Monday, July 10, 2017

Conversations Will Never Be the Same Again

It's been a while, eh?

I have a few posts drafted that I just need to add photos to, but the uploading and editing just seems to take too long. Anyway, I want to write more. My mind seems cluttered these days and the best way I know to dust off the cobwebs is to write.

In busy stages of life, I know we all feel a little frazzled, but I've noticed that after having a baby and how a toddler, it seems like a constant. During the first 6-9 months of Henry's life, I couldn't think of specific words during conversations because I was simply too consumed with caring for a small baby and I was running on fumes/a handful of broken hours of sleep.

But now, I think the chaos brain is thanks to having this other human's life as priority: his schedule, his food needs, his sleep. And then add that to taking care of yourself, managing a household (meals, groceries, bills, cleaning, etc.), paying attention to your spouse, trying to fit in work, exercising, and finally thinking about your friends, family and community. Oh yeah, and then balance. Find some. (Good luck to us all.)

No one tells you that having a conversation likely won't ever be the same again. My train of thought or questioning often ends sooner than it would have previously. I don't always have the mental space to think of that next question I want to know the answer to. And sometimes, the thoughts simply get interrupted by needing to parent my kid (ask him to stop throwing sand or to share a toy).

Anyway, that's what's on my mind right now. My brain feels fuzzy. Like it literally feels likely head is in a cloud. Seven hours of sleep doesn't seem enough. I know it's a luxury compared to those newborn days, but still, I could use more.

You know what else I've been thinking about? How crazy it is that being home with a small human for a day is like doing all the micro tasks you might do at a workplace to achieve your overall goal, but not actually crossing that big thing off the list. Like finishing the project proposal, submitting a story, or sending a brochure to print.

You might pick up 3,492 toys/cups/articles of clothing in a day, make meals, go grocery shopping, take your kid to a park, and STILL have a house that looks like a disaster and a kid who is melting down at 6:00 p.m. Anyway, sometimes I finish the day not sure what I really accomplished besides feeding and taking care of my kid.

But then, he says the darndest thing, cracks up in a hilarious giggle, or gives you the cutest hug and you're like "Okay, kid, you win. I get it. All 3,492 toys/cups/articles of clothing were worth it." 

Anyway, that's all for now. I hope you're having a great week!

Tell me something that's dawned on you recently. Favorite podcast currently? I have several, but a new fav is Myleik Teele's Podcast. She's an entrepreneur and just has a lot of good general life/career advice. And Happier in Hollywood, a spinoff of Happier by Gretchen Rubin, focused on  work and life happiness. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Eugene Marathon 2017

Nine marathons in the books (I had to go back and count). It's been two weeks now since I finished the Eugene Marathon and I'm already starting to think about what's next. But for now, let's get to the race recap. 

The Before
For all intense purposes, race week was what it was intended to be in terms of running. My mileage was significantly lighter and only one run with the team on Tuesday night that included a few miles at race pace and a few 1 minute pick-ups.  I walked during the stroller run and I skipped my strength training. All good.

Believe me, that hasn't always been the case. There've been marathons where I showed up sore to the start line because I wouldn't give up strength training.

But there were other aspects of race week that weren't what they should have been. My race week sleep was crap. Coincidentally, Henry had popped his last pacifier on Sunday or Monday of that week, so we decided "what the heck, let's try weaning him cold turkey!" 

That, plus the little guy got a cold midweek resulted in a few nights of rough sleep where I was up with him for an hour or so in the middle of the night. And on other nights where I should have been in bed by 9:00 p.m., I just wasn't. And then we had a busy weekend on Friday and Saturday at the running store and our race expo booth.

To top it all off, when I got home from work on Saturday afternoon, Henry had decided to climb fall out of his crib for the first time during nap and proceeded not to nap. This led to an afternoon and evening of tantrum city and us throwing in the towel and giving him the paci back.

Someone passed out HARD on a short car ride downtown that eve

By Saturday night, my throat was a bit raw and sore and I was tired. I did my best to put my compression socks on and lay with my legs up the wall for 20 minutes that night and got to bed around 10:30.

Sunday morning, my throat didn't feel any worse for wear and decided that a sore throat wouldn't bring me down. I felt pretty good otherwise, so planned to just ignore it.

Race morning sunrise. Not too shabby.

