I'm Talking to YOU!

Yes, you!  I have some amazing "followers"  (though I admittedly don't really care for that word and would love suggestions on something fun to call it).  I am always encouraged by the comments I get on posts, and it definitely helps to have some accountability in my running.  Thank you!

I wanted to respond to a few recent comments:

"I'd like to see you post about how much gu, gunk, and beans you know you need to eat with each run." -Julie

Most of the GUs or sports gels suggest taking one every 45 minutes.  But if my run if 7 miles or under, I usually don't bother.  On longer runs, I typically eat every 4 or 5 miles.  Some people prefer things like the jelly beans or chomps or shot bloks because you can take just one at a time and eat them every 15 minutes or so.  The most important thing is that you test your body.  Some people can't stomach GU at all.  Do what works for you.  I've seen runners eat gummy bears, hard candies, bagels, and even peanut butter & jelly sandwiches while they run.  Do not do anything new or different on race day.  And for the record, I was clueless about fueling prior to my first half marathon.  I ate nothing at all the entire run.  I remember feeling so hungry.

"My new favorite thing for winter are arm warmers. That way I'm not too hot in a long sleeve but still warm when the weather is cold. Happy Running :)"  -Karen R
I saw these for the first time about a year ago (the Moeben ones), and I had been itching to own a pair.  I think it would be perfect for the marathon since it'll likely be chilly at the start and warm by time I finish.  Thanks for reminding me!!!
"Absolutely beautiful! I'm a follower... trying to think of what I would want you to post about... Your favorite running spot and distance? " -Meredith ´╗┐
´╗┐Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  White Rock Lake in Dallas.  Distance - 1 loop - 9 miles.
"Would love to learn more about how you changed your training for a full marathon vs. half marathon." -Ever Strong
Honestly, it is just flat out more miles.  Runs that used to be my long runs are now my mid-week runs.  I also am a lot less lenient on myself.  I feel like I could push through a half marathon at any point, though it might be painful if I've been slacking on my workouts... but I feel like I just can't slack here.  I want my body to be fully prepared.  (On a side note, I'm stuck home with a sick kid today and missing a workout and very unhappy about it.)  I should be doing speedwork, but I'll admit that I don't - I hope to focus on that next year.  The only other thing is that each Saturday long run is treated like a race day in terms of preparation (NOT in terms of pace).  I pay attention to my hydration, lower my fats, up my carbs, and try to up my sleep.  A marathon is a real commitment, timewise.  I knew it would be, but living it is a little different.  I cannot wait to cross that finish line, though!
"I am signed up for the Dallas Rock N' Roll half marathon, which will be my first. I might join you for the White Rock.....but half that is. ;) "  -texassizeslim
Well, come on... but hurry up.  The half marathon for White Rock is 97% full!!!  Would love to meet up to say hi, if you do come... otherwise, I'll see you in March!
"You mentioned something a while back about not losing weight even though you're training more now than ever.  Do you want to lose more weight?  You seriously look great, and it doesn't look like you have anything to lose!"  -Christina
Thank you Christina.  You rock!  I would actually love to lose another 15-20 lbs.  I think it would help with my speed, and I think there are a lot of shortfalls in my diet (SUGAR).  I'm pretty tall, 5'11", so even if I did lose another 15 lbs, I'd still be an Athena by most race standards.
"I'd love to read about recovery after a race and tapering before it.  My weaknesses." -Cora
Unfortunately, I won't be much help on this one.  I don't taper before half marathons... in fact, I find my body works better the more consistent my running has been.  I won't be able to follow this plan for my marathon, and I'm scared crazy about the taper doubt!  As for recovery... again, I'm little help.  I'm not injury prone (knock on virtual wood).  My compression socks have made a world of difference in my calf recovery (which used to be my most sore area).  (Use code BLOG15 to get 15% off your compression socks at sportscompression.com ).  After a race, I usually eat and relax first (with my feet up).  I ice any particularly sore spots.  Then I shower and try to take it easy the rest of the day.  If I run the next day, I keep the mileage low and the pace slow.  I do not run at all the next day if I'm still feeling a lot of aches and having trouble going up the stairs.   Generally, the old adage - listen to your body.  I suspect marathon recovery will be a lot different.  A LOT. 
"I would like to see you write about chafing. :) " -Stephanie
I think that topic deserves it's own blog post, don't you?  Expect it soon!
"Well yay, another Texas runner! I just found (and followed) you - and would love to hear more about running in the lovely Texas heat and humidity and how you deal with it." -Shelley

Unfortunately there's no magic formula, and the Texas summer is brutal.  I spend a lot of hours on treadmills.  When I run outside, I never leave without a water bottle, I make sure it's as early as possible, and I don't push the outdoor miles too much.  I did race this past summer - Too Hot To Handle 15K and the Hottest Half (click the links to read my reviews).  Honestly, they were both miserable.  My body does not deal well with the heat.  I did write a post that has some tips on dealing with heat HERE.  My main tip is never ever run a race in the heat without carrying your own water. 
and slightly off-topic from running, but I'll still answer it... ;-)

"Do you have an online store where I can browse your goods?" -Christina

Yes, I do... http://www.beadgeniecreations.com/ but I don't typically make necklaces like the one in the giveaway unless it's a custom order.  I mostly specialize in chainmaille.  I do art shows, typically in the fall and spring, although I dropped all my fall shows except one this year in order to train for this marathon!

Lastly, a huge shout-out to Sarah at skinnyrunner.com for featuring me yesterday.  Her blog is one of my must reads, and she is outrageously funny (and pretty speedy too).