Monday, June 30, 2014

July Goals

July Goals

  • Run enough miles to crack my top 5 highest mileage months. (140-150)
  • Run three long runs as scheduled.
  • Run all four speed sessions as scheduled. 
  • Run my 2nd fastest 10k in Lennox. Sub 52?? Sub 51?? 
  • Watch 2 Oscar Best Picture Nominees.
  • Every other day core work, hip stretches, and drills.
  • 1 buddy run or ride a week.
  • 3 90+ minute long rides.
  • Make 2 new meals using my veggie box ingredients.
  • Get 3-5 pounds closer to my racing weight. Ideally I need to drop ~1 lb/week for this training cycle to get to my faster weight. Blergh.
  • 2 20+ mile long rides.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fishing on a School Night

Tuesday night, Ollie and I got away with Kyle to the lake for Ollie's first fishing trip. We had a blast. I picked up my first South Dakota fishing license so I could actually practice my angler skills instead of just my reading prowess. However, if you stay on the water until sundown shortly after summer solstice, you will get to bed far too late for a school night. And it will be rough getting up for work the next day. You've been warned.

Enjoy a ridiculous amount of pictures.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Weekly Reads: We Were Liars

We Were Liars was amazing. It was somewhat slow moving at first, but then I really got in to it. It was told over the summer on a private island, and I read it on the first official day of summer, so that was good timing. All reviews of it have been super secretive to not have any spoilers, and I TOTALLY GET WHY OMG. It's a quick, awesome, jaw dropping read.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Houston Lottery Results

I'm in!! 

I can't wait for another running bestie weekend! But unfortunately I'll need to. Seven months?? That's forever! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 1

On Monday, I started off my week with a run. Wahoo. Most of my previous training cycles have given a rest day on Monday, and I've learned that makes me want to take a rest day everyday. Weird. I knocked out 7 super humid miles before I had to work. My legs still don't feel 100% recovered, but pretty close, I think.

Tuesday was a scheduled rest day. And Wednesday I was sick, so it was an unintentional rest day.

Thursday I ran an easy 3 miles after work in insane heat and humidity. I took 12 oz. of water with me, and drank it all in that 31 minutes. #hot

3 miles in the heat acclimation bank!

Ollie was thrilled when I returned home to lay on the couch with her. She's currently working on the couch portion of the couch to 5k.

Friday morning (late morning) I headed out for my 14 miler. I had planned to run at 6am, but that clearly didn't happen. 9:30? 10? Sure why not! It's only going to hit 88 today. (I'm an idiot.) The bike trails were still under water so I took on an old route. And it was awesome to run somewhere new except a) the route was hillier, which I knew and accepted and even thought that'd be good for me (who knows who I am right now) and b) the houses are SO NEW there are no mature trees at all. So I was stuck running 100% in the sun, not a cloud in the sky. I had to stop at mile 4.5 to cool off a bit, tucked under a fence, and I seriously doubted that I'd be able to finish the run. Luckily the next couple of miles were under some shade.

At mile 6.5 I realized that the rest of the route would be without tree cover, and I wanted to cry. I decided to throw in the towel and try again Sunday morning, EARLY MORNING. Just as this thought was forming in my head, some dark and ominous clouds rolled over my head and instantly I was cooled and reinvigorated. I ran to a gas station a mile in the distance and the clerk let me fill my water bottle with ice. On my way in to the gas station, a guy was in his truck and made a comment about the weather. I said I hoped it wasn't going to be anything serious because I still had an hour of running to do. 

When I came out from the gas station with ice cold water in my handheld, and ice chips under my hat (ahhhhh!) the guy was still waiting out there, and let me know he had looked up the radar while I was inside and the storm cell wasn't anything major, just a little rain that he reckoned I would enjoy about now (I was beet red). I thanked him (because I haven't been doing real well anxiety wise with the severe weather, and it was nice to know it was nothing) and went on my merry way.

I enjoyed the clouds for the next two miles, and the three minutes of sprinkles before the sun was back a-blazin'. The final two miles were atrocious pace wise since I had to take walk breaks because my heart rate was alarmingly high. But all in all, it was a pretty darn good 2.5 hours running around town. And I got some impressive tan lines. 

Your hat rains sweat after/during your run, right?? Thought so...

