Archive | September 2013

My 5 Favorite Snacks

I’ve always been one to eat a snack between meals, but when I’m training hard, my snacks become even more important.  I’m constantly thinking about how I’m going to fuel my body.  I try to get as much protein and carbohydrates as I can with healthy choices.  I try to keep everything organic and if anything comes out of a package, I try to make sure there are very few ingredients.

Snacks have become an important part of my food intake since I eat about 3 snacks a day.  If I am expecting my body to perform well while running, then I need to give it the proper fuel.

The choices are endless, but here are 5 of my favorite, always on hand, healthy snacks:

 Homemade Granola (berries on top are a plus!) The recipe can be found here:


An organic cheese with a piece of fruit



 Apple slices  or a banana and peanut butter

20130925_133305 Almonds and walnuts with any type of berry
20130925_133351 Larabar (peanut butter cookie)


Do you want more ideas?  Lisa from 100 days of Real Food ( ) has compiled a list of 85 healthy snacks.  Now you don’t have any reasons not to find a healthy snack to fuel your body!

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

How many snacks a day do you eat?


I’m in week 5 of my 10 week training plan.  That’s half way through!  My weekly mileage is increasing and it’s a good feeling to know that my body (especially my hip) is cooperating.  Trail running continues to be fun and adventurous.  This past weekend, there was a bear in the area where we were running.  Yep, a bear!  Fortunately, we missed the bear sighting and only heard about it from the group of mountain bikers that passed us around mile 4.  We did see evidence of the bear on the trail.

My legs are definitely becoming stronger from the long runs as I have never run this far on the trails.  I’m still amazed at how challenging trail running is.  I hope that with more experience, the trails will become easier.  I’m also experimenting with my nutrition and with the help of several people have made a break through.

Looking ahead at my training plan, I notice that I only have 2 more runs that are longer than this past run.  I will run 18 miles this Saturday and then 20 miles in 2 weeks.  After that, I will begin my taper and my long run mileage will start to decrease to give my legs the time to rest and recover.

In addition to my main goal’s update, I’d like to update my mini goal.

The other day, I ran 7 miles for my tempo run and completed another portion (~3.5 miles) of the trail system that goes around Folsom lake.  Not only was this mileage part of my training plan for my race in November, but it also helps me with my mini goal of running around the lake.  Want to read more about my goal and mini goal?  You can visit my previous post, The Secret to Staying Motivated!2013 folsom lake Brown's Ravine past Sophia over levy

While the kids were doing homework, I decided I would create a summary of where I have run since staring my training for the 35k.  The purple line shows where I have run.  I will update again once I have covered more of the trail.

2013 Folsom Lake map w painted completed sections

I’m definitely making progress.  It will still take several more weeks to complete this mini goal since I don’t always run on the trails around the lake.  There are so many trails to choose from, lucky me!

Pre Run Breakfast

On a daily basis, I eat about 2 hours before I run.  With my schedule, it just works out that way.  However, on a long, weekend run, I usually eat 1.5 hours before I run because I like sleep more than food.  On race days, I do get up early enough to eat 2 hours before running.

During the summer, I am often forced to run early in the morning when I’m literally rolling out of bed, throwing on my run clothes and heading out the door.  On these early, low mileage runs (~6 miles), I don’t eat before I head out the door.  Or, if I wake up really hungry, I eat a banana and hit the trail.  However, this is not ideal.  It just happens it’s the only way I can fit in my run.  There is absolutely no way I could do this for a long run (over 10 miles).

So, what do I eat for breakfast?


I start with a bowl of organic, gluten free oats with 1 tablespoon of organic honey.


I then cook an egg (thanks to our hens) and I eat some berries (I ate the raspberries before I remembered to take the pic).

This is the breakfast that fuels me for my lighter workouts.  I have to confess that I also have a cup of English Breakfast Tea with a splash of half and half.


On my long run days, I also eat a banana.

Recently, I read someone’s blog and they added a tablespoon of peanut butter to their oatmeal.  That sounds yummy!  I think I’ll try that tomorrow.


I’ve always been told there are 2 types of eaters in life.  There is the person who eats to live and then the person who lives to eat.  Based on this post alone, I bet you can guess which type of eater I am.

I probably need to switch things up a bit every so often.  I’d love some ideas!

What type of eater are you?

