Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Marathon Training Recap Week 11

After running the GoFar half, my legs felt terrible. As in, the worst they've ever felt after a non-marathon race. In looking at the photos my mom took of me, my form went to hell the second half of the race. I hydrated like crazy Sunday and foam rolled 2-3 times a day. Finally by Wednesday my legs were ready to go. Luckily this was a recovery week, but I hadn't planned to take four days of complete race on a month where my mileage just hasn't been where I wanted it to be.

Since I had rested so much, I jumped right into my planned run for Wednesday and ran 9 miles after work. My legs felt pretty awesome until the halfway point, and then it was just a struggle. I realized that my form was suffering majorly, so I tried to engage my glutes and the pain in my knee disappeared and my average pace dropped ~40 seconds per mile. Well ok, then.

Of course then my legs felt terrible on Thursday and Friday morning was spent packing to go out of town. One run for the week! Uff. 

I have a huge week on deck for Week 12, so my legs should be recovered and ready to rumble!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Goals

September Goals
  • Run my highest or 2nd highest mileage month ever.
  • Run three long runs as scheduled.
  • Run all three speed sessions as scheduled. 
  • Run one a strong half at the Sioux Falls Half Marathon.
  • Every other day core work, hip stretches, and drills.
  • 1 buddy run or ride a week.
  • Attend a group run!
  • 2 20+ mile bike rides.
  • Make 2 new meals using my veggie box ingredients.
  • Get 3-5 pounds closer to my racing weight. 
    • Food as fuel!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Training Run?

Well I had this blog drafted up a month or so ago, and after the GoFar Half Marathon debacle/poor performance and conditions I'm rethinking my game plan.

Option A:  Next weekend, I'm running my tenth consecutive Sioux Falls Half Marathon. After having just raced the Fargo half, I won't be racing Sioux Falls, but I would like it to be a solid marathon training run. I rarely sign up to run races instead of racing them, because $$$ I can run 13.1 miles for free. But because I'm trying to run this race the most years consecutively, I need to work it in to my schedule.

So I'm curious, what's your favorite marathon training workout for 13.1 miles?

I know Pfitz has a 13 mile long run with 8 miles at GMP. When I used the RiverRat Half Marathon as a training run this past spring, Jaseface suggested I do 3 miles at long run pace followed by 2 hard miles, until I finish the race. I would like to do a harder effort than that, however, as that was done knowing I was racing a half the following weekend, and wanted to be recovered.

Should I go with the Pfitz workout?

Is there another one you'd recommend for me?


Option B:

On the drive home from Fargo, I was still pretty bummed about my race performance. I randomly looked at the extended forecast for the Sioux Falls half and learned that it was projected to be a low of 43 degrees on race morning.


That may change things.

 I could re-attempt my game plan for the GoFar half in Sioux Falls. I have two weeks of peak training after the SF half before I start tapering for Bemidji. Is this racing too close to marathon race day? 5 weeks apart? Obviously Bemidji is my #1 priority, but I know a solid half race would really get my mental game straight and ready to tackle 26.2.


If the forecast changes at all (skewing towards hot or humid) I will immediately go back to Option A with no question.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Katy Perry Concert + Fargo Fun

My mom and I took off for Fargo on Friday after we both got off work at lunch time. The forecast had been showing rain all week long, so I enjoyed the fluffy cloud and flat plains.

I had the worst sinus headache of my life on Friday. It started shortly before I left work. An extra strength pain reliever did nothing to fix it. Neither did water or food, a sinus pill or two ibuprofens after dinner. Woof. I crashed at 8:30 hoping to sleep it off.

Saturday morning I raced.

And after my mom and I celebrated with mexican food. I ordered a strawberry margarita, but I received some True Blood. I think. 

My mom and I stopped at Target to grab a candle because my last minute hotel booking skills landed us in a room that smelled like a mildewed towel, and this little gem caught my eye. I resisted. For now. I'll let you know if I change my mind and decide I need a child's pug purse with glittery glasses. Ok, just typing that out makes me NEED IT. 


My mom took off for home shortly after, as it was my dad's 65th birthday and she wanted to get home to help him celebrate! I rested a bit and read, and then got ready for Katy Perry while I was waiting for my friend to show up.

