Running Through a Fulfilled Life

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I’m Still Here

So this blog really fell off the wagon.  Like fell off, rolled down the road into a ditch, and laid there for several months.  What can I say?  Life has been busy and finding time between family life, work, recreation, and preparing for the holidays has got me cray cray.   I’m full of excuses and not full of a lot of time.  This weather and the total assault to my immune system with mutated germs has produced a LOT of illness as well, so my energy has just not been there in months.  I’ve had 2 bouts now with colds which have both resulted in 3+ weeks of coughing.  I’ve slept more nights on our couch than in bed, and I’m pretty sure that I should buy stock in Mucinex because I’m convinced I’m keeping them in business.  Double yuck.

Despite all that coughing and snot production, I’ve managed to still keep running (just not as much as I would like to, and definitely not enough to get me ready for any kind of training plan).  I finished the year off with 3 5K’s.  Its a day late and a dollar short to do any kind of race recap, so here’s my results.  Summary of all the races, I had some sort of terrible congestion or cough going on during each race, usually ending with snotsicles dripping everywhere.

St Pete’s Spooktacular 5K: 1st OA, 21:07
The Piggyback Run 1st OA, 21:40
Dave’s Turkey Chase 5th AG 21:01


Utter snot devastation.  

I’m hoping to get back into more regular training, including long runs, speedwork, and tempos in the future, but until my post-nasal drip decides to leave its residence inside my nasal cavities, it’ll be informal training.

In other non-running related updates, my 2 kiddos continue to get large.  The past year has been a whirlwind and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’m definitely a #momofboys and #boymom and my house generally looks like it’s had a boynado go through and is in some stage of destruction, but that’s life with kids and eventually I know I’ll miss these early stages.

I’m hoping to get back to more regular posts and updates once I start training for the Glass City Half in April, since I signed up for that a year ago and all.  Hopefully half training post-baby #2 goes just as well after #1!  Eli Out!



Louisville YMCA 10K

Way back when on June 18, I ran the Louisville Y’s “Soar Into Summer” 10K.  Mother Nature definitely wanted to emphasize that “summer” part like she tends to do every year for this race.  I haven’t done this particular race in several years, but it is inevitable that this race usually corresponds with a warm and humid day which makes the already challenging 10K course a wee bit harder.  2016’s edition was no different as the 8:45 AM start equated to 74 degrees, sunny, and humid.  I do believe I declared something like “Screw this, I’m just using this as a workout” to my Mom before we started.

The race field was relatively small, so the runners quickly spread out.  I was running by another male runner for the first 2 miles and then he fizzled out behind me and I found myself running alone.  In a 10k.  Which I hate.  I could feel my body temperature slowly rising and I actually took nearly all the water stops (which I never do).

It truly felt like I was out on my long run because my legs could not be willed to run any faster.  So I pretended that’s what I was doing.  At just a little faster pace than long run pace.  I slogged through each mile remembering to save just a bit of energy for the last mile which would be out in full sun and would involve an uphill finish.  I think the finishing temperature was somewhere around 78 degrees.  Poopsicles.

Mile 1-7:20
Mile 2-7:25
Mile 3-7:25
Mile 4-7:31
Mile 5-7:18
Mile 6-7:30
Final 0.2-1:53


Final Finish: 46:28
1st Female OA
Self Assigned Award for Most Photogenic I’ve Ever Looked at A Race.  NOT.


Pros: I was pleasantly surprised with the awards post-race, I got a nice gift certificate to Second Sole and the medals for Overall and Age Group winners were very high quality and nice.  I’m not used to seeing medals like those unless I do bigger races (usually involving a half or marathon in their distances).  The race tshirts were wicking and there was a ladies option of sizing which fits perfect.  The post-race food may or may not have involved donuts and I may or may not have crammed that into my mouth while simultaneously downing a Gatorade.  The course was definitely challenging, but well marked and with many enthusiastic volunteers.


Cons: I am not one of these people that enjoys running in the heat.  So…much…sweat.  Your forehead is not supposed to look like a saltlick.  The uphill finish.  Who designs a race finish up a hill?


Overall, it was a good race experience and even though I always tell myself how much I hate running this race because of the heat, I’m sure I’ll find my way back to this one again another year because it really is well executed.





Race Recap: Dart Frog Dash

Back on May 21, I did the Dart Frog Dash in Toledo.  It’s a race that my Hubs has been wanting to do forever because it starts and finishes at the Toledo Zoo.  A place that he pleasantly worked at for nearly a decade of his young life.  So when we discovered that the race date worked well into our schedules, it was a no brainer to sign up.

What was awesome was that my Sis-in-Law, Mom-in Law, and Dad-in-Law all decided to also register in order to make it a family affair!

I chose to wake up at the b-crack of dawn in order to drive the slightly over an hour trek to Toledo on race morning.  The 5K was supposed to start at 8:30, which meant I needed to get to Toledo by 7:20 or so.  I got on the road exactly when anticipated and the drive was pretty uneventful, finding race parking was easy, and we had a slight walk across the Zoo to get near the start line.  It was going to be good weather, a large crowd of >800 runners, and hopefully a good race.

