Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Race Recap? The Glass City Marathon

I was given free entry into the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon through my partnership with BibRave. BibRave is a fantastic site for reading and writing race reviews, so please check it out! All opinions are my own.

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon was this weekend. This was the first race that I had been planning to run as a BibRave Pro. Yes, I had worn my singlet a few times for training runs, etc, but this was the first one that I was racing as a representative of them.
I had no time goals going into the race, I couldn't, since I had just run the Boston Marathon 6 days prior. Although at some point during the week I had become convinced that I could run the GCM faster than I ran Boston (what was I thinking?) but I was going to wear the brand new rabbit shorts that I bought, arm warmers (as it was going to be much cooler than in Boston) and tall socks.

On Saturday, we attended the kids races. Addie was running.
She is obviously too cool for school.
We picked up our bibs for both races, and headed out to the track for Addie's race. My friend (and fellow Oiselle teammate) Jes was with us and luckily she snagged some running pics of Addie since I was on the track. Grandma Rose (my mom) got some as well.
Addie got to meet a super hero. SpiderMan. She also met Captain America, but for some reason, she was not as excited about Captain America. She was quite excited about meeting him.

Addie did stretches with the Toledo Rockets football team to warm up for her race, and shortly after that, we were on our way around the track. The race for the 2-3 year olds is a quarter mile (they also have a half mile and a mile for kids) and they just do one loop around the track.

Addie crushed it. She stayed way more focused this year than last year, and was definitely happy to be out there and be running! Everything was extremely well organized and the kids enjoyed a fly over from the Mercy Health life flight helicopter.
My little three year old with her race bib, medal, and sucker that momma grabbed for her as a surprise for when the race was done. Doesn't she look adorable?

The part that I have failed to disclose thus far is the fact that on Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat. That has seemed to be the start of rough colds for me over the last several times I have gotten a cold. I did 4 miles on Friday before we headed up here, and had to pause a few times to hack up a lung (or at least that is what it felt like). By the time we got to Toledo, I could hardly talk. I went to Pure Barre, and when I was upside down stretching, it felt terrible.

As a way of trying to thwart what I was coming down with, I brought on a few reinforcements.
I was taking both of these every three hours all day on Saturday, but after Addie's race, I was spent.
Yeah...  The fever came on, The lungs were full of goop, and I was feeling terrible. Sometimes, they say your body just get sick to force you to take it easy, and that is what happened to be this weekend. My body decided that it was not recovered from Boston, gave me a chest cold and a fever, and forced me to stay in bed instead of running a marathon 6 days after running my last one.

And so, I stayed in bed on race day.
There I am with my bib in my pajamas, because I am not running a marathon today.

The Glass City marathon puts on a great event, and one of these years I WILL be back to run the full. Just not 6 days after running another one.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 17

Well, this week was THE week. The week of the Boston Marathon!
So let's look at how the week went.

Monday: BOSTON MARATHON
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Pure Barre
Thursday: Pure Barre
Friday: 4 miles. Pure Barre.
Saturday: 2 miles.
Sunday: Off

So, a nice light recovery week after the marathon on Monday. This week, I might ease it back in even further.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Boston Marathon

Ok, I have no idea if I should talk about the race or the other Boston stuff right now. It is top of mind, and likely will be for a long time. At least until something else comes along to distract me.

So I guess that means it is time to write about the race. I probably need to get all of the feelings out here so I can better process it myself. Hold on though, I have a feeling you are in for a long one. Hell, I am in for a long one...

I set my goals out last week. I was confident in them. I knew that the A goal of the day was attainable. I knew I worked hard and trained harder, and the weather was looking good. Until it wasn't. And I was nervous as hell. I left our hotel room around 20 minutes before 7 after eating breakfast, drinking two cups of coffee, and using the restroom around 27 times. A block from the hotel I stopped at Panera to buy a large coffee and use their bathroom.

After arriving at Boston Common, I got in line for the port-o-potty again, because that is what you do when you are racing. Ha. After getting in line for the bus, I happened to be in front of another girl on the Oiselle team. We spent the entire bus ride and the entire time in the athlete's village together, chatting, etc. And we never exchanged names (luckily, I did some super sleuthing and have tracked her down since then and we connected on facebook and instagram).

