Saturday, January 28, 2012

Food Facts Friday (Saturday): Let's hear it for the carbs!

This Food Facts Friday is being posted on Saturday! I just had too much going on yesterday, one of which, I am so happy to say, was an interview!

Yes on top of my everyday life of trying to 

  • raise two kids
  • care for my Jack Russell
  • manage a home
  • train for future half-marathons
  • maintain a 12 credits semester (I will get that RD license!)
  • And work with an engineering firm to complete the next level of prototyping for my patented portable abdominal fitness device

I have decided to pursue employment!

So a couple of months ago, I applied for a Dietary Aide position. I did not get the job - but actually, I was relieved. I don't think I could have managed all the above and a 40hour work week. But the Registered Dietician, who was hiring, reached out to me and offered me a chance to volunteer. I know, that doesn't sound like much, but in NJ, nutrition aide jobs are really scarce and most people start out by volunteering. So, I went on this interview. My goal (which I made very clear during the interview) is to volunteer throughout the spring semester, and hopefully, by the summertime, secure a dietary aide position. The RD mentioned that she thought this was how she saw it unfold, too! I am hopeful!

So, recently, I have been reading about food, nutrition and exercise - what else is new, right? This week, it seemed like carbohydrates were constantly popping up - everything I read had to do with carbs.

I started thinking, if I had a dollar for every person I've ever heard say: "I just am going to cut out all carbs from my diet and lose this weight", I could probably buy myself a brand new BMW!
How about this one?
Even in the local pub that I love to go to - it's dark and cozy, it smells of beer and the wide-planked wooden floors have that tacky, malt-residue feel - they are even "Anti-Carbs". They offer several salads on their menu and say something like, 'if you're looking to avoid carbs choose these salads'. First of all, alcohol is a carbohydrate, so if I were looking to avoid carbs, why would I be in their pub, sucking down a beer?

So, here it is, I'm standing on my Soap Box promoting carbs:
  • Carbs are not "bad"  - they do not make you fat. Excess calories make you fat!
  • From simple (lactose) to complex (fiber), carbs are all that!
Okay, I'll stop rhyming.

It's okay if, at each meal, your plate is 1/3-1/2 healthy carbs - full of a combination of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and/or dairy. Those whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy contain our much needed B, C, A, E, D & K vitamins - as well as a whole bunch of minerals. 

Besides, Carbohydrates = Energy. That's their primary role in life! As soon as someone cuts them out of their diet, they are going to feel slow and sluggish - this could prove disastrous for their training program - and even make them too tired for simple normal everyday activities.

Another great benefit to eating carbs is phytonutrients. Remember 5-A-Day - the number of recommended fruits & veggies we should eat every day? (I think the average American consumes about 2-3 fruits and veggies per day). Why 5-A-Day? Besides the great vitamins and minerals, veggies and fruits contain phytonutrients, like anti-oxidants, which help fight off inflammation and oxidative stressors that can cause damage to our DNA, cells and tissues. Eating 5-A-Day, we can protect our DNA, cells and tissues and decrease our risk of so many different diseases - like cancer.

So, don't just eat carbs ...Enjoy them, knowing that they are full of so many great nutrients that will help you feel great, fill you with energy ( which will help you train better) and protect you from disease!
Carbohydrates. Mmmm, mmmm good!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Optimism is Life's Greatest Motivator

I was sitting in class today and the Professor was talking about emotional intelligence. She has "none".

Those are not my words - that's what she told the class. I don't believe her - she seems really kind and empathetic and willing to work out conflicts or any problems that may come up in class. Anyway, she went on to say how emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated and that "optimism is life's greatest motivator".
But what do you do when you get those 1-2punches in life and don't feel very optimistic and you are not very motivated? My Mom-in-law (Phyllis) used to use an expression, "It's feel bad for Phyllis day." I often think of her words when the "rain" comes and unmotivated feelings start to creep in, you know, the ones that make you feel tired - even when you've had enough sleep,
.... it's just a "feel bad for Half-Crazed day."
Recognizing your feelings is always a good start - it's actually "emotionally intelligent". So, yeay for me, I get an "A" for knowing I'm in a slump!