The During
I did my prerace nutrition and routine at home with a little Jasyoga race day meditation and warm up, UCAN superstarch drink, peanut butter toast and banana. Around 5:45 a.m. I drove to the race to meet up with the team for warm ups at 6:15 and then the 7:00 a.m. start.

My goal was to run ~3:45 marathon with my A goal: 3:40, B goal: 3:50 and C goal: 4:00 or under.

Feeling pretty good and ready to go, with perfect chilly, but sunny conditions (it was about 38F at the start), we were off.

Miles 1-8, I felt pretty strong. I had started between the 3:45 and 4:00 pacers and was clocking times of 8:30s-8:40s and was running comfortably, but not easy. Once we were up and over the hill at mile 8, I was excited to move on to the next part of the race that would take us along the river and into Springfield. Mile splits 1-8: 8:52, 8:32, 8:28, 8:37, 8:34, 8:38, 8:27, 8:30

Miles 9-10, I noticed that it just started feeling a little harder to keep up my current pace. I tried to tell myself to just relax, but I also didn't want to back off the pace. At this point in the race, the half marathoners turn and the marathoners keep on going into Springfield where the course gets pretty sparse with spectators. Mile splits 9-10: 8:53, 8:34

Somewhere between mile 10-13, out of nowhere it seemed, my right knee started having shooting pains from what felt like a tight IT band tugging on it with every stride. It sort of caught me off guard because I hadn't dealt with any IT band issues through training, only hip tightness (but also on the right side).

It was the kind of pain that made it impossible to keep my stride as it was and maintain an 8:30-8:40 pace. So, I gradually slowed down. My splits show that I actually managed to keep my average pace under 9 minutes until mile 19, but it definitely didn't feel like that! Mile splits 11-18: 8:46, 8:50, 8:53, 8:47, 8:57, 8:53, 8:55, 8:50

Miles 19-26.2
As you might know, the race in a marathon doesn't really start until mile 20 where your reserves are getting low, your brain feels a bit fuzzy and your legs are just plain tired. For me, the last six miles were all about maintaining a decent pace and willing myself not to walk. Mile splits 19-21: 9:20, 9:27, 9:54

When I realized I'd finish far behind my goal (of 3:45 or so), it took some serious mental toughness not to just walk whenever I felt like it. Mile splits 22-24: 10:30, 10:16, 9:29

But, I told myself things like at mile 22, you can't walk until mile 23 and then you can walk for a minute. The few times I stopped to walk, it was only for 15-20 seconds. When all was said and done, I probably walked 1-2 minutes total of the race. And oddly enough, somewhere in the last few miles, I noticed my shooting knee pain dissipate.

Focused on getting to the line

I managed to haul it into Hayward Field at a good clip with the incentive of beating that 4:00 hour finish time. I clocked in at 3:59:28. While it wasn't one of my proudest or strongest marathons, it was one I worked hard for and had put a lot of training into. Mile splits 25-26: 10:22, 9:25

The Aftermath
No matter the time on the clock, it always hurts a bit to have an outcome that's not indicative of the work you put into something. As I hobbled around the finish area, I said more than once to others that I think I might be retired from the marathon.

And yet, the next day, as I started to feel some of that pain ease up, I thought "Maybe if I could fix this IT band issue, I could run another one in a few months and better my time?" Ha. Typical marathoner status.

When I did some mental prep and meditation for this race, I found that the reason I wanted a strong outcome from this race was to show myself that I could come back after three years of pregnancy, caring for an infant and now toddler around the clock and still run strong. That somehow I hadn't lost all of my running mojo despite living on less sleep and having a changed body that's a little more soft (and ahem, saggy), widened hips, etc.

But if I'm being honest, this race taught me a few things. Race week sleep matters, but sometimes can't be protected. #kids And, maybe it's okay if my story ISN'T one of "I had a baby and I came back 10x stronger!". The fact is, we can't always perform at our best if we're lacking in other areas. Bottom line is, I still managed to train for and run a marathon.

What Could I Have Done Differently?
In the past two weeks I've reflected on the race a bit more and wondered what I could have done differently to prevent the knee issue or simply be stronger overall. The tendon on my outer left ankle (opposite of the right knee) has been swollen and very painful these past two weeks and I assume it's a result of altering my stride during the race because of the knee pain.

