T1 Diabetes Awareness 5k Recap

A few weeks ago, a post was brought up on the MCRR page about a local 5k that would be happening in town. An eagle scout had planned his big project as a 5k for Type 1 Diabetes awareness, in honor of his sister who was diagnosed when she was 7 years old. If you remember, I’ve done fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association, so this 5k was something that I couldn’t miss.

With an 8am start, my normal Saturday morning was completely thrown off, but I did enjoy sleeping past 5am for once. I got up, got ready and was out the door by 7:15 to get to the race early for registration and a warm up. Once I got out the door, I was greeted by a thick cloud of fog and some pretty heavy humidity.

Living in the clouds

Living in the clouds

Beforehand I didn’t know much about the race or course, as it was all race day registration and no course map was available online. There was no charge for the race, but donations were appreciated. In return you received a blue wrist band from JDRF. I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout, probably around 50 people showed up to help this young man out.

After about a mile+ warm up, we met on the track at the middle school and got instructions on the race as well as information about Type 1 Diabetes. I couldn’t help but almost tear up after seeing how much had been put into this race. With final instructions done, we lined up on the track and were ready to go. Unfortunately, I don’t have my splits since my Garmin had a total meltdown and I wasn’t able to upload it in time.

We started off with a lap on the track, and I tried to find a comfortable pace knowing that it was a little hotter than what I was used to. I was hovering between 7:58-8:01 pace and was feeling great. Once we finished our lap, we made our way onto a path and back near the elementary school. From this point on we were on all grass, and the race quickly turned into a cross country course. Not expecting this, I tried to slow myself down because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up the quick pace on the grass.

During the first mile I could feel myself slowing down, but I was still feeling ok. I tried to watch my footing, because the last thing I need is an injury from a 5k. We were in and out of the shade as we made a large loop in the grass. It wasn’t until about the first mile mark that I noticed how many people had dropped back. I was currently sitting in 4th female and probably 8th/9th overall.

I grabbed some water at the water stop and was thankful for the fluids. It was also around this point that I had a young boy right next to me that I just couldn’t shake. We made our way around the giant loop again, and just before the second mile marker, I was able to pull ahead, leaving the young kid behind.

With a mile left to go, I was starting to feel worn down. My legs felt tired from the uneven ground, and I was sweating more than I think I ever have. We came up around the front of the middle school and along the sidewalk next to the road. I was finally able to get some speed and noticed that Liz, the 3rd place female had disappeared.

I continued on my way, making it through the last section of grass before we made a final lap on the track. That lap felt like the longest lap ever, but it was nice I was able to see who was in front of me. About 200 meters in front of me, was the 1st and 2nd place female, and about two other men were finishing up on the track. I had my final kick in the last 150 meters and finished up 3rd place female with a time of 28:06.

This definitely wasn’t your normal 5k, but the meaning behind it was the most important thing to me. There was no official timing or places/awards so I can only go off the time that was yelled out as I crossed the finish line. My time was much slower than what I anticipated, but based on the fact the course was about 90-95% grass, I’m not really surprised. I’m so glad I made the time to come out for this 5k, and I’m proud of the eagle scout for accomplishing his goals with this race.

Running for a cause

Running for a cause

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Twelve

What a week. If there is one word to describe my training lately, it’s a roller coaster. After last week’s let down, I was hoping to come back strong and nail every run. I’d say I was about 50/50 for runs this week.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and was a little disappointed with class. We used exercise bands and I felt more awkward than anything. Hopefully next week we’ll be back to normal weights and I can feel the burn rather than feel that I look ridiculous.

Tuesday we were at the track. Working my way up on 800 repeats I was able to keep all of them under 4:10 pace, and almost consistent. Motivation was lacking for all of us, and I never felt fantastic, but I got them done.

Closing down Tuesday night

Closing down Tuesday night

Wednesday I took off, but Thursday I was able to meet up with Second Sole. We had a group of 4 that stayed together and it was finally a good run. It was also the first run in over a week and a half I didn’t have stomach issues.

Friday was a rest day and my last chance to rest up before the weekend of back to back hard runs. Saturday was a local 5k for Type 1 Diabetes, the recap will come later this week.

