Friday, December 18, 2009

Fuelin' up Friday


I've been working on my mid-run fueling (I think I am an expert on couch based fueling at this point). I've been trying a new type each week during my long runs to find one I can stomach and to get in the habit of fueling. First up I tried Clif Shot Strawberry. Man, these things don't go down easy! It was really a classy moment to be honest. I was standing on the front lawn of a large local church choking down the gel and chasing it with Gatorade. Thank heavens it was a Saturday, because I put on quite a show. It tasted kind of like the filling of a Fig Newton, not horrible, but not really what I wanted to eat while cranking out 12 miles. It took a little effort and a lot of water, but I only managed to make it through half. Some is better than none!

This past weekend I opted for the Clif Shot Razz. It tasted better than the strawberry, but it was also about 20 degrees cooler out (maybe my taste buds were frozen). Unfortunately, it was a Sunday, so instead over wretching in front of the local church, I took my fuel in a local park. Once again, I only made it through half, but mainly because an odd man was eyeing me from a park bench the whole time, so I decided to pick up the pace and get the
heck out of there.
This week I am moving on to Gu. I went down to the local running store this week and bought 4 different flavors of Gu so hopefully one of them is the fuel of my dreams. Up first is Espresso Love. I love coffee so I have a good feeling about this one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A runner's Festivus wish list

With only 7 shopping days left until Festivus, 9 shopping days until Xmas, and Chanukah in full swing, its time to put together a wish list for those still shopping for the runner in their life.

1. A Road ID. Every runner/cyclist/avid early AM dog walker should have one. I have been rather lazy about getting one, but honestly, I have no excuse. Get one.
2. Running Capris. Living in the Southeast I am constantly experiencing 'in between' weather. Sometimes the full tights are too much and shorts are too little. Plus, I think they just look cute and there is nothing wrong with looking cute when hot and sweaty. (Note: this gift may be more appropriate for the lady runners in your life).
3. A headlamp! It is well known that I am one of the more clumsy creatures around, and having a little extra light during dawn and dusk runs sure could help. Plus, there are some late night runs in my future, but more about that later.
4. A Reflective vest and lights. I'm not kidding about the night running and I really like the idea of running around with a strobe light strapped to my butt and I can't fit in my dog's vest.
5. Race Fees! Does Active.com sell gift cards? How cool would that be?
6. Fuel that I can actually stomach! The Achilles heel of my marathoning career! I've been testing out new fuels on my long runs. Stay tuned for reviews. All recommendations are welcome.
7. Kicks! A girl (and a runner) can never have too many.
8. A treadmill. Ok, I might be reaching here, but a girl can dream can't she? I would never have an excuse again. Plus, I could use it for doggy energy draining when I'm not on it.
9. A new Running Skirt. Clover green please.
10. Recovery Socks. My feet swell like Xmas hams. I've moved up two shoe sizes in the past two years. I'll try anything to help.
Happy Shopping.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just a quickie.....

My schedule (not my attitude) has been anti-running for the past few weeks, so I have only been hitting the streets for my long runs (and of course extra cash to subsidize my grad student lifestyle). With finals all done and just work and thesis writing to occupy my time, I've been able to run the past two mornings. Just fun little 3 and 4 milers, but its been so nice! My legs were a bit confused when I tried to push the pace today. Used to the steady pace of long runs, my legs were sluggish at first but responded after a short warm up. It felt great to finally switch gears. If only my schedule allowed it more often! Overall, legs are feeling good and training is on track.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Official. (Gulp)

Well, I finally registered for the big day so there is no turning back now. I had given myself a few weeks of training to make the decision to register, but basically unless one of my legs fell off, I was already mentally committed. Now the hard part begins: the weeks of high mileage during the holidays, learning how to actually fuel while running, and staying mentally positive through it all. Away we go.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

[Wo]men in Tights. Tight Tights.

It was a bit chilly for today's long run (27 degrees at the start), so I had to break out the spandex and lots of it. I never seem to dress exactly right for running in cold weather and either wear too much/want to strip naked by mile 2 or I come back with quads that look sunburned because they are so cold. To add to the pressure, I was running with a new buddy (only our 2nd run) for the first 5 miles and didn't want to turn into a gear Diva 2 miles in. I finally decided on Tights, long-sleeved spandex shirt with dri-fit short sleeve on top, a lightly lined windbreaker, and gloves. Oh, and of course the ever necessary iPOD, Garmin, sunglasses, and fuel-belt. I think my outfit weighed 5lbs on its own. Much to my chagrin, new running buddy had his tights on too (with shorts) and gloves, so I didn't feel so odd.

It never got above 35 the entire run, and neither did I. I felt tight for most of the run and even caught some wind during the back half just to make sure my legs were nice and tight for the finishing mile uphill. The Good news is that I think I geared up appropriately and I have no major gear issues to report, though I blame my slowness today on my extra 5 lbs. Nonetheless, a 15 miler is in the books.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention that its down to 69 days till the big day. I am pleased with the distances I am hitting, but still need to work on speed. I think running more than once a week will help this (damn you school work). I am running a hilly route for my long runs and hope this will translate to a little extra boost when I hit the flat course on race day!
Hey, a girl can hope, can't she?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wanted: Running Minion

Looking for an energetic and eager individual to assist in preparation and maintenance of gear related to running. Individual must be able to work independently and irregular hours. One position is vacant and desired start date is ASAP.

Duties include (but are not limited to): Maintaining an adequate supply of clean running garments and recovery clothes, ensuring the electrical capabilities of both iPOD and Garmin devices, cleaning and filling Fuelbelt bottles, preparation of Gatorade, providing accurate and timely weather reports, supplying fuel/water refills and high-fives on long runs, research and development of slogans and t-shirts for race day.

Skills necessary: Strong sense of smell and sniff test capabilities (for gear and shoes), ability to mix perfect strength Gatorade, knowledge of shoe rotation principles, ability to use a hot glue gun, affinity for duct tape, access to car or bike.

Skills preferred: minimum knowledge of running, ability to walk the dog. Advanced training in back and foot rubbing and/or stretching a plus.

Benefits include: being part of a winning team…..or at least a team that participates. Limited pay available, but significant opportunities for experience and advancement. Opportunities for exotic travel (locations include but are not limited to Alabama, Florida, rural Georgia, and Woodstock NY).

Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Please provide Resume, statement of career goals, references, and mile time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The only cure is more cowbell.....

I've had a serious case of the marathons lately. It's that jazzed up feeling that I'm in the mood to run another one. Some would say that means I need my head checked, but I take it as a good sign. In attempts to channel the feeling, I've picked out a training program to fit my grad student lifestyle and have started back into the world of marathon training. I'm starting out at lucky number week 13. I've added a few races to the calendar to help along the way.

Let the journey begin.
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