Monday, February 29, 2016

Nailed it!

I opened my email this morning and there it was.

"2016 Boston Marathon: Please Verify Your Address Information"


7 more weeks!

Last week was a good training week.  My speed workout was 12x800; 800s are my favorite so I always like when they come back around.  I ran the easy runs slower than I had been and felt well rested for my long run plan: 2 hours, 30 minutes with the first 80 minutes easy pace, next 45 minutes medium pace and the final 25 minutes hard.

My practical goal was to slow down for those 80 minutes - hold back, so that I could progressively get faster.

And I'll be honest.  I REALLY wanted to get 20 miles logged in that amount of time.

I was doing some route planning on Friday and discovered that there is a nature preserve not too far from my usual long run route.   I worked out a route that would have me running to the nature preserve, through it, turn around and go back home and make up whatever amount of time remained while in my hilly neighborhood.

I was going to get up early and do this the first thing on Saturday morning.  And then I saw the weather forecast.  It was going to get up to 50 degrees!  I wanted a piece of that so thankfully my husband was amenable to the change.

The last time I had a long long run I ran it on a treadmill.  I was telling myself that if I can run 2:20 on a treadmill, I can run 2:30 outdoors.  I also replicated the dinner I had before that LONG ASS treadmill run for lunch - this recipe.

Then I was flip flopping about what I would wear.  I thought I might be too cold in shorts and then I saw that my IG feed was full of people running in shorts so I went for it.  I had recently gotten a new-to-me pair of Oiselle shorts from the Volee Gear Swap page so I was going to test those out.  I donned my hot pink CEP compression calf sleeves along with a short sleeve, long sleeve and light jacket.

I had charged and loaded my iPod with some podcasts so that was good to go.

Now fuel.  The bad part of my intended route was that it was, for the most part, out and back.  So I would have to run with two water bottles for a lot of the route.  Hashtag Annoying.  Only one of my water bottles is nice to run with and the other was a free throwaway from one of my husband's golf outings.  I filled the ergonomic one with nuun and the other with water.  Threw 2 Gu packets in the pocket and was off.

It felt so awesome to run in shorts outside in the sunshine.   I quickly got hot though and was cursing myself for wearing all the top layers.  At the 3 mile mark, I stopped and took off my long sleeve and tied it around my waist.  It was fairly windy out however, I only had to deal with a crosswind to this point.  I dropped one of my water bottles off at around 5 miles and continued on.  I felt really good but was purposely trying to reign it in, although seeing my pace on my Garmin made me a little nervous as it was still in the low 7:30s.

I got to the nature preserve and stopped to check the trail map and continued on.  It was really muddy and gross and awesome.  The trail through was shorter than I anticipated and I came back through to head home, turned out of the driveway and BAM.  I was slammed by the wind.  I had about 4 miles into the wind before I was set to turn again.  Those 4 miles were the toughest for me.  I was supposed to pick up the pace a bit at that point and that sort of went out the window.  I readjusted to 'just keep running'.

It felt AMAZING to turn off and no longer be running INTO the wind.  I made it back to our neighborhood and dropped my two water bottles and the shirt around my waist.  It felt as if I had dropped ten pounds.  I felt so light and springy for a bit after that.  I was looking at my watch and I had 20 minutes left.  I spent time doing mental math.  Was it possible to get 20 miles in by 2:30:00?

I was definitely tired but tried pushing it.  I got to 19 miles and realized I was going to have to run sub 7 to get to 20 miles in the amount of time I had left on the clock.  So I started thinking about doing 800s in 3:15-3:20 and not look at my watch until I heard the "beep", indicating I had hit another mile.

I heard the beep and hit stop immediately.


FOR REAL.  I took a picture.  20 miles!  I did not restart for that last second.  EH was going to just have to give that to me :)

My last four miles were:
7:22, 7:08, 7:07, 6:44

My average pace: 7:30.

The best part was that I was definitely tired, and the last mile hurt, but I could picture running more.  I looked back and about this time last year I did 19.75 miles in 2:31:38.  Love seeing improvements!

(Which is what I did when my daughter wanted to go on a bike ride, immediately after I walked in the door.  SURE, honey...I'll run/walk next to your bike...)

If my avg pace is 7:30 at Boston, my finish time will be: 3:16:38  - not too far off my 3:15 goal.

