Friday, October 9, 2015

2 days out.

Well, it is Friday, and tomorrow J and I leave to head to Chicago. I will be spending a long morning in the car and then hopefully going for a quick shakeout run (even if it is just on the treadmill at the hotel!) to make sure that my legs are feeling ok after spending 5+ hours in the car. But I don't want to focus on that right now. I am definitely feeling nervous and would rather not worry too much about it right now.

The hay has been in the barn for a few weeks now, and now it REALLY is. Any last minute jitters or worries about the weather have been adjusted. I packed for cold weather and I packed for good/cool-warmish weather. As of this moment, it is looking like shorts + arm warmers will work. And I am really hoping for that. After all, I had big plans for those pop rogas to make it out!
So fingers crossed that Sunday morning is about 50* when we get started. If that is the case, I will be fine.

I want to talk about the things that I have been doing this week to make sure that I am as ready as possible for Sunday morning. So here is a little breakdown of my "week of marathon" routine.

1. Limit veggies. They can do some bad things to your stomach, so I try and avoid them somewhat in order to avoid potential GI distress.
2. No alcohol. Usually I might have a beer at dinner with J, but not this week. Not at all. I had one on Saturday night (nearly a week ago) when we went out to dinner, but that was it.
3. No new foods (see reason number 1).
4. Visualization. I have been picturing the clock with a 3:29:xx on it when I cross the finish line. And in my visualization, I burst into tears and practically fall down when I get there.
5. I have been reviewing my training log, but the GOOD runs. I have ignored the skipped stuff, ignored the runs that I quit early. I have focused on 2 strong 20 mile runs. Several 18. Every nailed speedwork (and I nailed most of them!) A full Yassos workout for the first time EVER with a 3:22/800m average. I mean...  Yassos have some meaning behind them. I am not going for that, necessarily, but...  It means I am ready to nail my goal.
6. Spend time with my lacrosse ball and foam roller. I saw Dr. Mike for the last time on Wednesday afternoon, and while I hope not to be in terrible pain again, I hope to get to work with him again.
7. Rest. In general. Lots of time with my legs up in the air.

Hopefully I have spent the week doing everything right. I feel good. I feel ready. So let's bring it on.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


In an effort to write about something this week other than my nerves around the marathon, (because trust me, they are certainly overrunning my mind right now) I want to write about the fact that FALL IS HERE. Fall is my most favorite time of the year, and I would just live somewhere where it was all fall, all the time, if I could. I know that there are places out there that have temperatures like fall all the time, but they don't have the other fall benefits. Colors, pumpkins, other squash, etc. 

But sometime last week, the weather turned. It started getting light out later in the morning (I would drop off Roo at daycare in the dark). The temperature dropped into the 40s overnight (it was in fact in the 40s when I took off for my run on Saturday morning). I have had to head out for my runs in tights and long sleeves (which also involved me trying out my brand new Flyte long sleeve in pop!)
I saw a picture of Lauren Fleshman in this top - I think she is wearing it in her Jaybird video that is on YouTube? - and NEEDED it after that. Then on Saturday I finally had a chance to pull it out of my drawer and take the tags off. And as I said, it is getting light out later, so I needed that brightness for my run!

J and I had plans to take Addie out for a pumpkin picking excursion last weekend, unfortunately it was very rainy. I am bummed about that because the rest of October is going to be a bit busy for us. We have Chicago, then Toledo, and by the next weekend after that, it will be so close to the holiday that all of the local farms will be pretty busy (I am assuming). Oh well...  We will get a pumpkin SOMEWHERE. The plan for the pumpkin is to paint it this year. Well, let Addie paint it. 

We had our fall financial planning session with our advisor, which led me to look into a few things to make some adjustments. October is going to be a tough month for me, financially because I have some car repairs that need to be done and obviously, we have a trip to Chicago coming up. 

I want to set some goals for fall, but not knowing yet how Chicago is going to end up admittedly has me a little bit nervous to make too many plans... Which might be a little bit weird since my fall is not going to change if I do not hit my Chicago goal. I am not going to try a redemption marathon in three weeks or whatever. I am just going to... be off. And start getting ready for the spring. And right now, I do not know what my spring plan is going to be. I don't think that I am going to run a marathon in the spring no matter what the outcome is...  To be determined, I guess?

