Running Through a Fulfilled Life

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GCM Owens Corning Half Marathon Week 3 Training

Another week came, another week went.  Another weekend snowstorm hit, and Eli failed to get outside at all this week.  I’m getting super awesome at running on my treadmill, but my neck can only take so much straining from looking down to watch my TV shows or Netflix movies.  Can Mother Nature throw me a bone yet and make it like 30 degrees?  You would think after living on the North Coast for 4+ years now that I would have invested in Yak Trax.  And yet, I haven’t.  And hence.  And harumph.

Here’s how my training shook out for this week:
Monday–Once again I forgot to do this thing called stretching and strengthening.  Unless talking can be considered as stretching my mouth, because then yes, I did that.
Tuesday– Easy Run.  3 miles in 26 minutes.  On the treadmill (this is becoming a common theme).
Wednesday–Easy Run.  3.8 miles in 32 minutes.  On the treadmill.  In the basement.  Of my home.  Whilst my washer and dryer hummed along.  Watched The Mindy Project (omg baby alert, love where they’re taking that storyline) and The New Girl.
Thursday–6×400 meter speedwork (at 5K pace) with warm-up and cool down.  3 miles total.
Friday–Rest Day.  I also had my very first Shamrock Shake to kick off my Shamrock Shake season.  Anyone that knows me is aware that I love these.  And love these even more when I’m pregnant as last year my wonderful Hubby made sure to put one in the freezer for me at least 3 days a week.
Saturday–This week was supposed to call for a rest day and 5K race for the weekend.  Since the weather was crap, I elected to change my training since I hate running race pace on a treadmill.  Instead, I did 5.5 miles during a progression run in 46 minutes while watching Hart of Dixie.  Another guilty pleasure because I am indeed a 29 year old trapped inside a 17 year old’s body.
Sunday–3 miles done in 23:20.  Since there was no 5K race to do, I simply just made sure I did a short progression run.  And watched About a Boy (new NBC guilty pleasure).  Since the movie was fantastic and all, although Hugh Grant whatever has happened to you?!  I also did some much neglected strength training afterwards and even drank a protein shake since I’m trying to turn over a new leaf for the new year.  It tasted like chocolate chalk.

Total Miles: 18
Total TV Shows Viewed: 5

Hoping that the weather forecast changes soon, although this week appears to be more of the same.  Cold.  Wind.  Snow.  And Eli’s tears of sadness and the thumping sounds of my feet pounding on the treadmill.  Womp womp.

9 more weeks until the Glass City Marathon!  The Half Marathon is on pace to sell out soon, so sign up today and join me!
This kid says so! (yes, this is sorry attempt to insert a picture of my little guy–he’s now 7 months old and probably won’t ride in his jogging stroller until he’s 9 months old at this rate.  so much for my little training partner!)


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It’s Time for a Glass City Marathon History Lesson!

The Glass City Marathon is quickly approaching.  Even though it seems as if this winter and all its terrible weather things will never end, the days and weeks do seem to be passing fast.  Before we know it, it’s going to be race day–April 26!  Whether it’s your first, second, or twentieth running of GCM, it’s always cool to know just how far this race has come.

The very first Glass City Marathon was held on the University of Toledo campus back in 1971.  It was held on Father’s Day on the campus for each year until 1981, when it was moved to Side Cut Metropark in the Fall.  In 1983, the race was moved to Downtown Toledo and renamed The Pepsi Challenge Glass City Marathon (that may or may not be quite a mouthful!).  Despite the change in locale, popularity waned and the race disappeared for 6 years.  We will refer to those years as The Dark Ages of Running.

These types of things generally happened in the Dark Ages.  However, I do doubt runners had to  revert to larping to pass their time.

These types of things generally happened in the Dark Ages. However, I do doubt runners had to revert to larping to pass their time.

In 1989, a group of super awesome Toledo Road Runners decided to bring back the marathon.  We shall refer to this age as The Renaissance.  The race was dedicated to Sy Mah (a very influential individual to spur the running boom in NW Ohio) and from 1999 to 2009 the race served as a key race for NW Ohio, as the course remained downtown.

I have found a common theme in most art from the Renaissance.  It's more brightly colored and the majority of people couldn't find their clothes.  Also, my child looks eerily like one of these cherubs.

