Training Tuesday: THREE WEEKS UNTIL RACE DAY

OMG it is only THREE WEEKS until race day! I’m feeling pretty good – but there is still work to be done! I was still sick at the start of this week somewhat. Ugh. Is it because I’m getting older? I typically get a cold once a year. That’s it. MAYBE twice-  once in the winter and once in the spring. This year?  I got a cold (with a fever) in January. AND April! That’s twice in four months. Who does that?

not quite the same .. but you get the picture

Anyway … being sick has seriously affected my running. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still crazy committed and keeping up with my training, but my times have not been good and speed workouts are basically me trying to run like normal … BUT we did end the week on a high note – the Cleveland 10 miler and a PR!

My runs for this week:

follow me on dailymile as @missaruns!

follow me on dailymile as @missaruns!

Monday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run: 5.56 miles. I can’t believe I’m already at 5 miles for my Monday morning runs?! Anyway, I was supposed to run outside with Nicole but got a text at around 6 a.m. saying that it was 20 mph winds and she was going to run at night. Me? I was already up and dressed so I decided to just take off a few layers and run indoors. Another treadmill day.

Tuesday: On the schedule – 9×400.

Actual run: 9×400 on the treadmill in the morning (and some more at night) … Interval training is the bane of my existence. I hate it but have been trying to keep up with it. I did it on the treadmill while watching TV, 9×400 intervals at 7.6 mph with up to 400 meter jogs in between. It was rough. I did walk in between a few-  check out the heart rate- it so looks like I was doing intervals! (And I forgot to turn it off in the end)

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Oh and I ran in the afternoon also – I don’t make it a habit of running twice in one day (I’ve been injured before. It sucks. Lesson learned) – but when I do, it can be great. 2nd run of the day was after work with Mary around downtown. 4ish quick miles-just what I needed after boring treadmill interval runs! Though it was super windy…and did start pouring rain for about 2 minutes of our run (But then stopped). Oh, Cleveland weather!

I made Mary take a selfie with me. I should have taken it from higher up #doublechin

I made Mary take a selfie with me. I should have taken it from higher up #doublechin

Wednesday: On the schedule –  3.2 miles.

Actual run: Sometimes running only 3 miles is good. After Tuesday’s two workouts I was happy to have just three miles on the schedule. Ended up doing them inside for no reason at all except for the fact that it was upper 30s/low 40s and I’m ready for spring.

Thursday: Rest.

Actual run: none! I did about 55 minutes on the elliptical, some abs and arms.

Friday: Rest.

Actual run: none! I did about 60 minutes on the elliptical, some abs. Wanted fresh-like legs for our 10 mile race on Saturday!

Saturday: 15 k race on the schedule.

Actual run: 10 miles! (just a little more) A few extra miles thanks to the Cleveland 10 miler race! The Cleveland Ten Miler is one of my favorite races of the year! It was a little chilly for this time of year but still ended with a PR! 1:28:39.16 was my final time.

This is a PR of 3 minutes from last year and more than 20 minutes from the first time we ran this race. Want proof? Past years:

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Super happy after an unexpected PR

Super happy after an unexpected PR

Sunday: Off day (the schedule says stretch and strengthen).

Actual run: None! B and I took a decent walk and I still got in my 15,000 steps for the day on my Fitbit. So while it wasn’t very active it was still active enough for me while being a rest day – if that makes sense. My quads were definitely sore though!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you had a recent PR? I want to know! Brag about it!
  • Do you have a favorite local race where you are? Yes! I happen to really like the ten miler for some reason. I like the route, the crowds, the course (flat!) and it’s so well run (no pun intended) – time markers at every mile, water/gatorade at every other mile, Gu or other fuel halfwayish through, etc. 
  • What’s the next radeon your calendar? the Cleveland half marathon – May 17!

Weekends Are Made For Livin

I love weekends. I know- you do too. Weekends are great – no (or at least only a little) working, no waking up early (okay, maybe sometimes), just time with friends, family, and you can do whatever you want!

What do I like to do on weekends? Eat … drink/go out … eat good food …. work out … cook … see family and friends … repeat!

And this weekend was pretty much ALL OF THAT.  So there. I won this weekend. And now onto a busy week and the beginning of May!

Friday night was super low key. We ordered some Flaming Ice Cube (RIP kalebouli :() and relaxed. We had to get up early on Saturday for our 10 mile race, so I was hoping to get to bed somewhat early.

Saturday morning started early – at least for a Saturday for me. We had the alarm set at 6 a.m. to get ready for and be at the race on time (side note – last year we got there late … which didn’t matter because it’s chip timed, but still not something we wanted to do every year). Started the day with my usual 1/4 bagel and PB2 and honey and off we went to the race!

