Monday, February 24, 2014

Building the Spring Running & Triathlon Endurance Machine

After a good week of endurance training I am feeling pretty good about where I am for the end of February! I am building the endurance machine as I did last season. Despite a rougher week last week with a cold/flu bug I was able to rest a few days and quickly get back up and running. Sometimes getting sick can be a little blessing in disguise as it allows for extra rest days that I would never actually take off if it were up to me. Our bodies tend to let us know when a rest is needed. So I listened and bounced back to a great training week including a terrific weekend.

Saturday the weather was perfect to run an easy 13.1 with Steve. Yesterday we killed our 3200m swim and it was a hard set too! Following the workouts we recovered well and I am ready to attack the week! I have a very hard training block leading up to our vacation next Wednesday.

Since I need to get in a quality long run again this weekend I am considering running the Youngstown Millcreek Distance Classic Half Marathon. It has 17+ hills and is known to be a tough course. I think this is a good opportunity to get in a hard, hilly training run prior to vacation. Right now the weather shows 26 and no snow so this could be a good one. Additionally I have a number of other tough workouts scheduled for the week including Masters Swim tomorrow, and doubles & triples for the rest of the week including a good bit of core work again this week as we get ready to head to the beach!

Once on vacation I will have no scheduled workouts although plan to do a good bit of running on and near the beach with Steve. It will be nice to get up and run and then relax in the sun all day! Coming home is always tough and I have a hard week before heading out to see my Rev3 Triathlon family at the 2014 Team Summit in Virginia. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and plan to get in some group runs there too.

The following 2 weeks it's back to hard, focused training with a lot of running as we ramp up to the Fools 25K on March 30 followed up quickly by the 20 Mile Drop and Cleveland Marathon. That wraps up the spring running season as we head into Multisport and prepare for Rev3 Williamsburg 70.3 and build all summer to Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6!

I am so excited about this season and  my #1 priority is to stay healthy so I can accomplish my goals and to have some fun along the way!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Dirty Love Trail 10K Race Report

I'm happy to report that the first race of 2014 is in the books! Despite a tough day physically and mentally I am happy with how it went. Anyone who runs or has ever tried to run knows it can be hard at times. This race was one of those times for myself and probably every other person who ran that day.

I had questioned whether I would even toe the line for the Dirty Love on Sunday. With lingering IT band issues that had improved within the week or two before I didn't want to overdo it. I made the decision to give it a go and just try to have fun with the race versus trying to get on the podium.

It was somewhere between 15-20 degrees at the start and snowing a bit. We had gotten fresh snow all week and the trails at North Chagrin Reservation were already covered. Needless to say this made for an interesting and slow race.

Staying warm prerace with the hubby!
Steve and I tried to stay warm in the car and the heated shelter for a little while and then we did a mile warm up on the bridle trails about 30 minutes before the start and my Garmin indicated a 12-minute mile. Really I thought. This is going to be a tough one!

At 9:25 a couple hundred brave runners lined up in a field ready to take a foot of snow. To describe it in words doesn't do it justice. You MUST see this start and luckily there's a video here.

After maybe 200-400 meters through the field of deep snow my heart rate was definitely sky high and from there we got on the trail to start the long journey through the snowy woods to the finish. The trails were snowy and slippery and mostly single track with some amazing views. There were some hills too including one BIG hill that will make even the strongest runners walk a few steps!

In the pain cave!
For most of the race there was not much passing. I was not even sure where I was place wise but hadn't seen a woman pass me until the last 1/2 mile of the race. That woman who ended up being 3rd overall finished about a minute ahead of me. She looked strong when she passed me and I certainly didn't feel the energy and desire to try to catch her. I thought the finish would never come but when I saw it and heard Steve yelling for me I was a happy girl! I finished 4th of 100 females and 1st in the 35-39AG with a time of 1:09 and change (11:13 pace! to put it in perspective about 3-4 minutes off my normal trail pace). So I am happy with how it went and I'm not in a bad place with my running in February and coming off an injury. I'm hoping things can only get better from here.

Nice race swag!
I was rewarded with some nice swag for my hard work including a sweet pink mug and some gift certificates to Vertical Runner. And then I rewarded myself with a couple hard-earned beers and pizza at Willoughby Brewing with Steve and some friends. Beer and pizza taste even better after running in the woods for 90 minutes.

Next up it's the Fools 25k trail race in late March - another Western Reserve Racing production. This will be my first 25K so I am excited! Now it's time to start logging some mileage! If only the weather in Cleveland would cooperate!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day - Tri for the Cure!

Today is World Cancer Day. Almost everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. Some of us have lost a loved one or friend. Some have personally fought this terrible disease themselves. Whatever your personal connection to cancer, know that you CAN make a difference in a number of different ways. From making a donation to one of the many reputable organizations out there to fundraising for the cancer charity of your choice to volunteering your time to do things for cancer patients - please find a way to get involved in the fight!

There are a few ways that I plan to help this cause in 2014:

1) I just announced today that I am volunteering as a triathlon coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Northern Ohio "Team in Training" chapter. I am super excited to work with these individuals and help them achieve their goal of completing the Greater Cleveland Triathlon. This race is literally in my backyard and I am friends with the race director so I am confident it will be an awesome experience!

2) I am completing my first 140.6 iron-distance triathlon at Rev3 Cedar Point in September and plan to race in honor of my cousin Danielle who lost her life to cancer in May of 2012. Danielle was a true fighter and an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with her. I will complete this race and raise money for cancer for her. As a member of Team Rev3 and a past member of Team Fight I will again raise money for Team Fight, the team that supports The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

3) I will support and love anyone I know that is suffering with this disease as well as people I have yet to meet. Being compassionate is important. This can happen to any of us!

This is a battle that is personal. We must all get involved. Please do something this year to help with the fight - whether monetary, volunteering your time or even just increasing awareness of the disease. Every little thing really does make a difference!