Thursday, September 9, 2010

A hot & sunny 6 miler

A couple weeks ago it was still summer (at least weather-wise) in the Northwest. And although I know better, it just so worked out that on one particular day, I had to do my run in the late afternoon.

For kicks, I decided to take my camera and share my adventures with you. It sure made it seem more like "fun" and less like "work!"
Beautiful location for a run, eh? It is! This is one of my very, very favorite places to run at the moment. It's in University Place, Washington at the new Chambers Bay Golf Course. If you haven't been there, it's worth visiting. They have PAVED trails, a dog run, restrooms, and lots of great vistas, such as this:
This was taken at the halfway point of my run, at about 3 miles out. To prove to you that I survived, I decided to snap a quick self photo. Yes, it was hot!

Remember, if your running routine has you in a rut, get out there and have fun! Try a new route, bring your camera, run with a friend and chat about old times. Keep things spicy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My review of POM Wonderful

I was recently contacted by the folks at POM Wonderful to see if I would like to review their pomegranate juice. (Would I?!)

The juice? Just delicious in my opinion. If you've never had pomegranate juice, I would equate its tartness similar to cranberry. It definitely has a stronger taste than most juices. As with cranberry, it works really well when blended with other fruits. POM Wonderful sent me their blueberry pomegranate to review, and I found the sweetness of the blueberry was a perfect pairing with the pomegranate!

So why pomegranate juice? And why POM Wonderful?

Throughout history, pomegranates have been known for their antioxidants. And POM Wonderful is committed to providing the very best pomegranate juice. I was impressed to learn that all of their juice comes from California (the San Joaquin Valley) - nothing imported here.

Their products have also been extensively researched for medical benefits ($34 million spent on research since 1998, to be exact). In case you're wondering, they did find a whole host of benefits - particularly for prostate and cardiovascular health and erectile function.

As I suspected, there are other uses for POM Wonderful. If you visit their website, they have an entire section devoted to recipes using their product!

I actually had some just before and just after a long run recently. Simple sugars, such as those found in juices, are perfect because your body can use them right away. I would definitely recommend POM Wonderful to someone looking to make healthful choices in their diet!

Note: POM Wonderful sent me a case of pomegranate juice to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Day in Two Sentences

Waking up remembering you have 16 miles to run = not such a great feeling.

Going to bed knowing you accomplished what you set out to achieve = the BEST feeling.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hot and Hilly 8 Miler Yesterday!

So it turns out I will NOT be doing Torchlight next week, so I decided to run 8 miles yesterday and save the 16 for next weekend. This is a better training strategy anyways. I don't like to increase my long runs back to back when I don't have to! It gives my body time to adjust and helps prevent overtraining.

If any of you live in Western Washington, you know we've had an unseasonably wet and cold summer. Which is perfect for running! I do not particularly enjoy running in hot weather. But yesterday, the sun came out just in time for my 8-miler. HOORAY. (Huge dose of sarcasm here.)

Fortunately, I had significant shade for most of the run, but I still managed to get a decent sunburn by the time I was done. Reminder to self: wear sunscreen! I also had a nice coat of salt on my skin and face.

The run felt harder than my 14-miler from the week before. I just felt stiff, though I can't say that my joints hurt. I just felt...tired. I've had to learn to not let this sort of thing discourage me long-term though. I have some good runs, some OK runs, and some bad runs. I'd say this one was OK because I was able to run it all (except the last monster hill at the end!).

My good friend Heather will be in town next weekend, and I can hardly wait! Heather and I used to work together and we've done several races together. My half marathon PR (Mercer Island in 2:10) was completed thanks to her kickin' my butt the whole way! I also trained for and completed my first and only sprint triathlon thanks to Heather! But alas - she up and left me to marry her husband and moved to Texas. (OK, Heather...I'll forgive you!!) Anyhow, she asked if I'd be interested in doing a long run with her while she's here this weekend. What a trooper - planning a long run on her break home! I'm not sure that I'll be able to keep up with her, but I'll try for old times' sake!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Plan of Action for July

I realize I needed to change up my long run schedule a bit because I will be attending BlogHer in NYC in early August. And I'm just NOT going to run a 16 miler that weekend!

