Friday, June 28, 2013

Post-Long Run Drink

Peanut Butter Banana Drink
It's still hard for me to believe that I lost my honey while I was running today.

I had put some honey and water (5 oz total) in a small flask (similar to this one) and put it in my handheld water bottle pocket. When it was time for some honey, I pulled the flask out of the pocket and it was empty.

I had noticed a few drips, but I thought it was the condensation on my bottle. Fortunately, it didn't make too much of a mess and from now on, I'll be double checking my lids. I was close to home so ran home and picked up some Powerbar Kona gels and a few pretzels to get me through my run.

After today's 12.31 mile run (even .01 counts when it gets up to 90 degrees!), I drank my Peanut Butter Banana Drink: 3/4 of a frozen banana (break up bananas and keep the pieces in a plastic bag in the freezer), 1/2 TB. peanut butter and a cup of milk. It has a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. The ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 is what you want to aim for after a hard workout. For more on that, see What Runners Should Know About Protein.

Do you have a favorite healthy post-run food/drink?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Recap



I had a great 9 mile run today! Even in the heat, my average pace was a minute faster than last Monday's pace on my tough 8 miler. That doesn't make me fast, just less-slothful in the humidity. (The picture is from today's run.)

Running Miles: Last week I ran six days, running: 8, 6, 10, 4, 12, 5 with a rest day on Sunday. I like a hard/easy run days plan. Weekly total: 45. 

Strength Training: 4 days of 30 minutes each, including these videos: Denise Austin's Rock Hard Abs Workout and Honolulu Trainer's strength training for runners. I especially liked the sumo squats with calf raise on the second video. They're hard! 



Healthy Eating: I made whole wheat buttermilk pancakes using Inquiring Chef's recipe. I topped them with peanut butter and ate some before today's run. I also made some peach honey yogurt popsiclesbut I didn't follow the instructions and used non-fat yogurt. I tried again with whole fat and they worked. I ate one after today's run and it cooled me off. 

Reading Update: On January 1, I wrote that I'd like to read through the Bible this year. I'm in Psalms now. That's the middle of the Bible so I'm on track. 

Blog Improvements: Just thought I'd let you know that I updated my About Page.

Running Tip for the Heat: Today I put one of those small freezer packs made for lunch bags (similar to this one) in my side shorts pocket while I ran. It wasn't a perfect arrangement, but it was nice to have something cool with me. I plan to do that again.


Friday, June 21, 2013

12 Miles, Etc.



Razz Clif Shot Gel - Since the St. George Marathon I'm running this fall is offering Gatorade and Clif Shot gels on the course, during today's 12 mile run I drank Gatorade and I had a Razz Clif Shot gel. The gel was like raspberry jam, but with a thinner consistency. It tastes good to me, but it's on the sweet side. I used the same fuel when I ran The Woodlands Half Marathon. Normally, I use GU or Powerbar gels during marathons, but it would be nice to be handed my fuel during the marathon. Have you tried Clif Shot gels?

Salads - Tonight is salad/pizza night. So that I don't go overboard on the pizza eating, I like to make a good side salad. Some of my favorites toppings are avocados, beets and peas. Rather than use a salad dressing, sometimes I top my salads with cottage cheese. Do you like any unique and healthy salad toppings? Yesterday, I topped mine with bulgar and quinoa.

Vacation Running
- I took the photo of the U.S. Capitol while on a run on my first ever Washington DC vacation a few weeks ago. When my husband and I are on vacation, I like to get out for an early run. He likes to sleep in and I like to find places that we'd like to visit later in the day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

High Temps Vs. High Humidity

After not finishing my planned miles on Friday because it was hot, I decided to walk or sit before I felt like I'd collapse from now on! The photo shows one of my rest stops along my running route.

I'm usually a morning runner, but Saturday night I ran 6.6 miles when it was 95 degrees (with lower humidity than earlier). I wanted to see if running later in the day was easier than running on a humid morning. I sweat and drank less than usual, but after only one try, I'm not sure which is less difficult. My pace was about the same Saturday and today. 

This morning I ran 8 miles in high humidity (90%) and 80* (maybe). I ran up a couple of hills (need hill info?) and did a few strides - the goal was to speed up towards the end on all of those. Hopefully, the next time I do these, I can increase the reps and the speed at the end, too. 

Before Saturday's and today's run, I did some strength training using Sculpt Your Arms and Core Exercises. At least the heat can't keep me from a good, hard workout inside! 


Friday, June 14, 2013

11+ Warm Miles


97% humidity at the start of my run and about 80 degrees during the run! One thing that pushes me to run the miles is knowing that I have a fall marathon coming up- the St. George Marathon. Inspiring stories help, too, like the post about Sabrina Little who set a new American record of 152 miles in a 24 hour race recently. I can't imagine doing that! Posts that tell me that the heat makes me stronger help, too.

Unfortunately, no matter how willing I am to run through uncomfortable temperatures, the heat sometimes wins. I cut my run short when the walk breaks were taking over my morning run! I ran 11.35 miles today. I saw a rabbit, a baby turtle, ran through the woods where I got a good look at a deer and stopped to take a picture of some ducklings at the lake.

When it's hot, it's a good time for crock-pot meals so I recently made Balsamic Chicken. I found that this is a good dish to serve with brown rice or a baked potato.

Pre-run: English muffin topped with peanut butter and raisins, ice water
During: Gatorade, orange slices, chocolate mint GU (I didn't plan on eating the GU unless I really needed something else, so there you go!)
Post-run: 1/2 Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie and Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bar (39 g. carbohydrates/10 protein total) Both taste great!


