Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Final Stretch

This marathon training cycle has been really tough! Even though Becky said she wasn't going to change it up much from last year, she tried some different activities with me and I have felt it! There have been a couple of weeks where I have been incredibly sore for days after a workout with her; other weeks where my legs were really fatigued. I know she did this to train me to run all 26.2 miles on tired legs. But I won't lie--I'm glad to be in the taper portion of marathon training. Now is the time for my legs to absorb all the great work we did the last 10 weeks.

But taper doesn't mean rest, and with my training plan, I do an active taper. I'll continue to log miles and go to CrossFit.

I'll also continue with what has been a game saver for me...yoga.

This isn't the first post I've written that I've gushed about the benefits of yoga for my running. You know that I've been doing yoga for almost as long as I've been running. But for some reason with this training cycle, I've relied more on yoga than ever to help me recover from those tough workouts and long runs. I've also been battling with plantar fasciitis, and I credit yoga with keeping me on the road.

Yes, yoga.

I've been doing my weekly yoga class at the studio where I practice. After my long runs, I do my own Yoga for Runners routine. This routine is chock full of hip and hamstring openers. But if I had to pick 5 key moves for recovery, which poses would I choose?

Oooh, this is tough....and it was after Sunday's long run. I took all these pictures after that run to show you just how beneficial yoga is for runners! After I did these poses, my feet felt better and my legs felt looser. The first attempt at each pose was not easily done, in fact, it was quite painful! But once things opened up, I felt that "ahhhhhh"....

Most importantly for this runner,  downward dogs stretch out my achilles, my calves, my feet, and my hamstrings. I do them frequently and I do them often. I can't get my heels to the floor, never have, but with every DD I do, I get a little bit closer. Hey, a gal can dream, right?

Downward dog. It's not pretty, but it's effective.
I like low lunge for the hip flexors. I push as far forward as I can until I feel that stretch up the front of my quad. If you want to deepen the quad stretch, you can reach back for the foot and pull it towards your buns.
Low lunge
Low lunge with quad stretch
Pigeon is a perpetual favorite of runners. There are a lot of varieties, but the traditional version, face down, is most easily done after a run. Here I am starting upright, but I did go down to the mat.
Half pigeon with backbend
Half pigeon with quad stretch
Hero is another favorite of mine. If you can't sit between your legs, slide a brick under your bottom until your hips open up. If you feel really brave and want to get those quads involved, you can lie back into a backbend. Again, you can prop a brick under your back until you open up enough to lay flat on the ground.
Reclining hero
Legs up the wall is great after a long run. This inversion promotes venous return and opens the hamstrings.
Legs up the wall. Best. pose.ever.
My friend Beth formerly of Running with the Sunrise, now with her newly rebranded blog Sublimely Fit, is working on a yoga for runners video! But until that is ready, you can participate in her 14 day yoga challenge. Every day, Beth will send you a pose complete with instructions and modifications. There's no reason not to do it. If you want to participate, click here (affiliate link). I did this, and it was great. If this old runner can keep racking up the miles and pushing her limits, you can too...all you need is a little stretch....

Yoga for Runners

Do you do yoga? What are your favorite poses for recovery?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Marathon training week 9: It's Goin' Down

Shockingly, I was not very sore the next day after my hilly half marathon. Which was a good thing, because I had an 8 miler for that morning on the plan. At marathon pace. Becky don't play. She wants me to run on tired legs. I did that. And shut down fear and doubt.

I got up before the sun was up to do this run. I had to be at work by 8 am to man the sick clinic. When I got to the retention pond, this view greeted me:

Wow. I was so enthralled by the sky that on the way home, I took a wrong turn and oops! ran an extra half mile. Yep, my morning is THAT tightly scheduled. I ended up leaving late for work, and when I called work to tell them I would be late, I found out that my work partner's husband had passed away over the weekend. Meanwhile, I was pulled over by an arrogant cop for...talking on the phone. Fighting tears, I explained my situation, and he let me go, but not without a lecture. Seriously, dude. Don't you have some crime to fight? 8.5 miles/1:15 minutes/8:50 min/mile.

