Monday, November 17, 2014

Base Building: 2 weeks of logs

I have been starting to work on building up my mileage and my speed again, in preparation for the official start of marathon training season, which begins on January 4 for a 16 week plan culminating in the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon. And hopefully my BQ as well! At least that is the plan and the goal.

So since I am just base-building, I am keeping updates to a bi-weekly place, since I am not needing to focus QUITE so much on the mileage just yet. But it will be good to keep track of where I am as I continue to ramp things back up as I start to roll into my new training plan and get ready to start really focusing my efforts toward a single goal.

So, let's look at the beginning of November and see how things are rolling out so far for the month.

Week of November 3
Monday: 4 miles progressive - 7:46 avg pace
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Thursday: 4 miles easy, 0.7 miles walked
Friday: OFF
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 5 miles

Week of November 10
Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 4.5 miles, 6x400m @ 6:35
Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 4 miles easy
Saturday 6.15 miles @ 7:55 pace
Sunday: OFF (well, pushups when the Chiefs scored)

First week - 17.7 miles
Second week: 18.65 miles

Not bad, not bad. I am enjoying the 6-ish mile long runs, but that will not work for too much longer. Pretty soon I am going to have to start ramping it up again, and while I am semi-ready for that, I am not sure that it is going to be super fun. I am tired right now just thinking about it, but that is more likely exhaustion from all of the work. Hopefully things relax a little bit and then I can get back to my real life - running.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Busier than I bargained for

October was not a great month, in any way. I had a rough go, and even though Columbus ended up being everything that I had hoped for (and even more, I honestly am not sure that I ever expected to come that close to my BIG goal), the rest of the month left me defeated as far as goals go. As a result, I am not sure that I even want to review my goals that I set for the month.

I did accomplish a few things this month, and I have made some big strides, but overall, there is nothing to report.

I am officially back on the training wagon, doing speed work this week for the first time since before the marathon. I have a lot of work to do to start feeling like my old self while running, but I know that with patience all of it will come back quickly. After all, I am just in the post training cycle/pre training cycle flux, which is leading to less overall miles as well as slower miles.

I said I made progress though, right? I now set my treadmill to 7.0 for all easy runs. I have come a long way since my first marathon when I set it at 6.2 and sometimes struggled to keep that up.

Ugh, is that what I have to write about these days? The speed that I set my treadmill on during non-speedwork runs? That feels a little bit sad. But this is a log of my life, right? So I suppose I need to put it out there... That is how things are going these days. I am exhausted from working a lot of hours trying to get things done, I am not logging the workouts that I want to, no matter how hard I am trying for the same reason. Work.

But honestly, work has been good lately, it has even been fun! Things have been hectic, stressful, and overall overwhelming, but I am enjoying it. There is a small part of me that missed the late hours and the crazy schedule that comes with working on public accounting, which was what I did before I came to this company. So the last few weeks have kind of been a throw back to those times, simpler times when I could actually work late, skip meals, etc without anyone else being dependent on me. But now, I do have those people who need me. Addie, J, everyone.

Addie is the only thing that gets me out of the office at a semi-reasonable time. I need to pick her up by six, so most days, that gets me out of the office.

Things are ok though. I am trying to push forward and figure everything out.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Starting to base build

So after taking a week off (well, a week of running) and just walking for a few days, this past week seemed like as good a time as any to get my legs rolling again and start working on the base building that I will need rolling into spring marathon training. My goal for the weeks leading up to the beginning of a 16 week training plan are gong to include getting up to a 15 mile long run and making sure to run fast at least once every week. And by fast, I mean really fast. We are talking sub-7 mile repeats. In my mind, that scares the pee out of me, but I MUST be capable of them, right?

Yesterday I was up early to drink my coffee and feed Addie breakfast and waiting for 9 am to watch the NYC marathon. I wish they spent more time following the races instead of telling me the history of the Verrazano bridge right now. I mean, hello, these runners are solid but slight. With 25 mph winds, they could blow right off, so let's keep the camera on them. Regardless, that definitely upped the motivation to really work hard this spring and try to get that BQ that I was so close (yet so far...) from in Columbus a few weeks ago.

So this past week, let's look at the running.

Monday: 2 mile run, half mile walk. 8:27 pace
Tuesday: 3 mile run @ 8:24, 1.12 mile walk
Wednesday: 3.1 mile run @ 7:52
Thursday: 3 mile run @ 7:50
Friday: 5 mile run @ 7:24, tempo effort
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 6 miles, treadmill, 8:34 pace

22.1 miles run. 1.62 miles walked.

Overall, I had a good week. I am not mentally feeling ready to tackle double digit running yet. I am just tired of the long run still, and since I don't need to run "long" yet, I am enjoying a break from running for multiple hours. Soon enough that will be back. But for now, I am enjoying the freedom and flexibility.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seeking joy

And now for something completely different. Not running related. Shocking right?

I have been thinking about joy lately. Yes. JOY.

joy
joi/
noun
  1. 1.
    a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
    "tears of joy"
    synonyms:delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilationtriumphexultation,rejoicinghappiness,
    gladness, gleeexhilarationexuberanceelation,euphoriablissecstasy,
    raptureMore
verb
literary
  1. 1.
    rejoice.
    "I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain"

(Yoinked from google)

This is something that I have been thinking about on the in between times, when I am not out running with Greg and Charlie, when I am not plotting my next marathon/BQ attempt -or sometimes when I am. That would bring me joy for sure. 

Obviously there is a little bit more to joy though. I have been working recently to get myself in a better place mentally since I have certainly been experiencing some stress and anxiety for the last few years (yep, it has been that long, ask Karen...) So attempting to figure out how to rewire my brain, change my thoughts, etc, is only going to be beneficial to me as a mom, a runner, a partner, a friend. 

I am working on it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Marathon Training: Recovery week

I was not sure that I was going to write this post, but I made the decision that SO MANY people struggle the week after a marathon. After you come down from the high of finishing, you sink into a level of depression (ok, I did!) that you feel can only be cleared up by immediately beginning to train for your next race. I get it, trust me.

I obviously took the more unconventional approach to forcing myself to rest, which may have blown up even more than the average person. Being completely UNABLE to run made me want to even more, in case that was even possible. I researched ALL of the races, planned out every single run from now until GCM, and focused on running and running only for the entire week.

So yeah, if you want to force yourself to take time off from running and make yourself rather miserable in the process because it ends up being all you can think about, I highly recommend scheduling surgery. Regardless, I got through the procedure and while I am still wrapped up shoulder to wrist and I have not taken a shower since last Wednesday (I am stuck with baths because I can keep my arm out of the water easily), I am finally feeling back to normal and ready to tackle these few weeks before the East Side Turkey Trot, which I would love to run in 21:xx. *crosses fingers*

I spent a few days last week sitting on my butt, but there were a few days when I just NEEDED to do something. So here is the recovery week in review:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: rest (wanted to run, convinced myself otherwise)
Wednesday: surgery
Thursday: 1.78 mile walk with Carol
Friday: rest
Saturday: 3.22 mile walk with Addie/stroller
Sunday: 3.25 miles on the treadmill (1 mile was run!)

