Thursday, January 19, 2017

Race Report: Brookings Half Marathon 2016

As I'm gearing up to start my training cycle for my goal race this spring, the Brookings Half Marathon, I thought it was probably about time that I write my race report from last year. Life went slightly downhill after the race (we found out that my mom's cancer had spread to her liver) and a race report seemed really trivial in the grand scheme of things. But I do like to look back on these. So here it is to the best of my memory.


Leading up to the Brookings Half Marathon, I had just started running again. After a rough winter where it seemed like one of my parents was in the hospital every week, sometimes both at the same time (in different hospitals! in different towns! GAH!), I barely had time to breathe, let alone to run. So when the dust settled a bit in the spring, I found myself heading outdoors, working off some of my stress and anxiety by pounding the pavement. I also learned that I'm better off bringing my running clothes to work and running from there, because if I make the 30 minute commute home, there's no way I'll head back out and go. Have you seen how cute my pug is? There's no way!

So with 3-4 weeks of "training" under my belt, my race plan was to start in the 10:45 pace, dropping down to the 10:30 pace for the bulk of the race, and then for the last 5k running as hard as I could. I had really wanted my parents to come up for the race, but they weren't feeling well, so I was excited that Kyle and his parents would be there to cheer for me, and I'd be able to meet up after the race with Megan who was doing a leg of the relay with Crossfit friends.

The first few miles of the race ticked off almost exactly as planned. Mile 2 was a bit of a downhill, so I wasn't too concerned that I was setting myself up for disaster. I did make the mistake of not running over the timing mat at the start. The start was the full width of the street and the timing mat was 10-15 feet long. I didn't want to run back once I realized it, so I ended up with a gun time instead of a chip time. Grrr.

1. 10:43
2. 10:28
3. 10:41

Around mile 4 I ran into a gentleman who was so much fun to run with, that I stuck by him for a good chunk of the race. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and he kept talking about it. He was also sharing his upcoming races. I soaked up his energy and just enjoyed the miles.

4. 10:26
5. 10:28
6. 10:37

During miles 6 and 7 we were running into the wind and it was the first time in the race that I wish I had extra clothes on, namely gloves. My hands were frozen solid. Brrr. I knew there were some long gradual inclines during the final 5k, so when my legs wanted to run a little bit faster with five miles to go, I let them.
7. 10:34
8. 10:21

The one and only "hill" on the course is around the 9.5 mile mark. There's a weird giant abrupt incline in the middle of the park. It's always super packed with spectators, which is awesome, but also has a super abrupt downhill that I always need to take it easy on so I don't blow out my quads, since my legs are tired at this point and it'd be so easy to just let my legs goooooo.

9. 10:00
10. 10:13

After the "hill" I really kicked it in to high gear. I knew I had a 5k left, and wanted to see how hard I could run. I had done some finishing calculations and realized that if I worked incredibly hard, I would just hit the high end of my A goal for the race (2:12-2:16). Mile 12 is a slight incline and Mile 13 is a slight decline, I had read my race reports from previous years and reminded myself of that so I wouldn't get discouraged when mile 12 felt HARD.

The last 1.22 miles I really gave it all I had left! This race is impossible to run decent tangents on, but I think .12 over is my personal best on this course!

11. 9:47
12. 10:06
13. 9:29
.22 1:51 (8:29 pace)


I ran 13.22 miles in 2:15:55, 10:17 pace. Yes that does mean I made it in my goal time just by the skin of my teeth. That also means that my official time is over 2:16 because I didn't step on the timing mat. Since this is far from a PR for me, and more of a mental win, I'm calling my garmin time *my* official time. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Base Building Week 3

Week of January 9-15

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles
Monday Actual: Rest. My stomach was pretty upset, so I just went home and got ready for the National Championship.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: I got up with every intention of doing my five mile run. The wind chill was above zero! What a treat! In the 20 minutes it took me to pry myself away from the pug and her sweet snuggles, the temp had dropped 20 degrees, with 36 mph winds, blowing snow. I watched reality TV before work instead.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 4 Miles
Wednesday Actual: General Aerobic 3.53 Miles. I didn't have quite enough time for 4 miles before I had to teach yoga, so I had to make due with 3.53. This is making me realize that 5-7 mile runs that I have on my training program on Wednesdays down the road will not happen. Hmmmm....

