GIVEAWAY: Run CLE with Me! Cleveland Marathon Entry Giveaway

The cool weather, shorter days and snow outside only means one thing for runners — it’s spring marathon training time!

That’s right, just when the weather is at it’s pique for running (sense my sarcasm?), it’s time for us runners to start training again. Lucky for us, we’re a crazy crew and we’re ready to take on the challenge! That’s why I’m excited to share that once again I’m returning as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador!

That means that I get to promote one of my favorite race series – the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, happening May 19, 2019. Not ready to run a marathon? Race weekend has plenty of options, including a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K, 5K, 1-mile and even a Kids’ Run. And there’s my favorite – the Challenge Series events, where if you run both Saturday and Sunday, you get 3 cool medals and a special gift (gifts have included a fleece blanket, hoodie, etc.)!

What’s in it for you? I get to give away one race entry! This year’s giveaway is taking place somewhere new – my Instagram account. That’s right, head on over to @koskim on Instagram to enter.

And while you’re on Instagram, check out the @Clevemarathon account – I’m taking over their stories today!!

Some fun facts about the Cleveland Marathon:

  • The Cleveland Marathon is one of the 50 oldest marathons in the country – it began in 1978 and had the same course until 2004!
  • The race was the first to invite elite runners from the Soviet Union to the marathon during the Cold War.
  • The 10K was added in 1978, the half marathon event was added in 2005 and the 5K added in 2009.

Ready to run? Check out @koskim on Instagram to enter today. The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 1/20. And you get a bonus entry just by commenting on this blog post!

Some questions for you:

  • What was the last race you ran?
  • Do you like winter running?

And if you don’t win, you can still get 10% off! Use discount code MC2019 when you register.

Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Weekend

For a wintry weekend, it was a good one. It was fun, we had good food, were productive and we got to spend time outside.

The weekend started with a kickoff run for the Cleveland Marathon. I’m an ambassador again this year and it was fun to see some of my other ambassadors.

And I got to run with this guy in the stroller for half of it.

After the run, when we got home, I did some meal prep, including making muffins for the week.

Then, LM and I got groceries.

That night, the 4 of us went out – to Barroco!

My arepa was pretty amazing … FW stuck to his pouch after not touching any food. Oh well, he’s a pick eater.

Sunday included chores. Mainly more meal prep, laundry and a little cleaning.

B and FW even did some painting.

We ended the day with a Polish feast at B”s parents’ house, including stuffed cabbage and strudel!

Oh, and I even got in a short treadmill run!

Speaking of running, running totals for the entire week looked like this:

Before I know it, I’ll need to start kicking into gear for the spring races and picking up my mileage. But until then, just trying to enjoy it!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you do group runs or workouts? I don’t usually, but the kickoff run was so much fun!
  • Do you like Polish food?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

Give the Gift of CLE

The holidays are sadly over and you may not be thinking about gifts right now, but I certainly am! Why? Because my birthday is just a few weeks away. And as is the curse of having a birthday around the holidays, people often don’t want to celebrate, don’t know what to get me, or even sometimes forget. Do you have a friend or family member who just got everything on their list for the holidays, but has a birthday coming up? Fear not – here’s a potential gift idea … CLE Pack!

CLE Pack is package featuring products from local Cleveland organizations. You can pick a package of 5, 7 or 9 items and they range from foodstuffs (sweet treats and savory snacks), local collateral (like tote bags or can holders or stickers) and other fun items like chapstick, keychains, etc. CLE Pack sent me a package of 7 items to try out for free (thanks, CLE Pack for the early birthday gift!) and I loved it.

Some fun facts about CLE Pack:

  • CLE Pack was just started in August 2018. Igor Oliyarnik is the founder and the idea was born over 4 years ago when he saw a similar business in Baltimore called “Baltimore in a Box”.
  • The most popular items in the package are the food. Bertman Mustard has been the #1 seller, followed by Campbell’s popcorn and Malley’s Chocolates.
  • The founder, Igor Oliyarnik, is not originally from Cleveland. He was born in Ukraine and moved to Cleveland with his parents when he was ten years old. He shared: “I’m now in my 30’s and proud to call Cleveland my home. I think the city has a very unique personality and a bright future because of the people that live here. It has been great watching the city improve in many different ways over the last two decades that I’ve been here.”

