Frosty 5 Miler Recap

On Christmas Eve, I ran the Frosty 5 Mile race in Hudson. I typically don’t run any races near Christmas, but after a bunch of MCRR members signed up, I decided I would give it a shot. We met up at 6:45am and drove to Hudson, picked up our bibs, stayed warm in the car and watched the 1 Mile race.

The weather was a bit chilly, but it definitely could have been a lot colder, or worse, we could have been running on ice or snow. We decided to run the race as a group and do it as a fun run. We lined up, and shortly after the National Anthem, we were off!

We started from the square and ran up Main Street. This was the first time I’d ever been to Hudson, so I was enjoying the sights of the cute town and all of the older houses decorated for Christmas. We continued up College St. and ran around some more homes. The first mile had a nice gradual incline that didn’t seem as bad in the beginning, but I could feel it the longer we were running.

Mile 1-9:22

The first mile seemed to go on forever, but isn’t it always like that in the shorter races? At this point, I was wishing the race was a 5k, and I was a little concerned I was going to struggle with the race. After making our way past Western Reserve Academy we headed over to Hayden Parkway. We kept ourselves busy by talking and I could feel the pace start to pick up a bit. I was still feeling strong, but didn’t want to go out too fast and tire too much towards the end.

Mile 2-8:41

We continued along through the housing developments, which reminded me a little of Medina. The next mile and a half were pretty much a blur. Everything looked pretty much the same and there was nothing too exciting. At some point, Mo ran into some friends, so they joined us for a bit.

Mile 3-8:56

With two miles to go, I was still feeling pretty good, and trying not to check my Garmin. We headed down Ravenna Street, which was a little more open than the developments. Next, we headed to a park and ran around the two ponds. It was a  nice little break from the streets and even though most trees were without leaves, it was very pretty.

Mile 4-8:56

We finished up around the lake, and with just one mile left I started to pick up the pace a bit. We headed back towards the square and were greeted again with the older, beautiful homes. I checked my Garmin with about a half mile to go, and didn’t think I was anywhere close to my PR. So I didn’t push it too hard, but kept up a quicker pace. We had a few turns left but we finally made our last turn and headed into the finish line.

Mile 5-8:34

I thought this was a great race! I don’t run too many 5 milers, but this one is definitely on my list for future races. The course was well marked and Western Reserve Racing did a great job of hosting. We really lucked out with weather, which can always be dicy this time of year.

The course was beautiful, especially around the square and through the park. It isn’t too challenging, but there are a few smaller hills. And it turns out, it’s a pretty fast course. After checking my data, I was just 46 seconds off my PR! If I had known that, I would have pushed it a little more. I definitely recommend this race and will be there next year, weather permitting 😉

MCRR!

MCRR!

Results:

Official Time: 43:11

Age Group 25-29: 14/52

Female:106/282

Overall: 275/657

Fun new race tee!

Fun new race tee!

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Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week One

The first week of training is done, and we’re just going to pretend it was a warm up. I’m not sure why I thought I could balance the first week of training with the week of Christmas, but I didn’t fare too well.

I only managed three days of workouts, and just two with runs. I also tracked my sleep schedule and water intake, which wasn’t impressive either.  With unusual schedules, excessive food, and plenty of time in the car. This week was just a plain bust. But at least it can only go up from here!

Monday: 30 minutes Jasyoga- Dynamic Hamstring Flexibility

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: Frosty 5 Miler

Friday: 0

Saturday: 5.28 miles + Abs

Sunday: 0

Total: 10.28 Miles

I started Monday with a quick Jasyoga session. My hips are terribly weak so I thought this may be a good video for me. It definitely helped to stretch me out, but I’d prefer to be in a class rather than by myself.

I didn’t get out on a run until Thursday. I’m not sure how that happened, but I didn’t feel prepared for the race. We decided to run as a group and I was pushed to medium effort, but ran well. I’ll have a recap up later this week.

MCRR at Frosty 5 Miler!

MCRR at Frosty 5 Miler!

I was able to get in a short run on Saturday before heading out of town. I didn’t feel fantastic, most likely from all the food I had all week. I ran from home, to the square and back. It’s mostly a gradual uphill there and a nice decline on the way back. I ended up negative splitting all but the last mile and felt great. The only downside of this route is traffic and the constant stopping and starting.

 

December 26th, still no snow

December 26th, still no snow

I had good intentions to do my long run Sunday morning, but the weather was horrible where we were and I didn’t have access to a gym. Major fail on my part.

