Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 15 Recap

This was going to be the longest mileage week of the plan- I bumped up tempo runs to 10 miles and had my last 16 mile run.  The week was rougher than usual for me.  With the exception of Monday, most of my runs felt difficult and I was tired all week, despite getting more sleep than I have been getting.  By today, I felt like all virus had left my body. 

April was a good month.  I logged 224.18 miles!  That makes it my highest mileage month ever, a 125% increase over April 2016 and 110% increase over April 2015.  Neither of these are the most fair comparisons given that my marathon in 2016 was mid-April and my marathon in 2015 was first week of May, but I'll still take it :)

Here is my recap of the last week:

Monday April 24
Plan says: 1 mi warm up, 3 x 2 mi at 7:05 pace, 800 recovery between sets, 1 mi cool down

What I did:  For the second morning in a row, my alarm did not go off.  I have been having problems with my Sense alarm not syncing to our wireless so I thought that was the issue.  Because of this, I did not do my workout in the morning.  This was probably a blessing in disguise on many fronts.  I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep so I chugged some children's Benedryl, simply because my eyes were SO ITCHY.    I opted to wear my glasses instead of contacts all day to see if that would help.  I have been taking a daily Claritin for about 3 weeks now, in anticipation of seasonal allergies.  (Pollen and me do not mix well.)   I had to leave work early to get this done before my daughter arrived on the school bus at 4 PM.  Thus, temps were in the low 70s when I did this workout and it was SUNNY.  I was glad to have the opportunity for some practice in the heat.  (For reference, had I done this at 4:30am as intended, it would have been 35 degrees out.)

I ran out of the neighborhood, as I run enough neighborhood loops that when it is daylight, I get out of Dodge!

1 mile warm up: 8:03

2 miles, 13:24 (6:41 avg pace)

0.5 miles, 4:23 (8:47 avg pace)

2 miles, 13:10 (6:34 avg pace)

0.5 miles, 4:19 (8:33 avg pace)

2 miles, 13:27 (6:43 avg pace)

1.1 miles cool down: (9:36, 8:42 avg pace)

Total 9.1 miles

So those were way faster than they were supposed to be.  I had to do this same workout two weeks ago and was curious how the times compared.  Two weeks ago, my two mile repeats were:
13:42
13:43
13:49

I will say that 2 weeks ago, I did these as neighborhood loops and our neighborhood is fairly hilly. The 2 mile repeats today were pancake flat.  I am still experimenting with gels so after the 2nd 2-miler, I took a Huma Gel.  This did not upset my stomach in any way but the texture was kind of weird due to the chia seeds so I don't know that I will be investing in those.  Also, full disclaimer, the third two miler almost did me in...I stopped twice.   It was almost into the wind the entire way (the first two were in to the wind for only one mile) and I was pooped.

Tuesday April 25
Plan says: Off

What I Did: 0 miles, nothing else.  My brother gets married in a week and a half and I volunteered to do the place cards so I spent my night working on those.

Wednesday April 26
Plan says: 1 mi warm up, 10 miles tempo (7:15 pace), 1 mi cool down

What I Did: First, I solved my alarm clock issue...or so I thought.  I had been setting my alarms for PM times instead of AM.  DUH!  My alarm went off right at 430 so I must have been in a deep sleep.  It was a struggle to get out of bed.  It was supposed to be thunder-storming according to my weather app but it didn't sound like it.  Despite this, I was THIS close to abandoning ship.  But I didn't.  I got out of bed and got dressed.

Once outside, it was warm and humid.  I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  I opted to NOT do a warm up because I wanted to get in as many tempo miles as I could before it started raining figuring every tempo mile that I could get done outside and NOT on a treadmill would be awesome.

My first mile was 7:30ish and then I overcompensated with the second mile at 6:57.  My legs were really tired.  I switched over to the pace view of my watch to try to more consistently arrive at 7:15.  I had to stop several times to blow snot rockets and clear my throat because although I am feeling a bit better, I still have all the drainage plus I have been neti potting.  I took off my shirt at mile 5 and stopped to grab my water bottle and take a gel - Strawberry Banana Gu, which tasted and felt great.  I again started running and felt that I had FINALLY gotten into a good rhythm.  I looked down at my watch to check pace when I realized that I had never restarted my watch.

I almost lost it.  I again stopped and had to give myself a pep talk to not quit.  I retraced my route to try to figure out how much mileage I had lost and estimated that I had lost somewhere between 0.5 and 0.6 miles on the "official" Garmin log.  I decided that I was going to stop my tempo run at 9.5 on my Garmin since that would be my 10 mile count.  It was finally light outside so I could ditch my sweaty grimy knucklelights and go. Mile 6 came in at 8:05. I ended up finishing this feeling ok.  There was a lot of "your next mile will be better" talk going on.  My last four miles were consistent - 6:46, 6:52, 6:55, 6:50.  I did a 2 mile cool down and raced back inside to get to work.

10 miles tempo, 9.5 recorded on my Garmin in 1:07:25 (7:05 avg pace)

2.1 miles cool down, 16:45 (7:58)

I was really really tired all day and opted to go to bed by 8 PM.

