Running Through a Fulfilled Life


Glass City Marathon: Race Weekend FAQ’s

Since race day is really only 4 weeks away at this point (my how time flies when you’re frolicking in the snow for the better part of your training!), it is about that time to post about just how race weekend is going down.

For those of you that are coming from out of town, you’ll likely want to have a hotel room for the night before.  The Ramada Hotel on Secor Rd is the host hotel and rooms can be booked at a special rate of $95 through 4/3/15.  You are able to book rooms for this hotel (or several others that are recommended in the area) by clicking here.

When you get into town on race weekend (Saturday), your first stop should be to the Expo to pick up your race packet!  Maybe if you’re ever so lucky, you will get to see my smiling sunshine and rainbows spewing face at the information booth.  There are a lot of great vendors, so be sure to spend some time walking around and support some of the race sponsors.  The last time I ran Glass City, I picked up some pretty cool race shirts that I still enjoy wearing (vintage wear, that 2012 swag).  The expo will be open from 10AM until 6PM at Savage Hall Arena.  If you are unable to pick your packet up on Saturday, never fear, because there is special late pickup on Sunday morning from 5:30-6:30AM!

Obviously this will leave you with plenty of free time to go explore the Toledo area!  I recommend any of the following.  Just make sure you don’t do too much walking the day before your race, you may regret it.

  • Toledo Zoo.  They just reopened the Aquarium this past weekend and the weather is starting to warm up, which means more animals will be out and about!
  • Imagination Station.  Very cool exhibits to explore that change often.  (used to be COSI)
  • The Toledo Metroparks.  Just taking a stroll through Wildwood is one of my most favorite things to do in Toledo.  Bonus perk–part of the course goes through it, so you can just say you’re “scouting the course”.
  • Toledo Museum of Art
  • For the shoppers: Franklin Park Mall, Levis Commons, or Fallen Timbers


As for dining the night before a race, everyone’s stomachs were not created equal.  What works for one may not work for another.  The only rule that remains constant: avoid Mexican food and you won’t be dealing with Montezuma’s revenge.  Here are some local favorites to check out:

  • Tony Packo’s: several locations throughout the Greater Toledo area
  • Maumee Bay Brewing Company: if you like your craft beer pre-race and good bar eats
  • Shorty’s BBQ: we eat here often because, frankly, they have awesome barbeque (pulled pork’s my fav)
  • Gradkowski’s: have yet to eat there, but it’s located right next to campus and I’ve heard good things
  • Spaghetti Warehouse: located downtown, perfect for a pasta carboload party
  • The Original Pancake House or Uncle John’s Pancakes: maybe not so much for dinner, but a must-do for AFTER you rock Glass City
  • Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano: a little further of a drive from main campus, but worth it for Italian grub


Once your belly is full of some good grub, it’ll be time to hit the sheets and dream about rocking your way to a PR.  Race morning (for any race) always comes too soon, and Glass City is no different.  I always recommend getting to a race with plenty of time to spare; it’s good to account for the time it takes to park, potty, warm-up, and maybe potty some more.  Potty like a rock star, I always say.  Several roads near and around campus also begin to close around 6:15-6:30AM, which can make for some congested traffic.  Moral of the story: get there early.  I would personally recommend parking in the garage off of Bancroft or at Rocket Hall and using your walk to the start (maybe 1/2 mile) as your warm-up.

The full and half marathon start at 7:00 AM for wheelers with the runners kicking off at 7:02 AM.  The 5K starts at 7:15 AM.

Once you cross the finish line, the post race party will be held in Parking Lot 10.  Awards will be available for pick-up immediately upon finishing and you will receive your finisher medal/mug!

Looking forward to sharing what should be an awesome race day with you all on April 26!



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GCM Owens Corning Half Week 7 and 8 Training

So my weekly recap for week 7 never happened.  I was pretty busy between work and family life that I never got around to typing it up.  I’ve decided to combine it with week 8 training.  You’re welcome.


