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!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mill Race Training Weeks 4 and 5 - Train Like You Mean It!

Somewhere towards the end of Week 4 I found a new mantra.

Train like you mean it.

It means buckling down on my runs and getting the work done, going after that BQ in September and trying to take care of myself.

Sunday 6/18 - 4 miles. Got up at 4 am (again!) to go to work and had to crawl onto the couch as soon as I got home. It was hotter than Hades. Then it rained... a little. By the time the rain stopped I decided it was now or never so got myself out the door and ran on the county road.

Monday 6/19 - 8 miles. Another 80+ degree day. I couldn't get myself out the door early enough to run in the morning so I did some yardwork instead and finally hit the county road at 6:30 pm. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't fast either. Also lost 5 lbs during the run.

Tuesday 6/20 - 4 miles. Morning weigh in showed I'd gained back 3 of the 5 lbs I'd lost. Ran the county roads again in the morning and lost another pound. It was off to work after that.

Wednesday 6/21 - Rest. Worked all day. Also found I was back to Monday's weight.

Thursday 6/22 - 3 miles. Original plan was to get up at 5:30 am and run 16 miles. Well... I got up at 5:30 and decided I was WAY too tired to go running and went back to sleep. I still needed an 8 miler and a 16 miler this week according to my training plan. I decided to do 16 tomorrow and 8 tonight. Got to the Monon in the evening and realized I was still really tired, even before I started running. Started running and felt exhausted. Plus, it was so humid I felt like I was swimming. SO wanted to walk!. Made it through the first mile and thought about turning around, then decided I'd do at least 3. Got to the turn around for 3 and felt better but decided to turn around anyway because I was afraid I'd be too tired to run 16 in the morning if I pushed out 8 tonight.

Got back to the Y, showered, changed, then discovered that the temperatures had dropped, it was overcast, a bit breezy and felt like perfect running weather. Go figure.

Friday 6/23 - 16 miles. So... up at 5:30 am as planned. Ate my oatmeal, procrastinated some, thought about running 5 mile loops by my house so I wouldn't have to carry my water and fuel, and scanned the skies. Then it occurred to me that maybe I should check the weather. Good thing I did. By now I had procrastinated long enough that I wasn't going to get out the door any sooner than 7:30 am and the forecast showed rain with thunderstorms by 10 am.

It was off to the fitness center after that. There was no way I was going to be done by 10 am and I didn't want to get poured on. Plan was to stop for fuel and water at 6 miles, then again at 11. Started running on the track and felt really good. Got to 6 miles and decided I really didn't need anything. I reasoned it was still pretty early in the training cycle and I didn't feel like practicing my fueling. Actually rocked out 10 miles before I decided to stop for some water and Gatorade chews. Well, after that the "great" feeling was gone and my GI system went into overdrive. Had to run into the bathroom twice in the next mile. Good thing I was running indoors! Managed to finish all 16 without too much trouble after that. Also glad I took the run indoors as it started POURING around 9 am and poured rain pretty much the rest of the day.

Saturday 6/24 - Rest. Hubs and I spent the whole day driving G to her summer dance program at the Rock School in Philadelphia. I passed the time by tracking the Western States 100 as it started the same morning. My friend John was out there helping out at the race so I got quite a few text updates. Early on, Jim Walmsley was tearing up the course so fast the joke became that my goal for the day was to get to Philadelphia before Walmsley got to Auburn (the finish). Unfortunately, after having a  45 minute lead at mile 62 he couldn't keep any fluids down for about 4 hours and ended up dropping out of the race at mile 78. John said it was 105 degrees in the canyons so it was a tough day for all. Only 67% of the field finished. It was a really really tough day.

Lots of inspiration to be found though. First off, Walmsley as well as the women's leader YiOu Wang wemt for it. Never mind that there was snow at the start at Squaw Valley this year and torrid heat in the canyons, both runners went out to win. Wang ended up collapsing at mile 70 and had to drop out too. I admire their efforts.

Next, Karen Bonnett-Natraj. She finished the race in 29:59:51. She made it with 9 seconds left on the clock. If you have never watched the final hour videos for Western States, it's something to see. It's amazing how hard these runners fight to finish after running 100 miles. Bonnett-Natraj hit the track with 50 seconds left on the clock and had to run 8:30 pace to finish. Runner's World did a nice write up of her race here. Hour 29 videos are on the Western States Endurance Run Facebook page. Having shared that final hour 29 with John in 2014, these runners always bring tears to my eyes.