Purple hair, don't care.

Emily and her sister showed up, and I helped them purple/pink/blue their hair and we headed out for dinner. I had the greatest burger of my life at Lucky 13 Pub (<---yes I typed Pug the first time). And our food was served with a tooth pick with a clover strung through it. Clearly this is my type of establishment.

This is the only picture I got of Emily and I waiting for the concert to start. :'( She has eyes, I promise.

The concert was beyond amazing and my pictures suck at showing it's amazingness.

I want to be her bestie.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Fever

The Fever is the newest novel by Megan Abbott. Her previous book, Dare Me, has been on my to read list for the last year, but it just hasn't made it to the top of that list yet! When I saw this one in several "up-and-coming" blogs and news releases, so I put a hold on my library's copy! It's catalogued as an adult book, but the content and telling seem more Young Adult to me, OLDER YA, but YA none the less. The story drew me in from page one and I read it all in just a few sittings.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Marathon Training Recap Week 10

Monday I rested yet again and Tuesday I headed to the track for some race week mile repeats. Except that school is back in session and *my* track is now being used for marching band practice. I rerouted to the bike trails but the reroute, and running 10 minutes late to start anyway had me cutting off two miles from the workout. I was supposed to do 3x1600m. at 8:05 pace.

I hit the first one in 8:01. It was really humid but coolish temps. The second one I was feeling pretty fatigued and logged 8:09. Considering the first one had a slight downhill at one part, and the second had the uphill version, I imagine I was probably pretty close to the 8:05 effort.

This is my "yay my car didn't get stolen since I was ill prepared to carry my keys on this run" selfie.

Wednesday I took a rest day because pounding the pavement instead of the track for mile repeats made my legs take a beating. They were incredibly sore.

Thursday I did a 5 mile recovery run before work. My legs were still dead. And it was insanely humid out. (Are you seeing a trend for the week? The humidity is back juuuuuust in time for race week. Perf.)

Friday I had grand plans to get in a 2-4 mile shake out run before work, but I also had to run Ollie out to Kyle's parents before work, AND pack since we were leaving as soon as I could get away from work. The run was scrapped.

Saturday I had a .5 mile warm up before my race and then ran a half marathon in two hours and 9 sopping wet minutes.

Sunday was spent driving back home and trying to rehydrate. My legs are ridiculously sore for the race I executed on Saturday. I'm blaming extreme dehydration during the race for that. I did foam roll, push ups and core work. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Race Report: GoFar Woman Half Marathon

I woke up Saturday morning after tossing and turning a good chunk of the night, and my stomach was super upset. So it must be race morning! Yay! Luckily my all day pounding sinus headache was gone, finally! I was worried.
Please note the color in tank pre-race. 

The race packet said to be at the arena an hour before your race, but we chose to delay our arrival a bit (=stomach issues). Uh.. heed this advice if given. We were in a long line of standstill traffic trying to get in to park. We ended up parking at a lot up the way and walking. I got in a warm up jog in which the heavy fog was messing majorly with my garmin, unless I really WAS running easy peasy 5:16 pace. I did some form drills and my glute drills and it was almost time to start.

They were cranking Katy Perry music and I was pumped and ready to go! 

The air was THICK and heavy, as you can see in the pictures, but the temp was only 65, so I thought I could still gut out a great time!

I slid into 9:20 pace pretty comfortably from the get go, but could already tell by mile two that the pace wasn't feeling as "easy" as it should be. At mile 2.5 I already was searching for my iPod earbuds to throw in, which I usually don't use until it's "go" time or I really need to just zone out. Of course when I got them situated and hit play I heard the annoying "your battery is dead" tone and knew I was on my own. I NEED MY KATY PERRY JAMZ!!!

1.  9:24
2.  9:20
3.  9:18

I took my first GU at 2.5ish thinking it would give me an extra boost. I normally only take two GUs for a half, but carried three JUST in case. With my stomach issues before the race, I didn't know how much fuel I actually had left in me before the race started. I'm glad I did. I also took a salt pill at mile 3.

