Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lottery Entry

$10/mile?  Sure..... why not.

I'm finally finalizing my graduation trip present to myself:  a trip to NYC!  I've never been before, and it's on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days (even though I'll miss the cutoff by about 90 days).  AND I'll get to see my favesies running nurse SUSAN!!!!  I think she's been trying to get me to come to move to NYC for approximately 3+ years now.  Maybe I'll just pack the pug and make her wish come true!

Anyway, I had been looking for a race to coincide with my trip, and found two:  2014 NYC Half and the All State Life Insurance Half, both in March, on either side of St. Patty's Day.  A sign?  Surely.  So I'm throwing my name in the hat for the 2014 NYC Half to make it my most expensive half to date.  I'm not sure if I've spent that much on my races TOTAL for 2013.....

Our last (=only) run together, over 2 years ago.  Pre-fall, pre-skinned knee!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weekly Reads: The Center of Everything

There is a group on Goodreads that discusses Newbery potential books on a monthly basis.  I coerced a couple of my co-workers in to reading the same books they have suggested and having a mini lunch time book club to discuss them.  The Center of Everything was June's book to read and discuss.  So far of the books I've read with Newbery potential, this one is my favorite.  It was a very quick read, I read it on the couch in between fever induced naps, and it took less than two hours.

The story follows Ruby Pepperdine as she prepares to read her Bunning Day speech atop a float in her city's annual parade celebration of doughnuts.  The story weaves back and forth between her present nerves, waiting on the sidewalk for the floats to pass before she steps on her float to read, while also taking us back the past few months to explain how she came to be there.  This was a great realistic fiction story for middle grade students that deals with a loss of a grandparent, trying to rectify friendships and relationships and just trying to understand life by figuring out the center of everything.  While I'm unsure if this is actually a Newbery contender (my guess is no) it's still a must read for children ages 9-12.

My rating:  4 stars.

Goodreads summary:
For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marathon Day Forecast

Most people who train and run/race marathons know that weather plays a HUGE factor in your race day performance.  My first marathon I counted down the days to race day, but I also counted down the days to 15 days out from the race day--getting my first glimpse at the raceday forecast for Green Bay, WI.  For my next marathon in Las Vegas, I found accuweather that forecasted a 21 day forecast.  Now I could enjoy a side of weather forecast freakout with my sunny side up taper mania.  Yayzies!

So imagine my surprise after my last 20 miler, when I bopped on to accuweather, three weeks out from Madison to find that the extended forecast NOW RAN FOR 45 DAYS OUT.  Whoa.  This adds a whole new element of crazy to marathon training.

Race day, and the 2+/- days before/after it all look perfect.  AND, most importantly (or perhaps just equally as important?) is that there are no major blizzards/ice storms leading up to race day, as I'm driving to Madison.  Phew!  Bring on the excessive race day weather stalking!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Race Report: Trick or Treat Trail Run 10k

I woke up Saturday morning after going to bed way too late for a race eve.  Luckily the race wasn't scheduled to start until 10am.  I ate breakfast and did my hip exercises, foam rolling, stretching, hip flexor stretches, and finally woke up Kyle and Ollie to head to the race start.  I did a half mile warm up with some striders and then it was time to start.

I was the only one wearing shorts and a tank, so I win that category I guess.  I started toward the front because NO ONE was going up to the front.  It was weird.  There were probably 3 girls at the front front, otherwise no one was even close to the start.  The race is chip timed, but it's gun chip timed (does that even make sense?) so I didn't want a ton of extra time from starting at the back.  Also, there were a TON of runners, and a skinny path to race on.

We started and I felt good and fast.  I settled in to a comfortably hard pace pretty easy on.  Jenn wanted me to run without my garmin because she's convinced I'm faster than I think I am (spoiler:  I'm not) so I compromised by ignoring my watch for the first while.  My first mile clocked at 8:32.  Oops.  After consulting my garmin info, my max pace was 6:39.  LOLZ.  Pacing, I haz none.

I could feel my legs slowing and getting heavier during mile one, so I wasn't surprised when mile two was slower, but I wasn't expected to run it that slow.  Mile 2 was 8:58.

