Monday, December 15, 2014

Between My 50K and My Marathon

Homemade Running Fuel
After running a 50K trail race 3 weeks ago, I didn't run for 11 days but I did exercise. I hiked and biked at the Grand Canyon and Big Bend National Park. Then I added in some running.

Two Weeks Post-50K: 2 days of running, longest run: 7, 12.5 miles total
Three Weeks Post-50K: 3 days of running, longest run: 10, 20 miles total
Four Weeks Post-50K: (What I Hope to Do) 5 days of running, longest run: 13 (Today!)

Today I brought a new running fuel with me: Homemade Maple Apricot Running Fuel (6 apricot halves, 2 Tb. maple syrup, salt, water), which is equivalent to 2 gels in calories and carbs. Filter out the bits of apricot and add extra water so that you don't have to stop for it. I liked the taste and it kept me going for a progression run where you gradually increase your speed.

Last week, I added in more days of strength-training/core/balance exercises than my usual 3 times a week. I thought I'd try doing them 6-7 times a week from now on.

Exercise Links for Runners 

Coach Jay: Myrtl Routine

10 Minute Mobility Routine (Competitor)

12 Exercises from Magill's Build Your Running Body Book 

Upcoming Races: There are less than 9 weeks until the Love. Run. Half Marathon on trails and less than 11 weeks until The Woodlands Marathon!

How about you? Have you decided to do anything new that will make you a better runner? Have you made your own sports drink before?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Your Race Recaps! 12/13

Here are 9 new race reports. There are first-timers, first-placers and PRs, too!

Half Marathons

Arkansas Runner Mom blogger, Tia, placed 3rd female overall with a time of 1:27 at the St. Jude Half Marathon (TN)!

Runs With Pugs blogger, Jen, got her PR at the Space Coast Half Marathon (FL) with a 2:38 finish!


Dream Big Runner blogger, Christine, ran the VA Blue and Gray Half Marathon in 2:03, beating last year's time!

Glitter and Dust blogger, Kristin, completed the California International Marathon in 3:26!


Adventures in Running blogger, Stephanie Howe, came in 2nd place at the North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge (CA) with a time of 7:28! She took in about 200 calories an hour using Clif products and Coke.

Running with Haynes blogger, Leah, won the TARC Fells 32 Mile Trail Race (MA) in 7:20!

See Sarah Run SF blogger, Sarah, completed her first 50 mile race in sub-10 hours at the North Face Endurance Challenge (CA)!

Single Tracked Mind blogger, Taylor, completed the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K (CA) in 7:22!

Yo Momma Runs blogger completed the Tranquility 50K (AL) in 6:02 and was the first female finisher!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Big Bend Nat'l Park Run & Hike!

Last stop: Big Bend National Park in Texas! It was our last stop of our vacation from Texas to the Grand Canyon, to California, to the Tucson, Arizona, area and back home. Our first hike was to the Balanced Rock and it was my favorite of all of our Big Bend hikes.  

Lifting Weights on Vacation!
Twelve days after running the 50K trail race, I went for my first post-race run and saw my first roadrunner. I did some hill work through a tunnel while looking out for mountain lions. I saw the sun rise over the mountains and ran to the Rio Grande River, which separates the U.S. and Mexico.

Hill Work: Tunnel Run (1800-2100' elevation)

The next day, I went for another run from our site at the Rio Grande RV Campground to the tunnel again. I ran with a walkie-talkie (no phone service) in case of emergency. While I was running, my husband asked me if I had heard the coyotes that he had heard from inside the RV. I did! I never saw them, but while we were driving we saw lots of deer and a javelina, too.

The View from the US to Mexico: Santa Elena Canyon at the Rio Grande River

There isn't much internet access in the park, but I was busy lifting boulders, hiking, running and driving anyway. It's a huge park and the maximum speed limit is only 45mph. That makes for some long drives!

What's the most frightening animal you've seen while running? I've seen gators, but snakes scare me more. I don't want to accidentally step on one and have it strike back. 

Where's your favorite place to vacation? Hard choice for me, but a couple of states that I like the best are Utah and Colorado.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Arizona: Catalina State Park

Riding in the Desert
After taking a vacation to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving, my husband and I drove our RV to California to visit family and then headed back home to Texas. On the way home, we stayed at Catalina State Park at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Section B of the camp ground has large, clean restrooms with hot showers - important when there isn't reliable hot water in your RV - something we hope to fix soon!

The 50 Year Trail is Rocky

I ran a 50K trail race on Nov.22 so I took a short break from running, but I did ride my bike and hike only a few days after racing. We hiked the Romero Trail where we saw the ruins of an Indian village. Also, we biked on the 50 Year Trail where I fell a couple of times going downhill. At least I never landed in the cactus and I'd still be able to run in a few days like I had planned.

The Mountain View at the Catalina State Park Campground (Site B-12)

Traveling in our new RV was fun, but not without its little problems like a few cold showers and waiting for 5 hours to replace a broken tire valve. Those little things didn't make much of a difference in our fun adventure, though. Just look at those mountain views from our campsite where we roasted marshmallows after our bike ride!

Do you like the desert? I liked visiting the desert more than I thought I would - so much to see and weather that was nice enough for shorts in December.

What's your favorite camp food? New for me: I made a banana boat - a foil-wrapped banana topped with small marshmallows and chocolate chips and melted.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Airia One Running Shoe Review

Airia shoes emailed me and asked if I'd like to review their running shoes. Recently, my shoes arrived on my door step - all of the way from Sweden. Aria says that their shoes will make you run faster, which I was looking forward to testing.

Three major differences in the Airia One shoes from other running shoes that I've worn:
  1. The front of the shoe bends upward, which didn't seem to bother me.
  2. The toe box is too wide for my foot. 
  3. Under the ball of my foot, I feel an uncomfortable bump in the shoe sole. Unfortunately, this is the main reason that kept me from giving these shoes a thumbs up.
Three types of runners who might like to try Airia One shoes:
  1. Runners who like to try new types of shoes.
  2. One review that I found stated that these shoes might be good for runners with plantar fasciitis
  3. Runners who don't have an upcoming race and can take a risk on a new type of running shoe. I have a half marathon and a marathon that I'm training for now.
Questions: Have you tried any unique running shoes lately? Would you want to? Have you been given the chance to try a new product because you're a blogger, too?