Friday, June 17, 2016

Week in Review #2

Week 2: June 13 - 19

My training weeks run Monday to Sunday. I posted late last week so last week's long run is getting incorporated into this week too.

Saturday, June 11th - Long Run ~ 15 miles

From the first step out my door this run was difficult. My legs felt heavy and I was tired. The weather really plays a huge role for me. I like the temps hot and the sun shining.  It was chilly and cloudy and there was a threat of thunderstorms. I said it before, long runs are my weakness. I can't decide if it's mental or if there really is a barrier for me as the runs get up in distance.  I look back at last year and I only have one run, over 14 miles, that I would call successful.

Last weekend I didn't run my LR with music so I wanted to try it again. I feel like the run goes faster without music. I typically train (my easy runs) with music but I rarely race or do speed workouts with it. Something about it, when I'm trying to run faster, annoys me.

Most of the 15 miles 
I wasn't going to take pictures on this run but I couldn't resist this one LOL

In May, I started transitioning to sneakers for my longer runs because of the big toe joint that caused me so much pain after my Bridge Run (yes, race recap will eventually be coming) and I've actually done the majority of my runs since then in the sneakers instead of Vibrams.  Near the end of mile 4, I almost called My Musician to come get me because that toe was hurting so much. I've discovered how easily my mind can get my body to freak out. If I can find a way to run through the pain, for a short period, it will typically go away. When it doesn't, then I know it's a legitimate pain and not my mind panicking about the upcoming workout! The toe was really aching so I curled my toe and tried to ignore it. Then at the beginning of mile 5, as I was gasping up a hill, a bug decided to fly in my mouth, I bent over coughing and choking, I thew up and peed but the plus side was that in that moment and for the rest of the run, my toe no longer hurt.

I found Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel

As I was running on this very rural road, I had an eerie sense of just how secluded I was. There was no houses around, hadn't been for awhile and I had zero cell service.  Not a quarter mile later, as I was nearing the end of the road, a truck turned on to the road and pulled over. I'm sure it was totally innocent but it really creeped me out. Thankfully I was back in cell service, pulled my phone out and called My Musician.  The truck then drove away. I do use RoadID but it was nice to hear his voice, even for the few minutes we chatted, gave me a since of security.

It's amazing how 3 hours of my life can be focused down to the simple act of trying to breath well and putting one foot in front of the others as I struggle up a hill. 

Fueled with the Huma at 6.5 miles and the Huma+ at 10.7.  I tried the Huma+ during my marathon relay and really liked it.  I miss using the chia seed pancakes for fueling but it's just so hard for me to run faster, chew and breath so I've gone back to just using the Huma.

The hills will either kill me or make me stronger, not sure which yet. 

Ah, I love a glass of wine after my long run. Now that I'm marathon training again, it's the only time I'll have a glass. 

Tuesday, June 14th ~ Track Run

Tuesday track. I was so tired. I didn't get much sleep and I turned my alarm off, not wanting to get up. Thankfully I was supposed to meet a friend so that forced me out of bed. She wasn't able to make it, due to an injury, but I was grateful we had the plan so I was up and ready to head out. Then the awesome ladies in my FB messenger group made sure I kept my butt moving out the door. 

Over the winter I put the weight back on that I lost and it's really effecting my speed and after my warmup and first 400, I got annoyed at how my breathing felt.  I threw my planned workout out the window and decided to work on 400's for the next few weeks because I know how well they work to help me with my breathing. In a few weeks I'll get back into my marathon track workouts. 

Today's intervals:
1 mile warm up
5 x 400
1/2 mile cool down (pretty much only because I was sick of the track lol)

Wednesday, June 15 ~ Tempo Run

I didn't actually end up doing a tempo run per se but I ran with my Speedie Friend so it was definitely an effort workout.  She set the pace and I just tired to keep up. Looking at the splits afterwards, I was really impressed by her pacing.


It felt great to push myself. It was harder than the same pace was for me last year. It really accentuated just how out of shape I am right now, from where I was and want to be again. I got very dizzy at the end but I've felt that before in 5k's and some hard training runs. It's not a feeling I like but it's also not one that worries me.

