Thursday, July 31, 2014

50k Craziness

Around the time that Krista was first training for and running ultra marathons, and subsequently writing race reports that literally moved me to tears, I said to myself, "self, you should do one of those."

This was a few years back, so I slated my 31st year of life as a natural time to do a 50k. I did my first marathon when I was 26, so it's only fitting that I'd do 31 miles as a 31 year old.

Well, if you follow my blog, you know that I've struggled with injuries. My one caveat for my likely one and done ultra (famous last words? perhaps) was that I didn't want to start to train for one with a healthy year behind me.

Recently I was flipping through facebook, and a 50k in Nebraska, Market to Market 50k, popped up in my feed along with a training program. I was curious about what the training looked like, so I clicked away. And it didn't seem.... terrible. A 22 miler, 24 miler, and 26 miler each followed by 60-90 minutes of running the following day.... Definitely challenging, but possibly doable.

I sent a quick text to Dominique, as we're constantly trying to plan out a running weekend of fun, and I knew she'd be up for a 50k, because she adores ultras. Naturally she said she'd be in.

Would you do a marathon as a training run at long run pace for the 26 mile day? How in the world would you be able to run 26 miles without getting a medal at the end? I think the Omaha Marathon would fall on that day. Maybe I can also convince Niki to join in the fun....

So maybe 2015 is the year of the ultra? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Weekly Reads: Big Little Lies

I received an e-ARC of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in exchange for an honest review. I've heard of The Husband's Secret by her, but I've never read it. This book was humorous and also pretty twisted and heart wrenching. I couldn't put it down and had to find out about who gets murdered and why. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes intrigue and humor told in a unique way.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?
  Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?). 
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.   New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
  Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 6

I took a rest day Tuesday and started off my runs on Wednesday with a bang. I drove to the bike trail to run my tempo run and was all excited to snap a gorgeous picture of the moon as the sun was starting to rise. But as I got out of my car, there was a girl sleeping in the car next to me, and I was afraid she'd think i was snapping a pic of her. So here's my face instead, again.

I had seven miles on the schedule with five at tempo pace of 8:48. I didn't eat breakfast before this run and didn't bring any fuel along with me, and I really started to feel it the last two tempo miles. I was totally pooped. Hard early morning workouts require snacks, memo received. I still squeaked out an average tempo pace of 8:49.

Thursday was a rest day and Friday was supposed to be my 20 miler, but in looking at the weather for Friday vs. Sunday, it was a no-brainer to move my long run to Sunday. So I headed out for a hilly 8 miles Friday late morning to get in some heat and humidity acclimation with my hilly run.

Saturday was supposed to be an easy 5 mile recovery run to get me to 40 miles, but my knee was feeling slightly wonky after the hills on Saturday, so I opted to rest it up for Sunday's long run. Thankfully all was well for almost 3.5 hours of running on Sunday. Phew. Still wish I would've snagged a 40 mile week though!

I babbled all about Sunday's long run here, so I won't bore you again.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Long Run Euphoria

The scene: My messy living room.
The players: Me with laptop on my lap, Ollie snoozing next to me.
Setting: Sunday afternoon.

I'm currently sitting on the couch, compression socks on my legs to compress, spandex shorts on my booty to cover my inner thigh chafage (ouch, Mac Rogas, you FINALLY betrayed me!), empty Qdoba nacho bowl on the table in front of me, comfy, cozy.

This is what I like to call the runner's high of marathon training, aka long run euphoria. I tend to get a runner's high from long runs, regardless if they're successful or if I rode the struggle bus the whole g.d. time. But today, TODAY, I'm on the best kind of runner's high, the kind where you knocked the long run out of the park, and you're immediately re-amped for your training cycle and goals.

I woke up at 4:20am this morning. A cold front had moved in overnight (praise whomever you praise, yo) so getting up that early wasn't necessary, but Kyle and I both zonked out at 9pm last night, so the early bird catches the worm, and all that jazz. Besides, there's something about running when it's still dark out, that makes the miles seem like they're effortless. Like, you hit 6 miles in the dark and you feel like you're JUST starting or something.

Well, that didn't happen this morning.

I was supposed to do a 5 mile recovery run yesterday. I did 8 miles of hills on Friday, and I could not get out of bed Saturday morning to run before work. I also had the TEENSIEST amount of IT band discomfort after my hilly run, so I opted to take it easy and rest in preparation for my 20 miler.

I certainly felt those 8 miles of hills. For the first three miles of my long run. I was hitting 11:00 minute paces, and felt like I was running 10:00 minute paces. :/ Woof. I decided I'd ignore my pace and just run for time on my feet, as is the purpose for 20 mile runs. I could tell my form was off, so I decided to include 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes as I did during last week's 18 miler. They tend to get my form on the right track and activate my glutes.

