Training Week 13: The Final Stretch, Happy Hour & A Giveaway Winner

It’s no wonder my but is sore with all the biking that I did on Sunday but it’s officially taper time so I am looking forward to some rest on my legs. I’ve had to make a few adjustments to my Hanson’s training plan these past 2 weeks. Mentally I just had to get a 20 miler in, the Hanson plan has 16 as the longest run but I feel good that I got in at least 1 20 miler. Then for week 13 I decided to do 800 meter repeats instead of the 3×2 miler on my schedule. I just wanted to see what I could run my 800s in since that is typically a predictor for marathon finish times.

This guy makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning
This guy makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning

Training Week 13

Monday – 6 Easy Miles
Tuesday – AM workout – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 8×800 at 3:34, 3:30, 3:30, 3:28, 3:28, 3:20, 3:20, 3:20 with 400 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown.
Wednesday – AM workout – 6.2 Miles, PM workout- 2,500 yd swim
Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 10 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace
Friday – 48 minutes elliptical
Saturday – Run Puritas 5K – 12 miles for the day
Sunday –  11 mile bike ride, 20.8 mile spin class, 3 Miles and then 10 more biking miles on my slow hybrid.

Total Running Mileage: 46.2

Nooma sent me some drinks to rehydrate with in this final stretch of training. Thanks!
Nooma sent me some drinks to rehydrate with in this final stretch of training. Thanks!

Now that it is Taper Time, I have more time for things like Happy Hours. The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is putting on a Happy Hour at Southside this Friday (May 8th) from 5-7.

I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway, the lucky winner is Julie! Julie, I’ve sent you an email with the details to register. There are still other giveaways going on if you didn’t win mine! (Hint)

With the weather finally warming up, I am looking forward to seeing the 10 day forecast for May 17th!


Training Weeks 10 and 11: Cross Training and A Pain in the Butt

I always stress the importance of Cross Training and Strength Training while training. However, I myself tend to slip up and get lazy skip the cross training and strength work. I am always reminded that I need to keep this up when an injury creeps up.

For Training Weeks 10 and 11, I had some issues with piriformis. Which always seems to pop up when I stop my strength exercises and stop cross training. To be honest I stop and back down because I’m lazy and just love running so much that’s all I want to do. But also I get really tired during training and just want to run and sleep. My body thinks its ready for taper time but it’s not quite that time yet! Staying positive helped me to keep getting out the door no matter how tired I was.

Positive Patient PersistentTraining Week 10

Monday – 6 Easy Miles
Tuesday – AM workout – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 3×2 miles in 15:40 with 400 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown.
Wednesday – AM workout – 6 Miles, PM workout- 2,250 yd swim
Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace
Friday – 16 miles
Saturday – Rest Day
Sunday – 8 Miles

Total Running Mileage: 54

Training Week 11

Monday – 6.2 Easy Miles
Tuesday – AM workout – Speedwork 1 mile warmup, 2×3 mile in 23:30 with 800 jog in between and 1 mile cooldown.
Wednesday – AM workout – 1hr elliptical – Miles, PM workout- swim 2,500 yd
Thursday – 1 mile warmup and 9 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 10 miles at 8:43 Pace – Very Hilly throughout Boston/Somerville/Cambridge

       IMG_3666 IMG_3672
Sunday – 10 miles at 8:48 Pace – A little flatter of a run through Somerville and Cambridge

IMG_3685Total Running Mileage: 45.2

Literally a pain in my bitt
Literally a pain in my bitt

To “fix” the piriformis I made a visit to my chiropractor who does ART (active release treatment) and Graston. He was able to loosen up my back and butt to get blood flowing back to that area. I also followed up with a massage at Soothe Massage to continue loosening things up. I try and get a massage about every 6 weeks to keep my body from getting too many knots that the foam roller doesn’t get out.

How do you keep up with your cross training? Anyone have any nagging injuries that creep up?


Akron Marathon 2014

Way way back in 2007 I decided to run the Cleveland Marathon. I trained hard (maybe a little too hard) and ended up injured. I rallied and ran the half at Cleveland that year but wasn’t ready to give up on the marathon so I signed up for Akron 2008.

In September of 2008 I ran the Akron Marathon, my first marathon and I was completely hooked. After spending years running other marathons, I finally made my way back to the Akron Marathon this year for my 12th marathon.

