Paris Marathon Training – Week 5

Week 5: 1/11-1/17

Monday: 

  • Plan: 30-60 min cross-training + rehab exercises + optional strength training
  • Actual: 30 min easy spinning + rehab exercises + strength training

I planned my time perfectly, then forgot to bring my resistance bands to do all my rehab exercises between spinning and strength training. I did what I could before my strength workout – which included deadlifts, plyometrics, and some arms – then did the rest of my rehab exercises with bands once I got home.

In a quest to eat all my veggies, I made this Asian-inspired brown rice & quinoa bowl – the idea came from this NYT Food recipe but I added several things: most importantly, shiitake mushrooms sautéed with minced garlic and a little salt.

kimchi rice bowl with egg

I turned on the College Football national championship game and had a grand old time foam rolling and going through a few yoga poses. So my national championship game watching experience was…totally normal.

Tuesday:

  • Plan: 4 miles easy + 4 strides + core
  • Actual: 4 miles easy @ 9:36/mile + strides + core

I’m really not sure what happened with this run. I was sore from yesterday’s jumping split squats and squat jumps, and was super relaxed for a nice easy jog. From my effort, I wouldn’t have been surprised to look down and see 11:00 miles, so I was pretty surprised to see 30 seconds off my normal easy pace. My effort at the end got a little more labored, so I think I should have backed off more at the beginning.

adorable cat photo

This rascal loves core work time, if only to interfere.

Wednesday:

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo + rehab exercises + yoga or strength
  • Actual: Rest day

All the DOMS. Decided to switch Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday:

  • Plan: Rest day
  • Actual: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo (9:23/8:54/8:36)

I ran after work, knowing I’d finish in the dark. I ran the same workout last week with slightly faster paces, although both were in the ranges that my plan called for.

I think I ran this week’s workout better than last week’s, even with the slower paces. I stayed more relaxed/controlled, and I had more gas in the tank when I finished. I saw my current Garmin pace get down to 8:05/mile in the last half mile (oops), backed off, and cruised the last quarter mile to the end. I felt great afterwards.

BUUUUT then I got home AND I was so hungry AND so I made dinner AND so I forgot my beloved rehab exercises. **sad face**

Friday:

  • Plan: 3 miles + 4 strides + Myrtl routine
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 10:14/mile + 4 strides + rehab exercises

Saturday:

  • Plan: 12 miles + core
  • Actual 12 miles @ 10:36/mile + core

After moving my tempoish workout to Thursday each of the last two weeks, I knew this one would be a little tough. It was. But it was a really beautiful day, and I did a full 25 minutes of core work at home later, which was a big win.

long run silver comet

Sunday:

  • Plan: Optional cross-training + yoga
  • Actual: Not a damn thing.

It was a holiday weekend and I felt like garbage. My Fitbit registered precisely 2000 steps. I did nothing.

Week 5: 25 miles

I saw some improvement in the resolutions I’m tracking for this training cycle:

  • Rehab/core work – A minus: I got in all the rehab exercises and core work, but I was lazy with the rehab exercises one day.
  • Sleep – A: Last week, I wanted to be more consistent with staying near my 8 hours/night goal. This week my sleep was on target according to my Fitbit…with a Sunday nap in there to pad my stats.fitbit sleep tracking
  • Nutrition – A: I hit my fruit/veggies goal like a champion! (I ate over a pound of spinach. It may have been overkill.) I had a smoothie after nearly every run, which made it so much easier to hit that fruit/veggie target. And I had just two meals from restaurants all week! Having friends with kids who invite you over for home-cooked deliciousness helps with this.
  • “Body maintenance” – C: I skipped yoga when I wasn’t feeling great, and I also missed an appointment with my foam roller. On second thought, do I get a “D” here?

How about you: do you have trouble getting enough fruits and veggies? Either way, let me know your secrets to getting your nutrition right. 

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Paris Marathon Training – Week 4

If the work week is an endurance event, then the holidays really zapped me of my work-stamina. Wednesday felt like it should have been Friday, and that’s my week in a nutshell.

Week 4: 1/4-1/10

Monday: 

  • Plan: 30-60 min cross-training + rehab exercises + optional strength training
  • Actual: chiro + 40 min strength training

Last week, when I posted about how not planning enough time got in the way of my doing all the “little things” to keep myself injury-free, this was the day I was thinking about. I didn’t plan my day well and didn’t get the work done that I needed to do. The strength workout was a lot of shoulders/chest/triceps/back/core.

For the third chiro visit in a row, I got a resounding vote of confidence from Dr. Eng to keep up the good work and run all the miles. I’m starting to really notice how much better my hips, glutes, and quads feel with the work he’s been doing and my rehab exercises. He introduced the idea of getting on more of a “maintenance” schedule where I come in once a month. I think I could get on board with that idea next month, but right now I see the biweekly appointments as a security blanket – I know he’ll take care of whatever’s bugging me at least every two weeks.

Tuesday:

  • Plan: 4 miles easy + 4 strides + core
  • Actual: 4 miles easy @ 10:06/mile + strides + core

Just a nice easy, sunny, chilly run at lunchtime. I love winter lunchtime runs. I felt the slightest tinge of ITB pain after my run, so I spent some extra time foam rolling and in pigeon pose.

Wednesday:

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo + rehab exercises + yoga or strength
  • Actual: Rest day

My core was pretty sore from the last two days’ workouts, and when some unexpected appointments took up a part of my day I hadn’t planned for, I decided to switch my Wednesday and Thursday workouts.

I noticed that when I take the train to run errands (like grocery shopping), I get quite a few extra steps in my day. My Fitbit registered over 13k steps – which, with my desk job, is pretty good for a rest day.

Thursday:

  • Plan: Rest day
  • Actual: 6 miles w/ last 3 progression to tempo (9:12/8:50/8:23) + rehab exercises + PT

Another chilly lunchtime run, gray and a little foggy but really nice weather, and the workout went off without a hitch. I remembered to stay relaxed during the workout – sometimes I get anxious about workouts (I realize that is crazy, but it’s true).

Piedmont Park oval atlanta

As usual, I went to the PT with a lot of tightness through my right hip and outer quad, this week so much that my right leg pulled to the side when I fully relaxed it. He needled my right quad, piriformis, TFL, glute med (where I’d been feeling some soreness), and both my right and left psoas – those little boogers have been knotted up for over a year. I REALLY felt it in my right glute med for the rest of the day.

