Saturday, March 10, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 4 Recap

This past week was pretty much a shit show.  My big project at work is going strong, which messed with my sleep a bit.  You know something is a little out of whack when you wake up at 1 AM, and get out of bed to make flow charts just so you can go back to sleep.

Additionally, I have overscheduled us these past weeks.  I signed my daughter up for a drama class on Saturday mornings last Fall, and then I also signed her up for swim lessons.  She already takes a weekly piano lesson.  ARGH.  To top that all off, we leave for vacation tomorrow.

I am in need of taking a step back for sure.  Good timing with the vacation!

I still logged 30 miles, but I only ran 5 days.  

Sunday, March 4
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did: I ended up doing two different runs.  My family wanted to do a bike ride, so I ran while they rode their bikes to the park.  They stayed to play on the playground and I did a bit more of a run, and then as we were about to head back, my son could not go any further.  The first bike ride of the season and all...these kids are soft! ha ha ha.  My husband pedaled home to get the car for them and I waited at the park and then the three of them returned home via car and I ran back.

4.23 miles 34:46 (8:14 avg pace)
1.25 miles, 9:56 (7:56 avg pace)

Monday, March 5
Plan Says: 4 miles easy

What I did: 4.55 miles, 36:13 (7:58 avg pace) after work.  Beat the bus!

Tuesday, March 6
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off.  

Wednesday, March 7
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  5.26 miles, 41:53 (7:58 avg pace) 
So there have been sightings of a cougar in our village - with video tape and all.  These have freaked me out and I have been avoiding morning runs.  However, I am really limited with time/mileage if I only do afternoon runs so I knew I would have to face the cougar.  I woke up early and got out there and just as I was almost done, a cute fox ran across the street.  I truly burst out laughing at the sight of him.

Thursday, March 8
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  6.2 miles, 51:48 (8:21 avg pace)
The first morning was a hit, so I made it two in a row. 

Friday, March 9
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Off
I had a shitty night of sleep on Thursday night - this was the night where I got out of bed in the wee hours to document flow chart brainchilds.  So by the time I fell asleep, I shut my alarm off.  (My sleep machine documented 10 wake-ups for me this night - argh!).  I got to work and two hours into my workday got the dreaded daycare call - my son was sick.  I went to pick him up and worked from home which was good because I still was able to leave my work in a good place before vacation, but it also meant that I was DEAD by the time 5 PM rolled around.  I went to bed at 7:15 and skipped my run.

Saturday, March 10
Plan says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  9 miles, 1:10:01 (7:47 avg pace)
My daughter had her last day of drama class, so parents were invited to part of the class for a performance.  Thus, I needed to get my run in BEFORE class.  (The last two weeks, I did a run while she was in class.)  It was a cold one, but I was able to log 9 miles, even though it took me about 8 to get into a groove.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 21 miles
What I did: 30.49 miles

I wanted to get closer to 35 miles and I know had I not skipped my Friday run, I would have hit it.  I know I made the better decision to go to bed instead of run.

The approaching week is the last of my easy buildup weeks before track and tempo workouts enter the picture!  I will be soaking up the Florida sunshine on my easy-paced miles!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 3

Another week where my only goal was to get 6 days of running in.  I'm still in the "easy" weeks of the plan so just trying to slowly build mileage.  One thing I don't really like about the beginner Hanson's plan is that if you follow it by the book for the first six weeks, you have a big jump in weekly mileage from week 5 to week 6.  Thus, to avoid that big jump, I'm trying to use the first 6 weeks as more of a build up so that by the time Week 6 comes, a 40 mile week won't seem so shocking.

Sunday, February 25
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did:  5.16 miles, 40:32 (7:52 avg pace)

Monday, February 26
Plan Says: 4 miles easy

What I did: 4.15 miles, 32:38 (7:52 avg pace)

Tuesday, February 27
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  5 miles, 38:07 (7:37 avg pace)

Wednesday, February 28
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4.6 miles, 33:56 (7:22 avg pace)

Thursday, March 1
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4.0 miles, 30:19 (7:34 avg pace)

Friday, March 2
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Off

Saturday, March 3
Plan says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  8.5 miles, 1:04:01 (7:32 avg pace)
Repeat of last week - I ran while my daughter was in drama class and my husband and son grocery shopped.  HIGH FIVE.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 21 miles
What I did: 31.42 miles

I have logged two 31 mile weeks in a row.  Looking back at last week, I didn't do any morning workouts (again) so I am limited by time in the afternoon which limits mileage.  Looking forward to week 4,  I am again aiming for 6 running days/week but aiming for >35 miles which means that I am going to have to get up in the morning.  Cougar be damned!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018 Mileage

I ran 109.38 miles in February!

