Friday, January 11, 2019

Kicking off the 2019 Training and Race Planning!

It's January, which means the race planning for 2019 is in full swing. I am thankful to once again be on board as a Cleveland Marathon ambassador as well as a Skirt Sports ambassador! I'm also excited to run the Boston Marathon for the second time this spring!

Save 10% off registration with code PM2019!

My marathon training is underway and I must admit I'm having a tougher time getting into it physically and mentally this year. In addition to my foot injuries last summer, I had some health issues in the fall and I am still not feeling 100% myself. I have lacked my normal strength and energy levels, which means some of my workouts have suffered or been postponed. I am doing my best to get in my planned mileage and workouts. I hope in the coming weeks I will feel stronger and more confident in my training.

I must accept that as an athlete there will be ups and downs. Clearly I am in a down period at the moment but this too shall pass. I am strong and I will persist! I am planning a fun race season and will do my best every time I toe the line (even if that means not being as fast as I want). I would love a shiny, new marathon PR in the spring but if it does not happen I can try again in the fall...or next season.

Here is what I have planned out for 2019 so far:

The season will most likely start with the Hinckley Buzzard 25K in mid March unless I jump into something sooner to test my fitness.

My big race in April will be the Boston Marathon of course!

May will be the Cleveland Marathon about 4-5 weeks after Boston. If you are thinking about running feel free to use and share my code PM2019 for 10% off your registration.

In June I will be running a new race called The Forgotten 25K followed up with the Eagle up 100K in (if I can swing it otherwise I will run the 50k or 50 miler).

I am leaving July and August open for now for recovery and lots of summer bike rides! I may sign up for a 1/2 marathon and some shorter stuff to help with my training for the Akron Marathon in September but will play it by ear. I then have Doan Creek 25k in early October.

The rest of the year is TBD or rest if needed. As much as I wish I could commit to more I am learning that my body needs some rest periods too. I will wait and see how I feel later in the year. At minimum I hope to run the Akron Turkey Trot and maybe a Christmas and/or New Years race.

What races are you planning in 2019?

Monday, January 7, 2019

My 2018 Racing Season in a Skirt Sports Ambassador

As some of you may know, I was fortunate enough to become an ambassador for Skirt Sports in early 2018! At the time I had a few products that I liked by Skirt Sports but in the last year those few items have multiplied into a fun, new wardrobe of cute and high-performance women's athletic attire. I thought it would be fun to highlight my races from 2018 and which Skirt Sports products I was wearing for each one.

The season started off with a fun St. Patty's Day-themed race called St Malachi. It's a 5-miler through the streets of Cleveland followed by a big after party in the Cleveland Flats. For this race I wore my Skirt Sports Redemption Capris and managed to set a new 5 mile PR of 34:35 and snag 3rd in my AG in a competitive race so I was very pleased.

Next up was the Hinckley Buzzard 25K trail race, which was a last minute add that turned out very well for me. I got in a great workout once again in my Skirt Sports Redemption Capris and my Skirt Sports Trucker hat and managed first female overall! Of course I went out to celebrate with my hubby and friend Stephanie afterwards!

Then it was the Run for Home Half Marathon in Dover, OH, where I had high hopes of a 1/2 PR but came up just a little short. I raced this time in my Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris and Trucker Hat along with my Cleveland Marathon Ambassador tee. With a time of 1:40 and change and I placed 2nd in my AG so it was a good effort for me.

Then about a week later I really surprised myself at the 20 Mile Drop race in Chardon, OH where I placed first female overall with my fastest ever 20 miler of about a 7:40 pace! It was really a nasty day to race weather wise and I debated sitting this one out but forced myself to line up and do. Once again I raced in my Skirt Sports Redemption Capris and my favorite brightly colored Skirt Sports trucker hat.

I was able to wear my Skirt Sports Lioness Skirt in romance print with my ambassador tee and hat as I set my Marathon PR of 3:29:33 at this year's Hall of Fame Marathon! I crushed my BQ and we definitely celebrated with beers at Fatheads Brewery after! 

The Cleveland Marathon is always one of my favorite events of the year and I am lucky enough to be a race ambassador for them as well! This year I raced in my Skirt Sports Lioness Skirt in holiday print and my ambassador tank and trucker hat in nightdive print. The race started off very strong for me and I thought I was on pace for my second sub-3:30 but I struggled in the later miles and ended up with a 3:38 (still good for a 2nd BQ this year). It was fun to celebrate with Steve and my fellow ambassadors and friends after the race at the Great Lakes Brewing beer tent!

