2018 Running Recap

Wow, what a year! 2018 was a memorable year. And it was a hard year for running. I’ll be honest – I got in fewer miles than usual. I ran fewer races. I didn’t set any PRs. But, I have a few reasons – being pregnant for half of the year, having a baby and adjusting to the schedule and craziness (and lack of sleep) that is life with a toddler and a baby. So I’m proud of my accomplishments and happy to look back at the year.

Here are some of the highlights from the year:

I ran injury free, throughout my entire pregnancy. Pregnant or not, a year without injuries can’t be beat. In 2017, I had a minor (but painful) piriformis issue that kept me off running for a few weeks. But 2018 granted me health.

Running early on in my pregnancy with some of the Cleveland Marathon crew at a race kickoff run in January

Sometimes staying active meant run/walks

I did a few races while pregnant, including two 5Ks and a 10K a week before my due date. Thanks to B for convincing me to sign up for a 5K race Mother’s Day weekend, as well as for running beside me as I hobbled the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K and 10K four days before LM was born.

I’ve been able to return to running since LM was born, taking her or FW along with me. I enjoy running by myself, but also enjoy stroller running. FW has gotten to the age where we can talk on our runs and point out animals, etc. and LM typically sleeps. And thanks to our new neighborhood having more paved paths, I got in more stroller runs this year than ever before. While my mileage hasn’t been nearly as much as it was before kids (I ended with just under 800 miles – compared to 2013 when I had double that!), I am grateful to still be running and have been able to get out again shortly after giving birth.

first race post-LM this summer

after a 4 mile stroller run with FW (post LM’s birth)

stroller run with my niece and nephew (I pushed FW, B pushed LM)

I’ve been an Ambassador for some great brands and organizations that have helped me with my running. Some of them include Skirt Sports, Nuun and the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. This means I also have discount codes to share with you if you’re interested:

Skirt Sports: They make more than skirts and I wear them running all the time. I’m actually wearing their pants, jacket, tank top and capris in several of the photos above. In the 1st photo I’m wearing the Triple Pocket Tight, 2nd photo I’m wearing the Hangout Hoodie, 5th photo I’m wearing the Free Flow Tank, 6th photo I’m wearing the Jette Skirt, and 7th photo I’m wearing the Redemption Capri. Use 133Carn for 15% off. And check out their 

Cleveland Marathon: Use discount code MC2019 for 10% off any race entry. I’ll also have a race entry giveaway in just a few weeks!

All in all, I’m grateful for a happy, healthy 2018, running and otherwise. And I kicked off 2019 today with a 4.33 mi run in my new Skirt Sports leggings that I bought myself as a Christmas gift, so the year is already off to a great start!

Some questions for you:

  • How would you rate your 2018?
  • Do you have any 2019 goals?

Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon Challenge Series Recap (2017)

Wow – I can’t believe this is my last Training Tuesday post for this year’s stint as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador. I feel so truly grateful to have been able to participate in the experience this year again and share my training with you and the other amazing ambassadors.

Said amazing ambassadors

This year I had signed up for the Challenge Series – the 8k and Half Marathon. This would mean that I would run an 8k Saturday morning, followed by the half marathon Sunday morning. (You may recall I did the Challenge Series last year, but the 5k/10k, since I was 30+ weeks pregnant)

8K

This year looked a little different. First, the races were downtown, which was great! They were a 10 minute walk from my apartment and the courses were wider and more open than last year. I didn’t run with FW but we did get a pre-race pic.

I wanted to “take it easy,” knowing I had a half marathon the next day; but of course I took it a little faster than I would’ve liked. About 1 mile in, I found fellow Ambassador, Sara, running with her boy and her stroller! We ended up running the rest of the course or 4ish miles together. It was great to have someone to talk to for those last miles – it made them fly by!

Saturday was PERFECT running weather. It was 50 degrees, overcast and a little breezy. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the 8k.

pre-8k with some other ambassadors

Half Marathon

Sunday was a different story for the half marathon. Looking ahead at the weather all week, I was nervous for race day. It was due to be upper 70s (one day it forecasted 78 … ick!) and 100% chance of thunderstorms.  Definitely not ideal running weather, especially for me, as I have not been training outside much during this training season.

