XT and Books

I have a pimple inside my ear. It hurts. I’ll save you by not sharing a picture. It’s giving me a headache. Pimples are stupid.

I slept in this morning. It was blissful. My body needed sleep. I crashed at about 8:45 last night. I didn’t even turn the TV on. I put my head on my pillow and fell asleep.

It’s XT day. Yesterday I thought I would bike, but my hips are still feeling a bit off. I think I will hit some PiYo Buns instead. Work those glutes that don’t like to fire properly. And now talk of a swim is happening on group text. Decisions, decisions!

I’m reading The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion. I love that title. It reminds me of Thug Kitchen. I’m only about 40 pages into it, and I’ve already decided that every single person in my life that swims or bikes or runs (or does all three!) should read it. If you identify in any way as an athlete (or want to), you need to get yourself a copy of this book.

These are also chilling on my nightstand. I need to get busy.

  • Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
  • Life of a Triathlete: Race Preparation by Meredith Kessler
  • Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard
  • IronFit Strength Training and Nutrition for Endurance Athletes: Time Efficient Training Secrets for Breakthrough Fitness by Don Fink
  • The Endurance Diet: Discover the 5 Core Habits of the World’s Greatest Athletes to Look, Feel, and Perform Better by Matt Fitzgerald

That’s all from me today! Stay neon!

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Strength

Sometimes running is magic. I went to bed last night and found myself looking forward to my tempo run in the morning.

I’ve started laying out my run clothes so that in the morning I can grab them and change in the treadmill room and not wake Mr. Neon.

The minute I started running this morning I knew it was going to be good. I did the warm-up slow. I had talked to Mr. Neon last night, and he encouraged me to push the pace. A 3x1mile with 0.25mi recoveries was on the plan. 5.5 miles total with warm-up and cool down.

I ticked off the first mile at 8:49. My breathing was good, and there was no rush to hit the recovery buttons. I gave it a second go with 8:49. That felt so good that mile three was a 8:41!

Boom! Of course, my hip felt creaky when I got off the treadmill. I stretched extra and told Mr. Neon that he had to make me do my glute exercises before bed. I did run four days in a row, so that could have a lot to do with it. Tomorrow is a BIKE day. YAY!

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Do I look stronger? I feel stronger! And can we talk about these tanks from Target? They are flared and slightly high low. I own four of them, because that’s how I do my wardrobe. I fall in love with a shirt and buy it in every color.

Stay neon!

 

The Shift

I have trained triathlon almost exclusively for the last 18 months. And now I’m actually training for a half marathon. Training hard too. Interval speed work. Tempo runs. And middle miles at race pace during the long run. It’s serious business trying to PR. It’s messing with my brain a little bit. I ran three times as many miles last week as I biked…weird.

Real talk time. I’m anxious about getting injured again. Every tiny little muscle twinge makes me nervous. My right quad has been weird on and off all week. It was twitching and felt tight at the beginning of my long run. And now it feels fine. My hips feel tight too, but both hips equally. Bursitis…you better not come back! You are not welcome here.

Last Week:
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 1mi WU, 2mi Tempo, 1mi CD
Wednesday – 30min XT
Thursday – 5mi NS (3,2)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 3mi Easy
Sunday – Long Run 10mi, mid 2 @RP

0.77 miles Swimming
7.62 miles Biking
22.0 miles Running
30.38 miles Total

I’m a little off pace to get to my 2017 miles. But I think I can do it if I cycle at least once more per week. And my running mileage is only going to increase from here on out.

Stay neon!

Negative Splits

When I got home from work on Tuesday, the boys were begging to go swimming. When normal kids say they want to “go swimming,” they probably mean their friend’s backyard pool or the waterpark. Not the NeonRunner kids. They wanted to go to the lap pool to do a swim workout. We’ve created monsters, Mr. Neon!

So we shoved tacos in our face (hey…it was Tuesday!), waited the necessary 30 minutes, and headed to the Y. It was the first time I’ve seen RunnerBoy swim since he took lessons. The kid can swim! Proud parenting moment…yay!

