Monday, February 25, 2013

Fri/Sun/Mon workouts and Gu 'Chocolate Outrage' review

Feb 22 Friday......4 total miles on the 'mill (and  25 x 4 sets push ups)
     2.5 mi 1% incline in my old shoes (27:20)
     2 mi 1% incline in my new shoes (20:35)

Feb 24 Sunday.....14 mi run outside (!!) 10:53 avg pace (old shoes)

Feb 25 Monday...elliptical 10 minutes (2 mi) and 20 x 4 sets push ups
     super slow and easy 1.5 mi run on the 'mill 1% incline (17:30)....**wore my new shoes but had to shove the glove into the left shoe again....  =(

So, I ran 14 miles this weekend!!!!
It was a great run. I debated on what to do as far as shoes, but I decided on my old ones and just ran SUPER slow the first few miles (high 11s). I was able to pick up the pace EVER so slightly the last 1/2 of  the run but I wanted to keep the whole run pretty slow just to be sure to protect my left foot as much as possible.  Pre-run I ate 1/2 a banana with a nice dollop of PB (roughly 25 min before I started my run)

*getting ready to hit 'start' on the watch!*  6:45 am is a blissful time to start a run

I ran a bit around my neighborhood and got over to a local lake at mile 5. I stopped at this point to re-fuel....
**this is a picture of the trail leading to the lake**

Gu 'Chocolate Outrage' review:

This was my first time to try the Gu line. I actually really liked it!  It reminds me a lot of the PowerBar gel I tried last weekend (you can read about that HERE: )
It tasted fudge-like but didnt really have the 'caramel' type taste with it that the PowerBar gel did, and really no after taste. I took 1/2 of the package with 4 oz of water



At mile 10 I stopped to take the other 1/2 of the Gu packet. I like that its slightly chilly (from it being 20* outside) but I wonder how it would taste and what the consistency would be like in slightly warmer temp)...? 

*Feeling pepped up from the sugar shot!*

Still cant believe I did 14 miles!! And I really felt like I could have kept going much longer. I think the snail-like pace had something to do with that. 

My daughter took this of me when I got home. I love how their jaws hit the floor when I tell them I ran anything over 2 miles =)  They are easy to impress.
Somebody asked about my fuel belt and how I carry my Gu...
Below I have on my Spi-Belt (the pink thing-thats what I carry my camera in), under that, the gray thing, is my fuel belt. I have this one:

I have a little pouch (I think it used to be a camera bag of sorts) that I slide on to my fuel belt and that will hold a good amt of stuff (I had 2 gels and some peanut M&Ms and pretzels in there as well as some tissue)

It has served me quite well so far for my longer runs. I store a lot of stuff in my jacket pockets too.
If you want something smaller, just for gels, there is always this option:

However, I'm not about minimalism as much as I should be when it comes to running 'shtuff' first summer running, it was SO hot out that I actually wore a huge fanny pack with a baggie of ice in it to suck on!  President and founder of the 'How-to-Look-Like-a-Dork-while-Running' Club right here!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Feb 21 Chunky run

Calling this morning's workout a 'Chunky Run' is by no means a negative thing! I was just SO thankful to be able to run! After Sundays shoe-tastrophy, I didn't know if I would be able to run at all this week, but after a lot of prayer, this morning HAPPENED =)

FEB 21 Thursday workout, all on the 'mill 1% incline, broken up into chunks....
  1 mi in my old old shoes
  2 mi in my old shoes
  2.5 mi in my new shoes (which didnt bite my left food today! YAY!)
Followed it up with 3 set of planks (1:40 each)

I was super cautious with my run this morning. I wanted to avoid any pain in my left foot so I actually started this run in my OLD shoes (2010s that I cycled out last summer and demoted to just 'cross training' shoes)...did a VERY slow mile in those...then got off and switched to my current-but-ready-to-be-retired 2009s for 2 miles....then got off and switched to my new-but-sometimes-grouchy 2009s for 2.5 miles.
Here's what the line up looked like for this morning

I'm glad I'm able to run again. I need to get ahead of the calories as I just had THESE delivered to me yesterday...

Yes, a collective 'Uh oh' would be quite appropriate. I have the self control of a spring-time Grizzly when it comes to those sweet bits 'o heaven. Do they make peanut butter pattie flavored Gu? Cuz I'd be all over that like white on rice.

