Tag Archives: trail running

My Holiday Recap (Part 4): My First Run in the Snow!

To continue my Holiday Recap

Dec 31 (Monday): “My First Run in the Snow” day. 🙂

When I started running, I knew I would have to get used to running in various conditions. That day gave me a taste of running in the snow.

Early that morning, my dad, aunt, uncle, brother, sister and me decided to hit the trail for a run. We thought it was a good thing to do before we feast that night to welcome the new year

I was actually pretty excited. Finally, I will get to experience how it feels like running in the snow. It was in the low twenties and everything outside was covered in a soft blanket of snow. I layered myself up and put on my regular running shoes (Newtons Distance).

It looked so peaceful and the air was fresh. Once we entered the trail the snowy scenery was so beautiful. It looked like a complete different scenery at this time of the year compared to when we hit this trail during the summer and fall.

Photo Dec 31, 11 08 15 AM

It was a mental battle to go out in the COLD but once we’re out and running it became fine.

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me, my sister & aunt

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my aunt, brother & sister

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my dad & uncle

It was a fun 3-mile run for us (and walk for my dad haha).  Of course, with lots of stop overs in between to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

Photo Dec 31, 10 48 45 AM

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Photo Dec 31, 11 30 24 AM

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I wore my regular running shoes and only to realize they don’t have much traction. I slipped countless times and fell but nothing serious. It was all good.

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Then when I got home, I read about bindings that you can attach to your running shoes to add traction. Traction devices like YakTrax and STABILicers that can give you extra stability in the snow.

Has anyone tried those? How was it? I would love to hear your thoughts about them.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time then you know I’m crazy about the snow. There’s just something about snow that makes you feel like a kid again.

Photo Dec 31, 11 33 07 AM

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As the day went on, it got a little crazy . I don’t know what got into us but we all started doing yoga poses for pictures. Haha.

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(and no words to explain for these, HAHA!)

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I’m glad that I got to share this first time experience with my family. It couldn’t be any better.

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It was so much fun and the memories with my brother and sister were priceless.

We had a little “Brother-Sister Quality Time” together that day and I’m missing them now as I create this post.

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I remember the first time I ran in the rain, I felt pretty bad ass. Running in the snow is a different story. It does require more energy and I felt even more bad ass! 🙂

I hear some people absolutely love winter running. Now that I have tried running in the winter cold and snow, I’m growing to like it. I like running in the temperatures of Spring and Fall but Winter cold isn’t that bad at all. I’m used to the cold weather already and it is definitely much comfortable than running in the hot summer days. 

How about you? What’s your favorite season to run?

Do you have any other tips for running in the cold or snow? Do you love it or do you hate it?

Happy Running!

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Trail Half Marathon Update

Yesterday, my husband and I did the White Tail Trail Half Marathon. This was basically my second half marathon, but this time on trails. I never thought I would squeeze in a trail half marathon before my Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon in November, which would be my third then! 🙂

Well, the trail run yesterday was a lot of fun. It was brutal, but fun! 🙂 My husband and I ran a few miles on that trail a couple of weeks before the race. But we didn’t get to check out other parts of the trail after that. Check out my blog post about it here.

I didn’t know there were so many hills in the entire 13-mile loop. The other parts have more hills, more obstacles and more river crossings. During the race, there were times that you had to make a complete stop in order to jump over big logs or go under tree branches. I was surprised and that race was definitely a challenge for me. Miles 6-12 was crucial. That’s where all the crrrazy hills were. I thought to myself, this was like Mud-stash 21k! LOL! Since there’s no way to exit from the trail if you decide to give up, you really have to do the whole thing in order to get out. It’s like you have no choice but to finish! But no, I wasn’t thinking of giving up. I just had that random thought in my mind while I was running the course. LOL! Don’t you have crazy random thoughts too when running? 🙂

Here’s me, ready to leave our house. It was chilly that morning before the race. Low 50s High of 71.

