Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday's Early Bedtime Leads to Wednesday's Early Morning

Things have been going pretty well in the training department.  Before yesterday, I have only had to reschedule one run out of my plan.

Things fall apart.  As @nycrunningmama recently commented on one of her Instagram posts, "Marathon training while having kids and working full time requires a ton of flexibility."  AMEN SISTER. (In my experience, I would also add to that statement...'requires a ton of flexibility on behalf of you, the runner, and your partner.')

Saturday I started having another sore throat.  Sunday it was bad, continuing into Monday and Tuesday.  I knew Tuesday was going to be a long work day, and that I wouldn't get home until 6:15-6:30.  (Generally, I am home, post daycare pickup, around 3:45-4PM).  In this instance, I would try to do my Tuesday workout in the morning, before work.  However, I have been TIRED and made the decision to sleep in Monday and Tuesday mornings.

When I got home last night, I was starving.  My kids were also a bit insane (my son was making the move from crib to twin bed for the first time) so we had to get them calmed down and into bed. Which meant that I didn't start making supper for myself until about 7:15.  It was 8 PM before I had everything done.  AND I WAS TIRED.

I did not do my Tuesday interval workout.   I went to bed, but not before setting my alarm for 4:30 AM (yes, you read that right) and confirming with the hubs that he did not have to get to work early on Wednesday morning (today).

The nice thing about going to bed at 8ish is that 4:30 AM wake up still gave me 8 hours of sleep (what I try to shoot for).  I had packed my gym bag the night before so I went to the gym in my pajamas, expecting to be the only car in the lot.

People, the gym is JUMPING at 4:45 in the morning.  I was shocked.  It turns out, I enjoyed this treadmill workout much more so than my usual 7:15 PM treadmill time.  We'll see if I do it again though.  Easy to say now before afternoon fatigue sets in!

Interval workout done!  I had to abbreviate my cool down by a few minutes so that I could get home to get in a shower and kids ready for school before work.

Now I have to decide if I do the 4 miles scheduled for my Wednesday workout tonight or tomorrow, thereby sacrificing my Thursday rest day.  On a normal week, this would be fine, but I actually do not have a Sunday rest day this week due to marathon relay race on Saturday.  I'm aiming to get 4 miles in tonight after kids are in bed.  If I don't go to bed first!

Heard on the Run:
1. Alec Baldwin interviews the filmmakers of "Making a Murderer"
I haven't watched Making a Murderer yet. (We don't have netflix.)  I do like the Alec Baldwin podcast though and have listened to several of his interviews.  He tends to interrupt a lot, which makes me cringe, but overall, I enjoy these from time to time.

2. Parts of Chris Stapleton's album, Traveler (NPR Review)
LOVE.  I waited a long time in the library queue for this album.  Also, I totally jumped on the CS bandwagon post-Justin Timberlake / Chris Stapleton performance at Country Music Awards and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

3. Parts of Avett Brothers' album, The Carpenter
Also LOVE.  This is a default listen for me.  Sometimes on easy runs, I will put this on and sing along as a test to make sure my pace is ok.  Don't you wish you lived in my neighborhood...'What is that god awful noise coming from outside?' 'Oh that's just that crazy Schlotthauer woman singing while running again.'

Monday, January 25, 2016

Six weeks of Marathon Training Down, 12 to go!

Another week closer to the marathon!  I had another strong training week logged, culminating in a great long run.

Tuesday:  My speed workout for the week was 4x1600.  The last time I had to do 1600s was rough so I was anxious about this.  I was on the treadmill due to cold again and I was  bummed that I didn't get my favorite treadmill - the last row, corner 'mill.  No one behind me. Alas, I got through the mile repeats.  The last 1600 was tough and assisted by Defying Gravity from the Wicked soundtrack.  What a great motivational song!  Full workout was a 1.6 mile warm up, 4x1600 with 0.25 jog in between and a 1.6 mi cool down.  Was relieved to have this thing done.

My other runs were 4 miles easy with strideouts after.  I did one in the wee hours of the morning (5AM, 20 degrees) in the dark and the other after work (3PM, 23 degrees).  I'm trying to do one run a week right after work from my office to a) get some daylight running in; b) take advantage of warmer temps (I'll take every degree of warmth that I can get!); and c) vary my courses.

Saturday:  LONG RUN!  I "only" had to do a 13 mile run this week.  My husband made fun of me for saying that.  Saturday's weather was a balmy 32 degrees! WOOHOO! (My ATL-based coach calls that "cold". ha ha ha) I was supposed to do the first 9 miles easy and get the last four done in 7:00-7:20 pace.  I started out with the latest Serial podcast, hoping that would help me keep my pace in check.  (Sometimes I find running with music makes me run faster than I ideally want to.)  My avg pace for the first 9 miles was 7:18, and I felt good.  I took a gu and some water and started picking up the pace for the last 4.  I also switched to music, since the podcast was over.  The last four were 6:58, 6:59, 6:55, 6:43.  13 miles in 1:33:30.  (For the record, my half marathon PR is 1:33:23.)  I forgot to wear my compression calf sleeves for my long run this week.  My coach said, and I quote, "You might be able to break 3:10 if things go perfectly!" If I break 3:10, post-marathon drinks are on me for those traveling to Boston with me!

