Dallas Marathon Training: Week Six

The plan:

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This week was one where I really could have fallen back on my usual excuses to flake out on some of my training runs. To be frank, it’s that time of the month. So… I was achy.  I was grumpy. I was exhausted. Wednesday evening after my 6-mile tempo run, I told my husband that I felt like “a bag of crap run over twice and then backed over.” But with the exception of a questionable cross-training day, I didn’t miss a beat. I still hit all my goal paces. Excuses won’t get me anywhere. Some days the motivation is just not there, but somehow I still did it.

Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:12 pace

speed

This was the only pre-work run I did this week. I was pretty surprised with how fast I ended up doing it, and I definitely wasn’t trying to run an 8:01 mile. If I had realized that’s how fast I was running, I would have most definitely aimed for 7:59! This was still tough, but it’s been cool to see myself getting faster each week in these speed runs. Next week, the run goes up to 4 miles, so we’ll see how that affects my pace.

Wednesday, Ran 6 miles/8:59 pace

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On Tuesday night I slept in my running clothes, had everything set out ready to go, and when my alarm went off Wednesday morning at 6, I just couldn’t do it. I felt so tired, so I pushed the run back to the end of the day. This made me paranoid that something would happen to prevent the run from happening; I felt guilty for not getting it done in the morning.

Alas, I went out as soon as I got home from work and went to the river path to run. This was my first time running with my bigger Nathan water bottle, and I don’t think I pulled the strap tight enough, because it felt awkward in my hand and my shoulder tightened up at times. I was tired during this run and it was quite the challenge, but I still pulled out my best pace so far during this training for a tempo run.

After the run, I went home and ate dinner, then took an Epsom salt bath. As soon as I got out of the bath, I suddenly felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. I had been thinking about eating some Halo Top ice cream for dessert, but my appetite was gone, thinking about eating made me feel sick. I got in bed and stayed there for the rest of the night, watching this dumb Netflix movie, #RealityHigh.

Thursday, Rest

Friday, 50 push-ups and foam-rolling

I had been running my easy run on Friday mornings the past few weeks, but I had to be somewhere for work at 8 a.m., so that wasn’t happening for me this time.

50 push-ups and foam rolling took place that night. It’s lame activity for what was supposed to be a cross-training day, but I will tell you, the push-ups were no joke. Those last 5, I could barely lower my body at all, and my armpits still hurt today (Sunday).

Saturday, Ran 4 miles/10:11 pace

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My face represents how I felt during this entire run – so tired and crappy. I had to go out and do it before going to work at the cat rescue, and I was just already exhausted thinking about the day ahead of me. I wanted to quit at 3 miles, telling myself that this run is just junk miles and doesn’t really contribute anything to my training. But in my head I said to myself, “You really don’t think you can run for 10 more minutes? Come on!” So I finished it out.

Went to the cat shelter and worked for about 4 hours, then I headed to the mall (covered in cat hair and scratches from an unruly kitten who did not want to be carried back to the kitten room) to try and quickly find a dress for a wedding we were attending that night. My tiredness all week had kept me from doing this earlier!

Luckily, I went into H&M and immediately found a cute green dress (and two tops). The wedding Saturday night was super fun, and I had a hot date.

wedding

Sunday, Ran 9 miles/10:24 pace

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It kind of bothers me that my long run this week is shorter than my last two long runs, but I’m just going with the plan. I did 5 miles at an easy pace, 11 minute miles or so, and then I aimed to the do the last 4 at marathon pace, 10:18. I listened to Ali on the Run’s podcast during this entire run, and it made the miles go by quickly. I love her. It was much warmer for this run than the past few weeks. See: shirt drenched in sweat.

I ran with my Nathan water bottle again and was able to pull the hand strap tighter, so it was a much better experience than on Wednesday. I drank Tailwind tropical buzz flavor during the run.

Next week, things get much tougher. My speed and tempo runs are each a mile longer, and my long run is 14 miles. Will definitely be a challenge!

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Dallas Marathon Training: Week Five

The plan:

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Monday, Rest

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Part of me really wanted to go ahead and do my speed run on this day, because I was off work and I thought it would be easier to do the run on a day when I had no other commitments.

The problem was, I was exhausted from a busy weekend. I went to a friend’s apartment to go swimming in her complex’s pool Monday morning, but we really just kind of stood still in the water talking. I decided to just count this as the rest day it was scheduled to be anyway. I don’t want to peak too early in my training, and forcing runs on rest days, when I’m really tired, seems like a good way to burn out. Don’t need to do that in Week Five.

