Monday, July 31, 2017

Ice Cream Run

Last spring, Kyle and I bought new house in a new town neighboring the city we've lived in for years. I was just starting to get back into running, and saw runners out all of the time, and wanted to shout out my window, "MY NAME IS JERI PLEASE BE MY FRIEND!" But didn't want anyone getting a restraining order on me.

So instead, I planned an ice cream run to start and end at a delicious ice cream shop in town. There's a super cute walking path surrounding a lake with a fountain. I invited all of the SFWR gals, and emphasized to tag their friends that are runners in my new town! And it was planned, and it was glorious, and over 40 runners and their family members showed up to run, eat ice cream, and socialize.

A few weeks ago we had our 2nd annual event. I had it scheduled for early July in hopes that runners who are starting to train for fall races could socialize and meet new running buddies to train with! I let the store owner know that we were coming (which I failed to do last summer, oops), and I was so excited how many people were planning to come.

And then it was hot. Like really hot. Like, if I hadn't been the one to coordinate the event, I would've bailed and not thought twice about it. I had planned to run 3-4 miles, including 1 there, 1 home, and however far during. I stepped outside and couldn't breathe. I barely left my block before I had to take walk breaks. gulp.

My weather app said the real feel was 102 degrees. Oh mah gawwww.

I mostly walked there with a few jog breaks thrown in. A group of lovely women braved the heat to join me and we ran varying distances.

 I think I managed .63 miles and not a step more. 

And then it was on to the ice cream.

At some point during the ice cream consumption I bailed on the walk/run home and called Kyle to come and get me.

Whoever plans this run next year should pick way nicer weather for it.

Friday, July 28, 2017

605 Series 4 Mile Race Goals

Last weekend, I was looking ahead to week 3 of our training plan and fired off a frantic text to Toni, "holy crap we're racing next weekend already!" We had signed up for the 605 Race Series a few months ago, and they've been on the calendar since then, but somehow it's already the end of July and I'm just not sure how that happened!

The race series is a 4 mile, 8 mile, and 12 mile every other Sunday leading up to the Sioux Falls half. I was hesitant about signing up, because I know that "racing" 4/8/12 leading up to the half won't benefit my training, my Toni insisted we sign up, and not race them. And duh. She's totally right. The race series supports my favorite running store, their wheelchair race adventures, it's super cheap, there's awesome prizes, and even though they say it's low/no frills, I won at least 1 nice pair of running socks last year, and to me that's MUCHOS FRILLS!

The plan for Sunday's four miles includes 8 miles with 4 at tempo-ish. This is the one race of the series I'm actually planning to all-out race. I think we'll do a 2-3 mile warm up, 4 miles race and then 1-2 mile cool down.

Based on my best 3 mile of this summer, McMillan puts me at an 8:30 pace for the 4 miles. That'll be my A goal for Sunday.

My last 5k was at a 8:39 pace, so I'd be pretty happy if I could do 4 miles at that, especially if the weather is more favorable than it was on the fourth.

Otherwise, my last, and only, 4 mile race was during this series last year, and I completed it in 9:06 pace. Our tempo paces have been around 9:05-9:15 in the 100% humidity over the past few weeks, so  4 miles at tempo would still be a great workout for the day.

Either way, I'm looking forward to running and racing with a bunch of my friends and supporting our local running store.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ollie's Birthday Celebration

It was my sweet pugbear's adoptiversary last month. Five years ago we rescued her, and she's truly my best friend on the planet. A couple of days prior to her birthday/adoptiversary, she was very sick, almost unresponsive, and I didn't think she was going to make it through the night. I was terrified and inconsolable. Eventually I fell asleep with her by my side, fully expecting her to not wake up in the morning. Somewhere in the middle of the night, she woke up and started licking her paws, a totally normal thing for her to do. And at another point, she got up, twirled around and snuggled up closer to me, another totally Ollie thing to do.

The next morning she was still really out of it, but not nearly as scary as she was the night before. I took her to the vet asap and they couldn't find anything wrong with her. They, and I, suspect she had some doggy vertigo, and is 100% back to normal now. THANK GOD.

At one point during the night I may have whispered into her sweet ear that if she made it through the night I would no longer portion out her meals, and she could eat as much as she wanted whenever she wanted.

