Monday, July 16, 2018

Buffalo Creek Half Marathon Training - Week One

It's time to start! This week was my first week of training for my fall goal half marathon. I haven't followed a training plan in months. I haven't been running for a goal in months. I felt ready. I have the tools. It's just time to do it.

This week I ran four times and cross trained twice. I really wanted to set a good base for this training. I want to keep up the mindset that the easy days are easy and you have to work on your tempo days.

Five miles, easy

Tempo - 1 mile warm up, 6 minutes at 8:00 pace - 3 minutes recovery (three times), 1 mile cool down

Four miles, easy

Long run - eight miles

I also went to 6am class once this week and I really enjoyed it. I am going to try to make a 6am class again this week. I like having a little more time after work. Especially with the puppy coming!

Puppy update! We have a date! He will be joining our family on August 18. We are almost one month away! It is so nice having the date so we can make sure we have everything ready. Give me some of your puppy must haves!

This weekend we will be traveling to Chicago for Rock 'n' Roll Chicago. This will be my 30th half marathon. It's amazing to think about. I can vividly remember my first half marathon. I am such a different person. I love this journey and the fun adventures I have been on!

In some blogging news, my little corner of the internet has been named one of the Top 30 Personal Running Blogs of 2018! I'm very humbled and appreciate that even after a little break, the support from everyone is amazing.

Weekly Total - 22.3 miles
July Total - 49.3 miles
2018 Total - 481.8 miles

When do you start training for your goal race? Will we see you in Chicago?

I'm linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap Linkup.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Thumbs Up...

When I was running yesterday I had something happen that really made me think. I was running some easy paced miles and a man was running in the other direction. He was running shirtless and I was in a sports bra. He gave me a thumbs up and I gave a nod.

I literally spent the next three miles thinking about this. Was he checking me out? Was this just his normal runner acknowledgment? Was he just agreeing with my outfit of choice? Why am I thinking so much about this?!

For the past few years I have really be focusing on being comfortable in my own skin. It's hard, but when you train in the summer, less is more and you cannot worry about letting it all hang out. I know I am not built the way I use to be. I put on some weight from the medication I was on last year and a general love of beer and pizza. Nothing drastic, all of my clothes still fit, but enough for me to notice.

Even at my smallest I never had a six pack. My thighs have always touched, even when I was under 100 pounds. I've always been self conscious, but when I'm running I don't think about any of that. It is one of the few times I am completely comfortable in my own skin.

That's the great thing about running. Running doesn't care if you like beer or drink a green drink every day. Running won't give you strange looks if you are wearing less or more clothes than everyone else. Running really just appreciates you taking the time for yourself and being the best version of you.

There comes a time in your life where you have to love yourself and your journey. If you are doing something everyday that you love and enjoy then you truly are lucky. You need to focus on those moments and not a small think like not being "beach body ready" or "not as fast as everyone else". Be excited that you maybe went that extra distance or you answered all of your emails. Those are some pretty great accomplishments.

So thank you guy for the thumbs up. I appreciate the support. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Last Week Before...

Crazy thing to think about, I start training next week for my goal half marathon! A lot happened this week so we need to talk it out.

It all, I ran 27 miles this week. Four workouts including a 14 mile run! We had a break in the humidity and I wanted to take advantage. I know I needed to get a super long run in before training started. I was glad I could do it this week.

I also did cross training twice this week. It was great!

Four miles with four friends on the fouth.

Four miles tempo

14 mile long rung

Five recovery miles

I talked with my new coach Toni and I am starting to train this upcoming week. I have so many feels. I am glad I am working with Toni this cycle. We have been through the same mental bits with running through the past few cycles. It's nice to have someone who gets it. We had a great chat on Saturday and I'm really excited to work with her.

So, I'm back on the focused training plan. The next few weeks I have some fun mental block posts for you guys and even a giveaway!

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Guess Who's Back...

Well hello there internet! It's been a little while. I guess I have some explaining to do...

I have talked a lot about being burnt out after the Disney Marathon in January. I was still running, but nothing crazy. I really needed to take some time and silently get myself back.

How do you do that? You take a blogging break.

How does this relate? Well, besides talking about running and running, writing about running can be hard when you really don't feel like you are doing it right. I wasn't to the level where I thought I should be and it was hard. I'm very thankful for my friends who helped pull me out of my funk. It took a really long time, but I can honestly say that I'm back!

I set a goal for June to run at least 75 miles. I have been really bad with running consistently this year and wanted to make it a goal. Well, not only did I hit that goal, I CRUSHED IT! I hit 103 miles for June and I feel great.

I have also been cross training twice a week. I have been going to 3Minute Fitness and I really enjoy it. I have upped my weights on every station and have really been noticing a difference in my abilities. I'm really happy with how things have been progressing.

I also decided I was in a good enough place to try to set a fall goal. I knew I wanted to return to the race where I hit my half marathon PR in 2014, but what kind of goal was I going for? How was I going to get there? I had a lot of thinking.

