Autumn Leaves 5 Miler With a Side of Cough

Miscellaneous

Life has happened.

Work is a mad house. We moved into our new apartment. My parents moved to Cincinnati. I’m planning one of my best friend’s bridal showers and helping with the wedding in December. I’ve been incredibly sick and coughing for over three weeks… I’m not even going to pretend that I haven’t fallen way behind on training and running. In the past three weeks I’ve had two workouts: 1.) I jumped on a trampoline for about 6 minutes before I coughed up both lungs 2.) I ran a five mile race, which was hell.

After last year’s post marathon 4-month hiatus, I was determined not to let it happen again this year. Sure I didn’t need to be running 20 miles every weekend, but a 10-12 miler here and there and hitting the gym a few days a week wouldn’t hurt. I know it has only been three weeks, but I can already feel my decreased fitness level, not to mention my diet has been awful, which in turn makes me feel awful.

I finished up some antibiotics a few days ago and I am slowly starting to feel better. I still have an obnoxious cough though and I’m nervous to run or do any vigorous, long-term activity.

Last weekend I ran the Northeast Running Club’s Autumn Leaves 5 Miler at Lake Farmpark because A.) I had already signed-up and paid for it B.) I wanted to knock out my November race ASAP since I hate running in cold weather.

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The race was muddy and cold, but it was manageable. I didn’t talk to anyone. I was simply there to run the race, get it over with and go home. I started off SUPER slow because I didn’t want to be coughing the entire race. Anytime I coughed a little bit, I slowed my pace even more. My finishing time was embarrassing compared to the five miler I ran back in April, yet someone I placed second in my age group. (What a joke.)

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I ran straight through the finish line to my car, where I coughed hysterically in semi-private. At one point I looked over and saw a man cleaning off his shoes (because the course was incredibly muddy) and he was eying me cautiously, probably wondering if I was about to die or not. I wanted to shout “WHAT!!? HAVEN’T YOU SEEN SOMEONE COUGH BEFORE? DON’T LOOK AT ME!!” but instead I took off my muddy shoes, got in my car and continued coughing.
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Since we moved to a new area we bought new gym memberships. The fiancé has gone a few times this week while I’ve stayed home and gotten the apartment under control (we’ve been there less than a week now). I am planning on going to the gym tomorrow if it rains, but if it doesn’t I’m going to go on a slow, “exploring the city” 5 miler. We’ll see how the weather turns out and how I feel come tomorrow morning. I just hope I can enjoy some sort of activity without coughing like I smoked for 50 years. Tonight we are having the sister-in-law over for drinks and dinner and continuing to unpack and get our lives under control.

Life is happening that’s for sure and I am going to make it a priority this next week to fit in workouts, work on my diet and try to see opportunity in all the new changes and challenges life is throwing at me.

Keep running!

The Perfect Summer Bucket List

Miscellaneous

Seventeen.

Seventeen glorious, perfect summer weekends between Memorial Day and the first day of fall.

Summer is by far my favorite time of year for many reasons. For starters: I love hot weather, I love the beach and I love race/running season. After Northeast Ohio’s dreadful, polar vortex filled winter; I am already in full summer mode and it’s still technically spring.

Being my normal neurotically organized and planner obsessed kinda gal, I came up with a 2014 summer bucket list.

Here’s what I got so far:

  •  Go to Put-N-Bay for Christmas in July weekend (July 25, 26, 27)
  •  Go to Cedar Point (In progress – planned for June 13)
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go for a long hike and pack a lunch to eat on the trail
  • Go on a 50+ mile bike ride (I’m thinking I may want to attempt a 100-mile ride, but we’ll see)
  • Go kayaking or canoeing (or both)
  • Go camping in Madison, Ohio (I found a cute, really decently priced cabin online)
  • Go fishing
  • Play volleyball on the beach (We play in a Friday night bar league, but that doesn’t count)
  • Workout at the beach/run on the beach as the sun rises (This weekend the fiancé and I ran at the beach, but the sun was already up so this one gets a half tally for just the workout)
  • Go on a boat or jet ski
  • Attend/have as many bonfires as possible and drink adult beverages around said bonfire (tally = 1)
  • Sky dive (Special on Groupon/Living Social – stay tuned on this one. It’s still pricey, but I think it’ll be worth it. Just gotta convince the fiancé first)
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Try golfing (NOT mini golf)
  • Have a luau party (Don’t judge me – I love a good luau)
  • Go to an Indians game and sit outside on a patio at a bar before (or just do this and watch the game. Possibly attend a game with fireworks afterwards)
  • Visit a lighthouse (This one gets a half tally since this weekend we did hike right up to an old lighthouse, but it was boarded up so we obviously couldn’t go inside)
  • Make a long weekend trip to St. Louis (One of the fiancé’s best friends lives there)
  • Stay a night at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake and go to as many wineries as possible (This one may be tricky, as it is full most of the summer + pretty expensive)
  • Go to the beach as much as possible (tally = 1)
  • Make homemade pizza on the grill or bonfire
  • See Tim McGraw in concert (I’ve seen him every summer since 2008 – AND we are going June 8. Woooo)
  • Grill out at the beach/eat dinner at the beach as the sun sets
  • Make breakfast outside over a fire or the grill (Think eggs, sausage, pancakes even)
  • Run as many races as possible (In progress, of course)

