Monday, August 25, 2014

Off the subject of running..

I DO participate in other activities besides swim, bike & run.

I have had a 2 week break from classes which spanned two weekends. One of those weekends was a lower mileage running week and this past weekend, I had to cut back miles due to a knee issue (more on that at a later date for sure). So I made sure to take full advantage of those weekends (and weeks in between) where I had no school obligations.

The first weekend, John was gone in Vermont and I had the entire weekend to myself. What did I do? I painted my office! It's something that has been on my "list" for quite a while (basically, since I cleaned it out and put new office furniture in there) but just didn't happen because painting is time consuming and a giant pain in the ass, and I've been quite busy this summer. Also, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do with the room, color-wise. A few weeks ago, my friend Kelly posted a photo of her office on Instagram and I LOVED what she did, so I decided to go a similar route. (Blatant copying, but isn't that what the internet/Pinterest is for? Ripping off other peoples' ideas..) Since I had no real plans over the weekend, I figured I couldn't justify putting it off for any longer, went to Mayer Hardware and got paint supplies, and got started! It took me Saturday afternoon/evening to clean/prep the walls (spackle holes), tape off the trim, and then edge and roll 2 coats of paint on 3 walls. Then it took me most of Sunday morning to paint my accent wall. Since the accent wall was a rather.. bold.. color, I taped everything - trim, the ceiling, and the other 2 walls, whereas I did the edges and ceilings by hand on the neutral walls (did ok but by the 2nd coat of the third wall I was starting to get tired and a bit sloppy AKA some paint ended up on the ceiling).

As you can see.. I did a BLACK accent wall! (The other 3 walls are a light gray). I knew it was a risk going in and I have not always made good paint color choices in the past (i.e. I have an almost-fluorescent orange living room wall) but I think I NAILED the color choice here. The room is small but well lit so the black makes it look larger and really delivers a nice punch. I hope to hang a large piece of artwork over the desk on the black wall, but currently there is nothing there. You can see the side-by-side before photo (blah boring beige) and after photo below!

My house was a ramshackle mess during the following week as I sporadically tried to put it back in order after removing mostly everything from the office to paint, but since I again didn't have any school stuff, I took the opportunity on Thursday evening to go see my neighbor's jug band - Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers, play a free show on South Ave. in the small park next to LUX. It was great and I can't believe I have known about this band for a year and only just now made it out to see them! I love any type of bluegrass music, so I loved them!

I have lived next door to both Jeff (far left, old neighbor)
and Dan (2nd from the right with the jug, new neighbor)
(Jeff sold the house to Dan this summer!)
my date :) isn't he cute?
Friday night I had some quality bf time. Dinner, Cheesy Eddie's cheesecake (I definitely win gf points for bringing that over), trip planning, etc., and then we ran 9 miles on Saturday morning, after which I did this:

ice bath!
Then I met up with Solveig on Saturday afternoon, since she was in town for some kind of organic seed conference thing. We saw Boyhood at The Little (which is one of my favorite places in Rochester) and it was AMAZING. Highly, highly recommended if you are at ALL into indie movies (or you know, real life, or people, or emotions, or anything really other than stuff being blown up). We then met up with our friend Emily at TRATA for a girls' dinner. Solveig stayed at my place and then left in the morning.

ladies' night with my beautiful friends

 I had a nice Sunday morning with coffee and icing my knee for a bit, and then did some more running and some time on the trainer, and then went to the Jell-O museum in LeRoy with 2 of my friends/coworkers, with lunch at Mooney's afterwards (mac & cheese!). I have ridden by this place numerous times, so when Kristin suggested it, I was on board! I'll pretty much do anything anyways (except for bowling.. you really have to work to get me to go bowling). It was a beautiful day so I'm glad that I got to enjoy it with some friends!

Jell-O museum outing, Kelly, me, & Kristin
As of tomorrow, I begin YEAR TWO at RIT.. My fall class is Theory of Statistics I which I know will be good for me to take, but it's been pretty nice having 2 weeks off. Oh well - I do better when life keeps me busy! With school starting and Labor Day this weekend, I feel as though this weekend was the bookend to my summer, and what a fun summer it was!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Morning workouts - not so awful!

