Breaking Mileage Records AND A New Race To Sign Up For

June has come and gone and I can’t believe we’re onto another month of working at home, pandemic life and well, everything that comes with it. The one perk of my work-from-home is that I have been able to get in longer runs. I typically wake up early, do a little work, go for a run, and am back working sometimes even before I was usually in the office. This has led to some higher-than-typical mileage weeks and months for me! Which means I’m staying in running shape, and that’s good because I have a NEW race that I’ll be participating in.
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A Race, Shower and Birthday Brunch

What a busy, fun weekend! It felt nonstop with tons of activities packed into the 2 days. Which means that it was of course another weekend that went too fast.

The weekend started with a 5k race on Friday evening. The Sunset Sprint 5k is  a fundraiser for a board that B is on, and I decided semi-last minute to run it.

It takes place right next to the beach, so we had a little picnic and spent some time on the beach after the race.

And caught the gorgeous sunset.

Saturday morning I did an easy run and then it was time for my future-sister-in-law’s shower!

There were so many treats, including these amazing miniature wedding cakes that my mother-in-law made.

It was fun showering the bride-to-be and I can’t believe the wedding is just 2 months away!

I didn’t get home from the shower until late afternoon, so we really only had time for a little excursion with the kids. We walked to the nearby playground and had some fun while they ran around.

Saturday night, after the kids went to bed, B and I watched a movie. I stayed up for a WHOLE movie and really enjoyed it! We watched About Time – have you seen it?

Sunday morning started with a run – this time with the whole family. B pushed LM and I pushed FW in the stroller.

After the run, it was time to spend the later morning/afternoon with B’s family. This week is two of my brother-in-laws’ birthdays, so we spent some time celebrating with the family and enjoying an amazing brunch.

look how gorgeous this salad is!

FW and LM had a great time playing with their cousins and chowing down.

The rest of the evening was spent low-key – we did some meal prep, yard work, shopping and NAPTIME. Any day both of the kids nap at the same time is amazing.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite brunch food?
  • Have you ever done a nighttime race?

Finishing Up Fall Running Strong

The weather may be cold and icky as I’m typing this, but last week some days it was sunny and looked like this-

Fall!

Because it was so nice, I did a combination of treadmill and outdoor runs and got in my best postpartum week ever. This is the most mileage in a week I’ve done since LM came along!

Here is a look at the week:

I’m pretty pleased with the total mileage and hope that I can continue to get put and run even as the weather gets bad.

ALSO – some fun news! If you’re looking for a GREAT race to run, I highly recommend the Cleveland Marathon  – I’m a race ambassador, which means I have a 10% discount code off that you can use! You can sign up for any of the events – 5k, 8k, 10k, half, full, etc. – and you get 10% off with the code MC2019.  The race weekend (there are TWO days of events) is May 18-19, 2019.

Some questions for you:

  • What races do you have on the horizon this spring?
  • Do you have any Thanksgiving races planned?

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

Tuesdays on the Run – First Stroller Race!

I’m excited to share that this week, I had a running first – I did my first official race with a stroller!

Do I run with a stroller often? Somewhat – especially in the summer/spring, I have run a few times a month with FW and even on maternity leave with LM in the stroller.

Have I ever participated in a race with a stroller? Nope! Not until last week, however. And not only did I survive, but I got my goal of under 10 min/miles. Was it a 5k PR? Not at all by any chance whatsoever. BUT it was the fastest stroller run I’ve done and it was fun to run with FW (B pushed LM at the same time, too).

In addition to our race, here’s how the week looked:

Finding time to race with 2 little ones is hard, but hopefully there will be more stroller races in my future!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you run with a stroller?
  • Did you race this week?

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

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. 

Mother’s Day Weekend

For some reason, this year Mother’s Day weekend, felt a little different than past years. I felt much more like a mom this year than I ever have before. Yes, it’s technically my second (or third, depending on who counts) Mother’s Day, but for some reason, I feel much more deserving of the title this year. Maybe because I have a toddler who runs around and calls me mom? Maybe because I’m (as B calls it) 1,000 months pregnant?

Anyway, being a mom is HARD, but some weekends are just great. And this was one of those weekends. It was definitely a weekend where I loved being a mom!

The weekend started actually with Muffins with Mom at school. I got to stop by FW’s classroom on Friday morning before work for breakfast!

And it was a pretty gorgeous day, so after work that night B, FW and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. FW loves running! 

Saturday started with some flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day 🙂 Call me basic, but I will ALWAYS love a nice bouquet. 

Saturday morning ALSO started with a 5k! There was a race starting a few blocks from our house, so we decided to do it. I haven’t done a race in FOREVER and I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and VERY slow running, but I’m so glad we did it. (Disclosure – B pushed FW in the stroller while I ran)

FW’s favorite part was likely the muffins afterwards 🙂

After the race, we walked back to the house and did some baking! FW helped mix things up.

