Wednesday, December 30, 2015

26.2 with DONNA Training Week 11

Monday: I ran down to Lullwater park for a change of scenery. I felt like I was running an ok pace, but my garmin kept reading slower (Maybe from all the trees and tiny turns?), so I may have pushed a little more than intended to accommodate (yes, I should know better).
Planned: Easy 5  Actual: 5.2 miles
Tuesday: Woke up with some soreness and decided to take the day off. I don't think Monday was as easy as intended, so I mixed up the schedule a bit to accommodate it.
Planned: 6x1 mile  Actual: Rest
Wednesday: My soreness was better, but there is still one specific spot in my right quad that I need to keep an eye on. For the most part, it's fine when running, but it's very noticeable when going down stairs.
Planned: Rest  Actual: 6 easy (9:16/mile)
Thursday: Managed to make it to the gym before they closed and avoid the absolute monsoon outside. Atlanta got around 7 inches of rain in 48hours. I was very happy to be watching the puddles from indoors on the treadmill. Run went well and I am beginning to feel more confident about my pace.
Planned: 8 Tempo  Actual: 10 miles (8 @ 8:34/mile)
Queen of the Naughty list waiting for Santa Paws.
Friday: You know it's an odd year when you go for a run on Christmas day in shorts and a tank top. It was in the 70s and incredible humid from all the rain Georgia's been getting, so I was very sweaty for such an easy run.
Planned: Easy 5  Actual: 5 easy (9:24/mile)
Even the chickens in our neighborhood had stockings.
Saturday: Joined the Jayhawk on his long run. It was still humid and hot, but there were hints of sunshine which is a nice change from the amazing amounts of rain we've been having.
Planned: Easy 8  Actual: 8 easy (9:48/mile)
Sunday: This was not a great run from the start. I never felt like I had bounce in my legs, it was 70+, and humid. I just couldn't get in the grove and I sweated my butt off. I was pretty happy when it was over. Long runs can't all be amazing during a training cycle, and this one sure wasn't, but I am still happy I did it and happy to see my pace was in range of my long run target on a tough day.
Planned: Long 16  Actual: 15.1 miles (9:18/mile)
When I ran by the first time, the artist was putting the finishing touches on this one.

How was your week? Are you having unseasonable weather too?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

26.2 with DONNA Training Week 9

Monday: I'm starting to like the easy start to the week.
Planned: Easy 5  Actual: 5 miles (9:24/mile)
Tuesday: After having some foot soreness after my last speed session, I decided to slow down the pace a bit to see if that helped. The workout went well and I had no foot soreness afterward, but it definitely wasn't as challenging as a speed workout should be. Hopefully I can gradually increase the speed without trouble.
Planned: 5x1k  Actual: 5.5 miles (5x1k @8:00/mile)
Wednesday: Spent the rest day finishing up my Treats for Tatas baking. If you missed out on this round, there will be a second round coming soon. I usually mix up what I bake for each, but am always open to requests. Just drop me a note.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Double chocolate, coconut lime shortbread, chocolate covered pretzels,
and lemon-poppy biscotti (Clockwise from top left).
Thursday: Time to workout was a bit of an issue today, but I did increase the length of my tempo workout and added in two miles ahead of pace a bit, so I still consider it a successful workout.
Planned: 8 Tempo  Actual: 7.5 miles (4 miles @8:34, 2 miles @8:27)
Friday: I skipped my Friday run because I knew I had a busy weekend of running ahead of me, including two days of working the 26.2 with DONNA booth at the Galloway 13.1 EXPO. It was a lot of fun to hear folks stories about why they run, how much they enjoy 26.2 with DONNA, and it's always fun to giveaway a bib. It was also a lot of time on my feet, so it wasn't a complete rest day.
Planned: Easy 6  Actual: Rest and some hardcore expo'ing

Saturday: Headed over to the Monday Night Brewing 10 miler with the Jayhawk. After realizing how ridiculously hilly the course was, we vowed to run the 10k next year and get to the beer a little faster. Luckily, since the race finished at the brewery, no one had to worry about the kegs running dry. Initially I planned to make it at long run pace, but once I got into it, it turned into my first long tempo run of the training cycle! It was a nice surprise when I check my garmin at the finish. Full recap coming (and I'm not just saying that). After a recovery beer, I headed back to the Expo for more fun.
Planned: Easy 5  Actual: 10 miles (8:30/mile)

