Thursday, June 29, 2017

Big Fall Goals

I have some big goals, some of them I've shared on here before, some of them I've kept, and will keep, to myself. I've very driven by goals, and have always been someone who has no problem setting goals and then working my butt off to achieve them. I was texting one of my running buddies, Courtney, the other day while ice bathing, and we were talking about fall race plans. She asked if I ended up deciding on a fall marathon and I said no, but that I was shooting for a half PR.

Uff da.

Saying it outloud makes it seem real and scary and really scary. My half marathon PR is from April 2011. It was in the middle of marathon training, while training for my third marathon. At that point in my running, I had two years of really strong, insanely consistent running under my belt. The time period of 2010-2011 is arguably the best distance shape I've ever been in.

So to look at this goal, it seems a little crazy on paper. My last half marathon was a 2:05. To take off 15 minutes from that time in six months, might seem impossible.

It has been so long since I've even thought a PR could be possible, that I'm letting the craziness take root and not be freaked out by it.

I've been running fairly consistently now for the past year and a half INJURY FREE. This is huge. I've added in functional strength training that has 100% changed my body's power, speed, and ability to hold up over longer distances. I've learned SO MUCH about running, and training, and injury prevention in the past 7 years, and using that knowledge has kept me healthy as well.

Additionally, training through the obnoxious heat in the summer here and then traveling to the east in mid-November for my goal race will only help me reach my goals.

Overall, I'm really excited to have big goals again, because that means I'm putting in the work to make them seem feasible. Regardless of if I PR in November, I'm just so darn excited to be running healthy and strong and loving running enough to be putting all the time and effort into the sport again.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Maintenance Training Week 5

Week of June 19-25

Monday: My BRF was FINALLY back in town. So we met up for some warm up miles before the weekly Parks and Rec 5k race. We got in two miles, the 3.01 of the race (it's a short course) followed by the slowest one mile cool down in all of the land. It felt like a brick mile.

There was a large group of SFWR at the race. YAY!

Tuesday: I got to the group run early to get in a leisurely 3 mile shake out run. It was finally cooler temps and my body was loving it! I did two miles of walk/run with the group before a 30 minute yin yoga class. Yay stretching.

Wednesday: I did a sweltering 3 miles with Toni at the group run. I texted her earlier in the week that maybe we could do a speedier/tempo-like run on Wednesday. And then some storms rolled through and it was 93 degrees with a million percent humdity. So a slow slog it was. Followed by some yoga.

Thursday: I went back and forth about a trail run or a rest day, finally opting at the last minute for a rest day. I had run 4 days in a row, so I thought I'd be smart and treat my body to an epsom bath instead of a run.

Friday: 60 minutes of POWER. I had planned to do 3 miles afterward but I jacked up my back pretty severely during POWER. And it got worse and worse throughout the day. By far the worst back pain I've ever had. I took an epsom bath immediately after POWER, took ibuprofen, used my myofascial release balls on my low back to release some of the tension, and I was still dyyyyying. Luckily my friend was able to get me in for an emergency massage right after work, which helped. An any icy hot back patch immediately after I got home. Ahhhh.

Saturday: I was still in pretty rough shape Saturday morning but had to teach yoga, so I modified class a bit so that my body could demo most of it as necessary. The yoga helped loosen up my back, but I was still a ways from normal.

Sunday: My back was still pretty tight, so I took another day off from running. Womp. I took a 60 minute slow flow yoga class followed by a 75 minute restorative yoga class.

Total Mileage: 14 miles.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Weekly Reads: Ramona Blue

Ramona Blue is the newest book by Julie Murphy. I absolutely LOVED
Dumplin' so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. Once I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down. It was a great story of relationships, love, hardship, and growing up. I would highly recommend it!

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Race Report: Parks and Rec 5k Week 3

For week 3 of the Parks and Rec 5k, the humidity had finally dropped. I think it was in the 30-40%. Wahoo! My legs felt really good during the warm up with Toni, unlike the previous week when I felt every mile of the 20 mile bike ride Kyle and I had gone up the previous day. I had texted Kyle earlier in the day that my goal was to be under 8:40, hopefully close to 8:30 pace.

There were a lot more runners this week, which I was really excited about. The race got going, and I started going, somewhere in the comfortably hard range. When the first mile came through in 8:13, I simultaneously thought SHIT, too fast and let's see how long I can hang on to this.

