Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Madison Marathon Training: Week 4 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running the Madison Marathon in November as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!  Wanna run Madison with me?  Enter code MMRAVE18 at registration for 10% off!

Last week ended up being a good week.  I hit the mileage for the plan and had a good tempo run.  I struggled with the 800s, which was a bit of a hit for me since typically I really enjoy 800s and find them easy.  That workout was a ride on the struggle bus!  It may have been the weather and it also may have been the crazy weekend that we were coming off of.  

I felt that I was better about getting to bed by 9:30 last week and it wasn't too difficult to get out of bed to get the workouts done.  

Sunday Aug 5
Plan says:  Rest

What I did:  0 miles.  We had a very busy weekend going from thing to thing to thing all day so I took the day as a rest day instead of my usual Tuesday.

Monday Aug 6
Plan says:  6 easy miles

What I did:  6 miles, 48:39 (8:06 avg pace)

Tuesday Aug 7
Plan says: 6 x 800m with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down and 400 m jog in between

What I did:  Again, I programmed a workout into my watch and this time I set a pace window of 6:00 - 6:05 for my 800s.  I hated this feature, mostly because I was having a hard time staying in the pace window.  I felt like a slug.  I'm sure the humidity played a role, but really felt that it was not just the weather.

1.5 mile warm up:  13:49 (9:13 avg pace)

1 - 0.50 mile 3:11 (6:22 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:24 (9:39 avg pace)
2 - 0.50 mile 3:04 (6:10 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:50 (11:20 avg pace)
3 - 0.50 mile 3:05 (6:10 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 3:00 (12:00 avg pace)
4 - 0.50 mile 3:08 (6:18 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 3:06 (12:26 avg pace)
5 - 0.50 mile 3:08 (6:16 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:53 (11:33 avg pace)
6 - 0.50 mile 3:06 (6:13 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:53 (11:32 avg pace)

1.5 mile cool down: 13:44 (9:10 avg pace)

Wednesday Aug 8
Plan says:  easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 6 miles, 52:00 (8:39)

Thursday Aug 9
Plan says: 6 mile tempo run with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  This tempo felt a lot better than last week's, thankfully.  I had to cut the cool down a little short because I was already "running" late for work.

1.5 mile warm up 13:30 (8:59 avg pace)
6 mile tempo (6:47 avg pace)
1.3 mile cool down 11:10 (8:34 avg pace)

Friday Aug 10
Plan says: easy paced 8 miles

What I did: 8 miles, 1:07:50 (8:28 avg pace)

Saturday Aug 11
Plan says: 8 mile long run

What I did:  Even though I was hitting all the workout distances, I was coming up short for the total miles for the week so I figured out that I had to run 8.68 miles to get an even 45 miles for the week.

8.7 miles, 1:08:01 (7:49 avg pace)

Plan Total: 45 miles
What I did: 45 miles!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Product Review: Karma Silicone Rings

Product Review:  Karma Rings

Disclaimer: I received a set of Karma Rings to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Generally, I wear my wedding rings all the time, and do not remove them for anything EXCEPT when I am at the lake on the weekend - I do not wear them on the boat.  I opted to get the Karma Duo Silicone Ring Pearl White 3-color set because they reminded me of the watch with the changeable bands that I had when I was young, planning on using them when I was at the lake.

And that is what I initially did!  The rings were fabulous for water skiing and tubing.  The silicone is super comfortable; did not affect my grip on the tow rope; and the rings didn't fall off!

Getting my skiis ready with my Karma Ring standing in for my wedding rings!

Tubing with my son!

Shortly after receiving the rings, I fell while running (those darn sidewalks jump out at you from time to time ;)) and scuffed up my engagement ring!  ARGH!  I was really annoyed.  The Karma Ring was a great stand-in while it was at the shop getting cleaned up.  Since I wear my wedding rings all the time, I definitely notice when they are not on.  The Karma Ring alleviated that "Where is my ring" feeling.
Wearing the Karma Ring on a training run!

