Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday at the track: Speed/Tempo/Speed Trainer

I'm beat. Today's track work out was another tough one. Coach introduced it as his "Speed/Tempo/Speed Trainer". I love my Coach - he really cracks me up. Over the last few weeks, he has been naming his workouts for me - and their names are quite interesting. Last week, it was the "Torture Training Work Out" and today, it's the "Speed/Tempo/Speed Trainer".

But, the best conversations I had with Coach, today, had nothing to do with running. Nope! They had to do with babies ...
Coach is going to be a Grandfather!
What a miracle!
Coach's daughter is expecting. Today, he was telling me how his little grand-baby is about 5oz., his/her little fingerprints are developing, the skeleton is hardening into little bones and it's sense of hearing is also starting to develop. I can't help think about Psalm 139:13: "For you have created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

In the past, whenever Coach would speak about his daughter, his whole face would light up. You can tell, how very proud he is of his daughter. Today, though, he was beaming more than ever before. He is simply ecstatic! I am so happy for Coach.
Isn't the miracle of life so very beautiful? 

Yeah well, all this nice, nice talk didn't make the workout any easier!

I started with an easy 1+mile warm up and went into my six 100meter strides. Then it started - The SPEED: I ran three 300meters at a 6'35"pace with a 100meter recovery jog between sets. After this, I jogged another 100meters to a trail, which is a little hilly, and started on The Tempo: I ran 2.13miles at a 7'20"pace. Whew! Not done yet. I jogged another 100meter recovery and continued with The SPEED: Just like before, I ran three 300meters at a 6'35"pace with a 100meter recovery jog between sets.
I was beat!

I welcomed the 1.5+mile cool down and couldn't wait to loosen up the legs with some plyometrics and stretches! I think I'm gonna hafta use my foam roller tonight, my muscles still feel the need for more loosening and some massaging! 

Looks like tonight, my foam roller and I will have a date!
May I have some muscle relief, please?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Bone health

Yesterday, the day got away from me and I still had to squeeze in a 5mile run. So, after dropping my son and his friend off at wresting club, I decided to go to the gym an run on the treadmill. My son was going to get a ride home from his friend's father, so I wanted to take advantage of this small window of time.

Well, I was just finishing up with the five miles when I got a phone call from my son's friend's Dad,"Hi, yeah, it looks like we got a broken collar bone, here. I'm gonna take your son to the hospital."
Now, I know a collar bone is easy to break - it doesn't take more than a few pounds of pressure - and I know there's really nothing you can do for a broken clavicle, except keep the arm, on the side that's broken, in a sling. Still, it's my son and when I asked if he were in pain, the response was, "Yes."

I guess that was a stupid question, but it was one whose answer made me feel sick to my stomach. I felt bad that mini-man was in pain, in someone else's car, driving to the hospital and I was, half dressed running out of the gym toward my car. Someone even yelled at me, "Put some clothes on!"
Get some clothes on!
Note to self: I am not the person you want on your emergency call list. I look fine, act composed and seem like I am thinking straight - but don't let the looks fool you! Inside, the brain is mush. I don't think straight and act very militant-like, as I try to bring order to the thoughts jumping around in my head. So, that's why what should have been a 25minutes ride to the hospital, turned out to be more like a 50minute ride! Yeah, I got lost ...twice. Eventually, I had to use my GPS to get there! Just crazy! I literally could not get there fast enough!

Finally, when I got to the hospital and gave them my insurance card, they were able to administer a little ibuprofen and run him to X-ray. They confirmed that he broke his right clavicle and sent him home with his right arm in the sling.
Mini-man at the doctors
This morning we picked up the X-rays from the hospital (they have to file them in the Radiology Library before you can have a copy!) and brought them to the Orthopedic Center.  The doctor did not tell me anything new, except how exactly the clavicle will heal. It's amazing, actually. Mini-man's bone will not heal straight, although he will get a "figure-eight" sling in 2weeks to position it to heal a bit straighter (due to the pain issue, they wait 2weeks to use this other sling) than it is now. The doctor told us that when bone heals it just send a bunch of bone material (osteoblasts) to the break. After it is healed, other bone material (osteoclasts) reshape the bone so that eventually, it is 'mostly' straight.

All this bone talk about rebuilding and remodeling made me think of what my nephew asked me a couple of months ago, "Why, if we are one of the biggest milk consumers in the world, does osteoporosis threaten millions of Americans?"