Sunday was my long run, and I originally planned to do 20. Active Runner had a group run from Strongsville to Medina, and had both a 20 mile and 10 mile option. With a wake up call of 3:45, I managed to get myself up and ready and to Strongsville by 5:45 for a 6am start. Despite being extremely tired, I was ready….until I noticed my Garmin had a frozen screen and nothing I did fixed it. Luckily I could just count the miles with everyone else, but I knew my fueling would be a bit off.

I started with the 11:00 minute pace group because I knew it would be a hilly route. Within the first mile I was already sweating from humidity and knew it would be a rough day. Over the course of the next 6 miles, I tried to count when everyone’s Garmin beeped so I could fuel with water at every mile and Sport Beans every four. I made the mistake of waiting until mile six to take my salt tab, but it starting working a few minutes after taking it.

By this point I could feel that I wasn’t having a great day. The route was hilly and I felt so thirsty. I could also feel my knees starting to hurt and a slight pain in my arch showed up by mile 7-8. At mile 10 I knew I’d have a chance to end my run if I wanted, and well, I took it. I knew with how my body was feeling I wouldn’t have a full 20 in me. I figured I would attempt a few more miles at home.

So I got home, was extrememly tempted to go back to bed, but instead ran out on the trail. Even though I didn’t have my Garmin, I knew the trail well enough that I knew where I needed to go for 2-3 miles. Unfortunately I was only able to get 2 more miles in. I was struggling with the heat/humidity and my arch was starting to flare up again. I called it for the day, disappointed in myself.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(3:57, 4:03, 4:09, 4:10, 4:02, 4:09, 4:08) .5 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Type 1 Diabetes Awareness 5k

Sunday: 12 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

This week was a little rough, and it didn’t end like I had hoped. But the more I look back on my long run, the better I feel. I was extremely disappointed in myself for bailing out, but I know I did it for the right reasons. PF is the reason I had to bail on Akron last year, and after running such high mileage in the past couple months, I know it’s likely to pop up again at any moment. I’m glad I played it safe and didn’t force it. I’ve hit all my long runs so far, even if I had to move a few things around. One bad long run cut short isn’t going to break my training.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts going around with this cycle, and I’ll eventually get them all together and share them. For now, I’m just going to focus on this next week and take it run by run. My spirit isn’t damaged, but it has a few dents.

Heart & Sole Half Marathon Recap

Saturday I ran the Buehler’s Heart & Sole Half Marathon down in Wooster. I ran this race last year, so I knew what to expect from the course. I also ran the race with a pretty bad case of PF, which ended my Akron training, so knowing I had healthy legs, I was excited to see what I could do.

I had an early wake up call of 4am to make sure I was ready and out the door before 6am. The weather was absolutely perfect hovering between 49-50 degrees and the morning had every intention of being the perfect race.

Sunrise on the way to Wooster

Sunrise on the way to Wooster

I was on the road by 6am, headed down the back roads, and could feel the excitement of the race. Even with a long 45 minute drive, I can’t help but sign up for races in Wooster. After spending two years running almost every other weekend around town, I can’t help but have a sense of home when I go there.

I got in town and found a parking spot by 6:45 and made my way to the start line to get my bib, shirt and get in line for the bathrooms. I met up with some MCRR ladies before the start and was ready to go!

Lovely ladies of MCRR

Lovely ladies of MCRR

I lined up between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacer, knowing that I could probably keep up with the 2:05 pace, but the hills would slow me down a bit. Just as we were about to start, my Garmin turned off. I restarted it, but unfortunately lost between .10-.20 of the course, so none of my splits or mile marks were correct. So I decided to just run by how I felt and see where that led me.

The course was exactly the same as last year, so we made our way out of downtown from Market to Bowman to Christmas Run Park. We made our way through parts of the development and out to Oak Hill Drive. I was feeling pretty good and finding a pace I felt comfortable with. I took a sip of my water at every mile (marked on the road) and tried to keep a steady effort as we started with a gradual incline.

We had a couple of hills coming up soon, so I didn’t want to use up all my energy so quickly, but also wanted to get the hills over with. At about 2.5 miles in, we turned in the hilly development. We went up and turned and continued to go up some more. We were met with some flat ground at the third mile marker, but turned another corner to face more hill. Finally on the way out we have some decline, but it was at this point I needed to use the port-a-potty that was conveniently located by the water stop.

I got back on my way and felt better, knowing I was behind, I started to pick people off one by one as we made our way up Oak Hill. The incline was ever so slight, but surprisingly my legs were still feeling great. I took Sport Beans around mile 4 and continued past Oak Hill Park.

