FCM Week 13/Dopey Week 3

Only one more week after this one for Fox Cities training and then it’s on to just focusing on Dopey.  I am not very good at only signing up for races when they fit exactly in my training plan so these last couple weeks have feel kinda spazzy.

Monday: Nothing.

Tuesday: 3 mile run that felt like death and 20ish minutes of the weights DVD that I hate so much.  I think I might just have to throw it away because it annoys me so much.  I don’t understand how you can be SO SMUG and self-righteous in a DVD when you are doing the “modified moves” but somehow it can be done.

Wednesday: Another not great run. 5 miles total.  It was so dark and started raining when I was 2 miles away… I was creeped out by the dark and then annoyed by the rain so it was just a crabby, crappy run all around.  And on the note of me being annoyed this week, there is a biker that insists of riding on the sidewalk WITH NO LIGHTS ON HIS STUPID BIKE! So he almost runs into me every freaking day.  I want to yell at him so bad because seriously, you do not belong on the sidewalk for 1 and for 2, you should not be riding your bike in the dark with NO LIGHTS!  This does not seem like a difficult concept to catch on to… I think I might start carrying a flashlight and shining it at him so he gets out of my way.

Thursday: A COLD morning 3 mile run.  Still felt like I was crawling but at least averaged 9:57 which felt like speedwork from my normal weekday paces :)  Then I did a 20 minute weight circuit in the basement.

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 5.7 extraneous miles of running as well as the Al’s Run for the Kids 8k (recap to follow at some point).  Short story is I tried to take it easy but of course that never happens so I probably will implode this Saturday at my half ;)

Sunday: Spent 90 minutes trying to get my bike trainer set up and this bluetooth pedal thing hooked up… only to be disrupted by my lack of a pedal wrench. They don’t even talk about it in the video and make it sound like NO BIG THING to just take your pedal off but really, that’s a total lie.  So now I just pedal for time I guess?  Until I find a way to get the pedal off.  Doing this process resulted in two bloody fingers and zero interest to actually use it but I rallied later in the day to ride and read inside for an hour or so.  I forgot to look at the time though so who knows how long I made it.  If I can’t log it, did it really happen!?!?!

Total running mileage: 21.7ish miles

And only one more week until Fox Cities?!?!  AHHHHH!  I am excited but a little nervous too.  I just love this race though :)

I also get back to swimming this week as lessons start tonight!  I am also hoping to swim with the master’s group on Thursday’s for practice (something that the lessons place recommends for practice).  I am excited to permanently reek like chlorine again!

Ironman: Volunteer/Spectator Edition.

I honestly don’t know how the actual racers go back to normal after Ironman weekend because I am all out of sorts because it’s over already and all I did was volunteer and spectate!  Anyways, on Sunday, I headed over to Madison to volunteer for Ironman at one of the bike aide stations.  I really like volunteering with running races so I thought it would be a good way to see what Ironman is like without actually having to do anything :)  19 or so members of our tri club were doing Ironman so I also thought it would be fun to watch them race (even though I don’t know that many of them, but still interesting to recognize people or their tri-wear out of the mass of racers).

I picked a later afternoon shift thinking it would be better to not leave my house early but I failed to realize that that also meant I missed all the elite athletes on the bike portion and the finish portion.  Spectator fail on my part.  Next year I will have to go back and help earlier so I can see them.  I got to Cross Plains around 11:45 and found the station and got all dressed up in Hawaiian gear as that was the theme for that aid station – lol!  I was given a quick lesson and then it was out to the front lines!

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I failed to realize how intense bike aid stations are compared to running stations though… instead of runners going like 7-8 miles per hour, they are now doing like 10-20 miles per hour!  It took me a little while to try to get the hang of handing a water bottle to a moving target and I still never quite got that perfected in the 3.5 hours I was out there. I managed to not cause any crashes though so that’s good!  Most of the time I would miss someone when they would either speed up or slow down as they were getting to me or when I would not realize someone was going to try to grab something from me!  It was a very complicated process.  I also got incredibly, incredibly sick of yelling “water” “water” “water” all afternoon :)  Also what do you say to cheer people on??? I always struggle with this.  “Good luck” sounds condescending, they are most certainly not almost there… WHAT TO SAY!?

Quiet moment.

Quiet moment.

