Saturday, April 30, 2011

April in Review + Final 20 Miler before TAPERTIME

April in Review

Total Miles:  163.6 up from 140.6 last month. Some extra rest days post-HM caused me some extra mileage.  Wah. (180 miles from April 2010.)
Total Time: 26:03:49 up from 22:32:35 (27:49:32 last April.)
Total Runs: 18 for an average of 9.09 miles/run.
Highest weekly mileage:
4/4/2011 — 4/10/2011:50.0 Mi7:59:5
 Highest weekly mileage EVAH!  What what?!?!? :D
Favorite run:
Most hardcore run: 7x800 repeats and see below.  (I'm still cursing my 20 mile LR in 25-45 mph winds 5 days later... no biggie....)
Favorite Race: The shiny new PR I worked my booty off for at the River Rat Half Marathon.
Bike Miles: 0.  Ooops.  Again.  I did buy a bike pump.  WIN!  However, I can't figure out how to use it.  FAIL.  My tri prospects aren't looking so hot... :/

Favorite Jams: Really digging Florence + The Machine, particularly You've Got the Love, Drumming Song, Cosmic Love.  Jeremih's Down On Me, Keri Hilson's Pretty Girl Rock, and some old school N'Sync.

Saturday I had my final 20 mile before I started my beloved taper for Fargoooooooooo.  Because bullet points are fun, and I did this run a few days ago and my memory is a bit spotty, you get short fun fragments and moments of note from the 3 hours and 14 minutes.
  • It was mother effing windy.  I noted the heavy late morning/early afternoon winds before I went to bed, PROMISING I would get up early to avoid it, but did I?  As if there was any question..... Then I tried to check Sunday's report to find more wind.  I started with 25 mph STEADY WINDS.  The 35 mph wind gusts quickly changed to 45 mph wind gusts.  So help me jesus.
  • I wore my marathon race day 'fit.  Green under armour shirt my adorable little nephew Harrison got me for Xmas, and my new green Brooks shorts.  I wore my green Kinvaras thinking if they worked for 20, I would sport them for race day, however they did not make the cut. A few too many blisters for my liking.
  • Gasp.  I saw a trio of ex-football player looking boys doing their long run.  I know they were going long (that's what she said) because one had a fuel belt and another a handheld.  OMG guys they EXIST!  If this had been later than 3 miles in to my 20 I would've assumed this was hallucinated.
  • At approximately mile 7 I noticed a dog not on a leash being fed a treat from a guy sitting in his car.  I kept my eye on the dog to make sure he didn't chase after me, and in my staredown, managed to catch a corner of the sidewalk and go FLYYYYYYYYYING.  Dude got out of his car and rushed over to make sure I wasn't dead.  Color me embarassed.  Luckily I didn't hurt myself.
  • You know it's windy when:  the wind pushes you UP the hills.
  • You know it's windy when:  You're giving it your all and you're running an 11 minute pace.  There was a point during the final two miles that the wind was so hard that I was running my butt off and my little garmin laughed at me and told me I was running an 11:xx pace.  Eff......... you.  I then implemented a .05 walk break because I was so mad.
  • You know it's windy when:  the wind knocks you down.  Approximately 1/2 mile from home I was running over a bridge.  A huge wind gust came up, throwing me off balance, causing me to catch an uneven wooden slat in the bridge and go FLYYYYYYYYYYYING.  Explicatives were shouted.  Naturally I fell on my left knee and hip as I did with fall #1.  Ouch.
  • The good news is that the slower pace caused me to spend some solid time on my feet, and I wasn't exhausted at the end (no idea how this is possible...).  Somehow I managed a 9:20 final mile into the insane winds.  Another 6.2 ain't no thang..... jk  IT TOTALLY IS. :p
Despite the wind, I still ended up with a 9:48 average pace for the 20 miles.  If Fargo is in the midst of a tornado, I should be good to go. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Exciting News + Weekly Wishlist

I received some news on Wednesday afternoon that allowed me to cross of one of the most important items from my 101 in 1001 list:  get accepted into master's program!!!!!!! 

Starting in the fall I will be a member of the University of Alabama's 2011 online cohort for my masters in library and information science.  The program is completely online except for a few days late in the summer that I have to head "down souf" for orientation.  I hope to come back to the Dak with a heavy southern accent.  Like Sookie's from True Blood (yes, I do need to get out more if that's my only frame of reference for the south.)  I also hope to not die of heat stroke, as I imagine the temps in mid-August are enough to kill me.

To say that I'm super de duper excited would be an understatement of my life.  No clue how I will be juggling my full time job, part time masters classes, running and some semblance of a social life, but on occasion I seem to think I'm super woman, so we'll see.  Any suggestions are welcome.  I'm guessing marathon training will probably be out of the question, but that's ok as I'd planned to focus on some b.a. fast HM races anyway.  And hopefully a nice little library job will open up in this town of mine.... you hear that Universe!!!  Get cracking!

[If you saw any of the tornado coverage, holy terrifying....... lots of prayers heading down south.]

Switching gears very abruptly: On to my weekly wishlist!

