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17 miles and some running stuff that I like

Posted Sep 23 2012 9:02pm
Another week with many miles logged. Boom.

Here's how it panned out:

Monday: 6.5 mile rain-soaked recovery run (post-Sunday 15-miler). Felt more like a recovery shuffle.

Tuesday: 5 miles with a speed workout thrown in (2 x 800, 4 x 400, 7:15-7:30 pace). 8:25 overall average pace, felt great all day afterward.

Wednesday: 8 miles easy. I ran the first half of this around Montrose and found it difficult to keep a consistent pace on narrow sidewalks and dark streets. Thinking I'll need to stick to the park if I want to get quality miles in.

Thursday: 5.5 miles easy in Boyfriend's Sugar Land 'hood

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 17 miles easy, 9:13 average pace

Sunday: 3 mile recovery run, after 10+ hours of sleep. I guess the week and the 17-miler took a lot out of me?

Total: 45 miles (none at night, yay)

Overall, I'm happy with how the 17-miler went. I ran the first six on my own on the Memorial Park loop at 9:00 minute "medium" pace, followed by the club's 11-mile run through River Oaks and Montrose.

I'm trying to train with the club's 3:45 pace group since that's my time goal for the Houston Marathon . However, the few times I've ran with them, I've ended up falling back when the plan turns into race pace miles, which, for that race time, would be around 8:30 pace. My focus right now is still New York , for which my goal race pace is 8:45. I've been trying to stay conservative in the early miles of my long runs but have felt a little bit discouraged each time I've fallen so far behind the pack.

At the same time, I feel like I've come pretty far after dealing with the stress fracture less than three months ago. I actually have felt pretty good during and after my last few long runs and a PR in New York (even if only a 30-second PR) is finally starting to seem attainable. That said, I'm admittedly nervous about ekking out 20 miles next weekend, but I'm also anxious to tackle my first 50-mile peak week.

Now for some reviews of new finds that I'm loving:

Oiselle distance shorts

Of course I got them in black. Goes with everything. Also, that dude behind me just got chicked.
In my 3-plus years of long distance racing, these are definitely the best shorts I've tried out. Nike tempos fit well and are long enough, but fail on having just one key-size pocket. Lululemon's speed shorts are a little better with a bigger zip pocket, but they're a little too short for my liking and too freaking expensive (my one pair was a gift).

The Oiselle shorts are still a little steep at $39, but I say they're totally worth it. Like the Nike tempos, these are just long enough but also have two deep zipper pockets. I don't do fuel belts, so for once I might actually be able to carry my fuel, body glide and emergency cash on my person without having to carry some of it in my hands. I'm planning on wearing these during both the New York City and Houston Marathons. (P.S. For the longest time, I thought Oiselle was online-only. It's not! Go try them on.)

Photo and demonstration by New York runner friend Meggie .
Target C9 by Champion compression sports bras

Some of these are even reversible, yay.

It's been a hot and humid summer here in Houston (shocker), which means running outfits have consisted of shorts and sports bras and that's it. Target has a ton of inexpensive sports bras to choose from, but these are my go-tos because they are 0 percent cotton and thus, don't stretch out easily. Every time I spot it in a new color or pattern, I buy it. I might have a problem, but at least they're only $15? 

Vega Energizing Smoothies

Okay, I don't really love these, but a PR rep sent them to me, requesting a review. That was actually several months ago, and the first time that I tried a vanilla almond pack, I followed the instructions, combining the packet with water and stirring it up. It didn't blend very well, and my first impression was that they tasted terrible. I tucked the rest of the boxes into my pantry and forgot about them until a few weeks ago. When I decided to give them another shot, I combined the mixes with ice-cold almond or regular milk (even though the instructions say not to use dairy because these are supposed to be vegan) and mixing them in the blender. Much better. 

I thought the fruity ones still tasted kind of chalky and not sweet at all. The chocolate smoothie (shake?) isn't bad, though, and works as a sub-in for my favorite post-race fuel, chocolate milk. Since I received such a large stash of these, I've been using them as quick breakfasts and giving my $$$ Chobani habit a break. At the end of the day, though, I probably wouldn't buy these with my own money, since they're $20 a box. Yes, the smoothie mixes are plant-based, but I would still prefer to buy and blend fruit in its natural state.

Now, maybe someday I'll get around to trying the "EnergyBits" tablets I received last month... (The main ingredient is algae. They smell like fish food and I am scurred.)

What are some of your go-to workout clothes? And favorite "morning snack" if, like me, you're not into giant breakfasts every day?
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