Thursday, March 30, 2017

Running, Injury and Performance Enhancement Class

Last night, an academic medicine orthopedic clinic in my town offered a FREE (yes, free) class with the title "Running, Injury, and Performance Enhancement".  This is the same health care system that provides the running evaluations for $100 that I did last year.

I didn't have any expectations for this class.  I thought I would attend because obviously the topic interests me and my hip/foot crankiness has me a little on alert.

The class was scheduled to go for 90 minutes and ended up being a full two hours and was FANTASTIC.  While I felt the running evaluation I did was definitely worth the $100, I felt that this FREE class was much better.  In fact, if one went to the class, I don't know that the $100 evaluation would be worth it.

The class started lecture format with some slides explaining current research in running injuries, footwear, and stride.  The three physical therapists that gave the class were much more strongly in the "midfoot/front foot strike pattern is the best" than the PT that I had last year for the evaluation which I thought was interesting.  I am a definite heel striker and I left convinced that I should probably work on changing that, after the marathon of course.

After the lecture, we moved into the gym.  They needed two people to volunteer to do video analysis.  As you can imagine, my hand could not have shot up fast enough.  I was the only long distance runner in the group.  The other person chosen for video analysis was a sophomore high school runner.  The two of us went and had a functional mobility test on four areas of our body before we were told to run on the treadmill.  The rest of the class went to the gym area where everyone was given the same functional mobility test.

We then rejoined the group and were taught a strengthening and mobility routine that, for best results, we should do 3-4x a week.  They watched us do the exercises, providing form correction and guidance through each.  The routine was interesting as it was definitely more focused on "mobility" than static stretching.  It very much aligned with what I read in the Ready to Run book I reviewed here.

Finally, we went back into the "classroom" and watched the videos of our running.  I was happy that I had had a hard workout yesterday morning and that I was doing the treadmill running on tired legs.  I vividly remember that during my first running evaluation, I had super fresh legs and was very conscious of being filmed and only had to run a mile so it was no surprise that my evaluation did not have any red flags since most red flags are very apparent when you have tired legs!

FAST FORWARD to last night where there were some red flags and aha moments:

1. My left hip drops while running, which is likely part of the reason for my right hip tenderness.   My functional eval showed a tight psoas and tight rectus femoris (RF) on the right side.   Bottom line, I need to strengthen my glutes and hips.  Lots of "monster walks" in my future.

2.  My left arm swings more than my right and my functional eval showed some tightness in my upper back.  Prescription: twist stretch.  These are very popular in the Jasyoga videos and now I know why!  If your upper back is asymmetric, that can affect arm swing which can affect your hips.  They also taught us these twist movements with a medicine ball which would strengthen that upper back area as well as my hips.

3.  Heel strikers unite!  Yep.  I'm a heel striker.  They were quick to advocate trying to switch this to midfoot strike to alleviate any risk of injury later on, especially since I am, gulp, aging.  Apparently my body is absorbing 2-3x it's body weight with every heel strike.  WOWSA.  They seemed to think that if I could focus on having my feet land more under me (vs. overstrike - which also showed up in my previous evaluation), I would naturally be more of a midstrike runner since my cadence was in the low 170s.  (Goal=180).

4.  This was not showing up on the video, but he noted that my right ankle had limited mobility - he estimated it was 2-3% where the goal is 4%.  He guessed that was from the hip issues and that if I could strengthen my glutes and hips, the foot pain that I have been having would resolve.

All in all - SO HELPFUL and I left with some targeted exercises and the materials to do them.  FREE.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Product Review: Beachbody Performance

Product Review:  Beachbody Performance Advanced Performance Stack

I signed up to test the Beachbody Performance products thinking that it would be fun to try something new.  I didn't really know much about them at all. The products arrived while I was vacationing in FL and my elderly neighbor took care of the box until I got home.  My husband went to retrieve it and when I saw the enormous box I was like, "WHAT DID THEY SEND ME?!"

I was thinking I would get a can of protein powder.  Um, no.  I got the entire Advanced Performance stack!  AWESOME!