He's correct. The United States is ranked the third largest consumer of milk, after India and the European Union. And, after some European states, like England and Sweden, the US has some of the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Lots of factors play a role in the development of osteoporosis, such as age, gender, hormones, genetic, diet and lifestyle. According to the research, genetics is responsible for about 2/3 of the variation in bone mass. That means that diet and lifestyle play into only about 1/3. But don't let this small fraction fool you. Diet and lifestyle can and do influence that genetic potential for peak bone mass and bone loss. And, unlike genetics, diet and lifestyle can be modified.

Everyone has heard that calcium and vitamin D can help build and maintain bone mass. But, not everyone has heard that dietary salt can negatively impact your bones, too. In fact, a high salt intake increases your excretion of calcium.

Is this preventable? Yes. 
There are three main ways you can 
stop losing your calcium 
due to a high intake of dietary salt:

First: Understand how much sodium you need and which foods are high in dietary salt. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 2300mg of sodium per day (and less than 1500mg/day if you're 51 or older). Foods high in sodium, which you may consider cutting back on include: processed and prepared foods (duh!), milk or shellfish, table salt and sauces (like soy, BBQ or cheese sauce).
Second: Eat a variety of potassium rich fruits and veggies, such as bananas, dates, mango, sweet potatoes, asparagus every day. If this is not possible, you can fortify your diet with a vitamin supplement that contains potassium. It appears that potassium helps the kidneys reabsorb calcium.
Third: Use a combination of techniques by incorporating a low salt diet, such as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) with a diet high in fruits and veggies.

With 50,000 Americans dying each year due to problems related to osteoporosis, it makes sense to promote a diet higher in fruits and veggies and lower in dietary salt. Besides the dietary approach, physical activity must also be a part of one's lifestyle to build and maintain bone mass. Physical activity can range from running, to weight lifting, or yoga -  as long as the exercise you choose, stresses the bone in a resistance routine.

"What appears to be more important in bone metabolism is not calcium intake, 
but calcium balance" 
Neal Barnard, MD Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, 
Understanding Health, 1999.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday: "Torture Training Track Work Out"

Wednesday's track work out was tough. Coach introduced the workout by calling it his 'Torture Training Track Workout'.
I'm in!
After my mile warm-up and six strides (which by the way, I did one 18sec 100meter stride!), coach had me run two track sets. The first set, he had me run for 19minutes, the second set, I ran for 8 minutes.

Each set was set up the same way: I ran for one minute, rested for a specified period of time, and then ran again for another minute. For each minute I ran, my rest became less and less. In the first set, it started as a 1minute rest and worked down to a 5second rest. In the second set, it started at a 45second rest and worked down to a 5second rest. I had to keep at least a 6'40"pace.

Coach wasn't fooling. He yelled,"Five more. Keep it strong." I scoffed. In my head I thought, "I can do this. This isn't so bad."

Then he yelled, "Last three." That's when I thought, "Okay, this is getting tough." But it wasn't until the final two minute runs that, with so little rest, my legs went numb - I could not feel them. I had no proprioception, whatsoever!
It was TOUGH! 
For the very last minute, he had to be a little more motivating, "C'mon. I said, 'GO'. Move it," he screamed, as he violently swung his arms. I guess he realized that it had to sink into my head that I was not done. Holy-Moly, I had one more minute of running at a 6'40"pace.

I rested for three minutes between sets.
And then the "Torture Training Workout" started up, again.

I finished with a mile cool down, some plyometrics (knee raises, backward runs, front hops, karaokes) and lots of stretching. I wanted to make sure I kept the blood circulating around my leg muscle to clear the lactic acid and avoid post exercise muscle soreness. Some believe that stretching after a strenuous work out allows you the time to refocus and de-stress and that the benefits of de-stressing is the actual component involved in lowering your risk of injury, not so much the stretch itself. From a personal perspective, I totally agree with that research - and it was fully employed after the "Torture Training Track Work Out"!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

GRIPE! Who needs a nap?

Okay, I've been studying for three weeks straight! 
I'm exhausted.

My Medical Nutrition exam grade, to me, was like an "F". I met with my professor and told her that I wanted to drop the class. She tried to talk me out of it, and gave me some great compliments, like, I'm too hard on myself and should stick it out because I was doing better than half the class. I thanked her for the votes of confidence, but I felt that staying up until 3AM was only getting me prepared to take a test. I didn't feel that I was learning everything I wanted to know.

