Sunday, February 28, 2010

Marathon Training, For Realsies

After an odd first couple of weeks of marathon training, I was able to pull together a pretty good week for Week #3 of my training for the Madison Marathon. Behold:

Monday AM: 3 miles easy
Monday PM: 6 miles hilly
Tuesday AM: 3 miles easy
Tuesday PM: 1 hr kettlebells
Wednesday PM: 7 miles progressive run
Saturday: 17.6 miles
Sunday: 30 min bike, 15 min yoga

My hill and progressive runs were awesome this week. The long run was pretty good, but my legs and the bottom of my feet were killing me the last mile. Time for new shoes! I would have liked to get in easy runs Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, but Wednesday and Thursday were too cold for my tastes and Friday Sophie decided to wake up at 5 am.

This week will require a little rearranging because I have meetings during the evening a couple of nights, but I'm determined to string together TWO good weeks of training.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Wish . . .

it was a little bit easier to get my runs in.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. being a mom to my wonderful, adorable daughter. But sometimes it is just so much juggling and work to do a simple little thing like run 17 miles. Am I selfish for not wanting to give up running now that I have a family? But I don't think my husband wants to be married to the person I would be if I didn't run. And I don't want Sophie to have the kind of mom I would be if I didn't run.

So that leaves me with the juggling. And the begging my mom to drive an hour up here to visit with her favorite daughter and granddaughter (oh and by the way can you watch Sophie for a few hours while I run, thanks so much!).

I look back at the days before I was married and before Sophie and think damn, I should have run a million miles back then, I had nothing but time.

Pending proper alignment of the stars, I'll be getting my 17 miler in tomorrow morning. Good luck to all of you who are racing this weekend - looking forward to the race reports for some runspiration!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tempo Progresso

The schedule called for a seven mile tempo run tonight - 1 mile warm up, 5 at "long tempo" pace, and 1 mile cooldown. Instead of following that exactly, I decided to try a progressive run. I want to work on negative splits and train myself to stay strong at the end of races. So my plan was to start with one mile at easy pace and then increase the pace by 15 seconds per mile for the rest of the run.

The first mile, I started out too fast. Wait, wasn't this what I am trying avoid? I blame it on my Garmin. It was registering anywhere from 6:30 (yeah, in my dreams) to 11:30 (please, give me a little credit Garmy) for that first mile. After that, the Garmin seemed to cooperate and I was right on track. Seven mile progressive run? Nailed it.

It felt awesome to complete the run and the whole thing was a huge confidence booster. Maybe part of my success was my wardrobe. I had this whole Rainbow Brite thing going on that I think really works for me. Light pink under armour turtleneck, purple Nike long sleeve, and neon pick wind jacket. Oh, and different shade of pink hat. I'd post a picture, but I have this big red zit on my nose that is U.G.L.Y. Hello Rudolph.

My adrenaline rush from the great run bubbled over into a little car dancing. Which led to the following conversation:
Sophie: Mom, what are you doing?
Me: I'm dancing.
Sophie: I don't want you to dance.
Me: Why not?
Sophie: It's kinda dorky.

Great. Now I am apparently so dorky that even a two year old can pick up on it. Oh well. At least I had that great run!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cross Training - Extreme Snowshoeing Edition

Sometimes you fall on your ass . . .

and sometimes you make it to the top!
I had a great weekend snowshoeing on the islands of Rainy Lake. I dare say I enjoyed winter (gasp!). Now I'm back hoping to get caught up on your blogs and all my dirty laundry before bed. And still picking twigs out of my hair. Extreme snowshoeing is a pretty twiggy sport!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Little Bit of Sunshine

I've got all sorts of sunshine to share with you. This morning's early run was headlamp free - after a long, long winter of dark mornings, I can finally see the end. Of course, the fact that I couldn't get myself out of bed until 10 minutes later than usual might have had something to do with it. But still, it was light out! And the sun has been warm enough during the day that there are slush and puddles in the road. All good signs that spring may actually be on its way.

Another bit of sunshine: I was gifted with the Sunshine Award by MCM Mama and Katie. Thanks ladies! I'd like to pass the award on to some of my favorite fellow mom bloggers:

Fellow Minnesota moms: Melissa, Carly, and Julie

And some other great mom runners: D10, JoyRun, Jess, and Heather

And one great mom-to-be: Cross Country Squared

Today is my Friday! We are heading up north tomorrow night for a weekend at the cabin with some friends. The guys are ice fishing, while my friend Erin and I are planning on snowshoeing to Canada and doing a little scrapbooking. I took tomorrow off so I could get my long run in before go - I have priorities.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mora Vasaloppet 35K - 2010

I had a rough day with the cross country ski race - fell on a steep downhill about 5 miles in and looked down to see a bunch of blood in the snow. Ended up scratching up my head and nose, plus having a bloody nose. I kept going and finished, but it was a long, LONG day. I am so glad to be done, on my couch in my pj's and watching the Olympics. I'll leave you with some pictures (all before the bloodied up face!).

So there you have it. I am so thankful for all of you reading and commenting - thinking of having to report a DNF today really kept me going when I wanted to quit. Happy Valentines Day and happy one more day of the weekend to all you lucky folks (including me!) who have tomorrow off. After the first rather unconventional week of marathon training, I am looking forward to getting in some great run this week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Race Report - Freeze Your Bunz 5K

Normally I would not run a race called "Freeze Your Bunz" because intentionally misspelled words are one of my biggest pet peeves. But this is a "local" race (within half an hour) and I had some friends run/walking it, so I figured I better show up.