The items I chose for my package included:

  • Malley’s CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Fear’s Confections CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Ohio Pure Maple Syrup
  • Crazy Monkey Baking Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Crunch
  • Bertman Ball Park Horseradish Sauce
  • Sweet Moses Cleveland Chocolate Bar
  • Cleveland Landmarks Tote Bag

I LOVE that CLE Pack is all local Cleveland items. And while I was familiar with some of the companies they include (like Malley’s, Bertman and Campbell’s), CLE Pack also introduced me to some new local brands, like Crazy Monkey Baking.

CLE Pack would make a great gift for more than just a friend whose birthday is coming up. In fact, I was thinking that CLE Pack would also be a great unique gift for:

  • A new neighbor, especially one new to the city
  • A friend that has moved away and misses their Cleveland favorites
  • A hostess gift for that family who has everything
  • Members of a wedding party or close family coming into town for a wedding

Some questions for you:

  • What would you choose?
  • Have you had any of these items?

Disclosure: I was asked by CLE Pack to promote their products. In exchange, I recieved a free box for myself. As always, views are my own.

Can Every Winter Weekend Be Like This?

We had a great weekend in CLE. It was seasonably warm (got into the 40s on Saturday!), no snow, and just a few casual plans. Which meant that we got to somewhat relax, spend time outside, get in some exercise and enjoy some family time. AKA – it was my type of weekend.

Friday night included takeout Indian food from a new Indian restaurant in our neighborhood. It was pretty good – but there was no naan on the menu!

Saturday morning started early (LM woke up at 6 and FW shortly after), but FW was easily entertained with some new Christmas toys. He loves his drum set, but it definitely made it hard for B to still sleep!

After B got up, I got in a 5 mile run. Weather in the mid-30s felt GREAT, I was actually hot with my gloves and headband. It was great to run in my new Skirt Sports clothes, too – I love my new capris (you can’t have enough running capris) and the Wonder Wool shirt kept me warm.

After the run, it was time to meet up with friends at the new Van Aiken District food hall. The place was hopping for the morning – and it was actually mostly families with young kids running around.

They have a few non-food shops and a few food places open right now, and a small kids play area. We will definitely be back.

The kids fell asleep in the car on the way back from playing and running around, so our typical afternoon “quiet time” was a little off – but that meant we were able to get in some grocery shopping, plus some “me” time in the car. There was no way I was going to try to move FW from the car seat to his bed, so we stayed in the car. And then, because nap time was done early, were able to get in a little afternoon walk while the weather was still semi-nice. We even stopped at a nearby playground and FW was able to run around and play.

That night, B made a favorite dish of mine – halibut! It was beyond good.

Sunday we had brunch plans with Dave and Anson. It had been a while since FW had seen Celia and he was pretty excited to play with her new toys and run around her house.

While FW was napping, since the weather was still nice out, I decided to take LM for a walk. We ended up walking to the grocery store and picked up a few last minute items to do some meal prep.

I made some egg cups for quick breakfasts. B is back on slow carb, so I’m trying to find easy breakfast that don’t involve bread, etc. for him.

Then, FW’s cousins came over for an inpromptu visit. They stopped by with little gifts, including this cute blanket!

And suddenly, the weekend was over. It went by fast for not having much to do! Some questions for you:

  • Did you get in some outdoor time this weekend? Yes, it was great to get in 2 runs, 2 walks and a trip to the playground.
  • Do you do meal prep? What do you make?

Kicking off Cleveland Marathon Training Season

Now that we’re in the New Year, it’s marathon training season! I am once again an ambassador for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, which means that I will be having a giveaway (THIS MONTH!) and have a discount code (MC2019) for you to use (see below):

I haven’t officially decided which race(s) I’m running. I’m a fan of the Challenge Series, where you run an event on Saturday and Sunday, mostly because you get 3 medals (a medal for each event and a special Challenge Series medal) AND a cool gift (my favorite was the year we got a fleece blanket!). I’m hoping that this year I’ll do the 8k / half marathon, pending sleep/nursing/schedules/no injuries.

If I do that, I technically won’t need to start training until next month, so this month I’m working on enjoying having no training plans but trying to keep my mileage up. This week, I got in one of my highest mileage weeks since LM was born and it felt great! Here’s how the week went:

Keep an eye out for my official training plan, coming soon. And in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some casual runs without any commitment. Here I am after this weekend’s 5 miler. I was so excited to wear capris.