It was a cold morning for this time of year – it was 40, cloudy and breezy and I had on a thick long sleeved shirt and vest and pants and gloves and was fine the whole time!

Feeling good post-race

Feeling good post-race

The race wasn’t easy. B pushed me – I’m still sore today! – and made me run harder than I likely would’ve liked, but it worked out! I ended up with a PR from last year too – 1:28:39.16 was my final time!

It was nice to be done with our run and ready for the day by 10:30 a.m. We decided to do our usual Saturday morning activities – hit up the West Side Market and get some tea and coffee in Hingetown.

Tea for me and coffee for B!

Tea for me and coffee for B!

In the afternoon, we hit up the driving range for the first time of the year. I don’t golf and I clearly wasn’t dressed properly, but it was fun to get in a few swings in the beautiful weather.

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Then – Gallucci’s! My favorite Italian grocer has limited hours and B and I made sure to get there early enough to pick up supplies for dinner. We had decided on homemade pizza – best decision ever.

This is Gallucci's. Yes, we also bought wine.

This is Gallucci’s. Yes, we also bought wine.

It was so nice out that we decided to go out and grab a few drinks before making dinner. Our typical go-to spot – Parnell’s.

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And then dinner! B made the best pepperoni pizza ever and we even experimented with limoncello drinks. I made limoncello a few months ago and wanted to try it with prosecco and a little cranberry juice – so good!

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Sunday my legs were sore so I decided to listen to my body and NOT work out. I did make B go for a walk with me – because, why not? It was a gorgeous day.

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We decided to walk to brunch. And surprise – I ended up getting lunch food. I enjoyed a black bean chorizo chili. I love chorizo and beans – it was perfect! B’s biscuits looked pretty good too – but for some reason I really don’t like biscuits and gravy. But his hash brown was amazing!

B's food ... that hash brown was great!

B’s food … that hash brown was great!

My chili

My chili

After a leisurely walk back we ran a few errands and then it was time for the Cavs game. Spoiler – they beat the Celtics and are on to the next round of playoffs! Woohoo!

Sunday afternoon ended with some baking – butterscotch brown sugar cookies from one of my favorite bloggers, Two Peas and their Pod. They came out so good – soft, chewy and sweet.

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And then Sunday dinner at B’s parents house. Another perfect ending to my weekend!

Only one question for you:

  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend? Besides those cookies and the pizza, probably the strawberry rhubarb crumble B’s mom made. Such a great Sunday dessert!

It’s SPRING!

First – happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all the runners competing today and I’m so jealous of all you Bostonians enjoying the day off and cheering on the competitors. It’s been 7 years since I lived in Boston and I still miss Marathon Monday!

Now, onto the weekend. We had the most beautiful warm, sunny, springlike weekend in Cleveland. It was sunny, 60s and just absolutely positively a great weekend to be outside! So of course we tried to get in as much outside time as we could.

Friday night B and I strayed from our usual Flaming Ice Cube (they no longer have my favorite, kalebouli :() and opted to try out some new pre-long run eats – Phuel. I’ve eaten there before, but not before a long run. I had the ratatouille with polenta and a kale salad. Not bad!

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Saturday morning B and I headed out for a 10 mile run. After last week’s failed 9 miler I was not feeling so confident – and I was still somewhat sick – but we got it done! Was it a good run? Notsomuch. But did I complete 10 miles? Yes!

Near the end of my run

Near the end of my run

After the run, it was time to get to the West Side Market to pick up some items for our afternoon plans – making dinner for the women and children at the Moriah House of the West Side Catholic Center. B and I are in charge of the Cleveland Chapter of the Boston College Alumni Association and each year we plan at least one service event and this year was making dinner at the shelter. We had a great turnout and made some delicious chicken, potato salad, bean salad and salad for the families.

preparing dinner (I'm not doing much in the background)

preparing dinner (I’m not doing much in the background)

the whole group

the whole group

Then we headed off to one of my favorite local bars, Platform Brewery, to celebrate. I also got to meet up with Nicole and Reanna – I missed my monthly Ladies Craft Beer Event because of our service event, but we were able to catch up over a few local brews.

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Just a photo of Platform

And then time to celebrate Ali’s birthday at Nano Brew. I’ve known Ali for 7 years and still haven’t met many of her friends, so it was nice to put some faces to names.

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Sunday morning started off slow – I haven’t been out past midnight in a while (#gettingold #turning30) – but still managed to get in an EASY workout –  a little bit of ellipticalizing to shake out my legs after Saturday’s 10 miler.

