Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rocky 50K Trail Race in 4 Weeks!

People have been asking me if I'm racing in the Houston Marathon tomorrow since I live close to Houston. I've done Houston and it's fun, but instead of the marathon I signed up for the Rocky 50K trail race! It's held at Huntsville State Park and only about an hour away from home. This will be my 4th 50K race. Here's how I'm getting ready to race.

Train in All Kinds of Weather 

Training in all kinds of weather is great preparation for race day. Last Saturday, it took forever to get ready to run because layering clothes for a 21 degrees run takes time. Then on Thursday, I wore shorts because it was 75 degrees F. when I did my long run.

Fuel for the Long Run

My long run was a 16 miler. For breakfast, I had white rice with a scrambled egg mixed into it, a banana and coffee. During my run, I had a GU gel nearly every 30 minutes starting 30 minutes after I started for a total of 4 gels and a few pretzels, too. That may sound like a lot of gels for a training run, but I want my stomach to get used to taking in plenty of food. That might help me during races.

Tips for Finishing a Long Run

After 3 warm-up miles, I kept running 2 miles hard and 1 mile at an easy pace until I was done. Doing that made the run seem like it went faster. The run took me about 3 hours and I ran at an average of about 11 minute miles. I ran in the woods on a long hill during most of the easy paced miles for a change of scenery from the park loops I normally did. I really wanted to quit in the last 1.5 miles. I think it was the heat. It gets to me after awhile. Listening to music instead of my audio book helped.

How I Exercised this Week

I ran 50 miles and continued my strength training and riding. After most runs/rides, I went on a walk with my dog, too. 

  • Sunday - 7 mile run
  • Monday - 10 mile run, strength-training 
  • Tuesday - 7 mile run with negative splits 
  • Wednesday - 1 hour bike ride, strength-training 
  • Thursday - 16 mile run (I like my Garmin Forerunner 35 & Mizuno Wave Kazan shoes)
  • Friday - 10 mile run with some puddle stomping with my husband, strength-training
  • Saturday - 1 hour bike ride, saw an armadillo and a deer!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Taking Pics: Joy in the Ordinary

Sometimes I forget to find joy in the ordinary. That's where my new challenge comes in. 

My New 2017 Challenge: Take a Photo a Day 

On New Year's Day, I decided that I wanted to take a picture every day this year so I started an Instagram account and, so far, I've posted a picture of the apple crisp I baked today, my very patient Weimaraner, Zoe, and my husband working on a drone job. (I'm a spotter, making sure the sky is clear.) 

Some days are noticeably special (like Zoe's 12th birthday on New Year's Day), but most days are those good ordinary days that so much of life is made up of. This daily picture goal makes every day a daily treasure hunt.

Two Familiar Challenges: Run 2,017 Miles & Read 100 Books

I've done running and reading challenges before and I want to keep them up this year. I'd like to run 2,017 miles this year (last week's post on that) and I want to read or listen to 100 books. I listen to books while I run so this is a two-in-one goal. The first book that I read this year is a good one: Presence by Amy Cuddy. (You can read my GoodReads book reviews here.)

How's it Going? 

So far, I have finished two books, run 43 miles (I need to average 39 miles/week) and put a photo up on Instagram every day. The top photo for this post is a collage of photos that I shared this week on Instagram.

Here's How I Exercised This Week

  • Monday - 9 mile runstrength-training 30 min.
  • Tuesday - 7 mile run
  • Wednesday - rest
  • Thursday - 14 mile run in my shorts using Glukos tablets (tastes like Smarties!), strength-training 20 min.
  • Friday - 9 mile run (colder today)
  • Saturday - planks, 4.5 mile run: even colder today at 21 F (-6 C), I had double layers on most of me and there was ice on the trail 

Finding joy in the ordinary - it's a great way to start the new year!  

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2,210 Miles & 4 Races in 2016

Run This Year

2,016 miles - that was my distance running goal for 2016. When I started training for this year's ultras, hitting the weekly goal just happened. I averaged 42 miles a week and I ran 2,210 miles in 2016.

50K Race Prep: So many gels!

4 Races in 2016 from a 25K to a 50 Mile Race

I ran in four races this year, the shortest and longest races were held close to home at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas (top picture).