On one hand, this is my lowest mileage February in the 4 years that I have been diligently tracking. 

2015   111.59 miles
2016   148.78 miles
2017   125.89 miles
2018   109.38 miles

On the other hand, I got my first 30+ mile week in over four months in February.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

That's A Wrap on BibRave Safety Month

Disclaimer: Last year I received a pair of Aftershokz wired sports titanium headphones as part of a BibRave Pro campaign.  You can read my product review here. I am providing an extra review of Aftershokz as part of BibRave's Safety Month!

It's the last day of February!  While I have yet to run today, I know that my February 2018 mileage will be less than my February 2017 mileage.  And yes, this is because my marathon training started later this year but also, 2018 has been challenging for me in terms of getting out to run.  I lost all of the habits that I used to train for my marathon and half-marathon last year (ahem...getting out of bed super early to run) and I shut my early morning alarm off to stay in bed more times than I actually have gotten out of bed to do said morning run. 

Now that I am officially on a marathon training plan, it has helped some, but at the start of February, I also made a decision to run with my Aftershokz and my iPod Nano every run.  (Yes - I said iPod NANO.  And the original generation 1 Nano at that!). 

I am forever behind on the podcasts that I want to listen to so I thought this would be a good way to continue through my podcast list and feel like I am running with friends.  Side note:  Does anyone else feel like the people on podcasts are your BFFs when you listen?? ha ha ha  Maybe that's just me.

One reason I never ran with headphones in the morning is that it is typically dark out and I easily get spooked.  It is a time when I would rather be on alert.  The nice thing about Aftershokz is that they work via bone conduction - they rest on your jawbone rather than go in your ear, allowing you to hear your surroundings.

One morning I listened to the whole Ryan Adams Prisoner album under the moonlight.  It was MAGICAL.

I knew from previous experience that I could very clearly hear cars and traffic, but I was curious what else I would be able to hear so one long run, I kept track of all of the things I heard in addition to my podcast:

1) Cars
2) Squirrels
3) Birds chirping
4) Another runner saying, "Hi!"
5) Dog
6) A blue heron's wings as it took off in flight (GORGEOUS)
7) Water rushing in the river

Not a bad list!  I have appreciated the ability to have "friends" with me on a run, while also being aware of what is going on around me.

This is particularly important because there has been a cougar in our area! WHAT THE WHAT?! Yeah, I definitely want to be able to be aware of a large predatory CAT while I am running.

I had more treadmill runs that I would prefer in the last month and the Aftershokz headphones have been nice because my kids are old enough to occupy themselves so I can get a shorter treadmill run in and I can hear them while I am running.  Sometimes this also means I hear fights...which, let's be honest.  I don't always WANT to hear that, ha ha ha.

Combining podcasts with my runs has definitely helped me in getting back to it, and I haven't felt less safe in doing so because of Aftershokz technology. 

Do you listen to podcasts?  Which are your favorite?  I rotate between My Favorite Murder (only in daylight), Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette, and C Tolle Run.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 2

I had a great week of running.  I wrote in my training journal "RUN SIX DAYS".  That was my goal - to only take one day off and I did it!

I was not able to do any morning runs this week because we got so many days of rain, which combined with below freezing temps overnight made for icy mornings.  This meant a lot of RACING home from work and trying to squeeze the run in before the bus came.

I also had a birthday this week.  The big 3-7.  No age group change for me.

Sunday, February 18
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did:  Ran!  It has been a while since I ran on a Sunday, but it felt good.
5.15 miles, 39:49 (7:44 avg pace)

Monday, February 19
Plan Says: 3 miles easy

What I did: Off

Tuesday, February 20
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  4.25 miles on the treadmill after work.  Unfortunately it was pouring rain so treadmill it was.  36:31 (8:35 avg pace)

Wednesday, February 21
Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did: Another run after work.  I left a little early from work so I could get a few more minutes on my legs.
4.65 miles, 34:56 (7:31 avg pace)

Thursday, February 22
Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did:  Another run after work.
5.0 miles, 38:45 (7:44 avg pace)

Friday, February 23
Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did:  You guessed it - post-work run.
4 miles, 31:00 (7:44 avg pace)

Saturday, February 24
Plan says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  8 miles, 1:01:51 (7:44 avg pace)
It felt good to get back to a bit longer run on Saturday.  My daughter is taking a life-skills/stage acting class on Saturday mornings, right in the middle of the morning.  My kids also had big plans for breakfast in bed to celebrate my birthday so that meant no early morning run for me.  Thankfully, the class is an hour long so my husband dropped my daughter and me off at the arts center and I ran while she was in class and the boys did the grocery shopping.  I got a long-ish run in AND I didn't have to grocery shop.  I don't know how I managed that win-win situation, but there it is. :)

Weekly Total
Plan says: 16 miles
What I did: 31.07 miles baby!  YES.  This is the first 30+ mile week I have had since October.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 1

First week of marathon training - DONE!