Mile three and four stunk.  My legs felt like poo, and I kept getting passed.  During mile three I started to see the leaders fly by going the opposite direction since it was an out and back.  I kept myself busy counting chicks to see what place I was in.  At the turn around, I was 26, which is my lucky number.  Wahoo!  Before too long I was 31.  Womp.  Mile 3 was 9:01, Mile 4 was 9:07.

I finally got my mind straight the final two miles and realized I only had about 20 minutes left of hard running to do, and if I didn't kick it in, I was going to run slower than I did in June, when I was just getting back in to running.  I started slowly picking off the gals that had passed me in mile 4.  Mile 5 was 8:59.

The final mile I just tried to haul as best as I could, and I was really invigorated by catching up to people (as terrible as that sounds).  I forget how nice it is to race in a race, that extra little competitive edge really helps the final miles when you're just ready to be DONE.  Mile 6 was 8:49.

I had started to run "all out" or as all out as I could muster at about 5.7 because I thought I could run a 4 minute half mile to finish close to 55 minutes.  There were a few more girls I was chasing down that had passed me in miles 3 and 4, so I kept them in my sights.  My final .24 was 1:48 for a 7:27 pace, and a max pace of 6:40.

My final time was 55:17 for an average pace of 8:51.

This was about 25 seconds faster than the 10k I did in June, and a slighter lower HR, but higher max HR, which is interesting.  I definitely kept my mind during this race, which is a huge win for me, as I usually give up when my goal time is out of reach.  But it also shows my extreme lack of speed work for the last 4 months.  So many LSD runs.  It'll be nice to crush this 10k time this spring after I add speed back to my newfound endurance.  WHOOP!

Race Review:  I would highly recommend this race to anyone considering doing it.  It was cheap, $35 for the early bird sign up, came with a tech T, had 5k and 10k options, race loot for winners, costume contests with various categories, EVERYONE dressed up (which was awesome, I'm a sucker for costumes!), well run, well organized, great treats post-race.  It was great!

Official Results

Trick or Treat Trail Run



Friday, October 25, 2013

Trick or Treat Trail Run 10k Goals

Tomorrow I'm running my 2nd 10k of 2013.  My first one was in June and was my first race of 2013.  Whoa.  For that race, I had hoped to run sub-9 miles, and I ran a 55:40 for a pace of 8:57.  I have run a LOT of miles since June, but very few speedy ones.  With my injury prone body, I can either do lots o' miles or speed, both and my legs fall off.  Since I was super out of shape I focused on miles.

So my goal for tomorrow's 10k will be..... ???

  • Sub 53.  This is pretty unlikely unless I have some hidden speed tucked away somewhere.
  • Sub 54.  This is probably a better goal time.  8:43 pace sounds decently hard but not impossible.
  • Sub 55.  This was actually my A goal for June, dodging the flooding in the middle of the road caused me to suck at running tangents, and probably caused the extra 40 seconds.  Or so I'm telling myself.
I'm still debating wearing a costume for the race.  I've always wanted to dress as a banana for a race.  

Any costume suggestions that are still easy to run in??

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Saturday was Ollie's second Pug-O-Ween and she had a blast.  She dressed up as Yoda, and looked super adorable (big shocker there).  I had a bunch of really creative costume ideas planned, but often the creative costume means that I'm chasing her around the gym all afternoon trying to reassemble the costume as she's having ALL THE PUGGY FUN IN THE WORLD.  I went with a store bought Yoda hoodie, but next year I think we'll be back to homemade.

Ollie didn't take home any hardware for the costume contest this year, but she was still the cutest one there, imo.

