Carina did a post featuring these running questions yesterday. I thought I would do the same. I still feel like I am new to running so I love learning about how other runners train. Here is a little bit about my running life.
1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
I generally do not fuel during any runs under 10 miles. I might not even eat anything before. I listen to my body and always have some raisins or Shot Bloks in my running bag. On my double digit training runs I pack my Camelbak with a few dates and some Shot Blocks. During half marathons I carry one Gu packet to eat around mile 7 or so. During my two marathons I had a couple of Gu packets on me and I grabbed one or two offered along the course. However, I am currently looking for a replacement for Gu because I just cannot tolerate the sweetness. I am planning to try Vega Sport Endurance Gel during my next race. It may be just as sweet, but I like the ingredient list.
2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
The 1/2 Marathon is my absolute favorite. After my first 1/2 I have consistently stayed trained for any 1/2 that might come my way. I have been known to sign up for them on a whim. 5Ks suck the life out of me. I run the same two local 10Ks every year and my goal is always to improve my time. This year it was all about breaking an hour which I did immediately on New Year’s Day in a new to me 10K. Running a marathon was an accomplishment I never imagined achieving. I ran two in one year just to prove to myself that I had it in me. Now if I could only beat Oprah’s time! Ultra marathoners are fascinating and crazy all at the same time. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it, but now is not the time. Maybe some day.
3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
I just bought two new pairs of running capris in a size smaller because my others were getting two big…hurray! I absolutely love the Kirkland brand running pants from Costco. They fit perfectly and they are so comfortable. I love the little hidden pocket which comfortably fits my iPhone or my car key.
I cannot wear shorts, ever, thanks to my chubby legs. I have never had shapely legs and shorts have always been a source of stress and embarrassment on me. They look horrible because they show my non-knee. Yup that’s right I don’t really have a knee, just a bit of pudge where the knee should be located. Shorts ride up in an unflattering manner especially if I were to run in them. Chafe alert! Then there is the issue of the in fashion short shorts. Trust me when I say that I am doing everyone a favor by steering clear of this style.
4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
I pretty much stick to water. For long runs I might drop a Nuun tablet into my Camelbak. During races I usually grab a water and whatever electrolyte drink is offered and mix the two. I get a few sips in before moving on.
5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
I’m a New England girl so I’m going with cold. I ran outdoors through the entire winter. I have learned to dress properly and I always always carry gloves in my running bag. Cold hands make for a miserable run. Layers are a must because you can always remove them as you warm up.
Ideal running temperature is 50-60 degrees, slightly overcast, no sun and no wind.
6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
I just took this picture this morning with a post in mind, but instead I’ll use it here. I have been wearing Nike Air Pegasus since my first half marathon. These are probably my 5th pair. I’m not sure. I bring them to the running store every now and then to see if there is anything more suitable to my feet, but the staff seems to think if it’s not broken don’t fix it. My only issue is that on every single pair a hole forms in the right big toe area.
7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
I am a creature of habit. I have eaten a Joseph’s whole grain tortilla, 1 packet of Justin’s almond butter and a small banana before just about every race when I am away from home. If I’m home I might have a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana depending on what I have on hand. It works for me and I’ll do pretty much anything for nut butter.
8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
I plan a workout for everyday of the week with the understanding that something may interfere with one workout. The other days are as nonnegotiable as possible. If nothing comes up and I’m feeling good I workout the full seven days. I do not run everyday. I have a couple of gym days for strength training. I’ve been doing some major hill work and I also do P90X Plyometrics once a week.
9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
I’m so sorry but I have to have it. I generally run off road so I’m not concerned about traffic. If I’m running on the road I keep the volume low. I run alone and the music helps me stay motivated. I have no desire to run with others because even though I’m listening to music it is also my “me” time. I think about things, make plans or clear my mind.
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 started running as a means to help me lose weight. I never in a million years could have imagined the positive effects of running on my life personally, emotionally and physically. Sadly not even training for a marathon gives me the ability to eat all the cupcakes I would like.
The other unexpected bonus reason for running races is an excuse to travel to new places or visit friends who live out of town. I usually stick to the half marathons when traveling. Running a half marathon is a great way to see a new place. On the flip side 13 miles is too long to constantly see the same sights so I tend not to want to repeat a half marathon no matter how great the race. I’m getting very excited about my race plans for the second half of this year. I’ll share them soon.