Sunday, February 23, 2014

Knoxville Marathon Week 5

Monday: REST
Went to the doctor for a routine physical. Got a TDAP vaccine which knocked me out. Good thing this was a cutback week. Silver lining: after what seemed like them taking all my blood for tests, I received a clean bill of health.  

Tuesday: REST
My arm hurt ridiculously bad from the vaccination. I'm talking like searing pain when trying to put on my jacket.Decided the best thing was to take my other rest day.

Wednesday: Easy Hard 3
Intended 5, cut to 3 because I felt like crap. For the usual "easy" pace, the effort was off the charts. I took this as a cue to just hop off the tread and go home. Felt feverish and overheated too.

Thursday: 5 Tempo miles at 7:24, Total 7 Miles.
Still felt off. The effort seemed too much for the pace, but pushed through to finish this one. Never realized the TDAP would knock me out like this. I dont remember this happening before.

Friday: Easy 4
Felt much better, but still mildly feverish. 

Saturday: Easy 5 with the pup.
Actually ran outside for this one. It was in the mid 20's and not much wind so I took CBdog out for an easy 5. Felt pretty good just enjoying the lakefront with the pup. There were loads of ice patches which we had to stop and walk through- didn't want to slip. We side 5'd Jenny which instantly uplifted the "meh" feeling i've been in the whole week.

Sunday: Long run 12 miles, 1:37
Got up early and hit the tread. Had a lot of anxiety for this run given how the rest of the week went. The miles ticked off quickly and it felt great to just relax and enjoy the dark 58 degree gym. I couldnt get the TV to work so I didn't watch the gold medal hockey game, but instead was left to deal with my own thoughts which was exactly what I needed. Progressively splitted the run all with a 1% incline. Felt great.
Last Sunday we celebrated the 2nd birthday of our friend's incredibly cute daughter.

Workout thoughts:
The cutback week couldn't have come at a better time. This week was just full of "MEH."  I only did one strength session- just my legs because my arm was f*cked and because I felt like shit. The meltdown I went through this week didn't really help things either. A call with Coach B really helped me put things in perspective and how cutting back on miles or even bailing on a workout wouldn't hurt me for the marathon. Better to be smart now than prolong the crappy feelings and wear myself out further. I'll also get back on the strength training routine this week.
Before the snow on Monday.
Other Stuff.
I mentioned to the Doctor that after eating my stomach hurts intermittently. This has been going on at least 4-5 years now and I had just assumed it was from eating fast or something dumb like that (because I couldn't find a clear trigger and seriously doubt it's caused by gluten). The doctor showed some concern and suggested I eliminate Gluten for a week, and then dairy for a week to rule out possible Celiac or Gluten intolerance/sensitivity since my symptoms mimicked those issues.  I eat about 90% non-processed food usually (and not much dairy), so I started the GF as soon as I left the doctor thinking this would be "easy". Because I hadn't gone food shopping, I was starting to stress about "hidden" gluten in the foods I was buying for lunch. As the days passed, and my arm continued to hurt, and the fever continued to be present, and I worked to insure I wasn't consuming gluten (wanted to give this GF week a good effort)  I was starting to lose it. 

I finally broke down on Thursday and came to terms with why the hell i just "accepted" for so long that I feel bad after eating sometimes. This also meant acknowledging I have some issue that needs to get sorted out and the enormity of that hit me like a bag of bricks. Good news, I doubt it's gluten. And I already avoid cow milk because I know it makes me feel funky. There's a list of foods the doctor gave me which some people cannot digest properly (FODMAP) which causes symptoms very similar to mine. Many of the foods on the "list to limit" are foods I regularly consume. So i'll be extra vigilant to notice if I feel crappy after eating any of those foods... So far i'm 80% convinced avocados and pistachios are giving me grief. And that makes me a little sad if indeed avocados are causing it because they are my favorite.

I picked up my glasses this week. WOW. For not having major vision problems asides from astigmatism and slightly less than 20/20, my vision with the glasses has gone from analog to HD! So much more crisp.
More thoughts
The weather hasn't really been helping with my mood either. I always looked forward to running outside on the weekends, but since it's been way too cold, I won't jeopardize my health anymore and now must keep my runs inside. I love being outside, but this winter is slowly killing me.
Shoes & Happier stuff
I just got a new pair of Newton Distance shoes and was all in love at first run on Friday with them. I'm hoping they will be my marathon shoe in 5 weeks. I'll decide soon once I've done a few longer runs in them. They fit more snugly than the older model so that concerns me a little.
Newton Distance aka Pumped up kicks. I'm in love.

