Sunday, March 29, 2015

March photo dump

I don't want to jinx it yet with 2 days left in the month, but I think I might topple 200 miles this month. A pretty big deal to me considering that my highest monthly total last year was 142. I peeked back at my logs since keeping track in 2010 (those first 15ish years of running are just a big fat unknown) and hung out in the lower 100s pretty consistently on a monthly basis for quite some time.

Hence part of the reason I've been out of the Loop for a few weeks now. Run, eat, work, repeat. And squeezing in a teeny bit of time for freelance writing, party throwing, and other shenanigans.

So instead of a lengthy, wordy catch-up, I'm just going to do a captioned photo dump of some stuff from the past couple of weeks. Mmmkay?

I've got some runfies (ya know, running selfies...)

Pictures of running shoes:

Pictures of used running calories:
Pictures of speed work:
Pictures of a long run:

Pictures of healthy food:
Pictures of unhealthy food:

Pictures of party food:

Pictures of my dogs:
Pictures of me + a dog:
Pictures of my dogs helping me foam roll:
Pictures of why I'm loving this monster March:
I'm not sure what #17024 will do in Beantown, but it sure has been fun getting ready. I have loved (nearly) every second of tackling this new challenge. If I PR, yay! But I'm just humbled and thrilled to be a part of the 119th Boston Marathon. It still seems like I accidentally got caught up in someone else's fairy tale.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pi! Pie! P.I.!

It was definitely a Pi (pie? P.I.?) kind of week. We had some fierce debates about pizza pie this week at the Liebowitz household.
So we had pizza pie Tuesday night (lazy) and Wednesday night (tradition).
I had a 21 miler on Tuesday that was tough, but good. I posted this in Loopville so sorry for the repeat if you heard the story. I was headed to the trail head on Tuesday morning and went to plant a water bottle just off the walkway to refill my hydration belt. I started to run and another runner caught me around the 0.5 mile mark. We ran stride by stride for a bit and then she broke ahead. However, she was running about the same pace I wanted to be at and so I stayed a few steps behind. Just past 2.2 miles, we crossed a minor intersection where a car didn't stop and ended up starting a conversation. It was all about running of course. We ran until mile 5.25 where I turned around and she kept going. She was going out and back for 13.5 miles and I was going for 21 (twice to 5.25). We waved when our paths crossed again. When I finished (21 miles//7:50 pace), I went to go collect my now empty water bottle before heading back to the car and found a note bandaged to the bottle.
Has nothing to do with Pi and everything to do with the awesomeness of the running community.

I ran 3 miles of downhill on the 'mill on Wednesday while the pizza Pie sat in the oven until I finished. Nothing like delicious food to motivate me to push the pace. 8:00, 7:41, 7:30 at a 3% and
that Pie was mine!

On Thursday, the P.I. developed. That is, poison ivy. It started oozing out of my right wrist during work and got extra gross during the 5.2 miles I ran on Wednesday night. All my backbreaking gardening Monday had given me an extra gift--weeping blisters!
Friday, I decided to take a rest day. I had small plans for Pi day and more ambitious plans for Sunday.
In actuality, I drank a bit a of wine and a lot of beer and woke up feeling like a broken rock star Saturday morning. Pi run would have to be delayed. But hey, I found that Nuun is a great hangover remedy!
I had a busy day at work and questioned my own sanity when donning my running clothes at 7pm with an 18-miler in my head for Sunday.

But I need to get that 3.14 miles in. It was 3.14.15 after all. 

I put on my 9 things (2 shoes, 2 socks, 1 pair of shorts, 1 sports bra, 1 shirt, 1 Garmin, 1 iPod) and went for my Pi run in the midst of training for 26.2 miles. It was a good thing that Pi happened to be the equivalent of about 5 kilometers or 3 miles as I was not really feeling like I could muster much more than 5 miles without hurting my weekly ambitions. I was aiming for 8 minute miles, but honestly was happy to just slog through the run at any ol' pace.

There were 9 cars in the parking lot when I begin, but once I finished my run (and listened to 7 songs), there were no longer 9 cars in the parking lot. Just 3

And I was done. Only 15 digits of Pi I could muster in my run. 3.141592653589793

Today, I was truly kind of expecting the worst. I was up against the biggest mileage week I can remember and I felt like poo last night. I ate a bagel, drank some coffee, and resigned myself to a long, slow run. 

The first few miles were the worst. I wanted to be back under the covers.
But then I loosened up and my mind cleared. I let myself just try to run at whatever pace felt comfortable, no matter the speed. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We went from 30's 10 days ago to 75 degrees today. I forgot how much I need to consume in order to stay strong through the end. I stopped 3 times for water and 1 traffic light, but ended with 18 at a 7:50 pace!