Friday:

I didn’t want to move my long run to Sunday, so I added in a rest day to help myself recover from Thursday’s workout. And I do love Friday rest days.

The end of the week finally came, and we celebrated by staying in with homemade veggie pizza and a movie.

Saturday:

  • Plan: 12 miles + core
  • Actual: 12 miles @ 10:45/mile + core

WOOF. This run was awful. It started out feeling funny and just never got better. I’m of the superstitious belief that if all your training runs are magical, your race will probably suck…at least that’s what I tell myself after days like this. I’m glad I got it done and I was extremely glad when it was over.

silver comet mableton ga

I bought two Powerball tickets with the spare change in my car, and managed 8 minutes of core work before throwing in the towel. Later, we had a busy night celebrating one of my favorite people’s 30th birthdays (happy birthday Sarah!!) and seeing off one of Jeff’s grad school classmates, who got a job with a construction software company in Silicon Valley. It was a much later night than I am accustomed to.

Sunday:

  • Plan: optional cross-training + yoga
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 10:09/mile + 15 min yoga

I slept in and was lazy most of the day after the exhausting Saturday. I made further strides toward perfecting the breakfast pizza – one egg on the crust and another broken over the toppings. I barely made it out the door before dark for the run, but I managed to get it done just before the sun went down.

breakfast pizza

Breakfast Pizza v2.0: mozzarella, egg, thinly sliced potato, caramelized onion, mushrooms, fresh tomato slices, sautéed spinach, Italian sausage, and more egg/mozz.

Week 4: 25 miles

I have mixed feelings about this week of workouts – it was just an okay week. I also had mixed results with respect to my 2016 resolutions:

  • Rehab/core work – C: I was 1 for 2 on rehab exercises, and 1.5 for 2 on core work (I cut Saturday’s short). But I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t gone through the exercise of breaking it all down and coming up with these resolutions, there’s no way I would have done any core work on Saturday.
  • Sleep – B: I made my average of 8 hours/night, but that included one 10+ hour night and a couple of nights when I came up more than 30 minutes short. I’d like to be more consistent.
  • Nutrition – C-minus: I only got my servings of veggies 3/7 days, and fruits just one day. I’m really glad I started tracking this, because it’s an area that I can definitely improve. (Is it just me, or is it harder in the winter?) I did eat just 5 meals out during the week, which was better than I hoped to do.
  • “Body maintenance” – A-minus: I could have done more yoga, but overall I was consistent with seeing the chiro/PT, foam rolling, and doing what I can to stay loose and limber.

How was your week of training/workouts? If you set any resolutions or goals, how are they coming along?

The Process Behind the Goal: 2016 Resolutions

Internet-running-friends, I have loved reading about all your goals and resolutions for 2016. They are awesome and ambitious, and while I find myself dreaming along with you, I’m a little jealous.

2015 brought me more injuries (2) than PRs (1, by 19 seconds). Sure, getting injured sucks and I wish it had been different, but I hope 2015’s lessons will endure far beyond the 12 weeks those injuries kept me away from running.

I have one important goal for 2016: to make it to the finish line of the Paris Marathon healthy. More generally, I want to steer clear of running injuries entirely so that I can run more consistently and hopefully get faster long-term. (ETA: I would like to PR in the marathon, but that goal is so secondary to getting there healthy that I don’t consider it important by comparison.)

Goals are great – yay goals! – but how make them happen? I bring you the unlikely inspiration for this post, who popped into my head as I was waiting for takeout.

The devil himself.* And his process.

nick saban process

Photo credit: ABC 33/40
*Joking aside, I think he is a great coach and not actually the devil, but I’m obligated to dislike the guy. My brothers went to Auburn and my boyfriend to Tennessee.

For those of you who just got a little lost, Nick Saban is the head football coach at the University of Alabama, and the winner of four national championships. He’s been kind of successful. And he attributes this success to the “process.”

“[The Process] basically means just focusing on the little things and not getting wrapped up in the big picture.”

– Barrett Jones, former Alabama offensive lineman

That quote perfectly articulates how I want to approach my training to meet my goal for 2016. I went through a few basic steps to craft my own “process:”

  1. Listed out all of the “little things” that were important to meeting my goal
  2. Identified the most critical items based on importance and/or those I was least likely to do, to come up with a manageable number of items to focus on
  3. For the “little things” I deemed critical, I reflected on the underlying causes of why I’d struggled with them in the past
  4. Determined steps I could take to address the past struggles: my personal “process”

My 2016 resolutions are each of the items critical to achieving my goal. The “process” is my roadmap for achieving success with each resolution. Without further ado, here they are.

Strengthen the weak links

In 2015, I discovered that I enjoyed strength training, with an emphasis on fewer reps and heavier weight. One or two days a week, I’d run in the morning and strength train in the evening. The more I enjoyed feeling like a badass from lifting heavy things, the less I enjoyed the basic core/pre-hab work by comparison. I deluded myself into thinking that the strength training would take care of those areas too. Maybe that works for some, but I learned the hard way that I need to keep doing my clams and glute bridges religiously.

Often, I wouldn’t allow for enough time to fit in these essential “ancillary” exercises. GUESS WHAT? This just happened to me yesterday. Maybe one day I’ll learn. To change this bad habit, I have to accept three things: 1) these exercises are essential, 2) they take extra time, which is time invested in my health, and 3) I have to plan for that extra time.

RESOLUTION: do rehab exercises at least 2x/week, 15-20 min of core work at least 2x/week
PROCESS:
– do exercises as run cool-down. (Or if I’m truly strapped for time, do a couple exercises as a cool-down then the remainder while watching TV or something.)
– add 30 minutes to the total time I plan for each run.

Sleep like a champion

In the past, I haven’t struggled to get enough sleep, but I’m including it as a part of the “process” because it’s so important. After being chronically sleep deprived for nearly 6 years in my old job, I treasure the feeling of being rested and refreshed. I generally sleep about 8 hours when I don’t set an alarm, so I just want to keep that up.

RESOLUTION: average at least 8 hours of sleep per night, add more if necessary as training increases
PROCESS:
– limit caffeine to before 3 pm.
– cut off TV before 10 pm.
– finish eating by 9 pm (I tend to be a late eater, so this would be an improvement!)

Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition

Although I would like to lose a few holiday pounds, this resolution is more about making sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need than it is about cutting back.

I don’t like labeling foods as “healthy” and “unhealthy”. I’m of the mind that foods exist on a spectrum of nutritious to…not so nutritious, and true “healthy eating” comes from eating a mix of foods that together meet all our needs. For further reading on this topic, I can’t recommend Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight enough.

