Friday, April 28, 2017

RIP Garmin Data

Once upon a time, I bought a Garmin. April 2009 to be exact. A reward for a hard fought 5k PR. I've loved each and every minute of running with my Garmin, and enjoy pouring over the data after runs and races. I love my Garmin so much that after my first one died, followed by my second refurbished one died, I purchased yet another one.

So over the past 8 years I have ran with 3 different Garmin, accumulating all the data along the way. Some time last fall, my computer stopped syncing with my Garmin. It wasn't a huge deal, as I knew I was in the market for a new MacBook in the early spring. I finally broke down and purchased a new MacBook a few weeks ago, and was SO EXCITED to upload my data, especially to look at the last few half marathons I had done and do some comparisons, as you do when you're a crazy type A data lover.

For some reason, my login was no longer valid. I think during the point where my MacBook stopped working, Garmin switched from a username to an email address. It was the weekend, so I sent off an email to their support team. They'd always been INCREDIBLY helpful when I've had issues in the past, so yay! Let's get this puppy fixed!

In the meantime, I created a new account just to make sure that I could get the data off of my watch. Perhaps the accounts could be merged once things were fixed, or maybe not, I'd just re-upload. Whatever. I finally received an email back about my issue about a day and a half later and the guy reset my password so I could get in and update my information. At which point, I realized that the email I wanted was on the newly created account and not the old one, so I sent off another email asking if the newly created account could be deleted out.

Big mistake.

After another hour of fiddling around with it, I realized I could change the email on the one, freeing up the other, so that I took care of it on my own! I sent off another email replied to the original saying, I took care of it, please disregard the deletion request, thanks for all of your help yadda yadda yadda.

You see where this is going, right?

The next day I worked just 3 short hours because it was my weekend to work, so I have a weird week schedule. I get home and see an email saying, "your account has been successfully deleted!" Shit. Shit. Shit. Since I'm finally dealing with this issue during regular business hours, I call Garmin, where the guy assures me that accounts can't be deleted and my files are somewhere, so I chill out a bit. At which point I have a massage ready to start, so I have to leave him to track down thousands and thousands of miles of data.

And when I get out of my massage, I have a message: Yeah, I don't know how this happened, but all of your data is really deleted. Feel free to create another account here.


On the plus side, I have my mileage and running time logged on a separate long, so all is not lost, but since I run a lot of the same races from year to year, it's so advantageous to look back and compare previous ones, reminding myself where the elevation map doesn't appear to have an incline, there is one and it's ever so slight, but to remember not to freak out when it feels super hard. Ugh.

It's not the end of the world, but it sure is a bummer.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Brookings Half Marathon Tips

I have a ton of running friends that are running their first half marathons at Brookings. It is one of my favorite halfs, and this spring will be the fourth time I've ran it (previous race reports here: 2012--1:55, 2014--2:02, and 2016--2:15)! I've been giving out tips and advice left and right and realized that maybe some folks in the far reaches of the interwebs might also enjoy some of the tips, so here they are!

Brookings is awesome. The course is flat and fast. While it is flat-flat-flat there are some stretches in the final miles that are the slightest bit uphill (and then downhill), then back uphill, and finally downhill. It is so gradual, you can't even see the difference, but you can feel it, and it sucks. So be prepared for that and know that after each sucky bit you get a nice mini downhill reprieve. The first time I ran it I thought I was losing steam on the first tiny uphill only to realize later when I was analyzing my data that, oh, guess I was going up. Makes sense.

There are a LOT of turns. I think the shortest distance I've ran according to my garmin is 13.3, upwards of 13.4 other times. So if you're shooting for a PR, plan accordingly with your pace! Turn+turn+turn+turn+turn+turn+turn+turn+turn=there's no way you're going to run perfect tangents. Trust. The last time I was close to running sub 2 I was 2 minutes over and way more than two minutes in distance. Grrr.

The weather is usually pretty great. But it is South Dakota, so plan for wind. Spend some of your long runs cursing the wind. That shouldn't be hard because for three years straight of training for a spring marathon, I did was 30-40 mph wind gusts. Woof. If it's a sunny day, the final 4-5 mile stretch isn't super covered with trees so it can feel a bit toasty.

Make sure you stick around long enough to enjoy Nick's burgers. Seriously. These little gems are a god send. They tend to start serving closer to the first marathoner or marathon relay to finish, but they're more than worth the wait. Little sliders sent directly from the heavens.

The medals are legit. Some of the largest medals I own. I always enjoy some great, well-earned bling.

