Medina Half Marathon Recap

I wasn’t sure how to begin this recap. I spent 16 weeks training for Saturday, and a whole year counting down for the day to arrive. But after just 6 miles, my whole race fell apart, and it was as though all of that training was for nothing.

The week leading up to Medina wasn’t a normal week for me. My legs were still tired from Cleveland, I had the brilliant idea of starting a run streak during taper, I experimented with morning runs, and I ran hard 400s the Tuesday before a Saturday race. That right there was enough to know I was in for a troublesome race.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5, got ready and ate some breakfast before heading down to the square. I took a moment to reflect on my training, read last year’s recap, and think of those who helped along the way with Team JDRF. I wasn’t nervous, I was ready to run, I was excited to run what I had spent the last 112 days training for.

I found great parking in a near empty lot right off the square with about 5 port-a-pottys just about to myself. I made a quick stop, headed up to the square and made sure to take in the moment before taking my place in line. I saw many familiar faces of MCRR and we all wished each other good luck. I hopped in between the 2:00 and 2:10 pace groups, put in one ear bud and was ready to go.

The calm before the race

The calm before the race

We were off and I quickly got myself up next to the 2:00 pacers. I knew the first three miles would be the easiest and I wanted to take advantage of them. I tried to keep my pace as comfortable as possible, but I also didn’t want to pass the pacers. A lot of people were going out quickly and there was no clear group of people sticking with us yet.

We made our way away from the square and out towards some of the housing developments. It was all so familiar after running the course runs I was able to focus more on my breathing than running. We passed a few groups cheering and so far the temperature wasn’t too bad. Our pace was a little quick, but I knew we’d slow down once we made it to the first hill.

Mile 1- 8:47
Mile 2-9:06

Out of the developments, we made our way on Reagan. With the rolling hills, I tried to use the momentum from the downhill to push myself up, and not focus on how much effort I was using. I was still keeping a steady pace with the pacers, and while others spent time talking and joking around, I kept my silence and focused on the run.

We made our way on Granger and I looked forward to a bit of shade.  It was starting to warm up a bit, but not too much where I was uncomfortable yet. About 3.5 miles in we turned towards Lake Medina, and I mentally prepared myself for the small hill up towards the lake. My pace was still quick, and definitely a lot quicker than I had normally run around the lake. I tried to keep my focus and let the pacers lead me through instead of worrying about the run. The slight breeze over the lake helped to keep us cool and the views were gorgeous. I easily could have stayed there for an hour to sit back and relax.

Halfway through the lake, we made our way back down on the grass and out to the parking lot. I knew that the giant hill was coming and told myself not to worry, just take it a step at a time.
Mile 3-9:00
Mile 4-9:05

As I made my way up on the hill I started to fade back from the pacers. I wasn’t too concerned because this hill was tough. I tried to take advantage of the slight downhill afterward, but it wasn’t quite enough to get me back on their pace. I was ok with that, I wasn’t trying to break 2 today. So I kept a bit behind them and tried not to let the gap get too large. I could feel my body start to get a little tight from the hill and the slight inclines that followed, but knew that around the 10k mark I’d had a bit of relief.

I kept going, keeping the pacers slightly in front of me, every so calmly keeping an eye on my pace. I had been drinking sips of water after every mile, but it was around this point that I realized I had never taken my sport bean at mile 4. Now feeling a little tired, it made sense. I hurried up and fueled, hoping I’d feel better shortly.
Mile 5-9:14
Mile 6-9:33

Leaving the development, we started on Smith.  Having run these roads so many times last year, I knew the route like the back of my hand and that I’d be in for some decent shade within the next mile. But right before mile 7, I stopped to stretch. My hips were getting tight and I knew I had some more inclines that would need somewhat of fresh legs to tackle.

As I stood back up, a gentleman passing me asked if I felt ok. I was getting hot and tired, slightly faint, but overall, I didn’t feel horrible, just not myself. But I suppose I looked worse than I felt. I continued on my way and ran down the biggest decline of the race. We were in full sun now, and for the first time in a long time, I walked the water stop.

I started to run again, but I was starting to struggle. I slowed down a bit, hoping that maybe going out too quick was catching up with me. I knew these next few miles would be tough. Every time I ran the course, I mentally blocked myself from running as well as I could. Knowing we were over half way done, I started to countdown the miles, hoping they’d go by quick.

We made our way towards Sturbridge and I finally reached a breaking point. I started to walk. My legs were screaming and I was so tired that I just didn’t want to go any further. So I stretched and decided I’d run a half mile, then walk a tenth of mile, just until my body felt back to normal.
Mile 7-9:49
Mile 8-11:10

Still counting down the miles, I continued my plan of walking/running. I walked the water stops as well, trying to soak up as much hydration as I could. There were many times that I wanted to text Darren and tell  him I was done, to come pick me up on the course, but I thought of Team JDRF, and I knew I’d do whatever I could to cross that finish line.

Once I hit the 10 mile mark, I knew I had a 5k left, a very long 5k. The temperature was getting hotter and I was getting warmer. I took a sport bean hoping it would help, and starting drink water about every quarter mile. I continued my walk/jog, disappointed in myself that I had to walk, but I couldn’t keep up enough energy to run.

Knowing I had saved time in the first 6 miles, I knew I wasn’t too far behind where I wanted to end up. But just as I was trying to do math, the 2:10 pace group showed up next to me. I stayed with them until I found a port-a-potty. I stood in line for a good 3-4 minutes, second guessing if I really needed to use it. I was in and out as quick as I could, but I know that it added time onto my race.

