Running Through a Fulfilled Life

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Glass City Half Recap

So…happy new year.  This blog fell off the rails kind of like me at the beginning of the year.  January and February were fairly difficult months for me, as I struggled and battled through some personal issues.  I’m doing much better now, and I can only hope to not fall into that place again.   For a while, I didn’t think running Glass City was going to happen even though I had registered for it last year.  The furthest I had run since having Lucas was 5 miles and that was maybe once.  Thus why there was no training plan, no training updates…because there was no training.

Slowly but surely, the clouds began to clear at the beginning of March and I was able to complete a 7 mile run 6 weeks out from Glass City.  I thought to myself, gosh darn, you are doing this.  So with each passing week, I pushed my long run distance.  7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 10.5 miles, and 8 miles.  That’s it.  There was no speedwork.  There were no tempos.  There was just me, my heavy breaths, my shoes bouncing along the pavement as I fought my way back.

Be brave.  Be courageous.  Be strong.

April 22 arrived.  The knowledge of having zero pressure for time or expectations was freeing,  My only goal was to finish.   Just getting to the start line was a victory in itself and I was proud of myself for pushing through.  Glass City is one of my favorite races and is definitely my favorite half marathon to do.  My Dad had also registered and it was wonderful spending the weekend with him and sharing the day with him.  We arrived bright and early to the start, experiencing some difficulties getting out of the parking garage at the Park Inn which delayed our arrival.  We found parking quickly at Rocket Hall, however, and were over to the start area off of Secor by 6:30.  I porta pottied myself and then headed to the start line.  Because of the construction off Bancroft, the start was moved to Secor, which resulted in a change of the course.  My goosebumps had goosebumps, not just from the cold of the morning but also my nerves.  However, I quickly shoved those thoughts aside as we listened to both the Canadian and American national anthems.  I was ready to do this, whatever the result.  Off we went.

I found my legs feeling stiff, cold, hard to move amongst the crowd.  (Probably because of my lack of any warm-up).  I didn’t start to warm up until I hit Mile 3.  I was trying my best to keep things easy, effortless.  Forward lean, run from the hips, light feet.  Be brave.
Mile 1–8:23
Mile 2–8:01
Mile 3–7:49
Mile 4–7:36
Mile 5–7:48

It wasn’t until Miles 6-7 that I decided to finally race.  I was feeling really good and I was surprised that I wasn’t tiring as much as I thought I would.  So I pushed.  I high fived everyone that offered.  I smiled as much as I could.  I was enjoying the hell out of myself.  My only regret was not to push sooner, because by the time I figured out how I was doing, it was too late to make up the time lost in the first few miles.

Mile 6–7:35
Mile 7–7:37
Mile 8–7:42
Mile 9–7:25

From Miles 10-13.1, we ran into the wind.  It made it a lot harder to hold my kick, but I wanted to fully leave it out on the course.  Everything was hurting.  My left calf, which I strained a few weeks ago, was on fire.  My right hip was screaming every time I went up a small hill or incline.  But I kept repeating to myself: be brave, be strong.  As I got closer to UT, I could hear the announcer and hear the crowd cheering.  I closed hard and made some really good pain faces.  I crossed the finish line, feeling like I couldn’t have pushed any harder.

Mile 10–7:29
Mile 11–7:31
Mile 12–7:36
Mile 13–7:28
Final 0.1–6:30 pace

Finish: 1:41:40.  A small PR (by 15 seconds), but a PR nonetheless when I had no business doing so.

Mike and James met me at the finish line.  There was no better way to end my race then burying my face into my husband and son’s waiting arms.  I celebrated with my post-race beer in my Libby Glass mug and ate pizza while waiting for my Dad to finish.  He rocked it as well, finishing in 2:32:51.

It was truly a great weekend overall and I couldn’t have asked for a better result.  I’m sure that I will be back to Glass City again.  I absolutely loved the half course this year, I felt like the changes helped to add some different sights and I actually liked having a little more elevation change.  The race swag was on point, the half marathoners got a high quality quarter zip long sleeve wicking shirt and the 5K/marathoners got a short sleeve wicking shirt, a finishers mug, a high quality finishers medal, 2 beer tickets post-race and a nice selection of foods at the finish.  James even got to participate in the Kid’s Marathon the day before and set his own personal PR for having his Mom drag him around a 1/4 mile track.  Despite him attempting to bail at the start, he said he wants to race again, but he only wants to participate in “trophy races”.  Truly, my child.

Eli Out!


