Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crazy Heart Rate

I noticed something out of the ordinary when I was looking at my stats for the marathon. Normally my heart rate is very steady and looks like this: Pretty even and like a plateau…

Mercer Island half


12 mile training run


8 mile run with Tall Mom


So tell me, what is up with this!?!! Check out my heart rate from the marathon?

OKC Marathon


It is all over the place.

I can think of a couple things that could have caused this 1) I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen before the race to help my hip along and to ward off any pain 2) I took Claritin because of my sun allergy before the race too 3) dehydration 4) um, that’s all I got. So anyone have any insight as to heart rates and what causes them to be so crazy?

And what is next on my agenda? I am thinking Tacoma City Half Marathon this weekend!!! I’ll see how the weather goes and decide by Friday!! I’m thinking a new PR? Maybe!! 1:55 could be doable! Or maybe i should just do a nice and easy run. I’m feeling really really good. My feet are good. My hamstrings are a tiny bit tight (probably due to the flat course and absence of hills to give different muscles a chance to work). But the sorest part of my body is my shoulders! I tend to tense up my shoulders when I run and I tried to keep them loose but apparently I didn’t do a very good job.

And for those of you who asked about my sister i added to my Recap HERE. So check it out! She did amazing!!

Off to enjoy my last day in OKC before heading back home!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

OKC Marathon Recap

Where do I start? I am not good at giving race recaps but I will do my best to give you all a good one. First of all, I suggest everyone run this race! While it was my first full marathon, I have shared a course with many fulls while completing halves. This was THE best supported race I have ever been a part of.

My sister and I headed to the start line with about 15 minutes to GO! time. We fought our way through the crowd and it was seeming like we might have to walk about a mile to get to the end of the fence so that we could get into position. Thankfully there was a small break in the barricade and we squeezed into the crowd with maybe 5 min to start. We shoved our way to the center of the street and settled in to wait for the race to start. Our plan was to start out together and see how goes from there. Finally, the crowd began to count down from 10 and we were off…walking until there was room to do more than shuffle our feet. It took about 5 min to cross the start, not too bad considering it took some upwards of 16 minutes. Once we stomped the pad to start our time we were running.

I had a water bottle in my hand and quickly realized i needed to dump it. About half a mile in I chunked it off to the side near a trash can only to hear someone yell out, “Keep Oklahoma beautiful!” Eh, whatchagonna do? I don’t like to litter any more than the next guy but really this is what happens in a race. I passed the comment off because it must have been a noob and she was in for a shock at the fist water station with cups flying here and there and then to GU stop with tiny tops torn and discarded with the entire GU packs too.

About a mile in I peeled off my sweatshirt and tossed it to the side too, my sister followed suit. We were running strong and felt really good. We came up to our first hill, an overpass. Insert HUGE grin here….overpass hills are awesome compared to the hills of T-town. I noticed quickly that I was passing people on the ascent, this was going to be a good day.

I enjoyed seeing the city of my college years. I saw the old apartment I lived in downtown, the first YMCA I worked at, the tattoo parlor that many of my friends visited, and many many more sights that brought back lots of memories. I was keeping an eye on my pace and feeling really good. I had planned on holding a 10 min/mile pace, something I really had never been able to do on training runs (I always ran faster) but I felt in order to finish I would have to be around that pace. At one point I looked ahead on the course and saw the crowd in front disappear behind buildings, off to the left, across a big grassing field I saw them emerge. I thought out loud to my sister, “I see a short cut. If I were a super hero or one of the Fab 4 I would go invisible and run across that field.” My sister, the smart one of the family, replied “If you were a super hero you wouldn't need to take a short cut.” True. It was great to run with my sister and our fist 6 miles were:

Mile 1 9:21

Mile 2 9:41

Mile 3 9:28

Mile 4 9:14

Mile 5 9:22

Mile 6 8:52

It was somewhere in mile 6 where my sister told me to go on and I didn’t really want to leave her but I knew I was feeling good and kinda wanted to go a bit faster. So I surged ahead, expecting her to pass me at some point later. My next 7 miles were:

Mile 7 8:54

Mile 8 8:50

Mile 9 9:07

Mile 10 9:03

Mile 11 9:03

Mile 12 9:09

Mile 13 8:40

i had to use the porta potty and put it off as long as possible. I saw one at mile 13 that had no line, jumped in and out as soon as possible. When I looked and saw the clock it said 2:03 something. I knew that was gun time and I had a good chance of hitting a sub two half…so I ran to the sign that said, “You are absolutely, positively HALF WAY THERE!” i knew it would be close and sure enough, my half marathon time was 2:00.09. My second best time for the half! What!? That is pretty cool. I was wondering if this was a bad thing and if i was going to die soon, but I held my pace up the next hill overpass leading to The Lake. It was tough due to the crazy cross wind on that bridge. I turned to run along the lake into the wind for about half a mile before we curved around to run with the wind for another 2 miles maybe.

