Fuel

 

I am by no means an expert, but I think I have finally figured out how to fuel my body for running. Please take this with a gain of salt, I know everyone is different and different people may have sensitive stomachs, etc. It may have taken a couple of years but I think I have finally got it.

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Pre run (morning):

-banana or greek yogurt

-Clif bar

Fitmixer amino

-glass of water

During run:

-One GU for every 3 miles, preferably one with caffeine

-Nuun or Gatorade and then water, traded off

Runs longer than 13 miles:

“real” solid food added in such as a banana, or half of a peanut butter sandwich

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Oh, gingerbread how I miss thee

I used to only take two GU’s when running a half marathon distance, but during the Disneyland half I actually took 3.5, and felt great. I could definitely tell I had a boost of energy several minutes later. My method was when I saw a water stop near a time I wanted to fuel, I would go ahead and take it out and start eating. Then, by time I got tot he water station I was almost finished and could then take a half cup of water and half cup of Gatorade to wash it down.

My point in saying this, is find what works best for you, practice with it and stick to it. Race day is not the time to experiment with something new you bought at the expo. be sure to practice with race day fuel on your long runs, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. keep in mind there are different brands of chews, blocks, and GU’s out there, so just because one doesn’t work doesn’t mean you should count them all out. Some people prefer to eat good old gummi bears or hard candy and that’s fine, too.

Also, timing is important as well. I have learned the hard way that i need 45 minutes to an hour to digest my breakfast before I can run or I get major side cramps, every. single. time. Also timing on runs, knowing what miles to take your fuel (what works best you YOU) is equally as important.

Also find out form the race director what kind of sports drink and fuel will be on the course, and try some at home to make sure it does ok with you stomach.

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Go ahead and experiment, so that you will be prepared on race day to have a great run and not have to worry or fuss with wen or how you are going to fuel!

QOTD: What is your favorite pre or mid run fuel?

Back to My Roots: Tips for Beginners

 

So, some of you may have seen this post on Twitter yesterday.

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Sigh. I was so ready for a nice, relaxing massage, and instead I spent an hour talking to someone who obviously knew NOTHING about running, but asking me a million questions. Was I annoyed? Heck yes! I paid money to relax! Not explain what a GPS watch is to you!

When I got home, I started doing some thinking. Was it wrong and very annoying what she did? Of course, BUT, at the same time, here was someone obviously very wowed by my running knowledge, eagerly wanting more info and tips. She actually jokingly (I think!) asked me to be her running coach. She also told me she would hate to see me kick someone as she was rubbing my calves. Is it weird that I took this as a major compliment by the way?

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Anyway, here I was thinking “how can she not know what a Garmin watch is?” and “is she seriously asking me how I am supposed to know how far I have run “are there like, marks in the road that tell you?” As I began to feel slightly proud and cocky, I was immediately put in my place when I remembered that there was once a time when I didn’t know the answers to those questions.

How silly of me to assume that everyone knows how to get rid of a side cramp, and how you know what kind of shoes you need. To the “normal” world, these are not common knowledge issues. I do so much reading and research every day, it has become so easy for me to forget that everyone has to start from somewhere, and learn as they go.

So, I have decided to go “back to my roots” shall we say, and go over some things I wish I knew in the beginning but didn’t know.

GPS Watch/Garmin: These handy watches are amazing and it is my favorite piece of gear. They work via satellite and track your distance, pace, time, elevation, etc. Then you can plug it up to your computer and download your info to have for a training log, comparisons, etc. There are also phone apps for this purpose as well.

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(wearing my Garmin)

GU/Chomps: When I first started running I had no need for this as I was just running 3-4 miles at a time. When I got up to six miles I realized I needed to start using something for fuel. I was scared to try GU, the consistency seemed nasty, but now they are my BFF and I love trying the different flavors. I can’t do the chomps (if I can help it) because they get stuck in my teeth. The GU is easy to “suck down” when I see a water stop up ahead.

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How to start training: If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend the couch to 5k program. I have not done it myself but know people who have been very successful with it. We all start from somewhere, even if it’s your couch. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Sweat Wicking: You don’t want to run in cotton! It gets very heavy when you sweat and doesn’t feel good. Invest in some dri fit/sweat wicking workout clothes that wick moisture away from your body. I of course recommend running skirts for workout gear!

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Log your workouts: It can be dailymile.com., or writing workouts in a journal, but keep track of what you do, and how you felt. That way you can look back to see how far you have come, what conditions you run best in, time of day, etc.

Body Glide: go buy some. You will thank me later when you don’t have burns and rashes all over and your friends do.

