Long Run Sunday: Winter at Lake Harriet

Plan: Go for a run, then go for a burger with my training buddy.  Go at least 8 miles.  Hills would be a bonus.

Route: Down, along the creek to Lake Harriet, and then back home along the bikeway. According to Strava, I have done this route before, but not often and it's been a while.

Weather: It was 15* and 5mph winds when I started, crazy sunny, and warmed up throughout the run. I wore
  • Fleece lined tights
  • Wool Socks+sock liners
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • 1/4 zip
  • My new red sweatshirt
  • Ear warmer band, gloves

Execution:  Once I started running I didn't look at my watch once.  I kept it slow, but apparently not too slow considering the heart rate. I did keep it mildly aggressive on the hills.  Even on 40th up to Park Ave.  I hate that hill.  But all my races this year have mighty hills.  I was proud of myself for getting this done, and even more proud of myself when I realized the actual mileage versus my goal.

Nutrition: I had a bowl of yogurt before I left for the run.  I didn't carry food or water with me.  That was okay,  but this is about the limit of not bringing food and water on a run.  I was crazy thirsty when I got back.

Bonus: Everyone else was out today too.  I saw walkers, runners, bikers, hockey, and broom ball.  I didn't even know we did the outside broom ball.


Winter Running. Brrr.

I am surprised to report that I got myself outside for a run today. It helped that I got a call from a friend, and if I timed my run right, I could also get a hamburger out of the equation.

Thoughts as I was laying on my couch trying to get myself out the door:
Ice - I was originally dreading ice above all.  The iciest patches are actually right by my house.  Some stuff that was icy the other day has improved.  Outcome: Not as bad as I thought.
Weather - Temps were okay.  It was windy though.   Outcome: I did cut the run short because wind.
Gym - I really didn't want to be at the gym.  That's why I went outside and put up with the ice and the wind.  Outcome: Gym avoidance accomplished.

Originally planned as an 8 mile route, along the Parkway and to the River.
Actual: 6 miles along the parkway.  It was really windy, and I decided I didn't need to be out in it for ever.

9* when I started.
12-15mph winds out of the south. The winds were the bigger problem than temperatures.  But I knew they'd be less of a problem on the way home, and even somewhat at my back on the way home.

I didn't look at my watch at all while running.  Because it was buried under several lays of clothing while I was out. I was surprised when I got home that I held a pretty steady pace, and a bit faster than I'd been thinking I was moving.

I paid like $1.99 for this fleece headband.  It's crazy thick and it's the best thing I ever bought for running.


2016 Goal Review

This post and this post both had 2016 goals.  Here's the review of how I did.

February: Valentines Day 5K  Check
March: Hot Dash  Check
May - not sure about Flying Pig but I may do a walking half marathon with a friend. - Walking Half Marathon with a friend.  I did not go home for the pig.
June - I want to do Lola's Half Marathon, but this may be a little much - I did it and it was a little much.  For a while I was hungry for revenge, but I'm not sure I'll do it in 2017.  The course is open to cars and I'm just not wild about that.
July - Red White and Boom Half Marathon - Check and it was my favorite race of the year.
September - I want to try Running of the Bays Half Marathon which looks awesome.  My Pooky Bear had also mentioned a half marathon in Duluth which could be fun. - I did not do either race and I'm totally cool with it.
October - TCM 10 Miler - check.
Bonus Goal - I really want to run the Flying Pig Full Marathon in 2017.  Update: Hell no.
Training log - made some updates to the way I track weight lifting and will continue to play with that in 2017
Weight lifting - increased dramatically in 2016 towards the end of the year.  This wasn't a goal in January but it became a point of interest as time went on.
Step back weeks - no changes
Long runs - no changes for 2016.  Goal for 2017 is to have Sunday and Monday be long run days of about equal mileage, because that's how both 3-way and Loony will be.
Heart rate training - 2016 my Z2 running improved dramatically.  This was completely unexpected.  2017 goal may be to actually try the real MAF method, but I'm uncommitted.
Other runs - 2016 goal was to find some 'purpose' for runs on days other than long runs.  I added "hill or trail runs" and Z2 runs, and some speed work.  It gave my training a surprising amount of focus.
Hill runs - 2016 every Monday.   2017 hopefully keep every Monday and find a way to work hills into the long runs.  Hello Ft Snelling?
Elliptical - 2016 goal was to do Z2 workouts on the elliptical.  I sort of abandoned this as I got more confident and patient with actual Z2 runs.
Pictures - 2016 goal was to take my phone on at least all of my long runs.  I think I did okay.  I got enough for the calendars at least.  This goal is always harder in the winter when my phone needs to be babied.

2016 Running

I did some different things in 2016, and some of the same. 

