Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Missed A Week of Training

I started coming down with a chest cold on Tuesday.  If you've never heard it before, let me reiterate the common rule for running when sick:  Above the neck, run.  Below the neck, rest.

I'm not going to lie.  I've never followed this because I've almost always been in the middle of a streak during cold/flu season.  I would get out and run at least a mile regardless of where the cold had settled in.  Before last year when we bought the treadmill, I usually went outside and ran regardless of temp.  This is the first time I've taken days off for chest congestion because I'm not in a running streak.

I'm beginning to think that I was doing it right all along.  This chest cold has settled in deeper and worse than anything I've had in the last several years.  Maybe getting out and working the lungs helped to work it out.  I'm not sure, but I'm prepared to go back to my old way of thinking.

I didn't run Tuesday through Friday.  That makes for a pretty cranky Angie.  I did get my LBC (Lean Body Challenge for those of you that haven't been following) workouts done every day, though they were done carefully and easy.  I was still sore the next day so I must have got something out of them.  I ran on the treadmill yesterday.  My plan called for 17 miles so I figured I would just get on and see how far I could go. 

We have a new running set up.  Mitch found a killer deal on a 55" smart TV at Sam's Club and since we'd been looking at that same TV when it wasn't on sale he bought it.  This TV now sits on a mock fireplace ledge in front of the treadmill.

I recently discovered TreadmillTV on YouTube and used the Roku on the new TV to stream a trail run in Singapore for my run yesterday.

(Excuse my mess!)   I think I like this set up better than using Zwift, though I could do both at the same time if I want since Zwift is done on the computer (which is set up to my left).  I tend to just watch the numbers on Zwift rather than the world I'm running in.  The TreadmillTV feed has the numbers of the person that's filming which are not relevant to me.  The trail I watched was really pretty and I didn't think about time too much.

Speaking of treadmills, we have been looking at buying a new one.  The one we have now is an older Proform.  I'm not exactly sure how old, but I think ancient.  I'm pretty sure the speed is way off, it gets squeaky, the incline doesn't work right and it doesn't have any cool functions.  It was a steal at $120 when we bought it off the Facebook marketplace, but I really want a new one.

I think we've decided on this one from Bowflex.  It has great reviews, connects with Zwift (or so I've heard).  The two things holding us back right now:  there is quite a bit of show at the back door that leads to where it would go - it comes in one box that weighs 300 pounds so the closer we can get it delivered to its destination the better.  And then we have to put it together, which apparently takes 2 people about 2 hours.  This doesn't sound like fun at all! 

My training has been disrupted by this cold but I'm still working on my Coaching certification.  My coworker found out that I was studying anatomy and was awesome enough to bring me her college text book so I can look up visual references (I learn much better this way).  PS. I love that there is a triathlete on the cover.

My course materials do not include any videos or great visuals.  I started out trying to memorize flashcards that I made but I have a hard time making myself pick them up in the middle of the week, so learning that way was slow.  Then I discovered that there are tons of YouTube videos on any subject, particularly college subjects.  I found some great mini-lectures on the skeletal system and I remember so much more than using the flash cards.

YouTube Link to Synovial Joints lesson
Click the picture for a link to the youtube channel

I'm hoping to get back to my full training schedule starting on Tuesday.  I may get on the treadmill and get a couple of miles or so, but today's workout is supposed to be speed which will get my lungs too worked up.  Monday is rest day, but I will get my LBC workout done.

Here's what my week looked like:

Sunday - LBC Legs (drop sets... those are killer) and hill sprints on my treadmill - sort of
Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - LBC Shoulders which was thankfully short and easy because this is when the cold hit.  I slept almost all day.
Wednesday - LBC Back/Biceps - I made it to work and this might have been the day I felt best all week once the cold settled in.
Thursday - LBC Legs - I cut out a couple of the moves because they were too much cardio so it was short.  I went to work but coughed all day and felt pretty cruddy by the time I got home.  Thankfully Mitch and I had Valentines Day dinner over the weekend before.
Friday - LBC Chest & Triceps - I stayed home from work to spare my coworkers the awful sounds I was making but worked from home.  I had some periods where I felt pretty good and did my workout over my lunch.  Feeling cruddy set back in later.
Saturday - 5 miles on the treadmill.  I thought I might run farther but took a break at 5 miles and when the painful coughing set in I called it a day.

See you Thursday with a throwback race recap.  I'm planning to post about the Beaverhead 55K, which is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  In case you missed the Revel Rockies recap, you can find it here.  Or if you want to spend some time reading my race recap of the firs time I did the Rut 50K, you can check it out here.

What type of learner are you? Do you get more from books, videos, hands on?  I prefer hands on, but that's hard to get with anatomy.

Have you been sick this year? This might be the third time for me this season, which is unusual.  It's been a rough winter!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Throwback (should've been) Thursday

I wanted to run this post yesterday as a "Throwback Thursday" since I'm recapping an old race from last season.  But I have come down with a nasty chest cold and last night I was too sick to focus on writing.  I was in bed at about 8:00, which is just crazy talk.

