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Category Archives: 1/2 Marathon

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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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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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:

2013

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!

 

2012 Cleveland Marathon (Half)

As previously mentioned, my sister Angi and I had this idea of running a race together since she started running a few years back. The thing holding us back in the past was that she lives in Germany and I in the US. This made our idea a bit more difficult. But this year it worked out that she was in the US during the 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland (half) Marathon on May 20th, so I signed us up. Her employer, Tandano Faun (a Japanese crane manufacturer in Germany) offered to pay for the half marathon entry fee for both of us if we wore their running shirts…oh yeah, not a problem!

We had driven up the day before, staying about a half a mile from the start and finish line, which was by the Cleveland Browns football stadium. The temperature was about 65 degrees, with an expected high in the mid 80’s. Another hot race (Cap City half had been about the same)!

This was to be Angi’s 2nd half marathon and my 16th. We agreed that we would run together for a little bit and then separate if one of us picked up the pace. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do, considering we are both competitive and our PRs are about 15 minutes apart. I think we managed to run together for the first 1/2 mile and then I pulled away a bit. Unbeknownst to me, she kept up with me and passed me around mile 2! I kept her in my sight for the next three miles and passed her shortly after mile 5.

Around mile 7 I passed two runners from our local running club. I stopped and took their picture. Around mile 10 it started getting hot. I noticed that I had stopped sweating; not good – it’s a sign of dehydration. I slowed down my pace a bit and made sure I grabbed two water cups at the aid stations. The last two miles were really slow and there were a few runners that needed medical attention. There was not water at the last station! It was hot and running downtown provided no shade and no wind. Finally, I made it to the finish line! About 11 minutes later Angi made it too!

I am looking forward to running another one with her sometime in the near future either in the US or Germany. It is nice to share your hobby with your sister.

Looking forward, I am now contemplating on running the US Air Force Marathon half in Dayton in September. Maybe it won’t be as hot then, but with the current trend, it might even be hotter. We’ll see. (Edit: I just checked on the USAF Marathon, it’s sold out…going to look around for another one)

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My father in-law was not able to win the battle against lymphoma this time around and passed away peacefully with family by his side on May 10th. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for all family members, but we are dealing with it the best we can. He was always there for his kids, their spouses, and his grand & great grand kids. One of the many things I miss now that he’s gone, is him either being at the races or asking me about it and looking at the medal afterwards. He’ll always be in my heart. CANCER SUCKS! RIP, Roger!

Roger – Easter 2012

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in 1/2 Marathon, Race Report, Running

 

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The way things are right now

It’s been a while…there is a reason, but more about that in a bit.

I ran my 15th half marathon last weekend. Humidity was 100% and the temperature at the time of the start 65 degrees. I was kinda hoping for a PR, after getting one in Athens (Ohio). But, I haven’t been running much lately, so after mile 2 I knew I could not keep up that pace and settled for just getting a medal.

The race was good, at one point we only had one lane to run in, which is fine, but with 13,000 runners, it was a bit cramped. The water stations were a mess. At one station I had to back track to get water because the next table was out.

There were a lot of runners at the end of the course (last 3 miles) being tended to by first aid personnel. The humidity must have gotten to them in one way or another. This made me glad that I threw the PR out the window. Even though I did get water at every water station, my right calf started to cramp up a little a half a mile before the finish.

NONETHELESS: The medal I received is huge (& heavy) and the day overall lots of fun.

In other news: My sister is flying in from Germany to visit next week (that’s were I am originally from). We are running the Cleveland Rock and Roll Marathon (HALF) together. Ever since she was bitten by the running bug, running a race together has been a conversation of ours. On the 20th it will come true. I. AM. EXCITED!

I am trying to keep my miles up, but lately is been tough finding the time. My father-in-law, who is very dear to me, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (he beat the cancer back 3 years ago) and has been in the hospital, most the time in ICU, for almost four weeks. There have been improvements in his condition and major set backs. So, basically our lives consists of going to work and then spending time at the hospital and helping my mother-in-law (who is also very dear to me) out. Running takes the back seat.

Oh, oh, oh, I bought a bike…I almost forgot! I road bike (bicycle…why do people assume a bike is a motorcycle *sigh*). I am now the proud owner of a Giant Avail 2 road bike.

Have I had to the chance to ride it? Yes!

How far? 3 miles! 😦 I am hoping to get on it this weekend a little.

Well, that’s the way things are right now, hoping for a positive change.

