Sunday, July 25, 2010

Monastra 5K

I've stated many times how much I love the annual Monastra 5K Refuse to Lose race in Hudson, OH.  Saturday marked the 9th installment of that race.  I have run all nine.  Each year I love it more and more.  I love how the family gets up and tells the story of their Dad who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1992 and died 4 weeks later.  I love that 80% of the proceeds go directly to a lab at Johns Hopkins that is focused on finding out more about this disease.  The lead researcher actually speaks briefly at the race.  I think that's really great.  The course is nice and this year they even had crates of fresh fruit at the finish line.

With temps nearing 90 degrees by the 9am start, this was not to be a day for racing hard.  Not that I do much hardcore racing, but under the right conditions I am not afraid to give it my all.  Today I would focus on staying with Abby for as long as possible.  I was worried about her and the heat.

We always enjoy watching the 1-mile kids race that is before the 5K.  We stood along the side and cheered for all the little kiddoes as they neared the finish.  By far the sweetest thing we saw was a little girl about 4 years old running with her mom.  The little girl was clutching her stuffed cow under her arm and it just brought back so many memories of Gina and Abby and their love of stuffed animals.  Anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I also have a thing for stuffed animals and carted my beloved Norman with me for years.  Norman accompanied me on any trip I ever went on for a very, very long time!  I've never run a marathon with him tucked under my arm though, but seeing that little girl actually caused the tears to roll down my face. 

Anyways, the race was great.  Abby and I stuck together.  First mile at 9:30.  Second mile at 9:19.  I then gave her all control and told her if she wanted to go for it that now was the time.  We rolled on out and started passing people.  Up ahead we saw a girl that was presumably the same age as Abby.  Without saying a word we closed the gap and ran by single file.  I did my train whistle thingy in my head and just kept encouraging Abby.  We made the last corner and she pulled away and I let her go.  She finished about 8 seconds ahead of me and by the time I got there she was doubled over and dry heaving.  The last mile for me was 8:05 so we really negative split nicely.  According to Abby, it was the frying sausage from the Hudson Farmer's Market that did her in.

We sat for a long time in the grass with Jerry and Gina.  A long time passed and then there was an enormous eruption of cheering and applause as the last participant crossed the line.  We had seen him before the race and let's just say he was quite elderly. He was dressed in old school running gear complete with khaki shorts and a belt.  The back of his t-shirt said 2700 road races and I have no doubt that he actually completed them all.  The crowd gave him the equivalent of a standing ovation.  Another teary moment for me as I tried to grasp the beauty of the running community - from the little girl clutching her stuffed animal in the 1-mile race to the elderly man finishing the 5K at 52 minutes.  I love being part of that camaraderie.  As Linus would say, "That's what fitness is all about, Charlie Brown."

 Abby ended up first in her age group and I was third in mine.  Not bad for a Saturday morning.

Sunday rolled around and I managed my 14 mile run before church.  Jerry joined me for the first lap and it was great to run together and chat about Burning River 100 next weekend.  I even tried his chia seed gel and I must say it is quite good.  The second lap was lonely and I went completely and totally inside my head.  So much that at one point I could not remember if I had run the loop correctly.  But then I remembered that I had dropped my fuel belt by the highschool while trying to loop my visor through it.  I had definitely covered my course but I must have been really in the zone. 

Now the big week leading up to the racing highlight of the summer.  The girls and I have a pretty good plan for the day and Jerry is working through all the what ifs in his head.  If all goes well he will have a finish time of less than 24 hours.  We can't wait to get this thing going!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Too Darn Hot

Sunday:  10 mile run
Monday:  4 mile run
Tuesday:  5 mile run
Friday:  4 mile run
Saturday:  12 mile run

Total:  35 miles

Too Darn Hot!  Love that song from Kiss Me Kate and it really sums up the weather we have been having.  The only way to conquer the heat is to get up and run as early in the day as possible, but honestly lately it is hot and humid then too.  Take Friday morning:  dragged myself out before 6 am and was out the door within 15 minutes, the air felt hot and spongy.  First mile took over 10 minutes and to add insult to injury it started to sprinkle.  Then it started to pour.  Then I saw lightning.  By the time I returned home I was soaked but somehow still in a sleepy stupor! 

I am totally looking forward to the Joseph Monastra Refuse to Lose 5K this saturday in Hudson.  Abby and I have discussed our plan.  We probably will not run together for this race.  I think it will be a good pacing experience for her.  My mother's guilt may creep into the day.  I still feel bad about the Jim Klett 10K.  I kind of want to "keep an eye on her" in case her stomach talks back again, but I would be making the assumption that I could somehow keep her in sight.  It will be an interesting day for sure! 