The Advanced Performance stack consists of four products:


Prior to getting the opportunity to test this system, my typical hydration plan for running consisted of maybe drinking some electrolyte drink after my workout.  On a long run, maybe bringing some electrolyte drink with me in a handheld water bottle.  Key word in these statements:  MAYBE.  In other words, I didn't really ever have a "plan".  For someone who always wants to be hydrating more, this was dumb.  Step 1.  Make a plan!

The nice thing about this bundle was that my plan was made for me.  The directions provided very clear direction as to how much and when I should be ingesting these.  Let's start with the first product: Energize.

From the website:

Directions: If you are <160 pounds (me), the directions are to mix a scoop of this powder with 8 oz of water, shake and drink within 30 minutes prior to exercise.

My experience:  I loved this product.  I would make it the night before a morning run and keep it on my bathroom counter and drink it as soon as I woke up.  The tart flavor definitely helps wake me up on early mornings.  A fellow BibRave Pro compared the flavor to Lemondheads candy and I concur.  I have been drinking this before all of my runs for the past 3.5 weeks and I love it.  I think it definitely primes my body to get going.  It is now a big signal to my mind and body as soon as that lemon pucker hits my tongue - time to get going!  Additionally, it hasn't upset my stomach or caused any cramping.  The one thing that surprised me about this product is the color.  It is NEON yellow.  I mean it almost looks radioactive!

Next product:  Hydrate

From the website:

Directions:  Mix one scoop of the powder with 8 oz of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.

My experience:  I also liked this product.  The taste is very faint, not too sweet, and easy to consume while on the run.  (I put it in this Nathan hand-held water bottle.)  I used this for any run that was over 5 miles because I am trying to train my body with hydration after 30 minutes of running.  This plan is going well for me.  I feel like this was mentally helping me get over hurdles and physically I have felt good and not at all crampy while using this product "on the run".  To date, this is the only nutrition/hydration I have used on any runs in this current marathon training cycle.

Next product: Recover

From the website:

Directions:  Mix one scoop powder with 8 oz of water and consume within 30 minutes after exercise

My experience:  I had the orange flavor of this product.  (Chocolate is the other alternative.)  I liked this product.  The flavor was not too intense and I did not experience a lot of clumping that often occurs with protein powders.   I started out having 8 oz of this after every run.  My stash quickly dwindled and I switched over to having this after my 3 substantial runs (speed, tempo, long) per week.  I also have a RX Bar after these runs with this shake.  

I have noticed some of the other BibRave Pros use this to make smoothies.  This is an idea I have yet to try - mostly because I don't want to turn the blender on at 6 AM and wake up my family!

Final product:  Recharge

From the website:

Directions: Mix one scoop powder with 8 oz of water and consume within one hour of going to sleep

My experience:  In terms of taste, this was my least favorite product.  The flavor isn't awful, just kind of "eh". A very faint vanilla milk flavor.  I noticed again other BibRave Pros using this for smoothies which is something I should try.  Like Recover, I was using this every night that I ran - so 6 nights a week - until my supply dwindled and then I switched to using it only on nights of my 3 substantial runs (speed, tempo, long).  Again I thought this product mixed well and I did not have a lot of clumping issues.

Entire System

The Beachbody Performance line is NSF Certified.  The NSF Certification process is meant to ensure that there are no banned substances in sports performance products.  I consider myself very aligned with the Clean Sport mission so I appreciated this.  You can read more about NSF here.

Some of the products are also the "official" sports nutrition products for the Ironman North America series.

I have enjoyed these products and felt that they have definitely given my marathon training a boost.  My body has been recovering and adapting to the increasing stress I have put on it, which is something I was concerned about when attempting to use a Hanson's Marathon plan for the first time.  I do like that with this system, I have been hydrating more and hydrating at optimal times.  I think the biggest pro of this system for me was that I didn't have to figure anything out.  Here.  Buy this bundle, here is your plan, follow it.  Easy peasy.

If you are interested in checking out the Beachbody Performance Line, click here.  The 4 product bundle is $199.99 with $23.95 shipping and handling. You can also buy each product separately. They have a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

Disclaimer: I received the four-piece Beachbody Advanced Performance Stack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!  All opinions are my own and the links within this post do not provide any incentive to me personally, nor does your purchase of the product benefit me personally.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 10 Recap

Monday Mar 20
Plan Says:  4 x 1200m, with 400m recovery and a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.  1200s should be at 4:35.

