Wednesday, November 30, 2016

End of November!

Total Miles Ran in November: 84.36
This is a 6.4% increase over November 2015 miles.  Just squeaked in with that one - even with a full week off of running this month after my half-marathon!

This leaves one month left in 2016.  I have already surpassed my 2015 mileage so I could theoretically run 0 miles in December and still come out ahead.

BUT, I'm not going to do that!

I need to run at least 1 mile per day in the month - which comes out to 31 miles.

BUT I'm likely not going to do that either.

I have a fun goal for the last month:  I would like to retire my pink Adidas energy boost 3 shoes to end out the year.  I started running in these shoes in March and wore them for the Boston Marathon.  Admittedly, I don't love these shoes.  The Energy Boost 2 was much better in my opinion.  But, I have 72.59 miles left on them.  (I generally retire shoes after 400 miles).  I also have other shoes in my rotation so it may be a challenge but that is my goal so I can bring on a new pair come Jan 1!

Social Media Plans Update
#RWRunStreak still going strong, 1 full week in.

I also finished the #RLYBALANCEYOURSTRIDE workouts this morning.  Keep your fingers crossed that I win one of the sweet prizes!

I am halfway through the #AMRSTRIDE plan.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last week in Review: Low Mileage, But Lots of Other Stuff!

Moving onto week 3 of the AMR Stride plan!  And My #RWRunStreak is going strong at 5 days...even though I REALLY wanted to stay in bed this morning.

Last week was a short mileage week.  I just barely cleared 20 miles for the weekly total but I did a track workout, a lot more yoga that usual, and a strength circuit (twice).  At this point, since I am not training for anything specific, I think the tradeoff in miles to gain diversity in workout was worth it.  My daughter also came out on a run and made it a mile (with a few stop breaks).  I was super excited about that.

Another thing I am trying to do more at work is use the standing desk options.  We all know sitting all day is terrible.  But it is easy for me :)  I gained a renewed motivation for interrupting my sitting ways after reading this book: Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally  I actually have colleagues remind me to go use the standing desk and peer pressure works.  :)  (For reference, we work in an open concept "Google" type office where we can rotate work stations throughout the day.)

One crazy thing I was able to participate in over the weekend was being a running model for a local organization, Serpentijn Art & Athletics.  (Yes! A model! Not gonna lie - it was super fun!) The organization was founded by a friend's husband to bring art and athletics together to support organizations that benefit kids.  They collaborate with artists to design products, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the products benefits one of two organizations: Dreaming Zebra and Milwaukee MTB Kids Mountain Bike Team.

Their newest product is a beautiful gaiter designed by Emily Balsley.   I spent my Saturday wearing it running by Lake Michigan, running through Lake Park and running with Mags.  I also spent a lot of time wearing it while running errands, decorating our house for Christmas, playing spies with my kids.  If you are so inclined, you can check it out here (including some photos of me wearing it).  I am already anticipating that it will be one of my winter running staples.

Full disclosure - I will probably overshare more of the amazing photos taken by Darren Hauck on my Instagram account (@amyschlott) because they are AMAZEBALLS.  And how often do you get AMAZEBALLS photos taken of yourself?!

Here was my last week:

Monday: 30 minute Zen Run followed by Legs Up the Wall.
Zen Run = Basically trying to practice mindfulness while running.  Holy shitballs.  It is difficult, but rewarding.  I'm glad these are a weekly staple of the AMR Stride plan.  4.03 miles

Tuesday: off.  This was an unintentional day off, but looking back, it was appropriate since I technically will not have any off days until 2017!

Wednesday: Negative split run followed by Pigeon Yoga
First block:  2 miles, 15:39, 7:48 pace
Next block: 2.2 miles, 16:00, 7:20 pace

Thursday: Track workout!
1.78 mi warm up (run to track)
4 x 400 (1:24, 1:25, 1:26, 1:28) with jogging 400s in between (1:53, 1:54, 1:50)
1.83 mi cool down (run home)

Friday: 4 mile easy run, 30:53/7:38 pace followed by Lizard Yoga

Saturday: 1 mile run with Mags, 11:30 pace (plus "running" for photo shoot)

Sunday: 20 minute run, followed by 2 x BAMR Strength Circuit followed by Hamstring Yoga

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Black Friday Links

I am out of the turkey coma and back at work.  This morning I had a great run through my neighborhood after sleeping through the night!!!! Before you get too excited this occurred because my children spent the night at their grandparents' house.  

