Ultrarunner FAQs and a Roasted Chickpeas Recipe.

So as someone who runs ultras (as well as marathons, hey I still have love for my 26.2) there are a lot of random questions I get from time to time. I definitely get these from both runners and non runners! So I’m here to answer some of the most common questions I get from curious folks looking to know more about distances beyond 26.2.

Do your legs ever get tired?
Absolutely. It’s just kind of all a part of the journey though. You become REALLY…like really, really…good at knowing your body and all that it can handle. You actually become a machine of sorts. It’s pretty amazing how much your body can handle once you build up a base and are patient with yourself. Consistency really is the number one key. It pays off if you just listen to your body and respect the distance. All of this takes YEARS to really get down. So just hang in there.

How do you balance work life, social life and training?
I don’t have much of a social life. HA. I’m only half kidding! Honestly my social life revolves around running and my running buddies. I have a lot of non runner friends too don’t get me wrong. But the icing on the cake is having some amazing running buds and doing my social runs with them. I’ve really started enjoying doing trail runs with friends and just hanging out after. We get our lawn chairs out, kick back and have drinks and good convo. It is lovely. As far as work goes, work always comes first. I just have to MAKE time to run. So often times, that is early in the morning or after I teach a class at the gym, at the end of the day. Then it’s off to sleepy land. Mmm. Love to sleep.

When you run an ultra race, do you RUN the whole thing?
Often times a lot of these ultra races are run on trails, which is a good thing because trail running is much easier on the body than pounding the pavement. So with trails, as you know comes different terrain, rocks, roots and sometimes mountains. Which means some of it will involve some power hiking. But yes, some running too. I’ve also done some road ultras and those are lots of fun, if you like running in loops. Loops can be repetitive but I don’t mind ‘em.

You ran 100 miles?! Did you sleep during the race?
Um, that would be a negative ghostwriter. It’s literally you against a time clock so sleep kind of falls to the wayside. Don’t worry, your bed will still be in the same place when the race is over.

What on earth do you eat?
I eat a lot of things. I have to have fuel in the tank, ya know!? Check out my ultra runner staples post. I like to include a lot of these things in my diet. Avocado, veggies, lean protein. I actually really enjoy beans as well! I’ll mix them with jasmine rice or make my own little Chipotle style bowl with them.

I actually have a great snack recipe below – roasted chickpeas are amazing.

What you’ll need:

-2 cups of chickpeas, freshly cooked or canned
-A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
-a few squeezes of lemon juice (to taste)
-sea salt/pepper/roasted garlic

Preheat the oven to 400. Pat dry your chickpeas to get a lot of the moisture out and spread them out on a cookie sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe some garlic powder or roasted garlic. Drizzle olive oil. Roast the chickpeas in the pan for 20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to even out the spices. Squeeze some lemon juice or more garlic/rosemary or whatever seasoning is desired. Serve hot or at room temp.

Put them in a bowl and make a heart! Because that is fun too.

What are some of your favorite healthy snack recipes?

Weekly Running Report.

Hi there! Hope you had a marvelous weekend full of some fun in the sun! Last week was a great week of running. 93.6 miles total and ultra training is going very well!! Let’s recap, shall we?

Monday AM- 10.21 miles enjoying the early morning breeze. Felt good after some early morning rain.

Monday PM- 4.11 mile sunset run after teaching a class at the gym. Burning off a little extra steam from the busy work day.

Tuesday AM- 12.33 miles with the run club. I got a super early start with an ultrarunner friend of mine then finished the rest of the run with the group.

Tuesday PM- 3.03 quick uneventful miles. Just hitting some numbers to complete the double run day.

Wednesday AM- 8.21 solo miles. Very humid miles at that.

Wednesday PM- 5.16 very hot early evening miles right after work. Temps were high but felt even higher with the humidity combined. I was truly spent after this run.

Thursday AM- We had some more rain that came on through with a lightning storm so I waited until all of that settled to start this run. It felt good to get 10.11 miles in before the busy work day.

