Thursday, September 21, 2017

Consistency in Mileage

I recently listened to a Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette with Jason Fitzpatrick.  This is from the first season of the podcast, which I am trying to get through all of the episodes that are out, having become familiar with it during Season 10. 

It was fun to listen to a running coach talk about, you guessed it, running.  One takeaway I had from listening to this is the importance of consistency.  This was not the first time that I have heard of the importance of consistency in running but given that I am trying to improve my consistency this year, it was a message I was open to hearing.

Consistency is what I am banking on to get me through the half marathon in a 1:28:xx this year.  I have NOT followed my 18 week training plan to a T and when I get down on that, I think of how much more running I have been doing this year than last.  This led me to wondering, I wonder how many more miles have I run leading up to this race than last year?

Last year I ran the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon on Nov 7.  I used Kara Goucher's 10 week training plan for Oiselle, which I started on August 29.  I logged 250.66 miles using that plan prior to the 13.1 which I ran in 1:29:22 (6:49 avg pace), significantly under my 7:00/mile goal pace that I trained for.  The day of the race was PERFECT for running.

This year, I planned on running the same half marathon which went through a name change and a management change, and thus, a course change.  So while it won't be perfectly correlated with last year, it will be similar.  The race this year is also 3 weeks earlier - so greater chance of being warmer.  I picked an 18 week, Hanson plan to train this year.

July 4 would have been day 1 of an 18 week training plan for the race last year.  I logged 340.95 total miles for the 18 weeks leading up to my half last year.  At this point, I am 15.5 weeks into an 18 week training plan.  15.5 weeks in last year would be Oct 13, 2016.   During July 4 - Oct 13 2016,  I logged 254.91 miles. 

I began training on June 13 this year for my 18 week training plan.  During June 13 - September 21 2017, I have logged 497.14 miles which is already more than I did in the total 18 weeks prior to last year's race.  Day for day, I am 242.23 miles ahead of last year.  That is pretty incredible! 

I plotted my monthly mileage totals for the last 3 years (through August) below.  Purple is 2017, Red is 2016, Blue is 2015.  You can see peaks in spring for all three years because I have trained for and ran a marathon all 3 years.   I anticipate that the purple line will have a similar peak as the red line once I get through the remainder of training.  My goal for 2017 is to hit 100 miles every month (dashed black line below) and so far (*knock on wood*), I have met that goal.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training Week 14 Recap

Last week was decent.  I had a race on Saturday so I moved things around and that meant I was doing long run the day after a race, which isn't ideal but I made it through.  And honestly, my house was a shit storm yesterday so it was much better being out there slogging through a long run. 

I have been retiring shoes like crazy lately so I'm down to rotating between two pairs - my Adidas Ultraboost X and my Asics GT2000.  Good thing I won ANOTHER pair of running shoes!  Just waiting for a pair of Adidas Supernovas to show up at my doorstep.  I do have to get to our local running store to get another new pair though to beef my rotation up because my Asics are what I ran my spring marathon in so they are getting up there and I generally save my Ultraboosts for speed/tempos.  In the past I have noticed that I get around 400 miles out of a pair of shoes, but the last several pairs haven't made it that far before I've noticed weird things.  Are shoes not as well made? Do you get harder on shoes with age?  I dunno but annoying nonetheless.

Ok - here's the long form recap:

Monday, September 11
Plan says: Rest

What I do:  Rest.  Ok, so really Tuesday was supposed to be the rest day but I slept through my alarm.  In writing this recap, I switched the plan says portion of Monday and Tuesday to make it easier to read :)

Tuesday, September 5
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 2 x 3 miles at 10K pace (1 mile jog in-between), 1.5 miles cool down

What I do:  My alarm went off at 5 AM and I lagged in getting out of bed.  I finally got out of bed and hit the road to do this.  I had pre-ordered a new Oiselle crop top which arrived over the weekend.  I wanted to wear it for the race on Saturday so I tested it out on this workout.  Two thumbs up (even though I like how my old Oiselle crop fits better).

This workout is the top of the strength workout ladder in the Hanson plan.  After 2 x 3 miles, you work back down the ladder and do all the workouts you already did.  It is a hard workout and I was nervous going into it.

