Sunday, May 25, 2014

Training 5.19.14

Monday 5/19 - Walk || 5 miles || 1:30:00, 18:00p || 65*, felt like 65*
Walking to and from preschool to pick up and drop off. Our last time...my baby is going to be a kinder student soon! :(


Tuesday 5/20 - Run || 3 miles || 32:26, 10:48p || 81* and sunny
First really hot run. YUCK! Splits 11:03, 10:33, 10:43. Dripping sweat. Yuck. Did I mention yuck? I liked the vortex better.

Hot. Yuck! :(


Wednesday 5/21 - Run || 5 miles || 52:52, 10:34p || 64*-67 and foggy for the first 4 miles, sunny the last
Got up super early to beat the heat. My legs felt really tired the first couple miles but I found my groove the last couple. This was definitely easier than yesterday but still warm enough that I needed to pause for water twice, which my splits reflect. Splits 11:04, 10:31, 10:43, 10:08, 10:20. Guess which miles I took a water break in!

Red winged blackbird refusing to pose for me.

Thursday 5/22 - Run || 3 miles || 29:18, 9:46p || 55-57*, felt like 60* at the end
Gorgeous run - second day getting up early to beat the heat. My legs didn't feel quite so tired but it was also cooler. Splits 10:21, 9:36, 9:21.



Friday 5/23 - Elliptical || 4.59 miles || 45, 9:48p || 30 min course 1 level 3, 15 min course 2 level 4
Stressful day - needed to sweat it out! 



Saturday 5/24 - Run || 9 miles || 1:42:40, 11:24p || 55*-60* and sunny
Group run with MRTT! I won't break down the splits because I wasn't pacing it, but I ran the first half with my running group (they were doing 10 - I had only done up to 7 with the baby before so didn't want to push it and have to death march to the end). The second half went okay until mile 7, when Miles started getting fussy. I forget that when it comes to stroller running, it isn't just me who needs to work up to the distance. Sorry little one! 

I think he forgives me!

Sunday 5/25 - Rest
Rest day! :)


Total: 20 miles run,  5 miles walked, 4.59m ellipticalled. Felt much better this week!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Running with company!

So the past couple week's I have done something really, really hard for me and that I am really proud of: I joined in a couple group runs with my local chapter of Moms Run This Town.

I am super, super shy and have a really hard time meeting new people. I tend to be very introverted and have a few close friends but not a whole lot of them because, mostly, I have a hard time reaching out to new people. Theoretically, I would like to do more of it - make more friends, go out with more people, put myself out there more, but realistically, it takes me a while to psych myself up for the idea.

Stranger danger! 

But the thing about hitting your 30s is that I realized my very best friends tend to be scattered across the country right now. Literally, different states from me. It's great when I can see my best friend and we do run together, but right now, she's a state over. When she finishes her ph.d. she'll likely be half the country away. And that's true of a lot of my friends who recently finished school - they're all scattered! So I realized I was looking at the very real possibility of my husband and occasional in-office work being my only face to face adult interaction.

I'm at least reasonably confident I won't ask an adult if they need to go potty....

Umm, I'm shy, but I'm not stupid, and that's probably not healthy! (Okay, not probably.) I joined my MRTT chapter a couple months ago, but last week was the first time I finally got myself to go out for a run with them. (I told you it takes a while for me to do it!) I was so nervous, my stomach felt like I had had way too much carbonation. Crazy! But you know what? It was fun! Not that I don't love running in general but my run went by SO fast and felt so much easier with someone to talk with through it! 3 miles flew by. (Like I a good blogger, I took no pictures. Whoops.)

Today I got the chance to do my long run in a group run. It was a 5 miles out 5 miles back run - I had the stroller with me and wasn't up to the full 10 (yet - I love my stroller but the furthest I'd gone with it before today was 7 miles!), so I turned back after 4.5 miles, while 2 ladies did the full 5 and one turned back after 3. The first half of that run absolutely flew by, despite persistent rolling hills and bright sun.

The second half was SO much harder! By the time I hit 7 I was wishing I'd stuck it out the last half mile because running with people felt SO much easier. I've gotta say...I'm sold. I'll probably still be nervous for a while, but score one for running with someone to talk to and making friends!



What about you? Is it easy for you to run with new people, or hard to make friends?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heat whinging

Hi, and welcome to the ubiquitous obligatory whinge about heat.

Sad Heather is hot and sad. And not hot like hot, but more like, melting.

It is flipping out here in the burbs of Chicago lately. YUCK! My run on Tuesday was in the low 80s. I stopped for water every half a mile. I tried to keep it slow and easy but that was hard! I think I spent my day guzzling water.

I don't really like running in shorts for body-issue reasons but it's so easy to forget how hot it gets here in Chicagoland; we went from 40s to 80s seemingly overnight and I think the capris are going to have to take a rest soon. Can I just say - I prefer the vortex temps? I am not a fan of the snow but the cold? Bring it on. I can always add enough layers. The heat? There aren't enough layers to remove! (Especially publicly. I can do the sports bra only on my treadmill but...not brave enough to do that outside!)

