Showing posts from 2010

2211 Miles in 2010!


 That's the most miles I've ever run in a year. I ran more miles because I trained for three marathons. I ran a marathon in Houston, Big Sur and Denver - the first time I've been able to run three in a year. My husband and I live in Houston and we just happened to be traveling to the other cities for other reasons so I was able to run more marathons this year.
My favorite marathon was Big Sur even though it was my slowest race of the year. I was afraid of the Big Sur hills, since I don't get a lot of practice on hills here in Houston, but I survived the hills and it was a fun trip, coupled with a family reunion and hiking.
I ran 10 miles today in a humid 65 degrees which slowed me down, but the upside was that I was counting off my miles for the year as I ran - 2209, 2210, and 2211. That made it all better! That, and the mint chocolate Gu gel I ate. Too bad it's my last one!
I'd like to eat more healthy foods in 2011. Do you have a favorite healthy breakfast? …

3 Minutes is So Long

I just finished my worst speed workout ever! The workout: warm-up, 3 minutes @ 10K pace every 5 minutes, cool-down. That doesn't sound too hard. The problem: I ran nowhere near 10K pace.

I'm guessing putting in lots of miles and my cold is slowing me down. At least I felt like a tough cookie for running 9.5 miles in the cold rain and wind. (55°, though, so nowhere near freezing.) I'm so glad I finished before the thunder and lightning storm hit.

In my last post, I said I drank less on cold days. Here are a couple of running articles about drinking:

Drinking By Thirst Works by Matt Fitzgerald

Weight Loss During Marathon Improves Running Time: Less Fluid Intake May Improve Performance for Marathoners

The Rules About Fluids: Drink According to Thirst

I took the above photo when I was out shopping at Academy. (Gu gels are 6 for $5.50.) In a pick-up, quietly sat five white dogs watching all of the people taking pictures of them. Three minutes is a long time if you're running i…

16 Mile Experiment

I tried three new things today. I onlyate one gel, a Vanilla Gu at mile 9 rather than a gel every 4-5 miles. I never ran out of energy.

I drank less water than usual since it felt like 29* at the start. I've heard that you need to drink a lot in the winter, too, but I've tried that and it doesn't work well for me. I was glad that I wore shorts because it warmed up to the low 40's and was sunny - a beautiful morning.

I left my music at home and didn't even think about it on the run even though I was running on a 3 mile loop over and over again (a little boring). Somehow, the miles went by quickly and my coughing and nose-blowing didn't slow me down. I met my goal of averaging marathon pace plus 20 seconds overall. : )

After an ice bath (brrr!), I ate my first grilledcarrot, zucchini and squash brick oven pizza ever. Colorful and surprisingly delicious!

Note added 12/8/12: I no longer take ice baths. I can't remember the last time I took one. I guess they we…

Another Cookie?

I've been sick and haven't run for four days so I was especially happy to run six miles today. I think the whole town was out there running at Memorial Park so if you weren't there you missed the party! On second thought, judging by the runners that keep running by my house towards the park, there's still a mass of runners out there - you aren't too late!

Now that I'm off my orange juice and chicken noodle soup diet, that cookie chart at the top of this post will come in handy because I made a bunch of these... ; )

Have a very merry Christmas!

Chili Recipe

Here's my favorite chili recipe for a cold winter day.

3/4-1 pound lean ground beef
16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
16-ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook ground beef. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for cheese. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese.
Recipe adapted from BHG New Cook Book (1989).

20 Miles in Shorts

I warmed up with some oatmeal and headed out for my run wearing shorts even though it was 35* when I started. At the end of my run it was 48* and sunny. I feel a little guilty mentioning our nice weather when so many people are snowed in, but usually I'm complaining about the humidity so I need to balance that out!

After a two mile warm-up, I sped up. I focused on keeping each mile fast, rather than thinking about all of the miles I had left to run. When I slowed down, I had the energy to pick up the pace. Good run!

But it was hard, too. I hoped to make this a stopless run, but then begged myself for a stop - please, now! Telling myself I'm not a quitter worked - this time!

