Heroes Run 2014

The Heroes Run is one of those great local races that I look forward to every year. 2 years in a row I went and watched the race, last year I finally got the chance to run it for the first time and this year I ran it for a second time and can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t run it now.

Last year I ran Celebrate Westlake and sucked but then ran Heroes and did awesome! This year I again sucked at Celebrate Westlake so let’s see how I did at Heroes this year.

The race has a long straightaway to start so I easily held back knowing that after the straightaway is a down hill and then into my “home court” AKA the Metroparks. I felt really really good with a first mile in the 6:50s. My legs felt good after the first mile so I took off and just started to pick off runners. BOY RUNNERS! It was awesome.

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Miles 2-3 have some rolling hills but I just ignored them and tackled them. As I was passing water stops the workers got really excited “ohh a girl! go girl!” which made me think “what place am I in?” I knew I wasn’t in the top 3 but I must have been close to have them get excited to see a girl.

Before I knew it I was closing in on HOGSBACK LANE. AKA HOGSBACK HILL. One of the meanest, toughest hills on the westside. Trust me you don’t mess with Hogsback, it will chew you up and spit you out. Unless your last name is Kieser and you can miraculously cruise up this hill, crushing your competition.

So Hogsback pretty much chewed me up and spit me out BUT I didn’t walk! I just kept moving and willing myself to the top. Once at the top my legs took a minute to get back together but then I took off again to pass more boys (one girl passed me on the hill). Through out the race I was thinking “I’m going to PR” or “I’m going to come close to PRing”. As I got closer to the finish I realized that I wasn’t going to PR.

I kept cruising and pushing to get to the finish line and ran a 37:38 a 7:32 pace. Apparently Hogsback really sucked up a lot of my time. Still a minute faster than the Celebrate Westlake race that was completely flat.

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I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group but 7th overall female. I’ll see you next year Heroes Run!

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River Run Half Marathon 2014

It was no secret that all summer I was hoping that River Run would be the race I would go sub 1:40. It’s know for being a fairly flat race and net downhill. All I had to do was run smart. (not always easy)

Race morning Ryan and I made a last minute decision to drive to the race instead of taking the buses. The buses take too long to leave and get there so when you get to the start of the race, you have to get into a ridiculously long bathroom line or warm up for the race. Driving to the start allowed Ryan and I to go to the bathroom, warm up, go to the bathroom again and keep as many layers on as I wanted without having to throw away clothes.

At the start of the race, it was laughable how many people (and I admit they were women) were at the very front of the start line and you knew there was no way they were going to run a fast half marathon. I wish newer runners understood, how important it is to line up where you belong for races and not at the very front. End Rant.

Sexy Hermes people modeling the River Run shirt which I am a huge fan of. Womens cut shirts and pink ink!

Sexy Hermes people modeling the River Run shirt which I am a huge fan of. Womens cut shirts and pink ink!

I had looked up the pace I had planned on running and had planned to stick as close to that as I could. In the past I have admittedly gone out way too fast for the first 3 miles and then died out for the last 10.1. When the race started I immediately dialed into my pace and was happy that it felt easy. My next hope was that someone nearby would be close to my pace and I could run with them for the race.

The first 3-4 flew by at a 7:34 pace for those miles and was feeling good and taking running very seriously. My watch was clicking early though as if the mile markers were off. There were a couple roller hills I had forgot about as well as a lot of turns but I was confident I would crush my PR and run around 1:38 because I thought I could pick it up. Miles 5-7 I ran crazy random paces at 6:49, 7:10 and 6:57.

I believe this photo was around mile 6? Yes the guy behind me has on a sweet purple mesh top.

I believe this photo was around mile 6? Yes the guy behind me has on a sweet purple mesh top.

I took my gu around mile 7 or 8. I really don’t remember but I was definitely needing it. I was hungry and getting these weird chills. Probably needed food or sugar because I don’t like to eat much before hard races.

I looked down at my watch and I was going back and forth between a 7:30 and a 7:40 pace and I knew at mile 9 a large hill was coming up that kicks my guza. I was wrong because i think the hill was mile 9.5 or 10 but it was killer. I passed a couple people but when I got to the top and got to come back down, I couldn’t get my legs to get going fast again. I slipped to a 7:45 pace and told myself the last couple miles would fly by and at mile 11 I’ll pick it up and cruise to the finish. My watch was continuing to beep early and every mile marker I had off by about .2.

