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!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Last Week of Recovery Running!

My marathon recovery is now over and I'm back at training.  Training for two marathons in a calendar year seemed crazy when I decided to do it, and now that I am actually training again, it seems crazier.  But, we'll see how it goes. 

My last recovery week went well.  I found it fairly easy to get out of bed early (5:00 AM) to get these done, with the exception of Friday morning.  I was doing very well with my yoga streak until this past weekend when I didn't do any yoga on Saturday or Sunday. 

My entire recovery period (one month) totaled 59.89 miles of easy running.  I don't really have any "niggles" so I'm hoping the ramp up into marathon training goes well.  I still am not doing well in the sleep department.  My bedtime slowly crept to the 10 PM time and I have not been great about getting it back to 9 PM.

I listened to a great podcast on my weekend runs (Saturday and Sunday) that really set me up for a new training segment - Rich Roll interviews Chris Hauth in Coach's Corner. I am a newbie to Rich Roll even though his name has come up in numerous things.  His recent interview with Des Linden is what got me to finally add him to my podcast list.  Have you listened to him before?  I definitely already have a crush on him, which I'm sure I'm not the only one, ha ha ha.

Here is my review of my last week of recovery running.   My marathon training started yesterday, July 15!

Monday July 9
Plan says: 35 minutes easy running

What I did: 4.25 miles, 35:14 (8:17 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute hamstring reset

Tuesday July 10
Plan says: Off

What I did: JasYoga Calf Pumps

Wednesday July 11
Plan says: 40 minutes easy running

What I did: 5.25 miles, 43:19 (8:15 average pace), JasYoga Stephanie Howe Violett Hip Reset

Thursday July 12
Plan says: 50 minutes easy running

What I did: 6.20 miles, 50:27 (8:08 avg pace) plus one-hour Family Yoga at Church

Friday July 13
Plan says: 50 minutes easy running

What I did: I slept in and then had 30 minutes to get a run in during the 97 degree afternoon.  Yeah.  It wasn't fun.  I managed 3.3 miles, 26:12 (7:57 avg pace) plus JasYoga Quick Hip Reset

Saturday July 14
Plan says: 60 minutes easy running

What I did: 7.65 miles, 1:00:01 (7:51 avg pace).  NO YOGA.  I broke my streak. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Product Review: Ultima Replenisher Hydration

Product Review:  Ultima Replenisher Hydration

Disclaimer: I received a 20 pack of variety flavors and a tub of cherry pomegranate Ultima Replenisher 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!

The box of Ultima Replenisher arrived on my doorstep just as our weather was turning hot and humid.  I am not great at hydration.  I drink very little water during the day and one thing that does make me drink more is added flavor.

Ultima Replenisher contains six electrolytes and has zero carbs, zero sugar and zero calories.  Additionally it is vegan, non-GMO, caffeine-free, peanut-free, paleo and keto friendly.  I was able to test grape, orange, raspberry, lemon, and cherry pomegranate flavors.  

You can get this product in small one-time use stickpacks or in tubs.  I have kept the tub on my desk at work as a reminder to drink more.  It is nice to be able to modify the flavor strength with tub.  




I preferred the one-time single servings.  They were really easy to keep in my purse for on-the-go hydration for both myself and my kids.  We did a road trip to the Twin Cities in MN last weekend and it was so easy to add these to water bottles both in the car and at the hotel.  I also preferred the flavor variety that came in the 20-count variety box.

True to form, I preferred the citrus flavors.

My daughter is a big fan of the grape!

While I liked all the flavors, my favorite were the citrus (lemon and orange), which is usually the case with any hydration product.  Each single-serve packet is to be mixed with 16 oz water, and I prefer to mix it with a larger 20-24 oz bottle of water.  We found it easier to put in a water bottle and shake it up than to stir with a stick.

Some of my fellow BibRave Pros were making popsicles with the mix, which is a fabulous idea that I have yet to try.

Most of my use of this product has been to keep my daily hydration up, although I did test it on a few runs.  I did not have any stomach issues with it, although I like it much more watered down when I use it while running.

If you would like to try Ultima Replenisher, visit their Amazon storefront and use code ULTIMABR for a 15% discount.  This means the 50 count stickpack variety pack is $36.54 shipped if you have Amazon Prime.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Week of Recovery Miles

My first full week of recovery running went well, although I did miss a run.  We were in St. Paul, MN for a long weekend + wedding and I knew it was going to be tough to get a run in all 3 mornings that we were there.  I was able to get out for two of the mornings so I'm calling that a win.

I was able to continue my daily JasYoga practice for #jasyogajuly.

Overall, by this past weekend, I felt like my body had returned to "normal".  It has been fun to just go out for a prescribed number of minutes and not worry about any workouts or pace.  I have not gotten a lot of sleep lately, particularly while we were in MN, which is something I am going to be focusing on in the coming week.  Hopefully getting back to my regular workday routine will help.

It seems a little crazy that I only have one more week of recovery miles as marathon training will start back up on July 16!

Monday July 2
Plan says: 30 minutes easy running

What I did: 3.45 miles, 30:21 (8:47 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute back reset

Tuesday July 3
Plan says: 30 minutes easy running

What I did: 3.57 miles, 30:10 (8:27 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute shoulder reset

Wednesday July 4
Plan says: Off

What I did: 0 miles, JasYoga 5 minute neck reset

Thursday July 5
Plan says: 40 minutes easy running

What I did: 5.01 miles, 41:29 (8:17 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute calf reset

Friday July 6
Plan says: 50 minutes easy running

What I did: 6.45 miles, 50:08 (7:46 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute hip reset

Saturday July 7
Plan says: 50 minutes easy running

What I did: 0 miles.  We stayed at the wedding much longer than I thought my kids would last and of course by going to bed late, they slept in exactly 2 minutes longer than usual.  I was dragging.  Thankfully, I was able to get a 90 minute nap in and the JasYoga 10 minute recovery boost

Sunday July 8
Plan says: 60 minutes easy running

What I did: 7.52 miles, 59:29 (7:55 avg pace) plus JasYoga 5 minute hip reset

Total: 26 miles

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fall Running Schedule!