The race is an out and back on a flat, paved bike trail. Of course, in the middle of February, paved bike trail means snowmobile trail, which means um, snow. I wore my yak trax, which was a good choice. The entire course was pretty deep snow and not as packed down as I thought it would be. It sort of felt like running in sand. Only with a lot more clothes on.

(That's me - note the lovely snow!)
I started near the front because it looked like a lot of people were planning on walking and I didn't want to have to try to dodge a bunch of walkers on a narrow trail. This worked out well - I didn't have to dodge anyone, and I didn't get passed by very many people. I spent most of my time trying to find the most hard packed snow. About a quarter mile from the turn around, the snow was very fluffy and difficult to run through. I felt my energy draining and just focused on making it to the orange cones.

After the turn I had to slog back through a quarter mile of yuckiness, but then started seeing my friends who were still on the way out. That kept me moving! Once I got closer to the finish, I felt like I had a little in me to kick and then got bogged down in the snow again. I felt like I was barely moving. I knew I was one of the first few women, so I was super bummed when another girl passed me within a tenth of a mile to the finish. But I just kept pushing and crossed the line in 26:06. Good enough for fifth place woman overall and second in my age group. Gotta love small races!

I was really happy with my time given the snowy conditions. And, after a week of minimal running, it felt great to get out and run hard. I'm spending the rest of the day relaxing (okay, cleaning and doing laundry) to get ready for my big ski race tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be back with a positive race report from that adventure. I am definitely nervous. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Isn't it Ironic

It's the first week of my training program and I am super motivated to run, and to run hard. Today, for the first time in what feels like months, the sun is shining and it feels warm (relatively speaking). And I can't run. Sophie is sick (double ear infection). My hubby was home with her all day so I could fight for justice in traffic court, so instead of my usual after work Wednesday tempo run, I have to hurry home so he can get to work. These are the days when I wish I had a treadmill.

Instead of running, I think I'll give the triple crown of the Shred a shot - all three levels of Jillian's 30 Day Shred after Sophie goes to bed. Boo hoo. Hopefully the super antibiotics will kick in (this is her second ear infection in three weeks) and we can resume the regular schedule soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Plan

Today, February 7th, marks the beginning of my 16 week training plan for the Madison Marathon (on May 30th). I LOVE being on a plan. I have my printout with all my chicken scratches on it tacked on the fridge with my favorite turtle magnet. Nothing beats coming home from a run, knowing I nailed it, and grabbing a Sharpie and crossing that beast off the plan.

I'm using a FIRST-ish plan. I used FIRST for the first time last year for Green Bay and really liked it. I like the workouts and I loved the results (25 minute PR!). I changed it just a teensy bit for this round. For those of you who are not familiar with FIRST, one workout per week is a speed workout. I replaced many of the earlier (first 6 weeks of so) of speed workouts with 6-8 mile hilly runs. I've heard that Madison is a hillier race, so I think the hill prep will do me some good. Also I really only like doing speed workouts at the track. And that won't be possible around here for a little while, so I'll bide my time on the hills.

I've also worked a few races into the plan. Next weekend will be a little odd - a 5K on Saturday and then a 35K cross country ski race on Sunday. You might be thinking WTF? Yeah, me too. I need to do the ski race to clinch my Mora Classic medal, but I'm a little worried. Did you know 35K is approxmately 22 miles? I'm not sure I can ski that far. Anyhow . . . 35K on skis will equal the 13 mile long run that is on the schedule.

As for the cross training that is called for by the FIRST plan -- I think I'm going to be way better about that this time around. I didn't really do any cross training last year, aside from weekly yoga. This time I'm going to keep up kettlebells at least once per week and try to make sure I get on my bike at least once per week. Bring on the training!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Bad News/Good News

Bad news: it's still winter and I'm getting the stir crazy, can't stand my job, I might lose my mind thing going. Minor annoyances that I can live without: trying to put on my yak trax and having them zing off of my shoes across the room. Or hitting me in the face. Sloshing through several inches of new snow on our country backroads while a big giant school bus passes with a foot.

Good news: it's the weekend! I bowled a 177 for my last game last night (earning the adoration of my teammates, of course). My kitchen is clean. New snow means snowshoeing down to the river while pulling Sophie on her sled tomorrow. My long run on Sunday should be school bus free.

Repeat after me: I will survive the rest of winter. I will not go crazy. I will take deep calming breaths. I feel better already. Good luck to everyone with races or long runs on the schedule this weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Kettlebell Booty Kicking

I need to learn not to calendar anything early Wednesday mornings . . . I'm too sore from kettlebells on Tuesday nights to do much of anything productive. Last night, to start off the class, I cleaned and pressed an 80 pound log. What? Who knew I was capable of such amazon tasks. During the class, as I continued to hurl around 30 pound kettlebells, I thought to myself, "Damn, I am getting strong!"

These kettlebell people are good at the peer pressure. Heather, use a heavier weight. Heather, hold a plank for an hour and a half. Heather, do a triathlon with us this summer. Yes, you read that right. Me, she-who-cannot-swim, considering doing a triathlon. Luckily I am also good at the peer pressure and nearly have convinced my friend Erin to do the triathlon with me and my friend Sandy to give us both swimming lessons.

For now I'm off to soothe my sore muscles. Hopefully they will be recovered enough for my tempo run after work. Happy hump day!