I’m focusing on vegetables and fruits, because I’ve been inconsistent about getting enough fruits & veggies in my diet. I don’t like tracking food, so the less I plan to do, the more likely I am to succeed.

Don’t worry, I’ve carefully crafted this process to accommodate my love of pizza.

RESOLUTION: eat a balanced whole-foods diet
PROCESS:
– track servings of fruits & vegetables: 3-4 servings of each per day (veggies can be put on pizzas and eaten with salad).
– limit myself to 7 meals/week at restaurants by staying on top of grocery shopping & food prep

Give love to hardworking muscles

I am an admitted hater of foam rolling and stretching. I’m also not an expert on which body aches and tight spots are serious and which ones aren’t too much of a concern. I am, however, an expert at ignoring issues until they become injuries. All of this shall change.

RESOLUTION: proactively identify and address tight/weak/sore areas.
PROCESS:
– foam roll/stretch every other day or more as needed. if necessary, self-bribery with beer or TV is acceptable and encouraged.
– see sports chiro/PT at least monthly or as needed
– practice yoga at least once a week

I just re-read all of these process points, and dayyyum, that’s a lot. I have been doing some of these things – just not consistently – others, not at all. It’s entirely possible that some of these resolutions are too ambitious, and others not ambitious enough. Time will tell, and I’m willing to make adjustments as I see room for improvement.

Because I think that each of the four resolutions are essential to my goal of running healthy in 2016, I’m going to keep myself honest in these areas by tracking them in my weekly training posts.

How about you – is there an area of running/life that is important but hard for you to stick with consistently? 

Do you set resolutions or goals at the beginning of the year? If so, what’s on tap for 2016?

RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Weeks 14-15

For those who have been keeping up with my training (hi Mom!), I’ve been working toward building mileage cautiously after August training went off the rails and September was a battle (often a losing one) for consistency.

Good news – it worked! I managed to increase my mileage without getting injured, and I’m caught back up to my training plan.

Week 14: 31 miles

This was a cutback/mini-taper week before the Atlanta 10 Miler.

Monday, 10/19 

Ressssst.

Tuesday, 10/20

  • Plan: 7 miles: mile 3 @ tempo + 8×1:00 @ 5k pace, 2:00 jog rest; core; strength training
  • Actual: 7 miles: mile 3 @ 8:41 + 6×1:00 @ 8:12/mi average; strength training

I read the workout wrong, and did 6 1-minute repeats instead of 8. The world shall not end; however, I will work on my reading comprehension skills.

I got to deadlift again in the strength workout (5 sets: 1 warmup set of 10; 4 sets of 5). Last week I eased into it by focusing on form and keeping the weight pretty low at 105 lbs. This week I did a couple of sets of 5 at 110 before increasing to 115 for the remaining sets. Still, it didn’t feel too challenging to hold good form; also, hooray for no SI joint pain!

Wednesday, 10/21

  • Plan: 3 mile recovery run
  • Actual: 3 mile recovery run

Thursday, 10/22

  • Plan: 5 miles easy + 4 strides; hips/glutes
  • Actual: 5 miles + 4 strides; hips/glutes

After an otherwise unremarkable run, I was running strides and somehow hit a gear that I hadn’t hit in a while. It reminded me why strides are fun: it takes you back to running as a kid, without regard for paces or splits. (Side note: if you’re not running strides, give it a try! I like this explainer for the newbie to strides.)

Friday, 10/23

Rest day. For once, I wasn’t totally craving the rest day; this was probably because of the cutback in mileage. My cousin was in town with her husband for a conference, so she ditched the conference, and we went out for a delicious dinner at Rathbun’s. All of our food was delicious, but a real unexpected delight was the side of creamed corn.

Saturday, 10/24

  • Plan: 3 miles easy + 4 strides
  • Actual: 3 miles easy + 4 strides

Thanks to Oiselle for making green Mac Rogas. #sicembears

I got the run done on a fun football Saturday and wore green and white in honor of the Baylor homecoming game. All I did all day was run, watch football, and eat delicious foods. It was fantastic.

Sunday, 10/25:

  • Plan: 2 mile warm-up, 10 mile race, 2 mile cool-down
  • Actual: 1.5 mile warm-up, Atlanta 10 Miler (1:28:31), 1.5 mile cool-down

I mentioned this in my race recap, but I’m really awful at getting in the warm-up and cool-down miles called for – this time, parking a little over a mile from the race was the only thing that forced me to do it (although short by a half mile each way).

After the race, I tried to take an ice bath, which was pretty unsuccessful in my stall shower. 😛

Week 15: 40 miles

Monday, 10/26

REST. Sweet rest. Much needed. This week, we also learned that cats are predators who would like to kill us. As far as I can tell, Lucy has given up this dream and focuses her predatory instincts on her yarn ball and extracting extra kibble from her feeder. (I like this photo because she does look kind of creepy.)

Tuesday, 10/27

  • Plan: 3 miles easy + 4 strides; core
  • 3 miles + 4 strides; 15 minutes of core work

Super boring easy-paced treadmill run after work on a rainy day. I had packed stuff for running in the rain, but I wasn’t feeling it.

Wednesday, 10/28

  • Plan: 7 miles: 8×1:00 @ 10k pace, 2:00 recovery; strength training
  • Actual: 7 miles: 8×1:00 @ 8:08/mile average; strength training

I felt like $1 million after the extra recovery day from my race, and I ran my workout a bit faster than I should have. The good news was that it didn’t feel very challenging. I think the extra recovery day worked wonders.

Thursday, 10/29

  • Plan: 8 miles + 4 strides; hips/glutes; strength training
  • Actual: 9 miles + 4 strides, strength training

I inadvertently added about a mile to my run. I took a different turn to avoid stopping at a red light, and I’d run nearly a half mile when I realized I had to backtrack to my original route. I ran strides after the 8 mile mark (I found a really nice flat stretch there), then jogged home extra-easy.

Friday, 10/30

Ah, rest day. The Friday rest day was much appreciated this week.

Saturday, 10/31

  • Plan: 16 miles
  • Actual: 16 miles @ 10:32/mile

After suffering on hills in the 10 Miler last weekend, I decided to do my long run on the same hilly route that ate me alive for a few 9-12 mile runs earlier in the training cycle. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get into a rhythm on this run. During mile 12, I did a few short uphill surges at a medium-hard effort, which was pretty fun.

