The Taper…again

For my first week of tapering for Cowtown, I think I ran more miles than I did in the two weeks before. I will say at least my mileage has been pretty consistent for the last several weeks, hovering around 40 miles per week.

I didn’t really feel like I was tapering – but it didn’t seem like that busy of a week either (at least in training).

I tried out some new socks that Feetures! sent me. These are the best! My socks are the only thing I haven’t changed in over five years of running. I mean the brand of course! I do change out and put on clean socks after every run. 🙂

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Tuesday, I had a birthday lunch at school with the newest teenager in the family.

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They finished our foundation work, and the kids left a reminder for us in the wet cement.

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Thursday morning I had a good mile repeat run, and in the evening my first swim in over two weeks.

Then there was a sluggish, achy leg run on Saturday. I don’t know what the deal was. Maybe I was still recovering from mile repeats. But my friend felt the same way and we kind of whined our way through the 16 miles. The achy legs were made worse by my GI tract that was not on board with running. I was so ready to be done! Then we reminded ourselves that we get to run and shouldn’t be so whiny about it. But I am very excited about the 12 mile long run this weekend.

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Then I came home to my newest piece of gear. I went back and forth trying to decide on this purchase. I try to be cautious when it comes to deciding what is a need and what is a want for my upcoming half Ironman. I had some Christmas money I was still hanging on to, so I took the plunge and ordered the older model – Garmin 910XT. So now I’m too far invested in my race to turn back. 😉

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Here’s one of the few pictures from the Hot Chocolate 15k race that I downloaded last week. I forgot about that perk. You can tell I’m completely zoned in on the finish line.

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I love free race pics!

What’s one of your favorite race perks?

Something Old, Something New

I knew it would get busy this fall with work, kids in school, marching band and Friday night football, and marathon training. Oh, and the puppies. Boy, sometimes they wear me out. Just when I think we have made progress, I find them chewing on the floor trim, or a shoe, or my toes… More reminders of why I said no to a new puppy for the last four years.



Don't let these innocent faces fool you!

Don’t let these innocent faces fool you!

 

Anyway, my training has been moving along.The humidity has killed my pace on almost all speed work and tempo workouts. Thankfully, cooler temperatures are coming. I’m hoping tomorrow’s run will be a breeze. As I’m settling into training – I’m on week 5 – I’ve  noticed my body craving old food habits I formed a year ago. That’s a good thing.

Lots of eggs, spinach, peanut butter, and guacamole avocado.

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This is a totally normal amount of eggs to have on hand, right?

My appetite hasn’t gone crazy like I thought it would, but my stomach has been rumbling with hunger twice a day: the middle of the night and the middle of my run. I decided to make some more filling snacks to have around to see if it would help. I’ve made the no bake energy bites several times before, but I tried this recipe with the pretzels for the first time. I’ll be making more of these, especially since other family members discovered them.

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I need to buy more peanut butter.

We did some shopping a couple of weeks ago, and I got these shorts for $12.00 at the Adidas outlet. I can look at the logo during a run for a reminder of one of the reasons I’m training hard. I also grabbed a tee for $7.00 which is just my shopping style.

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Chasing the unicorn…

On Amazon, I snagged a deal on a pair of compression shorts with ice inserts. These take my post-run recovery to another level.

 

Today, I used my headlamp for the first time. I needed to branch out to reduce some hills, and it helped. I didn’t try it before, because I was afraid it would bounce. It didn’t. The only trouble I had was when I was running into the wind. But I did feel pretty hard-core running with a headlamp.

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Yes, my face is that red. 80 degrees, 74% humidity, 9 miles with 6 at marathon pace. Whew!

 

Bring on fall weather already, I’m so done running in tanks!

I’m glad to be back in the familiarity of marathon training, but new recipes and gear certainly help keep my motivation up.

How do you find motivation?

Running on a Shoestring – Part 2

Running is a cheap sport, all you need are shoes, shorts and a t-shirt.

That’s the impression I was under when I started my adventure over three years ago, and I disagree. While it’s true that there’s no equipment to buy – like a bike – it can get a little costly depending on the distance, race location (and size), and how often you run.

While I would love to jet all over the country running marathons, at this point in my life it’s just not possible. I have four children at home, a part-time job, and a husband who is out of town frequently for work. So I follow the big marathons, and put those on my future list.

Meanwhile, I will continue to cut costs where I can, and enjoy this season of my life. Also, in order to get my marathons in without expensive travel, I have chosen to run the big one near me: Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Oklahoma City. No airfare.

In my last post, I shared a few ideas on how to save money running, and as promised here are a few more.

