City Sights: May

In May, we ran the Cleveland Marathon. OK, that’s not all, but we also took a significant amount of time off. R didn’t want to run in his years-old shoes, which made for 2 weeks off and K opted for 3 weeks off to heal some chronic injuries sustained in the winter. Don’t worry, though! We still made it out on some adventurous runs.

The Shaker Lakes

Shaker Lakes Pano.JPG
Ernest and I moved to Cleveland Heights in September and I had no idea how close Shaker was. Really. When we were in Little Italy, it always seemed like such an excursion to go visit a friend that lived in Shaker Heights or grab some happy hour drinks in Shaker Square. In reality, it wasn’t that far from Little Italy and it’s even closer to our house in Cleveland Heights. This made for some fun exploring in the fall on my first runs from the house and I quickly found one of my favorite spots in all of Cleveland.

It’s almost exactly 3 miles to the Shaker Lakes and back home–what a treat! After a few runs out to the lakes, I ventured out onto the trails close to one of the lakes. I loved running through the mud and having to slow my pace to be sure not to slip and fall in the slushy winter days. I found something that I’ll call “my spot” pretty soon after I started running here and I can’t really explain exactly where it is and, to be honest, I’ll probably never even personally take anyone to this exact spot because it’s so mine. It brings me such peace and it’s always silent, but full of emotion for me. I can’t explain my connection to this “spot” other than the feeling of solitude it always gives me; it’s often free of movement (whether from people or nature) and it just makes me love where we live even more.

K at Shaker Lakes
If you’re a super detective–or just familiar with the area, you may be able to figure out where my “spot” is, but just keep in mind that it’s mine. 😉

-K

Downtown

Are y’all tired of downtown pics yet? I’m not! (I promise I’ll try to switch it up some for next month).

For a few of my longer training runs when I was preparing for the half marathon in May, I had to extend my regular route beyond just up and down Payne to E 55th. East side alone wasn’t cutting it, so I’d run to 55th and turn back, running past home, and continuing into Ohio City.

This used to be a pretty easy way to sneak in another couple miles, but now it takes a little more zigging and zagging because Public Square is getting all dressed up!

I always try to catch a glimpse of the work being done inside, but it’s hard to tell how much they’ve done from outside the fences. So I’m going to cheat a little bit, and instead give you all a bird’s eye view of the pretty progress in the square.

Public Square construction
I absolutely cannot wait to see the new center of the city when it’s complete. It’s going to feel so new and different than the old familiar squares I’ve walked and run through so many times now. But at least some things aren’t going away, and some things will never change. Like Moses Cleaveland, and his hats made of feathered friends.

Moses Cleave poophead

-R

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Munday Runday: Shews

I finally got some new shoes!!

I say finally, because well, this has been a long time coming. I think my just-retired pair was going on about five years now, and that’s just silly.

Back in 2012, reps from Marathon shoes came to my workplace, and offered up a free gait analysis / shoe recommendation session. I was feeling kinda motivated, so I gathered up my two-year old running shoes, and went to see them.

The guy took a look at my shoes, stared at them for a bit, and asked me how long I’d had them. After I told him, he looked a little incredulous, and told me…. “You don’t need new shoes yet. These have most of their tread still..”

-_-

And three years later…!

-R

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Shiny new Brooks!

I’m slow.

Since I already gushed all over you fools with sappy stuff in my MunRun post, I’ll keep this one a little less emotional. Let’s talk numbers.

My time. Was slow.

My pace was actually exactly what I predicted it would be, at 11:00 min/mi. But I’m happy and sad about that at the same time. I still haven’t gotten around to writing about this, so I guess now’s as good a time as any. The past year running, any time I’ve gone up to a reasonable race for a reasonable distance, my leg would get all pins and needles-y. Like it would fall asleep. It hurt and was annoying and killed my legs for a week after. Doctor-type people guessed that it was maybe chronic exertional compartment syndrome? But anyway, I had resigned myself to being slow for pretty much forever. Any time I pushed myself, bad things happened.