Total: 8.25 miles - not bad, not bad...

Yep, that is what my ridiculous self looked like getting ready to hop on the TM yesterday. Normal running stuff + a gigantic arm bandage. I rewrapped it this morning. The swelling has gone way way down, which made the bandage be ridiculously loose. Now that I am rewrapped up, it feels much better. Still have not seen the incision point though because I am coated in gauze. I guess that can wait till Thursday.

So, recovery week is over, now it is all about base building until training officially starts on 1/4/2015. Here we go!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Birds planning

I have not taken any pain meds since yesterday at about 6:30 pm. I am definitely trying to steer clear of them today. I think I will just feel better knowing that I am done with them for this surgery. The swelling seems to be going down as well because my Ace bandage is beginning to loosen up around my arm. So all of these things are positive progress.

This morning, I climbed into the giant tub in my bathroom (seriously, it feels like an absolutely enormous tub!) to relax a bit, shave my legs so I feel a little bit more like a human, and attempt to avoid getting my bandages wet. Obviously, a shower would be much preferred, but I was pretty much told that was not an option. Too much risk of getting things wet, I guess. It is one of those things that I hate, but darn it, I have got to get through this time until the 30th when I get to go back to the doctor and hopefully get all of my bandages off.

I have been planning some birds, since I have not have much else going on these last few days. I know that I am not 100% sure when these birds will happen, but it is something I have been thinking about for a long time that I feel like I need to do. I have been struggling with self, and the freedom of the birds will hopefully give me a feeling a freedom that I have felt like I have been missing.

Lately things have felt rather claustrophobic and I have felt very...  enclosed. I want some level of freedom that I might be able to see on my body since I cannot just get up and take off in the way that I want to.

I have a lot that I am feeling right now, as I am getting ready to dive into my next training plan, but right now, for this moment, I need to focus on the fact that I need to get this BQ.

Here I come GCM - BQ or bust!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Surgical repairs

Yesterday was surgery day. I am not sure if I mentioned that being in my plan or not. Ha! But it is done now.

If you recall, when I was about 26-ish weeks pregnant, last May, I was running a 5K (and SLOWLY running it, I was pregnant, after all) and turned my ankle in a pothole. I bit it, hard, on the pavement and wound up completely fracturing my elbow. The bone on the tip was actually completely severed from the rest of the bone, and remained attached to my tricep, so it actually pulled that bone piece up to the middle of my arm. So surgical repair was the option for me.

Now, 18 ish months later, I was having pain from my hardware. Weird pain too, like it would hurt when a seam from a sweatshirt hit the scar incorrectly or something. And that seems crazy to me. I mean, that is nothing! So I got with Dr. Penix, my surgeon, and he said that the most common way to get rid of that pain? Remove the hardware. So, I went to my pre-op, got cleared, scheduled the surgery for three days after the marathon, and yesterday I arrived at the surgical center at 6 am for my 7:30 am surgery. It was definitely going to be different than my original surgery because I was going to actually get to have some anesthesia this time! Not being pregnant makes a huge difference to what you are able to do.

(PS - I can also have some slightly stronger painkillers this time. Winning!)

They brought me back into the pre-op section, made me pee in a cup (pregnancy test), and then closed the curtain around me so I could get into my hospital gown. I haven't worn one of those things since Addie was born! You gotta love the open back hospital gowns and the socks with grippers on the bottom. That is the best thing about hospitals. Ha! After that, the nurse came back, got me a blanket and taped my ear. They always tape my left ear because I have an earring that I have a difficult time getting in and out. After that, she got me set up for my IV. I was to take one bag of saline and a small amount of antibiotics over the course of the surgery. Luckily, my veins are decent on my left side (they are collapsed in my right elbow) and she had no issues getting the IV into my hand on the first try.

The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me, said that he was not going to give me a block this time. He filled me in on his plan, etc, let me know that yes, you can have some nausea, etc, as a result, but that I should be ok (young, healthy, etc). 10 minutes after that, he gave me my cocktail - at least that is what he called it - squirting two syringes into my IV. I was then wheeled into the operating room where I chatted with everyone back there and then nothing. As far as I know I could have gone out in the middle of a sentence.

Here is what came out of my elbow.
7 screws and a plate. That is hard to believe! And yes, I brought it home with me and I will keep it forever. The screws are quite a bit longer than I would have expected.

I am curious to see what this bow looks like now. I am curious what my incision looks like since it got reopened yesterday. But for right now, I am all wrapped up.
But soon, this will be gone and I will feel great and things will be good. And it will be back to running and back to training.

Here goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Next on deck

I now I have one entire day between me and the marathon. I have had an entire day to digest what happened on Sunday, question every single decision that I made on race day and question whether or not any of those decisions would have changed the end of the day. Would I have been faster? Maybe. Would I have qualified? Maybe. But that has passed. That ship has sailed for this particular marathon and now it is the time to reflect on the things that went well, and maybe make some edits to the things that went wrong.

I don't have all of the answers from this cycle or all of the plans for the next cycle yet, but suffice to say, I want to try again. I ran very hard. I can run harder, I think. I can plan better, fuel better, take advantage of small downhills and tackle uphills more effectively. I can stick with my speedwork and tempo runs more than I have in the past (yeah, they completely fell off the horizon in the last few weeks of prep) and use that to help maintain my strength. I can crosstrain more frequently or take less rest days. I can do the strength training that I am supposed to do. There are always things to improve.

So I have been chatting with Krista. She is a Toledo friend that is also trying to qualify. We were originally internet friends who have now met in person and run together. She is planning on making her next attempt in Toledo on April 26, 2015. The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon.
I am definitely thinking that I am leaning this way as well. I like the idea of having a friend there with me to run. Even though, like I did in Columbus this weekend, we will need to plan to stick together for as long as we can, but run our own races overall. That is the way that it has to be, because we do not want the other person to be dragged down in any way. Now, I am feeling sad that Karen's race did not go according to plan, but I am glad that mine was as close to plan as it could have been.

I need to figure out what my training plan will be, and how I am going to go about getting there, but it looks like BQ attempt 2 will be in April.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Columbus Marathon: Race Recap

Well, I was not sure how I was going to feel prior to the race, writing this recap, but I guess all things considered, I have to feel pretty good. I don't want to discount ANYTHING that happened on race day, or anything that happened leading up to it. It was the hardest, longest run of my life, and it was worth every second of it.

So, I am going to skip the expo. That was pretty standard. We got all of our stuff, etc. Karen bought two pair of shoes - which was SMART of her. She is always running out of a shoe and getting sore, etc, so having a few backlogged pair is a good plan. It just makes it easier to roll between shoes when you always have them. I didn't buy anything, but I got my stuff for the next morning.

