Monday, October 31, 2016

Glad I Had a Camera!

Before today, the most interesting thing I've seen on a Texas run was an alligator. This morning, it was foggy as I turned the corner to head into the woods on my run. I looked towards the hill that I have run on numerous times to see something that I've never seen there before - a pirate.

I was a little spooked. All decked out in pirate garb, he walked towards me. I saw his sword, but I had pepper spray. Finally, he was close to me. I said something. He didn't speak, but he smiled and kept walking. And so ends my story of the silent pirate in the woods on Halloween morning.

After seeing the pirate, I did 2 miles of hill running in the woods. I'm ready for the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, which is near Phoenix. Race day is November 12!

50K Links to Help You Run Your Best 50K

Off to a Strong Start With the Sean O’Brien 50K (Sarah L. Smith)
Race Like an Ultra Vet—Even at Your First 50K (Alex Kurt)
50K vs. Marathon Training - 3 Differences (Tina@GottaRunNow!)

Last week's running in miles: 9 with hills, 3, rest, 8, 15 (fuel: Coke, banana), 5, rest. Today: 6 with hills.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

25 Mile Run: Overcoming Problems

I ran 25 miles yesterday. I had a couple of minor problems, but I want those to show up in training instead of during my race. Race day is only 3 weeks away, on November 12. I'm signed up for a 50K trail race - the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, which is near Phoenix. From what I've read, I need to watch out for bees and rattle snakes at the park where the race takes place. 

25 Miler - The Good

1. Nutrition

Before run: 4 hours pre-run (3 hours pre-run would have been fine, but I woke up at 1:30 so I ate then, fell asleep again until 5): Glukos Peanut Butter Bar (tastes like a date bar), 30 minutes pre-run: 1/2 banana

During run: The Glukos drink powder, 8 fig cookies from Aldi store (98 cents/pkg!), 2 PowerGels (the gels have a thinner consistency than Gu gels), 8 peanut M&M's and 1/2 banana kept me feeling strong without any stomach troubles or cramps of any kind. I ate about 200 calories/45 carbohydrates an hour. It sounds like a lot of food, but I'm preparing my stomach for race day.

After the run: Vitargo sent me a sample of the unflavored S2, which reminds me of glue when I mix it with a liquid. It takes on the flavor of whatever you mix it with so mix it with something you like. Read about it here: 10 Tips for Recovery from Ultra Champ Michael Wardian.

2. Cooler Texas weather!

 So Many Choices: Running Fuel

The Bad

1. For a while, I didn't know my mileage. I think my Strava app was disrupted because of an internet attack (seriously!). The app showed me taking 20-30 minutes to run miles 12 and 13. Wrong! I thought I'd have to resort to just running by time and I thought I could do that since I had a clock on my phone. 

2. But then at mile 22 1/2, my phone alerted me to a dying battery. Fortunately, it died just as I hit 25 miles. Unfortunately, it died before I hit stop on the app. The run took about 4 1/2 hours, but Strava makes it look like it took 5 1/4 hours. 

Overcoming Problems

1. Although I planned to eat 200 calories every 5 miles, I don't need to know my mileage to know it's time for a snack. I can feel it - low energy, negative thoughts or just a feeling of hunger.

2. If the Strava app stops working, I will estimate the time needed that day and run by time. 

This Week: 65 Miles (Before most runs: core workout)

12 mile run with hill repeats on dirt trail, strength training: arms
Tuesday: 8 mile run
Wednesday: 10 mile run (6x1/2 miles), strength training: arms 
Thursday: rest

25 mile run
Saturday: 10 mile run

Everything worked out - I worked though a couple of problems and completed the 25 mile run. Now it's taper time!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

45 Mile Week with New Running Belt

Do you wear a running belt? I bought the Foot Forward Running Belt for $17 because my old running belt has a small hole in it and I was tired of placing my phone in a baggy to protect it from sweat. After wearing my new belt for a week, here's what I think about it. 

What I Like About My Running Belt 
Two Pockets: gels in one pocket and my phone in another
Sweatproof pockets: Good-bye, plastic baggies!
Comfortable on my waist

How I'd Improve It
I bought it to use as a hip belt, but when I wear it on my hips, it rides up to my waist.
A headphone port would be a plus.

