Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finally A Good Training Week!

This week's training was pretty decent. I got through all my scheduled running mileage (except for one run that I cut short) and a strength training session. I haven't done any swimming yet but I'm hoping to do that tomorrow. This morning I did 12 miles for my long run. I was the only one in my running group that was scheduled for anything over 8 miles so I ran 4 miles by myself and then 8 miles with my group...

And I decided to try hydrating with my new addiction...

I put my hydration pack (filled with coconut water) in the freezer overnight so it was ice-cold for my run this morning. It was amazing!!! It's hard to find the right hydration balance for humid runs because you want to ensure you're getting enough fluid, without putting yourself at risk of nausea and vomiting because your stomach is too full. Recently plain water has been making me nauseous, but the coconut water this morning was perfect. 

It's Summer so the weather has been consistently humid for my runs. I'm hoping that the Summer training will translate to stronger performances in Berlin and Chicago. My current goal is to get to an 11mins/mile pace (or faster) for my mid-week moderate distance training runs; a sub-11mins/mile pace for my 1 mile running streak runs; and a sub-11:30mins/mile pace for my long runs... by the end of July. And then if I can maintain that throughout August and September I think I'll be in good shape for my Berlin Marathon 5 hour finish time goal. The weather in Berlin in September should be much cooler, and at the very least a lot less humid than Florida tends to be in the Summer so that will help also (hopefully).

Getting to my pace goals is going to take a lot of work because I'm definitely not very fast, especially compared to other Garmin users my age...

But, thanks to my running streak, I have been running more...

And running farther...

While 99% of other users get their weekend long runs completed, I plan to spend the rest of my Saturday watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones. I started watching it yesterday (yes I know, I'm very late to the party) and it took me a couple of episodes to actually start to like it. But now I'm more than halfway through Season 1 and it's been growing on me. I don't know much about the storyline other than what's happened so far (so please no spoilers) but I do know not to get attached to any of the characters 😉.

Have you watched Game of Thrones?

How was your training this week?

Do you set pace goals for training runs?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

98 Days...

The Berlin Marathon is now officially "less than 100 days" away...

I had a great blog post planned for the 100 day mark, but training wasn't going so well and I felt less than motivated to blog about it. Somehow, between last year and now, I forgot how much I hate training in the Summer. Seriously, this humidity sucks. And the bugs... well let's just say they are constantly enamored with me (it's not a mutual feeling and they don't seem to be getting the hint no matter how much bug spray I use). It's mostly the humidity and bugs that have made the past few weeks less than ideal, but adding to that is the fact that I have not been sleeping well. I can't even remember the last time I felt well rested 😩.

Last week I changed my work schedule to four 10 hour days (Mon-Thurs) to facilitate my desire to get a second job (because 1: Kai's college expenses are only two years away & 2: race entry fees don't pay for themselves). The change in schedule will take some getting used to, but hopefully by the second or third week of the new schedule I'll feel better about it. In addition to changes at work, I also started strength training last week Wednesday. It was a very sad attempt at core work and squats, and at the end of it I think I broke my quads...

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Legs Need Ginkgo...

I recently started taking Ginkgo Biloba because my memory really sucks. A lot of that is probably due to stress (actually, 99% of that is probably due to stress). And the fact that my brain does a lot of triaging when it comes to my memories and sadly not a lot of information meets the "this is important to remember" threshold (even when it is important). It's usually not too much of a problem because I make notes and send myself emails and calendar reminders so I don't forget to do things. But there are times when it is a huge problem... like when I woke up one morning and completely forgot what my iPhone password was. Aaaaand I entered the wrong one so many times that my phone got disabled. Aaaaaand I didn't remember what my iCloud password was because I made a note of it in my iPhone.

The memory issues aren't new. I've always had a bad memory (at least as far back as I can remember). But it's been getting progressively worse and I think it's starting to affect other areas of my body, like my legs. I mean, that's the only logical conclusion I can make because my legs seem to have forgotten what marathon training is actually like!
This week marks the third week of Berlin Marathon Training (which is also the first week of Chicago Marathon training) and things are NOT going well. The first two weeks of training have come and gone and I feel LESS fit now than I did before I started. I know that the humidity certainly doesn't help with my pace (it's been insanely humid recently) but I'm also getting nauseous and vomiting after my runs... my legs constantly feel tired and heavy... and I'm always hungry even though (believe me) I have not been running that much.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

We Are Ragnarians!!! {Ragnar Niagara Race Recap: Part 3}

[This is the third and final installment of the race recap so if you haven't already, you should read Part One and Part Two]

On our way to the finish line we stopped at our hotel and checked in, off loaded our bags (filled with two days and three runs worth of dirty running clothes and gear), and made our way to the finish line parking area. We had some time to kill so we decided to check out the finish line festivities, which included massages...
(which were pretty good)

And a nice view of the rapids...

Music and other entertainment...

And food...