I ran up on a Sioux Falls runner during the next stretch and we chatted a bit with each other. I plan to facebook stalk her so we can be running buddies as she mentioned we'd ran together either at the Sioux Falls Half previous or a Runners Block run. Clearly we're destined to be running buddies! I was half gasping for air while talking to her because I was already struggling to breathe, so when she passed me at a water station, I let her go.

4.  9:20
5.  9:21
6.  9:29

My race plan was to speed up every 3 miles but I knew during mile three that wasn't going to happen. New plan! Hold on to 9:20s until ten and then put down the hammer the last 5k and *maybe* eek out a time faster than the 2:02 I ran in Brookings! New goal! New Focus!

I started to get really hot during mile six, so I was super thankful when they were handing out water bottles at the relay exchange shortly after. Except that it's hard for me to drink out of one of those! I walked a smidge to chug the water down, GU up, and take another salt pill.

There was another water stop at 6.88 and I took a drink of a glass, thinking "oh good, they're going to be every mile now!" which is what they teach you as foreshadowing in high school English class. By mile 8 I desperately needed more water. By mile 8.75 I was asking every volunteer where the next water station was, and somewhere in that stretch I felt like I was dying of thirst.

FINALLY at about 9.5, almost three miles later, there was another water stop. So I stopped, and drank. And drank. And drank. Like four full cups worth of water. I even turned around and went back for another on the off chance there wasn't more water stations. [insert angry red faced emoji here plz]

Luckily I got to see my mom somewhere in the 7-8 mile stretch. We had tried to strategize her spectating but with neither of us knowing the city very well, and the race crossing almost every major street (or so it seemed) it was really difficult to figure out. She talked with a local runner before the race and she pretty much nixed the race spots my mom and I had come up with. I had assumed she was just going to wait back at the start for me to finish, but YAY there she was! Now if only she had an ice cold glass of water, right?? :)

7.  9:59
8.  9:57
9.  9:57
10.  10:21

I had really hoped to kick it in the final 5k but I was just spent. I took another GU and salt pill around mile 9.5. I chatted with another girl during this stretch that was struggling as well and we kept each other going until the next water stop, thank goodness.

I ended up taking a few walk breaks in the final 5k because I felt so dizzy and my heart was doing the weird palpitation thing. Grr. Here's me kicking myself for not bringing a handheld water bottle. There ended up being another water station around mile 11, so two total the final 6.5 miles on a 97% humidity day with a dew point of 67. No I'm not angry, why do you ask??

When we were coming in for the final 1.5 miles, you could see the arena off in the distance, and then they sent us in the opposite direction for a short loop. So mean. I was just ready to be done. I thought I could kick it in with .5 to go, but I honestly didn't know if I would pass out from the effort.

11.  10:43
12.  10:47
13.  10:29

.1 :33 (7:30 pace, so ok I guess I had a tiny kick for a very minimal part of the race, ha)

I ran fairly hard the final .2 miles and called it a day.

I ran 2:09:05 for my 23rd half marathon.


As I said on instagram, not my best, and not my worst, but certainly the most humid! Gotta set a PR in something I guess.

Please scroll back up to the pre-race photo to check out the tank saturation. Also this tank is adorbs, but when wet it stretches and is significantly longer than my mac rogas. It might not make it as my marathon tank. Wah!

Thankfully my mom was there to spend race eve and race day with me, to help cheer me on, and most importantly, to get post-race Mexican with. Thanks madre!

Takeaways from the race: 
  • Always check the race route aid stations and be prepared to carry water if you're the sweatiest runner on the planet. Their bad for not having enough water stations, my bad for not knowing it and being prepared.
  • Adjust your goals based on weather if necessary. On one hand, I honestly thought the heat and humidity acclimation runs I had done this summer have made me a stronger heat/humidity runner, but clearly not to the capacity that I was hoping. Maybe I could've started at a 10-9:45 pace and ended up with less of a death march, I'm not sure. But I do know when your heart rate is crazy high at mile 2 of a 13.1 mile race, you're in trouble.
  • When I feel like I'm dyyyyying at mile 18/22/23/etc of Bemidji I will think back on this race and think to myself, "Hey at least you have water! Get moving!" :)