It’s been a pretty uneventful 2 weeks of training. Which is my favorite! Uneventful means I had no injuries or craziness and could just follow my plan. Speaking of my plan, I am still very undecided on it and making changes to it as I go. One thing I do like is running a high mileage week one week and then running less the next week.
55 Mile Week
Sunday – 5 miles treadmill
Monday – 7 miles treadmill
Tuesday – 5 miles treadmill
Wednesday – AM – 4 miles treadmill
PM – 3 miles outside with the HealthSource Brewery Run
Thursday – AM – 9.5 miles treadmill
Later in the AM – 5.5 miles treadmill
Friday – 3 miles treadmill
Saturday – 13 miles Total – 55 miles
39.2 Mile Week
Sunday – Yoga at 2nd Sole
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – AM – 6.1 miles treadmill
PM – 7 miles treadmill
Wednesday – 3.1 miles treadmill
Thursday – 8 miles treadmill
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 15 miles outside Total – 39.2 miles
The past couple weeks the Cleveland Marathon has been coming out with some pretty awesome news/perks for the 40th anniversary of the race. Here are just a few BUT the race route is announced next week!!!!!
Coming up: This weekend I have a 17 miler and then next week I have a 20 miler! I don’t know why I get so excited for the first 20 miler of the training cycle.
A couple days ago a coworker asked “Is this your favorite weekend of the year?” She was referring to the Cleveland Marathon weekend and I was like “no not my favorite but probably close.” I lied, it’s totally one of my favorite weekends of the year. Every day from Friday-Sunday is just filled with so many fun activities. I’ve dreaded writing this recap because then it means it is really over.
After feeling quite nauseous for the Cleveland Marathon in 2015, I made some changes to how I fueled for the Cleveland Marathon this year. It involved a serious carb deplete but with a more normal carb load. I tend to get full fast and don’t digest food quickly enough so I spread my foods out throughout Friday and Saturday. But on race morning, I got up at 2am to eat half a turkey sandwich and powerade to make sure I had enough fuel and went back to bed.
My alarm went off at 4:10 which wasn’t too bad since we normally get up around 4:20-4:30. Finally it pays off to be an early bird. The plan was to leave by 5:10 so that gave me enough time to take the dogs out, get dressed, eat breakfast (peanut butter toast and half a cup of coffee) and do some warm up stretches.
Most marathons I wear shorts and a tank. However, Cleveland weather made it very difficult to decide what to wear this year. Not just what to wear to run but what to wear to the start. I stuck with my shorts and tank but added compression socks, sleeves and gloves to keep warm. I also had hand warmers and last minute decided to wear a hat because it was sleeting. Yes, sleeting in mid May.
This was by far the most nervous I have been for a marathon in a long time. I just needed this race to start so that I could start moving. Thankfully the time went by quickly and after the national anthem the race started. I was way back in the middle of corral B with the 3:35 pace group so it took us a while to get to cross the start line.
Once we crossed the start line, our pacer went straight to work. It was awesome because I just let him do his thing and maneuvered the crowds and kept us on pace. There was a lot of dodging to be had with walkers who somehow ended up in corral A and B and were being tripped over. Then there was a lot of dodging with the puddles and those weird groove things that the buses use downtown. I hated to waste time and energy dodging puddles but I wanted my feet to be dry as long as possible.
The first couple miles of the race are obviously crowded but there is a 10k, half and full all together for those miles. And by crowded it is not crazy shoulder to shoulder but it still a crowd running through the streets. I ignored my watch and let the pacer tell me whether we were on or off pace. Our pace was to be 8:12 per mile.
The one thing that could not be ignored was the weather. It was windy and hail by mile 2. I told myself there would be a break in the weather and I would be fine within the hour.
Now the first couple miles of a marathon always feel great but its those miles after where I start to check in with myself. How do I feel? Good, the pace feel easy. Almost too easy. Does anything hurt? Yes, my hamstring around mile 8. How is my stomach, is it queasy? No feels pretty good but too nervous to take a gel (bad Jess).
I kept looking around and I was the only idiot in a tank. All the guys had on short sleeves or long sleeves. The girls all had on tights, capris or jackets. Mile 7-9 was on a street called Train Ave. It’s a very “Cleveland” type of street (if you know what I mean, wink wink) but I was happy to see some supporters out there with fun signs. That street is not easy to get to and the weather was just awful at this point.
