My Dads First 5k!

So last weekend for Father's Day my dad decided he wanted to run his first 5k. He also decided he wanted me to pace him and that I am "too fast" so he signed me up to race the 10k race before so I would be "tired" enough to run with him. Nice. Well coach was not on board with another race effort from me so plan was to run the 10k in time to finish and start with my dad 45 minutes later.

The whole family made the trek out. Dad to run the 5k, my sister to run the 10k, and my husband even decided he would do the 5k. Mom got the important task of cheering and photographing all of the family crazies about to race on a very hot morning.

This race was a charity run for Crop Walk. Most of their events are walks and this one apparently was not usually run in June. The turn out was very low, definitely the smallest race I have ever participated in. The 10k got off about 5 minutes late and so now I knew I needed to run a little faster to get done in time to start with my dad. I really didn't feel like running under 6:40 pace and the heat and rollers were making it so without a race effort I wasn't going to do that anyways. One guy shot off ahead at the start and the rest of the way I just tried to put in a good marathon paced effort knowing I would likely have to race the first part of the 5k to catch up to my dad. The course was dirt roads and no big hills but no flat so between that and the heat it was a tough little course (as advertised). I made sure to thank the volunteers for water and stopped and doused my head at the 1 and 4 mile marker.

Finished in about 41:18 which ironically up until last year would have been close to a PR. Grabbed a cup of water and thankfully they were running a few minutes behind on the 5k so I had a second to catch my breath before pacing my dad.

He wanted to run 10-12 minute pace. He has only run one race which was the Detroit Turkey Trot 10k last year and he hasn't been training very rigidly to say the least. But he is motivated and this would be a good indicator of his fitness so he can dial in his training better for the Turkey Trot this year. We got him the Garmin 205 for Fathers Day so he would know his pace for the race, but since I was with him I told him not to worry about it.

Started him off a little fast around 9:30 pace but I told him we could walk the water stop. He gave me a bit of back talk, something about trying to kill him, but he seemed fine, and it is a race after all, time to push those boundaries! I was determined to get him in on sub 10 minute pace if we could. After the water stop we got back in a sub 10 groove, until he put his foot down and took a few walk breaks on some of the hills. That was fine, his breathing was a bit ragged so we would slow to catch his breath then pick a point to start running again.

We were slowly reeling in one young kid and I told my dad we had to finish ahead of him. My dad tried being chivalrous and said it isn't nice to pass old men and kids at the end, so I told him we needed to get moving and pass him before the end. :) We told him good job as we made our way by and tried to get him to come with us, but now we were closing on the finish and I was trying to get my dad to push.

Rounded the final corner and my dad managed to come in at 31:12, about 5 minutes faster than he had intended and just over 10 minute pace.

I was joined by my sister as we headed back out to run my husband in. She unfortunately had to take her first DNF of her running career. She was diagnosed with Crohns just a few years ago and unfortunately her body decided 30 minutes before the race to have a melt down. But I am proud of her for trying anyways and knowing when enough is enough and to save it for another day.

My husband has just started jogging two nights a week from 800 meters to a mile at a time so I was very proud of him for coming out and finishing the 5k on a hot and difficult course!

We followed the race up with a great day at my grandparents, it was a nice weekend with the family!

Week 9 Speed Phase

Yes another boring weekly rundown. Trust me it's a lot better doing it than reading about it ;) Although early in the week I was definitely having one of those, goodness this is getting rough phases, motivation was low, but nothing a few great workouts and a day off couldn't cure! I truly believe consistency is a major key to progress so definitely want to keep any low motivation and low effort weeks to a minimum! Busy social weekend so I was pleasantly surprised everything went so well!

Right heel is showing signs of plantar fascitis so really trying to stay on top of it stretching my calves, icing etc. and hoping it won't become an issue.

Goal for the week:

Total Mileage 65.

Tuesday: Track.
Thursday: Tempo run on roads 5 miles @ 6:15 pace.
Long run: 12 miles @ 6:45 pace.
2 days @ 7:50 - 8:20 or slower at the end of one of these days do 4 - 6 * 100.
2 days @ 7:20 - 7:40.

