Monday, July 25, 2016

Chicago Triathlon Training: Week Seven (marathon week 9)

Here we go - back for another training update!

First, the schedule, planned vs actual:

Training Plan

Actual workouts
I mentioned last weekend that I got sick on Sunday, and that resulted in me skipping some more workouts this week. I felt pretty freaking lazy doing it, but I decided I would rather take a few days off entirely, get some extra sleep, and feel good coming back - rather than getting up stupid early trying to half ass workouts just to say I did them.

I also realized after my seven miles on Wednesday that I would not be ready to tackle a half by the weekend. And that's okay. I took nearly a month off from running, it's okay if I'm not quite there. I've amended my training schedule and I have a few more weeks to boost my conditioning to get back on plan.'s the damage:

Monday, July 18 - easy swim 1.8, weights rest
Like I said up top, I stuck to resting on Monday, and even got to bed early. Does a body good!

Tuesday, July 19 - 3 miles (speedwork) rest
Ditto here, although I was starting to feel like such a slacker because of it.

Wednesday, July 20 - 7 miles, weights
Wednesday I woke up very early to get my run in so I wouldn't have to run in the heat after work. I was out of bed and puttering around at 3:30, and left my house at 3:50. I decided to loop around a few of the subdivisions and then back to my house to rehydrate before the last few miles. I ended up doing a 5 mile loop to start - and that was definitely too long to go without any water, Nuun, or Salt Stick.

Though it was coolish when I left my house (high 60s) the humidity was more brutal than I anticipated and I was sweating like crazy. I pulled my tech t-shirt off at around mile 2.5 and ran the rest of the way in my sports bra. I felt like an idiot for wearing leggings as well, because they were so freaking hot. The lack of hydration showed later...I ended up with an exercise-induced headache from not replenishing all those salts and electrolytes soon enough.

So...lesson learned. Just past 5 miles I was back at my house and grabbed my water bottle and salt stick, which I downed right away. For the last two miles I did an out-and-back right from my house. I finished up my last two miles and boy was I feeling it, but I made it back to my house before sunrise. Read that again...all 7 miles were done by 5:10...official sunrise was 5:35. My times were better than I anticipated...I would like to run the marathon at an 11:30 pace. Without so much humidity that might be possible...but I'll just had to stick it out to find out. I'm sure even my long run times will start dropping as fall rolls in (please dear god I hope that happens soon):
In case you're wondering...the run itself was pretty uneventful. I probably could have used a headlamp since some of the streets had very few streetlights, but oh well. neighbor was awake when I left and when I got back and let's just say the exchange was...interesting...

And then after work I lifted because why not?:

Thursday, July 21 - hilly bike 90 hilly bike 45
Though I fully planned to ride all 90 minutes of this on Thursday, I wasn't able to fit it in. We got some good news a few weeks ago at work that our department has been kind of out-performing expectations this quarter, and as a result they wanted to take us out for a celebratory dinner. As such, I only had enough time to fit in one loop of the hillier trail I ride before I had to get showered and cleaned up for dinner.

I'll be honest love lost here. It was freaking hot as hell and that one loop left me feeling a bit overheated and nauseous (and my average heart rate was a tick high for cycling, at 145bpm, andprobably why I felt like puking):

Friday, July 22 - tempo swim 2.1 weights, .5 swim
So, funny story. One day I was thinking about this training plan and kind of feeling like it's really swim heavy, and all I'd been doing was swimming ridiculous amounts. Then Katie texts me to ask about my plan and comment on the crazy amounts of swimming I'd been doing. It was such a relief, and I felt so happy that someone was telling me, 'Damn, you're in that pool a lot!" We chatted about some training stuff and I basically gave myself the go-ahead to cut down on the pool time after hearing what she's doing for her next Half Ironman (hint: it's not as much as I've been doing for my Oly, which is all sorts of ridiculous).

Anyways, Friday I had a 2 mile swim on my schedule, and I'd decided to pare it down to one to maintain my sanity. I decided that to make up the other hour of my workout, I would lift beforehand (because who doesn't love swimming on fatigued arms?).

So after work I headed to the gym for a long session lifting and swimming. The lifting went very well:
Squats AND lunges! This turned out to be the stupidest idea ever over the next two days.
About that swim bit the big one. The first 500 were fine, but after only 700 yards my feet were cramping so badly that I couldn't straighten out two of the toes on my left foot, and I decided to call it just shy of half a mile. I didn't even really care though. It'd be a rough day for me emotionally, I hadn't eaten or hydrated well before, and I wasn't going to keep beating myself up:

Saturday, July 23 - 13.1 miles, easy bike 80
The big plans for Saturday included going to a wedding at the Bristol Renaissance Faire...which meant I really, actually had to get up stupid early for a bike ride (rather than getting up early to beat the heat). I was up at 5:30, was driving and eating a Clif bar around 6:05, and was at Busse Woods pedaling at 6:20.