Thursday PM- 3.02 quick sunset miles after gym. Beautiful run doing some people watching by the lake.

Friday- REST DAY

Saturday- 27.11 breezy turned very balmy Saturday miles. Feels good to just knock out a marathon and then some on your own without a finish line & spectators on a Saturday, ya know?! NBD. Hashtag progress.

Sunday- 10.35 miles with some pretty blooms at the end of my route. Love love.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? Did you get in some fun in the sun?
Yes, lots of pool time sipping an adult beverage in the sunshine.

TGIFriday Faves.

Can I get a high five for Friday? Y’all I am so ready for the weekend and to let my hair down after a busy work week. Let the running and brunching begin!

Let’s get to this weeks faves!

Parmesan zucchini. Oh so simple and oh so delicious. Love me some crispy fresh veggies.

The simple technique that will help you run longer. Oh yes, it’s all about the breathing for sure.

-The fact that my absolute guilty pleasure The Real Housewives of Dallas is back on Bravo. It’s just so awful and so good at the same time.

The Fast As Light Muscle tank. Love this. I know it would look good with my new lululemon energy bra. Anything to keep cool in these hot summer months of training.

-Still loving my Brooks Uplift Crossback sports bra. It offers such great support and you simply cannot beat the hot colors. Love.

-Last night’s sunset after the rain. Simply amazing hues in the sky.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun?
Brunching, running, hopefully some much needed pool time.

Random Running Rants.

So I know we are always talking about running and how oh so amazing it is but today I thought I would throw out a few random rants and such I’ve experienced on the run. The struggle is real, am I right? It’s all a part of this beautiful running journey. So allow me to share some random rants in no particular order. Hopefully you will be able to relate.

That feeling when…

It’s so humid during your run your shorts start sticking to your legs. Gotta love that sweat in abundance.

You are just drinking all the water and water has never ever tasted so good ever in life. Even the nasty water out of the local park water fountain. H20 bliss.

You say ‘ON YOUR LEFT’ to the walker and they just do not want to move over. Thanks for nothing, neighbor.

You are at mile 5 into an 8 mile run and it just feels like you have been running for an eternity.

The only motivation to getting up that hill is knowing there is iced coffee waiting for you at the end of it.

Flies/bugs/gnats everywhere. Flying in my mouth and onto my sweaty skin. I know this doesn’t just happen in Texas. Hashtag summer in the south.

Some runner is inching up and about to pass you along your route. It’s either pick it up and start running faster (hello instant tempo run) or let him or her go ahead and pass you. Yeah, because they aren’t running nearly as long as me today. CLEARLY.

You do the infamous ‘runner nod’ to the person running in the opposite direction. Because we just get each other.

You wave or say ‘HELLO’ to a fellow neighbor out on a stroll or run and they give you a blank stare like you are basically insane. Good stuff.

Ladies (or men, hey who’s judging) when cars whistle or honk at you…thanks, total creeper.

Or when someone actually yells at you while running…”it’s working girl, it’s working”. Well thanks not sure what ‘IT’ is exactly but I guess I’ve got it.

What are some random rants you have while on the run?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hi there! It was a beautiful morning in the neighborhood for a run! You simply cannot beat this blissful sky.

Without further ado I’ve got some spin jams for your eardrums today! These are also great workout tracks in general, great also for running or any high intensity workout.

Follow me on Spotify (username thedancingrunner) for more music and check out where I’m teaching class in the Dallas area!

Let’s go for a ride!

Rattle (Sexy Lady)- Bingo Players: Warm up
I’m Good- Blaque: Accelerations
Move Shake Drop Remix- Dj Laz: Tapbacks
All Hands On Deck Remix- Tinashe: Rolling hills
I Can’t Stop- Flux Pavilion: Seated/standing run
Magalenha- Simon Fava: Sprints
Get Up- Ciara: Hill climb
Alright- Kendrick Lamar: Jumps on a hill
Slide- Young Futura: Hill climb
Hustle Hard- Ace Hood: Accelerations
Momentum- Don Diablo: Active recovery
2 Step- Lydell Lucky: Standing run
Reverse- Sage the Gemini: Rolling hills
Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO: Tapbacks
Drop That Low- Tujamo: Sprints
More Than You Know- Axwell Ingrosso: Hill climb
Electric Relaxation- A Tribe Called Quest: Cool down

What songs are you loving this week?