  • Fuel: I have tried all kinds of fueling options for my long training runs. Unless it’s race day, I try whatever I can find on sale. Our local Academy often has Gu, Clif products, and other brands on sale. I can  get Nuun there as well, and every couple of months it will go on sale. I have found that Nuun is more cost-effective to have around the house. It doesn’t have added sugar, and my kids don’t care for it (probably because it’s missing the sugar). It doesn’t disappear like sports drinks do. I have also found Power Bar products on sale at the grocery stores in town. Again, I will try anything I can get a good deal on. Once I discover that I can tolerate something well on a run, I will stock up next time it’s on sale. Then I hide them away in my closet. I have a teenage boy who craves sweets, so gels or chews are not safe. I have also tried fueling with food like raisins and granola bars, but the portability of the other products are a win for me right now.
  • Expos: I may have written about this before, but I like to stash away some cash for upcoming marathon expos. You can get some great deals on all kinds of gear. I’ve bought sunglasses (with a year warranty), compression gear, hats, and more. You can also get some great free stuff.
  • Rewards: My local (45 minute away) running store started a rewards program earlier this year, and I know other shops that do too. For every _x_ amount you spend, you get _x_ in rewards to spend. I also mentioned to them once when I was picking up a race packet, how I wished I could get my shoes there. I have a long, skinny foot and they don’t stock much in the way of narrow widths. They offered to order my shoe and ship it to me for free!

What am I missing?

What other ways have you found to save money running?

Running on a Shoestring

This morning, I had my first run of the season with long sleeves and capris. This afternoon for my run, I was wearing shorts and a tank top. Oh yes, it’s typical Texas weather here.

As I pulled out my capri tights I bought three years ago (my first winter running outdoors), I was glad they still fit comfortably.

Here’s why.

I can be a little tight with money. I consider it an asset, but my teenage son says I’m cheap. When you have a family of six, it’s necessary to cut corners where possible. Especially when  have a teenage boy, a teenage daughter with hours of marching band practice, a husband with high metabolism, and me – the [marathon] runner. I’m thankful the other two children are little because they don’t eat much yet.

As a mom, it’s hard for me to spend money on myself. I have dress shoes that are three years old, and most of my everyday clothes are baggy. My hair is trying to turn silver, but I’m yanking those because I won’t spend the money to color it. Heck, I’m doing good to get three haircuts a year. Yet, I am okay with all of that. I would rather spend money on running gear and races.

I’ve read a few magazine articles about how to save money running, but I’ve found a few other ways to add.

  • Let’s start with the most obvious: race fees.  You can easily save just by planning out your race schedule. Get in on the early registration and you can save anywhere from $10-$50.  I did this last week by writing down the date of the race, registration amount, and when the fees would go up. It’s not fancy – and yes, I did use a springtime notepad in October – but it works. I can see with a quick glance that I need to register for the Cowtown Marathon by November 15 (and I’ll save $10).

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  • Technical clothing can be expensive. I’m glad to see more races use tech shirts instead of cotton, and I’ve been able to build quite a collection this way. I especially like to wear the marathon tops in other races. Of course I still have a nice balance of cotton tees to wear around town on the weekends. To save money on my shorts, I check the clearance at my local running store, Nike outlet, or shop online from Running Warehouse. I have also bought clothing at Target, JCPenney, TJMaxx and Kohl’s to try out different brands. Usually my purchases have been marked with a red tag and/or are part of a big sale. Combining coupons (I’m not too proud and Target has some great ones!) has allowed me to replace items as my size changed. By spending less, I’m not worrying about wasting a bunch of money if something doesn’t work out for me – like compression shorts. They really don’t stay in place.

I’ll follow up my next post with a few more ideas, but I want to know:

Do you make a race plan in advance to save on registration fees?

How do you save on clothing?

What do I need?

To recap the last two posts, we’ve talked about the who and the why of running.  It’s time to visit the third “W.”

“I think I want to run, but what do I need?”

I’m cheap.  I really don’t like to spend money, and I sure don’t like to spend it on myself.  One of my favorite parts about running is that it is inexpensive to get started.  I tend to go full force with new ideas and at times they fizzle out.  What I liked about running was the fact that I only needed to buy a couple of things in the beginning.  Then if it fizzled out, I wouldn’t feel guilty spending a bunch of money.

Just the basics

1.   A pair of running shoes

I bought my first pair at our local big box sporting goods store and ran my first 5K in them.  I spent $40.  They worked fine in the beginning and for what I needed them for.  Once I decided to run a half marathon, I went to a running store to get professionally fitted for a pair that could take the pounding of that training. 

2.  A basic technical top and shorts

If you’re new to running or getting back into fitness after a few years off, you’ll find that workout wear has changed.  This is a small investment that’s worth the money if you sweat.  Technical tops are made of material that wicks the sweat away from your body.  It’s fine to run in a cotton t-shirt, but I sweat and it’s not a pretty sight.  I don’t like the heaviness.  Then, find some shorts that you are comfortable wearing.  You can find technical wear just about anywhere that has an activewear section.   

3.   Stopwatch

Even if you don’t want to time yourself, it’s a good idea to have a way to keep track of progress.  Once again, don’t splurge.  A basic sport watch can be found for as little as $10.

4.   Water bottle

Hydration is important.  How much and how often depend on the individual and the climate, but make sure you follow each run with water.

So get ready with your gear, and next time we’ll talk about where to run.