Clearly this week was rough on my training. But I was able to spend time with family and had a wonderful Christmas. This week was just one of eighteen. I have plenty of time to get ready, and I’m not going to let this week stress me out.

On to week two!

Here we go again!

Well, well. I’ve found myself back at the beginning of a training cycle once again. Only this year I won’t be training for a spring half. Instead, I’m stretching the long runs a bit longer, and for the first time, I’ll be training for a spring marathon. Yikes! Even typing it feels a little scary, maybe because we’ve had two harsh winters back to back that make me a bit concerned on what this winter will bring. But it’s time I put on my big girl shoes (with the help of few friends) and get back on the road to running a 4:30 marathon!

Now, if you remember, in the fall of 2014, I ran the Wineglass Marathon. Training was amazing, my head, heart and legs were ready to run a 4:30 and I truly believed I could do it. Unfortunately, my head got the best of me, and I hit the wall hard at mile 16, and again at mile 20, and well, the race didn’t turn out anything like I had imagined. I still pulled on a 21+ minute PR, but my dream of running a 4:30 marathon was crushed. I vowed to never run a marathon again, at least for a long while. Then 2015 happened, and instead of training for a marathon, I got married. Which in retrospect, was a lot more fun. So even though running was a complete disaster, I won the more important prize.

But, it turns out, when you get a bunch of runners together, add a bit of wine, and the post run break high of loving running once again, you decide you want to run a marathon. So over the past few months, four of us have been researching races, narrowing down schedules, and we finally decided on a spring marathon! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running the Coastal Delaware Marathon on April 24th!

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I’ve trained for three marathons, and have run two, so I’m not completely new to the distance, but I still find there are things that need improvement. Over the next 18 weeks, I’ve set out a plan, made some changes from previous mistakes, but also kept what I excelled at. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Mileage:

During Wineglass training, I hit 100+ miles for three out of four months of training. Because of this, I felt that my running was much stronger. With longer runs during the week, plus more days on my feet, my long runs (15+ miles) felt much easier that I expected them to. So I plan on upping my mileage, running 4-5 days per week and expanding my long run to 22 miles.

I’ll be using the Runner’s World training plan I used last time, but I’ll be making some minor tweaks to accommodate longer runs and my schedule. I’m hoping with more mileage, I’ll be more prepared and I won’t panic about the distance mid race like at Wineglass.

Cross Training:

This is something I severely lack. I was good about it during Wineglass, but I need to step it up again. Unfortunately, my commute gets in the way of being able to join classes after work. Considering I don’t get home until 6:30, and even later during the winter, making it to class on time is almost out of the question. So, it looks like I’ll be doing much of this on my own. I’ve decided to try the following

-Monday: Yoga (at least 30 minutes)

-Tuesday/Thursday: Lift

-After every run: Abs

Hopefully I can stick to this plan and see some improvements. We’ll see how it goes.

Diet and Hydration:

The biggest thing that can turn my run from a great one to a horrible one, is my stomach. I’ve found a few things that work for me pre run and during, but there is always room for improvement. The biggest improvement I want to make is no longer eating dinner at 9:00pm or later. Again, thanks to our long commutes, we eat much later than normal people. But when you get home at 6:30, workout until 7:30 or 8, it’s rare to eat at a decent time. Regardless of what time I eat, I still should be eating healthier.

I also need to stay hydrated. I’m aiming to drink at least 50 oz of water a day, hopefully more. It shouldn’t be too hard during the week, but weekends could be a bit challenging.

Sleep:

It’s no secret that I struggle with sleep. On average, I get about 4.5 hours of solid sleep a night. Some days I’m not even sure how I function. The more sleep I get, the better I can recovery and the more motivation I’ll have.

 

And of course, here’s a look at the training planned for the next 18 weeks. I hope to stick to it as close as I can, but I also need to prepared for life to get in the way at times.

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So here we go. 18 weeks, lots of miles, and fingers crossed for a mild winter. It’s time to start marathon training!

Seattle Half Marathon Recap

When we first starting planning our trip to Seattle back in the spring, I naturally looked up to see if there were any races during that weekend. Aside from some Thanksgiving Day races, I found four half marathons over the long weekend, and finally set my sights on the Seattle Half Marathon. I didn’t register at the time, but still planned on running it. When we got around to booking our flights, my fitness level was at it lowest. But over the last couple of months, I worked my way up in mileage and completed a half marathon. So I registered.

