I knew the past couple months that the month of March was going to be really busy for me. I prepared myself as best I could but lost my steam pretty quickly. I was prepared to be busy and not have much of a life, I was not prepared to be completely exhausted. Some days I woke up early and got my workout in then. Other days, I was working from home so that I could squeeze in a run during my lunch hour. The rest of the days I was resting because I burnt the candle at both ends and the candle disappeared.
“burn the candle at both ends is an idiom meaning to exhaust oneself, esp by being up late and getting up early to work; to work extremely or excessively hard; to work too hard for good health or peace of mind. Worsened by also “partying hard” on top of working hard“
Sunday – Orange Theory 3.1 miles and 0 splat points, then went to the gym to run 5 more miles on the treadmill Monday Rest Tuesday – Outside – 1 mile WU, 2×3 miles, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 8.2 miles @8:15 pace Wednesday – Strength Training and Stretching Thursday – Inside 7 miles @8:07 pace – I think this was supposed to be a tempo but who knows. Friday – Rest Day Saturday – Outside – 3 Miles easy @8:52 pace
Total Mileage: 21.35
Sunday – Outside -20 miles @8:44 pace. Monday – Rest Day Tuesday – Rest Day Wednesday – Inside – 3 Miles @8:48 pace Thursday – Outside – 1 mile WU, 3×2 miles, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 8.5 miles @8:17 pace Friday – Inside – 1 mile WU, 5@tempo, 1 mile CD 7 miles @8:09 pace Saturday – Inside – Inside – 7 miles @8:53 pace
Total Mileage: 45.5
Sunday –Rest Monday – Orange Theory – 1.5 miles during class Tuesday – 1 mile WU, 2×2 miles, .25 recovery and .25 CD – I was really crunched for time this day. 5.5 miles @8:11 pace Wednesday – Orange Theory – 2 miles during class – I cheated a little in this class so I could get my heart rate up. Instead of the .25 intervals, I did .35. I’m such a rebel! I earned 3 splat points though. Thursday – Rest Day Friday – Rest Day Saturday – Rest Day
Total Mileage: 9
So I would like to go back in time to rearrange my schedule. Not to get in all the workouts I missed but so I could get workouts in that are much shorter. I think I stressed about getting workouts in and I think that added to my exhaustion. Looking back at my month, I can honestly say I did what I could, with the time I had and I am happy knowing that. I probably stressed out more than I needed.
I had some scary hamstring issues at the end of last week that I was pretty sure was going to end my spring marathons. I tried really hard to remain calm and took extra rest days. While I may have had to miss getting my last long run in, I do have a much happier hamstring. Sometimes you push through the pain and sometimes you rest.
Overall, training is going really good and despite a crazy schedule, I am happy with the workouts I am getting in. I’m taking more rest days, at least 2 a week lately due to a busy schedule. I have also reach a point in my training plan where I get a break from Speed Work and now have Strength Work instead.
So what is the difference? Basically, for Speed Work, I am running fast, not all out but definitely exhausting paces. Towards the end of my training plan, I switch to Strength paced workouts which are uncomfortable but overall really only about 10 seconds faster than goal marathon pace. The strength workouts are generally longer intervals so having them slower and not all out is much more manageable and keeps my hamstring happy.
Sunday – Orange Theory but we ran 3 miles of hills during class! and Spin Class Monday Strength Work – 1 mile WU, 3×1.5, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 7 miles @8:30 pace Tuesday – 8 miles @8:34 pace Wednesday – Rest Day Thursday – AM Run – 5 miles @8:16 pace, PM Run – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 7@tempo, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:05 pace (14 total for the day) Friday – Rest Day Saturday – Outside – 19 miles @8:56 pace.
I had some really awesome paces during my long run OUTSIDE with some hills, everything felt really good til just after mile 16. The hamstring started to pull and then the abductor so instead of 20 miles I did 19. My last 2 miles were slower and it just wasn’t worth it to keep going.