I again am tackling the Hansons Marathon Method Beginner plan.

Going into marathon training, I am a little nervous about how it will go.  The good news is that I have done this exact plan before and that gives me confidence.  However, I am launching a big project at work this week, which has the exact timeline of this training cycle.  I'm a little concerned of being overwhelmed, but one day at a time, right?

The first 5 weeks of the beginner plan are basically ramping up mileage by doing all easy runs and so week 1 is really small mileage, because it technically doesn't start until halfway through the week (thus the amount of "off days" in the beginning).  My plan is to keep up with the 25ish miles/week that I have been doing until the plan catches up with me.  I fell a little short of the 25 mile mark this week.

I have 5 weeks until I have to worry about pacing so keeping my easy runs in the 8 - 8:30 range, which is on the fast end of my easy pace range per the HMM calculator (8:22-9:30).  However, based on my experience last time I used this plan, I didn't really get to that range until after I started track and tempo work (and was tired as all get out). 

I'm not sure about my goal pace right now, but here are some current thoughts.  My current PR is 3:11:09 (7:17 pace).  My 2018 goal is to run a sub3 marathon, a DREAM BIG goal for sure, but there it is.  A 2:59:59 marathon is 6:52 pace.  I think it is lofty but within reach to try to run 7:00 pace this spring so I am going to start there to set my training paces and see how it goes.  (This would give me a 3:03:30 marathon).   

Plan Says:  Off.

What I did:  Off. 

Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off

Plan Says: Off

What I did:  3.25 miles after work.  25:56 (7:59 avg pace)

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did: 5.25 miles, 44:14 (8:25 avg pace) 
Morning run!!!!!!!!!!!

Plan Says: Off

What I did:  5.4 miles, 45:14 (8:23 avg pace)
Another morning run!!!!!!!!!

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did:  4.25 miles, 33:26 (7:52 avg pace)
Unfortunately I was in the emergency department with my 3 year old for most of the night and thus did not get ANY sleep.  (He burned his hand on our stove earlier in the evening.) I was able to get in a run after work, before the bus.

Plan says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4 miles, 35:08 (8:47 avg pace)
Typically I have been trying to do a middle distance (7-9 miles) on Saturdays.  Poor planning on my part resulted in getting in half that distance on a treadmill.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 10 miles
What I did: 22.15 miles

Friday, February 16, 2018

Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonic Running Shoes

Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonic running shoes

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


Under Armour makes running shoes? 


I had no idea!

These beauties showed up on my doorstep in December:

The UA HOVR technology was designed to have a "zero gravity feel" and this was definitely my favorite part about the shoes.  They are very responsive.  The toe box is roomy too, which I am becoming more and more of a fan of when I am looking for running shoes.  (Hello old lady bunions.)

The other amazing part about the shoes is that they track data for you through the Map My Run app.  You download the app (if you do not already use it), and have your shoes nearby and the app syncs to a sensor in the right heel.  Voila.  I do not regularly run with my phone so I can go for a run, come back and click "sync shoes" in the app and my workout data is available.  What does that look like?

When you click on the workout in the app, you get the following summary:
You can then continue scrolling for data on your splits:

And then click on "show more data" for pace, stride length and cadence in line graph form:

Pretty cool, huh?!

Obviously it is winter here so I was running through snow and wet with these, which never impacted the sensor.

I took the shoes out for several easy runs in the 3-5 mile range to get a feel for them and liked them.  I also tried them on a long-ish run (7.5 miles) and a fartlek run.  I like them best in speed work situations so I went all out and wore them for my indoor marathon relay race.  I was very happy with how they felt during this race, as you may have read in my recap.

Another fun aspect of testing out these shoes was "talking shop" with people: 

  • I noticed that Mario Fraioli (check out his awesome weekly newsletter, The Morning Shakeout) had a pair of HOVRs on his Instagram Story so I sent him a message about how I liked the shoes and he responded positively as well. 
  • My brother-in-law, who is not a runner, brought them up to me because he heard about "these shoes that had some awesome technology in them" on the radio.  He was excited to see them in person.
  • Several birds asked me about them at the Marathon Relay, noting how they had heard about them and that they were at a very reasonable price point ($110 for the app-connected version, $100 for the non-connected version).
  • Fast Company did an article on the shoe here as did Engadget.

I am excited to continue using these shoes for my track workouts during marathon training!

Here are a few reviews from the other BibRave Pros who are testing out the UA HOVR Sonic shoes:

Have you ever tried Under Armour running shoes? What did you think?