It’s been a pretty uneventful 2 weeks of training. Which is my favorite! Uneventful means I had no injuries or craziness and could just follow my plan. Speaking of my plan, I am still very undecided on it and making changes to it as I go. One thing I do like is running a high mileage week one week and then running less the next week.
55 Mile Week
Sunday – 5 miles treadmill
Monday – 7 miles treadmill
Tuesday – 5 miles treadmill
Wednesday – AM – 4 miles treadmill
PM – 3 miles outside with the HealthSource Brewery Run
Thursday – AM – 9.5 miles treadmill
Later in the AM – 5.5 miles treadmill
Friday – 3 miles treadmill
Saturday – 13 miles Total – 55 miles
39.2 Mile Week
Sunday – Yoga at 2nd Sole
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – AM – 6.1 miles treadmill
PM – 7 miles treadmill
Wednesday – 3.1 miles treadmill
Thursday – 8 miles treadmill
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 15 miles outside Total – 39.2 miles
The past couple weeks the Cleveland Marathon has been coming out with some pretty awesome news/perks for the 40th anniversary of the race. Here are just a few BUT the race route is announced next week!!!!!
Coming up: This weekend I have a 17 miler and then next week I have a 20 miler! I don’t know why I get so excited for the first 20 miler of the training cycle.
In my last post, I talked about how I had been having shoulder pain as well as hamstring pain. Luckily, both of those pains subsided and I was able to keep all the pain away and run 57 miles in a week! I have my friends at the HealthSource of Avon to thank for keeping everything in working order lately. Every nagging pain they gladly take care of and show me exercises to keep it at bay.
Although I did run 57 miles, I don’t think that is a habit I should get used to.I am an injury prone runner after all. And while I am a self proclaimed high mileage junkie, I followed up the next week by only running 22 miles. Actually, I had a horrible cold that completely knocked me on my butt and could barely run.
57 Mile Week
Sunday – 9.2 miles treadmill
Monday – AM – 6 miles treadmill
PM – 5 miles treadmil
Tuesday – 6 miles tread
Wednesday – AM – 7 miles treadmill
PM – 7 miles outside
Thursday – 5 miles treadmill
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 12 miles outside
Total – 57.2 miles
22 Mile Week
Sunday – 5 miles treadmill
Monday – Sick
Tuesday – Sick
Wednesday – Sick
Thursday – 5 miles -treadmill – I thought I was feeling better
Friday – Sick
Saturday – 12 very hilly miles running Snowville to Riverview.
Total – 22 Miles
After looking at my training plan, I’ve decided to make some changes to it. I want to make sure I keep the mileage somewhat normal. I will post the updated training plan once I put the finishing touches on it.
A lot of my treadmill miles were because I was running very early in the morning so it was too dark to run outside on my own. Other times it was just too cold. Unfortunately, I see snow in the forecast so I will likely be on the treadmill for a few more days.
If you need another reason to sign up for the Cleveland Marathon, they now have these awesome keychains for all participants!!!
And if you want a chance to win a free entry to the Cleveland Marathon, go check out Andrew’s Instagram he also has a book giveaway this week as well!
What am I back from? Vacation? Break? Blogging Regularly? Running?
I am back for being a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador for another year! Which should also mean I’ll be back to blogging regularly.
I am very excited to share with you my training, nutrition, injuries, race preparation and of course my pups!
Right now, I am planning to run the full marathon again. (You can read last year’s recap here.) However, that could always change to the half due to injuries. I’ve been battling hamstring issues for the past year and just recently I had a random shoulder injury. It’s been a lot of fun. (insert sarcasm).
The past couple marathons, I used the Hanson’s training plan. Which I recommend for an experience marathoner (not necessarily fast, just someone who has a couple marathons under their belt.) This year I am using a variation of the Pfitzsinger Plan.
The new plan is kinda crazy and has some high mileage which sounds dumb for an injury prone runner. However, it has less speedwork and more tempo which I thought would help my hamstring injury.
To be honest, I am completely failing at this plan. Which is awesome so I can show you all the modifications I make throughout a plan and why. Most of my failing right now is due to shoulder pain. Who knew you needed your shoulders to run?
If you are looking at this plan, you will notice I have a goal marathon in April. I am hoping to run a marathon in early April to really test my legs out. I will post a followup training plan to the transition from the April Marathon to the May Marathon. The Pfitzsinger plan is really good at running multiple marathons.
If you have any questions please let me know but I am excited for another journey with the Cleveland Marathon Experience.
Now, with being back for another year of Cleveland Ambassador fun, I have a giveaway!