Thursday April 27
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I Did: AGAIN, my alarm did not go off.  Overnight, my Sense alarm lost connectivity to our Wi-Fi.  ARGH.  Not only did I not have an alarm, I did not have any sleep data from Wednesday night, which was going to be a pretty decent night given my early bedtime.  ARGH.

So now I had to figure out when I could get this done.  I was not going to be able to leave too early from work because a) I already used that card earlier this week; and b) I had a meeting.  I got home, changed, and decided to run as far as I could before the bus came and I would have to tack on the missed mileage to Friday's run.

This run felt like a slog.  I was still really tired.  Still having a lot of throat mucus and snot.  I ended up getting 4.55 miles in.  35:33 (7:49 avg pace).  I again shot for an earlier bedtime and set TWO alarms.

Friday April 28
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I Did:  The day I set two alarms is of course the day I don't need any.  My son woke up at 4:44 AM (I set my alarm for 4:50).  I got him back to bed and then my Sense alarm went off, but again, no sleep data recorded because there was some issue with the sensor on my pillow.  ARGH.

It was 30 degrees out.  I pulled on all the winter running stuff and got outside.  Once again, it was a slogfest.  My legs felt so heavy and tired.  Still lots of throat mucus and snot.  Thankfully I could go as slow as I wanted and was able to finish 7.61 miles which took care of the 1.5 miles I missed the day before.

7.61 miles, 1:04:00 (8:25 avg pace)

Saturday April 29
Plan says: 16 miles, long (7:54 pace)

My mother-in-law invited me to a luncheon on Saturday, so I was going to be gone 10-2:30.  I opted to get this done right away in the morning since I got lucky and it wasn't raining, although cold.  I was back in tights, long sleeve, jacket, ear warmer and gloves.  I was pretty tired because we went out the night before with some of Nate's colleagues so my bedtime was late.  Again, no sleep data.  I chugged some Gen U-Can before leaving.  I had forgotten to re-stock my gels so I was going to be using blocks for fuel, which I don't really love.

I started out and again felt really tired and like my legs were not firing.  Finally, around mile 5, things started to click and I felt pretty good.   I hit a bunch of wind on my return but still was going faster than goal pace for many of these miles, with the exception of the first 4.  One mile was super fast - 7:14 - and I had to rein it in from that one.  The blocks worked okay but I still don't love how they get stuck in your teeth.

16 miles, 2:01:02 (7:34 pace)
7:48 / 7:54 / 7:47 / 8:00 / 7:30 / 7:25 / 7:28 / 7:23 / 7:23 / 7:30 / 7:14 / 7:28 / 7:30 / 7:31 / 7:44 / 7:26

I made a stop at our local running store in the afternoon and got a bunch of the strawberry banana Gu so I would be set for May.

I felt pretty dehydrated all day so I chugged a lot of Nuun before I went to bed.

Sunday April 30
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I Did: Yay! I think my sleep system is back on track.  Or, at least I logged some sleep data for Saturday night.  I woke up and my weather app said it wasn't raining so I got dressed, got my son going with breakfast, and went outside.  It was lightly raining, and I probably could have stuck it out, but I was not in the mood so I changed and jumped on the treadmill.  I was lucky that even though it rained the majority of days in April, today was the first 'mill day for me!

WOW.  It was slow.  I just had to gut this one out.  

5 miles, 45:44 (9:09 avg pace)

Lucky for me, my aunt is a massage therapist and came to our house and set up her massage table and gave me a 90+ minute massage!  It felt great.  She said my legs were strong and felt very well balanced, which I took as a compliment.  Great way to recover from a tough week!

Weekly Mileage:
Plan Says: 54
What I Did: 54.4

Sleep Data
I only logged sleep data for 4 of the 7 days.
Avg amount of sleep:  7.7 hours
Avg sleep score: 82

51% deep, 47% medium, 2% light

I am bummed that the 3 nights of missed data were three good nights of sleep.  I'm sure I really averaged over 8 hours this week.

Podcasts
I listened to the rest of the Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette interview with Kelly Roberts, Erin Taylor and Dr. Stephanie Howe Violett.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Links

I hope you are having a great week.  My week has been a big of a struggle.  I have been tired as all get out and still recovering from my cold/allergy/virus thing I had last week.  My husband's virus transformed from the sore throat/cold symptoms to joint pain and a rash all over his arms and trunk so I am just PRAYING that does not happen to me.

Earlier this week, my mileage crossed the 600 mile mark for the year and today my mileage crossed the 200 mile mark for the month of April!

This week's links are a great group, if I do say so myself.

1. What Pregnant Athletes Can Achieve from The New Yorker

2. Runners World Special Report on Running and Autism

3.  Marathon Man

4. Having just started listening to the C Tolle Run podcast, I was excited that Salty Running had a feature on her

5.  Kellyn Taylor's Pistol Squats from ESPN (WI WOMAN!)

6. Speaking of women from WI, Annie Weiss has an incredible goal for the month of May! Run all 1204 miles of the Ice Age Trail faster than any known time.

Enjoy your weekend!  I have the last "long run" on my program tomorrow!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 14 Recap

Weeks that challenge you make you stronger, right?  The challenging part of this week was being sick.  I am still not 100% - this sore throat is NO joke, complete with the ITCHIEST eyes - but was able to complete the mileage due to reallocating missed mileage from mid-week across my remaining runs.  This strategy worked well - I increased my Friday run by a mile and my weekend runs by 2 miles.  ONE MONTH FROM TODAY IT IS GO TIME!  AHHHHH!  I am getting really excited, especially after watching Boston and London!

