Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marathon #7

Sunday, after basking in a weekend of all things running: running a half marathon, watching hours of DVR'd Drake Relays and Penn Relays, finalizing my marathon training program, working on my friend Jenn's marathon training program--HER FIRST, and excessive running chatter via text, I pulled the trigger on marathon #7.

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon

The price increases tonight, so sign up asap to save yourself that $10, but let's be honest, it's pretty cheap even if you wait until the last minute to sign up!

Now everyone go sign up, and then let me know so I can plan our running weekend* (and most importantly where we'll meet for post race PR PARTY BEERS!!!!!

*Or if fishing is your thing, I'll pass your contact info along to Kyle, because he's probably hoping I run a PW so he can spend more time fishing along the race course. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Goal Race Training Recap Week 4

Monday: glute strengthening exercises while watching the Boston Marathon coverage on my laptop.
Tuesday: rest day.

Wednesday: Track party with Jenn! Mile repeats in to some monster wind. The best part of running on the track is you only have to run in to the wind for 1/4 at a time. Yay. I felt incredibly in control during the repeats, and that I had more speed in my legs to give. My goal paces were 8:35, but my last 5k was 8:26 pace, so I let my pace slip down a little bit to reflect that. I pushed a little bit during the final 200m of the final repeat to hit that 8:17. And I could've done more (that NEVER happens to me during mile repeats. Mile repeats=death).
Thursday was another rest day.

Friday I meant to do a short shakeout run, but that never happened. I did do my glute strengthening exercises and core work.

Saturday was the River Rat Half Marathon.

Sunday I stretched, foam rolled, did glute exercises and ab work. And watched excessive amounts of Downton Abbey. Which could be considered a workout.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Race Report: River Rat Half Marathon

Saturday morning I woke up over an hour before I had to be awake to trek to Yankton for the race. This is humorous because I had my mom pick up my race bib for me since she was going to be in Yankton getting groceries, so I could get some extra shut eye (race day packet pick up ended an hour and fifteen minutes before the race start, uff). Kyle and I loaded up and headed south. My stomach was super messed up the whole morning. Bad omen? Surprisingly, no.

These past are 12 years old this weekend. :/ Vintage Jerbear wardrobe.

Osmo nutrition selfie on the ride to the race. I look sleeeeepy.

We got to the race, met up with my parents right away, and my mom was concerned that I was going to run in a tank top and shorts because everyone else had on pants/capris/tights, longsleeves/jackets, ear warmers and gloves. I asked her if she'd seen me after a race and if I *ever* looked cold when I was done running. :)

After hitting the bathroom 37 more times, I finally headed to the start. No pre-race run, but I did have time for some form running drills (I've been doing these lately, and I think they're helping. Perhaps I shouldn't have stopped after track 12 years ago :/).

My race plan according to Jaseface: 3 @ long run pace, 2 @ tempo, 3 @ long run pace, 2 @ tempo, 2 @ long run pace, 1 @ tempo. AKA I only have to run hard for 5 miles. Awesome. Let's do this.

I lined up to start, and everyone flew by me. I glanced at my watch and realized I was running a 9:16. Oops. So I slowed down even more. And even more people passed me.

I didn't listen to my music until the hard miles, so I just took in the sound of footfalls and the views. My parents were at 3 different places in the first 3 miles. Impressive. I hit the downhill and focused on form so I didn't shred my quads. A+ for Jerbear!
1. 10:25
2. 10:33
3. 10:28

At the bottom of the hill it was time to start my faster miles and I settled in to 9ish pace without any trouble. It felt pretty effortless, so that was great, and I passed a bunch of people which helped energize me even more. At the end of the two pick up miles, I was actually bummed to have to slow down. I was feeling great.
4. 9:12
5. 9:13

My easier miles were closer to 10 than 10:30 for my next mile. The wind had picked up at this point (tailwind) so I let it push me along because I knew I was going to be smacked in the face with it very shortly. I leapfrogged with a chick for quite awhile during this time before finally ditching her. My pace easily settled back to the 10:30s once I hit that wind at the turnaround. Uff. At this point the wind was sitting at 35 mph winds with 40+ mph wind gusts.
6. 10:04
7. 10:33
8. 10:25

I was really excited for my pickup miles until I tried to actually hit 9 minute miles in that wind. LOLOLOLOLZ, not happening. Trying to run a 10:30 pace felt like way more work than it should, so I decided I would continue my long run paced miles and make my last two miles fast. Everyone was really struggling here, so I ended up passing walker after walker, which stunk because I really wanted to tuck in behind someone and use them as a wind block!

