2017 Loony Challenge - 11 Weeks to Go. Take a step back.

Step Back Week
Weekly Miles Planned: 20-25 miles
Actual: 15+ miles run, 3 miles walked, 5 'miles' elliptical and 3+ miles on the bike.

Long Run Miles Planned: 6 miles
Actual: Thursday's workout totaled the time it would've taken to run 6 miles.  It's hot and humid, so this is how I deal.

Sunday Planned:t 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Actual: 1.16 miles run around the track, Sunday Kettlebells.  Restorative Yoga in  the afternoon.

Monday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF
Actual: 1.21 miles.  I feel like crap.

Tuesday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 1.21 miles.  Not sure if I feel better or worse than yesterday. Thanks sinuses.

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run, maybe Zumba?
Actual: 4.18 super slow miles.  Like really slow.  Tuesday weight lifting in the afternoon.

Thursday Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 1.16 miles run, 1hr on the elliptical. Plyos. No weights because I lifted yesterday.

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.21 miles run in the morning, 3 mile walk with a friend. Thursday weight routine, one day late.  Sigh.

Saturday Planned: 1-6 Miles at MAF, Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 5.25 miles run.  Kayaking Lake Nokomis and a Bike ride in the early part of the day.  I have never been kayaking on the lake before.  I had a blast.


2017 Loony Challenge - 12 Weeks to Go

Weekly Miles Planned: 30 Miles

Long Run Miles Planned: 8 miles
Actual: 8.4 miles on Sunday

Sunday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Actual: 8.4 miles total.  14:13/mile, Avg HR 138.  Sunday Kettlebells plus a quick plyo for a warm up instead of a finisher.  Restorative Yoga which is 70ish minutes and was recommended by my walking buddy. Already I've done more stretching in July than I've done in all of June with this one class.

Monday Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF
Actual: 6.1 miles at MAF pace, but I don't know what pace or HR that is, because that's how awesome this run was.  It was 72* and 80% humidity when I started.  15:15/mile, Avg Hr 138.  I told you it was ugly. 

Tuesday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.18 miles.  13:15/mile, Avg HR 139.  Plyos before weights.  Tuesday weight routine.

Wednesday Planned: 1 Mile Run, maybe Zumba?
Actual: 5.21 miles in the morning, 13:01/mile, 139 Avg HR.  Ah, the pre-period boost.  Almost makes the crash that's coming worth it.  Almost. Plyos at the end of the run. Attempted to Zumba but my buddy and I both had a case of the grumpies so we abandoned about half way through class.

Thursday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.16 miles, 12:34/mile, Avg HR 138. Thursday weight lifting.  I did not do plyos.  The aforementioned crash: totally happening.  Seriously, at 9pm, I can't ever remember feeling good enough to run a 12:34 mile at 138HR.

Friday Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.2 miles run in the morning.

Saturday Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.2 miles run.  No Zumba.  Saturday and Wednesday running are swapped this week.  Since it was over 70* when I started running this morning, I think I made the right choice.


Running Gear - Tuesdays on the Run

The Tuesdays on the Run topic is one we should all talk about.

What running gear do you also use for non-running activities?

Compression Socks.

If I'm in a position to wear socks to work, it's almost always my compression socks. I don't know why I'd wear anything else.  They are warm in the winter.  They keep me from aching in the summer.  Perfect!
I wear them on planes.  I wear them on trains.  But I do not wear them with my Mary Janes.  (In the summer, I often wear Mary Janes to work.  Otherwise, I am go for fun socks.)

  • I think 100% of my compression socks are from these guys.  
  • If you are in the market, I recommend friending ProCompression on Facebook because they give out insane coupon codes.   
  • True story, I only own one pair of the "dress socks" even though I wear these to work more than I even wear them to run in.  
  • I feel like Agent Booth every time I wear funny socks under serious work clothes. 