The race started at 9am. We got to the parking lot around 8:15am. I had to leave my jacket in the car because I knew I would get hot when I start running. So here I am, freezing.

We were transported from the parking lot to the start line by those school buses.

Me, freezing while waiting to get on the bus.

I normally run on trails on weekends but I have never ran longer than 8 miles on a trail. I think running on trails is way harder than running on paved roads. Your body gets more worked out when you run on trails. During the race, at mile 11, I was already starting to feel tired. I was already pushing myself to run but I could only do few minutes and then walk to take a break and catch my breath. And I did that through mile 12. And yes, there were still hills during those times. The moment I saw those bright orange flags at the finish line, that was when I really pushed myself to run. I just wanted to finish!

I finished in 3 hours and 3 minutes. I thought that was not bad at all considering it was my first race on a crazy hilly trail. This extreme adventure is worth taking. This is one of the best ‘firsts’ that I have ever engaged myself in. It wouldn’t be my last, either. 🙂 I am still considering doing a race on a trail in the future. But I realized that running on trails needs a lot of skill and training. I need to do longer runs on trails for my training from now on, and I will be back next time, more prepared, with my battle face on!

Our medals! 🙂

My husband and I spent a few minutes lying on the grass after the race to relax and rest. I felt cold after running and the warmth of the sun was just a nice feeling.

What better way to do after the race than to eat good food! So, my husband and I decided to go to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant and splurged on Chicken Tikka Masala, Goat Biryani, and Garlic Naan. I was so hungry and seemed like that was one of my best meal ever!

So, this is our faces when we are hungry

I get really cranky and my husband gets crazy when we’re hungry.

…and here’s my face when the food arrived! 🙂 LOL!

That’s it for now!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

One Race At a Time

We have another race coming up… and it’s tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow! I know, it’s insane. It’s been week after week for my husband and me for these races. And we are loving it! 🙂 Fall weather is the perfect time for all these running events and we are definitely grabbing every opportunity we can get before winter season.

So tomorrow, we are running a trail half marathon. It’s called White Tail Trail Half Marathon. I’ve already mentioned about joining this race in my previous post – Get Off the Road. Go Nature! and it’s the same trail that we are running for tomorrow.

A while ago was packet pick -up and here are our goodies! 🙂

I love the color of our technical shirt. It’s unique. I don’t think I’ve ever owned an orange shirt before. I like it! We also got Body Glide samples and bought some seamless socks from our giveaway coupons. 🙂

It’s going to be exciting for us, because for one, it’s again something different, other than the usual road races, and second, I love running in trails and being connected with nature. Oh, the scenery will be gorgeous tomorrow, for sure! Since it’s fall season, the changing colors of the trees and the view of the Ceasar Creek Lake will be at sight! It’s going to be beautiful and I am excited to see it! I love running with beautiful scenery other than buildings and cars which you get when running on roads. This is definitely going to be a fun race!!! 🙂

By the way, I wore my Mud-stash shirt to kickboxing class last Wednesday.

Sorry for being so pale. This was right after kickboxing class and our instructor pushed us really hard. LOL!

I love my shirt! I felt different wearing it! I felt like a warrior. It’s like there’s a “don’t-mess-with-this-girl” kinda feeling. After surviving that mudrun, oh boy, I tell yah, it made me tougher. I used to underestimate my capabilities, but now, I know I can survive anything. I guess, it’s true when they say – “You’ll never know what your capable of until you try it.” So true.

And that’s why I am trying this trail half marathon tomorrow. We usually run in the trails on weekends but I have to admit, I have never tried running longer than 8 miles on a trail. So wish us luck tomorrow. I hope we’ll survive it!

Thanks in advance and we’ll definitely catch up soon. 🙂

Get Off The Road. Go Nature!

