Loony Challenge 4 Weeks to Go

Weekly Miles Planned: 35 Miles
Actual: 33.5 Miles.  The perfectionist in me is bothered by this, but the healthier part of my brain is fine with it.

Long Run Miles Planned: 10-12 Miles
Actual:: 10.96 Miles on Sunday morning

Sunday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout, Sunday Abs
Run - 10.96 miles, same route as my last long run, though a touch faster than last time
Sunday Kettlebells - done; I used at 12kg bell for squats and high pulls, and started with a 6kg bell for overhead press, and then moved to an 8kg bell for 4,3,2,1 sets
Abs - also done.  Then I lay on the floor and stretched for a while.
From today, I learned: Run: I can go a bit harder and last the distance.
Weights: I am strong enough for the 8kg, though it's always gonna be harder after a long run
Bonus learning from today: I'm re-reading Mind Gym and the author says he challenges the athletes he works with to think in their training about what they can learn to be better tomorrow.  That's how this bullet got added to my training logs.

Monday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 7 Miles Run around Baker Park Reserve. My 'finisher' today was running up the big hill at the end instead of walking.  This was a well done run.  I went 'harder' but had stuff left in the tank too.  A solid effort for the day.
From today, I learned: The hills weren't as bad as I thought.
Look about at the ground, about six feet ahead on the hill, don't look at the top
My hill mantra is 'pick up my knees and fly away' or 'fly' for short

Tuesday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Run 5.31 Miles in the morning. Easy.
Weights: Tuesday weights.  Including I did 2 sets of squats at 80lbs (bar + 17.5lbs on each side), and 1 set at 75lbs. I didn't think I could do the heavier weight, but then I tried it and it was okay, so I tried it for a second set.
From today, I learned: Running - I was looking at 'paces' from last year and realized I need to calm my shit down, becuase my heart rate training is in a lot different place from last year, like running solidly at lower heart rates than I could last year.
Also, easy days easy.

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual:4.53 miles of trail running. This was completely not at MAF.  The last part of it was all out and super fun.
From today, I learned: I can push hard focusing on effort, not pace. Push hard and let the run flow.

Thursday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 1.21 Miles in the morning.  Weights will not be today.
From today, I learned: Get up and get it done!

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.3 Miles on the treadmill
Thursday weights.  For some reason overhead press were crazy hard this morning.
From today, I learned: How to enter weight reps into Carb Manager. How does it not have 'overhead press' as an exercise?  Nor the assisted pull up machine.

Saturday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 3.25 Miles in the crazy hot weather.  3 minutes 'finisher' at the end.  This 72* is from 8am before I even headed out to run.
From today, I learned: I need to think about my long run tomorrow.  Like, what do I want to get out of this long run and how can I accomplish those goals in the heat? Because it was hot today and it's going to be at least as bad tomorrow.


Trail Run Wednesday

Plan: This has to be a fast run because of some timing issues.  So, run fast.

Route: Blue Hill Trail  and I find the elevation map on here to be the most accurate to my own experience.  Somehow, Strava is not doing this one justice.

Weather: High 70s or low 80s, slightly humid, crazy sunny, and there was a fair bit of wind later in the run.  Garmin is saying about 10mph, but it felt like more than that.

Wardrobe: Guys shorts, 2xu tank (the one where in theory the pockets are a good idea, but not so much in practice), hat, trail shoes, tall socks. It looked like this:

Execution: I tried to keep myself in check for a little while, because I did not have a long warm up, but eventually I just let it rip.  I had a blast.

Nutrition: The run was only 4.5 miles so I didn't carry anything with me. Instead let me tell you how happy I am that I did not step on this turtle: super happy.  PS - it's a boy!

From today, I learned: Running into the wind: don't force it.  Focus on form and keeping the movement fluid.
Running fast can be fun but exhausting.
Don't look at the pace.  The pace is for trails and without a solid warm up. 
Do a solid warm up on race day.

Bonus: Remember that year I had 'trail Mondays' and it was a thing?  That was also the year I found all of the ticks in the world.  I really enjoy this trail and I wish it were closer to me.  I'd solid bring back Trail Mondays just for this.


