Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Addition to the 2017 Race Calendar

I am excited to be doing the 2017 Milwaukee Running Festival half marathon again this year!  Even better, I am participating for free due to winning an Instagram contest sponsored by Momentum MKE , a running coach service.

The race is October 15, several weeks earlier than last year.  I loved this race last year and it is the site of my current half marathon PR: 1:29:14!  It's officially added to the 2017 race calendar (on the sidebar to the right).

Thanks Momentum MKE!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Week 2 Training Recap + Icebreaker Marathon Relay Race!

Week 2 didn't get any easier. (I're sitting there shocked.) My husband's grandmother passed away last Wednesday so we had lots going on.  Additionally, I got sick (again) with a sore throat, congestion and laryngitis.  I still managed to get runs in 6 days last week and had the Icebreaker Marathon Relay Race!

Plan Says:  Easy 2 miles

What I did: 4.25 miles, 31:12 (7:21 avg pace).  Another shorts run in January!

Plan Says: Off

What I did: 5.2 miles, 41:47 (8:02 avg pace) Yay!  Above 8:00 pace!

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did: Off.

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did: 5.1 miles, 40:16 (7:54 avg pace)
It had snowed overnight so I did this in Yaktrax. The snow was not a clumpy snow this time so the Yaktrax worked beautifully.  No slippage. I felt very sluggish and the beginnings of the sore throat.

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did: 4 miles, 31:58 (8:00 avg pace).  More sore throat and sinus action!

Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Today I had the Icebreaker Marathon Relay at the Pettit National Ice Center.  The track is ~450 m around and like last year, Oiselle had a great presence.  We ended up with 8 teams of 4 people each.  Each of the 8 teams had the same strategy:  Every person runs 12 x 800 (really 900m).

Based on my experience last year, I knew my lungs and throat would hurt by the end of the day. Since I already had a sore throat, I knew it would be worse.  I drank a lot of warm Nuun in the beginning which really helped.  I was sorry I didn't bring more.  I did about a mile warm up with my team and then we were off.  I again was the lead runner, which I love because it is the first laps are the only time you can truly be competitive since it is near impossible to tell what place you are in and who is on what team during the other laps of the event.

I CRUSHED my first split, likely due to the fact that they started off playing Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run.  (Since it is indoor and around a track, they play music the whole time.)  I was really happy with my splits for the race, which ranged from 3:07 - 3:17.  My legs started to feel heavy towards the end but I still maintained an even pace.  My team finish time was 2;48:04, good for 4th place.  We missed 3rd place by 3 seconds!!!  The event was more competitive this year.  Last year my team won this race easily with a 2:43:10.  This year's women's team won with a 2:36:15!!

I was very run down afterwards.  I used my Roll Recovery R8 and drank lots of warm nuun and tried to go to bed early but had trouble sleeping.

Plan says: off

What I did:  We had my husband's grandmother's funeral and my grandfather's surprise 80th birthday party lined up for this day.  It was slightly emotionally draining and I still didn't feel that well.  After the day's events were over and we got the kids to bed, I managed 3.5 miles on our NEW TREADMILL!  The treadmill arrived Wednesday and we unpacked it that night and brought it down to our basement piece by piece.  Originally we had planned to put it in the unfinished portion of our basement but my husband thought that was too depressing.  The problem was that the finished part of our basement has carpet and I didn't buy a treadmill mat.  Hello Amazon Prime.

The treadmill mat arrived on Friday so we spent Friday night assembling the treadmill.  It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes and was definitely not bad.  And do you know who is running on that treadmill as I type?!


My husband.  AHHHH!  I'll turn him into a runner yet.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 15 miles
What I did: 29.85 miles

Outside of my race, my runs were on the slower end which I was happy about even though some days they felt a little strenuous, likely because I was not feeling 100%.  Bring on week 3.

Weekly takeaways: 
1. Need to continue to try to slow pace down on the easy days.
2. Continue working on mobility from the hip down.
3. Warm Nuun is amazing.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Links!

What a week, which is culminating in me having another bout of sinus/cough and laryngitis.  FUN!  I am looking forward to running in a 4-woman team for the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay tomorrow.  Last year, my team won the women's division! I'm hoping to repeat this year.

