Wineglass Marathon Recap

For the past 18 weeks, my training was focused on one race, one goal, and one day that would mean everything to me. Settle in and get comfy, because the recap of Wineglass Marathon is going to be a long one…

First, let’s back up to why I chose Wineglass as my marathon. Growing up, my family took a few vacation trips to the Finger Lakes Region of New York. We’d spend a week traveling the area, visiting wineries, and spending time in cities like Watkins Glen, Corning, and Elmira. My favorite was always Corning, mostly because of our visits to the Corning Glass Museum. We’d spend a day watching the glass blowers make glass, tour the museum and dine at their cafe.

About two years ago, I saw that there was a half marathon that went from Bath to Corning, the Wineglass Half Marathon, and I knew I had to place it on my 25 Challenge list. After my training went poorly for Akron, I entertained the idea of running the full instead of the half for Wineglass, but never gave it too much thought. But during a Friday morning run with some MCRR members a few days before Christmas, my mind was set. A few mentioned they were thinking of running Wineglass, and suggested that I run it too. I went back and forth, wondering if I’d really want to train and run another full. A few weeks went on, a few more MCRR members registered for Wineglass, and on January 11th, I pulled the trigger and registered for the full.

And so he were are, fast forward 10 months, and I began marathon weekend all over again. Saturday morning we began our drive to Corning, NY. What was supposed to be a 4.5 hour drive, turned into a 6.5 hour drive. The closer we got to Corning, I started to remember the views, and the rivers and everything I missed about the area. Even though it was cold, and would remain cold the entire weekend, the views were absolutely amazing. The ridges were covered in trees ranging from green to orange to yellow to red, it was perfect fall weather, and made all those humid, early weekend runs worth it.

Packet pickup was at the Glass Museum and I was beyond excited to pick everything up. We got a long sleeve tech tee, reflective drawstring bag, a wineglass, and a small bottle of Champange from a local winery. Seriously, best swag bag ever! I made my way around the small expo, only picking up a tank top, shorts and a long sleeve thermal. Because the expo was at the museum, once you picked everything up, you could tour the shops and museum free of charge. We only had a short time, but all the memories of my childhood came back, making the already exciting day, that much more meaningful.

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After the expo, we stopped at our hotel, relaxed for a bit, then made our way to downtown Corning for dinner. On our way, we ran into Mo and Michelle, which was great to see familiar faces so far from home. We stopped at Market Street Brewing Company, which had wonderful food, perfect pasta to carb load the night before the race. We finished up, ran to Walmart for heavier throw away clothes, and then I got ready for bed.

Marathon eve...quiet on the streets

Marathon eve…quiet on the streets

With a late start of 8:15, I slept in until 5:30. Although I was in bed by 10, I woke up every half hour throughout the night, and had more than a few nightmares about the race, so starting out, I was already really tired. I got dressed, forced myself to eat more than I wanted, and tried to relax before the start. This year, it was mandatory for all runners to take busses to the start, so Darren dropped me off at the bus, and I waited in line about 10 minutes before taking the bus to Bath.

Race day sunrise

Race day sunrise

Throughout the half hour drive, my emotions were all over the place. I was nervous, excited, doubting myself, relaxed, and not really sure what to expect. As soon as we got off the bus, I waited in line for the bathrooms. It was chilly, right around 30 degrees, and everyone was huddled, waiting in line. Once I got out of line, we heard that the race would be delayed a bit because more busses were still on their way. I managed to find an entrance to a building, and huddled close with about 30 other runners. As the start got closer, I used the bathroom again, slowly took off my throwaway clothes, and made my way right between the 4:15 and 4:30 pace group.

The starting line was very crowded, and the pace groups were close together. I was hoping that once the race started they would spread out more. Instead, the pace groups started to speed ahead, and I saw the 4:30 group sprint ahead. Knowing I would be running my own pace, I wanted to stay between the two groups, so once I saw the 4:30 group pass me, I started to question my own pace.

Start line

Start line

I made my way through the first two miles, trying to find an even pace of around 10:00 minutes. I was a little fast, but so were all the pace groups. I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but it was certainly a mind game. Despite being cold, my legs felt good, I was starting to loosen up and I was feeling pretty confident.