Well. I sort of made good on that promise by purchasing $50 of treats and things for her at Shopdog to celebrate her birthday. Including dog beer, yes that's a thing, yes I went with the pug porter for obvious reasons.

I love you Ollie Girl, and I hope that your promise to live forever comes true, because I can't imagine a world with you!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Training Week 2

Week of July 17-23

Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 7 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100
Monday Actual
General Aerobic + Speed 7 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100
Toni and I left our houses at 5:15am to meet up and get in our miles before she had to be home to shower and head down south for a training for work. We meet about a mile from our houses, and we both started laughing as soon as we saw each other. Even when we don't plan to dress alike, we do.

There are zero hills in the town we live, so we found the one incline, and used that for our 6 repeats. We did those during the 3rd mile. Miles 5 & 6 included the 100 m strides. It felt awesome to have 7 miles done before 6:30am!

Tuesday Planned
General Aerobic 5 miles 
Tuesday Actual: I lead a group run and 30 minute express yoga class on Tuesdays, so I got there extra early to get in 2 solo miles. I took them very slow and leisurely. The air was so incredibly thick and heavy. I met up with Sarah for the last 3 miles which we also took very slow and leisurely for 5 total miles of recovery.

I didn't work until noon on Tuesday, so after our run, I treated myself to a lavender epsom salt bubble bath with a side of caffeine. I kept having nightmares all night that I slept in and missed leading the run and yoga so I ended up getting up at 4:24am, and was feeling the effects of that anxiety. Uff.

Wednesday Planned LT 8 miles, 16 min, 12 min with 4 min jogs in between 
Wednesday Actual: L
T 8 miles, 16 min, 12 min with 4 min jogs in between 
I only worked until noon on Wednesday, so the original plan was to do this workout before and during the group run at the running store. Unfortunately, the heat advisory caused us to change our minds. It was a real feel of 105-110, so we met in the morning before work. It was so thick and swampy out. Uff da. The tempo miles were hard, but doable. I wished I had brought my water bottle and maybe a GU. I was tired by the time we were done. **I also got a 2 hour massage...... ahhhhhh.....**

Thursday Planned
Thursday Actual: Rest. Since I ran long Saturday and had some recovery miles to make up on Sunday, I yet again had ran 5 days in a row without a break. I had to do my log run Friday, so I knew I needed to take a rest day, plus I was exhausted. So tired.

Friday Planned: Sanford POWER + Endurance 10 miles
Friday Actual: I went to an All American Rejects concert on Thursday night and didn't get home until Midnight. And I drank coffee at 6pm to help me not fall asleep before AAR went on. The adrenaline from the concert plus the caffeine meant that I didn't fall asleep until 2:30 ish. When my alarm went off at 4:45am, I rolled over and went back to bed. The thunderstorms rolled through shortly thereafter, causing my long run to be cancelled too.

Saturday PlannedRest
Saturday Actual: I had to work on Saturday. After my long run was stormed out on Friday, I briefly considered waking up VERY early to get it in Saturday before work, but another line of storms were projected for the early morning, so it got pushed to Sunday. Which I hate. BUT my BRF who was going to be out of town all weekend, came home in time to run with me on Sunday, making my decision to push the run just a-ok in my book.

Sunday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 3 mile
Sunday Actual: Endurance 10 miles.

Long run with the BRF! It was SO MUCH COOLER than it has been, omg. I don't know how many times we were talking about how beautiful it was out. It was in the mid to high 60s and maybe hit 70 by the time we finished. It felt a little humid when we first started, but it really let up and felt glorious. I had to take a million bathroom stops (or so it felt) but after the last one we picked up the pace just a little bit to finish the last 3 miles strong. Our miles were eerily consistent. Like I couldn't run that consistent if I tried. Creepy. 

Also got in a 60 minute slow candlelight yoga flow followed by 60 minutes of restorative yoga. I've been running #allofthemiles and doing #noneoftheyoga outside of what I've been teaching, and my hips and psoas are in desperate need of some TLC!

Total Mileage Planned: 33 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  33 miles! 2nd highest mileage week of the entire year, and probably the second highest mileage week of the last 2.5 years, if we're being specific, but I'm too lazy to check. :P

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

All American Rejects Concert

Earlier this summer, All American Rejects and Dashboard Confessionals announced their touring schedule. I was so ecstatic that they were coming near-ish to me. I barely had to ask Toni if she was interested and she said yes. And THEN AAR announced that they were going to headline a small show in Sioux Falls. EVEN BETTER.