Besides more sleep and less time on my feet, I think I could have started a bit slower, aiming for 9:00 pace to really let myself warm up slowly for the first 3-6 miles. But who knows if that would have helped or not.

Beyond that, I noticed that the major differences between this training cycle and in 2012-2013 (when I was running my fastest) was that I haven't been taking yoga classes regularly or doing the HIIT training I was doing a lot of back then. And, in 2012 I was running and racing a LOT.

It's ultimately a lack of time. It's rare that I'm able to make it to a class these days, but there's still a lot I can do at home. As I'm stepping back in mileage now, I'll be adding both of these back into my regular routine to improve my overall strength and work on imbalances. Despite how the race went for me, I'm really happy I joined the Run Hub training team for this cycle as it kept me focused and motivated to work hard every week. And, it was really nice to feel like part of a team during those Tuesday night workouts.

So there you have it! As far as what's next, I'm looking forward to running some shorter races this summer and maybe training for a half marathon in the fall.

What's on your summer plan for racing or fitness? Happy Monday! 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 11

So, the week after Peterson Ridge Rumble was both a recovery week and my highest mileage week, clocking 49 miles of total training. Getting the legs back in regular working condition was harder than I remembered. I guess it's rare that I've done multiple races close together in a training cycle. Alas, I felt sluggish most of the week, so here goes!

Monday - 1.5 mile walk // My legs weren't as bad on Monday when I woke up as they were on Sunday after the race, so I was thankful for that. Because we stayed in Sisters an extra night, we spent that day in Bend getting coffee, taking H to the kids section of the public library, going to a playground and grabbing lunch. It was nice to hang out in Bend, but keeping things low key.

Tuesday - 3 easy miles @ 9:54 avg // I purposely kept this run really easy to help the legs get back up to speed.

"Enjoying"  the cold bath at ReCharge

*My boss got me a gift certificate to 10 passes at ReCharge where you can use the compression boots, ice bath, infrared sauna and foam rolling tools. This afternoon I had a babysitter come in the afternoon so I could get a little recovery in.

Wednesday - 8.25 miles split up in 2 runs, 9:30 avg // Wednesdays I help lead the stroller run from the store, but also had 8 miles on my schedule, so needed to run a shorter run first thing in the morning prior to the stroller run. Again, I just kept these runs nice and easy.

Thursday - 7 miles, speed workout: 3 x 1200m/800m repeats @ tempo-5K pace (splits: 5:28, 3:28, 5:30, 3:37, 5:31, 3:21) // The rest of our team was assigned The Michigan workout, but because of the race, coach suggested the two of us who did Peterson Ridge, do shorter speed work to try to help flush out any residual soreness and not add too much load. It's always weird not running the same intervals that everyone else is, but it was still nice to be on the track with familiar faces.

Friday - 5.2 miles @ 10:11 avg // My legs were clearly still not recovered from the race + took a beating from the previous nights' speed work.

Saturday - 5.4 miles @ 9:00 avg // Because my legs still needed the recovery time and Pete worked on Saturday, my long run was moved to Sunday. In order to get all my miles in this week, there were a lot of early mornings, even through the weekend.

While I like mornings, I wouldn't mind another hour of sleep. ;) But I also LOVE running through town with almost zero cars on the road.

I took every opportunity on this run to notice all the tulips.

Easter Sunday - 20 miles @ 9:15 avg // Welp, this wasn't my best planning ever. Ahem, Easter Sunday. I sort of spaced the fact that I had to do 20 miles AND go to family brunch an hour a way that morning. So, I was up and pounding the pavement by 6:00 a.m. Off!

But again, the streets were quiet and I felt pretty good considering I was running 20 miles that morning. I'll admit that 9:15's felt a lot harder than I would have liked, but I'm reminding myself that those miles were also done on pretty tired legs.

What else? 
As we're now only four days a matter of hours (!) from the Eugene Marathon, I'm trusting that this week of high mileage on tired legs is going to help me out on race day.

Last week, my phone reminded me that five years ago on April 29, the manfriend got down on one knee at the end of the Eugene Marathon course. It was my best marathon ever and I missed my BQ by 33 seconds, but it was all okay in the end.

I'm just hoping that I feel nearly as strong as I did during that race. I remember the first half feeling easy at my goal pace. I purposely held back even when I felt like I could go faster, until the halfway point, at which I started picking up the pace and passing people.