What I did:  My Sense alarm went off at 4:45 and I was tired.  I got out of bed, got dressed and drank my Beachbody Energize which helped.  I got out the door and started working on the warm up.

1.15 miles warm up, 9:44 (8:27 avg pace).

I shed the jacket I was wearing and stuffed it in my mailbox.  I had planned on doing the same loop that I do for 800s for this effort.  In my tired haze, it did not occur to me that I could just run 1.5 loops to get 1200 meters (0.75 miles).  My first 1200 then consisted of a loop and out and back and turn again...checking my watch constantly for the last 0.15 I there yet?! and thus was slow.

0.76 miles - 4:45 (6:37 avg pace)
0.25 miles - 2:17 (9:08 avg pace)

0.75 miles - 4:34 (6:06 avg pace)
0.25 miles - 2:14 (8:52 avg pace)

0.75 miles - 4:38 (6:08 avg pace)
0.25 miles -2:17 (8:59 avg pace)

By this point I was really tired.  My legs felt like jelly.

0.75 miles - 4:36 (6:06 avg pace)*
*I stopped at around 0.3 miles and had a "Amy get your SH** together breath" and restarted.

1.17 miles cool down, 10:23 (8:53 avg pace).

This was a difficult workout and I was so happy when it was DONE!  6.1 total miles

Tuesday Mar 21
Plan Says: Off

What I did: No running, but did the Jasyoga High Mileage Reset routine

Wednesday Mar 22
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo run at 7:15, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:
I felt much better about the tempo run this week.  I didn't have any issues with sleeping the night before.  I planned to do it after work on Wednesday since that time worked well last week and Wednesday is the only day I have child care coverage for both kids after work/school. Plus, to get 10 miles in before work would likely require that I get up closer to 4 AM, and that just sounds awful.

I again ran this too fast, and ran it fast right from mile 1...again.  It was 3 seconds (on average) slower per mile than last week but it felt so much easier.  I am a little worried that I am doing this workout too fast given how prescriptive the paces are for the plan.  (That and I listened to the 5 early going pitfalls of marathon training that the author of the Hanson plan put on....GOING TOO FAST.  Yep. That's me right now with the tempos!)

8 miles, 55:48 (6:58 avg pace).
6:53 / 7:12 / 6:48 / 7:00 / 7:03 / 7:10 / 6:58 / 6:42

2 mile cool down, 16:11 (7:58 avg pace)

Thursday Mar 23
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  I went to bed later than usual on Wednesday night so I had to peel myself from the bed on Thursday morning.  BUT I GOT OUT OF BED! YAY ME!  This was done 12 hours after my tempo so I EASILY ran slow.

5 miles, 41:51, (8:21 avg pace)

More Jasyoga High Mileage Reset.

Friday Mar 24
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did: Woke up at 4:53 and was grateful the rain we got overnight was done!  8 easy pace miles to start the day.  I almost ran into a deer during the first mile, and then ran into the same deer a little while later as it zipped through lawns.  Then, I heard some crazy animal fight!  Who says life is dull at 5 AM in our neighborhood?!

8 miles,  1:04:36 (8:04 avg pace)

Saturday Mar 25
Plan Says: 10 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:  The weather forecast for the weekend was not looking good.  100% of rain all weekend.  I had started getting mentally ready for a treadmill long run but when I woke up on Saturday morning, it wasn't raining!  I quickly got dressed and got outside to make the most of it.

This run felt sooo good.  I ran it too fast but was in a groove.  I tried slowing my pace a few times but decided to ride it out.

10 miles, 1:12:42 (7:16 avg pace)

Mile splits: 7:25 / 7:06 / 7:29 / 7:26 / 7:18 / 7:18 / 7:14 / 7:13 / 7:14 / 6:57

Sunday Mar 26
Plan says: Easy 5 miles

What I did:  
It was raining when we woke up.  It was raining when my son took a nap.  It was raining ALL DAY.  I ended up throwing in the towel and hopping on the treadmill after the kids were in bed.  I had zero motivation to do this run but luckily around 3.5 miles in, the negative thoughts I had running through my brain left me.

