Archive for the ‘gels’ Category

This week’s long run

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

This week’s long run got pushed further out in the week, I keep getting further and further away from a consistent Monday LSD run. Overall I am going to say that is ok as I have been getting them in and I keep making them longer. However Monday is the perfect day of the week for them so hopefully I can get back on track especially considering that today’s run was the second quality run I did this week (actually second run in a row too). Though to do another long run in three dyas seems excessive.

I feel like I am really building on my base, the long runs seem much easier or should I say less painful! Today’s run was 12 miles exactly and interestingly I almost kept it under a 10 min mile pace (ended at 10:04). I was under 10 through nine miles, but the final three were more or less uphill as I climbed up from the waterfront to my neighborhood. And I can’t really say the entire three miles was all up-hill either, but there are some tough patches!

This was actually the second fast run that I did. Two days ago I did eight miles at a 9:13 pace which felt really good. I was strong throughout and even considered adding some miles to make that my long run but I had a rehearsal that night and was already pushing it.

I’m not really sure what has changed to make these runs feel better. I have been eating and sleeping well, so I am sure that had something to do with it. Still it doesn’t seem like that would completely explain why I have been running so strongly as of late. Both of the last two runs have been on injection day and I have always said that I feel stronger after the rebif, so maybe that has helped as well. My weight is also down a bit and I am sure that is a factor. Whatever it is I’ll take it!

I have been curious to see how my feet reacted to the increase in miles and the consistent longer runs with the zero-drop shoes. I really feel like a convert. I don’t have nearly the fot pain that I was experiencing before with the thicker heals, in fact I wore a pair of boots the other day that made me imagine that this is what high heals must be like! Changing my stride to more of a ball landing/mid-strike (as opposed to just a mid-strike landing) is working better than I had imagined. I have always felt like more of a distance runner than a sprinter. Initially I was concerned that I wouldn’t like running more like a sprinter, but it seems to feel much better overall even though the majority of my running is mid-strike oriented. With the zero-drops I occasionally will concentrate on my feet landing on the balls of my feet and spreading out in my shoes (Altra) expansive toe box. It feels really good landing that way. Despite initially having trouble lifting my feet enough to clear cracks an other obstacles, I seem to have corrected my gate enough so that it is not an issue (even though I am not lifting my feet much higher, at least consciously).

I have been pretty good about fueling for my last couple of long runs, gels and water. They both seem to make a pretty huge difference in my running performance. Today I was starting to fade a bit around six miles. A couple slugs of Hammer gel and my energy level picked up and I was able to comfortably continue.

The long runs have been great but I am reaching that point where increasing the mileage every time is making the runs a huge commitment, both in terms of time and the mental ability to gear up for them. Two hours seems pretty doable, but I know longer runs are soon going to be getting up closer to three (an beyond). My other problem with them is having interesting places to go. I have a pretty decent 11 mile run that I can add onto so maybe I’ll use that as a base for my longer runs and then just add on. Today’s route was new(ish) to me and I could probably use that as a good base as well even though I don’t really care for all the uphill at the end (pretty much my curse living on a hill.

I am starting to think about a long race again. My pace is pretty slow even though I do feel it getting faster (or is that just the last two? Yes it probably is). Still running another marathon would be fun, maybe make it a destination run which would be super fun (then again I can’t think of a better place to sleep the night before than my own bed.) We’ll see.

Oh and did I mention it was 28 degrees when I left? Brrrrrr.

Killer hills

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I didn’t run yesterday as I used the excuse of not having any gels to power through a hill repeat run. Well the gel came that afternoon, so no excuses remained. Actually I was fine with that as I knew I had to do some hills to keep on track with my fluctuating quality run plan.

So a note on the gel: I purchased a 26 serving bottle of Chocolate Hammer gel for $20 on Amazon. I use 3 oz gel flasks and dilute 1 to 1 with water. It takes some shaking to get it mixed up, but it is a lot cleaner and less wasteful than the individual servings not to mention cheaper. I really like doing my gels this way. The bottles I have a weird and are rounded so they don’t stand up but feel good in my pockets. I like the diluted gel as well. The chocolate was a little sweet, I have had espresso as well and I thought that was less so.

So in addition to my diluted gel I also brought a pack of Honey Stinger fruit energy chews. They are a bit like Sharkies only more jelly like, sort of remind me of the old jelly candies my Grandma had. They are ok, I don’t think I care for the Honey Stinger product lines so much. They are a bit too strongly honey tasting for me. I had some gels from them as well that I got as samples at the Portland Marathon and they were the same way, like eating a tablespoon of honey. Good but too honeyey. I had maybe 3 or 4 of them on the run to the hills and then the gel halfway through. I felt pretty good energy wise, good combination of gel energy and electrolytes.

So the hills were tough. My hill route I went on today has 10 or 11 hills about a quarter mile long of varying steepness. I zig-zag up and down along this three block long ridge. So down for three blocks, over one, up for three blocks and over one and so on. Halfway through I turn around and go up the ones I went down the first time through. The workout tapers a bit to the mid-way point with the hills getting easier, but the way back is murderous and by the time I near the end of the hill portion, the final two hills are brutal. Here is the run. I felt pretty strong throughout the run and my HR dipped pretty low on the recovery portions (130-140). My max HR was 185 for the run, but more often in the high 170s. It was a good workout and one I feel pretty rested from now that the afternoon has waned.

I missed my rebif injection yesterday, so I did it today after the run. I have been doing the shots after workouts for awhile now and so far I have bot seen any sort of issue with it. I am not sure if the exercise makes it any more or less effective, but there don’t seem to be any problems. Even today when I did my shot into my leg all pumped up after the hill repeats, no issues. I do notice that when I inject in the morning I sometimes have to take ibuprofen in the evening to cull a headache, but it doesn’t happen often. I do worry about taking so much ibuprofen and acetaminophen and its effects on my liver. But I guess I’ll deal with that when I have something concrete to deal with.

14.37

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Boo yah. My longest run of the summer today and I feel really good (perhaps that has something to do with the donut I am eating!) I love the run I did to hit the miles too, it was my first 13+ mile run two years ago when I was training for the Portland Marathon. It hits three of my favorite places to run in the area. First I headed up to the volcano, Mt. Tabor, ran to the top and did the circle at the peak (can I really call it a peak? Probably not.) then I meander my way down. Next up is Larelhurst Park, about 3 miles away. I used to live really close to it and would run the park quite a bit, I love the way it smells there. Next up is the run back to the Reed canyon, had a little altercation with some cyclists who weren’t obserbing the rules of the road (or me for that matter), gave them an earful. Once I hit th canyon it started to rain which was a really refreshing end to my run. About 3/4s of the way through the canyon I hit 13.1 miles or a half-marathon distance. I have been aiming at running a sub 2 hr. half. So I check my watch to see where I was time wise 1:54:50 (YES!) Next came the hard rain which hit when I was under a dense tree canopy in the east end. The noise was amazing and I took my headphones off to enjoy it. After stopping my watch to walk/climb the stairs out of the canyon, I continued for the last mile passing a group of 20 people at our local park who must have been some sort of club as they all had little minature dogs, odd site. Being tired from the long run makes you think you aren’t seeing things correctly and I had to question whether or not I was seeing such a heard of toy poodles, but I believe they really were all there. I got hoe 10 minutes after I hit the half-marathon mark and added the extra miles. It was a great run and brought me up to 38 for the week, another 2008 PR. I checked my marathon splits from 2 years ago and I hit 13.1 at 2:05, so I was beating that mark by 10 mins. Of course that didn’t take into consideration my late start to the marathon cause I was in the bathroom. No we were timed with sensors so they knew just when we left, but I got stuck behind so many slow people and walkers that my first 5 miles were pretty slow (and zig-zaggy.)

I brought a gel with me and ate it at the top of Tabor. This was probably too early (less than 5 miles into it) and I could have used another. Next time I’ll either bring 2, or wait. I tried a new brand (for me), the Powerbar double-latte. It was good and gave me a caffiene boost, but it was a little sickeningly sweet (then again most gels are.)