So, looks like it's Medical Nutrition in the Fall 2012. 
Hey, sometimes you just gotta say, "Uncle".
I took another exam this morning in my Experimental Foods class. It was seven pages long! Talk about being burned out!
Experimental Foods: RH = Aw*100
Now, I am studying for my Nutrition Through the Lifecycles exam scheduled for Thursday.

It's odd. All this studying seems more exhausting than my track workouts! The recent lack of sleep isn't helping any, either. I just started to read a book by Heidi Skolnick and Andrea Chernus, "Nutrient Timing".
(Sssh, I know I am supposed to be studying the infertility problems surrounding diabetes, obesity and anorexia)
Anyway, the book brings out some good points. For example, it emphasizes that eating right, skill development, training and REST must be balanced. Resting includes 24hour recovery after strenuous exercise, as well as your 6-8 hour nightly sleeping routine. Lack of "REST" could set you up for poor training sessions, decreased immunity and injury.

It sounds so obvious, right? Still, I try to make up the lack of sleep with a more determined outlook on training,"I can rise above this tired feeling." Or, "I know ...I'll eat an orange - it's full of Vitamin C, it's rehydrating and packed with fiber. That will help me overcome this tired feeling." Unfortunately, that's not how it works because the only thing that we can do to make-up for inadequate REST is ...REST!
Who needs a nap?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Food Facts Friday: From Alpha to Omega-3

I'm trying to get a handle on the omega fatty acids (f.a.). It's very confusing and I have a biology and chemistry (organic and inorganic) background. I can't imagine what it's like for someone who has been told by their doctor to consume more omega-3 f.a. to beat inflammation, improve their cardiovascular system or immune system, or protect themselves from breast, prostate or colon cancer. 

I can just hear it now, in the doctor's office:
Doctor: "Oh yeah, and to those omega-3 fatty acids, add some omega-6 fatty acids to lower your cholesterol! Just keep in mind that you are going to want to balance your Omega-3:Omega-6 fatty acid consumption to a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio!"

Huh? What just went down? When did eating salmon, tuna, nuts, eggs or avocados get so complicated?

Omega-3 and omega-6 are both essential fatty acids - meaning the body doesn't make them - so we should be concerned, right?

Well, it turns out that omega-6 f.a. are pretty abundant - especially in the American diet. This has to do with the abundance of refined and processed foods, of which almost all contain the omega-6 rich soy oil, most of which is genetically modified

Mark my words, one day, soy oil is going to be recognized, from a health perspective, as the next high fructose corn syrup! It has been figured that 20% of calories in the US diets come from soy oil alone!

Even though omega-6 fatty acids offer some excellent health benefits, too much of this good thing has its drawbacks. Apparently, too many omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation and lead to lots of negative health problems, such as arrhythmia, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity and cancer!

The key to avoiding these conditions: Balance!
But how? 

The best part about nutrition, that most peeps screw up, is that just small adjustments yield tremendous benefits.. So, just by cutting back, a little, on omega-6 fatty acids and making a conscious decision to eat a bit more omega-3 fatty acids, you can achieve balance!

To eat less omega-6 fatty acids, simply cut back on processed and fast foods and polyunsaturated vegetable oils, like corn, safflower, soy and cottonseed oil  - which are usually found in snack foods.

To eat more omega-3 fatty acids, choose to eat salmon, tuna and cod a few nights a week. Or buy some walnuts, chia seeds or flax seeds and add them to cereal, yogurt or salad. Omega-3 fatty acids are antioxidants, which is how they help fight inflammation and  maximize cellular health!

It doesn't get much better than this....
For your next pre-morning work out eats or instead of your
mid-morning coffee break try 
Yogurt (branched chain amino acids and probiotics)
Flax Seeds (omega-3)
Mmm mmm good!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nothing says "I love You" like Gu Chomps!

I only had three hours of sleep last night! 
I was up studying until 3PM AM for an exam in my Medical Nutrition Class. Oh, and by the way, Five Hour Energy really does work!
This Medical Nutrition class is really hard - lots to know! 
I was on lockdown, studying for hours and hours! Side-kick even did some laundry to help out! Yup, that was how I spent St Valentine's Day! My side-kick and kids helped out by fixing their dinner of leftovers and helping out around the house! 
That's probably the best Valentine's Day present, yet. 
Thanks guys for being so understanding!
I woke up at 6AM and continued studying! I didn't even go to the track for my speed workout with coach this morning!

