Cleveland Marathon Training Week 17 and 18: Race Week is Here

I can’t believe race week is finally here. It’s so crazy to think about training from January-May and to see that the race is just days away.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been pretty nervous all week for this race. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely excited but definitely more nervous than past marathons. You would think after 15 marathons I would have the nerves thing figured out.

At least I know what I am going to wear!

Training Week 17

Monday – 1 Hour Elliptical and arms and abs strength training.
Tuesday –  1.25 mile warm up, 7x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1.25 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 7 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – 10.13 – 1 mile warm up, 8 at marathon goal pace, 1 mile cool down
Sunday –  Rest Day

Total Mileage:26.13

Training Week 18

Monday – 1 hour elliptical

Tuesday –  1 mile warm up, 3x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 3 mile easy run, 20 minute elliptical and strength abs and arms
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday –  Rest Day but light abs and arms strength work
Saturday – Rest Day – Watch the 5K, go the expo and eat carbs
Sunday –  RACE DAY!

3 Reasons this week is the worst:

1.) Running Less: The past week has been one of the hardest of my training cycle. Running and working out so little is really tough. Especially after all those weeks of hard workouts. I mean, I really missed my tempo run this week. Who knew I would grow to love tempo runs!

Less running but more cuddles from these dudes.

2.) Carb Deplete/Reload: This past week is also rough because it’s carb deplete week/reload week. A lot of people skip the carb deplete part of carb loading. I mean who really wants to go through that. However, I love torture so I definitely do it. What does it mean? Long story short, after my last long run, I cut back majorly on all carbs. I basically cut back to less than 50 grams of carbs a day. It’s pretty rough. I basically eat lean meat, cheese, eggs and pork rinds for days. However, when it is over I can start carb loading and your body will retain more carb energy…or something like that. This article sums it up much better than I do.

3.) Negativity: I am a very positive person. I like to look on the bright side of most things. Who wants to live their life as a downer? The answer is, most Clevelanders. Sometimes I can’t blame them but man do Clevelanders like to complain about everything. Maybe it’s the weather, the Browns, the marathon (course is too shady or too sunny or too hilly or not scenic enough, etc.). And maybe that’s how some people deal with nerves. It’s Cleveland; what do they expect?! It’s still a relatively flat and fast course and besides downtown, what scenic sites do you want to see? For me, I like to focus on the positive. My training went great even with injuries. I can’t control the weather but it’s shaping up to look very comfortable, if not cold. And I get to run a marathon with 20,000+ of my friends.


What are your favorite carb loading foods? What are you looking forward to?


Cleveland Marathon Training Weeks 15 and 16: Taper Time

It’s crazy when you start a training plan and spend these days/weeks/months preparing and then suddenly it’s almost here! Technically, I’m on training week 17 but just typing up the info for weeks 15 and 16. But it’s officially taper time!

Taper time isn’t traditionally my favorite. I struggle with the whole taking it easier for the next 10 days. It’s hard to figure out what to do with all that free time 😉 But really it’s hard to wrap your head around the whole “am I ready?” thing. I mean, if you did the training that would make sense, right?


Training Week 15

Monday – 8ish miles in Boston ( I lost track of the mileage this day as I stopped my watch while trying to find Ryan

Tuesday –  1 mile warm up, 5x800m repeats, 400 recovery, and 1 mile repeat, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 8 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – Hermes 10 miler (1 mile WU, 10 miles, 9 miles after) – Last 20 miler
Sunday –  Rest Day

Total Mileage: 44.5


Training Week 16

Monday – 1 Hour elliptical
Tuesday –  1 mile warm up, 6×1 mile repeats, 400 recovery, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical
Thursday –  AM Workout: 1 mile warm up, 9 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
-PM Workout: 1 Mile WU, 4 miles at MGP – 5.20 total at 8:02 pace
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – 5K Run (15.17 miles total for the day at 7:59)
Sunday –  Spinning

Total Mileage: 40.87

So while I don’t necessarily trust the McMillian Calculator anymore, it’s fun to see what it thinks you might run based off past races. Right now it is predicting at 3:25-3:28 for me. However, I have no interest in even trying that right now. I think I could hold that pace for maybe 15 miles and then would want to quit..with 11 miles to go (which I would probably be walking if I went out too fast). Instead, I will be starting with the 3:35 pace group and sticking with them for as long as I can. If things go well, I’ll pick it up towards the end and come in earlier. If things go ok, I’ll finish with them. And let’s just not even consider options if it doesn’t go well. Positive thinking only.

