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

 

10-Miler Recap – 2018

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).
10-Miler Recap - 2018 - the bee life
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!

10-Miler Recap – 2017

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.

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Mile One. Photo credit: Hermes Road Racing

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!

Here’s to finishing!

5-Miler Race Recap

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!

Happy Running!

Weekend Recap – Thankful

I had full intentions of getting a few posts out last week with the long weekend and holiday break; but I was enjoying my time “off” far too much.  But, I hope you all had a blessed and happy thanksgiving this past week.  B and I were lucky enough to have three thanksgivings and spend some time with friends in between too.

Our Thanksgiving was a bit reshuffled this year, we normally have two on the actual day, but one was early so we only had an evening dinner.  We had the whole day to ourselves, it was kind of amazing!  Knowing this ahead of time, we had signed up for our local Turkey Trot, which offered a 5k race or a 5-miler, of course we picked the 5-miler. *smiles* The weather was mid-40’s and a misty drizzle, but in my opinion, perfect for a run. There were 9,000 participants in this year’s Turkey Trot! B stuck it out and ran with me the whole way, not to mention we both loved the race course.

We were home by 11AM, got cleaned up and then headed over to the neighbors for some snacks and beverages before everyone had to get to their various family dinners.  It was so fun spending a quick, impromptu few hours with the crew, we’ve gotten to know them well over the last year and a half and we’re grateful to have such awesome neighbors!

We spent our Thursday night dinner with B’s family, laughing, playing games and watching football!  Friday we headed to one of my aunt’s for my family’s Thanksgiving, there was plenty of food, whiskey sours, buckeyes, stuffing, laughs and dogs to go around. But by dinner number three, we were definitely  beyond stuffed, and thankful for our thanksgiving dinners to be over!

It was great catching up with everyone and being reminded how blessed we are with all the amazing people in our lives.  This past weekend was a busy one, but the long break was definitely needed.  Now it’s an official kickoff to the Christmas season!

 

Weekend Recap – Everything CLE

October has been a blast so far, but it’s also moving way too quickly. This past weekend was a busy one, but so much fun!

The weekend started off with a big home win for the Indians against Toronto Blue Jays and they got their second win Saturday afternoon.  Two more wins and we will be in the World Series!  Saturday morning we ran our 3rd annual Browns 5k, finally the weather was perfect for it. The race is pretty easy, non competitive (except for this year, B was a man on a mission) plus you get a pretty sweet medal. This year we finished the race on the field, which was pretty awesome!! We were done by 10AM and finished with a beer, it was a beautiful start to our Saturday.

Saturday night was the Cleveland Magazine’s annual Best of Cleveland Party at the Public Auditorium.  The theme was our NBA Championship and the land of champions! It was another fun night full of delicious food, tasty drinks, good music and good company.  Here were the nights standout’s and links for you to check them out yourself!

  • FruitVibe Juice Co. – The guys at FruitVibe had a few of there drinks available to test including the Pumpkin Cider (yum!) FruitVibe has a wide offering of cold pressed juices; they offer cleanses, personal delivery and a fresh raw perspective on the juice phenomenon!
  • Banyan Tree – This quaint shop in Tremont is perfect for unique gifts or if you’re looking to spoil yourself with some unique sweaters, scarves, jewelry and other cute accessories. Shop online too!
  • Spa West – A VIP treat at the Best of CLE, they offered chair massages, hand and arm massages and facial consultations, you can always expect the best with Spa West.  I am also a VIP member at Spa West, and their monthly membership is the perfect way to pamper yourself!
  • CLE Clothing Co. – As another VIP perk, we went home with a Land of Champions t-shirt, which was perfect for the nights theme.  I’ve bragged and loved on CLE Clothing Co. before and I will continue – the shirts and materials are seriously the best.

Other highlights of the night was reliving the game highlights on the big screen from our last game, which led us to breaking history and winning our first championship! Another VIP perk was the two specialty drinks they made inspired by the Cavs win, “The Block” and “The Shot” they were delicious.  There was live music, a DJ, the Cavs scream team and cheerleaders also made an appearance and were tossing tees throughout the night.  It was a lot of fun especially once the music really got going. The venue and lighting were epic and quite a statement it was a great night!

Sunday was more fun and socializing, we had friends over to watch the Brown’s game out on the big screen!  The weather this weekend was amazing for mid-late October so we really got to enjoy the day. We had a great spread of yummy food and a plethora of beers.

It was a great weekend, but definitely need another weekend to recover now!

