Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A change in schedule

After the travel of last week, the down week was needed. I know I have said that around a million times.

Yesterday I talked to Coach Jen and we talked about how I have been feeling. Admittedly, I have been feeling tired. Worn out. A little sore and achy. I have been feeling like it is possible that I have been trying a little too hard this cycle.

I am making some changes to my schedule. I talked about this a little bit before my travel, but I am actually trying to put it into practice now.

I asked myself... why am I so concerned with being in the office at 7:15 am? Why do I feel the need to get Addie to her daycare the moment it opens? This involves a 4 am wake time daily in order to get a run done, lunch packed, shower taken, and off to work on time to drop Addie off at 7 am. 4 AM!!! That is freaking EARLY! And then most nights, I stay awake FAR later than makes sense in order to get up at 4. I want to spend some time with my husband after Addie goes to bed, after all.

So, I am changing my process. I am trying to relax and level off my anxiety about changing my schedule (yes, it might be dumb, but I feel anxious about NOT being the first one in the office). And I am sure that will take time. But, I am planning on shifting my "out the door" time back approximately 45 minutes, and being out the door around 7 am. This will give me approximately 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the day) of extra sleep. And 45 minutes to an hour is enough to make a big difference on a lot of days. At least, that is my hope.
And every once in a while, you feel rested enough to knock out a solid run despite being a week of travel (across the country so jet lag plays a factor), despite cutting your run short the weekend before because you are having some hamstring issues, despite  taking an extra day off because you spent the entirety of it on a plane. Sunday was that day.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Training Update: Week of February 20

Another week of training in the books. This week was obviously a tricky one with my travel, not to mention the fact that I cut my long run short the previous weekend.
Lucky for me, it was a down week, and I definitely needed that.

Monday: 7 miles with 4x 30s strides (7.52 total miles). PT.
Tuesday: 50 minute walk. Core power yoga in Pasadena.
Wednesday: 5 easy miles, Core.
Thursday: 6 miles, Pure Barre upper body intensive.
Friday: OFF (travel)
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 10 miles.

28.52 miles
1x yoga
1x PB

Not the greatest week, but considering the travelling that I had to do, I feel like this week was a success.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Travel progress

So I am in Pasadena. We have been here since Monday. It has definitely been an experience overall, and I am learning a lot about how this new company runs their ship. But obviously, that is not something that I generally write about here, so instead, let's talk about what I have been doing toward my own goals and stuff since I have been here.

I have been having this hamstring thing, so I took my time on Monday morning before I flew out to see Dr. Mike, get my hamstring worked on and then taped up, and feeling a little bit better before I left to come out there.

So on Tuesday morning, I just got up and did my XT. I walked on the treadmill. 50 minutes. We spent the entire day at the new office. It was a stressful day. Because of that stressful day we decided to head over to yoga. One of the coworkers who is here with me used to live in San Diego. She LOVES yoga, and specifically is into hot yoga, and spent a lot of time at one specific place. And they have a location in Pasadena.
Yep. 105 degrees. An hour of class. Everything about it was awesome. I loved it. Seriously. It's not pure barre to me, but I definitely could get there. Because I loved it.

Wednesday morning, I headed out for a run.
That was the view as I ran around Arcadia, which is where we are staying. Mountains... My happiness. Run went well overall...  I think things are coming along.

Our plan is to head back to yoga tonight, and I am already looking forward to 6PM CP2.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Long run, all the nope.

Last week's long run... sigh... But it is ok.

Last weekend I was supposed to run 16 miles. I was supposed to run 4x 1 mile at a 10K pace. But I have been feeling pretty worn out recently. My legs have been feeling tired. A little bit sore. And I was really struggling with some lingering sleep lacking...

I have not been getting as much sleep as I need for sure. Something about waking up at 4 am every single day will do that to you. So I have some thoughts around that, but I can get to those later...  This week is not the week for that since I am traveling and therefore have a more flexible schedule overall.


