Monday, July 31, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 7 Recap

Week 7 is in the books.  It was again all over the place since I had a mid-week 5K race but by the end of it, I recovered nicely and finished all of the workouts.  I am looking forward to a "normal" week of no races! I finally feel like I am not on the brink of falling asleep.

Monday, July 24
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 3 x 1 mi at 5k/10k pace with 800 m recovery in between, 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  I was not going to do another speed workout the day after a 10K race so I opted for 6 miles easy.  This felt good.  I was able to get out of bed early, the air was cool.  I was slower than usual, which I was happy about.

6.05 miles, 51:31 (8:31 avg pace)

Tuesday, July 25
Plan says: 0 miles

What I do:  Wanted to do my tempo run today since I was using the 5K as a "replacement" for mile repeats.  I did NOT get out of bed early to do this because I went to bed 2 hours later than usual (and having consumed more wine than usual, #bookclub ).  I ended up doing this late afternoon, when it was hot out, but not nearly as hot as it had been.  I had attended a work conference all day and had different food than usual for lunch, including quinoa.  Ever since doing Whole30 last year, quinoa was a food that always provoked a reaction:  major stomach cramps, sweats, total gross.  Two of the salads that I ate huge portions of at the conference were quinoa-based.  I knew this was taking a chance, but I was hungry.

Needless to say, I left for my warm up and wasn't feeling so great.  Thought it would just take a bit to get going.  Ran 1.5 miles and then had to kick it into gear.  I opted to start out a little slower than tempo pace and was still not feeling that great.  I circled back to my house since I had a water bottle on my mailbox.  I started chugging the water bottle when stuff started coming back up in the opposite direction.  Ew.  I thought I would be ok, so I continued on.  Yep.  It wasn't ok.  I abandoned the tempo run 2.6 miles (and plenty of stops) in.  I walked home from that point feeling like I was going to die, the sweat just running off me.

1.5 mile warm up, 12:04 (8:03 avg pace)
2.5 mile tempo, 16:44 (6:47 avg pace)

3.97 miles total

Wednesday, July 26
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  Took my off day here.  Day before the race.  Felt amazing to do nothing.

Thursday, July 20
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do: Race day! 5K.  Race recap here.

1.69 mile warm up, 12:29 (7:24 avg pace)
3.13 race, 19:33 (6:15 avg pace)
1.65 mile cool down, 14:19 (8:40 avg pace)

Friday, July 21
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  OOH Thursday night was a rough one.  I was pretty amped up when I finally got home after the race and went to bed around 10pm but could not fall asleep.  This turned into one of those nights where every noise made me think someone was in our house.  Then I had a bout of digestive distress similar to my entire day Thursday.  When I finally felt myself drifting off, my daughter came in because of a bad dream.  This happened again a few hours later.  I got back to my bed at 4 AM.  On the plus side, because I was already awake, it wasn't too hard to get out of bed and get out the door!

This was a beautiful run.  I intentionally chose to run laps around the pond so I would not be able to go fast and just sort of zone out with a podcast.  My right hip was REALLY bothering me though.

6.1 miles, 52:39 (8:38 avg pace)

Saturday, July 22
Plan says: 10 miles at long run pace (7:30-9:00)

What I do:  I struggle with waking up early on the weekends because I so love laying in bed with my husband and kids in the morning.  During the week, our mornings are GO GO GO so it is nice to veg out with them on the weekend.

I am then running during my son's afternoon nap, which is usually the warmest part of the day.  I mostly have been successful at convincing myself that this will make me a stronger runner.   Mostly.

I headed out in the hot sun to get this done.  I really wanted to be around 8:00 for the first half this, to ensure that it would not go off the rails and I was successful in this endeavor.  I ended up getting a Garmin tan because I did not put sunblock on my arms which was a dumb move.  My hip was still sore but not feeling as rough as it was on Friday.

10 miles, 1:16:40 (7:53 avg pace)

Sunday, July 23
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  My family went on a long (6 miles - long for a 6 + 3 year old!) bike ride mid-day and I ran afterwards.  I again went on the pond to get 5 miles in (flip flopping my Friday and Sunday runs).  I was hot and tired, but got it done which was my only goal.

5 miles, 39:26 (7:40 avg pace)

Plan Miles: 42
Total Weekly Miles: 37.6

Friday, July 28, 2017

Race for Bacon 5K 2017

I again raced for bacon last night in Sheridan Park!

I wanted this race to go better than it did, but given all of the events of the week, I am ok with my time.  (She says in an effort to convince herself.)

I have been struggling with some GI stuff this week, which likely started on vacation in Chicago.  Getting out of my routine usually leads to disruption in my GI system.  I started drinking this Smooth Move tea on Monday to try to remedy this.  Then I had a crazy lunch with lots of quinoa (which previously has never lead to good things with my body) on Tuesday which led to a failed tempo run and some vomit.  Thus, I took Wednesday off.  I was not looking forward to the race in the beginning of the week.

Then, we watched Moana, a movie that I love, and I had a great night of sleep.  I woke up Thursday with a better attitude.

However, I made the mistake of continuing using the Smooth Move tea throughout the day AND had Indian food for lunch because I attended a talk for work.  The pairing of these two things led to a lot of bathroom time for me.  (Sorry - I am trying to be real about this situation without being too gross.  Fine line, I get it.)

The race began at 6:30 pm and is on the south side of the city.  I live northwest of the city so I wasn't going to have enough time to go home between work and the race with traffic.  Thus, I changed into my race gear at my office and went straight to the park.  I arrived really early, went to the bathroom, picked up my packet, and then went back to my car and read my book for a bit.  I did a warm up run and felt a little weird at the beginning of the warm up -- wobbly legs --- but I was really nervous for the race so I chalked it up to that.  Then had to hit the bathroom, again.

We started to line up for the race, but it was strange because no one seemed to want to line up on the starting line.  I usually am hesitant to be on the line, but because no one else was, I stepped up.  There were protesters that cleverly got a hold of the race microphone for a bit before anyone figured out what was going on, and then we were off.

