Listening to Your Body

by Sue

I’ve made a huge effort to increase my speed the past couple months. And I have been successful, for sure….I’ve had a couple awesome PRs that I’m really proud of. But, my hamstring/butt/sciatic nerve(?) has been bothering me maybe more than a little bit lately, and I’m thinking it’s my body’s way of saying I’ve been overdoing it a tad. I had a close-to-the-same-vicinity injury last year at the beginning of training for my first full which, coincidentally, also occurred while increasing my speed (although, much more painful….and which allowed no running at all for a couple weeks, as it hurt to put my pants on). I don’t know if these are related, but I’m trying to listen to my body and hopefully avoid going down that road again. Whatever this is, it’s really not too bad, and obviously, I’d like to keep it that way. So the ice pack, foam roller, and I have become friends again.

Treadmill + progression + last mile at therefore, not-so-crazy speed:

Monday: 9 miles in 1:16:27 (probably not the smartest idea after running 9 the day before)
Tuesday: 6 miles in 50:39
Wednesday: 6 miles in 50:39

So let’s have a little more lighthearted talk.

Three things I am loving right now:

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These shoes. They are Swedish Hasbeens. They are, in fact, made in Sweden. A lot of time and effort went into researching that fact, as you can imagine. Total impulse purchase. They have a pretty high heel, yet somehow they are still comfortable. And since they cost approximately $1.2 million, you might want to get yourself two pairs.

Moving on….

Birchbox. Otherwise known as Beauty Product Christmas every month.

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Kelly gave me a subscription for my birthday last year. Every month they send you a box of samples of the latest higher-end beauty products. Whatever you decide you like, you can easily order more of from their website, but no obligations. You can also fill out a profile outlining what kind of stuff you like and they will cater it toward your preferences. $10/month at birchbox.com

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Even the box is pretty.

And last but not least….

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip, recipe found on stuftmama.com. She has THE most amazing, healthy recipes.

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Secret ingredient? Chick peas. Really, I cannot stop. Yes, I may have put in double the amount of chocolate chips it called for. And yes, they may have been the jumbo-sized ones.

On Running Naked

by Sue

My week in runs….

Treadmill + progression + last mile at 7:09 pace:

Monday: 9 miles in 1:15:00
Wednesday: 6 miles in 49:30
Thursday: 6 miles in 49:38

As I’ve mentioned before, the way I get through so much treadmill running is by watching Netflix on the iPad. I finished off The Tudors (I always hate when a really good series ends), and stumbled upon The Walking Dead. I think this is going to be good. Psychologically freaky, but good.

Saturday morning I ran an annual fundraiser 5K put together by a coworker of mine, in support of her daughter, who has Williams Syndrome. 40 degrees on a Memorial Day weekend morning in Ohio? I like it. Well, at least today I did. I had good vibes. I really, really wanted to sub-23:00 it. And then like ten seconds before the start–this was a small race, therefore no chip timing–I messed up my watch and couldn’t get it fixed in time. Now, if anyone has ever read anything else I’ve written, you KNOW I’m a numbers freak and NEED my watch. I had some momentary panic but then realized, what else could I do? I was just going to have to go on feel and hope for the best.

There were volunteers with stopwatches at each mile marker which I was sooo grateful for. The girl at the first mile gave me a 7:18. Awesome. At that point I think I had counted four people ahead of me, and then a fifth when I was passed by an older guy (I found out later he was 68 and had only been running a couple years….props to you, sir!). The girl at the second mile gave me a 14:46 elapsed time. There were a couple hills that last mile that slowed me down a little bit, so I honestly was not sure what time I was going to finish in.

22:56!!!! And a new PR!

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I love my Pace Calculator app.

6th overall
2nd female
1st in age group

And then I find out the girl who beat me had only started running again yesterday after having surgery on both her feet and being in a wheelchair and needing a walker. I’m thinking she deserved the win, yes?

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LOVE the medal:)

And I have GOT to read that Garmin manual.

Sunday, Kelly and I met at our standing weekend run-date spot at the trail. I ran a nice, easy 9 miles in 1:17:28.

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Only five weeks til Marine Corps Marathon training starts!

33.1 miles total for week.

Hot in Cleveland-A Look Back at the Cleveland Marathon 2012

By Kelly
Workouts:
Last week
Sunday-9 miles- Trail
Monday-Elliptical 30 minutes/Yoga
Tuesday-6 miles – Treadmill
Wednesday-6 miles – Treadmill
Friday – 4.5 miles – Phoenix
Saturday – Elliptical 40 minutes
This week – All on Treadmill-Progression runs
Monday -4 miles
Tuesday-5 miles
Wednesday-5 miles
Friday-3 miles

Sue suggested doing a post on each of our perspectives of the 2012 Cleveland Marathon – a year later. After reading Sue’s post I know why I have avoided writing this..it is very painful to think about let alone put it in words.

