Monday, December 24, 2012

20 Mile Holiday Run

Caribbean Ocean, Belize 
  • 20 miles at 9:57/mile pace, about a minute slower than marathon goal pace. Most of the run went well. My average at 15 miles was 9:45, but the last few miles were slow because...
  • My stomach hurt off and on from about mile 16. 
  • My dog ran with me towards the end. It was good to have a distraction. 
  • Sick! Unfortunately, after the run I vomited - that's a first. Nearly 70* when I finished - dehydrated? Maybe I should have had Gatorade in addition to my gels. No cramping though. Hmm... Dunno, except that I took 3 gels that I don't usually use. Update: I recently started taking an iron supplement and sometimes that causes vomiting and headaches, which I had.
  • I feel much better now. I think some peppermint ice cream might help, though! 
  • Merry Christmas to you and happy new year! Somebody decorated a Memorial Park bench for Christmas. How nice!
How much slower than marathon pace do you run easy-paced long runs?
I ran today's run a minute slower.
Do you plan to make a special Christmas dessert?
I'd like to make chocolate peppermint cookies or brownies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

16 Mile Long Run

Fruit Stand in Belize
I ran 16 miles today. With the Hanson's plan, you run long runs a little slower than marathon pace, but training fast to race fast makes sense to me so that's what I did. My average pace for the run was 9:00/mile. I ran the first three easy and then I ran the last 13 miles faster. My marathon goal pace is about 8:55.

Thankfully,  I saw some speedsters on the trail at mile 3 and I just tried to hang on. It was a little harder to keep pushing myself when they stopped running, but at mile 11, I saw another speedster and I tried to catch up. By the way, I follow from a distance so that I don't bother my pacers! ; )

Food in Belize

We recently went on a trip to Belize. The photo is of a fruit stand in San Pedro, Belize, where I stopped for golden plums and pepitas. Golden plums are stringy so you'll need dental floss after you eat one to get the strings out of your teeth, but they were fun to try. We ate mango and pineapple, too. On our trip to the Mayan ruins, we ate chicken, rice, and beans - good and simple!

Friday, December 7, 2012

16 Mile Long Run

Yesterday, I ran 5 easy miles and then I ran the last 11 miles at a pace under 9:00 for 10 miles. There was one slow mile in there that I ran at 9:01, my average for the whole run. That's just 3 seconds per mile slower than I need for a BQ or a 3:55 marathon finish. It wasn't an easy run because I was pushing the pace, but I came close to meeting my pace goals so it was a good run.

I ate sourdough toast with honey before the run and I ate GU gels at miles 5 (no caffeine) and 10 ( a caffeinated one - 20 mg). I don't know if caffeine makes a difference for me, but here's an article that says that it helps.  I do think that the pleasant weather helped. It was only about 60* with overcast skies and there was a break from the humidity.

I listened to music during the run, which made running round and round the 3 mile loop at Memorial Park less boring. I usually see "regular" runners and walkers along the way, which makes it feel more like a small town even though this is the fourth largest city in the country. About a mile of the loop that I ran along was on Memorial Drive and is a part of the Houston Marathon route.

Photo: I climbed to the top of the High Temple at the Lamanai Mayan Ruin on a recent trip to Belize. I was too busy trying not to fall down to remember to count the steep steps, but the temple is 108 feet or 33 meters high. From the top, I could see the top of the rain forest for miles and New River, the river that we rode a boat on in order to go to the ruin. I could hear howler monkeys in the distance, too. Unfortunately, we only saw one monkey, but at least my husband got to feed it a banana during our boat ride.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I took a trip to Central America last week. My husband and I took a plane and a boat ride and arrived on Ambergris Caye, an island in Belize. The top photo was taken during a flight on a small plane from the island to Belize City where we got on another plane to return to Houston.

While in Belize, we took a boat ride to the Lamanai Mayan Temple. The temple was in the rain forest and we saw wild crocodiles, iguanas, and bats. My husband even gave a monkey a banana. In the next photo, I'm climbing down the steep stairs after climbing to the top of the temple. I was thankful for the rope to hang onto.

We rode a jet ski a couple of times. The water was a beautiful turquoise.

I ran along the beach with thatched huts and boats. I stopped along the way and watched the fish swimming in the clear water.

 We stayed at the Mata Rocks Hotel and the next photo was taken from our patio, close to the ocean. In the mornings, we saw dolphins in the water from our patio.

I was surprised at how peaceful the beach area was in contrast to how crowded the little town was at busy times of the day with speeding cars, golf carts and young kids on bikes all in the road at once. People were very friendly, often greeting us with a "Good morning" or "Hi, guys". Great trip!
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