For the first time ever, I will not be doing the giveaway on my blog but rather on Instagram. So you will want to follow @thetamburarunner on instagram where the giveaway will take place. The giveaway will not start until this afternoon so you have plenty of time to follow me and stalk all my pictures 🙂
A couple days ago a coworker asked “Is this your favorite weekend of the year?” She was referring to the Cleveland Marathon weekend and I was like “no not my favorite but probably close.” I lied, it’s totally one of my favorite weekends of the year. Every day from Friday-Sunday is just filled with so many fun activities. I’ve dreaded writing this recap because then it means it is really over.
After feeling quite nauseous for the Cleveland Marathon in 2015, I made some changes to how I fueled for the Cleveland Marathon this year. It involved a serious carb deplete but with a more normal carb load. I tend to get full fast and don’t digest food quickly enough so I spread my foods out throughout Friday and Saturday. But on race morning, I got up at 2am to eat half a turkey sandwich and powerade to make sure I had enough fuel and went back to bed.
My alarm went off at 4:10 which wasn’t too bad since we normally get up around 4:20-4:30. Finally it pays off to be an early bird. The plan was to leave by 5:10 so that gave me enough time to take the dogs out, get dressed, eat breakfast (peanut butter toast and half a cup of coffee) and do some warm up stretches.
Most marathons I wear shorts and a tank. However, Cleveland weather made it very difficult to decide what to wear this year. Not just what to wear to run but what to wear to the start. I stuck with my shorts and tank but added compression socks, sleeves and gloves to keep warm. I also had hand warmers and last minute decided to wear a hat because it was sleeting. Yes, sleeting in mid May.
This was by far the most nervous I have been for a marathon in a long time. I just needed this race to start so that I could start moving. Thankfully the time went by quickly and after the national anthem the race started. I was way back in the middle of corral B with the 3:35 pace group so it took us a while to get to cross the start line.
Once we crossed the start line, our pacer went straight to work. It was awesome because I just let him do his thing and maneuvered the crowds and kept us on pace. There was a lot of dodging to be had with walkers who somehow ended up in corral A and B and were being tripped over. Then there was a lot of dodging with the puddles and those weird groove things that the buses use downtown. I hated to waste time and energy dodging puddles but I wanted my feet to be dry as long as possible.
The first couple miles of the race are obviously crowded but there is a 10k, half and full all together for those miles. And by crowded it is not crazy shoulder to shoulder but it still a crowd running through the streets. I ignored my watch and let the pacer tell me whether we were on or off pace. Our pace was to be 8:12 per mile.
The one thing that could not be ignored was the weather. It was windy and hail by mile 2. I told myself there would be a break in the weather and I would be fine within the hour.
Now the first couple miles of a marathon always feel great but its those miles after where I start to check in with myself. How do I feel? Good, the pace feel easy. Almost too easy. Does anything hurt? Yes, my hamstring around mile 8. How is my stomach, is it queasy? No feels pretty good but too nervous to take a gel (bad Jess).
I kept looking around and I was the only idiot in a tank. All the guys had on short sleeves or long sleeves. The girls all had on tights, capris or jackets. Mile 7-9 was on a street called Train Ave. It’s a very “Cleveland” type of street (if you know what I mean, wink wink) but I was happy to see some supporters out there with fun signs. That street is not easy to get to and the weather was just awful at this point.
I finally got to see Francesca and Bethany who came out to cheer. I thought the weather would have scared them away but there they were bundled up in winter coats in May and cheering! It was around mile 9 that I finally finished my first gel that I started around mile 8. The half marathoners broke off around mile 10.5 and that’s when the course really started to thin out. I also lost Dan at this point. He was running with my pace group and doing awesome. I couldn’t talk to him because I was in the zone but it was nice to have someone I knew with me.
Mile 11 I remember very very well because once we got on to Detroit it was like Mother Nature put a switch on. We were running straight into the wind and snow/sleet/hail that was coming down. That hail hitting my shoulders was quiet painful. I am so happy that I had a hat on to protect my face!
At the half marathon mark, we got a new pacer and the original pacer dropped out. This was their plan all along and I was aware but the first pacer was doing good, I didn’t want him to go! The second pacer did really well and jumped right into pace. It was like he runs that pace in his sleep and did it effortlessly.
I forgot to mention that very early on, I don’t know if the mile markers were off or if everyone’s watches were off because my watch would beep but the mile marker I couldn’t even see yet. However, I was feeling really good and wasn’t going to let that bother me.