I ended up with (as stated in my wrap up the week post) running 9 miles with 2 miles at 10K pace. I stopped around 8 miles (maybe closer to 7.5?) to bend over and try and stretch out my high hamstring because it was not feeling good. I had to really stretch it out. Although I had been having some niggles in that area (and even told Lauren on our way to PB once that I had some soreness in my PB ledge - where your butt cheeks meet your hamstring), this was the first time that the niggle turned into pain.

And so... I ran home. I took my shoes off. I laid down on the floor of my living room. I tried really hard to not let it get to me. I text some birdie friends. I text Charlie and Jenn. I talked to Jason. Pretty much everyone that I talked to was in agreement, and then I just had to convince myself of it. It is better to cut one run short now than to be out for a week a few weeks from now.

That evening as I laid on the couch trying to figure out how I was going to handle things I emailed my ART guy immediately hoping that I would be able to get in with him on Monday before I left for CA. Luckily, he emailed me back Sunday morning and had two openings on Monday morning. I got in to see him at 11 am on Monday morning (my flight was at 4 pm). I decided that it made MUCH more sense to get over and see him than it did to get over to Pure Barre. Especially with it being a down week.

Getting worked on by Mike was definitely painful. It always is... But it felt so good. If you are in Cincinnati and looking for someone good to help with some deep tissue work on your muscles, I highly recommend him. You can find him here: Mike Turjanica. Call him.

I am running this week. I am logging my miles, but I am taking them so easy. Because I need to be kind to myself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Emily v Hills

This time, I won.

Last week I ran my first hill workout. To be fair, it was not my first. I think I might have done a hill workout with Buckeye Running about a million years ago, or so it feels. I was looking through all of my garmin data to see if I could find that workout, but unfortunately no luck. I am apparently not very good at naming things there, so searching for "hills" and "mason" yielded zero results. Anyway, that workout was quick and steep. I think we did 8-10 repeats up a VERY short hill.

This past week it was a little bit different. LONG repeats at a hard effort. I had 5K effort for 5x 1/2 mile. And while I was not overly stressed about it (because I knew that it was not going to be 5K pace, just hard), I was stressed about trying to find the "right" hill to do a workout like this.

Enter my former (before he left my company and moved to Lexington) training partner Charlie. He had done a hill workout near our office once. I had come up with my own option early in the week. I went to scout it out and realized it was only about 0.16 miles long, AND I was breathing like 5K effort just walking. Where Charlie comes in is finding this website: www.findhills.com. And he sent me directly to the section near the office that he had run previously. The elevation profile looked like this:
So yes, tough, but not all red, right? And long enough. When he told me about that stretch before he sent me this, my response was "there is a hill there? I don't remember thinking of that as a hill." He asked if I had ever done hill repeats, and that I should expect to feel like death no matter what by the end.

Now, I had a bit of a mental hurdle when I actually got out there and started running. Basically, I made a dumb mistake and started running hard after two miles, but I was going down hill. I had the starting and ending point mixed up. And I almost broke down as a result. I got to the bottom, I was at 2.5 miles, and I had 5 miles to repeats to go. Half mile up and half mile down... 5 times. And then I had to get back to my office. I started to freak. I almost threw in the towel. But then I decided, well, I am about a mile from my office at the top of the hill. So instead of running a mile cool down, I do a half mile recovery and then a half mile cool down.

I am super proud of myself for relaxing and going with the flow when something turned into what I did not expect. That is not my strong suit, so getting over little dumb things like this are a big deal for me. And while the miles were not fast (not even CLOSE to 5K pace) they were all sub 8 (even with recovery), so I know that I met my goal of running at 5K effort.

Another 8 mile workout, done and done.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Training Update: Week of February 13

Another high-ish volume week of training has come and gone. Next week is a down week, and I need that. My legs are definitely feeling tired and needing a down week. Plus it is kind of nice that the down week is coinciding with my travel week.

So let's take a look at how this tough week went for me. 

