Summer running recap

Farewell summer...

Summer came and went all too quickly and in the span of just a few short days, Cleveland's humid summer has vanished and fall has arrived. I've traded flip flops for boots and have broken into my box of winter running gear... Chilly morning runs require a long-sleeve!
...hello fall!
Before the fall season gets underway, I'm long overdue for a recap of summer running - so here's the rapid-fire long-winded rundown of my past few weeks.

After a disappointing run at USA Outdoor Nationals in June, I took a step back from intense racing, instead running a bunch of local low-key races. No pressure, all fun, and I won some decent prize money along the way :) I'm getting married next year and weddings aren't cheap, so I'm racing on the roads to add to my Wedding Dress Fund! 

Runaway Bride running wedding dress by Oiselle :-)
In August, I ran the Lake View Cemetery 5K, close by my house in Cleveland Heights. I love doing these local races because it's a great opportunity to get in a good tempo workout with some company, i.e. racing against men. I raced the lead guys through 2 miles and then suddenly found myself at the front of the whole race! I ended up being the first overall finisher (much to the dismay of the top male!) and not gonna lie, it was a lot of fun to win the whole thing :) Confidence officially boosted!
Post-race Cleveland skyline views with old roommates Anish and Ron
Also in August I ran my first-ever Double Road Race, a new running event where athletes first race a 10k, then have about 45 minutes to recover during the "half-time," and then race again, this time a 5k. Yes, it is exactly as brutal as it sounds. Back home in California for a wedding, I decided to run the San Jose Double as a workout, thinking it'd be a great way to get in 15k of work. Well, I got what I was looking for (plus a lot more!) - it was HARD!
Teammate high-fives but feeling rough after 15k
My NBSV teammate Chantelle raced too and with a mile to go in the 5k, she threw down a vicious surge that I couldn't match. While I bested her in the 10k, she got me in the 5k, and we ended up tying for 2nd overall, with our combined 10k and 5k times both totaling 55:12 (what are the odds?) :-) Chantelle is a long-distance queen (she's gearing up for the Toronto Marathon) but has some secret leg speed... She is FIT and I'm excited to see what she'll do this fall!

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson after 15 tough kilometers at the Double Road race and would stick to shorter events... But no. I got cajoled into running the Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon at the end of August and so wrapped up summer racing with 13.1 miles.
Pre-race with Nicole in Indy
I haven't been training for a half, so I knew 13.1 miles at tempo pace would be challenging. But with Indy's heat and humidity, it was downright awful. A death march/comedy of errors...

3 miles in, I dropped my Gu, which I had ingeniously stashed under my hat. (As you can see, that college degree is doing me a lot of good in the Gu storage department.) Can someone PLEASE invent a sports bra with a Gu pocket so idiots like me don't lose their gels? At each aid station, I proceeded to get Gatorade everywhere except in my mouth. (Thankfully, my non-waterproof MOVband (on my right wrist) survived its multiple Gatorade dousings!) Overall, excellent fueling strategy by Kaitlin.  
Rocking this awesome outfit because it was too hot to wear a jersey and I forgot my sunglasses...
By mile 9 I was crawling along at 6:30 pace. At mile 10, I asked myself why I was doing this. At mile 11, I was mentally planning my retirement from running. Somehow I made it across the finish line in just under 1:22. OH MAN I AM NOT A HALF MARATHONER!

I was all prepared to hang up my racing flats for good when my dear friend Nicole (who won the race!!) handed me a beer. Lesson learned: even brutal half marathons can be joyful when there's free beer and friends waiting for you at the finish line! Worry not, retirement is postponed :)

And so my summer of fun runs is over and it's back to business this fall. Next on the schedule for me is one of my favorite races, Tufts 10k for Women in Boston on October 14! Stay tuned!