I have never been much of a morning person. Scratch that. I have never been a morning person - EVER.

The bane of my existence were those 400 level biology courses that were ONLY offered at 8 am. Molecular Biology was the one I specifically remember. Sitting in a classroom, barely awake, learning about things that are happening WITHIN YOUR CELLS is not my ideal way to start the day. Also, I was late on the first day and ended up in the front row for the entire semester. Which is fine until your classmate Greg is making funny comments and you both start giggling uncontrollably.. yeah that never happened.

Extend that to almost 10 years later and I still don't function well in the morning. After my college years I did a "full time graduate student" year (late nights, no early mornings), then 2 years working the evening shift (3-11 pm) and then 3 years working rotating shifts (sleep? what's that?), and now I am working a normal day shift for the first time in my adult life. I roll into work anywhere between 7 and 8 am. Having a (relatively) flexible workday is a godsend.

One thing that has changed with my part time graduate school endeavor is less time available to me after work. I trained for all 3 of my Ironmans without having to do morning workouts (unless I was working the evening shift, but even then, it was never before 8 am). Ironman was my main priority (besides work) so I structured my entire life around training, all of my friends were other Ironman, and I basically ate, slept, and breathed Ironman. I also swore up, down, and sideways that I would NEVER do morning workouts (which is basically the bread and butter of every other functioning Ironman - but not me!). Yet, here I am, 2-3 days a week, up and running by 5:30 am. It was hard at first but I think I have gotten used to it. I even sort of like it. I have done short easy runs, longer runs (8 miles), even a tempo workout in the early morning hours before work. Of course, if I have nothing scheduled for after work, I still default to running after work. But it's good to know that if have class, a quiz, am meeting a classmate, or just want to do something fun in the evening and now have to schedule it around my run, I can plan to get out of bed in the morning and run before work and ACTUALLY DO IT. It's also better for my motivation. I work in a lab where I stand all day. Sometimes, I don't want to follow an 8 hour day of standing with another 1+ hours of running. I want to go home and curl up (or.. do homework on the couch).. which I can do if I get up and do my run before work! Then I just slip into my compression socks and welcome the 8 hours of leg hugs!

As the summer semester as ended, I have a glorious 2 weeks of no school obligations where I can do all of my running after work if I want (unless I have something else going on) and then it will be back to the morning for me (most likely, with a headlamp) several times per week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Marathon Training Week 11

Summary of Weekly Miles

Monday - 4 miles, 36:36, 9:09 pace. Did in the AM.. felt ok and made it to work on time!

Tuesday - 3.78 miles, 36:40, 9:42 pace. Did this before work, thought I was supposed to run 4 when in fact I was supposed to run 5, and then ran into some issues. Oh well.

Wednesday - 10 miles, 1:28:49, 8:52 min/mile. I ran almost the same route that I ran the previous week (had to add on a mile), except I had to run it without Richard who was celebrating his wife's birthday that night, and somehow I ran it slightly faster. My legs felt better this week than the week before, and I did see some people that I knew while running (hi David) so that was a slight pick-me-up halfway through.

Thursday - 6 miles, 45:33, 7:35 min/mile, HR 160. This was 2 loops around the RIT campus with Trisha who paced me (AKA almost killed me) through a tempo run. (splits: 7:42, 7:41, 7:24, 7:27, 7:36, 7:40). She's fast. I am not. It was rough, but a huge help because I have trouble running tempo pace on my own. Then we ate food and worked on our Nonparametric Project for the rest of the evening.

Friday - off - did project/final exam for a few hours after work and then went to John's.

Saturday - 10 miles, 1:28:40, 8:52 min/mile, HR 148. Drove to Genesee Valley Park to run the river trail because I am starting to get a bit bored doing all of these 9-10 mile runs from my house (I always end up on either Winton or Culver, neither of which are interesting at all). I used this run to test out my SPIbelt which I bought for a weekend that I will be in Baltimore while training for the marathon.. don't want to end up lost somewhere and needed a way to carry my phone with me on long runs. It worked out well and I was very pleased with it! Then headed down to RIT to work on my final exam which is due Thursday. That was the theme of this weekend: running and Nonparametric. (Isn't that the theme of every weekend this summer? oh well).

