Friday, March 21, 2014

Still alive...

I'm still around! I'm still streaking, but I just haven't been online much lately. I've been really busy with work and slightly overwhelmed with stuff at home. 

The half marathon I was training for went ok. I PR'd, (2:08:53) but there was a terrible headwind at the turn around point that I wasn't expecting and it literally sucked the life right out of me. I had a little bit of a "post race depression" because of it the last few days and I haven't wanted to run at all. I did anyway, of course, but I am also dealing with a cranky left shin and foot. Sad face. I'm taking it easy this week. Hopefully the little mental break from being online will help. 

I'm just tired.

But I'll be back...

... Soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Days 88-94 (Feb 23-March 1): 25.5 miles

Day 88 (Sunday Feb 23):

8.0 miles. 1:24:00. 10:30 pace.

I was supposed to do 10.  This run sucked so bad.  I took a mental break after 6 miles and I didn't get hit restart fast enough so the treadmill cleared the workout.  So... the time is actually a guess based on the speed I had been running.  My hands felt like icicles and NO WAY was I going to do 2 more miles.  I'm pretty sure my body was tired from the 40 miles last week.

Day 89 (Monday Feb 24):

1.0 mile. 8:49 pace.

I was so crabby today the last thing I wanted to do was run.  I was supposed to do 5 miles.

Day 90 (Tuesday Feb 25):

3.5 miles. 33:32. 9:35 pace.

I was feeling really good on this day and was really enjoying the run (finally) but the basketball game my daughters were at ended early and I had to quit to go and pick them up.  I think I was scheduled to do 6 speedy miles.

Day 91 (Wednesday Feb 26):

4.0 miles. 37:54. 9:29 pace.

I was still feeling good today so I did some more speedy miles at tempo pace.

Day 92 (Thursday Feb 27):

3.0 miles. 31:01. 10:20 pace.

I was scheduled to do 5 or 6 miles on this day but Callie, my eldest daughter, came downstairs just after 2 miles and asked if I could help her with her homework.  Finished out the mile I was in and went upstairs to do my mom duty.

Day 93 (Friday Feb 28):

1.0 mile. 10:31 pace

Busy busy evening.  I took Mercedes to the skating show in town.  She made it until intermission and then said she was tired and wanted to go home.  Of course, once we got home she didn't want to sleep...

Skating show selfie!

Day 94 (Saturday March 1):

5.0 miles. 53:10. 10:38 pace.

I made a typo on my instagram picture for this day.  I put 6 miles when I really ran five.  I must have been thinking that there's now 6 miles on those shoes?  I don't know... multitasking mommy brain I guess.

Weekly mileage total: 25.5 miles.  I'm not going to lie when I say that I'm a little disappointed with that number but I've just been either really busy or really tired so I'm trying not to get too hard on myself!

Days 85-87 (Feb 20-22): 17.75 miles

Day 85 (Thursday, Feb 20):

6.0 miles. 1:03:51. 10:39 pace.

Unfortunately I don't recall anything about this run.  :(

Day 86 (Friday, Feb 21): 

5.0 miles. 52:37. 10:31 pace.

 Drawing a blank on this one too....

Day 87 (Saturday, Feb 22):

6.75 miles. 1:10:56. 10:31 pace.

I DO remember this one.  I struggled through the first five miles because I was really on a time crunch to get done before Karl got home from work at 6pm.  He had decided earlier in the day that he wanted to do his long run today instead of Sunday like scheduled.  6 pm rolled around and I knew he was upstairs waiting and so my anxiety got the best of me.  I stopped at 5 miles and let him get his run done and then hopped back on later for the last 1.75 miles.  Why make it 6.75 miles for the day?  Because that what I needed to run in order to hit 40 miles for the week!!!

Weekly recap:

Sunday: 10 miles (10:36)
Monday: 5 miles (10:42)
Tuesday: 6 miles (9:33)
Wednesday: 1.29 miles. (9:54) *outside!
Thursday: 6 miles (10:39)
Friday: 5 miles (10:31)
Saturday: 6.75 miles (10:31)

Total: 40.04 miles!  My highest ever!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

That darn menstrual cycle....

I've been really busy at work and have been feeling pretty tired and stressed when I'm not at work so the blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside.  I haven't even felt like running and when I am running, it's been just a mental struggle to get through each mile. 

Since I have been doing this for 90 days now (WOW!!!), I have started to notice a pattern.  The week before I get my little monthly visitor, I am exhausted and not really in the mood to do much of anything, let alone run.  I also get insomnia, which confounds the exhaustion problem. 