A younger guy took off after the bikes.  And then, it was me.  There was a guy next to me but that appeared to be it.  I was thinking that the situation was strange and thought, "Am I running too fast?" but I didn't feel like I was running fast so I just kept going.  I have not been able to pace very well lately (which is something I typically am decent at) so I should have checked my watch but I didn't.  I just kept running.  At about 0.75 miles, another woman came up by me.  We turned a corner and BAM!  Full-on headwind, which sucked.   My mile beeped at 6:00.  AW shit.  That was way too fast.  I could feel myself getting tired.  The woman took off and I did not go with her.  I just tried maintaining but the wind wore me out.  We finally turned a corner and then were on a bike path with the wind behind us.  I was done for.

So. Tired.  I sort of mentally gave up at this point.  My legs hurt, I was winded.  My second mile was 6:11.  Just keep running.  Just keep running.  Do not stop.

I could hear no one behind me but I didn't turn around.  The woman ahead of me had left me in her dust.  Seriously she was CRUISING.

I turned another corner and just could not believe how far away the finish line seemed.  I also saw that there was a guy catching up to me.  Randomly a family friend who lives on the south side was running with a group (not part of the race) and cheered for me, saving me a bit.  I mustered all I had to get to the finish.  I maintained the third place overall, second place female finish with a time of 19:33.

I had to wait at the finish a bit, bent over.  A guy came up to me and asked if I was ok and I was...eventually.  I talked with the first place female, who I believe ran a 18:22.  So fast and so nice!

I headed over to do a cool down.  My family wasn't there, and I didn't know anyone at the race, so that made it easy to get a cool down in.  I really struggled to move my legs during the cool down, but got 1.7 miles in.

After my cool down, I changed my shoes and went to grab my post-race food.  Given that this race is around dinner time, they post-race food is substantial for this.  Each participant gets a beverage of choice and then essentially a boxed lunch type meal.  I sat on the lawn to watch the band and eat my meal.

At that point, I remembered how cold it gets by the lake at night.  I remembered freezing at this race last year.  A little too late since I hadn't remembered to pack a long sleeve shirt or jacket.  Luckily the awards started soon.

It turns out that my finish time beat the previous course record, which meant that the first place woman has the new course record!  That was pretty exciting. (We high fived.)  It was fun to be a part of a strong women's finish, being the top two and three overall.  They also improved the awards this year.  The top three men and top three women all got the cooler full of bacon (and other pork products) AND a gift certificate to Performance Running Outfitters!  I was pumped as last year I finished second woman and did not get the gift card (only the first place in each gender did).

I again could not resist texting my husband, "I'm bringing home the bacon". :)


So I did have a bit of downward spiraling after this race.  I really thought I would be faster.   I ran a 19:49 last year at this race, only two weeks after ditching a boot for a stress reaction.  I have been so consistent with training, particularly over these summer months, I was expecting a big payoff in this race.  I feel better about it today and am also happy that I have a break from racing for a while.  My next planned race, an 8K, is not until mid-September.

Monday, July 24, 2017

BTN BIG10K Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I was given free entry into the BTN Big10K as part of the BibRave Pro program.  For more information on BibRave Pros and to review races, go to

I ran a 10K yesterday: the BTN BIG10K!  The 10K is my most challenging race.  I have yet to run a good one.  I also don't have a lot of experience with them.  So much so that, even though it was a rough one, yesterday is a PR for me:  41:59.

Here is my lifetime 10K history:
7/4/04      Peachtree Road Race    52:08 (8:23 avg)
10/21/12  Fall Classic                   45:03 (7:15 avg)
6/25/17    Bigfoot Trail                 42:58 (6:54 avg)
7/23/17    BTN Big10K                41:59 (6:46 avg)

The fam and I tacked on a long weekend in Chicago to coincide with this race.  We left mid-morning on Friday to make the drive and luckily hit no traffic.  We stopped at Fleet Feet Old Town for packet pickup on the way to our hotel.  Packet pickup was a breeze and took no time.  I really like how Ram Racing uses QR codes for packet pickups. Our packets included a race shirt, a B1G1 Chipotle coupon and our bibs.

The race is centered around the Big 10 college football conference, which includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison (my undergrad alma mater, and my husband's).  When you register, you are able to pick from one of the ten participating schools and in doing so, your race shirt and race medal are themed accordingly.  Thus, I selected University of Wisconsin and my shirt and race medal were both UW themed:

The shirts are ok.  The fabric is "technical fabric" but that thicker variety that traps heat.  I also am not a fan of short sleeve technical fabric race shirts.  They never fit me very well - Women's shirts are always tight in the shoulders and Men's are always too big.  I would prefer tanks.

On Saturday, Ram Racing posted a weather advisory for the race indicating that temps and humidity would be high.  UGH.  (My Garmin data indicated that it was 75 degrees and 89% humidity when we ran.) Saturday night, I laid out all of my stuff, made my water bottle of Gen UCan for the fridge and set my alarm.  I slept terribly, doing the thing where you wake up every hour because you are afraid you are going to miss your alarm.  My alarm was set for 530 am, and the last time I woke was 525 so I just got up.  I quickly got dressed and left our hotel room.  Upon opening the door to the outside, I was blasted with warm air.  Already at 5:45am it was disgusting outside.

The start area was 1.6 miles from our hotel.  I started walking, ate a Picky Bar, and then jogged to the start.  I was DRENCHED with sweat.  When I arrived to the start area, I drank my Gen UCan and gear checked my stuff.  I had a little under an hour to go before the race start but was going to try to meet up with a few different folks: My friend Erica was running, Some Oiselle Wisconsin ladies were running, and a few other BibRave Pros were running.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to meet up with any of these people since I had already gear checked my phone.  I went to the bathroom and then randomly saw one of the BibRave Pros.  We took a group photo and then went to the starting corrals.

I was excited to have gotten elite corral placement for this race. Unfortunately, by the time I went to the corrals, they were jam packed with people and elite was combine with Corral A.  Thus, I started in the back of Corral A.  It was like sardines - there was no way to weave to the front without being a super jerk.  The starting gun went off and I ended up weaving in and out of people, which is always a bad move.  I know this, yet I still do it.  I ran past one of the Oiselle WI women which was fun and then ended up running past my friend Erica.  My first mile was 6:38.  I was really hot because the first part of the course was on underground streets.  I told myself to calm down and got through the second mile in 6:15.  Right after the second mile was the first hydration station.  I grabbed a cup of Nuun, chugged it, then grabbed a cup of water for my head.  I was already really thirsty.  Bad sign.

