Cleveland Marathon -8K and Half- Challenge Series: Race Recap

I can’t believe the weekend is over. I have been training since January for this past weekend’s races, and just like that, it’s over. I’m feeling a little let down – after all, what do I do now?

I don’t have a normal training week to share with you. Did I run last week? Yes – I got in a few taper runs and a stroller run Sunday through Wednesday and took Thursday off. The bulk of my running last week was done Saturday and Sunday for the Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series!

Let’s just say that the weather was NOT in my favor for the weekend’s events. I was weather stalking for quite a few days, and each day, the forecast got hotter and hotter. I hadn’t trained in anything really warmer than 50 degrees, so I was obviously a little nervous as I saw it creep from 60s to 70s and the to .. gasp …  80s?! At that point, I knew the only thing I could do would be hydrate and hope for the best. Not a PR, but not my worst race.

Starting the Weekend with the 8K

I had signed up for the 8K/Half Marathon Challenge Series, which meant my race weekend started on Saturday with an 8K in Downtown Cleveland.

The weather, while NOT super hot, ended up not being the best either. This was the radar as we started to drive into the city.

The temps ended up being fine, but it drizzled as we approached the starting line, and started really raining while we ran. Still, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “At least it’s not too warm!” Yes, I prefer 50s and rainy to 80s, at least at this point in my training.

At the start, I ran into a few fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors, and it was just enough time to snap a pic before the race began.

I tried to keep it a little easy on the run, knowing I had the 13.1 miles less than 24 hours later. So, I kept my heart rate mostly in the green range and according to my Garmin, around a 9:08 min/mile pace. I clocked in at over 5 miles, so who knows if all the zigging and zagging gave me an extra quarter mile or if the course was a little long.

I felt myself smiling nearly the whole race. I was that person thanking the cops for being there and keeping the roads closed, high fiving some of the people spectating (including FW!) and really just enjoying being out there. Despite the rain, I was feeling good and hoping that I’d feel the same on Sunday.

The Half Marathon

Sunday started EARLY. And warm. I had set my alarm for 4 a.m. just to get ready, feed LM (I’m still breastfeeding and wanted to get in a quick feed before the race) and get downtown with enough time to meet up with my ambassadors at the starting line by 6:30. We had the whole morning planned. Leave the house by 5:45 a.m., get breakfast from Cleveland Bagel at 6 a.m., park in my office parking garage at 6:15 a.m. and be at the starting line for a picture with the ambassadors.

That was the plan, at least. What actually happened? We didn’t make it out of the house until 5:55, so we skipped bagels, and then the road we were going to take to get to the garage was closed, so we ended up parking almost 2 miles from the start, so I made a mad dash (a literal sprint) to the starting line to just make the starting line photo. But I made it! Sweaty since it was already getting warm – it was already in the 70s before 5 a.m.!

The race started and I wish I could say the first few miles felt good. But they didn’t. I was somehow a little sore/tight/tired (perhaps from the previous day’s race? Or perhaps from my sprint to the start? And I was hot.

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At mile 2, I took a spill, falling completely down on the ground and bloodying up my knees, shin, right ankle, hand and also rolling my left ankle.

I saw B at mile 5 or so (which was the third time I saw him and the kids – they were great at finding me and cheering me on!) and told him I wasn’t going to make it. I was too hot, my ankle was sore and my feet were starting to hurt. And my fingers were swelling. But all of a sudden  – I don’t know why or how – I realized that I was running this for fun. So I may as well try and have fun. So that’s what I decided to do! Every sign I saw that said “touch here to power up” I touched. Every person giving out high fives, I high fives. I ran through sprinklers. Ran under hoses. Walked through water stops and drank 1-2 cups each time. And before I knew it, I was finishing the race – not a PR at all – and crossing the finish line to meet my family, see some friends (including fellow ambassadors Andrew and Melissa!) and have a post-race beer.