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:36 pace

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I planned to do this run around 6:30 AM before work. After taking a tab of melatonin Monday night around 9, I got in bed and fell into sleep pretty easily. My aim was to be able to sleep through the night without waking up several times, which has become a regular issue for me. Well, this was not accomplished. I woke up multiple times after having very weird dreams, which I attributed to the melatonin.

At some point I reset my alarm from 6:15 to 7:15, deciding that I was going to push my run to the evening. After waking up, I figured I could still get the run done and be at work by 9, so I set out at 7:40 or so.

I felt terrible the whole time. I was sluggish, probably another side effect of the melatonin, and I had been dealing with congestion for a week, so I found it hard to breathe through my nose. I finished, and wasn’t happy with the result, which was slower than last week’s speed run. I proceeded to be groggy for most of the morning at work. If I ever try melatonin again, I will limit it to half a tab. Ugh.

Wednesday, Ran 6 miles

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Again with the sleep problems, I couldn’t fall asleep Tuesday night until around 11, and then I woke up at 4:30. I lay there for about 45 minutes and decided since I was awake, I might as well get my run done. I set out for six miles, and it was awesome. I had to stick around the neighborhood since the river path has no lights, and I felt safer. It was basically like running at night; I wore a blinking light bracelet thing that I have, and I also wore a white shirt and reflective headband. I also stayed on the sidewalk 95% of the time. The streetlights and the moon were plenty enough light for me until the sun started to rise. The weather was chilly, with a cold front settling in, and every mile was faster than the last. It was just a great run!

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Thursday, Rest

Friday, Ran 3.2 miles/9:13 pace

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I wore long sleeves for this run! It was 58 degrees when I headed out to run around 7 AM before work. This is my easy run, and the 9:13 pace felt easy, helped by the wonderful weather. This run was scheduled for Saturday, but I moved it to Friday morning. This might become a weekly thing.

Saturday, Rode bike/3.15 miles (20 minutes)

So I learned it’s much easier to ride your bike when your tires have enough air in them! Ummm… I’m clearly a genius. Put more air in the tires Friday night, and my Saturday morning bike ride was so much easier and faster than previous rides. I just got this in quickly on Saturday morning before heading to the cat rescue to help clean for a few hours. Then, around 2 PM, we headed to Ruston to tailgate before the Tech game, which was a complete debacle football-wise, but it was still fun to hang out with some friends!

Sunday, Ran 12 miles/10:21 pace

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I was tired for much of this run, but mentally I just focused on pushing through. I went out to the river path and ran 6 miles straight, took a short break at my car for fuel, then ran the other 6 miles straight.

I kept the same strategy as last week – the first half was an easy 11-minute pace, the second half was my marathon pace, with the last half-mile at a speedy pace.

It’s tough to keep running strong in those last few miles, but I feel like it’s really preparing me for later in the marathon when I will be really tired but will need to keep pushing. I fueled for this run with a banana, peanut butter and honey beforehand, Tailwind raspberry flavor mixed with water throughout, and three Clif Shot Bloks in the middle.

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Size of new Nathan water bottle vs. size of old one.

My 3-year-old, 10-ounce Nathan handheld water bottle has been leaking during my most recent runs, and I realized the mouthpiece part has a small hole where the liquid comes out. I guess the material deteriorated or whatever at the opening. I had been thinking I wanted to get a bigger handheld anyway, so I went to the local running store and got a bigger version as a replacement.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Four

The plan:

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Monday, Ran 3 miles/8:27 pace

3 speed

So, with Hurricane Harvey bearing down in Texas next door, our local weather forecast kept changing and we were expected at times to get a lot of rain. I decided to move my runs up a day and try to get them done before the worst of the weather was likely to hit. So on Monday instead of resting, I ran my speed run after work.

I was in a bad mood when I set out on this run, and that translated into me running my fastest pace yet. I guess sometimes it’s good to be mad! And of course, I felt much better when I was done.

Tuesday, Ran 6 miles/9:19 pace

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There was some rain in the evening forecast Tuesday, so I decided to get up early before work and get my run done. The air felt like rain was coming, and the temperature was so nice. I went out to the river to get this run finished at around 6:45 AM, and it went great.