The good…

-We had a great dinner with friends. Tara gave Sue and I these custom made t-shirts.

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99% of our long runs are done on a 6 mile rail trail that is in our small town. We go back and forth and back and forth and…you get the idea. So anything but the Great Guernsey Trail is a nice change of scenery.

-I had a new race outfit. Lululemon race skirt and a tank from Athleta.

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-I was running this race with two of my favorite people, Sue and Tara. I knew we wouldn’t be running together but just knowing we were accomplishing it together made me feel happy about running this race.

The Bad…

So what went wrong? There were three major things that I felt impacted my race performance; two of which were impossible to control… They are the 3
W’s…

-W #1 – The Weather – standing at the starting line I thought it was going to be a great day to race, but within a few miles it was warming up. Hot, humid and miserable.

-W #2 – Work – I am a tax accountant. I am not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for a spring marathon. Obviously 6 to 7 days a week of working long hours was not enough of a challenge for me. Therefore, I struggled a lot during my training. Unlike Sue, I would get the miles in, but on the longer training runs I had to run and walk. “Time on my feet” was the mantra I adopted, which was not even close to what I needed to feel good for 26.2 miles.

-W #3 – Weight- I was 10 to 15 pounds heavier than when I ran my fastest half. Does weighing more make you slower? In my case it did. I don’t want to carry my water when I run because I feel like it weighs me down, why I gained weight and than thought I could finish in the time I wanted is beyond me.

The Race…

I started to feel bad about mile 7. My hands were swollen and I felt nauseous. I honestly contemplated making the turn with the half marathoners and being done. I knew Ryan would be waiting for me around the half-way point and when I saw him I said three words “I need you”. He ran with me and did everything he could to try to keep me running but I felt bad. Around mile 20, I told him I wanted to be done and he looked at the map to see how far it would be to get back to the hotel. He quietly informed me it would be just as long to backtrack as it would be to finish. So I finished. I honestly feel like I ran a half marathon and walked a half marathon that day with a finish time of 5:48! The best part of the race was the last stretch when Sue sent her kids in and they crossed the finish line with me.

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The only thing that kept me from crying after crossing the finish line was Sue saying to me “Kelly, it was brutal, I had to walk”. In all our training runs I have never seen her walk, at that point I realized how much the weather really impacted us.

The Funny….
With a few miles left to go Ryan looks at me and said “We can’t let HIM beat you”. I looked next to me and there is a Joggler (a person who runs a race while juggling – according to Wikipedia it is a competitive sport). At that point I didn’t care who beat me.. and now I am known as the girl who got beat by the
Joggler. Lucky for me it is on YouTube. You can see me, Sue’s girls and Ryan behind the Joggler.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

by Sue

Treadmill + progression + last mile at 7:09 (wow! for me) pace:

Monday: 6 miles in 49:58
Wednesday: 9 miles in 1:15:21
Thursday: 8 miles in 1:06:31
Friday: 6 miles in 49:33
Saturday: 6 miles in 49:19

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So, a year ago last weekend, our friend Tara and I ran our first fulls (Cleveland Marathon), and Kelly her second. (That’s actually us post-that race in our blog header picture). A lot has changed in a year. Since we didn’t start our blog until last July, we thought it might be worth a little reflection….

Hmmm….how can I sum up that experience, for me, in three statements or less?

1) First and foremost, it was insanely, and by that I do mean INSANELY hot and humid. I believe it was 85 degrees by the time I finished and well over that in %humidity. And that, of course, set the tone for the rest….

2) I started out just fine. I was nervous, for sure, as this was a first for me. I followed Ryan’s advice about maintaining no faster than an 8:45-ish pace to start. I saw my family and Ryan around the half….yet it all kinda fell apart after that. I hit the wall no later than mile 15. And by hitting the wall I mean I had to….I’ll just say it….walk. It was that or collapse or get sick. I know marathons are mental battles, but this felt mostly physical at that point in time. People were going down all over the place due to the heat. I think they may have called the race at one point? I had never, NEVER walked on any of my training runs. Ever. Long runs included. I just didn’t do it. I’m a little neurotic like that. I remember finishing and not feeling like it counted as a marathon because I had to walk way more than just through the water stations. I felt like I failed myself.

3) Everything in my training (despite an early injury), had gone so well…yet when it came down to it, I rapidly went from changing my goal of a sub-4:00 to a 4:05, 4:10, etc. as the miles passed, all the way down to what Kelly calls “Beat Oprah” time.

OK, that was definitely more than three statements or less.

