Marathon Training: Week Thirteen Recap

Lucky number 13. This week was week thirteen of Cleveland marathon training – and even included a long run on Friday the 13th (no, it wasn’t 13 miles).

This week’s training called for Tuesday: 4. Wednesday: 9. Thursday: 5. Saturday: 18, for a total of 36 miles. We stuck to the mileage but I ended up moving the days around some to fit in work schedule, happy hours and other commitments.

Monday: 5 –  Not a bad pre-work run. Had to travel to Columbus for a work meeting that day (meaning an extra 5 hours to my commute) and knew I needed a run to get me ready for my long day.

Tuesday4 – B and I had planned a post-run work together for our scheduled 4 miler, but the weather was gross out so I hit the dreadmill for the first time in months. Luckily I had my fun. playlist and some TV to watch to make the run go by smoothly.

Wednesday: 9 – Post-work run with B. The only way I could describe it was one of my new favorite words – Meh. It’s been a busy few days at work, so after an 11+ hour workday, 1.5 hours of running was the last thing I felt up to. Nonetheless, B and I made it out around 7:30 and were home by 10 p.m. for dinner.

Friday: 18 – That’s right, 18 miles!! It was just B and me running this Friday, instead of Saturday, due to a thunderstorm-filled forecast for Saturday and half-day service event scheduled. It finally hit me how far we were running when I figured out the timing – we were going to be running for three straight hours. THREE hours. We did two of our Wednesday night 9 mile route and after, I was SO SORE. I have never been in as much pain from a running workout – I’m going to have to figure out how to keep going, and stay a little pain free, for another 8 miles on race day. Only one more longer long run for training (20 miles) before we taper!

Today, Sunday, I managed to do the elliptical for 45 minutes to loosen my legs. My body is no longer sore but my left achilles tendon is still in pain. I’m wondering if I should skip next week’s mid-week long run and stay with “short” (4-5) miles during the week to keep up the running but help with the recovery? Anyone have any ideas?

A special shout out and good luck to all those running Boston TOMORROW! Best of luck as you race it up Heartbreak Hill and pass my alma mater, Boston College, cheering you on. In honor of Marathon Monday (a.k.a. Patriot’s Day, or the most fun day if you live in Boston), I leave you with an old photo of me and my roomies cheering on the Boston Marathon runners my freshman year at Boston College! I NEVER would have thought back then that I’d be training for a marathon 8 years later myself.


Marathon Training: Week Twelve Recap

I have been putting off working on this past week’s recap. I don’t know why – last week was pretty uneventful and we even had a “short” long run for Saturday … but I just haven’t been feeling it. Twelve full weeks of training for the Cleveland marathon and I’m in a rut.

This week’s training called for Tuesday: 4. Wednesday: 8. Thursday: 5. Saturday: 12, for a total of 29 miles. Again I was able to stick to the mileage and days.

Tuesday: 4.11–  Another chilly pre-work run. BRR!  Thank goodness for layers.

Wednesday: 8.02 – Post-work run with B. And it wasn’t a bad run at all. We got out relatively early (before 7!) AND made it home before dark. We did the previous week’s 8-miler – the downtown, stadium, Battery Park, Ohio City route.

Thursday: 5– Post-work run with B. I was planning on waiting until after the Indians game, but it was never-ending! We finally made it out after the 14th inning. (Sidenote: the lost in the 16th) Again it was cold. Thanks goodness I hadn’t put away my spandex and ear warmers – the weather called for them both!

Saturday: 12 – Meh. It was just B and me this week and even though the weather was decent, I just wasn’t feeling it. B picked out an awesome route through the Cultural Gardens and I really couldn’t appreciate it. I ran with my eyes closed for part of the route because I was tired and not very alert. Again- meh.

Weekly Total: 29. Again, another successful week with all runs completed, but I just haven’t been feeling it. Maybe it’s the chilly weather? Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been training for twelve weeks. Maybe it’s that my parents are no longer making the trip out to see me run the race? Whatever it is,  I hope I’m able to shake it soon, or the next few weeks, and long runs, are not going to be pretty!