Last week's mileage: 39.38 miles
Mileage per plan: 37.50

Total February Mileage: 148.73 miles

Heard on the Run
1. Magically Interrupted, Modern Love Podcast Episode 6

2. In Darkness and In Light, Modern Love Podcast Episode 7
The modern love podcasts are great for easy parts of my run.  I try to focus on the story and not running too fast too soon.  I liked this story but my favorite part was the interview with the author afterwards.

3. Hindsight Part 1, Serial Season 2, Episode 7
I am not as taken with season 2 of Serial but I likely will hang on for the end because I'm not really sure what the end is.  I also am not entirely clear on the goal of this story either.  It seems a little all over the place.   Part of why I feel this way may be because I have listened to every episode so far while running and sometimes I am present for the whole story and other times I am not.

4. Running on Om, Episode 182, Interview with Sally Bergesen, CEO of Oiselle
It's safe to say that I drank the Oiselle Kool-Aid.  I admit that bias.  This interview, all 1:30 of it got me through most of my 2:30 long run.  I deliberately saved it for the last 1:30 of my run as I knew it would be inspiring.  I'm ready to pack up my family, move to Seattle and beg her for a job.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Am I one of "those people"?

Where do I begin.

Thread 1:  FOOD!
I hold fast to the part of my identity that loves food and will eat whatever I want whenever I want. That's not to say that I eat terribly all the time, but I don't really think about what I eat and if I'm getting enough vegetables, etc.  I love dairy - especially cheese, I love meat - especially a delicious cheeseburger, I love vegetables, I love fruit, I love carbs, I love sugar.  "Everything in moderation". Love that.  I have been known to roll my eyes at "those people" who don't eat such and such. Judgmental, but true.

Thread 2: SKIN
I have never had good skin.  Always really dry.  Always really sensitive.  I also have been struggling with acne.  Again.  For like the millionth time in my adult life. The first time I really had an intense blow out was right before a good friend's wedding.  The woman doing makeup for the event basically had to shellac it on.  I remember crying in the bathroom at the reception to one of my grad school friends at it.  I was prescribed some things, it got worse, and then magically it got better and stayed that way for a while.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, my skin was again terrible.  I was prescribed some cream that was conducive to pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Things got a little better. Then I got pregnant with my son and my skin was decent.

And now, here I am 2 years later.  Again with the acne.  Full force, cystic.  Awful.  My now five year old daughter asks "Why do you have those red bumps all over your face, Mom? I don't like them." Yeah, neither do I.  Can I put a bag over my head now?

I tried paring down products, switching to natural, responsibly sourced products.  Things got a little better, but not much.  My skin was red.  Itchy.  Inflamed.  Angry.

My primary care doctor prescribed something last fall.  Tried it, when the tube was gone, and my face was still gross, I made an appointment with a dermatologist.  She confirmed hormonal acne, and prescribed me spiranolactone.  "Spiro" is actually a blood pressure medication which has been shown to improve hormonal acne.  "You're gonna love it", she said.   I was so wanting a magical elixir that I didn't ask any questions except to ask how long I would have to take it.  She answered, "It would be something you would always take."  She also gave me some samples of Aczone, an acne cream, with a prescription for that.  I drove straight to the pharmacy to fill both prescriptions.   Pharmacist warned that the Spiro is a diuretic and also can cause dizziness.  Ok great.

$300 later, I had them in my hand.  GULP.  THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS.  And that was with a coupon.  Damn high deductible health plan.

Days later, it occurred to me that something that lowers blood pressure, causes dizziness and is a diuretic may not exactly be the greatest thing for someone training for a marathon, who already has low blood pressure.  I haven't had many noticeable side effects, but I also still have to go in for a blood test to confirm that potassium isn't ruining my kidneys.

I have been taking the Spiro and applying the Aczone 2x a day for about 40 days.  Nothing really dramatic has happened.  No changes.  I know this from experience - acne medication can take a while to work.  12 weeks is usually the magical wait time.

I have been researching hormonal acne a bit because I am still uncomfortable with the thought of taking this medication long term.  After reading a bunch online, some common themes, related to diet, emerged.  Dairy.  Sugar.  Something called "anti-inflammation diet".

I toyed with the idea of giving up dairy and reducing sugar.  I stopped eating yogurt - which really kills both birds with one stone.  I replaced half and half in my coffee with coconut oil "bulletproof" coffee.