To cope, I've been bringing water even on short runs, and Wednesday and Thursday I went back to getting up super early to get a run in. I used to do this, but somehow I rose-glasses'ed that into believing I did it for mental reasons - to start the day right.

Nope, I remember now that I used to do it because it was bloody hot outside.

I love running, but this stuff is hard, man. And I read that it takes 5-10 hours of running time in the heat before your body acclimates. Can I get a resounding "meh" here? Is it almost fall yet?


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Technology musing...FR10 versus FR405

This post got really long. Sorry!

I have a garmind FR10 (pink, obviously...when did I become so girly?).  It was an anniversary gift from my husband when I started running and really one of the nicest, most useful gifts I've ever gotten.

It even matches my shoes!

I was recently gifted a used garmin 405, which I am very excited by because I realized when I signed up for a marathon that my FR10 was not going to do what I needed...its battery life is maxed at 5. I knew I needed a new solution.

Theoretically, I could have a marathon that is sub-5. I seem to keep getting faster, so it's possible. But, I am not setting a time goal for my first marathon - the goal is, as several of you reminded me, to get to the finish line in piece. And, I can't count on that. Which means I can't count on my FR10. Sure, I could run it blind and just let the battery die with a couple miles to go...but realistically, that would drive me insane. For one thing, I want the data, but for another...I want it while I'm running. There have also been some recent concerns about how accurate it is, which makes sense, since it's the budget model.

The 405 has a much better battery life and will definitely see me through the marathon. It has some nice perks; 8 hour battery, and it's foot-pod compatible which would mean no more guessing how far I'm running on my treadmill (FR10s aren't ant+ so no hrm or foot pod). But it didn't come with the ant+ stick which I am guessing, after looking into it a bit, is because a common problem with the 405s is they stop connecting to the ant sticks...which means I can't download any of the data on the watch, off of it. I can still buy a footpod and figure out how far I've gone on my treadmill. (Perk!) I can wear it for the marathon and have it record my whole run. (Perk!)

I am super grateful for the 405 - can't express it! If I could get data off of it, I'd switch over and simply mourn my FR10.  (Because you know, fashion. Actually, sentiment, since it's from my husband, but fashion sounds funnier.)

But since I can't, now I'm unsure what to do. As far as I can tell I have a few options:


  1. Switch everything to the 405 and just forget downloading the data. I can enter it manually into MMR and DM and MFP. Pros: Consistency, not having to remember which watch to grab. Cons: Grabbing my splits will be a pain, no elevation data ever.
  2. Switch only long runs and treadmill runs to the 405 and use my pretty pink watch for midweek runs that are outside. Pros: Elevation data for midweek runs, mileage for treadmill runs, practice for marathon. Cons: Inconsistency - did I remember to log my mileage? Did I grab the right watch? 
  3. Get a new watch. Pros: Get everything I want for every run. Cons: Money! Not really in the budget. And would I sell my FR10?! I was just given this shiny 405!

The last option is really just me dreaming (although the BIA looks really really shiny...SOS alert, loooong battery life...not footpod compatible yet but...shiny!). I will probably go with #2 although I feel like #1 makes more sense. Sentiment!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Training 5.12.14

Monday 5/12 - Cross-training
30 day shred. Not nearly as hard as when I first did it in 2012! Still a good sweat.


Tuesday 5/13 - Run || 3.17 miles || 34:18, 10:49p || 54*, felt like 54*
First run with my local MRTT chapter, Run Now Wine Later (although I skipped the wine, lol - had to get home to the baby!). It was super nice to run with company and also made me realize how far I've come because tonight's run felt super easy!


Cross-training
30 day shred. Double workout today!



Wednesday 5/14 - Rest
My calf was sore from the shred and I got all paranoid. "Is it an injury? Or DOMS? I CAN'T TELL!" So I rested.


Thursday 5/15 - Run || 5 miles || 55:00, 11:00p || Treadmill || Hill workout, 1:1 intervals
Calf was fine, just DOMS. Could have run yesterday. Today, my daughter was sick...so 5 miles on the treadmill. Not my fave way to spend an hour, but got it done.



Friday 5/16 - Run || 3 miles || 30:26, 10:09p || 41*, felt like 38* and drizzly
3m @ 10:09p, splits 10:36, 10:03, 9:44. Stroller run; I think I brought stress with me because it felt really hard.



Saturday 5/17 - Run || 6.2 miles || 1:10:58, 11:27p || 50*, felt like 50*
Tryon Trails 5/10/50k 10K. Wild and crazy race! No idea if this pace is accurate or not because my gps did not like these windy foot trails, so I'm assuming this was a full 10K? 




