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Cleveland Half Marathon 2017

Every year I look forward to the Cleveland Marathon and this year did not disappoint!

I thought I would be a little less enthusiastic with the hamstring issues I was having but there is so much going on during Cleveland Marathon weekend that I was easily distracted. Like with the Cleveland Marathon VIP dinner where I got to get dressed up and hang out with the other ambassadors.

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Excuse my stink face, we were smiling for a while and I needed to rest my face.

And when I was taking a picture of my friends and then this happened!!!!!

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Yep! That’s fellow ambassador Melissa or as I call her at home Melissa Jazzhands. (There are 2 Melissa’s so this makes it less confusing)

The race is on Sunday so we usually save the expo for Saturday and head out to watch the 5K and 8K race. However, a Hoka sponsored athlete that we have been following on Instagram for years was doing a shake out run at our local running store so we had to make an appearance there instead of watching the 5k/8k.

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Hoka athlete Tyler Andrews was running the 10K on Sunday so we got to meet and chat with him for a bit over coffee and bagels.

We headed down to the expo shortly after and by some miracle I didn’t buy anything. This is a first! I always drop some big money at the expo on shirts, jackets or gels but we’ve cut down on a lot of expenses this year due to crazy work schedules, paying the mortgage and saving for an adoption. But don’t you think I didn’t want to try on those Hoka Hupana’s I saw or those awesome t-shirts from Sole Clothing!

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Ran into some fellow Healthsource of Avon Ambassadors at the expo

Race Day:

After watching the weather for days, it was no surprise to feel the humidity on race morning. As we got downtown is was quite windy and I was a bit chilly with the wind. However, once I started running I was instantly warmed up and feeling that humidity.

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Pre-race with my Healthsource Homies

My goal for this race was to run a 1:45 half. Last year I was in shape for a 1:39 but after surgery I was stuck in the 1:50s and I’ve been struggling there since. I worked really hard on speed the past 6 weeks and felt like a 1:45 would feel easy for this race.

My plan was to stay just in front of the 1:45 pace group til after the Columbus Road hill. If you are not familiar with this hill, it is a tough one. Strava tells me this hill is at a 10.4% incline. But it also one of the only hills in the race as this race is now super flat. You can see the elevation below from my garmin with how flat it is.

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2017 Cleveland Half Marathon Elevation Chart

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I took my time getting up the hill but when I got to the top I just couldn’t get my legs moving again. My pace group had zoomed past me up the hill and I doubted I would catch back up. I was very warm at this point in the race so I slowed my pace way down to take it easy for the next mile.

The rest of the race I tried to get my pace back but it was just a little slower than I had hoped. I knew the course very well and had an awesome training run on the course so I felt prepared but things just weren’t clicking for race day. Even though things weren’t clicking for me, I was still having an awesome time running through Tremont, down W. 25th by the West Side Market, through Ohio City and past my friend in the speedo.

Normally when my pace drops off from my goal time I go to a dark place and question why I am running and then spend the rest of the race trying to talk myself out of walking the rest of the race. But I was having a good time seeing all my friends on the course who came out to cheer so the miles were clicking by.

My hamstring really started to bother me around mile 10 so I had to slow my pace down some more for that but my goal time was already so far gone it didn’t bother me too much.

I ended up finishing with a time of 1:51:21 far slower than I had planned and trained for. I had training runs that were faster than this pace so yes I was and still am disappointed with my time. But it is still early in the racing season so I have time to improve and grow this racing season.

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Post race with Ryan after he finished pacing the full.

And then there was another proposal this weekend! My friends Dan and Steph also got engaged at the finish line. It was such an honor to be there for them and to snap some pics!

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Congrats Steph and Dan!!!!

Cheers to another year of Cleveland Marathon fun. I am already looking forward to next years festivities. Who is with me????

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Race Week!

How is it race week already???

