Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Running Year in Review

It is the last day of 2015!

2015 was a great running year for me.  I ran 1,042.59 miles, which is almost double what I ran last year (566.59 miles).  (To be fair, I didn't have a newborn, nor was I nursing a child this year!)

My goals for 2015 were to:

1.  Qualify for the Boston Marathon:
This was the focus of the first 4 months of 2015 and I did it!  I ran the Wisconsin Marathon in 3:25:50 on May 2.  I received confirmation of my acceptance into Boston 7 weeks ago and our hotel and one leg of our trip are booked!

2.  Incorporate more core work:
This is a poorly worded goal and maybe that is why I didn't really nail this one.  Certainly I had periods of time where I was doing great with my core work, but nothing consistent.

3.  Break 19:00 in the 5K:
Alas.  I was 20 seconds from this.  I gave up on this after my 4th try in September.  Will this reappear on my 2016 list? You bet.

Other Fun Facts
A.  I ran 8 races in 2015.

1.  Wisconsin Marathon 3:25:50 (May)
11th female, 4th age group (AG), 63rd overall

2.  Run Tosa Run 5K 19:41 (May)
1st place female, 7th overall

3.  Silver Linings 5K 19:51 (May)
2nd place female, 2nd place AG, 18th overall

4. Walleye Run 2 mile 12:13 (June)
2nd place female, 2nd place AG, 12th overall

5. Not Just A Walk in the Park 5K 19:52 (August)
1st place female, 13th overall

6. TosaFest 5K 19:20 (September)
 4th place female, 2nd place AG, 27th overall

7.  Briggs and Als Run 8K 32:17 (September)
9th female, 2nd place AG,  87th overall

8. Harvest Fest Half Marathon 1:33:23 (September)
1st female, 4th overall

(Thank goodness for Athlinks!)

B.  I also joined Oiselle Volee this year, which has been a fun opportunity.  Word is they are opening up the program in 2016 again!  (Sign up for their email list on their website if you are interested.)

C.  I was accepted as a Nuun Ambassador for 2016!

D.  I ran 17 miles on a treadmill on Valentine's Day.  Seriously.  I don't know that I will ever forget this!

E.  I started a running streak on Thanksgiving that to date has lasted 36 days! (#RWRUNSTREAK)

F.  I used 5 pairs of shoes.  To be fair only 2 of these are no longer in my rotation.

Thanks for reading!  I am looking forward to 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #2 of HMR....RWRunStreak CONTINUES!

The second week of my HMR plan was a beast...and I survived.  I started the week with a cold AND it was a holiday week so when I saw three tough workouts on the plan, I felt my anxiety ramp up big time.

Tough workout 1 was 1.6 mi warm up, 6 x 800 @ 3:15 pace followed by 1.6 mi cool down.  It was 5 AM and drizzly when I did this workout and each 800 (0.5 miles, really) began and ended with some phlegm spitting and snot rockets.   I was tempted to skip the cool down, but some small part of me continued on.

Tough workout 2 was 2 mi warm up, 3.5 miles tempo (~7:00 pace) and 800 m cool down.  This was a turning point in the week and felt great.  My average tempo pace was 6:50 despite have some W-I-N-D-Y conditions!  I did this the morning of Christmas eve and in my new Oiselle Juno tights (Christmas gift to myself!).

Probably the hardest workout of last week was 4 miles easy.  I SLOGGED through this.  My legs were so tired!

Tough workout 3 was 12 miles, the day after Christmas.  Long runs always freak me out.  Luckily I was on a tight timeline because we had a Christmas celebration to get through so I could not procrastinate as I tend to.  I even forced myself to do an out and back course.  I also get very anxious about out and back courses because I think that I am not going to be able to get back - it is all very mental for me!  I did not have a new Serial to listen to so I put the new Adele album (Christmas gift from Nate's cousin) on my iPod and took off.  That got me through the first hour (that and lemonade Nuun) and it was smooth sailing the way home...until it started raining.  Avg pace was 7:32 for this.  I also had to do 6 stride outs after this workout and I felt like I was running REALLY fast during the stride outs.  My neighbors, who already think I'm crazy,  probably thought I was REAL crazy watching those.

As I was wrapping up my log of the week, I felt joy looking back on it.  It was a lot of suffering in the dark and cold and it made me a stronger runner.  Great post on the value of suffering by Kristin Armstrong here.)

Total Miles Last Week: 31.4  (Plan Goal: 28.25 miles)

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on my "off days".  I have now run 33 days in a row!

Monday, December 21, 2015

HMR week 1 and the #RWRunStreak Continues!

My first week of the HMR plan went well, although I have a cold - consistently mostly of a hacking cough.  My daughter has the same cough and is up all night coughing, which interferes with everyone's sleep.  AHHHHH!

Regardless, I logged 29.2 miles last week AND continued the #RWRunStreak!