I finally got to see Francesca and Bethany who came out to cheer. I thought the weather would have scared them away but there they were bundled up in winter coats in May and cheering! It was around mile 9 that I finally finished my first gel that I started around mile 8. The half marathoners broke off around mile 10.5 and that’s when the course really started to thin out. I also lost Dan at this point. He was running with my pace group and doing awesome. I couldn’t talk to him because I was in the zone but it was nice to have someone I knew with me.
Mile 11 I remember very very well because once we got on to Detroit it was like Mother Nature put a switch on. We were running straight into the wind and snow/sleet/hail that was coming down. That hail hitting my shoulders was quiet painful. I am so happy that I had a hat on to protect my face!
At the half marathon mark, we got a new pacer and the original pacer dropped out. This was their plan all along and I was aware but the first pacer was doing good, I didn’t want him to go! The second pacer did really well and jumped right into pace. It was like he runs that pace in his sleep and did it effortlessly.
I forgot to mention that very early on, I don’t know if the mile markers were off or if everyone’s watches were off because my watch would beep but the mile marker I couldn’t even see yet. However, I was feeling really good and wasn’t going to let that bother me.
Between mile 17 and 18, I finally got to see Ryan! He was pacing the 3:25 group. Mile 17 was into the wind but I was looking forward to turning around so that I could finally have the wind at my back. Now the whole race I kept telling myself I could pick it up at mile 20 0r 23, depending on how I felt. Lucky for me, my pacer started picking it up for me. Maybe a little too fast that late in the race though. I just told myself to keep holding on though and kept gluing myself to him. So much so that I kept bumping elbows with him during the race.
Just before Mile 22, I lost my pace group. I just couldn’t hold on to that pace anymore and had to drop back. I was really hoping I would have a second wind and get back to them. However, I was happy with how well I stayed on my pace without them. Miles 22-24 are hard miles of any marathon. To hold onto your pace that late is a huge accomplishment and I was happy with it.
Mile 25=8:45. Mile 26=8:51
Everyone always complains about running the Shoreway. However, I really like the Shoreway. I love the views of the lake, the views of downtown and the fact that I am running on a road I never ever get to run on. The last 2 miles really fell off for me but not as bad as other marathons I have ran. But that whole picking it up at the end thing just wasn’t happening. There were these gusts off the lake that were borderline pushing me over. I am not even exaggerating. I was literally getting pushed.
I looked at my watch and doing the math, I knew I wasn’t going to BQ, which was sad. My training had went so well and a sub 3:35 was totally there. However, I ran a really good race, felt really good and still had a chance at a PR. A PR that I set back in 2009!
I could still see my pace group but they were way too far away for me to catch. I came off the ramp of the Shoreway and there was Dan, jumping and cheering. He was so pumped it made me pumped and got me out of my funk that I wasn’t going to BQ.
I picked it up to finish and passed as many runners as I could. Not that it really mattered but it kept me going and kept the pace up. I ended up crossing the line in 3:37:57. The best part about crossing the finish, was that I could see Ryan right away. He was jumping and pumping his fists that I PR’d. He was so happy for me.
Below is the time from my Garmin Connect and the distance I had for the race.
So what’s next?
Not gonna lie. I thought about signing up for another race immediately. Like that Bayshore marathon in 2 weeks. However, I decided I would hold off and start a full training plan all over again and do Erie in the fall.
As for Cleveland, I can’t wait to come back next year as the race turns 40 in 2017. Rain, wind, hail, sleet and snow couldn’t scare this girl away from the Most Cleveland Race Ever.
Special thanks to every one who came out to the race on Sunday. The weather was less than ideal and I was freezing while running so I can’t imagine how cold the volunteers and spectators were and they were still out there. Special thanks to the Cleveland Marathon staff who puts this race together every year. I get to see first hand how hard it is to shut down a city for a day but every year they make it work. Special thanks to Ryans parents, Francesca, Bethany and the Nush family who braved the elements to come out and cheer. Special thanks to the Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors who inspire me daily and finally special thanks to Ryan for dealing with my nerves but more importantly for being my biggest fan and pushing me to be my best.
I stayed pretty close to my training plan for Week 5 and 6, minus a spontaneous rest day because I was just too tired to run that day. I normally hold 3 workouts in high priority in my training plan. Speedwork, tempo and long runs are the keys to a great training cycle for me. The easy days are just junk to me anyways. Okay, not really junk but if I am going to skip a workout, I would rather it be one of my easy days rather than my speedwork, tempo or long run days.
Right now my speedwork and tempo runs are a little faster than they need to be for my marathon but I really want to PR in the half marathon this year. So my paces are more for a PR half than a PR marathon. I honestly haven’t decided what I want to run for Cleveland yet. I’ll likely start with the 3:35 pace group.
