Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 4

Monday PlannedGA 5 miles
Monday Actual: 5 miles around town in the falling snow and covered roads/sidewalks.

Tuesday Planned:
 GA 4 miles
Tuesday Actual: Super cold, windy and -15 degree windchill temps. So I took a rest day.

Wednesday Planned:  LT 8 miles, 20 minute LT, 4 min recovery jog, 16 minute LT
Wednesday Actual
LT 8 miles, 20 minute LT, 4 min recovery jog, 16 minute LT. Such a challenging run mentally, but I nailed my paces and then some. Wahoo!

Thursday Planned
 GA+Speed 7 miles 10x100
Thursday Actual: We got a pretty significant amount of snow starting in the afternoon which wiped out the chance of a run after work. Womp womp.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Friday Actual
GA+Speed 8 miles 10x100 by myself (wah!) around town in the snow. Three loops around town later....

Saturday Planned: Rest
Saturday Actual: Recovery 4 miles. I somehow managed to drag my butt outside at 9pm to do my recovery miles, solo. Amy Cragg's Tokyo Marathon performance was certainly the inspiration. Amazing.

Sunday PlannedEndurance 13 miles
Sunday Actual: Unofficial Jeroni Half Marathon. Through all the ice and slush and the miles flew by.

Total Mileage Planned: 40 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  39.12 miles. I REALLY wanted to run an extra mile on the long run to hit 40, but didn't.... because of all the ice and it being dark.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Weekly Reads: Release

I have had Release on my TBR pile for over a year. In fact I think I had an ARC of the title, and just never got around to reading it, which stinks because I really enjoy Patrick Ness' books. This is another book that I wanted to make my way through before the Printz Award was announced in early February. I was reading a book every 2 to 3 days to try to get all the ones done I wanted.  I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't my favorite Patrick Ness book. There were two different storylines throughout the book that melded together at the end, but it still felt somewhat disjointed. I was really invested in Adam's story, and didn't care much for the additional storyline that wove through it. Still a worthwhile read.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It's a big day. Things go wrong. It's intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches...

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It's a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won't come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Niggle Watch

On a recent long run, I felt like my body was falling apart. It was my third run of the week on uneven footing: areas of lighter fluffy snow, areas of packed slick snow, and areas of ice. My body was feeling pretty beat up from the unevenness of it all. The run started with some knee annoyance (oops! I shouldn't have skipped my recovery run after my tempo run, surely this is remaining from that! I told myself), at some point I had some icky sensations in my left low back, knee annoyance swapped to the opposite knee (shit!), during the final mile I had some discomfort in the back of my left knee (gah!), [guys, I had so much going on that I just had to reference my training log because I knew there was more that I was forgetting, this is obnoxious], but the thing that worried me the most during the run was my right hip flexor.

Each time one of these little niggles popped up, I checked in with my body, am I running with strong form, how am I landing, is there anything I can tune into better to allow my body to absorb the running impact better? And within a half mile or so, the niggle would disappear, phew.

But the right hip flexor. Yuck. We had been going about a mile and a half before I brought it up to Toni. At this point we were about a mile from home with 2.5 miles to go. I was unable to utilize a strong running form because the hip flexor was catching with each drive of the right leg. SHIT. If you've followed my blog forever (because apparently it's been around forever, and no one is even reading these things anymore, but I think writing is therapeutic and looking back on things is so important to me--oh I should just get a diary, you say? That might be a good idea! :P) you know that I am injury prone. I had a solid 2 years of running in late 2009-early 2011 where I was injury free, and since then, nope.

So my brain is hyper focused on injury. But at what point can I not be considered an injury prone runner? Over the last two years, I haven't needed to rest more than 2-4 days for something going on. That's pretty good right? I think strength training has been the biggest thing my body was lacking. Teaching the body how to best absorb the impact of each and every step of the run, utilizing all the muscles to propel the leg forward so that nothing is overstressed.

But on this Sunday night, my brain panicked. I finally filled Toni in that my leg hurt and it was freaking me out. As my BRF she is trying to teach me not to panic. So the fact that I left 15 minutes pass before I started to panic, I see as progress. :P I asked if we could stop to stretch, we calculated our options as I stretched. Would it be smart to just finish up the final 2.5 miles? I wanted a crystal ball to see if this was something that would be NBD tomorrow, or if I'd look back on this run two months from now and say, "damn, I wish I would've just called it quits that night." Which is totally a part of running, by the way, a total gamble. And I freakin' hate gambling.

