If you haven’t heard the fabulous news by now, I was welcomed back by the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon as an Official Ambassador for their 2016 race! I’m joined by 13 of my absolutely awesome ambassador friends from last year, and we welcomed two new ambassadors, who are just as awesome in my opinion. This is my fourth year as a race ambassador/official blogger for the race, and I couldn’t be more proud. I again get to train for and run the race I love in the city I love and share my experience with you. Doesn’t get much better than that.
This year, I’m tackling a new adventure in CLE with the Challenge Series. It consists of participation in a race on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I signed up for the 8K and Full Marathon Challenge! For the past two years, I have participated in a race on both days (the 5K and full in 2014 and 5K and half in 2015), but there wasn’t a formalized challenge for it until this year. On top of that challenge, I’m gunning for a huge PR in the marathon – sub-4 hours – which would mean shaving off nearly 25 minutes from my current best. Crazy, I know. It’s going to require some hard work, determination, and perseverance, but it’s not impossible. Over the past two years of running, I’ve improved quite a bit, and I think I have this in me. I guess we shall see in May.
With such lofty goals comes a new training plan. In the past, my main goal was to finish the marathon period or finish without walking. Training consisted of a long run on the weekends and 2-3 shorter runs during the week but no real speed work and no crosstraining. I’m sure racing fanatics and marathon purists are screaming at me for not doing those. I know that won’t cut it when I’m actually trying to hit a goal time. Speed work, hills, and crosstraining will become part of my training regiment, whether I like it or not. To help with my accountability and tracking, I received a running journal for Christmas, which I have already put to us. It allows me to track workouts during the week and plan for upcoming weeks. It was quite possibly the smartest gift I received this year. I’m also thankful to have the other ambassadors on this journey with me. I know I can count on them for advice and support, and they also help with the accountability piece. We are a team, and we are all in this together!
I look forward to sharing my experience with you over the upcoming months. Cleveland is going to be a wild ride! Best wishes on a successful training season, and I’ll see you at the starting line!
I want to know – which Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race/races are you running this year?