Friday, July 29, 2011

The Training Continues


Yesterday, I ran 6 miles in new shoes and got in some hillwork, too. Whenever I get new shoes, I like to do my first few runs on the treadmill in case there's a problem with my shoes and I need to return them.

I ran for a mile at 1% and then a mile at 2%. Then I increased the elevation to 5 for a 1/2 mile, back to 2 for a 1/2 mile, up to 8 for a 1/2 mile, back to 2 for a 1/2 mile, up to 5 for a 1/2 mile, back to 2 for a 1/2 mile and down to 1 for a mile. In the last mile, I ran at marathon pace for a 1/2 mile just for fun. So I went up, up, up and then I came down, pretty much! Here's where I found the hill workout.

The second time I ran at 5% I noticed how much I was pumping my arms and was glad that I've been doing arm exercises. And increasing to 8%? If you want time to slow down, practically stop really, increase your treadmill elevation to 8! I think that's the steepest I've ever set my treadmill. After the hills, the 1% cool-down felt like I was running downhill!

New Asics Gel 3020 Shoes
I liked how comfortable the Asics Gel 3020 felt. I got 10% off using the coupon code "gottarunnow' at RunningWarehouse.com which you can use, too. I'm not paid in any way when you use the code, but I know that getting a discount is fun. Plus, I like shopping there and you might, too.

It was a nice break from the heat to run inside on the treadmill, but I like running outside the most. Today I ran 8 miles outside. When I finished, the feels-like temperature was 95°! No wonder my dog liked those breaks we took so much. I'm glad that I took plenty of cool water and ran mostly in the shade.

Only about 9 weeks until the Maine Marathon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

13 Miles - Done!

Sunset in Spring, Texas (north of Houston)

Yesterday's long run goal was to run the last 3 miles hard. I ended up running the last 3 1/2 miles hard.  

I had stomach cramps for about 3 miles so I took a salt caplet (Succeed S Caps) at miles 4 and 7 and they finally went away. I tried to drink some salty water before the run, but that tasted terrible even when I added a flavored drink. 


Update: Or maybe I had cramps for some other reason. I just read about soldiers who successfully marched in the heat for about 4 hours despite only drinking water in Extreme Heat, Dehydration and Sodium Balance.

After 10 miles, I was back at home and picked up my speedy dog to run the last 3 miles with me. She helped me to keep running fast (fast is her favorite speed) until we both got tired in the last 1/2 mile. I'll just call that my cool-down!

Except for those minor stomach cramps, I felt good on my run. I did take a few breaks. I'm sure that helped. 

Start: 78° w/90% humidity. 
End: 83° w/90% humidity. Felt like 90°.

Mile splits: 10:19, 10:18, 10:20, 10:20, 10:24, 10:24, 10:01, 9:37, 9:36, 9:13, 8:40, 9:00, 9:21/mile. Ave.Pace: 9:49/mile.

Fuel: 3 vanilla Gu gels and 2 strawberry Clif Bloks - both taste great. I'm experimenting with taking in more fuel after reading How to Create Your Marathon Nutrition Plan



I took gels at miles 3, 7.5 and 11.5 because that's when the water stops come up at the Maine Marathon in Portland and I just signed up for that marathon! 

I've never been to Maine. My husband and I look forward to seeing the fall colors, staying in Bar Harbor on Mt. Desert Island and hiking in Acadia National Park. I can't wait to run 26.2 miles on October 2 in cool weather!

Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Miles in the Heat


Today's 7 mile run was a good one even though it's still hot here in Houston. I felt good the whole time! I think I had a combination of things work for me today:

  • Cold drinks are great! I froze some blueberry pomegranate Gu Brew in my water bottles last night. I don't usually eat or drink anything besides water on runs that are 7 miles or less, but I've noticed in the last couple of weeks that I feel better when I do. I think it's because of the heat. 
Today's Fuel: Gu Brew (no Chomps today, though)
  • A change of place: I did a bridge hillwork run rather than run on the usual three mile loop. I ran to the bridge (where the purple flowers grow) and did hillwork (up fast, down easy). I ran on the hill near the bridge, too, which makes it more interesting so my mind was on the run, not the sun. On the way home, I was in the shade and compared to the sunny bridge, it felt almost cool even though it was probably at least 80°. 
  • I'm a little farther out from the Kona Marathon (June 26) and have been running about two weeks now. Sometimes a little time makes all the difference.
After running, I stretched and did some weight work and other exercises (with a swiss ball or my body weight). My goal is to do weights/other exercises three times a week. So far, 2 weeks of 3 times a week exercises: done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ran 10 in the Rain


I was all set to run a 10 mile progression run - start out slowly, finish faster. I failed at picking up the pace, but I did complete the 10 miles. : ) The humidity rose from 80 to 86 and the temperature was around 80°. My fastest miles were miles 1 and 6. Ugh!

I guess I should stick to the flat trail or the treadmill in my air-conditioned house the next time I care about my splits. Either that, or just be glad for the hard workout that will prepare me for a race with very easy hills. Very easy!

If I'd run inside, though, I would have missed the rain. It rained the last two miles of my run. I liked the rainy smell and seeing that a lot of people just kept running even in the rain.

And now my long run of the week is done and I've rewarded myself already - half of a cupcake. I ate the first half Saturday and saved the rest just for today. (Follow @Sprinkles on Twitter for free cupcakes!)