How it played out:

66 miles

Tuesday-11 with track
Wednesday-13 at 8:21
Thursday-10 with tempo
Friday-7 at 7:20
Saturday-12 at 7:16
Sunday- 1 mile warm up then 12 at 6:43

Tuesday Track: It was hot hot hot! Intended workout was 1600, 3 min rest, 1200, 2 min rest, 800, 2 min rest, 1200, 3 min rest, 1600 all at 5:43 pace. We ended up canning the last 1600 and doing a mile of striding straights jogging curves instead but otherwise workout went well. Took an extra minutes rest before the last 1200.


Thursday Tempo: Our garmins have been going crazy at the place we usually do tempos so we tried a new locale. Road was semi rolling so not ideal for tempo, but the change of scenery must have been enough to keep us on pace despite the harder course. Thankfully the weather was much better than Tuesday!


ave pace 6:11

Sunday: First faster long run in awhile and it went well. The Solon Hill was definitely not easy and my legs were a bit toasted, but managed to hit the pace for the run and after an ice bath and some self massage I think the legs are ready for another hard week!

Flag Day 5k 2010

Continuing with the summer trend of races I headed out to the Flag Day 5k last week with high hopes of crushing my 5k PR. Since no road 5k is created equal and who knows if they are ever actually a legit 5k these PRs always come with an asterisk, but last year I ran the 5k here in 18:56 and I was hoping to drop a minute off that time based on the recent 10ks and Blossom. That would be around 5:45 pace which seemed doable based on a comparison of last years track paces versus this year.

One itsy difference, last year I just raced the Cleveland Half and this 5k, this year I've done three races leading up to this in 4 weeks and I can tell I am a bit ragged. Didn't take too much downtime after the marathon and I am about ready for a little reprieve before ramping it up for Columbus.

Despite all that I felt pretty solid during the warm up and was feeling confident. It's a fast downhill start with just one turn in the first mile. Stuck to NC like glue and chugged through the first mile in around 5:34 (note my time trial mile last year on the track was 5:35) right on target with 5:30s like coach recommended.

NC pulled away from me as we made our way up the first hill towards a hair pin turn. It's nice because you can see those in front of and behind you here. Gave a little cheer and wave to my girls, but not much energy to expound on enthusiasm as I made my way back downhill trying to keep close to NC. This mile is always slow for me and I was making a conscious effort to push. Lost a little focus when I thought I heard my husband cheering for me but dug in and pushed after that. I wanted to hit the 2 mile by 11:30 to ensure a possibility of sub 18 and was right on target around 11:26 with a 5:53 mile here. Chugged a water and headed towards the next hill. My husband was actually cheering here and I heard "pick it up" but he claims he was telling me to "keep it up." I guess we hear what we think we should be hearing at this point in the race, not reality :)

I was with a couple of guys here and cheers were to stick with that girl! Guess it is good to be a motivator, but not sure that's what they wanted to hear :) I lost one on the uphill but stayed with the other and gapped him once we hit the woods. I felt like I significantly upped my effort this mile but the numbers beg to differ, it is winding and through the woods so it's hard to really make up lost time, but with the downhill finish I was sure I could squeak out 17:50 something. Raced down the hill closing on the guy in front of me and heard the tell tale "push and you can break 18" for a guy behind me, I dug deeper and watched as that dumb clock clicked from 17:59 to 18:00 as I crossed the line and ran into the guy in front of me in the chute.

One measly second! Obviously I was not content with the time, but it was a good effort for me. A 56 second improvement over last years performance so I can't complain! NC was a good clip ahead of me at 17:40 and JO as usual crushed the field with a 17:10. I'm getting really good at coming in 3rd at this race :)
2009 18:56
2008 19:34

Next race I should suck it up and stay with NC for longer, maybe if I had held on for 1.5 or 2 miles I could have gotten under 18 (or maybe I would have blown up). I need to start taking some chances if I want to keep improving this summer. The first 5k of the season is always tough, you aren't really sure what pace your lungs and legs can handle, and with a few bad 5ks since last summer I am sure subconsciously I just wanted a solid performance and didn't want to have a blow up. Well solid performance achieved, now next race let's push a bit harder and see if we can find that fine line of a peak performance!

Weekly Rundown Speed Phase Week 8

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 60 - 65.