I’ve been stalking the race day weather for the past 15 days and telling myself that the warm temps and rain would move out. That 15 days out, the weather can change to anything. However, we are now 3 days out and I see anywhere from 78-76 for the high which probably means 60s for the start. Thank goodness for the 7am start time.

You can control your training as much as you want but the weather can always through you a curve ball. Especially in Cleveland. For the Cleveland Marathon, I have ran in some near perfect temps, 80 degree temps, rain, snow and extreme wind. This year it looks to be a combo of heat, humidity and possibly rain or a thunderstorm. But it probably wouldn’t be the Cleveland Marathon without some crazy weather to remember it by. Just have to roll with the punches and trust your training.

4/30-5/6 –    36.5 Mile Week 

Sunday –5.5 @8:39 pace
Monday – Strength Training
Tuesday – Speedwork – 1.25 mile WU, 2×800, 6×400, 1.25 mile CD
Wednesday – 6 miles @8:40 pace
Thursday – Tempo – (1 mile WU, 5 at tempo, 1 mile CD) 7 miles @8:14 pace
Friday – Strength Training
Saturday – 1.5 mile WU, 5K race, 8 mile CD. 12.5 miles total
Total –   36.5 miles

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Post Run Puritas 5K
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Stretch Class

5/7-5/13 –    32.2 Mile Week 

Sunday –Rest/Active Isolated Stretch Class at 2nd Sole in Lakewood
Monday – 4 miles @8:07 pace and Strength Training
Tuesday – Speedwork – 1.25 mile WU, 8×400, 1.25 mile CD. I really wanted to do 10 400s but I ran out of time
Wednesday – 5 miles @8:42 pace
Thursday – Tempo – (1 mile WU, 5 at tempo, 1 mile CD) 7 miles @8:13 pace
Friday – Rest and Strength Training
Saturday – 1.5 mile WU, 5K race, 5.5 mile CD. 10 miles total
Total –   32.2 miles

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Post Max Hayes 5K

Due to some hamstring issues, I dropped from the full to the half. Then I dropped my mileage from 50-60 miles a week to 35-45. The past 2 weeks I have added extra rest days or made my runs shorter to give my hamstring some rest. Some days it helps and some days it doesn’t, the hamstring remains a mystery but I’m still able to run so I will take it!

Who is excited for all the Cleveland Marathon activities this weekend???

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Busy Busy Busy – 3 Week training update

So I just now realized that my last training post never published! As well as one of my race recaps. I love when the scheduled posts don’t actually post. Anyways, we have a lot of catching up to do!

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Speaking of catching up! I was able to catch up with the Cleveland marathon peeps. We all have different schedules so it was difficult but so much fun!

I have a pretty crazy schedule lately and was traveling to Boston so the last couple weeks flew by!!! The good news is I have stuck to my plan and have backed off the mileage. Staying in the 40s was my goal. But the even better news is that my hamstring/abductor/groin has been feeling much better lately. And we are slowly figuring out that it might have been a tight hip flexor that is causing it all. Crazy stuff.

I have been foam rolling and stretching twice a day to keep everything loose and happy and going to Healthsource of Avon weekly for treatment. Finally looks like something is working! Working so well that the full marathon almost sounds like a good idea again…almost.

4/9-4/15 –   40.8 Mile Week 

Sunday –14.6 mile run – 1.5 mile WU and Towpath Half Marathon
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Attempted Speedwork – 6.1 @8:33 pace
Wednesday – 3.1 mile run and 45 minutes elliptical
Thursday – Tempo – (1 mile WU, 5 at tempo, 1 mile CD) 7 miles @8:03 pace
Friday – Rest – Drive to Boston!!!!!
Saturday – 10 miles at 8:43 pace
Total –   40.8 miles

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This guy ran Boston and it was super warm but he still killed it.

