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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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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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2 More Weeks of Training in the Books

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!!!!!

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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.

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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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Turkey Trot 2016

I think the Turkey Trot might be my longest standing race that I have not missed. I am always in town for it, I always brave the winter for it and I am miraculously not injured for it. Looking back it looks like I’ve done the Turkey Trot every year since 2007, next year will be 10 years!

Luckily, last year and this year we have had pretty decent weather for this race. Last year, I easily wore shorts. This year, I also wore shorts but it was probably questionable on if I should have been wearing them as my legs turned bright red.

We started a new tradition last year where Ryan’s cousin comes with us. I love this because I hope it means she’s inspired to run. And she must like it if she came back again this year.

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Over the years the Turkey Trot course has changed a bit but always starts and ends in downtown Cleveland. This year was a new course and both the 5K and 5 mile started at the same time.

I was slowly chipping away at my race times so I had high hopes for this race but went in extra conservative and only wanted to run a 37:30. After listening to 3 patriotic songs the race started.

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Hanging out with The Healthsource of Avon crew.

It’s always hard when both the 5K and 5 mile start at the same time because you have to really pay attention to your pace and not get caught up with the 5K paces. I have no idea how I managed to actually go out at a decent pace and not go too crazy.

Luckily, the 5K split off early on so it was easier for me to guide my pace. I am awful at pacing myself by the way. With 2 hills, my pace was extra crazy and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hit my goal time.

Eventually, the 5K and the 5 mile merge and chaos ensued. Okay, not complete chaos but it was definitely less than ideal. Basically, the 5K runners took up the whole course and the 5 milers were running single file or weaving through the 5K runners. This definitely slowed me down and caused a little frustration. However, I tried to remember a couple things.

One, I was not going to win or even place in my age group for this race. Two, the 5K runners do not realize what is happening and the problem they are causing. Three, it’s the Turkey Trot and it’s supposed to be FUN!

Somehow, I think being slowed down actually helped me out. I felt like I had so much energy for the last mile of the race. I was picking it up like crazy for the last mile and was completely shocked when I crossed the line with 36:56. WAY WAY WAY better than I expected.

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Race To A Million 5K

After racing bad many times and wanting to give up on running all together, I signed up for another race. Why? Because I love torture.

Actually, I signed up because it was a money race and I actually had a shot. For whatever reason this race has a small turnout. Probably because there are so many other races the same weekend as this race and the weekend before so everyone is recovering.

Before the race, I only saw 1-2 people that might beat me which I was ok with. The top 3 overall all got cash money. Like a good amount too. Ryan was also racing and his chances were the same as mine.

The morning of the race was cold and crazy windy. It felt like a winter day and I bet it kept runners at home that thought they would sign up when they got there.

The race started and I went out pretty conservatively. It had been awhile since I had done a speed race so no idea what to expect.

For the first time in forever, I felt really good and my legs actually felt like they knew how to run fast. My turnover had returned! As I glanced at my watch, I could see I wasn’t quite at the paces I wanted but as I neared the first mile I was in 4th place and the next person was in reach.

I wish I could say I sat back and waited to pass her but instead she was just barely faster than me. At the second mile, I looked at my watch and I could see that we both had slowed down. However, I felt great and my legs still had something left so I hoped the woman in front of me would continue to slow.

With a half mile to go I picked up the pace as she had gained a little bit of a lead on me. I was slowly closing in on the lead but not quite fast enough. As we made the last turn toward the finish line, she had just enough space and she got me. She took third while I took fourth.She took home cash while I took home a pumpkin. For real, they gave out mini pumpkins after the race.

As I tried to catch my breath, Ryan came over and I thought to myself, “well at least one of us brought home prize money.” However, Ryan informed me that he too came in fourth! He was recovering from just completing a marathon weeks prior and wasn’t quite ready to race.

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Ryan loves the crying MJ meme so he thought it was perfect for the occasion.

 

I knew the race was close for third and I ran a time of 22:49. However, I found out I missed 3rd by 4 seconds! 4 SECONDS!

Oh well, I ran my best that day and that was all I was ready for.

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Bandit thinks us racing is exhausting. I agree.
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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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