Finally, I took the torturous exam.
Well, thank goodness that's over. 
Onto more studying for a quiz on water soluble vitamins, tomorrow!

On the bright side, I did get a Valentine's gift. A great running jacket to keep me warm on these chilly winter runs. And, because I don't really eat candy and side-kick wanted to give me something sweet ....

Gu Chomps!
How funny is that? 
Gu Chomps: Valentine's Sweets for the dedicated runner!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hilton Head Half Marathon Recap

The accommodations at The Westin were wonderful. I was really glad this hotel hooked up with Bear Foot Sports and offered a discounted rate. The morning of the race I felt very well rested. I think this was the first time I slept through the night on the evening before a half marathon race!
The Westin Hotel at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Girlfriend and I got up at 6:30 and grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel. We both had some yogurt, half a bagel, coffee and water. I admit, I was a little nervous. Coach wanted me to run between a 7min37sec - 7min35sec pace. My goal was to break 1hour and 40minutes - that has been my PR for some time now. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but my coach was ....

About 7:15AM, we packed up and headed over to the race. The race started in Jarvis Creek Park, but we had to park about a half mile away at the Hilton Head Island High School. I can't ever get over how much land these high school's have. Once you get away from the NY Metropolitan area, they are like campuses and Hilton Head High School Campus is sprawling! My kid's high school is directly off of a main avenue, next to a very busy, but quaint, train station. There are hundreds of people trying to catch their train into NYC at the same time school starts! It's insane!

Before the race, I warmed up with about four 100meter sprints and then jogged over to the start. It was a little cool, but comfortable - about 50*F (10*C). There was a little wind. I just wanted to break 1hour and 40 minutes!

No National Anthem, but someone announced something and we were off.

The race was relatively flat. Each mile was marked and at each mile a person called out the time. I felt really good, and just kept repeating, "Coach thinks I can do it. I can do it!"

The week before the race, I specifically slept in (until 6AM) a couple of times. The extra sleep paid off. I felt a little tired about mile 7, right before I got to the bridge. That's when I sucked down a Gu. I did not know the bridge was around the corner. It was challenging, but fun.
Pushing it up the bridge!
Push now, Rest later!
I think the bridge was about 1mile in length. It went straight up. I kept telling myself, "Don't give back any time. You can rest going down the other side!" It got a little windy on the bridge, and I thought of  Sherry Arnold. I prayed, "C'mon Sherry - be the wind beneath my wings - I want to honor you with this race!"
At the top of the bridge!
I was pointing to Sherry's name on my bib!
I think the Gu (and Sherry) helped! I made it over the bridge. I knew I would have to face the bridge again, on the way back.
Broad Creek Bridge
Everyone along the course was so nice. Lots of fan support for the locals. It was a really pretty race, too. It meandered through Jarvis Creek Park and local streets. There were beautiful views of the water and the race meandered in and out of bike trails and quaint local streets, lined with beautiful pine trees.

The last two miles, I pushed it hard. I knew I gave back some time at mile 7, when I felt tired and I needed to make it up. So, the last two miles I really pushed. Mile 12, I ran a 7min25sec pace and mile 13, I ran a 7min33sec pace.
YES, I broke my 1hour and 40min ceiling!!!
My new PR: 1:38:46!

And, I placed 3rd overall in the Masters Female Division!
I so wanted to honor Sherry Arnold!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday: Getting ready for the Hilton Head Island Half Marathon

Early, like 7:30AM, I was at the doctors! Yup, even though girlfriend and I had an  11AM flight taking off from New York's LaGuardia airport to Hilton Head Island for my 9th state and 10th half marathon!

Yes, I was on time! 
In fact, my 'I wanna be like Dolly Parton Resolution' is going well! 
Not great, but well!

Anyway, the doctor's visit was for the Kessler Nutrition Assistant Volunteer position. I have to get my doctor's approval before I can volunteer - and since I haven't had a visit with my regular GP (general practitioner) since 2006, I had to get a general physical! Today, when I go back, my doctor will check my arm where I had a Mantoux test, and sign my "approval" papers.

