Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 13 of 18: Training for the Flint Hills 50 and Trail Marathon

Image result for memes about daylight savings time
No one can resist a Princess Bride reference!
Daylight savings time, I hate you.  You wreck my world in so many ways.  My kiddo, who just started regularly going to bed at 8 pm now stays up later, my body thinks it's 2 am instead of 3 am when I get up to do my now high mileage weekly runs, and my dogs want to be fed all the time because they don't know what the hell is going on.  Why do we have to inflict this torture on ourselves every year????
Finally we can share an addiction!
 Monday:  Glorious rest day.  We had dinner down in aggieville at our favorite new Mexican restaurant post Sylvan.  My son  FINALLY tried a sopapilla and LOVED IT!  YES!  We also tried a new to us ice cream place that does rolled ice cream.  I didn't get any, but I sampled Andrew's chocolate sprinkles and tony's banana hazelnut.  Both were really, really good and now I can't wait to go back and get my own to indulge in!!!!

Tuesday:  7 easy.  Okay I decided to drop the 5th run a week because I just can't seem to fit that in right now.  I am officially giving up for now.  My coach kind of forgot I don't like 2 speed work sessions a week, so she had put two in for this week.  I quickly asked of the two which was more important, and she wanted me to do a 9 mile of 1.5 mile repeats (GULP) and drop the 7 miler with 2 x 2 mile repeats from last week.  I decided to do the 7 mile easy with the girls, and then do the 9 mile torture fest by myself.  This week is going to be pretty crazy anyway with Andrew and I leaving for Tennessee Thursday.  Mel and I headed out for 7 miles of gabbing, farting, and LEAVE IT.  For some reason my headlamp died about a mile in, so the dogs tried to give me a heart attack every mile or so by chasing after or acting very interested in things I couldn't see.  We had lots of leave its because it's black and white kitty love season and I don't want to be washing dogs at 4 am.  I am pretty sure they just like to try and give me a heart attack anytime my head lamp dies on purpose.  

Wednesday:  The plan was to get my 9 miles of speed work done either before work or get off work early and get er done.  Neither happened. I woke up feeling horrible, sure I was coming down with a another cold.  I decided to sleep in instead of getting up at 4 am to see if that helped.  I had a full day at work with more seminars to go to and more people to line out before I could take off for a week and half.  We also had Sylvan and another meeting to see how he was progressing within their system post work, so a full afternoon/night.   Plus, I still needed to pack both of us and get Stella ready for the journey.  I think through rest and Zicam I was able to thwart the cold somewhat, and I got most if not all packing done post Sylvan which helped us get up and going on Thursday morning, so I will call not running a win.

This was at a super cool rest area at the Welcome To Missouri visitor's center

Thursday:  Travel day.  The plan was there was no plan.  Sleep in and get some good sleep, drive as long as I felt like, stop if I felt like stopping, and go from there.  The weather was good, the traffic was manageable, other than St. Louis traffic that almost drove me nuts, and little man was very, very helpful and wonderful for this driving mommy.  We got in around 9 pm, and I of course couldn't sleep.  Then I was awake around 2 am and couldn't go back to sleep then either.  FUN!  With three hard work outs coming up, I needed my sleep, but I tried not to panic.  I had gotten good sleep the night before and that is what counts.

Friday:  I had lots of options on where to run, but I really wanted to check out this park mom told me about.  The loop around the park was 1 mile, and since I needed to do 9 laps, mom and Andrew were going to hang out at the playground while I looped.  For the most part, there was no one else out, so I listened to my podcasts and enjoyed the nice weather.  I don't think either of us were really ready for hotter weather, so my long run probably needs to be super early Saturday morning for sure.  Unfortunately during my running, mom stopped me to tell me that my step dad was being admitted to the hospital and that we needed to go.  My step dad has been having some breathing problems and they had progressively gotten worse.  After a Dr's visit that morning, he was sent to the ER to to be admitted as quickly as possible, but he was not allowed to drive.  Mom got him settled in while Andrew and I headed to lunch at Snappy Tomato and did some shopping.