Shame on me, though. How could I be in a slump? Crap, just last week I read an incredible story on Julius Achon. It was in the January 12, 2012 issue of Runner's World. The story is absolutely incredible - it's raw, it's sad, it's inspiring,
... it's one of unmeasured optimism.

Julius Achon, himself was inspired by another Uganda runner, Akii-Bua. At only 10years old, when he heard stories of how Akii-Bua broke the chains of poverty by running, Achon was inspired and started running.

At about 13, he ran 42 miles to compete in a foot race. He ran this race barefoot ...and he won. Wow. No shoes for those 42miles, and then the race! I complain when my sneakers are 6months old! Oh, yeah, and his "sports nutrition" that day - he sucked on some sugarcane!

The next race he won he received a prize: a five-gallon jug for hauling water! He was delighted! That's just crazy! I can't even imagine what he had to endure to get water on a daily basis before having that jug?

He also won a school scholarship - otherwise, he was too poor to go to school. Nonetheless, before then, Achon, from time to time, would sneak into school - he so wanted to learn. And yes, my children are already tired of hearing me talk about this when they complain that they have "too much homework!"

The story goes on to show how Julius survived the civil war in Uganda, but not just by surviving, but by rising up, forging ahead and unselfishly devoting himself to help others.

In 2003, Julius, who had been living in Portugal, returned to Uganda. During this trip, he stumbled on orphans. Since that trip, Julius has dedicated himself to support these orphans. He has built a home for them, fed and clothed them. He even installed a private pump to supply the house with water!

The orphans changed Julius's life and since then, he has established the Achon Uganda Children's Fund.

Amazingly, this fund has provided the monies for the much needed construction of a medical clinic. Now, so many children, who would succumb to malaria fevers, will be able to receive the necessary medicines.

And, Julius Achon's future goals: A village school.
Wow! Julius Achon, you are an amazing person!

So much optimism - even in the eye of despair! 
What an inspirational story!
One to focus on - to promote optimism - to stay motivated - 
 to rise up from the "feel bad for _____ days!"
and keep striving to reach your goals!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring Semester 2012

Lots of research and reading during this first week back at school.
I never liked the Spring semester, it always seems to go on and on.
This Spring I have 4 classes - they all seem pretty interesting. They all seems do-able, except medical nutrition. My medical nutrition class looks as if it will be a huge challenge. My head is still spinning from yesterday's lecture.

It seems as if everyone else has some sort of clue as to what is going on, but me. The professor is using terms, abbreviations and codes that I am totally in the dark about.

So, to help myself, I've decided to update my resume and submit it to the nutrition department at one of the local hospitals. Maybe I will get lucky and get a volunteer position. Eventually, if they like me, I hope to be hired as a nutrition assistant. But for now, just volunteering in a clinical setting has gotta be helpful - I need to understand all this crazy medical nutrition terminology.

In the meanwhile, I have been training my fast twitch muscles to help me run faster in my next half marathon ... which is next month. Besides my weekly speed work, on the track, I have incorporated a weekly tempo run. I have been doing the tempo runs in my gym, on the treadmill and I have gained a new appreciation for the treadmill!

I am also still training the slow twitch muscles with long, 
slow runs and recovery runs. 

Out of all the runs, I like the long, slow runs the best. Lots of times, people ask me why I don't run with a group - heck a group meets practically at the end of my street every Sunday. Sometimes I think it would be really nice to have company on those long runs. Then again, sometimes I need those long solo runs to feel as if I can run away from - or "out run" my problems. I don't want to run with someone who vents their problems. I've read some of those "Go ask Miles" in Runner's World Magazine - and some runners are in such a pickle with their running partners! No thanks, I got enough of my own problems! That's why I love those long runs - some days (I try to) run away from my problems and sometimes I run straight through my problems and come up with solutions - go figure!
Aaah ...that's when those long quiet runs are so very satisfying.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Do you swallow?

If you run for more than 1hour, you should swallow. Yes, it's true, according to Rollo, Williams & Nevil in The Influence of ingesting versus mouth-rinsing a carbohydrate solution during a 1hour run. And shame on you, what were you thinking? Geeze ....

