December is HERE! And with that, we actually had some great weather this week. I was able to get outside half of the days and run outside. And one day, I managed to run in capris because it was in the 40s!
I wouldn’t mind if it stayed this mild all winter. We had some snow on Sunday, but it melted and stayed dry the second half of the week, which made my runs outside that much better. And with that, I wrapped up my November with about 109 miles run.
Here’s how the week went:
Was Thanksgiving really 3 days ago? It feels like only yesterday that I was counting down the days to see my family and celebrate the beginning of the season. My parents came into town for a few days, and it was great to see them and enjoy some turkey and quality time together.
Speaking of turkey, this year also marked the second annual family turkey trot — instead of doing the large downtown race (which I do enjoy), me and my brothers- and sisters-in-law did our own run around our neighborhood. It’s a fun tradition, and works out perfectly since we all live so close to one another. My oldest brother-in-law and his son started out by running from their house. Then they picked up my sister-in-law and her daughter at her house (about .75 mi away), then they picked up my other brother-in-law and his dog at their house (about another .5 mi away), and then they picked me, B and my younger brother-in-law at our house. Then we ran a little ways around dropped everyone else off at their houses. It was the perfect start to my Thanksgiving morning!
Running is my stress therapy. It helps soothe my anxiety. It makes me sane.
So it should come as no surprise to me that my first full week back of work was also my highest postpartum mileage week. At least I have a coping mechanism?
The week included a mix of outdoor and (mostly) indoor runs. I became familiar with my treadmill again, and was so grateful to have it when it was very dark, cold and snow/rain was coming down!
I’m one of those people who likes “fall back.” I’m an early riser, and I don’t mind it being light in the mornings. I like the fact that my body thinks it’s later than it is, which makes a 4:30 a.m. wakeup alarm that much easier. And I don’t mind it getting dark at night. I have 3 kids, and we don’t spend much time outside after 7:30 p.m. anyway!
So, the time change helped me this week. It wasn’t quite light when I went for runs in the early mornings, but it was nice to feel almost rested in the mornings when I woke up — or at least as rested as one can be with a 3-month-old nursing baby.
WHERE DID OCTOBER GO?
Excuse the all caps, but I have no idea how we’re suddenly a week into November. I’m not ready for that. I’m not ready for winter running (brr!) and ready for another year to be over (what happened to 2021?). But yet here we are, again, and about to start a new month.
Luckily for me, October was a mild month. We even had some warm days that felt like summer again, which I loved. I did my first race this year, the Cleveland Marathon 10K. I had one fall (whoops) and may have hurt a groin muscle (pain is mostly gone now hopefully). And I got in nearly 100 miles of running, which isn’t bad for my first full month of being cleared to run again after baby #3.
And now, November is here! Here’s how my first week looked.
This weekend was the Cleveland Marathon! The race weekend includes several events, including a half marathon, full marathon, 5k and 10k. As an ambassador, I spent the weekend working the Expo, and running! It was great to be back to an in-person race (my first one since 2020!) but there were several things different this year. Including:
- I only ran one day — Saturday. This is the first year that the 5K and 10K were on Saturday and the half and full on Sunday — typically the 10K is the same day as the half and full, but they split them up this year, meaning I was only able to participate on Saturday.
- No challenge series for me! Because of that, this was also the first year I was unable to run the challenge series! The series includes running an event Saturday AND Sunday, and even when I was 9+ months pregnant with LM, I did the 5K (Sat) and 10K (Sun).
- No half marathon and less-than-stellar training for me. Since I’ve only been cleared to run for about 6 weeks, I was unfortunately not able to get back into the best shape and unable to run the half. Still, I signed up for the 10K, with the goal of running it without stopping and hopefully doing it all under 11 minute/miles (a modest goal for me) – one my fastest 10K time was in the low 50-minute range.
- New course. Typically, the 10K starts off with the marathon and half marathoners, but since it was a different day, it had a new course, running with the 5K race.