I've got a 14 miler on the plan for this weekend which will be my longest run yet!  BUT, we just got a whole mess of this today...

Doesn't look too bad there, but that was only about an hour in. Now we've got roughly 7 or so inches and it's still coming down and will continue thru the night! I am SO not a snow runner. I feel like I've got Fraken-feet when I have to run thru even an INCH of snow. Seven + inches would DOOM me.

SO, it looks like it might be the 'mill for me this weekend. The longest I've done on there is 7 miles so the thought of doing double that leaves me feeling a little intimidated and twitchy....
I'm trying to pick which fuel I want to try for this weekends long run...
Here is my little 'fuel drawer'...

Cliff Bloks, Hammer Gel, Sharkies (found them at Wal-Mart!), Clif Gel, Gu, banana blueberry Gerber graduates (perhaps I better try that one on a 'mill run-might be a little embarrassing to pull that out mid-run in the middle of town! Got a good amt of carbs/potassium and a little sodium) and dried apricots.

Here is one of my new favorite breakfast:

I make a 1 egg omelet and put cheese on it when its done and let it sit in the pan so the cheese gets nice and melty. Then I roll it up, put a little salt on it and roll it up in a piece of deli turkey meat or deli ham. And then eat it with a piece of fruit (apple, banana, blueberries etc).  Sweet and salty is a great combo to start the day!  =)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feb 17-13 miles! And PowerGel review

Feb 17: 13 mi run (10:19 avg pace)
Started out around 6:40...23* out

Love the morning sunrise...this is just leaving our subdivision....

*At the end of the first mile. Bring it on, long run!

So, this was my first time to ever try a 'gel'. I was nervous as I wanted the gel to be a one-way ticket type of food item. Had no clue what it would do to my innards...

Anyway. It was fairly easy to open. The size wasnt too big either so I was able to put it into my 'pouch' that I loop onto my Nathan Hydration belt (I'll have to take a picture of it sometime and post it).  I took 1/2 of the pouch at mile 4.5 with 4oz of water and then stuck it back in its baggie and put it in the pouch.  I really do feel like I had a little more pep in my step about a mile later. Could have been the car that zoomed by me outta nowhere going mach 9 though. *shrug*

I actually sorta liked the flavor too. It WAS chocoate though and you really cant go wrong with chocolate (though it would have been 9 kinds of better if they could have incorporated nuts somehow....).  The taste reminded me of fudge mixed with caramel. There was a teeny bit of funky after taste but it didnt last long.

Here I am at mile 10 when I took the last 1/2 of the gel.  Drank 4 oz of water again. My neck gaiter and hat seem to be closing the deal on eating my face. Weird.

I ran around this pond close to my house. I love how it looks like I'm wearing a long skirt in my shadow.  I'm not THAT awesome.

There were quite a few ducks! These ones behind me were all sleeping and I was like, Native-American-wearing-swaggy-moccasins kind of quiet so as not to disturb their slumber (I got 5 kids people, I'm the queen of keep-the-kids-sleeping)...

**big bullyish geese out on the pond. Probably throwing gang signs at me or something. They're not a friendly bunch....

As you can see, I wasnt quiet enough going thru the group and they popped up and starting waddling away...and apparently turned radio-active at the same time.  Remind me not to go swimming in that water....

Here's what I had to do to complete this run. If you read my last post, you'll know these are my old shoes that are supposed to be celebrating their retirement. But my left foot is still scared of my new shoes so I wore these.  A few miles in it become VERY clear that I wasnt going to be able to complete the mileage without some assistance so I had to whip off one of my gloves and shove it in my shoe again. There has to be a classier way to do this right?  I had to stop and readjust the glove a time or 5...