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Race Recap: Glass City Marathon (Half)

The Glass City Marathon weekend is something I am really starting to look forward to each year (can’t you tell? I pooped out this blog post same day-ha, poop, convenient word choice).  This year was my 3rd time running the Half Marathon and I’ve always enjoyed sharing my training over the 3 month time period leading up to race day.  As inconsistent in blogging as I can be, I try to be somewhat consistent for this race.  Why?  As a UT graduate (x2), I always look forward to going back to campus, seeing what has changed since last time I visited, and seeing how great the NW Ohio running community is to rally around supporting a large (and growing) running event.  I will now get off my soapbox and continue with my recap…

I really enjoyed this weekend so much because I got to spend time with my parents.  I got to show them things I spent the better part of 7 years taking in.  We stayed at the Radisson Hotel at UTMC and the accomodations were great.  My only gripe would be to not offer a breakfast buffet (for runners) that starts at 6 AM.  Ain’t no runner going to be eating a buffet an hour before race time.

We ate our breakfast in the room, I ate my typical long-run staple: a bagel with cream cheese and 2 cups of coffee.  Tick, tock…like clockwork, in 20 minutes the potty was my friend and we were good to go.  Or so I thought.

We arrived a little later than planned to park on campus at 6:15 and I immediately took off to investigate the Port-o-Pot situation.  My assessment was quick and we proceeded towards the start line.  The corrals quickly filled up and my only gripe about the set-up was that either the “B” corral was not big enough (maybe wave starts are the way to go in the future) or late arriving runners didn’t go to their appropriate start area.  Either way, once the race started, I had a hard time moving.  Like a really hard time.  We stayed packed together like cattle for a while, I had a hard time passing people because it was just too congested.  I was not happy.  Races shouldn’t be determined in the first mile.  While the plan was to go slower the first 3 miles, I didn’t want to go THAT slow.
Mile 1–8:26 Move it or lose it, people
Mile 2–7:50 Along Dorr Street, turning up Secor. Baby Hill.
Mile 3–7:48 Along Secor, approaching turn into Ottawa Hills. Flat.
Mile 4–7:26 Just looked at Garmin and realized Mile 1 was terrible.
Mile 5–7:41 Ok.  Reign it in, let’s do this baby hill situation through the appropriately named Ottawa Hills.
Mile 6–7:36 Felt a little fancy again.
Mile 7–7:34 Feeling good, feeling great.  Wishing I could have gotten into this stride earlier.
Mile 8–7:36 Still feeling good. I got this.
Mile 9–7:22 Will you quit running so fast idiot?!  Definitely missed the Wildwood section here.  Also where I started playing mind games and dedicating miles to people.  Mile 9 was for my husband.  No surprise it was also my fastest mile.
Mile 10–7:35 I dedicated this mile to my Dad.  He has always been there for me, works hard in everything he does, is a wonderful father and grandfather, and a mean T-Rex race walker.  This was also around the time that my stomach started to turn.  And I desperately prayed I wouldn’t need to stop at the Port-O-Pot.  AGAIN.
Mile 11–7:34 Dedicated to my Mom.  She is my rock, my support, and does so much for me and my family.  She is definitely a TGIF=This Grandma is Fabulous.
Mile 12–7:48  Dedicated to my sweet Baby James.  This is really when my stomach hated me, my legs grew heavy, but thoughts were directed towards that curly redhead.
Mile 13–7:44 This mile and the rest were for me.  I’ve worked so hard to get myself back in shape since having James.  I try to do my best in everything I do, with all the different hats I wear: Wife, Mommy, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin, Sister, Physical Therapist, Runner, and Semi-Retired Soccer Player.  And gosh darn it, I trained so hard for this race.  Even if my training could have gone better, I put in the work.
Final 0.26 (a good tangent runner I am not, especially when in crowds)–1:50. I had nothing left in the tank.  I probably could have run the last 3 miles better if I weren’t having to remind myself not to trust a fart after Mile 5.  But I finished.

Final Finish: 1:41:55. (7:46/mile)
A new half marathon PR and a new GCM Course PR for me.  It makes me excited for what I’m capable of when I’m not skipping out on long runs, having to cross train instead of run for over a week, and can really crank out a good training cycle.

Both my parents also rocked it out, my Dad finished in 2:28:29 and my Mom finished in 1:59:23.  It was wonderful being able to share a special race with them.


Thanks Glass City Marathon 2016 Edition.  It’s been real…fun.



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Glass City Marathon: Week 11

Here we sit.  On the eve of the eve of the Glass City Marathon.  Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  I figure I should probably recount my Week 11 training and part of Week 12 (that was my taper…kind of) before it becomes totally obsolete when I write up my race recap.