Training Week 5
Monday – 7 Easy Miles (8:51 pace) Tuesday – Speedwork – 1 mile warmup, 4×1200 (in 4:57 not sure of pace) with 400 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown. Wednesday – 3 mile easy run (8:55 pace) and 45 min Elliptical Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 8 mile tempo (7:47 pace) and 1 mile cooldown Friday – Rest Day Saturday – 15 mile long run – Treadmill! – (8:24 pace) Sunday – 3 Mile Run with hills (8:46 pace) and 45 minutes on the Elliptical
Total Running Mileage: 44
To say I was excited for the Olympic Marathon Trials was an understatement. I LOVE THE OLYMPICS so this was a nice little teaser to get me excited. It was also cool to see the many talented athletes who got to run this race, especially since I follow a lot of them on social media. I was especially excited to see all the Hoka athletes compete.
Training Week 6
Monday – 6 Easy Miles (8:50 pace) Tuesday – Spontaneous Rest Day Wednesday – 7 mile easy run (8:49 pace) Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 8 mile tempo (7:47 pace) and 1 mile cooldown Friday – 1 hr Elliptical Saturday – 15 Mile Long Run – OUTSIDE! – (8:25 pace) Sunday – 4 Mile easy run (8:29 pace) with Francesca and then Runner’s Yoga at Second Sole in Rocky River
Total Running Mileage: 42
I got to run outside!!!! I’m a freeze baby who gets sick easily so I opt to run inside a lot during the winter. I also start my runs around 4:30-5am so it’s too dark to run outside by myself at that time. However, Saturday was warm enough that I got outside and ran in shorts! I was hoping for a 15 mile run with an 8:05-8:10 pace. However, I ended up hitting a wall around mile 8, after I went up a steep hill and then I hit another wall at mile 13, probably from the crazy winds. My fastest mile was a 7:45 and my slowest was a 8:37 so it really wasn’t that bad, I just had high expectations 🙂
If you go to the store after your long run, it’s crazy the things you will buy out of hunger. I didn’t think twice to grab these pork rinds.
What is your favorite post long run snack?
Currently, I have been loving a glass of milk, a hard boiled egg and cookie butter straight from the jar.
Going into race weekend I had a very specific game plan for this marathon. I trained hard and planned to give it all I had but I never shared with you my goal. My goal was to run with the 3:35 pace group until mile 20 and then push the pace then to a 3:33:30 finish. It sounded easy enough to me and based off my training plan I was confident I was ready.
A lot of people were concerned about the weather but I decided to ignore the weather all week and pray for rain. I trained for a specific race and I was determined to run that time. The only thing I needed to know from the weather was what to wear.
I got downtown early this morning and met up with the rest of my ambassador crew and stayed calm before the race as I have some major race nerves. The Ambassador crew was absolutely amazing this year, I loved hearing about their training throughout the year! As I got into my corral I realized that my pace team was not in my corral but that actually all the pace teams were in the A-B corrals. So I broke a race rule and went up snuck (snuck is not a real word) into the corral where my pace team was. I absolutely hate when people do this so I am sorry for being a hypocrite but I had a plan!
When I got into my pace group, I ran into a fellow Second Sole runner, Crystal as well as fellow Ambassador PAM! Just before the race started, it started to rain. Not a downpour (I don’t think) but enough to get wet…and cool everyone down. I had went back and forth on if I wanted to wear a hat today so I was suddenly second guessing that I didn’t have my hat!
When the race started it was the normal start and go until we actually reached the timing mat to start the race. Naturally, it was crowded and I did a lot of weaving but I finally got to the pace group again and literally glued myself to them. Also part of my plan. I will literally run on my pacers heels or right next to them.
Miles 1-7: 8:17, 8:08, 7:58, 8:00, 8:04, 8:00, 8:12
As we ran through the streets of Cleveland I was very focused on my race and put a smile on my face to keep me relaxed throughout the run. I let the pace group dictate the pace even when our watches had beeped when we weren’t at the mile markers yet.
My plan was to take a Gu at mile 7 but I was feeling kind of full and not really wanting a Gu yet so I pushed it off to mile 8. I had a plan and it didn’t include eating Gu at specific miles, it included gluing myself to the pace group. I was still with them so that’s all that mattered.
At mile 8, I finally took my first Gu and immediately felt a boost from the sugar and caffeine. You see, the week of the marathon, I gave up caffeine. As if running marathons wasn’t crazy enough. Throughout the entire race I had grabbed water at every water stop. I took a small sip and then poured a little on each arm to keep myself cool.
