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A Christmas Story 10K 2017

The past couple years I have gone back and forth on whether I want to run the Reindeer Run or A Christmas Story 10k. Ideally, I want to run both but currently, one of these races occurs on Saturday and then the other occurs on Sunday and my legs can’t handle racing back to back days anymore. This year, I decided to run the Christmas Story 10K.

I have been slowly getting faster again and been happy with the turkey trot results so I was eager to see where I would be for the 10K. And although I was feeling faster, I was not feeling anywhere near PR ready. It’s important to race for what your body is actually ready for, not for what you ran once months or even years ago.

I made one mistake and warmed up with Ryan and one of his super fast elite friends. We were all talking and I didn’t realize how fast we were going. A 3 mile warm up at a 7:38 pace…oops.

When the race went to start, I tried to ignore how fast I did the warm up in. The warm up was pretty close to the pace I had wanted to run so I didn’t to get into my own head. Overall, I was hoping to keep my pace around a 7:20 pace.

Mile 1 – 7:19

The first mile has a bit of uphill which I kind of like because it keeps me from going out crazy fast.

Mile 2 – 7:24, Mile 3, 7:25

Close to my goal pace but not quite there but if I could stay in this zone I would be happy. No matter how many times I look at the course map for this race, I always end up getting confused. All the sudden we were at the house! If you are running the 10K, you run to the Christmas Story House and then back to the start but if you are running the 5K, you end at the house. Which I believe included a heated tent area a beer this year.

Mile 4 – 7:27, Mile 5 – 7:28

This might be the most consistent I have been with paces while racing. Not quite my goal pace but close enough. I think it was around mile 5 I started to really feel it and had to really fight for my pace. There were a couple turns and some uphill and I started to feel like sludge.

Mile 6 – 7:29

Feel like sludge but still kicking! I never once felt like I gave up, even though it was getting tough near the end of the race.

Finished in 46:19, a 7:28 overall pace and fourth in my age group. My garmin had the overall distance at 6.23 so that is pretty legit for a 10K.

I was really happy with this time, even though it was not 100% what I was aiming for. I just felt really good while racing and like I was running smart paces. Hopefully this will continue into 2018!

(Apparently I was really busy this day and didn’t take a single photo!!!!)

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Turkey Trot 5 Miler

The Cleveland Turkey Trot is one of those races that since I have started running it, I don’t know if I will ever miss it. Besides the tradition of running this race every year, I love the low stress of the race. It’s always easy to get there and navigate. I also have no chance of even placing in my age group so I just run for me. Competing against myself is my favorite!

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Ryan’s cousin came to run with us too!

Like most races I set a goal for myself and for this one it was 37 minutes. I haven’t had the best year in running but I felt like I had this in my tank, it’s a 7:24 pace.

Mile 1: 7:25 – I did my best to go out at a comfortable pace since I normal go way too fast. My first mile was a 7:25, that’s really not too bad considering how I normally run.

Mile 2: 7:38 – There was a slight uphill starting at the end of mile 1 and going into 2 so it was a little hard to stay on pace.

Mile 3: 7:36 – Getting to mile 3 you had to go up and over a bridge so another hill but I had not really dropped off completely and I actually felt really good. Which is kind of rare at this point in a race for me.

Mile 4: 7:29 – Before I even got to mile 4, I felt so good that I started picking up the pace and thought I was flying. Dare I even say that this is the best that I have ever felt at this point in the race.

Mile 5: 6:27 – Now it might have felt like I ran a 6:27 last mile but I think the last mile was just a bit short. I probably would have gone sub 7 still since I did have the race at 4.95. So the last mile was only short by .05.

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I ended up running a 36:34, a 7:19 pace, kinda crazy how that pace still worked out even if I did have the course short by .05.

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Inland Trail 5K

When I was planning my year of races, I realized that for the first time in years, I would be home the first weekend in November so I could run the Inland Trail Marathon. Although “trail” is in the name, don’t let that fool you, it’s a road marathon. The plan was to run the Akron Marathon more as a long run and not for time since it is so hilly. Then I would run Inland Trail as the marathon I would race.

However, I felt really burnt out after Akron. I don’t think I over trained, I just think it was too humid. We had a very humid summer and fall so I felt exhausted all the time. I slowly decided I should probably do the half instead of the full because of this. Then I had this great idea to try a new workout class. As a runner, there are many other areas of my body that get ignored because I just want to run. I thought this new class would work out those muscles, get them sore but also stronger.

I made sure to do this HIIT workout a full week before my race just to be safe in case there was any soreness. The class itself was fun, hard and I loved it. The next day, Monday, I was so sore I could barely walk and that is not an exaggeration. I felt pain with each step I took. Tuesday, I was even more sore, major DOMS (Delayed On Set Muscle Soreness). I was so sore Monday and Tuesday that all I did was foam roll and stretch and tried to keep moving. Wednesday I attempted a 4 mile run and was extremely sore. Thursday I did my tempo and was extremely sore.

Now this whole time I mostly planning on running the half and then I thought maybe the full and then the day of, I decided to do the 5K. Talk about indecisive.