So I hope to see you in Brookings. I'll the one in green sweating profusely even if it's nice and cold out.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Brookings Half Training Week 9

Week of April 17-23
Monday Planned: General Aerobic 8 miles
Monday Actual: Sick and rest.

Tuesday Planned: Endurance 11 Miles
Tuesday Actual: Skipped POWER and had to take walk breaks on my (cut much shorter) 2 mile run.

Wednesday Planned: VO2 Max 10 miles, 2 sets of 2x1200 + 1x800 @ 3k-5k pace
Wednesday Actual: Thank god this run was a good one! It was truly my saving grace for the week. We did 3 miles with the running group, yoga, followed by 7 miles with the workout at the track. It was raining, and it was hard, but it felt great!

Thursday Planned: Rest
Thursday Actual: Rest

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Friday Actual: Coffee run miles with Toni. 4 of them.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 14 Miles
Saturday Actual: Based on the weirdness of the week, I had planned to do 5 miles with some pick ups, as I had moved my long run to Sunday to have Toni's company. I ended up with 3, slow miles with walk breaks. My legs felt d-e-a-d.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: I attempted my long run with Toni and it was one of the worst runs in a long time. I wanted to quit a mile and a half into it. I finally bailed at mile 5. I could tell my form was super shitty and I didn't want to risk hurting myself for some miles. Still a bummer.

Total Mileage Planned: 47 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  23.7 miles

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Weekly Reads: Illuminae

Illuminae is the first book in a series. It's a crazy, adventure, dystopian novel with all sorts of twists and turns. It's told in a crazy format, instant messenger conversations, emails, dossier files, random graphics. And that was super cool. The story itself took a little bit to get into, but once I was into it, it was a wild ride!

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fall Race Plans

Well we're in the midst of spring (!!!!) and it's truly the most wonderful time of year. I live in South Dakota for the spring and fall seasons (however fleeting and quick they are). But that also means that while I'm in the depths of training for my spring goal race, I have fall races on the mind!

I just pulled the trigger on my fall goal race!

I'll be heading to Massachusetts to visit one of my besties from college and to explore Boston with her and her kiddos. And while I'm there, I'll be running the OceanView Half Marathon on November 5th!

And because I was having the worst running fomo of my life a few months ago, with every running friend I know (slight exaggeration) signing up to run the Twin Cities Marathon, I talked myself off of the ledge (NO MARATHONS IN 2017 JERBEAR!) by planning to jump in the lottery for the TC 10 miler Oct. 1! It'll be perfect (assuming I get in). I get to have the same race weekend experience, I get to enjoy the last ~10ish miles of the marathon, getting me amped to do it in 2018 (hopefully), and I'll be able to cheer on all of my running friends who are doing the full! PERFECT. Now I just have to get in... tick tock tick tock.

For the lucky 13th year, I'll also be lining up for the Sioux Falls Half Marathon on September 10th. This race is hard to shoot for a PR on, imo. The weather is typically warmer and humid, and there are some intense hills. I do think I could shoot for a course PR while training for the above mentioned races, so I'll use it as a training run to keep my streak going!

Friday, April 21, 2017

BQ Dreams

A couple of weeks ago, a newer running friend sent me a text that said, "I think I'm crazy; I want to sign up for a marathon." She's currently training for her first half. To which I responded, "There's nothing crazy about that! I've been thinking a lot about my BIG goal of a BQ and according to my last marathon time, I have 90 minutes to take off my time!"

There's no goal too big. (<--new rule)

When I first started running marathons in 2010, I had visions of a BQ dancing in my head. So many of the bloggers I was following were chasing BQs and seemed to take about ten minutes off their marathon time each time they ran one, so I assumed that by my 3rd marathon, I'd be making my first BQ attempt as well. Lolz. My first marathon was a 4:12. My second was a 4:31, then 4:25. Seven marathons later, my first is still my fastest. By a lot, especially compared to my last few marathons, one barely sub 5 and a couple significantly over.

I purchased a Believe Training Journal last fall and I loved the goals section. I am such a goal-oriented person. When setting goals, I usually focus on ones that are attainable in the short term, my next race goal time, mileage goals, etc. But the journal gave me some inspiration to dream bigger. I know that if I can stay healthy, run consistent mileage, and build some stronger endurance on top of speedy legs, I can qualify for Boston. This is in no way a short-term goal, but it helps propel me forward on the days where I don't want to go out and do an easy 3-4 miler. What does it matter if I do 3-4 miles easy on any given day? Well it helps build that foundation of consistent running and mileage that adds up over time.

