Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Track Tuesday Fail...and RunKeeper is my Hero

So...this morning I got up extra early and took off for the track so I could complete my Yasso 800s, but when I got there....

Now, the last time I was there it was all torn up and I was still able to use it...so I thought that maybe this was just a cautionary sign that I didn't have to pay attention to ;)
Guess they were serious?

Not cool...give me my track back!! After a few minutes of panicking, and contemplating jumping the fence...I figured it would probably be okay to run my 800M intervals on the trail or the sidewalk instead. I have been reading Meb Keflezighi's book "Meb for Mortals" and he specifically said I could ;)

It took a few more minutes for me to figure out the best possible way to track not only the distance but to help me keep track of my time and my recovery without getting confused (cut me some slack it was early in the morning and I don't do my best thinking until after 9:00AM)

What was my solution you ask? Only the greatest running app ever invented...RunKeeper

Now, I have been using RunKeeper for years and I have always been a fan. I love the training plans and the audio cues that it gives you during the app created training runs.

This morning I fell even deeper in love with this app...I discovered that I can create a custom workout. My Yasso 800s are something I have added to my training plan so I haven't been able to use the audio cues to help me stay on track (no pun intended)...until today! 

Now, I am sure I am the last person alive that figured out that I can create my own workout using RunKeeper...but in case you have been living under a rock like me I will fill you in! It's really quite easy...

First thing you do is go to the "start" screen and then you tap "Free Run" at the top of the screen.

 It will take you to this...

From here just tap on "Interval Run"

Then by clicking on "add new action" you can create your very own intervals!!! It let's you choose a distance, time, whether it should be slow, steady, or fast and you can even ad a warm-up and cool-down if you want. (I didn't add warm-up/cool down to my workout because I usually do a mile for each instead of a set time)

While I was initially really ticked that "my track" was closed...it ended up being a good thing...otherwise I would have never discovered this incredible feature!! Now it has me wondering what else I don't know about with this app ;) 

Unfortunately, RunKeeper couldn't unlock my apartment door this morning for me...I stupidly didn't take my keys with me on my run and AJ locked the door when he left for work...DOH! 

Thankfully, after unsuccessfully trying (for what felt like forever) to use my sweaty fingers to call the leasing office I was finally able to get ahold of someone who got me a spare set of keys. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Marathon Monday: 1 down...15 to go!

Week 1 of marathon training is officially in the books! I would like to say that things got off to a great start...but thanks to an incredible weekend of too much fun...I got off to a sluggish start!

Apparently as I get older 3 day hangovers are the norm...it's either my old age or the fact that I rarely drink anymore that makes life really tough after a night out ;) 

Usually, during a training cycle I don't drink at all...but with wedding fun (bachelorette party, showers, the wedding, honeymoon, etc) I am cutting myself some slack and letting myself enjoy these fun events while suffering the next day through these tough runs. It's bound to make me mentally stronger right?

Just a little sneak peak of my pre-marathon training prep ;) I promise to devote a whole post to my incredible bach party very soon!
 As promised I am going to document/log each of my training runs. I'm currently reading "Meb for Mortals" and he keeps a training journal...so if Meb is doing it...so will I ;)

Monday- Rest Day!
When the plan tells you to rest...you rest ;) And since I had already broken my #RWRunStreak (by not running or moving on Sunday) I decided to enjoy another day of nothing!

Tuesday- 4 easy miles

There was absolutely nothing "easy"about this run...I spent the first 2 miles asking myself WHY I thought running a marathon this fall was a good idea. By mile 3 and 4 I had talked myself off the ledge...and then seeing that I managed negative splits immediately lifted my spirits :) 

Wednesday- Fitness Pilates
I joined a gym about a month ago and discovered that Pilates is a miracle cure for my glute pain. I have had ZERO pain in my hip/glute since incorporating Pilates into my weekly routine. I usually go once or twice a week. Little did I know, but Wednesday evenings class is not regular Pilates...it's Fitness Pilates...which may not seem like that big of a difference...but let me tell you...it was brutal! I pretty much spent the whole hour with my arms/shoulders shaking and my abs on fire! While it wasn't the most enjoyable at the time, I did walk out of there feeling like I had gotten an incredible workout! 