After I stretched, we started out again, determined to get to our one mile from home marker, to decide the plan from there. And shockingly, the hip flexor pain was gone. And around this time I realized that we were running on a road that had melted. Oh. That might have some significance. We tried really hard from then on to to stay in that area and on roads that were more densely packed with snow, and that helped immensely.

I was really thankful that we stuck with it to get in the miles, as it was a mentally tough run to get through those pretend ouches. Have I mentioned lately that I'm ready for it to be spring??

Friday, February 23, 2018

Getting Psyched for All Runs

Lately I've had a strange phenomenon going on, which is totally the opposite of the way I used to be. Previous runner Jeri had no problem getting out for 3, 4 and 5 miles. Easy miles are doable. Easy miles don't cause me to stress out. There is zero drama for these miles. Speed work? Tempo runs? Long runs? Well those brought all the drama.  I don't know how many times I talked myself out of a workout because I was so scared to fail.

Somewhere in the last 6 months my mindset switched, and I started to get excited for the workouts, and excited for the long runs. Certainly my fitness has improved and some races have gone well, so that plays a big part in it, but I've done a complete 180. A couple of weeks ago, Toni and my schedule didn't match up at all. Harumph. I had a 7 mile run with all the strides and all the hill pick ups, and I had to do it solo running loops around Tea. And it was great! I was psyched to do it. Finding pockets of lesser snow and ice became a game within the run, and getting that many miles in around this little town led me down new roads and routes.

Then I had 8 miles with tempo miles inside. Gulp. The hardest of hard. I've had a mental block with tempo paces and haven't been able to get below 8:50-9:15 for the last year. Same thing: solo run around town through all the snow and ice, working hard to get those tempo paces in the 8:30s as my recent race paces have indicated. And it was great! Perfect! I felt so strong.

But those 3 and 4 milers? Nope. Don't wanna.

In my defense it's been incredibly cold, snowy and icy, and it's one thing to suck it up and do the super important runs, and I'm psyched that I've been able to do that. But when you're going out to run slow and easy for recovery runs, the cold worries me even more!

But I also know that all runs are important and have a place. So I'm working on resetting my mindset. But also, dear god, will it be spring soon, please?!?!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Boston Bound!

This April, I am Boston Bound! No I'm not suddenly super speedy and running the Boston Marathon, but I *will* be there spectating the race.





I'm making a trek out to Boston to see one of my college besties, and I had two free weekends, the weekend of the Boston Marathon and the weekend before the Brookings half marathon. I put in the request for April at work, and was approved. I was SHOCKED. Flights were booked, and here I am counting down the minutes to see Kathryn, her adorable kiddos, and spectate the race.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for spectating?? In looking at public transportation, it appears that the MTA goes almost parallel to the race route, so I'm hoping we can hop on and hop off and spectate on the way into the city.

Anyone else going to be there? Where should we set up along the finish line?

Any advice tips/tricks are welcome!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 3

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 6 mile 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100
Monday Actual: Rest day. We did our long run Sunday night, and after 27 miles running on loose snow, packed snow, and slick spots I felt like I needed a rest day. Also it was the morning of the Youth Media Awards and it was too cold for me to run before the live announcements. Is that enough excuses??? Phew!

Tuesday Planned:
 GA 3 miles
Tuesday Actual: Ugh. I slept in far too late to get this run in before work and half contemplated doing it at 9:30pm when I got home. It didn't happen.

Wednesday Planned GA 4 miles
Wednesday Actual
GA 4 miles at the group run. I had hoped to make up 4 of my missed miles after yoga but spent most of Wednesday coughing non-stop so the comfortably paced run felt like a damn tempo run, breath wise. Woof.

Thursday Planned
 LT 8 miles, 18 min LT, 4 min recovery jog, 15 min LT
Thursday Actual