Going in, I didn’t really have any goals other than to finish. I was on vacation, this was going to be a fun run, and the perfect opportunity to cross Washington off my list of states. But since I had to have some plan in mind, I decided to stick with a 9:30 pace and see what would happen. But I also reminded myself that if I didn’t run well, it’d be ok.

I woke up Sunday morning around 5am, got ready, was extremely nervous and got down to the start line just in time for the race to start. I planned on getting there a little earlier, but those nerves got me. I was hoping it’d be a clear morning like the rest of the week so I could see the Space Needle next to us, unfortunately it was pretty foggy so you couldn’t see anything.

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

The half marathon started at 7:30 and the full marathon at 8:15. This was a wonderful idea since the starting area was less crowded as well as hopefully the race. I lined up between the 2:05-2:10 group. Honestly, I didn’t really check the elevation chart beforehand, it never occurred to me until we got there, and I heard from others, that it was a hilly course. I decided to stick between the two and let things happen. The National Anthem played, I still get goosebumps and almost tears before every race, and then we were off!

I spent most of the first mile just looking around. We started downtown and worked our way through the streets. I wasn’t familiar with the area, so I had the chance to see the city in a new way. I felt pretty well and my pace was good. I was a little concerned I was overdressed-two long sleeve base layers, but knew I’d figure it out later when I needed to.

We ran down 5th and had the monorail right above us. I didn’t see it moving, but thought that would be a neat sight for passengers to view. Right after the first mile marker we had our first hill, and it kept going for over a quarter of a mile. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, and kept trucking along.

Mile 1-9:20

Mile 2-8:52

We continued down 5th until we made our way to the Express Way. We started to have some incline and some great views of the city as it twisted around. I still couldn’t see as much as I hoped since it was foggy, but it made it somewhat more enjoyable. It was somewhere along here that I had a tap on my shoulder from a fellow Oiselle bird. We chatted for a bit, and she told me to save my energy now and that I’d need it from about mile 8 and on.

We parted ways, and continued along, still feeling pretty good and enjoying the chance to run. It was around the 4th mile marker that we made our way into the tunnel. I can’t remember really ever running in a tunnel, so I thought this was pretty neat, and it was, at least for a little while. I started to get warm and thought maybe I should take a layer off, but decided to wait until I got back out in the fresh air. I was also getting to the point where I was over the tunnel, and I just needed to get out. Finally we were out and back into the cold, crisp air. Perfect!

Mile 3- 9:58

Mile 4- 9:26

From here we turned left onto Lake Washington Blvd. But I was pretty jealous of the marathon runners, they’d get to go onto the floating bridge and down to Seward Park. I thought about taking pictures, but I was in a pretty good groove and didn’t want to mess things up. Google Maps does a good job capturing it, but just imagine that it was foggy and gray, and the water was barely visible.

This, but foggy. Photo cred: Google

This, but foggy. Photo: Google

We had a few rollers along the way, but nothing too crazy. I actually prefered the slight up and down so my legs wouldn’t get too bored with a completely flat route. I was still really enjoying myself, singing in my head to a really good iPod playlist and taking in the sights. I loved seeing the different style of houses on the waterfront and trying to sneak views of the lake.

I took my Honey Stinger chew a little after mile 6, still feeling good, still amazing at how beautiful the area was. But I was also aware that the hill would be coming up soon, so I started to brace myself for it. It was also around this point that Lake Washington Blvd. turned into McGilvera Blvd, which we followed until we turned onto E. Galer.

Mile 5-9:23

Mile 6-9:26

And this is where it hurt. We hit a hill, and it was not fun. It kept going and going, and I kept wondering, is this the big hill everyone talked about? It has to be. But I had no idea what was in store for my poor, little legs.

Just part of the up! Photo cred: Google

Just part of the up! Photo: Google

We turned onto E. Madison, and the hill continued to go up, and up. But I kept my head up, turned my legs over and made it to the top somehow. For a moment I wasn’t sure how I’d keep going, but I did. And I was greeted by the Oiselle Cowbell Corner, a nice reward for the treacherous hills.

Survived the hill! Photo: Sarah H.

Survived the hill! Photo: Sarah H.

Mile 7-9:51

Mile 8-9:54

 

Madison wasn’t too memorable, just a bunch of houses and a main street. I suppose I was a bit tired from the hill, but even so my legs were feeling good and I didn’t want to stop. We continued along to Interlaken Blvd. and I was surprised with how green and lush everything looked.

We passed by the Japanese Garden and Washington Park, I couldn’t help by smile was we were surrounded by trees, the vibrant green just standing out from the slight fog that still lingered. It was about this point that I truly felt like this was exactly what I was hoping for. It was cool, crisp, foggy and the fog was in and out of the course. When I imagine Seattle, this is what I thought of.

