Monday, February 18, 2019

"Baby, I'm a Star"

This was my second high-mileage week, and I believe I might just be getting stronger. On Saturday, I ran some icy trails with the Trail Sisters. After seven miles I called it quits because I was afraid I would slip and break my dupa. Then on Sunday Marta and I ran sixteen miles on the Towpath and a bit of road (that was a big, freaking hill).  The hill was Marta's idea, and I guess I will thank her because if I end up running Forget the PR, I will need that hill training.

This was a mile ten selfie in the bathroom at Boston Store. The bathroom is heated, and I didn't want to leave it.

I'm running down the big, freakin' hill. It stretches out for about a half mile. Going down was MUCH better than going up.
Photo Credit: Marta Pacur

I finished really strong with my second-fastest mile of that run being my last mile. I was cold, hungry, and numb from the hips down, so my motivation was at its height. I tried not to think about the fact that I would basically have to run double the miles in just two months. Don't think about it, Stephani. Just run the mile you're in. 

The best part of my weekend was the opportunity to be on WKYC's Live at Lakeside on President's Day! At our last Ambassador Meeting, I had told Jack Staph, Executive Race Director, that I need to be on tv, and could he please arrange that as soon as possible?  So, today was the day. Fellow Ambassador Leah Backo and I did a segment for Marathon Monday with Holly Strano and Michael Estime. Leah is a pro at this because she is on the news all the time, but I admit I was nervous.

Michael and Holly prep before the show. Be cool, Stephani; be cool.

Leah and I are ready!

I had a lot of fun talking about the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and I think I didn't do too badly.  Judge for yourself!

So, that was my excitement for the week (as well as the forty-two miles I put in). I'm hoping for my next appearance to be on the day of the race.  Whaddya say, Jack Staph?

Here are some reminders about the race:

1. Check out my fellow ambassadors on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. We are all giving away registrations, and you might get lucky!

2.  Follow @Clevemarathon on Instagram and Twitter. The ambassadors are doing takeovers for the Instagram account. It's crazy over there, Peeps!

3. Don't want to take your chances at winning a registration? Use my code, SI2019, for 10% off registration for any race in the series. Choose from the 1 mile fun run, the 5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, and series!

I'm steadily climbing toward my twenty miler. How is your training going in this weird weather?

However you run, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @itibrout!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

How's that Weather Working out for You?


It has been cold in Ohio, Peeps. Yes, I realize that you didn't need me to tell you that.  I have been confined to the treadmill for days, and it's starting to make me soul-sick.

The treadmill would be SO MUCH BETTER if I ate ice cream like this dude.
I have made a point of getting out on the weekends, and that really helps.  Last weekend I didn't get the opportunity to do back-to-back long runs because I was working in Columbus, so I decided to do a long trail run with the Trail Sisters on Sunday.

Our start at Boston Store: Me, Wendy, Renee, Marta

Stopping to catch my breath (Renee is patiently waiting for me)

As you can see, it was very snowy, very cold, and very steep.  Running in the snow was like running on sand, and at the end of 12 miles, my Garmin registered that I exerted as much effort as I would have on 17 miles!

This weekend, I ran 14 miles on Saturday and 7 miles on Sunday.  All of the miles were incredibly hilly, which is exactly what I need for Forget the PR 50K in Mohican.

This gives you an idea of Saturday's run: I am the tiny speck in orange and white on the left.

Halfway through the run, Wendy, Marta, and I crashed a golf and chili event at Hale Farm.

Wendy and Marta have no shame. I am hiding.
The chili smelled so amazing; it was difficult to leave.

Wendy and I reluctantly leave the Chili Open.

I made sure to nap and fuel after cleaning the house on Saturday, and I got up early to run with the Canal Rats this morning on Sand Run--more hills. Normally the Rats run WAY too fast for me, but they were kind enough to run a leisurely pace. . .which still kicked my butt.  

My runs this week totalled 42 miles, which is pretty darned good considering we had the polar vortex. I also managed to do yoga and strength training. 