I did an easy 1350 swim. 100 warm-up. 4×50 drills. And then 3x(50,100,200). It felt good to swim in a pool. I wish I could swim that well in open water. Sigh…

This morning, I drug my booty out of bed at 5am to get a negative split run done. I did not want to get up. I stayed up too late last night doing laundry. Mom life. I haven’t seen a negative split run on a training plan in so long that I felt I needed to look up how to do it in Train Like a Mother. And then I felt a little silly. NS (3,2). Run 3 miles and then run 2 miles slightly faster. Duh…

9:48, 9:42, 9:40, 9:22, 9:12. This is what my Garmin said on indoor running mode…WITHOUT ADJUSTING THE DISTANCE! That never happens!!! This run actually felt pretty good. Massage tonight and rest day tomorrow. Wee!

I usually post dog pictures on my Instagram or personal facebook page, but I thought I would save this one for the blog. They were fighting over the blanket and this tiny 4 inch wide section of the couch. Merry got tired of trying to lay where she wanted around Willie, so she just sat on him. He was NOT happy. She’s such a mess. I especially like how she wouldn’t look at me for the photo. “Nothing to see here. Nothing to see.”

Stay neon!

Titan 10K 2017 Race Report

The Southside Scorcher was less than scorching this year.

I love this race, even though every year my goal has eluded me. 2014, I was a noob. Time: 1:01:24 (9:53). 2015, it was HOT. Time: 1:01:32 (9:55). 2016, I was coming back from injury. Time: 1:02:33 (10:04).

Excuses. Excuses.

My ONLY goal for this year was to break an hour. That’s it. I really took it easy after Tinman. I went from 8 hours of hard training per week to 4-5 hours of super easy workouts. And I had just run hard-ish at the Firecracker 4 mile only 5 days before.

The start feels super low key. Like a bunch of friends lining up to run 6 miles together. I told myself 9:40 pace or better. A nice round 9:30 sounded good.

The course is a great out and back winding a tad through a neighborhood and then running the OJ Watson park roads and a little double figure 8 on the South Broadway bridge before heading back. I love out and back race courses. You get to see your fast friends come at you and encourage your slow friends behind you.

Mile 1: 9:13
Ok…that’s good. I felt REALLY good. Stride was really smooth. Breathing was good. I had brought my small handheld water bottle with my beloved BASE salt. I took two hits of salt every mile like I did at Tinman. It wasn’t quite as hot, but it was humid and I was sweating.

Mile 2: 9:06
Really? I don’t feel like I’m running that fast.

Mile 3: 9:01
I saw a lot of 8s in the pace number every time I looked down at my Garmin. I was just running and feeling good. A PR didn’t even enter my mind.

Mile 4: 9:01
Same as mile 3. I took my lemonade Huma gel. More salt. Dumped water on my front and back at the water stations.

Mile 5: 9:04
I was staring at my overall time on my Garmin, and my brain clicked. Could I PR? I set my current 10K PR earlier this year at Easter Sun Run with a 57:24*, but I could not remember the pace! I didn’t think it was in the super low 9s. Then and there I decided to hold on as hard as I could to the 9:0x pace.

Mile 6: 9:14
Of course, as soon as PR thoughts enter my head, my breathing got harder and my legs got heavier. I start ticking off the minutes left. The last mile is tough because you have to run around the backside of the school in the sun and then across the parking lot to get to the stadium.

Last Sprint: 8:01
I tossed my water bottle at the entrance to the track. The race director was standing there and I hollered at her that I would come back for it. I had a PR to get! I crossed with a 57:01 (9:11 pace)!!

PR face. Oh that last sprint hurt. My legs were so done! I had done PiYo Buns two days before and had a major cause of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). The good news is this run pretty much cleared that lactic acid out and I felt good the rest of the weekend.

The PR glow. The president of my running club snapped this picture after giving me a few moments to recover! I facetimed Mr. Neon to tell him. Every year Titan 10K is my race that I get all to myself, since Mr. Neon races Waterfront the next day. I was over the moon on the facetime call! PRing my 10K in the middle of a July Kansas Summer! Nothing more confidence boosting than that!

Hopefully this means good things for my attempt at a big half marathon PR later this fall.

Stay neon!

*For some reason, I thought my 10K PR was 57:19 and set in 2016. I have no idea where I got that number. I don’t count PRs unless they happen in races, so it wouldn’t be a random training run time stuck in my head. I went back and looked at the official race results and checked my Garmin Connect history and couldn’t find where I got that number.