Mile 9-11:19
Mile 10-14:52 (Bathroom stop)

With two miles to go, I knew I was falling way behind any goal time. I started questioning myself, only two weeks ago I was running a sub 2 half, and now I’d be lucky if I made it in under 2:20. I also started to feel sick, and started to worry if I’d spend the last part of my run throwing up again.

Turning on Oak to West Park, I was on roads I hadn’t run much, and they seemed to go on forever. I was getting closer and I could feel that every time I ran my pace was good, but I just couldn’t hold it without being in pain. By this point, everything hurt. My feet and legs were toast and I wondered how I’d ran those first six miles so perfectly.
Mile 11-11:47
Mile 12-11:41

The last mile was tough. I started to become anxious knowing I was getting so close. I made my way down the bricks and thought of last year, how happy I was finishing with Melissa, and this year, how I was letting my personal cheering section down.

As I approached the square I started to feel sick again, this time from nerves. I tried to pick up my speed but it didn’t help, instead I ended up on the side of the course coughing and gagging. A gentleman asked if I was ok, and helped me get back on course.

I moved as slow as I could with tears in my eyes. My race that I spent so much time and miles training for was finally over.
Mile 13-11:38
Last .12-13:25

Almost finished

Almost finished

After I finished, I grabbed my medal and met up with Darren, his cousin and my mom. The first thing I did was apologize. I felt so bad they came out to watch me, and I failed, miserably. We took some time for me to stretch, listen to awards and then walked the Farmers Market. I finally felt a little better, but I was still struggling with the heat.

This race was definitely a tale of two halves. The first half was amazing and I was running exactly where I wanted to be. But the second half, I fell apart. I know I have no one to blame but myself, and I’m still disappointed in how I ran the second part of the course. But know that I’ve had time to dwell on it, I know it was a combination of things that really led to my destruction. My legs were toast and my feet were sore as can be. I pushed my legs too hard in the week before, and my shoes were on their last miles. Even though I carried water, the heat and my lack of properly fueling led me to wear down way to early.

 

Half number 16

Half Marathon #16, by far my favorite medal

The course, the support, the volunteers, everything else was amazing. I absolutely love this race and I know it will be in my race schedule for years to come. And although I had a bad race, I know so many who had amazing races. Everything I did wrong was all on me, and sometimes we just have bad races. Not every race will be perfect, so I need to let go, move on, and prepare myself for the next one.

 

Race swag

Race swag

Results

Time: 2:18:37

AG 25-29: 31/69

Female: 271/581

Overall: 546/942

 

*Registration is already open for the 2015 Medina Half Marathon. With the current cost at just $45, I’d definitely recommend signing up for it now. I’ll see you out there!

 

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Medina Half Training: Prep & Goals

Well, here we are. Race day is three days away, and I’m pretty excited. Despite hitting my goal two weeks early, I still can’t wait to see what will happen this weekend. I’ve spent the last sixteen weeks working hard to get here, and I plan to enjoy every moment of the Medina Half.

This training cycle was a tough one, mostly due to the weather, but I stuck it out and pushed myself more than any other training plan in the past. I have to say that I have no regrets about training, and although it varied from the norm, it got me right where I needed to be.

Over the last sixteen weeks, I ran 246 miles, ran nine races, PR’d in four distances and raised $250 for Team JDRF. It all seems like a blur now, and even though I’ve trained for the half before, this cycle was such a great learning experience.

What I learned:

  • Cross training really does help. This cycle was the first time I stuck to a consistent lifting plan, and I noticed results quickly! I felt stronger than ever and plan on keeping this in rotation for future training cycles.
  • Stretching and foam rolling are necessary. In the past, I was horrible at stretching, and would pass on it right away. I made a point to stretch after every run and use the foam roller whenever I felt any tightness in my body. Both of these were definitely key to keeping me injury free this time.
  • Diet is everything. To prevent stomach issues during training runs and races, I really wanted to focus in on what worked and what didn’t with my diet. I completely mostly cut out alcohol during the week, ramped up my water intake and nailed down the perfect pre run foods.
  • I pushed myself beyond a comfortable pace. The first half of training was rough because of all the snow, ice and cold, but the second half I pushed myself beyond my limits. I pushed myself to run a little quicker each run and race to see just how far I could go. This definitely helped in achieving sub 2 so quickly.
  • I used races as training runs. When I couldn’t get to the track, I used 5k’s as mile repeats, and I pushed myself on a few longer races to see if I could get used to the pace I needed to achieve sub 2. I also ran back to back races to see how much I could push myself on tired legs.
  • I had the best support and help. I really opened myself up this year and started running more with MCRR. And honestly, it was the best things I could have done. I’ve met so many great runners, many who helped me this cycle and helped me achieve my goal. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help.

So what does Medina Bring?  A strong race. This course is harder than Cleveland and has two big hills in the first five miles. There is also a ton of gradual incline that is deceiving to the eye, but you feel it in your legs. It’s going to  be harder, but I want to make sure I give it my all.

But I’ll be honest. I don’t think I’ll run sub 2. My legs aren’t prepared as they could be for the inclines and I think it will slow me down some. However, I still want to run a strong race and leave it all on the course. So I plan on lining up between the 2:00 group, and hopefully shoot for a 2:02-2:04. Really, we’ll just see what happens on race day and I won’t be disappointed if I don’t hit that time.

