Uncategorized

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.

river-run-half-marathon-2-2016
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.

river-run-half-marathon-2016

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.

Uncategorized

MidTown Classic 10K

I’m about 3 weeks late writing this post but at least I haven’t skipped writing the recap. Ever since I have started my blog, I have blogged about every race I have ran, except 1. The one I didn’t write I was just so busy writing about other topics that months had gone by and I though it would have been silly to recap it at that point.

Anyways, about 3 weeks ago I ran this race and it was the 3rd year in a row doing so. I had 2 goals for the race, run a decent time in the 45-46 minute range and place top 3 overall.

Race morning was cold, rainy and windy which was a surprise compared to the nice weather we had been having. I brought 2 pairs of shoes to the race. 1 to warm up in and if they got wet I could change to another pair. I ended up not getting too wet during the warm up but changed shoes anyways so that I could race in my Hokas! I bought my first pair of Hokas recently and I may never run in anything else. Seriously great shoes.

The race starts the 5K and 10K at the same time so as the race started I had to remind myself to stay at my own pace. I tried to see how many people were in front of me but it was hard to tell with both races at the same time. As we got close to where the 5K split off I was just closing in on a girl and was excited to pass her. Unfortunately, as I went to pass her, she turned and was only running the 5K.

I looked ahead and tried to pick off my next victim. There was someone in the distance and I kept trying to figure out if it was a guy or a girl. Every time I got close to this runner they would get this sudden surge of energy and go ahead. At the turnaround point, I could tell I was in a solid 4th place female overall. There was no way I would catch the next female unless she decided to start walking. I also figured out the runner I was trying to pass was a guy lol.

At this point in the race, I felt really good. I looked at my watch and I was going to run a good time! Probably in the 45’s which was exactly where I wanted to be. I’m not sure what happened around mile 5 but I developed a horrible cramp in my side. Like the world’s worst side stitch. I told myself there was only a mile left and I totally had it in me. However, no matter what I did, the cramp just got worse. I almost wished that I would pass out because the pain was so bad. I slowed to a 9:30 pace and waited for the next runner to pass me. I even started to contemplate dropping out because I was in so much pain.

I really have no idea how I finished the race but I eventually did and even with slowing way down during the entire last 1.2 miles I managed to finish in 46:29 and 4th female overall but 2nd in my age group. The girl in 5th was close to getting me but I must have just barely kept ahead. As soon as I finished the race I thought the cramp would have stopped. However, it didn’t and it hurt just to walk.

Friends watching the news caught me on the news post race!
Friends watching the news caught me on the news post race!

3 weeks later, the doctors are trying to figure out what this pain was and why it is still causing me pain now. Luckily it has finally stopped hurting all the time but for weeks I couldn’t even walk without pain. Fun Times. Sorry for the downer of a recap LOL

Bodhi really likes the brick as well
Bodhi really likes the brick as well

The good news is I received my 2nd brick from this race for placing in my age group. The first year I ran it I didn’t place but ever since then I have made it my goal to get a brick!

Uncategorized

River Run Half Marathon 2014

It was no secret that all summer I was hoping that River Run would be the race I would go sub 1:40. It’s know for being a fairly flat race and net downhill. All I had to do was run smart. (not always easy)

Race morning Ryan and I made a last minute decision to drive to the race instead of taking the buses. The buses take too long to leave and get there so when you get to the start of the race, you have to get into a ridiculously long bathroom line or warm up for the race. Driving to the start allowed Ryan and I to go to the bathroom, warm up, go to the bathroom again and keep as many layers on as I wanted without having to throw away clothes.

At the start of the race, it was laughable how many people (and I admit they were women) were at the very front of the start line and you knew there was no way they were going to run a fast half marathon. I wish newer runners understood, how important it is to line up where you belong for races and not at the very front. End Rant.

Sexy Hermes people modeling the River Run shirt which I am a huge fan of. Womens cut shirts and pink ink!
Sexy Hermes people modeling the River Run shirt which I am a huge fan of. Womens cut shirts and pink ink!

I had looked up the pace I had planned on running and had planned to stick as close to that as I could. In the past I have admittedly gone out way too fast for the first 3 miles and then died out for the last 10.1. When the race started I immediately dialed into my pace and was happy that it felt easy. My next hope was that someone nearby would be close to my pace and I could run with them for the race.