These were the “muffins” we made. The recipe was for muffins but I’m not too sure what makes these muffins and not cupcakes …

And then, FW decided he was tired and wanted to nap. On me! It’s been a while, and it was actually kind of a nice way to spend an hour. 

Later that afternoon, we went to the West Side Market to pick up some groceries. 

And then Rising Star for some coffee. FW enjoyed his chocolate milk 🙂

And then B made us pizza for dinner! We haven’t had homemade pizza in FOREVER and it was a nice change.

Sunday morning, FW didn’t wake up until around 8 – which was a great Mother’s Day gift! After he woke up, B and FW took a trip to get me a Mother’s Day specialty – a cassata cake doughnut. These are some of the only doughnuts I really enjoy and it’s mainly because of the quantity of frosting and cream.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.

After breakfast (doughnut and some fruit/yogurt per my request), we took a long walk. More than four miles while FW slept in the stroller.

We saw some geese and baby geese on the walk – it was a cute thing to see especially on Mother’s Day!

And then, FW got to spend some time at the nearby playground.

For dinner, we joined B’s family per our Sunday night tradition. B ended up making the whole family dinner and it was delicious – we had two different types of fish, grilled eggplant and an arugula salad.

Baking, a race, a long walk and cassata cake doughnut – for me, that is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like doughnuts? What kind?
  • What makes something a muffin vs. a cupcake?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

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.

Still Feelin Like Fall!

I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. Yes, it was Halloween, but I was getting over a cold (thanks, air travel!), and feeling tired and not too in the mood to do anything exciting.

Friday night included Souper Market takeout and catching up on Netflix. No photos needed – I mean, don’t you know what soup and old How I Met Your Mother episodes look like?

Saturday morning, B had signed us up for a Halloween themed 5 mile race. B dressed up as Ron Burgundy and I dressed up as a dinosaur. I still can’t believe B ran 5 miles in a turtleneck, blazer and grey slacks. That’s commitment!

20151031_094920

After the race, we decided to do our typical Saturday routine. We hadn’t been in town in a while, so it was great to go to the Market and grab some tea. Warm ginger tea and honey with a cold = amazing.

20151031_115104

Saturday afternoon, I did some baking and B did some cooking. We had plans to go to Dave and Anson’s house for trick-or-treaters and scary movie night. B made amazing deep dish pizzas to bring – they were so good I forgot to take a photo until we had eaten half of them.

20151101_083728

20151031_204358

For our annual scary movie night, we opted to watch Saw. It’s a movie I’ve seen a few times, but Dave and Anson hadn’t seen it and since it was going off Netflix Nov. 1, we decided to watch it.

Sunday morning, thanks to Daylight Saving, we got up pretty early and decided to get some brunch at Phuel. I’m a big fan of their yogurt and granola parfait.

20151101_092545

After brunch, since it was 60s and gorgeous, we decided to get in a long walk in the Metroparks. The fall colors were looking beautiful and I enjoyed a free Starbucks beverage on the walk. It was pretty much a the perfect fall scene – and the RED CUPS are out already! I’m not ready for red cup season yet.

20151101_103837 20151101_121808

After the walk, B and I watched the Browns game and may have taken a nap. That’s two naps for me in one weekend – a new record! I’m taking advantage of getting sleep when I can, especially with this cold.

Family dinner on Sunday night ended with a great dessert – B’s mom made carrot cake and it was AMAZING. I’m not a huge cake person (I prefer cookies and ice cream) – but carrot cake. Oh my. And this one was delicious!

carrotcake

And that was it! See, a pretty uneventful weekend.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite type of cake?
  • Do you have a favorite scary movie?
  • Do you like naps?

Happy [Almost] National Running Day! 10 Running Confessions

Tomorrow is National Running Day. So in honor of the [almost] holiday, here are 10 running confessions. After writing these, I now realize how slightly crazy I am.

[make your own National Running Day badge here]

Runners are indeed crazy. How many of these confessions can you relate to?

1. Stay away from me on days I don’t run. Day when I don’t run are really really really difficult. After getting injured, I know it’s important to take days off – but in my world, days off are on the elliptical or a long walk. You do not (I repeat- do not) want to be around me on days when I have no activity at all.

2. I’ve gotten used to porta potties, thanks to races. I realized this a few weeks ago when I was hiking with my family and the only bathrooms in the camping area were outhouse-like and I thought to myself, wow this is better than a porta potty.

3. I will wake up at an ungodly hour to run or get in some sort of workout. Especially if I’m traveling. When we went to Asia we had to be at the airport by 6 a.m. Meaning I woke up at 3:55 just to get in a quick workout before our super long plane ride.

4. [Warning, slightly gross] It has taken me years but I can finally run and spit – yes, I’m successfully not spitting on myself! But sadly, I have not yet mastered the running/snot rocket thing yet.

5. Whenever I see someone running and I’m not (I’m at work, in a car, etc.), I immediately feel jealous and guilty like I should be running even if I already worked out that day.

