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About Me

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  1. SIbbetson

    April in Review

    April 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 333.0 April 1-7: 68.3 (strength training 2:07) April 8-14: 78.6 (strength training 2:05) April 15-21: 67.0 (strength training 2:15) April 22-28: 93.4 (strength training 1:56) - new weekly mileage PR! April 29-May 5: projected at 86 Airplane April Miles of smiles Races: April 13: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in 1:23:35 for 4th overall female, a state of Missouri single age state record for age 38, and a good step in what I hope I will someday look back on as a comeback. An area trail I rarely make it to has a lot of new artwork since I last ran there! Workouts: April 3: 3 mile fartlek of 2' on/1' off/1' on/30" off/30" on/30" off (3 miles warm up, 3 miles cool down). My push paces (GAP in abbreviations) were 5:46 (5:52), 5:52 (5:43), 5:31 (5:15), 5:57 (5:56), 6:01 (5:47), 5:22 (5:29), 5:51 (5:53), 5:49 (5:40), 5:52 (5:49), 5:57 (5:51). I ran the flattest route I can from my house, but the run still had 356 feet elevation gain - the story of living in the Ozarks! I tried to really milk the recoveries since they were so short, and I felt like I was going 9:00 pace on them, but almost all of them were 7:20-7:40, which actually makes me doubt the accuracy of any of these splits, haha! But! What matters is that this was a fast workout to get my legs turning over without fatiguing me. I have never done anything with only 30 seconds recovery before - even when running strides I do 20 second strides then 40 seconds walk - and 30 seconds is quite short! Anything sub-6:00 is also quite fast for this marathoner. April 9: 5 x 800 m + 4 x 200 m in 2:57, 2:56, 2:55, 2:55, 2:58 + all 0:40, with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.1 warm up, 3 cool down). Back to the track after over 6 months apart! I would have been really happy with the 800s if I could have run the last one in 2:54, but I faded a bit. My paces on the 2:00 jogs also got progressively slower, which doesn't matter but was humorous. I was pleasantly surprised to average 2:56 on these since I hadn't run anything sub-6:00 in ages, except the fartlek the previous week. They also felt good, which was even more exciting (I've had many speed workouts where I felt like I was dying every step!). Speed is certainly not my strength, but I supposed it's better to work on your weaknesses than to ignore them. :-) April 16: 2 x 2.5 mile tempo + 1 x 1.5 mile tempo with 6:00 recoveries in 6:11, 6:12, 3:05 / 6:12, 6:09, 3:02 / 6:04, 2:56 (2 warm up, 1 cool down). Every single mile of this workout was the fastest I'd done for a mile in training post-injury, so to say I was happy with this workout is an understatement! When I saw this on my schedule the week prior, I thought I'd aim to start at 6:30 pace and work down, but after Rock the Parkway my coach and I decided that 6:10-6:15 was a better target, and that ended up being perfect! It's crazy what a difference a week can make in perception; one week before this workout I would not have believed I could do it. I felt strong and smooth throughout. This is my kind of workout! April 24: 2 x 3.25 mile tempos with 1 mile recoveries in 6:12, 6:10, 6:04, 1:32 / 6:15, 6:09, 6:07, 1:30 (3.1 mile warm up, 3.2 mile cool down). After my tempo workout the previous week went well I was ready for this one! The 3.25 distance seems somewhat random, I know, but it was supposed to be 2 x 20:00. I did it this way so I'd have my miles splits and because I'm really used to running tempos by miles. They were almost 20:00 exactly though! I hoped to do about 6:15, 6:10, 6:05 for paces for each segment, making them slightly progressive, and I was close to that. I'm not used to having a full mile of recovery, and the first mile after the recovery was definitely the hardest of the workout - getting back into the tempo groove after slowing down for 7:40 was challenging. I loved this workout, and with the volume of it plus a double I had an 18 mile day on a work day - also the biggest mileage day I've ever had on a day that wasn't my long run! April 30: 6 x 1,000 m descending with 2:00 recoveries in 3:48, 3:47, 3:46, 3:43, 3:39, 3:38. (3 warm up, 4.7 cool down). The goal of this workout was to start around 3:50 and drop to 3:40 or below, and I executed it well. I really liked it (for a track workout) because the first 4 reps felt more like a tempo run. I had to dig for the final 2 but they were do-able! It was 66 degrees with 90% humidity for this workout, and I worried that would affect me but it didn't seem to. I had to cool down to 12 miles total, and the area that we park and run to the track from is quite hilly, so I was really ready to stop climbing hills by the end of that (then I had to do plyos, oy!). Rebecca, Missy, and Danielle all came out to the track with me, and ran similar workouts to what I did, which was very helpful! I feel so blessed to have friends who will meet me at 5:15 a.m. and run a track workout that's been written for me. All of my other workouts were solo this month. Doubles on April 1, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 22, 24, 25, 28, 30 Strides on April 12, 15 Surges on April 18 Hill Sprints on April 5 Favorite workout: I loved both the tempo workouts - those are my kind of workouts! After my first fartlek in forever! Long Runs: April 6: 15.5 miles (7:35). This was just a nice solo long run! I ran a 12 mile loop I run often, planning to add on a little 1.5 mile "tail" to make it a 15 mile course. I ended up finding a road I'd never run down before instead of the originally planned tail, and it ended up taking me into the outskirts of a nearby town. I could see the Taco Bell on the edge of town that my husband always goes to when he works out that way, so I ran to the Taco Bell before turning around just so I could tell him I ran to the Rogersville Taco Bell, making it a half mile longer than planned. My daughter was disappointed I did not bring home any tacos! April 13: 17.3 miles total, with Rock the Parkway Half Marathon plus warm up and cool down. April 20: 18.2 miles of hills, with the first 9 around 7:45 pace and the second 9 around 7:15 pace (7:29 average). I ran several roads that I usually avoid due to the elevation, and came away with 1024 ft gain. I was supposed to run this by heart rate, but this was the first run I wore a (borrowed) heart rate chest strap for, and after 3 miles of pretty much staring at my watch trying to hit my heart rate goal (130 for the first 9, 140-148 for the second 9), I just gave up and ran the paces that my coach and I had discussed before I borrowed the chest strap. I learned that I am much better at zeroing in on a specific pace than zoning in on a heart rate, which is really no surprise since I've never trained by heart rate! The plus of the chest strap was that my readings from it were consistent with my wrist heart rate, with data from both landing on 143 average heart rate for the entire run, so maybe I don't need the chest strap to get accurate data after all - which is my hope since it chafed. I ran this alone and it went by very quickly! April 27: 22 miles (7:30). I paced a friend in a local marathon, with the race director's permission. I jumped in around mile 2 on the out-and-back course, and finished around mile 24. My friend requested 7:30 pace with a negative split and I delivered precisely! The race started late due to a storm delay, so it was almost 11:00 a.m. by the time I finished this run. The temperature had climbed to 73 degrees, which is a rude awakening when you're used to running in 50 degree temps and finishing runs before 7:00 a.m.! I felt fine (although quite thirsty!) running easy, but I was sure glad I wasn't racing or running a workout, and I could tell the run took more out of me than it would have in cooler weather. I enjoy pacing so it was a fun way to get in this long one! The race was on a smooth gravel trail, so it was also a softer surface that was probably good for me to run on. Favorite long run: I felt the best on the hilly 18, but 22 is 22 so it's a tie! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I had a coaching change. After coaching myself (not very successfully, I might add!) for most of my running career, I worked with Marshall from July 2015 through my my injury in September 2018. I have nothing but great things to say about him, and he took me from a 3:03 to a 2:47 marathoner, and from a 1:27 to 1:20 half marathoner. However, I needed some time away from being coached during and post-injury. I self-coached again in October through December 2018 and in February through March 2019, with a one month return to Marshall in January 2019. I planned to continue self-coaching for my next marathon build for Grandma's Marathon in June, but me asking my friend Nichole to look at my self-made plan led (thorough a series of steps) to her writing my Grandma's plan! In a way, things are coming full circle, as she and I ran the first 5 miles of Grandma's together in 2018 - she is mentioned in my race report here, and I am in her's here. I think Marshall is a fantastic coach, and I learned a great deal from him and really grew as a runner while working with him, but at this point I think I need a female coach. Nicole is also chasing a 2:45:00 marathon before the mid-January cut-off! I plan to do another post about how my training has changed and how it has stayed the same since starting with her. I recovered well from the Chisholm Trail Marathon. Nicole held me back from doing too much mileage the second week back, which I needed (left to my own devices I would have probably run an 80+ mile week with a long workout). I could still feel the marathon on my legs during my April 6 long run, but by the week of April 8-14 I was feeling pretty much back to normal. I tested my wrist heart rate monitor vs. a chest strap heart rate monitor on several runs this month. I expected the wrist to be completely inaccurate, but I learned that if it is tight and I keep the sensor clean, it is quite consistent with the chest strap measure! This was really good news for me, because I hated wearing the chest strap. The wrist would sometimes record higher "blips" that the chest strap didn't, but the averages were often exactly the same and never more than 2 beats per minute different. I ran my second ever week in the 90s for mileage! I hope to see my third in a couple of weeks. Technically I ran exactly the same mileage (93.5) on a rolling 7 days in March; I didn't think to look at that total until the following day (whomp whomp), but this was my highest Monday through Sunday total ever. I'll make sure to do 93.6 next time! I am also now confident in my ability to do a 100 mile week; I could simply run 1 more mile each day in a week like this, or run the same week with a 24 mile long run and another 5 mile double. I hope to make that happen in the fall! The evening of Rock the Parkway, I read on my friend Liz's blog that Strava was doing an April challenge called The Last Mile where they would donate $10 to charity if you finished the final mile of your half or full marathon with the fastest split of your race. Since I'd done that at Rock the Parkway, I immediately signed up for the challenge. I wasn't sure if I was actually signed up since I'd already run the race and because I didn't take the free trial of Strava Summit that was tied to it, but towards the end of the month I got an email telling me I completed it! April 1 and 2 were my final two morning runs in temperatures in the 20s - & the sun came up during my runs again! Chest strap on right, wrist HR on left, post split tempo workout New weekly mileage PR! The Last Mile for Strava Life events: We did lots of garden prep! We took a day trip to Barnett, Missouri (tiny town with a garden/farm store Jon was dying to visit) and Lake of the Ozarks (tourist town). I got to watch my 16-year-old niece run the 1600 m in Kansas City the evening before Rock the Parkway! I also got to visit my sister and her family between working in Kansas City and the race. We stayed home for Easter this year, and did several family fun activities with just us 3, and Easter Sunday services at our home church. He has risen! Not everywhere you go offers horse & buggy parking spots Lake of the Ozarks My niece finishing the 1600 m. This duck was great I find most Easter bunnies creepy, & this one was no exception We both wore running gear to this event Easter kitty Outtakes Egg project (I ate all of these color hard-boiled eggs the next week) Love this! Gardening She ate all of this, plus a carton of cherry tomatoes! Books this month: I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby There are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman Us Against You by Fredrick Backman The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - this is a must-read! The Fever by Megan Abbott Theme of the month: Building. I am building back to fitness (I think!), and building a little confidence.
