Circular Logic Marathon relay

On Saturday morning, I ran my first race of 2014: a relay leg of the Circular Logic Marathon!  Circular Logic is a special race to me because it was my surprise PR and first BQ marathon last spring, so I wanted to return to the course this year.  I’m not in marathon shape yet, but my dad agreed to run the relay with me, so the two of us signed up for our second annual father-daughter circle run.

It’s a unique race: 26 laps around a one-mile loop (+ the 0.2 miles) with a supportive, low-key, and low-stress feel.  So many personal cheerleaders and pump-it-up music every time you pass the start/lap line!

When I signed us up in January, I didn’t foresee the NeverEndingWinterOf2014, but it happened, so I told myself to run whatever pace felt good and try to have fun.  Luckily for me, my speedy friend Erin was also running the first 13 miles with the same plan, so we ran them together, chatted and enjoyed the environment, and gladly passed on those batons after our 13 mile endeavor.

Just practicing the hand-off.

We averaged an 8:15ish pace. It felt hard and I was definitely working the whole time, but running with a good runpal makes the miles pass by much quicker.  Thanks, Erin!

See the snow?!  The race volunteers and spectators deserve a big high-five.

My dad joined me and Erin for our last 7 miles, and then he took off for our relay team’s final 13 miles.  I ran 2 cool down miles, so my Saturday total was 15.  Well, 15 miles plus about 100 yards of sprinting. I thought it’d be cool to run the final stretch of my dad’s last mile/our relay team’s last mile and finish together.  In other words, I thought it’d be cool to run 13 moderately paced miles, stand around for 1.5 hours, and then go for a little sprint.

Here is a photograph of my failed attempt.  I’m the one in the background in the maroon hoodie who thought I was going to die.

The race was much colder this year than last year, and I had a hard time staying warm after finishing my relay leg.  Donned in my winter coat over about 5 layers of clothing, I had fun cheering for my dad, my running friends, and people that I felt like I knew after seeing them 13 times. Congratulations to all of the runners, and a big congrats to Jess, whom I met at the race, for her PR!

All in all, a great morning!

What’s your favorite thing to eat after a race?


hill repeats and a confused convo

Happy almost-weekend!

Runcap: 7 easy miles on Wednesday morning.  This run brought back horrific memories of winter running (can we talk about winter in the past tense yet?) because it was early and dark, layered up, and lit by headlamp.

On Thursday, I met a small group of runners in the evening for easy hill repeats. HA easy hill repeats.  We warmed up with a flat mile and then tackled a big hill loop three times at a slowish pace.  Most of us are running a marathon relay on Saturday, so we kept the pace relaxed and were able to still talk during the uphills.

I made a new friend on the run, who now probably thinks that I am a detached lunatic from this conversation:
[during one of the loops]
Her: So how is the long distance thing going? (talking about Ryan)
Me: Oh, really well! I actually prefer it. (thinking she is talking about distance running)
Her:  …
Me: You know, you get in a groove; short distance is harder.
Me: Wait ..what?

Ha I switched over my preference right away once I figured out what we were talking about.  It was nice to run with people in the evening because I usually run solo aside from Saturday mornings.

This week kind of flew by but kind of didn’t.  Judging by the two pity pop trips–with Andrea and Bre on Tuesday and with Andrea and Alyson on Thursday–I guess it didn’t.  Do we really have 5 weeks left of the semester?

This is how we celebrate a hard Thursday in the grad room: pity pop and pity pretzels .

Cheers to that!

What is worse: running uphill with no wind or running a straightaway with the wind in your face?

lunging down the hallway

First up: today’s workout.  I drove over to the rec center for an early morning run/strength circuit on and around the indoor track.  Run a few laps, do a few strength things (today was lunges, push ups, tri dips, ab moves, weighted squats, and donkey kicks), and repeat until you reach an hour.  My new lunge method is to lunge down the hallway to the drinking fountain, get a drink of water, and lunge back to the indoor track. I look like a weirdo, but a hydrated one.
Today’s effort wasn’t anything to write home about, but I was glad to get a sweat in.  I also had a late start because I unearthed a new skill at 6:00am this morning: I can flip my tongue upside down! Not sure how or why I even tried this before dawn, but I spent 5 precious morning minutes practicing in the mirror.

