Tag Archives: Marathon training

Swipe, Eat, Repeat

Not too long ago, I joined BASEendurance, a new company that hooks runners up with products they would actually use. (If you’re a runner and a blogger and are interested in signing up, check this out.) Anyway, I was able to try out this new product, Fuelstrip, through BASEendurance.

Fuelstrip is little strips that test your sweat to detect metabolites to determine when you need to fuel during activity. I used it during my run on Thanksgiving, but you can use it for any activity except swimming.

Ok, so here’s what you do: swipe one of these strips across your forehead every 15 minutes.

The strip will change to one of four colors and then you eat the amount of Fuelchews based on the color. Fuelchews are kinda like Gu Chomps, but not.

Anyway, I ran for 15 minutes then stopped to use my first strip. It was already yellow.

Somehow I doubted my need to eat two chews after only 15 minutes of activity but it probably had to do with my breakfast of Kix cereal and unsweetened almond milk instead of my usual 10+ mile breakfast of plain oatmeal or a low-sugar PB&J.

I ignored the strip and ran for another 15 minutes. The second Fuelstrip was green.

I brought the Fuelchews with me but wasn’t sure if I was going to eat them. (Remember, I can’t eat sugar when I’m running?) Since I was in a park and always, at most, one mile from a bathroom, I decided to play a little Russian Roulette with my stomach. I ate two chews instead of the recommended three, because three is just asking for a pants-pooping.

The Fuelchews were really good. They were easy to chew (like gum drops) instead of rubbery (like gummy bears). Now, I’m not saying this to blow sunshine up Fuelstrip’s, ahem, skirt – but I liked them way better than most of the other gummy-type chews out there. They didn’t stick to my teeth or take forever to chew.

After fueling, I ran for another 15 minutes, used another strip, and it was still green.

I ate one more Fuelchew, instead of the recommended three, and that was all my stomach could handle until I started feeling off.

I used one last strip 15 minutes later (still green) and finished up a seven miler way faster than I normally run.

That pace was probably a combination of the fueling and the 50 degree weather with a dash of me being generally awesome. 😉

Since I was taking pictures during the run, I stopped to use the Fuelstrips. In a race situation, I wouldn’t want to stop. The strips are pretty small and I’d probably drop them. So that would be my only complaint. People will more coordination, I’m sure, wouldn’t have a problem. I did hear Fuelstrip is coming out with a bracelet unit early next year which sounds like a better option for the clumsy.

Overall, Fuelstrip made me realize that I need to eat way earlier than I have been during races. Usually I won’t eat anything until I’m seven miles in and that’s only if I’m struggling. Eating while running and I have a dicey relationship. I used the strips for my seven miler but I think these would be really great for marathon training so you know how to fuel for a long run. Plus, they’re so affordable that you don’t really have anything to lose.


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The Last Three Miles

The last week of marathon training called for 1-3 miles at marathon race pace. So last night I went to the park (eh? No treadmill. I’m getting fancy on ya’ll) and ended up doing 3.3 miles at a 10:01 pace. Not sure how “marathon race pace” that is for me. I guess it is in my dreams.

It’s too early for quality jokes.

That run might be the last before Savannah unless I’m able to get a couple in Thursday morning before we leave, but I’m not counting on it. During the run, I used my regular iPod ear buds hoping they stopped sucking at some point, but they didn’t. Do I have malformed ears or something? Because they do not stay in and I see people use these in races all the time. With my hat and my glasses and my headpones, I just have too much stuff around my ears and it’s so uncomfortable. And I can’t handle having those Yurbud type ear buds because I have to stick them so far in my ear and then it feels like I’m on an airplane. So, now I need to go back to my headphones that make me look like a tool.

(Have I made that joke before? If so, too bad. I’m getting old and forgetful.)

I also think I found a new power song. My power song for the past 2 years has been Out of Control by Hoobstank (try NOT to run fast during that chorus) but now I’m loving this one. (Those are YouTube links.)

And last but not least, I got the BEST good luck package in the mail yesterday from Stacie at Skipping in Seattle.

The one on top is chocolate DIPPED Peeps. Dipped? I haven’t even heard of those. It’s like regular Peeps and chocolate-covered Peeps got together and make beautiful Peep babies.