Here are some links:

1. Here's What A Former Running Prodigy Has to Say to the Haters
Lesson: Be Kind.

2. Vaulting Over Fear
I'm still working on my "mommy neutral face" in regards to parenting

3. Athletes for Yoga: Alysia Montano
Includes a code for a free month of JasYoga!!

4.  I just signed up for the Women Who Fly sweepstakes put on my Hoka One One.  They have 4 "tracks" with 4 elite "coaches". I signed up for the marathon and my mentor is Magdalena Boulet! I followed Magda on social media after listening to the ROO interview with her.

Sweepstakes implies contest right? I love this contest because just for entering you get training tips from the mentor and the grand prize is a weekend trip to Santa Barbara to "train, eat and hang out with the 4 women".  Um...yes please!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training Week 1 Recap

I have wrapped up the first week (of 18 total) of marathon training.  I should have considered it a sign that I had to change up the plan on the VERY FIRST DAY due to icy conditions.

I mentioned that the plan starts off very slow and that I was going to try to continue with the current rate of running I had going (~28-30 miles per week) until week 6 when the plan would essentially "catch up" to my current mileage.  For simplicity's sake, I am going to post what I should have been doing per my plan for the weekly recaps.

Plan Says:  Off.

What I did: Off.  I wanted to run this day and have Tuesday be my day off since that will be my official "off" day.  Unfortunately it was an ice storm all day so I had to make it an off day, since I do not yet have an indoor running option (P.S. Treadmill gets delivered TOMORROW!).

Plan Says: Off

What I did: 4.57 miles, 34:05 (7:28 avg pace)

Plan Says: easy 3 miles (easy defined as 8:13-8:49 avg pace)

What I did: 5.5 miles, 42:12 (7:40 avg pace) over Runch!  I woke up early to get this run in before work, got dressed, started running and was sliding all over the place.  DAMN ICE!  I called it quits after 3 minutes.  The temperatures warmed the ground enough so that by lunch, it was no longer slippery and I got a good run in, and a break from the office!

Plan Says: off

What I did: 3.45 miles, 26:01 (7:33 avg pace)

Plan Says: easy 3 miles

What I did:  Set my alarm for 5 AM to get a run in prior to the day since we were leaving after school/work for a long weekend in Wisconsin Dells with my siblings and mom.  At 4:50 AM, my son woke up with a mild fever and headache.  I cannot make this shit up!  No running that morning for me. I think to myself that I can maybe get a treadmill run in at the resort after kids go to bed.

Then, I start feeling sick myself in the afternoon.  I somehow got myself home to chug some pepto-bismol.  My husband scraped me off the couch to get into the car where I promptly fell asleep in the front seat for most of the 2 hour drive.  I got to the resort, chugged some more Pepto, got lost in the resort with my 3 year old.  AHHH.  The two of us went to bed early.

ZERO miles ran.

Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Despite the fact that 3/4 of my duffel was running clothes, I passed on the long run.  I still wasn't feeling well.  I took a nap instead of ran and went to bed early.

Plan says: off

What I did:  I felt back to normal by Sunday so I decided to go for a run around the resort.  Except for the fact that in my nausea episode Friday night I forgot to grab my Garmin which was charging by the computer.  I grabbed and ran with my cell phone.  Based on the activity monitor on that, I believe I ran 3.6 miles.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 10 miles
What I did: 17.12 miles

While I am happy that I at least cleared the week 1 plan total, this is almost half of what my goal mileage was for the week.  Womp womp.  Not exactly a stellar start, but it is a new week!

Weekly takeaways:  
1. Need to continue to try to slow pace down on the easy days.
2. Continue working on mobility from the hip down.  (Calves, right anterior tibial tendon still cranky)
3. Runch is a good option to try to work in one day a week!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Links!

1.  Love Oiselle's Destroy // Create campaign

4.  Working on Pumping my Calves - I don't know if it is due to the weather, some biomechanical imbalance, or what, but my calves cannot loosen up. ARGH! 