Finally, Sara Vaughn. Western States wasn't the only big race going on in the running world on Saturday. The USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships were also going on in Sacramento all week and Saturday was the women's 1500 meter final. Top three finishers make the US team that goes to Worlds in August. Sara Vaughn finished third and made the team. She's MomVaughn. Mother of 3 (her oldest is 10) and works as a realtor in addition to training at an elite level. She wouldn't give up her dream of making a World Team and she did it. Another tearful moment.

Totally inspired. Train like you mean it.

35 miles for Week 4. It was 5 miles short of my goal but I'm glad I listened to my body on Thursday.

Now onward to Week 5 where I ran none of my runs on the days I originally planned to run them but somehow managed to get all my mileage in. Small... never mind, BIG... victory for me! What I HAD on the training plan will be in parenthesis...

Sunday 6/25 - Zero miles (4). Plan had been to get up early at the hotel and run 4 miles before we had to check my daughter in at her dorm at 11 am. I work up plenty early enough but the hotel was next to a highway so I'd have to either run loops around the parking lot or get on the treadmill and neither sounded appealing so I reasoned that I'd run later in the evening, once hubs and I got to the bed and breakfast we were staying in for the night.

Got G all settled into her dorm room, had lunch together, the hubs and I started driving to the Annville Inn which is the bed and breakfast I'd chosen about 1.5 hours outside Philadelphia. Got to within 30 miles of the B & B when G called to say she couldn't find her phone... which we found... in the back seat of the car. Arghhhh! It was back to Philly. After that, we didn't get back to the B & B until after 7 pm. Of course we were starving by then so we had to go find food, then it was 10 pm. Ya, run didn't happen.

Monday 6/26 - 4 miles (rest). Today I really did get up at 6 am and went running. Explored the road in front of the B & B for a mile and decided it was pretty much a highway as there was a surprising amount of traffic for 6 am and it was a shoulderless county road. Ended up turning onto some less busy shoulderless county roads with rolling hills and pastures (heck, felt right at home by now) and finished the run. Got back to the B & B by 7 am. Breakfast wasn't until 9:30 am so I explored all the gardens and pretty much the whole place by myself until people started stirring around 8:30 am. Drove back to Indiana after breakfast. Didn't get home until almost midnight as hubs had to stop in Pittsburgh to test drive a car (don't ask...) and we had to swing through Columbus, IN to pick up the dog.

Really glad I got up at 6 am and got my run in!

Tuesday 6/27 - 7 miles (8). Got up and felt sore from being scrunched up in a car all weekend. Tonight was Run Club. Workout was a 2 mile warm up, then 2 x 400 meters with  a 200 meter recovery in between, 2 x 800 meters with a 400 meter recovery in between, 2 x 400 meters with a 200 meter recovery in between, then 4 x 200 meters with a 200 meter recovery in between, then a cool down. It wasn't quite as hot as it had been last week but it was still hot on the black asphalt track. I got through my first 800 and was ready to call the workout. I sounded like a freight train but felt like I was running in place with NO speed at all. It was incredibly frustrating. Completely miserable workout, plus I was thirsty and my water and Gatorade were back in my car. I kept going though and finished all the sets. I'm pretty sure I was the last one done. Then the cool down. I got to the water cooler on the Monon outside the Athletic Annex with 6.75 miles on my Garmin, only to find it EMPTY. That did it. Brain went into nuclear meltdown and I simply could not do another mile, no matter how slow. Finished out 7 miles and went to my car.

Wednesday 6/28 - 9 miles (16). Original plan was to get up at 5:30 am and do my long run (why do I feel like a broken records right now?) Well, my mom calls at 12:30 am, feeling sick. We go back and forth on what she should do until 1:30 am... then I can't go back to sleep. Finally turned my alarm off at 3 am and decided to reschedule the long run. Due to some appointments during the day I'm not free to run until after 3 pm. Meanwhile... I'm watching the temperature climb into the 80's again.