And then I ate half a pan of cheesy, gooey lasagna.  Old habits die hard.

Enter Skin Cleanse and Diet Cults.

I read Skin Cleanse in about a day.  It's easy to digest, no pun intended.  It brought together the disparate threads of what I was reading online. The author is a nutritionist by training, and also developed the skin care line SW Basics. My takeaways from this book were:

1.  Reactions to skin are symptoms.  Dermatologists usually treat symptoms, but often do not address the cause of the reaction.

2.  Food MAY triggers reactions.  "For 99% of you [who suffer breakouts], it likely will be cheese."

3.  Keep a food/symptom journal to see if there are patterns.

4.  Ingredients in skin care products MAY trigger reactions, particularly if you have sensitive skin.  The author was very much from the "responsibly sourced, beauty industry is evil
 camp (e.g., the book contained a list and description of ingredients that you should try not to put on your skin, e.g., parabens) but I liked how she talked about the fact that just because the ingredient is responsibly sourced, all natural, etc, it STILL may cause a reaction in your skin.


5.  Stop using all skin products.  Use olive oil as a moisturizer if you need one.  Introduce products back one by one.  Keep a products journal with the same purpose of identifying what contributes to flare ups.  (Honestly, the author went a time where she used ZERO products - just water - to clean her whole body.  I'm not that brave.)

6.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Eat less processed food.  Eat more "good fats".

7.  Most people do not drink enough water.

Confession: I did not read Diet Cults, with the exception of the last chapter on agnostic eating.  The idea that there are no bad foods resonates with me.  His advice is to make the bulk of what you eat, vegatables, fruits, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, and high quality meats.  Try to use sugar, refined grains, low quality meats sparingly. Very similar to Michael Pollan's simple and wise, "Eat food.  Not too much. Mostly plants."

So marrying the two, I am now trying to really eat mostly vegetables and fruits.  For a time, I am trying to not eat dairy to see what will happen.  I, QUEEN OF DAIRY, BOUGHT FLAX MILK PEOPLE!  I am also trying to drink more water - always a problem for me.  Trying to limit sugar.  I am also keeping a food journal right now.  Honestly - I ate vegetables probably 2x a day if I was lucky before.  And I always tried to eat one fruit a day.  The bulk of my diet was really in the "eat sparingly" list - lots of refined grain.  I'm a runner - I'm supposed to eat carbs, right?!

Switching to eating "mostly plants" has been pretty eye opening to how few plants I ate before, even when I thought I was eating decent.  I probably have quadrupled the amount of items we buy in the produce section for the past 2 weeks.

I am also paring down the skin care products for a time.  I am using olive oil to remove makeup, a gentle, paraben-free cleanser at night only, and olive oil to moisturize.  I am still using makeup because I really can't think about not doing so right now.  So Beautycounter foundation, Beautycounter eyeshadow and Tata Harper cream blush are still being used.  I am also still using both prescribed acne medications until my dermatologist follow-up next month.

I started parts of this two weeks ago, and really got serious on Monday, after my birthday.  I already feel a lot better and my skin is not nearly so red and inflamed.  Placebo? Possibly.  But I am continuing on!

I might be becoming one of "those people".

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lesson Learned...I think. Run "Easy" Runs EASY

Last week was difficult.  I was SO tired all week.  I went to bed around 8 PM the majority of the nights and still had a hard time getting up in the morning.  During every run, I felt like a slug. Nothing felt fluid or natural.   Even though I got 9 hours of sleep on Friday night, I still took a 2 hour nap on Saturday.  Tired. Tired. Tired.

Here were my workouts:

Tuesday:  1.6 mi warm up.  2 miles at 6:55, 0.5 jog rest, 2 miles at 6:45-6:50, 0.5 mile jog rest, 2 miles at 6:38-43, 0.5 mi jog rest. 1.6 mi cool down

Did this on the treadmill and got through it, although it was HARD.

Wednesday:  4 miles easy, 8 strides

I ended up taking this as a rest day because Tuesday night's workout wore me out.

Thursday: off

I did the 4 miles on Thursday.  Felt ok, but still was huffing it.  7:53 average pace.

Friday: 4 miles easy, 6 strides.

I did this Friday morning and it was nice and warm.  Still felt hard.  7:37 average pace.

Saturday: 15 miles as 4 miles easy warm up, 3 miles at 7:10-7:20, 1 mile easy, 3 miles 7:10-7:20, 1 mile easy, 3 miles 7:10-7:20.

