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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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The good, the bad and the ugly and some running advice

The Good – Learning from mistakes! See below but after getting sick on a 10 mile run…with no water…I brought water the following week and did the same workout faster and didn’t get sick!

The Bad – I let myself get dehydrated and got sick after a tempo run. It was not fun.

The Ugly – Bathroom issues kept me from doing a long run and kept me inside on a day I could have been outside. Possibly related to the tempo run.

2/11-2/17

Sunday –  Spin class
Monday  Speedwork – 1 mile WU, 4×1600, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 6.8 miles @8:03 pace
Tuesday – 3.1 miles @8:31 pace and 30 minutes elliptical
Wednesday – 6 miles @8:33 pace
Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 8@tempo, 1 mile CD – 10 miles @8:07 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 3 miles outside and 7 miles inside. Bathroom issues took me inside.

Total: 35.9

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When I run outside I have my garmin data automatically upload into strava but when I run inside I have to manually enter it so I try to include a picture of the treadmill for proof.

2/18-2/24

Sunday –  My first ever Orange Theory Fitness class! It was hard and I was sore after, it was amazing.
Monday  Speedwork – 1 mile WU, 5×1600, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 8 miles @8:10 pace
Tuesday – 7 miles @8:44 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 8@tempo, 1 mile CD – 10 miles @8:06 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Treadmill – 17 miles @8:50 pace.

Total: 42

The best piece of running advice I am going to give you is to RUN THE RACE YOU TRAINED FOR. Do NOT run the race you WANT! Let me tell you exactly what will happen if you run the race you want.

You will not be prepared for that pace but you will hold it for a few miles. You will tire quickly, you will feel like crud and by mile 13 you will lose that pace. From there on you will get slower with each mile and may even walk parts. You will then finish minutes behind your goal. Remember, there is no “banking time.”

If you run the race you trained for, you will feel good for the race, you will stay on pace and you might even run a new PR!

Could a fluke happen and running the race you want work? Yes but it is extremely rare!

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Made my boys some new bowties!

ICYMI – The Cleveland Marathon shared a cool post on touring a Cleveland Neighborhood here.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t registered for the Cleveland Marathon yet, you can get10% off with the code JMCLE10

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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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Training Update and Rest/Non Running Days

1/21-1/27

Sunday –  1 hour spin class
MondayAM Speedwork – 1 mile WU, Ladder work out 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400,  .25 rest between everything, 1 mile CD – 7.5 miles @8:01 pace
PM Run was not planned but I had to get outside to enjoy the weather after being on the treadmill since Christmas Eve. 3 Miles @8:24 pace
Tuesday – Rest day because music practice ran late on Monday so I decided to sleep instead so I could get at least 5 hours of sleep. After work I had appointments so there was no time to run. That’s life though.
Wednesday – 6 Miles @8:38 pace
Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 6@tempo, 1 mile CD – 8 miles at 7:57 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Treadmill 16 miles at 8:23 pace. I was planning to run outside but it was raining and I didn’t have time to wait for it to stop.

Total: 40.5

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Post workout cuddles are the best!

3 non running days and I still hit 40 miles but why so many rest/non running days?

  1. I have my hands FULL! I work full time and part time. Play music in a local folk orchestra, besides group practices and performances to attend, I also need to practice on my own. The adoption process alone can feel like a part time job between paperwork and appointments. It is a challenge to find time to clean the house, do laundry and go to the grocery store. That is assuming nothing else pops up. Sometimes there literally isn’t a minute to run. I currently squeeze things into every minutes of the day. (Currently writing this blog post on my phone because I am stuck in traffic.)
  2. I’ve been doing my runs too fast and this is what leads to me getting injured! My easy runs need to slow down and maybe my long runs too. To punish myself and remind myself to slow down, I take a run out to make sure I am at least getting rest.
  3. Sometimes I like to supplement my training with spin classes, strength training, barre classes etc. I think it helps to not just run in my training.
  4. This hasn’t happened yet but sometimes if I feel a nagging pain or old injury starting to flare up, I will take a random day off just to be sure. I’d rather take a day off than to make it worse and take myself out for a long time!
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Still found time to celebrate Grandma’s Birthday!

Don’t forget, if you haven’t registered for the CLE marathon, I have a discount for you!

Get 10% off with the code JMCLE10 (This code is good until the event sells out or race weekend)

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How I get through those treadmill runs

Last week I talked about how I run a lot on the treadmill during the winter. I actually have only been outside once since Christmas Eve!!! Below I have shared a couple tips that help get me through running on the treadmill and maybe they will help you too.