Monday, June 10, 2013

8 Miles with Easy Hills

Deer Tracks!

I've begun training for the St.George Marathon - less than 17 weeks to go! Today I ran 8 miles and included hills and strides.

The Short Hill in the Woods - 6 times up the hill. There was practically a trail traffic jam at the top of my first hill. Just as my dog, Zoe, and I made it to the top, a deer ran across the trail. I've seen a few deer since we moved to the area in January, but I'm still in awe of them. Seeing the deer running put a little giddy-yup in my dog's step!

10 X .10 - Next, I ran Zoe back home, grabbed my water bottle, ate some orange slices (tasted great!) and headed back out to finish my run. After each stride, I let myself walk a few steps - it's humid. This was a much better run than Friday's when I ran 10 miles and had to sit on a bench to rest. Today was a good run day with hills, strides and a deer!

Do you have a hill workout you'd like to share? Here's an interview with a runner trained by Brad Hudson who incorporates hills into her training several times a week. I think that's a good idea!


Friday, June 7, 2013

4 Ways to Run a Faster Marathon

Start of Bob Potts Marathon 

In October, I want to run the St. George Marathon faster than I ran the Bob Potts Marathon (3:58) in May so I've come up with a plan.

  1. More Miles - I did a maximum of 50-55 mile weeks training last time using Advanced Marathoning, but I'd like to increase that to at least 60. I want to run more 20 milers, too. Last time, I only did two.
  2. Plenty of Hills - I want to run hills at least once a week. Some days, I may substitute with stairs.
  3. Lots of Speedwork - I'll continue to do this at least once a week. I'll go by effort more and not get discouraged because my actual pace is slower than I want it to be not that it's so hot outside. 
  4. More "Strength/Weights/Core Work" - Increase to at least three days a week instead of just two.

The period at the beginning of marathon training is such an optimistic time! That's a good thing, but I never know what will happen on race day. If I've learned something along the way about challenging myself and perseverance, then it will be worth it. I'm looking forward to training for my 15th marathon!

How about you? Is there something you'll change when training for your next race? This might help: Analyzing Your Race Performance (Competitor.com).


Monday, June 3, 2013

St. George Marathon - I'm In!



I'm going to St. George, Utah! A couple of weeks ago, I received this exciting news:

CONGRATULATIONS!!! We would like to congratulate you on being 1 of 7600 runners selected for the 2013 St. George Marathon. We will be hosting runners from all 50 states and 18 countries. We would like to thank you for your interest in our event and we look forward to seeing each of you cross the finish line!

Since it was my first try to enter the race by lottery, I was surprised to make it in. I love hiking in Utah and I can't wait to run a marathon there, too. The above photo is from one of my hiking trips in Utah (Nov.'11).

Since getting the news that I'm running the St. George marathon, I've found some helpful sites:

2011 St. George Marathon Video produced by St. George City

Marathon Guide.com - race details from previous St. George marathoners

Fast Cory's Advice After Running the Course Twice: After reading this, I want to wait for mile 14 and then fly to the finish!

Runarirun's St. George Marathon Recap: She reminded me that arriving a week early so your body can acclimate is a good idea. I did notice that it was a little harder to run in Zion when I visited and that was on an "easy run"!

Are you hoping to run the St. George Marathon in 2014? Reserve the hotel room early! I waited until I knew I was running the race and I couldn't find a room in town, but at least I found one that's only about 5 miles outside of town.

It felt great to know that I had another marathon coming up when I crossed the finish line of my last marathon. (Okay, well not immediately after! After a few minutes, maybe!)

I plan to make some improvements in my training this summer. By the time the marathon is here, I'll be ready! I started off my training with an easy 5 miles today. It felt good!

Do you have any upcoming races or vacations? I'd love to hear about them!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Philly: Food & History


After finishing my 14th marathon in York, PA, I did a lot of walking that afternoon at Valley Forge and in Philadelphia. My legs felt okay when I walked around on race day, but for a couple of days after the race, I was sore - DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)!

My husband and I stayed near Independence Hall for a couple of days before flying back home to Texas. In Philly, we ate at City Tavern where they dress in period costume. We had turkey pot pie and sweet potato bread, which they say was John Adams' favorite. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. I microwave them, peel them and sprinkle cinnamon on top.


Taking a detour from my usual healthy turkey sandwiches, we split a couple of cheese steak sandwiches from Geno's and Pat's, two rivaling cheese steak shops right across the street from each other. The sandwiches were nearly the same, but Pat's gives you more meat. It's good to have that figured out!

Independence Hall

We visited the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell, Christ Church and Independence Hall, where the tour guides gave informative talks, making Independence Hall our favorite part of our Philly trip.



Then we found a fun old-fashioned ice cream shop, Franklin Fountain, and shared a banana split. That was my second ice cream during our history/marathon trip, but I was still getting in some healthy foods, too, like salads, fruit and the Kind bars, peanut butter and oatmeal that I brought along.

The Betsy Ross House
On Memorial Day, we watched fireworks from our hotel room and the next day, we ate at Reading Terminal Market. It's full of restaurants and there was a National Treasure movie scene there. We should have watched that movie before the trip for ideas on where to go. I'm sorry that we missed going into the National Archives in DC, for instance, but we did see the outside of it while riding our bikes.

Inside the Betsy Ross House
I'm home now and back to mostly healthy eating (I use Myfitnesspal.com), doing some strength training exercises and even running a little, too. Yesterday my dog and I went for a walk and we ran the last 1/4 mile. I hope to add in some more easy running this next week.

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