Monday, May 31, 2010

Run + Ride = Fun

At 6AM, I ran 4 miles, returned home for my dog and took off for another 5 miles. I wanted to keep up a decent pace and I knew Zoe would be eager to run fast. It helps to run with a faster runner! Now I've had two recent runs where the humidity hasn't bothered me (as in: made me stop for a drink every mile, want to sit on every bench I passed and just plain made me miserable) - finally!

After the run, I changed into biking clothes and my husband and I went for a 70 minute ride on the trails. It wasn't very muddy today and we didn't have to climb over trees fallen on the path, making it a lot easier than Saturday's ride. Here's a video taken Saturday of my husband riding on a hill where I probably just walked my bike. : O

This was the first time I've gone on a ride right after a run. The breeze felt great when I rode fast. I kept my eyes open for trail roots and branches hanging over the path - you have to think quickly out there. It works your brain and your body!

Pre-run: toast; Post-run: chocolate milk; During run/ride: Gatorade/water

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Climbin' Over Trees

We had quite a storm last night so today on the trails we rode through mud,

climbed over trees that fell onto the trails in at least three different spots,


and slid down wet trails.


My husband and I and our new bikes were covered in mud when we finished, but we're all cleaned up now and ready to go again!

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Sounds Like Noon" Tabs

While waiting for the light to change on Memorial Drive, a bike rider said he worked to get this "stop here on red" sign placed at the crosswalk so that drivers will stop for those of us crossing the street. Nice!

My husband and I continued on to a difficult bike trail and when I got home, I decided that it's time to take off the parentheses around "mountain" biking in my profile description. After nearly planting my face on a tree trunk twice, I've decided that this is serious stuff, even if I'm in the middle of Houston and not plowing down a real mountain somewhere!

Today started with a run. I've used Nuun (pronounced noon) on a bike ride before and today I used it on my eight mile run. It's an electrolyte tablet that you add to water. The tri-berry flavor tastes okay, but it's not sweet because it's sugar-free. I carried a small empty bottle with me and dropped a half a tablet in every two miles, using the park fountains to add water - liked that! Since I didn't pass out because of the heat (temperature was 77/real feel 87), I'll call it a success.

Anyone else use Nuun? Do you take something else along with it? I drank plain water every other mile because I was so hot.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Trails!

I didn't run or ride on this Muir Woods trail yesterday, but I did make good use of Houston's Memorial Park trails.

First, I went on a long run. I ate banana bread and a banana before yesterday's long run. On the run, I drank or ate every two miles, alternating Gatorade and Gu gel with water, stopping to rest when I felt hot. I ran slower than I expected (10:30/mi ave), but I'm happy that I was able to finish the 16 mile run without feeling sick because of the heat.

Before I left for the run, I told my husband I would run 10 minute miles and added 5 minutes to that. When I was late getting back, he drove over to the park to see how I was doing and to offer me a ride. Big, sweet
temptation! I passed the test, though, and kept running. ; )


Then I rode my bike! My first trail rides were on Sunday and yesterday. (For you Memorial Park locals, we rode all of the green and some of the purple and blue trails.) I knew it would be fun, but it was even better than I imagined!

A few times, I had to get off my bike and walk - the hills are steep. Once, my husband teased, "Don't look down!" because of a deep ravine on the side of the trail. I didn't have time to look. My eyes were on the the roots bulging out of the trail that I was flying down!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Something New

Just a few fun things...

Yesterday I bought a new bike - a Cannondale CO2 F7 mountain bike from Bikesport for $599. I tried 3 bikes at 3 stores and it was a lot of fun picking my favorite of the bunch! I can't wait to take it out on the Memorial Park Trails near our house - something I've wanted to do ever since we moved last fall. Today I ran 6 miles, but I hope to get out there and ride soon, too!

Opaque Restaurant I first heard about this when Ryan Hall tweeted that he and Sara ate there last Friday. You eat in the dark. The servers are blind. Looks like you get plenty to eat, but it's $99/person.

Timer I found this online timer that I can use when I'm doing timed exercises. I liked the options that you can play around with.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Go Further, Faster!

My goal was to run 3-4 marathon paced miles. Come on, 8:47 pace! I'm kind of stuck on trying to get a 3:50 marathon finish someday - 8:47 needed - even though I only need 4:00 to BQ now that I'm aged! ; ) Now don't get mad at me for writing that!

Good distractions today... First, I saw my husband's truck at the top of an uphill as he drove to work. Then there was a police-led bike group that rode through the park on their way to city hall. I chatted with a couple of runners, too.

Extra stops today... My dog ran a little slower so I stopped for extra water and rest and I did not mind. Really! ; ) I even rested on a bench drinking Gatorade which revived me enough to run my fourth MP mile. Don't know if I would have made it through those 4 miles if I hadn't rested!

Here's what I did... Warmed up 2 miles. Ran 4 miles w/ these splits: 8:27, 8:20, 8:32, 8:49, which gives me an 8:32 average. Happiness! : ) Ran 1 slow mile home. Total: 7 hot miles.

Pre-run: bread sticks. Yesterday: pre-run: 1/2 minneola. During both runs: Gatorade.

Photo: Words on the horse's saddle: Go further, faster!

P.S. I'm not 45 yet, but as far as BQ'ing goes, I'm close enough. : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Only 2 Minutes

Today: 7 mile run with 3 miles of 2 minutes running hard and 3 minutes running easy. I didn't think this would be hard, but because of the heat it was a tough run.

During those hard 2 minutes, I told Zoe "fast". Maybe I was training her or maybe I was encouraged by hearing that word! ; ) Finally, I finished the 3 miles of hard work. : ) Hot and tired, I did the marathon shuffle all of the way home.

