Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's almost Taper Time!




Yes, another week done and another week closer to my marathon. Have I mentioned that I have a marathon happening in less than a month?

Of course, I'm joking. No self-respecting runner trains for a marathon and keeps it a secret.

It was another week of crazy high mileage. How I am doong all of this (and not sleeping 12 hours a day) is blowing my mind. I'm not too disciplined about my sleep schedule, and I am finally starting to feel the effects of all those early morning runs following late-night bed times. But, somehow, I'm surviving.

Here's what went down this past week:

Following my 16-miler on Sunday, there was nothing specific on the training plan other than an active recovery day on Monday. Of course, being it was Monday, I couldn't let the running shoes sit idle. I went out (after work) for an easy mile...and it certainly was not a fast one either. That's all well and good...recovery miles are not supposed to be fast, nor are they supposed to be plentiful. Mission accomplished.

#nevermissaMonday
Tuesday, time to kick-start the miles for the week.....I met up with my friend, Barb, for our weekly "Five-at-5" run (#5at5AM). The temps said 46-degrees, but it felt a lot warmer. I had two light layers under a fleece jacket and I was definitely over-dressed. There was a breeze, so I kept the jacket on...but the gloves only lasted maybe 10 minutes.

Another run in the wee dark hours
Wednesday, the run got postponed until after work due to the rain coming down. Now, I don't mind rain, but in the early morning (with no natural light), I just was not feeling it. Although there was no rain when I finally got outside later, the air was cool and damp. I had approximately four miles of speed ladders to do (after a 1-mile warm-up). I'm not a huge fan of "timed" workouts (starting and stopping the timer on my watch feels like a constant distraction from the running), but I do see the value in doing them and I do like the challenge of hitting the prescribed pace for each segment. Another mission accomplished.


Thursday was another active recovery day. Also, I jumped the gun (a bit) on my #Fridayfashion post, and shared a #Halloweenfashion post. I have really gotten lax about Halloween decorating. I love the holiday (despite the dark themes often times associated with it), but since the kids have gotten older, no one cares if there are seasonal decorations scattered about the house...and no one else (most likely) will lift a hand to help take everything down or assist me in putting things away. SO, with the lack of Halloween decor, I often forget about the few pieces of Halloween attire hibernating in the back of my closet. Fortunately, I remembered this spiderweb shirt....I made it several years ago and just can't seem to part with it (even though it only gets worn once every 52 weeks).

My DIY spiderweb shirt...from the back of my closet
Friday. Oh, let's talk about Friday. The temps took an abrupt upswing, late in the week. Also, my body has been feeling a tad bit sleepy, so I decided (again) to postpone the run until after work (notice that's been happening more frequently in these final weeks of training?). I had a busy morning, but got everything finished up at work so my weekend started around 12:15PM.

Once I got home, I took Max out for a  (very leisurely) walk around the block. Took my time eating lunch, did a few blogging things, and finally changed into the running clothes. The temps were now sitting at 75-degrees...yes, 75-degrees in Iowa...at the end of October. Did I mention there also was a fierce S/SE wind? Even the side-wind was vicious and made it difficult to stay upright.

After my 1-mile warm-up, I headed out on my 6-mile route. Hoping to hit my targeted foundation pace (9:30), I kept my head down, fought the wind, and hoped my visor wouldn't go sailing. Ugh. I knew this was gonna be a tough cookie to swallow. The first mile clocked in faster than it felt (8:45ish). I was shooting for a 9:00 pace for the final five miles....and that %$#& wind felt like a total smack-down. The next two miles were 9:50 and 9:35...not ideal, but given the 100mph wind, I'm glad I was able to hold my own. I made the turn-around, the next two miles (with somewhat of a diagonal tailwind to push me) were at 9:20 and 9:05. The final mile clocked it at 8:44. So, yeah. Kind of all over the place with my pace, but I was happy that I was able to progressively up the speed with each mile, though there was nothing consistent going on.

Yowza. That was tough!
This run was not an all-out-sprint-to-the-finish effort, but the wind really made it feel like I was doing a tempo run. Fighting the wind (in those hot temps) required a lot more effort than running on a calm, cool day. I would have had better conditions 12 hours prior, but I really didn't want to deal with monitoring  my watch in the dark. Also, the 6-mile route I used for this was perfect in that it was an out-and-back with a few gradual hills...but it also was a pretty busy road that took me farther out from my house than I prefer to go in the dark all alone. None the less, I battled through another tough run, and am happy with my efforts. I might very well have less-than-ideal conditions on race day, after all; it's best to train in them and be prepared.