2017 Loony Challenge - 13 Weeks to go

Weekly Miles Planned: 30 Miles
Actual: 30 miles run, 3 miles walked, 4 miles biked

Long Run Miles Planned: 8 Miles
Actual: 8.55 miles

Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Actual: 6.77 miles around Lake Nokomis, 13:08/mile, Avg HR 139bpm.  Quick plyo routine at the end. Sunday Kettlebell routine done, didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would with two weeks off.  Bonus walk with a friend on the Greenway. 

Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF
Actual: 8.55 very slow miles.  14:39/mile, Avg HR 140 bpm.  Quick plyo routine at the end.  I didn't start this run 'till 9:30 or so, and it was getting hot out.  Also, I think I need to update my watch program to allow an HR below 135 because that would've helped me in the beginning.

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.06 miles.  12:44/mile and 137bpm Average.  I was toying with going 6 miles, but I stopped at 4 because I knew I had to lift today as well. I am very happy with this run.   Tuesday weight lifting.  Squats are hard.

Planned: 1 Mile Run, maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.2 miles, finisher of plyos.  No Zumba because it's over 90*.

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.16 miles in the hot hot morning. (It was 76* when I woke up.) 13:19/mile, Avg HR 140. Plyo finisher.  Thursday weights in the afternoon.

Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.21 miles run.  My watch freaked out and reset as it was trying to save this run.  I swear it happened.  Bonus bike ride to a friend's house for happy hour.

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 4.16 miles, 13:18/mile, Avg HR 140.  Plyo finisher.  No Zumba because I was watching Tour de France. Bonus yoga in the evening.  I haven't done this for a while and it felt great.


Sunset Beach: Vacation

Vacation starts with a ride up to North Minneapolis and dinner at Victory 44 with friends.  I spent the night at a friend's house so we could wake up early and find our way to the airport through all the closed roads.

Run: Woke up at 3:55am for a quick run and quick shower.
Planed Activities: Most of the day was spent flying and in various airports across the Midwest and East Coast. 
Other fun: The day ended with playing on the beach.  I was the only adult with two boys so I was told not to let them get in above their waist. They didn't swim a bunch, but I only let them bury each other in the sand up to their middles. Not sure if I did it right or not.
Special thanks to my good friend who got up before dawn to haul my ass to the airport!

Run: First barefoot run on the beach.  Goals of this run were not to go too long or far.  This was really about blister formation which did happen on my R big toe, my L middle toe and a weird other spot on my L foot.  Plan was to let the blisters harden for a few days and then return to the beach at the end of the week.
Planned Activities: None
Other fun: Most of the day was spent on the beach.  Let vacation begin for reals.

Run: 3 miles on a road that's not yet built up.  Very popular for runners and bikers.  It was low tide.
Planned Activities: Swamp walk.  Walk with Mom and Dad on said road after my run.  It was high tide (or higher tide) for this walk and the area was filled with birds and all kinds of other wild life.  Bonus was walking on the pier at sunset. We aborted the swamp walk because of a mud risk, and given later events in the week probably better that we aborted because of snakes as well.
Other fun: More practice digging holes

Run: 5 miles on the road. Blister hardening nearly complete.
Planned Activities: Swamp boat tour in the afternoon.  This is a 12 person craft with a 10cc motor.  It goes very slowly. After the boat tour we took a walk on the boardwalk.  Between the boat and the walk, we saw all of the snakes ever.
Other fun: Big birthday party.  Cousin B's birthday was June 2, Cousin Ash's birthday was June 11, I was the week before as was Uncle Nick, one of the baby's actual birthday was today, and Cousin Al's birthday is in July.  We did donuts because B's birthday was also national donuts day.

Run: 1.29 miles without my watch which was dead because technology issues
Planned Activities: Bird Island Nature Walk with Mom.  We'd done this before, but I learned new things this time around, about the preserve and also about the dunes.  It's okay to walk on the dunes on Bird Island as long as you don't disturb the vegetation.
Other fun: Young cousin and I practiced handstands and cartwheels.  He did get a pic of me upside-down, but I am a hot mess.

Run: Back on the beach
Planned Activities: Shopping! We headed in to Calabash to what I call "the Wall Drug of Calabash".  I don't know it's real name.  Then we went across the street for a milk shake.
Other fun: We took a walk on the beach and generally hung out.