I now wear my Karma rings instead of my wedding rings for running and since they came in a three-color set, I am also using them to set intentions for my Madison Marathon training.  I am wearing the light-pink color for the first six of eighteen weeks of training.  I began training really soon after an epic marathon (first sub-3:00!) and I have been having trouble with the fact that I am not in that level of fitness.  My intention of the first six weeks is to remember that I am in the first six weeks and to not have unrealistic expectations.

I am going to "graduate" to the light purple color for weeks 7-12 and finish out with the magenta color.  I am going to set the intentions for those weeks when I get there.

The Women's Duo in White Pearl set comes with a light pink, light purple and magenta insert!

It has been fun to use jewelry to set training intentions.  Have you ever done this?

If you are interested in getting any of the Karma Silicone Rings, head to their website and use code BIBRAVE33 for 33% off your order!



Monday, August 6, 2018

Madison Marathon Training: Week 3 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running the Madison Marathon in November as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!  Wanna run Madison with me?  Enter code MMRAVE18 at registration for 10% off!

I am starting to recall why I typically only do spring marathons.  I am having a hard time managing life right now.  The good thing is that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  If you follow enough self-help podcasts and social media accounts, you will know that you can't be going full force in every area of your life for long periods of time.  Right now,  work/career is needing a lot more attention and thus, I have had to make some adjustments with running.  Because, guess what. Work pays my bills.  Running does not.  

All that to say I missed another workout in week 3; however, I am 100% sure skipping the miles was the right decision for my physical health and my sanity.  I started week 3 with a sore hamstring.  I think I did a decent job managing my level of freak-out-about-it-ness and I also think that cutting one of my runs helped with that as it is feeling pretty good a week later.

Shall we recap?

Sunday July 29
Plan says: Easy 6 miles

What I did:  6.0 miles, 51:42 (8:36 avg pace).

Monday July 30
Plan says: 8 x 600m with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down and 400 m jog in between

What I did:  The big news of this workout is that I successfully figured out how to program my Garmin Vivoactive with a "workout" so that I could successfully get my data out of my watch.  Typically when I have interval workouts, I just stop and save every interval and restart my watch for the next one.  This was my first experience with a watch "workout".  The watch basically counts down your mileage and vibrates and starts the timer for your next interval - so it is a continuous loop.  You therefore have to pay attention to the vibrations and make sure you start your accelerations appropriately.  I didn't realize this so my first 600m (or 0.37 miles) was slow. 

I also didn't take the time to look up what my 600m repeats should be and I mistakenly calculated them to be at 2:08 instead of 2:18.  This led me to believe that I was really slow on every single one and was not very motivating.  It turns out, with exception of the first 600, I was ahead of pace on every one.  Also, the continuous workout timer shows my true recovery pace, which is much slower than the recovery paces I get when I do start/stop with every interval because I definitely take a few recovery breaths, stopped, at the end of the interval.  The recovery pace plummets when those recovery breaths at a standstill are factored into the avg pace!

1.5 mile warm up:  13:27 (8:58 avg pace)

1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:24 (6:30 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:25 (9:43 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:13 (6:01 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:45 (11:03 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:11 (5:55 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:27 (9:52 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:11 (5:55 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:53 (11:33 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:10 (5:53 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:31 (10:05 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:14 (6:04 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 3:05 (12:12 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:10 (5:53 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:46 (11:05 avg pace)
1 - 0.37 mile (600 meter) 2:15 (6:05 avg pace) / 0.25 mile recovery 2:52 (11:31 avg pace)

1.5 mile cool down: 13:37 (9:01 avg pace)

Tuesday July 31
Plan says: Off

What I did:  I did two JasYoga hamstring focused videos because it was really bothering me. 

Wednesday Aug 1
Plan says: 6 mile tempo run with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  Tempo runs are back!  And so is my anxiety about them.  This was not great.  My hamstring was bothering me and I had snot and phlegm all over the place.  I made several stops during the tempo to clear my nose and throat.

1.5 mile warm up 13:00 (8:39 avg pace)
6 mile tempo (6:53 avg pace)
1.5 mile cool down (8:42 avg pace)

Thursday Aug 2
Plan says: easy paced 7 miles

What I did: I was dragging.  I finally slept through the night on Wednesday night and thus, did not get up early to do this.  I had enough time to get in 5.35 miles after work, and I had to work for every bit of that.