Vintage Moja
Vintage Moja

Training for Akron was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I had been wanting to run Akron again for a while but I was really dreading the hills that I remembered from my first Akron Marathon. When I decided to run, it was mostly because I was already signed up for the RNR New Orleans Marathon and Akron fit in time wise to run and still recover in time to train for New Orleans.

I thought my training went really well for Akron but I really had no idea since I had not ran a marathon in over a year! To get a gauge on pace, I put the 3 half marathons I had ran over the summer into the McMillan Calculator. With the marathon time the calculator gave me, I took the average which was around 3:37. Two of the halves were really hilly and one was fairly flat so I thought it might actually come out somewhat accurate. To be safe, I decided to run a 3:40 to give me a little cushion, to be able to run with a pace group and to give me some time on the hills.

The morning of the race, I got up early, packed up, left the house early and 10 minutes into the drive, the LOW TIRE pressure alert came on the car. It wasn’t a complete flat tire but being so close to home we decided to play it safe and go home to grab the other car. I then decided to drive to the race because I am a crazy driver who has a problem with speeding so I thought I might be able to make up for some lost time.

The problem would not be getting to the race on time but rather getting to the race before the streets were closed and parking lots were filled. When we arrived in downtown Akron, we were greeted with tons of traffic that was barely moving. Barely moving traffic and 2 runners who both needed to use the potty created quite a bit of stress before the race. After about 15 minutes, we finally moved over to another lane and said a little prayer as we turned right down a street and hoped a parking location would be near. We lucked out and got a parking space…on the 5th floor of an elevator-less garage (This would be interesting to get up the stairs post marathon).

With less than 30 minutes before the start, we rushed off  to the nearest bathrooms and Ryan attempted to calm me down. For someone who doesn’t stress out easily, I was majorly stressed out. The good thing was, I had 26.2 miles to pound out that stress. By the time I got into my corral, I had less than 15 minutes before the race but guess what?!?! The weather temps were really nice! Like 55 at the start? Maybe it was warmer, but I really don’t remember.

When the race started, I stuck with my plan to stick to the 3:40 pace group.  I tried to pretty much ignore my watch and just trusted my pacer. When we neared water stations, I sped up to be able to grab what I needed and then waited for my pace group to catch up. I did the same thing on hills because I struggle with hills and I like a minute to compose myself after going up the hills.

Mile 3.9 in 32:43 an 8:24 pace. Estimated finish 3:39:54

photo 1

Mile 8.7 in 1:10:50 an 8:09 pace. Estimated finish 3:33:26

As we looped through downtown a second time the  Pace Leader mentioned he purposely was banking time for the “Sand Run Hills” that would come later in the race. I’m not a fan of banking time but I put my trust in my pacer and hoped for the best. Around mile 11, I found myself struggling to keep up the pace and thought too myself “you didn’t train enough and aren’t ready for an 8:23 pace.” I looked down at my watch an noticed that we were not at an 8:23 pace but an 8 min flat pace.


At that time I slowed myself down and figured I was done running with the pace group. I slowly drifted to the back of the pace group and then they started to get farther away from me. After a few minutes they seemed to realize the pace was too fast and before I knew it I was back with the pace group!

Just before we got to the towpath we hit a super steep downhill that I took very easy. Even going slow on the downhill, my IT bands were screaming! It was quite a long downhill too. Before I knew it, I was heading onto the towpath which is the one section that was fresh in my mind as I did 1 training run on it. It felt great on my legs and was really hard to hold back. Then suddenly I had the urge. The urge to go number 2…

Mile 13.1 in 1:47:48 an 8:14 pace. Estimated finish 3:35:36

I hoped that somehow I could will it away. However, number 2 was being extra persistent and I wasn’t sure how far I would make it. I started to speed up and get away from the pace group. I was hoping to get some space between so I could stop to use the bathroom and eventually catch back up to them. The pace leader mentioned that if you had to stop to use the bathroom, that it would take you 2 miles to catch back up to the group.

I had to skip the bathrooms at mile 13 because there was a line and didn’t get to use a bathroom until mile 15.3ish. I was maybe a minute ahead of the pace group but it took me about 3.5 minutes to use the restroom. As urgent as the number 2 was, it did not urgently leave my body.