Sunday - 20 miles, 2:57:03, 8:51 min/mile, HR 152. I parked my car in the High Falls parking garage, and then had John drive me to mile 6 of the Rochester Marathon course (~St. John Fischer College) and drop me off.. and I ran the rest of the course back to my car. The first 10 miles were great.. the last 10, not so much. I did see a bunch of friendly faces on the canal path - Trisha & Ken, and then saw Matt towards the very end near Corn Hill Landing. This run didn't go as well as I had hoped. I try not to run by pace on long runs, but I had a pretty decent one last week so I was thinking this one might be a bit faster - maybe 8:45 or so (since it's pretty much flat) but my hamstring was really starting to bug me about 14 miles in.. and it started to get really hot out (thank god I wore sunscreen). Unfortunately, the canal path doesn't believe in water fountains anywhere other than in Pittsford so I probably need to be mindful of this in the future (I don't do a whole lot of running on the canal path). I had a small handheld but it was drained by the time I got to GVP. Somewhere on the river trail near U of R I just sat down in the shade and texted John that I was dying. I had maybe 3 miles left to run and there was no way I was going to bail, so after a short pity party I got back up and finished my run.. and apparently he was worried (because I had stopped responding to texts.. what did people do before cell phones anyways?) so I found him in the parking garage waiting for me. It's kind of nice to have someone who a) knows you're out running for 3 hours and b) cares enough to make sure you survive it. Not that I am ever worried that I won't make it back and I have done hundreds of training swims, rides, and runs solo but.. what if I didn't come back?! No one would know until I didn't show up to work on Monday!

All in all, it really wasn't a bad run, I just wish my hamstring would pull its shit together. Also, I would have killed to lay around for the rest of the day, but instead I hit Tim Horton's and ate a bunch of food, showered, and then met Trisha at RIT for more project work, and then stuck around after she left to try to finish up my final (almost done!).

Week 11 Mileage: 53.78
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 412.79


By far, my biggest running week ever. I know it doesn't seem like much to a regular serious runner but it's a lot for me for sure. I have never been a high mileage runner and I have spent most of my adult life as a triathlete (lots of bike miles, lower running miles), so I think this is about where I will top out. I was tired all week, sore, my legs hurt, etc. I drop down to an easier week now, and then it's back up for 2 more big ones, and then I taper.

WHAT will life be like for the (almost) 2 weeks I have off between Summer and Fall semesters?! I can only imagine...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Marathon Training Week 10

Summary of Weekly Miles

Monday - 3 miles, 26:51, 8:57 pace. Did in the AM, still feeling rough after the race on Saturday.

Tuesday - 4 miles, 37:08, 9:17 pace. Again, morning run. STILL FEELING LIKE ASS.

Wednesday - 9 miles, 1:20:09, 8:54 min/mile. Thank GOD I have Richard to drag me through these mid-week longer runs. This one was better than the previous week - we did a loop through the South Wedge to "count the mustaches" and discovered some really nice streets with some cute houses (Rockingham in particular) as well as a mystery park with some trails that need to be explored. Nice run, decent weather (a little humid) and I rocked my new purple compression socks to try to help my legs feel better. Also, right near the end of the run, Rich stepped in a pile of disgusting, squishy, gross-looking mystery mud. I thought it was hilarious but apparently, he did not.

Thursday - off. This was the first run in 10 weeks that I have missed. My legs just did not feel like they were adequately recovering from the half-marathon and I knew I had a big mileage weekend coming up, so I took the night off and hung out with the boyfriend and ate meat(less)balls with a spork at Skylark which I had been craving ever since Rich and I ran past Union St. a few weeks ago.

Friday - off - got a massage at Empire Therapeutic Massage.

