Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 3

Hey there! Last week was my third official week of marathon training and a cut back or recovery week for us meaning miles were a little lower overall, including the long run. However, due to the whole sleep issue, it didn't feel like much of a recovery week because most days I was running on ~5 hours of sleep. We've had two nights in a row with no wake ups, so I'm crossing my fingers that Henry is over the hump and we won't have any more of those middle of the night parties. 

Monday - Rest day // All day I kept thinking "Thank goodness I have a rest day on the schedule because my body doesn't want to do anything but that." I didn't get much sleep thanks to the little man. 

Tuesday - 6 mi @ 8:48 avg // Valentine's morning I had a 7:15 a.m. oil change so I could leave Henry at home and be back before Pete needed to leave for work. So, I got there at 6:45, parked and headed out for a 15 min run or so before coming back to check my car in and head out for the rest of my run. 

Lucky for me, I got to run along the river and then Pre's Trail on such a gorgeous morning and got to catch this sunrise. It seriously made my day. Also, I got excited and ran too fast and noticed an elevated heart rate into the afternoon. Note to self: your body needs more sleep. 

Wednesday - 4 mi stroller run + 30 min strength & core work

Thursday - 6.5 mi total, speed workout: 1 mi warm up, 3 x 1.5 mi work (800m 10K pace/800m hm pace/800m 10K pace), 4 x 100m strides, .75 mi cool down. // I wasn't able to make it to the group workout on Tues, so I'm thankful I could make our community speed workout on Thurs that's near my house. It's so nice to run fast with others rather than early a.m. on your own! 

Friday - rest day, 20 min strength training

Saturday - rest day, Jasyoga hamstring recovery (25 min) // I had to switch Sat and Sunday because of sleep, Pete's work schedule and my sister-in-law's baby shower, so opted for some hamstring work, which I can never get enough of. Also, did you know that Jasyoga is only $4.99 per month and is basically yoga stretching for runners where you need it most? I like to work on hamstrings and hips the most because that's what is tightest on me. If you're interested, there's a code on the site for a free month to try it out (WIN2017).

Sunday - 7 mile hilly trail run // As mileage increases, I know it will be hard for me to pick between doing a trail run or road run (I'm training for a marathon and 20 mi trail race), so for now I think every few weeks I'll take my long run to the trails. 

Honestly, the long trail runs hurt more than the road runs (and take more time), but they're also probably what I need more work on. BUT, at the same time, marathons are a beast and on race day I am always thinking "Why did I sign up for this again?" And on trail races, the vibe is much more casual and I find myself distracted with how gorgeous the area is I'm running, but on marathons you feel every step at some point and just start counting down the miles until the finish. 

And because I'm doing this whole training program, I'm going to focus more on the road miles for long runs. 

What else?
This is the week where the hunger monster really kicked in. My body realized "Hey, you're training more than usual. Give me more food!"

I already eat a lot, but when I have to eat more, it starts to get frustrating because I feel like I'm never not eating. You can only eat so much at meal times, so I try to eat healthy balanced snacks in between when I'm hungry like apples & almonds, hard boiled eggs, homemade power muffins, big salads, hummus & crackers/carrots, toast w/ PB, yogurt, etc. But at some point in the day I often feel like I've eaten all the healthy snacks and still am not full. 

We all know this, but sleep is so important. The last few weeks I've frequently had piercing headaches due to exhaustion, so this week I really need to prioritize sleep. 

What are you looking forward to? What's been most challenging for you lately? Seen any good movies lately?  

I rented Sully (about the pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson) on Redbox and while it was good, it was also stressful. I had to read a book to wind down after watching it last night. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sleeping Through the Night, or Not!

I remember thinking as I got into bed one evening "Well, it only took us 18 months, but finally, we are sleeping through the night, knock on wood." Two months later, I'm sort of surprised to say that's no longer the case. My hope is that Henry's going through a developmental leap that is going to wrap up shortly, but I don't really know. 

In the last three weeks, we've seen everything from 5 or 6:00 a.m. wake up calls to wake ups at 1:30, 2:30, or 3:30 that last for hours. One of us usually goes in, changes his diaper if it's really wet and that might be the reason he's not sleeping, gives him his paci and tries to sing to him and settle him back down. But there is no settling really. He wants to be up, turn on the light, read books, etc.

