Category: running

*jenny It’s already November?

How is it November? How is that possible? Checks calendar. Yep. It’s still November. Which means I’m approximately 11 maybe 12 weeks out from this marathon that’s supposed to be a big PR for me? Hah. Really though, I’m working my way back onto the bandwagon.

I’m going to do the thing where I use giphys to insert colorful moving pictures of screen caps from one of my favorite shows, Supernatural, to help me write this blog post today. Mostly I just want to look at Jensen Ackles, because it’s all Dean all the time for me.

Training last week:

15.6 miles.

The bad news? 0= the number of those miles that included speed work. 10 of those miles were a long run. The good news is that those 10 miles were originally going to be 8 but I felt strong around mile 6 and decided to extend my route to give myself the option of completing 10 miles.

I’ve been going through some kind of weirdness with running in the past 4 weeks. I don’t want to do it and then I do… I complete my highest mileage week ever and then feel exhausted the next week and don’t want to run at all. I wasn’t as consistent over the summer with MAF as CBK was and it has definitely started to show. I’m just less consistent period. I think my best course of action to ready myself for this marathon is to cut back on speedwork, maybe cut back a little bit of mileage and go from there. Maybe the perfect combination for a crash and burn?

Maybe the perfect combination to get a PR? Mostly it sounds like the perfect recipe to finish the race with my dignity intact which is my ultimate goal. I would like to finish strong, possibly running/jogging the entire thing, and not feel so utterly devastated physically at the end. My biggest complaint with the BG26.2 last year was the hills and the utter physical decimation it left me in. I’m hoping I’m a stronger athlete than that this year. I’m hoping.

Shrug.

 

Anyway. In an effort to keep myself out of the personal black hole of misery that is autumn every year for me I’ve been working on adding some additional cross training and light therapy to my routine. Here’s me with my fancy grow bulb in my fancy desk lamp.

grow bulbs

I also went to a spin class this morning. I spent the majority of the class BEC-ing this lady next to me for hogging one of only two oscillating fans in the entire room for herself… the turd actually put it right in front of her bike and locked it so that it would only blow on her. Then I realized she is a neighbor of mine. So, lucky me. Don’t worry– this gym membership will go the way of the planet fitness membership that I signed up for and so ardently claimed I would use last winter (spoilers: I used it ONE time.)

Things I’m excited about, CBK and I are trying a Barre class on Thursday and I’m pretty pumped. I hope it’s fun. I hope I don’t fall over. I hope I don’t trip one of the other attendees? Let’s just hope for the best possible outcome which will be that I make it through the entire class without making a fool of myself.

We had family pictures taken a couple of weeks ago and of all the pictures we’ve ever taken, including our wedding pictures, this might be my favorite. I’ll do a post of my wedding pictures sometime. They’re pretty funny.

I mean, we’re both smiling. There’s that gravel road behind us. It looks like we’re on a farm (we’re really in a small field beside our church’s parking lot). Tony doesn’t have a hat on and you can actually see his face. What more could I ask for?

SONY DSC

Also– this cheeseball, who is the song in my heart and the smile on my face. Every day all day.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Next time I’ll show off pictures of her halloween costume. It was e.p.i.c.

*courtney – MAF training log week 1

week: 1 of 16 ~ 5/4/15 – 5/10/15

total miles: 27
crosstraining:
bike x 2
strength workouts: 2
focus/thoughts:
while i am running slow i am trying to focus on my form and see how i can be more efficient. while i was half marathon training i was able to train myself to breathe at a 3 to 2 pattern so that i am exhaling on alternating feet. there is some kind of science behind it, and since i am always getting hurt on my right side i figured it couldn’t hurt 🙂 after focusing on that for a few weeks it is now second nature! surely over the next 16 weeks i can devote some time to tweaking other aspects which will help me come fall racing season.

up first are my arms! this week i began focusing on keeping my elbows bent at 90, my hands relaxed, my swing going forward and backward and not across my torso, and driving the movement from my shoulders. more form tips can be found here. i really covet katie edwards’ form in this altra video. i want to be just like her–fast, hard-working, strong and gorgeous. i noticed that when i was tensing up from a hill or my heart rate was on the upper limit my shoulders would start to hunch and i would clench my fists. in turn, by focusing on relaxing more and thinking about better form my heart rate would lower. so crazy how it is all connected!

looking back at the data i am definitely not straddling the line of 147 bpm, and i think it is because of a couple of reasons. the first being i run so damn early my body is not fully awake enough to even work that hard! the second reason being because i absolutely hate hearing my garmin scream at me when i go outside of the 137-147 range. i am afraid of authority in all aspects of life–even when it comes from a gadget on my wrist 🙂

monday
planned workout: bike
actual workout:
rest day! too busy at work to even take a lunch. it happens!

tuesday
planned workout: 4 miles and strength
actual workout: 0 miles and the core strength workout with 5# weights. 4am wakeup calls never get easier. i totally skipped out on the run 🙁

wednesday
planned workout: 4 miles and 30 minutes on the bike
actual workout: 6 miles and 30 minutes on the bike
course: hilly, paved, some sidewalk
weather: 61*/humid/dark
gear: brooks purecadence 4
how did it go? i tried a new route because i wanted to get in some extra miles since i skipped the run on tuesday. i didn’t realize how hilly it would be, but i will keep it up since it was well-lit and empty.