There were water stops so often. They were supposed to be every mile but it really seemed to be more often than that. it was great. People lined to streets and paths to yell for us and cheer us on.

The best thing I heard was, “Today you are going to finish a marathon!” That was awesome! There were so many people wearing shirts that had inspirational quotes on the back and I really enjoyed reading them. It was along the lake that I passed the 4:15 pace group. I thought to myself that was strange, since I was shooting for 4:30 (although I passed the 4:30 group around mile 2) and I considered sticking with them for a while but still felt good and slowly passed them by. I plugged along.

Around mile 15 is where miles and times get a little fuzzy. I had a Grace Band found HERE and let me tell you, it was AWESOME! The Grace Band had a name or idea that I chose for each mile and I tried to focus on that person or group of people for the entire mile. Mile 5 was for all my 5 Miles Past Empty readers!

The next 7 miles were:

Mile 14 8:57

Mile 15 9:14

Mile 16 9:14

Mile 17 9:25

mile 18 9:40

Mile 19 9:51

Mile 20 9:30

I knew that at mile 20 was the mark of my longest run. I had never run past that…I thought this might be my toughest mile so I dedicated this mile to my friends who have been killed in action. It truly helped because when I thought about being tired or my feet hurting I thought how lucky I was to be there, to be alive and to be running. So mile 20 was for them, I am alive so I ran. Also around mile 20 is where my family was waiting, my Dad, brother in law, nieces, friend Jessica (who traveled from WA) and my Little Buddy! I kept focusing on them and waiting to see them! They were chilling in the shade when I ran up! They quickly got up and I gave high fives all around! They asked about my sister and I told them she was 5 or 10 minutes behind, I actually had no idea! My pace certainly slowed around this point but I kept going. Seeing them gave me the extra oomph I needed to push along. I was waiting for The Wall. Where would it be?

Around the mile 22 water stop someone was holding out a weird white thing. I heard them say “sponge” but i had no idea what the heck they were talking about. I was confused. Do I eat it? Suck on it? Hm. I grabbed it, ran a bit further grabbed some water, ran further and smelled the sponge. It smelled like water….so I wiped my face. Ahhh…..nice! I wiped my neck. i wiped my arms. I ran. At the next water stop (around mile 23) I grabbed more water and rewet the sponge. This sponge would keep me going for the rest of the race. If you ever get offered a strange sponge TAKE IT. It saved me.

My last six and a half miles (yes, the final distance was 26.5 EXACTLY):

Mile 21 9:37

Mile 22 9:37

Mile 23 10:28

Mile 24 10:27

Mile 25 10:09

Mile 26 9:34

last half mile 4:22

total time 4:09.46 (Official time 4:09.50).

So as you can see I got kinda tired for miles 23, 24, and 25. I think with a bit more training I could shave off a few minutes here and there!

In all it was an awesome experience and I know I am leaving out a lot of exciting details. I may have to do a second recap later to talk about the things I saw like Uncle Sam, Gorilla Hill, two firemen wearing full gear throughout the whole marathon, the weather, the wind, and the finish.

I certainly see another marathon in my future!!

Ok Trip April 2010 021

Oh and I am still looking for that WALL. I never did hit it!!!!

***some of you have asked how my sister did...she finished strong, blisters and all! She came in at 5:00 flat after stopping at 3 med tents to get her blisters doctored up. She has some MEAN blisters on her second to last toe and the side of the ball of her foot. Not fun. Despite that she did a great job! Here we are after the marathon:

Sunday, April 25, 2010


And lived to blog about it!!!!!  And i promise you I could not have done it without all of you!  Your comments, texts, emails, vibes and prayers were carrying me every step of the way!!!!!!!!!!!!  So THANK YOU!image

I am totally stoked with the results!  And check out that half marathon time…2:00.09.  Almost a sub 2 in my marathon! Not gonna lie, I sped up a little bit when I saw that it was possible, and if I hadn't stopped to use the Porta Potty at mile 13 I would have had it.  Funny!

