Thursday, September 30, 2010

So Grateful

Just another beautiful run this morning, seems to be something about Thursdays... That's when I give myself a more intense (and usually longer) run, either at the track with speedwork, or on the road with a little more "umph."

Today I wanted to be sure to get into the office a bit earlier so I kept it to 6 miles and was super diligent about getting Buddy dropped off on time and having everything set up so I could leave as soon as I got back. And it worked! Of course it helped that I covered those 6 miles in an hour, so much faster than last year. Yet another reason to be grateful. Plus the sun on the lake...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Notes on a Scattered Week

Started off all healthy with 20 miles and yoga, moved into high stress (and too much junk food) during the week, then finished off with a trip to Dayton --- sunshine, music, art, and family!

Sunday: CARA 20-miler (yoga).
This was a great event overall, well organized and great practice for the marathon: gear check, pace groups, wave starts, aid stations, after-run party. I was pleased with how it went for me, but I didn't really like running with a pace group, and was happiest when I was running without them. At the end I decided to just go ahead on my own. Good thing for me to know about myself!

Monday: Swam 2/3 mile.

Tuesday: 5 miles (yoga).

Wednesday: 9 miles total, 5 mile repeats @ 9:05 (yoga).

Thursday: Yoga.

Friday: Swam 2/3 mile.

Saturday: Dayton Oktoberfest! Music and art and chasing a little boy around the park. Beer and pretzels and candied almonds. A beautiful run through woods the next day and a trip to Aullwood Audabon Center to look at quilts. What a treat!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Just finished my last major workout before the marathon: 5 mile repeats, all between 9:00-9:05. Awesome!

I planned to run 9 miles total but I was listening to Marc Maron's podcast on my way home from the track and kept stopping to laugh. Finally I just gave up and walked the rest of the way home.

Let the taper begin! I believe there is some chocolate in my future.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Notes on Another Intense Week

Quite the emotional hangover this week from last Saturday's incident (officially diagnosed as a panic attack, which is actually a lot less frightening than thinking I'm a) going crazy, or b) having a stroke). Then The Dude's race on Sunday, then following up with doctors, topped off with Buddy's birthday! Plus I was nervous about the upcoming 20-miler, which was my first time running with a pace group, plus TD and I were fighting just a wee bit. All in all, I came to the end of the week exhausted.

Sunday: Rest, and pamper TD when he came home.

Monday: 15 miles @ 11:04 pace (yoga).

Tuesday: Swam 0.75 miles.

Wednesday: 4 miles.

Thursday: Woke up tired and achey, took the day off from exercise.

Friday: Thought about making up Thursday's missed track workout, decided to go for an easy 8 miles instead and travel through some of my favorite neighborhoods. Lovely run. Then yoga.

Saturday: Rest day (yoga).

Everything seems to have reset itself by the end of the week, though, thank goodness.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dude On The Run

Oh, and I cannot forget to mention that The Dude ran the Chicago Half Marathon this past Sunday! Woo-hoo!

He looked awesome. (Though Blogger doesn't like the photos we have so I can't show you.)

This is the third incarnation of the Buster Brown Celebration Fun Run (so named when we were calling Buddy, "Buster"). You can read about how last year's went here and about how we decided to do it here.

Last year I wrote that this was a way to honor our work as parents and to honor our wonderful little boy. But now that we've got a couple of years of this parenting thing under our belt, I would say that it is also about honoring our own needs as individuals. As partners and parents it is wonderful that we can share our passion for running as a family --- but it is essential that we each have something that is "all our own," and running is that way for both of us as well.

Go Dude!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Notes on an Intense Week

Highest mileage week --- ever --- and the highest week scheduled of my marathon training.

Sunday: 20 miles! And it went well. Had enough fuel in the tank before leaving, had enough with me for along the way. The weather was cooler, I got to go out in the morning instead of after a few hours of toddler-wrangling (it really makes a difference), I got some decent sleep the week before. A run to make me feel more confident about finishing the marathon with some style.

Monday: Rest day (yoga).

Tuesday: 5 miles easy (yoga).

Wednesday: Swam 0.75 mile.

Thursday: 9 miles total, 8x800@4:20 (yoga).

Friday: Swam 0.75 mile.

Saturday: Rest day.

Migraines all week (last week too), with a scary spacey/low-blood-sugar/panic-attack-like-thing on Saturday. So I've got some phone calls to make and appointments to set up. Plus a bit more eating to do! Now is not the time to try to lose weight --- I have to keep remembering that since I do have some more to come off (and just got my copy of Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald, which has me thinking about it). But not right now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yasso 800s (Or, Just How Fast Can I Run This Thing Anyway?)

