Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday NOT at the Track: Ode to my left knee

I love Barbara Streisand.
I think she is one of the greatest singers of all time.

She has had some incredible songs, but there is one song I love to listen to on my iPod while I'm running:
"Don't Rain On My Parade"
It's so gutsy. It's a fighting song! And, it's great to run to! 

Today, I heard it when I was at the gym, while I was warming up on the rower - I know ...awful, dreadful and oh so not running, but I have to start somewhere, and I had to get warmed up before I did some isometrics for my knee ...which is healing! Yup, I was actually able to climb up and down the stairs today at the Rehab Center where I volunteer. I try to cover up my hobble there, because I feel so pathetic knowing that my hobble is self-induced ...I knew something was wrong with my knee last Thursday, but I was determined to run my half in Boston on Sunday. There are lots of people dealing with far worse than my sore knee at the Rehab Center - some are dealing with recent leg amputations, while some are stroke patients and others are victims of a fall or accident.

Working out to "Don't Rain On My Parade" is encouraging, especially when running. Since I haven't been running, I am starting - I can feel it - to slip into crazy, little by little, each day. And I guess that's why, on my track day, with no track work out, I have changed the words of Ms Streisand's song ...
It is now, "Knee, Don't Rain On My Half Marathon Dreams". 
It's an ode, okay sort of threat, to my hurt left knee ....
Listen here, Knee: Heel, or else ...
"Knee, Don't Rain On My Half Marathon Dreams"
by Half-Crazed Runner
Don't tell me not to live,
Just sit and putter,
Knee - don't you know life's candy & the sun is butter.
Don't bring around some pain
To rain on my half marathon dreams!

Don't tell me not to jog -
I've simply got to.
Knee, if someone takes a spill, it's me & not you.
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my half marathon dreams?

I'll run my ass off,
to the beat of my drum,
And if I'm breathed out, (I know it's stupid)
It's your turn at bat, Knee.
At least I didn't fake it.
Fake Knees!
Knee, sir, 
I guess I didn't make it (to the track today)!

Whether I'm the rose
Of sheer PR perfection,
Or a tiny freckle on life's complexion,
Track cinders, or the shiny apple of the track,
I gotta run once,
I gotta jog once,
Only can die once, Right, Knee?

Oooh, Gu is juicy,
Juicy, and you see
I gotta have my Gu, Knee!
Get ready for me, Knee,
cause I'm a runner,
I simply gotta sprint or dash this summer,
My heart's a runner.
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my half marathon dreams!

I'm gonna run and run now!
Get what I want - like that new PR & how,
One half for all fifty and bang,
One sprint when that bell goes clang,
Eye on the finish and wham,
One half, just one (more) half, and BAM!

Hey pain in the Knee,
Here I am ....
And no Knee, 
No, no, Knee
Is gonna rain on my on my half marathon dreams!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon

Boston's 6th Annual Run to Remember is a tribute run to honor Massachusetts Law  Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community. One way this race gave back to the community is by supporting the Boston Police Kids At Risk Program, which provides a safe encouraging environment to inner city kids to help them make better life choices, in hopes they will avoid joining a gang or get involved in acts that will lead to incarceration. I was proud to run in this race - it's great to know that by competing in these 1/2 marathons, I can honor and help (even if it's just a wee bit) others - and this year were 5,407 runners strong!

There we stood, all of us anticipating the start of the race, listening to the Star Spangled Banner. It gave me chills listening, being that it was Memorial Day weekend. I stood there, praying for all those killed in the armed forces and for all the families who lost a family member - a brother, sister, mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin.
On my way to Boston's Run to Remember,
Memorial Day Weekend 2012
There was a brief pause for a PhotoOp, which was like this photo from 2011, but everyone was instructed to face the man with the camera, who was standing on the bridge behind us. This year, they didn't want a picture of the runners' backs or butts.

Speaking of butts, the laser treatments have been really effective. I had very little piriformis or semitendinosis pain, but I did have pain. Last Thursday, Coach had me scheduled for 4miles. My knee was giving out during that little 4mile run. It felt week and sore. This is the first time I have ever had knee pain, like this.

