Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Product Review: CTM Band and My First You Tube Video!

Product Review:  CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received a CTM Band 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!"

Product Review:  CTM Band
I received the CTM Band last week and I have incorporated it into my Jasyoga Calf Reset routine.  I was asked to do a Instagram Stories post about how I used it but I didn't realize that there was a time limit, so....I made my first You Tube video!

Here is a 1:45 video demonstrating how I have been using the CTM Band on my calves to aid in recovery from my Grandma's Marathon training!  It's slightly awkward because obviously I was videoing myself, but hopefully it helps demonstrate how the band is used.

The CTM Band website has lots of helpful, quick how-to videos for other body parts as well.  Check it out!

If you want to get one of your own, you can use the code CTMBIBRAVE for 20% off your purchase!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 6 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

I had a killer week last week, proving to myself that I can do hard things.

I returned from vacation with a cold and behind in work as I am currently in the midst of a large project.  I got up EVERY.SINGLE. morning and got it done.  Two high fives for me.

Yes, I am celebrating.

I am now in the one speed workout, one tempo run, and one long run portion of the plan which is how life will go until I actually run the race.  It is more intense, but I really like having more variation in my workouts which is motivating.

I also have to pay more attention to pace.  Last spring, my avg pace per mile was 7:17.4, after using a 7:15 avg pace for my tempo runs.  (In the Hanson's plan, your weekly tempo run is meant to be run at your goal marathon pace.) My half marathon last fall was a 6:45 avg pace.

My big goal for 2018 is to run a sub 3 hour marathon, which equates out to a 6:51 avg pace (or faster) per mile.  While I felt amazing at the end of my marathon last spring and have more confidence in the Hanson's process, having now done it two times, I still think that is a pretty big jump to go from a 7:17 to a 6:51.  I landed on a 7:00 per mile which is a 3:03:32 marathon as a goal for my spring marathon, and then if I clear that, use 6:51 for my fall marathon attempt.

I don't know if I am taking the easy way out by doing this - part of me wants to just try to do the tempos around a 6:51 and see where that gets me in spring, particularly after last week's tempo (see Thursday's workout recap below).  

Sunday, March 18
Plan Says:  Easy 4 miles

What I did:  This was our last full day in Florida so I took the opportunity to get a run in.  I could not remember how many miles I was supposed to run so I went for 5 miles.

5 miles, 43:07 (8:37 avg pace)

Monday, March 19
Plan Says: 12 x 400, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: Off.

I had big plans of getting this done in the afternoon once we were back home in WI.  However, after a day of traveling, and then having to log into work for the afternoon, I was so so tired.  I opted to switch my schedule around and am glad I did.  Sometimes switching my schedule around adds stress to my week, but in this case it was absolutely the right decision.

Tuesday, March 20
Plan Says: Off

What I did: 12 x 400, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down.
I had to be up and at 'em at 4:45 to get my 400s done.  I was really nervous about this workout, even though I typically really enjoy 400s.  After MONTHS of easy runs, with maybe a hard workout in once in a blue moon, I was worried that I had lost a lot of speed.  I was happy to report that I felt good during all of these.

My goal was to run them in 1:33 (6:12 pace).  This is the same that I used for this workout during my marathon training last spring.  I did these in my neighborhood using 400 meters = 0.25 miles.  My goal was to keep it in check and not do them too hard because I knew I had other hard workouts ahead in the week.  I adjusted my pace slightly after going out too hard for the first one and was able to finish them all feeling good.

1.07 mile warm up, 8:41.6 (8:06 avg pace)
1.   1:26.6 (5:44 avg pace) / recovery: 2:04.3 (8:07 avg pace)
2.   1:31.1 (6:00 avg) / 2:01.6 (8:00 avg)
3.   1:32.0 (6:07 avg) / 2:05.1 (8:10 avg)
4.   1:32.4 (6:07 avg) / 2:04.9 (8:22 avg)
5.   1:30.4 (6:01 avg) / 1:58.7 (7:53 avg)
6.   1:33.0 (6:12 avg) / 2:02.8 (7:54 avg)
7.   1:31.2 (6:01 avg) / 2:02.6 (8:01 avg)
8.   1:27.4 (5:49 avg) / 2:02.5 (8:07 avg)
9.   1:31.9 (6:03 avg) / 2:05.5 (8:13 avg)
10. 1:29.3 (5:54 avg) / 2:05.2 (8:17 avg)
11. 1:30.7 (5:57 avg) / 1:56.6 (7:38 avg)
1.25 mile cool down, 10:26 (8:21 avg pace)

These 400s are faster than my spring marathon 400s last year (also done on the road), but slower than my fall half marathon 400s (done on the track).  All 3 workouts had the same goal pace of 1:33.

Wednesday, March 21
Plan Says: 5 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  easy 4 miles.
I flip flopped Thursday and Wednesday to keep the day in between tempo and speed workouts.  I did not have time to get 4 miles in after work before I had to get my daughter to swim lessons but managed to get 3.5 miles done.