When I got to the bottom of the hill, I took a deep breath, cranked my tunes and started up it. Enrique's Don't Stop came on and I listened to it on repeat "Don't stop baby, don't stop baby!" Well, ok Enrique! I was running an 11:30 pace but that was still faster than everyone walking up it. The wind was brutal, and it was almost a laughable moment. I hadn't seen my parents for awhile, so I was expecting them to be at the top of the hill, read to take atrocious pictures of me. :)

And I was right, my mom was there waiting at the top, snapping photos the whole time. I waved to her and said a few things as I ran by, and before I knew it she was running along side of me! She laughed and said this might be the only chance she gets to run with me, and she ran with me the rest of the way back to the car. Perhaps there are some miles in her future!
9. 10:43
10. 10:48 (<--hill)
11. 10:42

Once I made it to the top of the hill, I was still going in to the wind, but at least I was running flat! As soon as my watch beeped for mile 11, I kicked it in. I enjoyed a marvelous two blocks of wind AT MY BACK, sweet sweet wind at my back, and my parents almost missed me. My dad said that since they'd seen me at the top of the hill to one mile later, I almost beat them there, while running. Go legs go!

And look! my form isn't total crap at mile 11.25 of a half! #progress

At this point I ran by the hospital my dad was at a year ago for a heart attack, and I started getting all weepy because I was so thankful that he's okay and out cheering for me, and then I realized I couldn't maintain a 9 minute mile and openly sob, so I made myself wrap that up asap and be emotional after the race if necessary.

Little Jer and Big Jer.

Wind at the back feels magical, even if it's only for two blocks.

When mile 12 hit I realized I didn't have much left in my tank. Running the faster pace into the wind was really wiping me out, and there was no one in front of me to try to catch, and no one behind me to catch up to me. Gah. I kept pushing but my pace slipped a little. I started counting down from 180 when I thought I had ~3 minutes left to run and that took my mind off the pukey-I'm-running-too-hard feeling that was a-brewin' in my tummy.

Go figure, I hit zero at the time I hit the timing mat and stopped my garmin. :)

12. 9:12
13. 9:17
.01 :06 (7:12 pace)

My final time was 2:11:49 which is about 3 minutes faster than my time in NYC when I was all out racing. Whoop. This race gave me some much needed confidence going in to this weekend's race!


My race entourage and me. TEAM GREEN! (Kyle had to jet back to work before the race was over.)

My mom thought it was cool that the design on my new Oiselle flyte tank matched the design on my hat. I was super confused as to what she was talking about until I realized that my hat was covered in salt. She didn't think it was so cool after that, just gross. Haha.

Oh, and then because my mom is super awesome, she agreed to take me back home-home so I could get in a shower (after our fam partook in post-race Mexi, a Megan and Jenn tradition) and THEN agreed to drive me back to MY home an hour away after some hang out time since I missed Easter, and then drive herself back home. Everyone, please award my mom 5 gold stars.

Friday, April 25, 2014

River Rat Half Marathon Race Goals

When I originally signed up for tomorrow's half marathon, I also signed up for a half marathon the following weekend. Both races are ~45 minutes from home and cheap, and based on South Dakota's super unpredictable weather, I figured I would just check the forecasts leading up to the races to determine which one I would just run, and which one I would race.

Based on the weather forecast, next weekend's race should be cooler, and is a much easier (read: flatter) course. The course I'm doing tomorrow is my PR course, and don't ask me how in the heck that happened because it's got a monster hill, and hill is not my middle name.

Elevation map from the last time I did this race:

After re-reading my race report, that hill was only a mile long, not 3 as I had come to believe (or so it felt).

I emailed Jaseface last week for some advice on how to approach the race, as I want to get my money's worth out of the race, have a strong run, and gain some mental toughness that I can carry in to the following week's goal race. I do NOT want to carry dead legs in to the following week's goal race.

His suggestion was to run 3 easy/long run paced miles, followed by 2 hard miles until I finish the race. I asked if instead of that, I could do 3 easy, 2 hard x 2, and then for the remaining 5k do 2 easy and one hard. He said sure. Phew. One of strengths as a runner used to be finishing hard in races. I would practice doing it in most training runs, and I just knew I could go in to another gear at the end of races. I've been practicing that a bit more lately, and would like to continue doing that, particularly in this race. It also seems silly not to run hard toward a finish line, regardless if I'm racing the race or not. That's just the competitor in me, I think.

So that's the plan for tomorrow.

So what does that equate to for a finishing time?


Good thing I'm good at math I guess. I'd imagine the easy miles will be around 10:30 pace (closer to 11:00 on the monster hill that never ends) and the hard miles around 9. [31.5+18= 49.5*2= 99+31]. That would put me near 2:10 I think. And yes I'm going to leave my random math there for you to ponder.

