Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Weekend: Challenge Series Recap

As I mentioned in my weekend recap post, this weekend was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race weekend! For the past few years, I have been taking part in the Challenge Series, which involves running an event on Saturday (either a 5k or 8k) and then an event on Sunday (either a 10k or full/half marathon).

This year, being 39 weeks pregnant, I opted to participate in (notice I didn’t say run) the 5k/10k events. And since I was selected as a race ambassador, how could I say no?

Part One: The 5k

This is the first year that B and I haven’t lived downtown since I’ve been running the marathon events, so our morning tradition was a little different from usual. Typically, we’d roll out of bed, spend a few minutes getting ready and then walk to the starting line. This year, we had to figure out parking, traffic, etc. Luckily, the road closures for the 5k are minimal and don’t affect our commute, so we still made it downtown pretty easily.

Since I did the 8k last year, the 5k course was pretty nice – I loved being able to turn off early! We started in Public Square, ran around Brown’s Stadium, up E 9th to E 12th and pretty much then retraced our steps back to Public Square.

There are 2 serious (well for me) hills on the course, but the first mile was all downhill so I knew I could run it without stopping. This is a big deal, since there are only a few occasions recently that I’ve run a full mile without taking some breaks.

The rest of the course I ran/walked until we crossed the finish at just under 40 minutes, which put the pace at around 12:57 min/mile. (My Garmin clocked us at 3.3 miles, thus the change in pace, etc.)

Was it my slowest 5k ever? Actually – it was slightly faster than last weekend’s Sabre Run 5k! Also – B WORE FW! He had FW in a backpack and ran along side of me “just in case” (see comment above about being 39 weeks pregnant). How amazing is that?

RUNNING LIKE THIS

I’m so grateful for his support throughout my pregnancy and crazy running. Especially this time around when running has gotten more painful and I’m sure my attitude hasn’t been as great as it was when I was pregnant with FW. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Part Two: The 10K

Sunday morning, B, FW and I headed downtown even earlier for the 10K. Luckily, I was able to park in my parking garage and get to the are start around 6:30. Unluckily, despite it looking clear on the radar, it was raining/misting the whole walk to the start line, and it didn’t stop. Let’s just say I was nearly soaked before we had even started the race.

The 10K was a lot harder for me than the 5k. I was sore from the race the day earlier – my pelvis area, below my belly and feet were not having it. So, there was a LOT more walking than the day before.

Despite the walking and rain, we still finished in about 1:30, which I was pretty happy with for how I was feeling.  And, being so slow, I noticed much more than I typically notice when I run!

For example, I enjoyed the course entertainment. Even in running only 6.2 miles, we got to enjoy several bands. I also noticed (and appreciated) all the mile markers. And the aid stations. You know, just in case! Oh, and I always LOVE the Challenge Series swag. Especially the 3 medals!

And once again, a BIG thank you to B and FW for keeping me company. This was the longest run/walk/anything I had done in some time, and them being by my side made it so much easier.

AND that’s a wrap! Another Cleveland Marathon weekend in the books. 9.3 miles covered and that was PLENTY for my pregnant self this year.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you do challenge races – or races where you run 2 days in a row?
  • Ever run CLE before? (if not – I recommend it!! if you can’t tell!)

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Disclosure: I’m a Cleveland Marathon race ambassador. I get complimentary admission to run the races in exchange for sharing my experience. As always, views are my own. 

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Weekend Recap: Cleveland Marathon Weekend!

Well, Cleveland Marathon weekend has come and gone. It’s always such a great weekend and I love all the events that I get to take part in – thanks to being an ambassador – that I’m a little sad it’s over.

I’ll start by saying that I was having mixed feelings about this year’s events. Why? Being 39 weeks pregnant (due date=THURSDAY), I was unsure of my ability to run/walk. Sure, when I signed on in the fall, in my head I thought, “If anything I can at least walk 6 miles – that’s nothing.” But as I got further and further along, I realize that walking a 10K with extra weight,  a baby in my belly pushing on my bladder, and little sleep (yay third trimester), may not be what I wanted to do at this point in my pregnancy.

BUT I’m so glad that I did. I really do love running and even when it’s not so comfortable (a.k.a. NOW), it’s great to be part of a fun race with fun crowds and a great location –  CLEVELAND!).

In any case, my weekend started early with fun marathon events.

First, the Expo! Cari and I headed to the Expo and had to take our annual race weekend photo. A little different than last year’s photo, huh?

This year …

Last year!

Then, it was time for the pre-race reception/dinner. As a race ambassador I get to get dressed up and mingle with all the VIPs (sponsors and elite runners!) in town the night before the race. The event always has good food, live music, a great location – it’s at the beautiful Galleria – AND I get to see my fellow ambassadors!