I can't stand carrying a clutch, but this has gotta be the prettiest thing ever, right?  I've been watching too much Say Yes to the Dress so forgive me for my next comment.... it'd be kind of great as your something blue... no?  Ok, moving on....

I've yet to get around to buying a laptop bag for my little MacBook. Primarily because it usually stays at home unless I'm traveling. However, this bag is so stinkin' cute I would consider it. (Clearly still obsessed with yellow...blame the lack of sunshine if you'd like....)

Sidenote: When I was talking to KK about my blog last night, I casually mentioned that when it came to Christmas/Birthday he could easily peruse my blog for gift ideas, and he questioned my intent for these weekly wishlist....

KK:  So do you expect people to see these on your blog and just buy them for you???
JL:  Uh.... what kind of blog do you think I'm running?!?!?

But to clarify, yes KK, if you see these items on my blog and buy them for me, I'll be completely ok with that. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IT Band Update + More Half Marathon Race Pictures

Uh... you guys are clearly tri experts.  Seriously.  Anyone interested in doing your first tri, feel free to stalk my comments of my last post for ideas/suggestions/etc.  Phew.

Back to running........... oh wait.... I'm not.  Last night in lieu of running I did a super girly night of diy facial, manicure, pedicure, and eating coffee flavored ice cream directly out of the carton.  I then logged the 75 minutes in my running log as intense cardio.  jk.  As I tweeted last night, my left IT band is almost completely back to normal where as the right one is hovering around 72%.  As of this morning, I'd say closer to 87%.  I could probably have done a short run last night, but I opted to rest (and gorge on ice cream).  I really want my last 20 miler to go well this weekend, and if that means sacrificing some "junk miles" in the process so be it.

And because you didn't see quite enough pictures of me taking on 13.1 miles on Saturday, here are more for your viewing pleasure.  Seriously... I think it's almost to the point that you could print them out, staple them together and create your very own flipbook of my race.  ::brb out prepping craft supplies::

This should answer my "why do my IT bands hurt so bad?!?!?" question.  Uff.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Try A Tri

I always get to a certain point in marathon training (or training for any race distance for that matter) where I start to obsess about what's next.  Because clearly I've already obsessed about what's currently going on, far too much.  I've been scouring some race calendars for the past few months, but nothing has really tickled my fancy.  Last year I jumped in to 5k training waaaaaaaaaaay too fast, and ended up with some pissed off hips.  I hope to not do that this time around.

Well something happened to catch my eye....  it is enough time after Fargoooooooooooooo to allow me to rest and then adequate time training (sort of).  It is challenging enough to keep my mind occupied.  And it includes plenty of cross training to allow my legs a chance to get back to 100% post-marathon.  And the cheap-o registration date is a week after Fargo, so I don't have to commit to anything until after I know how my body has handled the race. 

Yup... I think I'm going to try a tri!

It's just a little sprint triathlon, but I'm super duper excited about it.  Not sure if you read my 101 in 1001 post, but I have a goal to complete a half ironman in the next few years, and you have to start somewhere!  Plus I love Princess Leia so much, that I can't wait to spend some more QT with her.

The date:  June 25, 2011
The distances:  swim 400m, bike 20k, run 5k.
My status:  Freaking Excited!

I've been scouring the internet for some sprint tri training programs, but I thought I'd let the experts (aka my lovely readers) weigh in.  I'd like to keep my weekly mileage somewhat high (30's?) so that when the tri is done I have a decent enough base to race some 5ks and 10ks during the summer.  (I need to start nailing some new PRs ya know?  I got the ITCH!  And no...not that kind of itch....)

Also, what sort of gear do I HAVE TO have?  Keep in mind this is a pretty lowkey tri.  And since it's short, I'm sure I could get away things I couldn't normally.  Like do people wear their suits under their biking/running stuff after the swim?  (I'm not buying a tri suit, so don't suggest it.)  Could I wear a sports bra and spandex shorts for the swim and then throw on a tank for the rest?  So many QUESTIONS!

And in other news, I'm mondo happy I dropped the quest for 200 miles.  Reason a) PR.  Reason b) my IT bands are pisssssssssssssed after Saturday. I thought they might be after an insanely hilly route.  Me and my rolling pin are currently besties.  Hope they're back to normal for my final 20 miler Saturday!! :D

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Race Report: River Rat Half Marathon

Saturday I crawled out of bed after 2 hours of tossing and turning and immediately checked the weather report.  Turns out the wind had managed to increase over the night to 20 mph winds with 30 mph wind gusts.  Uff.  The wind coupled with the barely above 40 degree temps, made me want to crawl back under the covers immediately.  Angie and I started to make the trek south and talked race day plans and also race plans for FARGO (she's running the full as well).  By the time we got to the race start, I had deemed a PR out of the question.  I (somewhat seriously) began joking about napping in the care while Angie raced.  We were greeted by Tom and Brent who were at the race to spectate and before too long we were ready to start!

