Showing posts from March, 2013

New: Gloves, Chews & Audio Books

This week I did a couple of new things while training for my May marathon.
I watched ashow about ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes. The show made me want to go for a run even though I had already run that day. While running, I listened to an audio book. I downloaded the free Librivox app for free books. It worked great except for the buffering trouble I had one day. Karnazes' wrote about listening to audio books with a couple of suggestions at Long Running Favorite. Have any suggestions for ear buds with volume control? On my last long run, it was warm, but today was cool. I wore my new Asics mitten gloves. They have a pocket to hold the mittens when you want to only wear the gloves that I put some tissue into for my nose. They gloves are a little bulky with the pocket, but they're practical. I bought them at the Houston Marathon Expo for $10. Today I ate some new fruity tasting Cytomax Energy Drops (chews) that I bought at Academy Sports for $1.50 each (two servings/packet) that …

16 Mile Run: 5 Great Things

At the two mile mark, I was sure I could run 16 miles. Watch out for those confident thoughts! You never know what will happen. By the 14th mile, I really didn't know if I could finish because it was warm and humid here in Texas today. I did run 16 miles, though, so it couldn't have been too hard!

Something I like to do on long runs is to break them down into shorter chunks. I broke the run down into four parts and I ate something every four miles. Today's fuel had a raspberry theme and it was my first run in which I tried a PB&J sandwich. Thankfully, I had lots of water (PB is sticky and bread is dry) so that worked out fine.

Jenny Hadfield wrote an interesting article, What is Cardiac Creep?, about the many things that slow you down on a run like weather, nutrition or stress. Her point was that you should run by effort and not get wrapped up in the numbers too much. I like to keep track of my pace, but I don't want to stress about it.

5 Great Things About My Run:…

11 Mile Run / Geocaching

I ran 11 miles today. I'm running a marathon in May so I'm increasing my weekly miles. My pace was not where I wanted it to be and the run seemed a little too long. Since I'm increasing my miles, that's probably normal. Still, it made me think about how I need to be careful about getting enough protein (0.5 - 0.8 gram per pound of body weight). I'll use My Fitness Pal to keep an eye on that.

To help the miles go by, I distracted myself. When I ran by the place where my husband and I recently searched for a geocache, I wondered if the cache is actually hidden in the leaves or if it is just gone. That's because we never did find the cache (a hidden container found with a GPS). That's okay. It's still fun to get outside and to hunt through the trees for a hidden treasure even if you don't find one.

10 Mile Run and a Mint Smoothie

I love mint so today I made a mint smoothie. I blended 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup Dannon plain yogurt, 1 cup spinach and 1/8 tspn peppermint extract. This smoothie has 210 calories, 25 carbs, 17 protein, 8 fat and 3 grams fiber. What an easy way to get 1 1/2 servings of fruit and vegetables! Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?

This week was a recovery week for me. Just like Olympian Pfitzinger says, I think it's a good idea to decrease the miles every few weeks. So instead of a longer run, I ran 10 miles today.

After 7 miles, I ate a couple of spoonfuls of honey and then I ran 3 more miles. Except for the time I made a homemade sports drink with honey, the honey was a first for me and I liked it.

Today I was running along, staring at the ground when I looked up and noticed the trees and the sky peeking through them. I just had to stop to take a picture!

Cake Batter Muddy Buddies Link

Cake Batter Muddy Buddies are a quick and easy treat to make. They taste a little like those pink and white animal cookies that you can buy. I shared this dessert with friends last Saturday at a picnic - my first picnic of the year. Here in Texas, we had great picnic weather - clear blue skies and a perfect temperature.

Tips? Work quickly when using melted bark so that the sprinkles will stick to the bark when you mix them in. I used about 1.5 oz. sprinkles for a 5-cup Rice Chex batch. More sprinkles would be even prettier!
Time? About 20 minutes. That includes clean-up!
Thanks to Christy at The Girl Who A Everything for posting the recipe! I thought that her measurements were just right and her blog photo of this dessert looks so good!

15 Mile Run / Pancake Link

I ran 15 miles Friday. I wasn't sure how I'd feel doing a long run so soon after Saturday's The Woodlands Half Marathon. Before I started the run, 15 miles seemed like a long way. But after 6 miles I felt confident that I could finish. That's how it usually goes. Running is nice like that!

