Monthly Archives: May 2013

Garmin and I are “on a break”

He said, “faster, faster!”

I said, “I’m not sure I can or I’m ready.”

He said, “We’re moving too fast!”

I said, “I’ll slow down.”

Garmin and I are separating for a while. I know what you are thinking, “but you’ve been together since December 2012?!” Friends, we have been separated now since May 12, 2013 (not that I’m keeping track). I am doing fine!

For the first couple of days, I missed Garmin terribly. I remember thinking, “how will running be the same without Garmin?” He tells me how fast to go, how slow to go, how long to go, not to walk (Garmin did not like me to walk because it threw off his numbers) and when to stop. Garmin and I would ‘beep’ the miles away. . . many, many miles. <long sigh>

BUT. . . I am experiencing freedom at this point in my running that I did not realize I needed. <huge grin>  No one is reminding me that I need to slow down because I have a long run ahead. I can walk here and there. I can go faster, if I want without Garmin reminding me that it’s too fast. There may be a race in the near future to run without him! Baby steps, right?! 🙂


Humidity. . . ugh

As a runner and resident of the South, I have to adjust each year to the heat and humidity.  It does not get easier to adjust, but my mindset is different now that I understand what is happening to my body, how I can adjust and what I can expect. There is some important information to note and some good strategies to help acclimatize your body to running when the temp is 75 degrees and the humidity is 80%.

These list are by no means exhaustive. If you click on the red words, they will connect you to the full article on heat/humidity. There is also a lot of things to try. If you have a suggestion that I have not noted, comment on my blog. I love the read comments. 🙂

Did you know. . .

Researchers suggest that when the temperature rises about 65 degrees, your heart rate rises by 10 degrees. When you add humidity to that number, your heart rate rises another 10 degrees.

Dr. David E. Martin, director of GSU Laboratory or Elite Athlete Performance, noted that marathon run time increases by approximately one minute for every 7 degrees Fahrenheit above 54 degrees.

When humidity is low, evaporation increases; when humidity is high, the rate of evaporation decreases and less cooling occurs.

When you sweat your blood volume decreases, less blood returns to your heart, less oxygen-rich blood reaches your working muscles, you produce less energy aerobically and you run slower for a given effort level.

The greater the amount of heat that we need to dissipate, the greater the proportion of blood that is diverted to the skin and therefore not available to supply working muscles and deliver oxygen to them. (Dr. Bill Henderson in his article, “Heat Acclimation for Runners”)

It takes about 2 weeks for your body to adapt to the heat and cool itself more efficiently.

What you can do. . .

Run early or run late

SLOW down, even add walk breaks, if it is an especially hot/humid day

Drink water & electrolytes-If you are running over 45, minutes bring water and an electrolyte drink.

Wear light and wicking clothing

Use water to splash on your head and your body

Consume less protein-it requires more heat to metabolize, drink a smoothie before a long run/race instead of bagel and peanut butter.

Begin hydrating several days before long run or a race in the heat.

Don’t wear your watch, for the first 10 days, when you run and it is hot. This will require you to go by feel. It will be GOOD for you.

Freeze a wet baby wash cloth. When you wake up to run, stuff it in the back part of your sports bra. It will keep you cool. You can also use it down the road at a restroom stop or stream to soak and squeeze on yourself.

Dances with Dirt Gnaw Bone, Indiana 50K, race report

What an incredible race! Would I do it again? I do not know. Am I glad I ran it? Absolutely! It was the coolest race I have done. I finished with a smile on my face to tell you the following story.

The morning started out early and cold, 6:15 am/45 degrees. The sun was coming up, but as we started the race it was still a bit dark. We ran for about the first two miles of the race uphill in the mud. I have got to describe this mud to you. This is not typical mud. Imagine that you have fine, powdery clay and you mix it with water. Then, imagine that it is ankle deep on a horse trail. Each step I took made a loud suction noise as I pulled my foot out. There was no way to avoid the mud. I just had to accept the fact that my shoes would get muddy and my socks would get muddy too. The suction was strong enough to pull my tied shoe off. I did not lose my lose my shoes, but many people did. I would revisit this mud several more times that day!

A wise trail runner once told me that the race does not begin until mile 17-18. The trick is to be patient until then. In this race, the toughest mental part was miles 10-18. This course was easy to run for the first 18 miles. It had lots of rolling hills and downhills. The toughest physical part of the course would come after mile 18. I had to be patient, eat and drink well and maintain a  conservative pace until the last 6 miles.

