Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 8

Monday Planned: LT 9 miles, 38 min LT
Monday Actual

Tuesday Planned:
Tuesday Actual

Wednesday Planned Endurance 10 miles
Wednesday Actual

Thursday Planned
 GA+Speed 8 miles 10x100
Thursday Actual

Friday Planned: Recovery 5 Miles
Friday Actual

Saturday Planned: LR progression, 13 miles, increase pace last 3 at LT
Saturday Actual

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual

Total Mileage Planned: 45 Miles
Total Mileage Actual:  

This week can best be summed up with: supposed to run all the miles, actually ran little to none of the miles.

I took an unplanned rest day on Monday. I had a giant mental block about the tempo run I was supposed to do. Especially solo. And my work schedule sucked as I was working Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights at the library. Which means that all of my runs for the week would be solo, basically. Ugh. Not ideal during a week with ALL THE MILES. Tuesday came and I still couldn't bring myself to do it, and then winter appeared yet again, so at least I had a decent excuse to skip, I guess.

Wednesday finally came and it was time for the group run, and a run with Toni! And then she was running late, so I still ran solo, but it was speedy, and in shorts, and oh so lovely out, and we were running extra miles after yoga so YAY!

After yoga we headed out for more miles, and were enjoying a long hill when Toni suggested we run it again to add on more miles. I reluctantly agreed, and then. suggested to do a hard effort up it. If it's going to suck, why not get it done faster, right?

It went well, we continued on our run, and then about 5 minutes later I started having some pretty excruciating pain in my knee. The knee I've been having issues with since catching a piece of slick/icy road a few weeks back. It felt like I had a ton of pressure behind my knee cap. Yikes. I stood around for a bit and tried to run again. Nope. So I told Toni we might be hoofing it back to the store walking instead of running. Within a few blocks, I opted to try again. And it was fine, for about a third of a mile, and then it cropped up again, so I shut it down.

Thursday I made the decision to rest the remainder of the week. Ice, ibuprofen, making a conscious effort to not have my leg bent for long periods of time. Friday I had terrible pain in the BACK of my knee while I was at work. What the hell is going on?!?!? Friday night I epsomed bathed. Sunday I took a myofascial release class and found a super angry knot in my calves and a terrible tender spot that connects that calve to my knee, so fingers crossed I've been smart enough to get back to it! 

I'd much rather take a few days off of running because I think I should've instead of taking even more time off later, because I have to, but man, it still sucks!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Weekly Reads: Thunderhead

Thunderhead is the second book in Neal Shusterman's series Arc of the Scythe. I absolutely loved the first book, and was super excited to get my hands on this one. This one moved a little bit slower than I would've liked, but the end was so thrilling that I can't wait to get my hands on the next one, and seriously don't want to wait.
My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Race Report: St. Patty's Day 5 Mile + 1 Mile

I woke up super early Saturday morning feeling very meh about racing. My knee had been bothering me, Toni was going to be out of town, and there was potential for some really gross weather to roll through town. Last minute, Toni ended up not going out of town, due to the really gross weather making its way across the state. YAY! I told her my plan was to head into town to get in a 3 mile warm up prior to the race. I'd decide to either skip the race altogether or just run it for fun, without worrying about a goal time, weather dependent.

We ran into Greg, co-owner of 605 Running Co. on our way out to run and he said that it was slick. Uff. Toni, Melissa and myself started out on the run, and it was a sheet of ice. We kept going in hopes that it would clear up, or get better, we attempted to run in the ice coated grass lining the trail. The most telling moments were when we would all catch a piece of extra slick ice at the exact same moment and shuffle our feet in unison until we had passed it. We turned around at .75 miles and I think our average pace was in the 11s. I told the gals I was out. I didn't want to risk hurting myself knowing that I couldn't race, and I'd be really mad at myself if I got hurt by my own accord, or if someone else accidentally took them down with me. They both agreed.

I picked up a coffee and high-tailed it back home.