A few nights, I'll admit that I wearily agreed, turned on his lamp, and barely comprehended any of the words on the pages. Sometimes we just flipped pages and I didn't say a word. After a few books, he usually started to seem sleepy and ask for milk. {These days, he nurses about twice a day, but sometimes 3 during these middle of the night shenanigans.}

Pretending to sleep

After putting him back in the crib and falling back into bed myself, he is quiet for maybe 5-10 minutes and then boom! wide awake. Kicking and talking in his crib. On the worst night, I was up from 2:30-6:00 a.m. before falling back asleep for another 90 minutes. Whew.

I don't know when it's going to end or what the solution is, but I'm hoping it's right around the corner because these headaches and this exhaustion are unpleasant.

Anyway, this is just a bit of what's going on here.

On the positive front, when he's awake, Henry is usually super happy. Running, working on his jumping, talking up a storm, obsessed with construction equipment, playing music, singing songs, etc.

We're doing our first round of swim lessons at the YMCA and while he isn't really into the technical aspects (blowing bubbles, reaching his arms, or kicking too much), he really likes jumping off the edge of the pool, doing the songs, going down the slide (when he gets the courage), and sitting in the warm/not-so-hot tub afterward with all the other little kiddos.

He's also starting to tolerate the stroller better on our weekly group stroller runs. For a while, it was frustrating and I get it, he's an active kid who doesn't want to be strapped down. But it's just nice not to have to stop several times on a 4 mile run.

Happy Friday, friends! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

We have a family day today, so are planning to go to the trampoline park and who knows what else. Tonight, I am meeting up with an old friend and then tomorrow is a baby shower for my sister-in-law!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 2

Week two of marathon training was good, and fun! Of all the runs, Monday's 5 miler was a real slog because of my sore quads and hello, Monday.

I've realized that it's a good thing that I'm a) a morning person and b) self motivated, because if I didn't get out at 6:30 a.m. for a run, I likely wouldn't get one in most days unless I resorted to a stroller run, which is doable, but not nearly as therapeutic and requires a lot more hassle.

Also, sleep. Sleep is a good thing. The last few weeks, it was not something I got much of. Henry has been waking up regularly at 4 or 5 a.m. and often not going back to sleep, so... (yawn). Now let's get to the workouts.

Monday - 5 miles easy pace (9:53 avg) on tired legs (from Sunday's trail run)

Tuesday - 5 miles @ team workout, warm up, 2 mile time trial (14:15), cool down. I've never done a 2 mile anything, or a one mile all out for that matter either, so I wasn't totally sure how it would go. But, I've ran 5Ks, so I focused on sticking near my 5K PR pace and that felt hard, but manageable.

Wednesday - 4.25 mile stroller run + strength work

Thursday - 6 miles @ 8:57 avg

Friday - rest/cross train day, 1.5 mile walk, 15 min strength work and 15 min hamstring/hip flexor yoga @ home

Saturday - Long run, 10 miles @ 9:03 avg. I tried to slow down to keep my pace closer to the 9:30s, but there were miles where that was really difficult to do. Pete and I both wanted to get long runs in this day, so I started around 7:15 a.m. and had a clear, peaceful morning out there.

Love these arched branches along Pre's Trail

Hi, this is my awkward running selfie.

Sunday - REST, 2 mile walk

Thoughts so far:
I'll admit that already, I can see that one of the most challenging aspects for me about following a training plan is really taking the proper rest days and not just adding a few easy miles for kicks. Before, I would often throw a 3 miler into a rest day because I just felt like running, so it's taking some restraint to mostly REST on these rest days.

More isn't always better. I repeat, more isn't always better.

Long runs are coming. I mean, really long runs. Sundays 10 miler was just the tip of the iceberg and while it mostly felt good, I know as we get near those 15 mile runs it will really start to take its toll.

In non-running related news...
The manfriend and I are making our way through Friday Night Lights on Netflix from the very beginning. I watched it way back when, but he never did. It's so good. But also reminds me how awful/hard being a high schooler can be. What's your favorite show currently?

