Friday, December 31, 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? One of my favorites is a bowl of plain yogurt, Clementines and homemade granola.

Happy New Year! I hope you accomplish all of your running goals for 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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 intervals, but if people are treating you like royalty just because you're cute, it's really not long enough!

Monday, December 27, 2010

16 Mile Experiment



I tried three new things today. I only ate 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 grilled carrot, 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 weren't necessary after all. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

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!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chili Recipe

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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).

Monday, December 13, 2010

20 Miles in Shorts

Favorite Running Items
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 my 4 gels. Thanks to K, I tightened my shoulder straps which eliminated that annoying swaying problem I had last time

 I skipped my post-run ice bath. I read that ice baths might not be a great idea and since I don't love ice baths anyway, I'm conducting an experiment. So if I can't walk tomorrow, I can blame it on my skipped ice bath or my increase in miles (60 miles last week) or not stretching enough or... So much for my science experiment!

12/14/10 Update: no problems today after skipping the ice bath. : )

Thursday, December 9, 2010

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, cheese - thanks to a BOGO Cafe Express coupon. It was good and it would be easy to make at home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

22 Miles & My Charm Camelbak

Ready to Run 22 Miles w/ New Pack
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!

Thanks to Camelbak.com for photo.
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 holes I put in my socks from my big toe nails. Hopefully, that doesn't mean I'll be getting a couple of new black toe nails. Update: looks like my toes are going to be fine. : )

I finished the day with a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich because shouldn't every good-run-day end with ice cream?! : )
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