Training review and goals covered, but what do you need to know if you’re running? Well, here’s all the details:

Expo – Friday, May 30th at the Medina Hospital, entrance A, from 12:00pm-6:30pm.

The expo features 2015 registration, packet pick up, over 14 vendors, and registration for the 5k.

Race Day – Saturday, May 31st, Packet pick up will be available at Cools Beans Cafe from 5:45-6:45.

The half marathon starts at 7:00am, and the 5k starts shortly after. But the fun doesn’t stop after the races are complete. The Medina Farmers Market is back for the summer and will be on the square all morning.

There is also an after party at Johnny Malloy’s which will benefit Stand Up for Downs. With kegs, pizza and a DJ starting at 8pm, it’s sure to be a good time.

And so, after 15 and a half weeks, training is winding down. The only thing left is to do a few shake out runs and line up on Saturday. Here we go!

The best moments of Medina Half Training!

The best moments of Medina Half Training!

 

 

 

 

Medina Half Training: Week Eleven

This week was a little different than the normal week of training. Knowing that I had two big and important races this weekend, I wanted to make sure my legs were fresh and that I’d be ready to give it my all. So I gave myself a mini taper.

Monday I started off the week like normal with body fusion. I’m continuing to use the heavier weights and they’re becoming more comfortable for me. I just need to start lifting more on my own at home.

Before, After 2 months, After 4 months

Before, After 2 months, After 4 months

Tuesday I took a vacation day for my birthday and took the day to spoil myself. I originally wanted to run in the morning, but after hearing rain, I decided to move my run to the afternoon. Instead I got a massage and was able to hopefully get all the kinks out of my body. I really need to make a habit of getting a massage every couple of months because I felt so much better afterward.

After an afternoon of sun, clouds, hail and rain, the weather finally leveled out and started to warm back up again. Around 4:30 I headed out to Buckeye Woods to get some miles in. I started in the woods and kept it pretty easy, dodging puddles and roots, just trying to enjoy the trails.

Trail love

Trail love

At about 1.60 miles in I started seeing more people on the trail so I picked up my pace and headed over to the marsh. I had some headwind, but I was feeling pretty good. I stopped at an overlook just as my Garmin beeped 3 miles and took in the amazing views of the day.

Take it in.

Take a breath.

I’m not sure if it was the views, the perfect weather, or the massage, but once I jumped back on the path my legs were ready to go and they weren’t stopping anytime soon. I looked down at the Garmin and saw I was running an 8:13 pace. I kept going, and kept checking my watch, but it didn’t change. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I kept running, and it actually felt comfortable. I went back through the woods and up and around to the paved path, slowing a little, but never felt like I was struggling. The Garmin beeped and I kept going until I got to my car at an even faster pace. I don’t know how, but I felt great, never feeling like I couldn’t hold on. The run itself was the perfect gift.

Mile 1 – 9:35
Mile 2 – 9:11
Mile 3 – 9:05
Mile 4 – 8:18
Last .33 – 7:44 pace

Wednesday and Thursday I took off, but Friday I did a short run around the neighborhood to check on my legs. They were a little tight at first, but they loosened up. I finished up and felt like I was prepared for the weekend’s races.

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

Tuesday: 4.33 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Off

Friday: 1.64 Miles

Saturday: Hermes 10 Miler

Sunday: Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5k

Total Miles: 19 Miles

I’m saving my race recaps for later this week, but they were a big eye opener, and in a good way. Hermes 10 Miler was my B race for this spring. It was the race where I’d have a better guess at how my training was and what to expect come May 31st. I couldn’t be happier with how the weekend played out, and surprised at how well everything is coming together. I left it all on the courses this weekend, and sub 2:00 has never felt closer.

 

Weekly Fact about Type 1 Diabetes: If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, know that you’re not alone. And more importantly, that Diabetes won’t stop you from doing things you love. You can live a full life with Diabetes, it didn’t stop these people:

  • Halle Berry – Actress
  • Mary Tyler Moore -Actress
  • Bret Michaels – Musician
  • Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears Quarterback
  • Jackie Robinson – Former Dodger’s player
  • Gary Hall, Jr. –  Olympic Swimmer
  • Ryan Reed – Nascar driver
  • Scott Verplank – Professional Golfer
  • Sonia Sotomayer – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

If you’d like to help cure Type 1 Diabetes, you can donate here.

Medina Half Training: Week Nine

This week was pretty much perfect. I got everything in that I needed to do, and I felt great the entire week. I’ve been waiting for a week like this for such a long time, I’m still feeling the runner’s high. Or maybe it’s the allergy medicine….

Body Fusion was the perfect way to start the week. I actually wanted to skip it, and lounge on the couch all night, but forced myself to get out the door and I definitely didn’t regret it. It was probably the hardest, but most rewarding class yet. I was sweating within two seconds of lifting, and my body was taking a beating, but I was lifting heavier weights than normal and I could feel myself getting stronger. By the time we got to yoga, I was ready to relax, and somehow I managed to hit every pose on point.

Tuesday’s run was everything I hoped it would be. I was a little nervous about the possibility of pain in my knee, but I had fresh legs and kept dipping well under a 9:00 pace. I was able to get four miles in and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I even got to run a few hills while watching the sun set, talk about a perfect run.

photo

This view never gets old.