What better way to start off Labor Day weekend than with a Saturday Morning Trail Run!!! My husband and I are still in high spirits from our last week’s trail running in Indianapolis. So, we decided to check out Ceasar Creek State Park Trails for our Saturday morning run. 🙂

It is one of the most scenic trails here in Ohio. It’s a 13+-mile loop trail for hiking/running. There’s actually a race event here on Sept 29 – White Tail Trail Half Marathon and I’m now thinking of signing up for this. The race is too soon, but we’ll see!

They do have other events too like Triathlons and Duathlons.

If you’re the outdoorsy type of person, I recommend to check out their website because there’s really a lot to do here depending on the types of things you enjoy. Next week, we’re checking out their mountain bike trails to challenge ourselves running through the hills. 🙂

Our pictures below are clips from our video that my husband took with his ContourGPS. If you’re a lover of all things action and outdoors, this camcorder is for you. Feel free to post your questions about ContourGPS in the comment section below. My husband would be willing to answer them or even make a review about it for you. 🙂

Watch our trail running video here.

We arrived at the trail around 7:00 am.

As we continue to follow the trail, it led us to an open field overlooking the lake to our left side.

Of course, I couldn’t let it pass. I had to stop and enjoy the scenery.

And this is me telling my husband, “look there’s the lake!” 🙂

For the most part, the path is nice and wide.

It can also be narrow, bushy and rocky in few areas.

There are a few obstacles along the way. We had to hurdle on some roots and tree branches, and climb on few hills, which I think made our run more fun and challenging.

And this is how my husband dealt them.

Some parts are right next to waterfalls where you do some water crossings, but they’re completely dry this time of the year.

During the course, we allowed ourselves to stop for a while and appreciate the surroundings.

According to my watch, we ran 6.14 miles, with a little bit of walking and sightseeing on the side :).

That was one very relaxed 6-mile run! It’s very relaxing to be surrounded by trees and wildlife. I’ve heard that once you start trail running, you won’t want to go back to the streets. I know the road may seem more convenient but sometimes you should “treat” yourself to something nicer. I feel the trails would prepare you just fine for your road races. You will be ready for anything and your body will be even tougher because you work a lot harder. It’s not just flat ground…you are going uphill, downhill and leaping over things. You tend to have a forefoot strike rather then a heel strike which is what you should be doing to avoid foot injuries. The ground is soft, covered with leaves, dirt and grass which is actually better for your joints. I feel like my knees are thanking me for giving them a break by running on trails every once in a while. 🙂

For me, trail running shoes are not really a necessity, unless you are really serious about trail running. I know a lot of people use their regular road running shoes on trails and they work just fine. My husband and I bought ourselves a pair, anyway, since we know we’ll be doing a lot of trail running in the future. We’re hooked!

I got theColumbia Ravenous Amphibian Women’s Trail Running Shoe in Aqua/Gray/Blk size 8.

I never knew Columbia have great running shoes. At first, I tried running with them on the road. This is definitely not forgiving on your feet when you run these on the road, but when I ran with them on trails… it’s heaven! It definitely felt more natural and is extremely comfortable. These shoes are sturdy but very light. It has very good traction. I don’t slip when I run in the mud and hills. They fit like a glove and breathable with it’s mesh-like design. It has Omni-TechTM waterproof feature which helps keep your feet dry when you run through puddles and water streams. Overall, a great shoe for running. These shoes are 100% recommended. I plan on wearing them for my Mudrun race which will be in 5 days from today.

My husband got the NEW BALANCE 610.

My husband is very pleased with the fit and feel of these NB shoes. I can’t say much about these shoes but when I asked him about them, he is happy and satisfied with them. Leave your questions on the comment section below if your want to more about his NB shoes. He’d be more than glad to answer them for you.

We really enjoyed running in this trail. We would definitely come back and try the rest of the connected trails northbound next time. We want to see where that part of the trail will lead us to.

I hope your three day weekend is treating you well! Happy Labor Day!