We turned onto Oldman Road and it was about this point that the first runners started coming back. I saw a lot of MCRR and Jess and Ryan, which was a great confidence booster. The road also had the only section of flat course, so my pace started to pick up to take advantage of it.

Next we turned onto 83 and headed to the park around the soccer fields. This was our half way point and we reached 6 miles just as we headed into the park. I took some water, a salt tab and Honey Stinger Chews. I was still feeling pretty good and was navigating the rolling hills of the park pretty well. We were almost on our way out of the park, and that’s when I started to feel sick. I had almost a mile until the next water stop and port-a-potty, but luckily we were on our way back. I stopped for a bathroom break and then got back on the road.

I felt better and continued along. Most of the course would be downhill now, with the exception of the hilly development. I tried to pick up my pace and make up for lost time. Despite the hills and the stop and starts, my legs weren’t tired, which I knew would be good for the upcoming hills.

I made my way around the development, which was without a doubt harder the second time. Last year I walked a bunch, but this year I kept it steady, even if I had slowed down by some. I started to pick up speed in the final downhill of the development and made a last minute stop at the port-a-potty, more of fear for “what if”. After a waste of a stop, I was back on the road with 2.5 miles left. It was here that I started to beat myself up for the time I wasted.

I kept my pace steady, picking it up ever so slightly. I was frustrated that my legs felt so great, yet my stomach, and partially my head got in the way of my race. As we made our way back towards downtown, I took advantage of all the downhill I could. In the last mile I really tired to pick up my pace and wanted to give it all I had. With my Garmin not matching up, I really had no idea what time I’d come in. I rounded the last corner and started the finish down. I kicked in my finish and gave the last quarter mile everything that was left in me.

I crossed the line at 2:08:16. My 4th fastest half. And three minutes faster than last year.

Overall, I love this race. Both times I’ve run it, I haven’t run my best, but I still keep coming back. Wooster is hilly, and the development is the absolute hardest part of the course.

Just keep going up (2013 Elevation, same course as this year)

Just keep going up (2013 Elevation, same course as this year)

However, the course is clean, it’s well marked, and the support has been great. I also may be a little biased because I have an absolute love for Wooster. Even though I didn’t have my best race, I was impressed with how great my legs felt on course. It may not have been my day, but Saturday was a great way to see how far I’ve come this year with my training. As long as I’m available, I plan to be back at this race again next year.

Half number 19

Half number 19

Results

Official Time: 2:08:16

Age Group 20-29: 15/21

Female: 64/105

Overall: 176/233

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eleven

What a week. My body took a long time to recover from my 20 miler, and it took more out of my weekday runs than I expected. I took Monday off from Body Fusion to let my legs recover, they were still a little stiff from Saturday’s run.

Tuesday we were at the track and this time I focused on mile repeats. Instead of going all out like I had been, I tried to keep them as close as I could in pace. I started to loosen up the more I ran, and actually felt pretty good. I was pretty satisfied with my splits, and think that I could definitely bring my 5k time down soon.

Wednesday I headed to the trail and ran some recovery miles. I felt pretty good and thought about running even further than I originally planned, but decided to head back home after mile three after I started to feel a little sick.

Thursday I took off for a much needed girls nights and wine tasting. Stress levels have been above normal lately, so it was exactly what I needed. Sorry running shoes.

Friday was a rest day in prep for Saturday’s race. I’ll have my recap up later this week. I had originally planned on running Sunday as recovery, but after having company all weekend, spending all day Sunday in the sun, and feeling a bit sore from Saturday’s race, I decided to take it off. I felt guilty for a while, but after looking ahead to this week, I know I needed the extra rest.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3×1600(8:06, 8:07, 8:09), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Buehler’s Heart & Sole Half Marathon

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 22 Miles

My weekly mileage was low, and not where I wanted it to be, but my stomach was not on the same page as my legs this week. I’m hoping to work a few things out, and hopefully get back to some really good training runs. Not every week will be great, so I deal with it, and focus on the next.

Looking ahead to this week, I’ll have 2-3 week days runs, a local 5k on Saturday and a hilly 20 miler on Sunday. Sounds like it should be an interesting week!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Ten

This week was all about refocusing after last week’s cut back week, and honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. Without a doubt, this week was my strongest yet, and completely restored all confidence in my running.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and I was so glad to get back into class. Having the rec center shut down for a week really put me in a funk last week. This week we focused on maxing out our arms. I was able to go all the way up to 15lbs for free weights/kettle bells and I never felt stronger. My arms are still weak compared to what I know many other people can do, but I’m slowly getting there.