What are you top reasons why you are ready to run a race?


Hermes 10 Miler 2016

You can go ahead and file the Hermes 10 Miler under one of my favorite races. I have run this race many times, even when it was a downtown race! I do love the Edgewater/Lakewood course though. Minimal hills and turns like this race are perfect for PRs.

In most years that I have run this race, I have overdressed. This year I was not only determined to not overdress but to wear shorts. I have no idea why that crazy idea was in my head but I showed up to the race in shorts and was freezing! At least I had a long sleeve to run in and wasn’t crazy enough to wear a tank or tee.

I was smart enough to bring pants and a jacket to warm up in. (thanks for capturing our cold walk Will)


I warmed up as close to the race time as I possibly could so I could keep my warm up clothes on. Poor Ryan was being a champ and planning to pace me for the race and he also wore shorts! To tell you how cold it actually was, he ran in pants!

I don’t normally have Ryan pace me or run with me but I really wanted someone to keep me from going out to fast or fading too hard after I got tired. We normally run the same races but since he wasn’t racing I took full advantage of his pacing duties and told him my aggressive pace of 7:18. Which is no problem for Ryan to run. Yay!

Mile 1 – 7:11 – A little fast but there is some downhill at the beginning that is hard not to take advantage of.

Mile 2 – 7:18, Mile 3 – 7:20, Mile 4 – 7:19 – To be completely honest, these paces felt too fast. I felt tired and winded and had to dig deep to tell myself to keep going and not give up. Thank God Ryan was pacing me because I probably would have given up and slowed down.

Can you see how pink my legs are from the cold? I do have pink compression socks on.

Around mile 2, a heavy breather got close to me and I actually prayed that she would pass me so that I couldn’t have to hear her breathing anymore. My goodness, I thought I was tired and winded but she sounded like she was hyperventilating. She did end up passing me and I was totally ok with that…Until we caught back up with her.

Mile 5 – 7:25, Mile 6 – 7:31, Mile 7 – 7:34 – At this point in the race we had reached the turnaround point and were on our way back to the finish area. Ryan was doing a really good job doing all the talking and telling me not to talk as we were running. At one point he wanted me to pick it up but i didn’t have anything left to pick it up.

Just a walk in the park for Ryan

We were also on the tails of the Heavy Breather and I was hoping that we would pass her and she was just fade fast so that I wouldn’t have to hear her. As we neared her, she was still breathing heavy. Like how are you not tired of breathing that hard woman!

Mile 8 – 7:44, Mile 9 – 7:53 – Ugh, looking at this paces and seeing how much they were dropping hurts a little. To be honest, I started to feel a little sick and knew if I pushed any harder that I would indeed puke. Ryan tried to get me to pick up the pace but I just couldn’t without the thought of puking.

I was pretty sure that woman in black was going to pass me at the finish but she never did. phew.

Coming in for the last mile has a lot of downhill so that felt awesome to not have to push my pace. I had a big lead on Heavy Breather which was a relief because that noise was nauseating. I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:13:28 a 7:20 pace. Not too far off what I was aiming for but I did want to go sub 1:13. Next time!


After the race, I came home to the funniest thing in the world…my dog had climbed into my sweatshirt and got stuck in the sleeve!

He looks sad here but I promise you his tail was wagging.



Towpath Half Marathon

It’s no secret that I have been chasing down a half marathon PR. Last year I chased it all year but with ironman training, it just wasn’t going to happen. This year, my training and tempo runs were going I was pretty confident that I could do it. The goal was not only to PR but to run a 1:38:50. I poured over recent race results and my training and decided that was realistic.

I waited til the last minute to register just to make sure my cranky leg could hang in there. I might have also have been waiting to see what the weather was going to do. I didn’t want to run in anything overly cold or icy. Running for time with layers on wasn’t going to help and I’m kind of done with running in the freezing cold at this point anyways.

Naturally, after I signed up, just days before the race, we got a snow storm. Yes, snow in April. Inches of it too. The race wasn’t until Sunday but Friday and Saturday snowfall  left Cleveland looking like this:


I got really lucky because by some miracle the snow melted quickly and melted especially fast on the sidewalks and walkways. Race morning I had to be bundled but wouldn’t have to worry about trudging through snow.