I will give a full recap soon!  For now there is pizza waiting…and a couch.  I just didn’t want to leave you all hanging!

Today I am grateful for:

Completing this marathon!!!

No blisters!

Heartland hospitality!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My brain in OFF…MARATHON in 9 hours 34 min

FREAK OUT!  Don’t think about it, not right now….where is the OFF switch for “Marathon Freak-out”? 

Ok. I am recovered.  My title freaked me out a little bit. I’m not reading the title again.

Wow.  I have eaten spaghetti for lunch and more pasta for dinner and a few too many cookies.  I am ready.

I still am not sure what I am going to wear tomorrow.  The only certainty is G. Money and my hat.   The weather is looking good starting at 51 degrees and going up to 63 by the end and mostly sunny.  The forecast for wind ranges from 14 to 19 mph, not too shabby.  I’ll take that over the 60 mph gusts that were happening on Thursday.

At this point I am suppressing my anxiety and I am not really letting myself think about the fact that I am actually running a full marathon in the morning.  I think I will just tell myself from here on out that tomorrow is like any other race day.  I’ll wake up and get dressed, eat my toast and peanut butter, eat some chomps 20 minutes before race time, drink a little water, throw some gum in my mouth, stand in a wad of people, wait for the guy to say “Go!” and RUN. And keep running….and run some more………and run, and oh yeah, run.

And for those of you who want to cyber stalk me there is a way….I am a little embarrassed to tell you but you can.  Go to the website HERE and click on athlete tracking.  Enter my bib # 3762 and Whaaa laa! There you go. 

Can you tell my brain is scattered?  This post was all over the place… I need to get ready for bed!!! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thurs, Fri, Sat.....MARATHON!

I am ready.
I think.
As ready as I will ever be.

Actually, if the marathon was today I guess I would be ready but I am glad it is not today. So I am almost ready. By Sunday I will be ready, mentally prepared. I still haven't decided exactly what I will wear: capri tights or Nike tempo shorts, tank top or tee, sunglasses (which I feel like I need but they smash my eyelashes and drive me nuts) or no sunglasses, hat or no hat...I guess I will make all decisions at 4:30 AM the morning of. I'm not really stressing about it.

Yesterday I went out for a nice 3.18 mile run. It went well aside from the sweltering heat (ok it was maybe 72 degrees at 1 PM) and the driving wind (ok, it was a mere breeze but to this PNW girl it was pretty windy). Those two things do have me slightly concerned. 1) I have become quite accustomed and spoiled by our moderate weather up north and 2) we don't do wind up there very often either. So, while it most likely wont be 74 degrees at 6:30 AM on marathon day, 4 hours later it most certainly could be. I have resolved to making the best of the experience and

I love all the encouraging comments you guys have been leaving me!

Morgan from Caution: Redhead Running said this: "Keep the positive attitude going, I think it plays such a crucial key on race day... also, just remember: Your first marathon is a guaranteed PR so go out there and have fun!" I love that!

MissZippy said : "And don't forget the marathoner's prayer: "lord if you'll pick them up, I'll put them back down!"

Curlyred said: "I will be techno-stalking you the whole time. You are ready! Like I said at dinner last week, I am so proud of what you have accomplished in the last four months, if not the last year. You are an amazing woman! Much love from The Redheads..."

said: "It will be great! I promise finishing your first is a feeling like nothing else you'll ever experience."

And so many more!! Thanks for all your encouragement!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Toe Hurts

I have no idea why.  It’s not bad but a strange shooting pain every once in a while.  I think it is one of those all-in-your-head pains.  I have been taking an all-over body inventory every few hours today.  It doesn't help that my Little Buddy was smothering me last night with a 105 temperature.  I am sure to get Ebola (or strep or whatever little kid kooties he has).  But so far I feel ok, aside from the little toe pain that has been there for the last two inventories.  I’m not worried.  A little toe pain will not slow me down, ok it may slow me down but it wont kill me.

Thanks to all of you who have wished me well!!! It means so much to me! I have my bags packed and my carry on full of my marathon shoes,running gear, and marathon outfit. 

