31st Half Marathon – Akron, OH

31st Half Marathon – Akron, OH

Finally, after 2 years, I ran a new half marathon PR!

If you are looking for a challenging but fun course, run the Akron (1/2) marathon. The event is very well organized, the course is a bit hilly, with a good amount of water stops. After the race, besides the medal, we got a pair of Swiftwick socks (my favorite socks!) Score! (Trying to remember my shoe/sox size after the race was tough! lol But I managed to give them the correct size *whew*)

My previous PR was in Athens, OH, in 2013. I hired a running coach this running season to help me obtain my PR goal. I am not quite there yet. My goal is 2:05, with eventually breaking the two hour barrier. I have one more race this season (beginning of November) to hit that goal (of 2:05, the sub 2 is not within my reach yet).

As I mentioned, the course is hilly and that had me worried. Instead of trying to go for the 2:05 PR I was going for just a PR. I started off with a 9:45 min/mile pace, worried about the major incline between mile 6 and 7. My pace dropped to 10:05 that mile, but I was able to make that up the following one with a 9:12 mile. (What goes up, must come down!)

Overall I ran a negative split and I am thrilled about that. I was extremely nervous at the beginning of the race, wondering if all my hard work would pay off, and it did! I am looking forward to (even though I am sure I’ll be nervous as hell again) to my race in November which is almost flat. Until then I still have some tough workouts to survive, but having this solid race under my belt has certainly boosted my confidence!

Previous PR: 2:08:26

New PR: 2:06:40

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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in 1/2 Marathon, Running


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The trick of running right & failing miserably

A new training season has begun! My goals are a half marathon for fun in Missoula, Montana in July and a race half marathon in the fall. With a new season comes the hopes and dreams of nailed tempo runs, flawless intervals, effortless long runs, and of course, the best race ever!

I have learned A LOT about running efficiency and economy over the last year; I can write training programs and associated speed workouts. But, there is still one thing that I struggle with…I KNOW the times I need to run to get the most of out my individual training sessions. I just need to LEARN the feel of the exact pace.

Why is that so important? Because each workout is designed to make me a more efficient runner. One helps with getting my body used to the distance, another helps push my lactate threshold out, another is to get me used to running faster paces, and so on, all helping my body adapt and become a better runner. If you don’t run them at the right pace, it’s like trying to loose weight, eating too much of the right food. The result is not what you are looking for.

Tonight the goal was to run my long-run-pace as a warm up, then hit my half marathon pace for 2 miles, and then again my long run for a cool down. The ideal paces would have been 11:26, 10:00, 10:00, and again 11:26. I brought music with me, because it helped me get through my last half marathon. Duh!

I won’t be bringing it to my speed workouts anymore! I need to learn to listen to my body and my breathing, I can’t do that with music in my ears. I knew this, but thought “I need the mental support.” The music was turned off after about mile 1.5. Yes, I am a slow learner. *sigh*

Another thing is I need to learn how my new Garmin 620 can help me the best. Since the run I have changed some of the fields. For instance, average pace does not do me any good when I need lap pace instead…the reason for mile 2 and 3 being so fast.

Yes, I still have a lot to learn. But I am OK with that, I have plenty of time this season.


I have also started back up with my abs program. 4 days a week at least. It’s an oldie, but goody!

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Running


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Why run when you can cheer?

Today was the goal race of many runners in the club in which I help pace and coach. So, instead of lacing up the shoes (still recovering from last week’s 1/2 marathon race), I donned on some pom-poms, a sign and a cow bell. Together with friends from the running club, we recreated last week’s scene when we cheered for three of our runners trying to qualify for Boston (which they did, in case you missed my previous post).

The Cap City Half marathon consists of a 5k, quarter marathon, and half marathon, all run at the same time. We stationed ourselves at mile 1, and then again at mile 4ish for the quarter/mile 7ish for the half.

Cap City Cheering Crew

Cap City Cheering Crew

We cheered for over three and a half hours! It was a lot of fun and we got a lot of smiles, waves, and thumbs up. All our runners made it, all had a good race, but I think we had the most fun out on the course!

Hours later, I have a very sore wrist (from the cow bell) and a sore throat from yelling, but would I do it again? You bet ya! It’s nice to see the other side of the race, it gives you some appreciation for those waiting for you when you are the one running.


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Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Running


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Glass City Marathon – Half

Half marathon number 26 is in the books…this one was my goal race for this season. I was told it was a flat race, and for the most part it was true.

Even though I ran hard and left it on the course, I did not PR. BUT, after a year of running races just for fun and pacing a group that is a lot slower than my regular long run pace, I know where I stand to properly train for my fall race and PR!

I had set three goals for this race: 2:07:59 (a PR by 27 seconds), 2:10:00 and under 2:15:00. My finish time was 2:10:57. 