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Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

BUT THEN. About two-thirds of my way into my training, I noticed a weird weird thing. My paces improved! Now, def not a lot; we’re talking like, 9:45 or something. This was huge for me though. And it was addicting. Every time I heard my RunKeeper robot chick tell me my pace, I wanted to push myself.

And that would be great, if I didn’t have a race coming up. My legs were always a little more sore after I tried to bring my pace up. I loved it, but I couldn’t risking injuring myself. So I turned my sexy robot chick off.

My paces went back to what they were. It kinda sucked, especially seeing my stellar friends get down below 9 min/mi, but hey. I’m in no rush – this is a marathon, not a sprint 😉

I can beat my weird leg thing. Next time (River Run??!), I’ll train a little more for speed. And I’ll see y’all at 9:00 someday.

-R

38th Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Sunday, May 17, 2015
It-doesn’t-matter°F, IT WAS HUMID, 7:00am downtown Cleveland

Can we even begin to explain how exciting this race is? K has been participating in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon half since 2012, while R ran the 10K last year and decided to amp it up with the half this year. We’ve been thinking about this for a long time and it felt like race day snuck up on us! We’ve been thinking about this for a long time and it felt like race day snuck up on us! Continue reading 38th Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Munday Runday: Listening

I train on podcasts, but run on tunes. This hasn’t always been the case. I used to plan my routes and my playlists obsessively, even if I was just going for a quick run. When I started running longer distances, I ran on full albums. When I hear those albums, I think back to specific points in my training that first year I ran the Cleveland half (looking at you, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, and Drive-by Truckers!). But even that isn’t indicative to what my running and listening habits are now. I feel like they’ve evolved so much over the years, and now I’m pretty much all over the place (literally and figuratively). It really depends on my mood, the time of day, season, and race! Continue reading Munday Runday: Listening

Munday Runday: Encouragement

I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!!

I feel like there are so many things I could talk about, but I’ll try to keep this short and just pick one: encouragement.

It always felt weird to me that training plans for the half never actually have you running the full 13.1 until race day. I used Hal Higdon’s novice schedule, in which the longest training run is 10 miles, the week before the race. Every experienced runner I talked to about this told me, “don’t worry, the adrenaline and the crowds will push you through till the end.”

I had a hard time believing this, to be honest. I actually struggled with my 10 miler during training, and I wasn’t feeling confident. I mean, cheering crowds sound great and all, but can they real pull that much more strength out of tired muscles?

Apparently, yes.

I had NO IDEA how encouraging it would be to be surrounded by all those people running alongside. To read the signs people hold up to motivate you. To hear strangers shouting out their support. It was incredible, and what I’d heard was absolutely right. It makes you dig deep, and finish out those miles.

But it wasn’t just those few hours on the pavement that I was surrounded by people motivating me. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many friends keeping me moving these past couple months. Bryden, Sam, Laurel, Christine, Anna, Lindsey, just to name a few. I feel like I’ve spent WAYY too much time whining/talking about my training with all of you, and somehow you pretend not to mind. Ernest, for fav’ing my RK tweets 😛 But of course, for making sure I’m taken care of on race days when I have no one else around. Thanks to you and Mark for the pictures and the holding all my stuff and the beers and relaxing afterward. Love you all.

….am I forgetting anyone?

Oh that’s right, my running/blogging buddy, who you all know as K. Kaitlin, I absolutely could not have done this without you. Once upon a time, you had to literally trick me into doing longer runs on RLK rundays. Now, we’ve put down 17 months of races, “hosted” one of our own, ran who-knows-how-many miles, and you’ve just gotten me through my very first half marathon. You were the one who got me into this crazy sport, and I’ve been running around like an idiot ever since. I can’t thank you enough.

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Whew. Enough sappy stuff. What a day. It’s been long, and fun, and I just cannot wait until next year.

-R