Monday: 9 miles with 4x30s strides. 9.50 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 8 miles, easy (9:04 pace). Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 60 minute walk. Pure Barre.
Thursday: 5x0.5 mile hill repeats. 8 total miles. Core.
Friday: 8 miles, easy (9:17 pace). Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 9 miles with 2x1 mile at 10K pace (see post later this week for more details)
Sunday: OFF

42.5 total miles
4x pure barre (YUS!)
4x Core

So let's enjoy this down week (and the CA sunshine - it better not be raining when I am there. That will be enough to irritate me!) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Here comes the sun

I rarely rarely rarely talk about work here. Other than the fact that I am an accountant, and therefore I have some busy times of the year (year end, etc) and times of the month (beginning of the month when we are closing the books for the prior month), you probably don't know too much about what I do (unless you know me in real life), and that is ok. In general, I am going to keep it that way.

But, there is one thing that I feel like I can talk about. My company is being acquired. I have been there for nearly 7 years, been through a lot of things, and it is weird to think that soon it will change. (The acquisition has been made public, there have been some press releases and articles about it at this point, so it is not like I am spilling the beans about anything I am not supposed to). So while I am not sure how I feel about the acquisition yet, because obviously it means a lot of change, there is one thing interesting and hopefully good that came out of all of it...

Next week, I am traveling across the country for the week. We are flying out of Cincinnati on Monday evening. We are leaving in the early afternoon next Friday. And so I will get to spend a week in February in Southern California. Pasadena to be more specific.

So next week, when it is cold-ish in February here, I will be enjoying (I hope) some So Cal sunshine, working on my runners tan (or at least, running in a sports bra even if the sun is not up yet), and meeting some of the folks that I will be working with going forward.

Bring on the sunshine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Solid workout

Last week I had a great workout. It was a tempo-ish workout last Thursday that I nailed. Yes, I did it on the treadmill, but I mostly did that for my confidence. So I feel like it deserves a post, as it is a workout that my coach LOVES for marathon training. It turns out, I love it too. I did a modified version of it for my training this summer, and this was a much more full version of the same workout.

It is listed on my schedule as a tempo, which makes sense in that it is definitely not a repetition or interval workout. But it is not your standard tempo either!

So the full workout was 8 miles. 1 mile warm up with 1 mile cool down. I ran those at 7.0 on the treadmill. I used to try and push that up to 7.1-7.3ish, but honestly, its a warm up or a cool down. Therefore, definitely not worth exerting the extra energy. (Lessons that I have learned over time...)

The workout was set up to be 3x2 miles with a 1 minute walk in between. I was supposed to do the two mile repeats with the first mile at marathon effort and the second at 10K effort. After my disasterous "by feel" workout with an all-out 5K, I think Jenn wanted to make sure I was able to feel ok going into the workout, so she gave "recommended paces, subject to change."

She put marathon pace as 7:45-7:50. 10K pace was around 7:05. I was grateful for the time recommendations. It meant I could hop on the treadmill and not worry at all about what I had to do after that. I had my headphones and podcasts keyed up, ready to go, and hopped on the treadmill at the rec center near my office (my membership had expired, but they let me go this time without renewing it, bonus!)

I ended up running the workout very solidly. I did the marathon pace stuff at 7.8 mph (7:41 pace) and the 10K pace sections at 7:01 pace. I ended up covering 8.21 miles (the 0.21 was the walk breaks in between the repeats) in 64 minutes. I would call this workout a big win. Charlie told me I was no longer allowed to whine or be nervous about speed workouts, because obviously all of the pieces are there. While I know he is right, I do always get nervous.

I want to roll the confidence that I built up from this workout into this Thursdays hill repeats. CAN'T WAIT.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Training Update: week of February 6

Another week of training down, 9 weeks to go. Things are starting to get serious before the Boston Marathon and of course before the Glass City Marathon, and I am definitely feeling it, but I am really pleased with my progress, because this past week was a big hurdle in my training.

And I got over it...

So here is a look at this week's training...

Monday: 9 miles with 4x30s striders, 9.52 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute walk. Core.
Wednesday: 8 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: 8 miles with 3x2 miles, alternating between marathon pace and 10K pace. Core.
Friday: 7 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 16 miles with 6 at marathon effort

48.52 total miles
3x Pure Barre
5x Core

Goals for next week include a hill workout, 5 days of core, and 4 days of Pure Barre.  Plus next weekend's long run is another 16er. So here we go.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Sorry, no Friday Five today. I have another post ready to go and I feel like it is an important one.

One of the things that I am trying to work on this training cycle is to relax. Now, I know that I have been uptight about some pace work when I actually HAVE pace work, but as mentioned, I am also working on giving myself grace.

This is especially applicable on easy run days. Coach Jenn says easy runs should be AT LEAST 2 minutes per mile slower than 5K pace. My 5K PR is dead on 7:00/mile pace. That means generally, my easy days around around a 9/mile pace. But then there are times when I feel like my 5K time is out of date (it probably is) and so my runs are more around 8:40-8:50. And then, I wake up at 4 am often, and obviously my legs are not necessary ready to run at ALL at 4 am, so even 9s can be "not easy". As not easy defeats the purpose, well, I have to ignore my watch.

And lately because I have been putting my legs through the ringer on workouts, not to mention those 4 am wake up calls, plus a heavy load at work... I am wiped out on some days. Let's look at my run from Wednesday as an example. I had 8 miles, easy, on the schedule.

My alarm went off at 3:55. 8 miles easy is going to take me at least 1:12:00 (9 minute pace). And then when you add on 10 minutes to get ready (bathroom, dressed, outdoor when it is cold layers, etc), I am not going to be home until nearly 5:30, which is my drop dead time for letting the dogs out and starting my non-running morning routine (it is the time I get up when I am not running).

So let's see what this looks like at 4 am for real...
As  you can see, it starts SLOWLY... and by the end of 8 miles, my legs were feeling the way that they SHOULD feel during an easy run.

And so this is the lesson that I am trying to teach myself. It is OK that easy runs go like this. In fact, this is how easy runs are SUPPOSED to look. There is not a damn thing wrong with that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January Goal report

I figured I can take a look back at January and see how I progressed toward some of the annual goals (that had numbers around them). With any luck, I can keep up on these posts in 2017 (unlike 2016) and that can help to keep me on track for the year. At least, that is my goal.

1. Blog Posts - Goal: 150
I wrote 15 posts in Janaury. Not great, but ahead of the goal for 2017.

2. Pure Barre Classes - Goal: 150
I attended 13 classes this month. While that is on track for hitting my goal, I am still not overly pleased with this number. I can do better.

3. Running Mileage - Goal: 2200
On track for this one too. And I definitely know that it is likely going to be tight all around this year to reach this goal. Especially with multiple races (forcing me to take time off in October and May) on the schedule. I ran 189.66 miles in January. That is definitely the highest January mileage I have ever run.

4. Reading - Goal: 24 Books
I read one book. Oops. But I did start a second, so I guess that is something?

So far, that is the progress I have made on the year. I crossed into 200 miles in February already, so I know progress is happening, and I am hopeful that things continue to move forward.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A First for Addie

Today is Addie's first trip to the dentist. At three and a half, I am not sure if that is later than most kids or right in time.

Overall, that does not matter that much. She is going this afternoon, and after today we will get her set up with the regular every 6 months routine. I am nervous about how she will handle it. I am nervous that she will be scared. I don't remember how I did when I was very little (or even if I went to the dentist as young as she is!) but she knows that she is going.

I figured that was the best thing I could do to help her. Tell her that we are going and talk about it regularly. We talk about the dentist brushing her teeth when we are brushing every night before bed. She has told her teachers that she is going to the dentist.

And at school last week, she had the perfect opportunity to learn a little bit more. I feel like she is well prepared now. A dentist came to visit them at school! It was a pediatric dentist (she will not be seeing a kid specific dentist. The dentist  I go to is a family dentist, so I have scheduled her an appointment there) who talked about what they do, showed the kids the instruments that they use, and even sent them home with a little dentist goody bag! This included a board game-style timer (2 minutes, how long you are supposed to brush your tee), toothbrush, little tube of Crest for Kids, and information about their dental practice.