5.35 miles, 43:27 (8:07 avg pace)

Friday July 27
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 0 miles.  Friday was the start of a busy 3 days for us and because I missed my early morning alarm, there was no window of time to run. 

Saturday July 28
Plan says: 10 mile long run

What I did:  I had to get my butt out of bed early on Saturday to get this done or it was not going to happen, which again borrowed from the sleep bank.  I had to stay up late Friday night to get some work done so I missed by bedtime by 2 hours. 

I again really felt like I was dragging during the first half of this run, which was largely driven by the fact that I was having some GI issues.  The park bathrooms were not open so I ducked into a gas station at the 5 mile mark and after that pit stop, I felt a lot better. 

I encountered lots of wildlife on this run, which is always fun.  Two deer, a fox, a blue heron, and loads of squirrels and rabbits!

10.25 miles, 1:25:53 (8:23 avg pace)

Plan Total: 46 miles


What I did: 38.58 miles

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Madison Marathon Training: Week 2 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running the Madison Marathon in November as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!  Wanna run Madison with me?  Enter code MMRAVE18 at registration for 10% off!

Well, if you were going to script a bad week of marathon training, last week would have been it.  A fall!  Urgent Care!  A watch malfunction-turned-out-to-be-user-error!  An upper respiratory infection!

This it the stuff of marathon dreams, people!

The good news is that I wasn't too far off the mark.  And as one of my fellow Ragnar teammates said - just compare your total mileage with that of week 2 of the beginner plan!  You're fine! ha ha ha

I'm not that worried, given that it is week 2 of an 18 week plan, but I am glad to be moving on to week 3.

Sunday July 22
Plan says: Easy 6 miles

What I did: My husband came up with the brilliant idea to take the kids, who are trying to learn how to ride bikes without training wheels, to our large church parking lot to practice.  I had yet to get my run in so I was going to run to church and meet them.  About 2.5 miles into my run, I tripped over myself and ended up banging up my knee, elbow, hip, ankle, hand and two fingernails.  With blood dripping all over the place, I managed to hobble over to a nearby baseball game where they managed to unearth a first aid kit that maybe was 40 years old.  I stuck some bandaids on myself and proceeded to get to church, albeit not along the meandering route I had planned on.  My right side didn't feel great, but it didn't feel like I had a super serious injury either.   However, I didn't want to take any chances.

As I ran into the parking lot, my daughter was clutching her chest.  She also fell off her bike and was sporting some fresh road rash of her own.  High fives for our family that day!

I ended up with 3.64 miles, 29:08 (8:00 avg pace).

Monday July 23
Plan says: 12 x 400m with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down and 400 m jog in between

What I did:  Nothing.  My knee was bothering me on Sunday night so I didn't get much sleep.  I decided it would benefit from an extra day of rest.

Tuesday July 24
Plan says: Off

What I did:  12 x 400m.  I felt much better Tuesday morning so I bandaged up and hit the road.  Typically I really love 400m repeats, but these felt flat.  My goal time for each 400 is unchanged from the past:  1:33.  My first one was a tad slow in 1:35. My second one was right on at 1:33.  The remaining were under 1:33, but not by much.  My final four were 1:27, 1:28, 1:28, 1:30.  The warm up and cool down went fine.

I got back into the house to sync my watch and discovered that 3/4 of my workout did not load.  I tweeted the Garmin folks and discovered that the Vivoactive 3 only saves 7 workouts before it overwrites.  UGH!  I am going to have to learn to pre-program workouts into my watch.

9.01 miles total

Wednesday July 25
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did:  I had to leave my house by 6:15 for an early work meeting, so planned on doing this after work.  Unfortunately, my whole night was spent at urgent care with my son so by the time we all got home from that escapade, we all went straight to bed.  (He is fine.  Every time he gets a cold, we seem to end up in urgent care/pediatrician's office to do breathing treatments.)

Thursday July 26
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 7.0 miles, 1:00:36 (8:39 average pace)

Friday July 27
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 6.0 miles, 52:29 (8:44 avg pace).  I woke up feeling off.  I chalked it up to lack of great sleep and the fact that I had a mammogram that morning.  By the end of the day, though, I was feverish with a stuffy nose and sore throat.  Oh joy.  An upper respiratory infection.  Could this week get any worse?