Goal pace was 6:34.

1.5 mile warm up 12:37 (8:24 avg pace)

3 miles, 19:45 [6:45, 6:35, 6:23] (6:34 avg pace)

1 mile jog, 8:38

3 miles, 19:36 [6:40, 6:31, 6:24] (6:32 avg pace)

0.6 mile cool down, 5:17 (8:52 avg pace)

SHAZAM!  I was pumped after this workout.  I had executed it perfectly according to how I wanted to - start each 3 mile segment slower and gradually get faster.

During marathon training, my 3 mile segments for this workout (goal 7:05) on April 17 were:

3 miles, 20:36 (6:51 avg pace) (Mile splits: 6:57, 6:45, 6:52)

3 miles, 20:30 (6:49 avg pace) (Mile splits: 6:48, 6:51, 6:49)

Wednesday, September 6
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do: 5 miles easy.  Nothing else to say about that one.

5 miles, 42:44 (8:32 avg pace)

Thursday, September 7
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do: Overslept so had to do this after work/before bus dropoff, which usually means I get in around 4.5 miles.  So...I knew once my watch beeped 5 miles that something was off.  Turns out the bus totally skipped our neighborhood so I had to SPRINT after it.  Hilarious, in hindsight.  In the moment, I was an adrenaline fueled mom on a mission.

5.06 miles, 39:13 (7:45 avg pace)

Friday, September 8
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  Another post-work run.  Getting lots of hot weather running in this week. The bus did NOT miss our neighborhood this time.

4.33 miles, 32:55 (7:44 avg pace)

Saturday, September 9
Plan says: 8K RACE

What I do:  My race report is here.

Garmin: 5.03 miles, 32:20 (6:26 avg pace)

Sunday, September 10
Plan says: long 12

What I do:  OMG.  This was a DAY.  My plan was to get up at 5 and get this in before church.  Then at 4:30 AM my son woke up and threw a fit that I only could lay with him.  He never ended up going back to sleep.  Then we moved on to my daughter who threw a L-O-N-G tantrum over having to do a piano lesson worksheet.  This was all before 7 AM.  ARGH.  The day could only get better, right?  Nope.  45 minute scream tantrum from my son at naptime.  After he FINALLY fell asleep, I went downstairs and said, "I'M OUT."

11 miles, 1:26:09 (7:50 avg pace).

Amended Plan Miles: 43

Total Weekly Miles: 39.53

Saturday, September 16, 2017

40th Annual Briggs and Al's Run for Children's Hospital Race Recap

Today I had the annual Al's Run, which I have ran for the past 4 years.  I spent some time last night filling out the race prep sheet in the Believe Training Journal.  In there I wrote the following goals:

1.  Pace myself in the first one-two miles.  I always GO OUT TOO FAST in this race.  The crowd and the downhill get too exciting.  (Long story short - I did not meet this goal.)

2. Try to do a progression run, or a steady state.  No positive split.  (Long story short - I did not meet this goal.)

3.  6:30 avg pace is the goal.  If shit hits the fan, try to make it a tempo run (6:44 pace).  (Long story short - my avg pace was 6:30! BAM!)

The race start is 10:30 AM which is late.  Like last year, it was a hot one.  As we were driving to the race at 9, the car temperature gauge indicated it was 77 degrees.

I had a great week of sleep and outside of the 2x3mi speed workout I did on Tuesday, my runs on Wed, Thurs, Fri were all easy paced.  I did try something new - the sample of Picky Bars oatmeal I received with my Picky Bars shipment this month.  It didn't seem too out of the norm so I ate it. (Side note: DELICIOUS.)  I drank too much coffee and not enough water.

We did our usual park in the middle of the start and finish area and walk.   I earned a fundraising prize so I ran to the far end of the start area for a warm up to claim it and I realized that I didn't have any timing strip on my bib.  I stopped by the registration tent and they gave me a timing chip strip.  Phew! Glad I realized that!

This race allows you to get an "elite" number if you think your finishing time will be under 35 minutes, which is generous.  Because of this, I always get an elite number.  Hey - it's the only race where I can claim to be an elite - I'm going to take it!

