Friday, August 29, 2014

Banilla Ice

banilla ice
"Banilla Ice"
Our kids go through banana eating phases - sometimes they eat a banana a day, other times they go for days without eating one.  So when they're eating a lot, I buy a lot - but if they don't eat them and the bananas start turning brown - what to do?  Peel them and stick them in the freezer.  A couple nights ago, Gaigai made "banilla ice" with some frozen bananas.  Super simple and delicious -- and healthier than store bought ice-cream.  Here's how:


6 frozen bananas


1 tsp vanilla
touch of salt

Continue to puree, if too thick, add
splash of almond milk

Drizzle with chocolate an enjoy!  You can also add some cocoa powder to make chocolate banilla ice.

Sorry if you have the "Vanilla Ice, Ice Baby!" song in your head....

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Training - Week 15 of Training for the North Face Endurance Challenge

Three weeks until the North Face Endurance Challenge - Madison, WI!!

Tuesday - planned 8, actual 8 - pleasant evening run
Friday - planned 6, actual 6
Sunday - planned 20, actual 10.5 - heat and humidity were too much; I ran my first 10.5 in the morning, then Tazer and I were going to go to a forest preserve in the evening to finish up the 9.5, but it never cooled off enough...

Lots going on here - some good, some bad - either way getting in the way of my training.

Still looking for a fall marathon?  

Check out 

the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon -  Madison, WI 

(use D30LPWI (all caps) for 15% off any distance)

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hot and Humid Hydration

Ultimate Direction handheld hydration
Ultimate Direction handheld hydration

Here's some more detailed info from about hydrating in the heat and humidity.  It's crucial to be well hydrated but not to over hydrate which can cause hyponatremia...

Many runners remember to rehydrate after their run and some consume water or sports drink during the run, but it's even more important to be well-hydrated before you run. 

As a rule of thumb, drinking 16 oz. of water two hours before your run will ensure good hydration levels and give the water time to pass through your system so you don't have to make any pit stops during your run.

Hydration during your run depends on the temperature and the length of your run. If you're running 4 miles or less, you probably won't need to carry any water with you. If you're running longer than 4 miles you may need to wear a hydration belt or stash some water/sports drink along your route, especially if it's hot and humid.

Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink. If you're thirsty, that means you're already low on fluids. Also, as you age, your thirst mechanism isn't as efficient and your body may in the early stages of dehydration and you may not even feel thirsty.

For the first 45 to 60 minutes, water is fine. After 60 minutes, you'll need to start using a sports drink or supplementing with a sports gel or a salty food such as pretzels. After 60 minutes (and sometimes sooner if it's really hot and you sweat a lot), you begin to deplete vital electrolytes (i.e., sodium, potassium, etc.). Sodium is needed in order for your body to absorb the fluids you're ingesting. Ever get that sloshing feeling late in a run? That's probably because your body is low on sodium and not able to absorb the fluids you're drinking, so it just sits in your stomach and sloshes around not doing you any good. Depleted potassium levels can increase your chances of experiencing muscle cramps.

After your run, you need to replace the water you've lost. A good way to check this is to weigh before your run and then weigh after your run. Drink 16 oz. of water for every pound lost. After you do the weigh-in a few times, you'll get a feel for how much rehydration you need depending on how much you sweat on your run.

On a hot long run, pack an extra bottle of water. Don't drink this one. Instead, during the run periodically pour a little of the water on your head. This actually helps increase the evaporation-cooling effect.

What is your summer hydration strategy?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family Fun at Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL

6 flags great america, gurnee, IL
Whirligig at Six Flags Great America

Last week I took the 4 kiddos to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL.  With over 100 rides and attractions and free "Read to Succeed" passes for the kiddos (and for me for coordinating the program at their school) - we had to go!  Before heading out we checked the map of the rides and wrote down our favorites.  At ages 4, 7, 11 and 13, you can guess there weren't many similarities among the lists.  Here's what was on their lists:

Little A (age 4):  Carousel and Scenic Railway
Munchkin (age 7):  Little Dipper, Roaring Rapids, water park
Gaigai (age 11):  water park
Tazer (age 13):  any roller coaster, water park

We managed to go on all the chosen rides and some extras, except we opted out of Roaring Rapids because we planned to finish up in the water park.  Tazer said he would go on any or all the roller coasters but did not want to wait in any lines longer than an hour.  The Great American Eagle and Little Dipper were the only ones that fit the bill, and he was fine with that - the latest and greatest ride, Goliath had over a 2 1/2 hour wait!  Tazer and Munchkin had fun riding the Eagle together while the rest of us flew in planes and apples right adjacent to them.  

