Friday, November 17, 2017

Boston Trip Recap Part 1

I arrived in Boston just a little after lunch, and Kathryn, a woman after my own heart, whisked me off to the nearest brewery for a beer and lunch. She knows me so well. 

We were on kiddo pick up duty and then headed out for super really delicious Mexican food for dinner. We had maybe the worst dining experience of my life at the restaurant, only made better by eating some of the BEST TACOS OF MY LIFE (and margaritas, and guacamole) so it almost made the horrific wait for a table, and total neglect of service worth while. Seriously the food was so good, omg.

Friday morning I woke up and set out for a run around town. I got in a nice easy three and was terrified by ALL OF THE HILLS. Omg what have I done?!?!

We went into Boston and enjoyed an awesome lunch of pizza and wine.

After lunch we made our way to the Boston Marathon finish line!!

Someday I'll run across this! But for today, I'll squat in front of it. 

This momento was necessary. 

We walked around for a little bit and enjoyed the beautiful day and all of the super cool buildings.

And selfies. Obvs.

Somehow we managed to work up some appetite and a need for COFFEE so we stopped at Max Brennan's for lattes and dessert.

We stopped at a couple of running stores nearby before making our way home for the night!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Training Books

The off season is upon us, or as some like to call it "winter". Hashtag winter is coming. I'm not even a GoT person, but I throw around that reference all the time, like I know what's up. With less miles on the schedule, I have more time and energy to throw into learning about the sport. So obviously I have a giant list of books that I want to get my hands on and dive into.

I'll surely do a report of these as I get through them, but right now my list includes:

The Science of Running: How to find your limit and train to maximize your performance

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Running Science

What else do I need to add to my list?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ocean View Half Recovery Week

Week of November 6-12

Monday Actual: Rest + foam rolling + myofascial release and some targeted massage to my cranky calve.

Tuesday Actual: 60 minute yoga class and more foam rolling.

Wednesday Actual: 3 mile run at the 605 group run. Surprised at how good my legs feel. Also probably the last time that I'll get in a run in shorts in the near future. Sadsies.

Thursday Actual: 4 miles with the BRF after work. With full on WINTER in the house. Real feel of 12. Brrr.

Friday Actual: I meant to get up and do the coffee run, but after coming back from vacation and Kyle being out of town, I wanted to just SLEEP. I went to bed at 9:30 and slept until 7am! Uff.

Saturday Actual: I worked on Saturday and then went straight from work to the Foo Fighters concert. Does 3.5 hours of dancing and 5 hours of standing count as a workout, because then I did. Endurance standing? Is that a thing?

Sunday Actual: Skipped long run (see above concert fun and 1am bedtime). 90 minute miracle massage. Mmmmmm.

Total Mileage Actual: 7 miles. Feeling reeeeeal recovered over here!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Weekly Reads: What Made Maddy Run

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen is a heart-breaking and important book that is a must-read for teens, athletes, and parents of teen athletes. A look into depression and anxiety from someone who, on the outside, appears to have it all. The story also integrated a lot of facts about the psychology of social media and it's effects on mental health, and the generation that is growing up with social media as their most prevalent way of communicating.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from Goodreads:

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today. 

If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a girl who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started. 

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something changed. Previously indefatigable Maddy became withdrawn, and her thoughts centered on how she could change her life. In spite of thousands of hours of practice and study, she contemplated transferring from the school that had once been her dream. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, she held him a second longer than usual. That would be the last time Jim would see his daughter.

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN began as a piece that Kate Fagan, a columnist for espnW, wrote about Maddy's life. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger when Fagan started to hear from other college athletes also struggling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

Monday, November 13, 2017

October in Review + Meet Presley

October in Review

Total Miles:  79.8 miles down from 124.4 miles  last month. 98.2 miles last October.

Total Time:  13:14:44 down from 21:20:46. Average pace dropped from 10:18 to 9:58! Whoop!

Total Runs: 13 runs, an average of 6.14 miles/run.

Highest weekly mileage: 
10/9/2017 – 10/15/2017:22.1 mi3:38:109:52 / mi

Most hardcore run: Solo speed session on the track. Made more hardcore for how starved I was throughout. Uff. Some really great paces.

Favorite run: I did an 11 mile long run by myself (which I hate) but it actually went really well, I felt strong, and the miles flew by. Sometimes it's nice to have a solo run to be along with your thoughts.