After we left the expo we headed to Grove City (where our hotel is, about 6 miles from downtown Columbus), dropped our race stuff at the hotel and immediately heading to dinner at Long Horn. There were lots of choices to eat there, so everyone was happy. Chelsa and I both enjoyed a beer, everyone got delicious food (especially Chelsa and I who enjoyed the same pasta dish), and it was just the 4 of us, without the pressure from everyone else. There were tons of runners from our group there with us, but we made the decision to just go eat and not worry about what everyone else was doing, which I am grateful for.

Karen and I shared a room, and we were lucky enough to get a room with a little kitchenette (no idea how we lucked into that) so we got the coffee pot ready for morning, and turned on the football game. Karen took a bath to try and relax and I just laid in bed watching TV in my pajamas. When Karen came to bed about 20 minutes later, we turned out the lights, turned down the volume and slept fitfully all night. We both were tossing and turning, but at the same time, we expected it. We were up before our alarm, which was set for 4:45 am, and started the coffee pot and started getting ready. We both had a goal to poop before we left the hotel. I know that might sound strange if you are NOT a runner, but trust me. Go before.

We left to go downtown at 5:45 am and found the parking garage. We got a pass and having that made all the difference. If you run the Columbus Marathon, I recommend purchasing the reserved parking, that was fantastic. We headed over to the starting area, making a stop in the porta potties and then finding another one from our group in line for gear check. I was checking gear, which I have never done before, to make sure I had my keys and wallet since I was planning on leaving Columbus before Chelsa was done running.
After a few minutes, we decided to head over to the corrals to hang out there and use the bathrooms a few more times. Apparently one of the issues that has happened in the past in Columbus was the lack of toilets, and they more than made up for that. Karen and I were in the A corral, in order to try and hang with the 3:35 pacer, and there was probably 20 toilets that you could ONLY reach in the A corral! So we went right away, then hung out at a heater, went again, and then found Dave and Scott, the guys who were taking us through the streets.
(Don't I look nervous? I SO WAS!)

And soon, we were off! They always play Born to Run when the race starts, and even though I was prepared for it from running the half two years ago, I cried. Music gets me like that. The start and finish were in a different location than they were in previous years, which allowed them to be in the same spot, so I was not familiar with exactly where we were going when we started.

Our first mile was a little bit slow, as expected. There were 18,000 runners, so that could not be helped. We picked things up for the next few miles, banking a bit of time, sometimes I wonder (ok, for the last 10K I wondered) if that was a good or bad thing. We settled into a solid pace around mile 6, and I was feeling great. I started chatting with Dave & Scott, I wanted to know how fast they really ran marathons when they weren't pacing us (super fast), I found out about some of the other runners that were hanging in our group. I was in a fantastic mood, and I bet it showed. I was trying not to do anything stupid like jump or dance though, even though I was tempted, afraid I would pay for that later (yup.)

We crossed the 10K mat at 50:20, pretty much dead on where we wanted to be. We looped back into downtown and then headed out into the German Village and past the Children's Hospital (one of the new parts of the course, since they are the chief beneficiary of the marathon). As we circled past a park, Karen stopped to use the bathroom, and I kept plugging away with the group. She caught up with us quickly, and we headed toward downtown to drop off the half marathon participants right before the 13 mile mark. We past where they turned off to head toward their finish, and I realized I was in this for the whole race.

13.1 time: 1:46:14 - required time per pace band: 1:46:36 at mile 13. So we were a bit ahead at this point. Feeling fantastic, I ventured ahead of the pace group for a bit. I was not super far ahead of them, but when feeling good, I felt like I needed to go for it. Right around mile 14, my left knee started to creak a little bit, and I was tempted to quit. Just for a second though, because by the time I thought about it my knees started to feel better and we plugged onward toward the Ohio State University campus.

We actually ran INTO the Shoe, which was awesome. It gave me the push to keep on running and keep my pace up. There was another mat here, Karen explained that it was to ensure that people didn't cheat and skip that section.
16.3 miles: 2:13:25 - pace bracelet pace at 16: 2:11:12 and 17: 2:19:24, so I would say that I was right in there at this point. After coming out of the stadium my energy was waning and I was starting to feel the pressure of what I was hoping to accomplish. We went up the ramp through the tunnel that the visiting teams go through, and that little uphill took a bit out of me, and around mile 18 the 3:35 pace group passed me. I could see them though, so I knew that I had a chance.

By mile 20, I was 24 seconds off pace and the pace group turned a corner and I lost them. But it was only 24 seconds! And I only had a 10K left! If I could run the 10K in the same pace I ran by first 10K, I had a chance!

Yeah, a few steps further, I realized that was not going to happen. Here came the wall. I took in my final gel (Gu, salted caramel, try it!) and made every single effort to get my legs to turn over. They were going, but they were definitely slowing down, and with each mile that passed I was getting further off goal pace. At mile 23-ish, I saw Andrew, one of the guys in my run group. He cheered for me, and I exhaustedly (I can only assume) waved to him. Then around mile 24 there was a cobblestone section. Seriously, this is my ONLY complaint about the course. I am just trying to stay upright at this point, and trying to watch my feet to make sure I did not trip was tough. I REALLY wanted to start some kind of walk/run at this point. But I was also afraid that I would not start running again if I stopped, so I just kept going even though it was slow.

Mile 25 was my SLOWEST mile of the entire day, clocking at 8:59. Under circumstances of earlier in the summer, I would not have flinched at such a time. After all, my original long run goal pace was 9:14 to hit my sub-4 or bust goal. But at this point I was cursing in my head and at my legs why they would not just GO! (Obviously they had run 25 miles. No wonder they did not want to go!) Karen's mom got this shot of me coming into the finish.
Just trying not to fall down.

And finally, it was over.
Whoa. It may not be that fantastic BQ I had hoped for (semi-secretly until recently), but that is more than 47 minutes off my previous (and only!) marathon time. I cannot help but wonder what could have been, if we had run even splits early instead of a few sub-8 miles, or if somehow my fueling had gone just enough better that I didn't hit the wall. Maybe gels at 4-8-12, etc rather than 5-10-16-21? I don't know, but I will experiment some more for the next race. I will say that at 5 miles was better than at 6 like I did for the Pig 2.5 years ago...

I am proud of this race. I can't NOT be, but it makes me even hungrier.

We are absolutely at BQ-or-BUST So MMGCM? I think?

Friday, October 17, 2014

The runch crew

So my work running group is now up to three. There were three of us that headed out to the park yesterday to cover the 4 miles of trails that Greg and I have recently made our Monday and Wednesday lunchtime ritual. We have been having a fantastic time out there, and clearly now, people are seeing that and wanting to come with us. I am glad. Our Flying Pig team next spring is going to be fantastic. We might even need a second team. I think it will be a pretty quick team if it shakes out like I expect it to right now.

