Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Training Week 7

Week of August 21-27

Monday Planned
General Aerobic 4 miles
Monday Actual: Since I did my long run Sunday, I wanted to do this as a recovery run. And my legs felt like garbage. Thank goodness Kyle joined me on his bike, because I would've bagged the run at .18 miles it felt so crappy. I managed to go 3.25 miles and that was plenty. It was so humid and my body felt like crap. Did I mention how crappy it felt?

I did get some kisses from this beauty after. So it was totally worth it.

Tuesday Planned
General Aerobic 6 miles 
Tuesday Actual: Toni and I met up for 3 miles before the group run and the Ale joined us for the next 3 miles. They were fairly uneventful except that my legs still felt pretty crappy. I need to sleep for like six days. Not sure where that fits in my schedule though.....

Wednesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100

Wednesday Actual

Thursday Planned
  LT 9 miles, 36 minutes at tempoThursday Actual: It was the anniversary of my mom's passing, so I took a couple of vacation days from work. I planned to go with Toni after work, and I was just exhausted. Felt like I could sleep for days, so I opted to bail on the run, knowing I couldn't make up the miles later in the week. Womp.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4
Friday Actual: I planned to do the coffee run with Toni and I either had a alarm malfunction or I shut off of my alarm and went back to bed. I slept until almost 10am. So tired.

Saturday Planned: Rest + High Vibe Yoga Festival (so uh... I guess not really a rest day :P)

Saturday Actual: All the yoga, omg. I did 5 yoga classes, totally 7.5 hours of yoga. I was pooped, and my hamstrings were so tight and mad at me.

Sunday PlannedEndurance 12, increase pace, last 3 miles at LT: 605 Series 12 mile
Sunday Actual: Uh.... DNF 12 mile race series and long run. We got home at 10:30pm on Saturday night. I took some ibuprofen because my hamstrings were so tight and achy, I laid out my stuff and went to bed. They were still really tight when I woke up, but I figured they'd warm up as I was running. The first few steps were super painful. My immediate thoughts were that this might be my first DNF. I told myself to run 3 miles without even giving that further thought. We were going slow, but it was just a long run with a finish line, so if we took out the workout portion and just got in the miles, we were both a-ok with that. Around 3.5 miles I realized that my legs weren't loosening and that my form was getting really chopping, especially on the right side. I let Toni know that I was going to leave her once we circled back to the finish line. Honestly, if I hadn't bailed on Toni for so many of our runs for this week, I would've skipped the run this morning in hopes that some foam rolling in the morning could allow it to happen later in the evening. But I wasn't willing to really injure myself for my fall goal races just to complete a 12 mile long run. Next week is a new week with a whole lot less emotions and feelings, so fingers crossed my body bounces back asap! New rule: no yoga festivals if you're spending all your free time running all the miles and not doing all the yoga. Duuuuuuuuh.

Total Mileage Planned: 43 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Weekly Reads: Waste of Space

Waste of Space is a book that popped up on my radar as a really fun story with an obnoxious reality tv show storyline. I think I stopped reading there, and put it on hold at my library. It was told in a really cool format, and I really loved it to start. It got a bit slow in the middle of the story, but then had a pretty intense finale. A good read if you're looking for a fun teen read.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

605 Series 12 Mile Race Goals

This weekend, we have the final race in the 605 Race Series, the 12 miler. Originally I was hesitant to sign up for the series, and the 12 miler specifically because I see no reason to race a 12 miler in half marathon training. But as my wise training partner told me, "Well then we won't race it!" Oh. Duh. So we plan to do it as yet another training run, which is what *most* people use this series for, I just have a hard time spending money for a training run, but it's for 605 Running Co. and they put on a heck of a party disguised as a low-key race morning!

Our workout for the day is 12 miles (yay! no extra warm up miles this time!) increasing the pace so the last 3 miles are at/near tempo pace. My tentative planning (tentative meaning I haven't yet shared this with Toni) is to run 4-5 miles at our typical long run pace 10:30-10:40s. Then 3-4 miles of picking it up, maybe 10-10:15 pace, followed by the last 3 dropped down in the low 9s.