I woke up and did this right away in the morning.  I don't love running right away in the morning, particularly for long runs, but last week went well and it makes it easier on the fam if I do it in the morning so I was off. The amazing thing is that it was 41 degrees at 6:15 in the morning! In February! In Wisconsin!  I almost fell on my ass right out of the driveway because although it was 41 degrees, there were some slick spots of ice.  Thankfully, I stayed upright and didn't encounter any more ice slicks for the rest of the run.

I felt like the first "easy" 4 miles was still really hard.  NOT exactly the way I wanted to be feeling with 15 miles on the docket and 9 of them "hard".

I got through this workout but stopped so much. They were quick stops, but stops nonetheless. I was out of my Nuun too early, i was warmer than I wanted to be, yadda yadda.  I was running sets of "fast" 3 miles too fast (first set average pace was 6:58, next two sets average pace was 7:06) but not really being able to calibrate.  UGH.  I got back and I was so tired.

Luckily, I got away with taking a 2 hour nap on Saturday afternoon while my son napped because my husband and daughter wanted to do some birthday shopping.

I emailed my weekly log to EH (my coach) and included how tired I was.

He told me I have to back off on my easy days.  Make the easy days easy.  How many times have I read that in a blog post, magazine article, etc?  I mean that is so basic.  You, my dear two readers, probably picked up on that immediately.

I so struggle with running "slow".  Blame it on my competitive type-A personality.  However, that is my goal for next week.  SLOW down on the easy parts.  I have a tough month ahead of me and I will not get through it by continuing to run my ass off.

8 weeks until Boston!

Heard on the Run
1.  Finished "Regular Mother Runners Doing the Olympic Trials Part 2 podcast from last week. I had to finish the last interview, with Andrea Duke, and it was great.  LOVE her.

2. This American Life podcast, I Thought I Knew You (Episode #578).  I listened to the first two acts of this podcast on Tuesday.  It really wasn't doing it for me on the treadmill so I switched to music to finish out the workout.  I think it is because Donald Trump incites me.  I couldn't really get past this bias while listening to Act 1.

I started my long run (Saturday) with the final two acts of this and liked them better.  I really enjoyed the story about the teacher (Act 3).

3. Running On Om, Episode #179 Ask Lauren Fleshman on the Role of Gender, Body Image and Motherhood on Running.
This was my first Running On Om ("ROO") podcast that I have listened to and it is the only thing that got me through my long run.  I admire Lauren Fleshman, love her writing (REALLY want to go to her running and writing retreat this fall!) so I started it thinking I was going to like it. And I did. She touched on so many relevant topics for me in a very honest way.  I definitely will be listening to more of these podcasts.

I have so many thoughts going through my head - I am going to try to crank out a few more posts than usual this week. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 15, 2016

9 Weeks Down, 9 Weeks to Go!

Last week threw a few curveballs.  Some I missed (see Rough Spot) and some I knocked out of the park.

The weather has been, for the most part, very generous this year.  Last week, the temps plummeted for more than a day, which meant that 3 of the 4 runs that I had on my plan were done on the treadmill, including my long run.  I did an easy 4 miler outside on Thursday evening to test the weather.  Thursday night was slightly warmer than the temps were forecasted to be on Saturday.  I was ok with the 4 miles, however, my legs were COLD.  I made the decision then that my 2 hour 20 minute run was going to be on the treadmill.  GULP.

Normally, I do my Saturday long run early afternoon, while my 2 year old naps.   The problem with that was that the Olympic marathon trials were going to be on during the same time.  I wasn't sure that my gym was going to have them playing, and I also have had annoyances while plugging my headphones into the treadmill - I get little "shocks" every once in a while.  Yeah.  Not doing it.

We also had a pretty packed weekend.  Swim lessons Saturday morning.  Double date night Saturday night.  Church event on Sunday morning.  Band concert Sunday afternoon.  AHHHHHHHH.

The only option was to get it done prior to swim lessons on Saturday morning.

I set my alarm for 4:45 AM. I downloaded some podcasts.  I went to bed relatively early.

Unfortunately, I barely slept after 1 AM.  I was really anxious about the run and therefore tossing and turning.

I woke up with the alarm, changed and grabbed my bag.  I ate a Picky Bar while driving. I got to the gym around 5 AM.  It was empty. Woohoo! My favorite corner treadmill was available.