Wednesday I took off to work on a spring project, but Thursday I was right back out there. I headed over to Buckeye Woods to work on a tempo run. I needed to make sure that I focused on staying consistent and wouldn’t get interrupted by traffic or too many distractions. But really my biggest distraction was the wind.

I headed out on the Chippewa Inlet trail and had a goal of getting to Chippewa Lake and turning around. I made my way out and was a little thrown off by the cross wind. I was supposed to stay at a 9:16 pace, but I just couldn’t do it, I’m horrible at being consistent. So I stuck with what I could, and tried not to get blown over. I managed to keep an ok pace despite the winds, and found some amazing views. Unfortunately the path was completely flooded about a half mile from the lake, so I had to turn around. But that gave me a chance to take this video, which pretty much sums up my love for the country. After I got back to the park, I finished up my cool down on the limestone trail and felt pretty satisfied on how my run went.

This is perfection.

This is perfection.

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

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 5 Miles Tempo, 1 Mile w/u-9:20, 3 Miles at 9:20, 9:10, 9:15, 1 Mile c/d-9:45

Friday: Off

Saturday: 12 Miles, 9:22, 9:49, 10:06, 10:00, 9:46, 9:49, 10:09, 9:55, 9:52, 10:01, 9:57, 10:26

Sunday: 3 Miles, 8:45, 8:58, 9:03

Total Miles: 24 Miles

Saturday was my long run day, and I was a little nervous. It would be my longest run in 6 months, and after last week’s struggle to get 11, I had my doubts. I met up with Mike, a member of MCRR and we decided on an out and back route. The plan was to run a 10:00 minute pace and see how we felt from there. Our pace started out a little too quick, but by mile two we were able to slow down. We headed out through town and onto Lester Trail, hoping the soft ground wouldn’t be too harsh on our legs. We talked most of the way, and stopped every four miles to stretch and take in fuel and water.

We hit the 6 mile mark a little under 1 hour, so we knew we could slow down a bit on the way back. By this point, it was starting to warm up and more people were out on the trail. Around mile 7 my hips started to get a little tight, but once I stretched at mile 8, I felt fine. My biggest concern was making sure my knee didn’t have any pain, which at this point was feeling fine. Despite setting the goal of a 10:00 minute pace, there were numerous times that we kept dipping under to 9:52. Better to be a few seconds fast, than way too slow.

When we got back towards town, we had about 2 miles left, and naturally those were the hardest miles of the day. Our pace started to pick up until we were faced with the last mile, which was about 95% gradual incline. Our pace slowed way down, but we managed to make it back to the square and finished in under 2 hours. I felt great afterward and although I was pretty worn out, I felt like I could have put in a few more miles. But instead, I headed home for some food and relaxation, and spent the rest of the day recovering on the back deck enjoying the beautiful weather.

Perfect post run hydration

Perfect post run hydration

I woke up Sunday struggling to breathe from allergies, but when I noticed how warm it was and how fresh my legs felt, I couldn’t help but get a short recovery run in. I didn’t have a plan for how far or how fast I would run, I just wanted to go by how my legs felt.

I headed out towards the back roads, and ran 1.3 miles before even checking my watch. Even with the rolling hills, I felt amazing and my pace was well under 9:00. I turned around before I got too far in case my legs decided to stop working and was hit with some strong head wind. I definitely had a tough time coming back, but my legs kept going. I finished up and felt stronger than ever. After Saturday’s long run I was able to run a speedy 3 miler with rolling hills and a strong wind.

Recovery run done right

Recovery run done right

I’m still not quite sure how, but every run this week was exactly where it needed to be. I enjoyed every single run and honestly feel the strongest I have all training. So maybe I’m not running as long or as often as others, but there is a method to my training madness, and I’d say it’s working.

 

Facts about Type 1 Diabetes: This week I wanted to focus on two major events that occur each year to help find a cure for Diabetes.

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes: The signature fundraising walk of the American Diabetes Association, which has raised more than $175,000,000 to stop Diabetes. 120 walk events are around the US each year to help cure Diabetes. More information can be found here.

Tour de Cure: A series of cycling events that are held in 44 states to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The tour has multiple lengths for riders and has raised more than $89,000,000. More information can be found here.

If  you’d like to donate to Team JRDF and help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, check out my page here.

 

Medina Half Marathon: Week Eight

We’ve made it to the half way point! Eight weeks are done, and just eight weeks separate me from hopefully a sub 2:00 half marathon. This is where the number crunching begins! I’m getting really excited, and this week was the perfect way to track my progress.

This week was a pretty good week despite for one little issue. Ever since the hill repeats I’ve had some knee discomfort. Nothing extreme, and not all the time, but enough to notice. I’m almost 100% sure the discomfort is from throwing my form out the window when I was going downhill during hill repeats. It’s nothing to be too worried about, but I’m being cautious.

I noticed the pain the most during Body Fusion this week. We did a lot of leg work and lunges, which irritated it slightly. So to be sure I wasn’t hurting it worse, I tried to stretch as much as I could through the week, kept my leg elevated, took lots of ibuprofen and tried not to cross my legs when sitting. ( My poor habit, and biggest pain point)

Tuesday’s run was fueled mostly by the weather. Harsh winds tore down some siding and our gate, so I let my frustrations out on my run. It definitely helped! I ran a negative split 5k, and ended up with my best time in over a year. I ran 26:34 on my own, which fuels the motivation I can run quicker in a race!

