Hofbrauhaus Half Marathon – Recap

This past weekend marked our 7th half marathon and it’s incredible what a difference a year makes.  We… or I should say, I struggled through out last half marathon, the Mighty Niagara last September, and this year seemed like a breeze, well… mostly.

Let’s rewind a bit – we signed up for this race a little over 2-months ago, I saw the price was about to increase and thought, why not? I easily convinced B and a little while later our registration was secured.  I took a difference approach to half training this year, and it seemed to work out, as I definitely got a few more mid-size runs than I had anticipated.  We ran 10-miles last weekend – so we were feeling as ready as we’d ever be going into the half on Sunday morning.
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The start time for the race was 7am, which was good since it was going to warm up quickly and be pretty toasty by 9am, which would be just about finish time.  We started out at a good pace and keep in sync with each other, slowed down a little around mile 5 but then were cruising and feeling really good after mile 6, moving into miles 9 and 10.  The last three miles, were the longest and of course were straight pavement with the sun beating down on our backs.  Thankfully the first 10-miles were relatively covered, which helped immensely, or we definitely would’ve been screwed! But those last three were giving us flashbacks of last year’s struggle, but we didn’t stop, we kept running and we crossed that finish line together! I finished 12th out of 32 in my age division, (woah!) and we had a respectable time of 2:08:51 – it was a good run.
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We were covered in sweat when we crossed the finish line, and were happy to see the end.  The after party at Hofbrauhaus was a great atmosphere and the definition of a race-after party. In addition to the awesome metal all runners also got a beer and a brat, it was the perfect treat!  Live music was playing in the biergarten and there was a Starbucks truck sharing samples of their new coffee smoothies made with almond milk, yum!  It was an accomplishing start to our Sunday and good to check off another half.  As B said; “First half of 2018 and first one as a married couple. My run or die chick.”  ❤

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Image Source: Finish Line photo from Hermes Road Racing Cleveland

 

Mighty Niagara Half Recap

ICYMI (here and here) B and I were training for a half marathon! After 12-weeks of training and knocking off a majority of our long runs together we were feeling good going into the race. In addition we knew the race course was fairly flat, with little surprises, so we were ready to conquer it! Plus, it was a completely new race for us, it was on a Saturday, we were excited! We headed to the area Thursday to grab our race packets and made a quick stop to explore Niagara Falls, after all we were running the Mighty Niagara, so it only made sense to visit the mighty falls.

Fast Forward Race Morning: A race morning wouldn’t be a race morning if you didn’t have to wake up before the sun. With an hour-plus drive we had to leave by 6:30am to have plenty of time to figure out parking and get to the start line! With a start time at 9:15 – the sun was in full force, but luckily the first part of the course was nicely covered, and navigated us through the adorable town of Lewiston, we were off to a good start, and sticking to our pace.
Mighty Niagara Half Recap - the bee life
By the time we hit mile 4/5 we were in straight sun down a lonngg straight road. The mental game set in. By mile 7, I couldn’t handle the heat – I had to stop and take off my tank top and pour some water on my head, this would become the trend for the next 5-water stations.  By mile 8/9, the heat had really gotten to me, and I was in bad shape – but B stuck by my side. The remaining 5 miles were slow, hot and miserable, the mental and physical game was strong.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to finish a race before. I was defeated, mad at myself, mad at our time and overheated, but we finished and we finished together! My parents and Moz were waiting for us at the finish line, so it was good to see them and be done with the race.  And at the end of the day, we accomplished a difficult feat and didn’t give up!

The after race festivities were impressive and the scenery throughout the race was beautiful, running along the Niagara River was stunning! We would definitely run the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon again, but would hope for much cooler weather.  This being the first half in almost 3-years, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but I can’t say I’ve completely hung up my half-running sneaks just yet!