Okay, I'm off to bed! I hope your Valentine's Day was a good one, whether you celebrated or not. All day, I wanted to get a donut or something equally delicious, but didn't have the time. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 1

Last week was my first official week of marathon training with our store training group, Team Run Hub. Our team has a total of 46 people on it training for the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon on Tuesdays and Saturdays for speed workouts and long runs.

Because of the manfriend's schedule and having a small kiddo, I'll only be able to make it to Tuesday evening speed workouts every other week and long runs maybe once a week. I'll still be doing the assigned runs and workouts, but from my front door and often solo. But still, I'm excited to have a prescribed training plan and teammates to run with when I can make it.

I'm not going to go on and on here, so let's get to the week's work.

Monday - 3.5 mi easy (i.e. relaxed, slower than maybe my ego would want to run)

Tuesday - 6.5 mi total, warm up, speed work: 10 x 2 min @ 10K pace, 1 min easy in between, cool down (It felt like a treat to get to run in the eve and with others around my pace. Thank you, manfriend for being on bedtime duty!)

Wednesday - 4.25 mi stroller run, weekly stroller run I help lead through the store

Thursday - 15 min yoga flow + 30 min strength & core work (@ home, during H's nap). 

Friday - 6.75 mi, 6.2 mi + 6 x 100m strides

Saturday - REST

Sunday - 8.5 mi Ridgeline Trail run w/ manfriend, hilly and muddy, but fun

Total: ~29 miles

What else?
I had a cold this week, so overall felt pretty meh and even took a few naps when Henry napped, but I managed to do all of my runs as I wasn't feeling horrendous.

Also, the little guy came down with a fever Friday night, forcing us to miss a baby shower and visiting friends in Portland. It had me in a pretty grumpy mood Saturday morning (you know, when the anticipation of a fun day gets squashed) before the manfriend left for work. So, I laced up and headed out for a 20 min walk in the rain with a podcast. It's amazing what some fresh air will do.

I'm looking forward to this week's speed work, a 2 mile time trial, which will tell Brett (our coach) what pace we should be running our various runs/workouts at.

I hope your week is off to a great start! I'm thinking that these weekly training recaps may get me back into blogging more frequently...

I've been doing a lot more reading (than I have in a long time) and writing (on paper) lately, which has been good. I want to find ways to spark more creativity and hopefully find some things that I find exciting to write about. Anyway, it's nothing earth shattering, but yes, in order to do that, I have to put down my phone and pick up a book or pen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Marathon Training, Ready or Not

Happy 2017! I hope the new year is off to a good start for you and your family. 

The last time I ran a marathon was October of 2013, the Chicago Marathon. I had to check my records to confirm that. The last big race I trained for was the McKenzie River Trail 50K in September of 2014.

Talk about sweet race views!

Between pregnancy and having/raising Henry (who's now 19 months old), that's a long period of time I've been out of the long distance training game. I don't feel I have something to prove, but I've also felt like I'm not quite done with the marathon.

So, I've joined Run Hub's training program for this spring's Eugene Marathon. It's a flat course, it will be easy logistically to run (because it's in my home town) and takes place in early May, so will hopefully be decent running weather. And, the manfriend and I are signed up to run the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler together in April, so I'll be doubly inspired to fit in the mileage.

We've had some wacky weather around here, so just getting out for a run has been more challenging than usual...

Have Stabilicers. Will run. 

I'll admit that the biggest reason I've signed up to train for the race is that the coach is four-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Brett Ely. I figure it's a cool opportunity to have a personalized training plan (a first for me!) and the extra motivation a coach and team offer. While I don't currently have goals to PR, I'm simply hoping to train hard and enjoy the process of getting stronger.

Weekly stroller run from the store with a few friends. Not easy. 

Fitting in runs is one thing, but fitting in hard workouts and long runs is another ball game when you have a little one. Last night was the Thursday speed workout, which happens to take place at the track right near our house. In order to make the workout, I had dinner ready and on the counter waiting for the manfriend. Then I bundled up H and put him in the jogging stroller for the warm up mile. As soon as Pete came home, he met me at the track and I handed over the stroller to hop in just as the workout started.

Last night's workout: 3-4, 4x400m (5K-mile pace), 1 min between 400's and 3 min between each set.