4/16-4/22 –  36 Mile Week 

Sunday – 3.1 miles @8:45 pace
Monday – 5.3 miles @8:33 pace to watch the Boston Marathon at Boston College
Monday – 5.6 miles @7:03 pace to get to the finish line and find Ryan
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Rest – Drive Home
Thursday – Tempo – 1 mile WU, 8@tempo, 1 mile CD- 10 total @8:36 pace
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 12 miles – 1 mile WU, Hermes 10 miler (as a training run) and 1 mile CD
Total –   36 miles

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Bandit loves to yawn in all our pics together now.

4/23-4/29 –   40.8 Mile Week 

Sunday – 5 miles  @8:37 pace
Monday – Elliptical 45 mins
Tuesday – Speedwork – 1 mile WU, 3x2mile, 1 mile CD – 8.6 miles @8:26
Wednesday – 6 miles @8:29 pace
Thursday – AM – 6 miles @8:40 pace
PM – 3.1 miles @8:02 pace
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 12.1 miles @8:31 pace on the Cleveland Marathon course!
Total –  40.8 miles

2nd Sole put together a group long run downtown that ran the 10K, half or full course. Not the entire course but close enough. Every turn on the course was marked which made it so easy to follow. They are planning to do this run again next year so I cannot wait!

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2nd Sole of Lakewood Group Run – Cleveland Marathon Course

17 days until the Cleveland Marathon. Wait, is that right? Why is it sneaking up so quickly???? Warning there is a significant new hill on the Cleveland Marathon course….

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New Plan -Cleveland Half Marathon

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Hanson’s Marathon training plan. I make some modifications to it because I mentally need long runs greater than 16 miles. But their speed work and tempo workouts are great. Hard but great.

While it is weird to start a half marathon training plan after doing marathon training the past couple months, I still feel like I need a plan. The plan will keep me on track but also keep me from over doing it. At least that is the idea I have put in my head.

While it may not look like it, I am trying to run less and not overdo it. So while I have runs scheduled for 6 days a week. I am prepared to skip runs on Mondays and Wednesdays if/when I am in pain. The important runs will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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Aside from running, I am still cross training, doing strength training and stretching and foam rolling. Fingers crossed the combination will get me to the starting line healthy.

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It’s Official – 2 Week Training Update

It is with heartbreaking news that I am announcing that I am taking my talents to the half marathon this year. This was not by any means an easy decision for me to make. I ran my current marathon PR at Cleveland last year and I had every intention of running it again this year but it just isn’t in the cards.

After I had surgery last summer (not running related, lady part related), running just hasn’t been the same. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love running and it’s one of the best parts of my day but it has been really hard after surgery. I didn’t bounce back like I thought I would and I have been working really hard to get back.

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No matter what, these are the best nurses a girl can ask for. Unlimited cuddles.

My fall running didn’t go well so I was really looking forward to spring running. This winter into spring I have dealt with 2 bad colds, a stomach bug, a lingering cough and a couple injury flare ups. Still, I thought I could run the marathon. I mean I did get in multiple 16-18 milers and a 20 miler.

This past weekend I signed up for a half marathon to gauge where my fitness was and to help me predict my marathon time. Unfortunately, my hamstring/adductor/groin had other plans. More on that in my Towpath Half Marathon recap but the pain was enough for me to decide that a full marathon should not happen.

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My other hobby/job, making poticas/nutrolls with my Mom and sister

As you can see, the past 2 weeks of training have been rough. Although I am running again, I still have a cough so I have to be careful.

3/26-4/1 –  7 Mile Week 

Sunday – Rest – Sick
Monday – Rest – Sick
Tuesday – Rest – Sick
Wednesday – Rest – Sick
Thursday – Rest – Sick
Friday – Rest – Sick
Saturday – 7 miles at 8:46 pace
Total –  7 miles

4/2-4/8 –  40.8 Mile Week 

Sunday – 4.8 miles treadmill at 9:06 pace
Monday –  Very early AM – 5 miles treadmill at 8:49 pace
Late morning – 5 miles outside at 8:49 pace
Tuesday – 5 miles treadmill at 8:51 pace
Wednesday – 7 miles outside at 9:18 pace
Thursday – 8 miles treadmill at 8:55 pace
Friday – 6 miles at 8:48 pace
Saturday – Rest
Total –   40.8 miles

Now that I have decided to do the half I have created an updated training plan that I will post in a couple days. Also, now that I am doing the half, the idea to do the 8K the day before keeps creeping up into my brain because the Challenge Series looks so fun! And you get a free blanket. Someone tell me not to do it! I’m injured, I’ve been sick, I am supposed to be stepping back not doing more, right?