Sunday 5/18 - Elliptical || 5.87 miles || 1:00:00, 10:14p || 30m course 1 2.81, 30m course 2 3.05
Haven't ellipticalled in a while so this workout was harder than it should have been! I meant to do some bodyweight stuff too but I did the shred twice this week...so umm, yeah. /excuses


Total: 17.37 miles run, 5.87m ellipticalled. I am trying to structure my weeks the same way the Higdon Novice 2 plan does - rest Mondays, run T/W/T, rest Friday, run long Saturday, cross train Sunday. I'm not there yet. I am used to working out 6 days a week, and running 5-6 of those...I feel really antsy, but I'd rather go through growing pains before training actually starts if that makes sense. But bleh! I feel like this has been a really down week for me!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tryon Farm Trail 10k Recap

So this race is actually a 5/10/50k race; those doing the ultra ran the 10k loop 5 times. It was held in Michigan City, Indiana. (Why is there a Michigan City in Indiana?!!?)

This was a last minute addition to my race calendar thanks to the FB contest with Muddy Monk. (Their question was - why is beer the best for recovery? My answer was carbs, obviously. IT'S SCIENCE!) I was really excited to go; it sounded like fun and I've really loved the trail runs with them.

I can't decide if this was more brutal the the Frozen Five I did back in Feb with Muddy Monk or not. In the end, I think it's just different! That was hard because it was the same marching for miles - this was hard because the obstacles were so tough and varied.

When we got there, I went to check in and none of the volunteers had any clue about me being there, which didn't totally surprise me and was part of why we'd gotten there early. (The RD hadn't replied to my email.) They cleared it up quickly although when one volunteer went to give me a shirt, the other one yelled at her that there weren't any for race day registration. That hadn't been what the website said but it was fine; the shirt looked nice but this was a free race either way! They gave me my bib and sent me off to get my timing chip, with strict instructions to wear it on my ANKLE, nowhere else, if I wanted a time. Got it. I'd heard about these but most races were either gun time or bib-chip, so I'd never actually had a chip I had to return! Clearly, this warranted a picture.


Timing chip!

Anyway, the 10K got off promptly at 10am. I edged myself to the back of the pack before they let us go, figuring I'd be pretty slow. Within the first quarter mile or so, we had to run through enough water that no one had dry socks. Within the first mile, we ran through water so deep someone seeing it for the first time yelled, "Oh my god, that looks like a river!" They weren't kidding - it was knee-deep for this shortie! Within the first 3 miles, I took a nice wipe out that forced me to loosen my watch because my wrist hurt. (It's fine now, no worries! Just a little jarring, no more pain though.)

Plus, at something like 5 miles in, I got lost. Managed to get myself off the path and wandered by my lonesome for a bit. I'll admit, that was a little scary!

I will admit that the novel timing chip I was jazzed about earlier was no fun. Wet, I ended up with a raw patch on my ankle from it. Boo! No blisters or chafing on my feet, but I got chafing from my timing chip. D'oh.

Other highlights: 12+ patches of ankle deep mud you couldn't avoid, lots of winding twisty single track trails through wooded areas, a steep hill made of sand (followed by a steep sand decline that I strongly considered scooting down on my butt, but decided that was a region that didn't need sand!), and plenty of other deep water to "run" through.

The results?

Trail trophies. That was the worst scratch I got, although I landed a few apparently. I didn't notice when I got them. And those socks...sadly, they didn't make it. They're supposed to be white...

I don't actually know if the course was long or short, the path was so windy and thready and back and forth squiggling, not to mention in the woods, that my garmin threw some weird readings at me. I'm pretty sure this is a new 10K PR though - 1:10:58! EDIT: Official results posted, 1:11:02. Still a PR!

Plus, I'm all about finisher medals, and how cool is this one?


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last minute racing and other random bits







I love it when races do free race photos! Embrace the Race just posted their race pics on FB; that's my best friend and I escorting my daughter across the finish line of her race last week. Doesn't she look thrilled? Haha.


So according to my race calendar, I had my biggest racing gap of the year - no races until June 15th! But apparently the universe is as happy to have me racing as I am, because on May 7 Muddy Monk put up a contest for a free race entry to the Tryon Trail Race 10k (part of a 5/10/50k) asking why beer is the perfect recovery drink. And promptly forgot I entered.

Well, I got an email last night from them that I won but they wanted to make sure I could go since it's far from me. But who am I to turn down a race? And this one looks really cool; if I'm reading it right there's even a really cool medal. This is the most last minute I've ever added a race to my schedule though - usually I plan at least a few weeks in advance (barring my first actual 5K, which my husband talked me into ... haha). I'm really excited though, I read a race report from someone who did the ultra last year (which is 5 loops of the 10k loop I'll be doing) and the trail sounds really beautiful. Something about going into a house built into the ground...I'll be sure to take pics! Plus the weather should be upper 40s/low 50s - sounds fabulous to me.