Saturday - 9 miles, 1:12:11, 8:01 min/mile, HR 165. Marathon pace run. This is the first one I have been able to execute. All of the others were overlapping with races (Real Beer 5K and Boilermaker) or I tried to do them on roads with streetlights (not good for keeping your pace consistent and faster than your normal pace). Because of this, I purposely drove to Brighton Town Park where there is canal path access and ran there - 4.5 miles out and 4.5 miles back. And TOTALLY nailed it. Feels pretty good! I'm even going to post my splits just because: 8:07, 8:06, 8:02, 7:59, 7:56, 7:55, 8:00, 8:02, 8:00. I am not very consistent when I run so I'm pretty proud of this.. working on the whole negative split thing. My marathon pace is 8:12 so I am VERY happy with how this went. Afterwards I went to RIT and worked on my Nonparametric project with Trisha (with a lost USB drive debacle thrown in there.. not fun).

Sunday - 19 miles, 2:47:52, 8:50 min/mile, HR 152. Got up at 7:30 am, got some stuff done around the house and then headed to Mendon Ponds Park to run the Spring Forward 15K loop twice. First loop felt pretty good, 2nd loop I started to have some trouble with my hamstring.This average pace is pretty good for me but I am going to ease up on this hills.. especially for one particular reason...

Week 10 Mileage: 44
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 359.01


I FINALLY chose my ADK Marathon replacement race - Rochester!! I'm pretty excited about this. I've been toying with the idea of switching marathons (I just think ADK is too hilly for me to try to BQ) and then Kevin hurt himself and is dropping to the half. I was going around in circles with all of these different options, but they are all mid-October or even in November, and I really just want my marathon season to be over by the end of September so that I can focus on cyclocross season (which got screwed last year because of Wineglass training and Statistical Software being the worst class ever). So I am going to do Rochester, then the weekend after, TRY to hobble the half in Schroon Lake (because I can't waste a race entry) and then.. who knows! If I get the BQ at Rochester, then I am done (except for the Baltimore Half with Lindsay). If not.. I will probably do the Harrisburg Marathon in November as a 2nd attempt. It's funny, because when I decided to do this whole marathon thing again, Rochester was my default option, but then silly Kevin talked me into the ADK Marathon! Maybe this was meant to be (not that I really believe in any of that anyways). Guess we'll find out! One nice thing is that I can do a nice 20 miler right on the course, 4 miles from my house!

Also, am trying to be better about stretching, foam rolling, and ice bathing myself after these long runs. Still trying to figure this stuff all out. The benefit to being a triathlete is that your workouts are so varied, it's harder to hurt yourself (at least, in my opinion). Now, my hamstring just yells at me 6 days a week!

Marathon Training Week 9

Summary of Weekly Miles

Monday -3 miles, 26:34, 8:51 min/mile.

Tuesday - 6 miles, 47:11, 7:51 min/mile. This was a 6x800 track workout at Brighton HS. I knew I was racing on Saturday (half marathon) AND I wanted to run long with Rich on Wednesday evening, so this was the only appropriate time to do this workout (I had class on Thursday night anyways). Did a 1 mile warm up and then ran 6x800s with 400 recovery in between: 3:25, 3:29, 3:30, 3:29, 3:30, 3:30 and then ~0.5 mile cool down to end at 6 miles total. It was hot as balls outside (88 or so degrees out and sunny). I was BAKING on the track and I am honestly surprised I was able to successfully pull this workout off AND stay on pace. I would dump water on my head and arms after every 800, run a 400 recovery lap, and by the time I got back around, it had dried/evaporated.

Wednesday - 9 miles, 1:20:55, 8:59 min/mile. Ran this with Richard. We did a tour of the city from the park behind my house. It was a rough run but I made it. Thank god for Rich.. we can chat and it distracts me from how bad or tired I feel. Probably the first truly bad run I have had during this training program.

Thursday - off. Opted to rearrange my week a bit because I had a half marathon Saturday (and not Sunday like Hal had suggested).

Friday - off

Saturday - PA Grand Canyon Half-Marathon (see race report) - 13.1 miles, 1:42:20, 7:49 min/mile, HR 189 (wow)

Sunday - 4 miles, 36:17, 9:04 min/mile. Hobbled my way through this. Active recovery, baby!

Week 9 Mileage: 35.1
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 315.01


I was VERY pleased with my track workout. I was also pleased with my effort at the half-marathon even though I did not PR.