I wish everyday was Pug-O-Ween!  (And I'm willing to bet that Ollie agrees.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weekly Reads: Firecracker

If I could write a novel with a quirky and awesome title character, it would be Astrid Krieger.  Calling her a Firecracker would be an understatement.  Calling her a pain in the @$$ would probably be more appropriate.  She comes from an incredibly wealthy family, and has always attended fancy private schools.  She has always caused enough problems to become expelled from said private schools.  The latest expulsion is the final straw for her father who gives her the worst punishment she could imagine--she has to attend public school..... with.. like... the public.  Part of her punishment is to continue to speak with the dean of the private school who is also a psychologist to "make her normal."  In one of their sessions, she strikes a deal:  If Astrid follows through with the Dean's orders, he has to allow her back in to private school.  To find out if she succeeds and the hilarious LOL moments en route, pick up Firecracker, written by New Girl and SNL writer David Iserson.

My rating:  3.5/5 stars

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo Whoa

A few years back I started to see this crazy NaNoWriMo (or as I liked to refer to it, NannyNannyBooBoo) on the twitterz. I didn't pay much attention to it until Krista participated in 2011.  Here's a blogpost of hers with the intro.  (P.S.  K-bug, please see this as your official fan following of folks requesting that you keep going with this puppy. Kthxbai!)

I was so enamored with her beginnings of a story, that *I* desperately wanted to play along TOO.  Also, I was two months in to a 2 year grad school program with nary a free moment to my name, so clearly I'd want to add something else to my plate. I vowed that my first school-free November I would participate. Flash forward to two months ago when I saw some #nanowrimo twitter rumblings once again and I was reminded:  Hey self. Weren't you supposed to do this??  Yes, self, I am.

It's no major revelation that I LOVE LOVE LOVE a well-crafted story. And occasional even the not so well-crafted stories. I'm obsessed with reading, and books, and being transported to a different time or place because of an author's words. I love to write. When I'm inspired, I love to throw words down on this blog. So am I a writer? Maybe. A blogger? Sure. A novelist? No way, no how. But ask me again at the end of November.

If you're participating too, find me on the NaNoWriMo site (username Jerilee40) and let's keep each other inspired!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Confessions from Peak Week

Well that really crept up on us (=me) didn't it?  Peak week has come and gone, and we're rolling in to taper town for the Madison Marathon.  Eeps.

Time spent in compression socks:  80%?

Beers drank:  4 + whatever I consume during the Packers game

Froyo cravings:  1

DQ Blizzard cravings:  1

Froyo/Bliz cravings cured by Kyle bringing them home:  2

Miles ran:  47

Number of times run:  5

Number of runs missed:  1.  I had a 3 miler to make an even 50 miles, but my hip was SO TIGHT I didn't want to risk not getting in my final 20 miler just to hit 50 miles for the week.

Ab sessions achieved:  3

Hip sessions achieved:  3

Mental (running) breakdowns occurred:  1/2?  I wanted to quit my 20 miler because my legs felt like trash from the get go today.

Mental (running) breakdowns conquered:  1/2!  I didn't quit.

GUs eaten: 6.  Blech.

Solo miles:  43

Miles with friends:  4 super slow recovery miles with Jenn J. Thanks for running pokey with me!

Speedy miles:  2? ish?

Hilly miles:  16

Nights where I ate chips and queso, crackers and goat cheese for dinner in lieu of running:  1

Number of runs I contemplated my marathon race day strategy:  All of them.  (I think I may have landed on my plan, whoop!)

Number of nights Ollie gave me the stank eye for going to run instead of snuggling with her on the couch:  All of them.

Books read:  0. Peak week means early bed times aka no time to read I guess. :(

Number of times it was probably too cold to run in shorts but I did anyway:  3

Friday, October 18, 2013

Celeb Status

I've got a little D List celebrity on my hands over here!

(Or should be be P {=pug} List?  I'm not sure.)

My little dinky IG account started blowing up Wednesday night, and I realized that one of my recent pics of Ollie girl (or Tooter Butt/Tootie, which I end up calling her 95% of the time anyway, for quite obvious, oft stinky reasons) had gotten posted to the @pugsofinstagram account!  Ever since finding the account, I've been obsessed.  Before I even had Ollie, I would scroll through the account and the #pugsofinstagram hashtag because I just LOVE looking at adorable pugs!