I pulled on my Oiselle Volee racing singlet and my CEP compression calf sleeves.  Grabbed my fuel, my iPod, my water bottle and climbed on.

My plan had me doing the first 90 minutes "easy", the next 30 minutes "medium", and the final 20 minutes "hard".  I broke this up even more because that is the only way I can get through treadmill workouts: Little chunks.

First chunk:
30 minutes at 7.6 mph. 7:54 pace.
@ 20 minutes, raise incline to 3% for 1 minute.

Second chunk
30 minutes at 7.7 mph, 7:48 pace.
@ 40 minutes, raise incline to 3% for 1 minute
@ 45 minutes, eat a Gu Chomp Block
@ 58:30 minutes, raise incline to 3% for 1 minute

Treadmill shuts off automatically.  7.63 miles. Refilled my water bottle, dropped a Nuun tablet in. Push start.

Third chunk
30 minutes @ 7.7 mph, 7:48 pace.
@ 15 minutes, eat a block.
@ 20 minutes, raise incline to 3% for 90 seconds.
@ 30 minutes increase speed to 7.8 mph, 7:42 pace, eat a block.

Fourth chunk
@ 40 minutes, raise incline to 3% for 90 seconds,
@ 45 minutes, eat a block.
@ 58 minutes, raise incline to 3.5% for 90 seconds.
@ 60 minutes, eat a block, treadmill shuts off (again). 7.82 miles done.

It's a little hazy but I also increased my speed 0.1 mph at a time through this fourth chunk, starting at 7.8 mph and ending at 8.1 mph.  7:42-7:24 pace.

Fifth chunk
Start at 8.1 mph (7:24 pace).
@ 5 mins, increase speed to 8.2 mph (7:19 pace).
@ 10 mins, increase speed to 8.3 mph (7:14 pace).  Ditch the podcasts - switch over to music.
@ 15 mins, increase incline to 3% for 90 seconds, eat a block, increase speed to 8.4mph (7:09 pace)
@ 16 mins, increase speed to 8.5 mph (7:04 pace)
@ 17:30 mins, increase speed to 8.6 mph (6:59 pace)
@ 20 mins, hit stop. 2.74 miles done.

TOTAL: 2:20:00, 18.19 miles

The timing of the speed increases above is approximate.  I was downright GIDDY during the fifth chunk because a) I was almost done and b) I felt really strong.

Since I bailed halfway through last week's speed workout, I had some miles to make up.  Therefore, I did an optional run yesterday.  It had started snowing yesterday afternoon and I was groaning, not really wanting to be on the treadmill the day after the above when my husband exclaimed, "YAK TRAX!"  I had forgotten about those things!  I strapped them onto an older pair of running shoes and took off.  It was still snowing lightly when I was running and it was so pretty.   A run to remember!

Another week done!

Total miles: 35.96
Total miles per plan: 36.75

Heard on the run:
1. Serial Updates to Trial of Adnan Syad.
Listened to these during my speed workout.  Eh.  Kind of boring.

2. Serial podcast, Season Two, Episode 6 "5 O'Clock Shadow"
Listened to half of this during my speed workout until I abandoned ship on that workout.  Forgot to finish up the second half so will have to do that this week.

3. An Interlude of Clarity, Modern Love podcast
Kicked off my long run with this. Cute story.

4. The Plunge, Modern Love podcast
I enjoyed this story.  I was blown away that a 17 year old wrote it.

5. "Regular" Mother Runners Doing the Olympic Trials Part 1 podcast
AHMAZING.  I was so glad that I had saved these to listen to back to back the morning of the Olympic trials.  It was very motivating during my long run, and made me even more excited to watch the trials.  Also, the title made me think of those Us Weekly things "Stars, They're Just Like Us". ha ha ha

6. "Regular" Mother Runners Doing the Olympic Trials Part 2 podcast
AHMAZING. Again.  This one featured one of my favorites - Sarah "Mac" Robinson.  Her qualifying story still gives me shivers, and this photo (taken by sean dulancy) is one of my favorite running photos ever:

NINE WEEKS UNTIL BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rough Spot

In the interest of keeping it real, I feel like I have to interrupt my "training is going really great" series of posts with a rough spot.  Yesterday was one of those days.

