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!

Summer Goodness

Miscellaneous

I’m being a typical girl when I say this, but where has the time gone!? I can’t believe it’s mid July already! Two seconds ago it was May 19 and I was running the Cleveland Half Marathon with an entire summer before me. Now I’m sitting here on July 16 with a full calendar of events every single weekend between now and Labor Day.

This summer has been awesome — even as I started my big kid job this past month and was officially welcomed into the 40+ hour work week. (P.S. What did I do with myself before I started working full time?!) So since I’ve been feeling like a real adult lately (although I could do without the car payment) my mom and I decided to throw a wine tasting party last Saturday. Pinterest was a huge source of inspiration – check out my Wine Tasting Party Board.

We sent out super cute party invites to guest (which I had a few pictures of, but two weeks ago I ran over my cell phone with my own car — and no, alcohol was not even involved surprisingly). We ended up having around 30 guest Saturday night, and the theme quickly changed from a wine tasting to more of a wine social. By the peak of the night, we probably had 40+ bottles of wine at the “tasting” area.

Beginning of the night.

– Beginning of the night

The party was a blast though. We had grape vine lights strung up as decorations, along with cute wine quotes in pretty frames, plus the weather was gorgeous. The week of the tasting Chardon was actually going on 16 straight days of rain. It was miserable. But the wine gods were shining on us Saturday and the sun was out.

1 of 5 outside tables

– 1 of 5 outside tables

We ended up with a ton of food, even though we supplied a majority of it. Red velvet cup cakes with little frosted grapes on them (they took forever to make), veggie cups, homemade pepperoni roll, a giant platter of sushi, cheese and crackers and of course enough wine to fill a pond. Nothing was better than sitting out on a deck sipping wine with my best friends, gossiping and chatting about everything under the sun. My girlfriends and I all vowed to host a wine or BBQ event once a week from now on. Stay tuned as to how that one plays out.

Food table with a gorgeous rainbow fruit salad

– Food table with a gorgeous rainbow fruit salad

Up next on the summer list looks like Painesville’s Party in the Park event this Saturday, followed by a 5-miler called The Johnny Cake Jog. The weekend after that looks like a

An overview of the decor

An overview of the decor

trip to Put-N-Bay, then Vintage Ohio Wine Festival and a Miranda Lambert concert. Oh plus I think I’m convinced the boyfriend to do a Biathlon with me on August 25. The Biathlon includes a three mile run and a 12 mile bike ride. Check out the 2013 Bellefaire JCB Biathlon & Walk.

Hope everyone’s summer is going just as awesome as mine. If you’re in Northeast Ohio like me — enjoy it now, because we don’t get to 85 percent of the year because of the snow.

Keep Running!