I feel mostly recovered from Saturday’s 20-miler (hamstrings and all!), but I’m taking this week super easy to stay healthy and to get ready for a marathon relay this weekend!  I did an easy run on Monday, and I’ll probably run easy tomorrow and Thursday.  This Saturday, I’m teaming up with my dad for a local marathon (my PR from last year!), and I’ll run the first half as a long tempo.

Today is Tuesday, so guess what that means? Weekly MATLAB and pity pop date with Bre!  And Andrea joined us today!
We trekked across campus–in the snow..WHAT?–to a new computer lab because our usual spot was all filled up.  We managed to find a computer lab that doubled as a sauna and finished the super short assignment in record time!  That includes the time it took for Andrea to sneak-eat a package of beef jerky and me to showcase my newfound tongue-flip ten times.

Bre and I finished MATLAB about an hour earlier than usual, thanks to the short assignment and to the presence of MATLAB Guru Andrea, so we used the bonus time to watch Frozen! (again)

Ever run on a relay team?
Jelly beans, peeps, or peanut butter eggs?




20 miles and Laura’s 5k

This weekend was full of running events (this weekend was very runny…) for my family!  My dad and I bonded with the road for 3+ hours on Saturday morning, and Laura ran a 5k on Sunday!

First, Saturday: I ran my first 20-miler of the training season!

Ready for the salt-stinging squinty-eyed, tired but happy, post-run picture on the porch?DSCN1664

Since I was home for break, my dad and I went out together and traced our normal long run route plus a few extra miles.  We kept a consistent 9-minute pace, and I felt pretty strong overall.  I didn’t have any “I hate this and want to quit forever” moments, which was kind of surprising because we climbed hill after hill after hill, and I’m used to flat routes.   I had some manageable hamstring and glute tightness, but everything else was fine.

Then I hydrated, sprawled out on the family room floor, willed my muscles to stretch without me stretching them, and relished the post-run accomplishment feeling until I could move again.  I was super beat for the rest of the day, but my sister and I opted to go furniture shopping with my parents, so I waddled from couch to couch and ate free pretzels while discussing style and color preferences for our living room.

I focused on hydrating all day.

And then Laura convinced me to leave the house again, so we took a sister date to Barnes & Noble.

…where I promptly found a chair and sat back down.  It was the chair on the stage in the Children’s section (I was secretly hoping small children would gather around at my feet), and I caught up on some Roald Dahl I must have missed out on back in the day.

It was nice to have a low-key night because the next morning, LAURA ran a race!

My dad and I went to cheer her on.  The wind was cold, and our legs were not fully functioning yet from Saturday’s long run, so we hobbled inside after the start gun and then hobbled back out in time to see her cross the finish line.  Great job, Laura!!

This race will DEFINITELY be on the calendar for next year solely based on their serious spread of post-race food:  Fruit & yogurt parfaits, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast pizza, full catered BBQ (uh, not breakfast?), cornbread, muffins, bagels, apples, bananas, coffee, and probably more.

And with that, SB2014 has come to a close.
What’s a better selling point: cool race shirt or good post-race celebration?
Favorite children’s book/series?

A few photobombs

Today was a b-e-a-utiful day!  I spent the entire day inside–totally by choice because the only thing on my agenda was a haircut at 2:15pm–but I made a ton of progress on the school project I was working on.

It would have been a fabulous day for a run, but I’m running long tomorrow, so I honored my usual Restday Friday.  In fact, I embraced the rest day from a horizontal position on the floor with a circle of research articles around me.  My largest energy expenditure all morning was crawling to a wall outlet to plug in my computer.