Of course, everyone knows ingesting carbohydrates (CHO), like pasta, are great for endurance runners. But what about during a race? I've come across some articles on the benefits of a CHO mouth-rinse. I never really understood this. Are you supposed to take the sports drink at the "water" stations, swish and spit? Or should you take 4-5 sips and swallow?

Apparently, it all depends on the length of the race:

If you are running in a race and it will take you less than 1hour to finish, you don't hafta swallow. You can take the sports drink, swish for 5seconds and spit - just watch your aim with the other runners ...unless of course your nemesis is beside you! This CHO mouth-rinse can enhance your short-term, high intensity endurance performance because receptors in the mouth stimulate reward centers in the brain.

If you are running in a race and it will take you more than 1hour to finish, you should definitely swallow! Rollo, Williams & Nevil discovered that participants who ingested a CHO-electrolyte solution (like Gatorade Series Performance 02) were able to cover a greater distance than their CHO mouth-rinse counterparts. So during a 1hour time trial, ingestion of a CHO-electrolyte solution was more beneficial than mouth-rinsing with the same solution.

So, mouth-rinse and spit that CHO-electrolyte drink in the short 5k races ...
... looks like David Beckham has got this down pat!

And swallow that CHO-electrolyte drink when running in the longer, endurance-type races!

Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Barbie's Defense ....

Yesterday, I read about some recent Barbie-bashing. Yeah, look, it's Barbie and she's reporting for Reuters ....
Yeah, this is Barbie, reporting on, well, ehem, who else ...myself!
It seems, over the last three weeks, Iran's morality police have visited a number of shops in Tehran and demanded that the shopkeepers remove Barbie from the shelves. This ban is not the first. Oh, no ... Babs has had some rough times in the middle east since as far back as 1996! The middle east has shunned the girl for fear that she can impart "destructive cultural and social consequences."

I have no idea, what they're talking about!
It's just like Barbara Milicent Roberts (that's Bab's full name!). Everywhere she goes there is controversy. From her early beginnings as a young Bratz doll growing up wild in the most "raucous" of all states, yes, my dear folks ....Wisconsin - to her crazy New York runway show held in honor of her 50th birthday celebration back in 2009!
Is Barbie misunderstood or is she really trouble with a capital "T"?

I'll admit, even I have been sucked into the Barbie controversies. When my daughter was three years old, my mom-in-law came over with her first Barbie. I didn't know if girlfriend should have a Barbie - I mean after all, doesn't she promote an unrealistic idea of female body image - leading to eating disorders? Shit, that doll is 11.5inches and built! In real life, she's like 5'9" with a 36inch chest, 18inch waist and 33inch hips. That would leave her about 110 pounds and a BMI equal to 16.5 - she is definitely suffering from a distinct case of amenorrhea!
I guess I should be glad my little girl was three
in the 90's and not in the 00's?
But even on the cultural level here in the US, we have had trouble with Babs. Mattel tried to get her to look like a Sistah back in 1967, but no one was fooled. African American Barbie was just Babs with darker skin. C'mon Mattel, what were you afraid of? It took Mattel until 2009 to make Black Barbie.

In 2000, Mattel thought it a smashing idea to make a handi-capped version of Babs. The only problem, as discovered by a young lady with cerebral palsy, the doll and her wheelchair did not fit in the Barbie's dreamhouse elevator. The dreamhouse needed to be redesigned - Mattel won the bid!

And in 2003, Babs was denied acceptance to the Islam culture in Saudi Arabia. Seems her revealing clothes, shameful postures, accessories and tools are symbols of decadence. Men, woman and children were warned of her dangers!

I call BULL! 
You got Fulla, a Barbie look-alike!
It's like Madonna vs Lady Gaga!
Everyone knows Barbie winds up half-dressed with one plastic shoe on, anyway!
But in Barbie's defense, maybe we are judging the book by the cover. I mean let's stop all the catty-ness. Let's get past her curves, her perfect little nose, big eyes, great house and unbelievable fashion sense. Barbie has been jumping through hoops for the last 53 years trying to get some respect.