A second hazard of the job was being near the toss area for empty bottles!  I got nailed in the legs by Perform just about every 20 minutes, as soon as the last drenching would dry!  The water evaporated quicker but the Perform (gatordate-like stuff) was SO STICKY!  I also got hit by what I assume was a Bonk Breaker – that kind of hurt as well :)

Despite the hazards, it was really awesome to watch so many athletes out there working hard!  I thought I might recognize some of the tri club people but with helmets and game faces on, I was totally lost.  Sometimes I would figure out who was who after they were past me but then it was too late to cheer them on.  That station was at the 80 mile marker so everyone still had 32 miles to go but had already been riding for hours so no one was particularly perky looking at that point either :)  I also got to see the Team Triumph group go through which was really cool!

I left around 3:30 to try to figure out where to go for the spectating portion of the day.  That was easier said than done!  I ended up parking at the Alliant Energy Center and just walking to find my group because downtown just sounded crazy busy and road were closed, etc. The shuttle ended up being really good though and two other tri club members happened to get on the bus and sat behind me so we chatted a bit and then tried to walk to find the other portion of the group.

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We made our way to the finish line and got there with about 20 minutes to spare before the first club member finished!  She seems to have been born for triathlons though because she only started doing them a few years ago and this was her first Ironman and she qualified for Kona and took 1st in her age group.  Amazing!  She finished in about 10:30 hours and then we stood around for another 1 1/2 hours to watch the next few finishers and also a number of them loop around for their second loop of the run course.  I think we ended up seeing almost everyone from the tri club at some point or another!

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I really wanted to stay all night and watch finishers but I knew I had a 90 minute drive home and work in the morning so I left around 7pm and settled for watching another hour or so of finishers when I got home :)  Next year I need to plan ahead more and be able to stay the night!

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I feel like watching Ironman actually makes me want to do one less – lol.  Knowing myself, I will probably sign up for one at some point in my life (like 20 years from now, maybe) but it does make me feel more compelled to attempt a 70.3 next year.  But even then, I need to get so much better on the bike (and less clumsy) and get my shit together with swimming before that could actually happen.  But I do hope that I can at least make it back to Madison to help and watch again next year!  So much fun!

fcm week 12/Dopey week 2.

This week was an odd week because of  Labor Day.  It’s always hard to get back in the swing of things when you have a long weekend (at least that’s how it is for me!).  I have also decided to take a little break from swimming until lessons start up again because I’ve been having shoulder pains again.  I am hoping two weeks is long enough to heal it up!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 mile SLOW run plus a weight circuit I made up.  Jump squats, lunges, pushups, bicep curls, tricep extensions and shoulder presses using the BOSU – repeat x 4.  I felt more out of breath doing this weight circuit then I did while running although that might have to do with the fact that I was running like 11+ minutes miles again.  But since I am still a little bit recovering from the weekend’s workouts, I figure that’s not terrible!

Wednesday: 5 mile speekwork run around the track by my house.  After this run through, I decided to take a short break from the rest of my runs this week to try to get my hip flexor in a better mood again.  It seems like it flares up, gets better, flares up, etc., etc.

Also, Hi Fall!

Also, Hi Fall!

Thursday: 40 minute weight DVD.

Friday Rest

Saturday: What was supposed to be a 2 hour long bike ride turned into a 1.5 hour bike ride plus a 30 minute stop to get my leg to stop bleeding after I took a little tumble… oops.  I fell at mile 4.5 and almost headed right home but nice people stopped and gave me napkins and then someone else stopped with a bandaid so I decided to keep going since it was so nice out and it only hurt a small amount (and was just an abrasion, not anything that impacted my bones or joints, luckily). 23 miles in 2 hours which is a whopping 11.5 miles per hour – lol.

Scene of the crime.

Scene of the crime.

Sunday: Rest and instead drove to Madison to volunteer for Ironman!  More on that later this week.

Weekly milage: Pathetic.sad miles.  (aka 8)  And now next week is a more restful week to prepare for my half marathon on the 21st!  MUCH FITNESS!

29 Hours 31 Minutes.

This will probably not excite anyone as much as it interests me :)  But I have this thing with numbers where I like to track them and know them and find averages and things.  So since I finished my 13th half marathon on Saturday which means 13.1 x 13, if felt like I needed to do some number crunching and figure out what else that means to me.