Fall is here! Please stay a while, fall.

Sunday, 11/1

  • Plan: 5 mile recovery run
  • Actual: 5 mile recovery run; Myrtl routine

I had a nice recovery run on a hilly route, although I probably should have found something a little flatter after the hilly long run the day before. I did the Myrtl routine – a quick hip-focused set of exercises – after my run. I was doing this routine more consistently earlier in the year, and it felt good to get back to it. It’s not too strenuous, so it’s great for a recovery run day.

What’s next:

This week is the RnR Savannah Half Marathon. I have another cutback/baby-taper week leading up to the race. Last year, I ran 1:55:53 in this race in good weather. This year, the forecast isn’t looking great: the forecasted low has increased from 65 degrees to 68 degrees, and with rain expected all week, there’s no doubt it will be humid.

I don’t think it makes sense to put all my eggs in the PR basket for this race, especially with St. Jude coming up in December. The heat and humidity could get me in trouble if I try to run an exact Garmin pace. My plan is to wear the Garmin so I can nerd out on the data post-race, but I don’t plan to look at it too often during the race.

I plan to aim for a sub-1:55 half in Memphis, so this race will more or less a dress rehearsal to gauge where I am fitness-wise on a flat course. If I can run close to the time I ran last year, I’ll feel like I’m in great shape to run a fast race in Memphis.

Anyone else racing in Savannah this weekend?

What are your thoughts on racing in humidity?

RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Weeks 3-5

Consistency hasn’t been the forte of my last few weeks. I’ve battled SI joint pain of varying intensity, tough work weeks, and illness. I’m doing my best to adapt to the situation and hoping things will return to normal soon.

This recap includes three weeks, because I’ll be honest, blogging is the first thing to go when life gets a little crazier than normal.

Week 3: 22 miles

Monday, 8/3

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

Tuesday, 8/4

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace; 2:00 rest; core; strength training
  • Actual: 4 miles @ 9:46/mile; 2 sets of 20 kettlebell swings; Myrtl routine

I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so I decided to put off the harder workout and push forward an easier day. Since I was also skipping my planned strength training, I got in a couple sets of kettlebell swings after my run. I felt a little unstable doing swings in my Hoka Cliftons (I typically wear a more minimal shoe for this kind of activity). In the evening, a pain I’d been having in my lower back really seized up. To the touch, I had a knot the size of a lima bean. I curse myself for swinging in max-cushion shoes.

Wednesday, 8/5

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace; 2:00 rest; core; strength training
  • Actual: rest and corrective massage

All day, my back just felt like owwwwwww, even just walking or sitting. I got a last minute massage appointment, with fingers crossed that the therapist could unlock whatever had seized up in my low back.

I learned from the therapist that my SI joint was the source of this pain. The issues with my SI joint had further underlying causes, including tight spots in my adductors and obliques. The massage helped release these spots and took the edge off the pain coming from my SI joint. The therapist also gave me some homework: glute activation exercises (proving I’m still a work in process), and spots to self-massage.

Thursday, 8/6

  • Plan: 5 miles; strength training
  • Actual: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace; 2:00 rest; strength training

I finally got the workout in! It started out pretty easy and ended up tough but doable. Pacing was pretty consistent among the one-minute repeats, between 8:20-8:30 pace. I’m pleased with it, since pacing shorter workouts hasn’t been easy for me in the past.

In the gym that evening, I was nervous to re-aggravate my SI joint so I didn’t go a full 100% effort. It was a good day: squats, pistols, TRX rows, assisted pull-ups, weighted lunges, hanging leg raises, and one arm kettlebell swings.

Friday, 8/7

  • Plan: rest
  • Actual: 3 mile recovery run

Had I done the fartlek workout Tuesday, I would have done this recovery run on Wednesday, so I decided to plug it in on my Friday rest day for a little active recovery.

Saturday, 8/8

  • Plan: 9 miles; core
  • Actual: 9 miles @ 9:15/mile; core

I met up with Jessica for a group run with MARC. I enjoyed the group atmosphere, met a lot of nice people, and had a good run. I kept trying to slow myself down to a 9:30+ pace in accordance with the training plan, but I ran faster than prescribed while still feeling comfortable on the run. I’m not going to read into it; I think it was just a day when I felt really good. I’ll take it.

Sunday, 8/9

  • Plan: 3 mile recovery run
  • Actual: Travel, dinner, and rest

I packed up for another week in Boston. My flight was delayed 30 minutes at the time of departure, made up the delay time in the air, then we were delayed nearly an hour on the ground in Boston waiting for a gate.

My view for an extended length of time.

I’d planned to do my 3 mile recovery run before dinner, but with the delay, my hunger, and my unquenched desire for Neptune Oyster House, I opted to go straight for dinner. It’s gotten so hard to get in Neptune that I specifically planned to go on Sunday night when I’d be dining alone without coworkers. I had some delicious oysters, several (too many) delicious glasses of wine, and their lobster roll makes little angels sing inside my head. This is a meal that is worth skipping a recovery run for.

the BEST.

Week 4: 15 miles

Monday, 8/10

  • Plan: Make up Sunday’s 3 mile recovery run? Or rest.
  • Actual: Rest

I’m just going to be real here, I was a little hung over first thing in the morning.

I drank a bunch of water, slept another hour, and was a champion for the first day of what proved to be a tough work week.

Tuesday, 8/11

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace, 2:00 rest
  • Actual: 5 miles @ 9:29/mile; 4 strides

I slept horribly on Monday night, so yet again, I pushed up an easier running day on my harder workout day.

I didn’t do my evening strength training as planned because we had a team dinner. We went to Bricco, which may be my new favorite Italian spot in the North End. A couple of coworkers and I went family style with a bunch of dishes, and everything was great. Two thumbs up.

The meatballs are awesome.

Wednesday, 8/12

  • Plan: 3 mile recovery run
  • Actual: 4 miles with friends, untimed; core/hip strength

Miles with friends on the Charles River Esplanade are the best. I followed up the run with a core circuit and some hip strength work.

The day just kept getting better from there. For lunch, we went to Sam LaGrassa’s deli (the corned beef and pastrami sandwich is great but HUGE!), and we picnicked in Boston Common on a gorgeous day.

After work, a colleague and I booked it to Harpoon Brewery. If you like beer/the brewery scene, I’ve got to recommend this to anyone visiting Boston. The atmosphere was great, I liked the beer, and the pretzel with IPA cheese made me extremely happy.