I could run this every day. Photo: Google

I could run this every day. Photo: Google

Mile 9-9:13

Mile 10-10:05

At this point I knew I had a 5k left, and I knew it wouldn’t be as hard as the final stretch in some previous races. We made our way onto Boylston and headed back towards the city. My legs still felt strong, but I was reaching the point where I could probably stop for a quick port-a-potty moment. I thought about holding on until the finish, but every time we went downhill, I knew I should stop sooner than later.

I finally made the decision to stop, but it was occupied. Luckily a volunteer told me about one down the street, so I continued along to the next one. It was occupied as well, so I about two minutes waiting in two lines.

After, I felt much better, and we made our way back onto the Express Way towards the finish. I wanted to pick up the pace a bit, but not too much where I would be too worn out. However, I couldn’t help but get excited as we got turned onto the city streets, knowing the finish was close.

Mile 11-9:49

Mile 12-12:38 (bathroom stop)

The final mile seemed to take forever. We were winding through downtown, but since I wasn’t familiar with the area, I still wasn’t sure where we were. I kept checking my watch, thinking I should see the stadium, but it was nowhere to be seen.

It wasn’t until we actually passed the mile marker that I realized how far off my Garmin was. When we passed the marker, my watch was already at 13.19, no wonder that last mile took forever. But I knew I couldn’t give up, I had just .1 to go!

Mile 13-9:05

Coming into the finish

Coming into the finish

I rounded into the stadium and was taken aback at everything. I looked around the crowd and searched for my sister and Darren. I didn’t seen anyone, so I kept going and crossed the finish of my 24th half.

Last. .1-.2? 9:20 pace

Seattle Support Team!

Seattle Support Team!

Overall I really enjoyed this race, and honestly it was probably one of my top 10 favorites. I barely looked at my watch or checked my pace, instead I just enjoyed what I was doing. It was such a fun course that had a variety of views and areas around town, but was also a bit challenging with some of the hills. It was a bit chillier than I had hoped, but it turned out it was perfect weather and I felt like I had the complete Seattle experience.

Definitely not flat

Definitely not flat

The only thing I had an issue with was my Garmin and course length. My guess is that the tunnel may have skewed things a bit and that I may not have hit the tangents properly. But not big deal.

Race swag

Race swag

I highly recommend this race if you’re looking for a destination race. Everything was put on well, from the expo to the race to the finish/recovery area. I never had any issues, and don’t remember hearing any complaints. I will certainly be back out there to run it, as long as I have family in Seattle!

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Results:

Official Time: 2:10:36

Age Group 25-29: 201/444

Female: 1,115/2,678

Overall: 2,466/4/758

 

 

Seattle Trip

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, Darren and I took a mini vacation to Seattle. My sister moved there back in September for college, and since neither of us had been there before, we thought it’d be the perfect time for a trip away. In the months leading up we had made a list of things to see, as well as recommendations from friends and Claire’s personal favorites. We ended up covering a lot in just four short days. Here’s a look at our trip and everything we got to see.

 

Thursday

We flew out Wednesday night after work and arrived around 12:15am, so Thursday was our first full day out on the West Coast. Because it was Thanksgiving, we knew much wouldn’t be open, so we opted to head outside and go for a hike. We decided on Tiger Mountain, which gave us beautiful views of both Mt. Rainier and Seattle.

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Looking towards Mt. Rainier

Looking towards Mt. Rainier

Looking down on Seattle

Looking down on Seattle

We also had a chance to check out some para gliders taking off at the top, which was amazing and a bit scary. Once we finished our hike, we made our way back to town, but stopped by the Fremont Troll to snag a picture.

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From there, we grabbed a light appetizer from our hotel, cleaned up and relaxed a bit before heading out to dinner. We ate at Palomino, which had a special Thanksgiving menu. I’m not a huge turkey person, so I opted for the Salmon, and it did not disappoint!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel, between the three hour time change and the hike, it was a miracle that I stayed awake during dinner.

 

Friday

This was probably our busiest day of the trip. Our day started with the chance to see the Macy’s parade as it started right outside our hotel. I haven’t been to a parade in years, so it was a nice little surprise.

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Next we went to pick up my sister and got a tour of Seattle Pacific University. It was a beautiful campus, and it was nice to see that my sister has found a good home away from home. It certainly didn’t have the rural feel that Muskingum had, but their dorms where much better, including a mountain lodge look and feel in the lobby.