I joined a group that was a bit faster than me, so I lagged behind a few seconds, but they definitely pushed me to give it my all. I don't think there was a 400m where I actually ran my 5K pace. Most were quite a bit faster.

It was all I could do to hang on for 3 sets and then decided to cool down for 1.5 miles. Typically, I'll hang in for the longer version of the workout, but last night was cold (25F or so) and I haven't been doing much speed work, so I'm trying to be smart about it.

Speaking of being smart, this morning I went out for a 20 minute eeeeasy recovery run (~60-90 sec/mile slower than goal race pace). I don't know, but I have a hunch I'm going to need to start paying attention more to my pace on the easy days when the training plan gets underway on January 31!

And in New Years chatter, is anyone else still trying to recover from the holidays food bonanza? I still have a happy little belly thanks to those Christmas cookies and chocolate I was given or baked on my own free will. :)

Random things that boggle my mind:

  • How do people keep track of, save, back up, organize all of their photos? Same thing for music.
  • Why does the bone on the top of my left foot always hurt after a long run or hard workout? It doesn't hurt the majority of the time, but it does hurt regularly. 
  • How do people with full time jobs have time to go shopping, cook meals, take care of their kids and clean their house? 
What boggles your mind these days? Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Appreciating the Season

The way I feel this holiday season likely isn't drastically different than I've felt in the past, but the older I get, the more I notice myself appreciating the season. You know, that special feeling you have just walking around doing errands, feeling the brisk air on your face, planning meals or dishes for family and friend gatherings.

When I'm out and about or going for a run in the cold, I feel especially thankful to be able to jump in a car or come home to a warm house, something I know not everyone is as lucky enough to do. I wish that every month, week, day of the year I could feel as lucky. So lately, I've been thinking about how I might be able to extend this feeling of thankfulness throughout the year.

Ice trees from my run on Sunday - a balmy 27F!

Right now, I've been thinking of it as a gift just to be able to get together with friends and family. In fact, if it were up to me, I'd like to seriously rethink the gift giving situation. I find that gift giving feels very stressful because I never know what people really want or need and therefore get overwhelmed trying to find gifts that people will truly use and appreciate.

One of my biggest pet peeves is letting something go to waste and I surely wouldn't want to give something that is just going to sit on someone's shelf or get tossed in a donation pile. Anyway, that's all to say that I like in theory the idea of gifting, but not how it actually plays out.

But I hopped on here today to talk about the Christmas spirit I've been feeling and hope you are feeling a bit of that too. Even as an adult, the magic of Christmas still holds true.

A few of my favorite things this time of year: Sitting by a twinkling tree, cuddling up with a hot mug of tea or cider and watching a holiday movie (Christmas Vacation, Grumpy Old Men, Love Actually), reading the Polar Express, baking cookies, the anticipation of Christmas Eve & opening stockings.

I really enjoyed this post from Cup of Jo about holiday rituals. I spent a good 10-15 minutes reading through the comments of what others do on Christmas/Christmas Eve. So many fun traditions.

What are you doing for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Is there a specific meal or food you eat for either day? Some of our friends here in Eugene go snowshoeing and I love that idea!

Happy Holidays and I hope you're staying warm and healthy! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Race Recap: Turkey Stuffer 2016, a Surprise PR

A race recap and a blog post? Two things you haven't seen around here in a while. I don't race much these days, but I do like posting these recaps if only for my own reminder of how I've done over the years at various races and to see how my running ebbs and flows.

I don't know about you, but I don't have all of my PR's memorized. I know my half and full marathon PR, but not my 10 or 5K. So, when I started writing this post, I had to do a little digging. From what I can tell, this year's Turkey Stuffer 5K was a PR by 2 seconds. Who knew?! When I crossed the finish line, I certainly didn't think I had just PR'ed.

In 2011, when I was doing a LOT of running, I clocked a 22:18 at a local Oregon Track Club 5K. My official finish time for the Turkey Stuffer 5K was 22:16, a PR. Whoop!

Here's a run down of past Turkey Stuffer times that I could round up: 2007 - 24:06, 2008 - 24:05,  2009 - 23:07, 2014 - 26:36 (3 months pregnant) and 2016 - 22:16!