Mile 1 8:13

The second mile I definitely knew that quick of a pace wasn't sustainable, but I wanted to keep working hard. A gal passed me at this point, and I tried to attach a string to her mentally to pull me along, but she was getting stronger as I was getting more tired. At the halfway point, I did some quick race math and calculated that my finishing time could be just over 25 minutes if I didn't let up anymore. 12:36 at the halfway point (the course is short, so I basically assume I'm racing a 3 mile instead of a 5k).

Around the turn around I realized that Toni wasn't super far in front of me, so I set my sights on her back to chase. Somewhere during this time, I guy I usually run with, and we take turns beating each other at races, passed me, so I tried to use that to propel me faster as well.

Mile 2 8:28

I gave myself half a second to be annoyed at how far off pace I had fallen during the second mile, and instead focused on less than a mile remaining in the race. I had my watch set to tell me the average race pace, so I was focused on dropping that pace down as best as I could leading up to the finish. We had some shady spots in the final mile, so I told myself to run hard in the shade. The final quarter of a mile I tried to pick it up as hard as I could coming up on Toni. As soon as I got close to her, she turned on her turbo jets leaving me in her dust, but that also helped me find another gear to push along with her.

Mile 3 8:23 

.01 :02 seconds, 6:46 max pace

I ran 3.01 miles in 25:08 for a pace of 8:22!
164 Avg HR, 170 Max HR

I was so freakin' excited. And in looking at my first half split vs second half split, I actually ran stronger the second half of the race, despite the fast first mile 12:36/12:32. This is the fastest pace I've ran for 3 miles/3.1 miles since AUGUST 2011! Which is craziness. Of course I had to hop on McMillan running calculator to see what that translated to for other races, knowing full well that I'm a speedier runner than I am an endurance runner, so those calculations never really work for me, but whatever! If I can run those paces in 85 degrees, I'm pretty darn curious what I can do on a nice cool day! Can't wait to get the chance to figure it out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Podcasts Take 2

I spend a lot of time in my car driving back and forth from work, and I typically drive "into town" for my long runs on the weekend as well, and to do yoga, or cycle. So yeah, I spend a lot of time in my car. But that's cool, because I love my car (subie squad!). I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts, so here is installment #2 of podcasts that I'm currently loving. (installment 1 can be found here, a running specific installment here).

Surely everyone has listened to S-Town by now, but if you haven't, it totally lives up to the hype. I didn't listen to it compulsively from start to finish, but pretty close. The first episode was just meh for me, but after that I was way into it.

Serial Serial is a pretty silly concept for a podcast in that it's a podcast about a podcast (how very meta, eh?). But I first started listening when it was recapping the original Serial podcast, and it has touched on season 2 and a bit on S-Town as well.

The Ali on the Run Show is one of my newest adds to my listening channel. I used to read Ali's blog back in the day, and then I fell out of love with running and unfollowed all the running blogs (nothing like watching people love running, when you don't, right?). But I found her podcast and she seems like such a cool girl, that clearly us and our dogs need to be friends. I'm entertained, and I typically learn something new. What more could you want from a podcast?

Endurance Planet is a newer running podcast I've added to my rotation. Some of the posts are a little too technical for my liking (which is impressive because I love the technical!) but they're one of the only podcasts I've found that really dive in to the science behind running, and I obviously eat that up.

Relationship Alive is your weekly relationship counseling session that you don't have to pay for or coordinate a schedule with your partner to attend. For real. It's awesome. Last fall I listened to an episode every week during a long walk and it always gave such excellent advice and suggestions. If you think about it, no one ever teaches us *how* to be in a successful healthy relationship. We have our parents as an example, but if our parents relationship isn't identical to our partners parents' relationship (which the odds of that are like, one in a million, right?) then we're already starting off on a difficult foot. The host brings on experts of various areas of relationships, and it's just great.

What else do I need to add to the rotation?!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Maintenance Training Week 4

Week of June 12-18

Monday: Monday night I went to the June 5k series even though I did not want to run, I wanted to go home and eat ice cream directly out of the carton. I did a two mile warm up followed by a short 5k (3.01 miles).

Tuesday: Tuesday morning I taught a 30 minute yin yoga class, and ran two miles after. It was so hot and humid my recovery run took a year to finish. So much walking in the walk/run that it could be considered walking with a dash of running throw in.

Ollie and I did some core work together after.