I just tried to hang on through mile 3, which clocked in at 6:40.  Just like in the Bigfoot Trail race, I could not believe I was only halfway done.  My official results indicate my first 5K was 20:34 (6:38 pace).

Mile 4 was a doozy.  When I saw the second water station, I stopped running to drink the Nuun and do the water cup on my head.  This water stop featured a slip and slide.  I SO WANTED to go in it.  I was SO.HOT.  Reluctantly, I joined the running masses again.  Thus, mile 4 clocked in at 7:06.

Most of the second half of mile 3 through mile 5 was along the lake which was nice.  I was solidly running with another woman and two men.  I told myself to just stay with them.  Mile 5 was 6:49.

They added a third water stop due to the heat (which was amazing) right at about mile 5.25 which featured a second slip and slide.  Again, I avoided the slip and slide, grabbed Nuun to drink and water for my head.  At this point, I just tried to pick up the pace to at least beat the woman I was running with (I did).  I knew we just had to go back under the street and through to the finish.  I tried to make my legs go but there really was no gas.  Mile 6: 6:54.  I saw my family right at the finish and was able to get a decent finish at 6:07 pace.  I was so grateful for the icy towel and bag of ice at the finish.  I just kept stuffing ice cubes into my 3/4 crop top bra.

At the finish runners got the generic medal, a bottle of water, Clif bars and bananas.  At the post-race party, you then were able to get a beer, an AmyLu chicken sausage with bag of pretzels and cookies and visit all the Big 10 school tents.  You had to go to your school tent to get the magnetized token for your medal.  They had a decent band at the finish (Maggie Speaks), and to my children's delight, school mascots (except Bucky Badger!).  We stayed at the post-race party for a bit, but then my friend Erica and my family went out to brunch.

Overall here are my placing stats:
108th finisher of 5,946
20th female of 3,207
4th female age 35-39 of 250
9th Big 10 Alumni Female of 2,035

The BTN Big10K also gives free race photos, which is ALWAYS an awesome perk.  You can also read my review of this race on

I'm not really sure what I expected out of this race.  I was not nervous about it, like I usually am, and I also knew from the moment I got dressed that it wasn't going to be a great one because I wasn't excited like I usually am.  I was coming off 2 weeks of feeling blah during workouts.  I was under hydrated and tired.   I have a hard time judging what a "good" 10K would be for me.  Do I align a 10K with a half-marathon pace or a 5K pace?  My 5K PR pace is 6:04, my half-marathon PR pace is 6:48.  I am hoping to move that to a 6:44 this fall.  I generally think that I should be able to do a 10K in the 6:30 range, based on my 8K times in the past few years.  I do not have any other 10Ks on my race calendar, but THURSDAY I have a 5K!  CRAZY.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 6 Recap

If you stay true to the book on the Hanson's plan, they are anti-racing during training.  I stuck to this during my marathon training but I enjoy shorter races so have not stuck to this during my half-marathon training plan.  I get why they don't really encourage it - it messes everything up!  I wasn't sure which workouts to keep, what order to do them in, and/or which to modify so this week is a little all over the place.  I ended up skipping the long run entirely.

Additionally, I am still super tired during my runs.  I recall feeling like this around week 12 of the beginner marathon plan.  I didn't start speed work until week 6 of that plan - so this would correspond to week 12 of that plan.  I kind of am feeling a little overwhelmed that I still have 12 weeks to go on this plan.

Finally, the fam and I took off for a long weekend in Chicago leading up to the BTN Big10K race on Sunday.  That did nothing to quell my fatigue, even after taking Saturday off running.  One forgets how much walking is involved in the Windy City...and carrying/pushing two kids who are also not used to it!

Glad this week is in the books.

Monday, July 17
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 1200 at 5k/10k pace with 600 m recovery in between, 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  I did 6 miles easy on Monday as I was going to do speed work on Tuesday.  I don't recall my rationale for this.

6.06 mi, 48:43 (8:02 pace)

Tuesday, July 18
Plan says: 0 miles

What I do: Rest.  I pushed the 1200s off another day because I overslept.  I overslept because I stayed up late to watch Spartan races on TV with the hubs.  #truth

Wednesday, July 19
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  UGH.  I had to do the 1200s.  I was using the 10K race on Sunday as my weekly tempo run (which no doubt will mess up next week too).  I had to do the 1200s after work when it was no joke 88 degrees and sunny outside.  At least the humidity was not off the charts.

It did not seem to matter though because they felt like hell.  My goal pace for 1200m is 4:35.  I only had one come in under that.  I did these on the road so 1200m = 0.75 miles.

1.5 mi warm up, 11:52 (7:52 avg pace)

1 - 0.75 mi, 4:38.9 (6:09 avg pace) / 0.38 mi, 3:13.1 (8:27 avg pace)
2 - 0.75 mi, 4:27.5 (5:54 avg pace) / 0.37 mi, 3:06.7 (8:19 avg pace)
3 - 0.75 mi, 4:41.8 (6:15 avg pace) / 0.38 mi, 3:22.2 (8:55 avg pace)
4 - 0.75 mi, 4:44.8 (6:19 avg pace) /

I was pretty dizzy and hot after this.  I ended up walking a bit as I wasn't even sure I could do a cool down.  I was back at my house and chugged 1/2 water bottle of Nuun and felt ok so I trotted along.  I cut the cool down short as I had to go pick up the kids and I was still feeling a little out of it.

1.12 mi, 9:40 (8:40 avg pace)

Thursday, July 20
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do: I was up in the morning!  Unfortunately, it was lightening and pouring outside so I stayed in bed and hoped to get in my run after work.  I was able to squeeze it in.

6 miles, 46:33 (7:45 avg pace)

Friday, July 21
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  I was going to try to get a long run in before we left for CHI.  OMG.  My legs would NOT move.  I called it quits at 4 miles, after stopping a bunch.  Absolutely no gas left in my tank.