  2. January 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 262.7 Dec. 31-Jan. 6: 73.7 (2:42 strength training) Jan. 7-13: 76.5 (2:46 strength training) Jan. 14-20: 75.1 (2:29 strength training) Jan. 21-27: 45.7 (1:52 strength training, 2:00 cardio cross-training) Jan. 28-Feb. 3: ?? (3 as of Jan. 31, plus cross-training) Races: Not there yet! Amy makes winter running much better! Workouts: Jan. 1 - 3 x 1 mile repeats with 0.5 recoveries in 6:12, 6:18, 6:18 (2.1 warm up, 1.3 cool down). This was my first workout on my first official day back working with my coach; clearly he didn't hold back! I left my Garmin account connected to his coaching platform when I was building mileage post-injury, so he knew what I'd been doing, and it was pretty clear that my endurance was solid but my leg turnover/speed was in dire need of help, so this was where we started. The pace range he gave me for these was 6:11-6:18, and I feared that I wouldn't be able to do it but vowed to try. I had to really work to keep the final one in range, but I made it! Afterwards I told him he chose the perfect pace range for my current fitness, because this was challenging but do-able. If I'd have been in charge of my own workouts, I certainly wouldn't have picked mile repeats, and if I did I would have aimed for more like 6:30 pace, so day 1 being coached again showed me that I need to be coached (even though he gave me a workout and double on New Years Day)! Jan. 5 - fast finish long run, described below. Jan. 9 - 6.3 mile 3'2'1' fartlek (recoveries equal to next push, 3.2 warm up, 2.5 cool down). This was supposed to be 6 miles, but who is going to stop in the middle of a push? My push paces were 5:45-6:36, but mostly 6:05-6:15. It was very windy and I blame that for the inconsistency in pacing - the 6:36 was definitely all into the wind and the 5:45 was definitely all out of it! My average pace for all 6.3 miles was 6:50; pre-injury I'd average more like 6:20 on this type of workout, so it was pretty consistent with everything I'm running right now being 30 seconds/mile slower than what I was doing at peak fitness. I am choosing to be thankful for the opportunity to improve rather than upset about being slower, but sometimes not comparing is hard. Jan. 15 - 3 mile tempo (3.3 warm up, 4 cool down) at 6:30 average via 6:27, 6:33, 6:29. I ran with Rebecca, and our Garmins were significantly discrepant (her's said 6:19 average), so I would rather claim that since my goal was 6:18! We have had Garmin discrepancies on that course before, although not by that much and usually mine is the faster one, hah. We had very dense fog for this workout so it was also pretty much like running hard into a dark abyss, because headlamps are rendered nearly useless in fog (mine also iced over because it was 29 degrees!). I gave it my best effort, but it was honestly very disheartening to be unable to maintain the pace I've run for several marathons for a mere 3 miles after being back to running for 7 weeks. Jan. 17 - 4 x 0.15 presses at the beginnings of miles 7-10 within in 10 miler. This is just a tiny get-your-legs-moving/mix-it-up kind of workout, but it always serves as a good reminder that I actually can pick up the pace if I need to. My press paces were 5:54, 5:37 (downhill), 6:01, and 6:20 (uphill). This was run #3 of the month in cold rain, but at 42 degrees and no wind, it was fine, especially after my Jan. 12 long run, detailed below. Jan. 21 - 5 x 1 mile tempos with 0.25 recoveries (2 warm up, 1.5 cool down) in 6:27, 6:33, 6:30, 6:30, 6:33. I had pretty low expectations for this workout since we were in a wind advisory and the windchill was 2 degrees, and I suppose I met those expectations. I put forth my best effort and was consistent with my splits, which was really all I could have hoped for. When I stopped my Garmin it said I needed 3.5 days to recover, which seemed about right, haha! Doubles on Jan. 1, 7, 14, 21. Strides on Jan. 10, 20, 24. Favorite workout: Weeellllll, I can truthfully say that I was thankful for all of them, but not satisfied with any of them. Long Runs: Jan. 5 - 15.6 miles (7:27) with 3 progressive fast finish miles in 7:05, 6:52, 6:36. We had a great group of 7 for this run, although about everyone was doing different distances. Claudio was kind enough to fast finish with me, even though he kicked my tail on the final hill (without the hill, I'd have been in the 6:20s for my final mile, but even though my lack of fitness showed on the hill it was good for me to fight it). Dying less every week though! Jan. 12 - 18 miles (7:46) in 33 degrees and rain, with a windchill of 22. I learned a lot of things on this run, the most important of which was that I am never running that far in these conditions again! I ran a 5 miler in similar conditions the week before, and finished it toasty and dry, so I thought I would be okay...plus there was really no alternative since it had been the exact same temperate with rain for about 36 hours straight and was supposed to continue the entire day until it changed to snow overnight. I was afraid the roads would be a sheet of ice on Sunday so I didn't want to bump it a day (although in actuality they weren't too terrible and I ran outside the next day), and I couldn't wrap my head around running this on the treadmill. I felt decent for the first 10 miles or so, but during a patch of heavy rain even the awesome rainproof jacket I'd borrowed didn't hold up, so I was just cold, soaked, and carrying what felt like 15 lbs of water in my jacket, tights, socks, and shoes. We ran a big loop course to force us to commit to the distance (my idea, oy.), so there was no choice but to keep plodding along back to my car. On the road back there was a lot of flooding and standing water, so my shoes ended up extremely soaked and heavy (at that point the only alternative routes would have added 2-4 miles to the run, so I ran through the flooding but remembered why we don't run that part of that road when it's rained a lot). My only saving grace was that at the last minute before we started I grabbed plastic grocery bags out of my car's console and put them over my mittens, and with the way I had them tied up and gripped, my hands stayed dry. That is the only reason I didn't stop at 16.2 miles when I passed my car! This run confirmed my suspicions that I would have been among the people who died off at Boston 2018, because I definitely slowed and struggled, and felt like I was shutting down. I was with 3 friends, and Rebecca and Claudio went ahead and ran a beautiful negative split while I dragged my frozen self in. My body definitely isn't made for cold rain. Amy was also with us, and she ran Boston 2018 and said this run was colder but less windy (14 mph wind). I came very close to crying during this run, but at the same time I was sure glad to say I gritted it out and always thankful to run! Jan. 18 - 16.4 miles (7:37). I ran this one a day early to avoid another cold rain/ice/snow fiasco. I told my coach I had PTSD from the previous week's cold rain long run and wasn't doing that again! Missy was kind enough to run most of it with me - I ran about 3 miles, picked her up and we did 10 together, then I ran back home. I started at 4:44 a.m. because I had to be at work a little before 8:00, so it was still pitch dark even when I finished, but I was happy to have it knocked out to reduce weather-related stress! It was actually really nice, around 36 degrees and light wind, which is very warm for that time of day in January in Missouri (last year I had many morning runs in below zero wind chills). Jan. 26 - I skipped this one, because I learned from my September-November injury and the great tendon debacle of 2016. More details to come, but I just knew that if I ran this my peroneal tendon was going to get seriously injured, so I stayed home. I think my body hates winter. Better 5-7 days off now than 8 weeks off later! Favorite long run: I felt the best on the January 5 one! My body kind of went downhill after the Jan. 12 one... 8 degrees & pitch dark Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I started back working with my coach this month. I think my rapid mileage increase post-injury made it clear that I need someone to save me from myself, and my avoidance of workouts in December also showed I needed a push. He gave mile repeats and a double on New Years Day, hah. This article about CIM really illustrates why I wanted to run it in 2018 and hope to return in 2019! I have a long ways to go to get to where I want to be, though. I've been feeling discouraged about my paces, but I'm not sure what to do about it except to keep plugging along. I remembered why winter training stresses me out: winter weather uncertainty and my inability to control it! I also think my body responds poorly to winter weather (especially stupid cold morning lows); I recently realized that I have never had a good winter of outside morning running except in 2017, which was a very mild winter. In 2018 I had a serious winter slump (slowed and became worn down - some details here and here but I was relatively quiet about it), in 2016 I got injured, in 2015 I did okay due to running almost all of my weekday runs on the treadmill (manageable since I was typically running Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday), 2012-2014 I wasn't running much, in 2011 I got injured, and before then I ran mostly at lunch when I was at a different job. Look at that resting heart rate of 32! Average was more like 40. Life events: I have never done a word/phrase of the year before, but one came to me for 2019: "Lead me". I often question whether I'm making the right decisions, and what could be better than focusing on where God leads me? We had a pretty low key month; some weekends we didn't go anywhere except for church (and out running for me). Jon enjoyed cheering for the Chiefs, and Albani watches the games with him because he gives her candy when they score or make a good play. Albani is learning to play the recorder and practices a lot, which is both a good and bad thing! Nature loving on a 62 degree January day! I had some thoughts this month about changing my sport to bowling! Crazy hair day on little notice Her hair is supposed to look like pouring soda We had a snow day on Jan. 30 Recorder practice Books this month: Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld Time Keeper by Mitch Albom Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza Clay Girl by Heather Tucker A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick Theme of the month: Struggling. I came upon these verses at just the right time: "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5 I cannot run a 3 mile tempo at the pace I used to run for marathons, my mile repeats are at my goal marathon pace (or slower in bad weather), and my current all-out sprint is maybe my 10K PR pace...but I am sure thankful to be running regardless! At least my mileage is solid. I just keep wondering what I'm doing wrong because I really haven't improved in the 10 weeks I've been back to running post-injury... BUT! I am SO THANKFUL to be running! Especially after taking some time off with a little tendon scare from Jan. 26-Jan. 30, which was consistent with the struggling theme.