As mentioned, the course was almost flat. There are at least three hills (one pretty steep) that I remember. Besides that, it is a great course, running though a pretty neighborhood, through a park and finished up in the Glass City football stadium’s 50 yard line. There was a mile and a half stretch on a bike path, but I just pretended to be on the (high school) track doing speed work.

Once you finish you are handed your medal and a bottle of water. You had to leave the stadium to get your food and beer glass. Overall I would recommend the course. I would suggest that you try to get there an least an hour early, because the roads were quite congested.

The best part of the race came after I finshed: Three of my friends were trying to qualify for Boston on that course. So, surrouned by 8 great running friends, I made my way onto the course and found a great spot. We cheered our little hearts out and made quite a few runners smile (or grimace, not sure). Or friends came past one by one….it was great! All three qualified (with hopefully enough of a buffer) and a group of us will head to Boston next year to cheer them on!!!

My next goal is to PR in the fall. I now know where I stand with my training and will use that to build a solid training plan for my next race. Excited!

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Posted by on April 30, 2014 in 1/2 Marathon, 13.1, Running


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25th Half Marathon

Last weekend I ran my 25th half marathon! Not too bad considering I have “only” been running half marathons since 2005.

This marathon started off in Athens Ohio and was hosted by Ohio University. Other than the first mile and last half mile, the whole race takes place on a bike path. It is not spectator friendly, but it is a fast race. The bike path is very flat. The “out” part has a slight decline, which you then have to face going back. Some people would argue with you that there is no in/decline but there is. This was my third time running this race, the last two years in a row I managed a PR. This year, it was just a training run.

The gameplan for this run was to run the first 10 miles at a nice 12:19 pace and then pick it up the last three miles, hitting a HR of no more than 85% of max heart rate. The goal race, which is three weeks after this one, is the Glass City Marathon (half) in Toledo, OH.

The weather was a little too warm, starting off at 66 degree. The arm warmers and gloves were left in the car, no need for them! Why 12:19?  This was the recovery pace I had hit the day before, so that’s what I decided to go with the day of the race. During six out of the nine miles, I was right on pace. And was off by only 15 seconds on the other three.

The nice thing about this run was that it was spent running with friends. Some of my fellow Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) friends joined me at my pace. About halfway through, a majority decided to slow down a little, and so it was my friend Erika, a friend of a friend Sarah and I that tackled the last 7 miles together. As I mentioned, this is an out and back course and there are not many spectators because it is difficult to get to. Runners become their own cheer leaders; the ones that had already turned around and were heading back cheered on the ones still heading to that sought after turn around point. We saw quite a few of our own running friends and cheered heavily for one another.

At mile ten it was time to try to kick it in a little. During this running season I had paced a running group that is quite a bit slower than my regular pace. Even though my speed workout was always on target, I was a little worried that running my long miles so slow, I could not run the distance at a faster pace. I managed to pick it up a little at mile ten, but my HR was higher than I thought it would be. The weather could have had something to do with that and the head wind. I don’t know. The good thing is that my legs were just a little tired the next day and not sore at all.

My goal race is in two weeks; I do not know if I have what it takes to PR because of my the pacing during the season (no regrets though). I will need to run a 9:45 minute mile pace to get that accomplished. My race plan is written and I will give it all I have to get it done. As one of my friends always says, “Leave it all on the course.” And that I will do!



Leg Drains!

Leg Drains!


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Still kickin’, more fierce than before…

It’s been over a year! Wow!

Let’s see what I have been able to accomplish in that time:


March – Became a RRCA Certified Running Coach

April – Became a Team Orgeon Certified Long Distance Running Coach

April – Athens Half Marathon – Athens, OH

May – Flying Pig (Half) Marathon – Cincinnati, OH

June – Hatfield McCoy (Half) Marathon – South Wilimington, KY

October – Columbus (Half) Marathon – Columbus, OH

I haven’t done too much in 2014 yet. 🙂

In the meantime I have been volunteering my time as Membership Director for the non-profit running club I run with (150 members). In addition to that, I have also become one of their coaches. This, plus actual paid work has kept me pretty busy.

But don’t stop there! The husband and I joined a gym and over the last three months have successfully lost 6% of our body fat so far. I am hoping that I’ll be in better shape in a few months than I was when I ran Disney.

Inspired by one of my fellow runners, I am currently studying to become a NASM Certified Persal Trainer. This is more for personal knowledge gain than anything. The ideal end result for me would be to take what I learn and apply it towards running.

My goal for this year is to run a few more half marathons and then prepare for the full in the fall, but going into it already being in really good shape. I am really looking forward to training for and running my 4th full marathon.

Stay tuned!

