Lake Erie Waterfest Splash & Dash Sprint Tri

After the Huntington Sprint Tri I contemplated retiring from triathlons. This may be the first time I have said that out loud. The swim was so bad for me that I couldn’t imagine swimming 1.2 or 2.4 miles in open water. I was going to throw away my Ironman dreams. The entire drive home I was very disappointed and Ryan and I had to have a conversation on what to do next. I decided I could either give up OR get back out there and train harder.

Obviously I got back out there and kept working. I also signed up for another race as soon as I could so I could get back out there and prove to myself that I could swim in open water.

I got to this race early and set up my transition area while trying to remain calm. I was doing good until I saw the water. There were a lot of waves. Fairly big waves, at least to me but it looked like the big waves were close to shore and where you could still stand. The farther out you went the water flattened out. I think that’s probably the best scenario I would have hoped for.

The Swim – 14:54

The swim  was a literally straight out and back course. I’ve never seen that in a triathlon before but I actually really liked it. I did good for the first couple strokes and then I started to freak out. I did a really good job of staying calm and just doggy paddled til I calmed down enough to start putting my face back in the water. After I put my face in the water I just tried to breathe on every stroke. I did ok but still had to doggy paddle to remain calm. When I got to the turnaround buoy, I told myself I had to swim normal all the way back. And I did! Finally felt good on the swim! Minus the fact that I had a full sleeve wetsuit on and it was a little warm.

T1 – 1:37

I’ve never worked on my transitions but I really good at getting ready quickly and especially  changing quickly. Seriously, if you ever go shopping with me, I am really fast at changing in the changing rooms.

The Bike – 41:12

My goal was to do the bike in under 40 minutes but I came up just a bit short. This was the first time I really hammered the bike. And by hammered I averaged 17.5 mph. Really not that fast but I was happy with it. I probably lost a little time going through the cud-de-sacs and close to an intersection I had to wait to pass some ladies to avoid drafting. I don’t even know if there were draft rules in place but better to be safe.


T2 – 1:19

Another fast transition. Not mad about it.

The Run – 24:15

My watch timed the run at 23:20 but I’m happy with a 24:15so I won’t complain. Plus who knows where the timing mats were and I may have started my watch late. After hammering the bike I was pretty sure my legs would be useless but I was still going to try for a 25 minute 5K. It took my legs less than 1 minute to find their running legs but after that I took off and picked off runners as I went. The best part about triathlons is with a running background I get to pass a lot of people during the run. It’s nice to be able to make up some time in the sport you excel at. Especially when the swim and the bike are so bad.

Look at that stride!

Look at that stride!

Overall Finish Time: 1:23:20


In case you need a reminder, I did the Huntington Triathlon just a few weeks before this in 1:37:19. Took well over 10 minutes off my sprint triathlon time. It was exactly the confidence boost I needed to continue with Ironman training. Felt good to be back on track and even better to place 1st in my age group! This was my first time placing in a triathlon.

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Akron Goodyear Half Marathon

Almost every year I participate in the Akron Marathon/Half Marathon or Relay in September. Well, this year the great people at the Akron marathon develop a summer series of races. I didn’t sign up for all 3 races in the series because it was too expensive. I did sign up for the August Goodyear Half and the Akron Half Marathon in September though.

We arrived super early to the start of this race because we have no idea where we are going in Akron and because it always seems that the freeways are crazy and end up being congested. Since we arrived early we got awesome parking literally in the parking garage next to the start/finish line.

We are mastering the pre-race photo

We are mastering the pre-race photo

I really don’t know my way around Akron but it was nice to warm up in a new place. The only bad part was I warmed up, was ready to race and this race started super early in the morning but not everyone arrived early like we did and the race start time got pushed back. That has happened way too often lately and I’m kind of annoyed that people can’t get to a race on time.

When the race finally started, I had planned to stick with the 1:40 pace group. Yay for having pace groups at a half marathon! I didn’t think I would PR at this race but I was hoping to run around a 1:43. However, at about mile 3 I lost my pace group. There were so many hills that I had to slow down my pace!

I thought no big deal, Akron is known to be hilly, I’ll be ok and catch back up in no time….

That really never happened, I swear the race just got more and more hilly. I never got a break from the hills. That seems to be a common theme in my races lately. At every hill I kept thinking we would come back down but that didn’t really happen. Luckily, as it got hotter I really didn’t notice and was able to keep moving.