Week 11 went surprisingly well.  I’ve had more bad runs than I can count on recently between both my fingers and toes (unless I randomly grow another hand, which is possible since you know, Davis Besse).  Week 11 was enough, though, to give me a solid confidence boost going into race day.  I know I can finish this thing, time be damned.

Tuesday–Rode my bike on the trainer for 45′ (Substituted my 3 mile easy run for a cross training day.  My body thanked me.)
Wednesday–5 miles in Neighborhood in 39′
Thursday–10×400 @5k Pace.  Totaled 4.5 miles in 35′.
Friday–Rest Day
Saturday–10.5 mile Long Run in 1:22:14.
Sunday–3 mile Pace Run in 22:14
.  I am not quite sure what “pace” I was running because that was certainly not half marathon pace.  Idiot.


Week 12 wound up working out like this:
Monday–Rest Day
Tuesday–4 mile run in Neighborhood in 31:31.
Wednesday–3 mile run in 23:06
Thursday–30′ Tempo Run.  Covered 3.85 miles.
Friday (Today)–Rest Day.
Saturday (Tomorrow)–Rest Day.
Sunday–Race Day!

It’s certainly been a less than ideal training cycle, but I figure it was a good learning process.  I know what things I need to work on (as far as strength training) to fix my mechanics and avoid a future SI upslip from occurring.  All I know is, my post-race beer will never have tasted so good!


Glass City: Weeks 6 and 7 and a Race!

Ugh, where to begin.  The train came off its track during week 6.  I was doing so well, hitting all my runs, times, and feeling as fantastic as could be.

And then I noticed during my first few runs of Week 6 that something felt off.  My right knee was a little achey and was progressively getting worse.  I took 3 complete days of rest and attempted to run.  I couldn’t even make it a minute.  Sharp, stabbing pain on the inside of my right knee…pain like I’d never experienced before, stopped me dead in my tracks.  I cried.  Then I cried to my husband.  I was done and my training cycle was done, I was absolutely sure of it.  The knee that I’ve had more problems with was acting up again and I didn’t want to risk really trashing it just to run.

I didn’t do anything all Week 7.  I popped my bike up on the trainer and biked until my rear end was bruised.  I did all the self PT I could think of, used the foam roller, used the stick, iced, ibuprofened, etc.  The best decision I made was to have my husband check out my leg length at the beginning of Week 7.  Lo and behold, my right leg was sitting way short.  Like 1/2 inch short.  Thank you very much cantered roads.

All week, I had him do corrections to my back and eventually got things sitting level.  I finally was having no pain by Thursday.  That left me with obviously a terrible decision as I had registered for the Great Black Swamp 15K on Saturday, 3/19.  To run or not to run?  I checked out the course map, it was a giant squarish circle that allowed for no dropping out.  It also involved super long straightaways which could be bad if the road was too slanted.

I decided I’d at least give it a shot.  If I was going to be there to watch my parents race, I might as well try.  If I wound up doing the walk of shame through cornfields to try to navigate back to the start, so be it.

The weather was chilly, the breeze was kicked up, and I was ready to run.  Or whatever.  I was going to be happy just to finish and not cough up a few lungs (because, yes, I have bronchial coughing symptoms–again).

The race started without much fanfare and I decided to figure out what was going to be a comfortable stride and speed.  This would not be a race for me, it simply would be my long run.  A training run.  I wanted to stay well within myself and avoid any signs of my knee beginning to act up.  So I ran.  And ran.  And ran.  Periodically coughing up a small troll doll and then continuing on.  I found a small group that was running a comfortable speed and silently latched on.  I stuck with them until shortly after 6 miles and then proceeded forward.  I tried to make the last few miles a little faster and finish on a good note.

Crossed the line in 1:14:20 for 7:59 avg pace.  I was pleased.  Consistent pacing.  No knee pain (it helped that most of the race was on the right side of the road).  The only bad thing is that I ran terrible tangents because I had nearly .2 miles extra on my watch.  Oh well.


Hoping that I can continue to stay healthy the rest of this training cycle to make to the start line on April 23.  Until then, it’s more core exercises, Kinesiotaping, and hip exercises for this pelvically (I just made a new word) unstable girl!

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Glass City: Week 5

Another week is officially in the training book and it was the first chapter that finally felt…hard…er…ish.  There definitely was a kick up in the mileage and intensity of my workouts, so the rest days and strength workouts became even more important.  Squats are my jam. My foam roller and stick have become my BFF’s.  It’s important to keep the niggles from becoming naggles from becoming full-blown injuries.