During my pre-race warm-up strides, my knee felt sore. I was soooo nervous. I didn't want my knee to give out and fall during the race. Ugh! I was shooting to finish in 1hour and 40minutes, no PR, just to get through. I was hoping to make the top 10 in the 40-49 age bracket.

The race course was very pretty, but of course, I am bias 'cause I LOVE Boston! It's such a great little city and I love all of its history - okay, yes, I'll admit, I love shopping on Newbury Street, too! Who doesn't? This race didn't go in that direction, though.

The race started at Boston's World Financial Center, went out toward Boston Harbor and the seaport area, and then continued out toward Cambridge and Harvard University. This was my only half where I actually eavesdropped on two men having a conversation about research on aging endurance runners. There I was, right by Harvard, when these two men passed me, and on the back of their shirts: HARVARD. Where else would you hear people talking about research while running in a half marathon, than Boston's Half through Cambridge, by Harvard University ...and it was research on endurance runners, apparently, "the only one of its kind". It was classic. Even suffering from the progressively worsening knee pain, I started to crack up!

A lot of the race was on Memorial Drive, which follows along the Charles River. It was very pretty. Coming back, the race took you passed the public gardens. By that time, it was pretty hot and humid. There was a little shade by the gardens, which offered a nice little reprieve.

Along the way, I think we crossed about three bridges. These were really the only hills - otherwise, the course was pretty flat. Still, with a bum knee, out and back over the bridges added up and by the last bridge, Seaport Blvd Bridge, I was in lots of pain. The last mile would not have been manageable had it not been for Side-kick and my two kids cheering me on. With the beautiful skyline ahead of me and a terrific crowd with lots of people screaming and cheering, I pushed forward. I really just wanted to give in to my knee pain, and walk, but I heard someone yell, "Finish Strong!" I held on to that and kept repeating it, until I crossed the finish.
I finished in 1:42.
Not my best race. 
No PR.
Somehow I managed to be in the top 10%! 
Not bad for having a bum knee. 

There were lots of goodies at the end to celebrate each runner's ability to finish Boston's 1/2marathon. I grabbed my medal ...
Massachusetts, State #10!
...hobbled over to the food line and grabbed a raisin bagel, a packet of peanut butter and a coconut water. Then, I hobbled over to the Red Cross Station. They were really busy! Lots of dehydrated runners and people with heat exhaustion. I felt guilty being there - I just wanted some ice for my knee. It was hard making my way through the crowd to the Red Cross station - it felt (and still feels) like the nerves on the inside of my knee are rubbing against each other and it's really painful to walk. Thank you to the nurses at the Red Cross station - you were all so kind and helpful and wow, did you ever have your hands full!

I don't know how I ran that half. Side-kick told me that when he saw me, I looked as if I were in pain - I was doing some sort of hobble/run move. Our bodies are just so amazing - they try so hard to keep going, even when rest is needed.

Well, it is time to take some time off from running. I have another 1/2 in June, in Vermont, and I am really hopeful I can run, but we will see. For now, I have a doctor's appointment, on Friday, which was the earliest one I could get! Until then, I'm icing my knee - 3minutes on, 3 minutes off - to get the blood to circulate for healing and a quick recovery, but more importantly, I am reflecting on another great half and time spent with my family!
Mini-man, Girlfriend and Side-Kick:
People watching on Boylston St!
Above all, I'm staying optimistic!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Did you say boring? No ...BORON!

I took my daughter to the OBGYN this week (sorry girlfriend, I'm trying to make a point). At the receptionist's desk, there was a display of all sorts of vitamins for sale. One vitamin was for 'Strong Bones'. I thought this particular supplement was interesting because it stated that it contained vitamin D and the fifth element of the periodic chart, boron.
I think you are going to hear quite a bit about Boron. Currently, there is no FDA Recommended Daily Allowance determined for boron. I am guessing, with our aging population, this could change. The reason for this is due to lots of new research providing evidence that dietary boron effects metabolic processes, like coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

When dietary consumption of boron is increased, it has been shown to increase estrogen, testosterone, blood calcium levels, decrease calcium excretion and blood lipids levels, as well as counteract the negative effects of vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies. In an aging population, this information can be particularly useful  - especially to those who suffer from arthritis, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.