Walk Breaks: are perfectly normal. I hate that there is a stigma that if you walk during a run or a race you aren’t really a runner. I have done some experiments, and I actually race FASTER when I take a 20 second walk break every 7  minutes or so after I hit mile 8 of a half marathon. True story. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need to walk every now and then.

Rest: Being too ambitious in the beginning can get you burnt out or injured. Your body NEEDS rest days to recover and rebuild to make you stronger. Don’t forget to cross train as well. Build strength all over, and not just from running.

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These are by NO MEANS all the tips there are, these are just a few off the top of my head I wish I had know starting out (and some my masseuse asked me!) As always, if you have ANY specific questions, please feel free to comment here or e mail me at runningwithsass@gmail.com. I love hearing from readers!

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Also wanted to add…I ran my FIST MILE since Thanksgiving Day today! It felt good! I took it slow, but ran the whole thing. I’m coming back! YAY!

QOTD: What is a running tip you wish you knew when you first started?

-Also of interest: This post I wrote on beginner running injuries.

Failing to Plan…

 

You know the old saying. If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. Well, yesterday I had a MAJOR running #FAIL and I wanted to share with you so that you wouldn’t do the same things I did. So, I decided Sunday night that Monday morning I wanted to drive to the beach for a 5-6 mile solo run. Simple enough right? HA! Saying that is simple enough is the same as someone saying “running is a cheap hobby, all you need are shoes.” bahaha! Here are a list of the things I failed on, and how you can avoid them:

Weather:  It has been cool here in the mornings the past week or so (upper 50’s low 60’s) so I didn’t even BOTHER looking at the weather to see what I was getting myself into for this run. I just took off, driving towards the beach, figuring it would be “cool enough.” WRONG. It was in the low 70’s when I started and upper 70’s by the time I finished. It was QUITE warm and very very sunny, not a cloud in the sky! This leads me to my next point…

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Time: I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the time I left either. I sat around checking emails, drinking coffee, and eating breakfast. I took my sweet time getting dressed, playing with my attention whore dogs, and driving down to the beach. By the time I got out of my car, it was 9:00. Ouch. The sun was rising in the sky (right in my face, of course) and it was already way warmer than I would like for the beginning of a run. A little better planning and I easily could have gotten out there by 8.

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Clothing: I grabbed a running skirt out of my closet (surprise) and the closest matching top that I could find and it happened to be black. Of course, since I had not checked the weather to know it was already warm out, so it never crossed my mind that a heat-drawing black shirt could make my run even warmer. I did think to grab sunglasses, but a hat would have been nice, too.

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Fuel: While I did think to bring a GU and water, I didn’t think to actually DRINK vey much before the run. I had a cup of coffee at home and a few sips of water, but that’s it. I thought stopping at my car around mile 3 for my GU and some water would be enough to “get me by,” but by the time I hit mile 4 I was wishing I had taken my water bottle with me on the run. (There’s that checking the weather thing again…) Also, I had a protein bar for breakfast but it may not have been quite enough for me to get through the run.

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Awareness: I actually dodged a bullet on this one. I found out when I got home, that just  couple of miles form where I was running, a lady running was kidnapped at 9:00. I was running at 9:00, and it easily could have been me! Yes there were other people around when I was running, but I can sadly say I really wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to my surroundings. I was struggling on my run, so I was just thinking about how hot and tired I was. How scary! As far as I know, they have not found her yet.

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I ended up running 5.5 miles, and was very happy to be done. I knew that it would maybe be my last chance to get in a run before Rock N Roll St. Louis this weekend (I will hopefully be able to get in a short run Wednesday or Thursday in St. Louis)

QOTD: Have you ever failed to plan for a run or for something else? What happened?

Giveaway #2

 

Happy Sunday friends! I am hanging out with Bobby this afternoon. (Well, he is playing on the Wii and I am blogging, same thing right?) I thought it was time for me to host my second giveaway! To be clear, I was not given any of the things I am giving away in exchange for any type of review, etc. These are products I am choosing to giveaway myself.

Here are the goodies up for taking:

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a Brooks run happy hat, 2 packs of shot bloks, 2 packs of GU brew, 2 packs of GU chomps, a bag of shot bloks, and a GU gel. I know a lot of you northerners are still experiencing frigid temps, so I thought this fun hat would be a cool prize, plus, who doesn’t love free fuel? it gets mighty expensive if you ask me! I personally use GU gel the most, and have used the GU brew’s after long runs.

a close up of the hat:

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It’s just so cute and fun!

So, here are the rules:

ANYONE can enter, from anywhere in the world.

Giveaway closes Sunday, February 27 at midnight central time, so you basically have one week.

Ok ok on to the good stuff, how do I enter you ask? Well there are a few ways, pay attention now! Leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry.

1.) MANDATORY: you must be a follower of my blog. My subscription options are on the right sidebar.

