Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon Challenge Series Recap (2017)

Wow – I can’t believe this is my last Training Tuesday post for this year’s stint as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador. I feel so truly grateful to have been able to participate in the experience this year again and share my training with you and the other amazing ambassadors.

Said amazing ambassadors

This year I had signed up for the Challenge Series – the 8k and Half Marathon. This would mean that I would run an 8k Saturday morning, followed by the half marathon Sunday morning. (You may recall I did the Challenge Series last year, but the 5k/10k, since I was 30+ weeks pregnant)

8K

This year looked a little different. First, the races were downtown, which was great! They were a 10 minute walk from my apartment and the courses were wider and more open than last year. I didn’t run with FW but we did get a pre-race pic.

I wanted to “take it easy,” knowing I had a half marathon the next day; but of course I took it a little faster than I would’ve liked. About 1 mile in, I found fellow Ambassador, Sara, running with her boy and her stroller! We ended up running the rest of the course or 4ish miles together. It was great to have someone to talk to for those last miles – it made them fly by!

Saturday was PERFECT running weather. It was 50 degrees, overcast and a little breezy. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the 8k.

pre-8k with some other ambassadors

Half Marathon

Sunday was a different story for the half marathon. Looking ahead at the weather all week, I was nervous for race day. It was due to be upper 70s (one day it forecasted 78 … ick!) and 100% chance of thunderstorms.  Definitely not ideal running weather, especially for me, as I have not been training outside much during this training season.

But, luck was on our side.  I woke up and it was mid-60s and NOT raining. I made it to the start and then began to wait in the massive porta potty line. And by massive, I mean that I was still waiting when the race started. I ended up heading inside the Q to use the restroom and Mary and I jumped into Corral D (we were supposed to be B or C) for the start. We discussed our goals – we decided that it would be to “survive the humidity … or get a PR.”

For the first few miles, we spent most of the time running/walking/dodging people and walkers. But after a few miles in, we were finally able to get into a good pace and enjoy the course. This year was a new course and I LOVED it. It took us part of the way through downtown, into the Flats, into Tremont, throughout the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and then back downtown on Detroit (no dreaded running on the boring hot Shoreway!!).

How did I do? I felt pretty good for the first few miles. And B even surprised me by cheering us on with FW throughout the course! I knew he was watching, but didn’t expect to see him 4 different times, so that was great. About mile 6-7 I started to get pretty hot and thirsty and my fingers began to swell up. I took in part of an expired Salted Caramel Gu that I had found in our apartment but it tasted funny so I dropped it just in time to pick up a Vanilla Honey Stinger from the course around mile 8. I made sure to get water at every stop throughout and even dumped some on me.

smiles before the race

Around mile 11, I was spent. I told Mary she could go ahead of me as soon as we saw the bridge to back downtown; the thought of going up the hill made me nervous and more tired. Mary looked at me and said, “We will get under 2 hours!” She dashed ahead and I tried to keep up somewhat as I made it up the bridge and back into downtown.

I finished as strong as I could and was pleased to find out that my finish time was 1:58:07. Was it the PR I was hoping for in the weeks ahead? No. But it was under 2 hours, a solid race for my first post-baby half marathon, especially considering the humid conditions.

I’m feeling a little bit emotional now that my training is done. Or maybe it was the 2 engagements that happened this weekend during the running festivities? Either way, for some reason, this year’s race has left me a little misty eyed. Must mean it’s time to sign up for another race!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you run Cleveland? What did you think?
  • Have you ever done a Challenge Series – two day – race?

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

Disclosure: As I mentioned, I’m an ambassador for the event. This means I got free race admission, entry to give away AND a cool shirt. 

Fun-Filled Race Weekend

Phew, what a fun, busy, active weekend. From an 8k to wedding shower to Cleveland Asian Fest to a half marathon, there was plenty to look forward to. I’m be sharing a full race recap tomorrow, but here is a quick summary of my weekend, one-sentence-per-photo style.

Started off race weekend with the Expo with Cari!

She didn’t win anything from this Care Bear prize machine.

Then, time for the Cleveland Marathon Banquet!

LOVE seeing my fellow ambassadors – and this year was especially special!

Saturday morning started off with the 8k – and the first medal of the weekend.

Then, a bridal brunch for my beautiful friend Ali who is getting married!

Look, it’s my name on a sign at the Marathon Expo!

Later in the afternoon, it was time to check out Cleveland Asian Fest (while FW dozed).

And my pre-race fuel – a veggie burger (from Phuel).

Pre-half marathon photo.

Finishing strong! (or at least trying to)

Post-race family photo.

Happy Dog post-13.1 eats (there is a veggie dog under that egg and chili).

A little local grocery shopping.

We bought some meat for this week!

And then took a walk by the water.

Love these two goofballs!

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you ran a half marathon?
  • Have you ever run an 8k?
  • Do you like veggie dogs?

I’m linking up with Katie and the weekly wraps.

Training Tuesday: OMG It’s Race Week

Yes, it’s RACE WEEK. We are here! Just 4 more days until it all begins. Eep!!

Am I excited? Yes.