Week 7 was pretty solid.  I hit my workouts and my paces.  I felt fan-freakin-tastic.  Does it sound like I’m foreshadowing? I am.
Monday–Rest Day.
Tuesday–3 mile run +strength.  
Done on the treadmill per usual.  Watched Hart of Dixie per usual.  Can you believe it’s the last season for that show?  Going to need to find some new guilty pleasure watching.
Wednesday–4.75 easy run.  Through the neighborhood.  Was honked at 3 times and barked at once (by humans).  Coincidentally first time I had worn shorts in a while, my paleness must be scary.
Thursday–8×400 @5k pace.  Hit the majority of the 400’s around a 6:30-6:45/mile pace.  Kind of on target, but probably did them too fast.  Oh well.  Story of my (running) life.
Friday–Rest Day.
Saturday–9 mile long run.   Maintained about an 8′ pace (probably too fast again) but I am always feeling rushed to get my long runs done asap so I can make sure that Baby J is happy, rested, and well fed.
Sunday–3 mile easy run.
Total=23 miles

Week 8 has also come to a close with my run today (or lack of a sufficient one).  The week started out great.  I had more of a challenge with time management this week, but that’s a struggle I’m always going to have to work through.  Being a working, running mommy/wife doesn’t always allow for free time.

Monday–Rest Day.
Tuesday–4.5 miles on treadmill.  
Completed at the bcrack of dawn.  No better way to kick off the training week with some stale basement air miles.
Wednesday–3.4 miles through neighborhood.  Tried to keep things at an easy pace.  That didn’t happen.  It’s like lately I have a fire constantly lit under my rear end when I run.  What feels easy makes me go, “oh no, too fast” when I come home and look at my splits.
Thursday–40′ tempo run.   Tempos are starting to become easier to do.  Or maybe I’m just getting used to them.  I try to run a mile for warm-up and then transition into my pace.  This particular tempo, however, was not easy.  I felt like my legs were made out of sausage links that were filled with tree trunks.  I felt like a running tree straight of Lord of the Rings.
Friday–Rest Day.  Funny thing happened here, our little kiddo started coughing on Thursday.  By Friday, he was not only coughing but also had a fever.  Not fun.
Saturday–5 miles at race pace.  On the treadmill.  Just cuz.  Baby J continued to feel yucky, so this mommy stayed in the house just in case.  I was supposed to do my long run this day, but decided to shove it back a day because being away from the babe for >1 hour was not going to work.  We also celebrated my MIL’s 60th b-day in the TOL @Shorty’s BBQ.  We had a fantastic time minus our child serenading everyone with his coughs, sneezes, and screams/cries.  Oh parenthood is a joy.
Sunday–5 miles.  At a semi decent pace.  Obviously the long run continued to not happen.  This really is the first week I’ve messed my training plan up.  Baby J has done nothing but cry and cry and cry some more.  I’m planning to move my 10 mile long run to a day during this upcoming week.  I’ll let you know how much that sucks later.  Blast.
Total=23 miles

This is our current status: inconsolable baby wants nothing to do with being put down.

This is our current status: inconsolable baby wants nothing to do with being put down.

Only 2 days remain to sign up for the Glass City Marathon at the current rates!  Please hop, run, or click your way over to their webpage to register.  Hopefully my training gets back on track for next week and a certain little boy gets better…soon!
Where my parents out there?  Does the whole sickness craziness get any better? 

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GCM Owens Corning Half Week 6 Training

I came.  I saw.  I conquered.  I feel like the Hal Higdon training plan I am using has been very well balanced as far as easy, speed, and long runs are concerned.  It pushes forward a bit, then reigns you back in for a week before pushing that long run just a bit further.  And I’m rather enjoying it at this point.  I have actually been truly sticking to the training plan minus some negligence in regards to my core and strength exercises.

I am also absolutely loving the somewhat warmer temps.  I finally can feel “spring” in the air and it’s a welcome feeling.  Winter really starts to give me the blahs by the time February rolls around and this February was one of the coldest I can remember.  Febrrrruary more like it.

I was able to get the majority of runs performed outside this week, with the exception of one treadmill run.  I gotta watch Hart of Dixie at some point, am I right?!

Here’s how my training shook out:
Monday–Rest Day.  Supposed to be stretch or strength blah blah blah day, but I pushed these exercises to doing them after my treadmill easy run later in the week.

