Glass City Marathon giveaway

For all of you that are new here, welcome to my blog!   You’ve come on the right day, because it’s Giveaway Friday!!  (or FriYAY as I like to call it: my day off, kids last day before Thanksgiving break… well, you get the picture.  It’s just great all around!! )


Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your race calendar in 2016!  As an Ambassador for the Glass City Marathon, I’m happy to report that I get to give two of you a free race entry to the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, Owens Corning Half Marathon, or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5K on April 24th, 2016.

Entering is very easy… just visit/follow the Glass City Marathon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and let me know below.  You’ll get an extra entry if you Follow me on Facebook.  Don’t forget to leave me a comment for one more extra entry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


So let me know, if you won, which race would you run for free?

Have you run Glass City before, or would this be your first time?


The last day of awesomeness?

Oh man – did you ever have one of those mornings when you get off the treadmill and realize it was 59 degrees outside… in Ohio… in NOVEMBER!  And totally wish you would have braved the dark and ran outside in the morning because it’s probably the last warm day of the season??  DOH.  Oh, it was probably just me.


I did get to finish watching the season premiere of The Royals, and episode of Blackish, and an interesting House Hunters Off the Grid, so I’m looking at the bright side of it all! 🙂

But here’s a reminder so you won’t be kicking yourself because you missed it… Glass City Marathon giveaways!


Until MY giveaway to the Glass City Marathon comes up on Friday, you still have an extra opportunity to enter Dean’s giveaway if you act fast!

Enter here—->  Running in the Fat Lane

And don’t worry, there are several more weeks of giveaways on the schedule:

  • Jes – Nov.  27- Dec 3
  • Tom: Dec 4 – 10
  • Amanda: Dec 11 – 17


Q:  Any fans of the show The Royals out there?  

I thought the premiere was really good!

Q: Has the weather been great in your area?

I heard they mentioned snow on Saturday.  Gulp.


Churchill’s Half Marathon recap 2015

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Without further ado, let’s get on to the topic of the day – Churchill’s half marathon race recap!!  If you’ve been following my blog, I have mentioned that I was running this race with my friend Jamie, who just started running in February and was making this her first half marathon.  I figured I would end my year on a good note after my PR in Columbus last month and give my body some rest.

kid sign

Best sign ever!!

Churchill’s half marathon is a local race which has a long history.  This year was the 48th year and it’s one of the oldest half marathons in the country!  It used to be a Spring race, and two years ago they switched it to Fall, so one year we got to run it as the 46th, and 46.5th year (both Spring and Fall).  It is named after a local runner, who ran the Boston marathon 22 years in a row – Walt Churchill.  Walt doesn’t actually run any more, but he is at the finish line every year handing out medals.  That’s very cool in my book.  He’s also one of the founders of our local running club, Toledo Road Runners.

The race has had several difference course configurations over the years, and this year was the 3rd year for it’s point to point course layout.  That’s pretty unique in terms of race courses too, at least around here.  The super cool thing about this race is it starts at a high school, which very kindly opens up the building for the runners to wait in.  We’re talking a warm building with a plentiful of indoor toilets!!  Race morning doesn’t get much better than that folks.

race start

The morning was a bit chilly to start with, around 35 degrees, but really it was ideal for racing.  In years past Churchill’s always seems to happen on a windy day.  The kind where wind hits you from every direction.  But this year, no wind!!!  Hooray!  They even had pace groups in this race so we decided to position ourselves between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacers.  2:10 was Jamie’s ultimate goal for this race, even though it was her first half marathon, and she especially didn’t want to walk.  I was a little concerned about the walking part of the promise because I had fallen victim to walking quite a bit the last time I ran this course.  It has some hills after mile 10 which are challenging.


Jamie is in the green. I had to run over to the side so the photographer could get me in the picture!!

We were ahead of our pace for the majority of the course having around a 9:30 pace.  We hit the hills and our pace did slow down a bit, but I knew that would be the case so it was already in the plan.  As we went up each hill I was happy to see Jamie wasn’t complaining, just cruising along.  And for the record, she was a much better “running buddy” than I am to my husband… I complain a lot when the going gets tough!  We made it up the last hill and I gave her a high 5, we were going to make her goals!!

I made a motivational sign for us which was around mile 13.  Hooray for us!!

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If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

We finished with a time of 2:08:42.  Nice!!!!!  I had to laugh at the end when she pulled a “Sydney” on me and sprinted ahead of me at the finish line!  Dude, what is up with that??  haha  Good for her. And that sprint was pretty darn quick too – it totally caught me off guard and I couldn’t keep up with her.  (luckily we ended with the same finish time… or else I would never let her forget that!! LOL!)


Dang girl, I was not ready for that!!!!

