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As some of you know I live in Ohio.  Yep cold, snowy OHIO!  It’s odd I have a love hate relationship with this state.  I love it as it’s where I reconnected with my now husband, hate it as it’s far away from my family and some friends (they live in Wisconsin), hate the cold winters, love my job and my work family,  BUT overall find I love this state, while living in this state I have done some AMAZING things…..lost over 180lbs, built a house with my husband, became a puppy mom not once but TWICE (we are flippin crazy), completed my first ever ½ Marathon….. the list goes on =)

So I decided once again to take on a ½ marathon ekkkkkkkkk!!!  Seeings how I live in the Cleveland area and have this love/hate relationship with that state of Ohio I decided to take on the Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon yet again!!  I have a feeling this is going to be an annual race for me.  I mean come on it was my first ½ ever and SERIOUSLY the people of Cleveland are AMAZING supporters.  I honestly don’t know how I would have killed 13.1 miles without the love and support I received throughout the course. SOOOOOO if you are on the fence about this race DON’T be, sign up honestly you won’t regret it!

Back to my love/hate relationship with OHIO…. So with signing up for a ½ marathon comes the training.  YEP training to run 13.1 miles!!  How is one supposed to do this when we experience -35 degree days (no lie I was home from work as it was so darn cold out), black ice, and SNOW.  Well, oddly I have fallen in love with the treadmill.  Yep some people feel like a little gerbil running on that thing, but oddly lately I have found it to be somewhat freeing.  I have been using my time on the treadmill as a time to push myself (I lovingly call it the dreadmill).  Intervals have become my new friend!!!  I am hoping these intervals will help increase my pace a bit, as I did pretty great last year completing the ½ in 1:53 minutes (now I have to beat myself).

Now you might be asking, what do you mean by intervals and how can I also try this out?  For me I have been doing ¼ mile intervals (400’s).  I will run ¼ mile at a pretty aggressive pace (8.4, 7:09/mile setting) and then my next  ¼ mile will be at a slower pace more of a jog than a run (6.6, 9:05/mile setting), then I keep alternating between the two.  Some days I up my aggressive pace (up to 9.0, 6:40/mile setting) while other days the 8.4 setting is all I have in me (let’s face it some days are just better run days than others).


Sprinkles (what I call my Garmin 610) after 11 miles of intervals =)

You might be thinking well 8.4 pfffff I am faster than that OR 8.4 I’d die.  Find your own comfortable aggressive pace, maybe take the pace of your last 5k and up it a bit.  Find YOUR comfort zone.  Before you know it you too maybe be seeing the treadmill in a different light =)

I hope this post helps with some of your winter time blues as we train for this AMAZING CLEVELAND RITE AID MARATHON =)

PS- Stay tuned to my blog and my facebook page THIS WEEK(www.facebook.com/jamiejohnstonsjourney) as I will be giving away one FREE entry to the Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon (this entry can be used for any of the races on race weekend).

Happy Training!