Fuel pre-run: Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes. In the recipe, there's a great buttermilk substitution: 1 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon vinegar + 3/4 cup milk.

Is full fat dairy actually better for you? (audio link) I used whole milk for the pancakes. I used to use non-fat, but now I like to use whole milk. It fills you up and bodies need some fat.

Fuel during the run: Raisins sprinkled with salt at miles 5 & 10. I don't carry raisins during a marathon, but since I run a lot, sometimes I like to eat something other than gels in training. I like the taste of gels and how compact they can be, though.

Today: 5 mile run with my dog. I like doing short…

5 Tips for Running with Dogs

I have run many miles with my dog. Here are my 5 tips for running with dogs:

Start out with low mileage and gradually add more, just like you do for yourself.I use the Gentle Leader collar, which decreases pulling. Because even though you think you'd like someone to pull you up the hill, you really don't. If your dog lags behind, it's probably time to rest.In hot weather during long runs, carry a small, collapsible bowl for water. Carry it between a fuel belt and your waist. I allow my dog to choose how much to drink rather than coax her to drink. I think dogs probably know to "drink to thirst"! 
Yesterday, I ran 9 miles. I ran the first and the last few miles with my 8 year old Weimaraner, Zoe. This was the first time that I took her out twice during a run, but since our new backyard backs up to the park where I run, it was easy to pick her up for my cool-down mile.
Special thanks to my husband for the photo collage! 
Do you run with your dog? Have any tips?

Homemade Arm Warmers

Before running my last race, I bought a pair of tights and cut off the feet and the waist to make arm warmers. I wore them during  The Woodlands Half Marathon and I'm glad I did!

Homemade Arm Warmers:

Inexpensive ($5)To make: just cut, I don't even hem themPull over hands when coldPull down off upper arms when warmTie around waist when hotGreat for about 30-40 degreesThinner ones, like my previous homemade arm warmers, are nice, too. Thicker ones tend to slide down a bit.Or just buy some Asics ones for about $9!
What's for breakfast?  One variation of my Throw Everything in the Cereal Bowl Breakfast: uncooked oats, Maple Morning Crunch cereal, molasses, banana, cinnamon, walnuts, unsweetened almond milk and 50% less sugar Craisins (they may be less sweet, but they're sweet enough for me).

Recent Workouts- I got in a good 8 mile run yesterday and I did some strength training today. We've had some beautiful running weather lately in the Houston area!

The Woodlands Half Marathon Report

I loved today's Woodlands race! It was a small race held in Texas. I've run in both small and big races. I like them both.

Results: So excited to see this on myGarmin at the finish: 1:59:54 with a 9:07/mi average. My goal was about 2 hours and I thought sub 2 would be very nice. The finisher's chip times aren't up yet. Update: Chip time is 2:00:34; 464/1453 female. I'm glad I got so close to 2:00.

Course: Mostly flat, some hills, quiet, peaceful, some concrete streets.

Weather/Clothes: 43 degrees at 6am, race start: 7am. Beautiful day! I didn't wear shorts as planned, but I was happy with hand warmers, arm sleeves, shirt and pants (see photo).

Pace Group: I finished very close to the 2:00 pacer.

Volunteers: Volunteers are the best - encouraging! They needed more volunteers at most of the fluid stops, though.

Spectators: Not many at this small race. I'm thankful for the encouraging cheers and the high-fives.

Expo: Small. For more info: The Woodlands Half Marathon/…

The Woodlands Half Marathon/Marathon Expo

Here's my review of The Woodlands Half Marathon/Marathon Expo- the good, the bad and...There wasn't any ugly! I'm running the half marathon tomorrow. I'm looking forward to running my sixth half marathon. The Woodlands is within an hour's drive of Houston.
Good Stuff: 

Clifbar is a sponsor. They'll hand out a gel during the race. I sampled the gel flavors that were new to me. They all taste good so I'll be fine no matter what flavor I end up grabbing. My favorite Clif products that I tried: strawberry gel - it tastes like jam, the Chocolate Mint Builder's bar (I'm a chocolate mint fan) and the blueberry crisp bar (fruity). We received Clif bars in our race bag. We received Headsweats (Coolmax fabric) hats in our race bag.Bikeland handed out a water bottle that fits my bike's bottle holder.It only took 20 minutes to get to the expo/race location from my home. Parking was easy. I only had about a 3 minute walk to the expo and it was free (at The Wo…