Thursday, March 23, 2017

A bit of rambling

Today I just want to write. I want to write about the things that I am thinking and feeling without worrying about how they are coming across. I just feel the need to express myself right now, and talk about everything rather than just writing about running and how my training is going.

Sometimes I wonder if I can be seen ever as anything else. I am a mother and a runner, and that is it. At least, that is something that I am afraid of. Because those are the two things that I discuss most frequently. I am supposed to chat with my friend Alisha. She is in B-School right now, which I assumed was business school or something.

Turns out, B-school is not getting your MBA as I assumed. It has to do with Marie Forleo, and admittedly, I have never even heard of her prior to Alisha telling me about her. I am allowing myself to fall down the rabbit hole of her website trying to get a better sense of it (and when I have more information, I will report back.) The more I look into it, the more it IS business school, but more for entrepreneurs. You can find more about that here, but as a result Alisha wants to have a chat about that. She is looking to build her mentorship and coaching program (if that is something you are interested in, you can check out Alisha on her website). It is interesting, because I am curious about this conversation that we are going to have, but I am not sure that starting my own business is really in my future ever.

So this is a little in relation to my post from Tuesday, and I am just having a lot of feelings around it because I am trying new things. Things are top of mind right now, because I am doing more writing. And so for once, I am inspired to keep going, to keep it up.

So to make things a little less... umm...  intense? Here is a picture of my kid eating pizza for breakfast.
Yep. We had pizza for breakfast. Winning mom.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

20 miles, my first

Well, not really my first, obviously, but my first this training cycle! And this one was honestly the first time when I was out there the entire time thinking that I absolutely am going to get this done. There have been many times in my running life where I have basically thought "oh, I will be happy if I just make it to 12 miles and then I can call it" or something like this.

I feel like this shows progress in my running. I feel like this shows confidence in some places. Now right now, I am not super confident in my ability to run super fast, but I am (for once) 100% confident in my ability to finish. That is one step further than I ever have been before. Typically, I am not really that confident in either thing. So I am calling this cycle, despite struggles, a bit of a breakthrough.

But anyway, let's talk about the 20 miles that I ran, since that is supposed to be the point of this post, not the breakthroughs that I am having.

My plan was to run the miles at Lunken Airport, the site of an epic 22 mile training run back in the summer. (It was for my fall marathon, but I ran it in August, therefore, SUMMER). That was an insanely hot and humid day, as were the majority of my long runs last summer) - yesterday was the opposite. It was chilly. Windy. A little bit drizzly. In reality, my goal for the day was to knock out twenty miles. Not much other than that.

I parked in my usual place (near the playground) and used the port-o-potty behind the building (sometimes I wonder if anyone uses that other than me - but at least it was clean-ish and had toilet paper) before taking off on the first five mile loop of the airport grounds. I ran the first mile as a warm up (8:55 pace) and then stopped to do some dynamic warm up stuff and a little stretching. I have not done this too frequently in my past, and I feel like whenever I do, I feel a zillion time better. So I stopped, did some leg swings, butt kicks, high knees, squats, and walking lunges before taking off again. My legs already felt better at that point and I was able to start running more quickly.

I was feeling pretty good until I hit a bunch of wind. That was gross. Running a few fast-ish (ok, not that fast, even for me, but my fastest of the day) miles down at Armleder took a lot out of me. So I headed back up to the top and the airport to finish it out. I needed a bathroom break and a drink of water, so I headed back toward the start to use the toilet and water fountain and was practically blown over by a 5K race headed straight toward me. So that was not fun. Then the rain started. With the temperatures what they were, this rain hurt.

While I was not ready to throw in the towel, I was ready to wring out the towel and head indoors.
At 13.1 miles, I hopped in my car and headed for home with the intent of finishing things out on the treadmill. When I got there, I took a quick pee break, ate a honey stinger, and hopped on the treadmill. I ran the first 2 @7.0, then 2 @ 7.1, 2@7.2, and increased the speed consistently over the next mile. I finished 7  miles in 58:40, to finish 20.10 miles for the day. (I didn't like the idea of stopping at 6.9 miles to get to the 20 even.)

As it turns out, I finished 20 miles (well, a little over) in an average of 8:28 pace. While part of me feels anxious about that pace, the other part of me remembers all of the research around running long slow distance for long runs, and this certainly is not particularly slow. So I need to take a breath, push on, because I have less than a month to go now. It is GO TIME.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I am in the middle of a few streaks right now. They are not very long yet, but they are started, and they have been going on for a few  days right now. And a few days is something good, I think. And I will definitely take it.

So I wanted to talk about these two things that I am doing. They are both hopefully self improvement type things.

I am meditating. I am only a few days in. I have done the Headspace thing, I did the original 10 day challenge, but was not sure that I could get into that far enough to justify the cost of it beyond the 10 day challenge. And so I was back to exploring. But I talked to my friend Emily, who I ran Ragnar with way back... what feels like forever ago, had a different recommendation.
Insight timer. There are in app purchases, but there are LOADS of guided meditations of all lengths that are included in the free app. So far so good. Emily has provided suggestions of places to start, suggestions on how to start myself (meaning, start slow, less time, forgive myself, etc). I am hoping to continue to grow and develop this practice.

The second thing I have been working on, streaking in, is writing. Nothing specific, not working on anything specific. Just trying to write every single day. I feel good starting up that practice and trying to keep writing, keep it up. I currently am in the middle of a 10 day journaling challenge. I will see what happens next after that.