Snappy Tomato was where I lived in college and I am so glad Jackson has one too.  It's basically pizza buffet all day long but super good pizza and super awesome dessert pizzas.  They also have an arcade, but I am the one that never has paper money so Andrew was bummed.  We instead headed to Walmart to stock up on legos for building while we were here.  

Saturday:  18 miles.  I had looked at several routes for running, but just never felt totally comfortable with any of them.  I decided to try to run around our house and made a ~5 mile loop that was an out and back and try that first.  I ended up doing three loops of that with minor variations to get my 18.  It was 99% humidity when I started and 81% when I finished, and I was drenched in sweat very quickly.  Of course the route was also super hilly, so by the end I was walking up hills, but I don't care, I got it done and that is all that matters.  I also caught up on my back log of AMR podcasts which is nice.  I hate getting behind as I feel like I am missing out!  Let's just say that I will be looking at other routes for my 20 miler, BUT it was super nice to stop by the house for potty breaks, load up on fuel when needed (although I misjudged when I would be back at one point and my dear old mom saved me by bringing me what I needed), and let Stella get a drink.  As we say in the south, it wasn't purty, but it was done!

Sunday:  Easy 5.  I meant to tack on an extra mile to make up for the 7 that I did instead of 9 on Thursday, but that just didn't happen.  I was at my in laws house in martin TN, where I also went to college, and running on back roads that I didn't totally know.  It's all farmland and cattle farms, but you just never know when there will be loose dogs.  After not encountering any at my 2.5 mile mark, I decided not to try my luck and turn around.  Wow, once again, I totally forgot how hilly western TN is.   

I am going to relax and enjoy my week at home.  I will be sharing my time between Jackson and Martin and will be getting runs done as I can.  Have a great week!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Stop: Recovery Time

Okay I hope I haven't heard that title somewhere else and am ripping it off, but I thought it sounded catchy so there!  I have had several questions privately about what I do for recovery, so I thought I would write a short post about what I do to recover from either a long run or a hard speed session.  As I am getting older, these tools are becoming more and more important to me, as my body seems to think the time now is to fall apart.  Here are my favorite recovery items in no certain order.

Tart Cherry Juice

I read about how important Tart Cherry Juice was in the Book Roar by Stacy Sims, specifically for sleep, but also for inflammation.  Since my body seems to be full of inflammation lately, and I am trying NOT to use any pill form to control that, this juice is my go to.  I am not a fan of blueberries (unless it is in a muffin, YUM) or other anti inflammatory fruits, so Tart Cherry juice fits the bill.  I drink 4 oz either before bed if I am trying to influence sleep specifically, or after hard workouts or long runs.  There are a few brands I really like with the Cheribundi brand from Target being my favorite!  I am lucky that our usual grocery shopping store has an organic/health food section in which I can get Tart Cherry juice regularly.


I have always tried to stick to the protein within 30 minutes of running strategy.  I have used various bars and chocolate milk in the past, but these Simple Scrambles are my new go tos!!!!  As you can see, the version I had today had 23 grams of protein and was super easy to cook and YUMMY!  I was a little skeptical that the egg would cook enough for me to consume it, as I am a huge texture freak and can not do mushy or runny eggs.  I did increase the cooking time a little bit over the instructed time, but that may be because my microwave is as old as I am and doesn't work properly.  

Taking care of sore muscles

My pro compression socks have been a go to for years.  I sometimes wear them during runs, but I always try and get them on post long run or race for sure!!!!  Here lately I have been pairing Deep Blue Rub from Doterra on my calf muscles with Pro compressions on after that.  Wow, talk about recovering in style!!!!!  I have been using Deep Blue Rub for a few years now, and wow, it really works!  We have a local oil store that sells or you can become part of the Doterra family and buy your own. The cooling sensation is great, but the ending of soreness is WONDERFUL! I usually put this on before bed every night on my hip and down my IT bands.  Yes, I smell like a hippie as my hubby likes to say, but I don't care because it feels amazing!  I also really like to roll out using my Stick.  I am not a fan of the foam roller and will use it when I have to, but I feel like I get the job done better using my Stick.  I like the fact that instead of me getting in all weird positions to get the right part of me rolled out, I can just use the handles to move the stick to whatever spot I need it to be in.