Sunday – Spin Class Monday – Rest Tuesday – Strength Work – 1 mile WU, 3×2 mile, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:11 pace Wednesday – Orange Theory class but I didn’t keep track of running mileage probably around 2 miles. Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 7@tempo, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:06 pace Friday – Rest Day Saturday – Malachi Race – 3 mile WU, 5 mile race, .5 CD – 8.5 total
I had one minor issue with a cranky calf last week but happy that it was an easy fix. It was mostly just really sore from Orange Theory so it’s ready for a pounding this week.
I saw this quote last week and have been obsessed with it.
I also like this quote because it seems to always be snowing in Cleveland…but I like the snow. Sorry guys!
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
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
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???
So looking back at my last 2 weeks of training, it really wasn’t that bad. However, it felt bad. Nothing hurt physically (well except for the normal aches and pains from my hamstring) but it just felt hard all the time. My easy runs felt hard, my hard runs felt hard (well duh) and my long runs which I love felt hard. It really didn’t make sense to me. So I have decided to make some changes.
1.) Coconut Water – It was recommended to me by a muscle specialist to maybe try and increase my potassium and Coconut Water has a ton of it. Way more than bananas if you are wondering “why not just eat a banana?” However, I do love bananas, so I am trying to snack on those more often.
2.) More Meat – I noticed I barely ate any meat the past 2 weeks and almost no iron substitutes. Lots of salads but not enough protein or iron. I went to the store today and purchased enough ground beef to last the next 2 weeks.
3.) A new training plan. I was following the Pfitzsinger plan but it really wasn’t doing anything for me except allowing me to run higher mileage. Which I am absolutely loving. Ryan is using the Pfitzsinger plan, loving it and crushing his training. However, it just wasn’t for me at this time. I would love to come back to it next year. I have jumped back to my beloved Hansons Plan. I have modified it a little bit but already feel better with these changes.
If you are wondering why my training plan stops in April it’s because I was planning on running the Athens Ohio Marathon. However, I don’t feel very confident in my training and don’t feel like I will run well. My first 20 miler of the training season was awful. Could I run a marathon? Yes. Will I run it well and enjoy it? Probably Not.
I am giving my self 1 more week to decide if I still want to run the Athens full, switch to the half or skip it altogether and run something more local that weekend. I was planning to run the Cleveland Full as well but last weekend I even questioned that!
51.5 Mile Week – Mostly Outside!!!!
Sunday – 5 miles at 8:47 pace
Monday – 8.5 miles at 8:42 pace
Tuesday – 10 miles at 8:34 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day?
Thursday – 8 miles treadmill at 8:46 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 20 miles at 9:46 pace Total – 51.5 miles
40.6 Mile Week – Almost all OUTSIDE!
Sunday – 5 miles at 9:32 pace
Monday – 8 miles at 8:21 pace
Tuesday – Stomach Flu
Wednesday – 6.1 miles at 8:09 pace
Thursday – 11 miles at 8:59 pace
Friday – 5 miles treadmill at 8:42 pace
Saturday – 5.5 miles with Hills Total – 40.6 miles
This crazy warm weather had me outside so much!!!!!! I didn’t expect that for February!
Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone! I stopped by Colozza’s yesterday for Paczki and they were amazing!!!!!! The bakery had so much to offer. I will definitely be back to try some more of their baked goods.
Every year the Bay Days 5 miler is on the 4th of July so every year there is the fear that it will be 100 degrees. For years, I avoided this race for that very reason. However, the past couple years I have been running it and we have had surprisingly good weather. This year included.
Last year, the day before this race I biked for 5 hours because I was Ironman training. This year I decided to run 20 miles 2 days before. Not exactly the best decision but I don’t normally run well at Bay Days so I figured it wouldn’t matter.
The Bay Days course is fairly flat but the beginning of the race is slightly downhill so it is really hard to not go out too fast. Which I always love to do. This race was slightly different in that I actually didn’t go out as fast. The first mile marker was a little long but my watch had me at 7:05 mile for the first mile.
The pace felt difficult but my legs didn’t feel heavy so I was hoping I could hold on to the 7:05 pace. I thought for sure that I was running slower but I looked down and by mile 2 I was at a 7:13 pace. So I was running slower but not by too much.