I do think that both of these things that I am doing will be pretty self improving for me since they can help to keep me grounded and improving.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Training Update: Week of March 13

Holy crazy training week. I am through it all, finally, and I feel good. I feel better now, a few days removed from my 20 miler than I did right afterward, because afterward I felt like junk.
So let's take a look at this big week!
Monday: 45 minutes walking (XT), Pure barre.
Tuesday: 11 miles, 4x30s strides (11.56 miles). Pure barre. Core.
Wednesday: 8 miles, easy pace. Pure barre. Core.
Thursday: 8 miles with 5 mile tempo (more to come, maybe). Pure barre.
Friday: 8 miles, easy pace, Pure barre, core.
Saturday: 20.10 miles and then movie watching with the kiddo.

55.66 miles
5x pure barre
3x core

Holy heavy training week.

Friday, March 17, 2017

XX2i Optics France 2: A review

Disclaimer: I received Legend Compression sleeves 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!

Now, it has been WINTER here in Ohio on and off since November. Sometimes it is 60* and sunny, some days it is single digit wind chills (like today for example). But, as a blue eyed girl, I ALWAYS wear sunglasses if I am running in the daylight. I try to keep from squinting too much, as obviously that will further any wrinkles that I may get around my eyes, etc.

So, as a BibRave Pro, I was offered the opportunity to try and review the France2 from XX2i Optics. I received the pair in hyper orange (I was not super worried about the color and was just happy to get the opportunity to have a good pair of racing sunglasses again after I left a pair in my hotel room in South Dakota). 

(That is literally a picture from the above linked website of the exact sunglasses that I received)

They arrived a few weeks after I was accepted for the project, which was great. With it still being winter here, I was not sure initially how often I would get the opportunity to wear them, but I had nothing to worry about.

 The sunglasses arrived in a hard case with some additional accessories. I put them on immediately to see how they felt on my face. The nose piece felt good. The ear pieces felt good on the tops of my ears and they felt flexible yet sturdy. I was looking forward to giving them a whirl on a run.
 Despite the cold, we have had some very sunny days. These sunglasses worked well with the earpieces on and a hat over them. The did not fog up when I was breathing hard later in a workout, and that worked well.
In addition, they were close to my face. That was one of the most important things to me. The closeness to the eyes actually kept the sun out even more, and the wrap-around style of these glasses kept my eyes feeling good and able to see on long runs. That is very important to me because having different degrees of light (brighter, dimmer - if that a word? - etc) throws my head off a little when I am out, and these glasses did not allow that to happen.
 These glasses have gotten sweaty, been my helper on an evening commute back to my home, and occasionally as a headband in my office when I pulled them up to the top of my head, keeping my hair out of my eyes.
Even Addie has enjoyed them. The other day in the car she asked me "Mom, can I have your glasses?" I sighed but took them off my face and handed them back to her. She continued, "mom, is the sun in your eyes?" I told her yes, so she said, "don't worry, you can just close your eyes." Yeah, Addie, that is not going to happen. I am driving!

Anyway, these sunglasses have been a great addition to my running wardrobe and they will definitely be making the trip to Boston with me in a month. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pic from my iPhone

Because I haven't done one of these in a while, and it helps me clean out my phone, here are some iPhone pics that have been hanging out for a little while.
 Jason in Asheville.
 Addie dabbing. (not sure where she learned this, but she knows what it is called)
 Princess Rapunzel, wig supplied by Papa's Christmas gift  (my dad).
 Post-shower cuddles.
 My Starbucks date.
 Cuddles with her puppy. They are best friends for sure.
 Silly faces!
 Post-run stretches.
 Have you seen stuff on #TeamFiona yet? Very preemie hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo, and I am super obsessed with following her progress.
 Painted nails - 5 different colors, the bane of Mommy.
 Wearing daddy's glasses.
Hanging out outside of Madtree after a fun morning coloring and playing ABC Mouse on Daddy's phone.

Hmm...  this somehow mostly turned into an Addie entry, but I guess that is because I pretty much only take pictures of her.

Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Race Recap: The Heart Mini Half Marathon

Ok, I have run this race before. Once. It was my VERY first ever half marathon (I have run the 5K several times and the 15K as well, but this was only my second time with the half). You can read about my first half marathon (and this specific race) in this post.

This year was not a goal race, I just needed 18 miles again, and it is way more fun to do that with friends and in a race.
Why not, right?

Anyway, I parked in J's garage that morning, arriving downtown around 6:45 with plans to meet Caroline for 2-ish miles of warm up pre race. I had a full 18 on tap again, just like last week, and it is MUCH easier to get 18 with a half marathon in the middle than a 5K like last week!

So...  2 watch screwed up in mile 2. It has me running 6:18 pace, and if you look at the chart, there is a hilarious zag off the road, which is obviously where my watch went wonkers, and why I showed 13.3 miles for the race. Regardless, I knew going in that it was not my day. So I was super comfortable just cruising. Running how I felt like running, and just enjoying myself. I had a good run. I ended up stopping once for the bathroom, and managed to run a pretty solid marathon effort run.

So I DID stop my watch when I went to the bathroom - after all, I was not racing, it was just a training run. I still have my race time/official time, but for my training run, I wanted to run my watch the way I would have run it for a training run.

This course is a tough one. I always hate it, every single year that I run it, but I always come back for the 15K (usually) because it is a well-timed tune up. And this was a perfect opportunity once again. So while I was not feeling PR ready today, I definitely will chalk it up to a VERY solid training run, 18 miles with 13.1 at marathon effort. So that is another win for me.

Things I am hopeful next spring:
1. More confidence going in. I would like to GO FOR IT.
2. Not so cold. The cold sucked.
3. Remember to bring fuel. Whoops.
4. Don't drink 4 beers the day before the race. Might have been a mistake.
5. Don't brew all of your coffee the PREVIOUS day, because you will NEED coffee for race day.

So, there are lots of lessons learned, and good workouts had. Right?  Moving on to the next workout, here we go.