Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 16 - The Week Before The Week Of

In 2014 I ran my 5K PR in my last road race before my BQ attempt at the Derby Festival Marathon. In 2015 I ran my 10K PR in my last road race before my BQ attempt at the Napa Valley Marathon. I didn't feel close to PR shape this year but figured I might as well run one more road race before the Mill Race Marathon this coming weekend. Saturday I hit the Indiana Timing circuit again and raced.

So here was my week before the week of the Mill Race Marathon...

Sunday 9/10 - Zero miles. A well deserved rest day after the 20 on Saturday... plus I had to go to work.

Monday 9/11 - 6 miles. Easy shake out run on the Monon.

Tuesday 9/12 - 7 miles. Run Club workout. 2 miles warm up and then 400's on the track with a 200 jog in between. Goal was 8-12 400's. I ended up doing 10. Also finally figured out how to use the lap timer on my Garmin (Thanks Trena!)

400 sprint           200 jog
1:48.1                 1:32.8
1:51.1                 1:33.9
1:54.2                 1:35.3
1:52.6                 1:34.8
1:52.3                 1:39.9
1:52.5                 1:42.2
1:49.3                 1:45.1
1:52.4                 1:44.6
1:52.0                 1:48.4

I'm actually amazed at how consistent the 400's were considering I couldn't see the individual lap times. I knew the Garmin was recording the lap times every time I hit the timer but all I could see was the overall running time until I downloaded the data. I basically ran on feel and tried to keep up a hard effort but a sustainable pace. 1.5 mile cool down after the track work to get me 7 miles.

Wednesday 9/13 - Zero miles. Rest day.

Thursday 9/14 - 4 miles. I couldn't decide what to run today. Long run? Pace run? Hit the Monon and thought I'd run pace. This went well for two miles. 8:48, 8:45, then I became aware of how hot and humid it was. 8:55. The weather had changed again and the cool temps were gone. I was actually sweating walking out to the trail and that should have been a tip-off. I struggle-bussed through a cool down mile 4 and decided I was done for the day.

Friday 9/15 - 6 miles. Again, I felt like I should do some kind of long run today but realized even before I started running that I was really really tired. At first I didn't even know if I'd make 6 and thought about turning around at the 3 mile turn around but crossed 75th Street and kept going south. Finally started feeling somewhat better and managed to finish 6 but no more.

Saturday 9/16 - 5 miles. I decided to run the Seeds of Love 5K in Columbus, IN. I figured it would be a good run through for race morning next weekend. So... up at 5 am... and laid in bed til 5:30 am. Ugh, I am SO tired. Finally got up so I could eat my oatmeal and drink my coffee. Out the door at 6:15 am. I was still so seriously sleepy that I considered turning around and driving back home at the Edinburgh exit... but I kept driving. Got to Columbus a little after 7 am so I could register for the race and get a one mile warm up in. Took a glance at the course map which wound through multiple neighborhood streets and figured I'd just follow someone. Happy to see Jane and Magda and Debra there. At least I'd have some gals to run with.

The race started and there were two girls (as in teenagers) that toed the starting line and took off. The first one took off and I never saw her again. In the back of my mind I felt I had a chance of breaking 24:00 but knew I needed a 7:20-7:30 first mile, then to hang on after that, if I were to have a chance.

Mile 1 - 7:28. I could feel myself reeling the girl in front of me in. Passed her before the 2 mile marker and gunned it to the next corner.
Mile 2 - 7:50. Now I was running alone which made it harder. I knew Jane and Debra were behind me somewhere but where were they? It was a twisty course through small neighborhood streets so I kept my head up and made sure I ran every tangent.
Mile 3 - 8:18. I really needed someone to push me. I knew I should run sub-8:00 to get sub 24:00 but I lost my motivation. I could feel myself slowing but I didn't see any shadows or hear any footsteps behind me either so I got a bit complacent. But... where the heck was that 3 mile marker?!! I was starting to really slow down and knew I'd get caught if I didn't hurry up.
Last 0.1 - 0:37. I saw the finish clock read 24:06 as I came down the straight away and knew I didn't get my time, then put my head down and ran through the finish line.

Official time - 24:13.

I walked through the chute and turned around... and found Debra right behind me. Whew! I almost got caught. I didn't know she was so close behind me.

Magda, me and Jane

Overall, it was a pretty solid race and I felt like I had earned my medal this week. Only low point of the day was the UGLY rumor that I heard... the weather next Saturday shows highs in the 90's...

Trying really hard to stay positive and not go into freak out mode this week!

28 miles for Week 16.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 15 - Hope

Yesterday I ran my last long run before the Mill Race Marathon. Crawled out of bed at 5:30 am so I could eat and simulate race day. Then I drove to Eagle Creek Park to meet up with my training group to start the run. Driving up, and even after I had paid the park entry fee and parked my car, all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed... turn around and go back home... do this run at a more reasonable hour later in the day...