We snagged ourselves VIP tickets and hung out not drenched in sweat wearing running clothes (this is a rarity).

See look! Proof! Interesting story: Toni was shopping and almost bought an identical dress to mine to wear to the concert. I shouldn't be surprised, but it made me LOL nonetheless. 

We opted for the VIP tickets since they're on the balcony and we're both shorties, but then we got stuck behind tall people and when you're already up, and then looking up, guess who doesn't see the stage? Short girls.

Luckily as the opener went on, drunk people needed to use the restroom and get more to drink so we slid our way into their spots, finally landing on the BEST POSSIBLE SPOTS. Like right up on the railing, front and center. And to make it EVEN BETTER, the super drunk chick next to me who kept whapping me on the arm with her giant mane of hair, was buffered by one of her friends so I no longer had to deal with her hair sweating to my body upon impact.

I barely took any photos because concert photos never turn out, so why waste your time, and just enjoy it, right? Toni did snag some with her better iPhone camera, so I borrowed some of those.

One of the first compliments that I ever got from Toni was shortly after we became friends, when she complimented me on my yoga playlist and said that we had really similar taste in music. Thank goodness I have a concert buddy to help me relive the good ol' days!

As the concert was winding down, I asked Toni to guess the encore song. And then I chuckled and told her the set list was right below me. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tips for Running in the Heat + Humidity

Living in the Midwest, we get the best of both sets of horrific weather: the crazy winter weather with snow/ice/sleet and crazy below zero temperatures as well as sweltering heat and humidity. I would much prefer the insane cold than the sweltering heat, but in order for me to be in great shape for a cool fall/early winter race, I have to run through the insane heat of the summer. Sigh.

In the past, I've bitched and complained my way through summer training. Tons of walk breaks, skipped runs during the unfavorable temps, etc. etc. This year I'm embracing the summer heat, using the heat miles as mental training for hard races to go. I also think that running throughout the summer heat will make my heart even more chill and relaxed when it comes to cooler race mornings in the fall.

With that being said, it's still not easy to run through the summer heat and humidity, far from it. And after having tons and tons of runs ending with me waving the white flag, walking home, sitting on the side of the trail/sidewalk pouting, wishing for a meteor to strike me, here are some tips I have for making summer running not suck quite so much:

  • Drink + carry all of the water. Now this should be obvious, but it never fails, I head out for that first blazing hot run of the spring/summer, and I don't bring my handheld because I'm only going 3 or 4 miles, and who needs water for a 3 or 4 miler? Well I do. Especially when it's 85-100 degrees. Even if I'm not running and I'm just looking out the window in that level of heat, I need to be hydrating! I also spend the day before long runs and workouts super hydrating. I've started tracking my hydration again, and I make damn sure on those days before that I'm hitting my goal and then some. I end up spending ALL DAY LONG in the bathroom, but whatever, it's necessary.

  • Plan your route to refill water. Oh, another tip that involves water? Why not. YES it's that important. On a recent 10 mile long run, I drank 30 oz of water. I carry a 12 oz handheld water bottle, and filled it up once during the run, chugged half of it, and then filled it up the rest of the way. My run was 100% better after that point. None of this sip occasionally stuff. When it's hot, you need to stay ahead of the hydration, so drink frequently and refill often.
  • Wear the lightest loose fitting clothing. My hot, HOT wardrobe is almost always the same: white hat, black shorts (to hide the significant ass/crotch sweat that will inevitably be there), and the lightest weight, lightest color tank that is clean for the day. I bought a purple tank from Nike a few years back, and it reminds me of the t-shirt that Kyle has had since he was a sophomore in high school. So worn down that it's threadbare and see through. Well that's how this tank top is, and it basically feels like you're not wearing a shirt, and that right there is pure bliss on a hot hot day. Or just shed the damn shirt (but plan to load up the sunscreen first, because there are parts of you that probably aren't used to being on display in the blazing sun for the run).
  • Adjust your pace/goal. When I'm training, I don't have a goal per say for the pace we're shooting for on a long run day. My goal is to complete the miles with little to no walk breaks. I know a lot of people train with planned walk breaks and that works perfect for them, but for me, if I walk during my training runs, it gives my brain permission to walk in races when it gets hard. I always try to start hot long runs even more conservatively than normal, ignoring pace almost completely, only focusing on perceived effort via heart rate. I know that once my heart rate gets to a certain point, the only thing I can do is walk to get it to come down, so I'd much rather take it very easy so I can complete my goal of getting in the miles with little to no breaks in the running (water refill exceptions excluded).
  • Wake up early. Barf. I know this is an unpopular one, at least for me. I hate getting up early to run. My stomach is always angry, and my legs feel so tired and old in the morning. Ugh, woe is me. BUT if I have a workout (workout=speed work or long run) you'd best believe I'm up as early as I can physically function to get it in. I do still think it's important to do some of your super easy/general aerobic paced runs in the insane heat so that you're not completely blind-sided if your race day is blazing hot (heaven help me if my goal race in Oct. or mid-November is in blazing heat, I will FREAK OUT!!!). It's already stressful on your body to run long or do a tempo run or speed session, so it's best to take out the extra variable of stress that is heat and/or humidity.
What tips am I missing? I used to be an ice-bather after these runs, but I've gotten wussy in my old age. :|

