Biathlon (Run + Bike) Registration Give-a-Way!

Miscellaneous, Running

DRAWING UPDATE – The winner is Dave Marsi!

Time to celebrate summer! I’m giving away one FREE registration for the 2014 Bellefaire JCB Biathlon & Walk on Sunday, August 24! If you are looking for a perfect, end-of-summer race then you won’t want to miss this one in Shaker Heights!

Photo courtesy of Bellefaire JCB.
(Photo courtesy of Bellefaire JCB.)

The biathlon includes a fast, flat 3-mile run, followed by a mostly flat 12-mile bike ride. The transition area is simple and perfect for runners looking to make the transition to multi-sport events. I ran this race in 2013 and it was my first glimpse into the world of competitive biking. I was THRILLED to place first in my age group last year! (There is also a two-mile fun run and walk that takes walkers through the beautiful streets of Shaker Heights and University Heights.)

Photo courtesy of Bellefaire JCB.
(Photo courtesy of Bellefaire JCB.)

Not only is this a dual event, but the post race picnic afterwards is awesome. Forget just water and a free banana (although I’m sure they will have some) this event boasts a huge selection of food and fun afterwards. Sloppy joes, donuts, cookies, an assortment of fruit, pastas, juices and more! There will also be children’s activities and ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Be sure to bring your family members!

This race offers more than just a traditional 5K and the route is scenic and beautiful, PLUS proceeds go to a good cause. I loved this event last year because I convinced the fiancé to do it  (he runs only a select few with me) and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. If you know anything about me you’ll already know that I adore the month of August. For some reason I just love the dog days of summer, so adding this awesome race to the end of August fits perfectly!

bi-couple-2013
(A photo from last year’s race.)

Free registration is a $50 value; however proceeds for the event go back to Bellefaire JCB. Bellefaire JCB is among the nation’s largest, most experienced child welfare agencies. The organization helps more than 21,700 youth and their families achieve resiliency, dignity and self-sufficiency through its more than 25 programs. This race also offers sponsorship and fundraising opportunities for this great cause.

To enter the drawing for one free registration for either the walk or biathlon, please leave me a comment by Wednesday, August 13 telling me how old you were when you first learned to ride a bike OR comment about another fun race that you already ran or are planning to run this summer. (Winner will be chosen using Random.org by Friday, August 15.) 

Run brag! My medal from last year's race.
(Run brag! My medal from last year’s race.)

Training Season

Miscellaneous, Running

I love August.

Honestly it might be one of my favorite months. I don’t know what exactly it is, but I’ve always loved the end of summer. Don’t get me wrong, the start of summer is incredible and filled with anticipation of so many events and activities, but the end of summer has a different vibe. The end of summer usually means being in top physical shape for us runners. After training all summer, the end of August should be your peak performance state. You should also be your tannest and happiest considering you just spent the last three months enjoying flowers and fresh air rather than dragging yourself through snow and slush! There’s just something about knowing you had an amazing summer behind you, but also knowing that there is still some more amazingness to squeeze out before autumn closes in. I always loved feeling the rush of the last few days of summer break before returning to school. Like in college when you spent all summer at home and then suddenly you got to pack up all your stuff and head back to have fun at school. The excitement, the nerves, the newness and the warmth of the summer encompasses everything.

For me now-a-days, the end of summer and watching it fade into fall means that the Akron Marathon is closing in. I’m so excited I get giddy just thinking about it. Last year I ran Akron as my first full marathon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it changed my life. No other memory can give me goose bumps and chills the way thinking about the Akron Marathon does. I loved every single beautiful, painful second of that experience, and I know only other marathon runners can relate to those feelings.  I’ve been doing my long runs on Saturday mornings and there’s nothing like waking up early, excited to run 15 miles. I guess that’s why they call runners crazy. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this though and I can’t wait to be around thousands of other people who felt the same way all those Saturday mornings during training. Running a marathon is an experience like no other and I absolutely cannot wait to get out there on the blue line again in 56 days.

August also means competing in the Bellefaire JCB Biathlon again. It’s a charity ride featuring a fast, flat 5K and then a 13 mile bike ride. Last year I won my age group and it was my first glimpse into the world of competitive biking. Speaking of bikes, I bought an amazing, fast touring bike from a fellow biker in Chardon about a month ago. I have yet to get clip in shoes yet though, so stay tuned for that. (I have visions of myself toppling over and unable to get my feet off the pedals.) I’ve taken the bike out on quite a few rides and every single time I’ve come back thinking “Wow that was fun!” Best feeling ever.

touring-bike
As if training for a full marathon and biathlon weren’t enough, I also signed up for my second triathlon in September. I’ll be competing in the Portage Lakes Sprint Triathlon in Akron on September 14. Yep – then two weeks later I’ll be back in Akron again, but this time running 26.2 miles. With that being said, other athletes can image and appreciate my intense training schedule. Most weeks I train 6 days a week, forcing myself to take a rest days on Sundays after my weekly long run. Sometimes I’ll cave and do a quick bike ride though. My diet and nutrition have been on point as well. Nothing is worse than eating a ton of pizza for dinner and then waking up early to get in a workout (especially a pool workout) and having that greasy pizza sitting on top of your stomach. It’s bloat city. I used to be naive and think that nutrition had nothing to do with athletic performance. (Yes I’ve now learned that lesson the painful way.) It’s still frustrating to me though when we are out at a bar on Friday night and my friends are drinking beer and eating burgers and I’m sipping on some water. Then someone makes some comment “Are you dieting? Why aren’t you eating!? Are you trying to lose weight?!” And I have to explain that I need to do a brick workout in the morning, AKA bike 10 miles and then run 5 miles and being even slightly dehydrated from drinking or bloated from eating a greasy burger just isn’t going to cut it. I constantly have to remind myself that not everyone understands the journey and that it’s OK because they don’t need to understand it.

So basically I meal prep almost everything I eat during the week. It keeps me on point and never in a position where I have to stop and get fast food. It’s a challenge, but then again this entire journey of training for 535263 events has been a challenge, but one that I wouldn’t give up for anything.

meal-prep-july
I only ran one race in July, which was a quick 5-miler in Painesville called the Johnnycake Jog. It was strange to only run one race last month though  because I ran a ton in June.

johnny-cake-jog-2014
Even though training is at an all time high, we still found time to squeeze in our engagement pictures last week. Here’s a sneak peek.

PS. Just looking at these  I cannot stop smiling – we are so excited for NEXT August. Yes, we are even getting married in my favorite month 🙂

kiss-path-engagement
engagement-picture-jump-flowers
us-looking-bench
Keep running!