Archive | October 2013

My Favorite Running Songs

Do you ever wonder what people are listening to while they run?


I often listen to the same songs over and over.  I’m trying to get better about changing it up, but certain songs have a purpose.   Did you know the song’s number of beats per minute can make you run either slower or faster?  You can read more in my post Running to the Beat.

I  made the decision to run with music for Saturday’s race.  I don’t depend on the music, but I do enjoy listening and singing to it (My kids have begged me not to sing out loud).

I put together this list of songs for my race this weekend.  I chose some songs that will help me start off slowly when I need to control my pace.  Note:  the first song is for pre race warm up.  It helps me put on my race face.

2013 race music 35k

I then chose some songs that will help me pick up the pace and help me with a few climbs.  I know the course and so I was able to estimate when I would hit certain sections.

Then there’s a handful of songs  to help me speed up a bit.

2013 race music 35k part 2

I repeated some of the songs for the last 30 mins or so of the race.  These are songs that I think will give me some extra energy to finish strong.

I do have to say, there is at least one song on this list that I don’t use for it’s lyrics, but rather the music.  Sometimes I make up my own lyrics.

Do you run with music?

Do you have a favorite song that helps you finish strong?


Update week 10…….Race Week!


Here is a glimpse at part of the race course…..Beautiful!

So here I am.  It’s race week.  I’m feeling excited and nervous, but ready to run!  Unfortunately, my lower back is still bothering me.  I’m off to physical therapy this week.  It’s amazing what physical therapy can do.  Until race day, I am going to try to rest my back.  I have 2 short runs on Monday and Wednesday and then the race on Saturday.

20131026_093303This is how I’ve been icing my back all week.  My kids already think I’m crazy, so my fancy ice belt didn’t surprise them.

I won’t be cross training this week.  However, with Halloween festivities, I’m sure I will keep myself busy.  In addition, I’ve just started a Facebook page for EDH RUNNER ( ).  If you haven’t already, stop by and check it out!   Hopefully, I’ll keep busy and won’t find myself feeling lazy or anxious in this last week of the taper phase.

Although I have extra energy that I want to use, I’ve learned that I should NOT take on any “special” physical projects.  In the past this has lead me to injury!  I’ve found that I need to keep any of those “out of the ordinary” physical projects for recovery weeks.  Wait until I show you what I’m planning!

Here is a look at my long runs over the last 10 weeks.  I was already 1/2 marathon trained and had been for a couple of months before I decided to increase my mileage.  I had just raced and finished a recovery week.  I then started my 10 week plan.  I always recommend having a good base before increasing mileage.  Us runners are notorious for wanting to run too much, too quickly.

2013 35k long runs

Active just published another good article about tapering:

I’m pretty sure the week will go by quickly.

How do you deal with extra energy during taper week?

Do you like taper week(s)?

Do you feel lazy?


I’ve been working on my mini goal of running the trails around Folsom Lake.  Yesterday, I finished another section.  I thought I would be able to complete this goal by the time I ran my race on 11/2, but I’m still missing a few sections.  On a good note, having this mini goal was really fun.  It gave me a reason to run new trails.  Without the mini goal, I may have just run the same trails over and over again.

My mini goal was created as an example of how to stay motivated.  You can read more about staying motivated on my post The Secret to Staying Motivated.

2013 Beals to Granite Bay (almost)

Completed sections are in purple.

2013 Folsom Lake map w painted completed sections

Wanna know about one of these trails?  Just send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer your question.

Making a Race Plan

Race day is in less than 2 weeks.  Now that the hard work is done, it’s time for me to start thinking about the details of race day and make a race plan.  Having a plan keeps me calm and helps me have a good race.  I Just have to remember, no matter how much I plan things, most likely I will deal with something that wasn’t in the “plan.”

Here’s my race plan for my first trail 35k:

Pre Race Breakfast – 1 egg, oatmeal with honey

garmin 310xt

Pace – I will start at a 10:00 min/mi pace.  It should be an easy effort.  I can slow down if I find it to be too fast. This is going to take a lot of focus for me. I hope to speed up the second half and finish with a negative split.

2013 hydration

Hydration and Fuel -Fortunately, the race website has all the information I need to make my decisions about food and water.

Aid Station                               Distance       Total Distance

Folsom Point to Browns Ravine          3.5      3.5

Browns Ravine to Planeta                   3.0       6.5

Planeta to NY Creek                            4.3       10.8  (turn around)

NY Creek to Planeta                           4.3       15.1

Planeta to Browns Ravine                  3.0       18.1

Browns Ravine to Folsom Point          3.5       21.6

Total Mileage 21.6

Hydration –  I’m still debating whether I will carry about 30 oz of water in my pack and stop once (at the turn around point) to refill my pack or if I will carry 50 oz of water and not stop to refill, but to drink at each station.  I’ll talk to a few of my friends who have run this distance and then I’ll make up my mind.

peanut butter sandwich

Nutrition –   I’ve been training with PB & honey sandwiches.  I will pack 2 halves and a quarter in my Spibelt and put a Larabar in my pack.  While refilling I can grab some of the sandwich pieces from the aid station.