Saturday July 28
Plan says: easy paced 8 miles

What I did:  I let myself sleep in on Saturday morning and didn't try to tackle my run until after the kids were in bed.  Once again, it felt like I was just plodding along, but I finished, albeit with misfired snot rockets all over myself.

Plan Total: 41 miles
What I did: 33.77 miles

Friday, July 27, 2018

Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonic Running Shoes (Again!)


Product Review:  Under Armour HOVR Sonic Running Shoes

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love getting to test new running shoes (who doesn't?!)!  I liked my experience testing the Under Armour HOVR Sonics a few months ago so when the opportunity presented itself to try them again, I said YES!  Getting new shoes on my doorstep was a great way to kick of another cycle of marathon training!

This time, I received the lovely blue color, Static Blue:

UA HOVR Sonic in Static Blue (303) / Ghost Gray
 Here are the perks of the UA HOVR Sonic shoe that I enjoy:

  • "Zero-gravity feel" - The HOVR technology aims to improve energy return and eliminate impact.  This is one of my favorite features of this shoe.  I have morphed into the runner who has specific shoes for different workouts.  I save my HOVR Sonics for my speed work days because I like their responsivity.  No joke - I burned through 12 400m repeats on Monday in them!
Coming in strong from 400m repeats in my HOVR Sonics!
  • Soft knit upper.  I really liked how this shoe wrapped around my foot and was not structured.  More and more I am liking shoes with a soft knit upper.  If they get wet, they dry fast and they overall just feel more comfortable on my lovely bunioned feet :)
  • Ventilated midfoot panel.  My feet have never gotten overly sweaty or hot in these shoe.  I think the shoe just looks pretty from the side view!
Look at those pretty shoes!!

Other things to note:
  • Under Armour labels this a NEUTRAL shoe, which is the shoe type that I always get.
  • There is an 8mm offset, which is in my ideal range
  • It weighs 8 oz
  • These shoes are reasonably priced.  The unconnected version, which is the version I am wearing now, are $100.  
This go-round, I have also worn them for my "long runs" which are currently in the 8 mile range.  They have held up nicely and I really like that no lace or tongue pieces are digging into the top of my foot, something I pay particular attention to after my metatarsal stress fracture in 2016.
Apparently I have a lot of blue running clothes to match to my shoes!

You can check out more about the shoes on the Under Armour website.

If you want to read some more reviews of the HOVR Sonic, check out these reviews from my fellow BRPs:


Like me, Karen also liked the custom fit of the upper and tongue portions of the shoe.  She even took them out on the trails!

My fellow Grandma's Marathoner, Amy :  Not only do we share a name, we share a love of the UA HOVR Sonic :)

Have you tried Under Armour HOVR Sonics?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Madison Marathon Training Review: Week 1

Disclaimer:  I am running the Madison Marathon in November as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!  Wanna run Madison with me?  Enter code MMRAVE18 at registration for 10% off!

Welcome back to marathon training!  Seems like I just was doing this...oh, that's right.  I was.

I am again using a Hanson's Marathon Method plan; but rather than return to the beginner plan, which brought me much success for my previous two marathons, I am bumping up to the advanced plan.  The format of the plan is very similar; however, I start speed work in week 2 in the advanced compared to week 7 of the beginner; tempos start in week 3 compared to week 7; and the overall mileage volume is more.  I will get into 60+ miles per week with this plan, whereas I topped out at 56 miles last cycle.  I am going to use 6:50 as my marathon goal pace to start because my goal for this marathon is really focused on increasing volume without injury rather than increasing my time.  Madison Marathon is quite a hilly course, so if I can increase volume and get to the start line healthy, I will be happy.  I also think that if I can sub-3 on a hilly course, that will be good.  Grandma's Marathon isn't entirely flat, but I don't recall any elevation being difficult.

