Miles For Smiles 5k - Cleveland Heights, OH 9/7/15
- 18:51, 6:04 min/mi
- Race recap: Today, I pinned a bib on for the first time in almost 17 months! Going into this race on a hot, humid day with only 3 weeks of training in me, I had no expectations beyond getting in a solid workout based solely on feel. I felt no nerves, no worries, and kept thinking of Pope Francis's sweet smile and kind doe eyes as he told a young girl to "Be Courageous!" in his 20/20 interview on Friday. With his words in my ear, the heat and humidity seemed to loosen me up to crushing my personal record and pulling me into the sub-19:00 category!!! YEP, I BROKE 19:00!!! And I earned myself 1st Place Overall Female in 18:51, 6:04min/mi, in one of my all-time favorite communities, CLE Heights, for an awesome cause, Operation Smile!!! Each setback throughout my running career has taught me so much. Taking every second I needed to recover was the best decision I made for my health and my running. Assuming everything stays in tact, I'm planning on running the AkRun Half Marathon at the end of the month. That is my goal, but I've learned that in life there are no guarantees. I will be taking one run at a time, seeing how I feel, and moving forward from there. Here's to running smart, strong, and with COURAGE!!!!
Akron Half Marathon - Akron, OH 7/26/15
- 1:30:05, 6:52 min/mi
- Race recap: It was a beautiful morning for the AkRun Half Marathon! Going into this race, my confidence was a little shaky. I ran a solid 5k a fews ago and my training has been spot on, but with only 6 weeks in after so much time off I wasn't sure if a PR (sub 1:27) was a realistic goal. Despite feeling a bit insecure, I decided to "Be Courageous!," go for it, and just take one mile at a time and see what comes of it. The first few miles felt great, but I was really moving. By the time I hit the 5k mark, I was well under 20:00 and knew that I had gone out too fast. By the time I hit mile 4, I was tapped. I'm not sure I've ever hit a wall in a half marathon like I did today; I REALLY wanted to quit. But I decided to readjust my pace, focus on hanging on for as long as I can, and move to plan B: forget the watch and run with my heart. Fortunately, plan B worked! I picked back up momentum and ran the rest of the race! It was tough to the finish, but I gave what I had in me to give and finished 1:30:05, 6:52min/mi, 16th female and 4th in my age group! I'm pleased with my progress thus far, overall I feel great, and I am confident moving forward from here! My speed is there, but I REALLY need to work on building back stamina. I will be running the Tow Path Half Marathon on October 11 to support @ampavicic as she embarks on her 1st half marathon, but I'm not sure yet if I will race it or casually run it. I'm just going to see what I'm feeling that day! I may consider the Philadelphia Marathon at the end of November, but I don't want to commit just yet. I'm am just so beyond grateful to be back and healthy, and want to be smart with my race decisions. Just gotta pray on it and follow my heart! CONGRATS to everyone who ran today! It was SO awesome to be apart of such a great event with so many amazing, inspirational people who I've missed so dearly!!!!!
TowPath Half Marathon - Cleveland, OH 10/11/15
- 1:28:10, 6:44 min/mi
- Race recap: Could not have had a more picture perfect day for the Tow Path Half Marathon! After a difficult pull to the finish in Akron two weeks ago and a crazy past few days, I decided to run this one for @ampavicic. My plan was to make her feel excited and confident about her race, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and let my legs push me as far as they wanted to go on the course. The great news is that everything worked out perfectly: we had a good amount of pre-race relaxation and hang out time, and the race was AWESOME! I LOVED running through CVNP, and was able to maintain a consistent, comfortable but solid pace, cruising to the finish in 1:28:10, 6:44min/mi, winning 3rd overall female! AND the BEST news is I got to spend some post-race QT with some of my favorite people, including my sweetheart nephews Luke and Tommy!!! It was such an awesome day after an awesomely adventurous weekend! And now, or at least at some point today, I will rest!
Cleveland Turkey Trot - Cleveland, OH 9/7/15
- 32:12, 6:26 min/mi
- Race recap: Started off Turkey Day yesterday with a super fun run at the CLE Turkey Trot 5 miler! After the Tow Path 1/2 Marathon this fall, I took about two weeks to recuperate and then eased back in some speed work with the hopes of getting in at least one more solid race to conclude 2015. However, since October, I just haven't been able to get in the quality of speed work that I feel confident with, and considered calling it a year. But as the week of Thanksgiving approached, I decided to put my perfectionism to the side and signed up for the Turkey Trot with the plan of doing whatever my best happened to be that day. The weather was amazing and there were 10,000 runners scattered in DT CLE. All the chaos made the event laid-back fun, and kept my perfectionist jitters astray. After a 15 minute delayed start, a series of unique patriotic performances commenced the race and off the stampede of runners went. As usual, I started the race off speedy, crossing the mile around 6:00, and the 5k around 18:49 (PR!). But once I passed the 5k mark, I lost momentum. I'm not sure if it was because I went out too fast, the wind, the slower 5k runners who were on the side running an abbreviated version of the 5 mile course (NO OFFENSE), or simply my head quitting on me, but I dropped my pace significantly and struggled to push the pace. My perfectionism was getting a hold of me and I was feeling bummed, so I decided to ignore my watch, everything around me, and just focused on finishing the race. When I crossed the finish line, I was feeling disappointed in myself...until I saw that I ran 32:12, 6:26min/mi, which is a 5 mile PR for me! I ended up as 11th overall female, and 1st in my age group. It was an awesome start to my day and a great reminder to me to of how far I've come, and the amount of potential there is for the future!!! I may run one more 5k this year, and then will be taking a few months of rest before possibly attempting a 26.2 this spring. However, with some other big life goals I have for 2016, I still haven't made up my mind if I will be making that commitment. We shall see!
Reindeer Run 5k - Lakewood, OH 9/7/15
- 19:04, 6:08 min/mi
- Race recap: BEAUTIFUL December morning for the Reindeer Run 5k in Lakewood! My plan was to run by feel, not the watch, with the hopes of snatching a sub-19:00. After dealing with chaos on the drive there (an unfortunate accident on route 2 that I BARELY missed, but fortunately no one was hurt!), I got in a quick 1 mile warm-up, did a little stretching, and headed for the start line. The horn went off, I stuck to my plan, and crossed the mile around 6:11. My pace was slower than I expected but felt comfortably hard so I kept my head up and chugged through the next mile. Once I crossed the 2nd mile mark, I had no idea where I was time-wise but I knew sub-19:00 was going to be a tough pull. I decided to give that last mile the best of what I had, and along the way passed a fair amount of runners, including the 2nd overall female. I tried to get her to pull through to the finish with me, but she was spent and kindly told me to go get it. And I did just that! I rounded mile 3 at 18:30, and pushed as hard as I could to the finish. AND I JUST missed sub-19:00! BUT, I was 19:04, 6:08min/mi, 2nd overall female...and who can complain about that?!?! Plus, I had an awesome bonus cool down with my favorites @thetamburarunner and @ryanmccartney, and got a super cute ugly Christmas sweatshirt for the Holidays!!! Overall, I'm happy with my performance, but I still feel like I need to learn how to really race and get the most out of myself. I'm SO happy with where I am and am SO grateful to by healthy, but I feel like I still have SO much more in me. With that said, I am SO excited for the future. I will never give up trying to be the best of who I am!!!