After the finish, we met up with Alan who had a blistering fast time of 1:28.  21st out of 940 runners. Mere seconds away from his PR.  It was a great race day indeed!  The funny thing was that Alan and I got flu shots the day before the race and he wasn’t feeling good after the shot.  He was even considering not running because he was feeling a little off!  (note to self, don’t get flu shots before any major event!)

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We celebrated with a beer… or two.  The finish area had a heated beer tent complete with a band.  It was fun seeing all of our friends there.

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I had a good time running this race as a pacer for my friend.  It gave me some renewed energy in running races by taking away the stress of always worrying about a better time with each race.  It was fun to just soak in the surroundings, listen to the other runners, and I even struck up some conversations with a few of them.


Q: Is there a race you have ran in for several years in a row?

Q: What is the best race sign you’ve seen?

Q: What temperature do you think is best for running?  Do you like the heat or the cold?

Blown away Thursday

As I’m writing, I can hear the winds whistling past my windows at 25 mph.  Gusts of up to 40 mph expected today!!  Yikes.  Small poodle alert! I laugh because the half I am running this weekend is ALWAYS windy.  It’s been pretty calm around here lately, but sure enough, rolling in just in time for our race this weekend, here come the strong winds.  Ugh!

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Quite the opposite of yesterday.  It was a great to have a mid week day off!  Hope you all had a good Veterans day and gave thanks to all who serve our country and protect us.  I started off my day with a run at the park with Alan.   As promised, we saw several deer.

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The trails were beautiful with the Fall leaves and color.

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Even though I had a great run the other day, my run today felt like a total struggle!  Maybe it was the hills.  Maybe it was the humidity?  Maybe I shouldn’t have wasted my energy trying to capture a jump?

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Well, who knows, but it was a beautiful morning and I was happy to be outside, running, and with Alan 🙂

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In addition to a variety of short trails, the best part of this park is going over the hanging bridge.  There is just no way to correctly cross this bridge without bouncing all over the place!


You should see how out of control that bridge is on the “group runs” we have at the park!  After those tough 7 miles we had some bagel sandwiches.  Just the perfect mix of a ton of meat, and salty deliciousness.  Yummm!

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After dinner I decided it was time to dust off the Just Dance game and get moving.  My favorite song is One Direction “One Thing”.  I love the song, but also, I’ve danced it a lot so it’s pretty much the only song I can crush the kids with!!!  Victorious again!

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Q:  Do you play any video games?

I totally suck at using the controller, so I’m pretty bad at Mario Kart and Mario Bros.  I do pretty good on Just Dance, and the Wii Fit games though – ski jump and the other ones that use body motion and not hand eye coordination!

Q: Favorite sandwich – cold cuts, or something grilled?

Q: Have you seen any animals on your runs lately?




Happy Monday!

Howdy everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I sure did!  My Friday started out with being productive and swapping out the summer clothes for the winter clothes.  Yep, it’s that time of the year again.  Tank tops and shorts are being replaced with long sleeves and hoodies in my kids’ closets.  Always fun to find all of the dirty shirts that my son has just stuffed back into his dresser drawers all season!!  My husband and I met an old friend for lunch, and after that I even got around to washing the windows outside.  It was beautiful outside!!

Saturday morning I ran with Jamie on our last training run for the upcoming Churchills half marathon.  I decided I should actually revisit the hills that are on the course since I haven’t been training any hills!  I was relived to find they weren’t as bad as I remember.  Although they will still be challenging since they hit around mile 10 or so.  The run went well and we had to cut it short at 9 miles instead of the planned 11 miles due to schedule issues, but I think it was a perfect amount to end on.  We saw many other runners out on the course.  Everyone getting ready for the big race!

churchill-halfmarathon-logo copy

On Sunday morning I decided I needed to burn off some calories because we were going out for donuts for breakfast.  I LOVE donut mornings!  When I peeked out the window in the morning, there was frost on the ground.  It was a lovely sight and I wanted to get out there.  Then I remembered my compression socks, which I haven’t had much chance to run in yet, so I wore those.  They kept my calves nice and warm, but at 29 degrees the rest of my legs were freezing and by mile 2 I was wondering if it was a bad outfit choice!! Oh well, keep it going.

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The super awesome thing about my run is that it turned into one of “those” runs.  You know – the kind where you end up kicking butt, your pace is fast, and the run just feels right.  YES!  Love when those happen.  Ironically it was happening at the same time I could have been running the marathon I decided not to do, but we all know 4 miles is a heck of a huge difference from running 26.2.