Around mile 20 it started really hurting and my brain got fuzzy so I sort of let that BQ dream go, but kept running. And when I hit mile 23, my friend Chris was there waiting for me (not planned out) and he ran me to the finish. I stuck as close as I could to him and without him, I honestly would have just jogged those last few miles in.

Mile 24-25

And finally, finishing on Hayward Field.

Exhaustion. Disappointment. Confusion. Proposal. YES.

So while I know Sunday's story won't be anything like 2012, I hope to feel strong and remember that girl. 2012 was a BIG mileage year. I raced a lot and ran fast that year. Someday, I'll find my way back to her, but right now, I'm happy with being strong and fit enough to run a marathon.

Okay, g'night, sleep tight! Hope you're having a fantastic weekend! 

Let's just say we are experiencing what I hope life with a two year old is not always about. Tantrum city over here. Pray for us. Mama and daddy are tired. ;) 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 Miler

We're a few weeks removed from the Rumble now, but I wanted to make sure to recap my race. Now that I've done it three times (2011, 2014 and 2017), it feels like something I might want to continue to sign up for.

Let's be clear, it was still type II fun (as most distance racing can be) -- it's not necessarily great in the moment, but you're glad you did it afterward. Okay, there were moments as I was running and glancing up at the Three Sisters that I thought about how much I love running on trails, but those thoughts were quickly squashed by the pain in my glutes and hamstrings.

Okay, so back to the race. On Saturday, Pete, Henry and I met my mom and little brother Max in Bend for packet pick up at Foot Zone. The drive was smooth sailing with only one stop at Sahalie Falls on the way over.

Love Henry's little smile here

The manfriend and I picked up our bibs and we all did some browsing around the running shop. We had lunch at Deschutes Brewery (beet & mushroom burger + a pint for me), walked around a bit and then headed back to Sisters, OR to check in to our motel.

We had reserved a suite, which was perfect for our situation. We were all able to stay in one place and hang out together while Henry napped or slept. Saturday night, we had dinner in our room. I had made my go-to vegetarian lasagna and brought it with us to save a little $ and hassle (dining with a toddler is about 50% chasing them around the restaurant).

That night, we got to bed at a normal time (10:30pm) and had a good night's rest. The next morning, we got ready and headed down to take advantage of the continental breakfast. I had some oatmeal topped with nuts & raisins, a banana and a yogurt. The glory of a 9:00 a.m. race start: you're not trying to wake up and shovel food in your face at 5:00 a.m.

Sisters, OR is at 3,000 ft elevation and high dessert, so temps were a chilly 30F at the race start. But thankfully, it was clear and even a bit sunny, so I didn't layer up too much.

I wore my Oiselle pocket jogger capris, a Craft base layer tee, a Oiselle flyte long sleeve (obsessed with these), Brooks Calderas, a thin pair of gloves and a Oiselle ear warmer. Pete and I both wore puffies while waiting for the start and then handed them off to my mom and bro.

A Note on Running Shoes
Working for a running store, I often get to try out different shoes that I wouldn't otherwise be able to. My last pair of trail shoes (Altra Lone Peaks) were worn out, so I needed a new pair. I got to pick out the Brooks Calderas recently (staff sometimes get seed shoes) and had only taken them on one long trail run before this race. It might sound silly, but after that run and having no issues, I felt comfortable that they would serve me well for 20 miles. And they did! 

Ready to Rumble
Soon enough, the horn sounded and we were off! The first few miles are fairly flat trail and then forest service road before hopping back on to the trail where the climbing begins.

In total, the trail has 2,000 ft of elevation gain, which is a lot more than I had recalled. Regardless, my glutes were decently sore by mile 7 as we continued to climb and then descend over a few different ridges. I was quickly reminded that my body would have felt more prepared if I had done some more hilly long runs, but that's the challenge of trying to train for a trail race and a road marathon at once.

The race photographer didn't post a photo of Pete or I at this spot, but this gives you an idea of the views you get along the Peterson Ridge. During the race, you pass over this spot on the ridgeline twice (mile 4 and 16). If he had, you would have seen me walking up and over it.

My brother Max snagged some great shots of both Pete and I throughout the race. I definitely didn't feel as happy as I looked in the photos he took. But again, type II fun.

It was fun to see my family out on the course and Henry even got to cheer for us. My heart burst a little the few times I saw him smiling and clapping for me as I ran by. 