So what does that leave for next weekend? Ugh, who knows. We'll see how tomorrow feels. But yay goals again! Dare I say that running is becoming fun again?!?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Goal Race Training Recap Week 3

Monday was a rest day as I had to teach a class before work and got really confused as to what time I had to be there, thus cutting out time for a few quick miles.

Tuesday I met up with Jenn after work for a tempo run. I had seven miles on the schedule with five at a tempo pace of 9. I told Jenn that I usually try to run a little over tempo for mile one and make it up the rest of the miles. We started off with a 1.5 mile warm up and we were off. I had warned her beforehand that I wouldn't be my usual talkative self on this run since I'd be busy gasping for air. But I was just fine, shockingly. We didn't talk as much as we normally do, but I wasn't dying as anticipated.

When we hit the turnaround she started running ahead of me and then doubling back, and I told her that I was fine chasing her. I didn't want to push faster than 9 pace because I'm still working up my tempo mileage (this was my longest tempo run since..... Brookings half training 2 years ago?) and I wanted her to get in some miles at her tempo pace. I didn't let her get too far ahead of me and tried to chase her during the final mile. Turns out she was running an 8:30 pace, so it's not surprising that I couldn't catch her, but I felt like I was flying with an 8:41.

Most importantly, as speed work tends to break me, I didn't feel any pain during the run, immediately after, or the next day. Score one for the legs getting stronger (hopefully). I think we have a date for next Tuesday at the track. I shall refer to this as Operation: Slow No Mo'. I think of the wittiest things when my brain is deprived of oxygen.

Wednesday I took another rest day because it was atrocious out. Snow? Again? Really?? I'm over you.

Thursday I hit some residential area near-ish to me because it's the only flat route from my place with the intention of running 3-5. I ended up somewhere in the middle with 4. I'm glad I got in a recovery run because my legs didn't feel very springy. There were a ton of kids out playing basketball and I was reminded of my first love. Ahhh..... #ballerforlyfe

Friday's long run I had intended on waking up early for and finishing up before lunch time. From noon on the forecast had giant wind clouds with mouths blowing for the remainder of the day. In typical Jerbear procrastination fashion, I did indeed wake up early, which is a magical feat as it was my first day off in 8 straight days of work. Blech. But I putz around until 11:30am, aka the time the winds started being all whoooooshy. I took Ollie out before I headed out and almost blew away. Yuck.

The run started off awesome.  The first mile was with the wind and I was flying. I did 3 minute pickups every 20 minute to work on some speedier sections on fatigued legs. The first half flew by, even though it was 95% into the wind. I kept telling myself I would put up with it and then have it at my back for the turn around. Except, naturally the wind shifted to the south around the time that I turned around so I didn't have a nice little push behind me, and ended up having to run my exhausted self in to 25-40 mph winds. Uff.

I did well until mile 10 when I was just plain wiped. I ate PB toast at 8am when I woke up, as I planned to run at 9:30 or 10, so I was probably starting the run on empty. Ugh. I ended up taking walk breaks during the last 5k, and it reminded me of the marathon where the last 5k is the LONGEST 5K IN THE HISTORY OF ALL 5KS. But at least I finished it up.

Sunday I snuck in the slowest of slow 3 mile shake out runs. I think I even took a walk break. My legs felt great working on Saturday and somehow that switched to d-e-a-d on Sunday. Derp.

27 miles for the week. One of the highest mileage weeks I've had since before my 7 week sinus issues/cold/whatever. Whoop!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Impossible Knife of Memory

The Impossible Knife of Memory is the newest book by Laurie Halse Anderson. I'd previously read Wintergirls and have had Speak on my list TBR forever. Halse Anderson has a way of drawing you in to her characters like no one else can. And when they hurt, you absolutely ache for them. I'm writing this with dried tears still on my cheeks. This book will leave you emotionally drained in only a way a truly excellent story can.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vegas: Sequin Sequel

Dom made it back to the hotel after I had showered but had committed to laying in bed wondering why oh why we didn't get any sleep the night before. Both of our eyes were bright red, so she rested a bit while I attempted to tame my mane. I threw on my favorite set of sparkles and we headed out to find dinner.

But first we had a mini photo shoot in the hallway, as you do when you're traveling with a photog/videog, obvs. Sigh. I just love this dress so much. I wish my everyday life required sequins.

We ended up at the Cosmopolitan at my request, since I had never been there before, and I was at rage levels of hunger. It was bad. Dom thanks for not punching me.

Sparkles ON sparkles. Wheeeeeeeeee ALL THE SPARKLEZ.