Tuesday: Track. Warmup for Flag Days 5K.
Wednesday: Flag Days 5K- Goal sub 18
No Tempo run this week.
Long run: 15 miles @ 7:15 pace.
2 days @ 7:50 - 8:20 or slower at the end of one of these days do 4 - 6 * 100.
2 days @ 7:20 - 7:40.

Howe it played out: 66 miles (63 + pacing my dad 3.1)

Monday-8.5 at 8:13
Tuesday-4 at 7:16 (with strides etc)
Wednesday-3.5 miles warm up, 4 mile cool down, 5k race
Thursday-9.5 miles 8:00 pace with 4*100 strides
Friday-6 miles 7:17 pace
Saturday-9 miles + 5k pacing dad
Sunday- 15 miles 7:05 pace

Race report to follow.

Speed Phase Week 7

Solid training week for me. Legs and feet are a little sore, but starting up ice baths again so hopefully will keep any serious damage at bay. Track, tempo, and long run all went well which is nice!

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 70 - 75.

Tuesday: Track.
Thursday: Tempo
2 days @ 7:20 - 7:40.
2 days @ 7:40 - 8:20 or slower at the end of one of these days do 4 - 6 * 100.
Long Run: 14 miles @ 7:10 pace.

How it played out: 75 miles

Tues- AM- 3 miles 7:53 pace, PM track 12 miles
Wed- Lunch 9 miles 7:35 pace, PM 5 miles trails 8:18 pace with 4*100 strides
Thurs-10 miles 7:00 pace with tempo
Fri-8 miles 8:20 pace
Sat-14 miles 7:37 pace
Sun-14 miles 7:05 pace

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track: Goal 6*1000 with 2:20 rest 3:35


Thursday Tempo: Goal 3 miles @ 6:25 on roads straight into 3 miles on the track. On the track step downs working on even pacing each mile.
1st mile(1600) 6:20 (1:35), 2nd mile 6:15 (1:33.5), 3rd mile 6:10 (1:32).

3 miles on sidewalks were about 6:24 pace and the rest went well too on the track.


Columbus 10k Recap

Time is just flying by this spring into summer, and with that comes lots of racing, always tricky to try and balance training with all those summer events you like to do. As is clear from previous years on this blog I have been sporadic at what I race at best, coach is trying to reel that in a bit and each race now is a stepping stone to meet my ultimate goals, but sometimes an opportunity falls in your lap and you just have to take it.

Columbus 10k was just that. Having just ran Blossom last weekend it wasn't ideal, plus this would be basically my third 10k race in row (Blossom being 5.25 it's a pretty similar effort). Talk about going from no 10k races to a ton quickly!

I was looking forward to running with a lot of the same fast ladies from Cleveland and a few new faces that have been rocking it out in this shorter fast stuff. Saturday night headed out to dinner with a few of the girls from the Infinite Running and Run Ohio teams. Turns out everyone else is just as amazed at all the talent cropping up this year in Ohio. (Except they are all a bit faster than me, but it is nice to know even these super fast girls are noticing this shift towards more talent in the female field too.)

I was obviously nervous and wanted to perform well for the team, but also wanted to do well for myself. I tried not to worry too much about my performance, but laying awake in my hotel room it just sort of came to me, I could see myself lined up with the other women for the team, and it no longer seemed like a joke, it felt real, and it didn't seem so unreasonable for me to be there. I didn't have to be the fastest to be valuable, and the way I have been running I do belong at these events racing against the best, striving to make myself a step better with each race.

After a restless nights sleep listening to crazy storms I got up early and had some coffee and headed downstairs to head over to the race with the Infinite Running Crew. It down poured about an hour before the race, but ended up being sunny, warm, and windy by race time. I didn't know the course at all, but had been told it was relatively flat/rolling and that it would be fast. I had high hopes of running faster than Cleveland and fingers crossed wanted to try and run sub 6 pace for the 10k.

The planned finish was flooded by the river so there was a last minute detour that affected the start line and hence the mile markers. It was my impression at the start the mile markers would be short. We lined up and were off shortly after 9 am. I stuck with the second pack of females for about a half mile before settling into my own groove. We hammered up a small bridge and turned away from the city as we neared mile one. My Garmin went off well before the marker which made me think the course would be long, if these markers were supposed to be short. There wasn't anyone giving splits and no clocks. I ignored the watch the first mile (5:45 Garmin Split) and just ran strong trying to tuck behind a few guys to block wind.

