Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, November 27, 2016

HHH: Week 4

Hilly Half Hustle
 
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James at the Wolverine Chase.

 What an eventful week! My main focus this week was making sure I was ready for race day and ready to conquer my longest long run thus far. I can't believe I'm only two weeks away from my race!! I'm very excited, but I really need to look at the course map and figure out my strategy with the hills (remember it's a "moderately hilly" course in Nashville...whatever that means!). I'm confident I can get my goal of 1:50 if I play it smart.
 
  • 11/21: 6 miles, 9:46/mile. Hill repeats. After a slow two mile warm up...10:27 and 10:13...(Noemi and I had no idea we were going so slow...it was so cold that I didn't notice anything!), we hit up the hill at the dam for repeats. I completed 6 repeats (approx. a quarter mile each) and ran a cool down until I reached 6 miles. The hill felt so hard, but I remember it feeling hard when I was in good shape. It's a tough one.
    Baby, it's cold outside! [Noemi, ME]
  • 11/22: 9.4 cycling miles, 35:45; upper body circuit. I wanted to knock out my monthly goal of 30 cycling miles, so I rode until it happened. I opted for upper body so I wouldn't be too sore on race day.
  • 11/23: REST.
    James wanted to hold Roop. SOOO sweet.
  • 11/24:RACE DAY! 2.01 mile warm up, 8:56/mile; 3.99 mile race, 7:41/mile; 1.07 mile cool down, 9:33/mile. You can check out my RACE RECAP for details!
    Turkey Trot crew.
  • 11/25: Leg circuit. Basically everyone I know was off work today,  but I had the joy of working. I was too lazy to workout in the morning and forgot to do it after work. I had to knock it out while Ruthie was napping and James was taking a bath...but I got it done.
  • 11/26: 13.15 miles, 8:36/mile. My long runs keep getting longer! After a couple of weeks running 12 miles, it was time to move up. At least now I know I can complete the distance of a half marathon. Every time Amanda offers to run with me, I get nervous!! I'm not sure why because she's never left me dead on the road. She took me on a Tour de LC. The first half of our run was the hillier portion (although the back half felt like it might have had some inclines...or maybe I was just getting tired). I realized when I got to her house that I forgot my gels so I couldn't practice nutrition during this run. Just like last week, I felt fine until the last 4 miles. That's when I started to feel my leg workout from the night before. I do wonder if having a gel might have helped a bit. Either way, we stayed pretty consistent with our splits (minus miles 6 and 10 which were in the 8:50s...we cranked out our fastest mile at the end to make up for it). Overall, very happy with the run. It does take me back 2 years when Jackie and I first started running with Amanda. I didn't realize my potential until she pushed us a bit. I'm happy to have a whole crew of besties to push me now!
    Happy face after my long run!
  • 11/27: 6 miles, 9:10/mile; CORE. It was another bRUNch day with my pals! I'm starting to love these little get-togethers. We went to Fox in the Snow, again, for those that couldn't attend a couple of weeks ago. Jackie, Megan, and I were all a little tired from our long runs the day before so we made sure to keep it easy. After the holidays, I'm hoping to arrange a bRUNch in Grandview!
    COFFEE!! [Meg, Jackie, ME]
 
After an exciting week of training and racing, I'm hoping for something more low key this week. Happy Running, friends!
 
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Side Note: I decided to take some pics of my postpartum mid section progression. I'm still pretty flabby but the weight is slowly coming off and my shape is slowly coming back. I'm excited to say that I was able to button up my favorite pair of jeans this morning! Woo Hoo!!!



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Powell Turkey Trot

Powell Turkey Trot
 
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This was my medal (it was actually a magnet)! They had several different designs, and they were made by elementary school students. How awesome is that?!
Columbus offers so many race options on Thanksgiving morning! I didn't realize it was a thing. I thought people were crazy to want to run a race on a holiday. Two years ago, I volunteered at Flying Feather 4 miler and ran my first turkey trot last year in Virginia while visiting family. I think I decided on the Powell Turkey Trot after my girl, Amanda, registered. I thought it would be a good test of my postpartum fitness and give me a good idea of what I should be able to run at my upcoming half.