Here's what it looked like on the inside.  And yep, those fingers were flopping everywhere during my run just adding another flavor to my varieties of crazysauce

I was super bummed that I couldnt run with my buddies this morning (they did an awesome 14 miles out on one of  my favorite trails).  Hoping to get a run in with them in the next few weeks (we're due for a big snowstorm this week, so I hear). Rumor has it hat Jim Cantore from the weather channel is actually planning to be in our area for this storm!  Guess I better make sure to tie a rope to the barn and put Bessie in her stall (and buy lots of s'mores ingredients)...Bring it on, Mr Blizzard! This girl's ready for you!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Feb 13/14 workouts and Clif Shot Bloks review

 Feb 13 WORKOUT: 6mi run 9:20-9:30  avg pace (stopped my Garmin and forgot to start it again!)
20x 5 sets push ups
.....This was a bummer run. Walking down my hill before I started my run my shoe was hurting me SO bad (more on that below) that I had to resort to shoving my thin stretchy little glove in there to give me some cushioning and after that I was finally able to start  my run.  Bummer.
On this run I decided to try out a Clif Shot Blok.

I was going to be running my long run this weekend with a buddy and experimenting with this for the first time so I thought I'd better try it on my own to see what sneaky little trick it might try on me.
It was around 23* this morning. I had it in a pouch in my hydration belt and pulled it out at mile 3 (around 30 min into the run.)
I could barely get my teeth a hair-width into the surface and it about glued my teeth to it!!!
I had just one block and I had put it in a baggie so I stuck the baggie in the waistband of my shorts and pulled it out again about 10 min later, it was JUST thawed enough that I could gnaw off a little corner of it. So this whole experience put a bad taste in my mouth about the Shot Bloks (no pun intended). BUT the next day I tried a 'room temp' block and didnt mind it so bad. The Black Cherry is actually quite yummy.  Its far gummier than I like though and it took a lot of tongue licking to get the last remnants off my back teeth. Bleh.  So the jury is still out on this fuel option.
But anyway, lets get back to that whole shoe issue I referred to above...
 So it all started the end of January. Hubby got me a LOVELY pair of new running shoes. Nike Air Max's (2009s as that year is awesomesauce for the Maxs). Mine were stepping up on 400 miles so I knew it was time to give them the ol' boot.
Anyway, I got them a few days before my birthday and over the course of the next week and a half I wore them for 3 easy treadmill runs, then Sat the 9th I wore them for an easy 8 miler outside.
All was fine.
Monday, I ran in them for 4 miles with a buddy (a teeny bit faster than easy pace for me) and then did a speedy 1 mile before heading home. The end of that run, or perhaps the walk home, the shoe started to hurt a little bit-right on the bone on the inside of my left foot, below my big toe. I dont think it bugged me too bad though...
Wednesdays run though? Ouch. On the warm up 2 minute walk down my hill, I considered turning around and just coming home. It. HURT.
I tried to run to see if that would help. Nope. Worse. So I stopped a few time that first couple minutes to try to tie my shoes a different way (looser, tighter, move the sock arouind etc). Nothing helped. Finally a shoved my stretchy cotton glove in there as cushioning and that helped enough to let me complete my run.
So on Thursday, I opted to run on the 'mill
And here was my workout prep for that morning:
From left to right: My mean new purple shoes, My kind but ready-to-be-retired pink shoes, an extra pair of socks and if you look close, a black stretchy cotton glove....
 FEB 14 WORKOUT: 2 mi on the 'mill 1% incline 22:05 (old shoes)
                                     2 mi on the 'mill 1% inline 21:00 (new shoes)
                                     Also did 3 sets of planks 2:00-1:40-1:40

I thought I would come to this workout prepared.  Tried to start off in my new shoes and it was a no-go. Tried 2 pairs of socks, shoving the glove in there. Nothin'.  So I put the old shoes on and did 2 miles and THEN put the new shoes on and they were fine.  WEIRD. So now I'm super nervous to run in the new shoes this weekend (13 miles) but I dont know if I should run 13 miles on my almost-miled-out old shoes.  What to do??

 *Here is the area of shoe that is bugging me

 *Here is the area on my foot that is bugged

* Here's where I had to run on Thursday instead of the great outdoors. >pout<

So I have a few options that I'm thinking on:
1.running tomorrow morning but doing 2 easy miles in my old shoes and looping back home to change into my new shoes.
2. running tomorrow morning in my old shoes for the whole run (and let my foot have a break from the mean shoes.
3: run Sunday afternoon (cuz it's supposed to be a high of 54*  on Sunday. In Nebraska. In February!!) and do one of the 2 options above as far as the shoe circus is concerned.