I normally race with headphones but lately I have been getting away from that. For running by myself it is nice to pass the time but when I am racing I always wear them to keep my nerves down and to keep me focused. However, at mile 3 I didn’t even notice that I didn’t have my head phones! I hit mile 3 at 7:19 pace and that wasn’t too far off from the 7:11 pace I was aiming for.
I tried to pick up the pace for the last 2 miles. Nothing major just was hoping to take off a couple seconds and maybe get closer to my goal finish time. I haven’t felt 100% this summer for races so it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t hit my goal time. I hit mile 4 at 7:16.
During the last mile, I got passed by a man pushing a stroller but not any stroller. A DOUBLE STROLLER. Like seriously? Who is THAT bad ass? Running in the low 7s while pushing 2 children.
So obviously my goal was to stay as close to Double Stroller Man as possible for the rest of the race. He took off and while it helped my pace, I wouldn’t say I “kept up” with him. I don’t even remember seeing him at the finish.
I ended up running that last mile in 7:13 for a finish time of 36:07 a 7:14 pace. SO CLOSE TO MY GOAL TIME! Ahhhh. It wouldn’t have been a PR but just a time I thought I could come close to running but it was just out of my reach. It was a nice way to push myself though. I ended up coming in 4th in my age group which was totally fine with all the competition there and I would rather run a good time than place in my age group. This is also about a minute faster than what I ran at Bay Days last year.
When I started planning my races for the year, the Towpath Ten-Ten was not on the list. Usually it is just too hot and I don’t like to race long distances in that type of weather. However, we occasionally get lucky in Cleveland so I decided to do it anyways.
Also, I already did the Towpath Half in April and was planning to do the Towpath Marathon in the fall so doing the Ten Ten gets me the Trilogy. I believe you get a shirt and glass for participating in all 3 events.
The weather wasn’t awful the day of the race. I knew it would get warm but just hoped I could at least get a decent workout in.
Unfortunately, I made a major mistake early on. I went out way way way too fast. I know I always say this but I was just being really really dumb. I was hoping my overall pace would be around a 7:20 for the race. I went out at about 6:55 for the first half mile but was able to slow the first mile down to a 7:09 but really wasted a lot of energy. After that I decided to play smart. The first mile marker I had really long so I hoped the rest would adjust themselves as the course went.
To be honest, I just didn’t feel ready to race 10 miles. I did a 10 mile in April that went very well and I did the Cleveland Marathon. However, I just didn’t feel like I was ready to race 10 miles. But there I was, racing 10 miles. I tried my best to zone out and run a good pace. I was also trying to ignore the heat as the race went on and it warmed up outside. I am pretty good at denying it is too hot to run until the race is over.
Miles 2-5, 7:24, 7:22, 7:35, 7:30.
For some reason, I was convinced this was going to be a long course from the start. I also felt like we were so far away from the finish and I kept looking for the turnaround. In reality, we were fine and I just didn’t realize where we were.
Miles 6-10, 7:36, 7:48, 7:49, 7:59, 7:52
On the way back, the only thing I kept looking for was to get back to the bridges. You go over these 2 bridges early on in the race so I knew once we got to the bridges I would be close to finishing. Like a mile away from the finish…maybe
As you can tell by my paces, I was slowly melting and the heat was definitely getting to me. It was getting to a lot of other people as well as I saw them slowing down. You know people are too hot when you are running when you pass them and they don’t even try to pick up their pace. You just get in that zone where you don’t care and just want to get to the finish.
I was most definitely looking forward to getting to that finish line. My watch beeped for mile 10 (I had 10.11 on my watch at the finish) but the finish line was still a little ways away. However, at that point, I didn’t even care about my time anymore. I completely missed my goal time but that’s my fault for going out too fast and for racing in the heat.
As I crossed the finish line, I was immediately dry heaving and running for the grass before grabbing my water or the finishers medal. I leaned over in the grass for what felt like minutes, waiting to vomit in front of all the people there. Luckily, I was able to get my stomach under control but it was not fun.
I ended up finishing first in my age group with a time of 1:16:54 a 7:54 pace. Well off my goal time but happy to place, especially after not feeling well in the heat.
I am really looking forward to the Towpath Marathon this fall and hopefully some comfortable temps.
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.