When I got into the office yesterday, Charlie found me within 15 minutes of me settling in for the morning. Charlie has only been with the company for two-ish weeks, but he has already made it known that he likes to run and he is pretty quick (8:00-ish pace). He told me about how he was running the Bourbon Chase and a half marathon soon. Obviously, I have some experience with both of those things, so I was interested to hear his thoughts on that.

It is nice to have a larger group to run with for sure. They keep me rolling when I don't feel like doing anything. And recently, that has been a little bit frequently. Nearing the end of training has left me feeling a little bit drained on running, which I assume is pretty normal for marathon training. I have been running hard and a lot of miles for a pretty long time. So burn out has been rather inevitable. But running with Greg and Charlie has re-inspired me for sure, and I am ready to keep it up with them.

Greg and I are relaying a half marathon on 11/15. Because we are awesome.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 19 of 20

Well, well, 6 days to go. I am now only 6 days away from marathon number 2 - the one that has been filling a large majority of my thoughts for the last 19 weeks. Yes, there are other parts of my life that exist, my job and family and friends - both new running friends (Greg & Charlie) and old running friends - best friends - Karen, but everything has come down to one day that is 6 days away.

Last week was a very light one. I ran only three times. I did nothing else - other than walk around Frankenmuth with Rachel, Megan, Aunt Laurie and my mom. But that is a workout for sure. It was a lot of time on my feet, so I am counting that as my 4th run. HA!

Monday: 4.6 miles with Greg. pouring rain + hills
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 4 miles with Greg
Thursday: off
Friday: off
Saturday: walking in Frankenmuth
Sunday: 8 miles (2 of trails) at Wildwood - 8:30 pace

Yeah, a very light week. Whoops. Oh well.

6 days to go.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Runching with Greg

On Wednesday, Greg and I headed out for a run. Greg is my coworker that I recently started hanging out with. I found out a few weeks back that he runs. He approached me in the lunch room to bring up the fact that he had heard that we had a work Flying Pig Relay team. We did! And we had fun. In addition, one of the members that was on our team this past year is no longer with the company, so we have an opening.

After that, we talked about running a few more times before I finally IMd him and asked him if he wanted to join me for a run at lunchtime.

Since that day, we have run together about 6 times, averaging twice per week. It is nice to have someone to get me out the door. Some days my motivation is definitely waning, and having him gets me running.

Wednesday we decided just to do 4 miles. We went back and did the first route that we did together that day. It was a good one because about a mile of it is on trails, which is a nice change of pace from running on sidewalks all the time. This route is also not so hilly as what we ran on Monday. It takes us through a new park in Blue Ash that is different every time we are there. They are working on the park, updating it, developing it, and there is some construction going on there now.

At least on Wednesday it was not raining like it was on Monday. On Monday we did a little over 4.5 miles and we came back to the office completely soaked to the bone. Water was dripping off of our clothes and hair, I hoped that this run would feel as good as that rainy one did. Because despite the cold and rain, it was a lovely run.

Here are how things turned out for us on Wednesday:
Mile 1 - 8:33 (this one hurt)
Mile 2 - 8:16
Mile 3 - 8:03
Mile 4 - 7:51 BOOM!

Greg said he was hurting a bit by the end. It was the opposite for me. I was feeling wonderful by the end and hurting the first mile. There is something to be said for warming up I guess.

Do you have a running buddy at work?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Family/Addie Update

So a life update. Obviously a lot of this blog has been focused around running and the Columbus Marathon lately. I suppose in some ways that is understandable. Some things about marathon training are completely all encompassing, and I have definitely been feeling that way.
But there is a lot more going on in my life than just running and preparing for the marathon! Heck, I have a 14 month old and a husband who also has his own life.

Addie is pretty much walking now. She LOVES it. It makes her so excited to move like that, even if she is holding one of your hands.

She is a cheeser when she knows that you are taking her picture.
She also has a baby, She loves her baby.
That is a baby Cinderella, She loves her. I think she is giving her a kiss.

She also loves her puppy. This is Addie and Teek, They are secret besties.
We had family pictures taken. This is what happens when you have a one year old who has very little patience for photos. This is an unedited outtake from the photography session.
Yep, she was done with pictures and just hightailed it out.

Jason and I are planning a trip. We will be headed someone fun in November. We are pretty sure where we are going, I will write more about that at a later date. Suffice to say, I am very excited for the trip though, even though it will be without Addie, and I will miss her like crazy-mad. :)

What is going on in your life?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 18

I am now less than 2 weeks away from the Columbus Marathon. Wow. Part of me feels like I have been training forever. The other part of me feels like this 20 week plan just started.
But I am feeling pretty good now. I got in my 4 runs that I planned last week, which was a win. Some days I struggle with logging everything that I need to or want to, but last week was an exception. I nailed it. And I am pleased with that.

So here is the week in the review. There will only be two more of these with hopefully a follow up race recap. Fingers crossed.

Monday: 5 miles at an 8:34 pace
Tuesday: 15 minutes of strength training using a 22 lb baby weight
Wednesday: 5 miles at an 8:12 pace
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5 miles at an 8:16 pace
Saturday: 12 solo miles (I point out solo because I sometimes struggle when I am running solo) at an 8:25 pace.
Sunday: 2 mile walk with Addie and the stroller.

29 miles total, One strength workout. One walk. One full rest day.

Overall, I  had a good week, that I am happy with. I know that it was difficult one, and I might not have done the overall mileage that I wanted to do, but I did pretty well. I am pleased with that.

How was your week in training?

Friday, October 3, 2014

October Goals Post

Having goals to focus on for the full month of September was helpful overall. I am pleased with the way the month ended up going, even though I did not 100% achieve everything that I wanted. I think as a result, October should also have some set goals, some will be repeats because they are just nice to keep up. So I am spending some time working on getting some goals "on paper" for this month, which is going to help keep me on track.

I think I will use the same format as last month, because it hit a lot of major areas in my life, and helped me to maintain some kind of balance. 

So let's look at October and see what we can come up with!

Running/Fitness:
  1. Log 125 Miles 
  2. Complete the Columbus Marathon
  3. strength train 4 times (once per week) 
Personal:
  1. Finish the book I am reading -the second Game of Thrones book
  2. Write 10000 words 
  3. Blog 3x/week
Relationship:
  1. go on a date. with or without Addie to a place we don't go frequently - or a new place
  2. Send the hubby a card, just because 
  3. Plan a fall trip 
Family/Addie:
  1. Play at the park 
  2. Go for 4 walks 
  3. eat out or get take out only 4 times
So there we go. Goals for the month of October, I think all of them will be achievable. 

What are your goals for the month?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Goals Review.

So, we have survived another month. So let's get through the month end review and see where we ended up on our month goals, shall we? I have not set monthly goals too frequently in 2014. A lot of this year was about survival of my job, survival of parenting a baby and now a toddler, and just getting by, but as the year has gone on, I somehow have become more secure. I have been able to get more done on a daily basis. I have slowly, slowly, slowly started to feel like a human again.

Thank goodness. Addie is one after all. I was afraid my human days might have been numbered upon becoming a mommy!