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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in 1/2 Marathon, Blogroll, Charity, Run, Running


1/2 Marathon # 18 + Marathon # 3 = Goofy Penny

On Sunday, January 13th I completed the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. For those that are not familiar with this challenge, it has been held for 20 years in Disney World (Orlando, FL). It consists of running a half marathon on Saturday and then a full marathon on Sunday. You can of course choose to just run one or the other, but if you are really Goofy, you sign up for both and receive a third medal.

Two friends (Brenda and Teri) and I trained for this challenge for 32 weeks together. We trained when it was warm enough to wear shorts and cold enough that two layers of pants almost weren’t enough. Our longest weekend run consisted of a 9 miler on Saturday and a 22 miler on Sunday.

Race weekend took forever to get here, but finally it did and off to sunny Florida we went. We met up with two runner friends (Aimee and Debbie) at the airport and another one (Lauren) in Florida.

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I won’t bore you with all the details. but overall it was a lot of fun. Here is my review in bullet points:

  • I haven’t flown in 26 years and all the security measures were quite intimidating. I still don’t like to fly, but I am no longer afraid to.
  • The resort we stayed in was nice; we enjoyed the time at the pool after both races.
  • The long-sleeve technical shirts we received are unisex and not very flattering for women.
  • The Expo was disappointing.  We might have gotten there a bit late, but there was hardly any Goofy memorabilia left, not even 39.3 car magnets. You’d think they have done this a time or two (or 20) and should not run out. Nothing available online either.
  • The half hour wait to get into the building to get our shirts was ridiculous. This is after we received our race bibs in another building.
  • Getting up at 3am two days in a row is hard. (The races start at 5:30)
  • Plenty of free transportation!
  • The 1.31 mile walk to the starting line each day after a 30 minute bus ride was a bit much.
  • The water stations were one of the best I have ever seen.
  • Running a half marathon with friends and not for time was a lot of fun.
  • The volunteers aka “Cheer Squad” were awesome!
  • Coming down Main Street and seeing the Castle was a breath-taking experience.
  • The courses were good. I didn’t care for the freeway part the last few miles in the half marathon, or the freeway parts on the full marathon.
  • The half marathon took us through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The full took us through those two, including a trip around Richard Petty’s Speedway track, plus the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood. That was a lot of fun.
  • Seeing the Disney characters along the way, and having the opportunity to take pictures of them was neat.
  • My stomach started getting upset again at mile 18, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Columbus ’11.
  • Training in cold weather doesn’t help you when it is 80 degrees out.
  • At mile 21 I had to walk.
  • At mile 22 I was able to run again.
  • I always knew I would finish.
  • Setting a long-term goal and seeing it through is an incredible feeling!
  • Would I do it again? No, it beats you up pretty bad, BUT I would recommend it to a seasoned runner.
  • Am I glad I did it? Yes, it was a great experience, the training and the races.

Thank yous: Thank you Teri and Brenda for training with me. Even though sometimes I didn’t sound like it, I really enjoyed spending time with you two! Aimee, Debbie, and Lauren…can’t wait to go to another event with you ladies. You gals make it fun! Last but not least, thank you to my hubby who let me train for hours on end and then let me go to Disney World without him. You are the best!


1/2 Marathon #17 – PR

Ran the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon yesterday, participating in the 1/2 marathon race. Here is my race report:

The weather conditions were perfect, low 40’s at the start with just a 4 mile per hour wind. The first 4 miles I had the company of a CERC runner and we ticked those miles off easily trying to hold the pace at a 10:15. I had brought my own water to get passed the first water stop without stopping. I ditched that bottle at mile 2ish and the “throw away” long sleeve shirt at mile 3. At mile four I picked up the pace to 10:00. My CERC partner was running the full and did not increase her speed.

Mile 5, 6 and 7 were uneventful. I just tried to keep my pace at 10:00, usually coming in just a few seconds under. Mile 6.5 to 7.5 were a little tougher, because they represented the first uphill (not a major incline, but a steady one).

At mile 10, going by my running plan, I needed to pick it up a little more, leaving behind a nice couple that I had been following the last 4 miles. During a brief conversation it turned out they used me to pace themselves while I used them to keep on pace!

I took advantage of every water stop along the way, and there were plenty, but only slowing down long enough to get those couple zips in me. GUing was not a problem, until I realized at mile 11 that my gas tank was low and I needed to take some in me. The only thing was, I had just passed a water stop. I felt like I was faltering a little bit and was worried about my stomach taking in GU without chasing it with water. But, I did it anyway. Shortly after mile marker 12 there was a water stop and I was back on track.

The last 2 miles of the race are a steady incline, but because of my training (running 16 mile long runs every Saturday, with a shorter long run – 8 to 10 miles – on Sunday), I was able to kick it in a bit, passed quite a few runners. That felt so good, because usually at that point, I am holding on tooth and nail, trying to get to the finish without having to crawl!