I ran 17 miles at 8:42/mile (goal was 8:47). Then I ran one cool-down mile. Total time: 2:57. Average pace for 20 miles: 8:53. Happiness!

I'm glad I carried my Camelbak and only stopped once to put my arm warmers in it. It was nice to get a drink just after running up the short hills and after eating…

Bacon PB Cookies & the Track

I just made bacon peanut butter cookies. To make them, I added cooked bacon to my peanut butter cookie recipe. They were fun to try once for the novelty of it, but they don't beat plain old peanut butter cookies, but then - that would be hard to beat!

My husband took the cookies to work. Looks like they liked them!

Today I took the long way to the track to warm up. The pine trees beside the track smelled good and it was quiet. Well, except for the I-10 highway which is on the other side of the trees. : O

Today's speedwork: 2 sets of 800m, 600m, 400, 200m with 1 minute recovery rests, and a 3 minute recovery rest between sets. My second set was faster than the first. I needed a warm up - after my warm up! I want to repeat this workout to see if I can improve my times. I was pretty slow today. Maybe it was because I forgot my Ipod! 10 miles total today.

I tried something new when I ate out at lunch: whole wheat pasta, artichokes, roasted tomatoes, olives, olive oil, pesto, chee…

22 Miles & My Charm Camelbak

Today I completed my longest training run ever! I used my Camelbak on this cool, but sunny, 35-50* day. In my short pockets I stored 4 Jet Blackberry Gu gels and 6 Strawberry ClifBloks. Both taste good even though I think I can taste the 2X caffeine in the gel.
Halfway through, I turned my music on and that helped me to pick up the pace. Before the run, I was curious about how the last couple of miles would work out. Would I be exhausted? Would my legs feel heavy? But it was fine. Splits for mile 20 - 8:41, mile 21 - 8:36 and mile 22 - 8:47. Average pace for 22 miles - 9:09/mile. Now, if only I can do that during a marathon!

I like my new Charm Camelbak (2010 version), but it swayed back and forth a little so I tied the loose straps (hanging off the shoulder straps) across my stomach to stop the swaying. (Update: I put on a $2 buckle that works great.) This one was easier to carry than the 70 ounce one I carried on my last long run of 21 miles.

It was a great run except for the two…

Hilly Desert Run

"I'm going faster than I thought I would," I yelled to my support crew. "Yeah, well, it's only been two miles!" My husband likes to sprinkle my life with reality. ; ) "9:07 average," I yelled back. : )

My husband dropped me off 10 miles from our cabin and followed behind, taking pictures and offering me a Twinkie just before I tackled this hill. Because that's what support crews are for, right?! I kept my eye out for wild animals. But all I saw were ten horses.  I wish I ran by horses every day. This is livin'! Oh, and without feeling sick, I ran within a couple of feet of a very large dead javelina. This isn't him. Your welcome! ; ) This is a javelina who visited the McDonald Observatory when we were there to see huge telescopes and viewed the sun and solar flares, too.
Eight miles into my run, my average was 9:03 (Yahoo!) and then I finished the run with two miles mostly uphill on a rocky dirt road. And even though I was tempte…

West Texas

I'm on my first Texas desert vacation, in Ft. Davis!

After driving 10 hours to our rental cabin at Sproul Ranch, my husband and I stretched out our legs with a bike ride down the road beside our cabin. Here's the ranch greeter who met us at our cabin - he didn't say much, but we felt welcome just the same. One of the first things I noticed when we got here was how loudly I talked. Out here in the desert, it's just so quiet. As soon as it was light this morning, I ran 6 miles on the dirt road beside our cabin. Hello, pink sunrise! It was so quiet that I heard a bird's wings flapping in the sky - twice! And look what I ran by, making this a once in a lifetime run because I doubt I'll ever run by one of these radio telescopes again - there are only 10 in the whole world. Time for a hike! We hiked to the top of a mountain in Davis Mountains State Park for a 360 degree view of West Texas. The elevation in the area is 5000' and higher - makes me thirsty and a l…

21 Miles with a Camelbak

I wore my husband's 70 oz. Camelbak hydration pack for the first time today. At first the 5 pound pack felt heavy and swayed back and forth, but I tied the pack's straps across my stomach to hold it steady and got used to the weight, too. Because of the placement of this pack's zipper, I was able to unzip the back pocket to get my gels out without stopping. When I opened it after my run, only a few drops of water poured out - so 70 oz. was a perfect amount for a hot day. I really liked the pack.

