Race season is here.

Heather

This weekend is race weekend for us.  Well not really, it’s more like training runs during races.
First up is the Albion Hills Half Marathon on Saturday, our first trail race.

Sunday I will be running the Sporting Life 10km with friends.  I know what you’re all thinking – “Heather you should be running further than 10km” and well you’re right. I’ll be running a 15km warm up to the start line at which point Dan will make his own way to the finish line to cheer on me and said friends.

We don’t know our bib numbers for the half yet but race results will be available here. And for the 10 km my bib number is 7530 and results can be found here and on my facebook page.  As long as we survive I’m hoping we’ll have some fun race reports for you. Have a good weekend!!!

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Is that the Easter Bunny or Mommy?!

Heather

This weekend we covered 57km. Good Friday we took advantage of the day off work and the good weather and the good company for a 33km run.  By good company I’m talking about my mommy.  My mom is currently training for the Toronto half marathon and needed to do a 20km run so for a change of scenery she joined us downtown.  We designed a route that would have us finish 20km near a subway station so mom could get home.  The run was great not overly eventful except for our first food break. And oh what an event!  Mommy had procured something I had been desperately seeking…Honey Stinger Waffles!!!  And not just one to try a whole case! Getting off topic… the Stingers are a definite swallow by Dan’s standards.  They truly are awesome, so tasty, not dry and so light and easy to carry.  And thanks to my mom her local running store is now willing to order us case’s!!!

Saturdays run was a little tougher.  We waited around until the rain stopped and headed out.  I unfortunately didn’t really believe the weather forecast and over dressed 😦  We found the run a little tough, our legs were tired from the 33km the day before, and I was over heating, but we soldiered on. And before we knew the sun was shinning and there was (almost) a spring in our step.  As this is the furthest we have run back to back we were impressed at how well we faired.  I however have developed little bumps just below my medial malleoluson both feet.  They were bothersome at the end of the run but after some icing they have gone down a little but are still sore.  Needless to say we are happy today is a rest day.

Spit or Swallow

Chomping my way into the Chomps

Dan

Minds out if the gutter you filthy lot, this is obviously a posting about running food. Honestly just because a guy makes the odd reference to bodily functions…

So far we have only tried adding running foods into our training. Soon we will be adding everyday foods into the mix (I am really hoping for cold pizza to be a hit). For now here is the best and worst of what we have tried.

Disclaimer: Opinions stated below are those of Race In Pieces, if you don’t like them or disagree, tough it is our blog not yours. In all seriousness if you do have input would love to hear it.

Before we start I am probably going to be too lazy to list the nutritional info of all the products I talk about. Instead where possible I have included links to the companies’ websites. So click on the colourful words, go on you know you want to.

This running business can get expensive so whenever so there’s an opportunity to save a buck or two it is eagerly welcomed. I’ve tried all manner of sports drink and they all taste equally unexciting. So when I spotted Presidents Choice Power Quencher figured it had to be worth a try (bias warning – Loblaw’s helps keep me gainfully employed Monday to Friday). It comes in the same basic flavors as the national brands, and tastes just as good. Though why do any of them make Red flavor? Really who likes red?

Verdict: Big swallow

Next up is Powerbar Protein Bites, I tried the chocolate brownie flavor. As far as taste goes I really quite liked them, kind of like the cheap truffles your aunt might re-gift you at Christmas. Unfortunately given the impressively contradictory combination of chewy and dry it would seem that Aunt Mildred had them knocking around for a few years before they landed under the Christmas tree. With a glass of milk as a recovery food they would be pretty good, but as an on the go fuel they are a non-start. Well not unless you like chewy dry balls, and that’s cool I’m not judging.

Verdict: Reluctant spit

And I'm in!

Vega brand products. These little gems appeared a couple of weeks ago in my blog so you can probably guess how this is going to go. Mildly masticated, the energy bar as you will remember looked like goose poop, and why only mildly masticated? Because I think its doppelgänger may taste better, if not better at least the vile flavor would justified, its poo. I am a recovering vegetarian, after more than a decade of tofu induced madness I finally got my self straight 6 or so years ago, since that point my life has been a cornucopia of raw and rare meats. However my stint in the anti-meat world has given me the insight to draw the only possible conclusion for this assault on taste. This is some sort of inside joke the herbivores are having at our expense, the vegan makers of this product have to be pulling our legs. Very funny you made me eat poop and drink a sport drink that looked like pond water that not even Les Stroud would go near, but did you have to make so expensive?  That is just cruel. I’m onto you, you sneaky carrot killers

Verdict: Spit for the love of God spit.

Larabars have become a staple on our long runs. All natural ingredients, tasty and because they are unbaked they retain not only all the goodness but also the moistness. See Vega natural doesn’t have to be a practical joke. The peanut butter bar is a little dryer than the others but still tasty.

Verdict: Swallow, I would even eat these for fun.

Heather:  These bars are so good.  I like to imagine each one being made by hand by the beautiful Lara herself.  Adding just the right amount of love and best wishes in each bar!

GU products, a couple of these make it into the pack. Heather is a traditionalist and likes the gel shots, for me it’s their chomps. I have tried the gels a few times mixed with water and they just don’t taste good, plus Heather seems to expend as much energy as they provide shaking the bottle trying to mix it. I think it would be better to just suck it down, but after it has been bouncing around in my sack I don’t know that I want swallow warm GU. Chomps on the other hand are like jube jubes with attitude; I especially like the ones with added caffeine.