Between mile 17 and 18, I finally got to see Ryan! He was pacing the 3:25 group. Mile 17 was into the wind but I was looking forward to turning around so that I could finally have the wind at my back. Now the whole race I kept telling myself I could pick it up at mile 20 0r 23, depending on how I felt. Lucky for me, my pacer started picking it up for me. Maybe a little too fast that late in the race though. I just told myself to keep holding on though and kept gluing myself to him. So much so that I kept bumping elbows with him during the race.
Just before Mile 22, I lost my pace group. I just couldn’t hold on to that pace anymore and had to drop back. I was really hoping I would have a second wind and get back to them. However, I was happy with how well I stayed on my pace without them. Miles 22-24 are hard miles of any marathon. To hold onto your pace that late is a huge accomplishment and I was happy with it.
Mile 25=8:45. Mile 26=8:51
Everyone always complains about running the Shoreway. However, I really like the Shoreway. I love the views of the lake, the views of downtown and the fact that I am running on a road I never ever get to run on. The last 2 miles really fell off for me but not as bad as other marathons I have ran. But that whole picking it up at the end thing just wasn’t happening. There were these gusts off the lake that were borderline pushing me over. I am not even exaggerating. I was literally getting pushed.
I looked at my watch and doing the math, I knew I wasn’t going to BQ, which was sad. My training had went so well and a sub 3:35 was totally there. However, I ran a really good race, felt really good and still had a chance at a PR. A PR that I set back in 2009!
I could still see my pace group but they were way too far away for me to catch. I came off the ramp of the Shoreway and there was Dan, jumping and cheering. He was so pumped it made me pumped and got me out of my funk that I wasn’t going to BQ.
I picked it up to finish and passed as many runners as I could. Not that it really mattered but it kept me going and kept the pace up. I ended up crossing the line in 3:37:57. The best part about crossing the finish, was that I could see Ryan right away. He was jumping and pumping his fists that I PR’d. He was so happy for me.
Below is the time from my Garmin Connect and the distance I had for the race.
So what’s next?
Not gonna lie. I thought about signing up for another race immediately. Like that Bayshore marathon in 2 weeks. However, I decided I would hold off and start a full training plan all over again and do Erie in the fall.
As for Cleveland, I can’t wait to come back next year as the race turns 40 in 2017. Rain, wind, hail, sleet and snow couldn’t scare this girl away from the Most Cleveland Race Ever.
Special thanks to every one who came out to the race on Sunday. The weather was less than ideal and I was freezing while running so I can’t imagine how cold the volunteers and spectators were and they were still out there. Special thanks to the Cleveland Marathon staff who puts this race together every year. I get to see first hand how hard it is to shut down a city for a day but every year they make it work. Special thanks to Ryans parents, Francesca, Bethany and the Nush family who braved the elements to come out and cheer. Special thanks to the Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors who inspire me daily and finally special thanks to Ryan for dealing with my nerves but more importantly for being my biggest fan and pushing me to be my best.
I can’t believe race week is finally here. It’s so crazy to think about training from January-May and to see that the race is just days away.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been pretty nervous all week for this race. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely excited but definitely more nervous than past marathons. You would think after 15 marathons I would have the nerves thing figured out.
Training Week 17
Monday – 1 Hour Elliptical and arms and abs strength training. Tuesday – 1.25 mile warm up, 7x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1.25 mile cooldown Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 7 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown Friday – Rest Day Saturday – 10.13 – 1 mile warm up, 8 at marathon goal pace, 1 mile cool down Sunday – Rest Day
Training Week 18
Monday – 1 hour elliptical
Tuesday – 1 mile warm up, 3x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1 mile cooldown Wednesday – 3 mile easy run, 20 minute elliptical and strength abs and arms Thursday – Rest Day Friday – Rest Day but light abs and arms strength work Saturday – Rest Day – Watch the 5K, go the expo and eat carbs Sunday – RACE DAY!
3 Reasons this week is the worst:
1.) Running Less: The past week has been one of the hardest of my training cycle. Running and working out so little is really tough. Especially after all those weeks of hard workouts. I mean, I really missed my tempo run this week. Who knew I would grow to love tempo runs!
2.) Carb Deplete/Reload: This past week is also rough because it’s carb deplete week/reload week. A lot of people skip the carb deplete part of carb loading. I mean who really wants to go through that. However, I love torture so I definitely do it. What does it mean? Long story short, after my last long run, I cut back majorly on all carbs. I basically cut back to less than 50 grams of carbs a day. It’s pretty rough. I basically eat lean meat, cheese, eggs and pork rinds for days. However, when it is over I can start carb loading and your body will retain more carb energy…or something like that. This article sums it up much better than I do.