And then I just blatantly skipped my Sunday run when life got in the way. Womp. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Houston Lottery

Ever since Jenn ran the Houston half marathon in January, I've had it on my tentative schedule for 2015. Now there's the runner Jerbear of years past, planning races eons in advance! 

I've been going back and forth about whether I should run the full or the half. And thus, the reason why I hate race lotteries. I have no idea what my mindset, and more importantly status of my body and potential injuries will be 7 months from now!

There are 16 weeks between the Bemidji Marathon and the Houston Marathon. So I would have time to fully recover from one, before starting an abridged (and much preferred when I'm already in marathon shape!) training cycle. Assuming my body holds up with the mileage I want it to run over the next 16-17 weeks, I could maaaaaybe even try the Pfitz 12/55. 

I could see myself finishing Bemidji and being on runner's Cloud 9, and immediately wanting to sign up to do another one. And I'm still vowing not to race spring marathons, so that's out of the question. And if I'm flying to see Jenn (which is happening regardless of if I get in to the lotto or not, she's been back for a YEAR and I haven't been down to see her. Thanks Megan for popping out an adorable baby to draw her up here!) I surely can't swing an additional trip somewhere, along with additional vacay time from work.


I could also see myself finishing Bemidji and just being over marathons for awhile. I've done one marathon a year the last couple of years, and they haven't been pretty. The training cycle is a lot to handle, both mentally and physically. Maybe I won't be able to fathom another 3 months of long-long runs.... 

So that was the conundrum I have been facing as the lottery registration has been on the horizon. Until I did some more looking on the website and realized that you can transfer from one race to the other for a $20 fee, as long as you decide by December 3rd. That's easy enough.

Now I just have to get in!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Weekly Reads: She Is Not Invisible

She Is Not Invisible is the most recent book I've read for our Mock Printz discussion. Marcus Sedgwick won the Printz award for his novel, Midwinterblood, (which I've yet to read....ooops) this past year. This book is all about coincidences, so I was excited to read it. I was even more interested to see all the references to Jung's theory of synchronicity, brought me back to my psych/soci days! I really really enjoyed those portions of the story (told from writings in the father's found journal of notes for an upcoming book) but the actual story left something to be desired. I kept waiting for a giant OMG unveiling moment. With a book totaling 220 pages, there certainly was room for "more." I'm being overly critical of the book just in terms of its Printz potential, but as far as books go, this really was a great read. I also really enjoyed the story told from the perspective of a blind, teen girl.

My rating: 3.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recovery Week Training Recap + DNS Race Report

Monday and Tuesday I took full recovery days. I went to bed crazy early to make up for my 3:30am wake up call for Sunday morning. Finally Wednesday morning I woke up well before my alarm and my legs were itching for a run. I did an easy 2.5 before I had to head to work. I had some initial soreness in my left knee but that subsided shortly after the run started.

Kyle always makes fun of my green hat, so I picked up this one that was super duper on sale. paaaaaaank.

Thursday morning I woke up yet again before my alarm, ready for some more miles. These clouds turned dark and ominous by the time I finished up my four miler.

I took this run as another recovery run on a hilly route. On one hand my legs felt WAY better than the previous day's run, as my legs didn't feel nearly as heavy, but the muscles I used for the hills on Sunday reminded me that they were still recovery. Holy hip flexors.

Thursday I didn't feel very well, so I ended up going home from work a couple of hours early. I made myself a watermelon slushie to counteract some of the dehydration I was suffering from. Ollie approved. Majorly.

My stomach was still feeling wonky Friday morning so I scratched my shakeout run.

Before I went to bed Friday night, I checked the weather yet again for race morning, and saw severe thunderstorm threats. Ugh. I told Kyle that if it was storming when I got up to get ready for the race, I was just going to go back to bed. Sure enough, I was awoken by lightning, heavy rain, and what sounded like hail. I turned my alarm back off, and conked back out.

Naturally, the rain cleared up about 15 minutes before the race started, while I was at home, comfortable on my couch in pjs. In retrospect, I should've just planned to skip the run altogether when I added the Swan Lake half marathon to my schedule. It's pretty impossible for me to try to "run for fun" and I will likely always let my competitiveness take over. Had I done that on Saturday, I would've  set back my recovery from the half even further as a best case scenario, and worst case, I would've ended up injured from pushing too hard on legs that were still recovering. 

