Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Weekly Reads: Rabbit & Robot

Anytime Andrew Smith comes out with a new book, it gets added to my list to read. And I know it's going to be a weird, wild ride. I absolutely love the cover of Rabbit & Robot, and the premise had me super excited. Unsurprisingly, it was a super weird, wild ride. Definitely read if you're a fan of Smith's books or if you need a strange read to capture a teen boy's attention (probably HS aged).

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.

Monday, May 20, 2019

RRCA Coaching Certification

Mid-May I traveled up to the Twin Cities to geek out all things running and coaching at a RRCA Coaching certification. I went solo, which is totally not my thing, but something I'm getting better at. I had been fighting a cold all week, so when I got to the hotel I ordered in food, spent time working on my coaching clients since I knew I wouldn't have my typical Saturday afternoon time to work on things, and went to bed early.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and ready for Day 1! I arrived, and was given a HUGE spiral bound book and was ready to soak up all the information. I didn't know anyone in the group, but there ended up being a couple of guys that were from Sioux Falls originally, which was nice, as well as some who had done the Sioux Falls marathon in the past, and had plans to come back this year!

Day 1 was so good; lots of information. Luckily it was reaffirming a lot of the principles of trainings that I have read over the years. I do think if I had come in as a fresh newer runner, I would've been very overwhelmed with information. Phew.

Day 2 was more great information, touching on running form, injuries and then working on training plans in a group, which was a lot of fun. I love learning from other people and hearing the "why's" behind their decisions to do things differently than me. Unfortunately after lunch, I started feeling really terrible, and by the time I had gotten home from the cities at about 9pm, I felt like I had full on influenza--chills, body aches, racing heart. Blech. Luckily for me, (and everyone in that room), I just had an insane bronchial infection that shouldn't have been contagious. I would've felt TERRIBLE.

Now I have a 100 question exam that I have to score an 85% or higher on to pass. I've started working on the test and it's not as easy as I thought it'd be! Some of the questions are looking for a very specific answer that was discussed on slide 97 of 500 at some point during our 17 hours of instruction. Coupled with my post-training fevered brain. :P

Regardless I've very thankful to get the opportunity to take my coaching to the next level and represent 605 Running Co. to the best of my ability!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Race Goals: Fargo Half Marathon

I wrote the below goal post before I was sick for two weeks in between the Skedaddle half and the Fargo half. So obviously tomorrow's race goals have adjusted. Regardless of what the time on the clock says when I cross the finish line, I'm excited to be doing a race weekend with running friends and super thankful that I didn't get this obnoxious sickness before a marathon. Uff da!


My main goal for 2019 is to run a marathon PR in October. But since it's impossible to focus on one single goal for an entire year worth of running, I opted to work on a speedier spring half. Since my training was not 100% for the Skedaddle Half, I put all of my eggs in the Fargo Half basket. So I have some big goals!

Without further adieu, my race goals:

A Goal: Sub 1:55. This is the goal that I've had written and posted to my bathroom vanity since January. I am all in on attempting to run this time, for better or worse!

B Goal: Run as fast as I can if it's not sub 1:55. Don't freak out that I'm not hitting my goal and still bust my butt to run as fast as I can on the day I'm given.


I'm feeling strong, and that I've put in more miles for this half marathon than I ever have before, so I'm excited to see how that plays out!

throwback to 2011's Fargo marathon

amazing drawing by Jodee Rose!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Weekly Reads: Opposite of Always

I sampled the first five chapters of Opposite of Always and couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. I normally am not interested in stories--books, movies, or otherwise, that allow for redos in life, but this one was so well done, and really had me invested in the story and the characters. Definitely a must read if you're a fan of teen books, or just books in general. SO GOOD.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . . 

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Let's Register for ALL THE RACES

In the past couple of weeks I have said goodbye to a lot of my hard earned monies by plunking down some race fees, namely all to Pink Gorilla.