At previous Ragnars teams got a coupon for food after the finish. Unfortunately... that was not the case at Ragnar Niagara. So that was a little disappointing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Generic White Van... with magnets {Ragnar Niagara Race Recap: Part 2}

<<If you haven't read part 1 of the Ragnar Niagara race recap you should check it out before you read part 2 😉>>

We made a quick stop at Walmart to get markers to decorate the van after we had lunch (before we got to Exchange 12). We didn't really have a theme for the van decorations so we stuck with an authentic representation of our home on wheels for the remainder of the race...

And then we did the traditional team roster van display...

When we got to Exchange 12 Van 2 was already there waiting for Ray (runner 12) to finish his first leg. Exchange 12 is another major exchange since that's where Van 2 turns the slap bracelet over to Van 1 for the start of our second legs. But again, just like Exchange 6, Exchange 12 was kind of small...

While we were waiting for Ray to finish running, the ladies of Van 1 took some selfies...

Eventually we heard the volunteer call our team number and it was time for Leg 2 to start...

Once Ray handed off to me I started on my 5 mile run for Leg 2. The course had changed a little from the original route because of some flooding in the area, and I didn't really pay much attention to the elevation before the change, but the revised second leg was very very hilly...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The First Leg {Ragnar Niagara Race Recap: Part 1}...

I was a lot more involved in the planning and logistics for Ragnar Niagara Falls (compared to previous Ragnars) because our team captain wasn't going to be able to run in the event. Plus we had runners that canceled along the way. So a lot of my time leading up to Ragnar was spent trying to find replacement runners and helping to coordinate other Van 1 and general team logistics, including designing the team logo and magnets...

In the grand scheme of things, I really didn't mind participating in the planning because I'm team captain for a Ragnar event later this year so getting involved in the behind-the-scenes stuff from now will be beneficial later. Well, in theory it will 😉.

In any event, the weeks leading up to Ragnar Niagara were busy, so when it was finally time to go I was more than excited to get the whole process started. I happened to be traveling up to Canada on the same flight as my friend Dafney (who I had convinced to join the team from last year) and her husband (who was also running with us but will be m.i.a from all pictures)...

The flight to Toronto was mostly uneventful. Once we landed we headed to the van rental place, got the van, went back to the airport to pick up one of our van mates, EmJai, then went to pick up Julie (who was staying nearby), and then we headed to check in for the event and pick up our race bibs and other Ragnar Niagara race related delights. All that stuff took a while because Toronto traffic is (shockingly) just as bad as Miami traffic... the drivers are much nicer though 😊. 

By the time we made it to the Running Room we only had a few minutes to check in before packet pickup was closed...


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

While I've Been Gone...

It's been a few weeks since I written a blog post cause life has been pretty busy. It's been non-stop travel and activities since I ran Wings for Life and completed Swim Miami (I know, I know... I still have to post that recap). And I just came back from my last (planned) racecation until Berlin in September. This past weekend I did the Ragnar Niagara Falls relay (that recap will be forthcoming as well) and had yet another amazing Ragnar experience...

I'll have more details in the official race recap when I post it but **spoiler alert** I finished it with an incredible team and felt great about my runs. I was even able to enjoy the Falls for a bit after we were done...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Running With The World For The 4th Time...{Wings for Life 2017 race recap}

This was the first year that I didn't have a set distance goal for Wings for Life. Normally I'm focused on getting as far as possible. But this year the goal was to finish without feeling exhausted (since I had to head to Swim Miami for my 1 mile open water swim immediately after). I knew that I had to run at least a mile (for my daily run), and figured that I wouldn't get much benefit from running farther than a 5K, so my plan was to run at least a mile and then just "see how I felt" after.

As usual I got to the race venue early...

Once I got my packet I went back to my car to get more rest until the less insane runners started to arrive...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why Breaking2 Broke My Heart (& other weekend updates)...

If you're even remotely familiar with anything distance running you probably already know that Nike was working tirelessly with 3 elite distance runners in an attempt to run a sub-2 hour marathon. I'm not going to go into all the details of that journey because if you do a web search you'll be inundated with a ton of info on it. The attempt was run on Saturday May 6th in Monza, Italy (on the Formula One track). It started around 11:30pm EST and 2 hours and 25 seconds later it was over...
Just 26 seconds short of their goal! 

I was a little heart broken about it because I was really hoping they would all make it. But even though they didn't "break 2" it was an incredibly amazing accomplishment. It's the closest anyone has come to a sub-2 hour marathon. And while it doesn't qualify for a world record (because of the Pacers and other fancy stuff they had) it will go down in the history books of distance running. Congrats to the Nike team, to the athletes (especially Eliud Kipchoge, who crossed the finish first) and everyone who was a part of this endeavor. It was a truly incredible effort.

My truly incredible effort for this weekend will take the form of running in the Wings for Life World Run and swimming in the Swim Miami 1 mile open water swimming event tomorrow. It will be a back-to-back event day, and I will be exhausted after, so today I tried to take it easy with a 1 mile run...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ragnar Runners Needed!

