Training Tuesday: Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Run (And Discount Code!)

Happy Tuesday! It’s actually a special Tuesday over here – it’s my birthday, woo woo!

And like any runner, I was looking forward to starting the day semi-early and going for a run.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is how last week’s runs went:

It was mostly an indoor week, but I did get in one outdoor run – Saturday was the Cleveland Marathon kickoff run! B and I did a 5k or so with FW in the stroller. 

It was a nice size group of people – you can’t see me in the group photo (just the top of my head- I’m in front of B and FW and behind the girl with the big pink hat) because I’m too short it seems! I should be closer to the front next time. I’m an ambassador for the race, so I hope to get out to another group run soon!

That run was the highlight of my week. I had been feeling in a slump, just trying to run on the treadmill lately and not really feeling it, but getting outside felt GREAT.

ALSO – exciting news! I have a 10% discount code if you are interested in registering for ANY of the Cleveland Marathon events. Use MCCLE10 when registering herehttps://www.clevelandmarathon.com/runners-info/registration.aspx. You can register for the Kids’ Run, 1 mile, 5k, 8k, 10k, half OR full marathon!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you gotten to run outside lately?
  • Do you do group runs?

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

2016 Running Recap

Wow, what a year. 2016 has come and gone and probably been one of the most eventful years that I can remember – and not for running reasons. The Cavs won the playoffs and we had an amazing parade in Cleveland to celebrate. The Indians were in the World Series and I attended the last game! Oh yeah – and FW came into our lives and made it all that much greater.

20161007_075633

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a sappy post about being a mom – it’s about running instead. 2016 was a pretty good year running wise. I did take it much easier this year than in the past – I didn’t even break 1,000 miles (for reference, in 2013 I had more than 1,500!) BUT it’s not like I didn’t have reason. I learned that running while pregnant is HARD. Oh, and I had to take several weeks off after giving birth and I’m just now getting back into the swing of things (meaning I’m back at 25ish miles a week since I’m not training for anything). Oh, and running on little sleep with a baby that wakes up a few times a night still is also HARD. BUT, that being said, I still ended the year with about 875 miles.  Here are some highlights from the year:

Returning as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador.  Once again, I was an ambassador for the 2016 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. This was my first year not running the half since I did the race, but seeing as I was going to be just about 9 months pregnant during the race, I decided to do the 5k/10k challenge series. In all honesty, when I made the decision in January/February to not run the half, I wasn’t so sure about my decision. I thought for sure I’d be able to keep up with training and run – slowly – a half marathon without a problem. BUT I am SO glad that I ended up doing the 5k/10k instead. As I soon learned, running was a lot harder during pregnancy and after doing a 5k my body was as sore as if I’d done a 10 miler.

Here’s a recap of my experience during the races – I finished the 5k just under 10 minutes/mile and ran the whole 10k. It was slow – yes – but I was so glad I did it! And I got to share my experience with my other amazing ambassadors.

I did a 5k race at 39 weeks pregnant. This was unplanned – I was sure the Rite Aid Marathon races would be my last before FW, but at the last minute B and I decided to do the 5k that was part of the Transplant Games. It ended up being hot and humid, but B ran (well he practically was walking because I was so slow 🙂 ) next to me and brought water for me.

I ran throughout the pregnancy – including the day before FW was born! I ran on and off throughout the pregnancy, including 1 mile the day before FW was born. I slowed down a lot after about 8 months – my last 5+ miler was at 8 months pregnant – but I kept moving and walking and hobbling through runs as much as I could. Even on the days I couldn’t run, I would take long walks with B before work. I’m convinced that this helped me have a pretty incredible labor.

I’ve been able to return running – and run with FW! I was lucky enough to heal pretty fast and started running again at around 4 weeks postpartum. We have a running stroller that we were using about once a week when it was nice out, but since it turned cold/icy/snowy (yay for Cleveland winters!), I’ve been sticking to running on the treadmill while FW sleeps in the mornings. And, I completed my first official race – a 5 miler Turkey Trot – and even though it was by no means a PR, I still ran faster than I had run the race a few years ago! I can’t wait to try using the stroller again in the spring and even run in a race with it!

20161124_092600

I ended the year INJURY FREE. This is always something to celebrate. Yes, my heel bothers me if I don’t massage it with a golf ball nearly every day, but no stress fractures or major pain or other issues to deal with. I will be thankful each and every year that this is the case.

