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.

The Week I Met Up With Fellow Ambassadors (Weekly Run Down)

We had a busy week here and it’s almost time to start training for the Cleveland half marathon challenge in May. I’ve been trying to just keep up my mileage so that when training starts in a week or so, I’m ready to go. So right now, I’m all about just keeping up that base (mileage, that is, of course).  

That meant 30ish miles total this week, broken down into 6 days of running and Saturday off (just a walk with the family):   Continue reading

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.

6 Things I Learned About Running While Pregnant

Fun fact-  it’s not training season for me just yet! I’m once again an ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon, and this year I’m running the Cleveland half marathon. Lately, my focus on running these past few months since having a baby has been to get back some base mileage and slowly start to build up to 5-6 miles at a time for a long run. Not a lot, I know, but since my official 12 week program won’t start for another month, soI have a few weeks to relax, take training easy, and just enjoy running (or try to when it’s not negative degrees and icy!).

I’ll be sharing my training plan soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to reminisce. This time last year, I was a few months pregnant and “training” for the Cleveland 5k and 10k. As the months went on and race day got closer and closer, it got harder and harder to run. While I’m glad it’s easier right now, I can’t help but forget the joys of running while pregnant.

So here you go. I share this with you – for all the pregnant runners out there – as well as those who aren’t – now you know what it’s like. And why I kept it up!

Imagine this – you just ate a HUGE burrito and drank a jug of soda. Your bladder is full, you’re slightly winded and your feet are swollen. And now, you decide you want to go for a run. Sound like fun?

That may be a slight exaggeration, but that’s pretty much what it feels like to run while 6 months (and beyond) pregnant. And you know what? I still ran throughout both of my pregnancies up until the week I gave birth. Am I crazy? Maybe slightly. But I’d argue that (most) runners are. And as a runner, I hated to give up a part of me just because I was pregnant. It was something that made me feel normal, while everything else in my life was changing. And after talking to my doctor, I even learned there were some benefits to running – and all exercise – when pregnant. Exercise throughout pregnancy is actually recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Why? Exercise may:

  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia, having a baby with high birth weight, and the need for a cesarean section
  • Improve your baby’s brain development
  • Help you experience less swelling during pregnancy
  • Lead you to have a shorter labor (fun fact: my second labor was so short she was born within 15 minutes of me arriving at the hospital!)

So, if you decide to keep running during pregnancy, here are some tips that I can offer based on my experience (NOTE: I am not a doctor. At all. I took a Survey of Bio class a semester at BC, but that’s as far as I got.  But fun fact, B was also in that class of 500 million people!):

1. First, talk to your doctor. See what he/she says is okay for you. I am not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one.

2. Expect it to feel different. Even in the first trimester when you may not look different, your lungs are doing double duty and you may get out of breath easier or find your heart rate higher. And then as your body changes, your gait may, too. I found parts of my body hurt that had never been sore before. Listen to your body and do what you can do.

3. Don’t compare yourself. This is an important one. Don’t compare yourself to others or even to yourself. Both my pregnancies were very different, and I would sometimes find myself getting down because I was slower during the second pregnancy. Or, I’d be discouraged because I felt like my running was more hobbling/walking than sprinting. But remember – running while pregnant is HARD! Remind yourself of how amazing you are and all the benefits (above). Don’t expect to set any PRs. In fact, if you must wear your running watch, reset all the data. This will help you feel less discouraged and focus more on the enjoyment of being out there.

 

4. Be prepared to spend money on some new gear. Your feet may grow during pregnancy, leading you to need new shoes. Your running clothes? They maaaay not fit you when you’re 7 months in. I also highly recommend a support belt – this helped tremendously as I got larger.

5. Go early in the day. I’m lucky that I’m a morning worker-outer as it is, but during pregnancy, this was even more important. A morning run helped not only reduce my swelling later in the day, but I felt much less full (and not like I was running with a belly full of burrito) and it was easier to move my body. Immediately going for a run also helped with my morning sickness.

6. Stay hydrated. It’s much easier to overheat, get dehydrated, etc. during pregnancy. So if you’re going to be running or doing any exercise, make sure to keep up on the water.

Bonus: Have fun! Don’t forget why you’re doing it in the first place and enjoy your time running. Take photos so that you can show your future children the amazing feats you accomplished with them.

Are you training for the Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon or any of the other events right now? If so, don’t forget to use my 10% discount code – MC2019! 

NOTE: A version of this blog post first appeared from me on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. Check it out, and check out all my posts with them.

A Very Merry Weekend

Hello from New York! We are currently celebrating the holidays in New York with my family, and I’m off the routine, which means that this week in running will be a little off. But we’re having tons of fun while we’re here. Some of the highlights or our week so far:

FW and LM met Santa! He stopped by school last week and FW asked for some gifts (he asked for “presents.” When Santa prodded, he asked for “books and dinosaurs.”

LM got in some quality Nonna time.

And FW bonded with Uncle Greg over trains and music.

FW even got close to my parents’ dog a few times.

LM got to meet a good college friend of mine, whose parents live nearby.

We had my favorite local pizza, Defazios.

We braved the line and caught the lights in the park. FW loved them!

I also got to run outdoors by myself during the day! Time off from work, plus mild (cold but not snowy) weather, plus grandparents to watch the kids meant I got to spend some time outdoors, running. In fact, last week’s running went really well. We had a warm front and I was able to run outside every day this week, including one stroller run to kick off the week! I got in a 6.3 miler in NY, which put me at my highest post-LM mileage week thus far!

Here’s how the week looked:

I can’t complain! The week was great in running and beyond. I just love this time of year!

Some questions for you:

  • Has the weather been mild around where you are?
  • Are you in the holiday spirit?

I’m linking up with the weekly wrap.

1 Weekend, 2 Runs (Plus Some Good Food)

Before we had two kids, weekends looked a little different. Not only did we get in more sleep and stay out later, but weekends meant running. There was usually one long run and one shorter run. Weekends were time to spend hours on the roads, and whether I was running by myself or with B, I’d be getting in some miles.

Weekends are a little different now. Why? Weekends are time for me to spend with my family- any time I am outside on a run by myself, I’m not with the kids. Do I sometimes feel guilty? Yes, especially now that we have 2! But somehow this weekend I managed now 1, but 2 runs! Saturday by myself and then Sunday with FW.

In addition to the 2 runs, the weekend also included some good food. B made some great French onion soup Saturday night for dinner.

I also baked some cookies.

And check out these spooky sweet treats my niece and mother-in-law made!

And in some other exciting, running-related news, I’m excited to share that once again I’m a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador this year! Last year I ran the 5k/10k challenge series at 39 weeks pregnant (LM was born 4 days later) –we’ll see what this year’s race entails for me!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever made French onion soup before?
  • How often do you run on the weekends?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps

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