Friday, September 28, 2012

Green Smoothie & Fuel Belt

I heard an ultrarunner say that he doesn't lift weights, but that instead he uses his arms when he runs rather than just let them hang. When I finished running, I noticed tired arms today, and everything else was kind of tired, too, partly because it was warm today - humid and 70-80*. I finished today's 12.5 mile run with a green smoothie. So far, my favorite green combo is yogurt, spinach, frozen banana and canned pineapple chunks (the juice, too). The pineapple is required!

I have a new new hydration belt - the BCG brand fuel belt from Academy ($18). My requirements for belts: no bounce and a big pocket - my phone is 5" x 2.5". I took out the small 8 oz. bottles the belt came with and used my 10 oz. Nathan bottles instead. The belt was too long so I knotted it on the waist band to shorten it. Other than that, it works! (This doesn't beat my Nathan fuel belt, but I needed a 2 bottle belt.)

BCG Fuel Belt
Recently, I tried an Ultimate Direction Access single water bottle belt, but it bounced. I had to tighten it until it hurt to make it not bounce. Also, I disliked the unique water valve, which required a little more time to get a drink. It only meant a couple of seconds more, but when I'm thirsty, I want my water now!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running at the Park/Quinoa

This is part of my usual running route at Memorial Park with some pretty purple wild flowers. This was taken on a quiet, rainy day.

Monday I ran 12 miles and ate 2 yummy Gu gels - peanut butter and chocolate outrage. The next day I ran 8 easy miles. My dog joined me for 2. Today I ran 10 with 6 faster miles. Although I usually run alone, there are usually lots of runners at the park. The other day, I tried to keep up with some Army runners who were doing a timed test. All three runners passed me, but I was able to keep one in sight. He looked like he was doing an easy run, but I was not! When I'm trying to run fast, it helps to try to keep up with the speedsters!

Quinoa Salad

This is a salad I ate at America's this week. It was so good that I had to take a picture of it so that I would remember how to make it. On a bed of mixed greens was quinoa, grilled chicken, red peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, papaya, cheese and lemon vinaigrette. You could easily make something similar and just use what you happen to have on hand for a good and healthy meal. In fact, maybe I should make some of that right now!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Treadmill: 24 Mile Run

My Treadmill with Utah on the Screen

Today I ran 24 miles on my treadmill. It's still too hot to do a long run outside. The nice thing about being at home is that you can stop whenever you want. After eating raisins and pretzels for the first half of my run, I felt myself dragging just a bit and went into the kitchen to get a blackberry Gu gel. Then at mile 17, it felt like my toe nail was hitting the front of my shoe so I took a toe nail trimming break to take care of that.

I'm surprised at how little I ate today- one gel, 1/4 cup raisins, a handful or two of pretzels and a cup of Nuun. I figure that's about as many calories as 3 gels and is equivalent to a gel every 8 miles. Usually, I like to take a gel every 5 miles. Also, I didn't go heavier than usual on the carbohydrates in the days before this run.

It was a long, easy-paced run (9:52 average pace) and in order to do it without becoming bored out of my mind, I watched Youtube: travel shows on how to pack lightly, visiting Paris and Utah and the movie based on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I liked the part where the main character was running to catch up to someone. Thinking "Run, Anne, run!" gave me a little more energy in the 24th mile.

I think that 24 miles is the most I've run during training, but this isn't the first time I've run 24 in training. The more long runs that I do, the less intimidating they are - just as I had hoped!

Friday, September 7, 2012

My 1st Marathon: Late Report!

My 7 Houston Marathon Medals

This race report is about a race that occurred over six years ago in January 2006. I didn't have a blog when I ran this marathon, but here is my race report - just a little bit late in getting to my blog!  

        "You finished the race! Your time was five hours and seven minutes,” my husband told me after I crossed the finish line of the 2006 Houston Marathon. My whole body hurt all over, but I couldn’t keep from smiling.
I started running in August of 2004. Before running the marathon, I had never run a race longer than a 5k, but something made me want to run a marathon anyway - probably a magazine article I had come across that told of a woman who finished a marathon. That article inspired me and made me wonder whether I could run a marathon, too, so I started training for one.
There were a lot of new things to learn about running lots of miles in the summer heat and then on cold winter days, too, but the biggest change that occurred during my marathon training was that my level of confidence increased the more that I trained. Although I had begun my marathon training wondering if I could finish a marathon, I was beginning to think that there was a very good chance that I could finish the marathon. 
Finally, marathon morning arrived. I was a bundle of nerves. It seemed like forever for the starting gun to go off even though it was probably only about twenty minutes. My stomach had butterflies. I wondered if I would be sick. Then all of a sudden, the gun went off!
I was running. I waved good-bye to my husband. The butterflies disappeared. I felt great. There was excited chatter all around me. I was running the race with thousands of other runners. I was really running a marathon! 
There were race spectators all along the race course. Our names were written on our race bibs that we wore on our shirts and the race spectators called out our names. Young children put out their hands to high-five the runners. I high-fived back.
After five hours of running, I could see the finish line ahead. I wanted to run fast to the finish line, but my legs were so heavy. Strangers on the sidelines screamed at runners, urging them to sprint to the finish. I tried to speed up, but my body felt like it was slowing down. 
“I’ll race you to the finish line,” a runner that I'd never seen before yelled to me. He had just run up beside me. I smiled and I tried as hard as I could to speed up.
“Come on, you aren’t going to let an old man beat you!” he teased. I ran as fast as I could, thankful for the stranger who helped me fly across my first marathon finish line. At least I felt like I was flying!

             I've run twelve marathons so far and I'm signed up for my thirteenth!  How about you? Are you training for your first marathon? Or have you run a few already? 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gotta Run 22 Miles

My  Bumper Sticker Says It All

I ran outside as far as possible - 9.7 miles. Back at home, I cooled off with a peach popsicle and hopped on my treadmill. There was some good and there was some bad to my 22 mile run...

The bad:

  • 80* and 90% humidity at the start
  • 87* with 100* "Feels Like Temperature" at the end
  • Stomach ache from mile 8 and on (maybe from the heat)
  • It became more of a run/walk
  • So it took forever 
  • An unleashed big, muddy (friendly) dog jumped up on me

The good:

  • Dog owners who leash their untrained, friendly dogs
  • Sometimes I can run through stomach pain
  • Some trail running (I ran in Memorial Park, as usual) 
  • I finished my 22 mile run 
  • My next long run has got to be better!

Next time, I'll start on the treadmill because the heat wore me out. Why am I doing long runs when my next planned marathon isn't until January? I like to run - most days! Here's hoping that your next run goes more smoothly than mine did and that you complete your running goals, too!
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