Thursday, June 16 ~ Easy Run

Just an easy 5 miles. I wanted to do more but I was feeling the effects of the last couple days and I wanted to just give my legs a bit of a rest.

Friday, June 17 ~ Unplanned Rest Day

Today was a schedule run day but I decided to give myself a day off. I have a really busy weekend with family and I have a race tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a race that I ran for the first time last year, Vestal XX (it's a 20k).  Of course I'm totally second guessing myself and my ability to run this race.  A race report will be coming, I have to write the other two I haven't yet done first though!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Next Seventeen Weeks (and Week in Review #1)

I have been avoiding the blog world for awhile now. Sometimes I just don't know how to type all I'm thinking, there's a huge disconnect between the brain and the keyboard. I have three race reports to still type. I could just let them go but I do like to reread them when running races of equal distance, to remember how I fueled, how the race went, etc.

I've begun my next training cycle for my fall marathon.  It's early fall. I'm registered to run the Wineglass Marathon in October.  I've not yet had what I would call a good training cycle for a marathon. My two marathons have had injuries and then this last cycle, I let the weather and other things get in the way of proper training, which is why I downgraded from a full marathon the marathon relay. The race recap for that will be coming soon!

So I'm really hoping this will be a good training cycle. I finished June's schedule at the end of May and this week, I finally finished the rough outline for the entire training cycle.

This was my first week of my extended cycle. The long run is my biggest weakness and starting training early gives me a chance to do multiple weeks of the same LR distance. My first long run went really well and this weeks was one I survived.

Week In Review

Saturday June 4th ~ 13 miles

This was a good run. I normally run my long runs on the flatter roads and through town because I want them to be a "successful" run.  Rarely do I feel like my long runs are successful so I decided to run it on the hilly back roads around my house.  It was one of my best longs runs that I've had. I stopped and took way too many pictures but enjoyed every moment of the run, even when I was gasping up the hills.

This little guy greeted me at the beginning of my run
As I headed out the door at 6am, nature decided to harass me at various points of the run. I was almost hit by 2 robins fighting and flying straight for me, then a few miles later, a deer bolted out of the woods and almost ran into me. The scariest encounter yet was a squirrel, that I'm pretty sure was rabid, showing up on the side of the road. It sat there, barely able to hold itself up, looking nasty and mangy, wobbling side to side like a drunk. I had a pretty formidable hill in front of me and I knew I wouldn't be able to bolt up it if this psychotic looking squirrel decided to charge me.  I have no idea how I ran by it without tripping because I watched it more than the road.  I must have looked back 20 times as I went up that hill, sure that it somehow got up the energy to chase me and possible slaughter me on this back road.  The poor thing was in the middle of the road, just going in stumbling circles, over and over.  I was so grateful to put that critter behind me.

The fog on the hill and the pond were so pretty. 

I wish the picture reflected the hill, especially the one way in the distance.
The biggest downfall of these roads is that there is zero shoulder.

I love this barn

Oh my word, this hill doesn't look nearly as steep but it tried to kill me.
My favorite part of a hill is getting to the top,
turning around and seeing where I'd just conquered. 

The hill across from my daughters school.  

Monday June 6th

My Musician and I decided we wanted to run together but Tink didn't feel 100% so we ran in front of our house. We live on a hill and there's a straightway of a quarter mile. Quarter mile down the hill, quarter mile up a hill.  I wanted to run three miles but only could suffer through 2 miles of it. My Musician kept me moving and motivated. It was fun running the hills with him.

I found a website to figure out the Grade %.  This hill is 8.5% grade.
No wonder I always feel like I'm dying when I run this hill.

Wednesday, June 8th

Track run. I haven't done a speed workout in months. This one felt fairly easy but I'm not sure how many more laps I could have done. I did a ladder workout 200, 400, 600, 800, 600, 400, 200.  It felt so good to running those paces again! 

Friday, June 10th

Tempo run. I started the run thinking I would just run 6 easy miles. I got to the park, ran my first mile at 10:31 and felt really good. I decided then to do a progressive tempo. The next three miles were 10:18, 9:09, 8:34 with a recovery mile of 10:37.  It was a gorgeous day for a run and wish I could have actually run a bunch more miles but I knew I had my long run the next day. 