Speaking of my adorable pug (excellent transition Jerbear), I started a new Project 365 a few weeks ago:  365 Days of Ollie.  For those of you who've been following for awhile, I've started Project 365 two (three?) other times, and ended up bored with it and quit.  So far, I'm still having a ton of fun, and it may be because my subject matter is extra adorable and photogenic.  I also think my photography skills have progressed since I first started, or maybe I've just photographed Ollie so much that I'm almost an expert when it comes to pug pics... hah.

Project 365 is pretty straightforward:  You take one picture a day for an entire year.  Danielle did it.  Twice.  Is doing it a 3rd time!  (I think I took you out of my reader because I thought you were done forever, BRB catching up on 140 Henny pics!)  Neal (and his excellent photog skills) has done it as well (again, twice?).  (Link Neal? I can't seem to find it anywhere... :( )  Anyway, it's a lot of fun, but kind of a pain in the @$$ at times.  If you decide to start
1)  Let me know so I can follow you!
2)  Take your camera everywhere! (Or don't if your phone has a great camera, mine are all done on my iPhone)
3)  As the days get short, shoot during lunch times/work breaks/daylight hours.  I got the most bored during my first time because I wouldn't do this, and would end up taking boring, uninspired pics around my apartment.
4)  If you get stuck, look for inspiration.  There seem to be those instagram monthly pic/challenges e'erywhere.  Steal a pic idea off of there and shoot.
5)  Have fun.  That's the whole point, after all.

And if you don't feel like clicking over, but still want adorable Ollie pics, here are a couple of my recent faves.

You fancy, pug.

I can't decide if her big smile is cuter, or if her smooshy sleepy face is. UGH. Presh.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Words I Never Thought I'd Say

I was cold on my run last night.

I know, I'm as shocked as you are.  Miss "I'm Sweating Just *Thinking* About Running."

In my defense, I started a 2ish hour run 20 minutes before the sunset.  It was a glorious 50 degrees.  No wind.  Sun still slightly to the west.  I wore shorts and a t-shirt, because it was perfect weather.  I was cool until mile one, and then I warmed up, aka perfect running weather.  IMO, if you're not cold during the first mile, you're going to be hot as hell before too long.

The sun set, and the temps dropped (duh).  And I was fine until I got to a busy intersection.  Because of the setting sun, I had to do a residential route for the last 7 miles, meaning a) I almost got hit 7 different times, no joke (stop signs?!!? Let's roll through those or not even stop, amiright?!?) b) I had to stop at busy intersections.  I managed to do pretty well for the first mile of only stopping once, so I was just dandy, but an intersection around mile 6 had me standing and waiting, 2x.

When I first started to run again, my teeth were chattering.  My hands were frozen.  What was I thinking??  I should've worn long sleeves so I could pull them down once it got cold.  I debated (HEAVILY) turning around and cutting the run short.  But then I realized I was still two miles from home, so either way I was going to be cold for at least another 20 minutes.  So my chattering teeth and I continued on.  Sure enough, within another mile I was warm again.  Phew.

Someone remind me of this potentially hypothermic (me? dramatic?? no....) moment in the Madison Marathon which is sure to be perfectly cold, possibly freezing, literally, if I want to take a walk break.  Because clearly walk breaks will lead to hypothermia.  :)

**For the record, it was 39* when I got home, so it's slightly justified that I was cold after standing still for a couple of minutes after being soaked in sweat.  My hands also turns a creepy combo of stark purple and yellow-y/absence of color-y immediately post run.  But hey!  It was a super awesome mid-week LR.  So I got that going for me, which is good.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weekly Reads: Attachments

While waiting ever so patiently not at all patiently for my library to obtain Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, I took it upon myself to pick up an older book of hers to feed my author crush, Attachments.

In Attachments, Lincoln O'Neill is the IT guy/internet "watchman" at the Tribune newspaper.  He works crazy overnight hours, and his primary task is to read emails flagged by the systems watchdog, and hand out warnings to staff members.  Beth and Jennifer's personal email exchanges show up a lot, but for some reason he never gives them a warning.  He actually likes reading their messages.  And before too long, he finds himself falling for Beth.  Beth, who has a boyfriend.  Whom he's never actually met.  Pick up this book for a quirky tale of potential romance.  And for God's sake, pick up the rest of Rainbow Rowell's books too, while you're at it.

