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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Honey Stinger Honey Waffle, or We're Gonna Need a Bigger Water Bottle

On this week's long run, which became a long run/walk, I tried the Honey Stinger Honey Waffle as my energy supplement.  First, my review of the waffle (spoiler - I'm giving it an A+), and then my review of my run:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5-0 Memorial Bike Ride

This past Saturday I participated in a 34 mile bike ride in memory of the 8 Raleigh police officers that have died in the line of duty this year.  The start was very emotional, with the National Anthem being played, and then a moment of silence.

The weather was unbeatable for a ride, especially considering it is late August.  I think it was in the low 70s to start out, virtually no humidity, and a light breeze that felt great and was rarely against us.  I knew from a ride that I had done earlier in the year that started and ended at the same place that this was going to be a challenging ride with lots of hills.  I did have a friend riding with me that has more experience riding who has given me great pointers in the past, and he did the same for me on this ride as well.  He was particularly helpful in the tips he gave me for getting up hills, such as sitting up straighter so that my diaphragm is more open to be able to take in deeper breaths.  He was very encouraging and motivating throughout the ride.  Thank you so much Tony!

I feel that I did fairly well with my hydration and fuel, just the right balance of carbs and protein the night before and morning of, and pickles at the rest stops to help prevent cramping.  And most importantly to me, my back held up pretty well.  I didn't have any spasms.  It did start to have a dull ache the last 10 or so miles, so I used every coasting chance I could to stand up from the saddle.  But overall I am very pleased with how I felt during and afterwards.  I am excited that I finally found an "in-between" mileage race...more than what I've done in the past but less than when I had to stop in a ride earlier in the year because of my back.  You'll find the link to that on the "What's Next" tab.

I'm looking forward to some nice rides with cooler weather coming up in the Fall!  Stay tuned...

2013 Five-0 Memorial Ride Video

2013 Five-0 Memorial Ride

Nice compilation video put together by animoto of different pics from the race on Saturday (which I will blog about shortly).  I am in a pic about halfway through...I'll be on the left wearing a State jersey, and my friend Tony is beside me wearing red and black.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Power Bar Performance Energy Blend, or Always Charge Your Headphones

This weekend's long run didn't end up being very long - only 6.15 miles.  I didn't have much time since it's not light enough to head out before 7am, and I had to be at work at 10 to help set up for the Feast of Lanterns Parade.  Even though I didn't think I'd need it, I wanted to go ahead and try another energy supplement, so I tried the Power Bar Performance Energy Blends in Apple Mango Strawberry, and here's my review:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back At It

I promised a quick update after I got back to running.  I did 5 miles last night, and it was hard.  It feels weird, since just 10 days ago running 10 miles was easy.  I'm not really sure why I feel so tired & unable to get into a good running groove.  It was a lot hotter & more humid last night that it's been lately, but it seems to be more than that.  It's probably just mental - I'm psyching myself out somehow.

Has anyone else had this problem before, and how did you work your way out of it?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rest Week?

I unintentionally took a week off from training.  Not good, at less than a month to go before the Hendricks County Half. Here's what happened....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Ride to Rolesville Main Street Park

Tim had the great idea to take some back roads into the town of Rolesville, NC and have a little snack at the park.  Taking the scenic route (and less vehicles on the road) made it 10 miles to get there.  Very nice ride with only a few challenging hills.  I had a huge advantage over Tim since I was on my road bike and Tim was on my altered mountain bike.  Some beautiful sites along the way included several tobacco and soy fields, a quarry where there is scuba instruction, and quite a few pastures.  It is so nice living outside of Raleigh!

Then came our "picnic" at the park!
"Picnic" was pretzels and homemade hummus (squirrels like pretzels we found out), good fuel for the ride back home.  Also at the park we were able to refill our water bottles.

On the ride back home, we took a little tour around the new Rolesville High School that will open next week.  Extremely impressive campus and beautiful facilities.  It has 2 baseball diamonds, at least 6 tennis courts, football field with a track around it, a nice practice football field,  and outdoor basketball goals.  We probably added a mile to our route just riding around the campus.

And you have got to see our last stop!

Just a few miles from our house is an alpaca farm.  We've always wanted a closer look, so what better chance than today?  I'm not sure what they thought about me.  I guess since I didn't have food they just thought I was some stranger they wanted nothing to do with.  Interesting creatures!