5.  Bookmarking this link (Build Mental Strength on the 'Mill) for Wednesday when my treadmill arrives!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hansons Marathon Method

The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is 18 weeks away!  I have mentioned numerous times on this blog that I am going to use the beginner marathon training plan from the Hansons Marathon Method (HMM) book to prepare for this race.

A few factors went into my decision to try this plan.

1. For the past two years, I have been in the "quality, not quantity" camp.  It's no secret that I find it challenging to find time in each day to run.  I have achieved moderate success with the whole running 4x/week plan  - achieving 2 BQs and a marathon PR by doing so.  However, I needed a new challenge to make me motivated to do another marathon   I feel like I have hit my plateau with the quality, not quantity and I wonder if adding mileage will help me achieve a new marathon PR.

2.  I buy the arguments for the method, as described in the book, enough to give it a go.

3.  Desi Linden (a Hansons-Brooks athlete).

4. I am so curious!  I can't remember the exact moment when I became intrigued by HMM, but it was sometime during the fall of 2016.  I think the first I had heard of it was from the We Love Oiselle group page on Facebook where some people were talking about it.   Then, I started seeing it pop up more and more. Towards the end of 2016, I checked the book out of the library and read it.  I joined two HMM groups on Facebook.  Eventually I decided that I was up for the challenge and bought the book (which is updated from the one I read from the library) and committed to trying it.

5.  I like the group aspect of the Facebook page.  My sometimes training partner BH is also using the method to prep for Boston 2017, so I also have a local sounding board.

6.  It is radically different from any marathon training plan that I have tried (e.g., Hal Higdon, personalized plan via coach, Train Like a Mother: Own It ).  I have to run six days a week for eighteen weeks.  HOLY SHIT.  That blows my mind.

7.  I don't have to run 3 - 20+ mile runs in preparation.  Yes, yes...I know that the Hanson plan is tough and that it is naive to just look at the long run mileage.  But I'm not going to lie - not seeing a twenty-something mile run AT ALL is kind of awesome.

At first I was not sure which plan I should use - the "Beginner" version or the "Advanced".  After trolling the HMM Community group page on Facebook, I determined that I would use the Beginner plan, which is recommended for your first foray into HMM no matter how many marathons you have under your belt.

Next, I was unsure of how to transition to the Beginner plan.  The first 5 weeks of this 18 week plan are base building - no speed work, minimal long runs, and minimal mileage.  The weekly mileage that I have been working on for the past several weeks is greater than each of the first 5 weeks.  I posed this question to the Facebook group page and received numerous responses, including from Luke Humphrey, the book's author, to let the plan catch up to you.  (Luke also reaffirmed my decision to start with the Beginner plan as several of the respondents also thought I should go with the Advanced plan.)

My current weekly mileage is at week 6 of the HMM Beginner plan so I really will be following the it for the last 13 weeks of my marathon training. Instead of doing long runs on Sundays per the plan, I am doing long runs on Saturdays, which works better for my family weekend schedule.  This shifts the whole schedule back one day so Tuesdays will be my off day, Mondays will be my speed/strength day, and Wednesdays will be my tempo day.  For the first six weeks, I am going to work on some principles of the plan:

1.  Maintaining 6 running, 1 off days per week.

2.  Long run on Saturday, followed by a recovery run on Sunday.

3.  Tuesday off day.

4.  Monday and Wednesday faster pace runs, SLOW DOWN on other runs.

5.  Gradually build my mileage from weeks 1-5 so that week 6's 39 miles don't feel crazy.

No doubt I am still a little unsure on how this will all shake out.  I feel like I am coming into this marathon training session more prepared than I was for any previous marathon, having a solid consistent year under my belt.  I reviewed my weekly mileage for the Wisconsin Marathon in 2015, which is where I set my current PR of 3:25:50.  I also reviewed my weekly mileage for Boston 2016.  Things were much more consistent as compared to the previous year, as the red line shows!  You can see how the weekly mileage for Hanson plan compares to both my 2015 and 2016 marathon training, in table and graph form!