Monday night was, for all practical purposes, a sleepless night due to my daughter's hacking cough.  If the kids don't sleep, ain't nobody sleeping, amIright?

Thus, Tuesday morning was rough.

I got out of bed because I had a 7 AM appt to donate blood for my work's blood drive.  I was so tired, I actually felt nauseous.  I shoved a Picky Bar in and starting chugging a bottle of water and drove to work.  I arrived at the blood drive a few minutes late and was called back.  I made it through the initial physical exam and then started feeling really woozy.  They had me lay down and while I "recovered", I mistakenly thought I was still going to donate.  Even though my blood pressure and all was fine, they sent me on my way after making me drink an apple juice and eat a bag of chips.  YUK.

For the remainder of the day, I felt off, which is common when I feel light headed.

I knew I should have just delayed my speed workout, but I just wanted to get it over with.  Check the box.  Cross it off the list.  

My husband, who was feeling equally sleep deprived, said, "I can't believe you are going to run right now. I'll probably be sleeping when you get back [from the gym]."

I arrived at the gym with my workout listed on a piece of paper:

1.6 mi warm up
1 mi @ 6:55
0.25 mi jog
1 mi @ 6:50
0.25 mi jog
1 mi @ 6:45
0.25 mi jog
1 mi @ 6:40
0.25 mi jog
1 mi @ 6:35
0.25 mi job
1 mi @6:30
1.6 mi cool down

I write these on a piece of paper so I can record each interval as I go.  

I was huffing through the warm up.  Not a good sign.  Felt like it was going to take me a while to warm up and get into a groove.  After the 2nd mile repeat, I thought that perhaps going to the bathroom would help.  It did not.  I came back to find that my treadmill was now occupied by another woman.  I collected my belongings that I left there and moved to another treadmill to start the 3rd mile repeat.  I was really struggling.  I barely finished that mile and then decided to quit.  

First missed workout since I started working with EH over 8 weeks ago.  So goes my perfect attendance record.

I got home, showered, and crashed in my bed.  It was glorious.

P.S. I have officially received a "what the hell were you thinking" re: donating blood during marathon training email from EH.  Thus, I will not be attempting to donate blood again until after 4/18 :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

8 Weeks Down!

Another week down!  

Speed:  My speed workout this week was 1.6 mile warm up, 10x800 @ 3:15-20 pace with 1:30 jog between each, 1.6 mile cool down.

I was groaning a bit about this because it came 3 days after I basically did 12x800 for the indoor marathon relay, and my legs were still sore from that.  But I sucked it up and got on the treadmill.  I set the treadmill to 9.2 mph for all of them and upped it for the last 3 to 9.3-9.5 - basically pushing buttons to fight boredom!  I also finished a podcast for the first part of the workout, but then only played music during my 800 which was a fun little game to get me through.

My two days of easy runs continue to be 4 miles easy with 6-8 strides after.  I initially hated doing strides after my workouts but have come to like them.  They make me feel strong.

Long Run:  My long run this week was 17 miles broken down to: 10 miles easy, 4 miles at 7:20, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at 7:10-7:20.

It sort of happened that way.  Saturday morning I got a text from B, who was on my team for the marathon relay and is also training for Boston, wanting to know if I wanted to meet up for a long run.  Saturday was a squeeze for me and she nicely drove to my house.  She had 18 easy pace miles on her plan.  We did the first 10 together and then I had to pick it up, which initially felt hard, but I got into a groove.  I am still not great at pacing.  It is hard for me to switch from easy to a specific pace because I always think I have to run faster than I actually do.  We ended up doing our final miles as loops in my neighborhood and when i was done with my workout, I went back to finish hers.  So I ran MORE than my long run plan, which I don't think has ever happened.  ha  ha ha.  I felt good for this run, likely because it was fun to have someone to chat with.  Now I have an excellent podcast line up for my next treadmill day!

B also confirmed that this route, which is my typical long run, and my neighborhood loops are my 4 mile easy route is HILLY.  I was happy to hear this because I want to make sure I am running hills frequently enough.  We also had some major wind to contend with.  