day1

thursday
planned workout: 4 miles and strength
actual workout: 6 miles and strength circuit
course: flat, paved, mostly sidewalk
weather: 63*/humid/dark
gear: brooks pureflow 3

day3

friday
planned workout: rest
actual workout: 30 minutes on the bike

saturday
planned workout: 10 miles
actual workout: 10 miles
course: sunny south carolina! hilly (450+ feet of elevation gain!) and paved
weather: 70*/windy/sunny
gear: brooks pureflow 3
nutrition: some clif shot bloks and s!caps along the run; no tummy issues
how did it go? such a beautiful running trail, but holy crap is it hilly! remind me never to run a race in greenville, south carolina unless it am doing it just for fun.

day4
IMG_3053IMG_3056IMG_3057

sunday
planned workout: 5 miles
actual workout: 5 miles
course: paved and flat
weather: 70*/windy/sunny
gear: brooks pureflow 3
how did it go? another awesome paved biking/running/walking trail! why doesn’t bowling green have these? this was in north carolina and i ran along side the pisgah forrest. this was my 3rd state to run in this week 🙂 over the past year i have run in 2 countries and 5 states, which isn’t a lot to some people, but makes me feel good about semi sticking to a training plan while out of town! i did have some tummy issues on this run–i will blame the chinese food from the night before!

day5
IMG_3059IMG_3060

 

*jenny weekly training journal 5.4-5.10.15

 

Monday 5.4.15:

Planned Run: 4 miles at MAF of 147
Weather including humidity: 75* with 63% humidity
Food: I ate half a bagel with cocoa barney almond butter and a oikos triple zero strawberry yogurt cup.
Shoes: blue brooks pureflow 3s. These still have a little life in them.
Entertainment: Old Easy playlist. Spent 5 solid minutes rocking out to Dragonforce’s through the fire and flames. Good times.
Actual Run:

Miles
How did it feel: Slow and hot. I took at least 10 walk breaks. Garmin connect says my elevation change for the entire run was 13 meters. Every single little incline I had to stop and walk. I think it has a lot to do with heat and humidity. It’s already getting hot in Kentucky and sometimes I have to do a lot on my lunch breaks. I’m going to try to do a morning run this week and I’m interested in seeing what a cooler temp will yield. Also– that cardiac drift. It’s a bitch!
Are you bored yet: I am not bored and I’m actually loving it and I’m only 3 runs in but… I’m really enjoying just enjoying myself!

Tuesday 5/5/15

*First off, big shout out here to T– this was our anniversary! 8 years in. God knows we’ve seen some crazy changes in just the last 2! I feel confident that we will make it through the next 8 and beyond just fine. 🙂 Sure we want to kill each other some days. Don’t all couples? 🙂 For my anniversary I got an AWESOME set of jaybird bluetooth earbuds. I’ve been hem hawing around about buying them forever and the husband treated me. They are freaking incredible. So worth it. Thanks honey! Love you! 🙂

Planned Run: 5 miles at MAF
Weather including humidity: 11 am *82 with 38% humidity
Food: Oikos triple zero strawberry and a bagel thin with cocoa almond butter
Shoes: blue pureflows
Entertainment: The Another Mother Runner podcast, the episode with special guest Summer Sanders. Summer, you are my new spirit animal. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and may actually listen to it again. I liked it that much.
Actual Run:  So in true Jenny fashion, once again, I messed up. I created a workout on garminconnect and uploaded it to my watch… except I only created 1 big 5 mile interval. So I have no idea what my heart rates or average paces per mile were. I know they were slow. I had to take at least 6 walk breaks throughout this one. I think I’ve finally got the garmin thing figured out now though… fingers crossed. On a less important note… shorts tan 2015 is coming along nicely. Along with shoe and sock tan lines on my feet.
How did it feel: HOT. HAWT.
Are you bored yet: Nope. Not at all.

Wednesday 5/6/15:

Planned Run: 4 miles at MAF
Weather including humidity: 11 am *80 sunny and 37% humidity
Food: Oikos strawberry triple zero and a nature’s own bagel thin with barney cocoa almond butter
Shoes: Blue pureflow 3s. I wish I’d kept an accurate count on the mileage on these shoes. I know they’re still good but it would be nice to know how long for. LOL 🙂
Entertainment: Trail runner nation podcast– this one was a first for me. I need to get into it a little and figure out who these guys are.
Actual Run:

miles 2
How did it feel: I feel like this is the most accurate portrayal of cardiac drift I’ve gotten so far. I’ve been counting my walk breaks up small inclines (how embarrassing) and on this day I only took 2. Which is awesome considering it was hotter than it has been. But it was also less humid. I also think these paces are the most accurate I’ve gotten so far.
Are you bored yet: I am not bored at all. It’s only week 1 but I am loving this. I’m listening to old playlists and new podcasts. it’s not a chore to go out and do my run because I know it’s going to be at a super easy pace. Talk to me again after MAF test #2 I guess. 🙂

Thursday: Iron Strength workout from Runner’s World. Info can be found here.