Some research has shown that boron can form corticosteroids, alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Other research reports how boron can promote removal of cholesterol from tissues and lower blood lipid levels, benefitting persons suffering from atherosclerosis.

Regarding bone health, boron plays a role in vitamin D, magnesium and calcium metabolism, which can benefit bone metabolism, leading to a decrease in bone brittleness and an increase in bone strength.
Resistance exercise helps build strong bones, at any age!
There was also another study, which probably won't concern many people - especially those suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis or high blood lipid levels. It caught my eye, though, because I like to run and to run, you need to produce ATP, cellular energy.

Boron influences about 26 different enzymatic activities in plants & animals. In this role, boron regulates enzymatic activity involved in energy substrate metabolism (like burning sugar for energy). In this role, boron competes with ATP precursors (NAD, FAD & GDP) and reversibly inhibits their activity. Out of this research, stems boron's ability to be an anti-oxidant, which may sound great to some, but when I am out there competing, telling every mitochondria in every cell (except RBC's, of course) to make ATP, I don't want to have a defeating moment, where my brain tells me that my body can't make ATP because I've been taking vitamin D supplements with boron.
My goal on Sunday in the Boston 1/2 marathon: Make a lot of ATP!
One of my readers once commented and said, 
"This is too complicated. I just eat healthy food."
I agree!

That's why it's good to know that boron is abundant in fruits, vegetables and legumes. Like that expression, an apple a day: apples are a great source of boron ... and so are grapes, apricots, dates, raisins, celery, cabbage, lentils, chick peas, almonds and bananas.

Unfortunately, levels of boron may vary among foods, based on levels of boron in the soil in which these fruits, veggies and legumes have been grown. That's why it is best to eat a variety of fruits, veggies and legumes to ensure you are getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, besides, it gets boring eating the same old things!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday at the Track: Piriformis My Arse!

You would think since I'm not taking any summer classes, I'd have more time on my hands. 
Since I posted last Friday, it's been non-stop.
Last Friday was fun - my daughter went to her junior/senior prom.
Pre-prom Picture Time
I had about 40-50 people over for a pre-party soiree! 150 pieces of sushi went like hot cakes! Thank goodness, 'cause that just does not keep!
Side-kick, Girlfriend, Me & Mini-man
in our Memorial Garden<3
A couple of people hung out afterward. It was nice, but after volunteering at Kessler Rehab all day, I was exhausted. This is where I've been spending a chunk of my days. I volunteer in the nutrition department 3 days/week. The rehab center provides acute care for patients suffering from strokes, aphasia from brain trauma, surgery or strokes, diabetic amputees, and seniors who have fallen & suffered fractures. It really puts eating healthy & exercising into perspective.
This was all too true on the track today. Any other day, I would have thought Coach was going too easy on me. I started out with 1.25mile warm up and continued with four 100meter sprints. Last week, I got down to an 18sec 100meter sprint & I felt as if I reinjured myself. So this week, I took the sprints slower, and pushed out 22-23' sprints. I don't want to screw things up for my 1/2 in Boston this Sunday.

After telling Coach that I was sore after last week's workout, he designed today's workout to be "easy". I ran four sets of 200 meters with 30' rest/30' stretch between each set. My pace goal was 3:33/set!

Afterward, I told Coach I was going to cool down with a 2mile jog. 
"No, no, no! Just 1mile. You need rest & ice. 
Go home & ice your foot (plantar fasciitis), your hamstring & your butt!"

I complained, "But my mental health, I feel like I need more."
You know that, 'I'm still not centered' feeling? 
Like you need to run at least a couple of more miles?

