Saturday, October 26, 2013

3 Favorite Fitness Apps


Do you have any favorite fitness apps? Here are three apps that make it easier for me to eat right, to exercise and to keep track of my workouts.

  • Map My Run (MMR): Lately, I've been using this app to keep track of my running, riding and even walking my dog. I found some "challenges" in which I am entered for prizes depending on the kinds of workouts I do. For instance, I'm doing one where I could win some dog food for Zoe just for taking her for a run or a walk. On November 1, they're starting a new challenge in which you could win a $100 Amazon gift certificate for logging 30 minutes of daily exercise.

  • My Fitness Pal (MFP): This is great for keeping track of my calories, carbohydrates, protein, etc. You can use the phone app to scan UPC codes from items you're eating to make it really easy to input your food.

  • Nike Training Club (NTC): Having this app on my phone makes it easy to do a workout anywhere. There are a number of workouts to choose from and it's easy to pick one according to the time you have to work out and the body parts you want to work on. 

Today I used the MFP app to see that I ate 45 carbs before my run. After feeling a little sluggish during yesterday's 3 mile run, I decided to eat before running today. That was my first run since the St. George Marathon about three weeks ago. I was really happy to be running again, but I wanted to feel even better. Today, I felt better.

Next, I used the NTC app for a 15 minute abs burning workout before my three mile run with my dog. 

While I was running, I used the MMR app. I wore my Garmin Forerunner 610 in order to compare them. The Garmin showed me running 1 mile for each .93 mile on the MMR. For me, that's close enough and I like having two choices for keeping track of my pace and distance. Since I always have my phone with me, being able to track my miles from my phone could come in handy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Road Trip From Utah to Texas


The day after I ran the St. George Marathon, my husband and I drove to Park City, Utah. Somehow I managed to keep up with him on our downhill and uphill walk through the historic town. He even told me that he could hardly tell that I had just run a marathon. I wondered if he was just being nice because I was still pretty sore. I tried not to cry too hard when I saw that the restaurant where we ate had a restroom down a long flight of stairs!


From there, we drove to the Park City Ski Resort. I think that I must have been ice cream depleted after all of my marathon training because right after finishing the marathon, I ate an ice cream sandwich. The next day, ice cream still sounded good so we sat in the warm sun and ate ice cream while watching people glide up and down the mountain on a zip line. It was a great afternoon.

Originally, we had planned to drive up to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons after the marathon, but because the national parks were closed, we had to make some changes. On the way home to Texas, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, Utah. The park was a surprisingly good find that we learned about from our waiter at the St. George Olive Garden where I ate my pre-marathon dinner.




That wasn't the last of our great views, though. The next day, we found ourselves looking down upon the small town of Ouray, Colorado, sometimes called America's little Switzerland.


From there, it wasn't too far to Durango, Colorado. After staying in Durango for a few days, we drove to Albuquerque for the Hot Air Balloon Festival. We were late because of a traffic delay, but not too late to see a few of the colorful balloons.


Afterwards, we headed home through Amarillo, Texas, and stopped at Cadillac Ranch. If you can believe it, the ranch is just an empty lot with some cars stuck in the dirt that are spray painted by anyone who visits. I guess our recent hike wasn't enough for my husband so he got in some more climbing.


Finally, we made it back to Texas after our 4000 mile driving vacation. The map shows our route and the letters show some of the stops that we made. Our trip included running a marathon in Utah, hiking in Colorado and even our 28th wedding anniversary. Taking a vacation was a great way to celebrate!



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Durango Highlights



On my recent vacation, besides running the St. George Marathon on October 5, my husband and I did some sight seeing. Our stop in Durango, Colorado, was a highlight of our trip. On our first day there, we were amazed by the fall colors: golden, orange and red. We liked walking through historic downtown Durango where we ate delicious Fired Up Pizza.

The next day, we drove to Vallecito Trail, which is close to town. That's where we began our 4-5 hour hike only four days after I ran the marathon. I was a little sore, but it was probably good for me to stretch my legs. The river was a beautiful blue-green and the views were wonderful. We crossed a creek while balancing on a log. My marathon legs were a little wobbly, but I didn't fall in!



After 3 1/2 miles of hiking, we stopped at a turn around point to eat the sandwiches, nuts and fruit we picked up at a grocery store. You can't beat having lunch while sitting on boulders overlooking a rushing river!

The next day, it snowed! The snow on the pine trees in the mountains was beautiful. We found the Colorado Trail where we might take a very long hike someday. Then we ate fruit pastries and hot cocoa at a French restaurant in downtown Durango while it snowed outside.