Thursday, 8/13

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace, 2:00 rest
  • Actual: Rest

I really regretted not going ahead with this workout on Tuesday. I also regretted not resting enough over the week…WHO AM I KIDDING, it was a great time. But with a big day of work ahead of me, I decided to put my focus there and run in the evening or the next day.

When the work day was over, all I wanted to do was take a nap and go for a late run. So naturally, when my friend/coworker Heather suggested we have a glass of champagne to celebrate getting through the week…YES PLEASE. A glass of champagne turned into another delicious dinner at Bricco and a cannoli from Modern Pastry. So much for those plans.

Friday, 8/14

  • Plan: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace, 2:00 rest
  • Actual: 6 miles w/ 8 x 1:00 @ 10k pace, 2:00 rest

I got the workout in eventually. It was beautiful and the run went great. Other than one repeat that I ran a tad too fast (8:12/mi pace), the rest were all in the 8:20-8:30 range.

I always pack a carry-on for work trips. This particular day, I didn’t feel like dragging it through security, so I pulled a rare move and checked my small bag.

When I got to the Atlanta airport, I saw my bag on a crowded carousel, stacked above a couple of other bags. I reached awkwardly to grab it, and felt almost a cranking sensation in my SI joint.

It hurt to walk, sit, even shift positions while lying down. Normally a tosser/turner, I had to lie completely still while sleeping because the slightest adjustment of my hips sent my SI joint pain into fury.

Saturday, 8/15

  • Plan: Rest or 3 mile recovery run
  • Actual: Rest

I woke up feeling as miserable as when I went to sleep. I couldn’t do anything bending at the waist – I could barely touch my knees. I found a chiropractor whose office was open on Saturday, and it was good to get out of the house with a glimmer of hope, but I didn’t notice any improvement in the pain. I spent most of the day standing and hanging out on our friends’ front porch, because sitting was more painful than standing.

Sunday, 8/16

  • Plan: 9 miles
  • Actual: Rest

The SI joint pain was somewhat less than the day before, but I wasn’t about to risk running 9 miles feeling that way. I toyed with the idea of a short easy run, but decided that would be horrible judgment given the level of pain I was experiencing.

Week 5: 22 miles

Monday, 8/17

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: 3 miles easy @ 9:56/mile

My SI joint pain was steadily improving, but I was getting a little grumpy from not getting any exercise. I tried to think of what I could do to get a good sweat that wouldn’t irritate the SI joint, and realized that running made the most sense – no bending at the waist necessary.

I had a really excellent run. The hills were no big deal. It was odd, except now I’m wondering if something I did to avoid aggravating the SI joint is actually better running form and allows the glutes to activate better. My theory is that it’s keeping my pelvis neutral, so I’m going to try being more conscious of this going forward.

The other great thing about this run was that my SI joint pain was decreased compared to the pain pre-run, and I was a lot more mobile than before (I could actually touch my toes after the run).

Tuesday, 8/18

  • Plan: 7 miles w/ 3-6 @ tempo pace
  • Actual: 5 miles @ 9:54; strides; strength training

Even feeling a lot better, I wasn’t sure about jumping straight into a tempo run, so the streak of putting off Tuesday workouts continued.

Strength training went pretty well. The trainer modified a couple of exercises to avoid aggravating anything, but I was able to do almost everything according to plan.

Wednesday, 8/19

  • Plan: 3 mile recovery run
  • Actual: 3 miles @ 10:37/mile; corrective massage; mobility class

Thursday, 8/20

  • Plan: 7 miles w/ 3-6 @ tempo pace
  • Actual: 7 miles w/ 3-6 @ tempo pace; strength training

I didn’t wake up early, so I had to do this one on the treadmill. 2 miles @ 10:21/mile, 4 miles @ 8:41/mile, 1 mile @ 10:21/mile. The workout felt exactly as it should: comfortably hard until the last quarter mile or so, when it was pretty stinkin’ hard.

We had squat day at the gym, and I decided to attempt pull-ups with a band for the first time. It was a success and I felt like a badass. That is all.

Friday, 8/21

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

Saturday, 8/22

  • Plan: 10 miles
  • Actual: Rest

My throat felt really scratchy and I felt more fatigued than normal, so I hoped that putting off the long run would keep the sick bugs at bay.

Sunday, 8/23

  • Plan: 10 miles
  • Actual: 4 miles @ 10:21/mile; core/hips

I still felt kind of sick and decided to play it safe.

Overall, I’m disappointed that I haven’t been training as consistently as I planned, but sometimes life happens. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping all the obstacles to my training came at once. 🙂

Training Update: Post-Marathon Recovery

Since running a marathon a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing what I can to aid the marathon recovery process – it’s no joke. Naturally, this process involves a lot of laziness and baked goods. Some wholesome foods too, but the baked goods were a priority.

The marathon was really tough on my IT band and glutes. After the marathon, my walking posture was weird because my glutes were shot to hell. I couldn’t fathom standing up for any length of time. For this reason, I waited longer than I should have (several hours) to even take a shower!

I referred to this article on marathon recovery for a general framework of a recovery plan. I didn’t follow it to the letter because I was trying to be very in tune with my body. If you’re looking for a blueprint for marathon recovery, I’d recommend the article, as it walks through the science of marathon recovery. Getting an overview of the science behind the recovery process really helped me understand the importance of taking it easy even after my body didn’t feel sore anymore.

Week 1: 40 min cross-training, 35 min running

Race Day: Walked to car post-race, just over half a mile. This walk probably took at least 20 minutes. Should have taken an ice bath but didn’t.

Days 1-4: Rest, rest, rest. I even drove to work instead of walking half a mile to the train station. Did some very light foam rolling. By day 3, all lingering muscle soreness was gone.

Day 5: 30 minutes cycling on the stationary bike & 10 minutes of core work. After this little workout, I gained a better appreciation of the necessity of an extended marathon recovery period. I was exhausted all afternoon at work (I worked out at lunch).

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: 35 minutes of really easy running. I didn’t take my Garmin and ran an unfamiliar route. Once I hit 35 minutes, I walked the rest of the way home. The walk was about half a mile, and it felt awesome.

Week 2: 19 miles running

Day 8: Rest

Day 9: 4.1 miles of easy running @ 11:24/mile; light hip strengthening work (clamshells, bridges, and sideways shuffles with a resistance band, for lack of a proper term)

  • This run was harder than I planned for it to be. I took a new route from my office, and it had #allthehills, but somehow lacked consistent sidewalks. Damn you, Buckhead.