Have you ever had a Mantoux test? With the Mantoux, the doctor pricks your arm with PPD tuberculin (it's like a purified version of TB) and if the skin stays red and raised or gets worse, you may have TB. To me, it looks like there are no sign of a raised or red bump - but I'm that person who thinks she has every disease you mention - as long as I hear it ...I think I have those symptoms. So snce Friday morning, I will look at my arm about 1zillion times before the doctor checks it Monday afternoon!

I guess focussing the Mantoux skin prick was a good distraction on the way down to South Carolina. I'm not that great a flyer - so with these half marathons in every state - I am pushing myself on so many levels - especially with flying. I don't mind, if I flying with both children, but mini-man had a wrestling match Friday night (he won, yeay!), and he had more training on Sunday, so he and my side-kick couldn't come. It was just girlfriend and me and by 11AM, we were off!
Flying to Hilton Head Island!
We arrived in Savannah International Airport, rented a Dodge Avenger from Avis and drove 1hour north to Hilton Head Island.

OMG! Hilton Head Island is so pretty. We stayed at The Westin at the Port Royal Plantation. ONLY $69 a night! I would love to go back in the summer, but the rates are probably 4-5 times higher! It was beautiful!
The Westin grounds were beautiful!
I wanna go back! I hate winter!
They thought 40*F(4.4*C) was cold! LOL!
Girlfriend enjoying flowers in February!
What a treat!
The Westin from the beach.
After check-in, we went to packet pick-up, collected the freebie t-shirt and went to the room - which was also lush! We had ocean views! I wanna go back - and I'm not  that much of a beach resort person. In the winter, beach resort areas, to me, are very depressing. I do NOT like to go to the Jersey Shore in the winter-time - it is very depressing! But Hilton Head Island was BE-A-U-TIFUL!

Anyway, when we got to the room, I pulled out my bib and wrote, 'Remembering Sherry Arnold'. I follow the blog, Shut Up and Run (SUAR),  and if you are running Saturday, February 11th, you could participate in a "virtual run" in honor of Sherry Arnold. Sherry was a runner, who lived in Montana. She went out for an early morning run and was abducted. I remember that day 'cause I went out for a run that day, too. That day stood out because I remember waving to the people I passed, but hardly anyone waved back. I remember thinking, "What's with everyone, these days?'

The next day, I read about Sherry. I remembered my run the day before and thought, 'What is going on with our country?' I felt so bad for Sherry and her family. In the days that followed, I learned that the blogger, SUAR, was Sherry's cousin. I read the SUAR blog each day - feeling terrible. I knew what they were going through ... the not knowing is simply torturous. My family and I know that pain all too well.

Just like my late husband John, Sherry was a good person. She was a school teacher - an active, positive member of her community. She was a mom. She was a fellow runner. And like John,
Sherry Arnold will not be forgotten!

So, by evening, everything was set for the Hilton Head Island Half Marathon. My sneaks, clothes, Garmin and my bib, Remembering Sherry Arnold.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday at the Track: Quick and EZ

My track work out was not so bad this week. I ran an easy 2mile warm-up and completed four 100meter strides. Then I ran what Coach called a "Potpourri" of sets.
In the first set, I ran 800meters at a 7min10sec pace and then jogged 400meters. Next, I ran 400meters at a 6min40sec pace and followed that up with a 200meter jog. And after that I ran 200meters at a 6min30sec pace and followed that up with a 100meter jog.

The second set was faster, but shorter. I ran 600 meters at a 6min40sec pace, followed up with a 200 meter jog. Next came a 300 meter run at a 6min30sec pace, followed up by a 100 meter jog and lastly, I ran 200 meters at a 6min20sec pace and jogged a full 400 meter lap.

I ended with a short cool down, 1mile or so, and called it a day.

I am scaling back in preparation for my 1/2 marathon in South Carolina on Saturday Morning @8AM! It's about 70*F (21*C) in South Carolina this time of year - I hope I can handle the 40*F(20*C) change in temperature. I'm excited and a little nervous. My goal this year is to break 1hour and 40minutes. I don't know if I can do it this time around, but I am going to put my best effort forward.
South Carolina, here I come!
The biggest thing that I changed over the last 10days is my effort to get sleep. I have been really trying to get at least 7hours per night. So, I hope this helps me in my race on Saturday. I felt really strong at the track - a whole bunch better than last week - so, I think the extra 2hours of sleep each night really helped.