Pre-race smiles with Amanda.
As always, I make three goals for every race. Goal making was harder this time around because postpartum running can be so inconsistent. My goals were based on a 5k I ran at the beginning of October in which I averaged 7:49/mile.
 
-Goal A: 7:30/mile average (30:00)
-Goal B: 7:45/mile average (31:00)
-Goal C: My ass better get under 32 minutes or I have issues.
 
I knew Goal A was lofty, but I also knew I had the ability to make it happen if I was having a good day. On this particular day, Goal A was not in my favor, but I did meet Goal B! I think the course was the cause of me not meeting Goal A.
 
I did drive the course the day before so I sort of knew what to expect. Things are always different when you drive verses run, but it gave me a general idea. It seemed that mile one would be a gradual incline most of the way and there would be a more prominent incline/hill after mile one. It then seemed to gradually incline until mile three. Via car ride, it appeared that miles 3 and 4 were flat until the very end where we had a nice downhill and slight uphill (I later discovered while racing that it had more gradual inclines than I anticipated). Based on that, my strategy was to keep mile one right at my goal pace of 7:30 rather than start too fast and gas out. I expected mile 2 to be my worst mile, and I hoped I would recover quickly in mile 3 so that I could make up for lost time.
 
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I met some girlfriends for a two mile warm up before the race. The weather was pretty perfect...50 degrees and cloudy. Although it didn't rain during the race, the roads were wet from it raining the night before and that morning. I wore arm warmers and a very light jacket to warm up, but quickly got hot. I ended up wearing shorts, short sleeve shirt, and a visor (in case it rained). I also decided to wear music in case I was lonely and needed the motivation.

A bunch of happy ladies! [Jeanne, Dani, Amanda, ME, Debbie]
We spent some time before the start admiring the fast runners...wishing I was fast enough to wear panties and a sports bra while racing. You could tell who the good ones were by the way they warmed up. I decided I would have to start a different warm up routine so that I at least looked intimidating! LOL. If you look scary and fast, maybe they won't try to pass you!?! I kid, I kid.

Got Diarrhea? It looks like we do! [ME, Dani]
Mile 1 went exactly as planned and expected, gradual incline with a split of [7:27]. It definitely gave me a boost of confidence at the moment, but I knew the next mile was going to be tough. I tried hard not to look at my watch because I didn't want it to get me down. I based the uphills on effort and tried to make up for time on any decline we might have had (which wasn't a whole lot). I noticed my legs were feeling heavy, but didn't know why. Was it the course? Was I just tired in general that day...I mean, I am getting up at crazy hours to feed a baby? Was my pace just too much for me to handle this close to having a baby? I really didn't want to know my split but knew I needed to look in order to figure out my strategy for the last two miles. Mile 2 [7:47].
 
Ugh. I don't know what I wanted my watch to say, but I knew at that point that Goal A was out of reach. I knew I couldn't make up for that time in two miles. Even though I had that feeling, I wasn't going to give up trying. I was hopeful for a better mile 3...didn't happen. Mile three was actually my worst mile! I don't know what happened. I felt like I was moving way faster that my watch told me. Mile 3 was [7:49]. What?! How is that possible?!

Post race donut fun with Dani.
At that point, it was balls to the wall. I only had one mile left and I had to make the most of it. I had two choices: give up and settle for Goal C OR run my tail off to get  the best Goal B that I could. Fortunately, I had two girls going back and forth with me. It was motivating me to keep moving. I wasn't so much trying to beat them as much as use them to help keep me moving. I was flying down the hill during that mile. I needed that hill to give me some time back. It was a tough finish, and I'm sure I had my ugly running gait on display, but I was giving it all I had left. Mile 4 [7:33].
 
Per Garmin, I clocked 3.99 miles in 30:37.


My official results:
 
30:36!!!

Since the top two in my age group qualified for a cash prize, does that mean I was actually top three in my age group?!
Upon finishing, I was not disappointed in any form or fashion. I can honestly say that I ran as hard as I could have on that day. My legs were tired and the course did not favor my current fitness level, but I did the best that I could. Pre-pregnancy Lisa would have dominated that course. I typically do well with hills. They are just so hard for me right now. The fact that I was able to run this time after not running for three months because of my injury (and being 3 months postpartum) gave me confidence that I have the ability to eventually return to where I was last year.