Mile 1-9:49
Mile 2-9:57

I continued along at a pretty steady pace and took in the sites of Bath. I wanted to stick to a strict fueling plan, so at every mile I took some water, making sure to stay hydrated. I was still just under a 10:00 pace, and was trying to slow myself down.

Mile 3-9:52
Mile 4-9:53

We continued along and the group around me was staying together nicely. There were a few that would speed up, but for the most part, we were a nice little pack. I knew the first hill would be coming up around mile 5, so I tried to conserve some energy, but I just couldn’t slow down. At mile 4 I took my first sport beans, and planned on sticking with the same flavor the entire race.

As we approached the hill, I tried to slow down so I wouldn’t use too much energy early on. The hill was a little longer than I expected, but I made it through and didn’t feel too fatigued. My hips however were a little tight and wouldn’t let go once I got to the top. I moved over to the side of the road, hoping that running on the crushed ground would help a bit.

Mile 5-9:58
Mile 6-9:54

It was about this time that another runner appeared next to me, walking about 20 feet, then running 50 feet. She shuffled next to the cones, and kept running to pass people and then stopping right in front of them. I tried to get ahead of her, but she kept up her walk/run pace….for the next two miles! This wouldn’t have been a problem, but she kept stopping in front of people, which made for some frustrating miles.

Mile 7-9:58
Mile 8-10:03

We continued on, and I was still on pace. We made it to mile 8 and I took my second set of Sport Beans. I was feeling ok, but I noticed that my miles started to slow down at this point. My hip was finally back to normal, but I couldn’t help but worry that something would go wrong. I tried to take in the views to distract myself from thinking of the race. Some views were beautiful, with farmland and rolling hills, some not so much, like when we ran next to the highway. But still, I was thankful to be out there, knowing the views and the weather could be much worse.

Darren said he’d try to be around mile 9, so I tried to keep a lookout for him as we got closer. As we approached mile 9, I saw Darren and couldn’t help but get excited. I was still on pace, feeling pretty good, and was glad that he had made it out to watch me go by.

Right on pace!

Right on pace!

Mile 9-10:08
Mile 10-10:08

I made the turn and followed the road, continuing my way to mile 10. By this point, my bladder was starting to fill up, so I knew I’d need to stop soon. Once I got to mile 10, I stopped at the port-a-potty. With my 4:22 goal, I didn’t factor in bathroom stops, so I tried to keep track of the minutes. 2:00 minutes at the beginning of mile 11, I’d still be good with a 4:24.

I continued on my way, a little disappointed that I stopped, but knew that it was necessary. The weather was starting to warm up, but not too warm where I felt uncomfortable. Somewhere between mile 11 and 13 I started to hit my first wall. I knew that once I made it to the halfway point I’d be fine. I tried to push out any negative thoughts and continued on my way. During mile 12 I recognized a purple and orange shirt. I ran next to the woman, and she asked me if I was from Medina, Ohio. I told her yes, and instantly we remembered running with each other during the long run that Active runner hosted. We agreed that we were having a harder time than we thought, and we would push each other through.

Mile 11-12:01
Mile 12-10:12
Mile 13-11:21

We made it just past the halfway spot until I stopped at a water stop to refill my water. She went ahead and that was the last time I ran next to her. I was now in the mindset that I had less to run than I already have, and maybe my pace and time wouldn’t be too bad, I just had to keep up my current pace.

I got to mile 14 and saw Darren, let him know I was having a bit of a hard time, and he said I was doing good and he’d see me at the finish. It was enough motivation to keep me going, but deep down I knew I was starting to wear down. I started to enter a dark mile, I questioned if I could keep running, if I could finish, and how I was able to run my long runs so perfect, yet here I was struggling at mile 15. I’ll be honest, I wanted to quit, I didn’t want to be out there anymore. But I had come so far, I had worked so hard all year, I didn’t want to disappoint myself.