I have found a common theme in most art from the Renaissance. It’s more brightly colored and the majority of people couldn’t find their clothes. Also, my child looks eerily like one of these cherubs.

In 2010, the Toledo Road Runners decided to move the race back to its origin: The University of Toledo.  The race was given a remodel, with the results speaking for themselves.  Participation has grown by leaps and bounds with each passing year–jumping from 3,200 participants in 2010 to 7,000 in 2014.    2015 looks to be quite similar, as the marathon, marathon relay and the Owens Corning Half Marathon are on pace to sell out!

Hope this little history lesson helps you to appreciate just how far this race has come, its importance to the Toledo Running Community, and how much it means to be a participant!  If you have yet to register, current prices remain until 3/31/15.

$75 for Individual Marathon   (currently 52% full)
$225 for Marathon Relay Team (5 runners)   (currently 55% full)
$65 for Individual Half Marathon  (currently 67% full)
$30 for 5K  (currently 17% full)
$10 for Kid’s Marathon 1/4, 1/2, and 1 miles Races

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GCM Owens Corning Half Marathon Week 2 Training

Week 2 completed.  It was much more difficult getting some outdoors running done this past week because of how poo-tastic the weather was.  Doing long runs on the treadmill of doom is never how I enjoy spending my morning.  However, I did catch up on the current season of Parks and Recreation (could Ron Swanson get anymore awesome? I submit not).  And I’m thinking that there really does need to be an annual Treat Yo Self Day.


Here’s how my 2nd week shook out:
Monday–was supposed to be a stretch and strengthen day.  That didn’t happen.  By the time I got home from work I was exhausted and wanted nothing to do with any exercise.  Starting the week out on an awesome foot.
Tuesday–Tempo Run.  Sort of.  The wind chill made it feel about 10 degrees outdoors (or less), so I found it really hard to run faster than an 8 minute mile pace.  At least what research I’ve looked at agrees that running in very frigid temps are nearly as bad as hot temps.  3.35 miles in 27 minutes.
Wednesday–Easy Run.  Warmer day.  Crazy how my pace was not much slower than the day before but felt 10 times better.  I hate weather.  3.1 miles in 25ish minutes..
Thursday–Easy Run on the treadmill.  3 miles in 26 minutes.  Felt like crap.
Friday–Rest Day.
Saturday–6 miles in 51 minutes on the treadmill.  Long run.  Felt like I got a kink in my neck from looking down to watch Parks and Rec.  Oh the sacrifices I make for my TV shows.
Sunday–3 miles in 25 minutes on Ye Olde Treadmill.  Basked in the stale stench of the treadmill fan and celebrated that I am 16% through my training.  BAM!

This week definitely could have been better.  I could have actually completed some strength training, which has sorely been missing from training lately.  Bench pressing a baby does not count.  I could have gotten outside more, but Mother Nature had other plans for that.  In the form of lots of lake effect snow with butt numbing coldness.

Hopefully the next few weeks allow for some warmer temperatures because at this point I’ll take anything above 20 degrees!  I definitely max out at about 1 hour on the treadmill before I start forgetting that I need to move my legs and I begin to get dangerously close to shooting myself off the back.funny-girl-running-treadmill


GCM Owens Corning Half Marathon Week 1 Training

Like I have stated in a previous post, I am using Hal Higdon’s training plan to get my ready to toe the line for the Glass City Marathon’s Owens Corning Half Marathon on April 26.  The Intermediate plan entails a 12 week training plan, which by my calculations, meant finally getting underway this past week.  The plan I’m using involves running 5 days per week, having 1 complete rest day, and 1 stretching/strengthening day.  I often modify as I find my body needs, so I am sure there will be times I substitute cross training for some of my easy run days.  This week, though, I was able to follow my plan exactly.

Monday–Stretch and Strengthen.  This involved doing chair squats, heel raises off the edge of our steps, stationary lunges, bridges, single leg bridges, and a bunch of core work.  Essentially, I had to do all body weight exercises due to being in the comfort of my own living room.

