Thursday, December 1, 2016

Runner friends

Runner friends are the best, seriously!! I have been blessed to meet so many people via running and triathlon I cannot express how much they all truly mean to me. I rarely run alone anymore and I don't mind it at all. I mentored/paced most of 2016 through our Fleet Feet's training programs and I had the same group of ladies throughout. Logging the hundreds of miles together we really got to know one another!

Fun at the water stop! 
Mentoring is such an enjoyable & rewarding experience. I get to unload the years of knowledge I have gained through running onto newbies. You forget what fun it was to hit new milestones, and all the odd little tricks you learn to get through runs and injuries.

We first started out during Winter Warriors last year, this was my third out of the four years of the program that I have mentored. The first meeting was tonight for this year and it was so exciting to see new & familiar faces. I love winter running so it's a natural fit for me. We had a few weeks at the start of the program last year before the snow fell, but we trekked through it all. Crazy snow piles at intersections, icy patches on the sidewalks and some pretty cold days. But knowing these ladies would all be there depending on me made it fun to show up week in and week out.

Snow angels on our final night before race day!
Finish line party!!
After Winter Warriors we kicked off spring training with the goal race of the Cellcom Half Marathon in Green Bay. We added in some speed work on the weeknight training once the ice cleared away. Nobody had much experience with this so it was fun to watch the progress over the 2.5 months. They also got to find out the fun of Magic Mile night! Using their time they had their target paces for the speedwork nights and their long run paces. We do it once a month in the program so it's fun to watch them progress. Race day was such a party, I don't think I stopped smiling even though it was a crazy hot day!
Ah, look at those quads!!



Awesome spectators make for great photos!
Mentors excited for beer!!

We had a small gap before the summer training program kicked off, so we ran the 40th Bellin Run for fun. Right when we started Meb was rounding the final corner and we stopped to watch and cheer him into the finish. A toasty hot day as usual for this race, lots of water and ice was dumped everywhere!!

 Most of these ladies went on to tackle their first marathon this year, I may have helped talk them into this.
Cheesehead Half marathon a month out from race day!
Pre-race jitters on the big day! 


It's so rewarding to watch them surpass goals they never thought possible! I was able to help several ladies to PR's over the course of the year too. I love watching their continued successes and look forward to continue being a part of their journeys.

I love when running overlaps real life, Bobbi got married 6 days after her first marathon!! We had a lovely reunion and our spouses all got to finally meet each other. We danced most of the night away, overall it was a great night and we relived our race day experiences.
We're off to the races!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mindfulness

I found a great podcast that I have been listening to almost non stop lately. Zentri (Zen and the art of triathlon) has been an amazing find at getting me in the right mindset to start up my base training. I have been slowly adding in cross training this past month and a half to 1-2 swims and bikes in addition to my 2-3 runs per week. This week will be my first week at doing 3 of everything along with 3 strength items and I am so excited!

First things first, you need to have a plan to succeed. All my workouts are laid out for the week and I also have a giant list of chores/misc house projects. I don't expect all of those to get done, but having it written down gives me direction so I don't sit around too much in my free time.

Swimming has been so fun for me lately, I hopped back in the pool after a several month hiatus and my swim times are pretty damn close to what they were when I left off this summer. During long swims my form seems to drop a bit and the times slower. I can work with this though! It makes me anxious to attack the intervals and my new watch helps with the rest timing so much. I just need to figure out the metronome setting to use for staying on target with long swims.

Zwift was an incredible find to keep me occupied while sitting on the trainer. It's basically a video game with my bike acting as the controller. You just need a bike trainer and a speed/cadence sensor if it's not a smart trainer like the wahoo kickr. Being able to ride around with other people as if I am riding out on the road is awesome. Being in WI this is my life for 9 months out of the year, I'm a wuss when it comes to cold(ish) weather on the bike. I run outside year round but below 65 and I setup inside with the bike.

It's the start of Winter Warriors this week!! This is a run training program offered by our local Fleet Feet sports. I normally mentor/pace this program but I really wanted to participate this year so I am just subbing as needed. Winter is my favorite time to run. Why you may ask......well;
1. It's not about speed but camaraderie
2. It's cold outside and I prefer cold weather running
3. No worries about chafing! My thighs and arms are spared for awhile
4. I love a run after a snowfall, it's so beautiful and peaceful

I am really working on getting the strength in alongside my cardio. It's the first thing I seem to drop when things get busy and I just don't give it the attention it deserves. I want to keep yoga in there weekly along with a gym session and then one at home session. Keeping a good rotation of activities will only help to make it fun to stick to it.

I also need to remember to foam roll frequently, my calves have been so tight lately that I need to focus on recovery and giving my body what it needs so I can keep up.

My other big goal is to drop the extra weight I have managed to put on lately. I need to drop about 25 lbs to get to an ideal racing weight for spring. I just started logging all my food in My Fitness Pal, which syncs up with Garmin Connect to make sure I am staying on target. This is always rough as I loathe doing this. It forces me to watch what I eat and follow everything I learned this summer from Nutritional Healing and apply this to get all the appropriate food groups in daily in correct proportions.

I am thrilled that everything is seemingly coming together. I am not dreading workouts, but attacking them with a purpose!! I'm starting to utilize a bit of heart rate training and curious to find out where it takes me in this journey.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Race Recap: Houdini 10K

You know that feeling where you have been stuck in a rut? I've been doing the same races year after year and I am starting to get a bit bored with it. I am trying to cut back on the volume of racing and improve the quality. Last year this was a new race so I jumped at the chance, they capped it at 600 participants and sold out about 2 months prior to race day. I think many people felt excited about a 10K in early November, the only two local 10K's in the area are in summer. Blah!!

Last year I really enjoyed the race and I wanted to do it again. They did change the course slightly due to one section of the course last year we were on a sidewalk with a ton of vines overhanging by the golf course. It made it impossible to pass during this half mile and they doubled the race size this year. Overall though I really enjoy this course because it has a number of turns, my psyche does not like long straightaways.

Many of my fellow fleet feet runners and ambassadors were going to be there so I was so excited for race day!!. I love showing up race morning and being able to chat while wasting time before the start. This year was probably 15-20 degrees warmer as we have had an unusual fall, but it really was perfect weather. I had fun out on the course, I didn't expect a certain time which really helps my mindset at the outset of a race. The course is very scenic through neighborhoods, a golf course and along the river. It is challenging with some decent hills at the beginning and end of the course.

Mermaids for the day!! 

My watch went to the graveyard on the Tuesday prior to race day so I ended up downloading Strava to track my race. I am addicted to numbers and I love being able to analyze afterwards, I never touched it to check my time during the race.



Here are my results from the past two years, I actually ended up beating last year's time! Note the pace is per km and not per mile.
How cool of a medal is this? The handcuffs actually dangle.


I have so many ideas that I need this as self diary and maybe I can help someone else along the way.