Favorite Race: Twin Cities 10 Mile and the Parks and Rec "5k". The TC10 was an awesome day, and despite not idea race conditions, I had a great race and a lot of fun. The 5k was one of the best races I've ran in a really long time, not worrying about how fast I went out, staying with the hard effort when it would've been easier to slow down, and surprising myself with a sub 8 pace. It was a great day!

Bike Miles: 0 miles.

Favorite Jam: I'm really digging T. Swift's Look What You Made Me Do.

Meet Presley 

When Kyle and I were in Memphis, we visited a local running store. I had spent hours in Bass Pro Shop, so I felt like it was only fair. I picked up a couple of OBNOXIOUSLY neon colored long sleeves for me and my bestie. Well, technically I was picking up one for myself, to which Kyle commented, "Wait, you're not getting one for Toni? You should get one for Toni." Well okay then. I guess I'm making all future running purchases in duplicate!

At the checkout, Kyle pointed at a Garmin Fenix that was on display. "Isn't that the watch you wanted? You should just get that too." I had been looking at the Fenixes for months, humming and hawwing over their price tag. I even blogged about it a month or so ago. My final thoughts were that I desperately wanted it, but could not justify the price tag, no matter how hard I tried. Kyle, the extreme conservative when it comes to money thought I should've bought it months ago. Now that I think about it, maybe he was pushing this watch purchase to even out the ridiculous new boat he just bought.... interesting.

Anyway, it wasn't the Garmin Fenix 5S I had been researching, but it was the Fenix 3 in rose gold. As the words were leaving Kyle's mouth, and I was shaking my head no, the sales associate mentioned that she was pretty sure it was heavily discounted as they were coming out with new models. I asked how discounted, and she wasn't sure. She said she could call the store manager, and wanted to know if I was that interested. Well yes, now I am that interested. While she was on hold she had thought it would be 30% off. You have my attention.......

When she got off the phone with her manager, and she gave me the price, my bank account cried, because I said yes. She took 35% off of an already discounted price, so I paid less than 50% for the watch. And honestly, I think she may have made a mistake, because I haven't seen the watch on sale ANYWHERE else. 

This watch has so many bells and whistles that I'm sure that I don't even know half of the functions. I'm excited to long some major miles with her in 2018, and knock out some PRs finally! I was playing around with names and thought of Presley and Priscilla, both because she's so cute and those are fun feminine names, and she came from Memphis for goodness sake. Until I realized that my last watch was named Priscilla. I somehow forgot that, and only realized it when I looked back on my blog to see how old my last Garmin was. Btw, Priscilla went to a really good home last week. A newer runner was looking for a Garmin, and she's been killing it at running lately, so I knew she'd take good care of her.

So meet Presley. I think we'll have a long beautiful running relationship together. Swoon.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Race Report: Ocean View Half Marathon

I woke up race morning feeling rested and ready to run. I had zero race nerves which made me think I was either 100% confident in my race abilities or I had zero mental game going in to the race. This should be interesting! We had a 90 minute drive to the race start, and it was a gorgeous drive. We got to the race start super early as there was a 5k an hour before the half marathon and the race packet said that parking would be almost impossible after the 5k had started. I picked up my bib and race packet and then we hung out in the car for a bit before it was time to warm up.

Before too long, it was time to make our way to the start for the race I wore all purple as November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. Crazy fact: My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer mid-October 2015. A few weeks later was Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and she didn't live to see another one. 74% of pancreatic cancer patients survive more than a year after diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest 5 year survival rates at 9%. From my mom's diagnosis to her passing was 10 short months, and she actually had a lot more time than others typically get because her's hadn't yet spread when she was diagnosed. Pancreatic cancer moves fast and typically doesn't have symptoms until it has spread fast and furiously. In mid-October my mother was told that there was no hope for curing her cancer and the best they could do as a medical team was extend her life as best they could. If you're interested in donating money toward research for pancan, or would like to join the mailing list to see how you can wage hope for future patients, check out

The weather was warmer than I had hoped, in the mid to low 50s, but the breeze was making the temperatures feel decent. It was humid. Kathryn wasn't sure if she'd be able to navigate the race course and a new town to spectate so I expected to be on my own for a couple of hours! Game time!

