Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Weekly Reads: Scythe

Scythe is the newest book by Neal Shusterman. It recently won a Printz Honor for distinguished books for teens. I read it for my book club. This book reminded me of a grittier, more disturbing version of The Giver which is my favorite book of all time. I wasn't thrilled that it was the first book in a series as I'm all about the stand alones these days. The story started off very strong, slowed down a little bit in the middle, and then picked up in a fierce and ferocious way. I couldn't put it down the last 100 pages!

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Alamo 13.1 Race Goals

I had a dream a few months ago that I took 11 minutes off of my last half marathon time for this race. LOLZ. That might be more likely of a goal for my goal race in May. It's going to be much warmer for this race than my last two halfs, so that'll play a factor in my time. And most of my training has been in much cooler temps as well.

This race is coming in place of a 13 mile long run workout on my training plan. Starting at my long run pace, bumping up the speed a little bit every couple of miles, and then the last two miles at Lactate Threshold pace.

Based on how my training has been going here are my goals (ish):

Goal A: 2:08-2:09. I ran a 2:09 in St. Paul in October on a super humid but cool day. I should certainly be in better shape now, but the warmer temps still will play a factor.

Goal B: Sub 10 minute pace. Running a ten minute pace was hard in Dallas and it was about half the temperatures, so this might be a challenge, but training has been going well since then so you never know! Sub 2:11.

Goal C: 10:10 pace would be a 2:13-2:14 (or if I stink at running tangents).

Regardless of my race time, I'm excited to get a 13.1 mile tour around San Antonio!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Advice for New Runners

I have ran a lot of races. Tons of track races in junior high and high school, loads of road races over the past twelve years including seven marathons and thirty half marathons. I am far from being the fastest, and I'm not the slowest, but I have learned a lot over the years. I love being a student, so I've learned a lot through experience and even more through countless books that I've read. I love connecting with new runners and being a resource for them to answer questions that they have. I have compiled a list of common questions and their answers in this post!

Q: What do I wear?
A: A good pair of running shoes. This is truly the only thing you *need*. I spent years running, racing, and training in cotton shirts and I lived to tell about it. I only trained in giant basketball shorts in high school. And the only way I tracked time and data was to check the clock before I left and when I came home, and driving a route to see how far it was. There is so much other stuff that is fun to have. But nothing else that you truly NEED.

Q: How can I expect to get faster if I don't run every run "fast"?
A: Just by running, you get faster. If you run every run *fast* your body will be so fatigued and run down that you'll actually slow down your progress and speed in the long run. My first three half marathons (and countless 5ks) I did the method of running every run as fast as I could and then couldn't understand why my race times sucked so bad. Now I know! I like the hard-easy-hard-easy plan where every run toggles back and forth from easy to hard. Long run=hard, speedier run=hard, sandwiching easy 2-4 mile runs in between those hard runs help you recover while still building up your mileage.

Q: What do I do on race day?
A: Exactly what you do on long run day. I see long runs as dress rehearsal for race day. Finding out what I can wear without chafing. Finding out what I can eat without an upset stomach. Finding out what I can eat the night before that sits well in my stomach. Finding out my morning bathroom routine. Finding out what fuel I can take on the run that will give me energy without giving me the poops. :)
During every training cycle, I try to have one long run that's as close to a race day dress rehearsal as I can. If I'm doing a half marathon race, I'll do it on a day that I have 13 miles on the training program (or maybe the longest long run in a cycle if you're peaking at 10 or 12 miles). I plan to start my run at the time the race starts. I do everything just like I would for race day. Outfit, breakfast, wake up time, fueling strategy. This gives me another chance to tweak anything before race day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Brookings Half Training Week 3

Week of March 6-12

Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 6 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100 m strides

Monday Actual: Rest.

Tuesday Planned: Sanford Power + Endurance 9 Miles
Tuesday Actual: Rest.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 3 Miles
Wednesday Actual: 4 General aerobic miles before yoga. 60 minute yoga class, and another 4 General Aerobic miles after. Henceforth will be known as the Wednesday night yogathalon.

Thursday Planned: Lactate Threshold 7 Miles 18 min LT, 4 min jog, 15 min LT
Thursday Actual: 3 Recovery Miles. Unicorn level run where I realized that my recovery pace is ~90 seconds per mile faster than it was less than a year a go. Yessssss.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual: Run with Toni after working into blowing snow. Brr. Lactate Threshold 7 Miles 18 min LT, 4 min jog, 15 min LT. I haven't seen those paces on a run in a looooong time. At one point I looked down and saw a 7:40 pace. Uh.... perhaps we should slow down. Felt great though!

Saturday Planned: Endurance 9 Miles
Saturday Actual: I taught a heated vinyasa class and planned to a a 3 mile recovery run on the treadmill after to avoid the outdoors after I was soaked in sweat. I made it a half mile before the treadmill was tweaking my knee and I called it a day.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Sunday I had plans to round out my week with a long run. My knee was super tender to the touch and some pain on the inside of the left knee. I probably could have ran on it, but with a half next week, it didn't seem wise. A day spent with foam rolling, sticking, and myofascial release balls.

Total Mileage Planned: 34 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  19.6 miles

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Weekly Reads: Sorry Not Sorry

I was obsessed with Naya Rivera when Glee was on. She has to be one of the beautiful people on the planet. So I was excited to read her bio Sorry Not Sorry that came out recently (I've been on a celebrity bio kick lately, I guess!). It was a satisfying short read that was entertaining and a worthwhile read if you're a fan of her.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from amazon:

Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera's successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them.

Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn't easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we're not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from early childhood stardom, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:

-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. So many moms and teenage daughters don't get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.
-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.
-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.

Not Sorry:
-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.
-  Laughing at the gossip instead of getting upset by it.
-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.

Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth." Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Meal Prep + Clean(er) Eating

At the start of the year, I made a goal to eat more breakfast. I found that the more time I spent prepping on the weekends, the easier it was to eat a healthier breakfast (duh). And when I didn't have time to prep anything on the weekends, I didn't eat breakfast (again, duh). I also found that I often resorted to eggs and roasted veggies for dinner some evenings when I came home starving and wanted food NOW.

I'm curious what your favorite meals are to prep on the weekends, because when I get home at 7 or 8 or 8:30pm after running and yogaing I'm STARVING and I don't want to spend more than 15 minutes throwing some meals together.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Running Podcasts

I've started listening to some Running podcasts. I've always been a podcast listener (well, always since Serial came out, I should clarify) and rarely listen to running podcasts. Well, I'm now converting. Listening to them on my drives or while I'm getting ready for a run really help with my motivation to get out there and log some miles. And everyone needs some extra help with that, right?

Here are a few of my favorites:

There are tons of podcasts on Marathon Training Academy. I especially loved their breakdown in explaining heartrate rate training. 

I'll Have Another is a great conversational style podcast. It feels like Lindsey + her guest(s) are tagging along with you on your run, or you're all sitting around for coffee taking a deep dive into her guest's brains and brilliance.

Human Race by Runner's World always highlights different runners and their exceptional feats. It's always an incredibly inspiring story. A must-listen on those days when you don't "feel like running". Most of the runners featured are so awe-inspiring that you'll retire that excuse asap.

C Tolle Run is one of the newest podcasts I've picked up hosted by Carrie Tollefson, well known midwestern/Minnesotan runner. She actually takes her guest(s) on a run and they mic up while out on the road. Sometimes the audio might be a little annoying, but the information is always top notch.