4 miles, 34:28 (8:36 avg pace)

Saturday, July 22
Plan says: 12 miles at long run pace (7:30-9:00)

What I do:  0 miles running.  My legs were tired.  I had two full days of walking around.  My iPhone indicates that Friday was 4.7 miles of walking and Saturday was 5 miles of walking.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot but I probably walk 0.25 miles a day normally.  Ok...I just checked. 0.48 miles on Wednesday and Thursday before that.  I did a terrible job hydrating which I knew would come back to haunt me.  Add in two hot and sweaty kids who at times needed to be carried and pushed in a stroller, and you have two hot and sweaty parents.

Sunday, July 23
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  10k race plus 1.5 mile warm up.  It was not that great.

41:59, 6:46 avg pace.  Race recap coming tomorrow.

Plan Miles: 44
Total Weekly Miles: 30.6

Friday, July 21, 2017

Product Review: Orange Mud Phone.Flask.Vest

Product Review: Orange Mud Phone.Flask.Vest (PFV)

Disclaimer:  I received a Phone.Flask.Vest from Orange Mud to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out to review, find and write race reviews.

The Orange Mud PFV is the first pack that I have had experience with.   My running has not been accessory-heavy, particularly when it comes to any sort of hydration pack.  I usually use a hand-held water bottle for long runs and stash water bottles along my route in some instances.  My hand-held bottle sometimes randomly squirts water out at me, which can be annoying, particularly since I usually do not have plain water in it so it can get sticky.  I have been curious about packs, and thus was excited about this product test opportunity.  I ordered the S/M size (chest circumference less than 40").  Ladies, my bra size is a 32/34 C if that is helpful in reading this and my chest circumference around the fullest part of my chest is 35".

Angie, one of the BibRave Pros, made these amazing photos which detail all of the features of the PFV:
Photo Source Used with Permission

Photo Source Used with Permission

What I liked about the Orange Mud PFV
1.  I loved the easy, no-mess hydration.  I don't love having a water bottle in my hand and this pack allowed me to run with 14 oz of water and I could easily drink this while running by turning my head to the left.  The hydration flask did not leak and the design of it allowed for smooth, easy drinking without air bubbles.  The pack has a valve cover on the left shoulder to tuck the valve into while you are not using it so it doesn't get all grimy.

2. The design of the pack with all the fasteners to secure items was great.  The hydration flask has a bungee cord fastener to make sure it is secure.  The phone pocket has the same type of system.  The underarm straps have little clips to secure the excess strap fabric so it is not swinging around. There is a stretchy elastic band to secure the straw of the hydration flask so that is not flinging around.

3. The phone pouch was big enough for my phone! I have an iPhone 6S with a huge Otterbox case.  This easily fit in the front pouch, which again could be secured with the bungee fastener.  I never run with my phone so it was fun to take it on some routes to get fun pictures.

4.  Extra pockets.  The pack was small and breathable, and I could fit my housekey in the pocket on the left side chest strap; my iPod Nano on the right shoulder pouch (which also could hold a few gels); my larger phone; and 14 oz hydration.

5. Even if I loaded up the pack with all of that stuff, it never felt heavy, nor did it feel like my chest was pulled forward with the extra weight.  The pack itself only weighs 6.8 oz.

6.  The fabric was very breathable.  I ran mid-afternoon in some high temps and did not feel like the pack was causing me to overheat.

What I had trouble with
1.  As I mentioned, I have zero experience with packs so it may be that all packs take a bit to get the fit right.  I struggled with the fit of this on my first 3 runs with it (3mi, 4mi, 6mi).  Part of the right shoulder strap rubbed against my neck and I was constantly adjusting the underarm straps to accommodate my chest. I consulted some of the other BibRave Pros for advice and found that the pack works best if the underarm straps loosened a lot and then tightened evenly.  When I started over and made sure to place the pack on my shoulders and tighten the underarms equally, I had a better experience on my 4th run (6mi).  It also may be that the pack fabric had begun to soften as that was my 4th run with it.  I think I would like it better if the front cross did not cross directly in the middle of my boobs, as you can see in the photo below:

2.  The pack comes with 14 oz (450mL) hydration flask, and also fits a 600mL size flask (sold separately).  This is about enough to get through, at most, a 6 mile run in summer heat for me.

3.  I liked using the pack on my recovery runs (i.e., slower paced runs) but not for a faster paced workout.

All in all, this was a good pack to try and I think I will continue to use it on mid-distance recovery runs, particularly in the heat of the summer.  I also think it would be good for hiking or biking, particularly if I am with my kids because I usually like taking my phone along on those activities to take photos of them!

If you are interested in other female perspectives (given the design of this over the chest area), Mel also has a review on her website.  As more pros post their review, I will try to add them here!

Finally, the code BRPPFV will get you 10% off anything at the Orange Mud website.   You could win a PFV by participating in the Twitter BibChat on Tuesday July 25, sponsored by Orange Mud at 8 PM CST.  (Follow @bibrave for more info!)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Next Race: Big10K!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the BTN Big10K 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!

Tomorrow we leave for a long weekend in Chicago because I am running the Ram Racing BTN BIG10K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very excited about this race as it has been one I have wanted to do for a while.  Thankfully this year the timing worked out where we could combine our annual long weekend trip in Chicago with the kids and this race.  The course looks great. We start and end in Grant park and get to have some lakeside running as well.  When I lived in Chicago, oh TEN YEARS AGO, I loved running along Lake Michigan.

The BTN Big10K has a lot of perks:

1.  Preferred start corrals:  I was excited to qualify for a preferred start corral!

2. Early start time - 7 AM.  Hopefully it won't be too hot!

3. Post Race Party featuring Big10 mascots!  As a University of Wisconsin alum, my heart belongs to Bucky Badger.  This was a big draw in getting my husband and kids to come as well!  

4. Beer Me - Runners get a complimentary beer from Revolution Brewing and a free AmyLu sausage at the finish.

5.  Live runner tracking - Live runner tracking is always SUPER helpful when you have people joining you to cheer you on.   It is DOUBLE SUPER helpful when the spectators include children who may not always be into watching the race (ahem, my kids).  

6.  Lots of other runners!  I know there is a Oiselle WI contingent, there are other BibRave Pros and my friend Erica is running with me!  Erica and I met while training for the 2007 Boston Marathon.

I am running this after 6 weeks of the Hanson's Advanced Half Marathon training plan.  Thus, I am TIRED.  I adjusted a lot of my workouts this week to accomodate this race, but I still don't think I'll be running on fresh legs.  This workout is replacing my 4 mile tempo run so I am hoping to at minimum run it at a 6:44 pace (my tempo pace).