Lucky #13!

Lucky #13!

First, I listed all my finish times from fastest to slowest:

  1. Haunted Hustle 2011 – 2:03:53
  2. Lake Country Half Marathon 2014 – 2:05:07
  3. Fox Cities Half 2011 – 2:06:15
  4. Madison Half 2014 – 2:07:11
  5. Fox Cities Half 2010 – 2:12:56
  6. Rocky Mountain Half – 2:14:52
  7. Fox Cities Half 202 – 2:15:34
  8. Nashville Rock n Roll – 2:15:54
  9. Summerfest 2013 – 2:17:04
  10. Madison Mini 2013 – 2:17:49
  11. Summerfest 2011 – 2:24:45
  12. Disney World 2012 – 2:30:56
  13. Disneyland Half 2013 – 2:38:44
My favorite half medal.

My favorite half medal.

Then, I added up the total amount of time spent running half marathons – 29 HOURS 31 MINUTES!  Oh my gosh, that’s more than a whole day of my life…

Rain, snow, sleet, just like the post office? ha!

Rain, snow, sleet, just like the post office? ha!

Third, I figured out my average finish time is 2:16:13.

Still my PR... three years strong.

Still my PR… three years strong.

Finally, I just made some general observations: 1) My Disney races are my slowest races, 2) My very first half marathon still remains faster than my average finish time! 3) I actually run better races when I train for them, shocker, right?? 4) but not when I put any pressure on myself to finish in X time and 5) I am still just as addicted to running them as I’ve ever been.

The race I hardly remember running...

The race I hardly remember running…

It was also interesting to me to go back and read some of my recaps and learn from my mistakes.  It’s clear to me that now my races are going much better than the first two or three that I did.  I can pace myself better, fuel better and finish stronger.  So really it’s good that I didn’t quit after race #3 or whatever when I didn’t really know if I liked this running thing or not :)

Such a young, naive, little runner girl.

Such a young, naive, little runner girl.

All this data makes my brain very happy!  And I can’t wait to keep running half marathons because they really are my favorite even though they still kick my butt in those last miles Every.Single.Time.

#fcm week 11 and Dopey week 1.

Last week felt a little like a step-back week because all of a sudden, I am not biking and swimming for training anymore :(  It feels weird to just be running again…

Monday: Rest, because.

Tuesday: 3 mile easy(ish) run in the morning.  I didn’t push my pace but it still felt more challenging than 11 minute miles should feel at this point.  Weights DVD in the evening.

Wednesday: DARK mornings now.  The sun didn’t even start to appear until close to 6am!  So sad.  I decided to try a little speedwork session but the internet was not working before I left so I just modified a workout I already had on my watch and ended up realizing it was not really that great of one.  I did five miles total with two of those miles at an intended 8:30 pace.  I ended up running two miles fast and three miles slow which is kind of dumb.  But oh well, I still finished it without too many problems which proves I can run fast.  Sometimes.  For short distances.

Thursday: 30 minute weight DVD in the evening.

Friday: 3 miles in the DARK! Gosh, absolutely no sunlight this morning.  At least it made me run faster?!  I averaged 9:35 for these miles even though I was supposed to keep it easy because of the half the next day.

Also took a two-mile walk because it was someone’s 15th Birthday!!!

Is it my birthday?

Is it my birthday?

Saturday: Lake Country Half Marathon!

Sunday: I didn’t really want to work out this morning but I managed to drag myself to the gym for a little swimming and a little running.  40 minutes of swimming and a three mile run through Germany? Hehe.  The treadmills at the gym have this cool feature where you can run certain routes and it simulates the inclines and scenery, it definitely made three miles on the mill pass just a little bit faster.

Totals for the week:

Running 27.1 miles

Weights x2

Race Recap: Lake Country Half Marathon 2014

I kind of forgot I was running this race… I mean I knew I was doing it but the end of August totally snuck up on me and all month I have been focusing on other races (I have a problem, I know) so this one was not top on my mind.  I was so not even thinking about it that I forgot to wash my workout clothes so my favorite long-run stuff was clean for it oops!  I found something that would work in my dresser and tried to remember everything else I needed to pack the morning of the race.  Normally I am a little more organized and have my stuff assembled a day or two in advance but this race was not one I was prepared for at all.  I left a little later than I planned because I realized I had no idea where I was going at 5:30 in the morning and had to try to find some directions that would get me where I wanted to go!  The drive there was about 45 minutes but uneventful.  I realized it was a little ways past where I used to go for acupuncture so the first 35 minutes of it, I knew I was headed the right way!  As I was getting closer to Oconomowoc, I kind of thought I was lost for awhile but I was following a bunch of runner cars so I figured I was actually on the right track after all!

