December 31, 2016

6:xx, the mark of the beast

6:xx. A sub-7 pace. I have no idea why I have such a mental block about this. Maybe because the only time I run sub-7's is for 5ks  or speed workouts. Maybe it's because the only time I ran sub-7's for longer than 3.1 miles was the time during Ragnar Relay when it was my last leg that was mostly downhill, when I was probably in the best running shape I've ever been in. Either way, in two weeks I'm going to attempt to run a 10k at a sub-7 pace, and it's freaking me out.

To back up, I've scrapped the 3M Half in Austin on January 22 in favor of going to see my sister in Florida before she gets deployed. Not wanting all my training to go to waste, I found a race down there on the 14th, the Pensacola Beach Run. Yes, there is a half marathon option, but I was going to be pushing it to run a PR on the 22nd, so to lose a week of training would be needlessly killing my body.

So the new plan is race the 10k where I'm all but guaranteed a new PR. My old PR is pre-baby but post-fall off the running wagon so I'm sort of guessing at what to shoot for time-wise. For a little guidance, I used the McMillan Running Calculator to predict what my 10k pace would be IF I was in half marathon PR shape, and it's telling me I should be able to run a 43:13 (a 6:57 pace). It's a stretch to think that I'm in PR shape, having only been running consistently for four months, barely cracking 30 miles per week, having not slept through the night in over 20 months, nursing a toddler, etc. etc. And seriously, it sounds impossible to me to hold a 6:57 pace for 6.2 miles. Like IMPOSSIBLE.

In attempt to at least *try* to convince my mind/body to do this, I ran a workout last week that was 6 x 1 mile at 10k pace with 4 min jog recovery and (knock on all the wood) it went amazingly well. Mind you it was on the treadmill, but it seriously was getting easier with each repeat. I read somewhere that you can expect to run 5-6 seconds per mile faster during a race than you run during training runs (makes sense, adrenaline and all) so there is hope!

Running highlights the past few weeks:
1. Having a Run Streak of 22 days, before I broke it when Ulla got the stomach flu. So. Much. Vom.

2. Outdoor ten miler on Christmas Eve on a new route I found. LOVED it.
snowy run

 3. Getting a new Garmin for Christmas from my dad! I was so, so surprised.  I'm still getting used to all the bells and whistles. It's a big upgrade from my current Garmin (I don't even know the model, it's been discontinued for years). I feel so fancy!
Garmin Forerunner 235

More to come in 2017. Happy New Year, kids. Stay safe, stay smart. :)

December 12, 2016

streaking and kara goucher

Truth: I've never streaked before. Streaking, as in run streak. (Naked streaking has been checked off my bucket list if you count that time I skinny dipped in the Le Sueur public pool and hightailed it back to the car.)

Now, thanks to the Runner's World Run Streak challenge, I am on Day 19 of a Run Streak. I had been running five days a week for training, so I thought "what's two more?" and jumped in. Most days, the hardest part of running is just getting out the door and making the time, and the Run Streak provides a little extra motivation.

Training has been going well, though I just switched up my training plan from Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon II (whew!) to Kara Goucher's 10 week plan.  Because KARA. And not to be a running snob, but I feel like I'm a little past Hal Higdon. After my giant running break with no real training, I kind of felt like I needed to start over. Now, after a few solid months under my feet, I'm feeling good and more like a runner again.

Running highlights these past few weeks:
1. Running a 10k on the treadmill that was roughly 30 seconds off my real-life-outdoor-race-10k-PR that I set back in 2013. Pre-baby. I feel like this puts me in a decent position for Austin in January.
2. Building back up to nearly 30 miles per week and NOT getting injured! It's been slow process but I'm glad I didn't rush it.

Because it's December in MN, finding road races (or even running outside) can be challenging, so I'm a little nervous about the majority of training being done on the treadmill but c'est la vie. 

And if I think about the actual chances that I'll run a real PR (which is anything under 1:36:25), I begin to question why I even run and feel like never getting up from the couch.

So for now I'll try to shut off my brain and take it one day and one workout at a time.

October 31, 2016

race recap: St. Peter Halloween 5k

On Saturday I ran my first 5k in 2-1/2 years. In a costume. And I stuck to my race plan. And it wasn't my slowest 5k. In fact, it was faster than the last 5k I ran, pre-baby! Nevermind that my average pace (7:22) was my half marathon PR pace from 2011- any my 10k PR pace in 2013. Ironic.