2.) Follow me on Twitter or my Running with Sass Facebook page (one separate entry for each please, also in the right sidebar.)

3.) Tweet, Facebook, or blog about my giveaway with a link back to this page. One separate entry for each

4.) Tell me something you love about yourself! It is the month of love after all, so let’s hear some self love!

So that’s a possible total of like 7 entries. woo hoo! I will announce a winner Monday February 28th by using random.org.

***Calling all bloggers! I am in need of people to do a few guest posts for me! If you are interested and have a topic in mind you would like to blog about on my blog, send me an e-mail at: runningwithsass AT gmail DOT com.

***I have not forgotten about my Mardi Gras race recap, don’t worry!

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Friday Favorites: GU

 **be sure to subscribe to my feed on the right, or re-subscribe if you HAD a subscription before new new blog design!

Happy Friday! It is a BEAUTIFUL sunny 69 degree day here! I am about to go sit outside and enjoy it while I can! But first, my Friday favorites post for the week, GU! I love this stuff, and it’s all I use to fuel during my runs (besides Gatorade and water of course.) I will admit when I first started eating Gu, it took me awhile to get used to it. I prefer this to shot blocks or chewy fuels because I don’t like to chew and run, and the chewy kind always get stuck in my teeth and it drives me crazy!

They are compact and easy to carry, and the best part is, they come in a rainbow of flavors for your enjoyment. (My favorite being vanilla bean and gingerbread!) Also, occasionally the lovely people at Gu will release a new limited time flavor (like island nectar, tastes like a pineapple fruity drink!) I actually enjoy when it’s time to take fuel, because these babies taste like candy! Sometimes they can get thick in your mouth (make sure you chase with water/gatorade.) I take one about every 4-5 miles and they give almost instant energy! (Don’t give these to your already hyper children. It would not end well!)

Gu all ready with my other gear on race day.

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Go check out their website and look at all the flavors! They even sell a sample pack if you aren’t sure what flavor you will like. (They just came out with a new flavor, cherry lime!) You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter from their webpage. They even have a  nutrition facts page!

I know some people are/were hesitant to try GU at first *cough*Jen*cough* but now are believers. You can buy individual packets from your local running or sports store if you don’t want to buy a 6 pack in case you aren’t crazy about the flavor (or you can just mail them to me!)

QOTD: What is your favorite fuel/flavor?

I am off to enjoy my afternoon, but though I would leave you with a few pictures!

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The above dessert was some sort of boston crème pie…SO GOOD!

Listen up, Race Directors

 

   Good afternoon! I hope everyone is having a fabulous day. We are dealing with some not so fun family issues, but other than that it’s been an ok day. I went for my first post-race run this morning by myself. I just did 3 miles, and my calves were SO TIGHT until almost the end of the run. But, all things considered, I had a good run and pushed hard. (More on that tomorrow hopefully!) In case you missed my race recap, you can check it out HERE.

   Anyway, I have a qualm. With races. Specifically with race shirts. WHY do most races NOT have gender specific shirts? I am not a tiny person, but I am not a big person. I wear a size small t-shirt. But, in these race tech shirts, a universal small is BIG and NOT very fun to run in. Case in point, here is my ace shirt from this past weekend. I ran in it this morning, and it just so happened to match my headband and running skirt, score! But…it’s huge! (I am holding it out for the purposes of this picture, I am not filling up all that space with my body!) it took me a couple tries. The first one you couldn’t really see well, (me and the self timer don’t get along)

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ok here we go, this one is better.

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It is so baggy, it’s frustrating and felt heavy and awkward to run in it. Oh well!

I do have good news though, my GU came in the mail! GU was having a special I posted about on my facebook fan page (you can join on the right sidebar) where if you bought any GU product, you got a 6 pack of the new, limited edition flavor, island nectar. I can’t wait to try it out!

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I ordered the vanilla gingerbread with mine, yum! Look at the cute little package!

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On the moving front, we cleaned up and boxed up the entire guest bedroom yesterday and put it in the garage, except for furniture. Look what I found! Bwahaha!

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IT’S HUGE! It’s actually bigger than this, you can see the left panel isn’t out all the way…it wouldn’t fit on the floor of the office! Ok, story behind the Notebook poster…Back in college I was the cool 19 year old who had her own apartment Smile Bobby and I had a friend who worked at blockbuster. They were taking this huge poster down from the window display and said I could have it SCORE! I promptly hung it up in my bedroom over my bed. Seriously? I really did that? Hilarious! It was definitely time to throw it away!

I have more pictures to post but will save them for another post. I have to go! Have a great afternoon!

 

QOTD: What is something funny you did in college you look back on now and laugh about?