Let's hear it for South Carolina! 
My 9th state and my 10th 1/2 marathon!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Immunity to Change

I cried twice in my Medical Nutrition class, yesterday. Once because I took a quiz on medical terminology and felt as if I studied the wrong things. I don't ever remember reading about a "plastic" artery, or the root word for bone marrow.
I wasn't the only one. When the Professor called, "Time!" ...yeah, I know, when was the last time you heard a Professor ever say that's it 'TIME'. Everyone around me all had the same look on their faces - like they just crapped themselves! Then, this young boy raised his hand and asked, "Are you sure you took those words from the book you told us to study from?" Nervous giggles everywhere ...and then the realization ....
This class is freakin' HARD!
The lecture followed for about an hour and then we took a break. After the break, one of students gave a presentation on Type II Diabetes. For this class,we each have to choose a different medical condition, assess the condition based on someone who will allow us to have access to their medical records, prescribe a Nutrition Therapy Program and then evaluate and monitor the plan to determine if the Nutrition Therapy is helping.

The student presenting on Type II Diabetes stated that her patient was morbidly obese, a single mom (she had one young son), drove a delivery truck for a living and was currently taking medicine for her diabetes, but refused to take insulin. The student worked for a Podiatrist, which is where she met her patient. This patient comes in with foot ulcers, which are a common complaint when someone is suffering from uncontrolled diabetes. According to the patient's medical records, the medicine that she took for the diabetes was not working and her blood sugar levels were very high. As a result, this patient was now suffering from the early stages of kidney failure.

Then, my classmate presented what her patient ate on any one particular day. For breakfast, the diabetic patient would go to Dunkin Donuts, every day, and get a bacon egg and cheese sandwich and a large coffee with four sugars and milk. For lunch, she would go to Subway and order a sandwich full of salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese with a medium Coke. For dinner, she and her son would go to McDonald's and ordered a Whopper Jr. with a medium fries and a medium Coke.

That's when I lost it. I just sat there and cried. This poor woman, she was killing herself, on so many levels. Then, I just pictured her, eating dinner, with her son - maybe at McDonald's, maybe in their kitchen. I wondered if they had heat. So many thoughts and scenarios ran through my head about this person.

She didn't want to change her diet. She didn't want to take the insulin. Why? Why didn't she want to make the effort - even if it were just for her son?

There is a disconnect somewhere. I see it even with people who have the best intentions. Their ability to "make meaning" or "sense" is missing.

Like with people who make some kind of resolution and say, "I wanna start an exercise routine" or "I wanna quit smoking" or "I wanna lose 10pounds". But they don't ...there is an immunity to change.

With my classmate's patient, the immunity to change was huge. It was beyond not having any motivation, confidence or desire to change. Kegan & Lahey, in Immunity to Change,  say this immunity is based on hidden commitments that drive our behavior and grip our thoughts. The only thing I could think of for my classmate's patient was that the foods she chose to eat were the only things in her life that gave her pleasure. It was the only thing that she used to treat herself. These are what Kegan & Lahey call "Hidden Commitments."

To move passed our immunity to change we need to address our hidden commitments so we can make our goals and visions possible. My classmate came up with a great Nutrition Therapy Program that altered her patient's foods a little - she replaced the Coke with Diet Coke and replaced the fattening deli meat with lean turkey. These small alterations don't threaten her current food choices that much, but the real change will come when my classmate's patient recognizes her immunity to change and her hidden commitments. I pray this happens for her.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Yooooou bought him candy?

A couple of weeks ago, my son wrestled in a "Quad" meet. This is where four high school teams get together and each boy (or girl) wrestles three matches. Mini-man wrestled his first match and won - but he came off the mat and didn't look good.
Mini-man getting ready for his oponent 
At the time, I was sitting in the bleachers, thanking God that I was able to keep my composure during the match. For once, I didn't yell out something horrible and obnoxious.
Yes, that small-framed, unimposing woman in the bleachers screaming, 
"Just squish that kid,"
is me. 
Yeah - and that's what's coming out of my mouth when mini-man is winning - you should hear what comes out of my mouth when he's losing! It's utterly embarrassing. I have been known to shove a scarf in my mouth to stop the impulse to scream out other horrific things. 