Of course, the weather predictions were wrong and we didn’t end up getting much rain at all on Tuesday, but when I got off work at 6, I was so glad I had already completed my run and could just go home.

Wednesday, Rest

Thursday, Rest

I was going to cross-train this day as scheduled, but I went to eat with family after work and was just too tired after I got home. I decided to push it back to either Friday or Saturday.

Friday, Ran 3 miles/9:34 pace

3 easy

I knew I had a busy Saturday ahead of me, so I decided to go ahead and do my easy run a day early. I had a terrible night’s sleep, but I still got up before work again and set out at 6:30 AM. Maybe I had it in the back of my mind that I needed to get done quickly, but my pace for this run was faster than I’d planned. It still felt pretty easy though, and the cooler air helped me with that.

Saturday, Rode bike

I think cleaning at an animal shelter for about 7 hours should count as cross-training. We had a packed house at the cat rescue due to taking in some cat evacuees from Texas, and it was mostly just me and one other volunteer working all day. I got to the rescue at 9 AM and didn’t leave until after 4 PM. Lots of crouching and kneeling and wiping and cat-kissing. My back was sore the next day, and I was exhausted afterward!

I got home and decided to just do a short bike-ride so I could feel like I had done something that legitimately counts as “cross-training.” I didn’t go too long because my tires seemed very low on air. Afterward, I took a bath, went to Old Navy and Whole Foods, and was in bed by like 8 PM. Took some Nyquil because I’ve had a cold the past few days, and was asleep by 10.

Sunday, Ran 11 miles/10:23 pace

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I was well-prepared for this run, having charged my iPod and Garmin on Saturday, set out all my gear and slept in my running clothes. But somehow I still screwed up – I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, and I must have pressed “stop” instead of “snooze,” because the next thing I know, I wake up and it’s 7:15! I had wanted to get started by 7 because I had to be at church at 10:30 to greet before service. I jumped up and got all my stuff together, ate a slice of toast with peanut butter/banana/honey (best combo ever), and drove to the river path.

After reading some articles on long run strategy, I decided I would do 6 miles at 45 seconds slower than marathon pace, so about 11 minute-miles. Then I would do the last 5 miles at marathon pace, with a speedy final half-mile.

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It turns out I really suck at hitting exact goal paces. I either am going way too fast or way too slow. For instance, trying to hit 11-minute miles, I would look down and either be going 10:30 or 11:20. Never actually hitting 11:00. I guess it evens out, but it doesn’t seem like the most efficient use of my energy.

Then, when I got to the last five miles wanting to basically hit 10:18 each mile, which is my marathon pace goal, I was just flat-out too fast. My last mile was much faster than that because I did speed up on purpose for the last half-mile.

I was definitely tired at the end, and I felt like it was a good workout.

After the run, I had about 30 minutes to shower, dress and get to church. I scarfed down an Evol breakfast burrito as I drove to church, and I made it just in time! Took this photo in the car:

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So it was a great week! I think this is the first time in my marathon training history that I’ve really been running each training run with goal paces in mind relative to a marathon goal. I always did “speed” and “tempo” and “long” runs, but my pace goals for those runs were always kind of arbitrary – especially long runs. I’m hoping I’m doing this right, and that it helps me PR on race day.

August Recap: (Insert Fire Emoji)

I’m writing this before the official end of August because I know I’m not going to be running again until September. This was a great month for me!

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I ran 75 miles in August! That’s 20 miles more than July and many, many miles more than any previous month for the last year and a half. The great thing is I feel GREAT. I’m not always 100% pumped for every single run, but I’m very motivated.

My longest runs in August were 9, 8, and 7 miles. The month also included numerous 5 and 6-milers, and the typical 3 and 4-milers. I rode my bike a few times and sucked at it, though.

I did one race – the Mission Possible 10K. Came in third in my age group, though I was mainly doing it as a long run for the week.  My fastest run was just this past Monday, 3 miles at an 8:27 pace. More about that when I do my Week 4 training recap.

I am in the middle of Week 4 of marathon training, and I’ve been nailing my schedule and my pace goals so far. I just feel really good and hope this keeps up!

August was pretty good on a personal level, too. We took a couple of trips in August – an accidental trip to Natchitoches when we got a flat tire on I-49, and then another trip down to the New Orleans area to see my family. We celebrated our 9-year anniversary Aug. 16.

And one last, very important thing that happened in August – I officially registered for the Dallas Marathon, which takes place December 10! The registration fee is increasing  by $30 on Sept. 1, so I made sure to get this done today!
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No turning back!