Am I ready for training to be over? Somewhat?

Have I trained like I wanted to? Not quite … but not much we can do about it now!

This week I ended up with 24ish miles.  

But before I get into that, let’s look at a photo from this time last year … this was Cari and me at the Cleveland Marathon Expo!! I was nearly full term and ready to run hobble the 5k and 10k.

AND here’s a glimpse at this year’s course!

Okay, on to this week’s training. Here’s how it went:

Sunday: Rest! 

Monday: 6 miles on the treadmill. After taking Sunday, I was actually looking forward to this run. I had 5 on the schedule so after I did 50 minutes, I walked for a minute and then decided to run until I got to 6. I felt pretty good most of the time.

Tuesday: 4.6ish miles on the treadmill. 10×400 at 7.7 mph. The treadmill cut out after the first few intervals so I’m not 100% sure on mileage, but I think I finished at around 4.6 after doing a cool down from the intervals.

Wednesday: 4 miles.  3 miles on the schedule, I did 3.5 and finished with a cool down as well.

Thursday: 35 minutes on the elliptical. I did some reading and ellipticalling until FW woke up.

Friday: 9.5ish miles! I really wanted to get in a long run before the race and was aiming for 10. But, at about mile 3.5 I started having some serious stomach cramping and had to stop to walk. It continued on and off for the next mile or so and I knew I had to turn around. I ran/walked back and then felt semi-okay at the end so I did manage to finish 9.5 But wow, that was rough. I hope race day is a different story!

Saturday: 0 miles. I had to work from about 8:30-12:30 and then we had a busy afternoon planned, so I didn’t get in a run. I did manage to walk a ton thanks to my work event (which I walked to also) so I got in 16,000+ steps anyway!

And that was it for the week – 24ish miles for the week! 3 DAYS UNTIL RACE WEEKEND!

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

Some questions for you:

  • Are you racing this weekend?
  • What are some good race week tips?

Training Tuesday: Out of Whack

Last week was a little bit out of whack. Not just from running, but life in general.

B was away all week on a work trip and didn’t get back until Saturday afternoon.  He was gone for six nights, not that I was counting.  This meant that I had to handle all the middle of the night wakings,  daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, dressing and changing,  preparing the food, and everything that he usually helps with.  It was harder and more tiring than I thought, and running  was an afterthought.

Luckily, in terms of running, it went a little better than I expected.  I typically run early in the morning when B and FW are still sleeping.  I usually go to the gym but I wasn’t going to leave FW by himself this week obviously. Still, I managed to get in a few runs while he was at daycare  so I did not and out the week with zero!

I rounded out the week with just under 19 miles:

Sunday: 0 miles. B and my parents left that morning/early afternoon and I was home alone with FW for the day. I did managed to go out for a few walks with him since the weather was gorgeous – it was 80 and sunny!

Monday: 3.1 miles outside at 8’36” average pace!  I was a little bit early on my way to pick up FW from daycare, so I decided to go for a quick run around the neighborhood before grabbing him. And quick it was – I was anxious to see him so I ran fast!

Tuesday: 3.1 miles. I didn’t plan to run, but a meeting I had scheduled after work suddenly got postponed, so I ended up having 30 minutes to kill before I had to pick up FW from daycare. I decided to hop on the treadmill and do some speedwork to make it count. I ended up doing 2×800 m at 7.7 mph, 1600 m at between 6.8 and 7.2 mph and then a final 800 m at 7.7 mph. I did a little walking in between each set and got to a 5k total.

Wednesday: none.

Thursday: 4.5 treadmill miles. 3.5 running and 1 mile cool down. Confession – this run did NOT feel good. Not sure if it was the peanut butter I had eaten beforehand (peanut butter does not agree with me and running), but my stomach hurt the whole time and I could barely go 6.2 mph – much slower than my Monday run!

check out my new kicks!

Friday: none.  Daycare was closed and I was home alone with FW and it was RAINY. We did manage to get in two short walks when the rain turned into a drizzle, but it was not the best day for being outside, sadly.

Saturday: 8.25 indoor miles. It wasn’t the 11 on my schedule, but considering how the week had gone, I was happy to get in any run. Plus, the weather was ICKY. I was supposed to do a long run with my sister-in-law, but it was 40 degrees, raining an 25+mph winds. She had done a 5k in the morning and wasn’t feeling going back out in the awful weather. As soon as B got home from his trip, I hopped on the treadmill. My goal was to get to 5-7 and I was pleased to get to 7.55 plus a cool down.

And that was it for the week – 18.95 miles! 

Yes, a little less mileage than I’d like a few weeks before the race, but more than I was expecting with B out of town and super soggy and windy weather all week.

Some questions for you:

  • When is your next race?
  • What’s your longest treadmill run?

 

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

Training Tuesday: Race Month is Here!

I can’t believe race month is here! Just a few more Training Tuesday posts before it will be time for my official Cleveland Marathon Ambassador wrap up post for half marathon and 8k!