Normally, I run with music to keep my nerves in check. However, I waited til almost mile 9 before I finally put them in my ears. I was enjoying the race and the crowds and my friends who came out to cheer.
Especially this little one who had a road runner sign and kept asking “Where is Jess going?”
Now as much fun as I was having on the course, I realized I was having a slight problem…I was full! I felt like I had demolished an entire meal. I couldn’t even think about opening my second Gu. Luckily, I had packed some Run Gum with me so I was able to get a little boost from that. For the record, Run Gum tastes pretty gross but I have noticed the caffeine in it helps me on my runs.
At mile 16, I slowly started to drop back from the pace group. I hoped that if I slowed down, my stomach would settle/make more room and I could just catch back up. I told myself that I had just carb loaded too much and that I would burn it off and be fine.
Miles 17-22: 8:32, 8:30, 8:22, 8:37, 8:47, 9:04
I kept the pace group in my line of sight and looked forward to the turnaround which was quickly approaching which meant that I would finally see Ryan! Sadly, I had hoped that when I would see him I would still be with the pace group. Luckily, I was still very close to the group but I gave him a big smile so that he knew I was okay.
At the turnaround, I felt a nice surge of energy and knew all I had to do was run back downtown. Sounded easy enough. I even talked myself into taking my second Gu around mile 20. The second Gu didn’t go so well. I literally opened it, took a tiny bit and threw it on the ground. Instead, I popped my second piece of Run Gum to keep myself distracted from not getting any Gu.
It had been drizzling on and off during the race but by mile 21, it had cleared up and was starting to get warm. I kept running, even though my pace group had slipped out of sight. I figured I might get a burst of energy and catch them on the Shoreway or I could still PR.
As I was running down Lake Ave, I saw a woman with a tray of watermelon that she was holding out for runners. I avoid unofficial water stops most of the time but I couldn’t pass up that watermelon at that time. I grabbed a small piece and slowly took tiny bites out of it and carried it with me for the next mile or so. I wouldn’t find out til after the race that the woman I took watermelon from was my friend Beth from Zumbercani! The must have really been getting to me!
The further down Lake Avenue I got, the closer I got to the Shoreway and I knew the Shoreway was only about 2 miles from the finish. The 3:40 pace group had not passed me yet so I was still on pace for a PR. I was assuming that I was on pace to finish in 3:38.
Miles: 23-26.2: 9:09, 9:11, 10:19, 9:33
I know most people dislike running on the Shoreway but for me, it’s the only chance I ever get to run on the Shoreway. It makes me feel like a rebel getting to run on that wide open road along Lake Erie.
As I was running down the shoreway, I was tired but not anywhere near walking. I could still hold a running pace and I intended to. I caught up to some runners that were in my 3;35 pace group who had also fell away from the group. Then up ahead, I recognized a runner and I pointed at him, caught up to him and decided I would run the rest of the race with him. That runner was fellow Ambassador, Andrew Runs A Lot who was battling some painful blisters from the wet course earlier in the day.
Andrew and I didn’t say much those last few miles. We were hot and we were tired but we had the same goal and it was to get to the finish line and finish the race. I was still battling nausea but was happy I could run with a friend those last few miles to distract me.
As we reached mile 26, Andrew picked up his pace and headed to the finish line. I was right behind him and smiled the whole way to the finish. I wasn’t going to PR at this race and I wasn’t going to BQ but I could honestly say that I had a blast and enjoyed every minute of 14th marathon. As soon as I finished all I wanted to do was run the race all over again.
I ended up 5th in my age group with a time of 3:42:51, my 3rd fastest marathon.I could easily be disappointed in not meeting my goals and following my plan but instead I feel encouraged. I feel like I was close to my goals and I know that the PR and BQ are in my near future.
I think it is pretty obvious that I will be back again next year. I love this race so much! Thank you Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon for yet another great race!
I can honestly say that when I started this Hanson’s training plan, I had no idea how it would go. I looked at some of the workouts and thought ” that’s too easy” and others I looked at and said “I can’t hold that pace for that long”. However, I have heard many success stories from using this plan and decided to give it a shot.
I went into this new, unique and challenging plan and let it push me to new a new level. It took me out of my comfort zone and gave my confidence a boost.
As you head into this final week of training, remember that you have trained for your race. You put in the work and know what you are capable of running. Go into your race with full confidence. The more confidence you have for your race the better your running performance will be. Think happy positive thoughts.