Day 10: Rest

Day 11: 4 miles of easy running @ 11:13/mile; core

  • Night run.

ATL Skyline

Days 12-13: Rest

Day 14: 8 miles of easy running @ 11:01/mile

  • The last mile was harder than I would have liked it to be. Possibly should have stopped at 7.

Day 15: 3 miles easy @ 10:47/mile; strides

  • I did 4 very relaxed strides after this run, and I felt so stiff during the first one! It felt like I was running through a puddle of glue. I felt much looser and more comfortable during the last two, so I think the strides were a really good thing to do at this point in the recovery process.

Week 3: 27 miles running

Day 16: Rest & travel

Day 17: 4 miles easy @ 10:52/mile; strides; hips

  • Easy run in Tennessee. Strides started to feel normal.
Germantown, TN

Thanks to the power lines for the running trail.

Day 18: 6 miles w/ 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace; 90 sec recovery

  • I used this run to ease back into midweek workouts post-marathon. I did the midweek workout from my last taper week to get back into the swing of faster running. My pacing was totally off: the 10k pace repeats ranged from 7:44/mile to 8:37/mile. I was shooting for 8:20/mile.

Day 19: Rest & Christmas Day

  • Started off the day with Irish coffee and gift-giving. No need to run after all that.

Day 20: 5 miles easy @ 10:22/mile; strides; core

  • Finally, back to the pre-marathon-training easy pace. Increasing my mileage during marathon training really slowed me down. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Day 21: Rest, travel

  • I was planning to run 3 miles, but it was almost dark when I got home from Tennessee, so I decided to take the day off.

Day 22: 12 mile long run @10:55/mile

  • The good: I ran a hilly route that I did early in marathon training, and it felt easier than I remembered.
  • The bad: There was no reason for me to run this far. The last mile of the run felt harder than I should have been running in the late stages of marathon recovery. I think a 10 mile run would have been more appropriate for me at this stage of recovery.

I’m really pleased with how my marathon recovery has progressed. I didn’t get sick, I kept all my toenails, and my body is able to handle nearly 30 miles a week without much fuss. I intended to add cross-training (kickboxing, yoga, possibly spinning) during weeks 2 and 3 post-marathon, but I forgot how much easier it is to just lace up and go for a run than to attend a scheduled class. Or go to trivia and drink beer. Or take care of holiday-related errands. Even with the nonexistent cross-training, I didn’t expect recovery to go this well.

In the coming weeks, I don’t plan to increase my mileage much if at all, but I do plan to add cross-training and maybe even spend some time in the gym strength training. I’m going to start some 5k specific training for the next couple of months, but it will be low-key. I’ll be doing fartleks rather than track workouts, and my weekly mileage will be in the mid 20s to low 30s. This should be enough to be in good shape for half marathons in mid-March and late April. I also plan to keep up with the trivia and beer. 🙂

In other news, I decided on my spring race schedule – if you’re interested in racing 5ks in the Atlanta area this spring, check it out and consider joining me for a race.

What tips & tricks have you found helpful for post-marathon recovery? Do you run the week after a marathon or hold off? Cross-train or jump right back into running?
Leave a comment or send me a tweet @racingoprah if you plan to run any of these races!

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 2 Weeks to Go

Last week of training before Turkey Taper 2k14!

Total miles: 47 (!)
Total recommitments to good habits: 2
Status of said recommitments: improving and needing further improvement

Monday: unplanned rest day

I felt run down from all the traveling I’d been doing, plus Saturday’s rough long run left a bad taste in my mouth. Decided to begin my last real training week on a little extra rest.

Tuesday: 6 miles easy @ 11:06/mile; strides; hips

The plan was to do 7, but I had to squeeze in this run during my lunch break and get back for a conference call. Recommitting to “easy days easy” went really well on this run. And I did hip strengthening work! Pats self on back.

Piedmont park

Wednesday: 10 miles // 4-5 @ tempo pace; 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 recovery; core

Another long treadmill run fueled by a long string of Fresh Air downloads. I felt really strong during this run, so I did the tempo portion at an 8:41/mile pace and the 10k portions at an 8:29/mile pace. It was a little bit faster than normal, but just by one treadmill increment. Also, Jeff showed up on the treadmill next to me. We seldom run or work out together, so it was fun having him there.

My right leg/hip was still bothering me, but has improved a good bit. On this run, I noticed that the discomfort went away as I ran faster. I’m not going to read too much into this for now, but it might be meaningful if it persists.

Thursday: 7 miles // 4-7 @ goal marathon pace

The plan called for steady-state pace, but I was pretty fatigued from the 10 mile Wednesday workout, and I skipped the normal rest day between the long workout and the steady-state run to get back on schedule.

It was another treadmill run, and I knew it was going to be rough when my normal super-slow-starting-pace, 5.5 mph on the treadmill, felt kind of hard. I felt really out of shape working so hard to run 9:41 marathon-pace-miles, but I’m sure the last 4 miles of the race will be even harder.

Friday: 4 miles easy @ 11:36/mile; strides; hips

EASY DAYS EASY!!!! I got this, y’all. I really needed a super easy run to recover from the week, and this did the trick.

Leaves

Saturday: 20 mile long run @ 10:09/mile

I finally made it to the hallowed 20 mile training run, and it was better than I expected it to be. After a slow start, I started feeling super strong, and that feeling never went away.  Even though my pace was quicker than normal, I felt like I was running quite conservatively until the last 3 or 4 miles. Other than the feeling of “I’ve been running for nearly 3.5 hours and walking is awkward,” I felt amazing after the run. I had gas left in the tank, and I had the time to reflect on how far I’ve come with my training (I even got a little emotional about it).

20 miler splits

After the run, Jeff made us beef and cabbage soup, and I ate three bowls 🙂 Then I woke up hungry in the middle of the night and ate a Larabar.

Is this normal? Do you guys get outlandishly hungry after a 20 miler?

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 3 Weeks to Go

I didn’t spend a single day at home during Marathon Minus Three Weeks. I missed this furry little buddy.

furry buddy

Thankfully I get #littlebuddy updates while I’m out of town. Photo courtesy of Jeff, aka Stedman.

I was in Boston for work this week. (again!! I love Boston.) Boston in November is a bit of a weather-gamble, but we got lucky to be in town during a week that was about 10 degrees warmer than average.

Boston

This photo pretty much sums up the week of gorgeous weather.