5 miles, 43:15 (8:39 avg pace)

Weekly Total
Plan says:  44 miles
What I did: 44.15 miles

Ten weeks of marathon training done!  I have felt basically good up to this point with the exception of my sometimes cranky hip and my cranky foot.  I read something last week with this plan where cumulative fatigue should not begin setting in until 6-8 weeks out.  I have 8 weeks left and feel like I haven't started to hit the cumulative fatigue stage so I am excited about that.

The next 8 weeks are hard though.  I am done with "speed" workouts and now transition into the "strength" workouts.  Think mile, 1.5 mile and 2 mile repeats.  My tempo runs will get longer and I hit the longest run in the program - 16 miles.  This is the part of the training that sometimes freaks me out the most - 16 miles is the longest run I will do prior to the marathon.

52 days until race weekend!!!!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Links

Most of my reading this week was re-reading sections of Hanson's Marathon Method to reassure myself on all things pace-related but I snuck in a few articles:

1. Kara Goucher's Latest Interview or at least I thought so until Friday afternoon when i saw this one!

2. How Our Total Average Runner Broke the 5:00 mile

3. Foam Roller Core Workout

4. Tina Muir's Guide to Battling Running Demons and Running Slower, Get Faster

Enjoy the weekend!  I am going to try to get my last two runs in AND attend my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party.  Sunday's run may not be pretty!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 9 Recap

9 down, 9 to go!  I'm halfway through marathon training!  How the hell did that happen?!

Week 9 was a doozy.  The Hanson plan bumps mileage up every 3 weeks, and week 9 was a bump up week.  Week 8 had 40 miles on the plan, week 9 had 49.  NINE EXTRA MILES.  Oy vey.

Daylight Savings impacted me hard.  I found it very difficult to sleep this week and thus getting up at 4:45 was not in the cards most mornings.  Also, my cranky hip acted up a bit more than usual.

Despite all of this - I still had a great week of running!  Pump it up!

Monday Mar 13
Plan Says:  5 x 1000, with 400 recovery and a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.  1Ks should be at 3:48 (6:05 avg pace).

What I did:  They were predicting a huge snow storm all weekend so I was expecting snow. Unfortunately, I did not wake up in the morning and we got a lot of snow all day Monday so I was on the treadmill for this one.  It was also my husband's birthday so I had lots of lasagna and birthday cake in my belly prior to jumping on the 'mill.

1 mile warm up at 7.0 mph on the treadmill (8:34 avg pace)

For the 1Ks, I varied the pace between 9.8 - 10.0 mph for 0.621-0.624 miles (depending on how fast I could hit the stop button!)
1- 3:48
2- 3:48
3- 3:47
4- 3:46
5- 3:47

My recovery 400s were at 6.0 mph (2:31).

1 mile cool down, 6.0-6.8mph, 9:34.

While I don't recommend doing this workout on a full stomach, it was good mental practice for me to fight through the discomfort!

6.11 miles total.

Tuesday Mar 14
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off

Wednesday Mar 15
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo run at 7:15, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:   I was up from 1-4 am worrying about this workout.  FOR REAL.  Tempo runs make me so nervous.  They seem so difficult and this week my tempo run bumped up to 8 miles - from 5 miles.  It seemed like such a big jump.  Once again, I slept through my alarm.  Luckily, I have after school care arrangements on Wednesdays so I could get this done after work.  The plows had come through so the roads and sidewalks were clear; much clearer than I expected.  The sun was shining!  Time to stop worrying and hit the road.

I turned my first mile, which was supposed to be a warm up mile, into the first mile of the tempo run because it was at 7:30.  I had a 2-day training earlier in the week and a lunch event this day so I had not been eating great food all week.  The result of this is that I felt like I really had to poop on that first mile.  I ducked back into my house after running the first mile to use the bathroom.  Nothing.  I chalked it up to nerves and got back out there.  And ran fast.  No matter how much I told myself to relax, I ran way too fast for the remaining 7 miles.  My anxiety did not relent until about mile 7.9.   Total was 8 miles at 6:55 avg pace.   Mile splits: 7:32 / 6:40 / 6:45 / 6:54 / 6:52 / 6:42 / 6:59 / 6:53.

