Sunday, April 13, 2014

50K vs. Marathon Training - 3 Differences

Bluebonnets Seen On My Run

Training for a 50K trail race, which is about 31 miles long, hasn't been much different from training for a road marathon for me. The main differences have been:

  • More back-to-back runs that are longer than usual: for example, I ran 18 miles and the next day I ran 15 miles.
  • I'm doing long runs more often.
  • I'm training on more trails.

My back-to-backs and long runs so far:

8 weeks out from 50K: 16/10 (I ran 16 miles one day and the next day I ran 10 miles)
7 weeks out:18/10
6 weeks out: 20
5 weeks out: 22/10
4 weeks out: 18/15

This Week's 50K Race Training 

4/7- Core exercises, 10 mile run w/middle miles faster
4/8- Exercise TV Target Tone  (1st half: arms, balance), 15 mile bike ride, 3 mile run
4/9- Rest
4/10- 18 mile run: hills, last 10 miles on trails, 3 servings lemon Tailwind
4/11- Exercise TV Target Tone  (2nd half: arms, abs), 15 mile run: last 8 miles on trails, tangerine Powerbar gel
4/12- Push-ups, Planks, Wall-sits, Single leg stance squat and reach (video), 6 mile run w/strides
4/13- Myrtl Video (hips), 8 mile run: (1 mi., .75. mi., .50 mi.) x 2

Totals This Week

Run- 60 miles (highest this year!)
Bike- 15 miles
Strength Train/Core- 5 short sessions
Nature- armadillo, turtles, rabbits (no snakes this week!)

How It's Going

I'm happy with how training is going - no major problems and niggles go away quickly so I feel good about the upcoming race, In fact, I'm looking forward to running two races: a 25K trail race in about 2 weeks and then the 50K trail race in about 4 weeks. Fun stuff!

Monday, April 7, 2014

50K Training, Snakes & I Won a Giveaway!


50K Training Links

I'm training for a 50K, which takes place in less than 5 weeks. Here are some sites that have been helpful for making up my own training plan.  Thanks to Running on E for the idea of posting info about my training plan!

50K Training Plan Based on Your Race Date
UltraLadies 50K Plan
Running Competitor: Training for Your First 50K

Running in Texas and Snakes

I nearly stepped on a venomous copperhead snake when I was running last week and the next day, I saw a dead baby copperhead. (Thanks to Turkey Runner for letting me know that the babies can be more venomous!) After that, my husband told me about the four common Texas venomous snakes so I'll be better at identifying them. (Here's a video of my husband holding a snake we found at one of our previous homes.) 

Just learning a little bit about snakes makes me feel better about venturing into the woods for a run. Thanks for sharing about the animals you see on your runs in the comments in my last post! It was fun to read about what you see. 

Summary of This Week's 50K Training

3/31- 1 hour walk with my husband and our dog
4/1Core Circuit Video (Runner Dude),10 mile run (worked on speed today), 1 hour walk 
4/2- bike 1 hour
4/322 mile run with 11 trail miles 
4/417 Free Weight Exercises for Toned Arms (Skinny Mom)10 mile run with hills
4/5- Abs Video (C Tolle Run)5 mile run with sprintsbike 30 minutes, 25 minute walk 
4/6- Arms workout w/weights and 8 mile run, followed by one of the many Cascadian Farm granola bars I won from Happy Being Healthy. Thanks, Melanie! (CF sent me a personal note with the granola bars and some other fun goodies. I especially like the peanut butter chocolate chip bars.)

Totals
Run- 55 miles
Bike- 1 hour and 30 minutes
Strength Train/Core- 4 sessions
Nature- 2 copperhead snakes (1 dead), 2 deer, 2 bald eagles (two of each, it's like Noah's Ark!)

My apologies to all of you who were scared by the snake photo in my last post! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wild Animals On My 22 Mile Run


Since I'm training for a 50K trail race, I decided I'd try for 22 miles today. After running 11 miles on the asphalt trail, I ran into the woods for some trail training. I saw two deer run away from me.

Not long after that, I spotted a snake in my path. I backed up and took some pictures that you can see up above. The trail was covered with leaves and branches that made it hard to see snakes so I ran to another section of the woods to finish running and I felt like a trail loser! After the run, thanks to Google research and my husband, I realized that it was a venomous copperhead snake. I guess it wasn't such a bad idea to pick a new place to run. That's because in the new trail section, there weren't as many fallen leaves on the dirt road so it was easier to look for snakes.