Sunday: Met up with Marcia, the lovely social media butterfly for 26.2 with DONNA and we decided to run along the Galloway 13.1 race course and cheer. We ran the opposite direction of the runners for different chunks of the course (with one small section where we had to run the same direction) and then headed down to the finish to cheer people in. It was the most fun shake out run ever and there is nothing quite like watching people finish a big race. So many smiles!
Planned: Long 15  Actual: 9 miles (11:00/mile)
How was your week? Do you like spectating?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

26.2 with DONNA Training Weeks 7+8

Ok, I am little behind on my week recaps, but here is a double edition for you. As an added bonus, lots of bizarre and unusual moments again. What is with me this year?

Week 7

Monday: Ug, Mondays. Nothing like walking your she-beast at 6 in the morning only to have her leash break and you chase her around in your PJs whisper-yelling like the crazy neighborhood nut so you don't wake everyone up but also spastically running around so the all black hound doesn't get hit by a car. I caught her when she stopped to tinkle. Homegirl still has wheels.
Planned: Easy 4 Actual:  4 miles (9:23/mile)
Not the most useful leash. It was over 10 years old, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Tuesday: First speed workout. Since I don't have a recent 5k time to use, I guesstimated from recent short runs and other times. Overall it felt good throughout the workout: challenging, but doable. It was also Giving Tuesday and I challenged the Jayhawk to run or donate and he decided to run the half this year at DONNA! So excited to have him join in!
Planned: 8x600  Actual: 5.5 miles total with 8x600 @7:30/mile

Wednesday: Still getting used to the whole Wednesday rest day thing, but was productive by starting my TGiving cooking. In addition to the whole Turkey/Gravy/Cornbread thing, we made this Winter Vegetable Hominy Hash en Croute from Thug Kitchen. If you aren't familiar with Thug Kitchen, you're welcome (but beware, they like to swear. A lot.). It was fabulous and I plan to make it again.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Thursday: Thanksgiving Day! I'm not much of a holiday person, but I do enjoy Thanksgiving. Something about eating and cooking all day makes me happy. Started off the day with 3 miles with the Jayhawk and added on an extra two by myself.
Planned: 5 Tempo  Actual: 5 miles easy (9:09/mile)

Hand Turkey paper chain. And one paw turkey for that sassy beast.
Friday: I woke up with some foot soreness, but I was hopeful that it would subside after work.  Unfortunately, it still felt tight so I took the day off to be safe.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: Rest
Saturday: Feet still felt off. I've hard this kind of tweaky problem in the past after speed work and it seems to be back. I felt fine during my work on Tuesday, but my residual tightness/soreness makes me worry about how my stride might be changing during the workouts. I've been doing my speedwork on the treadmill because I run after work and don't have access to a track. I think this accounts for most of the issue. Definitely need to find a way to increase speed without feeling off.
Planned: Easy 6   Actual: Rest
Sunday: Feet felt a lot less achy, so I headed out for an easy run. A few days off seemed to do the trick.
Planned: Long 10  Actual: 6.25 (9:22/mile)

Week 8

Monday: I loved this picture from last year's finish line that 26.2 with DONNA posted on Instagram. I am so excited for the race this year!
Planned: 6 Easy  Actual: 5 miles (9:23/mile)
Tuesday: Instead of the planned speed work, I went with an equal length tempo run. After last week's soreness, I decided to give traditional speed work the week off but still wanted to not have an easy run.
Planned:   Actual: 5.5 miles (4 miles @8:33/mile)