Tuesday–3 miles completed (at 8:13/mile pace) in the basement.  On the treadmill.  Where bad runs go to pass.  20150131_095603






Wednesday–3 miles completed with 5×400 speedwork including warm-up and cool-down.  I hate running speedwork on a treadmill.  The only thing that helped was imagining how bad slamming into our styrofoam covered wall would likely hurt should I fling myself off the back.

Thursday–3 miles completed (at 8:24/mile pace) in the basement again.  On the treadmill again.  Accompanied only by the sweet sounds of our furnace and missed episodes of Hart of Dixie (yes, guilty pleasure watching).  Missing the sweet cold air and horrendous breezes off the Lake.

Friday–Rest day.

Saturday–5 miles completed (at 8:13/mile pace) outdoors.  I was super happy.  Until I realized that all my treadmill running as of late is killing my fitness.  As in, I no longer know how to run up or down hills or into wind.  Essentially, my confidence with my fitness/running is sucktastic.

Sunday–3.25 miles completed (at 7:41/mile pace).  Outdoors again.  Trying to encourage myself to run faster than an 8/mile pace.  It worked sort of.  Except I felt like I was grossly sucking wind.  Again, confidence low.


Total=17 miles

I do like that Hal’s plans include a gradual increase in mileage since it’s been 2+ years since I’ve attempted anything beyond 6 miles for a race.  Not liking that my fitness is not where I thought it was, but hey that’s life and something I can work through.  It’s hard to remind myself that, “Hey self, you did just have a baby 6 months ago! Your body is not used to this and your muscles are not in as good of shape as they used to be! (because carrying the baby does not count as resistance training as much as I wish it would)” The good news is that I have 11 weeks to get where I need to be, which is plenty of time to do anything!  Now I can only hope that the snow piles continue to melt, the temperatures begin to warm up, and daylight continues to lengthen, so I can get more of my training outdoors.  Hopefully with this little guy in tow.


Happy Training!


5 and 6 Month Update

Because I’m super behind, super busy, and super awesome, I never got around to posting Baby J’s 5 month update.  Or his 6 month update (I’m wonderful like that).  I decided to consolidate both month updates into one slightly abbreviated, cluster of a post.  Baby J is growing up so fast.  I know everyone in the history of the world always says this about babies, but I’m coming to that conclusion as well.  Little kiddo is getting into everything now.  And this procrastinator of a Mom has yet to child-proof things, which only helps work on my fitness as I chase around this movin baby yelling “NO!”.

IMG_7084At 5 months old, Baby J had a busy month.  For a baby that is.

  • He celebrated both Christmas and New Year’s.  And had no clue what either was except it meant a later bedtime (which angered him) and lots of wrapping paper to eat.
  • He began to eat baby foods.  His very first: bananas.  What did he think? A look of confusion
  • Began doing the beginnings of an “inch worm”.  Aka lifting his baby booty all the way up in the air and falling over.
  • Weighed 19 pounds and measured 27.3 inches (or as accurate as can be measured when your child is trying to suck on a sock). Wearing 9 month clothing.
  • Was battling a variety of baby illnesses: the flu (yes, the type A sick flu), an ear infection, and an eye infection.  Making his parents quality of sleep drop to a big fat zero.

IMG_7132At 6 months old, things slowed down in the Mason household, but Baby J did not.  In fact, he decided to start being a mover and a groover.

  • Began to sit unsupported
  • Began to commando crawl
  • Likes to suck on everything.  All things mentioned are things that have, indeed, been sucked on: A church pew, cords and wires to the stereo and computer (followed by a NO!), beer bottles, pop bottles, water bottles, pieces of mail, socks that are super smelly, shoelaces, belts, my knee, Mike’s shin.  The list goes on.
  • Eating a variety of baby foods: bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, apples, and oatmeal cereal.
  • Weighs 20 pounds, 11 ounces and measures 28.25 inches.  Is now wearing 12 month clothing.
  • Can now (I can happily report) sleep for stretches of 7-8 hours.  Wakes 1-2 times per night at max.  Much better than 4-5 times per night that was happening with the ear infection.

So really, a lot of change has happened in 2 months.  I can’t wait to see what this little guy does next month.  And I especially can’t wait for it to warm up so he and I can start our Glass City Marathon outdoors training with the jogging stroller.  Just need that 15 inches of snow sitting in our yard to melt!