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 5 Recap

Monday, July 10
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 5 x 1000 at 5k/10k pace with 600 m recovery in between, 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  REST.  I switched up this week as I was still very tired from the weekend and knew it would not be in my best interest to do a speed workout today.

Tuesday, July 11
Plan says: 0 miles

What I do:  Speed work! Unfortunately I had a 7 AM meeting at work so that meant 4:30 AM alarm to get this done.  Ooh I laid in bed for ten extra minutes.  I was so not prepared for that alarm, despite my 8:30pm bedtime the night before. Eventually, I rolled out and got dressed.  It was still kinda dark so I wasn't sure if the track was open so I did this on the road (which Hanson's prefers to track anyways).  This was struggle bus for me.  I definitely could have used another rest day, or at least an easy workout today.  The barometer for this is my recovery jogs - faster 1Ks were slower recoveries!

1.63 mile warm up, 14:07 (8:40 avg pace)

5 x 1000m with 600m recovery  (Goal pace for 1000m = 3:48)
Road conversions = 1000m = 0.62 miles, 600m = 0.38 miles)

1 - 3:51.6 / 3:15  (6:12 avg pace / 8:48 avg pace)
2 - 3:47.2 / 3:10  (6:06 / 8:23)
3 - 3:38.6 / 3:27  (5:50 / 9:04)
4 - 3:46.3 / 3:22  (6:04 / 8:49)
5 - 3:40.7 / (5:54)

1.6 mile cool down, 13:22 (8:22 avg pace)

Even though I know I am probably setting myself up for disappointment in doing this dumb comparison game, I can't help myself.  The comparison this week isn't great.  Back in March, I did this workout on a treadmill so I could basically guarantee hitting my goal pace of 3:48.  These were my 5 1Ks on 3/19.

1- 3:48
2- 3:48
3- 3:47
4- 3:46
5- 3:47

Wednesday, July 12
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  I planned to do tempo on Thursday this week to have a day in between the two hard workouts of the week.  Since I had taken Monday off, this meant that 5 miles easy was up.

Wednesday was one of those days, beginning at 2 AM when the severe weather alert on my phone went off warning me of the possibilities of flash flooding.  Trust me when I say, I did not care.  We were having crazy storms, complete with downpour, and in between the loud thunder and drip drip drip on my windowsill that my brain refused to ignore and my kids waking up, I did not get much sleep.  Thus, when the alarm went off at 5 AM and it was still pouring, I said "F it and went back to sleep".

This led to all of us OVERSLEEPING and me getting to work 30 minutes later than usual, translating to me getting home later than usual.  It was so hot and muggy out, but I did have time to squeeze in 5 miles.

I started running and it was so hard.  I was listening to a podcast trying to distract myself but it wasn't working.  Then the few routes that I tried to take were underwater.  I stopped several times and at around 3.5 miles I said that I was quitting at 4.

4 miles, 31:32 (7:53 avg pace)

Thursday, July 13
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  It was time to tempo.  Again, I overslept.  I think my sh**ty sleep from last week just caught up with me.  (I know scientifically they say that this doesn't happen, but I truly think it does for me.)  SOOOOOOOOOO....again I was running after work in the heat.  The good news was that the humidity was not as bad as Wednesday afternoon.  The bad news was that this run still felt so hard.  My legs were dead, with no zip in them at all.  I made multiple stops along the route for water.

1.51 mile warm up, 11:49 (7:50 avg pace)
4.0 miles tempo, 26:52 (6:43 avg pace)
1.5 mile cool down, 12:17 (8:11 avg pace)

7.01 miles total

Friday, July 14
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  I was up around 3/4 AM because my son woke up.  I tossed and turned, but never went back to sleep so it was not too difficult to get up at 5 to go run.  Reflecting on my week of running, I had the duh moment that I got caught up in pace and again was in a place where I was trying to force the run.  This lead to feeling like junk, being extra tired and really not enjoying myself.

My goal for this run was to run EASY.

6.1 miles, 53:39 (8:47 avg pace)

Saturday, July 15
Plan says: 10 miles at long run pace (7:30-9:00)

What I do:  I wanted to get this done early, but slept through my alarm.  (That is basically the theme of my summer running.)  Thus, I was running in the heat in the early afternoon for my son's nap.  This run was fine.  I was excited to run over a newly constructed bridge over the river.  I was excited to be able to fill up my handheld several times along my route.

10 miles, 1:17:36 (7:45 avg pace)

Sunday, July 16
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  We stayed at my husband's family lake house on Saturday night and I was in charge of making breakfast so I wasn't able to get up and run early.  I again headed out when my son was napping and it was a breezy, partly cloudy day and scenic.  When I returned to the cottage, my son was awake, but CRABBY.  I did a few cannonballs off the pier in my running clothes to cheer him up.  They felt AMAZING!

Additionally I got some more stand up paddle boarding in AND a long kayak ride.  I LOVE SUMMER!

Plan Miles: 41
Total Weekly Miles: 39.96 (FOR REALZ.  I should have checked the weekly mileage before heading out to at least get that up to 40).

And with that, I've cleared the 1000 mile mark for the year!!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Still trying to slow down

One of the biggest lessons that I took away from my first go at Hanson's Marathon Method was the benefit of slowing the eff down.

You've seen some version of this diagram, right:

This week I have found myself somewhere in that scribbled mess on the right.   The "run your recovery runs at a recovery pace" lesson somehow escaped my brain.  I have been trucking along with the advanced half marathon plan AND doing some races AND not really running a recovery pace for my recovery runs.  Every run that I have done this week (with the exception of this morning's run) has been so hard.  Even my "easy" run on Wednesday.  My legs have not been turning over, they have no zip and I have really had to force the run.  Consequently, I have not had much fun running this week.

I was looking at all my paces and noticing that my 4 mile "easy" run on Wednesday was still in the 7s for pace.  My "recovery pace" for my goal half marathon finish time is 8:30-9:30.  My warm ups and cool downs have been in the 7s, or low 8s if I am lucky.  TOO FAST.  No wonder I am tired as all get out.

