Monday, August 29, 2011

Tracking Nutrition & Temps, Too

To keep tabs on my protein and carbohydrate intake and more, I'm using My Fitness Pal. It has a lot of foods listed in the database, even GU and Powerbar energy gels, making it easy to use.

Just before my next marathon (Maine in 5 weeks!), I'd like to increase my carb intake, something I haven't worked on very hard before. I hope it helps! (Photo: yesterday's breakfast with homemade jam.)

I'm also tracking the heat index, length and pace of my runs for Greg McMillan's heat index project. He's working on a new version of the McMillan Running Calculator to include information for running in the humidity. I can't wait to use it.

Today I ran 8.3 easy-paced miles. After my run, I cooled off with chocolate milk and frozen banana pieces that practically froze my mouth - just what I needed after another hot run!

Friday, August 26, 2011

20 Miles: Good Stuff

Today's goal was to run 20 miles - my second 20 miler in this training cycle.

Good stuff I did on this hot day:

  • Drank lots of water: There's so much talk about hyponatremia floating around that I worry more about that than dehydration, but once I started drinking as much as I wanted, I felt better.
  • Found the shade: Sometimes this meant running back and forth on a .35 mile trail, but who cares if I saw the same blue jay eight times?!
  • Took breaks in a cool place: The air-conditioned park restroom was cool so I ate my four gels there and drank water just outside at the refrigerated water fountain. It may sound like a funny place to take a break, but I wasn't the only one who did that!
  • Drank cold water often: Sometimes I ran only a mile away from the fountain and then back. I have a fuel belt and a Camelbak pack, but I wanted to run with a lighter load today.
  • Didn't worry about my pace: Running in the heat and humidity slows me down.
Thanks, Skinny Cow, for the photo and for tasting so good, too!

Miles Completed: 20. Very happy to have finished my second 20 miler in this training cycle. (I ran the first 20 miler on the treadmill.)
Temperature: 78-91°
Felt-like: 80-95° 
Average pace: 10:41 

I was so happy to run in the much-needed rain yesterday, but I had my eyes out for the coyote that was seen at the end of my street who bit a small dog, probably thinking it was a rabbit, I guess. Don't worry - the dog got away. Here's a video of the news story.

And now it's time for an ice cream break!

Monday, August 22, 2011

8 x 800 meters

Surprisingly, I had a pretty good run today - outside! Two weeks ago I was too hot to finish my 20 miler. After that, I stuck to the treadmill for hard runs.

Today I ran 10 miles with 8x800m run at 3:57, 3:58, 4:05, 4:06, 4:01, 4:20, 4:36, and 4:25 minutes. I'm okay with the slow-down - I'm focusing on effort because it's hot (the feels-like temperature rose from 83° to 88°). I'm glad I record my workouts - it helps to know that I did the same workout on the treadmill recently, but slightly faster and without a slow-down.

It was great to run outside. Knowing that I finished a hard 10 mile run outside made me feel great. That's one of the perks of running. And all I really needed for this feeling of accomplishment was a pair of running shoes.

Pre-run: bagel, banana, Gatorade, salt tab (No cramps today!)
During: Gu gel at mile 4.5, salt tabs at miles 4.5 and 7, water
Post-run: chocolate milk and more ice water than usual (Thirsty!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

This & That

New Trail at Memorial Park Where I Run

Today I ran 13 miles on my treadmill with 10 miles at goal marathon pace. Maybe it felt like a 6-7 on a scale of 10. It was a fine run except that I wanted it to feel easier. ; )  

Today's post-run drink: Jillian Michael Whey Protein (vanilla) mixed with milk - tastes good! But when mixed with water, I don't like it. I got this for about $6.50 when I used a $3 coupon from the All You magazine sold at Walmart. (All You August Coupon List)  

Run negative splits... Liliya Shobukhova, 33, has a chance to become the first athlete to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon three years in a row. She says, "In my training, I always try to run the second half faster than the first half."  

Build A Customized Workout Video - I easily set a workout up for myself and will try it out soon. (Must register.)  

Kind of interesting... The average male marathon finishing time is four hours and 29 minutes and the average female marathon finishing time is four hours and 59 minutes. (Source)  

Pohnpei, Micronesia, in the South Pacific, is the most humid location in the world and has a relative humidity of 90 percent in the morning and 79 in the afternoon. Houston, by comparison, has 90 percent and 62. (Source) 

I keep reading that bloggers need an About Me page so I added one at the top of my blog  - just a little running history. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tempo Time

The Goal: Cross the Finish Line Smiling 
Today's tempo workout:

  • Miles 1-2: slowly worked up to 9:01/mile pace
  • Miles 3-10: 8:19 pace (used the McMillan calculator to find tempo pace)
  • Mile 11: easy pace 
Ten days ago, I ran 6 miles at tempo pace so I wanted to try to increase the tempo miles today. The treadmill works great for tempo runs, keeping me at a steady pace when I wanted to slow down in the last 1/2 mile. (Treadmill Pace Chart)

It seems like there are many variations of tempo runs. Have you run a tempo run lately? How did you run yours?

Know Your Tempo by Mario Fraioli

Friday, August 12, 2011

20 Miles on My Treadmill!

Today's goal: run 20 miles on my treadmill with a fast finish. This might be the longest treadmill run I've ever completed.

Stopping for a drink or gel at the same locations as the Maine marathon water stops gave me something to look forward to. Listening to music helped, too. I counted my steps. I was running at 180 steps a minute - some say that's a good thing. Some say it doesn't matter! By the 14th mile, I was getting excited - I was going to finish!