Toni and I met up late morning to get in our 5 miles around town, determined to keep our mileage on track for the day. The roads were completely fine (as they were for the race as well, but we were set to race on a completely untreated bike path side note: yes I'm annoyed that the race organizers and director didn't bother to put down any salt along the path what so ever. A little bit would've gone a long way. We were told to "run at our own risk" via email at 4am). Rant over.

We had a beautiful little jog around town with some speedier than normal paces. And most excitingly, my knee felt fine. PHEW! Thanks to my massage therapist for my emergency 9:30pm massage on Thursday night! She's the best.

We drove into town, parked near the running store, and congregated in the store for a bit before our warm up for the one mile race. Ideally we could've timed our extra miles and warm up a little better, but I knew there were road closures that would make getting downtown difficult, so I wanted to be parked before all that happened.

Finally it was time to take off on our warm up mile, and we left the store with all the super fast runners from 605. As in, the team of runners that took first place as a male/female team in Chicago the following weekend for a really big 8k! The race route/parade route was already closed, so we ran along it with the parade goers cheering us on. That is officially the coolest I will ever feel in my life. :P

We got in another mile of warm up with 10-15 minutes before the race, to get our muscles warmed up. Everyone thought we were crazy for running in shorts and tanks, but whatever. We lined up near-ish the front, but as it was gun time, I'm a little annoyed we didn't line up closer. The gun was off and so were we! Some of us at a sub 6 pace. Oops. If you'll recall, my goal was to run really damn close to 7 minutes, if not under, so sub 6 may have been a bit ambitious.

I caught up to Toni pretty early on and somehow shouted to her to "get her ass going" and she took off like a rocket. Two of my running buddies who are pretty close in race times to me were right with me, and we took turns leap frogging down Philips Ave.

I tried to figure out how to lap my Garmin at every quarter of a mile before the race, and I couldn't do it, but my running log is amazing and did it for me. Wahoo!

First .25 1:30, 6:04 pace. Barf.

I didn't check my watch until about a third of the way through the mile, which was great. Hey, we're almost done already! I feel great! And then I remember shortly thereafter feeling pretty darn tired. HAh. I had warned myself prior to the race to not panic or freak out when it started to feel really hard about halfway through the race. A) you're hauling mail (that's what Kyle likes to say when I'm racing well) and B) the first part of the race is slightly downhill, so it feels SUPER HARD once it flattens out.

Second .25 1:47 7:09 pace.

The third quarter is always where I'd struggle in middle school when I raced the mile, I had hoped that I'd be able to stay strong and consistent with my pace, but I clearly did not. I lost sight of most of my running friends during this quarter as they pulled away and my legs mysteriously gained 900 lbs each.

Third .25 1:53 7:33 pace. gulp.

With the final stretch coming up I couldn't for the life of me figure out where the finish line was. I knew we had started a block closer than the previous year I did it, but since we were entering the falls, I couldn't envision where the finish line would be, and I couldn't see it. OMG I'm READY TO BE DONE. Luckily with about that quarter mile. to go I finally spotted the finish line and kicked it in to high gear. I flew by one of my running buddies and set my sights on another, meanwhile the clock was slowing making it's way to 7:00.

Fourth .25 1:45 7:04 pace. uff da. Max pace 5:18.

My Garmin clocked me at 6:56 for the full mile, but the official time had me at 7:02. I'm partially annoyed with that big of a swing, but I'm just choosing to take on the 6:56 as my official time. :) So that's a post HS one mile PR!!! Wahoo!!

After the race, we jogged a mile to cool down and then met up with our husbands to enjoy the parade and drink some beers. I love St. Patty's day!!

Race Result

44 / 283 (15.5%)
10 / 75 (13.3%)
17 / 181 (9.4%)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 7

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 6 miles 2 sets 4x150 strides
Monday Actual: I had a really rough day Monday. It was so bad that the thought of putting on my shoes and meeting Toni for a run after not seeing her and running with her for almost 2 weeks, still didn't sound fun. So I hung out with Kyle and recharged instead. 

Tuesday Planned:
 GA 3 Miles
Tuesday Actual: GA 4 miles. Tried out some new shoes and then had to turn around and change back into old shoes because they were hurting my feet so badly.

