Tuesday, June 4, 2013

10 Running Tidbits

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

So far, I’ve only used gels.  But I like them.  I have some energy chews that I bought but haven’t used yet.  On the gels, I’ve mostly used the PowerBar brand gels and my favorite of those is the tangerine.  I got a bunch of the chocolate ones because they were on clearance.  When I ran the Autism Speaks 8K the other day, the race packet included 2 gels by Clif.  One was chocolate and the other was “razz.”  I really like the chocolate one…it was way better than the PowerBar chocolate.  I haven’t yet tried the “razz” one.  And I have some Gu brand gels that I haven’t tried yet as well.

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

5K’s are nice, but they’re so short that, to me, they’re almost not worth the money you spend on the registration fee.  I really like 10K’s, though.  I haven’t done anything beyond a 10K…yet.  But I have plans to do the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in San Antonio, TX this November and I’m really excited about that.

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

I used to wear spandex shorts that came to about mid-thigh.  Now, I absolutely love running tight capris. 

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

I bought a huge thing of the Gatorade powder and I use that in my water bottle.  If I have to eat a gel, I make sure I take a second bottle with me that has only water in it, or I plan my run to include water fountains near where I need to eat a gel because it’s not good to mix a gel with a sports drink.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

My favorite temperature to run is about 50 degrees.  But, being in Texas, most of the year, I run in warmer temps.  This is my first year of running, so I’m still getting used to the different temps I have to run in.  I’m okay up to about 80 degrees.  Anything above 80 (and where I’m not able to run primarily in the shade) and I find I have to make some rest stops to let my heart rate come down.  I also have to drink more water to keep myself from getting overheated.

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

My first pair of running shoes were Mizunos.  When it was time to buy a new pair of shoes, I went with Sauconys.  I like both of them pretty much equally.  They both fit my feet nicely.  Neither one causes blisters or chafing of any sort.  I haven’t tried actually running in any of the other brands, so I have no opinion on them.

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

On a race day, I’ll actually usually skip my standard breakfast and eat a Clif Bar or a gel right before the race start.  I know most people say to swear by your standard, but my standard pre-run meal, I eat it and then within 45 minutes I’m heading out the door to run.  On race days, it could be upward of 2 hours after I eat before I start running; that’s why I opt for the bar or gel instead.  But, for the record, currently, my standard pre-run meal is 2 multi-grain waffles with 3 Tbsp of chocolate PB2 spread on them with sliced bananas on top.

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

In my perfect world, there are no rest days.  I LOVE working out every day.  However, life gets in the way and I usually have anywhere from 1 to 3 days where I don’t exercise…and this is usually due to pulling double shifts at work so I literally don’t have time to work out on those days…hell, I barely have time to sleep!

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

I ALWAYS have music…except for the one time that I forgot to bring my earbuds to a 10K I was running a couple months ago.  I thought I would be incredibly bored and even briefly thought about not running the race, thinking that it would be horrible to run without music.  However, I found it to NOT be boring or in any way horrible.  While it’s not something I would do on purpose, I won’t “freak out” if I forget my earbuds again.

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 this question.  I run for just about every reason listed except for the social aspects and that’s only because I haven’t found a group to run with.  I’ve tried Meet Up and I’ve tried looking into local running groups where you pay a membership fee.  However, none of them have a schedule that works for me or if they do have a schedule that works, they meet clear on the other side of the city (around 20+ miles) from me and are therefore not convenient.  Also, another thing I looked into was a half marathon/marathon training program.  I was not impressed by the fact that their long runs were only 6-8 miles and that, in the pace group I would have been in, they take walk breaks.  No thanks…I’ll just continue to train on my own; I seem to be doing a pretty good job of scheduling my runs for variety and distance.  While I’m not the fastest runner, I do enjoy my runs…and I really enjoy my longer runs (up to almost 10 miles straight now!).  But, so far as what is my #1 reason for running…I would have to say I just plain enjoy it…the sheer pleasure of it is what gets me.

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