Wednesday: Came home to a surprise! For the record, I screamed like a small girl as I was afraid it would give the Monster rabies because, in my panic, I assumed it had to be rabid if it was in the house. In reality, it came in Santa-style and fell down the chimney. I managed to chase it out of the house without major damage (it did break a few things and wiz on the couch). The Monster, who is more than an avid squirrel chaser to put it nicely, was still in her crate at the time and it's the only reason our house wasn't complete wrecked by this event. She is still pissed the enemy infiltrated her castle.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Thursday: Felt a little tired at the start but had no trouble completing it. Had this surprise when I left the gym.
Planned: 5 Tempo  Actual: 6.5 miles (5 miles @ 8:33/mile)
Friday: Easy is as easy does.
Planned: 5 Easy   Actual: 5 miles (9:23/mile)
Saturday: A little faster than planned, but that tends to happen if I do my easy runs alone or not on the treadmill. I have a habit of getting lost in my thoughts and not checking my pace on my garmin. Not overly worried that it happened, but need to make sure it doesn't become too much of a habit as I am trying hard to stick to my plan.
Planned: 6 Easy   Actual: 6 miles (9:01/mile)
Sunday: Hmm, once again about 20 second per mile ahead of schedule. While I am pretty happy with how strong I felt late in this run (solid negative splits between the first 5 miles (9:01 average) and the last 5), I need to do a better job of keeping my pace in check. I will say that my legs felt a bit sluggish at the beginning, so the whole 'running on tired legs' thing is going very well. One fun thing did happen along my run: I ran through an active movie set! I was running along the same route from Saturday when I noticed the set (several neighborhood homes) were packed with folks cameras, etc. At first I wasn't sure if they would let me through, but I ran quietly by as they called "action," although the cameras were facing into one of the homes so not chance of me being in the background. After a little googling later, I learned it's A Meyers Christmas, coming to a screen near you next fall.  Celebrated the miles by going on a wine tasting date with the Jayhawk in the mountains. It was the perfect day for it: cool, but nice in the sun.
Planned: 10 Long   Actual: 10 miles (8:51/mile)

How was your week(s)? Did you do anything special for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#GivingTuesday with 26.2 with DONNA

You've digested Thanksgiving. You survived Black Friday. You even made the most of Cyber Monday. But what are you doing to celebrate #GivingTuesday?
26.2 with DONNA is challenging everyone to run or donate this Tuesday. I'm choosing to run in honor of my loved ones, friends, and loved ones of friends who have faced cancer. No matter what type of cancer, the research being funded by the race is increasing our understanding of the disease and improving treatment options. Join me in Jacksonville in February to see all amazing stuff going on.
I'm also choosing to donate this #GivingTuesday. Biomedical research is expensive and funding is difficult to come by. But the work being done today brings hope that someday we won't have to see our love ones face cancer. Join me and #BeTheFinish.

Feel free to download the badges and share them!

Did you celebrate #GivingTuesday this year? Have you started your holiday shopping?

*If you donated to Treats for Tatas round #1, expect an email from me soon. Baking begins this weekend! (Sorry for the epic delay. Life has busy.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

26.2 with DONNA Training Week 6

Monday: Started off the week with an easy 5 miler (yes, I misread my plan). My exercise app was so excited about it, that it logged my run 12 times. Yep, 60 miles in one day, all at the same pace. I'm a beast.
Planned: 4 easy Actual: 5 miles (9:22/mile) because reading is hard

Tuesday: I woke up a little tight. Nothing really to worry about or related to running. More a combination of too much sitting (I've been confined to my desk as work due to a small flood. 14k gallons is small, right?). I feel strongly that speed work shouldn't be done if the body doesn't feel ready, and my tightness was just enough to make me worry about potential injury. I went with a ladder workout to up the pace for the same amount of distance. Honestly, it felt nice to finally push the pace once again.
Planned: 12x400  Actual: 3.5 miles (9:01/mile)