Saturday's run was another of my favorites....three easy miles. I headed back to the lake (like I had done a week earlier) and ran three loops on the trail. Autumn is such a pretty time of year, I honestly cannot imagine running inside and not witnessing the seasonal beauty first-hand.

I love all the colors, critters, and calmness of the lake
I had 18 miles on the roster for Sunday, something I was both looking forward to conquering and dreading at the same time. The temps were showing 50-degrees, and it was windy. Not my favorite scenario, especially for three hours of running. Long story short, the run went well. My friend, Barb, ran with me. We left my house around 5:30, ran the first nine miles and stopped back at my house for a potty break & refueled. The remaining nine miles went well, too. Funny how these 18 miles in adverse conditions felt easier than those 16 miles a week ago.


So, that's my week in miles. That's a 40-mile week, ladies and gentlemen. I think that's a new weekly mileage PR. My October miles are sitting at 168, and will top off at 169 after I do my #nevermissaMonday run on Monday (rest-assured, that will be the minimum 1-mile...and I will be quite content with that). 169 monthly miles is, hands-down, a huge PR for monthly mileage...and not something I plan to meet and beat anytime soon (if at all) in the future.

In other news:

My #Fridayfashion post on My Instagram was well-received. Should I keep this up? It's kind of fun posting my outfits, but I have no desire to do it daily (at this point in time). I used to do fashion consulting (many, many moons ago) and I have always had an interest in making do with what I have and mixing in funky accessories and/or color combinations (rather than constantly be buying new stuff).

Yes, you can dress up a Halloween shirt with a little jewelry and a sparkly watch
Also, in keeping with Halloween, the husband and I went to a Halloween party to watch the World Series. Boo to all of the party poopers who showed up in street clothes. Really? Not even Cubs or Braves attire? (#lame)

No, that's not my real buttcrack...but the jersey does say "Team Buttcrack"
Look at the size of this perfect maple leaf...it's almost bigger than my size 9-1/2 feet (translation: 10-1/2 size running shoes)!

It's huge!
And, last of all, Max. Isn't he just the cutest little dog ever?

Someone wants a treat
Tell me about your week...high mileage, moderate activity, or rest? Did you dress up for Halloween?  Have the leaves started changing (and falling) in your area?

As usual, I'm linking up with the lovely Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap. Head over and check out their blogs, and all the other blogs linked there as well.




46 comments:

  1. Looks like a great week for you! The roller coaster of temps and wind has been a little tough to deal with on the road! Today was my long slow run and that's exactly what it was. Long and slow. Ugh. Well, at least you'll be ready for just about any conditions, right?

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    1. That's my hope...to be ready for any race day conditions. Hoping snow is not on the roster LOL

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  2. I hate running in the rain and usually don't unless it's a race.

    My 10 miler was a struggle today - not feeling it!!

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    1. I can handle a little bit of rain if the temps are warm AND if I'm already out on the road when it starts. Having to leave a dry house when the rain is pouring down? Not likely to happen!

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  3. I am in taper and loving it. I ran 3 times and they all felt great. Running twice this week, then off to the big Apple !
    That is a ton of mileage for the month, glad to read there are no niggles or foot issues. You will rock your race !
    Love your Halloween outfits, especially the one with the pumpkin.

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    1. Well...the feet have been revolting a tiny bit recently. Not sure if it's the mileage or the shoes (a newer model of my shoes that I'm not 100% in love with)....or a combination of everything. All I know is that the bulk of my training is pretty much done...one more long run, and a mix of moderate runs and it'll be race day ;-)

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  4. It started warming up after my long run saturday, naturally. But not 75. Today it's not even supposed to hit 50 -- isn't Iowa supposed to be cold? What's up with that?

    Sounds like training is going really, really well.

    I've been trying to figure how to work my run around Bandit today and then I remember -- I'm actually going to try to run with him. This should be extremely interesting. We'll see how long he lasts . . . and he better not trip me up!

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    1. Iowa is being really strange this year....summer lasted at least a month longer, the leaves are really late changing (and falling), but we do get a few cold days in there to keep things crazy and unpredictable.

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  5. Great job on your runs especially with the crazy weather! I had my 20 miler so it was a high mileage week for me...I'm just glad I made it through! Congrats on your mileage...169, wow!! I think the Friday Fashion is great, keep it up!

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    1. 169 is insane...that's more than I typically run over the span of TWO months LOL I'm glad I don't do this non-stop year-round ;-)

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  6. Those last weeks before the taper are exhausting and you're rocking them! Yeah you kind of have to dress up at a Halloween party...just saying...