So, now that I am beginning to feel more like normal, I am feeling ok about attempting to set some goals each month. Granted, I did not accomplish everything that I wanted to in September, not even close, but I am glad to see things rolling out as though I am getting something done. So let's review September.

Running/Fitness:
  1. Log 150 Miles - eh, close. I ran 141.84 miles in August
  2. Have 2 successful 20 mile runs - check! The second one was difficult, yes, but nailed our training paces!
  3. strength train 4 times (once per week) - Um...  3 times. Close enough?
Personal:
  1. Finish the book I am reading. - Done. Finished up Run Less, Run Faster
  2. Write 10000 words - Yep! I actually wrote 12,006
  3. schedule a hair appointment - Done and got it chopped!
Relationship:
  1. go on a date. with or without Addie to a place we don't go frequently. - Yep! The three of us tried a new place - Anderson Pub & Grill just last week.
  2. Send the hubby a card, just because - bought the card. Haven't written anything in it yet. 50%?
  3. Plan a fall trip - MISERABLE fail on this one.
Family/Addie:
  1. Play at the park - Yep!
  2. Go for 4 walks - Sure did!
  3. learn to walk (addie) - Girl can walk, she just doesn't know it yet. She will take two and three steps at a time regularly though.
Interesting...  Not a great month, but certainly not a bad one. I am just trying to keep it up for the remainder of the year. I think I got this. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Marathon Training: Weeks 16 & 17 of 20

Well, we have now reached taper, officially. It is hard to believe that 3 weeks from today I will be done with the marathon. All of the training that I have put myself through since the beginning of June will be over. Training has had its ups and downs, and I have definitely had some motivational issues, but I got through the two big runs.

So let's talk about the last 2 weeks. I didn't log last week's training, simply because I got caught up in other things. But here is what I did the last two weeks.

Monday 9/15 - 6 miles - speedwork 6x400m with 2 miles at 8:19
Tuesday 9/16 - rest
Wednesday 9/17 - 1 mile walk, 1 mile run, strength training
Thursday 9/18 - 5 miles easy pace
Friday 9/19 - rest
Saturday 9/20 - 14K race at 8/mile, walk to and from race, 10 miles total
Sunday 9/21 - walk with Addie - 2.36 miles

25.36 total miles

Monday 9/22 - off
Tuesday 9/23 - 4 miles @ 8:07 average pace with Greg
Wednesday 9/24 - 6.25 miles easy 8:30 pace
Thursday 9/25 - 4.5 miles, 3.75 run and 0.75 walk with Greg
Friday 9/26 - 2.6 mile walk with Addie
Saturday 9/27 - 20 mile run, 1.5 mile cooldown walk 8:35 average pace
Sunday 9/28 - off

38.85 miles

Overall, it was a great two weeks. Not as high mileage as I originally planned, but still nailed that second 20, and I have to be happy with that.
So, here's to the taper!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Running Book to create the plan

So, about a year or a year and a half ago, I was pulled into a book when I was at the nearby Half Price Books. I typically look for random things, but since I kind of dove headfirst into running, I always stop in the sports section to see what kind of running books are available. I found one that looked interesting to me on this particular trip and bought it. Since then, it has been sitting on the bookshelf. In all honesty, since we moved into our new house and got these new bookshelves, there is an entire shelf of running books, and this one is just sitting there, unread. I have been trying to read more regularly though, so I have been making my way through some of the books on the shelf this year, including finally getting through the first book in the Game of Thrones series (I am about 250 pages into the second).

But then Karen got this same book from a bookstore by her. We started talking training. What are we going to do AFTER Columbus. Right now, we are trying not to focus on the after too much yet, since we have some pretty big goals for this race. Obviously. But at the same time, the plan for after this, hinges on this race. But we both know we are going to be training for some goal races, even though whether it will be a full marathon or a half will be determined by our qualification (or not) to Boston for 2016.

So she read the book first. She passed it along to another girl who we run with on Saturdays. Soon enough, they were both talking about it and talking about how we should be thinking about it for AFTER Columbus. In fact, Chelsa started doing a few workouts from it immediately. (She ran a 20 on pace with what would be recommended here.

So, the book?
Yep. Run Less, Run Faster. Recommending just three (effective) workouts per week to meet your goals. I have read it, have some training paces in mind, and will likely be attempting this plan for my spring full (or half) depending on where the cards land after Columbus.

Wish us all luck trying something new!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run: Race Recap

So this past Saturday was the final race of the Christian Moerlein Beer Series, served up by the Flying Pig Marathon. You can see the 2013 recap, the 2012 recap, and the photo of my garmin from the 2011 race on my about me page. It is crazy that I have run this race all 4 times that it was offered (although last year we just ran the 7K because it was so soon after Addie was born, and I STRUGGLED).
It was a 14K, which I know is a weird distance, but it is named after the actual beer! Luckily gold and kilometers have a similar marking.
Yep. Classy. :) This is like Natty Ice for those of you who had Natty as your college beer. Slightly higher ABV, and slightly more disgusting. :)

So this is a difficult and hilly course. I had forgotten about it since I didn't run last year, but it pretty much encompasses all of downtown, You do not actually run through downtown, but all around it. He started on Mehring Way, right next to Great American Ballpark (where the Reds play) and head west. In Cincinnati, there is the east side, and there is the west side and to me (an east sider) I consider I-75 to be the border between East and West. So we did cross over into the West side right away, splitting from the 7-K runners about 1 mile into the course, and immediately heading up a hill. We ran through a tunnel which goes in front of Union Terminal, the former train station which is now a fun museum with a great kids area and traveling exhibits.

After running down that road for a good while, we turned down Harrison Ave and under 75 to be back in the northern part of downtown.

Mile 1: 8:22 (warming up, getting settled in)
Mile 2: 8:09 (there)
Mile 3: 8:05
Mile 4: 8:00

Here is where we kind of hit a loop, we run down a road and you can see at the intersection the runners that are about 3/4 a mile ahead of you, and they have already looped back, getting ready to take on the steepest hill of the course (not the longest or the most climb, but the sharpest incline). There were a few dads and little kids downtown at this point, likely cheering mom on in her run. and then we made the turn and headed up a hill, greeted by the Parrotheads of Cincinnati, manning the water station. After reaching the summit, we headed down McMicken for a quite awhile before running by Bockfest Hall and up Liberty. On Liberty, I started chatting with an older guy, who I ended up sticking with for the remainder of the race.

We ran past the casino and out Central Pkwy before making a u-turn and then heading down Eggleston for a very familiar section of running that nearly every downtown race covers before coming out onto Pete Rose Way (he may not be allowed in the MLB Hall of Fame, but he is in ours here in Cincinnati!) and turning behind US Bank Arena to come up on the finish, which was directly behind Great American.

Mile 5: 8:04 (BIG uphill)
Mile 6: 7:47
Mile 7: 8:02
Mile 8: 7:39
Mile 0.78 (per garmin): 5:45

Total 8.78 miles in 1:09:54 for a 9+ minute PR.