Wednesday Planned GA 4 Miles
Wednesday Actual: Birthday run with the BRF! 4 Miles! My knee was really cranky on the switchbacks, both up and down. PANIC!!

Thursday Planned
Thursday Actual: GA with strides 4.23 miles. My knee felt a little bit wonky so I didn't do the full 6 I set out for.

Friday Planned: Recovery 3 Miles
Friday Actual: Rest. I got in for an emergency massage Thursday night after work, and I went right to bed after, and somehow managed to slip a rib out of place. I was up from 2am until 4:30am trying to find a position to sleep in to get it to right itself. It didn't happen, so I bailed on the run.

Saturday Planned: St. Patty's Day 5 mile + 1 Mile, 10 miles total
Saturday Actual: Race report's TBD but 9.5 miles total for the day.

Sunday Planned: Endurance 10 Miles
Sunday Actual: Endurance 10 miles with insanely consistent paces. Crazy.

Total Mileage Planned: 38 Miles
Total Mileage Actual:  31.81 miles

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Weekly Reads: Warcross

Warcross is the newest book by Marie Lu. I was excited to get my hands on it. I think fans of her previous books will really enjoy this one and it's an excellent read alike if you enjoyed Ready Player One. Check it out and let me know what you think!

My rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patty's Day 5 Mile and 1 Mile Race Goals

I am beyond excited to race tomorrow. I always enjoy a good excuse to race in green gear and celebrate my Irish-ness! We originally had planned to race the 5 mile, as I always like a good 5 mile/10k race to help me figure out where my fitness currently is. When Toni mentioned she wanted to race the one mile too, I figured, why not? They're about 5 hours apart, so might as well try, right?

So without further adieu, here are my goals for the races!

Based on my Frostbite 4 Mile race time, the racing calculator gods seem to think I can race the five mile in an 8:14 pace. My 5 mile PR was set in 2010 on a short course. Like a quarter of a mile short. So I've told myself that if I run that pace for this race, I'll count it as an official PR and toss out the old liar of a race time. :P I ran an 8:10 for that race, so we'll see! [it's insane that 11 months ago my goal for this race distance was sub-9, so stoked for how my training has been going!]

For the 1 mile, I really want to run a post-HS PR. I've only raced one, back in 2011 after running the 5 mile and 5k at this same race series. That PR is a 7:14. I'd be really stoked for a sub 7:10. If I recover swiftly from the 5 mile race, I'm gunning for a sub 7 finish!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Purple Hair Yet Again

A few weeks ago, during a week I wasn't yet training for all the spring half marathons, Kyle was out of town, the BRF was out of town, and I didn't have to work. What do people do when they don't have any obligations and no one to spend time with?!

Well, this person finds some old purple hair dye from the back of the cupboard and decides to put it in her hair. The last time I got my hair done, I wanted to get my hair much blonder. My hairstylist went a more icy blonde which is cute but super hard to maintain as a warmer gold kind of head of hair, naturally. I started using some purple shampoo which was helping, but I was just over the color and ready for something new.

I left it on twice as long as I previously had since it was an older bottle, I wasn't sure if it had lost some of its potency. I barely rinsed it with cold water, and loved how it turned out!!

I knew the next week it was going to fade fast because I was starting training again the next week, but I did manage to go a good 3-4 days without washing it and just using a lot of dry shampoo. Some days it looked purple, some days it looked blue, most of the time it looked blurple (blue+purple), other times it was a grey/lavendar (aka the days where there was too much dry shampoo).

I took a million selfies daily to document it, and actually spent time doing my hair for work. This is not usual for me. I knew that the color was going to go fast, so I wanted to have as many snaps as possible before it did!

One of the days I took my dad to the doctor and he didn't even notice I had done it. Geez dad. granted he was going in for cataract surgery so it's entirely possible he just didn't see me 100%. :P

I'm somewhat convinced that my four mile race went well because my hair matched my shirt.

I think my favorite hue was about 3-4 washes in. The dark had faded from the dark of my hair, and the light in my hair was a light violet. So fun.

Bye bye purple hair. Until we meet again! (or I attempt a different color).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 6

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 8 miles, 6x12 sec uphill, 6x100
Monday Actual: We had a blizzard roll through, so I got to spend some quality time with my husband instead of running.