Marathon Training: Week Eleven Recap

As I type this, it hits me that somehow, I have spent eleven weeks training for the Cleveland marathon. Eleven weeks. Holy cow!

This week’s training called for Tuesday: 4. Wednesday: 8. Thursday: 4. Saturday: 16, for a total of 32 miles. For the first time in a while, I not only stuck to the mileage, but also to the days I was supposed to train.

Tuesday: 4.29 –  BRR! Last week I was running in shorts — this week I had to wear spandex, gloves and ear warmers! The sudden temperature change was unexpected and did NOT feel good! I opted to run in the morning, as I had my first DCA Advocate meeting that night and knew I did not want to have to run after our meeting. Good choice – after the meeting ended at 6:30ish, a few of us hung out and networked and had a few drinks at Flannery’s. I didn’t get home until after 10 – and was not in the mood to run at that time!

Wednesday: 8.02 – Not a bad run at all. Was dreading going out, especially after how bored I had been on the last long run but it ended up being perfect weather and a great route. B picked out a new route for me and it was a great night to explore the Detroit Shoreway, Battery Park, and Ohio City!

Thursday: 4 – Post-work run with B before hitting the movies for the Cleveland International Film Festival. More on that to come.

Saturday: 16.15– Another new long run record for B and me! This Saturday morning, B, Dave and I met up for a run around downtown, Battery Park, Ohio City, the Detroit Shoreway, and east Cleveland and the Clinic. The first eight miles I felt great! Wasn’t bored, enjoyed the route and didn’t feel the need to refuel. We stopped at mile 8 to get some Gu and water and then headed back out toward the Clinic. Around mile 10 my right foot started hurting – the arch (or lack of arch) was aching and then it slowly moved up to me knees. I slowed down a bit, but when we got to mile 14 I was feeling pretty sore, but much better mentally than the week prior. We finished strong and proud of our new record.

This is what a 16 mi run looks like

Weekly Total: 32. Another great week for miles and not too much pain either. Looking forward to next week’s down week (only 12 on Saturday!) and getting nervous for the bump in mileage to come (after that we go to 18 …. and then 20!).

Marathon Training: Week Ten Recap

And just like that, ten weeks of Cleveland marathon training is done. As B would say “Wowwowweewaa!”

This week’s training called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 7. Thursday: 4. Saturday: 15, for a total of 29 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week but switched up the days slightly due to traveling for work, again.

Monday: 4.28– Knew I was due to travel this week for work so running on Thursday after my car trip would probably not happen. I happened to feel pretty good on Monday morning, so opted to do my 4-miler before work.  It was foggy and warm out – warm enough to wear shorts at 6 a.m.!

Tuesday: 3.17 – Slept in and ran with B after work. The weather was still in the 70s when we made it out of the apartment at 7 p.m. and it my first night of the season wearing a tank top with shorts. Love the feeling of having my arms free when running!

Wednesday6.91 – SO close to 7! I’m trying not to beat myself up for not completely finishing the run – I had mapped out a 7 miler, I swear, but I was half asleep and have to give myself credit for even waking up at 5 to go for a long-ish run, so I probably made the wrong turn. Had a happy hour scheduled for after work so I knew if I was going to get out and do a good run I’d have to do it before work. And despite not quite getting to the full 7 miles, I did it!

Thursday and Friday: Off! Had completed my pre-long run mileage by Thursday and Friday. Thursday involved a work trip, meaning I had to be in Toledo by 9 and spent almost all day there. Friday was just rest and then a post-work Fish Fry!

Saturday: 15 From this point on, nearly every long run we do will be my longest run yet! This weekend’s run wasn’t bad – the weather was in the 60s but cool, and I ended up doing a hilly 15-miler on the eastside with B, Mary and our friend Dave. Mary and Dave stayed out front, while I kept pace with B who was struggling with all the hills. We did stop and walk for a few minutes when B needed to get water Gu, etc. but we finished the full 15 miles and nearly collapsed. My legs felt SO heavy after the run, but at least I wasn’t feeling sick to my stomach like B!