But, I was here and went through the motions. Next thing I knew I was lining up to start the run. We ran from Eagle Creek Park to Zionsville and back. There were water stops at miles 4.5, 8, 12, and 15.5. I carried a GU for each water stop. Initially I had planned to start at marathon pace (9:00 is what I decided) and run some distance at pace before dropping down to a cool down pace. Coach Matt on the other hand had different advice. His was to take the first half easy, then run marathon pace on the way back... but, I was told, this course was harder (hillier) than Mill Race so it might be harder to hit marathon pace. In my sleepy state yesterday I had no arguments. In fact, I just wasn't feelin' it. I didn't feel like running fast. Maybe I'd just take it easy the whole way and just get the miles in. Just, just, just... one of the worst words in the English language.

Well... I started out nice and easy. Once I woke up out of my fog I noticed it was actually a beautiful morning. Temps in the 60's. Shady. The Park was beautiful. Ran the first 5 miles ranging between 9:35 and 10:04 pace lollygagging along. Then I charged an uphill. It felt good. Next thing I knew my watch beeped an 8:58 mile 6. Went through mile 7 at 9:04. I wasn't even halfway done at that point so I tried to put on the brakes. After reaching the turn around I still didn't feel like intentionally speeding up so I decided to run a steady state where I continued to feel good. This lasted until mile 15 when suddenly it felt hard. 15 and 16 were tough. I went through the last water stop and decided I'd try to hit marathon pace for the last 4 miles. 8:49, 9:17, 9:01 and 9:01. Not too bad.

Average pace for all 20 miles ended up being 9:26. Quite a bit faster than I anticipated. Ran the whole thing 26 minutes faster than I did last week. Maybe there's hope yet for me at Mill Race. Then again, I only ran 94 miles the whole month of August... who an I kidding? Oh... but I hope...

So here's how the rest of the week went...

Sunday 9/3 - 5 miles. Ran the county road mid-morning before going to work.
Monday 9/4 - Zero miles. Way tired in the morning then worked all day.

Tuesday 9/5 - 10 miles. Run Club workout tonight was a hill circuit. 2 mile warm up. The hill circuit is 1.25 miles long. Did 4 loops and tried to hold a steady pace. Actually didn't commit to running the last loop hard until halfway. 5 miles of hills total at 8:47, 8:36, 8:48, 9:15 and 9:13. 3 mile cool down. Not a bad work out.

Wednesday 9/6 - Zero miles. I couldn't move.
Thursday 9/7 - 10 miles. Easy pace on the Monon.
Friday 9/8 - 5 miles. Really tired and pretty sore today so considered not running at all but hauled myself out on the Monon again because I felt like I had to get some shake out miles in before attempting 20 on Saturday and turned out OK.
Saturday 9/9 - 20 miles.

50 miles for Week 15.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mill Race Training Weeks 9 to 14 - August... the Lost Month

Hello. I'm back. I didn't know if I'd be back or not...

August was a horrible month. Between the end of July and the beginning of September I lost 6 weeks of training. I really debated whether to run Mill Race at all... but here I am, seeing what I can salvage.

I had all kinds of problems. First, it was the weather. Hot. Humid. Days and days and DAYS of 90 degree weather. Normally when I can't stand the heat I'd retreat to the hamster track. Well... my fitness center decided to upgrade the whole facility... and was closed for the last 3 weeks of August. At first I figured it would be good for me to get out and heat train out on the roads. Running around my house is tough. It's all rolling hills. I used to run them all the time cause that was all I knew, until I discovered the indoor track and the flat shady Monon...

Second, I got scheduled a boatload of shifts at work. Most days I got home late at night so if I was going to get a run in, I'd have to do it in the morning. It makes sense you know - hot weather, morning runs - except...  I'm so so SO not a morning person. I just could NOT get up early enough to run while it was cool and then go to work. After a late night at work I was dead tired in the morning. I came to the conclusion that I didn't want a BQ bad enough. I remembered getting up at 4:30 am all those days to get to kettlebell class in January the last time I was trying to BQ. I've done it. But not this time. I just didn't want it that bad.

Other family stuff too. My mom got sick. My older daughter went to college. My younger daughter is busy as ever pursuing a professional dance career. I was dead tired and getting pulling in a hundred different directions. Looking at my training schedule and seeing all the runs I was missing just added to the stress.

I decided to practice Subtraction Happiness. Subtraction Happiness is a minimalist principle I came across a while back. The basic tenet is that most people think they will be happy if they obtain stuff - material or not, if they get that one more thing, they will be happy... but you can accumulate all the stuff in the world and still not be happy. With Subtraction Happiness, instead of trying to gain stuff, you get RID of the things that make you unhappy. I love the simplicity.

Well... all the runs hanging over my head everyday was making me unhappy... so I decided not to run for awhile. Come what may.

September 1st brought a cool cloudy day. Mid to high 60's all day long. It was the perfect day for a run. I ran 20 miles and decided to run Mill Race. Getting a BQ will be a stretch at this point but I'm going for it. If I fall short I have Monumental on November 4th.

Here's what the last 6 weeks looked like...

Week 9
After a 50 mile week in Week 8, this was supposed to be a "down" week for me so I allowed myself to take it easy.

Sunday 7/23 - 5 miles
Monday 7/24 - 6 miles
Tuesday 7/25 - 8 miles. Run Club workout. 2+ mile warm up then 3 laps of a hill circuit that was approximately 1.25 miles. Lap 1 pace 8:29/mile; lap 2 pace 8:33/mile; lap 3 pace 8:41/mile. 2+ mile cool down.