  3. December 2018 in Review Total mileage for the month: 316.3 -- in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232, July - 290, August - 357, September - 305, October - 10, November - 114. This was a good mileage month, but only about 5 of those miles were fast (I am not even kidding)! In 2018 I ran 3,047 miles total, which was a yearly mileage PR! I ran 3,043 in 2018 (see #4 here), and I thought because of my calf injury this year I wouldn't be able to beat that, but in the end I did! Full story: I looked at my year-to-date total on Dec. 2 and although I'd never cared much about yearly totals before then, I suddenly felt it would be a complete tragedy if I didn't make it over 3,000 this year. So I did the math and suddenly had a goal of running at least 62.5 miles a week for the rest of the year, as long as my calf continued to feel 100%. I ended up with weekly totals over that and began closing in on my 2017 total, but I didn't expect to beat it until with 4 days left in the year, I checked it and saw that 40 more miles would get me there. 40 miles in 4 days is completely reasonable, so I decided to go for it. Nov. 26-Dec. 2: 52.4 (31 AlterG) Plus 4:05 cardio cross-training, 2:30 strength training Dec. 3-9: 64.8 (22 AlterG) Plus 1:30 cardio cross-training, 2:50 strength training Dec. 10-16: 72.8 (11 AlterG) Plus 2:46 strength training (0 cardio cross-training from here on!!!) Dec. 17-12: 75.5 (12 AlterG) Plus 2:40 strength training Dec. 24-30: 80.1 (10 AlterG) Plus 2:16 strength training Dec. 31-Jan. 6: projected at 70 Merry Christmas! Races: I had the final DNS of my injury, missing the California International Marathon. This DNS burned the worst by far. I'm hoping to return to the magic of CIM in 2019, though. Workouts: Dec. 13 - At the hill closest to the end of my run, I completed 4 x 1:00ish hill repeats. Hill repeats are hard for me even when I'm in shape, and these were tough for a mere 4:00 of hard running! I didn't time them exactly or take my paces on them, just ran from a sign to a mailbox that took me about a minute the first time, then repeated it 3 times before jogging back to where I was parked. Hills are a great way to get speed work with less impact, and I was scared of everything except hills sprints and strides this month. Dec. 28 - I finally bit the bullet and ran a real workout - 3 mile tempo at 6:36 via 6:43, 6:43, 6:24 (2.1 warm up, 2.3 cool down). I chose the windiest day to do this, but also figured that would mean I'd for sure improve on my next workout. I wasn't sure what to expect so I ran this by feel, as I am usually pretty good at zeroing in on tempo effort. I did look at my mile splits, and my main thought at mile 2 was "I may have lost my speed, but at least I didn't lose my ability to run consistent splits!". This run reminded me that it takes me 2 miles of any tempo to get into a groove and feel good, but I was still sure glad to stop after 3 hard miles! I'm very thankful to be running and to have the opportunity to re-gain fitness, but it's sure hard not to compare. I kept thinking "I have no idea how I used to run marathons averaging paces in the 6:20s!" but I also know that improvements come much faster when you haven't run workouts in a long time...here's hoping [Jan. 1 note - I did improve in my second workout back]! I wore two Garmins on this run: my old 220 and new 235, and they had all of my mile splits within 2 seconds of each other so unfortunately my disappointing pace was pretty accurate. Doubles on Dec. 18, and 26. My 80 mile week during the final week of the month was the first time I hit 80 with only 1 double! Strides on Dec. 10, 18, 23, and 26. Full body strength workouts: I started listing my weekly strength training totals with my weekly mileage above. Most of my strength routine uses body weight (e.g., planks, push ups, walking lunges) or resistance bands (e.g., clamshells, monster walks, glue bridges), but I do some weighted moves (e.g., squats, deadlifts, rows). I ran 10 miles in this ugly Christmas sweater! 8* is less cold with friends, but apparently feels colder to me than to Amy! Long Runs: Dec. 1: I tagged my 7.2 miles (7:36) as a long run on Strava, because when your outdoor runs have been 0 for 8 weeks, 7.2 is long! While the duration of the run seemed short, it also seemed like a long way to run, if that makes any sense at all. It was a nice one, with my running buddies Amy R., Elise, Rebecca, and Claudio on farm roads in 48 degrees. I can't say that I like being the one running the shortest distance, however. Dec. 8: 12.2 miles (7:39) with my amazing friends Missy and Rebecca on a cold and windy morning! I also ran 10 miles (7:26) for my midweek long run with Rebecca that week, on Dec. 5, which was my first double digit run outside post-injury! Dec. 15: 14 miles (7:19) with a wonderful group (Rebecca, Missy, Jackie, Danielle, and Claudio...I told Claudio he was in for a lot of estrogen!). Early on some of the 7:10ish miles felt a bit hot, and I sure felt the long inclines in miles 10-11, but my final 2 miles were my fastest (7:05, 6:50) and I was happy to average 20 sec/mile faster than the previous week, going 2 miles farther. The upside of returning from injury is that you improve much more rapidly than when you're fit! I'd had a few daily runs that were around 7:15 pace by this point in my comeback, but they'd been 5-6 milers, so this was really solid for where I was at. I then ended up running 12.2 miles the next day on Dec. 16 (oops - but the pace was slower at 7:57). Dec. 21: 16.2 miles (7:49) with Missy, before work. This seemed like a really good idea until my alarm sounded at 4:00 a.m. the Friday morning of the run! Shortly after, Missy texted me, "What were we thinking??!" We'd planned on a pace over 30 seconds/mile faster than this, but it just wasn't the day for it. After hearing the wind whipping around all night, we decided that even 8:00 pace would be fine and we'd consider it time on feet. It was very windy, but I think most of my problem was eating crappy the day before at Christmas events and probably also getting used to the miles...after all, I did go from a long run of 7.2 to 16.2 in 3 weeks! It didn't seem that long (thanks to my super long cross-training sessions that weren't nearly as fun), but for the remainder of the day my body sure reminded me that I hadn't run this distance in almost 3 months. But whenever you run 16 miles before the sun comes up, you accomplished something - plus Missy is awesome! Dec. 24: 14 miles (7:59) on Christmas Eve for an unscheduled but excellent long run! I met up with April to run the Chisholm Trail Marathon course in Wichita while visiting my parents for Christmas, which ended up being the perfect Christmas Eve bonus long run. The course is two loops of 13.1 miles, and she had a 14 miler scheduled so I of course ended up running the extra mile. The run went by really quickly and felt more like 7 miles instead of 14, and we only made one wrong turn when navigating the course from my memory (i.e., the course is very easy to follow even completely unmarked)! Dec. 29: 14 miles (7:39) mostly before dawn. I ran the first 7 with Elise, Amy, and Rebecca at around 8:00 pace, then did a progressive-ish 6 at around 7:20 pace because I felt good! We ran a 13 mile loop but when I got back to my car I decided to tack on another mile for 14 (funny, initially I'd planned a cut back long run of 12 this week but ended up with two 14s instead). I would have run 15-16, or maybe even 18, if I hadn't been on a time crunch to get home because Jon had to leave...and that was a nice feeling that I hadn't experienced on a long run recently! I followed this up with 11.6 miles the next day. Favorite long run: All of them! I love every single run! My new compression socks! Elise bought the same pack & we both wore a pair on 12/16 Cross-Training: I supplemented a little with cross-training as I worked up my mileage, but nothing like the previous two months (thank God)! The earliest I can start running on the AlterG is 6:15 a.m. (and I pulled a lot of strings to make that happen - the first appointment for it is actually at 7:00 a.m.), so some days I ran on it at the beginning of the month I did 30 minutes on the bike or elliptical at home before, because I can't sleep past 5:00 a.m. That died off pretty quickly though, hah. Reflecting with Amy on 12/13 (it was in the 40s this morning!) This is why Amy is usually in charge of post- run photos - Kansas City run w/ Jessi on 12/17 This is how dark it is when we finish weekday runs... Highlights/thoughts/randomness: Stopping cross-training was a highlight, for sure! Wow, I need running in my life. I fully believe that nothing helps your running more than running more. My first week back to running was rough, even though I ran 52 miles (only 21 outside, with 31 on the AlterG though). I felt like I'd lost everything and 3-4 mile easy paced runs were so hard it blew my mind to think that just 2 month prior I'd been running that for my second run of the day after running 3 times as far in the morning. 