Friday, July 21, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Lottery Results

Last spring, it was decided that Toni and I would enter the lottery for the Twin Cities 10 mile. We're both doing the Twin Cities Marathon in 2018 (my first in 4 years, her first EVER) and I thought it would be really cool to do the 10 mile the year prior, both to get to experience the excitement of the race, cheer on all our SFWR friends doing the full, and also get a reminder of what the last 8 miles of the marathon are, because they're some challenging miles!

It was decided. I took vacation time from work, I booked us a super expensive hotel at the finish line that has a shuttle to the race start. So then we waited until July 7. And waited. And waited. All along, just knowing and expecting to get in.

Finally the last day for lottery registrations was upon us, so the next morning I woke up checked my email and credit card report expecting to see a race fee/race confirmation and didn't see either. What? I looked closer at the website, and realized that lottery entries wouldn't be determined until Wednesday, the following day. Ugh.

Wednesday morning Toni and I were up super early to run. As soon as I got home, I again pulled up my email and credit card report expecting to see good news. Nope. Hmmm.... I had story times all morning at work, so I had Toni checking her email and texting me to alert me with good news. Nothing.

We have a group Facebook page for our running group, and a few of our friends started to post the they were in. Uh... nothing yet here. Shit. The email instructions said that the lotteries were being drawn on a rolling schedule that could take up to 8 hours, so I didn't panic.


I worked a partial day on Wednesday because I was scheduled to work the weekend, and got in a glorious nap as I'd been getting up in the 4's most of the week to run. I woke up around 5:30pm and was devastated not to see an email. STILL. BUT there also wasn't a sorry to inform you email either, so there's still hope, right?

Around this time I started stalking all of the Medtronic TC 10 event posts on Facebook, and it appeared that many many other people still hadn't heard anything and their appeared to be some technical issues of people getting an email that they didn't get in, and then one that they did get in, groups of people who signed up as a team where some of them had heard they were in and others nothing. This all calmed my nerves slightly, but I still started looking closer at the Crazy Horse half, our back up plan, as well as lodging in the area.

I went to teach yoga, checked my email before, and immediately after class, and still nothing. At 8:06pm (class ends at 8pm) Toni called me. "Check your email!" Huh... I just had. "We got in!" I made her forward me the email as proof, as I still didn't have anything, and sure enough, an hour later I got my email too!

I'm so excited to take the shortcut to the capital in October! Because only crazy people would've put in 50 miles of training for a race that they're not even officially "in" for, right?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Napping Rules

I've learned a few things about running, racing, and training over my years of trial and error. One of the best training tips I learned when I was training for my first marathon, and I learned it by accident. Once my long run mileage got up there in the 2-3+ hour range, I would naturally nap after I got done and showered, and my nap almost always equaled my long run time.

And it stuck.

I think sleep is such an important part of recovery and training, but I also know that most of us go to bed early Friday night so we can be up early to run on Saturday, and if we didn't nap after the run on Saturday, then we'll be in bed by 7pm yet again. And that makes for a boring social life. I realize I'm lucky in that I don't have any obligations other than Kyle and my pug baby, and they can both usually be talked into taking a nap with me. And if Kyle can't, then surely he's got some project somewhere to work on, leaving Pugbear and I to snooze on and on.