Friday:

Planned Run: 4 MAF
Weather including humidity: *83/ 38% humidity
Food: Bagel thin with cocoa coconut almond butter and oikos triple zero berry yogurt
Shoes: blue pureflow 3s
Entertainment: TFC playlist
Actual Run:

miles3
How did it feel: Hot and slow. 🙂
Are you bored yet: Still loving it. 🙂

Saturday:

Planned Run: 10 MAF
Weather including humidity: *66/ 82% humidity
Food: I did some quick googling while I was drinking my cup of coffee to try to decide if I should eat or not? This is all a learning experience for me. The paces I’m running at feel fine and the entire point of MAF is to try to teach your body to burn fat and not sugar… so I took 3 gus with me, just in case, and skipped breakfast. Though I DID have a big dinner at Gondolier (italian) the night before. 🙂
Shoes: blue pureflows. Just about dead.
Entertainment: Another Mother Runner podcast, the no limits challenge recap episode. I really enjoyed this one.
Actual Run:

miles4
How did it feel: This felt fabulous. OH the difference a 20 degree temperature change can make. The last 2 miles of this my HRM died a good death and I didn’t get any accurate HR data. I just tried to keep my pace consistent with what it had been during the previous miles. I like that the data BEFORE the HRM went dead is nice and consistent in the 11’s. It just goes to show what temperature does to our bodies.
Are you bored yet: STILL not bored. 🙂

Total weekly miles: 27

In non running news my boogie bear is sick once again. A nasty viral infection that we will have to retest for in a month. 🙁 Spare a good thought, prayer or some positive vibes? Here’s a picture from Mother’s Day (which deserves it’s very own post this week :).

Fabulous

 

Also my most favorite coffee mug ever…

Mug

mug2

mug3

*courtney – total fitness connection run for children minimarathon race recap

finish time: 1:56:04 (a 10 minute and 44 second PR!!!)
race: total fitness connection run for children minimarathon
location: bowling green, kentucky
swag: cotton t-shirt, goodie bag and medal
weather: 35*/windy/overcast
gear: adidas adios boost, injinji socks, lululemon pace pusher crops, lululemon swiftly racerback, lululemon swiftly short sleeve tee, arm warmers, adidas visor, lululemon run with me fleece gloves, c9 ear warmer, jaybird bluebuds, nathan quickshot
nutrition: cut out fiber gradually the week of the race and added in coconut water on thursday and friday. olive garden spaghetti with meat sauce and breadsticks for dinner. 2 imodium 2.5 hours before the start, a bagel thin with peanut butter and coffee 1.5 hours before the start, and another imodium with some gulps of water with caffeinated nuun 30 minutes prior to start. Had a salted caramel gu and s!cap at mile 4, 8 and 10 and drank water in my handheld and from the water stops.
recap: what a race! although it was windy and had some rolling hills, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better experience! I am sure that is the PR speaking, but truly it was a great race, and I hope to complete it over and over again 🙂

the plan was to average an 8:55 pace, and i programmed my watch to start at a 9:10 pace and drop 3-5 seconds every mile to end up with the last 1.1 miles ~8:30 pace.

miles 1-3 (9:09, 9:07, 9:00)
the field was very small for the half marathon, so we found ourselves near the front of pack. it was great because we didn’t have to expend a bunch of energy bobbing and weaving, we were pretty much instantly in a good position to cruise. i looked down and we were running at a 7:30 pace! it is amazing what adrenaline will do for you. we reigned it in and evened out quickly. i had on a jacket at the start since it was pretty chilly, but we saw kristen around the 1st mile marker and i threw it over to her. miles 1 and 2 flew by, and as we headed in to the 3rd mile we turned and ticked off that mile right one pace.

miles 4-6 (9:01, 8:58, 8:52)
i took my first gu in mile 4 along with an s!cap. mile 5 included a little bit of elevation, and we made our next turn on to the road that would lead us to the turnaround point. seeing all of super-fast runners on their way back was a big boost—but i tried not to use too much of my energy cheering, because i have paid for that in past races! we hit the turnaround at 6.6 and were immediately facing the wind.

miles 7-10 (8:46, 8:52, 8:48, 8:57)
not sure where the speedy mile 7 came from—maybe we were just super excited to be on the way back to the finish line! the wind was getting pretty abusive, and i think as i took my second gu in mile 8 i asked jenny if we were going to be in to the wind the entire way back, which she confirmed would be the case. i started focusing on targets that we could pass. by mile 10 my attitude really started to suck. we had been on the long stretch of road since mile 8 and didn’t have another turn until mile 11. i was getting tired, my music was skipping, and i almost quit pushing myself.

miles 11-13.1 (8:50, 8:36, 8:20, 7:08-.10)
finally at mile 11 we turned on to the main road and i knew i needed to pick up the pace if i wanted to meet my goal and leave it all on the course. i turned up my music and started pumping my arms. miles 12 and 13 seemed to tick off easily, and although the race is cruel and throws a hill in at the end i had a little bit of the finishing kick and crossed the finish line in 1:56:04! i was so elated!

i learned a lot during this race. i learned to trust my training and that i do well with progression runs and negative splitting. i also finally figured out a fueling strategy that kept me out of the bathrooms and full of energy! i realized that it is possible to come back from a bad mile–i struggled in miles 8-10 mentally, but i sucked it up and moved on to the next mile and finished with my strongest miles at the end. i also learned that i probably should have done a little more hill work. i would really like to get two hill workouts in a month when i train for the next race. i know they help with strength and form without being as stressful on the joints as intervals.

overall it was an awesome hometown race, and i cannot wait to run the tfc run for children next year!