In Cleveland excited to kick off training? There are 2 kickoff runs planned, and I hope to be at at least one of them!

  • When are you planning to train for your next race?
  • What type of training plan do you follow?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

2018 Running Recap

Wow, what a year! 2018 was a memorable year. And it was a hard year for running. I’ll be honest – I got in fewer miles than usual. I ran fewer races. I didn’t set any PRs. But, I have a few reasons – being pregnant for half of the year, having a baby and adjusting to the schedule and craziness (and lack of sleep) that is life with a toddler and a baby. So I’m proud of my accomplishments and happy to look back at the year.

Here are some of the highlights from the year:

I ran injury free, throughout my entire pregnancy. Pregnant or not, a year without injuries can’t be beat. In 2017, I had a minor (but painful) piriformis issue that kept me off running for a few weeks. But 2018 granted me health.

Running early on in my pregnancy with some of the Cleveland Marathon crew at a race kickoff run in January

Sometimes staying active meant run/walks

I did a few races while pregnant, including two 5Ks and a 10K a week before my due date. Thanks to B for convincing me to sign up for a 5K race Mother’s Day weekend, as well as for running beside me as I hobbled the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K and 10K four days before LM was born.

I’ve been able to return to running since LM was born, taking her or FW along with me. I enjoy running by myself, but also enjoy stroller running. FW has gotten to the age where we can talk on our runs and point out animals, etc. and LM typically sleeps. And thanks to our new neighborhood having more paved paths, I got in more stroller runs this year than ever before. While my mileage hasn’t been nearly as much as it was before kids (I ended with just under 800 miles – compared to 2013 when I had double that!), I am grateful to still be running and have been able to get out again shortly after giving birth.

first race post-LM this summer

after a 4 mile stroller run with FW (post LM’s birth)

stroller run with my niece and nephew (I pushed FW, B pushed LM)

I’ve been an Ambassador for some great brands and organizations that have helped me with my running. Some of them include Skirt Sports, Nuun and the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. This means I also have discount codes to share with you if you’re interested:

Skirt Sports: They make more than skirts and I wear them running all the time. I’m actually wearing their pants, jacket, tank top and capris in several of the photos above. In the 1st photo I’m wearing the Triple Pocket Tight, 2nd photo I’m wearing the Hangout Hoodie, 5th photo I’m wearing the Free Flow Tank, 6th photo I’m wearing the Jette Skirt, and 7th photo I’m wearing the Redemption Capri. Use 133Carn for 15% off. And check out their 

Cleveland Marathon: Use discount code MC2019 for 10% off any race entry. I’ll also have a race entry giveaway in just a few weeks!

All in all, I’m grateful for a happy, healthy 2018, running and otherwise. And I kicked off 2019 today with a 4.33 mi run in my new Skirt Sports leggings that I bought myself as a Christmas gift, so the year is already off to a great start!

Some questions for you:

  • How would you rate your 2018?
  • Do you have any 2019 goals?

A Very Merry Weekend

Hello from New York! We are currently celebrating the holidays in New York with my family, and I’m off the routine, which means that this week in running will be a little off. But we’re having tons of fun while we’re here. Some of the highlights or our week so far:

FW and LM met Santa! He stopped by school last week and FW asked for some gifts (he asked for “presents.” When Santa prodded, he asked for “books and dinosaurs.”

LM got in some quality Nonna time.

And FW bonded with Uncle Greg over trains and music.

FW even got close to my parents’ dog a few times.

LM got to meet a good college friend of mine, whose parents live nearby.

We had my favorite local pizza, Defazios.

We braved the line and caught the lights in the park. FW loved them!

I also got to run outdoors by myself during the day! Time off from work, plus mild (cold but not snowy) weather, plus grandparents to watch the kids meant I got to spend some time outdoors, running. In fact, last week’s running went really well. We had a warm front and I was able to run outside every day this week, including one stroller run to kick off the week! I got in a 6.3 miler in NY, which put me at my highest post-LM mileage week thus far!

Here’s how the week looked:

I can’t complain! The week was great in running and beyond. I just love this time of year!

Some questions for you:

  • Has the weather been mild around where you are?
  • Are you in the holiday spirit?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.