The pre-race bit is held at Crosspoint Community Church in Oconomowoc which was very nice!  Parking right by the start/finish line, real bathrooms, food and stuff in the fellowship hall before we started, this race was really excellent!  I got to the church around 6:25 and got my packet picked up in like 5 seconds (good thing I didn’t try to drive out there for packet pickup the day before, it’s a long drive!) and then waited through the bathroom line (WHY is the women’s bathroom line always 5,000 people longer than the men’s?).  I dropped my stuff off in my car and then waited through the line again and by that point, it was about 6:55 so I figured it was time to line up!

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A few minutes after 7, someone sang the National Anthem and then we were off!  Since I didn’t really think about this race much, I also did not plan any huge goals in my head for it.  I mean, I know someday I want to run under 2 hours but I figured 100% humidity and 75 degrees was probably not going to be that day.  The weather was also iffy on if it was going to rain/storm or what so I didn’t have much hope this was going to be a good race.  So my first three miles were kind of all over the place.

Did I want to run fast? (not happening), did I want to be really lazy and run slow? (Not particularly)… finally around mile three I decided 9:35 minute pace was what I was going to shoot for.  Don’t ask me why but that just seemed like a good number.  So I tried to keep that pace for as many miles as possible.

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The course was so pretty and ran around Lac La Belle and through Oconomowoc and some neighborhoods.

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The first five or so miles were on a semi-private road around the lake and a golf course (side note: I kept thinking how awesome it would be to live on a lake and be able to practice lake swimming all the days!!!).

I WOULD DO ALL THE SWIMMING!

I WOULD DO ALL THE SWIMMING!

Around mile six we moved out on to the sidewalk and ran along a busier road in Oconomowoc so that was a little more annoying because then you had to try to pass people on a one lane sidewalk.  But I guess that was a good problem to have because it meant I was actually passing people after mile six!

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All the miles after six at a half-marathon really start to blur together for me except for that I know I hate miles eight and nine always.  But this race ended up not being terrible and both those miles passed without any death-march feelings setting in.  I tried to really concentrate on not letting my brain go to a negative place and I think that really helped.  Some minutes of running felt fine and some felt really bad but I tried to just stay calm and not get all freaked out about anything.  I also fueled with a Clif shot block at mile 2, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 12.5 and took a Gu at miles 5 and 10.  I felt like I was sweating a ton so the salt in the margarita Clif shot blocks really seemed to help my side cramp go away when it would start acting up.

Yeah, the lake again!

Yeah, the lake again!

Miles 10, 11 and 12 started to be REALLY painful and felt really long.  Somewhere around mile 10 I realized it was possible to get a PR if I picked up the pace… but that just did not happen.  Mile 10 and 11 I tried but then Mile 12 just felt horrible.  The sun was really beating down and the hills were really rolling at this point and I just wanted to walk SO bad and I just could not make my legs move any faster.  I also kept saying to myself “Almost there, almost there, almost there” because I was really SO CLOSE at that point but it just felt like the mile was endless.  I finally turned the corner to go back into the church parking lot and I was so freaking happy to be done!

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I was incredibly thirsty, my legs hurt and it was hot.  So I just grabbed water, say down and tried to get feeling like I was alive again.  It took me about 10 minutes or so before I was functional enough to look up my time and whomp, whomp, whomp, missed a PR by 75 seconds!  Grrr.  But I don’t feel too bad about that because it still means I finished my fastest half-marathon since October 2011!  And that’s something to be happy about!  My net finish time was 2:05:07 and considering the heat and the couple of hills, I think that’s a pretty respectable time for not having a specific plan.  And also, my average pace ended up being 9:34 so I guess picking that number at mile three ended up working out for me!

