Turkey Burner 5k Recap

I’m thankful for hills. At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I ran the Turkey Burner 5k in Hinckley over Thanksgiving. This post is a little delayed, but I think we’re all moving slow this week. Thanksgiving plans weren’t confirmed until about Wednesday night, so I hadn’t pre registered for any race. Luckily Hinckley had a 5k that was close and relatively inexpensive. I tried to get there early so I could register, get a good parking spot and find out where I was even running.

I got there around 8:20 and went right away to register. Unfortunately they didn’t have any shirts left, and had run out days ago. Bummer,  it was a pretty nice long sleeve shirt and I was looking forward to adding another to my growing collection. It was freezing and I regretted not bringing a headband, so I spent most of the time before the race in my car. The race was set to start at 9:00, but at 8:55 they let everyone know they were going to start at 9:10. It ended up being 9:15 by the time we started, and there was no send off. I looked up and saw people running and started on my way.

I was still freezing and was hoping to use the first mile to warm up, get my pace and use the last mile to speed things up. I was wrong. A quarter mile in a hill started, and it kept going and winding up, and up until we reached the first mile. A tough start to the race and many were dropping behind or walking already. I powered through, but my pace was not impressive, I came in at the first mile around a 10:00 pace. But with an incline, comes a decline and we were heading down hill to the water stop. I passed and just kept going. We then had two smaller hills, not as bad, but they were still hills. Around mile 2 was the last hill. It was a steep one, and I struggled with this one, but I knew we were almost done and hopefully the rest would be easy. Everything after that was a slight down hill followed by a quick turn into the finish. I crossed the line at 27:40, not bad for 4 hills.

Four hills, why not?

Overall, it wasn’t a bad race. There weren’t any mile markers, so I was glad to have  my Garmin, but my pace was all over the place. I averaged a 9:03 pace, but was up to 10:00 going up hills and down to 7:40 running down hill. Unfortunately I can’t find results, and don’t think they’ll be posted. It was a beautiful course around Hinckley Reservation, probably the most scenic 5k I’ve done. I wish I had my phone so I could have taken pictures along the way. I’m hoping to get back out there sometime and really do some damage on those hills. If anything it was a good course to get my run in for the day, with a few hundred other people.

 

**Official results posted***

Overall -152/502

AG -4/15

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Hy-5k Recap

To kick off race weekend I signed up for the Hyland 5k to run a little shake out before the Cleveland Experience. I had this race in mind for a while, but as the weekend got closer, I started to second guess running in the heat two days in a row. I told myself I wouldn’t “race” this one, just take it easy and get ready for the half.

It was already pretty humid by the time I got there, so I did a short warm up and then tried to hide inside until the start. There were tons of people there, a lot more than I expected with the 5k downtown at the same time. Right before the start, I headed outside and stood in the shade, avoiding the sun as much as I possibly could. About a minute before we started, I saw Heather and Jay. We were off, and the heat quickly set in, this would be tough. The first mile was around 9:00 and I knew I couldn’t keep this pace up with the heat. I started to slow, but kept a pretty good pace. Most of the course was in the sun, so finding shade was pretty hard.

At mile two I saw Kimi and Stef, it was a nice bit of motivation to finish the final mile. All I could think of though was how would I run 10 more miles in this heat the following day. Luckily right at the three mile marker Heather and Jay came up and helped me to the finish. We came in one after another. I was so glad to see them, and so glad to be done. That heat was rough.

We loaded up on water and fruit and went our separate ways. At this point, I was pretty concerned on how the half was going to go. I am not a warm weather runner, so I knew Sunday would be an interesting race….

Hy-5k Results:

Official time: 27:22

AG: 10/29

Overall: 243/650

Awesome bag from Hyland

LAS 5k Fur Fun Run Recap

Instead of joining everyone in the fun Saturday for the Hermes 10 Miler, I gave my legs a rest after two weeks of major races and settled on a local 5k. This 5k actually meant a lot more to me than others. Love-A-Stray, the main sponsor of the race, is a local non-profit, volunteer run, no-kill pet shelter.  They have two divisions, one focused on dogs, and the other focused on cats. I used to volunteer at the cat location back in high school. This resulted in many years of kitten kisses and coming home with my first LAS buddy, Carter.

Once I moved out of my parent’s house and didn’t want to disrupt the old man (the cat, not my dad) I immediately went back to LAS and found my wild little monster, Ralphie.

If you’re looking for a furry friend, you can probably find one here 🙂

Now on to the race recap! I headed to The Landings in Avon Lake and picked up my packet. The first thing I noticed, there were a ton of dogs, pretty sure I was the only one without a dog. We lined up for the race and headed out of the parking lot and through the landings. Things were going fast and I quickly found my pace. We headed into Kopf Family Reservation, and I finally checked my watch. I was cruising at a sub 8:30 pace and feeling pretty good.