Last spring I attempted to get my Boston Qualifier running the Revel Rockies Marathon in Colorado.  I chose this race because of the total elevation loss and the proximity to home. 

Denver is about a 9 hour drive from here.  I love Denver and I'll take any opportunity to go back.  It is such a cool city (I wish I had more pictures of places we went downtown like the brewery and the 16th Street Mall).

While we were visiting there was a street fair.  We walked around the capital which was next to the park where they held the street fair.  It might be one of the worst areas for druggies.  It's not a place you would typically want to sit down in the grass because you don't know what you might get poked with.

We hung out and listened to some music.  Mitch has a habit of making faces at me when I try to take his picture.  I reward him by posting it on my blog.

Denver is loaded with running trails.  I thought it was cool that one we went on the day before the race went right next to Six Flags.  I really should've gone to the amusement park while I was there.

Voodoo Doughnuts... solely a good reason to visit Denver or Portland in itself!!

The Revel Rockies race had a decent size expo.  I'm sure it is small in comparison to places like Chicago or Boston, but it was the biggest one I've been to.  We had fun taking pictures.

The race started so early.  Gun time was 6am which meant that buses were loading at 3am.  It was super chilly on the mountain where we started.  Mitch and I found a spot next to the generator to stay warm and inhale exhaust fumes.  The race gave throw-away gloves in our packets which came in handy (pun intended).

Mitch and I both ran this race, but separately since I was looking for a specific goal time.  I stepped in with the 3:40 pace group, which gave me a little buffer time for my BQ.  I ran on pace easily for the first 13 miles.  But my pace group took off well ahead of me and even the 3:45 and 3:50 pace groups passed me long before the 13.1 mile mark.  I thought I had fallen off pace.  This got in to my head and I let it take over.  Looking at my splits later, I was well on track to hit my BQ with room to spare if I had kept that pace.  Stupid head games.  And what pace group takes their people out at a 10 minute fast pace in the first half??  Add that to the fact that there was a significant uphill at the half-way point and my race took a nose-dive.  I couldn't keep pace any longer.  I walked a lot in the last half and finished with a 4:30 time.  It was a great time and a huge PR, but way off my goal for a BQ.

The weather was perfect for the whole race and the scenery was amazing.  It's a beautiful course for a road race.  I could handle this one again, but my strategy would be much different if I were aiming for a certain goal.

Revel races have photographers all along the course.  They took pretty good pictures and they are free, which I think is awesome.

Once I was finished, I knew I would have some time to kill before Mitch would come in.  I sat on the ground in the beer garden and enjoyed my free beer.  I skipped the food tents at the finish line.  They had a couple of food trucks and a tent with free pizza and I think a couple of other things.  I wasn't really interested in eating yet.  My biggest complaint about this race was that they were taking all of the food stations down at the finish line before the finish cut-off, which meant that back of the pack racers didn't get the option to eat (and took away my option to eat after waiting a little while).  This is a HUGE no-no in my book.  If someone comes in to the finish within the advertised end time of the race, they should get all the perks that the first finishers get.

I was so proud watching Mitch cross the finish line!  This was his second Marathon and the first one he had done without me to encourage him. 

I wish I could remember other details such as what the aid stations were like, but I really only recall the one at the half-way mark and I don't remember it very well.  That's what happens when you wait 8 months to write a race recap.
This race wrecked me.  That much downhill running is rough even for someone that trains on down hills all the time.  The next couple of days were painful.  I remember when we got to our hotel after the race, we laid down in bed and took a 2 hour nap.  We were both spent.
However, that didn't stop us from taking in some beautiful trails in Colorado the next day for "recovery."

There was just  a little bit of vertical gain on this trail.  That's how you counteract a down hill marathon, right?  Climb steep hills?  However, what goes up, must come down.  That was the hard part!

Where this monument stands is crazy.  Its on an outcrop of the mountainside.

It was also my birthday weekend while we were there so I got to eat at Joe's Crab Shack and drink margaritas.  Life is good and I am so spoiled.

This year, the Boston Marathon upped the qualifying times to get in which means I now have to finish in 3:40 with a little cushion just in case.  I'm making my attempt at another Revel race, but not this one.  The Revel Mt. Charleston has faster finishing times overall.  It's still a long shot to get there, but I'm going to give it everything I've got.  Too bad the race isn't after my birthday in June.  I go into another age bracket and would get five extra minutes.

If you could go anywhere for your birthday dinner, where would you pick?

Favorite place to get donuts?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Next Big Idea - But He Might Need Convincing

If you've been following my blog for at least the last month, you know that we have a fairly full race calendar for 2019.  Even since the last update Mitch added a small trail run at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in April.  That brings us to 6 races plus the potential for one more in August if we get picked in the lottery for the Bridger Ridge Run.  In this schedule I have 2 main goals:  get a Boston Qualifier and finish The Rut.  All the rest are just for fun.

What I really want now is to do a 100 miler.

Yeah, pretty much.  I lost it quite a while ago when I decided to sign up for the 2016 Rut 50K as my very first ultra.  The journey from then until now has been full of beautiful adventures, working through fears and many miles of pure joy (and a few miles of pure Hell.... let's just be real).