At this point, if I don't get into the Forget the PR 50K, I will be in stellar form for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in May.  Speaking of which, would you like to sign up to join me for any of the races in the series? If so, use my code, SI2019, for a 10% discount on registration for any of the races, including the whole series.  Come on--it will be fun!

No matter how cold it is, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @itibrout!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Training Time!

For those of you who didn't catch why I am in a tizzy:

This is EXACTLY how I look when I am in a tizzy.
I signed up for the Forget the PR 50K a month or so ago. Yes, peer pressure was involved. No, I don't want to talk about it.  Well, maybe just a little bit.

Every year I need a new challenge. I knew that I would eventually sign up for a 50K, but I actually thought I'd sign up for some sort of 24 hour loop type of race so that I could take my time and eat more food and stuff.

That didn't happen.

This particular 50K takes place at Mohican State Park, and it is a monster.  Think hills, lots and lots of hills. Think April weather in Ohio.  Think of how stupid I am to sign up.  Anyway, I didn't get in, but I can't be relieved just yet because I am on a waitlist, and I am NUMBER 7 ON THIS STUPID LIST!!!!

So, I've got to train.

I was running with my friend Jenn (who has done the Mohican 50K) a few weeks ago, and she asked me about my training plan. "Ummmmm. . . you're assuming I have a training plan," I replied. "I just thought I'd do a marathon plan with lots of hill repeats and painful stuff."

"You realize that you're supposed to do back-to-back long runs to get used to running on tired legs, right?" she asked, giving me the side-eye.

"Dammit, now I do!" I yelled, and that is how everything changed. I looked up 50K training plans and realized that I have to devote my weekends to running, and so I have.

For three weeks I have been running long on both Saturday and Sunday, both days on trails. I've started with shorter distances--8, 9, and 10 miles-- to get used to it.  I've made sure to build in long hills whenever I can.

This past Saturday I ran 10 miles at Pine Hollow with the Trail Sisters. Then, on Sunday I came right back to Pine Hollow to run 9 more with Katie, a fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassador.  Katie is training for her first marathon, and you guessed it--it's Cleveland!

I'm hiding my face in the shadow. Katie is looking uber-cool in sunglasses.
The group I ran with are all super-speedy badass trail runners, and I had NO BUSINESS running with them, so I made the decision to let them go when I stopped to take a picture and I dropped my gloves.

Morning at Kendall Lake. I never did find my gloves, darnit.
It was peaceful and beautiful running through the park, and I wasn't as sore as I thought I might be. I caught up with Katie later on, and we chatted a bit in the last few miles.  She is going to rock the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and if I survive this 50K, I will rock the marathon, too!

Have you signed up for one of the races yet? Or will you choose the series?  Wanna discount on registration? Click here and use my code, SI2019, for 10% off any race or series.

However you train, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @itibrout!

Monday, December 31, 2018

It's Pay Day!

Happy New Year, Peeps!

2018 has been some year.  I'm not even sure I want to process what that means, to tell the truth. I prefer to focus on the good stuff right now, so first a photo:

My last day of running this year was 12/30 with the Trail Sisters:
There were some real shenanigans going on here.

We ran the trails of Sand Run. Marta and I decided to finish our twelve miles with a 1/4 mile long hill because we are just badass that way.

Also, I jacked up my knee somehow, so I'm taking it easy today. There will be stretching and foam rolling on the agenda.

Ok, for those of you who haven't read my posts on Payday, here is the gist:

I pay myself $.50 for every mile I run, $1.00 for every racing mile, and $5.00 for every PR.  I deduct my race fees from this amount, and I deposit the total in a special savings account for my big ticket racing goal.  Here and here are some previous posts. Go ahead and read them; I'll wait.

Ok, ready?  Step one is to calculate the total miles of 2018. I get this figure from, where I log my runs. This year I ran and walked 1,848 miles, which I'm very happy with because my goal was 1,700.