If you have any questions or have other suggestions for recovery let me know!  Hope this helps someone out there looking for other ways to recovery. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week 12 of 18: Training for the Heartland 50 and Trail Marathon

Image result for memes about kansas weather
Meanwhile in KS
Oh weather, this week has been maybe spring or maybe winter, who knows!  Kansas, try to calm it down.  We don't need all seasons in one week.  We promise as runners we like to go slow and see one season at a time.

Monday:  Rest day.  Run around town like a chicken with your head cut off.  Picked Andrew up from school and was planning on heading to Sylvan, but Andrew's stomach had other plans.  Ended up being late for Sylvan, but then all was well, till the night hit and the stomach issues came back with a vengeance.  He was fine after we ate, but he passed out shortly after, and when we moved to upstairs to get in the bed, the fun started.  He burped and farted and pooped every hour on the hour. #momlife.  Finally at 3 am, he settled in and didn't wake up till my alarm clock went off.

Tuesday:  Well, plans changed after my night of no sleep.  Coach had some pretty ambitious speed work on the docket, and I just wanted to survive a run.  At 3 am i sent a message to our running group that I was not going to get out and run due to lack of sleep.  Since I would be stuck at home, I decided to hop on the mill later and just get in an easy 6, and go from there.

the new return air vent.  Yes, someday we will have trim to cover up the gold paint!

our harry potter closet is now for duct work!  At least I still have some storage space
Wednesday: Rest again day.  Sigh.  We are in the throes of having our heating and air changed out (new furnace and AC unit) and the duct work revamped.  Home ownership can be SO much fun (said no one ever).  Our house is in disarray and clutter drives me NUTS.  I am very big into everything has its place and when it's out of place, I can't function.  While we still have a little bit to go, most of the big stuff is done, and back in place.  Now the cleaning and reorganizing begins.  A silver lining to this, or maybe two is, we now have zone heating and air, so maybe the upstairs won't be so frigging hot in the summer (meaning we won't spend a fortune on fans and window units), and we had to go through a ton of stuff we had stored in the two closets and de-clutter and get rid of a ton of stuff.  My heart sings when bags go to be donated.  I mean seriously, why were we keeping every single attachment to every single vacuum we have every owned in our lifetime  (most of which we no longer own)?????

Image result for belt from croods dun dun dun
am i the only one that thinks of belt from the croods when I make that noise?
Thursday:  Speed work.  Dun Dun DUNNNNN (see crood's reference above).  I had two options, 7 miles with 2 x 2s at marathon pace or mile repeats for 8 miles.  Today I chose the later, call me a wuss.  I was up at 3:40 am to get dressed and meet the group for some speed work fun. Kansas blessed us with a cold but windless morning, and we got it done despite the stupid rocks trying to kill us.  I love our running route except when they re-rock and grade the roads.  OUCH!  I really didn't know what to set my marathon pace as.  Coach had it set as my half marathon almost 10 K time in Final surge, but that was not and is not where I am at.  I decided to give myself a range of 10-10:30 and let it be.  You can tell when I am running on the horrible rocks, because my time gets slower but other than one mile, I was able to hang from 10:15 to about 10:30.  Sad that this pace use to be my easy run pace and sad that it feels super hard now.  #gettingoldsucks

Friday:  Running around with my head cut off part two.  Seriously.  Andrew had the day off of school and since it was a day off and not a sick day AND the weather was perfect, we had to get out.  We went to the library, doughnuts, McDonald's play place in Manhattan, my work, the MRC for new shoes, a new to us playground, sylvan, target, and Pizza Ranch for carb loading.  Whew.  When  i got home, I was ready to for bed! I also got some new shoes and my first pair of trail shoes!  I stuck with my Saucony triumph's for the regular pair and am trying per the resident ultra runner, Brooks Cascadia for my trail shoe.  Guess that means I need to hit some trails right?