15-miler elevation - steady uphill for first 3 and then again 8-11 miles

Weekly Total: 29. Yahooo! What a great week, mileage-wise. This week I’m looking forward to hitting 30 miles and 16 on our long run – just about ten short of the marathon!

Question for you – how do you stay motivated and not bored out of your mind on your long runs? My biggest issue with our 15 miler was boredom! Even though it was a new route and new scenery for me (we don’t usually run on the eastside), after the 10 mile point (our final water/Gu break) I was just SO bored at some points I wanted to scream! I tried to think of games to play while we were running, but nothing really worked. Since I was running with B, I didn’t bring my headphones but I’m seriously considering it for next time.


Marathon Training: Week Nine Recap

Week nine of Cleveland marathon training is done. It was a relatively light week and we had our last “short” long run for the weekend (we had 10 scheduled).

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 7. Thursday: 4. Saturday: 10, for a total of 24 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week but not to the day.

Monday: 4– Was due for a rest day, but after passing out early Sunday night (super tired from Petefest) and knowing I was going to be out of town early on Thursday for work, decided to get my run in early in the week.

Tuesday: 3.17 – B and I hit the streets after work. I forgot my inserts (well, maybe on purpose … I’m still scared of wearing them after the pain they caused last week) but was able to wear shorts in the 50 degree weather. AND it stayed light for the duration of the run! What a great night.

Wednesday: 7– Set the alarm extra early for this pre-work 7 miler. I managed to get out for a run AND pick up Starbucks for B on my way back. I wish all mornings were this successful!Thurs/Fri: none – Thursday I was out the door at 6 – and not for a run, but for a work daytrip. I knew I’d be exhausted when I got home, and sure enough, I was.

Perks of running before sunrise - beautiful Tower City in the morning

Saturday:10– Another seasonably warm morning! It was St. Patrick’s Day, and B and I were due to have people over before the parade (I love living downtown!) so B, Mary and I hit the Towpath for a 10 miler beforehand. It was so much warmer than I’m used to and took me 6 miles to get into my groove.

Weekly Total: 24.
Not a bad week … but I’m nervous thinking about the coming week – we have 15 scheduled for this Saturday — the longest miles I’ve ever run! Since I’ve only ever run a half before, from here on out, everything I run will be longer than anything I’ve ever completed.
No running photos this week – so I leave you with my green, St. Patrick’s Day nails:

Green and sparkly nails for St. Patrick's Day

Marathon Training: Week Eight Recap

Phew. I survived week eight of Cleveland marathon training! Wow. This week called for a half marathon on Saturday, and also a trip to Atlantic City! But I’m getting ahead of myself …

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 13.1, for a total of 25.1 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week pretty religiously.

Monday: rest!– Hadn’t planned on running, and I decided to sleep in (until 7:20 a.m.!) and then spend the afternoon relaxing. After work B and I went to Second Sole to pick up some more Gu packs and some orthotics/inserts for my shoes. After Saturday’s painful run where my feet, then knee, and then back started hurting. I was willing to try anything. I picked up a pack of Powerstep Pinnacles and was excited to try them out during Tuesday’s 3 miler.

Tuesday: 3 – B and I hit the streets after work. My body and breathing felt good but OMG my feet. The right insert felt strange, but not painful — but the left one? OUCH. It was not fun. I could barely keep up with B and couldn’t wait to get home to take them off. I know it would take me a while to get used to them – but is it supposed to be painful in the meantime?

Painful Powerstep Pinnacles... hopefully they get better!

Wednesday: 6.14 – Post-work, B and I tried out a new route through the Flats. We set out around sunset and it was still 55 degrees! I ran without the Powerstep inserts and my legs/feet felt fine. Best part? Post-run, B made lamb chops for dinner!

Thursday: 3 –  Put back in the inserts and headed to the gym for a post-work dreadmill run. Again, thank goodness for the FUN CD – What a boring run it would’ve been otherwise! My shoes were hurting again, but maybe it’s just something I’ll have to get used to.