Week 2015 2016 Hanson Plan
18 27.53 29.4 10
17 30.32 31.4 15
16 27.01 31.7 21
15 13.56 28.95 21
14 33.25 33.83 24
13 23.61 29.37 39
12 30.75 33.56 38
11 25 35.89 41
10 32.21 35.96 47
9 28.75 34.02 46
8 10 39.38 54
7 26.48 34.18 49
6 16.35 38.84 56
5 36.35 35.52 49
4 31.02 39.75 57
3 25.85 33.71 50
2 22.04 18.45 49
1* 33.2 36.15 50
*weekly mileage includes marathon

I look forward to sharing my training with you over the next 18 weeks!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week in Review!

Happy Monday.  Today officially kicks off marathon training!  18 weeks of lots of running ahead!

Last week was a great week for me.  My goal for the week was to run my easy runs at an easy pace in preparation for marathon training. The Hanson pace chart has my "easy" pace at 8:13 - 8:49/mile so I was attempting to get closer to that.  I did ok.  The weather was moderate last week which was lucky for me.  I again got in six running days!

Monday: 4 miles, 31:25 (7:51 avg pace)

Tuesday: 4.07 miles, 34:33 (8:29 avg pace)

Tuesday morning I woke up at 5 AM to run.  I was greeted by a fresh blanket of white snow so I wore my yaktrax.  The snow was so pretty and at times I felt like I was in a movie because I was running down the middle of a street with no tire tracks, footprints or anything and the air was very still.  The snow was very clumpy though so every so often my yaktrax would get clumped up with snow which was annoying.  This made it very easy to be in my "recovery" zone though! Check out that pace!

Wednesday: 5.01 miles, 35:23 (7:04 avg pace)

Thursday: 2.7 miles, 19:35 (7:15 avg pace)

This was fast because I was trying desperately to squeeze this in before the bus arrived and hit 3 miles minimum.  Alas!  I didn't make it.

Friday: Off

Saturday: Friday night we went out with my book club for our annual holiday gathering (which was pushed to January this year).  We stayed up late (midnight bedtime) and I had two beers + a glass of sparkling rose.  I am at the point in life where I can have one alcoholic drink and feel effects of it so it was no surprise when I woke up on Saturday feeling "meh".  We were taking the kids to a college basketball game in the afternoon so I headed out for my run mid-morning.  I knew I was dehydrated but I forced myself to go because how I was feeling was self-induced.

It was a long run of constant "just get to the next mile".  While I don't recommended not getting enough sleep and having a few drinks the night before a long run, it was good practice for sticking it out when I don't feel perfect, something I need to work on.

All that positive self talk paid off.  I hit 9 miles faster than last week, when I was feeling great! I had a burst of positive mindset in the 5-6 mile range, which is reflected in my per mile average pace.  I had trouble holding on to that pace.  I was going to quit at the one hour mark but I forced myself to get to 9.  I knew that last week's 9 mile time was in the 1:03 range, and at the one hour mark, I was at 8.5/8.6 land so I just pushed hard to get a final mile split of 6:38.  You can bet I spent the afternoon chugging Nuun.

Mile 1: 7:20
Mile 2: 7:24
Mile 3: 7:12
Mile 4: 7:05
Mile 5: 6:42
Mile 6: 6:38
Mile 7: 6:55
Mile 8: 6:59
Mile 9: 6:38

9.01 miles, 1:02:56 (6:59 avg pace)

Sunday: 4.34 miles, 32:48 (7:33 avg pace)

My legs were definitely sore for this.  The pace was faster than I wanted to be at, given this should have been a "recovery" run.

Total Weekly Mileage: 29.13

Friday, January 13, 2017


HOLY WOW.  You get an extra dose of Friday fun because not one but TWO exciting things happened this afternoon!

1.  I found out I was selected to be a Balega Impi Ambassador!  I am super excited to take this on for 2017.  Balegas are my favorite socks.  I can't exactly quit my job or anything but I'll take a few pairs of free running socks!


Seriously.  Finally pulled the trigger on that one.  I am really excited to have this as an option particularly since marathon training officially starts Monday!