3.) Negativity: I am a very positive person. I like to look on the bright side of most things. Who wants to live their life as a downer? The answer is, most Clevelanders. Sometimes I can’t blame them but man do Clevelanders like to complain about everything. Maybe it’s the weather, the Browns, the marathon (course is too shady or too sunny or too hilly or not scenic enough, etc.). And maybe that’s how some people deal with nerves. It’s Cleveland; what do they expect?! It’s still a relatively flat and fast course and besides downtown, what scenic sites do you want to see? For me, I like to focus on the positive. My training went great even with injuries. I can’t control the weather but it’s shaping up to look very comfortable, if not cold. And I get to run a marathon with 20,000+ of my friends.
What are your favorite carb loading foods? What are you looking forward to?
It’s crazy when you start a training plan and spend these days/weeks/months preparing and then suddenly it’s almost here! Technically, I’m on training week 17 but just typing up the info for weeks 15 and 16. But it’s officially taper time!
Taper time isn’t traditionally my favorite. I struggle with the whole taking it easier for the next 10 days. It’s hard to figure out what to do with all that free time 😉 But really it’s hard to wrap your head around the whole “am I ready?” thing. I mean, if you did the training that would make sense, right?
Training Week 15
Monday – 8ish miles in Boston ( I lost track of the mileage this day as I stopped my watch while trying to find Ryan
Tuesday – 1 mile warm up, 5x800m repeats, 400 recovery, and 1 mile repeat, 1 mile cooldown Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 8 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown Friday – Rest Day Saturday – Hermes 10 miler (1 mile WU, 10 miles, 9 miles after) – Last 20 miler Sunday – Rest Day
Total Mileage: 44.5
Training Week 16
Monday – 1 Hour elliptical Tuesday – 1 mile warm up, 6×1 mile repeats, 400 recovery, 1 mile cooldown Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical Thursday – AM Workout: 1 mile warm up, 9 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
-PM Workout: 1 Mile WU, 4 miles at MGP – 5.20 total at 8:02 pace Friday – Rest Day Saturday – 5K Run (15.17 miles total for the day at 7:59) Sunday – Spinning
Total Mileage: 40.87
So while I don’t necessarily trust the McMillian Calculator anymore, it’s fun to see what it thinks you might run based off past races. Right now it is predicting at 3:25-3:28 for me. However, I have no interest in even trying that right now. I think I could hold that pace for maybe 15 miles and then would want to quit..with 11 miles to go (which I would probably be walking if I went out too fast). Instead, I will be starting with the 3:35 pace group and sticking with them for as long as I can. If things go well, I’ll pick it up towards the end and come in earlier. If things go ok, I’ll finish with them. And let’s just not even consider options if it doesn’t go well. Positive thinking only.
What are you top reasons why you are ready to run a race?
Going into race weekend I had a very specific game plan for this marathon. I trained hard and planned to give it all I had but I never shared with you my goal. My goal was to run with the 3:35 pace group until mile 20 and then push the pace then to a 3:33:30 finish. It sounded easy enough to me and based off my training plan I was confident I was ready.
A lot of people were concerned about the weather but I decided to ignore the weather all week and pray for rain. I trained for a specific race and I was determined to run that time. The only thing I needed to know from the weather was what to wear.
I got downtown early this morning and met up with the rest of my ambassador crew and stayed calm before the race as I have some major race nerves. The Ambassador crew was absolutely amazing this year, I loved hearing about their training throughout the year! As I got into my corral I realized that my pace team was not in my corral but that actually all the pace teams were in the A-B corrals. So I broke a race rule and went up snuck (snuck is not a real word) into the corral where my pace team was. I absolutely hate when people do this so I am sorry for being a hypocrite but I had a plan!
When I got into my pace group, I ran into a fellow Second Sole runner, Crystal as well as fellow Ambassador PAM! Just before the race started, it started to rain. Not a downpour (I don’t think) but enough to get wet…and cool everyone down. I had went back and forth on if I wanted to wear a hat today so I was suddenly second guessing that I didn’t have my hat!
When the race started it was the normal start and go until we actually reached the timing mat to start the race. Naturally, it was crowded and I did a lot of weaving but I finally got to the pace group again and literally glued myself to them. Also part of my plan. I will literally run on my pacers heels or right next to them.
Miles 1-7: 8:17, 8:08, 7:58, 8:00, 8:04, 8:00, 8:12
As we ran through the streets of Cleveland I was very focused on my race and put a smile on my face to keep me relaxed throughout the run. I let the pace group dictate the pace even when our watches had beeped when we weren’t at the mile markers yet.
