Monday, February 20, 2017

Being Sick

I usually have a pretty good idea of what to do with my training when I get sick. Working at a public library, I come down with little "crap" all of the time. Not fun. I usually give myself a day off after I'm feeling better just to make sure that my already compromised immune system doesn't knock me back on my butt for heading out for a run.

This last week was torture! It was the never-ending illness. I had 48 hours of terrible terrible, I think I'm dying sickness. Followed by exhaustion and extremely upset stomachness (although nothing like the first 48 hours). I went to work since I was able to and I knew that my gallbladder wasn't contagious, but I was freaking exhausted from it. And my low back was killing me (the leftover pain from my gallbladder attack).

Saturday was the first day that my back didn't hurt, and I really wanted to go out for a long run, until my stomach started bothering me yet again. Sunday I had thought about an easy 3 just to make sure my body still knew how to run, but ended up scrapping that too. Uff da.

It's been a really long time since I've been *this* sick and I don't know if I handled it well or not. It's hard to see a 0 mile week heading in to the hardest half marathon training cycle of my life... probably. Uff. At least my body should be nice and fresh for some miles, because my brain is certainly fret with doubt.

On a similar note: who's had their gallbladder out and how was the recovery on it? I've been putting it off for years, but I refuse to ever be as sick as I was during this last attack. It was bad. I now understand why most people go to the ER during their attacks. Uff. I may try to stretch it out to go on a Friday of a cutback week... :|

Friday, February 17, 2017

Training Book Review: Faster Road Racing

This fall I was debating my upcoming running plans and knew I needed a challenge. Typically a challenge translates to marathon training for me, but when I stumbled on Faster Road Racing: 5K to Half Marathon I thought maybe I had found my challenge. I added it to my Christmas list from my in-laws, and on Christmas day I received the book, registration fee to my spring goal half, a new pair of running shoes, and resistance bands. IT'S A VERY MERRY RUNNER CHRISTMAS OVER HERE!! Thanks lovely inlaws.

I was excited to dive in. I had done variations of the Pfitz full training plan in the past (Danielle gifted it to me when we were working hard at our marathons, thanks Danielle <3). I ran my half marathon PR (still to this day) in the midst of full marathon training, and I also got injured doing this plan while training for the Bemidji Marathon.

There are some repetitive sections from this book to Advanced Marathoning, but it is such an essential book to have for road racers! I took my time reading through it while working through the eight week base building program. Many of my injuries in the past have come from adding speedwork when I don't have a strong enough base, or while I'm still adding mileage. I think I've now learned that's a recipe for disaster. I somehow got through the 8 weeks without thinking about having another 12 weeks on tap for my actual training which now makes it seem like I'm training for FIVE MONTHS for 13.1 miles, but whatever. If I can train for, and run the race healthy, it'll be worth it!

The book goes into detail about elements of training, recovery, strength training/plyos/yoga!, diet, masters runner info (which I earmarked for 7 years from now), and tapering.

The training section of the book has a breakdown of the schedules, several base building plans, training programs for 5k, 8k/10k, 15k/10 mile, half, and multiple race distances. These training programs start around 30 miles per week and some peak at 90-100 miles per week. Woof. Pfitz's training cycles are unique because he breaks down his training into mini cycles that have different focuses to improve your fitness. I like this because it keeps things fresh from week to week.

All of the training go off of heart rate training, which might not be for everybody but it should! I firmly believe in heart rate training.

I'm excited to see what I can do this spring with some lots of Pfitz miles under my belt!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DFW Trip Day 2

After we left the race I hobbled into Starbucks for a delicious latte treat. I saw hobbled because I had terrible chafing on my legs because I sweated off any body glide I had.

My brother had to come to Fort Worth for a brief work thing, so he brought the kiddos along and we met up for some drinks and family time. Here are my lovely nieces and me. I failed to get a single picture of me and my nephew or me and my brother. Oops.

Lolo was obsessed with my race medal, and tried to take it with her. No way kid. Haha.

Me and Dom's post race beers.

We got back from our afternoon of delicious food (seriously one of the most amazing burgers I've ever had) and I somehow forgot about dinner. Weird. We had a super early night because early wake up + race in the sun + beer = sleep. Plus the girls had school the next day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Base Building Week 7

Week of February 6-12

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 6 miles
Monday Actual: General Aerobic 6 miles with my girl J Park! The first two miles took forever and then the run flew by.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: 70 minute power strengthening class. I had wanted to do Wednesday's run in the morning but my low back was killing me.