We started off the race and my left calve pain dissipated pretty quickly. I could still feel it throughout the race, but at least it wasn't the stabbing pain I've been feeling on and off. I didn't pay much attention to my watch that first mile, opting to run by feel, so I was fairly surprised when my watch beeped at me for mile 1.

1. 9:16

While alright then! The route was rolling hills but I felt strong on the uphills and the downhills were mild enough that I wasn't worried about hurting my IT bands. I was shocked at the paces my watch was showing me, but I was feeling GREAT! Lately a few of us runners have been talking about how we train hard in hopes that 1 or 2 out of every 10 races, everything aligns--physically, mentally, race weather, strength, course, and we have that magical unicorn race. I WAS HAVING THAT RACE.

2. 8:49
3. 8:36

I didn't even panic when mile 3 was an 8:36. Because it felt good. Just fine. What in the world is happening? Mile 4 was mostly uphill, but I felt strong, and was leap frogging with a couple of ladies and one guy, and it was helping to keep my competitiveness flowing. Around mile 3 was when my distance on my watch started to not match the mile markers. I was ahead of the markers for 1 and 2 and was .05 over at mile 3. I had hoped that they were put in the wrong spot, but didn't really care because I was flyyyyying. Mile 5 was another strong mile at a sub 9 pace, with another larger uphill followed by a nice downhill. Somewhere in these two miles, I started a new mantra, "Today is my day." Because it was.

4. 9:02
5. 8:53

Mile 6 had a couple of smaller hills but I was feeling great and maybe even snuck a peek at my watch at 6.55 miles and squealed when I doubled it for a possible finishing time--1:57. Even if the HILLS in miles 10 and 12 were as bad as I expected, surely I could hang on for a sub 2 finish! 

Today is my day.

6. 8:45

Mile 7 had flattened out for the most part, and I was surprised that I was slowing a bit. My body seemed to appreciate the rolling hills of the first half of the race, and all I ever really run is flat flat flat. Interesting. Mile 8 brought some steeper rolling hills and my hip flexors started to feel a little fatigued. I've been noticing an increase in heart palpitations in the past month, only while sitting around not doing much (something I've experienced for the past 10 years) but my heart started to flutter a little bit and it kind of freaked me out!

7. 9:10
8. 9:23

We turned the corner in mile 9 and I actually said aloud, "holy shit" at the hill that laid ahead of me. Except we didn't have to run up that hill, PHEW! However, we did have to run up that hill laid out over the course of the next mile.  Up, turn the corner, up, turn the corner, more up, and turn the corner. I fought the mental fight of walking a million times, knowing if I could just keep going as slow as I was going uphill I could finish under two hours. At some point I gave in. I had two little walk breaks during the two of the three big hills in this mile. I had another decent walk in mile 10.

9. 10:15
10. 10:56

I stopped calculating my finishing time after my walk breaks. I also started to get really annoyed with going back and forth on the road several times each mile. The race wasn't closed to traffic so we ran along with traffic on the shoulder, and there were many twists and turns, so each time we hit a turn, we'd have to cross the road to be seen by oncoming traffic. So annoying, especially as my mental game was slipping. Luckily mile 11 was a flat portion.

11. 9:37

Mile 12 I was just ready to be done. Where is this finish line?!?! There was a smaller high and I took two tiny walk breaks. I HATE walking in a race but I *especially* hate walking in the final miles of the race. Grumble grumble. Somewhere in here I re-calculated my finishing pace and realized I would have to run strong to finish under 2:05 and that was still something to be damn proud of considering ALL OF THE WALK BREAKS and ALL OF THE HILLS. Mental game: refocused!

12. 10:23

There was another hill at the start of mile 13 and I just tried to push through. The traffic was super heavy on both sides of the street and there was no one there stopping traffic. I was very annoyed I was on the wrong side of the road for the finish line and spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder for a safe time to cross. Not ideal for a finishing stretch. I finally made it across with what I thought was about .75 left in the race and tried to haul booty from there.

13. 9:13

The final sprint in I zoomed to pass a guy in front of me, ruining Kathryn's finishing photo of me. Oops. He should've sped up!

.25 1:54 (7:37 pace, 6:30 max pace)

I finished 13.25 miles in 2:04:17 for a pace of 9:23.

Kathryn killed it at race spectating and photo taking and cheering her booty off. And I managed to hit my A goal after losing my brain for 3 miles. WIN!

Half marathon #32 is done!