It was hot. Already. I had put on sunscreen that morning, but I was sweating and we were just walking the nearly one mile hike from the school where we were housed to the starting line. (I walked with a different bird - her name, I got!) but I did not change my goal. I was going to run this race, and I was going to achieve what I was working for.

We were off shortly after getting to the start line (there was another pee break in there. I was taking all of this peeing as a sign that I was well hydrated - spoiler alert - I was not) and when I dropped my water when we were walking, I decided, "oh well, guess I am done with that" and let the bottle keep rolling. By mile 6 I had a pounding headache. I kept rolling my neck around hoping that if I got it to crack the headache would ease itself. My miles gradually got slower. I walked for the first time around 12 miles.

At 15 miles, I got to the bottom of the hills as well as the O Cowbell corner.
Apparently I was glad to see them. And so I flew.

There were lots more walk breaks after that. And they got longer. But I kept going. I never once even considered walking off that course. I tried to keep moving even when I was walking. And slowly (much more slowly than I had planned) the miles ticked by.
J got that one of me. He was around mile 23 of the course.


I feel like with about 4-5 miles to go (after the hills) I refound my stride and I got running again. I got past the iconic Citgo sign, which likely to some people means "Fenway" but to anyone who has run this marathon, it means "mile 25". And I was still moving. My pace was not goal pace, but it was more like my "go-to" running pace, and feeling pretty good. We got some cloud cover once we got to Boston for the first time, and thank goodness. That helped me to finish strong.

After going under a small overpass and up the other side, we were almost home. When I made the first of the iconic final two turns (right on Hereford), the street narrowed and there were SO MANY people. I teared up, immediately, thinking about how this wasn't the race I wanted, but I kept going and I was going to finish this race, my dream. I could hardly see from the tears. And then I made a left on Bolyston.

Yeah. I got there. I crossed the line. I earned that Unicorn medal. I am disappointed. I cannot lie about that. I know that I ran what I could with a mind splitting headache (took three advil later, and I usually avoid them like the plague, that is how bad it was) in the heat and everything. I didn't pee for 4 hours after the race, depsite three bottles of water, and when I did it was practically orange. So there's that...

I ran the race in 3:54. And I am disappointed. But at the same time, thinking about it, looking at the medal, watching the NBC Sports Coverage later, as I couldn't watch it during the race like I usually would, I feel emotional. I feel excited about the fact that I was there.

There will be more marathons, and I KNOW that there will be more opportunities at Boston. Because I want to go back.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Boston: the brief version

I am home from Boston. There will be full recaps of the weekend and times to come. If you follow me on any social, you will know that the race did not go as I planned. I do not know that it went the way MANY people had planned.

I met up with some friends.
We ran a little bit.

I went and saw a baseball game.

We sat on the Green Monster, so that was pretty awesome.

And oh yeah... I ran a marathon. Forgot. *winks*

Monday, April 17, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 10

This past week was the last week before Boston. In fact, when this post goes live (I scheduled it for 8 am), I will likely be on a bus headed up to Hopkinton. That will obviously all have to come in time, and at some point, I will have to get together a blog post after the race. But for now, let's see what I did in this final week before Boston.

And also, right now I am about 6 days out from my second marathon this Spring, Glass City Marathon, that I will be running as a Bib Rave Pro!
Monday: 6 miles with 4x30s strides. 6.52 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy pace. Pure Barre.
Thursday: 5 miles with 2 uptempo (MGP-ish) and 3x30s strides. 5.43 miles.
Friday: 4 miles, easy pace.
Saturday: OFF (travel)
Sunday: 3 miles with 3x30s strides. 3.42 miles.

Obviously a light week, since I am running the BOSTON MARATHON TODAY!
24.37 miles
Pure Barre 3x
Core 2x

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Five!

1. I am headed out to Boston TOMORROW. I am off work today doing all of my final prep things, including my final Ohio run (4 miles, easy pace).

2. I packed two outfits for race day. I can't decide if I want singlet/capris, or short-shorts/crop. Or - should I mix it up (capris and crop?). I hope to figure that out before I leave, but I packed both in case.

