Saturday, April 16, 2016

25K Brazos Bend Trail Race Report

What a great race day! The race started with high-fives from Rob Goyen, the race director, and ended with a hug from one of the other runners after I thanked him for helping me to run fast. He ran just ahead of me for miles and I tried to keep up with him. I only passed him because he stopped at an aid station.

Getting There: Easy drive! I live about an hour and a half away from Brazos Bend State Park, which is south of Houston.

Packet Pick-up: The Brazos Bend 50 mile, 50k, 25K and 10K had about 850 participants (a small race compared to many I've run) so packet pick-up on the morning of the race was fast. Rachel Goyen held my race shirt for me until after the race because I was afraid that there wasn't enough time for me to take the shirt back to my car before the race. Nice!

Weather: warm, windy, humid

Course: well-marked, flat 14.9 miles with a few rocky trails

Fuel Pre-race: waffles w/PB and syrup, banana, Gatorade at home, banana bread later (good thing I brought it for a snack to eat after the race!)

Race Director's Pre-race Talk

Fuel During the Race: I brought apple Gatorade and a Root Beer GU gel. From the aid stations, I had Coke, the yummiest lemon cake and Fig Newton cookies. Have you ever stuffed your mouth with two of those at once? Don't try this at home.

Fuel Post-race: It might be easier to write what I did not eat! There was lots to choose from at the aid station (AS) at the finish. I had a Gatorade slush (nice and cold!), Fig Newtons, peanut M&M's, a PB & J sandwich, grape soda, pickles and pretzels (a guy dressed like Waldo reminded me to take in some salt. I hate it when my feet cramp while I'm driving home from a race. No cramps today. Thanks, Waldo!) In the car, I drank the chocolate milk that I had brought because, you know, I hadn't had enough to eat yet.

Gear: Since my Garmin battery broke on Christmas morning (so sad), I've been using my Strava app to record runs. Worked fine today except that everyone around me had to hear my splits... My earbuds recently broke. Everything's breaking! New earbuds arrive today.

How many gators did I see? I saw one alligator after someone yelled out that he was in the water beside the trail. I would have missed it if she hadn't called out and I would have been so disappointed.

Later, the 50K winner, Cal, tweeted that he saw 2 gators and one snake. Score! After I saw my first gator, I looked and looked for another - nada! (Check out Cal's Twitter page for running inspiration!)

My Finish: I came in 3rd for female masters runners with a time of 2:30. I forgot to check to see if I placed before I left the park so I don't know if I won anything. That's okay, though, I'm just a little bit happy to have placed. Update: only awards given to the top 2, which makes me glad. I didn't miss anything!

This was my third race at the Brazos Bend State Park south of Houston. Here are my race reports from those races:

4/25/15 50 Mile Race Report
4/27/14 25K Race Report

You just can't beat running a race in the woods (and not getting lost) with friendly people while stuffing your face with cookies and counting gators!

Update: The top photo shows two other 25K runners, 79 year old Zhen Lui and his son. I want to be running when I'm 79!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

2016 Running Goal & Vegies

Have you ever eaten roasted cauliflower? I topped my salad from Mod Pizza with cauliflower and so much more. At Mod Pizza, you go through a line and they make your salad or your pizza right before your eyes. My salad with lots of toppings only cost $4.87 and it was delicious, along with our pizza.

Weekly Recap

Friday: 45 min. ride
Saturday: 8 mile run, arms: weights (video)
Sunday: 45 min. ride, 6 mile run (6x800m), few minutes of body-weight cardio Fitness Blender workout video for people who get bored easily
Monday: 5 mile run (10 short hills and 5 stair flights), balance/core exercises
Tuesday: Upper Body Toning w/Weights (video)
Wednesday: 6 miles, core workout
Thursday: 10 minute circuit strength workout, 15 mile run with last couple of miles at harder effort (pre-run: waffles and banana, during run: watered down juice): earphones died, but nature sounds are nice!