Weight Lifting
2016 I added this right at the end of the year, November and December in particular.  I made it my mission in life to get to the gym regularly to lift.  In December I got some more instructions on lifting with the big bar.
2017 Goal - Continue lifting 3 days/week.  I do TRX/Kettlebell class on Tuesdays, and then lift on my own Thursdays and Saturdays.  The big question is how running will be impacted?  Will I ramp up miles again?  Will I hold back on miles a bit to accommodate more lifting?  Will I do more elliptical on lifting days?  (This has happened once or twice.)

Mileage Increase
2016 Somewhere in 2016 I got the wild idea to increase my "on" weeks to 40 miles per week, but kept my "off" weeks around 25 miles per week.  I wound up running/walking/elliptical the most miles in any year I've tracked.
2017 Goal - Continue running 40 miles per week "on" and 25 miles per week "off".  If that stinks, drop down to 35 miles per week "on".  I liked the 40 miles per week, but that was before weight training.  We'll see if I keep that mileage up.

Running Streak
2016 Staying strong
2017 Goal - Keep up the running streak

Speed Training
2016 - I added 'speed training' working up to the 10 miler.  It gave me confidence that I could run faster, but I think it wound up draining me a bit before the end of training.
2017 - Add tempo runs around goal race pace?  Maybe? I haven't really decided.

Race Series
2016 - Summit Challenge
2017 Goal - Flying Pig 3 Way and TC Loony Challenge. 

Hill Training
2016 - Every Monday was 'hill training'.  All my 2016 races had big hills, especially the 10 mile and this gave me lots of confidence.
2017 - Keep hill training in some way. 


Track Thursday

Brrr. And snow.  Mostly windchill.  Therefore, I run on the track.

I was emotionally unprepared to run slow at a constant heart rate.  So an interval workout seemed more appropriate.  I tried to keep my heart rate low for the 7 and 6 laps intervals.  And the rest I ran by feel. This track workout has always been a go to for me.  It's long, but it gets more fun and faster as the workout goes on.

My goal is to be able to run 9:00/mile in a marathon.  Today, I could barely hold it for a lap.  Looks like I have a lot of work to do.


Winter Is Here Though it Would've Been Better With Pictures

The Plan: I had delusions of grandeur last night when I set my alarm to get up at 8am and go for a run.  I came to my senses and turned that nonsense off.  I had backup plans of running up and down my street five or six times 'till I'd got my mile in. But by 2pm I was fairly confident most people had shoveled or plowed, and I was ready for an adventure.  I grabbed my old point and shoot camera and my yak trax and headed out. About six or seven minutes in to the run (just far enough that I was not turning around) I realized I'd grabbed my camera but not the battery.  Oh Fail! 
The Run: I ran 'naked' sort of.  I had my Garmin on, but covered up by my shirt and jacket sleeve so I never saw it.  That was the only way to do this run.  Trying to jump over piles of snow and run in tire treads in un-plowed land just jacks up the heart rate sky high.  I ran an odd circuit of Lake Hiawatha, opting for all plowed sidewalks versus my normal route, then Lake Nokomis, and then back through the neighborhood.  I finished up with two striders, just to get myself to seven miles.

The Snow: The overwhelming majority of the route was plowed or shoveled.  There were some rough times getting across some streets through the snow plow debris.  (What do we call those big ridges?) I did run in my YakTrax and was glad for them.  If the street corners had been a bit more groomed, I think I could've gotten away with my trail shoes.

Disappointment: When I got back from the run, I was a bit bummed.  I think the biggest thing I was bummed about was not having my camera.  It's weird to feel defeated because I forgot a battery.  I was also a tinge concerned about my heart rate, but I really have to keep in mind there was some deep and un-shoveled snow in some places and that screws with everything.  And I wasn't trying to keep the heart rate low.  I was just running how I felt.   I should get over it because while I was running, I felt really great, even deep into mile six and seven when I should've been tired I felt good.

The Rest of Town: So we've had around six inches of snow.  More in the southern suburbs and less in the northern suburbs.  Snow started Saturday around 2pm.  It was 'snowing' while I was out, though the weather service said it stopped really accumulating around 10am and I'd believe that.  It's a lot of snow though.  It's giving MnDOT a run for it's money with keeping the roads clear.   This is a map of how traffic looks now, at 5:30pm on Sunday.  A full 8 hours after the snow has stopped.


Winter is coming

Minnesota has been enjoying a weak La Nina year (or so I'm told), and it's been crazy warm.  We've had a couple of snows that have basically melted and our lakes are not yet frozen.  I'm told, though, winter is coming.

Sunday - I woke up to 2 to 3 inches of snow.  I had delusions of grandeur thinking that the Greenway would be plowed.  Sigh.  I ran six miles anyways.  In the snow.  My shoes were so wet by the time I was done. This was out to be a good run because I didn't look at my watch or my heart rate ever.  I kept the HR relatively low until the last mile or two, and then it was fun to kick things up a bit.