Seriously, how sweet is it that someone I know through blogging only was thoughtful enough to send that? Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve only mentioned once that I like the candy corn pumpkins better than the regular candy corn. The girl knows her stuff. Thank you , Stacie! (And I swear I will make up bailing on the San Diego Rock n Roll last year to you!)

How many of you actually know who those girls are in the first picture? 🙂


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You Get What You Ask For

My last long run before Savannah (8.25 miles) is done. The first 2 miles was in a light sprinkle and the last 6 in a downpour. That’s what I get for bitching about the weather.

Now my stomach is completely trashed and I’m trying to figure out if it’s from the run or food poisoning. Probably the run, but it usually takes more than 8 miles to do that to me. 😦


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Tired Legs

I woke up yesterday morning at 5am to do my speed run at the gym. I think the squats and lunges that I did in martial arts fitness class on Monday, the speed run on Tuesday, and general squating down to clean the bunny’s litter box told me that my legs are freaking tired. So, I guess even though I don’t feel any pain from the 24 miles on Saturday, I’m still pooped out.

The email from my training group said to do 4 – 8 x 800 at 10k pace. Since I’m in taper, we were directed to do two less 800’s than we normally do. I usually do 6, so 4 it was.

Mile Pace Incline
1 10:00 0.5
800 (1/2 mile) 8:49 1.0
200 Walking 1.0
Repeat 4x    

Total miles: 3

Don’t ask me what my 10k pace is because I have no clue. I know I can’t run a 10k at an 8:49 pace but that’s what I did for this run anyway. It was hard to not do that last mile, especially since I had some extra time before I had to leave the gym. My legs were tired but I wasn’t dying by any means, but I left anyway and cut my run down by a mile. Taper already sucks.

I got a little somethin’-somethin’ in the mail the other day. I won a Bic Band from this little cutie’s blog.

I tried to get the top of my head in that last shot but I can only take so many pictures of myself at work before the dude behind me starts to notice. So I gave up.

Do you wear a Bic Band or Sweaty Band? I have to say, the Bic Band is super cute but I have to keep adjusting it. No way this would stay in my hair during a race. Sweaty Bands don’t stay in either. I swear my head is a sling-shot for any headband. They are still cute for wearing out, but I just can’t work out in them. Thanks for the Bic Band, Kathleen!

What’s the most important thing you would recommend someone do during taper who’s never done it before? (i.e. Tell me what to do.)

P.S. For anyone who cares, the American Horror Story recap might be a day late this week since I have plans Thursday night that do not involve hydrating properly.


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Taper Time

Saturday morning, I woke up at 2:45 (that’s am) to meet my group for our last long run: a 24 miler. I didn’t feel good or bad on this run – it was just ok, and I’m good with that. We finished in 4:35 which at least puts me on target to finish Savannah in 5 hours (but hopefully less). One of our watches said we did 24.5 miles, so, who knows what the real distance was.

The first 4 miles were torture. It took forever for my legs to warm up. After mile 4, my legs started to feel better but my left shoulder started to hurt from my Camelbak. I spent the rest of the run stretching my shoulder at every water stop and walk break but it never felt 100% again.

At mile 12, we came back to the start to pick up more runners who weren’t doing the full 24. I dropped my Camelbak off at the car and cursed it for bothering me NOW – three weeks before marathon time – when I’ve been running with it for a year and never had a problem.

Now I’m thinking I shouldn’t run with it in Savannah. I was fully planning on it and now I don’ t want to have something on my back for 26 miles if it’s going to hurt my shoulder again. I have enough problems with other things hurting. Like my ego. Maybe I’ll carry a water bottle, which I hate slightly less than severe shoulder pain.

Don’t gloat. I still hate you.

I stuffed 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into my running bra and ate half at miles 6, 12, 16, and 20. Now I’m sick of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hate eating while running so much. If I could hook up an IV and run with it, I would. It’s so tempting to try gels again, but I know what would happen if I did.

At mile 16.5, I made a “special delivery” at 7-11.

At mile 18, my left glute started hurting.

At mile 21, my abs started hurting.

At mile 22, my abs hurt so much that I couldn’t remember that my glute was hurting anymore. Shannon, my favorite pace leader, said that’s a sign your using your core correctly when you run. Awesome? Has anyone else ever felt like they just completed Abs of Steel during a long run?

When I got home, I put on a big, fluffy robe and sat in the pool for 10 minutes.