Monday Apr 17
Plan Says:  2 x 3 mile at 7:05/mile pace with 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down and 1 mile recovery between splits.

What I did:  I have been using my Sense sleep system alarm which wakes you up at the most optimal time in your sleep cycle within 30 minutes of your alarm time.  This sometimes means that it wakes me up much earlier than my alarm.  This morning was one of those instances.  My 4:30AM alarm became 4:09AM.  I didn't realize this until I had dressed and was about to put my contacts in.  THAT is officially the earliest I have gotten up to run.  

1 mile warm up:  8:38

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

1 mile recovery: 8:28

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

1.05 mile cool down, 9:11 (8:44 avg pace)

Total: 9.08 miles

I felt SO GOOD during this.  SO GOOD. And check out those recovery miles?!  I have figured out how to relax a bit :)

Tuesday Apr 18
Plan Says: Off

What I did: 0 miles.  I attended a sports nutrition seminar at a local running store (Performance Running Outfitters) led by Annie Weiss.  It was a great seminar.  My favorite part was getting to taste the Honey Stinger waffles, which are amazing, as well as other gels.  We were sent home with a free goodie bag, which, of course, I also loved.

Wednesday Apr 19
Plan Says: 9 mile tempo run at 7:15 pace, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:  I needed to be at the office by 7 AM at the latest to catch a bus to Madison for our annual Advocacy Day event.  Another 430 alarm.  I ran a warm up mile (yay me!) and then headed into the tempo.  I struggled through this.  My legs felt heavy which I kept reminding myself that they were supposed to feel heavy, as that is how Hansons Marathon Method works.  They also may have felt extra tired because I was running FAST.

1 mile warm up, 8:21

9 miles, 1:02:41 (6:58 avg pace)
Mile splits: 7:16 / 7:06 / 7:07 / 6:52 / 6:48 / 6:54 / 6:50 / 6:53 / 6:55

1 mile, 8:10

This was the 3rd and final 9 mile tempo.  Next week, I bump up to 10 mile tempos for 3 weeks.  Here are my 9 mile tempos:

1:04:10
1:03:53
1:02:41
Progressively getting faster? I'll take it!

Unfortunately as the day progressed, I was not feeling well.  I initially thought my allergies were just really bad and that being out of the office + hard morning workout + early wakeup time was making me extra tired.  I got home, ate dinner with my family and went to bed at 7:30.  No joke.

Thursday Apr 20
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  My alarm went off at 5, or so my app says it did.  I have no recollection of turning it off.  My husband's alarm went off at 6AM and I felt like I had been hit by a bus.  Really sore throat, swollen glands and body aches.  YAY!  I spent the day in bed, opting for an epsom salt bath mid-afternoon.  By the time dinner rolled around, I could at least be mobile but again went to bed early - 8 PM.

0 miles.

Friday Apr 21
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did:  I set my alarm for 430 hoping that I would feel good enough to get some miles in.  It was definitely hard to pull myself from bed, but it was a great improvement from the morning before.  My goal was to at least get 5 miles in as I thought I would just shift all workouts one day.  The first two miles were no joke.  I ALMOST abandoned ship but then felt like I got in a rhythm.  My watch beeped 5 miles, and then I felt like I could do one more mile.  At some point after 6.5 miles, I switched my plan in my head opting to try to do the workout I was supposed to do for the day - 8 miles - and if I could squeeze a little more in, then maybe I could reallocate Thursday's 5 missed miles across all of my easy-paced runs this weekend.  I ended up with 9 miles.  They were slow, but they are done.

9 miles, 1:14:46 (8:18 avg pace)

Saturday Apr 22
Plan Says: 10 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:  We had planned to participate in our city's Earth Day event all morning so my alarm was set for 5 AM to get this done beforehand.  I was still zonked and my throat was raw so I turned off my alarm.  This gave me a chance to run in sun and heat again as it was 60 degrees by the time I got out in the early afternoon.

I ran by feel - easy and relaxed.  It turns out that today easy and relaxed was still faster than the 7:54 pace I should have been running.  I also wanted to do 12 instead of 10 to make up for some of the miles lost on  Thursday.  I tried a different gel from my goody bag halfway through this run and had zero problems so maybe the PowerBar gels are for me?  For the last two miles, I finished my podcast and switched to music and let it rip.  Maybe not smart but felt good to fly.

12 miles, 1:25:36 (7:08 avg pace)
Mile splits:  7:10 / 7:28 / 7:33 / 7:29 / 7:08 / 7:10 / 7:14 / 7:21 / 7:13 / 7:03 / 6:25 / 6:20

Sunday Apr 23
Plan says: Easy 7 miles

What I did:  
My goal was to do 9 miles, again to make up for the miles lost on Thursday.  I set out after waking up at our normal 6 AM and it was a gorgeous morning. I was comfortable temperature-wise in tights and a long sleeve.  I hit play on the podcast and just ran.   This was a bit difficult to get into - my legs were definitely tired from Saturday - but my goal was just keep moving forward.  Goal accomplished.