Mile 14-10:34
Mile 15-11:01

Approaching mile 16, I started to feel sick, I was a little light headed, worn down, and I had an odd  pressure just under my rib cage. I remember the pain, just like I had during the end of the River Run. I didn’t want to get sick this far from the finish, but knew that if I did, it was something I couldn’t control. Luckily, I got to the water stop, stopped for the bathroom and refueled on Sport Beans. I walked for a bit after the stop, hoping that everything would be back to normal. I started to feel better and continued on my way. I only had 10 miles left now, and I knew I had to make it through them.

Mile 16-14:35

The next couple of miles were a blur. I tried to envision running mile 17-20 at Buckeye Woods where I had such strong finishes. This was also around the time where I started to run/walk/shuffle. My body was breaking down and I wasn’t sure if I was more uncomfortable running or walking. I felt so stupid for walking, knowing that I’ve never needed to in my long runs, so why would I know. Again, the feeling of self doubt kept popping up, comparing my training runs to the race. I do remember that once I hit mile 19, a volunteer made me cry, she said, “You’ve made it to mile 19, you’re doing so good!” It was exactly what I needed to hear despite how bad I was feeling.

Mile 17-11:30
Mile 18-12:31
Mile 19-11:32

Once I hit mile 20, I started to countdown how much I had left. I focused on taking it mile by mile, running, walking or doing whatever I could to make it through. I think it was around this time that I stopped for a port-a-potty again, but by this point, I wasn’t keeping track of how many minutes I was losing. We were getting closer to the finish, and I could feel myself start to become more excited. Mile 21-22 we made our way through a park, and with the slightest downhill I started to have more energy. I didn’t want to push it too much, but I felt like I was doing better than before.

Mile 20-15:20
Mile 21-13:48
Mile 22-14:59

I continued drinking water at every mile, and now started every half mile or so. I was also trying to run at least ¾ of each mile and walk about ¼ of each mile. Again, my body was uncomfortable doing both, but as long as I kept moving forward I was ok. With four miles to go, I was at 4:22, the time I wanted to finish. It was heartbreaking, knowing how far I still had to go, but knowing that in this moment, my goal times weren’t in the cards. At this point, all I wanted to do was finish in one piece.

I started to break down again at mile 23, frustrated with how I was doing compared to my training, worried that I would be a complete failure. I also made a note to never let myself sign up for another marathon, that I wanted nothing to do with this distance again.

Mile 23-12:29
Mile 24-13:47
Mile 25-13:56

The last few miles, were really just pitiful. I watched the minutes go by as I continued on my way, hoping that the last mile marker would show up shortly. I watched my Garmin hit 5 hours and was devastated. I was well beyond my goal time, and gave up all hope in my race. Until I hit mile 26. We ran across the bridge into town and I knew it wouldn’t be much further until I would cross that line. For the first time in many miles, I knew I was actually going to finish this race. As I came off the bridge, I saw a few MCRR members to my right cheering me on. I started to tear up, knowing I had such great support even in my darkest times of running. A few feet later, I heard another cheer, my orange and purple shirt friend (so sorry, I don’t remember your name!) from Medina, and I was so happy to see she made it.

So close, yet so hard

So close, yet so hard

Mile 26-14:00

With the moments of encouragement, I started to pick up  my pace, as much as you can by that point, and turned onto Market. I could see the finish line down the road, now I just needed to make it. I put one foot in front of the other, pushing all negative thoughts out of my head. As I got closer, I told myself, that this was my race, my marathon, my day that I worked so hard towards. Naturally, I made myself cry. I heard someone come up behind me, and gave it everything I had. Tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, I finished the marathon feeling better than I had all morning.

Last .4-10:34 pace

Crossing that line...best feeling in the world

Crossing that line…best feeling in the world

I almost got sick after I crossed the line, so I got some water then went to get my medal. As the volunteer was putting on my medal, I cried again. I never wanted something so bad, and I had finally made it. I got in line for my finishers picture, and started to tear up again. But it wasn’t until I finally saw Darren that I let it all out, and I was a mess.

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18 weeks of training, 403 miles, numerous early morning Saturday runs…I finished my second marathon in 5:06:43, a 21 minute and 27 second PR.