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Three

The plan:

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Monday, Ran 3 miles/8:39 pace

SPEED

Set out for this one after work, solar eclipse day! I borrowed someone’s eclipse glasses to briefly look at it for 1 second, but otherwise averted my eyes and watched the live stream on the Internet.

I was surprised to run this one as fast as I did, though I was definitely out of breath and pretty much hit what I felt was my limit by the end.

This was supposed to happen on Tuesday, but I knew I’d have to work Tuesday night, so I switched the two days’ plans.

Tuesday, Rest

Wednesday, Ran 5 miles/9:17 pace

5 miles

Somehow I got the inspiration to do this run before work, so I got up around 6:30 AM and eventually made myself go out. This turned out to be a great choice because it was cooler in the morning, and later that evening it was raining off and on.

It felt great to get off work and already have my run long behind me, but getting up super early is always a struggle for me, so I don’t know how often I will manage to do this.

Thursday, Yoga (and 30 lame girl push-ups)

I worked late Thursday night, so it was too dark when I got home to do my normal bike ride. Instead I did a Rodney Yee yoga workout and push-ups. I guess that will have to suffice as “cross training” for this week. :/

Friday, Rest and travel

Saturday, Ran 9.1 miles/10:29 pace

9 mil

We were in South Louisiana this weekend visiting the fam, and the humidity was definitely thick. My goal was to hit a 10:30 pace, and I did just that. I have been reading about strategies for long run paces, and I think I may try to change it up next week to better suit my marathon goal.

For this run, I fueled by eating four Gu chews beforehand, then drank Tailwind throughout. I carried a 10-ounce handheld while I ran, and took a short break after 5 miles to refill my bottle and drink a little extra from a bigger water bottle at home.

Spent the rest of the morning and afternoon laying around and spending time with my parents, then Hunter and I went out to dinner at GW Fins in New Orleans before heading to a Saints preseason game. Great day!

Sunday, Ran 3 miles/9:50 pace

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I decided I need to pick a pace goal for my “easy” runs. I decided to go with my marathon goal pace, which I guess if I’m being ambitious, would be a 10:18 pace (for a 4:30 marathon).

But for this run I decided on an even 10-minute pace. It wasn’t completely “easy,” to be honest. I was exhausted from the previous day/night, and I woke up with some congestion which made breathing efficiently a little more difficult. But I hit my goal and finished drenched in sweat.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week Two

The plan:

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Monday, Rest

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:55 pace

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This is me laying on the ground. This run was slower than last week’s speed run, but this week was hotter so that is my excuse.

Wednesday, Ran 5 miles/9:27 pace

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This run wouldn’t have happened if I had let circumstances and feelings dictate my actions. I didn’t get to leave work as early as planned, and I was really stressed and anxious and didn’t feel like doing it, and it was my wedding anniversary and we were supposed to go out to dinner.

But I knew if I skipped the run I would feel worse off, not better, so I texted my husband that we needed to push dinner back until later that night, then set out on the run. It was hot and I was tired, but I pushed through, I let my worries drift through my head and then pushed them out, and I felt so much better when it was over. Hit my goal pace, too!

Afterward, I came home to roses from my husband, and we went out to eat a nice dinner for our anniversary.

Thursday, Rest

Friday, Rode Bike/Two miles

I was supposed to cross-train on Thursday and rest on Friday, but things got in the way, and I switched the days. I don’t enjoy bicycling as much as I wish I enjoyed it.

Saturday, Ran 10K/9:51 pace

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All week I was thinking my long run was 9 miles and that I’d have to run 3 extra miles after my 10k race on Saturday. On Friday night, I finally re-checked my training plan and was thrilled to see that my “long” run this week was only 6 miles, so I didn’t have to do anything other than the race.

On Saturday morning, I got up at 7 and headed out to First Baptist Church in Shreveport, which was the starting point for the Mission: Possible 10K.

Since I was doing the race as my long run, I didn’t really have any goals as far as finish time. I just wanted to run comfortably as I would for any other long run, and not push too hard.

The course was an out-and-back 5K, and 10Kers had to do it twice. It was mostly residential streets, and I mostly just zoned out and ran how I felt. My second half was about 2 minutes faster than my first half, and I finished 3rd place in my age group of 30-39 (out of 12).