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It was a hot one, especially for Cleveland this time of year where it’s usually in the 60s, 70s. Most of my fellow ambassadors found themselves running 10, 20, and even 30 minutes+ slower than usual. I saw several ambulances on the course, people getting sick and being taken off the course. Especially after the tragedy of the weekend (which I ran past and happened to see at the end of the race … ), I’m feeling especially grateful to have finished the race and had fun, despite the heat and less-than-stellar temps.

And in the end, I ended up with THREE medals for my 8K and 13.1:

Some questions for you:

  • Did you run CLE? What did you think of the course?
  • What’s the hottest race you’ve run? This was 81 when I finished. It was one of the hottest for sure!

I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Cleveland Half Marathon Training: One Week To Go

It’s TAPER time! That’s right, race day is NEXT weekend and it’s time to taper.

What does that mean for me for a half marathon? Well, I decided not to do a long run this past weekend (mostly because I was tired … and busy). And this week I’m keeping my runs to 3-4 miles at most. And then I’ll take Thurs/Fri off before getting to run the Cleveland Half Marathon Challenge Series 8k/half on Saturday and Sunday!

Last week’s training was okay. I did just under 30 miles total, and my “long” run was 6ish miles. I did two six-milers and it was amazing how different each felt. Thursdays was done on less 5 hours of sleep and I could not MOVE my body at all. Saturdays was done on a little more sleep and felt so much better!

Here’s a look at my 10x400m. I tried to keep my 400 meters under 8 min/mile paces, but not all worked out.

And take a look at the difference in Thursday and Saturday’s runs. Thursday was done at a slower pace, too – but check out the difference in heartrate!

Saturday:

Thursday:

What’s race day forecast looking like?

Well, it’s not my ideal racing weather (48-52 degrees and party cloudy), but it could be worse, right? Let’s just hope it doesn’t get much warmer and stays in the 50s during the actual race time. What are the chances of that?

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your ideal race weather?
  • Do you take a day or two off of running before a race?

I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Cleveland Half Marathon Week 10 Training

You guys. Cleveland marathon weekend is just TWO weeks away. I CAN’T believe it! I’m feeling good AND feeling nearly ready for race day.It was a good week in terms of my training. I got in a long run and a speed training run, along with a few other runs. I didn’t end up getting in all the planned miles (I was supposed to also do a 5 mile pace run), but I can’t beat myself up over it too much.Here’s a look at week 10 of my Cleveland half marathon training:Despite not getting in all my mileage, it was a good week. Here are some of the highlights:I decided to do my speed training outside, and it was my first time doing a tempo run outdoors. I didn’t do it quite how I do it on a treadmill (where I pickup speed every minute or so), but my goal instead was to do mile 1 easy, miles 2-3-4 progressively faster and then final 5 minutes or so easy. And I did it!I got in an 11 mile run BEFORE work on Friday. That meant I got up at 4 a.m. and got out in the drizzly weather (which turned into a downpour at one point) and ran for nearly 2 hours before anyone in my house woke up and was home and showered pretty much by 6:30 a.m. I can’t guarantee that this will EVER happen again, but I’m proud it did!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you taper before half marathons? When do you usually get in your last long run? This plan has me running 12 next weekend, but I don’t know if I’m going to – I want my legs to rest before the race and they were TIRED after my 11 miler!

clé marathon discount

Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to give away. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Double Digits and a New Weekly High (Cleveland Half Marathon Training: Week 8)

Happy Easter! I’ll be sharing a weekend update post after I finish this sugar rush. But in the meantime, here’s an update on my week 8 of Cleveland half marathon training. This week had highs and lows. I guess that is how it is when you’re training for something, right? Not every week will be great?

Here’s a look at week 8 of my Cleveland half marathon training. On paper/screen, looks good, right?