Later that afternoon when my brother Greg came home for his spring break (he has next week off), I exclaimed, “Greg, it’s sooooo nice out!” and then remembered that the only time I was outside was walking from my car to the hair cut place, but Greg assured me that it was.

We celebrated his arrival by going to Skyline for dinner.  No shame that this was my second Skyline meal this week, and only a small amount of shame for taking selfies with Greg and the hot sauce.

Skyline gives you little dishes of Oyster crackers, and the best is when the Oyster cracker is “puffy” and you fill it with hot sauce.  It’s kind of like a spicy Gusher, and it’s awesome.

We went out for celebratory ice cream after dinner and my dad tried to get in on the fun:

It’s kind of a trend.

Who is your family photo bomber?
Gushers, fruit roll ups, or fruit snacks?

Another round of Mizunos!

First day of spring, you are LONG OVERDUE.

I celebrated this morning with a tempo run in the sun.  And in the wind, but whatever.  I tried to find the flattest route possible, but after living in pancake Indiana for the past year and a half, I had forgotten how hilly the roads around my house are.  The flattest place I could think of was a nearby neighborhood loop that I shockingly discovered was a series of rolling hills. (who put those hills there??)  Seven miles total with the middle four at 7:50-8:10 pace.

And then my dad and I had a father-daughter afternoon at Costco and our local running store (food and running, our two favorites!), where I bought these shiny new kicks! (at the running store, not Costco)

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s.  They are so so pretty and kind of cartoon-like.
I’ve been in Mizunos for…this is the 8th pair that I can remember.  Mizuno, please call me if you need a spokeswoman.

After my new shoes photoshoot, I persuaded my dad to have a photoshoot with the award he got in the mail today–his USAT All-American Honors!  For those of us who aren’t triathlon savvy, All-American ranking is given to the top 10% in each age group who have completed at least 3 USAT-sanctioned triathlons (right Dad?).  Congrats, Dad! You rock!


I made dinner for my fam in the typical Karen & Ryan fashion: dump a bunch of healthy things in a pan and stir them together.  Tonight it was a red, yellow, & orange pepper, onion & garlic, quinoa, and black beans.  I also microwaved frozen corn but forgot about it and found it in the microwave at 9:30pm.  It was definitely thawed.

Did you do anything outside today?

home, some running, and a Greek wrap

I left for the great state of Ohio on Tuesday morning after bidding farewell to Ryan, packing up, and going for a quick run.

I ran tempo mile repeats (i.e. the “I don’t want to get re-injured” speed plan).  2 mile warm up, 3 x 1 mile @ 7:18-7:20 pace, 1.5 mile cool down.  I ran the miles at a hard effort but not all-out, and I split the last repeat into two half-miles.  Big improvement from what I’ve been doing lately, and a great run!

Then I loaded my car with everything and anything I might need for a few days and hit the road.  I promised myself a Greek wrap from the Skyline Chili drive-thru when I got close to home, and that was all the motivation I needed to power through the drive.

99.9% of Cincinnati goes to Skyline for Cincinnati Chili over spaghetti and topped with a mass amount of cheese…

and 0.1% of the population is okay with being shunned by its city for choosing the Greek wrap.  I am pretty sure that some of the workers don’t even know that this item exists.IMAG0830

I spent most of my first full day home being a studentDSCN1655

and rolling out my ultra tight glute muscles with this little ball of pain

and completing a garage circuit workout.
7 rounds of:
20 squats
10 push ups
10 back lunges
10 side lunges
10 side plank dips
10 v-ups
10 bridges
10 burpees
Run down the street and back.

It was pretty dreary and sprinkly out, but the rain felt good on the little run segments.  I love (er, can tolerate) doing circuit workouts in my garage at home on non-run days, and I prefer them to going to the gym or Y.  Tomorrow is a run day, and then I’ll rest up for this weekend’s *hopeful* 20 miles!

Favorite kind of cheese?