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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.

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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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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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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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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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