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Friday Actual: 4 miles of recovery at the coffee run with the BRF. The final two miles were so miserable that we may have snuck out of the recovery zone on mile four because we were ready to be DONE. -12 windchill. Uff a.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 12 miles, increase effort, last 2 mi @ LT pace
Saturday Actual: We woke up to surprise snow, and my perfect condition LR went out the window. I remained optimistic until we were at about 3 miles of super fluffy wet snow and my knees and hip were d-o-n-e with it. We went rogue on our route and tried to do our own thing, only to spend 2 miles on hills that were also covered in snow, and stopping at way too many stop lights getting chilly. Finally we found a residential area that was low enough traffic that we could run on the roads. Due to the conditions and the aches from the beginning half of the run, I scrapped the increased pace workout, but did pick up the final mile as that part of the route was clear.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: 5 recovery miles. I played the game to see just how low I could keep my HR. And I won! I kept it in the 130s. 139 for the average, but still, 130s! I looked at my pace for this run and thought, man if I was in shape for a marathon right now, and a 10:19 is my low low recovery HR, I could run a marathon in the 4:20s-4:30s maybe at that pace, which would be one of my faster marathons. I remembered running Philly, which is my 3rd fastest race, and mentally noting that my heart rate was in my recovery zone in the final 10k. It felt good to feel that good that late in a race. I can't wait to see what October brings!

Total Mileage Planned: 37 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  33.13 miles

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Weekly Reads: Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters is a book that came up on my radar as a possible Printz Award contender. As soon as I heard it compared to Fangirl and Carry On I was in. And then it took me decades to get a copy from the library. Insert eye roll emoji here. 
I loved this book so much.

It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book so much that I found myself picking it up when I knew I only had ten minutes to read. Guys, this is really saying something. I couldn't put it down. I loved it so much, and if you pick it up and read it, I'll almost guarantee you'll love it too. Sadly, I don't think it'll win a Printz award, but I hope to hell I'm wrong. I will be arguing very strongly for it to be included in our South Dakota teen book award for high school students.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Focus on Strides

On the way home from our Chicago race, I had Toni pull up her race data for me to look at. As her unofficial coach, I was curious to see how her splits played out, as she said she didn't look at her watch much throughout the race, and just ran by feel.....hard.

While looking at her stats, I noticed that her cadence was 160. Which is the same as mine. This should come as no surprise, since our running form is almost identical. But I also know that ideally your cadence should be closer to 170-180. I recently listened to a podcast by Jason Fitzgerald, who stated that a cadence of 170 on an easy, regular ol' run day is a pretty good goal to shoot for, since on speedier days, you'll be closer to 180.

Since 2017 was spent building a strong running base, I told Toni that 2018 we would make a conscious effort to increase our running cadence. The training programs we follow always have strides and hill strides in them. Anywhere from 2-3 runs a week are supposed to have strides in them. Every day I tell Toni what our workout is. At the start of each run, I tell her to remind me of the strides that we're supposed to do, because we just get talking and I forget about them.

So while we were driving home, I mentioned that we should really try hard to remember to do the strides to help with our turnover and speed. And Toni, while driving, said, "Uh, I have a confession."

Me: Ok, what's that?

Toni: I always remember that we have strides to do, and I purposely don't remind you.

Me: What?!?!?!?

This girl, who can bust her booty for a crazy long time in a half, or ten mile, or whatever race distance she's doing, doesn't like to run a little bit speedy for 100 meters at a time?!?!

So I fired her from stride reminders, and will be taking over in that capacity for all of 2018. Here's to some speedier legs and quicker turnover! No thanks to Toni. :P

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Premonitions While Running

The other day while wrapping up a super challenging tempo run in dramatically dropping temperatures, I started to get really cold. I had gone from doing back to back tempo portions, and while doing my cool down miles the temps were dropping, the winds were picking up, and since I wasn't working as hard as I was during the tempo portions, I was getting chilly. Plus, I misrouted my run and accidentally tacked on an extra half mile to the end of it.

With about a third of a mile remaining in the run, I had a weird panicky thought about how bad it would be if Kyle came home, let out the dog, locked the door behind him and left to go work on a boat. I had left the front door unlocked, because we live in a safe neighborhood. [Please note: I will not be leaving my door unlocked ever again so I don't even worry or think about trying to get in.]

The last five minutes of the run my arms were experiencing their cold discomfort that is still leftover from the New Years Day super cold run. I came up to my front door, went to turn the handle, only to find the door locked. I rang the doorbell and knocked, assuming Kyle was just inside. And then didn't hear any movement. Uh....

Instantly I started to panic. Toni has a spare key, but she lives two miles from me, and I've already ran 8.5 miles, and am on the verge of freezing. I also don't know if Toni is even home, but at least I know her garage code so I could go inside her house if absolutely necessary. Oh, did I mention that my phone died with 2 miles remaining on the run because it was so cold out? Because yes, that also happened.

