Dallas bodies have to re-learn how to run in the heat

Dallas temperature

Dallas’ temperature right now …

I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, except for a four-year span in the Philippines as a small child. So I haven’t run in many other places except Texas. When traveling, I do so much walking and hiking that I always feel fine taking a break from whatever running routine I’m on.

That means I really only know what it’s like to take a summer run while having to take purposeful precautions and dialing down performance expectations. That’s just the way it is here.

But Dallas isn’t hot year-round, so our bodies have to reacclimatize each summer. After so many years of having to do so, we Dallas runners know what we have to do, even if our bodies have forgotten and need time to catch up.

The accessories of a summer run

San Francisco temperature

… compared with San Fransisco’s temperature …

Unless you’re running where you know there will be water fountains and, if you’re lucky, water misters, you have to carry hydration. Maybe not for a run of, say, 2 miles or less. But even if you run in the early morning or late-at-night hours, and especially if you run in the middle of the day, you’re suicidal if you don’t haul water.

My current water bottle is the Nathan QuickDraw Plus Insulated hydrator. It keeps fluid colder longer, and it’s the best handheld I’ve ever had. The attached zippered pocket is roomy, too; enough room for a house key, credit card, energy gel and, if you don’t like carrying your phone, an iPhone (take off the bulky OtterBox, though). I fill up that bad boy with ice and water for sipping and — this is important — drizzling over my head and face along the way.

If I’m doing a longer run in the heat — for me, “longer” means anything over 5ish miles — my hydration plan needs either a Plan B or Part B, because I’m going to run out of water before the run is done.

New York City temperature

… compared with New York City’s …

Part B is:
• pausing my RunKeeper
• popping into a gas station
• filling up my handheld with ice at the fountain drink station
• stinking up the place as I wait in line to pay for a Gatorade G2, Vitaminwater Zero or a plain bottle of water
• standing outside next to the trashcan as I pour what will fit into my handheld and quickly drink the rest
• endure stares from gas-pumpers who apparently have never seen a sweaty runner at a gas station before
• restart my RunKeeper and start back out on my run.

It’s a huge break from running that my body isn’t supposed to get, but what do you do.

Plan B is to strap on my Camelbak instead of taking my handheld. It’s the same Camelbak I’ve had for years and works great. It holds lots and lots of fluid. But hauling that much weight is a commitment and a total bog-down. And if the run is going to be especially long and it’s going to be especially hot out, I’ll want the ability to drizzle water over my head. Can’t do that with the Camelback. So I end up taking the Camelbak and the handheld. Plan B is cumbersome, but it’s the best option if I think my route won’t produce a gas station at a point when I’d need it.

The “when” dilemma

Salt Lake City, Utah temperature

… compared with Salt Lake City’s …

Most Dallas runners I know do their summer runs (most of their runs, actually) in the early morning, before work and sometimes even before that mean ol’ sun comes up. So for perky, motivated types, “when” isn’t a dilemma.

I’m not one of those types, and from the number of runners I see out in the evenings, maybe plenty of other Dallasites aren’t, either. We would rather endure a day that’s been baking for six hours and catch the sun as it’s going down. But on long-run days that collide with busy work days, this can pose a problem.

I’ll tell myself, Hey Christy; you have an 8-miler this evening. Make sure you get off of work in time so you’re not running in the dark. But then my workday LOLs at me and I get off at 7, still need to drive back home to change, then try to outrun the sun.

If it’s on an evening when my husband is at work, I’ll run to his workplace (6.5 miles away, but I can stretch out the mileage by curving my route outward however far I need) and catch a ride back.

The other evening when I ran to Brian’s work, I was hit with all the factors of my typical summer-running “when” dilemma. I got such a late start on my 8-mile run, and I knew he got off work at 9:15 p.m. So not only was I trying not to run in sketchy areas at pitch-night, I was trying to make sure he didn’t have to wait on me in his workplace parking lot any later than he had to.