  • Put a towel over the treadmill screen. If you are constantly looking at the screen, it will feel like you are not making any progress. Trust me, this helps.
  • Music, movies, podcasts, tv shows, daydream, etc. I like to start with a movie, preferably something I have already watched or something I don’t have to fully pay attention to. Then after the movie I might put on a tv show or just listen to music until I finish my run. This is also a good way to binge watch a TV show. Sometimes I will start watching a new show but will only let myself watch it on the treadmill.
  • Stay positive. If you go into thinking it will suck and you  will hate it, you will. This can be applied to all aspects of life. Instead go into it thinking “I’m still getting my run in” or “I just have to do 2 hours and then I will be done.” (Yes I understand how crazy that sounds)
  • Play with the treadmill paces. I like to start out a slower pace and then increase by .1 MPH every mile, or 2 miles or whatever I feel that day. I will also set little goals for myself like wanting to get a certain number of miles in each hour. It’s little things like that that break it down a little easier.
  • And if you are still struggling and you just can’t be on the treadmill for a long time, then split it up! Do half of your run in the morning and the rest in the afternoon or evening. I don’t recommend doing this for every run or long run but it is better than cutting your run short and not doing it at all.

If you have not registered for the Cleveland Marathon yet:

Prices Increase soon!

Keep a lookout on giveaways

Get 10% off with the code JMCLE10 (This code is good until the event sells out or race weekend)

 

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Why I Run On The Treadmill ALL THE TIME

It’s no secret that I actually like running on the treadmill. My PR marathon actually comes from doing most of my training on a treadmill. Below you will find a number of reasons I run on the treadmill.

Safety – I don’t run outside in the dark alone so this will take me inside sometimes. I tend to do most of my running in the morning before work so not only is it dark but no one else is up. I also would not recommend running in my neighborhood in the dark.

Weather – I used to run a lot on snow or ice and would have to slow down my pace. This ruined a lot of workouts for me and I could never get in a tempo or speed work session in.  This also created a lot of other aches and pains as I was running on uneven ground. I would have very sore ankles, shins and knees and it just wasn’t worth it. I am getting old after all.

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Ice and snow, no thanks!

Weather part 2 – I do not like to run outside when it drops below 20 degrees unless I really have to, it just makes for a miserable run. Most people will warm up as they run but I do not and will spend the rest of the day trying to get warm again. I’ve actually gone for runs and my skin was hurting so bad that I headed back home. I would check my skin and find that it was bright red or even a bluish purple after an hour. I’ve also had frostbite on my ears from running and sweating while out in the cold too long.

Injuries – Running on the treadmill takes a lot of impact off my body and has been awesome for keeping me healthy. If I feel any nagging aches, I stay on the treadmill so that I can keep running.

Pace – I am absolutely awful at pacing myself. I go out too fast and ruin the workout or too slow and get comfortable and never pick up the pace. On the treadmill, I can punch in whatever pace and leave it at that. It’s also a good way to guarantee I get certain paces in. I tend to do most of my tempos on the treadmill because those are the most beneficial workout for me.

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Old picture but here is a picture of my treadmill at home. However, I go to the gym for most of my runs.

Confidence – I feel like I gain a lot of confidence by running on the treadmill strictly because it creates such a consistence training level. I never have to worry about wind, rain etc. and can just focus on the work that needs to be done. I can then compare past workouts to see how I am progressing.

Below is a recap of last week’s training. I did almost no strength work…and this week is shaping up to be the same.

1/14-1/20

Sunday – 4 miles @8:36 pace and 1 hour spin class at Ride + Workout
Monday – Speed work – 6 miles @8:01 pace – 1 mile WU, 4×1200, 1 mile CD, .25 recovery between each interval.
Tuesday – 6 miles @8:38
Wednesday – 5 miles @8:27 pace
Thursday – Tempo Run – 8 miles @7:57 pace
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 16 miles @8:28 pace

Total – 45

Stay tuned, later in the week I will share my tips and tricks for running on the treadmill.

 

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2018 Training Plan & Workouts

I am still going back and forth on if I want to run the full or the half in Cleveland. If I run the full, it will just be for fun. If I run the half, I will want to go for a specific time. The problem is I am running the Glass City Marathon in April. That only leaves me with a couple weeks in between races. To run the marathon is one beast, to race it is a different ball game.

So for now, I am going to share with you my Glass City Marathon training plan. This way you can see how long the plan is and what my workouts are.