After all, she has had over 100 inspirational careers - everything from a teacher to a dentist, paratrooper, UNICEF Summit diplomat, police officer, astronaut and even a paleontologist! She was not some floosy, just looking to hook up with Ken (or GI Joe when I didn't get caught stealing him from my brother). Heck, no - she went to college in the 60's, she was an Olympic swimmer in the 70's, a medic in Desert Storm and she ran for President in the 90's! This girl has lived!

Yes, she is even a world traveler! I guess she did a semester abroad because she went to Europe in the 60's - and Italian was the first "Nationality" Barbie. Chi si dice?
And now, mi Amore, there are over 45 different Barbie Nationalities!
And what an entrepreneur - this girl has marketed herself in about 150 countries world-wide!
Got my passport!
And of course - why do you think? Because she never let anyone bring her down. 
She just adopted the Ivana Trump attitude: 
Looking good is the best revenge! 
Looking good IS your best revenge!
Don't think, though, for one minute, this has been an easy feat. No, no, no! About 1billion fashions have been produced for Babs since 1959. That's 105million yards of fabric, which makes Mattel one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world! And, everyone wants in - don't overlook the fact that seventy famous designers have gone to great lengths to outfit Barbie over the past 53 years!

Currently, Barbie is a $1.5billion dollar-per-year industry! 
Move over Oprah, 'cause you got some competition! 
Wait-a-minute, Oprah is so totally cool - 
she already has one of her very own Barbies!
We miss you, O!
So, in Barbie's defense, let's not judge the book by the cover.

Wait a minute, I think I hear Barbie singing, yeah, seems she has something to say to Iran's morality patrol....


Monday, January 16, 2012

I have a dream, too ...

I watched Dr Martin Luther King's Speech, today, before my morning run ...
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
Forgive me Dr. Martin Luther King, I mean no disrespect, but I have changed your speech, a little. You see, I have a dream, too ....

I, too, refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. 
Now is the time
to lift ourselves from the quicksands of injustice 
to the solid rock of brotherhood. 
Now is the time
to make justice a reality for ALL God's children.

We cannot walk alone. We cannot turn back.
Let us not seek to satisfy our desires
by drinking from the cup of bitterness & hatred. 
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity &  discipline.

I have a dream that one day this WORLD will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's natural creed: That ALL Men & Women are created equal.

I have a dream that one day, on all the hills & all the mountains 
in this great world, 
that we will all be able to sit down, together, at the table of brotherhood.

And if each one of us is to be our ultimate selves, this must be true.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Food Fact Fridays: Diets make you fat!

What's it feel like, when you're hungry?
Do you know some signs of hunger?
No, seriously - besides the stomach growl -
'cause for me, when my stomach growls, 
I am way past hungry - at that point,

Today I took one of Nancy Clark's webinars. Nancy Clark is my Sports Nutrition Idol and I love her webinars! Today's webinar was about weight loss.

According to Nancy, the media portrays woman as caretakers, who feed other people but, they themselves, don't actually eat.

Well sometimes you'll see a woman eating when she is advertising yogurt, a salad or a shake a Slim-fast.
Love you, Jamie!
I remember a girl in high school, she was on the cheerleading team with me. She was always "on a diet". Every day she would come to school with a container of cottage cheese and a piece of fruit. Do you believe that is all her Momma gave her to eat? We had practice for 2hours everyday after school - jumping, tumbling, dancing - and all she ate for lunch was some cottage cheese and fruit. 

She never lost any weight. 
By the time we graduated, she was actually heavier! 
That's because: 
Diets make you fat!

You know it's true. Anytime you don't eat, whether it's because you're too busy, or it's on purpose, you always wind up with monster cravings for anything dense and satisfying - some kinda high calorie food. I see it with my own son - he is constantly watching his weight for wrestling. Then, he goes a little overboard on the weekend and thinks, 'well, I'll just starve myself tomorrow.' This never works, it always backfires! He winds up being too hungry, craving and caving to sweets, bread or some high calorie snack.
Stuffin' his face in record-breaking times is even starting to take it's toll on Adam!
Starving yourself is abusive ...
and according to Nancy, 
"We must fuel ourselves by day, when we are most active, 
so we can lose weight at night." 

How very blatantly obvious is that advice? We must fuel ourselves during the day, when we are most active ...just good practical sense!