20 Mile Run! (Calories?! Must have passed the 999 mark!)

Mile 1: Ran 5-6mph. 1% incline for the workout. (Warming up.)
Mile 2-13: 9:34/mile pace. 6.2mph (Nice and easy. Could talk.)
Mile 14: 9:17/mi pace. 6.4mph (Speeding up felt fine.)
Mile 15-18: (How about a little faster?) 9:01/mi pace. 6.6mph
Mile 19-20: (Now, go!) 8:45/mi pace w/last 1/4 mile at 8:32/mi pace. 6.8-7mph

Running 20 miles on the treadmill wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It was a little boring and in the early miles I wondered if I could finish, but I felt pretty good during the run, much better than I would if I'd tried this outside today.

Pre-run: Powerbar Performance Apple Crisp bar, 1/2 banana, Gatorade, water 
During: Powerbar green apple gel at mile 9.7 (with water) and 4 oz. Gatorade at other stops which were about 2 miles apart
Post-run: Cherry Smoothie (cherries, milk, yogurt)

Wednesday I ran 9 miles on the treadmill and ate watermelon Gu Chomps. They're good, but cut a slit in the package if you take them on a sweaty run. I ran 1/2 mile intervals at 5% and 8% incline with a 2% incline rest in between the steep hills - preparing for the few hills I've heard about on the Maine marathon route.

The Marathon Long Run by Scott McMillan
Marathon Week Countdown - Creating a Fueling Plan by Jackie Dikos

Happy running!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beat by the Heat

New Water Fountain 

I was all set for a 20 mile run today: 15 outside and 5 on the treadmill if it was too hot outside. The first few miles of my run were fun. I saw an armadillo, rabbits and a cardinal. My husband waved to me from across the street where he was running over on the loop. I was running on the outer trail where they put in a new water fountain: a good addition. 

Just after the 9 mile mark, I was hot and had to stop in the shade. I saw my husband and walked the mile home with him thinking I'd run on my treadmill once I got home because I felt better already.

Close to home, I felt light-headed and sick to my stomach, though. I haven't felt bad like that since finishing the warm Kona Marathon. My husband carried my fuel belt - it felt so heavy for me then. I went inside and put my head down. Soon, I felt better.

I don't feel too bad about not getting my 20 miles done. At least I got in 9 and I'm glad that my husband happened to be there, too. I hope to get my 20 miles done later this week - on the treadmill probably. That might be kind of tough, but better than running in the heat. 

 Pre-run: peanut butter Performance Energy Powerbar
During: boysenberry pomegranate Gu Brew, raspberry cream Powerbar gel (great taste), both high in sodium 
Temperature: 80-84, heat index of 85-93°
Splits: 10:02, 9:43, 9:44, 9:33, 9:09, 9:33, 10:12 (not feeling so good), 10:27, 10:13, and .24mi @ 10:26
Pace: 9:52/mi average
Miles: 9.24 
Location: Houston's Memorial Park

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Actually Like My Treadmill

...Because it's so hot outside! I do miss seeing nature (or most of it) and sometimes it's boring (unless you're just trying not to fall off), but compared to running outside in the blazing heat, it's wonderful!

Since I wanted to get in a little speed this week (nearly impossible outside lately), I ran on the treadmill Wednesday. I ran 8 x 800m with 400m rests during my 8 mile run. I ran most of the intervals in 3:50 - just under 4 minutes. I tried to run faster, but I thought I was going to fall right off my treadmill. That workout went by quickly.

Yesterday, I ran 7 easy miles outside and saw a dead cottontail rabbit. My hand went involuntarily to my mouth. Turned out okay, for me at least, I didn't lose my Cheerios - not nearly as shocking as the time I saw the python or boa at Sugar Land Memorial Park. Now that was an exciting run!

Here's how I fueled for today's run: I ate toast before the run and tried my first Honey Stinger waffle today after running 3 miles. (The waffle was free with a gift card.)  The waffle was very crumbly and I lost some of it on my treadmill - too bad because it tasted great, like a cookie. After the run, I drank vanilla flavored Carnation milk (tastes good, 5g protein, more nutrition facts here) with a banana.

I ran 9 miles on the treadmill. I worked up to 9:09/mile pace in the first two miles, very slowly so that it always felt easy to increase the pace. Then I ran 8:32 pace for 5 miles and 7:59 pace for one mile - counting down each quarter mile in the last mile to make it through. I cooled down with an easy mile. I couldn't have done that workout outside today - too hot!

Monday, August 1, 2011

16 Miles with Nathan Hydration Belt

I have a new hydration/fuel belt - the Nathan Trail Mix. The bottles hold 40 ounces and the belt has a large enclosure that has 3 pockets that are nice and big - one pocket closes with velcro and the other two are in a zippered section. The belt was comfortable on my long run. For more details, here's a comparison review.

Today I drank 8 oz. of blueberry pomegranate Gu Electrolyte Brew (high sodium - 245 mg.) at miles 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Then I ate a mandarin orange with caffeine Gu gel at mile 12 - tastes good and tangy. I drank water at miles 12 and 14. No stomach cramps today! (I had cramps during last week's 13 mile run.)

I was running along and heard a dog barking. It was so loud that long before I arrived to see what the racket was about, I was looking to see what the problem was and then I saw a dog barking towards a porta-potty, wanting his owner to come out. If that person has a blog, they'll have a funny story to write about today. ; )

Only two low points today: I felt really warm in a windless section of the run at the 2 mile mark and wondered why I wanted to quit already, but told myself to make it to 3 and then forgot about it. Later, at the halfway point, I wasn't sure I could run another hot 8 miles - just one of those random negative thoughts that pop up when you're hot.

A Look Inside One Pocket
The temperature rose from 78 to 87°. I took it easy and finished the LSD 16 miler as planned. I even ran the first and last miles at the very same pace - 10:33 with a 10:36/mile average pace for the run. Most of all, I'm glad I got through the run without stomach cramps.
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