The race is known as the "largest and fastest parade of costumes in southern Minnesota" so I felt it only appropriate to dress up. I Googled costume ideas and settled on the Cookie Monster which seemed easy enough to make at home. I procrastinated on making it until the night before the race, when I discovered that the fabric glue I bought wasn't holding. Enter my savior husband and his suggestion of the construction adhesive Liquid Nails. Worked like a charm.


I woke up early on Saturday and snuck out of bed to get ready while Ulla slept. I woke her up at the last minute and loaded her into the car for the trip to my mom's. She never fell back asleep and was happy to be at Oma's.

I got to packet pick up early, wanting to beat the crowds, and grabbed my race number and t-shirt, then went to my favorite coffee shop for a little pre-race snack. I ran a 2 mile warm up and did a few drills, got costumed up, and lined up in the corral about five minutes before the race started.

My race plan was to stay slow my first mile, then hammer the next two. I kept checking my watch the first mile because it's so easy to get caught up with everyone and have a fast effort seem easy, and sure enough, I was a running a sub-7 pace when I first checked my watch. I immediately backed off and went through the first mile in 7:27, right where I wanted to be.

Then we hit hills. And not just a few. There were a lot. I concentrated on maintaining my effort and not my pace as we rolled through a neighborhood. Every time I thought we were to the top, I would see another hill in front of us. My second mile was 7:44.

What goes up must come down and while my legs were tired from climbing, I focused on staying relaxed and loose, trying to use each downhill for a rest. Mile 3 was 7:06, significantly faster than my first mile and the first time EVER that my first mile was not my fastest in a 5k. I finished with a little left in the tank and felt great.

My Garmin said 22:42 but my official results (gun time) were 22:50. I'm happy with it. The race served its purpose of honing in training paces for the next few weeks, before I race another 5k in November. Honestly, when I think about the shape I used to be in and how much work it will take to get back there, everything feels way too overwhelming. But all I can do is take it a day at a time and just do what I can. Constant forward progress and all that.

October 14, 2016

14 weeks to run a PR?

I've been neglecting this space, mostly for lack of time but more so I just forget how good it feels to write until I do. So here I am, while Ulla unloads four containers of Playdoh on the floor at my feet.

Let's talk running!

Running has been happening on a weekly basis but that's the extent of it's consistency. I haven't hit double digit miles for the week since running Grandma's Half in June. I've been happy to get out for 30 minutes a couple times a week and haven't worried about it if I can't. It was summer in Minnesota, after all. I don't do hot weather running very well, especially when early morning runs aren't an option (read: a husband that leaves for work by 6:20 a.m. and a baby that still isn't sleeping through the night).

But now it's Fall, a season made specifically for runners thankyouJesus. It's made me all kinds of motivated and tonight has consisted of a cross-training session at the gym, dinner, my favorite beer, and registering for this 5k

Yes, a 5k. I haven't run one since my second slowest 5k a few years ago, but I need to figure out what the heck my training paces should be, ergo, I need to race. I'm eyeing a bigger goal of a half marathon in January and would like to run a PR, not just a post-baby PR but an overall PR. Nevermind that my current PR is from 2011, when I was single, childless and TWENTY SIX years old. I think it's a crazy goal, probably too crazy for being just 14 weeks out but why not?

Go big or go home.

June 23, 2016

race recap: Grandma's Half Marathon (and a revival)

I ran Grandma's Half last week, after roughly a dozen training runs spread over two months. That's not a typo, or an understatement. My training was minimal. Going into the race, I thought I'd run around a 9:30 pace, so I was shocked when miles ticked by in the mid 8's. I was even more shocked when it stayed that way, and that I finished feeling (relatively) good in 1:51:24, an 8:31 average pace. If someone would have offered me $100k to run an 8:30 pace for 13.1 miles, I literally don't think I would've been able to do it. And yet I did.

I keep thinking about this little corner of the internet, one that I've occupied for nearly six years, and how much life has changed in that period. Moves. Jobs. Marriage. Baby. Carl. But one thing hasn't changed: my love for running.

Is it odd to say that I come here often and read my own posts, and that reading them feels like the greatest motivator?

Is it odd to say that I feel like I have a better shot at being a better runner now as a 31 year old mom than I did when I was single and in my 20's?

There is an urgency to my running now that I didn't have before. Like I know my biological clock is ticking, but with a baby under my belt, it's a different clock. It's the one that keeps rhythm with my feet on the road, the familiar tick tick tick tick that I hear with every footfall. And the thought that chases me is if not now then when?

I will never be the best runner in the world, but I also very strongly feel that I have yet to hit my limit of being the best runner I can be. So I'm back here at Feet Move Forward, reviving this little running blog and my running life.