Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Tale of Two Runs: 15 Miles vs. 13 Miles

Don't worry. Reading this post will be a lot faster than reading a book! It was only a difference of two miles, but what a difference in how I felt for the two runs! 

Monday, I planned to run 16 miles, but since the end of my run turned into a "rest on a bench/run to the water fountain/rest again" workout, I called it a day at 15 miles. Maybe I was low on electrolytes because I was only drinking Powerade instead of a GU tablet dissolved in my water. I also ate some Fig Newtons, dates and potatoes.

Friday, I ran a much easier feeling 13 miles. Yeah, it was 2 miles shorter, but I felt so much better. During my run, I had a GU electrolyte tab, a vanilla GU gel and a salted caramel GU gel. Maybe gels are better utilized when my body is heat-stressed. 

A lot of times, we'll have a tough day and then the next time that we do a similar workout, everything's better! It may have been what I drank and ate, the fact that I was low on carbs the day before Monday's run, that I wasn't trying to push especially hard at the end of the 13 miler after such a hard 15 miler or that Monday was just an "off" day. I hope your runs this week are more like my 13 miler!

(Photo: Blue Heron on lake on my running route. Texas living!)

Last Week's Running Miles Plus Cycling and ST

8 miles, 30 min. ride, ST

Monday: 15 miles 

Tuesday: 1 hour 

Wednesday: miles, ST

Thursday: 7 miles 

Friday: 13 miles, ST
Saturday: 1 hour


Running Miles: 52
Cycling: 2.5 hours

Strength Training Sessions (ST): 3 

5 Favorite Links of the Week

Coach Deb Answers My Run Faster Question! Read this for tips for getting faster. Have any tips you want to share? Leave me a comment!

0.03 Seconds For those of us who sometimes miss our goals! Amanda Eccleston placed 4th in the Olympic Team Trials 1,500m race

Sally McRae on Training Your Mind and Racing Against Yourself The further you go, the stronger you get! This hour long interview will benefit all runners, not just ultrarunners. A tip from her coach, Ann Trason: take care of yourself!

Fast Cory's 135 Mile Race Recap  You just may want to sign up to race Badwater after you read this! Me? Not so much!

Caffeine: The Performance Enhancer in Your Kitchen I've started drinking coffee before key runs like the 15 and 13 milers this week. How about you?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Grit, Passion, Perseverance and Running

I just finished reading a great book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. There have been a couple of marathons and ultras, too, when I could have used some of the reminders covered in this book like not to dwell on negative thoughts. Don't give up during a tough mile or during the hot days of summer that we're dealing with now! I'd like to learn to be more gritty, but how do I do that?

4 Reasons That You Don't Persevere When the Going Gets Tough
  • You don't think you can succeed.
  • You don't think it's important.
  • You don't think it's worth it.
  • You're bored.

4 Ways to Grow in Grit
  • Cultivate your interests.
  • Develop a habit of challenging practice.
  • Connect your work to a purpose beyond yourself. 
  • Keep hoping even when all seems lost.

I Spied a Turtle Today - My 10th Mile

My Workouts This Week

Sunday: Fit RV Bootcamp Video: Challenge #5 Plank Rainbows & Challenges 1-4
, 30 min. bike ride, 5 mile run. All completed by 7 am. After workout: Banana Oat Waffles for a twist on the usual oatmeal in a bowl!
Monday: 18 mile run at 5am; 45 minutes before run: cold (because it's hot outside!) oatmeal with coffee, banana and almond butter mixed in, During run: GU electrolyte tabJustin's vanilla almond butter and chopped dates; The last mile was my fastest mile!
Tuesday: 30 min. bike ride
Wednesday: 5
 mile run at 4am, Get Stronger to Run Faster Body Weight WO part 1
Thursday: 7 mile progession run at 4am
Friday: 5 mile run at 4am
Get Stronger to Run Faster Body Weight WO part 2 and

10 mile run (after 2 mile w/u, 1/2 mile repeats at hard/easy effort)

Today's 10 miler was hard, but I liked the workout. Knowing that I was finishing up a high mileage week encouraged me (I'm running my 48th, 49th, 50th mile thoughts ran through my head) while the sweat dripped down my face. Also, the hard/easy effort run gave me a break every half mile. I was able to push myself during the hard effort segments because I knew that I'd be able to run easy when I finished.


Running Miles: 50
Bike: 1 hour
Strength Training Sessions: 3 

Favorite Links of the Week

Erin Dawson-Chalat Aims to Break 3:00 in the Marathon 55 year old doctor works 90 hours and runs 60-70 miles a week!

Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My High Mileage Week: 45 Miles of Running!

I was able to run on the shaded park road today. It was a nice change for today's 10 mile run. It has been closed for a long time because of flooding from a creek. Here's one of the ducks that keeps me company when I'm at the park. This week, I also saw a opossum running along one of the streets near my house. After that, I ran in a different area in case it woke up on the wrong side of the road that day.