Tuesday Planned:
 GA 5 miles
Tuesday Actual: The weather was still pretty crazy, and the roads were very icy but I rummaged out my 8 year old pair of yaktrax and managed to get in a little over 3 miles slipping and sliding around. 

Wednesday Planned GA 5 Miles
Wednesday Actual: GA 4.3 miles + GA 5 miles. I got in some miles during the group run, and then Chris and I went out for more miles after yoga.

Thursday Planned
 VO2 Max 9 miles, 6x1000 @ 3k-5k pace 
Thursday Actual: POWER Session 60 minutes + VO2 Max 9 miles, 6x1000 @ 3k-5k pace on a semi-shoveled track.

I had told myself prior to the workout portion that I would shoot for the 5k pace since there were some significant spots (aka the curves) of snow and packed down ice that would be slowly me down. So I was pretty dark excited to see my paces right smack dab in between my goal paces. Special thanks to Chris for maintaining the track so we could get in a track session outdoors!

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 Miles
Friday Actual: I woke up Friday morning and was soooo tired and sooooo sore. Uff da. I was so thankful for some recovery miles (and a mileage goal for the week that got me out the door for said recovery miles). Jessica ran a nice leisurely pace with me for 4.26 miles.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 12 miles
Saturday Actual: Solo long run, 12 miles after teaching yoga. So glad I taught in the morning because the city was a sheet of ice. I was excited to see what my long run pace looks like when the ground isn't covered by snow and ice. This is the first clear long run of the year!

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: .2 miles. I had planned to do a 5 mile recovery run to hit my 43 mile goal for the week, but my stomach had other ideas. I had a super angry stomach all day long, I attempted my run at 9pm and it just didn't happen. Oh well.

Total Mileage Planned: 43 miles
Total Mileage Actual:  38.12 miles

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Weekly Reads: The Dead Moms Club

One of my favorite actresses, Casey Wilson, mentioned The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of all Losses on her podcast several months ago. As a member of the super shitty club herself, I was excited to pick it up based on her review. It was amazing. I may be slightly biased as Kate Spencer's mother also passed from pancreatic cancer, so there are portions of the book that were so eerily similar that it gave me goosebumps. But this book is basically the entire conversation that I would like to be able to sit down and have with my friends who have also gone through this experience, except I'd just cover myself in snot and tears and not get out a single comprehensible word. Someday that might change, but for now, this felt like that conversation I've been dying to have.

Of course there were tears, but more than anything there was just so much, "yes, this. exactly this." as I felt like someone actually GOT IT. I, too, want to stand on a table when I'm having a particularly rough day or week or month and say, "DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND MY MOM DIED?!?!" because that's how I feel. I would recommend this for anyone who has gone through a loss, but especially those that have lost their mother. I want to buy a million copies of this and just pass them out as time goes on. I don't want anyone to join me in this super shitty club, but man, it's only a matter of time until that happens right? Because that's life. Uff da.

My rating: 5 snotty, tear filled stars with a side of 5 snot filled laughter stars

Summary from goodreads:

Kate Spencer lost her mom to cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too. This isn't a weepy, sentimental story, but rather a frank, up-front look at what it means to go through gruesome grief and come out on the other side.

An empathetic read, The Dead Moms Club covers how losing her mother changed nearly everything in her life: both men and women readers who have lost parents or experienced grief of this magnitude will be comforted and consoled. Spencer even concludes each chapter with a cheeky but useful tip for readers (like the "It's None of Your Business Card" to copy and hand out to nosy strangers asking about your passed loved one).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

February in Review

Total Miles:  120.14 up from 102.37 miles  last month.  41.8 miles last February. 2/12 months of 100+ goal--check!

Total Time:  20:05:05 up from 17:17:04

Total Runs: 17 runs, for an average of 7.07 miles a run.

Highest weekly mileage: 

2/19/2018 – 2/25/2018:39.1 mi6:35:1810:07 / mi

Most hardcore run: 8 miles with tempo portions, solo, in 25-35 mph winds AFTER I had just gotten over an insane cold. Where's my gold medal??