Run: Last run on the beach.  I found turtle tracks!  The nest was already marked by the turtle volunteers.
Planned Activities: Mom and Dad drove me to the airport through a literal monsoon.  My 4:09 flight boarded around 6:30, then sat on the tarmac 'till 6:50.  Followed by hauling ass from gate E30 to D7 in Charlotte.  Boarded on time, only to sit on the tarmac again through lightning issues.  Finally landed late around 10:30 and my Pooky Bear mercifully took me home.
Other fun: Had a great walk on the beach with my cousin.  Loved talking to her for a while.  We all played on the beach in the morning 'till it was time for me to go.


2017 Loony Challenge - 14 Weeks to Go: Vacation

Weekly Goal Miles
Planned: In theory, 28.  In reality, we'll see.
Actual: 27 miles run, 10 miles walked, and a quick bike ride.  I'll take it.

Long Run Miles
Planned: 6 miles
Actual: 6.53 miles on Thursday.  Literally ran to South Carolina.  This is a vacation week.  No weight lifting or gym classes since I'm out of town.

Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Actual: 4.3 miles on the beach, 13:12/mile with 138 Avg bpm.  This was my "go run on the beach and get all the blisters worked out" run.  I got one on my right big toe, and one on the middle toe of my left foot.  I also got a weird blood blister on my left foot that doesn't bother me but hasn't gone away as of Friday night.

Planned: 6-10 Miles at MAF
Actual: 3.17 miles, 13:31/mile, Avg HR 131.  I'm surprised I made it that far. I only set out to do a mile.  Because blisters.

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 5.02 miles, 13:32/mile with 138bpm avg. Bonus 3 mile walk with Mom and Dad to part of my running route.  We saw egrets, ibis, and a snake that did not freak us out at all.  I promise.

Planned: 1 Mile Run, maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.29 miles run.  Bonus 3 mile walk with Mom for the Bird Island Turtle Talk. Good thing they taught me to know turtle tracks.  See what happened Friday!

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 6.53 miles.  13:15 mile, avg HR 136bpm.  This is my long run of the week and one of my best runs in a long time.  Bonus 1.5 mile walk on the beach with Mom and Dad.  We saw lots of birds.

Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 5.55 miles, barefoot on the beach.  13:12 pace at 138bpm heart rate.  Plus, I found turtle tracks in the sand!  Bonus 1.5 mile walk on the beach with my cousin. 

Planned: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.22 miles.  No Zumba, travel destroyed me yesterday. Friday and Saturday are switched this week because I tried to use every opportunity to run on the beach.  Bonus bike ride to/from a friend's house.


2017 Loony Challenge - 15 Weeks to Go

Step Back Week
Weekly Goal Miles: 25
Long Run Miles: 5-6

Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Actual: 1 mile run, so far above MAF it wasn't funny.  Walked 3.3 miles with a friend.  Skipped weights because that's how great I felt.

Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF
Actual: 5.2 miles at MAF.  Slow and painful process that it was.  I actually do feel better than yesterday.

Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 4.4 treadmill miles.  Avg HR for 50 minutes of work was 141.  I really wanted to be outside but it was raining just a little too hard and a little too unpredictably.  Tuesday weight lifting program done.

Planned: 1 Mile Run, Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.2 miles run in the morning.  Evening Zumba to celebrate my birthday.

Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Actual: 1.25 miles on the treadmill, without my Garmin.  3.65 "miles" on the elliptical.  Thursday weight lifting done.  It was another rainy day, so I wasn't feeling a run outside.  And I was still tired from Zumba last night.  So the elliptical seemed the best way to get the cardio but keep the heart rate down.

Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 4.06 miles run, and I did not poop my pants.  But it was that kind of day.  Actually, other than that, it was a great run.

Planned: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF
Actual:  1.2 miles at 4am.  I switched Friday and Saturday workouts here.


