Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ten Running Tidbits

Happy Sunday! I have spent my first weekend of summer with volleyball coaches from all over Houston (and Texas) learning from who I would consider to be celebrity coaches - Penn State's Russ Rose, and Stanford's John Dunning, among others - at an Art of Coaching Clinic. And though it's always hard for me to sit still for hours upon hours, I truly enjoyed this clinic. I learned a ton, which was to be expected with those two headliners, and it made me really excited for the school volleyball season to start back up again. I also got to see so many of my former coaches, and I think I made them all feel a little bit old when they realized that I just finished my first year of teaching. 

But, since I already missed a regular Friday post (whoops!), let's at least keep things regular with Sunday's.

1.  FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
To be honest, I rarely use any type of fuel during runs. Even during half marathons. I realize that is going to have to change during my marathon training, so in that case, I plan on going with my pre-half marathon go-to – Jelly Belly SportBeans. My personal favorite flavors are Fruit Punch, the Assorted Mix, and Extreme Cherry. I feel like Extreme Cherry is going to be my best friend. I can’t stand GU, but I did use Shot Bloks when I was training for and riding in the BPMS150, however, the Sport Beans remain my favorite.

2.  Race Length: 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I think 10K is my favorite race length. Though I haven’t run farther than a half marathon yet, so I guess I don’t know if I would like something longer better. Though I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the marathon isn’t going to be my favorite length. I typically don’t sign up for 5Ks because one, that’s a short distance to pay money to run, and two, I feel as though I should sprint the entire race. But with anything greater than a 10K, I feel as though I can slow things down a bit, while still maintaining a challenging pace.

3.  Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants, or Other?
Shorts, for sure. Even on cold days, it doesn’t take me long to warm up, so for anything longer than five miles, you will almost always find me in shorts. If it’s miserably wet and cold outside, and I’ll only be out there for 45 minutes or so, you might find me in capri pants. But like many basic white girls (did I use that right?), I typically save the capri pants for lounging around and running errands.

4.  Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
When I’m running on my own, I stick to water. When I’m running in a race, I take full advantage of the yellow Gatorade given to me. I’m a salty sweater, and I need all the electrolytes I can get.

5.  Running temperatures: HOT or COLD?
This is a tough question. Because right now, in the hot and humid capital of the world, I would give anything for just a little bit of relief. But then there are other days when I love nothing more than to have sweat dripping down my face. And this year I hated running in the cold a little bit less than I usually do. Go figure. So I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t care what the weather is like; I just want to run.

6.  Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics, or Other?
Asics. For a while I was a tried and true Mizuno user, but Asics currently have my heart. They provide stability and cushion, which is essential for a pronator like myself. Plus, their shoes are some of the cuter running shoes out there. So sue me.

7.  Pre-Race Meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
Always, always, always wheat toast (or an English muffin) topped with peanut butter, sliced banana, and cinnamon. It has never failed me.

8.  Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
As hard as it is for me, I typically give myself at least one rest day a week, or at least one day in which my physical activity is on the very light end. A walk or a relaxed bike ride, because everyone’s muscles need a chance to rest and recover.

9.  Music: Have to have it or go without it?
Have to have it. There is nothing I love more than plugging in my headphones, turning up my music, and running until I can’t run anymore. Plus, it keeps my focus off of what I’m actually doing.  

10.  #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?
Can it be a combination of all of these things? Of course, I run to stay in shape. But it’s so much more than that. Because there are lots of things one can do to stay in shape. I absolutely love shaking off the stress of a long day by lacing up my Asics and going for a familiar run through my neighborhood. Though I sometimes wonder what I was thinking when it’s 5:00am on a Sunday morning and my alarm is going off, I love the race atmosphere. Which is why I keep going back for more. And I run because I can, and I will run until I can’t anymore. I love the causes behind so many of the races that I run, and it is a lot more than just a way to keep my figure.

And that's all I've got. I'm off to enjoy what's left of this beautiful (and sunny!!!) Sunday in Houston.

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