Akron Half Marathon Burn Rubber 2015 - 1I don’t think the heat even started to both me until the last mile or so. When we got to the race track, I finally started to realize how hot it was. I kept moving around the race track because I knew I would be almost done after that and that the track was about a mile.

Akron Half Marathon Burn Rubber 2015 - 2As I neared the finish line I knew I was way off my goal as the 1:45 pace group passed me around mile 8. I ended up coming in at 1:47:04 and 6th in my age group. I wasn’t super excited about my time but I was super glad I wasn’t running the full in Akron this year! I could be wrong but I think part of the course for the Goodyear Half is the same for the Akron Marathon this year.

Me with all my goodies

Me with all my goodies

I have to mention that this race was extremely well run, especially for a first year event. I crossed the finish line and was given my medal, chocolate milk, gatorade, water and a cold wet towel. A COLD WET TOWEL! That has to be the most genius idea that I have ever heard of. Also with the race you got free food from Swensons! I’ll definitely be back next year!

All the race swag and of course Bodhi snuck in

All the race swag and of course Bodhi snuck in

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The Perfect 10 Miler

This race was not originally on my schedule but I decided last minute to run it because I thought it might be a nice tune up to see where I was at for the half marathon that would be the following week. In the past I have ran this race and always enjoyed the course. However, they have changed it since I last ran it so the course was going to be a little different. I knew that but I did not realize how much it had change.

Ryan and I pre-race

Ryan and I Pre-race

I am pretty sure Ryan and I were the first ones to arrive on race day but better to arrive early and be prepared than to arrive late and be rushed. We had plenty of time to use the restrooms and get warmed up. We were able to warm up on the first and last mile of the course so we could get a taste of the hills at the end of the race. We had no idea just how hilly the course would be though.

The start of the race was delayed 15 mins due to the athletic director not showing up to unlock the gates to the track that was part of the race course. As the race started we were unsure as to if the course would include the track or not, also meaning that we did not know if the course was going to be short or not.

The first couple miles of the race were pretty hilly so I immediately slowed my pace down. I had hopes that the course would flatten out and I could get my pace back on track. Speaking of track, when we got to the track it was open! Not sure if the person with keys showed up or if the locks were cut before the runners came through.

Somewhere on the course - My weird face is because I was chewing gum during the race.

Somewhere on the course – My weird face is because I was chewing gum during the race.

Throughout the entire course I kept thinking that it couldn’t get any hillier. That the hills had to stop and we would have some relief with some downhills. However, this never seemed to happen and my pace slowly decreased.

I remember climbing the last hill thinking how in the world is this course so hilly! I was well past my goal time, well past the pace I was aiming for and just so done with hills. I finally made it to the top of the hill and knew I was very close to the finish line. I tried to pick up my pace and took the headphones out of my ears as I neared the finish line.

This is my "I'm totally done with hills" face

This is my “I’m totally done with hills” face

I’m not sure how but I managed to finish 2nd in my age group with a 1:19:21. I thought for sure I wouldn’t because this race is usually pretty competitive. I was very happy with my time for such a hilly course. I was not so happy with the fact that I had to get a couple more miles in after the race and I was surrounded by nothing but hills. I would have to say I am undecided if I would run this race again next year.

I was a little relieve when I found out these mugs were our awards for placing in our age groups.



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Shawshank Hustle Race

The Ohio Reformatory in all her glory

The Ohio Reformatory in all her glory

When I first heard of the Shawshank race I immediately thought it was in Mansfield and that would be too far of a drive to race. However, the more I thought about it, I just couldn’t resist passing up this race. Sadly, I didn’t register in time and it sold out. Then for some reason it opened back up and Ryan and I both registered immediately so that we wouldn’t miss out.

IMG_4388I’d be lying if I said for months we were looking forward to this race. We even watched the movie the week of the race to pump ourselves up.

The shirts and finisher medals for the race both glow in the dark!

The shirts and finisher medals for the race both glow in the dark!

Getting up early the day of the race was a piece of cake because we were so excited to get to this race. And also a little nervous because there was limited parking by the starting line. We got there early enough for parking and easily got our packets. We had plenty of time before the race to just hang out and chill.