Do you eat before you run?

What is your favorite pre run breakfast?

This entry was posted on September 20, 2013. 3 Comments

The Secret to Staying Motivated!

There are several ways to keep motivated and keep running fun.  Joining a running group can help you make running more of a social outing than exercise.  I’ve also found that I can meet people who run the same pace.  I don’t run with the group all the time, but I definitely enjoy running with other people on a long run.

Another way to keep motivated is to choose a goal.  In general, working towards a goal will help keep you focused and motivated. There is usually a training plan that goes along with the goal.  It’s helpful to be able to check off each workout and see progress.  Building strength and endurance will help boost your confidence.  Each week is another step closer to that goal.  However, make sure the goal is realistic and has a relatively short time frame.  If it’s a long term goal, then include mini goals along the way.

Recently, I set my goal of running a 35k in early November.  This is a distance I haven’t run on the trails yet and is challenging to me!  This goal is one I am going to complete in 10 weeks since I was already well trained for the half marathon distance.

A third way to keep motivated it to get out and explore new areas.  I’d like to start by saying that I feel so fortunate to live in an area with miles and miles of trails to explore (I know, I’ve said it before!).  Although there are plenty to choose from, I tend to run on the same trails.  Naturally, these trails are the closest ones to home.

While looking for some information on one of the trails, I came across a map of Folsom Lake with all the trails marked on it.  While looking at the map, a light bulb went off!

Wouldn’t it be fun to run around the lake?!  Of course, I can’t run that far in one day.  But, as I train for my 35k, I will run different sections of the trail. My mini goal was set!
2013 folsom lake map for blog

If you’re not familiar with the trails around the lake, I’ll point out that there are 2 places where the trail ends.  At one point, I’ll have to run on cement in between the trails.  However, the other place the trail ends and there’s no way to cross the water other than swim or in boat.  So, instead of running a complete circle around the lake, I will run more of an U.  I’m still researching exactly how many miles I will run (hmmmm????).

As of today, I have run 3 sections of the trail, some of it overlapping.  I’ve covered just about 12 miles around the lake.  Unfortunately, since my runs are out and back runs, it will take a little longer to cover all the trails. Perhaps a point to point run is in the near future.  Either way, it’s just the beginning, but I’m determined to finish.

2013 folsom lake section 4

2013 folsom lake section 2

2013 folsom lake section 3

Do you lose motivation to run?

Have you set a new goal recently?

Have you ever run or biked around Folsom Lake or another large lake?

Will I Bonk?

As my mileage is increasing on the trails, I notice that I am having a hard time after mile 11-12.   In fact, I’d say that I’ve “bonked” a few times.  During one run, I felt my calves cramp and there are at least 2 other times I felt completely drained before the run was over.  Why is this happening?

I started reviewing my recent activities.  I know I’m not increasing my mileage too quickly.  I also have experience running this far on the road without bonking.  But, I have to remind myself that road running is primarily flat and quicker where there are lots of hills in trail running.  If I compare how long it takes to cover the same mileage, I’m definitely out on the trail much longer than on the road.   I decided it isn’t my training or the mileage, it must be something else.

The second thing that I think about is my nutrition.  I was told was that the gels I use don’t have enough electrolytes in them for long distance running.  In addition, several people told me to try salt tablets in general for long distances.  I was reluctant at first, but after these last “bonks,” I decided I needed to try them.


our bunny liked the packaging!

This past Saturday, I went out for a 16 mile trail run.  It had several rollers, but nothing real steep.  I was hopeful that I had planned my nutrition correctly.

2013 elevation SAT run

I packed 4 gels and ended up using all of them.  I had just under 50 oz of water and drank all of it and could have used more. (It was in the 90’s by the time I finished running.)  And, I brought along 3 Salt Stick tablets.  The package suggests using 1 every 30-60 minutes.  I decided I would use one every hour since I have never used them before.

By the end of the run, I was tired.  It was a good run, but challenging since it was the longest trail run I have completed.  And, I’m happy to say that I didn’t bonk.  I still feel like I need something more.  Perhaps I need to eat some real food out on the trail.  Perhaps a PB&J would help.   And, in general, I think I need to increase my daily carb intake.  Fortunately, I have several more long runs where I can experiment.

Do you run trail ultras?

Have you ever bonked?

What do you use to fuel?