Saturday: 13.25– Scheduled to run a half marathon – 13.1 mi – for training and of course we were due to be out of town this weekend, celebrating Petefest 2-12 in Atlantic City NJ. Thank goodness B and his sister (also training) were on the trip and B mapped out a very flat beach-view route when we arrived — two 5ish mile loops followed by one 3 mile loop. The first 5 miles went well, we started off on the boardwalk and then ran around the condos and houses in the town we were staying in, just outside of AC. BUT, then we somehow made a wrong turn and finished our 5 mi loop in 47 minutes – meaning we didn’t actually hit 5 miles. Woops! The next 5 mile route we found our right turn decided to run an extra 4-5 minutes, just to be sure we hit our 13.1 mi goal. We took a break at tenish miles, refueled, and then finished with the most painful/boring/windy 3 miles ever. The new loop included a nearly mile long street, which was into the wind the entire time, and not fun after running 11 miles. BUT we finished strong and were SO happy to have run the 13.1 miles – and were ready to go out and celebrate!

The half-marathon route! (which ended up being 13.27 after our wrong turn)

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain of the Powersteps, it was a great week that included good food, a good weekend trip and not too many bad runs.  More to come on the Atlantic City trip!

Marathon Training: Week Seven Recap

Seven weeks of Cleveland marathon training down! Woohoo!

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 12, for a total of 24 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week but changed the days again. Woops!

Monday: 6.11 – Hadn’t planned on running but I happened to check the weather forecast for the week and saw that Wed (when I was due for the 6) was supposed to be severe thunderstorms (gotta love Cleveland in February!) so I texted Mary to see if she’d be interested trying the 6 on Monday. She actually decided it worked better with her schedule and we ended up on a spontaneous run after work around Ohio City. Finished 6.11 miles in 58 minutes – my best run time so far!

Tuesday: 4 – Knew I was in for a busy day at work, so feeling good in the morning, I opted for a pre-work run again. Legs felt good but my body was much slower than the previous day.

Wednesday: 3.17 – Had planned on skipping the run Wednesday but of course the thunderstorms held off and B and I went for a post-work run. The sun had already set but it was still warm enough to wear shorts! I ran the first 3 with B (who hadn’t run on Monday) and he continued to do 3 more after I was done. At least I was able to cook him dinner while he finished up.

Thursday and Friday: Off! Had completed my pre-long run mileage by Thursday and Friday off. Was probably a good idea since I was so sore on Saturday during the 12 miler. But more on that later. So what did I do instead? Thursday B and I had a date night. We hit XYZ Tavern for some beer and appetizers before making it to the Capitol Theatre for a showing of the Oscar Action Shorts. They were awesome! And I love the Capitol Theatre. We followed followed the movie with dinner at Indian Delight, another rone of our favorite ethnic eateries in the area.

Saturday: 12.06 – Ouch. I was dreading the run especially after checking religiously and seeing the 30+mph winds on the screen, but thank goodness I had a running buddy. Mary and I met up downtown and ran the route I had mapped – all the way to Lakewood! Wow. I knew 12 miles would be a lot – but seeing it on a map made it even more real. About halfway through the run, my feet started hurting. This had never happened before. Then my left knee started hurting followed by my back. I ran the last three miles with my back seriously aching. Poor Mary – she could’ve left me in the dust as I hobbled along the last few miles but she stayed with me and we finished strong. I’m thinking I may hit Second Sole for some new shoes or orthotics – maybe I need more support?

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain from Saturday, overall, it felt really good. AND I hit a major accomplishment – the 12 miles marked my longest run since I ran the half marathon 2 years ago … and at that time I didn’t even hit 12 miles during training! Woohoo! Here’s to another great running week.

AND I leave with with a photo of the butterscotch oatmeal cookies I baked on Wednesday night. Maybe one day I’ll share the recipe.

Marathon Training: Week Six Recap

Six weeks of Cleveland marathon training down … only 82 days left until the big day!