Training Week 14
Monday – 6.48 Easy Miles Tuesday – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 1×1 mile at 7:34, 7:34, 7:34, 7:25, 7:25, 7:20 with I have no idea how much “jog” in between and skipped the mile cooldown because I had to get to work! Wednesday – AM workout – 6 Miles, PM workout- 2,400 yd swim Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 6 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace Friday – 50 minutes elliptical Saturday – 10 mile long run run Sunday – 4.24 mile run and spin class at Ride+Workout
Total Running Mileage: 40.72
For the rest of taper week, I am planning on doing the following.
Monday – 6 Easy Miles Tuesday – Speedwork, 1 mile warm up, 1 800, 1-1 mile at race pace, 1 mile cooldown. I will likely do strength or conditioning work this day too. Wednesday – AM workout – 4 Miles, PM workout- 2,000+ yd swim Thursday – 3 miles or just the elliptical or Rest Friday – Rest Saturday – Rest Sunday – RACE DAY!!!
From this point on there is nothing else I can do prepare. The training is there, I just need to taper, rest, and at the end of the week I will start carb loading.
Who is ready to race on Sunday! See you all there!
Training Weeks 11 and 12 were a little crazy because I spent 10 hours in the car driving to Boston and then running through Boston and then driving the 10 hours back home. Obviously, I wasn’t in Boston just for a change of scenery, I was in Boston to watch Ryan run the marathon!
Ryan killed it in Boston and ran a 2:55:35! Crazy Amazing!
Some people think I am crazy for training while on vacation but I actually look forward to it. I love getting out and exploring a city all on my feet. It’s a little hard to get up when I am the only one who needs to get up early to get a workout in but then I remind myself “I’ve got dreams and they’re worth more than my sleep”
Training Week 12
Monday – 10 Crazy Miles – I ran 5 miles to Boston College to watch the marathon, then I ran to the finish area so I could see Ryan. Tuesday – Rest Day/Drive Home Day Wednesday – Rest Day/ Recover from driving and not sleeping Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 10 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace or faster Friday – 52 minutes elliptical Saturday – 20 miles (1 mile warm up, Hermes 10 miler and 9 mile cool down) I haven’t wrote my post yet but I PR’d in the 10 miler!!!!
Sunday – 6 Miles
Total Running Mileage: 47
Now I only have 1 more week left before I start tapering. The way I like to think of it as is I have 3 major workouts left, speedwork, tempo run and long run. After that my body gets to rest and taper!
And now drumroll please
As an Official Cleveland Marathon Ambassador for 2015, I have a free entry to giveaway! (To the Cleveland Marathon race distance of your choice!) Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the race this year.
To enter to win, simply comment below on which race you want to do and why. Please enter before noon on Monday May 4th so that I can pick a winner and make an announcement!
I always stress the importance of Cross Training and Strength Training while training. However, I myself tend to slip up and get lazy skip the cross training and strength work. I am always reminded that I need to keep this up when an injury creeps up.
For Training Weeks 10 and 11, I had some issues with piriformis. Which always seems to pop up when I stop my strength exercises and stop cross training. To be honest I stop and back down because I’m lazy and just love running so much that’s all I want to do. But also I get really tired during training and just want to run and sleep. My body thinks its ready for taper time but it’s not quite that time yet! Staying positive helped me to keep getting out the door no matter how tired I was.
Training Week 10
Monday – 6 Easy Miles Tuesday – AM workout – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 3×2 miles in 15:40 with 400 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown. Wednesday – AM workout – 6 Miles, PM workout- 2,250 yd swim Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace Friday – 16 miles Saturday – Rest Day Sunday – 8 Miles
Total Running Mileage: 54
Training Week 11
Monday – 6.2 Easy Miles Tuesday – AM workout – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 2×3 mile in 23:30 with 800 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown. Wednesday – AM workout – 1hr elliptical – Miles, PM workout- swim 2,500 yd Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace Friday – Rest Day Saturday – 10 miles at 8:43 Pace – Very Hilly throughout Boston/Somerville/Cambridge
Sunday – 10 miles at 8:48 Pace – A little flatter of a run through Somerville and Cambridge
Total Running Mileage: 45.2
To “fix” the piriformis I made a visit to my chiropractor who does ART (active release treatment) and Graston. He was able to loosen up my back and butt to get blood flowing back to that area. I also followed up with a massage at Soothe Massage to continue loosening things up. I try and get a massage about every 6 weeks to keep my body from getting too many knots that the foam roller doesn’t get out.
How do you keep up with your cross training? Anyone have any nagging injuries that creep up?