Weekend Recap

My aunt and uncle from Indiana invited me and my husband to come over to their place to spend the weekend with them. They told us about their plan of running 16 miles on Saturday with their running buddies and invited us to run with them. I am not ready to run that far (yet). I told them that I would be more than happy to join and run some of it with them.

As I was lying in bed about to sleep, I began to contemplate about running with them (gasp!). I know how fast they run. They were saying they’re just going to be slow, but their version of “easy” pace, 8:00 – 9:00 min/mile is “holy-crap-that-is-fast” pace for me. I’m not going to lie, I was tempted to bail, but then, I realized this would be a perfect (crazy-hard) challenge for me, since I usually run by myself.

So, the morning of  Saturday, we met up with their running friends at 6:30 a.m at the trail.

I’m glad I didn’t bail. You never regret a run, right?! …especially a run with a group of nice people who share same interest.

My morning run definitely reminded me again why I love trail running.

We allowed ourselves to stop and look around, appreciate the beauty of the natural world. I found myself thankful whenever we do that. That means I could take a break. Lol! 🙂

The trail has steep hills which makes it more fun, not really a bad thing. 🙂

It’s more interesting than running on roads. I feel so engaged and aware on the trails without knowing how far we’ve already run.

I ran 7 miles with them while they continued to run and finished their 16 ++ miles. I wish I could have kept up with them, but I know my limits. I think 7 miles at what they call “easy” pace was about all I could handle. I was really happy to be done. 🙂

It was nice to run with a group and there’s no way I would have pushed myself like I did without them.

Thank you, Uncle Russ and Auntie Beni, for inviting us!

Sunday was a lot of fun! After church, we did a lot of crazy shopping and eating. My cousin baked cake for dessert. Oh, I love desserts and since I ran 7 miles, I ate that slice of cake with pride. Haha!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

XOXO.

Olympic Spirit

I love the Olympics! My husband and I watched it on NBC last Friday and I think they did an awesome job, specially the part when they lit the Olympic torch.

Friday night, watching the Olympics.

Have you seen this video, Call Me Maybe – 2012 USA Olympics Swimming Team? Oh I love them! I thought it was cool. 🙂

YAY! Go Team USA!

Of course, I take pride for my original country.

Did you watch the opening of the 2012 Olympic games? What did you think of the opening ceremony? Which country are you cheering for? Which event or sport is your favorite?
I’m cheering for the USA and my favorites are Women’s Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Swimming. What about you?

The athletes from that night’s opening ceremony inspired us. The following day, Saturday, my husband and I got up early and went to our favorite trail to do our morning workout and be active.

Me in my favorite workout shirt. 🙂

As you can always see in most of my pictures, I never leave without my handheld water bottle when I go for a run.

I got this when I was training for half marathon. It was when I realized that I need water bottle with me if I’m going to run for an hour or more. At first, I tried the hydration belts that my husband bought for himself.

It did not work for me. They jiggle and bounce around my waste and the bottles are in the way of my arms and elbows while I run.  It was very bothersome. I also think it looks a little bit tacky wearing those. I immediately thought of the Power Rangers the moment I tried them on. 🙂 I don’t know, that’s just me. 🙂

My husband thinks otherwise. He loves them. He said it is very comfortable and never bounces on him.  He has the Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack. He survived his first half marathon with it.

half marathon.

I also tried the Camelbak hydration backpacks.  It doesn’t fit snug on my body and bounces around a lot as I run. I use it when we go snowboarding and biking. I think it’s designed for those kinds of activities, not for running.