6. All NIKE, Gatorade, UnderArmour, [insert other brand here] running commercials give me chills. And then I must immediately go find them on YouTube and rewatch them over and over again.

 

7. Since getting injured training for my first marathon, I have no desire to do that again. I may be scared – or just stubborn – but I may never do a full.

 

8. I wish I had more running friends because I just want to travel to all the races and spend weekends seeing new cities and doing new half marathons. Who’s in?

9. I wish running were totally normal to do all the time. Like, as I’m walking places I often think that it would be so cool if we all just ran everywhere and nobody looked at us funny. How more efficient would it be if I could just run to all my meetings or run to dinner with friends? Or what about running meetings – instead of sitting all day, I’d love to have a running meeting or two.

10. It’s taken me about seven years (yes seven) to consider myself a runner. Have I run a full marathon? No. Am I fast? No. But I’m still a runner 🙂 (see 1-9 above)

[felt like i had to insert an awkward race photo here]

[felt like i had to insert an awkward half marathon race photo here]

Some questions for you:

  • Runners – how are you celebrating National Running Day tomorrow?
  • Can you relate to any of these confessions? What running confession would you add?
  • May be gross – but can you spit while running? Snot rocket? (I can’t believe I now have a blog post with the term snot rocket in here twice … now three times)

Cleveland Marathon Weekend Recap

Welp, I survived the Cleveland 2015 Rite Aid Half Marathon! I’ll post a full race recap later, but here is a little about how the amazing weekend went. (spoiler alert- I PRed!)

First, I admit that I was less-than-excited for the race. The weather was due to be humid and drop 30 degrees from my last training run with Nicole! (where we pretend to stand on the finish line)

pretending to stand on the finish

pretending to stand on the finish

Our Wed. run was 39 degrees. Sunday (race day) was forecast to be 77)

Our Wed. run was 39 degrees. Sunday (race day) was forecast to be 77)

Friday B and I had to be in Cincinnati for a funeral – but we somehow made it back up to the CLE for the VIP Reception for the race. As an ambassador, I was lucky enough to get invited and it was such an amazing event! We got to hear the owner of the marathon, Jack Staph, speak, and start our carbo loading early – there was plenty of Great Lakes flowing, a carving station, a pasta station, some salads and amazing desserts. I’m so bummed I didn’t take a food photo (so unlike me, right?!) – but we did grab some ambassador pics and of course a pic near my name 🙂

Mr. Staph's speech. Man, I was getting pumped up!

Mr. Staph’s speech. Man, I was getting pumped up!

Ambassadors all dressed up

Ambassadors all dressed up

You see my name?!

You see my name?!

Saturday, I had to work in the morning, but finally there was no long run scheduled! After working until the mid-afternoon, I grabbed some perfect pre-race fuel (sandwich from Beet Jar and kombucha from Cleveland Tea Revival and a nooma) and was off to the Race Expo.

(kombucha not pictured)

OMG THIS SANDWICH (kombucha not pictured)

Oh my goodness- I don’t know if something changed but the expo this year was SPOT on. I got my nails done, got my cholesterol and body fat checked, tried some yummy samples of gels and bars, and even won a t-shirt from Brooks! I was like a kid in a candy shop.

Great crowds!

Great crowds!

In case I got lost ...

In case I got lost …

B & I at the Expo. American Greetings photo opp!

B & I at the Expo. American Greetings photo opp!

Saturday night, I got a great pre-race meal. I had tickets to the pre-race pasta party, but I’m not big on pasta before races; not sure why, I love pasta any other time – so we headed to Phuel for a healthy carbolicious meal – I opted for their seasonal salad with a portobello panini.

Pre-race "phuel' (get it?)

Pre-race “phuel’ (get it?) Yup- another veggie sandwich.

B and I hit got to bed early, after watching some Luther and a documentary about the NY Marathon (Live to Run). I had some dessert and tea to get relaxed (yup, I love sweets before a race).

Sweet Dreams tea and nails freshly did at the Expo

Sweet Dreams tea and nails freshly did at the Expo

I of course laid out my clothing and everything ahead of time. It was scheduled to be rainy and 70s, so I knew I’d need a hat and a tank top.

flat melissa :)

flat melissa 🙂

Sunday morning was race day! It was drizzling, but looked clear for race time, so I kept the hat at home and off we were. It was a GREAT race. Yes, it was humid. Yes, I hate the rolling hills of the shoreway at the end … but I loved almost every minute of it.

And post-race I kept up with the tradition and made it to brunch with my morning running buddies, Erica and Nicole. Without these ladies, I undoubtedly would not be the runner I am today- so thank you!

post-race refueling. Beers and chorizo bean chili!

post-race refueling. Beers, water with cucumber and chorizo bean chili!

6 a.m. running club!

6 a.m. running club!

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Do you run with people / have a running group?
  • After a race, how long do you take up?