Unfortunately, it was announced about 10′ to the start that the race was going to be delayed by 15′.  Not gonna lie, I am never happy when races delay the start.  To me, unless there are unforeseen circumstances, the race should start on time.  Everyone knows when it starts and it’s your job to get yourself to the start, get your bib pinned, use a bathroom (like a potty trained adult should know how), and line up before the gun goes off.  End rant.  The extra time did allow me to loosen up a little more and do some much needed hamstring stretching.


Once the race finally started, I found myself without a good race plan.  It’s been a while since I’d done a 5K, so I had no expectations other than coming in under 22 minutes (speed often gets sacrificed when I’m training long).  The course was a large out and back and I positive split the hell out of it.   **bad Eli**.  My first mile was somewhere in the 6:40 territory and then each mile got progressively slower.  I was running in no man’s land and I was behind a kid that kept farting every 50 yards or so (we’ve all been there, amIright, as both farter and fartee) and completely lost my mental game.  The turn into the Zoo had us running a bunch of quick turns and circles, and I lost any possible kick I usually have due to this.  I know I’m being an excuse factory.  I still managed to find some energy and kick in to finish in 21:44 (my watch time, I somehow didn’t get a chip time and received gun time).  Not exactly where I was hoping to be fitness wise, but this race had a couple big hills and lots of sharp turns at the end, so it is what it is.


Serving melted face/seen a ghost since 1985

Final Finish: 21:44
Females: 7/460
30-34 AG: 1/78


I run sometimes because of and mostly for this kid

Hubs came in shortly after, as did Kristyn, MIL/FIL while toting my Toddler J.  I’m proud of them all for completing a challenging race and hopefully having a good time doing it!


Family Finish


Race Recap: Mother of All Races 10K

This race happened because I was in town visiting my parents, because…Mother’s Day.  What better way to celebrate a major holiday than marking it with a race?  Yes, there are better ways to celebrate, and we made sure to do all of them…after.  The Mother of All Races 10K/5K is held in Canal Fulton on each Mother’s Day.  I haven’t run this race in a few years, and the last time I participated it was just a 5K.  And maybe it should stay that way.

The race entry fee is kind of pricey for a 10K–$40.  Plus I missed the “register by this date to get a shirt”, but I was informed I could always buy a shirt on race day.  For an extra $10.  Just a little helpful hint, any extra shirts should be used on a first come, first serve basis for preregistered/race day registrants.  So what did my $40 buy me? This race left me with a “meh” feeling and it’s probably not one I’ll do again.

The 10K started right on time at 8 AM, the 5K competitive walk and 5K run started at 8:15 and 8:30 respectively.  There were only 100 runners in the 10K, so the race spaced out pretty quickly.  I found myself running step for step with another runner, which really helped push me and keep me honest for the first few miles.  I totally forgot to start my watch at the beginning and figured out my dumbassness by Mile 1, so I only had data on 5.2 miles.  Math skills allow me to deduce my first mile clocked in at 7:01.

I pressed on, as the course entered “downtown” Canal Fulton.  Miles 2 was a 7:17.

The course rolled quite a bit, there was a nice uphill at around 2.5 miles in.  We continued a long straightaway as we paralleled the Towpath.  Mile 3 was a 7:21.

There was a sharp turnaround and then we were onto the Towpath.  I love the Towpath.  I wish a Towpath existed in Huron.  I have run some of my fastest miles along that ish.  At the turnaround I realized that while I sat in 1st (small race field), there were 2 girls firmly plastered on my rear end.  Like plaster of Paris.  Hoping I could shake them by picking up my pace, Mile 4 was a 7:08.  It didn’t work, they liked my rear.

I kept trying to push, as Mile 5 clocked a 7:12.  It was at this point that the 2nd place female came even to me, but didn’t seem interested in really dusting me.  She went past me, but I was able to keep about 6-7 seconds behind.


Oh look…right when I got passed!



Ugh…this starting to hurt

Mile 6 was back on the road, and it meant back to some rolling hills.  Mile 6 was a 7:16 and ended with a nasty hill.  I am not a good hill runner, but I closed the gap and was on her heels by the final turn.  I knew it was going to hurt and the feeling of puke did cross my mind, but I ran as hard as I could to pass her.  And finished 4 seconds ahead.  I’m glad no photo finish exists because I’m pretty sure I was serving melted face, flailing arms, and jello legs.

Final Finish: 44:49 (7:13/mile)
1st OA

The reason why this race left me feeling “meh” was the after.  No age group awards were handed out for the 10K (even though it was advertised as such and awards were given to both the 5K run and 5K competitive walk), leaving a really disgruntled group of runners.   The overall awards (for 5k/10k) were just medals without any engraving on them.  No name of race, no denomination of 1st/2nd/3rd, etc.  A medal that if I don’t write with sharpie marker on, I’ll probably forget why I even have it.  These are fine for age group awards, but I would hope that the overall awards could be a bit more.  Hopefully the race organizers fix their issues for next year because they very well could be losing a handful of participants.