But, luck was on our side.  I woke up and it was mid-60s and NOT raining. I made it to the start and then began to wait in the massive porta potty line. And by massive, I mean that I was still waiting when the race started. I ended up heading inside the Q to use the restroom and Mary and I jumped into Corral D (we were supposed to be B or C) for the start. We discussed our goals – we decided that it would be to “survive the humidity … or get a PR.”

For the first few miles, we spent most of the time running/walking/dodging people and walkers. But after a few miles in, we were finally able to get into a good pace and enjoy the course. This year was a new course and I LOVED it. It took us part of the way through downtown, into the Flats, into Tremont, throughout the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and then back downtown on Detroit (no dreaded running on the boring hot Shoreway!!).

How did I do? I felt pretty good for the first few miles. And B even surprised me by cheering us on with FW throughout the course! I knew he was watching, but didn’t expect to see him 4 different times, so that was great. About mile 6-7 I started to get pretty hot and thirsty and my fingers began to swell up. I took in part of an expired Salted Caramel Gu that I had found in our apartment but it tasted funny so I dropped it just in time to pick up a Vanilla Honey Stinger from the course around mile 8. I made sure to get water at every stop throughout and even dumped some on me.

smiles before the race

Around mile 11, I was spent. I told Mary she could go ahead of me as soon as we saw the bridge to back downtown; the thought of going up the hill made me nervous and more tired. Mary looked at me and said, “We will get under 2 hours!” She dashed ahead and I tried to keep up somewhat as I made it up the bridge and back into downtown.

I finished as strong as I could and was pleased to find out that my finish time was 1:58:07. Was it the PR I was hoping for in the weeks ahead? No. But it was under 2 hours, a solid race for my first post-baby half marathon, especially considering the humid conditions.

I’m feeling a little bit emotional now that my training is done. Or maybe it was the 2 engagements that happened this weekend during the running festivities? Either way, for some reason, this year’s race has left me a little misty eyed. Must mean it’s time to sign up for another race!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you run Cleveland? What did you think?
  • Have you ever done a Challenge Series – two day – race?

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

Disclosure: As I mentioned, I’m an ambassador for the event. This means I got free race admission, entry to give away AND a cool shirt. 

Fun-Filled Race Weekend

Phew, what a fun, busy, active weekend. From an 8k to wedding shower to Cleveland Asian Fest to a half marathon, there was plenty to look forward to. I’m be sharing a full race recap tomorrow, but here is a quick summary of my weekend, one-sentence-per-photo style.

Started off race weekend with the Expo with Cari!

She didn’t win anything from this Care Bear prize machine.

Then, time for the Cleveland Marathon Banquet!

LOVE seeing my fellow ambassadors – and this year was especially special!

Saturday morning started off with the 8k – and the first medal of the weekend.

Then, a bridal brunch for my beautiful friend Ali who is getting married!

Look, it’s my name on a sign at the Marathon Expo!

Later in the afternoon, it was time to check out Cleveland Asian Fest (while FW dozed).

And my pre-race fuel – a veggie burger (from Phuel).

Pre-half marathon photo.

Finishing strong! (or at least trying to)

Post-race family photo.

Happy Dog post-13.1 eats (there is a veggie dog under that egg and chili).

A little local grocery shopping.

We bought some meat for this week!

And then took a walk by the water.

Love these two goofballs!

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you ran a half marathon?
  • Have you ever run an 8k?
  • Do you like veggie dogs?

I’m linking up with Katie and the weekly wraps.

TOL: Random Running Thoughts

It’s Thursday – woo woo! What a week. My brain = mush. Which is why I’m grateful today for the Thinking Out Loud linkup, where I can just share a few semi-random thoughts with you today.

Today’s edition? RUNNING.

SHOES.

First, shoes. What kind of shoes do you wear? I tend to wear a neutral shoe with orthotics and I am LOVING my new Saucony’s. They are so cushiony! And I think they’re cute 🙂

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SOCKS.

I have a new brightly colored running sock obsession. It just happened within the past month. I went from owning all white running socks to a bunch of fun colors. And I love it!