7 miles was really long on Dec. 1 and I truly didn't want to run any farther. I was very discouraged. The second week, though, I turned a corner and running felt good again! I got super excited for each run and they kept getting easier. The 10 miles I ran on Dec. 5 was easier than the 4 miles I ran on Dec. 2. I felt encouraged. The third week was even better, and so forth! My first workout back was also very discouraging, but I'm thankful I can try to improve. I built my mileage back up rather quickly post-injury, but my easy pace is slower and I did 5 weeks of easy running without workouts (I finally got brave enough to try a workout at 5 weeks, 1 day). However, slow running is so much better than no running, and at this point I don't even care if I never PR again. I enjoyed running with friends and never thinking about pace (in general I let whoever I was running with set the pace). I was not coached this month, and although I enjoyed running whatever I wanted, I was also reminded how easy it is for me to over-train myself. I had a general idea of what I planned to run each day (I even wrote out a rough plan at the beginning of the month), but my approach quickly turned to matching the mileage of whoever I was running with if it was farther. "I planned to do 8, but sure I'll run 12 with you; who cares that I ran 14 yesterday?!", "I was thinking I'd do 10, but 14 works just fine too!", etc. In related news, I will be starting back with my coach on January 1, as clearly I need someone to save me from myself. I'd considered training myself for my "for fun" March marathon (more info on that to come), and although I can write a good training schedule I am super apt to add things, which can come back to bite me. I hope to build from March for time goals in June and December marathons. I got a new Garmin for Christmas! I wouldn't have bought one for myself until my 220 died, but my husband thought I'd like it. He was right - I love my new 235. It was the only reason I doubled in Dec. 26; it was windy and wet outside but after opening it in a final gift exchange with my immediate family I was super excited to get out and try it. Winter running is here! I'll run in about anything temperature-wise, but bitter cold is my least favorite. I've been so thankful to be running I haven't even cared though! Most winters I'm scared that I'll have to run on the treadmill, but after putting in so many miles on the AlterG I'm not even worried about that (although I still plan to/hope to avoid it!). I don't have any more AlterG runs planned, but if the weather forces me indoors I'll use it over a standard treadmill to get miles with less impact once in awhile. This already happened on New Years Eve; I cannot quite manage 38 degrees and pouring rain. Life events: Christmas-themed everything! I wasn't the best at taking pictures, but we did a Christmas parade, put out outdoor Christmas decorations (our tree and indoor decorations were completed in November), and ate some Christmas treats. Albani had a terrible stomach bug the second weekend of the month so we stayed home all weekend. I could not believe how much puke came out of such a small body, and I felt terrible for her. I ran, read 3 books, and cleaned up vomit all weekend. For Christmas we visited my parents/siblings from Dec. 22-24 and Jon's parents/siblings from Dec. 24-25. It was hard to narrow down which photos to share! We are certainly blessed. For New Years Eve we saw an early movie as a family, and I was asleep before 10:00 p.m., which was everything I hoped for. Cold weather indoor entertainment Those are my PJ pants! Gingerbread house building Stockings at our house Pre-Christmas church service Christmas Eve at my parents' Cousin cuteness Cousin craziness My loves on Christmas Day Family Christmas Day photo
  4. 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 *. 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. 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%! 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. Don't you read comic books while volunteering at race expos? Repping OMRR This booth was a hit - they rotated critters about every hour We bought these Always take snacks appliance shopping! Cousins at Thanksgiving My dad in his brand new Tesla! Farm fashion Cutting our Christmas tree Climbing cousins Opting outside - we read our library books outside on what might be our last warm day More opting outside (it was 65*) Mismatched trees are the best!
  5. September 2018 in review Total mileage for the month: 305.4 -- in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232, July - 290, August - 357 August 27-Sep. 2: 75.8 Sep. 3-9: 73.0 Sep. 10-16: 80.1 Sep. 17-23: 81.7 Sep. 24-30: 57.7 (planned cut-back week, but ended up being lower than the 70ish planned because I missed cool down miles on Sep. 29, then took Sep. 30 off due to a calf issue) This month sure illustrated how running can give us major highs and significant lows, even within the span of 30 days! Signaling low battery in sync with my training partner Rebecca Races: Sep. 3 - Run for a Child 10K in 37:55 for 1st overall female. I was thrilled to slip in under 38 and net a course PR after a conservative start and with less effort than I've put into this hilly, warm, humid race in past years. Sep. 9 - Plaza 10K in 36:34 for a bright shiny new PR! This race really couldn't have gone any better...well, unless the 5 women who beat me had instead slept in that day (but I was the fastest in age group 35-39)! I was pretty much elated about this one for remainder of the month. Sep. 22 - Gill Family Fall Festival 5K, although I ran this as a recovery run instead of a race I won overall person in 21:01 (see: tiny small town 5Ks). Sep. 29 - Indy Women's Half Marathon in 1:24:19 for 6th overall and my worst decision of the month (turned a minor calf problem into a major issue). I did not get to show my fitness in this race due to the calf injury (I believe I was in shape for 1:18:50-1:19:30), but my husband told me, "Now you know you can run a 1:24 on one leg", hah. Workouts: Sep. 5: 12.5 miles with 0.15 pick-ups at the beginning of the final 5 miles - 6:57 pace for all 12.5; pick-up paces of 5:33, 5:40, 5:47, 5:33, 6:07. I almost turned around and ran the final push in the opposite direction so I could avoid the uphill and hit a faster pace, but then I figured I'd get more benefit from the hard uphill so I continued on but couldn't get it under 6:00 (grade-adjusted pace was 5:49 though, thank you Strava!). This was just a tiny workout within a medium long run midweek, but I was really happy with the run as a whole because I distinctly remember running 12 miles two days after the Run for a Child 10K last year; I remember it because it was one of my worst runs of that season due to residual fatigue. 12 miles felt soooo long that day! So before this one I was a little concerned that would happen again, but instead I felt good! I ran 3.1 miles from my house to meet Rebecca, ran a 6 mile loop with her, then ran 3.4 miles (a different route) back home. Anytime I do this it splits the run up mentally and makes it seem short. Sep. 12: 6.2 mile 3', 2', 1' fartlek with recoveries equal to the next push, 3.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down. My push paces were 5:44, 5:39, 5:34, 5:38, 5:28, 5:48, 5:42, 5:46, 5:24, 5:43. I ran this with Ben, who was a college miler, and he told me that I recover like a long distance runner (7:10ish pace on those) and sent me out to run on the outside of the road on the loop while he got the inside (lane 8 vs. lane 1 basically), haha! Sep. 18: 5 x 1 mile road repeats in 5:41, 5:50, 5:50, 5:53, 5:51 (5:49 average), 0.25 recoveries, 2.2 warm up, 2 cool down. My goal pace range for this workout was 5:34-5:50, and I was feeling confident coming off the Plaza 10K and lined up to run with Ben, who always helps me run faster than I run alone. Even though the workout was more repeats with half the recovery distance of my PR mile repeat workout, I decided beforehand that I was going to try to better that average -- possibly an unreasonable goal, but I was being stubborn and refusing to admit the difference between 0.25 vs. 0.5 recoveries and the effect of 1 more rep. The first repeat went just as I wanted, and felt hard but do-able. Unfortunately Ben strained his calf about 0.75 in and pulled out of that repeat, then intelligently called it a day. Repeat 2 alone felt much harder even running slower, and I really had to fight in the final bit to get my pace down to 5:50. I was a little discouraged, but told myself maybe I was just finding my rhythm and the rest would be better. The rest were pretty much the same, fighting for the top of the pace range or not quite that. I milked those 0.25 recoveries for all they were worth, running over 8:00 pace, and even walking for about 20 seconds each during the final 2. I certainly stick by my hypothesis that I can run about 10 seconds/mile faster when I have someone to push me, and I think I could have stayed in the 5:40s if Ben had been able to run the whole workout with me, but I sure couldn't get back down to that gear by myself. I was somewhat disappointed that I did not come anywhere near my best mile repeats, and that my average pace was "only" 10K race pace, but I am also trying to remind myself that I can't compare workouts run during 55 mile weeks (as was the case with my PR mile repeat workout) to workouts run during 80 mile weeks. It is also probably unfair to compare workouts run alone to workouts run with others. It was 68*, dew point 68*, so also not as nice as my 10K PR weather. I gave it my all out there under the circumstances! Sep. 25: 10 x 400 m of regression - splits of 1:25, 1:25, 1:25, 1:26, 1:27, 1:28, 1:28, 1:28, 1:29, 1:30 (goal range was 1:21-1:24). This was not my day! I think it was just the perfect storm of several things that were not conducive to a good workout: 71* with a dew point of 71*, tiredness, GI issues/a minor stomach bug, and a calf niggle. This wasn't the first time I couldn't hit my 10K pace on 400 m repeats and probably won't be the last time either, bahaha! This was one of those workouts I just had to laugh about in order to not be upset about...you can't win 'em all, and I sure can't seem to win at 400 m repeats this year! Doubles on Sep. 6, 10, 12, 18, 19, 24, and 25. Strides on Sep. 2, 13, 20, 27, 28, and at least few before races and workouts. Full body strength workouts - Like last month, I completed my full strength circuit twice per week and also did 5-10 minutes of core work more days than not. I also did some extra rehab exercises often for a couple of niggles I had this month. Favorite workout: I felt the best on the Sep. 12 fartlek, which coincidentally also had by far the best weather! Albani came outside at the end of a run we'd all started from my house, so got in Amy's daily Lululemon photo with us! Long Runs: Sep. 9: 17.5 miles via 3 warm up, the Plaza 10K, and 8.25 cool down. This sure didn't feel like a 17+ mile day, thanks to my post-PR high and the company of Michelle, Jessi, and Janell on the cool down. I brought chews and a gel on the cool down...I have learned my lesson about hungry cool downs! Janell ate an apple on the cool down, which I found quite impressive. Sep. 15: 18.5 miles (6:52). Let the true long runs really begin! I had company the first 9 miles (Ben, Claudio, and Missy), and then finished it up solo. I ran this fasted, although I carried