3. Yesterday was a relatively easy day at the office. In some ways, I am glad for that, and in other ways, I wish that work was much busier to take my mind off of what I am doing on Monday. I cannot wait, but I am SUPER nervous.

4. We are going to see a Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon when we are in Boston. I am super excited to check off a ballpark on my invisible ballpark checklist. And I am looking forward to doing SOMETHING that J wants to do on this trip since we are doing a lot of Emily-centric things obviously because of the race. I spend the extra money on Green Monster tickets. #worthit

5. I cannot hold it together right now. I keep reading these articles about the race and things and I am super emotional about the whole thing. I truly truly cannot WAIT for this race.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Boston Marathon: Goals

Well, I am only a few days out from this race, so let's talk goals. After reading a blog post by Tina Muir, I have decided to slightly change my approach to goals and throw one more thing in the mix.

As a result, I am going to do an A, B, and C goal, along with a mic drop/stars align goal, just like Tina talks about in that post. So, let's dive in and start at the bottom:

C: Requalify for Boston.
Now, by this I mean qualify, not necessarily get it. So sub 3:35. This is a goal that will be difficult, but achievable as long as my heart is in it.

B: PR.
My current PR is 3:27:46. I think I am in SOLID shape to run at least this well. I have had great runs this cycle, and I definitely feel like I can run faster than that.

A: 3:25
I feel like I am capable of taking off 3ish seconds per mile from that super humid day in September. I have trained in rough conditions. And I am ready for this.

Mic drop/stars align: 3:22
So 3:22 is not as specific as I want it to be. My true goal is sub 3:22:58. That was the pace that the Rushcard racing team ran the Flying Pig in 2015. I ran the first leg of that.
(That has been hanging up in my cube since we ran it)
I don't think that this goal is a total moon shot, I think I could do it. I think my legs are capable of that. But it will take work, and a lot of hard stuff to get there. So I am putting that out there, and we will see what that means.  That is 7:42-7:43 pace. About 10s faster per mile than I ran in September. Tough and definitely I would need the stars to align on a difficult course like that, but doable.

So... oonly a few days left. Let's go.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Road ID Elite: A review

Disclaimer: I received a Road ID to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review a brand new Road ID through my partnership with BibRave. I selected a Road ID elite (black edition), and had it sent to my house. I have worn a road ID for several years, but have always gone with the shoe tag, and was looking forward to the wrist option that I had selected this time.

It arrived very quickly after I ordered it, and there was a nice email that I received saying that the ID had shipped, mentioning that by living in Cincinnati, I was their neighbor (they are located in Hebron KY, which is basically the location of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, so they are correct, we practically ARE neighbors. It also mentioned I should come and visit and bring cookies. I am actually planning on doing that this week because it seems fun!

The packaging inside the padded envelope sucked me in immediately.
(Sorry for my reflection) But this little tin case has been awesome, even after I got my Road ID out of it. Right now, it is a tent for Mulan and Pocahontas (Addie claimed it for herself), if you are looking for anything else to do with yours! And when I took it out of the box I was blown away by the quality of it. The band is super nice, and the clasp has a watch like quality, and I just love it.

Admittedly, I have very small wrists, so I did have to cut off a lot of the excess band, but now it fits me perfectly. I selected the band with the purple on the inside of it, and two badges (one for each side of the ID. You can see them pretty well in the below picture.
One says "26.2" and the other says "believe" which has long been a go to in my mind to keep moving forward. You can also see the mantra that I decided to add to the bottom of this. It is something that I am trying to remind myself of constantly as I go into these races over the next few weeks. "Run the Mile you are in." And I think that is super important.

I wear this all the time. Obviously when I am running, that is a no brainer, especially when I am running outdoors (but also on the treadmill). And I just wear it all the time as a bracelet, pretty much. I like it, it fits well, it is comfortable, why would I take it off? (Ok, I take it off to shower).

Now, I hope I never need it for anything, but  I would much rather have it and be safe than not have it. I definitely know it is something that has helped people and saved lives, including a friend who hit a pole and knocked herself out about two years ago when she was on a run, so it definitely cannot hurt. I love the product, and I love all of the personalization that I did to mine.

