Fitness Friday no. 9

TGIF!

This week is all about RUNNING! Some people love running and some people hate running! I have a love-hate relationship with running. I never considered myself a runner, until later in my life. In high school basketball sprints were the only kind of running I knew, and I knew it was not for me.  Then later in high school I joined track, and was placed on the mile, a mile seemed SO long to me.  And I was one of the slower runners coming in at just over a 7-minute mile (which is fast!).  After that I would run to release stress and clear my head, because I could only focus on the pounding of the pavement.

Fast-forward to my junior year in college, and my aunts encouraged me to run a 5k with them, and then offered to buy my registration for a half marathon if I trained and did it. So I did! I got my training schedule, and trained religiously – this was a big task for me! I finished my first half just under 2-hours and kept a great pace. I became addicted to the challenge mentally and physically especially for longer races like a half.  Since my first half in 2011, I’ve ran 5 other halfs and a handful of 10-milers, 10k’s, 5k’s – and continue to try and dabble, but my training game has not been as strong as it was in my peak time.

Fitness Friday 09 - Running - the bee life

So enough about me, here are some running tips whether you’re a beginner, a veteran, or someone like me – trying to get back into the race.

Start Slow: Don’t worry about your mile pace, and if you’re the person who says “running isn’t for me” run/walk and try interval training.  Your time will improve as you spend time and start tracking more miles.

Stay Consistent: Most training programs recommend at least 4-days during the week of lower mile runs, try and start here working your way up to a comfortable 3-miles.

Be Brave. Okay, so you’ve been running and improving, but you don’t think you’ll be able to finish that 6-miles? You can, go for it! You actually might be surprised at how easy it is! If you run the same pace and same distance for too long, the benefits of the exercise will lessen over time because you body will be conditioned. Any slight ways that you can push yourself, do it!

Stretch. Make sure to stretch out before and after runs, your muscles will drastically change from before you start to after, it’s important to tend to them!

It’s Mental. No matter the distance or skill you have, it’s mental challenge just as much as the physical, as soon as you want to stop running you need to fight and get those thoughts out of your head to keep running. You’ll be happier once you finish and didn’t stop!

It’s springtime, so get some fresh kicks and get out on that pavement and clock some miles!

 

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.

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!

Week 6 Training – Halfway Point

The end of this training week will mark the halfway point, exactly 6 more weeks until the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon! The last few weeks have unfortunately been very sparse with the training aspect, so time for a harsh reality check.

Week 3 – I literally did nothing

Week 4 – I got a short 2.65 mile run and my long 5 miles in – for a grand total of 7.65 miles

Week 5 – One 4-mile run

Week 6 – Still in progress

I have 4 days left in week 6 to get some additional miles in. I really hate writing and publishing this for the world to see, but I have been severely lacking motivation…. major runners block.

Tough love 

How do you push through your long days to get those miles in?

78.6 race miles + a few hundred in training

Yesterday I finished my 6th half-marathon, which helps me cross off one of my NYE resolutions for 2014!  (And I will be running my 7th half-marathon and potentially my last this October!)  Before, during and after every half-marathon, I always ask myself… “Why am I doing this?”  and every time I have a different answer.  Sometimes it’s because I like challenging myself, physical and mentally and other times I am trying to beat my own goal.

If you’re not a runner, or if you’re not a long distance runner, the sounds of running 13.1 miles for essentially 2-hours sounds crazy ridiculous.  But when you tack on 12-weeks of training that includes long weekend runs (10 or 11 miles) you might think that is even more crazy. Well yes, it is.  Unfortunately this race, I struggled both in training and on my actual race (because I didn’t train enough).  I am still trying to find the balance between work, life and my workout life, it has been a roller coaster this year, but I am confident and determined!

This year, the Cleveland Rite Aid 10k, Half and Full Marathon had a new route around the city – which was really great, moderate hills and a change of scenery.  However the last 3 miles down the shoreway to the finish were tough!  To add another twist on running 13.1 miles I decided a few days in advance that I would try and live tweet during my run, and I did! #emrunscle2014

I crossed the finish line at 2:14:05
Bentley finished at 2:02:39 – and he didn’t stop! I couldn’t be more proud of him!

Here are a few in case you missed them:

After every race, it is hard not to feel extremely accomplished and this race was no different! Especially when you check the time and see it’s 10:30am to realize you’ve already run 13.1 miles and finished a free beer, wouldn’t you feel accomplished? Or just me? 🙂

If you are planning to run a half marathon here is the training routine I use, it allows for a mix of running and strength training, which is VERY important. These routines also allow for a variety of levels including beginning, intermediate and advanced, even a walking program!

I hope to document my training for my upcoming race in October, although that won’t be until end of July… and I hope to be able to train better to end my half-marathon career with a bang and lucky #7.  Of course I plan to have updates before then! Much fun is looming in my future, our friends are getting married this weekend, we will be traveling to NYC for an upcoming weekend – just to name a few!

Happy Running!
xo – eb