Bonus Long Run

Plan: This run is not about pace.  This run is about listening to my body.  This run is about understanding what my body does on hills. And have fun!

Route: Baker Park Reserve - I'll ask Strava in a minute how long it is since I've been here, but for sure over a year.  I've missed this place so hard. 

Weather: Started in the 50s and some wind.  It was a bit chilly at the start.  Super sunny and gorgeous day.

Wardrobe: Shorts, tank, road/trail shoes.  I wore my bearcat colors today.
Execution: I had a blast.   I ran hard, but not so hard I was miserable.  I am purposefully not looking at my splits yet, because today was not about pace.
Nutrition: Half a salted avocado before the run, then hard boiled eggs wrapped in prosciutto afterwards and two cans of La Croix.

From today, I learned:
I need to have Saturday races in my head in addition to the 10-miler, which has been my biggest focus.
I can run well when I listen to my body.
My mantra for the hills was 'fly' or 'pick up my knees and fly away' and my mantra for all the other times was 'flow'
I can run well on some hills, and looking at the ground about 6 feet in front of me was really helfpul
I need to have a Saturday nutrition plan, because I ran hard and now I do not want anything to eat.  That will not go well on race weekend.

Bonus: I absolutely froze to death on the way home.  It was in the 60s and I had the heat and my seat heater on.  That's another thing to remember for race day.


Long Run Sunday - another day on the river flats

Plan: Run the same route as the last long run.  Let the heart rate creep a little higher, but still use the heart rate monitor.  (My watch was set to beep at 153bpm vs the usual 145bpm.)
After the run, do Sunday weights and Sunday abs.

Route: I really like the route from my last long run so I used it again. I'm not too strict on how I wind my way through downtown.  I just follow the streets that give me a green light to cross.  My Garmin got a little lost today among all the buildings.
Weather: Started off in the 50s, ended in the 60s.  Sunny and a slight bit of wind. This was a great day.  It was cool enough that I could really enjoy the run without over heating.

Wardrobe: Nike guys shorts, my all shirt, visor, wool socks and my purple skora shoes.  Those are the shoes I wore last year on race day, and probably will again, so why not practice in them? 
Execution: I was really happy with this run.  My heart rate did get a little wild at the end, but it felt better than the last long run, and I felt more in control during the later miles than I did last time when I threw in some walks.
Weights went much better than last week when I had to abandon. I used a 12kg bell for squats and high pulls, and a 6kg bell for sets 7,6,5 of overhead press, then an 8kg bell for the remaining sets. 
Nutrition: Pre run: Avocado.  During the run: A sip of water, literally.  Maybe I should just not carry water on these runs any more?  It's getting to be kind of a hassle.  After the run, a Larabar and Coffee with cream for the bus ride home.

Bonus: This was the first Vikings home game.  Game time was 12pm.  I wasn't bothered by the Vikings people while I was running, but Caribou had a line out the door for coffee, and the bus got caught in traffic getting home. So in the future, I think I'll probably check the schedule and plan ahead for game days.


Loony Challenge Step Back Week - 5 Weeks To Go

Step Back Week
Weekly Miles Planned: 20-25 Miles
Actual: 22+ Miles, and some walking

Long Run Miles Planned: 5-8 Miles How are there only 5 weeks to go?!?
Actual: 6 Miles a couple different days this week

Sunday Planned:t 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout, Sunday Abs
Actual: 1.16 miles run, walked 'till my mileage for the day was 2 miles.  Tried Kettlebells and got dizzy and super high heart rate so gave up the ghost.  Not every workout can be perfect.

Monday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 1.21 miles in the morning.  You may call me captain grumpy pants.

Tuesday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: Run 1.21 miles in the morning.  No weights.  Captain Grumpy Pants is still captaining the ship over here.

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 6 Miles Run.  I didn't look at my heart rate or my pace, I just ran for fun, and it felt good.
Tuesday weights done on Wednesday.  I'm still grumpy in the morning, but I found time this afternoon to get some things done.