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LEGGINGS.

I am so so so excited for my new running leggings!!! I ordered these Cleveland Marathon leggings before the holidays and they finally came.  I ordered the 3/4 length, because that’s what I typically wear, but now I’m wondering if I should’ve gotten the full.

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RUNNING IN GROUPS.

I miss running with people. My two morning running buddies no longer live near me and with the bebe it’s been hard (aka I’m lazy) to schedule runs with them on weekends, etc. This past weekend, I participated in the Cleveland Marathon kickoff run and it was SO great to run with a group of people again! I forgot how much I love it. (and check out our leggings :))

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SLEEP.

Ok this isn’t REALLY about running, but it’s related. I think I need more sleep. Scratch that. I know I do. This whole being a working mom thing with a 6-month-old baby plus trying to wake up at 5 a.m. to run thing is TIRING. I need some help in figuring out how to make it all work and how to get more sleep … or figure out how to run on significantly less than usual. Any tips? Hints?

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AND A GIVEAWAY!!!

Anyway, speaking of running, I have a giveaway going on for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon – you can win race entry to the 5k, 8k, 10k, half OR FULL! Enter here.

Thanks for Running with Spoons for hosting this great linkup and helping me get some of this out there! Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for running on little sleep?
  • Are you a fan of colorful socks or white ones?

 

Training Tuesday: Back on the Half Wagon

Where are all the New Year’s resolutioners? Is it just me – or has the gym/running trails/etc been eerily quiet the past week? I swear, every year at this time my gym gets more crowded and the running trails and paths get more full of people trying to make an effort to start the new year on track. But this year? I have yet to see this phenomenon.

Anyway, I’m BACK on the training bandwagon! I haven’t really stopped running, but I’ve been enjoying not having any planned races to train for and just running when I have time, am not super exhausted from life as a working mom with a baby who doesn’t sleep, and not feeling like I have to get out and run on the cold, snowy/icy, wintry roads.

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he feels the same way i do about winter runs outside

BUT that’s all about to change – because it’s training season! That’s right, I’m officially training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon again. It’s coming up this May and as usual, I’ll be sharing my training with you as an ambassador. Stay tuned for a race entry giveaway, too!

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I’ve done the race a few years in a row now (minus last year when I did the 10k/5k challenge series because I was just a weeeee bit huge and pregnant) and it’s a great tradition that I look forward to getting back at it!

running this pregnant was not as fun as it looks

running this pregnant was not as fun as it looks

2015 race - half marathon finish

2015 race – half marathon finish

Mary and I at the starting corral in 2014

Mary and I at the starting corral in 2014

So despite some of my nervousness about the race (Will I have time to train? Will I pass out on the treadmill since I’m so tired all the time? Will I be upset if I am not as fast as I have been in years’ past – since this is highly unlikely?! How can I breastfeed and train at the same time?), I’m excited to be finally committed to returning. Some questions for you:

  • What’s your next race?
  • Mommas – any hints for training with a baby?
  • Should I do the Challenge Series – 8k/half? Or just the half?

And it’s my first time linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

PS- Check out my Instagram for my running GIVEAWAY I have going on right now – I’m giving away this great book by a fellow Cleveland author and Cleveland Marathon Ambassador!

giveaway

Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series 5k/10k Race Recap (subtitle #1- rain, sleet, wind and hail and the most Cleveland race ever; subtitle #2- 35 weeks pregnant and still running!)

As you know, this past weekend, I completed the 5k/10k event of the Inaugural Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series. When I signed up for the event just a few months ago, I admit that it sounded easy peasy. Over the past several years, I have run the Cleveland half marathon; however, this year, being 8 months pregnant, I decided to sign up for some shorter races. Truth be told – it was much more difficult than I had thought!

Friday night I got in some good carbo loading at the VIP Marathon Reception. As an ambassador, I was lucky enough to get an invite. B and I got to see Jack Staph, the marathon president, speak, enjoy some delicious food and hang out with some of my favorite running buddies!

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PSA – I LOVE these people. They are all so inspiring in their own stories and I have thrived on the support and encouragement of them this year!