And then my pet peeve runner showed up. For the next half mile or so a fellow runner kept speeding up, passing me, and slowing way down right in front of me. I nearly tripped over him a few times. At this point we were at the half way point, and I knew I had to make my move or else this guy would ruin my entire race. He already dropped my pace to 9:20. I opened my stride and let my legs do the work. I instantly felt like I was dropping seconds from my pace, and at the 2 mile mark, I was down to an 8:30 pace. One mile to go and I just kept moving, I skipped the water stop and tried picking off runners one by one. About 600 meters to go, and I got the anxious, nervous, omgimgoingsofastimgoingtopukebutimsocloseihavetofinish feeling. I get this feeling at every race now, and I love it. I kicked it in for the last 100 feet, and saw 25 on the clock, crossing the line at what I thought was 25:57. Two seconds off PR.

But I wasn’t upset, I was content with my race, my legs felt great, and I wanted more. I felt like maybe I knew how to run 5k’s again. So to enjoy the great run, I scanned the vendors and found myself on Rescue Row, full of puppies for adoption! Nothing says a great race by trying to take a puppy home!

Puppies and runners!

Overall it was a great race for a great cause. Race results were even better. I ended up getting third in my age group and received a $10 Active Runner gift card, awesome!

Official results:

Time-25:55 (PR Tie)

AG-3/11

Overall-66/250

After four weekends of races, I’m putting my legs on hold and just packing in the miles until Cleveland Half Marathon. My hope is to let my body fully recover and get ready for some major training plans coming up!

Go the Distance 5k Recap

This past weekend we spent the Easter holiday down in Marion. Darren spent Saturday morning golfing, so to fill up my morning, I wanted to find a local race. Luckily there was a 5k just down the road, so I quickly jumped in on this action.

The Go the Distance 5k was put on by the Marion Boys and Girls Club, all proceeds going directly to them. They had a huge carnival set up for kids and a fun run for the little ones. I picked up my shirt and bib, did a short warm up jog and I was ready to go. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know the course at all, and I knew absolutely no one that was there.

We started and I quickly took off to find the perfect pace. I got into my groove and checked my watch, 8:15 pace. Way too fast, but I didn’t feel like I was going that quick, so I kept with it. First mile and I was still at 8:15, not bad, but I knew I had to slow down. I never remember my second mile time, but I slowed the pace at one point to about 8:45. Second mile is always the worst. I had one mile left, and I was feeling pretty good. I followed the girl in front of me until about a half mile left. This is where my memories of cross came back, and I was excited to sprint into the finish. We came down a small hill, and I rounded the turn right at 25:55. New “adult” 5k PR!

I was pretty pumped with my time, and even more excited that my knee pain was pretty minimal. I felt great and I was surprised that I was able to get my time down without doing any sprint workouts this year. First a RP in the 5 miler and now in the 5k, makes me wonder if I can get a PR in the half this year! Next up on my year of races is the half…..

Newest shirt and bib added to the collection

Welcome back old friend

It’s that time of year again for the Classic at Mastick, probably my favorite race. I’ve run this so many times in high school and college, it was a great way to see how I would start off the season. But it’s always been a love/hate race. And as long as I live in the Cleveland area, I will always try to run this race. This year the race surprised me and came up a little sooner than I expected. I am in no way ready for 5k’s. With the brutal heat and schedule, I haven’t been focusing on speed, just trying to get runs in when I can. But once this weather breaks, I’m hoping to get more workouts in on the track. If you get a chance, try to sign up next year. I’m not going for a PR, just going out for fun. Here’s my thoughts on the race before going in:
Pros:

  • The race takes place in Rocky River Reservation (Mastick)
  • Scholarship money is given to students for a college fund, great way to help students out
  • The race is at night, my favorite time to run
  • The goodie bags are fabulous, I’ve never not liked what they’ve given out
  • It’s a great race for high school students to do a little test run….but watch out, they’re fast and can put times to shame
  • Same course every year, so you know exactly where to run, which includes lots of shade

Hesitations

  • Those high school students are fast, many are teams that go to state. You can’t feel bad when they beat you by 6 minutes or so…
  • Because it’s a night race, its usually really hot and humid, so hydration is key all day long
  • Parking is tough, get there as soon as you can, even if you’re rushing out the door after work you may need to park a distance away
  • The course is a bit long, and for some reason I’ve always run it slow, so I try to keep that in mind when checking out my times at each mile

All in all I love this race. I enjoy running it even if I know I’m going to have a slower time like always. But with cooler weather in the forecast, there could be a change in how this race ends up. Hopefully I’ll have a good race report later in the week.

Duathlon 101

There is a little over a month left until the Huntington Duathlon and I feel that I’m out of my league. This will be my first, and hopefully not my last. I decided not to do the full triathlon because, well, I can’t really swim. Pathetic, I know, but Lake Erie wasn’t always the cleanest growing up. I’m not completely hopeless, I can doggy paddle, but once it gets over my head (all five foot one inch of me) I start to panic. Anyway…I think I can handle this. The race goes as following, run a 5k, bike 12 miles, run a 5k. I have no time set in place, but I’m guessing around 2 hours, thinking that my second 5k will be slower. I’ve even started to come up with some sort of training plan. I can easily run, then bike, but my training will focus on being able to go from biking to running. So if anyone has any suggestions on ways to get some good training in, please let me know.