Fitness Friday 08.17

Woah! It’s the last Friday of August <wide-eyed emoji>

With it being the last week of August, that means we are quickly approaching half-marathon month, EEK! We are three-weeks away from breaking our 3-year break from halfs.  I must admit, I am a bit excited to conquer this feat again! Not to mention, a completely new race and course, so it’ll be a fun experience in a different city… and state.

Training has been going pretty well, I was in a good groove of running and bootcamp every other day, even in the summer heat.  I’ve had a few weeks where I haven’t run at all, except for my long run – and those have surprisingly gone well! I’m not stressing out, but I am also not letting myself slack off.

My favorite run so far was seven miles the weekend of my bridal shower – I was up super early, and my stomach grumbly, I wasn’t really feeling so hot, but it was going to be a long morning on top of a long day.  So I decided to go and give seven a try.  Since it was so early, on a Saturday it was quite and peaceful, and the stomach pains and weakness I was feeling eventually went away – I conquered those 7-miles, only stopping to pet a puppy.  It felt so good.  And since I still had time to kill after, I went to yoga for an hour.

Bootcamp has remained a constant these past 7-months, I’m stronger and I’m pushing myself to pick up the heavier weights – plus my trainer got me to write by fitness goal up on the board with the rest of the members, so now I can see it every day I go! And remember what the end goal is, beyond a healthy me.

Happy Training!

 

My 2017 Goals!

I am a firm believer in writing down your goals, whether they be short term or long term! I generally make goals at the beginning of each year to help keep me focused and plan of the course of the year. My 2016 goals were all accomplished except one that has truly been an ongoing struggle these last few years – my workout routine, but since it’s officially my wedding year, I’ve got a lot of added motivation!

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  • B and I are already signed up for a half marathon, so as long as I train like I need too, this should be an easy check off the list, however it’s been 3-years since we’ve done a half! Ouch.
  • I had an epiphany over the holiday break about what I need to be successful in my workout, and it’s a challenging group class with strong instructors – which is my beloved boot camp, I’ve gone in spurts these last few years but always stop because of the cost.  But I’m going to make an investment in my health, because I need it and I love the class.
  • One thing I miss about my old job is being down the hall from some of my best friends. We’ve made it a point to see each other for lunches, coffee dates and weekends but it’s easy to get busy and not make time. Going to continue to make it a point, along with making trips and weekends with my BFF.
  • I don’t want our wedding planning to get in the way of getting out of town and taking a trip even if it’s a quick weekend getaway! Although I wouldn’t mind a longer trip… or two *winks*
  • I want to continue to challenge myself in the workplace, work at personal challenges I face and also continue to be creative at work and at home by prioritizing what is important and ultimately helping in my number one priority of being healthy and happy.
  • Hoping that I remain level-headed during the wedding planning, especially when it comes to things like the bride shower and bachelorette party… but also choosing which decisions to stand-by and what things to let go of. It’s all about the detail!

As I have mentioned recently, 2016 was unexpectedly AMAZING. I am trying not to have as high expectations for 2017 and hoping it has an opposite affect, but that is kind of hard when it’s the year of your wedding *smiles*

If you’ve never written your goals down, try it! Even if it’s just on a post-it or notes in your phone.  Put it someplace you’ll see it often to be reminded, you may be surprised at how successful you are!

throwback thursday – may 2014

This time last year, we were in the final stages and days before the Rite Aid half marathon… with full weekends before and after, the entire month! And this month, we have had a few busy weekends, but nothing nearly compared to last year.  As much as I complained and wanted a free weekend last year … and as much as I like to keep my free weekends this year, I feel like I am already off to a boring start to the “summer” with no real vacations or trips (just one) in the future sights.

So many great memories and milestones happened a year ago this month; #DazzleCLE, my cousin’s senior prom, B’s sister’s college graduation, our three year anniversary, we ran our 6th half marathon, our friend’s got married, my cousin’s HS graduation party, and B’s first time in NYC.