Upon meeting up with Aunt Laurie, Addie, and Megan, Megan and I grabbed a beer from the giant ice buckets that they had for the runners (you got 2 beers with your race entry.)
Overall, it was a fun race, even though I forgot about the hills. Plus, I felt great running at an 8:00/mile average pace, which was a good boost of confidence for the marathon!

Anyone want to join me for the beer series next year? Registration is now open!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Purpose & Passion


Have you heard this saying before? I feel like it describes me to a T. Lately, even moreso than it has in the past.

I honestly feel like sometimes I am ok at a lot of things, but great at zero things. And while that should not matter too much, it does matter to me. I feel like not being great at anything (or not having discovered what it is that I am great at) makes it more difficult to discover where my passions lie. Karen said to me this morning, "you can be passionate about something you aren't great at." And I agree with her, for sure. But it is more difficult to envision yourself creating your life around something you aren't great at.

That is kind of where I am in my life right now. I want to find my passions. Find my purpose.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finding and Following you Passion

Do you feel unfilled? Ever? Frequently? Every single moment?

I would not say that I feel like that every moment, but it certainly is more than twice per week. I have certainly found myself in a career that is not necessarily fueling my passions in any way, and it is way more draining than I would like it to be. I usually start dragging when I set my foot in the door. I love the people I work with. And as far as jobs in my field go, this one is about as good as I could get! 

But I definitely spend time questioning whether or not it is something that I really feel good about. I sometimes feel sad, like I am missing something important. 

Let's talk about that for a second. Someone, ok, it is Addie, is nearly ready to walk. Yes, she is more than 13 months now, and she honestly has not been walking because she is a spoiled little nugget. She sticks out that lower lip and holds up her arms and no one can resist that! And if someone is going to carry you, why would you walk? But every now and again, she would surprise me. And she would just appear somewhere after I turn my back for one second.
Yesterday I went to kill a bug and when I turned back around she was in a box. Not just in a box, but under a table in a box. Weirdo.

Regardless, because I am working all day and she is at school, there is a very good chance that today is the day and she is going to take her first steps, and I am not going to be there. And I am definitely feeling down about that today. 

I think it is time to figure out how to follow my passions.
I guess not only do I need to follow them, but I need to figure out what they are.

Are you passionate about what you do?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Columbus Marathon: Goals

I think it is time to address my training for the marathon. I have been suffering a little bit from some burn out, and it has been quite difficult for me right now. I have approximately 5 weeks to go until the marathon, and since I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the runs that I am supposed to be doing, I know that I need something to get me back over the hump to get excited about the race and meeting my goals.
Today I am watching some FloTrack videos in hope of being inspired a little bit, and trying to work on my goals for this upcoming marathon. With some inspiration, hopefully I will be able to get back into my Brooks (FYI - marathon shoe selection is complete!) feeling good about the race, feeling good about training, and ready to tackle this marathon.

In the spirit of preparation, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my goals. The original plan was sub-4 or bust. I have modified these goals a little to reflect the training that I have been doing over the last several weeks to make goals that are a little bit more stretch, but still attainable.

Original A/B/C goals for Columbus:
A: Sub-4 or Bust
B: PR (currently is 4:26:35)
C: finish

I was running my long runs at a much faster pace than needed based on all of the running calculators for a sub-4 finish. In addition, all of my speedwork was feeling effortless. My tempo runs were feeling easy overall. That is not how I wanted to run the marathon. I did not have any race performances to line me up with what I COULD do, with the proper training. My training paces, based off of recent races, based off of recent races, were showing that. So, I fudged it. I ran a 5K time trial on the treadmill. And because it was on the treadmill, I knew what pace I wanted to get, and it was TOUGH, but I did it none-the less. I ran a treadmill 5K in 21:59. Obviously this is not a real PR, I am going for that in November, but it is a good start and something solid to use to plan my race.

With that, I have set some new HUGE goals for Columbus. Including one additional goal (I now have A-D goals). The easiest way to look at it is to shift the 3 above down one notch.

Current Columbus DREAM BIG goals:
A: 3:34:59 (BQ)
B: Sub-4 or Bust
C: PR
D: finish

So there you go. I am all in, going for the glory. A Boston Qualifying time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fitness Games: A Review

This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Through my #sweatpink ambassadorship, I was given the opportunity to review the Fitness Games, an app available for iPhone, and recently it was made available to android users as well.

The app itself is pretty straightforward and simple, it has some built in workouts, cardio, strength, crosstraining (which is a lot of body weight workouts, and what I have enjoyed the most!) and full body.
The above pic is the home screen of the app, and you can select the workout you want to do, add a selfie (sweat is highly encouraged), start a challenge (more on that in a minute), and the workout tracker is a calendar where you can see what days you worked out on!

As I mentioned, I have been enjoying the crosstraining workouts, since marathon training has been my big goal, but trying to stay strong and even continue to strengthen those muscles that I need for running, and keep on top of my September goal of doing 4 strength workouts. I decided to try one of them.
The above is a screenshot from the "Bodyweight Madness" workout, which was the workout I decided to try first. As you can see, there is a timer, and you have a list of the moves that you are supposed to do, along with the reps. You track the time that it takes you to do all of these moves, and that is what can generate your score (after all, the are the Fitness Games, right? You need to earn points!)
In addition, you can find your friends who are on the app and challenge them!

Overall, it is a pretty neat app, and is a great way to get in short bursts of fitness with no equipment necessary, or more involved workouts that require weights or treadmills! Let me know if you check it out.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 15 of 20

So apparently the Market-to-Market was a little bit more difficult that I thought. My legs were HATING me all of last week for the most part, and I was struggling to get workouts in, struggling mentally, and honestly, feeling a little bit discouraged despite the fact that I have overall had a glorious training cycle so far. It is amazing how one thing not going as planned can really change your mind about how you are feeling.

The craziest part about that, was that I executed a long run MUCH faster than planned, and I was still completely freaked out that I was not going to make it. Sigh. Freak outs are likely to happen at least once or twice more before the big day.

SO because I was feeling it for most of last week, meaning my legs were not really having running, I modified the week a bit. BUT I still managed to accomplish what the goal for the week truly was... Here is the week in workouts.

Monday: 3 mile walk
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5 mile progressive run (final mile - sub-8)
Thursday: 5 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday 20 MILES! 8:21 average pace, 1.5 mile cooldown walk
Sunday: rest

Seriously. 20 miles at an 8:21 average pace.
Totals: 34.5 miles, one day crosstraining, 3 runs.

Not an overall great week, but I did manage to accomplish the big goal of the week, which was the 20 miler. I mentally needed to run 20 miles this weekend to show myself that I am still on track, despite how I might feel about this race.

I definitely need to write a post on my race goals, so except that coming in the next few weeks. I have a goal to write it before the race.