Finally got free around 3:30 pm and went to the fitness center. Training logic says you shouldn't do two speed sessions in a row. Well, I felt so crappy about Tuesday night's workout I wanted a better speed session. Plus, I felt better today. So, did a 1 mile warm up on the hamster track, then 3 miles on the treadmill; set it at 7.0 mph and ended up doing it in 25:48 (8:36 pace). Recovery mile on the track then hit the treadmill again at 7.1 mph. I really didn't know how long I'd last at this pace and I'm not sure whether it was boredom or fatigue but my brain decided I could only do 2 miles. Ended up running exactly 17:00 (8:30 pace). Two mile cool down on the track after that. Ran an extra mile today for the mile I wimped out on on Tuesday.

Thursday 6/29 - 4 miles (rest). Ran easy on the county road in the morning before my massage at 11 am. I haven't had a massage in quite some time and I was so tight all over I was almost afraid to go because I knew how much it was going to hurt. In fact, when Craig hit my calves it hurt so much I almost told him to stop... but I didn't. Now I'm sore from the massage, but MUCH looser.

Friday 6/30 - 17 miles (8). Work up feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. I don't think I've ever been this sore from a massage before. The only "have to" I had on my agenda today was my long run.

So... it was deceptively cloudy. It was supposed to storm today. I watched the skies all morning and finally decided on some loops around my house. I parked my car at a church 2.5 miles from my house and left PowerAde in my car. I left water and GUs at the end of my driveway. Plan was to start at my car and run to my house, do another 2 mile loop back to my house, run to my car, do a 2.5 mile loop around a subdivision by my car, stop by my car, run to my house, then run back to my car and do the subdivision loop again to finish.

Of course I didn't get around to running until noon... I just don't learn, do I?

Like I said, it was deceptively cloudy... but as soon as I started running the sun kept peeking out... and it was 80 degrees with about 80% humidity. Plus, I'm on the shoulderless county road and there's a LOT more traffic than I expected. At one point there were cars stopped 6 deep waiting for me to pass because I was coming down a hill and they couldn't see past the rise in the road to drive around me. Other times I had cars pass within 2 inches of my foot because there were cars in the oncoming lane and they had no place to go and I had no place to go either.

I didn't even make it back to my house. I had sweat pouring into my eyes before I'd even gone a mile and it took me 11 minutes for the first mile, plus I was totally stressed out. At 1.5 miles, at the top of another roller, I had had enough. I turned around and ran back to my car.

Drove 5 minutes to the fitness center and retreated to the safety of the air-conditioned track. Took me another 3 miles to cool off. Crazy thought... running to cool off. Anyhoos, ended up running 14 miles on the indoor track. Not the run I had envisioned but I got the miles in. Good thing I had nothing else to do today.

MUST MUST MUST get out earlier in the day!!!

Saturday 7/1 - Rest (4). I'm calling this an active recovery day. Got up at 4 am to go to work and ended up staying 2 hours over due to a couple social nightmares. Good thing I didn't have to run today. Got home and, yup, crawled onto the couch for a couple hours.

41 miles for Week 5.

Next week is a drop down week and I am looking forward to it!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 3 - Something is Better Than Nothing

This is not me but I ended up running in the evening all week

This was my down week. The way my training plan is structured I have two weeks where I'm building mileage and then a lower mileage recovery week... and a darn good thing it was a recovery week as I ended up having a difficult time finding the time or energy to run.

Sunday 6/11 - Rest. Got up at 4 am and spent the whole day at work.

Monday 6/12 - 3 miles. Got up at 4 am to go to work again. Crawled onto the couch as soon as I got home, then finally made it out in the evening to run 3 miles indoors on the hamster track.

Tuesday 6/13 - 7 miles. Run club in the evening. It was another 80+ degree day. Did a 1 mile warm up to the track. Workout was 5 x 1000 meter repeats where you run 800 meters at 10K (80-85% effort) pace, then sprint all out the last 200 meters, with about a 4:00 recovery jog in between which I translated into a lap around the track. I did three repeats, then had to cut my fourth one to 600 meters at 10K pace and a 200 meter sprint, then recovered enough to do my last one at 800m/200m. Cool down after that to get 7 miles total. The track was black asphalt and it was HOT. I had to walk a bit on my cool down until we got back on the Monon where it was shadier.

Wednesday 6/14. Zero miles. My alarm went off at 5:30 am as I had 10 miles on my schedule. However, alarm went off and I couldn't move. Gave up on running in the morning. Thought about running in the afternoon but it was blazing hot, then thought about doing it on the Monon in the evening but finally gave up on the idea because I was simply too tired. I decided I needed another rest day.