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From there, we took a drive out of town to check out some wineries. Chateau Ste. Michelle was our first stop, and it was pretty busy. The wine was ok, I’ve had it many times before, so it was nothing new and as expected, you didn’t get too much of a personal feel with your tasting since it is such a large brand.

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Instead of going across the street to Columbia Winery, we decided to venture around and were referred to Airfield Estates Winery. We were greeted and given the history of the vineyard and some of the wines. We must have made a good impression because we were able to try a few extras that weren’t on the list. The personal feel, similar to the wineries we visited in Napa, had us enjoy this one more than the first, and we may or may not have bought a case to ship home…I wish we would have skipped Chateau Ste. Michelle for a smaller known winery, but we learned for next time.

At this point we were getting pretty hungry and decided to head back to town. We settled on eating near the water and got our first view of Pike Place Market and the famous Starbucks. We had lunch at Cutters Crabhouse and had a beautiful view of the water and Great Wheel.

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After we were stuffed with more seafood, we decided to venture down to the market and check everything out. I never realized it was more than one level, and just how large it was. It makes the Medina Farmers Market look so tiny! We made our way around and found the Gum Wall, which was recently cleaned off for the first time in over 20 years! I was a little disappointed that it was so empty, but I made sure to add my contribution for the next generation.

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That's my piece!

That’s my piece!

Next up was my sister’s favorite coffee shop in town, Storyville Coffee Company. It had a comforting set up, which reminded me of Caribou. We lucked out because we ended up with the perfect view of the sunset, and their free, amazing chocolate cake.

Perfect sunset!

Perfect sunset!

It was still early in the night, so we decided to wander town and check out a few of the shops, Lush, Fireworks Gallery, Columbia, to name a few. Some were national brands, some local, but another good way to see the city.

 

Saturday

Naturally we had to start Saturday with the Buckeyes. Thankfully the game started at 9am out there, so it didn’t cut into too much of our day. We watched the game at Spitfire, which was nice because each of us had our own TV’s for our individual games.

Next up with headed over to the Westin for the Seattle Half Marathon Expo! The expo was a good size without being overwhelming and bib/bag pick up was fairly easy. I also managed to pick up some new gear, that I most likely didn’t need 😉

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

After a quick stop at Verizon, we headed out to lunch at Ivar’s Acres of Clams. I was a little hesitant on what to get for a pre race meal, but decided on the fish tacos as they’ve been a safe bet in the past. It was another delicious meal, and we got a head start on watching the sunset. Seriously, such beautiful sunsets in Seattle, even if they start at 4pm.

Before dinner

Before lunch

And after

And after

We finished up the day with a trip to University Village. With a similar setup to Crocker Park and Easton, I was certainly in my element. We had a chance to check out some shops, including the Oiselle Store, Fireworks Gallery (again, but it’s so neat!), and SODO (Darren’s favorite).

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For dinner we ended up at RAM Restaurant & Brewery, which was actually a lot better than I expected. I also think it was the first lunch or dinner that I didn’t have seafood! I ended up with the Mac & Cheese for a little bit of extra carbs to help me through race day.

 

Sunday

This was the day I was most excited for, and also most nervous for. I was excited to check out the city by foot and see areas we hadn’t seen, but I was also second guessing myself, thinking that maybe I should have signed up for a 5k instead. The main goal of the race was to have fun. I was on vacation, my eating and sleeping patterns were way off, and I hadn’t run much that week. I’ll have my recap tomorrow, but I can say that it was a great race and I highly recommend it. I may even have to sign up again!

So foggy you can't see the Space Needle to the right

So foggy you can’t see the Space Needle to the right

And done!

And done!

After the race, I cleaned up and we headed to lunch at Homegrown. It was a very neat set up, and I probably would have eaten more, but just wasn’t feeling it post race. From there, we stopped over to another Storyville location before heading to Kerry Park. We were lucky to have perfect weather our entire trip, but unfortunately, the clouds were covering up Mt. Rainier that day.

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My sister informed me that the Intern’s house from Grey’s Anatomy was just down the street from Kerry Park, so naturally we had to stop there. After all these years, I still love this show! From there, we headed over to Fremont Brewing Company. With a very industrial, yet laid back environment, it was the perfect way to wind down the weekend, and it had some delicious beer!

Hi Meredith!

Hi Meredith!

For our final dinner in Seattle, we went to McCormick and Schmick’s on the harbor. Even though it was dark, the views of everything lit up were beautiful, and the food was amazing as well. More seafood, more amazing West Coast seafood!

