guest post: Peace, Love & Bagels on Preparing for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

As a part of Nurturing Social Relationships and my busy month of May, I’m happy to introduce you to my blend Becca. As the blogger at Peace, Love & Bagels, she loves to share pieces of her life with her readers: recipes she’s created, adventures she’s gone on and her training for various races in the area.

As I am serving as a featured blogger for this year’s 2011 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, I’m happy that Becca helped me out by sharing her thoughts on her training process for this year’s big race in this post. Thanks again Becca for stopping on over to PIP!

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Hi Poise In Parma readers! I’m Becca from Peace, Love & Bagels and I’m so honored to be guest posting for Alicia during her crazy busy May!

On Sunday, May 15th, I’ll be running the Cleveland Marathon with my boyfriend, Brandon. It’ll be my second marathon ever and I can tell you I’m simultaneously nervous and excited about it.

My first marathon was the Akron Marathon in 2009, where I finished with a time of 4:45:57. I didn’t hit my goal time of 4:30, but I’m happier to have simply finished than to have reached that time goal. This time around my training has been a little different and I think I’m going to be better off because of it. If I could draw you a Venn diagram, I would…instead, let’s stick with a bulleted list and maybe a picture or two:

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  • Cleveland – trained with Brandon
  • Akron – trained alone

I’ve been training with Brandon as opposed to the solo training I had been doing for Akron. This is probably one of the biggest differences for me, because I have someone outside of myself to motivate and push me. On those tougher runs, he’s helped keep me positive and made me push myself a little harder than I would have if I was running alone.

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(This is a graph of my pace during a 3 mile run)

  • Cleveland – run/walk training
  • Akron – just running

This time around, I’ve been doing run/walk training for all of my easy training runs. I am 100% invested in this type of training, because it has kept me pretty much injury free. That’s not to say I haven’t had one or two aches or pains, but nothing serious that would threaten my participation in the race. That is a huge change, considering I had to take a several month hiatus from running after the Akron marathon due to a stress fracture in my left tibia. Not fun.

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  • Cleveland – spring marathon
  • Akron – fall marathon

The training has been opposite sides of the spectrum as far as the weather goes. I feel much stronger going into this marathon because I’ve trained through the capricious Cleveland winter. Plus, it’s so much nicer making the transition from cold to warm rather than warm to cold during training.

Given these little changes in my training, I’m not looking for a PR in this race.

Sure, I have my worries. Did I train hard enough? Will I be able to finish? Will I have to walk the entire thing? Would things be different if I hadn’t skipped that one training run?

Well you know what? All of those things don’t matter because for me, racing isn’t about the final 26.2 miles; it’s about the journey to get there. It’s about spending time with Brandon. It’s about eating healthy. It’s about getting in the miles in a smattering of different weather conditions. It’s about experiencing this great city that I live in from a new perspective.

Every day, I am grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to take this journey. As long as I can keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will keep moving forward.

Make sure to head over to Becca’s blog – Peace, Love & Bagels – to get to know her better! I’ll be so honored to give her her finisher’s medal on Sunday the 15th!

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