It took me just about 81 minutes to clear three loops (for a total of just under 22 miles):
It was hot and humid, so I hydrated the whole ride with Nuun and Salt Sticks, and after the ride I had a honey stinger gel. Really, 80 minutes is short enough that all I think about replenishing are liquids and electrolytes, but I knew it was going to be a hot day (with more sweating), so I wanted the gel to keep on top of things. And since I'm honest about things here...I totally dumped half of that honey gel into my post-ride coffee ;)

And then it was wedding time ;)

Sunday, July 24 - easy bike 80 10 miles
I did not get as much sleep as I should have Saturday night. We went over to some friends' after the wedding and technically I fell asleep at like 8:30ish (yeah, I'm that lame friend who chooses sleep over socialization when I'm training, thank goodness they're cool about me kipping on the couch), and at 11:30ish I woke up and motioned to Cam that it was time to get going. I knew Sunday would be hot and humid (again), and I wanted to get up for my run as close to six as possible.

I didn't fall back asleep until 12:45, and I was up for my alarm at 5:45, my entire body yelling at me from the squats, lunges, and bike ride. My legs were not excited for this run, and I felt like I'd stacked things against myself.

I took some time to wake up, drink water, and realize that I was not super prepared for this run. I didn't have my Camelbak which meant I'd have to hold my water bottle the entire run (or do a lot of loops back to my car).

Then I realized I forgot running socks. And I would have to dig the ones from Saturday's bike ride out of my laundry bag (because the laundry washer at Cam's was out of commission). So I pulled them out. And they were damp. And I ghetto rigged them into my window for the drive thinking that would dry them off. It didn't.
People were probably thinking 'WTF' when I drove by...
Anyways. I was already nervous about this run, and these little preparedness problems made me even more nervous. This was going to be my longest run this training cycle (even though I should have capped 13 at this point), and my longest run since half training last year.

It was hot. And humid. And damnit, I didn't want to go run in that.

But I sucked it up and got out there anyways, damp socks and all. Like Saturday's ride, I did this run at Busse Woods.

As I headed out I decided to do two out-and-back loops. The first would be a three miler (totalling six miles o-a-b) and bring me back to my car after just over an hour. At that point, I could get more water, take some Salt Sticks, and grab gummies for the last few miles. The second trek would be a slightly shorter 2 mile o-a-b (4 total) bringing me to my ten miles. During the first six I only hydrated with Nuun, and when I got back to my car I took in some extra water, two Salt Stick tabs, and three Honey Stinger gummies. Then I refilled my water bottle with Nuun and took the other gummies for the rest of my run. I had two per mile (with Nuun), and three at mile 9 (so one whole pack consumed during the last 4 miles). When I got back to my car I took one more Salt Stick. I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of hydrating and fueling for me...and it's magical how much better I feel after these runs!

One of the cool things about running at Busse was that I finally had the chance to see some of my #TeamRMHC teammates in action! I passed two people wearing the same singlet I was wearing, which was very cool. I can't wait til race day when there's a whole team of us!!

And as I kept running...especially the last two miles when things started to get tough, I just kept reminding myself why I'm doing this. How far I've come. That every effort I was putting in...because of the heat, the distance, the was all worth it. It's all what I'm conditioning my body for. That if I can do it during training, I can do it on race day.

Before I knew it...those ten miles were up. They ended up going better than I thought they would, although I fully admit that my clothes were completely soaked with sweat. I took off my singlet immediately and it was practically dripping. There was not a dry spot on my entire body.

I know that every drop of sweat will be worth it on marathon day. October 9th, here I come!

Finally, of note this week:
With my 7 miles on Wednesday and 10 on Sunday, I was able to earn three of the four medals for the Hogwarts Running Club's One HRC Marathon event. I didn't think it would ever happen! (Only a bit overdramatic because, well, injury.)
I still have 20k to complete (that's 13 miles, yo) to earn the Gryffindor piece.

Also of note...I have the HRC Half Blood Prince Half Marathon and the SHE Power 13.1 to finish still. My long runs are finally getting longer so I'll earn them all soon...but goodness that's a lot of halfs!

And there you have it...the week's activities. I'm gonna go to sleep now, thanks ;)


Sunday, July 24, 2016

A wedding at the Renaissance Faire

Don't worry, I'm totally working on my training update, but some things are way more fun than going to your college friend's wedding!

And what's even more fun? When they decide to have it at the Bristol Renaissance Faire!

I'll admit...I am terrible about taking pictures. If you've been reading for any length of time you know that. I did tell Sophie that I would post all of the pictures I took though, so here they are. However, now that I'm posting I'm kicking myself for not getting pictures of the cupcakes and cake (which I've stolen from someone else's Facebook anyways)...I just want to be up front about that, lol.

