Sunday Long Run - Ft Snelling

Plan: Run the Ft Snelling route.  Keep the heart rate low.  Walk up the big hill.

Route: Along the creek to Ft Snelling, around the fort, then back home.  This is the route with all of the hills.

Weather: It was around 70* for this run.  I got up at 5am because I didn't want to deal with anything warmer than that.  Ever.

Walk up the big hill - Check
Keep the heart rate low - big fat check!  Avg HR 134
Run the route - well, there was a fall and then later I got sick.  But other than that, 'run the route' went okay too.  The fall involved a sideways roll, but nothing scraped or bruised.

Nutrition: I had a few sips of water and some gummies.  I had yogurt before I left the house.

Bonus: I saw an oriel, then later I saw a mom and Bambi deer.


Running with Discipline - Week 3

3 Weeks to Red White and Boom Two weeks to Red White and Boom: Step back week

Planned: short distance, nice and easy
Actual: 2 miles, Avg HR 138 (this was an inside run but the A/C was a bit on the fritz so I was hot), 8 minute abs

Planned: short distance, nice and easy
Actual: 3.55 miles, Avg HR 133

Planned: low heart rate run + weight lifting
Actual: 6 mile run, Avg HR 133 yes, for 6 miles, serious; 15 minute kettle bells, 15 minutes rowing machine

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.25 miles,Avg HR 131, Foam Rolling and Yoga video.  

Planned:  6-10 mile run + weight lifting (?)
Actual: 7.3 mile run, 10 mins foam rolling, and caught the last few minutes of a friends spin class. I don't know why I thought I'd ever lift weights on a Thursday. 

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.22 miles, Avg HR 122 this was not a fast run

Planned: nice and easy or speed workout + zumba
Actual: 4 miles, 2:00 fast every half mile.  82* at the start, 88* at the finish.  Hot.  No Zumba because I slept in instead.  Sigh


Thursday 2nd Long Run

Thursdays will now be known as "hot Thursdays" because all my runs seem to be in the afternoon when it's really hot.  This one was the hottest but wound up being an okay run.  This one wasn't supposed to be hot and wound up being not so fun

Plan: I had no plan.
Distance? I was going to go to the gym and run outside for at least a mile.  After that, I could see how I was feeling at any point on the run and finish any miles I needed to on the elliptical.
Heart rate?  Whatever feels good I guess.  Keeping it low in the beginning is always a good idea, but have fun.
Route?  Didn't even have that planned because I didn't know what I'd want to do outside.

Route: Ultimately, I went along the Cedar Lake Trail and around the lake itself, then headed back through Loring Park and the greenway to the gym.

Weather: Today was around 75*, sometimes sunny and sometimes humid.  I was okay the whole time, but I was really thirsty when I was done.

Execution: I started trying to keep my heart rate low, but got a bit messed up in Loring Park with all of the people setting up for Pride. Mostly, I stayed low heart rate until I was about done with Lake Cedar.  Then I decided I could do whatever I wanted and I sped up considerably.

Bonus: After I foam rolled, I caught the end of my friends spin class.  The pedal pub was parked outside the window of the spin class which was pretty funny. 


Before and After - Buffalo

Seen while running in Buffalo. Top photo is from this week. Bottom photo is from fall of 2014 when the sun set much earlier in the day, and I was getting done running just in time.


Running with Discipline - week 2

4 Weeks to Red White and Boom

Planned: Long run, 14 miles
Actual: 13.81 Miles and a finisher

Planned: Hills or trails
Actual: Hills by my house, 5.25 miles.  Avg HR 140 (That seemed low to me.)  Already I'm thinking why did I put hill day after long run day?  That was silly.

Planned: Low heart rate run, weight lifting
Actual: 3.15 miles (treadmill), Avg HR 136, 45 mins on the elliptical, 60 mins TRX/Kettle Bell class

Planned: 1 mile
Actual 1.23 miles, Avg HR 132 

Planned: 10 miles or so
Actual: 8.45 miles of not the best run ever.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.25 miles running.  20 mins foam roll.

Planned: some kind of speed work
Actual: Track workout (inside in the a/c) 1 mile warm up, 1/2 lap fast, 1/2 slow - for a total of one mile, 1 mile cool down


Thursday Second Long Run - Ugh

Plan:  Be in Buffalo at the end of the work day.  Park at the park, change there, and have a run. Keep the heart rate low.  It's okay to walk up that hill at the end.

Route: This is an out and back, starting at the northern end. By the lake, and then south along the  County 12 bike trail.  Around the lake itself there is a sidewalk.  South of the lake is a crushed limestone trail that I've been on before

Weather: This is where the wheels fell off the wagon.  All day it'd been 65* and cloudy.  The moment I go in to change my clothes, the clouds instantly burn off and it is 80* and sunny.  It was a hot run and I'm sporting something of a sunburn for it.