Turkeys everywhere! [Jeanne, Danielle, Melissa A., Dani, part of Amanda, a hidden Debbie, ME]
Coming back after all of this crap has been HARD WORK. I've worked my butt off for everything I've accomplished so far. Despite my rough year, the past few months have been some of the most fulfilling of my running experience. I've had so many people help me through various runs and accomplishments. Yes, I'm looking forward to that day that running anywhere in the 8s feels easy again...or the day when I can run a hill and not feel like complete crap when I get to the top...but the journey to make those things happen will be what fulfills me the most.
 
I had such an amazing time with my friends at this race, and I'm super proud of how everyone ran! Thanks you, ladies, for making it a great start to my Thanksgiving Day!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

HHH: Week 3

Hilly Half Hustle
 
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 Getting back into shape is SO HARD!!! UGH...but I digress. Another successful week of sticking to my training plan (minus the fact that I had to cut my cycling workout short). I practiced with gels again during my long run and race pace run. I used Clif and Carb Boom this week. Neither of them upset my belly, but they are both pretty thick. Clif is much worse than the Carb Boom regarding thickness. The thought of swallowing it makes me want to barf. I think I may try PowerGel next or just stick with Carb Boom. It all sucks so I've totally wasted your time by typing all of this.

Love my boy. The last nice day of the season. BOO!
 
  • 11/14: 4.3 cycling miles; leg/core circuit. I initially planned a track workout for today, but my legs were tired from the weekend. I'm just not used to the long runs yet! I went to the Y that evening with James. He LOVES playing with his friends at Child Watch. Unfortunately, time was not on our side this night. I had just enough time to do my workout as long as there were no hiccups (Jimmy had somewhere to go later that night). Halfway into my cycle, they told me James pooped in his diaper. UGH. I brought his bag in case it happened, but, by the time I would have changed him and returned to the bike, it would have been time to go home so Jimmy could leave. I was annoyed the rest of the evening because I didn't get to finish my dang workout.
  • 11/15: 7.63 miles, 8:49/mile. Track day! My first track workout in probably a year. It was SO HARD!! OMG. The middle school track is just 1.89 miles away from my house so I used that as my warm up and cool down. I did 5x800 meters with a 400 meter recovery. The goal was to run the 800s at 5k pace which I decided would be 7:50 based on my 5k a few weeks ago. The first four intervals were a little too fast, but I was tired enough by number five to keep it where it was supposed to be. Shortly after I finished, I could feel my muscles tightening! Geez!! My body just isn't used to this crap yet.
    Track=Serenity
  • 11/16: 6 miles, 10:00/mile. I needed an easy run to recover from that track workout. I had offers from my usual training crew, but knew I'd be tempted to go faster than I should for recovery. I'm really trying to be nice to my postpartum body! My New Albany friend, Rhonda, was gracious enough to run with me and keep me in check. This run was perfect for me on this day. I was able to get the miles without killing myself. I love that I have a well rounded group of running buddies!
    A bunch of crazy people.

  • 11/17: Core workout. This was supposed to be my complete rest day, but I didn't have a chance to make it happen yesterday.
    Stretchy stretchy.
  • 11/18: 8.06 miles, 8:21/mile. I recruited Marion to help me with my race pace run this week. This week felt SO much harder than last week. I'm not sure why because last week had some pretty shotty hills. Despite that, my miles this week seemed a little more consistent and were more progressive than last week. I can't pace worth a crap right now.
    Marion keeps me fast.
  • 11/19: 12.01 miles, 8:43/mile. Lately, I go into these long runs feeling excited. Three quarters of the way through, I'm like "WTF am I thinking?! Why am I doing this again?! How am I going to be able to run more than this next week?!" When it's over, I'm always pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I went into today knowing it would be tough because I did my race pace run yesterday (part of good ole Hal Higdon's training theory). I wanted to quit after 8 miles and probably would have if Jackie and Theresa weren't there for me. Besides being tired from yesterday's run, we had wind the entire run! It was freaking insane. Did I mention the sleet?! Geez. Welcome to winter training.
    So.Much.Wind.
  • 11/20: Leg circuit. I better be sore in the a.m. because my legs felt it.
 