So give it a try during your next long run. And if anyone tries to give you any guff about it, just tell them that Jeri said you had to. Surely that'll work. :P

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Mile Training Week 1

Week of July 10-16

Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 6 miles 8x100 strides
Monday Actual: 6 miles with 8x100 strides.

When my alarm went off in the morning, I silenced it, rolling back over to sleep. I hoped that I wouldn't regret this decision after work. Luckily for me, we had the heat after work, but the humidity had dropped significantly. It was 84 degrees with only 50% humidity, so it felt amazing out. We had a snafu at work that caused me to stay later, so I started running at 6:15pm, so I was STARVING throughout the run and thought I was going to die during the final mile and a half. Uff. Mental note: time to start stashing snacks at work for pre-run fuel again. 6 miles done!

Tuesday Planned
General Aerobic 5 miles 
Tuesday Actual: 3 miles.

I met up with Sarah for our group run from Revolution. We got in 3 miles followed by 30 minutes of yoga. I had planned to go out for two more after but didn't. Oops. The humidity was just shy of 100%, so despite it being at a nice easy comfortable pace, we kept describing the humidity as "gaspy."

Wednesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 3 miles
Wednesday Actual: 3 miles.
I got in my 3 miles with Bob during the group run at 605. It was so incredibly hot and humid.

Thursday Planned: LT 7 miles, 2x12 min with 4 min jogs in between 
Thursday Actual: LT 7 miles.

My BRF is back! And it's our one year friendivarsary! We met up for our first workout of the training cycle. We ran a mile to meet up, then another warm up mile together, followed by our LT miles, a cool down mile together and a solo cool down mile by ourselves. The LT miles were HARD. It was so humid out. But it felt pretty badass going on with the rest of my workday after accomplishing a challenging run! And BRF miles are always great. 

Friday Planned: Sanford POWER
Friday Actual: Rest. As I was logging my miles in my training log, I realized that I hadn't taken a rest day since a week ago Wednesday. Uff. I knew if I did POWER I'd need to do a couple of miles shake out so I could do my long run Saturday, and I knew I couldn't move my long run, so I skipped POWER, and slept in instead.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 10 miles
Saturday Actual: 10 miles!

The real feel temp for Saturday was projected at 103 degrees, so I was up at 5:30am to get ready for our long run. We got started at 6:40am and it was so incredibly humid. I was sweaty just getting my stuff gathered before we took off! My first mile was really heavy tired legs, but then things shook out and before we knew it we were at the 5 mile turn around! Mile 6 was rough, but after we got water refills at mile 7 I felt like a whole new woman, and we were able to pick up the pace the last few miles without picking up the effort level.

We managed to run a slightly faster pace this week than last week, running 2 miles further, in much hotter and humid conditions. WIN!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: I had two miles remaining for the week, so I opted to do a super easy shake out run before it heated up too much. I kept it super easy.

Total Mileage Planned: 31 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  31 miles. This is one of the highest mileage weeks I've had in forever! I went back through my log and I hit 31 miles and 36 miles during my training cycle for Brookings, so I think this training cycle is off to a good start!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weekly Reads: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is a must read. By any teen, any adult, any one. It was so eye opening, and important and a very timely sad, real book. It was incredibly long, but I can't imagine any part of it being cut out. I listened to the majority of it on audio, and the narration was amazing! My audiobook expired, so I had to read the last portion. Read it now.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Things I Am Loving Right Now

It's been awhile since I've posted about things that I'm loving right now. But here's a new one!

  • Playing House
Every podcast I follow had the two lead actresses/writers on their show prior to the newest season's premiere, and I realized that I needed to be watching this show. Luckily I have access to all of the previous seasons and episodes on demand, so I've been watching every spare second. It reminds me how important good friends are.

  • Running in the Morning
I know. Hear me out. I hate running in the morning. But it has been hotter than hell here, roughly all summer long, so I've been forced to run early in the morning on most days. I'm still doing easy shorter runs in the heat of the day to keep working on heat acclimation, but long runs and speed work are starting in the 5's for sure.

  • J Crew Daybreak Dress
One of my good friends from college sent me a text last week with a super cute dress that I needed. And she was correct, I needed it. And because it was J Crew Factory and all sale items were an additional 50% off, I also needed the rest of the dresses in that style. Three dresses later.... I think I'm set on my work wardrobe for a little bit.