Hopefully it's a great day for a couple hour run around the bike trails in town! Last year I missed this race as it occurred just a few days after my mom's passing, so in honor of her, we'll be rocking some awesome purple gear for the day. <3

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Views from Heaven

A year ago today, my mom passed away. When everyone says the first year is the hardest, I hope they're right. All the firsts without her: Christmas, birthdays, holidays, and just all the moments where you reach for your phone just to check in, or share a happy moment, or seeking advice for a frustrated situation, only to realize that she won't be there to pick up. I can certainly say the first year has been hard.

Long before my mom got sick, we were talking about death and dying and she mentioned that once she passed she'd find as many ways to come back and say hi as she could. She mentioned it again while she was sick, and I knew she wouldn't break a promise. Over the last year I've had so many moments where she's popped in to say hello or check on me, some crazy and unexplainable (just like her, ha) and some super small and easy to miss if you weren't looking for them. Luckily for me, I've been looking for them. And they always come when I need her the most. Because that's how she's always been as a mom. Always there for me, even when I don't need her, or think I don't, but even more so when I admit I do.

When I was a little kid, I used to love looking up at the clouds. Whenever the sun would be spilling through the clouds I always pictured everyone up in heaven looking down on all their loved ones, sharing a bit of their love and the beauty of heaven. I hadn't really thought about that until last Friday when I went for a run. I started off, and then went back to my vehicle for my phone. It was a recovery run, so why not snap some pictures or send some texts along the way. 

And then this was my view for the first mile. Light beaming down from the heavens. Just when I needed it.

Miss you like crazy mom.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Training Week 6

Week of August 14-20

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 5 miles 
Monday Actual: 5 Miles with Toni in the morning before work. Ran a mile to meet up, 3 miles together and a mile home that fest like it took six years to complete. We ran in the most eerie foggy murder setting type weather EVER. Glad we survived.

Tuesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 2 sets 6x100 strides
Tuesday Actual: General Aerobic + Speed 8 miles with strides. I think we were 2 short on the strides. My stomach got a little wonky, so we skipped a couple to allow my stomach to chill out a bit. We were treated with the most glorious sunrise, and none of us had our cameras on the run. Fail.

Wednesday Planned: VO2 Max 8 miles 5x1000 @ 3k-5k
Wednesday Actual: 3 miles with the group run, followed by my yoga class, then Toni and I hit the road for some track work. We had a half mile warm up followed by 5x1000m repeats with a quarter of a mile recovery jog in between. Most of mine were closer to 3k pace than 5k pace, and after the run I checked the stats for the last time I did this workout and was shocked to see that my paces were 20-30 SECONDS FASTER than this spring. Wahoo!

Thursday Planned
General Aerobic 4 miles  
Thursday Actual: I opted for a rest day. My legs had a lot of miles on them and I needed a break. Plus I was single-pug-moming it, so it was hard to find time to do it.

Friday Planned: Sanford POWER 
Friday Actual
Sanford POWER + General Aerobic 4 miles. Our final POWER session of this cycle, and now we have three weeks off. Let's all hope on all hopes that I don't get injured in the next 3 weeks, k? After the lift, I went out and ran 4 super easy miles. My legs still felt heavy from the speedwork and the lift so I just got them moving.

Saturday Planned
Endurance 11 miles
Saturday Actual: Rest day. We were going to flip flop our long run and recovery run, but I was so exhausted after work that I wanted to rest instead. So we decided to go longer on the long run day.

Sunday PlannedRecovery 5 miles
Sunday Actual: Endurance 14 miles. Uff. Some crazy lady thought we should go further for our long run since we missed a few miles. I thought that we didn't get a chance to do 14 in our training plan, and last spring I bailed on ours because I felt so terrible. It was so humid. But we made it through and it was a good mental toughness run. At 13.1 miles I realized that I was 3 minutes faster than last year's Sioux Falls half. And that was with a super rough morning. YAY!

Total Mileage Planned: 41 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  39.1 miles

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Weekly Reads: Sharp Objects

I've read and enjoyed Gillian Flynn's other books, but hadn't yet read Sharp Objects. I feel like you have to be in a certain *mood* to read her books, if you know what I mean. They're so dark and twisted, that my brain needs to be in a pretty darn good place before I pick them up. I was in need of an audiobook the other day, and I saw this on the shelf as I was shelving at work, so I picked it up, planning to discard it if I disliked the narrator. But I didn't. I wasn't super in to it the first disc (12% of the story), but it really picked up and I was flying through the discs while driving back and forth to work. This book was so much darker than I was expecting, and since I was listening to it, I couldn't skim past some of the really intense parts. I'm not very squeamish but I was while reading (listening) to this, so that's saying something, I think.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Running Hat Help


I need help.

