Burke Lakefront Airport. I had seen where the Cavaliers and Indians/Guardians play earlier today, so I went to First Energy Stadium to see where the Browns play.
I had an early dinner at the House of Blues, and then I stopped at a local coffee shop to relax before heading back to the hotel. As I was writing in my journal I took a drink of coffee and I saw a guy standing in line wearing a trail racing t-shirt. I asked him about his shirt, and if he was a trail racer. He told me that he had been a road runner and recently started running trail races. I told him about MS Run the US and that I do trail races as well. Not gonna lie, I had my Crazy Desert Trail Race shirt on too. We shared trail race stories and I talked about how much of a difference going plant-based had changed my training and recovery time after a run. He was intrigued, said his brother had been telling him the same things that I was saying. Again, more on this topic tomorrow! I don’t know that I have ever met a stranger in my life. Retail life tends to create opportunities for you to meet many people. The running community is the same. The trail racing community is so encouraging and it is always awesome to meet another runner and hear their stories.
I scheduled an Uber to take me back to my hotel so I could start putting together this story. My driver was just as friendly as my first one this morning. He told me more about the town and some of the places that I should check out. I talked about MS Run the US (I know you’re surprised I talked about running right?). I walked 12 miles around downtown Cleveland today and I loved every minute of it! I will be back to explore more in the future, for now its time to get some rest!