To read more about my running this year, check out ALL my running-related posts.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s something you’re proud of that you accomplished this year?
  • What should be a running goal(s) for next year?

2015 Running Recap

Happy New Year! Yes, 2015 has come and gone and I almost forgot to look back at last year and be grateful for all I accomplished.

2015 was another good year for running. While I didn’t run as many miles or half marathons as 2014, I did accomplish all of my goals!

Goal #1: to run 2015 km in 2015. This comes out to 1,252 miles. My total? 1,253+ miles in 2015. Confession: I didn’t keep track of my miles as I typically do since this was a last minute goal, but I did capture at least 1,253 miles so I know I accomplished it.

Goal #2: to run at least two half marathons. I ran only two half marathons this year (compared to four in 2014), but that was my goal. AND I PR’d as well. In May I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon and in August I ran the Cleveland Inaugural Rock Hall Half Marathon.

my awkward race photo from the Cleveland half

my awkward race photo from the Cleveland half

Goal #3: to PR in a half marathon and get a sub-25 5k. I did this! I PRd in both half marathons this year- first with the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon (1:57:05) and then again in August with the Rock Hall Half (1:55:09). AND I got my first sub-25 5k, running the Westside Catholic Center 5k in 24:46. It wasn’t a chip-timed event, so I’m not 1000% sure of my time, but I assume this means I just ran it a little faster (I started a few seconds after it actually started, too).

Cleveland Half Race time

Cleveland Half Race time

Post my 5k sub-25 with my friend Cuoghi - we are suuuuper sweaty. It was 75+ and super humid

Post my 5k sub-25 with my friend Cuoghi – we are suuuuper sweaty. It was 75+ and super humid

Some other highlights from the year?

I was a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador! In 2015, I was lucky enough to represent my Cleveland race – I was selected as an ambassador for the 2015 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I ran the half marathon AND got the PR I hoped for, thanks to the serious (well, somewhat serious) training program that I followed, which included my least favorite activity – speed work! But it worked – I cut 1 minute and 30 seconds off my time from the 2014 race.

Me and some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race - we clean up good!

Me and some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race – we clean up good!

I ran my first relay! I tend to play it safe when running. I am shy about my accomplishments and it has taken me a while to run with people. I know I’m not fast and I prefer to run for enjoyment – not competition. That being said, when a few of my fellow Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors signed up for the Akron Marathon Relay in September this year, I convinced myself that I needed to sign up and get over my fear of relays. I had so much fun running! As you may have read in my race recap, my relay team members were SO supportive and even though I was somewhat sick during the race, I managed to run faster than I ever had expected.

pre-relay with some of the other ambassadors

pre-relay with some of the other ambassadors

post race!

post race!

our time

our time – i was leg 2

I was chosen to be a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador for 2016! I’m so excited to be running the Cleveland race again in 2016 and sharing my experiences with you yet again. I’ve yet to sign up for the race(s) I’ll be doing, but this year’s event features a challenge series, where runners can participate in events on Saturday AND Sunday. Which I plan to do – stay tuned!

I ended another year INJURY FREE.  This is so important. Yes, I’ve had some shin pain on and off and my heel bothers me if I don’t massage it with a golf ball nearly every day, but NO STRESS FRACTURES again this year. I will be thankful each and every year that this is the case. Do I need to ice and wear compression socks more than I do? Yes. Do I need to stretch and cross train more? Probably. BUT I’m boot free for 3 years in a row now 🙂

 

To read more about my running this year, check out ALL my running-related posts.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s something you’re proud of that you accomplished this year? (doesn’t have to be running focused)
  • Did anyone else meet a running goal, or 2, this year?
  • Eep! No running goals for this year yet … what should I attempt to do in 2016? 🙂

Training Tuesday: New Shoes, New Socks and a PR!

It’s been too long since I’ve written a Training Tuesday post, huh? You’re probably all wondering if I fell off the face of the running earth. Have I stopped running? Have I taken up another sport? Am I injured?