Over mile 2 I slowly caught and passed one female from Second Sole. I told her good job and kept pushing to get up with the next group of guys to try and get into a sub 6 groove. I was having trouble sticking with anyone for very long, I would catch a few of the Columbus Running Club Guys and they would push to get away from me. (Garmin mile 2 6:02)

Since there was no clock I did start looking at my watches total time at the mile markers. Mile 2 was something like 11:55 so I knew things were going groovy. We were running through neighborhoods and I was just keeping the pace. I took water at the stop around mile 3 (6:04 Garmin split) total time was around 18:00 at the marker and I knew I needed to get to work.

I think I was behind one or two guys for most of the next mile as we closed in on the bike path. I was telling myself to push the middle miles and not let up. (Garmin Split 6:04) I noted at the mile marker that I was still in that low 6 range and told myself to check it at 5 to make sure I stayed steady. Well the next mile had some rollers, some turns, and I somehow got myself into no "womans" land and was running on my own. Saw at the mile marker that I had slowed but couldn't do the math (Garmin 6:18), just knew it was bad and that it looked like that PR was slipping from my grasp. I was definitely thinking racing two weeks in a row was not the brightest move at this point. The sun was draining me and I was struggling to mentally put the hammer down while running by myself. I could see the next girl ahead through this mile and while I told myself I was closing on her, it must have been an illusion!

The rest of the race is on a bike path and there are a few rollers. I managed to pass one guy and kept catching another only to have him dust me each time we reached a hill. Somewhere during this mile I saw that the next girl up was gone but then realized quickly why as I saw another good runner falling back. The girl I had been chasing had decided to step it up and take down 2 more runners before the finish. I was never in striking range of any of them, but should have strived harder that 5th mile!

As I closed in on the 6 mile marker (Garmin 6:11) I saw TR and SBF cheering for me that I wasn't far behind the next girls and only a quarter mile to go. That must have been what I needed because I finally put the hammer down and between the adrenaline and downhill finish managed to get away with a PR of 37:23.6. (Last .2 in 1:00)

I was pretty shocked because based on my 5 mile split I did not think that was possible, but in retrospect the initial mile must have been 60 meters long, not short and that would explain the surprising finish time :)

I had a great time chatting with the other gals from the Inifinite Running and Run Ohio Teams. It is nice to get together with other gals who are all working just as hard as you and understand the commitment and time it takes. Got to cool down with the Storage twins and they are just phenomenal, super sweet, super nice, super smart, and super fast! Also chatted with the Second Sole Runner who is just getting into this fast short stuff too. It was nice to cool down together and chat about life.

Our team was a shoo-in for the win taking 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 8th overall for females. While I wasn't a scoring member I definitely felt I put in a top notch effort and ran at least what was expected of me.

Weekly Rundown Speed Phase Week 6

Goal for the week was:

Total Mileage 70 - 75.

Tuesday: Track.
Thursday: Tempo run. 6 miles, If you can find a open track do 2 miles on roads @ 6:30 and
2 x 2 miles(3200) on track @ 6:15 with 200 jog(90 sec) between. If all on roads 6 miles @ 6:20.
2 days @ 7:20 - 7:40.
2 days @ 7:40 - 8:20 or slower at the end of one of these days do 4 - 6 * 100.
Long Run: 14 miles @ 7:10 pace.

Things got changed up when I decided to race the Columbus 10k so another weekend with no long run.

