Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Weekly Reads: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is by debut author Hank Green. You may be familiar with Hank Green if you're a Nerdfighter, but if you're not, his brother is John Green and he's equally as awesome. I was super excited to check out (hehe, library joke there) his new book. The story was a little slow moving to me, and had I not volunteered to review it for the young adult book committee I serve on, I may have returned it to read at a later date. Once I got to the final 100 pages, I couldn't put it down. So a good story, but the pacing was just not my favorite.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. 

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dallas Marathon: An Update

Well, as soon as I made my Dallas Marathon plan public information, my body got wind of what I had up my sleeve and promptly shut down.

At the time of writing this post, I have been sick for 7 full days, which is longer than I've ever been sick, continuously in my entire life, to my best recollection. Every day I'd go to sleep after hydrating like crazy, taking medicine, drinking all the tea, going to bed early, skipping runs, and expect to wake up and *finally* feel like myself. And every day I'd wake up and think, "Shit, how am I still sick?!?!"

With each day that passed, I felt my marathon training slip a little further and further out of the realm of possibility. I gave myself until Thursday in hopes that I could salvage one speed workout feeling 100%. But guess what! Nope. I woke up. Still sick. Although a million times better than I was feeling.

I'm bummed because I really did want to take one more crack at 26.2 miles this year. But it'll have to wait until next fall. On the bright side, if my body was going to decide that it didn't want to run another marathon, I'm thankful it was the immune system portion and not the muscular-skeletal portion. One is a much quicker turn around overall. Unfortunately in a six week training cycle with a three week taper, being sick for 1+ weeks really does a number on things.

I am excited to run the half marathon in Dallas. Despite the significant hills that the elevation map is showing me, I think I can wrap my brain around one more crack at a hard effort 13.1 miles this year. I have a really strong endurance base from the marathon, and since I don't have to taper as extremely for a half, I have a couple of extra weeks of training to fine tune some speed. Plus since it's a vacation to see a friend, I'll have more time to relax and enjoy myself without being worried about OMG ANOTHER MARATHON.

So I'm bummed, but I'll survive. And I'll be more than amped up to start tackling crazy long-long runs again once this summer rolls around.

And this means that maybe Dominique and I can run together (hopefully I can stick with her better than I did in 2012, woof!).

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Dallas Training Week 2

Monday Planned: GA 8 miles
Monday Actual: GA 8 miles. Some hills, finally felt back to normal and the run was amazing. Phew!

Tuesday Planned: Rest
Tuesday Actual: Rest 

Wednesday Planned VO2 Max 8 miles 5x600m @ 5k
Wednesday Actual
VO2 Max 8 miles 5x600m @ 5k. Kristin joined me for the workout, which was great. We saw a car get hit and drug by a train, which was crazy, and then proceeded to run the most consistent repeats of my entire life time. We dressed as bananas for the cool down run, obviously. It was Halloween after all.

Thursday Planned Recovery 4 miles
Thursday Actual: Super easy recovery run. I wanted to keep it extra easy so Friday's long run wouldn't feel so hard ~14 hours later.

Friday Planned
Long run 16 miles
Friday Actual: UGH. 0 miles. Thursday night I was super cranky and wanted to go to bed at 8:30 p.m. I woke up 2 hours later and was so congested I couldn't breathe, my head was pounding and my nose would randomly start pouring out snot. I went back to bed thinking I'd feel better later in the day, but I only felt worse.

Saturday PlannedRest
Saturday Actual: I had hoped to move the long run to Saturday. Luckily for me, I had to work and just didn't feel well enough to go for the run after a full day of work.

Sunday PlannedRecovery 4 miles
Sunday Actual: Again, I had hoped that I'd be able to get in my long run. I even had company for the first and second loops lined up. After 90 minutes of work, and clammy sweats, I cancelled on my buddies, opting for another rest day. I feel like since I put my hope to run another marathon out into the world, my body is PISSED. Fingers crossed next week is a strong, healthy one!

Total Mileage Planned: 40 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 20.1 miles

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Weekly Reads: Surprise Me

I received a e-ARC of Sophie Kinsella's newest book Surprise Me to read and review. I always love Sophie Kinsella's books, especially when I'm needing a nice light read. I didn't get a chance  to read it before it came out in print, but that means I got to read it during marathon week as a nice little escape. It totally delivered and scratched that nice little chick lit itch that I had!