It was 71-76* and humid during today's 21 mile run. I took a Gu almost every 4 miles (miles 4-16) and 1 ClifBlok between Gu's, wanting to take in more carbs than usual. I drank water every 1-2 miles.

There was drizzle, rain and sunshine, too. I liked the rain, but the sun was almost too much in the later miles, beating down on me. I ran up the bridge a few times to make the run even harder. I figured: now's the time to work hard. If not now, when?

I think this is only t…

This & That

I received a package in the mail because I follow ClifBar on Twitter. I was only expecting the bar and... 100 calories and 4 bites later... It's good. I ate it just now so that I could tell you what I thought. Oh, what I'll do for my blog! I was surprised to also receive strawberry ShotBloks, which I know are chewy, but good, and their "new formula" strawberry gel, which I haven't had before. (Update: like the gel! Tastes like jam.)

I hope I can run enough miles to need a gel soon. I had a great six mile run with hills at the beginning of the week, but then I had to cut a couple of runs short because my right ankle hurt. Today I was so glad to run almost 4 1/2 miles before it bothered me, so it's improving.

Yesterday I bought some cranberry juice so that I can add it to my fruit smoothies. Need more breakfast ideas? Lately, I've been eating wheat toast with honey or oatmeal with lots of toppings before I run.

Houston runners: run with Luke's Locker

Buffalo Bayou 18 Mile Run

I'm happy to say that I finally finished my long run today. My dog and I began running down my street and a loose little, barking dog came running towards us. The owner said it wouldn't bite. Is there anyone on the planet who finds comfort in those words?! We finally outran it and ran to Memorial Park and back home where I left Zoe and drank some Gu Brew.

Then I ran to Buffalo Bayou Park. There were a few hills - yay! (Houston's mostly flat.) I saw very few walkers or runners which would have make me feel safer.

When I ran beneath one bridge, there was a horrible stench and it was dark so I turned around to run up near the road instead. Then I heard high-pitched screeching and I realized that I was at the Waugh Street bridge - known for being a bat hangout. That explained the smell.

Later, I survived running through an intersection where I hoped the driver who didn't acknowledge me when I was at the corner wouldn't run me over when I ran in front of her car. It&…

Denver RnR Marathon Too Long!

Yesterday I had a great 10 mile run. Temps were down in the 50's and I took Zoe, my dog, with me for the first four miles. She's fast and I just hung on! For at least a mile, one of her long floppy ears was thrown up over her head - silly dog! Photo: you know she wants to throw that bunny in the air and chomp it right down!

Today I woke up to find a message in my Google Reader stating that the Denver RnR Marathon course was .14 of a mile long at the bridge (the toughest stretch). Here's part of the post from the RnR folks, "Unfortunately, the marathon turnaround on the 8th Ave viaduct was placed incorrectly. While the course certification and measurement were both done accurately, race morning the turnaround was mistakenly set up in the wrong place due to confusion with other painted marks on the road. We sincerely apologize for any and all disappointment and inconvenience this has caused our runners." Here's a Denver Post article on the subject.


Houston Marathon Miles 17-21

I ran 16 miles, partly on the Chevron Houston Marathon route on Friday. I ran through Memorial Park and ran miles 17-21 of the marathon twice and then ran back into the park. There was a downhill section that I hadn't noticed before and miles 17-19 felt shorter than I remembered so it was a good training run.
I missed a turn and went through a couple of extra intersections that I didn't need to, bringing my total number of intersections that I ran through to 12 - running through them and over the buckling sidewalks on Woodway were the only negative parts of the run.
Here's what the marathon portion was like. Let's start at mile 17 at San Felipe and Tanglewood. Turn right onto Tanglewood, a shady street with big trees and big houses that might distract you from your exhaustion just a little bit, I hope.