It was no ice bath, but the water was still cold and felt good. The next day, my hamstrings were a little tight but over all I feel like I’m already recovered. I mentioned to hubs that I think I recover quickly from long runs and he thinks it’s from all the cross-training I do. Squats and lunges suck, but they are your friends.

T minus 20 days till Savannah!


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14 Miles on the Treadmill

I woke up at 4am this morning for a 14 mile run with my group. Noticed it was raining and went right back to bed. I figure if it’s not a race I paid for, it’s not worth running in the rain. Also, I’m a big baby.

After I slept in like I was going for a world record, I moseyed my way to the gym by 3pm to run 14 miles on the treadmill.

I love the treadmill when it’s 7 miles or less, so I was pretty sure 14 was gonna suck enough that I was willing to buy entertainment in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal for $15.

The run was just ok. Source Code was also just ok. The premise was so unbelievable that it almost made the movie unenjoyable. I mean, I know it’s a movie, but at least make me believe what you’re doing is possible. So, I guess if you have 14 miles to do on the treadmill and you need to watch something to keep from poking your eyes out, Source Code is good for that.

Now I have important things to tend to before I go out for the night.


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The Great Outdoors

Last night, the weather was only second-ring-of-hell-hot so I decided to go for a run outside instead of using the treadmill. Normally, I prefer the treadmill. It’s easier than running outside and I like not wearing running gear. I also like air conditioning and TV and toliets. Besides my long runs on Saturday, this is the first time I’ve run outside willingly in over 6 months.

You know I’ll be back.

Mondays are supposed to be my cross-training days but my personal trainer is busy with school this month. I could put together a weight lifting routine of my own, but I’m much too lazy to do that. So, I decided to go for a run since a big plate of greasy lo mein happened during my shopping trip on Sunday. Then I ate half a large pizza when I got home.

There may have also been brownies that I thought weren’t good enough to eat plain so I put frosting on them. Then I felt guilty and “chili powdered” the frosting. Do you ever have to destroy your food so it’s inedible? Because I do. I will fish that stuff right out of the garbage and keep eating unless something gross is done to it.

My run wasn’t good or bad, it just was. My legs were heavy and I didn’t really want to work out so I ignored my Garmin. I just  wanted to get through the run without having to use my pepper spray. There was a breeze on the way out, but on the way back, the air was still. It made chemical peel face feel like it was burning off. I was so happy when the run was over so I could get in the shower.

The run turned out better than I thought! I maintained the first sub-10:00 minute mile pace since marathon training began. 🙂

Mile Pace
1 9:51
2 9:33
3 9:19
4 9:35
.25 9:16

Total miles: 4.25
Average page: 9:33

Thank goodness I’m still capable of that – even if it’s for a short distance – because I really thought I lost it. Totally worth the face burning off.


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1.  Saturday morning, I had a 10 mile run with my group and it was the best.run.ever. It totally made up for my crappy 15k last weekend. It was cool, breezy, and about 70 degrees outside, so I didn’t bring my Camelbak. It was nice to run without anything but my SPIbelt. I felt like I was running on clouds and rainbows through fields of newborn kitten pelts. I ended up running at a 10:30 pace and it was magnificent.

2.  To make things even better, there was candy set out for us at one of the water stops. It was stocked with none other than the only candy that fights to the death with Peeps for my love.

3.  Saturday night, there was more birthday celebration for the hubs. We’re not even in the same month as his birthday anymore and we’re still celebrating. I need to figure out how to make that work for my birthday next year. We met some friends for dinner at Kimchi in Oviedo.


Hubs and I ordered two meals to share. I picked the Seafood Pancake, mostly because it contained the word pancake.

It was gigantic and delicious. Had we known it was so big (TWSS), we would have shared one meal instead. We also ordered the Bulgogi and tore it up. Sooo tasty.

We had some pretty nice company in Ale and Jason. (See Jason, I didn’t post the picture with your eyes closed.)

And Sheila, Richard, and Kai. Sheila is our martial arts fitness instructor and Richard is hub’s TaeKwonDo master. They look sweet but they will kick your ass. Family of deadly weapons!

Kai played with a Styrofoam cup for two hours. All you parents that are buying toys for your kids have it wrong. Find a cup and your golden. If you really want to keep them occupied, throw in a straw and napkin.