5 Ways to Energize Your Early Morning Runs.

Early morning runs. They sometimes can be a necessary evil. For those of us that have busy careers and hectic work weeks they are often times the only way you can get it in. So, how do you wake up fresh faced and ready to run? It is sometimes easier said than done. Here are a few ways you can get a JOLT of energy into those early miles.

1. Grab a banana or some quick carbs pre run. I am actually terrible at eating before a run especially if it is really early. But if you are running for longer than an hour you really need to put some gas in the tank. So go to bed early (I’m in bed by 9 p.m. most nights) and get up and grab a quick bite. It doesn’t have to be a full fledged breakfast, even a piece of toast with a bit of almond butter will work.

2. Wear a headlamp or some sort of reflective lights if it is dark out. I try to be sure I run with friends and in a lit up neighborhood but having those lights sometimes can make all the difference. It even makes me feel a little bit more awake.

3. Get you some cool jams. Get you a killer early morning run playlist, like ‘crunk in the A.M.’. Yes, Spotify can be very helpful for rocking it out on the run.

4. Find some hills on your route. I get really bored if my early morning run is flat, so a lot of times I will go out of my way to find some hills or slight inclines. It mixes it up and makes things more fun. Mounds of opportunity.

5. Finish your run at or near a local coffee shop. Knowing that cup of java is waiting for you post run can sometimes make all the difference.

What are some ways your like to energize your early morning runs?

Weekly Running Report.

Hope your Monday is off to a great start so far. Last week was a solid week of ultra training mileage!! I was able to get in a grand whopping total of 80.3 miles last week. Let’s do a recap!

Monday- 8.2 miles of sunrise. The humidity has been off the charts high as of late but I got this run in before the busy hectic day.

Tuesday AM- 13.21 miles solo. Work has been super busy so I opted to just get up and run on my own on this day. Typically I do my Tuesday runs with the run club but I just needed the miles and solitude, you feel me? Running sometimes really is cheaper than therapy. It felt so good to knock this one out.

Tuesday PM- 3.02 evening miles after teaching a class at the gym. Blowing some more steam off from the day.

Wednesday- 8.11 miles to the tune of a lovely sunrise. The sunrise that morning I have to say did not by any means disappoint.

Thursday AM- Back with the run club. I got a bit of a head start before the group and was able to get some extra miles in. 12.25 miles total before 7 a.m.

Thursday PM- 4.05 miles, back on my double run day game. Feels good to be feeling good after a 100 mile week last week. I am so ready for September and the 100k will be here before you know it!

Friday- REST DAY. Glorious rest day, I do love you so. Sometimes. Ha.

Saturday- 21.32 miles of straight up hills and humidity. I found a golf course nearby with some nice rolling hills which is just perfect for my longer runs. Love it.

Sunday- 10.11 late morning miles after sleeping in, fun night out with friends on Saturday. Hashtag so worth it!

And there you have it!

How’s your Monday so far? Tell me what’s making you smile today.
An amazing 10 mile run this morning after the rain with a nice cool breeze! Still humid but I enjoyed a drop in temps before it heats up again this week.

Confessions, Things I’m Loving and Such.

I have a slight obsession at the moment with sparkling water. Passionfruit and cucumber melon have to top the list of the 2 faves. Not sure why but drinking bubbles in the summer time just makes me happy.

I subbed an early morning spin class this week and it made me feel pretty nostalgic. When I first started teaching I taught on Mondays early in the mornings and did so for about 3 years. Now I just teach 3 nights a week and really love my cycle party happy hours. But the morning folks are so sweet it made me miss it a little bit. For now I think I’ll just stick to my morning runs and just teach at the gym at night.