My rating:  4/5 stars.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Be Afraid

I was whining to Kyle the other night about how slow I (still) am, and he responded with something that has been on my mind since then, "It's all mental Jerbear. You're just afraid of doing it." Since I'm always right, I immediately wanted to tell him, "Nuh-uh!" But I think he's right.

Since starting up training again late last spring, I have been tippie-toeing around my training, modifying my training program(s) like crazy, treating my body with kid gloves, wishing on all of the stars that it stays whole and healthy for me. And knowing the ups and downs I've had with running over the last four years, part of that is being a smart runner.  But another part is being afraid.

I'm afraid to push it when running intervals, heck, I'm afraid to DO intervals, because I know that my injuries tend to flair up when I'm doing speedwork. But you know what? If I don't practice running fast with my new running form, I'll either a) be slow forever or b) be broken as soon as I do try to run fast/train fast because my form will still be all jacked up.

I'm afraid to go for a run when my IT band has a giant knot in it.  Ok, it's probably smart to sit a run out because I know this causes knee/hip pain, but if I HAVE a giant knot in my IT band I probably need to figure out why.

I'm afraid of running tempo runs, and highly embarrassed to fail at them or post slow times compared to what I used to be capable of running, but if I don't do them, I will never get back to those previous tempo paces.

This post is pretty negative, but it's been a good eye opening last few days.  Unfortunately there is a fine line between being a smart runner and a broken runner for me, but I need to learn to not be so afraid to push the limits every once in awhile.  Now that I've worked to build up a fairly solid base, I'll be able to add in some more speed this winter and spring.  And in the back of my mind, my mantra will be "Don't be afraid, push your limits."  Because I think there's still a speedy runner in my legs, somewhere.  She just needs to get her @$$ kicked a little to come out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spring Race Plans

I swear, 90% of my runs are spent thinking "what's next??" and this training cycle is no different.  I previously posted about my spring marathon possibilities here.  I had those ponderings back when marathon training was going swimmingly, and I assumed my injury issues were cured!  Not so fast young grasshoppah.

Since I've started the 18-20 mile long runs of this session, I'm realizing that I still have some work to do on my running form.  Which is ok, I'm willing to put in the work, but it is a bummer that the tail end of this training cycle wasn't RUN ALL OF THE MILEZ like I originally planned.  Instead of planning for a spring marathon, I think I will continue to work on my form and consistent mileage post-Madison marathon.

I hope to maintain 35-45 miles per week while staying healthy and running with good strong form.  At that sort of weekly mileage, I think it would be best for me to focus on the half marathon this spring.  And HUZZAH I LOVE THE HALF MARATHON!!!

The best part about half marathons, imo, is that they take minimal time to recover from.  Unlike the marathon that usually has me broken for 3-4 weeks.  Uff.  Because our weather is so stinkin' unpredictable, it's really nice to have a few races pegged as "goal races" so that if the weather blows, you have a back up 2-3 weeks down the road.

So my spring race options include:
  1. Get Lucky Half.  This is in Mpls and the weekend of St. Patty's day.  It's usually freezing cold on St. Patty's day though, and I do enjoy celebrating the holiday so perhaps not.
  2. NYC All-State Half.  I've been planning to visit Susan in NYC for ages, perhaps that time is this spring!
  3. Irishman 5mile/5k/1m.  Or any one of those singular races.  If I'm racing a bunch of halfs, a nice 5 mile race would be good to throw in for spice.
  4. Earth Day Half.  This is in St. Cloud MN which is a bit of a drive, but a bunch of my runner friends do it every year, and I do enjoy race buddy weekends.  It's a super hilly course, so that could be...challenging.
  5. River Rat Half.  This is my PR race, and I'm still not entirely sure how that happened because it was the hardest course ever.  However, it's a super lowkey race, so I could certainly register the morning of in the event of gorgeous weather.
  6. Brookings Half.  This is 99.9% a go.  It's super cheap.  It's super close to home.  And Megan has agreed to eat mexican food with me after the race.  I'm also fairly certain I can get Kyle and his parents to cheer for me, and possibly even my parents to make the trek up.  Also Dominique might make the trek up for the full!
  7. Fargo Half.  I didn't love the marathon, but I think the half would be great.  Is anyone doing the half??
  8. Avera 10k.  My 10k PR course.  Would be nice to update that along with the half in spring 2014, right??

