Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Marathon Training Begins


Week one of marathon training is done. check! I was talking to my running friend, Kristin, and she was asking if marathon training had started already. And I told her yes and that I was so excited about it. It quickly dawned on me that I wanted to start training for a marathon approximately 4 hours after Twin Cities was complete last fall. And then my body wasn't having it.

I am beyond excited to put in some hard work and see where my fitness can be in the next 4 months.

One of the runs that I look forward to the least was on the schedule on week one (I should fire my coach! jk, I am my own coach). I had 8 miles with 4 at tempo. Not only do I hate tempo runs, but they are so much harder in the summer heat and humidity. I adjusted my tempo pace slightly to accommodate for the heat, and set out thinking if absolutely necessary I could do a few minute recovery in between the first 2 and second 2 miles.

As I was running I realized that I often give myself an out on these kinds of runs--stretching at the turn around, recovery jog, retying a shoe, stopping for water, etc. The point of these runs is the continuous harder effort to allow the body to learn how to push out the heaviness that accumulates in the legs during these faster paces. I typically sell myself short when I give myself an easy way out. So I put my head down, and worked. And I survived, and felt like a bad ass for it.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Current Obsession: Headspace App

I have been upping my meditation game lately. I've been struggling with some anxiety issues this past spring, and I know that meditating, for me personally, helps to alleviate some of my symptoms. At one point, I had a streak of 40+ days going, only to fall asleep and forget to meditate. Grumble grumble. I'm well over 1k minutes meditated.

I would personally recommend the Headspace App, as they have a bunch of different categories of content, as well as nice quotes and notes that make you think throughout the day. I also like that you can set up a reminder to alert you to meditate.


 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Weekly Reads: Love and Luck

I've been meaning to read Love and Luck for the last year. It's a companion book to Love and Gelato which was amazing, and I'm traveling to Ireland this summer. I finally got it to the top of my TBR stack, and I absolutely adored it. Most of the locations visited in the story I also get to see in two months, and it was such a great story.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Marathon Training Plan Tweaks

Today marks day one of marathon training for the Twin Cities Marathon, take 2! I'm again training myself, although I am realizing that how I coach myself is not how I coach other runners, and I could probably stand to have someone who can comfortably tell me no when I have a harebrained idea, but that's neither here nor there I guess.

I've created a training plan that is pretty similar to last year's, with some tweaks. Last year's plan started after the 4th of July. Last year I did Grandma's half marathon, took some time to recover, and then had some cranky knee flare up. Last year's was planned at 15 weeks, but ended up at 13 weeks. This year's will be 16 weeks.

I also have one additional 20 miler, as I have an extra couple of weeks of training. It's always so brutally hot training through the summer for a marathon that it's nice to have a bonus 20 miler for confidence if the others are just brutal. I did discover on my long run this weekend that I'll likely have to do 1 or 2 of them on my own. AHH!!! Fingers crossed I can line someone up for part of them at least.

My last tweak is some additional hill work. Last summer, I (or should I say Chris) did a good job of incorporating hilly routes into our Monday night runs. I felt so strong on the hills of TCM, that I want to do that again, but I'm also planning some hill specific repeats for some strength based workouts.

I'm really excited to dive into marathon training and do the WORK to get that marathon PR in 16 weeks!




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Weekly Reads: Denis Ever After

I volunteered to read this book for the Teen's Choice book committee that I serve on. I love a good murder mystery. I failed to realize that this was told from the perspective of a ghost, and that was a really cool angle. I listened to it mostly on audiobook, and then when it got toward the end I needed to read the book because I just had to find out what happened. Totally unexpected ending!
My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Denis Egan is dead. 

He’s okay with that. It’s been five years since he died, and the place where souls go is actually pretty nice. Sure, there are some things about his life and how it ended he can’t quite recall, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Remembering could prevent Denis from moving on to whatever’s next. 

However, something is standing in his way. His twin brother Matt can’t let go of him, and as long as the living are holding on to his memory, Denis can’t rest in peace.

To uncover the truth about what happened that day five years before, Denis returns to his hometown and teams up with Matt. But visiting for too long has painful consequences for Denis, and Matt’s renewed interest in his brother’s passing is driving a wedge between his still-grieving parents.

