Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ski Trip and the first 20 Miler of the Year

I think I mentioned in my last post that due to a ski trip, I was taking a planned week off running to ski.  We went to Crystal Mountain with all of Ryan's family.  We had a large mountainside home for all 17 of us.  We got in two days of really good skiing, and had the kids in ski school the first day for 6 hours, and then a 2 hour lesson the second day.  It worked out well for us to get in some good skiing without the kids and then have them ready to ski with us as a family the final afternoon and evening.  Keira was fearless, and enjoyed night skiing with us too. 

Ryan and I also had the opportunity to rent fatbikes.  Those were super fun.  They had a ton of snow, so we were able to handle them well on the multiuse trail, but the fatbike specific trail was pretty deep and we struggled to stay afloat.  There were a couple times I had to put a foot down, and sunk up to my hip.

We also stopped into the NAIAS in Detroit while we were in MI.  Despite being out of the industry for almost 8 years, I still really get excited about this.  The kids got to make some fun models of the 2015 Ford Mustang
I also got to see the car that bears my initials.  I want one.  I won't be getting one though.  However, I do expect Ryan to get to bring them home from work from time to time so that will have to do.

Then, we got back to Kentucky and it was only sort of back to reality.  We had such unusually cold weather, that instead of the kids going back to school on Tuesday, they had an additional 3 days off due to snow and cold.  On Tuesday, we actually welcomed the snow day.  We knew with enough advance that I didn't wake the kids early, but we still got an relatively early start on our day.  I had a track workout planned, so I would go to the gym regardless.  We were one of the few crazies that made it to the gym.  The freeways were fine, so it really wasn't too bad at all to get there, though.  I was able to hit the workout no problem.  It was a challenge, though, after a week off.  I took this on the way to the gym.  It was pretty amazing looking. There were no cars around, so I wasn't going to cause an accident, and I'm probably better at taking pictures with my camera while driving than I am dealing with the kids while driving.

Wednesday was another snow day, due to cold.  However, I worked.  I was really freaking out though, because my 20miler was scheduled for Thursday, and it was supposed to be the coldest day of the year!  There was a wind chill advisory announced, which pretty much meant I would be indoors.  20 on a treadmill?  Yikes.  At least their was an indoor track if I needed it.  If there was school, I would have 4.5 hours to go to the gym, get it done, and get home.  That was going to be tight.  Then, they called off school.  I nearly lost it.  I am so OCD when it comes to my long runs.  Even though I have a ton of 20s planned, the idea of scrapping my first was not an option.  So, after sending out a barrage of texts, I was finally able to find someone to take the kids for me.  Really, I was just looking for someone to come to the gym with me and take them home when they were done with their  more sane workout than mine.  The running portion was supposed to be just under 3 hours, but I would need to check in the kids, refill water, gu up, and take breaks from the dreadmill, so it would take longer total.  Plus, who wants to step off the treadmill after being on it for that long and immediately pick up the kids?  Carolyn, a friend who has two children the same ages as mine, just said she would take them from the morning, and if she felt like leaving, she would bring them to me at the Y.  This was a better deal, because then the kids got to do something really fun (play at a friends' house) while I did my workout.  I decided I would break my workout into 4 5 mile runs.  Usually, when I run outside, I run out 5 miles, stop, gu up and turn around, and then run another 5, repeat, until I get home.  It would be the same on the treadmill.  I had my neighbor, Ande, running next to me for my first set of 5.  She's going to Boston too, but her working hours and kids' schedules are different.  Noelle stopped by to say hi, and Ron ran with me for a set.  The third set was the hardest.  I had been changing my pace up every half mile for the first two sets, and by the third, I felt like it was too hard to go any faster, so I just kept it the same.  I had Amy come by, and France.  Lisa was in the locker room before my last set.  I'm sure I'm leaving people out.  I felt like I was never really alone though, which was great.  Towards the end I really needed to just listen to music and zone out.  However, I had Joe come out and run me in for my last mile.  It was really great to have all the support. I was able to hit my goal pace, and had very close to even splits- 43:34, 43:33, 44:07, 44:06 for a total of 2:55:13, and avg pace of 8:45.  I felt pretty good afterwards too!  Here is a photo of it:

My final workout of the week was a tempo run.  It was my first tempo fail of the plan.  Last year, most of my temp runs were fails until I started doing them on the treadmill.  I felt tired going into it, and it was really hot in the gym.  The fans weren't on despite every piece of cardio equipment being in use.  I was supposed to do 1 mile warm up, 4 at 7:19, and 1 cool down.  I made it 2.5 at 7:19 when I had to pause the treadmill.  I was dying.  I got in another half mile, and as toast.  I struggled through 2 more miles at a cool down pace, and those were hard.  I'm sure it didn't help that Soren was up off and on last night with an ear ache, but I bet it was really taking a week off running and then hitting it hard like I hadn't that caused this. 