The first 3-4 flew by at a 7:34 pace for those miles and was feeling good and taking running very seriously. My watch was clicking early though as if the mile markers were off. There were a couple roller hills I had forgot about as well as a lot of turns but I was confident I would crush my PR and run around 1:38 because I thought I could pick it up. Miles 5-7 I ran crazy random paces at 6:49, 7:10 and 6:57.

I believe this photo was around mile 6? Yes the guy behind me has on a sweet purple mesh top.
I believe this photo was around mile 6? Yes the guy behind me has on a sweet purple mesh top.

I took my gu around mile 7 or 8. I really don’t remember but I was definitely needing it. I was hungry and getting these weird chills. Probably needed food or sugar because I don’t like to eat much before hard races.

I looked down at my watch and I was going back and forth between a 7:30 and a 7:40 pace and I knew at mile 9 a large hill was coming up that kicks my guza. I was wrong because i think the hill was mile 9.5 or 10 but it was killer. I passed a couple people but when I got to the top and got to come back down, I couldn’t get my legs to get going fast again. I slipped to a 7:45 pace and told myself the last couple miles would fly by and at mile 11 I’ll pick it up and cruise to the finish. My watch was continuing to beep early and every mile marker I had off by about .2.

Unfortunately, the wheels came off and I just didn’t have anything left in the tank. My pace slipped to an 8 or 8:15 pace and I had nothing. I felt like I was pushing my legs to go faster but they didn’t listen.

Look at that serious face in both pictures.
Look at that serious face in both pictures.

I swear I love running and was having a good time, despite the look on my face. I just really wanted that PR! I got a little discourage at the end of the race where I saw on my watch 1:39:45 at mile 13.1 but the finish line was further down 😦

I had the course measured at 13.34 but most of my friends had it around 13.17. I ended up coming in at a 1:41:39, a 7:46 pace. (faster than the 5 mile pace I ran the week before! That’s how bad that 5 miler went for me).

River Run Half Marathon Finishers medal
River Run Half Marathon Finishers medal

Overall I was very happy with my time and how well I ran. It wasn’t a PR but I feel like I ran as best as I could. I am now looking for an October or November half marathon so that I can get that half marathon PR!

Uncategorized

Celebrate Westlake 5 Miler

For years I ran the Miles for Smiles 5K, when I moved to the westside, I went back and forth between running the Celebrate Westlake 5 miler and the Oktoberfest 5K. This year, like most, the 5 miler won my attention. I never race well at this race but it’s still a great race and great training.

Celebrate Westlake

This race falls on Labor Day weekend and is almost always very hot! (although the first year I did it, it was freezing cold and raining). The temps for the race were to start in the mid 70s and rise to 90 throughout the day so I was eager for the race to start before it got too hot.

I felt comfortable after a nice easy 1.5 mile warmup, however, as I walked to the start line I noticed that the temperature had already rose significantly.

The first mile is flat so my plan was to go out conservatively at a 7:20 pace. However, during the race I ended up going out at a 6:50 pace. Mix going out too fast with temperatures rising and my wheels just fall off. My 2nd mile was around a 7:50 but felt like I was pushing to a 10 minute pace. At mile 3 you run almost a mile on a flat trail. It messes with your time a little but not too bad.

After I finished the trail section, I think my legs finally recovered from going out too fast and started to get into their normal running routine. as I was suddenly below 7:30 paces. The last .5 of the race or so the 5K merges in but the road is huge and completely blocked off so there is plenty of room for everyone. However, it was nice to have more runners to pick off at the end of the race.

I finished as strong as I could for the race (and of course, almost puked). I ended up with a 38:41 a 7:44 pace. Which is pretty horrible for me. But you have to run some bad races to get some good races in!

Uncategorized

Outrun Hunger 5K

Hello Snow
Hello Snow

I swear when I registered for this race the weather said 47 and sunny. I must have missed the memo that we were we also getting 5 inches of snow the day before the race. (Note: this race was almost 2 weeks ago and I’m just getting to the recap now.)

Needless to say, I was less than excited to run this race with as much snow as we were getting. Since I was already battling plantar fasciitis I set my goal to 1) not fall and 2) treat it as a speed workout.

Photo courtesy of CleGreg
Photo courtesy of CleGreg

I struggled with my footing the first mile of the race and lost some time. However, the sun came out and I swear the snow started melting. My footing on the ground got better as the race went on.