From the start I knew that it was going to be impossible to hit the 8:40s I had originally planned.  Fighting the wind was going to kill me.  I tried to run hard and tuck in behind people as much as I could.  The wind was coming from the NNW (we were running to the west) so at times it was almost unbearable.  With the first couple of miles in the 8:50s, I knew that I'd be lucky to finish the day under 1:55.  After the major hill (that I would later have to run up) I realized that my first three mile average was actually pretty close to my goal.  Hmmm....      (Full confession, I did major bad math here, as I came up with slightly above 8:40 for an average of these 3 miles.... uh... stupid tired running brain) 1. 8:51 
2. 8:56 
3. 8:36 

[indicating to the boys that I will toss my jacket when I've passed them so it would sail right to them with the wind]

Then we had a nice flat stretch to run.  There were a pack of about 6 chicks I was running with, so I was a total B and would line up off their shoulders so they could block my wind.  I struggled with deciding if it was smarter to stick with them running a smidge slower than I wanted to, or pull ahead and brave the wind on my own.  After the 4th mile a few of us went off on our own, and caught up to another girl and let her pull us along for awhile.  The wind got really bad the next couple of miles.  Once we got close to the marina we got to run a section with the wind at our back, which was great but I was scared for when we had to run directly in to that beast.  At mile 5 I realized I was starting to drag a bit and remembered that I should snag a GU.
4. 8:40
5. 8:46
6. 8:49 
There was a small little hill (which felt like a mountain) directly in to the 20-30 mph winds right before the turn around that literally made me feel like I was going to die.  Wowsers.  For some reason, even though I was slightly below pace, I had it in the back of my mind that maybe the wind could push me on the second half.  I decided if I could finish in the 1:53s on this course I would be pretty thrilled, so I set my sights on that.  Close to the turnaround I chatted a bit with a chick who's tail I'd been riding for most of the race, which was nice.  I saw Tom and Brent again shortly there after (seriously they were spectator STARS; it was awesome).
[oh hai new friend!]

I was excited to make up some time on the next 4 flat miles with the wind at my back.  Being able to see the monster hill in the distance was a bit...daunting... to say the least.  I saw my new stocking-hatted running friend (see above) slowly picking off runners, and I tried to follow suit.  I felt really strong and surprised at how much gas I had in the tank.  I made sure to take my last GU prior to starting the climb.
7. 8:43
8. 8:28
9. 8:26
10. 8:34 

The only advice I had remembered of Jason's (sorry pal) was that I had 8 minutes and 50 seconds to complete the hilly mile in.  Coming up on it (for what felt like 1200 hours) I decided to give myself 9:30.  That thing was STEEP.  I started doing math and realized that I would need to run 8 minute miles to the end to get anywhere near my PR.  I also lamented the fact that I actually didn't remember what my PR was.  :/  I keep meaning to crush the sucker so I haven't gotten too attached to it.  1:52:something.  Hmm... ok then.

and up....
and up.... (I swear I'm not walking)

My mom later commented that dad had wanted to watch me run up the hill, so they just had to be there snapping photos like paparazzi.  It was actually nice because it kept me running strong.  For some reason I was picking people off left and right up the hill.  Once I got to the top I was surprised to see that my legs felt good (usually they feel like trash for a good 1/2 mile after taking on a major hill).  

[this dude seemed disgruntled by my paparazzi..... so I passed him.... ;)]

I knew the last 2.5 miles were downhill and that I needed to give it my all.  I did some quick math and realized that if I ran the last 2.5 miles at an 8 minute pace I actually had a shot at a PR.  Uh.... hell ya!
11. 8:38

Yes, apparently I didn't need the 8:50 that was allotted for me.  It also means I hauled some serious ass once I got up and over that hill.  Two more 8 minute miles and a PR was mine.  I started setting my sights on people that I thought I could catch.  I saw my parents once more but I was finally focused on running my booty off in lieu of cute race photos (somewhere this is warming Angry Runner's cold cold heart).  I call this my running stank face.

12. 7:50 

Um... seriously..... can I hold on to this pace to pull of a PR?!?!?  I set my sights on a few more chicks in front of me and continued to haul.  I got slowed down slightly by some random switch backs on the bike trail about a half mile from the finish line.  It is not easy to turn on a dime when you're running fast... did you know that?!?  I started closing in on a chick that I had been hanging behind in the initial chick pack but who had pulled away.  At one point she was close to half of a mile in front of me.  Nothing like a good race to the finish, no?

I'm coming for ya blue!
But seriously... you'd better hustle.



13. 7:34
If the race had been a few strides farther, I would've had her.  But thanks to her I had a strong finish!

I bested my previous PR by almost 2 full minutes finishing in 1:50:57 for a pace of 8:28.  I was ecstatic!  Well, I was ecstatic after I realized I wasn't going to toss my cookies after I crossed the finish line.  It was truly touch and go there for a few minutes.  Luckily the almost spew was caught on camera by my madre.  Mid-dry heave I had to ask her to please not take any pictures of me if I was puking.  :p

Me and Team Green.
The two coolest Jer(r)(y)(i)s I know. :)

This race gives me some major confidence 4 weeks out from Fargo.  Sub 4 I'm coming for you!  It also further solidifies that I only race well when I don't put any pressure on myself to do so.  How I go about fixing this for the future.....uh.... no clue.  Suggestions are welcome.  For now I'm going to bask in my post-PR glow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nobody Makes Me Bleed My Own Blood!