Pano of Corporate Drive, you can see Rt 81 right before the hill. 

This was a light running week. I know as the weeks go by this is going to get more intense. I remember last summer, sitting on the edge of my bed at 5 am wishing I could sleep in like normal people.  I'm actually looking forward to those days.  As My Musician would say about me, "I am a marathoner, I must run".

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Training Updates and Race Review - The Running of the Bears 5k

I haven't updated in awhile. There's not a lot to update but I like to have this as a log for myself, too. I'm terrible with writing down anything about how I feel during training or a race, it all goes here or it's lost forever.  My training has really suffered this winter and we had a mild winter! It's very frustrating to me that I allowed myself to hide curled up under my blanket all winter instead of out doing what needs to be done. I'll fully feel that lack of training commitment in my marathon in just over a month.  I have a half marathon coming up and even that I don't feel as prepared for as last year and last year I had less miles going into the same race. I know some of my mental issue is that I'm comparing myself to my PR half last September and I'm just not in that shape.  I'm also a bit bummed that I realized that for my full at the end of May, I just have to treat it like a really long run and go easy at it. I don't want to completely destroy my legs so that I can really spend the 18 weeks after that just getting ready for the Wineglass Marathon.

I haven't run a 5k since October when I paced My Musician to his sub 30 5k.  It's one of my favorite distances, well really anything but the marathon is a favorite, but I love the 5k because I push myself to where I think I'm dying and can still be smiling when it's over.

I woke up Saturday, April 2, really relaxed. I didn't even have my race gear set out. I picked out gear I've run races in before and grabbed my sharpie. That day I chose #embracethesuck, instead of my favorite inspiration #itsgoingtohurt (reminds me that if I want to reach the goals I have set for myself that pushing my limits is going to hurt sometimes).

I was taking this race really casual until we walked out the door. Then the anxiety hit me. I acutally love pre-race jitters because they get me focused on the task ahead. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the school the race was at. It was raining at home but just cold, windy and cloudy when we got to the school. I was a bit calmer by the time we got there though. First order of business was getting my bib and then finding the bathroom! Then I got a mile warm up in. I was freezing and the warm up didn't help.
Glad this was heading
into the opposite
direction of us.

 I made the last minute decision that I was running with my Sub 30 sweatshirt on. I just couldn't stop shivering. So we lined up, the race started and beginning is downhill until you get over to Front Street and then it levels off a bit.  I didn't know how much that uphill at the end was going to effect my finish....

The race itself was fun. Not a lot of spectators but the runners were cheering on the walkers that had started earlier, and vice versa. This race was a run/walk to support and raise awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome. You can read more about it here, on the race's website.

Less than a mile in the clouds just totally disappeared and the sun came out in full force. I really tried to ignore how hot I was getting but after the halfway point I couldn't do it any longer. This isn't a chipped race so they have to be able to see your bib at the end. I ran through ways to take off my sweatshirt but still have my bib available to them at the end. I knew I'd be running hard at the end and I didn't want to take the effort to hold my bib up. Finally on one of the downhills before it leveled back off, I decided to take my bib off my sweatshirt and pin it to my t-shirt. That was an interesting task to say the least!

Then I dug in to pick off runners.  Because I know my pace isn't what it should be, I really didn't know what I had to give but I started to push my pace. It was fun running past a handful of runners. No matter how much it hurts, I love pushing myself in a 5k and trying to catch up to and run past those in front of me. As we started to go up the 1st hill at the end, I felt my pace slow, a lot!  As we crossed the last road and back onto the school property, I heard someone coming behind me.  I dug in and really pushed it up the hill. There was no way I was giving up first. I really picked it up and was surprised to see I was doing close to a 7 minute pace up that hill. It's not a huge hill but I've not trained on any hills in 4 months so even that small one felt harder to me.  I could still hear her on my heels and as we rounded the corner she passed me. I looked later, she's 21 years younger than me, so I didn't feel as bad about her running me down!

My Musician said I look the same running if I'm
 running a 10 minute mile or an 8 minute mile.