Tuesday: I headed over to see Becky for a little CrossFit. Those kettlebells look innocuous, don't they? Oh sure. I'm not sure what you call this workout, but 3 days later, I was still in pain. 50 kettlebell swings/50 sumo deadlifts/250m row. Followed by the sequence of 40/40/250, 30/30/250, 20/20/250, and 10/10/250. Ouch.

Wednesday: The theme for today's yoga class was self-awareness. My instructor took the day off, and her husband led the class. He's a pretty amazing instructor but can lead a pretty tough class. He told us that he was following Kathy's explicit instructions. The peak pose was vasisthasana, or side plank. We did a lot of warmups and variations before the final pose. My hips and hamstrings were so happy! Meanwhile, I wanted to fulfill my commitment to Beth at Running with the Sunrise, who has been sending me daily poses for her Yoga for Runners Challenge. Wednesday's pose was Hero, which was easy after all that hip work.

Thursday: Again I had 3 mile repeats x2 on the plan. I didn't do the 5ks like I did last week. I just wasn't in the mood to play. Still sore after Tuesday's CrossFit, I pushed myself down the path. Thankfully, the weather was still fairly comfortable, with temperatures around 70 and moderate humidity. While my splits weren't as fast as last week, I was still happy with them. At mile 6, my tummy rebelled against the previous night's dinner at Olive Garden. It tasted oh so good, but you know there's a price you pay for that salty, greasy deliciousness....

Friday: rest day

Saturday: I had a nice easy 4 miles on the plan. No problem, right? Except there was nothing easy about this 4. It was still very humid from the rain we had the night before and the wind was gusty. So I slogged through the neighborhood. 4.11 miles/36:32, 8:53 min/mile pace.

I headed into work for a very busy and very interesting morning. No sooner did I get started with my first patient, that my husband called. My son took a cleat to the head on his first carry at rugby. He sent me the pictures of the injury and I told him to come to the clinic so we could close the wound. It took 3 staples to close it, and he was upset that I wouldn't let him go back to the game. This kid is tough. Makes me proud.

Sunday: Cue the music! It's time for the long run. I'm lucky that my long run is only 18 miles because in spite of great weather conditions, I really struggled after mile 14. I was running too fast and I had to work really hard to reel in my legs. All that speed work makes me want to fly! I felt pretty nauseous when I finished. My feet were killing me in those last 4 miles too--I saw Running with Skissors described it as knives stabbing her feet, and that's pretty much how it felt. Time for new shoes. I knew that, but wanted to get this long run done in the shoes I've been training in all summer. I will retire them now.
A picture perfect fall day.
I reflected on this run while I treated my feet to a post-long run pedicure, and you know what? There were a lot of good things in this run. The best thing that happened? NO POTTY STOPS!!! Around mile 4, my GI tract did the rumble. I started to think it was programmed for that since there is a portapotty there. I breezed right on past, and the sleeping giant went back to sleep. Winning!

Fueling was perfect. Since I ate breakfast about 45 minutes prior to the run, I started fueling with Tailwind Nutrition at mile 5. I may have waited too long because I did get a side stitch at mile 8. Luckily, I was able to chase it away after about a mile. I refilled my Tailwind bottle at mile 10 and mile 14, simply because that is where the drinking fountains were located on the path.
Why did the turtle cross the road? To make me feel fast....this was at mile 9
Pacing was good, albeit a little fast--ON THE BACK HALF! I was able to control my pace for the first part of the run, but after the second half, my legs just kept ignoring me. So the second half of this run had negative splits. That is a real confidence booster, and if my feet behave, this could bode well for the marathon.