Immediately following the Skedaddle half marathon, we were presented with sign up for 2020's race. And for the first time in a long time, I wasn't sure what my spring race plan was. Hmmm.... I know my fall 2020 race plan, but nothing was up my sleeve for next spring. It should come as no surprise that it didn't take much arm twisting for me to sign up for the 2nd annual adventure for the Skedaddle. They did such a phenomenal job putting on the race, how could I pass it up?

Also, as I was going through my goodie bag from Skedaddle I found the race flyer for the Good Life Halfsy, a half I've wanted to run for years. Last year it was just 3 weeks after Twin Cities and I thought that'd be too close for me, but this year it's 4 weeks after. A quick text to my running buddy Melissa, and there goes some more money your way Pink Gorilla!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Weekly Reads: Five Feet Apart

I am so over sick teen books. In fact, I refuse to read them anymore. But then I heard that Cole Sprouse was starring in the movie version of Five Feet Apart, so I had to pick it up. And man, I was sucked in, immediately. I absolutely adored this book and will definitely need to catch the movie, but probably on DVD not in a theater with others to witness my ugly crying.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Race Report: Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon

The forecast leading up to race day was a little alarming. And then it snowed the Saturday before. Since I wasn't full out racing the half, I was a little up in the air about what I should wear, trying to opt on the warmer side than normal. The windchill was 28, so I opted for a long sleeve and lighter 7/8 capris. Melissa and I met downtown at 6:30 a.m. and I was shocked at how good my stomach was feeling. It probably has something to do with no nerves due to a workout vs. a race but if I could have a stomach like this on all race mornings, I'd be really happy.

We hit up the portapotties, I did my band work, we dropped our bags, and headed out for a warm up at 7 a.m. We did a mile and strides and then it was time to line up for the race. I was thrilled to not be going back into the portapotty line!

I said goodbye to Melissa around the 9 pace, and made my way to the 10 pace. My workout for the morning was 4 miles warm up ~10 pace, 3 mile at 9:00 pace, 1 mile recovery, 2 miles at 8:45 pace, 1 mile recovery, and 2.1 miles at 8:30 pace. By my calculations, this had me around 2:03:20. That'd be a pretty good workout day!

The gun went off, and I kept my ear buds out, hoping to absorb some of the energy of those around me and really be able to see and hear the spectators.

I had to watch my Garmin pretty closely during those warm up miles. My body was ready to go! Which is interesting, because most of my long runs are 10:15 wish pace, so it was nice that 10 felt as easy as it did.

The first 3.5 miles we were running on streets that I've never run on before, which was pretty interesting and cool. It's crazy to think how many miles I've logged in Sioux Falls and to discover routes I haven't been on. I was shocked and thrilled by how many spectators were out lining up on the course to cheer us on. We got to have a behind the scenes tour of the zoo on another route I've never run on, as we made our way to the bike trail. I took my first GU at mile 3.

1. 9:57
2. 9:53
3. 9:47
4. 9:48

My legs were really itching to go, so I was happy when my watch beeped mile 4 and I was off! It was a little challenging as there was some congestion as we made our way to the narrower bike path, but I wasn't concerned about easing in to the workout pace as necessary. I was feeling so good and strong. I kind of felt like an asshole flying by people, but it also gave me some extra oomph, so sorry.... I think. There were some portions in this stretch that I was slightly puzzled by running into the wind. I knew the forecast was calling for wind out of the south and east, and I was 99.999% sure I was running north. But then I remembered we were on the stretch of the bike trail that is an anomaly in which you run into the wind no matter which direction you go, sometimes even on a still day. It's.... a thing.

5. 9:08
6. 9:05
7. 8:59

My first recovery mile, I really struggled to slow down. I felt like I was recovering, but I was also nervous that I was going to really regret not hitting closer to my goal of 10:30 on the recovery mile.

8. 9:29 (aka not a 10:30, derp)

I caught up to some friends during the next set of harder miles and the wind got UFF DA, hard. My effort was significantly harder than the previous set of faster miles, but my pace didn't indicate that. One of the things I've been working on in my meditation practice with my running is distraction; recognizing when you're distracted in your meditation practice and gently bringing your mind back to the breath, and then translating that to the run. Mentally, it's really hard to keep your mind "on" for a whole race. I really tried to focus on this and reign in my brain whenever it would zone out and my pace would slip. Definitely still a work in progress.