Wednesday I ran the Cleveland Metro Parks with Elayna, and it was the perfect recovery from the quick  miles the day before. The weather was a little chilly, but it was great to be back in the park. I forgot how much I love the Metro Parks, and plan on running there a couple times a month after work if I can.

Beautiful no matter what the weather

Beautiful no matter what the weather

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

Tuesday: 3.1 Miles

Wednesday: 3.3 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 11 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 16.4 Miles

Saturday’s run was a very humbling experience. Instead of running the Towpath Half, I decided to run the Medina Half course event, and I’m so glad I did. Not only did I save myself some money, but I realized how far I am and how far I still need to go to reach sub 2:00. I only had 11 miles on the schedule, but wanted to run the entire course to refresh my memory. Knowing I couldn’t run a 9:07 pace for the entire time, I wanted to stay around a 9:30 pace.

We started out and everyone was bunched up for the first mile. As I made my way to my 9:30 pace, I was feeling pretty good, and more importantly, I had no pain in my knee. Over the next three miles I kept my 9:30 pace, but the group was getting more and more spread out.  I was somewhere in between groups, but close enough I could still see where they were turning along the course. By the time we reached Lake Medina (Mile 3.5ish) I was wishing I had my music, because I had no one else going my pace.

We got up to the lake and the wind kicked up a lot. I always forget how strong the wind can be coming off the lake, so I’ll need to remember this on race day. My pace definitely slowed down for a bit, and as we left the lake, we were greeted with the giant hill on Rt. 18. I did what I could, but I could tell my pace would be a lot slower. We continued through our old development and on our way out to Smith Rd. It was such an odd feeling being this far into a run at this point in town, considering most of my runs started in the area. It did help to get my mind off the miles, and we were already at 6.5 by no time.

My pace had slowed down to around 10:00 minutes, and I was feeling a bit worn. Right around mile 7 I started to get an odd pulling feeling in the back of my knee. Luckily I was coming to an intersection that was about 1.5 miles from the square, so I decided to turn off on a path and head back. The next mile and a half I felt drained, then energized, then aching and then pain free, over and over again. I felt silly for turning off, but also glad I didn’t head out for the last 6 miles if I’d be in major pain.

I got back to my car, stretched and felt great, so I decided I would attempt my required 11 miles, but keep them close in case I was in any major pain. I did what felt like one hundred tiny loops around the square and finally reached 11 miles. Knowing I could have probably pushed myself for another two, I was glad I played it safe and focused on what my knee could do, rather than what I wanted it to do.

Rough but rewarding

Rough but rewarding

Afterward I did what I do best, laid on the couch, ate the best post run meal and wore my compression socks for probably too long of time. But I woke up Sunday feeling great, with no pain at all. I analyzed the run over and over again, because I wasn’t sure what to feel. Pace wise, I was on track to be 2:10-2:15 for 13.1, but that’s not where I want to be on race day. I still have a long way to go, but the every long run is practice for the big day.

Since we’re half way through training, I’m stepping back from Type 1 Diabetes facts and checking up on my goals, and what I need to work on during the second half of training.

Mileage: 58 in 4 weeks, 115 total. Lower than it should be still, but I’m scared of running too much and getting injured. All long runs are now in double digits, so hopefully that should help me get the mileage I need to. Plus with the nice weather, I’ll be more motivated to run a few more days a week.

Diet: It’s getting there. I’m still drinking a ton of water, but I should probably drink more on weekends. And I still have a soft spot for pasta and cheese that probably isn’t going away any time soon.

Workouts: There are two workouts I definitely need to work on. Long runs and tempo runs. I finished my run this weekend, but it wasn’t anything like I had planned. Because I was so focused on staying on pace and not losing sight of the next runner, I completely abandoned my fueling strategy. I was drained and worn down by the second half, when I know exactly how I should have fueled. Let this be a lesson to run my own run, and not focus on others.

Since I didn’t really excel at last time’s goals, I’ll be focusing on them again. I should hopefully accomplish all of them this time around.

Last 4 week goals/next four week goals:

  • Run an additional 75 miles
  • Run 4 days a week, each week
  • 1 hour of yoga, either at home or at class, each week
  • Get back to cycling
  • Hit 8:00 mile repeats
  • Raise $250 for Team JDRF

What are your biggest lesson from training? What’s your biggest challenge?

 

Medina Half Training: Week Seven

This week turned into an unintentional cut back week. The schedule originally planned for a some hills, some shorter runs and a long run this weekend, with next week as a recovery cut back week. I knew I’d be doing 13 miles next weekend instead of a shorter 6 miles, so I debated all week if I should switch my weekend runs. Ultimately that was decided for me when we took a little trip to Columbus and I had a little bit too much wine.

I started the week with Body Fusion, still pretty sore from the Spring TRAINing 10 Miler. Class was good, but it left even more sore on Tuesday. So I settled for a short run around the neighborhood to losen up my legs. Sometimes all you need is a little shake out run…but this time it wasn’t enough.

Wednesday I was supposed to run hills, but with my body still pretty sore I opted on an hour of yoga. It was exactly what I needed and I felt pretty strong despite how I was feeling all week.

Perfect combination

Perfect combination

Finally Thursday my body felt brand new and I headed to my favorite hill to do some repeats. Considering that I haven’t done hills since August, I had no idea what to expect, but I pulled off 6 hill repeats, each a half mile long. I felt really strong (for the most part) and my last repeat was my strongest. The only issue I had was coming down the hill, the weather was starting to cool off and I was concerned about black ice. Needless to say, my pace slowed way down and my form went out the window. Once the weather decides to cooperate full time, I can focus on my form and throw in more repeats.

Don't let it fool you, it's a steep and gradual hill!

Don’t let it fool you, it’s a steep and gradual hill!

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

Tuesday: 2.6 Miles

Wednesday: 1 Hour Yoga

Thursday: 5 Miles – .6 mile w/u, 6x Hill Repeats (.5 mile each), 1.4 mile c/d

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 7.6 Miles

Clearly it was a bad week, and I can only blame myself. But I’m also a little relieved. My body struggled last week and I was beyond exhausted. I also hit 60+ miles for the month, something I haven’t done since August. I can sit here and compare my training to others, feel like I’m slacking or not giving it my all, but I’m being careful. I’m so injury prone, I don’t remember one full year of running that I haven’t gotten hurt. I may not be running enough days a week, or hitting the mileage that others are, but I’m listening to my body. I have a lot left on the schedule this year, and I’ll eventually get there, but I don’t want to get injured along the way.

This next week should be a high mileage week, with some hopefully longer runs during the week and 13 over the weekend. I still need to choose between running the Towpath Half or the Medina Half course run. So if someone wants to pick for me, that’d be great….

 

Weekly Fact about Type 1 Diabetes: Complications. Living with Diabetes can be tough, and it can damage more than you know. These are some of the long term complications that can happen from Type 1 Diabetes. The more you take care of yourself when you’re younger, the better chance you have of staying away from these.

  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (Eye damage or blindness)
  • Foot damage or amputation
  • Skin and mouth conditions
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Hearing impairments

If you want to help cure Type 1 Diabetes, you can donate to Team JDRF here!

Medina Half Training: Week Six

This week turned into a roller coaster for training. I started out with high hopes and had a great plan of attack, but mid week things fell apart. Luckily I was able to turn things around over the weekend.

I started Monday with a short run before Body Fusion. Knowing I was going to be busy Tuesday night, I wanted to try to get some miles in before class. I only had time for two miles, but it was a nice change of pace and pretty refreshing.

Tuesday I was busy, so I was looking forward to Wednesday’s run. It was supposed to be a track workout with about 6.5 miles total. All day I had been excited to get some mile repeats in, until the rain hit hard. I set out on the journey to find an outdoor track, because mentally I couldn’t run the indoor track anymore. The first track had a soccer game, and the second track was rained out. By this point, the other two available tracks weren’t worth the drive and I was just frustrated. I headed home and attempted to get in what I could.

My body wasn’t having it, and I could barely get 2.5 miles in. I tried to brush off the feeling of disappointment, but I couldn’t. I failed at getting my speed work in, and I couldn’t even make it three miles. So I had to remind myself that each run is it’s own. No two workouts will be the same and I have to take the bad workouts to really appreciate the good ones. Take training run by run and move on to the next one once the Garmin stops.

Monday: 2 Miles + Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 2.5 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Strongsville Super 5k

Sunday: Spring TRAINing 10 Miler

Total Miles: 17.5 Miles

So despite my rough patch in the middle of the week, I had big plans for the weekend. I had the Strongsville Super Saturday 5k on my radar for a long time, but after I struggled all week I wasn’t sure I still wanted to do it. I did it anyway, and I was so glad I did. I’ll have a recap later this week, but it was just the thing I needed to boost my confidence.

I also had 10 miles up for my long run this weekend, so I decided I would run long on Sunday. I had been back and forth between a group run or the Spring TRAINing 10 Miler, but decided last moment that if I’m going to run 10 miles, I might as well have fun with it. I’ll have a recap on this race later on as well.

I may have had a bad day this week, but my three other runs were great. I focused too much on Wednesday’s run to enjoy the others. But looking back, I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m just about two months away from the race, and my times are close to where I’d be on a normal half marathon. I’m bringing my 5k time down, cross training and I’m still injury free. I still have time for improvement over the next 10 weeks, and I know I can do it.

Weekly Type 1 Diabetes Fact: March 25th (tomorrow) is the annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day. It’s your chance to take the risk test to find out if you’re at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. While my facts have been about Type 1, Type 2 isn’t something to ignore. For every risk test taken, Boar’s Head will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association. By taking the test, you’re not only helping yourself, but helping others. Take the test here.

If you’d like to donate and help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, check out my Team JDRF page.

Medina Half Training: Week Five

What a week. I wish I could blame the weather for how different my schedule was this week. In fact, I think I will. This week was way off schedule, but I did what I could. It wasn’t my best, but luckily it ended on a high  note.

Monday, I skipped my Body Fusion class, but for a good reason. Darren came home after a week in India, so naturally I wanted to spend time with him. Knowing he’d be working late all week and transitioning into a normal time zone again, I knew it would be our best chance to spend time together until the weekend. Selfish yes, regret working out, nope!

I missed the perfect weather on Monday night, but took advantage of the decent weather on Tuesday night. It was a bit chilly and dreary, but I was able to get three miles in on the trails before it got too dark. The trail had some sections that were completely covered in ice and snow so there were a few moments of walking, but it felt so good to get outside, in shorts! I discovered a new section of trail, which was a good way to pass the miles.

Same trail, same run.

Same trail, same run.

Wednesday was a complete mess. With the snowstorm all day, traveling home was a disaster. I opted to switch Thursday’s Yoga or run day with Wednesday’s run. I was absolutely exhausted, but was able to do a 20 minute Power Yoga video in the basement.