Step two is to add up the racing miles:

Home Run for the Homeless: 4.06
Run with Scissors: 13.3
Akron Marathon: 26.42
Race with Grace: 3.07
Burning River: 25.76
Medina Half Marathon: 13.12
Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon: 26.48
Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon: 13.26
Fools 25K: 15.94

Total Racing Miles: 137.35

Step three is to subtract racing miles from total miles:

1,848 - 137 = 1,711

Step four is to multiply non-racing miles by .50 and then add to racing miles:

1,711 x .50= 855.5-> 856 + 137 = $993

Wow! This is a lot of moolah, but I'm not finished yet, Peeps. I still need to add up my racing fees and subtract them from the total:

Total: 993

642 smackeroos!  Holy Shmoly! But wait!!!  I get to award myself 5 bucks for every PR, and I had 1 (The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, thanks to Marta!), so. . . .

647 dollars!  Whoa!

I will be depositing that money as soon as I get paid! My dream marathon account is certainly adding up! Paris, I will be running your streets soon!

So, I do this for myself because I am driven (shocking, right?), and I tend to punish myself for my shortcomings. It is super-important that I acknowledge my accomplishments, and this is a way for me to see real improvement. This is the highest paycheck I've earned to date, and I intend to earn more next year.

What do you do to reward your accomplishments, Peeps? It doesn't have to be money, and your goals don't have to involve running. You could practice mindfulness and meditation. You can take up a new sport or start walking or swimming. The thing is that OF COURSE the rewards to your body and spirit are obvious, but that doesn't always help when you want to sleep in and you know you should be training for a 50K by doing hill repeats (guilty). Find something you can use as an incentive (try not to make it donuts), and reward yourself for your effort. It can be gradual (at the end of each week that you accomplished a goal) or it can be the biggie at the end of the year (like my payday). Just do it!  You deserve this.

Speaking of what you deserve, why not treat yourself to one of the races in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon series? Use my code, SI2019, for 10% off registration. Let's do this together!

However your year ended, I hope you ran it happily, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @itibrout!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Lights and I am Stupid

Last week I ran the annual Christmas Lights Run, organized by Ed Sutter, of Eddie's Famous Cheesesteaks. This is where over one hundred runners don Christmas apparel and run through the streets of Akron (following the blue line of the Akron Marathon) to Stan Hywet Hall to see the beautiful Christmas lights. It is a total of eight miles, and then everybody fills the bars and restaurants in downtown Akron for post-run food and libations. Here are some pics:

Cleveland Marathon Ambassador and Pacer Spotting! Steve, Me, Pam

The whole group in front of Stan Hywet Hall. Photo Credit: Steve Pierce

Trail Sisters Represent! Marta, Cari, Angie, Me

I love running at night, and the lights at Stan Hywet are amazing. This was a great way to relieve some holiday stress. 

This is usually how I deal with holiday stress.

On another note, I did something stupid, Peeps. Here are some hints:

1. Peer pressure was definitely involved.
2. Alcohol may have been involved.
3. I was looking for something different in my races.
4. I'm turning 50 in two years.

Did you guess that I signed up for my first 50K? Ok, that isn't so bad, right? I mean, it's inevitable that I'm going to run a 50K when I've already run six marathons. Here is the problem. For my first 50K, I've chosen. . . 

The Mohican Forget the PR

Here are some things you need to know:

1. The course is EXTREMELY difficult. 
2. The race is in April (around my birthday), so I can most likely expect icy rain.
3.  I am #8 on the waitlist. When I mentioned to my friends that I felt that it was unlikely that I would get in, they all informed me that I was definitely going to be running the 50K if I'm only #8.  GAAAAAAAA.
4. Trail Sisters have already registered, so I will be in good company.

I've had a period of freaking out, but I am not a quitter, so I am going to prepare for this damn race.  I will run hill repeats. I will do squats and pushups. I will put in the long trail miles. I can do this, right?

Ok, this is the most important part of the post. What spring race will you train for this winter? Will it be the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon or any of the races associated with it? If so, I have a code for you! Use SI2019 for 10% off registration for any race, including the series!