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So THIS I believe is one of the photos my husband group texted to everyone after I finished. Lookin’ good, yes? Not exactly my first choice of post-26.2-finish photo-ops, but it pretty much summed it up quite accurately.

What I learned:

1) Despite everything, this was a HUGE accomplishment. I finished in a more than respectable time, 4:22:22. Be grateful. And be proud.

2) Sometimes, despite doing everything right, circumstances are beyond one’s control. A hard thing to accept, for someone like me with control issues, but it is what it is. Be willing to adjust goals.

3) This was an incredibly humbling experience for me as a runner. When all was said and done, was I a touch disappointed? Yes, maybe. Afraid to try again? No way.

Besides, I was already registered for the 2012 MCM before I ever ran this first one. File THAT under the category of “Who does that????”

35 miles total for the week.

My Week in Pictures

by Sue

So it’s back to the grind again. No rest for the weary. I was sore but actually did not feel too badly after the race.

Treadmill + progression + last mile at 7:30 pace:

Monday: 6 miles in 50:12
Wednesday: 8 miles in 67:43
Thursday: 6 miles in 50:00

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My sister sent me these after the half. I really do have the best sister ever.

So, what else has been going on?

A little First Communion….
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A little award-winning dancing….

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A little car siesta during aforementioned dancing….
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A little Mother’s Day….

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Holy bedazzling, Batman. I think my husband bought out the entire crafts section of the store.

Early Sunday morning Kelly and I met at the trail for a longer weekend run since we’re not on any “official” training plan right now. That will be here again before we know it. It was an absolutely beautiful cool morning. I either forgot or didn’t know Ryan was coming. I would have, like, carb-loaded or something. You think I’m kidding? We hadn’t run together since our MCM training long runs last fall, so it was a nice change. He and I ended up doing 9 relatively easy miles in 1:15:58, 8:26 average pace. Kelly had a great run too….she will fill you in on that in her next post.

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What’s up with my hair? No idea.

A little randomness….

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Can I get this gig? I mean, seriously?

And last but not least, now that I’ve shown you every last picture on my phone, a little hoping you had a wonderful Mother’s Day….

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I love these two!

29 miles total for the week.

Cap City Half Marathon Recap

by Sue

Last week of training plan before last Saturday’s half….

Treadmill + progression runs:

Monday: 6 miles in 49:26 (last mile 7:30 pace)
Tuesday: 4 miles in 31:11 (last mile 7:09 pace)
Wednesday: 6 miles in 49:19 (last mile 7:09 pace)
Thursday: 4 miles in 34:20 (last mile 7:30 pace)

Other than my 13.1 mile trail run with Kelly, and the 15K and 5K races I did, I had trained exclusively on the treadmill for this one. Didn’t really intend to. Just happened. There was a lot of squeezing in/juggling of runs as usual, so it was convenient. That and The Tudors is really good.

So, I’d stressed over this race for a while now. I really, really wanted to PR it. I thought I could do it, but I’ve certainly thought wrong before.

I broke it down into two goals:
A Goal: sub-1:45
B Goal: sub-1:46:52, my official half PR, which was the first half I ran 2 years ago, which also happens to be this same race.
Note there were no C Goals or beyond.

A little inspiration….

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It was, as Kelly called it, No Excuses weather. Partly cloudy, 50-ish chilly degrees at the start. Last year when we ran this it was hot and insanely humid. I went out too fast and ended up with barely a 1:49-something. So things were looking good so far.

I decided I’d try and hang around the 1:45 pace group, just so that I would not go out too fast–a good strategy for me. Also I was carrying my own handheld water bottle in order to avoid water stop congestion.

I was already hot one mile in. But other than my already small water bottle leaking the whole way (operator error of course), I felt pretty good miles 1-9, fueled by Nuun and gummy bears. (I love me some frosting, but I don’t care what anyone says–GU is NOT the consistency of frosting–and I just can’t quite seem to choke it down). Way before that point my water was gone and by mile 10 I was so thirsty I had to do some run-and-grab-and-try-to-make-contact-with-mouth at a couple water stations. And it was somewhere around there that the mental game began….

So those last 3 were my GUT IT OUT miles. I was feeling pretty bad at that point. That foggy, kind of sick bad, where everything seems hazy. I was still hanging onto the 1:45 pace group but they were starting to pull ahead. I honestly felt like saying screw the time goal at this point. I just wanted to be done.

If anyone knows this course, once I made the turn onto High Street, I pulled it together. Not exactly sure how, but I did. Less than 2 to go, and the pace group had basically dispersed and I ended up running next to one of the pacer guys, who in all honesty, got me through/talked me through to the finish. So thank you, Mr. FleetFeetSports Pacing Team Dude, you were awesome. I should probably give you half my medal. Or at the very least buy you a beer.