Week 1 of marathon training was fairly uneventful.  I don't know why but the first week of the Hanson's marathon method marathon plans is always a half week.  I mentally do better thinking about full weeks so I kind of made up the first part of the week based on what I had been doing with recovery runs. I already feel pretty badass for having a 34+ mile week on week 1 when my week 1 mileage for Grandma's was 22.15.

I also met up with someone mid-week for some (way-too-fast) miles.  I am part of a running group on Facebook for the city where I live and the meetups are always in the evening, which doesn't work well for my schedule.  There happened to be a thread about running in the morning so I met up with J for some early morning miles on Thursday.  She is training for Chicago so is weeks ahead of me so I defaulted to her mileage.  It was fun to run with someone, and even if I was supposed to run at an easy pace, it was also fun to run fast again.

Finally, I really fell off my of JasYoga July last week.  I only did yoga twice.  Yikes. 

Sunday July 15
Plan says: 45 minutes easy running

What I did: 5.5 miles, 45:41 (8:19 avg pace)

Monday July 16
Plan says: 45 minutes easy running

What I did: 3.52 miles, 30:02 (8:33 avg pace) plus JasYoga post long-run quick reset.  I was pretty sore from waterskiing the day before so I cut this short.  I rationalized it by saying the plan *really* doesn't start until Wednesday. 

Tuesday July 17
Plan says: Off

What I did: Nothing

Wednesday July 18
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 6.1 miles, 48:21 (7:55 average pace), JasYoga Stephanie Howe Violett Hip Reset

Thursday July 19
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 5.0 miles, 35:58 (7:11 avg pace).  This was neither 6 miles, nor easy paced.  I blame having a running partner for the first time in a LONG time.  One of the reasons I picked Thursdays as a meet up is that it will always be a recovery day for me.  However, I might have to have a "I need to run slower" conversation with J if we continue to make this a weekly thing.

Friday July 20
Plan says: easy paced 6 miles

What I did: 6 miles, 45:10 (7:31 avg pace).  Also too fast.  I was listening to music, something I rarely do on a run, and it was making me run too fast.  MUST.STICK.WITH.PODCASTS

Saturday July 21
Plan says: easy paced 8 miles


What I did: 8.4 miles, 1:08:08 (8:07 avg pace).  This was a really nice run.  I listened to some podcasts, I saw a lot of wildlife activity, and had a great time.  Wonderful way to start my Saturday!

Plan Total: 28 miles
What I did: 34.54 miles

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Product Review: NuGo Egg White Protein Bars


Product Review:  NuGo Egg White Protein Bars

Disclaimer: I received 12 NuGo bars in 4 flavors to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

One habit that I incorporated into my marathon training last cycle was eating something right after my run with protein.  (Something that is also recommended in the book Roar which I am reading right now.)  I felt that this habit went a long way in my recovery during training.  The easiest thing to eat right after a run is some type of bar and I have now incorporated the NuGo egg white protein bar into my rotation.  I usually keep the bar right on my porch to make it really easy to remember to eat something, as I am not naturally immediately hungry after a run.

Post run Peanut Butter NuGo Bar!

The NuGo Egg White Protein bars have 12-14 grams of protein per bar, depending on the flavor.  I tried all four flavors that are available:  Maple Pecan, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Sea Salt and Blueberry (and yes, those are arranged in order of my preference!).  The bars have 180-200 calories (again, depending on flavor).

I do not follow any specific diet, but the bars are certified gluten free, paleo and OU Kosher Pareve.

I also like keeping a stash in my office drawer for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.  I was having fun picking the flavor to match my outfit for a few days :)

Blue outfit = Blueberry NuGo

Orange outfit = Peanut Butter NuGo

As I get back into marathon training, I am having a little difficulty returning to the habit of eating something right afterwards so I am again putting NuGo bars on my porch as I can't deny the benefit of that post-run protein!


Now, if I could only get my bedtime back to 9 PM!  #babysteps

The biggest thing that I can say about the NuGo bars that I was sent to test is that I didn't share any with my kids - so you know I really liked them ;)

Want to try NuGo Bars?  Of course I have a discount for you!  If you go to their website and use code BIBRAVE, you can get 15% off your purchase.  This code will expire 8/3/18.

Do you eat something right after your run?  What is it? I'd love to know!