I don't have any action photos, but here's how the race went. It started at 8:30 a.m. and is a good 20 minute drive from our house, so I left around 7:45. I got parked and ready by 8:05 a.m., grabbed my bib, crumpled it for best fit (moves much better this way) and went for a short 10-15 minute easy jog. 

In my experience, the slower, longer warm ups for 5Ks do me well. In fact, I would have liked another 5-10 minutes to warm up and do strides and stretches, but I left a bit late for that. 

I lined up with ~5 minute until start time, took off my long sleeve and we were off! This race weaves through neighborhoods and loops you back so you get to see other runners and walkers once you've hit the halfway point, which is always nice for a tired mind and body. 

Per the usual, this was a painful race (as 5Ks should be). I didn't press the start button correctly on my watch, so didn't start clocking it until .4 miles in and then just used the Garmin for current pace. I was running around 7:00-7:20 pace most of the race, which I knew I could sustain just long enough. 

Mile 1 hits and I think "Okay, just get to mile 2." Then, I think "Oh, lord. One more mile. Not sure if I can do this. It hurts so bad."  And before you know it, you're rounding that last neighborhood corner and heading down the last straightaway before ducking into the parking lot finish line. On the home stretch, I push it just enough that I wonder if I might hurl at the finish line. Thankfully, I don't. 

I definitely felt fast, which was fun. I had been doing weekly speed work for the last 5 weeks or so prior to the race, so it felt good to see the fruits of my labor. 

These days I'm wearing and loving my Mizuno Wave Inspires, which were recently updated and made much softer and just seem to fit my foot well. If you'd told me I'd be wearing and loving Mizunos previously, I wouldn't have believed you. But working at a running store has sure changed my view on running shoes. I no longer stick with the same brand and model of shoe because there are several that feel good and work well for me. 

After the race, Pete and little H joined me for some pool time. The race is a fundraiser for the local parks and rec department, so they let participants and their families swim free at the pool where the race starts and ends. Henry had a great time and of course didn't want to stick to the warm baby pool, but required we take him into the deeper, big kid pools. 

Did anyone else do a turkey trot? Tell me what fun things are on your Christmas/holiday 'to do' list. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Just popping in for a brief chat. It's 10:00 pm, the house is quiet and all feels peaceful. Despite last week.

If we were having a late night coffee chat, I'd tell you... 

Pandora's Relaxation Radio is playing in my ears, but I've been tempted to switch over to Christmas music. And I'm not usually one of those let's celebrate early! types of people. Maybe it's the election or maybe it's seeing that other people have started decorating early on social media?

I don't know about you, but I've always done my best, most creative work late at night, and often on a deadline. Anyway, tonight, I know I must be tired, but I don't feel it. It's like my brain forgot to tell my body I'm running on 5.5 hours of broken sleep.

I'm toying with the idea of signing up for the Eugene Marathon this spring and training hard for it. But then again, that sounds like SO much work.

But I have already decided I'm running two long(ish) trail races in 2017 — Hagg Lake 25K and Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler (the manfriend will be running it too!). For whatever reason, the trail races don't get me all psyched out like a marathon does. I guess that's because the trail vibe always feels like "Hey, enjoy this beautiful scenery!" rather than "Don't stop for any reason whatsoever. Just keep going no matter how much it hurts."

Henry found my retainer I've been missing for a few years now, so I cleaned it and started wearing it again. Here's to hoping my teeth will go back to where they were.

While I know H is not yet able to do much crafting, I still want to do all the holiday crafts, even if that means I'm doing 99.9% of the work. Lindsey and I made turkeys with the boys last week. The only work they had to do was let us trace their hands and try to rip off the turkey's eyes.

Sitting here on the couch in quiet, flipping through the Stance holiday catalog feels so peaceful. And yet, in a week Thanksgiving will be here and thus the snowball to Christmas. No matter the quantity or size of gifts on my list, the holiday prep always catches me off guard. Breathe in. Breathe out. 

We have had a few (mostly) gorgeous weeks around here, which have been really nice. BUT I am secretly excited that it's getting colder and am already looking forward to bundling up for tomorrow morning's run (low 40s F).

H at the end of our little hike last week

Okay, so that quick chat turned into a bit more, but isn't that always how it works? Happy calm before the storm, friends. 

What's on your mind right now?