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    1. Yes, it's Halloween....people need to lighten up and get with the spirit LOL

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    1. Ha, how about two FEET way up with a hot chai in my hand (?) ;-)

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  8. Great job the mileage! I hit a big # too and I am tired LOL
    Fun costume idea!
    yes, Max is very adorable :)
    Although I am mostly still having shorts and tank tops weather, it is funny to have the random long layers day, it has been very back and forth with the temps.

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    1. I"ve had a few tank-top days thrown in, but it's pretty much "light" long layers....trying to find that balance of how many layers....

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  9. Wow, you are killing your marathon training and make it look so easy! Love the biking chick costume...well, the butt crack to be exact!! haha!

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    1. Ha ha...the butt crack is unique! It's actually my husband's jersey...he has no shame LOL Ha, this training is everything but easy, especially these last few weeks.I'm glad I"m still vertical (most of the time) ;-)

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  10. Ok, I adore your running outfits! Good luck on the marathon! Love the Halloween shirt, too! Worth keeping for the once per year! <3

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  11. Love your spiderweb shirt. So cute... and yes, so is MAX! Glady your training is going so well.

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    1. The training is going well, but it's getting crazy LOL Glad I'm almost to my taper!

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  12. I always love your fashion style keep posting!

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    1. Well, thank you! I love all your creative recipes!

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  13. Great job last week!! You have great fashion sense! Good luck on your upcoming marathon!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. It's hard to believe the marathon is almost here (YIKES)

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  14. This weather has just been nutty, hasn't it? I'm ready for the weather to be a bit more consistent. It'll make it much easier to also be consistent with my training.

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    1. Consistent weather...what's that? The Iowa weather has been so sporadic, I'm just glad most of my long training runs have been in moderate weather.

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  15. Very impressive mileage! Running in the wind is good practice for Route 66! You'll definitely be ready for race day. (The first time I ran the half, it was in the low 20s with a strong wind, especially along the river.) That spiderweb shirt is adorable. Thanks for linking, Kim!

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    1. I was wondering what the weather was like there...wind? Seriously? And, hills? Well, I have trained in both of those conditions... ;-)

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  16. 40 miles! Way to go!! You're going to crush this marathon. I'm all for Fashion Friday (I have the Fit & Fashionable Friday Link Up, after all). :)

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    1. Gosh...I have seen your link-up, and always forget about it (my bad!) until it's too late. YOU have a marathon happening soon, too!

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  17. You are doing a great job with the marathon training! But, ugh, the random warm weather is crazy. MCM was a challenge with the heat.

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    1. The weather is nutzo....I have had not had any rain (on my running days...thus far),so that's been a blessing. But, the random heat (then sudden cold spells) is annoying. Oh well...it gives me a sampling of what could happen on race day, huh.

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  18. Oh, hi Max! He's a cutie pie!

    I love your fashion posts! I always enjoy seeing what other people are able to put together (I'm so bad at clothes).

    You totally dominated that 18 miler! This marathon is going to have nothing on you. I am sorry the weather has been so unpredictable. That's got to be frustrating.

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    1. the weather has a mind of its own.....and it could very well be that way on race day. Bring it!!

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  19. Great job on your 18 miles. I think miles always go by much faster and a bit easier when you have someone to run with it. Cute costumes. I love dressing up for parties.

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    1. Agreed. I trained for my first marathon pretty much all on my own. Those long runs got l.o.n.g. with nothing but my pounding feet and Ipod LOL

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  20. I don't know how you get it all done! You are rocking it! Love the Halloween posts! and your fashionable Friday- thanks for tagging me so I didn't miss it!

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    1. Should I tag you on all my planking/push-up posts as well? ;-)

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  21. Sounds like a solid week! I love seeing the fall colors in your pics - we are getting them this week too. I do like your Friday outfit - love the sequin pumpkin!

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    1. Thanks! The colors outside are just beautiful right now...the burning bushes are so bright, they are almost blinding!

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  22. Your posts are always so fun - I'm loving the dedication. I'm having a hard time rekindling mine.

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    1. Blogging certainly takes a lot of time...I've been trying to post three times/week, and my house is suffering the consequences LOL

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  23. You never sit still lol, just the way I like it too! Fall temps tease us at night but it quickly warms back up during the day. Makes it very difficult to dress in this. I guess I won't get bored of winter clothes since I'm still wearing summer ones now.
    I did not have a Halloween party to go to but I did dress up in New Orleans during my race. Even after it walking around, people didn't look twice at me. Looking odd down there is the normal! But I did see some pretty wild stuff! Thanks Kim for supporting us!

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    1. You don't wear summer clothes year-round down in 'Sippi? I know ya'all don't have snow or wind chill issues like us Iowa folk ;-)

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