9miles, 1:13:24 (8:08 avg pace)

Weekly Total
Plan says: 50 miles
What I did: 50.09 miles

Sleep
My sleep was decent this week.  I started the week low (6.5 hours) but ended high due to being sick (Wednesday night alone I logged 10.5 hours of sleep!).  My sense system does not account for naps, which basically Thursday was one long in/out nap in my bed.  Still I was able to log a bit more sleep than last week which is good.

Avg nightly sleep duration this week:  7.8 hours (8.1 during week, 7.2 during weekend)
Avg sleep score: 79 (out of 100)
Sleep depth percentages:  60% deep, 35% medium, 5% light

Podcasts I Listened to On the Run
I tried two new-to-me podcasts this week - C Tolle Run and Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette. 
1.C Tolle Run.  I listened to her interview with Kara Goucher and the interview with Kate Grace, two running idols of mine.  And...Kate Grace responded with emojis to my Instagram post.  #DayMade

2.  Real Talk Radio. I started listening to Nicole Antoinette interview Kelly Roberts.  It is a good interview and it definitely helped me through my Sunday run.  I am looking forward to finishing it and diving into some of the other interviews.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Links

I hope you had a great week!  My week started strong but went downhill as I am recovering from a cold/sinus/allergy thing.  Better feeling under the weather now than in 27 days!

Did you watch the Boston Marathon?  I did!  It's magical.  I was obsessed with the race again this year and could not believe how hot it was!  I thought for sure after last year's heat, the race was due for a cold spell.  Once again there are many people crushed that the end result did not reflect all the hard training they put in.  Been there.  It's rough.   You know who didn't have a bad day? Jordan Hasay.  WOW.   Did you see the video of the man with the prosthetic leg carrying a woman across the finish?  It brought tears to my eyes...and then I read her recap.

Tuesday night I went to a nutrition clinic featuring Annie Weiss, so naturally, I'm now loving getting caught up on her blog.

The London Marathon is this weekend.  I will be cheering for Kellyn Taylor!

10 tiny tweaks that will change your life from one of my favorites, Laura VanderKam



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 13 Recap

I am REALLY proud of this week. It was a week where I could feel the impact of all the work put in so far and felt STRONG. 

Monday Apr 10
Plan Says:  3 x 2 mile at 7:05/mile pace with 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down and 800 recovery between splits.

What I did:  Early morning alarm clock win!  It was WARM this morning - 62 degrees already at 4:45 AM.  So weird to be running in a tank and shorts in the early morning!

1 mile warm up:  8:22

2 miles, 13:42 (6:50 avg pace) / 0.50 miles, 4:36 (9:11 avg pace)

2 miles, 13:43 (6:51 avg pace) / 0.50 at 4:28 (9:00 avg pace)

2 miles, 13:49 (6:53 avg pace) /

1.51 miles, 12:51 (8:31 avg pace)

Total: 9.54 miles

Tuesday Apr 11
Plan Says: Off

What I did: 0 miles, Jasyoga High Mileage Reset routine

Wednesday Apr 12
Plan Says: 9 mile tempo run at 7:15 pace, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:  Set my alarm for 4:30am, without thinking about the fact that my kids are on spring break this week, thus we have family taking care of them and thus, I have longer periods of childcare in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, my son woke up with a cough and required his inhaler at 4 AM so I was a little hesitant to leave him to go on a run (he was totally fine).  When my alarm went off, even though I was awake, I confirmed with my husband that the kids were not going to be home until 5:30 PM, allowing me plenty of time to get this done after work.  This also allowed me to get more sleep and improve my weekly sleep stats! Another bonus of moving this to the afternoon?  54 degree weather vs. 35 degrees.  Shorts vs. tights!  Yay!

I set off on an intended warm up loop through my neighborhood.  I felt like I was dragging but the mile beeped in at 7:26.  I decided to just go with it and make it part of the tempo run.  It took me a while to settle into this run.  My miles were all over the place.  I had an Italian sub from Jimmy Johns for lunch that day and thus had some mild heartburn which manifested itself in the early miles.

I need to start practicing more intentional fueling so I brought along a Gu for the 5 mile mark.  This stayed down ok, even though I had a side ache at miles 8 and 9.  I finished up the tempo run with a 7:06 mile avg and did two cool down miles.

9 miles, 1:03:53 (7:06 avg pace)
Mile splits: 7:26 / 6:56 / 7:02 / 7:15 / 6:59 / 7:02 / 7:13 / 7:03 / 6:55

2 miles, 16:04 (8:02 avg pace)

Thursday Apr 13
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  Another afternoon workout.  I was really struck by how awesome the little trail that I run on is, which made me happy.  Signs of spring everywhere!

6 miles, 48:08 (8:01 avg pace)

Friday Apr 14
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did: Back to early morning for this one, less than 12 hours after the previous day's run.  I didn't push anything on this run, just tried to get in a flow and went slow!  I kept thinking about trying to "save" my legs for the 16 miles on Saturday and not waste energy in running this too fast - it worked!

6 miles, 50:37 (8:26 avg pace)

Saturday Apr 15
Plan Says: 16 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:  It was in the 70s when I left for this run which I was happy about to get some warm weather practice.  If the marathon weekend is anything like the weekends we have been having, it is going to be warm!  It took me a while to get into this run but once I did, I felt good.  I ran farther along the Bugline trail than I ever have before and it was so pretty.  