I was pretty surprised after the race to see how low my HR stayed. I do not do HR training but I am aware of where it normally sits when racing and this was much lower than it should have been. It does show me that I didn't run as fast as I should have but it's been harder hitting my 5k pace with the weight I've put on.

This was the first race I've run where I had to fight not to throw up at the end.  Because they have to rip a piece off of our bibs at the end, we came to a dead stop, which I never do. After I got through the line, I felt so sick that I had to walk around a bit, away from everyone, till I knew my stomach was going to stay put.

I've had slower 5k's and faster 5k's but for that day, 27:27 was what I had in me.  I'm already looking forward to my next one. I received a surprised email later in the day, I placed 2nd in my age group.  I got a cute little certificate and a gift cert to a local restaurant.

Monday, March 28, 2016

"I Became A Coach Before You Did"

"Well, I was a runner long before you!", was my response.

Ok, you have to know My Musician's heart to know he was busting me in love and playfulness. There was no maliciousness in his comment. If anything it brought a bit of competition into me finishing my test and that competition paid off!!!


After a year of waiting and trying to get into the class, I am finally a RRCA Certified Coach with my amazing hubs as not only my partner in life but as a co-coach with me!!

Not So Exciting Week In Review

Those who know me have heard this a million times, I hate winter. I hate to be cold and I don't like running when it's cold, the only exceptions are: I love running in a snow storm and I like how clear running in cold weather makes my lungs feel. Living in the Northeast, I may someday learn to like it but I truly prefer and excell in the heat of summer.

So all that complaining out of the way, my miles for my upcoming marathon have really suffered. It's been a really hard decision but I'm really going to relax on my pace for this one. I had a goal time in mind but I don't want to chew my legs up that much.  My biggest weakness is endurance of long distance so I'm going to just continue to work on building the strength I'll need for my fall race.

I've been working on a couple training plans and one of them mirrors what I'm doing, with the exception that the 2nd one has the appropriate mileage needed. I reached out to my instructors to get some much needed clarification on the taper rules for one of the plans I'm working on and I look forward to being able to take that wisdom and apply to my fall race.

This week's training has gone pretty well except of the wind. Not sure what's up with the wind this past week but at least 3 of my runs were more difficult than they should have been because of the wind.  My track run was rough because the wind took a 40 degree evening and made it bitter. My muscles really stiffened up from the cold half way through my workout.  Thursday night was the worse though. Winds over 20 mph with 30+ gusts.  I had an easy 7 to run but felt like I ran uphill at race pace for half of that.  My pace was slowed down 2 minutes per mile for the half of the run I was running into the wind. Today they are calling for 30+ mph with 50mph gusts.  Might be running on the treadmill today.

My long run this week was fun. It was beautiful weather, clear, sunny but windy.  I ran in the town next to us but that town was where I spent a lot of early childhood. It was like a run down memory lane.

Spent my kindergarten year here. 

We lived here, right across the street from the school

One of my grandparents houses. I spent many days sitting and daydreaming in those upstairs windows

Another grandparent's house. I have a lot of memories from here but the wasp stinging both my legs is the clearest

Park I played at. Broome County is known for its carousels, this park houses one of them.

Spring is coming!!! 

 I finished my long run with my hubs at a local park, while Tink rode her bike.  Above a bald eagle soared, scouring the river for lunch. I was really happy with my pace, considering how far behind I am from where I feel I should be and it great to get a few miles in with my love.  I'm really looking forward to my longer long runs in the increasing warmth of spring.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Group Picture from RRCA Class

We got our group picture today from our training in Deal, NJ.  I'm sporting some neon pink Sub Love (in case you have no clue what I'm talking about it's our Runner's World Sub Club on FB). 

This was a really great group of runners and two very knowledgable instructors. 

Time is ticking by very quickly. We only get a month to complete the test. Randy is wrapping up his test completion, while I'm only half done. In my defense I did have Tink home all week from school and I'm hoping to be able to sit with my test to finish it during the day this week.  

I'm thinking my next post will be me announcing and celebrating our success on the test!  

Monday, March 21, 2016

RRCA Class, Deal, NJ

Last weekend we attended the RRCA Coaching Certification course.  It was really informative and the amount of information was extremely overwhelming. I would have liked to have seen the class be 3 or 4 days instead.