I tried my best to not overdress for the race but was really cold on my 1 mile warm up to test out the course. When I lined up at the start, I reminded myself that I the 5 miler and 3 miler were also lining up and starting at the same time and to go my own pace. I later found out that only the 3 mile lined up with the half marathoners, which made sense since I never saw the split off for the 5 milers.

The first mile is downhill, like majorly downhill so I really struggled to hit a 7:30 pace. I was being pulled to go much faster! The first mile ended up being 7:13, not horrible for being all downhill.

Mile 2-7:30, Mile 3-7:34, Mile 4-7:35 – I couldn’t quite get 7:30 on the dot but I had to do some dodging around ice and go over 2 bridges that slowed me down a bit. I was definitely working hard to get the paces I was getting.


Mile 5-7:27, Mile 6-7:33, Mile 7- 7:26 – At about mile 6.6, I felt amazing and my legs were ready to roll. I decided I would go with it and pick the pace up a little bit. I wanted to save some for the hill at the end. Yes, this race is notorious for finishing up a hill.

Mile 8-7:30, Mile 9-7:26, Mile 10-7:44 – The entire time I was running, I had memorized certain numbers. I knew I wanted to be at mile 5 at a specific time and mile 8 at a specific time and mile 10 as well. I nailed all of those! However, as good as my legs felt, my tummy felt nauseous. I had been taking water while running and took a little bit of gu at some point but I could feel the pukey feeling bubbling inside. I tried to cheer myself up with the fact that I hit the 10 mile marker at 1:15:03. Which would be pretty decent for a 10 miler.

Mile 11- 7:51, Mile 12-7:59 and Mile 13-7:57 – I forgot to mention that the entire race, the mile markers were off. I was hitting splits but not getting to the mile marker until much later. In my head, I told myself that it didn’t matter as long as the finish line wasn’t long…or short. However, as I was pushing up the last hill and feeling like I was dying, I hit the 13.10 mile mark! But I couldn’t even see the finish line yet! Ugh!


I ended up having the course marked as 13.24 and that extra .14 cost me my PR as I ended up with an official time of 1:40:24, 7th overall female and 1st in my age group. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little bummed by this time though. However, the good news is, the PR was there. The 1:38:50 was not but it was close. The next half marathon I do, should have PR party written all over it as I was at 1:39: something at the 13.1 mark.


One of my favorite Cleveland Landmarks was the race awards for placing.


Ryan got me some gas station pork rinds (which I love) to eat post race as I also had to get 19 miles in for the day.


Overall, even with the long course and race shirt that shrunk after washing already, I would run this race again. It is very well put together and the volunteers were amazing and cheered at every water stop.


Cleveland Marathon Training Weeks 11-14: Training and Busy Season at Work

I apparently never pressed publish on training week 11 & 12 so you get 4 weeks of training in 1 post! You are all so lucky 😉 April is my busy season at work so times gets away quickly.

Anyways, I’m still basically only running 3-4 days a week. It’s not ideal but I am able to get in a speed work day, a tempo day and a long run day. My leg, hamstring, psoas is feeling pretty good but not 100%. However, I can still run so it sounds like 100% to me!

I have to do A LOT of extra exercises to warm up and cool down. Then I also have A LOT of strength exercises that I also have to do. All just to be able to run. Moral of the story, don’t get old…I’m 32.


Training Week 11

Monday – 1 Hour elliptical
Tuesday –  1 mile warm up, 4×1.5 mile repeats, 400 recoverey, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 3 easy miles and 30 minute elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 10 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – 17 miles at 8:15 pace
Sunday –  Rest Day


Total Running Mileage: 40.6

Training Week 12

Monday – 7 easy miles at 8:51 pace
Tuesday –  Rest Day
Wednesday – 1 hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 10 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – 15 Miles – 1.5 mile warm up, 10K Hop for Hope and then the rest of my long run.
Sunday –  Rest Day

Below is my legit normal Lunch and Breakfast. I am a creature of habit and eat the same thing everyday.