IMG_4389We decided to do a longer warm up since we had long runs to do and didn’t want to be doing all day long. We started with a 1.5 mile warm up, then the race got pushed back so we did another mile to stay warm and then the race got pushed back again so we did a little more and ended up with a 3.5 mile warm up.

Normally I would be annoyed with a race starting later than scheduled but because this was a first time race and it was a rather large race, I decided to be patient and not get mad about it. The only thing that was really annoying me was that it was getting hot out and I was getting hungry.

IMG_4470The race starts with an uphill and I know Mansfield is fairly hilly so I did my best to hold back and not go out too fast. However, I think I underestimated the hills for this race and quickly realized how hard this race was going to be.


Now the course is an odd distance and one that I have not run before. The course measured at 4.66miles. My mindset was to run it like a 5 miler and with the hills I hoped to have something left at the end to finish strong. The 56 year old Maureen was at this race and passed me around mile 2 and all I could think was “please stay with her, she’s going to run a good time”

IMG_4499Once again I underestimated the hills and even running this race like a 5 miler was tough. I kept pushing myself though and this race was no where near as hot as the Shot in the Dark 4 miler, even though it was starting to heat up.

Before I knew it, I was climbing the last couple of hills and I could see the exit we came off of so I knew I was getting close to the finish which meant a downhill was coming. I could still see 56 year old Maureen so I was hoping to catch up to her so that I could photo bomb her finish picture.

However, coming down that last hill she slowed down so I took off and kept going so she ended up photo bombing my finish picture! However, based off chip time, she beat me by 3 seconds!

IMG_4498I ended up 4th in my age group, just barely missing placing and was 19th overall with a time of 36:10. Ryan ended up with 2nd overall which is pretty amazing as there were some speedy people there. I’m just happy he can keep up with me these days. (Just kidding Ry)

This race happened to fall on our anniversary weekend so after the race we finished our long runs. 15 miles for me and 17 for Ryan and then we toured the Ohio Reformatory.

IMG_4457 IMG_4430 IMG_4409

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2015 Huntington Sprint Triathlon

I had not planned on doing a Sprint Triathlon this summer because the focus was all long course stuff this year. Also, triathlons are expensive, even sprint ones! However, I sucked it up and signed up for NCN’s Huntington Triathlon. I wanted to do the Fairport Harbor Tri but it’s almost an hour drive and Huntington was only 15 minutes. I also heard really good things about the Huntington race so I was excited to finally race it.

When I got to the race, I was surprisingly calm and felt ready to go! I felt like I had enough training under my belt and I could totally do this. Plus it was only a sprint. I swim, bike and run more than twice the distance multiple times a week this should be a breeze.

The Swim – 400 meters

The swim was a run into the water start. When the gun went off I ran into the water, got out of breath and when I went to swim, I freaked out. Not like flailing my arms or anything but just couldn’t get a breath or put my face in the water. The swim doesn’t go too well when you a going back and forth between a sad butterfly/doggie paddle stroke and flipping on your back to do a back stroke. I wanted to flag in a kayak to come save me and just quit all together. I didn’t though because I know I can swim much farther than 400 meters. I got passed by almost the entire wave of swimmers that started 4 minutes after me and was pretty sure I was the last one to get out of the water. Ryan has assured me that I wasn’t but I think it was probably really close. I finished the swim in 25:49 and 6th or last in my age group. There was a current so we actually ended up swimming .41 of a mile instead of .25

T1 – 2:09

Coming out of the water I really wanted to quit and just call it a day. However, seeing Ryan when I got out of the water immediately gave me a confidence boost. I could also tell I probably freaked him out since the swim was not supposed to take me that long.

The Bike – 12 Miles

I have been working hard on the bike this summer and was really excited to race on the bike on closed roads. Well somewhat closed roads. I got passed by 1 person early on in the bike when I was going 15 mph. After that I kept picking it up and before I knew it I was at 17 mph and was passing lots of people. I had to make up for that horrible swim so I was doing my best on the bike to make up for it. I think I passed about 8 people on the bike. I finished in 42:01, averaging 17.1 mph and was 3rd or 4th in my age group.