Stayed tuned....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to fuel your marathon

Gu! Clif Gel! Sports Beans! Sharkies! Gatorade! 
Fuel fuel fuel. Its taken over my brain these last few weeks.  I get a bit obsessive about things like this and this is no exception. I think I've read just about every thread out there on how to fuel 26.2.  I really thought your only options were gels and/or Gatorade (both of which are as appealing as a case of chicken pox to me).
BUT upon further research, I've found that some people fuel their marathons with one or more of the following:

DRIED FRUIT (dates and apricots seem to get the most votes here)

BANANAS (I LOVE bananas but I dont know how I would carry them during a race. Perhaps create a yoke for my neck? One bunch on each side?)

GUMMY BEARS and SWEDISH FISH (this seems to be quite popular though that seems like a lot of fruity sugary gummy-ness. I'm not a fan of gummy candies. I was the child who traded them all away at Halloween for any kind of chocolate bar. Bonus points if it had nuts.)

CEREAL BAR/PROTEIN BARS/FIG NEWTONS (it would seem to be that Nutri-Grain type bars would digest better than protein bars during a race. I've only ever tried a few protein bars but not only was the taste, um 'lacking' but the density of it was like someone used a compression machine to sandwich 12 cereal bars into one and call it a day. During 26.2? No thanks.)

MINI CANDY BARS (now here's a fuel I can get behind!!  Bonus points if it has nuts. Did I already say that? Well, anyway...)

BABY FOOD POUCHES (this I understand. Portable. Easy to open and consume. Consistency is lighter than gels. BUT the packages are much larger than Gu so you couldnt carry very many and the carb count and that other electrolyte business probably leaves something to be desired. But I like the idea!)

Here are the 'official' ones I have that I am planning to try over the course of the next 5 long runs: Hammer Gel (huckleberry-got it at a race), PowerGel (mocha), Clif Shot Gel (razz-maybe raspberry?), Clif Shot Bloks (black cherry), Gu gel (vanilla bean-got it at a race)
Concerned about how these are going to sit in my belly as I dont eat anthing on my runs.  I did try one time, during a 10 mile run, to stop half way thru and eat a few gummy bears and pretzels and it didnt seem to bother me, so I am hoping these wont either.
I'm not use to drinking on my runs either so I dont know what drinking *THAT* much water will do to me either....*slightly scared*

Other things I want to try: Sharkies, honey Stingers, Honey Stinger Chews, CarBoom, Gu Chomps, Gu Chocolate Outrage, Gu Mint Chocolate (supposed to taste like a Thin Mint cookie or a York Peppermint Patty-yum!), PowerBar Gel Blasts, Luna Moons, and Gatorade....


1. Most people take a gel/fuel 30 min before gun time and then continue to fuel every 3-6 miles during the race.
2. If you are consuming a gel, make sure to drink lots of water with it (6-8oz) or it might give you tummy trouble. Drinking gatorade with gels might make this situation worse.
3. Some people fuel with only gatorade during a marathon and do fine.
4. Some people take NO fuel during a marathon and just make sure to hydrate and fuel properly the week leading up to the race and are diligent about it the night before and the morning of.
5. Some people put a gel pack in 8oz of water, shake vigorously and use that in place of Gatorade.
6. Make sure you try out whatever you plan to use during the race, on a training run.
7. You need not only calories and carbs, but electrolytes as well.
8. You need 30-60 g of carbs per hour depending on your body weight.
9. You can make your own 'sports' drinks and there are lots of recipes online (simple ones just have equal parts OJ, and water and then a pinch of salt)

Here is a review on energy gels that I found quite useful:

Here's a website that explains why people 'hit the wall' around mile 20-it has to due with having used up most of your glycogen stores by that point.

Are you on information overload?? I know I am!  My goal is just to find something that works for me and has me finishing on two feet and being able to  ENJOY the post-race celebration and not be laid out on my back all day!

What are your favorite items to fuel your long runs/marathons with?

Monday, February 11, 2013

30 minute window?