Monday–Rest Day
Tuesday–Treadmill Easy 4 Miles in 31:40 prior to work.  Note to self: still not a morning runner.
Wednesday–Treadmill 3 Easy Miles in 23:18.  Didn’t keep it as easy I should have.  Probably because I was trying to get it done ASAP.
Thursday–Treadmill 400×8 with 1/2 mile WU, 1/2 mile CD for 31:00.  Did a quick strength sesh after consisting of lunges, bodyweight squats, bridges, calf raises.
Friday–Rest Day
Saturday–8 Mile Long Run and because I’m apparently a sick, sick individual I elected to do this on the treadmill.  There was no reason I couldn’t run outside besides me not wanting to put on tights and long sleeves.  I did catch up on My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (does anyone else watch that show?!) which was nice.  1:04:16.
Sunday–3 Mile Pace Run in 22:31 OUTSIDE.  I figured 1 run needed to be outside, so this was it.  Then I did a quick strength sesh outside and almost biffed it trying to do squats off our porch swing.  Always the epitome of grace, I am.

Totals: 22 Miles

Next week is supposed to be a cut-back week, but I’m going to have to fiddle around with my plan because I am doing my 10K and 15K races out of order (such the rebel).  I’ll be doing the Great Black Swamp 15K on March 19 and the Second Sole Spring 10K on March 26.  The plan is to not actually race (hardy har, said no runner ever) the 15K and try to race the 10K.  I will most likely just do whatever feels right that particular day.

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Glass City: Week 4

And just like that, it went from a 1/4 of the way through the training cycle to a 1/3.  Fractions, schmactions.  This week I felt a little more beat up overall, probably because I didn’t take a complete 3rd rest day last week (I’m learning that maybe that extra day of rest isn’t a bad thing necessarily or I should learn to do the bike trainer instead of running).  I still got through the week and felt fairly strong on the majority of my workouts.  All except my treadmill run at 5:20 in the morning.  Lesson learned: I’m not good at sleep running and need to drink at least a pot of coffee before running that early again.

Here’s how things shook out:
Monday–Rest Day
Tuesday–3.5 mile run in 26:22.  Managed to get outside for this run, felt good overall and probably kept my pace a little too fast.  Again.
Wednesday–3 mile Treadmill Run in 23:30.  Felt awful.  My body felt awful afterwards, I think running asleep wasn’t good on my muscles.
Thursday–35 min Tempo on Treadmill for 4.6 miles.  This run seemed to go by SO. SLOW. I. WAS. IN.  MOLASSES. AND. TIME. STOOD. STILL. (I’m crying inside obviously).
Friday–Rest Day
Saturday–7 mile Long Run in 54:35.  Did this outside prior to the nice warm-up of the temps, but before all the wind hit.  Felt alright but not great.
Sunday–3 mile Run in 22:56.  Did this outside in the 25-30 mph winds with 40 mph wind gusts.  Harder effort than should have been expected.  Womp and a womp.

Total Mileage: 21.1 miles (that pesky .1)

From here on out, the training plan begins to take my mileage higher and my long runs into the territory of Meh.  Only 8 more weeks of Meh, though!

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Glass City Training: Week 3

Officially now 1/4 through this training cycle.  Does that really mean anything? No, because I still have a ton of training to go.  The good thing is that things continue to go pretty well (I always hesitate to ever say anything like this out loud, jinx jinx jinx).  This week was a step-back week for me, as it included a 5K race.

The next 2 weeks will include increases in my long runs, which I’m overly joyful about (cough cough sarcasm cough cough).  If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m not big on doing all the miles, I tend to be pretty happy in the 3-5 mile territory and anything beyond that usually involves pulling teeth when it is termed “training run”.  Races, completely different story and my long run instantly becomes fun.  I’m a weirdo.

Monday–Rest Day.  Spent working out all the kinks in my wonky calf and hamstring.  I never thought it possible for The Stick to inflict that much pain.  I stand corrected on that matter now.
Tuesday–3.5 Mile Easy Run in 27:24 on the Treadmill
Wednesday–8×400 Repeats with 200 meter recovery in between.  1/2 mile WU, 1/4 mile CD.  Kept all 400’s at 5K pace=6:45/mile.
Thursday–3 Mile Easy Run in 22:53 outdoors+ Strength Sesh in driveway.  Maybe ran too hard or did too many lunges, but my legs were dead.
Friday–Rest Day.
Saturday–5K Race (more in my race report) with 3/4 mile warm-up, 3/4 mile cool-down=~4.5 miles
Sunday–1.25 mile shake-out run in 10:00 on Treadmill + Strength Sesh

Total Mileage=16 miles

Definitely was a cut-back week, but I felt really good in how I raced on Saturday.  Definitely was better than I would have done had I “simulated” it.  Simulation=making all the excuses not to run as hard.  Looking forward to what Week 4 Training brings!