We flew home on Monday morning and got back to our regular schedule on Tuesday. It was such a wonderful time spending the holiday out in Seattle and I can see why my sister enjoys it so much. We got to see so many things and experience many parts of the city. However, we still had a few things on our to-do list that we never got to. It looks like we’ll have a good starting point for the next trip out there!

See ya later Washington!

See ya later Washington!

 

Weekly Fitness Recap

This was not your typical week. I spent part of my week in Ohio and part of it in Seattle, Washington. Thanks to the holiday, we were able to turn the long weekend into a mini vacation and visit my sister for Thanksgiving. I didn’t get as much running in as I had originally planned, but we did a lot of walking, including hiking a mountain!

Monday: 0
Tuesday: 3 Miles + Abs
Wednesday: 0
Thursday: 4.5 Miles Hiked + 3 Miles Walked
Friday: 7 Miles Walked
Saturday: 5 Miles Walked
Sunday: 13.39 Miles – Seattle Half Marathon + 4 Miles Walked
Total Miles: 16.39 Miles Run + 4.5 Miles Hiked + 19 Miles Walked
Tuesday I stuck to the treadmill and did an easy three miles. Like last week, every half mile I would up the speed. It certainly helped to make time go by quicker, but I’ll need to look into more treadmill workouts if I want to survive another winter. Any suggestions on treadmill workouts? I followed my run up with some ab work and a side of Cheez it Grooves. All about balance, right?

Thursday was our first full day in Seattle. Instead of running, we took the day to go hiking on Tiger Mountain. It was an absolutely beautiful day, completely clear of clouds. It was a steep hike at times, but the views were worth it.

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I’ll trade sidewalks for this view any day!

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Seriously? So much better than Turkey dinner.

We followed that up with an additional 3 miles of walking around the city. I typically don’t log my steps/miles walked, but wanted to keep track this week since we did a ton of walking around Seattle.

Friday I didn’t get a chance to run, I was pretty sore from the hike so I decided to take a rest day. We ended up with around 7 miles of walking in the city. I have to admit, I’m not used to so much walking, so my legs were getting tired, I even starting getting a few almost blisters on my feet. Vacation is hard sometimes 😉

On Saturday I had good intentions of running, but the lazy factor kicked in. We ended up walking 5 miles around the city, and checked out the race expo. By this time I was a bit nervous for Sunday’s race. I’d done barely any running all week and spent a ton of time on my feet. I felt like I was setting myself up for a disastrous race.

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Ready to race!

Sunday, I ran the Seattle Half Marathon. I’ll have a recap up later this week. It ended up being a great race, one that I highly recommend. It was also a lot hillier than I originally thought. And if that wasn’t enough, we walked (hobbled) an additional 4 miles.

Overall my running mileage was low for the week, but I walked a lot more than I typically do, I hiked 4.5 miles with 1,770 gain, and ran a hilly half marathon. It was an active week, but spread out among many activities.

Weekly Fitness Recap

Another week of running, and another week closer to the holidays. How are we already this close to Thanksgiving and Christmas? Wasn’t it just Labor Day Weekend?

This week my motivation wasn’t where it should have been. Darren was traveling in Europe all week, so my sleep was much lighter and I held up a good streak of being wide awake from 2:45-4:00am every day. With him traveling international every couple of weeks, I notice my energy and running dips. I need to figure out how to sleep better, and probably eat better while he’s gone.

 

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 3 Miles + Abs

Thursday: 1 Mile

Friday: 0

Saturday: 6.15 Miles + Abs

Sunday: 0

Total Miles: 10.15 Miles

 

My first run of the week was on Wednesday. I stuck to the treadmill, mostly because I didn’t want to go out in the crazy wind just to head to the rec. To keep things entertaining, I upped the speed every half mile and time went by quickly. I stopped at three because I felt great, and didn’t want to end my run on a bad note. I’ll wait to endure those miserable treadmill runs at another time.

It's treadmill season!

It’s treadmill season!

Thursday was pretty much a waste of a run. I had a tight time slot before Grey’s night with Mallory, but still got on the treadmill. The entire mile I was thinking of everything I needed to get done by 8pm, so I stopped at one mile. Luckily, Grey’s is over until February, so I can go back to normal Thursday workouts. Poor excuse? Does anyone else still watch Grey’s?