My Workouts This Week

Sunday: Warmed up with part of a 
Total Body/Abs Video and leg swings6 mile easy run at 6am
Monday: 16 mile run at 5am; 45 minutes before run: cold oatmeal with coffee, brown sugar and almond butter mixed in, During run: GU electrolyte tab, salted banana, potatoes and dates; miles 11-15 were my fastest miles!
Tuesday: The Only 4 Strength-Training Exercises You Really Need
Wednesday: mile run at 4am 
Thursday: 6 mile run at 4am 
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 mile run at 5 am, 35 min. bike ride


Running miles: 45
Bike: 35 min.
Other Exercises: 2 times

5 Favorite Links of the Week

Sarah Piampiano's Transformation Into a Professional Triathlete Tips on fueling your workouts!
Build Strength and Speed for Sub-Ultra Trail Racing
How to Conquer Insomnia
How to Power 'Mind Over Body'
How to Make Good Habits Stick

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Run Early to Beat the Heat!

Today's 9 mile run followed a few minutes of a HIIT workout, a good warm-up, and came before a 30 minute bike ride - a good cool-down!

Running in the Heat

Before my workout, I ate cold oatmeal mixed with coffee. I made it last night and put it in the refrigerator so that I could have a cold breakfast on this warm and humid morning. Last week, I forgot to do that and my hot oatmeal and hot coffee had me sweating even before I went outside. That's just part of life when you live in a humid location like I do, north of Houston. Hot summer runs may make us slower, but they make us stronger, too!

Run Early!

I woke up without an alarm at 4:30 today. That's good! When I start my run in the dark, I'm thankful later when the hot sun comes out. I got to see the pink clouds when the sun came up. Not only that, but I saw 16 deer. I was happy just to see the first two deer, but once I got to 16 I was hoping for an even 20. 

40 Miles of Running this Week!

Speaking of even, I got in an even 40 miles this week. I'm on my way to running 2,016 miles this year with 1,220 miles so far. Running 2,016 miles in 2016 is a fun challenge. What challenges are you going for this year?

My Workouts This Week

Sunday: 5
 mile easy run at 6am, Active Recovery Routine Video
16 mile run at 4:30am; 30 minutes before run: oatmeal and coffee, During run: Limeade w/salt added, 2 Fig Newtons and salted diced potatoes; exhausted from heat at mile 14; probably should have had more, but it was so hot that I didn't feel like it
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: Stabilization and Strength for Master’s Runners5 mile run at 4am: 5 x (6 min hard effort/3 min easy) 
Thursday: 1 hr. bike ride
Friday: 5 miles at 4am
Saturday: S
ome of a HIIT Video, 9 mile run at 5:30am, 30 min. bike ride


Running miles: 40
Bike: 1 hour
Other Exercises: 3 times

5 Favorite Links of the Week

Does Better Fat-Burning Give Women a Marathon Edge? The ability of women to not slow down as much as men may have more to do with our optimism. 
How Kaci Lickteig Won Western States - Smile, smile, smile some more!
Winner of Western States 100 Mile Race: Kaci's Race Recap - Third time's a charm!
Joelle Vaught Sets a New Zion Traverse Fastest Known Time - I'd love to do this Utah run!
Run 2,016 miles in 2016 - There's even a group you could join for support.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

How I Make Sure I Run on Busy Days

Since I've been busier during the week lately, I have to work harder to make sure I run on busy days. I've had to start some of my workouts at 4 in the morning. That's early, but running is my favorite exercise and sometimes that's the best time of the day to fit in a run.

I've gotten used to waking up early and naps, like the one I just took, help. I often wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. I was afraid I'd dread the early morning workouts, but I don't. Since it's so hot, getting my workout finished before the sun is beating down on me is a real plus!

3 Tips for Waking Up Early

  1. Go to sleep early.
  2. Don't hit snooze. Just get up and get moving.
  3. Remind yourself that you'll get used to it.

I'm not registered for any races right now so, but I'm considering a 50K or 50 miler later this year or in 2017 like Rocky Raccoon or Brazos Bend, both in Texas near Houston and close to home. 

My Most Recent Ultras

Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach 55K Race Report
Brazos Bend 50 Mile Race Report

My Workouts This Week

10 Minute Abs Workout Video8 mile easy run, 30 min. bike ride
Monday: 14 mile run @10:47 mi. ave. pace w/last 3 miles hard effort in the neighborhood and at the park in the photo; During run: 4 Fig Newtons and honey tortilla roll-up
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: (Busy day ahead: run started at 4am) 5 mile progression run; splits: 10:51, 10:30, 10:18, 9:55, 9:19, strength training 
Thursday: (Busy day ahead: run started at 4am) 5 miles (see link below), strength training
Friday: 45 min. bike ride
Saturday: Pre-run: oats, peanut butter, coffee; 8 mile run45 min. bike ride

Running miles: 40
Bike: 2 hours
Home Exercises: 3 times

5 Favorite Links of the Week

Kaci Lickteig Wins Womens Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run - Fourth fastest women's time on the course at sub-18! Short hill repeats and interval workouts helped this flat-lander win this race with a killer 40,000 foot change in elevation.

Sally McRae's Western States 100 Mile Race Recap: Get Back Up Again and Again - Read this if you've ever found yourself not meeting a running goal you really wanted. She finished 11th at sub-22!

No Regrets: Caroline Boller's Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run Race Report - Although  she alternated between bonking and feeling strong more than once, she finished 12th. Never give up!

Anytime Anyplace Running Workouts: On Thursday, I ran fast for 30 seconds every 5 minutes, a workout taken from this post and motivated by the Western States 100 milers.

One of Americas Toughest Trails: The Manitou Incline - This Colorado run is on my wish list!
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