Friday, August 29, 2014

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Training Run?

Well I had this blog drafted up a month or so ago, and after the GoFar Half Marathon debacle/poor performance and conditions I'm rethinking my game plan.

Option A:  Next weekend, I'm running my tenth consecutive Sioux Falls Half Marathon. After having just raced the Fargo half, I won't be racing Sioux Falls, but I would like it to be a solid marathon training run. I rarely sign up to run races instead of racing them, because $$$ I can run 13.1 miles for free. But because I'm trying to run this race the most years consecutively, I need to work it in to my schedule.

So I'm curious, what's your favorite marathon training workout for 13.1 miles?

I know Pfitz has a 13 mile long run with 8 miles at GMP. When I used the RiverRat Half Marathon as a training run this past spring, Jaseface suggested I do 3 miles at long run pace followed by 2 hard miles, until I finish the race. I would like to do a harder effort than that, however, as that was done knowing I was racing a half the following weekend, and wanted to be recovered.

Should I go with the Pfitz workout?

Is there another one you'd recommend for me?


Option B:

On the drive home from Fargo, I was still pretty bummed about my race performance. I randomly looked at the extended forecast for the Sioux Falls half and learned that it was projected to be a low of 43 degrees on race morning.


That may change things.

 I could re-attempt my game plan for the GoFar half in Sioux Falls. I have two weeks of peak training after the SF half before I start tapering for Bemidji. Is this racing too close to marathon race day? 5 weeks apart? Obviously Bemidji is my #1 priority, but I know a solid half race would really get my mental game straight and ready to tackle 26.2.


If the forecast changes at all (skewing towards hot or humid) I will immediately go back to Option A with no question.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Katy Perry Concert + Fargo Fun

My mom and I took off for Fargo on Friday after we both got off work at lunch time. The forecast had been showing rain all week long, so I enjoyed the fluffy cloud and flat plains.

I had the worst sinus headache of my life on Friday. It started shortly before I left work. An extra strength pain reliever did nothing to fix it. Neither did water or food, a sinus pill or two ibuprofens after dinner. Woof. I crashed at 8:30 hoping to sleep it off.

Saturday morning I raced.

And after my mom and I celebrated with mexican food. I ordered a strawberry margarita, but I received some True Blood. I think. 

My mom and I stopped at Target to grab a candle because my last minute hotel booking skills landed us in a room that smelled like a mildewed towel, and this little gem caught my eye. I resisted. For now. I'll let you know if I change my mind and decide I need a child's pug purse with glittery glasses. Ok, just typing that out makes me NEED IT. 


My mom took off for home shortly after, as it was my dad's 65th birthday and she wanted to get home to help him celebrate! I rested a bit and read, and then got ready for Katy Perry while I was waiting for my friend to show up.

Purple hair, don't care.

Emily and her sister showed up, and I helped them purple/pink/blue their hair and we headed out for dinner. I had the greatest burger of my life at Lucky 13 Pub (<---yes I typed Pug the first time). And our food was served with a tooth pick with a clover strung through it. Clearly this is my type of establishment.

This is the only picture I got of Emily and I waiting for the concert to start. :'( She has eyes, I promise.

The concert was beyond amazing and my pictures suck at showing it's amazingness.

I want to be her bestie.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Fever

The Fever is the newest novel by Megan Abbott. Her previous book, Dare Me, has been on my to read list for the last year, but it just hasn't made it to the top of that list yet! When I saw this one in several "up-and-coming" blogs and news releases, so I put a hold on my library's copy! It's catalogued as an adult book, but the content and telling seem more Young Adult to me, OLDER YA, but YA none the less. The story drew me in from page one and I read it all in just a few sittings.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 10

Monday I rested yet again and Tuesday I headed to the track for some race week mile repeats. Except that school is back in session and *my* track is now being used for marching band practice. I rerouted to the bike trails but the reroute, and running 10 minutes late to start anyway had me cutting off two miles from the workout. I was supposed to do 3x1600m. at 8:05 pace.

I hit the first one in 8:01. It was really humid but coolish temps. The second one I was feeling pretty fatigued and logged 8:09. Considering the first one had a slight downhill at one part, and the second had the uphill version, I imagine I was probably pretty close to the 8:05 effort.

