Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gatorade Endurance

I ran 8.3 miles this morning. After running four miles, I had planned to come home for a drink, but not to race home. Unfortunately, I had to get home fast because of the new drink I tried, Gatorade Endurance (more sodium than the regular Gatorade). It tasted a little saltier (nothing to complain about) and I didn't think there was a problem until about 15 minutes after drinking it when I suddenly needed to use the restroom. Since the new drink is the only change today, I think that was the problem.

Why am I drinking Gatorade Endurance? That's what they offer at the Seattle marathon where I hope to beat my time of 3:54 (Houston marathon in January '08). I think it will be fastest to drink what they offer at the marathon rather than drink water and eat gels that I carry, which is what I'll do if I don't get used to the new drink. (For my local running friends, they give out Gatorade Endurance at the Houston marathon, too. See the sponsor page to read about it.) Over the next few months, I'll try to get used to Gatorade Endurance. Any advice for getting used to it?

Today's mile splits (average pace for each mile in minutes per mile) were: 9:40, 9:14, 9:09, 8:59 (racing home!), 9:17, 9:08, 9:03, 9:28, and an extra 1/3 of a mile at 9:23/mi. because I read my Garmin wrong. My average pace was 9:15/mi. It felt like 81 degrees when I finished.

Update: I don't think it was the Gatorade Endurance that caused my trouble after all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pizza Night

Here's the pizza I made tonight. I topped it with mozzarella and feta cheese, basil, tomatoes, chicken, olive oil and on part of it I also spread some pesto. (The piece covered with pesto was the best.)

I ran five "recovery" miles this morning. Tomorrow morning I hope to run eight miles before it gets too hot.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Forty-one Degrees is Best

What's the best temperature for running a marathon? According to one study, it's forty-one degrees. That's good news for me! That's about what it should be in Seattle when I run the marathon. (Click on my post title for today if you want to read Matt Fitzgerald's article on running marathons in cold weather.)

I ran eight miles on the treadmill this morning with some hills included in my run. I know I wrote that I wasn't going to do any hillwork this week, but I thought the hills would make the run on the treadmill more interesting. It's easy to get bored while running on the treadmill if you don't do some speedwork or hillwork.

After a warm-up, I added some easy hills (1.5-2.5 % incline) to my flat (1%) run for about three or four miles while keeping my pace steady. (I didn't run up hills the whole time. I took 1% incline breaks.) Then I increased my speed a little, but went back down to 1% incline, and ran a mile before I brought my pace back down for a cool-down.

Pre-run: English muffin with honey
Post-run: Half of a chicken sandwich and cole slaw (dinner leftovers)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Twelve Miles on Tuesday

Sunday and Monday I did a couple of short runs and Monday I completed a dumbbell workout, too. Since this is a recovery week, I'll be running fewer miles and skipping drills and hills.

Today was the day to do my long run for the week - twelve miles. After eating some banana bread, I ran for six miles and came home for two minutes to stretch and refill my fuel belt bottles with Gatorade. After that, I was off again for another six miles.

Drinking Gatorade worked well for me today. I drank at every two mile mark, but not all of the 6 oz. bottle. A little later, I finished the bottle. This way, I didn't feel too full from drinking too much all at once.

There was a strawberry smoothie (yogurt, strawberries, milk, flax seed, and wheat germ) waiting for me when I got home. I was afraid that I'd be sorry that I added the flax seed and wheat germ because of their texture, but they seemed like strawberry seeds and weren't a problem. A little later, I ate a big spoonful of peanut butter, too. I wanted to be sure to eat enough protein.

Here are my mile splits: 9:57, 9:45, 9:40, 9:35, 9:31, 9:25, 9:36, 9:28, 9:21, 9:18, 9:05, and 9:33. The average pace was 9:31/mile.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Marathon Party

Today I ran a little over five miles on flat land and I also ran for eight minutes up and down a steep parking garage. I was afraid I'd feel a little claustrophobic because I was in the covered parking garage today, but I didn't and it was a relief to be out of the sun.

I was a little tired after lunch so I took a nap and could hardly believe it when I woke up 2 1/2 hours later. I didn't know I was that tired!

My husband and I went to a friend's house for an Olympic marathon watching party. (Hi Pony & Faithy!) We had some of the best pizza I've ever had there. At our house, sometimes we get a little wild and add pineapple to our pepperoni and black olive pizza, but tonight I had chicken, basil and olive oil pizza. Really good!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Felt Like 8

I had a nice run today. Normally, I know how many miles I want to run before I go out for a run, but after running twenty miles on Wednesday, I waited to see how I felt today before making any plans. I finished running six miles and was starting to go inside my house, when I realized I felt good enough to run two more, so I did. I ran 8 miles today at an average 9:55/mile pace. It was nice to just run as many miles as I felt like running.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Ways to Make Your Twenty Mile Run Last Forever

I originally just wanted to title this blog "20 on the 20th", but that was before I ran twenty miles today.

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." - Frodo, quoting Bilbo in JRR Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring

1. Starting at mile 14, stop to walk at every mile. Every time you stop to walk, stop the Garmin. Stretch during those walk breaks.