Ech, I hate this injury! It is better (thank God), but I really work on it. And I have come to define it. I can tell, it's my piriformis, not my hammy. On the track, my hamstrings only start to hurt at the end of the workout, when my glutes get tired. 
In fact, I went to my chiropractor for an adjustment & he told me that it sounds like piriformis syndrome.  He suggested a laser treatment after adjusting my spine. 
Yes, and now I can tell the world my arse has been layered! 
Well actually, just my piriformis!

And right now, I'm sitting on a tennis ball that's massaging my butt. My butt has never received so much special attention! Only negative attention ...I've been told that I really don't have much of a butt, that my legs just sort of continue to my back. I say, nonsense, I do have a butt & lately, it's been hurting like hell!

Just gotta keep rockin' the ice, foam roller, LAX ball, tennis ball, laser, chiropractic adjustments & arnica gel with menthol, not to mention ant-inflammatory foods, like tart cherry juice and omega-3's!

PS: Contemplating running the NYMarathon ...any thoughts? See this is what happens when someone tells an A-type personality to take it down a notch!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Protein, you need some healthy carbs!

So it's the end of LAX season and my son has already started training for wrestling. This summer, mini-man is going to train at a new gym. The director of this gym e-mailed my son some nutrition guidelines. Nine out of seventeen foods on the main list were high protein foods. The nutrition guidelines reviewed supplemental protein shakes, fruits, veggies and directions on how to avoid processed foods.
No where, do these guidelines highlight the benefits of whole grains.
Where's the beef, CARBS?
Doesn't he know that Protein needs a good Carb to work?

Of course, I'm coming from an endurance/aerobic/Carb Queen point of view, but still, it never ceases to amaze me how much respect protein gets, and how little carbs get.

The guidelines promote eating a variety of foods, and just a little mention of whole grains - and with that little 'mention', there's a slap in the face. Case in point:
2-3 scrambled eggs
2-3mixed fruits (fruit salad)
and if you are still hungry: a bowl of oatmeal.
Ouch, that hurt!
Okay, I won't go into the NSCA's recommendations on carbs for wrestlers,  as stated in the December 2011 NSCA Journal, but really, 'If you're still hungry?' 

Why does protein always get top billing?
Yeah, I get that it helps form hemoglobin, hormones, enzymes and antibodies and helps regulate acids, bases and fluids in the body, but the AMDR percentage of daily calories that should be protein is only 10-30% compared to carbs 45-65%.

Okay, so excess protein can be used as a source of energy, but it will also demand a lot of oxygen and water for processing (not good for endurance runners). 
Excess protein can also be stored as fat.
Athletes need protein, but XS amounts can be harmful!
Since mini-man is working out intensely, he needs some extra protein to maintain his health, support muscle growth and preserve bone integrity. So, yes, he can afford to eat some extra protein in his diet, like about 1.2 to 1.8g/kg body weight per day. But he also needs some whole grains and healthy carbs.

To maximize training efforts, it's helpful to understand 
how the body uses protein, 
what type of protein is good for aerobic or anaerobic activity 
and what's the latest research on protein timing?

Because muscles breakdown when you train, 
and what better way to maximize health and prevent injury 
than being able to know how to feed your body right!

After exercise, muscles can take 24-48hours to repair themselves. Eating a variety of foods with different protein absorption rates can maximize muscle building and repair. 

Milk and eggs have high absorption rates because they are recognized as easily digestible proteins. Beef and soy follow, with vegetable proteins (like from from rice and beans or mac & cheese) lagging behind. So, by eating some proteins that are easy to digest, and some that are not, you can manage to supply those recovering muscles throughout their muscle building and repair period!
Also, to maximize protein absorption, 
it's better to eat a little protein with some carbs and fat. 
How many time you've heard to drink
low fat chocolate milk as a recovery drink?
(Re: Protein burns on the heels of a healthy Carb)

During endurance exercise, when carbohydrates stores are low, muscles will rely on fat and/or protein, especially the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA). Many supplements or sports drinks will tout their addition of BCAA's, stating that muscles can use them as a source of energy. This is true, but only up to a certain point. Our body's enzymes limit the rate at which we can use these BCAA's. But with adequate carbs, there is less demand on your body's ability to convert these proteins into energy because your body can rely on the carbs for energy!