Thank goodness the answer is no, no and no (fingers crossed). In fact, I’ve still been running – I’ve just been bad about sharing my weekly updates (though if you read this blog you’ve seen me mention it on occasion anyway). Here are a few running updates:

  • I have new shoes! While I’m always a fan of Sauconys, I have my first pair of Mizunos! I have the new Mizuno Enigma Wave 5s (got them for reviewing purposes from Fitfluential!) and they’re SO soft. They’re a cushion shoe, which I love wearing, and have been enjoying them on long and short runs.
mizunos

doing running drills with my new Mizunos

  • I’ve signed up for a new race! Finally, right? I’m signed up for the Rock Hall Half Marathon in August. It’s the first time the race is in town and I’m excited for a brand new race and new course!
  • I’m apparently on week five of training for the race … whoops! Good thing I’ve been doing 6-8 mile runs on the weekends. Last Friday, Nicole and I ran 8 miles before work and discovered a new path in the flats with a great view.
  • I’m streaking! Hehe. What I mean to say is that I am participating in the Runners World Running Streak. You have to run daily between Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Only 4 more days and I’ll be complete!
  • I’m continuing to do speed training. I’ve only done two speed workouts since the Cleveland Half Marathon (one tempo run and one interval run … and have another interval run planned for today), but I have been seeing it work. I’m getting faster and that means …
  • I got my first sub-25 minute 5k!!!! Again, finally, right?! This has been a goal of mine for a year, but last year my main goal was a sub-2 hour half marathon. Now that I’ve crushed that, I was able to focus on the 5k and speed runs. I’m so happy 🙂
My race time! Proof! (and see who #1 is? Fellow Cle Marathon Ambassador Jess!)

My race time! Proof! (and see who #1 is? Fellow Cle Marathon Ambassador Jess!)

AND I’m excited to share with you that I found some new compression socks that I’m in love with- Lily Trotters! I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of their compression socks and I’ve worn them a few times now for training runs and just around the house (because I’m cool like that).

Lily Trotters Sock Selfie!

Lily Trotters Sock Selfie!

Some things I like about them:

  • They are made in the USA.
  • They are cute! Look at them. I love the polka dots and ruffles because let’s face it, I’m not that girly in real life but in my running life, I can pretend, right?
  • They’re soft and I can wear them all day. Sometimes compression socks itch if i wear them all day (does this happen to you?!) but these don’t!
  • They’re not toooo tight! I sometimes feel like other compression socks I wear are so tight over my slightly larger-than-normal not-so-ladilike calves, but not these.
Lily Trotters

I made Nicole take this picture of me running with them.

Want some for yourself? There’s a Kickstarter campaign starting July 14th so check them out now!
Lily Trotters
How about you? Some questions for you:
  • Have you crushed any running goals (or other workout goals) lately? What should my next goal be?
  • What’s your favorite pair of running shoes?
  • Do you wear compression socks?  Yes! I have three pairs and I swear by them. I definitely think they help me with recovery.

Disclosure: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Enigmas thanks to Fitfluential to try out AND Lily Trotters sent me a pair of their compression socks. As always, all thoughts and reviews are my own. 🙂

2014 Running Recap

I can’t believe it’s already the time of year to look back and reflect on where we’ve been. It really feels like it was just a few weeks ago I was planning out my 2014 running plans, making goals, cheering on an injury-free 2013, and so on.

2014 was a pretty good year running wise. I really don’t have many complaints – while I didn’t run as many miles as I did last year (2013 had 1500+ miles, I slacked off somewhat this year and had about 1,350 miles) I did meet all my running goals:

Goal #1: to run 2014 km in 2014. This comes out to 1,251 miles. My total? 1,350+ miles in 2014.

Goal #2: to run at least three half marathons. I ran four half marathons this year! In March I ran a race in Chicago (COLD BUT a PR), in May I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon, in August I ran the Adirondack Half Marathon in Schroon Lake (hot, hilly and humid – definitely not a PR) and in November I ran the Savannah Rock N Roll Half Marathon. (photo below is in order of races – starting at the top left and going clockwise)

2014 running recap

Goal #3: to PR in at least one half marathon and get under 2 hours as my time. I did this! I somehow ended up getting under 2 hours in my first half marathon of the year – Chicago – and proceeded to get under 2 hours in every other race except the Adirondack Half (which I was just happy to survive the humidity and hills).

In the Chicago half I ran behind/in front of the 2 hr pace team (with the yellow balloons) on and off the entire race. I grew to hate that yellow balloon by the end! But it worked – I got my sub-2 hour race.

Some other highlights from the year?

I came in first female! Despite minimal speed training and 5Ks, I did manage to place in one race – I came in first female in a Columbus, Ohio 5k to support autism. In all fairness, it was a SUPER small race, but I’ll still brag where I can! I wish I had gotten a chance to pick up my prize.