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When I go out for a run, unless I have some specific speed workout, I typically just go for a half mile and then look at my watch.  Often it will show a pace around 9:00ish.  Sometimes, it will be 9:20, or if I’m sluggish, something more around 9:30 or slower.  All perfectly fine paces for my “whatever” running.  But that morning my pace was 8:20. 8:20!!  One look at that and I knew I could pick up the pace and really run it fast.  My paces ended up being:


I like how that small .05 sprint to my driveway came in under 7:00 pace.  Woohoo, thank you number 6 for being on my paces today!! 😉

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Love those sprinkles!!

I’m looking forward to this week because I get an extra day off (Veterans Day, bank holiday!).  I’ll be enjoying a run with my husband on that day and going out to lunch with him.  A perfect day I think.


Q: Does anyone else have the day off on Wednesday?

Q: Favorite donut style?

Creme filled, frosted with sprinkles, and glazed!  

Q: Have you had a great run lately?  Do tell!

Making good decisions

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This message from my fortune cookie really spoke to me.  At the time, I thought it had all of the wisdom in the world.  Flash back to 3 weeks ago when a conversation with my husband got me thinking more about running the Elyria Trail Marathon on Nov. 8th.  I’ve just come off of a successful training cycle which I BQ’d, but NOT BQ’d good enough to make Boston 2016.  The dream is still there.  And wanting to run the Boston marathon on a good day, which wasn’t raining.  I am still pretty ticked that I got cut for 2016 because my time wasn’t quite good enough.  So, what about running another marathon while I still have a good base from my last training cycle?  I used the Columbus half marathon to be a guideline, wondering if my foot would hold me back or continue to have any issues, and it didn’t.  AND I got a new PR!  That, coupled with this enlightening fortune cookie message, my plan started to come clear.  Inland Trail is a very small race with a super flat course, within driving distance… sounds perfect.

To quote one of my favorite songs:

I know I’ve never been the smartest or the wisest, but I realize what it takes.

It takes only 3 seconds less per mile in the marathon to have a really solid BQ which should hopefully get me into 2017.  Why not go for it?  And so I planned out my training to replicate the last few weeks of my normal training cycle.  I did my 18 mile long run.  Oh god, it was painful.  For days.  I did some more scheduled runs, and dusted off the PT exercises.  My Piriformis Syndrome had reared it’s ugly head again.  (reared.  get it??)  For those of you who aren’t familiar with PS, it’s a pain in the butt.  Literally.  For me, it gets to the point where it feels like someone is tightening a screw on my glute muscles deep inside.  Uncomfortable to say the least.  But I have seen the Dr. about it in the past and I have a full set of exercises and stretches that I need to do to help it out.

The next week I ran 12 miles for a long run.  My PS was getting a bit better, but still there.  And then finally this week, I had to make the decision that running another marathon right now is just not the best choice. Waa waa. I know getting the time I want (a PR too!) would require some great running conditions, and to be fit.  If you’ve never run a marathon before, the tough part is that so many things can happen over that 26.2 miles.  You could be having the best day ever for the first 24 miles, and end up walking the last 2, throwing off your whole race.

I figured there was a 50/50 chance that I could have the great race day I wanted, but I also knew there was a really good possibility I would run well for the first 18 miles and just suck it up for the last 8 miles.  I ran this course in the past, once again as a way to get a BQ after running the Columbus full marathon 5 weeks earlier, and ended up walking most of the last half of the race and finishing 30 mins later than expected.  UGH.  I did not want a repeat of that.

Well, here’s to making good decisions and keeping the bigger picture in mind!  Another chance will come.

Here’s some funnies to finish with…  first of all Pinterest really gets me!

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Inner thigh exercises maybe, but I don’t think scones is a word I have ever used!!

And this is the conversation I had with my husband the other day when he was laying in bed, when he should have been outside running, enjoying this beautiful weather we are having!

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What can I say, I’m the early bird in this house!

Speaking of early birds, lock in your plans to run the in Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, Owens Corning Half Marathon, or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5K by winning a free bib from Sarah, the ambassador with the giveaway this week.  She should have her contest going on this weekend!


Q:  If given the choice, would you be an early bird or late sleeper at your house?

Q:  Are you in the middle of a training cycle right now, or just resting up for the new year ?

Q:  Do you like scones?  They are good, yes?

Q:  Have you ever had a race that didn’t turn out as planned and you were a lot longer than your anticipated goal time?

Glass City Ambassadors, and a great reason to meet them!

As you may have heard, I’m an Ambassador for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon!

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2016 will be the 40th Anniversary of the Glass City Marathon.  Wow, right?  Race prep is underway.  Just announced, the course has been modified slightly for 2016, mostly to provide a straight shot at the start line.  Take a look!:


The course for the Owens Corning Half Marathon has been modified too, since they run together at the start 🙂

We’d like to get you in on some of the race day fun a little early… starting November 6th, the Glass City Ambassadors will be having contests to give away free race entries to one of the distances in the Glass City marathon race dayMercy Health Glass City Marathon, the Owens Corning Half Marathon, or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5K.

