Wednesday, May 15, 2013

10 Running Tidbits

I was catching up on back reading of a blog that I followed for a long time and then somehow lost, and I thought this post would be fun to replicate, just as Meredith did (her blog is mostly about new baby from several weeks ago, but she did this a while back).

10 Running Tidbits
Meredith said that she got the post from Kyria at Travel Spot to spark something new on her blog and get back to talking about running. 

If you run (I'm looking at you Aimee and Amy, and anyone else who reads and runs), feel free to copy the questions and share your responses.  Comment and let me know you did so I can see yours. 

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

For the first 8 or so years that I ran, I was very loyal to Caramel PowerGel, but then they stopped making it and in two-plus years, I've yet to find anything I like even close to as much.  I usually do either shot blocks or gu now.  I prefer shot blocks in training, but that's because I stop for water and can easily chew them then.  It doesn't seem to work for me in a race.  There's too much snot for me to chew and run and attempt to keep breathing.  I seem to have a perpetually runny nose when I run.  So right now, it's blocks and gu (and sometimes sport beans) in training, gu in races.  As to brands, I stick with Cliff shot blocks, and Gu brand gel.  For flavors, I love all the blocks; for gu, I like vanilla, pineapple, blackberry and cherry. 

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

I guess I'd choose the marathon.  A 5k just hurts too much!  I've never officially done an ultra.  I like how much work has to go into a marathon, and I've always thought the real joy is in the process of training and the anticipation of the race.  There are so many variables that go into having a great marathon that I love the lack of control that comes with it. 

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

Lol.  Running shorts almost always.  Preferably tempo style shorts.  I wear pants/tights if it's below 40.  I hate the way capris look (not just when running), but I have 3 pairs I tend to wear for temps in the 40s.  And for Christmas this year, I got a running skirt.  I've worn it exactly once, and it was to a themed social run (the theme was "skirt chasers," which meant the women started to route first, the guys started a couple minutes later, and whichever sex had 3 runners across the line first won (the women won; the first order was F M M F F)).  I keep thinking I'll wear it again but there's always a reason not to -- I wouldn't want my running buddies to see me in it, because I don't want to be seen as not a serious runner.  But maybe some day if I were running alone...  It wasn't any more or less comfortable than running in my usual shorts.  I just feel ridiculous in it. 

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

I do marathon training with an organized group, so on anything over about 8 miles, I drink Cytomax at all rest stops (about every 2 miles) unless it's a stop where I'm taking gu.  Fuel and sports drinks don't mix well in my stomach -- too much sugar all at once and major intestinal distress ensues.  It's happened to me a couple times, but fortunately it was always a lesson learned in training, not in a race.  Which I guess is part of the point of training!  For anything under about 8 miles, just water.  In a marathon, usually whatever sports drink they have. 

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

My favorite temperature to run is about 50 degrees.  For a marathon, I prefer a start around 40, and a finish around 50 or 55.  The sun is generally my nemesis.  I'd rather have 65 and cloudy than 55 and sunny.  But living in Dallas, I'd say about 40% of my running is at 70 degrees or warmer, even when we go at 5:15 a.m.  It will be a higher percentage this year if I commute home from work on foot in the summer -- I bet many of those runs will be over 90, and some even over 100.  Slow and easy will be the theme.  Last night was the first day that we broke 90 and I had to run home (with a stop for the track meet! need to post about that later). 

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?

Tough question.  My answer in my heart is always Brooks.  But I have been cheating on Brooks for about two years now with Mizunos and Asics.  But I tell myself it's just a matter of time until I go back to the Glycerin.  Probably later this year. 

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

Instant oatmeal.  On the road or at home, oatmeal.  I've now learned to pack a plastic spoon with my packet of oatmeal when I travel to races and make it with hot water in the hotel room.  One race I remember deciding I had an extra gu that I wouldn't need during the race that day, so I squeezed it out and used the gu wrapper as a makeshift spoon for my oatmeal. 

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

Usually something slightly less than one per week.  On average, probably more like .8 per week since there are a fair number of weeks where I go all 7 days.  Notably, I do my long runs on Sundays and don't ever really run on Mondays or Fridays, those are usually boot camp only days for me, but since I'm technically working out, I don't count them as rest days.  Instead, my rest days are usually Saturdays if I'm not doing a race, occasionally Fridays if I have a bunch of Saturday races in a row and really feel like I need a day off. 

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

Almost never.  I usually run with friends, so we talk.  When I'm running solo, most of those miles are on my commute to work or elsewhere in the city, and there are cars and bikes around so I need to be aware of my surroundings. 

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?

Like Meredith, I love this question.  I started running because a friend talked me into a marathon.  I've kept running for many reasons -- my running buddies are among my best friends, I love the calorie burn so I can usually eat what I want, I love that after a decade of running, I can still push myself to PR sometimes, I love that I feel like some of my best runs are still ahead of me, I love having my life broken into chunks of training seasons for different races (frequently destination races), rather than one big blur, I love that it gets me outside and more connected with the world around me, I love that I feel happier after a run, I love that my husband brags about my race results to coworkers and seems to never be anything but impressed by my results, I love that many people know me and define me as a runner as one of my foremost characteristics, I love that I can set goals for myself and constantly have a challenge to which I'm working, I love that it gives me an excuse to go somewhere (St. George, Utah is an example -- only reason I've gone there was the marathon, can't imagine I'd have chosen it without), I love that I meet new people through running and have it in common with other people I meet through work or whatever, I love that now I can actually run to work and not have to drive, I love that it's a way to explore somewhere new, I love that it has so many health benefits.  Pretty much all the reasons listed apply to me.  But the question is my #1 reason for running -- if I had to choose just one -- if you told me that the others wouldn't apply any more, which one would keep me going -- hmm... Would I run if it were always alone?  If there were no hope of a PR?  If it didn't burn any calories?  If there were never any goals to be set/met?  If it had to always be inside on a treadmill?  This could be a whole separate post.  Hmmm....   I suppose my number one reason for running is social -- my running buddies.  If I had to run easy with them on indoor treadmills, I'd do it, even if there weren't a single calorie burned or goal race in my future. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this. I love that every runner has a story unique to them, but that we are all welcomed into a larger community at races whether we train alone or as a group. That's so sweet that your husband brags about you.