 During the marathon, there will be people standing outside of their houses and sitting in lawn chairs cheering you forward. One year a family handed out cold water b…

Runner's Safety Light

The goal: to be seen when I run on the road.

My husband spotted the NiteBeams light at the Denver marathon expo and we bought one. I wore it on my run after checking with my husband to see if I looked funny. "No", he said, "you look safe!" So off I went. The first thing I noticed was that a passing driver gave me plenty of space on the road even though it was dark and I had hopped off the road onto the grass, so I know that I was seen.

After half a mile, the strap slid down from my upper arm to just above my elbow. I tightened the strap to fit and it was comfortable. I tried the strap on my wrist and ankle, too, but the velcro enclosure covers more of the light if you make the strap tighter (and put it on a smaller body part) which defeats the purpose so I left it on my arm.

 I wish there was more velcro on the strap so that there was more room for adjustment and I'd also like the stretchy part of the strap to be shorter so that it doesn't cover the light …

Denver Marathon Too Long?

Sunday, I did some treadmill speedwork and Monday, I ran a little faster than usual for a recovery run which made me very sore that night, as in I can't remember the last time I was this sore!

Tuesday, all was well and I ran 8 miles in the rain. I was starving (unusual) and didn't bring any food (more unusual) so I filled up on water at the water fountains. The dark sky, the gentle rain, the quiet path, running fast for 4 miles - liked it!

Looks like there's more than one reason that my Garmin told me that I ran more than marathon distance on October 17, 2010 in Denver and it's not just that I'm really bad at running tangents. According to my Garmin: 26.62 miles.

And at RunColo the race measurer of the Denver Marathon states the route was .144 mile long at the bridge that we crossed twice at mile 23.5 - my "slowest" mile.

This would be a different post if I missed my goal by a minute, but I missed it by 11 minutes, so with the marathon length at 26.344,…

2 Weeks Post-Marathon

I ran the Denver marathon on 10/17, hiked in Colorado the week after and then I was home the second week after the marathon. Since I was running in the second week after the Big Sur marathon, I started running this week, too. The more I ran, the easier it felt.
Monday, I ran 5 miles at 10:35/mi pace on a humid day, but the warmth felt good at first. (8 days post-marathon.)
Tuesday, I ran 7 miles at 10:04/mi pace on another humid day. OK, ready for winter now!
Thursday, Zoe and I got in a great 5 miles because the humidity was so low that I hardly sweat - only my socks were damp. I ran at a 9:52/mi pace.
Friday, I ran 8 miles at a 9:32/mi pace and it was a chilly 50 degrees! It's warmed back up since Friday, but soon we'll have more cool days. I'm looking forward to training for the Houston marathon through the winter.
A few interesting articles: 
Eat the Right Fats Sorry, this one has a RW pop-up ad. Skip fat-free. Eat salmon, avocados, walnuts, and flax.
Women & Heart Rate

Scenic Drives and Views in CO

Today my husband and I went for a scenic drive along the Big Thompson River outside of Estes Park on Hwy.34.

We looped back to Estes Park on Hwy.43 and stopped off at the Gem Lake trailhead for a short hike.

Later on, we drove up part of Trail Ridge Road under falling snow... 
...And a moon-lit sky. Good night!

Snow in RMNP!

Friday's plan: hike to Fern Falls. Elevation: 8150' - 8850'. First destination: the Pool, 1.7 miles from the trailhead.

The last time my husband and I were at this bridge at the Pool in 2002, we took a picture so we took another one for old time's sake.

After crossing the bridge, the trail was up hill for a mile (so it was down hill a mile on the way back!) and it snowed. I was hoping that it would snow! There was a little trickle of rain/snow water in the middle of the path so we walked on the edge to keep our feet from getting soaked.

We made it to Fern Falls (2.7 miles from the trailhead)! We hiked a little farther and ate lunch beneath a tree on a rock before we turned back. Nothing tastes so good as lunch in the woods and in the snow!

On the way back I ran a little, very slowly, hoping to thaw out my cold toes - my first run since the Denver marathon last Sunday. : ) If I lived here, I'd run on the trails all of the time.

The 5 1/2 mile hike took us 3 1/2 hours. I&…