Weekly Running Update: Halfway Through 21 Days To Commit to CLE

Last week, I mentioned that I was doing a 21 Day Challenge with the Cleveland Marathon. The first few weeks have gone well and I can’t believe I’m more than halfway done! (Which means we’re more than halfway through January … yikes) Here are some highlights from this week’s challenge and how it has been going.

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21 Days To Commit to CLE

I’m not big on fitness challenges and I never have been. This time of year, over the summer, etc. my Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of “3 week ab challenge!” or “30 day healthy eating/drinking challenge!” and I’ll be the first to admit, they typically turn me off. Why? Because I like doing my own thing. I like to run, and that’s it. I’ll run for ME (not a challenge) and be happy with myself for doing how I do.

But last year, when I saw that one of my favorite bloggers, Runs For Cookies, was doing a fall to winter walk/run challenge, I thought, I can do this. What’s the big deal? I already run every day and track my mileage, this is just a group of people who like to do the same thing. Little did I expect that I’d finish the challenge with the most mileage of the group and a prize (the prize was given out randomly, but I was still just as excited to receive it – it’s a Kindle! my first one!).

So, when I saw Cleveland Marathon was doing a 21 Day Challenge starting January 1, I was curious. No, more than curious – I was interested. I had just done one challenge, could I do another? Especially since this one was mysterious – each day you’d be given a random challenge. It could be running related, strength training, or other healthy habits, all to help you prepare for training for the Cleveland races. So, as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I decided to sign up!

Now that we’re one week into January – and I’m one week into the challenge – here’s how it’s going.

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In A Little Funk

Not to be a bummer, but I had a hard week.

I know, it’s the holiday season. Everything is merry and bright. It’s a time to be joyous and thankful and celebratory. But, between my uncle passing away, the realization how different this holiday season will be without seeing my family, and some work stuff, it just wasn’t my best week. And this impacted my running AND walking. I just didn’t have the energy to get up in the morning and run a billion miles, and hit snooze way too much. I didn’t have the time to talk long walks with the family and the cold, icy/snowy weather made it even harder to get out of the house.

I’m hoping that the coming week will be better. With only three work days, I have no excuse not to sleep in, get in a run and get outside with the family. So, fingers crossed that I can continue to keep my running streak up (240 days!) and get out of this funk.  

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I Have No Title For This Post

My uncle passed away this week. He had a heart attack the day after Thanksgiving.

He was healthy. I remember family vacations with him when I was younger to Fire Island, and he would work out nearly every day we were there. I remember him doing ab and leg exercises outdoors where we’d stay and even teaching me some at a young age. He was actually riding his bike when he went into cardiac arrest. A bystander saw him, called 911 and did CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Unfortunately, that did not save him. We buried him this week, over a Zoom burial (thanks, Covid). 

an old photo of my uncle and me as a baby

I don’t often share very personal stuff here. And, I know this is a post about running, but I feel the need to include just a few sentences about him. And I thought of him on most of my runs this week. Running has helped me get through the challenges brought on by 2020, and this week was no different. It wasn’t an easy week – personally and professionally – and I’m grateful to have running to take some time for myself as I try to find peace.

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First Snow of the Season

November came and went and was a pretty decent month weather-wise. Not too cold, pretty mild and plenty of seasonably warm runs in shorts and capris. I was spoiled. Because as soon as December 1 came, we got SNOW.

And I’m not talking about a few flurries, or even an inch here and there that makes it look all festive. Nope, I’m talking about 15+ inches of wet, heavy snow that came down and didn’t stop, making it somewhat hard to run.

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2021 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador

I’m excited to share that I’ve once again been selected as an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon!

The race is in May 2021, so I have yet to decide which event(s) I’ll participate in (hopefully part of the challenge series), but no matter what happens with racing in 2021, I’m so happy to be back.

The Cleveland Marathon holds a special place in my heart. I’ve run the Challenge Series every year since they started it a few years ago.

I’ve run the half marathon too many times to count.

I’ve run the races pregnant (I did the 10K/5K Challenge Series events when due with both kiddos). With FW, I still managed to run it. With LM, I was less than a week away from my due date but I did hobble across the finish line, with B beside me the whole time, carrying FW!

It was my first postpartum half marathon. My first virtual half marathon.

And in 2021, who knows what the race will be. I’m hopeful that we’ll be back to “normal” or at least in-person events, but only time will tell!

In the meantime, here’s how I’m staying in shape. This week included some walking and running, but nothing out of the ordinary. Here’s what it looked like:

As you can see, I’m still keeping up with my running streak! Yesterday was day 212. I hope to continue as long as I can, but I know that with winter coming, it may end soon.

This week, I had a few fast (for me, right now) runs. My Saturday 5 miler was done at 9:30 min/mile pace and it felt great!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your ideal running weather? Though it’s admittedly easier for me to get out of the house in run when it’s in the 60s or so, I prefer 40s once I’m out there.
  • Do you your Thanksgiving plans look different this yeaR?

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

Double Digit Miles

Another week of social isolation down, and another week of still recovering and getting back into running. I’m finding I’m slower than ever before and have to take walking breaks even during short runs because I’m out of breath. BUT, I did another longish run this weekend and that gives me reason to hope that I’m getting better!

Here’s a look at this week’s runs — all done outside, but solo. For my weekday runs, I didn’t see anyone outside at all pretty much. On the weekends, I’ve had to dodge some people but I generally cross the street or run at least 6 feet away so I’m keeping my distance. Continue reading

Socially Isolating and Running Solo

Another week of social isolation down, and another week of still recovering and getting back into running. I’m finding I’m slower than ever before and have to take walking breaks even during short runs because I’m out of breath. BUT, I did another longish run this weekend and that gives me reason to hope that I’m getting better!

Here’s a look at this week’s runs — all done outside, but solo. For my weekday runs, I didn’t see anyone outside at all pretty much. On the weekends, I’ve had to dodge some people but I generally cross the street or run at least 6 feet away so I’m keeping my distance. Continue reading

5 Steps to Start Training for a Half Marathon

We’re less than 12 weeks away from the Cleveland Marathon and Half Marathon events, which means it’s time to get training! If you’re planning on doing a spring race but don’t know where to start, here are 5 steps to get started:

5 Steps to Start Training for a Half Marathon

Step 1- Find a training schedule. If you’re already able to run 2-3 miles, then you’re in luck – there’s plenty of time to train for a spring race. I’m a big fan of Hal Higdon’s training plans because they give you time to build up your mileage (their beginner half marathon plan is 12 weeks long), come in different levels and are somewhat flexible, which is key for any parent. For example, if you have a long run scheduled for a Saturday but find yourself tied up at 3-year-old birthday parties all day Saturday, you can switch things up and move it to another day in the week. 

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GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Marathon Entry Giveaway

TLDR: You can win entry to the Cleveland Marathon! Comment on this post or visit my Instagram (@koskim) for more chances to enter.

As you may have heard me share, I’m 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 the weekend of May 16-17, 2020. This year, the race weekend has plenty of options for runners of all levels, from the famous marathon, to the half marathon, 10K and 5K. Plus, there’s my favorite – the Challenge Series events, where if you run both Saturday and Sunday events, you get 3 medals AND a special gift (past gifts have included a foam roller, fleece blanket, hoodie, etc.). And, as an ambassador, I have a free race entry to give away!

Enter the Cleveland Marathon Race Entry Giveaway

How do you enter? This year’s giveaway is taking place on both my Instagram account AND blog. You can enter both ways, on my Insta (@koskim) OR by commenting on this post. So in short, comment below and/or visit @koskim on Instagram to enter.

Ready to run? Check out @koskim on Instagram to enter and/or comment below with the race you’d like to run to enter. The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, 2/22.

Some questions for you:

  • What are you training for now?
  • What’s your favorite spring race?

And if you don’t win, you can still get 10% off! Use discount code RUNCLEMELISSA10 when you register.

Disclosure: As a race ambassador, I was given a free race entry into the Cleveland Marathon. I also get a free entry to give away. You can enter here! Or on Instagram. Or both places. Wherever you want.