Monday, February 29, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training: Week 7

7 weeks down and 7 weeks to go until Carmel! I feel that 7 weeks is not enough time, and also a long ways off to prepare for race day. This week went pretty much according to plan and I felt really good about all the workouts for the most part.

I had 2 main issues come up this week which needed attention. First of which was getting a bit dehydrated on Saturday's 8 miler. I was likely overdressed, but also did not bring any liquids (not out of the norm for me for a run of this distance) which left me feeling a bit crappy later on in the day. The 8 mile run itself was textbook. Lesson learned. For Sunday, I took a 25oz bottle of Osmo + one GU with me for the 16 miler so not to repeat Saturday's mistakes (even while overdressing on purpose).

The other issue were my shoes- I wore my Newton Distances for the 8 miler and got another hot spot on the bottom of my foot. Since I had 16 on deck for Sunday, all I could think about was the damn thing turning into a blister during that run. I decided to wear my Nike Zoom Fly shoes for the 16 and luckily there was no issue with the hot spot. Post run I got to thinking about my shoes and was  shocked to see the Newtons have 420 miles on them and the Nikes have 357. Needless to say a shoe order has been placed.

I know that my biggest weakness for the Ironman will be nutrition. I will train my ass off and nail all of my workouts no problem, but properly hydrating and fueling for extended rides and runs will be a challenge for me since I dont like to eat or drink much while working out. In the coming months I will be researching proper fueling and hydration for these longer sessions.

February #'s

I was happy with my mileage for February despite some training setbacks.  30+ hours total and 321 miles.

Monday: 14 mile cycle

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 10 mile cycle, 4 mile run BRICK!

Thursday: 8 mile run- 6 x 800's

Friday: 16 mile cycle

Saturday: 8 mile run, 12 mile cycle

Sunday: 16 mile run with miles 11-15 @ GMP, 12 mile cycle

Total: 9:35:25  for 100 miles
Running: 4:55:40 for 36 miles
Cycling: 4:39:45 for 64 miles 


L and I went to the Bulls game on Tuesday- it was fun as always and Benny even dumped popcorn on us!
I ran 8 miles on Saturday and it was so nice out- not too windy compared to Sunday.
Sunday was gorgeous minus the crazy wind.
After the long runs I was beat and ready to relax.
Looking Forward:

  • I renewed my swim membership and plan to finally swim again soon.
  • I will continue to tweak my nutrition during longer workouts. I like to train using minimal nutrition so that race day I experience a bigger effect from the GU/Osmo/Etc, but will be smarter about it so I don't have any setbacks.
  • I will up my arm/core/leg workouts and weights.
  • Time to cook more meals, reduce alcohol intake  and drop the last 5-8lbs before Carmel. 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training: Week 6

This week started out promising and then went down the disappointment drain. I had a good speed sesh (8x400's) on Wednesday and was looking forward to running outside on the weekend because of the unseasonably warm temps. My run outside on Saturday was short but nice- I had woken up late and we had a beer festival to go to, so I cut my planned 10 miler to 4. Post beer fest we were walking to a bar after lunch and I tripped on the uneven sidewalk and smashed my knee pretty hard. I don't pick up my feet enough when I walk, so yeah this wasn't my first rodeo with klutziness. The result was not being able to run or cycle on Sunday due to the knee feeling bad and also not wanting to damage it further. I took a Dead Sea salt bath and called it a night.

I was not happy about missing my long run and longish ride and stewed about it far too long. During Monday's spin, I finally came to the conclusion that solely focusing on a week by week, Monday to Sunday time period for my training is absurd. Sure it's easy to make these training recap posts based on a week- but in reality my body doesn't care if the long run I missed Sunday gets pushed to Monday instead. My weekly training will look whack, but the workouts are still there and contributing to my fitness. I felt much better after coming to that conclusion although it seems obvious now.


Tuesday: 10 mile cycle, 2 mile run brick day!

Wednesday: 8 mile run- 8x400's

Thursday: 15 mile cycle

Friday: 10 mile run on the treadmill

Saturday: 4 miles with fartlek last 2 miles

Sunday: REST- knee hurt

Total: 5:02:22 for 49 miles

Run: 3:12:32 for 24 miles
Cycle: 1:49:50 for 25 miles


CB was very lovey this week- he missed his daddy a lot and was so happy to see him on Friday.
The sunrises and sunsets have been nice lately.
Saturday's run was so nice! I'm still kicking myself for not waking up earlier and getting the full 10 miles in.