a just-in-case gel. I felt strong throughout this one! Sep. 21 (Friday): 16.2 miles (7:16). I ran this one a day early due to our weekend plans, and I didn't feel as perky for it as I usually do for long runs. Usually I run 4 miles on Fridays, which my coach calls my "rest day", and it truly makes a difference. I didn't feel bad on this one, but just didn't have as much pep in my step or glycogen in my muscles. I had Missy with me for about 10 miles, and Rebecca for 8 miles, and it went by quickly. It was what I presume will be my last summer weather run, at 75*and 90% humidity (I will welcome cooler temps and lower humidity, but I also believe I get a lot of training gains from running in crap weather). All in all, it is always great to knock out a nearly 2 hour run before work! Sep. 29: 16.2 miles via 3.1 warm up and the Indy Women’s Half. I missed my cool down mileage, but I couldn’t even walk to the car after the race, so there was no chance. I didn't run long on September 1 because I ran that one a day early on August 31, which in turn got me to a monthly mileage PR in August while subtracting from my September mileage total...but no regrets because with September having only 30 days and 2 of my goal races, it meant no chance for a monthly mileage PR anyhow (plus I lost miles on Sep. 29-30). Favorite long run: Since there were only two outside of races, I choose the longer - the 18.5 miler! Smiles from Miles from Mentor group members (we need a Hoka One One sponsorship!) Highlights/thoughts/randomness: On Sep. 13 I experienced a first, when a horse that was out of its fence followed my friend Missy and I during our early morning 10 miler. I've encountered cattle out of their fences before, but this was the first horse. Our conversation went something like this: "OMG, Sara, it's chasing us, what do we do?!"- Missy. "Just keep running, I don't want to stop my watch!"- me. I knew there was nothing we could do to return the horse to where it belonged, plus it was unclear where it actually belonged (we were between about 10 different farms), so I told Missy to call the non-emergency number for the county sheriff. When she did, they told her to call 911, so she did that to report the horse's location. It was a dangerous situation for the horse and any oncoming traffic (although there is really no traffic on this road, it was about a half mile from a highway). We continued our run after it stopped chasing us, so I hope it was returned to the appropriate location safely, but I know enough to know not to try to handle an unfamiliar large animal! Missy also thought to snap pictures of me while she was freaking out; if I'd have known she was taking them I'd have turned off my headlamp. Another random first - I found a completely unopened scrapbooking pack laying in the road at the end of a lunch run from my office. Too bad it wasn't one I'd like to use! I had to pick it up for the pure weirdness of it though. The last 10 or so days of the month I had a calf issue, which really blew up at the Indy Women’s Half (I limped through 9 miles of the race). I had a hamstring niggle I was able to train through in late August/early September, and it completely resolved with some extra attention to strengthening and rolling, but the calf thing didn’t respond as well, and by trying to race on it I doomed myself to some days off, in addition to strengthening, stretching, foam rolling, and ART. I plan to write a separate blog about this also, because hindsight is 20/20 and I know exactly what I did wrong during the final week of the month (the race was the nail in the coffin, but I made a few other errors as well). Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes! RIP to my running streak - January 27, 2018 to September 29, 2018. I never streak just to streak, and even if I did, I could barely walk on September 30 so there would have been no chance! You can't say I'm not visible! I was also returning to over- dressing for heat adaptation on this 70 degree run Not horsing around Found on my run... Life events: We had events every weekend this month! Labor Day weekend we traveled to Arkansas to visit a friend, visit the fun Bentonville area, and to race a 10K. This was our fourth year in a row doing this, so it's become a tradition that I'm not willing to give up, even though it's not an ideal match with running the Plaza 10K 6 days later. The weekend of September 8-9 I traveled to Kansas City to run the Plaza 10K and to work at our Kansas City division. Albani had her 11th birthday bash on September 15 at the Ozark Community Center pool. Her actual birthday was on September 18, which was also her school picture day. After running mile repeats I still managed to curl her hair. Jon and I celebrated our anniversary on September 17...he got me a trip to Sacramento at the beginning of December, which was exactly what I asked for (CIM!). The weekend of September 22-23 we traveled to Southeast Kansas for a community event fundraiser for one of Jon's closest friend's family members who has Lou Gehrig's disease (more details here). The last weekend of the month I made the trek to Indianapolis with my parents, to run the Indy Women's half. We had some other fun planned afterward, but ended up heading back home post-race since both my mom and I were having problems walking...it was not our finest day! My mom made this; the photo was taken after the Tiger Trot 2016 I got to dine with my 7-year-old nephew while in Kansas City Pool party Joyful Birthday + school picture day Excuse the dead plants in the background Bandit is still nearly as big as Albani! Crazy amazing slip and slide I was in awe I can't convince everyone to plunch (planks at lunch) with me, at work so sometimes I just ask people to lay on my office floor & chat while I do daily core, hah! She wore this medal for 2 days straight + our cat is huge Our Sep. 30 visitors Family photo to close out the month
  6. SIbbetson

    July in Review

    July 2018 in review Total mileage for the month: 290.5 (in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232). In July 2017 I ran 275 miles, and I was pleasantly surprised to be higher this year - I thought I was running less due to my Grandma's Marathon recovery phase. June 25-July 1: 58.1 July 2-8: 58.7 July 9-15: 64.1 July 16-22: 67.8 July 23-29: 67.2 (vacation week and definitely the most volume I've ever run while on vacation, although I wish I'd had 70+!) July 30-August 5: projected at 72 After an extremely humid run Races: July 7: Shuffle for the Shelter long 5K in 19:40 for 1st overall person. The week before I ran a short 5K, and this one was long, so I guess it evens out, right? I won a free massage so that mostly made up for the course being long. I really called it in on the second half of the race, so this race/workout was really something like 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile at half marathon pace, 1 mile at marathon pace [face palm]. July 10: Fleet Feet Track Meet 2 mile in 12:15 (1st female), 1 mile on the DMR in 5:59 (1st team), and a leg on the 4 x 100 m probably at half marathon pace also (2nd team no thanks to me). This was a fun way to get in a sauna session track workout! July 21: Girls Just Wanna Run short 5K in 16:17/18:17 for 1st overall. Maybe someday I will run an accurate 5K, but not in July 2018! The lead cyclist cut 4 block off of this course. I finished in 16:17, but they adjusted my time to account for the cut course by adding 2:00. This was my final short summer race (whew!). Workouts: I don't start back to full workouts until August, but I had a bit of faster stuff this month. July 4: 9 miles with 3 fast finish miles in 6:22, 6:26, 6:11 (the first 6 miles were progressive-ish as well, and my average for all 9 was 7:00 on the nose). I was going to run a Firecracker 5K, but the logistics didn't work out, so I did the 3 mile fast finish on my mileage for the day "for fun" instead...and based on how I felt on those 3 miles, I was sure glad I hadn't raced a 5K! I ended up running a 3 mile cool down, so this was a 12 mile medium long run. July 10: The Fleet Feet Track Meet 2 mile (6:07, 6:08) counts as my season opener tiny tempo! Somehow I will work up to 10 miles at that pace over this season...which will definitely require it not being one million degrees. The 1 mile I ran after (5:59) counts as *bonus*! July 21: I was scheduled to do 3 miles progressive fast finish on the tail end of 10 miles, so I ran the Girls Just Want to Run race as a progression. I was aiming for 6:20, 6:15, 6:10 (then sprint in), and my splits were 6:19, 6:16, 6:01 so I was very close to my goal, especially considering that the final split wasn't for a full mile (meaning I started off closer to 6:10 and then sprinted in once I saw the finish line). July 24: 4 mile fartlek of 3' on/3' off (2.3 warm up, 2.4 cool down). I ran this on vacation, and I love running on vacation but running fast while traveling is always a challenge for me, especially in unknown areas! My push paces were: 5:50, 5:46, 5:43, 5:50, 5:54, and I was more than happy with that, because I don't think I'd have really run any faster at home. July 28: 13.1 miles with 5 x 0.15 presses. Technically I was scheduled to run 12 miles, but I also ran this on vacation and got back to my hotel at 12.8 so made it a half marathon. The pick-ups were at the beginning of miles 7-11, and my paces on them were 5:59, 5:48, 5:58, 5:45, 5:48 (I was trying to keep them sub-6:00). My average pace for the whole run was 7:17, and I was happy enough with that on the tail end of an exhilarating but exhausting trip. July 30: I had a mini-speed session during my second run, including 2 miles of 1'/1' fartlek (1.5 warm up, 1 cool down). This was my first time having a little "work" within my second run of a double. I ran 9.3 relaxed miles starting at 5:30 a.m. that morning, and then ran this workout at lunch starting at about 1:00 p.m. My push paces were all over the place - ranging from 5:01-6:05 - making me suspect that my Garmin wasn't accurate when measuring pace for only 1:00 (I also ran under two underpasses, twice for each one, so I imagine that didn't help). But the effort was there, and it was fun to do a little workout in my second run for the first time ever. Doubles on July 