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Towpath Half Marathon 2017

Yes, once again I am very behind on blog posts. I am trying really hard to get caught back up!

I really wasn’t planning on running this race but after being really sick, I decided to do this one to see where my fitness level was at so that I could predict a goal finish time for the Cleveland Marathon. Spoiler: It wasn’t in a good spot.

I warmed up for the race and felt fine. I was aiming to try and run about a 1:45 half so it could be a goal time predictor but also a solid workout with out totally destroying my legs. As the race started, a nice downhill start, I focused on not going out too fast. Easy to do on a downhill start of a race when you are excited.

Unfortunately, I noticed right away a sharp pain in my hamstring/adductors. Sharp enough that I instantly thought about pulling out of the race. But not sharp enough to change my gait as long as I slowed down. Ryan came to spectate this race so I was trying to think where he would be if I wanted to drop out. But I also knew he was probably going to grab coffee and a newspaper so he would be gone awhile.

I eventually decided that maybe my legs had gotten too cool after the warm up and once they warmed up they would be fine. By mile 3 I was in so much pain but knew I couldn’t drop out where I was but promised myself I would drop out at mile 8. I was pretty sure the race looped close to the finish line around then and I could be done then.

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The pain came and went most of the race and I was constantly slowing down to accommodate my cranky leg. As I neared the spot I thought was mile 8, it was actually mile 9 so naturally I talked myself into running the rest of the race. I mean it was “only” 4 more miles at that point.

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This is what I call being “Over Doxied” Doxies in both arms and Doxie pants on!

 

I ended up finishing with a 1:50:11. Which was really hard for me to accept considering I ran a 1:40 in 2016 there. However, this race told me I wasn’t in the shape I thought I was in and this injury was holding me back more than I thought. Without this race, I probably would have continued training for the full marathon which would have been a horrible idea.

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Half Marathon #31 Complete

I have a feeling I will be back to run this race next year as I have some unfinished business in the half marathon.

 

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Busy Busy Busy – 3 Week training update

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

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

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

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

4/9-4/15 –   40.8 Mile Week 

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

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

4/16-4/22 –  36 Mile Week 

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

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Bandit loves to yawn in all our pics together now.

4/23-4/29 –   40.8 Mile Week 

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

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

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2nd Sole of Lakewood Group Run – Cleveland Marathon Course

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

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New Plan -Cleveland Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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It’s Official – 2 Week Training Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3/26-4/1 –  7 Mile Week 

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

4/2-4/8 –  40.8 Mile Week 

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

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

Challenge Series Blanket

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Malachi 5 Miler

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

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

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

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Staying warm in the car.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3/12-3/18 – 51.2 Mile Week 

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

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3/19-3/25 – 23 Mile Week 

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

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“Modest” Bodhi cuddles make most things better.

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

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

Zumbercani

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Luck of the Injuries – 2 week Training Update

It’s that time of year for old injuries to come back! Granted, I have been dealing with hamstring and adductor pain for over a year now. Thankfully I have those under control which is allowing me to run 40-50 miles a week consistently. However, my old friend plantar fasciitis came back after my 16 miler.

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2/26-3/4 – 53.3 Mile Week 

Sunday – Easy 4.8 miles treadmill at 8:41 pace
Monday – 8.4 miles treadmill  at 8:24 pace
Tuesday – AM – 8 miles treadmill at 8:48 pace
PM – 4 miles outside at 8:16 pace
Wednesday – Easy 5.1 miles treadmill at 8:50 pace
Thursday – Tempo – 7 miles treadmill at 8:18 pace, (1 mile WU, 5@tempo, 1 mile CD)
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 16 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Total –  53.3 miles

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Spotted: Rare moment in real clothes post Winter Warmer event.

3/5-3/11 –  40.8 Mile Week 

Sunday – Strength Training
Monday – Elliptical
Tuesday – Speed work – 8.5 miles treadmill at 8:17 (1 mile warm up, 1x3mile, 3x1mile, active slower runs between repeats and 1 mile CD)
Wednesday – Strength Training
Thursday – AM – Tempo – 8 miles treadmill at 8:16 pace (1 mile WU, 6 miles at tempo, 1 mile CD)
PM – 4 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Friday – 10.3 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Saturday – 10 miles all outside! (2 mile WU, Malachi 5 miler, 3 mile CD)
Total –  40.8 miles

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When someone takes your picture and says “let me know if it’s ok, I took a couple just in case” and you assume it’s ok since they took a couple but you end up with multiple pictures with a finger covering the lens.

I felt great for that first week of training with 53.3 miles…until my long run. The last week I have been very cautious and only ran 4 days. I have been to the chiropractor to get work done on my foot and have been wearing the dreaded boot a couple hours at night to stretch that foot more. And obviously icing and massaging on my own. But the best thing I have done to help my plantar fasciitis is to switch shoes!

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The Hoka Clifton is my all time favorite shoe and I run almost all my miles in it. However, this is a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion but no arch support. Cushion sounds amazing when you have a plantar fasciitis problem. But I didn’t need cushion, I needed stability and support. I switched over to the Hoka Arahi and it’s amazing the improvement I have seen already. It’s also amazing what the wrong shoe can do to your body. Hopefully, I can go back to the clifton at some point but I’m not in a hurry.

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I am beyond thrilled with what the Cleveland Marathon is putting together for the 40th anniversary race this year. I’ve been a part of this race since 2008 and that means next year will be 10 years of Cleveland Marathoning for me! Well not 10 consecutive marathons since I ran the half a few times, the marathon a few times and dropped out due to injury and illness twice but I’ve been attempting to race every year since 2008.

How many times have you been a part of the Cleveland Marathon festivities? If it is your first year, what are you looking forward to the most?