BUT I’m getting ahead of myself. Speaking of being an ambassador, this week, we had a meet up with a few of the other race ambassadors. It was great to get some swag (check out my cool beer mug!), see some of the goodies (the marathon medal is HUGE!) AND  of course, catch up with my other running buddies.

Now, onto this week’s runs.

Sunday: None! B wasn’t home and I didn’t get a chance to get in a run with FW. Which was fine, my body needed to recover from the previous day’s 10 miler.

Monday: 5.85 miles on the treadmill. Had not much sleep thanks to a cranky baby at night, but was happy to be able to get in a run after Sunday’s off day.

Tuesday: 4.5 miles. 9×400. Did the 400s at 7.7 pace and did a warmup and cool down.

Wednesday: 3ish (?) miles. The treadmill shut down around 1.3ish miles, but in not sure exactly how much I had run. Got on a different machine for 1.7 more  and before I knew it, FW was up crying for me. Glad to have gotten in 3ish miles. minute tempo run on the schedule.  Started out super tired,  but ended up running a little longer- 40 minutes,  then cooling down. All done inside, on the treadmill.

Thursday: 5.15 treadmill miles. 4.15 or so running and 1 mile walking.

Friday: None – rest day!

Saturday: 6.29 miles outside!! 2nd Sole, a local running store had set up some training runs for the Cleveland marathon, half and 10k events. While I should have done the half marathon training run (12 miles), Saturday was my sister-in-law’s wedding, so due to timing (and not wanting to be super tired), I did only the 10k. It started out cool and rainy but ended up being decent weather for a few miles. AND it’s always nice to step outside my comfort zone and run with a group!

And that was it for the week – 24ish miles! 

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like to run in groups?
  • What’s your ideal running weather?

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

Training Tuesday: 30+ Miles!!

Folks, we are less than ONE MONTH AWAY until the Cleveland half marathon!!! Can you believe it? Where has this training season gone?!

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Well, I may be still sore today, but I’m pretty pleased with last week’s training – I finally got in a double digit run, the first one in AGES – more than a year, for sure! (last year at this time I was nearly 9 months pregnant!)

I rounded out the week with 30+ miles:

Sunday: None!

Monday: 6.4 miles. Mondays are usually cross training days, but I was unable to get in a 10k over the weekend like I had wanted to, AND since it was Marathon Monday, I had to get in a run! Even if it was on the treadmill.

Tuesday: 4.8 miles.  I only was able to get in 1.5 miles in the morning before FW woke up screaming and I had to feed him, soothe him, etc. He didn’t get back to sleep so I didn’t have time to finish any more, but I did manage to get in 3.3 miles later in the afternoon.

Wednesday:  5.3 miles.  I had 8×400 on the schedule,  which I did on the treadmill with my 400s at 7.7 mph pace. And I finished with a cool down.

Thursday:  3.75 miles. 3 miles running and then a cool down.

Friday: None – rest day!

Saturday: 10 miles outside with Mary!  B was out of town, so I was unsure if I was going to get in a run, but FW’s grandpa was able to watch him while Mary and I got out. I’m so glad we did it – 10 miles with a partner is SO much better than solo!

And that was it for the week – 30ish miles! 

Some questions for you:

  • Did you get in a double digit run? How often do you double digit runs?
  • Do you love Marathon Monday as much as I do? I LOVE LOVE LOVE Boston Marathon watching!

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

Training Tuesday: Long again

This was an interesting week running-wise. I started the week strong with a feel-good 9 miler. Got two days later I could barely make it 4 miles. My body was SORE from the 9 miles for way more days than it should’ve been. Still, I managed to end the week with 27 miles from five days of running.

By the way, ending my runs with hugs from this guy is the BEST.

Here’s how the week went:

Sunday: 9 miles. That’s right, I got in 9 miles outside and I felt GREAT during the entire run! I ran about 5 of them with Mary, and the weather was about 48 degrees, which was perfect for the run. I finished feeling strong and great.

Monday: 0 miles. I woke up so so so tired and sore that I decided to stay in bed and sleep longer. Good choice!

Tuesday: 4.5 easy walking and running. This run was a struggle. I was so tempted to skip it. I didn’t get much sleep the night before and was up with FW. When I did make it to the treadmill, my legs and feet still sore from Sunday. I decided to stick it out and do a combination of running for a little and walking for a little until I got to 4.5.

Wednesday: 8x400s to 5 miles. I did the 400s at 7.7 and walked in between.  With my cooldown and warmup I ended up with 5 treadmill miles.

Thursday: 5.1 miles on the treadmill. 4.21 running and then a cool down.

Friday: 3.5 or so (didn’t have my GPS on) miles outside. B and I were home since daycare was closed, and went out for a run with Mary. We didn’t have much time, and I forgot to turn my running app on, but I’m pretty sure we did 3.5 or so miles with FW in the stroller.

Total-  27.1 miles!

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Hooray for getting in a “longer” run, including 2 outdoor runs!

Questions for you:

  • How many outdoor runs did you get in this week?
  • How long does it take you to recover? Do you take days off between long runs?

Disclosure: As a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I receive complimentary race entry AND a free race entry to give away! I also get a cool shirt (see above!)and invited to some special events. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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