The workout felt good but I was DEAD afterwards. By the time I had showered at the Y and picked up G from dance I was starving. I messed up by not having any food with me. By the time I got home 2.5 hours after my run I felt so bad I couldn't eat.

Wednesday 7/26 - Zero miles. I basically "broke" myself Tuesday night. I felt horrible all day.
Thursday 7/27 - Zero miles. Drove all day to Philadelphia.
Friday 7/28 - Zero miles. Spent the whole day sight seeing in Philadelphia and watched G perform in the evening for the end of her summer dance intensive at The Rock School for Dance Education.
Saturday 7/29 - Zero miles. Checked G out of her dorm in the morning then drove to New York City. Went out to a nice dinner at Lattanzi, then saw Cats on Broadway.

19 miles for Week 9

Week 10
This was supposed to be another 50 mile week but here is where it all started falling apart.

Sunday 7/30 - Zero miles. Spent the day walking all over New York City so LOTS of walking miles but no running miles.
Monday 7/31 - Zero miles. Spent the whole day driving home.

Tuesday 8/1 - 9 miles. Run Club. We were suppose to run mile repeats. I decided I wanted to run a steady state run instead. Ran the "warm up" with the fast kids - 8:32, 8:40. Everyone else stopped after that to get ready to do the repeats but I kept going to try and keep this pace - 8:50. It was HOT. I couldn't keep the pace so I decided I'd alternate jogging and running the miles - 11:01, 8:37, 9:00, 12:22, 8:41, 11:18. Pretty much felt horrible by the time I got done. Both this week and last week it was so hot and humid that all my clothes were soaking wet - like I had jumped in a pool wet - by the time I got done running. I did remember food this week.

Wednesday 8/2 - Zero miles. Worked all day.
Thursday 8/3 - 6 miles.
Friday 8/4 - Zero miles. Worked all day. Up at 4:30 am for the morning shift but still got home too late to run.
Saturday 8/5 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

15 miles for Week 10.

Week 11
Obviously I didn't get any big miles in during Week 10 but I told myself not to panic. I felt like I needed the extra down week. I was tired from traveling and working, plus my younger daughter went back to school that week and she had an orthodontist appointment and I had had a doctor's appointment to squeeze in. This was going to be my big mileage week.

Sunday 8/6 - Zero miles. Worked all day.
Monday 8/7 - 6 miles.

Tuesday 8/8 - 10 miles. It was still hot but not quite as humid. The whole family was going to be home this evening which is a rarity so I decided to skip Run Club in the evening and ran on my own mid-morning. Went down to Morgan Monroe State Forest and ran the Low Gap Trail.

I hadn't been trail running in over a year. I love the trails but I hate mud. It had been too rainy in the Spring to even think about hitting a trail. Plus, the highway has been under construction FOREVER! I have to drive it every time I go to work in Bloomington but I've been avoiding it as much as I can. Today was a beautiful day though and I felt like a trail run would be good for me.

So... about 1.3 miles into the run I got my right foot caught on a tree root and fell. Landed hard and skinned up my left knee. Nothing cut up enough to bleed though so I gathered myself and kept going. My right foot is still bothering me. I must be dragging it just a bit because I caught my right foot on something three more times and stumbled, but didn't fall. The foot was throbbing by the time I got done. Plus, there were huge trees down everywhere along the trail. They had been down long enough that I could make out paths around them but when I got down to the creek bottom I ended running in the dry (thankfully!) creek bed looking for landmarks until the trail left the creek because of all the trees that were down. Took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to run it; so about 20 minutes slower than usual.

Wednesday 8/9 - 5 miles. Quads were pretty sore from running the downhills on the trail but managed to run.
Thursday 8/10 - 5 miles. Ran after work. Huge accomplishment.
Friday 8/11 - Zero miles. Thought about doing my long run in the morning before work but couldn't get out of bed. Worked til midnight.
Saturday 8/12 - 12 miles. I had 20 on the schedule but I just couldn't do it. I got too hot. Ran a 7 mile loop back to my house and felt pretty good but when I went out again I had to stop after 5. I had all day to run but, quite honestly, I just didn't want to keep running.

32 miles for Week 11. Way short of the 50 I had planned.

Week 12
Sunday 8/13 - Zero miles. I was still wiped out from the 12 on Saturday.

Monday 8/14 - 12 miles. I was going to miss Run Club on Tuesday due to work so I thought I'd get some tempo work in. Hit the Monon just before 5 pm and decided to see how far I could get with "marathon pace," except I wasn't quite sure what my marathon pace might be. 9:00? 8:50? 9:00 would get me 3:55:58, pretty solid BQ (I need 4:00). 8:50 would get me 3:51:36, a PR by 11 seconds. Definitely not in PR shape but lets see what happens...

It was freakin' HOT. Started at the Y on 86th Street. 8:43, passed on water at 96th Street because it had only been a mile. 9:04. Got passed by the Carmel girls' cross country team and passed on water at the Monon Center because it had only been 2 miles. 8:49, 8:49... this was getting HARD and I was SO cooked. 8:48. I was done. Completely overheated. Pretty much crawled another mile to the next available water stop which was just before 146th Street and doused myself with water before shuffling back another 6 miles to the Y. So... 5 miles, averaged 8:51 pace, then 7 miles of crawling back.

