Sunday, October 14, 2012

Runner's Quiz

After a week of not working out at all, my post-marathon legs are feeling as good as new.  I'm actually starting to get the hankering to go running again.  I'm still trying to battle the remnants of this stuffy nose and cough, but I do think I'll be ready to try pounding the pavement again in a few days.  I'm so excited to go for a run where I don't have to worry about working towards any training goals!

Since I finally had a little bit of extra time on my hands this weekend, I updated my "Races" page to include all of the races that I am considering/planning to do in 2013.  I also finally compiled all of my race recaps from 2012.  Please let me know if you have any thoughts on any of the races I am contemplating, or if there are any races in particular that are not listed but that I SHOULD be contemplating.

Until then!  In my second post inspired by the gorgeous Irina, I took this Runner's Quiz that has been floating around in the blog world.

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

GU all the way.  My favorite flavors are the Mandarin Orange and Mint Chocolate, although I've liked every one of their flavors I've tried.  The only flavors I have NOT tried are the Just Plain, Espresso Love, and Peanut Butter.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

Out of the choices listed here, I'd say the half marathon.  But I think this is my true favorite: 

10-Milers are long enough that they requires some training and endurance, but not so long that you fear bonking... and also short enough that you can run at a brisk pace the entire team, but not so short that you run fast enough to fear vomiting.  It's a delicate, delicate balancing act.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other? 

Pants, definitely.  I have major issue with running shorts creeping up on me, necessitating the use for major quantities of BodyGlide. Capris are okay, but there is a pretty limited temperature range in which I'll wear them.  So running tights are my favorite, for sure.

Notice I said running tights.  NOT "yellow Zentai suit (full-body) that is two sizes too small."

I've actually never tried a running skirt.  Although, I did buy my very first running skirt at the Chicago Marathon Expo.  I got it from the National Running Center (Frank Shorter's brand).  I am very excited to try it out.  But unless the weather is abnormally warm the next few weekends, I probably won't get to give the running skirt a real road test until next spring.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

In training, I only drink water during my runs.  However, I will mix up some powdered Gatorade afterwards.  I do also occasionally indulge myself in coconut water after long runs (ZICO is my favorite brand so far).  However, coconut water is pretty expensive so I try not to go overboard with it. 

Plane ticket to tropical destination not included.

5.  Heat or Cold?

Without question, cold.  When you are running in cold you can always bundle yourself up more and then take layers off as you warm up.  But when you are running in heat, there gets to be a point where there's only so much you can do to keep yourself comfortable.  We had such a brutal summer in Chicago this year that for the first time ever, I could not wait for autumn to arrive!  In general, though, temps in the 40s or 50s are what I consider to be perfect running weather.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?

Over the past year, I've experimented with Nike, Asics, Brooks, Mizunos, and Sauconys, trying to figure out what works for me the best.  At this point, I'd say Asics are my favorite.  I am on my second pair of the Gel Cumulus 13s.   I wore them during the Chicago Marathon and during my longest training runs, and they have been incredibly solid and dependable for me.

My workhorse shoes.

Aside from the Asics, though, I do also love my Saucony ProGrid Kinvaras for a more minimalist shoe.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

Cereal, a banana, and a big glass of diluted orange juice.  Although, I'd like to start experimenting with eating a little more protein before running.  Sometimes I get hungry during long runs, and the cereal/banana seems like it's not enough to hold me over for very long.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

I strongly believe in rest days.  I usually run only three or sometimes four days a week, and on other days I try to do yoga and cross-train.  But I always take at least one planned rest day a week, and sometimes I'll take a second unplanned rest day due to work commitments, etc.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

Up until very recently, I had to run with music because I thought it would be too boring without it.  But then I heard that music could be used as a training boost, and decided to try it.  I worked to get myself acclimated to running without music, which took some time.  But now I actually enjoy running without music.  Now I use music just when I need some inspiration or a little jump to get or keep myself going.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

But first and foremost because it makes me feel good.  Or at least because it makes me feel better.  (I actually wrote an entire post several months ago devoted to this very topic.  Check it out here.)


I would love to hear all of your own responses to this Runner's Quiz!  Please do share either in the comments or in your own blog!


  1. How great has the weather been lately? I swear after all those insanely hot summer days even the wind and rain combo has me running with a smile on my face. I'm sure I'll shed some tears once a true Chicago winter hits, but for now I'll take this weather any day!

    Have you tried bagels for a pre-run snack? I buy Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted bagels and they have a decent amount of protein in them!

  2. My pre-run go to is peanut butter toast. Sometimes I get fancy and I put jam on it, too. Always keeps me full. But every runner has to go with what works for them.

    I love this survey. You may see it appear on my blog in the near future!*

  3. I love this post...for so many reasons! I love peanut butter with banana for an after run snack! Guess what? You have been nominated by me for The Liebster Blog Award...come on by and see what to do next!