10-Miler Recap

Yesterday was the 10-Miler race I attempted to start training for back in February, but if you’ve been reading along on my fitness journey it’s been an up and down struggle for the last year… or two… so getting into a consistent workout routine has been the primary goal, and struggle. Long story short – it was ambitious, I didn’t do well with training, but I have gotten into a consistent workout routine with boot camp and am starting to incorporate other workouts, like running! So how did the 10-Miler go… well I hadn’t trained last year and impressed myself, and I did it again this year.

I beat my time from last year by 2-minutes, didn’t stop, and finished strong! It was a chilly morning, especially starting right next to the lake, but luckily as we got deeper into the course was able to hide from the wind a bit.  Of course B left me in the dust before we even hit mile one! But he was waiting at the finish line for me, and jumped out and finish  with me! He ended up beating his time from last year and kicked butt, too.

Finishing any race is always an awesome accomplishment but when it’s an significant mileage it always feels that much more awesome. We are looking to sign up for a half marathon before the year is over to keep pushing ourselves and getting back into our old running habits. We were done with our race by 10AM and had the rest of the day to brunch, soak up the sun, and socialize with family and friends!

A Weekend of CLE

This past weekend was a busy one, but it was so much fun!

It started on Friday, with Cleveland Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Best of Cleveland party! This was the fifth year I’ve attended the #BestofCLE and every year it gets better. There was one point in the night when I was in complete awe, looking around at the hundreds and hundreds of people just dancing and partying – and thought “This is my Friday night.”

In case you’ve never been to the #BestofCLE; it’s a gathering of all of Cleveland’s best restaurants, boutique’s, bakeries, clothing shops, car dealerships, clubs, and apartments. Samplings of great food, drinks and beers, along with other little goodies and discounts!  This year, I was all about the sweets, so I really only consumed a number of cupcakes and sushi over the course of the evening (I know, a horrible combo).

My Stops: 

Campbell’s Sweets Factory – I grabbed one of their ‘Wedding Cake’ flavored cupcakes, because it’s my favorite and it is delicious!

A Cookie & A Cupcake – Mini cupcakes! I went for a chocolate and vanilla, this little shop in Tremont never disappoints.

Main Street Cupcakes – It was their birthday, which meant sprinkles all over their cupcakes, which in my opinion is a perfect combination.

Jack Frost Donuts – I did not have these, simply because I would’ve been in a sugar coma. They had full-size, elaborately decorated donuts they were impressive and so beautiful (picture below).

A bunch of our friends were at the party so we had a fun time catching up with them, dancing and singing and sipping some cocktails! This party never disappoints and my absolute favorite part was when DJ EV came out, I seriously could’ve danced the entire night.  The music was so good.

Saturday AM we woke up to run the Dawg Pound 5k – it was an unwelcoming 43 degrees out with some intense winds, although it was much better than the cold rain we had last year.  A group from my office met up early to go down to the start line, the weather did not keep away the sold-out crowd.  The course was similar to last year, a good route with minor hills,the wind definitely tempered down once you got running, which was a good thing! B and I ran the whole time to finish just under 30-minutes, not bad for not training!  Then the group of us went up to a favorite local spot, Nauti Mermaid for Bloody Mary’s and brunch! The Bloody Mary came out with a fresh fried, Lake Erie perch, it was surprisingly delicious, the food was amazing too.  It was a fun start to our Saturday!

After our jam packed fun, it was pretty low-key and relaxing for the rest of the weekend. The #BestofCLE and the Dawg Pound 5k are definitely two of the reasons why I love Cleveland so much and why I love the month of October!

Happy Monday!

Appendix:

click here: 2015 Best of Cleveland’s Participating Winners 

10 miles on a Saturday

This past weekend we ran the 10-miler Hermes race. A new race for us, so we did not know what to expect. I didn’t have high expectations for myself, simply because I haven’t been training/running… at all! I just wanted to finish.

B’s brother came up to run this with us, so I knew they would blast ahead of me at some point, mainly because I wanted to stick to my pace. And they did… eventually I couldn’t see them. Between mile 8 and 9 I ran into B’s brother, but kept running.  I did not stop at all! I definitely lost a lot of momentum in my last few miles – especially when this woman just stopped completely in front of me at a water station. But I kicked it up into the finish.

It felt great to run this entire race, and beat my target finish time AND to run the whole thing without stopping. My ending time was 1:36:38.14 – B finished 11 minutes ahead of me! And his brother finished right after me.  The weather was perfect conditions for me; cool 40’s overcast with a little bit of sun.  I’m definitely ready to find another race, although I know any sort of training is going to be tough, so I want to stay on the shorter end of miles.

It was a productive start to our Saturday! We were all finished well before 10:30AM – the rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing and low key so it was the perfect balance of both.