I did a little bit of googling and found out that this is completely normal:

"The hardest time for women to run fast is about a week before menstruation begins (a week after ovulation). That’s when levels of the key hormone progesterone peak, inducing a much-higher-than-normal breathing rate during exercise. The excess ventilation tends to make running feel more difficult." (Source)

So... since I should be expecting my period at the end of this week, I have just decided to "go with the flow" (you like that little pun there... lol) with what my body is feeling. I'm not going to punish myself with the extra miles that I'm scheduled to run but go the distance that my body "feels" like running that day until the cycle starts all over again.

Struggling to run miles that my body just doesn't want to run, simply because it's written down on a sheet of paper is so demoralizing and plain old, NOT FUN.

Running is supposed to be fun.

I'll be back later with a recap of the last few days' run stats.  But for now, enjoy this little blog post about "How to Run with the Flow of Your Menstrual Cycle." She says it all so much better than I can!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Days 79-84 (Feb 14-19): 29.29 miles

I got a little behind again since I stopped using the blogger app on my phone.  When you add pictures in the app, the picture quality goes way down so I prefer to do it when I get to work.  It's been a little bit busier here with it being tax season at all and it's been KILLING me not to update here as often as I had been.  I've been toying around with the idea of just doing one weekly run post update and then filling in other days with other stuff that's running related like I see other bloggers doing.  I have one post started with just new gear I've purchased this month that will go up at the end of February.  I also have some review posts started.

Do you guys have a preference?  Do you prefer a daily run update or multiple days in one post?  No preference?  For me, as a blog reader, it kind of depends on the author.

Day 79 (Friday, Feb 14):

6.0 miles. 1:02:44. 10:27 pace.

I honestly don't recall anything about this run.  That's how utterly uneventful it was.

Day 80 (Saturday, Feb 15):

1.0 mile. 9:12 pace.

The day started off with this lovely work of art:

We were meeting Karl's parents in the parking lot of a grocery store that seriously has the best donuts for like a 500 mile radius.  They were sold out of the one that I wanted (a cookies and cream long john filled with buttercream frosting) so I settled on this dog bone filled with whipped frosting.  Amazing.

We shopped around a bit and found a treadmill at Sears that is pretty much just a step down from the one that I have picked out online.  So, we got to see the size of it and stand on it (no running though... they took all of the safety keys) and Karl was completely sold on it.  So... looks like I'll be ordering a new treadmill here shortly!

We hit up Olive Garden and I ordered the Tour of Italy.  It comes with lasagna, fettucine alfredo, and chicken parmigiana.  I pretty much got it because I couldn't decide between my regular (alfredo) and lasagna.  I was disappointed in all but the lasagna.  I didn't get enough alfredo on my fettucine and the parmesan crust on the chicken was a just ... eh... but the lasagna was delish!!!

We got home and just watched Olympics for a few hours and I finally dragged myself off of the couch to go run one mile, even though I was scheduled to run 5.  I just wasn't in the mood.

Day 81 (Sunday, Feb 16):

10.0 miles. 1:46:00. 10:36 pace.

This run was so fantastically awesome. I watched an episode of Sherlock in my darkened basement in the middle of the day.  I was really thirsty during the beginning of the run (my water drinking the day before was severely lacking) and then I started to get cold towards the end.  My hands felt like icicles.  Instead of gummy bears and gatorade I had two GUs and a bottle of orange flavored GU Brew (plus 2 20z bottles of water).  I definitely could have run longer.

I came upstairs and Karl had stopped at that grocery store again while picking up the kiddos and they had some of the cookies and cream donuts this time!

I had the biggest sugar high.   I could literally feel the sugar pump through my blood stream.  Mercedes, of course, wanted me to share.  How can I say "no" to that little bird!?

Later in the evening I heated up my Olive Garden leftovers.  I think I got 3 bites.  Mercedes stole the plate and then literally licked it clean.

Girl sure likes her Italian!  She's lucky she's so cute with all of the food stealing she's been doing!!

Day 82 (Monday, Feb 17):

5.0 miles. 53:28. 10:42 pace.

I was scheduled to do 7 miles today and I totally could have, it's just the guilty mommy brain wanted to run shorter today so I could spend a little bit more time with my babies.  Of course, they could have cared less.  Callie was too busy playing Flappy Bird and Max was showing Taylor how awesome he is playing Minecraft.  Mercedes had a princess nightgown and some play jewelry on and asked me when I came upstairs, "Want to dance with me in the living room?"  At least 1 kid out of 4 wants to hang out with me!

Day 83 (Tuesday, Feb 18):

6.0 miles. 57:16. 9:33 pace.

I was supposed to do intervals today.  I DID start them.  I started to do 6x800s.  After about 2 though, I just decided to turn it into a tempo run and change the speed up and down as I see fit like I used to do at the beginning of the streak.  It was a lot more enjoyable this way.  In fact, I could have run another mile or two and not have been completely wrecked afterwards. In essence.... I did a fartlek run today.  And yes... I needed to type that because fartlek is the coolest word ever.