Tuesday 8/15 - 6 miles. Mid-morning run by my house before going to work in the evening. Hot hot hot.

I was done after that. Pretty much what had been happening for the last couple weeks was I'd overheat on my runs. I'd be down about 5 pounds after my run. It would take me about 2 days for me to regain that weight and I'd feel like hell. I felt horrid on Wednesday. I didn't have to work for the rest of the week but I didn't run either. Subtraction Happiness kicked in and I decided running made me feel too bad, physically and emotionally.

Moved my older daughter down to Indiana University on Wednesday then spent some time working on a blanket she wanted for her dorm room the rest of the week. It was $600 on Etsy so I made her one instead for about $50.

18 miles for Week 12.

Week 13
Worked Monday and Tuesday and didn't feel the urge to run again til Wednesday.

Wednesday 8/23 - 6 easy miles on the Monon.
Thursday 8/24 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

Friday 8/25 - 9 miles. Actually started feeling better and the weather finally cooled down a bit into the 70's so I tried another tempo run on the Monon. 9:07, 8:48, 8:43, 8:43, 8:53, 8:40. I was running a 3 mile loop. Averaged 8:49 pace for 6 miles, didn't feel like death, then did a 3 mile cool down. Hmmm. Maybe a week off did some good.

Saturday 8/26 - Zero miles. Spent the day celebrating my dad's 80th birthday. I made most of the food for the party so it sucked up my whole day.

15 miles for Week 13.

Week 14
Sunday 8/27 - 5 miles.

Monday 8/28 - Zero miles. A frustrating day. I actually wanted to run but a plumbing issue at home sent me on a wild goose chase for a replacement bathtub faucet that we ended up not needing anyway and I lost my time window to get a run in.

Tuesday 8/29 - 9 miles. Went back to Run Club after 3 weeks off. Workout was 800 meter repeats. 2 mile warm up, then 6-10 800 meter repeats with a 200 meter recovery jog in between, then a cool down. Goal was to run all the repeats at the same sustainable pace. Once again I had the dilemma of what my pace should be. If I did all 10, they would be sorta like Yassos, but maybe a little harder since Yassos allow you the same amount of recovery time as what you ran the 800 in and these have less recovery time. If I did 10 and ran 4:00 each that would be a pretty good indication that I could run a 4:00 marathon. But... I didn't think I could maintain that pace. I settled on trying to hit 4:15.

So... 4:08.7, 4:07.8, 4:08.1, 4:06.4, 3:55.2, 4:00.0. The first 5 felt good. Six was hard and I sped up at the end to get it over with. Then I hit a wall and felt like throwing up. 4:29.9. Maybe I'd stop at 8. 4:19.0. One more. I didn't look at my watch and ran by feel. 4:11.4. What the heck, might as well do one more and get all 10 in. Again, I didn't look at my watch but ran as hard as I could. 4:05.5. Averaged 4:09.2 for ten 800's. Well, at least I might be able to run a 4:10 marathon. I wanted to lay down on the track after that. I was the last one done. Crawled another mile back to my car.

Wednesday 8/30 - Zero miles. Got home from work at 1 am.
Thursday 8/31 - Zero miles. Got home from work at 2 am. It was horrid.

Friday 9/1 - 20 miles. Today was decision day. If I was running a marathon in 22 days I needed a 20 miler this week. Today was my day off. I was scheduled to work for the next three days as Labor Day Weekend is my holiday to work this year. I had to run 20 today if I was running a marathon.

It turned out to be the perfect day for a long run. I slept in in the morning on account of getting home so late from work. I woke to gray skies, gusty winds, and temperatures in the 60's. Hallelujah! It wasn't hot. I ran 20 miles on the roads by my house. It wasn't fast. Took me 3:34:08, so 10:42 pace, but I FINALLY got a long run in.

Saturday 9/2 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

32 miles for Week 14. Not bad for 3 days of running.

Now it's 20 days to race day. Not sure how much ground I can make up but I'm back to trying.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Family Dinner

We resurrected the family dinner tonight. It made me giddy with joy. I can't remember the last time we all sat down together for a meal. Today though, while driving down to Bloomington for a doctor's appointment, it occurred to me that all of us would be home tonight...

When was the last time we all sat down together for dinner that wasn't a holiday? I can't quite remember. It's like the family dinner had died.

I know that when G first started dancing in Carmel I asked that she not have any classes on Wednesdays. She went all the other nights of the week and I felt she needed a night at home. That year Wednesday nights used to be our "family night" when we could all sit down together for dinner. J was cheering then but Wednesdays were usually her night off. We had nice meals together at home or, when hubs went out of town, the girls and I ventured out and tried new restaurants (the sort that hubs didn't enjoy).

Since that time though, G goes to Carmel every evening, Monday through Friday, to dance. J has had her share of school and church related activities. Hubs is often out of town for work and I am either in Carmel with G or working so our time together in the evenings is fractured.

I wonder how many other families live like this?