- New season. Cleveland Marathon weekend is always in May, which means the weather is either SUPER hot, rainy, or freezing (it snowed one year that I ran it!). I didn’t mind having a fall race, though the weather could’ve easily been May.
- Not feeling my best. I’ll admit that I wasn’t feeling my best on race day. Since I have a just-turned-3-month-old baby, I’m getting poor sleep (fun fact – my 3-YEAR-old woke me up at 11 pm and 1:30 a.m. the night before the race — that doesn’t account for my 3-month-old). Breastfeeding has made me semi-dehydrated. I’m not at my pre-pregnancy weight yet, so everything still feels a little awkward when running. And, I had fallen a week before race day when running and ever since then, my groin muscle has been off. And, I knew we had to rush from the race to another event for my son’s school, so I was anxious about that.
With all that, my goals were:
- Have fun. Remember that I GET TO RUN and am so grateful and lucky to be able to, especially 3-months postpartum!
- Run without stopping. Try to run the whole thing in the 10 minute/mile range (my fastest training runs were close to 11 minute/mile pace)
- Help out. As an ambassador, I was planning on volunteering at the EXPO and working the information booth. This meant I could answer questions and meet people who were running.
I know that it’s October and fall officially began a few weeks ago, but WOW, it has been warm. It has been in the upper 70s all week, and while I’m not eager for winter to be here, I don’t mind the warm weather when I’m not running!
Luckily, I’ve been able to get outside when it’s not too hot and I had another good-ish week of running. Why the -ish? Well, I’m still nowhere close to where I have been or was before pregnancy (or even where I was at this point postpartum after my first kid), but I’m so happy to be out there! I’m grateful to be (so far) injury free, able to run during the day when I want and enjoy daylight (since I’m on maternity leave), and I even got in a virtual 5K this week AND a 6 miler that made me confident enough to run the Cleveland Marathon 10K in a few weeks.
Here’s what the full week looked like:
So looong September and hello October! With the entry of October our weather has gotten cooler, and I do LOVE fall running so I’m not mad about it!
I was cleared to start running again, postpartum, in September. With this news, my total mileage for the month was 88.87 miles.
I’m pleased with that number! Yes, it’s a really odd number and if I had realized it, I may not have taken the last day of the month off and instead run 1.13 miles, but it perfectly sums up my running.
In other running news, I ran 6 miles without stopping this week! This was a huge accomplishment for me, and I now feel confident enough that I can run the Cleveland Marathon 10K.
Here’s how my running looked this week:
Now that we’re officially less than one month away from the Cleveland Marathon events, it’s time for me to buckle down with my “training.” I need to decide what event to race and it all comes down to – how in shape will I be in one month?
As you may know, I had a baby less than 2 months ago, so I’m not at my prime running shape right now. I got cleared to start running again just 2 weeks ago, so I don’t think I’ll be ready to run a full or half marathon in a month, sadly. But I’m excited to run/walk the 5k or 10k and be back at the in-person event!
You may have seen I did a giveaway for free entry on Instagram — the winner was just announced. Congrats to @carijeanne!
If you didn’t win – there’s no need to fret. You register here and use my discount code: MELCCLESAVE10 for 10% off.
In the meantime, here’s how my running looked this week:
My son has started kindergarten and is in a tree nut-free school. He packs his lunch pretty much every day, and we’re always looking for new treats for him to bring for snacktime and lunch. His favorite dessert of late are these granola bars, but we decided to switch things up and create a new treat — introducing these energy balls! They’re sweet enough that he eats them after his lunch and we’ve started calling them chocolate cookie balls.
If you’re seeking a snack recipe for school (or home) that has no tree nuts or peanuts (read: no almonds, etc.), then you must try this! Please note that they have coconut, which can be another allergen, and sunflower seeds, which aren’t a nut. These take 5 minutes to make and only have 6 ingredients! Plus, they’re so easy to make, my 3-year-old daughter had a blast helping me.