Fueling & Aid Stations
While the course is pretty empty in terms of spectators, there were four aid stations, which gave you a little something to look forward to (not to mention the M&M's and Oreos). I carried two Hammer gels and a pack of Honey Stinger chews with me that I had around miles 6-7, 11-12 and 15-17.

I always like to save the Honey Stingers for last so I can use them as motivators for myself to get to the next mile. For example, I'll have a few say at mile 15 and then tell myself "Okay, when you get to 16 you can have another." It might sound silly, but sometimes you just need to play those little mental games. I do the same thing with water near the end of a race.

As always, the aid stations were great, but I didn't stay long. The volunteers were quick to grab my water bottle when I would hand it to them and fill it up with water. And there were plenty of snacks set out for the runners (and dogs as it is a dog-friendly race), including PBJ, Goldfish, M&M's, boiled potatoes, oranges, chips, Oreos, pretzels, etc. This race also has a 40 mile option, so I imagine that if I were going that long, I'd stop at an aid station for a few minutes.

It might not look like it, but I promise there were hills. 

Positive Affirmations on the Trail
The last two times I ran this course, I consistently tripped and then fell pretty hard in 2014 resulting in a decent scar. My goal this race was NOT to fall and I did it! As my glutes and hamstrings were feeling the ups and downs by mile 7, I made up a little motto that I continued to say to myself so as not to trip and fall: "Up and over, it's a beautiful day." I realize this is super corny, but when you just need to focus on lifting your feet over lava rock, this is the kind of stuff your brain comes up with.

Tongue out = feeling tired

Miles 10-16 are sort of a blur, but my focus was just on staying present and not letting the exhaustion cause me to trip.

On the flat 3 mile road to the finish, I was simply focusing on maintaining a decent pace so I wouldn't be tempted to walk. I said things to myself like:
  • Easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl... just like the old commercial jingle
  • Fast and light 
  • The intro to Eye of the Tiger (forever and always my power song during races)
  • 2 and some change... 1 and some change... less than a mile to go!
Even if it sounds crazy, just repeating some kind of mantra seems to help me focus on something other than the pain I'm feeling. In those last 4 miles, after cresting the final hill and then have a straight, flat shot back to the finish, it was really my previous finish time that kept me running strong.

In 2011, I finished in 3:06:14 and in 2014, 3:20:58, so I really wanted to beat my 2014 time. And that I did, finishing in 3:17:27!

GPS watches are funny. Mine never hit 20 miles and Pete's had clocked 20.5.

The manfriend finished his first Peterson Ridge Rumble in 3:04:36! He was definitely tired, but I don't think he was as bad off as I was by the end.

Afterward, we hobbled around the finish area and grabbed some food. They have an awesome burrito bar as well as goodies from the local bakery, chips, water, bananas, etc. The only thing I could have used was some coffee and a massage. 

I felt pretty stiff and sore the rest of the afternoon, but surprisingly felt a lot better the next day. Often times, I'm more sore the day after. 

Pete and I both got to snooze a little while Henry napped. We decided to stay an extra night in Sisters so that we could just relax, which was really handy for the little guy's nap and not having to pack up and get out of there prior to the race.

My takeaways for this race were:
  • More trail time will = less glute soreness
  • Not news here, but I love how relaxed trail races are. 
  • Swiftwick socks rock. You get a free pair for finishing! 
  • Staying mentally focused worked for me this go 'round.

Do you have a favorite race or city you always want to come back to? 

Pete got into the McKenzie River Trail 50K this September, so we're already looking forward to some fun trail adventures this summer! That race though is one of my favorites and Peterson Ridge because we love Central Oregon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 10

Welp, here we are again. Let's cruise back to the week of the Peterson Ridge Rumble (April 3-9), shall we? And then I'll post my Peterson Ridge Rumble recap by Sunday of this week. 

Currently, I'm trying to kick a cold that Henry got and quickly passed on to me. With just two weeks until the Eugene Marathon, having a cold isn't one of the things I'd like to be doing, but alas, it happened. All of a sudden, sleep is becoming a priority. 

So, how about that training, eh?

Monday - 6.16 mi @ 9:15 avg // Nice and easy. There's something relaxing about Monday runs because I'm just getting over the soreness of the previous weekend's long run and there's no pressure to go fast.