So can knowing this affect exercise stamina? 

Yes! Based on research, protein alone cannot improve an endurance athletes ability to work faster or increase stamina. Protein added to a carbohydrate beverage  consumed during activity can help, but since protein reduces gastric emptying, it can cause stomach problems, which would really stink in a race or a competition.

After intense exercise, protein has been shown to reduce muscle soreness, but the research is not clear if consuming protein during training is more effective than consuming it during  recovery. There's lots of research, though, on proteins and carbs helping in recovery efforts, especially after intense exercise. Carbs help supply the energy needed for the next training session, while proteins help reduce muscle tissue breakdown and soreness. Just as little as 0.1 to 0.2grams of protein per kg body weight has been shown to help reduce muscle tissue breakdown and soreness.

Research has shown some benefits to eating protein (~ 6grams of essential amino acids, like eggs, whey or soy protein isolate) with carbs (~35grams), before exercise, when that exercise is weight training. This research was conducted on athletes who fasted, and it showed that the protein with the carbohydrate helped to increase muscle gain and repair. This research is why I started eating an energy bar before my morning gym routine!

Carbs help stimulate the hormone, insulin. 
Insulin helps prevent muscle tissue breakdown.
Insulin also helps get protein into muscle cells.
Once in cells, protein helps reduce muscle tissue breakdown and soreness.
It's not all about protein!
Protein needs healthy Carbs!

Research has shown that this chain of events is most likely to occur if a little bit of protein is consumed with some carbs immediately after training. Waiting a couple of hours after training can reduce the carb/protein recovery effects on muscle tissue breakdown, gain and repair.

Well, that's my soapbox stance for this Friday 
...and I haven't even begun to talk about essential fatty acids!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday at the track: Tidbits of Wisdom

Ouch! I was doing okay until this morning's track work. I've been healing and I thought I had this butt/hammy thing under control. After this morning's work out, though, I feel like I'm back to square one. Right now, I'm sitting on a bag of ice!
Hey, Lindsay must have a sore hammy too!
I pushed hard today - I even got down to 19 seconds on two out of the six 100's, after my mile warm-up!

And after that, I thought the work out would be easy. Coach told me to run 8 laps (2miles or 3.2km) at a 7:20pace, jog 2 laps recovery, run 6 laps (1.5miles or 2.4km) at the same pace with another 2 lap recovery jog.  In fact I said, "That's easy!"
Coach: "Mmmm ...that's a lot of running!"

 '....this should be a cinch!'
Eating humble pie is never easy. When I was done with that work out, I looked at Coach and told him, "You were right. That was a lot of running!"
Now I'm here, acting like Walt Disney!
I ran about 2 cool down miles and stretched for about 30minutes, holding each stretch for at least 30seconds.

The track was crowded today. I guess it's bikini season, either that or America's conscious is waking up after watching The Weight of The Nation. I hope so! Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese! American children, they don't stand a chance - about 18% are obese! This number is up from 5% in the 1970's! Almost all of these obese children will become obese adults. This current young generation is the first generation who will probably not live as long as their parents. It's very sad.

In the crowd of people today, one of my favorite persons was there: Warrior Woman! She was so complimentary, again - and really, she's the real deal! I bumped into her at the grocery store about 2 weeks ago. She was full of energy - I can't capture her personality with words - she's spunky, upbeat ...strong. When she talks, she is animated and her words sort of get propelled forward. She told me that she wasn't feeling that great. If she didn't say, I would never have known - she is very intense and purposeful in her speaking. She is also full of little 'one-liners' - plain, simple, sensible little tid-bits of wisdom. After telling me that she wasn't feeling that great, she paused, took a deep breath, looked me straight in the eyes and said,
"You know what I can't stand ... people who are healthy and don't work out. 
I drag my butt to the track to work out, even when I don't feel good."