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 excited about my fall running schedule!

After Grandma's, I immediately emailed Eric to say, "Ok, I did another round of Hanson Beginner plan, got the sub 3, now what?!  I have a marathon on my schedule for 11/11 and kinda want to do another half in August.  Thoughts?"

He responded with a lovely voice memo that was calm and outlined the plan. 

So here is my fall:

1.  Run the half marathon
I'm excited to run a half-marathon.  My current PR is 1:28:35 and I think I could run faster, though I will be doing this on week 5 of marathon training so I do not want to trash my legs.  I signed up to do the Madison Mini Marathon on August 18 with my husband's cousin (who is running it as part of her training for a fall marathon BQ attempt!!!).  Outside of my personal distaste for referring to half-marathons as "mini marathons", I am excited about this race.  My kids are likely going to do the kids run and it gives us an excuse to spend a weekend in Madison, which my fam is always game for.  I also think this will give me a good preview of the topography for the marathon in later fall, although I haven't compared the courses yet.

2. Move up to the Hanson Advanced Plan
Obviously, I have had success with the Hanson plans, so there is a bit of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  The goal of my fall marathon training cycle is to get a sense if I can handle a bigger training load. I mentioned in my pre-Grandma's blog post that the Beginner plan seemed much more manageable the second time around and that I think I am ready to push myself with the Advanced plan.   I will be starting the 18 week Advanced Plan on July 15 and noting how I feel.  

3. Run the Madison Marathon on November 11
The goal is to survive a harder training load and get to race day.  The Madison Marathon course is hilly and thus will be a more difficult course.  Eric said if I could sub-3 on a more difficult course, with handling a bigger training load, that will set me up with a great base to build on for a great spring marathon in 2019.

I really like having a plan for a chunk of time and looking back, and feel relieved to have the fall planned out.  I also have done really well with viewing things as stepping stones to bigger things - I think this helps my mental game a lot and has helped me really love the process of training more and more with each cycle that I do so I like that this training cycle is more process focused than outcome-based.

Training begins in 12 days!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Post-Marathon Non-Sequiter

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!

It's been a little over two weeks since Grandma's Marathon and I have several things to report on.  Even though I can't imagine moving on from that incredible race, I will have to start training again for the Madison Marathon which I am running on November 11!  This post is a little all over the place.

I was going to take my standard one week off of running, post-marathon but extended it to two weeks off after:

a) a friend recommended taking two weeks; and

b) re-reading the post-marathon recovery chapter in the Hanson's Marathon Method book which also recommended two weeks off; and

c) after a week off, my legs still didn't feel totally great.

I did absolutely no activity for the first 7 days post marathon. During days 8-13, I did a daily JasYoga routine which really reactivated my love of yoga and made me wonder, "Why did I get out of the habit of doing this?!"

After 12 days of no running, I really wanted to run.  I did all of my morning run prep last Thursday night, set my alarm to get up before work on Friday and then woke up to my husband's alarm on Friday morning (i.e., I overslept).  I had set the time for 5:00 PM not AM.  These are the moments when I think there is some higher power looking out for me! "Alright, alright.  I will not run until Saturday!!"

I had much more success rising early on Saturday morning to do the 30 minutes of easy running prescribed in the recovery plan in the HMM book.  In recent years, I have done a spring marathon and a fall half marathon and I definitely took my time getting back into running over the summer.  Since I am doing a fall marathon, I feel a bit more urgency in setting myself up for success to return to marathon training.  That, and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I appreciate having a plan!  

Back to Saturday morning - I was dressed and out the door by 5:15 AM and the hot air hit me as I opened my front door.  GROSS.  We were under a heat advisory for most of Saturday.  I was glad I only had 30 minutes of easy running to do.

I logged 3.6 miles in 30 minutes for an avg pace of 8:20/mile.  I didn't feel great. Heat and humidity are not my friends.  I don't know if they are exclusively to blame for feeling blah but I wanted to have a bit more pep in my step after two weeks off.

The 3.6 miles was good enough to get me the June Running Distance Challenge badge on Strava.  I hit 200km exactly!  My total June mileage was 124.48 miles.  This put me at 907.56 miles for 2018, which is 1.6% lower than my 2017 mileage through June. 

My husband was away Saturday night and most of Sunday so I didn't get out yesterday until after the kids were in bed.  It was slightly less hot and humid.  I logged 3.64 miles in 30 minutes for an avg pace of 8:14/mile.  

I have a goal of doing a JasYoga routine every day of July to participate in JasYoga July (those are my feet on the photo posted!).  Sunday I did the 5-minute foot reset because my arches are still apparently not happy.  My left arch really bothered me with every step during the last several miles of Grandma's Marathon but both feet haven't really bothered me since until Saturday afternoon.  We took the kids to a trampoline place that had a Ninja Warrior course (we are all obsessed with that show in my house!) so I attempted to do the course.  You aren't allowed to wear shoes anywhere in the facility.  You have to have special "jumping socks" (which really are just glorified versions of those anti-slip socks you would get in the hospital!).  The course had a lot of bars that every time I stepped on, my arches were screaming.  So clearly, they still aren't happy.  The 5 minute foot reset was definitely helpful and I foresee doing a lot of that in the coming weeks!

Finally, two weeks is not that much time, but it certainly is enough time to lose some good habits. My early bedtime went out the window over that time frame and I will have to work to get it back as I am currently DRAGGING.