Saturday morning started early with the 5k, at Edgewater Park. The conditions were not REALLY ideal – it was 50 degrees (YAY!) but super windy (20+ mph winds) and on and off cold rain. I knew it wasn’t going to be a great race when my legs started hurting immediately from he start. Lately I have been feeling sore during or after runs – but after having a few good runs this week, I was hoping to feel good this weekend.

I may be smiling in this photo but it's only because B told me that a camera was on my left

I may be smiling in this photo but it’s only because B told me that a camera was on my left

But I pushed myself and B and I finished the 5k in under 10 min/mile pace, which had been my goal.

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look how windy it is!

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Sunday morning the day started even earlier and cooler and windier.

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Of course I had to use the bathroom and we waited in the porta potty line for ages. We were finally ready to head to the start as the last of the runners and walkers were beginning – so at least we had the time to take a starting line selfie!

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The course was new this year! It was the first year I had done the 10k, but the 10k, half and full all run the first 3ish miles together. And I liked it! We ran through my neighborhood, Playhouse Square, the Campus District and some other flat terrain before hitting up the hilly bridge and Shoreway. B ran with me the entire time, so he was able to snap some photos.20160515_074817

I took it easy. I was still sore from the 5k and wanted to keep my heart rate lower than the day before (it got into the 160s a few times), so we played it safe and slow. Despite it RAINING, SNOWING AND HAILING and it being super windy and getting a few cramps and BH, I felt pretty good the entire time! Even as we were finishing, B goes to me “maybe you could have run the half marathon!” Um, who knows 🙂 Anyway, we finished the race a lot slower than I typically run, but I’m sure it was for the best. And we still got our three medals!

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All in all, it was a good race! Despite the not-so-great weather, there were still some people out cheering the runners on, which was great. AND my friend/running buddy Erica even came out with this AMAZING sign!

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Finishing the 10k confirmed that I CAN still run. I’m stronger than I think and even at 35 weeks pregnant I haven’t lost myself – I’m still a runner. Just a pregnant runner 🙂

I’m feeling really good about completing the Mini-Challenge and the new Challenge Series for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I know so many people who did the 8 km and the half or even the 8k and the full, and I know that I’ll be back and one of those combos one day soon!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any races coming up?
  • Have you ever done a two-day race series?

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Weekend Update: CLE Marathon Weekend

Whew that weekend flew by. A few days of running, working, meeting up with my old race friends and some semi-cruddy weather made the weekend go by pretty fast. I’ll be putting together a full race recap, but in the meantime, here is my weekend – one sentence per photo style.

Friday afternoon, hitting up the Race Expo with Cari!

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I picked up some new Sparkly Soul headbands.

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Friday night was the VIP Ambassador Race Reception, so B and I got a little dressed up and hung out with fellow Cleveland Marathon Race Ambassadors!

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A little carbo loading before the race.

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Saturday morning was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5k.

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Followed by a little work event.

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And another trip to the Expo!

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Then to the movies.

Sunday morning we woke up to COLD and SNOW!

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Not typical May running weather (and colder than our December weather) but we made it to the start just as the race began.Screenshot_20160515-134232

Oh and it was SNOWING during the run – can you see the flakes on my jacket?

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B snapped a few photos of during the run – easy to spot me in the bright yellow jacket.20160515_081049

I felt good when we finished!

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Partially thanks some great fans cheering us on.

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Three medals, two races for completing the Challenge Series!

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After warming up, a post-run brunch of egg whites and pancakes was in order.

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Spent the afternoon being semi-productive and working, shopping at Target, doing laundry and watching movies (ok I watched part of The Duff – I suck at watching TV for more than an hour at a time).

And a little banana bread baking!

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We had the ultimate comfort food dinner at B’s parents house – spaghetti and meatballs!

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And that about sums up my weekend, one-sentence-per-photo style.

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you ran a race?
  • Sweet or savory for brunch? I’m usually a savory-all-the-way bruncher, but while being pregnant I have to have both! I never would’ve ordered pancakes 35 or so weeks ago 🙂

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

AND PS – Happy Anniversary to my MOM and DAD! ❤ So excited to see them this weekend 🙂