Wednesday: I wanted to run some extra miles before the group run on Wednesday, but my stomach had other ideas. I waited it out and managed to get in 3 miles with Molly who was in town to visit from FL! And a full house for yoga after.

Thursday: I made my way out to Good Earth after work. I was so thankful that Sally was there to go to the less insane loop of the trail to get in some miles together. It was so muggy. Uff.

Friday: 60 minutes of POWER at Sanford to start the day at 5:30am. Followed by my first "long" run since Brookings. I was hoping for 6-8 miles, but with the trillion percent humidity I opted for six. My legs felt pretty tired from lifting, and I drank about 24 oz of water during that hour run.

Saturday: REST. Five days in a row of running, my legs were ready for a break.

Sunday: Recovery run in cooler temps (finally!). Felt effortless and I wanted to run forever, but I had to get to work. Managed to run through the carnival as they were taking down the rides, which was kind of fun to witness.

Total Mileage: 23.26 miles

Monday, June 19, 2017

Race Report: Parks and Rec 5k Week 2

Monday night was week two of the June 5k series. I skipped week 1 because it was 90+ degrees. No thank you. It was so much cooler this week (sarcasm font) at 83 degrees and too much humidity. I was planning to bail on the run, but somehow talked myself into just going to get some miles in. I did a two mile warm up with 4x100m strides and then did some leg swings and glute stretches. 

I started the race hoping I could be near-ish my pace from the last 5k I ran, 8:40. So when I started off in the 8:15 range I thought to myself, oops. A half mile into the race I settled into my pace a little better. I was pacing off of some 3k racers, and when they turned around I was all by my lonesome. And my pace reflected it.

Mile 1 8:46

One of my fellow SFWR was not too far behind me, so that kept me moving forward. I was in third for females and during the out and back turn around I counted to determine I was in tenth overall. At the halfway point I checked my time, knowing the course would be right around 3 even instead of 3.1 and hoped to finish around 26:40. 

Mile 2 9:06

The final mile I was all by myself so I focused on just moving forward, trying to pick up the pace during the shaded portions of the course. I was pooped and just ready to be done. I picked up the pace a little bit the last half mile to inch my overall pace under 9 minutes.

Mile 3 8:59

I ran 3.01 miles in 26:58 for a pace of 8:58.

I look forward to future weeks and hopefully more of my runner friends to show up (mostly to help push me, lolz).

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trail Running

About a year ago, I went for my first group run on trails. It was love at first sight! I wasn't running a ton, but I was almost always at that weekly group run. And since I was just getting back in to running, and it was summer and hot, I was dreadfully slow and pokey and sometimes felt like roadkill.

I haven't had many opportunities to get back out there yet this year, plus trail running didn't really go along with my fast half marathon goal for the spring, but now that my training is a lot more relaxed for the next month and a half, I'm really excited to get back out on the trails.

The focus is so much different than running on the road. I find myself paying zero attention to my pace, walking/hiking when I need to, stopping to take pictures when the beautiful scenery demands it. I'm hoping I can making the Thursday night trail runs a constant this summer. I even bought a pair of trail shoes (eeps!).

Now searching for: pug gaiters.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Race Report: PurpleStride 5k

This was the first year for the PurpleStride 5k for Pancreatic Cancer. Several months ago, a friend of mine got a team together: SFWR Light Savers. Yes, bonus points for the best name ever, and a bunch of my friends and gals from our running group joined. Over the course of a few months (and a really awesome final 48 hour push) we raised over $1200 for pancreatic cancer research. 

Since it was the first year for this event, I expected it to be small, and was planning to give them a million passes as some fundraising events have some flaws or things that might not be thought of because typically non-runners are putting them on. Not this group. I arrived at the event super early so I could get in a warm up, and there were tents set up, music playing, tons and tons of volunteers. The same-day packet pick up was super quick, and a sweet volunteer even offered to put my "I wage hope for My Mom" bib on my back for me. So sweet.

I did my warm up miles (hot and toasty) and then met back up with friends and team members.

Yay Light Savers!

There was an awesome opening ceremonies thirty minutes before the event, honoring survivors, and talking about how important the fundraising is to help find early detection and better treatment options for pan can. There were over 550 people there for the event (!!!!) and over $56,000 raised ($$$$$$). Giant thanks to anyone who donated to the cause. 

At 9am, it was time for the race. They had an awesome balloon archway, and no one would line up at the front, so I made my friend Jordanne line up there with me. 