2017 Loony Challenge: The Plan

I am registered again for the Loony Challenge, often referenced by me as "the loony bin".   I did Loony in 2014 and loved it so much that I repeated in 2015.   In 2016, I tried the Summit Challenge which was a fine idea but turned out not to be my thing.  So for 2017, I'm back to Loony.

We're about 15 weeks out right now, so I'm preparing my training calendar.  I'm keeping a similar plan to Flying Pig 2017 training, but not exactly the same. 
  • TRX/Kettlebell classes have been cancelled permanently at the gym.  Replaced with my own homebrew Kettlebell workout.
  • Tempo runs and speed workout is also out.  Replaced with: all my runs are supposedly going to be at MAF, at least until the last 4-6 weeks of training.
  • MAF Runs - oh lord, that's it's own topic and has definitely been an up and down process.

In general, here's my plans for training, including my weight lifting workouts

Building weeks (3 in a row)
Sunday: 6-10 Miles at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Monday: 6-10 Miles at MAF
Tuesday: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Wednesday: 1 Mile Run, maybe Zumba?
Thursday: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Lift Weights
Friday: 1 Mile Run
Saturday: 4-6 Miles at MAF, Maybe Zumba?

Step Back Week (one week, after 3 building weeks)

Weekly Goal Miles: 25, Long Run Miles: no more than 6
Sunday:1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Sunday Kettlebell Workout
Monday: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Tuesday: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF
Wednesday: 1 Mile Run, Maybe Zumba?
Thursday: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF, Lift Weights
Friday: 1 Mile Run
Saturday: 1-6 Miles Run at MAF

Weight Lifting Workouts:

Sunday Kettlebell Workout

All 5 sets of 5 reps
High Windmills
Suitcase Lunges
Triple Crush
Single Leg Deadlift
High Pulls

All: 2 sets warm up weight, 3 sets working weight.  5 reps each.
Heavy Squats
Barbell Rows
Dumbbell Bench Press

Assisted Pull Ups (I can’t wait until I can do a real one) 3 sets of 6
Dynamic Squats 2 sets warm up weight, 3 sets working weight.  5 reps each.
Overhead Press 2 sets warm up weight, 3 sets working weight.  5 reps each.
Dead Lift 1 set warm up weight, 1 set working weight, 5 reps each


Survey Results

Thanks to HRG for the survey questions. 

1. If you could have one meal that was in your kitchen and waiting for you to eat each day after your run, what would it be?
Fizzy water, bacon, eggs, and potatoes.  If I wasn't doing whole30 it would be bacon, eggs, and fresh bread.  Fizzy water is non negotiable.

2. Would you rather have to eat 6 donuts or a large burrito in the middle of your next long run?
Donuts, for sure.  I feel like somewhere I ate donuts on a run one time, but I can't recall where now. 

3. If I handed you a $100 gift card to a running website (that has EVERYTHING running related)…  WHAT WOULD YOU SPEND THE $100 on (details are appreciated)?
I can never have too many pairs of pants.  Pants must have draw strings, none of this "wide yoga waistband" shit.  Backup options are shoes. Or socks.  Or anything  reflective.  Basically it would be gone and then I'd be spending my own money. 

4. Fill in the blank:  If it is ________________ outside, I will not run outside.  Would you then either choose to run on the treadmill or not at all?
Thunder/lighting/hail or ice.  Obviously I'd run inside on the track because a streak is a streak.

5. If you could go on a run with any famous person or famous athlete… WHO would it be?
An athlete that's not a runner, so I wouldn't be constantly comparing myself to them.  For runners it would be Meb.  He could run laps around me. Larisa Dannis or Pam Smith would be cool.  They could run laps around me while teaching me about trail running.

6. If you could go back in time and choose any race that you have done in the past and have that same experience all over again, which one would it be?
My first half marathon, because it was one of the only races with a 12:00/mile pacer.  And it turned out to be a fantastic race. 

7. If your best friend decided to become a runner today and you could give her one piece of advice, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?!
Slow down!  Seriously.  Just, however fast you think you should be, slow down.  Enjoy how your body feels, enjoy how strong you get, enjoy being outside, and don't worry about speed. 

