January in Review

First I need to thank mother nature. January in Wisconsin can suck. There could have been 3 feet of snow. It could have been below zero for half the month. It was none of that. There was one week I deemed it too cold to run outside in the morning. And maybe one day I deemed it too icy. Overall January was a good month. I started off the month sick and in CA for the Rose Bowl so didn’t even have miles planned for the first few days of the new year, but ended up getting the majority of my miles in during the other weeks of the month.

Overview:

Total Mileage: 94
Miles with Sara: 48
Longest Run: 13.64
Hardest Run: 13.64 miles on the trails in the snow. It almost killed me.
Races: 3

  1. Snow Fun Run 5 Miler
  2. Indoor Marathon Relay
  3. GLM Expo Run – 5K 

I think this was a pretty darn good January. I ran 35 miles last January. Of course I was running for the first time in four months last year and not coming off an awesome December, but it is still fun to see that huge jump. I’m pretty sure if I looked back further this is probably my highest January mileage ever. I can’t even express how nice it is to have this much of a base to go into spring training. I have quite a bit on the horizon in the next few months and goals to reach.

Next up: PR at the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5K

GLM Expo Run-Race Recap

I don’t run a lot of 5Ks. Not really sure why, I just don’t. I guess it’s just hard to justify a 3.1 mile race when I need to be running 10+ miles. I ignored reason I registered for the GLM Expo race earlier this week. I decided it would be fun to see where my speed was at after last week’s marathon relay.

For really good race preparation I ran 11.3 miles in the snow and wind the day before. (What? I didn’t want to miss my long run.) Best part of the run on Saturday was the post-run coffee and breakfast with Sara. It was so cold and windy that we decided to not run the 13 we considered. The real plan was 10-12 so nothing lost.

I drove over to Franklin in the morning with some goals in mind, but it snowed, more than I expected. I switched which shoes I was going to run in. The course ended up being fine, but we didn’t really expect that. I wanted to push it on the way out while also conserving energy for the return. Plan was well executed until the wind attacked me. I was able to finish really strong which means that I probably should have pushed it more earlier. Oh well, another 5K next month. I will kick that one’s ass.

Finish time: 24:17
Pace: 7:49
Age Group: 6/50
Overall: 120/578

Me having fun with KTTape - Good news is that my shins didn't bother me either day.
6th out of 50 in my age group!
We all placed in our age groups!

Happy Birthday Little Brother

Happy Birthday Levi

We may have lived anywhere from 2000-5000 miles apart over the last six years, but I still have had quite a few fun adventures with my little brother.  And yes, I know you are 10 inches taller, but I will always be your older sister. PS. I kind of like getting to visit you all over the world.

Happy 24th Birthday!

Me and Levi in Germany 2009
Me and Levi in Italy 2009
Dad, me and Levi in Napa 2010
Levi and Me in France 2011
Brendan, Thai Phi, me and Levi 2011
Me and Levi making gingerbread houses 2010
Wine Tasting 2011
Me and Levi Thanksgiving 2011

Ideal Race Weight?

Let me start with I am not someone obsessed with my weight. I weigh myself maybe once every two months. I generally know what I weigh. I know it fluctuates. I know this is normal. But now I am curious about this whole “ideal” race weight thing. I not unhappy with my current weight. Nor do I believe I need to lose weight. I have done a little reading and searched for some books, but I am really just at the beginning of this. I want to know more.

I also do not diet. I do watch what I eat. I believe those are very different things. I have never gone on a fad diet. (Disclaimer: I am the daughter of a dietitian who worked with people with eating disorders). Most of the fad diets out there are absolutely ridiculous especially if you know the science behind them. My mom brought us up with the mentality of moderation. You can eat what you want, but look at portion size. I flat out refuse to cut entire food groups out of my diet. Should I eat a pound of cheese for dinner? No, and I know that would be stupid. Can I have dessert? Of course, but probably not every night and not a serving that would feed four people.

So a few question:

  1. Have you ever tried to get to an ideal race weight?
  2. What did you do to figure out what this ideal race weight is?
  3. What articles or book do you recommend?
  4. Anything else you want to share?

Please don’t send me diet advice. I don’t want that and will ignore it.

Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay

It is so much fun to just do an event for fun. When I signed up for the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but assumed it would be fun. I was on Team Avoid the Lap. I have to credit the team name to Mandi. And for team bonding we watched A League of Their Own. We were very casual about this event, as in left most of the planning until race day. Goal: have fun.