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My garmin was also finally spot on for the miles at this race… up until mile six.  And then they started being off again but still being under so I know it was not because of me weaving all over but I wonder if it might have been the course that was off?  I can’t tell because in the end my garmin ended up spot on again… and mile 12 felt like it lasted 4 hours. So I really can’t tell what is going on with my watch.

I sat around for awhile and got some fruit and more water, stretched and tried to find a nice place to take a picture of my medal :)

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All in all, this race was really well organized and really great!  I hope to be able to do the Green Bay Triathlon put on by the same company next year!  They really get around with races in the Fox Cities area, Madison area and Milwaukee area.  I will have to keep an eye on their future events because I really enjoyed this one!  Well done, DuTriRun, well done!

Gearing up for going Dopey.

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48.6 miles in 4 days. WTF was I thinking when I signed up for this?  I keep asking myself this but I guess it’s too late to go back now without  losing out on a ton of money so I need to just do what I can to make this a fun experience instead of a painful one!

But regardless of what was going through my head when I signed up for this beast, we are now less than 20 weeks until race day so it’s time to start training.  I guess technically I have been training all summer anyways with the goal of getting to a place where the Dopey training plan is not such a shock to my body but the official training starts this week.  I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth on what training plan to use and how to structure things but I think I finally decided on following Hal Higdon’s plan as closely as possible.  I did have to make a slight adjustment in early weeks to account for a half marathon I am doing but other than that, I plan to follow it pretty closely.

WEEK MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
8/25/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest Lake Country Half Marathon 3 m run 27.1
9/1/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest 7 m run Bike 18
9/8/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest Al’s 5 m Run for the Kids Bike 16
9/15/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m pace 4 m run + Weights Rest 4 m run Fox Cities Half Marathon 29.1
9/22/2014 Swim Rest Bike + Swim Rest Rest 5 m run Bike 5
9/29/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 8 m run Bike 20
10/6/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest 5 m run 15 m run 32
10/13/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 9 m run Bike 21
10/20/2014 3 m run + Swim 7 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 6 m run 3 m run + Skeleton Skamper Rest 35.1
10/27/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 7 m run 4 m run + Weights Rest 10 m run Bike 25
11/3/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 7 m pace Rest 2 m run 7 m run 17 m run 37
11/10/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 8 m pace 4 m run + Weights Rest 11 m run Bike 27
11/17/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 5 m pace Rest 3 m run 8 m run 18 m run 39
11/24/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 8 m pace Turkey Trot + Weights Rest 12 m run Bike 30
12/1/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 5 m pace Rest 4 m run 9 m run 19 m run 42
12/8/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 8 m run 5 m run + Weights Rest 13 m run Bike 31
12/15/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights Rest 2.5 m run 5 m run 10 m run 20 m run 42.5
12/22/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights Rest 4 m run Rest 12 Bike 21
12/29/2014 Swim 4 m run Rest 3 m run Rest 8 Bike 15
1/5/2014 Swim 2 m run Rest 5-K 10-K Half Marathon 50.6

A few of the element of the plan that ultimately sold me on it where 1) double long runs only every OTHER weekend instead of every weekend, 2) not out of control mid-week mileage because I work and can’t run all the day long and 3) you practice the lots of days in a row run which I think will help get me to a place where this is not as scary in January.

I plan to use biking and swimming as my cross-training workouts because since starting to bike and swim, I feel like I have had overall less soreness and especially less soreness in my legs.  It seems counter-intuitive because I have not decreased my mileage at all (in fact, I’ve increased it) but it seems that biking and swimming must help even out the muscle development in your legs to result in an overall stronger runner (or so I tell myself – lol).  So I plan to keep these workouts in the rotation to hopefully not die from all the running!

I also plan to keep stretching/foam rolling/strengthening my hips because I can tell when I get lazy with those things and then I am rewarded with a bum hip flexor.  I can already tell the next four months are going to be an interesting balancing act of running and working out enough but also recovering enough and trying my hardest to avoid injury or over-training.  Fingers crossed I am successful with this!  I also am hopeful that I don’t have to spend all the month of November and December running on a treadmill because that might actually make me cry :)

20 weeks seems like such a long time but I have a feeling it’s going to pass in the blink of an eye… I am excited to get started and see what I can do in the coming months!

Also, they really need to release the rest of the medals!  I feel like they are normally out by this point… Did I just miss them?