Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy Holidays

Kyle's BFF was back in town over Christmas, so we put on our fun pants for one whole night to join him.

Several Moscow mules were consumed, but not so many that I couldn't still run 5 miles the next day. Priorities and stuff. Also, so many beards.

On Christmas I got a new NoxGear vest, and was so excited that I proceeded to wear it for most of Christmas present opening. Everyone was... thrilled. I'm sure.

Ollie and I managed to take a super adorable Christmas selfie, but somehow we never got a family picture in our matching Christmas jammies. Given how much I $pent on Ollie's I'm more than a little bummed.

A bunch of my favorite people joined me at my favorite local brewery after yoga for some beers to celebrate my birthday. Obviously Toni bought me a new matching stocking hat for us to show off.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

F^3 Lake Half Marathon Training Week 5

Week of December 18-24

Monday PlannedRecovery run 5 miles
Monday Actual: Recovery run 5 miles. Through all the Christmas lights we go. I was shocked at how great I felt the day after a long run.

Tuesday PlannedLT 9 miles 38 minutes at LT
Tuesday Actual: Due to some wacko schedules this week, there was no time for Toni and I to do our tempo run together. And the thought of running 9 miles solo with LT paces was enough to make me want to skip. So I opted for 6 total. And it was awesome. I hit 4.3 ish for the tempo distance. Felt good to do a hard workout solo and nail it!

Wednesday Planned: Endurance 10 miles
Wednesday Actual: Endurance 8 miles. After looking at our schedule for the week, I decided that I really wanted to do a short recovery run on Sunday, so we shaved a couple of miles off of Wednesday night's run to make that happen. Which is good. I was getting sick of running during run #2 of 4 miles after yoga. Ugh.

Thursday Planned: Rest

Thursday Actual: Rest

Friday Planned
GA + Speed 5 miles 10x100
Friday Actual: I did not sleep Thursday night, so I skipped the coffee run. I regretted it all day. Womp.

Saturday PlannedEndurance 13 miles, increase effort last 3 miles @ LT pace
Saturday Actual: 13.1 miles for fun! Through the ice snow and -2 degree temps. Toni and I didn't run together, but we did run our long runs in the exact amount of time, down to a 13 second differential. We couldn't do this if we tried, honestly.

Sunday PlannedRecovery 3 miles 4x100
Sunday Actual: Recovery 5 miles in -9 degrees. Hit 1100+ miles for the year!

Total Mileage Planned: 40 Miles
Total Mileage Actual: 37.1 miles 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Weekly Reads: Far From the Tree

Far from the Tree recently won the National Book Award, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It was told from the perspective of three teens (which I hate) but was done so beautifully and wonderfully that I loved every second of it. Love love love.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


I usually reserve my marathon purchases to land on my birthday, a birthday gift to myself, if you will. But this year, the Twin Cities Marathon opened their registration in mid-December, and I just couldn't wait until December 26th to pull the trigger.

So I registered, on opening day! And so did Toni. Expect to see a lot of #jeronirunsTCM hashtags over much of 2018.

And happy birthday to me!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

New Obsession: Run in Rabbit

A couple of months back, I saw someone on Instagram in the cutest running crop top, and I needed to know more about it. I screenshot and sent it to Toni as what I want to wear for our marathon next year. Because why wouldn't I have sculpted abs in a year, right?! lolz.

Enter: Run in Rabbit

I started looking into the brand and thought the shorts looked really cute. When Kyle and I were sitting in the Memphis airport, waiting to head home, the website was having a sale, so I picked up some of the shorts for $22, originally $54.

I grabbed two pairs of the catch me if you can shorts, in a lime green and a dark blue/purple. They remind me of the length of my beloved Mac Rogas, but in the style of my favorite Lululemon speed shorts. Best of both worlds? Maybe. I'm a pretty true medium and they're a little snug in the waistband for me, but I love the shorty short length. The pink ones went super on sale after Thanksgiving and they were only in larges, and those fit more like a medium I think.

Also this gorgeous pool blue color might have made their way into my cart too. Just in time for all shorts to be retired for winter. Womp.

**I'm in no way being compensated for this post, I just wanted to share the information to other runners!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Training Book Review: Peak Performance

I had heard Steve Magness promoting this new book on several podcasts, and had also seen Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success show up on a few elite athletes instagram stories, so I was super excited to get my hands on it. One of the things I'm focusing on in 2018 is the mental side of running, so I'm working on reading a lot of books to help with that.

This book had a lot of good information, some new and some reminders. Definitely a book to pick up and get through during your off season!

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A few common principles drive performance, regardless of the field or the task at hand. Whether someone is trying to qualify for the Olympics, break ground in mathematical theory or craft an artistic masterpiece, many of the practices that lead to great success are the same. In Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg, a former McKinsey and Company consultant and writer who covers health and the science of human performance, and Steve Magness, a performance scientist and coach of Olympic athletes, team up to demystify these practices and demonstrate how everyone can achieve their best.

