News flash! There are less than 3-months left of 2020. Mostly that is a good thing, because this year has mostly been a disaster — but if you’ve been working towards any goals, it’s go time, to crank that butt in gear to check off every single one of those goals! I just took a peak at my 2020 goals, and per usual, my fitness goals are always a constant roller coaster – and this year hasn’t been any different. But there is one goal, I am bound and determined to check off this year.
The one fitness goal, I’ve been really focused on is getting six races in — which pre-pandemic was going to be a piece of cake, but all of our races have been postponed, rescheduled or turned virtual. So with a few races, JUST NOW turning virtual — our Q4 of running is quickly becoming jammed packed. As of today, two runs have been completed and two runs are queued up. Which means, I need to still sign-up for two more and just plan for virtual. I was really hoping to have a half-marathon included in my six runs, but our 10-miler will just have to do.
This past month I just finished my second race, which happened to also be our first virtual race! Have you run a virtual race yet? There were a lot of things I liked about running a virtual race, like we could plan and run on our schedule – pick your own location/route – we got the race packet and medal at the same time! Not to mention, this race was benefitting a organization that is near and dear to us, so that made it extra special. Some things I missed from a traditional race, was the crowd and team mentality — you sort of get amped up to run a bit faster than you might if it’s just yourself running through the park. We did make sure that we woke up early to run our race, because what would race day be without an early morning wake up call?
As I mentioned and you may see — our virtual run was a quick 5k, which helped raise money to support Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, which provides financial assistance to City Dogs is the adoption division of Cleveland Animal Care and Control which is an open intake facility – meaning they don’t turn dogs away. This nonprofit steps in and provides additional resources to support medical expenses like HW+, torn AC surgery, general enrichment and training. B and I also happen to volunteer for City Dogs and walk dogs – so we love this organization a little extra – but more on that, another day!
So as I work my way towards finishing 6 races, I encourage you to continue to work towards your fitness goal(s) to make a small part of your year a success!
This past weekend we checked off another race for our 2018 running season – number 3 of 4. The cool thing about this race was it offered three running distances and was the perfect offering for all types of runners. We stumbled upon this race when I was helping my friend K look for a 10k to run this year, she set a goal for herself to run and train for one! So after signing up for the Northcoast Harbor 15k a few months ago, I helped K set-up a training schedule so she could start training and get ready for the race!
What I love about running is that it’s a completely individualized ‘sport’ especially in this arena as adults, it doesn’t matter if you’re a faster runner, someone working towards a PR/qualifying for big race, 60-year-old walking, or running 11:00-minute miles. And this race was very much about that. B signed up to run the 15k, K & I were running the 10k and K’s fiance was running the 5k. We picked races based on our comfort level and what we wanted to accomplish. For me my goal was to help K reach her goal, so I signed up the 10k and I told her I was in it for the long road or as she would put it “my slow mile times.”
The race got started just as the sun was rising, we had lake views to our left and cities views to our right, it was the perfect mix of what I love about this city and why I love a good downtown race. We stuck close to the shoreline running in front of the airport, looping back around the Brown’s stadium to finish right where we started at Voinovich Park. Voinovich Park at Northcoast Harbor has always been my favorite views of the city, so it was a great starting and ending spot – plus great for our post-race metal pics.
The sun was shining just as we all crossed the finish line and turned into a pretty nice Saturday morning for late October. I stuck with K the whole way and we all came out of the race meeting our goals and feeling super accomplished! We went and celebrated with our new post-race place, a local doughnut shop, Brewnuts for an adult beverage and some tasty treats!
B and I have a 5k coming up in December that we’re doing more as a group/fun activity and less about the running… although we will see how much we can really stick to that! But we’re excited, as it’s been a race we’ve had on our list for a few years just have never gotten around to doing it! This was a nice accomplishment and another metal to hang upin our home office.
This past weekend we only really had one thing to do, and it was to run 10-miles at the annual race we partake in! Last year’s run was a struggle for me, so I was looking forward to seeing how all the progress I’ve made this past year would improve this run for me (not to mention being down 15+ pounds).
I started the race, as I often now do with my races… with no expectations. It was raining pretty decently when we woke up in the morning with a forecast of rain for the first hour or so of the race. Walking up to the start line along the lake with the rain and chilly breeze wasn’t really inspiring me to run! But, we got started at good pace and kept it up throughout.
It wasn’t until we I saw the mile 6 sign that I started to get emotional, as I started to realize I’ve been able to run this entire time and I was still feeling good – last year I broke at mile 5. I pulled it together reminding myself the last few miles are always the toughest. But mile 8 came along and I felt those tears again. It was that realization at how much I’ve accomplished this past year. Going into the race last year I wasn’t in a great space physically and I was just getting out of a super stressful and toxic work environment (which I had let affect me physically – the weight gain, not being able to get out of bed, unhappy, stressed with constant added anxiety). Now a year at my new job, it’s a worlds difference how all that has shifted for the better – which started me with making some major changes.
Needless to say, this race was bitter sweet for me, it was a full circle of how far I’ve come, compared to where I was at this time last year and how much stronger and happier I am. B and I finished the race together and it felt so good to cross that finish line!
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.
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!
This past weekend, B and I ran and finished our third 10-Miler! This year I was fairly confident going into the race, as I have been the last two years, having minimally trained and relying heavily on my cross training. The weather was surprisingly perfect for a late April run, all signs were pointing to an easy race, we just needed to get through those ten miles.
Well… even with all the confidence and perfect weather conditions, this just wasn’t my race. I started out strong within the first five miles, but it quickly went down hill from there. The mental game was strong and I couldn’t fight it. By the time mile eight rolled around I was over it *smiles* and ready to be done and at the finish line. I went from being well paced with 9-minute miles, slowing down to 11-minute miles with my intermittent walking. But I made myself finish strong and ran that last mile with all of my might, and crossed the finish line with sore, angry legs!
Bentley and his brother, of course killed it and ran most of the race together (leaving me in the dust!) Another friend didn’t finish too far behind me and we were all feeling the weight of those miles. It was great finishing the race, but definitely one of the harder ones I’ve ran. Training for our upcoming half-marathon will definitely be happening if I want to make it 3.1 more miles!
This weekend marked a mini milestone already this year; we finished our first race! And boy, is March the perfect month to get outside and run. *smiles*
I’d always wanted to run the St. Malachi race, because it’s always in March right around my birthday plus it’s Irish themed! Well this year we finally signed up, and although there was no finishers medal as a consolation prize, we thought it’d be the perfect jump-start to our 2017 running year.
The morning of, I was laying in bed checking the weather, while I knew it was going to be cold, I didn’t think it would “feel like 4” … my comforter seemed that much bigger and warmer than it already was. But we got out of bed and started bundling. When you run in a cold weather race it’s always that fine line of what’s too much and what’s not enough, clothing wise. And standing at the start waiting to go, it definitely felt like not enough especially with the big gusts of wind, but as we ran my outfit choice seemed to be alright and plenty warm with my layers.
B and I stuck together most of the race and for running 5-miles in “feels like 4” weather it went relatively quickly and before you knew it we were crossing the finish line together! We then, awkwardly posed for a photo and immediately wanted more clothes and shelter! We ended up brunching with B’s brother and some of their friends afterwards at a nearby spot, the food was excellent plus lots of hot coffee! We were home early enough and able to relax the rest of the afternoon.
It was nice to get a race in the books so early in the year! Our next race is the 10-miler in April, so we are looking forward to that and seeing how we can improve in our 3rd year running it!