More to come!!!!!

Today I am grateful for:

AN the RB for hanging with Lazy Dog this week!

Jess and Katie for plant sitting this week!

Everyone who had any part in helping me get to this point! i couldn’t have come this far without you all (Jess, AN the RB, Paul, RED, Mel, Kerrie, Jill, Zoe, Amber, all my bloggy peeps this means you!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Week

It is hard to believe that by this time next week I will be recovering from my FIRST MARATHON!!!  I am not sure what to expect but I do expect it to be a challenge, to be hard, difficult, to be amazing, to be rewarding, to be like nothing I have ever accomplished before in my life.  I know how amazing I felt after my 20 miler and this will be better, I know!

Running a marathon is something that I only dreamed of doing, right now it is still a dream (not by this time next week!).  I can hardly believe that I have actually come this close and I will be reaching this goal.  This marathon is more than a marathon, it is hard to explain but from the moment I decided to register and started my training  to the  finish line, this marathon is symbolic. A symbol of commitment, accomplishment, of my character and dedication.  I fully expect to cross that finish line with a new outlook on life.

Today I met with Mel to run 8 miles.  She even gave me my birthday present, Run Like a Mother autographed book!! SCORE!! Thanks Mel!!!  I love love love it!!!  Today I was just flat out tired.  I started out ok but quickly fatigued.  I am hoping to get some good quality rest tomorrow and hit up some short runs after I arrive in OKC  Tues/Wed/Thurs.

Today’s Run

8 Miles: 1:13.13

Average pave: 9:04  I’ll take it. 

Today was warm, 54 at the start or our run (at least my run, Mel hit 8 miles before I showed up)  but I bet it was 60 something when we finished.  Warm, you ask.  Yes, that is warm for here for now.  I am a little bit concerned about the marathon next week.  The weather is calling for 79 I think.  Uh oh, I have not been preparing for that.

April 2010 002Me and Mel after the run!

Today I am grateful for:


A trip home to see my family!

A great run with a great buddy (thanks Mel!)!

7 Days to OKC MARATHON!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Track Days!

Yay!! The sun has been shinning around here lately! That means TRACK time!!! Yay! I don’t especially love the track but I enjoying going with my Little Buddy sometimes and since it is fenced in he can hang out and play and even run with me.

I had an easy four mile run on the books for today so I ran to the track to meet my friends Jess and finished my 4 there. My first and last miles were 8:34 and 8:26. My middle miles were a bit slower but I ran with my friend Jessica! I enjoy running circles and talking with friends, it really doesn’t get much better than that!

Then I decided to try and jump over this thing…what is this anyway? I know I have seen the event in the Olympics where they run and step on it and jump over…but I have no idea what it actually is.

april 14 2010 040 Probably wasn’t the best idea 11 DAYS before my marathon, as you can see I am not exactly a picture of grace here…

At least I got some righteous stretching in! I never have a problem stretching when I am outside in the sunshine! april 14 2010 028

april 14 2010 007

Today I started my packing list for OKC! Wooo Whooo!!

Today I am grateful for:


A walk around the block with Lazy Dog, he loves these sunny days too!

A pocket full of dandelions from my Little Buddy because “a mommy can never have too many flowers.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Last Double Digit Run

…have I done enough? What if I skipped one too many mid-week mid-distance runs? What if I die? What if I hit 20 miles and I collapse? What if I DNF?

Oh well. I’m not one to live the what if life. There are so many what ifs that if you dwell on them you go through life never satisfied and always wondering and wanting more. I did what I could and if it wasn’t enough I will do more and better next time. I think it was Mel-Tall Mom who played the optimist what if game with me when I was trying to decide not to go for a PR in the Mercer Half. “What if I don’t make it? What if it is really hard and hilly? What if I try and fail?” And her reply, “What if you do make it? What if you PR on your birthday? What if all your hard work pays off?” So for all the pessimist out there, if you must play the what if game, play it positively.

What if I run an awesome marathon? What if I finish in 4:30 like I would like to? What if I soak in the experience and love it? What if I can’t wait to register for another? SO what if I am tired and my legs are sore? What if it is just what I need right now, to show me I am strong enough? What if it changes my life?

I was emailing with a good friend of mine from grad school who is a marathoner. She was giving me some race day advice and I will share some of that with you all. I hope she doesn’t mind (I should give a disclaimer to all my friends that any correspondence we have could be used in my blog).