*courtney – my 2 hour half marathon training plan

**disclaimer: i am not a coach, personal trainer, doctor, or super experienced runner! i have zero certifications to be doling out advice. i know when i was looking for a training plan to break 2 hours in the half marathon i searched and searched for something that looked hard enough to get me where i needed to be, but still easy enough on the body so i wouldn’t get injured. that is the purpose of this plan, please use it with caution and always listen to your body :)**

i probably looked at 10 different training plans for a sub-2 half marathon and finally decided to pull all of the things i liked about each of them and combine them in to one plan. there is a little run less/run faster in here, a little hal higdon, some elements of jack daniels, and also some random blogger’s plans sprinkled in.

i started this plan a month or so after recovering from my first full marathon. during marathon training i probably peaked at 35 miles per week and was averaging about 20 miles per week going in to this training cycle. if you’ve got a decent base of ~20 miles per week and a 26-27 minute 5k under your belt, i would say you’re at a good point to start this plan!

i was much better about the cross-training and the strength training the first half of the plan, and then in february when my mom got sick things kind of went downhill with that. i would highly recommend implementing the strength portion at least a couple of times a week along with the myrtl routine after as many runs as possible. i skipped the bike the most, because it bores the shit out of me.

i do believe the most important part of the training were the long progression runs. they taught me to run faster at the end of the workout when i was already tired. i usually started those at about an 11:00 pace and dropped 10-15 seconds every mile to finish us around race pace.

all of the recommended paces felt hard to me. as the plan went on the mile repeats and tempo runs started to get easier, but the intervals ALWAYS felt like i couldn’t do another set if my life depended on it. don’t let that discourage, just do the best that you can do and i promise you’ll start seeing some serious improvements!

if you do decide to give this plan a go, i wish you all the best luck and hope you’ll reach out with any questions or feedback!

grab the printable plan here: 2 Hour Half Marathon Training Plan

2 hour half marathon training plan

 

 

*courtney – MAF test # 1

so, today was my first official MAF test! in case you missed it, i have decided to dedicate this summer to the maffetone method to build a killer base and hopefully nail a huge PR in january at the louisiana marathon.

i first heard about MAF training from miss zippy and sf road warrior and figured if these super fast ladies could slow down to get more efficient and stay injury free, then why can’t i? i am not fast to begin with, so i really don’t have anything to lose speed-wise. i am also injury prone, but i want to ramp my mileage to ~40mpw for marathon training in the fall. the big half marathon goal is in the bag, so this seems like a great time to slow down and see what progress i can make!

so, what if MAF training? it is essentially low heart rate training. the theory is that training at a lower heart rate will condition you to run more efficiently and get fitter and faster at a low heart rate, and in turn you will be able to run faster at higher heart rates as well. make sense? yeah, i didn’t think so. trust the science, people. the first step in this journey is to find your MAF training heart rate with the formula of 180 – your age, and that is the heart rate you should train at or below for ~16 weeks or until you no longer see improvements during your MAF tests. you can find more info along with guidelines to getting your MAF heart rate here.

a typical cycle lasts 4 months or until you stop seeing improvements running at your MAF heart rate. every month you are supposed to perform a MAF test to gauge said improvements. today was my baseline test, and it was pretty much spot on with where i thought it would be. you can view race performance estimates based on MAF test results here, and mine matches up perfectly with my recent half marathon result.

it is important to track temperature and humidity along with your results and to try and perform the test in similar conditions on the same course every month. i chose the local high school track since it is the only flat area near me that is free of traffic.

oval
the dreaded oval

the track is about a mile from my house, so i used that mile and one lap around as a warmup to get to the target of 147bpm before beginning the test. you should also warm up until you reach your target heart rate, or your results will be pretty skewed by that first mile.

quick sidenote… i am 100% a hobby jogger. i run because it makes me feel really good and it is a way to steal time with my best friend. i did not run track or cross country in high school, i am not athletic, hell i don’t even watch sports! so, when i showed up at the track this morning i picked a middle lane and started going at it. i was using the manual lap function on my watch in case it didn’t pick up the track correctly, so once i made it around 4 times i hit the lap button. of course, i didn’t even think that the middle lane would be more than a quarter mile point to point. it was about the middle of the 3rd mile that it occurred to me that i was running about a tenth of a mile too long on each test “mile”. i blame my flaxen skull for that one. for the last mile i moved to the inner lane, since i still couldn’t figure out what all the lines and arrows meant on the track and how to run just a quarter mile in lane 5. i am just so glad i was all alone and no one could witness my stupidity! it didn’t seem to have much of an effect, so i am keeping these test results and will know better next time (hopefully).

test #1 results
date: may 2nd, 2015
weather: 58*/sunny
location: track
gear: altra the one2 shoes, injinji socks, lululemon dart and dash shorts, moving comfort maia bra, lululemon run swiftly racerback tank, garmin 620, nathan quickshot
weight: 162.1 lbs
warmup: 1.39 miles @ 141 average heart rate
cooldown: 1.32 miles @ 146 average heart rate and 6 x 20s striders
results:
maf test 1the cardiac drift is about what i thought it would be, and these “miles” were actually 1.11 @ 146bpm, 1.11 @ 146bpm, 1.08 @147bpm and 1.01 @ 147bpm. glad i caught my error by the last one 😉

originally i had wanted to get up even earlier to take the test while it was still in the 40s outside, but i am glad that i waited as the june, july and august weather is not likely to be any cooler than 60*. a girl can hope, though!

i am really not sure what progress i hope to see in a month. maybe 10 seconds per mile drop? less would be ok too. i do hope to see my weight drop. i am about 30 lbs heavier than i would like to be going in to the marathon in january. i am hoping to lose most of that by the mid-september training start. they say that every pound is 2 seconds off your pace. if that is true i could possibly be a minute per mile faster by the time i am at goal weight–that would be worth giving up the mexican food for a while 🙂

has anyone else done MAF training before? any tips you can share would be much appreciated!

next time i post i am going to share my sub-2 hour half marathon training plan!