Glass City Training PLan

I was sick the first week of the year so I actually didn’t run much. The second week went much better. I build my plans so that I can move workouts around easily. The most important workouts I do are speed work, tempo and long runs. As long as I get those 3 in each week, I really don’t care about the other runs.

My marathon PR actually comes from a training cycle where I only ran 3 days a week and most of it was on the treadmill. If I am not going to run I will try to supplement the training with strength work, elliptical or biking.

Here is a look at what the past 2 weeks of workouts looked like. you can see by the 4 days of rest how sick I was.

12/31-1/6

Sunday – Rest
Monday – 5 miles @8:28 pace
Tuesday – 7.3 miles @8:16 pace – 1 mile WU, 6×800, 2×400, 1 mile CD and I do .25 recovery between each interval.
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 7.1 miles @8:27 pace

Total – 19.4

Despite being sick, I made some time to go bowling with my family.

1/7-1/13

Sunday – 8 miles @8:31 pace
Monday – 6.1 miles @8:14 pace – 1 mile WU, 10×400, 1 mile CD, .15ish recovery between each interval.
Tuesday – 2 miles @8:47 and 40 minutes elliptical. I was still coughing a lot so I gave myself a side stitch and decided to take it easy.
Wednesday – 7 miles @8:03 pace – 1 mile WU, 5 miles at tempo, 1 mile CD
Thursday – 6 miles @8:44 pace
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 15 miles @8:24 pace – I alternated 1 mile easy and 1 mile at marathon goal pace.

Total – 44.1

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When you rarely dress up, you always have to take a photo. Especially when your husband is so good looking!

If you have any questions on my training do not hesitate to ask. What works for one does not work for another. I will say I have learned a lot over the 17 marathons I have ran and have made plenty of mistakes.

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I’m Back!

Hi there!

First, I would like to thank everyone who has been following this blog. This blog turned 7 on January 5th and that’s just crazy.

Second, my apologies for the past 2 years of blogging. Life has been pretty crazy and as you can see many posts are very delayed. However, I am still here and feel like I have a lot of life to pour back into this blog.

Third, I”M BACK blogging and reporting on my training for the Cleveland Marathon!

2018 CLE marathon ambassador

Fourth, I am officially running the Glass City Full Marathon and training is off to a good start. I will have to decide if I want to run the Cleveland Half or Full then as these races are rather close together.

Fifth, Ryan and I are adopting! You may have already known that. We are very excited but I have not decided if I am going to share all the details on the blog just yet. To be safe, I have all the copy ready to go in case I change my mind.

Sixth, I have 2 more race recaps to go from 2017 and I will be all caught up!

Seventh, I will have another blog post later this week to share my training schedule and plan for the year.

Eighth, I updated my About Me section for the first time in probably 4 years. It was getting scary over there.

XoXo

Jess

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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!

Inland rtrail

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Brooklyn Heights 5K

You may remember a couple years ago Ryan and I were searching for a race to do and stumbled upon this Brooklyn Heights 5K. We were familiar with the company who puts it on but had not heard much about the race or even where Brooklyn Heights was. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was fairly close to us and had a very small town feel. Not what you would expect just outside of Cleveland. It also has some amazing views!

Once again, we were searching for a race and decided to give this one a try again since we had liked it the last time.

This race is small, probably one of the smallest I’ve run all year. Despite being small, every year there is some ringer who shows up and whoops people and this year was no different. I was shooting for a specific time so it was fine with me anyways and I was hoping they would pull me to a good time.

Right away, one girl pulled ahead and just by looking at her, you knew she would win. next was me and an older female. Now I say that with complete respect as this woman I thought was in her 60s but after the race I found out she is 67! Anyways, this woman was pushing me for the first mile!

Mile 1 – 7:01

However, I just couldn’t hang with her, 67 years old and she’s faster than me. I let her pull ahead and had secretly hoped that she went out too fast and that I could catch her. Even though I could see her the entire race, I knew halfway through the race that she going to beat me. And she did!

Mile 2 – 7:42 (this is how you know you went out too fast!)

I lost to a 67 year old female runner and could not be more proud that there is a female runner out there, at that age, still running. Not just running, but kicking butt! Kicking my 33 year old butt!

Mile 3 – 7:57

I ended up running 22:47, the course is pretty easy, some hills but I was definitely shooting for sub 22.

And for some reason I didn’t take any pictures. Totally unlike me but I wonder if I was in a rush and had to be some where after?

For those of you keeping track at home, Ryan was the overall winner for this race!!!!