Anyway, mini-man came off the mat and mouthed to me, "I don't feel good. I feel sick ...nauseous, like I am going to puke." Wrestling is a tough sport. Not only is it tough on the parent(s) when they have to watch their kid's face get run into the ground, but it's tough on the wrestlers. It involves a great deal of strength, speed, agility and lots of humility. There is also this "cutting" of weight. I'm glad that mini-man hasn't really had to "cut" weight, but I have seen him go without dinner in fear that he will not "make weight" the next day. The night before that quad meet, he did not eat dinner. He just sat there watching everyone else eat and sipped some Traditional Medicinal's Smooth Move Tea.

So, when he looked up at me and mouthed that he didn't feel good, I thought, 'this kid needs sugar.' I ran over to where they sell all the candy and snack bags - you know that high school fund-raising snack-crap - and I bought him ...brace yourself ....a candy bar! Everyone was in shock ...

"Yooooou bought him candy?"

They all know me to be "Miss Organic'. Last year, when I ran the snack bar for the Rec program - everyone was yelling at me. It took everything in me to go to Costco and buy Dorritos, Chips and Cake.

So, I ran over and gave mini-man the candy bar and said, "Here, eat this." He was so confused, he probably thought I was having some kinda' menopausal moment and just went off the deep end.

And, what do you know, within 15minutes, he was all smiles and feeling better, again. 

Consuming enough carbs is really important, especially for athletes that compete in more than one activity throughout the day. Mini-man's muscles needed energy and if he (and his muscles) didn't get it, his second and third matches would have been disastrous.

As endurance runners, we know what this is like and that's why we eat the protein bars and GU before a run, eat chokbloks during an long run and drink low fat chocolate milk or a recovery drink after a workout. The GU, Shot Bloks, protein bars and low fat chocolate milk act like the candy - they are good, quick, easy sources of energy.

Quick and easy foods for before, during and after a workout are great for providing energy. Like, drinking low fat chocolate milk after a long run - it can supply protein (branch chain amino acids), electrolytes (like sodium and potassium, which are lost in sweat) and it's rehydrating. But these foods can also be a trap. I find this stuff (especially recovery drinks because I can't drink milk) to be really, REALLY filling.

The long runs are hard on my stomach and I am just not hungry afterward. I make it an effort to remind myself that nothing replaces the benefits of eating whole foods. We need nutrient rich foods that are going to help our body's ability to repair tissues, muscles and bones and keep our immune system strong.

So, even though I have lots of Nu-Go bars, I write on the outside of the box, 'Not a snack ...only eat if working out.'

It's easy to grab one of these bars and head out to class, instead of taking the time to make a lunch with whole grain bread that's full of the B vitamins, lean protein and healthy unsaturated fats full of Omega 3 & 6 oils. That writing isn't only for me, I see my son and daughter going for these bars as a snack - or when they are running late for school, they think that they can just grab one of these bars for breakfast. I have to keep reminding them that these "supplemental foods" and they shouldn't be used to replace breakfast. They are better off eating a yogurt, which is full of branch chain amino acids, with some fresh fruit, full phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

So even though the bars, bagels, candy and sport recovery drinks can be a great source of energy and/or protein before, during and after workouts, once the workout is through, put the emphasis on nutrient dense quality foods for meals and snacks. Only nutrient-dense foods are going to help you build resiliency, strengthen and heal tissues, fuel your immune system and help you to maximize your health and avoid injury!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday at the track

It was a rough go on the track this morning - and this was very frustrating because it was so warm outside - it was 56*F (13.3*C)! I thought that I should have run faster in such beautiful weather.

Usually Coach says, "Run a 6:40'mile" and I try to run a 6:30'mile. 
Today, the track was swallowing me whole - like I was running in quicksand!
I wanted to give up, but my coach was yelling screaming, 
"C'mon, you're a few off, finish strong. Let's go, go, go!" 
It was depressing 'cause I usually hear him yell, "Back it off. You're too fast."

So, the workout was 2miles warm-up at 8:30'mile pace and the usual six 100meter strides. Then, I had to run six 800meters at a 6:40'mile pace with a 300meter recovery at about 9'mile (+) pace.

I maintained an average of about 6:43'mile pace and that was with an all out push. I felt like I was going to puke from all the H+ ions spilling into my blood. I couldn't wait to finish, so that I could just jog my easy mile cool down and stretch.

Overall, it was a good little workout. Keeping it real, here - I'll admit, I am glad it's over!