To make it an even more fun “race” weekend, Maureen came up to Milwaukee on Friday because she was running the half marathon Saturday morning.  Like any good runners we decided to carb load the night before our races. And by carb loading I mean taking a tour of Lakefront Brewery. It is one of my favorite things to do when people visit Milwaukee plus Maureen likes beer.  

We followed up dinner with amazing cheeseburgers at Cafe Centraal, which of course included additional beer. We couldn’t go too crazy considering we had a 5:45 wakeup call to get Maureen over to the Petit Center for her Half. I ate some snacks and wore lots of layers while she ran. After the half we went back to my apartment for food and some rest. For her race recap check her blog over at iheartpikermis.blogspot.com.

We picked up Sara and went back to the Petit, but this time in daylight. It wasn’t too hard to find our team because Fit Milwaukee had a tent set up. Being the ridiculously casual team that we were we still had to decide in what order we were going to run. Annie offered to go first, followed by Mandi, then Sara and I was the anchor.

Annie, Me, Sara, Mandi

The whole event was lots of fun. We were situated with all of the other Fit Milwaukee teams so there was lots of cheering and people to chat with. The biggest downfall was that when you weren’t running you were standing on cement. Next year my yoga mat and/or a chair will be brought along. We broke up the marathon into 6 lap legs so we each ran 4 times. It was short enough I was able to really push it and recover before my next turn. I ended up running 6.4 miles in 49:41 which is a 7:45 pace! So fun to rediscover my speed.

Maureen and I had grand plans of going out for beers after the race. Instead we ordered pizza, drank one beer, and passed out on my couches at 9:00pm. We’re awesome.

It was a great weekend: I got to hang out with Maureen (we always have fun), I participated in a fun running event, and I snuck in an extra run on Sunday to finally run outside.

Running and Beer

1. I have run three times this week. All three of those runs were on the treadmill. That is so unlike me. Last month I wrote that I was learning to not hate the treadmill. I feel like I have gotten a step further. Monday’s run was hard because my legs were still mad at me from Saturday, not because I was on the treadmill. Tuesday was speed and that I like doing on the treadmill. Today there were negative windchills so I opted for the treadmill once again. Not so bad. I ran 4 miles and just decided I was done. I suppose I could have done more, but I didn’t want to and who’s to say I would have felt that outside. So treadmill, I don’t hate you anymore.

2. On Saturday I am running the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay. I am on team Avoid the Lap (check out our profile on Fit Milwaukee). I really have no idea what to expect. I will be running a lot of laps around a track. I don’t remember the last time I did that. Oh well, we will have fun. And once again, I will be running inside.

3. Maureen is coming to visit this weekend. She’s coming to run the Indoor Half Marathon, but really she is coming so we can play and drink beer. On Friday I am taking her to Lakefront Brewery for a tour and on Saturday we will probably hit up a few of America’s Best Beer Bars because they are down the street from where I live.

Brooks Cascadias

I bought new shoes on Friday. I have been running in Asics Nimbus since 2008 and Brooks Glycerin since 2010. No other shoes. I just keep buying these because they work for me. Why change something I like? There was only one year I didn’t like the Nimbus (2010), which is why I added the Glycerin.

I did some trail running in 2011 and I love it. There was really nothing wrong with either shoe I was running in, but as the weather got crappier I started looking at some trail shoes with the dual purpose of trail running and winter running in Wisconsin. After some internet searching and chatting with people on twitter I chose the Brooks Cascadias. I was going to order them online, but didn’t want to wait for them to ship so I ran into my local running store, asked for them in my size, tried them on, and bought them. The most exciting part was they only had last year’s model in my size so they were 30% off!

I purchased these shoes Friday evening and decided to break them in on a 14 mile snowy trail run because that makes sense. Who knows what I was thinking. Thankfully it turned out good. The snow was so deep in parts it really would not have mattered what shoes I had on. The only thing that would have made it easier would have been snow shoes.

My thoughts on the shoes after the hardest 13. 6 miles I have ever run:

  • They fit really nicely.
  • The toe area was not too wide, which is a problem I frequently have.
  • They are not heavy trail shoes, also a positive.
  • I could feel the grip on the slick parts of the paved trail.

I like the shoes. I obviously need to do a few more runs in them to really determine how they work for me, but if they worked well on the ridiculous run on Saturday I imagine they will work well on shorter runs. It will be awhile before I can test them on non-snow covered trails, but that is life here in Wisconsin.

Anyone else have experience with these shoes? What were your thoughts?