And finally, miles 16-18 really were hard. Like, I want to quit hard. Of course, I didn't quit. What would be the point of that? But I was seriously questioning my sanity, doing another marathon this year. I'm not sure I'm going to get my sub-4, but I'm sure going to try. Mental toughness? Winning!

Now I get to taper, although I do have an 8 miler on Tuesday! No real rest yet. But as Marcia and Sara like to say, the hay is in the barn. Now it's all up to the marathon gods to deliver perfect weather and pain-free feet!
Glad to be done with that!

Finally, what song got me home? This one by The X Ecutioners. It's Goin' Down, indeed...

How was your week? Anyone else heading into Taper Town?  Any songs you want to throw my way?

I'm linking this post up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap! Check it out!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Flo is shaking her head #nursesunite

Welcome to That Time of the Month, the monthly link up that I cohost with Holly at HoHo Runs! The purpose of the link up is for all of us normally positive minded bloggers to have a place to let it all out...clear the air...say what needs to be said...and then we can move on. You can find the rules here, and all we ask is that you link back to the hosts and comment on some of the other posts!

And thanks to The View for giving me a topic I can sink my bandage scissors into. I stopped watching this piece of garbage way back when they had Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the show. Ignorant and ill-informed, I couldn't listen to her blather on about nonsense. I don't know how Whoopi could sit there without giving her a can of Whoop-Ass...

Anyways, if you haven't heard, at the past week's Miss America pageant, contestant Miss Colorado performed a monologue for the talent competition. She wore scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck and talked about being a nurse. It was a proud moment for nurses around the country.

The next day on The View, co-hosts and so-called comedians Michelle Collins and Joy Behar took the opportunity to make fun of her.

Now, no matter what you think about using the talent portion of the Miss America pageant as a platform to talk about being a nurse--is nursing a talent?--the ladies of the View were completely out of line with their comments. Especially Joy Behar, who called the scrubs worn by Miss Colorado a "costume" and asked why Miss Colorado was "wearing a doctor's stethoscope" around her neck. Behar has since apologized, but the damage is done. Open mouth, insert foot, and you don't mess with nurses. When will she learn?

First, let's clarify:

This, Joy, is a costume. And a subject for another blog post.
This, Joy, is a uniform. Not a costume.

Now let me tell you what I'd like to do to Joy Behar with my stethoscope. Not that she cares...what is it that they say? Bad publicity is better than no publicity? Or something like that.

Ok then, instead, let me explain a little bit about my role in nursing.

For your information, Joy, I am a nurse practitioner. I have a master's degree in nursing with a post-master's certificate as a pediatric nurse practitioner. I assess, diagnose, and treat babies, children, and young adults up to the age of 21. I work in a large teaching clinic with 11 physicians, residents, and medical students. There is one other nurse practitioner that I work with. I also train nurse practitioner students.  Most days I see 20-30 patients for well-child exams as well as sick visits. We have full responsibility for all the patients we see. And I see all the same types of patients as my physician partners. I have my own license. I make my own decisions regarding patient management. No doctor's stethoscope needed. I actually have my own. Actually, I have 2 stethoscopes--one for babies and one for big kids.

Sometimes I get push back from parents who don't understand my role. They ask me when the doctor is coming in to see their child. I patiently explain about my education and my experience. Usually after the visit, any doubt they might have about seeing an NP is erased from their minds. I was the first NP in my clinic, and after 3 1/2 years, 99% of the patients that I see "get it". I receive new patient referrals from other patients that I see. I also see a lot of the office staff's children. The feedback I receive from my patients overall is that the "nurses always seem to know more than the doctors anyways". While this isn't necessarily true, this tells me that the general public has a very positive image of nurses. I like to think that I bring my expertise and experience as a nurse to the medical management model. Seems like the perfect combination to me!