The highlights from this week:

  • Travel for work on Wednesday meant I didn’t really follow the schedule and do the 5 miles as planned that day. Woops! (more below)
  • My toe nail fell off on Monday! It was hanging on, barely, all Sunday, so I decided to just let it go on Monday night. And you know what? It hasn’t hurt yet! (fingers crossed it stays that way throughout training)
  • Saturday was our last “short” (aka under 10 miles) run until the week before the marathon. Yipes!

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 5. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 7, for a total of 18 miles. What did I actually do?

Monday: 6ish. Tuesday: 4ish. Wednesday: 3. Thursday: 3.25 and Saturday: 7 for a total of 24. Woohoo!

Monday: Woke up early and got my butt out the door. Started running and realized that if I kept it up for 5-6 miles, then Wednesday I could just relax and not worry about getting up super early before my trip or running after getting home late. Success! Kept it up and finished at 6.21 mi BEFORE work.

Tuesday: Second pre-work run in a while and got in 3.88 mi, nearly one mile more than the 3 scheduled. Legs and body felt good and it was seasonably warm!

Wednesday: Work up early before my day of meetings and did 3 on the hotel treadmill. And by 3 I mean exactly 3 and no more and no less. And I was counting down the whole time. Icky icky dreadmill!

Thursday: First post-work run of the week and ran with B at our gym and did 3.25 mi and actually felt pretty good. What was the difference? Probably the awesome music I was jamming to – I’m in love with fun. and I had a few songs from their new album on my playlist.

Friday: Slept in and enjoyed a relaxing morning before work. Post-work, B and our friend Dave and I went to my first fish fry! I meant to take a photo of the fried goodness that we enjoyed (fish, shrimp, mac and cheese, pieroggis and even dessert) but I was too busy chowing down. I’m hoping we’ll make the rounds and try a bunch of different locations this Lent.

Saturday: Started the day early and went to the taping of Academic Challenge at WEWS, to watch B’s youngest brother compete. Then we went for our 7 mile run in the Metroparks and Dave joined us for a birthday run (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE!). Dave then suggested we head to the West Side Market to enjoy some of the famous Steve’s Gyros which none of us have ever enjoyed. We waited in line forever but enjoyed some of the best gyros I’ve ever had! I was STUFFED after and B and I could barely move. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Water For Elephants and napping. That night, we went to Map Room to celebrate  Dave’s birthday. The place was empty as most people were at Jump Back Ball (I swear I’ll get to that event one day!!).

Sunday: Another off day and I was still digesting that gyro! We enjoyed a relaxing morning, bagels (and lox for me!) for breakfast mass at our new parish a little window shopping (not intentional .. I just couldn’t pull the trigger! Would someone just buy me a whole new wardrobe? thanks) some work and then dinner at B’s parents house. Followed by, of course, the Oscars! And no – I didn’t catch J-Lo’s nip slip. BUT I did cheer on one of the few movies I had managed to catch this year-  The Artist!

Hope everyone had as productive and enjoyable week as I did. Fingers crossed that this week’s training, and 12 miler this Saturday, go as planned!

Marathon Training: Week Five Recap

Week five of Cleveland marathon training is complete! This included a nearly fallen off toe nail, a new running shirt and our first double digit training run! BUT I’m feeling good today, not too sore and my toenail is still (fingers crossed) intact!

This week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 5. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 10, for a total of 21 miles.

Monday: Rest day. I slept in and rested my knees and whole body, still sore from Saturday’s nine miles in the snow and wind.

Tuesday: 3.67 mi, PM indoors. Was really worried that this run would turn into the dreadmill nightmare that last Thursday had been. I had a 3 miler scheduled and B and I were going to run on the treadmill before our Valentine’s Dinner Date. For some reason, it was SO much better than last week! Watched Batman on the treadmill at the gym and did 30 minutes (3.22 mi) and then walked the rest to cool down.

Wednesday: 5.08 mi, PM outdoors, kept a sub-10 min mile pace. Such a great post-work run! Wonderful weather, new ellasport long-sleeved running shirt, and legs and toe felt great. One of those “Why can’t every day feel like this” runs.