I did a porta potty stop and grabbed a cup of water from the volunteer table.  My mouth was so dry.  Upon reading my race recaps from previous years, this is a common theme.  I am terrible at hydration.

I made my way to the starting line.  I opted to wear my new Oiselle ombre crop and a pair of Oiselle distance shorts, along with my Boco Gear visor and Goodr sunglasses with my Adidas Ultraboost shoes.  I felt these were great choices.

The gun went off and I felt like I was holding back while running that first mile so I didn't bother checking my pace, which, of course, when one of your goals and tendencies is that you start this race too fast, was a poor choice.  My first mile was 6:04.  YIKES.

I approached the first aid station and dumped a cup of water on my head.  I really wanted to drink it.  My mouth was DRY.  I reigned it in on mile 2 which came in on my Garmin at 6:36.  A little slow but closer to goal pace than the first mile.

We then got to go down a big hill and round a corner onto Lake Shore Drive.  I hate this part of the race.  It seems to go on forever and the sun just beats down on you.  In my race-day plan, I wrote down "focus on lake stretch".  I was so determined to just keep running.  Stay Strong. Smile.  Don't let that stroller-pushing dad beat you.  Mile 3 beeped in at 6:29.  Phew.  Just keep going.

I have felt, in years past, totally spent by mile 4 in this race.   I was happy that although I was hot and thirsty at mile 4, I didn't feel totally done.  Pace beeped in at 6:38.  Another slow one. Time to pick it up.

JUST KEEPING GOING.  Get to the end of Lake Shore Drive.  Turn on Clybourn.

YES.

Ok, checked the watch and was at 4.5 miles.  Thinking, "I can eek out another 0.5 miles".  Pretend you are chasing that bus.

I rounded the corner and saw the finish clock just turn over to 32:00.  Woah!  I could maybe pull this off.  I tried to go as fast as I could, and crossed the finish in 32:18, which is 6 seconds shy of my PR.

My official pace was 6:30 on the money.  YEAH!

My Garmin had this a little over 5 miles, so my time was 6:26 avg on there. Mile splits were 6:04, 6:36, 6:29, 6:38, 6:23.

My finish was good for #1 in my age group, #6 female, #53 overall (and I beat stroller-pushing dad  - phew!).  The leading woman was 31:16 or 6:17 avg pace.

I have to think that if it were not 82 degrees and sunny during this race, I would have been faster.  Another highlight - last year I ran a 32:50 and weeks later had a half marathon PR. Let's hope that trend holds this year too!

I was curious about my history with this race so I looked back.  I haven't come very far in 8K land in 4 years, AND I haven't lost very much either.

2014     32:12     2nd place AG, 13 woman, 105 total (6:29 avg)
2015     32:17     2nd place AG, 9 woman, 87 total (6:30 avg)
2016     32:50     1st place AG, 5 woman, 58 total (6:36 avg)
2017     32:18     1st place, AG, 6 woman, 53 total (6:30 avg)

In other news, my mom who is self-proclaims she is #notarunner broke an hour in the race!  Woohoo!






Sunday, September 10, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training Week 13 Recap

Once again, I was coming off a weekend of being sick.  Two weeks in a row!  Instead of diving right back into the plan, I amended my plan to ease back into the toughest weeks of training. I opted to do the strength workout instead of the tempo, which admittedly I decided solely because I like the strength workouts and I hate the tempos.  I tried pushing my long run a bit towards the fastest end of my prescribed long run window (7:30 - 9:00).  Other than that, I just tried to run easy.  I also ended up running 5 days instead of 6.   I have been toying with cutting out a day of running for a few weeks.  I decided to do 5 days this week because it worked well with my busy schedule this week AND I figured my body could use an extra day of rest after the last two weeks!

I look back at this week and it makes me smile.  Right now (Sunday night), I feel pretty good.  My legs are tired but I don't feel like I'm on the verge of sleep like I have been in the weeks prior.

Monday, September 4
Plan says: Rest

What I do:  I had a dull headache on Monday still and just felt off still from the weekend migraine so I took the day off.