Only three more weeks until my half marathon. What the crap?! Some may think my goal is a little lofty...and it might be for this course...but what's the point in a goal if it doesn't take a lot of hard work to attain? Word.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

HHH: Week 2

Hilly Half Hustle
 
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 My return to work (for the 3rd time this year) meant adjusting to those early morning runs. It never gets easier. Don't let anyone lie to you by telling you otherwise. I was committed to my new training technique and only ran 4 days, did 3 strength workouts, one day of cycling, and one full rest day. I hope this will all be worth it!

The best part of this week was being able to run with my old training partners. Slowly, but surely, I'm returning to my old self again. I have a long way to go, but I can see the improvements. I would say recovery takes longer which is another reason the 4 days of running works well for me right now.
  • 11/7: 8.17 miles, 9:35/mile. I've been on large group runs recently with my friend, Megan, but haven't had the chance to really talk to her in a while. She was gracious enough to join me for 8 easy miles so we could catch up. She took me on a Westerville route I haven't done before which is rare. I thought I had run every potential route in that city!
    Shadow face! [ME, Meg]
  • 11/8: Strength training. I did a 25 minute workout of mostly leg and core. If I really focus, these workouts don't take very long. It's when I get distracted that they take forever!
    Election Day=Cray Cray.
  • 11/9: 8 miles, 8:22/mile. My first tempo run in a year! Obviously, I'm not as fast as I used to be...YET...but I was very happy with this run. I knew I would need the motivation of my friends to get through it, so I met them in Powell for some early miles. We took a new route that included the newly added trail section that goes from Sawmill to the Columbus Zoo. We just took a turn on Dublin Road to get the full mileage. I wasn't too nervous about the run and decided not to look at my watch. I felt great on the flats but our route did have some unexpected hills (which you can see in my splits...especially mile 7. Theresa kept yelling "Heartbreak Hill!"). [8:36, 8:25, 8:30, 8:12, 8:34, 7:50, 8:36, 8:12]. If I can get over the hump of hills feeling so hard, I'm pretty confident about meeting my goal for the half marathon.
    Three of my besties. T hit 2,000 miles for the year! [Marion, Dani, ME, Theresa (clockwise)]
  • 11/10: 8.00 cycling miles, 30:14; 20 minute strength circuit. My legs were toast today. Must've been that run yesterday! I took the level down a notch on my cycling so my legs wouldn't detach.
  • 11/11: REST.
  • 11/12: 12 miles, 8:51/mile. Longest Postpartum run! I haven't run this long in 8 months. Woo Hoo!! It is exciting but scary at the same time. I just don't know how mentally ready I am for these longer distances. I was happy to join some of my closest friends (and some newer ones) for some miles. One of my long run goals this cycle is to be more intentional about practicing my fueling. Today, I took a pre-run gel as well as one at mile 5 (CarbBoom, no upset belly).
    Don't we look cozy?!  [Back: Lori, Megan, ME, Marion; Front: Jackie, the girls, Theresa, Dani]

    My favorite mug.

  • 11/13: 6 miles, 9:22/mile; Core workout. Today was a bRUNch kind of day! I started putting together regular brunch runs with my friends. Mostly an excuse for us to have conversations while not running. Today we checked out Fox in the Snow CafĂ©. I had some delicious pour-over coffee and an egg sandwich (blueberry scone to go!). Lynn made us a nice course that went downtown and through Victorian Village.
    Darn sun...can't see Lynn's face! [ME, Lynn, Karen, Meg]

    Pour over coffee. YUMMY!!

    This. Egg. Sandwich.



I ended my week with just over 34 miles. I will likely keep my weekly mileage in the 30s for the next month before venturing into the 40s again. I'm really trying to play it safe and allow my postpartum body the time it needs to heal and get as close to normal as possible.


Happy Running, friends!
(P.S. Ruthie turned 3 months this week so I'll eventually give you an update on her!)
Can someone stop time?!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

HHH: Week 1

Hilly Half Hustle
 
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Pardon the crappy lack of editing of the screen shot. This is my 2015 mileage compared to my 2016 mileage through the end of October. The difference blows my mind. Sure, I've had a few obstacles this year, but damn.
 
I will be running a half marathon in a suburb of Nashville on December 10th and have 6 weeks to make my body tolerate it! (Hence, "Hilly Half Hustle") ;) If I learned anything last week, it's that hills are SO HARD for me right now!! It's so frustrating.
 
