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

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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.

2015 4

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

-R

Munday Runday: GU!

The first time I had an energy gel, I was taken aback and a little weirded out. I was running the Cleveland 10 miler for the first time and I needed water, so I put my hand out and got a packet of gel instead. I was pretty tired, so I decided to follow the crowd and eat the goop. SURPRISE! It helped! Actually, I wasn’t surprised. I had been eating fruit chews during my long training runs for the Rite Aid Cleveland half marathon, so I knew the value of having some sugar during a run. I just didn’t know how weirdly satisfying the gel would be. Continue reading Munday Runday: GU!

City Sights: April

In April, K took advantage of some pretty spring weather and ran to Wade Pond. R went to see the (finally) melted lake!

Lake Erie

Ahh, the lake. It’s the reason we have our bitter-cold winters, and the reason the chill stays with us so long into the summer months. It’s the reason we get feet upon feet of snow, and why the wind wails through the streets of downtown. (It’s also the root of the old “Mistake-on-the-Lake” moniker, but luckily we don’t hear that one thrown around much anymore!)

So many of Cleveland’s weather-related woes can be traced back to Lake Erie, that it’s easy to forget what a treasure it really is. The summer months are here, and the ice cube has given way to become our own little ocean. Running down at the pier, amid ships and seagulls, with the sound of water lapping the docks, feels like running in a whole different Cleveland than the one of just a few weeks ago.

lake running
Lake Erie running!

It brings back great memories to be down here. I favor the simplicity of long, straight streets for too many of my training runs. Back when I moved downtown two years ago, I wasn’t running as seriously, so I’d take short jogs winding through the pier. I’ll have to start doing that again, because I miss it (downtown Runday, K and Laurel??). I’d always stop near the bottom, just for a second, to take in the sunny skyline.

-R

Wade Pond

Wade Pond
Wade Pond

When the weather finally started to break (if only slightly at first), I immediately started running to some of my favorite spring (yes, spring – R is getting carried away mentioning summer already) spots. In a way, I think this is one of the most beautiful times of the year because everything is coming to life and it’s fleeting. You don’t get a chance to tire of spring (this constant transition is also why I adore fall)– what a wonderful treat after winter! Runners tend to stick to a handful of routes, but the warmer weather makes it easier (and safer) to explore new places.

R chose to check out Cleveland’s “ocean”, while I stayed closer to my side of town. Wade Pond is such a hidden gem – or at least it is to me. When I was a student at CWRU, I didn’t spend nearly enough time exploring, so it took me awhile to find and appreciate this place. I especially loved this run (and the few others that brought me here last month) because I not only got to see plenty of blooming foliage and animals milling about, but I also saw tons of people emerging from dorms and office buildings! Students, professors, nurses and doctors from the clinic – everyone comes to life and spends some time getting fresh air here. Running to Wade Pond makes for a great adventure and opportunity to check out the sculptures by the museum!

-K

Steps and fountain
Spying on statues