And in other news, I can already tell I am going to be a complete wack job during marathon training. I'm already paranoid about injury; I did a workout this week that left my body sore in a good way, but when I woke up Wednesday - scheduled to run 5 - I freaked, because my calves were sore and "Crap is this DOMS or did I hurt my calf again? WAH!" Rather than risk injuring myself before Chicago training even starts (3 more weeks!) I rested. And...it was just soreness. I could have run. If I am this bad before training has even started, how bad am I going to be DURING the training cycle? I apologize in advance for any unnecessary panic evidenced on the blog during this time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Training 5.5.14

Monday 5/5 - Rest
I had vague plans for bodyweight exercises, but it turned out that reading a trashy paranormal romance novel was simply more interesting. Who knew!


Tuesday 5/6 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill || Hill workout, 1:1 intervals
Babyboy is keeping me on my toes so I was wiped, but 3 miles felt doable. And it was. 



Wednesday 5/7 - Run || 2.01 miles || 20:58, 10:29p || 60*, felt like 60* and drizzly
This should have been 5 miles in the stroller but baby boy flipped his lid. After multiple stops to nurse I gave up and figured I'd hit the treadmill for the other 3 miles later. :(

Run || 3.1 miles || 29:19, 9:27p || 54*, felt like 50*
My husband got home early so I got to go run BY MYSELF! For the first time in like, a week and a half. Apparently I'm building some strength with those stroller runs...! Splits 10:11/9:21/8:54/:50...


Thursday 5/8 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill || Hill workout, 1:1 intervals
Whew. It was even hot in my garage! Yuck, but done.



Friday 5/9 - Rest
I'm trying to get used to Rest/run-run-run/rest/long-run/xt format of the training plan. I really wanted to run. But I rested!



Saturday 5/10 - Run || 2.7 miles || 29:07, 10:43p || 65*, felt like 63*
I heart momma 5K. Short course and sunny, but I was the first stroller 'cross the finish line!

Sunday 5/11 - Walk/run|| 3.05 miles || 50:56, 16:41p || 64*, felt like 64*
Embrace the race 5K. My daughter's first!


Total: 13.81 miles run, 3.05m walk/run. I was going to do a long run on Sunday but my best friend was over all day, so there wasn't time unless I ditched her, which umm...nope! I stressed about that for about 2 seconds before figuring, if missing one long run derails my marathon, I've got bigger worries.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Two kids, two races, one weekend - part 2: Embrace the Race Recap

So the weekend started off with part 1 of my two kids/two races adventure in Mokena, where I ran the I Heart Momma trail race with my son in the stroller. Sunday was Mother's Day, so rather than sleep in with breakfast in bed, we got up early to head to Embrace the Race 5K, where I was going to run with my daughter for her first 5K.

Things started out great; despite the early hour she was very excited to get ready for her race, which she'd been talking about for months and for which we'd logged plenty of hours walk/running together. We couldn't totally match, but we dressed as close as we could - running skirts with teal and white, the race shirt (which by the way was unfortunately lousy for how expensive this 5K is, it's pretty rough and see-through), and knee high socks. We were also running with my best friend April, but she's not shown in the outfit picture here.

Mama, I'm so cute!


The drive to the race was pretty uneventful other than realizing we'd forgotten to bring with my daughter's breakfast, which necessitated figuring out an alternative but that really wasn't a big deal. We got there around 7:45 and met my twin aunts and cousin - one of the twins was running the 10K, the other was "walking" the 5K with my 7 year old cousin. (I put that in quotes because he decided to run, which meant his mom was chasing him the whole course...oops!) After a quick pic we cheered my aunt Jody on as she started the 10K and waited for the start. At this point my daughter was still really excited.

Clearly, my cousin wasn't keen on the photo op.


The gun went off and we were off! The first half mile seemed okay at the time although looking back I wonder if I let her run too fast. I slowed her down, but she was so excited! We saw Daddy around the .5 mark and hammed it up for the camera, then on we went.

Smiling!


With a third of a mile left to the 1m mark, Lily's cheeks were pink and she started saying she was bored and not wanting to run. We brought out the little pack of sports beans for her, because I was thinking maybe with the way breakfast had been screwed up (bad mommy!) she just didn't have enough energy, but it didn't seem to make a difference. We started cutting down the run intervals and upping the walk intervals. By the end of the first mile, which came in around 15 minutes, we were down to run .15 and walk .1.

Her cheeks were getting pink though and as much as she was telling me she was having fun, she sure didn't look like it. We cut the intervals down to walk .1 and run .1, with occasional longer breaks. April and I cheered and talked but by the end of the second mile poor kiddo was officially a grump. Mile 2 was around 17 1/2.

The beginning of the last mile was a nice downhill in the shade which she seemed to enjoy, but then came the huge hill (I knew it from the North Shore Half last year and was shocked to see it in the 5K course - I've run the cupid 10k twice, same company, and know they can avoid that....I didn't understand why they included that in the route...). We walked the whole thing and for a bit afterward, but as soon as the hill was over she started saying she wanted to be done and then when we said that wasn't possible - there was 1/2 a mile left and we had to finish it whether we walked or ran it, we were stuck by this point - she was just over it. A total grump. She said she wanted to run more to finish instead of walking more but physically I think she was just done. We'd gone as far as 2.5 miles in training which I thought had been far enough, but I think between her being off that day and it being sunnier and warmer than we'd been training in, she was just physically done. Mile 3 came in around 18ish and our end time was 50:56.

I am really, really proud of my girl. Despite the grumps she did it and she is proud of herself, and she was the youngest runner there.  And a few minutes after the race she was perked back up, although she was grumpy the whole day. I think in the end it was a combo of her being a grump and it being warmer than we were used to, plus I do think I let her start out running too fast. I didn't think we were going that fast but with it being warmer looking back I do think I should have held her back more.

I don't know if I will say yes to her request to run  more in the future, I had worried she was too small to run this and I do think this was too much for her, plus it is kind of expensive if you don't enjoy it! If I can find a shorter race for her to do maybe we will, but I think the 5K was just a bit too much. I am very proud of her though!

She's proud too, though my cousin is less impressed!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Two kids, two races, one weekend, part 1 - I Heart Momma Recap

So I don't know how y'all are celebrating your mother's days, but it occurred to me that the way my trail pass intersected with another local race, I could run my race and run my daughter's first 5K with her. Win! But when Muddy Monk sent out the race email that there would be a stroller friendly course, it dawned on me - I could run a race with each kiddo for my mother's day weekend. As soon as I realized that, it felt perfect.

So today was part one - the I Heart Momma Trail Race 5K with Muddy Monk. My husband volunteered at the race while I ran with Miles in the BOB. So we got there early to hang out while he helped with packet pick up (he was greeted as "Mr. Heather" which cracked me up); I got my bib and shirt (and like the Punk the Monk, this is totally another shirt going into my every day wear!) and we hung out til go time.


We're ready to go!


The course was cool - for the hard core trail runners (or those of us without strollers) there was a muddy single track option, and for those of us pushing kiddos or who didn't want the mud, there was a paved option.  We started out the same after an intro from the RD explaining the course (where to go if you were going off the paved trail). We went down a grassy hill from the start line towards the paved trail; it's the most congested I've ever seen one of their races - a few of us had to walk at the start. A few people complained a bit but it was a gorgeous day and there were a lot of strollers out - I knew it would thin out!

At the start line! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.


It did as soon as the trail masters split off for the single track and suddenly it was perfect. Settling into my groove, despite it being rolling hills and then uphill, I began passing people. For whatever reason I was paying particular attention to all the other stroller runners I was passing; after a while there would be only one stroller ahead of me - but she was in a double and quite a bit ahead for most of the first mile.

To my surprise we hit the first water station at .8 according to my garmin, but it was bright and sunny so I was glad to grab a quick drink and then go back to slogging uphill, chasing the mom with the double stroller. Mile 1 hit at 11:10ish (I felt great, but uphill!) and shortly thereafter we started seeing people coming back from the turnaround. I started to wonder if the course was short - I didn't think people had been -that- far ahead! - but got distacted by the uphills. It was nice though, people coming from the turnaround would smile at Miles (though he was looooong asleep by this point!) and saying things like "Go Mama!" which was really nice. It was definitely tough pushing the stroller uphill so much but the course was just absolutely gorgeous, and in true Muddy Monk fashion I still managed to splash mud on my legs as we ran through puddles on the path. Periodically, the trail master course would interweave with the stroller-roller course so we'd see them - and they were definitely much muddier than I was.

Heading towards the turn around! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

The turnabout hit at 1.36 on my garmin, reminding me of my earlier speculation that the course might be short. I was right behind the double jogger by this point though, having made headway as we went, and the course marshal gave me a laugh when he told me we - the other stroller mom and I - were crazy. I told him I'd take that as a compliment as I high tailed it after her - he shouted after me it was meant as one but he "still worried about" us. Haha! Sometimes, the stroller is the only way to get a run in!

I was now cruising despite the sun beating down, and it wasn't long before I passed the other stroller mom. (In her defense, she had to pause as one of her kiddos needed her.) Mile 2 clipped by and came in at 9:53 - downhills are fun! Trail masters continued to interweave and I was pretty sure now the course would be short, but I wondered if that was because I was on the paved path; the trail master path may have been the full 5K.

In the last stretch shade was much more sporadic though, and we were back to rolling hills and my brain was just going, "Toooooo....hot..." I found myself taking walk breaks here and there but for whatever reason, I was determined to be the first stroller across the finish line. Apparently, I was feeling competitive!

It wasn't long before the end of the paved path came up and oh my gosh - I have to admit - the last stretch felt bumpy when it was the start and going downhill but going uphill in the grass it brutal! The hill was so steep and the terrain so rough for the stroller that I had to go straight-armed shoving it up the hill. I could hear my husband and daughter cheering as I neared the finish line but I was too busy gutting it out to wave.

Finally though the finish line was there and the woman recording finish time congratulated me by name before asking my bib number, which was really nice. I collected my finisher gift, which instead of a pint glass was an awesome metal water bottle, and that was that.

Crossing the finish line! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.