Saturday:  Long run 16 miles!  My goal was to meet up with the Manhattan runners group for 12 and then get my additional 4 somehow.  My propensity to be lazy and stay in bed won me over and I didn't get up at 4 am like I had intended.  Well, I take that back, I woke up at 4 am and looked at the clock and promptly went back to sleep.  There is just this part of me saying, don't worry, the time will be SOON that you will HAVE to be up at 4 am for every run during the week, so savor these mornings to sleep in.  We are already going to have to get up at 4 am to get our weekly runs done due to the number of miles we need to do.  Anyway, I slept till 7, ate breakfast and drank my coffee, and then headed out.  After last weekend's race, I actually was looking forward to my long run.  Every once in a while you need the running gods to throw you a bone to get you back on track.  That run last weekend proved that to me that I still have it, and that i can do a long run even at a faster pace that I normally do them at and be fine.  I decided to do one out and back with Stella and then come back and grab deuce to finish the mileage, so each dog got some mommy and me time.  This was my first run in my new Triumps that had everrun in the entire shoe!

Since I am pretty much sore all over right now thanks to my wonky hip, these certainly seem to help, but I think my body just needs to get use to them for a little bit before I can truly judge if I like the everrun all throughout the sole.  I do like the colors and hope my body adjusts.  Of course they have re rocked a huge portion of my running routes and it looks like they are doing more, so it was hard to tell if the rocks were hurting my feet or the shoes.

Stella and I sharing a bite of honeystinger waffle
The run was pretty good, the gravel of course affected my pace, but overall, other than getting a tiny bit warm at the end, and some pain from my body trying to figure out what the heck I had on my feet, I had a really good run.  Caught up on My Favorite Murder podcasts and started listening to a new season of Missing and Murdered.  I desperately need to catch up on The Moth and AMR, but also saving those for some of the tough races coming up :)

Afterwards a tried a new recovery food.  I found these little egg scramblers at Hyvee on sale, and snagged a couple to try out with some wheat tortillas.  I am actually super impressed and will be getting more of these!  Super easy to pop in the microwave and mix up and eat and bonus, 22 grams of protein!  SUPER YUM!  Don't mind the diet coke with lime. I  am currently addicted and dealing with my addiction.  

Sunday:  Easy 5. Sigh.  My kiddo is going to be the death of me.  Andrew hadn't felt well all day Saturday, so we just kind of hung out at the house and watched movies and cleaned (or I should say I cleaned while they played legos).

okay one of my favorite food trucks!  Smokin Willie's
Saturday night we ate at the local food truck and Andrew had a McDonald's cheese burger or two.   No big deal right?   Well, around 10 pm (yes we are lame, we were in bed by 9ish) Andrew started puking his guts up.  I mean violent puke all over the bed, and the pillows, and us.  I tried stripping the bed as quickly as possible, while daddy took him to the bathroom and got him to the proper spot for projectile puke.  I am the cleaner and tony is the comforter and we do our roles well.  I quickly got laundry started and the couch made up for us to sleep on (TMI hardwood is easier to clean than beds and sheets).  We were up till around 2 am, which lucky for us was 3 am thanks to the STUPID time change.  We all slept till about 10 am at which time I resumed laundry duty.  Let's just say the amount of material that comes back out of that kid is amazing.  Anyway, got my five in on the road and in the cold and wind.

I was full on ninja mode, but the dogs were loving it.  I am already so over KS winds and the spring winds just started.  At points when we were headed due north, I just had to power walk because if not, I felt like a cartoon character running in place.  

The dogs loved it and that is all that matters.  Sometimes i am too quick to wuss out because of the weather and that doesn't help get the dog's energy quotient met.  I just have to remember that I technically run for both our mental health and for our regular health as well.  

