Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Reads: Noggin

Noggin was one of my most anticipated young adult books of the spring, and I actually shrieked outloud when it came in for me at my library. It's currently my favorite book cover of the year (so far). It's fabulous right?? It's also on the list of Mock Printz books that my book club is reading in anticipation of our Mock Printz discussion in July.

This book read as a realistic fiction book (minus the whole cryogenically frozen head attached to another person's body). But seriously. It dealt with typical teen issues--relationships, family stuff, just existing as a teen. It was a really great read.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Marathon Training Recap Week 5

My legs felt pretty crappy after my long run last Sunday, so I didn't get in another run until Wednesday morning. I think a combination of way too hot had a major effect on my muscles recovery as well as, my form still starts to suck majorly when I'm dying. So week 5's schedule ran Tuesday-Monday. 

Tuesday was another rest day, and Wednesday it was some miles before the sun. I met Jenn at the track for mile repeats. Unfortunately my stomach was really wonky, so I had to jet to the nearest gas station bathroom after our mile warm up and missed out on repeat number one. No biggie, Jenn had to leave for work earlier than I did, so surely I could get it done after she left! Except that the high school football players showed up for conditioning as I was doing repeat number three. 

My plan was to keep the first two slightly above 8 and the last two slightly below. I haven't run more than 3 repeats in forever, so I wanted to make sure I had enough gas for all four of them. Halfway through the third repeat, I realized my time on the track was coming to an end, so I pushed it harder to make up for knocking off one of the repeats. Hence the much faster, un-consistent final repeat. 8:09, 8:09, 7:49. 

I actually felt GREAT after the final one and felt like I could've knocked out another at that same pace if time had allowed. I guess we'll find out next time this workout shows up on my schedule!

The sunrise over the track was so pretty but my iPhone just couldn't do it justice.

And hot air balloons launched midway through my second repeat. I honestly considered stopping to take a picture because the balloons were RIGHT.THERE. but alas,  I was a good runner and kept going. So they were waaaaay up in the air four minutes later. Womp. Still a cool pic.

Thursday was a rest day, and Friday was six recovery miles under a hazy foggy sunrise. I took it really easy because I had 18 on the schedule the next day and since I started my workouts so late in the week, I had to run a bit farther the day before a long run than I like to do. I usually do 3-5 max.

Saturday I was up long before the sun. No more death by heat for this girl! I was up at 5, but (TMI alert) I was having major stomach issues, so I didn't get out the door until after seven. The stomach issues plagued me for the first half of the run. It was really humid, but much cooler, so I didn't drink much from my handheld until I took my first GU at 4.5 miles. I'm wondering if I was dehydrated already from my early morning stomach problems, and that made it worse? It wasn't fun.

I did 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes, and that really helped pass the time. Much nicer to focus on the next set of pickups vs. the next GU. I also knew I'd get to run into Jenn somewhere near my turn around, so I kept plodding along, shocked at how good my legs and energy levels felt.

I saw Jenn at 8.6 so we chatted for a minute before we took off in our own directions. I took a break from the pickups around this point because I GU'd and my stomach wasn't happy. I took in more straight water from a fountain and gave my Osmo nutrition a break, and my stomach started to cheer up. And my pace started to pick up. It was magical. 

I passed a dude around mile 13.5 and we ended up chatting for a couple of miles again. Unfortunately talking and speeding up while talking lead to more stomach wonkiness, so my finish wasn't as strong as I'd hoped, because I was trying to get my HR to come down.

But looking at my splits after in 6 mile increments, I'm pretty darned pleased. Consistency has NOT been my middle name so far with long runs, as I tend to be D-E-A-D from the heat/humidity and I tend to have major fueling issues, so the end of my runs suffer immensely for it. Not Saturday!

1:03:08 first six miles
1:02:39 second six miles
1:02:20 third six miles

Sunday Kyle and I had a super lazy day. By the time I thought about doing my recovery run, it was so steamy out, I immediately threw that idea out. 
Monday I got out before the heat advisory was in effect to get in 6 hilly recovery miles. Woof, so humid.

35.5 miles for the week!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Seen on My Long Run

This past weekend I tackled 18 miles as part of my training for the Bemidji Marathon. 18 milers are historically terrible for Jerbear, so I tried to do everything right in the 48 hours leading up to the run. Hydrating, compression socking, eating. I did the run solo, but I had some random interactions over the three hours I wanted to share.

  • I saw a muskrat! At least I'm pretty sure that's what it was. It looked like a small beaver without the beaver tail. I wanted to investigate but didn't want to be attacked.

  • Senator John Thune! I used to see him out running pretty frequently but haven't seen him in at least 2-3 years.
  • A mama and teeny tiny baby deer. I once went to a wildlife park where you could walk and pet the deer, but not the baby deer. These baby deer were even tinier than those deer. So cute. So much squeeeee.
  • A girl texting and running. I think I'd accidentally run into the river.
  • Another deer.
And then while I was passing a dude around mile 13, I told him good morning, and we ended up running together for a few miles chatting away. I felt like I was going to die toward the end of our time together, and after looking through my splits during that mile, I see why. We were cruising at 10 minute pace and chatting away. Woof.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5k Series

My co-worker started running about a month ago, so I'm constantly on the look out for a 5k for her to run in the future. This has proved difficult because we work opposite Saturdays of each other, and I'd like to be there to run and cheer her on as well. Also, my legs can't hack racing a 5k one day and doing a monster long run the next day. That's asking for injury city.

