Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bayshore marathon: week 12

This was the week of being tired and hungry all.of.the.time.  And cravings sweets more than usual, which is unusual for me.  

I have one week to go before things let up and I think I'm exactly where I should be in my training. I have just enough in me for one more big week and one more long-long run and then I will be really happy to start tapering.  I think I'll enjoy the extra rest and downtime instead of being ancy.  

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: 8 miles w/ 6 x hill intervals (~1 min)

I haven't done much hill work other than incorporating hilly runs, but it was time.  My sitter had to change a couple of days around this week and I had no interest in doing hills on the treadmill, but Brian is home in the mornings now that the hockey season is over and I got out the door just as the sun came up and was home by the time he needed to leave for work.

Wednesday: 6 miles with the stroller, core and hip exercises

The weather was dicey and we definitely risked getting caught in the rain, but I had the weather shield with us and knew we wouldn't be too far from the car at any one time.  

Thursday: 1.5 w/u
                 3 @ MGP (8:20-8:34) w/ 2 min rec -->8:11, 8:21, 8:17
                 2 @ 10 sec faster than MGP w/ 2 min rec -->8:11, 8:03
                 1 as fast as can go w/ 2 min rec --> 7:50
                 1 @ MGP w/ 2 min rec --> 8:23 
                 1 c/d

This was a total of 10 miles and it flew by, I loved it.  Some splits were faster than intended and I found myself holding back a bit, but I took that as a good sign.  I felt good and comfortable in the pace-specific miles.    

Friday: 6 easy @ 9:24 avg pace; core and hip exercises

I had a sitter for this and was able to get out first thing in the morning.  

Saturday: 2 easy, 8 x strides (20 sec), 2 easy

Brian watched the boys and I got to run outside.  This was a nice and easy run and, again, I love doing strides in the middle of the run.    

The rest of the day was spent getting our dining room furniture set up.  I have been waiting awhile to get dining room furniture.  We've talked about getting it at different times over the years, but we always ended up doing something else instead.  The absence of dining room furniture wasn't as obvious in our old house because we used the dining room in other ways, but it was way more apparent since we moved....as in the first room you see when you walk in the front door was completely empty.  I was really excited and after looking around quite a bit, I found exactly what I wanted and could not be happier with it.  

I'm not sure why I was so excited (other than to fill an empty room), but I think it has to do with what dining room furniture represents to me.  In my mind, it's where you gather with friends or family for holidays, special events, and fun times.  It means you are loved by people who want to spend time with you and you with them.  It's where you laugh and tell stories while eating good food and creating memories.    And that's a glimpse into my sappy side :)

Sunday: 2.5 easy, 3 @ MGP (8:25, 8:26, 8:18), 7 easy, 3 @ MGP (8:23, 8:18, 8:25), 2.5 easy (18 total)        

Overall I felt good on this run.  I was on rolling hills and there was some wind and I started feeling both during the second set of MGP miles, so I had to work a little harder during that part.  More than anything, I was pleased with the consistency in my MGP miles and felt as if I was able to lock in a pretty steady pace.  I have some ideas on goals for Bayshore (more on that later) and currently have a range for my goal paces, but I felt like this run (combined with my MGP workout earlier in the week) gave me good insight on where I am for Bayshore.  

Later on in the day, Brian got some help from Braxton while he was trying to work.  

Total mileage: 53

Do you do hill intervals on the treadmill?

Do you find you change your goals closer to race day after you see how training goes?

Is there any furniture or rooms you were more excited to complete than others?  

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bayshore marathon: week 11

The past two weeks had some rough spots - a really hard 20 miler and the RussVegas half.   But this week was a rebound week and couldn't have gone better!

Monday: rest day

I still wasn't feeling 100% after the half, so I was happy that a rest day was already on the books.

Tuesday: 4 easy on the treadmill @ 9:31

I was feeling MUCH better and was ready for a run, I kept it short and easy and felt great.

Wednesday: 4 easy, 6 x strides, 2 easy - 7 miles total

The sitter I have on Tuesdays had to switch her days around for a few weeks, so she came today instead.   I am loving doing strides in the middle of my run instead of the end.  I don't skip it (which I have been guilty of doing when I would run out of time) and I love how it breaks the run up.