 
 

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PR! – Athens Half Marathon April 1, 2012

I entered the race just for fun, to be with friends who love to run like I do (most of them a bit faster than I am). Turns out the stars were alligned just right and a PR was bound to happen.

The hubby drove to Athens (Ohio) with me to cheer me on. That doesn’ t happen to often and I was glad to have him a long. Race packet pick up was prior to the race about a 1/2 mile from the starting line. The place where we picked up the packet was also the finish line. With the packet picked up and bib attached we were off to the starting line, walking through the beautiful Ohio University campus.

Starting Line

Starting Line

The course, which is overall very flat, starts with a very steep downhill part. I was a bit worried about my knee and calf/achilles, after the experience in Mississippi and the following injuries I had. But my body held up! I ran into an old running buddy, Kelly, shortly after the start. She is much faster than I am, but just getting back into running after spitting out her second child. We ran together for a while. She was a tad bit too fast for me, and I dropped back…eventually I got into my stride and I caught back up to her. We, including a runner from West Virginia that Kelly had befriended, ran most of the second half of the race together.

Mile 5 - Kelly is a little behind me (in pink)

At the turn-around point it occurred to me that I could PR if I kept that pace up the second half. However, the first half of the race was on a slight decline, meaning the returning part would be at an incline. But with Kelly at my side, happily cheering me on and keeping my mind occupied with life stories, we were still going strong at mile 10.

The miles just went by so fast, but I did notice that we had slowed down just a little bit. Mile 13 however, made up for it, running my second fastest mile in that race.  We entered the stadium with about 600 yards to go. After the first 200 were behind us, we could see the clock, and Kelly said “You got this!”. She then shouted to our friends, who were waiting for us, “She is going to PR!” and they started cheering like crazy. So loud as a matter of fact that I could hear them all the way on the other side of the track!

Kelly: "Where did she go?"

Kelly high 5-ing while I am dying! 🙂

Kicking it in!

With about 100 yards to go, I kicked it in some more…don’t know where that came from, and I PRed by 32 seconds! What a great feeling!

Running Friends

Running Friends!

This was my easiest PR ever and so unexpected, it makes it twice as nice. Am I glad that I had signed up to spend the day with friends.

Me, Kelly, and the lady from West Virginia

 

Updated Long Term Goal

“Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you will land among the stars.” – Les Brown 

Well, we all know that I am slower than snail’s pace and more than likely will never be able to run Boston. But, after running the half in Mississippi two weeks ago, the idea of running a half marathon in all 50 states plus DC started to form. I realize that it will take me roughly 20 years to get all the states done, with only having run in three (Ohio, Indiana, and Mississippi), but I think that would be a great 60’s birthday present to myself to get that completed. 

With that said, we have friends that live in and near Boston, and my search for a half marathon in the states of Massachusetts shows that the Boston Athletic Association also puts on a half marathon in October. My schedule for this October is already booked, running and training for the Columbus Marathon on the 21st, but next year is wide open. In the mean time, I’d like to get at least one more state added to my “completed” list and then to throw myself into this adventure head first next year. 

Created new Page tab: “50 States & DC Quest” to keep track of my goal.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in 1/2 Marathon, Goals

 

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Mississippi Blues Marathon (Half)

A friend of mine lives near Jackson Mississippi and after plans fell through to run the 1/2 marathon out there 2 years ago, this year we finally managed the trip. Driving just under 800 miles one way was actually a lot of fun. It helped that my husband and I get a long and we listened to the book “The Hunger Games”.

I did not know what to expect course wise, and was a little taken aback when a coworker said, “You know, it’s pretty hilly out there!” two days before we were leaving. With that said, I mentally prepped for a pretty slow race. I should mention that I have been doing heart rate training and intended to run the 1/2 at 75% of my heart rate, which would put me at or around a 2:30 finish. Eventually the goal with the training is to be able to run a half marathon at 85% of my heart rate. Now knowing that is was a hilly course, I resigned myself to coming in around 2:45. I was fine with that.

The weather on race day was almost perfect. 53 degrees at 7am was almost a little too warm, but a nice breeze was flowing, cooling the air a bit more. The field was only 2500 people strong (with about 800 of them running the full), letting me cross the starting line only about a minute and a half after the gun went off.

The first hill was not far off, and it seemed that the course either went up or down, even though I think there were occasional straight stretches. It took us past businesses, through residental neighborhoods, and along the freeway. I believe we also passed at least 2 schools along the way. Around mile 7 the pavement got really bad with pot holes and bad patch jobs, but a sign prior to that warned us of the upcoming trouble.