2. Stop to change out of your sweaty socks and shoes at mile 12.

3. Since it's so warm (80 degrees), you'll run out of water sooner than expected and you'll feel like you're dying of thirst. This will slow you down. When you pass the only neighbor who is outside, don't beg for a drop of water from their garden hose because that's the neighbor who didn't speak to you (thanks, see ya' or anything - maybe - would have been nice) when you returned their dog, that jumped on you and then ran with you down the street and around the corner, and you're kind of afraid of him (the neighbor).

4. When you stop for water at mile 17, sit on the chair on your porch and watch the sweat puddle underneath your chair get bigger.

5. Go inside and make a glass of Gatorade (powder added to water). Go outside to drink it.

6. Since there's a thunderstorm now, go inside and set up the treadmill to finish the 2.69 miles you have left.

7. Answer the phone when it rings.

8. Go back to the treadmill and just stand there because your stomach feels a little sick.

9. Since you're stopped anyway, put some ice in the bathtub for your ice bath.

10. Put the treadmill on the slowest pace possible where you can still call it a run and not a walk.

I tried all ten of these steps today and they really do work. ; )

- Filed under the funny label because sometimes running 20 miles is funny.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Run Around the Lake & the Mall

When I stepped outside this morning, the humidity felt so heavy that I worried about running in it, but I had a great run today. My husband and I drove to the park and I ran 2 1/2 miles on the crushed granite path around the lake. The sun was shining and my face was pouring sweat, but the people I passed were smiling and I felt pretty good - running felt easy (9:22/mi).

Then we drove to a hill, which was a parking garage ramp at the mall. The clouds rolled in and it seemed cooler. I ran up and down the hill four times, running the last loop the fastest, I think (I didn't use my Garmin to keep track of my pace). It took six minutes. I actually had fun doing this hillwork.

To finish up, I ran up and down the white tile sidewalks (they felt kind of cushiony) in front of the stores at the mall. Looking in the stores, seeing the shoppers and smelling the food from the restaurants was a good distraction and before I knew it, I had run another mile (9:19/mi). What a fun run!

Later, I completed a half hour work-out with weight work, planks, push-ups, etc.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blueberry Cereal Dinner

I took a complete rest from hard exercise yesterday. It's hard to say if I'm better for it or not. Maybe it's not something you'd notice right away or maybe it's not really necessary for me.

I started my ten mile run a little late (7am) this morning - I wanted to wait until the fog lifted. I drank too many sweet drinks (Gatorade and Powerbar electrolyte powder you mix with water) and I felt way too full from mile 7 onward. I had to stop and walk a few times.

Seeing the numbers on my Garmin when I got home made me feel better, though. Here are my mile splits: 9:50, 9:39, 9:22, 9:12, 9:13, 9:12, 9:20, 9:24 (the last 6 miles average 9:17), 10:10, 10:39 with an average pace of 9:36/mi.

Last night, we had cereal for dinner - kind of unusual for us. Before our daughter went away to college, I usually had our dinners planned out a week ahead. Nowadays, it's not unusual to wait until my husband gets home from work to see what he feels like eating before I make something.

My husband had Cheerios and a banana, which is good, but I had one of my favorite cereal combinations. I warmed up some frozen blueberries and poured some vanilla yogurt, oats (uncooked), milk, almonds and granola into the bowl with the berries.

I hope you have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

15 Miles!

I ran 15 miles this morning! It was a good run. Why? Because I finished feeling good and not like I was going to faint or throw-up! The first thing I did when I finished my run was throw the ball for my dog, Zoe - something I've been too tired to do at the end of my runs lately. Then I stretched, dried off, took a mostly cold shower (hope that's at least slightly similar to taking an ice bath) and drank some chocolate milk.

Something different I did today was to drink smaller amounts of water at a time, but more often than usual. Drinking this way helped me not to feel too full. I took a Powerbar gel after miles 4 and 9.

After mile 8, I took a five minute break at my house and changed into dry clothes while eating some pretzels. They tasted good, but my mouth tasted a little salty and I was glad I took a gel soon after that.

After mile 12, I ate a couple of pretels and fig newton cookies and suddenly knew that was a bad choice - I was too full.

At the 13.71 mile point, the sun came out after partly cloudy skies with a little rain and suddenly I felt like I couldn't run anymore. I walked a little, stretched and got a drink. I was close to a corner and thought that would be a good place to start running again. Yep! It was.

I felt better after my short break. In fact, when I realized I only had about a mile to go, I felt good enough to speed up. Wahoo! Then my putt-putt got faster. (You know how you may feel fast, but when you're tired you're not really going as fast as you feel you are?!)

At the 14.8 mile point, I raced to the end - smiling. : )

The temperature felt like 74 degrees at the start and 92 degrees at the end.

Here are the mile splits- 10:10, 10:08, 9:54, 9:54, 9:47, 9:53, 9:36, 9:51, 9:55, 9:43, 10:01, 10:06, 9:40, 10:04, and 9:34 with a 9:53/mi. average.