Today though, I realized all of us would be home tonight, and tomorrow,  AND the next two nights! G's evening dance classes start next week. J will be moving (gulp!) down to IU next week. But, this week, we are all here... so I decided we should have a family dinner every night we could.

Since J is moving away I asked her what her choice was for dinner tonight. We ended up with adobo beef with butternut squash and rice. We got to hear G lament about how awful it was to start school again. Hubs warned all of us not to run over the groundhog who seems to have taken up residence at the end of our driveway. We all discussed what to have for dinner the rest of the week. Tomorrow night will be a pasta bar as everyone wanted a different kind of pasta. Wednesday will be homemade pizza night. Thursday I work in Bloomington from 6 am to 3 pm so we are going out for dinner when I get home. I work Friday evening so hubs will have to figure things out. After that, maybe I can talk everyone into sticking around for family dinner over the weekend as, who knows when we'll eat together again after that.

Family night. Hang on to it!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 8 - Hitting 50

I did it. I hit my goal of 50 miles this week.

It was another scorcher of  week with temperatures pushing 90+ everyday. Smotheringly humid too. On Tuesday things weren't looking too, well, it was actually too hot, but on Wednesday I made some decisions and pulled myself together.

Sunday 7/16 - Rest. Worked overnight on Saturday, slept in on Sunday, then went back in for the night shift again on Sunday night.

Monday 7/17 - 5 miles. Got home at 7:30 am and slept. Ended up running around the walking path at New Hope Church at 8 pm. I was proud of myself for actually running outdoors. It was still over 80 degrees at 8 pm but I had a good run.

Tuesday 7/18 - 2 miles. I had 10 miles on the schedule. Went to run club in the evening. It was a track workout. Basically ran 1.5 miles as a warm up, did 800 meters of the workout, then called it a night. It was almost 90 degrees and running on a black asphalt track was horrible. I felt like I was running in place. There was no difference between my sprinting pace and my recovery pace. It was pointless for me to continue. I walked back to my car and drove home.

I had intentions of either going to the fitness center to finish my miles indoors or see if it got any cooler later in the evening and try to run at the church again but it was 8 pm when I got home. Hubs was home, I was now shivering cause I had driven home an hour in sweat soaked clothes, and all I wanted was a shower and dry clothes so I bagged the rest of the miles.

Wednesday 7/19 - 20 miles.  I didn't even try to run outdoors today. Slept in, then went to the fitness center in the late afternoon. Banged out 20 miles on the hamster track. 20 miles is a lot of time to think about things. I decided I was building mileage this week. I'll worry about speed and heat later. Right now I want a nice solid mileage base. It doesn't matter if it's indoors. Miles are miles. That was my decision.

Thursday 7/20 - 5 miles. Legs felt a bit stiff and tired in the morning so this was a nice shake out run around the hamster track.

Friday 7/21 - 12 miles. Since I totally bagged my speed session on Tuesday I did my "treadmill intervals" today. One mile warm up around the hamster track. Three miles at 8:35 average pace on the treadmill (set it for 7.0 mph which are 8:34 miles). One mile recovery on the track. Another three miles on the treadmill, this time averaged 8:41 miles as I slowed mile 2 to 8:57 pace for awhile. Another recovery mile around the track. Hit the treadmill a third time but only did one mile in 8:34 before calling it a workout. Two mile cool down on the track. Overall felt like it was a pretty solid workout.

Now I find myself 6 miles short of 50 after 5 days of running. I had planned on resting on Saturday as I have to work from 9 am to 6 pm, then I'm going to a party after work. Plus, my legs are pretty tired... but I want 50. I had a huge internal debate about whether I just wanted the numbers to look pretty vs. do I need another run. I decided Tuesday really didn't amount to anything and I should run on Saturday.

Saturday 7/22 - 6 miles. Got up at the butt crack of dawn - 5 am. Rolled out of bed, put running clothes on and went out the door with a headlamp. It was still pitch black outside but 78 degrees already. Got it done. 6 miles.

50 miles for Week 8.

Woohoo!! Now it's off to work.
I am sleep in tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mill Race Training Weeks 6 and 7 - It's Been a Roller Coaster Ride

My running life the last two weeks...

I really need to start breaking up my blog posts. There have been so many days these past two weeks where each day's post would have been a story unto itself. My goal over the next few days, or maybe weeks, will be to blog more often with shorter daily blurbs, kinda like I used to do when I first started. For now though, here's the roller coaster ride I've been on...

Sunday 7/2 - Zero miles. Didn't do jack. This is my recovery week. I had entertained the thought of running 10 miles but realized my legs still felt tired so I laid around the house all day.

Monday 7/3 - 4 miles. This was suppose to be 4 easy miles with my friend Margo. Ha! Started off around 9:00 pace and I had to tell her to slow down. We ran at 9 am but it was still starting to get pretty hot and I continued to feel crappy running outdoors. Upside is that I got to cool off in her pool after the run.

Tuesday 7/4 - 5 miles. Title for today would be Sparkler Sprint 5K as well as Christmas in July. The Sparkler Sprint is the annual Fourth of July 5K in Franklin to benefit Franklin HS Cross Country. Race started at 8:30 am. I got to Province Park at 7 am and ran a 2 mile warm up. Temperature was pleasant then and I felt like I could run several more miles but stopped since I was there for the race. However, by 8:30 am it was blazing hot again.