Totals: 40 miles of running, 2 rides and 6 other workouts

What's your favorite roasted vegetable? Here's a roasted vegetable post with helpful cooking times. After my yummy salad, I can't wait to buy and roast some cauliflower at home.

What is one of your goals for running in 2016? I ended the week with 520 miles of running in 2016. I'm on track for 2,016 miles in 2016!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Weekend: Running, Riding & a Drone

I've got running, riding and a drone video to share and a weekly recap of exercises, too.

Last Saturday, there was a 5K race at the park where I do most of my running, riding and walking. I showed up with my bike just as the race was starting and some of the participants offered me money for my bike - wanting to cross the finish line sooner!

My husband, who has a drone business, Flying Phantoms, brought his drone and made this Resurrection 5K video for the church putting on the race. My favorite parts of the video are the bird's eye views of the park and the people waving at the drone.

I rode my bike and then I ran 6 miles. My legs felt sluggish when I tried to speed up after riding and running a warm-up mile, but the race was a good distraction. There were lots of high-fives and cheers all around. I finished up my workout morning with a walk with a friend and both of our dogs.

On Easter morning, after my bike ride and core workout, I went to the park. It was such a contrast from the day before - quiet. That was good, though. It made it easier to run multiple times around a small lake (8 x 400 meters). At first, eight seemed like too many, but once I had finished four, I knew I'd complete the eight I had planned to do. And that wrapped up my weekend workouts!

Weekly Recap

Thursday: 4 mile run w/6 1-min hills (more hill workouts), full body workout
Friday: 3 mile run w/4 sprints
Saturday: 35 min. ride, 6 mile run, arms: weights (video)
Sunday: 45 min. ride, 5 mile run (8x400m), core workout
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run (8 short hills and 4 stair flights), full body and back workout
Wednesday: 12 miles with last 5 miles the fastest (longest run since The Woodlands Marathon 4 weeks ago), core workout

Totals: 35 miles of running, 2 rides and 5 other workouts

I hope you got in some good workouts this week, too!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

For Runners: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated

Maybe you've felt a little blah about running lately. If so, you might need some running motivation. Read on!

If You've Lost Your Running Motivation...  

Register for a race! I'm registered to run the local Brazos Bend 25K trail race (15.8 miles) on April 16. Last year, I ran the 50 mile race and the year before I ran the 25K race. I'm ready to count up the alligators I see during the race. This is southeast Texas!

Buy new running gear! I visited REI to try on some shoes, but I didn't find any that I liked better than the ones I've worn before so I'll probably buy the next pair from an online store. Running Warehouse is one of my favorite online stores. Use the code "GottaRunNow" to save 10% there.

Read a running book or a blog! I wrote a post about Meb for Mortals, a book that inspires me. Check out my sidebar for lots of fun blogs to read.

Run with someone new! I've belonged to a couple of different running groups. That's always a great way to meet new running friends.

Run somewhere new! You don't have to go on vacation - just look for a new route in your local area.

Weekly Recap

Thursday: 5 mile run w/5 short hills (more hill workouts)
Friday: 4 mile run
Saturday: 6 mile run, core workout
Sunday: 5 mile run, weights: arms
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run, 35 min. ride, weights: arms
Wednesday:  9 miles (longest run since The Woodlands Marathon 3 weeks ago)

Totals: 34 miles of running, 1 ride and 3 other workouts

What keeps you running?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

5 Ways to Recover After a Long Race

After running The Woodlands Marathon on March 5, I was excited to get back to running but I knew that my body needed some rest. Here's what I did on the days following the marathon.

  • Walked my dog, Zoe, and bird-watched.

  • Spotted the first Bluebonnet of the season in the park during an easy run.
  • Went on easy-paced bike rides while my husband videoed me with his drone.
  • Napped like athlete Mirinda Carfrae - no 2 hour naps for me, though!

  • Ate whatever I wanted like tart cherries for recovery (cherry smoothie recipe) and pecan pie - I won a whole pie on Pi Day, on 3/14, for memorizing the first 25 numbers of pi. It made a great topping on my oatmeal. It's healthier that way, right?!
How do you recover after a race?

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