We attended the course in Deal, NJ.  We drove down on Friday and stayed for the weekend.  On the way down we stopped at The Crossings Premium Outlets in Tannersville, PA.  There's a candy store there that has the best candy apples ever!  We were just there in November on our way back from my marathon yet when we arrived, it was closed!!! I wanted to cry. I'd been looking forward to one but the store was completely empty.  Oh well....

We stayed at a hotel that clean-wise was really scary but at least all the employees were really nice. I seriously was afraid to put my bags on the floor. We had packed our bathing suits for the heated pool but after seeing the pool we decided to skip that activity.

We checked in and headed to Deal to locate where the class was and to go to the ocean.
 Deal is breathtaking.  The houses are incredible.  I was surprised though, how dirty the beach was.  My sister, who lives in NJ, said a lot of debris from NYC washes up on the Jersey Shore and that with it being the off season, the beach wouldn't get cleaned like it does in the summer. It was really sad to see and made the environmentalist in me really angry for our sea life. Anyway, with it being off-season the beach was covered with shells. We found a couple really nice ones we brought home for Tink.

I have an obsession with waves
I can't wrap my mind around having a home like this on the ocean

We drove down the beach to Asbury, walked the boardwalk and had dinner.  The weather was getting colder (it was almost 80 the day before) and we knew it was going to be a long weekend so we didn't stay at the shore long.

Saturday and Sunday proved to be very long days.  Lots of information to absorb. Some of it went against all that I've learned to date and some of it was really eye opening.  There were some very experienced runners in our group. Some, like us, are planning on being coaches and others were taking it to have a better understanding of running for their own benefit. Parts of the weekend were challenging, like dealing with certain personality types in class. The instructors were wonderful, very educated, highly experienced yet were willing to listen and debate with us when we had opposing opinions on the material.

After the class on Saturday, my Musician and I couldn't stand the thought of sitting in the hotel to do our homework so we drove to Long Branch, stumbled upon a cute little boardwalk area and stretched our legs there. I was thrilled when I found one of the candy stores (it's a chain) that sells the candy apples.  My dinner was basically an Apple Pie candy apple.

We found a cute little cafe to sit at and do our homework.  We have a case study, Robin, who wants to BQ and we have to create him a training schedule.  Our homework is to progress his long run and weekly miles according to the rules of training.  Then in class on Sunday we will work with a team to create a full 12 week schedule for him.  It was interesting sitting with 3 other people who have very different ideas and creating a plan we could all agree on. There was a lot of give and take.   It was also eye opening to see 7 groups, who all just went through the same training material, create seven very different training plans for our case study.

Long Branch, NJ
As much fun as it was, I was happy for us to get back on the road to home!

We have been studying all week and working through the book. I submitted my first 10 questions Saturday. The questions seem really easy at first but as I dug into them, some were a bit tricky.  I'm glad they give us a whole month to do the 100 questions. I'll need it.

I can not wait until we have Meraki Running fully set up and launched. My Musician and I have begun putting personal experience, previous knowledge and newly gained knowledge into action for both of my marathons this year.

Working on my training plan

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reynolds Ramblings....

Today I did a workout I haven't done in 8 months.  It was hard. I thought the hills were going to make my wobbly, tired legs collapse but I did them.  Since I'm starting from scratch with this workout, I only did 4 hill repeats but then the recovery miles afterwards are what I was super excited about. Each one was a progressively faster.  Not as fast as last year but a winter of minimal running and weight gain have really slowed me down.  It's frustrating but it's all my own fault. All I can do is move forward to getting back where I was last year.

The other fantastic part about today's run was hearing the red wing black birds while I was running.  Spring is coming and with it better running weather. I love to run in the heat and I can't wait to start training in some hot afternoon sun.

Our RRCA class is coming up. I'm really excited that after almost 2 years, this dream is finally so close to fruition! We have our business name picked out but have not yet designed the website.  One step at a time.

I also no longer have a coach. It might not be a big deal normally, but this is the year I want to BQ (Boston qualify) so not having a coach was a major decision for us.  There were many factors that went into that decision and I'm not 100% comfortable with it. But what better guinea pig for our couching, than Randy and I co-coaching me.