How it played out:

71 miles for the week

Monday- 6 at 8:50 pace (late at night)
Tuesday- Track 11 miles
Wednesday- AM 8 miles 7:24 pace, PM Late 5 miles 8:20 pace
Thursday- Tempo 10 miles
Friday- AM 5 miles 7:20 pace,
Lunch 8 miles 8:07 pace with 4*100 strides
Saturday- 4 miles with 4*100 strides 8:14 pace
Sunday- 3 mile warm up with 4*100 strides 8:30 pace, 10k race, 4 mile
cool down 8:20 pace

Key workouts:


Another solid track workout. Goal was 2*800 at 2:40, 2*400 at 79, 8*200 at 39 with 200 recovery jogs, 1600 at 5:42

2:39.23 (3:05)
2:38.23 (3:07)
1:18.85 (2:04)
1:18.33 (2:05)
38.80 (5:55)

Tempo run: change of pace this week aiming for 2 miles at 6:30 on the roads followed by 2*3200 with 90 second rests targeting 6:15 pace

per usual I struggled with this workout a bit, but still a solid effort.


10k race:

Solid effort and managed to squeak out a PR. Effort was solid, but not as strong in the middle miles as I was at Cleveland and Blossom. Race Report to follow soon with details!

Columbus 10K Tomorrow

A little birdie suggested I might want to do the Columbus 10k after my successful 10k race at Cleveland. Sounded like a great plan except it was the week after Blossom. Coach suggested we hold off for another 10k later in the summer and that was that. Or so I thought :)

One of the gals I met at the Kent Tune Up Indoor Meet is sponsored by Infinite Running and she knew I was interested in the event and asked if I would like to be on their team this week. A bit shocked that they would ask me to be on the team (these girls are smoking fast!), I never the less talked to coach about it and let him know that I thought this was a great opportunity for me. This race will be like Cleveland in that it is going to draw some of the best females in the state, and that can only help me to push myself and hopefully pull myself closer to my ultimate goals.

So here I am shacked up in a hotel in Columbus watching some serious thunderstorms roll by and getting excited to go out to dinner with some phenomenal runners and race with them tomorrow. It hit me at some point on Thursday that this is kind of a big deal, so while I am ultimately racing for myself I can't lie and say that I don't feel a bit of pressure to perform better than I ever have before :) I'm a far cry from where I started last year at this time and it is a bit unbelievable to me that things are actually coming together so nicely. It's one thing to set these pie in the sky goals, it's another to start inching closer and closer to them. Sometimes I get so focused on the process I forget to sit down and savor the accomplishments I have already made.

So here's hoping tomorrow is another exceptional race and another step closer to those pie in the sky goals of mine :) But in the mean time, wow is it great to see all the hard work paying off, and I am so stoked with my progress. Hoping some of these super fast ladies mojo will rub off on me and I can keep setting that bar higher and higher!

None of this would be possible without the unwavering support I have had from friends and family. It is overwhelming how many loving and giving people I have in my life that make it possible for me to come back day after day and give it everything I have. I don't know how I got so lucky, but just know I do not take it for granted, and I am so so so grateful for everything I have!

Blossom Time Run

Sorry for the brief report ahead of time, just super busy! (And having a blast!)

When I met my husband I entered into a life that include the Blossom Festival in Chagrin Falls every Memorial Day weekend. This is the big event in town, alum from the town come back each year for the carnival, parade, and many class reunions. In addition to all the festivities the towns Jaycee's also put on a 5.25 race each year. The race is usually relatively competitive and draws out a lot of runners. You have the staple of Fred Kieser winning the men's race most years and the women's race usually draws a local up and coming stud and sometimes a handful of local "ringers." It's competitive enough to give you some competition but is still a bit of a "small pond" for those of us up and comers.

Past reports from this race can be seen here:

2008 34:44
2007 37:49
2005 37:57

I went in to this race with the goal of running the same pace as the Cleveland 10k or better. The course is hilly and it is hot so even though a little shorter than a 10k I thought 6:03 pace would be a good hard effort. On top of that depending on who showed I was hoping to be the first female. I wanted to run competitively and try to get out of my comfort zone a bit.

Stayed at the in laws the night before (this will be the last year in their house as they are moving to Phoenix, so another reason to try and bring home the win) and walked to the pre race packet pickup. Relaxed and chatted with friends before getting in my warm up and some dynamic stretching and strides. It was warm out but better than last year.

The first two miles of the course are rolling uphill so I figured I would be a little slow the first two miles then start picking things up to the finish.

The gun was shot and we were off and I pushed my way towards the front. I had my eye on MB because I knew last year he finished just ahead of the first woman. I know he is a good steady racer and I knew we'd be shooting for around the same time.

