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River Run Half Marathon 2017

Last year I thought I ran awful at River Run. Actually, when I went back to look at my time, it wasn’t awful but it wasn’t a good time for me, especially on that course. I actually still remember how I felt that race. I wanted to quit by mile 2. My legs felt completely done. Not fatigue done, just absolutely no speed in them.
For this year’s River Run, I decided to approach it with the goal of running a 1:45 half and starting out slow and conservative. However, I did not anticipate the absolutely amazing forecast of weather that we were going to get. River Run generally has good weather but this was above and beyond good and damn near perfect. Actually, I take that back, it was a perfect weather day.
To run a 1:45 I would need to run 8 minute miles. I was confident that would feel easy and if I felt good later in the race I could pick it up. The first couple miles went really well, I couldn’t help but go faster.
Mile 1 – 7:37, Mile 2 – 7:48, Mile 3 – 7:38, Mile 4 – 7:45, Mile 5 – 7:43
I 100% blame the faster paces on the perfect weather. I was working really hard to hold back to these paces.
Mile 6 – 7:45, Mile 7 – 7:49, Mile 8 – 7:49, Mile 9 – 7:53, Mile 10 – 7:50
Somewhere around mile 9-10 there is a decent uphill. I tackled it as best I could but once you are at the top, you get to cruise back down the other side of the hill. Even with the downhill I was starting to feel the fatigue at mile 10. I had to start playing mind games with myself to keep the pace. Which really didn’t work too well.

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Mile 11 – 8:00, Mile 12 – 8:02, Mile 13 – 7:59
I really wish I could have had miles 11 and 12 under 8. I mean, I was really close but I was also really tired at that point. I’m pretty sure I gave the stink eye to friends who were doing their cool down miles while I was still running.

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Official Finish Time – 1:42:41 and 7th in my age group. I will take it and extremely happy with how this race went. I’ve had some rough races the past year so it was nice to see my hard work paying off. Almost 3 minutes under my goal time.

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Hofbrauhaus Half Marathon

After training hard all summer and putting in some serious tempo miles, I was excited to take a stab at running the Hofbrauhaus half marathon. It would be the first half marathon since I ran the Cleveland half so I was excited to get some redemption on a half and also prove to myself that my training was working. My goal was to run a 1:45 half and to have it feel easy.
I wasn’t feeling so well before the race and took many trips to the bathroom so that added some extra nerves to my race. When the race started I was really careful not to go too fast and let a lot of people pass me. I wanted this race to feel easy and to run strong til the end.
Mile 1 – 7:55, Mile 2 – 7:54, Mile 3 – 7:57, Mile 4 – 7:45
I was really happy with how easy the first couple miles felt. I guy popped up next to me and we ran together for a couple miles. I was liking his pace so I was hoping he would stick around but he left me as we entered MLK.
Mile 5 – 7:50, Mile 6 – 7:44, Mile 7 – 8:07, Mile 8 – 7:50

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I ran through MLK the weekend before so I was pretty familiar with the stretch we would be running. I knew exactly where the hill was and was mentally prepared to pick up the pace on the way back. As you can tell by my splits, the hill was at mile 7. It’s short but steep and you turn around pretty quickly and get to come right back down it.
Mile 9 – 8:15, Mile 10 – 7:58, Mile 11 – 8:01, Mile 12 – 8:06, Mile 13 – 6:46
I was not familiar with the area outside of MLK and was taken by surprise by the hilliness of mile 9 and 10. I had to work really hard to get my paces down. The hills weren’t huge just seemed like a lot of small rollers or gradual incline that slowed my pace. I am fairly certain miles 11-13 were flat but I had lost my speed at that point. I held on as best I could and I am happy looking at my splits that I was not too far off and didn’t drop my paces too much.

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The course was a touch short, about 12.95 on most watches instead of 13.1. My official time was 1:45:12 and was lucky to snag first in my age group and 8th overall female. I’m very interested in running this course again next year to see how much I can improve. However, we did have great weather for an August half so you never know what next year will be.

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Hermes 10 Miler 2017

For years the Hermes 10 Miler has been a favorite of mine. I’ve been running it off and on for the past couple years and even remember when they held this race downtown! Now I run it for a fast and flat 10 miler but also to help with spring marathon training.

This year I struggled with injuries and illness so I knew a PR was out of the question. However, I still had high hopes for a good race or at least a training run. I mean, either way, this race pace would be faster than if I was running on my own so it would be good for me.

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Hello awkward race photo

I started this race off pretty conservative for the first 3 miles. My hope was to have something left around mile 8 to push the last 2 miles. However, very quickly, my hamstring decided that it didn’t like running. The first 3 miles were ok but still felt like a struggle. At mile 5 I just started to feel tired and burnt out but at mile 6 I got a second wind and tried to pick it up.

 

Unfortunately, that second wind was short-lived as I struggled through miles 7 and 8 as well. In 2017 I ran a 1:13 on this course, I knew I wasn’t in that shape yet but was hoping for a 1:17. Looking at my watch, I saw that slowly slipping away and I was doing everything I could to not get passed by the 1:20 pace group.

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The pacer for the 1:20 group is a running friend of mine so it was nice to see a familiar face after a bad race.

As much as I kicked on the way to the finish line. I still ended up finishing right with the 1:20 pace group. I ended up running a 1:20:04. I was and still am very sad about my time. I put in a lot of work and training and a 1:20 doesn’t show half the work I put in. But I keep telling myself, you have to have those bad runs to get a good run. So I think those good runs are coming, just have to keep hanging on!

 

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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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Reindeer Run 5K 2016

Most years, the Reindeer Run 5K is my last race of the year. The weather is too unpredictable in December to plan to race in Cleveland. Also, I like to enjoy the holidays and take a break from racing. However, not only is the Reindeer Run my last race of the year, it is also the last race usually until March! It’s a crazy long time for me to not have any races.

With this race being the last of the year, I always hope to run a good time. That whole go out with a band kind of thing. Luckily, Ryan ran his last race of the year a day before mine so I had my own personal pacer for this race.

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It was a little chilly at the start and I felt like I was the only one in shorts. But I had these awesome penguin socks that were so festive, I had to show them off. Plus, I really like running in shorts.

Ryan and I had discussed the pace and finish time I wanted so we were all set. He let me start the race on my own and then jumped in a few meters later so the start line was less crowded. However, we didn’t quite come in on time for the first mile. And I think the first mile was a bit long. No worries, we had the second mile to tackle. However, my legs just didn’t have it.

With 1.5 miles to go, I think Ryan realized we weren’t going to hit the goal time and knew it just wasn’t there. With that in mind, he stayed positive and kept pushing me to keep running hard and pass people. It was really nice, especially with 1 mile to go when my legs wanted to slow down and felt like sludge.

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I ended up running a 23:05, definitely not what I was aiming for. After running the Turkey Trot, I really thought I could pull off a good last race of the year. Oh well, I have a couple months off racing now and then the plan is to come back faster for 2017!

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Dead Sprint 5K 2016

Quick name the best way to spend a runners Birthday?????

Running a race of course!

Luckily, there are plenty to choose from since my birthday is so close to Halloween.

This race takes place in my neighborhood so it makes it easy to run every year as I cannot pass up the chance to run on familiar territory.

After having a couple rough races this fall, I was finally getting excited to run as I was seeing results finally. My goal for this race was to run just a little faster than my previous 5K. No PR, just running a little faster with every race.

The start for this race is always tricky as there are a lot of kids who want to line up at the front of the line.I lined up fairly close to the start since it is a smaller race and I wanted to get space right away without trampling anyone over. That plan worked perfectly and I eased right into a comfortable pace early on.

There were A LOT of people who went out way too fast. Both kids, adults and seasoned runners. While it might have sucked for them because they died out within the first half mile to a mile. It was great for me because I had lots of people to pick off and pass for the rest of the race.

The first mile came and went and I felt pretty strong. I kept a pretty similar pace for the second mile which is extremely rare for me. Usually the second mile I slow down significantly.

I was pretty confident that I was in 2nd place overall female by this point. I could only see the other girl on the long straightaways so I knew I wasn’t going to catch her. However, as I started to close in on the person in front of me, I noticed they had a bun, short shorts and shaved legs. OMG, how did I not know about this other girl! Shoot.

However, this other girl was slowing down so I knew I could catch her. Hopefully, she didn’t try to come with me as I passed her.

As I got closer, I realized this girl had a beard! And a man bun! It wasn’t a girl at all. Phew.

Knowing the neighborhood was awesome because I knew where I was the whole time and how far the finish was. I know my Garmin would tell me the actual distance but sometimes it helps to be able to visualize it.

As I was coming down the main street, Rocky River drive, I was reaching that pukey phase where I knew I couldn’t push any harder. I saw Ryan on the side of the street and asked if there was anyone behind me and thankfully he said no.

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I crossed the line as the second overall female and first in my age group with a time of 22:41. A slight improvement on the last race so I was perfectly happy with that.

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Huge congratulations to Ryan who was the overall winner for the second year in a row. My goal is to get fast enough that I can also be the overall female winner with him.

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Bodhi and Bandit did not race but they did discover how to lay on the heating pad when it is on. Sadly, there are no medals for this.

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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.