It was hillier there, but hills are good, right?! It was about 77 degrees by then and when the sun came out, I felt like I was in the desert. Fortunately, the clouds came back and I felt better or as good as you can feel after running 18 miles and feel like you should have brought more gels and carried a water bottle. (I used the park water fountain.)

I took Hammer gels at miles 5, 11 and 17 because they might have those at the upcoming race I'm training for and because I'm afraid of running out of the Tailwind powder that worked so well last week. The flavors tasted good: apple cinnamon, huckleberry and raspberry, but the trails slowed me down and I should have had at least one more gel.

In my last mile, I spotted a bald eagle land in a tree so I took that opportunity to enjoy the view. I was happy to have an excuse to stop. I was worn out, but I knew I'd be glad I completed the run so I picked up my dog at home and we finished my 22 miler together.

After the run, I drank a smoothie. To make a smoothie that's almost like a chocolate shake, I blended a frozen banana, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder and enough milk to get the consistency that I wanted.

After running a fairly easy 20 miler last week, today's run taught me how much tougher running 2 more miles can be when it's warm and I don't have enough fuel. Now it seems like doing another long run (22 or 24 miles) before the 50K race is even more important just to show myself that I can do it without stopping to stare at snakes and bald eagles.

Gear

  • Brooks Ravenna shoes
  • Thorlo Experia socks
  • Pearl Izumi shorts
  • Target sleeveless tank top
  • Spibelt

Monday, March 31, 2014

50K Training Week Thru March 30


My Next Race - My 1st 50K!
Hog's Hunt 50K Trail Race (Texas) May 10 (less than 6 weeks)

When I stand at the starting line of my next 50K, it will be my second time to be there. In 2012, I made it halfway through the race after hurting my ankle on a tree root. (Here's the recap.) Even though it was a DNF (my only one so far, so yay!), I feel more confident about trying a 50K now that I have some experience with that race. Hopefully, that will pay off on race morning!

Exercise Videos I Used This Week

Core H Routine: Coach Jay
Myrtl Routine: Coach Jay
Single Leg Exercise: Sally McRae

Post-run Snacks
For chocolate milk, I sometimes I like to use homemade chocolate syrup. The recipe at Comfort of Cooking is good and easy, too. You heat up and stir together 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. vanilla. After being refrigerated, it thickens. Sometimes I add chia seeds to my chocolate milk, but just some milk and a banana makes a good snack, too.

Summary of This Week's Training

3/24- strength training
3/25- 20 mile run (2nd half faster, some trails)
3/26- 4 mile run (shin hurts so I didn't run my planned 10), strength training
3/27- strength training, cycling 1 hour 21 minutes followed by a 5 mile run (shin is fine!)
3/28- 8 mile run
3/29- 10 mile run with 6 miles on trails. Running trails makes the time go by faster!
3/30- 8 mile run, strength training

Totals
Run- 55 miles
Bike- 1 hour and 21 minutes
Strength Train- 4 sessions
Nature: coyote, 5 deer, spring flowers including the Texas state flower: bluebonnets

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My 20 Mile Run


My First 20 Miler of the Season
I averaged 10:05/mile and the second half was the fastest part of my run. I ventured into the woods a little here and there, but I was on an asphalt road in the park most of the time because I can run faster there and I need to work on my speed. Since I'd like to run a 50K trail race on May 10, running through the woods is good training, though.

Wild Animals
When I was running through the woods, I scared a deer so I started calling out, "Running through!" Then I saw a coyote - my first I've ever seen at the park! And then I saw a great heron with a big fish hanging out of its mouth. It flew away with the fish hanging out of its mouth the whole time, which looked kind of funny.

Zoe, the Weimaraner
In the top photo, my dog is on one of the trails through the woods. She's got her eye out for deer or maybe even a coyote!



Fuel During the Run
Now I've used Tailwind Nutrition on a 16, 18 and 20 mile run. This time, I mixed Tailwind Nutrition Raspberry Buzz (2 scoops) and Unflavored (1 scoop) for 300 calories and 75 carbs total in my 24 ounce bottle. I liked this combination, but in a race I might only use the raspberry flavor because it's caffeinated. The raspberry is fruity and a little salty. The unflavored has a bit of taste to it, but it's hard for me to pinpoint what it tastes like. They were both good. Together, the taste was a mild, fruity taste. Starting at mile 3, I drank a little every mile. I felt good for the whole run!