Thursday 6/15 - 7 miles. Got up at 6:30 am to make cupcakes. I'm making them for a friend's daughter's Open House. Got the first 4 dozen done, then had to take G to a pediatrician's appointment.

This was appointment week. Tuesday I took the cats to the vet for their yearly check up in the morning. Actually, it was one cat. Stella went. Styx, who lives outdoors, was nowhere to be found. Wednesday G had an orthodontist appointment in the morning. Then today, it was the pediatrician... and of course Styx decided to saunter back on the porch this morning... but I decided there was no way I was going to reschedule his appointment now as it was only a well cat check and he's not due for any shots until next year.

Went grocery shopping for fresh fruit for the cupcakes then baked the other 4 dozen until 5 pm when I had a conference call for a medical review panel. Call got done and it back to frosting and decorating all the cupcakes. Got done with all the cupcakes sometime after 8 pm.

My training schedule had called for 3 miles today but sometime mid-afternoon I had given up on the idea of running until all the cupcakes were done. Now that they were done, I was tired. The easy thing seemed to be to call it a day. But... OK... it's only 3 miles. Something is better than nothing.

I drove myself to the hamster track to run, partly because I didn't want to deal with the heat and partly because I didn't want to get stuck out on the road after dark. Clock on my car dash said 8:45pm as I pulled into the parking lot. The fitness center closes at 10 pm. Started running and I didn't feel too bad. Something is better than nothing, I told myself. Since I missed the 10 miler yesterday, maybe I should run 5. That should be doable before the fitness center closes. Then I thought, well what about 7? Seven miles was pushing it. I'd have to hurry my butt to do that. I wasn't wearing a watch and there are no clocks that I can see while I run but I just picked up the pace as I watched the sun set through the windows and tried to guess the time.

There was a men's basketball game going on on the court below the track. After 3 miles, I realized that they had 15:30 left in their game. Run, run run... try to get a mile in by 6:30. Did it. Continued on the same pace and got to mile 5 shortly after the buzzer rang. Then... I saw that they had reset the game clock for another 20:00. The guys had another period of play. The fitness center wouldn't close until they were done. I was golden!

Got all 7 miles in then checked the clock inside the weight room. 9:55 pm. Figured I must've run close to 9:00 pace. Immensely satisfied with myself!

Friday 6/16 - Zero miles. Today was totally the opposite of Thursday. An incredibly unproductive run day. Got up at 4 am to go to work. Plan was to go to the fitness center as soon as I got back to Greenwood and get at least 3 miles in on the hamster track before they closed at 7 pm, then shower and go to my friend's daughter's Open House. Well... stayed an hour over at work then hit highway construction traffic on the way home and was so so incredibly sleepy that it was a miserably treacherous drive home. All I could do was crawl onto the couch as soon as I got home and napped until it was time to go to the Open House. Grabbed dinner at the Open House, then had to go shopping with J for some things she needed and that was pretty much the whole evening.

Saturday 6/17 - 3 miles. Got to "sleep in" until 6:30 am since I didn't have to be at work until 9 am. Actually got off an hour early too at 5 pm so I wasn't as trashed as Friday by the time I got home from work. It had rained in the afternoon so it was not only hot again, but now it was humid. I waited until almost 8 pm, then ran the paved trail around New Hope Church. I briefly entertained the thought of running more but after 3 I was DONE.

20 miles this week.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 2 - I'm a Slow Learner

It was another hot week of training this week and it took another crash and burn experience to make me get up early for my long run.

Sunday 6/4 - Rest. There was a lot of other stuff going on today. J graduated  from high school. We got to the school at 12:45 pm to stand in line in 80+ degree heat until the doors opened at 1:15 pm for the 2 pm ceremony. The parking lot and line to get in looked like Black Friday except it was swelteringly hot. After the ceremony it took another HOUR to get out of the school parking lot. Family went out to dinner after that so this pretty much consumed the whole day.

Monday 6/5 - 7 miles. Ended up running indoors as it was another hot day and the miserable 12.5 mile run from last week was still somewhat fresh in my memory so I went to the fitness center. Ran a 2 mile warm up on the hamster track then hit the dreadmill to run 3 miles, averaging 8:33 a mile, then did a 2 mile cool down back on the hamster track. Felt good overall about this run.