I’m grateful for all these memories and times, and can’t wait for all the unplanned moments this upcoming year!

Happy Thursday!

DIY – Race Medal Display

I am excited to share with you my adaptation and more affordable DIY version of a Race Medal and Bib display for our home office.  I first saw the idea at a friend’s apartment, she had a cute single-bib holder with some text and hooks for metals.  As the weeks wore on and our race medals sat in a box in our office, I remembered the idea and went online to see how much these were! On Etsy, they range anywhere from $30 – $50, which while affordable, I knew I could do this much cheaper!

Step 1: Find a piece of wood that fits the desired size. Since B and I both run, I wanted to be able to display both of our bibs, separately so this had to be long enough to accommodate two 8-inch race bibs. I also wanted to have a catchy/cute phrase on the board too… more room needed.   It just so happened that we had a wood piece from our table that we got to sample stains from the carpenter… turns out this board was the perfect size to a T.  Cost = $0

Step 2: Measure + determine design.  I grabbed our race bibs, placed them on either side and penciled in the top holes for place makers and then eye-balled where I would want the hooks to go along the bottom for the medals.  The phrase I decided on was borrowed from one I saw online; “Soul Mates in it for the Long Run.”  This phrase is so fitting for B and I and goes back to the roots of when we started dating, four years ago.  It was maybe a week into dating and I was running my first half-marathon, while B was running a 10k.  The first person I ran into, in the crowd after the race was B, literally ran into each other, and if you have ever been in a race before you know how crowded they are! I knew it was something special when that happened.

Step 3: Paint backdrop. I had some left-over acrylic paint in grey and white (just what I needed) so I grabbed those and started to paint! Cost = $2.50

Step 4: Buy hardware. I needed little hooks for the bibs and then larger hooks for the metals.  The hardware store is literally 5-houses down the street and around the corner so a quick trip there and I was in business!  I ended up needed 1-pack of the smaller hooks  ($1.29) and 3-packs of the larger hooks ($1.35 each).  We also needed sawtooth hooks for the back and other hooks for the wall (about $5). Cost = $10.50

Step 5: Stencil + paint phrase. I wanted this to look better than all free-hand painting, so I printed out the phrase and cut the letters, traced in position to make sure I could fit everything, then painted! I then free-handed the other writing and added a cute personal touch of “est. 2011” – not perfect but it works!

Step 6: Apply hardware. This was a little tricky getting the square bent hooks into place and definitely took some patience, after starting a hole with the screwdriver we were able to get these screwed into place.  Afterwards I placed two large sawtooth hangers onto the back and then nailed 50lb weight picture frame hooks into the wall.

Step 7: Hang up + decorate with metals + bibs.

Total cost: $13.00

Now our race bibs and metals have a nice home… and plenty of room for more to come in the future!

New Year, Fresh Start.

I think everyone likes the idea of being able to have a “fresh start” at the beginning of each new year, it’s a time when we can set goals, learn from mistakes, and dream bigger… it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the chatter.

My 2015 goals, are definitely going to be bigger, and after seeing what I accomplished last year, I believe that writing down and setting goals, and seeing them every day really does help you to accomplish and allow them to be in the forefront of your mind.

My 2015 goals:

  1. Get back into a workout routine
  2. Start the 5:2 Diet
  3. Travel outside of the country (Dublin 2015?)
  4. Get a promotion at work
  5. Run a half marathon + at least 3 other races
  6. Read more books
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  8. Live in the moment

A lot of these are similar to my 2014 goals, but I liked them! And I feel that I can always strive to improve on all aspects, whether it’s my personal, work, or health life – and these goals help round all of those out.

Happy New Year! Let this be the year you dream bigger and do better.

Race Cancelled.