This morning I forced myself to SLOW down.  My first mile clocked in at 8:45.  My next was the same (8:47).  I noticed so much more on my run and I wasn't caring about the pace.  I stopped to take a picture of a waterfall and forgot to pause my watch so my 3rd mile was at 10:32.  I wish I could tell you that I didn't care.  Nope.  I picked it up slightly on the way back home (next 3 miles were 8:13, 8:16, 8:11) so that the 3rd mile would not mess up my overall avg too much.


Needless to say, pace is something that I still struggle with.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fun Fact

On July 9 (yesterday), I officially surpassed my July 2016 mileage!

Ok, I was in a boot for a half of July and just easing into running during the second half, but during July 2016, I ran 34.55 miles.

To date, I have run 42.82 miles in July.

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 4 Recap

This was a bit of a crazy week!  I got all the workouts in but switched around a lot of them to accommodate the duathlon.  I was happy that I still got all the miles in.  This week was all about getting it done.  CHECK!  Additionally I was able to enjoy some other sports - I waterskied, tried stand-up paddleboarding for the first time and cycling!

Monday, July 3
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 6 x 800 at 5k/10k pace with 400 m recovery in between, 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  Set my alarm for 4:45 AM.  Even though I was in bed by 9 the night before, it was a struggle to get out of bed.  I eventually did, got dressed and made it out the door by 5:10.  I ran to the track, per usual, and it was locked!  I hadn't thought about the fact that our village launches fireworks from the track the night of July 3.  RATS.  I was going to have to do the 800s on the road (aka 0.5 miles).  Not a deal breaker, but I had carried some hydration and my phone (to take a track pic!) and so I was 1.8 miles from home and not really in a place where I felt comfortable ditching my phone.  Thus, I was carrying my huge phone in my left hand and my Nathan hydration handheld bottle in my left hand for the first three 800s.  It was annoying to say the least but the last 3 felt so easy after ditching my phone at my house and finishing up in my neighborhood.

While I was bummed to miss out on 800s on the track, this workout felt great.  I was VERY likely reaping the benefits of having an off day the day before.

1.81 mile warm up, 14:22 (7:56 avg pace)

6 x 800m with 400m recovery  (Goal pace for 800m = 3:05, although I wanted to try to push it to 3:00)

1 - 3:03 / 2:01  (6:02 avg pace / 8:03 avg pace)
2 - 2:59 / 2:09  (5:57 / 8:42)
3 - 3:01 / 2:25  (6:03 / 9:42)
4 - 2:53 / 2:09  (5:43 / 8:35)
5 - 2:55 / 2:10  (5:48 / 8:43)
6 - 2:54 / (5:51)

1.75 mile cool down, 13:43 (7:49 avg pace)

I've made it a habit to check back on where I was with these speed workouts earlier this year.  This same workout on March 13 was in the cold and on the road and my post about it reflects that I felt great during them.  Here were my 6 800s on 3/6/17:

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

So this is a big improvement (I think) in the 800s land and I think a fair comparison since both were "road" 800s, both were early morning workouts, and by all accounts, I felt good for both workouts.

Tuesday, July 4
Plan says: 0 miles

What I do:  No running.  My family and I were at the lake for the 4th so I got in some waterskiing and I tried stand up paddleboarding for the first time! It was fun! I look forward to going on a longer trek some upcoming weekend.

Wednesday, July 5
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 3 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  Thankfully my son woke me up at 4:50 to get out of bed, otherwise I may have slept in.  This was a tough one for me.  My legs were really tired, likely from the previous day's activities.

1.51 mile warm up, 12:25 (8:14 avg pace)
3.01 miles tempo, 19:53 (6:37 avg pace)
1.51 mile cool down, 11:31 (7:37 avg pace)

6.03 miles total

Thursday, July 6
Plan says: 4 miles easy

What I do:  I stayed up late to read so didn't turn my light out until 10PM and then randomly woke up to go to the bathroom around 2 AM and tossed and turned for a bit.  Point being, I did NOT want to get up for this workout.  BUT I had bought a Wonder Woman top the night before and was excited to wear it and legitimately THAT is what got me out of bed.  I switched Thursday and Friday workouts around since I had the duathlon on Saturday.

6 miles, 47:39 (7:56 avg pace)

My calf had been bothering me all day so I did the Jasyoga Calf Reset and Post LR Reset videos as well as used my R8 roller and foam roller to try to loosen it up.  It didn't seem to help so I put some biofreeze on before bed.

Friday, July 7
Plan says: 6 miles easy

What I do:  4 easy miles in the morning.  Again, my children to the rescue.  My alarm went off and I was like "UGH".  And then my daughter came in needing some itch cream for mosquito bites so I had to get out of bed.  Since I was up, I got out there.

4.03 miles, 32:32 (8:05 avg pace)

After the run, I did the hip flexor reset video from Jasyoga on my deck.  It was so nice.  I really should do more of these 5 minute resets post-run.  Again, my calf was bothering me.

Saturday, July 8
Plan says: 8 miles easy

What I do:  I switched Saturday and Sunday because I had the Pewaukee Duathlon on my calendar.  I know this sort of messes up a lot of the philosophy of Hansen's but at this point (week 4 of 18), I think the half marathon is far enough into the future that it shouldn't matter that much.

I ran 4 miles total as part of the race, broken down into two 2-mile segments.  Race report here.

Sunday, July 9
Plan says: 4 miles easy

What I do:  The only run left for the week was the 8 mile long run.  I had 4 days of really bad sleep in a row so I did not set an alarm for Sunday morning and was happy I didn't because I had very restful sleep and slept in a bit.  Because of that, I got my run in after kids were in bed.  My legs didn't feel very tired all day but when I started running, I knew I was going to have to slog it out.  My lower back was bothering me a bit but I finished all 8 miles.  WOOHOO!!  I also felt that I didn't really mess too much of the plan up because this was supposed to be done on tired legs and it indeed was.

8 miles, 1:03:53 (7:59 avg pace)

Plan Miles: 35
Total Weekly Miles: 35.89 miles running, 14.7 miles biking!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pewaukee Duathlon Recap!

I finished a Duathlon!

The race began at 4 PM on Saturday.  I was sort of grateful for this start time because my book club had it annual summer social on Friday night and some wine was involved.  Several people in my book club do triathlons and cycling though so I was getting some tips and encouragement from them! We ended up being out so late (for me) and I only got 6 hours of sleep.  I spent Saturday drinking lots of Nuun since it was warm out.

