Showing posts from December, 2011

18 Miles & Houston Pasta

Only days ago I was hiking around the beautiful Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while wearing my warm coat and gloves. Quite a contrast from today! I ran around Memorial Park in a skirt and tank top. It was mostly sunny and 45-60°.

I ran 18 miles with a 9:10 average pace and ran the first 6 miles with my dog. I ran negative splits (I like the challenge) with a one mile cool down and ate a Powerbar gel at miles 5, 10 and 15, like I plan to at the Houston marathon in 2 weeks. Even though I was a little cold and even a little hot, I had a great run! Now, it's taper time!

Someone found my blog by searching for: 5 mile run with dog and chicken broth! I just can't figure out the connection of the dog and the broth (!), but speaking of food...

Do you need pasta recommendations for your pre-Houston Marathon meal? There's Brio where I ate today, but it's a little far from the marathon course. There's an Olive Garden which is a little closer. There are a c…

Garden of the Gods

Fun = being in the snowy mountains, holding up the Balanced Rock.

  I made a superquick trip to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs (an hour south of Denver by car) for a fun little vacation. United Airlines bumped both my husband and I up to first class, thanks to lots of mileage points! Hello, big leather cushy seats!

I don't see a lot of deer so when I do, I take pictures. 22 pictures isn't too many, is it?! 

We walked to the top of a mountain where we saw a runner just as I was thinking that it would be hard to run on the snowy, muddy trail. She ran off and left us in the dust, or mud, really. From the top, we could see the road (about the middle of the next photo) where our hike ended. 

Today I ran 9 miles with 5 miles at about marathon pace at Memorial Park in Houston. Great run! It seems like there are more runners outside lately. Maybe everyone else is preparing for the Houston Marathon, too, or getting an early start on their resolutions.

16 Miles & PB GU

Today I ran 16 miles (9:27/mi. ave.) with 4 "faster" miles (8:41/mi. ave.) towards the end in order to train my body to run faster when I'm tired. (I hope it's learning!) I hope to do a 20 mile run next week and then I'll start my two week taper. Today's 16 went by quickly. It's nice when you're enjoying your time out there and not counting down the miles, just dreaming of when you'll be finished. 
I ate a GU gel at mile 5 and then at 10, too. I tried the new peanut butter GU today. It's good if you like slightly sweetened peanut butter, which I do. It tastes like PB with honey.
It was windy, cloudy and a little cool (50°) today so I was glad that I topped my short sleeved shirt with a long sleeved one so that I could change depending on how cool I was out there. I was comfortable in shorts. If you come to Houston for the marathon from a colder location, I think you'd burn up in anything more than shorts (unless a blizzard blows in), but …

Longest Run: 24 Miles

I completed the longest training run I've ever done today: 24 miles. I ran 23 miles once before and I think that helped me in the later miles at the Kona Marathon.

When I started my run today, I hoped to run at least 16, but I brought enough GU for a longer run (24 miles). At mile 3, I wasn't so sure I'd be running long. At mile 11, I was fairly sure that I'd be able to run long today. Miles 20-21 were fast and hard (but the whole run was great, really!) since it was towards the end of the run, but I knew I only had two of those miles and then - cool-down miles with my Weimaraner! 

Here's the plan in simple terms: run slowly, fast, faster, slow, fast and slow (I added a cool-down). I didn't run quite as fast as I'd like (I'm blaming the wind! Mostly!), but it was fun trying to run different paces throughout the run and it made the run go by quickly. I read about the long run plan at
A long run that we use here in marathon prep as a fitness …

20 Miles & Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

This chicken pot pie is one of my favorite meals to make. It only calls for a top crust, making it a little healthier than one with a bottom crust, too. If you use leftover chicken and vegetables, it comes together quickly.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Bake: 30 minutes Serves: 4-6
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup vegetables (corn, peas, celery, carrots)
1 small potato, microwaved, peeled, chopped
cooking spray
1 refrigerated pie shell
Preheat oven to 400°.Melt butter over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.Gradually add chicken broth; cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.Stir in salt and pepper.Stir in chicken and vegetables.Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9.5" pie pan or 11 x 7 baking dish. Cover with pie pastry. Slit top. Bake for 30 minutes, but once pie edges have browned (after ab…

Grand Canyon Hiking & Running

Greetings from the Grand Canyon! My husband and I vacationed for a couple of days there after visiting Zion National Park.

In the mornings, I got up and ran on the canyon rim trail. Most of my running has been hilly while on vacation, but hiking seems to work the soreness out. It was cold - in the 20's in the mornings, but I warmed up quickly. I took a very short run (.6 mile) on the steep Bright Angel Trail, just for fun. The most exciting part was seeing four elk on the rim trail when I was alone. I stopped running, called my husband on my cell phone to tell him how big they were and they slowly passed me by. Phew!

After I ran, we hiked for hours (perfect hiking weather) and took lots of rest breaks.

And just hung around the park!

This was one of my favorite parts of our hikes - close to the rim!

We ended our vacation stargazing before turning in at the El Tovar Hotel, built in 1905. The floors were uneven. They felt funny to walk on first thing in the morning when you're k…