Weekly Recap - Kiawah Half Marathon Training Week 5 (10/9-10/15)

the weird weeks (and 8 weeks out from Race day)

I'm 8 weeks out from Kiawah and I think I've finally managed to get myself somewhat back on track - at least I'm getting in my long runs and three other runs at this point. I haven't gone back to speedwork yet because it's been so hot and the I'm trying to get used to the treadmill. 

kiawah training week 5

Also, this week was just weird. More on that in a minute, but first my workout summary.

Workout summary

Monday BodyFlow
Tuesday Off
Wednesday Easy 3 (treadmill) @ 8:32 + BodyFlow
Thursday Easy 3.09 with my running group @ 9:18
Friday Off
Saturday Easy 3.09 @ 8:36
Sunday Long run - 9 miles @ 9:02
Totals 4 runs / 18.18 miles


What I planned: BodyFlow
What happened: BodyFlow
Man, I have missed BodyFlow. It's been so long since I've been to a class. I'm so glad I didn't cancel the gym membership that has these classes, though, because I plan to frequent them again. 

I was also happily surprised that even though I haven't been to a yoga, barre or BodyFlow class in a while, my flexibility remained intact and in some ways (specifically my back), I'm even more flexible. I'll go ahead and credit Stretch Zone and the sports chiropractor for that. 


What I planned: Speedwork - 6 mile progressive (treadmill) 
What happened: Nothing
It's been so long since I did BodyFlow, I woke up with some crazy DOMS, and decided to skip my run. Plus I had a really busy day at work, too, and just got sucked into it all and a lost track of time. 


What I planned: Easy 3 (treadmill) + BodyFlow
What happened:  Easy 3 (treadmill) at 8:32 pace + BodyFlow
I still wasn't quite used to the treadmill at this point. All things being equal, I'm generally slower on the treadmill than I am outside (not so much right now with the crazy humidity, though), but I think that's also because I rarely run on the treadmill and I'm not used to it.

But anyway, this was a good run and I followed it up immediately with my second BodyFlow class for the week. It's so, so, so good to be back to that. 


What I planned: Easy 3 with my running group
What happened: Easy 3 @ 9:18 pace with my running group
The humidity and dew points were crazy, plus it was dark and we had no flashlights (fail), so we took our good old time on this one. I mostly go for the beers on Thursday nights anyway. 

I'm just here for the beer

I'm just here for the beer


What I planned: Speedwork makeup day
What happened: Nothing
Instead of getting in that speedwork that I missed earlier in the week, I spent the day dragging. I got an allergy shot on Thursday afternoon and ended up having an allergic reaction to the allergy shot (seriously). This is the second time that's happened and the last time ended up being way, way worse with full body hives, facial swelling, numbness, throat and tongue swelling, etc, etc, etc. 

This time, it started with throat tightness and difficulty swallowing and then my tongue started to feel all cottony. So knowing what happened last time, even though it started last time with hives, I headed to the ER. And I spent a few hours there getting straightened out. 

Needless to say, since I was up half the night combined with the reaction, I was exhausted. No run or any other workout for me.  


What I planned: Easy 3
What happened:  Easy 3.09 @ 8:36 pace
I was feeling alright by Saturday, but still a bit wheezing because my asthma was just set off from the allergic reaction plus the still ridiculous dew point and humidity. So, I don't have much to say about this run. It was what it was. 


What I planned: Long run - 9 miles with my running group
What happened:  Long run - 9 miles (all over the place) @ 9:02 pace
So as if the allergic reaction wasn't weird enough, this run was probably one of the weirder runs I've had. 

I started out with my running group (it was 100% humidity and a raging dew point of 67). We ran our first two miles nice and slow at 10:00 and 9:34 respectively, but my asthma wasn't having it.

So, I turned around and ran two miles back to my car with the intentions of driving to the gym to finish the run. I ran those two miles back at 8:38 and 8:39 respectively and they felt much easier than the first two miles. What? 

From here...

From here...

I ended up running leg 1 of my 9-miler at a 9:12 overall pace (4.09 miles).