Yesterday I broke the mold from my Asics, well, not entirely, but I tried on a new kind of shoe. For the past many years, I’ve gone through the Asics 1000 series and 1100 series shoes. A few weeks ago I went to Second Sole and wanted to get suggestions on racing flats that I could also use for biking and future road races. They didn’t have any in my size, but they finally got them in! I am in love with the shoes, and they’re so light compared to my regular ones. I haven’t bought them yet, but I think these could be great for training and racing. These are my future babies, the Asics GEL-DS Trainer 16. Anyone ever try them?

I also checked out some tri shorts, and of course the only ones that fit me were the most expensive, so the search is still on for some great shorts to wear for the duathlon. I finished the evening with a run and a stop at this amazing crepe place that everyone needs to try. In the Beachwood Place there is a place by the food court that makes amazing crepes. Seriously, I would go there every week if I could. You must try it.

Weekend Update

After work Friday I headed to Second Sole to pick up my race packet for the Girls with Sole 5k. I wasn’t expecting anything big, just a shirt and probably some info about the race. I was impressed with all that was included. We got a huge recyclable bag, candy, massage oil, coupons to some great restaurants around the area, and the shirt, which was a light cotton and true to its size. Other small things were included, but they weren’t as fun. I also may or may not have picked up a few small things for myself and future races.

Ralphie not included

D and I also decided on more states for my 25 Challenge, mostly places that we know someone so we’d have a free place to stay. I’m looking forward to starting it next year. This year is all about Ohio and the beautiful state I call home 🙂  Saturday was the usual four hour morning class, followed by the new tradition of going to Fat Heads Brewery in North Olmsted. I’m obsessed with their Blueberry Ale, seriously so good. While we were there I kept seeing runners come in, drenched with sweat. Not so appetizing. The bartender told us that they do this each Saturday during the summer. A group of runners start downtown or near Cleveland and run from bar to bar, eating and drinking during their workout. How fun, right? Made me feel guilty that I hadn’t run yet, and was already planning on a nap once I got home.

Saturday night we headed to the Jake to hopefully see the Indians win. Unfortunately they didn’t, but we saw some of D’s friends and as well as made an enemy. You can’t go to an Indians game, claim them as your team, and then bash them the whole night. Needless to say, it was one against many in our section. But it was a good time besides for the heat, and seats right behind Grady are totally worth it.


Sunday was the big day. My first 5k in a year and a half. Woke up tired, and strangely nervous. Headed to Rocky River and was pleased with the current weather, about 65 and sunny. The set up was great. There were probably 10 vendors, real bathrooms, and a DJ. About 5 minutes to race time we listened to the goal behind the organization, followed by a song and national anthem. That’s when the heat came and after 10 minutes, I was already feeling exhausted. The race started and I planned to go out slow, I didn’t have a pace or even knew what time I wanted, I just wanted to do it. First mile 8:35. Not bad. Second mile I slowed so I could try to keep on pace the whole time….that didn’t go as planned. Second mile 18:40. What! I made a habit of not looking at my watch until mile markers so I had no idea I had slowed that much. There were some small inclines and a water stop in mile 2, but I had no idea how bad it was. I tried to be a little quicker for the last mile, but by this time, the humidity wasn’t helping. Finish 29:01. My slowest 5k ever. Ever. All I could think of was how disappointed I was in myself. This is not what I had wanted, I was thinking 27 minutes at the worst. I’ve never felt this let down before, and I knew the hot topic of friends would be “How’d you do?”

I spent the next couple hours laying on the couch, not feeling like I had even ran earlier. I was still upset and knew I should have ran faster. I’ve been running and putting in the mileage. Looking back now, I knew part of it was the humidity. And after finding the results online, I feel a little better. I was 6th out of 25 in my age group, and times overall for everyone seemed to be much slower than most 5ks. I refused to let this race get the best of me, so I ended up doing extra miles on the treadmill that night. Looking into the future, I need to do more speed work, I need to get my times down or else I’m going to feel defeated. A year and a half later I’m still struggling with the mind game college times versus post college times. I’ve accepted the fact that I will never get down to my PR, but I have to keep going. I’m putting it in the past and focusing on my next two races. Winking Lizard and Huntington Duathlon. From here out, I’m getting much more serious.

Friday Round Up

It’s Friday, and I’ll make this short and sweet since my last posts have been more of novels. At any given moment this weekend I’ll be in any of these four places: A) Baldwin-Wallace College B) Rocky River Reservation C) The Jake or D) Second Sole. A pretty calm weekend with some fun thrown in, and light training before the race. Sunday is the Girls with Sole 5k in Rocky River, my first 5k since college. Not nervous, but not pushing to break a PR. I’m far away from 22:30. Suggested weather is 67* with 81% humidity, at least half of that is perfect weather. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Be sure to check these out:

The 25 Challenge

River Run Half for Diabetes