I also loved what she said about meal patterning: People that stick to a specific eating plan and eat at specific times in the day are more successful in maintaining an appropriate weight. I definitely try to do this, mostly because of my stomach - if I wait too long to eat, I get nasty belly aches and my Crohn's flares up. I do find this harder to do the weekends - like last weekend when I was at a wrestling match that lasted all-day.

One of my favorite suggestions I learned today was to have two lunches. 

I immediately thought of my daughter, who comes home from school around 3/4PM and is starving. She eats breakfast about 7AM, has lunch about Noon and when she comes home, she is starving. This is the time for that "second lunch."

Nancy suggested that if we think about it as a second lunch, we will eat enough to be satisfied and, at the same time, we avoid making it about some empty calorie snack food! I love it!
What a great idea for all all those mom's wondering what to feed 
their starving kids coming home from school!

Here were some other tidbits I picked up from Nancy's Weight Loss Webinar:

  • You are more likely to be successful in sustaining weight loss if you cut back conservatively, say 100-200calories per day.
  • Eating just 100 calories less at night can result in losing 10pounds a year.
  • Getting the proper amount of sleep helps you to be in tune with the signs of hunger.
  • Know the signs of hunger: tired, cold, lethargic, cranky or easily irritated and unable to concentrate.
Dieting and not eating is not the way to lose weight. You need to fuel your body, appropriately, throughout the day

In fact research has shown that those who eat during the day have less body fat than those who eat the majority of the calories at night. 

Soooo, EAT!
Eat by day,
Lose by night

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hormone of Darkness: Wednesday at the Track

Funny how Mr Winter sort of zaps our energy. The amount of daylight decreases and we start making....
"The Hormone of Darkness" 
AKA: Melatonin
When its dark outside, we produce more melatonin. I know - it's not all bad 'cause it helps our internal 24hour clock (circadian rhythm) which regulates our sleep-wake cycles. But with more hours of darkness in winter, my melatonin levels must be at an all time high. Ech, I always feel so tired and sleepy in these winter months.

So, I was glad it was 31*F at the track this morning. The cold air woke me up a bit. The sun was out and I was trying to soak it in and get through my sleepy, melatonin-induced state. I really had to push past wanting to curl up on the 50yard line and nap in the sun like an old fat cat!
Even my warm up was a struggle. I pushed, only to finish 1.25miles.
Then I ran my six strides. I was surprised, I ran them one second faster than my usual miserable pace! This sorta gave me hope!

Then, Coach had me run six 400meters sets where I ran 
the first 200meters in 50seconds and the next 200meters in 60seconds. 
My hip flexors felt like they were full of lactic acid!
I repeated another six 400meter sets and followed it up with a 2mile cool-down. 

Thank goodness for that sun, today. I needed it to boost my production of serotonin and dopamine, some "feel good" hormones, and suppress that nasty hormone of darknessssssss!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Whey to Pre-Workout Nutrition!

Pre-Workout Nutrition
Okay, so this is a follow-up to Friday's post regarding a pre-workout food/meal/drink to maintain muscle mass and strength. I think I found a solution. 

Running is catabolic and it constantly tears down muscles, so I go to the gym at 5:30AM to strength train and stretch to prevent injuries. Strength training also tears down muscle - it's when the muscle rebuilds that it gets stronger. All this tearing down - I knew my cracker and coffee pre-workout meal was not adequate ...
change was imminent!

My research led me to whey and soy. Not just one or the other, but both - they should be consumed together about 10-15grams of each.

I thought about the chocolate milk for the whey protein, and I even tried itI Then, I wound up in the bathroom, in pain, suffering!
Chocolate Milk is OUT!

So, after lots of research and way-overthinking this, I purchased Energy First ProEnergy Whey Powder and a NuGo Organic Energy Bar. 
Energy First ProEnergy
I really like that the whey isolate in the Energy First ProEnergy Whey Powder is from cows not treated with rBGH (growth hormone). It is also cold-processed to preserve the protein and sweetened with a natural herb, Stevia. I had to rule out so many of the whey powders because they are made with sugar alcohols, which upset my stomach worse than the chocolate milk!