Tuesday was the real test. With some slight twinge still in my hip, I hoped I’d be able to complete my workout without stopping early. I met up with Mo and we planned on running our 800’s at a 4:15 pace. We ended up under pace for all but one, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

My perfect Tuesday night

My perfect Tuesday night

Wednesday was my recovery run and in the the first time in about three weeks, I actually had my iPod on me during my run. I stayed close to home, but I got lost in my thoughts and the music. I tried not to look at my watch and ran whatever pace my legs were comfortable with. I was all over the place from 9:04 to 8:12 to 8:48, but I felt great. It was exactly the run I needed to reassure me that I am still going strong with training.

Thursday was the group run with Second Sole. We started as a group, but by a half mile in we broke up into our smaller groups. I spent most of the run speaking with one of the employees about our old college conference and I became completely unaware of my pace. We headed out for five miles of rolling hills through town, with the last mile about 95% uphill. I averaged an 8:51 pace and felt really strong for my third run in a row.

Friday was my rest day and I took every precaution to get myself ready for Saturday’s long run. I knew that this 20 miler would be a big deal and pretty much set the tone for the rest of training. I knew I could keep my pace around 10 minutes for most of the run, but I wanted to slow down a bit. After my 18 miler a few weeks ago, I felt great for about 15 minutes, but shortly after I fell apart and was sick for most of the afternoon. I didn’t want that to happen again.

Saturday I met with a small group of MCRR and we headed out for our long run. We all had different distances, so our route was full of out and back and loops, but it worked out perfectly. We started on the inlet and headed out on the back roads before turning around. I was still warming up, and a little unsure if I could handle the full 20 miles, but I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise and forgot about the miles for a little bit.

Country roads sunrise

Spoiled by sunrises

We made our way back and dropped off a few runners. By now we were already at 6 miles, keeping steady just under a 10:00 minute pace. Next we headed out to the rail trail and I was so excited to explore a new route. The trail was heavily shaded and kept us cool as the weather started to heat up. We made a slight adjustment and took a turn near Chippewa to pick up the inlet again. We made our way back to the cars, dropped a few more runners off, and decided to make a loop around the outer roads of Buckeye Woods.

The roads had more than a few rolling hills, so our pace slowed down, but we were still right around a 10:00 pace. By now we were approaching mile 15 and I knew my legs would start to wear down a bit. I was feeling ok, but prepared for the worst. We took a few miles around the marsh and let our legs recover from the pavement. Running on crushed limestone saved my legs, but I did feel a small pain in my left knee that went away by mile 16.

As we made our way around the marsh and headed towards the woods, we lost one more runner. We were approaching mile 18, and I knew I had just 20 more minutes of running left. I couldn’t help but get excited for the final miles, knowing how great I felt and finishing up on the trails couldn’t have been more perfect. With a half mile to go, I started to pick up the pace and gave what I had until the final beep.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 20 miler, especially considering it was my first one of the training cycle. The two biggest things I wanted to focus on were pacing and fueling. I wanted to stay over a 10:00 minute pace, but spent 13/20 miles under. I ended up with a 10:03 average pace, a quicker pace than my 18 miler two weeks before.

As for fueling, I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of it, and wanted to test what would work best on race day. I was spot on, and nothing ever gave me any issues, my main concern for race day. I stuck with the following:

  • Sips of water at every mile mark, more often if needed in the later miles
  • Two-three sport beans every four miles (miles 4, 8, 12, 16)
  • Salt tabs every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)
  • Honey Stinger chews every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)

This worked out perfectly. I never felt tired, dehydrated or hungry, so I’ll be sure to keep this fueling strategy for all of my future long runs. Without a doubt fueling was key to making this the perfect 20 miler.

