2022 Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series – Race Recap

Was it really only just a few days ago that I was running through the streets of Cleveland with thousands of others, in my first in-person Cleveland half marathon since 2019? 

Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. But yes, just a few day ago, I completed the Cleveland 5k/half marathon challenge series, running a 5k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. As a race ambassador, I was able to take advantage of some amazing perks. Even nearly a week later, I’m still feeling proud and grateful for the whole experience — so here it is.

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Tired and Ready

I have one more long run left until the Cleveland half marathon, and to be honest? I’m ready. I’ve been feeling tired lately, and fitting in my long runs has been harder this training cycle than usual.

I have typically liked doing my long runs on Saturdays, but FW has track meets Saturdays now. B is also training for the half marathon, and he does his long runs on Sundays, so I need to be home to watch the kids. I’ve been fitting all of them in so far on weekdays, which means a lot of EARLY mornings (meaning waking up at 3:30 a.m. this week), but also not the ideal conditions. Almost all of my runs have been done before sunrise, with 30-40 degree temps. Race day, I imagine will be sunny and a lot warmer, and I’m in no way prepared for that!

That’s a long way of saying, I’m looking forward to taking a few days off and not waking up before 4 a.m. Here’s to hoping for an uneventful, injury-free rest of training!

Here’s what this week looked like:

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Technically Springtime

While it is technically spring, this week’s weather was once again wonky. Most of my runs are in the morning, and they were in the 30s or even upper 20s one day! But Sunday was nearly 80 degrees. Oh well, just another week in half marathon training for a spring race right? (I can’t believe the Cleveland half marathon is less than a month away!!) Here’s what this week’s training looked like:

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One Month Until Race Day

We’re ONE MONTH until Cleveland half marathon race day! Ahh! The weeks are going by so fast, and it hardly feels like we’re less than 30 days away from the race weekend.

That is probably partially because earlier this week it felt – and looked – like winter. Sunday and Monday I ran outside in 30 degree temps. Tuesday I woke up to rain/ice overnight that had turned into snow so I hit up the treadmill. It hardly feels like it should be almost May and halfway through spring!

Here’s what the week looked like for training:

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Double Digits

And just like that, I’m back at double digits this week! I can’t remember the last time I ran 10 miles at once, but it’s been some time, and it feels good to be back. With a little over a month until Cleveland half marathon trace day, I’m just hoping to keep it up, and stay healthy and uninjured. Is that so hard? (Don’t answer that, it is!)

This week threw some wrenches into plans, but also included some positives. GM was exposed to COVID at daycare, and had to stay home while the class was closed for the week (he tested negative thankfully). On a positive note, FW was on spring break, which meant I could sleep a little later because there was no early school bus to catch. Even just sleeping in 40 more minutes has made such a difference. It gives me hope for summertime!

Here’s what the week looked like – all outdoor runs!

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Feeling Back!

Running is just like life is – some weeks are GREAT and others are not. But this week, I felt back! After a week of not feeling well, I felt like I really this week’s Cleveland half marathon training. I got in a few treadmill runs, a speed run, and even some outdoor runs. I even got in a 7 miler before work one day!

The only thing not great was my energy levels this week. The time change and some busy (but fun) days at my job didn’t help. But with the weather being great nearly all week, it was hard to complain!Here’s what the week looked like:

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Under the Weather

Two weeks ago I kicked off Cleveland half marathon training with a bang. I ran every day, including getting outside for G’s first run in the big-kid running stroller, and was feeling great!

Then this week, the wheels fell off. I started feeling under the weather on Sunday night, and felt sick through Friday. It wasn’t anything major – mostly tired, slightly nauseas and achy (and yes, I took a COVID test – it was negative!). And even though it lasted only a few days, it put me out of commission and I wasn’t able to keep on track of training.

I didn’t try for speed, mileage, etc. this week. Instead, I still tried to run/walk when I could, knowing how exercise does wonders for my mood, so here’s a look at what this week looked like. It’s better than nothing, and If finally started to feel like myself almost on Saturday. Hopefully I’m back at it next week!

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Training Season Is Here

It’s training season! That means I’m actually going to be following a schedule, not just waking up and running whatever I feel like. That’s right, Cleveland half marathon training is here!

The last half marathon I ran was in 2020, and it was virtual. Thanks to the pandemic, and then being pregnant, and then giving birth and having a newborn, it has been quite a long time since I last ran anything of distance. But I’ve been keeping up running and have a solid base, and ready to start training again.

My goal in the past has been to run a sub-2 hour race. And I’ve done it a few times. But these days, I’m starting much slower. So, my goal now is to get a little faster, and complete a full training cycle. I plan on following something similar to Hal Higdon’s plans, which have worked for me in the past. This means each week will contain:

  • One rest day
  • One speed training day
  • One long run
  • A few easy runs

Each week, I’ll share my training – how it went, what I actually ran, etc. My goals are to do the full training program and run my best. Between not being as in shape as last training cycle, my lack of sleep is real (see: 3 kids plus a 7 month old) and I have been having a hard time finding enough time to run every morning (again, 3 young kids). But enough excuses – it’s training season! And here we go!

With that, here’s how this week went:

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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 Week 10 Training

You guys. Cleveland marathon weekend is just TWO weeks away. I CAN’T believe it! I’m feeling good AND feeling nearly ready for race day.It was a good week in terms of my training. I got in a long run and a speed training run, along with a few other runs. I didn’t end up getting in all the planned miles (I was supposed to also do a 5 mile pace run), but I can’t beat myself up over it too much.Here’s a look at week 10 of my Cleveland half marathon training:Despite not getting in all my mileage, it was a good week. Here are some of the highlights:I decided to do my speed training outside, and it was my first time doing a tempo run outdoors. I didn’t do it quite how I do it on a treadmill (where I pickup speed every minute or so), but my goal instead was to do mile 1 easy, miles 2-3-4 progressively faster and then final 5 minutes or so easy. And I did it!I got in an 11 mile run BEFORE work on Friday. That meant I got up at 4 a.m. and got out in the drizzly weather (which turned into a downpour at one point) and ran for nearly 2 hours before anyone in my house woke up and was home and showered pretty much by 6:30 a.m. I can’t guarantee that this will EVER happen again, but I’m proud it did!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you taper before half marathons? When do you usually get in your last long run? This plan has me running 12 next weekend, but I don’t know if I’m going to – I want my legs to rest before the race and they were TIRED after my 11 miler!

clé marathon discount

Note: I am a Cleveland marathon ambassador! That means I get free race entry for me, and a free race entry to give away. Wanna run CLE with me? Don’t forget, I have a 10% discount for you!I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.