I worked everyday this week so I had to really think through the meals.  Sunday was our picnic at Blossom.  We used a gift card from Giant Eagle and loaded up last minute on cheese, bread, fruit, pie, hummus, etc.  Monday we did a quick and easy pasta salad.  Tuesday was meatless chicken patty sandwiches and baked veggies.  Wednesday we had another quick and easy dinner of mexican casserole.  Thursday was potato skins and an after dinner trip to DQ!  Friday I redeemd myself with the labor-intensive Indonesian Pilaf.  Saturday we returned to Blossom but made our own food:  ciabatta rolls with avocado, sprouts, cheese, tomato and russian dressing; strawberries, chips, asian coleslaw and brownies for dessert.  Another awesome night under the stars with the Cleveland Orchestra!  My favorite summer activity in Cleveland!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho.....

My client had her baby so now it's back to work I go!  I really enjoyed having June to regroup, although it was extremely stressful being on call 24/7.  After returning home on Sunday, I did my 11-mile run sans cell phone.  That in and of itself was wonderful.  The extreme heat and sunshine also felt really good for some reason.  Maybe something to do with the birth of a new baby and the awesomeness of that beautiful event.  From there we headed to Blossom Music Center for a night outside listening to the Cleveland Orchestra.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

So now my schedule returns to being hectic for a few weeks.  Squeezing in runs will be tricky but I'm not afraid.  I have officially signed up for my 5th Columbus Marathon which will be held on October 17.  WooHoo!  Last week's long run of 11 miles will gradually build over the next couple of months.  I will try to follow Hal Higdon's Intermediate program which will include 5 days of running each week.

In the short-term, Abby and I are registered for the 9th Annual Refuse to Lose 5K race held in Hudson.  I have done the race every year since it's inception.  I absolutely love it.  Anyone interested in walking or running in this great event can find out more at .  

Jerry is in full taper mode for Burning River 100.  It's time to start all of our logistic conversations and planning.  The girls and I are really looking forward to helping him have a great day!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Monday:  4 mile run
Tuesday:  5 mile run
Wednesday:  3.5 "speed workout" with Abby
Thursday:   5 mile run
Friday:  1 hr yoga, 6 mile run with Abby and Jerry (who had already run 25 miles in the morning!)

Total Running Miles:  23.5

Seems like every year I arrive at the 4th of July in desperate need of a nap!  All day I have been thinking that I should go lie down, but I know that it will not happen.  Coffee is brewing as we speak and it is destined to be another late night with fireworks and good times.

My one hour of yoga this week was heavenly and left me super sore.  The class was called "Peaceful Living Through Breathing" from Yoga Today  and it was just perfect.  I have neglected my yoga but for good reason.  My church had a schedule for reading through the New Testament in May and June and I decided that I would once again attempt this challenge.  The only way for me to add something that is going to take a good half hour a day is to get rid of something else.  I took a break from yoga so I could start my day with some reading time.  If I could have done both at the same time I certainly would have, but I could not.  It was a good decision.  

The meal plan was somewhat interesting this week.  Sunday we were so excited to try some new vegetarian hot dogs and sausage that Abby and I located while shopping at the Mustard Seed.  We had high hopes but we were somewhat disappointed in the result.  While the hot dogs were somewhat edible, the sausage which was made from eggplant and other vegetables really did not go down so well.  Poor Jerry once again ended up with way too many lunches from this failed attempt.  Tuesday we picked it back up with a great pasta served with lots of fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.  Wednesday we made wraps with avocados, cream cheese and sundried tomatoes served with zucchini fries.  That meal was deeeelish!  Thursday was simply huevos rancheros (eggs with rice and hot sauce).  Friday we went to Blossom Music Center with a big bag of take out from Panera Bread and fresh cherries, Santa Cruz Lemonade and chianti.  Saturday we returned to the grill with soy burgers served with potato wedges and bean salad.  Much better!  Much much better!

Anyone going to be in Columbus on July 10?  I can't but I wish I could.  There will be an event called Run Fest at Frog Bear in the Arena District.  Its free and family-friendly.  Food, drinks, music, giveaways and the unveiling of the new Columbus Marathon logo.  I wish I could be there - I really love Columbus Marathon!  To see their facebook page go to: