Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nearly Sane HM - Recap

Wow, this is the latest I've ever done a recap - an entire week late! I think because the overall run was so hard that I kind of shoved the half aside. But, it deserves a post.

So last Sunday, 8/24/14, as part of my 18 miler I ran the Nearly Sane Trail HM hosted by Muddy Monk. It took place on the Des Plaines River Trail.

Because it was part of my 18 miler, I decided initially I'd go there, pick up my packet, run 5, and then run the half. In reality, I got lost going there (my GPS said destination was on the right - and it wasn't, plus the MM flags that usually mark the turns were different this time and my eyes skipped right past them!). The pickup lines were longer than I expected and the portopotty lines were even longer, so I got 3 in ahead of time.

The 3 miles went fine, although I regretted not getting the full 5 in - I knew I'd have a hard time doing two more after, but at least I was smart enough to know I would never have done the full five after! I was okay the first half of the race, although it was hot and humid. (Even with the shade on the DPRT I was struggling though.)

I even smiled on course! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

But after the turn around point, which was about 10 miles on the day for me, I was in a negative place. I walked for 30 seconds at the beginning of every mile because I hated running. It's weird to type that, but the last 6 miles of this race were tough for me. I had a serious discussion with myself about not wanting to do a marathon and wondering what to do with my bib.

I think this was actually the beginning of the race, but whatever. Picture. Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

The last mile I walked 3 times. I can't even remember the last time I had a mile I needed to walk that much, and I'm pretty sure it was all mental - I was struggling with the heat, but the real battle was in my head. I never wanted to run again! When I saw the finish line, I was ready to be done, and I booked it in.

DONE! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

After a quick pit stop to fill up my water, I tried to do my last 2 miles. I got one in and then my garmin died. Despite having a five hour battery life, supposedly. DEAD. Dead dead deadsky. And, even better, it did not save my run data like it usually does when the battery goes. Some colourful swearing ensued. To calm myself down, I drove home, which was about ten minutes, and then did my 1 mile loop around my house.

So, this run kind of sucked. Not the fault of MM; the race was well organized, the water stops were excellent, and the portopotty halfway through was appreciated. I had enough water. But man, I was ready to quit running forever. In retrospect, it was the humidity. I don't like it, and I am ready for summer running to be over. But, I did get 18 miles in! That's a lot. And I got a medal for it. Which is cool.

Is it fall yet?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Training 8.18.14 - Chicago Marathon W12

Monday 8/18 - Rest
Monday rest day.


Tuesday 8/19 - Run || 5 miles || 51:54, 10:23p || 69* and 95 humidity
Tough run - when I woke up it was thunder/lightening so I wasn't even sure I'd be able to go, but the rain stopped - and left behind horrendous humidity with no cooldown. Slogging the whole way! 5/277.8


Wednesday 8/20 - Run || 8 miles || 1:25:15, 10:39p || 70* 95% humidity
This was supposed to be a pace run, but it was hot and so humid the felt like it had texture. Did my best to get through - pace was not a concern! 13/285.8


Thursday 8/21 - Run || 5 miles || 53:07, 10:37p || 75*, and 90 humidity
So tired. This run felt hard, so I don't know if it's the high humidity killing me, the lack of sleep, or hitting higher mileage than I'm used to, or all of the above. Husband had to go to work early so to fit the run in I had to get up and be out the door by 5:15a... 18/290.8.


Friday 8/22 - Rest
Friday rest day. Unless you count pacing for 45 minutes. Which I probably should. 


Saturday 8/23 -  Rest
I wasn't sure if I should cross train today since I was running Saturday or not...I opted not to in order to have fresh legs for my 18.


Sunday 8/24- Run || 18 miles || ???, ???p || 76 and 90% humidity
I ran 3 miles, then ran the Nearly Sane Half, then finished up a couple more miles to round it out to 18. I have no idea what my pace was, because my garmin died at mile 17 and I hadn't been watching the time, just the distance! Ack! My time for the half was 2:24:20, so I'm guessing I kept this around 11? It was a MISERABLE run. SO hot, SO humid, that I run/walked the second 9 milers...the last 5k of the half I had a serious internal discussion about whether or not I even wanted to do a marathon, and what I would do with my bib...writing this the next day, I think that was mostly me struggling with the heat, because my runs have sucked all week (seriously - none of them felt easy with the temps this week). But I do wonder if I'm getting towards burn out. 36/308.8

Total: 36 miles run, no XT (I'll do it Monday, just because of the way the weekend race worked out) and one medal earned. I only have 3 more runs that are really long...a 13, 19, and 20...the rest are 12 or less...wow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Training 8.11.14 - Chicago Marathon W11

Monday 8/11 - Rest
Monday rest day. I meant to do the cross training I skipped yesterday but I was still really tired from the half.


Tuesday 8/12 - Run || 4 miles || 45:12, 11:18p || 63* and 90 humidity
My legs were sort of like, say whaaaaat?! Got 'em done but slowwww. I really should have done the cross training because my legs felt so much better by the end of this run. Splits 12:07/11:23/11:02/10:37. 4/242.8


Wednesday 8/13 - Run || 8 miles || 1:24:35, 10:34p || 55* 80% humidity
Weird run with bathroom pitstops and trains and such but got it done, kept it easy, felt great...when did 8 become easy? Didn't do pace run this week to recover from the half last week.  12/250.8


Thursday 8/14 - Run || 5 miles || 56:15, 11:15p || 70*, and 50 humidity
Got to run with my husband! Was really nice to run with him. 17/255.8.


Friday 8/15 - Rest
Friday rest day.


Saturday 8/16 -  Run || 17 miles || 3:10:23, 11:11p || 70*, and 85 humidity
The first 14 miles were pretty good - I kept it really slow since I know I'm not totally recovered from last week's half. The last 3 were tough and I had to walk for a minute every 1/2 mile the last mile and a half...but that's way better than my 15 miler went! I think the last few miles were hard because the shade all went away. Darn sun! 34/272.8


Sunday 8/17- Cross Train || 2.75 miles || 30min || Course 1, Level 3
Learned my lesson last week - legs feel much more sore without the cross training after the long run.

Total: 34 miles run, 2.75 elliptical! That 17 was easier than my half..

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pop Quiz: Beginning of the race, or end?!

Let's play a fun game. I'll show you two pictures, and you can guess whether they're from the start of last week's half, or the end!

Sounds like fun, right? Ready, set...go!



Credit to my friend Barb's husband, who played race photographer for us at the Full Moon Half last week. I've decided to caption the top one "I'm over here! Someone send a helicopter to rescue me!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Full Moon Race Recap

So long story short - I PR'ed by 13 1/2 minutes, didn't quite make my time goal but came really close, and the course was much more difficult than I thought.

Okay, now short story long - I ran the Full Moon Half in Sheboygan WI on Saturday. It was a point to point race, which was nice as most races I've done are out and back races. It was small - the smallest half I've done with less than 200 finishers. It had a 5K and 2 kids races as well; my daughter did the 200 yard dash (I wanted her to run the .25m lap around the track but she would have had to be 8, so she did the 200 yard dash instead.)

Her race was adorable; my friend's husband video'ed it and my husband got this great shot of her shooting across the finish line:

How cute is she?!

She got an adorable medal too!

Though about the size of a half dollar coin, her medal is nicer than mine...maybe I should have opted for 200yds?

For my run, my friend Barb and I caught the shuttle at the finish line to take us to the start line. We got there early (pre race jitters!) and puttered around looking for the start line before we each went off to do our warm ups; we would later realize the start line hadn't been set up yet, but were a little concerned to start with!

The race started at 6pm (or pretty close) and we were off; I promised myself to keep the first few miles easy but it didnt happen. The pace felt good though - not super easy, but I wasn't struggling at all so I did my best to just settle into it.

Mile 1: 9:48 (I had thought I'd open 10:30...err, ok)
Mile 2: 9:59 (biiiiiig hill. Hai hill.)
Mile 3: 9:48 (Steady...)
Mile 4: 9:49 (Steady steady...)

The second mile brought one of the biggest hills of the course but I kept it pretty close to a steady pace...I was really worried about burning out on the hills but I was still thinking the "downhill course" would be easy.

Mile 5: 10:02 (ended on an up, derp)
Mile 6: 9:50 (hanging steady! pretty happy with my splits at this point.)
Mile 7: 9:40 (Okay, maybe a little too happy...?)
Mile 8: 10:13 (I stopped at the aid station to fill my water bottle; I had finished my 20oz handheld...it was hot!)


Mile 9 was killer though and a huge confidence buster. From about 8.88 to 9.3 was all uphill, with almost 40 feet of climb over that stretch. I have to admit I walked it, even though I ran the other hills on course. I'm not sure if this was a mental toughness thing or just the hill - a lot of people walked it - but it was killer, and mile 9 was my slowest mile of the day. I was a little bummed I walked and spent a little bit of time berating myself, but I got back on track.

Mile 9: 10:18
Mile 10: 10:01
Mile 11: 10:06
Mile 12: 10:06

11 and 12 both came in at 10:06; I did walk the last aid station as I was starting to feel pretty leaden from holding this pace longer than I ever have before. I knew from my tempo runs I had it in me but knowing that and doing it are two different things! But I'm proud of how consistent my splits were for this run.

Mile 13: 9:56
Mile 13.19: 1:26

Mile 13 came in at 9:56 even with a quick walk break as we switched to sidewalks (it threw me for some reason - I didn't walk long but I wanted to make sure I hadn't hurt my knee, because how much would that suck at the end of a race!). Then the final stretch put us out onto the track and towards the finish line; what was HORRIBLE was that as you come onto the track the finish line is right to your left - but you have to go right to do a full lap around the track.

I'm going to admit something embarrassing here; at 13.12 I stopped running for a second. I don't know why, but my brain was just like "I'm done." The guy running next to me literally yelled, "You can't walk now!" I groaned, but he was totally right. I honestly am not even sure why I did that. I mean, what the heck? Dude. Duuuude. IDEK. But thank you, runner whose name I didn't catch - you kept me going when I really needed to. Thank you for yelling at me, and thank you for essentially reeling me in to the finish line. I think there's an honest chance I might have walked it other. (Again, what?! What? I have no idea.)

In the end though, I ran a really good race and I'm really proud of it. My splits were consistent and pretty steady, and while I didn't get the sub-10 pace I was aiming for, 2:11:21 and a 10:02 pace - plus a 13 1/2 minute PR! - sound pretty good to me. I did slow down the second half compared to the first, but I think I really put pretty damn close to my everything into this course.

The race really was fantastic; the aid stations were well placed and the volunteers were awesome. The crowd at the finish line was great. The one complaint? The medal was lousy - a sticker medal for a half marathon? What a bummer, not really a keepsake worth traveling for! I usually take a picture for the blog but it's..a sticker of the race logo. It says half marathon and 5k. Definite blah, unfortunately.

It's not a size thing...the medal is thin and the sticker is peeling. Bleh!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Training 8.4.14 - Chicago Marathon W10

Monday 8/4 - Rest
Monday rest day.


Tuesday 8/5 - Run || 4 miles || 41:21, 10:20p || 67* and 90 humidity
2.5 outside @ 10:10p, then 1.5 on the treadmill...had to cut the run short due to bathroom emergency so finished the miles up on the treadmill. Splits 10:43/9:45/10:23/10:30. 4/214.7


Wednesday 8/6 - Run || 7 miles || 1:08:19, 9:45p || 62* 82% humidity
5.5 outside, then went straight to the treadmill for the last 1.5. Same deal as last week - my husband had to leave so I did what I could outside and hit the treadmill at the end. It's not really a split since there's less than 30 seconds down time. 11:03/9:57/9:22/9:26*/9:03/9:29**/10:00**
Mile 4 had a red light, mile 6 was half outside half on the treadmill and mile 7 was all on the treadmill. 11/221.7


Thursday 8/7 - Run || 4 miles || 40:38, 10:09p || 60*, and 89 humidity
Wanted to run around 10:30 after pushing it for my pace run yesterday, but felt really good. Splits 10:53/10:05/10:08/9:26. 15/225.7.


Friday 8/8 - Rest
Friday rest day.


Saturday 8/9 -  Run || 13.1 miles || 2:11:21, 10:02p || 72*, and 60 humidity
Full moon half! Raced this half and just about left it all on course! 28.1/238.8


Sunday 8/10- Rest
Too tired after traveling for XT! Will do it tomorrow.

Total: 28.1 miles run, no cross training! That was a tough half!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Training 7.28.14 - Chicago Marathon W9

Monday 7/28 - Cross train || 2.7 miles || 30:00, 11:11p || Elliptical Course 1 Level 3
I was supposed to do this yesterday, but couldn't fit it in, so 30 minutes today it was.


Tuesday 7/29 - Run || 4 miles || 40:20, 10:05p || 59* and 90 humidity
Not much to report. 4 miles done! Splits 10:59/10:41/10:10//9:44. 4/184.7


Wednesday 7/30 - Run || 7 miles || 1:07:02, 9:34p || 60* 90% humidity
5.5 outside, then went straight to the treadmill for the last 1.5. My husband had to leave for work early so I had to get back to the house; you know I was booking it because the last 5K of my outdoor mileage was in 28:12...and my 5K PR is 29:56. Oops. Didn't mean to go quite THAT fast, although I did need to rush the mileage to get it in. I'll run a very slow recovery run tomorrow!   11/191.7


Thursday 7/31 - Run || 4 miles || 41:46, 10:26p || 57*, and 80 humidity
Slow run to make up for Wednesday...was trying to go close to LSD pace. Splits 11:31/10:31/10:07/9:30. 15/195.7.


Friday 8/1 - Rest
Friday rest day.


Saturday 8/2 -  Run || 15 miles || 2:40:14, 10:41p || 72*, and 80 humidity
Bad runs happen. The first 11 miles were okay...the last 4 I walked every half a mile and only hit 11mm. Meh. I am going to write this off as it being much sunnier and warmer in combo than I am used to, but this sucked and had me going, "There's no way I can run 11.2 more miles, crap!" But I was actually much less sore than I was the prior week, I think I just wimped out. Mental toughness fail....30/210.7


Sunday 8/3 - Cross train || 2.7 miles || 30:00, 11:03p || Elliptical Course 1 Level 3
I was supposed to do an hour, but kind of wanted to skip this (my husband was out of town from mid day Saturday until Sunday night...I decided I wasn't missing XT again this week and I am glad I got it in. 

Total: 30 miles run, 5.38 ellipticalled. Full Moon Half next weekend - very excited!