8. What is one weird/different thing you do during your runs?
Have I mentioned the run streak?  Run at least a mile.  If I have intervals, etc, the warm up has to involve at least one mile of running so I'm legit.

9. What is your usual race/hard run reward afterwards? A food/drink/other?
My strong favorite is a bacon and egg hamburger with fries and a beer.  And whiskey.  No whiskey while I'm training.

10. What has been the biggest change in your running from when you very first started until now?
Since I took my current job (2014) I've found running trails all over the state.  Running after work has become and adventure and I love it.  I love all the things I get to see and do because of running.
A close second is the running streak, which has really kept me strong and moving even in the off season, and allowed me to explore some wonderful places.


MAF - week 3

I'm trying something new with pictures/graphs.  This is for me as much as anyone else.

Sunday: I thought this run felt great.  I was really disappointed with the pace when I saw it.  Sigh.

Monday: My first MAF test was sort of a success and sort of a fail.  I used the wrong program on my watch, but it was sort of the right program and it worked.  I hope I get faster because training at this pace really blows.

Tuesday: I'm even slower in the afternoon.  Sigh.

Wednesday: This run was going in the right direction.  A bit faster, a bit faster recovery after the hills.

Thursday:  I knew this was going to be a good run before I even started.  I headed out from the downtown gym because I wanted to see this with my own eyes before it's taken down.  From the vantage points on my running route, it doesn't look like art.  It straight up looks like a gallows.   WTF.

Friday: 1 mile run, nice and easy.

Saturday: This was a slower run, but I was actually really happy with it.  I know, that doesn't sound right.  It was 74* at 6am, so my plan was to really keep my heart rate on the lower side.  I didn't have a heart rate alarm on the hill by the golf course, nor the second hill between Hiawatha and Nokomis.  I did have an alarm on the 3rd hill (up to 48th) but I'd planned for that.  All in all, it was a solid run.


Whole30 Redux - week 1

I restarted whole30 this week, basically in an attempt to both lose weight and run faster.  For sure this week the running faster thing is not happening.  Sigh  I find myself significantly less committed to the whole "no cheating" thing than I was the first time around.  This attempt is also significantly less public than the first time around, and I don't have any friends doing it with me.

Pre-Tuesday (when I restarted) I really went all out with carbs and alcohol, so maybe better decisions could've been made there.

Tuesday - went okay, though I was under prepared for this undertaking.  Much like the first time around.  And then I got sick and went to bed early.

Wednesday - I went out to eat with Olive and it was glorious.

Thursday - went fine, I think.  I'm so glad I have my bacon back.

Friday - I "cheated" and had potato chips and a diet pepsi.  See what I mean?  Significantly less committed than the first time around.  At first I'd been thinking of cheating with a latte because it's Friday afternoon so the drink won't make me sick at work right? After a hot run in the sun, diet pepsi and chips seemed like the appropriate gas station food.

Saturday - I had to clarify my rules around lattes.  Originally I'd said no lattes because I learned from whole30 how milk affects my body.  So, I've updated the lattes rule to be "no lattes on work days" so I don't upset my stomach on work days.  Update: I have no idea what I think it's okay to make myself sick on non-work days.  Perhaps this rule needs additional thought? 
I realized that my crap week of running coincided with going back on Whole30, and remembering how great I felt the first week I did it.  And then I remembered how fast I was running by the end of whole30 and that did help me re-commit to this whole thing 

MAF Week 2 - I hate MAF

After a very successful week, I got my period and running has fallen apart.  WTF.

Route: As previously reported, out and back around Lake Nokomis
Watch Program: 135-145bpm
Minutes Run: 55:05
Average Pace: 13:15/mile
Average BPM:140

Route: Around Lake Nokomis, only one time, no out and back
Watch Program: 135-145
Minutes Run: 31:25
Average Pace: 14:34/mile, this is where the suck fest really began
Average BPM: 144

Route: Treadmill
Watch Program: None?
Minutes Run: 17:33
Average Pace: 13:57 according to my watch, but it was actually faster b/c treadmills confus my watch
Average BPM: 137bpm
Thoughts: I felt like crap on this day.  I ran my mile and skipped weight lifting. 

