Monday, March 9, 2009

What Feeds You?

I think the Garmin makes me faster. Being able to check my pace all the time makes me want to challenge myself. Today I had a PR - 6.3 miles in 52:30 (an 8.1 min/mile pace).

I've been reading a lot of blogs about what fuels people when they run. Makes me think I should keep a running journal just to see if there are any parallels on the days when I feel better and stronger.. I'm not talking just food and liquid intake, but also lifestyle issues such as:
  • how much sleep the night before?
  • what is my mood today?
  • any aches or pains?
  • what is the weather?
  • what did I have for dinner last night?
  • did I have alcohol last night?
  • what time of day did I run?
  • what did I have for breakfast?
  • what was the course like?
Considering these criteria, I'll look at today's run:
  • Slept very poorly last night. Slept 10-12, then restless and awake until 3 am. Then slept 3:00-7:00 a.m.
  • My mood was just so-so today. Tired from little sleep.
  • No aches or pains (at least something's going right on this list)
  • Weather was 45 degrees, dry, overcast. A chilly start, but I warmed up.
  • Dinner last night: we ate out at a brewery so I ate like crap - wings, ribs, biscuit, Cole slaw, sweet potato fries
  • Alcohol last night: 2 microbrews (Gordons IPA from Oskar Blues). Amazingly smooth and tasty beer, but also the reason that I slept poorly and woke up tired
  • I ran at 11:30 a.m.
  • I had 1/2 a banana and a blueberry cereal bar for breakfast
  • Course was flat. No hills. Not discouraging. Also, no wind.
There's not much redeeming about the above except that I had no aches or pains and the course was flat. Otherwise it seems I would have been set up for a lousy run. And it turned out to be decent: I had good energy and lots of motivation. I cannot make rhyme or reason of this. The only thing I know for sure is that the less in my stomach when I run, the better. By the end of this run, however, I was FAMISHED. Came home and wolfed down pasta and salad.

What are your common denominators for strong runs? Certain foods? Your mood? Good sleep?

Different subject: DWTS starts tonight. I have never watched this show, but with all the fanfare (I am a sheep) I'm going for it. I do like Shawn Johnson and used to be huge Go Gos fan, so Belinda C. should be fun. And I saw Chuck Wicks in concert a few months back (he opened for Brad Paisley) and while I'm not a huge fan, it'll be fun to see if the boy can dance.


  1. So you seem really thrilled with your Garmin, totally worth it? -e

  2. It's funny because some times all those factors point to a bad run, but you have just the opposite.. I can't ever really predict what will happen for me.

    Not a dancing with the stars viewer...but you are right there has been some crazy drama

  3. I find that the weather it is a big motivator...nothing better than running on a beautiful day. Sometimes bad moods help my runs...I take out my frustration on my run. :)

  4. The best motivator for me is another runner, just a bit better than me, that talks non-stop for the whole run without me saying a word!

    Now I've only had a friend like that once or twice in my life, but that completely gets you out of your head. And gets me my best time...

    Just a head fake... ya know.


  5. Great time, you are fast!! It must be the Garmin. Funny thing is mine doesn't help me like that.

    Interesting topic on the whole pre-run factors. I never had tracked my stats like that, but you bring some good suggestions on things to be aware of. Maybe you had such a good run because you had a good mix of "healthy" food and more indulgent stuff the night before. I believe you have to keep everything in moderation and not deprive yourself totally of any one thing.

  6. I agree that the Garmin can make you speed up - love having that instant feedback! (Except of course when it lies and tells me I'm not running as fast as I think I am.)

  7. I think food, sleep, mood all come into it... but sometimes they also have nothing to do with it :) sometimes a bad mood is my best fuel for a great run - just depends! great job on yours and YAY for garmin!

  8. I honestly still struggle with determining what makes a good run good. Sometimes, I blow myself away after a hard workout.

    What has never failed me is getting plenty of rest before a race and having a very short run the day before the race at a fast pace.

  9. This is probably not the best advice, but usually I run very well when I eat crap the night before. I think my body runs on fat. :)

    Ooh, DWTS...yes, I think I have to watch this season, if only because there are some intriguing people on the show.

  10. I've read lots of very happy posts abot the Garmin, and it sounds like a great apparatus! I'm making due with a simple sportswatch, and even that is quite complicated.

    Also I have found that if I get caught up in wanting to go faster and faster I lose myself in the process. I start forgetting why I started to run in the first place: for peace of mind.

    And I agree: childbirth is a lot like a marathon too!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    Running Mommy

  11. Hi! I actually live in San Diego. I'll be visiting a friend in Ft. Collins when I run the marathon. I've been there once, and I really liked it.

  12. I'm jealous of your Garmin!

    For me, it's sleep and eating properly. (none of which I am getting or doing right now!)

    Just found your blog, I'll be back! :)