Monday - Most of the snow has melted, though there are big patches here and there.  Winds were coming up from the south, around 10mph.  I ran outside anyways though, because the words artic blast are being tossed around in the forecast for the rest of the week.  I also didn't look at my watch on this run.  I was feeling ish and my heart rate was all over the place.  Not looking at my watch was a good thing, because my heart rate turned out okay for the most part.

December Running - I had a great slump in October and November.  It involved a lot of hamburgers and beer.  And it was glorious.  I am coming back to actual running this month.  And I'm adding the challenge of figuring out how to increase mileage with 3 weight lifting sessions per week.  This week, goal is 26 miles and I think I'll get there.  I'm seeing the importance of high mileage days when I'm not lifting weights.


Run Streak - thoughts 4 years on

In October 2012, I started this little run steak, just thinking I'd do it for a couple months as part of a fitness challenge.  Well... First I made it six months.  And I kept going.  Then, I made it a year and honestly didn't know if I would keep it up.  But I did. I wrote about my 2 year anniversary but obviously skipped year 3.

Here's how things are 4 years on 1500 days on: 
  • I definitely didn't mean this to go four years, nor 1500 days when I started
  • I don't remember a time when I didn't run every day.  And that is weird.
  • I honestly have no desire to give it up. 
  • I have nightmares about missing my mile.  True story.  The worst is when I get home and take a nap on my couch in the late afternoon, and I'm all "I'll run when I wake up".  All my dreams will be about messing up my mile in some way. 
  • People often don't get it, but they still try to be supportive.  In general.  There are those who really don't understand why working out makes a body feel good and not bad.  I keep working out in the hopes that doesn't happen to me.
  • Those "I am so lucky I get to run everywhere" statements that pepper this blog, still true!
PS - my 1500th day, I got up at 5am and ran 1.2 miles before getting in the car and driving for 10 hours to be with family for Thanksgiving.  It was quite a way to celebrate. 


November Running Slump

Each year, I ramp up to big races in October.

And then I fall off the training wagon in November.  And it's a freaking pleasure.  Here's how things have been going so far.

One mile per day - still happening
Anything else - not really happening
Goal: get mildly back into running with my annual "Turkey Trot" (not a race, just something I do by myself)

Once/week - usually I'm taking a walk with a friend at least once/week, sometimes more.  That's been a fantastic addition to my life.
Goal: If it's nice, keep it outside.  If it's meh, maybe the track at the gym.

Weight Lifting:
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - have become my weight lifting day.  I'm swinging kettle bells all 3 days.  Soon I will have rock hard abs.  If only you could see them under all the hamburgers I've eaten in October.
Goal: Keep it up! 


Training Update: Weight Lifting

For the rest of the year, training plan looks like this.

  • Try to lift weights 3/week.  This is an exploratory phase.  Nothing right or wrong can happen here.  Just put in the work.
  • Drink all the beer you want.  Eat all the hamburgers ever while drinking all that beer.  It's still the off season.  This can go on until the weigh ins for Maintain Not Gain. 
  • Run at least a mile per day.  Mileage per week does not matter.  Hills, long runs, etc do not matter.  Running has to be fun.

  • Sign up for Maintain Not Gain which is a late fall tradition at my gym.  Maybe pull back on the beer and hamburgers a bit. 
  • Run at least a mile per day.
  • Thanksgiving - do my own personal "Turkey Trot" and use it as a jumping off point to get back into running a bit more. 
  • Lift weights 3/week.  Hopefully this continues.

  • Don't screw up Maintain Not Gain
  • Run at least a mile per day
  • Lift weights 3/week
  • Problem solve how to lift weights at home when I'm there for Christmas, and then complete said action plan.

  • Early in the year, seriously improve my 5K times.  I haven't decided if I'm going to hire a personal trainer for this or not. 
  • Lift weights with the goal of getting stronger and losing weight (or at least losing inches and clothing sizes)


What matters most in running tights?

So Run to the Finish asked "What matters to you in running capris?" 

In a word: Drawstring.  
I'm completely not at all down with the 'wide comfort waist' bullshit.  In anything other than shorts, I want a drawstring.  End of story.  I don't care about zippers or key pockets or 'reflective' whatever the hell.  I have the kind of body with a skinny waist and big legs.  Something that is two sizes too big in the waist will still be touching my thighs.  Just give me a drawstring to keep that stuff up.

My favorite tights of all time are the Nike Running Carpis in several different colors, and almost always available at the Nike Outlet store nearest you.  All of the big running brands also offer capris and tights with drawstrings.  I have some from Asics, Addidas, Avia and cold weather sweatpants from Brooks. 

I haven't bought pants from Running Funky yet, but I'm sure I will.  Because with every style, length, and print, they offer the option of a drawstring in the waist.  ::Love::
These are Asics tights paired with an Ink N Burn Christmas Shirt