Keep Running For Susan 5K 2017

If you have been following along to my blog posts lately, you have probably noticed my rapid fire of posting a ton of race recaps this week. It’s been an interesting year and I haven’t really had a chance to physically post that much BUT I have been writing all my posts and saving them. Except for this one. This one I actually forgot to write and it wasn’t until I found a race photo on my phone from June that I remembered. And by remembered, I mean I texted Ryan the photo and said “what race is this from?”
Keep Running for Susan is a new race this year in memory of a runner who passed away suddenly last year. Now I didn’t really know Susan but I do know her husband. Now I say I didn’t really know her because I met her briefly for 2 seconds while at a memorial run for another runner who passed away. Susan passed a way not long after our friend Bob so I feel that is this odd strong connection and I always think about them running in heaven. If that makes any sense at all.
Since Susan reminds me of Bob and Susan’s husband is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, I feel I need to run this race and show my support. It’s not often that I feel that drawn to a race. Especially since this race is a bit of a drive and you know how I hate driving to run. The race is pretty much entirely ran on the towpath. It’s fairly flat but I don’t know if I would call it fast. OR maybe I just ran poorly.
Mile 1: 7:27
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:29
Ok maybe I just ran poorly there but those paces are pretty even and that is odd for me. Overall, it was a great race and there were a lot of people who came to show their support. I had the course at 3.11 and my official finish time as 23:13. Probably my slowest 5K in a long time. I hope they hold this race again in 2018 because I would love to run it again.



Escape on the Lake 5K

I have been wanting to run in this race for years but it has always fallen on a day when I was not free or was already committed to another race. However, this year, the stars aligned and I was finally able to run this race! Why this race though? Because it’s put on by my high school and my family lives down the street.

The weather for this race was perfect for July. Humid, yes but temperature wasn’t too high and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake. The race starts right in front of VASJ high school and continues to Wildwood park and back. As I was running this race it hit me, I have never raced in the neighborhood I grew up in! But also, I have not ran through this neighborhood since high school and I’ve become much more serious about running since then.

Mile 1 – 7:11

As the race went down Lakeshore towards the park, it’s pretty flat. However, once you turn into the park and start on the all-purpose trail, you start to get some rolling hills. Nothing major but definitely not flat. There is even a nice little climb at the turnaround point.

Mile 2 – 7:31

Mile 3 – 7:41


I was actually okay with how I ran at this race, I felt that I ran smart. Hopefully next year I can run it a little faster….OR maybe I can get my sister to run in it since she now goes to school there!

Official Finish time was 22:26, 6th overall female and 1st in my age group. For this race they do 30-39 instead of 30-34.


Race to the Maxx 5K 2017

A couple years ago I signed my little sister up for a 5K for Maxx Hayes. I’m pretty sure she hated it and has not done a 5K since. Which reminds me, I should probably start trying to get her to run again…

Anyways, I decided to do this race so I could get some speed on my legs but also so that I could finally race this race. Honestly, If I would have known the course, I might have changed my mind. When my sister did it, it was a flat race through some neighborhoods. When I decided to do it, it was a rolling hill downward to start but then you turn around and come straight back up that hill. Woof.


This race had a ton of people who went out way too fast. There was one girl who sprinted out and was literally on Ryan’s tail, who was leading the race. She was tall and thin and I was like, maybe she’s really fast and I just didn’t recognize her.

About a ½ mile into the race, she was walking. I too went out too fast but was able to control it and enjoyed passing people who went out too fast. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. We all go out too fast and you have to learn to not do it. The only way to learn is to do it multiple times until you know to go out slower. I promise you, it will feel good to start slow and have the energy to pick it up as you go but also to pass people. It’s an awesome pick me up as you are running.

Mile 1 – 7:06 Actually exactly what I wanted, especially since I went out too fast.

Mile 2 – 7:31 We hit the turnaround and had to start climbing back uphill. Ouch

Mile 3 – 6:37 Yes this race was a tad short but even then it wasn’t a PR and I was using it more for speed on my legs and a workout than racing to PR.


I ended up first overall female, it was a small race, with a time of 21:14. I will likely do this race again because as much as I dreaded that hill, it’s a great workout.


Run Puritas 5K 2017

The Run Puritas 5K is a race I have looked forward to the past couple of years. It takes place in our neighborhood so I try to run this and any other races in our area. It is also just before the Cleveland Marathon so it is a perfect last minute speed tune up.

There were a lot more kids at this race than previous years which was great to see. Hopefully, they learn some race etiquette because I had the same boy barrel into me and almost knock me over, twice. The good thing about that was that I was able to quickly get out of the way and he didn’t keep up with me.

Mile 1 – 7:11

The weather was less than stellar this year and was more of a very cold rain. Not quite a down pour but it was very chilly and wet. This race thins out after the first ½ mile so I knew I was pretty much running by myself for this race. Which is kind of what I like. It helps me to push myself within my own limits and not go out too fast with someone else.