“…the first marathon is the hardest because there are unknowns...how will I feel throughout the race? Can I really do this?!?...but you will do great! I always found it good to break down the race into segments...first 10 miles...then the half...then 20...and then dedicate those last 6 miles to different people to keep you going.”

I will be working on my dedications in the next couple of days. I love this idea! She goes on to say:

“Mantras are great too. My favs are: ‘Embrace each step. The run is yours.’ or ‘keep on keepin' on’, or the little engine that could ‘I think I can I think I can’ (but deep down inside KNOW you can!) Have fun and take in the crowd. Make friends with those you are running with. It helps!”

So to my friend, THANK YOU! I am making my race day plan and your advice is welcomed any day!

Yesterday I ran 12 miles with my Running Consultant. It was a good run and a little faster than I had planned on going, but in all it was a good confidence booster….for a half marathon. I’m not sure what it means for me and my full in only 12 Days!!!! we will see!


12 miles: 1:46.29

Fastest mile: 8:25

Mile closest to my 10 min/mile marathon pace (like that positive spin?): 9:36**

**and this in only becasue my Running Consultant just had to go in and get a drink where his wife works....thanks RC for adding about 45 seconds to our time....

Today I am grateful for:

Awesome friends!


Sleeping in until 7 AM!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

5 Miles Past Empty

Wow, where have I been?  I feel like I have finally landed after my 20 mile runner’s high.  I have thought about blogging but felt like I didn’t have anything to top my last post.  But here I am…

Last week I didn’t do much.  I felt surprisingly ok after Monday’s 20 miles.   My calves were a bit sore but I have felt worse. I took a rest Tues and Wed to try and tame my hip pain then hit 5  miles on Thursday and well, 1k on Saturday.  Yes, 1K.  My Little Buddy did a local 1K and I ran along with him.  He did so great! I’m so proud.  The plan was for me to do the 5k after his 1k pushing him in my jogger.  GASP!  I know!  I haven’t pushed him in over a year, maybe a year and a half, which would explain why when I went out to the garage 20 minutes before registration closed and could not find my jogger anywhere.  I was ticked.  I haven’t needed that thing in forever and the ONE time I want it I can’t find it.  I started pitching things in the garage left and right but it was no where.  The only thing I can think of is I loaned it out and don’t remember to whom.  So my 5k plan was a wash. I was disappointed.

I guess it worked out though since by Saturday my body was aching all over.  I have no idea why.  I felt like I think I will feel when I am 90 years old; creaky, achy, stiff, tired.  So I think my week of rest was a good choice.  Tomorrow is 12-14 with my Running Consultant.  I still feel stiff but I just need to get out there and run.

Now, for a true confession:  I have fallen off the wagon. 

Hi. My name is Amanda and I can’t stop eating sweets.  All things sweet and bad for me.  Chocolate. Sweet Tarts. Cadbury Eggs.  M&M Sugar Cookies. Maple and Brown Sugar Pop Tarts. 

I don’t know what is happening to me.  I am determined to get it under control…starting now.  No more sweets, okay…only in moderation.  I bet I gained 5 pounds in the last week.  I was told once by a wise man, “Quit at the store”.  That method worked for me once and I believe it will work for me again.  I will not buy any more of this junk.  I think it all starts with drinks, sweet drinks like Propel, Gatorade, soda, anything not water.  SO back to my water and coffee and tea. 

And last thing on my blog-worthy agenda…Dun Dun Dun…..

A new blog title!  My web address will remain the same but I have felt for quite some time now that 5 Miles 2 Empty is a little on the negative side.  I wanted a more positive spin and I mentioned this to my friend Jessica tonight while we were having dinner.  She spat out “Yeah, you need to call it 5 Miles Past Empty….” So without further delay, I herby rename my blog…

5 Miles Past Empty

Today I am grateful for:

A beautiful day to do yard work!

Dinner with friends!

My recliner!  I finally moved it from upstairs to downstairs, where I can actually sit in it! Yay!!!


14 Days to OKC Marathon!!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How Long Does a Runner’s High Last?

I did it! 

I ran 20 MILES!