I raced the Eagle up Ultra in Canal Fulton for the first time this year and it was a great event! I opted for the 50 miler and most of the race went well for me, except one loop where I needed to walk about half of it to work through some issues. I ended up finishing first female in the 50 miler in 8:44 so I was definitely happy with my effort. It was great to have Steve and so many friends out there running and fellow Skirt Sports ambassador Mary Sutter even stopped by to cheer for me! My outfit was the Skirt Sports Lioness skirt in holiday print and Freeflow tank in black and my nightdive trucker hat. I got many compliments on the outfit!

I probably overdid it by racing the Charlevoix Marathon 2 weeks after the 50 miler. I did not feel the greatest during the race but I guess my Skirt Power helped me! I ran another 3:38 and managed 2nd in my AG and got a 3rd BQ this season! I ran in my Skirt Sports Lioness skirt in romance print with my freeflow tank in Razz and my Skirt Sports ambassador visor. My husband Steve set a new PR and also BQ'd so we celebrated afterwards at a local pub that had great IPAs...and food.

The Canal Corridor 100 Miler did not go as planned for me this time around. I completed 50 miles due to some foot pain and took the DNF. I wore my Skirt Sports Lioness in Wave print but I did not have my Skirt Power that day :(

The Potato Stomp 9 Mile run was my first race back after about 2 months off of working through foot issues so I was very pleased that I ran a 1:07 and placed in the top 5.  My Skirt Sports freeflow tank and Ambassador visor must have made me strong!

I had a tough day at the Northern Ohio 1/2 Marathon as I suffered through some nasty GI issues the day before and race morning as well as lack of sleep. How I was able to muscle through in a 1:46 I am not sure, but I looked like a zombie. I managed to place 2nd in my AG, which was a definite win for me on this day. 

The Run With Scissors Trail 1/2 Marathon was a blast. I dressed up like a Skirt Sports Unicorn and harnessed the magical powers to come away with the female win. Yay! My Take 5 tank in Temper Tantrum print made the outfit I think!

Not long after I ran the Conquer the Castle 25K Trail Run in Willoughby Hills and also enjoyed this race despite some bad GI issues leading into the race. I raced in my very cute Skirt Sports Lioness in Safari print and my ambassador tee and nightdive trucker hat. I ran as hard as I could and ended up with 2nd female overall so I earned myself a post race beer at Willoughby Brewing!

And finally I closed out the year at the Akron Hime Run for the Homeless Turkey Trot, where I felt like I was going to die literally of bad GI issues pre-race and somehow ran a semi-decent race. Good enough to win a turkey for 1st in AG 40-44! Once again I raced in my Skirt Sports Redemption capris to close out a very fun season of racing!

So there you have it - my first year as a Skirt Sports Ambassador is in the books and it was a good one. I am looking forward to racing in 2019 as a Skirt Ambassador again! Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Conquer the Castle 25K Race Report & Training Update

I'm finally getting around to my race report for the Conquer the Castle 25K, which is a trail race that takes place in North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby. Steve and I used to run there all the time when we lived in Mentor and Concord Township and of course we did the inaugural race, which was a 100K (for him) and a DNF for me since I only completed 50K.

Since I am just rebuilding my endurance I did not want to take on the 50k or more this year. The 25K was a good distance for me to race because it pushed me a little farther than I had gone recently but not so much I would hurt myself. I had done a trail 1/2 marathon a week before and a road half marathon a few weeks before that so this 25K was my longest run since summer I think as I have had lingering tendonitis in booth feet.

This was a tough course for Northeast Ohio standards anyways and it was a very wet course! I think my feet were wet pretty much the whole race. Luckily it was cold but not freezing. Temps were around 35-40 degrees so still warm enough for a skirt and I actually overheated and lost my armwarmers and rolled up my shirt sleeves once we got warmed up.