I have ran this 5K in the past so I was very familiar with the course and hoping for a pretty good time since it is flat. I knew in the past that this race was very small. Probably about 40 people for the half. However, this year was about half of that! It was crazy.

Needless to say, I didn’t go out too fast because I would feel really dumb going out too fast and dying out at a small race. I did take the lead for the females from the start and kept it the entire race.

Mile 1 – 7:19, Mile 2 – 7:40 and Mile 3 – 6:42

Official time – 21:41 and first overall female

Now I had the course at 2.91, others had the course around 3.05. However, something funky happened because I was cruising for mile 2 and I definitely did not run a 6:42 for my last mile so not sure what happened with my Garmin but definitely weird.

I didn’t take any photos apparently so enjoy this old photo from the last time I ran the 5K at this race!

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Akron Marathon 2017

You know when you start stalking the weather before a big race and it changes a million times between when you first start checking and race day? Yeah, well, that didn’t really happen for this race. Every time I checked the weather I saw a low of 60 and a high in the mid 80s. To be honest, I really wasn’t that concerned. I kept telling myself that I am running in the morning so I will see more 60s than 80s and I’ve run in warm marathons before and did okay.
Race morning was actually around 58 degrees so I was a little chilly but not shivering and the humidity although high didn’t feel too bad. While that was some good news, I realized I left all my gels at home. All of them! I know they hand some out on the course but what if I wanted them at a specific time or a specific flavor. I got hooked on the Honey Stinger Acai Pomegranate gels and used them on my long runs so I planned on using them for the marathon too. Luckily, some friends came to the rescue and donated some gels to me before the race. But not before a roll a toilet paper fell on my head while I was in the porto-potty. Maybe I should have taken the gels and the toilet paper as a sign for how the day would go.
As I headed to corral A to line up, I couldn’t find the 3:45 pacer. I saw 3:40 and 3:50 so I placed myself between the two and hoped I could pace myself. Which never really goes well because I am the worst at pacing myself.
The first couple miles felt easy to me but every time I looked down I was going too fast. I even ran with the 3:40 pacer and they were running 8:12 per mile. My goal was in the 8:30s.
Mile 1 – 8:21, Mile 2 – 8:27, Mile 3 – 8:15, Mile 4 – 8:37, Mile 5 – 8:12.
I ran the half in Akron last year so I was mentally prepared for the hills and they didn’t feel too bad so far. The heat was creeping up but I was confident that I could beat it.
Mile 6 – 8:35, Mile 7 – 8:47, Mile 8 – 8:48, Mile 9 – 8:35, Mile 10 – 8:25.
I was starting to feel the heat around mile 7 so I tried to slow my pace a little bit. I was taking water at every station I passed so I could stay hydrated. However, I was slowly starting to get jealous of the half marathoners who were getting close to the finish for them.

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I literally felt like I was melting going up this hill.

Mile 11 – 8:50, Mile 12 – 8:56, Mile 13 – 8:58, Mile 14 – 9:34, Mile 15 – 9:48.
The half marathoners split off and I kept going on the marathon course. I decided to channel my jealousy to the relay runners who were still out there with me. However, they seemed to be feeling the heat more than I was and I saw a lot of them walking the course. Miles 13 and 14 were hella hilly! I felt like it was just a gradual uphill climb for both of those miles. The heat plus the hills and my times plummeted.
Mile 16 – 9:32, Mile 17 – 9:35, Mile 18 – 9:35, Mile 19 – 10:05, Mile 20 – 10:31.
I think around mile 15 the heat got to me and I thought “maybe they’ll cancel the race.” But I legit believed they might cancel the race because it was so hot. I day dreamed of the race getting canceled from mile 15-17. At mile 17 I saw Ryan! He looked awesome and I was like “hmm that can’t be right, it’s a million degrees right now.” But he was at mile 22 so maybe being closer to the finish was easier for him. I realized at this point that they were not going to cancel the race and I was going to have to keep running.
Mile 21 – 10:34, Mile 22 – 10:21, Mile 23 – 10:51, Mile 24 – 11:08, Mile 25 – 10:09, Mile 26 – 10:23.
I was really excited at mile 20 because I was under 3 hours. I don’t know why but little things like that excite me. Same with running 7 miles in under an hour, I always like those. The heat must have gotten to me because I thought I would finish in under 4 hours at this point.
I barely ate my gels during the race. It was so hot that I just wanted real food. Thankfully, Akron has awesome crowd support and they came out with hoses, extra water stops, watermelon, grapes and oranges. I hate to take food from strangers. More about germs than strangers but I needed every bit of the real food on the course. At one point, spectators were passing out full bottles of water and I carried that water from mile 20 something to mile 25.5. I don’t know what I would have done without that water bottle.
My goal for this race was to run 3:45, maybe a 3:50. I was way off and ended up running a 4:07:10. I know the hills and the heat played a factor in this but still hard to accept this time. I felt like I was in good shape and that the 3:45 would feel easy. Now I don’t know if I was in good shape or if it really was the heat.

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Almost done with the race at this point and was all smiles to see my family!