Wednesday Planned: Lactate Threshold 7 miles with 20 minutes at tempo
Wednesday Actual: 3 Mile recovery run with Toni and a new friend. I was shocked at our pace for a recovery run. Wahoo!! It was also cold as balls outside.

Thursday Planned: General Aerobic 6 Miles
Thursday Actual: REST. I was set to run but the forecast for Friday through Sunday looked so spectacular that I pushed all of my runs back a day. Gorgeous.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual:

Saturday Planned: Endurance 9 Miles
Saturday Actual: After yoga at the brewery I did 3 easy recovery miles with Jordanne. I thought it was the beer we drank before the run that had me feeling like I was gasping for air. When we were done, I realized it was the 100% humidity. Barf.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: I had plans with two running friends and for once I was SUPER excited to do my long run and hit my highest weekly mileage in over a year (or two!). I woke up at 3am with a horrendous gall bladder attack. I texted the gals at 7am, thinking I would be able to make it later in the day. No chance. This was the sickest I've been in a really long time. Blech.

Total Mileage Planned: 28 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  19.1 miles :(

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Race Report: Too Cold to Hold Half

On January 29th, I trekked down to DFW to see my family, spend time with Dominique, and initially to travel with my dad down to see the kiddos and family for a belated Christmas. He decided not to come so it was just me solo for the trip. I had been stalking the weather leading up to the race, and was very concerned it would be too warm. Keep in mind many of my runs have been below zero training for this race. This race was far from a "goal" race, but more or less something to have on the calendar to make sure I didn't sit on my butt all through December and January when it is SO VERY EASY to sit on your butt, because brrrr (see also: below zero all day e'ery day!).

Going into the race I thought I would run it between a 2:12-2:15 based on my training. I wanted to follow a similar training program as I did for the Monster Dash Half: 1st 3 miles at 10:15, 2nd 4 miles at 10:00, 3rd 3 miles at 9:45, and the final three miles all out. The weather was gorgeous; low 40s, breeze. Yes I was one of a handful in shorts and a tank. All week long people had been freaking out about the weather. I was cheering for the cooler temps!

I started out the race WAY TOO FAST. I don't know if I got caught up with the rush of runners or what, but at one point I looked down and I was running a sub 10 pace, but my heart rate was incredibly low, so I didn't worry about it too terribly much. We ran around White Rock Lake for the majority of the race and it was such a beautiful day that I spent most of the run taking in the sunshine and the NON FROZEN LAKE. Whoa. I kept it fairly steady in those first five miles.

My brother had mentioned he would be around the turnaround, so I was shocked and thrilled to see them much sooner than that. And Dom! I didn't think her and her kiddos would be able to navigate and spectate so I was super excited to see everyone! It definitely put a pep in my step. Which was needed because immediately after I saw them I ran on a bridge that bounced as I was running on it. PANIC. WTF. Gaaaaaah!

1. 10:01
2. 10:10
3. 10:20
4. 10:15
5. 10:08

Shortly after this point we started to reach the nice long incline of the race, and once we conquered that, we were met head on with the wind. Uff da. Coming off of the water it was hitting me much stronger than I expected. I swear I didn't feel this at my back! It was around this time that I started to notice how far over my mile splits were. I'm not a tangent running wizard, but it was a little bit out of control. When we hit the half turnaround for the out and back race, my watch read 6.95 miles. Uh... my brain isn't great at doing math when I'm running, but I don't think 6.95 x 2 = 13.1.

I caught Dominique on the way back and she managed to snap pictures of me where I was trying to tell her that the course was super long, and I'd be at the finish around 2:14-2:15. Instead I just looked like a crazy person ranting, and I don't think she heard or understood me. Normally, I would give up knowing that my goal time was out of the question, but I put my head down and kept going. I knew that the sub 2:12 I had been on pace for was a 10:00 pace, so I would focus on whittling down my overall pace as my new goal.

6. 9:55
7. 9:51

Around mile 8 or 9 I was again surprised by my family and Dom, and all of the kiddos were ready to give me a high five for an extra boost! Which was great, because I was getting tired, and thirsty. OMG so thirsty. Can I drink out of the lake??