Each half sandwich is about 200 calories.

I will start to eat about ½ hour into the race to make sure I don’t fall behind.

I will eat ¼ of a sandwich every 30 mins.

I will take 1 salt tablet every hour.

Additional details:

Wake Up Time:  __6;00am_____    (Sleep as late as you possibly can).

I lucked out on this race.  The starting line is about 15 minutes from my house.  I’m planning on sleeping to the last minute and then enjoy the short commute.  I will arrive an hour before start time.

Early Morning 30-minute run?   Yes / No  (Find safe location)

I’ll warm up for about 10 minutes before the race.  I won’t be going out fast since this is a 35k.

Check In / Registration Tasks?  Yes / No  (Get done early)

I registered on line and I’ll pick up my race bib that morning.

Dinner Reservations?   Yes / No  (Better to have a space at an early time if required.)

I’ll eat at home.  I typically do not eat out the night before a race since I have a sensitive tummy.  My pre-race dinner is to be determined.

Race Gear Laid Out?    Yes / No  (Want this done pre-sleep so you can wake & go.)

I will lay out all my gear including making my PB & honey sandwiches and filling my hydration pack.

I will charge my watch the night before.

I’ve decided to run with music.

2013 goals

My Goals:

I recently read in Runner’s World that it’s a good idea to set up a few different goals.

On a good day, I will go out slower than I am used to and I will finish my first 35k.  These are my main goals.

On a great day, I will finish in 3 hours 47 mins.(10.5 min/mi pace)

On an awesome day, I will finish in 3 hours 36 mins (10 min/mi pace)

2013 self talk

Words I will tell myself when it gets tough:

I’m well trained.

I can do this!

I’m going to do this!

Pain is temporary!

(Yep, I can sound like a broken record at times.  Hopefully I will feel strong and have a great race that I won’t need to use any encouraging words.)

Thanks to and Runner’s World for some of their ideas.  If you’d like to see Active’s race plan you can click on the link:

Do you make a race plan for each race?

Simple, Nutritious Dinner Idea

Every so often I get a break and only need to cook dinner for myself and 1 other family member.  Last night I was home with my daughter who happens to like many of the same foods as I do.  I knew it wasn’t going to be a problem to serve eggs for dinner.  Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite dinners.  Not only is it a break from the regular meals we have, but I really like eggs at any time of the day!

To make it seem more like a dinner, I sauteed mushrooms and spinach.  If I had thought about it, I would have added a bit of onions to the mix.  I cooked the eggs and lightly coated them with organic cheddar cheese (no coloring added).  I topped the eggs with my mushrooms and spinach.


You can see that I also had some carrots, avocado and hummus.  And, there are some pomegranate seeds there too that I tossed into my salad (not shown in pic).  We also had a 1/2 bagel with cream cheese.

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite ways to get in a good simple, nutritious dinner.

Note:  I meant to add some chicken for more protein, but I forgot to.

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner?

What’s your favorite way to prepare eggs?

Update………week 9

I am starting my second week of taper and feeling ready for my race, even though I still have about 2 weeks until race day.  My legs feel great and I am feeling well trained which makes me feel mentally prepared.  I do have one tiny little issue.  My lower back has been giving me trouble.  It didn’t prevent me from running yesterday, but I definitely have a dull pain that I really wish would go away.

The pain started last week.  I think I must have strained it on my 20 mile run.  I had a massage to try to resolve the problem.  It felt better, but the pain was not completely gone.  Then I mowed the lawn with a neighbor’s lawn mower because our battery died mid way through the job.  The neighbor’s mower was much heavier than ours.  I think that was the last straw!  After that, my back was not happy.

I’ve iced my back, used heat, stretched it, rested it, and taken ibuprofen.  It feels better today than yesterday and it felt better yesterday than the day before.  Unfortunately, it still hurts.  All I can do is hope it gets better, and soon!  It’s hard to stay horizontal when there’s so much to do.

This week I still have 3 runs and 2 rides to complete.  I’ll give myself a rest day today and see how my back feels.  I’ve done all the hard work for race day by now.  So, if I miss a workout or two, it won’t be the end of the world.  I’ll be good and listen to my body (this listening to my body is a concept that took me years to learn).

2 weeks to RACE DAY!!!!!