To make up for the lack of warm up, I ran a 2 mile cool down.  This felt glorious.  My legs felt tired, but good and mentally it was like a huge weight had lifted.  2.03 miles, 16:50 (8:18 avg pace).

Shortly after I was done running, I noticed my right hip was very sore.  I used my R8 roller and also my foam roller to work on it a bit.  Cue more nerves and internal chanting of "please don't let me be injured...please don't let me be injured...."

I had a tiger balm patch sample that I slapped on it before bed.

Thursday Mar 16
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  Again, I was up at 12:30 AM.  This time, I took a Hylands Calms Forte tablet and quickly fell back asleep...and missed my morning alarm.  For the 3rd time this week.  I woke up and my hip was hurting.  ARGH.  I got home after work and started running outside.  It was a beautiful day.  I ended up getting 3.6 miles in before the bus showed up.  My hip still wasn't feeling great so I opted to stop there.

3.62 miles, 28:51 (7:58 avg pace).

Friday Mar 17
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  I WOKE UP AT MY MORNING ALARM!  I knew that rain was forecasted so I looked outside.  It didn't look like it was raining (but I was not wearing glasses or contacts!) so I got dressed for an outdoor run.  I went outside and it was definitely drizzling but doable.  Unfortunately the temp was hovering around 32 degrees so there were a lot more slippery spots than I was comfortable with.  I ended up turning around, going back inside and changing to shorts and taking off my layers of shirts.   What a time suck!

I ended up running an easy 5 miles on my treadmill in 42:52 while listening to the first half of Lindsey Hein interviewing Alysia Montano. (link below).  My hip felt ok.  I felt like maybe if I got a really good massage, that might be the thing I need.

I did the new Jasyoga "High Mileage Reset" during the evening and it!  Definitely loosened things up!  Friday night was also the first night of my Sense sleep system.  I will be posting about this once I have some trends!

I re-read parts of the Hanson book as I wanted to make sure my pacing was going ok.  It is easy to get very caught up in social media re: paces of runs.  Re-reading reasoning behind paces boosted my confidence a lot!

Saturday Mar 18
Plan Says: 15 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did:  My running partner and I were up to meet at my house (we switch off meeting at each other's houses).  She is running Boston so our long run distances have not matched up - one of us is always doing more than the other.  Until this week, she was always going longer.  This week, we switched places.  She had 10 to do.  I knew that it would be hard for me to run after she was done so I left earlier and ran 5 miles by myself and then the final 10 with her.  This plan worked beautifully.  I was happy that we ran this comfortably as I want to try to stick with the paces in the book.  My hip felt ok.  Not great, but not in pain.

15 miles, 1:56:51 (7:47 avg pace).  Interesting this is the exact same average pace as last week's 10 mile run and last week's run felt much worse.  This was a very comfortable run.

7:37 / 7:58 / 7:48 / 7:30 / 7:40 / 8:04 / 7:55 / 8:05 / 7:54 / 7:35 / 7:36 / 7:51 / 7:43 / 7:35 / 7:56

Sunday Mar 19
Plan says: Easy 7 miles

What I did:  
I again pre-calculated my mileage to get to an even number for the weekly total.  I knew I was going to be at least 2 miles short due to shortening my Thursday run.  I figured out if I ran 7.25 I would have a nice even 47 miles for the week.  I headed out after lunch and made a plan with my daughter, who wanted to run with me, that I would come back and she could run the last half mile with me.

This was a nice run.  I wanted to keep it comfortable and easy.  I finished the rest of the Lindsey Hein/Alysia Montano podcast.  I got back to my house at around 6.9 miles and BOTH my kids wanted to join me.  My daughter, age 6, is actually a decent runner.  My son, age 3, is not. So we headed out.  They had a lot of fun and it was funny to watch them.  At one point my son was huffing and puffing saying he needed a break so we tried to say he could sit a lap out but he did not want to miss out on anything.  I actually carried him while running for a bit.  He is 40 pounds.  This was no small feat!  I ended up getting 7.52 miles in!  The splits are funny:

7:46 / 7:44 / 7:59 / 7:53 / 7:58 / 8:13 / 8:07 ----> Average pace of each of the first seven miles

6:44 ----> Actual time it took to run the last 0.52 miles. 