I have a few more things from this week that I am going to wait to post about because this is getting long.  Hopefully this next week will be better from a weather standpoint and I can get outside for my long run.  The only good thing about all these snow days is that Soren will have at least an extra week of school when it is nice out, post marathon, so that means more time to be able to ride with both kids in school.  Yes, I am sick in the head for looking at it like this.  Last year I didn't realize how much earlier his school ended before Keira's and was getting sitters left and right for just him trying to prepare for the century that I crashed during.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cold Snap! Surviving the Polar Vortex

Louisville experienced some of the coldest temperatures in over twenty years this week.  I felt ready, being from Michigan, I'm used to the cold.  I'm used to snow.  The forecasts were making me a little nervous.  It was supposed to rain on Sunday and then freeze.  I was a little worried about ice, but as usual, it wasn't nearly as bad here as they thought.  It did get super cold, and the kids' Christmas break got extended by two days.  And of course, my husband and I worked for two of the very few companies that were actually still open, Ford and the YMCA.  Couple that with all the people that decided to make their resolution to go to the gym, and my work has been downright nutty.  On Monday, when it was super cold, there weren't a ton of people out and about.  In fact, at one point I swore we were the only customers in the grocery store.  This was really funny to the workers because over the weekend, they were selling out of things right and left, and the place was packed.  There were definitely more people restocking the shelves at the store than customers for the majority of the time we were there.

Tuesday is usually an indoor workout for me because I like to do my track workouts on the treadmill.  It just makes it easier for me to hit my splits and keep track of the times.  I write it on a post it and then stick it to the treadmill.  I was able to tolerate the shorter faster sprints than the longer ones which are still super fast.  It was packed at the gym.  It also seemed like the kids totally outnumbered the adults.  One lady brought her kids and her neighbor's kids (who were Y members).  A lot of people were going nuts with the additional days off from school.  I actually really liked the additional days off.  It was nice to just a few days more to relax with no commitments because everything was cancelled!  I love sleeping in, and my kids let me sleep in on Tuesday, so it was fantastic.  Hopefully our summer will go the same way, except I will want to run and bike outside instead of inside, so it will get interesting I'm sure. 

Wednesday was finally back to normal.  Just Soren came to work with me in the morning, we got our Chick Fil A (Wednesdays are our CFA days).I hit the trainer for the USAT club challenge, and I need two cross training workouts for the Run Less Run Faster program to work properly, and I can do this at home after I've used my childcare hours at work.

Today I had both kids back in school, and it was not crazy cold.  It was in the high twenties/low 30s for my 17 mile run.  I filled my camelback with hot tap water, which is nice.  It kind of warms my back at the start of a cold run and then keeps my water from freezing in the tube (usually).  I was able to hit my splits (8:19 actual, 8:34 goal), but I was worn out for the rest of the day.  I was initially worried about using the 3:25 plan since my last marathon was no where near that, and my half times are off, but so far I have been able to do the workouts no problem.  Hopefully this will continue.  I messed up my start date for training more than once, but it worked out in my favor.  Between being sick and an upcoming ski vacation, I'm perfectly on track without missing any workouts.  I just spaced some of them out a little more so hopefully I don't run into problems doing that.  It has to be better than just skipping, right?  I guess I'll see.

I also found out that I should get my Coeur gear in February.  Yay!  I can't wait.

And I made a fun Flipagram from last year's pics.  Check it out

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in Review plus Plans for 2014

I hope everyone's new year is starting off to a great start.  2013 was definitely an interesting year for me for sure.  I remembered thinking how 2012 was full of ups and downs, and it always amazes me how our trials, which sometimes seem huge and terrible, are there for a reason.  Our Heavenly Father is always preparing us for the future, and never gives us more than we can handle at a time, although sometimes it may feel like too much.  Going into 2013, I felt like I had learned in 2012 to let go and deal with things out of my control better.  I had more than my fair share of unusual race circumstances that affected my ability to meet a goal time I had set for myself, and it was frustrating to me.  These things got me prepared to deal with my full Ironman, which has so many scenarios you really have to be able to roll with it and deal with things as they come up.  2011 had been a year of PRs, and 2012 had been the year of the PW. 