I have a few links for you on this Black Friday:

This list made me laugh.  I had forgotten about the chip you used to get for your shoe for races!  It is funny to think how much has changed in running over the years, and how much stays the same.  All you nostalgia nerds might also like the November issue of Runner's World which takes a look back over the history of the magazine.

4.  Some Black Friday deals for runners!!

Nuun Hydration is 20% off + Free Shipping with Code optoutside2016

Momentum Jewelry has shoe tags for only $5 through tomorrow! (And other holiday offers in the coming weeks)

Sarah Marie Design Studio has 15% off + Free Shipping their holiday shop with code blackfriday2016

Run Ink has 20% off their site with code turkey

Tailwind Nutrition is 20% off on their site and on Amazon 

Believe Training Journals are 30% off with code believers

Hashtag Collector

I just love social media running plans!  Really - no sarcasm intended.  I DO love them.  Maybe the lesson learned is that I should just give running plans hashtags?! :)  It has turned into winter here in Wisconsin so I will use all the help that I can get to get me out the door.

I started a this plan today on Instagram which combines yoga and running from Nov 23-30.  Yoga moves are provided by @runnersloveyoga and running workouts are provided by @mollyhuddle .  I have followed @runnersloveyoga for a while but this is the first challenge I have participated in.   Today was a yoga move (pigeon pose) so I presume tomorrow will be a running workout.

Tomorrow I also am going to try tackling the Runner's World Run Streak for the second year in a row! To recap, this means that I will run, at least one mile, every day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  Last year, I stuck with my running plan and then on the "off" days, I ran 1 mile.  I will be doing this again this year.

I am continuing with the #AMRSTRIDE plan as my base running plan.  I may have to combine workouts from the #RLY plan for the Nov 24-30 time plan.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Links!

This week I joined and started following the Another Mother Runner Stride Through the Holidays plan for Heart Strides.  AND WOW.  I am sore.  Not from the running - no, running is the easy part.  It is the cross-training workouts that I always say I want to do but then never do them.  This week, I did a strength circuit (twice!) with things like burpees, Russian twists and other intimidating names, AND 30 minutes of yoga targeting my hamstrings.  And I am still feeling it. I am hoping that by the end of the 5 week plan, I will be more consistent about incorporating these beneficial workouts into my weeks.

Now the links. 

Love Sarah Mac.  And my main takeaway from this article (and learning lesson from this past week) is that it might be worth dialing back on miles/running days to incorporate these workouts that I always want to get in, but then never do.  I also have learned that I need to be intentional about non-running workouts.  Having a running plan helps me stay on track with getting running in so it should come as no surprise that having a plan for things like yoga and strength training might also be helpful.  (DUH.)

I first heard about Jasyoga from Oiselle.  I bought the Hit Reset book, which I (and my daughter) like.  Having the book was not really helping me incorporate yoga in a more consistent way so I have considered purchasing a Jasyoga subscription to have access to the videos.  I have had some hesitation in doing so because I own yoga DVDs and still...I do not do yoga regularly.  I liked that Oiselle has some free Jasyoga videos hosted on their blog so that I could try them out before taking the subscription plunge.  I really liked the hamstring workout.  It was hard for me (hello! tight hamstrings) but I could feel (and am still feeling) a difference after doing it.  All I want for Christmas is a Jasyoga subscription! 

Morning running is where it is at!  The quotes in this article are spot on.  It hurt a bit to get out of bed this morning.  The hubs and I went to a neighborhood social where I had 2 glasses of wine and because I am getting old, that was enough to make me feel not so great this morning. It was time to Woman Up! 5:06 AM, I slid out of bed, scrolled through my Instagram feed for motivation, and got out there to slog (and I mean SLOG) through a 30 minute run.

I have heard this term ("sub-elite") and didn't know what it meant.  Thank you Salty Running for this series.  And...some of those half-marathon sub-elite times are NOT too scary to me. I loved my recent half-marathon experience and it was not an easy race...and yet, it wasn't god awful.  I have room to push there. (2017 goal?!)  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Back to Running

I took a full week off.

No Running.

The first two days post-race were easy.  My legs, specifically my quads, hurt A LOT.  Didn't even cross my mind to go for a run.