Birmingham, Alabama temperature

… compared with Birmingham, Alabama’s …

I was feeling guilty (even though my husband always really supportive), so I ran way faster than I normally would for that distance and it was hotter and more humid than a son of a gun and I was hyper-focusing on what streets I was turning on after the sun went down.

I committed the act of texting-while-running to let him know I’d be a bit late. I gunned it. Experience had taught me better than hauling rear in the heat, but I told myself that approaching darkness is always good on a run. Running faster is good, right? Plus, I had cut short other longish runs in the past few weeks because of one excuse or another, and I wasn’t going to do that this time.

I made it in decent time, Brian drove me home, I showered, and we cooked spelt spaghetti.

While we finished cooking, a wave of weakness and sickness struck me in the kitchen. I felt nauseated. A little confused.

Carson City, Nevada, temperature

… even compared with Carson City, Nevada’s. See? It’s hot here.

I shoved some spelt pretzels in my mouth (it was a spelt kind of night), thinking that my body just needed something now. It helped, but the weakness and wooziness didn’t subside for hours.

I knew I had done my day all wrong: a) long run b) on a hot night c) while trying to gun it faster than was smart d) after a day of not eating very smartly. For the rest of the evening I dealt with what I’m pretty sure was some sort of delayed onset heat exhaustion.

The morning hours are more forgiving. But I hate mornings. So I run in the hotter evenings. But that leaves me with smaller margins of error on safety and health.

These summer-in-Dallas curveballs are not a surprise every year. But Dallas is where I live, so I just try to catch those hot pitches the best I can.

Who supports you? That’s your running team

Back in 2000 I watched the movie The Contender, about a female senator being blocked from the vice presidency because of personal attacks based on potential sexual indiscretions in college. The Oscar-nominated performances of Joan Allen as Sen. Laine Billings Hanson and Jeff Bridges as President Jackson Evans were great. But it was a scene at the end, during a stirring speech by President Evans, that made me realize what kind of husband I wanted to have one day. Not President Evans, but a lesser character: Sen. Hanson’s husband.

The Contender with Joan Allen, with support from her husbandThe speech scene is interspersed with frames of Sen. Hanson on a run in a cemetery with a car slowly driving alongside her. Her husband is using the car to help her keep pace. During her run, she’s listening to the president’s powerful speech, which he’s delivering to Congress lauding her character, her choices, and her service to the country. Her husband had rolled down the window of the car so she could listen to the speech on the radio while she ran.

My husband and support, Brian

Brian, on a roadtrip to Fredericksburg, Texas, earlier this year

I thought to myself, What a man. One day, I want a husband like that.

Fast-forward several years later, while dating my now-husband, Brian. I hounded him incessantly to run with me. Not just run with me, but to transform into the exact kind of runner I was. He’d go on runs with me occasionally, yes, but I wanted him to like it, crave it. Like I did.

It took me a few years, but I finally realized that my need was borderline co-dependent, so I began focusing on me as an individual runner instead of trying to force us to be some intense version of a couple who runs together: attached at the hip during our first marathon, traveling to races together, sharing dirty, trail-y running adventures.

By letting go of that vision for us, I was able to realize I had the kind of husband I whispered to myself about back in 2000:

My husband and support, Brian

Brian, in the gym

    • I hate out-and-backs. For instance, I’m about to take off from my apartment in North Oak Cliff for a 10-mile run in a few minutes. I am literally able to take off in any direction and Brian will drive to wherever I land to pick me up when I call. As he drives me home, he’ll ask me what I saw on my run. Ask me how it went, if I had to stop, how many times and where. He’ll ask if I remembered to stop my RunKeeper.
    • When he knows I’m headed out on a run, he’ll make my water bottle for me. He’ll ask if he should tuck energy chews or a Nuun tablet in the bottle’s zipper pouch for this particular run.
    • When I’m disappointed at the number of runs I’ve skipped or cut short lately, he tells me how strong I am. He’ll encourage me to get back on schedule.
My husband and support, Brian

Me with my No. 1 pillar and cheerleader, spring 2013

  • He reminds me to blog, retweets my Dallas Runaround tweets. When I double-post my Runkeeper activities to Facebook or Twitter (yes, I’m one of those), I can always count on a favorite or a “My wife’s a beast!” comment.
  • For each and every race, I can count on Brian seeing me off at the start and being at the finish line.