Total Miles: 42

Monday: 7 miles easy @ 10:20/mi; hip strengthening work

My easy pace was quicker than normal from a combination of a) being amped from my half marathon on Saturday, b) being amped because I love Boston and love running in Boston, c) running late for work, and d) running perhaps a bit faster than I should have.

My leg pain flared up again a bit and I spent some quality time with the foam roller. Huge shout out to the Financial District Hilton for having a full assortment of foam rollers in the gym. This seemed to help.

Tuesday: 9.5 miles // miles 4-5 @ tempo pace; 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 jog recovery; core work

My plan was to run 10 miles, but I was running late for work again and had to cut the run short. The theme of running too fast continued on this run. During both the tempo pace and 10k pace portions of the run, I looked down at my Garmin and found myself running about 0:30/mile too fast. My splits don’t clearly show it because the too-fast segments were offset by stoplights and hills. I attribute this poor pacing to the causes listed above.

Tuesday Workout

9.5 miles // 4-5 tempo; 6×1 10K

After this run, I started feeling the mystery leg pain in my right leg – not severely, but enough to make me aware of it. Fan-f-ing-tastic. More foam rolling and core work are clearly needed.

Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 8 miles // miles 4-7 @ steady state

This run was supposed to be 7 miles, but I got lost by Boston University campus and it became an 8 mile run. In other noteworthy occurrences, I nearly got run over crossing Massachusetts Avenue when I finally found a recognizable landmark (the bridge to the Charles River Esplanade) after getting lost by BU.

Charles River

Dear Boston: You are pretty and fun to run in. Except in the winter. XOXO, Sarah

Continuing the week’s theme, I ran too fast. In addition to the causes listed above, it was the same temperature as the rest of the week, but with a nasty wind chill that I didn’t dress for. Faster running = warmer body. Getting lost definitely slowed me down and moderated my split times to about the pace I was supposed to run (9:00-9:20/mi). I actually cut through a BU building (did not run; brisk walk) at one point because I was so lost.

11.xx ss splits

Friday: unplanned rest day; hip strengthening work; travel to New Orleans

I had a 4 mile easy run on the schedule, but I started feeling symptoms of a cold, and it was nearly freezing and rainy outside, so I just decided to rest up for my 19 miler on the schedule for Saturday.

I went straight to New Orleans from Boston (via LaGuardia, which by the way, has a super nice Delta terminal). We had dinner at Mr. B’s for our friend Randy’s birthday, and it did not disappoint.

cajun BBQ shrimp

BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B’s, highly recommended.

bib

This is what happens when you order BBQ shrimp

birthday bread pudding

This is what happens when you have a birthday: bread pudding!

I booked a room at the Roosevelt Hotel for the weekend with points. I got an upgrade to a suite, a points rebate, two free cocktails, and the room was so nice. I’m now a huge fan of this hotel.

Saturday:
Plan: 19 mile long run
Actual: 17.5 mile long run @ 11:14/mile

File this one away under “it’s not always your day” long runs. I had every intention of just going slow and steady, since I still felt a little cold-y, but I was super excited because Jeff found me an awesome route to run. Around mile 5, the pain that crept into my right leg earlier this week (was originally left leg, but that seems to have gone away) really came in with a vengeance. The streets and sidewalks in New Orleans are pretty rough, and I got to the point where I didn’t want to land on my right foot anytime I stepped off a curb/pothole/etc because I really felt the hip/upper thigh pain with every downward step. Running on the dirt on the streetcar route along St. Charles for part of the run was probably really helpful.

Audubon Park

Audubon Park

The run was fine and I enjoyed taking in the scenery until mile 15. This was basically the only hill in the entire run, an overpass over I-10. I was almost to the bottom of the overpass when I tripped and fell and got some pretty nasty New Orleans street grime in my scraped-up hands.

Sidebar: There was once a time in college when I went to happy hour before quarterbacking a flag football game. I got tackled by an overzealous Zeta and hit the ground pretty hard, no doubt a result of slow response time. I started crying in the most unattractive way possible. My friend Haley came over to see if I was ok, and upon realizing I was totally fine, she started laughing hysterically at my ridiculous sobbing. I realized how absurd I looked, and my sobs turned to heaving laughter.

I basically relived that moment lying face down on the side of the road on my long run, minus having Haley physically there to laugh at me (her cheer was there in spirit, and it was infectious). Once I recognized that I was basically in the same position with the same unattractive-crying as in that football game, I mustered a little laugh, got up, and kept running. I stopped at a gas station to wash my hands, drank a Gatorade, and resumed the run.

street view

Google street view of the place where I fell.

The run was going slow but OK until I arrived in a residential neighborhood and felt a call from nature. I slowed my stride a bit and hoped to find a business to patronize/use facilities. Before too long, I couldn’t even jog without feeling like I was going to involuntarily answer the call of nature. I’d walk, try to jog, have to stop immediately.

long run

Loooooong run.

By this time, I’d been running for 3 hours, I was a mile and a half from being done, and the prospect of walk/jogging the final 1.5 miles seemed ridiculous, especially with my hands in need of some serious antibiotic ointment. I called a cab and that was that. Best $11 I’ve ever spent.

I took the best shower of my life (the shower had not two but THREE shower heads), and Jeff brought me a muffuletta from Central Grocery. Post long run food is the way to my heart.

Muffuletta

Not just any muffuletta. The ORIGINAL muffuletta.

After a much-needed muffuletta coma, we went out, watched football, and spent the evening bar-hopping the French Quarter and eating po’ boys.

po boy

Grilled shrimp po’ boy from Erin Rose.

I think we stayed out until 1 or so – I did flame out earlier than the rest of the bunch, but it was still a respectable showing.

Sunday: Rest day; travel to Atlanta

I woke up at 10:45 and missed breakfast, so we had a delicious lunch at Mother’s. Jeff and I split the combination platter (jambalaya, etoufee, red beans & rice, collards, and potato salad) and the house special po’ boy, the “Famous Ferdi Special.” This isn’t something I would have ordered without direction from Jeff – it’s a ham and roast beef po’ boy sitting in roast beef gravy. It was PHENOMENAL. I ate it mostly with a fork and knife. I can’t even put into words what made it so good, because I don’t even like ham, but please please do yourself a favor and get this sandwich if you go to New Orleans. The combination platter was excellent as well, especially the jambalaya, but given a choice I’d have to rate the Famous Ferdi as #1.

Famous Ferdi Mother's New Orleans

The Famous Ferdi Special, so good it will take away your ability to take acceptable photographs.

