Friday, January 16, 2015

So you want to run a 100 miles? And a bunch of race recaps.

100 miles? 
Yes, yes I do. And if the idea of driving 100 miles terrifies you more than the idea of just running the distance, join the club. (Thanks, LA traffic)
So, hello world, I'm training to run 100 miles. It's official now.

But before we talk 100 miler, let's recap the past few months in terms of running:

I have a laundry list of race recaps:
- Chicago Marathon (Oct)
- Turkey Trot LA (Nov)
- California International Marathon (Dec)
- Santa Clarita 10k (Six Flags Magic Mountain, Dec)
- New Years Race Los Angeles (Jan)

In October 2014, I ran the Chicago Marathon which was really awesome. The city is amazing, course support / cheering possibly the best that I have experienced (similar to the London and Berlin Marathons) and the entire event is very well organized. The race is also morning-coffee friendly, meaning I was able to go to Starbucks in the morning given the generously timed, convenient in-city start. If tho race is on your bucket list (and it should be) - enter that lottery before it becomes nightmarishly difficult to get in and go run 26.2.

In November 2014, I ran a fast (for me) Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in LA, which was a fun morning adventure. Not a huge fan of the course, but if you think concrete buildings are gorgeous, this is the event for you. I think the course was a little off the 10k mark but the true distance is hard to tell given I lost GPS in a massive tunnel we ran in for about half a mile. Oh, and parking is no fun for this event, either. But the giant inflatable turkey and general atmosphere are worth the trot.

In December 2014, I lured my brother to run his first 10k in Six Flags Magic Mountain. If you have / know a teenager whom you want to convince to run a 10k with you, this is the one - although you might gain a whole new appreciation of the hilly terrain of the park. As a bonus, you get discounted park entry with registration, so we went to ride coasters for the rest of the day as a post-run reward! 

Oh, and I also ran the California International Marathon for the second time, which was SO GOOD! From Nuun Hydration on the course to Whole Foods soup at the finish (not just a dream!), this race was perfection. My only complaint was the early morning wake-up call, since the shuttles leave at 5am to the start line if you stay in Sacramento. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, which was a perfect location and gave my man enough time to sleep in and still make it to the finish line before I finished, in time to save him from trouble. 

Then  2 weeks ago I ran the New Years Race, which runs though much of Downtown LA to Dodger stadium and literally up and down every hill in between. It was great - to be done. Note: do look at the course and where it finishes before the race. This year the organizers changed the finish line from the previous year, which resulted in some added mileage trotting around DTLA before making it back to the car. No big deal, but it could've been a little less cold and dark out. Anyway, it's always a fun, unique race that lets your circle around Dodger Stadium at night. As each year, I ran with my lovely LA Roadrunners in the morning, so clocked 25 miles for the day. 
Kim and I demonstrating different approaches to weather conditions
And that brings me up to speed, I think. In any case, sometime last month I decided to get back into those long miles given I'm successfully injury free now and the rational next step is to run a 100-mile race.
Right now I am signed up for Nanny Goat, a 24hr race in May and we shall see how many 1-mile laps I can complete. Maybe a 100, maybe not. But it will be a start before I tackle any official distance-based races like the Javelina Jundred in October, which is on my radar.

Ok, back to baking some (vegan, gluten-free, way-to-healthy) blueberry-banana muffins because talking about running clearly makes this girl hungry.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Getting ready for fall race season

Fall race season is around the corner - which is very exciting and moderately terrifying. My training has been sub-par throughout summer thanks to the puppy, my man, yoga and, you know, life. But guess what? The Chicago Marathon is 6 weeks away and my running shoes are back in business. Hello blisters! 

In other news: I will be pacing the 2:00 group at the Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon in late October - a great race worth checking out. 

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few tips on how nutrition can help you become a better runner. It's not "just food"…it's your fuel!

Eat to train, don't train to eat.

A simple rule of functional nutrition, basically saying that food should help you reach your training goals.
Here are 5 simple tips to help:
  1. Rather than focusing on “race day fuel”, eat well throughout the training season. Lay the foundations for a healthy body so you can reap the benefits of your training.
  2. Don’t start a workout when you’re hungry. Have a light snack so you avoid overindulging on [insert favorite junk food] after.
  3. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. If it’s hot out or you tend to sweat a lot, add some nuun tablets to your water.
  4. Avoid food-based rewards for workouts and focus on smart fueling strategies before and after you train.
  5. Have a plan about what you’re going to eat after you work out. You need carbs and protein to speed up recovery, but unless you worked really hard, you will not need to stomach a full meal.

Re-defining the role of food as a way to support and help your body perform at its best at whatever you choose to do will set you up for success. Keep it real and enjoy good food.