The first book of its kind, Peak Performance combines the inspiring stories of top performers across a range of capabilities - from athletic, to intellectual, to artistic - with the latest scientific insights into the cognitive and neurochemical factors that drive performance in all domains. In doing so, Peak Performance uncovers new linkages that hold promise as performance enhancers but have been overlooked in our traditionally-siloed ways of thinking. The result is a life-changing book in which readers learn how to enhance their performance via myriad ways including: optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.

In revealing the science of great performance and the stories of great performers across a wide range of capabilities, Peak Performance uncovers the secrets of success, and coaches readers on how to use them. If you want to take your game to the next level, whatever "your game" may be, Peak Performance will teach you how.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

F^3 Lake Half Marathon Training Week 4

Week of December 11-17

Monday Planned: Recovery 6 miles
Monday Actual: Recovery 3.5 miles. It was so windy and freezing that we cut it a little short. Brrr.

Tuesday PlannedRest
Tuesday Actual: Rest.

Wednesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100 strides
Wednesday ActualGeneral Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100 strides; split into 4 miles before yoga and 4 miles after yoga.

Thursday PlannedVO2 Max 9 miles 6x1k @ 3k-5k
Thursday Actual: Toni was out of town, so I recruited a newish running buddy to keep me company for some miles. I thought asking her to run 9 miles in the evening AND do a workout would be too big of an ask, so I settled for company. Due to freezing rain with 3 miles to go, we shaved off one of the miles for 8 total. Brr.

Friday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 4 miles 
Friday Actual: I had every intention of doing the coffee run on Friday but my stomach was angry much of Thursday and all of Thursday night so I opted to rest.

Saturday PlannedEndurance 12 miles
Saturday Actual: Toni and I decided to flip flop long run days.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual
Endurance 12 miles; one of the best long runs ever (despite some continued stomach distress, grrr...)

Total Mileage Planned: 38 Miles
Total Mileage Actual: 31.7 miles. Bummed to be a little short, but thrilled with this kind of weekly mileage mid-December!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Weekly Reads: Long Way Down

Anything John Reynolds writes is gold to me. It took our library forever to get this Long Way Down in, and as soon as they did, I dropped everything to read it. I flew through the book, it's written in prose so it's super fast, but it also has you on the edge of the seat waiting to see what is going to happen. Drop whatever you're doing and read it now.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Magical Unicorn Long Run

I should've know that when I had the worst run ever, followed by hash tagged messages in the snow, that a magical unicorn run was just around the corner. That's just the way it works. When you have what feels like, the worst run of your liiiiiife, 9 times out of 10 the perfect one is just around the corner.

But honestly, it's been awhile since I've had a legit shitty run, so I forgot about this magical equation.

Then SUNDAY. We had our 12 mile long run. I woke up and could not get myself out of bed to get the run done before work, so I texted the BRF to let her know she could go without me, or I could plan a route after work. Without skipping a beat, she agreed to run after work.


I planned out a route and warned her that it looped by my work twice, and to mentally prepare for that. I know that for me, when a long run is feeling rough, or I'm just getting tired, I could easily be tempted to call it a day on the first loop around. When in actuality we went by my work place 3x. Oops.

But the miles flew by. I couldn't believe how quickly our watches were beeping another mile complete. When we finished 12 miles, I seriously contemplated doing another 3 because it felt so good.

Maybe I'll turn into a long run lover just yet.

Friday, December 15, 2017

1000 Mile Celebration

For the first time since 2011, I have cracked the 1,000 mile marker for 2017! I'm so excited. For most of the year, I've been ahead of this goal, especially during the summer when we were piling on the miles.

2009 was the first year I broke 1000 miles with 1020. If I recall correctly, I ran my 1000th mile on my birthday that year on a treadmill at a gym. Pretty anti-climatic. In 2010 I ran my first marathon and hit 1000 miles in the fall, ending with 1365. In 2011, I ran 1333 running 2 marathons in the year but also starting my masters program. In 2012 I just missed 1000 miles, running 920. And then I got seriously burned out from running and haven't hit it since.


When I was calculating out my weekly mileage, I realized I would hit it on a long run with my BRF. And when I texted her to let her know, she said we had to celebrate. Well obvs. We had plans for a post-long run brunch, but those were thwarted when I needed to push back our start time.

So instead we invited the guys along for some BBQ a week or so later.

Cheers to 1000 miles, and to a whole bunch more!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Obsession: Strava

I have resisted Strava forever. I've mentioned this before, but several years back (5, I went back and checked) my current online running log was shutting down and I had to find something new. I originally had wanted to go with Strava, but they wouldn't allow the file format I had to re-upload old data, so I wasn't interested.

Fast forward to 2017.

And I'm on Strava. I was hesitant because while I loved Dailymile, there were parts of it I hated. I hated comparing myself to others, seeing their workouts, their paces, their race times, and feeling like I fell short of what they accomplished.

Fast forward to 2017.