When I exited the bathroom, I started running and felt very confident that I could catch the pace group. I slowly picked off runners and was passing a lot of people but could not even see the pace group. I picked probably one of the worst times to go to the bathroom as some of the gnarliest hills were approaching…also know as SAND RUN.


Mile 16.2 in 2:15:13 an 8:21 pace. Estimated finish 3:38:50

I’m not exactly sure where SAND RUN starts but I think I am accurate when I say there are A LOT of hills from mile 16-19. There is also “Heart Rate Hill” I don’t know which mile this was at either but let’s just say it lived up to it’s name.

No matter the hill, I powered through and kept pushing. I never let my pace drop below an 8:34. There may have been some praying, talking/singing to myself and convincing myself that every motivation sign was specifically dedicated to me but there was no giving up. I didn’t do a very good job at taking my gels but after mile 20 I was due for my 3rd gel and it just wasn’t going to happen. I eventually saw some Jolly Ranchers that were being handed out and decided those would be a great idea. Taking candy from strangers, smh.

Mile 20.7 in 2:53:46 an 8:24 pace. Estimated finish 3:40:05

photo 2

After mile 20 I just kept picking off the next mile and holding my pace. By mile 23, I was hoping that my watch was correct and I would come in at just under 3:40! However, the pace group was no where in sight! I told myself they just decided to go too fast and were going to finish well below that. I always think of my Mom at mile 23 because years ago as I was running the Cleveland Full Marathon, I saw her at mile 23. She was jumping up and down like a crazy person going “It’s just a 5K from here, just a 5K!” She didn’t even know at that time that I was about to qualify for Boston.

I found my pace picking up the last couple miles of the race and I was so excited to continue to pass runners. Usually I have hit the wall and am struggling the last couple miles. I have never felt so strong at the end of a marathon. At mile 24 my watch went off early and the same thing happened at mile 25. I held out hope that my watch was wrong and that I would some how run exactly 26.2 miles. Just before mile 26 I looked down and saw 26.2 but no finish line and 3:38!!! However, none of that mattered; my stupid GPS watch is always off. I crossed mile 26 and still had .2 to go.

Love the salty look from the girl next to me
Love the salty look from the girl next to me

I made the final left turn into the stadium and charged to the finish line with a smile on my face. I was so proud of myself. I crossed the finish line as the 44th overall female, 11th in my age group in 3:41:49 an 8:28 pace. Ridiculously close to my goal time and that INCLUDES A BATHROOM PITSTOP!

photo 5

Akron Finish Medal
Akron Finish Medal

I am already planning to run Akron again next year and have set the goal to place 18th female overall because Ryan was 18th overall male this year.

My favorite sub 3 marathoner!
My favorite sub 3 marathoner!

Oh and the completely awesome jacket you get for running the full marathon is ridiculously nice. I wore it for a week straight I loved it so much. I will definitely get a lot of use out of that.



Cleveland Marathon Training Week 14: Decision Time

The day after the Cleveland Marathon last year I registered for the full marathon for 2014. I had attempted to run the marathon last year but came down with the norovirus the morning of the race. I started the race but was too sick and had to call it quits after mile 12. This year I was pumped to run the full, I couldn’t wait! Then after having some awesome long runs I came down with Plantar Fasciitis.

I was lucky to catch the plantar fasciitis early but it’s been bothering me for over 2 months now. The good news is I can still run! The bad news is I can’t run the full marathon. The good news is I can still run the half marathon! I’ve been able to keep my long runs between 10-14 miles but anything higher makes my heels feel like the are on fire. Slowly I’ll get back to the higher mileage but it might take awhile.

Monday: 6 mile run to Heartbreak Hill to watch the marathon, 3 miles after trying to get to Ryan.

photo 1
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Speedwork at a track in Morrisville VT. 1 mile WU, 2×1 mile, 2×800, 2×400 and 1 mile CD

photo 2
Thursday:  3 miles in the am up a mountain in Vermont.

Although it looks pretty it was very hilly so I didn't even enjoy this run. Also there was a lot of ice on the ground.
Although it looks pretty it was very hilly so I didn’t even enjoy this run. Also there was a lot of ice on the ground.

Friday: Abs and Arms
Saturday: Sick
Sunday: Sick

Total Mileage: 18 miles

I was really happy with my training this week and counting on a killer long run on Saturday. I was going to run the Hermes 10 miler but saturday morning I woke up with the norovirus! This thing haunts me and ruins my goal races! I guess it is better to have happened now rather than the morning of the Cleveland marathon this year.


Cleveland Marathon Weeks 12 & 13: Sick and Traveling but not sick of traveling

It has been a crazy couple of weeks here. I came down with some awful flu/cold thing a few weeks ago and it completely knocked me off my feet. I spent most days working and sleeping and trying to get healthy again. I had to give up workouts and missed a speed session but it’s always better to be healthy than to try and muscle through workouts and make yourself worse.

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: sick
Wednesday: Sick
Thursday:  3 miles in the am and 1,250 meter swim
Friday: Abs and Arms
Saturday: 12 mile long run and 800 meter swim
Sunday: 3.15 mile run and 1 hour of strength training

Total Mileage: 18.15 miles

Once I finally got over the flu/cold thing, I walked right into a crazy work schedule and leaving for Boston. I got in workouts when I could and worked out most days that I was on vacation.

Seen on my run
Seen on my run

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 1,250 meter swim
Wednesday: AM Speedwork 1 mile WU, 5-800s, 2-400s, 1 mile CD
Thursday:  abs and arms
Friday: rest day (11 hours in the car driving to Boston)
Saturday: 12 mile long run in Boston and 8 miles of walking
Sunday: 3 miles run and lots of walking

Total Mileage: 20 miles

I love that I was able to get in a lot of miles and time on my feet while in Boston. I love even more that my feet are finally starting to hold themselves together and I can finally start increasing my mileage again!

Do you workout on vacation? I always do!


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 11: Crushing

crush  (krŭsh)

v. crushed, crush·ing, crush·es
1. To press between opposing bodies so as to break or injure.
2. To break, pound, or grind (stone or ore, for example) into small fragments or powder.
3. To put down; subdue: crushed the rebellion.
4. To overwhelm or oppress severely: spirits that had been crushed by rejection and failure.
5. To crumple or rumple: crushed the freshly ironed shirt.
6. To hug, especially with great force.
7. To press upon, shove, or crowd.
8. To extract or obtain by pressing or squeezing
9. A popular soda drink

With the marathon slowly creeping closer I have a big decision to make. Will I be crushed by not be able to run the full marathon this year? Will I drop to the half and crush my PR? Will I attempt the full and risk injury then spend the rest of the summer crushed that I can’t run?

Right now I’m hoping for a miracle and that I can suddenly bust out my 20 milers. I’m bummed that I got my 15, 16, 17 and 18 milers in with no problems and then came down with the plantar fasciitis. I can’t help to think that those long runs went to waste if I end up not being able to run the marathon.

Practically living in compression socks... sometimes over my jeans because i just want my feet compressed.
Practically living in compression socks… sometimes over my jeans because i just want my feet compressed.

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 800 meter swim
Wednesday: AM Speedwork 1 mile WU, 5-800s, 2-400s, 1 mile CD
Thursday:  4 miles in the AM and 800 meter swim in the PM
Friday: Abs and Arms
Saturday: 10 mile long run and 800 meter swim
Sunday: 1 hour of strength training

Total Mileage: 19 miles

I kept the mileage extra low this week but kicked up the pace of my 10 miler and am happy to report that I had zero pain! I also received the go ahead from my doctor to run 12 miles this weekend and see how I feel!

Bodhi and I celebrated the good news with a milkshake.
Bodhi and I celebrated the good news with a milkshake.

Have you ever had to come up with a decision to run or not run? Ever had to drop out of a race or drop down on your distance? I’ve never had to drop down my distance because I usually end up injured and can’t run at all 😦


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 10: Let’s Not Call It A Comeback

Although the mileage was low this week, it was 75% painfree! The plan is to do another week similar to this mileage and if everything continues painfree, I can increase my mileage again!

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: SpeedWork, 1 mile WU, 6-400s, 1 mile CD, 800 meter swim
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 1,350 meter swim (54 pool laps, so close to a mile swim!)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 10 mile long run
Sunday: OutRun Hunger 5K (5 miles for the day)

Cruising in the 5K
Cruising in the 5K

Total Mileage: 22 Miles

Every time I am injured all I can think about is how big of a spot running has in my life. I mean that in the best possible way because I truly love running.

Life is better in running shoes. #clemarathon

Although we had yet another snow storm over the weekend, it seems that warm temps are on the way!