I decided what was best for me was working with a new coach. I am going to be working with my friend Toni and Relentless Runners for this training cycle. I'm aiming for a sub-1:50 goal time and we both think this is a super smart decision. I don't know where I'm going after this, but it is a start.

So that's a quick follow up on the last month. I'm committing to blogging again to keep myself on track. That's why I started this blog to begin with. Here are my July goals!

1. Run at least 80 miles
2. Continue with cross training
3. At least one morning run a week

I'll be running Rock 'n' Roll Chicago in a few weeks and it's going to be a great girls weekend. Training really starts in August and I'm hoping you all stick around for the ride.

In other non-running related news, WE ARE GETTING A PUPPY! Our Golden Retriever will be joining our family in August and I cannot wait! Be ready for puppy pictures, I promise they are coming!

Remember, you can follow along on my journey here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! I love connecting with all of you.

How was your June? Have you decided on fall goals?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Cleveland Half Marathon Race Recap

I am on an unofficial Tour de Ohio, aka run all the big name races in Ohio. That meant that sooner or later I would run Cleveland. This year would be the year. Maddie was running her first full and I wanted to be there to support her. The weather is always awful and I never heard good things about the course. Running with Maddie would make this the best reason to check Cleveland off my Ohio list.

Saturday morning I drove myself, Maddie and Kelsey to Cleveland. It was a quick trip which included Kanye and Ryan Cabrera. We found some prime parking for the weekend and headed to the expo.

Bibs acquired and a loop of the expo. We were ready to go.

After some food, beer and a little loop of the city, we decided to call it an early bed time. Maddie had to run a marathon!

Sunday morning came and then so did the rain. I thought we were going to be in the clear, we so weren’t. We stayed in the hotel as long as we could but we had to go. Thankfully, Quicken Loans Arena was open for us and we could use indoor bathrooms and stay dry for a little bit.

We got thrown out in to the rain. We said goodbye to Kelsey and headed in to the corral. We found the 4:45 pacer, who was actually a Pittsburgh runner Maddie runs with. Here goes nothing!


Maddie and I stayed together through the start line mass. It is pouring and foggy and I have no idea where we are anyway. I heard someone playing the wobble within the first mile. Of course I am going to dance. Some jerk behind us yells “if you can wobble while running you aren’t doing it right.” No filter me yells back “NO! If YOU can’t wobble and run then you aren’t doing it right!” Let me tell you, I didn’t hear another word out of him.

The rain calmed down a little after the two mile mark when we got to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There was a small band outside, and that was the last music/entertainment I saw on the course.

The roads were so terrible and it was around this time I saw fell PRO ambassador Kim. I said hello real quick but got back to the task at hand. Pacing Maddie. The rain has stopped but everything was so slick.

We let the pacers do the work. We stayed right by them for the most part. There were three bridges that were super slick. They were open grate and terrifying. We decided to walk one of them because it was that scary.

Right about at the 10k mark Maddie noticed Kelsey was in front of us and there was a hill coming. No man left behind. We scooped her up. I ended up running up the hill, since I’m a super slow walker, and they pushed each other.

After that, I had three cups of beer in less than a mile for the best crowd support on the course. Maddie kept pointing dogs out to me and she kept talking about having to pee. We ended up finding a potty on a home building site so Maddie could pee. We then found Kelsey again while we waited. She told us to go a head. This was about nine miles in and the rain finally stopped.

I knew the split was somewhere around mile 11. I had a little under two miles to keep her distracted. So, I had her focus on little things. I took her shirt since we were drenched so she wouldn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the race. I gave her little marathon tips, grabbed some extra gels for her and told her just to focus on running. Gretchen would be finding her on the back side of the course for some extra distraction. Since there was literally nothing on this course that was going to help.

I saw the split, told Maddie I loved her and was so proud of her and literally started sprinting. I can spring a little over two miles in under 20 minutes. I just want this to be done.

Another out and back helped me see Kelsey one more time and I told her to finish strong. I never saw a mile marker after mile 10 and my watch was super over. I literally have no idea how much is left in this race. At some point I saw the first marathoner come up. I have never had the first marathoner pass me on a course. I’m screaming and cheering him on.

You know what happens when you are running quickly in a group of people who aren’t running as fast a you? You get strange looks. You know what happens when you run fast up a hill in Ohio at the end of a race? You get more strange looks. My final 2ish miles averaged an 8:30 pace.

Can you see Maddie's shirt coming out of mine?

I came up the finish area and literally none of the spectators were cheering. Another race where I have to yell at people to cheer for us. A pretty fitting end to a lack luster race.

Finish time: 2:19.

Kelsey and I headed back to the room to get everything ready and headed back to the finish line. Gretchen was giving us updates and finally we saw our girl. She crushed her sub-5 goal and finished her first marathon!

I will tell you that I will never run that race again. Course was boring. Very boring. For a race that always has terrible weather they need to do something with the course entertainment. The finish line was a cluster and those bridges were terrifying. It is what it is, I finished my 29th half marathon and Maddie finished her first marathon.

Below is the course map and elevation chart.

Did you run Cleveland? What did you think?