It ends up sports bras aren’t the only support this woman needs to be a successful runner. I always viewed running as an individual, solitary act. Now I see that, for runners who are blessed, it’s a team sport.

Thank you for being my William Hanson, Brian.

Celebrate a more runnable Dallas at Trinity River Revel

Trinity River basin in Dallas, Texas

This part of the basin is south of where the events will take place. But still, isn’t she pretty?

In downtown Dallas, discussion of the Trinity River is the thing. You’re either for the city’s Corridor Project or hate the tollroad or love running the levee. Lots of focus, both fun and political.

I didn’t think I could love that basin any more, then I heard about the Trinity River Revel on June 15. It’s going to be a big ol’ day-long party and rolling ribbon cutting for four — four — new amenities to the area that make my runner’s bone tingle: the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, the Trinity Skyline Trail, the West Dallas Gateway Plaza, and the Sylvan Avenue Bridge.

The shindig will include a 5K (register here), a bunch of creative stuff for the kids, a gospel brunch, beer garden, a market, car show, food trucks, a driving range, and my personal favorite, a 1930s dance-off (with pros to teach you!). I also love this event because I learned something new just by visiting its website: there will also be a pachanga, which Trinity folks say is a “is a Tejano tradition, a festive party at which citizens socialize with politicians in a casual setting.”

It looks like organizers are encouraging everyone to take Uber, DART and bikes to get there (here’s the event’s map, parking, directions, bike rental info etc.). Parking is just … well, downtown Dallas is no downtown Fort Worth when it comes to parking. But there will be some. Maybe one day we’ll throw a party called Free Parking Palooza when that perennial problem is fixed.

The bad thing about the Revel? It’s on Father’s Day, so I won’t be able to make it. I’ll be following the fun on Instagram and Twitter, however (#trinityriverrevel, perhaps?).

Also interesting is this recent Dallas Morning News guest column about the city’s Trinity project. The writer, architect and former project supporter Larry Good, cites all the reasons I love the managed roughness the basin has grown into:
After 10 years, I’ve dropped my support of the Trinity Tollway

Places to Run in Dallas: White Rock Lake

• This is the first installment in my Places to Run roundup, which will be a resource for the best spots to run in Dallas, what those spots offer, how to get there, where to park, what to watch out for, and where to grab a Gatorade or emergency donut nearby.

Map

Info

A former Dallas Morning News editor once told me that his wife woke up one Saturday morning and declared, “I want us to run around White Rock Lake.” He replied, “Why would we want to do that?” She won, and that day they became runners and, eventually, marathoners. White Rock is where many Dallasites work out their dream of running their first half, and it’s where seasoned runners stay that way by conquering the loop again and again.

Location: About 6-ish miles northeast of downtown Dallas in Lakewood

Distance: Depending on which forks and particular meanderings you take, the loop can total up to 10 miles.

White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake at dusk

Where to park: Lots of spots, but here are my 4 favorites —

1. South side of the lake: The lot on Winsted off Garland Road, next to the spillway
2. South side: If you turn onto East Lawther Drive from Garland Road, just south of the Dallas Arboretum, you can park all along the lake’s edge or at various lots further north up Lawther.
3. Southeast side: Turn onto Emerald Isle Drive off Garland Road, just north of the Dallas Arboretum. That will lead you to a variety of parking spots, including Winfrey Point (and one of the most spectacular views in the city).
4. North side: I don’t park on the north side of the lake very often, but when I do, it’s at East Mockingbird Lane and West Lawther Road.