Posted later at 9:23 PM: Since my husband was going to the park to run, I wanted to go, too. I wore my running clothes just in case I felt like a short run and I felt like it. I ran 1.3 miles at a 10:41 pace. There was a breeze and it was a nice evening for a very short run. And now... I think I'm done running for the day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Running Drills

Yesterday I tried to increase my tempo run from the two miles I did last week to three miles. I warmed up for two miles and then I gave it all I had for 2 1/2 miles, but even my fastest mile was too slow (8:31, 8:38 and 8:49) and then I ran three slower miles for a total of eight miles.

I did do one thing right Monday. I changed into my Asics DS Trainers after running two miles. That meant I never ran in sloshing conditions (socks and shoes so wet I can hear them pounding the pavement). It also meant that my shoes felt great when I did the tempo run. There's a big difference between my Mizuno Wave Riders and my Asics DS Trainers (they seem to have more cushioning).

Today, I did a "B" skip running drill. I did it after I was warmed up from about half an hour of exercising and before my five mile run. I've started doing a drill on Tuesdays when I run. You can find lots of videos of running form drills demonstrated online. If you click on my post title today, you can see Sara Hall demonstrate three drills.

Right now, I'm baking bread in my bread maker. Don't you love that fresh-baked bread smell?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tina's Peach Crisp Recipe

These juicy, sweet peaches made delicious peach crisp.

Since my husband didn’t care for the oats in the original recipe and I found a better way to make the filling, I took the original recipe for fruit crisp from my Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book and came up with this recipe. I’ve made it a few times this summer and have some peaches ripening on my kitchen counter right now so that I can make it again soon. This simple-to-make recipe takes about an hour from start to finish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For peach filling:
Peel and slice 3 cups (about 4) peaches and place peaches in a colander over a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons sugar to peaches. Stir occasionally while preparing the topping.

For topping:
In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in ¼ cup butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.

Place the peaches in an 7 inch (approximately) round baking dish. Whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch into peach juice to thicken juice. Pour the juice over the peaches and stir. Optional: stir some chopped pecans into the peaches.

Pour topping over peach filling. Bake for 25 minutes.

Ten Today

I ran ten miles today at a 9:35/mile overall pace. The last mile was nearly impossible to finish, but now that it's over it doesn't seem so bad. How quickly I forget!

Mile splits- 10:04, 9:41, 9:36, 9:28, 9:08, 9:19, 9:14, 9:22, 9:53, 10:07

In the last mile, I had to stop my Garmin and walk for a little bit. Then when I turned it back on, it didn't seem like it was working. It was, but I had to watch it and make sure the distance was changing. How long can it take to finish a mile? It seemed like forever.

Running Advice to Get Faster

Here's some advice from running coach Brad Hudson I found on the web at He coaches 2:13 marathoner and Olympic gold medal marathon hopeful Dathan Ritzenhein.

Run Faster, Expend Less Energy
"Whether you're trying to log a faster 10-K or just keep up with your bean-thin teen, the key to running more efficiently is to reduce the amount of time your feet spend on the ground. One of the best ways to do this is with hill sprints. Find a stretch of road with a 10 percent grade (think: bunny slope) and sprint up it for 10 to 12 seconds. Stay on your toes, lifting your feet rapidly and taking short, quick strides. Walk back down, rest three minutes, and repeat. Steadily work your way up to six to eight sprints. In so doing, you'll condition your fast-twitch muscle fibers--the ones that count in the 40-yard dash--to fire at maximum intensity, and your nervous system to relay signals more efficiently."

Build Speed Stamina
"Everyone knows that intervals are the key to cardiovascular fitness, but if you want to achieve a new personal best, don't focus on increasing your interval speed, focus on increasing your interval distance. For example, if you regularly run six miles, start running every other mile at your targeted 10-K speed. Once that becomes comfortable, steadily increase the distance of each interval until you're running all six miles at your race pace."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gotta Plan?

I'm going to use the 24 week/55 mile marathon training plan from Advanced Marathoning (1st edition) by Pfitzinger and Douglas, but I'm going to personalize it. I've penciled in next month's miles in my running journal (a planner I bought at Walmart for $4).

I did some warm-up stetching and then I took off for my eight mile run. I ran two miles away from home (in the second mile I ran five sprints with recovery jogs) and raced two miles back, trying to keep the pace fast all of the way. I stopped at home for a couple of minutes to stretch, get a drink and to wipe my sweaty face with a towel - the best part of the rest-stop. I ran an easy mile and then I tried to pick up the pace slightly for two miles before I ran a cool down mile.

After the run, I went shopping and an older shopper saw me loading my car with mulch and offered to help. I didn't take him up on the offer, but that was very kind! Do you know how heavy those bags are?! I think I've bought enough food to keep us fed through Edouard. If nothing comes of this tropical storm, I've got plenty of peanut butter to share!

Today's splits- 10:05, 10:18, 8:14, 7:50 (mile 3 & 4 average is 8:02 and my goal was 8:00 - close enough), 10:03, 9:29, 9:25, 10:03
~Gotta Run Now
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