Apparently I've matured, or something, because there ain't none of that going on! Just a whole lot of likes and kudos and cheering each other on. The site tricked me into trying to premium account, and of course I'm now suckered into that for all of eternity. I do enjoy getting the additional data (shocker) that allows me, as well as goal setting, even though my private log does that as well.

I'm going to keep my private log going because it has ALL my data (well even that's not true, because it doesn't go back to 2005 when I first started tracking), but as much of it as it can. But with my Garmin uploading to each with either a button click, or nothing at all, it hasn't been too time consuming or cumbersome.

So please look me up!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

F^3 Lake Half Marathon Training Week 3

Week of December 4-10

Monday PlannedGeneral Aerobic + Speed 8 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100 strides
Monday Actual: SNOW DAY. As in, I almost died driving home in the blizzard, so zero miles were run. So much blowing snow. So scary.

Tuesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 5 miles
Tuesday Actual: Two miles. I couldn't get myself to go any further. Brr.

Wednesday Planned: VO2 Max 9 miles 6x1k @ 3k-5k
Wednesday Actual: We opted to flip flop Wednesday and Monday's workouts as it was a windchill of -5 on Wednesday night and I thought that would make for less than optimal speedwork conditions. We did the 8 GA miles with some strides and hill strides.

Thursday Planned: Rest

Thursday Actual: We attempted do the our speed work for the week. Meaning we got to the track and it was still covered in snow, and I did 1 mile and said EFF IT. And we went home.

But not before we spelled out #jeroni on the track in the snow with our footprints.

Friday Planned
General Aerobic 4 miles 
Friday Actual: Recovery 4 miles. Coffee run!!

Saturday PlannedEndurance 12 miles
Saturday Actual: Rest. I had to work, so I'm not sure why I didn't adjust my training plan to reflect that.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual
Endurance 12 miles. Luckily my BRF was okay with running at 5:15 when I was off of work because I was not feeling it before work. And it was one of the best long runs ever. Two hours flew by.

Total Mileage Planned: 38 Miles
Total Mileage Actual: 27.2 miles,  cutback week came early!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Weekly Reads: Paper Towns

I'm probably the last John Green fan on the planet to just read Paper Towns, but here we are. I love his books SO MUCH that I didn't want to speed read my way through all of them, and then just be stuck in this world where there isn't another one for me to read. I had tried to listen to this on audio several years ago, and could not get into the narrator, but I chose it for an upcoming book club meeting.

I could not put it down, it was so great, and had a really good mystery element. I love John Green.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Being Flexible

And no, I'm not referring to doing more yoga.

If you know me, it may not surprise you to learn that I'm not much of a "go with a flow" kind of person. I once dated a guy who's motto was that, and it should come as no surprise that he is not the guy that is my husband.

I love a plan.

I *live* for a plan.

I appreciate a good plan.

And I will be the first to admit that when my plan doesn't pan out, I kind of lose my shit a little bit. Yes, this is a major flaw of mine, and yes, I'm trying to work on it.

Last Thursday night, I was amped up to do our speed work session. It was cold out, but not nearly as cold as the prior night, and I love speedwork, and based on some new 5k race times, Toni and I have some new target paces to shoot for in said speed work sessions.

All systems go.

Let's do this.

So when we pulled up to the track at 6pm, in the pitch black dark, and I noticed the track covered in sparkly white snow....

I lost my shit.

My first thought was: I want to go home. Eff this.

My second thought was: I should probably let Toni weigh in on this before I decide.

We consulted from the warmth of her matching Subaru our options:

  1. Do the workout as prescribed. (Probably not, my back is hurting and I don't want to risk an injury.)
  2. Do the workout with less of a focus on our paces for the speed work. (maybe this is dependent on the track conditions)
  3. Run 9 miles, no workout. (You couldn't pay me to do 9 miles on a track if there's no specific workout planned and I don't know this area well enough to do a 9 mile route on the fly, also neither of us brought reflective gear or headlamps because we'd PLANNED to do the track)
  4. Go home. (not a bad idea, it's starting to look like)
We finally settled on doing our 2 mile warm up and deciding from there. Grumble grumble. Two laps into our warm up, I was shocked to learn that we had only ran half a mile in the six years that we'd been out there, running through crunchy snow, and I was mentally done. "I'm calling it quits at a mile." Toni was smart and didn't try to convince me otherwise, "ok."

We finished and I think Toni could see I was on the verge of losing my shit (or perhaps that it had already been lost somewhere around our second lap on the track) and she convinced me to spend some time writing out #jeroni in the snow. Thank goodness for this runner girl.

So I guess this is a reminder for myself and others who like a plan, that perhaps a back up plan isn't a terrible idea, especially in the winter. If I could go back and do it again, we should've just gone and run 9 miles. But I didn't know the area we were in by the track and had no clue what a 9 mile route would look like. Had I known the track was going to be covered in snow, we could've just done our normal route.

Lesson learned.

Also lesson learned that I still have a ways to go on my mental toughness game. Uff.