Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Long Run in a New Skirt

I recently bought a new running skirt, the Skirt Sports Women's Adventure Girl Skirt, because it has 5 pockets. In the photo, you can see three of the back pockets that are large enough to carry my 4 3/4 x 2 3/8 inch phone and lots of gels. There are two additional pockets on the shorts that are underneath the skirt. Skirt length for the extra small is 14'' (front) and 15.5'' (back) with 5 inch inseam shorts that do not ride up. The fabric feels like a crepe fabric to me, kind of unexpected in a running skirt.

I've worn it a few times. The back of the waist band chafes so I have to wear something underneath and the skirt flares out a little too much, so there's good and there's bad. It was windy today and I liked the fact that I didn't have to worry when my skirt flew up since my shorts were nice and long. 
Today I ran 17 miles. It took me 2 3/4 hours. I only ate two GU gels (25 carbs each at miles 8 and 12), which is a low amount, but I like to experiment. I felt fine and was able to speed up a bit at the end. I've often heard that runners should take in 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour, which is closer to what I usually do. I found the GU gels for $8 for a package of 8 at my local Academy Sports.
I had cool temps to run in this morning. It was about 50 degrees the entire time, but with the wind it felt cooler. This was such a nice change. At first I needed gloves, but I ended up in just a tank top and skirt. Without the humidity, I felt like I was flying. 
I carried a water bottle to see if I'd like to carry one during my upcoming marathon at the end of May. I got used to it quickly. I may carry it since it may be warm at the race in Pennsylvania. It slowed me down a bit when I ate a gel while carrying my pepper-spray. I saw a runner who was a much better multitasker. While running, she was pushing a double stroller along a narrow dirt path while talking on her phone and was able to wave at me, too. I think that with a little planning, I can get speedier at opening a gel while holding a water bottle. Maybe I can even work in a wave at the same time.

Update: This skirt worked great for the marathon I ran in May (more photos in that post). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

20 Mile Run

I ran 20 miles in the humidity. The humidity really slowed me down, but running in the heat should prepare me for my next marathon in May: The Bob Potts Marathon in PennsylvaniaThe Bob Potts Marathon will give runners who ran in the Boston Marathon, but were stopped before finishing, a free entry.

 I used 5 gels and GU Brew electrolyte tablets for the extra sodium to prevent cramps. I wore my Nathan hydration belt so that I wouldn't have to stop for water at the fountain very often. The belt felt heavy at first, but I got used to it and I carried less the more I ran. I didn't have any cramps today like I sometimes do after running in the heat.

I tried some new gels today, just out of curiosity: VFuel (previously ViFuel). I had three flavors: peach cobbler (the best tasting, very mild), vanilla (too sweet) and chocolate (not for me). The package is bigger than the GU gels. VFuel gel has a thinner consistency than GU gels and it costs more, but if you can't stomach other gels, you might like to try peach VFuel. You can order a sampler pack of three for $8. Save 20% with code: JCA20. 

I've started to write something about what happened in Boston for my blog, but I can't find the right words. The stories of people helping others have been comforting. Most of all, I pray that God will bring healing and comfort.

Updates: Now praying for West, Texas, too. It's about 200 miles away from where I live.
OKC Memorial Marathon is also offering free entries for the April 28 race.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cherry Smoothie

Yesterday I ran 15 miles. Since I'm loosely following the Pfitzinger "12 week/55 miles maximum per week" plan (from the Advanced Marathoning book), I was supposed to run 12 marathon paced miles. My marathon goal is 4 hours or faster, a 9:09/mile pace. I started out okay, but then I slowed down. After I slowed down, I was able to get back on track to run the last mile at marathon pace. As it turns out, I only ran 7 miles at marathon pace, but I'm satisfied. Since the Bob Potts Marathon isn't until the end of May, there's still time to build up speed.

During the run, I had Gu gels, Gatorade and chewed a Gu Brew tablet (electrolytes: salt and sugar). I will never chew one of those tablets again. I did it because I didn't have a cup with me and I'm glad I was beside a water fountain so that I could wash it down. You're really supposed to dissolve the tablet. When I do, I like it. Lesson learned!

After the run, it was time for a cherry smoothie. I don't usually feel like solid food when I finish a hard or long run, but I can always drink something. Of course, smoothies are so easy to make that you don't need to follow a recipe, but maybe you like to see smoothie recipes for ideas like I do.

Cherry Smoothie with Milk

Blend together:
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana (I keep bananas quarters in freezer for smoothies)
  • 1/2 cup plain Dannon yogurt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
Nutritional facts: 255 calories, 35 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein

Cherry Smoothie with Juice

Blend together:
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup plain Dannon yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apple juice 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
Nutritional facts: 171 calories, 20 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein

Around the Web

Have you heard about 61 year old Maria Shields? She ran her first 100-mile race at the 2012 Umstead 100, held in North Carolina, and finished in 22:52:06. Last Saturday, she PR'ed in 21:32:17. So inspiring! 
What to Wear in any Weather Tool from Runner's World
Stolen!  5 tons of Nutella 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great 18 Mile Run

Gels at Miles 4, 8, 12 &15 Plus Gatorade Between Gels

Since running the Woodlands Half Marathon exactly one month ago, I have felt so slow, but not today. Why was today's 18 miler run at a faster pace, but more comfortable for me, than the long runs I've done in the last two weeks (16 and 17 miles runs)? Maybe it's because:

  • The temperature stayed cool: about 60*. Humidity dropped from 92-82%. (But it was cool on my 17 mile run.)
  • I'm farther away from the half marathon and my body has finally recovered. 
  • I took in more carbohydrates on my 18 miler: 4 Gu gels + 24 oz. Gatorade = 132 carbs. My 17 miler: 88 carbs. My 16 miler: 76 carbs. By drinking Gatorade in addition to eating gels, I easily added carbohydrates today. 

It could be all three reasons, but I'm guessing that the carbohydrates are the answer. Or maybe it was just a good day. 

What are you doing on your next vacation? My husband thinks it would be fun to go canyoneering and rappelling with Zion Adventures in Utah, but that scares me more than the idea of running an ultra! He tried to talk me into it by telling me about the guide who runs marathons. So sneaky of him!

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