I was a nurse for about 20 years before I became a nurse practitioner. I practiced in a variety of settings, and yes, I used my own stethoscope. While I didn't diagnose and treat patients like I do now as a NP, I provided assessment information to the physicians to help them make their treatment plans. I worked as part of a team, not as a doctor's handmaiden or assistant. The physicians I have worked with over the years trusted my judgment and knew the value of nurses.

Clearly, Joy, you don't get it.  Joy, I hope you never get sick. But even if you do, know that in spite of what you said on the View, you will receive excellent care from any nurse who crosses your path. Because that's what we do. Even if you are an asshole.

Sure, she apologized. But was she genuine? And what is up with making fun of nurses? 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Taking the Long Way Home Book Club Book Review: Daughters of Distance

Ultramarathoner Vanessa Runs wrote this book with two questions in her mind: 
"How is endurance sport unique to females?"
"How does our womanhood play a role in endurance?"
In her book, Daughters of Distance, Vanessa uses her own experience, as well as that of many other well-known endurance athletes, to answer both questions. The end result is a book that is very readable and very relatable for women endurance athletes of all ages and abilities.

The book is divided up into chapters, each exploring different aspects of women's endurance running. She allows for femininity and emotion in our tough sport. In "Race Like A Girl", she talks about being "chicked". I've talked about this a little bit on the blog. In a half marathon I ran last spring, I shared an experience of a man refusing to let me pass him on the race course. Every time I passed him, he'd speed up and pass me again, like a game of cat and mouse. Of course, he finally ran out of gas, and I passed him for good.

Regarding "being chicked", Vanessa says:
"There are two camps of opinions on this word. On one side, it is considered empowering and inspiration, representing a woman's full athletic potential. She may be a chick, but she is able, competitive, and not to be underestimated...."
"To others, "chicked" is a sexist and offensive phrase....The underlying message downplays a woman's place in endurance sport, reinforcing the belief that women don't belong there and therefore don't officially count as competition.

As on the road and as in life, I think! I could write a whole blog post on this, but Vanessa does a great job summing up my thoughts in this chapter alone! And by the way, I do think endurance sports are the great equalizers between the sexes. So many women do "chick" men in long distance events. It's just the way we are built. By the way, as I learned in the book, did you know that women still cannot race the Tour de France and that there is no female equivalent event?

She asks the question: how do you feel about women's only events? Have you ever done any? I have mixed feelings about them. I love the supportive atmosphere of just being around women, but being somewhat, ok, very competitive, I do like the competitive edge that men bring to a race.

Throughout the book, Vanessa sprinkles in quotes from famous women's endurance athletes (some of whom you might be familiar via their blogs!). In one of my favorite chapters in the book, on confidence, she quotes Jennifer Benna (you can read about her adventures at her blog: A Girl's Guide to Trail Running), a 100 mile champion:
"If I never run another step, I will always be able to dig deep and find the confidence that running has give me." 
Yes! I found myself thinking this and nodding a lot while I read this book.

She also addresses the unsupportive significant other and Mommy guilt.  Do you have "Selfish Runner's Syndrome"? Did you know that SRS was "a thing"? Regardless, she points out that "making yourself the priority is not the same thing as being selfish". It's a fine line between selfish and selfless.

Vanessa also shares some tips and tricks for endurance parents to help manage training guilt and discusses ways to avoid being the "martyr parent". You know who they are. We all know them. Martyr parents are the ones who tell you how they "can't train" for a race because they need to put their kids' needs first. While this statement appears selfless and sacrificial, this can actually make the other person feel guilty for not making the same sacrifices. I have had parents say this to me, and it was nice to see that there is actually a term for this behavior.

Other chapters include topics such as competition (with other women), safety, life stages, and my favorite of all, the chapter on aging.
"Not only are older runners exceeding the performances of their younger peers, there is some evidence that older athletes may have an endurance advantage..."
"Older runners aren't going to be held back by nagging doubts, cop-out excuses, or society's expectations. They may not get another chance. They will plow ahead. They will meet their goals. They will finish the race." 
It's like she was in my head when she wrote this. Now you know why I push myself so hard.