One might say that I could take the time to build up and do a 50 miler and/or a 100K since my longest ultra to date has been 55K.  But that's not really my style.  I like to just rip the Band-Aid off, I guess.

I've been pondering this idea for quite some time, which means I've been devouring YouTube videos, books and articles.  The hundred miler I would like to do is the Javelina Jundred in Arizona.  100 miles in the desert in October.  Still hot that time of year in Arizona, which is a little bit of a deterrent but what draws me to this race over others that I've researched is the party atmosphere and the minimal elevation gain (compared to anything closer to me).
Aravaipa Running Website - Javelina Jundred (click Image)

Mitch already knows I want to do a hundred miler but yesterday I tossed out the idea that I wanted to do this race... this year.

I might have gotten the side-eye over that idea.

We have a lot of racing this year.  It might make more sense to  wait and do it in 2020.  But that is almost 2 years away.

And in the famous words of Veruca Salt: 

So I might need your help convincing Mitch that 2019 is the year of the 100.  Just pop on over to the RunWhichWay facebook and leave a little comment and help me talk him in to it:

Just a few highlight arguments for doing it this year:
  • I'm already doing lots of miles training for the other races we are doing this year
  • We both still have good jobs with adequate paid time off (I can make this one work... really)
  • Carpe Diem!  Because you never know what tomorrow will bring 
If you can think of just a few more that might help. :-)

A quick recap of this week's training -

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - LBC Legs and 10 treadmill miles
Wednesday - LBC Back/Bis/Abs and 2 icy cold miles in -3 (more like -15 with the windchill)
Thursday - 10 treadmill miles that I broke up in to two runs: 5 in the morning, 5 after work
Friday - LBC Shoulders with Mitch and  15 miles in my neighborhood.  This was supposed to be Saturday but the weather was decent and Saturday was supposed to be sub-zero again.
Saturday - 5 miles with speed intervals on the treadmill.  Mitch ran 10 on the treadmill for his long run and we marked it on the calendar as the day he ran more miles than me.  Go Mitch!!
Sunday - I want to get 5 more miles today but I haven't decided when/where/how I will get that done yet.

Stay tuned... For the next couple of weeks I will put out a "Throw Back Thursday" post that will cover some of the highlight races from last year.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Running in the Dark - Is it Spring Yet?

It doesn't matter whether I'm getting up to run in the morning or tackling my training after work.  This time of year means running in the dark if I'm going to be outside.  The higher mileage and nice weather this week means I did a lot of miles in the dark.

It also meant I had to overcome my fear of running alone in the dark because Mitch isn't doing the same amount of miles with his plan as I am with mine.

On Wednesday I was scheduled for 10 miles.  We've had temps in the mid-30's so the treadmill just didn't seem appropriate.  Mitch joined me for the first 2 miles and the rest I did on my own at Swords Park. 

I took my headlamp but didn't turn it on until it was really quite dark.  By the time I got done there was no light left at all.  I ended up only doing 8.5.  This is because at the turn-around point there is a tunnel and I was not comfortable running through it or on the other side of it by myself.  Baby steps.

On Friday I had another 10 mile day scheduled.  I broke this one up in to two 5 mile runs (as the training plan says is okay).  The first 5 were in my neighborhood before work in the dark and the second 5 was at Swords Park with Mitch, after work.  In the dark.

My long run was scheduled for Sunday, but I moved it to Saturday so I could enjoy the beautiful 45+ degrees and sunshine.  I did 17 miles, mostly along the Yellowstone River.  It has quite an ice jam built up at the bridge at Duck Creek.

I can't post a picture here but I'm a wear tester for Brooks.  The shoes I'm testing right now are amazing for long runs!  I was quite tired at the end of 17 miles but my body didn't feel as beat up as usual after that distance.

After running, we went to Montana Brewing Company for lunch.  I discovered their Chips & Chicken and it is a game changer.  My favorite thing to order on the menu is their Chicken Enchilada.  This is the next best thing and a fraction of the calories so I didn't blow all my hard work from this week.  I mixed about a tablespoon of the ranch, a tablespoon of sour cream and the container of salsa to make the dressing. 

I'm so ready for winter to be over.  We've been very fortunate with our weather this year and even missed the big polar vortex that froze much of the country just to the east of us.  But starting this morning, we get a bit of our own bitter cold.  It's going to be just a few miles on the dreadmill for the next few days.  I don't mind running in the cold or the dark or the snow and ice but when you put them all together its just a recipe for injury.

My week of training in review -

Monday:  Rest day
Tuesday:  6 miles of Fartleks on the treadmill and LBC Legs (LBC = Lean Body Challenge)
Wednesday:   8.5 miles and  LBC Back/Biceps/Abs
Thursday:  3.6 easy miles and LBC Legs
Friday:  Two 5 mile runs
Saturday:  17 miles
Sunday:  Rest day

Total Miles for the week:  45.3.  I'm already at 181 miles for 2019.  I'm impressed with myself!
I have been up very early every day for the last 3 weeks.  This meme nails it for me:
Who else hates going out in the dark by themselves?
What is the weather like where you are at?