And then I saw my family yet AGAIN. As I saw my brother come to a stop in his car, and the kids piled out and sprinted down to the bike path to cheer me on. I think we have future runners in our lineage. :)

8. 9:52
9. 9:47
10. 9:49

Usually with a 5k to go, I can put my head down and go to work, but I was pooped. We had a longer incline during the second to last mile, and did I mention I was THIRSTY?!? There was a water stop in mile 11 and 13 so I walked through the stops to chug two glasses of water. I had packed my salt pill in the pocket of my shorts so I didn't get questioned by security at the airport, and then ended up wearing a different pair of shorts for the race. GAH. That would've been helpful to have. I did work as hard as I could during those last few miles.

11. 10:10
12. 10:02
13. 10:10
.39 3:29

I finished 13.39 miles in 2:14:03 for a pace of 10:00. Exactly. Whoa. 

I posted a picture on instagram, and another racer mentioned that a mile sign was moved on the out portion of the out and back, and everyone was talking about the course being long at the finish, but I didn't see any other mention of it anywhere. Oh well. My pace was pretty spot on for where I thought my fitness level was in the middle of a base building session, and I was thrilled to see I had a smidge of mental toughness in me when I realized the race course was going to be long and my time was going to be much slower than I was working for. Baby wins, I'll take 'em!

Half marathon no. 28 done!
Thanks for all of the amazing pictures and video Dom!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekly Reads: This is Where the World Ends

This Is Where the World Endsis the newest book by Amy Zhang. The story is told in alternating points of view where one story starts from now leading back to "the event" and the other story starting from the beginning leading up to "the event". I could not put this book down. I read it in less than 24 hours.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.

Friday, February 10, 2017

DFW Trip Part 1

I arrived in DFW after monstrous delays. Never have I been so thankful for a direct flight and not having to be concerned about missing my connection. I was treated to a gorgeous sunset as I arrived, and the iphone photo through a misty/dirty window doesn't do it justice.

Dominique was at the airport to pick me up and since it was several hours after dinner, she rushed me off to a delicious mexican restaurant and we met her husband there.
We went to bed pretty early and Dominique let me know that if we wanted to get in a shake out run on Saturday morning we'd have to go by 6am. Gulp. It's my vacation gurl! Somehow I got up and at 'em and she took me on a (HILLY!) tour of her 'hood. It was pitch black the whole time and hilly (did I mention hilly?). My legs felt like garbage and I called it good at 2 miles. Shake out run CHECK. Confidence boosting run.... No.

We loaded up the kids after a shower and breakfast to head over to Dallas. We met up with my family to have some lunch before my nephew's basketball game. Oh just normal aunt activities, catching my nephew's weekend basketball game, look at me! The food was good, and it was great to see my family, and apparently my phone stayed in my purse the whole time because I have zero photos. Fail.
Harrison's team won their basketball game, and it went down to the wire. Uff da. My brother lives right next to the race start and packet pick up so he was a gem and grabbed all of that fun stuff for me.

After that Dom trekked us back to Fort Worth to take in the Water Gardens.
So beautiful! But disorienting. The way they were falling down the stairs gave you that weird impression that you were somehow falling, or rising? I'm not really sure. But they were pretty. We had a lot of fun taking pictures with the kiddos.

I'm pretty much obsessed with Dom's kids. I think I even asked if Cheyenne could come back to South Dakota with me. She's the sweetest. We played a math game together on Sunday night! She loves dresses! We're too peas in a pod man.

After our water garden tour we went downtown Ft. Worth (I think....) to find some dinner.

Me and my new bestie Chey.

A beer and some pizza later...... I was carbed up and happy.

But we still had to stop and grab a mix and match six pack so I could enjoy a nice sampling of Texas beers throughout my visit. We'll not discuss the price tag on this six pack because #vacation, nor will we discuss that I left it on the trolley we took back to our vehicle, and had to wait at the trolley stop for 20 minutes with Dom's too small children late into the evening (9ish, but still!) while hoards of people were jumping on the trolley to head out and party. We won't mention that. Or the fact that I got them back, but a dude totally tried to say they were his. Turkey. And the children definitely weren't chanting, "we got the beer!" once we were successful in our venture. Remind me not to be a parent. Sorry Dom, and kids. :/