We finally got a spot at Holstein just as the NCAA basketball tourney was wrapping up. I snagged a beer before National Beer Day was over, and ate the most delicious burger of my life. And that's not just the extreme hunger talking. It was reminiscent of my favorite burger in town that I discovered 10 days before the restaurant closed its doors. #rude

Dom urged me several times to make sure I saved room for dessert, and this is where I learned that she does not yet know of my extreme eating capabilities. No worries, she learned her lesson quickly. We hobbled over to Serendipity 3. And I say hobbled because my ankles and feet swell like crazy when I walk a lot (see cankles photo from above for #PROOF <--did I do that right?!??!) and my shoes rubbed a giant, and I mean GIANT blister on my foot. I took photos but will save you all from seeing them. Needless to say, they were 1000x times worse than anything I've ever received from 26.2 miles.

I ordered the frozen hot chocolate and thought it was adorable that they assumed I was going to share by giving me two straws. Dom got the regular hot chocolate. Shockingly enough, this was actually way to sweet for me (I have a monster sweet tooth) and I barely made a dent in it.

With a sugar high in tow, we hoofed it back to the hotel, slowly, and painfully. As we got back to the hotel, I noted that it was 10:30pm. Which was a full 2 hours earlier than we had STARTED our previous evening. Vegas: you won this round.

The next morning, I woke up at 9:30am and felt like a million dollars, as you should after sleeping 11 hours. Lolz. I made my way down to the pool, but not until I popped some blisters on my feet. To give you a further indication of my blister situation, the skin was stretched so thin due to the fullness of the blisters, that I was able to puncture the blister using my fingernails, and then the fluid sprayed like a geyser in the air. I almost vomited. Woof.

Moving on.

I hit the pool for 2 hours. It was way hotter than the day before. I was positioned near a group of models, so clearly I was feeling super awesome about myself while in a bikini next to them, and then I ran out of sunscreen. I really wanted to catch a tan on this vacay, but my skin is so pale right now that I was reapplying sweat proof SPF 50 every 30-40 minutes to avoid getting a burn. And I rocked a hat. No pre-mature aging here please.

I hit the hotel bar and restaurant for a drink and some late lunch.

The food was disgusting, so this really ended up being my lunch. Along with some conversation with a random person at the bar for an hour or so. This is pretty impressive for introverted Jerbear. Thanks margarita!

I showered up and waited for Dom to get back, and it was time for our last night in Vegas. Already. Womp.

I offered my green sparkles to her, because the only thing better than sparkles is sparkles+sparkles, obvs. She brought a bottle of wine back to the room, so that somehow translated in to me thinking that red lipstick was the perfect accent for the evening.

Whenever I pose to look like a statue, it seems really cool in my head. And then I see it, and I realize I'm a dork. Oh well. 

I snagged us reservations at Bobby Flay's restaurant Mesa Grill during my leisurely day by the pool, so we made our way over to Caesar's Palace to find a drink before dinner.

 We ended up at Shadow. Meh, but the wine was good.

We cheers'd to Dom's upcoming 30th birthday and then hustled over to snag our dinner reservation. 

They had my favorite beer on the menu, so obviously I had to enjoy that. Cheers again? Sure. We split a black bean quesadilla appetizer, and then I had the scallops (YUM!) and Dom ordered the chile rellano per my foodie buddy TJ's insistency, and we shared the Brussels sprouts side. I would like to live in a bowl of those Brussels sprouts, I can't even tell you.

Once we were thoroughly stuffed, we made our way over to Pure night club as we'd snagged some free passes on our way into the casino. Score 2 for the sparkles! Ladies drank for free until midnight. Whoop! Except I think my drink was just Sprite.

We danced it up until the dance floor got crazy and I was teetering on the point of being VERY ANNOYED AT PEOPLE so we decided we were done for the night. Hah. 

We somehow managed to make our way back to where our vacation started: at the Sprinkles ATM! Vanilla with vanilla. Boring but delicious. 
I couldn't even wait for Dom to join me to dig in, so she ended up snagging this pic of me with my mouth full. I kind of love it. (Although I physically ache looking at those swollen feet, egads.)

The next morning it was off to the airport for me, and off to the conference for Dom, before she caught her own flight back to her hubby and babes. This was just the best mini vacation and Dom is just the sweetest! 

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, many times, but I am forever thankful for all the great friendships I've made because of running. Seriously. Runners are just the best peeps!

Monday, April 21, 2014

March Green Outfit of the Day Challenge

No pic snapped for Day 1, but it was a grey with green striped long sleeve shirt and dress pants. Pretty boring to kick off the challenge, but just like a marathon, this is all about pacing!

This scarf looks more blue in this pic, but rest assured it's green.
My favorite look on a regular basis. All the patterns, please. :)
Warm and cozy on a cold day.