It took me all week to think about Sunday morning, to really process what happened and how I feel. When I crossed that finish line, I promised myself I’d never run another marathon again. I didn’t enjoy it, and I was miserable for half of the race. But I was also disappointed in myself, in my legs, in my mind, for letting negative thoughts in, and keeping me from running to my full potential.In my heart, I know I can run faster than 5:06, but on Sunday, it just wasn’t my time.

Race swag

Race swag

I’m finally proud of my 5:06, it took a while, but I know I gave it everything I had on race day. I’ll get my 4:30, and when I do, I’ll officially retire from marathons…..

Cheers to 26.2!

Cheers to 26.2!

Official Results

Time: 5:06:43

Age Group 25-29: 131/166

Female: 911/1174

Overall: 1610/1962

 

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Wineglass Marathon Goals

Marathon weekend is finally here and I can hardly believe it. I remember signing up in January, wondering if I’d regret the decision. Ten months later and I couldn’t be more excited! I feel so much more prepared this time around, and knock on wood, I made it through the training cycle uninjured.

This cycle was completely different than any other. Knowing the marathon isn’t a race I can easily jump into, I wanted to make sure my training would be the best yet. I based it lightly off Runners World Smart Coach and altered to fit my schedule and capabilities. This is what I did differently this time around:

  • Alternated shoes. I had two pairs of shoes that I would alternate so not to break down one pair right before race day.
  • Track Tuesday’s. I really focused on my speed workouts this time and successfully made it through those Yasso 800’s!
  • Switched terrain. I ran pavement, trails, sandstone, gravel and this helped tremendously. Rather than beat my legs on pavement for 18 weeks, softer surfaces were perfect for recovery.
  • Group runs. I ran most of my runs with MCRR and Second Sole. This helped with motivation and I was able to push myself into paces I was too afraid of before.

And so now for my goals. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what will happen race day. Weather is projected with a low of 35, high of 57, and possible light rain, so pretty much perfect conditions. I know I can run a 10:00 minute pace for my first 20 miles, it’s the last 6.2 that I’m nervous about. And of course, you never know what could happen on race day.

Goal A: 4:22. If I can keep a perfect 10:00 pace, I think I can hit this. It’s a stretch, but it’s worth thinking of. I’d like to think that if I don’t get it this time  it will be my goal for my next marathon.

Goal B: 4:30. More realistic, this would be almost an entire hour off my PR. I’ve worked hard enough that I think this is the most realistic goal and should be obtainable even if I slow down off the 10:00 minute pace.

Goal C: 4:45. This is my what-if-my-stomach-acts-up goal. I can still keep a decent pace and land just about 45 minutes under my PR. I’d prefer not to be near this time, but there is always a chance it could happen.

My A goal may be a little too quick than what I can do, but a girl has to dream. I’ve put in the work, pushed myself harder than ever before and really think I can drop some major time off the marathon.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in the last 18 weeks. It’s been a long road but I couldn’t have made it this far without my friends, family, and MCRR. So here’s to 18 weeks of training, it’s time to take on Wineglass!

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Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Seventeen

This week I fully took advantage of taper. We were on vacation still Monday and Tuesday, so with limited time and daylight, workouts didn’t happen. Wednesday’s workout didn’t happen either, so by Thursday I was craving a hard run.

Thursday I got the chance to run with Second Sole, and it felt great to push myself just a little past the comfort zone. We ran Roscoe which always becomes harder than you expect with the rolling hills. I felt great, pain free, and my legs finally started to not feel so tired.

Friday was a rest day, but Saturday was my last “long” run before the marathon. I met up with Mallory and we ran 8 miles on Lester. Weather was perfect and the trail felt pretty good on my legs for most of the run. I wasn’t feeling too motivated, but we pushed each other, and kept up a pretty decent pace.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 8 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 12.4 Miles

I dropped the ball this week with my workouts, and I know I should have spent more time on my feet. It was a hectic week, and life happens. Hopefully the extra rest will help my legs feel fresh on race day.

So with this, the second week of taper is over, and just one week stands between myself and the marathon! I’m excited and nervous, and still can’t believe it’s almost here. It’s be a long training cycle, but I can’t wait to see what my legs do on race day.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Sixteen

The first week of taper is complete and half of it was spent on vacation. This wasn’t originally planned, but when everything aligned about a month ago, it seemed that taking a vacation would be the best way to kick off taper and reward myself for all the hard work I’ve done.

