Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Fuel Experiment

February 29 - GU Energy Gels have always been my choice for fueling during training runs. Tri-Berry is my favorite flavor.

I ran the Half at the Hamptons a couple of weeks ago and found out that using energy gel for fuel during a race can be a rather sticky experience. In all my runner gracefulness I ended up with more GU on my hands than in my mouth.

As I prepare to run the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon in May, I am looking for the perfect fuel to use during the race. I want something I can take on the run and won't be messy.

After raiding the shelves at my local Sports Authority, here is what I came home with...

Choice #1:

PowerBar Energy Blasts are gel filled chews with a liquid center. Uses C2MAX formula - "a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend found to deliver...more energy to muscles..." 190 calories per serving (pouch). Nutrition Facts: 60mg Sodium, 45g Carbs, 36g Sugars, 3g Protein, 0 Potassium. Price $2.29

Choice #2:

Sport Beans are energizing jelly beans. Quick energy replenished from carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins B & C. 100 calories in a serving (package). Nutrition Facts: 80mg Sodium, 25g Carbs, 17g Sugars, 0 Protein, 40mg Potassium. Price $1.49

Choice #3:

GU Chomps are energy chews. Sustained energy through amino acids, Vitamins A & C, and electrolytes. 90 calories per serving (4 pieces). Nutrition Facts: 50mg Sodium, 23g Carbs, 11g Sugars, 0 Protein, 40mg Potassium. Price $2.20 (2 servings in package)

Choice #4:

CLIF Shot Blocks are semi-solid energy chews. Each chew replaces carbohydrates and electrolytes during activity. 100 calories per serving (3 pieces). Nutrition Facts: 70mg Sodium, 24g Carbs, 12g Sugars, 0 Protein, 20mg Potassium. Price $2.49 (2 servings in package) 

So my plan is to try a different fuel source on each of my next long training runs. My goal is to find one that is easy to use, provides an energy boost, and tastes good!

Do you use fuel during your workouts? 
Which do you recommend?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saskatchewan Screamer: Dislike

February 26 - Yesterday was my scheduled long run for the week. My running partner/personal trainer is unavailable (she's living it up at the Princess Half Marathon in Disney - more on that later), so I recruited hubs and the loyal hound to run with me.

Who could resist that?

We loaded up the car and headed toward Manchester to take advantage of the paved paths and nearby park. Hubs and the dog were going to run about 3 miles with me and then walk around while I finished up another 4 mile loop. We stopped for gas on the way and that is when I noticed how windy it was. I knew we had a wind advisory, but then hubs introduced me to the Saskatchewan Screamer...a fast moving low pressure system sweeping southeast out of Canada bringing winds with speeds over 45 mph. After checking TWC App on my phone, we decided to reschedule the run for Sunday when the winds would lessen.

That's his pouting pose!

So this morning we headed to church...

Outfit: H & M sweater, GAP pants, Express necklace.

...and then we realized we had double booked our run to coincide with basketball. Oops. So instead of the awesome downtown run I had mapped out for us, I hit the basement and climbed on the treadmill for 7 miles. 


Watching Home Alone while running on the treadmill is not my ideal workout, but it is better than not working out at all. Although, I can honestly say that the look on "Kevin's" face is exactly how I was feeling earlier today. Despite my frustrations, I had a good run and continue to maintain my momentum for my next half marathon at the Cox Rhode Races in Providence, Rhode Island in May.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Half at the Hamptons

February 20 - Yesterday I completed my 2nd half marathon in Hampton, NH. Half at the Hamptons is a popular race because the course is one of the flattest in New England and many runners use it as a Boston Marathon training run. Hampton is a small seacoast town with all the charm of the typical summer beach destination. The white washed buildings are weathered by the ocean winds and the streets are protected by a seawall with the beach on the other side.

Hubs and I arrived in Hampton early so there was plenty of time to park, check-in, use the restrooms, and meet my running partner, D. Hampton offers hundreds of parking spots up and down the beach (which were free for the race) as well a street parking and some large lots that charged $5. Check-in at the Ashworth by the Sea Hotel was quick and we received a cute cotton long sleeve lavender race shirt. After stopping at Ds car, we made our way to the start line.

Even though there weren't corals (the race capped at 1400 runners) it was easy to find a spot and we ended up very near the 9:00mm Pacer, Timmy. The course's reputation was accurate, and along with the temps in the mid 30s and the sun shining, it was a perfect day to...PR!!

Special thanks to Hubs for biking around to take these awesome pics!