*courtney – i finally ran a half marathon under 2 hours!

yes. it happened–i broke 2 hours in the half marathon on 3/28/2015 at the total fitness connection run for children miniMarathon! official results can be found here, i think the most exciting part was getting to add it to my athlinks profile 🙂

sub2

while the goal was out there for a while, the only other time i actually attempted to run sub-2 was at the kentucky derby festival miniMarathon in 2014. i came up short by close to 7 minutes, and knew by mile 7 that i had no business even attempting it. i actually had a pretty strong first half, but bathroom issues and serious lack of training led to a nasty positive split. with my hip injury in january of that year, i only ran 93 miles from february 1st to april 18th in preparation for that race–what a joke that i thought that would cut it!

sometime in the fall i decided that i was going to make the local tfc run for children half marathon my goal race. i combed the internet for all types of sub-2 training plans, and created my own frankenstein plan in google sheets. i found appropriate training paces via all of the different calculators and mapped out 16 weeks that included different types of intervals, hill repeats, progression runs, short and long tempo work, and long runs that went past the 13.1 mark. i made sure to keep my easy runs super easy by wearing my heart rate monitor and staying in zone 2, and i incorporated a recovery week of easy, decreased mileage every 4 weeks. i hovered around an average of 25 miles per week throughout the cycle. i also did quite a bit of strength training and cross-training, but i will admit i was not quite as diligent as i could have been. when i toed the line on march 28th, i felt mentally and physically prepared to meet the goal. it was an out and back course, and unfortunately there was a headwind on the way back. the toughest miles were miles 7-11, and i remember not enjoying any of the songs that were coming on, feeling cold from the wind, and thinking maybe it just wasn’t gonna be my day. finally at mile 11 it was time to turn right on to the main road to the finish line, and i just zoned in. i ended up hitting not only a half marathon PR, but i also set new 10k and 5k PRs in that second half of the race! it was exhilarating crossing that finish line!

after the race i took a week of recovery and then jumped back in to training hoping that this year’s derby miniMarathon would yield an even faster time since the course is flatter. jenny and i talked about trying to do under 1:55, and i programmed my watch for that. unfortunately we woke up to rain, humidity, and some cross-winds. jenny was sick, and i was mentally not in the game. again, i had a really strong first half, but at some point i went under a tunnel and my watch rebooted. from then on my splits and pace were erratic and i had no idea what pace i was running. i stopped and walked to eat my second gel. then i stopped and walked again. then again. and then one last time during mile 10. i kept trying to tell myself to just listen to the music and don’t worry about pace, but i couldn’t focus. i crossed that finish line in 1:57:29 and felt totally spent. although my time was still great, i felt like a failure. i am beginning to think maybe derby is just not the course for me. i don’t know if it is the crowd or if it is too flat (too flat?!?!?!), but i always really struggle during the second half.

now that this big goal has been crossed off–what’s next? of course watching the boston marathon last week has me wanting to lose 30 pounds, quit my job, and start training 60 miles per week to qualify as soon as possible. but, this is real life, and until they invent calorie-free nachos and money starts growing on trees, i need to tone my goals down. i believe jenny and i are set on spending the summer building a really great base via maffetone/low heart rate training, and then attempting to run a sub-4 hour full marathon in january. i can tell slowing my easy runs down has helped me get fitter aerobically and stay injury free. i am also hoping it will help me lose some weight. i didn’t feel like dieting during goal-race training was a good idea, but the extra weight didn’t hurt! i swear every pound i gain is a minute off my PR 🙂

so, saturday i will do my first MAF test at a heart rate of 147 and for the following 16 weeks i will keep every run under that. it will probably get super tedious, but maybe that will help me with the mental toughness that i lacked in saturday’s half marathon. i am hoping to ramp my mileage up to 30 miles per week by july, 35 in june and 40 in august. then in september i will start incorporating speedwork back in to the mix and start 16-week goal specific marathon training plan for the louisiana marathon. i’m also committed to 2 strength workouts per week. if i slack on yoga or cross-training, i won’t beat myself up over it, but i have got to get my core and butt toned up.

i will post my first MAF test results on saturday–another commitment! 🙂

Limbo

I am purgatory. I am an orphan without a plan. 🙂 The Kentucky Derby festival half marathon on April 25th is going to be my last race on the calendar before beginning the summer cycle. Thankfully Courtney is towing me along behind her kicking and screaming to complete it. I’m not really sure what I’m looking for out of this race. I hesitate to try for another PR because I don’t want to get hurt and I already achieved the goal I set for myself back in December when I began shopping training plans. But I also know that the Kentucky Derby half course has historically been very kind to me, it’s fast and flat and the crowd support is amazing. I guess we’ll see. Between now and then I’ve promised myself to be more diligent about updating my training log here at the blog. Blog log. HAH. 🙂 Without further ado– I give you, my recap.

Planned Run: 6 miles easy.

Weather: Overcast and drizzley. Just gross outside. Slightly chilly.