Addie had some extra stuff in her goody bag though. The dentist needed an assistant. And as a group of three years olds, some were scared, some didn't want something on their face, and Addie... well, she is a bold, brave girl and she was willing to be an assistant to the dentist. And she wants to be a Princess Doctor when she grows up, so I guess she figured this was good practice?

How cute is that nugget with her scrubs, mask, latex gloves, and dental tool? She had the gloves and mask in her little bag, and wanted to wear them all evening after this.

Love this girl, and hope that the trip to the dentist today (12:40 pm) goes well!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Training update: Week of January 30

10 weeks. I am down to only 10 weeks remaining until my Boston Marathon debut. Training is going ok. And 11 weeks until I run the Glass City Marathon.
And after last week's down week, this week was the highest mileage week I have had since before my fall marathon... I think.

Monday: 60 minute walk.
Tuesday: Pure barre. Core. 8 miles with 4x30s strides. (8.52 miles)
Wednesday: 7 miles, easy. Core.
Thursday: 8 miles with 4 @ HM effort. Pure Barre. Core.
Friday: 7 miles, easy. Pure Barre.
Saturday: 14 miles, with 2x2miles at 10K effort.
Sunday: OFF

3x Pure Barre
3x core.
44.52 miles.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Legend Compression Sleeves: 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!

I am a believer in compression. It might be a mental thing more than a physical one, but whatever, it works for me. I have been using socks, calf sleeves, and even tights occasionally for several years now. I have worn them for training, racing, recovery, to sleep in, etc. And so when I had an opportunity to review a pair of sleeves from Legend Compression as part of my partnership with BibRave.com, I jumped on it.

From the Legend Compression website: LEGEND’s Graduated Compression Technology provides maximum blood flow for muscle performance and endurance. Our popular unisex sleeves stabilize the leg muscles to help prevent calf cramps and shin splints during all sporting activities.  Runners and all athletes will benefit from a pair of our LEGENDARY sports compression leg sleeves.  Proudly Made in the USA.

I received a pair of white sleeves in the mail in a size small/medium. I requested white initially because despite the other pairs that I have of compression socks, I do not have any white socks! So I am happy to add something new to my arsenal and get some additional benefits in the meantime. 

I have been wearing them since receiving them as part of my regular recovery routine. 
I put them on after an office #runch.
I wore them after a long run.
And I wore them in full on recovery mode (with my cat lady yeti).
The compression is just right in these sleeves. I have worn pairs that are too tight or not tight enough, and these are exactly what I want. I am comfortable in them overnight, but still feel like I am getting the benefits of compression. 

Overall, I was impressed with these sleeves, and I definitely recommend trying out compression, and specifically the Legend Compression sleeves. I am likely going to try some additional products of theirs, because I was so impressed with them. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reminders: for me, for anyone

I have been struggling with paces a little recently. I mean, probably my coach would argue that I am doing just fine, good even, because I am learning to take it easy when I am not on a workout. But I feel like I am struggling.

There are a few things that I have been trying to remind myself in order to force me to realize that I am not necessarily out of shape, or not doing well, or whatever negative nancy thing that I might be thinking about at any given moment.

1. I am running at 4 am. I am rolling out of bed and outside (or onto the treadmill). I have not had coffee. Warmed up. Or anything. My legs are still asleep when I head outside, so OF COURSE my paces start out slow.

2. I am still 11 weeks out. This is NORMAL for me. I have even validated that from last spring's training and last fall too!

3. I am trying to put in all of the extras. Pure Barre. Core. Foam rolling. Regular stretching. Obviously these things are all helping, but it is an adjustment to squeeze them all in. I will end up stronger for it, but right now I am just tired.

4. It is busy season for me at work. Now this definitely has a different meaning for me now than it did when I was in public accounting, but it is still not super easy to feel busy and stressed at the office all the time.

5. I need to give myself a little grace. Right now, I am hard on myself after nearly every single run. And obviously, that is not a great way to be. I deserve much more than that.

Do you need these reminders?