Unfortunately, the wheels came off and I just didn’t have anything left in the tank. My pace slipped to an 8 or 8:15 pace and I had nothing. I felt like I was pushing my legs to go faster but they didn’t listen.

Look at that serious face in both pictures.

Look at that serious face in both pictures.

I swear I love running and was having a good time, despite the look on my face. I just really wanted that PR! I got a little discourage at the end of the race where I saw on my watch 1:39:45 at mile 13.1 but the finish line was further down :(

I had the course measured at 13.34 but most of my friends had it around 13.17. I ended up coming in at a 1:41:39, a 7:46 pace. (faster than the 5 mile pace I ran the week before! That’s how bad that 5 miler went for me).

River Run Half Marathon Finishers medal

River Run Half Marathon Finishers medal

Overall I was very happy with my time and how well I ran. It wasn’t a PR but I feel like I ran as best as I could. I am now looking for an October or November half marathon so that I can get that half marathon PR!

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Bodhi’s Big Race

Once a year Bodhi gets his time to shine in the running world by racing in the Wiener Dog races at the Cleveland Oktoberfest!

Do we train him for this? No, he’s a dog and it’s not that serious. Just something fun and a good way to raise money for the Coast to Coast Dachshund rescue.

3 generations?

3 generations?

Last year when Bodhi raced, he was about 10-11 weeks old and more interested in smelling the ground than running. He also took a poop and a nap prior to the race last year and wanted to go back to bed and not run.

One tired teenie weenie. Bodhi 2013

One tired teenie weenie. Bodhi 2013

This year we had 1 goal for Bodhi and it was just for him to get to the other side.

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When the gate went up, Bodhi was once again interested in smelling the ground. Then he slowly started to run to the other side, he was slightly detoured by other dogs but he made it!

He placed 3rd in his heat and we couldn’t be more proud of our little guy.

He looks like he was a little proud himself

He looks like he was a little proud himself

Post race, Bodhi and I took epic naps together….you know, for recovery.

Ignore my fat legs, it was a gluttonous weekend

Ignore my fat legs, it was a gluttonous weekend

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Celebrate Westlake 5 Miler

For years I ran the Miles for Smiles 5K, when I moved to the westside, I went back and forth between running the Celebrate Westlake 5 miler and the Oktoberfest 5K. This year, like most, the 5 miler won my attention. I never race well at this race but it’s still a great race and great training.

Celebrate Westlake

This race falls on Labor Day weekend and is almost always very hot! (although the first year I did it, it was freezing cold and raining). The temps for the race were to start in the mid 70s and rise to 90 throughout the day so I was eager for the race to start before it got too hot.

I felt comfortable after a nice easy 1.5 mile warmup, however, as I walked to the start line I noticed that the temperature had already rose significantly.

The first mile is flat so my plan was to go out conservatively at a 7:20 pace. However, during the race I ended up going out at a 6:50 pace. Mix going out too fast with temperatures rising and my wheels just fall off. My 2nd mile was around a 7:50 but felt like I was pushing to a 10 minute pace. At mile 3 you run almost a mile on a flat trail. It messes with your time a little but not too bad.

After I finished the trail section, I think my legs finally recovered from going out too fast and started to get into their normal running routine. as I was suddenly below 7:30 paces. The last .5 of the race or so the 5K merges in but the road is huge and completely blocked off so there is plenty of room for everyone. However, it was nice to have more runners to pick off at the end of the race.

I finished as strong as I could for the race (and of course, almost puked). I ended up with a 38:41 a 7:44 pace. Which is pretty horrible for me. But you have to run some bad races to get some good races in!

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Heart & Soul Wooster Half Marathon

I am somewhat unfamiliar with the area of Wooster. As far as I know, I have been there once and it was to visit a local brewery, JAFB. Then when I saw the elevation for the race I must have read it as flat. However, when driving to the race on race day I said “good thing we don’t have to run any of these hills during the race”. Little did I know I was about to eat my words.

It was fairly cold on race morning. Cold enough that I was wishing for a throwaway top and gloves. Hard to believe that in August in Cleveland.