Tuesday 6/6 - 3 miles. Ran in the evening on the county road after work. It was hot but tolerable. I was super proud of myself for getting a run in after work since, lately, when I have to work the 6 am shift all I've managed to do is make it home and to the couch before falling asleep.

Wednesday 6/7 - Rest. Another 6 am work day. Glad I got my run in yesterday so I could rest today!

Thursday 6/8 - 3 miles. Mid-morning run on the county road before going to work. I didn't have to leave for work until 1 pm. It's hard to believe that during some of my other training cycles I would run 19-20 miles in the morning before going in for this shift. Today I was proud of myself for getting 3 in.

Friday 6/9 - 7 miles. So... it was my day off and I slept in. Then, around 11:30 am I decided it was time to run. It was another 80+ degree day but it kinda sorta felt cooler than last week. Since my 7 indoors on Monday had gone well I decided to do a similar run on the county road. 2 mile warm up wasn't bad. Then a mile in 8:30. That mile finished on an uphill and I could feel myself working for it. Next mile in 8:51. There were some rollers and if that mile hadn't finished on a downhill I wouldn't have made sub-9:00. After that I was cooked. Started seeing black spots again and had to walk a bit. It was a miserable last 3 miles back to the house where I had to walk-jog-drag myself back. Arghhhh. Why didn't I run earlier in the day when it was cooler? I just don't learn, do I?

Saturday 6/10 - 14 miles. Well, after the misery on Friday I set my alarm for 5:30 am so I had time to wake up, eat a bowl of oatmeal, let it digest, then run while it was still relatively cool out. I still didn't make it out the door til 7:30 am but that is a whole heck of a lot better than 11 am. Plus, the temperatures were suppose to rise into the 90's today so if I was going to run long outdoors I pretty much HAD to do it in the morning.

This time I had a fuel belt with water and Gatorade chews, plus my phone. My friend John was running the San Diego 100 that had started on Friday morning. After running through the night he was in 13th place this morning with about 15 more miles to go. I knew he had a great shot at breaking 24:00 so I wanted to continue tracking him as he finished. I ran a nice easy pace. As John's race entered the 23 hour mark I found myself stopping every mile, then half mile, to check my phone to see if he had finished. I finally got the update that he had finished in 23:08 (the results are delayed so the official race clock was at 24:00 when I got the update), still in 13th place, when I got to mile 8 of my run. Finished my run uneventfully after that.

So, starting early and running with water, I ran 14 in less time than it took to run 12.5 last week, mainly because I didn't have to walk. It reached 80 degrees by the time I was done. I will probably have to start my longer runs closer to 6 am as the summer progresses. It was a nice feeling to know the run was done though and I had completed all my scheduled runs for the week.

34 miles this week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mill Race Training Week 1 - I Can't Count, Heat Training, and Abby Brinkman 5K

First off, I guess I can't count. I thought I had 18 weeks until the Mill Race Marathon on September 23rd. Turns out it's 17 weeks. Somehow when I was marking off the weeks on my calendar I counted the last couple days of May as Week 1, then turned the page and counted the first couple days of June as Week 2 when it was all the same week. Oh well...

Sunday May 28th - Rest

Monday May 29th - 3 miles. Easy road miles by my house. It was hot but tolerable for the distance.

Tuesday May 30th - 6 miles. Run Club workout. Did a 1 mile warm up, then 1:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, 2:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, 3:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, 4:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, 5:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, then back down again. Cooled down to make 6 miles. It was another hot night but the miles went by faster broken up in intervals. I hit around 7:30 pace for the 1-3 minute intervals and around 8:30 pace for the 4-5 minute intervals. Averaged 9:30 pace for the whole thing, which included the warm up, cool down, and stopping for the light at 75th Street on the way back (which just KILLS your momentum... or at least mine!)

Wednesday May 31st - 12.5 miles. Couple of bad decisions today. First off, I should have run earlier in the day... but I had to help my husband drop a car off for repairs in the morning and then baby sit the air conditioning people at our house until hubs got back from running errands, so I didn't get out the door until after 10 am.