As for my sprained foot, it's still a nagging injury.  It's driving me nuts that sometimes it's fine and other times I can barely walk on it.  It also doesn't matter if I'm running in my Vibrams or sneakers, both can make it hurt and wearing shoes during the day actually aggravates it more.  I believe some of it is related to tight muscles. If I keep up on my yoga, the pain really subsides. I don't schedule yoga for myself so I forget. That's one of the training segments we are adding into my marathon training.

Eighty-two days left till the Herald of Victory Marathon. I'm pretty nervous and excited about it.  I have a time goal but considering where my fitness currently is, I'm not sure I'll hit that goal. However, I'm trying to keep my thoughts positive so I don't lose my race before I can even toe the line.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January Review

I like to do week in review when I'm training but January wasn't really a training month. It was more of survival month.  We had a pretty mild January but anyone who has ever spoken to me for more than 5 minutes, from December to at least the end of February, knows I hate winter. Even a mild winter (as much as I appreciate it) is still winter. If it's not 80 degrees outside, I'm cold.

I've been battling congestion, a cold and general ill feeling. My family has been in the same boat.  I know I'm whining but it's so hard to get up and moving when it's dark and cold plus feeling like crud.

My road. I don't run here when the weather is bad.
I think of all the runs I did, one stands out as a really rough one.  It was in the teens and had snowed the night before. I wear Vibrams, which really lend zero protection from the cold.  I wore my trail ones to try to give myself a bit of traction in any snow I might encounter.

It was in the teens my toes felt like frozen little sausages on my feet after about 5 minutes of running.  It took almost 3 miles before my toes stopped hurting. That typically only happens on runs that are below 20 degrees.

By the time I was done, my feet were soaked and I was ready to take the rest of the winter off.  After I ran Big Sur in 2010, I told myself that I'd never run another spring marathon since it meant having to train in the winter months. Then again, I told myself after Philly last year that I wasn't going to run any more marathons. I just keep lying to myself because not only am I running a spring marathon this year, I'm also running a fall one!

Gives me a bit more traction than the normal Vibrams

I've missed more runs on my scheduled than I care to admit.  I signed up for the January Freeze series our local running group hosts each year.  It's a 10k, four Saturdays in a row.  I made it to the first two. I had a lot of fun and Tink cheered and sang for all the runners.

Tink spent the whole hour
cheering for all the runners.

Other than a couple really good runs, it's been a month of just getting miles in to keep my base up.  I had a few new gear purchases this month too.  I got the Garmin 235. If you want a in-depth look at it, go to DC Rainmakers blog.  My Musician gave me the choice of this or the Apple watch.  I am an Apple junkie but I trust the Garmin more as an activity tracker. I enjoy having it track my steps and remind me to move. This time of year my movements are extremes. I'm either sitting and drawing or I'm running. Not much in-between for me. This is helping me to remember to move. I like how it monitors my HR too. I don't think it's totally accurate but it's close enough for what I use it for.

I also bought a "tent" that is sold to protect spectators at sporting events. We got it so that Tink can sit at the track with us, regardless of the weather and be out of the elements.  Now that we don't have someone at home to watch her, we have to get creative to run together.  I got the R3 roller because the foot I sprained feels like it's trying to develop PF.  I'm wearing My Musicians Strassburg sock, doing extra stretching and using this roller and the combo seems to be helping.

And last but definitely not least, new Vibrams.  I have waited over a year for the yellow color to be back in stock. I don't need a new pair yet but they were on sale and in stock. Perfect shoe storm.

This was a scheduled combo run. Part of it was run
at threshold and part of it was race pace intervals.
This was my favorite run of January.

I'm looking forward to what this spring has in store for me and for us.  We are considering a running bible study at our church and we have our RRCA Coach Certification coming up. We're working hard on getting the coaching business together and I'm thrilled with the name we've chosen.  Running wise, February is all about continuing to build the base to put my marathon miles on!!

Brief Update

Here's a little preview of what's finally coming together, a brief training update, a little chat on our upcoming weekend of 4 rac...