I’m sure we will add to the list too. We’ve got paddle boarding, my first triathlon, throwing a wine tasting party, wine tasting events, party in the park, family reunions and a whole bunch of other great stuff already lined up and planned. It’ll basically be us trying to fill in activities on the list between everything else. I absolutely LOVE this time of year and I couldn’t be more excited!

PLUS: My nephew was born this past weekend! Meet Alexander:

alexander-and-me

Double PLUS: We booked a date and venue for our wedding! BUT we are kind of keeping it a secret until our wine tasting party/engagement party at the end of June. (HINT: It’s pretty far off on the calendar, which is what we wanted.)

Triple PLUS: One of my brothers is interested in starting to run with me! We’ve already talked about possibly running some longer races together, which makes me very happy and excited!

Only one more week until my first triathlon! I’m still scared to death over the swim portion, but I keep telling myself the hardest and scariest part will be starting and getting into the water. Once that is over it’ll be all down hill from there.

“If your dreams don’t scare you – they aren’t big enough.”

I’ll leave you with a picture of the future hubbs and I hanging out at the beach Sunday morning. We did a two mile run with varied HIIT on the bike path and then explored the coast after with a beach hike.

sunday-morning-beachToday’s workout: 11.5 mile bike, 1.5 mile run, ¼ mile swim.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Look in the mirror — there’s your competition.

Miscellaneous

Well…it happened…

I signed up and am officially running the Akron Marathon on Saturday, September 28. marathon

It still seems unreal. I’ve dreamed about running a marathon for years — even when I thought 4 miles was soooo long during my early college years of running. Now, I finally feel ready enough to attempt it.

All summer I went back and forth with the decision to run it or not. I had planned to do it and then suddenly prices dramatically increased. Then I was out of commission for three weeks because I got my wisdom teeth out and developed a terrible infection. Then people I spoke to warned me “Oh no you don’t want to run Akron as your first marathon.” Or “It’s stupid, don’t ever run a marathon.” Etc. Etc. Etc.

I got so inside my own head that I shut out the idea for a little bit. Then suddenly something just clicked inside of me. I trained all summer (well minus three weeks) and I knew that the Akron half marathon would be too easy. I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to feel proud of myself. I wanted to be the person I had watched at the Cleveland Marathon finishing strong and crossing mile 26.2.

Suddenly I felt a huge surge of inspiration and motivation. I would never be more ready then I would be right now. Of course I would (and am) continuing to train up until the race, but if I didn’t take advantage of this right now, I would spend all winter wondering what if?

Of course I’m still terribly afraid. I’m petrified I’ll get to mile 18 and just be done, but I’m also so excited that it keeps me awake at night. The past two weekends I woke up with a giant smile at 7 a.m. because it was the day for my long run.

I’m also nervous because I’ll be running it alone. Of course there will be the other 2,000 runners, but in general, none of my friends will be there running next to me. The BF just could not do it with his bad knee and of course he feels awful about it, but I’m not holding it against him. This is more of my dream now and I’m finally going to make it happen. I’m scared out of my mind, but I was even more scared to have to wait a whole year to get this opportunity again.

Stay tuned, because this race happens in three weeks!

The BF and I at this weekend's home opener.

The BF and I at this weekend’s home opener.

In other races and life news, I’m a happy gal because my Cleveland Browns are back at it! I’m sad that summer is ending (actually borderline depressed), however I love football season!

I also ran the South River Winery Vineyard Run two weekends ago and it was awesome, but undoubtedly the toughest course I’ve ever ran before. It was all grass trails in and around the grapevines of the winery. Of course it was cool and very scenic, but after almost twisting my ankle 28 times and missing my 10K PR time by two minutes, I was happy to see the finish line.

Friends, myself and the BF post race.

Friends, myself and the BF post winery race.