After the rides we headed to Hurricane Harbor ($5/person) and hung out there until it closed at 6.  We then packed up and called it a day.  Just as we left the park, we spotted a Rosati's and stopped for a quick bite (which took a bit longer than we wanted - next year we'll order before we're on our way).

All in all a great day!  We worked on our patience waiting in lines, choosing and agreeing on what rides we went on and overall having a fun day.

Hurricane Harbor
Hurricane Harbor at SixFlags Great America

Tips for family fun and savings at 6 Flags:

Have your children participate in "Read to Succeed" to receive free admission, or check online for deals.

Pack a lunch.  Bring water bottles - one each is allowed into the park.  Don't try to bring food into the park - they'll confiscate it at the entrance.

Bring bathing suits and towels to cool off at Hurricane Harbor.

What are your favorite amusement park rides?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Training: Week 13 of Marathon Training Plan for the North Face Endurance Challenge

tenacity - Amelia Earhart

How important is the long run?  My highest mileage thus far in training has been the ZOOMA half marathon.  Due to timing, sickness, laziness and an overall funk, I've been doing great with my weekday training but not the long runs.  Five weeks out -- can I salvage my training?

Still looking for a fall marathon?  

Check out 

the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon -  Madison, WI 

(use D30LPWI (all caps) for 15% off any distance)

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Midweek Motivation and Some Summer Running Tips

"Here are some who like to run. They run for fun in the hot, hot sun." ~Dr. Seuss
It finally feels like a typical Midwest summer - hot and muggy.  Keep safe and keep running with these 10 summer running tips from Active:

1. Acclimatize - on your first run in the heat, you should cut your intensity by 65 to 75 percent. Then over the next 10 days, slowly build back to your previous level.

2. Check the air quality and heat indexes.  If the air quality index is code orange, and you're sensitive to air pollution and/or have upper respiratory problems, you may not want to run. If it's code red, it's not suitable for anyone to run.
The Heat Index tells you what the temperature feels like when combining the air temperature and the relative humidity. For example, if the air temperature is 90 degrees and the relative humidity is 70 percent, then it's going to feel as if it's 106 degrees. Ouch! These are not good running conditions.

3. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!  Before, during and after.

4. Know the warning signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.   

5. Run with a buddy. 

6. Run early in the morning.  The hottest part of the day is typically around 5 p.m. So, if you can't run until after work, wait until later in the evening.

7. Wear light-colored running tops and shorts made of technical fabrics. 

8. Find a shady route or run on a treadmill on really hot days.

9. Be sure to wear sunscreen.

10. Let your family and friends know your running route. 

Have any more summer running tips?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Training: Week 12 of the North Face Endurance ChallengeMarathon Training Plan

Here's how week 12 (and quick recap of 11) shaped up including ZOOMA Chicago half marathon and in preparation for my first marathon - the North Face Endurance Challenge in September:

Week 11:  Tuesday:  planned 5, actual 5; missed other runs including the long run due to vacation - we spent the week (minus a day for Tazer's lacrosse championships) on the complaints :)   

Michigan lakeshore
Michigan lakeshore

Week 12:

Monday:  planned 7, actual 6;

Wednesday:  planned 5, actual 5 - ran first 4 miles solo, then completed the last with the kiddos to the park and back;

ZOOMA Chicago half marathon 2014

Saturday:  planned 18, actual 13.1 ZOOMA Chicago half marathon (recap coming soon);  I was planning to run another 5 in the evening, but with the heat I developed a bit of a headache, and we decided to hang out at my parents' pool instead.

I'm still struggling with the long runs...

Looking for a fall marathon?  

Check out 
(use D30LPWI (all caps) for 15% off any distance)

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