Eeeny, meany, miny mo!

Pssssst.  If you're reading my blog in a reader, feel free to click over real quick to look at my new blog design.  I figured after 5 years, my blog needed a little facelift.  Also my hair is no longer blonde, so I thought I'd update the header pics.  You're welcome.  :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weekly Reads: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss is a Young Adult read that's been sitting on my "to be read" shelf for-ev-er.  I snagged it from the library on audiobook a couple of weeks ago, and thanks to some back and forth driving for the SDLA library conference I got through it quicker than I normally do.

Anna is a senior in high school who is sent to Paris for boarding school for her final year.  Magnifique, no?  Wrong.  She's leaving behind her best friend, her little brother, and her movie theater crush slash pseudo boyfriend.  And to top it all off, she doesn't know any french.

She makes a handful of friends, including an adorable British guy, Etienne St. Claire.  The trials and tribulations she goes through in her senior year are similar to problems every 18 year old encounters, but at least she's lucky enough to go through them in grand Paris!  Oui oui!  But is she able to be lucky in love as well?  Find out in Anna and the French Kiss, either in audio or regular print (an audiobook has to be really good for me to recommend it, FYI.  I usually refer back to the book after a disc because of bad narration), and then pick up the two remaining books in the series!

My rating:  4/5 stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

18 Miles of Thoughts

18 miles is a long ways to run.  Every time I set out for a long-long run I wonder, hmm.... will this be the long run where 3 hours starts to be easy?  Answer:  no.

So here's a collection of my random thoughts from Sunday's 18 miler:

  • Well my left calf hurts at minute 1.  This should make for an excellent long run.  Stop.  Adjust compression sock down so that knee strap feels better.  Continue on.
  • Only 17 miles to go!  OMG that seems like forever, please stop doing a mental countdown.
  • Oh hey, there's Ed, running with a couple of chicks.  Those chicks look like they're my speed.  Come baaaaaack chicks!!
  • Garmin beeps low battery at mile 7.  You've *got* to be kidding me.  That thing was fully charged when I left.  If I have to buy a new garmin before the marathon I'm going to be SUPER annoyed.
  • Welp, water fountain at 7.3 is still possessed.  (It shoots about 4 feet in the air.  Pretty hilarious.  Unless you're trying to fill your water bottle on a 3 hour run, then not so hilar.)
  • Oh hai college runners.
  • Oh hai HS prom date.
  • Wind is still a b.
  • Finally to the turn around.  What's my split?  Oh, watch is dead NOW?  Cool.  (Kyle asked, how do you know that you ran 18 miles if your watch died halfway???  Uh because 9x2=18.  heh)
  • Wheeeeeeeeee wind at my back.  That lasts about 2 minutes and then I no longer feel the effects of the wind.
  • I wish I was fast again.  I went through my training log to get an idea of what my MGP should be based on my LRs, and I typically was running my LRs about a minute/mile faster than I am right now.  But HEY, my 18 miler was 20 minutes faster than the one in 90 degrees in August, so PROGRESS.
  • Hmm... I was about 10 pounds lighter when running my best races.  There's probably something to that.  Maybe that's the one minute/mile difference.
  • I can't WAIT for pizza and beer after this run.  (hahah.)
  • Alright, my knee can NOT take these compression socks anymore.  There is too much pressure on my knee due to the tightness of the top of the sock.  Sit on the side of the bike trail.  Remove shoes, remove socks.  Put shoes back on.  Pray for no blisters.  Tie compression socks together to make a bracelet of sorts.  Decide the bracelet is too bouncy.  Carry compression socks for the remaining 8 miles.
  • Oh hai HS prom date again. (To which he got a high five from my sweaty compression socked hand.  Eew.)
  • Oh, my music is off, I should turn that back on.
  • Nope, still bored.
  • What mile am I at??
  • How fast am I running?
  • I wonder what my HR is?  I'm guessing 155.  
  • It's kind of chilly in the shade.
  • I'm bored.
  • Mental note:  brain tends to break down ALWAYS in the middle 3/4 of a run.  Prepare for that during the marathon.
  • Zoned out.
  • GU, sweet glorious GU.
  • Puppies at the dog park.  Ruff!
  • OMG that was the longest five mile stretch of my life.
  • Turns up music really loud to zone out.  Somehow out of thoughts for the first time in my life.
  • I wonder if Kyle will just KNOW to have Redrossa pizza ready for my return.  Sends telepathic message to Kyle and Ollie with margherita pizza requested.
  • 2 miles left.  Hey, if this were a marathon, you'd still have TEN FREAKIN' MILES LEFT.  Shut up, self.
  • Ok, I'm tired.  Time for a hill?  Sure, why not.
  • I can't believe the sun is almost setting as I'm getting done with this run.  
  • Finish strong.  Man it'd be nice to have some data to back up that strong finish.
  • Done.  Stop to pause garmin.  Lolz, it's been dead for 9 miles, remember?
Was this boring?  Now you know how I feel.  I need some running partners stat.  Or I just need to get speedier stat so I can run with my old running partners.