As for my soy source, I bought some NuGo bars. I wasn't crazy about the 190calories, but I was really happy about the organic soy, which will provide me with the 10grams of soy protein I wanted.
NuGo Organic Soy 
I chose the NuGo bar over a soy powder supplement because sometimes soy can  be hard for me to digest, even though it is relatively an easily digestible protein. I also considered that we absorb about 70% of the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that come in supplement form and since we absorb nutrients better when they come packaged as food, it made sense, for me, to get the soy in this bar form.

So, 30minutes before my morning NYSports Club workout routine, I am going to sit down and eat my curds, excuse me, I mean my Soy and Whey!
Get it Right Muffet -
It's Soy & Whey! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Pre-workout Drinks on Me!

Getting up at 5AM for strength training sessions is exhausting - especially in the winter, when it's cold and dark. After I wake up & get dressed, I go downstairs & eat some whole wheat crackers and drink a few sips of coffee. I know this isn't that great, so I've been looking into fixing myself a sports drink before these AM training sessions.

After some research today, I know what I want in this drink: Whey & Soy Protein Powder. I just need to find an Organic Soy Powder. Yes, I have an organic soy fettish. It started when I realized that US companies can sell or put genetically modified ingredients in our food without labeling it. Since soy is one of the most genetically modified crops here in the USA, I avoid anything with soy, unless it's organic!

So, why whey & why soy?
Whey is an excellent source of branched chain amino acids, which are thought to stimulate protein synthesis, prevent muscle breakdown, and delay fatigue. 

Running is a very catabolic exercise, so building muscles through strength training and diet will help me avoid injury. Whey also contains small protein fragments (polypeptides), which will help increase blood flow to muscles. Another benefit of whey is that it is quickly digested so the amino acids will get into the bloodstream faster than other proteins sources. A good to know when you don't have much time to eat before a workout!

There are three great things about soy:
It contains the highest amount of arginine than any other protein,
It contains the phytonutrient genistein,
It increases growth hormone. 

The protein, arginine, and the phytoestrogen, genistein, are great nitric-oxide-boosting amino acids. Nitric oxide helps to increase blood flow to the muscles through vasodilation, allowing more blood to reach muscles. The phytonutrients in soy will also help to enhance muscle recovery following a workout. Like whey, soy is also easily digested.

According to my research, I should mix about 10-15grams of whey protein with 10-15grams of soy protein in water or juice. I should drink this up to 30minutes before my workouts, which is the exact amount of time it takes me to get to the gym!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Rocked It ...on a treadmill!

Yesterday, it was 13*F. That is way too cold for me. I didn't run yesterday, I went to the gym and worked on shoulders, triceps and core.

Favorite Shoulder Free Weight Exercise
One arm shoulder press
Works best when you keep your shoulder protracted
Favorite Triceps Exercise
Tricep Pushdowns.
Go slow back to start - Such a great eccentric work out.
Favorite Core Routine
Okay - I'd be lying if I said had a favorite core routine. 
Fact is any type of core exercise is my favorite:
Hyperextensions on a stability ball.
Planks, Bridges, Side-bridges. Crunches, Sit-ups. name it, I Love It!
I've been found out!
After having a chill in me all day yesterday, I refused to run outside today. And, now don't think I'm getting weird, but I was actually psyched to do a tempo run on the treadmill.  

I read an article in Runner's World November Issue about how tempo runs are made for the treadmill. So, first I warmed up 1mile, then ran 1.5miles, 15 seconds slower than my 1/2 marathon pace. I jogged 2minutes and ran another 1.5miles, at my 1/2 marathon pace. Jogged another 2minutes and ran one more 1.5miles, this time 15seconds faster than my 1/2 marathon pace. I finished with a 1mile cool down. It was the best treadmill work out ever!

Yes, you treadmill haters (it's the pot calling the kettle black, here), 
I rocked it ...on a treadmill!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I wanna be like Dolly Parton: Tuesday is Wednesday at the Track

I was on time today! 
It's a new thing for me...this being on time stuff. It's my 2012 commitment. 