Terrain: There is plenty of green space, but you’ll be running almost exclusively on pavement. Few inclines. You could make use of isolated hills, like Winfrey Point‘s, if you need that.

Look for:

  • The Free Advice guys, who regularly chill out on the northwest side of the lake, near the fishing pier
  • Lots and lots and lots of cyclists and lethally-long dog leashes

Useful spots around the lake:

  • Hypnotic Donuts. If weird donuts are your thing. Southeast of the lake.
  • Barbec’s. One of the best diners in Dallas, and they won’t even mind you coming in all sweaty. Southeast, next to Hypnotic Donuts.
  • Richardson Bike Mart. Get gels and other specialized fuel that you forgot here. Kind of across the street from Barbec’s and Hypnotic.
  • QuickTrip. QT to those of us who love this gas station/convenience store chain. Southern tip of the lake.
  • White Rock Coffee. Adorable place north of the lake with great java. Northeast of the lake.
  • White Rock Dog Park. I see so many dogs and their people having a good time here. FYI: There’s a swimming area for the dogs, so bring a towel. Northern tip of the lake. *UPDATE: The dog park is closed through 2014.

Related info:

Photos on Instagram

That Carrot fitness app sure has a smart mouth


Carrot Fit app
While walking to my Jefferson Viaduct launch spot a couple of weeks ago, my phone dinged its familiar notification ding. I looked down, and it was from the Carrot app I had downloaded recently — giving me major attitude: “You’re going to step on that scale, and you’re going to like it.”

Carrot isn’t a running app, but it will shame you into running just a bit harder. And by “shame” I really mean that it will keep you aware of your fitness goals while giving you a severe amount of lip.

The judgy Carrot universe is growing fast, apparently; what I downloaded not long ago was just the “Carrot” app: I tap in my weight goal, then log my regular weigh-ins at the behest of rude iPhone notification reminders like “Time to get on the scale, meatbag.” Now what’s on my iPhone is Carrot Fit. There’s a separate app for purchase called Carrot To-Do (along with something called Carrot Alarm), which also helps you stay on top of your goals while cracking you up.

Carrot appCarrot Fit now offers workout plans and even a workout costume for your fat lil’ avatar ($0.99) through in-app purchases. You get a few workouts for free, and you can purchase a booster pack for $1.99. If you quit on a workout, get ready to be judged.

My favorite part? If you tap your fat lil’ avatar, it sends a bolt of electricity to smoke her to death. Unexpected and hilariously grisly. You can do it over and over again, and the app will judge you with increasing indignation.

Usefulness? At first I downloaded it as a simple weight tracker that gave me giggles. Now I’ll have to try out a couple of the workouts and see if Carrot Fit is just funny or funny-serious.

Update: A few days after I wrote this, I ran across a DailyDot tweet that made me a) think of Carrot Fit and b) roll my eyes. Maybe the jokey-faux-shaming is rough on folks with eating disorders? I don’t get it. It seems like fat-embracing, not fat-shaming.

Running fuel: Almond flour cacao-chip cookie recipe

Ingredients for almond flour cacao cookies

All the ingredients you’ll need.

Whole Pantry iPhone app

A glimpse of the Whole pantry app

I got on a healthy-eating kick for New Year’s. Many people do, but it was the first time for me. Two of the best things I discovered in the process were almond flour and coconut oil.

I download a few healthy-eating recipe apps (especially Whole Pantry) and conditioned my tastebuds to find unsugared foods (that are usually made with sugar) delicious. I’m not on that level of kick any more, but I did lose 8 pounds tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal and righted my consumption perspective by trying new, healthier cooking and baking methods.

My favorite recipe out of the experiment is a wonderfully natural cookie made from almond meal, coconut oil and cacao chips. Basically, a chocolate chip cookie for people who don’t want to die from Bad Eating.

I bake them, keep them in storage bowl on the counter, and eat as a night snack or on-the-go breakfast, or I take a couple to work for fuel before a run. They’re soft, delicious,  just a hint sweet and filled with satiating, healthy fat.