To say that I loved this book is an understatement. Vanessa does an amazing job of summarizing the issues facing women endurance runners. And she keeps it credible with research and quotes from famous runners. If you decided not to read this one because you thought it was for ultrarunners only, I encourage you to reconsider. Daughters of Distance celebrates the woman athlete, and should be required reading for anyone who is a female endurance athlete or loved one.

Have you read Daughters of Distance? What are your thoughts?

And don't forget to link up your review! Remember the rules, link back to this blog post and comment on some of the other reviews. If you don't have a blog, please share your review in the comments! Thanks again for reading.

Taking the Long Way Home Book Club

Be sure to check out next month's book: Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated by Dana L Ayers is a hilarious account of Dana's adventures on and off the road. If you liked Run Like A Girl, you will love this one! You can download this one on Amazon for $2.99.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I was working on a post for this week's Wednesday Word: cautious. I'm not, by nature a cautious person, and I was struggling with this post a little bit. I was going to write about pushing through a tough race, leaving it all on the course. That's how I roll.

But then something happened.

My colleague, a nurse practitioner with whom I share an office lost her husband this week. She woke up to get ready for work, and found him unresponsive. He was young, healthy and his passing was completely unexpected.

Can you even imagine?

Once again, life gives me a reality check.

What if today was your last day?

What would you do differently? Is there anything you'd want to do?

We all joke about having a bucket list. At least I do...although it's no joke to me.

I'm in my 50s, and I'm starting to think about my mortality. I'm not being morbid. I'm being realistic. We only get one trip around the sun. So I say, no regrets. I want to leave this life knowing that I did everything I wanted to do. And I want to be remembered for that. Yep, "she lived life to the fullest."

Yet, many of us live a life of fear.

"I can't do that...I might get hurt...I can't afford it..."--qualifying for Boston, running Big Sur, going to Hawaii...retiring on a lake in Wisconsin. You can probably name other things. These are my current bucket list items.

You're right. You might get hurt. You might go broke. And then again...you might not.

Life's too short.

Take the trip. Run the race. Buy the house. Love more. Live more. Chase your dreams. Appreciate what you have.

At the end, who's keeping track? There are no prizes for having the cleanest house...the biggest bank account....sure, people might remember that stuff, but is it important?

What do you want people to remember about you? What's important to you?

Me, I want people to say that I wasn't afraid of a challenge. That I did big things because I didn't let my fears slow me down. Life's too short to be cautious.

I'll tell you, once again, this word prompt hit home for me. Are you cautious? What's on your bucket list?

Don't forget to check out the other posts on DebRuns.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Race Recap: Alpine Runners Half Marathon

Truth be told, I didn't know much about this race when I signed up. I was looking for a half that would fit into my training plan 4 weeks before the marathon. This one not only fit that requirement, but it was 10 minutes from my home. My friend Sara was running it too, and that was more incentive for me to sign up.

Pre-race optimism! And we were freezing!
We met in the parking lot across the street from the park where the race would start. Interestingly, I parked right in front of Sara, and she greeted me (actually made me jump out of my skin!) as I was gathering all my race stuff. We walked over to the starting line, and Sara was shivering. It was a cool, 48 degrees, sunny morning. We caught up while we waited for the race to start, and made a couple trips to the portapotties, to avoid any issues if possible, on the race course.

This is a small race field, maybe 450 runners, and I crossed the start line shortly after the gun went off. For the first couple of miles, the course meanders through the neighborhoods that border Lake Zurich. I had heard that the course had rolling hills, and that's what I encountered in those first few miles of the race. There were a  few big downhills, and I reminded myself that I'd be running up those on the way back. I fought with a side stitch for about a mile or so. I don't know why I keep getting them, but I was glad it went away.