Are you interested in getting a road ID of our own? Use this link for $5 off your own! If you do, tweet at me (@redemily1) and show me what you decided to get!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The last long run

This past Saturday, I knocked out 12 miles. There were no issues, I just ran. I hit the paces, I listened to a podcast, I just ran. I mean, I know that I have said that now several times, but I think that it is an important point to emphasize because so many times I have gone out for a run and been unable to focus on just running and enjoying the time that I am out there.

I had the 12 miles, with 3x1 mile at 10K pace. The suggested 10K pace on my schedule was 7:05/mile.

I left my house a little bit after 10 am. I figured a later start time would be more in line with Boston, not to mention allow me to eat breakfast and digest that. And likely that is going to be something that I need to do on race day. So I was pleased when J offered an alternate option for Saturday morning that allowed me to get up more casually in the morning and eat, drink my coffee, etc. It was a good practice, and I enjoyed breakfast with my family before I went out.

I ran hard in my neighborhood. I just felt good, and I was glad to feel good. It was warmish that day, so I did not need gloves or a stocking cap. I still wore tights and a long sleeved shirt though. I ran 2 miles as a warm up (8:26, 8:13) before I locked into my mile repeats. The schedule just said 3x1 mile, not in the first and not in the last, with at least one mile in between.

First repeat: 7:01. then a mile at 8:04. Second repeat: 6:56 and a mile at 8:07. Third repeat: 7:03 then a mile at 8:15. At that point I was through 8 miles, and only had 4 left to go. I kept the pace up for the last four and finished the 12 miles at a 7:56 average pace. So that felt DAMN good. I am trying to remember that I ran a half marathon at an 8:15 pace. So if that indicated my marathon a week after that, then I can always HOPE this will dictate my marathon this time, right?

So instead, of thinking about and focusing on that, here is a cute picture that I took of Addie last night.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Training Update: Week of April 3

Ahh yes, the first week of taper going into the Boston Marathon and Glass City Marathon back-to-back couple of weeks. I am feeling pretty nervous right now, but definitely excited and looking forward to seeing what I can do!
So let's take a look at what this slightly easier week entailed.

Monday: 8 miles with 4x30s strides. 8.52 total miles. Core. Pure Barre.
Tuesday: 50 minute walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 6.08 miles, easy (9:06 avg pace). Core.
Thursday: Fartlek ladder workout. 7.75 miles in 57:30. Core.
Friday: 5 miles, easy pace (9:06 average). Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 12 miles with 3x1mile at 10K pace.
Sunday: OFF

39.35 miles
3x Pure barre
5x core

And we are one week away from the marathon.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Five

1. This was an interesting week at the office. We got some more clarity around changes that are coming with integration into Green Dot, which was very needed around here. I appreciate that information.

2. I ran a fartlek workout yesterday at 5K effort. It was a damn good run, and I felt AWESOME when it was done. I am ready to go to Boston and CRUSH THIS SHIT.

3. I had kind of a tough day yesterday despite getting additional information from GD this week. There are some changes that I knew were coming, but i am not necessarily happy about them or looking forward to them, and for that reason, I might have (ok, I definitely did) cry a bit at my desk.

4.  I am nearly finished with week one of my taper for Boston. Woo hoo! Today I ran 5 miles at a nice and easy pace. It felt good. I am really getting good at just getting out there and getting my legs moving, allowing them the time to warm themselves up, etc.

5. I have spent sometime this weekend thinking about the longevity of my career. More to come as I vet this more...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

And now, we taper

This past Saturday, I ran my last true long run of this training cycle. Admittedly, I am running 14 miles this coming weekend, but in reality, 22 miles is the last long run. That 14 miler is part of taper for sure.

So Saturday, I went to meet my friend Rebekah and her training group. They were running 20 miles, and I needed to get 22. With company, getting that many miles was definitely going to be so much easier. So when Rebekah text me about meeting up with her group, I was REAL in. And thrilled to have someone to share 20 miles with. Getting 2 more without other people was do-able for sure.