But while I was searching, I noticed there's a 5k series that a college is putting on that has 3 different 5k races on Tuesday evenings in July and August. It's $50 for the series or $20 for each race. And I have to admit.... I'm intrigued.

I've never ran a series of races before. And I know racing a 5k during marathon training isn't all that beneficial. But I'm wondering if the 5k races could be my speed work substitute on those weeks. Hmmm. I also think running a few 5ks a couple of weeks apart will remind me what running really hard feels like, and also serve to remind me that it won't kill me. Mental toughness points, if you will.


And now some throw back pics to the summer I did 5 5ks in a four week span.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weekly Reads: Matchmaker

The Matchmaker is the newest book from author Elin Hilderbrand. I received an e-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. I enjoy Hilderbrand's books for light, vacation reading. I always want to book my next vacation in Nantucket while reading her books. The month of June I had a Beach Read display at the library and her books made up a bulk of the selection, and I couldn't keep the display stocked! They flew off the shelves. Yay successful display!

While her books are light reads, they tend to have more depth then just a regular chick lit read, do you know what I mean? This one was no different, and may be my favorite book of hers so far. There were a few sub-plots going on throughout the story, but they weren't distracting and really added to the story. I have a hard time reading books that have three best friend female characters, and each chapter is told from their individual perspective, BUT I CAN NEVER REMEMBER WHO IS WHO, because the stories aren't told in a way that makes me actually care. Does that make sense?

Anyway, this is a must read this summer.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A touching new novel from Elin Hilderbrand in which a dying woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late

Dabney Kimball Beech, the 48-year-old fifth generation Nantucketer, has had a lifelong gift of matchmaking (52 couples still together to her credit). But when Dabney discovers she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she sets out to find matches for a few people very close to home: her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech; her lover journalist Clendenin Hughes; and her daughter, Agnes, who is engaged to be married to the wrong man. 

As time slips away from Dabney, she is determined to find matches for those she loves most - but at what cost to her own relationships? THE MATCHMAKER is the heartbreaking new novel from Elin Hilderbrand about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marathon Training Recap Week 4

I finally had a really stellar week of training for week 4 of marathon training. 

Monday I started off the week with six general aerobic miles. 

Tuesday I had a rest day.

Wednesday it was early morning tempo run.

I had intended on doing my long run Friday, so Thursday I did a really short 2.5 mile recovery run. It was HOT.

Friday I woke up to thunderstorms, and the rest of the day's forecast was HOT HOT and humid. I decided to move my long run to Sunday and go out for a long ride. 30 miles later, I was d-e-a-d on two wheels. Uff.

This sign is never good to see, when running or riding.

Spillway action.

Sunday I had 16 on the schedule. And if you read my blog post yesterday, it wasn't my best. While getting ready for it, I realized it was time to order some more GU. Chocolate Outrage=yuck.

My friend Jenn did her long run on Saturday so she volunteered to bike along with me for my run. Thank goodness for her. If I hadn't had her waiting for me on the bike path, I would've probably turned around at mile 1. My legs felt terrible, it was hot, and my head just wasn't in the game.

I still cranked out 16 miles.

Leaning tower of Jeri.

Monday, July 14, 2014

How NOT to Execute a Long Run

Bemidji will be the 7th marathon I attempt, and seventh marathon cycle. I've learned a few things about what to do and what NOT to do. But occasionally laziness/cockiness/don't give a poop-ness comes in to play and I throw all that knowledge out of the window.

So take some tips on "what not to do" courtesy of my suck-fest long run on Sunday.

  • Fail to hydrate the day and night before, especially in the summer. When it's hot as hades out.
    • Even better, have a couple of beers with dinner. That'll help the hydration process. They're wet, right??
  • Stay up really late (ok 11pm is really late for this girl, sue me) with your honey bunny hanging out watching TV.
  • Decide to set your alarm for 6:30am instead of 5am.
  • Finally get out out of bed at 6:45, eat breakfast, and then crawl back into bed for just 5 minutes of snuggling before your long run starts. 
    • Bonus failure points if your loved one and pug sandwich you in a snuggling cocoon, forcing you to fall back asleep.
  • Finally FINALLY get out of bed at 8:30am. Don't bother eating breakfast again.
  • Quickly drink a bunch of water, because UH OH it's warm out. 
    • Extra points for sloshy stomach.
  • Leave for your ~3 hour summer long run at 9:45am.
  • Forget to apply sunscreen (it would've sweated right off, let's be serious).
  • Bike 30 miles, fairly vigorously 2 days before. Fail to do any sort of shakeout run between the long ride and long run.
    • Don't foam roll either.
  • Only bring the minimum amount of GUs along.
I think that about covers it. Luckily I started off the run at a casual 10:30-10:40 pace, so I was smart there. But as the temps increased, and the shade disappeared my pace crept up to the 11-11:15 pace. During the last two miles my heart was beating so erratically, I was forced to walk/jog to let it calm down, which really slowed my pace down.

Ollie has been instructed to punch me in the nose with her paw next time I try to delay my long run. We'll see how that goes.