Last week, I got up bright and early to head to the doctor to become a human pin cushion figure out what's wrong with me.  Since my appointment was insanely early, I didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for my appointment.  Win.  The doctor asked a gazillion questions, which was good, and did a small physical exam before sending me off to have my blood drawn.  Now I have no problem with needles, I have 3 tattoos for goodness sake, however, I do sometimes have a tendency to faint (example #1: I fainted during tattoo #1.  Don't ask how I got tattoos #2 and #3 after this instance....).  I kindly asked KK to come with me to hold my hand, but apparently bringing home the monies is more important than making me happy.  (I kid....)  His encouraging words were to not watch.  Good plan.

I sat down and the chick got to work poking around my veins.  She got ready to poke me (heh heh) so I looked away.  For a solid 5 minutes I was in pain as she was poking around my skin with the needle in me.  Finally she was done, and commented that she'd take a look at my other arm.  I looked over to her work station to see NONE OF MY BLOOD IN A VIAL!!!!  (P.S.  Wow there are a lot of vial homophones, I think I went through them all finding the right one.....)

After she deemed my left arm with "bad veins" she ran off to find someone else to stick me (heh heh).  Another lady came back and in very little time, and with very little pain other than the initial prick (heh heh) she had all she needed.  Do you think it's rude to request someone that doesn't SUCK AT TAKING BLOOD in this situation?  Where's Nurse Susan when you need her??!?!?

I waited the rest of the day Wednesday and all day Thursday with no results.  If you know how much of a worrier I am, you'll be able to conclude that I had diagnosed myself with all sorts of incurable diseases.  Seriously.  I couldn't sleep on Thursday because I assumed they were waiting to tell me I had 10 days left to live and wanted to do that in person instead of over the phone.  (See why I avoid the doctor??)

I finally called Friday morning and the nurse called me back shortly thereafter.  Turns out I was wrong.  No iron deficiency.  No b-12 deficiency.  However, I am lacking in the Vitamin D department (shoddy weather, I'm looking at you here....) which is causing my extreme fatigue.  The nurse said to continue taking a multi vitamin and to take some Vitamin D supplements until I felt back to normal.  YAAAAAAAAAY, that's way better than 10 days left to live, no?  And now I don't have to force myself to eat red meat.  Barfffffffffff.

And in other sad news, I have ended my quest towards 200 miles.  Didn't I just announce that I was attempting this?  Well yeah.... but I'm dumb.  After reading some of Jaseface's tweets this week (he ran a half marathon last weekend) I got to thinking... hmm.... if he's struggling to get his miles in this week because of recovery, how and the heck am I to get 50-52 miles (my highest) in?  We had a brief email exchange and moved around my workouts for next week, and all was well.... but it was still on the back of my mind.

In addition to my fear of getting injured, I still had 8 miles scheduled for Thursday and 3 miles scheduled for Friday (with Saturday being race day).  My legs were dead.  I realized that I wasn't going to be able to accomplish all my goals.  It was either:

a) run 200 miles


b) have fresh legs for the HM to attempt a PR and head in to my taper for Fargo with healthy legs.

Yes, I don't know that running 8+3 miles before a half is going to cause me not to PR.  And I don't know that a 50 mile week following a hard half marathon will cause me to get injured.  But either of these assumptions are pretty darn likely (knowing my body's incidence for injury).

In an effort to persuade me, KK even changed his bribery from dinner to the sparkly black TOMS I've been coveting.  Le sigh.  (The $17 dress shoes that I've had for the last 2 years have only a thread holding the sole of the shoe to the shoe.  If I wore my running shoes this close to death I would be injured always... hah.)

So I'm super duper bummed, but I should still end the month with a monthly mileage PR.  And there'll be another 200 mile month out there to chase.  I will just be careful to not schedule a race during it (or the last day of the month!!).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

River Rat Half Marathon Race Goals

Wednesday I had a ten mile run to take care of.  Originally this had been scheduled for Monday and was supposed to be a marathon pace run.  Because of weather (and my lazy weekend schedule) I rested Monday and it got pushed to Wednesday.  I was pretty hesitent about running that hard of a workout so close to my half this weekend, so I decided to just do an easy-paced 10 miler.

Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my garmin at .8 miles and saw that what I thought was my easy pace was actually marathon pace.  Hmm.... ok.  I decided I would do 5 miles MAX at MP.  Uh.... can marathon pace pleeeeeeeeeease feel like my easy pace on May 21st?  That'd be neat-o burrito.  (EEP!  ONE MONTH!)  Throughout the run I went back and forth between thinking that this pace would be a cakewalk for 26.2 miles and that I was going to crash and burn at mile 18 and want my mama.  So it was nice to have the typical neurotic runner brain back for awhile.  ;)

I ended up with 10 miles in 1:33:26 for a pace of 9:20.  Average MP miles: 9:06 (5 o' them).

I also remember how much I love running at dusk/in the dark.  There's something very peaceful about running at night.  I miss it. :)

As I mentioned briefly yesterday (in between rabid raccoon assaults), I have been thinking a lot about my race strategy for Saturday's half.  My half PR has been at a bit of a stand still.  Yes, I PR'd technically in August on an uber flat course, but it was barely (like 15 seconds) and on a short-ish course.  So really the fastest I've covered the 13.1 distance was in December 2009.  Time to do some work on that puppy!