I had a fuel belt strapped around my waist with two bottles of water and some Gatorade chews when I left the house. However, I REALLY hate carrying stuff with me when I run. So, mistake number two... as I walked down my driveway it was shady with a little breeze going and I decided I really didn't need to bring all this stuff with me. It was only 13 miles. I run 10 all the time without water. I left the fuel belt at the end of the driveway.

I could have run loops that came by my house so I could have water if needed, however I always risk not going back out and finishing my run when I do this so I decided I was going an out and back route instead. Another bad choice. I was doing OK until mile 9 when I completely overheated. It was well over 80 degrees and I was running a stretch with no shade when I started seeing all kinds of black dots in my visual field and had to walk about a tenth of a mile to clear my head. Once I started walking, it was all over... 4 miles is a freaking long way when your pace slows to a crawl. I ended up walking a couple more stretches and was half a mile short of my intended 13 when I finally made it back to my driveway well past 12:30 pm. Ugh. Definitely got my heat training in today.
Then I had to go to work.

Thursday June 1st - Rest. If you can call it that. Got home from work at 3:30 am. Slept til 6:30 am, then got up to go to the Honor's Day activities for my kids' last day of school. G's started at 7:40 am and J's at 8:30 am. The high school program didn't get over until 11 am. The high school kids got out early so I had to go back and pick G up from the middle school at 2:45 pm. Then I tried to lay down a little bit before leaving for work again at 4 pm.

Friday June 2nd - 3 miles. Got home from work at 4 am. Slept for a couple hours, then picked G up in Carmel at 2 pm. Got my miles in on the road by my house in the early evening. Hot again.
Saturday June 3rd - 6 miles. Worked on more speed at the Abby Brinkman 5K this morning. I haven't really done much racing or speed work lately so I didn't have any huge expectations for this race but I wanted to get some speed in. Started off with a 2 mile warm up and decided it was a beautiful morning... not terribly hot yet and the People Trail was mostly shaded. Race started at 8 am.

Well, OUR race started at 8 am. The Girls on the Run/Trailblazers race started on the same course at 8:05 am. There were 94 people in our race. There were over 400 people for Girls on the Run/Trailblazers... and all of us were on the out and back course on the People Trail. My goal was to get as far as I could before I ran smack dab into 400 people, which happened right after the 2 mile mark. It got a bit hairy and I almost mowed down two little boys who couldn't follow directions and stay on their side of the trail. That being said, my splits...

Mile 1 - 7:41. Felt pretty good.
Mile 2 - 8:16. Eewww.
Mile 3 - 8:32. Bleck... pretty much sucking wind and dodging kids.

Official finish time - 24:48.
Ended up 2nd in the women's race and 1st in the 40-49 age group.

1 mile cool down after that.

30.5 miles this week.

Looking back, I think I'm the poster child of inconsistency. Last week I ran 12 miles, 11 the week before that, then 9 the week before that. Not the greatest lead up to marathon training but Week 1 is done.

Monday, May 29, 2017

A New Day

I'm not much of a morning person but on days like today I understand why some people love mornings.

I'm the only one up. The house is still asleep. It's quiet. The air is still cool outside. All the hours ahead hold such promise.

So today is Day 1. Actually, it's really Day 2 but yesterday, Day 1, was a rest day. I'm starting a new run training plan. The Mill Race Marathon is 18 weeks away. I decided I needed a more structured plan this time around so I'm going with the plan I had come up with for Napa. Today is a 3 mile run. It's funny how skewed your mind gets when you start running longer distances. Without a plan telling me it's "OK" to "just" run 3 miles, most days I'm telling myself it's not even worth going out the door unless I'm running 5-6 miles... then lots of days I end up not running at all.

That's been my last 2 weeks. It's been a combination of end-of-the-school year graduation/open house madness along with work, heat, and not feeling all that great that have sidelined my runs.

Mainly so I can keep track, the last two weeks...

Sunday 5/14 - Zero miles. Mother's Day. We had friends from South Bend come and spend Saturday night with us. I got home around 1 am from work so I didn't get to see them until morning. We then went out to brunch. The wait was so long and then it took awhile to get our food. I made it back home just in time to go to work again. Same 2pm - 11pm shift for the third day in a row. I was beat.

Monday 5/15 - 6 miles. It was over 85 degrees when I started an easy run on the Monon in the evening. Then I had stomach issues due to downing a left over jalapeño sausage cheese breakfast skillet before the run (BAD idea!). Ended up having to walk a bit. Not a great run.