Waved at my husband on my way to the first mile marker in 5:59. A little quick but I was fine with that and ready to settle in a bit. Clipping away but I was sure I was slowing down a hair. I was fine with that as we were still heading uphill. As I neared the second mile marker SG scolded me for going out too fast, saying I had lost about 12 seconds in the 2nd mile (he was right 6:14). I picked it up and closed in on him and MB to try and get back in a groove and take advantage of the rolling downhill in this mile.

Normally I wouldn't take water in a race this short but it was pretty warm so I did opt to take water at the 3 water stops. I was so paranoid any females behind me would see this as a weakness but decided if SG was taking water I certainly needed to!

Around the 3rd mile one of the guys I was with asked what kind of mileage I was running and I replied with about 70 mpw. He retorted that he obviously wasn't doing enough. Thanks I think?

I got back into my groove on mile 3 with a 5:55. The rest of the course headed out of the shade and I just continue to push. Tried to focus on relaxing my breathing and staying close to MB. I was getting nervous that someone would catch me at this point. I knew I was pretty much pushing as hard as I could so I knew if someone came by it wouldn't be pretty. Mile 4 I hit in 6:05 and I started to up the effort and close in on MB.

The last mile you have an uphill near the cemetery before you get to hammer down and then flat to the finish straight ahead. Cheers of first lady in my head became "go ladies" and I thought for sure some one was catching me. I just kept driving in my paranoia, catching up to MB at mile 5 where I could hear my coach yelling out the 5 mile time. Hit that mile in 6:03 and I swear coach said something like 30:15. I knew that was slower than Cleveland but I was running the best I could. The crowds started to cheer and I decided I better suck it up and give them a show, I could hear my husband cheering, so I drove as hard as I could to the finish, I wasn't quite on my toes but that is pretty much the closest to a sprint I could come at that point finishing out the last .25 in 1:20 for a 31:38 finish and sealing first place for the females. I threw my hands up in victory and was promptly bear hugged by my father in law waiting at the finish.

Once the adrenaline wore off a bit my head did get a bit foggy so I am sure I was a bit dehydrated, but I was stoked to have run another race well and met my goals.

Spent the rest of the day celebrating with friends and family. It was fantastic!

Week 5 Speed Phase Rundown

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Tuesday: Track.
Thursday: Tempo run. 6 miles @ 6:25.
1 day @ 7:20 - 7:40.
2 days @ 7:40 - 8:20 or slower at the end of one of these days do 4 - 6 * 100.
Saturday 4 miles easy 4 x 100.
Sunday: Blossom Time 5.25 mile run. (Goal 6:03 pace or better)

How it played out:

65 miles total

Note I felt like absolute crap on my Monday and Wednesday lunch runs, but great at the track and at Blossom so I am going to roll with it!

Monday- 8 miles 8:09 pace
Tuesday-10 miles with track 7:38 pace
Wednesday- AM 5 miles 7:19 pace
Lunch 8 miles 7:52 pace with 6*100 strides
Thursday-9 miles with tempo 6:54 pace
Friday- AM 3 miles 8:25 pace
Lunch 7 miles 8:31 pace
Saturday- 4 miles with 4*100 strides 7:57 pace
Sunday- 2 miles warm up with 4* 100 strides 8:22 pace, Blossom Time Run 5.25 miles, 3 mile cool down 8:39 pace

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track: 2*1200 with 3 minute rest target 4:17, 800 target 2:52, 2 minute recovery, 2*400 target 1:26, 80 sec rest, 90 sec before 800, 800 target 2:52, 2 minute recovery, 2*400 target 1:26, 80 sec rest, 90 sec before 800, 800 target 2:52

Workout went great! I hit all the target paces or better (though I kept going out too fast the first 400 and settling in)










Thursday Tempo: Target 6 miles at 6:25, this really should not be hard for me but I have some sort of mental block on these workouts.

Workout went ok, not stellar but not bad either. Stopped looking at the watch after the 3rd mile and just ran by effort since my legs felt toasted and mentally was struggling. We headed out to a different park, flat and straight out and back. A bit of a haul to get there, but maybe we will do that once a month for a change of scenery.


Blossom Time Run:

Race report to follow but it was another success!