However you run this season, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @itibrout!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Turkey and Shenanigans

So, I wrapped up my racing season with the Homerun for the Homeless 4 mile race on Thanksgiving day. I was wondering if I would race it or run it, and when I saw my friend Jennifer at the start, I decided I would be much happier running with her, so I did. It was great. Poor Jen. I vented about my life for about 40 minutes as we ran through the hills of Glendale Cemetery. When I apologized for talking so much and said I'd shut up for her, she responded, "No! Just keep talking so I don't think about these hills!"  I'm so glad that my messed up life could help someone.

I saw many friends at the race.

Crooked River Trail Runners at Home Run for the Homeless: Damn, we are a good-looking bunch!

Of course I took a pic with Pam and Steve, per our tradition. Pam and Steve each won a turkey, and Steve won a gift card! I won nothing.

Me, Steve, Pam. We are happy that it is over.

On Sunday after Thanksgiving, I ran the Tryptophan Run sponsored by Vertical Runner. I love this free event. A hundred runners or so show up at Vertical Runner Hudson on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and run 1, 2, 3, or 4 mile loops for two hours, dropping tickets into a tub after each loop for a chance to win prizes. This year, I ran ten miles with Marta.

Me, Mark, Marta, Wendy post 10 miles (for me)

For the first time EVER, I won something!
I won this awesome hat!
Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful running opportunity for me because the weather was nice. In fact, the great weather continued through the next week, so I was able to run some trails at night with Crooked River Trail Runners, and I had a fun morning exploring Hinckley Trails with the Trail Sisters. As usual, shenanigans ensued:

There are faces carved into the ledges in Hinckley. Check it out, Peeps!

I have significantly cut down my mileage lately, but it's all good. I am taking this time to do other things that I like (or don't like. I'm talking about you, swimming.): I am doing more Tae Bo, walking, dancing, and yoga than I normally do.  I know I will have to step up my mileage pretty soon. Why?  I'm not going to tell you this week, but I will give you some hints:
1. I did something stupid.
2. Peer pressure was involved.
3. Alcohol was possibly involved.
4. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ok, this is the most important part of the post. What spring race will you train for this winter? Will it be the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon or any of the races associated with it? If so, I have a code for you! Use SI2019 for 10% off registration for any race, including the series!

How are you handling the holidays? No matter the weather, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Use Code SI2019

Peeps, this weather blows. I look forward to Fall all year, and I feel ripped off.  Again. Screw you, Ohio. I defend you all the time, and this is what I get???

Ohio before Thanksgiving.  Just kidding.
Usually this is the time that I consider ramping down my miles, but USUALLY I don't because I love being outside this time of year.  Yeah, right now, not so much. My motivation is seriously flagging, and I'm trying to be ok with it.

This morning it was in the upper 20s when I wanted to run. In November. The upper 20s. Now, in January, I will totally accept this, but NOT TODAY, OHIO. Now the treadmill starts, if I can even force myself to get on the treadmill. I've actually been pulling out some of my beloved Tae Bo DVDs, and I've even gone back to my Masala Bhangra.  That's good, right?

My first love
I thank goodness that I've had two nice weekend runs in a row. First, I ran with the Trail Sisters for Talula's 20 miler (I only did 10 miles). True to the Trail Sister creed, there may have been some shenanigans involved.

Beginning of the run
We found The Shining house!

Don't cross the streams!  (A second movie reference!)
Marta and I were going to catch the train. . . which went all the way to Peninsula.

This past weekend I ran toute seule because most of the Sisters had races. I ran ten miles on the Towpath. It was sunny but very chilly, and I found it difficult. I think I need to get used to the cold a lot sooner than I have in the past, and I'm not happy about it.

You know what I am happy about, Peeps? I get to be an Ambassador again this year for a race I love, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I want to pass that love on to you, so I'm encouraging you to register now so that you can run with me (or run ahead of me).  I've even got a code for 10% off to sweeten the deal: SI2019. Use it!

How are you doing in this unseasonably cold weather? However you run, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!