What I do know is even with the heat, I had a blast on the course. I haven’t decided if I want to run the full again next year but it is a strong possibility.

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Every year Ryan and I take a photo post Akron Marathon. Always in the same position and inside the stadium.
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Keep Running For Susan 5K 2017

If you have been following along to my blog posts lately, you have probably noticed my rapid fire of posting a ton of race recaps this week. It’s been an interesting year and I haven’t really had a chance to physically post that much BUT I have been writing all my posts and saving them. Except for this one. This one I actually forgot to write and it wasn’t until I found a race photo on my phone from June that I remembered. And by remembered, I mean I texted Ryan the photo and said “what race is this from?”
Keep Running for Susan is a new race this year in memory of a runner who passed away suddenly last year. Now I didn’t really know Susan but I do know her husband. Now I say I didn’t really know her because I met her briefly for 2 seconds while at a memorial run for another runner who passed away. Susan passed a way not long after our friend Bob so I feel that is this odd strong connection and I always think about them running in heaven. If that makes any sense at all.
Since Susan reminds me of Bob and Susan’s husband is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, I feel I need to run this race and show my support. It’s not often that I feel that drawn to a race. Especially since this race is a bit of a drive and you know how I hate driving to run. The race is pretty much entirely ran on the towpath. It’s fairly flat but I don’t know if I would call it fast. OR maybe I just ran poorly.
Mile 1: 7:27
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:29
Ok maybe I just ran poorly there but those paces are pretty even and that is odd for me. Overall, it was a great race and there were a lot of people who came to show their support. I had the course at 3.11 and my official finish time as 23:13. Probably my slowest 5K in a long time. I hope they hold this race again in 2018 because I would love to run it again.

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Rock Hall Half Marathon 2017

When I signed up for the Rock Hall half marathon, I did so with the intention that this would no be a PR race and that it would be likely very hot. I figured a good hot August long race would be great training for a fall marathon that would likely be cool. However, race day was actually pretty nice and after running well at Hofbrauhaus I had hopes of running a good time.

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There are pace groups for this race so I decided to start right by the 1:40 pace group. I was hoping to stick with them til mile 10 and then likely slow down and run around 1:41. I’m not exactly sure what happened at the beginning of the race but the 1:40 and 1:35 groups were right by each other for the first 2 miles. For some reason that messed with me mentally. My watch was giving me a hard time and wasn’t trusting it so I decided to run by feel which meant leaving the 1:40 pacer.

Mile 1 – 7:42, Mile 2 – 7:50, Mile 3 – 7:59, Mile 4 – 7:54, Mile 5 – 7:59

I ran really smart at Hofbrauhaus so I was trying to tell myself to stay smart and not go too fast so that I could have energy at the end. Also, parts of the Hofbrauhaus and Rock Hall are on the same course so I was fairly familiar with it and was pretty sure it would be faster.

Mile 6 – 8:01, Mile 7 – 7:48, Mile 8 – 7:54, Mile 9 – 8:08, Mile 10 – 8:22

I’m not sure what happened but I dropped my pace between miles 5 and 6 but then when I hit MLK I started cruising with the slight downhill. However, I was pretty done at this point. Perhaps the humidity was higher but I just couldn’t hang on to my pace. I pretty much begged my body to push until mile 10 and then it could slow down but I started slowing down right after mile 8.

Mile 11 – 8:45, Mile 12 – 8:44, Mile 13 – 8:26

The last couple miles are on the marginal, in the sun and I was pretty much on a death march at this point. It took all that I had to tell myself to keep going and to hold on to an 8:45 pace. Which I did but it was not pretty. I ended up finishing with a 1:45:38 which was about 3 minutes off my goal. I probably lost at least 2 minutes the last 4 miles so I’m ok with it.

The best part about this race though was that Ryan won the whole damn thing!!!! I had no idea because I was kinda bummed after my race and he’s so humble that he didn’t say anything to me. I only found out when someone else came up to him after and congratulated him.

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Congrats Ryan! You won the whole darn thing!
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Escape on the Lake 5K

I have been wanting to run in this race for years but it has always fallen on a day when I was not free or was already committed to another race. However, this year, the stars aligned and I was finally able to run this race! Why this race though? Because it’s put on by my high school and my family lives down the street.

The weather for this race was perfect for July. Humid, yes but temperature wasn’t too high and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake. The race starts right in front of VASJ high school and continues to Wildwood park and back. As I was running this race it hit me, I have never raced in the neighborhood I grew up in! But also, I have not ran through this neighborhood since high school and I’ve become much more serious about running since then.

Mile 1 – 7:11

As the race went down Lakeshore towards the park, it’s pretty flat. However, once you turn into the park and start on the all-purpose trail, you start to get some rolling hills. Nothing major but definitely not flat. There is even a nice little climb at the turnaround point.

Mile 2 – 7:31

Mile 3 – 7:41

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I was actually okay with how I ran at this race, I felt that I ran smart. Hopefully next year I can run it a little faster….OR maybe I can get my sister to run in it since she now goes to school there!

Official Finish time was 22:26, 6th overall female and 1st in my age group. For this race they do 30-39 instead of 30-34.