Then I drove 10 minutes to the gym, parked and realized I didn't have my headphones. There's no way I'd last more than one or two miles without music on a treadmill, so I decided to give it a go outside again. I ran another 3.14 miles at a very steady 9:04 pace (out and back to the gym).

...to here...

...to here...

Back at the gym,  I decided to just run the last 1.77 on the treadmill and call it a day. My last mile in there was a 7:53 pace and I think I'm finally used to the treadmill (overall pace was for the treadmill was 8:38 because I was trying to find my bearings). 

...To here

...To here

So...weird, right?

I have no idea what's causing this, but I'm consistently slower when I run with other people, but I actually feel worse. I have no idea what's going on here.

This isn't the first time I've run with a running group. I've trained for a marathon with one, as well as several half marathons and I have never had this weirdness occur, no matter how fast or slow I've been going.

Maybe my pace has actually picked up more than I think it has and I'm being overly cautious? I did notice that my gait and cadence really change when I run with my group, and that's not been a problem before at a slower pace. A lot. Perhaps this is throwing off my whole body and my breathing? In any case, it's weird. 

Post Long Run breakfast - Pumpkin PIe (because why not?)

Post Long Run breakfast - Pumpkin PIe (because why not?)

But on the bright side, I'm feeling good about my overall fitness, especially considering my long run pace in the heat and then my pace on the treadmill in my last mile of that run. And I had no soreness or tiredness after the run on Sunday and no DOMS the following day. My body is remembering this running longer distances thing.

I feel like my training is getting back on track and I may actually be able to have some goals for Kiawah (maybe not my initial goals, but at least some kind of goal beyond just finishing). I've certainly pushed through a lot of adversity and illness over the past few years, so at some point, it has to have made me stronger and I should start seeing that soon, right? (I hope.)

Now I need some decent weather, and I think it actually may be coming this week!

How was your week? Have you ever experienced any of that running with others pacing weirdness? Do you run alone or with groups? Which do you prefer?  

weekly wrap

This week, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin' for their Weekly Wrap series.

2017 Goal Check In: Mind Map Progress


I wrote my original mind map post back in January with my general goals. I checked in about halfway through in July. And now, here we are in the last few months of the year and I'm checking in again.

A few things have shifted, but not a ton has really changed since the past several months have been busy.

The overall theme now is focus.

I have a much stronger focus on certain things now, especially when it relates to career and side projects, and even fitness. 

2017 Mindmap (1).jpg

Career-related updates

As I've worked on various projects for my day job, freelance work, and myself throughout the year, I've come to fully acknowledge what I basically already knew: 

I am happiest when I'm creating things. 

It doesn't really matter what those things are, either.

In my day job I've been taking on a lot of visual design and illustration work, and the hours just fly by when I'm working on those types of projects. I've also done a few freelance gigs in the visual design realm and I enjoy them so much.

My other career-related truth:

I love research and data, but the kind of love most is qualitative and ethnographic in nature. 

While I'm fascinated by data science and analytics, those things do not make my heart sing. I'd much rather be gathering data through observation, interviews, and diary studies talking to real people about their problems. 

So what does all of that mean?

It means it's time to focus (back to that word).

I want to be a better artist, a better illustrator, a better designer...so rather than throwing my attention all over the place (digital marketing! data science!), I want to focus most of my time on what I really love.

One thing I still want to keep learning that isn't specifically creative, but is still helpful for my work is coding, so I'm still working through classes on that (still on Javascript for now).

Side project updates

This one is closely related to the career stuff, although, I consider side projects my personal stuff (not freelance work). 

I love watercolors!

I love watercolors!

I still have plans to get some products created and relaunch my jewelry business, and I have some ideas on how to make some updates to this blog with additional related content.But that's a slower process because of all of the other things I have going on.

I'll get there, though. I haven't lost sight of it and it ties in nicely with my overall career goals of better design, illustration, and art. 

I've made a conscious effort to sketch more. Daily, whenever possible, to keep the creativity alive and to just get better.

