:: Spunky Running

We all start somewhere. One day you bought running shoes and started putting one foot in front of the other and made yourself into a runner! Way to go! Here are some training tips that have helped me through training and races. Let me know what you are training for! Go get ’em!

Scroll down this page to find “Training Tips” page contains. What you will find:

  • What’s in the Bag? Gym Bat Must-Haves
  • Baby Butt Paste :: Runner TMI, Running Must-Haves
  • SPI Belt :: 3 Essentials to Carry on You
  • Hill Training Tips
  • Now Entering :: Monster Month
  • The Art of the Ice Bath
  • White Rock Lake :: Map and Rules of the Road
  • Nike Varsity Girl 2.0 Duffle Bag Review
  • Map Quest :: Visualize Race Day

What’s in the Bag? (Gym Bag Must-Haves)


Traveling should not affect your training, it should just be incorporated into your plans. It is so fun to change up your run with new terrain and fresh scenery rather than your same-old running trail. I thought that I would share what is most important for me to have at all times. (When I took this picture, Joe asked me why I was setting up a running shrine, he had a good point.) I attached the hyperlinks if you want to check out more information about the gear.

  • Brooks Running Shoes. I got fit at Run On in Dallas and these shoes work best for me, please Do Not go to Academy or Kohls and just pick up any on-sale running shoe, you will have injuries and hate running. If you are in Dallas, you really need to go to Run On! or Luke’s Locker to get fit for shoes. Bring in your old running/walking shoes and it will help them put you in the best shoe for you. I really enjoyed Luke’s this week, amazing Nike selection!
  • Feetures synthetic running socks. You, should not run with cotton, ever. I usually get the buy 3 get 1 free deal and they have a life time warranty.
  • Honey Stinger Waffles. Yes, Lance Armstrong is on the front so that is why I started eating these little babies, but these beat those gross goo gels, hands down.
  • SPI Belt. Has loops to hold my waffles, inhaler, and the stretches to hold my iphone.
  • Essentials: Spray sunscreen, Deodorant, Victoria’s Secret Spray, and Baby Powder. The Baby Powder helps my hair not look so gross and sweaty after a run if I do not have time for a shower.
  • The After Shoes: Nike Frees. After a long run, I do not want to put on the same shoes I have been in for hours, so these pink frees are light and super cute. When I first got them, the ligaments in my feet were a little sore, the frees are designed to bend completely and my feet were not used to too much movement while in a shoe. Just fyi, it went away after a couple weeks.
  • Athlete’s Honey Milk: with 26g of protein, this recovery drink is perfect for repairing muscle fibers after a long run. It tastes amazing and does not have that gross caulky taste of Muscle Milk or protein shakes. I am obsessed with the Honey flavor. I got this at the Hotter N Hell Hundred and have not tried another recovery drink since! Chocolate milk has nothing on Honey Milk!

If I find something that makes running easier or more enjoyable then, I must share. I hope you do the same with something that you find that you can’t live without.

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Baby Butt Paste :: Runner TMI and Runner Must-Haves

There are topics that no one ever talks about in running. This may be too much information, but at the risk of that I want to offer up solutions to these problems that definately exist.

Problem #1: Chafing… during/after runs is painful and can make you stop a run early or leave scarring if left untreated. When you wear a shirt that constantly rubs or has seams, you need to get yourself a little Body Glide (for her). It has the pink lid. I put mine under my sport bra straps, bottom of my arm pit, in between my toes, shorts liner, and (TMI…) in between my chest. I always use band-aids on my chest to make sure that I do not chafe inside my sports bra.

Problem: #2: Fixing Chafing…baby butt paste/desitin/diaper rash ointment. After your run, shower at a lower temperature becuse the hot water really hurts on any chaffing… you will know in a second. I always smear on the baby butt paste on any pink chaffing areas. I am “cured” in a day and reapply throughout the day.

Problem #3: Diarrhea…reality of the blood going to your muscles is the blood is not in your stomach working on digestion which causes serious diarrhea. This can make a great run horrible in seconds. I always take 1 immodium before my run and make sure tha t I wake up atleast an hour and half before a run so I have time to go to the bathroom from last night’s dinner. (fair warning  about the TMI). Drinking hot tea helps me go #2 before a long run and just moving around in general will get everything moving so I can go to the bathroom before I leave, then I take my immodium.