Saturday was also the Uppers and Downers beer fest- all of the beers had coffee in them. It was really good once again and was so fun to spend time with friends.
Looking forward:

With 8 more weeks until Carmel, I've also been retooling my running speed work so that it is more in line with my goals for that race. I will also revisit my usual weekly workouts and either add a medium distance run to the day I have an hour spin (yay double!) or eliminate the spin until after Carmel. I'll also start going back to the pool again this week. Hopefully. Maybe. Probably.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training: Week 5

Almost 2 months until Carmel.. According to SportTracks, I'm in the best shape of my life and getting more fit everyday. I'll believe it when I run a 3:30 in Carmel. I believed it after the fact for the F3 half... I'm just not convinced I won't crash and burn in the marathon. Because, 26.2 miles.  It's just hard to wrap my mind around running 30ish miles a week and having a successful marathon- i'd usually hover around 40-50. BUT, all my running miles are quality, and I am cycling a lot and swimming intermittently so I've got that going for me.

This week went nearly according to my plan- save for an unplanned rest day which made the weekend workouts more complicated because I didn't want to just eliminate the missed 90 minute cycling workout. I ended up splitting it up and completing the 45 minutes after each of my weekend runs.  My back also started hurting pretty bad on Friday- I must have slept funny because it feels more like a muscular issue. By Sunday it was feeling much better, but still very present. The TP and myo balls have been helping a lot along with hot dead sea salt baths. I've had to back off on core work until it feels better.

Monday: 16 Mile Cycle

Tuesday: 6x800's for 7 miles

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 11 mile cycle, 2 mile run

Friday: 18 mile cycle

Saturday: 8 mile run, 12 mile cycle

Sunday: 15 mile run, 11 mile cycle

Which makes for a total of: 100 miles and almost 9 hours of working out. YAY.
Overall i'm happy with this week considering I had to be inside for everything due to the crappy weather. The 15 mile long run was the worst- I really don't know how I was able to manage all the 'mill work when I trained for the Knoxville marathon in 2014. I do want to achieve this BQ sooner than later and that is why I keep at it. It's also easy to blow off workouts due to stress but I know that is a road I don't want to go down. Maintaining my workouts has helped considerably with all the stress in my life- between my sick family member and my impending layoff.


Tuesday we went to the Sharks- Blackhawks game. It was our first hockey game at the United Center. We used to go to Sharks games while living in San Jose, and I've been to some Lightning games- but after 5 years we finally went to a game in Chicago! I bought the tickets as a christmas present for L, because the Sharks are his favorite team. We had a blast! I loved hearing the National Anthem- so different at the United Center, and enjoyed the game despite the Blackhawks loss. I was amazed that nearly everyone had something Blackhawks on. There was a handful of folks with Sharks gear on. It was such a fun experience, I know we will be back again for a game.
On Friday I took a mini field trip across the river to Binny's to get the new release of the Koval-Mikkeller whiskey. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks at home on my bar cart. I did make a new cocktail with whisky, passion fruit, lime and jalapeno and it was really good. I did get jalapeno in my eye while muddling it the first time, so I'll have to be more careful when I muddle the peppers again.
Saturday I watched the Oly Trials with Emmers and Vicky. It was fun watching the event together while catching up and eating some yummy snacks. I cannot wait to watch the marathon in Rio later this year!

Sunday it snowed. It was also ridiculously cold. 
The little one was happy to stay inside, but when he has his boots on he loves the cold.
Looking forward to a mini cutback week and nailing all of my workouts. Maybe I'll even go to the pool again. I also can't wait to run outside because it will be in the 40's this coming weekend!!!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training: Week 4

And this week was a cutback week. It got cutback a little more than planned due to an unplanned rest day (Friday) due to feeling crappy, but overall I was happy with how the week went. I haven’t gone to the pool in a few weeks because when L is on business trips I ride my bike there and cannot when it’s too cold. Oh well. I have plenty of time to log pool hours in the near future once it warms up. Only 212 days until IM Wisconsin, I’m not too concerned currently.

It really sucked 2 weeks ago to hear a family member had a catastrophic health emergency, and then the day after finding out I will be laid off at an undetermined point in the future. This week was a continuation of the shittiness from last week because after the initial blow from the bad news, there’s still so much to clean up and think about in the aftermath. Luckily, the family member is recovering at a good pace and I will have a job for at least a few more months and will likely be given an ample heads up on a separation date. Life is really good otherwise. I just cannot let bad news consume me- because being idle and worrying never helps any situation.

Monday: REST!

Tuesday: 5 mile run- 8x400’s OUTSIDE!