So, looking to 2013, I had selected some events and felt like I could try to regain some speed and have a solid spring marathon, which I did at the Derby Festival.  I was pretty aggressive with my training and my time was 5 minutes off my PR.  I was stoked about that.  I had a PR in the Papa John's 10miler that while it felt amazing to achieve, it may have cost me my marathon PR.  Or not.  I just know I felt pretty tired the week after the PJ10, and never really bounced back.  The weather warmed slightly, and there were a lot of factors.  I can't say for sure it was the PJ10's fault, but I don't regret doing it.  I had to dig pretty deep and cut things pretty close.  I got my BQ and it held up to gain me entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon, so everything is all good.

Shortly after the marathon, I got a nasty infected ingrown toenail.  So gross!  It was not related  specifically to running, but it affected my swimming mostly.  It took a long time to heal and I just didn't want my funkified toe in the pool, and especially not in open water. 

I had two century rides planned to do with Ryan and friends from MI.  Kent, Valerie, and  Austin came down for the Horsey Hundred, and 54 miles in, I crashed.  Hard.  I lost control on a steep descent with a sharp turn while going 35 mph.  I slowed before hitting the ground, and slide across the road, and came to a stop by hitting a rock wall on the side of the road.  Had it not been there, I might have flipped over the guardrail and into the bushes.  I was blessed to come away with no head injury, no major bike damage, and no broken bones.  I did need several stitches in my left forearm, road rash on my knee and shoulder, and had two sprained wrists.  My knee was pretty painful, and Ryan urged me to get on the trainer to work out some of the swelling.  It was actually more comfortable to run than ride, and struggled with my wrists when I held myself up on the bike, and my forearms when I was in aero.  However, 2 weeks later, with stitches out and my Dr's OK, I went to MI to do the shortest route of the Michigan Mountain Mayhem.  It was very painful, but I made it through.  It was also a little scary for me to be back outside on the bike.  I was glad I did it, though.  Crashing really have me a new perspective on being out there.  Every event was a blessing to do.

I did a spring tri, and then Muncie.  I waited until the last minute to sign up for Muncie.  I wanted to make sure I was ready.  After missing swimming due to my toe, and then the crash, I was worried about the swim, but I was thankful for the wetsuit swim, and just to be there racing.  I was only a couple minutes slower than my 70.3 PR, so that was also amazing to me. 

I did the tree farm relay, and then I had a crazy fall, which recapped briefly in my last post.  Lots of events.  Most of them were more about the journey than the end result, but I did have some fabulous results too.  I had 2 very fast half marathons.  Neither a PR, but the Iron Horse Half Marathon was the second fastest half marathon I had ever run, and then a month later, I bettered that time at the LSC Half by almost 30 seconds.  I also did two completely different and unique cycling events, the Black Mountain Madness ride where I climbed to KY's highest peak with Ryan on the road, and then went back to MI again for the Iceman Cometh mountain bike race.  Both of those races were incredibly challenging, and I'm so glad I did them both.

So, after that, where will I go in 2014?  I'm super excited to be representing Coeur Sports, and I have added them to the sidebar.  I've started training for the 2014 Boston Marathon on my birthday, April 21st.  Austin has gotten really serious about triathlon, and as a result, I have a whole crew of friends going out to do Muncie, and I am signed up for that.  It is also my 10th anniversary of running my first marathon, Columbus, so I would like to go back there.  Ryan isn't entirely on board with that, just because I get really crabby and tired when I train for a full marathon, so I am working to make my Boston training as transparent to the family as possible.  For example, I ran 15 miles (yes, 15 miles) on the treadmill today so that I could do it while he was at work with the kids in the Y kids club and not take any time away from having all of us together as a family.  Or once it gets warmer, time away from his cycling.  Hopefully the past couple years of ups and downs have me well prepared to take most things 2014 can give me, but I am sure I have more to learn this year too.

Here is a tentative race schedule for 2014:

Papa John's 10miler, 3/22/14, Louisville, KY

Boston Marathon, 4/21/2014, Boston, MA

Horsey Hundred Cyling Event, 5/26/14 Georgetown, KY

Oldham Co Grand Slam 5K series (TBD)

Triceratops Triathlon, 6/18/14, Brighton, MI

Ironman Muncie 70.3, 7/12/14, Muncie, IN

Tree Farm Mountain Bike Relay, 7/26/14, Novi, MI

Columbus Marathon, 10/19/14, Columbus, OH

Big Hit Half Marathon TBD, Louisville, KY

Iceman Cometh 11/8