Tuesday–Easy Run of 4 miles.  Done on the treadmill so I could watch Hart of Dixie.  Guilty pleasure, sorry not sorry.

Wednesday–Easy Run of 3 miles.  Took the jogging stroller out for the first time with el bebe.  Managed to hit my husband in the ankle with it while running.  Obviously I need to work on my maneuverability, because frankly at this point it’s questionable.

Thursday–40′ Tempo Run.  Tempo runs are always hard for me as I try to keep an equal effort when doing them, but also try not to look down at my watch too much.  I used the first mile as a warm-up, picked up my speed for the next 28ish minutes, and then used the last 5′ to cooldown.  Completed 5.25 miles.

Friday–Rest Day.  Well earned rest day.  My calves were still tight and disgruntled from Thursday.

Saturday–Easy Run of 3.35 miles.  A rather obscure number but that’s just the way it wound up.  Fun fact: I was about a 1/2 mile down the road when I though, “self, your brassiere is not feeling very comfortable.”  And then I realized I forgot to change my underwire nursing bra to a sports bra.  So, obviously chafing and uncomfortable bouncing.

Sunday–10K Race.  I obviously have been failing at racing each month, as every race I want to run I am not in the correct location of the state.  This weekend there were no races in our area, so I had to do this solo.  Which I hate.  For some reason I had “Groove is in the Heart” playing on repeat in my mind during this run.  Must be a pump up song because I was happy with my time.  Can you take a 10K PR from a training run?

Totals: 22 miles
Looking forward to next week of training as my long run distance will be kicking up again into uncharted (again) waters (in the past 2 years) and I think my big girl legs won’t be needing any floaties to do it.  This is probably why I’ve never even contemplated doing a marathon because I need company on really long runs, my mental fortitude only goes so far.

There is still time to sign-up to run The Glass City Marathon on April 26.  Current registration prices go through 3/31/15, so sign up or else you will be paying a higher rate soon!

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GCM Owens Corning Half Week 5 Training

This post is obviously a little late…oops!  I promise there are many good reasons for that.  The most important reason is that I turned age OLD yesterday.  I understand that turning 30 is not old (that’s a given), but for whatever reason, the officially closing of my 20s has bothered me more than it probably should.

I was a big fan of my 20’s, definitely more so than my teen years (teenage angst much?), and they represent some of the most important of my very young life.  I accomplished a lot: I went to college/grad school and obtained my Doctorate of Physical Therapy (what what), met many wonderful and lifelong friends, met the man of my dreams (here’s looking at you Michael) and married him, and most recently gave birth to the most wonderful baby boy.  The 20s really rocked.  I could stay up late, sleep in late, and usually didn’t have many cares in the world.  Obviously that all changed last year, and I view the 30’s as renewal in responsibility and a focus on family.  Although it also will be a fun time in my life, I am certainly going to miss that care-free lifestyle.  Because I really do hate saying I go to sleep during the week at 9:30 (so lame!).

All from my birthday celebration of the olds.  However, I do look more slim and trim this year.  Probably because I'm not 24 weeks preggos.

All from my birthday celebration of the olds. However, I do look more slim and trim this year. Probably because I’m not 24 weeks preggos.

IMG_7192 IMG_7202 IMG_7206 IMG_7213However, I entirely digress way too much from the purpose of this post.  Training! Training!  Specifically Week 5 of my training plan! I totes crushed it guys!  #socool #sotryingtobe20again.

Here’s how it shook out:
Monday–Rest Day.  Did no strength or corework, surprise surprise, eh?
Tuesday–4 Mile easy run on the treadmill.  This treadmill boredom has become too much of a trend this winter, so I decided to mix things up later this week and do something aweshocking: I went outside and did this running thing.
Wednesday–3 Mile easy run on the treadmill.  I swear I’m getting to the good parts.
Thursday–7×400 speedwork with W/U and C/D.  OUTDOOOOOOOORS.  I used my Garmin to structure an interval workout since our track is still covered with snow/ice or snice as I like to call it.  I was slightly nervous about this workout because I haven’t run outside in 3 weeks and had no idea of what to expect.  However, I was pleasantly surprised because I had one of those workouts that feels effortless, but your times reflect your hardwork.  I was able to keep a 6:40-6:45 pace on all 400’s.
Friday–Rest Day.  Well earned one.
Saturday–Long Run.  Outside.  FTW.  Did 8 miles, and I’m pretty sure it’s been a year and some change since I’ve gone that far.  I probably should have slowed it down, but I was enjoying the tempo pace and I was loving being outside.  Best run I’ve had in a long time.
Sunday–3 Mile (supposed to be) Easy Run but instead I ran way too fast, kept about a 7:30/mile pace, but enjoyed the warmer temps.  I’m thinking this next training week you will see me use the words: Baby James and Jogging Stroller!