There were moments on this course that I just had to stop and laugh out loud. One such moment came at mile 18-ish. I literally ran to a wall of dirt and mud.  Picture me scaling the wall of mud, slipping down, scaling the wall, slipping down, etc. After the third try, I made it to the top.

Miles 20-24 brought the last tough climbs. One climb was up a set of wooden stairs, resembling the length of those at the end of Belle Meade Blvd. in Percy Warner Park (146 steps to be exact). The last tough climb was at mile 23-24.

From 25-29.5 on was gradual decline down rolling hills. There was a great stretch on the road through a campground with a BATHROOM. I only had to use the forest one time!! I had access to a campground bathroom twice. (That was a treat.) During this stretch, I realized that this weather was perfect, and I was feeling good. It was my opportunity to pick up my pace. AND, I did. It was hard, but I felt determined. I did not need to slow down. I did not need to walk. I had to see what I had left.

Then. . .  miles 29.5-31 another bought of “laugh out loud” FUN!! Oh my word. At approximately mile 29.5, I came to an abandoned ski slope, revisiting the mud from the start and middle of the race. All that I could do off the edge of this hill was to ski the mud. I did successfully and ended in sloppy, muddy, tall grass. It was through the grass to the edge of a river. At this moment, I am looking for the “pink” flags that marked the entire course. I noticed them in the river, not stream, river. Then, I noticed a couple people in the river. OH. MY. GOSH. I had to get in the river up to the TOP of my thighs and stay in it for approximately 1/4 mile to the other side. Finally, run the last 100 yards to the finish! Amazing experience. Best Mother’s Day weekend ever.

I finished the race in 7:36:36. I got lost along the way for 10 minutes. I placed 3rd in my age group, and I received a cool race medal as well as a prize for being third in my age group. I do not know if I would do that again.

By far, the coolest race that I have ever done!

Getting my game face on!

Race day is fast approaching. I am ready. I do not have nervous butterflies, because I know this now. The nervousness of race day is interrupted by the nervousness of making sure I transport everything that I could possibly need to another state to race. So, today, Monday, I make my list.

This will be the second time that I wear my Ultimate Direction AK hydration vest. Surprisingly, you can stuff a lot of necessities into this light vest. There are zipper pockets, velcro pockets, water bottle holders, and a large pouch to stuff anything that does not fit in the previously mentioned spots. I try not to get carried away with all the room I have to stuff. 🙂

For the first 4-5 hours, I will eat every 45-60 minutes. After the 4-5 hour mark, I may consume food every 35-45 minutes. My last 50K took me 7 hours and 40 minutes. I will plan to have enough food for that amount of time. So, at least 4 bars, 4 gels and two peanut butter and nutella 1/2 sandwiches. I will start drinking Perpetuem in the orange/vanilla flavor and will alternate with water, when the Perpetuem is finished.  I will eat Roctane energy gel in chocolate raspberry flavor. I like this because it tastes like chocolate ice cream topping to me, and it has 35 mg of caffeine, roughly equivalent to one can of coke. I will start eating a bar or 1/2 sandwich and alternate each 45-60 minutes with a gel. Toward the end, the soft sandwich and the fudge consistency of the gel are easier to eat, while I am walking/running. In addition to this nutrition plan, I plan on consuming either hammer endurolytes or saltstick capsules each hour.

Lululemon will be my clothing of choice, groovy run shorts in black, arm sleeves in black and grey, free to be bra and my swiftly tech racerback shirt. I am wearing Swiftwick compression socks in black with pink sport’s stripes at the calf. I am also bringing my Swiftwick pink compression socks for a dry sock change at mile 20, if I need it. Oh. . . AND. . . my Montrail bajadas.

I’m not really “worried” about the race. I know I will have the right amount of nutrition, the right clothes for the weather outlook, a drop bag at mile 20 filled with dry clothes and extra food. Really, with all that planning, I can run for at least 12 hours. 🙂

I do not have a goal. I am excited to be in the woods, uninterrupted for at least 7 hours. We start at 6:30 am, which means that I will finish sometime after 1:00. So, think about me, while you are eating breakfast, and think about me while you are eating lunch. If you happen to walk or run through stream or two of mud, think of me then too!