After the race, I went through Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through and got an iced coffee and bacon/egg/cheese bagel, ran home and changed clothes, then went to the animal shelter to help clean after a bunch of cats for 6 hours. Volunteering at a cat rescue is so therapeutic and relaxing for me, even though it can be hard work sometimes. I wouldn’t give it up!

Saturday night we went to my brother-in-law’s house to celebrate his birthday, and I was falling asleep in bed by 10:30. Exhausting day!

Sunday, Ran 3 miles in two halves/9:57 pace

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I could have gotten up and ran before church, but I was tired and didn’t think it was supposed to rain at all (granted, I didn’t check the forecast), so I decided to put  it off for the afternoon. Well, as we were waiting in line for lunch around 1 (at the best taco place I’ve ever been to in my life), my husband got a text from one of our friends asking if we wanted to go do an Escape Room game with them at 4 PM. We wanted to, so I decided to get my 3-mile easy run done beforehand. I waited an hour for my food to digest, then set out around 2:15 PM for what I thought would be a quick and easy run, leaving me with plenty of time to shower before we went to the Escape Room.

Well, shortly after I started running, I noticed the sky was very dark. Then I saw lightning, and then it thundered. Great. So I ran back to my house and put my phone away, thinking this would help me not get hit by lightning. I started running again even though it was raining slightly, and even though the lightning was not stopping, nor was it getting any further away. Finally, I decided to head back home. A woman in a car even stopped, rolled down her window, and asked if I needed a ride to escape the weather. Thankfully, I was close to my house. I stopped at 1.5 miles. I sat and waited inside for a few minutes, but it kept thundering, so I gave up. I showered, changed, and we did the Escape Room (and won), then had dinner.

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Escape Room fun! We won with 12 minutes to spare.

After I was home for a little while, it was still light outside and of course had stopped raining and thundering. I decided to go do my 2nd half! It bugged me to cut a run short just in my 2nd week of training. So I went out almost 5 hours later and did the other 1.5 to my run.

This coming week should be… interesting. I have to work at least one night when I have a run scheduled, and we’re going out of town over the weekend. I will adjust my plan as needed.

Dallas Marathon Training: Week One

The plan:

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Had a pretty great forecast for my first week of marathon training :/

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Thankfully, the rain didn’t really interfere with my plans during the week. I got a little rained on a couple of times, but nothing so serious that I had to stop what I was doing. Despite a complete upheaval of my weekend plans, I completed my training plan perfectly in Week One 🙂

Monday, Rest 

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Every Monday is a rest day, so every Monday will be a successful training day 🙂 I was really glad this first day of my plan was an inactive day, because it was raining pretty much all day and all evening. I took the above photo from my work window on Monday morning. Blech.

Tuesday, Ran 3 miles/8:46 pace

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I got horrible stomach cramps in the middle of this run, so bad I had to stop for a couple of minutes and try to stretch it out. I have been drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages (mostly coffee and Diet Coke) during the workday and not enough water, so I’m sure this was a huge contributor of these terrible cramps. I really need to work on that. Rain held off all afternoon so it was thankfully a dry run, and it began to softly drizzle just as I was finishing up. I have been getting faster on these shorter runs.

Wednesday, Ran 5 miles/9:29 pace

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So for tempo runs, I guess I am aiming to do them at a 9:30 pace or so because that’s 30 seconds faster than my hopeful marathon pace of 10 minutes a mile. This is a lofty goal right now considering how little and slow I’ve run over the past two years, but I figure if I don’t start working toward that goal at the very beginning of my training plan, the odds of me attaining it are slim. So for this first tempo run, I was pleased to make my goal even though it was really tough.

Thursday, Biked 2 miles/17 minutes

I have found that bicycling is weirdly harder on my lungs than running. Maybe it’s because my bike is kind of heavy, or because I don’t have as much experience cycling, or my legs are weak and puny, but whatever the case, cycling has been pretty tough for me. I had to work Thursday night, so I set out to do my cross-training before work. There was a misty rain the whole time, which made it feel rather nice. I still struggled to maintain any kind of decent speed and was drenched in sweat after 17 minutes and 2 miles. So hopefully I will see my cycling conditioning get better over the course of this training plan, too.