I have running buddies! I’m sure B is more excited about this than I am (he doesn’t like running nearly as much as I do and he’s much faster than me), but I’m proud to say that I now have official running buddies.  There are two girls that I meet for runs in the morning on occasion and we’ve pretty much figured out our running groove. I look forward to running with them and we motivate each other on races (even ones we don’t do together).

Me and my running buddies after the Cleveland Half, celebrating with brunch (thus why I’m already changed)

I found out I was chosen to be a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador for 2015! Just last month, I learned that I was selected as an ambassador for the 2015 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I’ll be running the half marathon and hoping for a PR – and of course I’ll be sharing all my experiences with you!

I ended the year INJURY FREE. This is a big deal for me. Yes, I’ve had some shin pain on and off and my heel bothers me if I don’t massage it with a golf ball nearly every day, but NO STRESS FRACTURES this year. I will be thankful each and every year that this is the case. I’m boot free for 2 years in a row now 🙂

To read more about my running this year, check out ALL my running-related posts.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s something you’re proud of that you accomplished this year? (doesn’t have to be running focused)
  • Did anyone else meet a running goal, or 2, this year?
  • What should be goal(s) be next year?

Looking Back at 2013: A Year in Running

How was your year in running? A few blogs I read have started posting their 2013 running recaps to look back at how their year went, with regard to running. In fact, Miss Zippy is doing a Year In Running Linkup, and after reading her post, as well as a few others, I decided to participate as well.

My Year In Running

2013 was certainly an interesting year for running for me. 2012 was the year I trained for a marathon, and two days before had to drop out of the race from injuries. I’m still not really over that pain yet and am not ready to spend all that time training again, only to be let down again. But in 2013 I regained my sense of running, got my running groove back (somewhat), and found that I really kind of like running half marathons.

Anyway, here are a few other highlights from 2013:

Best race experience? As far as overall race experiences, I really enjoyed the Rock and Roll Cleveland Half Marathon. I loved the bands on the course, the excitement of all the spectators throughout the city, the people I ran with (B and his sister), AND my parents were even there to cheer me on! Really I loved the run in general – everything but the hills!

Best run? Definitely the Women Who Run race. I somehow ran the 4 mi race much faster than I typically run AND since I came in 3rd in my age group for this women-only race, I got a picture with firefighters at the end of the run (see the bottom right photo in the collage above). Can you beat that?

Best new piece of gear? My best gear for 2013 hasn’t been super high tech. I’d say it’s either my running headband (I love the headbands from owl be sweating!) my hot pink PROCompression socks,  or my armband. Not high tech, I know, but having an armband for my phone so I can listen to music or record my runs on Nike+ while I run has been incredible!

Best piece of running advice you received? “Push yourself.” Simple advice? Yes. But it works. B is always telling me that I need to push myself when I run – he somehow thinks that I am actually faster than I think I am – and sometimes it helps to hear him saying this as I’m doing speedwork or doing a race.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Learning that running for me is whatever I want it to be. If it’s about number of miles, so be it. If it’s for speed, that’s fine. If it’s just for fun and stress relief – that’s fine too. It really is whatever I want it to be!

Here are some of this year’s races (and posts about them):

  1. Turkey Trot 5k in West Virginia (November)
  2. St. Luke Pilgrim Run 5k (November) – came in first overall female somehow … I swear it was a small race
  3. St Martin Cristo Rey 5k (November) – came in first in my age group – another small race 🙂
  4. MidTown Cleveland HealthLine Classic 10K (October) – ran my first official 10K!
  5. Rock N Roll Cleveland Half Marathon (October) – didn’t make our goal of a sub-2 hour half … oh well, there’s always next year 🙂
  6. Women Who Run (June) – came in 3rd in my age group and had my fastest split times (for me)
  7. Notre Dame Holy Half (March)
  8. Inaugural Bockfest 5K (March)

AND my goal for the year, you may recall, was to run 1,000 miles. I passed that in August but kept going. A few weeks ago (nothing like a last minute goal, right?) I decided I’d try to get to 1,500. I’m hoping that if all goes well and I can fit in a few runs over the holiday break (hard without my gym!), I can meet that goal.
2013 year in running

A few questions for you:

  • How was your year in running? (You can read all my running-related posts here) Set any goals?
  • What was your favorite piece of running gear?
  • Any advice that you’ve learned this year?
  • How do you stay running during the holidays with travel, friends, families, etc.?