Saturday morning started early (but not as early as Sunday …) with our alarm going off to get ready for the Cleveland Marathon 5k. This is my third year participating in the race’s Challenge Series, which involves running an event on Saturday (either a 5k or 8k) and then an event on Sunday (either a 10k or full/half marathon).

The race was fun and not as painful as last weekend’s 5k for some reason. Oh, and B wore FW in a backpack and RAN ALONG SIDE OF ME. I still can’t believe he did that.

HE RAN LIKE THIS

After the race, we hung around for a little and checked out some of the event they had going on. The real event is Sunday, but they had some tents and things set up. Including a place that had THESE things – FW ran over to it and immediately started playing. Let’s just say I know what he may need for his birthday!

Then, picked up some bagels from our favorite local bagel shop. They had piping hot apple cinnamon bagels right from the oven, which was a perfect post-race meal.

Then, we hit up La-Z Boy. We had ordered a chair for our nursery back in March, but for some reason it was delayed and we didn’t find out until this past week. So, we had to go back in the store and pick out a new one so it would arrive in time – hopefully it’s delivered this week before Baby #2 arrives!

no chair photo, but here’s FW inspecting his bagel

We played it low key in the afternoon. It involved a walk outside (FW loved splashing in all the puddles), and B made us pasta for dinner (my request – a perfect pre-10k meal!).

 

Sunday morning started even earlier – my alarm got me up around 5 so that we could have enough time to get ready, get FW up, eat something and head downtown before the 6:30 road closures.

Despite the weather forecast looking picture perfect, it rained steadily as we drove downtown, as we walked to the start and as we started the race. Despite being wet, I was happy that it stayed in mild temps and I didn’t overheat (which happens a lot faster at this point in my pregnancy).

I’ll be sharing a full race recap, but all in all the 10k went well. Was it  a lot harder on me than the 5k? Yes. Was I sore before and during and after the race? Yes. But did I feel super proud for having completed a 10k at 39+ weeks pregnant? You bet. And FW and B kept me company throughout the entire route, which made it even better.

After the race, we got some hot coffees. Mine was delicious (or I should say is delicious – I still have some leftover :)) – it had honey and cinnamon in it!

Then, we met up with Dave and Anson for or usual Happy Dog lunch. I got a veggie dog with veggie chili and an egg on top – it was really good!

 And since we were in the neighborhood, we picked up a few groceries as well.

Admittedly, I pretty much crashed after that excursion. I’m not typically a big napper, but when FW took his afternoon nap, I took a short one as well. My body was TIRED from the 10k – I felt like I had run much more!

That night, we finished up the day with dinner at B’s parents house. As always, a good end to a quick weekend. And FW always has a good time playing with his cousins, aunts and uncles.

Some questions for you:

  • Ever run a longish race in the rain? How did you stay dry or warm?
  • Do you like naps?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Tuesdays on the Run – 38+ weeks pregnant and RACE WEEK

Wooohoo!! This is a Tuesdays on the Run post to celebrate – for two reasons.

  1. IT’S RACE WEEK OMG. Yes, it’s Cleveland Marathon week. Yikes.
  2. I got in two (semi) runs this week!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m (super) pregnant – like almost 39 weeks – and have not been able to run as much this pregnancy as the last one.

BUT, I did get in two sorta runs this week – well, walk/runs, and even though they frankly sucked in terms of how my body felt, emotionally, they felt good.

Saturday morning there was a 5k running through my neighborhood, so B asked me if I wanted to run it. An according to my doctor, since I’m 38+ weeks pregnant and could go into labor at any time so running is okay with her, I said sure!

It was mostly a run/walk. And the running was sloooooow. And didn’t really feel good on my body. But man, it emotionally felt good to be able to run!

And now, we’re just 4 days away from Cleveland Marathon race weekend.

I’ll admit- I’m nervous. The 5k I did over the weekend was HARD. How am I going to do a 5k AND a 10K in one weekend? And at 39 weeks pregnant? How much walking is too much for it not to be considered a race?

But still, I am excited for an ready for the race – it’s such a fun race with so many great events all weekend and I can’t wait to see my fellow ambassadors and cheer on the marathoners. I may not be in as good a shape as I was at last year’s event when I did the half, but I’m still going to try to have fun!

Some questions for you:

  • If you ran while pregnant, how long did you run for? Ever done a 10k at 39 weeks pregnant?
  • Are you well into racing season now that SPRING is here?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

Meatless Monday: Gardein Veggie Burgers with Asian-Inspired Slaw

I recently was given a chance to try out some of Gardein’s meatless specialties, and wow, I really like them! I love how easy they are to make, the variety of products they offer (their products are all vegan and kosher AND they also have some gluten free offerings) and the nutrition info on them (for example, this veggie burger has 3 g. fiber, 5 g. protein and 6% of my daily iron).