So the compression sock thing did NOT work out.  Wow.  My knee was super swollen when I took the compression sock off, because I'm guessing the fluid had to settle there since it couldn't go down due to my compression socks.  I can't wait to finally be done with the knee strap, because I'll totally give this another go.  Does anyone have success with knee strap + compression socks?  any tips??

And I totally got my margherita pizza and beer post-run.  Mmmm.... totally worth that extra ten pounds.

Monday, October 7, 2013

HALP. Advice please.

It's not my first time around the marathon block.  Madison will be marathon #6 for me.  However, that doesn't mean I have everything figured out.  In fact, I would say the opposite is true.  The marathon is so interesting to me because I can't seem to perform to my potential for 26.2 miles.  Insert the cheesy, "if it was easy, everyone would do it" quote here please.  But seriously.  There are so many stinking variables that go in to a successful marathon to performance, and not all are under your control.

With that being said, I have questions regarding two marathon related things.  First, how many of you do your long runs and marathons wearing compression socks?

I've been a devoted compression sock wearing runner for recovery almost since I started running marathons.  I think that they help significantly with recovery.  When I initially started wearing them, I had read articles proving their effectiveness during recovery, but not WHILE running.  Not that they weren't good, just that there wasn't statistical evidence that they provided any assistance while actually running.

Since switching my running form, I have some tight calves.  I foam roll them and wear my compression socks pretty religiously, but am contemplating wearing my compression socks for race day.  For one, the race is in November so while I'm normally all "WEAR NONE OF THE CLOTHES, IT'S TOO HOT FOR E'ERYTHING!" it might actually be ok to have some extra cloth covering me on race day. Especially because I'm planning to wear shorts and a tank even if it's 32*.  Mama likes it cold.

If I go this route, I'll definitely spend at least half of my long runs running in the compression socks, but I probably need to start that, um... this weekend.  Also, I would need green compression socks STAT for race day.  (Dear Pro compression, please make green and yellow argyle socks immediately.  My race day depends on it.  Thanks, Jerbear)

Next up:  salt.  When I first started training for marathons, an experienced runner, Glenn recommended that I take salt tablets on my run given the amount that I sweat, and the amount of salt I sweat out when I run (see:  every race photo ever).  This information was relayed to me 3+ years ago, so clearly I can't find it, nor do I remember his sage advice.  Le sigh.

For those that take salt, or salt supplements of any kind, what do you use?  What's your strategy for when you take them/how often/etc?  Clearly these are things I need to be figuring out ASAP as well so I can be practicing them on long runs.  Yikes.

Any other suggestions?  I'm super stubborn so I may not take them.  But they may just fester in the back of my brain for the next three years until I finally give in, so that would be helpful eventually then, right?  ;)