For the first 8 or 9 miles I just tried to keep up with Amanda Debevec, she is a strong runner and I figured she was in better shape them me right now so I held on as long as I could and it was nice chatting with her for a bit about races. Once we got to the bigger hills she took off as I ran/walked the steep sections. At that point it was back to my own race. I ended up pacing about the same as a guy in front of me for the last 4-5 miles so that worked out pretty well because I mentally just tried to stick with him.

post race with my Sir runs a lot medal!
My time goal was 2:30 and I ended up with 2:25 and change so I was happy with that and came in second female. I was also pleased to hear that Steve had a decent race, finishing in around 2:13 and third male. I like the course - the beginning 1/2 of the loop is flatter and less technical than the second half I think but it's a great loop. The 50kers do it 2 x and the 100k 4x. I was glad to have been a 25Ker this time around!

After the race Steve and I got changed and went back to pavillion to say hi to race director Eddie and some of the other people we knew. We couldn't resist the post race pizza and of course we ended up stopping by Willoughby Brewing for a peanut butter cup porter on the way home!

We were originally planning to race the Made in America 1/2 marathon again the week after Conquer the Castle but to be honest my body needed a break. I have been  rebuilding my mileage to 30-40 miles week but have been struggling with GI troubles since early October and will soon be going to visit the gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy to see what the issue is (doctor thinks it is some form of IBS but won't know exactly what it is until after the testing). I've been training as much as I can and resting or going easier on days that I feel yucky.

This week has been a little better because I have been vegan/vegetarian (no meat besides eggs and no dairy) to see how I feel and it has been an improvement. Next up it's the Akron Turkey Trot 4 miler next week - hopefully my GI cooperates (fingers crossed). Then we will probably do some sort of holiday races TBD.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Run With Scissors Trail 1/2 Marathon Race Report

I love the Run With Scissors trail race! And of course the people involved with the race. A couple of years ago I did the marathon and this year since I am rebuilding after an injury I opted for the 1/2 marathon. I think a trail half is almost the perfect distance to race on the trails because you get in a great workout but you are not totally cooked for the rest of the day/week with recovery.

Because RWS is always around Halloween a lot of people like to dress up in costumes and run including me and my husband. I dressed up as a Unicorn and he went as a creepy clown so that added to the fun and challenge of the race.

As far as the race itself I wasn't sure how it would go. I had been doing Sand Run quite a bit this fall so my hill work was certainly there but I really do not feel too speedy since I have not been doing much speedwork lately. Of course trail speed and road speed are not the same and what I really like about the trails is that you have to slow down to navigate the terrain and it's very zen because you have to pay attention and be engaged the whole time. Often in road or Towpath type races I just zone out and lock into one speed. Trails force you to fartlek and stay mentally in the race.

I enjoyed most of the course except the really muddy sections (haha) but that's part of the challenge! And of course running Pine Hollow and Ledges on the way back to the finish were challenging as well. I was pleased to finish first female in 2:11 and change - was hoping for a little faster time but on the trails on any given day you never can predict what your time will be. My husband Steve finished first as well with a time of 1:54. We celebrated afterwards with a beer at Winking Lizard of course!

Next up is Conquer the Castle 25K, also a trail race at North Chagrin Reservation this Saturday! Then we have a road 1/2 marathon the next week and will probably do the Akron Turkey Trot and maybe some kind of Christmas/New Years race to round out the year before starting the Boston Marathon training cycle!

Has fun being a Skirt Sports Unicorn this year! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Northern Ohio 1/2 Marathon Race Report & Training Update

Last Sunday I ran the Lake Health Northern Ohio half marathon. I had originally signed up for the full but with a lack of longer runs due to a busy work schedule and injuries this summer it just wasn't in the cards. I had hoped for a decent time like 1:38-1:40 but that wasn't in the cards either. My husband (who ran the full marathon) and I both had a rough few days of GI issues leading into the race (including that morning) so I think both of us were fighting that bug off and dehydrated at the start. In addition we picked up a sweet new puppy the day before the race and he kept us up quite a bit that night. Despite my urges to stay in bed I figured I would race and see what happened.

I gave it what I had the first few miles before realizing that today would not be a good day to push myself too much. I settled in to a good aerobic pace that I would run for a marathon and resigned myself to getting in a good training run. I ended up with a 1:46 and change, still good for 2nd in the 40-44 age group (still getting used to the new AG). Frankly I was just glad it was over with and that I had dropped down to the half and managed to not have any in-race GI issues!

