Sunday, September 25, 2011

Marathon Training: Most Loved List

This season of marathon training has been highly educational for me. Even as someone who has worked 7 years in Running Specialty Retail- there is nothing like first hand experience!
So here are a few of the things I love the most.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 is the best shoe for me. Bar none. I love these things!
I've had at least 15 pairs of Adrenalines over the years, and I can only remember one version of it that hasn't been great for me.
Love love love them.

You can snag a pair at Boulder Running Company. If you over pronate moderately like I do, that is.

I have been quite blessed to be able to "test run" a Nike SportWatch GPS unit. I love it!

This little friend is accurate, intuitive, simple, and easy to use. I have found it incredibly helpful to be able to see my pace, average pace, times, and accurate distances. Before this I was driving my routes and estimating un-drivable ones by my typical average pace. Archaic, right? At least thats how it feels now. It will be hard to give the watch back! Heck, it even throws a little digital party for me when I break a personal record. With the words, "High Five" and everything. Love it.

I've learned that a hydration pack to carry water is completely necessary. Particularly for someone like me who over heats easily. I've carried mine on any run over 10 miles or so. Mine is the Nathan Speed 4 R Hydration Belt. It rocks.

I can carry a few gels, my car keys, my cell phone, and my ipod all in the back pocket. (Though all of those items are not usually with me at the same time!) I've been experimenting with my water-to-hydration drink ratio all summer, and so far 3 bottles of water to one bottle of hydration drink is my best formula. Particularly with 2 gels, 1/2 every 45 minutes. It feels heavy at first, but once you get going it becomes less noticeable. I can get the velcro quite tight across my hips which minimizes bounce.

Speaking of Gels, I've tried lots. So far, chocolate GU is my favorite. Its sweet and has caffeine, which works for me.

Luckily for me, I'm also a fan of PowerGels. I hear this is the brand that will be handed out at the aid stations along the course of the New York City Marathon. My favorite flavor so far is Kona Punch. Least favorite is Chocolate, incidentally. I found it to be bitter and odd tasting. Couldn't even finish it! PowerGel is much runnier, which I like. I think its easier to take that way, mid run. I've also tried ClifShot and HammerGel. HammerGel is my least favorite. It has the least amount of sugar, which could be seen as an advantage, but I just did not love it.

For my training schedule, I chose one of Hal Higdon's plans. So far, its been a good fit for me. With 6 weeks to go, I only have one very long run left. This past Friday was 19 miles. 19 miles seemed like a totally unachievable, completely impossible distance for me 3 months ago. Though it was tough, it is so good to be able to say I can run that far. I think that is the most rewarding part of all this...making the impossible happen.

And just because I can't resist, I thought I'd give up my secret weapon:




P.S. Another big thanks goes out to you lovely people who have sponsored miles! So far, the last five of my race miles are sponsored, which is AMAZING. Would you help me get all 26? You can sponsor a mile by clicking the PayPal donate button at the top right.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today's Inspiration Need: Answered

I'm needing some inspiration for new work. These artists never fail me. 

Marco Suarez. Source

Pieter Hugo. Source

David Maisel. Source

Valerie Roybal. Source

Cy Twombly. Source

Sally Mann. Source

Kid Grandios. Source

I ordered some inks today from Inkodye- I can't wait to get my hands on them. Now if I can only find enough hours in the week...



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Where we've been..


Jeremy turned 30 at the beginning of August. I decided last October to start saving to take him somewhere great for his milestone birthday, to go skydiving - something he has been wanting to do for a long time. So thanks to airline miles, secret saving, budgets and low cost accommodation, we went to Aruba!

One of us went skydiving...

Both of us went exploring...

To the ruins of a gold smelting factory, and to the natural bridge that collapsed 6 years ago.

We dodged the local wildlife...

...and ventured out to the natural pool, only accessible by 4x4 -

and then to Dos Playa, possibly the eeriest beach in all the world.

We visited some old caves (complete with bats)

and relaxed in the peaceful garden of our home away from home, Paradera Park (thank you Trip Advisor)

there were delicious dinners out (and, in too, thanks to our trusty toaster oven)

We even had one dinner on the beach. It was a bucket list check-off for me.

The restaurant is called Barefoot. The place was beautiful, and the view even better. 

most of the time, we just relaxed here:

It was amazing, and I am so, so grateful to have been able to go. 
These kinds of memories aren't made all the time. Life is not always blissful and easy, and I know just how rare and beautiful this opportunity was for us. The timing of this trip turned out to be beyond perfect. I'm so grateful to God for Aruba.




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