Mile 1 - 7:38. Eh... not bad.

Mile 2 - 8:24. Never mind. This totally sucks. I can't breathe.

Mile 3 - 8:19. Attempting a respectable finish.

Final time - 25:20. Bleeckk!!

It was a horrid race. I felt so bad afterwards that I didn't even do a cool down.

Got home, showered and felt better. I had the day off so I decided to do some shopping. I've had my eye on this Salomon hydration vest for awhile but I wanted to try one on before I dropped $175. I went to Runner's Forum, Bicycle Garage, Gander Mountain, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Blue Mile looking for hydration vests. Nada. Camelbacks yes, hydration vests no. However... Blue Mile was having a 4th of July sale. It was 40% off all their sale stuff that was already 50% off. Wheee!! I ended up getting:

Nike Epic Lux tights, regularly $105, for $31.78. I loved the marbled print!

Saucony Siberius tights, regularly $88, for $26.38. These are super warm with a fizzy fleece lining.

Under Armour No Breaks jacket, regularly $89.99, for $26.98. Another cold weather jacket with a hood that leaves an opening for just your eyes.

It was pretty much Christmas in July for me. Huge mood swing from the morning.

Wednesday 7/5 - 6 miles. Got up at 4 am and spent the day at work. Got home in the evening and pounded out 6 miles on the hamster track. It felt surprisingly good; good enough that I considered doing 10, however I had 10 on the books for the morning and I wanted to do it outdoors.

Thursday 7/6 - 10 miles. Another morning of wasted good intentions. I absolutely could not get out the door early enough to run long outside. It was blazing hot again. I retreated to the hamster track and just barely got my miles in before going to work. Then I had the shift from hell at work and stayed an hour over. Got home after 1 am and, oh, did I mention, I have a 7 am flight in the morning.

Friday 7/7 - Rest. Well, no miles at least. The next few days should be titled Our East Coast Adventure. Got up at 4:30 am so I could pack, then left the house at 5:30 am to go to the airport. Hubs and I flew to Boston. This was a mini-vacation to celebrate, well, for one thing our 21st Wedding Anniversary... which was yesterday... plus we were going to see G dance in Philly on Monday... and, oh by the way, hubs bought a car... in Boston.

So, personally speaking, hubs has a car problem, as in he loves cars. Remember we had to stop in Pittsburg on our way home from Philly to test drive a car? Well, that wasn't the one, but he ended up finding the one in Boston. The guy from the car dealership picked us up from the airport and took us to the Topsfield Motor Company in Topsfield, MA (a suburb of Boston) where hubs saw and drove the car in person and handed over a check.

Once he had possession of the car we drove to Needham, MA where he had booked a hotel. We stopped at Blue on Highland, a local farm to table restaurant, for lunch. It was fabulous. Being in Boston, I had to get the lobster roll which came with the most delicious crispy French fries. We split a cannoli for dessert.

Checked into the Sheraton after that. I swear the hotel looked like it used to be a hospital. It was all hotel inside though and I crawled into bed for a nap. Sleep at last!

After getting caught up on sleep it was dinner time. Dinner was at Gari Japanese Fusion Bistro where we had sushi. Back to bed after that. This is my kind of vacation - eating great food and sleeping! It was also rainy and gray outside so it was sleep weather.

Saturday 7/8 - Zero miles. Another rest my legs day for me. We basically got up and drove to Philadelphia. Checked into our hotel there and went to the Mission BBQ for dinner. Had the smoked ribeye with collard greens and mac'n cheese. It was heavenly. Then, as if that wasn't enough, we went to Davio's Galleria and had gelato for dessert. Davio's is a Northern Italian style restaurant. Their Galleria is the bakery/café across the street. I got espresso gelato and hubs got vanilla coconut. We were stuffed but there's always room for gelato! We rolled ourselves back to the hotel.

25 miles for Week 6.
I needed a down week!

Sunday 7/9 - 9 miles. Title for today would be Boom! After sleeping and eating for two days I got up and ran 9 miles on the hotel treadmill. NINE miles on the freakin' treadmill. Can you believe it?! I was the only one in the little fitness center and I got it done and out of the way in the morning. Boom! It was a great feeling. Picked G up from her dorm in the afternoon and took her out to dinner at Mistral. This is another farm to table type restaurant with small plates to be shared. It was pretty much foodie heaven for G and me. We got grilled sourdough with ricotta, honey and ramp oil,pineapple chili wings with avocado cilantro dip, a market green salad with smoked goat cheese, strawberries and pistachios, and tuna tartare with squid ink rice crackers, miso and yuzu. Dessert was coconut pudding with lime curd, strawberries and thai basil as well as Medjool date cake with lemon, dulce de leche, and vanilla ice cream. Then... we drove back to Davio's Galleria for more gelato and cappuccino. Rolled G back to her dorm and went back to bed!

Monday 7/10 - Zero miles. The whole reason we came to Philadelphia was to watch G dance. The Rock School for Dance Education, where G is spending the summer, was putting on a community outreach show called Rock-ology at the Mann Center. We watched the show in the morning. It was over at 12:30 pm. As soon as it was over we jumped back in the car and drove back to Indiana. It was a loooong drive. Got home at midnight.