Fun, original, and totally perfect for Dan and Sophie:
From the moment I saw Sophie she had this smile on her face. As she came down the aisle she was literally bouncing with excitement (I stole this photo from someone on Facebook because when I saw it I thought 'You can totally tell she was bouncing with excitement down the aisle!!!'):
Rashila Grady...GREAT catch with this photo!
How amazing is her outfit?! Last year at the Faire she gave me a run through of what she planned on wearing, and everything came together way cooler than I imagined it. It reminded me of the dress from Belle's Enchanted Christmas but...way cooler. And prettier. And more elegant. She just looked amazing.

All of that said...I am so happy for my friend. She is amazing and strong and wonderful and deserves all the happiness in the world!
And this little peanut? She can squat 300 lbs. (Sorry Sophie, I had to mention your lifting prowess, I'm in awe!)
Other details: Cam and I decided to go with a piratey theme for our costumes, and we pulled it off pretty well. Unfortunately we were running about 10 minutes behind schedule and I wasn't able to get a picture of us together before we sweat through our costumes, so you'll have to deal with this selfie of us in the tent:
Arrr we be pirates! Very, very sweaty pirates.
Cam did take a picture of me showcasing my outfit though, because I promised my manager I'd take one:
That fan? ESSENTIAL. It was hot!
We both agreed that, as far as weddings go, we loved how laid back this was. It was fun to dress up in costumes and walk around the grass in bare feet and eat with our hands. Speaking spread of food ever:
I couldn't even finish it all. I only got about half way through that turkey leg before calling it which point I promptly went and got a cupcake to enjoy :P
I also stole this from Rashila...because some people are better about taking pictures of things than others.
I had a red velvet cupcake...out of character for me because normally I'm not a fan, but it was delicious and I wanted to eat all of the sugary sprinkles lol. If I hadn't been so full I would have had a carrot cake one as well because they looked divine. I kind of wished I'd skipped some of the lunch-fare and just NOMed the cupcakes, lol. Also, I am honestly amazed at how well all the decorations held up in the heat, too. And that cake topper? Totally Dan and Sophie! Swolemates for life ;)

I can't say enough good things :)

Finally, for anyone curious, I had my hair done by one of the Faire vendors just before the wedding. They did such an amazing job, were fast and friendly, and I was able to set everything up via Facebook to make sure I'd be ready in time for the wedding. Thank you Twisted Sisters!

I love that she chose a flower that perfectly complimented my outfit!
For what it's worth...I ran 10 miles the next day and this held up. When I got home from the run I really didn't want to take the braids out (I wanted to get my money's worth!), so I lathered up some shampoo in my hands and kind of squeezed it into the braid, then took the shower head (which is on a hose) and put it on one of the more gentle streams and held it right against the braids to wash it out. The design held up beautifully, and I just spritzed a bit of hairspray on it to hold down the frizzies:
But enough about that stuff!

Congratulations again to Dan and Sophie!
Your love for each other is palpable, adorable, and inspiring. I can't wait to see where this adventure takes you both!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Chicago Triathlon Training: Week Six (marathon week 8)

It was another rough week in terms of workouts. Things kind of went downhill on Friday and still haven't recovered.

Alas, on I forge. Getting there, day by day...mostly.

Monday, July 11 - rest day
Monday was supposed to be  rest day after the sprint, but I really wanted to go lift so I did!
I did supersets again, which is why I was able to fit all of this in. I think I'm ready to start doing more legs too...time to get some of that strength back!

I didn't realize it until a few days later, but between the squats, deadlifts, and my first run in almost a month on legs were SORE. They were singing the soreness all week. Yikes!

Tuesday, July 12 - tempo swim 2.2 (3700 yds), 3 miles
I swam my scheduled 2.2 miles on Tuesday. These long pool swims are not my favorite, but I guess I just gotta get 'em done:
I honestly can't remember which workout I did...that's what I get for not taking a picture of it!

One thing of note...I've been having problems with my feet cramping when I swim, and it almost always forces me into doing a lot of pull drills to give my legs a break. On Tuesday both the front and backs of my legs were cramping, which really sucked. Normally it's just my calves, but my peroneals and tib anteriors got in on the action this week.

So I went to my tri group and asked for some advice, and there were two things mentioned: How I point my toes, and making sure I'm hydrated properly (like, with salts and electrolytes). There's not a ton I can do overnight about how I kick, but I figured I could add in salt stick tablets before and during my swims in the future (see Friday for how that worked out!).

Just as a note: I skipped the run since I had six miles on the schedule for Wednesday, and I'm not supposed to run two days in a row yet (per the doctor). This was a planned skip, so I didn't feel bad about nixing it from the list.