Thursday- 5 miles
Today I was reminded of why I prefer fall/spring running. It was a hot and muggy one...even at 5AM! Summer has officially arrived :)

Friday- 4 miles + Pilates
Clearly I was still recovering from my weekend shenanigans because 4 miles on the treadmill was TOUGH! I definitely gave myself a pep talk or two to keep myself from quitting!

Saturday- 8 miles

I moved this week's long run to Saturday since we going to be out celebrating at our couple's shower on Saturday night. Based on how I felt last Sunday morning I didn't want to risk it! I think I was finally back at 100% by Saturday because the run felt pretty good! It helped that the weather was absolutely perfect!

Sunday- Rest Day!!
Luckily I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty human...which is a miracle because our couple's shower was a Mexican Fiesta and not only was there Tequila...but the cake had booze in it!

 Our shower was absolutely incredible! Marrying AJ definitely comes with the perks of gaining an awesome brother and sister-in-law :) They are expert party planners and I would have to say the pinata filled with tiny liquor bottles and scratcher tickets was "a hit" (please ignore my corny humor)

Looking forward to this week I will again be altering my training schedule and moving my long run around to accommodate the holiday weekend and allowing myself to indulge on yummy food and a few beers ;) 

Week 2

Monday- 5 miles + 20 second sprints and Pilates
Tuesday- Yasso 800s
Wednesday- 6 recovery miles + Body Pump
Thursday- rest
Friday- 4 miles + Pilates
Saturday- 10 miles
Sunday- Rest 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bachelorette Party

You know those moments in life when you realize that you are in fact the luckiest person alive? Well...my bachelorette party was one of those moments...

There were several times during that day/night that I looked around and just smiled...because I have some of the best people in my life.
I know everybody always says their friends are the greatest...but mine? They take the cake. Not only can I count on to always have my back...but I know anytime spent with them is bound to be tons of fun!

I have several different little groups of friends...and having everyone together in the same place for a night out was definitely a treat! And remember how I said all of my friends were the best...well, one such example is the fact that the whole group had a blast and partied like they all had known each other for years, when in fact some had just met for the first time that day!
My bridesmaids know me too well, because the day started with yoga on the lawn at Junque Drawer! I love, love, love yoga...but on the lawn in June...yea, it was kind of warm. Plus, the instructor was....strange. But on the bright side, some of her stranger poses inspired some pretty interesting dance moves later on in the night ;)
After yoga, we had an art class planned (check out all of Junque Drawers classes!) We had SO much fun!


While the class was outside, we were luckily in the shade and filled with mimosas!

Junque Drawer

Our picture blocks turned out SO cute!


After our class a few of us headed for lunch (and margs) at Mi Ranchito


We had some fun opening gifts

And then affter lunch we had a little half-time for everyone to go home nap (or watch HGTV...don't judge) and get cleaned up for the night's festivities.

Our evening started at Char Bar with some delicious food and Boulevard Ginger Radler (if you haven't had this yet...you are really missing out!)


The temperature inside of Char Bar was ridiculously hot...we asked the waiter if there was anything he could do and sadly he said no...and that all the fans were already on. Instead of being a normal person an accepting this answer...I decided to pout and say "But it's my bachelorette party...the least you could do is fan me and feed me grapes"

And guess what....


out he walked with a fan (menu) and a plate of grapes


After that...food was eaten, drinks were drank, and shots were taken....


When we had sufficiently "pre-partied" enough we headed down the street to Off Key Karaoke...for the kind of fun that can't even be put into words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...Enjoy :)

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Clearly there was no fun to be had here ;)

After karaoke we lost a few people...but the rest of us hadn't quite had enough...more shenanigans ensued in Westport, followed by pizza (not Joe's unfortunately) and then back to Lindsey's for the night (way past my bedtime of course!)