3 more hard weeks left until the taper begins! I never thought I would be in the realm of a 50 mile week or trending towards a 200 mile month. Heck, that sounded insane a few months ago. But, I am slowly believing the truth that I am stronger than I think. Each new milestone gives me the strength to tackle the next. And I am kind in love with the proud exhaustion that I feel when walking towards my car lately.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Confessions, the first installment

I might be entirely alone in my confessions. But hey, everyone likes a good divulging of quirks. Or sins. Either way, it's time I come clean.

  • I don't stretch. If I do, it's purely by accident. Like, I'm buying time because I really just want a rest break while running. Or I'm trying to take a selfie in the parking lot, but someone is getting in or out of their car. I have stretched and I know how to stretch. But it's far from a habit. The only thing going for me is that I do flail about on the foam roller at intermittent times.
  • I don't own a racing fuel belt. Or bottoms that have enough pockets for 5 energy gels. I've run 13 marathons with GU shoved in my sports bras. And because I'm not a litterbug, I like to use the non-existent spot between my "boobs" to store my empty gel packets. 
  • Speed work terrifies me. Really. I get nervous butterflies every time I am headed out to tackle speed. Mile repeats are the most terrifying. I have to run for how long for how fast? But then I always feel completely BA and happily exhausted when they are done.
  • I don't currently have a training schedule. Um, yes, you read that right. I am training for Boston without a training schedule. I have a loose idea of what I want/need in my training each week and execute from there. 30-40 miles a week, 1 long run (building 3 weeks, cut back 1), 1 speed session (whatever I damn well feel like), and 2-3 easy/moderate runs. With my varied work schedule each week, it takes the pressure out of the must do parts of have a specific training schedule. Plus, it's no secret I'd rather run happy than be a slave to training.
  • I hate spring. Because spring leads to summer. And summer=death heat. All the people north of the Mason-Dixon are jumping around like newborn puppies and I'm sulking hard. I'd much prefer to run under the crisp blue skies of February. I cried a little inside when it got near 70 degrees this week. Ugh. It's coming. 

I feel like there were other things to add to the list a few days ago. There might be an addendum later. Because I'm quite certain there are other confessions that I've neglected.

I've been a terrible blogger in 2015. Oof. The good news is that life is going along smashingly.

I killed my Yassos last week. I saw JJ's post on FB about her 800s when I finally woke up. She'd already been awake for 4 hours when I finally scrolled through to her workout. It was lightly raining outside and I hesitated for awhile until I finally decided to go gut it out. The goal was 10x800 at 6:40-6:55 pace with 1:30 jogs in between. 
I did take a break for water/shed my arm warms after the 5th rep. And another water break after the 8th rep. Probably each another minute. But I was pretty pleased that I hit the reps.

I spent the rest of the afternoon baking. I'm raising money for a Loopster's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of Year Nomination campaign. I baked up some goodies to ship out to a few of my donors. If you are awesome enough to read this silly blog and donate here (any amount welcome!), I will send you a box of baked goodies too. I'll be running the Wisconsin Marathon on May 2nd and the Kalamazoo Marathon on May 3rd in tutu--put your color in the message box. And write "Confessions" so I know you saw it here.

I got some new Kinvaras on Wednesday and gave them a 5 mile break in run on the 'mill. I spent the last 2 miles switching between +3% incline and -3% decline to give my quads a workout. Despite my non-training plan training, I still am taking these things into consideration.
The temperatures plummeted nearly 40 degrees over the course of Thursday and I was glad I packed a long sleeved shirt to run in after work. I scooted out in just enough time to get my 3 miles in before the sun completely set.

I fueled back up with beer and tacos.
Took some selfies with Torrance.
And snuggled in with Luxy.
The temperatures were absolutely blissful when I woke up for a long run Friday. But I was kind of concerned about tackling my nemesis, the 16 miler. We are foes from way back. My latest one was The Great Rain Disaster.

So I decided to wear my Ride The Suck hat and not look at my watch for 16 miles.
I cheated and looked at mile 12. When I started doing the runner math, I held my pace tight and pushed through the final 4 miles with a purpose.
Apparently I set a new Penelope half marathon PR on this training run!
And scrolling through the records on this Garmin, I also set new records in the mile, 5K, and 10K in the same week--they came from my Yassotacular Tuesday. Sa-wheet!

After a rough and streaky start in January, I am starting to feel strong again. I've decided that I need rest days with my day job. Props to all the streaky streakers out there. According to my FitBit, I've covered 559 miles through today--an average of 8.2 miles a day. My walking (mostly attributed to work) nearly doubles my steps on a weekly basis. Pretty cray.

Only 6 weeks (gulp!) until Boston. Hard to believe that it's nearly here. It still feels like a dream. I've been imagining what crossing the finish line will look/feel like. Probably should wear waterproof mascara.