Tuesday, December 29, 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 calories and 134 carbohydrates

Tuesday: 9 mile easy run.

Wednesday: 1 hour ride. ST.

Thursday: 13 mile run. Three hours before my run, I had oatmeal with almond butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses (it's healthy) and half of a yogurt, banana and orange juice smoothie. I drank the rest after my run.

Christmas Day: 5 mile run. ST. 

Snacks for the First 18 Mile Run

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: ST. 10 mile run alternating with some hard and easy miles. I got the miles in just before the thunderstorm hit hard.

Monday: 6 mile run with short sprints. It was colder than usual - in the thirties.

Tuesday: 18 mile run, 3 hrs, 10:01/mile. ST. Temp: 37* - 47*. I wore layers for the chilly start. The sunshine made it a beautiful morning. Like my 18 miler last week, my last 4 miles were my fastest - 9:33, 9:28, 9:17 and 8:58/mile. Happiness! Pre-run: oatmeal with raisins/banana, crackers and jam and coffee. During: 2 GU gels (yum: mandarin orange, root beer) at miles 6 and 12 and Coke - 300 calories and 75 carbohydrates.


3 Favorite Links for the Week

Exo Bars - Protein bars made with cricket flour - I'd try them!

Running Through the Darkness of Depression - This ultrarunner uses medication, heart rate and carbohydrates to feel better.

How Much Exercise is Too Much? 15 Questions to Ask

Happy New Year!

You know, if you run about 5 1/2 miles a day, 39 miles a week or 63 kilometers a week, then you would run 2,016 miles in 2016. I'll try to run about 160 miles in January - one month at a time!

Have you made any new goals for 2016, for January or maybe only for the week? Sometimes it helps to start small!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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 for the start of a race: "Pass no one."  - Bart Yasso


Sunday, December 20, 2015

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 the reading list suggestions. 

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's even a list for those who want to read 104 books. It's called the Obsessive List! 

Do More Better Book Review

This week I read Do More Better: a Practical Guide to Productivity, a book by Tim Challies who is the Christian blogger who created the 2016 Reading Challenge that I'm following.  

First, he suggests that you think about a life purpose and then define your mission for each area of your life. Next, you prioritize your tasks and only do the tasks that fit your mission statement. Last of all, he gives advice on tools that will help you to be more productive like Google Calendar and Evernote, which I use, and Todoist. This book might be just the motivation I need to make some changes in 2016. 

This Week's Totals: Running, Riding & More

  • A high mileage week for me: 50 miles
  • 5 days of running: 10, 8, 13, 0, 11 and 8 miles
  • 3 short strength-training sessions 
  • 1 hour bike ride
  • 25-30 push-ups a day
  • Dog walks/runs with my Weimaraner, Zoe

Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

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 day.
  • Have 200 grams of carbs 3 hours before the race.
  • Eat 25 grams carbs just before the race.
  • Every 15-30 minutes, take in 60-90 grams carbs per hour. If taking in more than 60 grams, the carbs should be a blend of different types for the best absorption. The GU gels that I often like to take during races contain maltodextrin and fructose.
  • After the race, have 60-70 carbs within 1 hour post-race.
  • For the first 3 hours after the race, have some carbs every hour until the next meal.
Here's hoping that all of your runs are well-fueled!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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 aware of your surroundings when you're running? Sometimes I become lost in my thoughts, my music or my audio book and I have to remind myself to look around. The post I've linked to in the title will help you to become more aware of what is going on around you and give you ideas for an action plan in case something goes wrong. Here's an experiment I've tried... When you see another person who is doing laps like you, ask yourself what the person is wearing. When you see the person a second time, check yourself to test your accuracy.

When You Really Want Dessert...

Just go ahead and eat dessert, but eat fewer calories of your regular meal so that you don't end up eating too much that day. Today, I ate a small "burrito bowl" because I knew I'd want pumpkin pie afterwards. You could even try the experiment that Nancy Clark, RD, suggests and eat dessert instead of a regular meal. You'll probably find out that you don't feel great after eating only dessert for a meal and will pass on that idea the next time you think of it. It's something you might even want to let your kids try.

Have a great week!

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