During the day Sunday, B and I cleaned house. Well, B pretty much did most of the cleaning (he is a cleaning machine!) and I helped out by dusting. Guess spring cleaning was needed – our apartment looks great now! It was also 70 degrees out, so we decided to take a walk down to the lake and enjoy the great temps and get in some steps. Then it was game time! We watched and listened to the Cavs playoff game – they beat the Celtics! Woohoo.

I love water ...

I love water …

great day out!

great day out!

Oh and our evening ended with Sunday family dinner at B’s parents house and Sunday sundaes. All Sundays should end that way, right?

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Some questions for you:

  • Are you watching the Boston Marathon today? Do you know anyone running?
  • What’s your go-to sundae topping? whipped cream and candy :) This week I tried gummy bears – but ate them separate from the ice cream.

 

 

Training Tuesday: Back on the Running Buddy Bandwagon

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another edition of Training Tuesday, where I share my Cleveland Half Marathon Training experiences for the week.

Another week of  Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. Despite some soreness in the beginning of the week, it was a pretty good week. I ran outside several days and even got back together with a running buddy, Erica, for two – not one – runs this week. Again, mileage was lower than it had been prior to training season where I was earning 30+ miles a week, but I’m not taking my miles for granted and trying to stay uninjured.

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Monday: On the schedule – 3.5 miles.

Actual run –   4.5 miles outdoors! The weather was perfect to run outside – I was even slightly WARM which was awesome. My legs were a little tight from the race still but it felt SO good to be outside!

Running outdoors means I can take pictures :)

Running outdoors means I can take pictures :)

Tuesday: On the schedule – 35 minute tempo run.

Actual run – 3.7 miles, 35 minutes tempo run. It was rough – normally tempo runs aren’t that bad for me but this day for some reason it was rough. You can see I literally have to write down minute by minute what I’m doing when running tempo runs  – I get mushy runners brain otherwise and forget.

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Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 4.27 (3 miles plus warmup and cool down). Didn’t make it outside but instead got in some indoor miles.

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Thursday: On the schedule – NO RUN. 

Actual workout –  I did the elliptical on EASY and lifted some weights. I’m really trying to take my off days seriously!

Friday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 7.89 miles. I wasn’t sure if I’d have time Saturday to get in a long run (or motivation, I knew we’d have a friend in town Friday through Sunday) so I headed out early with Erica, one of my running buddies. We hadn’t run together in FOREVER and it was so nice to see her! I got in 3 miles before meeting up with her and finished what I thought was only 4 more miles … my Nike+ had stopped working, though, and I didn’t realize I got in a few extra miles. Whoops!

Erica and me. I made her take a selfie before one of our TWO runs together this week!

Erica and me. I made her take a selfie before one of our TWO runs together this week!

Saturday: On the schedule – 7 miles.

Actual run – I was planning on doing an easy 3 (Friday’s workout) but instead ran with Erica again! Erica wanted to do 6 and I figured I’d try to get in a few with her — I got in 6.89 miles (not sure what’s up with the .89 miles on both Friday and Saturday) and felt pretty good. Woohoo!

Sunday: On the schedule – cross train or rest.

Actual run – none! Spent some time on the elliptical for a short workout and then got in a few walks with B and two movies at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Perfect off day!

Overall thoughts about the week:

The good:

  • I got back outside and it was great! Some days were a little chilly but it was so nice to be back outside and off that dreadmill.
  • I proved to myself that I could do a semi-long run (7+ miles) in the morning before work. It had been some time that I dragged myself out of bed and outside in the cold and dark and I was pleased with my ability to do so.
  • I ran with Erica twice in one week. Sometimes running indoors for a long time makes me doubt my ability to run not only outside, but also with others. Nope – still got it!

The bad:

  • I was pretty sore for a few days after Malachi. I don’t know why but those 5 lies really put a stress on my body. Guess I raced hard?
  • I didn’t 100% follow the plan – I ran a few extra miles. Not that that’s REALLY bad, but it’s still something I shouldn’t make a habit of.
  • Interval running still kicks my butt. Even an “easy interval run” (meaning not 200 meter repeats) was tough this week.

 

Questions for you:

  • Did you finally get outside and run this week?
  • Do you like running with other people? Yes, while I do love my alone runs and the solitude of it and being able to think to myself, running with others keeps me entertained and motivated. 

A super belated weekend update

I know, I know. It’s THURSDAY for goodness sake and I’m just sharing you my weekend update now. But I was sick Sunday/Monday and of course had to get you my Training Tuesday post … anyway, here it is! Last weekend – which is super exciting to think about because this weekend is already almost here woohoo!

