Monday, February 29, 2016

Cabin Fever 5K Race Report

I try to force myself to do speedwork, but sometimes I talk myself out of it in favor of longer, easier workouts that I like more. What can I say I am an endurance junkie! Running shorter races like 5ks forces me to get out there and get out of my comfort zone. Such was the case with the inaugural Cabin Fever 5K yesterday. I was both looking forward to it and dreading it! With Green Jewel 50K this weekend I knew it was my last chance to get in speed work for a week or two so I signed up.

With the race being nearby at Mayfield High School and having a 9:30 start, it really was a laid back race morning. We got there to pick up our packets and bumped into some fellow Northeast Running Club (NERC) members and got in a couple of easy miles to warm up. One thing I did not like was the wind. In fact the race begins by running around the high school and then on the second loop you take a path over to some residential streets. The first half of the course was gradually uphill directly into the wind. I recall not being able to breathe very well but just pressing on. It appeared that all the young ladies struggled and I was surprised to find myself in the lead before the turnaround.

Awesome prizes :)
From the turnaround on the winds were behind us so I was able to get back into a solid pace after a not so stellar middle mile of fighting off wind. I was a little overheated and agitated but I knew I was close to the finish so I tried to stay on pace between 6:50-7. My goal had been 6;45s but with the winds it was clear that wasn't happening. I was happy to hit the high school parking lot and as I rounded the corner to the finish a gentleman yelled "first female" and I heard my husband Steve yelling for me. I pushed as hard as I could and was surprised my time of 21:49 was the best time of the day for the ladies but nevertheless I was happy with the outcome.

After the race Steve and I went for a cool down jog and then headed into the school for the pancake breakfast and awards. We sat with our NERC friends Angela and Stephanie. It was fun because each of us had a good race. Steve had run an 18:22 and won his age group and Angela and Stephanie had each won in their age groups too. For placing first female I was awarded a $50 gift certificate to Achilles Running Shop so that was pretty exciting. I also was picked for a $25 Amazon giftcard in the raffle! Later on to celebrate a good day at the races Steve and I headed to Willoughby Brewing for some tasty brews including the sensational Nutsmasher Imperial Peanut Butter Cup Porter.
Me, Steve, Angela and Stephanie w/ our awards  :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dirty Love Race Report & Training Update

What running couple doesn't want to kick off their Valentine's Day with a race? Especially a trail race close to home such as the case with the Dirty Love Trail 10K. This was the 3rd or 4th time my husband Steve and I have run it. Last year we missed because we were on vacation but this year we were ready to tackle the sloppy, snowy trails again. And just as I recalled it was a tough one.

Enjoying the down hill!
Steve and I got in a little warm up, used the facilities and lined up in the field of snow to head into the woods of North Chagrin Reservation. As always the start was fun and crazy. Sprinting in a field of snow in cleats will sure spike your heart rate! I tried to position myself close to the front of the ladies. I think I started in 2nd or 3rd and pretty much stayed in that position until late in the race when a couple of ladies overtook me. I ended up finishing 5th female, 1st in my AG. This was pretty consistent with the last times I have run it. Steve also finished 5th or 6th male and 1st in his AG so it was a good way to start the Valentine's day festivities.

Following the race we got in a cool down with our Snakebite Racing teammate Ken Hagan then we headed into the shelter for some food and the awards. After that we headed over to Willoughby Brewing with some Cleveland Tri Club friends for some hard-earned Peanut Butter Cup Porters! 

In general my training for the upcoming Green Jewel 50K, Boston Marathon and Cleveland Marathon have been going well. I just wrapped up a close to 60 mile run week including a tough 20 miler on Saturday and a hard week of core work/lifting. This was the second 20 miler Steve and I have done in the last couple of weeks so I am feeling pretty good going into the Green Jewel next weekend. I am cutting back the running to about 40 miles this week and adding a little more bike then next week will be pretty light with a couple short runs and rides leading into the race on Saturday. I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I have been recovering from the 20 milers pretty quickly. We are running a local 5K this Sunday so that will be a nice change of pace to do something short and fast versus longer and slower. I am hoping for semi decent weather for that because in Cleveland in February you never know what to expect!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Year = A New Challenge to Conquer

My husband Steve and I have been talking for a little while about doing a longer ultra. With one of our big goals now being to complete a 100 mile ultra for his 50th bday in 2017, we decided to sign up for the inaugural Conquer the Castle 100K, which takes place conveniently close to our home in November of this year. This will be a big challenge for us but one that we can have a lot of fun training for all year. The timing is good since it's late in the year we can have a great spring running season, a fun summer triathlon season and then close out the year with a challenging fall running season and then hopefully shut it down for a little while.

I am excited and also admittedly a little nervous about running a race that is 62 miles long, but I also have 9 months to prepare myself so I feel that it is doable. The goal will be to just finish in one piece with no major injuries. In order to reach the goal I have a plan. Lots of running, some cross training, weekly yoga and strength training, planned recovery weeks every 3rd of 4th week of training and some good old fashioned rest days/weeks. I will be posting updates on the training throughout the season. Wish me luck!