Favorite run: 13.1 miles with Toni through snow and ice. The miles flew by. Like insanely fast.

Favorite Race: Frostbite 4 Mile.

Favorite Jam: Tegan and Sara's Every Chance We Get We Run. Still. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring Half Marathon Training Week 5

Monday Planned: Recovery  5 miles 
Monday Actual
Recovery  5 miles in our first day that felt spring like. Toni and I were basically giddy on the entire run. Total goofball runs with the excitement. Also we dressed alike without planning it which gets us an A+ to start the week.

Tuesday Planned:
 5 miles with strides. 8x100
Tuesday Actual
5 miles with strides. 8x100. Another day, another matching run. Hah. We got in some strides and the miles flew by.

Wednesday Planned GA 4 miles
Wednesday Actual: We actually snuck in 4.2 miles because I was really close to 120 miles for the month and I didn't want to short change myself. Ha.

Thursday Planned
 GA 5 miles
Thursday Actual
GA 5 miles, solo. Womp. We broke our identical streak because Toni had some stuff going on with her family and had to head back to WY. I was in such a big hurry (and was bummed I didn't have my buddy) so no picture after.

Friday Planned: Rest
Friday Actual: Rest.

Saturday Planned: GA 9 Miles
Saturday Actual: Long run 9 miles with Melissa. Toni was out of town, so Melissa and I met up for the long run. I was shocked by how many frozen icy/slick spots there were on the out portion. Neither of us was feeling great. Luckily once we hit the turn around, Melissa got some water to drink, we flew back toward the store on our way back.

Sunday Planned: Recovery 4 Miles
Sunday Actual: 4 recovery miles in all the wind.

Total Mileage Planned: 32 Miles
Total Mileage Actual:  32.71 miles

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weekly Reads: They Both Die at the End

I absolutely love love love Adam Silvera. He always writes the most amazing teen books, full of romance and sadness and strong LGBTQ characters. He may be in my top 5 favorite teen authors. The premise of the book is perfection. The execution was a little bit slow for me. Or maybe I just took it slow because I knew "They both die at the end" and I wasn't ready for that to happen? I don't know. It's a good read, but not my favorite by the author.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Clothes Buying Freeze 2018

In early January, I read an article about a woman who didn't allow herself to buy any clothes, shoes or accessories for an entire year. 

First thought: That's crazy!
Second thought: I wonder if I could do this.
Third thought: I should totally do this.

I love clothes. I love workout clothes, I love running clothes, I love yoga clothes, I love to look nice for work, I love to look nice on the rare chance that Kyle and I go out, I love to look nice when I'm on vacation and take thousands of pictures.

I am employed by a running store for goodness sakes! I see their cute clothes every single week at least once, if not 2-3 times. There have been times that I've gotten paid to teach yoga and left with $0 in my pocket because I've been eyeing an item all month.

But, last year, I did a huge purge of items--stuff, junk, clothes sold and donated. And it really helped me think about what I purchased, for the most part. But at this point, I don't need anything. I have more running clothes than a human could need or want. I have so many cute clothes for work for all the seasons, and shoes as well. Nothing nada.

So I should be able to do this, right? I recruited Toni to be my sponsor, but within the first week she bought a jacket. Fail.

I created a set of rules for myself to follow: I can buy something if it's a necessary replacement item (ie: bra,  I'm on the verge of not fitting in my one pair of jeans, so those might need to be replaced, and a warm winter running jacket as mine is an XS from 7 years ago, and rides up over my belly every time I run). Additionally: I received some gift cards from friends and family to 605 Running Co. for Christmas and my birthday, so those can be used on whatever. I also anticipate needing some new running shoes as mine cycle through with too many miles. But a J Crew sale? Nope. A Modcloth frenzy on dresses? No ma'am.

I'm two full months in, and it's been....challenging. There have been some cute things that I almost bought without thinking until my brain reminded me that I wasn't buying clothes.

And just so you don't think I'm just saving this money, don't you worry, I fully intend on using the money to decorate our house. We've lived here for almost 2 years, I think it's about time it looks like it!