Here is the route we ended up taking.
The starting and ending point are at Bob Roncker's running spot, the big running store (owned by JackRabbit Sports) in Cincinnati. The section over on the more Western part of the course (Burnet Woods part of the course) is over in Clifton, where UC is located, and it is hilly has heck. I mean, let's be honest, this entire course was hilly.

Here is the look at the elevation profile for this run.
As you can see, I negative split the HECK out of this run. And those hills in there are no joke. It was a TOUGH run. Definitely felt like a more difficult course than the Flying Pig itself.

I averaged 8:36 for the 22 miles that I ran, and the effort was definitely up where it needed to be in order to best optimize Boston in a few weeks. I ran hard but controlled for 22 miles. The pace does not totally reflect that, but with the way that elevation went for this run, I am super happy with it.

And I am now in the first week of my taper. I am READY for Boston.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

March Goal Progress

March was a solid month of progress where I stayed on track with all of my goals for the month. So here, I will recap what I had been doing as far as trackable goals in the month of March.

1. Run 2200 miles in 2017.
In March I ran 227.85 miles. My highest mileage month so far this year, and closing in on my highest mileage month ever. (That was 239 miles in August of 2016) That puts me at 588.80 miles for the year. That also puts me 38 miles ahead of my goal for the year, if I look at goals monthly. it also puts me even more than that ahead if I assume I need to run an average of just over 6 miles per day. Either way, NAILING IT.


2. Read 24 Books.
I read two more books in March, putting me at 6 for the year. This months selections were:
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (love her!)
How to be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

3. Take 150 pure barre classes
This month I did some work to make up for a crappy February. I took 20 classes in March.
That puts me at 44 classes for the year, so I am back ahead of the goal. Woo hoo! I am not totally sure what this will go to in April, because with the marathons and everything, I am definitely going to be easing back a bit, so we will see. I would still like to take 10.

4. Write 150 blog posts
I wrote 20 more posts in March. So far so good with this goal, as I am at 50 posts for the year. I would love to keep it up!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Training Update: Week of March 27

Well, peak week for the Boston marathon (and also Glass City) has come and gone. And I have nailed it.
That is really all I can ask for at this point in time. Let's take a look at the week of training and see where things landed.

Monday: 11 miles and 4x30s strides. 11.55 Total. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute easy walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 8.08 mile run, easy pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: Yassos. 10.82 miles. Pure Barre.
Friday: 8 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 22 miles. Massage (does that count?)
Sunday: OFF

4x Pure barre (got me to 20 in 31 challenge)
4x core.
60.45 miles

And now, TAPER TIME.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Five

1. Peak week is nearly over. It will be capped off with a 22 miler tomorrow, and then it will be taper time all the way into Boston. Lucky for me, I got invited to run with the Roncker's group on Saturday. They are doing twenty miles. so that is good. I know that I am going to make it.

2. I ran yassos yesterday. The full workout with 3:00 recovery. It ended up being a solid workout. It is probably worth a post all it's own because as usual it was a confidence booster for me.

3. I also woke up extra early. I was so concerned with getting my run in, and the nerves around that workout kept me awake. Which is no good. I got a little better sleep last night. Whew.

4. I had to start my meditation and writing streaks over again. Ugh. That stinks. But this time I am DETERMINED to get through 10 straight days. I have to.

5. I am planning on Pure Barre at lunch today. That will be my 20th class of the month! Woo hoo! Goal/challenge achieved!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Revival

On Monday, when I was feeling like struggle fest on Boston and the goals that I had for that, I talked to Coach Jen. Even though I am guessing I was more quiet around the conversation than she wanted me to have.

I think that quietness is common with me when I am struggling with where I am relating to... anything... in my life. I am like that in therapy too. I feel like in general, I need to be prodded to talk about places where I am weak. I wish I could have just spilled my guts to her.

Regardless, she asked questions. She pried. She questioned all of the issues that I said I was having. She forced me to talk when I sort of felt like I just wanted to cruise and be bummed out and feel not confident.