Last Monday night, I was packing for our 5-day family vacation to St. Louis and Chicago and my bag was full without running stuff.  I considered switching bags, however, at that moment I thought, "It might be good to take a full week off."  So I kept my bag and brought ZERO running clothes along.

It was fun.  I ate ALL THE FOOD.  I drank ALL THE BEER.  I took ALL THE NAPS.

While the week wasn't entirely devoid of exercise due to the fact that we did a lot of walking (and chasing kids), by yesterday I knew my running vacation was up.

I also knew that I am a little lost as to what's next for me.  I have no races on the horizon.  2017 seems a long way off and although I have some things in mind, nothing that I am ready to commit to.  I know that one of the biggest threats to consistency for me is not having a plan.  I just love checking off those little boxes of workouts!!

I want/need a plan to say consistent, and yet, I also want to be free and not have to train for anything right now.

Enter the Stride Through the Holidays training plan by Another Mother Runner.  The plan is 5 weeks long, designed solely to keep you moving. No race at the end. Just 40 check boxes of workouts to do.  Best yet, 100% of the proceeds go to Heart Strides.  For $25, I thought it was well worth it to keep up my consistency game AND the added bonus of supporting a great cause.  (Helping moms prioritize self care!)  I signed up last night and checked out what the first workout (today) was: a simple 30-40 minute run.

So I returned to setting out my clothes on the bath tub ledge...setting my knuckle lights, house key, hat on the kitchen counter...setting out my shoes by the front door...setting my alarm for 5 AM.

Old habits die hard.  Sometimes, that's a good thing.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The PNC Milwaukee Running Festival Half-Marathon Race Recap

omg.  Omg.  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Buckle your seat belts, this is going to be a LONG post.   It was a day where every.single.thing went so right and hairy scary goals were achieved!!

To refresh - my goals for the race:

1. Time goals

A goal: Run 7:00 avg pace.  Finish in 1:31 zone.

B goal: PR - Run faster than 1:33:23

2.  Master the Discomfort.  Embrace the intensity at the end of the race.  No backing down when things get tough.

3.  Negative split the race.

Someone on the Oiselle Facebook page asked us all to write down our "hairy scary goals" (Shalene Flanagan verbage).  I hesitated, then typed "Run a sub-1:30 half-marathon".

Now. Let's recap!


I ran a 2 mile shakeout run.  Maggie decided to accompany me for the first 1/3 mile which was fun. I had to pick up my race packet at the Harley Davidson Museum.  My family decided to accompany me. (After the Boston Marathon Race Expo, they are all about them :)  I had to let them know that it was highly unlikely to be as large as the Boston Expo!)

The race expo was packed and I stood in line to get my packet.  I got my number and we tooled around the expo for a bit.  I entered a few contests.  My kids did some cool bike pedal thing which created painted spirograph-looking posters.  We decided to leave.

We were in the car, ready to leave when I pulled out my race number and saw "BILL".  WTF.  I ran back to the expo, stood in line again, and exchanged my number.  PHEW.  I was fuming the entire time I stood in line, and then realized that I should have looked at the number when I was initially handed it.

That night my husband went out with his brother and the kids were driving me slightly insane so I had a beer with dinner.  The kids went to bed early, I set all the clocks back, cleaned up the kitchen and folded some laundry.  I got all of my stuff ready to go.  I had read something on a Facebook thread about making the Gen UCan the night before so I prepped that in a blender bottle.  I was in bed, no joke, at 7:40pm.  (It was really 8:40pm).  I tried reading my book but I was zonked.


Imagine my surprise when my alarm was what woke me up at 5 AM.  After months and weeks of waking up all night long with one or both children, magically both of them slept through the entire night.  THANK YOU GOD.  I woke up feeling AWESOME.

I got dressed, went downstairs, made coffee and shoved my stuff into my gear check bag.  I had a multi-grain muffin (Runners World cookbook recipe) with cashew butter and blended my coffee with coconut oil, per usual.  I was set!  I left my house at 5:30 AM.