What a week!  Weekly mileage is jumping up and weekend mileage is as well.  I am feeling better about my runs and now wishing the stars would align so I can get back to strength and cross and stop making excuses.  I am heading home to TN for Andrew's spring break next week so not sure what all adventures we will get into but I am sure there will be plenty with Grammy and Grandma involved!  Have a great week!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Week 11 of 18: Training for the Heartland 50 and Trail Marathon

Some weeks are more about being careful, recovering, and getting to the next week unhurt.  The race on Saturday really kicked my ass, thanks to having to stabilize in the mud for almost 4 straight hours.  Both of my hips were tight and sore, so the week was going to be more about babying them and getting through this pacing gig, than getting good miles in for training for the full.  Since I like to do lots of races on top of my goal race, this is something I just have to deal with.  I know it probably drives my coach batty, especially when I change up the schedule for the week on Final Surge, but she has been with me for a few years now so she probably expects it :)  This week was all about Dr. Seuss's birthday, so get ready for lots of crazy pictures of the kiddo.

Wear as many colors as you can day!  We tried!
Monday:  Major rest day.  Both hips are still quietly roaring at me.  I have been doing some hip opening stretches and trying to listen to their demands.  Of course this week is going to be the best week ever for running thanks to the perfect temperatures and NO humidity.

Eating outside on a February day!
Tuesday:  Slept in instead of getting up super early and going with the girls.  Was on the fence about even running or working out at all.  Decided to go ahead and do an easy 3 with walk breaks, and just see where my hips were.  Well, my hips were still pretty sore.  Plus, I ran out of daylight and was just in shorts and a tank top with no reflective gear, so decided to cut it short and head home.  The dogs were super happy to get out and enjoy the weather, and other than the wind, the temperatures felt great.  I am excited for warmer weather, just not humidity.

Wacky Wednesday!  Clothes on backwards and hair bushy!
Wednesday:  Active rest day.  Lots of yoga and hip opening exercises and stretching.  I am glad that at work, I had a ton of stuff that I set up and then had to wait to get done.  Lots of time to get down on the mat in my lab and stretch.  Not as sore today, but still tight even with all of the stretching and yoga I am doing.
Orange shandy in a bottle YES!  Come on spring!
Thursday:  5 very easy miles with the crazy ladies who run at 4 (that is the name of our group message on FB:).  I took it super easy.  We did loops at the rec complex which does have a nice little hill to hit every loop.  I was again tight and a tiny bit sore, but feeling way better than Tuesday's run.  I am starting to look forward to my pacing duties on Saturday with a smile instead of dread!!!!

Friday:  Travel day: rest day.  I was staying with my favorite newly graduated lab technician Becky down in Olathe KS.  I could pick up my packet on Friday or just go to her house and chill, and I decided to hang out with her and explore her new hood.  I could pick up my packet the morning of, and that sounded like more fun than driving all over KC.  I love her new digs and she is in a prime location.  We checked out Granite City Brewery and had a beer flight and some flat bread pizza.

Of course the garlic on the pizza gave me horrible indigestion, but I was armed and ready with Zantac.  I also super hydrated after the beer flight to make sure I was plenty hydrated before the race.  We then went to Trader Joe's for some dessert and to walk around.  We also visited an upscale dog/cat food and treat place and Williams and Sonoma.  

Saturday:  Liberty Hospital Half Marathon.  Pacing the 2:40 group.  Recap here.  Needed a total of 15 and got 14.5 before I stopped.  I really liked this race and would like to do it again either pacing or running it for time!

Sunday:  Easy run.  I honestly didn't have an idea of how many miles I would do, I just set out and let how I felt dictate how many I did.  I ended up doing 5 and while my hip is still slightly sore, I don't feel like it is going to go into full injury.  It was a wee bit windy, but we were all happy to get out and run!

I was a little short on miles this week, but I did what I needed to in order to make sure my body recovered.  While the half being super hilly didn't help, I am hoping the week ahead will continue the healing and recovering from both.  I don't have another race until my 10 K in April and then my full and then I can have lots of fun pacing half marathons! 

Have a great week and hope you get out and get some miles while the weather is nice!

Liberty Hospital Half marathon and 5 K

First time running this race and I am happy to say I would run it again!  Let's start at the beginning.  If you checked out my weekly post, you know I came down Friday night to stay with one of my old students for some good food and some visiting.  We had flat bread pizza and beer and good conversations.  I am so proud of her for getting an amazing job and doing so well in the big city!