And - most importantly - my husband said that as far as he saw I was the first stroller-roller across the finish line! I'm calling that a win. 1st in umm...strolling? Or something.

Hamming it up at the finish line!


The course was definitely short though, my garmin came up as 2.7, but other than that I really can't complain; gorgeous day, gorgeous run, and the best finisher gift to date! (Although, I am looking forward to August with their half-marathon...I like medals, what can I say?)

And then there were 5! Sort of.

Friday, May 9, 2014

My blog...has arrived.

I'm getting spam commentary about spellcasters for help with marital difficulties.

That's ummm...interesting.

Verrrrrrry interesting.

Throwback Friday

So today we're going on a little journey called Throwback Thursday  Friday. (I'm not late, I'm just quirky. Yeah.)

It's not my two year runniversary yet, I'm jumping the gun, but, I'm feel introspective about how far I've come. That inevitably leads to thoughts of where I started!

My first run was Week 1 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K, on August 1, 2012. The month before, I started my weightloss journey and they were separate, but being able to lose weight made me realize that not everything was impossible as I'd always thought. I had always believed I couldn't run, and I wanted to prove that I could. Not because I liked running, but because I had a bucket list to work on - and a 5K was on that list! I had just spent July doing the 30 Day Shred, so I needed a new fitness goal.

That first day was SO hard. It was hot, and I was mortified being out there...I changed my path as I went along to avoid people! Haha. I would count down as I went...the fourth interval was great because it meant I was half done! When I got inside I told my husband I was still going through with it, but I forgot something - I hated running! It sucked. Big time. I was so slow and it was so fricking hard.

But I signed up for my first 5K - the Brookfield Zoo Zoo Run Run on 9/23. (Yes, that's really the name, haha!) With a goal in sight, I progressed through the weeks, mostly still hating it.

Something weird happened though. Week 5 - when we jumped from running 8 minutes at a time to 20 - changed something. I started totally loving it.

I was still nervous about my first 5K, and somehow, my husband talked me into doing one sooner - the Race Judicata on 9/14. And let me tell you - it went /awful/. (And that had nothing to do with me running in it an old tshirt and yoga pants.) I forgot everything at home - my ipod, my heart rate monitor, my chapstick...even my hairband! (This is what happens when I have to go to the city by myself...) I got confused during the race and stopped running at what I thought was the halfway point, discouraged because it had been 25 minutes and how could I only be halfways? It turned out the turnabout point was much further than the map made it look and I was almost to mile 2, but by the time I figured it out I couldn't get going again. I was walking when the finish line came into sight! I finished in 40:18, irritated with myself and eager to redeem my experience. My husband finished in 30:23.

And yet the next race - my Zoo Run Run - really didn't go much better. I finished in 39:45 - an improvement, but I had expected to be much better.

Ready for my second 5K! Yoga pants and all! But hey, I upgraded to a tech top - which I was REALLY excited over!


Somehow, though, I was hooked on racing...instead of crossing something off my bucket list and moving on, I had only added things to my bucket list...10K, 10 mile, HM...

When I finished my third 5K - feeling like I was about to puke! - in 36:59, a month later, something had really clicked. I was really, really having fun out there and was eager to go further. A week later I did my first 10K in 1:17:08 - my husband finished only 10 minutes before me, which felt great considering he also finished 10 minutes before in my first 5K! As a bonus, I got a finisher medal - my first medal that started my addiction to race bling.

My eye roved to the Perfect 10, a 10 mile race on my 29th birthday. I'll be honest - I probably wasn't ready to be running distance. But I was SO eager and I got out there and I did it! ...slowly. But I DID it!

A few weeks later my husband did his first half marathon and I was so jealous. I wanted to be out there! But my first wouldn't come until January, when I ran the Polar Dash. Instead, I ran an 8K in absolutely gorgeous weather - the Long Grove Turkey Trot. I felt strong and loved being able to be out there, although I remember at the point where the 5K and 8K people split off, I wondered why I hadn't opted for the 5K!


Still in yoga pants, but really loving being out there.

Two months and lots of training later, I would run my first half. I sobbed hysterically at that finish line, because I had changed so much. I wasn't the girl who couldn't run anymore...I was a woman who had worked hard to help her body become strong and healthy.

And I even smiled! ...still in those yoga pants. Which I refused to acknowledge were too big :P
 
 Of course, what we didn't know was that someone was banditing that race. I'd gained a little stow-away that weekend.





And thus would begin my adventures in pregnant running...but those at least are well documented on this blog!


So that's my running story. What's yours?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Making progress...fast

I had a fabulous run last night - honestly fantastic. I felt great and the number that came out were so strange to me. I had planned a stroller run and got all of 2 miles in (with multiple breaks) because Miles just wasn't having any of it. I figured I'd end up on the treadmill to finish out the 5 I had had planned, but my husband got home early so I got to go for my first solo run in a week and a half (treadmills I still am watching the kids, strollers are obviously different from just going running).