3.5 miles, 28:16 (8:04 avg pace)

Thursday, March 22
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  5 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down.
True to form, I had some jitters about this workout, which translated into doing the tempo run too fast.  I had set a goal of doing my tempo workouts at 7:00 per mile.

1 mile warm up, 8:43
5 mile tempo, 33:59 (6:47 avg pace)  Mile splits: 6:47, 6:43, 6:55, 6:36, 6:56
1 mile cool down, 8:17

I felt good throughout this and afterwards, with the exception that I am still coughing up a lot of phlegm.

Friday, March 23
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did:  Back on schedule.  8 miles easy before work.  This was a hard workout.  I was definitely pooped.

8.25 miles, 1:10:24 (8:32 avg pace)

Saturday, March 24
Plan says: easy 8 miles

What I did:  I knew from my mileage tracking spreadsheet that if I ran a little over 8 miles, I would have a nice even 40 miles for the week so that was my goal.

8.15 miles, 1:07:38 (8:18 avg pace)

Weekly Total
Plan says: 39 miles
What I did: 40.03 miles!  Two high fives!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Website Spotlight: Athlinks

Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks 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!

Last year, I was contacted by Athlinks to be featured on their blog.  I was excited as I have used Athlinks since 2005 to track my race results.  You can read their profile of me here.

What is Athlinks?  It is the "largest results database for competitive endurance athletes in the world".

If you are not familiar with this website, you create a profile and then can keep track of all of your race results in one easy place.  Your dashboard will look like this:

All of your PRs are at the top for easy tracking.

If you click on the Results link, a list of your races, in reverse chronological order is presented with information about your time, average pace, age group placing, overall placing and gender placing.

While I have used the results tracking portion of the website for several years, this year I am trying out the Upcoming Events feature where you can enter a race on your calendar in the future and then track other Athlinks friends who are running.  You can also enter a goal time for the race.  I like this feature because then I don't have to remember to go back into the website post-race to get my results uploaded.

As a new user, it is really easy to add a bunch of results all at once using the search bar at the top - the website will search based on your name, birth year and location and bring back race results that you can simply click on to add to your profile.  It's a nice historical view of your racing in minutes!  My races go back to 2001 which is really fun too see the improvement over time in my race times!

If you prefer, Athlinks also has an app for your phone!

Have you used Athlinks before?  Feel free to add me as a friend!  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 5 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

Last week, my family and I were on our annual trip to Orlando to visit family.  In recent years, I always have been marathon training during this trip and this year was no exception.  Lucky for me, I am doing a summer marathon which means my training week was one of my "easy" weeks on the Hanson plan.  No speed work, no tempo runs, just racking up miles.

Unfortunately, the minute I got off the plane in FL, I knew I was getting sick.  I ended up having a cold.  Every cold I get is usually of the sinus variety but this one was different.  My sinuses and nose felt fine but my chest and throat were awful.  At one point during one of the many fits of coughing I had, my husband half-jokingly asked if I had croup.

Coughing spells meant no sleep.  Given that my worst two days were days we were at Disney World parks, it was all I could do to get through those days.  I wasn't exactly going to get a run in in addition.

Which means, that I had more off days than I wanted. Ah well.  I still have 13 training weeks ahead of me.

Sunday, March 11
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did:  We had an 8:40 AM flight but I wanted to get a run in before I left so that I would have one less day to worry about getting miles in.  It was SO SO COLD and SO SO DARK and I didn't sleep well due to daylight savings time but I got it in.

4.0 miles, 32:47 (8:11 avg pace)

Monday, March 12
Plan Says: 5 miles easy

What I did: 5.21 miles, 39:16 (7:32 avg pace).  My only run on Disney property this trip.

Tuesday, March 13
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off.  We went to Hollywood Studios this day and I felt like death.  Thankfully my in-laws kept me doped up on cold medicine.  According to my iPhone, we walked 5.6 miles through this park.

Wednesday, March 14
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  We were at my in-laws condo this day, so no parks, and I went for an early morning run. 6.2 miles, 49:55 (8:03 avg pace)  

Thursday, March 15
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  OFF.  We had early morning alarms set for Magic Kingdom and I had brought zero reflective items.  Still wasn't feeling great!  We walked 7.5 miles through the park according to my iPhone.

Friday, March 16
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Off.  This was the low point of my cold.  We went to Epcot this day and I was dying.  I had gotten no sleep the night before due to coughing and I had a headache.  Another 6.6 miles of walking through the parks though!

Saturday, March 17
Plan says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  9.25 miles, 1:14:06 (8:01 avg pace)
No parks were in the plan for this day and I felt like I was going to try to get in as many miles as I could.  Generally this was a nice run.  I explored new-to-me routes around my in-laws condo and I didn't feel too tired, although my legs were sore.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 24 miles
What I did: 24.67 miles

After several weeks of 30ish miles, I was hoping to be in the high 30s this week but felt my plan of getting in some miles, but also taking extra rest days was unavoidable since I was not sleeping well.  I was bummed to have had such terrible sleep on vacation since the weeks leading up to vacation were not exactly stellar in the sleep department.

