I’ve been super-bad about posting new material and that’s mostly due to life getting in the way. Since I’m so new to this, I don’t have a posting schedule “down” yet and don’t really want to become beholden to one, either. I figure it will all come in time. We spent the weekend getting our Christmas tree, doing errands and holiday-fying the house. The tree was purchased at Maple Lane Farms in Preston, CT, for the local folks.
Holiday Stanley Bear
Dave and I have been keeping up with our #RWRunStreak. Today was day 13 and I did an easy mile around the neighborhood with Stan. Yesterday, my friend Karen and I ran 10.6 miles in Old Saybrook. It was a beautiful day and Karen mapped a great course that kept us right by the shore the entire time. It was around 60 degrees when we started at 3 PM, which you can’t beat for December in New England. It was the first time I had done a double digit run in quite awhile and we kept a brisk pace (sub 8 min miles most of the time). I’m getting the marathon itch back, so I’m starting to set my sights on a spring marathon.
I saw this running survey over at Food, Family & Fitness and thought it looked like fun. Obviously, I spend a lot of time both a) running and b) thinking about running, so it’s not hard to answer any of these questions.
1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
Working at a running store, I’ve tried all types of fuel and my preferred fuel for longer runs (12 miles and over) is Generation UCAN. Used and endorsed by Olympic marathoner Meb Keflezighi, Generation UCAN is liquid fuel “powered by SuperStarch [to] provide consistent energy, without spikes, crashes and gastric distress. By utilizing both carbs and fat for dual fuel, these products put your body in its ideal performance state so that UCAN start strong AND finish strong.” Source
Solid fuels like Shot Bloks and GU can mess with my stomach and I’ve never had that problem with UCAN. Typically, I drink one pouch of UCAN before a long run and I don’t need to worry about taking any more fuel for the rest of the run. I’ve never taken it during a marathon but the guidelines are that you may need to consume an additional pouch in the middle of the race. They also have a recovery formula with added protein, which I’ve never tried. I like the pomegranate-blueberry flavor, as well as cranberry-raspberry. Best of all, they are a local company with their headquarters based in Woodbridge, CT.
2. Race Length: 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I like all distances for different reasons – the 5K and 10K, because they’re a great way to play with speed, 1/2 marathon because it’s an interesting blend of endurance and speed and the marathon because finishing one gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve never done an ultra, so I can’t say anything. Probably at this point in time, I’d say the half.
3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants, or Other?
Shorts for the gym, always and shorts/capris/tights for outside. I find skirts to be way more trouble than they’re worth.
Warm weather race outfit at the 2009 Shamrock Marathon – a race I’d like to forget
4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
I prefer plain water or Nuun. I only go towards Gatorade or Powerade if I’m feeling particularly dehydrated. So much sugar in both of them.
5. Running temperatures: HOT or COLD?
If I had to pick, cold over hot. Summers around here are humid and nasty.
6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics, or Other?
My current shoe rotation features Brooks (PureFlow & Launch), Mizuno (Wave Rider 15), Saucony (Kinvara) and Nike (Free for the gym/strength training). I find Asics too be a little too cushiony and inflexible.
7. Pre-Race Meal: Oatmeal. Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
I used to eat nothing and have a cup of coffee but now I’ve been experimenting with oatmeal or a banana with a little PB and it seems to be working out. As of late, I’ve been plagued with bad cramps during races and hard workouts and I think I need to be taking in more salt. I drink some BCAAs before some workouts and it seems to be helping.
8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
I function best with 1-2 days off. Since we’re on a run streak, I haven’t had any “formal” days off, but I do only 1-2 miles every couple of days. You really play with fire when you don’t take a formal rest day at least once a week.
9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
I prefer music but I’m not addicted to it. I’ve run most of my marathons without tunes and some with and it doesn’t make any real difference in terms of performance.
10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?
I love the challenge that comes along with running. As Oprah says, the best thing about running is that you get out of it what you put into it and in that sense, it’s an incredibly rewarding activity. You put in the work and you go faster and farther. It’s also a great source of mental relief for me, especially in stressful times. Free therapy, I guess.