Total week 6 miles per plan: 29
My total mileage last week: 29.37

I have the Icebreaker Marathon Relay (indoor) with other Oiselle women coming up on Saturday.  I am sort of freaking out that this doesn't really fit nicely into my plan, but trying to just go with it. One of the other women on my 4-person team is also running Boston so we were commiserating about how this race is difficult to plan around.

I am really proud of myself for making it 6 weeks into this plan and not skipping any workouts. ZERO! I definitely do better sticking to workouts if I have a plan and I am INFINITELY better at doing the workouts if I have a plan + coach.  Woohoo for High Miles Running.  Seriously loving this training session so far!

12 weeks until Boston!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When the Tough Get Going...

In addition to checking my workouts off, I am working on training my brain.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I have a lot of books on my library hold queue!  Today, I started reading Mindset at work as my boss gave us all a copy for Christmas. Of course, part of the intent in giving us this book was for us to make professional connections to the text, but 2 chapters in, all I keep thinking about is the relevance to running.

Light bulb moment: I often approach running with a fixed mindset.  I have x amount of talent and that is the way it is.  I often give up when workouts get tough, and as a result am disappointed even though the outcome is not terrible.  A good example of this is the Wisconsin Marathon last May.  Yes it got hot.  Yes I was alone.  But I distinctly remember looking at my watch at around Mile 20 and thinking, I can really back off and still qualify for Boston.  And that is what I did.  The last 10K was miserable.  I walked.  A lot.  I zeroed in on "I can't do it" so I didn't.   In fact, probably every 5K last year, this was my mentality.  "It's too hard."

I often feel like this in workouts and so I back off.  I do not push past my comfort zone.  Here is an excerpt from the book that summarizes a new approach I am working on with training:

"Don't fool yourself.  Keep on going."  <---Mantra!

(A few quick paragraphs talk a little bit further about the mindset concept in relation to parenting in this recent Upworthy link.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 5 Review: The week where I thought my Adductor Muscles were toast

The last week was slightly crazy in that I, in dramatic fashion, thought I was getting slapped with the dreaded "injured" label.

My general running schedule on my HMR plan is:

Tuesday: Speedwork
Wednesday: Easy Run
Friday: Tempo Run
Saturday: Long Run

This schedule has been working very well.  For #runlovechallenge, my partner and I are trying to do core workouts on Sunday, Monday and Thursday (my off days).  Last Sunday, I needed an exercise ball for part of my workout so I brought our large ball up from downstairs.  I frequently sit on the ball and bounce the kids on it while downstairs.  On carpeting.  Never once have I fallen off.

Sunday, the kids saw the ball and of course wanted a bounce.  So we started bouncing on the ball on hardwood floor.  I totally fell off and landed on my right sit bone.  HOWL! CRY! DAMN that hurt. I was kind of gimping around after that but figured it would go away.  Monday it was slightly sore but nothing big.  Did another core workout.

Tuesday was a different story.  My inner thigh muscles on my right leg HURT.  I did my speed workout (8x800) but it wasn't pain free.  So I did what one should never do.  I Googled.

Cue frantic-sounding emails to EH, my plan master/coach, and my aunt, a massage therapist.  I started foam rolling my inner thigh (thanks to some helpful you tube videos) and icing.  I skipped my run on Wednesday and had two days of rest, with foam rolling.

Friday I felt decent - not in pain so I attempted my tempo workout.  Felt tight, but not painful.

Saturday was a big day.  The plan called for 2 hours of easy running.  I was excited to get out the door and I was trying to get out while the temperature was still in double digits.  I ended up getting 16.33 miles in the 2 hour time period for an average pace of 7:21!  I started this run way too fast though so I need to work on that (still).  I also used some compression calf sleeves that my friend Erica sent me.  The specific calf sleeves she sent me were CEP compression brand (these in pink!) and I really feel like my legs could tell the difference while running AND they were not as sore as they usually are the day after.   I am going to continue using these on my long run (BTW, check out Erica's awesome blog here.  Guaranteed you will find some useful information and inspiration, and you might win a prize or two!)

I made up my missed easy run yesterday on the treadmill.  Today my leg feels totally fine.  PHEW!

Total week 5 miles per plan: 32.75
My total mileage last week: 33.83

I am really trying to stick to the plan and not skip workouts and so far, haven't skipped one!  Upon reviewing my last marathon training block (Jan-May of 2015), I was surprised at how many workouts I ended up skipping.  I think the Run Streak definitely helped in helping see holes in my schedule and where I could take advantage of morning/night runs.

13 weeks until Boston!

Monday, January 11, 2016

4th week of HMR and the #runlovechallenge

The fourth week of my HMR plan and the first week of #runlovechallenge is done.  It was supposed to be an "easy week" - aka cut back on my long run - but it was tough, physically and mentally.  I had trouble sleeping this week.