This is my "yay my car didn't get stolen since I was ill prepared to carry my keys on this run" selfie.

Wednesday I took a rest day because pounding the pavement instead of the track for mile repeats made my legs take a beating. They were incredibly sore.

Thursday I did a 5 mile recovery run before work. My legs were still dead. And it was insanely humid out. (Are you seeing a trend for the week? The humidity is back juuuuuust in time for race week. Perf.)

Friday I had grand plans to get in a 2-4 mile shake out run before work, but I also had to run Ollie out to Kyle's parents before work, AND pack since we were leaving as soon as I could get away from work. The run was scrapped.

Saturday I had a .5 mile warm up before my race and then ran a half marathon in two hours and 9 sopping wet minutes.

Sunday was spent driving back home and trying to rehydrate. My legs are ridiculously sore for the race I executed on Saturday. I'm blaming extreme dehydration during the race for that. I did foam roll, push ups and core work. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Race Report: GoFar Woman Half Marathon

I woke up Saturday morning after tossing and turning a good chunk of the night, and my stomach was super upset. So it must be race morning! Yay! Luckily my all day pounding sinus headache was gone, finally! I was worried.
Please note the color in tank pre-race. 

The race packet said to be at the arena an hour before your race, but we chose to delay our arrival a bit (=stomach issues). Uh.. heed this advice if given. We were in a long line of standstill traffic trying to get in to park. We ended up parking at a lot up the way and walking. I got in a warm up jog in which the heavy fog was messing majorly with my garmin, unless I really WAS running easy peasy 5:16 pace. I did some form drills and my glute drills and it was almost time to start.

They were cranking Katy Perry music and I was pumped and ready to go! 

The air was THICK and heavy, as you can see in the pictures, but the temp was only 65, so I thought I could still gut out a great time!

I slid into 9:20 pace pretty comfortably from the get go, but could already tell by mile two that the pace wasn't feeling as "easy" as it should be. At mile 2.5 I already was searching for my iPod earbuds to throw in, which I usually don't use until it's "go" time or I really need to just zone out. Of course when I got them situated and hit play I heard the annoying "your battery is dead" tone and knew I was on my own. I NEED MY KATY PERRY JAMZ!!!

1.  9:24
2.  9:20
3.  9:18

I took my first GU at 2.5ish thinking it would give me an extra boost. I normally only take two GUs for a half, but carried three JUST in case. With my stomach issues before the race, I didn't know how much fuel I actually had left in me before the race started. I'm glad I did. I also took a salt pill at mile 3.

I ran up on a Sioux Falls runner during the next stretch and we chatted a bit with each other. I plan to facebook stalk her so we can be running buddies as she mentioned we'd ran together either at the Sioux Falls Half previous or a Runners Block run. Clearly we're destined to be running buddies! I was half gasping for air while talking to her because I was already struggling to breathe, so when she passed me at a water station, I let her go.

4.  9:20
5.  9:21
6.  9:29

My race plan was to speed up every 3 miles but I knew during mile three that wasn't going to happen. New plan! Hold on to 9:20s until ten and then put down the hammer the last 5k and *maybe* eek out a time faster than the 2:02 I ran in Brookings! New goal! New Focus!

I started to get really hot during mile six, so I was super thankful when they were handing out water bottles at the relay exchange shortly after. Except that it's hard for me to drink out of one of those! I walked a smidge to chug the water down, GU up, and take another salt pill.

There was another water stop at 6.88 and I took a drink of a glass, thinking "oh good, they're going to be every mile now!" which is what they teach you as foreshadowing in high school English class. By mile 8 I desperately needed more water. By mile 8.75 I was asking every volunteer where the next water station was, and somewhere in that stretch I felt like I was dying of thirst.

FINALLY at about 9.5, almost three miles later, there was another water stop. So I stopped, and drank. And drank. And drank. Like four full cups worth of water. I even turned around and went back for another on the off chance there wasn't more water stations. [insert angry red faced emoji here plz]

Luckily I got to see my mom somewhere in the 7-8 mile stretch. We had tried to strategize her spectating but with neither of us knowing the city very well, and the race crossing almost every major street (or so it seemed) it was really difficult to figure out. She talked with a local runner before the race and she pretty much nixed the race spots my mom and I had come up with. I had assumed she was just going to wait back at the start for me to finish, but YAY there she was! Now if only she had an ice cold glass of water, right?? :)

7.  9:59
8.  9:57
9.  9:57
10.  10:21

I had really hoped to kick it in the final 5k but I was just spent. I took another GU and salt pill around mile 9.5. I chatted with another girl during this stretch that was struggling as well and we kept each other going until the next water stop, thank goodness.

