Monday, March 13, 2017

Shamrock 15K Race Report

I did not have high expectations for the Shamrock 15K race yesterday. Leading into it I still felt a little fatigue from Austin and had not gotten in any speedwork. Plus it's "that time of the month" for me as well as suffering through some pretty bad GI issues that I now think may have been food poisoning from Saturday night since the hubby and I both felt pretty bad yesterday. Thank god for Pepto is all I can say! 

It was cold low 20s and there were some light flurries during the race at times but nothing too crazy. The Shamrock course is full of hills. The first 4 miles go pretty fast since there is a lot of good downhill. I probably ran a bit faster than intended early on with some miles at 6:50 pace and then I suffered for it later when mile 5 and "the big hill" came where I clocked my slowest mile at 8:45. Miles 5 and 6 were my slowest and I was able to get back on track with a 7:30ish pace to wrap it up with a 1:09:36 (7:29 pace). Given how crappy I felt yesterday I am very happy with the result. I ended up 5th female, 1st in the 35-39AG. I would like to give this one another go on a better day for me to see what I am truly capable of when feeling 100%.

This is a great and competitive little race with really nice swag including a nice 3/4 sleeve race shirt, a finisher towel and a nice glass mug for the AG winners. SARC does a nice job with their races and had plenty of food inside Woodridge Middle School after the race. I would put this one on your bucket list if you are looking for a challenging middle distance race. 

Fortunately we felt good enough post race to have a beer at R. Shea Brewing and then it was home to battle the GI troubles for the rest of the night. Today I am feeling much better albeit tired.

Next up is the Spring in Your Step 10K in Massillon on the 25th, which is supposed to be a mix of rolling hills and flat towpath. I am also planning to run a 5K a couple weeks out from the HOF Marathon. Scheduling these races helps me to get in some high quality speedwork, which I hope will toughen me up for a BQ marathon this spring at either HOF or the Cleveland Marathon!

Cheers to another successful race! Maybe the luck of the Irish?!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Training Update for HOF & Cleveland Marathons

I've been in a bit of a running slump since the Austin Marathon a few weeks ago. Recovery is hard, especially in winter because the weather stinks and I am beyond sick of the treadmill. Yes, I use the treadmill a lot because I run early am before work and at lunch at my gym most days. Occasionally I get in an outdoor evening run. With daylight savings time this weekend I expect to have more of those after work runs. I run outside on weekends as much as I can. The highlight of last week's training was hitting the trails in North Chagrin Reservation!

With my running volume lower between 25-40 miles since the race, I have been on the bike trainer a good bit to cross train. This increase in bike mileage led to my IT band becoming irritated last week so I did not run the Mill Creek half as I had hoped. I did not want to force an injury. This week I am feeling better and almost back to my normal self. I should hit about 48 miles this week including running the Shamrock 15k race in Akron on Sunday. I'm not sure how the race will go but I figure it will at least be some speedwork, which I need if I am going to have a shot at a BQ this spring.

After this week I have about 3 weeks of training to get in before I head over to Switzerland for a work trip for the first week in April. I do not anticipate having much time to train while I am away. My plan is to get in a couple short runs and some core work and use this week as rest/recovery, which is probably needed anyways leading into HOF later in the month. I am not sure how I will fare at HOF but the Cleveland Marathon is 3 weeks later, which is ideal for me. With the new course in Cleveland I may have a shot at a good race. Also, I think we are due for some nice, mild weather (fingers crossed for 50 and partly sunny).

Special shout out to PowerBar for the box of goodies they sent me this week! I am looking forward to trying their new stuff. Hoping to be back on Team Elite next season!

Watch next week for my Shamrock 15K race report! It looks like it will be a cold one. I don't about you guys but I am ready for spring! Also watch for a post about the new PowerBar products I'm trying out in the coming weeks.

This week's mantra!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Naples, FL Craft Beer Tour

My husband and I took a much needed week long vacation to Naples, FL from Christmas Day until New Years Day. The weather was terrific and we enjoyed our daily runs, bike rides and even got in a couple of swims in the gulf. We also got in our fair share of beer tasting throughout the town.

A lot of the breweries and local bars were closed on Christmas so we made our way to downtown to a restaurant and split a bottle of wine since the beer selection was weak.

The next day we had dinner and flights at a really cool bar called the Brass Tap. We tried a bunch of different IPAs including the Evil Twin Molotov Heavy, which packs a big punch at 18%! We also tried some Belgians that were good too. They also have their own brewery onsite called South Cypress Brewing and they had some good beers as well including their IPAs and a Peanut Butter & Jelly Stout!

While shopping for some snacks at the local Whole Foods we discovered that they have a full bar and restaurant so we enjoyed some of the taps there. The Green Bench Sunshine IPA was a crowd pleaser after a hot day at the beach! They had a pizza and pint night for $8, which we could not pass up! 

Beers after our bike ride!
One of my favorite stops after a long day of bike riding was to Fit & Fuel, a cute little cycling-themed cafe owned by the folks that own the Naples Cyclery. Fit & Fuel has really good and healthy food and really good and healthy beer! 

We also checked out a few other breweries. We liked Bone Hook Brewing especially their Double IPA. I think it was called Dave's Dirty Double. Their Belgians weren't bad either. And it was a cute little place.

We were not as impressed with Riptide, although their beer was definitely drinkable they were just out of the IPAs we really wanted to try.

Naples Beach Brewing was a big disappointment for us. I didn't even drink all of the beers in my flight. The flavors were all over the map and some of the beers just tasted like Miller Lite. That and I did not really like the industrial park feeling to it either. But hey to each their own!

All in all it was a fun vacation, full of of sunshine, running, biking, swimming, tasty food and craft beer!