Friday Links

Happy Friday!  As usual, some running-related reading for you:

1.  Retirement of US Track & Field Stars will leave a void.

I am not a regular Sports Illustrated reader; however I do follow Nick Symmonds on Instagram and he posted a photo of a bison with the quote from this article which was really such a great visual image.  This led me to reading the full article.  Be sure to click on the link to the vine re: Ashton Eaton within the article too :)

2.  Speaking of Ashton Eaton, did you read the We Are Eaton retirement announcement?

3. 2017 is the Year of Conquering Negative Thinking.

4.  Gabe Grunewald and thinking, "Why Not Me"?

"At first I was attracted to the social aspect of it [running] as some of my best friends were joining the running program, but I quickly fell in love with the simple act of running and how it made me feel.  I always enjoyed being a part of a team but running was different from the team sports in that I had to be accountable for my own performance.  I liked that I had to depend mainly on myself for my results, I didn't have to compete for playing time or a certain position."

5. The Lovely Loneliness of The Solitary Run

More and more I am finding out that I really enjoy running by myself because it truly is the only part of the entire day where I am alone.  The office of my job is often referred to as the Google office because it is a big open space with no workstation that we truly call our own.  I live with my husband and two young kids.  Unless I go for a run, I am always around people.  I am increasingly aware of how wonderful that alone time is.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week in Review: Great Start to 2017!

Last week was COLD.  Our temperatures started to plummet on Wednesday into single digit temps. Then the wind came and the "feels like negative" temperatures arrived.  I had zero choice but to make it work (still no home treadmill, still no gym membership here) and it was one of the most fun weeks of running that I have had in a while.

Previously I considered anything below the teens in temperature to be a call to move it indoors.  Last week I wanted to challenge myself to see I could still continue outdoors.  Partly this was because I follow a ton of runners on Instagram and seeing other people make it work was motivational.  Mostly this was because if I didn't continue, my mileage would tank.

You likely have read that the key to running in extreme cold is layers.  This is true.  I have experimented with various combos and have found that for me, the following is clutch:

Fleece lined tights - these Athleta ones are my favorite
Knee-high compression socks
Short sleeved shirt (top layer 1)
Long sleeved shirt (top layer 2)
Wind resistant pullover (top layer 3) - love the Sugoi Firewall line
Winter running jacket (top layer 4)
Running gloves (layer 1)
Sweater mittens (layer 2)
Winter Hat - cast those "running hats" aside.  The warmest hat I have is a Green Bay Packers fleece lined pom pom hat.  Likely designed for fans watching football at the frozen tundra.
Sunglasses - great wind blockers!
Aquaphor all over exposed skin on the face

Running in extreme cold is definitely a mind over matter situation.  Last Tuesday it was so windy and there were moments where I could not imagine being any colder.  To combat this, I intentionally ran neighborhood loops so that I was not going in one direction for too long.  Just when I could not take the wind in my face, it was time to change direction for a reprieve.

The nice thing about extreme cold last week is that the ground was clear.  The warm week + no precipitation we had at the end of December made all of the sidewalks and roads much clearer.

My goal last week was to get at least 4 running days in, including a long run of one hour on the weekend. I ran 6 days.  Woohoo!

Monday January 2: 2.12 miles, 16:33 (7:49 avg pace)

This was a rough run for me.  I felt tired and blech.  I ran at night after spending the entire day cleaning out our house to accommodate a large remodeling project we are starting.  I should not have saved my run for night!

Tuesday January 3: 4.59 miles, 34:25 (7:30 avg pace)

Wednesday, January 4: 5.01 miles, 37:50 (7:33 avg pace)

Wednesday I have aftercare services so I don't have to worry about being home at a certain time for kids.

Thursday, January 5: 3.34 miles, 24:24 (7:18 avg pace)

Tuesday and Thursday were runs done after work before my daughter gets off the bus. You can see the wide variability of when the bus drop off occurs.  A good illustration of why when I have actual mileage goals for these days, this is NOT a good time to plan on running!

Friday, January 6: Off

Saturday, January 7: 9.01 miles, 1:03:40 (7:04 avg pace)

It was still super cold on Saturday but the sun was shining which gave the appearance that it was a nice day.  This was my second run in my Saucony ISO and I really like these shoes.  This was a great run.