She's right!
It's just that simple.
You can't say it any better! 
People will complain, blame and/or succumb regarding their health woes, weight or certain physical attributes, but they don't do anything about it!

Today, Warrior Woman was telling me that they found a growth on her cheek. A small Band-Aid was protecting the area where they biopsied her skin and drilled into her cheek bone for a sample. 
She is waiting, hoping and praying, it's not cancer. 
I am too.

There she was, living to her own standards: working out at the track, even when she wasn't feeling up to it, because, as she said, "I gotta work out, especially when I don't feel good that I can feel good!"
She's right!
It's just that simple.
You can't say it any better!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Little Pains in the Arse

I had my scare for the day. Of course it was from one of my little pains in the arse. It started with a phone call. I looked down, saw the number come up on the caller ID and thought, "Uh-oh, it's the school."

I took a deep breath, held it in, released, picked up the phone and said, "Yes. Ok,  what's up? What evil, horrible thing did my child do?"

It was my son's English teacher, "Hi is this 'mini-man's' mom?"

I thought, 'What the heck ...Why do I get the phone calls from the school? I was a saint in school. No one ever had to call up my parents.'
What the....
What could be so hard, he just has to wake up, go to school and freakin' sit there and now, get this ...LEARN! What an absurd idea, right?

"I know Mother's Day is coming up ..."

OMG....she is sooooo mad that she wants to make sure I do not have one ounce of happiness on Mother's Day! It must be bad. Brace yourself.

Mini-man's English teacher, Mrs B, continued, "I just wanted to tell you some positive things, about your son that will make you proud and really enjoy this Mother's Day weekend."

"Huh? You mean my son is NOT in trouble?"

"No, no, no, in fact we had a student led discussion, today, and he really showed leadership, he was very well-prepared and very thoughtful and very reflective about the large issues."

OMG! I was so grateful! Mrs B had so many positive things about mini-man - I wanted to push my arms through the phone and give her a great big hug!

It's celebratory. 
Of course, it is, heck, it's MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND! 

And just like that, my troubles melted 'like lemon drops!'
Go mini, Go mini, Go mini, woooo!
After my head came back down to earth, I couldn't help but wonder what this weekend would have been like if the phone call wasn't positive. My head was pounding. I got myself so nervous and worried that I actually gave myself a headache! I got myself an Advil (ibuprofen, otherwise know as a NSAID, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) and thought, 'Well it's a good thing I'm off, today, and don't have to run.'

Did you know that ibuprofen can contribute to increased levels of bacteria in the blood of endurance athletes 
and is associated with kidney inflammation 
and in some cases, mild kidney dysfunction?

I have been really careful with my recent pain in the "butt" (different from pains in the arse from children) not to take ibuprofen before my long runs. Besides the fact that NSAID's can mask pain that you should probably pay attention to during a run, it could also lessen the stresses of exercise needed to activate certain pathways, like those that increase collagen and lead to stronger tissues and bones. This could lead to future injuries, which, could lead to taking more NSAID's, and so on and so forth.

Even more frightening, according to research, endurance runners who took an ibuprofen before and during an endurance race showed signs of mild kidney impairment and a low-level of endotoxemia, a condition which bacteria from the colon leaks into the blood stream.

So, what do you do when your sore, hurt or injured?
Scale back or, now get this ....REST!
Another absurd idea, right?


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday at the track: Gotta love these balls!

Wow, what a crazy last couple of weeks - lots of papers, projects, power points, presentations, exams, finals and volunteer work! My desk and dining room table are in ruins! There are papers piled all over the place in my final efforts to cram everything I've learned this past semester into my brain, in some kind of nice orderly, retrievable fashion.
Even through the craziness and this weird butt-hammy inflammation/pain thing-a-ma-jiggy, I made it through last week's 25miles.
Not bad, all things considered!
And today on the track, I was able to produce a little power to get down to a 6:40min mile pace!
YES! Striving to be at least as strong as last year!
Today's work out didn't start out so great. First, I warmed up with 2miles in the pouring rain. These were slow - around a 9min mile pace. After, I broke into four slow strides, too. Coach only gave me four today, due to the pain. Next, he gave me a ladder work out. I had to run 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 800 and 400. They started at 1:40' for the first 400m interval and went up to 7:00' for the 1600interval. The best part ...the 400meter recovery jog!