Tuesday - 8.25 mi team workout: warm up, 3mi (marathon goal pace), 3 min rest, 2mi (perfect day mgp), 3 min rest, 1mi (10-5K pace), cool down // During a lot of my mgp workouts, I haven't nailed them. I've gone much faster, which I'm not sure benefited my body in feeling out that marathon pace. So this time, I was intentional about running by feel and not looking at my watch much. My mile splits: 8:31, 8:36, 8:28, 8:17, 8:11, 7:22

Watch selfie. Sometime, I should actually ask someone to take a photo of me. ;)

Wednesday - 4.8 @ 8:47 avg // Stroller run. Managed to miss the rain. Speedy friends always make you go faster -- whew.

Thursday - 7 mi @ 9:10 avg + ReCharge recovery // Total slogfest through the rain. As I headed out on this run, my legs were really not feeling it. They felt like logs and my heart rate was especially high that morning. Alas, I pushed through.

I worked at the running store this day and my boss encouraged me to head to ReCharge before Sunday's race, so I headed over there for some time in the Normatec compression boots for hips and legs followed by the infrared sauna.

Friday - rest day, Jasyoga // When I can fit it in, I'm trying to do the extra little things that can make a difference in your training. This time, that means fitting in foam rolling and Jasyoga videos, which are essentially purposeful yoga stretches aimed at helping runners recover faster or warm up specific aspects of the body prior to a run (i.e. hamstrings and glutes for me).

And sometimes, that means attempting to do your stretching, while a toddler lays on top of you.

Saturday - 1.7 mi @ 8:44 avg // Quick shakeout run. After getting most of our things packed up for the race, I headed out the door for a quick run before we headed over to Central Oregon. And then Pete headed out for his quick shakeout when I got home.

Our drive over the pass was good. H slept for almost an hour and we made a quick stop at Sahalie Falls both for the bathroom and a quick peek.

Sunday - Peterson Ridge Rumble! 20 mi @ 9:55 avg // Beautiful day. Cold (30F) at the start, but clear. I'll post a race recap in the next few days, but this race was hard, fun and successful. Third time's a charm because I did NOT fall on the course this time. Oh and my glutes hurt from probably mile 4 on because hello, rolling hills and the fact that I did about 4.5 long runs on the trail and zero midweek miles on hilly trails. Something to work on for next time, eh?!

Pre race puffies

Overall, the week felt good despite my heart rate seeming a little off on a few runs. At 48 miles total, this was my highest mileage training week for the cycle so far.

Stay tuned for my Peterson Ridge Rumble recap and to hear how recovery from the 20 miler went!

Is everyone else experiencing some glorious spring weather? We're getting teased by an almost 70 degree day tomorrow (followed by 9 straight days of rain in the forecast).

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 9

Last week was week 9 of marathon training and a recovery week for us on the training plan! Our coaches have us doing two weeks of build up and then one cut back week to let the body recover and adapt from all the hard work.

I meant to post this earlier in the week, but didn't sit down to finish it until now. We are in the hotel room in Sisters ready for the Peterson Ridge Rumble with my mom and little brother. Temps look like they'll be in the low 30's when the race starts -- brrr.

For new parents out there: suites are the way to go. We were actually able to put H down at a decent time and then stay out in the common area to hang out until we're ready to go to bed. Woohoo! Now on to last week's training...

Monday - 4 miles @ 9:27 avg (easy) // Neighborhood run with daylight!

Tuesday - 8 miles @ 9:09 avg + Jasyoga recovery yoga // For some reason, doing 8 (vs 7) miles before the day really starts feels extra hard core. On these longish morning runs, I've been doing a bit of the race course, which is a pretty section and helps me feel a little more prepared for the marathon.

This week, we had a few sunny days, so Henry and I took advantage and got outside with little walks and a trip to the park.

On a mission

Looking for the airplane

Wednesday - 4.25 miles @ 9:10 avg (stroller run) + 40 min weights & core // Nice and easy for this run. Just trying to stay consistent with strength, so Wednesdays are my required strength day (+Fri or Sat). I've been focusing on working the glutes and making sure they're firing, core and throwing some arm work in there.