Challenge Series Blanket

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Malachi 5 Miler

This might go down as the coldest race I have ever ran. Not only was it cold but it was windy too. At least once a year I say “I feel stupid for running in this” and this year, this race was it.

So why run this race in the first place? Well, it’s the only race I have not missed since I started running. 9 years in a row I have showed up to this race so I couldn’t stop now. Even if I couldn’t feel most of my body.

Instead of my normal 1.5 mile warm up, I did 2 miles because it was so cold. You know how most of the time you start running, warm up and are fine. Well after a 2 mile warm up, I was still freezing and even with hand warmers I couldn’t feel my hands.

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Staying warm in the car.

I was excited for the race to start so that I could run and get back to the car and turn the heat on. When the race started I went out at a comfortable pace. My goal was to have some energy at the end and avoid having dead legs. I did a pretty good job, despite being cold and wanting to go faster. I ended up running 7:43 for the first mile. I tried to pick it up a little bit for the second mile because I was feeling good and ran the second mile in 7:33.

At around mile 2.5, I was finally warm enough to feel body parts again. My quads were so cold they were very heavy. It was an odd feeling to have legs that were so dead from the cold. I ran the 3rd mile in 7:43 but then struggled big time with the 4th mile and ran 8:23. Eek!

I ended up finishing with a time of 38:53. I was hoping to go sub 37. With injuries and being sick I had missed some workouts so I thought a 37 sounded reasonable for the first race of the season. Apparently, I have some work to do…

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Excuse the finger in this photo
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Staying Healthy – 2 Week Training Update

It’s no secret I’ve had my fair share of injuries but I’ve done really well dealing with them and running some pretty high mileage. However, I’ve also had a sinus cold, stomach flu and now some other cough cold thing that has not only kept me from running since last week but I have also completely lost my voice.

Maybe I should just change this blog to a new name “Running While Sick and Injured.” However, isn’t being flexible with your running plan part of the journey. Learning how to “roll with the punches” and make changes as you go.

Hopefully, I can start running again in a day or two. I’m waiting for this cough to knock itself out of me and then I will be back to running.  Until then I’m doing lots of squats, push-ups and sit-ups.

3/12-3/18 – 51.2 Mile Week 

Sunday – 4 miles treadmill at 8:40 pace
Monday – 10 miles treadmill  at 8:50 pace
Tuesday – 5.2 miles treadmill at 8:43 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – 10 miles treadmill at 8:39 pace
Friday – St. Patrick’s Day – 4 Mile Run with 2nd Sole
Saturday – 18 miles at 8:49 pace
Total –  51.2 miles

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3/19-3/25 – 23 Mile Week 

Sunday – Easy 5 Miles
Monday – Easy 3 miles treadmill  at 8:54 pace
Tuesday – 10 miles treadmill at 8:49 pace
Wednesday – 5 miles treadmill at 8:46 pace
Thursday – Elliptical
Friday – Rest Day – Sick
Saturday – Rest Day – Still Sick – manged some strength training
Total –  23 miles

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“Modest” Bodhi cuddles make most things better.

So while I have been sick I did miss my 20 miler. However, I am hoping that I can squeeze one in during the week if I feel better soon. Fingers Crossed.

Despite being sick, I did make it to Cokeburg PA to perform with my Croatian group Zumbercani. Sorry no video since I can’t take video while I am playing. You’ll just have to deal with this picture after we ate 2lbs of lamb and drank a bunch of beers. I thought drinking would kill my cold germs.

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