Wednesday, July 13 - six miles
It had to be the hottest day of the year on Wednesday. It was at least 87 bajillion degrees, twelve thousand percent humidity, and my legs were for sure made of lead that day. Basically, it was all around ridiculous, but after work I stopped at a trail to fit my six miles in. I wasn't sure how my shin would feel during the run, and I was hoping for at least four of the six miles.

Well...I managed them all. Barely. Though I didn't feel like dying until the very end (from the heat, not the distance), this was a hard run, and I saw my slowest mile times ever. Great confidence booster when you're just getting back to it. My mile times were two full minutes slower than my run on Sunday (after I'd swam and biked). It was hot out. I'm blaming that.

It's not pretty but I stuck with my heart rate training so I just gotta deal:
Slow...but kept my average heart rate at 149. Whoopie.

Thursday, July 14 - 90 minute hilly bike
I took Thursday off work because Cam's aunt was in from Idaho and we were planning a day in the city. At around 10 Cam and I met up at one of the hillier trails and got things rolling (hah, pun).

My legs still felt like lead, and I intentionally slowed it down during this ride and took it easy. I knew I had another long ride the next day (or at least I thought I did...) so it felt like the right thing to do:
Check out how slow I can go...
...and yes. I slacked on those last six minutes. SUE ME.

Friday, July 15 - long tempo brick 80/30
I wasn't planning to do the run portion of this brick...but I ended up skipping the whole thing. After the beginning of the week I was tired and just not feeling it. It's not like I skip workouts often, but I chose to skip this one. As a matter of fact...I was sitting in the parking lot, about to get out of my car when I decided I really just wanted to go home instead. So I caved.

If I'd known what was coming for the weekend, I probably would have sucked it up...but I didn't, and I'm trying not to beat myself up about it now because the weekend did crumble a bit. :( Such is life though...I just keep reminding myself that I'm not going to lose all conditioning because of a few missed days, but it's still a struggle to get out of that mindset.

Saturday, July 16 - weights, steady swim 2.1 (3,700 yds)
I slacked on Friday...I did not slack on Saturday. I was looking forward to lifting, but I was not looking forward to another long swim...and I did them both anyways.

The weights flew by - I was done before I even felt I'd started (this is why I feel like I need to add in more legs...):

And after that, I got in the pool for a long swim:
Workout source
Not too shabby for my lack luster feelings and tired arms!

I made sure to keep well hydrated too! I took a salt stick with breakfast, drank water throughout lifting (and protein after lifting and during my swim), popped another salt stick as I began my swim, hydrated with Nuun and a Honey Stinger gel, took one more salt stick during my workout, and one after (that's 4 salt sticks total, you can take up to 10 a day):
And...NO FOOT CRAMPS. So I think I might have figured out at least one large chunk of the solution to my problem! I'm sure resting on Friday helped, but I think the electrolyte replacement did a lot for me as well.

Sunday, July 17 - 13.1 miles
I woke up Sunday and I felt terrible.

Saturday around 5 as I was getting ready to go to a friend's I got a tickle in my throat. I honestly just thought I'd swallowed something wrong, but it turns out it might have been a bit more. I laid down on the couch at my friend's at about 8:30, and was out for the count by 9:30 (and I think I'm being generous with the time frame there). Because I was at someone else's house I was kind of in and out of sleep so it's not like it was quality, but I was shocked to wake up at almost one am and find out we were still there (I'd told Cam I wanted to leave at 11:30 because of my long run on Sunday). I said, I woke up on Sunday at 6 and felt awful - almost overtired. I was nauseous, tired, my throat hurt, and my stomach was cramping a bit. I thought I just needed to get up and get things shaking, but within 20 minutes of getting out of bed, I was laying on the couch with my dogs feeling awful, and all I wanted to do was sleep.

So I did. I fell asleep and woke up more than two hours later, not feeling that much better. I decided to scrap the run entirely. There was no point, especially if my body needed rest.

And now...
It's now Monday and I'm still not feeling great. I felt so not-great this morning that I left work early, because my head felt like it was in a vice. I couldn't focus on a single thing, and it felt like my one goal today was to will my phone not to ring. So at 10:30 I asked my manager if I could take a half day and leave at 11 (and he's awesome so he said yes).

Spoiler alert for next week's post...I skipped today's workout(s) too. I had weights and a swim on the schedule and I'm not doing them.

As a consequence of yesterday, I'm also going to go back into my marathon plan and rework it, pretty much to push everything back two weeks. I intentionally scheduled a few weeks off between the end of August and early September, and it looks like - between injury and illness - I'll now have to use those weeks for training. I've missed too many long runs at this point to just ignore them and forge could lead to reinjury if I do that. I'm not sure how things will look yet because of the triathlon (I'm not running 14 miles or something ridiculous the day before that!), but something has to change.

So there's that for now. I plan on posting my race recap this week, so keep an eye out for that! Here's to feeling better, and better training!