Snoball Run 5K Recap

I have to admit, I was pretty bummed after this race. It’s a flat course so I expected to run faster than last weeks hilly course. I by no means ran a bad time but it still bummed me out but it was my own fault. Here is what happened.

Did my usual 1.5 mile warm up with Ryan. Legs felt a little heavy but I’ve run some of my best races when I’ve felt that way. This was the first year for this race and I was shocked at how many people showed up. Over 550 people for this race.


The race started out and I went out WAY too fast. I felt good and wasn’t really paying attention but I noticed I was right by my cousin-in-law, MaryPat, who normally runs in the 19s and knew I was going too fast. Looked down at my watch and saw the a sub 6 min mile pace. By the time I noticed that though I was already at the half mile mark. I slowed way down but it was too late by that time. I had already wasted too much energy. My first mile was a 6:49.

After that, the rest of the race was pretty much hold on and finish. I was really holding on though. Holding a 7:30 pace the rest of the race was a real struggle for me. I felt like it was the longest 5K I had ever raced. In reality, I was just struggling from going out too fast. Second mile was 7:34. Somewhere around here my college troublemaking partner in crime, SuperEli passed me. I wanted to shout profanities at her, instead I shouted good job. I’m such a good BFF Smile

The last mile I kept telling myself “every step you take is a step closer to the finish line” so I kept pushing myself but it was not easy. For the last straightaway, I had very little sprint left. I ended up finishing with a time of 22:04, 2nd in my age group. UGH! 12 seconds off last weeks time! I was really bummed. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning and I was like “hey at least you can run and race again. There was a time where your IT band prevented you from doing so.” I really need to remember that.


I think the fact that I thought I ran a bad race lead to me running a bad long run afterwards. I needed to get 14 miles in for the day so after the 1.5 mile warm up, the 5K race then the “cool down” with friends 3.10, I still had to head out for another 6.5 miles. I went and did it but it was one of the most mentally challenging long runs of the year. But I can only go up from here.

IMG_1292[1] IMG_1300[1]

Some of the best things in the race packet were a scoop of free ice cream from Mitchell’s, chap stick and even fancy Christmas themed duct tape. Ryan gave up ice cream for lent and now I feel like I can’t eat ice cream either and it’s killing me!!!

What’s your favorite Race packet item? I feel like a lot of races don’t have actual race packets anymore. My favorite is chap stick. I get so many free ones that I don’t have to buy them anymore.


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 1: Off to a good start.

Cleveland Marathon Training Week 1 was off to a very good start!

Here is what week 1 was supposed to look like.

Week 1

Here is what actually happened.

Monday: Nike Training App (NTC) 15 min abs and arms
Tuesday: Morning Workout, 3.05 miles at 9:20 pace. Evening workout, Street Speed Work. 1 mile WU, 6-800’s at 3:20, 3:22, 3:29, 3:33, 3:31, 3:38, 1 mile CD. 9.05 miles for the day.
Wednesday: Spin 35 mins, NTC 15 min arms and abs, volleyball doubleheader. Long Day!
Thursday: Morning Workout, 3.08 miles at 9:47 pace. Evening Workout 4 miles at 8:23 pace.
Friday: Rest Day!
Saturday: 12 glorious miles at 8:18 pace. First couple miles I was flying. It caught up with me in the end and I struggled to hold onto the pace at the end.

Sunday: 6 easy miles with Ryan at 9:07 pace.

Total Mileage: 34.05

Overall not a bad training week especially for the first official week of marathon training. After all my long runs, I now take ice baths. I absolutely HATE being cold but it’s supposed to help with recovery. I’ll do just about anything to keep my IT band healthy. Even if it means sitting in a freezing cold tub for 10-15 mins. Cold just thinking about it.

I’ve also been foam rolling more now that I am not agitating my IT band, when I do it. I can now tell the good hurt you are supposed to feel as well as it being less tight when I am done.

How is your training going? Anyone else do the ice baths?


Taking Track Tuesdays to the Streets.

My past 2 Track Tuesdays have ended up as Treadmill Tuesday. Since the track surprisingly does not look like this.

Clean track
Clean track

And looks more like this.

My paint skills need work.
My paint skills need work.

Sorry, my paint skills are lacking. That’s snow and ice on the track. Not even a single lane is clear and only a crazy person would shovel a track. Although, I did drive around to 3 tracks to see if any were clear so I’m at least a little crazy.