Food: A small sweet potato and banana for breakfast. My mom has been dealing with a really weird psoraisis-like breakout and I agreed to try an elimination diet with her called the autoimmune protocol diet. I have no idea how long I will make it through this as it requires you to cut out coffee (I can already tell you that will happen when hell freezes over and satan comes for dinner), chocolate (shit), all nightshade vegetables including white potatoes and tomatoes (double shit), corn, gluten (gluten is like my 6th food group) and sugar (fuck and double fuck). But I agreed so I’m gonna’ give it a shot for a week.

Shoes: Blue pureflow 3s. I was having problems with these shoes. I believe I’m developing a neuroma on my left toe closest to the pinkie toe. I have to basically untie them to wear them but they’ve been the best shoes for me so far and I want to continue wearing them!

Entertainment: The Another Mother Runner podcast.

Actual Run: 6 miles at 11:11 pace, make a wish!

How did it feel: I tried to run this in the MAF range that I’m shooting for beginning next month. Tried to keep my heart rate average around 147. Turns out I nailed it with an average heart rate of 147 for the run! It felt a little slow and arduous but I reversed a route that I’ve done in the past and got to see some pretty houses and green farm land (spring is finally here to stay in Kentucky) and that was nice.

For the non running portion of my life lately… Tony and I just started Netflix’ Daredevil on Sunday and within 4 episodes it has shot to the top of my must watch tv shows list. Throughout the first 2 episodes I kept asking Tony who was playing Matt Murdock, I was too lazy to google. Finally after beginning episode 3 on Monday night I grabbed my phone and figured it out… Charlie Cox! None other than Tristan Thorn from Stardust! Only one of my most guilty of guilty pleasure movies!

Stardust is also my FAVORITE Neil Gaiman book. Daredevil definitely isn’t for kids, it’s more Frank Miller than Joss Whedon and I have actually had to look away from the television a few times– I don’t think I’ll ever look at the door of a suburban the same again *shudder*. It’s fabulous though. WATCH it.

On Sunday afternoon the guy in the hat and I loaded up Elton John jr and took her to the Nashville zoo.

She has talked about nothing else for the past week. We saw Dumbo (elephants), Araffes (giraffes) and goats (they had a petting zoo). I’m pretty sure her favorite was the goats which is funny considering we could have stayed in Bowling Green for goats.

Elton john

 

Those band aids on her knees were Anna and Elsa band aids. I thought we would escape frozen-fever because L is just shy of 2 and didn’t seem interested… until T let her watch it one Saturday morning while I was doing my long run. Now she specifically asks for Frozen Anna, Elsa and Olaf. Exactly like that. She thinks that’s the title of the movie. I hear mumbles of, “let it go let it go” as she toddles around the house. We didn’t escape.

 

elton john 2

 

Zoo coma. Notice the perfectly placed elmo sticker on her chest buckle. At one point I gave her a sheet of stickers to occupy her on the hour long drive home. I turned around, then around again and she was covered from head to toe in stickers. I wish I’d gotten a picture.

Zoo coma

I will officially be the owner of a 2 year old person on April 26th. If you need me I’ll be hiding in my coat closet hysterically sobbing.

So true:

2 yo

The zoo was kind of her reward for helping me deal with our spring/summer landscaping on Saturday morning. She was a big helper. She picked out every one of these flowers for me. 🙂

lydia flowers

The dyed black mulch I chose for the flower beds this year was not kind to me. This was after 15 washes and 2 showers. I don’t normally sport black nailbeds. At least, not since my goth phase in high school.

nails

 

If I don’t check back in before April 25th wish me LUCK!

 

*courtney – sometimes life happens… training log 2/16/15 – 3/8/15

this tumblr is the funniest thing i have seen in a long time:Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 5.30.40 PMhello? do you even remember me? i have been completely absent recently due to some life stuff. my mom was in the hospital last week, and i couldn’t find a second to breathe let alone run or blog. the good news is that she is back home now and doing fantastic! 🙂

i have actually done some running since that last time i dropped in, though. the week of the snowpocalypse of 2015 i managed to get 24 easy miles done mostly on the treadmill. it actually was not as bad as i thought it was going to be. if you have the right company (jenny) the miles kind of fly by. i would still choose the great outdoors any day of the week, but i am glad i know i can use the treadmill as a last resort. i did not do any yoga, strength, core or cross training that week. major check-minus for me on that front.

the week after that was the trip to the hospital in south carolina. sleeping in one of those half-assed attempts at a recliner from sunday-saturday does not equal proper rest for half-marathon training. i kept telling myself i would sneak away for an hour here or there, but i just never felt properly rested or in the right headspace. i wanted to spend all of my time either with my mom or doing something for her. it was a terrible reason to spend a week with my parents, but kenny and i still had a blast and it was so good to see them. i will be going back later this month, and i SWEAR this time i will honestly make time to explore some of the cool stuff here: RunFurman.