Unbaked almond flour cacao-chip cookies

Combine, roll, flatten, put on a baking pan.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (or flaxseed or crushed nuts)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. baking powder
  • (Optional) 1 Tbsp. cacao powder (or cocoa)

Make them

  • Preheat oven to 340 degrees F., then combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Roll into balls and place evenly around a cookie sheet. Slightly flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.
  • Bake anywhere between 12 and 15 minutes, depending on how soft or crispy you like your cookies.
Almond flour cacao-chip cookies

I accidentally let this batch bake for a couple of minutes longer than I usually like. But know what? They STILL ended up delicious.

Details

  • Originally found on the Whole Pantry app (iPhone and iPad, $2.99)
  • Recipe calls for melted coconut oil. I made it this time with virgin coconut oil, but I recommend extra virgin, which has a more neutral taste.
  • Recipe calls for maple syrup; I use Log Cabin Lite.
  • Recipe calls for cacao nibs. I’ve incorporated that before; they’re healthy, nutty and taste like raw, dark chocolate. I left them out this time and used organic raw flaxseed, and I’ve also substituted pecan chips or crushed walnuts. All are yummy and nutritious. Note: I’ve tried regular chocolate chips, like Nestle. Regular chocolate chips, almond flour and coconut oil together as a cookie is so rich that it’s unpleasant.
  • Calls for (optional) cacao powder to make them extra cocoa-y, but I used good old-fashioned Hershey’s cocoa powder.
  • Gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, paleo.

Nutrition

I did the math myself, but warning: I’m a journalist. I think 1 cookie equals:

  • 80 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 2 grams protein

Who bought Vibram FiveFingers for the health claims?

The rubbered, uncomfortable tale of Vibram FiveFingers comes to a close.

Vibram FiveFingersThe maker of the funny minimalist shoe is settling a class action lawsuit brought on a couple of years ago over claims that the shoe decreased injuries and strengthened the foot. Ends up that you’ve got to have scientific backup for claims like that if you’re using them to sell stuff. There’s a lot of reporting on the matter, namely Washington Post, Runner’s World, and, where I first learned about the announcement, 0n The Dallas Morning News‘ Health Blog.

Way back in October 2009, I blogged about receiving a pair of the digit-y foot coverings. I said in the post that I’d report back on my thoughts after giving them a go, am I’m just now realizing that I never did. I’m trying to remember why. I think that I tried them, hated them, tried to find redeeming qualities about them. I likely decided to let some time pass and allow a few more tries help me discover a reason not to completely pan them. Then next thing I knew, this particular personal assignment simply slipped through my fingers. Now, years later, here’s what I remember.

I was excited about the barefoot and minimalist shoe thing enveloping running culture. I tried barefoot running and wrote about the phenomenon, and I decided that I loved the idea of it more than the practice. Also, that book Born to Run had recently come out. It set the running world on fire for a time and further fueled interest. The Tarahumara Indians are beastmode personified, and we were all right to be inspired by their story.

I tried the FiveFingers. Well, first I had to successfully cram each and every little bitty toe into its corresponding toe pocket. That was my first clue: If I can’t quickly throw on whatever it is I’m wearing for a run, you’ve lost me.

I went running in them. It’s easy to see how a runner would think the shoes aided in muscle strengthening. A day later, my calves screamed at me. But they screamed at me a day after my first try at barefoot running, too. It wasn’t the shoes themselves delivering that benefit; they were simply along for the ride while I tried running in a way my body had yet to become conditioned.

I even went out socially in them. Later they became something of a symbol of slight douchebaggery, but they hadn’t just yet. They were still a curiosity in 2009, and I enjoyed the stares they received.

Have you ever worn a pair of socks with toes in them? At first they seem fun, even cute. Then you wear them around the house and think, This is one of the most bizarre-feeling, uncomfortable things I’ve ever done to my feet. This totally blows. Bottom line, that’s what FiveFingers felt like on. I couldn’t ever get used to feeling each of my toes cradled in its own lonely compartment.