I had 2 choices for speed work. 1.) Get on the treadmill (which would probably tell me 800 meters is 1000  meters and would run farther than I intended, more on that later) or 2.) take my speed work to the streets!

I found a short local street that is pretty much dead end in both directions and figured it would be perfect for speed work. The straightaway part of the street was over 800 meters so it was perfect and you could duck down any side street if you needed extra space.

Google Maps image
Google Maps image

The picture above is from google maps and did not look as pretty as this at all. In reality, it was dark, cold and the yards were covered with snow.

Pros of street speed work:

  • The street is completely plowed so ice and snow are not a factor.
  • Got my speed work in outside!

Cons of street speed work:

  • Even though the street was a dead end there was still a lot of traffic.
  • Too dark. Did speed work after work and it got dark fast! The street is not perfectly paved so it was hard to see dips, grooves, sewers etc.
  • Because it’s a straightaway it’s a hard to tell where you are at. Lots of looking down at your watch to see your distance. Which was too dark to see and had to turn on the light on the Garmin.
  • Times were slightly slower due to looking down at your watch to see distance, moving over for cars and watching where you were going.
  • It got boring running the same street. Which I was surprised, I thought running on a track was pretty boring.
  • Lots of weird looks from cars passing.

Hopefully, I will not have to resort to street speed work often, maybe I’ll bring a headlamp with me to see better. It is warming up this weekend so my next Track Tuesday should be on an actual track.

What do you do when you can’t do your speed work outdoors? Treadmill? skip it? street it?

My latest email from the Cleveland Marathon says 2 important things. 1.) Registration prices go up on January 10th! Register NOW! 2.) If you register by then you still get the early bird registration gift. Which is a shoe wallet! I’ve always been curious about using one of these.


My 2013 Marathon Training Plan

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to do my training differently this year.

  1. Low mileage-no more 50 mile weeks, I’ll barely even be knocking on 40 miles a week.
  2. Running 3-4 days a week. This is killing me, I want to run everyday, double digits. However, my IT band does not agree. We have compromised on 3-4 days.
  3. 1 REST days a week.
  4. More strength training. I already do tons of core and leg work but am adding in more.
  5. PYLOMETRICS. The higher you jump, the faster your 5K times. I know, I know, this is a marathon training plan but this also works as some awesome cross training.

Looking back at old training plans this is close to my first 2 training plans I have ever done (Akron and Cleveland). Simple and easy to move workouts around and less mileage. I qualified for Boston on a plan similar to this.


I’ve always made my own training plans. This year, while looking at the Hal Higdon Training plans, I fell in love with the Marathon 3 Training plan. I feel like this training plan was made for me.

Marathon 3 is designed for experienced runners, those who have been running for several years, who enjoy running road races between 5-K and the marathon, but who find it difficult to run more often than three times a week. Perhaps it is because of a lack of time or perhaps it is because too frequent running raises their risk of injury. If you are one of those runners, Marathon 3 is designed for you.

However, this plan is 24 weeks long. Considering I am already running 10- 14 miles on the weekends, I am a little ahead on this plan so I could just straight to week 8-9. Instead, I opened excel and with major inspiration from the Hal Higdon Marathon 3 Training Plan, I came up with this lovely, beautiful, PR worthy training plan.


There may be a couple changes to this plan as I am still waiting on 2-3 races to  announce their dates. For the most part though, this is how the plan will go.

So I put my hands up...
So I put my hands up…

Cheers to racing INJURY FREE IN 2013!


Santa Hustle Half Marathon

Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5K was a BLAST! Completely worth driving to Sandusky, OH for (less than an hour drive). Santa Hustle’s are held all over the U.S. but this was the first time having it in Sandusky. Of course, I was nervous about it being a first time race but from what I saw everything went smoothly.

Santa's Reindeer cheering on runner's
Santa’s Reindeer cheering on runner’s

I got to the race pretty early because I had never been to this part of Sandusky and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get lost and find my way to the start. Luckily, it was really easy and I got to park directly across the street from the start. After running around talking to my friends and grabbing my race packet from Eli (she picked it up on Saturday for me) I headed out for a short, 1 mile warm up on the course. I had been warned that it could get windy by the lake so I ran that part of the course. There was almost no wind so I was all set for a nice warm December race.