So of course I lead the race for the first 5-10 seconds. Hah.

My body had felt pretty terrible for the past couple of weeks, so I wasn't sure what I was capable of for a hard-isa 5k. Toni had ran a 10k at altitude (Bolder Boulder) last weekend, so I asked her if she thought I could hold her 10k altitude pace for a 5k. So that's how I came up with a goal time. Totally scientific. 8:34 pace, ok!

The first mile felt pretty strong, I started around 8:40ish and was dropping my pace down to the mid to lower 8:30s and it didn't feel terrible. Yet I was shocked that everyone ahead of me also seemed to be speeding up and putting some distance on me. I was sitting in 8th female for the first mile or so, and finally moved up to 6th after a bit.

Mile 1 8:36

I was feeling pretty good during the second mile as well, which was shocking because it was pushing 80 degrees and we all know how Jerbear feels about running/racing in the heat. Barf. I did REALLY want some water though. I failed to drink water after my warm up and was dealing with stomach issues before the race, so I was pretty dehydrated to start. At the turn around, we had to run up a small set of stairs and then head back down the opposite side. Nothing terrible but my legs felt really heavy after and it took me awhile to get back into a groove. I picked up the pace towards the end of the mile, but my mile time really looks like I took it easy. Ha.

Mile 2 8:50

The mile markers were all wonky the second half of the race, so I wasn't sure if the race would end up being super short or what. I think the two mile sign was around 1.75 miles, or something really early like that, but it ended up being pretty close to perfectly 5k. I was impressed. One of the coolest parts of the race was a Boston Marathon banner/rug/sign laid on the trail a mile from the finish line. (To read one of the coolest/saddest/most inspiration stories check out this local families pancreatic cancer Boston Marathon story here). I thought about the Scott family as I ran over the mat, as well as my own dreams to run and cross the Boston Marathon some day, knowing my mom will be right there with me.

With a mile to go there was a group of three gals in front of me that I was slowly gaining on. That lit a small fire underneath me as I thought it would be really awesome to come in top three female for a race that was so important to me. The last mile and a half of the race was directly into the sun with little to no tree cover, and it was slowly causing me to putz out. I kept noticing my pace slip and then I would pick it up, and back and forth as my watch got closer to three miles. I tried to start a kick with a half mile to go. With a quarter of a mile to go, two of my teammates that I had never met before race morning came up on me, and Betsy clapped me on the back and told me, "let's go" and that my mom was there with me cheering me on. Which really helped give me that final boost to finish strong.

Mile 3 8:41

.08 :32 (6:45 avg, 6:24 max)

I finished in 26:41 with an average pace of 8:40.

I was shocked at how close I was to my race goal pace, especially in some crazy warm conditions!! It gets me excited for the summer 5k series.

Thanks again to anyone who joined our team, wished me well for the race, donated money, or has been there for me. Events like this really make me hopeful that research can advance and improve our survival rates to eliminate other families from suffering like my mom did.


Here's some local news coverage of the event (and me leading the race for 5 seconds, LOLZ).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Maintenance Training Week 3

Week of June 5-11

Monday: I took a rest day. It was my mom's birthday and a million degrees out so Kyle and I went out to dinner to celebrate her, and then spent time together after spending the weekend apart.

Tuesday: Tuesday morning I LED my very first group run! Wahoo. The new yoga and cycling studio that just opened in town wanted to add a run and flow so I was super excited to take the lead on it. I had originally planned to get there super early to run 2-3 miles before but I wanted to make sure I knew how to set up my music with their sound system and figure out how to lock up while someone was there to show me! I did two miles with two of my friends and one of their pups. For future Tuesdays I hope to get there early to get in 5 miles total.

After the run we did a 30 minute yoga class. You know what's hard? Teaching a 30 minute yoga class! Sixty minutes never seems like enough time so 30 minutes was almost impossible!!

Wednesday: My BRF surprised me by coming home a day early to come yoga and the group run. Naturally we were dressed identically without any pre-planning other than, on Wednesdays we wear pink. The miles flew by and it made me realize I missed her even more than I originally thought! We did 3 miles followed by 60 minutes of HOT deck yoga. So warm. There's a reason I don't practice heated yoga. Woof.