And then for the 2 seconds that I laid awake after my head hit the pillow all I could think was...I'm the luckiest girl ever...that and "tomorrow's really going to hurt" ;)


To wrap this up I need to give one final shout out to this lady...my best friend...my maid of honor...my Goose. She went above and beyond with all of my wedding events and truly made me feel like the luckiest gal alive. I can't even begin to put into words how much her friendship means to me and how glad I am that she allowed me to "goose" her so many years ago!
Monday, June 22, 2015

Marathon Monday: It's here!!!

Hi all! Happy Monday...and more importantly...happy MARATHON Monday! 

Today marks day 1 of my 16 week marathon training and I am really exerting myself with a rest day-I think I am really going to like this training plan ;) I am feeling excited and nervous all at the same time. I cannot wait to run the Chicago marathon...but knowing I have a 20 and 22 mile training run coming up have me feeling a bit anxious. 

I haven't run more than 15 miles since my marathon last fall and those longer training runs are just as much mentally taxing as they are physically. I keep thinking back to a few of my long runs from last summer...the 15 miler in the heat, the 18 miler that turned into 15 miles and 10 minutes laying on a park bench crying...you get the idea ;)

However, one thing that I am going to do differently this year in an effort to alleviate my anxiety of the "long runs"  is to take my training one week at a time. 

Last year I wrote out all 16 weeks of my training plan and then worried about my 20 miler the whole time. This time around I will only write out my training schedule one week at a time, and hopefully it will keep me focused on that week's runs instead of thinking ahead to my longer runs.

Another thing that is different this time around is that I will be raising money for a charity during my training. Have Dreams is a non-profit serving children, teens, and adults impacted by autism. When they offered me a chance to run the Chicago Marathon and raise money for a cause so near and dear to my heart I just couldn't say no. However, I have been feeling nervous about the fundraising portion of this the whole time because I don't like asking for money from people...but it's for such a great cause I figure it's worth feeling a little uncomfortable asking for donations :) 

Here is a link to my personal fundraising page where you can read more about the charity I am running for and make a donation if you want! Remember every little bit helps...so any sort of donations is greatly appreciated! I plan on donating $10 per week so that by the time I run the marathon I will have personally contributed at least $160.

Another thing I am going to do each Monday is blog about the previous week's training. I loosely did this last year and I would like to be a little more diligent about it this year and treat this like a training journal so that I can keep track of how each run felt and make changes along the way so I can ensure a successful training cycle and hopefully a 3:45 marathon!!! 

Here is week 1's schedule:

Monday: Rest (don't mind if I do!)
Tuesday: 4 easy paced miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 easy paced miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 easy paced miles
Sunday: 8 miles

** I might switch things around this week since we have our couple's shower on Saturday night. I can imagine after a few margaritas I won't be feeling up to an 8 mile run ;) I'm also going to work in some strength training, pilates, and spin classes each week, while still making sure to utilize (and enjoy) my rest days!

Other than that this week's schedule looks pretty great to me...it's a lot less miles and more rest days than I am used to, especially coming off of the Heartland 39.3 training! I know that it won't last and things will be picking up quickly, but I think I will enjoy this while I can :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Marathon Prep and Yasso 800s

So...marathon training starts in t-minus 4 days and counting and to say I feeling a little anxious about it is an understatement.

After finishing the last race in the Heartland Series I promised myself copious amounts of wine and ALLTHEFOODS I hadn't been eating during training...

While I would like to say I took advantage of this proclamation...I didn't. I was feeling really good after my training cycle, I had lost a few pounds and was feeling really good about my leaner, stronger body so I decided to just stick with my eating/drinking habits and keeping them on the cleaner side (note I said cleaner...not clean)

The problem is...now I am craving all of that junk. I want to stuff my face with candy, cookies, ice cream, fast food...and I wouldn't mind downing a bottle of wine...or two ;)

I've decided I HAVE to let myself indulge in these last few days before my training starts, otherwise it will be a miserable 15 weeks full of cheats!