The perfect 20

The perfect 20

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(4:12, 4:17, 4:10, 4:10, 4:11, 4:12, 4:06), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 34 Miles

This week was great. I hit every workout like I wanted and felt stronger than ever. I also hit my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m just under my goal of 600  miles for the year. I have to admit, I had my doubts about training recently, but this week was the turning point. I couldn’t have done this week without the help of the amazing MCRR members. They’ve definitely pushed me more than I know this year. Now I’m excited more than ever for Wineglass!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Nine

We’re officially halfway through this training cycle and honestly, I wasn’t sure how this week would go. All last week I had a weak feeling in my right knee, which was cleared out after my massage. But then I was greeted with some major pain on my left knee that showed up the day after my 18 miler. These knees really know how to put a damper in a training cycle.

Well, luckily, things turned around. I iced, rolled and stocked up on Ibuprofen all day Sunday and Monday and woke up pain free on Tuesday. Also, the rec center was closed all week for annual cleaning, so I took Monday as a complete recovery day and it did wonders for my knees.

Tuesday I headed to the track to test the waters. After my warm up mile (my 100th mile for the month!) I felt good enough to give 800’s a shot. Previously I felt my pace was a little slow and I wasn’t working hard enough, so this time the goal pace was 4:15 for six repeats. Well, I was definitely quicker than my pace time, but not too uncomfortable that I couldn’t handle it. So it looks like I’ll be working around this quicker pace for future 800 repeats, and hopefully try for more next time.

Wednesday I did my recovery run with Elayna and Ella in the metro parks. We took it easy and I’m glad we did because I had almost forgotten what it was like to run in the heat and humidity. It was good to catch up and the perfect place to get away from my normal running routes.

Comforting views of the park

The memories of these parks

Thursday I had planned on running with Second Sole, but got stuck in traffic on 71 and in town due to the fair. Sometimes, an hour just isn’t enough time to get from work to run group. So I ended up running around town on my own, which was pretty good except for the uneven sidewalks and crazy drivers. I wanted to do between 4-5, but the uneven steps gave me a slight twinge in my hip and I decided to call it a day.

Saturday was an interesting run. I had a bad Friday night that led me to not be very well prepared for a long run Saturday morning. Throw in an extra early 4:15am wake up call, and some stomach issues and you’ve got the perfect recipe to the start of a long run turned recovery.

I started with some MCRR at Buckeye Woods, but quickly learned that I wouldn’t last long on the back roads. So instead I turned around and stayed close to the park for when I needed to make a pit stop. All week I had been going back and forth about using this week as a recovery week. My right leg had an off feeling all week and in the back of my mind, I know that running 20 wouldn’t have helped it. I may have been feeling pretty miserable Saturday morning, but I know it was just my body’s way of telling me to take a break. After all, I haven’t had a cut back week in almost a month and a half. And even if the run wasn’t pretty, watching the sunrise over the fog was.

Perk of a 6am morning run

Perk of a 6am morning run

Worth the early morning wake up call

Worth the early morning wake up call

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 1 mile w/u, 6×800(4:09,4:11,4:06,4:02,4:01, 3:58), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 7 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 18 Miles

So this week was an semi intentional cut back week. I still have a twinge in my right leg, but it comes and goes. Luckily it isn’t very painful, but more of the feeling that not everything is clicking the way it should. I’ve been rolling it and icing the pain points, but unfortunately, the most uncomfortable feeling comes from when I’m driving. With almost 10 hours a week just for my work commute, I can’t avoid the odd feeling in my hip/quad/knee. So I’ll do what I can in between and hope it doesn’t cause any injury down the road. I can still run pain free, and have no intention of backing off training, I just need to figure out what I’m doing to cause the weird feeling in my leg.

July Rewind

July is already over and it’s hard to believe that summer is going so quickly! July was an extremely busy month that mostly consisted of working, running, eating and sleeping almost every single day. I stepped away from the blog this month some and didn’t have a Friday favorites or 365 photo recap, but honestly, I don’t think I would have had time. This month was a busy one, so let’s take a look at the numbers….

Miles run: 111

Races run: 4 (Twin Sizzler 5k/10k, Trail Monster 5k/15k)

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: 7/26 – 18 Mile Long Run

Books read: The Runner’s High

Recipes: Shipwreck

July was full of running and had some great workouts. I hit my highest month of mileage yet, and nailed every long run I had scheduled for training. I didn’t run as many days or miles as I originally planned, but I scaled things back in the last week or so of July to keep some pains at bay and prevent injury.

I tackled 4 races this month, but had a different goal in mind. I attended races that had multiple races for the day and combined them to create my long run. The Twin Sizzler put me in my place and the Trail Monster gave me a deeper insight to technical single track. I loved the experience of both, but plan on sticking to one race per day in the future.