Sara kept saying this to me after the race. Yeah, I'll give you opportunity...
Then we headed into the rural parts of the area. We ran through some really nice neighborhoods with huge homes. The hills became steeper and more frequent. I was able to power up them without any problems. I sipped my Tailwind every 5 minutes or so, and I felt pretty good. Since it was an out and back course, we started seeing the front runners about mile 6 or so. Those guys were flying!

I stopped at mile 8 to refill my Tailwind bottle. The Tailwind took its sweet time to come out of the package, and I probably was at the aid station for over a minute or two. That's something I need to figure out for the marathon.

About mile 9, after all those hills, my hamstrings really started to talk to me. I continued to power through the pain, but I started to feel kind of weird. Not really nauseous, but just a little unhinged. I tried focusing on my music. I smiled at the volunteers along this very well supported race course. I counted down the songs to the finish. I continued to power up the hills. And thought to myself, isn't Illinois supposed to be flat?

This is what I SHOULD have told myself. Rolling hills, my ass.
In spite of my efforts to stay focused, right before mile 11, I hit yet another a big hill and I had to stop and walk for a minute. I felt so badly at this point, I just wanted to quit. I may have uttered the f-word. I started having a lot of negative thoughts. I started to talk myself into first not going for my sub-4 marathon, and then eventually these thoughts morphed into me telling myself I wasn't going to run the marathon at all. I felt like I was going to cry.

A woman who had been pacing with me for the last couple of miles talked me into running again, and I stayed with her. I told myself how close I was to the finish. I thought about my son, who went back into his rugby game the day before in spite of taking a knee to the abdomen and vomiting on the field. I couldn't face him, knowing that I quit. So I kept running. Until the next hill, where I stopped to walk briefly again. I hated to do it, but I also hated how I was feeling. When I started to run again, I caught back up with my new friend, and ran with her to the finish line.

I was so glad to be finished. I caught my breath, and a volunteer put my medal over my head. I wandered around the finish area, looking for Sara. I looked for food, and didn't see much of anything. There was a 5k earlier, and I assumed that maybe the 5k runners took all the post run snacks. I grabbed a cup of water, and found the woman who ran me in. I thanked her.

Sara was watching her kids run the kids' race, and I stopped briefly to congratulate her on her AG finish. Isn't it funny how one runner can have an amazing run and another not so much?

But later when I reviewed the splits on my Garmin, I saw that I was pretty darned consistent, even when I stopped to walk. That was really encouraging to me. I placed 5th in my age group, and the 3rd and 4th place women and I were less than a minute apart. If only I hadn't wasted all that time at the aid station refilling my bottle...if only I hadn't stopped to walk...if only...

This race was a training run, and there was a lot to be learned from this run. As much as it sucked, I think I needed a run like this. When I first finished, I felt like my confidence had been zapped. But when I looked at my mile splits, and how I powered through all those hills at marathon pace--well, come to think of it, there were a lot of good things happening at this race. I just let those hills get into my head, and that's something I need to continue to work on. I reminded myself that these were great splits for such a hilly course--imagine how I would have done had the course been flat, like the Chicago marathon course! Of course, I am glad that the weather was so cooperative. If we had had the conditions from the previous Sunday, where it was 90+ degrees...I don't even want to think about how things would have gone.

I did realize that I'm pretty good at beating myself up.

Oh, and guess what song was playing when I crossed the finish line? None other than Don't Stop Believin'. Coincidence? I think not.

Onward and upward.

Have you ever had a race where you wanted to quit? What did you do to keep yourself on track? Hills? Yay or nay?

I'm linking up with The Silvah Lining and her Race Recap linkup! Check it out!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Marathon Training Week 8: Holdin' on....

