Showing posts from 2015

How I Ran Two 18 Milers & More

I like to run and in 2015, I ran just over 1,900 miles. I like being outside, listening to a book or music and training for races. I'm not registered for one yet, but I'm looking for one.

After each run, Zoe, my Weimaraner, and I go for a walk. She'll be 11 on New Year's Day and can walk much farther than she is able to run now. Notice the handy-for-cold-running thumb holes in my running shirt - a Walmart purchase.

9 Days of Running, Riding and ST (strength-training/core) (12/21/15 - 12/29/15)

Monday: ST. 18 mile run, time-3:11, 10:37/mile. About 2 miles into the rainy run, I took cover beneath a picnic table area because of the lightning and thunder and did some exercises and stretches so that I wouldn't get cold. In the beginning, I always doubt that I'll be able to speed up, but I ran the last 4 miles the fastest.

Fuel: pre-run: oatmeal with coconut butter, a banana and coffee; during run: 2 bottles Gatorade, 4 Fig Newton cookies and an ounce of raisins - 570…

Running News (December 23)

Here are a few of my favorite links of the week. I hope you find something that inspires you!

Tough Girl Podcast

Listen to inspiring stories of women overcoming great challenges.
Running Bloggers: A Comprehensive List of Who's Sharing Great Content

Run to the Finish blogger, Amanda Brooks, links to running, fitness and healthy eating blogs.

The Real Health Benefits of New Superfood Cactus Water

A comparison of cactus water, coconut water and water.

How Trail Running Helps Me Beat Back Social Anxiety Disorder

This runner chooses running over medication to help overcome his anxiety.

Search for 12 items in #RunChatHunt and Win

You have until January 1 to win prizes like a GPS watch and running shoes.

Running mantra forthe start of a race: "Pass no one."  - Bart Yasso

2016 Reading Challenge & Running, Too

2016 Reading Challenge
I listen to a lot of books when I run. So far this year, I've listened to or read 35 books.Click here to see my 2015 reading list. One of my favorite books was Meb for Mortals. After reading that book, I began using a (mostly) 9 day schedule instead of a 7 day one (my book review).  

In 2016, I'm going to use the Visual Theology Reading Challenge as a guide when I choose books based on thereading listsuggestions. 

The Light Reader List
1. A book about Christian living
2. A biography
3. A classic novel
4. A book someone tells you "changed my life"
5. A commentary on a book of the Bible 6. A book about theology
7. A book with the word "gospel" in the title or subtitle
8. A book your pastor recommends
9. A book more than 100 years old
10. A book for children
11. A mystery or detective novel
12. A book published in 2016
13. A book about a current issue
Once I complete the Light Reader List of 13 books, I may move on to more lists in the challenge. There&#…

18 Mile Run and Race Day Carb Tips

Today there was a race held at the park where I run so Zoe and I saw part of the race when we went on a walk after I went on a thirty minute bike ride and then a five mile run at the park.

Friday, I ran 18 miles. It was a warm 70 degrees and it was nice to be able to wear shorts in December. That's Texas!

I only ate 6 Fig Newton cookies on my 18 miler that took about 3 1/4 hours. An hour into my run, I started eating a cookie every 20-25 minutes. Two Fig Newton cookies have about the same amount of carbohydrates and calories as one gel. When I'm in a long race, I often eat 1-2 gels an hour. Eating two cookies was like eating one gel every 45 minutes.

After my long run, I completed some arm strengthening exercises and listened to a podcast, Science of Ultra Podcast with Dr. Jeukendrup: Carbohydrates for Runners. Thirty-eight minutes into the podcast you'll hear some suggestions for carb consumption during a race of marathon length or more. Here's the low-down for race …

8 Miles and Links

After a breakfast of oatmeal topped with blueberries, honey, almonds, coconut butter and molasses, I started yesterday's run. It was a little chilly here in SE Texas so I pulled my long sleeves down over my hands as I walked to the park.

At the park, I started running very slowly to continue my warm-up. After two miles, I picked up the pace and thought that mile was a 10 minute mile until I got home and uploaded the info to see that it was a 9:35 mile. I ran the next two miles at a 9:14 and then a 9:01 minute per mile pace. My last hard mile was at 8:35. I don't see numbers like that very often so I was happy. I finished with two cool-down miles. That's eight miles total.