I had hoped to finish this half better than my first last August at RNR PROV because my training has improved and I have been injury free. I NEVER thought that I would finish sub 2 hours though. D and I stayed together sticking with Pacer Timmy until about mile 6. She started to pull ahead, but I was afraid to push my speed anymore, so I held back. I think I made the right decision because the last 2 miles were difficult. My hips started tightening up, but I managed to keep up with Pacer Timmy's pack and finish 1:57:51.

After the race, hubs and I headed to Portsmouth to lunch with a group of runners, bloggers, FitFluential Ambassadors and a fellow Rhode Scholar at the casual British pub, Coat of Arms. It was a great day to spend with old and new friends.

Samantha / D / Group - Halen, Janine, Greg, Samantha

Now it is time to take a few recovery runs, then maintain my training for the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon in May. It has been a great winter to train and I am hoping that Spring is right around the corner. So as I take a few days to savor my new PR and "I just ran a half marathon" moments, I'm already thinking about the fun to come.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running: 10 Things I Love About You

February 14 - Today I'm sharing my love...for running. I heard about #RunChat's Valentine's Day Challenge and it sounded like fun.


I Love Running because...

  1. running is quality time with me
  2. the road is a good listener
  3. you get out of it what you put into it
  4. it's cheaper than therapy
  5. I really, really, really like dessert
  6. you can run happy, grumpy, speedy, slow, a little or a lot
  7. the sweat, the devotion, and the time pays off
  8. you see the beauty of the world around you
  9. the miles don't go away, they wait patiently for you
  10. you can run naked 
Note: My list was inspired by pins on Pinterest

Show me some of your love: Why do YOU love running?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Courage. Strength. Grace.

February 12 - Those of us in the running world have all heard the tragic story of what happened to fellow runner Sherry Arnold on January 7th. Yesterday runners from all over took part in a virtual run in her memory. It didn't matter where you were or how far you would go. It didn't have to be an organized event or even a group run. Only a simple request was made by her relative Beth from Shut Up and Run to take a moment of silence to think about Sherry, her family, and her community.

Sherry was a wife, mother, runner, teacher, daughter. All roles that I can relate to. As I laced up my running shoes and got ready to head out to meet my running partner, I couldn't stop thinking about Sherry and how much we're all like her in one way or another. It would be so easy to ignore her story. To not let the ugly in the world enter your thoughts. The truth is, Sherry's real story is that of the life she lived. She touched so many people and will be remembered for her Courage. Strength. Grace.

We ran 8 miles yesterday. The blue bib stood out on our clothing as we made our way to downtown Manchester. The sky was gray, the winds were brisk, and we were quieter than usual. Before hitting a mile, there was a honk. Then a few minutes later, another honk. These weren't the typical honk-to-harrass-the-runners honks. These were the sounds of people supporting our run because they saw we were Running for Sherry.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sizing Up

February 8 - I decided to take a quick look back at my 2012 goals and assess how I did in January.

1. Keep running:

92 miles in January

2. Run a race every month:

10K on January 1st

Twitter Road Race 5K

3. Continue to improve my blog:

First review & giveaway

4. Add another New England state to the places I have run:

Massachusetts - 1st Run 10K

5. Keep meeting new running friends:

I'm an Ambassador!

Dailymile = tons of running buddies!

NEW. I didn't include a workout goal for 2012, because I'm not a fan AND I hate failure. However, I created my own 30 Day Workout Challenge:

How are you doing with your 2012 goals?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Twelve Fantabulous Miles & Winners

February 4 - This morning I had a fantabulous run. On the schedule was a twelve mile run for my half marathon training. My first of the year is in two weeks at the Hampton Half and my second is in May at the Cox Rhode Races. I met my training partner at the Executive Health Club near MHT at 8AM. She had the route since it was one she has run when training for marathons. Here's what it looked like afterwards:

Everything worked today. The route was mainly flat with just a couple of small, easy inclines. At about 30 degrees the weather was just right and even managed to puff out a few flurries for us. All of the sidewalks and paths were clear and open. Most importantly my legs were feeling good and loose. I love when my runs are nice and easy like this.

Do you ever wonder what causes a good run to happen? The weather? Your meals? The right frame of mind? Wouldn't it be great to know so that you could replicate it right before that BIG RACE?

I don't know what my combination was exactly, but I love weather like today in the 30s, my dinner last night was a pepperoni calzone with some wine (ok a lot of wine), and my mom surprised me by coming to visit from Cincinnati! Fantabulous!


Congratulations to the winners of the Simple Hydration Water Bottle Giveaway:

Tara Martin

Chuck Abbey

Please email me your mailing address information so I can get your bottles to you!