Thursday: 3 mi, PM indoors after work. Yet ANOTHER miserable dreadmill run.  The whole time I just kept thinking, “This has to get better,” but it didn’t! What is it about indoor 3 mi dreadmill runs on Thursdays that are just unbearable?

Friday: Nothing! Slept in before work and then at night we hosted a few others training for the marathon for a pasta dinner, with homemade pasta (yes, B and I are loving our pasta maker!).

Saturday: 10 mi, outside at the metroparks. Ran with Brian and his sister and stopped off and got energy gels to keep us fueled pre-run. (Sidenote: Did you know if you join Second Sole’s texting club you get 2 free energy gels your first time in?)  The weather was so much nicer than last week’s long run, with temps in the 30s and windy (not perfect, but so much better!). I got to wear my new running shirt again and taped my toenail to my toe, in hopes it would stay put during the 10 miles of pounding. Kept it at about a 10 mile pace the entire time and even picked it up slightly at the end.

Sunday: Working – no I don’t have Monday off, so stop asking – from Starbucks, blogging, new church for Mass and no running!

I didn’t take any photos of anything besides my new running shirt this week – so I leave you with a dinner photo from Wednesday – chicken sausage, peppers and onions. Yum!

Marathon Training: Week Four Recap

Week four of Cleveland marathon training is done! This week was a rough one and I’m relatively sore today – especially my knees. This week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 4. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 9, for a total of 19 miles.

Monday: Rest day. I ended up doing the elliptical for 35 minutes in the morning. Day after Superbowl = rough!

Tuesday: 4.17 mi, AM outdoors. Ran before work because I had a meeting after work and wasn’t sure when I’d be home. Scheduled for 3, but somehow got in more. No complaints here- felt good after 2 days off/xtraining and was a nice cool (not cold!) morning.

Wednesday: 4.17 mi, PM outdoors. Ran with B after work after a super stressful day and ended up running it in just under 40 mi. Scheduled for 4 mi but ran the same route as Tues a.m. Felt so good to pound out the miles before heading back to work this evening. Thank goodness for running!

Thursday: 3.32 mi, PM indoors after work. Miserable dreadmill run. Actually ran on three different treadmills because I was so bored I kept switching it up.

Friday: Nothing! Slept in before work and then welcomed a friend from college, Mitch, into town at night for some Noodlecat and beers. They went out after dinner and stayed out until 2:30 a.m. — I went to bed early, knowing that we had a 9 mi early run due for Saturday.

Saturday: 9 mi, outside. Met Brian’s sister at 8 a.m. (early for a Saturday) for a 9 mi run outdoors. Oh my goodness. WHAT a run! The weather was BRUTAL – 20 degrees with 25+ mph winds (meaning it felt much colder) and blowing snow. AND snow dunes for us to run through. Thank goodness for my Screw Shoes (post about those, here). By the end, my left toe was hurting and my right knee was tight. Hopefully two days off from running will help both.

After the run we went to the CSU Butler basketball game and enjoyed a close game – sadly, CSU lost. At night, we showed Mitch and his friend around Ohio City – we started with dinner at Great Lakes Brewing Company (hooray for a 10% foursquare discount), a brew tour, then drinks at Market Garden Brewery and ABC Tavern.

Market Garden with Mitch and Brian

Sunday: Today = nothing at all! Right knee still sore from yesterday’s run and body a little tired from going out last night.

This week I’m looking forward to:

  • Hopefully better weather.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but after Saturday’s run, I’m keeping my fingers crossed this week is a little better.
  • First double-digit training run on Saturday.
  • Valentine’s Day! B and I are scheduled for a romantic dinner out on Tuesday, preceded of course by a 3 mi training run.
  • A less planned out weekend. This weekend B and I were pretty busy with Mitch and I think Friday night we’ll keep it simple before our first 10 miler this season.
  • Hopefully receiving my new ellasport long-sleeve tee! I won it from Poise In Parma’s recent blog giveaway and was told that it has shipped!