Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Mental Tips for Racing

I'll get to the tips in a second, but first things first... Follow Sprinkles Cupcakes on Twitter so you'll get BOGO deals. (If you don't live near one, I'm sorry!) I paced myself and ate my cupcake over two days - such pacing self-control. If only I'd do that on race day when I usually start marathons too fast.

Now, onto the running tips... Last night, I attended a talk on the psychology of running in The Woodlands. It took me forever to get there even though it's normally only about 20 minutes away because of a highway accident, but I'm glad I went. Adrienne Langlier, a sports psychologist with a blog you'll want to follow, gave helpful tips for racing.

Psychology of Running Talk Held in The Woodlands

5 Mental Tips for Races

  1. Before race day, think about your race routines that include what you'll want to and not want to focus on. Stay positive.
  2. Don't hit the wall on race day by practicing relaxation on long training runs. Work through your body and make sure your shoulders and your back are relaxed.
  3. When you feel anxious, remember that some anxiety is actually good. When you're anxious, try this deep breathing exercise: inhale for a count of 4, hold breath for 7 and inhale for 8. (Or start with the easier 3, 3, 6  that I found mentioned here.)
  4. Your race will feel like it's going by faster if you think about it in smaller chunks like by a mile or two instead of a long 26 plus miles.
  5. Make sure that your inner dialogue is positive: I'm doing great, I'm strong, I'm prepared!

Last night, I signed up for my 18th marathon, The Woodlands Marathon, which takes place north of Houston on March 5. I ran 45 miles this week with an 18 miler even before signing up knowing that I'd want to race in the near future. Now I can hardly wait for race day!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

3 Things to Help Fuel Your Run

Here are three new things I learned about this week.
  1. GU's new 15 serving gel pack would be handy if you don't want to carry 15 packets on a trail run or a bike ride.
  2. Glukos is a new gel/powder with the main ingredient being glucose. They say it will absorb immediately into your body.
  3. Read the Racing Weight Blog to get some new ideas for what to eat from endurance athletes. 
Weekly Recap (2/1 - 2/7)

Since I've been home here in Texas after my month long trip to California and Oregon, I've been doing some bird-watching. Lately, I've seen Egyptian Geese and a hawk visiting the lake area at the park where I run. I saw one bird swoop down, catch a fish in the lake and fly over the lake a few times with the fish.

Monday- Yay, it's a long run day! 18 miles took me 3 1/4 hours to run (10:50/mi ave.). I had a waffle and a small PB&J crepe sandwich a couple of hours before having some Generation UCan 30 minutes before the run. After running an hour, I drank more Gen UCan. Maybe I need some tips on how to use it, but I don't notice any benefit to using it over other foods/drinks. I also ate another PB&J crepe and pretzels during the run. After the run, I worked out on the park exercise equipment - just keeping my hard days hard.

Tuesday5 easy paced miles followed by the usual walk with my dog.

Watching Egyptian Geese

Wednesday- rest

Thursday- 5 miles running easy for 2 miles and the last 3 miles the fastest at about a 10:00, 9:30 and 9:50/mile average pace. Core WO today.

Friday12 mile (2 hour) run today! Pre-run food: like triathlete Gwen Jorgensen eats on most days, I ate oatmeal with lots of toppings. Mid-run, I felt like I was dragging so I ran home and grabbed a yogurt packet and a pop-tart. The second half of my run was faster than the first half. I did an abs/arms WO, too.

Saturday - Time for another 5 miles for a total of 45 this week! I'm happy to be on target for my goal of running 2,016 miles in 2016 (minimum 39 miles/week ave.).

Sunday-Yay, Sunday is a rest day!

Have a great week!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Snow, Books and Quartzite

We're home! I ran 31 miles so far this week, but not always when I wanted to run. One day, there wasn't time to run because we were traveling across the country in our RV from the West coast back to our home in Texas. Some things that kept me from running: not feeling safe where we were, icy and snowy roads in Ft. Stockton, Texas, and just being too tired from all day drives. When I got home and was rested, I was able to run 9 miles and then 14 miles today.

I listened to or read 9 books while we were gone this month on vacation. I often use Overdrive from my local library to read and listen to books. I recently finished listening to East to the Dawn: the Life of Amelia Earhart. I learned everything I could want to learn (and a little more!) about courageous Amelia while I ran in Oregon.

Seen on My Early Morning Run

We made our first visit to the annual Quartzite RV Show in Arizona. I enjoyed speaking with entrepreneurs and spokespeople about their RV businesses and seeing some RV's for sale, but one day was enough time there. Before spending the day at the Big Tent that is set up a lot like what you'd see at a fair, I ran up and down Main Street for 8 miles. I covered a lot of miles running and walking that day!

Too bad both my Garmin Forerunner and FitBit have both stopped working, but at least I can track my running using the MapMyRun app. I like the fact that the app lets me know when I've run another mile while I run and that it's free. I tried Strava to track runs, but the app didn't work well on my phone. What do you use to track your running?

Friday, January 22, 2016

18+ Miles in Newport Beach Area

I ran 18 miles yesterday, mostly at the beach, just after we arrived in Newport Beach, California. Feeling the warmth of the sun, after our chilly Oregon visit, was great and seeing the ocean and mansions on the beach was a fun change of scenery.

Newport Beach Dunes RV Park
When I completed the run at the RV park where we're staying, there was a colorful sunset. I quickly cleaned up because my husband found us some places to eat: Panini in Corona Del Mar and then Sprinkles for ice cream (for me) and a cupcake (for him).

Today, I ran 8 miles on nearby Balboa Island beside the water (photo above) which gives me 50 total miles for the week (about 1/2 of the miles in Oregon and 1/2 in California). I found some great places to run as we traveled this week!

Running Miles This Week:
9, 5, 10 (windy), 0, 18 (w/stairs, hills), 8 (w/sprints)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Running in Oregon

Yesterday, my husband and I continued our RV vacation. We saw huge Mt. Shasta when we drove into California from Oregon.

Phoenix, Oregon, Country Road

Before driving into California yesterday, I ran 10 miles around Phoenix, Oregon, early in the morning.

Wait! Phoenix is that way?!

I felt a little lost when I saw a sign that said Phoenix was in the opposite direction from the way that I was running so I pulled up a map on my phone. And then I missed a turn and ran 2 extra miles for a total of 10! Earlier this week, I ran 9 and 5 miles along Bear Creek. (That's the creek in the next photo.)

After the run, I treated myself to my first Dutch Bros. coffee after my 10 mile run. (The Dutch Bros. Co. started in nearby Grants Pass, Oregon.) On my walk back to the RV with my warm coffee in my cold hand, I saw a rainbow in the sky. It was a great morning!

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