I again wanted to practice fueling so I drank a Gen UCan Super Starch before the run.  I wanted to make gels out of the UCan but I didn't get the reusable pouch things before Saturday so I took a Gu along.  I had estimated that I would probably take the Gu 1 h and 15 minutes into this run since UCan lasts around 90 mins.  I ended up taking the Gu a bit earlier than that due to the heat.  I carried 16 oz of water with me and easily ran out.  I was dehydrated and the heat and direct sun were not helping.  I was able to refill my water bottle at mile 13, thankfully.  Again I had a side ache towards the end of this run  - I don't know if this is a hydration issue or a Gu issue.  I am tending to blame the Gu because I have only had side aches on the two runs where I tried a Gu.

This was not an easy run, but a big confidence booster.  I ended with a thick salt coating on myself and some bra chafing (grrr!) but was happy.

16 miles, 2:00:31 (7:32 avg pace).

Mile splits:  7:32 / 7:35 / 7:49 / 7:41 / 7:35 / 7:38 / 7:42 / 7:38 / 7:29 / 7:34 / 7:15 / 7:17 / 7:23 / 7:25 / 7:30 / 7:28

Sunday Apr 16
Plan says: Easy 5 miles

What I did:  
I got up early to do this and the legs were TIRED.  My first mile clocked in at 8:47.  It was warm and humid already at 5 AM.  Sweat, sweat, sweat!

5 miles, 42:24 (8:29 avg pace)

Weekly Total
Plan says: 53.5 miles
What I did: 53.5 miles

Sleep
Now that I have sleep data, I might as well share it, right?  I was able to get more sleep during the week due to shifting some of my workouts to the afternoon since my kids were at their grandma's house instead of school/daycare.  More sleep is always a good thing right?  I definitely did not feel like as much of a space cadet this week on account of it.  

Avg nightly sleep duration this week:  7.5 hours (7.8 during week, 6.9 during weekend)
Avg sleep score: 80 (out of 100)
Sleep depth percentages:  61% deep, 36% medium, 3% light

Podcasts I Listened to On the Run
More of the Real Talk with Nic Antoinette podcasts on ROO.  I finished #206 and #210 and #220

Friday, April 14, 2017

(Lots of) Friday Links!

The Boston Marathon is Monday!!!!!!  Seeing all the social media buzz definitely has led me to have some "wish I was running it" thoughts, but I still maintain that I made a good decision in opting not to run it this year.  Now if only I could figure out how to get my free stocks from the Strava pop-up in Boston for completing the Runners World Boston Marathon challenge on Strava, because let's face it, part of my FOMO is missing the expo and pop-up shop giveaways and product testing!! LOVE IT!

Speaking of mileage - my April mileage total right now is 98.64.  April last year was 99.03 FOR THE WHOLE MONTH!  

Ok, let's get to the links. 

1.  I will be watching the Boston Marathon on Monday and cheering for Desi!  So many links about her this week:

CitiusMag.com This was my fave


Sports Illustrated (Admittedly, I haven't read this one yet)


2.  Speaking of Boston, if you are on Instagram, go to @adidaswomen for a really cool swipe left profile on Katherine Switzer recalling her iconic race


4.  Kara Goucher fans, two links for you!




I'm trying a few new things this marathon training cycle - new training program (Hansons Marathon Method) and intentionally focusing on mental aspects of running so the new few articles were right up my alley.



One big thing that I have come around to during the last few weeks is the importance of the easy runs on my mental health.  I think this is why I like HMM so much - I still get my competitive side flared up for 3 workouts, where I have to be thinking about pace, but not ALL of my workouts are pace focused.  I have 3 runs a week that I can run as slow as I want to and in fact, should be running slower.  This is so freeing to me and has decreased some of my anxiety I had about marathon training in the past.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Marathon Time Goals

37 days until race weekend!

I still have a little less than 6 weeks of training left to go, but am starting to think about goals for the marathon.  Or should I say, re-think goals...

My initial goal for this marathon was to do what I did not do at Boston last year:  Run 3:15.
The per mile pace for a 3:15 finish time is 7:26.  When I picked 3:15 last year, it was based on nothing.  I had run a 3:25:50 (my PR) to qualify for Boston and even though I was thrilled to qualify by a big margin, I was disappointed in that performance.  My training was very haphazard.

3:15 was my A Goal.  My B Goal was going to be to PR in the marathon.  (sub 3:25:50)

Realizing none of these goals last year, I was just recycling them for this year's attempt.  (For newer readers, I have only attempted one marathon/year for the last 3 years.)

I came to the realization last week that I messed up my pacing for the marathon training plan I am using.  I have been training with 7:15 as my marathon pace, not 7:26.  Hansons Marathon Method is very specific on paces.  The book is full of pace charts for all the different workouts.  The overall pace chart below is what I based all of my pacing on.  (This photo is from the book, which I found on the Cowgirl Runs Blog.)


That is where my paces of 7:15 for tempo runs and  7:05 goal for strength workouts is from.  These, according to the chart, lead to a 3:10 marathon, not a 3:15 marathon.