Mile 1: 8:05
Mile 2: 7:40
Mile 3: 7:43
Mile 4: 8:03
Mile 5: 8:30
Mile 6: 8:24
Mile 7: 8:11
Mile 8: 8:03
Mile 9: 8:13
Mile 10: 8:12
Mile 11: 7:41
Mile 12: 7:15
Mile 13: 7:00
Mile 14: 6:51
Mile 15: 6:51
Mile 16: 6:57
Mile 17: 6:52
7:45 average, 2:11:48

Mile 18: 8:26

Total miles last week: 35.89
Total miles per plan: 34.50

Another week of solid training in the books.  I am having some aches in my right arch - same issues I was having last year.  I think it is because I stopped using the Superfeet insoles - or rather, they are in my old shoes and I haven't switched them to the other shoes in my rotation.  I put them into my Adidas for my long run and it felt much better so going to get another set of those (since my old pair is probably way worn out).  

In other gear news, I have to get some new sports bras.  I ordered the Oiselle Verrazano and it came looking so pretty but it doesn't fit.  I should have realized it did not have an adjustable band, which is a requirement for me.  Sad face.  I will probably stick with my tried and true Moving Comfort bras.

10 weeks until Boston!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

7th Week of Marathon Training Recap

Last week was a little cray cray, in life and running.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Tuesday's speed workout was delayed to Wednesday morning.  I ended up not doing dual workouts on Wednesday, and thus opted to have 5 running days in a row.

What this meant was that I had early morning workouts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Saturday was the Icebreaker Marathon Relay.

So that meant that yesterday, i was scheduled for an easy long run of 80 minutes.  I had already spent six hours away from the fam on Saturday for running, so I was reluctant to take more time away from them on Sunday, which is usually a rest day for me.

I could have gotten up early on Sunday morning.  My legs (and I) were tired from Saturday though so I opted to stay in bed (until 5:30 when the aforementioned children decided to wake up. AGHHHHHHHHH!).

Typically I do my runs during my son's afternoon nap.  However, it was raining and our house was a disaster so instead we cleaned and got some laundry done.

So that meant that I was headed to the treadmill after kids were in bed.   80 minutes on a treadmill.  BLAH.

I prepped for this by downloading all of the episodes of Modern Love, a podcast I was interested in listening to.  Each episode was about 20 minutes long so I used that to break up the 80 minute run into 4 segments.  I was going to try to go a bit faster with each segment so that mentally it seemed more managable.

The first segment was rough.  My legs were definitely sore/tired from the relay.  After the first segment, I was happy that they seemed to loosen up.  Mentally, the 2nd segment was the roughest for me.  I got through it by saying I could eat a Clif bar chomp at 40 minutes (which is 20 minutes earlier than I have been practicing eating gu on long runs, but in my mind treadmill long runs require a different strategy!).  After an hour, the treadmill auto shut off and I started it back up for the final 20 minute segment.  My legs felt good but also still tired.  My pace for this was definitely slow.  The plan was an "easy" 80 minutes and EH had down 10 miles in that time.  I accomplished 9.4.

GRATEFUL for a full on rest day today!

Total miles last week: 33.56
Total miles per plan: 35.75*

*I did not skip a workout last week, however, EH wanted me to get 10 miles of running logged each day of the weekend.  My Saturday mileage was only 8.16 due to shortened warm up and Sunday fell short by 0.6 miles.

Happy February!  January mileage total for me was 145.21 which I'm 99.99% sure is the most miles I have run in a month ever.  EVER.  WOOT WOOT!

11 more weeks until Boston!

Heard on the Run:
1. Modern Love podcast 1: "A Craigslist Missed Connection Lure"
I used to love reading those when i lived in Chicago so this was a great kickoff to segment 1 of my treadmill long run.

2. Modern Love podcast 2: "Just One Swirl Around the Bowl"
This was a beautiful piece, but I had a hard time focusing on it because I was wanting to stop running during segment 2.  I really enjoyed the author interviews after the piece was done being read though.

3. Modern Love podcast 3: "Open Adoption: Not So Simple Math"
I had tears in my eyes.  I was very tuned into this story which helped segment 3 fly by.

4.  Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast epidsode 37: "Obligers: Are You an Elizabeth?": 
I only got through less than half of this entire podcast because to be sure, I was not running a second longer than 80 minutes.  I have read all of Gretchen Rubin's books and am definitely an obliger so sort of wrote a blog post about that in my head while listening to this.  Will try to get to that later this week.

Race Recap: Icebreaker Marathon Relay!

The Icebreaker Marathon Relay was held Saturday afternoon at the Pettit National Ice Center, which has a 3 lane, 443 m track around the perimeter of the ice rinks.  This is a great running resource in our area as winter can make it hard to get running in, and treadmills can get boring.