I’m not sure what distance I will be running quite yet.  You can find my 2016 Glass City Marathon Ambassador Profile on the website here.  Here are the other Ambassadors who you should meet…

Amanda Schwartz (Lead Ambassador)

Jes Taylor

Tom Silva

Sarah Olvera Speer

Dean Whitmire

You’ll want to check out these Ambassadors because….

You  have multiple opportunities to win a free entry for either the full, half or 5K!  Each person will be giving away two free race entries.  Here’s the schedule:

Sarah – Nov. 6 – 12                     

Dean – Nov. 13 – 19                    

Me!! – Nov. 20 – 26     

Jes – Nov. 27 – Dec. 3           

Tom – Dec. 4-10                        

Amanda – D​ec. 11-17     

Don’t worry, if you don’t win with Sarah’s giveaway, just head over to Dean’s giveaway and try again.  You’ll have six opportunities to win if you visit each Ambassador!


Q: If you could win a free race bib (any race), what distance would it be?

For free, I’d probably go for the marathon!  More bang for the buck, right?

Q: Do you typically enter contests?

Well heck ya!  And so should you… so make sure you come back and enter here!!


Happy Halloween Highlights!

I hope you had a great Halloween!  I started out my day with a 12 mile run.  6 were done on the treadmill because it was dark out, but then I did the other 6 miles outside.  My pace was much faster outside, but it was also painful due to stupid glute pain still 😦  Then I spent a large part of my day shopping with my daughter for clothes.  It was mostly successful, but I was exhausted with all of the walking around!

When night came, it was time for holiday fun!  My kids dressed up as a vampire and an unknown phantom.  Even though it got dark at our house shortly after trick or treating started, my son was able to wear that face cover the whole time.  Pretty cool!

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Our neighborhood is great for Halloween.  One of our neighbors was passing out Reese’s (my *favorite*) AND Jello shots!  That rocked.  And, I had no idea my Athleta shirt zipper was reflective.  Good to know!!

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We had quite the ghastly set up on our porch.  The fun part was the RIP tombstone was sound activated and would light up the eyes and make wailing sounds when people approached for candy.

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My kids got huge bags of candy.  Mostly because they were out for the entire 2 hours.  What a haul!  We tracked the night on our Garmin and it was 3.19 miles of walking!!

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Making candy twins is a tradition now.

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Even my kitten was exhausted after sorting through all of the candy!

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On Sunday we were quite lazy with the daylight savings time change and we watched the New York City marathon.  I cheered on the runners I knew (Go RaPearce and SoonerStef!!).  It looked like a great day to race, so I hope all had a good run.  Especially liked seeing the elites cross the finish.

After taking our first journey into beer making (more on that later), we got the family out for bike ride on a beautiful new trail we have by our house.  Perfect day for a ride!  We tricked the kids into riding 13 miles.  Hey, it’s good for them 🙂

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Q:  Did you watch (or run!) NYC marathon?

Q: Did you have a great Halloween?

Kids haul was an average of 9 1/2 pounds of candy.  Yep, they scored.

Q:  Have you ever brewed your own beer?

We have made wine, but this was our first batch of beer.

Why it’s not safe at work

This week I’ve been working at an office that I don’t typically work at.  And it’s just not safe to be here!  I mean, let’s talk about yesterday.  It was apples, caramel topping, and pies.  Both pumpkin pie and apple pie!  I could not let the day pass without a sampling of the apple pie.

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Today I tried to be good and avoid any temptations.  But new ones appeared!  A cake, donuts, bagels and other things I tried not to look at.

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And these were located way too close to my desk.

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And somehow they ended up here in front of me!

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Those M&Ms are filled with peanut butter.   Those are my favorite.  Yum!!!  Luckily I will be out of that office after this week, so I’ll just try to resist.

One fun event I need to share this week is that we ran a night time 5K.  It was hosted at one of our local metroparks and it was timed with the full moon happening.  But, it was too cloudy to see the moon, so we were in total darkness!  Well, darkness except for our headlamps and glow sticks.  I’ve never run in the complete darkness like that, so that was a lot of fun.  My daughter was my running buddy and she didn’t let me slack.  Official time, 26:40.  Whew!  That even included a stop along the way to investigate what Sydney thought was a cat… but turns out it was a raccoon.  I was just happy we didn’t fall down on the trails!!

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Back at home we are getting all geared up for Halloween.  We tried to encourage our kitten to make new friends, but she was having nothing to do with that idea!!

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Q:  What is your favorite M&M variety?

Q:  Are you good at resisting treats?

I’m not at all!!  That’s why I try not to be around them.

Q:  Have you ever run a race in total darkness?