Twin Sizzler 5k Recap

Last Saturday, July 4th, I ran my third Twin Sizzler 5k. This year I decided to run just the 5k and skip the 10k. The weather was surprisingly cooler for race day, with 65 degrees at the start and some slight wind a few times on the course.

The race started at 7:45, but I got down to the square by 7:15 to pick up my bib and shirt and hit the restroom before the start. I got a little under a mile in for my warm up and was ready to run. I didn’t have a certain time I was focused on, I just knew I didn’t want to go out too quick, and I didn’t want to have a meltdown on the uphill finish. Surprising, I was actually pretty relaxed. That is until a minute before the race started and my stomach was a mess.

The race started and I realized I was a little too far back in the pack. Instead of going out too fast, I was going out too slow, somewhere around a 9:07 pace. I started to weave in and out of the group to find a better spot, and finally settled on an 8:45 pace. My stomach was still hurting and I was too afraid to push myself any faster at that point.

The course starts on the square with a nice downhill onto Rt. 57 out of town. Eventually the road begins an incline and I was happy I didn’t have to do the 10k after this, with it’s continual incline into Montville Township. Just before our first turn we came across the first mile marker and a water stop. I skipped the water and was starting to feel a little better.

Mile 1- 8:45

Starting the second mile, it was refreshing that for once I didn’t feel like death, clinging onto a time that I wouldn’t be able to hold. I was feeling better with every step I took and wanted to base this next mile off of feel, not time.

During the second mile we went through some developments and had some rolling hills along the way. They didn’t feel as bad as they typically do and I was able to pass people as I made my way along the course. I continued along, quietly bringing my pace down, and keeping my eyes off my Garmin.

Mile 2- 8:33

With the last mile ahead of me I knew I wanted to pick up the pace. I also knew the finish would be difficult, and I was still unsure of what my stomach had planned. I told myself I’d be ok with an 8:20 pace, but again wanted to go by feel, rather than time.

Somewhere in the beginning of the last mile, I noticed a gentleman was near me and would stay around my pace. He’d push when I pushed, and back off when I backed off. It was nice to have a little company, even though we didn’t say anything.

As we made the turn down South Court, I tried to get myself in the zone. I took advantage of the short downhill and mentally prepared myself for the finish. We turned right on South Street, and then left on South Broadway. We were met again with my favorite part, the brick road. I started to pick up my pace a bit, but was careful not to trip on any loose bricks. I could feel the energy that had been saved up and hoped it would stay throughout the rest of the race.

We passed the intersection of 57 and memories of my Medina Half finish crossed my mind. Even though I had started with a sour stomach, it was no where to be seen and my legs wanted to take control.

We passed the railroad tracks, and then started our long incline past East Smith. As I took each step up hill, I knew I would have a much better finish than before. I kept picking up the pace, trying to go faster.

Mile 3- 8:14

With just a small section left I gave it everything I had and sprinted up the rest of the hill and into the finish. I turned around just in time to see the silent gentleman finish and congratulated him on the race.

Last .1- 7:04 pace


For the first time, quite possibly ever, I ran negative splits on my 5k. And I felt great after I finished. I didn’t run a PR, but I ran a smart race and I ran based on how I felt rather than checking my watch everything 30 seconds.

While I’m not sure I’ll ever PR on the Twin Sizzler course, I was able to run my fastest Twin Sizzler to date. And now I know where I stand time-wise on the 5k and I have an idea of where I can be if I really push myself. There is no doubt that I can drop under 25 minutes for the 5k again, but unfortunately a sub 23 is probably something that I left in college.

Not your flat 5k.

Not your flat 5k.

It was a great race, great weather and I’m glad I’ve been able to run the Twin Sizzler every year. It’s something that I plan on doing every year while living in Medina. And maybe one day I’ll sign up for the 10k again…

Tech tee and trouble

Tech tee and trouble


Official Chip Time: 25:51

AG 25-29: 4/23

Female: 65/295

Overall: 223/608

Akron Half Marathon Training: Week Four

I changed a few things around this week after I noticed my first cut back week wasn’t until week six. With tired legs from last week, and a tired body from lack of sleep, I knew I needed to make this change for a recovery week. So I skipped a few runs, made some changes to week six, and here we are with lighter mileage and happier legs.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 3.5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 6×400 w/400 recovery, .5 Mile C/D + Core

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 0

Friday: 4 Miles

Saturday: Twin Sizzler 5k + 2 Miles

Sunday: 0

Total Miles: 12.5 Miles

I got home late on Tuesday due to traffic, and stuck to my treadmill for my workout. I was exhausted before I even started, and lack of motivation was creeping in quickly. But I powered through some 400’s and felt a little better when I was finished.