Thursday: 2 mile warm-up, 3x10 minutes @ 8:05-8:10 w/ 2 minute recovery, cool-down - 10 total

I did this outside on rolling hills and hit the 10 minute intervals at 8:04, 8:01, 8:09.  They felt comfortably hard and it was easy to settle into the pace.

Later that day, we placed our order for dining room furniture.  I am really, really excited about it.  It's been on our list for awhile, but there was always something else that trumped it.  Once we made the decision to get it, it then took a bit of hunting around to find what we had in mind.  I love what we got and can't wait for it to be delivered!

Friday: core and hip exercises, weights

Weights, I did weights :)  And it was my friend's birthday and it was a Friday, so I got cupcakes...win-win.

Saturday: 5 easy @ 9:04 average pace

This time of year, we get a lot of really bad thunderstorms around us.  When I first looked at the weather for the weekend, I didn't know if I would be able to run outside at all and I was mostly  worried about my long run.  When I woke up, I thought I would have to run on the treadmill, but I ended up taking a chance and got my run in just before the storm came in.

I got a quick shower when I got home and took the boys to meet a friend for brunch at a place that serves the best pancakes and then we walked around Springfest in the rain...not quite the weather I think they were hoping for.   Brian and I took the boys on a walk that afternoon where they got to go down a big slide...over and over...and over.  They loved it.  After that, we nixed our dinner plans and picked up a pizza from Mellow Mushroom - my favorite.  It was a good food day for me :)

Sunday: 22 miles @ 9:35 average pace

22 miles easy and I felt great!  I was nervous about this run for two reasons.  First, my last 20 miler didn't go great so it naturally made me more apprehensive.  Second, it was my first time doing 22 during a training cycle.

I also felt great afterward - my friend and her daughter came over that afternoon for a playdate and then we went over our neighbors' for dinner.  It was a fun weekend and makes me excited for how much fun we'll have with the boys this summer!

Total mileage: 48

What's the longest long run you do in a training cycle?

Favorite pizza place?  Favorite toppings?  

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

RussVegas half marathon recap

A week later, I have finally worked through all my thoughts....kind of.  But better late then never, right?!

I registered for the RussVegas half somewhat last minute after learning about it from Heather, it had not been part of my training plan from the beginning.   It's a small town race with a flat course (except for one nasty hill that they surprise you with as you round a corner at the end) and, if I separate the race itself from my performance, I loved it. It's a race that I would love to do again - great course, great organization, nice size, and easy logistics (they offered local pack pick-ups in surrounding towns so I was able to go to a packet pick-up offered at a local running store one night...the race was two hours away).

Initially my plan was to race it with the goal of a PR.  I surprised myself at Little Rock and thought maybe I had more in me if I went in with a more aggressive plan than I did at LR.  However my main goal right now is Bayshore and I decided to use RussVegas as a chance to practice my fueling and pacing.  This was my first time using a race as a trial run for a bigger goal race and, unfortunately, it ended up freaking me out instead of boosting my confidence.  In short, it was not my day.

The race had a 7:30 start time and was two hours away, so I was up early.   I always have a coffee and bagel before a long run or a race and I wanted to practice my plan for Bayshore.  However, I had no desire for breakfast that morning and ended up forcing it down...and I always want breakfast, so this was a flag to me.   I drove down with my friend's husband who was also running and sipped Nuun up until an hour before the race.  We got there with enough time to pick up my bib (despite the convenient packet pick-up, my bib didn't get in the right pile :)), use the bathroom, and then I met up with Heather for a short warm-up.  It was my first time officially meeting Heather....even though we were running around each other through-out the whole race at Little Rock.  She even had a picture of us running by each other!

I'm in the red shirt and shorts and Heather is in the orange shirt and black tights
My plan was to maintain a 8:15-8:20 pace for the first 7 miles, pick it up for the next 3 miles, and then pick it up again for the final 3 miles.  I carried a handheld with Nuun with caffeine and planned to take a Gu around mile 4 and again around 8 or 9.   I felt okay when I started but knew something was off when I reached for my Gu at mile 4.  It took me a mile to get it down and I didn't even finish it.  I regularly use Gu and never have a problem getting it down, but I just couldn't get it down.