Route: 1 mile neighborhood run
Watch Program: None
Minutes Run: 16:16
Average Pace:12:56 - why is this the only day I could run at a normal pace?
Average BPM: 133bpm

Route: My four mile route
Watch Program: 135-145bpm
Minutes Run: 49:03
Average Pace: 14:02/mile, why can't I go faster?!?
Average BPM:  143bpm
Thoughts: This run was also in the afternoon, and also hot, and also slow, and also sucked.

Route: Adventure run in Big Lake
Watch Program: 135-145bpm
Minutes Run: 38:29
Average Pace: Fucking slow.  What is wrong with me? 14:56
Average BPM: 143
Thoughts: This was a hot run, and I was in capris and shorts.  Because those were the emergency running clothes I had packed.
Also, there were two giant puddles I had to run through.  Because flooding in the wet lands.
This run sucked.  I want to go faster.

Route: My four mile route
Watch Program: 135-145bpm
Minutes Run: 48:05
Average Pace: 13:39 - this is moving in the right direction but not perfect
Average BPM:143


MAF for beginners: the begining

I'm trying out the MAF thing for real. I've done a lot of heart rate training in the past couple of years, but never exactly this.  I always wanted to keep an eye on my heart rate but thought I'd make myself insane if I tried to focus on such a specific heart rate.

This year, a couple things have given me new energy and confidence.  I lost some weight doing Whole30.  That was really nice.  Lifting weights has made me feel much stronger.  The Flying Pig experience this year made me believe in my fitness.  So I'm ready to give this a try for real.

Based on the 180 test, my MAF is around 150bpm.  That's always felt high to me.  144 or so feels like the pace where I could just run forever.  I'm targeting 145 as my MAF goal for now (180-35=145) because that feels right. 

Run 1 (Saturday 5/13):
Route: The Lake Nokomis horse shoe as I call it.
Minutes Run: 40:13
Watch program: 143-146 was the range.
Avg pace: 12:21/mile for 3.25 miles.  How surprised am I?
Avg BPM: 145
  • The watch beeped at me a lot.  This was not a good program.  When I got home, I made some updated programs, one with a much wider range for long runs, one with a more narrow range for shorter runs, and one very narrow range for the MAF Test.  
  • It was also easier than I thought.  I didn't look at my watch a ton, and was able to make corrections quickly when I was too high or too low. 
  • Starting off the running portion with a slightly higher heart rate is actually the biggest change.  It's fun to go a bit faster in the beginning.   The beginning of the run also seems to be where my HR goes the most crazy.