Packet pick up was for several days at several different locations.  Since I was coming in Friday afternoon and the packet pick up was about 50 minutes from where I was staying, I opted to get my packet pre-race.  I am always up early on race days anyway, and was planning on leaving super early to get to the race sight since it was a new to me race, so that plan of attack made the most sense.

I was up by 4:45 am and on the road by 5 am to go North to North KC into Liberty.  I knew I would be traffic free, but the fact that I don't know my way around the north side of KC was kind of daunting, especially when I needed to find parking and get my packet.  Lucky for me, there was little to no traffic, and my GPS found the place very easily. I got checked in and got my packet easily, and headed back to my prime parking spot right behind the porta potties to listen to a podcast and chill.  There were several options for parking, and they had great maps for the shuttle lots and the parking lots around the community center, which was the start/finish for the race.

It was still a bit chilly out, so I was glad I had on my tights and not my shorts and also had a long
sleeved shirt on.  I was actually able to use the restroom in the community center after getting my packet, but then after that, I just hopped over to the porta potties right in front of my car. I did end up using one porta potty on the course, and had no lines to wait in or any issues.  As the race grows, I am sure they will want to increase the numbers of potties on the course, but I did not see any issues this year either pre-race or on course.

My front pacer for the 2:40 group had picked up my stick and shirt for me, since i was racing Psycho Wyco the day that they were giving them out.  I am sure they are glad I didn't stop by the store, since I was COVERED in mud that day.  Anyway, the shirt was not a tech tee, instead it was a soft cotton shirt, so I decided not to layer it over a tech long sleeved T, but instead put on my Gypsy Runner arm warmers to keep warm.  I sure am glad I did, because by the end of the race, I was sweating!  I did decide to have my Trail Nerds buff on just in case, more so because the wind was a little chilly at first, but also because it's purple and I just adore it.  

the course map

I would describe the course as unrelenting hills.  They weren't horrible hills, they just never let up.  There were two pretty steep and long ones that we did walk partially up, but for the most part, we ran everything.  The scenery was varied with lots of big beautiful houses, some rural area, and some residential.  We went through one neighborhood that had the prettiest house I have even seen and each one was unique and brightly colored.  We oooo'd and ahhh'd  a lot and had guessing games to figure out how much they were worth.  I had my pace band on my arm and was keeping a close eye on it the whole time, and we were able to bank an extra minute in our time back for a little bit of a cushion.  The course is mainly on a four lane road with the runners having the entire 2 lane side of the road to run on without the threat of cars, which is super nice.  We started out with several people in our pace group, and by the end, I had two ladies that were sticking with me.

This was Danielle's first half and she ROCKED it!
I am so happy that both ladies rocked it out and got in a little after the 2:40 pace group.  Neither had time goals, both just wanted to finish, and they did so!  I headed back on the course to check on runners that had dropped from our group and got another 1.5 mile in before calling good.  I didn't want to leave without a beer and some food, and I was worried that they might run out.  

Love the medal and love the soft t shirt that we got for the race (plus my pacer shirt is the same material, YIPEEE).  While I prefer to run in a tech tee, I really prefer getting t shirts in my swag bag.  We also had tons of coupons and goodies in our drawstring swag bag, including two stickers for the car and some chapstick.  Unfortunately,  all of the coupons are for KC located businesses, and I don't go to Liberty very often, but if I was local, I would be so excited!!!!  For a small race, this race had everything very well organized.  Three packet pick ups at different locations, to ensure everyone could get their packets easily was nice.  I think I heard this was their second year and I could see this race growing by a ton.  There is lots to do for the kiddos, food trucks for food post race, merch for sale, and amazing beer.  Plus, it's nice to have an early in the year half marathon to cut your teeth on.  I will for sure pace this race again in a heartbeat and would love to try and run it for time as well!  I would like to bring Andrew and Tony to this one as well since there was so much to do while waiting.  Well done Liberty Half Marathon and 5K!!!!!