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Monday, June 27, 2016

towpath marathon training, week 1

Week 1 of Marathon Training is in the books! I can already tell this will be super fun to train during the Midwest summer..


Cross - 30 minutes on the bike

Well, this happened on Sunday, but the celebrations are still continuing for CLEVELAND! We finally won a championship!! It still doesn't feel real even more than a week after our victory.


6 mi / 8:39 pace

This was a 3x1600m(1mi) with a mile warm up and cool down (well extra cool down because I wanted to finished with a even 6 :P).  This wasn't too bad considering I am running through my hilly neighborhood before 6a.. 


Bike, 32 minutes on bike

I should probably mention that my training plan calls for biking and rowing as cross training (and swimming but water and I do not get along). So these biking warm-ups are similar to my runs where they have a warm up and cool down, and then either some tempo difficulty, or biking hard/easy (intervals).  


6 mi / 8:46 pace


This broke down to 2 mi easy (I am literally still asleep for that first mile, I think my body liked West Coast mornings better), 2 mi tempo, 2 mi easy. That first mile of the tempo is in the direction of where I need to be. Not reading too much into paces this first week thanks to not being completely acclimatized to the humidity (but do you ever get used to it?!).



I still have to get the paperwork in for Ollie but I am sure he will be coming into work!

There is a little family-owned Italian restaurant within walking distance of my place. This is dangerous. Our appetizer was pasta that was cooked inside a wheel of parmesan cheese. Not kidding. Then, I had light Sicilian pasta for my entree. Reasons I love running: I can afford to have pasta as an appetizer AND an entree.


Long Run
13 mi / 9:24 pace

This. was. a. struggle. I am still trying to pinpoint exactly why this run sucked so much. Excuses I have come up with so far: I have been pretty stressed and did not rest enough on Friday, did not mentally prepare myself for the humidity, did not have my route completely planned, the energy gels I had didn't work well, etc etc.  It hasn't taken me over 2 hours to run 13 miles in almost a year but hey, it can go only up from here right?!



My gym doesn't open until 8 which is kind of nice. I used to stress about getting up early enough to get to my old apartment's gym before anyone else got there. Now, I have no choice but to get a little bit of extra sleep.

Then, volunteering for our float and booth at the STL Pride Parade. It was a HOT one.

Tons of people getting pelted with Laffy Taffy! Pelted like..we hit so many people in the face. People were ducking. Fear was real.

This was my...second lunch? The 13 mile hanger kicked in and this was not sufficient. (Egg white sandwich basically)

Loved these guys.

We traded dog treats for Dole Whip.  Best deal of my life thus far.

Overall, a few good signs from my workouts/runs this week, but definitely some improvements to be made. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10k training, w4/4: HUMIDITY and my next Marathon!

What my week looked like pre-10k race and my next races..


Group Run: 6 mi
First ever Group Run, and it sure was hilly and humid..

First day at Corporate!

The epicenter of Pet Food!


Speedwork: 4 mi/8:45 pace

No picture. Just imagine a lot of sweat. Pre-6am.


Lifting: in the AM.
2 mi walk around the neighborhood.

So green but so hot.


Tempo: 3 mi/8:20 pace

Indulged in Jeni's.  All of the new flavors are amazing. (If I was taking my 10k seriously I probably wouldn't have had this..)



I like my new walk in and out of work. 



Picture outtake from the race.


Lifting: AM
Walk in the PM

Explored the neighborhood post-thunderstorm. Found a nice little park!

What's next? Marathon training of course! I am taking this week off from a rigid training schedule. (Let's be honest, I'm still working out and running, just giving myself less of a guilt trip when I eat bad stuff :P)

I've already signed up for my half-marathon that I will be running during my training! I am eyeing another one in late August but not sure about that one yet.

Oh, and where will I be running this marathon? Somewhere just as cosmopolitan as Milan.. 


Duh. Hometown love.

The race is the Towpath Marathon and it actually goes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Which is basically where I grew up.  The second and last turn-around point in the race is actually in my hometown, and on the path where I used to have track practices (and I struggled so hard because these were the long-distance practices..oh, how far I've come). 