I am really thankful that I’ve fallen in love with trail running. After being a devout road runner for so many years (which I still love) it is fun to get off the beaten path sometimes. Especially when you are putting in so much mileage training for ultras. Sometimes you just need a change of pace.

Our family dog Brady is absolutely the cutest is he not? He just got a haircut for the summer. I love his little random white paw with the black paw. Such a cutie pie.

I’m sorry in advance for those of you that sell Lipsense but that ish is seriously overrated. I mean why am I paying so much for lipgloss, because it stays on!? Sometimes I don’t want my gloss to stay on that long. Also, I feel like I have alcohol on my lips it stains them so much. No thank you. And I have a tube I never used so I gave it away. You can keep it.

Lately I have been loving the sunsets almost more than the sunrises. Not sure why that is. I will always and forever be a morning runner but there is just something about the sunset and evening runs (of course on double run days) that I am feeling lately.

Hammocks on balconies are kind of a thing now in my ‘hood. I swear everyone has one and now I want one. How fun would it be to kick it outside on your balcony in a hammock and read a book? I need to make this happen.

(source)

I have Friday completely off this week and it is definitely much needed. I plan on getting in as much pool time as possible on my long weekend.

What are some confessions, random rants, or things you’re loving today?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hi there! It’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood!! I’ve got some spin cycle tracks for you to move and groove to today! I know you will enjoy!

The sunrise was lovely for this morning’s run after I taught early bird spin. Gotta love it.

Check out where I’ll be teaching spin class next and find me on Spotify under thedancingrunner!

Let’s go for a ride!

Havana- Camila Cabello, Young Thug: Warm up
Reminder (Remix)- The Weekend: Rolling hills
Fool- Fitz and The Tantrums: Tapbacks
Let Me Love You (Zedd Remix)- Justin Bieber: Sprints
Attitude- Leikeli: Seated/standing run
Swag Surfin’ (Remix)- DJ Bake: Accelerations
Kissing Strangers- DNCE, Nicki Minaj: Active recovery
Turn Up the Music- Chris Brown: Sprints
Okay- Nivea: Jumps
Wipe Me Down- Boosie, Webbie: Hill climb
Candy- Dillon Francis: Rolling hills
Party- Beyonce: Jumps on a hill
The Rhythm- MNEK: Standing run
Work- Ciara, Missy: Accelerations
Rude Boy- Rihanna: Hill climb
Knuck if You Buck- Crime Mob: Sprints
Human Nature- SWV: Cool down

What songs are you moving and grooving to this week?

Running and How to Fit it All In.

So we all know sometimes it is hard to get those miles in…especially during a busy week when the work schedule is so demanding. Between work, family duties, social time and just trying to take care of yourself…it can be easy for running to fall by the wayside. So here are a few ways you can fit running in during a hectic week or crazy schedule.

Find a window of time (even if it’s short) before the busy day. The earlier you can get the running in and out of the way the better. I know a lot of mama runners that simply have no choice but to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning because they have to take the kids to school and etc. Hopefully if you have a spouse they are understanding and know that you need your run time and your little time of peace before the crazy day.

Prioritize sleep…lights off, tv off, social media off. I know it is easier said than done and for a lot of us our down time is staring into the screens of our phones. But I definitely have a time of day where I simply turn it all off because I know I want to get up early and knock the miles out.

Shower at the gym if you have to. A lot of times I will do group runs early in the morning and I will bring my gym bag with my work clothes in it so I can head straight to the showers after. I have to tell you it has saved me SO MUCH TIME in the mornings. It’s crazy how much time I was wasting going back home after a run. Now when I run with the group I’m usually at work early since the gym is right next door. Not everyone is that fortunate but definitely having access to a shower when you’re on the go helps.

Know if you miss a run is it not the end of the world. Just pick up where you left off the next day. Some days are just crazy and you have to know your run is always going to be there waiting for you with open arms. I can’t tell you the incredible amount of stress relief running has been for me in the last few weeks. It has made my hectic days much smoother and my head so much clearer. So thank you, running.

How do you fit your running in on hectic days?