9. 9:05
10. 9:13

I was counting down the tenths of a mile to hit mile 11 for a little break, committed to enjoying that recovery mile this go around. Except that into the wind, it felt even less recovery based. And It was during this part that I started leap frogging with some people that I had passed, who were now passing me back as I slowed up. I knew this would be a challenge, but I was kind of excited to practice checking my ego, and doing my thing as planned without worrying about anyone passing me, or feeling weird for essentially putting on the breaks with 3 miles to go, when the final 5k is usually when I try to turn on the rocket ship gears! I still didn't slow it down to the 10:30 as previously planned, but I did a little better than the first go around.

11. 9:49

The final 2.1 miles I was ready to rock and go all out. I ran by the Trail Sisters water station and it was so fun to see so many familiar faces. Side note: I didn't have any family on the race route for Skedaddle; Kyle was out of town, and I forgot to invite my in-laws, so I didn't have anyone I was expecting to see out on the race route. But the number of times I had friends, running buddies, 605 co-workers, etc. cheering for me was INSANE. I felt like I had a 13.1 mile cheering section. Seriously. My heart is beyond full for this running community.

The last 2 miles is a route that we typically run on the Wednesday night group run, so I took advantage of the downhill of the switchbacks, knowing we'd have to climb out of the Falls and that'd make my "goal" pace more challenging. Honestly, I hadn't looked at the new race route, and wasn't 100% sure how we were going to get out of the Falls, so that was a fun surprise once it was visible in front of me. Ha. Around 12.5 my left calf, which had been cranky in a weird, new spot on Thursday's run, but was fine on Thursday, fully seized up and brought me to a halt. I quickly hobbled over to the side of the road to attempt to stretch it on the curb, and apologized profusely to the guy I caught off in the process. SORRY DUDE, for reals! My brain was deprived of oxygen and clearly wasn't thinking.

Unfortunately the curb didn't do anything to loosen it up, it was LOCKED. Luckily I only had about a half mile to go, so I kind of limped along, attempting some high knees as the toe off of my left foot seemed to be what hurt the most. I had checked my watch a couple of times the final 5k and realized I should be close to 2:03-2:04 if I was able to hold a 9 pace, which pre-calf cramp I thought should be a lock even into the wind, but totally shut down any sort of pushing the pace after the calf cramped up. I am SO THANKFUL that this happened with about 5 minutes of running left. I honestly don't know what I would've done if it happened any earlier. I may have posted a DNF it hurt so bad.

12. 9:00
13. 9:41

Since I did poor research on the race route, I wasn't actually sure where the finish would be, so at the 13 mile mark I wasn't sure if the race was going to be really long or where I was headed. I turned a corner, and it was basically RIGHT THERE. So I kicked it up just a little into the finishing stretch.

don't ask why I ran the remaining 3 strides with my finger on my Garmin.

.12 :58 8:15 pace

I finished 13.12 miles in 2:04:01 (according to the official results, 2:03:59 according to my Garmin [insert eye roll here]) for a pace of 9:26. I really wish I had looked at my watch a little and done some finishing math to kick it in 2 seconds faster. :P I guess that's the down side to not fully racing. Derp.

I saw Melissa who ran a PR!!


And Chris who also ran a really strong half post-LA Marathon. And snagged a 3rd place AG award.

And then I attempted to stretch my calf on the curb some more and then just resigned to limping around to grab our bags, photos, brunch and beverages. Luckily for me, Melissa went the extra mile to help me out because I was moving so slowly.

It was such a phenomenally put on race, and I'll definitely be back. I hope that next spring we have a normal winter and they're able to use their original race route, because I think it would be a lot of fun.  It's so cool to have a race like this in Sioux Falls, and I'm proud to be employed by 605 Running Co. who did a LOT of work to make this race a reality.


On the calf cramp front: I brought my salt pills, but thought the weather was cool enough to skip them. I'm hoping that was the cause of it, and fingers crossed that it'll loosen and be just fine after some extra TLC.

Wind? What wind??