Even though the course is a toughy, I still would like to pull off a PR.  Random note: this will be half marathon #10, and the first one I've raced on a hilly course..... pacing the Mankato half is the exception.  Some recent tempo runs have given me the realization that the first hard mile always sucks and feels like crap, so I'm hoping to start a smidge slower than necessary to accomodate that crappiness, and then get faster from there.  I usually (attempt to) employ a negative split strategy. 

For Saturday the plan is:
Miles 1-3 8:40
Miles 4-7 8:35
Miles 8-10 8:30
last 5k BTTW

I usually like to think of half marathons as a hard ten miler with a 5k race on the end.  For some reason, it mentally breaks it up enough in my mind to make it doable.  Since coming up with this plan, I've let Jason analyze it based on the hills, and it has been tweaked slightly.  So excuse me while I memorize my mile pace times (and/or etch them on to my arm....)

I'd be ecstatic with a sub 1:50, so I guess we'll call this my A goal.  However, I don't want to put too much pressure on that, because I think that's why I panicked and gave up this fall.  I should be able to PR (goal B), and even if it's by the skin of my teeth, I'll be ok with that, because it's a much tougher course than I've ran before.

The race field should be fairly small, so I see this as a potential positive and negative.  Positive:  I could win an AG award!  And you'd best believe this'll bring out the competitor in me.  Negative:  If there's no one around me, that competitiveness could be lost quickly.  Based on last year's results, I could've placed 2nd, so a top 10 would be AWESOME (there are a lot more registrants than last year) and top 3 in my AG is goal #2.  The fact that my AG is 19-30 chaps my behind, but that's neither here nor there.  :p  Luckily Miss Angie, just had a birthday kicking her out of my AG.  I wouldn't want to have to fight her for an AG award (jk, she's much faster than me, there's no fighting too it :P)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Almost Got Abducted by a Posse of Rapid Raccoons

Tuesday I hit the trails for a nice and easy 6 miler.  It was rainy and cold and windy and I was kind of hating life for the first mile or so.  But then I apparently went on auto-pilot as I started to think race strategy for Saturday's race (EEP!  SATURDAY!).  I got so in to my head that I didn't realize I had gone further than I had intended. 

On my way back towards my apartment, I saw a big fluffy kitty near the old folks' apartments. 
"Kitty!" I cried out.  When it didn't respond, I tried a different approach, "Meow?"  (Yes, I speak cat, this should come as no surprise.... now if only I could learn to speak deer.....) To which it stopped and looked in my direction.  I thought to myself "Hmmmm why is Kitty wearing a mask?" as I ran closer to it.  Shortly there after my eyes focused on the critter to realize it was actually a raccoon.... in the daylight.  AHHHHH RABID RACCOON RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!

And I did.

Seriously.  My easy 9:50s pace quickly turned in to 9's as I hightailed it away from this critter that wanted nothing more to consume my blood (rabies causes animals to become vampiric, no?).  Upon rounding the corner, I see yet another raccoon waiting for me.


And I sprinted the last quarter of a mile home.

Apparently I need to learn to speak raccoon asap.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lazy Runner + Sucktastic Runs = 200 Mile Month?

I must start this post by saying, thank God it was a cut back week, because mentally I did not want to run.  Friday I hit the gym's treadmill along with my nookie nook to get in some miles because it was freezing cold/snowy/wet out.  Blech.  Little did I know that this would be the best/easiest run of the weekend.  Go figure.

I was so excited to run with some friends on Saturday morning for a group run.  I had plans to run to the meet up and home, so I'd get in 8.5-9 miles for the day.  Well at some point in the middle of the night, I must've shut off my alarm, because it never went off (and after careful review, I couldn't see that I had set another alarm for a different time, so this was my final verdict).  After missing the group run, my motivation was roughly zero.  I watched a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress (currently obsessed with this show... it's ridiculously) and then headed out for a run.  TOTAL SUCKFEST!

It was windy.  The bike trail was flooded.  So I went around.  It was flooded in another area, so I started trampling through the muddy woods to get around it.  Only to realize that there was no getting around it, only through it.  So I walked back, through the mud yet again....cranky.... to be met with the wind in my face.  Efffffffffffffff.  If I had my cell phone, I guarentee that I would've been calling Kyle to come pick me up.  My shoes were roughly 20 lbs. a piece with all the excess mud and the 20-30 mph winds were helping to keep me at a standstill.  If you want to see a not-her-usual-chipper-self-Jeri, please create a time traveling device and go back to Saturday at 4pm.

I got so pissed off that I walked part of the run.  A few times.  I figured it was roughly the same pace I was traveling at anyway, plus I could cover up my face with my gloves to lower the level of "ouchies" from the wind.  And then I went out to dinner and ate like I had done my full run.  :)  Yayzies.

Sunday was grade 'A' lazy day.  I slept in.  I got caught up on twitter while in bed.  I cuddled with Kyle while he watched a fishing show (oy!).  I got him back by watching an episode of Say Yes to the Dress.  Followed by two more episodes.