Problem #4: Port-a-Potties…it is inveitable…1 ply toilet paper or worse no toilet paper in sight after you already went. awkward. So forget that and get Cottonelle flushable wipes (with no alcohol!!!) so you are never without toilet paper and feel fresh and clean and ready to finish your run.

Problem #5: Breakouts…sweat happens, everywhere when you are a runner. I always carry neutrogena makeup remover and cleaning wipes in my gym bag so that I can wipe my face as soon as I am finished running to get that bacteria out of my system early.

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SPI Belt :: 3 Essentials to Carry on You

My SPI belt has been with me since last year and I have been my storing so many different things in that belt. I love that I can just carry money/id for an Aggie game and it also stretches to hold my iphone/fuel for runs. Earlier I posted about“Baby Butt Paste… Runner TMI” and all of my secrets to make running more efficient and comfortable. Lately, I found that I only need 3 things inside my SPI belt:

  1. Band Aids: for any chaffing that I missed, blisters that I feel during a run, or injuries.
  2. Hand Wipes: I always grab a few extra anti-bacteria wipes from Chick-fil-a in that basket near the ketchup for porta-potty emergencies. They are in individual packs and carry easy. I despise running if I did not wash my hands, I feel so gross! OCD? maybe.
  3. Cottonelle flushable wipes: again, because ply 1 tissue is almost as bad as not being able to go at all. More on this in the Runner TMI post.
  4. (I know I said 3… but carrying ID on you with allergies and important contact numbers is a given***)
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Hill Training Tips

Running hills has always been a huge mental block for me ever since Cross Country Regionals in Lubbock. How do you get up the hill and then continuing for miles without stopping when your mind is telling you to stop and rest? The Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco is going to be a serious challenge for me mentally and physically with the hill work. I am so thankful that when I shared this with my coach, Alana she gave me to tips that really transformed my 10 mi run in the Austin hills this weekend. Hope it helps!

From Coach Marc Bloom as published in Runner’s World:

  • Head: keep your head up, don’t slouch and put your head down
  • Eyes: keep eyes directly ahead of you, not down at your feet
  • Hands: keep hands loose, no fists
  • Legs: push legs off and up, not into the hill
  • Going Up: Run the first 2/3rds of the hill relaxed, and accelerate
  • Feet: shorter strides
  • Going Down: feet should land underneath you
  • Mantra: “Up and Over”

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Now Entering :: Monster Month

I read an incredible article on Runner’s World  about “Monster Month.” The critical, crazy-difficult 4 weeks leading into the October marathons. Everything I read related to how I am currently feeling about my marathon training.

After my 16 miler with my running partner last Sunday, Lacia and I were both feeling sick. It was hot even at 5am, no wind, ran out of water early on in training, nausea, chills, headache, and muscle soreness. I feel like I am whining here, but I know that I am responsible for not eating correctly during the week. I ate something out every day (sick! who does that!?) and I know better! I drank dr. pepper instead of water to help with my headaches from the 1st week of school (like corn syrup will instantly heal?! what was my reasoning there?).  The night before my 16 miler I ate fast food burgers for lunch and cereal for dinner. How did I even expect to make it out the door with all of these poor choices?

It was when I was 8 miles out and felt like I was “dying” that I realized and added up all my choices from the week. “Oh I ate out Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sat? Did I really have to stop at Sonic for happy hour every day? Did I seriously only have cereal for dinner last night?”

Then, out of nowhere a waft of bacon hit me in the face as we ran near a large hotel. Gag me, seriously that was the worst 1/2 mile ever. Between Lacia and I each doubled over at different times on our run and regretting each of our poor decisions, we are really wanting vengence in this week’s 18 miler.

The article on Monster Month really encouraged me to take care of my sore muscles from last week, discouraged me from trying to “catch up” on the miles I missed on my days off. No more cross training and just focus on running. I want that Tiffany’s finisher necklace more than anything! I need to training smart, eat smart, and train smart. It’s Go Time!

(These photo was taken after we had been running for 2 hours, already sick but at least trying to enjoy the views)

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The Art of the Ice Bath

Check out one of my favorite running blogs Sweat Once A Day and her post How to Take an Ice Bath. She ran her first Ironman this summer and her goal is to run a marathon in every state. This article taught me everything I know and I got all my ideas from her.