Total: 22 Miles
3 outdoor runs (new record for winter, *thumbing my nose at the treadmill*)

Only 7 more weeks of training before April 26!  There is still plenty of time to sign up, although current price rates will increase after 3/31/15.  Click here to sign up!

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GCM Owens Corning Week 4 Training

Today is the first day of March.  For that I say, Hurrah!  However, when I look out my window and see the globs of snow substance coating the streets, driveways, sidewalks, and yards, I say Womp womp.  I’m quite sure I’m now alone when I say I’m completely and utterly sick of this crapola.  I had one day last week that I could have possibly run outside, but Hubby came home from work a little late, so I was again confined to the old dusty, dungeon, stank air trail—the treadmill.  Yak Trax continue to look to be a good investment piece for next winter.

This week saw my total mileage finally go over 20 miles.  For some people I know that’s really not a whole lot, but for me that’s quite an accomplishment as I haven’t hit those numbers since the years PB (pre-baby).  During and after my pregnancy, I’ve been lucky if I can get 10-15 miles in during the week.

Here’s how this week of training went:
Monday–Rest Day.  Was supposed to some stretching and strengthening (which didn’t happen).  I’m thinking about composing an excuse book for all my various reasons that I continue to fall off the strength training and cross training wagon.  Biggest reason: on Mondays I don’t get home from work until 7:15.  After that and until about 8:15, it’s Baby J and Mommy time.  Frankly, I’m too tired to even think about doing anything after that.
Tuesday–3 mile Easy Run on the Treadmill.  Nothing exciting to speak of.  Let’s just say it was boring.
Wednesday–3.5 mile Easy Run on the treadmill.  Watched the series finale of Parks and Recreation.  I am so going to miss that show, as the final credits rolled I nearly shed a tear.  But it also could have been sweat dripping in my eyes.


Let me introduce to you, Baby Swanson.  His mustache is made of prunes and is biodegradeable.

Let me introduce to you, Baby Ron Swanson. His mustache is made of prunes and is biodegradeable.

Thursday–Tempo Run of 35 minutes.  I broke this up into 10′ easy @8:27/mile pace to start.  Slowly increased the speed so that by the time I hit the 10′ mark, I was up to 8:00/mile.  During the next 20′ I slowly increased up to a 7:38/mile pace.  Finished with a 5′ cooldown @8:20/mile.  I think I wound up running like 4.4 miles total.
Friday–Rest Day.
Saturday–Easy Run of 3 miles in the basement.  Went to Toledo briefly to visit with our family and ate a splendiforous meal at Shorty’s BBQ.  (That’s where James decided he mustache everyone a question with his prunes).  Time with family this winter has been hard to come by, so this was a much needed visit.
Sunday–7 mile long run on treadmill.  Since you know, it was pooping snow outside again.  Maintained a 8:46/mile pace which is an accomplishment for me since I tend to run my long runs way too fast and then wonder why I suck on race day.

Total Mileage: 21 miles

I still have yet to even think about setting my A, B, or C goals for the Owens Corning Half since I have struggled to get outside for >2 weeks now.  I’m hoping all this treadmill training equates to same pace outdoors, but it’s really hard to say.  I try to keep the ‘mill at a 1% incline, but who knows if that’s enough.

All I know is that my Z goal is to finish, make sure I drink water appropriately, and not have to become BFFs with the Porta Johns.  I think those are fairly easy to accomplish, but hey, you never know.

It appears that both the marathon and half marathon are now 71% full, which means that it probably won’t be long before these races sell out!  I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens by the end of March.  Sign up today or else you may not get run the Glass City on April 26.