Friday, May 27, 2011

My First Guest Blogger! Jess @ Blonde Ponytail!

I have been wanting a guest blogger for a while and asked Jess @ Blonde Ponytail if she would do it. She was very excited to help out and answered some questions for me.Check her out!

Thank you Ann for allowing me to do a guest post on your blog!! 

1.      Why did you start running? What kept you in it?

I played softball in college at Stanford University, so running/conditioning focused on power and speed; primarily anaerobic training.  The bases are only 60 feet apart; you don’t need stamina for that, right?  

Now I can run 138,336 feet!

Following college, I would run 3-4 miles regularly during the week simply to keep my muffin top from over-flowing, but I never really got into more than that. Honestly, I thought distance runners were “a different breed”.  Now, I am one!  And, you know what?  We are!

Then, I met a new friend, Harmony, who encouraged me to run this 100k relay in April 2010.  I loved it!  My leg was 7.7 miles which was long to me.  Following the race, she encouraged me to sign up for the Portland Marathon in October 2010.  It was rated a one of the best races for new runners. 

What? A marathon?!  Ummm, okay.  Ignorance is bliss, right?  I trained all summer and in October, I raced my very first race:  The Portland Marathon. 

Now, running is a rewarding challenge.  I like testing my limits, learning and improving.  You know the best part?  The running community rocks!  The support and connections keep me lacing up my shoes. 


2. What do you use to pick a race? Location, distance, swag?

I have only run 3 races thus far, so I am a “noobie” (new racer).  Presently, location makes a big difference when selecting a race because it’s cheaper.  I have run the Portland Marathon (October 2010) and the Windermere Marathon in Spokane, WA (May 2011), both within driving distance from Pullman, WA.

However, in January 2011, my husband and I ran our first half marathon in Boulder City, NV (just outside Vegas).  This is an inexpensive destination race, and we are going back in December for the RnR Vegas Half Marathon!

3. What is your pre race ritual?

Going into the Portland Marathon I had zero rituals established.  Now, I have a better plan.  I use every long run as a dress rehearsal for the big day.  This includes dinner the night before, clothing, pre-run fuel, hydration, and running fuel.  I want my body to be ready.

Gear:  Before a race, I lay out EVERYTHING I will need.  I always pin my bib on my shirt making sure the placement is just right! Gotta look good for pics. J And, I stalk to see if I need a visor to keep rain out of my eyes, whether to bring throw-away clothing, or lube up extra Body Glide to prevent chub-rub chaffing. 

Nutrition:  I will amp up my hydration the week of marathon, adding some Nuun or other electrolytes as needed. 3-4 days before the race, I eliminate all dairy, and gradually reduce my fiber intake.   I try to eat an early dinner (4-5 p.m.) the night before, so the food has a chance to get through me.   Chicken and brown rice works well as I have been following a GF diet of late.

Race day:  I get up early and chug water, visiting the toilet as many times as possible.  Then, I eat my PB on toast with a banana 1.5-2 hours before race start.  I know some runners even GU before racing, but I have yet to try that.  I haven’t developed a warm-up pre-marathon, but for my half I jogged a bit.  I don’t like to get to the start line too early.

Note of caution:  if any of you read my Windermere Marathon Race Report, you saw that sometimes things don’t go your way on race day no matter how well prepared you are. Live and Learn!

4. What are some of your favorite running a

·         I am dependent on my Garmin 306 and have the display set to pace, overall pace, distance and time.
·         My 26.2 shirt, shorts and socks are comfortable AND functional.  Now, that the weather is nicer, I can wear them more!

·         Post run I NEED my Recovery (Compression) Socks!  (Pssst! You can save 15% off a pair using code “ja100dw”)
·         I use a 2-bottle Nathan Hydration belt for long runs. There is a pouch for fuel too.
·         I love keeping my blonde fly-a-ways at bay with a BIC Band!
·         Nike shoes have worked for me and recently I have run in the ultra-light Frees!