This is where I suffer from delusions of grandeur.  I have thought that I had been under-performing in the marathon for a while. I made gains in the 5K and half-marathon last year.  I have really felt good during this training cycle and nailing all my paces, and in some cases, running a bit faster than prescribed pace.  Is 3:10 really crazy to think about?

I did what any normal person would do.  I went to Google. (cue laughing) The Internet is FULL of various calculators to see what you should be able to run based on recent performances.  I know these can be flawed.  But I looked anyways.  Curiosity killed the cat.

To use these calculators, you are encouraged to use a recent race time.  The most recent "race" time I have is from the 5K fun run I did in the Bahamas in early March (week 7 of marathon training).  My time was 19:25 (6:15 pace), and truly was not an all out effort, but it is the most recent race I have done.  Before that, I did a half marathon in early November where I PRed with 1:29:14 (6:48 pace).

First, I consulted the race equivalency chart on Hanson's website.  Interestingly, this indicates that I should be doing my marathon tempos at 7:06 and my strength workouts at 6:56 (which is along the lines of what I have been doing in practice, even though my targets are 7:15 and 7:05).  This corresponds to a marathon of 3:06:09.  I would shit my pants if I ran a 3:06.  Oh wait.  I already did that.  ha ha ha.  A 3:06 is about a 9% improvement based on the Hanson's improvement chart which, by their caption, seems a little delusional to expect:  "The faster your times are, the more difficult it is to shave an additional 5 minutes off your time. Sometimes using a percentage to plan improvement is more useful. Highly trained athletes should look for improvements in the 2-4% range, while newer runners can often expect slightly higher rates of initial improvements."  
Of note, a 2-4% improvement for me would be in the 3:20-3:16 range.

Then I went to the Runner's World Race Time Predictor with my 19:25 5K.  This calculator also allows you to put in a second race result, so I entered my half marathon time from November.  It also has you enter average weekly miles.  The result?  A 3:15:05.

Then, I went to the McMillan Running Calculator with my 19:25 5K.  Their result was a marathon time of 3:09:12.

The Internet gave me a range of 3:20 - 3:06.  That is quite a range!!!

Right now, I am not changing anything about my goals or my training.  But a little bit of crazy, hairy scary may have entered my brain.

Do any of you have experience with these calculators?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 12 Recap

It was the tale of two stages this week.

At the beginning of the week, I was a zombie.  If the definition of "cumulative fatigue" means you are walking around ready to nap at the drop of a hat, I thought I had entered that phase.  I was so hungry and pretty tired.  By the weekend thought, I felt like I had recovered a bit and wasn't feeling as tired.  My Sense sleep system has indicated that I have not had a great week of sleep either so that could be the culprit!

I still had a good week of training.  My hip and foot were not very cranky, but I did have two GI flare ups, which, while common in long distance runners, is unusual for me.

Monday Apr 3
It was not ideal to have this workout come the day after the 16 mile long run, however, you do what you have to do.  I thought it better to stay on track than to start a chain of delayed workouts.

Plan Says:  4 x 1.5 mile at 7:05/mile pace with 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down and 800 recovery between splits.

What I did:  4:45 alarm clock win!  It was supposed to be raining out, my iPhone weather app said it was raining...but it wasn't!  Thank goodness!  I headed outside.

1 mile warm up:  8:33

I was SO tired and felt a little out of it...which would explain why the first two repeats were only 1.4 miles in length!  After the second set, I realized that I forgot to switch my watch over from the "pace" display to the "distance" display so I thought I was looking at distance ran when I really was looking at calories burned (i.e., 150 was the display - referring to the fact that I burned 150 calories - and my brain read it as 1.5 miles).  I completely missed this on the first set and luckily noticed it on my second one so I ran a longer 3rd repeat to make up for it.  Total DUH moment, but it is DARK in the mornings :)

1.38 miles, 9:33 (6:55 avg pace) / 0.28 miles, 2:37 (9:12 avg pace)* This cool down was shorter because I had to stop to remove my jacket and pick up my water bottle so I did a shorter cool down to make up for the stop.

1.39 miles, 9:25 (6:47 avg pace) / 0.50 at 4:23 (8:46 avg pace)

It started drizzling but was so light that I didn't really notice it.

1.62 miles,  11:06 (6:52 avg pace) / 0.50 at 4:18 (8:35 avg pace)

1.51 miles, 10:34 (7:01 avg pace)

1.54 miles cool down, 13:18 (8:38 avg pace)

Total: 9.73 miles

I was tired at the end of this.  Real tired.  But hot shower post rainy run? LOVED IT!

Tuesday Apr 4
Plan Says: Off

What I did: I considered whether it would be in my best interest to do the 5 miles that I skipped over the weekend.  I was tired so decided that it was in my best interest to take the rest day and treat the missed 5 mile workout as water under the bridge.

Wednesday Apr 5
Plan Says: 9 mile tempo run at 7:15 pace, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:  Another 4:30 AM alarm.  Sigh.  I tried skipping and going back to sleep, but knew that we were supposed to get a rain/ice mix later in the day so I could either get out of bed and do this outside, or have to do it on the treadmill later in the day.  That was enough to get me out of bed.

And....I RAN A WARM UP MILE BEFORE A TEMPO RUN FOR ONCE!