Fitness updates

I've really been all over the place here - literally. Multiple studio memberships, a gym membership, spinning, barre, yoga, running, paddleboarding, HIIT - all over the place. And while variety is good, I also don't have the time to do everything, especially not during a training cycle. 

So, I never got rid of that gym membership like I intended to do, and I'm so glad I didn't! I've been using it like crazy lately for the treadmill and BodyFlow classes. 

Treadmilling at the gym

Treadmilling at the gym

A few advantages to my gym - lots of class options so I don't have to have memberships here, there and everywhere, and it's super close to home so it's easy to get to pretty much any time of day. Again: focus.

The other thing I refuse to give up and need to make more time for is time on the water, whether that means paddleboarding or kayaking. We live so close to a few boat launches. We must use them!

To sum it up...

I can be (and do) anything, but I can't be (and do) everything. At least not all at once, and I'm not going to try.

With that in mind, I'm thinking about maybe starting industrial design classes (or a second Master's degree) in the nearish future.

But even before that, I'll be taking as many classes as I can and practicing as much as I can with any and all things art and illustration. And when I'm not doing immersing myself in creativity, you can find me on the road, at the gym, or on the water. 

How's your 2017 going? Can you believe it's almost over?

Weekly Recap - Kiawah Half Marathon Training Week 4 (10/2-10/8)

Back on track (mostly)

Now that the UTI mess is behind me and I'm feeling more normal in general, I've been able to start keeping up with a better running schedule. Next week I'll be adding my strength and yoga back in. This week, I kept it just running. "Just keep running, just keep running" - Finding Dory reference. No? Just me and my three-year-old? Okay, moving on.

kaiwah half training week 4

Anyway, I spent this week struggling with fatigue, probably because of the increase in frequency, distance, and overall mileage from the prior week. I went from running 10-13 miles per week to over 20, and the last time I had a 20 mile week was back in June. And I had several weeks in there where I ran less than 10 miles. So. Yeah. Fatigued. But not sore, so that's good!

My allergies and asthma were raging this week as well (hello, nebulizer, my old friend) and the weather was pretty hideous, with summer temps and out of control humidity and dew point, usually up over 90 and 70 respectively. That's not good news for anyone, let alone someone with asthma. Needless to say, running outside was hard and miserable this week and it added to my fatigue and recovery issues.

Workout summary

Monday 3.5 mile bike ride around the neighborhood
Tuesday Off
Wednesday Easy 3.09 @ 8:54 pace
Thursday Easy 3.08 @ 9:18 pace
Friday Off
Saturday 3.05 mile slogfest in the humidity
Sunday Long run - 8 miles @ 8:55 on the treadmill + 1 mile in the evening with B
Totals 4 runs / 18.22 miles


What I planned: Nothing
What happened: 3.5 mile bike ride
The weather was absolutely beautiful on Monday and I wanted to get outside. I also wanted to stick to my running schedule, which meant Monday is a day off from running. So I rode bike instead. 


What I planned: Easy 5 mile run
What happened: Nothing
While I wasn't sore, I was definitely feeling fatigued, so I took the day off. I think it's going to take quite a bit of rebuilding for me to get back to where I was, which is incredibly frustrating because it took a lot to get back there the first time. So here we are again. Back to rebuilding and trying to gain some semblance of speed. 


What I planned: Easy 3 mile run
What happened: Easy 3.09 mile run
My schedule went as planned (shockingly). I was tired during this run and struggled with my asthma and allergies a little. The consistently high dew point is also a problem. Where is fall?


What I planned: Easy 5 mile run (2 on my own, 3 with my running group)
What happened: Easy 3.08 miles
I had to take my son to the doctor and didn't get out in time to get those extra 2 miles in beforehand. So I ran 3. And wheezed the entire way. Sigh. 


What I planned: Nothing
What happened: Nothing
No running for me on Friday. Since by that time I was thinking I'd be running the IOP Connector the following day (see "Saturday" below), I took Friday off. 


