Saturday, March 28, 2015

Race Volunteering & To Carry a Cup, Bottle, Belt, Pack or Not

Today I volunteered at the San Felipe Shootout Race at Stephen F. Austin State Park, west of Houston. Runners could choose the 5K, the 10K (held an hour later) or the half marathon (held two hours after the 10K) or all three for the shoot-out.

I started volunteering at packet pick-up. It was so cold (50 maybe and good race weather) that I could hardly get my shivering fingers to attach safety pins to bibs.

Later, I moved on to an aid station. We had pretzels dipped in Nutella, dates, Fig Newtons and much more. It might have been about 80 degrees (not good race weather!) when the runners finished the last race so they were thirsty. Because it was a cupless race and many runners didn't bring cups, we ended up using cups for some, but it looked like going without cups saved on a lot of trash.

It was fun to help today and because I volunteered I'll be able to run an upcoming 50 mile or 50K ultra for free - a savings of $80-90! After seeing the runners in today's heat, I'm leaning more towards the 50K rather than the 50 mile race held next month.

I'm trying to decide on whether I'd use a handheld bottle, hydration belt or hydration pack in the upcoming race. I've tried them all on long runs. The handheld would probably be the most comfortable, but I'd have to stop for many refills. Even if there isn't a line at the fluid station, it takes time to fill bottles and the minutes add up.

Having lots of options is a good thing, though... Not always, but in these non-life threatening decisions, yes! No?!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Training Run: 28 Miles

Since I might run the Brazos Bend 50 mile trail race (the longest race I've ever run) or the 50K race on April 25, I ran a 28 miler yesterday. It was the longest training run I've done so far. The photo shows the lake that I ran around and around. It sure beats running on a treadmill - especially when I see deer like I did yesterday.

Fuel for My 28 Mile Run 

I drank my last 2 servings of my Tailwind Nutrition drink and 4 servings of the tropical fruit Cytomax performance drink. Yesterday and then today, when I used Cytomax during my run, I had stomach cramps. I'm wondering if the stevia in Cytomax is to blame. I might need to mix it with more water if I try it again.

For two days before the run, I increased my carbohydrates. I liked the banana rice cookies that I made based on this recipe. To bring out the banana flavor, leave out the apple sauce.

Longest Training Run

Besides 5 short bouts of stomach cramps after mile 16, yesterday's somewhat rainy 28 miler went well. With an average pace of 11:21/mile, it took me 5 1/4 hours. My fastest mile (10:36/mi) was my last one. Afterwards, I only had a minor chafing issue where a plastic bag in my skirt pocket rubbed my leg and one slightly sore pinky toe. Both problems are fine now.

The Week's Running 

6 (with sprints), 10 (3 miles hard), 4, 0, 28 (fast finish mile), 7, 0 = 55 miles

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cornmeal Chia Cookies

I'm sort of, kind of thinking about running another 50K or my first 50 mile race so I experimented with some common ultra aid station foods during this week's long run. In my running skirt pockets and my hydration belt, I carried a cornmeal chia cookie, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bit of potato and banana pieces. I was a traveling aid station!

I experienced an unsettled tummy for a couple of minutes, but since I ate so many different foods and electrolyte tabs, too, it's hard to pin down what caused it. I'll probably go with just one or two foods during my next long run.

The cornmeal chia cookies filled me up until lunch, but they didn't taste very good. Since I didn't use the right type of cornmeal, they fell apart easily. On the plus side, they're high in fiber and because of the main ingredient, cornmeal, eating them might be like something the endurance running Tarahumara Indian tribe or the Kenyans would eat. 

Cornmeal Chia Cookies (makes 12 cookies)
  1. Toast 1 cup masa harina cornmeal (treated with lime) and 2 tablespoons chia seeds for 5 minutes in a pan, stirring constantly.
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl.
  3. Stir in 3 tablespoons honey or syrup, dash of cinnamon, 4 diced dates and 1/2 -2/3 cup water.
  4. Spoon onto non-stick cookie sheet or use cookie scoop for uniform cookies.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Adapted from One Ingredient Chef, whose cookies came out looking much better than mine (I think it's the cornmeal).

Nutrition for 3 cookies made with honey: Carbohydrates: 49; Protein: 4; Fat: 3; Fiber: 6; Calories: 228

Monday, March 9, 2015

Marathon Recovery

Today I ran 10 miles. It was a little bit hard to get out there because it was raining and cold, but that's much better than running in the heat and humidity that we get here in Texas during the summer. I ran through puddles and tried to find the most shallow stepping spots, but most of the time I was dreaming of the hot chocolate I'd drink after my run.

After running The Woodlands Marathon on February 28 (my recap), I took three days off from running and then got back at it with a couple of short runs and a couple of ten milers. All of my runs were at an easy pace except for one. (Photo: the marathon female master's winners.)

Last Week

Tuesday: walk, strength training (20 min.)
Wednesday: 5 mile run (felt tired only in the first mile)
Thursday: strength training (20 min.)
Friday: 10 mile run (felt great, 2 x 15 min. fast)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 6 mile run (6 strides), core work (20 min.)
Monday (today): 10 mile run, strength training: arms (20 min.)

I don't know what's next as far as races go, but I know that I'd like to build my mileage back up just because, well, I like to run!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Woodlands Marathon Race Report

I finished my 16th marathon on Saturday! Yesterday I ran the The Woodlands Marathon, in Texas, after running The Woodlands Half Marathon in 2013 and 2014.

Expo: It was a small expo, but at least runners wouldn't be tempted to spend too much time on their feet there!

Volunteers: As a volunteer before the race, I organized the volunteer shirts into bins for the water stations. At the water stations, they seemed to have plenty of drinks and volunteers this year - an improvement over previous years. The volunteers were very encouraging - I must have been looking good out there... Ha, ha!

Parking: My husband and I left home at 5 and we parked our car at 5:20 in a free parking space in the "green" lot.

Weather/Clothes: In the 40's all morning with wind and a little rain. Waiting inside the warm Marriott hotel before the race was the best! I wore a North Face running skirt, short sleeved top, homemade arm warmers (just cut off the feet and top of some tights), Brooks Ravenna shoes and a 2 bottle Nathan hydration belt.

Course: Mostly flat with some rolling hills. Water stops served Gatorade Endurance and GU gels.

Spectators: Many of them called out my name (written on my bib). I nearly got shoved over by one strong and eager high-fiving 5 year old. It was one of the last miles and I was weaker than I realized!


Fuel Pre-run: I ate lots of carbs for breakfast and I increased my carbohydrates for three days before the marathon. Next time, I'm going to focus more on protein instead of so many carbs especially because I was low on energy (miles 21-23) and loading up on carbs might not even help.

Fuel During Race: I ate 7 GU gels: miles 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19.5, 22.5. I drank 20 ounces of water (I usually drink more, but it was cold and I didn't want more) and I took a cup of Gatorade Endurance 2-3 times (not at the same time that I ate a gel).

Post-marathon Food: I had chocolate milk and Raising Canes chicken fingers, but they also offered Chick fil A food, breakfast burritos, muffins and fruit.

The Finish: I finished in 4:04 and 15th out of 44 in my age group of 45-49'ers (I'm 49)! Although I didn't get the 4 hour finish I needed for a BQ and it was hard to see the 4 hour pace group ahead of me, I never gave up and had a fun race day. Watch the video to see me catch my first sight of my husband after the finish. It feels great to have given my all even if it's only for a little 26.2 mile run around The Woodlands!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...