After the first 3 minutes I could tell a world of difference in my form, and my effort was much less laborious, and I was picking up speed. Neat.

I was out of GUs last week so I placed a quick order through amazon for some more, and also threw in a bottle of salt pills. It was probably pretty dumb of me to try something new like that on a 20 miler, because I could crash and burn, but I did it anyway. I GU'd every 45 minutes, and took a salt pill every 60 minutes. AND I FELT AMAZING.

I normally get really nauseous toward the end of my long runs, and stay in that state for hours (or a full day) after. It's miserable. I felt so strong at the end of the run, that I deliriously almost contemplated running another 6.2 miles just to do a marathon fun run. And then I realized that would be stupid, but STILL. That's how magical I felt.

So maybe the excessive salt loss from sweat was a huge part of my stomach issues in past runs. Time will tell I guess, but I feel pretty darn good about marathon training with another eleven weeks to go.

First four miles 43:09
Second four miles 42:01
Third four miles 41:42
Fourth four miles 41:21
Fifth four miles 41:11

Friday, July 25, 2014

Katy Perry

I was flipping through my facebook the other day, when a post popped up from the half I'm running in August. The post stated that all runners signed up by X date had their name put in for two free tickets to a Katy Perry concert, to be announced before the half marathon starts.

Huh? Katy Perry?

I did some looking, and lo and behold, Katy Perry is playing a show in Fargo the night of our half marathon.

I sent a quick text to my running buddy and race partner for the weekend to let her know the OMG news, and she was OMG in.
[Edited to add: Since having written this post, she's now OMG not in, so feel free to let me know if you want to be my Katy Perry concert buddy! I'll have super squishy feet from racing and then standing! I'll let you touch the squishiness!]

So I get to see Katy Perry in concert next month. WAHOO!! I'm already ignoring the fact that the last thing my legs will want to do after a hard half marathon effort is stand for a couple of hours. Totally worth it.

Kyle and I were getting ready for bed later that night, and I had him guess who was going to be performing in Fargo the night of our half marathon, with the clue "pop singer with the best boobs" to which he replied, Katy Perry without skipping a beat. So I guess we're on the same page.


Thursday, July 24, 2014


JazzFest is an annual free three day music festival put on by the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society. Kyle and I usually go at least one of the nights. Friday night was out because I was getting up before the sun to run, so Saturday night it was!

We met up with Jenn and her husband, and we both lamented our stupid footwear choices (she ran her first 20 miler Saturday!).

We hung out up in the front for the first few songs of Joe Clark Jr. and then decided we'd rather sit. My feet tend to swell really easily when I stand a lot, and it's way worse when I'm had a tough or long run. Squishy feet... so hot.

We managed to track down my mom and cousin so we pulled up squares of grass next to them.

And then it was time to replenish 18 miles worth of running.

Wisconsin deep fried cheese curds? You had me at cheese.

Blurry pic, but pure happiness.

I had a hard time deciding between a rootbeer/strawberry/grape/orange float, but went with the orange dreamsicle. It was amazing, even if the ice cream to pop ratio was severely lacking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Reads: Noggin

Noggin was one of my most anticipated young adult books of the spring, and I actually shrieked outloud when it came in for me at my library. It's currently my favorite book cover of the year (so far). It's fabulous right?? It's also on the list of Mock Printz books that my book club is reading in anticipation of our Mock Printz discussion in July.

This book read as a realistic fiction book (minus the whole cryogenically frozen head attached to another person's body). But seriously. It dealt with typical teen issues--relationships, family stuff, just existing as a teen. It was a really great read.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 5

My legs felt pretty crappy after my long run last Sunday, so I didn't get in another run until Wednesday morning. I think a combination of way too hot had a major effect on my muscles recovery as well as, my form still starts to suck majorly when I'm dying. So week 5's schedule ran Tuesday-Monday. 

Tuesday was another rest day, and Wednesday it was some miles before the sun. I met Jenn at the track for mile repeats. Unfortunately my stomach was really wonky, so I had to jet to the nearest gas station bathroom after our mile warm up and missed out on repeat number one. No biggie, Jenn had to leave for work earlier than I did, so surely I could get it done after she left! Except that the high school football players showed up for conditioning as I was doing repeat number three. 