10 (Fleet Feet track meet), 16, 19, and 30. I did not run any doubles as I eased back into mileage at the beginning of the month or during our vacation week, but in August I'll have 2 a week again. Strides on July 26, and before races and most workouts. Full body strength workouts on July 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, and 29, and 5-10 minutes of core work most days. I didn't do full strength sessions on July 21 or 25 as scheduled due to traveling, but I did 10-20 minutes of strength work creatively here and there (before and after runs, while waiting on everyone at rest stops, while waiting on everyone to go to dinner, etc.) and ended up with 100 minutes total for the week, which is just a little less than I average, so I felt like it was a victory. Favorite workout: I'll say the fartlek on July 24, mainly because I felt good running sub-6:00 pace and it was much better than the failed farleks that began my Grandma's build. CIM 2018, I'm coming for you! " Long" Runs/Medium Long Runs: I think it's clear why "long" is in quotations this month, but I ran a lot of 10-12 milers. July 1: 11 miles (7:20) for my first straight double digit run since Grandma's Marathon (I ran 10.4 miles on June 30, but it was split a bit into warm up, 5K, cool down). I didn't have a structured training plan for the week that ended on this day, so when my friend Casey asked me to run while she was in town I told her I'd run whatever distance she wanted. She said 8 miles, and she picked a course that was "about 8 miles", but I ended up at 10.6 miles when I got back to my house so tacked on a little more to get to 11...in retrospect I should have gone 12. July 4: 12 miles, as described above in workouts. July 7: 11 miles total with the Shuffle for the Shelter race in the middle. July 12: 12 miles (7:23). This was supposed to be 10 miles, and as per my season goals I ran a new route, which I was completely sure was going to be 10.2 miles. It was actually 11.2 miles, and when I realized it was going to be long I doubled back to tell Rebecca (who I'd dragged on this new route with me) about my error, and when I got back to my car I was at 11.6 so just made it a 12! I felt terrible because Rebecca had to text her boss that she was going to be late to work since we ran farther than planned, but she kept telling me it was not a big deal. July 14: 12.4 miles (7:08), throwing in a MGP final mile (6:21). I ran that final mile by feel (did not allow myself to look at my watch), trying to zero in on 6:17 effort and I was close! This was a very hot, humid, and hilly long run. We had 6 people start with our running group, but everyone was doing different distances. I had company for about 8 miles. Anytime someone said something about how oppressive the weather was or complained about the second loop that I took them on (which has some ridiculous climbs), I said, "That'll help your marathon". I was the annoying person who felt good on this sauna-esque run. Then I laughed really hard that I finished this run with a faster final mile than I ran at Shuffle for the Shelter race the week before. July 18: 12 hilly miles (7:29). This was another accidental 12 on a 10 mile day, as I was again exploring a new course (I am doing well on that season goal!) . The route looked simple on a map because I just had to follow one road (which I knew how to get to) until I hit a highway (that I am also familiar with), which I would cross and then loop around on other roads that I was familiar with. The one road I had to follow was very rural, curvy, and hilly, and at one fork in the road the street sign was bent over so was therefore no help at all. I guessed which way my correct road went, and I guessed wrong, so I ended up running on the shoulder of a highway for 1.5 miles (not ideal!) to avoid making the route 15+ miles. I got back to my house at 11.8 instead of 10.X, so I just went to 12 again. July 21 - 10.6 miles with the Girls Just Wanna Run "5K" in the middle. July 23 - 11.2 miles (7:28) in Florence, Kentucky. It appeared that I'd have nice running options from our hotel, with a paved recreational trail just across the street, but, alas, it was less than a mile long. I strung it together with some sidewalks for a 2.6 mile loop, then ran around a golf course cart path for a 1.4ish mile loop. I then ran both of those loops in the opposite direction as I had the first time, and added a bunch of parking lot loops to get my distance in. It was a hilly run (891 feet of elevation gain), and after finishing it I felt confident that I could run from about anywhere if I had to. July 25 - 10.5 miles (7:38) in Niagara Falls, New York. I ran from our hotel towards Lake Niagara hoping to find a running trail, and I did! It was pretty and the distance I had scheduled took me just to the edge of Niagara Falls State Park. I only saw 3 other people running the whole time I was on the path, which made me wonder if it was dangerous or something, because when I've run on paths like that in other cities they've been much more populated. I carried my phone on all of my vacation runs just in case, and I never felt unsafe even if I should have. July 26 - 10 miles (7:22) plus strides, for 10.8 total. I drove 1.8 miles from my hotel to the running trail I'd found the day before so I could run farther on the trail, and was rewarded with a rainbow over Niagara Falls! We'd walked all around the area in Niagara State Park, but running it was even better. The line between medium long runs and "what I run every day" has again become non-existent, so I won't note these next month, especially because I had a lot of 9 milers this month that will doubtlessly be 10 milers soon. #doubledigitseveryday July 28: 13.1 miles, as described above in workouts. Favorite long run: The July 14 12.4 miler was the one that felt most effortless, but it's pretty hard to beat seeing a waterfall over Niagara Falls on July 26! Breathtaking Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I received a sub-elite entry into the California International Marathon on December 2! This is the same category of entry I received in 2017. Since the race is the USATF National Marathon Championships again, an elite entry requires a 2:46:00 or faster marathon (or 1:18:00 or faster half), but as I learned last year, the elites and sub-elites share a starting corral, with separate corrals for men and women. This is a really nice perk when every second counts, gun time! I do not get to place bottles on the course like I did at Grandma's, so I will be back to stuffing 4 gels into my shorts while I attempt to get from Folsom to Sacramento 2:15 faster than I did last year. I received an elite entry into the Indy Women's Half Marathon on September 29. This is also the same entry I received there in 2017. I figure this will be a nice checkpoint in my build to compare where I'm at to 2017...although at the same time I think I need to stop comparing everything to that season! I ran two runs in Kansas City this month while there for work, and they were both pancake flat; I did not know flatness existed there but it's nice to know I no longer have to coordinate that work trip around workouts like I have been doing since that division opened 3+ years ago! I have run every day since January 27, so I am still streaking. I found this photo I'd never seen from July 2016 when looking for online photos from a recent 5K. Just keeping up my double- chin racing form! I also folded that bib number up like mad for some reason, haha! I got to meet up with Jessi for a run in KC Life events: 4th of July...Albani is more interested in setting things on fire than I'd like! I missed out on most of the fun due to work; Jon and Albani went to Kansas for 3 days without me. Truth be told, I went to bed at 8:00 p.m. and thanks to white noise slept through all fireworks! We did several fun local weekend activities: blueberry picking, the Christian County fair, farmer's markets...along with our usual weekend church, groceries, and library routines. Albani spent a week at my parents' house, mostly being spoiled. Summer vacation #2 happened (details and photos here). Jon kept gardening, and I kept cooking and eating (you can find many food pics here)! She did half of these on July 3 Black and Blue Berry Farm (we are growing both; Jon wanted tips/secrets) Her favorite part of the blueberry patch Ducks at the fair It doesn't get much cuter than a baby goat! A tame & tolerant rabbit Albani saw this with my mom; Jon & I watched it while she was away Grandparent activities are exhausting At a YMCA waterpark Kansas Cosmosphere Cosmosphere
  7. March 2018 Re-Cap Total mileage for the month: 297.8 (in comparison: January - 207, February - 254). Your body doesn't really know the difference between 297 and 300 miles, but your mind sure does! Same for 68ish and 70 miles in a week... Feb. 26-March 4: 66.7 March 5-11: 67.9 March 12-17: 72 March 19-25: 68.2 March 26-April 1: 71.1 Races: March 10: I broke my racing hiatus by competing in The Big 12 12K in 47:02, which, despite the very challenging race course, was good enough for a Missouri single age state record for age 37 (only because there are very few certified 12Ks in Missouri, because it's not a great time). I placed 3rd overall female (the best I could have in the field), and I was glad I made the last-minute decision to compete. March 31: The Easter Sun Run "10K" as a tempo. This course is off on distance, so my goal for it is always to run it as a workout while visiting my parents for Easter and try to place overall. I accomplished both, keeping all of my splits within 7 seconds of each other without ever looking at my watch (I'm probably most proud of that part!) and placing 2nd overall female with 39:09 (Garmin 10K split in the 37s). Race re-cap coming! Albani ran the 2 mile race at the event and I got many great photos of her! Start of the Big 12 12K (I definitely beat the man with the headphones, and that is my friend Michelle's arm) How the end of a 12K feels when mile 7 has 140 feet of elevation gain Workouts: March 7: Fartlek of 3' on/3' off (2.2 warm up, 1.2 cool down for 7.5 miles on the run). My push paces were 5:46, 5:48, 5:47, 5:49, 5:46. I was happy with the consistency in pacing and to keep them all sub-6:00. March 14: 5 x 1K in 3:39, 3:39, 3:41, 3:41, 3:39 with 0.25 recoveries (3.1 warm up, 3 cool down). My goal was 3:30 for these, so I was off that, but I ran consistent splits and with all I had that day. I was disappointed about being nowhere near 3:30 on them, but then I looked back at my training logs to see what I'd done previously, and this was the first time I've ever run under 3:40 on 1K repeats (and I did it 3 times!)