  • Watermelon
I can't tell you how many runs I've gotten through lately knowing that there's a ginormous bowl full of watermelon waiting for me at home in the fridge. It's basically like mega hydrating but more delicious. I'm going to ignore the fact that my stomach seems to be hating the watermelon consumption. Everything that tastes good, right stomach? Kewl.

Anything else you're loving right now that I should add to my list?!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Mile Lottery

My running buddy, Toni and I signed up for the Twin Cities 10 Mile lottery last weekend. It's open for 10 days before participants are selected. I ran the race in 2010 and desperately would like to run it again this year since I'm planning to run the TCM full in 2018 (eeps!) We registered as a team so we'll either get in together or not.

I have a room booked at the finish line that has a shuttle to the start for roughly a million dollars a night, so that'll be fun and not break the bank at all. There are a few other Sioux Falls lady runners who are applying for the lottery as well, so hopefully we can have a full room to cut down the cost a bit.

A few of my runner friends were talking about the Crazy Horse Half Marathon the following weekend, so we decided that will be our back up plan if TC10 doesn't work out.

Cross your fingers for us please!!

Also, it's totally our one year runnerfriendivarsary today, so yay us! Thanks for being my BRF Toni! You've made the last year of running way more fun than it has been in a really long time!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Maintenance Training Week 7

Week of July 3-9

Monday: I had Kyle convinced to join me on his bike for 2-3 miles to accompany me after work for my run. And then I stepped outside, and could barely breathe. So we scrapped the run instead. And ate ice cream out of the carton. Perfect race eve fuel. Duh.

Tuesday: Lennox Firecracker 5k. Had planned to get in 6 miles for the day and got in 3.13 and not a step more. I did walk a good mile afterward just trying to get my heart rate to come down.

Wednesday: It was so hot and humid that I convinced my yoga class to do yoga inside instead of on the beautiful deck, and I skipped my run. So hot, so cranky. We did a lovely 60 minutes of yin stretching inside.

Thursday: And after a few days of hades level temps, I finally vowed to start running in the morning. Thank goodness. I ran from my house and met Toni about a mile in to the run, we did 3 miles together and then I headed home for 5 miles total.

Friday: Back to POWER. I was sweating my ass off in the middle of our warm up. So that's embarrassing. We had a week off, so I knew I'd be sore, so I made myself take a really easy 2 mile jog after to flush out my legs a bit.

Obsessed with my new Oregon Track Club tank.

Saturday: We had our first long run in quite awhile. We had planned for 6-8 and knocked 8 out of the park. My stomach was a little iffy on the final mile, but it felt really good otherwise. Our splits were insanely even and it was great to have my running buddy back!

I taught a 60 minute yoga class after with lots of hip openers because I realized I couldn't demo any warriors or lunges without opening my hips. Oops.

Sunday: Rest. Sweet sweet rest. And core work. But mostly rest.

Total Mileage: 20.2 miles

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weekly Reads: We Are Okay

We Are Okay is the newest book by Nina LaCour and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was surprised at how small the book it was for the type of heavy material it was covering. I really enjoyed the way the story was slowly revealed; it had me very invested. I did feel like the story could've been longer than it was.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Race Report: Firecracker 5k

On the 4th of July I did the Lennox Firecracker 5k. I've done the 10k twice and this is my second year doing the 5k. Leading up to the race, I looked up my previous 5k time there to see if maybe a course PR was in the works. 24:06? No. Nope. I did want to go out hard and just see how long I could hang on to it. It was 97% humidity and 73 degrees, but you never know unless you try right?

I got up early and really wished that I hadn't signed up at 10:18pm the night before, because I wanted to keep sleeping. Kyle agreed to come to the race with me which was great, but he was taking his jolly sweet time getting ready and we ended up leaving our house 10 minutes after I had hoped to be at the race start for my warm up run. Womp. By the time we got there and I picked up my race bib, it was already time to meet up for our group picture and then the picture got taken late so I STILL didn't have time to do a warm up, and it was basically time to start. Harumph. I did get in my glute band exercises and leg swings.

The race started after three failed firecracker duds, with a whistle, and we were off. I told Courtney that I'd ignore my watch, and I listened, for the most part. I was running with a group of ladies in my running group and wanted to stay with them as best I could. Within a few minutes I was already drenched in sweat. I could feel myself slowing down toward the end of the first mile, which makes sense because the one peek I did take at my watch was in the 7's. Oops.