Friday, Rest

Saturday, Ran 8 miles/10:48 pace

8 miles

This run felt like a setback, but I guess the circumstances weren’t ideal and it could have been worse. I was supposed to be in South Louisiana at my parents’ house, doing this run Saturday morning, but because of our flat tire Friday night, which stranded us in Natchitoches until Saturday morning, I didn’t end up doing this run until Saturday afternoon around 4 PM after we got home. The forecast showed thunderstorms likely for 6, so I knew I needed to go ahead and get this run done before then. While the sky was mostly overcast, the temperature was still around 93 when I started and the humidity was thick. After the first four miles my stomach felt unsettled, and I also found myself having a little trouble breathing as steadily. So unlike my previous longer runs of 6-7 miles, where I felt strong near the end, I felt progressively worse as this run went on.

Fuel note: I drank Lemon-flavored Tailwind during this run, and didn’t like it as much as the orange flavor.

Sunday, Ran 3 miles/10:22 pace

I guess my easy runs are really just aimed at upping my mileage each week, since they will never be particularly long and I won’t have a pace goal. My only goal for these is to run what feels easy, so I will just be interested to see how my pace varies each week. Hopefully my easy pace will get faster as time goes on.

Change of Plans

We were supposed to go to South Louisiana to visit my family this weekend, but our car had other plans. About 90 minutes into our journey on I-49 South, we heard a disturbing clattering sound coming from the front driver’s side of the car, so we pulled off the interstate into some nothing little town and parked at an empty post office.

I still don’t know what happened, but our tire was shredded and losing air quickly.

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While we had a spare donut tire, we were too far away to drive on it all the way back home, and it was after 7 PM so all the places that would be able to change a tire were closed.

Thankfully, we were only about 30 miles from Natchitoches, so we drove there slowly on a smaller highway and got a hotel for the night. Though I was very upset that our weekend plans were torpedoed, we made the most of it and walked around the cute Natchitoches downtown, got an appetizer and listened to some live music.

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Then on Saturday, we got up and had breakfast at one of Natchitoches’ famous meat pie restaurants, got a new tire in about 10 minutes, then went to Melrose Plantation where the famous artist Clementine Hunter lived and worked. We got to see the house where she lived and several of her original pieces.

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We will go to South Louisiana in two weeks instead. All in all, everything worked out the best that it possibly could have considering the circumstances! There are definitely worse places to get stuck for a night! The guy at the tire place said we were very fortunate our tire didn’t blow out on the interstate.

Weekly Recap: Rough

This was my last week of plan-free running before marathon training gets under way. I definitely took advantage of that.

It was a rough week, with illness on Monday and recovery on Tuesday,  then some other stressful situations going on. I ended up running three times, but it only amounted to 10 miles for the week.

Wednesday, Ran 1 mile/9:10 pace

After two days of nothing, I wanted to do *something* but didn’t have the energy to go out for longer than a mile.

Saturday, Ran 3 miles/9:24 pace

3 miles

I did this one around 5 after getting done at the animal shelter for the day. I was surprised that I kept up the pace after such a long day.

Sunday, Ran 6 miles/10:17 pace

saturday

Ran before church for the third week in a row. I’m always really happy to get this done first thing, rather than have it hanging over my head in the afternoon.

I fueled with some StrideBox samples. While I enjoyed the Glukos drink mix, the watermelon flavor of the Sports Beans wasn’t my favorite.

fuel

Taking Inventory

As I prepare to start marathon training and running longer, I decided to go through my huge duffel bag full of running stuff to see what kind of fuel I already have on hand. Though I usually stuck to the same products in the past (PowerBar gel and Powerade or Gatorade drinks), I have so much stuff and I don’t think it will hurt to try out new products during training that might be even better than what I’m used to.

I subscribed to StrideBox for almost two years, through which I got tons of samples, gels, drink mixes, etc., every month. I also have stuff I bought and then never used, so I took everything out and organized it all by type.

fuel

I am going to do my best to use fuel I already have before buying anything else. Some of this is expired, so I might run out sooner than I’d like to. But this is a pretty nice stash! Gels, nut butter, jelly beans, chews, even performance gum (?), which I have never tried. I also have salt capsules and ginger chews left over from previous training cycles.

drink mixes

Though as previously stated I usually like to drink only Powerade or Gatorade during training runs, I plan to use up all of the Tailwind for sure. I will try some of the other powder samples as well – none of the flavors sound disgusting, so that’s a plus!

I organized everything into Ziploc bags, and my duffel is also overflowing with samples of anti-chafing gel, Biofreeze and other similar products, KT tape, and more. I think I’m ready to go!