Hubs and I really liked Kimchi. We’ll definitely go back there sometime soon to eat our weight in oversized pancakes and bulgogi.

4.  Yesterday, I told hubs I wanted to go see 50/50. Then he asked me if that was “the haircut movie.”

Yes. Yes it is.

The haircut movie was really good. The last 45 minutes was a complete sob-fest for me; I was a total mess. Then again, I cry in everything. I cried when everyone finally made it out of the bus safely in Speed and I cry at the end of most episodes of Chuck. I also got a chemical peel over the weekend and let me tell you how awesome salty tears feel against that.



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The Plan

I have less than a month and a half of marathon training left. I love running, but I am seriously ready for training to be over. It can’t come soon enough. I want to run this race already!

I’m looking forward to so many things after training, including a drop in mileage, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and having an actual life that includes getting more than 5 hours of sleep a night.

So here’s the plan: I’m going to do more strength training because I really miss it. Going to Crossfit last night after being away for 2 ½ months made me realize that. I like being strong and I’ve lost a lot of strength in the past 2 months. I want to keep running but I’m so over a running schedule. It takes the fun out of it. So instead of running on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday like training requires – I’m going to schedule my runs around strength training instead of the other way around.

I hope to keep my running at 3 days a week and my long run will be whenever I feel like it. If I eat a crap ton on Wednesday, then I’ll do my long run Wednesday night. If I’m not feeling it during the week, I’ll wait till Sunday. Long runs at night rarely work for my stomach (because of sugar in foods I eat during the day), but I don’t care. I know what to do for races now if I don’t want to poop during them. I’ll poop all I want during training runs, thankyouverymuch.

Since the weather will be cooling off in a month or two, I’ll be able to run outside in the evenings and not die. I can’t wait for the weather to stop being a bitch.

I’m going to incorporate fast sprints back into my training (not just “5k pace” which doesn’t always challenge me in short distances). I really think sprints increased my speed last year. I’m going to test that theory again this year. Maybe I can get that sub-2 hour half finally that my colon does not want me to have.

So what I’m saying is, I can’t wait for half marathon season. Half marathons are the JAM. They are my favorite distance and I’m already registered for a few of them.

Las Vegas Rock n Roll on December 4:

Miami ING Half Marathon on January 29:

Sarasota Half Marathon on March 11: (This was my PR race last year.)

I’m also eyeing these beauties:

Inaugural St. Pete Rock n Roll Half Marathon on February 12:

Gasparilla Half Marathon (My favorite race of all the races in the land.) March 4:

Only a month and a half to go and I can put all my plans into action. A less structured schedule will make for a much happier me. I’m sure wanting marathon training over makes me less of a runner somehow, but so be it. I feel like it’s been going forever now. I’m sooooo over you marathon training.


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The Second 20 was Better than the First

This morning, I had a 20-mile run with my group. My knees hurt, my butt hurt, my right big toenail hurt, and I had a side stich for 3 miles. But somehow it was still better than my last 20 miler.

I know. It is. But mentally I was all there and felt like I could finish. Last time I was sure I couldn’t make those last 2 miles.

I tried Body Glide on my feet (from a few of your suggestions) to see if it would help prevent the rash I’ve been getting. I’ll spare you more pictures of my feet, but it didn’t help at all. And the rash was much bigger and in new areas this time.

The rash doesn’t hurt and it usually goes away in a day or so, so I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

On Thursday, I had my speed run. I don’t even know what my run was supposed to be because I was too busy trying to get to the gym before the season premiere of Vampire Diaries started. I didn’t want to miss anything shirtless important.

I did half hills and half speed and just made this up as I went:

Mile Pace Incline
Mile 1 10:00 warm up .5
400 (1/4 mile) 10:00 3
400 10:00 5
400 10:00 6
400 10:00 5
400 8:57 .5
400 8:49 .5
400 8:42 .5
400 8:20 .5
800 (1/2 mile) 10:00 cool down .5

Total miles: 4.25  (The chart doesn’t add up to 4.25 miles, but I extended some of the 400s and ran some of the 200s between each set.)

I felt really good during this run even though my inner thighs and hamstrings were killing me from a personal trainer workout on Monday.

Next week, I’m running the Miracle Miles 15k. It will be my first 15k ever, so an instant PR. Smile  I haven’t raced in so long!


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