While running with Toni a couple of weeks ago, the topic of marathons came up. I told her that my next one would be in the fall of 2018. I hope to do some higher mileage training programs for the half marathon to whittle my speed down while building that endurance base for the next year or so before diving in to marathon training. She mentioned that maybe by then *she'd* be interested in running a marathon.





I told her how I had hoped to smash my sub 4 goal for that race, and even offered to pay her race entry if she wanted to pace me to it, then realizing that she can't possibly pace *me* in her first marathon, because that would be craziness. (Um... now taking applications for a pacing buddy....) But then maybe the next go around, we can train for a BQ together. By that point, I'll have an extra 5 minutes toward qualifying, and for some reason a sub 3:40 doesn't sound horrific but a sub 3:35 sure does. Go figure.

Then I gave her the run down of what races we would be doing and basically planned out the next 3.5 years of running for her. Boston 2020 yo!

I was assuring her she could handle marathon training, because it's very similar to what we're doing but with a longer long run on the weekends. At one point she paused, and said, "You could be training me for a marathon right now and I wouldn't even know it!" with a nervous laughter. "How do you know I'm not?!" Surprise! Check your email for a race confirmation! jk.... for now.

yay goals and brf.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Running Rules

I have been a runner for the last 20 years, and I've been running and training for road races for the last 12 years. I've learned a lot of things through trial and error (often times EPIC failure) so I thought I would share some of my gems of wisdom. These are rules that work for me and my body (usually), but as everyone knows, rules are meant to be broken. ;)

10% weekly increase.
It is a surprise to no one that I've been injured frequently over the years. I'm always trying to do my best to keep myself injury free, and one of the rules I abide by is the 10% weekly mileage increase. I try my best to not increase my weekly mileage from week to week by more than 10%. So if I run 20 miles one week, the following week I'll do 22 max, then 24 max, and so on while I'm building up.

Hard-easy-hard-easy Principle.
My body does not like back to back hard workouts. To me, and my legs, "hard" is any fast effort workout, or long run. I wear a heart rate monitor for most of my runs and I pay attention the most to it on the easy days to truly make sure they stay easy. The easier you go on your easy days, the easier it is to go hard on the hard days and get the most out of your key workouts.

Cutback Weeks.
When creating my own training programs or finding one to follow, I always make sure they take advantage of a cutback week. I usually like a cutback week every 3-4 weeks to help keep myself healthy and mentally not burned out. Usually the cutback week includes overall lower weekly mileage, still a speedwork session, and a reduced long run. Usually it's the long run I mentally need a break from!

Recovery time after a race.
I never plan races too close together. I know that my body needs ample time to recover from one race before I tackle another one. If I race in the middle of training for another, more major goal race, I allow for the following week to be fairly restful. At least two days of complete rest, lots of foam rolling, and a couple of easy shorter runs later in the week.

What are your tried and true running rules??

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brookings Half Training Week 8

Week of April 10-16
Monday Planned: Recovery 5 miles
Monday Actual: Rest. I skipped my run because I thought I was going to meet with a family about re-homing a pug. No pug, no run. Grrr.

Tuesday Planned: Lactate Threshold 9 miles with 38 at LT
Tuesday Actual: Originally I had thought I would be done with POWER mid-March, so I had some tougher workouts planned for Tuesday mornings. Once they offered POWER for another session, I was all in. But clearly cannot do 9 miles with 4ish at LT after a POWER session. I had planned to do my 5 mile recovery run, but I was exhausted and actually fell back asleep after my shower, before work. Ooops.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 4 Miles 8x100 m strides
Wednesday Actual: 4 miles with Toni. I apparently neglected to notice the strides we were supposed to do as well. Ooops. Then yoga. Some lovely stretchy yin yoga.

Thursday Planned: Endurance 10 Miles
Thursday Actual: 10 endurance miles. It was so beautiful out. What a perfect day for a double digit run.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Friday Actual: 4 Recovery miles with Jordanne for the coffee run. This means I woke up in the 4s just to drink some coffee with friends before work. It was so hot, humid and muggy that I had to take a lot of walk breaks to keep my heart rate nice and low. After ten miles was a breeze, this was quite humbling.

Saturday Planned: Long Run Progression 13 miles, increase pace last 3 miles at LT
Saturday Actual: Yoga. A few weeks ago, I learned I can't run further than 4-6 miles before I teach yoga, because I'm such a creaky, tight muscled mess that I'm afraid I'm going to hurt myself. So I couldn't do my long run before I taught yoga. And then after there were thunderstorms and VERY warm temps on the forecast. I meant to do 4-5 miles just to make up some of my miles for the week, but Saturday got away from me.

