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.



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.


2016 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Training Plan And The Giveaway Winner.

I went back and forth between doing the 8K/Half marathon for the Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series this year and just the full marathon. In the end, I decided to sign up for the full for 3 reasons.

  1. My long runs have been at 14 miles for 2 months now so it seems silly to train for a half marathon when I am already past that distance.
  2. I looked at my old adjusted Hanson’s plan from last year and saw lots I couldn’t wait to do all over again and a couple things I would do differently.
  3. I can still remember how much fun I had last year. For days and weeks afterwards the race all I wanted to do was run it again.

To build this plan, I looked at a traditional Hanson Plan from their book. (You can probably find this online too). I then did some rearranging of the plan, I like to to speedwork on Tuesdays, tempo on Thursday and long runs on Saturdays. Traditionally, the plan only has you going up to a 16 mile long run. However, I decided I would make some changes and do some long runs past 16 miles.

I also built this plan around going to Boston in April to watch my husband run the marathon and around the races that I have signed up for already. I have 2-3 other races not on the calendar. I am waiting to see what the weather does and how my training goes.

Hansons plan


The best part about this plan is that it both scares me and inspires me. I saw some huge improvements on my times with the last Hanson’s plan I did in 2015 and when I started that plan I thought “there is no way I can hold a tempo run at that pace” or “3×2 mile repeats sounds so hard” But I did it!

Besides running, I do lots of foam rolling and attempt to be good about strength training and cross training. My favorite strength training exercises are basic situps, pushups, squats etc or anything from the Nike Training app. I find lots of good moves on there. My favorite cross training activities are swimming, spinning and the elliptical.


Last weekend, the Cleveland Marathon and Fleet Feet put together a group training run. They will have more of these throughout the year but it’s a great way to run with a group and meet other local athletes who are also training. The event is free and they had free bagels and coffee after!

There were lots of great entries for the giveaway. You guys were blowing me away with your answers! I used Random.org to pick the winner and the lucky winner is…



Alison, shoot me an email at mojamala2blog@gmail.com and I will get you signed up!

If you didn’t win this giveaway, check out the other Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors for their giveaways!




I Just Can’t Quit You

Starting in the heart of the city, downtown Cleveland.
Traveling east to run under the giant chandelier that lights up Playhouse Square.
Weaving through the city to run through Tremont, Ohio City and Gordon Square. (All favorite cheering locations)
Cruising farther west to run to the very end of Lakewood and at the same time running through the best crowd support on the entire course.
Making the turn to head back downtown.
Seeing downtown skyline get closer with every mile.
Crushing the “Shoreway Hills” with some support from the Pep Club Dance Party.
Continuing to put one foot in front of another, as every step brings me closer to downtown and closer to the finish line.
Plowing down the off ramp of the shoreway to see a crowd of people, lining both sides 0f the street. Cheering you on.
Leading the way to the Cleveland Marathon finish line.


Can you tell I am a huge fan of the Cleveland Marathon? How can you not love a race that goes through your hometown!

This year I will be back to run the Cleveland Marathon. Yes, the full marathon. I seriously had so much fun last year running the full. I smiled almost the entire time. For days and weeks after the marathon all I wanted to do was to run the race again.


This year I will once again be a member of the Cleveland Marathon Ambassador program and I have 1 race entry to giveaway! The entry is good for the marathon, half, 10k, 8k or the 5k – just not the challenge series.

To enter to win:

  1. Simply comment below and tell me something positive about the Cleveland Marathon. (Mandatory)
  2. For a Bonus entry, make a separate comment on this post and tell me which race you want to run and why. (Bonus entry)

Answer both (2 separate comments) to double your chances of winning!

Please enter before noon on Monday January 11th so that I can pick a winner and make an announcement! I plan to post my crazy training plan next Monday when I announce the winner.



The Perfect 10 Miler

This race was not originally on my schedule but I decided last minute to run it because I thought it might be a nice tune up to see where I was at for the half marathon that would be the following week. In the past I have ran this race and always enjoyed the course. However, they have changed it since I last ran it so the course was going to be a little different. I knew that but I did not realize how much it had change.

Ryan and I pre-race
Ryan and I Pre-race

I am pretty sure Ryan and I were the first ones to arrive on race day but better to arrive early and be prepared than to arrive late and be rushed. We had plenty of time to use the restrooms and get warmed up. We were able to warm up on the first and last mile of the course so we could get a taste of the hills at the end of the race. We had no idea just how hilly the course would be though.

The start of the race was delayed 15 mins due to the athletic director not showing up to unlock the gates to the track that was part of the race course. As the race started we were unsure as to if the course would include the track or not, also meaning that we did not know if the course was going to be short or not.

The first couple miles of the race were pretty hilly so I immediately slowed my pace down. I had hopes that the course would flatten out and I could get my pace back on track. Speaking of track, when we got to the track it was open! Not sure if the person with keys showed up or if the locks were cut before the runners came through.

Somewhere on the course - My weird face is because I was chewing gum during the race.
Somewhere on the course – My weird face is because I was chewing gum during the race.

Throughout the entire course I kept thinking that it couldn’t get any hillier. That the hills had to stop and we would have some relief with some downhills. However, this never seemed to happen and my pace slowly decreased.

I remember climbing the last hill thinking how in the world is this course so hilly! I was well past my goal time, well past the pace I was aiming for and just so done with hills. I finally made it to the top of the hill and knew I was very close to the finish line. I tried to pick up my pace and took the headphones out of my ears as I neared the finish line.

This is my "I'm totally done with hills" face
This is my “I’m totally done with hills” face

I’m not sure how but I managed to finish 2nd in my age group with a 1:19:21. I thought for sure I wouldn’t because this race is usually pretty competitive. I was very happy with my time for such a hilly course. I was not so happy with the fact that I had to get a couple more miles in after the race and I was surrounded by nothing but hills. I would have to say I am undecided if I would run this race again next year.

I was a little relieve when I found out these mugs were our awards for placing in our age groups.