Mileage-wise, it was a good week. I got in 30+ miles for my total, including a 10 miler (which was done before work on Thursday). But overall, I didn’t feel great/strong/fast during most of these runs. My tempo run was done much slower than the runs of the previous weeks. My 10 miler had some of my slowest miles in some time. And I was due for a 5 mile pace run, and I only made it 4.5 mi very much NOT at pace (confession – I did stop early due to a screaming baby, but she had no effect on my pace).

I’m not 100% sure why the heavy legs. I’ve been working late and going to bed late, which hasn’t helped, and LM has been waking up throughout the night so I’m not getting a full night’s sleep. I know I need to sleep more, drink more water and eat healthier … so perhaps this week I’ll be able to do just that?

10 mile run EARLY in the morning

Starting a run before 5 a.m. is ROUGH

Hopefully next week I’ll be feeling more myself again.

Next week is the Cleveland 10 miler! It will be my longest race since 2017 and I’m a little nervous with how I’ll fare. It’s also the first time I’ve run this race solo – B is going to be watching the kids, so it will be a long and lonely run for me!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you ever have off weeks? How do you get back on track?
  • Did you have a ton of candy today?

Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to giveaway. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!

clé marathon discount

Today, I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Cleveland Half Marathon Training: Week 7

This week was another great week in terms of weather for running – every single one of my runs, including my speed training (8×400 m) was done outside.

Here’s a look at week 7 of my Cleveland half marathon training:

Overall, here is how the week looked:

weekly cleveland marathon training mileage

Some highlights/lowlights:

This week was the first time that I used my Garmin Fenix to help with interval training. I typically do speed work inside on a treadmill, but I opted to try it outside, since it was 50s in the morning. It was actually kind of fun to do my intervals outside – my only issue was that some of the runs were uphill and some were downhill. But I guess that is good for training in real world conditions?

Here were some of my splits:

I didn’t get in a really long run this weekend. I had a 10k race on the schedule, but since my parents were in town, I decided to take the weekend off from running. Instead, on the two days I was scheduled to not run, I did a 7 and 5 miler.

Next week is another 9 miler and then the following week I signed up for the Cleveland 10 miler! It will be my longest race since 2017!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like 10 mile races?
  • Do you do speed training outside?

Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to giveaway. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!

clé marathon discount

Today, I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Cleveland Half Marathon Training: Week Five

Happy almost April! April means it’s almost May which means it’s almost race month, amiright? Okay, I may be getting ahead of myself. But when I looked at my week’s training and saw that I was already at 8 miles (which is almost 9 which is almost 10…) I couldn’t believe I was already there. The Cleveland half marathon will be here before we all know it.

This week went pretty well in terms of training. I even got in a 3 mile stroller run on one of our warm days with FW. It was our first stroller run in FOREVER and it was hard! I am not used to pushing 30+ pounds.

Overall, here is how the week looked:

And a highlight? Besides the stroller run, my 8 miler on Friday morning (which I ran at 5:30 a.m. in the 40 degree rainy weather – ick!) was my longest run since LM was born! It wasn’t quite the pace I hope to be at for race day, but I’m slowly getting back into it.

Some questions for you:

  • For those of you that wear a Garmin or fitness watch – do you ever resist it so you can break / start new records? I reset mine after LM was born!
  • Do you do speed training outside or inside?


Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to giveaway. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!

clé marathon discount

Today, I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Cleveland Half Marathon Training: Week Four

I can’t believe it’s less than 60 days to the Cleveland half marathon … that means I’m 25% through with my training! It hardly feels like the race is so soon – perhaps because it still felt like winter this week?

For my long run this week, it was in the 20s when I started … and “feels like” was 17! I’m used to that in December, but at the end of March.

Here is how the week looked:

I felt pretty good during my long run Saturday, but can’t imagine going any faster or further yet. We will see how next week goes. Hopefully I won’t have to break out my winter running socks again.

Some questions for you:

  • Is it spring near you yet?
  • Do you wear special socks in the winter?


Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to giveaway. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!

clé marathon discount

Today, I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.