Today I received an email from the Rock n’ Roll Marathon series informing me that they are cancelling the upcoming race that is nearly a month away!  I am so disappointed. Also, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of a race, especially of this stature being cancelled so late in the game! They said it was cancelled due to “low levels of participation and local support.”

http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/cleveland

I had originally planned for this to be my last half marathon, but now I feel like I still need to run one more. I really enjoyed the Rock n’ Roll Marathon series, when it was in Cleveland last year, plus it was the Inaugural race in Cleveland, so it’s really a shame they they couldn’t keep it going for a second year.  The energy of the race and atmosphere was amazing! So I would like to try and find another RnR series… just now in a different city.  I am going to try and continue on with training (not that I have been doing a very good job) but also work to get more cross training into the mix.

Before I received the news of the race being cancelled, I had drafted this…

I made double digits this past week in training!!  But that is just an excuse I still missed out on 6 miles… I need to keep working up to more miles each week.

Week 6 Training – Recap

Monday – 4 miles

Tuesday – 2 miles or cross

Wednesday – 4 miles + strength
Complete – 36:28

Thursday – Easy Run

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 6 miles
Complete – 54:55

Sunday – Strength

Week Total Miles: 10 miles

Also, I got new running sneakers (thanks mom!), because I get black toe nails/loss my toe nails (sorry – TMI!) every half-marathon and training.  My aunt who is an avid, long-distance runner wears a size larger to help avoid that… which surprisingly for as long as I have run and as many races as I have completed, I haven’t heard that!  How many of you runners out there run with a size bigger to avoid black toe nails? Any other tips or tricks?

Happy Running!

 

Week 2 Training: Lions, Houses and Bands

Now that half marathon training is in full swing, I came out strong in week two, and boy… did it feel GOOD!  I haven’t had a solid workout week like that in a LONG time… sadly I’ve come to realize that these types of weeks will be few and far between due to work, life, and everything else. I just need to stay motivated and remind myself of how good it feels.

Monday – 3 miles
Completed: 27:09

Tuesday – 2 miles or cross
Completed: Walk 1.5 miles

Wednesday – 3 miles + strength
Completed: 28:24

Thursday – 30 minute cross

Friday – 30 min. run
Completed: 29:51 (3 miles)

Saturday – 4 miles
Completed: 37:38

Sunday – Strength
Completed: 1-hour Spin Class

Week Total Miles: 14.5 miles

On top of training we had a jammed packed weekend.  Friday night, Bentley and I went to Twilight at the Zoo which we have had the pleasure of attending for 3 years now!  A little rain tried to ruin our evening, but it quickly stopped and turned out to to be a beautiful night!  Food was sparse, but beers were flowing.  My favorite animal spotting of the evening was a Malayan Sun Bear, he was a cutie! Bands were scattered throughout the zoo each with a different genre!  We wish our friends would’ve been able to join us but we still had a fun date night together!

Saturday, my parents came into town from NY!  In between the downpours and crazy boomers, we were able to go to Lakewood’s Art Fest to visit our favorite vendor, Foundry Woodprints we have a small collection started of illustrated  vintage prints of downtown Cleveland.  We also have a bunch of wooden coasters, because they are just so fun!  In two weekends, Foundry will be at a festival at Edgewater Park!  Saturday evening we went to my cousins marching band competition, yes you read that correctly!  He is a senior in high school and has been traveling all summer with a marching band-camp, grueling through 12-hour practices and sleeping on gym floors,  the whole thing is quit impressive.  Plus we got to see more family, which is always fun.

Sunday, I started my day with a 1-hour spin class at Harness Cycle, it was an awesome and challenging work out. I was glad I got back for another class.  Followed by Brunch at Market with my parents, aunts and B.  Followed by house hunting!! Followed by me being absolutely exhausted by the time we got home that evening. This week has continued with the trend of busy, lots of work duties with little working out. I am finally at the part of my week were fun is ahead of me and hopefully a workout or two squeezed-in before the start of Week 4 training! I just hope I can let the good training weeks, outweigh the bad!

Happy August 7th Everyone!

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