My plan was to keep the first two slightly above 8 and the last two slightly below. I haven't run more than 3 repeats in forever, so I wanted to make sure I had enough gas for all four of them. Halfway through the third repeat, I realized my time on the track was coming to an end, so I pushed it harder to make up for knocking off one of the repeats. Hence the much faster, un-consistent final repeat. 8:09, 8:09, 7:49. 

I actually felt GREAT after the final one and felt like I could've knocked out another at that same pace if time had allowed. I guess we'll find out next time this workout shows up on my schedule!

The sunrise over the track was so pretty but my iPhone just couldn't do it justice.

And hot air balloons launched midway through my second repeat. I honestly considered stopping to take a picture because the balloons were RIGHT.THERE. but alas,  I was a good runner and kept going. So they were waaaaay up in the air four minutes later. Womp. Still a cool pic.

Thursday was a rest day, and Friday was six recovery miles under a hazy foggy sunrise. I took it really easy because I had 18 on the schedule the next day and since I started my workouts so late in the week, I had to run a bit farther the day before a long run than I like to do. I usually do 3-5 max.

Saturday I was up long before the sun. No more death by heat for this girl! I was up at 5, but (TMI alert) I was having major stomach issues, so I didn't get out the door until after seven. The stomach issues plagued me for the first half of the run. It was really humid, but much cooler, so I didn't drink much from my handheld until I took my first GU at 4.5 miles. I'm wondering if I was dehydrated already from my early morning stomach problems, and that made it worse? It wasn't fun.

I did 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes, and that really helped pass the time. Much nicer to focus on the next set of pickups vs. the next GU. I also knew I'd get to run into Jenn somewhere near my turn around, so I kept plodding along, shocked at how good my legs and energy levels felt.

I saw Jenn at 8.6 so we chatted for a minute before we took off in our own directions. I took a break from the pickups around this point because I GU'd and my stomach wasn't happy. I took in more straight water from a fountain and gave my Osmo nutrition a break, and my stomach started to cheer up. And my pace started to pick up. It was magical. 

I passed a dude around mile 13.5 and we ended up chatting for a couple of miles again. Unfortunately talking and speeding up while talking lead to more stomach wonkiness, so my finish wasn't as strong as I'd hoped, because I was trying to get my HR to come down.

But looking at my splits after in 6 mile increments, I'm pretty darned pleased. Consistency has NOT been my middle name so far with long runs, as I tend to be D-E-A-D from the heat/humidity and I tend to have major fueling issues, so the end of my runs suffer immensely for it. Not Saturday!

1:03:08 first six miles
1:02:39 second six miles
1:02:20 third six miles

Sunday Kyle and I had a super lazy day. By the time I thought about doing my recovery run, it was so steamy out, I immediately threw that idea out. 
Monday I got out before the heat advisory was in effect to get in 6 hilly recovery miles. Woof, so humid.

35.5 miles for the week!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Seen on My Long Run

This past weekend I tackled 18 miles as part of my training for the Bemidji Marathon. 18 milers are historically terrible for Jerbear, so I tried to do everything right in the 48 hours leading up to the run. Hydrating, compression socking, eating. I did the run solo, but I had some random interactions over the three hours I wanted to share.

  • I saw a muskrat! At least I'm pretty sure that's what it was. It looked like a small beaver without the beaver tail. I wanted to investigate but didn't want to be attacked.

  • Senator John Thune! I used to see him out running pretty frequently but haven't seen him in at least 2-3 years.
  • A mama and teeny tiny baby deer. I once went to a wildlife park where you could walk and pet the deer, but not the baby deer. These baby deer were even tinier than those deer. So cute. So much squeeeee.
  • A girl texting and running. I think I'd accidentally run into the river.
  • Another deer.
And then while I was passing a dude around mile 13, I told him good morning, and we ended up running together for a few miles chatting away. I felt like I was going to die toward the end of our time together, and after looking through my splits during that mile, I see why. We were cruising at 10 minute pace and chatting away. Woof.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5k Series

My co-worker started running about a month ago, so I'm constantly on the look out for a 5k for her to run in the future. This has proved difficult because we work opposite Saturdays of each other, and I'd like to be there to run and cheer her on as well. Also, my legs can't hack racing a 5k one day and doing a monster long run the next day. That's asking for injury city.

But while I was searching, I noticed there's a 5k series that a college is putting on that has 3 different 5k races on Tuesday evenings in July and August. It's $50 for the series or $20 for each race. And I have to admit.... I'm intrigued.

I've never ran a series of races before. And I know racing a 5k during marathon training isn't all that beneficial. But I'm wondering if the 5k races could be my speed work substitute on those weeks. Hmmm. I also think running a few 5ks a couple of weeks apart will remind me what running really hard feels like, and also serve to remind me that it won't kill me. Mental toughness points, if you will.