The week ahead has my first speed and tempo runs so I will need to start getting some zzzs to keep up!  

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 4 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

This past week was pretty much a shit show.  My big project at work is going strong, which messed with my sleep a bit.  You know something is a little out of whack when you wake up at 1 AM, and get out of bed to make flow charts just so you can go back to sleep.

Additionally, I have overscheduled us these past weeks.  I signed my daughter up for a drama class on Saturday mornings last Fall, and then I also signed her up for swim lessons.  She already takes a weekly piano lesson.  ARGH.  To top that all off, we leave for vacation tomorrow.

I am in need of taking a step back for sure.  Good timing with the vacation!

I still logged 30 miles, but I only ran 5 days.  

Sunday, March 4
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did: I ended up doing two different runs.  My family wanted to do a bike ride, so I ran while they rode their bikes to the park.  They stayed to play on the playground and I did a bit more of a run, and then as we were about to head back, my son could not go any further.  The first bike ride of the season and all...these kids are soft! ha ha ha.  My husband pedaled home to get the car for them and I waited at the park and then the three of them returned home via car and I ran back.

4.23 miles 34:46 (8:14 avg pace)
1.25 miles, 9:56 (7:56 avg pace)

Monday, March 5
Plan Says: 4 miles easy

What I did: 4.55 miles, 36:13 (7:58 avg pace) after work.  Beat the bus!

Tuesday, March 6
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off.  

Wednesday, March 7
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  5.26 miles, 41:53 (7:58 avg pace) 
So there have been sightings of a cougar in our village - with video tape and all.  These have freaked me out and I have been avoiding morning runs.  However, I am really limited with time/mileage if I only do afternoon runs so I knew I would have to face the cougar.  I woke up early and got out there and just as I was almost done, a cute fox ran across the street.  I truly burst out laughing at the sight of him.

Thursday, March 8
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  6.2 miles, 51:48 (8:21 avg pace)
The first morning was a hit, so I made it two in a row. 

Friday, March 9
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Off
I had a shitty night of sleep on Thursday night - this was the night where I got out of bed in the wee hours to document flow chart brainchilds.  So by the time I fell asleep, I shut my alarm off.  (My sleep machine documented 10 wake-ups for me this night - argh!).  I got to work and two hours into my workday got the dreaded daycare call - my son was sick.  I went to pick him up and worked from home which was good because I still was able to leave my work in a good place before vacation, but it also meant that I was DEAD by the time 5 PM rolled around.  I went to bed at 7:15 and skipped my run.

Saturday, March 10
Plan says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  9 miles, 1:10:01 (7:47 avg pace)
My daughter had her last day of drama class, so parents were invited to part of the class for a performance.  Thus, I needed to get my run in BEFORE class.  (The last two weeks, I did a run while she was in class.)  It was a cold one, but I was able to log 9 miles, even though it took me about 8 to get into a groove.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 21 miles
What I did: 30.49 miles

I wanted to get closer to 35 miles and I know had I not skipped my Friday run, I would have hit it.  I know I made the better decision to go to bed instead of run.

The approaching week is the last of my easy buildup weeks before track and tempo workouts enter the picture!  I will be soaking up the Florida sunshine on my easy-paced miles!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 3

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

Another week where my only goal was to get 6 days of running in.  I'm still in the "easy" weeks of the plan so just trying to slowly build mileage.  One thing I don't really like about the beginner Hanson's plan is that if you follow it by the book for the first six weeks, you have a big jump in weekly mileage from week 5 to week 6.  Thus, to avoid that big jump, I'm trying to use the first 6 weeks as more of a build up so that by the time Week 6 comes, a 40 mile week won't seem so shocking.

Sunday, February 25
Plan Says:  Off.

What I did:  5.16 miles, 40:32 (7:52 avg pace)

Monday, February 26
Plan Says: 4 miles easy

What I did: 4.15 miles, 32:38 (7:52 avg pace)

Tuesday, February 27
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  5 miles, 38:07 (7:37 avg pace)

Wednesday, February 28
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4.6 miles, 33:56 (7:22 avg pace)

Thursday, March 1
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  4.0 miles, 30:19 (7:34 avg pace)

Friday, March 2
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  Off

Saturday, March 3
Plan says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  8.5 miles, 1:04:01 (7:32 avg pace)
Repeat of last week - I ran while my daughter was in drama class and my husband and son grocery shopped.  HIGH FIVE.

Weekly Total
Plan says: 21 miles
What I did: 31.42 miles

I have logged two 31 mile weeks in a row.  Looking back at last week, I didn't do any morning workouts (again) so I am limited by time in the afternoon which limits mileage.  Looking forward to week 4,  I am again aiming for 6 running days/week but aiming for >35 miles which means that I am going to have to get up in the morning.  Cougar be damned!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018 Mileage

I ran 109.38 miles in February!

On one hand, this is my lowest mileage February in the 4 years that I have been diligently tracking. 

2015   111.59 miles
2016   148.78 miles
2017   125.89 miles
2018   109.38 miles

On the other hand, I got my first 30+ mile week in over four months in February.