7.52 miles, 1:02:24 (8:18 avg pace)

Weekly Total
Plan says:  49 miles
What I did: 47.28 miles

1.  Here is the link to I'll Have Another #40 with Alysia Montano

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Links

I have missed some Friday Links of late.  Here is my attempt at catching up!

1. I mentioned the #BirdStrike on this blog.  I loved following it.  Here is one of the recaps.  And here is Devon Yanko's beautiful vulnerable post about it.

2. When bloggers you follow absolutely crush a race.  Congrats Elizabeth!

3. How To Run by Lauren Fleshman

4. I followed a dedicated sleep schedule for a month: Here's what happened.  I've posted some about my struggle with sleep lately.  My husband got me this for my birthday.  I am hoping to set it up over the weekend.

5.  Marathon Race Strategy:  A Few Thoughts

6. Manage your Energy, Not Your Time

Monday, March 13, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training Week 8 Recap

Week 8 was a week to be proud of.  I got shit done!

Monday Mar 6
Plan Says:  6 x 800, with 400 recovery and a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.  800s should be at 3:05

What I did:  1.2 mile warm up, 9:11 (7:37 avg pace).  I did this outside in our neighborhood at 5 AM - so 800m = .50 miles

1- 3:04
2- 3:04
3- 3:06
4- 3:07
5- 3:02
6- 3:04

My recovery 400s were in the 2:07-2:15 range.
1.3 mile cool down, 10:45 (8:16 avg).

True confession: I LOVE 800s.  Love them.  This workout felt great and I felt in control during the 800s even though they were fast.  I looked back at my 800 goal paces for last year's marathon training and they were not 3:05 so I had a lot of self doubt going into this workout.  OMG. 3:05 is too fast. Nope.  Nope it's not!

6.79 miles total.

Tuesday Mar 7
Plan Says: Off

What I did: off

Wednesday Mar 8
Plan Says: 5 mile tempo run at 7:15, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:   I was on the treadmill for this as we had huge wind gusts that were shaking our house when I woke up at 4:45 AM.

1 mile warm up, 7.0 mph (8:34 avg pace).
5 tempo miles (8.0 mph, 8.1 mph, 8.2 mph, 8.3 mph, 8.4 mph) ----> 7:19 average
1 mile cool down, 7.0 mph.  (8:34 avg pace)

7 total miles, 53:48

Mentally this was tough.  Physically I was surprised at how good I felt, perhaps because last week's tempo run (of the same distance and pacing goals) felt so tough. A strategy I use to fight mental boredom on the treadmill is to push buttons. Thus, why I did gradual increments in pace for the tempo run.  I ended up slower than 7:15 so I should have started faster.  That is what happens when you don't calculate the pace with treadmill conversations BEFORE you run. I love the treadmill for recovery because I am forced to run slower than I would outside (look at mile warm up and cool down for Monday as an example.)

Thursday Mar 9
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  I slept in because I felt lazy when my 4:45 AM alarm went off so I had little option but to start this when I got home from work before the bus came, even though I knew that I wouldn't get all 5 done then.  I ended up getting 3 done outside at 22:18 (7:25 avg pace) and then I went in and did the final 2 on the treadmill while my kids played.  I had to stop once to fix a sword, but otherwise I felt that this worked out fine.  Not ideal, but fine.  Speaking again to how the treadmill slows me down (a good thing!) my 2 miles were 17:16 total - around 8:34 pace!

5 total miles, 39:34 (7:55 avg pace)

Friday Mar 10
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  It. was. cold.  OH my goodness.  6 miles before 6 AM.  What was awesome about this is that I was able to venture outside of my usual neighborhood laps to get 2 miles done outside the loops because it was light enough out.

6.03 miles, 47:39 (7:54 avg pace)

Saturday Mar 11
Plan Says: 10 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did: I met my friend B at her place.  IT WAS COLD.  We made the unfortunate decision to run an out and back course and the first half was pretty quick because we didn't realize we had the wind at our back until we turned around and had to do 5 miles running into the wind.  The cold, icy, wind.  Honestly the last mile of this run was among the hardest I have ever done.  The wind was relentless.  BUT WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10.02 miles, 1:18:02 (7:47 avg pace)

Check out these mile splits:
Out 5 - 8:06/7:59/7:24/7:25/7:23
Back 5 - 7:38/7:56/7:54/7:55/8:12  WIND!