Thursday Planned: Lactate Threshold 6 miles, 16 minutes at tempo
Thursday Actual: General Aerobic 5 miles
Toni and I set out with this as the plan. It was -8 with wind chill, and the sidewalks were still covered in ice and snow covered ice. I decided around mile 2 that I'd be dropping the LT portion of the run because I knew we wouldn't get 1.5 miles without ice and both of us have the teeniest of left hamstring annoyances. When we turned into the wind, I thought I was going to die, so I asked Toni if we could cut it to 5 miles. She had gorgeous snowflake lashes. I had a gash on my neck from my gaiter freezing to me and then getting tore off. Also chafing in unmentionable places.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual: Rest

Saturday Planned: Endurance 10 Miles
Saturday Actual: Endurance 10 Miles. Finally a run above 0 degrees! It was a beautiful day for a run, snowy bike path and icy in spots, bt I could feel my fac, feet, and fingers so that's a win. Since I didn't do the LT portion of my run earlier in the week, I did 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes. One of the best runs I've had in a long time. Reminded me why I love ten mile runs!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Rest+recovery. I foam rolled, sticked, and did corework.

Planned mileage: 25 miles

Total Mileage: 18.3 miles

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekly Reads: Fall of the Butterfly

The Fall of Butterfliesis the newest book by Andrea Portes. I absolutely loved her debut novel Anatomy of a Misfit, and couldn't wait to read her new one. I'm always a sucker for books that are set in a boarding school, so I was excited when that's where this one took place. This book was so captivating, and I read it in a small handful of days.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Willa Parker, 646th and least popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life.

Did she choose this new life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and it’s only the strength of her name that got Willa accepted in the first place.

But Willa has no intentions of fitting in at Pembroke. She’s not staying long, she decides. Not at this school—and not on this planet. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit.

When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel her spinning right out of her grasp.

In Willa’s secret heart, all she’s ever wanted is to belong. But if Remy, the girl who gave her this world, is slip-sliding away, is Willa meant to follow her down?

Andrea Portes’s incandescent, heartfelt novel explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tracking Your Running

I will not lie. I love data. I think maybe I've said that a time or 1200 on here before. To further prove my insanity, there have been some runs this winter where I've worn TWO WATCHES to compare data and see how accurate things are. Data, data, data. My next pug might be named Data.

I have been tracking my runs since 2005. I originally started tracking on a paper log that I got from Runner's World. Sometime after that I started tracking on Cool Running (lol, I first typed Cool Runnings, and had to search it to see if that was correct. No I wasn't tracking my information with a Jamaican bobsled team). At some point in time, they shut down their running log, or it was bought out by Runners World. They automatically transferred all of my data over there, which was awfully nice of them and made the transition seamless.

Somewhere during this point I started using Daily Mile, which as I've talked about before, felt more like BragBook. I continued tracking my mileage and details privately on Runners World as well. About a year and a half ago, Runners World announced that they were shutting down their online log too. [Sidenote: I'm starting to feel like I've been dumped several times over here....]

A lot of my friends were on Strava, and that seemed really fun. Until I quickly realized that there was no easy way to transfer TEN YEARS OF DATA. Runners World gave me several different files with all of my data on it, and of course none of them were compatible with Strava. I even reached out to them to see if there was anything I could do to make it work. Nope.

I found Running Ahead, and honestly the biggest appeal to me was that my data was able to be uploaded from my giant files of information! I have been using it for the last year and a half, which hasn't been the strongest year and a half of running so at the start of 2017 I realized there were some under utilized summary functions. I was able to add a yearly goal, and a monthly goal and it gives me metrics toward my progress and I L-O-V-E it.

This fall, I ordered myself a Believe Training Journal. It arrived the week before the Sioux Falls Half, and a I love it. While I love having an online log that I can access from anywhere, there is something about putting a pen to paper and recording your immediate thoughts and reactions. I also love that there are goals and journaling exercises interspersed throughout the log to keep you motivated. Journaling has rekindled some big goals and dreams, and it's been fun to have a renewed since of inspiration.

What do you use to track your mileage? What goals are you dreaming of, big/small/medium?!