so that brings us up to speed to this week! while we got another snow dump, i did manage to get all of my runs in. getting caught up at work meant zero lunch breaks, so this is my third week in a row with zero cross training, yoga, weights, etc. i can feel my butt and core turning even mushier than they already were! i do feel like that may have been overload to do this week since i was out of the game completely last week. speaking of… how did an entire week of rest effect my training you might ask? well, i’m not really sure. i didn’t run for an entire 9 days, but i didn’t do any sort of time trial before the break. my first run back was scheduled to be 1k repeats. the two noticeable things for me were that a.) my HR seemed a little higher on my warmup than usual which tells me i may have lost a little of my aerobic base, and b.) my legs felt absolutely fantastic! haha, i know that is to be expected, and it really makes me respect the taper that is coming soon. the good news is that my repeats were considerably improved from the last time i did them in january. i don’t want to think about what they might have been if i hadn’t taken the week off, i will just be happy that i am improving and try to keep forging on. thursday’s run seemed like my HR was about where i expected it to be during the warmup and slower miles, so maybe i was just tired on tuesday. i know i was also really nervous. i honestly thought that 9 days off was going to bring me back barely able to run a mile without sucking wind. thank god that wasn’t the case.

goals for this coming week are to re-introduce my core, strength and cross training and take advantage of the beautiful weather we are supposed to be getting! i also need to start focusing on nutrition leading up to the march 28th tfc minimarathon. i am still having stomach issues, and i need to be more mindful of what i eat on thursdays and fridays leading up to my saturday long runs.

week: 3/2/15 – 3/8/15

total miles: 32
easy miles: 24
fast miles: 8
strength workouts: 0
overview: i was pretty delighted to hit my prescribed paces this week, but i will say i am definitely sore! this is the first time i have been this sore in a long time, and i blame my hiatus last week. i HAVE to get back to my cross training schedule. i definitely notice a difference when i do it and when i don’t. i also have to get my freaking gut in order. i am not sure why my stomach hates me and hates running, but it’s being way harsh.

monday
planned workout: spin
actual workout: nada

tuesday
planned workout: 6 miles with 5 x 1000m repeats @ 5:00 (8:04 pace) and 2:50 recovery + the core strength routine
actual workout: 1 mile warmup @ 11:41 (151 average HR), 1000m splits @ 4:52, 4:59, 5:02, 4:57, 5:00, and 1 mile cooldown @ 11:27 + no core routine
course: purple striders, paved and flat
weather: 37*/dark
gear: altra the one2, athleta be free tights, lululemon long sleeve swiftly, oiselle flyer jacket, lululemon run with me fleece gloves, c9 ear warmer, mace jogger, knuckle light, nathan quick shot
nutrition: i think i had burger king for dinner, but i didn’t have anything pre-run and didn’t have any gi issues
how did it go? as i mentioned earlier, my HR was running a little higher than i’d like to see, which could indicate loss of aerobic fitness. it could also be caused by the fact that i didn’t sleep well at all the week before, and i really was nervous about this run. i am happy to report that the hard work is paying off–my splits in january for this workout were 5:06, 5:07, 5:08, 5:14, 5:17–and i remember that feeling REALLY hard. i am definitely showing signs of improvement! also, these shoes are great! i am so excited to wear them again, i just don’t want to transition too fast and cause injury.

wednesday
planned workout: 4 easy + spin
actual workout: zilch
how did it go? i couldn’t drag myself out of bed, i didn’t take a lunch at work, i was at the office from 7am-5:45pm, [insert another lame excuse here]

thursday
planned workout: 7 miles w/ 5 tempo @ 8:44 + strength
actual workout: 1 mile warmup @ 11:25 (140 HR), tempo splits @ 8:53, 8:50, 8:44, 8:36, 8:26 and 1 mile cooldown at 10:25
course: the treadmill due to snowpocalypse 2015 part 2 rearing it’s snowy head
weather: it was pretty cold in my garage, but i warmed up!
gear: adidas adios boost, lululemon brushed speed tights, gsx long sleeve shirt, c9 ear warmer, lululemon run with me fleece gloves
nutrition: belvita biscuits for breakfast, stouffers lasagna for lunch and a caramel gu ~30 minutes pre-run. no gi problems!
how did it go? i was a little worried about maintaining pace for 5 miles straight, so i decided to cut down from 8:55 and average out at the 8:44 prescribed pace (actual average was 8:42). cutdown/progression runs seem to work really well for me. i am thinking that is the type of plan i will implement for the half marathon. this run definitely felt hard. i was counting down the minutes during the last 2 miles. i am not sure how i would have done on the road without the belt of the treadmill helping and wind, elevation changes, etc. it definitely felt like a great workout, though, so i am not going to discount the intensity. if i have to do speedwork on the treadmill during this training cycle again i may up the pace/intensity just in case to account for those external factors.

friday
planned workout: yoga
actual workout: none
how did it go? snowed in and lazy!

saturday
planned workout: 14 easy miles
actual workout: 14 miles @ 11:38 (average HR 148)
course: house to briarwood and back – paved and flat
weather: 30*/sunny/windy
gear: brooks pureflow 3, lululemon tech fleece speed tights, lululemon full tilt long sleeve shirt, reebok vest, lululemon fluff off mittens, c9 ear warmer, c9 sunglasses, nike feather light visor, nathon quick shot+
nutrition: firehouse subs for dinner, 2 belvita biscuits and coffee pre-run, caramel gu @ mile 4 and mile 8. bathroom stop at mile 5.5 and mile 9.5. so disappointing!!!
how did it go? i had to be really strategic about when and where i ran since the snow was still all over non-plowed roads and all sidewalks. this route was ok on the out part, but the back was a little too trafficy for my liking. experiencing stomach problems on an easy long run is so frustrating. i didn’t feel great the entire run, and i am thinking i was dehydrated (i have to start working on this on thursdays and fridays). i felt really hot and my heart rate was elevated during the first 2 miles, which is super odd. the back portion was in to the wind, so that didn’t help. i was ready for this run to be OVER. this is the longest run i have for this training cycle. we will see how running over the distance helps or hinders my performance. i have seen it recommended, but i have never actually applied it.