Sunday Planned: Rest.
Sunday Actual: I had a terrible night of sleep, not going to bed until maybe 3:30am and tossing and turning until 8am when I finally got up. By the time I got up there wasn't enough time to run before Easter. I had thought I could go after, but I got stuck watching Kyle finish rigging a boat, which took 2.5 hours. aka the exact amount of time it would've taken me to do a 13.1 mile training run. Grrrr.

Total Mileage Planned: 45 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  18 miles. womp.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Teen Books to Pick Up

I have been busy reading 3-4 books at a time to finish up my giant list of books to read for the Young Adult book committee I'm on for the state of South Dakota. Because of this, I haven't finished a book for a couple of weeks. GASP!

There have been so many amazing books come out over the last couple of months, so here is a short compilation of all the books I have sitting next to my bed, waiting to be dug into once May 1 hits!

Scar Island is by Dan Gemeinhart, and I'm always a sucker for his books. This one seems a bit edgier based on the description.

We Are Okay is the newest by Nina Lacour who is one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to dive into this one. It may be at the top of my list. :)

At the Edge of the Universeis the newest by Shaun David Hutchinson. His last book was insane and awesome, and I can't wait for this one.

The Best of Adam Sharp is by Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project. While this isn't a teen book, it's the one adult book that is high up on my list!

Reviews of these books to come!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Race Report: Chilly Cheeks 5 Mile

I ran my first 5 mile in six years a couple of weeks ago. A friend of mine puts on the race, and a ton of my friends were running. My training program had a 5 mile or 10k scheduled, so it fit perfectly! Most of my friends were doing the ten, so I got there super early to cheer them on.

Prior to the race, I had a pretty angry stomach (typical), and my game plan was to start around 9 pace and slowly whittle it down. The gun went off, and I was keeping an eye on my watch to make sure I didn't go out at "bat out of hell" pace (as is also typical). I was a little concerned that I wasn't having to hold back at all. I was around 8:40-9. The first turn around to the south came up so soon and I was settling in to a solid strong pace. I passed a few gals here and got a glimpse at my place for females with the small out and back section. I was sitting in 12. The gals in front of me were starting to pull away, and when I glanced at my pace it was 8:39. Uff! I panicked because I thought we were 1/2 mile in to the race and I was already feeling tired. I also noticed that we were almost to 1.5 miles and I had missed my watch beep. That made me slightly less nervous, but I still let them go.


I started to get really tired during mile 3 (which should come as no surprise based on how quickly I started the race. Oops). I told myself I would put my head down and try to speed up at the half way point. And then I told myself that same thing when I was coming up on mile 4. I was working much harder on this mile than my pace reflects. Rude.


For the last mile I focused on the two girls in front of me, trying to reel them in slightly. They weren't catchable (unless they stopped to tie a shoe, lol) but I wanted to keep them in my sights! I just did not have that next level gear that I can sometimes turn on with half mile to go. I had to crank up my music to block out my labored breathing. I swear it sounded like I was honking. Oh man.

Up the final stretch someone flew by me, then turned back and motioned for me to go with her. It was one of my running pals from 605 Running Co. that was flyyyyyyying in finishing up the 10 mile. Thank god for her, because I somehow had something extra and finished hard. So hard that I have some lovely dry heaves upon finishing. Been awhile since I've experienced that! To give an idea of just how hard I finished that last stretch, my mile pace dropped 10 seconds from the last time I looked at it until I came through the finish. Woof!


I finished the 5 miles in 44:05 for a pace of 8:50 hitting my B goal, and SOOOOOO close to my A goal. I also realized that this is a PR FOR ME! My previous PR is more of a PR* as it was on a short course. And this race time plugged into a race calculator spits out my half marathon goal time (roughly) which helps me think that I'm on track for my goal!


Race Result

24 / 93 (25.8%)
12 / 25 (48%)
19 / 68 (27.9%)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hearts in the Sky

The holidays were really challenging this year, as expected. Whenever a close family member passes, they say the first holiday season is the hardest. I get my insane love of holidays from my mom, so it was certainly a challenge.

Leading up to Valentine's Day I got a little weepy as Facebook would remind me every other day leading up to the holiday that my mom has always sent me a Valentine's card. I realized this was the first year in 33 years that I wouldn't be getting one.