Wednesday: Wednesday rest days are still weird. Made the most of it by doing some Tgiving food shopping. We love to cook and eat, so this holiday is completely in our wheelhouse. The fact that we only have 3 mouths to feed is completely irrelevant. Leftovers for all!
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Thursday: This was the first real check-in of the training cycle. 5 miles at race pace to really tell me if this pace was a legitimate race goal. I won't lie, after 4 weeks of easy running, I was a little worried about how well I could hit it. While I completely understand the idea behind the easy buildup, it doesn't do much for the confidence. The good news is that I hit the pace and felt good throughout the workout. A great confidence boost to get me excited for training.
Planned: 5 miles Tempo  Actual: 6 miles (5 miles at 8:34/mile)
Friday: In some ways, I miss my Friday rest day. Leaving work and being done for day was nice, but that said, the gym is so quiet on Fridays that it is slowly becoming my favorite thing. Like instead of lip-syncing, I could sing out loud along with my iPod and no one would care (or at least being close enough to be bothered). I have yet to torture my fellow gym goers in that way, but it's coming. Oh yes, it's coming.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 4 miles (9:23/mile)
Love. I had King of Pops at work (because it's totally professional to slurp on popsicles while talking to colleagues) this week and they were still totally on the brain.
Saturday: First solo easy run outside (I'd squeezed in group runs up to this point). I tried my hardest throughout the run to stick to the easy pace. I didn't completely succeed, but I am pretty happy with the effort. I toured several classic Atlanta neighborhoods and it was a great way to keep me entertained.
Planned: Easy 8   Actual: 8 miles
Oh, King of Pops, how I love thee. Inman, you are pretty solid too.
Sunday: I was tired, the Jayhawk got in a car accident (everyone is fine, thank heavens!), and I didn't get a run in. We went out for ice cream instead. It happens.
Planned: Easy 8  Actual: Rest
Ice cream related artwork. Swoon.
How was your week?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Training Recap: Back in the swing of things

I'm back! After 26 nights of travel in a little over a month, I have returned to the ATL and hopefully regular life. Major props to everyone that does it on a regular basis!  Time to get back to training!

Monday: Ug. Mondays.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Tuesday: I'm really trying hard to stick to the prescribed paces on my training plan (get ready for a complete failure of that as you scroll down this post). It does feel a little odd to have so many easy miles. The plan (more about it soon), brings you into training with a few weeks of easy before introducing speed and tempo workouts. I'm trusting in the plan. I'm trusting in the plan.
Planned: 4 miles easy pace  Actual: 3 miles (9:19/mile)

Wednesday: Another new item with the new plan is a midweek rest day. I've been running the same days for several years now, so it's a little odd to have the day off in the middle of the week.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Thursday: Headed over Big Peach Midtown to drop off some 26.2 with DONNA materials, join in on their costume run, and see this fun pirate. I was a little bummed to find that the number of costumes were limited, but the run was fun. A little faster than I had planned for an easy day, but it's typically a fast group.
Planned: 4 miles easy pace  Actual: 4.18 miles (8:40/mile)

Friday: Took the day off as a mini taper for Sunday. Having done no real prep for the race, I figured it was best to give myself a fighting chance by at least being a little rested.
Planned: 4 miles easy  Actual: Rest

Saturday: More travel. I swear, this is the last time for the month.  I guess that make sense because it is the last day of the month, but either way, I look forward to the end of my National Tour (or at least that is what I'm calling it) and spending some time in the ATL. The Monster has been quite unhappy with my absence.
Planned: 4 miles easy  Actual: Rest

Sunday: Once again I found myself out of town, but this time I was able to squeeze in a race! Knowing that I would need to get in a long run, I signed up for a half marathon on Tuesday. What better way to jump start marathon training? I love checking out new places on foot and race courses tend to show off towns. Full recap to come!
Planned: 5 miles easy   Actual: 13.1 miles (8:46/mile)

And if you need a chuckle...
A few months ago, I got the chance to write for the site I Love To Run (you know, the eBIBs folks), and as a thank you they created personalized avatars for us in the style of their eBIBs. I sent in a photo of me running and then they needed a clearer picture of my face, so I sent in this one.

I got an email with my avatar this week and low and behold, look who else got one.

Yep, the Monster has been immortalized.

How was your week? What news do you have to share?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another nearly wordless Wednesday

Remember me? I promise a return to regularly schedule programming next week. It has been a crazy month of travel, with more nights spent outside of Georgia than in my own home. I have one last trip to go, but I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, here are a few photos of the fun trips (no one wants pictures of work) full of hiking and running. There are a lot more on instagram if you are interested!
Glowing Lava at the Volcano.