So all in all, we did about 21 miles today...not bad for not planning on a semi-long ride and really not fueling properly.  I only had a few back spasms, but it did ache some the last 5 miles or so.  I definitely want to go see my buddy Gary at TLC for Bikes in Raleigh this week to see if he can adjust the angle of my seat before my bike race next weekend.  Today was a good prep for next Saturday's 5-0 Memorial race in Raleigh!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No more stinky wet shoes!

Well, it happened again!  At the Wake Forest Area Runners club run last night, even though there was 0% chance of rain....I think you can see where I'm going with this!

Sprinkling when we started,  about 1/4 mile in, the clouds decided to pour everything they had on us!  So we all were soaked from head to toe, not just from the rain itself, but the puddles that we just couldn't avoid.

But Tim was given a great tip last month on how to avoid your shoes getting that sour smell if you just leave them alone to dry.  Get newspaper sheets and crumple them up and put them in each shoe.  Make sure you widen your laces so you can insert plenty of paper!  Then just let it sit for a day or two, and you have dry shoes with no odor!  We tried it last month when we got drenched on the Neuse River Greenway, and the pic above is from last night.

Have any other great tips?  Comment here, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

On this week's long run (10.22 miles!) I tried Jelly Belly Sport Beans in Lemon Lime flavor.  These were recommended by a couple different people, and I agree - I would recommend them as well.
  • Flavor - They tasted like a tart lemonade, which I really enjoyed.  Very nice!
  • Texture - The texture was also very nice.  I was able to chew & swallow them easily.
  • Energy - I was feeling more tired this week than last week, and I believe I could tell a difference 10 minutes or so after eating these - I felt more strength and energy in my legs.
  • Packaging - They come in a resealable baggie, which was nice.  That made it easy to take out 4 or 5 beans at a time & chew them, saving the others for later in the run.
Overall I give this energy supplement an A+.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Candlelight 5K

This past Saturday I ran the Shriner's Hospital Candlelight 5K in Greenville, SC. It was incredible race for both Mark and me. I actually was very tired that night, and when we got there and I saw the 1/2 mile straight up hill ending, I kind of psyched myself out. Then the announcer kept saying it wasn't an easy race, every other half mile went from downhill to up. At that point I knew the big uphill ending was my big downhill beginning, so I decided to just try and get my fastest mile ever and then just see how I could finish. Surprise, at 1 mile my time was 6:36, my fastest I made a deal to push myself a little more, and kept making deals throughout the race. I have to admit that about mile two with a huge hill, I felt terrible and I think I left a lung there, but I kept pushing. Since it was dark, I couldn't see my watch, so I just ran it old school. When I was killing myself up that last big hill and Mark came to meet me for my finish ( he always does) I looked up and saw the clock at the finish said 22 minutes. I thought I had to go past and turn around, but Mark was telling me to sprint, this was the end. PR....23.17 actual finish, 23.24 gun time. My fastest 1 mile, my fastest 5K, and my fastest sprint time ever. I ended up 5th in my age group, with less than a minute between 1st and 5th place. By the way, Mark rocked his PR too 19.42 actual finish, 19.49 gun

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gatorade Energy Chews

Today on my long run I tried Gatorade Energy Chews in Fruit Punch flavor.  My thoughts:
  • The flavor was really good - as refreshing as you would expect fruit punch to be.
  • The texture was surprisingly good too.  As this was my first experience with energy chews, I was prepared for something really chewy, like gummy candy.  They were very easy to eat though - I put 2 in my mouth at once & had them down in just 4 or 5 chews.
  • I can't really say if they improved my energy or not.  I was feeling fine & had plenty of energy when I tried them, slightly past halfway on what turned out to be 9.3 - 9.5 miles (thought I was going 8, but my watch lost GPS signal for a while).  I never did run out of energy & was still going strong at the end, so I will say they worked.
  • My only complaint was the package.  I opened it & put it in my pouch before I started running, but I still found them a little tough to get to.  Next time I would take them out & put in a sandwich baggie or something a little easier.
  • Bonus:  You don't have to go to a fitness or sporting goods store to buy these - they are available in any grocery store.
Overall review - I give these an A.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gels, Chews, and Bars - Oh My!

This week's Pew to Half training run will have me doing 8 miles on Saturday morning.  It's time to start thinking about bringing energy supplements along with me on the run.  I haven't tried them before, so I am open to any recommendations.  If you've ever used any, please leave a Comment on what kinds of supplements you like best - including specific brands if you have any preferences.  If there are any that are just awful, you can let me know that too.  Thanks bunches!