Basically, you had to already love barefoot running itself to care for wearing FiveFingers. For all practical purposes, it mimicked being barefoot but offered a layer of protection against gravel, stickers, gum and other scary detritus. That was the real value they offered. I ended up appreciating how the shoe influenced major shoemakers to offer lighter, pared-down options. I’ve bought just one pair of heavy, cushioned and overly structured shoes since then, and the rest have been fairly minimal. The lighter shoes have performed well in a variety of activities.

I don’t know of anyone who owned a pair of FiveFingers who thought they would give them health benefits. If foot strengthening and injury avoidance were their motivation, it was the barefoot/minimalist running aspect they believed would deliver, not the Vibram FiveFingers.

Still, I appreciate that a company isn’t allowed to use empty claims to play a huckster game. Be straight-up with your fellow human beings. “If you like barefoot running, you’ll enjoy our minimal FiveFinger foot coverings even more” would have done just fine for the target audience.

One thing I’m not going to miss is forcing all 10 individual toes into 10 individual, teeny weeny rubbery spaces.

 

 

CrossFit’s Pukie the Clown: Your symbols signal what you value

CrossFit's Pukie the Clown and Uncle Rhabdo

Pukie the Clown (via redbubble.com) and Uncle Rhabdo.

I’m one of the humans behind The Dallas Morning News Facebook page, and I posted a Washington Post story we ran that criticizes CrossFit’s … intensity:

It’s getting a great mix of response the comments, some testifying to their individual CrossFit gym and coaches’ legitimacy and skill, some criticizing the entire CrossFit culture and short-sightedness of extreme workouts. One comment is standing out for me: Chuck Swain’s, whose profile says he’s the owner/head coach at CrossFit Fervor in Mansfield, Texas.

Started CrossFit several years ago as an obese executive. Is it intense? Yep. But intensity is in essence the secret sauce. Have I ever met PUKIE? Yep. Fight gone bad September of 2011. But, I have never been seriously hurt. I have been able to reverse illnesses that docs would medicate symptoms. I turn 49 in less than a week and this year I completed my first UltraMarathon, ran The Great Bull run last month in Ennis. Bottom line: it works if you work it. If you have found a crappy CF coach leave there are plenty of good ones. That is my .02 worth.

Talk about intensity. That’s a really intense transformation, going from obese to an ultra runner. I’m drawn to that. I don’t say it out loud/write it too often, but my ultimate fitness goal is to complete an ultra, preferably trail. I draw inspiration from Chuck, who attained that very same goal with more hurdles hindering his journey than mine.

I also have been curious about CrossFit lately. I know; it’s pratically old at this point. Even though sweaty-warehouse/throwing-stuff-around-type of workouts excite me, for the longest there was never anything about CrossFit that made me want to join one. Then I took a look at membership costs and realized I really didn’t want to join one.

So why now am I all of a sudden getting the itch? Maybe it’s because I know more people now who are part of a CrossFit gym and say they absolutely love it. Maybe it’s because, when I lived in Deep Ellum from 2011 to 2013 and would run around the neighborhood, I’d run by the open-air CrossFit Deep Ellum gym and see men and women of various fitness levels discomforting their usually comfortable lives, and I realized that I needed that, too.

Except I really don’t know why spaz-out (and just gross) cartoon mascots are needed in order to encourage and celebrate physical “intensity.” I don’t necessarily feel as strongly about it as another commenter, Carrie Journell:

You’ve got to be a special kind of stupid to participate in a workout that has mascots like Uncle Rhibo and Pukie the Clown.

[Pretty sure she meant "Uncle Rhabdo."] I doubt few people at any CrossFit see the puking of Pukie the Clown and kidney failure of Uncle Rhabdo as fitness ideals; I get it. Intense, shared experiences can create hyperbolic/extreme/over-the-top symbols that signal a specific camaraderie. But these two “symbols” make CrossFit’s culture seem like adolescent amateur hour. Like it’s adherents are just now discovering the concept of pushing their limits but haven’t quite matured into respecting them yet.