I love a good running hat. No, I NEED a good running hat. There are many reasons why I rarely leave the house without a hat when I'm running.

A) I'm the sweatiest runner on the planet, this helps keep the sweat out of my eyes.

B) I spent one summer running without a hat, and I have sun damage on my forehead from it. I don't need any pre-mature aging on my face, this thing is my money maker! lolz, or not, but if I can avoid burning my face/forehead/nose/etc. by throwing on a hat, than I will.

C) If I wear sunscreen on a run, I sweat it all off, so it's easiest to have this sun protection that can't be sweated off (hopefully).

So here's the problem:

I look like a giant dork in running hats. Give me a cute wear around hat, and I look adorable (in my super humble opinion obvs). But put me in a hat meant specifically for running and I look like a goon. At one point, Kyle actually told me I was banned from wearing one of my running hats because of how "goofy" I looked in it. You know what else is goofy?? Looking like I'm 90 because my skin is leather because I haven't been wearing a HAT! But I digress.

I need your recommendations on your favorite hat. Bonus points if you can provide a direct link to purchase it, bonus BONUS points if you want to just send me one for free.

Currently in my rotation is my Lululemon hat. I love this one because it's white (yay, cool) and the little holes in the top are super reflective which is awesome when running in the dark. But it is an awkward shape (or maybe my head is an awkward shape, but whatever I'd rather blame the HAT!)

My next favorite is my pink hat. It fits my head the best, has a nice reflective bill, but I don't always want to wear pink, ya know?

I bought a snapback hat at 605 Running Co thinking I could maybe possibly be cool enough to pull off the look. Uh... no. I wear this when I run on the trails and that's about it. I look goofy. My words this time, not Kyle's. Again, giant hat, tiny head.

This is my other 605 Running Co hat. And it's fine. But I rarely wear orange, so it doesn't make it in to my rotation very often.

After the new yoga studio opened, I bought one of their hats. It's super cute, but not very breathable. I wore it on a cooler run and it was super hot and steamy and now my black hat has gross sweat stains.

I bought this Nike hat thinking that it might be a good fit for the hat rotation. It is so hot and stifling, but I DO LOVE the color. I just wish it was breathable. And didn't show sweat so bad.

The green hat is the infamous "goofy hat" that Kyle hates. But it's GREEN so of course I love it! But he's right, goof city.

So lay it on me. What hats should I buy? I basically want it to not look like a running hat but be super breathable, which is apparently an impossible task. HAAAAAALP MEEEEEEEE!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Counting Down Life

I have always been someone who looks ahead to the NEXT BIG THING. The next race, the next vacation, the next time I get to hang with _____, etc, etc. It's not uncommon for me to have had a daily countdown for marathon race day, or a big vacation I'm excited for. And I know I'm not the only one, it's exciting to look ahead to the future.

Last year when my mom was sick, we knew she had limited time. Most pancreatic cancer patients have 3.3 months from diagnosis to the time they pass. And it completely flipped my perspective. The instant my brain would start looking forward to "X" in the future, I would get really upset thinking that there was a strong chance that my mom might not make it to that period. I would be almost inconsolable.

Going back to yoga teacher training, one of the most profound pieces of information shared with me is:
If you're depressed, you're living in the past. And if you're anxious you're living in the future, and the only way to truly be at peace is by living in this exact moment.

Anytime I started to panic about that point in the future that my mom wouldn't be there, I would mindfully reel myself in telling myself that she was here, right now, in this moment, and I would call her. We had a LOT of conversations about what we were making for dinner in the last six months of her life. We had pretty much run out of things to talk about we were talking so much, but it really helped keep me in the present moment and out of the panic of anxiety.

Since my mom passed, it's been incredibly hard. And now my brain is conditioned to picking up the phone and calling her when I'm upset, and I can't do that anymore, but I so appreciate the experience that has taught me to live in this day in this moment, not spending my days counting down to the next big thing, but truly making the best of the current moment.

I also somewhat recently realized that all of that counting down I was doing, is almost wishing each day gone until that next big thing, wishing away life in the every day mundane. Life is too precious for that. I'm not sure where I was going with all of this, other than I felt I needed to write it down, and it's something I think about daily. I think we'd all be a little happier if we spent more time in the here and now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Picking Up the Pace

I've been doing heart rate training on and off, mostly on since around 2012. My running hasn't been the strongest over the past 5 years, but I have been running with the most consistency I have in years over the last two years, and I've been doing heart rate training the whole time.

For anyone who starts doing heart rate training, you know that you have to slow waaaaaay down when you start it. And when you're not really in great shape to start, you have to slow down even more to keep your heart rate in the correct zone. Typically for me I slow down like crazy over the summer months because it's really hard to keep your heart rate where you want it when it's incredibly hot and humid out.

A couple of weeks ago, I was logging a run in my log and noticed how low my heart rate was. So I started to look back over the past few weeks of runs, and was a little shocked to notice that my heart rate was significantly lower than it should be for the types of runs I was doing. Typically my general aerobic pace is around 10:35-10:50, and recovery range is 11:00 pace, we haven't delved into speed work yet this session.

So our runs have been in the 10:30-10:45 pace per usual, but my heart rate data has been reflecting recovery rates. Wait. What?? I looked over the majority of the summer's data, and that has been the trend for a couple of months. I was shocked! I knew I had gained fitness this spring training for the Brookings half, but assumed that those paces would just stay the same with that improved fitness and the onset of all the heat and humidity, but they've leveled off even more!

It's been a long time since I've seen such a clear cut sign of my fitness improving, and I'm beyond excited. I texted Toni and let her know that I thought we might have to pick up the pace a little bit on our runs, but that I was nervous, as I tend to break when I speed up. So we'll be mindful of it, and I'll continue on the full on recovery train after runs with epsom baths, and foam rolling/sticking, massages, yoga, etc.

I can't wait to see what this translates to in the fall when it's actually COLD OUTSIDE!!! Omgggggggg!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Twin Cities 10 Training Week 5

Week of August 7-13

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 7 miles with 10x100m strides
Monday Actual: Because, my long run got pushed to Sunday, we flip-flopped our workouts for Monday and Tuesday. I didn't quite have enough time to get in the General Aerobic 5 miles, plus I didn't hit 36 miles in the previous week as planned due to my IT band, so I opted to shave a mile here and there from my plan so I didn't break.

Toni and I got in a beautifully sweaty 4 miles before I taught a 60 minute yoga class.

Tuesday Planned
General Aerobic 5 miles
Tuesday Actual: Toni and I met before the group run to do 4 miles with 10x100 strides. We joined Sarah back at the studio for another 3 to knock out 7 for the day! Followed by a 30 minute yoga class.

Wednesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 4 milesWednesday Actual: Again we cut out one mile of the plan. It was a beautiful night for a run. I tried to take it easy, knowing we had a tough workout on Thursday but we get so carried away running and talking that it's hard!

Thursday Planned
Lactate Threshold 8 miles with 16 minutes, 12 minutes, and 8 minutes at LT with 4 minute jogs in between Thursday ActualLactate Threshold 8 miles with 16 minutes, 12 minutes, and 8 minutes at LT with 4 minute jogs in between! Wahoo! We started with a one mile warm up, followed by the workout and two miles cool down. It was hard but doable.

Friday Planned: Sanford POWER
Friday Actual
Sanford POWER. I was shocked at how great my body felt the day after a lot of miles, and the lift felt great. I even hit 170 on deadlifts. Woop!

Saturday PlannedRecovery 4 miles
Saturday Actual
Recovery 4 miles, gloriously slow and chill miles. We have a long run with workout tomorrow, so we took it suuuuuuper easy. 

Sunday Planned: Endurance 11 miles, including 605 race series 8 mile
Sunday ActualEndurance 11 miles, including 605 race series 8 mile. Picked up the pace during miles 7-11, finishing at lactate threshold pace. Race report to come!

Total Mileage Planned: 39 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  37.1 miles

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Weekly Reads: The Unlikelies

The Unlikelies is a teen book that came out earlier this summer that I kept hearing/reading about in all sorts of book publications. I loved the cover, so I put it on hold. I expected it to be a lighter, fluffier read based on the delicious looking covers, but guess what, WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO JUDGE BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS, REMEMBER?! So this one was not a light and fluffy read, but it was still one I flew through and could not put down. Definitely check it out.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from Goodreads:

One good deed will change everything.