1 mile warm up, 8:36

It was then time to step it up.  The whole point of running these tempo runs at marathon pace is to practice running marathon pace.  I have been running these faster than that and wasn't really doing myself any favors, so my goal was truly to try to stick to running this at 7:15.  I did okay with this goal; I was still a bit fast when all was said and done.  I ran the first several miles as loops in my neighborhood, and ran the next several miles as loops in the adjacent neighborhood.  My legs felt tired, but as I reminded myself frequently, that is the point.

We had made this yummy shrimp and broccoli stir fry for dinner the night before.  I bring this up because I was having a lot of GI discomfort throughout this run and felt like I needed to go to the bathroom.  I have felt like this before on runs and every other time it really is nerves more than anything (see the recap of my week 9 tempo run).  Once I get settled into the run, the feeling goes away and we are all good.  Although I didn't feel nervous for this tempo, I kept running without making a pit stop figuring it would go away.

I ran the last mile of this tempo outside of the neighborhoods, which meant that I was going to have to run 1 mile to get back to my house.  "Perfect cool down" was what I thought.

9 miles,  1:04:10 (7:07 avg pace)
Mile splits: 7:12 / 7:13 / 7:10 / 7:08 / 7:01 / 7:09 / 7:02 / 7:04 / 7:10

Phew.  Tempo done!  It was time to cool down.  One more mile.  I really struggled on the last mile.  My legs were tired, and I increasingly felt like I needed a bathroom.  Urgently.  I pushed through mentally, recalling this post, and literally kept telling myself "You are not going to sh** your pants. You are not going to sh** your pants."  I started and stopped a few times.  I made it to my house and was only at 0.9 miles.  I thought, "You have made it this far, you can make it 0.1 to close out the mile", so I kept going until I LITERALLY DIDN'T MAKE IT.  Yes. You are reading between the lines correctly.

That is definitely the first time that has happened to me.

0.96 miles, 8:08 (8:28 avg pace).

I was really proud of myself for getting this done.  Definitely pulling this one into memory when things get tough in the marathon.  AND, I will not be eating shrimp and broccoli stir fry the night before a big run anymore!

Thursday Apr 6
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  Woohoo! I didn't have to get up until 5:00 AM to do this!

5 miles, 39:59 (7:59 avg pace)

Friday Apr 7
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did: Another early morning!  I was a little over 2 miles in to this run when I again felt like I needed to use the restroom.  What is going on?!  Luckily I was just doing neighborhood loops so I stopped, went back into my house, used the restroom and was good to go for the rest.

8 miles, 1:03:57 (7:59 avg pace)

Saturday Apr 8
Plan Says: 10 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:   I did not get up early to do this, rather, I ran it in the early afternoon to take advantage of the sun and warmth.  Unfortunately I did not think about the fact that while mid-60s is BEAUTIFUL, my body is definitely used to running in mid 30s.  I went out too fast, and paid for it.  I would like to say that I planned on running the first 5 fast, followed by a slower 5, but the truth is, I totally blew it. This is also a good illustration of why I should not run to music.  I ran to music the first 5 and listened to a podcast the second five.  I get way too caught up in the tempo of the music to do a good job with pacing.

10 miles, 1:12:54 (7:17 avg)
7:03 / 7:09 / 7:05 / 6:58 / 7:05 / 7:21 / 7:32 / 7:29 / 7:36 / 7:33

Sunday Apr 9
Plan says: Easy 7 miles

What I did:  
I am an idiot.  Usually, my Sunday is an "easy 5 miles".  I didn't even look at my plan and went out Sunday morning for an easy 5 miles.

Then, as I was updating my Believe journal for the week, I noticed that I was supposed to do an easy 7 miles.  DUH.  My daughter wanted to run so we ran a mile, with a lot of breaks.  I knew I had about 0.25 to run to get to an even 50 miles, so I went for 0.35 miles after she stopped.

6.35 miles total

5 miles, 39:33 (7:54 avg pace)
1 mile, 10:45
0.35 miles, 8:18 avg pace

Weekly Total
Plan says: 51 miles
What I did: 50.1 miles

Another week down.  I am still enjoying training, which is a good thing, right?  I can't believe I only have 6 weeks left! I had a lot of spacey moments last week.  I need to remember to go to bed before 9 PM during the week!  I mentioned that my sleep was not great last week.  What this means is: I averaged 7.1 hours of sleep during the week and 8 hours on the weekends and the quality of my sleep also was not great - 52% in "medium" sleep with 46% in "deep" sleep.  Usually, my "deep" sleep is in the mid-upper 50s and my medium sleep is in the upper 40s.

Podcasts
1.  I finished listening to the S-Town Podcast .  Loved it.  "I think trying to understand another person is a worthwhile thing to do."

2.  I finished another ROO with Nic Antoinette:  #202 and started another one #206.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Links!

Here are a few links if you find yourself looking for running/fitness related articles on the Internet!

1. Elite Runners, Women, the First Marathoners to Lose to Father Time. 
Articles like this depress me.

2. A Running Conversation with My Brother

3. All the Boston Marathon Shoes 
I really want the lobster ones, but feel like I can't order them since I am not running it this year.

