Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekly wrap-up Dec. 15-21

Well, it was a pretty quiet week, nothing all that exciting.  We got quite a bit of snow here in Northeast Ohio and the temperatures hovered in the teens for much of the week.  Nevertheless, I tried to get a good amount of miles in anyway.  Running in the snow isn't bad at all, but when it's mostly ice, it makes things a bit more difficult.  Had to run on a treadmill a couple times, which for some reason wasn't as terrible as I remember.  Ended up getting a new pair of shoes too.  The new New Balance 890v4.  I'm going to do a review of them soon, stay tuned, so far so good.  I'm deciding that I want to get a little out of the "minimal movement"  I think there is a place for it, but I wanted to get some shoes with a little more padding in them, and I think the 890v4 fit the bill, at least as the logical step into more traditional shoes.  

Dec 15: 9 miles in the snow.  Kind of a tough run, ran around Lakewood, mostly in the streets because the sidewalks had a ton of snow and ice on them.  Felt good however, and went a little further than I was planning on doing. 

Dec 17: 5 miles on the dreaded treadmill at the YMCA.  The weather just was not cooperating at all, so I decided to face my fears and run on a treadmill.  Was happily surprised that I didn't hate it! (If you can't tell, I'm not a huge fan of treadmills...) 

Dec 18: 7 miles on the treadmill again!  Weather sucked, back to running inside.  Today was the first day I ran in my New Balance 890v4.  Out of the box, 7 mile run, not a bad first impression, more on that in a future post. 

Dec 20: 7 miles Ran my normal 7 miler around Lakewood.  At about 4 miles I picked up my buddy Josh and he ran the last 3 miles with me.  Josh isn't a runner, but every once in a while will run a couple miles with me.  Josh could be a great runner if he wanted too, he's super athletic.  He's more into cycling, but I'm going to work on him and get him running with me a little bit, especially on the trails.

Weekly total: 28 miles. 

Pretty straight forward, boring week.  Actually didn't get on the trails at all this week, it would have been pretty tough with all the snow.  

"Don't be afraid to fail.  Be afraid not to try."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly wrap-up Dec. 8-14

So I've decided that now that I am out of "marathon race-mode" and back into training I'm going to start putting up a post every Sunday night and recap this past week.  My weeks of training go Sunday-Saturday.

As some of you may know, my next scheduled race in March 8, 2014.  I am going to be running my first ultra marathon, the Green Jewel 50k down in the Cleveland Metroparks.  The race starts at the Marina near Lakewood/Rocky River and ends in Brecksville.

I'm super excited about this race, and I am not in ultra marathon training mode.  I gotta admit, it's pretty tough with the super low temperatures and snow, something that we usually don't have this much of so early in the winter.  Nevertheless, I'm going to stay consistent and persistent and make this a strong winter.

Last Saturday, December 7th I was keeping track of The North Face 50 miler in San Francisco minute by minute.  Just hugely inspired and motivated by Rob Krar who I think had one of the best ultra marathon seasons ever.  He's amazing!

December 8-14

Dec 8:  11 miles.  This was an interesting run today, it was almost ice skating rather than running.  Roads were very slippery so I decided I'd run from my house down into the Cleveland Metroparks, get on some trails down there and then come back up and make my way back home.  Pretty cold as well, probably about 15 degrees or so.  Good run though, actually went at a decent pace considering how much I was slipping.
Shoes: Brooks Pure Grit.

Dec. 10: 7 miles.  This run didn't exactly go as planned.  Wanted to go about 10 or so down on the multi-purpose trail of the metroparks.  Ended up going a little short.  Was a great time though, my brother Tim rode his bike next to me and took pictures of me which was cool and will be useful.  Follow him on Instagram @ohio_runs.  Another cold run, and I felt bad for Tim riding his bike, but got it done.  This is one of the pictures he took, just awesome.

Dec 12: 8.5 miles.  Ran from my house down to Second Sole where my brother works to try on some New Balance shoes as their sales rep was at the shop.  Ran in the 890v4.  I loved them, plan on getting them after Christmas.  Ran with Bill, the owner of Second Sole (great guy) and one other guy whose name I can't remember.  Great run, ran from the shop down into the Metroparks.  I love talking running with everyone at the shop, something I wouldn't mind doing the rest of my life.

Dec 13: 5 miles.  Nice run with Chris down on the Bridle trail of the Metroparks.  It snowed a ton the night before so the trail was basically full of snow making it a pretty tough run, but we got it done and had a good time doing it.  I really like running with other people once in a while.  I definitely and a loner when it comes to running, and I like that, but it's nice once in a while to run with other people. 

Weekly total: 31 miles. 