 [I should note:  I was willing to stop watching after the first but Kyle became "emotionally invested" in the show, so we kept watching.... bahahahahha.  P.S. I really hope he doesn't read my blog because I have a feeling he'll be maaaaaaaaad about this confession.  heheh.]

Of course we then had to watch some more LOST while eating Girl Scout cookies in bed.  Followed by naps (because this was a reallllllllllllllllly stressful day obvs).  More cookies, more LOST, perhaps more Say yes to the Dress.  I love my life.  :)

Finally I went and ran.  Clearly I had to wait until the weather forecast was 80-90% chance of precipitation.  Because I'm smart.  The drizzle turned to rain which turned to baby snow flecks which turned to snow flakes which turned to sweet baby jesus those are giantess snowflakes that feel like shards of glass in my eyes.  It was neat.  But it was stil 1000x better than Saturday's sucktastic run.  :)

Now I know what you're probably thinking.... "Jerbear.... you're the queen bee slacker.  Why did you finish your runs for the week?  Normally you'd just say eff it. "

Well after knocking out a 50 mile week last week, I got to realizing that if I didn't miss a run for the rest of April I would be able to knock out a 200 mile month.  My best month ever was April 2010 at 180, and 200 miles is on my 101 in 1001 list, plus I think it'd be huge mentally for me going in to Fargooooooooo.  So guess who's not going to be a slacker for the next 12 days?  This girl.  I've been promised dinner to wherever my heart desires by Kyle for completing my goal, and clearly I'm most motivated by fooooooood, so this shall help.  Also Jodee (jokingly or not, I will hold her to this) offered up a sweet new eraser for getting to 200.  YAYZIES!

A sincere thanks for all the kind thoughts and words from my post on Friday.  I had to write it in increments throughout the week because I kept getting so emotional.  For those that mentioned donating $$, I set up a fundraising page through the race site, and all the funds will go towards the local cancer research center.  Feel free to donate.  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Race Against Breast Cancer

Dear Breast Cancer,

Thanks for making it personal.



I received some truly unexpected and heartwrenching news the other day.  One of my favorite college professors, and later my friend, had passed away.  We had been keeping in touch regarding my grad school plans and she had written some letters of recommendation for me.  When I hadn't heard from her about the most recent letter of recommendation, I thought it was strange.  After trying to reach her via email, I received an auto-reply message from the Dean of Students.  I learned that her breast cancer had returned aggressively, and she had passed away only a few short weeks after its return.

She was a brilliant and beautiful woman.  A strong feminist, educator, and nurturer.  She made me think and analyze beyond what I thought I was capable of.

I remember the day I saw her in the campus weight room, and she was ecstatic to tell me she had started running, and was planning to do an area 5k in the fall.  I saw her at the finish line that day and she was truly beaming with her accomplishment.

She will be greatly missed by me and many many others.  And I'll be running the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer in her honor.  Let's kick breast cancer's ass, eh?

If you should feel inclined to make a donation towards the cause, please visit my personal fundraising page.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weekly Wishlist + Hellish Hills

Wednesday night I hit the gym (because it's become beyond cold/wet/miserable here....again) and also because it's easier to do hill repeats on the treadmill.  I had a 2 mile warm up then 7x400 at ~5k pace.  I started with the incline and thought I was going to die, so I only lasted for 2 repeats, then 2 on 3.5, then the final 3 on 3.  This was WAY HARDER than the last time I did hill repeats, but I recovered really quickly from each one.  Weird. 1:43, 1:50, 1:50, 1:49, 1:48, 1:47, 1:44.  And then the gym closed so I could only do a 1/2 mile cooldown instead of a mile.  Rude.

Weekly Wishlist :  Dress Edition

I've been obsessed with finding that "perfect" spring-y dress.  Don't ask me why, because I don't have any spring/summer formal events to attend.  Whatevs.
I love the marigold color of this.  It's just asking to be worn once I have a nice golden brown sun tan (with garmin tan lines, natch.)

I would like this dress to wear to go to tea.  Because that's what everyone in sodak does.  Formal tea time.

Buy it here.
I don't think I love this one as much as I originally did.  I think the coloring on it is great.  Maybe an outdoor wedding, a slight breeze would give it a really fun flowy feel.  Ok, I've talked myself back in to it.  Non-existent outdoor wedding dress...check!

Soooooooo soooooooo sooooooo pretty.  Obsessed.  I tend to think this is the color of my eyeballs so I'm drawn to anything in this hue.  Case in point, currently wearing a scarf in the exact color.  It's a pashmina which makes me feel uber snobby, but my BFFF in Cambodia sent it to me.  Sooooooo pretty.
Oh yeah, the dress.  I need to have this.  Like now.  I'll even wear it for a race if that's what it'll take to justify the $$ in my brain.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No Spend March Update + The Heat is On

I heart spring.  For the first time in 2011 it was actually hot outside today.  YAYZIES!  Except, if you'll recall from my excessive bitching in the summer months, I don't like the hot weather.  Luckily this round of "hot" was only 73 degrees, but you'd better believe I was down to my booty running shorts and tank top (and still sweating like it's my j-o-b).  Not sure what I'll be donning when the weather ACTUALLY turns hot, but something tells me I should probably get to work on some core exercises.