My favorite workout came at the end of the month with my 18 miler. I focused on a close to marathon pace for a majority of my run and ran those 18 miles in just over 3 hours. I never thought I could hold that pace for so long, or come in that close to three hours for 18 miles! This run was a huge confidence booster because last year I failed at my 18 miler.

I didn’t do so well on biking or reading this month, but as always I promise to think about it at least once next month, and maybe get back into it. Truthfully, I’m just too exhausted all the time to add anything else into my day.

August will be full of more miles, and hopefully no injuries. I also have one of my favorite half marathons coming up and I can’t wait to see how I do.

What was your favorite thing from July? What plans do you have for August?

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eight

Two months of training are done and time is just flying by! This week wasn’t how I originally planned, but I did what I could. Monday I was still a little sore from my trail race, but got a great workout in at Body Fusion. It was probably one of my hardest classes, but the yoga section was beyond rewarding.

Tuesday I had weird legs pains all day. The pain would move from my hip, to my knee, to my quad and start all over again. I was a little concerned for my workout, but decided to play it by ear. I got to the track and magically everything felt great. We ran 7×800’s around my goal marathon time, and honestly, I think they may have been too slow. I know I didn’t want to over do it with the heat, but I definitely think I could have pushed myself a little harder. Iced, stretched and rolled after and of course nothing hurt.

Wednesday I wasn’t sure how my body would feel so I planned on taking it easy. I had some small twinges, but after stretching a lot at work, I felt ok enough to run. I decided to keep it close to home in case I needed to turn around, but thankfully I didn’t need to. The first few steps on the sidewalk were stiff, but once I got to my trail I felt great and knocked out 4 beautiful miles in the almost fall like weather.

My trail.

My own slice of Heaven.

Thursday I had some minor pain in my knee and didn’t want to risk it too much, so I treated myself to an hour massage. I know my body has been beat up in the last few weeks with hills, higher mileage and some major trails, so I needed to get my legs out of this funk. Getting a massage was the best decision I made because I came out of there with absolutely no pain at all. My quads were as tight as can be and had some huge knots, so it felt great to get those all worked out.

Friday I took as a rest day as a precaution from the week’s pain, but I was definitely feeling much better, and pain free for my long run on Saturday.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 4.75 Miles, .5 mile w/u, 7×800(4:17, 4:18, 4:23, 4:20, 4:18, 4:10, 4:08), .75 mile c/d

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: 1 Hour Massage

Friday: Off

Saturday: 18 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 27 Miles

I did my long run on Saturday hoping to avoid the rain that was supposed to hit us all weekend. Jeanne met at my house and we started our 18 mile journey, with the goal pace of staying around 10:00 minute miles. The weather was beautiful, still a little humid, but Saturday morning at 6:30am could be one of the best looking times of the day!

20140726-204104-74464312.jpg

Perfect view to start 18 miles

I was feeling pretty strong and really tried to keep my focus on my pace. Jeanne is quicker than me, so I didn’t want to push myself too early on and struggle halfway through. Our first loop was on back roads and traffic was relatively quiet. It took my legs a few miles to warm up, but I had no pain, so I felt great.

After our loop we headed to the trail nearby and ran an out an back of just about 7 miles. It felt so great to be in the shade and feel the crushed limestone under my feet. We fueled at 5 miles, and stopped for a port-a-potty break at 7 miles before turning back on the trail. Between mile 8-9 I could feel myself become a little tired, but the thought of getting to stop at home for ice cold water at mile 10.5 kept me going.

We stopped at my house at 10.5 miles and filled up on cold water and fueled again. I started to get nervous wondering if I could actually complete the full 18 miles, but Jeanne reassured me it was all in my head and my legs would take me the full long run.

The next part of the run was a 4 mile out and back through some nearby developments, and I focused so hard on thinking it was just 4 miles. There was a slight incline that started to wear down my legs and by mile 13 I was struggling. At this point everything hurt and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it the last 5 miles. This was also the point where my pace was closer to 10:30 than 10:00 and I could definitely feel a difference.

We refueled at mile 14 and filled up on ice water again. We also adjusted our last out and back so we could get back on the trail and take advantage of the shade. It was at this point in my run that I focused on each mile as though it was it’s own. It was no longer about making it to 18, but rather making it to the next mile. And so we went back and forth on the trail over and over until we hit that magical number.