I doubt that’s how most CrossFit athletes actually are. At least not the ones I know. Which means that as symbols, Pukie and Rhabdo are ridiculously ill-fitting.

33 thoughts I always have before I go on a run in Dallas

Yes, BuzzFeed is already doing the dickens out of this blog post style, but I’ve yet to see one about running, and I definitely haven’t seen one about running in Dallas.

I’m an afternoon/evening runner, so this is a sampling of thoughts that ping my brain throughout the day leading up.

1. Good lord, it’s too hot to run.
2. Do I have any clean running tights? Gross.
3. I need to eat an extra piece of peanut butter, banana and flaxseed on spelt toast so I don’t bonk.
4. All I’ve had to drink today is coffee. That’s water, right?
5. Do I run the Katy Trail or run to Bishop Arts or run the Jefferson bridge into downtown and to Deep Ellum and back or run an out-and-back at White Rock Lake or …
6. Running tights are dirty. All dirty.
7. I could wear running shorts but I haven’t shaved my legs in a week.

Larabar

8. It’s spring and it’s in the 90s. Why did my ancestors drag their covered wagon to this godforsaken toaster oven.
9. Ooh, a forgotten Larabar in my cubicle drawer. I’d better eat this so I don’t bonk.
10. Crap, left my Nike Frees in my husband’s car.
11. Don’t want to wear my Brooks PureFlows. No way to keep the tongues in place. Stupid design.
12. Don’t want to wear my specialized-and-really-ugly Asics I got when I was dealing with sesamoiditis.sesamoiditis
13. My trail shoe it is. Maybe I should go to Cedar Ridge Preserve.
14. My RunKeeper training plan says today is a tempo run. I can’t tempo-run in what-passes-for-mountains-in-Dallas.
15. Mountains. In North Texas. Hilarious.
16. Why did my ancestors come here, again?
17. Great, my sports bras are all dirty.
18. So what, sports bras are supposed to be dirty. Dried sweat ain’t never hurt nobody.
19. I can’t deal with all the cyclists at White Rock today.
20. I can’t deal with all the street dogs in Oak Cliff today.
21. I can’t deal with all the 2-abreast walkers, jogging strollers, and cyclists on Katy Trail today.
22. Katy Trail Ice House is on Katy Trial. There are margaritas there.
23. I can’t stop in the middle of my run for a margarita. Alone. Pathetic.
24. That’s it; I’m running around Lake Cliff Park. It’s flat. Feral dog-free. Relatively.
25. Is it hot enough to drag around a hand-held water bottle already? Ugh.
26. Is it so hot that I need to bust out the CamelBak? Ugh.
27. If I wear underwear with these running tights, that’s basically like they’re clean.
28. I love Texas heat, I really do. God bless Texas. I love you.
29. I need more sports bras. Good ones.
30. Good sports bras are expensive.
31. Running is expensive.
32. At least I’m not a cyclist. Now that’s expensive. Right?
33. Wait, I did fartleks yesterday. Screwed up my schedule. I’m taking a rest day.

Running fuel: Peanut butter, banana and flaxseed on toast

Running fuel: Peanut butter on toastOne of my favorite things about running is the fuel part. Actually, it can be a challenge to figure out what’s gluten free, what’s portable to take to work (I’m an evening runner), and what’s going to keep me me right a couple of hours before a run (or longer). Here’s one of my go-to’s:

  • 2 slices of spelt bread (I know, spelt isn’t technically gluten free. But I’m able to eat it with no problems.)
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (natural would be better but I use Jif)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw, whole flaxseed
  • Half a banana
  • A cup of coffee, of course

Calories: 454. So tasty, and promise it’s prettier than my low-lit cubicle allowed it to be seen.