Mile 2 – 7:28

Even though I was in first for the females, it was hard to tell how close the next person would be behind me. So I kept pushing myself as hard as I could because it wasn’t about coming in first, it was about running a good time.


Mile 3 – 7:11

There are a couple quick turns towards the end of the race which was nice to break up the course and gave me a quick peak to see that no one was immediately behind me and at this point I only had about .20 to go. I was pretty spent so I gave myself 10 seconds to slow down and collect myself before I picked up the pace to sprint it to the end.

I did end up finishing 1st overall female and 4th overall, it’s a small local race. My time was 21:54 and I was pretty happy with this and already looking forward to running this one again.



Dead Sprint 5K 2016

Quick name the best way to spend a runners Birthday?????

Running a race of course!

Luckily, there are plenty to choose from since my birthday is so close to Halloween.

This race takes place in my neighborhood so it makes it easy to run every year as I cannot pass up the chance to run on familiar territory.

After having a couple rough races this fall, I was finally getting excited to run as I was seeing results finally. My goal for this race was to run just a little faster than my previous 5K. No PR, just running a little faster with every race.

The start for this race is always tricky as there are a lot of kids who want to line up at the front of the line.I lined up fairly close to the start since it is a smaller race and I wanted to get space right away without trampling anyone over. That plan worked perfectly and I eased right into a comfortable pace early on.

There were A LOT of people who went out way too fast. Both kids, adults and seasoned runners. While it might have sucked for them because they died out within the first half mile to a mile. It was great for me because I had lots of people to pick off and pass for the rest of the race.

The first mile came and went and I felt pretty strong. I kept a pretty similar pace for the second mile which is extremely rare for me. Usually the second mile I slow down significantly.

I was pretty confident that I was in 2nd place overall female by this point. I could only see the other girl on the long straightaways so I knew I wasn’t going to catch her. However, as I started to close in on the person in front of me, I noticed they had a bun, short shorts and shaved legs. OMG, how did I not know about this other girl! Shoot.

However, this other girl was slowing down so I knew I could catch her. Hopefully, she didn’t try to come with me as I passed her.

As I got closer, I realized this girl had a beard! And a man bun! It wasn’t a girl at all. Phew.

Knowing the neighborhood was awesome because I knew where I was the whole time and how far the finish was. I know my Garmin would tell me the actual distance but sometimes it helps to be able to visualize it.

As I was coming down the main street, Rocky River drive, I was reaching that pukey phase where I knew I couldn’t push any harder. I saw Ryan on the side of the street and asked if there was anyone behind me and thankfully he said no.


I crossed the line as the second overall female and first in my age group with a time of 22:41. A slight improvement on the last race so I was perfectly happy with that.


Huge congratulations to Ryan who was the overall winner for the second year in a row. My goal is to get fast enough that I can also be the overall female winner with him.


Bodhi and Bandit did not race but they did discover how to lay on the heating pad when it is on. Sadly, there are no medals for this.


Run Puritas 5K

The past couple years Ryan and I have been participating in the Run Puritas 5K. It’s a local race that supports the West Park community’s housing, senior, and youth services so we make sure to attend every year and show our support. This year the attendance was amazing so I was so happy to see how much it has grown.

Modified Race shirt
Modified Race shirt

I have so many basic race shirts that I have been experimenting with cutting them to fit me better. Making the sleeves shorter, making the bottom not so long, sometimes cutting neck line out. Makes the shirt a little more fitted!

Race day I wasn’t going for a PR but was hoping for a time in the low 21’s. I had a goal for the summer that I am going to slowly chip away at my 5K time. So when the race started I let lots of people blow past me and tried to go out slow. I looked down and saw a 7 minute pace and thought “Perfect!”

The race director’s son pulled up next to me and I was pumped because I knew that we could run together for the next 2 miles so I would have someone to help keep me accountable and on pace.

However, after the first mile, I lost my friend and we both lost our paces. I don’t know what happened. The race is flat and I felt like I was pushing hard but when I saw my pace way off my goal I immediately picked it back up.

I fought hard to catch the girl who was in first but in the end my second mile really hurt me and I ended up in second place. 5K’s lately just haven’t been my thing when I am training for marathons. I can’t keep the speed and long distance, it’s one or the other.

IMG_4027Naturally, since I was 2nd overall, I was first in my age group! My official time was 21:42 which really wasnt’ that far off from what I was aiming for. And in case you were wondering how Ryan did, he won, obviously.


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…


Running For Hope 5K Supporting Love Without Boundaries

I’m little behind on blogging lately as we are in the process of moving but I’m sure I’ll get caught up here pretty quickly.

The morning of this race is was quite toasty. Luckily most of the race is shaded as it takes place on a paved path and some trail in Avon. However, the trees that create the shade also create extra humidity on a hot day. I guess if I had to choose I would take the shade to get a break from the sun.