! While it's still a relatively weak performance for me, considering that I've run mile repeats and even the final mile of tempo runs at a faster pace, it was still a PR workout and my coach was perhaps overly ambitious with the 3:30 goal. It was kind of like when he told me to run 10 x 800 m in 2:45 and I averaged 2:56! I did remind him after CIM that it was, in fact, possible to run 2:56 Yassos and a 2:47 marathon, so I'm filing this workout in that same category (see also: my marathon pace and 5K pace are nearly the same). This is also a lesson on why keeping a training log is valuable; I was thinking that I'd run them in 3:25 before, but it was really 3:45 previously, which is obviously a huge difference. March 20: 4 x 1 mile at tempo in 6:01, 6:00, 6:03, 6:05 with 0.5 recoveries (3.1 warm up, 2 cool down). I'm 99% sure I'd have pushed this workout back a day had my friend Amy not been coming to run what we call "hot loops" for her workout too (we run a relatively flat 0.83 road loop for a lot of speed and tempo work since our normal routes have so much elevation variation). It was 40*, feels like 33*, with light rain. I have no problem running in the rain, but running in the rain with a windchill of 33* is pretty much the worst! Nothing about this workout felt good, aside from checking it off the list. March 27: 10 x 400 with 200 recoveries (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I ran this in a monsoon, on a track with standing water in lanes 1-4 in several places, e.g., how to run interval effort but only hit tempo pace (I averaged 1:31, all between 1:30-1:32). My shoes and clothes felt like they were holding 20 lbs of water. In a normal week I'd have bumped this a day, but it was supposed to rain pretty much non-stop all week, so I just did it. The body knows effort, not pace, but this sure didn't help my confidence (after the Easter Sun Run I pointed out the irony that I ran pretty much the same pace for over 6 miles that I could only hold for 400 m a few days previously!). That evening I ran a second run also in the rain. It was like Mother Nature called my bluff on saying the weather for my previous workout was the worst! At least it was 52 degrees... Doubles on March 7, 14, 20, 22, and 27 (the 3 days I had both doubles and strength workouts were tricky because they were also work days!). Strides on March 1, 15, 22, and 28, and at least a few before all workouts and races. Full body strength workouts on March 3, 7, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 28, and 31, and 5-10 minutes of core work nearly every day. I do either core work or foam rolling while microwaving my lunch at work, and my microwave there takes forever to heat up food! Favorite workout: If I can count the Easter Sun Run race/tempo (and this is my blog, so I can make the rules, right?), then it wins. Long Runs/Medium Long Runs: March 4: 15.3 miles (7:45). I wasn't feeling well on Saturday (sore throat and congestion) so I bumped this one to Sunday, and I still wasn't feeling well but I got the miles in. I typically try to run easy mileage through about anything. This was scheduled with 4 miles progressive fast finish, which I still accomplished with 7:30, 7:22, 7:14, 6:48 (after running 11 miles at 7:44-8:10), but every mile of this run was about 40 seconds slower than I'd have liked. March 6: 10.5 miles (7:41). This week my schedule was atypical and I had two double digit easy long runs, with a workout day between them. I run double digit mileage on Tuesdays and Thursdays often, but it's usually split into two runs (e.g., 8 and 4 milers). I felt somewhat sickly for this run, but was okay with getting in the miles at a somewhat slower pace, much like March 4. March 8: 11.1 miles (7:11). See March 6 note on two easy double digit singles this week. I felt over being sick on this run! March 10: 15.3 miles, via 2.3 warm-up, 7.5 race, and 5.5 cool-down. All of this was terribly hilly, and I was about to die of starvation during the cool-down. I know I need to take a gel between the race and cool-down when I make races like this into long runs, but I didn't actually think I was going to run this race when I packed for the work trip it occurred in conjunction with, so I didn't have a gel, and the banana piece I ate did not cut it (clearly it needed peanut butter smeared on it). March 15: 12.1 miles (7:11). This came the day after a workout + double + full strength workout. If you're keeping track (and I am!), that's about 2.5 hours of working out on a work day, so I was a bit concerned that I'd be exhausted for this run, but I surprisingly felt great! So much of marathon training is just continuing to run on tired legs, so... March 17: 17.2 miles (7:19). "Average" is the best adjective for this one. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. The mileage wasn't an issue but I didn't have much pep. It was a day I would have struggled with getting out the door on my own, so I was thankful that Rebecca ran the first 10 miles with me. I practiced drinking mid-run with no watch-stopping - grabbed a bottle off my car trunk, ran a short out and back with it, then dropped it back off. March 24: 16.2 miles (7:10) with 3 warm-up, 10 at my friend Michelle's marathon goal pace (6:45), 3.2 cool-down. This run produced so many inside jokes, because it all started with her texting me that she had 6:45 pace miles within her long run and she wished I could run the workout with her (we live nearly 4 hours apart). I jokingly asked back how far she was from Southeast Kansas, because we were visiting my in-laws there over the weekend and I knew it would be quite a bit closer. We figured out she lives just over 2 hours from my in-laws' house, and I told her I'd drive an hour to meet her if we could find some place in the middle to run. She found a little town for us to meet in and mapped out a route for us, starting at a hair salon called "Bob's Hair." This ended up being one of those runs where the miles just flew by, and the 10 faster miles were 6:46, 6:46, 6:41, 6:46, 6:44, 6:37, 6:38, 6:45, 6:44, 6:47 so our pacing was on point even in the 20 mph wind (she is so ready to break 3:00!). I'm not sure they see too many runners in Burlington, Kansas, and after the run when we were stretching a guy asked us if Bob's Hair was open on Saturdays (spoiler: it is not). I was happy with this run because I thought in my current state the 6:45 miles would be hard, and although I wouldn't have settled into them for an easy pace, they were conversational the whole way and much easier than tempo effort. March 29: 10.4 miles (7:22). This put me at running 4 out of 5 runs in cold rain for the week (fortunately at the end of the week the record was 4 out of 8). This may have been related to the stat that I was also at 4 out of 5 runs solo for the week at that point. April 1 will be my next - a Sunday long run due to Saturday's race. I'd like to point out that if I'd had a Saturday long run as usual instead, I'd have been over 300 miles for the month...but I guess I will have some extra mileage in April now! Favorite long run: I felt good about the March 24 one and I loved helping Michelle crush her workout (although I also have no doubt she'd have done it without me there, just not from Bob's Hair)! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: Strava and I are on break. I'm currently not running the best I have, but I'm not running the worst either. I keep meaning to write a post about it, but I have been insanely busy at work and have just barely kept up with updating my monthly posts. I have similar intentions to start a Grandma's Training Journal series here, but file this all under "things I neglect when I have a BCBA out for 6-12 weeks and am covering her caseload." I've been super overwhelmed and stressed at work, which I am sure isn't helping my training either, but this too shall pass! Non-running life events: Albani had spring school photos on a terribly windy day. Albani participated in Awana Games, where her team placed 2nd. I learned a lot about Awana Games by watching this competition. I highly recommend the Awana program for kids - it starts with pre-K and goes through high school, so all ages are welcome! Albani has done amazing things in it, such as memorizing all of the books of the Bible in order. Albani had spring break from March 12-16, which was the week after Daylight Savings Time began...whoever made that scheduling call sure knew what they were doing! I suffered the whole week as per usual with this time change, while she and Jon slept in every day. St. Patrick's Day, although we didn't do anything aside from wear green. We had a lot of Easter fun 1 week early at my in-laws'. Picture day pre-photo Professional photo Awana Games I wear these year-round, but this month they are actually seasonably appropriate! Opening the chicken tractor at Grandpa's farm Pre-Easter egg hunt #1 This was an intense search with some Fear Factor-esque components thanks to Aunt Amy