This ended up being somewhat of a cutback for me, although I don't think it was intentional. Becky was out of town, and I didn't have CrossFit this week. She had planned on giving me homework, but I didn't receive a text from her, nor did I pursue it. I've been training really hard, and I thought it would be ok to take it a little easy. I don't know if that was her intent, but I sure felt better as the week went on. Physically, anyways. Mentally, I've had some stressors at work with a student as well as some minor mama drama at home. Juggling marathon training with life challenges is always tough. But the weather cooled off and...well, here's my weekly recap.

Monday: Scheduled rest day. I did do some yoga to stretch out the legs after that really tough run I did the day before. I'm participating in a 30 day yoga challenge with Beth at Running with the Sunrise, and I did 3 of the first poses all on Monday.

Tuesday: I got up with the sun to run 8 miles at marathon pace. At 6 am, it was 75 degrees and 75% humidity. Although it was tough, I ran 8.29 miles in 1:13:28, or an average of 8:52 minutes/mile. In those conditions, I'll take it.

This 8 felt like I was running in the sand.
Wednesday: I went to the studio for yoga. The theme for the class was Santosha, or contentment. It was a wonderful class, as always. We did a lot of poses against the wall, including a variation of bakasana (crow pose). If you've never been able to get into this pose, I highly recommend trying this one! I was kind of dizzy that morning, but if I moved slowly from pose to pose, my equilibrium returned quickly.

We did this variation of navasana (boat pose) with eagle legs (ardha garudasana)
Thursday: Becky had speedwork with 3 mile repeats x2 on the plan. I decided to make it a little more interesting and ran back to back 5ks. I haven't run a 5k in ages, and I wanted to see how I could do. Mother Nature cooperated too, by giving me a 60F temperature to run in. Splits: 24:47, 24:36, average 7:58 mins per mile. This is the run I needed to inject life back into my marathon training. Don't stop believin'!

This crazy weather has been giving us some spectacular morning skies! 
Friday: running rest day

Saturday: I got up early and ran a 5 miler in 53 degree weather! Dare I say I felt a little chilled? No complaints, I did this one a little faster than MP. I don't know if that was wise, considering that I had a half marathon the next day. But I took advantage of the beautiful morning to catch up on my yoga challenge too.
Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Pyramid pose, and plank for days 4-7.
After that early morning run, we headed south to my son's rugby match. Matthew was playing fullback, his dream position, where he got to do a lot of running and also defensive tackling. The team they played was really good brutal, and there were a lot of injuries. Matthew took a knee to the abdomen, after which he lost his breakfast. Towards the end of the game, he came out of the game because of the pain. He's not a complainer and I knew he must really have been hurting. He told me he wished I had brought some Tailwind so that he could have finished the came. Hey there! That's some good stuff....

Sunday: I had a half marathon on the schedule, just get my head in race mode. This one was a new one for me, the Alpine Runners Club Half Marathon in Lake Zurich, Illinois, which is about 10 minutes from my house. Easy, breezy right? I'll have a full recap on Tuesday, but let's just say that I was NOT prepared at all for the hills on this course. My first half marathon, in Door County, Wisconsin was super hilly, and I haven't run one like that since. This half was #14 for me, and if nothing else, it proved to be an exercise in mental toughness for me. Every time I approached a new hill (and there were plenty), I had to dig in and push myself up. Before I started, I promised myself that I wouldn't race this one, that it was a training run, and that was my mantra for the whole thing. I finished in 1:55:58, so I got my marathon pace. I also had very consistent splits. And I get to run 8 tomorrow morning. There's no rest for the wicked, apparently...

What song was the one that got me through the toughest miles of the race? This Skrillex and Nero remix of I SEE MONSTA's "Keep Holdin' On". Because that's what I did! Don't be put off by Skrillex, this is actually very listenable!

Another week down....and this will be my highest mileage week of training. I'm gearing up for that and hoping our temps stay moderate!

How about you? How's your training going? Any songs for me?

And as always, I'm linking up with my friends Holly at HoHoRuns and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin' for their weekly wrap! It's a great way to see what everyone else is up to!