Sunday, April 10, 2016

Redefining my hard - a new race and a couple of reviews
Click to visit website - Great stuff there!

The last couple of weeks I've given quite a bit of thought to what I consider to be "hard" when it comes to running.  Often I think I limit myself by my current definition as it tends to linger somewhere just a little past comfort.  This is true of my running as well as my strength training and by limiting myself in such a way I am cheating myself of lifting heavier, running longer and gaining speed.  I've won the mental game by convincing myself that a little hard is hard enough.

A quote I've become fond of is, "The comfort zone is a wonderful place to be, but nothing ever grows there." unknown

I need to stretch well out of it if I'm going to discover my true potential as an athlete.  I have made it my goal this year to reach beyond what I now consider hard and tap in to a new definition of the word.  If I don't do it now, The Rut is going to be a serious shock.

Last week I worked on this during my long run by tackling a hill in town that I haven't done before... and then doing it one more time.  It was harder than what I have previously tapped out at as a "hard workout," but I'll be doing it again and pushing to do it faster next time.  It will be a challenge I tackle until I can say it's easy (then I guess I'll have to find something else hard to do).

This week I did my long run in Red Lodge.  Mitch and I have decided to participate in a duathlon in two weeks and this was a test run combined with my scheduled 14 miler.

 Peaks to Prairie
Click to visit race website
Peaks to Prairie is a run, ride, paddle event.  We don't kayak, but they have a duathlon option that is run and bike only.  Mitch and I are teaming up.  I will run 9.5 miles and he will follow up with a 49 mile ride from Red Lodge to Columbus.

I haven't made any secret of the fact that I LOVE to run Red Lodge.  Most specifically, I love running the highway which is all downhill for my usual route.  Starting at the entrance by the campground where Mitch and I were married and finishing on the outskirts of town is 12 miles.  I had to run to the other end of the town and around a couple of blocks to get in my 14.

I mean really, what's not to love??

On this particular run, I PR'd a number of distances, including my 1 mile, 10 mile and half marathon. Keeping in mind that these are on a very downhill route, I don't put a lot of stock in those PRs but then again, I have run this same route many times so at the very least I got personal bests for this segment.  Pat on my back:

While I ran, Mitch rode the bicycle route for the race.  Having driven the route after my run to pick him up, I can say I'm seriously glad I'm not the one on the bike.  The first 19 miles are some serious rolling hills on a narrow road with lots of curves.  My husband is not deterred.  This is right up his alley.  Weirdo.

Finishing up 46.6 miles and still in a good mood!

I just have to add that we went to bed and crashed at 9:30 on a Saturday night after this!


During my last 2 long runs (and one midweek run), I tested out some new fuel.  In my last blog post, I talked about CLIF Organic pouches and reviewed the Banana-Mango-Coconut.

Since then, I have tried the Banana-Beet-Ginger: this one tasted okay (mostly banana) but seriously disagreed with my stomach.

During last week's long run, I tested the Sweet Potato and Sea Salt.  I love sweet potatoes, but I was very unimpressed with this.  It was way too pasty and a little too salty to be enjoyable.
I bought the pizza margarita yesterday.  I'm very reluctant to try it because it sounds somewhat disgusting, but I would really like to find a savory fuel that I like because sweet is going to get old really fast on a 50K race.

The gem I discovered yesterday during my Red Lodge run was Tailwind Nutrition.  I've read a litte on this product on my ultrarunning FaceBook groups.  A packet is 200 calories and is said to be all you need on a long run.

I put a packet of the berry flavor in Mitch's water bottle.  He didn't like it and when I tasted it, I could quite agree.  I thought that one tasted a bit "perfumey."
Mine was the caffeinated Tropical Buzz and that one tastes MUCH better.

I mixed this up in a 16 oz bottle of water and poured half in to one of my hydration belt bottles.  The other half I put in my shaker with about 10 oz more water and my BCAAs.  I drank the shaker concoction on the way to Red Lodge.

I did consume additional fuel.  While drinking the bottles of Tailwind on my belt and another of water, I also had a CLIF pouch at mile 6 and a GU at mile 10.  I can't say I had to have them, but I am a firm believer in fueling before you feel the need.  After that it is too late.  

That being said, I felt better on that run that I have felt on any long run in quite some time.  I didn't even need to take my traditional preworkout supplement.  I felt great the whole time and had plenty of energy.  I liked this so much that I ordered a bag almost as soon as I got home.


Before I go, I would like to say welcome to the running community to my daughter, Shaina who joined our ranks recently.  I've enjoyed sharing in her journey's beginning and getting to impart a little knowledge to someone just taking their first steps.

Also, I may have a little addiction to running shoes.  So I leave you with some shoe porn... my collection currently in rotation:

Run Happy my friends!!!


  1. Congrats on knocking out several PRs on one run! Never sell yourself short. Even though the course is downhill, if you've run in multiple times before, this marks brag worthy improvement!

    I haven't tried any of the savory GUs yet. The only flavor I can handle is chocolate. I find all of the other sweet flavors totally disgusting, but I can't imagine I would like the savory ones either. The sweet potato one sounds interesting but if you say it's salty I'm sure I wouldn't like it as I'm very sensitive to salt.

    Thanks for the shoe porn! Can never get enough of that!

    1. Thanks, Kristina! You are right... it's so easy to downplay our successes. I appreciate the reminder. :-)