Tough workout 1 was 1.6 mi warm up, 3 x 1600 @ 6:30 pace, 400 m jog rest in between each, followed by 1.6 mi cool down.  Again I was on the treadmill.  This was really tough for me.  Sweat was everywhere.  Apparently it shouldn't have been that tough, according to my coach.  My 5K could use some work.

Tough workout 2 was 2 miles warm up followed by 4 miles tempo @ 6:50-7:10.  I was doing this outside in the dark on Friday morning.  It was a little drizzly and 90% of the road was fine but that damn slippery 10% had it in for me.  Mentally, I wanted to quit the entire workout.

Tough workout 3 was a 12 mile run at easy pace followed by 6 strides.  True to form, I was nervous about this, but my youngest went down for a nap so it was go time.  I had my ipod loaded with episode 4 of Serial.  I have been taking an energy gel at one hour to train my stomach with them and it seems to be going ok.  I have continued to carry my 16 oz handheld water bottle with me but probably going to have to start stashing one of these weeks.  We had a warm spell on Friday - Saturday so most of my path was clear.  I intentionally tried to chase hills for this run and it worked out fairly well.  Overall this went well.

Total Miles Last Week: 28.95  (Plan Goal: 28.75 miles)

The Oiselle #runlovechallenge officially kicked off last Monday.  My partner for the challenge and I have a goal of getting a core workout in 3x a week - Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.  We are doing the dirty dozen and a Kayla Itsines workout.  Rough rough rough!  It was easier to run a mile on these days than to do this core workout!  Challenge ends 2/14 - I'm hoping that by then, it will be enough of a habit for me to continue.  It definitely helps to have someone be accountable for this!

14 weeks until Boston!

In other running news, I had the privilege of watching my high school cross country coach get inducted into the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches hall of fame last Friday night.  It was fun to catch up with some of the people I ran with and see him!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Goals

There they are.  My 3 goals for 2016 running, in order of importance.  #1 and #2 are going to tough, but there they are.  I think having a tough marathon goal is going to help me stick to my training more so than I did last year.  (Thanks to Another Mother Runner for the template.)

#3 actually kicks off today!  I am participating in another Internet challenge - because I find they really motivate me.  Oiselle's #RunLoveChallenge starts today and goes 6 weeks.  You pick a goal - any goal, and work on it for 6 weeks.  I also have some fellow Oiselle Volee teammates to help motivate me.  So my goal for the #RunLoveChallenge is #3 on my list.  Get serious about the core.  I have 3 non-running days on my HMR plan.  On two of these days, I am going to work on core work at home - likely a lot of Oiselle Dirty Dozen.  I'm also hoping that this will help achieve #1 and #2 on my list!

What are your 2016 goals?

HMR Week 3 Review and The #RWRUNSTREAK is officially over!

The third week of my HMR plan felt more manageable, likely because I wasn't also battling a cold. ALSO, the end of my RW Run Streak was in sight.

Tough workout 1 was 1.6 mi warm up, 4 x 1200 @ 4:50 pace followed by 1.6 mi cool down.  I ended up having to do this workout on a treadmill at the gym because of the condition of the streets post-snowstorm.  It was my first treadmill workout in over 9 months so I survived.

Tough workout 2 was 3 miles out and 3 miles back with the 3 miles back at my tempo pace (6:50-7:15).  This one was fine, although I thought I had re-started my watch on the 3 miles back leg and then looked down .75 miles in and realized I hadn't.  GAH! I hate when that happens!

Tough workout 3 was a one hour, 45 minute run at easy pace followed by 6 strides.  True to form, I was nervous about this, but my youngest went down for a nap so it was go time.  I had my ipod loaded with episode 3 of Serial and I attempted a "double tab" of Nuun (tri-berry + lemonade) in my water bottle.  The roads and sidewalks were hit or miss so I ended up meandering through neighborhoods for this run since most of the park trails were not cleared of snow/ice.  Was glad to get this one done!

Total Miles Last Week: 31.7  (Plan Goal: 30.25 miles)

The #RWRunStreak challenge officially ended on New Year's Day.  I made it one more day beyond the "official" challenge time period and ran 38 days in a row.  I took a much needed rest day yesterday and ran 0 miles!  Streak is broken.  Hallelujah.

I am glad to have participated, and be done with, the RW Run Streak challenge.  It was very motivating to me and got me through a month where historically I blow off running.  I also got into a habit of running more mornings than I had previously, which I hope to continue through my Boston training.  Having a pre-defined "end time" also helped motivate me.  I knew I could do it because I had an end goal in mind.

HOWEVER, running every day was also stressful.  There were a lot of days where we had a lot going on and I had to squeeze a run in at weird times, mostly because I try very hard to fit running in around my family's schedule, versus the other way around.

I am grateful that I only  had to use a treadmill one day - I think if I had to rely on going to the gym more often (as I would have in previous winters) there is no way I would have finished the challenge.

15 weeks until Boston!