Since I had issues with hydration belts and backpacks, I settled for handheld water bottles. I got the Nathan Thermal Sprint Handheld Bottle. I never had problems and survived my first half marathon with it.
I am completely happy with the product. Holding only 10-ounces doesn’t weigh down the hand too much. It fits comfortably on my hand and doesn’t leak. Easy to carry and you won’t even notice it’s in your hand. When I want water, all I have to do is squeeze the bottle. A valve opens and allows water out with a squeeze and then automatically shuts when you are done. Unlike other hand-held water bottle with a valve that you have to open and close with your teeth. There is also a small pouch where you can put your keys, money and cellphone. It also has a wide mouth so it was easy to refill with water at the water stations during the race.

How about you? What hydration packs/bottles do you use?

Going back to my morning workout, we are having cool mornings lately here in Ohio, which makes it perfect to go outside and have fun.

I ran 6 miles and it was easy. I never really notice my miles when I do my runs in the trails because I get distracted with the beautiful sceneries.

I talked about my house hunting adventures in my previous post. So after our workout at the trail, we passed by this beautiful neighborhood before heading home.

I just have to say that this is my dream neighborhood. This is the kind of neighborhood I like for our future home. I love the lake, the scenery, the ambiance, the walking trails, everything about it. It’s close to everything, to the city, to the trails, parks, and the ski resort that we go to during winter season. Just perfect!

We stayed for a while and relaxed (while dreaming) for a bit.

That’s it for now! I’m off to watch women’s volleyball. Once upon a time, I was a volleyball player too but these girls ROCK! Go Team USA!!!

Good Night!

Trail Running Tuesday

I still have to get used to waking up early in the morning. I am sleeping late this summer because it’s tough to start feeling sleepy when you still have the sun so bright & shining at 9:00 pm! Yes, I’m blaming it on the sun :). Then, I’ll get to feel really sleepy around 12:00 to 1:00 am. Apparently, my supposed target time to wake up at 6:00 am today to avoid the heat for my morning run did not happen. I woke up late today at around 8:00 am and there was the sun, up and hot already. So, I decided to hit a nearby trail for my run instead.

It’s definitely nice to run in the shade in a hot, hot day and getting out there with nature. I’m happy to finish a 3-mile run despite the hot & muggy weather.

I love my Brooks top that I wore for my run today. I love how it kept me cool and held up to the heat and humidity. It is very thin and lightweight and has become my favorite top to wear for my runs in these summer days.

Women’s Epiphany Short Sleeve
source: http://www.brooksrunning.com

After my run, I made a bowl of oats for breakfast, with a dash of cinnamon powder, top with blueberries and splash of 2% fat milk, plus my coffee, of course. 🙂

A delicious and healthy breakfast gives me just the right start for my day. I really hope I can be out of bed really early and make great days ahead. I will definitely try harder next time.

I also want to share what I had for snacks earlier today. I love to snack on Wheat Thins with hummus…ohhh it is so delicious. I became obsessed with Wheat Thins when I tried it before with Laughing Cow cheese. Good stuff!

For lunch, when my husband and I crave for some southern style barbecue, we go to our favorite restaurant just minutes away from us. We love their smoked barbecue ribs. We usually eat it with spicy sauce, mac n’ cheese, and baked beans. Yum!

The owners of the restaurant are very friendly and really know how to cook southern style barbecue. They are originally from Arkansas – true authentic southerners. That explains why they make their barbecue so good.

I served an easy and quick to prepare steamed fish fillet & asparagus for dinner tonight.

I seasoned the fillets with:

  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lime juice to taste

And steamed them with the asparagus for about 17 minutes.

I love our Black & Decker Food Steamer. I think it’s the best purchase we had from Macy’s. We had it for over a year now and use it almost everyday. It not only steams vegetables and fish to perfection but also chicken and shrimp as well. We love to steam our rice in this too. The rice actually comes out perfect and fluffy unlike with the typical rice cooker that uses direct type of heat, it burns the rice at the bottom.

Once cooked, I drizzle the asparagus with

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

There is a lot of good TV shows every night. Our fave shows on Tuesdays are Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef.  I’m going to take it easy and relax in front of the television tonight until bedtime.

Have a good night everyone!