After running, I felt sick to my stomach and very heavy, as in I must sit down right now! Looks like this is the end of my experiment on eating nothing during runs. Hopefully when I start eating or drinking something besides water, I'll feel okay even though it's hot. I'll get this summer running figured out soon!

Photo: April wildflowers near my home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Favorite Fountain

12 mile humid run today! After running 7 miles, I needed a break. I sat down, ate a gel and used the refrigerated Memorial Park water fountain beside the tennis courts - really cold water there. I felt better after a break and finished the run without any trouble.

Ave. pace - 9:22. Feels-like temp: 80-87 during my run. Post-run: cooled down with a sweet Strawberry Smoothie.

Photo: Pelican Inn fountain, Muir Beach, CA

Friday, May 14, 2010

Me vs. Hot Day

Happy National Chocolate Chip Day! I won't have time to bake cookies today because of other baking plans, but I'll have to eat a handful of chocolate chips!

My husband and I went on a walk on some of the more secluded Memorial Park trails two days ago. I ran up a couple of hills just for fun - much better than running on a concrete bridge!

I ran 7 miles today (9:08/mi ave pace).The humid 75 degree heat got to me. In the last mile, my legs were heavy (like I'd run 20 miles) and my head ached. Zoe wondered if we were on a run or a walk!

When I got home, my stomach ached, too. A cold drink and a cool shower later and all was well. My weight was on the low side - don't know if that's related to how I felt or just a result of eating less lately.

I drank water every 1-2 miles. I wondered if not eating anything before running was the culprit, but the same thing happened to me back in July when I did eat before my run and drank Gatorade during my run. My not eating before or during runs experiment continues...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Road Pics


My husband and I hiked in Muir Woods (California) about two weeks ago and reluctantly took a detour. We got off the Dipsea Trail because of a bridge that was out and took the fire road instead. That was where we saw this deer - a good detour!

Candy Land Car in Local Parade

My husband has a new blog. I like the picture where it looks like we're at a haunted restaurant where ghosts wear sombreros and I like his photo description!

And my last road pic... Here's how it looked on the way to church last night - worse than usual because of an accident. It made me long for the Muir Woods trails.


I ran ten miles today (9:29/mi ave pace). 73 degrees and humid - kind of warm, but the wind helped. No food before or during the run, just water - something new for me. I didn't feel any different than usual - a good thing. Ten isn't too far without fuel, though. I'll keep you posted on how the experiment goes.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Running on Empty


I made mini strawberry cupcakes and ate a couple after having some very good chicken and basil topped pizza last night. Every once in a while, I splurge. Oh, I had salad, too, so all is not lost!


Speaking of food, I'm rethinking my eating and running strategy. Recently, I read the May 2010 Running Times article Running on Empty. And I had already read Greg McMillan's Marathon Long Run where he writes:

Finally, (and this is optional) a great way to ensure that you will deplete your carbohydrate stores on these long, steady runs is to not eat any carbohydrates immediately before or during the run. Any carbohydrates ingested will be used by the body for fuel, and we don't want this. We want to deny the body carbohydrates in these runs so that the muscles will become better at sparing the carbohydrate stores, more efficient at burning fat and used to running with lowered blood glucose levels. Now, many people think I'm crazy when I say this, but it works.

This week, I didn't eat before I ran and I was fine, surprisingly to me. By the way, I ran six miles yesterday and hope to run 5 miles tomorrow, bright and early.

I'm going to experiment with this for a little while, but I'm not encouraging anyone else to try it! Wasn't it only last week that I was nagging my husband (in love, of course!) about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day - how you must eat something before you run? ; )

Update: a related post, Carbs on the Run by Matt Fitzgerald

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Something Extra

Elephant Seals Soaking Up Some Rays on the California Coast (Yes, they're alive!)

Just a few things that I find interesting...

Russian Orphanage Offers Love, But Not Families - Praying that Russia will allow U.S. families to adopt these children into their loving homes.

Parental Estrangement - A Silent Epidemic - There are children who, for no apparent reason, don't want anything to do with their parents after growing up. Hoping this weekend (Mother's Day) those parents, all parents really, will get that long-awaited call.

Preventing Cancer in Dogs -  We had a dog who died of cancer 6 years ago.  I wonder if Zoe, my dog, likes broccoli or cauliflower. Apparently, 1/2 a cup 3x's a week would do her some good. 

Need a laugh? Got 1 minute and 13 seconds? Here ya go... Microsoft Software Prank with Alarm

I got the idea for this miscellaneous post from Tim Challies' A La Carte Posts. Thanks, Tim!

P.S. My Garmin is working after that hard reset. I ran 5 1/4 miles today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Garmin, Be Good!

Golden Gate Bridge, CA

Thursday I said "Good-bye" to the Golden Gate Bridge and "Hello" to Houston. The first thing I noticed was that I didn't need my jacket anymore - one nice perk that goes with living somewhere hot.

Saturday I ran 5 miles and today I ran 6 miles. My easy pace is slower than normal, but that's fine. Today's 65-72 degree temperature wasn't bad even though I've spent a week in cooler temps and it felt normal to have sweat dripping into my eyes again!

Houston, TX

Today my Garmin 310 XT popped up a "lap error" screen. I did a soft reset (hit mode and reset), but that didn't help. I got tired of the buzz on my wrist "lap error, lap error" so I turned my Garmin off. I sure am glad this didn't happen a couple of runs back - during the Big Sur marathon.

 I checked online to see if others have had this happen to them - yes, of course. I did a hard reset (while holding mode, power on, select "yes" to erase all user data)... Not fun because then you have to reset every little thing. Then I tested it with a little walk through the house. So far, so good!

Hope you get a chance to throw on some shorts and go for a run this week!
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