My participation in the event was based on our Oiselle state leader, S, organizing a large Oiselle group and forming teams for the relay. S was an organizing mastermind, getting us all signed up and organized into teams based on 800m times we submitted via Google Docs spreadsheets.  She even negotiated to get us shirts made on the Oiselle Lux long sleeves!

The logo of our shirt on the Satellite Lux Shirt

Back to the race.  Organizational prep for this race began in November when we all registered with teams.  We had to update our 800 times in late December and the "official" teams were formed.  Last week, one of my original team members was having knee issues and was swapped out for another woman, who had recently attempted to qualify for the Olympic Trials during the Houston marathon.  AKA she was speedy.

The strategy of each person running an 800 (really an 890) at a time seemed a little crazy to me.  That meant that every person was going to be running 12 890s but having a good 10 minute break in between each, in an environment that was 45 degrees and DRY.  EH told me "don't get hurt" so I was sort of paranoid about that.

Saturday morning, I arrived at the Pettit at 11 AM and met the other Oiselle peeps for the first time.  I'm not going to lie, I had a lot of anxiety about this - meeting new people always makes me feel this way.  I walked into the Petit and was freezing.  I was wearing sweats over my racing shorts, two jackets and a long sleeve shirt.  I had planned on running in my long sleeve and shorts but was second guessing that based on how cold I was waiting around.

The half marathon event was before the relay so while I thought I would be able to run to warm up for a bit, it turned out that we didn't have that much time.  I got 6 laps in for a warm up.  My team got our ankle lap counter and watched S demo how to switch the ankle monitor from person to person.  I was the first runner for our team so I strapped the monitor on my ankle and headed to the start with the other 5 first runners for the Oiselle teams.

There were 50 teams total which meant 50 people starting on a 3 lane track.  I was thinking, "Please don't trip, please don't trip."  Because the total number of laps for a marathon was 95.5, we had decided that I would run 1.5 laps to kick us off.  All those people made me nervous so I made sure to sprint out in front of most of them. I ran the first .5 laps and ran past all of the Oiselle ladies who were cheering loudly - total rush!  I ran way too fast. Totally not heeding EH's advice.

I got to our switch spot and L, our 3rd runner made the switch of the ankle monitor from my leg to B's leg and she was off.  My throat was burning.  Due to the dry air, there is a condition known as "petit lung" which S had warned us about but I wasn't really expecting that to happen on my first 1.5 laps!

L switches the ankle monitor from K to me and I wait for the calf tap - my signal to GO!

We definitely got in our groove going through all 4 runners several times when we found out we were leading the women's race by 2 laps.  At first, it was really difficult to figure out who was on which team and who we had to beat.  Then I figured out that they had our place and the amount of laps we had left to go posted on a giant screen.  Our strategy was just to maintain.  I aimed to get my 890s done in 3:15 and I was right around there for every one.  I'm not really sure how fast the other 3 members of my team were running. My strategy for each set was to run the first lap at a good pace to warm up and then run hard for the 2nd lap.

Somewhere around my 9th or 10th set, I had just gotten the calf tap indicating my ankle monitor was on and good to go, when I caught a glimpse of Nate, Maggie & Will! Maggie was holding a "GO MOM!" sign that she had made.  It was really exciting.  On lap two of that set, Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run came on the loudspeaker (they had music blaring the whole time).  That was my favorite set for sure.

As I got ready to kick off our last lap, B, our second runner slapped me on the butt and said, Let's go. I MEAN how awesome is that? I met this woman a few hours ago and she's slapping me on the butt. Ha!

We ended up winning by 5 laps.  Our finish time was 2:43:07 which is a 6:14/mile pace...which is apparently the new course record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second place women's team finished in 2:50:33.  The 800s strategy was definitely a good one!

I loved this event - it was very unique and fun to have spectators the entire time.  I liked the relay aspect and having a team to run with.  It felt very much like high school cross country and track felt.

I only ended up running 8 miles and change on Saturday but WOW were my legs (and throat!) spent. Thank goodness for the foam roller!

We got lots of love on social media for the event.  Oiselle posted our giant group shot on their Instagram Saturday night!  The other thing that I thought was awesome was that the Oiselle Haute Volee (aka elite) WI runner, Caitlin Comfort, came to watch us!