When I ran my first Ragnar I joined a team of strangers (who are now some of my closest running friends) on Facebook and made my way to Madison, WI to run 200(-ish) miles to Chicago. It was a crazy decision but one of the best running decisions I've ever made. And it's not just me right? I'm not the only person who has made crazy decisions for the sake of running or races. So chances are someone reading this post is either as crazy as I am or has run a Ragnar before and is crazy enough to run one again 😉.

If you're that runner then my team needs you for the Ragnar Niagara Falls event from May 19th - 20th! We are down two runners 😞 and while we can run with just 5 runners per van, it's not the best or brightest idea. We have a mixed, noncompetitive, incredibly fun team of both Ragnar veterans and Ragnar newbies. We have runners of all paces and experience levels. We have non-stop runners and interval runners. Essentially we are a diverse group and it's likely that you would be a great fit!

So if you're dying to run a Ragnar Relay (or run another Ragnar Relay) please let me know! My team would love to have you (and I know a few other teams looking for runners as well).

Monday, May 1, 2017

It's A Double Race Week!!!!

It's finally here! My double race weekend is this weekend...

And no... I'm still not 100% ready. BUT I did manage to get some training completed this morning. First I did a 1 mile swim...

And then I did my daily run...

Tomorrow and Wednesday are scheduled to be running days, and for Thursday (and maybe Friday) I plan to swim again and do quick one mile runs.

In addition to this week being busy with training and my back-to-back events on Sunday, it will also be a busy work week. I'll be spending more time out of the office (in class or teaching a course) than I will at the office catching up on work. So eating properly, resting and hydrating will be challenging but essential this week. 

It's probably a good thing the weekend wasn't too hectic. I only did 1 mile runs (on both Saturday and Sunday). I spent most of Saturday at a CPR course and then watching movies and TV shows on Hulu. And Sunday was spent hanging out with Dafney and Kai trying to "escape the room"...

And indulging in dairy-free butter pecan ice-cream...

Happy Monday & Happy 1st of May!!!

How was your weekend?

How was your training to start off the week/month?

Friday, April 28, 2017

T.G.I.F x a million!

So this week sucked. Not running-wise but everything else wise. Running was actually not too bad this week. This morning I did a 4 mile run with Mimi...


Yesterday (Thursday) I did a one mile run to keep up the run streak...

On Wednesday I ran with Mimi again and we did a 4 mile run...

On Tuesday I did a 4 mile run with Jani...

And (finally) on Monday I did a slow & steady solo 5K run...

This week was a big change from the past few weeks of mostly one mile daily runs. And the increased mileage secured a 5 day 10,000 steps/day streak for me...

So really not a bad running week, but a really busy and stressful week otherwise. And while running went well, swimming did not. As in... I did not swim. Not once 😔. You would never guess I have a swimming event next weekend based on my lack of proper swim training. Sigh. It's funny (well not really) but I have no motivation to swim when I'm stressed out. Running is definitely a stress reliever for me. But swimming? Swimming just isn't the same. 

But the fact is I have a swimming event in 8 days and I. AM. NOT. READY. And I won't be until my swims look as smooth and easy like this...
How was your training this week?

What are your weekend plans?

What's next on your race calendar?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time Will Tell...

Ragnar training is exhausting...


Today I ran a 10K at my goal pace of 11:30 min/mile...

And tomorrow the plan is to run another 10K (at a minimum) with a goal pace of sub-12 min/mile; because the best way to train for Ragnar is to simulate the back-to-back long runs that will take place during the actual race. My legs will be tired but I'm more concerned about the blisters on my feet 😒. Plus, for the last few weekends my "plans" for long runs haven't quite worked out the way I've wanted them to. So I'm being cautiously optimistic about tomorrow.

May is definitely going to be a busy month because I have three events... and two of them are on the same day! Both the Wings for Life World Run and Swim Miami are on May 7th...


Training for Wings for Life and Swim Miami are all a part of my training for Ragnar Niagara (which is a few weeks after) and will hopefully give me a good base for when I start marathon training at the end of May.

I have a tentative Berlin-to-Chicago marathon training plan in mind which will allow me to practice only having a week off in between long runs (which is how far apart the two marathons are this year). The training plan calls for 4 days of running (Tues, Wed, Thurs & Sat). However, because I am doing a running streak this year I'm going to decrease the assigned mileage for the Tuesday-Thursday runs by one mile each day. So since week 1 of the training calls for 19 miles broken up over 4 runs...

I'll change that to 19 miles broken up over 7 runs...

Spreading things out a bit will also ensure that I don't overdo it and help me stick to the plan (at least that's my goal). Sundays will be my swimming days and I will try and do strength training on Tuesday and Thursday. This will allow me to have both Monday and Friday as my "easy" days (which seems like the best approach for the beginning and end of my work week). So ultimately my Week 1 of marathon training will look something like this...

What do you guys think of my proposed training plan?

How was your training this week?

What are your plans for the weekend?