Thursday, I somehow ended up with too many options. Our Second Sole has started group runs every Thursday at 6:30. We also had a MCRR group run/bar crawl at 7. Due to traffic, I decided to go to the later run, and was so glad I did.

MCRR decked in Green!

Some MCRR decked in Green!

We started at Johnny Malloy’s and ran the back way through town to a bar called Cin Dee’s Place. I had never heard of it, but we ventured to the other side of the tracks, so I had no idea what I was in for. Once we got there, we had some drinks and decided to venture back to the original bar. By this time it was dark and almost not safe to be out running. The sidewalks were a mess, but luckily the cars were kind enough to share the road. We made it back, had a giant feast and ended up drinking/eating until 11:00pm. It definitely wasn’t a typical run, but it was a lot of fun.

Always be hydrating!

Always be hydrating!

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: 20 Minute Power Yoga

Thursday: 3 Miles- MCRR Group Run/Bar Crawl

Friday: Off

Saturday: St. Malachi 5 Miler + 4

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 15 Miles

Saturday was St. Malachi, more to come on that later this week. I knew I had between 9-10 on my schedule, so I opted to run 5 miles at the race and finish the rest at home. I was desperately seeking some soft ground to run on, and since most of the snow was gone, I headed to Buckeye Woods.

My legs felt tight and heavy, but after spending an hour in the car post race, I figured they’d just need a little bit of a shake out. My first mile was 8:58, but I felt like I was going so slow. My legs were still tired and stretching wasn’t helping. I ended up doing two loops around the marsh, hoping the longer I stayed on soft ground, the better my legs would feel. By the time I headed back through the woods and towards the car, my legs were screaming. My legs were dead and I couldn’t go a step past 4 miles. With 9 miles total for the day, my last four ended up something like this….2.5 miles under 9:00 minute pace, 1 mile at 9:04 and the last half mile was definitely above 9:15/9:20.

However, considering I spent an hour sitting in between running, I’m not surprised with how tight I was feeling during the last four miles. I am surprised I was able to knock out the last miles at or around a sub 9:00 minute pace.

Just me and the trail

Just me and the trail

I had hopes of doing a shake out run on Sunday, but ended up with a bad migraine that took me out for the rest of the day. I was so miserable, that even doing some light yoga was out of the question. So unfortunately I ended under where I wanted to be for mileage, but all things considered, it was still a pretty good week.

Who else ran St. Malachi? Have you done at home workout videos, which ones are your favorite?

Weekly Type 1 Diabetes Fact: If you or a someone you know has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, you should know that you’re not alone. There are a number of places that you can turn to for support or knowledge about Type 1. Each of these groups can help you understand Diabetes more, help you find others that also share this disease, and ways to help you live your life to the most.

The biggest thing is knowing that you’re not alone, and that you don’t have to go into this blind. There’s always something new to learn and events to reach out to others with Type 1 Diabetes.

If you’re interested in donating to help cure Type 1 Diabetes, you can help here.

Medina Half Training: Week Four

We are officially a quarter of the way done with this training schedule, and I’m surprised with how quickly it’s going by. I usually don’t feel this way until 12 weeks in, but maybe that means the rest of winter will go by quick as well.

This week was supposed to be my scaled back “easy” week and I took advantage of it for almost all of the runs. I started the week with Body Fusion, but it was a lot harder than a normal. We had a sub, and she had a completely different set up than our normal teacher. It seemed to be a lot more strenuous on my body and my arms were sore the entire week. We also had less time for yoga, which is something I definitely needed.

Tuesday, I ran 3 easy miles on the indoor track. I was incredibly bored and was counting down the laps until I could finish. I’m crossing my fingers it’s my last Tuesday of indoor running, I desperately need outdoor evening runs again.

Wednesday I was back on the track and knew I wouldn’t last another easy day of running. So I decided to run a little faster each lap. My first “quick” mile was in 8:20, thinking it was a fluke, I tried again and ended up with 8:17. At this point I decided to turn it into a semi speed workout and go for one more, and ended up with 8:18. I followed it up with a cool down mile and luckily didn’t feel too worn out. I finished up 5 miles in just over 42 minutes, not bad for an accidental speed day.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 45 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 15 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: 5 Miles- 1 Mile w/u-8:50, 3xMile Repeats- 8:20, 8:17, 8:18, 1 Mile c/d-8:48

Thursday: Off

Friday: 3 Miles

Saturday: 3 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 14 Miles

My weekend miles started a day early, when I ran after work on Friday evening. Elayna brought her puppy Ella over to do a training run for the Love-A-Stray 5k coming up in April. The weather was perfect and the sun was just about gone, but it felt great to get some miles done outside after work. We ended up with 3 miles around the neighborhood and little Ella kept up the whole time. She may just win her AG in her first 5k.

My new running partner

My new running partner

Then I finished up the weekend with a short run on Saturday morning. The weather wasn’t as warm as Friday night, but it was still a decent temperature before the snow started. Unfortunately my legs and body just couldn’t get on the same page, and I almost struggled to get 3 miles in. I’m hoping it’s because I ran the night before so my body didn’t get to recover enough.

Overall the week was pretty easy and a nice way to step back from training. Instead of a weekly fact on Type 1 Diabetes, I want to recap each quarter of training to see how I’m doing and what needs to be improved.