We made sure that the bike tires were pumped up and that it would fit in the back of our vehicle.  Phew! It did.  I dusted off my bike helmet.

Then I had to decide what to wear.  I have no "bike" shorts.  I decided to wear a pair of longer running shorts that I hate and my Oiselle jersey.  I opened a new pair of Balega socks that had some ankle length to them (I generally prefer no-shows for running) and my oldest pair of running shoes.  I had decided that this was going to be their last hurray before I retire them from running.

We left our house around 2:30 for the event.  It was only a twenty five minute drive from our house.  We easily found parking and walked over to packet pickup.  I had to wear a bib, an ankle strap timing device and put a sticker on my bike.  Then we went to the transition area to rack my bike.  We were on the early side so I had my pick of placement (not that I really knew the difference).  I intentionally took an end so that I would be less likely to wreck someone else's bike in the process of removing mine!

Then we had an hour to start.  We walked to the nearby beach which was really cute and pretty!  Definitely a new-for-us area.  My husband was going to have the kids play at the beach while I was racing.  At about 3:30, I left the beach and jogged over to the start and continued jogging to get a warm up in.  I double checked items in the transition area and then I saw a sign - MOUNT BIKE HERE.  I went over and asked a course official to confirm that during the event, I push my bike out of transition and cannot get on it until that sign, right?  She looked at me like I was an idiot but did answer.  I quickly said, "I've never done one of these before, obviously."

At the start, a woman came up to me and said, "Are you Amy? I follow you on Instagram"  It was another WI member of the Oiselle team!  That was fun.  She was doing the relay with her husband - so she would do the two runs and he was biking.  She told me that they pre-rode the course and it was hilly and beautiful. 

At 4:00 the elite men and women started.  All the rest of us started about a minute after that.  Even though I was sure my cycling was not going to be strong, I knew I would do well in the run so I lined up near the start of the group.  The air horn went off and we were off.

I was running fast, but not all out, and I was PASSING people all over the place.  I had a moment when I thought that perhaps I was underestimating the bike and that I should be more conservative so I backed off a little.  In hindsight, I wish I wouldn't have done that.  Regardless, I was one of the first women in the transition area.  My time was 12:18.  Garmin had my mile splits at 6:10 and 6:21.

Then I entered the transition area and went to my bike.  I chugged a cup of water that they gave me, and really stumbled trying to get my bike helmet on because my hands were shaking so badly.  I had placed a Gu by my bike and didn't think about how I was going to carry it (my shorts had no pockets) so I kept in in my hand and pushed my bike out of transition.  Then I had to get on it.  It was really pathetic how NOT streamlined I was compared to some of these people but I managed to get on and ride off.  There was a photographer right there and I gave him a big smile, mentioning that I would likely not be smiling at the end.  The bike course was an open course so we would be riding with traffic and could not ride two abreast or draft on others. 

I struggled with my gears right off the bat.  And then people started WHIZZING by me right off the bat.  Any lead that I had on people from the run was gone in the first two miles of the bike.  So much passing.  I grew to not really like hearing, "ON YOUR LEFT".  My first mile on the bike was so slow - 4:55.  (Upon looking at my mile splits with my husband he was like, "Um, you could probably have ran that, ha ha ha").  I kept on trucking, getting passed, and realizing that I was not in the right gear.  I kept messing up which clicks added resistance and which made it easier.  My second mile was a bit better 3:39.  At this point I felt like I was really moving my legs fast but not getting anywhere.  Again - a bit of experience with my bike probably would have alleviated it.  I glanced at my watch 15 minutes in and I was not even to 4 miles.  I quickly calculated at the pace I was going, I would not finish in an hour.

The course was beautiful and interesting.  There were a lot of hills.  I could chug up the hills fine but the downhills were terrifying.  I kept picturing that I would hit a crack or a pothole and go flying.  So most of the downhills I braked going down.  Not exactly great strategy!  Towards the end, I did gain some more confidence so that I was not using my brakes, but I was also not pedaling down them either. 

I continually was trying to get the front gears to move and they were sticking.  I opted to not change them for most of the course because, again, I was afraid my chain would fall off or something.  By mile 10 though, I gave it another attempt and it successfully moved.  OMG.  It was like night and day.  So much more movement with every pedal.  Suddenly my mile times were dropping.  My last five miles were 3:35, 3:21, 3:17, 3:11, 3:32.  So had I figured that out earlier, I am sure my bike would have been better.

At about mile 13 of the bike, I knew I would finish and I was really really excited.  I also saw that I would finish in under an hour which I was also happy about. My official bike time was 56:27. As I approached the transition area, I saw that I had to dismount at a line.  Thankfully my friend Steph had warned me about this the night before.  My legs did not really feel tired as I was cycling but trying to dismount my bike was pretty funny.  I felt as if they would give out on me as I was pushing my bike to the rack.

I removed my helmet and grabbed my bike bottle of nuun.  I opted to carry it with me when running. In hindsight, I wish I would have not done this as the bottle was long and awkward. 

I don't even know how to explain running after cycling.  I felt like my legs were giving out and that I was running bowlegged.  I saw my family and my husband cheered, "YOU SURVIVED THE BIKE!" and I started laughing.  I kept on running, feeling like I was crawling.  But I was passing people. I got to the turnaround at one mile and my watch beeped at 6:40.  I WAS SHOCKED.   I truly thought it would be in the 9s - that is how slowly I felt I was running.

At that point, I just tried hauling as fast as I could.  My legs still felt weird but I knew there were some women ahead.  I ended up passing two women and crossing the finish at 1:23:27.  My second run was 12:46 (Mile splits 6:40/6:13).

The time I spent in transition - first transition was 1:09, second transition was 0:55.

All in all, I finished 11th woman out of 82 and 3rd in my age group (out of 16) which gets me a prize! (They mail it to me so I don't know what it is.)

I thought the experience was fun.  I would definitely do it again.  My husband said he wished that I had gone out for at least one ride to get used to the gears because he thought my bike would have been so much better had I had that experience beforehand.  I don't disagree, but going in blind let me truly have no expectation and really "have fun". 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Pewaukee Duathlon, Here I Come!