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Finishing that 18 miler was probably more important to me than finishing 20. Last year I completely failed at 18, and this year, I needed it more than anything. What surprised me the most was my pace, I had no idea I’d actually be close to finishing in 3 hours. And although I struggled in the last four miles, I was pretty much where I hoped to be and ended up with an average of 10:10 pace.

The only downside to the run was I was completely dehydrated afterward. I tried to drink lots of water, but it wasn’t enough. I also only took a salt tab at the first hour instead of taking them each hour. Lesson learned, I need to stick with my salt tabs and drink lots of water during my run, because the rest of the weekend my body was out of it.

Sunday I had planned on an evening recovery run, but woke up with a strong pain on the inside of my left knee. Nice to see that when one knee is pain free, the other picks up something new. I’m slightly concerned because I’ve had this pain before and know that it can lead to some major issues. I just don’t know how it happened, but I’m assuming it was at some point in my 18 miles.

This next week will most likely have to change due to my knee. I’m still pretty far out from race day, but don’t want to do anything now that I’ll regret later on. I also feel that my legs need a bit of a break. They’re still beat up from the Trail Monster race, and I’m hoping I didn’t do anything too harmful to jeopardize my marathon.

 

 

 

Trail Monster 5k/15k Recap

Last Saturday I took my long run to the trails and raced a 5k and 15k down in Wooster at the Spangler-Memorial Park. Considering I spent almost every other weekend in Wooster for two years, I thought I’d have a pretty good understanding of what the lay of the land would be like. I was wrong. Memorial Park was way out of town and much more technical than I expected.

I got to the park around 7:30, stretched for a bit, and ran into an old Muskingum classmate. The 5k started at 8:00 and had a pretty good turnout. We were told the trails were muddy from the rain all night/morning and the bridges were pretty slick. Once everyone was lined up, we were off.

I started out with a 9:40 pace and quickly lost satellite when I entered the woods, so my pace was not recorded accurately. The first two miles were all single track and we started with some smaller hills, and followed it with a long downhill that was a little too steep to take at a normal speed with the mud. I slowed down a bunch here, but was able to pick up my pace once I got to the bottom.

After the first mile everyone spread out and I ended up alone. I had a few people behind me, and one person in front of me, just almost out of eye sight. We continued with more hills including a major hill along a ridge where everyone started walking. The trail was wet, but not as bad as I had expected it to be. There were were a lot of rocks and roots so I kept my eyes on the ground most of the time, but when I got a chance to look up, the views were amazing. There was so much green and the trees had a way of wanting you to get lost in them. There were also sections of fog that were picture perfect if I had my phone with me.

Right around mile two, we came out into a field and I noticed that my time was right around my normal finish time. Talk about a huge difference between road and trail races! We continued in the field for about a half mile, going back and forth. My pace was able to pick up some, but I thought it was harder on the legs because of the bumps in the grass.

We came back into the woods and made our way to the final half mile. The trail wasn’t as technical so I felt more confident with my stride. We had one final hill before we finished near the parking lot. I came in and picked up my stride as I clocked my slowest 5k ever.

5k Course

5k Course

5k Elevation

5k Elevation

Results

Time: 33:59

AG 20-29: 5/5

Female: 9/11

Overall: 21/26

 

I had about 15 minutes between the 5k and the 15k so I fueled up, stretched and rolled my legs. My right calf was pretty tight from the hills so I was a little concerned how it would do during the next race. Luckily after stretching and rolling, my legs felt pretty fresh.

We lined up, had a short chat about the course and were off. The first half mile was on pavement which felt amazing! I was at a sub 10 pace and knew this was the only time I’d have any sort of speed for the next hour or so.

After a half mile we were back on the trails and I quickly slowed down. I’ll be honest, the miles in the woods all blurred together and since I spent most of my time staring at the ground, I don’t remember much from each mile. I do have moments that stuck out to me that really taught me how different trail racing is compared to road racing.

Within the first two miles everyone had already separated and I found myself with two other runners. We spent almost the entire race together and it helped to motivate me to keep going.

There were a ton of hills and running on the side of ridges. Some parts of the trail were at an angle, and some consisted of giant puddles of mud. The longer we were out there, the messier the trail became and it was hard to keep solid footing without sliding around. Thankfully I didn’t fall, but there were a few times I thought I was close.