I tried the Yasso 800s this morning for the first time, just to see if my marathon goal is sound. (I had been running mile repeats as my track workout all season, rather than 800s.) I only did eight of them today, rather than the recommended ten, since I'd been set to do 4 mile repeats today, and I still have a couple of weeks left to fit in another attempt if I want.

Okay, here comes a bit of number crunching of no interest except other runners (maybe).
  • My goal for the marathon is 4:35 (hours), based on the McMillan calculator and my actual past workouts.
  • My goal for the Yasso 800s this morning was 4:30 (minutes), based on my previous results with mile repeats.
  • My actual performance was 4:20, and I felt I could certainly have done another 2 repeats at that speed.
So I smoked them, right? I should be reconsidering my goal time, yes? That was certainly my first thought.

Then I started doing some more online research, mostly in an attempt to find an easier way to explain these to a non-running audience. I didn't find that (so I refer you to the original article about them in Runner's World), but I found a lot of dissent about the use of Yasso 800s, either as a predictor, or as a training tool. You can Google this yourself if you're interested.

I had thought a 4:20 marathon was too good to be true for me at this point, so I wasn't truly discouraged by what I read. Mostly what I take from my reading is that the Yasso 800s can be a decent predictor of performance (and not so much a training tool), and only if the necessary support is there (in the form of long runs, tempo runs, etc.). And that it's best to add on 5-15 minutes to that prediction time anyway. Which brings me right back to a goal time of 4:35. Maybe, possibly, cross-my-fingers, 4:25 if everything lines up beautifully that day.

I guess I'm spending so much time thinking about this because over the summer I've been frequently disheartened by my long runs. For a while it seemed like I just. could. not. do them at the paces I thought I should be able to. Everything else was lining up according to past experience and pace calculators, why weren't the long runs? (Leaving aside the issue of a hellish Chicago summer, of course.)

I had basically resigned my self to "just" finishing, as if that weren't accomplishment enough for my first time out. Although it will help with how I go about the marathon that day if I have a good and realistic sense of what I am capable of.

But finally, things seem to be a bit more on pace, ha-ha. The weather has cooled which makes a world of difference, and I feel like I'm getting a better handle on my pre-long-run nutrition needs as well, thanks to The Dude (still struggling with what to take in during my runs, alas).

I'm getting excited... I'm getting hopeful... what I don't want is to get crazy.

To any runners reading this, what has been your experience in predicting race times?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Team in Training

Just had to share this photo... we were at the Chicago Botanic Garden and failed to keep Buddy from falling into a fountain within 15 minutes of arriving... (this is where we sing "bad parent...") But he didn't seem to mind too much in the long run!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Notes on a Frustrating (and Finally Fruitful) Week

Sunday: Another brutally hot and humid day. This was going to be 8 miles in the afternoon, but instead ran 6.5 miles with Buddy in the morning, with a nice long break halfway through to check out the Peace Garden and make sure we both got enough water. Then half an hour yoga while Buddy napped.

Monday: Ran 5 miles (yoga).

Tuesday: Swam 0.8 miles.

Wednesday: Meant to run home from work but came home exhausted and in a rage instead. Per The Dude's advice, decided to take the next day off from work.

Thursday: Ran 8.5 miles (5@9:25), then yoga. Then went swimming (0.75 miles), then another half hour of restorative yoga. Taking a day off clearly restored me, yay!

Friday: Ran 4 miles. Beautiful day, nice easy run. La-la-la!

Saturday: Rest. Rest, rest, rest. Spent the day running errands with my family, doing lots of laundry, and sorting cabinets and shelves. And then a big pasta meal to get ready for my 20 miles on Sunday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I Did With My Day Off

And what do I do when I have a day to myself?
  • Slept in (a little).
  • Made breakfast and took care of Buddy.
  • Had extended walk time with Buddy on his way to daycare before transferring him to the stroller.
  • Ran 8.5 miles, 5@9:25 pace.
  • Did 30 minutes stretching yoga.
  • Had my second breakfast, and read.
  • Puttered about the house and baked cookies, washed dishes.
  • Worked on my blog (101 goals page, at the top of the screen below my heading --- check it out!).
  • Went swimming (26 laps).
  • Dropped off books at the library, and picked up lunch at a nearby Thai place.
  • Ate lunch and read.
  • Worked some more on my blog.
  • Did 30 minutes restorative yoga.
  • Started getting dinner ready for The Dude and Buddy.
Very nice! I feel much more myself again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


That's it. I am officially crispy. From work, mostly, plus a little bit of terrible twos, and possibly a long run or two. Weather-wise, it was another unbearably heavy-pressure day too, I woke up with a sinus headache that migrated into not just one, but two migraines.

I've made my phone calls, put my "out of office assistant" on my work email, and am spending tomorrow at home. Alone. I see cookie-making in my future...