Pros: challenging 10K course partially run on the Towpath, photo booth for pre/post race pictures, fun Mother/Son/Daughter categories, good post-race food, good volunteer support
Cons: very pricey given not everyone got a shirt, awards were not given out as advertised and should be upgraded, no apology being issued (to this point in time) to runners in 10K

Addendum: apparently this race has issued an apology email as of yesterday (I didn’t get sent it, though, somehow) and tried to clarify the confusion on awards and they plan to make things right by sending out awards for age group winners


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!


Race Recap: Dave’s Turkey Chase 5K

It’s really not a Thanksgiving morning without a Turkey Trot.  AmIright, AmIright?!  **crickets**

Well, at least for me, I like to justify my smorgasboard of all the food into my belly by the fact that I busted out a race in the morning.  The tryptophan seems to hit a little softer that way.

Since we were planning to be in Toledo for this past Thanksgiving, we had the option of selecting between 2 races: The Eastside Turkey Trot or Turkey Chase in Downtown.  Since we had done done the Trot in years past, Hubs and I decided to give the Chase a shot.  For a first year race, I left being quite impressed.  We had no problem parking in a free lot (probably because I was super insistent that we arrive early) and our bonus of being so early was trying to watch several individuals fail at parking in the clown sized space next to us.  Entertaining enough for me to forget my nerves.

The race started and finished in Downtown Toledo and basically was a giant square.  Which to some may be boring, but for me that=no potential way Eli can get lost!  I never found myself bored at all during the course.  Possibly because I spent the entire race chasing after Forrest Gump, but that happens.  Who knew that Thanksgiving brings out costumes?


Hubs and I are in there somewhere...Look at that serious forward lean, the stride, the stride! I kind of look like I'm running.

Hubs and I are in there somewhere…Look at that serious forward lean, the stride, the stride! I kind of look like I’m running.

Race morning was perfect temperature, although there was a tiny breeze of which I wasn’t quite a fan.  Hubs and I did a quick warm-up.  And by quick I mean it maybe lasted 2 minutes with an impromptu potty break that involved some sheltering bushes.  We lined up, did the good luck kiss (#pda), and got ready to run our rears off.  And run my rear off, I did.

I was never going to be in the group to make it to the first mile (you know, to win a frozen turkey, aka priorities), but I wanted to clock a solid split.  I clocked too solid of a split.  Like a 6:24 split.   Too fast.  Whoops.

The rest of the race was spent trying to hold onto the runaway train of paces and not poop out.  I was struggling by the end and wound up being pushed in by a middle schooler (who is going to be a fantastic HS runner).  The finish downhill only added to the feeling of a runaway train.

In case you were wondering what a runaway train looks like, this is it. Total loss of form. Looks like I'm frolicking to finish.

In case you were wondering what a runaway train looks like, this is it. Total loss of form. Looks like I’m frolicking to finish.

Final Finish: 20:40
11th OA Female
2nd Age Group

Hubs finished shortly thereafter and we collected our mugs with our free socks (a nice perk for the first 1,500 finishers).

The best part of this race?  The awards!  Pies were given out to the winners.

All the pie. Get in my belly.

All the pie. Get in my belly.

Nothing better than sharing some apple pie after a long day with your Hubby 🙂

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Race Recap: The Holly Run

The Holly Run is quickly becoming one of my favorite races to put on the calendar.  The Life is Good No Matter What Foundation is doing some truly wonderful things throughout Ohio (really, you should go check it out) for adults with advanced cancer.  If you’re going to run races, I think voting with your feet for a wonderful charity reigns supreme.


This year’s version couldn’t have asked for a better day.  It was a cool, crisp, Fall morning with just a hint of a breeze which is almost unheard of for mid November.  My partner and crime and pasty legs, Lydia, and I got to the race about 45 minutes before race time, found a parking spot with only two or ten turnarounds, picked up our packets, pottied, and warmed up.  The start area just felt excited, hopeful, and…happy.  Rarely do I find myself feeling emotional at the start of a race, but this one gets me everytime.  Listening to the names of all 36 recipients of “escapes” made it real.  We were running for each and every one of these individuals.  And for Holly.   In my mind, I was able to mentally erase any doubts I had about how my run would go.  Screw that I hadn’t run in a week because of stomach flu.  I was one of 800 people running to celebrate life like there was no tomorrow.  Screw cancer.

The race started and we were off.  I found myself feeling super light on my feet, possible because of aforementioned stomach flu, but maybe also because I was relaxed and determined.  99% sure though that it was stomach flu, though.  The first mile always clocks in a decent time, even with the giant hill in the cemetery.  I pressed on, trying to keep my pace honest and even.  I pushed up into 3rd OA for the ladies and that’s where I’d stay.  I had someone nice push me into the finish from about a half mile out.  We fist bumped (yes, mid race fist bumped) and it was on to the finish.  I think I stayed sub 6 pace towards the end (go, Eli, go!).


I’m sure something like “run faster” was being said here



Hey look, it’s Lydia!

Final Finish: 21:08 (6:48/mile)
3rd OA Female

I definitely am putting The Holly Run on my 2016 calendar already.  It’s a wonderful event that continues to grow in size each year, is super runner friendly, and a truly “community” gathering that brings an entire town together to celebrate what’s great…life!