Run 2 (Sunday 5/14):
Route: Around Lake Harriet and by the rose garden
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 38:23
Avg pace: 12:48/mile
Avg BPM: 143
  • Second day was better than the first, but also slightly slower
  • The beginning is where my heart rate goes crazy.  I found a nice rhythm by the end.  
  • Passing people messes with my rhythm and my hear rate.  Le sigh. 
  • I will need to re-learn running up hills, but we'll keep with the flat lakes for a while 
  • This is a good thing.  I felt good at the end of this run. 
  • This watch program was better than yesterdays.  I think the slightly bigger but also slightly lower range worked better and let me stay more even at a natural effort.
Run 3
Route: Lol.  I was on a treadmill.
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 33:08
Avg pace: Unclear from the watch, but between 12:00-12:30
Avg BPM: 142
  • The treadmill isn't as bad as I thought
  • 5 minutes later: this workout will never end. 
  • I ran this in my Vibrams and enjoyed it thoroughly
Run 4
Route: My favorite 4 mile route outside, hills are involved but not massive climbs
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 43:38
Avg pace: 12:32/mile for 3.48 miles
Avg BPM: 142bpm
  • This was my first real run on a varied terrain/course, gave me some confidence.  
  • Watch program forced me to keep it slightly harder but even in the beginning which was good.  
  • This course is flooded.  I barely made it under Cedar ave.
Run 5
Route: My favorite 4 mile route outside, hills are involved but not massive climbs
Watch program: Range of 140-145 beats per minute
Minutes Run: 45:32
Avg pace: 12:41/mile for 3.59 miles
Avg BPM: 142
  • This run was in the wind and the rain.  
  • This run was all over the place in terms of heart rate.  I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't paying attention, or the weather, or because I'm about to start my period and that's how life is.  
  • In a couple cases I think the weather freaked my watch out, especially that massive spike early on.  
  • I am cold. 
Run 6
Route: Out and back around Lake Nokomis
Watch program: Range of 135-145 beats per minute, this is a different program than all previous runs
Minutes Run: 55:05
Avg pace: 13:15 for 3.78 miles
Avg BPM: 140
  • It was not totally raining, more the super humid air after a rain so I wound up wet anyways 
  • I totally had a Paula Deen breakfast of bacon egg sandwich on a donut, and a latte to wash it down.  It's fine, I'm starting whole30 again on Tuesday 
  • This was purposefully a slower run than the others, starting off at a lower heart rate.  
  • This run was a mix of relaxing and frustrating with going a bit slower.  Trust the process?
A word about watch programming:  My programs are set up as Warm up until lap press.  Run within a specific hear rate range until lap press.  Cool down until lap press.  The minutes run, average paces, and BPMs listed above do not include w/u and c/d. 


Before and After: airports

One thing that may not be totally clear from my Flying Pig race reports is the sheer amount of rain we endured in Cincinnati.  Think monsoon season.  These were taken before the plane left Cincinnati and when we arrived in the Twin Cities.  Guess which is which.


Flying Pig 3 Way Challenge

Registration: Registration for all 3 races is online. I somehow managed to screw up my registration and signed up for a 4th race.  Which brings us to...

Race expo: The volunteers were really helpful in getting me switched from the "Three Way with Extra Cheese" option to the regular "Three Way" option which is what I thought I signed up for.  Olive pointed out this Expo is much bigger than Twin Cities, and I think she's right. I tried on a pair of Salming shoes (I'm a size 7) and almost tried on a pair of the On Shoes.
My favorite part of the Expo is that Goodwill had a Pop-up store.  If it was there, it was $3. So I got a throw away pair of pants and Olive got a throw away shirt.  I'm going to write TCM and tell them they need to do this too. 

SWAG: Flying Pig brings it with the SWAG.  I got a shirt for each race, a poster (I could've had 3), and a super nice backpack for the half marathon.  I also got a coupon for a coney and $5 gift certificate to Skyline which were used before I left town.  After the races, I got an extra medal for the challenge and an extra long sleeve shirt which is pretty nice.  And I got a free beer at the end (in addition to the one I'm holding as I cross the finish line).

Transportation to and from the race: For all the races, we parked in the Stadium Garage, and it was the best spot ever.

Start Line: All 3 races had corrals to some degree or other.  The 10K was a mass start, but was organized by corral, and it was fine. The 5K had corrals and 3 waves to the start which made it supposedly less crowded on the course.  Corrals for the 10K were used  The half marathon had the most organized corrals and several waves to the start.

Course: All 3 courses are quite challenging.  They all have bridges which are bigger than you'd think.  The half marathon has a significant climb all it's own.  The half marathon also has a very steep descent. Practicing the down is just as important as practicing the up!

Pace Team: I did not run with a pace team this year.  I have run with them in the past.  They are the teams from the local running store in town.

Fan Support: Just the bomb! All three races feel like small town races, but the half marathon in particular.  It runs through a bunch of different areas both high and low income areas of town.  Everyone comes out like it is their job.  There's also a ton of "squeal teams" that cheer along the course, including some of the cheer leading squads from the local schools.  My heart just felt bigger and bigger the more I ran because of all the support.