I'm not sure what it was, endorphins or needing to run the stress off or just the perfect storm of everything I needed, but I ran 5K and it was crazy. My mile splits were 10:11/9:21/8:54/:50.

I ran a sub-9 mile. And it wasn't a one off - it was my third mile, my last mile. My total time for last night's 5K was 29:19, which is almost 30 seconds faster than the PR I -just- set like 3 weeks ago.



Seriously, who am I? In February I struggled through a 10K at an 11:53 pace. I was not back to a point where I could run a couple miles without a walk break. I was working on breaking a 35-minute 5K.

By March I had a break through and was almost back to my PR pace for 5Ks, in a trail race no less. In training on the road I ran a 31:39 5K training run.

By April I would smash my half marathon PR by over 20 minutes and run a sub-30 5K.

I used to think I'd top out at around a 10 minute mile pace, maybe occasionally reaching into the 9s if I really gave it my everything in a race. Breaking a 30 minute 5K was my ultimate running goal.

At this point I can pretty consistently run in the upper 9s for shorter runs consistently, if I'm running slightly above comfortable. Comfortable is usually mid-10s, long slow pace high 10s/low 11s. Low 9s is pushing it just past conversational...although the high 8 I ran last night felt /good/. I was pushing, but it sure didn't feel like race pace. But it's my fastest mile in my entire life.

On one hand - it's GREAT. I feel fantastic. Totally fantastic. (I also watch too much Dr. Who, but that's fantastic too, right? /geek) I feel healthy and strong.

On the other hand, I feel like I'm zipping through this. Not that I'm fast - just much faster than I used to be and I can't figure out what curve I'm following. At 7 months postpartum I'm running way faster than I ever could before baby, I am running longer, and I am feeling better while running - no more death marching, ever, and for the most part, no more walk intervals either. It's almost weird to me how fast I'm progressing....like every month or so I'm taking a leap. I -have- lost a lot of weight since I started running, which I realize accounts for some of it, but I feel like this is more than just weight loss.

Not that I'm an expert or anything, but if this is common I haven't seen anyone blog about it. Part of me wonders if it's a mental thing and I'm just discovering some mental toughness I never knew I had?

I have no idea, but it's both unsettling and exciting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Raffles are awesome!

Well I woke up to great news today - I won a prize in Anne's raffle to raise money for lung cancer!

More specifically, I won an entry into a Spartan race. I'm sure everyone knows what they are, so I'll skip the tl;dr and go straight to -

I am EXCITED! Those always looked like fun, but I've never been brave enough to really commit to it. They look intense and crazy, too. Even, dare I say, a bit intimidating! But thanks to Anne, I'm out of excuses, because it would be a waste not to do one now, right?

(Logic, right?)

At a glance, it looks like there are two relatively close to me - the Super Spartan in Chicago on 9/27, and the Spartan Sprint in Milwaukee on 11/1. The Super is an 8-9 mile obstacle course, the Sprint is a 5k essentially.

Normally, I'm gung ho for the toughest challenge, but the super will fall the week after my 20 miler and 2 weeks before the marathon.

I'm eager to challenge myself and -really- excited, but I think opting for the super is a bigger bite than I can really handle while marathon training too! Not to disrespect the sprint distance - I have no doubt it will be both mentally and physically challenging - but I think it's definitely more up my ally this year. Who knows - maybe with one under my belt I'll try the super next year! Plus, this will give me something to look forward to after the marathon, and if my last half is an indication of post race blues, I'll probably need that!

If you've ever done a Spartan race, what did you do to train?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Training plans

Okay, so Chicago training starts in a month. Not that I'm excited or nervous.

Nope, not me.

Moving on to a paragraph that isn't a total fallacy, I'm trying to decide what training plan to use.  I've narrowed it down to Hal Higdon's Novice 2 or Intermediate 1.


Novice 1:

Pros -

  • Only 1 weekend run, so I'll actually see my husband the day we do our long runs (we're both training for Chicago - we'll be able to do our long runs together sometimes but mostly we'll be on alternate days...if I run on a day he does his long run...I probably won't see him much that day)
  • Only 1 20 miler. (They scare me. ) 
  • Easier to fit around the Nearly Sane 13.1 already on my calendar - just flip two weeks and I'm good.
  • Rest day before the long run
  • It'll be my first marathon, which this plan is geared to
Cons -

  • Lower mileage - long runs around 1/2 total weekly mileage
  • Fewer days per week - I currently try to run 5-6 days a week...it drops me down to 4
  • Only 1 20 miler. (I think it's good for me.)


Intermediate 1 -

Pros -

  • Running 5 days a week
  • Mileage closer to what I want
  • 2 20s.
  • Long run is back to back with a shorter run
  • Starts off closer to where I am now than the novice plan

Cons -

  • Harder to coordinate with my husband
  • 2 20s.
  • Am I getting in over my head? This plan is meant for people who have run a marathon before. I'm still a virgin..


I feel like both are really good options for me! I am really torn. How do you pick a training plan?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Training 4.28.14

Monday 4/28 - Rest
I didn't take one last week so figured I'd better today!