And while I was likely not as responsive as she had hoped I would be, I was not as responsive as I hoped I would be, I got out of my way as she forced me to get out of my way. By the time we got off the phone I was starting to feel reinvigorated.

So now... a few days removed from that phone call, and a few workouts removed, I am starting to feel better. I am starting to feel reinvigorated around this race. I have even started to come up with a few goals around this race (maybe even A B C goals?) and that is definitely fueling my fire a little bit. I am trying to come up with ways to remember that this should be the celebration behind all of the work that I have done since I started running and specifically all of the work that I have done since Addie was born. Marathons are hard, and I have definitely put a lot of work into it at this point. And although yes, I want to run fast, I want to race, I still should really take in this experience.

I really should enjoy it.

I need to remember THIS feeling.
Running with joy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mental hiccup

My mental place took a bit of a beating this weekend. I am not entirely sure why I was feeling so... not good... mentally, but I definitely was in a not good place. Especially considering it was a down week training wise and my legs were feeling good.

I have backed off at Pure Barre, even though I am still trying to go 4-5 times per week. I was not planning on backing off, but I realized that my legs were feeling tired from going all-in all the time. So I took that step back and am still working hard, but just not sinking that extra inch or whatever. That has helped a bit.

I have been trying to BS reasons for this, and honestly, I am coming up short. It might be because I don't really have a goal for this race. Obviously, it would be ideal to try and re-qualify for Boston at this race even if I never go back. Mostly because that would be awesome. But I am not really going into this race to try and run a PR or anything. If that happens, ok. If not, also ok. And unfortunately, I am not sure if that works for me or not.

I know that I am going to Boston, so I really should be going to ENJOY myself. But for me, enjoying myself is performing at my best. And that is ok. I can go into this race and be ready to race. Hard. and see what happens, But the truth is, I am not sure where this will land at this point in time. I am not sure how my fitness is right now, but I am ready to knock out 22 miles this weekend. I have to. I need to be ready to race the SHIT  out of this marathon. (Pardon my language.)

So basically... I have been mentally struggling with this whole thing. And I am definitely ready to get out there. I need this week/weekend to go well. That is my big goal.

I have been lax and forgiving of myself when it comes to this cycle because I wanted to enjoy Boston, but that has looked somewhat like slacking. Not racing the Heart Mini like I could have/should have. Taking some workouts a little bit easier than maybe I could have.

But for now, I am trying not to dwell on that and trying to pull things together. Trying to get my head in the game and execute.

3 weeks to go.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Training Update: Week of March 20

Well, it was a down week this week. It was the last down week before I am tapering, and I definitely had a good week.
Monday: 8 miles, recovery pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: Pure barre. Core.
Wednesday: 6 miles, Pure barre. Core.
Thursday: 6 miles, Pure barre.
Friday: 5 miles, Pure bare. Core.
Saturday: 3.56 miles (don't ask)
Sunday: 12 miles

40.56 miles
5x Pure barre
4x core

NICE.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Five

It's Friday! And tomorrow I only have to run 12 miles. WOO HOO!
1. Like I said above, tomorrow is only a 12 mile weekend long run. This is the last down week before taper (to be real, next week is the last up week before taper - holy crap - IT IS SO CLOSE!) I am definitely looking forward to having a less than 2 hour run. That is awesome.

2. I listened to the Runner's World podcast that was the roundtable on eating disorders. If this is something that interests you, you can find that here. It is definitely interesting, and it is something that rings true to me, considering my history and everything else.

3. I am doing a CRAPPY job at limiting my spending. Seriously. This Spring line of O stuff is just too good. Right now they are having kind of an accessory sale and that means bras. I DEFINITELY have some bras that need the old heave-ho, but do I REALLY need 3 more? (My heart says yes, my head says no.)

4. Yesterday was a super crazy day at the office, but I managed to get through it all. I have to be honest. I am super pleased with the number of things that I managed to knock out yesterday, and I am hopeful that today will be as productive.

5. Jason and I are looking to buy some red sox tickets for when we are in Boston for the marathon. Wish us luck. I am sure they will not be easy to get...

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

Streaks

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.
Sunday: MUCH NEEDED DAY OFF

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 BibRave.com 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.