What I planned: Easy 3 (possibly at the Isle of Palms Connector Run 5K)
What happened: Easy 3.05, not at the IOP Connector Run
I've had this race on my schedule tentatively but never actually registered. After the month-long UTI mess plus the nasty weather, I had decided against it.

Then I got a free registration from a friend the day before the race, so I thought I might as well run it. But it turned out the free registration was for the 10K and there's no way I was running a 10K in this weather, so I figured I'd go to the race with my friend and register for the 5K that morning. Then I got a text from my friend on race day that she wasn't going to make it to the race, so I opted out (and that was totally fine with me!). 

The weather was just so bad with 95% humidity and a 75 dew point that there is no way my asthma would have tolerated trying to run any faster than a slog. And paying $40 to basically have an asthma attack while logging yet another bad race time did not seem like a good idea at all. So I skipped the race and slogged (and cursed) around my neighborhood. 


What I planned: Long run - 8 miles with my running group
What happened: 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym + 1 mile with B in the evening
No one else could make it out this week for the long run, so I decided to take my run indoors. I just couldn't handle the weather. The idea of slogging through 8 miles in another day of 95% humidity and a 75 dew point was so unappealing that even the treadmill seemed like a good idea. 

This was my longest run ever on a treadmill and my longest run in general since May (and my first treadmill run in probably over a year). I typically run much slower on a treadmill, mostly because I'm not used it and I'm convinced I'm going to face plant at any second, but I ran these 8 miles as faster (or as fast) than some recent much shorter runs outside in the heat. So I think my overall fitness level is okay. I just need some decent weather.

I'm really hoping it gets better soon because these 70% dew points are killing me even if the temps seem sort of okay. Until then, and because I need to stay on track a bit better, I'm taking a lot of my runs indoors to the treadmill. Not ideal, but necessary at this point. I guess it's a good thing I never canceled my gym membership. 

On Sunday evening, D, B and I headed out to an event to celebrate the life of our friend and fellow runner, Cindy, who was tragically killed in a car accident last month. To say Cindy will be missed in an understatement and the Charleston running community wanted to do something to honor and remember her.

So we did what we always do - we ran.

litte runner boy
Did not plan on running - See: Backpack on Back (I eventually handed it off to my husband

Did not plan on running - See: Backpack on Back (I eventually handed it off to my husband

It was just a 1 mile walk/run, and I had intended on walking since I already logged 8 miles earlier and we had B with us. But little B decided he wanted to run. And he ran almost the entire way and ended up with a 12:55 pace for his mile! What? He was so determined to "beat daddy" (and he did!). I'm so proud of my little runner boy and I know Cindy would be proud, too. 

House updates

The drywall is going up and the exterior siding and brick are going on! I cannot wait to move into this house. 

Back of the house and the back yard (It extends beyond the black silk fencing)

Back of the house and the back yard (It extends beyond the black silk fencing)

The main living space - living room straight and left, Kitchen to the right, dining right behind it, Den/Sunroom/Art Studio right behind that

The main living space - living room straight and left, Kitchen to the right, dining right behind it, Den/Sunroom/Art Studio right behind that

Something creative

I recently realized - well...not realized, I already knew it, but now I'm actually doing something about it - that I need to be doing something creative almost every day. For the same reasons I run, I also create.  

What sparked this revived creativity was actually my day job where I've shifted gears a bit and started doing a lot of visual design and illustration work, as opposed to heavy research work. While I still do research, right now I have some big projects for design.

And man, am I having fun! The hours just fly by.

That spark has carried over into personal projects. I've been trying to sketch something - anything - daily. It's quick and messy and imperfect, but it's practice and it's helping keep the creative juices flowing.

Here are a few from the past week:

Beach beagle, earrings, Messy surfboards, Christmas in my hometown

Beach beagle, earrings, Messy surfboards, Christmas in my hometown

That's a wrap everyone! I'm getting back into a more normal routine after being sick and I've finally found (made) some time to be creative. 

My goals for next week: back to yoga and back to strength, at least one of each, and a little bit of speedwork. And definitely some more art. I've been missing all of it. 

How was your week?  

weekly wrap

This week, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin' for their Weekly Wrap series.