Miles 1-7: 8:12, 8:16, 8:09, 8:17, 8:22, 8:09, 8:19

After I took the Gu, I knew I was in trouble and something was not right.  I started having stomach cramps and just didn't feel well overall.  The cramps got worse as the race went on and I skipped the second Gu because I did not feel well at all.  I tried to kick it up in mile 8, but could quickly tell that my plan was not going to play out as intended and just tried to keep a constant pace.  Even though I had Nuun with me, I was really craving water.  I finally stopped around mile 10.5 and that cup of water was my favorite part of the whole day, it tasted amazing.

Miles 8-13.1: 8:07, 8:17, 8:19 (stopped for water), 8:30, 8:29, 8:53, 1:50 (for .24, 7:45 pace)

It's so clear when you look at my splits that everything slipped after I stopped for water.  I knew if I stopped, I would let the race go mentally and it is exactly what happened.

Final stats:
Race stats: 1:50:08, 8:25 average pace, 122/1206 overall, 5/31 age group
Garmin stats 1:50:08 (first time ever my Garmin clocked my official time!), 8:19 average pace (13.24)

I didn't feel great on the way home, but I thought it was normal post-race reactions.  Shortly after I got home though, it hit me.  Hard.  I felt awful.  My stomach was incredibly uncomfortable, I had a lot of cramping, I was more sore than I've been after some full marathons, I was achy, I had some lightheadedness, and I had zero appetite (I always have an appetite, people...especially post-race).   Brian went out and got me a Gatorade and made me a sandwich, which I forced down.

After a little while, Brian finally sent me to bed and (after taking care of the boys all morning) continued to take care of the boys when I was supposed to take over.  I thought I felt better at first when I woke up, but it quickly came back to me and I still didn't have an appetite at dinner.  I made myself eat a bowl of cereal, but could have just as easily skipped it.  I noticed was that if I was still, I felt okay and always felt better after resting, but I felt awful when I was up and trying to take care of the boys.  I think this is why it didn't hit me untill I got home and why I repeatedly thought I had rebounded when I woke up from a nap or in the morning.

I felt a little better as more time passed, but it took awhile.  When I still didn't bounce back fully by Monday morning, I checked with my doctor to see if I should come in.  Based on my symptoms at that point, he said to give it more time and I felt much more like myself by Monday afternoon.  Needless to say, this freaked me out a little.  I followed the fueling plan I have used for the past year or so and now, with Bayshore 6 weeks away, my fueling plan backfired.

The biggest question in my mind was "WHY did this happen???"  It could have been any number of things.  I had my highest mileage week since last summer the prior week, I am nearing the end of a my training cycle, this wasn't my goal race and I didn't taper....maybe I was just too fatigued to race (even at my marathon goal pace for a half).  Or maybe it just wasn't my day.  But it still felt like something bigger happened.

The only other thing I can think of is that I was dehydrated.  I normally drink a ton without making any special effort to do so (my mom had me tested for diabetes more than once as a child because I drank so much) and I don't think I've ever been dehydrated before, but maybe I didn't drink enough beforehand.  Or maybe it was some odd stomach bug.

Fortunately I felt back to 100% by Tuesday morning and didn't have to miss any training runs, except for an easy recovery run planned for Sunday.  I am also thankful that I have a few more long runs where I can test out alternate fueling strategies.

Even though it was a rough weekend and a disappointing race, this got my attention.  I have a fueling plan I have followed for every race/long run.  But I have had some mixed results and this is forcing me to re-evaluate things, take a hard look at what alternatives are out there, and to see if I could have better luck with a different strategy.   I also learned the value of using a race as a trial run for a bigger goal race.  This was my first time doing that and it got my attention.  It may have been a disappointing half, but I obviously did NOT have a half PR in my that day and if I was going to have a day like that, I'm glad it happened then and not at Bayshore.

As I said in the beginning, I loved the race and if I separate my race from the race as a whole, it was a a really good race.  You can bet it is on my radar for next year....I want redemption!

And if you are still reading, you are incredibly kind!!!  Sorry for the ramble, I have always thought the biggest take-aways are when things don't go the way you planned and my analysis-paralysis kind of takes over :)

Do you like to use a race as a trial run for a bigger goal race?

Have you ever been dehydrated?

What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned from a race?

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