T2 – 1:21

The Run – 3.1 miles

Now the run is where I excel so I had one more chance to redeem myself. The entire bike I had to convince myself that I was ok and that I could do this. The swim really messed with my mojo! The run has some hills in it so it’s not ideal and no one runs amazing coming right off the bike. You need that couple of minutes to get your legs in running mode. About 2 minutes into the run I was able to get a good pace going and slowly started picking off runners. I picked off 4 runners right off the bat, then I just focused on pace and tried to increase every mile. And I did! I have no idea ow but I kept picking it up and continued to pass more and more people. Before I knew it I had passed 10 people! I was at a sub 7:30 pace at this point and I usually aim for 8 minute miles for tri stuff. I ended up doing to run in 25:53 an 8:22 pace.

Yes, that is an uphill finish!

Yes, that is an uphill finish!

Overall I finished 4th in my age group with a time of 1:37:19. To be honest I was very disappointed in myself, mostly the swim. I actually had to have a long talk with Ryan so that I could figure things out and decide if I wanted to continue on with Ironman training. In the end, I decided the swim had to be a fluke and I just need to practice more. I signed up for another sprint tri later that day.

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Winking Lizard 4 Miler 2015

Signing up for summer races you always have the threat of it being a hot race. Well the Winking Lizard 4 miler was exactly that this year. Which is the complete opposite of the monsoon from last year’s Winking Lizard 4 miler.

It doesn’t help that this race starts in the evening, usually round 6pm, which can be the hottest part of the day. But that’s also part of the fun! Being able to sleep in and do a night race and then maybe grab some drinks afterwards with other runner friends. Also the night races tend to bring out non runners who don’t want to get up early for races.

After a quick 1.5 mile warm up I thought “wow it’s hot” “But totally manageable” and had little worries before the race. Other than I was going to be very sweaty after.

Just before the race started I ran into a bunch of runner friends all at once and it was so nice to quickly catch up with them. When the race started, so many people went out very fast and quickly died due to the heat. Within the first couple minutes it was nice to pass so many people.

I felt pretty good up until mile 2. At mile 2 I felt like I hit a wall and was completely done. I was so hot and nauseous almost instantly. Shortly after mile 2, everyone around me started walking and I was looking around like ” did they cancel the race due to heat?” Walking sounded like a great idea to me at that point.



I eventually saw the next mile marker sign and was hoping that I somehow missed the 3 mile marker and this was somehow a 3.5 mile marker. The thought of runner 1 more mile in the heat sounded awful.

Still Melting

Still Melting

However, when I got to that mile marker it was the 3 mile mark and I had to keep going. Usually towards the end of a race I have a nice kick and can’t pick up the pace hard for the last bit. However, for this race I had nothing. I ended up finishing in 30:22. My goal was to go sub 29 and i wasn’t even close. I did place 3rd in my age group! I have no idea how that happened, when I originally looked at results I was 4th but something must have changed!

Put a fork in me, I am done!

Put a fork in me, I am done!


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Bay Days 5 Miler

The Bay Days 5 Miler is one of those races that is hit or miss with decent weather. The past 2 years we have had awesome weather for this race. It’s hard to get that lucky in the middle of the summer in Cleveland.

BayDays1I wasn’t planning on any big PRs or anything for this race since I did an hour swim and 3.5 hour bike ride the day before. I wasn’t sore or anything but I didn’t think my legs/body would have anything left in them to run a good race. I did a 1.5 mile warm up though and felt pretty good so I was hopeful that I would have a decent race.

Start of Bay DaysThis race is huge so  easily went out too fast for the first mile…sub 6:40 and definitely felt it for miles 2 and 3. I tried to just keep pushing and hold a decent pace. There is a local woman, Maureen, who whoops me at every race so I knew she was still behind me so I was holding my own.

Suddenly, out of nowhere she came out from behind and passed me! Like didn’t slowly pass me, like sprinted by! What in the world! This woman is a wonder! I tried my best to keep up with her and I couldn’t so I tried to keep her in my sights instead. Holy Moly is she fast though.

I kept pushing the rest of the race to catch up with Maureen but I’m no match for her. She probably got my by a whole 30 seconds. The whole race is really flat, almost to the point where you want a hill just to switch it up and get the downhill on the way down.

I must not have pushed myself enough during the race because I had a huge kick at the end and finished with a 37:05 which was actually faster than last years time! Not what I expected at all after a huge workout the day before.

Bay Days has become a Fourth of July tradition for Ryan and I to run and I look forward to it every year now.


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