Her 6 steps that I have followed to the T:

  1. Buy the ice the night before or carry cash to buy it on your way home from your run
  2. Fill the tub with cold water and then slowly add the ice (while you are in it)
  3. Layer up (I love my Aggie sweatshirt here… you can wear clothes!)
  4. Drink something hot while in the tub (hot tea or Honey Milk)
  5. Entertain yourself
  6. Think about how you feel when you don’t take one

People must think I am crazy when I call my husband after a long run and ask him to start the cold bath. The best is when he already has the bath ready when I come home. Nothing like an ice bath to help with recovery, decreaese muscle inflammation, and incease blood flow.

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Ahoy! Adventures at White Rock Lake :: Map and Rules of the Road

I knew that I had to pause my run to snap this picture. The Dallas skyline, rowing team, and pier made me feel like I was already in San Franciso for the marathon. I almost tapped my running shoes together like Dorthy “There’s no place like home!” The water sparkled with the mornnig rays and the temps were cooler near the water. I was surprised by how many runners were out with us at 5am as we all used our head lamps and reflective gear and ran silently in the dark morning.

Luke’s Locker has training programs out there all the time and there are tents with free products to try near the boat houses. Lacia and I grabbed Einstein Bro Bagels and Honey Milk after our run this weekend.

Here is a map of the lake with parking lots, potties, water fountains and trails. If you have not tried White Rock yet, then make this weekend your “destination” run weekend and grab a few friends and hit the trails.

Before heading out, review these rules from Road Runners Club of America:

Rules of the road and trails

  • Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left. *************
  • Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog.
  • Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.
  • If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc.) then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.
  • Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.
  • Be alert on blind curves.
  • Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk.
  • Respect private property along your route. Don’t relieve yourself in the neighbor’s bushes.
  • Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.

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Nike Varsity Girl 2.0 Duffle Bag Review

I submitted by Gym Bag Must Haves to @NikeWomen on twitter and won this sweet bag! It was perfect timing as the Nike Women’s Marathon is 33 days away and I needed a bag as my carry-on because my old bag is on it’s final days. We had a good run, this bag has brought me through every day of PE, all of our flights, weekend get-aways, and 1/2 marathons. This is a big moment for my brown bag…I am not sure that it will handle retirement well as it was replaced by a new, rockin’ bag with an attitude.

Retirement aside, I love the appearance of the Livestrong Girl Varisty 2.0 bag that I got in Blue Glow/Aura/Solar Red the color is bright and the solar red looks close to hot pink with silver and bright blue. I am most impressed with the pockets. I know that some of my old track duffle bags in high school were literally 1 open compartment. This bag has the side mesh with a zip pull, inside zippered pocket, and my favorite part :: the side shoe compartment that goes into the bag about 8 inches. Check it out below. I use this side shoe compartment for dirty clothes and my muddy running shoes.

One of my other favorite parts is the padded back panel and shoulder strap. This is perfect for traveling when this bag is loaded and I need that extra soft layer against my hip and shoulder.

This bag also includes 2 headbands… Bonus!

When I am flying to the Nike Women’s Marathon, I am for sure bringing this bag and putting my marathon clothes, nutrition, empty water bottles, and running shoes in this bag and not checking it below the plane. The airlines are not going to be lose this bag and its precious cargo!

Get it, love it, use it, set a goal and train for it! #MakeYourself

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Map Quest

Before this morning’s 22 mile run, I studied the NWM course map and elevation chart. I posted on the NWM facebook page and asked runners to describe hill mile markers and tricks they used to help them go “up and over” each of these challenges. I wrote the mile markers, tips, and landmarks on an index card and carried it with me. My run became a game where I tried to visualize what the hill might feel like while evaluating my stride length, breathing, pace, and nutrition level at each of these distances.

All in all, I feel really excited about the race and can’t wait to really see the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, and tour San Francisco by foot. I know that I had 4 more miles left in me today. I need to reread my hill training tips to prepare myself for the upcoming hills. The taper begins now…. it’s all down hill from here. literally.

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One thought on “:: Spunky Running

  1. Pingback: Nike Varsity 2.0 Duffle Bag Review « {the} Spunky Runner

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