I PRed by over 6 minutes, blowing my April PR out of the water! My goal of a 10 min/mile pace was realized, coming in at a 9:59 min/mile pace! Call me a happy camper!


  • My husband and daughter both made it out to watch me race. It was great to see them at mile 9 and 12, it gave me something to look forward to.
  • Jim Miller, who is one of my running idols (in his 60 and fast as a horse), jumped in at mile 10ish to run with me for just a few minutes.
  • Passed and said “hi” to Jim Tucker around mile 5, who is the greatest TNT running coach ever.
  • Having Lisa run with/near me for the first 4 miles made that part of the course much easier.
  • Seeing a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Champion every mile was very moving.
  • My father in law, who passed away earlier this year, was with me in spirit the whole way.
  • Spending time before and after the race with our new CERC runners, running their first half or full marathon was very inspiring.

I am looking forward to running Marshall (Healthy Huntington Marathon) in three weeks. My goal is to come in under 2:10, but if I don’t, that is OK.

Until then – may the wind be in your back!

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Running


I am Goofy!

Ran the Baltimore (Ohio) 5k and PRed by 45 seconds! I managed to run it in 28 minutes flat (9 min mile) and I am still on Cloud 9. Sorry all you dear FB friends who already read heard me bragging about it.

A couple of years ago I tried to run a mile as fast as I could and managed to squeeze out ONE 9 min mile. At that time I never imagined that I could sustain that for a total of 3.1 miles. I am hoping that when I run another 5k sometime in the future, I’ll break that 28 min/9 min mile barrier.

The icing on the cake today was that this was our first race with our new CERC running group. Even though we only had three members and us four pacers run the race, we had three other members show up for moral support and everyone wore our lime green CERC shirts. (I am wearing the black and green head band)

Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) – After the Baltimore 5k

But…you wonder, what does this have to do with the title of the post. Well…If you where to google the “Goofy Challenge“, you would learn about a running event in Disney World (Florida). On Saturday, January 12th, 2013 you run a half marathon and on Sunday, the 13th you run a full marathon, all within the Disney World parks. I AM SIGNED UP for the race! THE AIRLINE TICKETS ARE BOUGHT, and the HOTEL RESERVATIONS ARE MADE! I am going with some great running buddies, and I am sooooo looking forward to it.

2013 ''Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge'' Walt Disney World Auto Magnet

The training is a bit tricky, considering I am pacing a half marathon group, whose goal race is the Columbus (1/2) marathon in October. This means I get up at 4:30 on Saturdays to get my “additional” miles in for my long run and then run the remaining miles with the group, and then my shorter long run on Sunday. Eventually when the new training season (in December) starts this will flip, putting the shorter long run on Saturday and the long long run on Sunday, to match the actual running sequence.

So far my body has adopted well. My PR today proves that. My left achilles is still a bit sore, but I stretch it regularly and it’s actually gotten better.


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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in 13.1, Running


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The medal I never wanted

In 2009 I had signed up to run with Team in Training to raise money to find a cure for Lymphoma & Leukemia and support families that battle these terrible blood cancers. Within a month of signing up, my father in-law was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma! Of course I made him my hero, the person I was fundraising and running for. Every hill I tackled during training became nothing. Because compared to what Roger was going through, what was a hill that I needed to overcome?

With the help of my employer and some very generous people, I was able to raise a good amount of money. Enough to receive this plaque.

The Plaque


When the race came near, we weren’t sure if Roger would be able to watch, because he was having more bad days than good. Turned out he was able to make it! That race, the 2009 Capital City Half Marathon was one of the most emotional races I had ever run. Seeing him at the sideline, skinny as a rail, holding up a sign is forever etched into my brain.

The Sign

Roger had been at some of my races before to show his support of my running, but this time it was different, I was running for him! After the race was over I met up with him, his wife, and my husband. During the race I had decided to give Roger my medal to show him that he’s a winner in my book and how much he meant to me. That medal since then had been adoring the mirror on the dresser in his bedroom.

If you have followed my blog, you will know that Roger passed away almost two weeks ago from a second battle with NonHodgkins Lymphoma; one that he was not able to win.

Today, my mother in-law gave me the medal I had given to Roger. It was an emotional moment for me, because when he tackled cancer a second time, I was hoping that he’d walk away a winner again. To me, receiving the medal back made it somewhat more final that it wasn’t meant to be.

The medal that I really never wanted back will be the one I will treasure the most. It now hangs proudly in my office and as soon as I get the chance, it will go into a shadow box to be properly displayed.

The medal & the shirt

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Running, Team in Training, TNT


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