Do you tend to have routine freak outs prior to your own goal races (or your hobby's equivalent)?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming Weekend

This weekend is going to be a big one, I think. Yes, we are going to be busy, but for the first time, since the very beginning of August, all of the plans that we have are just with us. We don't have plans externally with visitors or me being gone all day to run to Dayton. Just J, Addie-Roo, and I enjoying our weekend together. I mean, yes, I do have a long run this weekend (holy crap, including tomorrow there is 5 more long runs and then the longest of all of them!) but after that, I am free!

So the tentative rundown for the weekend:
Saturday - 20 mile run
home to shower and get ready while Addie naps
run errands
grab an early bird dinner as a family
home to hang out

Sunday - family photos (check out Green Fairie Productions for some of the Roo's greatest pics!)
home for lunch and football!
relax!

So yeah, it should be a pretty great weekend.

Speaking of pictures, I got the first of Addie's 1st birthday pics. She is a goof.
Carol says it is not the cutest one, but she loves it because you can see all of Addie's little teeth! (She has popped three more through since this was taken!)

Have a lovely weekend, and wish me luck on my 20!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Race Recap: Market to Market Relay

So, like I said the other day, I ran a relay over the weekend.
This was the first time this took place in Ohio, so this year they opened it up to 150 teams (likely to expand to 250 next year - we spent some time with the race director, Matt, so we got some insight into this). The Market-to-Market relay series is a little bit different than the other relays out there, as it is not overnight. The first teams started at 6 am, and our understanding was the last team crossed the finish line a little after 9 pm. Currently it is pretty much a Midwest event, with locations in Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska, but there is definitely more to come as it has been successful.

As with the other relays that I have been a part of, there are requirements about reflective vests, headlamps, and blinky red lights, but we started at 7:40 am and the sun was up so we did not need them to start our race (we had them in the van though, just in case. The race was set up to be Cincinnati to Dayton, and had 19 legs. Unlike a Ragnar or Bourbon Chase (again) there are no 12 man teams. You can choose between a 6, 7, or 8 man team. So depending on how many people on your team you will run more or less miles.

Naturally, with our whole team training for a marathon, we had to have only a 6 man team. This offered the opportunity for the most mileage. The Ohio version of this race follows the Little Miami Scenic Trail (known to me as the Loveland Bike Trail) for the duration of the race. Yes, long bike trail runs can be boring, but the longest any of us was out there was 5.6 miles (me). So that isn't too bad, plus there is the added motivation of kills. Yes, that is kind of bad, because you are likely passing teams that are not as fast as your team (you start earlier if your average pace is slower, in order to get all teams finishing within the same window of time). But it is still one of those things that can definitely get you fired up about racing.

Team BRC Beast lined up at the start. Randy, Andrew, me, Brett, Karen, Jes.

Buckeye Running Company supplied us with shorts and singlets (we paid our own race entry), and somehow I ended up with the lone pink one? I like it anyway. Randy is the only one of us who is wearing the shorts we got, but the rest of us put them on later.

At 7:40 am, Andrew took off.

I was runner 5, after Andrew, Karen, Brett, and Randy. I had set a goal in my head of running approximately 8:30 pace throughout the relay because we didn't have any goals or anything going in. We didn't expect to win, so might as well just get the long run at an easy pace out of this.
Randy handed off the timing chip to me at the exchange point.

My first leg was short, less than 3 miles. 2.72 is what the garmin says, and after running through the grassy area seen in the picture, up and hill and over a little highway overpass, I was back on the bike trail for the duration of the run. 2.72 miles - 21:25, 7:53 average pace.

After my first leg, I hung out in the minivan of Brett's family (we were not gone overnight, no need for the 12-man van), and ate a picky bar, getting out to cheer on my teammates and take pictures at the exchanges. We found out that there was going to be a checkpoint at my next leg (marking the halfway point of the race) and they would do standings in real time as teams crossed that checkpoint. We were eager to see how things were shaping up since we could tell we were catching up to a lot of the teams that started earlier than us. However, teams started in two more waves after us as well, so we knew we would not immediately know our standings.
I took the chip from Randy and took off for my second leg, the furthest any of us would run all day. 5.6 miles. I made sure to wave the timing chip over the check point (there was not a mat like their normally is at races, but since it wasn't crowded like it normally might be at a race, it was not a big deal to do this. It might be notable to say here that the timing chip is attached to a neoprene armband that gets a little sweaty. I didn't actually wear it at all, I just carried it in my hand and switched hands when necessary.

5.66 miles in 44:55 - 7:56 average pace. This one was a bit more difficult to keep the sub-8 pace. It was a longer leg, plus I was feeling a little stiff from sitting for a little while in between. That is the more difficult part about relays I think. The total distance that you cover is not too bad, generally shorter than a long run, but you sit in between! When I got back to the car and Jes was off on her second leg, the team told me we were sitting in 5th place. The top 7 in each division got a prize. So we decided then and there that we were going no lower than 5th.

My third leg was three miles even. Our friend Alex met up with us on the bike trail and was running with us at this point. I felt pretty lucky because I was still feeling pretty good, and I knew Alex would help me to push the pace a little. 22:49 or an average of 7:41 for 3 miles. Boom.

And Jes had one more leg, followed by Andrew's final one (runner 1 had three legs) and then we finished as a team. We were the 6th team to cross the finish line, 10th overall, and 5th in our division. (we stayed put after the halfway point).
And this is how you win at relaying.
Thanks to the BRC Beast team, Buckeye Running Co and M2M Relay for a great day! We will be back!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 14 of 20

Another week of training has come and gone, and I believe I am left with just 6 weeks to go at this point. In addition, this weekend's long run was broken up into three parts, because I ran with 5 other folks in the Market-to-Market Ohio relay.
Obviously, this relay deserves a full post in its honor. It was way too much fun to not get one, but this is not the post for that. This is the post where I review my weekly mileage and plans and see how we did for the week.

So let's take a quick peek at last week and see where I landed.

Monday: 7.5 miles, 8x400m repeats
Tuesday: strength workout, bodyweight
Wednesday: 7 easy with fast finish, 2.25 mile walk with stroller
Thursday: 5 at race pace
Friday: rest
Saturday: Market-to-market 11.38 miles run, 7:49 average pace. 13 total miles
Sunday: 3.38 mile walk with stroller

38.13 total miles.
2 walks
1 strength
1 race

Another good week of workouts, and only 6 more to go!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Strength Training - Little at a time

One of my goals for the month of September is to do a strength workout at least once per week. Now, I LOVE strength training. Unfortunately, when I am marathon training it usually is one of the earliest workouts to be eliminated from my regularly scheduled program. That absolutely makes me sad. One of the things that I have always prided myself on was my strength, and since Addie was born, I have been pretty focused on running. Granted, I have had some awesome results, and I am much faster than I was at any point before she was born, but strength training needs to be one of those things that I do regardless of my running. It is part of training, and it will be what gets me to the starting line stronger and faster. Right?

