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!

Biathlon Beginnings

Miscellaneous

This past weekend was my first running + biking event — the 2013 Bellefaire JCB Biathlon.

The event was a 5K run (3.1 miles) followed by a 12.9 mile bike ride through the beautiful cities of Shaker Heights, Beachwood and Mayfield. I convinced the boyfriend to compete with me. (FYI he loves when I force him to do events like this. Just kidding, he enjoys it. Most of the time at least.) biathonStart

The run was smooth and fast and we finished in about 27 minutes. Pacing ourselves at 9:23 was a good idea since we had a nice little bike ride ahead of us. The ride was challenging, but awesome. There was one gruesome hill that had bikers dropping like flys. The BF and I powered through it though, even high-fiving at every mile. (We continued this tradition from our first half marathon together back in May.)

Overall our time for the entire event was 1:27 something. The BF snuck ahead of me and technically beat me by 8 seconds. Of course me being Miss. Competitive/Must-Win-Everything didn’t like that 8 second lead. (In fact I still don’t like it.) BiathonPicnic

Post-race was a giant picnic with TONS of food. I’m pretty sure I ate back all the calories I burnt in the race on the food I ate afterwards. That’s OK though since it was my cheat meal for the week. Let me tell you how delicious it was to eat a pulled-pork sandwich on white bread. In fact, I even went a little wild and stole a bite or two of the boyfriend’s donut he was munching on.

BiathonMeWhile we were enjoying our food, an announcer came on and started the awards. I was sitting back against a table and had only just whispered “I wish I had a medal to hang up” to the BF when suddenly the announcer called my name over the speaker! Everyone I was with screamed and cheered as I ran up there. I had no idea! I went up there and to my huge surprise received a congratulatory first place medal for my age group (20-24). BiathonAJME

Winning that medal was the cherry on top of an amazing race. The boyfriend and I added it to our “We’ll be back every year for the rest of our life” event check-list. At some point I would love to do a duathlon, which is running biking and running again. I think the next event like that around here though is next August. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens! 

Next up on my “train all winter race all summer” is a 10K on Sunday at my favorite winery! (Find more information about the Vineyard Run.) The race is through the scenic grape vineyards and has mostly trails, plus you get a FREE glass of wine post-race. I mean, what’s not to love about this event?

There’s a few smaller races I’m thinking about doing in September, but the BIG race coming up on September 28th is Akron*dun dun dun*

I still have not decided if I’m doing the full or half. On a good day I can run 17 miles, but I’m near death after. The fear of having to run almost another 10 miles after that is really stopping me from signing up, but the fear of having to wait until next summer to have the chance to run a full again is scaring me too. I know that if I do the half, it’ll be easy and I’ll wish the entire time I did the full. On the other hand if I do the full I’ll A.) Be alone and B.) Want to die. I can’t decide and time is quickly running out. I don’t want the fear to stop me, but what’s the smart decision here?

Am I only half crazy? Or fully crazy? That is the real question.

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!