Hiking into the Volcano.
Rainbow over the lava fields.
Birthday Hike into the Pololu Valley.

Hiking in the Pololu Valley.
Sunset on Mauna Kea.
Ocean hiking.
Aloha means goodbye.
How have you all been? Update me on all the excitement.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Greetings! Sorry for the radio silence the past week. I was up in Maine caring for a family member (they are recovering well) and rather than recapping that excitement (trust me, it's not that exciting), I figured I share a few scenes from Maine in the fall. The running weather was perfect and I crossed trained by stacking wood for winter. Here a few glimpses of Maine in all it's beauty. Enjoy.
A view of the lake. 
 My favorite ice bath.
Sporting my DONNA pride.
Sunny Sunday run. 
 The colors were just starting to come out.
Portland from the sky.
Have you ever been to Maine? Do you see fall colors where you live?

Monday, September 21, 2015

26.2 with DONNA 2016 Discount Code

Alright, who wants to join me on Valentine's Day and get all hot and sweaty? If we're lucky, the Jayhawk might even join in.
Currently undecided if I should redesign the heart for the full marathon.
Well, of course I am talking about 26.2 with DONNA which will be held on Valentine's Day in 2016! For the third year in a row, I am heading back down to Jacksonville for 26.2 with DONNA and I want you all to join me! And to entice you, I've got a coupon code to help you with registration. The code is good all the way through race day, but if you register before November 1st, you can save an extra $20 on either race!
Ambassador code is good for $5 off the half or full marathon.

What would you wear for a race on Valentine's Day? Anyone want to join me?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Five: I am...

1. I am an Ambassador! I'm sure if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (if not, what are you waiting for?) you've realized that I'm returning to Jacksonville again in February as a 26.2 with DONNA Ambassador! I'm overjoyed to once again help spread the word about this awesome race and the amazing work they do for breast cancer research! Stay tuned for my discount code, a pinktastic October, and of course, Treats for Tatas will be returning for another year.
2. I am blogging (slowly)! Ok, ok, I know it totally took me forever to write that Snakebite 50k race recap and I still owe you another race recap and a 50k lessons learned post, but I wanted to encourage you to ask questions so I can include them in the lessons learned post. Curious about what I nibbled on throughout the race? Intrigued by what I could have possibly thought about during 6+ hours of running? Do I still have all 10 toenails? Ask away!
Yes, my shoes have finally dried out.
3. I am running again! I took 8 days off after Snakebite and did daily yoga sessions and slow dog walks/stumbles (someone did not appreciate my slowness). Given how the weeks leading up to the race went, I fully expected to be sore post race and my expectations were spot on! Thankfully I suffered no major injuries, but I was sore enough that I was walking down the stairs sideways. The Jayhawk was so compassionate that he spent that time lamenting moving into a one story house. I'm not training by any plan right now, but I'm easy running about 4 times per week (5ks during the week and joining the Jayhawk for his long run on the weekends). So far so good and I'll think about incorporating a plan next month.
Yes, I did yoga sessions without beverages, but join me on Thursdays for #HappyHourYoga on instagram!
4. I am enjoying life! Recovery is always a challenge as running normally takes up a chunk of my free time and energy, but I've been filling those time with extra date nights, quality time with my favorite furry beast (to make up for the slow walks), and attempts as relaxing (still not my best talent).
Beach time with my beasties. Raise your ear if you like the beach!
5. I am learning. I've recently learned that the Monster is a budding yoga connoisseur. Sure, I always knew she could rock both downward and upward dog, but I had no idea she could rock child's pose (or in this case puppy pose) for so long. So very long and in my way.
Step 1: Locate EB in mid yoga pose. Step 2: Hostile mat takeover.
This is an actual sequence in which she figured out I was was yoga-ing, took up residence on my mat, and refused to move for the remainder of the session. Note: I have pictures of the situation because in the absence of a mirror, I sometime set the self timer to make sure I am hitting my poses correctly. This time it happened to catch some Monster hijinx as well.
Step 3: Assume puppy pose and judge EB's attempts at downward dog. Novice.

What have you been doing lately? Let's catch up.
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