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Coach checking out my stride

Wednesday evening I had plans, and Thursday I had intentions of running with Second Sole. But because I didn’t get out of work until late afternoon, I decided to skip my run and spend time with Darren, who had been in London all week for work. After a pretty crappy week, it was exactly what I needed.

Friday I was out of the door at a decent time and ran to my trail. It was the first time running there for a while, despite being so close to home. I felt pretty good and kept a decent pace for most of the run. A little solo trail running was exactly what my mind and body needed.

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Clear trails, clear mind.

Saturday I ran the annual Twin Sizzler 5k, race recap to come soon. I opted for just the 5k this year after running both the 5k and 10k last year. The weather was perfect, the race turned out great and I was almost tempted to sign up for the 10k. Between my warm up and cool down, I added two more miles, making it 5 for the day.

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A little red, white, blue, and neon for the Twin Sizzler

Week Four Thoughts:

This week was nothing what I had originally planned for. But even by the end of the week my legs felt better than they had in the past two. There comes a point where everything starts to build up and break you apart. I needed this week to catch up on recovery, sleep, and a little bit of my sanity. I can now start this next week of training with fresh legs and some extra motivation.

Twin Sizzler 5k Recap

Almost a week later, I have my recap on the Twin Sizzler 5k I ran on the 4th of July. Last year I ran Bay Days in  Bay Village and was a little bummed I wouldn’t be able to run it this year. Lucky for me, Medina had their own festival of events for the holiday. The Twin Sizzler provided a ton of events for the community including a 5k run, 10k run, 27 mile Community bike ride, 27 mile expert bike ride, 1 mile kids fun run, and a 5k walk. If that wasn’t enough, you could run both the 5k and the 10k for a double workout. All proceeds went to the Red Cross of Medina County, and with well over 800 people in attendance, we definitely helped out our local chapter. There was also a DJ, activities for kids, and a ton of families out for the holiday.

The race was slated to start at 7:45 and with how hot and humid it has been, it was much better than a 9:00 start. Lucky for us, the sun stayed behind the clouds, but the humidity was thick and people were sweating before we started. I got there around 7:25, and headed straight to bib pick up. If you registered early (which I finally did for once!) you were promised a t-shirt. Unfortunately they had run out of smalls by the time I got there, so I was given a medium. I plan on donating it since I already have way too many shirts.

Around 7:40 we were told that we’d had a delay of the start. We eventually got going around 7:55, only a 10 minute delay. Still feeling warmed up, I didn’t have a goal, I just wanted to survive the muck of the humidity. The first mile had a bit of a down hill and wound through some of the downtown streets. I knew I didn’t want to go out too hard, but didn’t want to focus on my time. I let my legs do the work and I was somewhere near a 7:50 pace. I pulled back and tired to slow myself down. It was getting hotter and hotter and I knew that it would be a tough race. We came up on the first mile and I was around 8:30. Right after the marker was a water stop. I grabbed a glass, drinking some, but dumping most on my head. I don’t normal grab water in 5k’s, but I couldn’t get enough of it.

We continued on through more neighborhoods and I could feel my pace slowing down. I bounced between 8:45 and 9:10, always struggling to keep a solid pace. Most of the course was very familiar either from previous runs or from the Medina Half Marathon. It was relatively flat, but had some gradual inclines throughout the second mile. I was still feeling pretty strong, but didn’t want to go too fast and not have anything left for the finish.

I don’t remember what time I hit the third mile, but I was excited to see more water. This time the cup was filled up a bit too much, so I had more difficultly drinking it and running. I slowed down a bit, but then tried to pick my pace back up. The last mile was straight towards the square and I knew we’d have an uphill incline. I was starting to get hotter and sweatier, but tried to ignore it. With a half mile to go I was around 23:xx and everyone started to pick up the pace. I felt great and followed the crowd. Crossing the rail road tracks we had about 400 feet left, the incline of the hill started and I felt off. I hate finishing uphill because I usually feel sick so I tried to relax and just ignored my pace. I slowed quite a bit, but was nervous that I’d lose whatever was in my stomach on the course. About a hundred feet to go and I gagged. I told myself to stop, and just get to the finish. Fifty feet from the finish I gagged again, and nothing. I jogged to the finish line, barely stopped my Garmin and was off to the side. The humidity had gotten the best of me.

After grabbing some water and heading to my car, I started to feel much better. I drove home and suddenly felt that like I could run some more…if the humidity wasn’t so thick. I almost regretted not signing up for the 10k as well, but after the 5k, I was glad I only had one race. Besides for the last half mile I felt great throughout the entire run. I was dissapointed with my time and pacing, but I know that the heat plays a big factor in this. It was no where near a PR, but I feel that I’ll definitely be dropping time once the weather cools off.