Total Running Mileage: 34

Training Week 13

Monday – 1 Hour elliptical
Tuesday – 1 mile warm up, 6x1mile at 7:20 pace, with 400 meter recover, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 9 miles at 7:47, 1 mile cooldown
Friday – 1 hour elliptical
Saturday – Rest Day
Sunday –  19 miles – 1 mile warm up, Towpath Half Marathon, 5 mile cooldown


Total Running Mileage: 39.25

Training Week 14

Monday – 1 hour elliptical
Tuesday – 1 mile warm up, 3×2 mile repeats at 7:18 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 10 miles at 7:47, 1 mile cool down
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 10.16 miles @8:16 pace in Boston/Cambridge/Newton
Sunday –  Rest Day


Total Running Mileage: 31.66

I’m kind of in shock that the Cleveland Marathon is 22 days away! 22 DAYS AWAY! Holy Cow! I have my last 20 miler this weekend and then it will be taper time! Ahhhhhh


Cleveland Marathon Training Weeks 7 and 8: Hello Pain Train!

I wish I could say that Week 7 and 8 were the “Pain Train” because I was lacing up my shoes and crushing some hard miles. However, I have been on the “Pain Train” for some hamstring issues. In the past, I have had IT band issues, piriformis issues and plantar fasciitis issues. These hamstrings just couldn’t wait to join in on the fun.

By the end of week 7, I had so much pain that I could barely get through an easy 8 miler. Luckily, my husband has had hamstring injuries and was able to help me loosen up but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I ended up having to make an appointment with a specific sports chiropractor in the area but couldn’t get in for a full week! I ended up doing the elliptical a couple days for week 8 to be able to do my key workouts.

Training Week 7

Monday – 7 Easy Miles (8:51 pace)
Tuesday – Speedwork – 1 mile warmup, 3×1600 (in 4:57 not sure of pace)  with 400 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown.
Wednesday – 1 hour Elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo  (7:47 pace) and 1 mile cooldown
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 15 mile long run – Treadmill! – (8:24 pace)
Sunday –  4 Mile Run with lots of pain

Total Running Mileage: 42.6

Bodhi and Bandit recovering after one of many long naps.

Training Week 8

Monday – 1 hour Elliptical
Tuesday – 1.23 mile warm up, 6×800 and 1.23 mile cool down
Wednesday – 1 hour Elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo  (7:47 pace) and 1 mile cooldown
Friday – Full Rest Day – What do I do with my free time!
Saturday – 16 Mile Long Run – 4.5 outside on the ice (8:53 pace) and 11.5 on the treadmill (8:23 pace)
Sunday –  4 Mile easy run (8:39 pace)  with Francesca and then Runner’s Yoga at Second Sole in Rocky River

Total Running Mileage: 38

Yoga! With Runners! At a Running Store!

I’m really looking forward to getting some hamstring answers. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to run through most of the pain but it’s not too enjoyable. I look forward to giving you an update on this minor issue! (Spoiler – I’m going to survive, my leg will not be cut off and I can still run the marathon!)

Putting my legs up, drinking a beer and cuddling with the pups.

My Schedule

I’ve had a few emails inquiring about my workout/work/life schedule and how do I do it all! That’s easy, I love to run so it’s never a challenge to get my workouts in. Most of the time I have to hold myself back from running too much!

Monday – up at 4:30 am, at the gym or running by 5am, work by 8, home sometime after 5 unless I have errands to run and then music practice from 7-9.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – up at 4:30 am, at the gym or running by 5am, work by 8, home sometime after 5 unless I have errands to run.
Thursday – up at 4:10am, at the gym by 4:45 in the hopes that they open early ( tempo runs take awhile to complete), work by 8, home sometime after 5 unless I have errands to run.
Saturday – up by 6 or 6:30 in the winter (once the sun comes up earlier I get up earlier too). If the weather permits and the sun is up I am running by 7, if I have to go to the gym I start at 8.
Sunday – up by 6:30 running by 8 or earlier. On Sundays I alternate between yoga and spinning.

As you can see, my schedule is monotonous. I do the same things over and over again but it makes it easy to fall into a schedule so don’t miss any workouts. And yes, I go to bed by 9pm every night to be able to get up this early.

Anyone else on the pain train? Anyone else with a specific schedule or an early bird like me?


Cleveland Marathon Training Weeks 5 and 6: Olympic Marathon Trials and Expectations

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.

“Mom, you done running yet? Time for puppy cuddles” – Bandit

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.

Oh Yeah

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.