With marathon training starting this week, a fast-ish 5k isn't going to do me any favors, training wise. 

It ended up storming on and off all day long, so I didn't get any miles in at all. But we did break a 24 hour rain fall record with 2.6 inches. And with only 14 days of the month down, already have the June rain fall record. So yay us?

Thank goodness I didn't have a long run scheduled for this weekend, because all of my routes are flooded out!

I went out for an easy four around lunch time on Sunday. It was hot, humid, and sunny. I ran my hillier route. The first mile felt awesome, and then my legs started to feel like crap. It made me super happy that I didn't race the previous day's 5k. Woof. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Marathon Training Starts Today!

Today is day one of my seventh cycle of MARATHON TRAINING! After a lot of reading and analyzing training programs, I decided to go with the same type of training program that I did for my first race in Green Bay (and still my PR). It's 17 weeks long. I normally prefer 14-16 weeks when I'm in good shape, but I have a few races planned in there and don't want to short myself on long slow distance runs.

I'm racing a 10k on the fourth of July (unless it's 1200 degrees, I learned my lesson on this race a few years ago), a half marathon in August (in which PR thoughts are already a-dancin' in my head), and the Sioux Falls half (my 10th consecutive time running!) in which I'll be running six at GMP.

I'll be running 4x/week for the first 10 weeks, and then 5x/week for the remainder of the cycle. I think this will help me stay consistent with my running, as I'll usually have a rest day after major workouts. During the past few Pfitz cycles, I would be so sore, I'd scrap a run to lower my risk of injury. Long run, tempo or speed session, and two 6-10 mile general aerobic paced runs.

Since I'm only running 4 days a week, I also want to try to throw in a 20-30 mile bike ride a week, weather permitting. I think this'll help with my strength and fitness without taxing my joints too majorly.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to keep getting myself out of bed to run before work, because it looks like it'll be a hot summer of training.

See you in 17 weeks Bemidji!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Harrisburg 5k Race Goals

Originally, tomorrow's 10k race was supposed to be my final "spring" race before I started marathon training. This was back when I thought the 10k was the same day/weekend as the Swan Lake Marathon. After I realized it wasn't, after I had registered for the 10k, I decided I'd rather race a half to attempt sub-2 yet again (fail) instead of a fast 10k time. Well, if I had realized how difficult the half course was, I may have stuck with my original plan! Oh well.

With that being said, I'm not sure what my legs will be up for tomorrow. They're definitely still recovering from the half, but I'm not sure *how* recovered they are. I emailed my buddy Tom, the race director, to see if I could switch from the 10k to the 5k, and he said that would be fine.

If all goes well, I'd like to run a faster time than the St. Patty's Day 5k that I ran in March: 26:17 (8:29 pace). My last set of mile repeats averaged 8:17, so that would be my top range goal assuming my legs are 100% recovered (which I'm seriously doubting, but I wouldn't be mad if they were!).

That would be a 25:40. I'd enjoy a sub 26 as well (8:23 pace. And if my legs just feel like crap and I do a 3.1 mile run through Harrisburg for fun tomorrow morning, that'll be alright too. After all, marathon training starts Monday!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Sunday marked two years since I brought Ollie in to my family. I honestly don't remember what life was like before her. I wanted a pug so badly and when we met it was BFF at first sight for both of us.

I ran my half marathon and let Ollie sleep in. She worked on her rest through the late morning in anticipation of her exciting day.

We met up with Jenn J. and her yorkie at the adorable dog shop in town, and Ollie was greeted outdoors by her doppelganger.

The store has a new dog bakery counter, and Ollie was gifted a cupcake and a bandana for her special day. She bought her new friends some adorable treats to share her adoptiversary.

"Oh mom. Treats?!? For me!?!?"

Posing pretty for her treat.

Nom nom nom.

Baby girl smiling.

Ollie kept trying to sneak inside to the little pups' pillow, so Jenn was kind enough to bring it outside for the spoiled pug.

And someone was passed out before we were two minutes from the fun.

But I did manage to snag this adorable coffee mug. It was Ollie's way of saying, thanks for being my mama, I think. :)