This past weekend, I read an article about Dolly Parton, who always makes it a point to be on time. She reported that her family, friends and colleagues say that if she's on time, she's late!
I love Dolly Parton
I admire her staying power.
Yeah, you go girl!
I don't have quite the same reputation for being "on-time". I'm the one people tell to come 1hour before the actual time 'cause they know how horrible I am when it comes to time. Forget inviting me to a surprise party - it'll get ugly! My step-father used to tell me:
"Kid, one day, your gonna be late for your own funeral!" 
Okay, you can puke, now!
But today, I was really proud of myself. I got to the track on time! I was there by 8:40AM. Coach wasn't even there yet! I did my two mile warm-up and by 9AM, I started my six 100meter strides. Hmm, still no sign of my coach.

I ran to my car, grabbed my beloved iPhone, called Coach and left a message that I was at the track. Then I started thinking.
My limbic brain was flooded with horrible run away emotional thoughts.
You know the ones, those "what if's":
What if he got in a car accident?
What if he's in the hospital?
What if something happened to his wife? Oh no, his daughter? No, his son-in-law?
"Oh God, please let my Coach and his family be okay."

Agh, I hate that. Those little moments where we terrorize ourselves with those 'what-if' questions. Ech!

Thank goodness it was really cold, about 25*F. It snapped some sense into me. I needed to start moving again if I wanted to stay warm, well warm-ish. Anyway, thank goodness my frontal lobe started to kick in  - to try to make some sense of the situation: Maybe Coach was on his way. Or maybe I missed an e-mail from him saying that he didn't want to be out in the cold....Hmmm....

I decided to coach myself. I ran four 300meter strides with 100meter jog at 6.40pace. Then, I gave myself a minute rest and repeated the torture. By the end, my legs were full of lactic acid and my lungs were burning.

I finished with a two mile cool-down and checked my iphone one more time. Yeay, I gotta call from Coach! I called him right back. The conversation went something like this:
Coach: "It's Tuesday. We meet on Wednesdays"
Me: "Nooo. It's Wednesday."
Coach: "No, it's Tuesday."
Me: "OMG, You're right!"
Coach: Laughing - no, actually, guffawing!: "I can't believe you stayed out there, on the coldest day of the year. I was going to suggest a treadmill run for tomorrow."
Me: "Oh my gosh, I can't believe I did that! Well, thank God your alright, I was so worried....."

I didn't tell Coach about my whole Dolly goal, but girl, 
I was more than on time today!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Soles4Souls Collection: A success story!

Did you know that shoes help prevent parasitic diseases that plague over 1.4 billion people worldwide?
Did you know that over 300 million children worldwide go without ever owning a single pair of shoes?
Did you know that in many countries, if you don't own shoes, you cannot attend school?
Well, that is why we (my children and some of their friends) volunteer every year to run an annual Soles4Souls Shoe Drive!
Throughout November, we put collection boxes in two local shoe stores: J.T. Murdoch Shoes. They have such a great selection of Uggs in this store.
Thank you, JT Murdoch Shoes!
and Fleet Feet. These guys are so knowledgeable and give the absolute best running advice.
Thank you Fleet Feet!
Girlfriend even got a new pair of sneaks at Fleet Feet!
We also put collection boxes in the local High School and Middle School. 
The collection culminated at the 2011 Ashenfelter Classic, the local traditional Thanksgiving Day run.

This year, hundreds of runners donated shoes.
I couldn't help but get choked up when I saw the bags 
and bags of shoes donated on race day!
We surpassed last year's collection by about 100 shoes!

The total overall number of shoes collected: An amazing 950 pairs! 

A very special thank you to Murdoch Shoes and Fleet Feet and all the people who make the Ashenfelter Classic such a great Thanksgiving Day race! This 2011 Soles4Souls Shoe Drive would not have been so wonderfully successful without all your help!
And all the kids who ...
Who went to Toys R Us to get boxes
Stuffed Boxes in their Jeep!
And packed over 50 boxes with shoes! Thank you!
These shoes are ready to be shipped out "around the corner and around the world" to those in need throughout the United States and in over 127 countries around the world, to make a difference with a simple gift - a gift of shoes!

It's easy to host a Soles4Souls Shoe Drive and I can't think of any better way than at a running event!
What runner doesn't have a pair of sneakers in their closet that 
would love to be needed again?