I’m done lifting for the training cycle, so my first workout started Tuesday. I had my final set of 800 repeats. I got a little carried away on my first one, but I was able to settle into a comfortable pace and was feeling pretty strong. By the time we got to the second half of the workout, the sun was setting pretty quickly, and we ended up running the last 3 in the pitch black. I’ve definitely learned to love the 800 repeats and this workout was no exception!

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Track essentials

Wednesday I took off to do last minute things, but Thursday I did a morning run before we left on vacation. I headed to the trail and zoned out. It felt great to fully relax and enjoy the start of the day.

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Friday I had hoped to run in the morning after we landed in California, but unfortunately, we were tight on time, and I didn’t feel comfortable going out by myself in the dark. Saturday however, I was finally able to get some miles in. I found a 5k a few weeks ago, and registered for it before we left. So Saturday morning, we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge and I ran a 5k. I’ll have my recap up later this week.

Not my typical morning run view

Not my typical morning run view

After the run we had a chance to head up to Muir Woods and hiked 7.5 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect and the views were breathtaking. It was definitely a hard workout at times, and there was a ton of vertical, but it felt great and I was able to spend a decent amount of time on the trails.

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And I finished out the week with a run outside of our hotel on Sunday morning. I surprisingly felt pretty after the previous day’s hike. The hotel we stayed at had a 6 mile loop around the harbor, which was perfect for a safe trail and some beautiful views.

Harbor views

Harbor views

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 7 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 10×800(3:59, 4:07, 4:04, 4:00, 4:05, 4:06, 4:02, 3:57, 3:55, 3:34), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 2.4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Aloha Run 5k + 7.5 Miles of hiking

Sunday: 3 Miles

Total Miles: 15.4 Miles Running, 7.5 Miles Hiking

So there we have it, week 1 of taper is complete. I definitely had a chance to relax and let my legs recover from the hard training cycle. I didn’t get in as many miles as I had hoped, but traveling makes it hard to get everything done. The views were amazing, and I’m glad I got to spend time in new locations. My only complaint was the sun didn’t come up until late, so with a busy schedule, I was limited on outdoor running when it was light. But still, running and hiking around San Francisco was definitely a great way to begin taper!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Fifteen

This was another great week, and unfortunately my last hard week of training before taper. I knew I had to make these workouts count, and I felt like I did just that. I didn’t go to Body Fusion for a number of reasons. We have so much going on this month, I’d have to miss a bunch of classes. I also want to make sure my leg muscles are completely recovered by race day, which meant cutting back on lifting until after the marathon.

Tuesday had a big workout. I had 9×800 repeats and hoped I’d have enough energy to make it through. My first one was “slow” compared to the rest, but I managed to pace myself fairly well until the end. Surprisingly I felt really great the entire time, and I’m actually looking forward to my final track workout.

Wednesday I took off, but Thursday I took advantage of the cooler weather. I ran up to the North end and had some amazing negative splits. My legs felt like they were flying and I was finally able to get rid of the heavy feeling they’ve been carrying around.

Friday was a rest day, but Saturday was my big workout. I met up with a few MCRR members and we took to the inlet at Buckeye Woods. I was definitely a little nervous, knowing this was my last long run and would determine my attitude and confidence going into the marathon.

I felt pretty good going in, and made sure to stick to my plan of taking in water at every mile. We covered the inlet, dropped a few people off, and then made our way out on the roads for short loop.

photo 1-3

The weather was just about perfect, complete cloud cover and just on the edge of sprinkling. I couldn’t help but think that the perfect weather had something to do with how great I felt, but honestly I wasn’t struggling, or sweating my entire body weight.

We made our way back and took the long way around the marsh, soaking in all of the views. At this point, there was just a few of us, and we started out on our last big loop.

photo 2-3

My beautiful, peaceful Buckeye Woods marsh 

We headed to the inlet, passed by Chippewa lake, and picked up the rail trail, hoping to dodge a huge storm that was heading our way. Luckily it passed us, and we didn’t have to worry about spending our last 8 miles drenched from the rain. Jeanne and I were the last two left at this point and we made our way back to the park with about three miles to go. By this point, I had caught a second wind, and my legs were begging to let go. I tried to hold back and pace myself, but by 18.5, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I opened my stride and let my legs lead the way, finishing up my last mile in 9:14.