Day 84 (Wednesday, Feb 19):

1.29 miles. 12:48. 9:54 pace.

As soon as I got home from work I headed out the door to run outside.  The last two days the temp had been in the mid to high 30s and we're expecting to get a snowstorm later this week before plunging back down below zero again next week.  Since I hadn't run outside in awhile it took a little bit before my watch connected to satellite (plus it was cloudy) so I bet my total distance is about 1.5 miles. It was amazing.  I mean... I really don't mind the treadmill... but spring can just hurry itself right up.

When I got home I was looking at the stats on my watch and I see that my VO2 max had been changed and thus my race predictor times have been updated.  I was flabbergasted.  For one thing... my first set of times seemed out of reach to me but I just saw it as a long term goal and thought, "maybe in a year I can come close to those times..." But now!?  Jeez...  How am I supposed to reach these times that Garmin predicts for me if as I get fitter, the bar is raised even higher!? 

I guess we'll see come race day next month how much more work I have to do, huh?  My time goal for the race changes depending on the day.  Some days I just want to beat my last time of 2:12:13, and other times I'm shooting for sub- 2:05, and sometimes I think that I can even do sub-2:00. I'm so freaking excited for this race... I wish it was this weekend! 

Well... no I don't... there'd be about a foot of snow on the roads... but you know what I mean!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Day 78 (Feb 13): 4.25 miles

4.25 miles. 44:43. 10:31 pace.

Here's what happened.  I had EVERY intention of running at LEAST 6 miles today.  My ghetto treadmill had other ideas for me.

Karl had started mentioning that sometimes he feels like his foot sticks to the deck.  The belt isn't slipping or anything (we fixed that issue) but he couldn't really explain what it felt like or what could possibly be happening.


It's the weirdest thing.  It's kinda like the bottom of the shoe and the belt are melting together or something.  I can't explain it.  I doubt they were really melding together but it was such an ANNOYING feeling, I just knew I wasn't going to make complete my scheduled run. I started noticing it at mile 4.10 and it just got so much worse, so quickly I BARELY made it to mile 4.25.  Like literally... barely.  I was holding onto the hand rails and everything.

Super annoyed.  I had literally JUST found my groove too.  It takes me sometimes 3.5 miles to fully warm up to the point where I'm not feeling like I'm going to drown in my own sweat or that my legs are going to fall off.  Is anyone else that way..??? Like you're super hot and wishing you had about 50 more fans on you until a certain point and then you're body's all like, "oh... ok... just kidding... I thought we were running Badwater..." and then you're all of a sudden not hot anymore?  If I'm running really long towards the end of the run I start feeling chilly... but I'm pretty sure that's a hydration issue haha.  And this phenomenon is most noticeable on the treadmill where the temp and everything is consistent.  Maybe I'm just a freaking weirdo... :)

So anyway... this ghetto treadmill of ours is dying.  Like, it's gotten its affairs in order and is transitioning into hospice care. 

I've been researching treadmills all week.  I have literally spent HOURS doing this during the slow times at work. 

In my research I found out that the treadmill that we purchased on sale for $400 is technically not meant to be run on.  It's pretty much designed for little old ladies to walk on.  It is not built for serious running to be done on it.  It is also not built for really tall dudes over 250 pounds to run on.  So... needless to say, Karl and I have literally run this thing into the ground.  The belt floats above the deck probably a half inch.  The suspension is shot and the motor gets tired and slows for a few seconds at a time if it's been running for awhile.

What's funny is that I think that I'm harder on the treadmill than Karl is.  Obviously I put more miles on it than he does but he's double my weight and yet I feel like my footsteps are WAY louder than his.

My mom has the same treadmill as we do.  I used it last Sunday to run my 10 miles, remember?  Well, when I started... the belt was flat on the deck.  When I finished, the belt was floating above the deck maybe a quarter inch.  I'm not sure if as the belt heats up it tightens itself and that causes it or if the suspension is just terrible on these cheapo machines.  I don't weigh a whole lot and I take quick little steps (my cadence is usually about 180 but it ranges from 175-200 according to my fancy Garmin watch.  See... I knew those stats would come in handy someday) so my size and form should have nothing to do with the crappiness of this treadmill.  ugh. 

We have decided on an upgrade.  Well... I have decided on an upgrade.  Karl didn't say no yet like he did to the Boston Marathon one.  (He seriously has to be the ONLY RUNNER ALIVE that doesn't think that the speed ring thingee is cool).

