Fitness Friday 12.20 – 10-Miler Virtual Race Recap

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a dedicated race recap on the blog, but this one was special — so I wanted to share. If you’ve been reading along on monthly Fitness Friday posts, you may have recognized a pattern and my focus on one specific fitness goal: running 6 races in 2020. Which all came from 2019, where we only ran one race and we usually do a couple!

The one race that we did run in 2019, was our annual 10-Miler race we always run in April. This is always a no brainer that we like to sign-up for no matter what and we always make sure to sign-up early in the year. And 2020 was no different, we were registered and then the pandemic hit. As the April race day approached, we knew it would be pushed… we kept waiting, and waiting, nothing in the summer came up and then finally it was rescheduled for an October date. Woo! October came, and the date approached and the decision to push indefinitely to 2021 was made. Runners could opt to run virtual or defer to next year. For B and I, we had planned to run this in 2020 and we were going to run it in 2020, so we switched to virtual and waited for our packets.

Welp! Long story short, I got sick in early November, we got hit with a ton of snow and now it’s December and we have this 10-miler race to still run… in December in the Midwest. We knew we would have to keep an eye out on the weather and plan quickly — which didn’t really help for me, who hasn’t been running, training or working out. And a 10-miler run, isn’t such a breeze when you’re not doing anything. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to running this and anticipated a lot of walking/running. But I needed to finish it and mark it off the list.

Two-Days Before the Run. It was Wednesday night, B and I have both been watching the weather separately and saw that the temps and conditions Friday and Saturday would be a possibility — but Friday morning was looking like the better option and without rain. Thursday, we confirmed that we would have to plan for Friday AM and account for at least 2+ hours. This was not a lot of time to mentally prepare, except that it was going to happen.

Race Morning. We woke up early, got ready and hit the pavement by 6:45am. I told B that we needed to start slow — the weather was surprisingly perfect around 41-degrees. And we stayed at a steady pace, didn’t have to worry about traffic, people or icy sidewalks. We continued at a speed for the distance we had ahead of us and stuck around an 11-minute + pace. Mile 8, I was feeling good and we took about a minute off with our pace and continued at a slightly quicker pace for the last two miles. As we hit mile 9, I started to get a bit emotional, I couldn’t believe we were still running and feeling decent and the end was in sight!

We finished at 1:53:10, with plenty of time to walk a bit, cool down and get back to the house before we started our work days! And even better yet, although I ended limping a bit and hunched over, I still had a smile on my face. This 10-mile race, went better than planned and as good as it could’ve went — I’m so happy that I was able to accomplish this. Now, I just have one more race to run before the end of the year to officially complete this 2020 fitness goal.

Fitness Friday 11.20 – Turkey Trot Recap

Morning, bee readers! How was your Thanksgiving? Ours ended up being a well rounded day, which was in many thanks to us signing up to run our city’s virtual Turkey Trot! This was also my fourth race of the year, as I’m still cranking towards my goal of 6-runs in 2020 (more on that at the end).

In fact, the last two weekends we’ve checked off two of our virtual races — which for me, both have been a little more of a struggle than I’d like, but I have also not been working out! Usually my cross training saves me when I’m not able to run as much, because it keeps me in shape and toned — but when you’re not doing any of that, I can only expect it to not be as easy. Last weekend, we ran a 5k and for our Turkey Trot we opted to a little 5-miler, because why not?!

It’s a little funny, because all of the races have been hoping to be rescheduled for in-person — that a lot of these turned virtual last minute, so we’ve been waiting for race packets and more specifically, for our annual 10-miler (that is usually in April). Which we just received our race packets a week ago, so now we’re trying to get all of these runs in, right as the weather has turned and grown more unpredictable. We’ve also pushed some runs even more, because I was also sick for a few weeks, so running with a cough and congestion isn’t really ideal and knew I wouldn’t be helping myself out there either.

Long story short, my 10-miler is probably going to be my 5th and last race of the year, making me fall one short of my goal of 6. And it’s going to be the hardest, because I know I am not in shape to breeze through 10-miles as I’ve done in previous years, so I’m feeling a repeat of 2017 coming in.

Our Virtual 5k Race from the Previous Weekend

I wanted to push myself during our Turkey Trot to get through 5-miles, because I know I have this 10-mile race looming that I want to and will complete. I’m also not sure if I want to get one or two more mid-size mile runs in before going after 10. I’ve trained and not trained for a number of half-marathons and 10-milers, and especially without my cross training — and I know, I’m not helping myself out.