I knew I had to get my 20 miler done  this week if I am going to tackle the full marathon (and I am going to tackle that marathon!).  There was no backing out, no quitting, no giving up…no matter what.   AN the RB agreed to run the first 10 miles with me and then I would hand off to my Running Consultant, Paul to finish.  Paul has about 40 years of running under his belt.  He was a girls High School x-country coach, ran countless marathons and halves, and Boston I believe like 6 times.  He was just the person I needed to help me finish the last 10 miles.

AN the RB and I headed out for 10.  I think I ran a little faster than planned because my legs were fresh and I was happy to be back in the saddle with my running buddy.  We had a lot to catch up on and we giggled about how my conversation was going to drastically change after my handoff to Paul…girl talk is just different

When we got to the handoff point we had gone 10.64 miles, over half way!!!  I ran circles in the parking lot while Paul put on his…er, cleats?  He told me he had been pretty sick Fri, Sat and Sun so he opted to ride his bike.  THANKS FOR NOT BAILING ON ME BUDDY!!!!  Wow!  I didn’t care, bike, roller blade, drive, skate, scoot, crawl, pogo stick…I just needed a person with me.  So off we went with 8.9 left for me to run(I ran about half a mile in the parking lot).

The beginning of my run was beautiful, sunny and light breeze.  We were not so lucky with the second half.  About half a mile into the second half the heavens opened an once again the ocean fell on my head.  It was so cold and the wind was downright unfair.  Thank goodness it only lasted about 5 minutes then WHALAH!  Gone.  It remained a bit windy and overcast and we had small sprinkles off and on. 

My hip had started aching at about mile 5 but I could handle the pain until about mile 16.  At that point I thought I might cry or better yet die.  It was beginning to go numb.  I could feel the pain but I had this strange numbness radiating down my leg, engulfing my knee, shooting down to my ankle and causing my foot to feel not-there.  It was bazaar.  I was beginning to worry that I would miss a step and fall or that I would just collapse because I was unsure if my leg could actually hold me up.  Paul talked me through a lot of the pain, asking me how it feels and different ways to try to manage it.  I tried changing up my stride and speed.  The only thing  I knew for sure was walking was worse and stopping was like death.  I had to keep going.

At around mile 18.5 I walked.  I thought about calling it good and just walking the rest of the way to car, about half a mile.  But then I remembered something.  That morning when I dropped my Little Buddy off at preschool he ran in and approached all his friends at a small table, “Hey guys!  Noah!  My mom has to run 20 miles today!”  I thought about that and how proud he was of me…So I told Paul I had to finish, I had to run.  I had to make 20 miles.

Paul clipped back into his peddles and rode beside me the last mile and a half.  I did it!!!!!  And I could NOT be any more proud!

20 edit 20 complete edit

I kid you not, the exact moment my watch alerted me of “Workout Complete” my arm buzzed as a text came in from Tall Mom, “Have you run your 20 miler yet?” I swear that woman has ESP!  I took a a minute to take the above pictures and photo texted her back.

I was a little out of it. I kind of felt like I was coming out of a deep sleep or something.  I couldn’t think straight and form complete thoughts.  I stumbled into the YMCA front doors and was greeted by a few of my friends who were all smiles and so proud of me.  It was such a great feeling.  I noticed a few looks of complete Awe, you know what I mean?  Like, “how is this chick still standing after 20 miles?” kind of looks.  Thank goodness there is an elevator that goes up one floor to the lady’s locker room because I got in and rode up one measly flight of stairs.  Usually they don’t let staff (which I am) use the elevator, but no one said a word as the door shut and I began my ride up…And I am not sure I have come down since.

 How long does runner’s high last anyway? 

Today I am grateful for:

Having the courage to start, strength to endure, resolve to finish!

AN the RB and Paul who were there to help me with this run, not sure I would have finished on my own!

That I know the Heimlich maneuver and was able to dislodge a huge piece of ice from my Little Buddy’s throat without even thinking (if you are a mom and don’t know the Heimlich I urge you to learn! This is the second time I have had to do this to my Little Buddy during his short 4.5 years of life).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fuel for Running

We need energy to run. Period.

Back in December I ran a 12K. I know, I didn’t really blog about it, it was horrible. Awful. Painful and just not a good experience. I knew I should not run it. I hadn’t eaten a meal in over a week. If you remember I had some health problems during Dec/Jan and part of the problem was that I just could not eat. Couldn't get anything down and if I did I couldn’t really keep it down, so for a few weeks I didn’t really try. All I ate was mandarin oranges (yummy!) and a little bit of Margarita Pizza, also yummy, but not good fuel for the body. So needless to say I zonked out and ended up running the race Galloway style, in reverse…you know, run one minute walk 10?