FEBRUARY 11, 2012 Monday workout WEEK 7 marathon training
3 mi run with my buddy /neighbor: It was pretty windy and CHILLY this morning. We did a little speedier of a run and ran a 9:27 avg pace. The last .5 miles were up a decent incline and then a bonafide hill. Felt great to stretch those glutes out!
1 mi speedy run: My friend had a time constraint so we ran til we got close to her house, walked for a few minutes, and said our goodbyes. Then I turned around, walked a bit down the hill and started off for what I hoped would be a fast 1 mile.  My goal was sub 8. But I HOPED I could come in under 7:50. My avg pace was 7:41!  The last .3 of the run was up a slight incline (elevation gains were around 20 feet but it might as well have been Heartbreak Hill to my oxygen-deprived brain!)
I spit on myself twice (apparently saliva and I'm sure a little phlem dont project quite as easily from my pie-hole when its frigid!), and came *this close* to tossing my cookies at the end. It was definitely a race effort one miler.
115 push ups: I reached a goal last week of doing 40 x 4 sets of push up, thanks in part to the hundred push up challenge. I couldnt even do ONE 'real' pushups when I started the program a couple yeasr ago!  Now my goal is to work on form (I think I push my get-a-long a little to high up in the air, so I'm working on making sure my body is more of a straight line.
Anyway, I've been reading that is vital to fuel within 30 min of stopping your run/workout. Now I normally dont do this. I usually walk 5 min to get home at the end of my run, stretch and do my push ups and then shower. So by the time I've made my meal and am sitting down to eat it, its been a good 45 minutes or so.
This morning I thought I would try to refuel sooner to see if it made me feel any different. So I stretched and did my push ups and then ate this before I got in the shower:

This happens also to be my go-to bedtime snack. 1/2 of the Chobani yogurt container topped w/ 1/4c of Kashi Go Lean cereal. (I have to keep the 1/4c scoop in there or SOMEhow, 2-3x that amt 'accidently' ends up in my bowl).
So anyway, I ate a 1/2 container topped w/ some Kashi (which is around 100 calories) and I honestly felt no different in how my day went. I was hoping for my legs to be all mean and muscley or to all of sudden have super human endurance and abundant energy. But alas. I'm still same old slow pokey,
 un-muscley me =)
Speaking of food, here's what I usually have for my afternoon snack:
 If you knew how awesome blueberries and cottage cheese are, and have never told me, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. Friends dont let friends miss out on THIS kind of yum-er-ific-ness.

This has also been in my meal rotation alot lately: Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime dressing:
I top mine with a few tortilla chips and dig in. The original recipe called for  avacados, but avacados make my tummy feel like their is a bull fight going on in my gizzards (accompanied by many tiny fighting men trying to slash there way out). No bueno.

I'm trying to eat 'cleaner' to hopefully keep my weight down and my energy up.  Thanks to a bout of the flu around Christmas, my weight is JUST about where I want it.  I just need to lose the Pillsbury dough boy look that's taken over my mid-section. People dont believe me as I guess I've figured out how to conceal it well, but if you poke your finger into it, I might just giggle like the dough-boy (though I'd be just as likely to slap you, so play your cards wisely).

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9

Wow, its been a long time since I've posted! No pictures with this post as I didnt even DECIDE I was going to post until a few minutes ago!
Now that I am in the thick of training for my first marathon (!) I thought it might be a good idea to keep track of my training here.

I'm doing Hal Higdon's Novice 1 plan. However, I am upping the mileage a bit by adding a mile during the week and then a mile to the long run on the weekends.
I've also not figured out what I am going to do as far as fueling for the marathon. Thus far, I've never taken anything in on a long run (or during my longest race which was my 1/2 marathon), no gels, gatorade. Nothing.  Ok, ok, thats not true. Last week, I took some pretzels and gummy bears mid way thru my 11 mile run to see how my tummy would handle it and I was fine! I only ate 2 pretzels and 3 gummy bears though.
I bought some things this weekend that I'll try on my next few long runs: Cliff Shot Bloks, PowerGel and Clif Gel. We'll see if they leave give me a lift or make me run for the 'loo!

8.15 mi run (9:57 avg pace) End of WEEK 6
My buddies Krista and Megan met me at my house this morning and we started out from here.  It was 31* with a windchill of 19*. The wind was TOUGH on some parts of the run threatening to push me on my back or my face depending on which way we were running. Stabalizing myself has to burn more calories, right??  I hope so cuz I'm stuffing my face with some good ol' Pizza Hut pizza tonight, people!