And indulge I have....

I've had McDonald's for breakfast...twice :)

I ate my weight in Taco Bell for lunch yesterday...and no, I didn't order it on my phone...you can do that?

I've had ice cream everyday this week...and sometimes twice in a day...

...and I ate an entire bag of Swedish Fish in one sitting

 I was so excited to eat them I just ripped the bag right down the middle! ;)

Woof...needless to say after a few days of eating like that my stomach is none too pleased...but it seems to have done the trick....I no longer want to eat all of that junk food...Marathon Training can officially begin ;)

On top of  prepping for marathon training by eating everything in sight I have been incorporating some different workouts into my routine along with building/maintaining my mileage so I can start my training plan in a good place. 

I have been taking a spin class 1-2 times per week...and I am still waiting for it to get easier ;) I have been going to Pilates 1-2 times per week...and this class I tell you what has been a life changer...I have ZERO glute pain right now and I attribute it to all of the stretching/strengthening moves we do in this class! I'm hoping I can keep this class up once school starts back up in August...it's much cheaper than my doctor :) I have also been going to Group Power at my gym (it's like Body Pump) and making sure to get in some strength training. I have really enjoyed mixing things up and I am going to do my best to keep incorporating these classes once training begins, but I know it will be harder because my mileage will increase. 

Looking towards training I am 99.9% sure I have my training plan picked out. For last year's marathon I used a mix of 2 training plans (Hal Higdon and a RunKeeper plan) and for the Heartland 39.3 I solely used a RunKeeper plan and was really pleased with the plans and my results both times. For this marathon I am going to stick with RunKeeper exclusively.

I decided to yet again aim high (I mean...what the heck...why not?) and I signed up for the sub 3:45 training plan. Last year my goal was a sub 4 and I ended up running a 4:04. I have no doubt that I will be able to run a sub 4 this time around. On top of the course for the Chicago Marathon being much flatter I am armed and ready to prevent any and all injuries. Last year I had to take a few weeks away from speed work due to my glute injury and I am going to be as proactive as possible in keeping this injury (and any others that might arise) away! I figure if I am going to shoot for a sub 4:00 why not get really crazy and try for a sub 3:45 ;)

The ultimate goal of most marathon runners is to BQ (qualify for Boston) and while I would love to say that I am making that my goal this time around, the reality is...it's just not practical. During the next 16 weeks I will be getting married, going on a week long honeymoon, moving into our new home, and starting a new school year. I just can't put the time and effort into my training that is needed to run a 3:35 marathon...maybe next year? ;)

Something new I am going to be incorporating into my training plan this year is Yasso 800s

Just thinking about 800s makes me want to barf...and 10 sets of them? Double barf...

The plan is to slowly work my way up to 10x800M and hoping to keep my 800M time around 3:45

This morning I decided to give it a try and headed to the middle school track near our apartment.

Unfortunately, when I got to the track I found this...someone has torn up MY track!! While I had a slight moment of panic, I realized I could still make it work. The track was still usable and I would just have to run around the giant pile of track debris ;) 

I have run 800s before, but I have a terrible time pacing myself for multiple rounds so I knew running them at a certain pace was going to be tough. Today I decided I would start with 4 and see how that felt. I figure I can start adding an extra round each week and that way 6 weeks into my training (with 10 weeks left) I can incorporate my Yasso 800s into my training.

I would say overall today was a success...I ran my 800s a little too fast...I have the hardest time pacing myself and if I want to last for 10 rounds I am going to have to figure this piece out! I'm hoping I can get my pacing down over the next few weeks.

While I would LOVE to run a 3:15-3:20 marathon...I know that probably isn't possible for me right now, so I definitely need to slow it down...it's just so hard because the faster I run the sooner I get to stop ;)