Running with CB on Saturday was nice. To see him so happy melted my heart and helped lift me out of the funk I've been experiencing. It was also beautiful out, minus the ice.
CB dog kept getting pissed at me when I made him walk through the ice.I didn't want him to make me fall and faceplant or crack my head open on the ice.. Hey, i'm injury prone and would rather be safe than injured, especially with 5 weeks to go.
Why yes, that's a huge sheet of ice behind CB. FUN.
Final Thoughts
With 5 weeks to go until Knoxville, I'm excited. Like really really excited to get out of Chicago for a few days and see my mom again.

 I know every run and every week cannot all be OMG RAINBOW GLITTER FARTING PONIES, so i'll tuck this week away and start fresh again tomorrow. There's no sense in dwelling on the past for these kinds of things, and I've already analyzed the workouts to the Nth degree to figure out what happened (the TDAP vaccine + possible cold). Learning from days or weeks like this (if possible) helps give me a peace of mind that I will continue to have good runs and good race days if I keep things consistent.

Where the eff has time gone?

5 Weeks to go COWABUNGA!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Knoxville Marathon Week 4


Tuesday: 7 Miles, 5 with Kim
I ran 2 miles on the 'mill before meeting up with her for a few miles on the Lakefront. I felt dehydrated after the 2 miles, and brought some water along for the outside portion. My water bottle froze shut in no time and I wasn't able to drink any water during our run. As soon as I stopped running (to order coffee at my local Caribou) I was overcome with a feeling of intense nausea, started shivering, and almost fainted. I had to sit in the shop for over 10 minutes to warm up and gather myself before I could think about walking a few blocks home. 

Wednesday: REST
Took a rest day because of Tuesday's come to Jesus meeting. Figured it would be counter productive to attempt a hard workout after a workout that took so much out of me.

Thursday: 7.5 miles. 4x1 mile repeats at 6:58-6:50
Felt awesome. Could have done 1-3 more mile repeats.

Friday: 5 miles. "Hillz on the 'mill."
Nothing special here. 8x Hillz for breakfast.

Saturday: Easy 5
Felt "off" all day Friday so decided to postpone my LR to Sunday. Had a fever Saturday night. Went to bed very early.

Sunday: LONG RUN! 16 miles, 2:09. Miles 8-15 @ GMP 8:00-7:47.
Was on the 'mill by 4:45 to start this run. It was slow going the first half, but once I restarted the tread after 60 minutes, the GMP went by quickly. Watched Curling the entire time and still don't have that game figured out- probably would have helped if I listened to the broadcast and not my iPod.  Felt fantastic during this run despite the gym being a roasty 70 degrees for the 1st hour. 
The only person who can get me to run outside when it's 0 deg. Notice Kim's eyelash/brow frost.


After Tuesday's health scare I decided to not run outside anymore until the temperature is above 32. L has also told me i'm not allowed to run outside until it's warmer too. And I'm ok with that. Feeling like complete shit all day post easy 5 miler is just not worth it. The past few long runs outside left me feeling completely depleted and terrible the rest of the day. Your body works extra hard in extreme cold. I read an article that mentioned the Hanson team takes to the tread in extreme cold. So if the elites don't run outside, WHY THE HELL would I stress my body like that?

  •  It snowed a little last night, so I'm sure the path had some slippery areas. It would be devastating to tweak a muscle or fall due to running in slippery conditions.Something preventable.
  • As "boring" as the 'mill is, at the end of the day my body is acclimated to warmer temps better than had I been running outside in sub freezing temps all winter. I ran the Miami Marathon  in 2012, and was so used to running in 30's in Chicago, that the race was extra hard due to the humidity and high temps (and injury). The 10k I ran in Brasil was a similar experience. It's impossible to "race" (your full potential) in much hotter temps than you're training in. 

The little bear was very cute this week... 
Random snow burst during the week.
CB and his "teeth"
Received the 2013 Chicago Marathon official results book in the mail yesterday. It brought back a lot of happy memories of the past 3 years of running my "local" marathon. I'm not planning on running it this year even though I have a "CQ" (Chicago Qualifying) time for guaranteed entry. 3 years was enough. I'm not running Shamrock this year either and really couldn't be happier that I'm going outside my comfort zone to explore other races and parts of the country.

At the end of the day I love running, and don't need to run races to stay motivated. I'm cutting back on the average 13 races a year I've been currently doing in favor of training well for a few solid PR attempts. I could care less about race "bling" and certainly don't need another ill fitting t-shirt. This is the year where I continue to keep running fun and go cautiously aggressive to attain some crazy goals both inside and outside of running.