My heart rate after the first few hills stayed pretty steady at 80%. I tried to slow it down the first three miles but then decided because of the hills that I would go by feeling and keep it under 80%, but not fret it if I went over 75%.

I was looking for my husband and my two friends at mile 8, but didn’t see them until about 8.5. That was nice and broke up the run. Usually the monotony of it all hits me between mile 7 and 9, so it was great to look forward to them.

I think around mile 9, we joined back up with the marathon course. At mile 11 the first two marathoners passed me; they were at mile 24 on their journey. Must be a lot of work to be able to run that fast!

The finish line was uphill! But I managed to kick it into gear the last hill and finished in 2:31:08! Not bad for such an up and down course and feeling as strong as I did. Not one time during the race did I feel like walking or even quitting. In all my previous races I seemed to have struggled at one point or another; this 1/2 marathon just seemed to have flown by.

I am still training for the Cap City Half marathon in May, which is held in Columbus, Ohio. That one I plan to race and not just run. My half marathon PR currently is 2:17, I am hoping to break that…fingers crossed!

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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in 1/2 Marathon, 13.1, Heart Rate Training, Hills, Race Report, Running

 

Spirit of Columbus 1/2 marathon

SOC-09

The night before the race was a restless one. You know, where you toss and turn and look at the clock to see how many more hours you get to sleep. The night didn’t start with many hours to go to begin with. I believe when I headed to bed I had 5 hours and 44 minutes before getting up at 4:15 a.m. At some point in the night I turned the clock away from me!

At 4:15, when the alarm went off, I was in a dead sleep, of course! lol So, I just rolled out of bed. Got dressed, ate, and headed to a A’s house to head up together with her and T.

We got to Cbus in plenty of time and cought an early bus to the starting line. (Straight course, so you had the option to bus to the starting line before or after the race, depending on where parked your car). On the way up we saw the course being set up for the race.

Once we got to the starting area the waiting began. We met up with other MiTers and hung out, after the tratitional potty stop, until the race started. We watched the elite runners ditch the line and just take a potty where the door just opened up, leaving the poor person that was waiting in line to have to take the next one. Not very sportsman like I must say!

It’s a go: A and I headed towards the starting line and I was still on the fence on how to run this race. I decided to hang with A for a while. She was running a relay and her partner (another) T was jumping in at mile 3.We chatted and had fun and T jumped in just before mile 3. After mile 4 I left them. I felt good and their pace was a bit to slow for me. Their race wasn’t until next weekend, so they were running comfortably.

Waterstops: The course layout showed water stops at every mile between mile 2 and 12. The first water stop, after mile three was poorly set up, it was almost like a “serve yourself station”. At mile four they had run out of water completely and the same held true for mile 5. I was bumming. I didn’t get much water at the first stop.

I didn’t plan on GU-ing at all, planned to rely on Gatorade instead, but did GU at mile 5 for fear of bonking further down the line. Went through the relay exchange area and thought too myself “hopefully they will have water on the second part of the course”. I managed to get a drink out of a water fountain and then saw an impromptu water stop shortly thereafter. “Two cups please!”

To the rescue: The other T’s husband cought me (via car) around mile 7 or 8 and gave me a bottle of gatorade. Yes! I didn’t have to rely on waterstops and their HEED (there wasn’t any Gatorade along the course), but the bottle was a bit heavy in the beginning.

In the past during mile 9 through 13.1 I end up walking more and more, but this time around I talked myself into running a mile at a time and just taking a short walk break when getting to the mile marker. What really helped was that the course is slightly down hill after mile 9 and we had a slight tailwind.

The Finish: The last half mile I ‘clamped’ myself behind a MiT runner (she didn’t know I was there) that had helped me in my 2007 marathon race and I let her pull me down the road (so to speak).

I finished increasing my pace the last 100 yards and not feeling completely dead. My run time was 2 hours 19 minutes and 36 seconds. My second fastest half marathon. 🙂

After: I had to stand in line to get my medal, hat, and towel. That is not fun after you have run for 2 plus hours. Everything hurts and you don’t just want to be standing in line. But, about 10 minutes I got my stuff and headed back to the MiT tent. Then we headed to lunch….yummy.

The next day: I am sore today (Monday), but I am also feeling good about my accomplishment. I am looking forward to running the Columbus Marathon (half) in October to see if I can get a PR.

Overall: The weather was great. One could not ask for a better day to run. The course was great, mostly down hill. The water stops need to be changed, but at least all the kids where cheering the runners on. I am sure that next year the race will be handled better, after all this is just their second year doing this.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2009 in 1/2 Marathon, Long Run, Race Report