During the cool-down, I stopped at home to pick up Zoe, my dog. We stopped at the park exercise equipment after the run where I exercised for a few minutes. At home, I made a mug of minty hot chocolate to warm me up because, you know, 50 degrees, brrr!

How to Develop Situational Awareness

Runners, are you…

16 Mile Run Plus Links

If only every 16 mile run felt like today's run! Here's what may have played into this negative split morning run. The night before I slept 9 long hours. I ate cream of rice made with 1/2 cup coffee, water, molasses and honey before the run. I ate a homemade 1 x 5" almond butter/raisin/ground pretzels bar and half a banana during the run. It was a cool 50 degrees. Average pace- 9:59/mile. My 1st mile split- 11:06 and mile 16- 8:49. 2 hours 40 minutes long.

Running Shoes: My Favorite Shoes to Buy

Reading Runblogger's Review of 2016 Trail Shoes gave me some new ideas for the next shoes I buy. Since I ran the Leadville 10K this summer, I need the New Balance "Leadville". Except that I think I'd like the wide toe box of the Altra. But running in Skechers like Meb (my Meb for Mortals book review) and Camille sounds pretty good, too. (Here's a podcast interview with Camille.)

Here Comes the Cold Weather!

The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter - I vis…

20 Miles: Gen UCan and a Gel

Today I tried a new product before my long run: Generation UCan. I was hoping that by taking Gen UCan, I wouldn't need to take as many other types of fuel as usual. Although I have run 17 miles without fuel before, I often eat a gel or something about every 5 miles.

The main ingredient in Gen UCan powder is corn starch and it's supposed to prevent you from bonking by keeping your blood sugar level. I ate the following mixture 30 minutes before my run.

Cranberry Raspberry Chocolate Gen UCan (mixed the night before and refrigerated)

1 packet chocolate Gen UCan (33 gm carbohydrates)
1/2 packet cranberry raspberry Gen UCan (15 gm carbohydrates)
enough water to give it a pudding-like consistency

I liked the way the chocolate powder (contains sucralose) tasted, but the fruit powder was so sweet from the stevia that I mixed the two together to tone down the sweetness. This tasted okay. I'm sure mixing peanut butter with only the chocolate would taste better, but I wanted to keep …

18 miles, Speedwork & a Smoothie

The last time I made crepes was when I took a home economics class in 9th grade and ever since I had crepes while on vacation this summer I've wanted to make them so I finally did. My crepes (recipe) were a little thick (should have added more milk), but since I haven't made them in years, I gave myself a break and a few bacon bits. I ate them before Friday's 18 mile run and today's 8 mile run with nut butters, bananas, honey and jam, but not all in one crepe!

I wasn't sore after my 18 mile run (with the last three miles the fastest) even though I thought I might be since I did so little running in the days before that long run. Gradually adding 3 miles to the long runs and doing them every 9 days is working for me.

Saturday, we were invited to a brand new restaurant that specializes in chicken, PDQ, for their "train the employees" day. Training day can be scary (it wasn't, though), but free food? Always good! My favorite item was the peanut butter c…

My 3 Rules: Running and Books

It's (Better Than) OK to Run at an Easy Effort Until You're Warmed Up

Today I ran 8 miles with 4 easy, 2 at a harder effort and 2 easy miles once again. Six of the miles were run at a 12 something pace. The two harder miles were run at 9:55 and then 8:59/mile pace. It must have been the music I listened to that got my legs moving.

Singing While Runningis OK 

On those days when you don't think you can get out there and run because it will be hard, watch X Ambassadors' video of Renegades and then listen to it when you run. When you're running alone, I bet you can't keep from singing along - even if you are running hard!

New Book Rule (Reinstated): It's OK Not to Finish Bad Books

During the easy miles today, I listened to a book. I've had to put 3 to rest recently. I don't like to not finish books, but even worse is reading a book I don't like. I recently restarted the classic Moby Dick on Kindle. This time, I'm going to dig a little deeper into …

My Longer Training Cycle


I was glad to see five deer this week when I was out for three of my runs. There's some major tree cutting going on at the park beside my house and I was afraid that the deer would leave the park. (Enlarge the photo to see the three deer I saw one day.)

Eating Before My Morning Run 

My "fasting before all of my runs experiment" has ended in hopes that I'll have more energy when I run. I felt better when I ran 12 miles after eating first, but my pace still hasn't picked back up. See this Inside Tracker post and this post for more on the subject of eating before you run.

Am I an Obnoxious Runner? 