While in Florida, my right hip felt bruised.  It hurt in one distinct spot.  I often bump into things so I thought I probably bumped it on a dresser or something.  It hurt again for the remainder of Saturday.  I did a hip reset on Jasyoga to help stretch it but it was still sore when I went to bed.  My right foot (top of the arch) still is nagging me - again, it doesn't hurt.  Just doesn't feel totally 100%.

Sunday Mar 12
Plan says: Easy 5 miles

What I did:  Easy 5 miles.  My plan was to get up to do this at 5:30 before my future SIL's bridal shower.  However, I randomly was up at 3:15, got sucked into "watching" (via Twitter and Instagram) the final miles of the speed project/Oiselle Birdstrike team and then fell asleep at 5 and next thing I knew it was 7:15.  Luckily it was still pretty light out, and it hadn't started snowing yet, that I was able to get outside after the kids were in bed.  I pre-calculated what I needed to run to clear 40 miles for the week.

5.22 miles, 41:43 (8:00 avg pace)

My hip seemed to be ok and not bothersome by this point.

Weekly Total
Plan says:  40 miles
What I did:  40.05 miles

8 weeks of marathon training done!    Yeehaw!  So far, I am really liking the Hanson plan.  It is challenging, but doesn't feel impossible...yet!  I felt I did a better job of slowing down on recovery/easy runs this week, although they still should be slower.  The Hanson recommended recovery range for my goal pace is 8:13-8:49.   I think right now I really have to be mindful to slow down.  As the miles pile on and it gets tougher, it will likely not be as difficult to slow down because my legs will be more fatigued.

1. Because I was on the treadmill this week, I listened to a podcast - and a good one at that!  I highly recommend ROO #193 Real Talk Reflections on Gratitude Grit + Grace 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Product Review: xx2i Optics France2 Sunglasses!!

It's time for another product review!

Product: xx2i France2 sunglasses

If you read nothing further, please note that I {HEART} these sunnies!!!

The France2 sunglasses by xx2i Optics are half rim sport sunglasses with adjustable temples, nose pads and interchangeable lenses which allow for a totally customizable fit.  These are all nice options to have but the two aspects of these sunnies that I put them over the top for me are:

1) THEY DO NOT MOVE.  Even at my sweatiest, they do not slide down my face.  I tested them out during a warm spell in Wisconsin, I wore them while running in hot and humid Florida, and I raced a 5K with them in the Bahamas.   They block all sun so I don't have to squint and STAY PUT.


2) THEY DO NOT FOG.  Period.

Other nice features:

  • They come with a hard case to protect them in my "runch" bag
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth included
  • 365 money-back guarantee period - FOR REAL!  They give you a whole year to test them out!
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reasonable price point:  At $59.99 regular price, these won't break the bank!

I opted for the classic tortoiseshell pattern but I may purchasing the hot pink! Or the orange! Or the green!  So many color options!

From now until March 28, if you use the code 'marchbibrave' you can get 50% (YES - in HALF!) off your XX2I Optics purchase online.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of xx2i optics France2 sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!  All opinions are my own and the links within this post do not provide any incentive to me personally, nor does your purchase of the product benefit me personally.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

First Trail Race! The Big Foot 10K Trail Run!

I always start out a new year with intentions of trying some new things.  This year, I wanted to try some new things in the running arena.  I'm trying out a new marathon training plan, I'm trying out a dualthon in July, and now I'm going to try out trail running in June at The Bigfoot 5K and 10K Trail Run

I am excited about several aspects of this race:

1.  TRAIL.  To date, I have not really ever run on trails.  I love following trail runners on Instagram, I think the challenge of trying to run a fast trail race will be fun.

2.  10K.  The last 10K I ran was the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.  IN 2004.  Yeah.  Time to change that!

3.  My husband and I were just discussing trying to take advantage of some of the many state parks in WI this summer so this will afford us the opportunity to see Big Foot Beach State Park located in Lake Geneva, WI!

If you would like to join me, the code 'BibRaveBF17' at registration will earn you bonus race swag!
Register here.

"Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Bigfoot Trail race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!"