Steve had a rough day too and finished with a slower marathon time than he wanted but he still stuck with it and finished 3rd in his AG as well. Some days just don't go as planned and that's okay. We live to race another day! Next up we have Conquer the Castle 25K trail run at North Chagrin, which should be an ass kicker and the Made in America half marathon in Massillon and then probably the Akron Turkey Trot.

I hope to get in some solid mileage the next few weeks leading into those races but will see how it goes. I have managed to run three days in a row this week, which is moving in the right direction!

Couldn't resist the meme! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Back to it at the Mantua Potato Stomp Race

Last Saturday was my first race since the Canal Corridor 100 debacle. I've been working through tendonitis on my outer left foot and inner right ankle all summer. Fortunately I love cycling and have spent a lot of quality time with my new bikes this season! My running has ranged from 20-40 miles a week, which is much lower than last year but needed to help rest those pesky tendons. I've also been going in for physical therapy with Dr. Tim Pavlak of Physio Performance for the last couple of months for dry needling, graston and ART. I think all of this has helped tremendously.

I wasn't sure how I would perform in a 9 mile, hilly race. I had been doing some shorter speed sessions but nothing really under a 7-min pace as I've been nervous about the feet. The first couple of miles of this race are very fast so I was sub-7 for that and then the hills really start in mile 3 so my pace fluctuated between 7:15-7:50 for most of those miles. Fortunately I did not feel any pain in my feet just the normal exersion pain from racing! I remember fading hard in this same race last year but I felt very strong for this finish and beat my time from last year by about 90 seconds, finishing in 1:07:17 (7:29/avg). My secret goal was to break 7:30 so I am very pleased on such a challenging course. I placed 4th female so won $25 and was first in the 40-49AG. This was also my first race in the new AG!

Steve also raced and had a good time almost breaking an hour so he won the 50-59AG. It was nice to see some of our running friends from NERC and beyond out there.

Now in the aftermath I am having some left foot pain again so I went in for PT Tuesday and will be cross training more this week. I hope this is just a temporary setback and that I will be healthy to race Northern Ohio on October 7. I am debating dropping down to the half but will decide closer to race day based on how my body feels. The real goal now is to be healthy for Boston 2019 since I registered this week!

Prerace trying to stay warm and dry!

Coming in for the finish - happy to get out of that rain!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Canal Corridor 100 err 50 & Training Update

After Canal Corridor 100 on July 7th I've been working through a couple muscular injuries that led to some foot pain especially in my left - but also in my right foot as well. Going into the race I was admittedly fatigued after running Charlevoix Marathon and Eagle up 50 within 4 weeks before. I didn't feel too bad at the start line or for the first hour or two but by 10-15 miles my feet were achy and I had a tight right quad so I knew I was in trouble. I took some ibuprofen at the 20 mile mark and headed back to Lock 3 from the first turn-around at St. Helena.

I hit the 50K mark right around 5 hours and hit lock 3 around 6.5 hours but was really hurting and didn't want to go back out there. MY friend Rich that was doing timing convinced me to get back out there after a good 30 minute or so break to eat, change, go to the bathroom, etc. I knew when I started back up it would not be pretty. I made it a couple miles then started walking and at 45.5 I turned around along with Steve and headed back in. It was a slow hobble back in and we called it a day with 51 miles. I was very sore and hungry so we went to get food at the Barley House with our friends Leslie and Larry that were planning to help crew for us. Some days just don't end how you think they will.

Fastforward to four weeks later and I am still fighting off the injuries so it's safe to say I did the right thing at CC100. I have been fortunately riding my bike a lot and was able to run 20 miles including a 13 mile run last week. I went in to Dr. Tim Pavlik in Cuyahoga Falls this week for some dry-needling, graston and ART. That seems to be helping. He wants me to try to get 30 miles in this week and increase my long run to 15 miles so we'll see how that goes.

In all honesty, there's been so much going on in my life and I've been so busy that a break from running hasn't been as bad as I thought it was. Although my race didn't go well, I welcomed a beautiful baby niece Lylah Anne who I adore, rekindled my love of biking with a new roadie and got some stuff done around the house like painting our patio!

I hope to be back to racing in a month or so - if my body is ready. If not, I'll wait longer because my next A-race is Boston 2019! I need to be healthy and ready to start a heavy training cycle in mid to late December for that.

Me with Lylah :)

My new bike Penny Lane

Summer patio living!