Mileage- 57 miles completed, which is a little lower than where I should be. Mileage will definitely pick up within the next 4 weeks of training, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve also not been running as many days as my training says. In high school and college I would run 6 days a week, something that easily led to injury. Now I’m running 3-4 days a week, partially because of free time, but also because I have FOGI (Fear of getting injured). Eventually I’ll get between 4-5 days a week, but I don’t want to hurt myself in the process.

Body Fusion- Such a good decision! I feel so strong and fit since I joined this class. Not only am I seeing a difference in my arms and back, but my legs are toning up quicker than usual too. I’m only hoping this will lead to stronger and faster runs!

Left: Before, Right: After 2 Months

Left: Before, Right: After 2 Months

Diet- As I mentioned last week, my eating habits have become a main focus this time around. I want to make sure I’m fueling my body properly, so I’m not miserable while running. I’ve been doing a great job of hydrating so far, and the food I’m eating is about 75% healthy.

Cross Training- Outside of Body Fusion I wanted to sign up for yoga again. However, something always ends up happening the same time as class and I never make it. I’m hoping over the next four weeks I can get back into yoga. If I can’t make class, I want to find time to watch my yoga DVD at home.

4 Week Goals

  • Run an additional 75 miles-Double digit long runs means more miles
  • Run 4 days a week, each week
  • 1 hour of yoga, either at home or at class, each week
  • Get back to cycling
  • Hit 8:00 mile repeats
  • Raise $250 for Team JDRF

 

Who’s excited to have daylight after work again? Have you ever run with a dog, did they keep up or was it a struggle?

 

Medina Half Training: Week Three

This week was pretty low key, which was exactly what I needed. I wanted to focus on working on my eating habits, hoping I could find something that would help ease my stomach even when I can’t avoid eating dinner at 9:30 every evening. We usually stick to the same meals, every day of every week. Tacos on Monday, Steak on Tuesday, Chicken on Wednesday, Leftovers or Pasta on Thursday then Friday and Saturday night we go out to eat. It may seem boring, but it’s easy, and we don’t have to spend a half hour trying to figure out what we want to eat (we save that for the weekend). I ate a decently healthy lunch every day, but we’ll save that for another post. This week I switched Monday and Wednesday around and it seemed to help a little, but eating so late will always cause a slight issue. I also wanted to stay hydrated, so I made sure to drink a ton of water and Nuun to make sure I was getting enough fluids in my body. Coincidentally, I somehow managed to stay away from alcohol Monday through Wednesday, which I think helped as well.

Class on Monday was pretty intense. We focused on our legs a lot and I knew I’d be hurting. With the combination of running and lifting, I can definitely tell my muscle is starting to bulk up. Not in a bad way, but I feel that I look more toned. I’m also feeling stronger and quicker when I’m running. After two months of class, I can tell that I’m hooked and plan on taking the class for as long as it’s offered.

Tuesday’s run was a little tough. I was still sore from class, so I took it easy with 3 miles. I expected to loosen up towards the end of the run, but I still felt stiff. I made sure to stretch and foam roll afterward. Wednesday’s run was better than I had expected. I was more sore than Tuesday and felt that I looked like a stick trying to run. I made sure to stretch and foam roll before and after, which did help a little. It was supposed to be a tempo run at 9:17 pace, but I felt I could do much better than that. So instead I tried to keep a solid pace for 4 miles, which I almost pulled off with the following splits: 8:55, 8:56, 8:44, 8:54. I’m not sure what happened in mile three, but I could tell I was speeding up. Overall it was a good run, and hopefully it will help me to keep my miles consistent.

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

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 8 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 15 Miles

Saturday ended up as my long run day this weekend. With the potential storm coming in, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to run safely on Sunday with the group, so I attempted to run it Saturday by myself. I wasn’t feeling the best when I started, due to my stomach yet again, but this time it was from a bad meal at a restaurant the night before. My legs were finally loose, so I started at a decent pace. I hadn’t planned out a course, but decided on 2 out and back, and then another 2 out and back. I headed out and had to slow down a lot due to giant chunks of ice on the sidewalks, so I alternated from grass to sidewalk a lot. I knew if I did this my entire run, I’d never really enjoy it, so I turned at the 2 mile mark and headed home.

I made a pit stop a little over half way through to use the bathroom and dropped off my gloves and fleece headband. I immediately felt better and headed out on my second out and back. I ran up a familiar back road and couldn’t help but to enjoy the “warm” weather. I ran on some new roads and even found some potential new neighborhoods to run in. The miles were going quick and I felt great. I headed back towards home and around the neighborhood to finish up with 8 miles. Looking back at the splits, my 7th mile was my fastest with 8:58 and mile 8 would have been the same had I not had to stop for some major ice spots. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I could pull off some quicker miles in the later part of my run. At only 3 weeks in, I can feel that this will be my best training cycle yet!

Next week is a cut back week in training, but I may add in extra miles. I’m also hoping to run a few more days if possible, and hopefully join the Second Sole in Medina for a group run!

Do you change your diet during training? Have you cut out alcohol too or limit yourself more?

 

Weekly fact about Type 1 Diabetes: How common is Type 1 Diabetes and who is being diagnosed? Diabetes as a whole is unfortunately becoming more common, but there is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Almost 3 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes, and more than 15,000 children are diagnosed each year, that’s about 40 kids each day! And unfortunately that rate is only rising. Type 1 Diabetes is also more commonly found in those with lighter skin and is more common in places with colder climates. Each diagnosis is different, it’s on the rise and there is no cure at this time.

Please help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and donate today!