Tuesday, September 5
Plan says: Easy 6

What I do:  It felt really really good to run, even though I felt a little off and still had a bit of a headache.  Managed to get an easy paced 10K in.

6.2 miles, 51:22 (8:17 avg pace).

Wednesday, September 6
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 3 x 2 miles at 10K pace (0.5 miles jog in-between), 1.5 miles cool down

What I do:  Alright it was go time.  Time to do the one fast workout I was going to do this week.  This felt AMAZING.  Seriously.  I was flying and feeling good.  I zoomed past the high school cross country team on their practice.  "Old Lady on your left!"

Goal pace is 6:34.

1.5 mile warm up 11:44 (7:49 avg pace)

2 miles, 13:03 [6:25, 6:30] (6:30 avg pace) / 0.5 miles 4:11.5 (8:25 avg pace)
2 miles, 13:08 [6:36, 6:28] (6:33 avg pace) / 0.5 miles 4:20.3 (8:42 avg pace)
2 miles, 12:45 [6:20, 6:24] (6:22 avg pace)

1.5 mile cool down, 12:19 (8:13 avg pace)

I had to do this same workout twice during my marathon training, so you KNOW I was curious.

Two mile repeats on April 10:
13:42
13:43
13:49

Two mile repeats on April 24
13:24
13:10
13:27

Granted, my goal pace for the 2 mile repeats during marathon training was 7:05, not 6:34.  Just typing that seems insane.

Thursday, September 7
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  I slept in on Thursday, which meant I was running after work before the bus, which meant that unless I sprinted, I wasn't getting 6 miles in.  I did log 4.52 miles.

4.52 miles 36:41.2 (8:07 avg pace).

Friday, September 8
Plan says: Off

What I do:  This day was my daughter's birthday and she wanted doughnuts for breakfast.  I was up early but not to run - to go get doughnuts! We went to see Wicked right after work/school so no run, and I was out until after midnight.  SO TIRED!

1.5 mile warm up 12:53 (8:36)
4 miles, 27:33 (6:53 avg, mile splits = 7:03, 6:59, 6:45, 6:44)
1.5 mile cool down 11:44 (7:49)

Saturday, September 9
Plan says: 10-12 miles

What I do:  The official plan said 10 miles, but I wanted to see if I could do a bit more if I was feeling good.  My husband let me sleep in until 8 AM which was awesome.  I ended up doing this run after lunch.  I didn't want to do this too fast, but I did want to be closer to the 7:30 end of my long run pace since I skipped a tempo run this week.  I was happy with this run.  After the first mile, I was in 7:30 range for the remainder of the miles and it felt decent.

11.02 miles, 1:23:14 (7:33 avg pace)

Sunday, September 10
Plan says: easy 6

What I do:  I got up early and headed out the door.  First run of fall where I needed a long sleeve shirt for the entire run.  (Funny because I did Saturday's run in a crop top and shorts.)  My legs definitely felt tired, even with my compression socks.  I finally started loosening up around mile 6 (!) so I decided to go the extra mile, literally.

7.2 miles, 1:00:37 (8:25 avg pace)

Amended Plan Miles: 38

Total Weekly Miles: 38.94 (seriously wish I would have calculated that before hand so I would have ran an extra 0.06 miles!)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guess who the current Athlinks Athlete Profile is?

I am happy to report I have zero headache today for the first time since Saturday AND I'm starving.  Yep, back to my version of "normal" here.

I am excited to be featured on the Athlinks blog today!  You can read the feature here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 12 Recap

Sigh.  Last week started off really well.  I was getting workouts done and feeling ok.

Monday, August 28
Plan says: Easy 5 miles

What I do:  You may recall that I was coming off of family sick-fest last weekend so I didn't set a morning alarm.  I also reworked my workouts a little bit so that I wasn't coming off sick-fest and doing speed. My daughter started school that morning so I was going to try to squeeze in a run between work and when she got off the bus.   Due to school restructuring, she was going to be on the bus 10 extra minutes this year and I was going to use them!  I ended up logging 4.4 miles.  I still felt tired.

4.4 miles, 36:12 (8:09 average).

Tuesday, August 29
Plan says: Rest

What I do:  Yes! I had FINALLY gotten back to having Tuesday as a rest day.