COWABUNGA! 6 weeks to go!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Knoxville Marathon Week 3

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 6 miles, 46:00 4 tempo miles @ 7:24.

Zi-Cardio, 1 hour

Wednesday: Easy 5, 40:30

Thursday: Long run. 14 miles, 1:54. Progressive with last 6 avg sub 8.

Friday: REST

Saturday: Easy 5, 40:30

Sunday: Easy 4, 30:40


I didn't run outside at all this week and I'm 100% ok with that. The 14 miler was almost a dream on the treadmill until midway through when the heat got turned up. I'm now convinced that running outside in temps below 30 is just not worth it and is too harsh on the body. My last 2 long runs outside left me feeling like crap the rest of the day which is a stark contrast to the insane energy I felt post 14 miler which I completed before work.

The result of week 2's post long run hangover. A new lulu running skirt. Thing is, I don't wear running skirts. WTF was I thinking!?

The main reason I did 14 miles before work was to make sure L and I could spend as much time with our BFF, H who was in town for a quick vacation. Mucho good times were had and we look forward to seeing her again soon.

I was just starting to think about shoes for the marathon which is fast approaching in 7 weeks and happened to look at the bottom of my beloved Newtons. I was surprised to see a "blister" on the bottom which had torn. These shoes only have 380 miles on them! ("Only" 380, because I've heard they should last a lot longer.) I was surprised to see this since I've never destroyed a pair of shoes before. According to Newton, they are fine since "technology" part of the shoe is intact. I'll probably be buying another pair for the race anyways since these would end up with over 500 miles by 3/30.

I started looking at my weekly recaps from FVM version 2.0 and am happy with where I am at currently with my training. While I am about 5-10 miles less a week (compared to 7 weeks out from FVM,) my paces are much faster and I'm feeling fantastic. Looking back has given me a lot of confidence over the past week and I really can't wait to see what I can do in Knoxville.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Knoxville Marathon Week 2

Monday: Ballerina Fight Club. 1 hour

Tuesday: 5 Miles, Easy 42:00

Wednesday: 6.5 miles total. Speed. 2x 2 miles at 7:18-20 pace.

Thursday: REST

Friday: 4 miles, Easy 32:30

Saturday: 5 Miles, 6x 20 second Hills. 40:00

Sunday: 12 Miles. 5 @ GMP (7:55-8:00). 1:45.17 


The first 2 runs of the week felt so off. My heart rate was elevated, and for the "easy" pace, the effort was way too hard. Figured it was probably from last Saturday's long run and just feeling overly exhausted from running in the sub freezing temps and wind. Because there was NO WAY it was from putting an incline of "1" on the tread... I stopped going to dance classes the rest of the week to ensure I was well rested and recovered for my remaining runs.

Felt like myself again Friday and was instantly full of confidence again.

Sunday's long run was *almost* a dream. It was freaking cold (no surprise there) and when the wind picked up, the sub zero feels like was almost too much to take.I made a deal with myself to run the first 6-8 miles outside and do the remaining GMP miles on the tread. Surprisingly I felt wonderful and decided to carry on outside. I ran north into the wind first and even tried to run half a mile in the snow field past Oak St Beach during mile 5.. but that was just stupid so I turned around.  For the GMP I ran by effort and did not look at my Garmin much.I use the Garmin as a tool, and not a "be all end all." I do not trust it is accurate 100% of the time.  I did laps to include a few hills to get my legs acclimated to Knoxville's rollers. The headwind was not bad, and I felt so fantastic overall during this run. With 8 weeks to go until game day, I'm feeling very optimistic that with Coach Britt's plan, and my current fitness I will be prepared to run marathon #11 well.

CB was happy to play with his Tornado again this week.. As long as there's treats involved.

CB also went to the vet this week for his semi annual checkup. He received a clean bill of health and is starting on supplements to help prevent arthritis.  I just have a problem with the vets calling my dog old. He is my baby and acts like a puppy. But he is now 9 years old... :(

For seemingly not liking the cold, CB really enjoyed running through the snow storm on the way to the vet. Boots make all the difference!
Yeah, I crossed that barrier and ran 400m past it through 5"-8" of icy snow. Not fun at all.
Leading up to the barrier. The rest of the path was super clear- minus by the Aquarium which was a little slippery.
Looking forward: I can't wait to cross off another week of training. I also plan to go to a few more dance classes during the week to get my core/strength work in. (it's much more fun in a group) I hope the weather gets a little more mild,but so far it's not looking that way any time soon. I just really want to avoid running on a tread for more than an hour- but adding "hillz" makes the time go faster. Feeling great going into week 3.