Wednesday: 12 mile cycle, 2 mile run

Thursday: 15 mile cycle

Friday: REST- sick

Saturday: 5 mile run, 3.19 mile run with my Mikkeller Running Club

Sunday: 16 mile cycle, 3.5 mile run with Mikkeller Running Club in Hammond, IN for 18th Street brewery

Total: 5:45:53, 61.7 Miles

Cycle: 2:58.10, 43 Miles

Run: 2:47.43, 18.7 miles

Workout Highlight of the week:

 I ran my 400’s outside on Tuesday. It is the 1st time in years I have run intervals outside. I was having fun zooming up and down Michigan ave waaaay before sunrise. During the 7th 400, a guy standing at a bus stop asked me (mid 400) if I was running intervals, I squeaked out a “YEAH” as I flew by and he said “Keep up the good work.”And I squaked out “THANKS!” with a thumbs up.  There are still some good folks in this world…  I found it very difficult to pace myself for the 400’s. I would rely too heavily on the garmin for pace and would inevitably take off too fast- had I been on a track and not running in a straight line, I would have been able to pace much better. It was a really fun workout though. The odd intervals were into a headwind which also made pacing a challenge.


CB has been super lovey and cute lately.He knows L and I need extra snuggles.
On Saturday we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of my running club- the Chicago Chapter of Mikkeller Running Club. I 'm so happy I started the Chicago Chapter a year ago- we have made so many friends and created so many memories in the process. We also treated our special guest from MRC Paris to a proper Chicago welcome with a shot of Malort.
We 'grammed the 'gram of the sunrise one morning.
On Sunday we went to Hammond, IN to run with the 18th Street brewery LOE members as well as MRC Chicago folks for the release of the Mikkeller + 18th Street beer, Atomic Whale. About half of MRC Chicago came down to Indiana for the event.  It was also the opening weekend of this new location for 18th Street. Their new location in Hammond is gorgeous. L and I love 18th Street beers and will definitely be planning a return trip!

Join us for our next Mikkeller Run in Chicago- March 5th, 11:10am at Northdown!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training: Week 3

With 3 weeks down and 11 to go until Carmel, I'm feeling optimistic about my progress and fitness. This week went almost according to plan- minus having to swap a couple of workouts around due to the gym being busy. Oh well.

I had a lot of time to reflect on life and training and everything this week.  The 2nd half of the week all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and drink Manhattans due to being emotionally drained. BUT I reminded myself that I have goals and that once I worked out I could sit on the couch and have Manhattans because doing nothing is a waste of my valuable time. Looking back, I'm really happy I went to the gym instead of sitting on the couch watching TV (except I rarely watch TV anyways) because doing nothing would open up the doors to rationalizing baling on more workouts- much like binging on food- how one day of indulgent eating "just this once" can turn into a week.


Monday: REST

Tuesday:  16 miles cycled

Wednesday: 13 miles cycled, 2 mile run

Thursday: 7 mile run- 8x400's

Friday: 6 mile run

Saturday:  10 mile run- 4 with the pup

Sunday:  22 mile cycle, 4 mile run

Total: 80 miles for 7:21:29
Running: 29 miles for 3:56:29
Cycling: 51 miles for 3:25

January Totals: 334.83 miles for 30:45:08
Swimming: 2.44 miles, 1:29:19
Cycling: 232 miles, 15:42:45
Running: 100.39 miles, 13:33:04

Overall I feel good about the January numbers-

  • I only swam 2x, but given the weather and that I have to cycle to the pool, I know I'll be able to go more frequently as the weather warms up.
  • I haven't cycled outside in a while, but again the weather is to blame. 
  • I was really happy with how I felt running- the speedwork is starting to feel comfortably hard instead of full of dread.
  • I'm down 5+lbs for the month which I know has a direct correlation to feeling much better while running. Reducing alcohol intake, cooking most of my meals at home (with nutritious recipes from the Racing Weight cookbook), and all of the workouts + strength stuff have made this possible. No big secret there.

CB was super sweet this week.

When things got tough the end of the week, CB was there for me wanting extra snuggles.
The weather on Saturday was amazing so I did part of my run outside.
And I took the CB dog with me which made both of us very happy.
Sunday morning we both woke up feeling sick, but were fine by the end of the day. CB snapped this selfie of us.
Some more photos from the F^3 half.. I was just so ridiculously happy with how the "race" went for me.
Looking forward:

  • Continue to increase strength training
  • Tweak my training plan- I found I had rest days on build up or peak weeks but not on cutbacks.. This week i'll correct that and also fix some other inconsistencies.
  • Make a better plan for running speedwork- currently i'm winging it each time. I need to at least have something more structured- including a possible choice between two workouts- like 400's or 800's.