Overall the race was great. The course was well marked and relatively flat considering some of the major hills around. Having two water stops was awesome, but I think I had too much water in my stomach, which didn’t help later on. There was only one sprinkler on the course, but many more would have been appreciated. I’ll definitely run this race next year and even think about doing the 10k.

Decked in Red, White, and Blue!

Decked in Red, White, and Blue!


Garmin: 27:06

Overall: 298/670

Female Overall: 107/356

Age Group (25-29): 15/40

Akron Marathon Training: Week Four

This week didn’t start off so great, but it finished exactly where I  needed to be. Tuesday’s run was short and rough. I had a hard time breathing from the humidity and felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. Still a little nervous about running two days in a row, I moved my tempo run to Thursday and ran the Twin Sizzler 5k. I’ll post more on the race later this week, but it was quite humid by 7:30 and made for an interesting race.

I had hopes of running with MCRR on Friday, but with a lack of sleep, I knew I needed to let myself get some rest. With a busy weekend and even more lack of sleep, I pushed my long run to Sunday morning. I knew that I had 14 on the schedule, but decided I’d be satisfied with 12  because I only hit 10 in my last long run. Last year I  made the  mistake of doing the same route for all my long runs, this year I wanted to mix things up so I set out for some back roads hoping to find some peace in the country. I also didn’t want to have a repeat of the dehydration issue so I set up a game plan of staying hydrated and full of energy.

  • Drink water at every mile marker
  • Take a few sport beans every 4 miles
  • Take Gu around mile 6
  • Take salt tabs once every hour

I started out easy and kept my pace around 10:15-10:30. It felt slow, but I knew I’d need the energy later on as the miles went on. It wasn’t too humid yet, and the sun kept hiding behind clouds about every other mile, not bad for an 8am run. I had some rolling hills, but was enjoying my time out on the back roads. I also knew I had a huge hill coming up, so I tried to relax as much as I could.

So much peace

So much peace

I really do enjoy moments like this, with no cars, no other people, and just the pure beauty of the land.

About a mile later I had found my “heartbreak” hill. From 963 ft to 1037 ft in less than a quarter of a mile, followed by an additional 50 foot elevation gradual change over the next half mile. It  may  not sound like monster, but my legs were hurting pretty bad when I got to the top. Fortunately I felt strong and never once thought about giving up on that hill. I continued on my way and started to have some heavy chest pains. I was at a point in my run where I could turn and go further from home, or I could make a slight change and stay within two miles of home. I decided to play it safe and stay closer to home. I quickly had to crunch some numbers and create a new route that would still get me over double digits without doing the same loop over and over. The pains went away and decided it was probably from the heat and my body was caught off guard by the hill.

I eventually figured out a plan and was getting close to 9 miles when I could feel my body starting to get sore. I was close enough to home that I could stop, refill my water bottle, stretch and head out for the remaining miles. And then I had my first incident with a car. Classic case of driver looks right at me, stops for a moment, and continues a right on red while I’m in the middle of her car. Luckily I had my eyes on her and moved out of the way at the last minute. *Drivers, please, please be cautious of runners, walkers, cyclists when turning right on red.

I made it home in once piece, but I could feel my hips and legs getting tight. I spent some time debating if I should continue my run or save the rest for later tonight. I only had 3-5 miles left, which at the point wasn’t much, but felt like it would have taken forever. After stretching, re-hydrating, snacking and mapping out what would be next, I headed to the lake for some softer ground. With an out and back on crushed gravel and grass, my legs felt so much better. By mile 12 I was feeling the pain and ready to get back home. After doing a few loops in my development I approached my front door with 14 miles for the day, my longest run since last October. It was tough, but I felt strong, and finally felt like I was really training for a marathon again.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Twin Sizzler 5k

Friday: Off

Saturday:  Off

Sunday: 14 Miles

Total Miles: 19 Miles

This week had it’s ups and downs, but I survived. I’ve got another long run this weekend, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I also have another tempo run that I may turn into hill repeats. Because hills, actually aren’t that bad!

What I learned:

  • Long runs are all about pacing. In the beginning I always feel slow, but the pace will eventually work itself out in the last miles.
  • Staying hydrated is key. I felt so much better using salt tabs this week.
  • Hills make or break a run. When you feel strong on the hills, you feel stronger about your run.
  • Always be cautious of your surroundings. Drivers, animals, pedestrians or cyclist may be in their own zone and not see you. When you lose touch of everything outside you’re run, that’s when you get hurt.

How was your holiday weekend? Have you ever had an incidents with cars while running?