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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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!
Guys! Confession: I’ve been totally slacking from a fitness perspective – after working through and fighting the urge to rest with prolonged chronic back pain (almost 4-months) – my routine has been completely shot, because I all of a sudden haven’t been resisting the urge to rest as much! #FailedRoutine
I’ve been slowly working through the back, getting back my strength and working to be back to the place I want to be with my routine. I’ve also been itching to get running again, I’ve actually been dreaming about running – but I’m an outside runner and the winter doesn’t really jive well with that. But, enough with the excuses – time for plans on how to get back into the groove for 2019, for real this time!
First things first, stop making excuses. I haven’t been getting up out of bed for my early morning workouts, and I easily bow out of the evenings blaming the commute or being tired. It’s time to start waking up and working out!
Seriously, cut those damn carbs. Again, lazy is easy and carbs are a lazy way to eat. Better planning for meals and proactively cutting out those carbs will help balance the inconsistent workout routine.
Establish a running routine. As I mentioned in my 2019 fitness goals and above, I want to incorporate running as a more prominent staple into my fitness routine this year. We are already signed up for a race in April, but I want to sign up for half marathon… or two *grins* this way I’ll have a training schedule to help me stick to this goal.
Are you struggling with your fitness goals? How do you overcome them?
This past weekend was full of festive activities to kickoff the first weekend of December! Our Saturday started with a trip downtown with the extended family for the A Christmas Story Run 5k/10k. With it’s sixth year in, this has always been on our wish list of races to-do, but never seems to workout, we finally signed up so we could partake in the little tradition that our extended family has been doing the last few years!
With following along with the tradition came evil elf hats from the movie and walking the length of the 5k… which for B and I wasn’t ideal, but we wanted to partake in the all the fun and experience! On top of walking that meant, stopping to take pictures at the mile markers, Cleveland sign and seeing everyone’s costumes! We finally made it to the house, which by the time we’d gotten there from walking, it was madness in the little A Christmas Story village in Tremont. So we shuffled past the house with the crowd. B and I ended up getting our run in, while the rest of the family waited for a bus to get back downtown – we decided to run back to complete the circle and get our actual 5k run in!
After taking some photos in picturesque downtown CLE – we did a little shopping before stopping at our go-to post race spot, Brewnuts for A Christmas Story themed donuts to go and then grabbed brunch at XYZ Tavern in Gordon Square! It was a fun little adventure with the family, while feeling a little silly in our hats (because they had to be worn everywhere) – but it was all in good fun and a great way to kickoff the holiday season.
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.
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.
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.
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.” ❤
Image Source: Finish Line photo from Hermes Road Racing Cleveland
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.
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:
- Continue my cross training classes
- Get in at least one 3-4 mile run each week until the race
- Go on 3-longer runs (6, 8, 10-miles)
- 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!
Catch up on past Fitness Friday’s; March | April | May
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!
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.