So... for now... no fall goals other than to enjoy it with J and Addie and start getting prepared for the holidays. I took the time to decorate this year for Halloween, which definitely has me feeling a bit more cheerful than I did last year at this time. Last fall was rough for me, and I am really working hard to make changes (and have been for a year now) in order to have a more enjoyable year. So far, I would call that effort a success?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Taper Madness

Ahh... taper madness... It definitely seems to set in on most marathon cycles. And for those who train hard for halfs, it sets in then too. I usually get it much worse for the full than the half though. Anyone with me?

I found the above image at The Runiverse.

The hardest part for me is feeling mentally ready. You definitely start to question everything that you have done to get ready for the race and wonder if it is enough. What if I ran another 20? What if I hadn't messed up and quit that 22? What if I ran that 12 early in training when I came home from Vegas? What if I skipped Ragnar and did "serious" runs instead?

Yeah. We all have to get over it. It is SO not that big of a deal, right? The work is done.

I keep repeating that to myself.

The work is done.

So here are a few articles I have been reading and rereading to reassure myself.

Battling Taper Madness
Three Mantras to Calm Taper Madness
Taper madness: running withdrawal puts many marathoners on edge
How to spot taper madness

There is tons of other information out there on the subject. And trust me, if you have trained for an endurance event, you get it. If you haven't, but you know someone like me, you get it. You have seen me pacing in meetings or staring at a bowl of candy...  All of these things are real.

Have you suffered from this madness?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A day for me

Last Monday I took the day off. I did not have any real intentions with this day, it was not like a day full of doctor appointments, or a day with a sick kid or anything. I had the day off, and nothing too pressing going on, and I was looking forward to it.

So the day started the same as every other. I got up too darn early, dressing in my running clothes (that did not match), got my kiddo up and dressed (she had to wear her Chiefs gear, since they had the Monday night game. I knew J would appreciate that.), and headed off to the other side of town where my office/her daycare is. Because I am now OFFICIALLY tapering (since I ran that 20 on the 26th), I only had 6 miles at convo pace plus strides to do on Monday. I was ready to roll out.

I dropped off Addie and headed out right from her daycare. I was planning on running a loop in Ravenwood, a nearby neighborhood that I knew had about a 1 mile loop in it, and then head over to the track. I have yet to get tired of the track this cycle. Plus even when I am running normal-ish paces, I feel like I am flying on the track! That makes it extra awesome. So I started running. My legs were a little sluggish on the first mile, like they always are, especially when I have not had coffee, but it was not long before I was feeling great.

I ran to the track, then planned to leave there at about 4.75 miles, that would get me back right around the time I was finishing my run, assuming that my strides were about the same distance as they always are. I left the track and was in the ZONE. I was jamming to the music that was on my phone, I was feeling awesome. And BOOM. I tripped over a big yellow curb. It is one of those ones that is used to designate parking places. There were several others around it. And there were yellow stripes painted all over the ground. So how I missed it, I will never know. I am just clumsy I guess? And as usual, I broke my fall with my elbow. Typical...
I also banged up my knee pretty great, but I did not take a picture of that. Luckily, I think my elbow is just scraped up. I don't have any issues with the bending and things like I did when I broke it. But the knee turned black and blue almost immediately. But after sitting for a minute and gathering myself up, I finished the run.

After running, I went to Panera to drink a cup of coffee and eat a bagel (yay taper food!)before going to see Dr. Mike for my last appointment. I will probably go back before the marathon to make sure everything is in perfect condition and get taped, but he released me from working on my hips and back that he has been working on for the last 5-6 weeks. 

I had lunch with Karen at the cheesecake factory and did not allow myself to be tempted by all of the deliciousness that was there. I got chicken lettuce wrap tacos and NO cheesecake (impressive, right?) and really enjoyed them. I know Karen was jealous, because she was already on the "cut out leafy green" part of taper, whereas I still have a week. But her lunch looked really good as well. Tuscan chicken of some sort... 