And now some throw back pics to the summer I did 5 5ks in a four week span.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weekly Reads: Matchmaker

The Matchmaker is the newest book from author Elin Hilderbrand. I received an e-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I enjoy Hilderbrand's books for light, vacation reading. I always want to book my next vacation in Nantucket while reading her books. The month of June I had a Beach Read display at the library and her books made up a bulk of the selection, and I couldn't keep the display stocked! They flew off the shelves. Yay successful display!

While her books are light reads, they tend to have more depth then just a regular chick lit read, do you know what I mean? This one was no different, and may be my favorite book of hers so far. There were a few sub-plots going on throughout the story, but they weren't distracting and really added to the story. I have a hard time reading books that have three best friend female characters, and each chapter is told from their individual perspective, BUT I CAN NEVER REMEMBER WHO IS WHO, because the stories aren't told in a way that makes me actually care. Does that make sense?

Anyway, this is a must read this summer.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A touching new novel from Elin Hilderbrand in which a dying woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late

Dabney Kimball Beech, the 48-year-old fifth generation Nantucketer, has had a lifelong gift of matchmaking (52 couples still together to her credit). But when Dabney discovers she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she sets out to find matches for a few people very close to home: her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech; her lover journalist Clendenin Hughes; and her daughter, Agnes, who is engaged to be married to the wrong man. 

As time slips away from Dabney, she is determined to find matches for those she loves most - but at what cost to her own relationships? THE MATCHMAKER is the heartbreaking new novel from Elin Hilderbrand about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 4

I finally had a really stellar week of training for week 4 of marathon training. 

Monday I started off the week with six general aerobic miles. 

Tuesday I had a rest day.

Wednesday it was early morning tempo run.

I had intended on doing my long run Friday, so Thursday I did a really short 2.5 mile recovery run. It was HOT.

Friday I woke up to thunderstorms, and the rest of the day's forecast was HOT HOT and humid. I decided to move my long run to Sunday and go out for a long ride. 30 miles later, I was d-e-a-d on two wheels. Uff.

This sign is never good to see, when running or riding.

Spillway action.

Sunday I had 16 on the schedule. And if you read my blog post yesterday, it wasn't my best. While getting ready for it, I realized it was time to order some more GU. Chocolate Outrage=yuck.

My friend Jenn did her long run on Saturday so she volunteered to bike along with me for my run. Thank goodness for her. If I hadn't had her waiting for me on the bike path, I would've probably turned around at mile 1. My legs felt terrible, it was hot, and my head just wasn't in the game.

I still cranked out 16 miles.

Leaning tower of Jeri.

Monday, July 14, 2014

How NOT to Execute a Long Run

Bemidji will be the 7th marathon I attempt, and seventh marathon cycle. I've learned a few things about what to do and what NOT to do. But occasionally laziness/cockiness/don't give a poop-ness comes in to play and I throw all that knowledge out of the window.

So take some tips on "what not to do" courtesy of my suck-fest long run on Sunday.

  • Fail to hydrate the day and night before, especially in the summer. When it's hot as hades out.
    • Even better, have a couple of beers with dinner. That'll help the hydration process. They're wet, right??
  • Stay up really late (ok 11pm is really late for this girl, sue me) with your honey bunny hanging out watching TV.
  • Decide to set your alarm for 6:30am instead of 5am.
  • Finally get out out of bed at 6:45, eat breakfast, and then crawl back into bed for just 5 minutes of snuggling before your long run starts. 
    • Bonus failure points if your loved one and pug sandwich you in a snuggling cocoon, forcing you to fall back asleep.
  • Finally FINALLY get out of bed at 8:30am. Don't bother eating breakfast again.
  • Quickly drink a bunch of water, because UH OH it's warm out. 
    • Extra points for sloshy stomach.
  • Leave for your ~3 hour summer long run at 9:45am.
  • Forget to apply sunscreen (it would've sweated right off, let's be serious).
  • Bike 30 miles, fairly vigorously 2 days before. Fail to do any sort of shakeout run between the long ride and long run.
    • Don't foam roll either.
  • Only bring the minimum amount of GUs along.
I think that about covers it. Luckily I started off the run at a casual 10:30-10:40 pace, so I was smart there. But as the temps increased, and the shade disappeared my pace crept up to the 11-11:15 pace. During the last two miles my heart was beating so erratically, I was forced to walk/jog to let it calm down, which really slowed my pace down.

Ollie has been instructed to punch me in the nose with her paw next time I try to delay my long run. We'll see how that goes.