On Saturday we're going to go and shop around for treadmills at Sears, 2nd Wind, and Dick's.  If nothing catches our eye there then you can bet your britches I'll be ordering the one I picked out.  The website says it'll take up to 2 weeks to arrive.  Little Ghetto Horizon... you BETTER LIVE THAT LONG!!!!!

I'm not going to say which one I've picked out until it's ordered just in case I either find something on Saturday or I change my mind.  I'm a woman.  That happens.

My appetite started to come back today (well... technically yesterday since today is actually Feb 14).  Guess what I had for lunch?

Hardee's bacon cheeseburger, for the win!

I forget that Hardee's puts mayo on their burgers... so it was only ok.  The onion rings were fantastic and I love the fact that they have fountain cherry coke.

In case you haven't figured it out yet I am not a "clean" eater.  My idea of clean eating is washing your hands first. I love processed garbage.  It makes me feel like poo sometimes but it is oh so tasty.

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'll be spending my evening on the ghetto treadmill while Karl takes care of the sugared up kids.  Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to go shopping like I mentioned and are going to hit up Olive Garden.  So excited.  And we're going to be KIDLESS!!!!  Adult conversation!? Breadsticks!?  Shopping!? 

It's going to be amazing....

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Days 73-77 (Feb 8-12): 26.05 miles

Bad blogger, I am.  I'm so far behind on posts and it was starting to overwhelm me so I just decided to do it this way. 

Day 73 (Saturday, Feb 8): 

6.05 miles. 1:02:59. 10:25 pace.

I um... slightly underdressed for this run.  I did it outside, but it was still pretty windy.  I wore a pair of Under Armour ColdGear tights and my thighs were pretty numb by the time I got home.  I also wore only a lululemon long sleeved swiftly on my arms.  I had a tank underneath and a fleece vest over.  Brr.  I did it though!

Day 74 (Sunday, Feb 9):

10.0 miles. 1:47:00. 10:42 pace.

I had to do this run in chunks.  I decided to go to my mom's and use her treadmill since she was out of town and wanted me to check on her doggie.  She has steam heat at her house and whatever it is called that makes her house warm is right next to her treadmill in the basement.  After running in subszero temps the day before, I definitely felt like I was running in the seventh circle of hell.  After 3 miles I went outside (where there was something like a -17 wind chill) to cool off before going back for more.  After another 3 miles I did it again.  The last 4 miles were pure torture to finish.  I had forgotten my gummis at home and so the only "fuel" I had was a single bottle of Gatorade.  I hadn't eaten anything in over 6 hours.  I gutted it out though.  So happy to have finished.  The first double digit run since last June!!!!!

Day 75 (Monday, Feb 10):

5.0 miles. 53:48. 10:46 pace.

I didn't realize how tired and dead feeling my legs were until about 2 miles into the run.  My stubborn self willed me to finish and then I collapsed onto the couch face first mumbling something along the lines of "fuck you Hanson brothers and fuck your cumulative fatigue"

Day 76 (Tuesday, Feb 11):

1.0 mile. 10:47 pace.

I ended up having to switch my speed day with my rest day.  It was my turn to help out in the concession stand at the varsity girls basketball game tonight.  I didn't get this run in until about 9:45pm.  If it wasn't for the streak and my stubbornness, I would have just gone to bed.

Day 77 (Wednesday, Feb 12):

4.0 miles. 38:00. 9:30 pace.

I was supposed to do 5x1000m repeats tonight.  I ended up doing 3x1000m repeats.  During that 3rd interval my legs were on fire and my abs were starting to burn and I was in a hurry to try to get done so that Karl could use the treadmill (he had called it for the after work slot and I snuck down there before he got home to hopefully get my run done beforehand.  I didn't want to be running until 8 or later if I'd waited for him to be done).  So... I was really anxious and I REALLY didn't want to turn the speed down for the 4th and 5th intervals (I was running the intervals at 7mph, about an 8:34 pace or so) so after the 3rd interval recovery I set the treadmill to my tempo pace and finished the last 3/4 mile or so at that speed.  So... even though I cut the run short by about a mile and a half,  I'm still pleased with my time and effort.  I guess my legs are still tired from the weekend.

What's up next:

Tonight: Supposed to be 6 mile tempo run.  It's going to be an easy paced run.  I guarantee you that.
Friday: 6 miles easy (which I might push the pace on so I get a tempo like run in for the week)
Saturday: 5 miles easy
Sunday: 10 miles easy
Monday: 7 miles easy
Tuesday: Supposed to be 4x1200m intervals but I'm going to redo the 5x1000 or the 6x800 depending on how I'm feeling.
Wednesday: 1 mile easy.

I'm still working on the Under Armour Armour Bra review.  I'll give you a clue.  I'm sending it back.  I feel there is a serious design flaw with it which makes it not worthy of the $58 price tag.  Stay tuned......