Thursday: I had planned to do an awesome yoga class with a well-renown yogi/doctor and then I was going to do a trail run/walk/hike to get in some miles for the week, and then by the time work was over, I just wanted to go home and go to bed. I went to bed at 8pm. :/

Friday: I was up bright and early for the return of POWER. 60 minutes of lifting and dynamic moves later I was ready to start the rest of my day. Man I love power.

Saturday: Thanks to the heat wave I had zero desire to get out and run. Originally I was going to do a 10k/5k, but decided early on in the week that record heat probably wasn't the best time for me to race. Then I was going to volunteer for the race but I was still exhausted from the pug being sick earlier in the week.

Sunday: I convinced Kyle to head out for a bike ride with me, it was so roasty toasty I was thankful I had a reason to skip my run. We biked 20 miles and have the sore butts to prove it!

Total Mileage: 5 miles running, 20 miles biking

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Training Book: Running Science

I absolutely love reading books about running and training. Anytime I'm excited about something, I have to read, read, read as much as I can to learn everything I can about the topic. I've been reading running and training books for years and years, but I'm always excited to add something new to the bookshelf.

Running Science is the newest one I've picked up as it was referenced in the last book I read. I'm excited to tear my way through it, but it is a pretty decent sized book, so we'll see.

What are your favorite running related books?

Summary from Goodreads:

More than 50 years ago, New Zealand's Arthur Lydiard started using terms like base training, periodization, and peaking. His U.S. counterpart, Bill Bowerman, brought Lydiard's term for what until then had been called roadwork, or jogging, to the States. Soon after, the 1970s running boom started, spurred by exercise-advocating research from the growing fields of exercise science and sports medicine and from enthusiasts such as Jim Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running. One of Bowerman's former runners at the University of Oregon, Phil Knight, saw to it that those millions of new runners had swoosh-adorning footwear designed specifically for their sport.

The pace of knowledge enhancement and innovation has, in fact, been so brisk through the years that even highly informed runners could be excused for not keeping up, but no longer.Running Science is a one-of-a-kind resource:

- An easily comprehended repository of running research

- A wealth of insights distilled from great sport and exercise scientists, coaches, and runners

- A do-it-right reference for a host of techniques and tactics

- An array of the most credible and widely used training principles and programs

- Perhaps most of all, a celebration of the latest science-based know-how of running, now truly the world's most popular sport

Elite running coach Owen Anderson presents this comprehensive work in a compelling way for runners. A PhD and coach himself, Anderson has both a great enthusiasm for sharing what scientific studies offer the running community and a keen sense of what's really important for today's informed runners to know.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Yoga Rocks the Park

In March of 2015, I started my 200 hour yoga teacher training through Lotus House of Yoga in Omaha, Nebraska. They sent staff up to Sioux Falls every other weekend for 5 months as we got to open up their brains and pour their knowledge into ours.

One of my favorite teachers organizes an awesome outdoor donation based yoga class that is on Sunday afternoons. Last summer, I tried to coordinate a weekend trip down there, hoping to take my mom along because I thought she'd enjoy just listening to the music and soaking up the energy, but either the weather wasn't good, my schedule didn't work, or my mom was too sick. Since it was her birthday weekend last weekend, I wanted to make sure I did fun stuff to celebrate her to keep myself from being in a state of mourning.

So Emily and I packed up after our 5k and drove down to Omaha. And since I had never actually been to Lotus before, that was our second stop! Home! or H (om) E. I finally snagged myself a coveted cat/cow tank top and then we popped over to the Farmer's Market.

I felt like we totally earned brunch after our sweaty walks to Lotus and through the Farmer's Market, but I had to be lame and abstain from alcohol because I was so nervous about the heat. This ginger/lemon/sparkling deliciousness was spot on, and I chugged about a gallon of water to prepare. The guac+toast+egg was what brunch dreams were made of.

It was record heat through the weekend, so Emily and I were nervous about outdoor yoga. I DON'T LIKE HEAT. I was drinking water like crazy and we showed up at the event two hours early to scope out a shady spot. We snagged them early on and were sweating just sitting on our mats. I got to see my two favorite yoga teachers and we shared hugs.

And then class started and it started to sprinkle. With the bluest of skies and brightest sun. And then it started to rain a little harder, quickly turning to flash flood level downpour, but we were so hot that we just kept flowing. And then the sound system cut out and we listened closer to MC's cues, just smiling and laughing through it all.

It was the most magical and awesome yoga class of my life. And as we wrapped up savasana the insanely oppressive heat was back, and we were on our way back to SoDak. Craziness.