Thursday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 6 Miles in the morning.  3 minutes 'finisher' at the end of the run.  This was a great run.  It was nice and cool in the morning.  (Pics taken from roughly the same place on two different days.  Hello sunrise!)

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 4.16 Miles before dawn.  First flashlight run of the summer/fall. Thursday weights today.  (I'm a day off because I was a grump on Tuesday).

Saturday Planned: 1-6 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 3 Miles around my happy place.  3 minutes 'finisher' at the end of the run.  I was super grumpy and felt a bit lousy during this run.  Then I realized I'll be at this same place in my cycle on race day, so I started making plans in my head, about 'adjusting' my cycle slightly.


Looney Challenge - 6 Weeks To Go

Weekly Miles Planned: 34 Miles
Actual: 34+ miles

Long Run Miles Planned: 12 Miles
Actual:: 10.91 Miles on Sunday

Sunday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout, Sunday Abs
10.91 Miles Average HR was 138, but it was around 150 at the end.
Sunday Kettlebells: done
Sunday Abs: Also done, which surprises no one more than me

Monday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 8 Miles at MAF.  On the track, inside, because it was 76* and 85% humidity when I woke up.  Like yesterday, my heart rate got a little wild around mile 7.  Did I mention this was inside?  I'd headed to the gym with the idea of doing most of this on the elliptical listening to an audio book, but then I was all 'just see how far you can make it on the track' and then I did the whole thing there.

Tuesday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 1 Mile on the treadmill.  It was raining and the weather is supposed to be on point the next couple of days.
Tuesday weights: accomplished except I did overhead press instead of bench press.  First time I've been at the gym and both benches were in use the entire time.  I will swap for Thursday.

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 5.25 miles, 3 of which where in Z3.  This run was a pleasure.  Mileage is swapped with yesterday because of the weather.  3 minutes 'finisher' after the run. 

Thursday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.31 miles run, in the afternoon.  I'm always slower (read: my heart rate goes nuts easily) after lifting.
Thursday weights, except I did bench press instead of overhead press becuase of Tuesday.

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.21 miles after work.  I was a bit stiff, and sort of grumpy to start with. But I drove 175 miles today, so really this was a great way to end the day and the work week. (And yes, I totally set my 6pm 'you have to run' alarm, but I wound up not needing it.)

Saturday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 3.25 miles around one of my favorite lakes.  (This was all the miles I needed to finish up the week.)  I wore sandals for this run.  Sandals and grass do not mix. Quick 'finisher' after the run.


Thursday Linkfest

It's been a long time since I've done one of these.  I'm thinking about bringing them back.

The 'Wrong Side of the Tracks is the East Side for historical, economic, etc reasons.  East LA?  East St Louis?  Pulled some points together I didn't know.

Sign Needs to Be Updated.  I was telling someone in Ohio, using this lake's old name is almost like a slur now.  Like, literally that guy was so bad we don't say his name.  Like American History Voldermort.

I would describe myself as keto-curious so I found this helpful.  I guess I'm more interested in the 'fat adapted' part as a runner.

In other news, A white guy wants to tell a black lady to dress more lady like, so she rolls all over the court in a tutu.  And the follow up, another white guy tells another girl how to dress although at least this time the WTA are having none of it.


Sunday Long Run - Mississippi River

Plan: Try to stay mostly at MAF.  In retrospect, I could've had a better plan for the later miles.  Instead I came up with that on the fly: Run hills to get the feel for what you should do in the race.

Route: I ran out along the creek, then up the river into downtown and ended at my gym.  I needed to lift weights and do abs there.  Then I took the bus home.
Weather: Started at 68* and 95% humidity.  The sun did come out at some point, so the humidity got somewhat better.
Wardrobe: Skora shoes, illuminite shorts and 2xu top.  I wore my bigger belt for the water bottles (2 zipper pockets) and it was a bit uncomfortable because of where the bottles sit on my sides (not enough room to swing my arms). 