I ended up taking a few walk breaks in the final 5k because I felt so dizzy and my heart was doing the weird palpitation thing. Grr. Here's me kicking myself for not bringing a handheld water bottle. There ended up being another water station around mile 11, so two total the final 6.5 miles on a 97% humidity day with a dew point of 67. No I'm not angry, why do you ask??

When we were coming in for the final 1.5 miles, you could see the arena off in the distance, and then they sent us in the opposite direction for a short loop. So mean. I was just ready to be done. I thought I could kick it in with .5 to go, but I honestly didn't know if I would pass out from the effort.

11.  10:43
12.  10:47
13.  10:29

.1 :33 (7:30 pace, so ok I guess I had a tiny kick for a very minimal part of the race, ha)

I ran fairly hard the final .2 miles and called it a day.

I ran 2:09:05 for my 23rd half marathon.


As I said on instagram, not my best, and not my worst, but certainly the most humid! Gotta set a PR in something I guess.

Please scroll back up to the pre-race photo to check out the tank saturation. Also this tank is adorbs, but when wet it stretches and is significantly longer than my mac rogas. It might not make it as my marathon tank. Wah!

Thankfully my mom was there to spend race eve and race day with me, to help cheer me on, and most importantly, to get post-race Mexican with. Thanks madre!

Takeaways from the race: 
  • Always check the race route aid stations and be prepared to carry water if you're the sweatiest runner on the planet. Their bad for not having enough water stations, my bad for not knowing it and being prepared.
  • Adjust your goals based on weather if necessary. On one hand, I honestly thought the heat and humidity acclimation runs I had done this summer have made me a stronger heat/humidity runner, but clearly not to the capacity that I was hoping. Maybe I could've started at a 10-9:45 pace and ended up with less of a death march, I'm not sure. But I do know when your heart rate is crazy high at mile 2 of a 13.1 mile race, you're in trouble.
  • When I feel like I'm dyyyyying at mile 18/22/23/etc of Bemidji I will think back on this race and think to myself, "Hey at least you have water! Get moving!" :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Go Far Half Marathon Goals

This spring, my main goal was to break two hours in the half marathon. A few years back, sub 2 halfs were a given, and I wanted to be back to that point. Well I came up short. Two minutes in May and five minutes in June on a much harder course.


I've put in a lot of miles, and have gained a bit of my speed back through a lot of hard work over the past few months. When I originally signed up for this race, I'd hoped that I'd be shooting for a low 1:50, but I don't think that'll be the case.

I had intended on doing the 5k earlier this month to give me a time to plug in to the ol' McMillan running calculator to give me a goal time to shoot for tomorrow. But that didn't turn out as planned.

So putting some confidence in my brain and legs, my goals for tomorrow are as follows:

A goal: 1:55. 8:50 pace. When I was chatting with Kyle about this, I was surprised that it was "only" an 8:50 pace. That doesn't seem *that* hard, right?? Confidence.

B goal: 1:57. 9:00 pace. Honestly, this is what I have hopes of my marathon pace being in a couple of months in much cooler temps, so I should be able to hang on to this for half that distance.

C goal: Sub 2. 9:09 pace. PGSPR Party hosted by Katy Perry! Yessssss.

Regardless, I'll be happy if I go out at a smart pace, maintain mental toughness for 90% of the race and trust that I can finish hard, strong, and fast.

Half marathon #23, I'm comin' for you.

Last Fargo Half I did with Megan! Miss you running buddy!

Kyle's prediction: 1:53:27.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

365 Days of Ollie

If you didn't already know (please point me in the direction of the rock under which you reside), I have an adorable pug that's my other half. Or other 7th as weight distribution may be. Almost a year ago, I started a daily photo blog of her adorable face. As of today, I'm just about a month away from it's completion!