My plan was to take a Gu at mile 7 but I was feeling kind of full and not really wanting a Gu yet so I pushed it off to mile 8. I had a plan and it didn’t include eating Gu at specific miles, it included gluing myself to the pace group. I was still with them so that’s all that mattered.
At mile 8, I finally took my first Gu and immediately felt a boost from the sugar and caffeine. You see, the week of the marathon, I gave up caffeine. As if running marathons wasn’t crazy enough. Throughout the entire race I had grabbed water at every water stop. I took a small sip and then poured a little on each arm to keep myself cool.
Normally, I run with music to keep my nerves in check. However, I waited til almost mile 9 before I finally put them in my ears. I was enjoying the race and the crowds and my friends who came out to cheer.
Especially this little one who had a road runner sign and kept asking “Where is Jess going?”
Now as much fun as I was having on the course, I realized I was having a slight problem…I was full! I felt like I had demolished an entire meal. I couldn’t even think about opening my second Gu. Luckily, I had packed some Run Gum with me so I was able to get a little boost from that. For the record, Run Gum tastes pretty gross but I have noticed the caffeine in it helps me on my runs.
At mile 16, I slowly started to drop back from the pace group. I hoped that if I slowed down, my stomach would settle/make more room and I could just catch back up. I told myself that I had just carb loaded too much and that I would burn it off and be fine.
Miles 17-22: 8:32, 8:30, 8:22, 8:37, 8:47, 9:04
I kept the pace group in my line of sight and looked forward to the turnaround which was quickly approaching which meant that I would finally see Ryan! Sadly, I had hoped that when I would see him I would still be with the pace group. Luckily, I was still very close to the group but I gave him a big smile so that he knew I was okay.
At the turnaround, I felt a nice surge of energy and knew all I had to do was run back downtown. Sounded easy enough. I even talked myself into taking my second Gu around mile 20. The second Gu didn’t go so well. I literally opened it, took a tiny bit and threw it on the ground. Instead, I popped my second piece of Run Gum to keep myself distracted from not getting any Gu.
It had been drizzling on and off during the race but by mile 21, it had cleared up and was starting to get warm. I kept running, even though my pace group had slipped out of sight. I figured I might get a burst of energy and catch them on the Shoreway or I could still PR.
As I was running down Lake Ave, I saw a woman with a tray of watermelon that she was holding out for runners. I avoid unofficial water stops most of the time but I couldn’t pass up that watermelon at that time. I grabbed a small piece and slowly took tiny bites out of it and carried it with me for the next mile or so. I wouldn’t find out til after the race that the woman I took watermelon from was my friend Beth from Zumbercani! The must have really been getting to me!
The further down Lake Avenue I got, the closer I got to the Shoreway and I knew the Shoreway was only about 2 miles from the finish. The 3:40 pace group had not passed me yet so I was still on pace for a PR. I was assuming that I was on pace to finish in 3:38.
Miles: 23-26.2: 9:09, 9:11, 10:19, 9:33
I know most people dislike running on the Shoreway but for me, it’s the only chance I ever get to run on the Shoreway. It makes me feel like a rebel getting to run on that wide open road along Lake Erie.
As I was running down the shoreway, I was tired but not anywhere near walking. I could still hold a running pace and I intended to. I caught up to some runners that were in my 3;35 pace group who had also fell away from the group. Then up ahead, I recognized a runner and I pointed at him, caught up to him and decided I would run the rest of the race with him. That runner was fellow Ambassador, Andrew Runs A Lot who was battling some painful blisters from the wet course earlier in the day.
Andrew and I didn’t say much those last few miles. We were hot and we were tired but we had the same goal and it was to get to the finish line and finish the race. I was still battling nausea but was happy I could run with a friend those last few miles to distract me.
As we reached mile 26, Andrew picked up his pace and headed to the finish line. I was right behind him and smiled the whole way to the finish. I wasn’t going to PR at this race and I wasn’t going to BQ but I could honestly say that I had a blast and enjoyed every minute of 14th marathon. As soon as I finished all I wanted to do was run the race all over again.
I ended up 5th in my age group with a time of 3:42:51, my 3rd fastest marathon.I could easily be disappointed in not meeting my goals and following my plan but instead I feel encouraged. I feel like I was close to my goals and I know that the PR and BQ are in my near future.
I think it is pretty obvious that I will be back again next year. I love this race so much! Thank you Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon for yet another great race!