And since I'm not quite done talking about our recent vacation to Hawaii, how about a fish picture? Snorkeling was one of the best things I did while on vacation in Hawaii - right up there with running the Kona Marathon. It was a little hard to aim the disposable camera and swim at the same time, but I'm glad that my husband shot this one of my favorite fish - it's bright pink, blue and green.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Running Fuel & Thick Yogurt


I had a $10 gift card for Sports Authority so I dropped in and picked up some new running fuel. I've eaten gels and chomps but I think the flavors are new for me and I've never had a waffle on a run.


Just before my vacation, GU sent me a package of Chomps and Brew out of the blue. So nice! I drank the peach tea Brew, included in the package, before running the Kona marathon, wanting to hydrate, but not only with water. I took an empty bottle of water through security at the airport (TSA okayed it). Later, I dropped in a Brew tablet and filled up at the fountain. This worked out well and it was a nice change from water.

Last weekend at Memorial Park, the Kind bar makers were handing out Kind bars. Whenever I ran by, they gave me a bar! Kind! ; ) I'd never had these before. I saw at their site that they have lots of flavors. Mine tasted like dates, almonds and cashews (the first three ingredients) and it was good - I ate one for dessert!


I made Greek-style yogurt yesterday after seeing a tweet from Cooking Light. Into my sifter (my only steel strainer) I put a paper towel and a few spoonfuls of low-fat vanilla yogurt and about eight hours later, the yogurt was thick - like Greek yogurt and good, but I don't like the idea of straining out the whey, which is what I did. I didn't think much about it before making it - just excited to experiment with the yogurt, I guess.

I'm working on building my mileage up again after running the Kona marathon. I ran 6 miles this morning. The temperature and the humidity were both in the 80's when I ran. Still, I'm looking forward to more miles. I like longer runs. And then I'll get to try out all of my new food!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

California Mountains


We flew from Hawaii to California and stayed in the mountains in Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks. I saw 6 bears, many deer, 1 marmot and heard one rattlesnake which I didn't didn't get close enough to see - and that was okay with me!


To live in a little mountain cabin with my husband - maybe one a little more updated than this one, but to live under the huge trees with a creek nearby- my dream!


I'd have to get used to seeing wild animals, though. The first bear that we saw was near the General Sherman Tree, the world's largest tree by volume. A boy had been sitting with his back to the bear and turned around, saw the bear and ran. When the bear saw the boy run, he ran, too, in the opposite direction. Phew!

Mother Bear and Two Cubs


We really liked staying at the Wuksachi Lodge. I could hardly step outside without seeing a wild animal. We saw this huge bear when we came back from a hike. He chased 3 deer down the mountain and one of them ran just a few feet behind us so that we were between the bear and the deer - not so good! 

We saw a smaller bear later. When a deer came bounding down the hill, the bear was scared by the noise and ran - from the deer! 


One morning, I stepped outside on the deck and a deer surprised me. The animals didn't seem scared of people - just looked at us and went along with their business.


I did a little hillwork - my first run since the Kona Marathon. It felt good to run (slowly!), but the elevation made it hard - about 7600'. Uphill was hard, but downhill was fun!

A Log in the Sequoias

We're home now. I like the smell of pine needles at Memorial Park when I run  - a reminder of the mountains.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Snorkeling & Eating in Hawaii


More snorkeling today! This time we drove up to Turtle Bay Resort where there is a public beach. I saw even more fish than the last time I snorkeled - fish of all colors and shapes, even a sea animal that looked like blue silly string. The fish weren't very shy and swam close to me. It was like swimming in an aquarium!


My husband and I stopped at the Dole Plantation on the way back to Honolulu and saw these ruby red pineapples.


Time for a 4th of July parade at Waikiki Beach!


Last night, my husband and I shared 3 pancakes and only ate about 1/4 of the pancakes. Notice the size of my husband's hand compared to the pancakes! If one person eats the whole plate of pancakes in 90 minutes at the restaurant Mac 24/7, they get the pancakes free. That's one $15 savings I never want to attempt!


My favorite toppings: peanut butter sauce, bacon and bananas. The coconut syrup was very good, too.


For dinner tonight, I ate a beautiful beet and pear salad...


 And a shared macadamian nut ice cream/brownie dessert. (This was free. I've gotten two nice desserts and a salad for free with coupons.) This was a great way to end a great day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Snorkeling in Hawaii


I had the best time snorkeling at Shark's Cove on the North Shore of Oahu. This was one of my favorite vacation days - a tie with the day I ran the Kona marathon.


Even before stepping in the water, I spotted some fish (next photo). When I snorkeled, I saw yellow fish with black stripes, blue/red/green fish and huge schools of fish, too. I could have stayed out there all day.


Well, I would if I could do it without getting sunburned - and I am sunburned now!

We cooled off with shave ice from Matsumoto. That's me in my yellow Kona marathon shirt.


My favorite parts - the white cake and strawberry cream flavors and the vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the cup. I also ate some of the sweet beans and condensed milk topping, but the ice cream was the best add-on.


The day before, we snorkeled at Hanauma Bay where my husband saw fish, but I didn't. I just got some practice using my snorkel gear. ; )


I wasn't expecting to see mongoose and was a little shocked when I saw my first one. I've seen a lot of them now, though. They run around like the squirrels do back at home.
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