Friday, I didn’t run, but I did get my hands on a new pair of Asics Kayano 22! Second Sole had their Holiday Extravaganza Sale, so I couldn’t help but stop in and try a pair on. It was love at first sight! I’m excited for the first run in these, especially since they’re less bulky than previous models!

Heaven in a box!

Heaven in a box!

Saturday, we had a group of 5 and met up on the square to do some miles around town. The weather was a bit chilly, but it didn’t stop us from a good run. We managed to keep a pretty steady pace of 9:05, a good amount of hills, and I felt great.

Post run delight!

Post run delight!

I should have gone for a longer run Sunday, but didn’t get to bed until 2am on Saturday night, so I passed on the early morning group. Instead, I relaxed, enjoyed time with Darren-since he was finally home, and put up my Christmas decorations! Some days you just need to spend some time with loved ones.

 

Weekly Fitness Recap

This week turned into a recovery week. I woke up pretty sore on Monday as a result from Sunday’s half marathon. Guess that means I worked for it, right? This meant I ended up taking the week a little easier than planned, especially towards the weekend when my body let me know it needed a break.

 

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 5.5 Miles + Abs

Friday: 0

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 11 Miles + Abs

Total Miles: 19.5 Miles

 

I started this week with a treadmill run on Tuesday. My legs were still a bit stiff and with the weather, I really had no motivation to run outside in the dark. The first mile was a bit tough, but I eventually got in the groove. I ended up with three because despite Netflix, I was beyond bored. How did I ever run 10 on the treadmill?

Thursday I met up with Mallory and we were forced to head to the rec center. It actually wasn’t that bad because it was relatively empty. Time to take advantage of it now because that will change in about a month and a half. We spent most of our time on the indoor track, with a short stint on the treadmills. I followed it up with some ab work once I got home.

This weekend also did not go as planned. I ended up with a migraine on Friday morning, which completely derailed my day. Follow that up with insomnia from 1:30-4:30am and some back/kidney pain Saturday morning, my body decided that I was not running on Saturday.

But come Sunday, I was feeling great! I met up with a rather large group of MCRR and we headed to Hinckley for some trails. It’s been awhile since I’d run the trails, but it felt great to take a break from the roads. Even with the trails covered in leaves, I felt pretty stable throughout the run. We kept a decent pace, I fueled around 6 miles, and never had any leg pain that had previously been bothering me.

Hinckley Trails Group! photo credit: John

Hinckley Trails Group! photo credit: John

I was definitely a lot more worn out from the half marathon than I thought I’d be, so it was a good week to scale back a bit and recover. Just one more week of hard running, then another short taper and race day!

Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon Recap

Sunday morning I ran the Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon, my first half since May. I didn’t have a goal in mind, especially since I had really only “trained” for the past five weeks. I knew I just wanted to get back out there and complete the distance. I decided to aim for a 9:30 pace and see where it went. If I felt it was too hard, I’d back off, if it felt too easy, I’d push it a bit, but no pressure to to PR or try to come close.

We had a group of MCRR members running, and most of us met up at 6:15 to make the drive to Massillon. We ended up arriving early, but it gave us plenty of time to stay warm and use the port-a-potties a few times. The race started at 8:00, with some sun on our back, it was the perfect weather for a half.

We started next to the Tuscarawas River and had a slight downhill. We were on a back road that twisted and winded around some houses, industrial buildings and woods. I was definitely nervous and hoped I could find a good pace to stick with. I started a bit too fast but was able to slow myself down by the first mile.

It was within the first mile or two that I realized I had to use the restroom again. Race nerves? I tried to focus on my surroundings and fellow runners, which seemed to help a bit.

Mile 1- 9:16

Mile 2- 9:21

The road had some rollers, but nothing too big to handle. Surprisingly I actually enjoyed having some uphill and downhill rather than an absolutely flat course. The trees hadn’t lost all of their leaves yet, so it was somewhat pretty when we were surrounded by woods.

The biggest hill came in mile 3 and I felt confident climbing it. I was a little worried my hip wouldn’t approve and I’d have some pain, but luckily my legs felt great. My stomach on the other hand didn’t. I kept my eye out for a port-a-potty, but nothing.

Mile 3- 9:34

Mile 4- 9:30

Around mile 4 we got off the road and turned onto the towpath. I was excited for some flat land, beautiful scenery and hopefully a steady pace.

We continued along and my pace was still decent, along with some pain free legs. My need for a bathroom was growing, and I even thought about dodging behind a tree. Instead, I kept my eyes focused in front of me, praying a port-a-potty would appear after each bend.