So in an effort to do a little more strength training, as I am hoping, I put together a quick 20 minute circuit that I did while Addie was watching Frozen. Yep, bad mothering, a one year old watching TV.
Obviously, she was into it.

So here was the quick 20 minutes of strength training that I got in.
Pretty easy, but hits all major muscles, and is good for core strengthening, which is what is really needed for running. So I am going to make a valiant effort in this last 6-7 weeks before Columbus. I can't redo what I have already done, but I have high hopes for improvement.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Goals

So... September? Not sure how we got here already, but I am glad to be through the summer. We are now entering the best time of the year, the fall. The temps should start dropping off any time now, and the weather will get more pleasant for running. My body will re-adapt to the temps that it actually enjoys running in, and hopefully my times will reflect that level of comfort that is coming on. It has been a pretty long summer, even though the weather was not too bad, considering, it still was a little bit too humid for my liking. I guess maybe I can/should set some goals for September?

Maybe if I break the goals apart into sections for various parts of my life, I will accomplish something OTHER than RUNNING ALL THE MILES. I would like to set three goals in each area of my life.

Running/Fitness:
  1. Log 150 Miles
  2. Have 2 successful 20 mile runs
  3. strength train 4 times (once per week)
Personal:
  1. Finish the book I am reading. 
  2. Write 10000 words
  3. schedule a hair appointment
Relationship:
  1. go on a date. with or without Addie to a place we don't go frequently.
  2. Send the hubby a card, just because
  3. Plan a fall trip
Family/Addie:
  1. Play at the park
  2. Go for 4 walks
  3. learn to walk (addie)
How does that look for a month? Do-able? Totally crazy? What are your goals for September?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 13 of 20

Another week is in the books as far as hammering through runs. We do not have too much longer to go before we get to the Columbus Marathon. I have been working really hard to nail all of my runs, hit my required paces, and tack on the mileage as required. Things have been feeling pretty good, and while I am nervous, I know that I am putting in the work.
I am 13 weeks in to this training plan, and I have really been working hard to make sure that I am hitting all of the workouts that I want to get in. Some short, speedy intervals, some longer, faster than MGP intervals, all of the mileage, and really trying not to let myself come up with excuses this cycle. That has always been my biggest hurdle, mental training. I struggle when I hit double digits mentally, and I am working hard to break that habit. In fact, I am purposely pulling myself further away from my house (or wherever I am running from) in order to force myself to get the mileage. And yes, I could stop and walk, but when I just want to be DONE running is faster. It forces my mind to work in a different way. And hopefully it is going to make me stronger on race day. *fingers crossed*

So let's look at Week 13, shall we?
Monday: 3.5 mile walk
Tuesday: 7.5 miles, speedwork. 1 mile @ 7:15, 2x800m @ 7:03, 1 mile @ 7:15
Wednesday: 7 miles, easy pace, 8:32 average
Thursday: 10.2 miles
Friday: 3.25 mile walk
Saturday: 18 mile run with a half mile cooldown walk. (8:37 average for the run)
Sunday: REST

Total: 4 runs, 2 cross training (walking) for a total of 49.95 miles (D'OH!) 189.71 miles for the month of August. This MIGHT be my highest month of all time. I think I ran around 185 in September of 2012. I think.

Less than 7 weeks until GO TIME!

Friday, August 29, 2014

A large tempo

Well, well, well. Somehow we got to Friday already, and how we got there, I am not sure that has happened all of a sudden, but hey, I guess that means we are now closer to the weekend? Most weeks you wait and wait for the weekend to be here, but honestly, I am ready for it to be next week at this point.

This weekend is going to be a long one, I am afraid. I mean, it should be good, it should be fun, but I feel like there is going to be a lot of pressure on J, Addie and I. We will have family in our house from Friday night to Tuesday morning, and that is a very long time. Not that I am not looking forward to seeing family that we have not seen since Thanksgiving. I definitely am. I just feel like that is a long time to have company in your house, especially in our current situation, you know, with a one year old.

But, oh well, family coming in should be an exciting and fun time. So we will just go with it, right?

Yesterday was a rough workout. I modified my runcoach plan slightly to fit in the workout that I knew that I would have time for, which somewhat feels difficult, but also is the right thing to do in most cases. So let's go through what the workout was, and what I actually did.

I had a tempo run scheduled for yesterday. Here is the plan.
2 mile warm up.
4 miles @ 7:41
5 minute jog
10x100m @ 6:25, with 30s recovery
1.5 mile cooldown
9-10 total miles.

So 9-10 total miles is tough to get in one shot on a day when I work. And honestly, I was beat, so I did not get up in the morning before work like I was supposed to either. So I figured I would break the run into two pieces to get all of the mileage and all of the parts, but be able to fit them into the life that I set myself up with. So the lunchtime run would be a tempo, then after work I would get out for the 10x100.

At lunchtime I dressed in my hot weather running clothes (it was about 77 degrees and HUMID!) and headed out. I had my brand new garmin that J got me for our anniversary (I will talk about this later) and I switched it on to go! The plan was 6 miles. 1 mile warm up/cool down and the 4 tempo miles.

After the 1 mile warm up, I kicked up my pace. Admittedly, one mile is not typically enough for me to feel perfect, so on my first mile I was still warming up a bit.
Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 7:34
Mile 3: 7:41
Mile 4: 7:33
When I was wrapping up my cooldown mile, I realized I was going to come close to a sub-50 minute 10K which was a goal I had. So I decided to kick it up for the last 0.2 and finish a 10K and get that sub-50. So run 1 of the day: 6.2 miles in 49:28.

So one of the neat things about my new watch is that you can send workouts to it. So yesterday afternoon I planned out how I wanted the second half of the workout to look, programmed it into my computer, and then synced the workout to my watch. That meant all I had to do was scroll through my watch before we left to get to the workout and press go. The watch would beep at my intervals!

For ease of track, I changed the intervals. I decided to do 1/10 mile with the same recovery. So the plan was the following:
0.5 mile warm up (for the 5 min after the tempo!)
10x 0.10 miles/0.10 recovery
1.5 mile cooldown

J had a fantasy football draft last night, so I was going to have to do this with the stroller. So I knew that it was likely that I was not going to be able to hit the paces that were my goal. But I was just going to run on effort. Between the humidity and pushing a 20 lb baby in the BOB, I was just going to run hard for the intervals, and easy in between. Here were my splits for the speed portion.
Interval 1 - 6:29
Interval 2 - 6:49
Interval 3 - 6:46
Interval 4 - 7:32
Interval 5 - 6:19 (!!!)
Interval 6 - 7:53
Interval 7 - 6:40
Interval 8 - 6:52
Interval 9 - 7:31
Interval 10 - 6:31

So I hit one at the prescribed pace. Oh well. I was pushing the stroller, and I was running back and forth on a hill in my subdivision. So some of these are uphill, some are down, and my paces are reflective of that. But I am really happy overall. I ran 4 miles in 35:30 or an 8:52 average pace. With the stroller, that is great!

Did you run a tempo this week?