I was in the car, blaring some radio station.  I was belting out Aerosmith..."Tell me what it takes to let you go..." and then Katy Perry's Roar came on and I seriously started tearing up.  I was so excited to run.  At this point, I started having a minor panic attack.  I had to take a different route than I usually take downtown due to construction and I wasn't sure that the way I was going was correct.  Added on to that, I realized that I had forgotten my wallet and had no money for parking.  Then I had convinced myself that I was going to get pulled over speeding and not have a license on me.  After a few deep breaths, I realized that I had left early enough that I would likely find a street spot and if not, I thought there might have been enough change in the car to scrape up a parking fee if need be.  By this time, I realized that I had taken the right route.  Beyonce came on the radio.  Things were looking up.

I exited the freeway and no joke, there was a street spot waiting for me.  THANK YOU GOD.  It was a bit away from the start line but I took it.  I started walking to the start line, drinking my Gen UCan.   I made bathroom pit stop #1.  It was a beautiful morning.  I walked over to the spot where Oiselle Volee were to meet and talked to some people.  It is so weird when you meet people you follow on Instagram in real life.  Like, I know you, but not really.  ha ha ha

A group of us made pit stop #2.  We took a group picture and then dispersed.  I gear checked my stuff and was in shorts, a tank and a throwaway long sleeve.  I decided against wearing my calf sleeves because I hadn't been training in them and was worried I would get hot.

I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN.  By this point, the lines were really long and the marathon was about to start.  The half-marathon was scheduled to start 15 minutes later.  I took my chances and remained in line.   Of course all the lines EXCEPT for the one I was in were moving.  I finally went to the bathroom.  I was very glad I waited.  I was a little concerned that I was having so many bathroom trips but pushed those thoughts out of my mind.  It was time to get in the corral!

I made my way to near the front, threw off my long sleeve and it was time to go!

One of my goals was to be in each mile and I did so well with this during the race.  It made for a really enjoyable race!  It is also going to make for a long recap. :)

Mile 1
Run relaxed. Run relaxed. Run relaxed.  I felt really good.  I felt like I was running slow, but i knew based on my position in the crowd that I was not running slow.  There were some crowds and I remember a dog that was barking and it sounded like he was cheering.  It made me start laughing.  I approached a Team Triumph pack near the mile marker and they were playing the Try Everything song from Zootopia, which my daughter loves and again, my eyes started tearing up.  
Mile 1: 6:45

Mile 2
I was feeling good and we were approaching the big hill in the course.  I literally felt like I floated up that hill.  It did not feel like I was running up a hill - it was the weirdest feeling.  I passed a few people on the hill and appreciated the guy with the monster cowbell at the top.  Once I reached the top I knew I was going to see my sister soon.  I was approaching the intersection where she was going to meet me and I was thinking, "Is that her? Where are the dogs? That can't be her."  Then I heard her yell, "Geez.  Why are you running so slow?!"  It made me laugh.  She rode her bike a block or two next to me.  It was so fun!  At the mile marker she turned around and went back home.
Mile 2: 7:04

Mile 3
At this point, I was running in a pack of 2 men and 2 other women.  One of the guys was named Steve and he was getting a lot of cheers.  I jokingly said I was going to pretend my name was Steve. One woman said, "Are either of you (referring to me and the 3rd woman) 40 years old?" and I said, "Nope 35".  The other woman also said, "Yes, I'm 35".  The 40 year old said, "Alright then" and I said, "Yeah you're good but you on the other hand (looking to the 35 year old), are going down."  Oh the jokes at mile 3.  Seriously I still felt like I was barely moving but knew that it was too early to go crazy.  I also thought it was a little early to be planning age group awards but it was fun to have some conversation.
Mile 3: 6:54

Mile 4
I was really enjoying the course so far.  We ran over a cool bridge, along some beautiful flag poles. This was a fun mile because it was lots of turns, and seemed to go by quickly.
Mile 4: 6:53

Mile 5
At this point, I was running by myself.  I hadn't stopped at any of the water/gatorade points and began the slow grind up Wisconsin Ave.  There were a few people watching but not many cheering.  This part of the course I thought of my family because we had passed it on the way to packet pick up and it is the reverse of the Briggs & Al's run route.
Mile 5: 6:55

Mile 6
I began to see the half-marathon leaders as they were running back along the opposite side of the course.  I could not believe how many women were ahead of me.  FAST.  I reached the turn around and was relieved that the wind was finally at my back.   The Wisconsin Ave climb seemed to take a long time.  I started to have thoughts that I wasn't doing very well based on my place.  I told myself over and over again that I was not running for place - I was running for time.  I saw two Oiselle birds on my way back down Wisconsin Ave and exchanged cheers with them.  That was awesome.  I still felt really strong.
Mile 6: 6:51