During this panic I heard the garage door, and I turn to see Kyle backing out of the driveway. I set a PR in sprinting down my driveway, waving my hands in the air wildly (thank goodness I wear the brightest neon clothes in the world) until I got his attention. He apparently had no clue that I was running, and if I had made it home a minute or two later I would've been screwed. Uff da.

Instead of flowers or dinner for Valentine's Day, I asked for a keypad garage door opener. Operation: don't accidentally kill your wife via frostbite.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spring Half Training Week 2

Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 7 miles 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100
Monday Actual: General Aerobic + Speed 7 miles with a million x 100. First of all, I thought I was supposed to do 8 instead of 6. Oops. And then there are exactly zero hills or even an incline in Tea, so I threw in a few more for good measure. We got 3 or 4 inches of snow, so I was bound to the roads slipping and sliding around. Oh and the wind chill was -10. Uff da!

Tuesday Planned
Tuesday Actual: Sweet sweet rest. More snow!

Wednesday Planned LT 8 miles, 16 min, 12 min with 4 min jogs in between 
Wednesday Actual: Another day, another solo run. Luckily for me, I was off at noon, so I was able to run when the sun was still out. Unluckily for me is that a snowstorm brewed up in my 2 mile cool down, and I spent it running into freezing cold blowing snow (-2 wind-chill). At least I nailed my tempo sections!!

Thursday Planned
Sanford POWER + Recovery 4 Miles 
Thursday Actual: Sanford POWER and going to bed early. So much snow, so much below zero temps again. Good gracious. I did sleep for 11.5 hours so I'll take my award on that front.

Friday Planned: GA 4 Miles
Friday Actual: Toni and I chatted Thursday before bed to determine our threshold for Friday morning, as the forecast was super cold yet again. We discussed -10, we discussed -13, and we landed on -12, because -13 would be unlucky, naturally. I woke up, checked 3 weather apps, all said -14.  I texted Toni, "-14 gnight". and went back to bed. And then my stomach was angry all afternoon when it was actually nice enough to run. Grumble.

Saturday PlannedRest
Saturday Actual: Rest.

Sunday PlannedEndurance 11 mile
Sunday Actual: 11 miles through the snow packed and slick roads. We ran every road in Tea, some twice. I had some random aches and pains all over my legs during the run. I think my legs are sick of running on winter this week. Spring, where are you!?!

Total Mileage Planned: 34 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  26.64 miles. I'm a little bummed to be short on mileage, but this week was tough with the extreme cold and the non-stop snow. The fact that I hit 3/3 on my key workout/runs for the week should earn me an A+/gold star.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Weekly Reads: At the Edge of the Universe

I'm on a roll with the weird-o books, and I'm not going to apologize for it. Shaun Hutchinson always writes weird books, and I always read them, and I always love them, and At the Edge of the Universe is no different. It's hard to even talk much about the book without giving much away about it. I will say that the size of the book is misleading. I think it's almost 500 pages, but it reads like it's 250-300, so it's a super fast read.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Obsession: Riverdale

To say that I'm obsessed with Riverdale, is an understatement. I had heard a few people talk about the TV show, so one weekend when I was home alone and didn't have anything to do, I started to watch it. It immediately reminded me of Gossip Girl with a mystery twist. I LOVE IT.

And then as watched further I became obsessed with Jughead. Before declaring my love, I had to check his IMDB page to make sure he was over the age of 18. Uff da. And then I discovered he was the kid in Big Daddy (along with his twin brother) and of course any true millennial that I recount this tale to is like, "yeah! It's the suite life of Zac and Cody brothers" and I'm like, huh?

But anyway, I went through season one at an alarming rate. And if I'm having a bad day, I go through Cole Sprouse fan pages on instagram, and I instantly feel better. So if you're looking for a new series to start, get on it. You won't regret it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

605 Racing Team

Last fall the running store I teach yoga at and run with announced a racing team! I was just getting back to running and really wanted to apply but I know myself enough to know that sometimes when I get really excited about running again, sometimes I get hurt. I really wanted to apply, but I was hesitant.

Shortly after the Ocean View half marathon, they again posted applications for positions! I actually applied while still on vacation in Massachusetts. Ha. V. excited. #understatement

I had an interview late in the fall, and got the inside details on the spring 605 Half Marathon. I don't know what was harder to keep a secret, the half or being on the team?!