Thursday - 7 miles, workout: 1 mi warm up, 4 x 2K (alternating first 1/2 mile @ marathon goal pace (mgp), 1/4 mile @ close to 5K pace, 1/2 mile @ mgp), 1 mi cool down // Because I was scheduled to work at the store until almost 6:00 p.m., I didn't want to chance missing the Flyers speed workout. So instead, I did this workout solo before the manfriend headed to work. Thank goodness for light these days on my morning runs!

For most of my repeats, I was close to my assigned paces for these intervals (4:17 for the 1/2 mile and 1:53 for the 1/4 mile). Actual splits: 4:01, 1:52, 4:16, 4:17, 1:47, 4:09, 4:16, 2:00, 4:10, 4:17, 1:54, 4:20

Friday - 3.1 miles easy @ 8:57 avg (stroller run) // *This was supposed to be a rest day, but...Pete had Friday off and the sun was out, so he headed out for a longer run. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist running on a gorgeous morning and took the little man to the river path for a casual run. We made a few stops to look at birds and the river and then playtime at the park.

Saturday - 40 min weight lifting + 25 min Jasyoga // I knew strength training would make me sore for my long run, but I like to get in a minimum of two days a week of strength training, so it was now or never!

Sunday - 12 mi long run w/ speed work // Because I was one week out from the Peterson Ridge Rumble, my run was slightly shorter than others, but I still wanted to get in goal pace work. I ended up doing 3 miles easy, 8 miles @ mgp (8:20-8:40s), 1 mile easy. I'll admit I was a bit disappointed by this run. The goal pace miles felt much harder than they should have, but I pushed through regardless (despite having a high heart rate).

Sunrise runs = the best

How did this week feel? 
Looking at my stats, my heart rate was, for the most part, lower this week and my body appreciated having a bit less mileage to do (38 vs 44 the previous week).

I was happy with Thursday's workout, but then bummed that Sundays long run felt so hard. Blah. You win some, you lose some.

Okay, time to wind it down for the evening! I'm excited for tomorrow's race. It's such a different mind set when you're just planning on enjoying a race rather than pushing as hard as you can go. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 8

Week 8 marks the highest mileage so far during this training cycle -- 44 miles! My biggest mileage weeks are somewhere in the 50-55 mile range, so we're getting up there. Overall, I'm feeling good, but I still need to work at settling into that goal race pace for the marathon.

Monday - 6 miles @ 9:37 avg // I don't remember anything special about this run. Just kept it easy.

Tuesday - 7.3 miles @ Team workout: warm up, 5 x 1 mi @ goal race pace (8:35), cool down // The goal here was really to keep it close to our actual goal race pace. It is always a struggle to do that, but I was close(ish). Mile splits: 8:18, 8:18, 8:30, 8:18, 8:05. I guess my legs like 8:18's?

Wednesday - 4.85 stroller miles // This run felt a bit like intervals. I was trying to keep up with some speedy ladies and then had to stop a number of times to keep the little man happy (cover him back up with the blanket, tell him he couldn't get out just yet, etc.). Most days he's pretty happy in the stroller, but on this day he was over it by mile two.

Thursday - 8.2 miles @ 8:51 avg // Watching the sun come up and running eight miles on a clear morning. Ah, this is spring.

Friday - Rest day + 15 min weights // I worked all day at the running store and even got in a short lunchtime walk. Meanwhile, my little brother (who's on spring break) watched Henry.

H loves pretending to drive any vehicle. 

Saturday - Long run, 17.6 miles @ 9:30 avg // H man woke up early (6:00 a.m. I think), which is actually pretty normal these days, but still. Anyway, I was cranky from being tired. But, I knew that once I got going things would be fine. I no longer fear long runs like I once did. I suppose after you've done 100+ of them it doesn't seem like such a daunting task.

Pete did his long run all on trails, while I focused mostly on road with just four miles of trail thrown in near the beginning (because it makes me happy).

By the time I finished back at the car, clocking 17.6 miles, I was pretty tired. Not wrecked, but once I stopped running I could feel all these things I hadn't noticed before -- my right hip and knee and my left foot. 

Because we hadn't run together and my mom was at home with the little guy, we decided to refuel at Vero Espresso for our date portion of the morning. Necessary: coffee, carbs and more carbs. We ordered a blueberry muffin while we waited for our Challah French toast, bacon and eggs.

Sunday - Rest day, Foam rolling class // I didn't have to work, so it was nice to be able to make it the foam rolling class @ Sweaty Ganesh and enjoy some family time.