Tuesday 7/11 - 8 miles. Title for today is The Struggle Bus. I came back from Philadelphia feeling like I had fresh legs again. There were 9 miles on my training plan today and I wanted to kill it. Problem was, it was pouring rain. Complete and total downpour. Roads by my house were closed due to flooding. First I thought I'd go to the fitness center and run 4 easy miles and do my 9 mile speed workout on Wednesday. That however would push all my running plans back a day, making my long run on Thursday and I was planning on racing on Friday. Not ideal. I piddle farted around long enough though that the rain stopped and I hadn't gone to the fitness center yet so I went to run club. Better to get that speedwork in with the group.

Workout tonight was couple miles warm up, then 1-2 miles at half-marathon pace, 1-2 miles at 10K pace, then a mile at 5 K pace, followed by a cool down. Since I was supposed to do 9 miles, my plan was 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at 8:45 pace, 2 miles at 8:20 pace, 1 mile at 8:00, then 1 mile cool down... at least that was the vision.

The evening was deceptively overcast. It was humid as heck. The 2 mile warm up went well. First mile in 8:42. Not too bad. Next mile in 8:42. Had to work enough that I decided I shouldn't do a third mile at that pace and decided to drop down to the 8:20 miles now if I was going to make it through the workout. Well, then I couldn't hit 8:20 either. Ran 8:26 and decided I needed a recovery mile. Jogged a mile then went for the 8:00 mile - which totally didn't happen. I felt like I was being smothered and I was running at altitude. I couldn't breathe. 8:22 was the best I could manage. I was pretty much done after that. Slogged through a mile cool down and ended in a puddle by our meeting place on the Monon, completely deflated and defeated. So much for killing the speed session today.

Wednesday 7/12 - 5 miles. Title for today is The Most Craptastic Run Ever. I had high hopes for  a great long run. It was supposed to hit 90 degrees today so I got up at 5:30 am, had my oatmeal and coffee, packed my GUs and water bottles and got out the door by 6:30 am to run 19 miles. The air was cool but incredibly humid. Right away I felt like I was swimming. My Garmin was showing that I was running 11 minute miles. Sigh. I slogged along. 11 minute pace climbed to 12 minute pace. I was running an out-and-back course today since was wearing a fuel belt. I almost never carry a cell phone with me but I had one today since I had my fuel belt and I thought I might take pictures of how much the corn had grown...

AVERT YOUR EYES NOW IF POOP STORIES ARE TMI, just before I get to the 5 mile mark, it happens... that feeling like all my insides are going to fall out... that feeling of impending doom. Blame it on having children but I've had this problem since I popped out my kids. I'll get sudden urges to have a BM and it's like I have to find a bathroom NOW because I can't stop it. I think I've pretty much had to dash into a restroom at every store in Indy at one point or another. It's happened on a run or two too and sometimes it gets ugly - like have to throw all your clothes away ugly... and it was happening now... out in the middle of nowhere. There was a soybean field that was too short to squat in. There was a cornfield on the other side of the road that just so happened to be the one cornfield that was fenced in! Flimsy wire fencing that you couldn't climb over or climb thru. Plus, I'm wearing a bright red top so everybody could see me! Right now I just wanted to be invisible. I was trying so hard to control my innards I was breaking out in a cold sweat and standing in the middle of the road. Inevitably, I soiled myself. I immediately felt better but now I had a crapload of shit in my pants. Thankfully I had on long black compression shorts so it wasn't running down my legs...yet. @#%##%!!! If I ran back, it was all going down my legs. If I walked back, it was going to be an effing long walk and I might still have shit running down my legs. This disaster of a run was over. I pulled out my cell phone. Just shy of 8 am. Hopefully hubs won't be too mad when I wake him up...

Luckily hubs was up and after he finally figured out what cornfield I was stranded at, he came and got me. It was bad. I laid on my stomach across the back seat to get home while he drove home with the windows down. Love you dear... Yup, undies went straight into the trash when I got home. Got cleaned up but felt totally wiped out and spent the next 4 hours between the couch and the bathroom just emptying my guts out. I felt Completely. Totally. Defeated.

Thursday 7/13 - 19 miles. Title for today is Redemption. Got back on the horse again and did my long run... indoors this time. People often ask how I can stand to run so many miles around an indoor track. I don't think of 19 miles as 133 laps (it's 7 laps to a mile at my track). I break it down into sevens... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and your done with a mile. I do that 5 times. Then it's a slug of water and a GU. Rinse and repeat til you hit your goal. I got all 19 done with absolutely no problems.

I passed the time listening to podcasts. First I listened to Episode 56 of the Runner's World podcast where (now former) editor David Willey makes his attempt at a BQ at the Bayshore Marathon this past May. He has tried for years to qualify. I can totally empathize with him. This time though he had a whole team of people helping him... from a coach to a nutritionist to pacers that ran with him, carried his water and nutrition for him, and blocked the wind for him. Don't get me wrong... I was really rooting for him to finally achieve his goal... but I have to wonder how fair is that? I suppose that's no different from what the elites do though. He qualified 1:05 under BQ. It will be interesting to see if he actually gets into the 2018 race.