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 By the Numbers

Miles ran:  589.9

Miles away from my goal (set in October):  110.1

Miles away from last year's mileage: +448.4

Miles per week average:  11.34. However I didn't really start running until mid April so 15.52 is probably closer to accurate.

Miles per month average:  49.16 (69.5)

Time spent running:  113:11:12 or 7.7 days!


Half Marathons: 3

10 mile: 0
8 mile: 1

10K: 1

5 mile: 0
4 mile: 1

5K: 8!

1 mile: 0

PRs accomplished:  2 (auto PRs :P)

Pairs of shoes purchased: 2. I ran so little in 2015 that I was still using up shoes I stockpiled then!
Hotel nights booked: 1

Flights taken: 0

Race road trips taken: 1

Number of runners met: Countless. I love Sioux Falls Women Run and 605 Running co!!

States crossed off my "run a race in every state" list:  None.

Awesome Race Photos garnered: 

Number of sub 4 crash and burn attempts: 0! Oh man, someday this will be a thing again, right?

Number of times I was proud of my racing efforts: 2 halfs and 7 5ks!

Number of times Kyle ran with me: 0 but he did bike along side of me for a few runs which was nice. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Breakfast 2017

One of my goals for 2017 is to eat breakfast more. I know, I know, I KNOW I need to eat breakfast. But I don't. Most of the time. I will *always* choose an extra 15 minutes of sleep over eating breakfast, and then I'll pick up a latte on the way to work and call it good. And then I'm starving at lunch, my lunch doesn't tide me over until dinner, and then I'm hungry and cranky for supper and don't spend time making a delicious and healthy dinner. And repeat. Throw in a workout/run and I'm even worse for the wear.

I'd really like to start working out in the morning, which is what has prompted this. I can't cycle + run on empty, and I'll kill people at work if I work out for 1+ hours before work and don't eat. Eeps. Murderous librarian? Pass.

Lay it on me people, what's your favorite breakfast options? Bonus points for things I can pre-make in bulk but stuff that won't have a gross consistency from being made in advance and reheated (I have super weird and intense issues with food textures. I usually can't eat leftovers because of it.)

I can meal prep lunches until the cows come home--giant salads, lots of extra goodies, but why are breakfasts so hard?!?

In exchange for your help, here's my favorite breakfast (that takes for-ev-er but is totally worth it (also paleo and gluten free if that's your jam).

1. Crisp bacon (2 strips)
2. Cut half an apple into small bites and saute in the bacon grease with a little red onion and some cinnamon (prepare for your house to smell like heaven) 3-5 minutes
3. Chop up sweet potatoes (the white ones are the best, but the orange ones will do) and saute for forever (12-15 minutes).
4. Fry an egg and put it over the top.
5. Bask in your culinary amazingness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Base Building Week 2

Week of January 2-9

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 4 miles
Monday Actual: 4 Miles recovery. Since I did my long run on Sunday, I switched my four miles to recovery to save my body. It was super icy out so that helped keep the pace slow and my heart rate low. Avg HR 143.

Tuesday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Tuesday Actual: Sanford POWER session, 60 minutes.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles, 6x100 meter strides
Wednesday Actual: General Aerobic 4 miles. Stomach was really upset so I did Friday's workout. Treadmill miles so my HR was higher than I had hoped it'd be because it was hot in there!

Thursday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Thursday Actual: Rest. Sweet sweet rest. Red wine drinking. Is that considered cross training?

Friday Planned: General Aerobic 4 miles
Friday Actual: General Aerobic 5 miles, 6x100 meter strides. Really glad I swapped my Friday and Wednesday run because I was able to do this run outside. Even though there was ice and dark areas, I was still able to open up my stride for a little bit of speedwork. Despite running considerably faster than Wednesday (probably 40 seconds per mile), my heart rate was significantly lower. 

Saturday Planned: Rest
Saturday Actual: Rest

Sunday Planned: Endurance 9 Miles
Sunday Actual: Nothing. :( A bunch of my friends were running 36 miles for their birthdays. I wanted to run with them in the morning, but it was so cold. -20, no thank you. I had plans to run with two of my friends after the Packers game. I tweaked my back in the morning, and then my stomach was super upset during the game. All signs were pointing toward, no run. Sadsies.


Total Mileage Planned: 22 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 13 miles