She was on a mission to get a new dress for her sister's wedding, so we did some shopping together. She ended up buying something at Macy's and plans to also buy something online from White House/Black Market and then making the final decision. I tried on a dress at H&M myself for my company Christmas party. Karen and the woman working there both said it gave me a figure and made me look like I had a waist. Honestly, I felt like I did NOT have a waist in it. Obviously, I need to trust others more than I trust myself when it comes to these things. Regardless, it is a contender, but I did not buy.

After shopping at the mall, I told Karen that I had a gift card to Buckeye, and I should get up there and use it. I probably needed a few more gels to get me through the marathon and even if I do not use them now, I will use them in the spring. So Karen agreed to come with me, because she pretty much had to drive right by there on her way home. Naturally, I cannot go in to a running store and JUST buy gels. I walked out with 3 gels (vanilla spice roctane), 2 vanilla honey stinger waffles (the BEST pre race food), 2 Buckeye running t-shirts (one for me, one for J) and new shoes. Ooops...
And I am in love. These might be the marathon shoes now. HA!

After Buckeye, I settled myself in at Starbucks, ordered a coffee and got to work on the blog.
I really love writing here and I am trying to get more planning done around posts to try and get some written in advance and then I can just jump in on open days and write and actual update. Maybe then I can be more consistent about it?

I needed this day. I am glad that I have so much vacation time just sitting around. I need to be more consistent about using it, even when it is for no purpose. It felt good today to be able to just do whatever I wanted to do... That just does not happen enough. Now... to be more consistent!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chicago Marathon: Week of September 28

Whoa...  One week from today the marathon will be OVER. It is unlikely that I will have a recap post written by then, but I should have a post written about my last week in training, I would think (and I will plan on). I may drop in and just let the bomb out (bomb meaning finish time... I have no idea what to expect right now).

So let's take a look at the first week of taper, shall we?
(Quick reminder that I am only tapering for 2 weeks rather than my typical three since I needed to get one last twenty mile run in, if for no other reason than my mental state.)

Monday: 6 miles with 4x strides for 6.54 miles. 8:19 average pace. Also - wiped out on the curb.
Tuesday: Body weight strength workout and CORE.
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy pace. 8:46 average.
Thursday: Final Track Session! 5.69 miles @ 7:50 avg pace. 2x1000m and 4x400m.
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 12 miles. Stuck to my neighborhood and the treadmill and ran relaxed with the last 4 at marathon pace. 8:09 average.
Sunday: walk with my girl.

Taper is a weird time, I am sure anyone who has been through it will agree, but that is a post for another day, right?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Race day ensemble

So after my 20 last weekend, I think I made all of the decisions that I needed to make regarding my marathon ensemble. There were a few obvious choices, like my oiselle singlet (below wearing it in Chicago the last time I raced there).
But there were also less obvious choices, like what shorts, shoes, and socks I was going to wear. I pretty much decided that my bottom half from the 20 was the way to go.
First up, SOCKS!
I plan on donning my rainbow procompression socks, affectionately known on social media as #thegibblers.
The mac roga in pop.
The strappy bra (the old version, I like it best!)
And my Brooks launch. The exact pair I wore in Columbus. I save these shoes for 20 mile runs and races, so they have less than 250 miles on them, even now, a year later.

So there we go. That is what I plan to wear in Chicago, so if you see me on the course, between the pop rogas and the rainbow socks, I will stand out, I think!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Two Year Old. What?

So yeah, I have a lot going on with the race right now. Work has been busy as well. But let's take a few minutes and check out that little Roo. Somehow she has made it to not-so-little status, which makes me happy and sad all at once.

She loves yogurt. And when you point your phone at her, she immediately "CHEESE" es.

She might have a Picky Bar obsession, just like her mom and dad. And we have actually had to INCREASE our monthly subscription, and be sure to get some uncaffeinated flavors, because We obviously don't want her to have that!

She loves a selfie.

She loves Minnie Mouse (and her birthday gifts from Grandpa - my dad).

She knows how important it is to focus when pooping (and she is about 85% potty trained!)

My girl is ONE COOL CAT. And I really love her little nugget face (and we are working on the binky, she was screaming in the store. We will get there. We have to!).

More on the best two year old ever sometime soon, but hope you enjoyed seeing a little update of her!