The other podcast of note that I listened to was Outside magazine's interview with Diana Nyad. I got to the part about the Cuban guy at the CVS store that gave her his lucky $2 bill before her 4th attempt at swimming from Cuba to Florida and almost started crying. It's a good interview.

Friday 7/14 - 5 miles. Title for today is Redemption Part 2: Seymour Midnight 5K. There's a 5K at Seymour High School every July that's run at midnight as a benefit for their cross country team. They are the Seymour Owls. This is one of my favorite 5K's. Let's face it, I'm a night owl. It's usually nice a cool at midnight and I enjoy running in the dark.

As luck would have it, today was another get-up-at-4am-and-go-to-work kinda day. Plus, we're short staffed so everyone is working longer shifts. I ended up clocking just over 11 hours at work. Came home and hit the couch and debated whether I really wanted to drive all the way down to Seymour (it's a hour and a half away) for a 5K. I reasoned though that if I ran tonight I could sleep in as long as I wanted in the morning and not worry about trying to get a run in before going back to work on Saturday. Do it now and get it over with! Plus it's more fun racing with a group than running on your own.

And so I ran...
One mile warm up. The weather felt glorious. It had cooled down to 73 degrees and the humidity was gone. Then we were off.

Mile 1 - 7:51. It was too dark to see my watch so I ran by effort. Early on one of the guys I was running with asked what time I was trying to run. I told him I had no idea and left it at that. I really had no idea how I'd run. I had a 19 mile run on my legs from the day before and I'd already been up for 20 hours... but I felt kinda good...

Mile 2 - 8:10. Hold it together. Breathe. You can do this!

Mile 3 - 8:.02. Still felt pretty good so I just worked on maintaining my effort and started picking off people the entire last mile. There are a ton of people in this race. Lots of kids. I concentrated on catching up and blowing by... one by one by one. The stadium lights came into view and I kicked it.

Final time - 24:46.

I'd have to say I was happy with the result. Ecstatic really. It was an ego boosting moment at the awards ceremony when I heard the murmurs that I'd run "pretty fast." I won my age group (F 45-49) by over 9 minutes. I was the 10th overall woman. The nine that finished in front of me were between the ages of 12 and 19. I really did not run any faster than I had in previous years and my time was about what I'd run at Abby Brinkman last month but tonight I was "pretty fast." All things considered the last couple days, I needed this. I was SO glad I decided to run at midnight. I even had some guy come up to me and ask if I'd run a PR tonight. When I said no, he wanted to know what it was, so I got to see his jaw drop when said 22:50.

One mile cool down after the race. It was 1:30 am by the time awards were done; 3 am by the time I got home, showered and fell into bed.

Saturday 7/15 - Rest. Worked the night shift in the evening.

46 miles for Week 7.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


The entry deadline has come and gone and I haven't opened the website...

I'm really not participating in the Fair this year. I know I said that last year and did it anyway. This year though, I'm really truly not participating.

The entry deadline for the State Fair was June 30th. Entries for the Johnson County Fair were due in this morning. I haven't touched the fair booklet. I've decided I've had enough.

Enough of what you ask?

Enough to know that I'm good enough. Enough confidence to walk away. Enough friendships to know that they will still be there whether I compete or not.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the Fair. I've posted this before but this is the place that taught me everything I know about baking, cooking and crafting. This is where I found my tribe of like-minded competitors. This is where I learned to embrace the competition. Learn from the people that are better than you rather than avoid them. Winning by default is not really winning but winning, say against JoAnn Esteb or Mary Alice Collins, now that's winning.

I love the excitement of competition. The fluttery feeling and rush of adrenaline you get in the moment before you find out whether you have won or not. When it comes down to it though, most subjective competitions are based on one or two people's opinion on any given day. Sure there are the technical points but all the "good" competitors will have a "technically sound" product. After that, it comes down to what your judge likes. It's learning to play this game. I've played it well but I've had enough.

I've come to the realization that I don't need another big fluffy ribbon to tell me I'm good. It's been more stress than fun trying to "stay on top" the last couple years. I've decided I need some time off. Not saying I'll be gone forever though. There are still lots of other competitions I'd like to do. I have thought for years that it would be fun to take a group of Fair friends and road trip down to the National Pie Championships in Celebration, Florida. Anyone interested? Of course I'd probably have to learn to roll a pie crust for that...

I will certainly be spectating this year but for now I'm happy on the sidelines. I'm still baking. This week I made a loaf of banana bread. It was really flat and really brown, but delicious nevertheless. I made a blueberry pie. It had overruns everywhere but tasted wonderful as ever. My project for this weekend will be finding the perfect peach cake recipe. My friend Sarah has a going away party next weekend and she has requested a peach cake. I'll be looking for the perfect no-holds-barred cake, and it can have cream cheese or whipped cream or anything else I want in it because there are no rules anymore. It's been fun baking without the pressure of perfection.

I didn't have to stress about baking around my work schedule this month or what days I may or may not get off next month. I worked all day yesterday then ran a 5K at midnight. I slept in this morning. Now I'm off to see a silk painting demonstration at the Southside Art League.

Enjoy your weekend!