13 Mile Progression Run

Yesterday's 13 mile run was a fun progression run. I started out easy, not worrying about my pace. After three miles, I tried to pick up the speed and I was able to do it. After that, I tried to increase my pace by 15 seconds every 3 miles.  Although the splits weren't 15 seconds faster on-the-dot, I was able to speed up over the run and that made me a happy runner. 

I only know my split times every half mile because I only use the Strava app so I run often by feel. My first mile was at a 11:37/mi. pace and the last 3 miles: 10:12, 10:05 and 9:25/mi. pace. It took 2 hours 22 minutes.

This Week's Exercises 

I ran 45 miles this week after running 65 miles last week.

10 mile run with hill repeats until the sandy hill started irritating my foot, then sprints (some with my husband, which was fun), strength training: arms
Tuesday: mile run, no foot troubles today 
Wednesday: 9 mile run, strength training: arms 
Thursday: rest

13 mile progression run on Glukos drink, Upper Body WO Video
Saturday: 7 mile run

Before each run: ABC Core WO Video

Total Running Miles: 45 miles 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

50K in 5 Weeks: Time for a 22 Mile Run!

Yesterday, I ran 22 miles. Before the run, I hit a glitch or two which caused me to start a little later than planned. First, I had trouble fitting my phone and my phone battery charger into the water belt I planned to use. Then I was reminded that gels don't mix well with water after I squeezed the gel from two packets into a bottle I had planned to carry. 

So instead of using a belt, I filled my Camelbak pack with 40 ounces of water, stuffed 6 Tri-berry GU gels into two skirt pockets and put the 10 ounce bottle of water with 2 gels in it on the front porch. I started the run in my neighborhood and ran to the park later.

I drank the gels in the water bottle at miles 5 (porch stop after running 1 hour) and 7 (porch stop) and ate one gel at miles 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18. I didn't finish the gels for one or two miles in order to give my stomach time to digest them. My stomach felt fine the whole time. 

I Never Grew Tired of the Taste of the 7 Tri-berry Gu Gels that I Ate

It was warmer this week than last week so I ran this 22 mile at a slower pace (12:19 min/mi ave pace this week vs. 10:57 for 20 miles). For this 4.5 hour run, I had 760 calories and 195 grams of carbohydrates. Aiming for at least 30 mg of carbs per hour, I had plenty of carbs, felt strong and had no stomach troubles. 

Before my run, I had coffee with my oatmeal 2.5 hours and 4 Glukos tabs for 20 mg. carbs just before running.

I broke the 22 miles up into smaller chunks and focused on each shorter distance. That helped me mentally. 22 is a lot to wrap your brain around!

Today it was cooler outside and I felt great so I ran a little farther than planned and ran 13 miles. I was happy that I ran an average pace of 11:19 - exactly one minute faster pace than yesterday. What a difference the weather makes!

I hope that the 22 miler followed by a 13 mile day will turn out to be good preparation for the 50K trail race I'm running in 5 weeks - the Pass Mountain 50K Trail Race in Mesa, Arizona, held on November 12. I think I could have switched the order around to run a 13 and then a 22 miler, but this worked better for me this time.

Blazing 7's Race in Cat Spring, Texas
Last Saturday, I volunteered at packet pick-up for the Trail Racing Over Texas Blazing 7's race. The runners were both excited and a little anxious and it was fun to help out by handing out the ankle chips and to talk about running all morning. I even met someone who reads my blog!

This Week's Exercises 

Monday: 10 mile run with hill repeats at the park, exercises: squats, etc.
Tuesday: 8 
mile run with strides

Wednesday: 12 mile run (during run, I ate a rice crispy treat that wasn't enough fuel so at mile 9, I stopped at home for a Glukos gel that made me feel better after 1.5 miles), 30 minute fast walk with my husband afterwards
Thursday: strength training with weights

Friday: 22
 mile run that felt better than my 12 miler (always bring plenty to eat!), Viking ABC Core Video
Saturday: core WO13 mile run, during run: 1/3 cup rice and 2 pieces of taffy!

Total Running Miles: 65 miles - I think that's my highest mileage week ever!

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