That’s it for now. I am so focused and excited that I’m practically giddy about it being 91 degrees today, because I plan to get in at least five miles tonight after work. I’ve got to keep this motivation and fire lite!

clearurmindpic

Train all winter, race all summer.

Miscellaneous

I think this might be the summer of races, and I’m not mad about it either.

I’ve ran a couple races the past three weeks and have so many more marked down on my calendar over the next couple months. The boyfriend and I seem to be in an official racing kind of lingo lately. There’s just something so exciting about running a race. The registering, the bib number, lining up, the mile markers, the crowds, the excitement. I love hearing pace times being yelled out, running along side complete strangers and the cheers as you sprint the last few feet into the finish line. Anyone who trains all winter on a treadmill is really missing out if they don’t run any of the races offered in the summer around Northeast Ohio. I mean we only get four nice months of weather anyways, so as a runner you better take advantage of it!

I ran a 10K in Northfield two weeks ago. You could run either a 5K or a 10K. All proceeds from the race went to stop human trafficking and it was put on by a local church. The race size was relatively small, but the route included mostly bike trail running and a few good hills. My mom walked the 5K and set a new PR for herself! I finished the 10K in just under an hour, which I was happy about. More info on the race can be found here.

Mom and I after the race.

Mom and I after the race.

Yesterday night the boyfriend and I got a group of friends together to run the Mentor Flag Day 5K. It was supposed to storm, but it actually only ended up sprinkling as everyone started to cross the finish line. The event included post race food, which was awesome. I set a new PR for my 5K time (26:45), which isn’t amazing, but the last 5K I didnt was in December and my time was 34 something, so I’ll take it. The race was on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., which I actually really liked after a long work day. This is a great family event too. More information on the race can be found here.   

America!

America!

I really wanted to run The Lake Health Half Marathon this Sunday, but the race is sold out. Why they stop accepting entries? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty bummed. Plus the race was only a cool $50 compared to other halfs AND only 15 mintues from my house, but oh well.

This week marks 16 weeks out from the Akron Marathon. I’ve tossed around the idea of trying to run the full, but it’s not set in stone yet. I’m following a bare minimum training schedule for a full, but who knows if I’ll just stick with the half instead. The mileage is way down to only 18 miles a week right now, so it’s currently no big deal. We’ll see what happens I guess!

I hope everyone is taking advantage of summer and running a few races!

Keeping Running!

“Dreadmill” Season

Miscellaneous
A little cold, but still braving the run!

A little cold, but still braving the run!

I’ve ran outside twice in the past week! Yes, twice In Chardon, Ohio – the snow belt of Northeast Ohio. This is AMAZING! I have been going crazy running on the treadmill lately, or as I like to call it, “The Dreadmill.”

I’m on week 3 of 18 of training for my half marathon in May. I’ve liked the shorter runs during the week (2, 3, 4 miles) and the longest run on Sundays. I know it will not stay this quick and easy for long though. I got week 1’s long run in outside (4 miles), but last week’s five miler was on the treadmill at the gym, and it was terrible. I was going crazy. I was so bored and restless. How do people run huge distances on treadmills? I had to put a towel over the distance number because I was driving myself crazy looking at it and hoping and praying my five miles was almost up. That’s not the way I want to run though. When I run outside I very rarely glance down at my watch to check the distance. A couple weeks ago I ran 6.5 miles outside easily because I was enjoying myself. I don’t enjoy myself AT ALL on the treadmill and I’m afraid that’s really going to hurt me later on down the road when there’s six inches of snow and ice outside and I’ll have no choice but to use the treadmill.

running puddlesBy the end of both runs outside this week my feet were cold and my shoes were heavy because they were so wet from all the melting snow. It was terribly uncomfortable. I just wish it was warm outside. It would make training so much easier and not seem so much like a chore  somedays. Oh and to make matters worse, the only time I can get some runs in during the week is by going to the gym after work around 6 p.m. It’s so packed it’s unreal, plus there’s about 800 people from high school I try to avoid there. I’ve even gone out the side exit to avoid seeing some people. (It’s OK, you can make fun of me for that, I laughed when I did it too and so did my best friend when I texted her right after “You won’t believe who I saw tonight…” I guess that’s a girl thing.)

Somedays it’s a nightmare and a struggle to get on that treadmill. It’s probably going to be like that for a while. It’s going to get harder too, but then again it’s going to get easier at some point too. I try to remind myself that I’ve wanted to do this for so long and when I am running that route on May 19, I’ll be able to enjoy it and I’ll be so proud of myself.

Does anyone have any tips for treadmill running? Is there a secret to not going crazy while running long distances indoors? Please share!

if you wait...