I did my normal 1.5 mile warmup and did most of it on the course so I knew what to expect once the race started.

Race Shirts!
Race Shirts!

When the race started I went out at a conservative 7:20 pace. My goal was to not go out too fast so I could have energy to push at the end. It paid off at the beginning because everyone who went out too fast I was able to pass in the first 1/2 mile. However, the whole race I felt like I was pushing it but my times were slipping.

At the turnaround I did my best to pick up the pace. I pushed and was able to pass 3 girls in the last mile of the race. Some were girls I sized up before the race and definitely thought they had me. I came in for the finish at 24:03! Holy crap what happened out there lol. I rarely run that time unless injured. I instantly felt better when I heard that everyone ran a minute or more slower than normal. I had the course GPS as accurate so my only thought is the humidity and trail slowed me down.

I ended up the 8th female overall and 1st in my age group! Which won me a $15 gift certificate to TGIFridays!

What is your favorite thing to order from TGIFridays?


St. Marks Run for the Arts 5K

I believe this is the 3rd time I have run this local race but it holds a special place in my heart because it was after this race that Ryan proposed to me a couple years ago.

This race is a nice flat race through West Park and somehow every year I manage to run horribly. Ok not really horribly but I would hope to run better for a flat race.

I was a little chilly the morning of the race but after a 1.5 mile warmup, I was sweating and happy with the shorts and tank that I decided to wear.

There was pretty good competition at this race this year so I set a goal to not go out too fast. I wanted to see how I would feel if I didn’t go out too fast like I normally do.

The race started and I stuck to someone I thought would run close to my time and after a half mile, she pulled away. I ended up going back and forth with some 7th or 8th grade boys instead. I was pretty impressed with the number of young kids that were running this race. St. Marks must have an awesome track team. My second mile of the race really sucked. But with about .7 to go in the race, I felt like I had a little kick. I never feel that way in a 5K.

I had hoped that kick would bring me into a time in the 21s but instead I ended up with 22:55, 7th female over all and 3rd in my age group. Some tough old ladies in my age group for this race.

Looking forward to switching things up and running a hilly half marathon this weekend! Fingers crossed for cool temps.

I forgot to take pics for this race because I was gearing up for the Cleveland Challenge Nation later that day!


Cro Run 5K

When I heard there was going to be a 5K this year to support the American Zagreb Junior Tamburitzans, I couldn’t wait to sign up! This the first time ever that my 2 favorite things have been combined, running and tamburitza.

In case you are new to the blog, I performed with Zagreb Juniors from when I was 4 to 18 and I would easily do it all over again. The race on Saturday was to support the performers in the group for costumes, instruments, lessons, traveling and anything else they may need.

That is me in the middle.
That is me in the middle.

I had been planning to run this race for months but I was a little nervous for this race since there were so many people at the race that I know!

Maria, Anita, i Me
Maria, Anita, i Me

Ryan and I did our normal 1.5 mile warm up, I saw part of the course and lost some of the nerves I had built up and was looking forward to a nice flat race. For speedwork the week of the race I did 400m repeats so I was anxious to see how they would translate to race times.

We lined up at the starting line and had a nice introduction/ribbon cutting from Channel 5’s own Paul Kiska, whose wife performed in Zagreb Juniors with me. The race started and immediately the pace felt comfortable so I decided to not look at my watch and to run by feel. At least for the first mile. However, when I got to the first mile I decided to wait a little longer before I checked my watch.

I had been passed by 1 girl at the 1st mile but could see her in reach so I wasn’t too concerned. I had no idea what pace I was running and continued to run without looking at my watch. The race wove through some streets in Eastlake but by mile 2 I could see we were already making out way back to the finish. I was dying to look at my watch and see how my time was but I kept waiting and pushing myself as hard as I could.

At one point, probably about a half mile or so from the finish, a cop slowly pulled out of a side street and I assumed he was pulling out into the race to block traffic. I started to go to the left of him to cut the tangent but he pointed for me to go around him to the right. I thought it was kind of weird but didn’t think much of it as I headed in the same direction as the lead pack.

I picked up my pace on the bike path and when I came off I could see the finish line and I kicked as hard as I could. I finally glanced at my watch and saw 19:38! I kicked even harder seeing that and thinking I could possibly go sub 20. All I could think was those 400m repeats really worked!

After I crossed the finish line, I looked down at my watch and saw 19:58, I then saw the distance and saw 2.75 miles 😦 Apparently a cop wasn’t where he was supposed to be to tell the runners to turn down another street. Which explains why the cop pulled in front of me and had me go to the right. He meant for me to go down the street to his right and I thought he meant to go around his car. I think the first 15 people or so ran the short course but it was corrected for the rest of the runners.


I ended up 2nd overall and 1st in my age group but had a great time at a local race for a good cause.