Mini goal update:

I’ve almost completed my mini goal of running around Folsom Lake.  The purple lines are where I have run.

Yesterday I ran a new trail.  I ran from Sterling Pointe up past Rattlesnake Bar.  Rattlesnake Bar is my ending point on this side of the lake.

2013 Folsom Lake map w painted completed sections

After enjoying the trail yesterday, I’d like to continue on this trail up to Auburn.  I’ll wait to do that until after I’ve completed my mini goal of running around the lake.  The trail was nicely shaded for most of it.  There were some flat areas along with some hills.  All in all, it was an easy to follow trail with great views!  And, it’s part of the AR50 trail, so I’m loving the fact that I can preview and become familiar with the trail for the future.

Update…..Week 8………How I taper

It’s time to taper!  I’m in week 8 of my 10 week plan and I couldn’t be more excited.  My legs have been working hard.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt them burn a few times which is when they are becoming stronger, getting used to new distances.  And, the hills in the area have definitely helped me become stronger. My legs feel good and are now ready for a rest.  A few weeks back, I wasn’t sure I was ready to run a 35k, but I kept training, putting in the hard work and hoping for the best.  I made it to the taper phase.

By tapering, I allow my body the chance to rest and recovery which will make me feel refreshed and strong for race day.  I want to the benefits of tapering, but sometimes I have a hard time with tapering.  I get used to a certain amount of mileage/workouts each week, and I crave them.  I admit, there are times when I tend to feel a bit antsy during the taper phase. 

I saw this shirt……..Apparently I’m not the only one that gets antsy during the taper phase.

2013 tapering

My taper phase will last 3 weeks.  During this time, I will still continue to train; however, my mileage will be reduced.  In addition, to these running miles, I also cycle to cross train twice a week.  My cycling miles will also be reduced.

Last Build week – 33 miles

Taper week 1 – 25 miles

Taper week 2 – 18 miles

Taper week 3 – 8 miles + RACE!!!

In addition to reducing my mileage and trying to relax, I also need to finalize my plan for fuel/hydration and for my race pace.

My fuel and hydration plan will come from what I’ve learned during my most recent long runs.  This is where I practiced what I thought would work for race day.  in fact, I’ve learned so much over the last 6 weeks!  I won’t try anything new on race day.  I will also take into consideration what will be offered at the aid stations since this will be the first race that I may actually stop and grab something to go.

My race pace will be based on what I was running for my long runs.  I will be able to speed it up a little bit.  Since this is a new distance for me, I will start with a pace that is really comfortable.  For me, the challenge will be at the beginning of the race.  Since I’m used to shorter races where I’m able to go out fast, I know that I need to hold back .  With a long race, if I go out too fast, I will run out of energy before the end of the race.

I have a few weeks to finalize my plan.  I’ll keep you posted.

If you want to read more about tapering, here is a good article to check out:

Do you taper?

Update Week 7 (Old Salmon Falls Bridge and Aqueduct)

This week is week 7 of my 10 week training plan.  Seven weeks ago, I decided that I was going to train for my first 35k (~22 miles) run.  I was already half marathon trained and had been for a few months.  I was ready to increase my mileage on the trails and challenge myself.

This is my last build week and I will end the week with a 20 mile trail run.  I figure if I can run 20 miles, then I can run 22 miles on race day!  Next week I will begin the taper phase which will last 3 weeks.  The weeks have gone by quickly and I am pleased with my progress.

Mini goal update:

A few weeks ago I decided I would also set a mini goal to help keep things fun while working on my main goal of building my endurance for the 35k race.  As my mini goal, I wanted to run the trails that encircle Folsom Lake.

Last week I completed more of the trails.  I ran from Sterling Pointe to Granite Bay.

I enjoyed running Sterling Pointe to Granite Bay and back since I hadn’t ever run the trails in this area.  I also learned that it is part of the AR50 course.  Let me tell you, this was eye opening for me.  I found it to be challenging with all the rocks and the steps.  I always enjoy learning local race courses.

2013 Sterling Pointe Trail

I also ran part of the Darrington Trail (aka Salmon Falls Trail).

2013 Darrington Trail

On this run we were in search of a bridge that is completely covered by water during times of the year. (yes, I wrote about this last week).


Old Salmon Falls Bridge

In addition to running new trails, I also found myself learning some history.  If you’d like to read more about it you can at this link:

And, here is another run where I completed more of the Darrington Trail.

2013 more of Darrington Trail

This time I was in search of an aqueduct that is normally under water.  We found it!


Another historical bridge/aqueduct that is now visible due to low water levels

Here is a map of the trails that I have run around Folsom Lake so far.  I marked the completed sections in purple.

2013 Folsom Lake map w painted completed sectionsI’m definitely making progress.