For “dessert” we went to the French Quarter and had Frozen Irish Coffee from Erin Rose, also excellent. We spent the afternoon walking around the Quarter, popping in bookstores and art galleries and bars, witnessed an attempted robbery, then headed to the airport to go back home.

Frozen Irish Coffee

Erin Rose’s Frozen Irish Coffee

I love New Orleans. I haven’t eaten so well in YEARS. It’s easy to bounce back from an awful long run when there are so many wonderful things to do and eat with wonderful people.

I’m not certain of it, but I suspect that running at faster paces than normal in Boston contributed to my awful long run. It’s so tempting to give in to adrenaline and run as fast as you want, but I’m coming down off the adrenaline rush and am rededicating myself to “easy days easy, hard days hard.” Last week I rededicated myself to core and hip strengthening work, and I managed a total of 3 days doing hips/core this week, which is meh better than normal. I wonder what next week will bring on the rededication front?

(This is a no-brainer by the way. I will rededicate myself to not eating like a trash compactor. Other possibilities: updating my blog timely.)

All right guys, help me feel better about all my bad habits. Let me know about all those good habits you keep having to recommit to.

PS – I’m thankful that Thanksgiving Day is a day that allows for the suspension of all self-control or good-habit-forming. Live it up with your friends & family, and smother everything in gravy! I know I will!

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 4 Weeks to Go

Now that I’m officially tapering, I’m catching up on old training updates. This one is for Marathon Minus Four Weeks.

Total Miles: 33

Monday: 4.5 miles easy @ 10:44/mi; strides

First treadmill run of the cold, dark winter. Felt like a 2 hour run. My attempt at “strides” on a treadmill actually went really well, they felt surprisingly good.

Tuesday: 
Plan: 10 miles // 4-9 @ tempo pace
Actual: 8 miles // 4-7 @ tempo pace

I honestly felt so nervous going into this workout. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. My 10 mile run a week before with 5 tempo-pace-miles had been hard enough.

When I started the tempo-pace-miles, I felt a little pain in the upper part of the outside of my left thigh, almost the hip. It wasn’t IT band pain, it was a little further forward and didn’t go down very far. Anyway, as I kept running, the discomfort increased, so I ultimately decided to cut the run short and hope for the best in advance of the Savannah RnR Half Marathon that I planned to run on Saturday.

I did feel that 8 miles with four at tempo pace (hovering around 8:50/mile) was still a solid workout, and a little extra taper for the half marathon wouldn’t hurt. I recommitted myself to core and hip strengthening work that I’d been doing only sporadically for the past couple of months.

Wednesday: Rest day

My left leg felt like death, to the point of hurting when I walked. Over the course of the day, I realized that the pain went away almost entirely when I consciously engaged my core and glutes to pull my pelvis into a straight line with my torso and legs. I suspect I’ve been running with my pelvis angled forward, and this has caused strain on whatever muscle/tendon is bugging me.

pelvic tilt

Illustration of my bad running/walking form. Photo courtesy of builtlean.com.

Did some clamshells, leg lifts, and single-leg bridges at home after work.

Thursday: 5.5 miles easy @ 10:45/mi; strides

Another treadmill run. To make things worse, Fox News was on my work-gym’s TV WITH SOUND (barf). I can really only handle Fox News segments when they’re on the Daily Show. Counted down every 5% increment of the run. I would hate running if I could only run on a treadmill with Fox News blaring.

Quick tangent//Book recommendation: The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman, a biography of Roger Ailes’ life and building of Fox News. This book is certainly from a liberal perspective, but it sticks to well-researched facts, so I wouldn’t say it’s specifically for a liberal or conservative audience. Rather, it’s for an audience who wants to be aware of the driving forces behind the man in charge of a highly influential news source. I “read” the audio version on Audible, and for my nerdy taste in books, I thought it was sufficiently scandalous/interesting for a boring treadmill session or long run.
Recommended if: you find the media/politics/Washington power structure interesting.
Not recommended if: you believe President Obama was born in Kenya or is a Muslim, think there is a “War on Christmas,” etc.

Friday: Rest day; travel to Savannah
Saturday: 2 miles easy @ 10:49/mi (pre-race)
Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: 13.1 mile race @ 8:50/mi (13.2 miles @ 8:47/mi per Garmin)

The only thing I really have to add to the race recap linked above was that I did feel some pain during the race, but managed it by consciously running with my pelvis aligned correctly. It was pretty easy to be conscious of any misalignment because my leg basically screamed at me every time I let my pelvis tilt forward. I felt some discomfort, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as Tuesday’s tempo run, and the next day’s pain wasn’t as bad either.

Sunday: Rest day; travel to Atlanta; travel to Boston

Highlights of the trip back to Atlanta from Savannah included a gas station petting zoo and a South Georgia Sunday lunch buffet, both in Metter, Georgia off of I-16.

Regrettably I didn’t get any pictures of the buffet food, but if chicken and dumplings, pot roast, collards, mac ‘n’ cheese, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. are your cup of tea, it’s a good spot. I’m generally not a huge buffet fan, but this place was busy enough that the food was pretty fresh.

Regarding the gas station petting zoo: it’s one of those roadside absurdities that is 100% worth seeing. I was against the idea in theory, but we had so much fun.

petting zoo

Feeding the animals // Mike is way braver than me.

petting zoo

I can’t make this up, y’all.

petting zoo

I spent about 30 minutes packing at home before going to the airport for a week of work in Boston. It was such a busy day, and I’m really glad the race was on Saturday and not Sunday!

What’s your preference, Saturday or Sunday races? Why?

Milwaukee: beer, cheese, and running

Milwaukee-Baxter-anchorman

Baxter, is that you? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee!

I spent last week in Milwaukee, a charming city and a lovely place to visit in September.

Restaurant highlights included Millioke (Native American name for Milwaukee), which has great food with a focus on charcuterie and heavier meat dishes, but I thought my salad was phenomenal. A coworker got a root vegetable pot pie that I was eyeing throughout the meal. Awesome beer selection, too. Port of Call was another good spot – loved the gnocchi with creamy sauce.

Milwaukee eating and drinking

My check from Millioke // fried cheese curds, which are like fried mozzarella // Spotted Cow, a fave Wisconsin easy-drinking brew

From downtown Milwaukee, there were a couple of cool spots to run. Along the shore of Lake Michigan had to be #1 on my list because there were few intersections and water is pretty, obviously.

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