Tonight I had an easy 8 miles with some striders thrown in.  I haven't ran since Sunday's 20 miler.  Last night I had plans to drag KK out for part of my 6 miler with me, but after his softball practice ran long (the kid knocked out 9 HRs out of 15 pitches...... tres impressive) and I was still sans ankle skin, I decided to give it a rest (day).  Also my calves were nice and tight, so he convinced me that if we didn't run, and watched LOST instead, he'd rub my legs.  As if that's even up for debate....

When I first started off on my run I kind of felt like I was going to die.  My legs were heavy and my breathing was off.  It reminded me of the lung burn you get after taking 6 months off from running.  Blech.  Within a minute that was gone, thank God, and the rest of the run was just dandy.  :)  My easy pace slid in to the low 9:30s, when it's been in the mid 9:40s lately, so that was nice.  During the final mile I threw in my 4x100 m. striders at (roughly) mile pace.  And ended up with (6:24, 6:38, 6:14, 6:13.)

I did 8 miles in 1:15:29 for a pace of 9:27.  Yippee skippy.

And since it's almost mid-April, I thought I'd update you on my No Spend March.  To put it mildly, it was a massive failure.  I did really well the first week and a half (as is documented in my updates previously) but then it was St. Patty's Day, and Guinesses aren't free (unfortunately).  And then my best friend came to town, and clearly BFFs have to eat delicious food together while catching up.  And then it's only natural for them to do a bit of shopping (I only spent $12 on this super cute Twins shirt, but still, I suck).  And then pedicures happened.  After that, I had Kyle's softball fundraiser to attend to, which I contributed some funds to.  So yeah, I failed.  But really I'm not upset about the failure, because one of my new years goals/resolutions/whatevs is to make myself be more social.  And everything that I spent money on was done while connecting with people I love to be with, so it's ok, I suppose.  I will be attempting this again sometime in the future.

I almost feel like this is the same reason I would never be able to maintain a diet.  I'm very all or nothing oriented so once I feel like I have "failed" at something, it's very easy to throw in the towel completely.  Pretty sweet quality, right?  :)

And three cheers to me for sending off my final grad school application today.  Fingers crossed!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Highest Weekly Mileage EVER

First things first.  Because that's how the saying goes.  If it was first things second, that would just be weird.  Anywhosits.  Thanks for all your comments and concerns on my previous post.  The good news:  I bit the bullet and scheduled a doctor's appointment.  I typically try to self-diagnose and fix whatever is wrong with me, and this is clearly something I can't fix without some help.  Dietician friends, best believe I'll be hitting you up with questions after I get some answers from the doc.  My next race is April 23rd, and I'd like to be at least 80% by then, and hopefully back to completely normal for FARGOOOOOOOOO!

My legs were so tired on Friday that I took a rest day.  I had to walk up the stairs at work (I work on the first floor so never have to frequent the stairs) and almost needed to take a small rest when I got to the top.  Saturday rolled around and I had to work until 1pm.  Barf.  I was all set to do my 20 miler after work, but my stomach was sooooooooo angry!  By the time it was back to normal, I did not have 3+ hours left to work with.  It actually worked perfect, because Friday was supposed to be a marathon pace run and Saturday was supposed to be my long run.  This way I could still do my marathon pace run on Saturday and have some slightly fatigued legs to further destroy for Sunday.  Day of rest?  Hells no!

I had 7 miles with 5 at marathon pace (9:00-9:09).  During my warm up miles, I ran by a large apartment complex that was clearly getting ready for an Easter Egg Hunt.  There were eggs everywhere!  And not a person in sight.  Let me tell you how badly I had to resist doing some huntin' of my own.  Especially after I saw an open egg with a reese's peanut butter cup and a hershey chocolate bar spilling out.  Mmmmmmmm.  The run went well.  My legs seem to naturally gravitate closer to the 9:00 end of the range vs. the 9:09, but it was only 5 miles and not 26.2, so we shall see. ;)

I did 7 miles in 1:04:44 for a pace of 9:14.  Marathon miles averaged 9:03.

After checking the forecast before snoozing Saturday night, I noted that I should be DONE with my long run at 1pm, because the winds were going to be INTENSE then, and only getting stronger as the afternoon progresses.  So obviously at noon I was still putzing around not running.  Finally 12:30 got me out the door.  Unreal.

I had planned on doing a hilly 20 mile route that Angie had lent me, but shortly after starting I decided I wanted to do my 16 miler from last week with 4 miles tacked on.  Which would've been great, except I forgot that I had ran a few miles prior to the hilly route, so I was going to come up short.  Something I realized when I circled back to my apartment at 13.5 miles instead of 16.  ;)  [Sidenote:  The marathon I'm running is insanely flat.  However, the half I'm running in 2 weeks is going to be hilly as poo.  After the half, I'll probably lay off the hills.]

I started the run with the wind at my back (thank God) as I started taking down the hills for 4 miles.  Hills have started to become kind of... fun.  It's weird.  The next 6 miles suckkkkkkked as they were hilly and in to the wind.  When it's a struggle to run downhill into the wind, you know it's a strong wind sort of day.  BUT I would MUCH RATHER deal with wind than slippery/slick/shitty snow/ice/slush for the record.