I missed the memo that everyone was wearing red!
I missed the memo that everyone was wearing red!

Almost everyone at this race wears red or more specifically, the red Santa shirt that is given to you for the race. It’s a nice, cute wicking shirt but I have this thing with wearing race day shirts on race day. This was probably the only race where it is actually ok to wear the race day shirt (and Santa hat and beard) but I still couldn’t do it. Instead I went with a highlighter lime green outfit. Best part about that was I stuck out like crazy. All my friends could easily spot me a mile away.

The race started on time and I tried my best to stick to a decent pace. mile 1 was 7:15 and miles 2 and 3 were 7:25. If I could keep that pace I was headed for a PR Holla! My goal for this race was to run smart, have fun and run under 1:45. By mile 4 I had eased into a 7:45 min mile and was very comfortable and could hold that pace for the rest of the race.

Running past Cedar Point roller coasters.
Running past Cedar Point roller coasters.

Miles 5-7 flew by, we were running around Cedar Point and I was checking out all the closed rides. No spectators were allowed into Cedar Point to watch the race but with all the rides to look at, before I knew it we were heading back out of the park and onto a bike path next to the lake. This is where the wind started to kick in.

So tired
So tired

Miles 8-10 were windy. But I kept telling myself that it will let up and I’ll be fine. By mile 10 the wind had picked up even more. My pace had slowed by an entire minute. I was trying to push against the wind but it was hard. Mile 11, my cheeks were actually getting sore from the wind. Cheeks on my face, not my butt cheeks sickos.

Eli ran the 5K and then met me for the last mile or so of the half marathon. Which was awesome because it was so windy and I was exhausted from pushing into it. You would think from a half marathon your legs, butt, knees, feet etc would be sore but no, my arms, back, abs and face cheeks were sore. I’m actually sore there today and still not sore in my legs yet.

By the time I made one of the final turns in the race I was ready to lay down on the sidewalk and take a nap. Instead I pushed and gave it what I had left (wasn’t much) and finished with a time of 1:47:12 a 8:11 pace and 6th in my age group. At first I was mad I didn’t run a 1:45 but then realized I was only a little over 2 mins off that time and without the wind I would have easily been under 1:45. Then I also remembered that this was my first half marathon since April and I HAD ZERO IT BAND PAIN FOR THIS RACE! ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, NULA, BABU.

Sweet Medals
Sweet Medals

Although this wasn’t my goal time, it’s still a pain free half marathon finish. Half Marathon number 17 is in the books. Also, the girls below are bridesmaids in my wedding! They are awesome and makes me 1000 times happy to see them.

LOVE that these girls were there. Also, standing on my toes for this pic and still the short one.
LOVE that these girls were there. Also, standing on my toes for this pic and still the short one.


  • Fun Themed Race
  • Easy Parking (there were multiple lots around Castaway Bay and Volunteer Elves were very good at directing cars where to go)
  • Cool shirts, hat and beard
  • Cool medals for the half marathoners. Would be cool if the 5K got mini versions and got a finishers medal too.
  • Minus the wind the temperature was perfect. 50s in December!
  • I’ll definitely be back for another Santa Hustle.


  • It was super windy
  • No race day packet pickup. I know a lot of people from Cleveland would have made the drive if they could pick there packet up race morning.
  • Course short by at least .25 (I compared my watch with many runners at the finish and we all had it short but that’s ok for a first time race)

In case you want a good laugh, check out the picture below. The picture on the left is what I wore for the race. The picture on the right is what I should have worn for the race. However, my friend Anna pointed out to me that I have my beard on wrong! Why I thought the mustache part went on your nose I’ll never understand.

I'm so silly
I’m so silly

This was my last race of 2012, is anyone else still racing? I know there are a couple NYE races but I’m done for the year.

What are your thoughts on race day shirts? Wear them on the race day or any day but on race day. I will wear mine any time after the race, even immediately after, just not for the actual race. More of a superstitious thing.

Other Santa Hustlers in attendance: (I’m sure their recaps will be up soon)



2nd Annual Pre-Turkey Trot 5K

Since I’m finally back to running and racing I’ve been trying to get in as many races as I can before the bad weather hits. After taking a weekend off racing I was itching to run again. Since it’s getting cold it’s harder to find races. Luckily, I found a race nearby that happened to be super cheap. $15 with the option of no shirt and $20 if you wanted a shirt. Since I have a ridiculous amount of race shirts I opted for the no shirt option.