Mile 1:  7:14
Mile 2:  7:14
Mile 3:  7:19
Mile 4:  7:13
Mile 5:  7:10
Mile 6:  6:46
Mile 7:  6:52
Mile 8:  6:55
Mile 9:  6:55

Still rocking those negative splits!

Sunday, January 8: 4.5 miles, 34:08 (7:35 avg pace)

Traditionally, I have always taken the day after a long run off.  I will be attempting the Hanson's Marathon Method for my spring marathon, which has you running the day after long runs.  This will be a big change for me so I wanted to try it to get a sense of what it would feel like.  Although my legs were tired, I felt much better than I was expecting to.  However, today (Monday) I am WIPED out.  I need to start being more disciplined about when I go to bed, particularly because my son still wakes up at least once a night most nights.  #allIwantforChristmasisonenightofuninterruptedsleep #shitChristmasisover

Total Weekly Mileage: 28.57

The week ahead is my final week before my marathon training plan starts!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Links: Happy New Year!

I am a sucker for New Year motivational quotes, posts, and articles.  You have been warned.

My motivation lately has been more "meh" than "yay".  Here are some reads and sees (videos) in case you ever find yourself in the same place.

1. Get on the treadmill, Bertha

2. A mantra for every runner

3. 5 Fun Challenges to Improve the Running Mind

I have started some of these this week, namely the "inappropriately dressed challenge" but not on purpose.  We again have had crazy winds combined with low temperatures which has entered us into the negative zone.  I went running two days in a row in negative temps and the first day I didn't layer enough on top; the second day, not enough on the bottom.  It was an interesting exercise in mindset because I surpassed my expectation both days - logging 5 miles the first day and 3.7 the second (I was not even ready to be done, but alas! the bus came.)  I look forward to trying more of these during marathon training.

4. Be a Girl Who Runs

5.  Learning to Ask

6. Have you seen this Adidas commercial done by a German student? Brought tears to my eyes!

7. Start Off Strong

8.  Athleta just launched four Power of She videos.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Week in Review Dec 26 - Jan 1

Happy New Year! I hope you were able to get out for a run today!

After a few dismal weeks of mileage, I am happy to report that I had a decent week, book-ended by two outdoor runs IN SHORTS!  My marathon training does not technically start until 1/18 so I have a few more weeks before I am officially on plan.  This week, I did not have any agenda except that I wanted to get one hour-long run in.

Monday December 26:  It was so warm this day that I wore shorts, a long sleeve and a trucker hat!  The only thing I had to deal with was plenty of wind, and lots of slushy sidewalks from melting snow.

6.01 miles, 43:15 (7:12 avg pace)

Tuesday December 27: Off

Wednesday December 28: 4.01 miles, 29:50 (7:27 avg pace)

Thursday December 29: 4.02 miles, 29:24 (7:18 avg pace)

Friday December 30: off

Saturday December 31: 3.01 miles, 21:25 (7:07 avg pace)

Sunday January 1:  Again, I was in shorts!  I was pushing it a bit as it was 40 out, but I had knee-high compression socks on with two layers on top, hat and gloves.  I also broke out a new pair of shoes for this run:  Saucony ISOs.  They are really cushy.  Since I have been running so much in my Adidas Boost 3, the Saucony felt heavy.  I started this one out too fast but was able to finish fast.  I need to start slowing down and practicing a slower pace.  Paces in the Hanson's Marathon plan are VERY specific and all of this week's runs are way too fast.

8.41 miles, 1:00:02 (7:08 avg pace)

Mile 1:  6:56
Mile 2:  7:22
Mile 3:  7:26
Mile 4:  7:18
Mile 5:  7:21
Mile 6:  7:01
Mile 7:  7:02
Mile 8:  6:41
Mile 9:  7:08

Weekly Total: 25.46 miles

December Wrap-Up

I already posted that I met my December goal of retiring my Adidas Boost 3 running shoes.  My December ended up with 88.87 miles total, which was 33.56 miles less than December 2015.  December 2015 was a good month for me as it was the month of my marathon training ramp up after several less than stellar months.  I am hoping that my more consistent second half of 2016 will pay dividends as I ramp back up in mileage for marathon training this month!

2017 is going to be a great year and I look forward to running through it!