Courtesy of Ryan
Courtesy of Ryan

I had zoned out very early on in this race. I had no idea what place I was in and barely looked at my watch for fear of what the time would tell me.

Photo courtesy of CleGreg
Photo courtesy of CleGreg

Once again during a 5K, I crushed the 2nd mile, usually I struggle during the second mile and pick it up the 3rd mile. I kept up my pace and cruised through the finish line for 2nd overall female and first in my age group. Official Time of 23:22, with the bad footing and the giant hill I was happy to go under 24 minutes.

Cutting Board Awards
Cutting Board Awards

I have to admit the only reason I signed up for this race was for the chance to win one of the awesome cutting board age group awards.  However, after learning more about The Centers for Families and Children, I’ll be back next year for the cause and not the award,

Uncategorized

St. Malachi 5 Miler

I believe over 4,000 runners showed up for the race and I’m so short you can’t even come close to finding me in this pic.

Starting line
Starting line

I was really nervous about this race with my plantar fasciitis flare up going on. I did a 1.5 mile warm up and I could already feel the tightness and soreness. That tightness got worse just before the start from standing around in the cold. When the gun went off I was so nervous my legs weren’t going to work they were so tight.

As funny as my legs felt, I just went through the motions of the race and told myself “run your own race“. Malachi is a huge race with the top runners in the area participating. I’m lucky to come in the top 10 of my age group for this race so it is nice to focus on solely competing with myself.

I ran the first mile in 6:45 and the 2nd mile is mostly downhill so I wasn’t worried about holding a certain pace or pushing myself. However the 3rd mile is mostly flat and you feel that downhill on your legs. I would have ran a pretty good 5K race at this point. The next section is up the huge hill around the browns stadium, it went by a lot faster than I expected. However, my pace went way down.

Fierce Face
Fierce Face

For the last mile, I was concentrating on getting up and over the last hill which is actually the Superior bridge. Once you are over the bridge it is all downhill from there (in the best way possible). I let that downhill carry me down the bridge and saw my pace picking up. In the past the finish line would be not far after you get off the bridge. This year the finish line was down a huge huge hill. I barreled down it and hoped it would get me to my goal time.

I was shooting for anything in the 36s. It’s not a PR but it’s a time I felt I could run while dealing with this plantar fasciitis. As hard as I was pushing down that hill, I didn’t quite make my goal. I did however run a 37:12 a 7:26 pace, so only 12 seconds from being in the 36s. Not my best time and not my worst so I’ll take it and improve from there.

Malachi Love at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood
Malachi Love at Rozi’s Wine House in Lakewood

I finished out the day with 8 more miles making it 14 for the day.

While looking through the photos from the race, I found this gem of a finish line photo. I have high hopes that one day I can get a photo like this.

Sidenote: I have no idea who this guy is. Welcome to the blog.
Sidenote: I have no idea who this guy is. Welcome to the blog.

Do you have any awesome finish line photos? Or are you like me and usually get a photo while you are stopping your watch.

Uncategorized

Bulldog 5K

I’m a little behind on blogging but about 2 weeks ago now I ran the Bulldog 5K. It was my first race back after all the asthma stuff and wedding stuff. My only goal was to run anywhere in the 22s.

I registered last minute so I ended up with a large shirt....which is almost the length of my dress.
I registered last minute so I ended up with a large shirt….which is almost the length of my dress.

There are a ton of kids at this race since it takes place at a local church/school. Of course they all lined up at the very front of the starting line. Not ideal but I used it as a way to not go out too fast.

First mile was sub 7 and I really struggled to get a decent breath in while running. By mile 2 I had it under control and was struggling to keep my pace. For the 3rd mile I was able to kick it up. Despite kicking, I was being passed by all these guys!

By this time I was doing the math in my head to see where I would end up and I was pretty sure I was in the high 23s. I wasn’t happy about it but it was my first race back. However, when I turned the corner, I looked at my watch and I had a chance to go well under 23!

Kicking...don't puke
Kicking…don’t puke

As I neared the finish line, I wasn’t in the 23s or the 22s, I was in the 21s!

Clock had me at 21:53, my watch said 21:47 but we'll go with the official time
Clock had me at 21:53, my watch said 21:47 but we’ll go with the official time

A 21:53 5K is nowhere near my PR but it was under my goal time and not bad for my first race back!

4th overall and 1st in my age group
4th overall and 1st in my age group

This was also my first race with my new last name. Probably throwing a lot of people off now.

 

Happy, tired running couple. Ryan was first overall!
Happy, tired running couple. Ryan was first overall!

 

Uncategorized

St. Malachi 5 Miler

This is my favorite new race shirt. Seriously super comfy.
This is my favorite new race shirt. Seriously super comfy.

Woke up to a very wet snow and more on the ground than I would have liked to see. I kinda thought they were kidding, when I saw the weatherman saying we would get more snow. Although, by the time I drove down to the race the snow had turned into slush and rain. Not ideal conditions for the St.Malachi race. Just like in this flashback photo of me running Malachi in 2008! (it rained..a lot).

Me. Malachi. 2008
Me. Malachi. 2008

 

Normally, I would complain about it but it really wouldn’t have made a difference. 1.) I was already registered for the race. 2.) If I wasn’t registered I would have registered the day of and ran anyways. 3.) I had a long run to get in (13 miles) so I probably would have been out in it no matter what. So before my warm up I went to say hi to some runners and then got in a 1.5 mile warm up.

The future McCartney's with the future Humble's
The future McCartney’s with the future Humble’s

Every year this race just keeps getting bigger, which is surprising because it is not an easy race. It’s definitely the hilliest 5 miler I race all year. I had 2 goals for this race, 1.) don’t go out too fast and 2.) run somewhere in the 35 min range. Believe it or not I hit both goals. Came a little close to that second goal though!

Starting line. Photo from Hermes Cleveland Facebook page
Starting line. Photo from Hermes Cleveland Facebook page

My first mile is usually in the 6s but I wanted to get it closer to the 7 so that I didn’t die later in the race. Well the road was so slick going over the bridge I was forced to slow down. I think I was just afraid of falling or messing up my IT band but I felt like I was sliding a lot. I kept looking around like “Am I the only one who can’t get a grip on the ground”. But all of that gave me a 7:12 first mile.

Most of the 2nd mile is downhill but I held a pretty steady pace of 7:11 and also avoid most puddles that had developed. Ryan just passed me and gave a “hey babe” so cute. (He was the 26th? male finisher. Baller) However, shortly after this I headed toward Burke Lakefront and sloshed through a ridiculous amount of puddles. I was pretty much soaked up to my shins from the puddles. But I was halfway done, and then I saw Beal, Steph and Jay on my way back, seeing all of them giving me waves cheered me up. Coming up the hill from the Browns Stadium seemed extra long for some reason. It was very tempting to walk but I didn’t, I did my best to keep moving forward and still held a 7:30 pace.

By the time I reached mile 4 I was doing the math in my head to see what I needed to run in order to still run in the 35s. I’m obviously not very good at math because in my head I had figured out it would be closer to a 37 min 5 miler. I did my best to get up and over the last hill and gave a thumbs up (and maybe even a smile) to Matty O as he cheered me on. I came to the top of the hill and charged my way to the finish line. They were snapping pictures as you finished. Clearly I didn’t see the camera and am being covered by my friend Pam.

Photobombing during a race.
That’s not me in the green. I am that little bit of pink behind the green.

Official Finish time 35:58, a 7:12 pace, 14th in my age group (out of 233). Then of course I entered my time into McMillan running calculator to see what it predicts my future times in. I’d be very happy with a 3:31 marathon time but also feel that the 1:40 half marathon is dead on right now, if I went out and ran a half I think that is exactly where I would be.

McMillian Times
McMillan Times

Anyone else use the McMillan Calculator? Is it accurate?

Also, this was my 6th year in a row running this race! (only 4 shirts pictured. I’m wearing one and apparentky I lost 1)

Couple more years and I can make a Malachi blanket out of these!
Couple more years and I can make a Malachi blanket out of these!
Uncategorized

Reindeer Run 5K

I’m really starting to get spoiled with all this nice weather. I really tried to convince myself that I could wear a running skirt for this race but decided against it since it was still only in the 30’s at the start. (Later in the day it warmed up to almost 60!)

Back of the Reindeer Run shirts
Back of the Reindeer Run shirts

I’ve been battling some IT band/other random knee issues the past week. Probably my fault for running 14 miles on Saturday and then 14 more on Thursday. So I avoided speed work and only ran twice before the race. I felt very fresh for this race. Goal for the race was to break out of the 22s. I did at the Turkey Trot and that was a 5 mile race.