I had a tempo run of 2 mi warm up, 3 miles at 6:55-7:15 pace followed by 1 mi cooldown.  I ended up doing my tempo a bit faster (6:50) despite strict instructions to NOT do that.  Oops! Sorry, coach.

My long run was to be an easy 11 miles.  I was planning on doing it Saturday afternoon.  After a warmer than usual December in Wisconsin, it ended up being 15 degrees or some crazy cold day on Saturday.  That and the fact that I wasn't feeling the greatest, made me decide to push off the long run to Sunday.  It ended up being a good decision - it was 40+ degrees on Sunday!

The long run was not easy though.  I ended up eating chili for lunch which was a bad decision.  Of course all restrooms are closed for the winter along my usual route so I ended up ducking into a Dairy Queen (has happened before ....THIS SAME WEEK LAST YEAR!).  I made it through 11.43 miles because my foggy brain couldn't do math accurately.  My pace was 7:50 average, which typically is a bit slow for me but felt hard.

My two maintenance workouts were 4 miles each.

At this timepoint, I was much faster last year compared to this year.  I'm not exactly sure why.

Total Miles Last Week: 29.2  (Plan Goal: 25 miles)

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.

As I am writing this, I have completed 25 days of consecutive running.

Last week I also found out that I was accepted as a Nuun ambassador for 2016! I really like Nuun products, which is why I applied for their program.  Fun times!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The final week of the BAA Plan and the #RWRUNSTREAK is still going!

The BAA Plan Week 4 has come to a close and once again I finished all four prescribed workouts, and did a better job of trying to run within the target paces.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 4 x 1/2 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 2 minutes of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1 mi warm up @ 7:26
8 x 1/4 mi (6:51, 6:42, 6:42, 6:41 pace each, recovery jogs at 7:45-8:30 pace each)
1.2 mi cool down @ 7:37

Workout 2: 4-5 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4 mi @ 8:05

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

4.5 mi @ 7:35

Workout 4: Long Run: 10-11 mi easy (8:15-8:50)

9.3 mi @ 7:37 (*This was all over the place as I overdressed and stopped to remove a layer and forgot to start my watch again for almost a mile so time is inaccurate!)

Total Miles Last Week: 26.2

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.

As I am writing this, I have completed 19 days of consecutive running...and I still don't like it, but I have surpassed the halfway mark!  I have been really lucky that we have experienced a VERY mild Wisconsin winter thus far.

In bigger news, I got the first few weeks of my custom marathon training plan from High Miles Running last night!  I will start this plan tonight (Tuesday) and so am done with my BAA Training Plan which served me well the past 4 weeks.

AND our flight to Boston is BOOKED!  We arrive late afternoon Thursday April 14!  We haven't gotten our return flight yet because they are still pretty expensive, but hoping to come home Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BAA Plan Week 3 and continuing #RWRunStreak

The BAA Plan Week 3 has come to a close and once again I finished all four prescribed workouts, and did a better job of trying to run within the target paces.  I was on the low end of the mileage ranges because it was A WEEK.  My daughter had surgery to fix an umbilical hernia (everything went great!), my son turned 2 and we had a birthday party for him, presentation to CEO at work, book club meeting, volunteer event, there was a Santa breakfast at my daughter's school, and the usual appointments/schedule that already make for a busy week.  I truly was squeezing running in whenever possible!  On top of that, I did not get a ton of sleep because I was anxious about the surgery.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 8 x 1/4 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 60 seconds of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1 mi warm up @ 8:07
8 x 1/4 mi (6:36-6:53 pace each, recovery jogs at 8:00-9:00 pace each)
1 mi cool down @ 7:46

Workout 2: 4-5 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4.1 mi @ 7:55

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

4.1 mi @ 7:24

Workout 4: Long Run: 8-10 mi aerobic (7:50-8:10)

8 mi @ 7:28

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.  1.1 miles is the distance of one entire loop of my neighborhood.

As I am writing this, I have completed 12 days of consecutive running...and I don't like it.  It seems silly that I am stressing out to get out to run a mile just to say I ran that day and not break the streak.  It feels like I am running to do the streak, rather than really enjoying it.  I think it is also contributing to me feeling "meh" about gearing up for another marathon.  My book club unfortunately got an ear full of negativity and as I listed to myself whining to them, I was thinking, "Boy, I do not sound like someone who is in love with running right now."

On the positive side, the BAA plan has helped me log 3 great running weeks in a row (24.6 miles, 24.2 miles, 24.4 miles).

In bigger news, I had a great running conversation with a friend and running coach last night which made me excited about training.  He is serving up a running plan in the next couple of weeks and then I will officially stop this BAA plan and use his. His philosophy about running really resonated with me.  I was slightly nervous to talk to him because I REALLY do not want to be running more than 4 days a week...and let's be honest, with working full time outside the house and wanting to see my kids, I can't really commit to more than 4 days.  To my surprise and relief, he was down with it.  PHEW!  I am a little afraid of his "two big workouts" though after he promised that they would be hard.

Now I am off to try to find a half marathon in the next month or two!