Tempo and Firecracker 4mile Race Report

2 mile tempo to start the day. I adjusted my HR zones because they didn’t transfer properly when I upgraded to my Garmin 735xt. My tempos were done at 8:57 pace and my HR didn’t leave zone 2. So maybe I need to increase my paces? I didn’t feel like I was struggling at all, so maybe I do need to push it a bit more. I haven’t done genuine speed work in so long. I’m having to remember how to do it and what a hard effort feels like. Come on, muscle memory!

Ok…enough about today’s run. Let’s talk about our run from two weeks ago. How was the 4th of July two weeks ago?!

Our running club has an annual 4th of July run called the Firecracker 4 mile. This year was the 36th annual. We ran it back in 2014 and got someone to watch the boys. We skipped the last two years because of marathon/triathlon training and wanting to sleep in on my day off. But this year, the boys are finally seasoned enough to run 4 miles. Firecracker 4mile will now be a family tradition!

This is a fast race. Lots of speed demons show up. I had no true goals other than to stay around a 9:30 pace. Everyone took off super fast. I kept myself reeled in and focused on my Garmin. There were lots of photographers out on the course. This picture was taken about about the half mile mark. It was a beautiful morning for a run, especially in Kansas in July, so the smile is genuine. It felt good to smile. I could feel my body relax. I decided to keep the smile going and see how I felt.

Mile 1: 9:05. 9:30? Nah. Let’s try for 9 flat!

Mr. Neon’s goal was to just keep up with TinyBoy. Can we talk about those legs? He trims the hair for triathlon in the summer. I think it makes his quads look awesome!

Oh…you know. Just running a 7:30 and 8:15 pace and grinning from ear to ear.

I kept the cadence surging and picked up the pace a tiny bit down the back half of the course, after we popped out from the high school parking lot. I passed quite a few people on the hilly parts of James St. Derby is notoriously hilly, but these streets are where I do 90% of my outdoor runs, so it was home turf. Hills…what hills?

Mile 2: 8:57
Mile 3: 8:54

At this point, the course dumps us into the park. It’s always a struggle to have to run past the finish line. I had a distraction looking for my boys who were well ahead of me. Two other runners who I’m sure recognize my family asked me where my boys were. In front of me, of course! I’m the sweeper!

Mile 4: 8:49. Perfect negative splits. I didn’t have much of a kick left at the finish line. And have I told you lately how much I love my Oiselle Roga shorts? I need to do a whole post on them. My running wardrobe has really changed in the last year.

Overall time: 36:11 (9:03 pace). Course was a touch long (as expected), so those sub-9s didn’t come through on the results page. But it felt good knowing I could do it!

I challenged Runner Boy to break 30 minutes. He ran a 29:56! (7:29 pace) He not only took first in his age group but beat all the 11-14 year olds too!

Mr. Neon kept up with Tiny Boy and ran a 33:31 (8:23 pace). And his legs never looked better. Swoon!

Tiny Boy ran a 33:50 (8:28 pace) and took second in his and Runner Boy’s age group.

All in all, it was a very good morning for all four of us. We celebrated with donuts! I can’t wait for next 4th of July and next year’s Firecracker 4 mile with my three boys.

Stay neon!

Half Marathon Training…Here I come!

I have three race reports to write up! THREE! I better get busy.

Half marathon training officially started a week ago. I kept trying to write a post about it. There’s the Day 1 draft, the Day 1…err…Day 2 draft, and then the Day 4…Oops draft.

I’m going back to my roots and pulling out my well loved copy of Train Like a Mother. I used these plans for my first two half marathons before switching to Run Less, Run Faster and then 80/20 Running.

I forgot how easy a running only plan is. I’m still biking and swimming at least once a week. Basically any time the plan gives me an option to XT, I am going to take it.

I’m using the Own It plan since I’m a more novice runner on the hunt for a big PR. Eek! It’s funny how daunting that long 15 miler felt when I used this plan two years ago. 15 miles?! Please… I’ve run a marathon.

The only thing I’m “dreading” is the 10+ mile long runs EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. It’s not the distance that gets me, but the heat. Running in the summer in Kansas can be a bit stupid at times. It was definitely stupid when Runner Boy on his bike and I headed out Saturday after sleeping in. Our intended 8 turned into 5 + the 3 that I would be doing at the triathlon the next day. Runner’s math…it’s not always a bad thing. I still got my 8 in for the weekend!

So keep your eyes peeled for those race reports. So far, July has been a month of PRs for the Adamsons. And it’s not over yet!

Stay neon!