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!


Flying Pig: 2 Weeks to Go and 1 Week to Go

2 Weeks to Go: Goal mileage is 30 for this week

Planned:Long run, lift weights
Actual: 9.6 miles in the morning.  TRX/Kettlebell class at night. I'm loving the taper already.

Planned: Easy run
Actual: 1.23 miles in the morning.  Heaven only knows why I thought I'd wake up early enough to do any more than this.

Planned: Speed work, Lift weights
Actual: 5 miles tempo in the middle of the day.  This is one of my favorite runs the whole training session.  After work, lift weights at the gym.

Planned: 1 mile run.  Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 1.2 miles (or so) run on the track inside.  It's a grey gloomy day. How do we spell grey, btw? No Zumba because I was planning a birthday party.

Planned: Tempo run (148-160bpm) or easy run, Lift weights
Actual: 6 miles easy, lift weights at the gym.  This was a cold run (like coat and gloves cold).  And I saw a red tail hawk nest.

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.21 miles outside.  Little walk before lunch.

Planned: Easy run , maybe Zumba?
Actual: 5.17 miles easy, Zumba at Logan Park with B because I woke up in time to do both.
Total mileage for the week is 30.3 miles

1 Week to Go: Goal mileage is around 20, not counting Saturday races.

Planned: Long run, lift weights
Actual: 6 miles on the track, 20 mins on the elliptical (for a total "mileage" of 7.5 miles) and TRX/Kettlebell class

Planned: 1 mile
Actual:1.21 miles outside in the morning.  I packed for Cincinnati and it took me like eight hours to decide what to wear for the races and eight minutes to get everything else packed. 

Planned: 4-6 miles
Actual: 6.16 miles early in the morning.  This turned out to be a fun run with a fast finish.  Because my heart rate was ridiculously low for the first half so I was all "why not?"

Planned: 1 mile run.  
Actual: 1.22 miles in the morning before heading off to the airport.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.27 miles around Mom and Dad's house. 

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.29 miles in the rain.  Because a streak is a streak.

Planned: Race!
Actual: Done - posts to come!