The hills were tough! My legs burned every time we had a big hill and I wasn’t ashamed of walking, just like everyone else. But once we got to the “flatter” sections, my legs felt amazing and I thought I could go on forever!

We crossed streams/rivers about 7 times, with 5 of those crossings being very wide and ankle deep. Normally I would have tried to jump or find rocks to walk across. Some this was possible, others your feet were getting soaked no matter what.

The last half mile of the race came out of the woods where we entered, and unfortunately I had to stop to use the port-a-potty. I had consumed so much water in the woods I didn’t think I could make it another half mile. Looking back, I probably could have, but didn’t want to be the runner with wet shorts.

That last half mile though, was almost effortless. Other people were walking or shuffling, but I was kicking in my speed. I think it was obvious at this point that I was a road runner, and not much of a trail runner. But as we made our way back into the park, I couldn’t help but smile, knowing I had just run 12.5 miles of hard, technical, single track trails and feeling like a million bucks!

15k Course

15k Course

15k Elevation

15k Elevation

Results

Time: 2:07:47

AG 20-29: 5/6

Female: 17/20

Overall: 50/56

 

These races were hard, there’s no doubt about it. And this trail was the hardest, most technical trail I’ve ever run. But I enjoyed every moment of it. Yes my times were incredibly slow, but that’s to be expected. I’m not upset over my times or how I paced, but rather excited that I was able to spend some time on the trails, learning more about this side of running and letting myself go. I used to be so cautious on trails, fearing I’d fall, but this race, especially the 15k, let me relax and just enjoy the adventure.

I think this was a great race and would have loved to try the other two in the series. My body is still recovering, but honestly, I’m ready to tackle some more trails! The only issue I had was my Garmin losing Satellite in the woods, which is probably a common issue.  I’d definitely suggest this race if you’re big on trails. And if you’re just starting like me, I think this was a great way to get my feet wet!

 

Top 5 favorite race shirts!

Top 5 favorite race shirts!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Seven

Week seven in complete, and it was a strong one! This week was a big game changer for me, and I feel more confident about my training than I have the previous weeks. Like always, I started the week with Body Fusion. I finally used heavier weights, but class was still a little easy for the newer classmates. I left wanting to sweat more, so hopefully things will ramp up again over the next few weeks.

Tuesday was 800 repeats day on the track. We all started together, but when Bob and Beth showed up, they broke us up and helped us work on the pace that best suited our marathon goals. Even after 6 repeats I felt comfortable with my pace, and wanted to do more. This workout was the key to figuring out how I need to refocus my track workouts. I’ve been too concerned with going as fast as I can rather than focus on a pace that will help my marathon time.

My Tuesday's

My Tuesday’s

Wednesday I headed out to Chippewa Lake and ran a new trail that I noticed on Sunday. Unfortunately the trail was only a half mile long, but it did have some beautiful views of the lake. Instead of running the same path back and forth, I packed up and went to Buckeye Woods where I finished the rest of my run on my favorite dirt trails.

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Thursday and Friday I was off, but I had big plans for Saturday. I ran the Trail Monster 5k and 15k down in Wooster. I’ve been craving some trails lately, and since I knew I had 16 miles on the schedule, I decided to run both and finish up the last of my needed mileage after the races. I’ll have a recap later this week, but wow was it tough. I finished up the last miles on the road outside the park and felt pretty good. My legs welcomed an even, solid path to run and although the time on my feet was longer than last week, I felt good after my long run.

Sunday I did a short recovery run around the neighborhood. I ran the first mile with Darren and finished up the last mile plus on my own. My legs were incredibly sore and for the rest of the day I had some weird twinge in my right leg. I’m still tight/sore, but hoping after some more foam rolling and stretching, my body will be back to normal.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 6 Miles,1 mile w/u, 6×800 repeats(4:06,4:06,3:58,4:28,4:30,4:27)with 4×400 recovery, 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3.6 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Trail Monster 5k/15k + 3.6 Miles

Sunday: 2 Miles

Total Miles: 28 Miles

This next week my weeknight schedule is finally back to normal so I don’t have to stress about moving around runs. I also want to focus on keeping my track workout at the same pace and increasing the amount of 800’s I run. And of course, I’ll have the pressure of the long run waiting over my head all week, 18 miles seems to be the most stressful for me.

 

How do you prepare for your long run? What distance training run makes you the most nervous?