Sterilite Closet Drawer White Set of 3
I have 2 of these stuffed with Tshirts. Plus an entire dresser drawer. Not even including running wicking clothing.

When I woke up in the morning my first thought was that I didn’t feel like racing. Weird because I love it. I felt like going for a run and getting my miles in but didn’t really feel like racing. I figured once I got to the race I would be fine and snap out of it.

At the race I met up with some friends for a warm up. 2.39 miles at a sub 8:15 pace. Hmm slightly too fast for a warm up but it felt good. Also longer than I normally go but I figured that would be less miles I would have to do later. We ran most of the course so it was cool to see what it would entire. Which would be flat and neighborhoods.

This race is really small but draws out some people because of the prize money. First male and  female get $100. Spoiler alert: I didn’t win. There were some speedy chicks there.

The race started and instantly I was slower than normal. I was ok with that since I ALWAYS go out too fast. I figured this was my chance to stick to my mile paces. Usually I go out hard and hold on for as long as I can. Not the smartest race strategy, I know, but it works for 5Ks…sometimes.

By the second mile, I felt fine, not winded or anything but just felt like I couldn’t push myself. I tried but never went any faster. I did have some killer runs the past few days so perhaps my legs were more tired than I thought. I wish this race was more exciting but really it wasn’t. It is a good flat course though and technically I should have ran better than I did.

I finished 2nd in my age group, maybe 6-7th female overall? The results aren’t online. My official/Unofficial time was 23:08. Pretty slow for me but still a decent run for the day. I wouldn’t have ran that fast on my own.

That’s right. Laminated age group awards.
To finish my miles for the day, I ran the course backwards with some friends and then drove to a park closer to home to run a few more. Total mileage for the day was 13 miles.

Next up: The Cleveland Turkey Trot 5 Miler! Really looking forward to this race and the cool shirts we get this year.


Half Marathon Time

Well the legs are feeling good, I’ve completed a couple race and am getting some longer runs in. Naturally, it’s time to run a half marathon before the year ends. While running a half marathon in December is not the best of my decisions it will be the most fun because………..

I’m running the Santa Hustle!!!!!!!

Cedar Point Santa Hustle 5k

Yeah I know, pretty exciting. Oh hey, if your not as crazy as me and want to run a half marathon in December (I know I’m crazy), there is a 5K too!!! This race is filled with fun, check out the excerpt below.

Everyone is familiar with the classic holiday song “Run, Run Rudolph.” But what about “Run, Run Santa?” It’s true – though he may not appear to be in the best physical shape, Santa annually runs a half-marathon each December to gear up for the big night. Hard to believe? On December 16 in Sandusky, Ohio you can witness for yourself at the inaugural Cedar Point Santa Hustle half marathon and 5K run/walk. The challenge will be in figuring out which of the hundreds of running Santa’s is the real deal!
Thousands follow Santa’s lead and participate in Santa Hustle runs across the nation each year. For the first time in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands region you can join the festivities. This unconventional race features candy, cookies, and holiday music along the course. To amp up the holiday hijinks, each participant receives a free Santa hat, beard, and long-sleeved dri-fit shirt. The celebration continues after the race with an after-party at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay, complete with festive music, a buffet of food, and plenty to drink. Just do Santa a favor and keep your hands off his milk and cookies!

I’m so excited to see how this race plays out and to see everyone dressed in Santa gear. I’m a huge fan of Christmas but am loving the holiday theme of this race. Look at the swag you get. (Cannot get enough of that shirt!)

Volunteer Elves are also needed for this race and they even get Elf shirts and hats (sorry can’t find a pic, I imagine it’s green). I recommend signing up now before it sells out and before you see the weather forecast 🙂

$40.00 until December 1, 2012
$45.00 (December 2 – December 8)
$50.00 (December 9 – December 15)

Half Marathon:
$55.00 until December 1, 2012
$60.00 (December 2 – December 8)
$56.00 (December 9 – December 15)

If my math in correct this should be my 17th half marathon. Also, this race is in Sandusky 45 mins from Cleveland…if I am driving. And for those of your who don’t know, Sandusky is the home of Manny’s who has the best wedge salads ever!!! Also, the home of Tofts Ice Cream.

So who is in for a little Santa Hustle? 5K or Half Marathon? Burning off calories for all those holiday cookies!