So! As we jump right into Christmas, I’ll definitely be sharing my 10-miler journey in all it’s pain and glory within the coming weeks once I finally check that off this list.

Fitness Friday 10.20

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!

Race Recap – Resolution Run 5k

This past weekend I ran my first race of 2020! It was a last minute decision to sign up just four days before the race — but I’m so glad I did and I’m glad my running pal, K said she would run the race too.  One of my fitness goals is to run more, and completing six races this year – check the first one off the list!
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With the race being the first weekend in January, I knew the weather could be a crap shoot, but I didn’t want that to be an excuse.  It was 37 degrees and misting rain, which was manageable for the dead of winter and quite frankly my type of running weather.  I was feeling good and started with a slower pace for the first half mile or so and then picked it up to have a 9-minute pace for the second and third miles.  Kayla was not far behind and had an awesome time for her first race of the new year, too!
RaceRecap5k-beelifeblog(2)Part of the resolution was was pre-race toast with sparkling juice to toast to everyone’s resolutions.  There was even a resolution wall that everyone could write and share their resolutions for thew New Year on, K and I both thought of meaningful resolutions and wrote ours on the board.  Mine was not necessarily fitness based, and even a little cliche, but it’s true! I want to be more in the moment, with friends, with B, with family and even with coworkers.
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It feels good to have one race down. I signed up for my next race in April, a race we do every year. With two races already figured out, I only need to work on getting four more.  Not to mention it was truly great kicking off the new year with an awesome time, feeling great and staying motivated!

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10-Miler Recap – 2019

This past weekend was our 10-Miler race weekend, and officially kicked off our 2019 running season! We’ve ran this race for the last 5-years, aka 50-miles, and it’s always challenging in new ways but also always so rewarding once the race is finished. Last year’s race was a huge accomplishment and super significant in my fitness journey and my life journey – it’s funny how races can be like that.  This year my goal was to simply run the whole race without stopping.
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If you’re an avid runner, especially an average one like me, you know that every race is different, every variable is unpredictable, not matter how much you train or prepare.  For me, during this race I was feeling great until about mile 7, then the side cramps kicked in and the leg soreness started and stayed for the last three miles.  I slowed down a lot, but I also was able to pick up speed and I just didn’t stop, B stayed by my side too which definitely helped, even though we didn’t have the best finish time.

What was super awesome about the 10-Miler race this year was it was my friend K’s first big race! We ran back in October for K’s first 10k and after she kicked that goal’s but her next goal was to run this race –  and she kicked this goal’s butt too. I was so proud of her, she persisted through all the elements, through all the miles and crossed the finish like with pure victory!!
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Running is just as much of a mental game as it is physical and I’m always reminded of that with each race, but also realize that I’m able to face and conquer new challenges with each one and know that I am capable!

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Northcoast Harbor 15k – Recap

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 up in our home office.

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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

 

Fitness Friday 06.18

Happy Friday! We’re halfway through the year… what?!  And I’m going to ask that annoying question that you may have been avoiding… how are you doing meeting your personal healthy and fitness goals so far?

I did some reflecting on my FF post from last June – and it started about the same way as this one, and too my surprise the rest of it was going to follow suit. I was just about to get ready to gear up for a half marathon.  And ironically, B and I just signed up for a half in a little less than 2-months – just spur of the moment decision on a Friday night.
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The half we ran in September was really rough for me, but yet here we are again, giving it another shot. So I’d be a fool if I said this half was going to be a walk in the park, I’ve run enough races to know that all the training in the world isn’t going to help you kill a race, but also no training doesn’t help you either!  So my plan of attack for this half is simple:

  1. Continue my cross training classes
  2. Get in at least one 3-4 mile run each week until the race
  3. Go on 3-longer runs (6, 8, 10-miles)
  4. Don’t stress about it

I’m not out to beat any PRs, I just like the mental challenge as much as the physical challenge… and that feeling once you’ve accomplished both of those things after crossing the finish line is true euphoria.  Signing up for these longer races has always kept B and I motivated and running – it was the one thing that first things that connected us and that we’ve always enjoyed doing together!

Happy Training!

 

Catch up on past Fitness Friday’s;  March | April | May 

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).
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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!