Anyway, Memorial Day is coming up and that means it’s nearly the unofficial start to summer! Which means it’s also time to get those grills out (B bought a grill recently, too) and cook up some fun summer meals. Here’s a fun way to enjoy some veggie burgers – with a twist!

Gardein Veggie Burgers with Asian-Inspired Slaw

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 Gardein Garden Veggie Burgers
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix
  • ¼ cup almond (or peanut) butter (NOTE: I make my own so it’s a little more watery than the kind you’d buy at the store. If you buy any kind that’s not natural and it’s thick, you may need to microwave it a bit to loosen it up)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (for vegan, use pure maple syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or more) to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped honey roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 4 hamburger rolls (I like using challah buns)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make the Asian-inspired slaw. This is SO easy.  To do so mix almond butter through Sriracha in a bowl with a whisk, or a jar. I like to use a jar and then just shake it up until combined. This will be your dressing.
  2. Pour dressing over the coleslaw mix.  Mix well so cabbage and carrots are coated in dressing. Let sit at room temperature.
  3. Prepare burgers according to package directions. I like mine grilled or cooked on the stove top.
  4. Assemble burgers by placing the Garden Veggie Burger patty on the bottom of the bun and top with the slaw. Cap each burger with a bun top. Serve immediately.

Optional: Serve with sweet potato fries with Sriracha mayo (recipe). It’s not vegan but you can use a vegan mayo if you like.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like veggie burgers?
  • What’s your go-to meatless grilling recipe?

Disclosure: I was given samples of Gardein’s meatless entrees to try out. All reviews and views are my own.

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

At 37 weeks pregnant, there’s not much new that I’m craving these days. Fruit? Yup, still fruit. Especially all of the strawberries, grapes and pineapple. Desserts? Yup, even chocolate, which I’m not usually a huge fan of. Sweet and salty foods? Even better. Which is why I’m a fan of this snack/meal/side dish. Because sweet potato fries are – in my opinion – the ULTIMATE sweet/salty treat. And, they’re even good for you! Or at least better than the other ultimate sweet/salty treat – chocolate covered pretzels. Yum.

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I highly suggest you make these to pair with your favorite meatless (or meaty) entree on the grill. I’ll be sharing a recipe soon that pairs SO well with these, too!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
For the Sweet Potato Fries

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. While oven is preheating, preheat a baking sheet as well.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into fry-like shapes. (Here’s the knife I use to get the cute crinkle cut fries) Toss with olive oil.
  3. Mix the spices (garlic powder through black pepper) and toss them with the sweet potatoes.
  4. Spread them out on the preheated baking sheets.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until starting to brown on the bottom. Flip and cook until the other side is brown, about 10 minutes.

For the Dipping Sauce

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • pinch of garlic powder (I probably used just under 1/8 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Serve with fries!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Sriracha?
  • What’s your favorite sweet/salty combo?

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

So much to love about weekends

Ahhh, I looooove weekends. And we finally had a weekend with beautiful weather that felt like SPRING. It was sunny, not too hot and felt good just hanging out in sundresses. Which is my favorite type of weather. Especially with being super pregnant – not having to pull on pants or winter boots or my winter coat has been amazing!

Anyway, here’s a little how the weekend went.

It started with Friday night pizza. I had to work late (work is a little cuhhhhrazy right now), but it was all worth it when I got home and got to enjoy pizza night with my boys. Especially since FW ate nearly a whole slice!

Saturday morning, we walked to the nearby Farmers Market and got breakfast at a diner while we were there. There’s a diner right by where the train stop is and FW loved watching the trains go by. 

He also loves it when the weather is nice 🙂 

I love Farmers Market season! There were so many great flowers and plants out there.

That afternoon, after doing some chores, it was time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo AND Derby Day! B’s family hosts a big Derby party every year and this year was no different. We bet on a few horses and enjoyed watching the race. 

It was such a beautiful night to be outside with his family and FW loved playing with all the kids. He may have been out a little past his bedtime … but look at that sky!

Sunday was a pretty productive day. We cleaned, cooked, meal planned and went grocery shopping. We went out to breakfast, went for a walk and even took naps. We had originally had lunch, mid-afternoon AND dinner plans but they all ended up falling through, so we ended up doing some prep for when baby #2 arrives.

Oh yea, and of course we had to watch some basketball this weekend. Go Cavs!

 

this was my breakfast. They ran out of yogurt so my granola and fruit were a little dry 😦

FW liked his grilled cheese and ate a few bites of his nest egg.

Is the baby’s room ready yet? No … but we’re getting there!

Some questions for you:

  • If you have kids, do you remember how far in advance you got their rooms ready?
  • How often do you do yard work? What’s your least/favorite yard chore?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.