After a perfect 1.5 mile warm up I was ready to roll. At the start I was really comfortable. Usually I am shivering at this race. Also helped that I was chatting away with my cousin-in-law Running with Lip Gloss.

MP and I at the Buckeye Half-2 yrs ago?
MP and I at the Buckeye Half-2 yrs ago?

The race started and I was a little annoyed at how many runners were way too close to the front and were clogging up the start. If you are running a 16 minute 5K get in the front. If you are running a 25 minute 5K start a little farther back. If you are walking, get to the very back. Common sense tells you that if you are walking, you will not be walking faster than the runners. Many slower runners were getting stepped on because they were too close to the front.

Once I got to the main road I tried to make up for lost time. For the record, I don’t think the start effected my time. First mile was 6:48. The race is extremely flat and through one of my favorite Westside neighborhoods, Lakewood. I never once felt like I was struggling and went without headphones for this race. At mile 2 my mile had slipped to a 7:20 but I felt pretty good. Just wanted to pick it up a bit for the last mile.

Coming in for the finish
Coming in for the finish

At about mile 2.4, I hit the point where if I pushed myself any harder I was going to puke. So I tried to slow down but think I held the same pace and kept feeling like I was going to puke. By the time I hit the 3 mile mark, I had no kick left in me because I didn’t want to puke. Still managed to cross the line in a time faster than my recent 5K times, 22:22, a 7:13 pace and 7th in my age group.

So not quite my goal time but still getting faster so I’ll take it. Hoping to get some speedwork in this week and I have one more shot at the 5K in the Jingle Bell 5K on Saturday.

Ended the day with about a 3.5 mile cooldown, about 8 miles for the day.

Anyone else race this weekend? Beautiful temps in Cleveland…not so beautiful for the CIM marathon 😦

P.S. Ryan PR’d in the 5K this weekend. Super jealous of him right now!

Uncategorized

St. Malachi 5 Miler 2012

The St. Malachi 5 miler has under gone some changes the past couple of years. For years it had a challenging uphill finish. However, last year there were some changes to the course and it became the most challenging 5 miler in the Cleveland area. It has bridges and multiple hills that will wipe you out and test your running abilities (especially since a lot of running in the Cleveland area is fairly flat). That being said, my Sunday morning run crew decided to run the course as a training run so that we would be familiar/prepared for the course.

DSCN2160
Loving the shirts this year!

The race started out just like we had saw on the map, however, just before the first mile it went slightly different that the map, no big deal. Shortly after it got back on track to what we had practiced, hit the turn around and was on the way back but then went a different way that what we had practiced again! Really took me off my A game AND made the course harder.

With that being said, before the race started I already had in my head that I wanted a PR (I secretly wanted to run 34:59 but didn’t tell anyone). My training and speedwork has gone extremely well this year and I knew the course (or so I thought). My plan was to run the first 4 miles hard (like really hard) and the last mile was supposed to be downhill so I was going to just coast to the end (because if I ran the first 4 miles hard I should be dying at the end of the race).

First 2 miles were 6:52 and 6:51. That was faster than my 5K average pace a few weeks ago! After that I just held on to a sub 7 pace as best I could. The course threw me a loop when we went down into the flats and I was cringing thinking which hill we could possibly come back up. The hill we came back up wasn’t horrible but as soon as you got to the top you turned and went over a bridge. Looking at my watch I knew I was close to a PR but definitely cutting it close.

Ran into Matty O at the top of the bridge and although I was struggling, seeing him took my mind off it (so positive and upbeat and an Ironman) and distracted me from my heavy breathing from going up that hill last hill. He tried to get a picture but I think I was running too fast so I ended up as a blur Winking smile or something like that.

FinishMalachi
THat's me on the end in blue!

When I turned the corner off the bridge I thought I had a little farther to go and didn’t realize how close the finish was. That girl in the lime green shirt and I went back and forth the whole race but at the end of the race we sprinted it out and……she got me. Sooooooo I hugged her after the race.

Official Finish Time: 34:45 a 6:57 pace. Booyah! Personal Record by more than a minute.

I’d say that was the best part about this race but I also enjoyed getting to see everyone and catching up.

431522_10100190146402182_30100505_40773737_768421375_s
#dirtyrunners

Oh and guess what???? Next race is…..Tomorrow!!!!! Yes I am a crazy runner person who runs back to back races and yes tomorrows race is hillier and farther. I mean If I didn’t run all these races what else would I blog about Smile