2021 Cleveland Marathon 10K Recap

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.

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Weekly Run Down: Virtual 5K and 10K Training

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:

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September Runs Done

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:

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Weekly Run Down + Cleveland Marathon Giveaway Winner

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.

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In the meantime, here’s how my running looked this week:

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Nut-Free Chocolate Energy Bites

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. 

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2021 Cleveland Marathon Giveaway

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we’re now nearly one month away from the Cleveland Marathon events! The race weekend is scheduled for October 23-24, and includes several events, including a half marathon, full marathon, 5k and 10k. 

If you’re interested in signing up or the race, I have good news. Not only can you register here (and use my discount code: MELCCLESAVE10 for 10% off) but you can also enter my giveaway on Instagram! AND I’m accepting extra entries here – simply comment here (especially if you’re not on the gram, this is the entry for you!) about what race you want to run if you win, and I’ll add you to the random mix. 

I’ve run the challenge series every year since it started, before kids, with kids, pregnant, etc. sometimes running the 10k, sometimes the half, and it really is a race that has a special place in my heart.

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And if you’re still reading, here are a few of my favorite memories from the past Cleveland Marathon events.

In 2016, I ran the race 8ish months pregnant with FW. It started sleeting during the event (I did the 10K), but my friend (and running buddy) Erica was at the finish waiting for me with this amazing sign!

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In 2017, I had a new spectator to watch me run – FW!I did the half marathon. 

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In 2018, I was super pregnant – i.e., the race was the week of my due date! I ran/walked the 5k and 10k. B even “ran” with me for the 5k, carrying FW on his back!

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In 2019, I finally made it to the starting line for a photo with the other marathon ambassadors! The race was a hot one, but I had decided just to run the race my own pace and have fun, stopping at every water stop.  FB_IMG_1558312569984

I had a great time volunteering at the race expo with my other fellow mother runners, and one of them even inspired me to start a running streak, which I did in 2020-2021 (I ran for 420ish days straight).43876

Another thing I’ve loved about running the race has been meeting some great new friends. One of these great people is (another) Melissa C! We’re both hosting giveaways together, so be sure to check out hers too. 

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I can’t wait to see what this year’s race holds and hope to make some more great memories! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway and if you don’t win, register with 10% off discount code: MELCCLESAVE10.

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Questions for you:

  • When is your next in-person race?
  • If you want to enter the giveaway – which race would you run?

Postpartum Running – Week 2

This was my second week of running after GM was born, and it’s going alright! I’m trying not to get discouraged by how slow I am (for me) and how my body can’t run for too long (again, for me). Instead, I’m trying to rejoice in the fact that I’m back running and feeling good for the most part!

After last week’s first few runs, I was SORE. My shins hurt, my back hurt, and even my abs (or lack thereof) hurt! But a few days in, I started to feel relatively normal again and less sore as each day went on. My back is still hurting after running, but I’m hoping that as things get back to normal with my body, that will go away soon, too.

A few highlights from this week:

  • I got in my longest postpartum run – 4 miles!

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  • I finished logging miles in my Saucony Kinvaras. I’m at 400+ miles so far and I can tell I’m done with them. What shoes should I get next?

Here’s what this week entailed:

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Back to Running!

This week was exciting — on Friday, I got the all-clear from my doctor to resume running again!

At six weeks postpartum, I’ll be honest with you – I don’t feel 100% like myself. Unlike with my two other kids, I’m not feeling back to normal right now. But getting the OK to run, made me SO excited and I can’t wait to get back into shape!

With that development, here’s what this week entailed:

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Nut-Free Granola Bars

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my firstborn starts kindergarten THIS YEAR. I could (and should) write a full post on how fast time flies, how I’m not ready for him to go to real school (during a pandemic nonetheless) and also how amazing he is. So instead, I’m taking out my anxiety and emotions by baking and making sure we’re prepared and ready to start! One of the ways we are doing this is by making sure we have snacks, since FW has a morning snack he must bring every day. Snacks (and all foods) must be tree nut free, so that leaves out so many of our usual go-tos, like PB&J, or energy bites. Luckily, I found a recipe for granola bars that FW (and the rest of the family) enjoys, so this is going to be part of our new rotation.

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!

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Peanut Butter Lovers Blondies

We had a few rainy days in Cleveland last week, and B was busy, which meant that I was trying to find ways to entertain 3 (!) kids inside our house. One of the things that we all love to do – well, except for GM, but we’ll find out about that soon enough! – is bake. And luckily, I’d been dreaming up these bars for a while, so when we had one rainy day and I asked the kids if they wanted to bake (and they said yes!), I knew exactly what we’d make.

I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Especially when there’s not TOO much chocolate involved. Which is probably why I love Reese’s peanut butter cups and pieces. Thus, this recipe.

This recipe uses my standard blondie recipe, plus a few additional add-ins to make it perfect for peanut butter lovers! If you wanted to use a peanut butter cookie base, you could make this EXTRA peanut buttery! But this is perfect if you want a chocolate chip cookie with some added peanut butter candy.

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