Finish: All of the races share the same finish.  It is a false flat.  Note to self, there's a little up and then a little down, But it does end on a down.  At the half marathon people hand out beer about .2 miles from the finish, so in my finisher pictures I'm literally holding a beer this time.

Race Recommended For:
10K: Olive loves the 10K for the scenery.  I think it's a very challenging course.  It's also very well supported.  It's great for fist timers and experienced runners.
5K: This is a well organized and well supported race.  It has tons of school groups and great for families and kids old enough to go 3 miles. As a mid-back of the pack runner, I find it quite crowded.  I wouldn't run it if it weren't part of the race series.  That said, it's a great first 5K because of the crowd support.
Half Marathon: First timers because of the pace crews and support.  Experienced runners because the course is crazy challenging.  Anyone from Cincinnati because it is the home town race.  Everyone will be there.  Go out and enjoy it.
3-Way Challenge: I loved this becuase it made me feel like part of the whole weekend.  This is good for out of town people or locals who want a whole bunch of racing in one weekend.

Flying Pig Half Marathon

Plan: Have fun!  A lot of work went into this.  Enjoy it! My A goal was to hold a 12:00/mile, and not to look at my pace on the climb.

Route: Did I ever tell you about the crazy climb in this race?  Because it's brutal.

Weather: Garmin says 41* and 7mph winds which was probably true at the race start. It probably ended closer to 50*.  The only sort of windy part was running along 7th street downtown.

Wardrobe: Corrals: Throw away pants, throw away flannel shirt, mylar blanket.  Race: Orange socks, Nike Shorts, my ally shirt, throw away quarter zip, sunglasses.  The sunglasses were very important.  We'll consider this the grumpy before picture.

Execution: Nailed it! I looked at my watch for pacing through the first 5-6 miles.  Once I got to the climb, I ran by feel.  I was pleased at how well I was able to keep myself moving.  After the top of the hill, I started looking at my mile splits again. 

Nutrition: In the first 6 miles of the race, I ate every mile.  After that it went to more like every 2 miles.  I took water whenever I wanted it.

  • I broke 2:35, which was faster than my A goal.  
  • I passed over 500 people between the half way and the finish.  (My goal is always around 500)
  • Excellent pacing and planning for me to have my last mile of the last race be my fastest.  
  • The last 0.2 miles were finished with a beer in my hand. 

Flying Pig 5K

Plan: Keep it even and enjoy the down hill at the end.

Route: The 5K stays on the Cincinnati side, but does technically involve a category 5 climb (all the races do).  I was really looking forward to the last mile.

Weather: Garmin says 46* and 3mph winds.  It was sunny and a great day for running.

Wardrobe: Happy pants, yellow socks, arm sleeves and a tank.  Mom's instructions were that I had to be easy to spot, and this was the best outfit for that, even though the tank was a bit cool.

Execution: I found that race walker again, Gary, and we were able to work together this race as well to get things done.

Nutrition: I did eat at least once in this race, a bite of Larabar and a drink of water.

Bonus: Olive got my favorite runner pic of me ever in life.

Flying Pig 10K

Plan: Keep it calm.  It is better to go slow in this race than too fast.  My goal pace was around 12:00/mile.

Route: This route has a lot of hills disguised as bridges. It's fun to run along the river in Kentucky, and I love that the last mile is a slight down hill.

Weather: Garmin says it was 45* with 7mph winds.  The winds were insignificant, which made a nice change for me.

Wardrobe: Mom's instructions were that I had to be easy to see.  I wore my happy pants, yellow socks, arm sleeves, and had a red throw away shirt on top, which I kept on the whole race.

Execution: Freaking perfect! Coming through the levee in Newport I found this race walker that was also trying to do a 12:00/mile pace.  We worked together really well.  He was much stronger than me on the up hills, so I followed him every time.  I had an easier time with the downhills, so he followed me there.

Nutrition: I treated this day like a 10 mile run, so I ate a bite of my larabar every mile, and took water whenever I wanted it.

Bonus: Mom saw me at the start and mile 4.  Dad saw me at mile 4 but missed me at the start. It makes my heart big when my parents come out to see me!