So if you love adorable pug photos, please check out 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Vacationers

The Vacationers showed up on numerous "Beach Read" lists so I had to throw my name in to the hold list at the library. I got a chance to read it over the fourth of July weekend and I read it in a day. It had a fairly slow start, but it got interesting about 70 pages in to the book. It was a fairly quick and enjoyable read.

My rating: 3 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 9

Week 9 was not my best week of training. It's Sunday night and I'm trying to not beat myself up about it as I write out this recap.

Monday I started off with a bang and knocked out 10 miles before work. On a roll!

Tuesday through Sunday I ran zero miles. Ugh. I was struggling with exhaustion and just could not sleep enough hours. It finally dawned on me during the weekend that it seemed similar to the Vitamin D deficiency I'd struggled with before. For some reason I just assumed I was getting enough Vitamin D from the SUN in the SUMMER to not need a vitamin supplement, but I guess I'd be wrong. I took my normal dosage Friday and Saturday and already felt dramatically better on Sunday.

But not good enough for a run, I guess. I had a REALLY RANDOM ache in my right ankle Friday night that reared its head again Sunday morning. Like I said, i haven't ran all week, and it didn't hurt at all on Monday, so it's probably nothing, but super cautious, always injured Jerbear was super cautious so as to not be injured and scrapped the run. UGH.

Sunday I was able to meet my running buddy Jenn for a long leisurely ride to get my heart pumpin' a bit.

Next up is B Goal Race Week, so I hope this week is a bit stronger, mentally and physically!

I had the following set as a separate post, but I think it makes the most sense to include it for this week's recap, as it's what I'm feeling this week and last. I often use this blog as a diary to go back and reflect on training, so it may be helpful to have this included. We'll see.

After my 3k XC race, I was on runner's cloud 9. I performed better than I was expecting and the race and racing atmosphere left me wanting to go out and run all the miles. As races typically do. It also started to give me some of my racing confidence back. That I can fight in a race a bit. That not all my speed is dead. That my training is showing improvement.

And then a few missed runs crop up and I completely lost my mental game.


Ok then.

Jenn was giving me a text message pep talk about my upcoming marathon (I screenshot the whole convo to look back on during moments of need and pre-race when I'm freaking the eff out, as I do) and how she just knew that I was going to run sub 4. And I was like, cool, I don't know that. But I'm glad you do.

But it was just awesome to have that sort of assurance from someone who used to be the same exact g.d. speed as me and then went bonkers and shattered our PRs by like 30 minutes or something ridiculous like that. So yeah, I'll listen to her.

Because the marathon is such a weird beast. You can run, and analyze race predictors, and race and further analyze race predictors, but it's just SO HARD to know what your body is ready to tackle when you toe the line of 26.2. There have been times I was sure I'd finish the race with a 3 at the start of my time, but I never have. 

So right now I'm in the boat where I feel confident that I will run a PR this October. 4:12 will no longer be my best marathon time. Will that time start with a 3? I honestly don't know, and I still have some hard work to put in before I'll join forces with Jenn in believing her. But my god, is it nice to have someone believe in you and your dreams!

Feel free to give me some advice on how you silence your brain when the negative racing doubts creep in.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bemidji Marathon Day Outfit

I've become a bit obsessed with Oiselle running clothes over the last half year. I've already shouted from the rooftops about my love of the Mac Rogas, and then they keep rolling out adorable green items that I just have to have. #teamgreen

Running companies, if you make it in green, I'll probably have to buy it. FYI.

For my marathon in October, I'm planning to wear the Mac Rogas. I currently have them in yellow, navy, and black. Probably excessive, but I seriously wear them for 85% of my runs. Yes, my washer and dryer are working overtime. They released two new colors and I want both. I've found the medium fits my shape slightly better than the smalls (all those glute exercises are really doing the trick on my booty!) so I need at least ONE of them for the race. Boring black just won't cut it for 26.2 miles.

I'm leaning toward the pinker version....


Also, I was planning to wear the green flyte tank that I'm obsessed with, but THEN Oiselle posted about the Birds of a Feather tank in aspen. NEED.

I'm a firm believer that training for a marathon deserves a new marathon day outfit. And I plan to have an adorable outfit when I cross the finish line to break a 4+ year old marathon PR.

**I was in no way compensated for this post, and pay for all my Oiselle gear at full price unless I snag a coupon code for a weekend sale through their email campaigns.**