Sadie is not excited for the summer before her senior year. It will be her first without her college-bound best friend and (now ex-)boyfriend by her side, so Sadie braces herself for a long, lonely, and boring season working at a farm stand in the Hamptons. But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie steps in to help rescue a baby in peril and footage of her impromptu good deed goes viral.

As she’s recovering from “the incident” and adjusting to her Internet fame, Sadie receives an invitation to a lunch honoring teem homegrown heroes. The five honorees instantly connect and soon decide to spend their time together righting local wrongs. Sadie and her new friends embark on escalating acts of vigilante Good Samaritanism, but might be in over her heads when they try to help a heroin-addicted friend. Are good intentions enough to hold unlikely friendships—and an even unlikelier new romance—together?

Monday, August 14, 2017

605 Series 8 Mile Race Report

This past Sunday was the second race in the 605 Series. We had 11 on the schedule, so we signed up to do it as part of our long run. We got there super early, about an hour before the race which was great because I needed to use the restroom and Toni had an issue with not having a bib or packet at packet pick up. Before too long we were off on our "warm up" aka 3 miles. And I felt like crap. My stomach felt terrible, my legs felt super duper heavy, and my breathing felt super labored. Oh boy, this is going to be fun.

About a mile in I realized I needed to use the bathroom again, so we made a stop at the halfway point. Side note: I really need to stop eating pizza before long run/races. I love it so so much, but my stomach really hates the gluten. It's too bad, really. After that bathroom stop I felt much better, and my legs warmed up and didn't feel like lead anymore. We finished up our 3 miles and then met up with the group running the 8 miler.

We found out we were doing two double loops, which is different from last year, and really not my preference. I much prefer an out and back or even a double loop/butterfly sort of situation, but oh well. I took a GU shortly before we started. Right before we started,  my stomach started to get race day nervous which is silly because we weren't racing. And it knows that. Chill out stomach. We passed right by a bathroom early on but I chose to keep going thinking my stomach would settle down. We were going way too fast off the bat, so we had to focus to keep at our 10:30 long run pace.

Eventually we settled in and had a nice little pack of runners right with us, all getting their long runs in as well. YAY! Team work makes the dream work.

1. 10:22
2. 10:25

During the race, I told Toni that the plan was 3 miles at long run pace, 2 miles around 10 pace, and then we'd cut down the last 3 miles--9:40s, 9:20s, 9s. Now that I'm looking back at my race plan, apparently we were supposed to go more aggressively than that. Oops. Fail on my part.

I debated stopping to use a bathroom in this stretch but felt like I could keep going, and the bathroom was quite a ways off of the trail. We ran up on one of my co-worker's daughter and chatted with her for a couple of miles as well.

3. 10:20

Once it was time to pick up the pace a bit, I kind of felt like a jerk, because we started passing people who had passed us to start. Normally I get a burst of energy passing people in races, but since I knew a bunch of people were doing this as a long run, and I knew most of them, I felt way less competitive about it, and more of a jerk. Ha. During mile 4, I finally snagged a bathroom stop, and was quickly in and out while Toni refilled our water bottles. She's the best. I took another GU around the 4 mile mark (7 miles overall).

4. 10:04
5. 9:50

I could hardly believe it when we were down to our last 3 miles. They had gone SO FAST. But honestly any time I run with Toni the miles fly by, but there were so many more people and everyone was cheering and high fiving as we went along. It was awesome. We were picking up the pace, but it didn't feel as hard as I thought it would, which was a good sign!

6. 9:38
7. 9:17

Based on our tempo run earlier this week, where we ran 16, 12, and 8 minute stretches at tempo pace, and it was HARD, I was really worried about running the last 3 down to tempo pace. 27 minutes of tempo seems way harder than three shorter sets with a jogging break in between, ALSO doing it at the end of an 11 miler seems EXTRA HARD. But we kept chatting and talking through it like it was NBD.

The final mile I wanted to get as close to 9 or under as possible, while not all out sprint/racing it. A gal that had been right on our heels for a few miles prior to the finish flew by us during the final mile, and I really really really wanted to chase her, so I had to remind myself over and over that this wasn't a race. Dang competitive brain in there. We kept to our plan of comfortably hard and then really strides out the final little turn/stretch. I told Toni to go ahead and that I'd chase her.

8. 8:50

I finished in 1:19:22 for a pace of 9:55.

It was a great run, and I would highly recommend the 605 Series to any runner that wants to race or do a supported long run for their summer training!