Tomorrow is race day, although a race of a different sort!  I will be participating in the Pewaukee Duathlon.  Last fall, I won a Facebook Contest sponsored by Lighthouse Events and Endurance House Milwaukee.  As part of this contest, I won a pair of Asics running shoes, an Endurance House shirt and hat, and entry into the Duathlon.  At the time that I won this, I was excited to branch out into a new activity for the summer, because, historically, I back off running so much in the summer.

Fast forward to now.  I decided to try to continue training with Hanson's plans for the fall half marathon and thus those workouts have taken priority.  I have done NO CYCLING.  Most of this is due to time. I don't have a desire to cut into the time I spend running each week to do cycling.  I am enjoying the benefits of staying consistent in running.  Also, cycling is way more time intensive than running.

Still, it will be fun to try something new and WAY out of my comfort zone tomorrow. The race is at 4 PM so I am expecting a hot, humid mess.  I have to run 2 miles, transition to the bike for 14.7 miles, then transition back to running 2 miles.  Per the website, this is a good course for newbies like myself as they will have supports along the bike course in case something happens to your bike (which is what I am mostly afraid of).  When I say I have no idea what I am doing on a bike, believe me.  I have no idea what I am doing.  I asked a competitive triathlete friend of mine, "So...when you're biking, are you pedaling the entire time?"  She was very nice in responding, "Yes."

This is going to be a far cry from biking with my kids, though part of me thinks if I can bike while pulling 50 lbs of kid in a bike trailer, or bike while pushing my daughter up a hill on her bike, I can bike 14.7 miles by myself. :)

Wish me luck!  I'll try to recap the event by the end of the weekend for you.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon Training: Week 3 Recap

Week three of half marathon training was a good one.  I have found myself definitely back in the "Hanson's groove" and love it.  Honestly it is a big stress reliever for me to just have routinized workouts.  I know that Monday is a track day, Tuesday is a rest day, Wednesday is a tempo day and the other days I just run.  My tempo pace is faster than marathon training, but my speedwork paces are not since they are based on 5k/10k pace.

Monday, June 26
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 8 x 600 at 5k/10k pace with 400 m recovery in between, 1.5 mile cool down

What I do: Woke up to my morning alarm and got out there.  It was cool out in the morning which was awesome.  I again ran to the track for my warm up (1.8 miles).  Once I got there, there was a guy running on the outer lanes and another guy walking in lane 1. I started out running in lane 1 and of course the guy does not move out of the way.  My second 600 was fast because I basically hate sprinted past him in the inside lane.  Mature, I know.  He was done with his walking by then so I had the first lane all to myself for the remainder of the morning.  This workout was ok.  I hit the paces but it did not feel as flowing as the 400s did last week, likely because my legs were definitely tired.

1.81 mile warm up, 14:54 (8:14 avg pace)

8 x 600m with 400m recovery  (Goal pace for 600m = 2:18)

1 - 2:15 / 1:59  (5:53 avg pace / 7:57 avg pace)
2 - 2:09 / 2:04  (5:34 / 8:14)
3 - 2:12 / 1:59  (5:42 / 8:00)
4 - 2:13 / 2:01  (5:44 / 8:04)
5 - 2:13 / 2:06  (5:43 / 8:22)
6 - 2:15 / 2:03  (5:58 / 8:18)
7 - 2:15 / 1:59  (5:55 / 7:53)
8 - 2:09  (5:36)

1.78 mile cool down, 14:35 (8:10 avg pace)

Again, I compared these to my 600s workout in early March.  I can guarantee that my June 600s were probably cooler than my March 600s since I can still remember the HOT and HUMID day I did these at our Disney resort the morning after two park days:

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

So there was definitely some improvement from March, although that may all be comparing sidewalk time (March) to track time (June).

Tuesday, Jun 27
Plan says: 0 miles

What I do:  No running.  My family and I went to the library for family Zumba so I did get some activity in!

Wednesday, June 28
Plan says: 1.5 mile warm up, 3 miles at half-marathon pace (6:44), 1.5 mile cool down

What I do:  I did not feel like getting out of bed in the morning when my EARLY alarm went off at 4:20-something.  So I didn't.  At that point, I rationalized that I could get the workout done after work since my MIL had my kids for the day and they wouldn't be home until 530.  Yeah...except for I didn't know that it was supposed to have huge downpours of rain!  So yep.  I was doing this in the rain.  It felt decent. It was faster than it should have been but did not feel as bad as this workout did last week!  I think the day of rest helped!

1.6 mile warm up, 12:29 (7:49 avg pace)
3.01 miles tempo, 19:43 (6:34 avg pace)
1.53 mile cool down, 11:55 (7:48 avg pace)

6.13 miles

Thursday, June 29
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  Back to the early morning.  It was easy to run at a slower pace because I was tired.

5 miles, 41:56 (8:23 avg pace)

Friday, June 30
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  Another early morning which totally sucked because I went to a fundraiser dinner the night before, stayed up 2 hours past my usual bedtime and had a drop of alcohol which meant that I slept like CRAP.

5 miles, 40:40 (8:08 avg pace)

Saturday, July 1
Plan says: 7 miles easy

What I do:  I didn't set an alarm this morning and naturally woke up just before 6.  I got dressed and headed outside.  It was a beautiful morning.  Often I find that I get on autopilot on a run or get supremely focused on actually running.  All in all those are not bad things, but I don't often pay attention to surroundings in those modes.  Today's run I was very much into the surroundings and it was so inspiring.

7 miles, 53:44 (7:41 average)

Sunday, July 2
Plan says: 5 miles easy

What I do:  SKIP A RUN!  I know.  Kind of crazy.  I slept like junk the night before and ended up reading a book from 2-4 am.  (Great because I finished my book, not so great for sleep).  Thus, I slept in on Sunday morning and then with church, fishing trip with my dad, dinner with by brother's family, we got home late and went to bed.  I don't regret skipping that run :)

Plan Miles: 35
Total Weekly Miles: 31.56 miles

I am not going to be posting my sleep data on a regular basis anymore since it doesn't vary drastically.  I may include it when I receive a particularly useful piece of feedback. Until then - I know that I feel best if I am in bed by 9 PM (with a 5 AM wake up call).