In running news, I'm not running yet because I want to give my body a chance to recover. Today I did some strength training and rode my bike the farthest I've ridden since the marathon: 8 1/4 miles. Then I took my dog, Zoe, for a walk. While I was out, someone asked about the breed of my dog - she's a Weimaraner like the dogs in the funny Wegman Weimaraner photos. Strength, riding and walking made up my hour of exercise today - a good workout!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Arizona Car Camping Adventure



On the way from our home in Texas to the St. George Marathon, in Utah, my husband and I stopped at his sister's property in Williams, Arizona, which is just a few miles from the Grand Canyon. No one else would be there, but it was a perfect place to stop on the way and car camp. Here's what happened two nights before my marathon - that night that they say is so important to get a good night's sleep for a marathoner!

After two days of driving, we set up camp by attaching our car tent to the back of our car. After being amazed at the sky full of stars, I climbed into my sleeping bag and quickly fell asleep. I heard my husband get up in the middle of the night to air up our mattress that we were sleeping on and then to fiddle with our broken portable heater.

Then I woke up because my toes were so numb from the cold. I got up and crawled out of my sleeping bag to find my hand warmers and slipped them into my socks, but the hand warmers didn't feel warm. I wondered if it was just too cold. We decided to use the car heater a few times.


Then there was a noise. Something was trying to get into our car tent. Maybe it was a mouse. It was hard to get back to sleep knowing something was out there and wouldn't go away. I got up to see if I could spot it and it was freezing outside of my sleeping bag. Back in my bag, I heard the noise again and again. I wondered if I'd wake up with a mouse crawling on me.

Then I heard what sounded like a burro, but what scared me was the sound of howling coyotes, multiple times. My husband said that we could close the car hatch door if they got too close.

Finally, it was morning! We took a walk, enjoying the sunny morning before driving into St. George where I would run the marathon. Even though I was scared and didn't get much sleep, car camping was a fun adventure and I wouldn't have changed a thing except for the mouse and coyote sounds in the middle of the night!

Now it's been 13 days since I ran my 15th marathon. I'm taking it easy. It's been fun to walk my dog, ride my bike and do some strength training, too.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

St. George Marathon Report



Last Saturday, I ran the St. George Marathon. Coming in at 4:35:01, it was one of my slowest races, but because I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish because of some previous leg pain, I'm especially happy to report that I did indeed finish.

Plus, among the five marathoners named Tina, I came in at second place!

Course: You've probably heard the course is a net downhill, but there are some uphills. The uphills in the second quarter of the race did me in. By the time, the easier section came along with lots of downhills, I was worn out.

Weather/Clothes: At the start, runners were wrapped in foil blankets and stood around fire pits. I wore arm warmers and a jacket that I could bag up and throw to the side of the road during the first 6 miles of the race and pick up after the race. At the beginning, I carried hand warmers. Towards the end, people were handing out cold wash cloths and popsicles. I was never uncomfortably warm in my running skirt and tank top.

Volunteers: The fluid stop volunteers were always ready with a cup and I was glad that a volunteer smeared my legs with Icy-hot around mile 22.

Spectators: Although there were a few places that were hard for spectators to get to, it didn't bother me. I was too busy taking in the beautiful Utah scenery. It was great to see so many spectators towards the end of the race. They were so encouraging!

Parking: On race morning, my husband easily dropped me off where I hopped on a race bus to go to the top of the mountain where the race started. We ran down the mountain (on a road) into the town of St. George.

Expo: I'd call it a medium sized expo. They had samples of the Clif bar gel flavors that would be offered during the race.

Fuel Pre-run: First, I ate some homemade banana bread and a Powerbar bar. Then, I took a GU gel just before the start.

Fuel During Race: Gu (salted caramel) or Clif gels (raspberry) at miles 7, 11, 15 and 19 (usually with water). Gatorade from mile 13 and later.

After the Race: Pie!

Post-marathon Food: They had lots to eat after the race, but I just ate an ice cream sandwich - one of the best post-race foods ever! I wanted to save room for pie with my husband. After I cleaned up, I ate some chicken pot pie and blueberry pie from Croshaw's Pies in St. George. I'd love to know how to make a flaky crust like theirs!

Unplanned Occurrences: The last 10 miles were painful. With each step, the pain went from my feet right up through my thighs. Because I had hardly run in the last 7 weeks of training due to leg pain, I was not able to get in enough hill work. Of the 15 marathons that I've run, this was my most difficult marathon to finish.

To Improve: The race was well organized all except that the gels were handed out at the fluid stations directly before the water hand-out. I missed a water cup after the first gel hand-out. From then on, I ate a gel just before running through the fluid stations. Problem solved!


What Went Well: It's a lot of fun to include races in vacations with my husband. Besides driving to Utah from our home in Texas, we had many other travel adventures on this trip, but I'll save the rest of my stories for my upcoming posts. Thanks for reading!


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