So here is my plan for the week & rest of July:

Monday (19): 20-minute Shred (Done!)
Tuesday (20): 4-mile run (Done!)
Wednesday (21): 60 minutes cardio
Thursday (22): 3-mile run
Friday (23): REST
Saturday (24): 16-mile run
Sunday (25): 2-mile run

Next Week

Monday (26): 20-minute Shred
Tuesday (27): 4-mile run
Wednesday (28): 60 minutes cardio
Thursday (29): 4-mile run
Friday (30): REST
Saturday (31): Torchlight Parade 8K
Sunday (1): 2-mile run

I'll post more about this weekend's 16 miler in a couple days.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Four long run recovery tips

Today I thought I'd share my best advice for what to do to recover quickly from a long run!

1. Ibuprofen! I've not tried this personally, but I think I'll give it a whirl on my 16-miler this weekend. The idea is to take a couple BEFORE you start running, to help prevent any muscle aches. I've heard other runners swear by this, so I'll have to give it a try and tell you what I think.

2. Ice bath. Now this is going to sound rather masochistic, so just bear with me for a moment. When you get an injury what do you often do? Ice it! The idea is that the cold helps reduce swelling. This works wonders on achy leg muscles following a long run. I've done this two different ways. The first is the hard core method: fill the bathtub with a few good inches of the coldest water possible and sit in it! It is murder at first, but just trust me on this one. I try to sit for about 10 minutes or so and I may keep my upper body covered or wrapped in a towel while I do this. AFTERWARDS, I'll hop in a hot shower. The other, simpler method: run the shower on cold for a few minutes and direct the water at your legs. Then turn it to hot. I know this sounds awful - and it sort of is at the time - but I promise, it will do wonders for your recovery!

3. Short 2-miler next day. I know the last thing you want to do is run following a long run, but even getting out there and doing a gentle 2 or 3 mile run will help keep your legs from stiffening and work out the kinks. I did this yesterday following my 14-miler on Saturday. The 2-miler wasn't bad at all - I actually felt I could've gone much farther. But I didn't. The point here is to just recover, not to do a full workout. If you really do NOT want to run, get out there and do a fast walk for 20-30 minutes.

4. Rest! This is my favorite post-run activity! It's important to kick your legs up, maybe have some nice person rub your feet, and if you're able - take a nap. You've earned it!

What are your favorite ways to recover from a long run?

Photo credit Ariel da Silva Parreira

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Portland Marathon: Decision Time

Yesterday I decided to go on a 14 mile run.

I felt I needed to see how I'd hold up on a long run at this point and determine if pursuing the Portland Marathon for October would be do-able or not. I had some serious doubts after a dismal half marathon finish a couple weeks ago.

So how did my 14 mile run go? Really, really...GOOD! No hip or knee issues and I was able to run most of the whole thing! When my pedometer read 13.1 miles, I was at 2:20 into my run, a full 25 minutes faster than my half marathon time a couple weeks ago!

As I was out there, I had plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons.


- I'm already registered and I've paid my $100
- I'm already up to over a half marathon in distance
- I've wanted to do the Portland Marathon for a LONG time
- 10-10-10 sounds like a neat date to run a marathon
- I've heard good things about this race
- I have friends running this race
- I have this blog about finishing a marathon
- I have done 4 half marathons and 3 full marathons - this will even the score


- My half marathon was pretty poopy
- Long training runs can be sort of draining at times
- Not entirely "feeling" it
- Very busy summer - headed to NYC in August, a couple other obligations in September
- Need to arrange for travel

In the end? The Pros won! I've decided I need to follow through and finish this goal I've started. I'm a little nervous...more so than past marathons...but I know I can do this.

To celebrate my decision, I decided I needed a few pairs of new running socks. The ones I had kept giving me blisters. While not cheap, these Nike running socks put a big ol' smile on my face yesterday and I knew they were just the thing to get me excited about my next training run...16 miles.

I hope to share more with you about how I'm training as I get into the "meatier" long runs. I plan on doing a 16, 18, 20, and 22 in preparation for the full 26.2.