Wednesday, August 30
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 1.5 miles (0.5 miles jog in-between), 1.5 miles cool down

What I do:  I woke up early, did this workout and slayed.  Honestly, my goals for this were (1) to be around 6:30 pace; and (2) to ease into the workout.  I accomplished both.

1.51 mile warm up, 12:45 (8:27 avg pace)

1.5 miles, 10:01 (6:40 pace) / 0.5 miles, 4:25.7 (8:50 pace)
1.5 miles, 9:46.3 (6:30 pace) / 0.5 miles, 4:21.4 (8:43 pace)
1.5 miles, 9:50.3 (6:33 pace) / 0.5 miles, 4:23.1 (8:48 pace)
1.5 miles, 9:48.2 (6:32 pace)

1.1 mile cool down, 8:50 (8:02 avg pace)

Thursday, August 31
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  6.2 miles easy.  Two days in a row with the morning alarm!

6.2 miles, 51:19 (8:17 avg pace)

Friday, September 1
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 6 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  So tempo run.  I haven't had a good tempo run in weeks.  I decided that I was going to start over with these and work myself up physically and mentally rather than beat myself up over them.  My goal was to do a 4 mile tempo, easing into it and negative splitting.  It was still slower than what I wanted, but the progression of my miles was good.

1.5 mile warm up 12:53 (8:36)
4 miles, 27:33 (6:53 avg, mile splits = 7:03, 6:59, 6:45, 6:44)
1.5 mile cool down 11:44 (7:49)

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR THE PLOT TWIST! (As I alluded to in my Instagram post this morning, I stole that from Devon Yanko's Leadville 100 race recap. It's a good one.)

I woke up Saturday morning at 1 AM with a throbbing, vice grip headache that was out of control.  What the hell was going on?!?!  I thought I was going to puke so I crawled (yes, crawled) into our bathroom.  No puke but man I could not shake the jolts of pain going through my head.  I thankfully fell asleep and then proceeded to rot in bed, in and out of sleep, for the remainder of the day, clutching my head.  My husband thought I was on the verge of death.  "I've never seen you like that!".  (He wins some award because he did all of the cooking for my daughter's birthday party AND yard work AND house cleaning AND wrangled our monkeys that day.)

He was Googling symptoms and diagnosed me with a migraine.  I was chugging ibuprofen and it was doing absolutely nothing so he went and got me some Excedrin migraine.  That at least took some of the edge off but I was not able to be upright at all.  

I felt better on Sunday - "better" meaning I was able to get up, shower, and stay upright while Maggie's party was going on.  I wasn't feeling hungry (I hadn't eaten anything since Friday night outside of a small bowl of oatmeal) and still had a headache.

Yesterday I felt a bit better as well.  I still had a headache, but no zingers.  I didn't feel as though I was on the edge of vomiting.  I ate some food, despite not really being hungry.

And here we are this morning.  Still feeling "eh".  Trying not to freak out that I missed two long run weeks in a row and, rather than being back up, like I was anticipating at the beginning of last week, my weekly mileage plummeted below 30 for the first time since the week of June 12.  I have 5 weeks and 5 days until race day.

Plan Miles: 51
Total Weekly Miles: 27.75

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Recap

Happy end of August!

I ran this morning (that's two mornings in a row!) so I have officially logged all the miles I am going to log for the month.

Total August 2017 miles = 153.14

I am ok with this number.  I can't change it, obviously, but I also know that it should have been higher.  August was a rough month.

Focusing on the positives:

1. I logged at least 100 miles this month, making 8 months in a row of 100+ mile months.

2. I was only 4.22 miles short of the total mileage for July, so although I didn't increase, I maintained.

3. My August 2017 mileage was a 129.1% increase over August 2016 mileage.

My goal is still to PR the half in October.  I PRed the half (and broke 1:30) last fall after a less than stellar summer of mileage so while this training cycle hasn't been as tight as my marathon training cycle was, I still think it is an improvement upon last year and that my consistent mileage this year is a big benefit to the race.  I want to be in 1:28:xx land for the half.  Strava says my best half-marathon effort right now is 1:28:23.  I'll take it!