Mile 1 8:15

During the second mile I focused on catching up to a handful of people in front of me. My friends had pulled away a bit, but I thought I could still catch a second wind and pull off a good kick to catch up with them! After I caught up to that small handful, I was pretty lonely and by myself until the race started to merge with 1 and 2 mile folks, mostly walkers at that point. At 1.55 I was at 13:08 so I told myself just over 10 minutes to go, 4 songs. Totally doable.

Mile 2 8:59

The race was a different route this year because the Main Street in town was under construction. I'm not super familiar with the town, so I was excited when I thought we were on the final home stretch of the race. AND we had a few blocks of beautiful shade. I made myself run as hard as I could during the shade, and then I started to see people turn to the left. The illusion was broken, it wasn't a straight shot to the finish as I was hoping/wishing. I saw my watch was close to hitting 26 minutes, so I started counting to 26:16, which would've been an even split for the first half/last half of the race, and eventually ran out of numbers to count. As I turned the corner, I saw the time clock nearing close to 27 minutes so that helped me speed up ever so slightly.

Mile 3 8:51

.13 :56 (7:11 pace)

I ran the 3.13 in 27:02 for a pace of 8:39 (just slightly faster pace than the 5k earlier this month in similar atrocious humidity). The official results had me at 26:58, which is awfully nice of them. :)

Kyle said I came in faster than he was expecting so he didn't get any pictures of me. I asked him how I looked coming through, curious how my form was through the finish, and his response was, "tired. really tired." Well thanks Kyle. :P

Friday, July 7, 2017

Advice for Training for the Sioux Falls Half

While the Sioux Falls Half Marathon is not my goal race of this fall for the first time in years, I will still be running it, for the 13th time. I know a lot of folks are kicking off their training programs for the event, so I thought I would share some of my gems of wisdom with you! Aka things I wish I had known and/or remembered prior to getting rolling on my training program.

1. This race is not flat. This is the biggest thing to know and keep in mind. Sioux Falls folks always assume it'll be nice and flat because Sioux Falls really is darn flat. But us Sioux Falls runners are also usually doing our long runs around the bike trail which is PANCAKE flat. I think the Sioux Falls half finds every hill in town and makes us run up it twice! And I'm only somewhat joking.

If I was training for this race as my goal race, I would do 2-3 of my long runs on purposely hilly routes, or else a good chunk of hills the last 3-4 miles. There's one loooooooong climb around mile 10 and the placement of the mile on already tired legs just makes you want to sit on the steps of the fire station and throw in the towel. Replace a couple of speed sessions for speed work on an incline. Find a good 20-30 second uphill and do 8-10 repeats up it, jog/walking down it. So good.

2. This race is usually warm. I swear, every time I've been in phenomenal potentially PR shape for this race, it has been hotter than hades. Whenever a friend is running the marathon as a last chance BQ, it's insane temps. If I'm ever in crappy shape and just doing it to keep my streak alive, it's definitely PR weather. Since I plan to be in darn good shape this fall, rest assured it will be hot. Sorry guys. BUT since you know that in advance, don't be afraid to do some of your training in the heat. Barf, I know. BUT if you train your body to do it, sucky as it may be, you'll be totally fine in September. Nothing we'll get on a September race day will rival some of the crazy temps + humidity we'll have in July and August. Even if you're just going out to do your easy 3-4 mile runs, do some of them in the heat!

3. Sign up for the 605 Race Series! This series is every two weeks leading up to the Sioux Falls half, with a 4 mile, 8 mile and 12 mile. These distances fit in perfect with most training programs, and help with that mental piece of racing. I love using my long runs as race day prep--what works to eat, what works to fuel, what to eat the night before, practicing hydrating the day before long runs, etc. Plus you get to do that long run/race with a whole crew of equally crazy people. DO IT!

4. Find a buddy. While this isn't specific to training for this half, I have to give a shout out to my running buddies that I've developed over the last year and a half. Prior to the last couple of years, I can count on my two hands how many times I've had company on a run. And let me tell you that having a running buddy to hold out accountable, keep you company, and let you obsess over all things running and racing related is just the bee's knees. Find one, and hold on tight so they can never leave you. Er... something.