On my drive to work, I kept my eyes checking the sky. Sure that I would be able to find a heart shaped cloud somewhere sent from my mama. The skies were completely bare and brilliantly blue.

During my lunch break, my social media feed was full of a variation on the picture below. An unknown skywriter was drawing hearts in the sky for the holiday. <3 I know they weren't from my mom for me, but after spending the morning looking at the sky for some love, here it was.

It made a hard day a little less difficult.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

March in Review

March in Review

Total Miles: 89.5 miles up from 41.8 last month. Up from 27.5 miles last March.
Total Time: 15:34:11 up from 7:22:57 last month. 

Planned Miles: Eesh. I've gotten a new computer and am too lazy to look at my spreadsheet. I think 140. :/

Monthly Average Pace: 10:27 pace (10:36/mi in Feb.)

Total Runs: 14, average of 6.39 miles a run

Highest weekly mileage: 2/27-3/5 31 miles

Favorite run: Either the 4 mile recovery run with a much speedier pace than normal or a lactate threshold run with Toni. I HATE LT runs, so that's saying a lot.

Most hardcore run: VO2 Max run: 9 miles with 6x1000 m repeats at 3k-5k pace. Super hard, first time doing 1k repeats that I can remember, but felt super strong when it was done! 

Favorite raceAlamo 13.1 (only race).

Bike Miles: 0

Favorite Jam: I haven't listened to music much lately while running!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Brookings Half Training Week 7

Week of April 3-9
Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 2 sets 4x150 strides

Monday Actual: 8 miles with Toni. I felt TERRIBLE during the run, so we scrapped the strides. I couldn't tell if I was on the verge of getting sick or what, but I couldn't breathe while I was running. After the run I realized that I had a rib out of place, and it was effecting my breathing. Ugh. NOT FUN. At one point my heart rate was 189 (my max is 192/196). Needless to say, there were some walk breaks. Thank goodness for Toni.

Tuesday Planned: Recovery 5 miles 4x100
Tuesday Actual: Tuesday I still didn't feel well, I woke up way early to go to POWER at 5:30am. My chest was hurting, and I felt sick, so I went home to rest. I finally got my epsom salt bath in that I've been planning every single day.

Wednesday Planned: Long Endurance 10 Miles
Wednesday Actual: Since we were racing this weekend, we decided to get in our long run on Wednesday night. We went the unconventional route by doing 4 miles before yoga, and then another 6 after. Second yogathalon COMPLETE.

Thursday Planned: Rest

Thursday Actual: Sweet sweet rest. Oh rest, how I love thee so. I spent a good amount of time foam rolling and sticking.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 Miles 4x100 m strides

Friday Actual: Toni convinced me to wake up in the 4s to do the weekly coffee run. Since it was pitch dark, we did 4 mile recovery with no strides.

Then, there was coffee!

Followed by more foam rolling, sticking and RAD rollers before bedtime. Race Day ready!

Saturday Planned: Chilly Cheeks 5 Mile + Warm up/Cool Down
Saturday Actual: Toni and I arrived super early to get in a 2 mile warm up. I did some warm up drills, saw the 10 miler off, and then stood around forever. Maybe a super early warm up is a bad idea.

Then we had the Chilly Cheeks 5 mile race. Race report to come!

And had planned to do 3 miles of cool down after, but I wanted to cheer on my friends running the ten mile and then it took quite some time for the awards to get started, so 70 minutes after I'd finished running I was freezing and very tight, so I opted to skip my cool down. I did spend a lot of time running around the finish line, so surely that counts for something, right?

Sunday Planned: Recovery 5 miles 4x100
Sunday Actual: 5.3 miles of hiking out at Good Earth State Park. Gorgeous.

Total Mileage Planned: 41 miles

Total Mileage Actual: 34.4 miles

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weekly Reads: A Sense of the Infinite

A Sense of the Infinite is one of the last books on my list of books to read and review for the young adult book committee I'm on. Usually the last books I get to are a slog, because I tend to read the ones I'm most excited about right away. I was shocked at how my I loved this one! I read it in 3 sittings. It was a fast-paced, intense book. There was some content in there that may be triggering for some individuals (eating disorder, discussions of rape, abortion), but the way they are discussed is in an honest and mature manner, which I really appreciate. They weren't just thrown in for shock factor (which I can't stand! And is becoming more prevalent in teen books,  unfortunately). Loved this book!

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn’t prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe’s new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she’s been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it harder to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn’t prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don’t involve Annabeth. Without Noe’s constant companionship, Annabeth’s world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she’s really meant to be—with her best friend or without.