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November Rain: November Recap

SIbbetson

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November 2018 in Review

Total mileage for the month:  114.3 (95 on the AlterG treadmill) -- in comparison:  January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232, July - 290, August - 357, September - 305, October - 10

  • Oct. 29-Nov. 4: 5 miles (all AlterG), 14:00 cardio cross-training, 2:40 strength training -  which is a lifetime exercise PR week (yay?)
  • Nov. 5-11:  11 miles (all AlterG), 12:00 cardio cross-training, 2:20 strength training
  • Nov. 12-18:  36 miles (34 AlterG), 8:25 cardio cross-training, 2:00 strength training
  • Nov. 19-25:  26.2 (19 AlterG), 7:00 cardio cross-training, 2:15 strength training
  • Nov. 26-Dec. 2:  projected at 51 (31 AlterG), at least 4:00 cardio cross-training, at least 2:20 strength training

Note:  If you aren't familiar with the AlterG treadmill, I wrote about the it here, when I strained a tendon in January 2016 and used it during recovery (also the last time I took any time off running!).  It is much easier than "real" running, so counting those miles in my weekly mileage felt like cheating, but I covered the distance so I counted it with an *.

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Decorating our self-cut Christmas tree/bush in ugly sweaters & cozy pants

Races:

  • Nope.  I missed the Bass Pro Marathon, which was slated to be my longest long run before the California International Marathon, as a pacer for a friend aiming for her first sub-3:00.  I watched her win the race in 3:08, and watched three women I train with go 1-2-3 in the half.  Although I had mixed feelings about going to spectate, I had a wonderful time seeing so many amazing runners who are also amazing people. 

Workouts:

  • Nov. 8 - unstructured 6 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 50% weight, starting at 6:58 pace and finishing at 6:00 pace (6:37 average).  This wasn't planned, but this was the first day my leg felt pretty good on the AlterG and I couldn't help myself!  Keep in mind that these paces at 50% body weight are much easier than "normal" running, but I figured at least it was practice with faster leg turnover.  This was also the first day I felt like there was hope for my injury. 
  • Nov. 14 - 6 mile tempo on the AlterG treadmill (5:40 pace) at 60% weight with 2 miles warm-up and 2 miles cool down, for my first double digit run since I got super injured in Indy!  I decided to see if I could fit 10 miles into an hour session on the AlterG and was successful.  Again, running on the AlterG is much easier than running outside, so I went by effort, although that is also deceptive because leg turnover, breathing rate, and heart rates don't coincide like they usually would.  Afterward I found the table below that says it was about 6:25 effort (which I doubt), but at the very least, this had to be better for my fitness than the elliptical or spin bike!
  • Nov. 19 - unstructured 9 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 65% weight in 51:40 (5:46 average pace).  I didn't plan this one either but just kept cranking the pace down until I was at 12 mph (5:00 pace) for the final half mile.  I don't even run strides quite that fast normally, so my legs aren't used to the turnover, but it's so much easier when the machine is supporting 35% of my body weight!
  • Nov. 28 - 11 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 70% weight in 1:02:50 (5:43 average pace).  This is supposed to convert to about 6:25 average pace real running, but after returning to running outside I don't buy that (the AlterG is cheating, for sure, hah).  I started at 10 mph and upped the pace by 0.1 each song until I got to an hour of running, then cooled down to 11 miles, making for my longest run on the AlterG ever (yay??).  I was working hard by the end so that's what matters I guess.  There is a noticeable difference between running at 60% and 70% weight though - and a HUGE difference between 50% and 70%!  Moral of the story: don't gain 25 lbs.
  • Full body strength workouts:  I completed my full strength circuit twice per week and also did 10+ minutes of core work more days than not.  

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Long Runs:

  • None really, but I ran several 10-11 milers on the AlterG.  While it's not like running outside, it's better for my training than sitting on the couch!  On December 1 I ran 7.2 miles outside and tagged it a "long run."  I hope to get back to double digits outside on December 8 as long as my calf still feels 100%!

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11 miles at 70%

Cross-Training:

  • Yes x 1 million...but less than in October!

Highlights/thoughts/randomness:

  • The first half of this month was really hard for me.  I tried to remain positive, because the fact is that all of us are in need of some type of healing, and if anyone seems like they aren't it's just because we don't see all parts (or even most parts) of anyone else's life.  It seems cruel, but this world is quite imperfect.  I mourned the loss of my training cycle, my loss of fitness, my weight gain, my energy dip, my mood slump, and everything else that accompanied my injury.  I sure need running for stress-relief (I am not sure I could continue long-term in my present job if I could never run again, which also terrified me)!  I started and erased many posts about all of this, then I read this post and decided I couldn't say it all any better than she did.
  • Returning to running at the end of the month was oh-so-sweet!  I started back on November 23 (Black Friday) with 3.2 miles, after a false start 2 miler on November 18 that showed me my leg wasn't quite there.  I don't even care if I just run 5 miles easy every day for the rest of my life and never PR in anything again; I just need to run!  For the first week I alternated running every other day outside with every other day on the AlterG at 70-75% weight.
  • I have no idea how long it's going to take me to regain the fitness I lost - it does not seem that cross-training and the AlterG helped nearly as much as I'd hoped - but I am thankful for the opportunity to try.  I have put CIM 2019 on my race calendar, and have 52 weeks to train for that!

Life events:

  • The first weekend of our month was dominated by the Bass Pro Marathon.  Albani and I volunteered at the expo all day on Saturday, and then I watched the events on Sunday.  The experience had some bitter-sweetness to it since I was supposed to be running in the event, but was overall a positive experience.
  • We bought a power washer, and also re-did our flower beds.  It was far too cold for both!
  • I went to the MOABA (Missouri Association for Behavior Analysis) conference in St. Louis the third weekend of the month, and returned even more passionate about our science.
  • Thanksgiving of course.  We also cut our Christmas tree from my in-laws farm while in Kansas, and started decorating for Christmas.

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Don't you read comic books while volunteering

at race expos?

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Repping OMRR

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This booth was a hit - they rotated critters about every hour

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We bought these

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Always take snacks appliance shopping!

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Cousins at Thanksgiving

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My dad in his brand new Tesla!

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Farm fashion

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Cutting our Christmas tree

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Climbing cousins

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Opting outside - we read our library books

outside on what might be our last warm day

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More opting outside (it was 65*)

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Mismatched trees are the best!

 

 

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The mental health side of running and not running is so huge, and so hard to quantify. I struggled with that a lot this year too, hope you're finding peace with it. 

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I'm reading this post and nodding a lot. I identify with the mourning of not being able to do the thing I loved, the lost fitness, the hours of cross-training (that kind of help with fitness and mental funk, but are far from the joy of running), and that juxtaposition of wanting to just be happy running again/returning to the peak of my fitness ASAP. Yup, all of it. 

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8 hours ago, Gonzo Runner said:

The mental health side of running and not running is so huge, and so hard to quantify. I struggled with that a lot this year too, hope you're finding peace with it. 

It IS huge!  I'm back to running now and it's like the whole world is more colorful and everything is brighter and easier; it's really crazy.  I am SO thankful to be back!

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7 hours ago, Carissa Liebowitz said:

I'm reading this post and nodding a lot. I identify with the mourning of not being able to do the thing I loved, the lost fitness, the hours of cross-training (that kind of help with fitness and mental funk, but are far from the joy of running), and that juxtaposition of wanting to just be happy running again/returning to the peak of my fitness ASAP. Yup, all of it. 

I KNOW you understand!  I looked to your writing a lot as I was going through it; I'm glad you shared.

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