4.  A Day in the Life of Deena Kastor
I can't wait to read her book!!!!

5.  On Effort

6.  April is the Toughest Month
This is written by one of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Bloggers.
"May is coming. It is a lie if anyone tells you that race day is going to be easy. It won’t be. What I am saying is that doing ALL of the April training is tougher. Hopefully we have all laid the foundation to prepare us for April’s heavy miles. If you have done that and buckle down in April. Race day will be more fun."


Monday, April 3, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 11 Recap

Monday Mar 27
Week 11 required a switch from "speed" workouts to "strength" workouts on Mondays.  This really means that I will be doing faster paced for longer distances at 10 seconds faster than goal marathon pace.  My body was still in speed mode, apparently.

Plan Says:  6 x 1 mile at 7:10 with 1 mile warm up and cool down and 400 recovery.

What I did:  I slept in and left work early to get this done before the bus, which ALMOST happened.

1 mile warm up:  7:44.

1 mile 6:51 / 0.25 at 2:01 (8:05 avg pace)
1 mile 6:50 / 0.25 at 2:07 (8:27 avg pace)
1 mile 6:49 / 0.25 at 2:08 (8:33 avg pace)
1 mile 6:49 / 0.25 at 2:06 (8:21 avg pace)
1 mile 6:49 / 0.12 at 1:04 (8:46 avg pace)
1 mile 6:36

At this point the bus pulled up so I did my 1 mile cool down on the treadmill -
1 mile, 9:03.

total: 9.17 miles

I felt so good during this.  My legs were tired at the end, but I did not feel completely spent.

Tuesday Mar 28
Plan Says: Off

What I did: No running, but did the Jasyoga High Mileage Reset routine

Wednesday Mar 29
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo run at 7:15 pace, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:
I got up early and ran 1 mile laps around my neighborhood to get this done before work!  I was really pleased with myself for that.  4:30 AM alarms are NO JOKE.  I just went into the tempo run, no warm up, again.  I really need to not do this.

8 miles, 56:22 (7:02 avg pace)
7:28 / 7:03 / 7:03 / 7:00 / 6:53 / 6:58 / 6:55 / 7:01

2.4 mile cool down, 19:43 (8:13 avg pace)

Thursday Mar 30
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  I did this at night after the kids were in bed because it poured rain all day and I slept in on Thursday morning.  5.01 miles, 40:28 (8:05 avg pace).

My legs felt tired during this and sore from some of the PT activities I did as part of the class I went to on Wednesday night.

Friday Mar 31
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did: Woke up at 4:30 and got going.  Still felt kinda tired.

8.01 miles, 1:05:16 (8:09 avg pace).

Saturday Apr 1
Plan Says: 16 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:  I had lunch + spa day scheduled with some girlfriends so I had to get up early to get this done.  (I know - #firstworldproblems ).

Unfortunately, I overslept by 2 hours, which meant that I was not going to be getting 16 miles in before I had to leave for the spa.  I would have to get it done at night.

Fast forward to the spa.  I ended up having a therapist with experience in PT/chiropractic and who served as the massage therapist for a local cycling team.  Score!  I ended up getting some strange kind of massage that felt amazing.  He also told me to take it easy for the rest of the day.  No running.

I got back home much later than I anticipated and my husband wanted to run after the kids were in bed.  I really want my husband to continue this trend he has going of running ~3 times a week so I told him to go.  Even though my day was "relaxing" I was very tired and sore.  I rationalized that the massage that I had gotten will probably not detract from the Hanson Marathon Method concept of cumulative fatigue!

So, an unplanned rest day for me.  This was a good lesson for me because usually I feel that I get a bit lucky when I oversleep and somehow still get my workout in.  Not today!

Sunday Apr 2
Plan says: Easy 5 miles

What I did:  
At this point, I knew I was going to end the week with a missing workout and I didn't want the missing workout to be my long run so I set my alarm for 430 so I could get in 16 miles before church.  It ended up being a nice morning for a run and I started listening to the S-town podcast, which I find riveting.  I definitely felt tired during this run, but felt like I was on autopilot since I was focused on listening to the podcast.  11 of the 16 miles were done running 1.2 mile loops around my neighborhood.

16 miles, 2:06:47 (7:55 avg pace).  A second per mile off of suggested pace.  I'll take it.

Mile paces:
7:57 / 8:00 / 7:52 / 7:57 / 8:00 / 7:53 / 8:03 / 8:04 / 7:59 / 7:57 / 7:57 / 8:00 / 7:52 / 7:50 / 7:51 / 7:32

Weekly Total
Plan says:  53.5 miles
What I did: 48.62 miles

Eleven weeks of marathon training done!  AND, I got up at 4:30am THREE days.  What am I becoming?! Even though I missed a workout, I still feel that this was a good week.  I learned a lot about the condition of my body through the PT class and massage and know that I have some asymmetries that I need to work out.

Additionally, I tallied 184.92 miles for the month of March.  I was SO excited about this!  Previously my highest monthly mileage was 165.99, in March of 2016 prepping for Boston.  April is set to be even higher than that!  Insane!  This type of mileage is something I never really thought possible for myself.  I recall talking to my coach last year as he was putting together my plan for Boston and saying "I really don't know how I would run more than 4 days a week or more than 40 miles for a week."  Never say never people!

Podcasts
1.  This week, I started listening to the S-Town Podcast and made it through 2.5 chapters on my long run.  I am enjoying it.  Anyone else listening?