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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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Race Week!

How is it race week already???

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

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Post Run Puritas 5K
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Stretch Class

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

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Post Max Hayes 5K

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???

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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?

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Towpath Half Marathon

When picking out races for the year, I had decided I was going to run the Presque Isle Erie Marathon as my fall full marathon. After some health issues over the summer, I decided it would be best if I picked a different fall marathon instead and decided I would run the Towpath Marathon. The Erie Marathon and Towpath Marathon are only a few weeks apart so I am not sure why I thought this would really make a difference. It should be no surprise that I ended up changing to the Half Marathon as I saw how poorly I was running this year.

However, for this race I went into it knowing that I would likely run very poorly and was hoping that I could go sub 1:50 for this race.

Race morning it was very cold for early October. I ended up wearing shorts and a tank top anyways but it was very chilly.

Exactly like the other half marathon I ran, my pace dropped significantly by the time I got to the 3rd mile. Unlike past races, I didn’t feel completely like I wanted to quit. Maybe I had just come to terms with my new slower paces. Maybe I just really love running on the Towpath.

In the past, I remember more fall colors during this race but there was actually a lot of green left on the trees. It was still really pretty to run through though. I think my only complaint would be that the path gets narrow in a few places and you have to go single file in both directions. For me it really wasn’t frustrating since I knew I wasn’t going to be running a PR and was already off my goal pace.

A lot of people will tell you that it is slower to run on the Towpath. I disagree with this statement, I feel like I run really well on the Towpath…normally. It’s softer on the body than running on asphalt.

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The course is extremely flat and mostly out and backish. On the way back though I felt like it was taking forever to get to the Boston Store. Even with half a mile to go I was like where is it. It pops up so quickly once you get to it but i felt like I couldn’t even hear any spectators up ahead.

I ended up not running my goal time and finished with a time of 1:50:03. Officially hung up the running shoes on long distance races for the year after this one. Don’t get me wrong, I will be back and am still running long now. Just the racing long thing hasn’t been going so well. I did buy a giant bag of kettle corn after the race so I have that going for me.

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Racing has gone extremely well for Ryan and he PR’d in the marathon at this race! Ended up finishing 5th overall.

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Akron Half Marathon 2016

Just about every year I run both the River Run Half Marathon and Akron Half Marathon. They are fairly close together but it is a great way to see if I can improve from one race to the next. Which is not easy considering how hilly Akron is. However, somehow every year I run better at Akron than River Run. This year, was not that year…

Knowing what I ran at River Run (1:47) but knowing I usually run well at Akron, I decided that 1:45 would be my goal for the race. Even now, looking back, I feel like 1:45 should have been a good time.

I promised myself that I would not go out fast for this race. No matter what. I started this race out at an 8 min mile pace. And it felt great! And easy! If I could keep it this easy maybe I could negative split the second half.

By mile 2, my pace had already dropped and once again I felt like quitting. I didn’t get it! I didn’t go out too fast for this race, I felt like my training was going well and making progress. I kid you not for the rest of the race I refused to smile or have fun. Every time I saw an encouraging sign I cursed it. “pain is only temporary” “race results are forever” “you’re lapping everyone on the couch”

The race is hilly, yes, but my pace dropped significantly throughout the race. The one thing that gave me some positive thought was “at least I am not doing the marathon.” Other than that I was a compete brat.

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To be honest, I did some serious reflection on if I still wanted to be a runner. I questioned if it was really worth it anymore. At the end of the race as I was nearing the finish line, I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. I was just so disappointed in myself.

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I sprinted to the finish line, trying to make the best of it but I was fighting back the tears hard. Meb was at the finish line shaking hands and I couldn’t bring myself to  walk over to him. I was really that upset.

My official time was 1:50:44 and I was convinced Akron would be my last race for the year.

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River Run Half Marathon 2016

While I may have taken a couple weeks off this summer and lost all my speed. Literally, no speed whatsoever in these legs, I did not lose the distance. I could easily run long distances after taking so many weeks off. However, they were all very slow miles. Naturally, I thought it would be a great idea to run the River Run half marathon.

The River Run half marathon is a favorite in our house because that is where Ryan and I met. On the bus to the start of the race when I sat down next to him, all those years ago…

I should have went into this race with a realistic goal of like 1:45-1:50. Instead, in my head I thought I would run close to a 1:43. In the spring, I was in shape for a sub 1:40 so I thought 3 minutes slower would be easy.

To start, I went out too fast, no surprise there but by mile 2 I was done. Like completely ready to quit. In my head for the next couple miles, I told myself I could quit and should just stop running. Then I day dreamed about if I was smarter and was a spectator for the race instead.

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Current Status: Trying to figure out where to drop out of the race.

Surprisingly, as much as I was hating running and myself during the race, the miles clicked by quickly. Mile 6 was there before I knew it. I honestly have no idea why I kept running this race. I had no idea what my finish time would be but knew it would be much slower than what I had predicted.

The next couple miles kept going by fast despite my pace dropping significantly. I hit mile 10 and knew I was not going to quit by this point and I kept telling myself, only a 5K left.

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As I neared the finish line, I could see my friends who already finished that were heading out for some cool down miles. They cheered when they saw me but I wouldn’t even look at them. Despite being close to the finish line, I was still cranky about my declining time.

I finished with a time of 1:47:52 an 8:12 pace. One of my slowest half marathons in a very long time.