Processing the Cleveland Marathon

I have had a hard time processing all the events from last week’s Cleveland Marathon. More than a week has gone by, and I’m still trying to put to words how I’m feeling.

The highs – the Ambassador race VIP dinner, working the Expo with fellow Ambassadors, and of course finishing the races under less-than-ideal conditions.

But the low – the passing of Taylor Ceepo – has been running through my mind all week.

I’ll start by saying I did not know Taylor. I had never met her. I do not know her family and cannot fathom what they are feeling. Unfortunately the only connection I have to her is running the same race – the Cleveland half marathon – and running by her after she collapsed.

So why do I feel so connected to her? Why on after the race did I have a hard time going to sleep, reliving the moment that I ran by her on the ground, her mom and boyfriend standing over her, each time I closed my eyes? Why did I find myself choked up on my first #RunForTaylor on Wednesday? Why did I find myself hugging my own daughter a little tighter as I thought about what Taylor’s mother must be feeling?

I can’t help but feeling like I don’t have a right to feel this way. I don’t have a right to write a post like this. Who am I to be talking about this at all? But after reading some thoughts from other local runners, I realize I am not alone. We are all grieving for this woman. Because we are all part of a community. One of my running friends and a fellow ambassador Andrew explained it this way:

We [runners] all have different routines, different speeds, and different backgrounds. But we all have two things in common; a goal to finish and a love for running. This is what brings us together.

We lost one of our own this day. And our hearts are broken. Our hearts are broken for the spectators who witnessed [it], the race staff, the runners who shared the course, the first-responders who were unable to revive her. Most importantly, our hearts are broken for the family and friends of this young woman.

So thank you, Taylor, for reminding us of the community that we are part of. For reminding us of how lucky we all are. I will keep on running for you and your family in the weeks ahead. #runfortaylor

Cleveland Half Marathon Week – Post-Race Day Workouts

It’s been one week since I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon Challenge Series. Last Saturday, I ran the 8k and Sunday I ran the half marathon, and this week has been all about getting back into the swing of running, recovering, and also tending to my bruises (I rolled my ankle and scraped my knees during a fall at mile 2 of the half marathon … whoops!).

Here was a look at this week’s workouts:

And some highlights from the week:

Sunday’s race (full recap here) was a tough one. It was in the 80s and I was not used to running in the heat. But I kept it fun and finished strong, even if it was slower than I would’ve liked.

After taking Monday and Tuesday off, I decided to #RunForTaylor Wednesday through Friday. My runs were slower than they usually are, but warm weather and a recovering body make it understandable. I’m glad that I’ve felt good enough to get in as many runs as I did this week.

Some questions for you:

  • How many days do you take off after a race? A half marathon?
  • Do you prefer cool or hot weather running?

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

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.

Valentine’s Week Runs and Sick Again

Happy Valentine’s Week! It was a nice week here, minus a few of us (me and LM) being sick. I just had a cold, but LM had a double ear infection. She’s on meds now and hopefully gets better soon.

The week included some fun, including a visit to FW’s classroom.

I helped him do a craft.

While this one stayed home sick. She was sent home from daycare with a fever and after taking her to the dr we found out about her ears.

We also had a very thematic dinner.

I preferred the dinner B made me, though. White wine, grilled veggies and tuna are a few of my favorite things.

We had some more good eats this week, including Aladdin’s takeout. FW loves their pita quesadillas and I love their hummus so it’s a win win.

I also got in my first outdoor run in what feels like forever! I did take a spill at mile 2 – I was running up a small hill and I saw what looked like a water mane break in the road and it had splashed on the sidewalk. Just as I had stopped to run on the grass and avoid the large puddle/ice, I of course landed on a sheet of black ice and went DOWN. My leg got wet – and by the end of my run, it had turned into ice crystals on my pants!

Speaking of running, here’s how the week looked. Monday is when I started feeling sick again and Tuesday and Wednesdays runs were pretty slow and involved some walking as well. Thursday I was up earlllly with a sick baby (see above) and didn’t get in a chance to run. Weeks like these make me glad that I’m not yet training for the Cleveland half marathon – I was able to just take it easy and run or walk or do whatever I wanted, without feeling guilty for messing up my training.

Despite the spill, I was so happy to be outside for Saturday’s 5 miler. I’m grateful for the treadmill but also getting tired of having to stay indoors!

And that’s a wrap. Some questions for you:

  • Have you been sick this winter? This is my second time in a month!
  • Are you training for anything right now?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

A Week of Indoor Runs

Last week was COLD. And by COLD I mean negative degrees as the HIGH. Check out this forecast:

So what did that mean for my training for the Cleveland Half Marathon? It meant that my treadmill was my best friend. Here’s how the week looked:

Sunday I kicked off the week with my longest treadmill run in at least a year. 5.25 miles.

The Sole F80 has become my best friend over the past year or so. As much as I don’t enjoy indoor running, I’m so grateful to have it!

And FW was happy when I was done with my 5 miles. 

Later in the week I woke up to THIS as the temps. Feels like -23? Yeah, I wasn’t going to go outside. 

So, each day when I could, I got in a treadmill run.

School ended up being closed Wednesday and Thursday due to the cold, so that threw off my running a little bit. Wednesday, I only got in 2 miles while LM took a nap, and Thursday I also had to cut my run short when LM work up early.

But that was it for the week – and we survived! I’m hopeful that it will get and stay warmer for at least a few days. I mean, the groundhog DID see his shadow so that means spring is coming, right?

In the meantime, here’s your weekly reminder that if you are interested in running the Cleveland Marathon, As a race ambassador, I have a 10% discount code for you to use! Use MC2019 for 10% off any race entry.

Stay warm and have a good running week! Some questions for you:

  • Did you stay inside this week for your workouts?
  • What’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever run in?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Marathon (or half, 5k, 10k, etc.) Registration!

You guys – guess what?! I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway for one of my favorite events coming up – the Cleveland Marathon!

As a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I get to give away a race entry to one of you! You could receive one complimentary race code for any of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon events! That includes the Kids’ Run, 1 mile, 5k, 8k, 10K, Half or Full Marathon events that will be the weekend of May 20, 2018.

I have participated in the Cleveland Marathon for more years than I can remember. While pregnant, before baby, post baby, etc. Through different parts of my life, the race has been with me!

I think this was 2014 – I ran it with my sister-in-law!

If you’re looking for a great race with a great course, amazing history, great spectators and relatively flat terrain (note relatively), I highly recommend you check out the race!

Mary and I last year during the race – the crowds around W 65th were some of my favorite!

AND If you haven’t registered, you can win registration. 

Here’s how to enter – these are all worthy of separate entries so – please leave a separate comment for each way you choose to participate!

  1. Leave a comment on this post. You can explain why you want to run the race OR if you’ve run before, your favorite part of the race. OR just tell me your favorite running mantra. What keeps you going?
  2. Follow @koskim (me!) on Twitter and leave comment telling me you did.
  3. Like I Crashed The Web on Facebook.
  4. Follow @koskim (me!) on Instagram and leave a comment telling me you did.
  5. Follow @clevemarathon on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did
  6. Tweet the following: “I want to run the @clevemarathon with @koskim!  http://bit.ly/2HUNAoJ #runcle #clemarathon” and leave a comment telling me you did. You can do this once a day for the entire giveaway time, just remember to leave comments for each time you do it!

The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, April 27.

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

Me – this past weekend … the reason I’m hobbling instead of running