Beautiful day on the rail trail

Beautiful day on the rail trail

I felt really great at the end of this 20 miler. I ran it 2 minutes slower than my last one, but I was able to drop my pace at the end and finish with a strong kick. This run certainly set the tone for the race and I finally feel like I’m ready for the race.

First time wasn't a fluke!

My new favorite training distance

As for fueling, I stuck with sport beans at every 4 miles, but this time, I wanted to try a few new things. I took my salt tab later on between mile 8-9 and tried eating peanuts at mile 14. The peanuts worked out great, and I plan to use them during the marathon.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 9×800(4:16, 4:07, 4:06, 4:05, 4:07, 3:59, 3:59, 4:01, 3:55) .5 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3.25 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 29 Miles

And that’s it, my mornings of long runs are coming to an end. My final long run is complete, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I’m finally at the point where I’m enjoying my long runs rather than dreading them. I’m feeling really strong, but looking forward to taper, and hopefully keeping my legs healthy for three more weeks.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Fourteen

Another week is in the books and this was a great one! With only a few good hard runs left, I wanted to make sure that this week my runs exceeded my expectations. The rec was closed on Monday because of the holiday so no Body Fusion, but I also took it as a day to recover from the long trail run.

Tuesday was slightly delayed when our normal track was hosting a soccer game. Luckily the second track we checked was empty so we weren’t too far behind on our schedule. After getting rained out last week, I was determined to hit all 8 800’s on pace. With the cooler weather, it wasn’t a problem, and I hit all of them below the projected pace I wanted. With a goal of under 4:15, I ended up with all of them under 4:05, including the last three negative splitting under 4:00. I wasn’t the biggest fan of them in high school, but I may have a new love for 800’s. On top of perfect 800’s, we were able to witness a beautiful sunset, another reason I just can’t quick evening runs.

Chasing daylight on the track

Chasing daylight on the track

Wednesday I met up with Mallory again and we headed for a run at Blue Heron. The abandoned golf course is in the process of being cleaned up to become a park, but really it looks just the same, overgrown and unrecognizable as a golf course. Going in I knew it was going to be hilly, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my legs. What felt like an 8:30 pace was actually 10:30. No matter how hard we pushed it, we’d somehow get back to a slower pace. Looking back, this probably wasn’t the best “recovery” run the day after a track workout.

No easy recovery run

No easy recovery run

The elevation may have been rough on the legs, but the views were pretty good. I left my phone behind so I missed out on some gems, but I was able to capture this one after I got back to my car.

Beauty in the abandoned.

Beauty in the abandoned.

I took Thursday and Friday off because I wanted my legs to recovery and be fresh for Sunday’s half marathon. Saturday I went out for a short shake out run in my neighborhood. The weather was cool and I was able to enjoy a bit of rain. My legs felt great and hopefully they were ready for Sunday.

River Run Half Marathon was on Sunday, and I went into this race wanting redemption from Wooster. I’ll have my recap up later this week. I originally planned to run more after the race, but after I got back to my car my whole body felt beat up. I don’t feel horrible about not getting more miles in, because I know I pushed it hard in the race and I put in a lot of time on my feet the previous week.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 8×800(4:02, 4:03, 4:01, 3:59, 4:02, 3:55, 3:52, 3:45), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 6 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 Miles

Sunday: River Run Half Marathon

Total Miles: 27 Miles

Overall this was a really great week. I felt strong in all of my runs, and was finally convinced that I’ve been making progress. Not every run or week of training is going to go well, but when you finally have a good week, it really helps to bring confidence back into running.

This next week is my final long run! It’s definitely bittersweet, but I have to say that I’m excited this training cycle is almost complete. I’m excited to run Wineglass and I know I’ve grown as a runner, but it’s been a long and tiring summer to get here. And after this weekend, I’m ready to focus my training towards my true love, the half.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Thirteen

Another week complete, and another week closer to race day. The goal of this week was to get out of my funk. It was definitely an interesting week, but ended up better than they have been.