HeartnSoul Half startI shivered as I stood at the start line but reminded myself that I would warm up soon and the temps wouldn’t feel so bad. This race had pace groups which was awesome, so I lined up with the 1:40 finish time group. My plan was to stay on pace with them and if a PR was there that would be great if not then I would run that pace as long as I could.

The race started and the 1:40 pace group took off 7:15 pace (way faster than they should have been) so I stayed with them for the first mile. Which included a major hill that I didn’t expect. Then as we made our way out onto a main road, I realized that this was not going to be the flat race I had anticipated and I let the 1:40 group pull ahead and steadied into a 7:40 pace which was closer to a 1:40 finish time.

As I turned into a development I noticed signs for the higher miles and figured out that we must go through this area again later in the race. Which wasn’t going to be so great since there were some not so fun hills during this race. I slowly started to curse Chelsea for pointing out this race. One of the only things that kept me going was telling myself that it would be awesome training for the Akron Marathon.

My paces were all over, mostly because I felt like we were constantly going uphill and not getting a break. I couldn’t figure out what pace to run. Naturally, I forgot GU for this race so it was my saving grace when I saw they had it at one of the waterstops a couple miles before the turnaround. Which was where I saw the overall male runner who was crushing the course! The overall male winner ended up running a 1:08!!! The second place runner didn’t come in for a full 8 minutes!

As I looped a big grassy area, I started wondering where the 1:45 group was since they had not passed me yet and I was estimating my finish in the 1:50s. It wasn’t until mile 10 that the 1:45 group finally passed me and by then I was in the zone and just trying to pick off the miles, I was still assuming I would run a 1:50.

As I chipped away at the last couple miles, I had no idea how to run the course because I didn’t know how many hills were left. I also didn’t know what else my legs could take. At mile 12 I started to really pick up my pace and for the last mile I ran a 7:05 pace! The closer I got to the finish line I could see the clock and I checked my watch to make sure but HOLY CRAP! I was actually going to run a good time!

I quickly got over Chelsea not warning me about the hills as I crossed the finish line in 1:43:13 a 7:55 pace. 11 female overall and 5th in my age group. I’m not sure what the 1:45 pace group ran as they finished before me, as well as the 1:40 pace group which wasn’t even in sight.

Overall and yes, minus the hills, this was a great race and course. I would run it again depending on my training plan and because it was super cheap!

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Patrick Joyce 5K

Originally I was going to run the North Ridgeville Lions 10K since there are not many 10K’s around. However, Ryan read me the reason on why this local race was being held and I got all soft and had to support it.

It’s not just a scholarship fundraising run and it’s not just a race to support students from the local school, Our Lady of Angels, that want to attend St. Edwards High school. It’s a also a race to raise awareness to genetic heart conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Which is what happened to a local West Park resident, Patrick Joyce, when he was just a freshmen in college.

We have been blessed with some amazing race temps in Cleveland this summer. And not just race temps but also general running temps. I could definitely get used to this. Anyways, this race was close enough that we could run to the start and use it as our warm up.

Start of the race

Start of the race

I knew the first mile of this race would be fast as it was straight and flat. I actually did really good at not going out too fast and held back a bit. I laughed as some of the young kids blew past me, knowing I would be passing them soon as they went out too fast.

The miles for this race did not blow by as we weaved through the streets of West Park. I felt like I was running smart but was completely dead. I slowly passed the kids who blew past me and slowly started to look ahead and pick off the next victim.

I ran most of the race alone but didn’t have anything in me to pick up the pace and my second mile was very slow. However, as I got close to the finish line I got excited as I looked at my watch and realized I might have a shot at a decent time. Or at least faster than I have been running lately.

I picked up the pace, got that nice vomit feeling where I push too hard and want to puke and came in for a 21:35! Which I was completely pumped about until I saw the race was .1 short :( Still I was happy with the time and how well I ran even though I felt like death during the race.

1st in my age group and 4th overall

1st in my age group and 4th overall

It’s pretty embarrassing when you are on the high podium and the person next to you is on the next step down and practically the same height. Also, I think these shorts might be lucky…

Pint glass awards

Pint glass awards

Pint glass awards are definitely a thing this year and I’m totally ok with that! However, can I put in a request for coffee mugs for next year…

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