Mile 7
I had a new pack that I was running with - a man and a woman.  There was no talking though.  I just tried to stick with them as I liked their pace.  I felt like they came out of nowhere.   I liked running down 16th street, except for the bridge.  The grates hurt my feet a bit.
Mile 7: 6:47

Mile 8
I was still with my pack and it felt like they had picked it up a bit.  I was still feeling good so I stuck with them.  At this point, I started thinking that I could break 1:30 if I really kept at it.
Mile 8: 6:28

Mile 9  
The mile 8 split freaked me out a bit.  Did I start running too fast? I don't think so.  I called to mind my recent 8 mile run where I ran a bunch of miles in the 6:30s.  I liked this part of the course - we were on a bike trail or something.  I saw the mile marker clock and thought, HOLY SHIT.  I really could break 1:30 today.  Today is going to be a hairy scary goal day!
Mile 9: 6:29

Mile 10
Just keep with this guy. Just keep with this guy.  My legs were feeling tired.  We had made it back to the lake.  You will master discomfort.  You can master discomfort.  You got this.  I still hadn't needed a water stop.
Mile 10: 6:33

Mile 11
At this point I had passed the man and woman that I had been packed up with and started passing various guys.  I had this single vision of breaking 1:30.  My legs hurt but I just kept thinking of previous workouts where I only had 2 mile tempos.  I had never thought of previous workouts in a race before but it was really working for me mentally.
Mile 11: 6:31

Mile 12
I was slightly confused at this point because we were staying along the lake but my memory of the race map had us circling the lagoon.  I was thinking, "There is no way we can be going around the lagoon and have a mile left."
Mile 12: 6:39

Mile 13 - 13.1
I was tired.  I just tried to keep my legs moving.  I knew I was probably slowing down but I could not make my legs go faster.  I saw my family right at the start of the finish and started waving frantically.  I tried to sprint.  I know I was not sprinting and I do not want to see video of myself at the finish because I am sure it was ugly.  I saw that the clock had just turned to 1:29 and I started freaking out.  "yes, yes yes!!!"
Mile 13: 6:50

Finish: 1:29:14.65 (chip) 1:29:22.42 (gun)

I can't wait to see the finish line photos.  In my head, I have this glorious race photo because I had lifted my arms above my head and was basically smiling unicorns.  I.WAS.PUMPED.

So many goals achieved with this race.
1.  I broke my half-marathon PR by 4 minutes and 9 seconds.  I broke my hairy scary goal of 1:30!
2.  I mastered the discomfort.  I maintained positive self-talk throughout the race.
3.  I negative split the race!  My 10K split stats were:
7:01 min/mile pace
2nd in my age group
13th woman
70th overall.

I finished with 6:49 min/mile pace
1st age group
7th woman
40th overall


Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Links: Be Present and Shut Down Negative Thoughts

This week's Friday Links have to do with being present.

"I have only been trying to learn to pay attention to wherever on the surface of this spinning blue ball in space I happen to be."
This is a problem I have in life in general.  Be Present.  At work, we call it "BE HERE NOW".  My mind is rarely in the present, and most definitely not while running.  I am always thinking about the end.  I have really really tried to make an effort to notice what I am feeling during each mile of a run over the past training session.  I can't say that I have completely mastered this, but the practice has brought more enjoyment to my actual run, beyond the endorphin rush I get at the end of a run.

Along those lines...I read two good pieces of race day fails.  NYC: The One that Got Away and What Happens if You Train All Year for a Marathon and Fail Miserably?
"I tell you this story because we runners love to plan.  We love to be in control.  We do it better than most. Control and plan.  We have our detailed running logs and charts.  WE plan what we're going to wear on race day and what songs we're going to listen to at certain miles and what we're going to eat and where we're going to eat it.  What we don't plan for is the unexpected.  Something elites do impeccably well is run in the present."

My workouts this week felt hard.  UGH. This Tina Muir post helped me immensely.

Can I get a bouncer for my brain starting at 7:15 Sunday morning?! This Mari Andrew illustration featured on Cup of Jo today: