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. 

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.

Things to Love about the Cleveland Marathon 10K

CONGRATS TO Jenna S! Jenna was the winner of my Cleveland Marathon giveaway and has shared that she’s going to also run the 10k.  AND, since I’m doing the 5k/10k challenge series (fingers crossed!), I thought it’d be fun to share a few of my favorite things about the Cleveland Marathon 10k.

Some of my fellow CLE ambassadors!

  1. The course and energy. You’re running the same race as the half marathon and full marathon (with shorter distance, obviously), so you get to enjoy so many of the same perks! The same crowds, the same (partial) course (HERE’s a link to the course), same entertainment, same refreshments — you get to enjoy it ALL. The 5k is the day before and while I do enjoy it, you don’t get the perks of running the same day as the main events.
  2. You’re done early. You’re likely done before many of the half and full marathoners, which means you get to 1) start the after-celebration sooner (yes you can enjoy the music and beer too!) and 2) get showered/freshened up and still be back in time to watch the finish! This was a little easier when I lived walking distance from the start, but at least you can get changed and freshen up even if you’re just doing it in a bathroom near the course.
  3. You FEEL amazing. Okay, I admit it. Sometimes when I’ve run the 10k in the past, I feel like I’m somewhat slacking off because I’m among all these amazing runners who are running 2-4x as long as I am. BUT a 10k is an amazing feat and you should be proud of your accomplishment!

Bonus: If you’ve signed up for the Challenge Series (5k/10k), you get to enjoy so many more perks, like an amazing hoodie, a challenge medal AND a gift.

NOTE: Today is the LAST DAY to sign up for the Challenge Series so get on that NOW if you’re interested! There is NO registration at the Expo! AND TODAY is the last day for online registration in general!

You may have missed my giveaway, but if you haven’t yet registered for the 10k (or another race), don’t forget you can use my discount code, MCCLE10 for 10% off your registration.

Some questions for you:

  • How do you feel about the 10K as a distance?
  • What’s your next race on your calendar?

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

4 Weekends In One

Phew – WHAT a weekend. It was one of those weekends that flew by and was jam packed. I feel like we did enough stuff that it felt somewhat like four or five weekends in one. Here’s a summary of my weekend – in emojis:

🍦🍕🍷🍂👨‍🌾👰🏃‍♀️👯🎨🍻🥒🍝

Did you get any of that?

Here – see for yourself.

Friday evening started with a nice walk around downtown, followed by an ice cream date. B, FW and I grabbed ice cream after daycare with Dave, Anson and their adorable daughter Celia. The only pics are from the walk and of the ice cream.

Oh, and FW definitely on a sugar high while getting a ride on Dad. 

We ended the night with some pizza and wine on the porch. The weather has been GORGEOUS lately (warm!) and it was nice to sit outside and decompress after the week.

Saturday morning started with a walk to the local nature center to check out some of the paths and exhibits, before picking up a packet for the race I was running Sunday morning. My friend Nicole had encouraged me to sign up for a 10k, even though I hadn’t been running that far. \

Walking around the nature outside!

We then walked over to the local farmers market and picked up some produce and meat for the week. 

Saturday night, B and I were off to a wedding! My friend/former coworker Ali was getting married on a beautiful farmstead south of us. It was a beautiful night for the ceremony and celebration.

They look so happy 🙂 

Me and another coworker were invited … check out the gorgeous scenery!

Sunday morning came a little too early for me. I had agreed to sign up for a 10K and ran it with my friend Nicole. It was my longest run in months – since my piriformis issues – but felt good! It was steamy out, so we took our time, chatted, and stopped for plenty of water. 

Sunday afternoon included a trip to the west side for our monthly Ladies Craft Beer Society! This month we were at Cuoghi’s house to make pickles. Unfortunately, since FW hadn’t had a nap yet, he was very clingy and didn’t want to be put down. Which made making the pickles a little difficult – thankfully Cuoghi and Marissa and other ladies stepped in to help and I went home with some dill pickles, pickled cauliflower AND pickled onions. I can’t wait to try them all!

Sunday night, B’s parents were out of town, so we had our own Sunday dinner at our house. B made sauce from the tomatoes we had bought at the Farmers Market (so completely from scratch!) and made some “fried” eggplant. It was such a good meal. (And yes, I chose the spaghetti emoji because I know what the eggplant emoji means ….)

So that was it! A delicious, fun, busy weekend. Here’s to a good week!

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever made sauce from tomatoes?
  • Have you ever made pickles?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Weekend Update: CLE Marathon Weekend

Whew that weekend flew by. A few days of running, working, meeting up with my old race friends and some semi-cruddy weather made the weekend go by pretty fast. I’ll be putting together a full race recap, but in the meantime, here is my weekend – one sentence per photo style.

Friday afternoon, hitting up the Race Expo with Cari!

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I picked up some new Sparkly Soul headbands.

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Friday night was the VIP Ambassador Race Reception, so B and I got a little dressed up and hung out with fellow Cleveland Marathon Race Ambassadors!

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A little carbo loading before the race.

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Saturday morning was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5k.

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Followed by a little work event.

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And another trip to the Expo!

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Then to the movies.

Sunday morning we woke up to COLD and SNOW!

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Not typical May running weather (and colder than our December weather) but we made it to the start just as the race began.Screenshot_20160515-134232

Oh and it was SNOWING during the run – can you see the flakes on my jacket?

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B snapped a few photos of during the run – easy to spot me in the bright yellow jacket.20160515_081049

I felt good when we finished!

marathon photo post 10k

Partially thanks some great fans cheering us on.

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Three medals, two races for completing the Challenge Series!

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After warming up, a post-run brunch of egg whites and pancakes was in order.

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Spent the afternoon being semi-productive and working, shopping at Target, doing laundry and watching movies (ok I watched part of The Duff – I suck at watching TV for more than an hour at a time).

And a little banana bread baking!

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We had the ultimate comfort food dinner at B’s parents house – spaghetti and meatballs!

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And that about sums up my weekend, one-sentence-per-photo style.

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you ran a race?
  • Sweet or savory for brunch? I’m usually a savory-all-the-way bruncher, but while being pregnant I have to have both! I never would’ve ordered pancakes 35 or so weeks ago 🙂

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

AND PS – Happy Anniversary to my MOM and DAD! ❤ So excited to see them this weekend 🙂

 

 

 

Running and Wine-ing

How is it TUESDAY already Where did the weekend go? Guess that’s what happens after an awesome weekend! Here are a few scenes from an awesome weekend of running (a 10K race plus 5K before), and wine-ing. Yes,I may have made up that word …

Friday night included my favorite pre-long run meal – a kalebouli and hummus wrap from Flaming Ice Cube.

you've seen this picture before... my favorite- kalebouli! (in the background is the artichoke appetizer we got!)

you’ve seen this picture before… my favorite- kalebouli! (in the background is the artichoke appetizer we got!)

Saturday started EARLY at least for me. The 6 a.m. alarm was NOT welcome, but we had plans to fit in a 3-4 mile run before our 10K race we had signed up for. We only ended up getting in a 5k beforehand, but that put the day at 9.3ish miles. Not too bad! Oh, and I think that 10K is my least favorite racing distance. Too quick to enjoy/pace yourself (like a 10 miler or half) and too long to go all out (like a 5k).

Being silly with B an Mary after our run.

Being silly with B an Mary after our run.

Post-race photo opp! So cold.

Post-race photo opp! So cold.

Saturday afternoon came and it was time to head out for my froworker Cari’s bachelorette party! Of course, we all know what happens at bachelorette parties STAYS at bachelorette parties, but here are a few highlights to share 🙂

some wine samples. classy with a diet coke, plastic cups and goldfish :)

some wine samples. classy with a diet coke (i was tired after waking up early and our run!), plastic cups and goldfish 🙂

Me and the gorgeous bride-to-be! Can't believe she's getting married in a week!!

Me and the gorgeous bride-to-be! Can’t believe she’s getting married in a week!!

What bachelorette party would be complete without Ryan Gosling?

What bachelorette party would be complete without Ryan Gosling?

We got to see how the wine was made!

We got to see how the wine was made!

 

I stole this photo ... but it's during our private wine tour!

I stole this photo … but it’s during our private wine tour!

Sunday morning we woke up with a beauttttiful view. I mean how awesome is this view from where we stayed?

view from window at the lodge geneva

Anyway, Sunday was a LAZY day. After getting back from the wine weekend, I pretty much spent the day prepping for a presentation I had on Monday, doing laundry, getting in an easy workout (the elliptical is my best friend the day after a long run) and then of course dinner with B’s family. The weekend went by WAY too fast!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite race distance? Least favorite? 10K  is definitely my least favorite as of now. Maybe I can work on liking it – by preparing for my next one! Any tips for how?
  • What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy day? I need at least part of my day to be productive – so even if it’s just doing laundry or baking, I need to get something done (to justify all the couch-sitting going on)!