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Unofficial time: 13.2 in 1:44:24. Average pace 7:54. Chip time 1:44:26.

A Goal….Met.

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Finally! Soooo excited! Today was made ridiculously amazing.

I texted Ryan and he said they were at 10. Waited a little bit and saw Tara and then Kelly who was looking strong at the finish!

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Who needs chocolate milk when you’ve got champagne? Just kidding. Well, sort of.

This is a great–and one of our favorite (as we are repeat customers)–halfs to run. If you like fast and flat….this race is for you. Nice downtown/trendy neighborhood scenery, great crowd support, water stations not too crowded, and great volunteers and finish line food….and the party at the end is always an added bonus. I suppose the fact that we both used to live in Columbus makes us a little biased.

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Celebrating at the finish. We missed you, Pam!

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33.2 miles total for the week.

GUT IT OUT-cap city half marathon race recap – from a slower perspective

By Kelly
Workouts:
Last Week-
Monday-6 miles
Tuesday-Trainer Josh-All Core
Wednesday-3 miles on Treadmill/Barre Class
Thursday-30 minutes ellipticial/20 minutues bike
Saturday-Capital City Half Marathon-13.1
This Week-
Monday-3.1 Treadmill/Yoga
Tuesday-Bike 20 minutes/Elliptical 25 minutes
Wednesday-5 miles treadmill-progression run
Thursday-5 miles treadmill-progression run

Woke up to a no excuses running day.
pre race weather

I was feeling confident that I would feel good the whole 13.1

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Ryan was going to slow down and run with me to try to push me.
And this is how is went…
Mile 1-9:34, Mile 2-9:40, Mile 3-9:58, Mile 4-9:59, Mile 5-10:11
At this point we saw the 2:05 pacer, and Ryan proposed trying to stay with her. I thought for a minute about it, but knew I couldn’t maintain that pace.
Mile 6-10:20, Mile 7-10:42, Mile 8-10:46
That is where I began to fall apart. Ryan tried to distract me by taking some action shots.

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My legs were heavy and calves were cramping. I allowed myself to walk through the water stations and my pace was getting slower and slower.
Mile 9-11:28 and then Ryan got this text.

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I was ecstatic for Sue and Ryan kept reminding me of what she said .Gut it Out.. Mile 10-10:59, Mile 11-11:15, Mile 12-12:06, Mile 13-11:52… Finish time 2:22
I definitely have mastered positive splits.
Running 13.1 is always an accomplishment, so I still managed to celebrate and enjoy the post race party with some beer and champagne.

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Congrats Sue!!! Now please coach me on how to gut it out…

I See Hill Work in My Future

by Sue

So it’s been a while….

Things have been CRAZY the past couple weeks. So I’m going to backtrack a little bit.

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Me and the birthday girl.

The week of the 15th was my highest mileage of my half plan. It went like this:

Treadmill + progression + last mile at 7:30 pace:

Monday: 8 miles in 66:32
Tuesday: 6 miles in 50:12
Wednesday: 8 miles in 66:44
Thursday: 4 miles in 31:57

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Trying to keep things like this in mind.

Saturday I signed up for a local fundraiser 5K. Why not, right? I have run two fulls and many halfs, yet truth be told, the last time I ran a 5K race was sometime in the mid to late 90s when I would not have actually called myself a runner. In fact I remember barely making it through.

So, I honestly thought I could do this sub 23:00.

Well, let’s just say that didn’t quite happen. Despite the perfect cold weather, it was a TAD, and by tad I mean TOTALLY hilly. For some stupid reason the potential for it to be hilly didn’t cross my mind. I didn’t even know the course route. This, however, should not have been a surprise. It’s like I’d forgotten where I live.

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I ended up being about 90 seconds (way) over my goal time. Unofficial time 24:17:54. 3rd place female and I think 12th overall. So I cannot complain.

Trying not to look at this as a fail; more like a lesson in what I need to work on. I need to make friends with the hills.

I added 10 more treadmill miles (84:44) when I got home to finish my weekend long run.

Sunday: 4 miles in 33:23

43.13 miles total for the week.

Moving on to the week of the 22nd’s runs….

Treadmill + progression + last mile at 7:30 pace:

Monday: 10 miles in 84:37
Wednesday: 6 miles in 49:41
Thursday: 12 miles in 1:41:24 (last long run of the training plan!)
Friday: 6 miles in 49:32
Saturday: 6 miles in 49:17

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40 miles total for the week.

Finished the week off with a 5th place vault in her age bracket at the state gymnastics meet. Happy girl and proud mommy!

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The girl can run.