  8. February 2018 Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to appreciate how far you've come. Total mileage for the month: 254.7 (in comparison: January - 207). Jan. 29-Feb. 4: 57 Feb. 5-11: 61.1 Feb. 12-18: 66.2 Feb. 19-25: 62.2 Feb. 26-March 4: projected at 62 A trip to Bass Pro isn't noteworthy when you live in a suburb of Springfield, but we didn't do very much this month! Races: None this month. I was going to run a half for fun in lieu of my long run on February 24, but I just didn't have it in me to go to a race that week. Workouts: Feb. 9: 4 mile tempo in 24:02 via 6:03, 6:06, 5:58, 5:54 (6:00 average), with 3.1 warm-up and 2 cool-down. Tempo Friday is never a thing on my training schedule, but Tempo Tuesday did not work out, and because of that I was extremely thankful to hit this one. I didn't even have my usual "I should have run 3 seconds faster to average 5:59" thoughts! I was happy with this for my first real workout since Houston, and although I ran a faster 4 mile tempo over the summer, I was not in my present state of post-marathon de-training for that one. My goal pace range was 5:57-6:07, and all considering I would have been happy enough even if I'd run all 4 miles at 6:07. Feb. 13: 4 x 1 mile at tempo in 6:04, 6:07, 6:08, 6:10 (6:07 average) with 0.5 recoveries, 2.2 warm-up, and 2 cool-down (goal pace of 5:57-6:07). This was much harder than it should have been considering I ran 4 miles straight at tempo faster than this the previous week, but often the split tempos are harder for me with the stopping and re-starting (plus I am just running kind of hot and cold right now), plus it was windy. I fell hard on a patch of black ice during my Feb. 12 run (detailed below in the highlights/thoughts/randomness section), so I was sore from that, which probably didn't help. Meh. Feb. 18: Progressive fast finish long run (11 base, then dropping 10-15 seconds/mile for the final 3 miles). My average for the whole run was 7:11, with the final 3 miles in 6:54, 6:46, 6:33. Although I ran the workout as written and before I started picking it up I wasn't even sure I'd be able to drop under 7:00, I also kept thinking about how I used to fast finish these at 6:00 pace, which was disheartening. Feb. 20: Fartlek of 3 x 3'2'1' pushes with recovery equal to the next push (2.2 warm-up, cool-down to 8.3 miles total). I ran this during a storm (the entire week of Feb. 19-25 was a storm), and I didn't even look at my push paces until a few days later, because I was already feeling discouraged about my training and knew that due to running in insane wind and rain, these would not be good (they were 5:58-6:58, with the 6:58 being a 1:00 all uphill into the 30+ mph wind). I put in a hard effort and tried to be okay with that. Feb. 26: 5 mile tempo in 30:00 via 6:05, 6:04, 5:58, 6:01, 5:51 (6:00 average), with 2.1 warm-up and 2.4 cool-down. Only I could run 30-flat, ha! I've gotta break 30 next time. I haven't run a 5 mile tempo in a few years - my coach has previously always taken me from 4 miles to 6 miles - so almost by default this was going to be a PR workout (pre-coach I think my best tempos were in the 6:30s), but even without that * I was pleased with it. I was not feeling confident at all going in, and told myself to just try for 6:10-6:15 pace (even though my goal range was 5:57-6:07). I looked at my watch about a half mile in and I was at 6:10 pace, but once I got going I got in a groove and knew I could hit the pace range my coach had given me! I know he won't give me paces he doesn't believe I can hit, but my confidence has been really poor recently. This workout helped it, but I'll feel better if I can string together more good runs. Spring coming will have to help with that. Double on Feb. 27...the return! I missed running them, but just like in January, it was nice to not have to get out twice on stupid cold days. Strides on Feb. 5, 12, 19, and a few before all workouts. Full body strength workouts on Feb. 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 24, and 28. I'm adapting to my new strength and agility routine, and no longer get super sore after each session. Favorite workout: It's a tie between the 4 mile and 5 mile tempos, because they both helped me keep the faith that I can have a solid season (a large number of runs this month made me lose faith!). Long Runs/Medium Long Runs: I added my midweek medium long runs to this section this month...I wanted to feel like I accomplished a little more, plus they are almost as long as my weekend long runs at this phase in my training! Feb. 3: 13.2 base (7:39). I was exhausted from the first step of this run, coming off a 3-day work trip, so it was just about getting in the miles. I ran a course I typically avoid because it's not "fast", but it's beautiful and all of the climbing was good for me both training-wise and to prevent me from comparing paces! I was solo on this one. Feb. 7: 11.1 base (7:30). I woke up to mildly icy roads that seemed dangerous, so did not run this at 5:30 a.m. as planned. With a strike of luck (i.e., work cancellation), I was able to get out late morning and meet up with Jessi to get the miles in. We dodged and slowed down for ice during the run, but it was much easier to navigate in daylight, and running in the sunlight was wonderful! Feb. 10: 12 base (7:27). The was The Run I Thought Wouldn't Happen. We were supposed to get hit with an ice storm beginning around 2 a.m., but Jessi and I planned to meet if the roads were decent. I woke up at 6 a.m. to completely dry roads, which made me very happy! We'd both run workouts the day before so we took it easy, which was also nice. The ice started falling shortly after we finished this run. Feb. 14: 11.1 base (7:17). This was a wonderful Galentine's Day run in 46*! I met up with Missy, Jessi, and Rebecca to run what Missy calls "The 11 mile death loop". It isn't really, but the name has stuck. 1 mile of it runs on a rural highway that actually has traffic before 6:00 a.m. - but the traffic is nearly all going into Springfield and we run the same direction that it is going (on the left side of the road) so that it's primarily on the opposite side of the road, and I never feel unsafe. Feb. 18: 14.4 with 3 progressive fast finish (7:11 for the whole run), described above. This run had to be bumped from Saturday to Sunday due to Saturday morning's 6+ hours of 35* and pouring rain (cold rain is the worst!). Everyone ran different distances this day, but I had company for most of the run: Rebecca (8 miles), Zach (10 miles), and Jessi (12 miles). Feb. 21: 11.4 base (7:51), solo, tired, and patchy black ice. Since falling on Feb. 12 I became pretty timid around ice. Feb. 24: 14.1 base (7:19), with Missy, Zach, and Claudio. It pretty much rained all day except for during our run, so we lucked out on this one. Feb. 28: 11 base (7:09) with Missy, Rebecca, and Zach to wrap up the month! If you throw out my icky run on Feb. 21, my pace showed a nice downward progression throughout the month. It is difficult not to compare my current runs to my best, but I am 16 weeks out from Grandma's and I think I am around where I was, or perhaps even a little faster than I was, when I was 16 weeks out from CIM. Highlights/thoughts/randomness: Missouri winter weather sucks for training. This is not a highlight, but is a fact! I don't do well with uncertainty, and there was so much weather uncertainty this month. There were times we had no snow forecasted and then it began snowing and my weather app immediately changed to 3 inches of snow, but there were also times when I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to run based on the forecast, then woke up to perfect road conditions and headed out! I did my first indoor run of the season due to icy roads on Feb. 5: 8 miles, which entailed 60 laps on the YMCA indoor track. I'm glad I'm generally able to get outdoors, because that type of training is not nearly as enjoyable and does not seem sustainable for me! My second indoor run was that same week, on Feb. 11, on my home treadmill that I hadn't used on 2 years, because the roads were too hazardous to drive to the YMCA (every church in our area cancelled services on this day). I initially figured I should just skip my run, but by about 10:30 a.m. I caved and used the treadmill, mainly because I only needed 4 more miles to get over 60 that week. I didn't get injured from it, which has been my fear after I got injured from it in early 2016, but it was also just one short and easy run. On Feb. 12, the roads were still an ice rink and schools were cancelled, but it warmed up nicely and I was able to get out during the day (I have a plethora of work cancellations when school is out for winter weather). I wanted to run as early as I could to give myself more time between this 9 miler and my workout the following morning, so I went out around 11:15 a.m. Not even a half mile into the run, I traversed what I thought was a wet spot on the road, but it included some black ice and I fell down hard. I picked myself up and stubbornly continued my run, but from then on I walked over any even slightly questionable spots on the road. I ended up really sore in the subsequent days in my right knee, hip, and rib. I think I bruised my rib in a very minor way because it hurt to breathe slightly for about a week...but I didn't miss any runs. I've run every day since 1/27/18...the streak begins again. It only looks pretty I took this the morning of Feb. 12, the day I fell running at lunch Non-running life events: I spent 3 days in the St. Louis area for a work conference at the beginning of the month. I don't do that much overnight travel for work, aside from Kansas City trips on which I always stay with a friend, and having a hotel room to myself is always a weird experience! The first day is, "Yay, I have quiet, I can do whatever I want, and I get to eat in bed! Work is buying me appetizers, salmon, and dessert!" The third day is, "This is awful, I hate this silence, I am so bored, and I hate eating out." Hah! I read a lot and actually never turned on my hotel room's TV. Valentine's Day, which was more exciting for Albani than anyone else (because, candy!), but we all had fun nonetheless. Jon and I have never been big on celebrating it, but always exchange cards and something small, typically a food item. I gave him a box of Sour Patch Kids that he'd mentioned craving the weekend before, and he gave me mixed nuts and cashews, which I go through by the tin during heavy training. We enjoyed watching the winter Olympics, but I am ready for them to add cross-country! We were kind of boring this month. Everyone did a lot of reading. A lazy day at home spent in pajamas My lazy day activity aside from reading (cross-stitching) Albani made a paper mache ice cream cone (minus the final paint job here) February crafting at the library Bandit has claimed the agility ladder Lots of reading.. We always need something at Lowe's (and by we I mean my husband) My new favorite sports bra! Bandit seems to have put on winter weight too
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