I am already PUMPED to train in this wicked humidity, so keep an eye out for my weekly training updates and humidity complaints.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

route 66 10k

I'll post my last week of training for this 10k in the next few days, but first race recap!

Starting off, when I left my place around 6:30, it was already 75 and 87% humidity. This was definitely one of those instances where I wish we had an earlier start time.

The race itself was small but pretty fun and the course was pretty flat overall. However, those slight uphill ticks seemed much worse if you weren't running in the shade. 

The race first started with running through the neighborhoods, then eventually around mile 3 or 4 (can't remember) we started running on the trails (paved) that are plentiful in the area.  It was shaded, and very green! There were enough aid stations for the heat, and my highlights were getting hit with a water gun (I asked for it), taking Gatorade from Captain America, and the cold washcloths at Mile 5.  I stopped at every aid station because I definitely knew I wasn't acclimated to the Midwest humidity quite yet.

  My goal was to finish under 50 minutes..

So.. right after mile 5, we headed under a bridge, then the path split.  There was no volunteer here at this point, so about six of us headed in the wrong direction then someone told us to go the other way. So..that turnaround was pretty costly. One guy told me I could catch back up so I tried my hardest.. but finished 34 seconds over my goal time.  Regardless, still a 6 minute PR from the 10k last month, and a 7 minute PR from my last and only 10k on the road (I forgot about this one) from last year.

The Garmin told me a different story..

Afterwards, I met up with some friends and we hung out around Edwardsville until our brunch place opened.  I enjoyed a free beer from a local brewery in the meantime.  It was fantastic!

Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville is delicious!

Overall - fun race, but man, it will still take me a bit to get used to this heat and humidity.  Apparently, it only gets worse from here. More info on my next running adventures in my last week of 10k training recap!

Monday, June 6, 2016

10k training, w3/4: ROAD TRIP edition.


Speedwork, 6 mi, 8:40 pace

McMillan Mesa by Buffalo Park is where I got over my mental running block so I figured it was best to run my last Flagstaff run here. It was a gorgeous day for it!


Cycle in the AM

Hike: Arches National Park (various short hikes, then 3 mile round trip to Delicate Arch)

The halfway point of Road Trip Day 1 was Monument Valley!

Then I checked out quite a few arches at Arches National Park. 


Hike: 5 mi in the AM

Lift then Hike/Run: 3.6 mi in the PM

My intention was to go to Canyonlands this morning but I really liked what I saw of Arches on Tuesday and knew I hadn't even scraped the surface as far as the park's potential.

The most strenuous hike is Devil's Garden in Arches. Due to my time crunch and also for safety purposes, I was able to hike 5 of the 7.2 mile hike. Rock scrambling is not my strength.

Then, I made way up to Denver and went on an impromptu run/hike with a colleague and her husband in Golden.  It was absolutely stunning!


4 mi trail run, 9:06 pace

Before heading out on my 10 hour drive, I made sure to drive up to Boulder to check out a trail run.  Totally worth it.

The wildflowers, trail, and mountain views were epic!!

And just like that, we hit the rolling hills of Kansas.  Actually not that bad of a state to drive through!

Decided to stop for the night due to exhaustion and to watch the Cavs game of course!


Rest thank goodness!

First Melting Pot experience. It was quite tasty.


7 mi, 8:29 pace

I would've run this early but the Gas guy was supposed to come in the AM.  So I ran this around 11a and HELLO HUMIDITY. However,  it wasn't just the humidity destroying my soul..

My shirt became a dress.

This week was officially the most steps I have gotten in a week at 150,000; topping our second week in Italy by a mere 200 steps!  I could feel my exhaustion and lack of complete nutrition (basically ate almond butter/agave sandwiches the entire road trip) during this run on Saturday.


3.1 mi/8:11 pace

This run was not planned. I saw so many people running that I wanted to run too..

Overall - great week! Now only a few days left until my first 10k on the road!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

grand canyon: south kaibab trail

One last Grand Canyon hike -

To Skeleton Point and back! 6 miles round trip/4000 feet elevation change.