I asked myself that question after reading this article that makes the point that running should inspire others to do what they love even if it isn't running. Then I asked myself that question again after watching the video about the marathoner who ran without telling anyone. That would not be me!

A Longer Exercise Cycle 

After reading the book Meb for Mo…

4 Tips from Meb for Mortals, the Book

I found some great advice in Meb Keflezighi's book, Meb for Mortals. Here are four of my favorite tips for training and race nutrition.

Meb trains using a 9-day cycle. He feels fresher using this plan over the usual 7 day plan because the longer cycle helps him to stay injury-free. In each cycle, he will run a long run, an interval workout and a tempo run. He follows each of these runs with 2 days of recovery runs. Before reading the book, I heard he used 9 day cycles and tried them, but I didn't know about the two recovery days (easy runs) after a hard day. I'll try that with some of the recovery days as "no running" days.   For protein, he usually eats eggs (after his morning run), chicken (for most lunches and dinners) and beef (especially after a hard/long run). I've been eating more beef lately to get more iron in my diet and now I'll focus on beef for hard days.The day before a marathon, Meb doesn't change his diet very much. The day before a ma…

Home Again, Fasted Run, R2R?

We've been back home since October 1 after taking a four month RV vacation and even though RV'ing is a fun adventure, there are nice things about being home.
Seeing friendsGood wifiMy washing machine and dryer We don't know when we'll take off again, but it was a fun vacation with national parks, a visit to Canada and three races:

Leadville 10KMissoula MarathonFlagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach 55K
Don't Touch That Toast!

I'm trying something new that I used to do a lot - fasted running (not eating before my morning run). All I thought about during today's run was food, but that will pass as I get used to this. It would be nice if I didn't have to eat so much during a race, but I may only eat less during training runs and then take in the usual amount of gels during races. Not only that, but I've been eating fewer carbs and more healthy fats like avocados and coconut butter.

R2R at Grand Canyon? 

I've been talking up doing a rim to rim (R2R) hike…

Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach 55K Race Report

It's just another race, what's there to be afraid of?

1. Getting lost: because I knew it was a small race and wasn't sure there would be other runners around to follow if I was unsure about the route, this was the part that I was worried about the most.

2. Wild animals: bears, mountain lions, bison, snakes.

3. The elevation: the course starts at 7500', goes up to 8500, down and up a little and down to 6500.

So with those three worries on my mind, who had time to worry about running 55K and whether or not trying fairly new fuel (it worked on an 18 miler so it should work on a 55K, right?) would work out!

Getting There: Since Flagstaff was on the way home back to Texas for my husband and I, who have been traveling in our RV for nearly 4 months, I ran the Stagecoach 55K trail race today which started in Flagstaff. The name of the race mentions the GC, but only the 100 mile racers ran up to the Grand Canyon (Tusayan, actually, which is south of the GC).

Expo/Packet Pick-up:…

Grand Canyon's North Rim

I've been to the south rim of the Grand Canyon a few times, but now I can say that I've also been to the north rim, too. Angels Window, in the top photo, is one of my favorites here at the north rim.

Both my husband and I like the north rim a lot. It's less crowded and I don't think that's just because of the time of the year because we just left Zion and Bryce National Parks which were both really busy. Even on the top of hard-to-get-to Zion's Angels Landing, there was a crowd!

The north rim has a lodge, restaurant, cafe and visitor center. There's even a general store where they sell GU and Honey Stinger gels and Clifbloks - maybe for those runners doing the Rim to Rim. I want to hike that someday!

We drove to the outlooks and went on short hikes, which got me nearly 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. When we got back to the Kaibab Camper Village RV park, where we're staying, I ran 4 miles. It was short, but maybe a little too hilly, because I'm tapering…

I Survived Angels Landing!

We finally made it to the top of Angels Landing, in Utah's Zion National Park, after hiking for 2 1/2 hours. Here I am taking a parting picture after a 15 minute rest at the top. That's my husband beneath the tree starting back down the trail. There were a few places where you thought you were nearly finished, but you really weren't. There was much more climbing to do. Climbing up to the top was harder than I remembered it being when we climbed it 11 years ago - big surprise!

There were a couple of times when I wondered if I could make it all of the way up the mountain. I had to use my arms to lift myself up to the higher stepping spots in the rocks because my short legs couldn't reach the next place to step, and a couple of times, I asked my husband to give me a push up the rocks. My arms are still tired two days later.