Tuesday 4/29 - Rest
Baby didn't sleep well the night before so I barely slept...could barely stay awake, much less run!


Wednesday 4/30 - Run || 4 miles || 48:00, 12:00p || Treadmill || Hill workout, 1:1 intervals
Felt SO freaking fantastic during this run, and it's not a feeling I usually associate with the treadmill...maybe my new running skirt came with extra endorphins!

Actually, I can't remember if this was Wednesday or Friday's run. Oops.


Thursday 5/1 - Run || 5.04 miles || 52:34, 10:25p || 48*, felt like 45* and drizzly
I was hoping this would feel as good as yesterday's run but I wore capris so maybe it IS a magic skirt! Stroller run. Splits 10:49, 10:32, 10:30, 10:34, 9:41, :25...umm, I had to sprint to my car....


While I tend to believe I'm brighter than average, I can't for the life of me figure out how to rotate this picture I uploaded. Whoops.

Friday 5/2 - Run || 4 miles || 44:00, 11:00p || Treadmill || Hill workout, 1:1 intervals 
Another stroller run that didn't happen...Miles is having a rough go of this cold, but he was happy to play with his sister while I ran this afternoon. 


The view from the treadmill!



Saturday 5/3 - Run || 4.63 miles || 52:33, 11:21p || 65*, felt like 63*
My legs felt heavy and tired and I just felt HOT! Yuck. This was supposed to be my long run but I felt so tired I cut it short - first run I've cut short in a long, long time. Did have the baby in the stroller but just felt hot and tired and ended up covered with yucky crusty sweat. Splits 11:21, 11:02, 10:50, 11:09, 8:07.

Sunday 5/4 - Run || 7 miles || 1:17:35, 11:05p || 50*, felt like 50*
I played this one really conservatively after totally bonking yesterday's run - maybe too conservatively! I had Miles again (it was that or no long run) and I still felt tired, but a whole lot better than yesterday, and I've never gone so far with the stroller! Splits were not even, even though I was aiming for it - the park I was running in was pretty hilly so the faster miles were the ones with less hills. Splits 11:42, 11:08, 11:17, 10:42, 11:00, 10:46, 10:53. 


Total:24.67 miles run. All runs were treadmill or stroller. Sunday was supposed to be a group run but I woke up late. Derp! So - no me time, and no social time either...oops! At least I got the miles in!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Looking back, and looking forward!

Dear April,

You were a fantastic month for me. Let's do it again next year, okay?

Love,
Heather


Honestly, April really was a fabulous month. It was not my highest mileage month - March was - but it included plenty of running (a mix of solo, stroller, treadmill, races, and even a run with my husband!).

This includes miles both walked and run but still, loving it! 82 miles run in April, 110 in March!


Some highlights:


Looking forward, I have big goals for May. Not PRs, as I only have two races (and one of them is being walk/run with my 5 year old - and the other is a trail race!), but it's going to be an important month. First, I really want to get more runs with people in. I am shy which makes it hard but I can so do this. I joined an MRTT chapter and I am going to try to attend group runs at least once a week.

And...Training for the Chicago Marathon begins June 9...and I am SO ready, but also, SO not ready! The first long run is 8 miles and I know I can do it, but my goal is for that first long run to feel easy, so I want a really good, solid weekly mileage base going in. I would like to end up with around 25-30 MPW, which would put me back where I was around the end of March.

I'll be using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 plan - mostly because I am just coming off a HM training cycle, so even though this is my first marathon, I have a fairly solid base going in.

Gosh, June 9 seems so very very close!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

PR Silliness

So, like lots of blogs, I list my PRs on the side here. *points to the right* Yeah, there!

Well, I list a PR for every distance I've run whether that time is indicative of how I currently run or not. I absolutely loved being able to update with my recent 5K PR and my HM PR. I laughed at my current "5M/8K" PR because well...that race was supposed to be 10K.

But I have to admit, right now, I have the itch to run a 10 mile race.

Not because I really have the budget for more races than I'm already signed up for this year, or because there's a 10 miler I'm dying to run.

No, I want to because my 10 mile PR - the only 10 mile race I've run - is staring me in the face, only 2 minutes under my HM PR.

Now, that race was a long time ago and like I said, it's the only 10 I've run. It was my very first long distance race, and it was my 29th birthday, and 9.25 miles in, they had to stop us for almost 10 minutes to let sailboats through. (This wouldn't have happened, but they started the race almost 45 minutes late. Doh!) As a newbie a break that big at the very end meant I hobbled my way to the finish line, when I should have come in almost 20 minutes sooner.

I realize, that's not a great reason to run a race. Although, it would be a PR! (My husband thinks I should run that same race again just to have a re-do, haha!)

But I kind of want to anyway. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be a common distance!

And it did get me wondering..what's the silliest reason you've ever had to run a race? Now - don't say "just because." That's a great reason in my mind! I mean - what's the silliest justification you've used?