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Recap of January and February Mileage Totals

I again am tracking monthly mileage to keep myself accountable to my overall goal of remaining consistent.  My son was born in December of 2013 and I started tracking mileage in 2014 with the goal of getting back into running more regularly.  It is interesting to me to reflect on the last years of running data.

I also ran spring marathons in 2015 and 2016 so mileage across all three years will likely follow similar patterns of having the high mileage months in the beginning of the year.

2014:  0
2015:  121.69
2016:  148.38
2017:  117.21

2014:  19.34
2015:  111.59
2016:  148.78
2017:  125.89

My YTD mileage for 2017 is higher than 2015 and lower than 2016 at the same time points.  This is in line with the line graph I charted about mileage expectations with the Hanson plan.  March 2016 was the highest mileage month I have ever had (165.99) so we will see how March 2017 stacks up!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Training: Week 7 Recap

The week of vacation running wasn't perfect, but I did get in some good workouts and while I totally missed the mileage goal for the week, I am happy with it.  It turns out that cruising and marathon training are not ideal companions.  Also, while I did get many opportunities to nap on our vacation, my night sleep was terrible.  ARGH.

Monday Feb 27
Plan Says:  8 x 600, with 400 recovery and a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.  600s should be at 2:18

What I did:  1 mile warm up, 8:27.  I did this on our hotel property - so 600m = .37 miles

1- 2:22
2- 2:19
3- 2:14
4- 2:17
5- 2:14
6- 2:15
7- 2:15
8- 2:18

My recovery 400s were in the 2:09-2:27 range.
1 mile cool down, 8:16.

This was a hard workout coming off of 2 8 milers, 2 days of walking around Disney parks ALL DAY, and done in some HEAT.  I was glad to be done with it and glad my paces were not awful.

Tuesday Feb 28
Plan Says: Off

What I did: off

We hit up Epcot this day so while I did not run, I still got a lot of walking in.

Wednesday Mar 1
Plan Says: 5 mile tempo run at 7:15, with 1 mile warm up and cool down.

What I did:   1 mile warm up, 7:51.  5 tempo miles (7:03, 7:06, 7:13, 6:56, 7:08).  1.1 mile cool down, 8:06.  7.1 total miles, 52:16.

This was by far the hardest workout of vacation.  It was so hot and humid this morning and I rode the struggle bus, but got it done.

Thursday Mar 2
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4.11 miles, 34:43 (8:27 avg pace)

Got this done early morning before my in-laws came to our resort to pick us up for the Disney Cruise!

Friday Mar 3
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  I think I did 6 miles.  I ran for 48 minutes so I'm calling that 6 miles.  I did this onboard the ship.  Theoretically, one can run around deck 4 of the ship 3 times to get a mile.  When I ran, the had closed off one curve of the "track" so I ended up running a "U" shape for 48 minutes.  HOLY BORING.  This was a mental workout for sure.  Physically I felt really good.

Saturday Mar 4
Plan Says: 10 miles at long run pace - 7:54 for me

What I did: 
Ran a 5K plus a .6 mile cool down. you've been reading the week and I have been nailing all of my workouts. I'm about to ruin it for you!

I debated over running this 5K for a few days.  This was the day we were going to be on Castaway Cay which features a beautiful beach.  I'll be honest: I didn't really want to sacrifice beach time to run.  I do like the Castaway Cay 5K, even though it is totally a "fun run".  This was the second time I have done this "race".  It was a good chance to get some miles in off the ship on a beautiful island.  I decided to do it and run relaxed - no racing.  I still ended up finishing in 19:25 and won it very easily. I got a cool medal and still got to hang with my family on the beach the whole day.  WIN.

Sunday Mar 5
Plan says: Easy 6 miles

What I did:

Unfortunately I did not realize that we had to get off the ship EARLY and you had to put your suitcases out the night before.  That nixed the idea of getting an early workout in.  Then after a full day of traveling with two very overtired kids and getting home later than expected, I was not about to hop on my treadmill at 9 PM, knowing that I had to get up at 4:45 for Monday's workout.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 39 miles
What I did: 27.6 miles (womp womp)

7 weeks of marathon training done!  I missed two workouts but I feel that it is early enough in the process that I will be fine.  Trust me.  That beach was worth it :)