We had our first event as a team the weekend after the F^3 Lake Half Marathon--Saturday group run followed by breakfast. Since I was on a recovery week, I did 5 miles with my friend Melissa (Toni was out of town, yes I was sad, yes my replacement running buddy showed up wearing the same thing as me--unplanned, but no we didn't take pics because I didn't want to make Toni feel worse for not being able to attend).

The doughnuts were legit. Even though I had told my buddy on the run that I was going to try to cut way back on sugar to see if my stomach would feel better. I immediately forgot that topic once confronted with a fruity pebbles doughnut, cream filled, natch.

I love that the race is filled with regular age group winners, middle of the packers, as well as those that bring up the sexy pace (what our women's running group refers to when we talk about slower paces). The group is so representative of all runners, and I love that. 

605 Running Co. stands out in being so incredibly inclusive to all runners, not just those that are breaking the tape at local races. I can't even express how much I appreciate that.

I can't wait to see what our racing tops look like for 2018! And to wear it for a PR or two.... ;)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Race Report: Frostbite 4

I love late race starts. I love sleeping in, even though sleeping in meant 6:30am, followed by a turn off the alarm and reset for 7:30am. Still felt great. I got out of bed, tried to figure out what to wear, and even had time to use my neti pot to flush my overloaded sinuses. Too much of a visual picture there? Sorry. THERE WERE BOOGERS EVERYWHERE! Too graphic? sorry.

I picked up Toni at 9am and we headed south. We got to Beresford around 9:30am and it was then that I realized we had 90 minutes until the race started. Ha. Oops. We hung out inside the school, catching up with friends until about 10:15 and then we headed up to do a warm up. As soon as we stepped outside, the wind had picked up and it had started to sleet/snow. WHAT. IS. THIS. Luckily within a couple of minutes, it stopped. We did a two mile shake out with a few strides thrown in. We determined it was warmer than we thought it'd be, and were thrilled we opted for capris instead of running pants.

We had time to snag a picture with the SFWR crew and our favorite speedy elite runner Bensane.

Before too long it was time to board the buses to be bussed out to the race start. They have 3 race courses for this event and pick the one that is most with the wind. There wasn't much wind, but we were bussed out to the south.

One of my running friends said she thought she'd be around 8 pace, so I thought I'd keep her in my sights. Another running friend ran exactly the pace I wanted to last year, so I'd hoped to stick with her as well. The race started, and we were off!

I got out a little too hard, probably but wanted to get ahead of the clumps of people. I felt good, but was a little startled when I glanced at my watch and it said 7:41. Ooooooh, that's too fast. I didn't consciously slow down, but I must've or my watch finally caught up to me, because I settled around an 8:22 pace. Perfect.

Once I settled in, I realized that I was feeling good and I wanted to push the pace a little bit. I went by a few of my running friends, and luckily the gal I was hoping to follow based on last year, leap frogged back in front of me. I was really pleased when mile 1 clicked off on my watch.

Mile 1 8:11

Typically I slow way down in mile 2 of a faster race because I've gone out too hard, but I kept pushing. And I was pleasantly surprised when I was feeling pretty good still. We came up on the halfway, and I did some quick math to determine that I wanted to be at or under 16:30 to shoot for that sub 33 that had become my new goal time. And then in all the math calculations, I forgot to actually look at my race time when I hit mile 2. Lolz.

Mile 2 8:10

Who is this consistent runner? Because it's surely not me.

Ok, mile 3 will hurt. It always does. During the warm up miles, Toni and I were talking about the mile. Back when I was a miler I would always go out too hard on lap one, lap two I would suffer dearly because I went out too hard, lap three I would work to make up what I lost in lap two, but the split would be basically be the same as the second because my legs were fatigued AF and then lap four I would kick it in because I was a sprinter at heart, and it's easy for my brain to think about running super hard for just a shorter period of time. I tried to embrace the hurt, knowing it was going to be hard. I was running pretty solo at this point, but thought if I could pick up the pace in this mile, I could maybe put myself in a position to out kick some of the folks in the pack of runners in front of me.

Mile 3 8:06

I started getting really hot during the final mile. The sun came out in full force shortly after the race started. For a minute I contemplated shedding the shirt because I was so warm, but I knew I couldn't finanagle my bib off in time. I wanted to drop the pace to sub 8, I was tired and hot but that's all the more reason to get it over with fast, right? The two peeks I had was at 7:48 and 7:54 pace. Uff da.