Now I have no formal education in nutrition and only have what I have learned through trial an error. So with that said, you need more than stored fat, simple carbs, and water to have energy for a run. What I have noticed is that my runs have gotten longer(ya think?) . Used to I would prepare for a 7 miler the night before by eating some pasta. Somehow these days 7 miles is not really a long run so I often don’t remember to properly feed my body. While training for a half or full marathon it is so important that we feed our body the whole week, not just the night before. Example, my runs this past week were 5 miles, 10 miles, 5 miles and then 20 coming up Monday. So it is clear that I need to be giving my body the proper fuel and nutrition throughout the week so that I can perform at my peak for each of these runs.

So here is some info for you:

Carbohydrate is the element in our food which:

  1. supplies the energy for the body's automatic activity and for the performance of our daily tasks. The more physical work we perform daily, the more carbohydrates we must proportionately consume.
  2. plays a vital part in the digestion, assimilation (metabolism) and oxidation of protein and fat. If we take in more carbohydrate of any kind than is needed for immediate use the unused portion is stored in the liver or converted into fat and deposited in the tissues for future use (ick!) .

Now, simple carbohydrates are quick energy sources. I think of these as sugar - fruit, fruit juice, table sugar, honey, soft drinks, and other sweets. Glucose is the major kind of simple sugar. Glucose is the basic source of energy for all living things. Glucose supplies the body with quick energy. It occurs naturally in some fruits (the reason that during ultras you often see them giving out orange slices, bananas and such) and vegetables and is also produced in the body by breaking down other foods into glucose. So when you give your 4 year old candy it is the sugar/glucose/QUICK ENERGY that causes him to bounce off the walls for a while then CRASH! And for us, crashing is NO GOOD! So I prefer to properly fuel with complex carbs before hand and save the simple quick energy for during the run.

The cool thing about things like GU and Chomps and hammer Gel is that they are specially made and formulated by all the smart people who actually went to school to learn the type of info I tried to give you. It is a scientifically created containing a balance of complex carbohydrates and simple carbs. In other words these people know what they are doing and made things specifically for us, out there running far and long.

These are some of my favorite forms of energy for during long runs: feul

GU, Chomps , Sports Beans and NUUN (the Cliff shots have not been tested yet…).

I would suggest testing them out to find which one works best for you. I have tested a lot over the last three years. It takes time and patience and I would also recommend testing them while on not-so-far-from-home runs in case of GI problems. I feel lucky since I have never had any issues with that. Some people use other things like M&Ms. Whatever works for you, remember trial and error.

To wrap it up, remember to feed your body properly throughout the week. You can’t skimp on the right foods and expect to perform well during your longer runs ( I would say anything over 40 mins duration, just my own opinion).

Now what you actually eat the night before and the meal before a run also takes tweaking and trial and error. The biggest and worst error I have made was to eat an everything bagel an hour or two before my first triathlon. UGH! SICK! GROSS! NEVER. Ever. EVER. AGAIN! I don’t think I have eaten one since (that was about a year and a half ago). It was yummy and good fuel for the body but the everything part of it, yeah that was not good. I tasted that stupid bagel for two hours, while swimming, biking and finally running. But now I know, only plain bagel or toast with peanut butter, a banana, Odwalla bar, or plain noodles the morning of a race.

The night before I like a nice yummy pasta meal easy on the spice or flair. I include chicken or shrimp and lots of water. I don't think you can go wrong if you eat good balanced meals leading up to a race.

What is your favorite pre-race meal? How do you feed your body throughout the week? Have you ever tried to run after work when you haven't eaten since breakfast? How did THAT turn out? Anyone have any knowledge nuggets to share? What was your BIGGEST pre-race meal Uh OH?

I’ll try and post about the importance of protein one of these days, can’t skimp on the protein!!!

Today I am grateful for:

An Easter basket for my Little Buddy that the Easter Bunny just dropped off for the morning!

Hip exercises that seem to be working!! I have had little to no pain lately!

New running shoes! Trying to get them broke in before the marathon!!!

22 Days to OKC Marathon!


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