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected "until death do us part" to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

Monday, November 5, 2018

October in Review

Total Miles:  101.01 down from 184.49 miles last month. 79.8 miles last October. I'm pretty impressed I hit 100! 

Total Time:  17:01:33 down from 31:26:46

Total Runs: 15 runs for an average of 6.73 miles/run.

Highest weekly mileage: 

Race week of course: 
10/1/2018 – 10/7/2018:43.8 mi7:13:129:54 / m

Most hardcore run: I did a speed session with Kristin on Halloween. My first (and only) workout after TCM!

Favorite run: Twin Cities Marathon. I feel like 26.2 miles shouldn't be fun, but I really spent almost the entire 4h and 19 minutes grinning from ear to ear.

Favorite Race: Twin Cities Marathon

Favorite Jam: Eminem's Til I collapse came on with2 miles to go at TCM, and I listened to it on repeat. I give most of the credit to my speed in that last mile to Eminem.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Crazy Post Marathon Ideas

On the drive home from the Twin Cities Marathon, we spent a lot of time talking about our races (duh). And it didn't take too long into the drive for the wheels in my brain to start turning. And to think about another marathon.

Perhaps a redemption marathon.

My next scheduled race is the Dallas Half Marathon on December 9th. Last spring I signed up thinking that I'd have a monster endurance base after TCM and a short cycle with some extra speed might lead to a speedier half marathon. Plus it's always nice to get out of South Dakota in the winter. 

But as I got to thinking, the more that I felt like TCM was like a 26.2 mile long run. My heart rate stayed nice and comfy because I wasn't able to open up and really run hard due to the stomach/side cramping. I thought that maybe I could recover and do a VERY short marathon cycle.

So the past few weeks I've taken very easy. Probably focusing on recovery better than I ever have before after a marathon. I know my odds of training for another marathon in such a short time hinges on recovering to the best of my abilities first.

I have a plan that gets me from now until race day, and the option to switch to the full marathon basically at any time (the race crew confirmed as such when I was nervous about pulling the trigger quite so soon). I was worried if I changed but still felt really tired and extra labored on long runs, I'd be forced stick with 26.2 even if my body, heart, and/or mind weren't in it. Luckily I can wait!

So barring any crazy disasters (knocks vigorously on wood) I'll be lining up for one last 26.2 miles in 2018. I really hope that I can have another attempt at proving where my fitness is over the marathon distance this year. I worked incredibly hard for Twin Cities and really thought I would hit the 4:02-4:05 range. I thought on a rough day, I'd still snag that sub 4:12 for a PR. So I'm really hopeful that I can have another crack at that in just a handful of weeks. Gulp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dallas Training Week 1

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 6 miles with 2 sets 4x150 strides
Monday Actual: Sick day from work. All the rest. Great way to kick off a new training cycle! Ha. 

Tuesday Planned: Rest
Tuesday Actual: Rest + core work.

Wednesday Planned GA 4 miles
Wednesday Actual: 4 recovery miles. Since I had been sick, I wanted to take this run easy. Plus Kristin was supposed to have 3 easy miles and I convinced her to do 4, so I made sure we kept them extra easy.

Thursday Planned GA 6 miles
Thursday Actual: 1 hour POWER a.m. 6 Recovery Miles p.m. My legs felt so heavy for this run. I attempted to push the pace the first couple of miles to shake out the legs and then it became apparent they weren't going to shake out. I opted to slow way down to just enjoy the run.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles with 4x100 strides
Friday Actual: Coffee run 4 miles with 4x100 strides. I had Kristin's company for the first 3 miles and had to tackle the remainder solo. Boring.

Saturday Planned: Long run 12 miles
Saturday Actual: Long run 12 miles. This was not a fun run. Well, I should take that back, the first 4 miles with Chris and Melissa were a lot of fun. They had raced the 10k, so we kept the pace pretty comfy for the most part, and I assumed my crazy high heart rate was just because I was talking so much. The last 8 suckkkked. My heart rate was through the roof and I was running 10:45-11 pace to keep it at the TOP of my long run heart rate zone. To give some context, this summer, in the crazy heat and humidity, my HR would average about 15 bpm less at a faster pace. Clearly my body is still fighting off whatever crap I had earlier this week. Barf.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Rest. I had planned to make up Monday's miles on Sunday, but after Sunday's run, and a really high resting heart rate made me opt for the original planned rest day. Lots of hydration and rest to try to feel 100% again.

Total Mileage Planned: 32 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 26.3 miles.