I started to get really tired with about a half mile to go. That group that I had hoped to kick and catch up to? Well they also had a kick and pulled away even further. There was a small group of two mile run/walkers that I had caught up to, so I tried to focus on them. With about .35 to go I really tried to kick to finish strong.

Mile 4 8:03 pace (my watch read 3.98, so my last split was 7:51 for an 8:03 pace, others had 3.99 or 4.0 so maybe I just killed the tangents for once in my life!)

Official time: 32:20 for 8:05 pace.
Average HR 170, Max HR 180.

Race Result

87 / 245 (35.5%)
7 / 42 (16.7%)
30 / 143 (21%)

My A goal for this race was 8:19 pace. 8:19. That's almost 15 seconds slower than I ran. To say that I'm ecstatic with my performance is an understatement. After a really rough half, where I felt like death, it really made me question my fitness and my training, and all of the not so fun thoughts that go through your brain on a bad day. This race day proved that I've been working my butt off this past year, and that I've made significant progress, and that there's still speed in these ol' legs. In October I ran a 5k in 8:11 pace, and I ran a mile farther, faster at this race. If that doesn't show progress, I don't know what will (again, saying that 100% to my brain that sometimes has doubts :P).

Toni ran a really strong race, and had time to snag some stellar finishing pictures of me. What a BRF!

After the race, we got in a one mile cool down, that felt hard. I looked down at my watch, and expected it to be at a quarter mile and it was at .08. I thought for sure my Garmin was wrong. Nope. Just had felt like forever. Uff. After the run, we went to the after party at the Bridges for free chili and chicken noodle soup. This race is great! I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't done it!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Spring Half Training Week 1

Monday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 6 miles 8x100 strides
Monday Actual
General Aerobic + Speed 6 miles 8x100 strides, solo through slippy slick snow and ice. womp.

Tuesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 5 miles 
Tuesday Actual: Rest day. My legs felt really cruddy.

Wednesday PlannedGeneral Aerobic 4 miles
Wednesday Actual: 4 hilly miles at the group run. The route iced over bad during the last mile. It was like a slip and slide!

Thursday PlannedSanford POWER  
Thursday Actual: Rest day. I couldn't get out of bed for POWER. I woke up at midnight to get us a dorm room for Grandma's race, and it took forever to fall back asleep.

Friday Planned: Shakeout 4 Mile with strides.
Friday Actual: Oops, another rest day. I was so tired, and Toni, via text, agreed that sleep was necessary. It was also cold AF.

Saturday Planned: Frostbite 4 Mile with 7 total.
Saturday Actual: Frostbite 4 with 7 total!!

Sunday Planned: Recovery 4 miles
Sunday Actual: Another insanely cold day. Ugh. 0 miles. So over winter.

Total Mileage Planned: 30 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  17 miles

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Weekly Reads: Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand was one of the last books I was flying through prior to the Printz awards mid-February. It's by M.T. Anderson who wrote Feed, and is a must-read if you haven't already. This book was capital W WEIRD. Like there is a very special soul that I will recommend this book to at the library and who will enjoy it like I did. And perhaps you're also that special soul who likes WEIRD books. About aliens. And art. And all sorts of other weirdness. Check it out.

My rating: 4 stars.

summary from goodreads:

When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth - but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents' jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv's miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem "classic" Earth culture (doo-wop music, still-life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it's hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he's willing to go - and what he's willing to sacrifice - to give the vuvv what they want.

Monday, February 5, 2018

January in Review

January in Review

Total Miles:  102.37 miles down from 116.3 miles last month. With a race week taper and a recovery week thrown in there, I'm a-ok with that! 72.4 miles last January. 1/12 months of 100+ goal--check!

Total Time:  17:17:04 down from 19:40:41

Total Runs: 16 runs, for an average of 6.4 miles a run.

Highest weekly mileage: 

1/1/2018 – 1/7/2018:34.6 mi5:53:3310:13 / mi

Most hardcore run: 8 miles on New Years Day in -17 windchill. I still don't have complete feeling back in my right forearm. Should I be alarmed?? (yes, probably).

Favorite run: 10 miles with 5 at tempo. I thought I was going to hate this run, but it was actually a really strong workout!

Favorite Race: I only did one race, but it was so miserable I'm not even sure I should count it. The race weekend was stellar and it was so amazing to see Toni nail a MONSTER PR that I'll count it. F^3 Lake Half Marathon.