Tuesday 5/16 - 5 miles. Run Club. Again it was over 80 degrees by the time we started running. The actual workout was a track workout but I had been running around all day like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get stuff done for J's Open House on Saturday and was halfway around the 465 loop when I realized I'd left the house without my Garmin. Ugh. Ended up running, more like trying to keep up, with some of the fast kids. They were racing on Saturday so they took off for an "easy" run. We got to the mile mark and I looked over at Trena and asked how fast we were going. "8:00." I let them go after that as I wanted to finish the run still standing and I was already overheating. No watch but I'm sure I averaged sub-9:00. Did NOT feel good after the run though.

Wednesday 5/17 -  Zero miles. Worked all day.

Thursday 5/18 - Zero miles. Took G to the orthodontist in the morning then spent all day prepping Open House stuff.

Friday 5/19 - Zero miles. Worked from 7 am to 7 pm. Got home and started making cupcakes for the Open House at 8:30 pm. Baked 145 cupcakes in 4 different flavors - red velvet chocolate chip with cream cheese icing, lemon blueberry with lemon cream cheese icing and fresh blueberries, strawberry shortcake with strawberry filling and whipped strawberry cream topping with fresh strawberries, and double chocolate with chocolate buttercream icing and shaved chocolate. After the cupcakes were done baking I had to finish J's trifold of photos. Trying to get all her photos to fit on a trifold at 3 am was like working a giant puzzle with no sleep. I finally went to bed at 5:30 am.

Saturday 5/20 - Zero miles. Got up at 8:30 am to finish icing all the cupcakes. I made other food too. Luckily it was a joint Open House, with the party itself being held at my daughter's friend's house (since mine was TRASHED by now). Got everything hauled over there and set up just in time for the Open House to start at 4 pm. I sat down and almost fell asleep as the guests started coming in. It was immensely satisfying though to see that everyone loved the cupcakes.

11 miles this week.

Sunday 5/21 - Zero miles. I needed today to rest.

Monday 5/22 - 6 miles. Nice easy uneventful run on the Monon.

Tuesday 5/23 - 6 miles. Good run on the hamster track. Missed Run Club in the evening as J graduated from the Vincennes University Early College program in the evening. Her actual high school graduation will be next weekend.

Wednesday 5/24 - Zero miles. The day got away from me then G had a choir concert in the evening. We went out to dinner after that and didn't get home until almost 10:30 pm.

Thursday 5/25 - Zero miles. Up at 4 am to go to work. I had intentions of running after that but never made it off my couch.

Friday 5/26 - Zero miles. Up at 4 am again to go to work. Woke up feeling crappy. My throat had been a little sore all week. Now my head was stuffy and I couldn't stop coughing, which in turn made my chest hurt... rummaged through my medicine cabinet and came up with the following cocktail - 1 guaifenesin/dextramethophan combo pill for the chest congestion and cough, 2 pseudophed pills for my sinus congestion, 3 chlorphenamine pills for my runny nose and sneezing, 4 ibuprofen pills for my body aches, sore throat, and I felt a wee bit feverish, a snort of Afrin up each nostril, and 2 zinc tablets just because I found those too. That and two cups of coffee and I thought I was ready for the day... until I went to see my first patient and discovered I didn't have much of a voice either. It came out really hoarse and squeaky.
Felt better, thankfully, by the time I got off work. Then it took me 2 hours to get home due to highway construction. Ran in, changed, then took off for Carmel again to go to my niece's graduation Open House by 6 pm. Hung out in Carmel after that to bring G home and got home a little after 9 pm. My husband's aunt was at our house by then as she was staying here for my mother-in-law's surprise birthday party in the morning. I was up long enough to set out some clean sheets and towels before I passed out.

Saturday 5/27 - Zero miles. Up at 6 am so we could be ready and out the door by 7 am for my mother-in-law's surprise birthday party at 8 am in Columbus. It's her 80th Birthday and we did a surprise birthday breakfast.

By the time hubs and I got home in the afternoon I could hardly stay awake... but I had to drive to Carmel to pick G up from dance. Did that then finally got to lay down for a bit, and then the day was pretty much over.

12 total miles this week.

Now it's a new week. A new day. A new beginning. Let's see what the day brings!