The Woodlands is even closer to home and this year I was able to start up close to the front just behind the pros in the marathon because I went to a pre-race class.

When I found out that we were driving to California last November, I registered for a race that would be right on the way - a 50K in Arizona.

12/10/16 Brazos Bend 50 Mile Trail Race in Texas; Time: 9:55:03; My 2nd 50 mile race!
11/12/16 Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Arizona; Time: 7:52:56; My 3rd 50K!
4/16/16 Brazos Bend 25K Trail Race in Texas; Time: 2:30; 3rd in my age group!
3/5/16 The Woodlands Marathon in Texas, Time: 4:15; My 18th marathon!

You can click the links to read my recaps. Plus, you can find me on Strava.

The Scenic Park Where I Ran Most of the 2,210 Miles 

2017 Running Goals

To run 2,017 in 2017, I'll need to run about:
  • 5.5 miles a day or
  • 39 miles a week.
Hopefully, I'll be able to run 2,017 miles this next year and find a race or two to run, too. Do you have any special running goals for 2017? Whatever they may be, I hope you have fun completing them!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Peppermint or Pumpkin, Hot or Cold!

It's been both cold and warm in southeast Texas lately - perfect for trying new flavored tea and coffee recipes, both hot and iced. This week, I've run when it was a chilly 30 and a warmish 70 like today when I ran my longest run (9 miles) since my 50 mile race two weeks ago.

Hot or Iced Peppermint Recipes

If you use the microwave like I did with all of my hot drinks, you'll have a drink faster than it would take for you to go through a drive-through.

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate warmed me up after I ran 6 miles, walked Zoe, stretched and foam rolled yesterday.

Iced Peppermint Mocha is what I made with some leftover coffee. Just add chocolate syrup and peppermint extract to your coffee. No recipe needed.

Pumpkin Tea and Pumpkin Coffee Recipes

You might have added pumpkin to your yogurt or oatmeal before, but have you ever added it to your tea or coffee?

Pumpkin Chai (pictured) I added in a caramel because my mother-in-law gave us 3 pounds of Dewar's candy. My best estimate: 3 pounds of candy = 3,333 miles of running, all uphill.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Click for the recipe or make it my way and mix in pumpkin, sugar, milk, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spices into your coffee. 

Number of miles I ran each day this week: 5, 5, 6, 0, 6, 9

I hope that you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year while sipping your favorite flavor of coffee or tea!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ultrarunning and Leaning to One Side

Have you ever gone for a run and felt your body leaning to one side? During the Brazos Bend 50 Mile raceI had been leaning to the left since mile 30 or so. It didn't hurt, but the farther I ran the more I had to work to keep from leaning left. 

After I finished the race after 9 hours and 55 minutes of running, I was given a chair to rest in and then the race doctor walked with me to my car. By then, I was hardly leaning to one side and I felt normal. When I told him that I often lean left in the later miles of ultras, he said that if I always lean towards the left, I could try a hip stretch to prevent it and that I might be over-compensating for a problem in my lower back/right side. 

My 50 Mile Goals 
  • I will start at an easy pace.
  • When something goes wrong, work through it!
  • There's no giving up! 
All accomplished on race day, 12/10/16!

How I Exercised Last Week 

After completing the Brazos Bend 50 Mile race on Saturday, I eased back into running with 12 miles of running. Running helped to reduce the post-race soreness faster. Besides, it was fun to be running again.

  • Monday - walked Zoe, my Weimaraner
  • Tuesday - 2 mile run, strength-training 30 min.
  • Wednesday - 3 mile run
  • Thursday - 20 minute ride, strength-training 30 min.: arms 
  • Friday - 3 mile run
  • Saturday - 4 mile run, strength-training 30 min.: arms

I'm thankful...
  • to my husband for taking a picture of me modeling the hip stretch that the dr. advised.
  • for the park behind my house where I run (sometimes with my husband and Zoe).
  • that my body is recovering well from my 50 mile trail ultra. 
I'd love to hear about you...

Have you run or ever thought about running an ultra (any distance longer than a marathon)?
Do you have any new running goals for 2017? Or for the end of 2016? 
What are you thankful for this week?

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