A good week, and just about where I want to be right now with mileage.  I really haven't put in a ton of weekly miles in a couple of months because of all my racing.  This was my second week back consistently running, and I want to keep this up.  

Till next time. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Pan5Can/Race wrap-up

Well, I can finally say that I am done racing for 2013.  I may still do a 5k/10k or something like that, but the big stuff is done!  What a year it was,  when my brother and I decided to do our Pan5Can project, we didn't realize at the time that almost all marathons/half marathons in Northeast Ohio take place in the fall.  With that being said, this meant we would have a very busy Fall, and boy did we!  I did have a couple half marathons in the late spring/early summer though.  I wanted to write a post just to put share my thoughts about this past year.

My first half this year was the Cleveland Half Marathon in May.  I gotta be honest, I wasn't really trained at all for this race.  I basically took January-March off of running completely, gained a bunch of weight, and just wasn't doing much.  I decided in April that I should probably get going because it was going to be a crazy year!  This race came before I knew it, and although I wasn't really in great shape, I did a little better than I thought and ran 2:06, not very good but I was happy with it.  Not a bad start to the season, but I really wanted to get in better shape for the coming races, and this helped get my butt in gear!!

My next race was the Columbia Station Half Marathon in late June.  I felt better about this race going in, I had a good late May early June training and was in better shape when it came to race again.  This course however was a mental game to say the least.  The course ran through Columbia Station, and if you aren't from around here, it's basically all country.  Well it sure enough was, and with a small field of runners, it was running alone through rolling hills on asphalt, which isn't my favorite.  Felt good however and ran 1:57,  good enough to place 1st in my division (shows how small the field was!)

Next up was, after quite a break was the Akron Marathon.  I'd run the Akron Marathon in 2011 so I knew what to expect, and I liked the course, so I was looking forward to this race.  Felt good leading up to this race and was ready to go!  Race morning my brother and I drove down to Akron, and while on our way I was sipping on Yerba Mate hot tea, something I do almost every morning before work.  Well, this isn't the best pre-race hydration, at least not for me!  The first half of the race was spent in the port-a-potty (sorry)!!  After mile 13 or so I started to feel better and negative split (obviously).  Ended up running a 4:36 which is alright for me at the time.

A week later I was racing again, this time it was the Rock and Roll Cleveland Half Marathon downtown.  I was pretty concerned about this race because I had never run back to back races like this. I've done back to back 5ks, but nothing longer.  Went into this race wanting to finish, that's all!!  Was an awesome course and a ton of bands were playing, definitely a race I want to do in the future when I don't have a ton of other races going on.  Legs held up somehow, and ended up running 1:59, not my best, but I survived.

Crazy as it may sound, my next race was the following weekend, this time in Fairport Harbor for the Northern Ohio Marathon.   I really went into this race with a weird mindset.  When I got to the course race morning, I really didn't even feel like I was running a marathon,  not the best mindset to be in.  This course really didn't help much either.  This course basically just ran on residential streets with traffic.  This race really was tough for me mentally.  Surprisingly, my legs felt fine even though I'd run a half marathon less than a week earlier, and a marathon the week before.  Ended up running 4:38 which I can honestly say was because of my brother Tim running about the last 10 miles with me.

The next race was 3 weeks later, the Towpath Marathon in Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I was pretty excited about this race actually for two reason, the first was that it was the Fall and I got to run through the National park, the other was that Tim was running the whole race with me!  What a race it was!! The course was amazing, Fall foliage was amazing, ran completely on the towpath (no asphalt), everything went great.  Tim really pushed me along, and I ended up running 4:01, a PR by 16 minutes.  I honestly could not believe I ran this well considering my past few weeks, and Tim honestly was a HUGE reason for that! BEST RUN OF MY LIFE!!!

Last up was the Fall Classic Half Marathon in the Cleveland Metroparks.  I really wanted to do well in this race, and possibly PR.  I had a couple weeks off and was feeling good, but well, things happen. Had some digestive issues around mile 6-8 and it really took me out of the race.  Just wanted to finish after that, did not have a good time which sucks because the course was awesome! Ended up running 1:53, which isn't bad, but I know I could have gone about 10 or so minutes faster.

All in all this was the best running year I have ever had.  I had many lows but many more highs! I really learned a lot about myself this year.  I realized that I have a lot more in me than I thought, I really never thought I could do very well running, and although I'm not the fastest runner, I love it!  I'm never going to win a marathon, but I can recover quickly after a race and be ready for the next one quick.

I want to take a moment also to thank everyone that has supported my brother and I as we completed our Pan5Can journey.  Pancreatic Cancer sucks, all cancer sucks, and we appreciate all the help and support you gave us/pancan!

I'm ready for you 2014......

Ultra-Marathon............HERE I COME.......