Execution: This run was all over the place.  My heart rate was high from the beginning.  In the middle of the run I walked a bit for a couple different reasons, and then I used the 5:00 run, 2:00 walk interval to get me home.  I definitely did walk up that massive hill at the end.

Nutrition: Did I mention I forgot to bring my gummy chews?  Yup.  I am a genius. I did have water though.

Bonus: There was a fair going on in town so after the run, I got a massive diet coke with a very cheap refill and drank it all.


Long Run Sunday: The Creek and The Lakes

Plan: Get up early.  5am.  On Sunday.  Run 13-14 miles.  Low heart rate.

Route: A full loop involving some of the best running spots in town. This route is new to me.  Obviously I've run all of these places before.  I've just never put things together in quite this way.

Weather: Mother nature was making me nervous.  I walked outside and saw lightning up in the clouds and very far away.  Still, WTF?!?  My weather app said the storm had already passed me by and I'd be fine. Still, the sky looked ready to rain for at least half the run.  By the time I got back and stretched out, clear blue skies.

Execution: I am very pleased with the way this turned out. I tried to keep my heart rate in the 130s.  It started creeping up in the low 140s by Lake Calhoun and it was around 150 by the time I peeled off the Greenway and started heading south again.  Even with my heart rate that low, my splits were in the 13:xx range.  If you'd told me six months ago this is how I'd be running, I never would've believed you.

Nutrition: Due to a planning failure on my part, I was out of my favorite pre-run foods.  I had a banana but nothing else at 5am. I carried two water bottles but didn't drink much.   I had gummies, two chews every 3 miles.  I was hungry early on but felt better by the end.

Bonus: I did a post-run finisher involving squats, calf raises, standing leg raises, standing bicycles (ab work) and that cross over move.  After that I laid down in the grass and had a nice long stretch under blue skies.  No clouds.  No lightning.


Running with Discipline - Week 1

5 Weeks to Red White and Boom
Planned: Normally this will be long run day. 
Actual: 1 mile run.  I raced a half marathon yesterday.  The answer was no.

Planned: Hills or trails
Actual: Hills: 6.9 miles at Baker Park Reserve.

Planned: Low heart rate run, weight lifting
Actual: 3.5 miles, average HR 132.  55 mins on the elliptical. 60 mins TRX/Kettlebell class

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.2 miles at Lake Independence and 8 minute Abs. Baker Park Reserve is fast becoming my favorite place ever this summer.

Planned: 14 miles (making up for Sunday)
Actual: 12.4 miles, long run. I learned today that I need better indoor options for long runs because this was silly. 

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.2 miles, 8 minute abs.  I did this at 6am.  It was already over 70* and super humid. 

Planned: Speed work of some kind
Actual: 4 miles, with 6x1 min tempo.  8 minute abs


Long Run Thursday: Hot as he!!

Plan: Wake up at 5am, run 14 miles.  Don't be late to work.
I did in fact wake up at 5am.  To a thunder storm.  I had no backup indoor workout planned.  This is what doom looks like.

Plan B: Run after work.  14 miles would be good but whatever.  It will be over 80* so be careful out there.
Updated plan B: It's really hot.  Intervals will be a good idea. 
Update to the update: This is nuts.

Route: I used my outdoor adventure route at Elm Creek.  This is all paved bike trail.

Weather: Hotter than fire.  It was around 84* and about 80% humidity (or it felt like it was that humid)  Winds were out of the south, and they were a pleasure.

Miles 0-4: I did a warm up and then ran over a mile (gotta get that in first) and then I went into 5:00 run, 2:00 walk intervals.  I was surprised that my heart rate stayed as low as it did in the beginning.
Miles 4-8 (the circle at the bottom): I was starting to walk up more of the hills, and starting to get a bit impatient with the pace.  My heart rate was creeping into the higher 140s but still very manageable
Miles 9-12: I stopped looking at heart rate.  I just wanted to be done.  I did go much faster for the intervals at the end.  My heart rate shot up like a champ and I was spent by the end.

Nutrition:  I carried 2 bottles of water, 8oz each and took at least 1 small sip every mile.  I had a couple of gummy chews but my stomach was seriously not into the food.

Bonus: Today was all about temperature management.  Bad decision today was to run outside.  Good decisions following the bad decision were to run intervals, run slower than typical most of the run, drink water regularly and watch my heart rate most of the time.  This run was hard, but not nearly as awful as I'd thought it would be before I started.


Trail Monday - Sort of

I'm trying to get back to Trail Mondays, but I'm also trying to avoid peak tick season.  So today I was all, "I'll go to Baker, but I'll stay on the paved trail"  Because that way I will get the nature and the hills, but far fewer ticks.

Trail: I parked in the camp grounds today, and took the long Baker trail from there. The loop itself is 6.2 miles, plus a bit added on to get from the parking lot to the loop itself.  (The other place where I could park is just a lot, no facilities.)

Hills: True story.  I picked this route because I want to start running hills now in practice for 2017 Lola's. Not sure if this will hold 'till next year.  For now, I want revenge.