Verdict: Chomp on the chomps and spit the Shots.

An honorable mention to carb Boom! shots, similar to GU except all natural, only tried the one flavor so far but it is very promising.

That’s it for the food for now.

Spinning

Dan

Unlike Charlie Sheen I’m not #winning this morning. The virtue of yesterday went out of the window. The only thing spinning this morning is the room. I could blame this on a few things but ultimately it comes down to one thing. I can’t hold my ale anymore, a tough thing to admit for any Brit, our training has limited our chances to cut loose and party, judging by my head right now that isn’t such a bad thing.

Please someone fetch me some tiger blood.

In a Spin

Dan

Thought I was going to get off easy this morning, the weather was dreadful and Heather suggested hitting the gym for some cross training. Compared to the 30km run that we had planned what real challenge could the gym hold in comparison?

We decided to hit up a spin class. I have always said I had wanted to give spinning a crack, but had been worried that it would kick my ass. With our levels of cardio fitness as high as they are I thought I could handle it, I could but only just. After 15 minutes I was sweating like a biggest loser contestant, after 60 minutes I looked like I had been for a swim. Great bit of cross training, but that’s all it was a bit, Heather went to another class and I hit the weights, after 40 minutes of that decided I should put some kms on the treadmill, managed 5 or so and my legs were screaming.

So the morning off the long run ended up being pretty tough, but I loved the workout, the spinning was great even if the music sucked.

Please let the sun come back out.

Date Night!

Heather

Tuesday’s have become date night for Dan and me, I don’t  mean the romantic kind, I’m talking about the kind where we agree that we will go to a hill and run up and down it until we are barely able to get home.

Ever since Dan nearly exploded running a (significant) hill during the Around the Bay

Here he comes!

race, I’ve been incessantly reminding that we are going to be running up and down mountains during the DeathRace.  Mountains.  Two of them, although somehow we summit three times.

I have to admit that I love hill training.  I always include it in any training for any race no matter the distance.  Dan on the other hand isn’t a fan.  He doesn’t really like the repetitiveness of it and I don’t think until recently he truly believed it would really make that much of a difference.   But since I’ve been blowing past him on the uphill(s) of our training runs and races, he’s willing to give it a try.  Something about me looking too happy and fresh at the top.

I think he was comforted though when he noticed last week after running multiple hills that I too am sucking wind and look a little worse for wear.

I’m happy that Dan is finally joining me on my weekly hill sessions and I know he will be too when he can make it to the top of a hill without worrying about any explosions!

He made it!!!!

Missing miles.

Heather

This weekend we had to cover 55km. You’d think by now we’d have this back to back thing down to a fine art but…

Saturday got off to a scary start for me especially. We had our breakfast, got all geared up, turn on watch, turn on watch…code red Miles (my trusty garmin) will not turn on! I feel sick, I charged up Miles Thursday after our hill training why wont he turn on?? Thankfully Dan kept his head and suggested that we plug Miles in and see what happened, battery charging in progress danced around the screen, he must have been turned on in the drawer he lives in and the battery had drained.  But that left us with another problem, no watch. Dan suggests that we just free run…on a 29km run??  Dan cannot pace himself at the best of times, he just runs and then dies, and I spend most of our runs reminding him to slow down.  When would we know when to eat?  Dan’s response “when we’re hungry”, well that’s not going to work since I’m always hungry.  In the end I ended up wearing Dan’s everyday watch that has a timer, so not exact pacing but at least I’d know when to eat.  Disaster averted the run went pretty well. It was a beautiful morning for a run.  We used a looping route that brought us back past our place so we jumped at the opportunity to use the bathroom and change into some less sweaty clothes, we also ditched our packs.  The last 9km of the run was lovely.

The sunny city Saturday morning.

Sunday morning didn’t start too well either.  Miles was back in working condition, but Dan didn’t sleep very well because of a sore shoulder. We’re not really sure when this “injury” occurred but it certainly has caused much whining.  After checking the most current weather forecast we set off on our 25km.  It was a nice morning a little cloudy but pleasant, I feel like we ran past every running group possible which is always so great to see, of course we had to be going against the flow so it made me feel like we were going the wrong way in a race!  At 15km Dan’s shoulder was just too much and he headed for home. (I personally think it was because it was starting to spit, as your shoulder isn’t an important running joint.) Off I headed through Mt Pleasant Cemetery, I really enjoy running through there but Dan finds it weird (another excuse to turn home early).  I had needed a bathroom break for a while and I was hoping the cemetery office would have the answer but they were closed. However just past the offices I spotted a” room-to-go”, I’m usually the last person to venture near a port-a-potty but this one looked different, and I was right.  It was lovely and clean and didn’t smell and was heated!!!!  I almost didn’t want to leave (the rain had picked up) but off I went feeling much better in the bladder but very irritated with the weather report I had read this morning (no rain).  Basically the last 10km of my run was through a thunderstorm.  Not great given my irrational fear of thunderstorms.  This made the last 10km by myself a little more miserable.  Did I mention I was running through a forest by myself with lightening and thunder… that didn’t kill me so I’m beginning to think I may just have a chance at the Deathrace!