Monday I passed on Body Fusion, I was beyond exhausted from Sunday’s early wake up call, so I used the time to catch up on sleep.

Tuesday I headed to the track. Mallory had already started her workout so we were on different sets, but it was still nice to have someone out there. I knew my time could be limited because of storms rolling in, but halfway through my workout, dark clouds and lightning came rolling in. The skies turned nasty quickly so there was no chance of finishing the workout. My legs and splits felt great, so I was definitely bummed I had to cut it short.

Storm clouds are coming!

Storm clouds are coming!

Wednesday I switched up my recovery run and tried out the trails of Huffman. I met up with Dan and Marsha who led me through uncharted territory. I felt really great on the single track and learned how to better run the trails. That is, until I clipped a bridge in the last quarter mile and landed straight on my face. I slammed down pretty hard on my right knee and left hand, but everyone has to fall at least once, right?

The perfect Wednesday night

The perfect Wednesday night

Thursday I took off because my knee was swollen and sore. I’m sure it was still the shock of falling on it, and probably nothing major, but I’d rather take an extra day to recover, rather than run on it and cause unnecessary pain. Friday was a scheduled rest day, so I took it, and enjoyed a much need night out.

Saturday I caught up on sleep and although I only slept in until 6:30, I felt better than I had in a long time. I took a short run around my neighborhood to test the knee and shake out my legs before Sunday’s long run.

Sunday was my long run. I’ve been trying to push them to Sundays if possible to prepare myself for race day. I decided to take new approach to my long run and focus on time on my feet rather than miles. I’ve been putting so much pressure on hitting a certain number or splits, that I stress myself out more than I need to.

I met up with a bunch of MCRR and we took to the trails of Hinckley. I’m still not as familiar with the trails as I’d like, so I bounced around within the group looking for a comfortable pace, but also spent time catching up with everyone.

MCRR takes over Hinckely!

MCRR takes over Hinckely!

We covered the bridal trails, lake loops, single track and the ledges. I focused on running with comfortable effort and actually felt great for most of the run. My legs, which have felt tired for weeks felt fantastic, and didn’t start to feel fatigued until three hours in.

Love for the ledges

Love for the ledges

The weather was humid, but it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. Luckily we found some fountains along the run, so we were able to fill up throughout the day. I went through three fill ups and I probably could have used one more. I also stayed on my normal fueling plan of sport beans every four miles. I probably could have switched it to every forty minutes instead, but I’ll learn for next time I’m on the trails.

Hinckley Lake

Hinckley Lake

I ended up with a little over 16 miles in the time of 3.5 hours. A slower pace than road miles, but again, my focus was time on my feet, and 3.5 hours is a long time. Despite a lot of ups and downs and uneven ground my legs felt good most of the run. It was very reassuring that my legs could handle the time on my feet and not get too worn out. But the best part was that I had zero stomach issues, which is something that keeps holding me back lately. I’ll be back to road miles for my long runs again, but I needed this run to pull me out of my funk and remind me that I am capable of long runs, I just need to trust my legs and not stress so much!

Long run love is back!

Long run love is back!

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 4×800(4:11, 4:08, 4:08, 4:10)

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 Miles

Sunday: 16.3 Miles

Total Miles: 25 Miles

I started this week with a few let downs, but I finished it feeling great and full of confidence. Training has been tough and really a mental struggle at times. Sometimes you just need a great run to remind you that it’s possible, you just have to take it each run at a time.

This next week I want to make sure I nail every single run, including the River Run Half Marathon on Sunday. I’ve got just a little over a month left and things won’t be slowing down any time soon!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Twelve

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

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

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

Closing down Tuesday night

Closing down Tuesday night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Type 1 Diabetes Awareness 5k

Sunday: 12 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

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

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

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eleven

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

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

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

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

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

Monday: Off

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

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Buehler’s Heart & Sole Half Marathon

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 22 Miles

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

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

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Ten

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

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

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

My perfect Tuesday night

My perfect Tuesday night

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

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

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

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

Country roads sunrise

Spoiled by sunrises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The perfect 20

The perfect 20

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

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

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 34 Miles

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