I saw so many people out in pants, coats, and stocking hats.  I told myself I was being a pussy for wearing long sleeves instead of short sleeves with my shorts, but knew I'd be thankful for them when I was running in to the wind (I was right).  The joke is probably on me, however, as I have the worst chaffing EVER on my inner thighs.  Mental note:  Nike tempos that are too big should not be worn for LRs.  Ever.  Terrible idea.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.

The final stretch of the hills was with the wind at my back and I was flyyyyyying.  Whee!!!  I did notice some discomfort in the back of my knee, presumably from the downhills, and my arch in my left foot started to get sore.  Oh, also both ankles were bleeding like nobody's business.  It's getting out of hand, really.  OWIE.

After 13ish miles I was back at my casa.  I made a quick bano break, refilled my handheld and was out the door.  The first 3.5 miles seemed to fly by (with the wind at my back) and I pretty much wanted to quit life the final 3.5 that were in to the wind (15mph winds with 25 mph wind gusts, so yeah, the times were I was running in place?  I'm guessing those were the wind gusts. haha.)

I attempted something different with my fueling.  I usually take my GUs at certain mile increments (every 4.5 for 18 miler, every 5 for 20 miler) but I decided to take my first at 4 miles and then every 45 minutes after.  In previous long runs I've felt terrible for a good mile leading up to the GU mile, and this helped tremendously.

The last mile of the run I just got ANGRY at the wind and decided I was going to run fast and show it who's [the] boss (Angela Bauer. Oh p.s. I used to tell people that Judith Light was my cousin.  I'm so cool.)  I was surprised at how much energy I had.  I surely couldn't have ran another 10k into that wind.  But with minimal wind?  No problem.

I did 20 miles in 3:14:12 for a pace of 9:42.  (Final mile in 9:14.  Take that wind.)

And with that I posted 50 miles for the week, which is my all-time high!  I spent 8 hours running this week.  Insane.  My legs feel pretty darn good, but I'm sure they'll be happy to enjoy the cutback week I have planned for them. :D

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pow Pow! Bullet Points!

Starting last Thursday I was very very sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy (said in a good KK voice, he makes fun of me for sleeeeeeeeeping so much).  That night and through the weekend (Monday and Tuesday included as I took sick days) I averaged 12-14 hours of sleep a night.  Plus a nap.  I went to work for an hour on Tuesday and almost face planted on my keyboard with tiredness.  Since I'm a hypochondriac, clearly I thought I was dying.  Steel Springs mentioned via twitter that I should check to see if I was anemic. 
Clearly the hypochondriac in me had to read everything out there regarding anemia and iron deficiencies.  And shockingly, it all made sense!
  • extreme fatigue (hello sleeping more of the day than I'm awake!)
  • brittle nails (I've made a concious effort to up my protein effort thinking that's why my nails were peeling off in layers the last few months)
  • night sweats (um gross)
I also found that it's very common in female endurance athletes.  Then I stumbled on to some information regarding a Vitamin B12 deficiency, which states that if you have a B12 deficiency, you also end up having an iron deficiency because your body isn't able to absorb any iron without it.  Since B12 is often in dairy and is absorbed in the intestines, and I'm lactose intolerant, the dairy I consume doesn't really stick around in my body all too long (if you catch my drift).  The B12 deficiency also tends to lend itself to GI issues.  I feel like there's been a little beam of light shot down from the heavens solving my life's problems.  I picked up a multivitamin, and as soon as I can figure out the cheapest way to get bloodwork done (my health insurance is TERRIBLE.  ie: Remember when I the Ninja Death Star Flu? My bill for that day was 2x as much as I would've made during that shift of work I missed.  AWESOME!)

And now some bullet points (because I'm feeling lazy).
  • I did an easy 8 miles.
  • The part of the bike trail that is closed at 3.75 miles (causing me to potentially reroute the run to tack on 1/2 a mile at the end) was unlocked so I could venture through for 1/4 of a mile.  WIN!
  • I've started chaffing on my runs.  I refuse to believe that I've gotten bigger, and instead think my body's just not used to only one layer of clothes.
  • I saw an itty bitty sock on the side of the bike trail.  I said, outloud, "sock!" in the voice that Lily and Robin do in that episode of HIMYM.  And then I thought of Jenn.  And I missed her.  Since it was an out and back run, I did this twice.

  • I did 7x800 m. repeats at 3:40 goal pace.
  • No I'm not attempting a 3:40 in Fargo (not that that number has any significance now anyway).
  • I am going to attempt a sub-1:50 HM at the end of the month, and I like my speed work to be...well.....speedy.
  • I started too fast (3:28).
  • I thought I was going to die on number 3 (3:51).
  • The rest were all right at under or below 3:40.
  • I averaged 3:39.
  • My right hip was super wonky ala Vegas Marathon pain at the start of the repeats.  But then quit.
  • I did the repeats  in the dark in a sketchy-ish area. I was terrified except for when I was doing the repeats. Then I was just terrified I was going to die.
  • I wore all green for the run.  Green shirt, green shorts, green shoes, green ipod.
  • These bullet points are obnoxious.