I decided it's time for me to suck it up, get my rear in gear, and hit those hills! BAD NEWS: It's going to be hard. GOOD NEWS: I love hills, and I'm up for the challenge. I'll make myself do a hilly route at least once a week to help myself get used to it. Hills are slim pickins around here.
 
  • 10/31: 6.01 miles, 9:05/mile; Core Workout. Halloween Run! I met up with a big group of girls for a fun Halloween run. A few of us met early to get an extra mile then met everyone else for the 5@5. For no particular reason at all (maybe we can blame it on my waffle), our first mile was 9:53. The next was 9:12 with the rest being sub 9.
    It's too early for this ish.

    Happy Halloween!

  • 11/1: Strength workout + 2 mile walk with Ruthie (15:41/mile). I knew I needed to rest from running after my rough weekend runs. I decided to go ahead and do one of my strength workouts (included mostly leg/core). The day was too gorgeous not to get out so I decided to go on a stroll with Roop. When I saw our pace, it made me reminisce about when I was rehabbing from my metatarsal fractures. I remembered how much I struggled to walk any pace faster than 17:30 because the pain was unbearable. Today, the pace we walked was very casual. Hard work and dedication pays off.
    Barbie tights. Nuff said.

    Roop turned 12 weeks old! Love my girl.

  • 11/2: 10 miles, 9:04/mile. Today was my last day of medical leave after the car accident. I had to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and get my long run out of the way. I decided to run the course I would be pacing on Sunday so that I could become familiar with it. It's flat as a pancake and has lots of turns. The start was 3 miles away, so I ran there, ran the course, and ran home. Ten miles is going to be my shortest long run for 4 whole months! EEK!! I'm a little freaked out by that.
    Fall leaves and sports bra runs...this runner's dream.
  • 11/3: 6.01 miles, 8:44/mile. Last night, me and a couple friends decided to cancel our planned morning run. It worked out well because I was up later than usual, and I had some extra time in the afternoon to squeeze in my miles. I was supposed to do hill repeats but opted for an easy effort run. I want to practice running without my watch for some runs so why not start today?! It was hard, but I was able to make it through six miles without looking at my pace or mile splits. I had no idea what to expect. I was really nervous to see my running stats. When I was brave enough to look down, I was pleasantly surprised by my average! Although I didn't get my hill repeats, my route did have three decent inclines mixed in the middle section of my route.
    Roses.

    Another sports bra run! I got to show off my VSX zebras.

  • 11/4: REST...because it's healthy.
  • 11/5: 8.3 cycling miles, 30:02; 20 minute leg/core circuit. I've been successful in completing all of my planned strength workouts for the week! Go me!! Now let's see if I can stick to it. On my cycling day, I try to remind myself that it's supposed to be a tough workout. I mean, it is replacing one of my running days. I kept the workout short, just 30 minutes, but I increased my intensity so that it felt pretty tough. I only wanted to barf twice. LOL! After a warm up, I did 1/1 minute intervals of leaning forward and pedaling hard vs. sitting up and decreasing my rpm's just slightly.
    Cross training. In hindsight, not the smartest thing the day before pacing that race.
  • 11/6: 10.03 total miles (3.01 mile warm up, 9:16/miles; 4.02 mile race, 8:15/mile; 3 mile cool down, 9:20/mile). Today I was supposed to pace the 8:30 group for the One Lucky Buckeye 4 Miler, but me and my partner went just a little fast. Hey...it was our first time to run and hold a balloon stick thingy at the same time! I met the nicest girl, Danielle, and we tackled our first gig together. We traded the stick every mile and I tried my best to keep us from going too fast by having my face in my watch. We were actually perfect the first mile...8:30 on the dot...but got a little wonky after that [8:08, 8:18, 7:57]. After my experience, I wondered how the heck Amanda paced a marathon for the 3:25 group while holding a freaking pacing stick BY HERSELF the entire race!! Blows my mind.
    Post race with Danielle.
 
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I feel like Week 1 of Half and Full training was pretty successful. It's going to be tough sticking to a 4 day running plan, but I know it's important for me to decrease the mileage just a bit so that my body can catch up to what I know I am capable of. I know the importance of strengthening, and I really hope I can make it an integral part of my training from here on out.