As I was hanging onto the chain on the side of the cliff so I wouldn't fall more than 1400 feet to the ground, I had a couple of those scary mome…

Utah: Escalante and Bryce Canyon

We've visited Escalante and Bryce Canyon (top photo) in the last couple of days on our RV trip through many states from our home in Texas...
It was my first visit to Escalante State Park. We found a slot canyon to walk through on Burr Trail Road - at first I missed it and drove about 10 miles out of the way. Oops. The unexpected trees in the slot canyon and the orange-red rock was something I've always dreamed of seeing.

We visited the small Anasazi State Park Museum, too. We saw the remains of an 800 year old pueblo and I walked inside a small replica of a home, too. 

We drove for a couple of hours up and down 45 mile long Hells Backbone Road and looked down into a another canyon. I'm so sleepy lately that somehow I kept falling asleep on that bumpy road. At least I wasn't driving.

I'll never grow tired of seeing those rock formations at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. After sightseeing there, we drove back to the KOA RV Park in Cannonville where we're sta…

Moab Area: So Much to See!

Utah is beautiful! I've been in Moab, Utah, for the last few days. Every morning when I step out of the RV and see those red cliffs, I'm impressed by the beauty. My husband and I have visited Arches National Park with the arches and windows (top photo).

We visited Canyonlands National Park where we stopped for a picnic lunch. 
I did a long run of 18.5 miles through Moab, over the bridge in the photo and on the bike trail towards Arches National Park. If you stay here and you're a runner or biker, you'll want to stay on the north end of town, unlike what we did, so that you'll be closer to the bike trail.

The next day, I ran 11.5 miles with some hillwork included - so tiring!

We camped near Arches National Park last night at Big Bend campground beside the Colorado River. We didn't have any wifi, or RV hook-ups, but it was nice and peaceful there and I got some cleaning done.

We visited Goblins State Park today. Fun to see those rock formations! Our Weimaraner l…

CO Running: Fort Collins, Estes Park, Grand Junction

Just three days before going on my very first back country hiking trip, I ran 18 miles and then I ran a 10 miler the next day- both in Fort Collins. I ran the 18 miler around a lake at the KOA campground where we stayed in our RV. I used 3 servings of EFS Liquid Shot and it worked great. (Here's a great post on running and using EFS.)

The next day, I ran 10 miles at Reservoir Ridge. My legs were heavy after the long run the day before, but running in a new place was fun - so was spotting some deer and seeing the miniature horse on the way to the trail.
On Sunday, we drove to Estes Park, packed for our back country hike and rested up for the big hike.

After hiking for three days, the next day I ran 9 miles and then 5 miles on the following day at Lake Estes. During my run, I saw a few elk and a possible coyote. They ignored me and everyone was happy!

This morning, I ran 8 miles in Grand Junction, Colorado, just before taking off in our RV for Moab, Utah, where we are now. It's…

Back-country Hiking in RMNP

I just returned from a back-country hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with my husband. It was my first experience to hike into the back-country and spend the night. We were gone three days and two nights.

Our hike began on the West side of the park at the North Inlet Trailhead. On our first day, we hiked ten miles to the July campground where we spent the night and saw moose along the way. We arrived wet and cold because it had rained much of the day. I was so happy to take off my wet socks. I woke up at 4 AM to the sound of some moose calls, but got back to sleep quickly.

The next day, we only had to hike back down the mountain for three miles to get to our second camp site at Porcupine. That's good because we both had sore legs - a hurt calf for my husband and a hurt knee for me. To get to the site, we hiked across a long, wooden log (top photo). We were excited to have a firepit there, but it's hard to keep a fire going with wet wood. The creek was be…

Yellowstone National Park

We had a great time in YNP! My husband and I stayed there for about ten days during our RV trip and it was one of our favorite places. We saw too many geysers, bison and elk to count. Plus, we saw a pelican, a marmot, wolves (so far away that they looked like brown dots). Most exciting of all, we saw a grizzly bear!

After digging around in some dirt in the meadow, he ran up the hill towards the crowd of people and crossed the street. Maybe he was tired of being stared at by hundreds of people!

Did you know that there's a Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park? We visited the canyon by ourselves, just my husband and I, and then again with friends visiting from home because it's that impressive!

You knew there were bison in the park, but do you know how terrifying it is when hundreds of them suddenly change direction and start running towards your car? I was relieved when they decided to run around the car and not into it!

We hiked up Elephant Back trail where you can see fo…