Favorite Jam: I think the only run I did solo was the half, and my iPod was dead so I didn't even listen to it.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Frostbite 4 Race Goals

It's race week yet again! Despite being a runner for a million years, I have never done the Frostbite 4. It has been on my radar for years and years and it's always been too cold or I've not been in good shape, and then what's the point of spending money to run a race to tell you that you're not in shape, right?

Because the half went so poorly, I'm really amped to have a short redemption race. Also, since I know I can spend a million years in Zone 4 of my heart rate without my organs shutting down, I should be fine to do it for 4 miles, right?! :P

A Goal: According to my 10k pace for the Thanksgiving Day race, I should be able to complete 4 miles in 8:19 pace. That sounds super hard, but it's only 4 miles, so why not, right?!

B Goal: Sub 8:30 pace. If I can do it for 6.4 miles I should be able to do it for four right?

C Goal: PR. You guys, I might be able to have a PR party tomorrow. I've only raced one other 4 mile and I did it in a 9:12 pace. I think I can I think I can I think I can.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chicago Weekend

We started our weekend waking up at 4:15am to meet up for the coffee run. We needed a shake out run and this is the most fun run of the week. It was then that I learned that Toni would have to go to work until noon, so we wouldn't get in until 9pm ish. Uff da!

We hit the road at noon, got MOAR COFFEE but failed to get lunch, and made our way east. I tried to limit my water intake so our 9 hour drive didn't become a 15 hour drive. That may have been a mistake......

With matching goodr sunglasses, of course. My pink ones are scratched. :(

Around dinner time we were dying of hunger and Krittabug helped me find somewhere in Madison to eat. I'm pretty sure I ate at the Great Dane when I stayed with her for the Madison Marathon a million years ago. Except this time, I didn't have a beer because we still had a 3 hour drive and again, I didn't want to have to stop a million times, AND I DIDN'T GET CHEESE BALLS because my stomach had been really upset all week and I didn't want to risk stomach issues for the race. Spoiler alert: I should've just eaten cheese balls. We had planned to get all sorts of Wisconsin beer and cheese on the way home but for some reason Toni's GPS routed us through Iowa. GPS, NO ONE EVER WANTS TO DRIVE THROUGH IOWA! No one. harrumph.

We got to the hotel and immediately went to bed, after laying out our outfits. I've never been so thankful for a 10am race start to be able to sleep in. But because all I did all day was consume caffeine, I didn't sleep at all. Ugh.

But I got to see Soldier Field for the first time, so that was pretty darn cool.

We ran the race, and I felt like garbage. Toni was meeting up with a friend that lived in Chicago, and I laid down trying to stop feeling like crap. I felt like I had a fever and my stomach was killing me. About 4:30pm I realized that I'd only eaten a banana, a protein bar, and my GUs all day. And I wasn't hungry. Yikes. Very un-Jerbear-like.

Luckily Toni came back and we decided to make our way to dinner. I found a menu that looked delicious so we started to make our way there.

Naturally we had to stop to take obnoxious photos on the way there.

We made it to Hub 51 in time for my stomach to wake up with a vengeance. Time to eat two meals in one sitting. Challenge: accepted! First up: Grapefruit vodka with black salt. Whaaaa? U fancy.

I had to resist the urge to grab a giant handful of my bar neighbor's nachos, so we obviously needed a mountain of those.

Which lead to some delicious tempura battered sweet potato sushi rolls (where are we going on this culinary journey?!! pick a lane....) and some tuna rolls. I'm getting hungry just typing this. The meal was so amazing. We actually debated more food after this, but opted to move on. 

Several drinks later....

We made it back to our hotel room at 9pm, and both crawled into our beds to sleep. Both of our husband's called after 9pm and thought we were out partying in the city. LOLZ.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early because there was a terrible forecasted blizzard and every person we know and care about had called us, texted us and sent a carrier pigeon with this information,  twice, to make it clear we needed to get home asap.

We ate at a super cute breakfast plate but my meal was just, meh. What a bummer. At least we went to breakfast matching. haha.

Coffee made it better, as it tends to do. Also I forgot to take a medal+post race beverage picture so Toni reminded me to take one with my coffee.

And then it was back on the road! Despite having a less than stellar race day, I can't wait to do it next year. Preferably with Monday off from work so we can have more fun (aka eat more food) while we're there!

For anyone concerned, we made it home hooooooouuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrssssssss before the snow started. Most delayed blizzard ever. [insert eye roll here]