Mile 5- 9:32

Mile 6- 9:46

I should have taken my honey stinger at mile 6, but I was too nervous it would cause me harm, so I waited, focused on the runners around me, and zoned out for a while. I noticed my pace dropped a bit, but every time I tried to speed up a bit, my stomach would rebel. Back to focusing on the runners and the scenery.

Mile 7- 9:49

Mile 8- 11:57

By mile 7 I was starting to struggle. I had gotten to the point where I was getting a bit bored of the trees and desperately needing that bathroom. I trudged along, no longer caring about my pace, but contemplating dropping if I didn’t feel better soon.

But then, magically a port-a-potty appeared right  before the turn around. Finally! I lost about 2 minutes, but I felt like a new person and was ready to run! I also took the time to eat a Honey Stinger to get my energy up for the last 5 miles.

Mile 9- 9:39

Mile 10- 9:50

We pass the turn point and headed back toward the start. The sun was in and out of my eyes so I focused on the ground. It was a little uneven, and I didn’t want to trip or slip on leaves. I felt much better and even my legs felt great. Thankfully up to this point, my legs were handling the half well.

Mile 11- 9:55

Mile 12- 11:24

I continued along and would bounce back and forth between zoning out and trying to pass runners. My legs were beginning to become sore, which I knew would happen eventually. I started to stop at each mile marker to stretch my legs and hips, hoping they could keep up with the final miles.

My back started to cramp up in the last mile and a half, so I started stopping every half mile to stretch, walk a bit, and get my body to a comfortable pace to finish. I kept getting pulled in with the other runners paces, so I tried to imagine myself on a short run on my own trail to get me to the finish.

Mile 13- 11:01

With a mile left, I knew I could make it, because I certainly questioned it earlier on. I kept a pace I was comfortable with, without stressing my hips too much. We made our way to the finish, and I was excited to see the MCRR group at the top of the bridge before the finish. ( I swear I was excited to see you guys, even though my face didn’t show it.) I pushed what I had left, and crossed the line of my 23rd half.

Las 0.20 – 9:23 pace

When you cross the line, you’re given your medal and a blanket, and offered water, food and the option to get beer. I grabbed my stuff and met up with the rest of the group. We hung around for a while and then walked back to our cars. Shuttles were available, but why not walk some more after running 13 miles!

Lovely MCRR group!

Lovely MCRR group!

Overall, this was a pretty good race. Despite my own personal stomach issues, the course was pretty well laid out, 4 miles on rolling roads and the rest on the towpath. Everything seemed well organized and from what I’ve read, the race has improved a bunch in it’s third year. I don’t know if I’ll run it again soon, but I recommend trying it out. And for $30, you can’t beat such a great deal.

Race swag

Race swag

Results

Time: 2:12:36

Age Group 25-29:12/20

Female: 122/240

Overall: 297/453

Weekly Fitness Update

This week was a bit of a taper as I got ready for my first half marathon since May! I honestly planned on running more this summer, but things just didn’t work out. I wanted to take it easy and make sure my legs were fresh for Sunday’s race.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 3 Miles + Abs

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: 0

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 13.1 Miles – Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon

Total Miles: 21.1 Miles

Wednesday I stuck to the treadmill since it’s now completely dark when I get home. I kept my pace easy and focused on Netflix so I wouldn’t be completely bored out of my mind. Nothing hurt and my left leg didn’t give out at any point, both good signs. I followed it up with some ab workouts and some good stretching.

Thursday I planned on hitting up the treadmill, but with the warm temps Mallory and I decided to run outside. The weather was almost too warm, but we couldn’t let the great weather slip by. We met at the rec and ran the developments nearby. Pace was easy and I only felt a twinge when going uphill.

Reflective vest, headlamp, hat with lights and a blinking armband....ready to run!

Reflective vest, headlamp, hat with lights and a blinking armband….ready to run!

I decided to take Saturday off and allow my legs to be ready for Sunday’s race. I knew if I ran back to back weekend runs, I’d probably end up with some slight pain by miles 6 or 7 of the race. So instead, I carbed up with Chipotle and chugged water until I felt confident I was ready to race again!

Sunday I raced the Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon with a bunch of MCRR members. I knew I wasn’t going to try for a PR, but I wanted to focus on pacing. My plan was to stick to a 9:30 pace and see how long I could hold on. Afterall, it’s been over 5 months since I ran a half marathon, and only 5 weeks of running after I took my month plus break. Stay tuned for a recap later this week.

 
Overall it was a another good week. I feel much better now that I have another half under my belt, and I’m looking forward to my next one in just three weeks!