Ease of Running: It's a paved trail, so yeah.  I did look over at the horse trail from time to time and was all "man, that looks like it would be no fun to run on".  

Nature: There were swans on Lake Katrina, but way too far for a picture.  I startled a Blue Heron which startled me right back as I ran by it.  That was pretty cool.

Heart rate: I was surprised that my heart rate stayed as low as it did.  It was hot and sunny at the beginning of the run, and the hills are for real. 

Will I come back: For sure.  Baker has a special place in my heart.  I much prefer the paved trails at Baker to the grass/horse trails.  I found this particular route challenging without being totally frustrating. 

Bonus: The campground where I parked has showers with hot water.


Happy 10 Year Runnerversary - Lola's Half Marathon

Lola's Half Marathon was an impulse registration once I realized it was schedule on the day I think is my anniversary of running.  I should've registered for the 10-mile, but am glad I did the half-marathon as it was a good learning experience ahead of Red White and Boom.

Registration - online registration was easy as always.

Packet Pick Up - Olive and I went to early packet pick up at Running Room in MOA.  I'd never poked around the MOA store.  I found it small and not having a ton of clothing merchandise.  Shockingly, I wasn't in the market for shoes so didn't peruse those.  We were offered a discount if we purchased something, except running watches (duh) and nutrition (wtf?)

Weather and Wardrobe: Race started in the 60s with humidity.  Rain and clouds were a possibility but the race was mostly sunny and ended in the 70s
Feet: NB Minimus - the green ones because those can get wet.  That turned out to be a great choice for other reasons.  Thin liner socks.
Body: 2XU shorts and Nike singlet.  This is so much less complicated than a winter race.

Start line: There were sort of not enough port o potties.  They made up for it by having two massive lines, instead of those bunches of shorter lines.  But even getting to the start line at 7:35, I barely made it to race start at 8am.

Course: The first 5K are in town, and then a long loop around Lake Waconia itself. I had done a waters top on this course for Bolder Options some years ago, so I'd had a brief preview of one specific spot.   Apparently I saw the flattest part of the course ever.
Hills - I'd had a sense from looking at the course profile that it was going to be hilly.  The hills are different than Flying Pig (shorter climbs, but more of them).  The terrain was very challenging.  That hill at the end is every bit as awful as it looks.
Mixed surfaces - The course is mainly on paved roads.  In the beginning there was a bit of a bike trail.  And then there's some legitimate single track.  Those shoes were a great choice.  Also, a bit of dirt roads which were surprisingly pleasant for running.  Thank goodness it didn't rain because there were some places on this course that could've become a true slog.
Open course - this course is closed to traffic in a few places near the start/finish and through one park. The country roads around the lake are open to traffic and runners stay on the shoulder.  Some of the cars slowed down but some blew right by at 55mph which was not that comfortable.  Running on the shoulder of the road made me feel like I had one leg longer than the other by end of the race.

Pacer problems - unlike my last race, the pacer showed up for this one.  I was excited to stay with her for the start.  The first mile had some downhill and I was keen not to do anything too stupid.  By like, the second block of the race I was all "well, I'm just going to let her go".  I caught back up on the down hill only to come into the first mile in 11:02. It was supposed to be 11:27.  That was exactly what I did not want to do. I pulled back my speed and didn't try to stay up with her.
Pacing myself problems - I wished I'd started this race at my own pace, focusing on about a 12:00/mile pace.  Once I let the pacer go, I wished I'd slowed myself down more than I did. I think it would've paid off at the end.   I did not look at my heart rate once, but I did look at my current pace and lap pace a lot.
Endurance issues - I was really pleased with my time through 10 miles (I came in under two hours).  After that, the hills just owned me.  Most of my training runs have been in the 10 mile range.  I have a month to add some 12-14 mile runs ahead of Red White and Boom.  I will focus on correct pacing and staying strong towards the end of the run.
10 year Runnerversary Celebration - This run was really to celebrate that 10 years ago I started running when a friend wanted to try a 5K and I asked if I could join.  So when I hurt at the end, I let go of the time goal and focused on the learning for Red White and Boom.  Olive helped me celebrate and I ran into a friend on the course who paced me for a couple of miles in the middle that would've been very dark without her. 

Finish: I pretty much collapsed at the finish.  I got my medal and went down hard on the grass willing myself not to be sick.  Great success.

Post Race Party: The post race party at Lola's Lake House was fun.  The post race food (Pulled pork sandwich and chips) was really good and the beer was great as well.  They had the beer and food lines moving fast. I didn't expect to like it near as much as I did.

Race Recommended For:
5K - there is a 5K with dogs if that's your thing.  Olive liked it
Half Marathon/10 Mile - Anyone who likes hills or likes a challenge.  Running is single file where the course is open to traffic so this is not a "let's run with a big group" kind of race.
Someone asked me if I'd do this next year.  I found this to be a well organized and well supported race. If I knew ahead of time, I could train for the hills.  I wasn't wild about the cars on the course.