sunday
planned workout: 5 easy trail miles
actual workout: 5 easy miles including 1 on the trail @ 11:10 pace; 5 minute run/1 minute walk
course: keriakes and the greenways – gravel and paved, mostly flat
weather: 60*/overcast
gear: brooks puregrit 3, lululemon tracker shorts, oiselle flyte tank, under armor tee shirt
nutrition: pizza and beer for dinner, banana nut crunch cereal with honey almond milk and coffee for breakfast and zaxby’s salad for lunch. no gi issues, and this surely should have caused some issues. what gives?
how did it go? the trail still had some slush on it and was incredibly busy, so after the first loop i took to the greenways. i felt good, but i had a hard time just zoning out. i did 5 minute run/1 minute walk intervals to keep it nice and easy on my tired legs.

VDOT day 27/ QS threshold 2 mile repeats + 200s

I’m going to go wild and start with the run recap first today. Also, check out that subject line. I’m back on track!

Planned Run: Supposed to be 5 miles easy but I had to switch it up because I did the easy workout yesterday to test my knee out. So today’s workout became this monster.22615 planned workout

Weather: It’s a heatwave I tell you. 36 degrees and sunny.

Food: 2/3 of my bowl of cranberry almond quaker protein oatmeal. I don’t like this flavor iteration as well as the banana nut bread version. I didn’t realize I didn’t eat the entire bowl until I got back from the run and saw the little congealed oat-ey blobs that were left in the bowl. Whoops. Also one salted caramel gu after the first 2 mile repeat. I probably could have taken 2 gels on this run. At the very least this is my note to self to always carry 2 gels on speed days.

Shoes: I’ll do my very first run OOTD. Was I repping the rainbow run club or what in this get up?

RunOOTD

Details: Athleta sonar capris, the saucony half zip that i gushed about yesterday (yes it smelled), a lululemon short sleeve swiftly (it’s turquoise and other than that I don’t know, I bought it used from my dealer *ahem* a facebook BST group) and Brooks purconnect 3s.

Entertainment: My brand new easy playlist that I’m loving.

Actual Run: This mess:

22615

How did it feel: Honestly it was hard. I didn’t complete all of the 200s. I think I hate 200s. Yeah. I do. That’s a pretty solid; kill it kill it with fire. I either lost some fitness last week during winter storm Octavia (she has a name???) or something is off. I’m not sick anymore, I just got over a really weak head cold… the only thing I can think of is that I only ate a bowl of cereal for dinner last night because I commuted in to work yesterday and was exhausted by the time I got home last night. When I’m super tired I have a hard time eating. My stomach is weird. I won’t make that mistake again. I really need to start using Myfitnesspal to track my macronutrients. I think I could benefit from knowing that my little debbie addition isn’t helping to fuel my runs properly… ?

Now for some product reviews. I’m going to keep this nice and short. This stuff, both of them, taste as if you distilled satan’s piss down to it’s very essence and then added in pinches of dirt and dehydrated vomit for good measure. Here’s the deal. I like the IDEA of the recoverite. It has all kinds of yummy, recovery goodness in it. But the taste. I just can’t with that. I don’t know if Hammer is the only company with this type of product in the market? Fool me once, Hammer, fool me once… I’ll stick to my beloved Nuun in the future and continue the hunt (or just give up because really, chocolate milk is a pretty frakking delicious recovery drink) for a recovery product I like, re: can stomach.

HammerfizHammerrecoverite

After forcing down that disgusting citrus concoction I made this and THIS, ladies and gentlemen, tastes like unicorn tears and the collected dew droplets on angel’s wings after the most beautiful sunrise you could possibly imagine. So it pretty much made up for it.

amyspizza

My love hate relationship with Kanye continues. I remember purchasing and LOVING (like, so seriously loved it) Late Registration way back when I still had to put little rainbow reflective discs into a slot on my dashboard to listen to music. God. Aren’t we glad that’s all over? Anyway. I loved Kanye. I love this song. Like, so seriously love it. It brings a tear to my eye. How can he write such incredible songs and be such a douche lord? The world may never know. Here’s to hoping that one day soon we all wake up and he’s on Good Morning America announcing that Kim and all of his crazy antics were just a really long performance art piece. But that Nori man. What a beauty.

IMG_9072

Here’s what was left of the snowmageddon on my run route today. So beautiful. God’s country. I dream of living other places but my heart will always belong to Kentucky.

whatsleft whatsleft2

I think Runner’s world posted this. It’s nice and shit.

IRrational

I have a lot of thoughts today so just bear with me. Here’s a chicken chasing a cat just for those of you who have stayed with me this long.

I’ll finish this whole crazy mashup off with this picture of me wearing full makeup. L goes to a semi-swanky part time early learning center right now for 5 hours a day. I figured out that if I wear the one nice pair of shoes that I own (mostly for work trips) to daycare pickup that the lululemoms don’t give me shiteating glares. SO I wear these Michael Kors flats with everything. Sweatpants? Holy jeans? A bathrobe? A GARBAGE BAG? Shit. Throw on the MKs gurl.

makeup

Last but not least. This kid. She is 1000 shades of fucking awesome and I love her so much that it physically HURTS me.

Cool