We even met up with some friends at a brewery and let the kids enjoy the play area while we had a beer. Unfortunately, Henry decided to push his little friend over several times. I know he's just testing the limits, but it's frustrating when your kid is the bully and timeouts or telling them no or that it's not nice doesn't work.

What else?
It's now just a week until the Peterson Ridge Rumble and it looks like rain is in the forecast. I've run this race twice now and never had to deal with rain or snow. I'm really crossing my fingers we don't end up running 20 miles in the rain because that wouldn't be very fun and the views likely won't be as pretty.

And, we're spending an extra night in Central Oregon, so I'm really hoping we get a few hours to sit outdoors in the sun enjoying some good food, beer and the Deschutes River.

Alrighty, time to settle in with a hot cup of tea and Netflix before sleep! What's your favorite morning or evening ritual? 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 7

Okay, I'll be recapping two training weeks on the blog this week, so here goes week 7! As a reminder, I'm training for the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler (April 9) and the Eugene Marathon (May 7).

And as it goes with running, I'm already thinking about what other races I would like to do: Ridgeline Ramble (13 miles of trail here in Eugene on Memorial Day weekend), MRTR 50K (because registration for the lottery starts April 1), Silver Falls Half (fills up the day reg opens), etc. And as the sun peaks out just a bit more here and there, I'm dreaming of a few weekend runs on trails I haven't explored, like the North Umpqua Trail.

Monday - 5 miles easy (9:28 avg) // I don't remember much about this run, other than being happy to be able to run in a tee and on the bark for a few miles.

Tuesday - 7.25 miles @ 8:55 avg + 6 x 100m strides on the track // For this run, I tried to stay closer to my race pace for a few miles, but there were some hills involved, so it was slower than race pace, but still a more concerted effort to feel out that pace. And strides? They're always fun because they're over before you know it!

Wednesday - 4.25 miles easy, stroller run // This was a nice and relaxed pace. It was only myself and another mama, so we just took it easy and did a bit of strength afterward back at the running store.

Thursday - a.m. upper body strength + p.m. speed work (7.3 miles total, workout: 8x800m alternating marathon and tempo pace) // It was a beautiful night for a workout on the track, but still pretty chilly out. As it goes running with others, I had a hard time really going slow enough on the marathon pace repeats.

Friday - 2.6 miles @ 8:51 avg + 15 min weights // This was technically supposed to be a rest day, but since I wasn't going to be able to run long on Saturday (manfriend working), it feels weird to take two rest days in a row, so I did an easy shakeout.

Because the whole fam bam was together on Friday, we watched the Ducks play in the first round of the NCAA tournament (they're now headed to the Final 4!), wore our green and then spectated the local Lucky Clover 5/10K. I really enjoy running this race, but because it wasn't on my training plan, I decided it would be better to go and cheer others on. Henry was practicing his running when he'd see other runners go by us.

Saturday - 20 min core work (this Sarah Fit video) + chores // This core workout left my core sore for 2-3 days! I also did a decent amount of house work, including sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, laundry, vacuuming out the car and cleaning bathrooms. My mom had Henry for a few hours, so I decided to live on the wild side and do some cleaning followed by a much needed pedicure.

Sunday - 15 mile trail run // I left the house shortly after 7:00 a.m. to get this run in before showering, eating and heading to work at the store. I also wore my new Brooks Calderas for the first time and had zero issues with them. Not even a blister.

Afterward, I refueled at home with coffee and an egg, cheese and veggie sandwich before racing off to work. 

Traffic was really busy at the store that day, which I think helped my legs from getting super sore. That eve, I made sure to do plenty of foam rolling on my legs, rear and feet. For the feet, I always use a lacrosse ball because they're harder and denser that most options and really seem to help keep issues at bay. 

What else? 
I've been thinking about macros and nutrient timing just a bit. I'm trying to be a bit more conscious of eating more protein and lower carbs first thing in the morning, especially.

Frankly, I don't have any interest in eating lentils, beans or protein powder at breakfast. I like eggs and often have them with Ezekiel toast w/ PB or AB, but then I'm left with lunch and dinner and it just gets old eating veggie pasta or rice/quinoa bowls.

Moral of the story is, I need to pick a few new recipes to try so I have something else to throw in the mix once in a while. Also, I need to get back into the swing of making black bean burgers, because YUM.

Happy Monday, friends!