Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Race Recap: Cleveland 10K 2015

The pictures really do say it all. It was quite a day, but I am so happy to have done this awesome race again!

In case you don't know, the Cleveland Marathon is my favorite race. Yes, even more favorite than Akron, which is saying something. As a major race, CLE has (among many other things) a great expo, super awesome community support like the Cleveland Marathon Training Group on Facebook, and an epic race-day atmosphere. I initially wanted to do the half at Cleveland, but I decided to do just the 10K and wait for Medina Half at the end of the month. I do wish that I had switched the two and just did Medina 5K. Oh well!

My husband and I got up a little before 5:00 and made our way to the same deck we parked in last year (North Point by the Rock Hall) at 6:00. It's a longer walk to the starting line but a much shorter walk back from the finish line, which is always good. The weather at this point was about 65° and a bit humid, but fine. Once we got to the starting line, the rain swiftly followed.

minutes before the onslaught
 It only rained kind of hard for a few minutes, in which we got pretty soaked (see middle picture at top). We stepped off a few minutes after the gun due to being in the F [is for Fun] corral, and spent the first mile weaving past walkers that chose to not line up in the designated walker area. Once the herd thinned out, it was smooth sailing! I think the course was exactly the same, so it was nice to know what was coming. I love CLE for its flat courses (hills are the devil), and it was a really easy run in general. After running up and down the Hope Memorial Bridge so many times (also the devil), I knew what to expect and adjusted as I needed.

After the bridge, the humidity really started to get crazy. My poor husband was dehydrated and not having a good race, so I stayed with him and we took it easy. I felt bad for him, but I was feeling great and having a very comfortable race. It definitely made me feel much better about my half coming up.

At the start of the race, I remembered the shoreway was a total surprise last year and how much it sucked to run up. Thankfully, we were prepared for it this time! Still sucked. However, it's a really great view of the city on the right side and the lake on the left side!

We got to see a barge (or something) coming in.
 We rolled into the finish and, praise Jesus, the chocolate milk people were there again! I would run a million 10Ks just for some free chocolate milk. We grabbed our other food and sat down in the park to rest.

attempt at being artsy
 After we cooled off (it was stupid hot by then), we went over to the balcony by the Browns stadium and Science Center to take our pictures. We didn't stick around too long because we were starving and just wanted our traditional post-race Chipotle and a long shower. Nobody we really knew was there anyway. 

When we got home, I saw a lot of posts on the Facebook group's website about how bad the weather was. I guess it was way worse than I thought- lots of stuff about people collapsing and turning blue and things like that. I'm glad my husband ended up being okay even though he wasn't feeling too well.

We still had a perfect experience and I seriously can't wait for next year!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

April Recap and May Goals

Thanks to the end of the semester, I almost completely forgot about my new set of goals! Thankfully, I pretty much caught it in time, even though I'm just now getting around to posting it.

Last month was a bit rough because of school. Especially the last few weeks of classes. I would go to school, and then come home at lunch time and do schoolwork until I went to bed. All day, every day, for weeks. The good news is that all the work I did helped me crush my first April goal!

Finish out the semester strong: I completed all of my assignments, on time, and as best as I possibly could. My finals and my competency exam to get into Practicum III could not possibly have gone any better. It's a good sign when your professors refer to your musical skills as "ridiculous" and hand-pick you for extra opportunities! The end of this semester was a lot of work, but I 100% killed it and I'm proud of myself!

Half training: Unfortunately, a bit of my training fell by the wayside. I had such a hard time finding the energy to get all my assignments done AND work out AND stay even remotely sane. I hope it's easier when I have a job that has the same amount of work every day and it doesn't fluctuate like this! The long runs are still getting done, though. My goal for this half marathon is, like my 1st, to finish. I plan on getting my last couple of long runs in the next couple weeks and try to stay loose until race day!

Focus on proper nutrition: Although I didn't chart every calorie that went into my body, I did the best I could. Nothing really to elaborate on here. When I was able to track my calories, I kept an eye on my carb/protein ratio and made adjustments throughout the day!

My May Goals are:

Just make it through the month: This is dumb, but a lot of things are going to change at the end of the month, and I just need to make it to that point. I am running a half marathon that I, once again, am not super proud of how I trained for, and I am going back to my endocrinologist the day before that to (probably) go on medication. Equal parts excited and worried about both, and I still have 3 weeks left to worry about it.

Finish my half marathon before they shove us off the course: Self-explanatory. Also, it would be nice to walk away without an injury!

Come up with an exercise plan for June: I have been trying to think about what causes my motivational flatline at this point in training, and I think it's the lack of variety. Running gets boring and old for me at about the 8-week mark. I have been bad about adding in cross-training and strength like I wanted to a few weeks ago. Since I have about a month in between half training periods, I want to do some other things. I am trying to get my husband to let us join a gym so I can have an elliptical again! I also want to lift more, since I really enjoy that. Also, I do NOT do well at training unless I know the exact day I have to do a certain workout, and I think getting into a more rigid schedule during off-time will help.

PS. sorry for the lack of training recaps. They will probably be back next week!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Medina Half Marathon Training: Week 7

So I skipped Week 6 because it was pretty much non-existent and I just didn't want to bother. Also, I'm writing this kind of late at night and half-asleep, so I apologize for crappy writing.

Week 7 now! My training schedule is really inconsistent, but I honestly don't feel like it's messing me up. I am getting short runs done and my long runs done, so that's all that matters. However, I know that I REALLY REALLY need to get outside and start doing hills if I want to not die on race day.

Enter this little guy!

I had wanted a GPS watch for a long time but I didn't want anything fancy. This watch has been used by everybody and their brother and gotten awesome reviews, so I trust it will suit my needs. Also, I spent weeks just tying to decide what color to get. I couldn't decide, so I gave up and got the black. I think I made the right choice. Haven't tested it out yet, but I will soon!

Back to training recap. I got a 3-miler in and felt pretty good. Then I tried to do another one a couple days later and just did not feel as well as the last one. I managed 2.5 out of the 3 miles and called it a day.

My long run was 8 miles this week. I think I am technically ahead since most training plans go to 10 miles and taper off. I got to 10 last time and ended up being... sort of okay, so I want to see if I can get farther. Everything from the knees down started killing me at mile 5, which scared me. I still got the 8 in, but had to add in more walking at the end for fear of hurting myself. The tendon on the back of my right knee has given me problems in the past, and it was feeling inflamed again like it used to. Everything else felt better by the end of the night, but it was enough to make me paranoid.

Although I still know that I'm not training as well as I should (again), I still feel like this is better than last time. These "middle" weeks are the absolute worst, though. This is about the time where I am just sick and tired of training and start slacking, and I don't want to do that again. I'm really hoping that my new watch will get me outside and moving! I am trying to keep in mind that I have another half marathon in the fall to look forward to. This one is about building the mileage- the next one will be about building the strength.

Goal for next week is to convince myself that I like distance running.