Can the two boys solve the mystery of Denis’s death without breaking apart the family he’s left behind?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Melissa's Fargo Half Marathon Race Report

Melissa is one of my good running buddies. We did the bulk of our long runs together for the Twin Cities Marathon last year, and since then, I've been giving her training plans to follow, partially because then I have a built in running buddy, but mostly because she has such potential as a runner, I really wanted to see how fast she could get this spring. So yes, I guess there are bonuses to being my running buddy if you're in need of a coach. :P

I asked her if she wanted to write up her race report from the Fargo Half Marathon, because she had an awesome day despite really cruddy conditions. Prior to this spring, Melissa's half PR was a 1:56 ish set at Mankato just a few weeks after her first full marathon. I knew she was much faster than her time showed, so we spent a lot of time slowing down her long runs, slowly increasing her weekly mileage, keeping the majority of her miles really really easy conversational pace, and then tackling some hard workouts on workout days. She set a couple of minute PR at the Skedaddle Half Marathon in April, with the pacing plan that she should feel like she was really holding back almost the whole time, as her A goal was Fargo.

Go Melissa!

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My race plan from my BRF Jeri:
5x8:45
5x8:15
3.1x8
Time=1:49:48
I of course NEVER look at the weather before a race but I know Jeri does so after hearing people say, “it’s going to rain and be windy,” I asked Jeri. I know she has been looking for the past week 😊 and it was easier to ask her. She confirmed! 

 I was aware of the wind because let’s be honest, it’s Fargo, but I was NOT expecting the cold and rain! I was hoping for warmth! 

Anyway, race day came and I slept AMAZING but I could not 💩 and the weather was cold, rainy and windy like everyone was saying. At that point I decided today was probably not going to be a PR because of the weather and I was worried about a stomach cramp! We left the hotel and I started joking about how “beautiful” the weather was because we can’t change it and I wanted to have fun since I wasn't going to PR.
After talking with Jeri, I decided go go out a little more conservative. 

My first mile was 9:04 and after that I kept looking at my watch and 8:30’s were coming up and I felt so good 😊
Mile 2: 8:34
Mile 3: 8:33
Mile 4: 8:33
Mile 5:  8:26
After mile 5 I still felt strong and no stomach cramps 🤞. I made sure to stop at 3 water stops for some Gatorade because I have trouble fueling during a race and the thought of GU’s make me want to vomit. 

Don’t worry- I’ve learned after a few terrible races that I have to eat breakfast, especially when I struggle fueling during.  I’ve found a bagel with PB, honey and half a banana works pretty good. 

Ok back to the race!
After mile 6, I was like “I can do this!” I picked up the pace mile 7-9.
Mile 6: 8:26
Mile 7: 8:15
Mile 8: 8:18
Mile 9:  8:20
Then that darn wind seemed to find me and I I can’t remember what mile, but I’m pretty sure 10-11, I stopped at a water stop for Gatorade because I didn't want to bonk! 
Mile 10: 8:29
Mile 11: 8:28 
At the water stop I found Glenda and she yelled, “Go Melissa, Go!” So I did!
Mile 12: 8:06
Mile 13: 7:49
0.12: 6:47 
Of course that gave me a huge boost! I took off and looked down at my watch and saw the time and realized, I’m going to PR and I still feel so strong!
I finished with a time of 1:50:10. Dang 11seconds! Right Jeri?!? But it was a PR by 3.5 minutes from Skedaddle so I’ll take it. Jeri was once again right when she said, “you are gonna PR!”  

______________
The best part of this (other than the monster PR, obvs) was sitting in the locker rooms after the race looking up everyone's official times and seeing that Melissa ran a 1:50:10. Without thinking, I remarked, "You couldn't find 11 seconds, Melissa!?!?" totally joking, but it was pretty funny. Honestly Melissa doesn't run very well in the cold (unlike me, ha) so on a good day, I actually had her pegged closer to a 1:48. We'll switch our focus to marathon training here shortly, but we also signed up for a half a month after Twin Cities, so I wouldn't expect this half PR to stand into 2020.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Weekly Reads: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Let me start this by saying, that I LOVE that Netflix has become the platform for fantastic teen books to movie. Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before has been on my TBR pile since 2015, according to my goodreads account. I committed librarian sacrilege: I watched the movie before I read the book. GASP. I never do this. Like ever. But I needed something cute to watch and I'd been hearing so many great things about it that I had to watch. And it was lovely. And I immediately had to put the book on hold at the library. Of course it had a nice long hold list on it because of the excitement about the movie so it took awhile.

Totally worth it.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.