Execution: Like my Cincinnati run, this was good 'till like mile 7, and then I got tired and my heart rate got high.  Unlike Cincinnati, this is also when the hills really started for me, and I walked less than when I was in Cincinnati so that's a win.
Nutrition: I had half a salted avocado before I left, and a few sips of water along the way.  At the end of the run (before weights/abs) I had a Larabar.

Bonus: This was my first time in a long while running to the gym and then busing home.  I picked an awesome day.  I missed the Foreign Legion Parade by a few minutes, and the bus was detoured for Open Streets, though that wound up not adding any time to the trip.  Remember for next time: I should make sure I have my own coffee thermos.  Paper cups are now inadequate to my needs.


My Pet Spider

My "pet" spider...

Some background: A day before I met my new 'pet', my cousin's wife (Supermom) puts this status on Facebook that her dtr Supergirl (such a good blog name right?) was talking to some boys at her preschool.  One of the boys says 'oh this other girl can play with us too because she's pretty' and Supergirl replies 'I'm not just pretty.  I'm strong, and I can lift a chair over my head.  And I respect nature, I have a bird feeder.  And I listen to my parents'.  She's four.  (This is paraphrased, but I've hit the key parts.)

When I got home from my trip, I discovered I had a new 'pet' on my patio.  Normally, I'd leave her alone, but she'd specifically moved onto my patio chair, and wove her web across a walkway I use all the time.  This spider is big for Minnesota and I'm aware of it's presence from touching it's web which is crazy strong. Ok, time to be a grownup.

I found a stick, and slowly deconstructed the web.  My pet spider took refuge on my patio chair.  That's not cool.  So I had to gently approach her with a very long stick.  I got her to climb on that so I could relocate her to 'not on my patio'.  Y'all know I got some pictures first, right? After this, and after I stopped feeling my spider crawling on my skin everywhere, I posted on facebook about my adventure, and gave Supergirl credit for the strength to get through this.  The facebook status was so popular, I wound up naming the spider after Supergirl.  The real Supergirl says I'm funny because I said the spider's web could also lift my chair over it's head.  Did I tell you how strong this web was?  I almost got scissors and knives to clean it up. 

A day or two later I went back out to my patio.  I guess spider-Supergirl has forgiven me.  She's rebuilt her web in a much more convenient place.  It's on some pipes up against a wall, so it's not in my way.  I hope she gets lots of good food there.  I've posted a couple update picks on Facebook so Supergirl knows that I am glad for her example and I too respect nature.


Loony Challenge - 7 Weeks To Go

Weekly Miles Planned: 34 Miles
Actual: 34+ miles

Long Run Miles Planned: 12 Miles
Actual:: 11.45 Hilly miles in Cincinnati.  It was sometime last year training for this same batch of races that I last ran this far.

Sunday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout, Sunday Abs
Actual: 11.45 miles, mostly at MAF, though the last mile or two were touch and go.  (I've done this run before, in apparently the same shirt and hat.)  4 minutes 'finisher' of squats, standing leg raises, and side steps.  No abs or weights because I was out of town.  We'll see if those get made up.

Monday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 6.82 Miles around Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska.  No plyos, but a finisher of squats, standing leg raises and calves. I was grumpy most of this run, but glad I did it once it was over.

Tuesday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: Run 5.26 miles in the morning, Avg Hr 136, pace 13:33/mile.
3 minutes 'finisher' of squats, standing leg raises, calf raises
Afternoon Tuesday weights (except I swapped overhead press instead of bench press).  I have 'moved up' in weights to 55lbs overhead press, for reals.  One day I will get the stones to move up on my squats too!

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.19 Miles run in the morning.  And then I worked all day and did a 'video interview' for TCM in the evening.

Thursday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.16 Miles in the morning.  3 minutes 'finisher' of squats and raised leg raises.  No weights because of the logistics of my life.

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.2 miles in the morning.  Thursday weights in the afternoon.  Where I met Ms Iva at the gym.  She congratulated me on my weight lifting and told her I was a motivation to her.  (I see her all the time and I feel the same way about her.)

Saturday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Plyos
Actual: 4.16 Miles at above MAF because I am grumpy. 3 minutes 'finisher'.