Friday evening B and I went out for wine, comedy and more drinks. I know – you’re probably super surprised because the past few Fridays B and I have been staying in. I’ve been in winter hibernation mode and more than happy to spend Friday night in with some wine and takeout and Netflix. But not this weekend – first, B and I started the night with a stop at Heinen’s for a few glasses of wine. Yup, wine at the grocery store = classy. Their new downtown location is just gorgeous though and it’s a great place to grab a drink and snack!

Out on Fri. night

Out on Fri. night

Glass of wine while shopping!

Glass of wine while shopping!

Then it was time for the show. We saw Joey Diaz at Hilarities. He was really really good – a little raw (that’s his style) but super funny! I love going to comedy shows with B and it was a nice way to kick off the weekend.

[I was going to embed a Joey Diaz video here but realize that most of his stuff is … well… NSFW. So you’ll just have to google a video for yourself :)]

After the show, we hit up Parnells for a nightcap. While there, we met up with B’s aunt and uncle who were in town to see Dirty Dancing and spending the night at a hotel. We grabbed drinks with them before heading back to our apartment.

That doesn't look like a Guinness!

That doesn’t look like a Guinness!

Saturday morning started early – for me at least. I like sleeping in on the weekends. We had plans to meet up with B’s sister Mary and her friend for a 6 mile run at 8 a.m. It was in the 20s for the run, which was so warm! The sidewalks weren’t that clear, however, so it was a little icy. I can’t wait until clear roads and great running weather!

After the run, B and I hit up the West Side Market for some groceries for the week. We grabbed some Cleveland Bagel Co. bagels and tea at Cleveland Tea Revival and  then it was time to head to Columbus!

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bagel on my lap in the car.

 

my favorite tea shop.

my favorite tea shop.

B’s cousin’s birthday was Sunday and we had planned to take a day trip down to see him, go to the movies, and get dinner for his celebration. We ended up getting to do all of those, which was fun – we hadn’t seen them since Christmas!

B, me and the birthday boy!

B, me and the birthday boy!

Sunday I woke up to sunny skies and “warm” weather – I was so excited to spend the day outside, going out to brunch, on a walk in the park, you name it. Sadly, my body had other plans in mind – I woke up with a slight fever, headache and achy body; so instead of enjoying the warm weather, I spent the day on the couch. I rarely get a day with fewer than 12,000 steps (I haven’t since I got the Fitbit in January) but got in a measly 700-something. I did end up watching 3 episodes of Walking Dead and several episodes of my new favorite Netflix show, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you haven’t started watching this, you must:

And that was pretty much a look at last weekend. Besides spending all day Sunday inside and on the couch it was a pretty fun time! And now – looking forward to THIS weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you were sick? I had a few colds earlier this year but this was my first fever/body aches in a loong time!
  • What’s your favorite TV series to binge watch?

Dirty Dancing In Cleveland – a Ticket Giveaway!

Ahh Dirty Dancing. It’s a movie that definitely brings me back. The story (innocent girl meets bad boy and falls in love), the music and of course, the dancing. Oh and the iconic lines – Nobody puts Baby in a corner … I carried a watermelon … and one of my personal favorites:

Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.

Anyway, when I heard that Dirty Dancing had been made into a musical AND it was coming to Cleveland, I knew I had to somehow convince B to see it with me – or plan a girls night out. So when Playhouse Square invited me* to their media night, I knew a GNO was in order!

Perfect GNO - flowers, candles, wine (not pictured) and cute coasters!

Perfect GNO – flowers, candles, wine (not pictured) and cute coasters!

Goofy before the show

Goofy before the show

Ali and I got to the show a little early, with enough time to enjoy some delicious food from The District, who was catering the media event. We chatted with some people from Q104 and Cleveland Scene and enjoyed some treats:

Some of the delicious food we feasted on

Some of the delicious food we feasted on (cupcakes not pictured)

My fave - the fish!

My fave – the fish!

More food. Didn't try this because of the meat but it looked good!

More food. Didn’t try this because of the meat but it looked good!

Then it was showtime! When the lights went down and the music started, I was immediately transported back in time to 1963 upstate New York. The dancing was unbelievable, the singing great (there was one male and one female vocal who stole the show – they sing the famous (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life) and the story just as cheesy and romantic as I remembered it from way back when. Okay, maybe it was cheesier (seeing and hearing the lines from live actors is a little different from on your TV screen) but since I love the cheese I could handle it.

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Overall, the show was enjoyable and it was a great way to spend a Wednesday evening. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the video and more information from Playhouse Square:

 

The show is in town through March 22! So, want to enjoy a romantic evening? OR Girls Night Out? Or just really wanna see the show? Good news – I have two tickets to give away to the March 17 show! Interested in winning the tickets? Here’s how you enter – there are three different ways and each comment is a separate entry!

1. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite part of the movie (or musical!). It can be a favorite quote or scene.

2. Leave another comment telling me your favorite movie turned musical or vise versa.  

3. Follow @Playhousesquare  and me (@koskim) on Twitter. Leave me a comment and let me know you did and your handle so I can follow you!

That’s it! I’ll draw winners on Wednesday, March 11.

*Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Dirty Dancing in Cleveland #dirtydancingcle. In exchange, I received two free tickets to the media night performance of the show, the pre-show drinks and food from The District and two tickets to give away. I’ll be using random.org to select a random comment. 

 

When it snows in March … We feast on treats!

I really can’t believe it’s March. It’s still cold. And snowy. I mean, I know they say that March “comes in like a lion” but I’m ready for at least 30 degree temps, especially on my weekends!

It was cold and snowy this weekend, which meant it was a perfect weekend to stay in, bake, and eat comfort food. So that’s pretty much what we did.

On the schedule for Saturday (I just started my training plan for the Cleveland half marathon) was an easy 5 mile run (hooray for “long” runs under an hour!), and because I haven’t been too brave or running outside lately, the 13 degree temps (feels like single digits) didn’t sound appealing to me so I decided to run inside on the treadmill. It went by fast, and with a warm up and cool down and some walking while B ran, I got in more than 7 miles. (Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Training Tuesday and I’ll share my entire week’s schedule)

It was also a cold day, perfect for some baking. I first made some peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake bars. I had found a few recipes, but none of them were exactly what I wanted so I pretty much decided to just combine 3 or 4 recipes and keep my fingers crossed that they would turn out. And they did. Definitely sharing the recipe soon.

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

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This weekend was also our monthly Ladies Craft Beer Society meeting – I look forward to our get togethers every month but especially this month: our craft was BAKING! We gathered at Nicole’s apartment and made homemade salted caramels, vanilla honey marshmallows and almond marshmallows. Oh, and of course we had plenty of snacks to enjoy while we were baking. And craft beer.

So many snacks!

So many snacks! Chips and huac, pizza dip, spinach artichoke dip, tortilla green chili rollups, my cookies and more!

I loved making the caramels! They were so delicious when they were done and after wrapping them they were pretty cute looking.

homemade caramels

homemade caramels

To keep up with the theme of comfort food, B and I went out to dinner for a belated Chinese New Year feast at one of our favorite local Chinese joints, Wonton Gourmet. And feast we did – we got Chinese broccoli, Szechuan fish, crab rangoon and lomein. I think B has gotten more adventurous in his eating after our Asia trip which is great. Oh and other good news? I wasn’t too hungry after all the glorious food at Ladies Craft Beer Society so we have plenty of leftovers. Yum!

Yummy Szechuan fish

Yummy Szechuan fish

Sunday, B and I woke up to a snowy slushy day. Ick. I had a cross training or rest day on the schedule, so somehow I managed to convince B to take a walk. When it’s a nice day, we like to run the bridges, a 4 mile route downtown, so instead, we took a walk – stopping along the way for coffee, tea, and groceries.

First stop, Cleveland Tea Revival for some Ginger Turmeric tea.

First stop, Cleveland Tea Revival for some Ginger Turmeric tea.

<3 tea. For those of you that are familiar with the background, yes, I'm enjoying tea at Rising Star Coffee (B got a pourover).

Seen on our snowy walk back

Seen on our snowy walk back

Last stop on our walk? The new Heinen's grocery store downtown to pick up some food for the week. Yup, I took a picture of the grocery store and I wasn't the only one - isn't it beautiful?

Last stop on our walk? The new Heinen’s grocery store downtown to pick up some food for the week. Yup, I took a picture of the grocery store and I wasn’t the only one – isn’t it beautiful?

Even though the weather was messy and the roads were in no way clear, I’m so glad we got out there – I still managed to hit my fitbit 12,000 step goal even without a run or elliptical workout and felt good about not sitting around all day and not moving (which very much could’ve happened with the snowy weather we were having).

Sunday night, we enjoyed dinner with B’s family – they had pork, quinoa and Brussels sprouts. I gave up meat for Lent so filled up on the other goodies. And of course – dessert!

ice cream sundaes!

ice cream sundaes!

How was your weekend?

  • What’s your favorite food at Chinese restaurants?
  • What’s your favorite type of Asian food?
  • What’s your favorite herbal tea? Usually anything with ginger. I love the turmeric ginger that Cleveland Tea Revival has!