After the 1200meters, I told Coach the curve on the track was too much for my left side. I had to switch it up - I ran the rest of the work out running the opposite direction. It felt so much better, plus it stopped raining. My left side was so grateful it didn't have to keep taking all the pounding going around the curve of the track. I actually started to feel my speed pick up!

After the track work out, I ran a 1mile cool down and got my "homework" for the week. Coach is so cute, he's coached kids for years (and still does), so when he writes down a training schedule for the week (on scraps of paper), he gives it to you and says, "Okay, here's your homework."

It's this little piece of paper made of awesomeness 
and worth more than its weight in gold!
My Homework!
He also gave me a tennis ball and told me to sit on it when I'm in the car, working on my computer, reading or watching TV. Okay, I thought, anything for some relief ...what the heck, I'll give it a whirl!

As I hobbled to my car, I realized, "Ouch, I'm pretty freakin' sore!"  And when I got in, I shoved that tennis ball under the top of my left hammy!
What do you know, I felt relief! 
The weird thing about this pain is that I can't really put my finger on it, it's just a generalized butt/hammy area pain. But as soon as I sat on that tennis ball, I felt I could massage and stretch out where the pain was, sort of. It's hard to explain.

Anyway, now, writing this, I have a tennis ball under my left hammy and a golf ball under my left foot (the old plantar fasciitis).

I just love these balls!
My golf & tennis balls, that is!
 .... Geeze, Louise,


Friday, May 4, 2012

Food Facts Friday: 80 years!

NJ Eat Right!
Spending the day at the 80th Annual NJ Dietetics Association meeting! 
Learning lots (even more about dark chocolate)!
Meeting incredible professionals, who are so knowledgeable in the field of nutrition!

Trying to get involved in promoting licensure of RD's in New Jersey!
Today's folk medicine is tomorrow's evidence-based: 
RD's know the difference, 
why trust anyone else?

Last final: Monday!
Studying, studying and more studying, to make sure we....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wedenesday at the track: OUCH!

Today, I still had to put up with this pain in my left butt cheek. The pain goes down my left leg, and then to my heel - it makes running that first mile very uncomfortable. Today, I ran a two mile warm-up, very slowly, before I hobbled onto the track.
Gotta love Maxine!
Okay, it's not that bad.
I told Coach it's a 3.5, on a scale of 1-5. 
His advice: "Stop if it reaches a 4! For now, do 6 strides at a slower pace ..."

After the strides, the pain felt the same, not better, and thankfully, not worse. I took the work out a little slow. I completed four sets of 1000meter runs with a 200meter jog between each set. My pace was about 7min10sec to 7min20sec.

The last set, the pain reached a 4. It was obvious, too. During the last 400meters, my pace dropped down to about 7min35sec.

Maybe it's good that I have two finals coming up: one tomorrow and one on Monday least I was able to sit, read and study after my track work out.

I also visited my favorite doctor, my chiropractor!

Today, the adjustment wasn't as painful as last week's. As with my coach, my chiropractor says that I should keep icing all the sore parts: butt, leg & foot. He also thinks I should kick it back a notch.
That advice hurts more than the pain in my butt!

It's hard to admit when you gotta cut back ...and it's even harder doing it. 
It's weird to have an injury from something you love doing. 
It's weird having to cut back on something that has, in the past, made you feel healthy, but when injured, interferes with your health.

This cutting back concept is good advice, and I'll take it because I want to be able to do my best in the 13.1 I'm doing in Massachusetts at the end of this month, but like most medicine, it's a hard pill to swallow!
Got my tart cherry juice, some chia chargers, studying and cutting back!