Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Running Wrap Up

... And what have you done?
Another year over, a new one just begun...

This year was jam packed with responsibilities. Unfortunately, this did not allow too much room for travel, and I only ran three half marathons: Idaho, California, and West Virginia. All in all it was a great year for running because I also ran my very first marathon, TCS New York City Marathon!

I ran a 1:46 in the Fit For Life Half Marathon in Boise, Idaho and took third in my age group. This was 4 minutes behind my goal time. After this race, I promised myself to really take my recovery efforts more seriously. Running and working without paying any attention to stretching and foam rolling leads to chronic muscle soreness. So, I started to go back for Active Release Therapy. I guess you could say I had an epiphany of sorts when I sat down to my post race meal in Idaho! Which I must admit - I was surprised how many great little restaurants were in downtown Bosie, Idaho! I remember one restaurant served a burger made with 1/2 chuck and 1/2 brisket - very moist. I took this recipe home with me, and at my cousin's burger throw down, yeah baby, my Sissy and I served up little brisket/chuck sliders and won best burger taste, and best burger presentation:
Sissy and I won!
Isn't this cake cool, too? My brother-in-law had someone make this for the burger throw down!
All Cake!
I ran a 1:43 in the Summers Breeze Half Marathon in San Leandro, California and took second in my age group. The Active Release Therapy and NormaTec Boot Technology really helped. So did being consistent with my post run stretching and foam rolling recovery efforts. The California Half was very special because I got to reconnect with my niece, whom I hadn't seen in four years! I'm so proud of her! She just graduated from The University of San Francisco and recently got accepted to law school!
WooHoo! Congratulations, Rachel!
In the Freedoms Run Half in West Virginia, I ran 1:43 again, and took another second place age group win. This race was a lot more challenging than the Summers Breeze Half in California. Even though I ran the same pace for both, I consider finishing the West Virginia Half at that time a great accomplishment. The hills were never ending. One really cool thing about this race was that the finisher's medals were all hand made by a local potter:

On this year's September 11th Anniversary of the World Trade Center, I met Jeremy Boyd, who ran 240 miles from the Pentagon to Shanksville, Pennsylvania to Ground Zero. I am still amazed that Jeremy commemorated the day like that. So many people say "Never Forget", but it was like Jeremy performed the words.
Me, Jeremy, and Sissy
Thanks again, Jeremy. It really means a lot to my family and me that you chose to commemorate the thirteenth anniversary in such an outstanding way.
We, of course, remember and miss John every day
I also finally finished my Dietetic Internship, received the New Jersey Dietetics Association 2014 Student Initiative Award, studied my arse off for the New Jersey State Registered Dietitian Examination, which I passed in August - achieving my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Certification
WooHoo! 
Finally, I'm an RDN!
Next stop: a new age group - 50 never looked so good! So why not enter and train for the New York City Marathon? And based on all that was going on in my life, Side-Kick requested that I show up at the local Halloween Bash as Wonder Woman.
Flash Gordan and Wonder Woman!
Super Duper Heroes! LOL!
I still can't get over how incredibly difficult the last five miles of the New York City Marathon were. When people supportingly yelled, "C'mon, you only got Two More Miles," I wanted to first tell them to "Shut Up" and then scream, "It's TWO More Miles!" Yeah, it didn't help to know I only had two more miles left.
2014 New York City Marathon
Afterward, everyone was so happy for me. I wanted to finish in 3:33. I was close: 3:35. I was happy with my time since it was so very windy. Still, all in all, it was not the hardest thing I've done in this world (Hint: 3 pictures up!). Nonetheless, it was an incredible experience, and it got me planning on another goal: Running all six of the World Major Marathons.

After the NYC Marathon, Sissy and I ran in our local Turkey Trot, The Ashenfelter Classic (Horace lives here, in town). You bet I ran my arse off for that mug. Ain't no guy with a baby stroller passing me this year! No way, No how!
I ran a 7:17 mile pace in this local 8K.
Not too shabby!
Me and Sissy 2014 Ashenfelter Classic!
Then, I ran home to host Thanksgiving 2014! I must say, the turkey was pretty awesome this year!
Twenty Pounds and Juicy!
I also gave birth!
Well ... sort of!
I'm not really Wonder Woman!
I started my very own Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness Company: B3yond Nutrition, LLC


So, c'mon guys:
LIKE my Facebook Page: facebook.com/beyondNutrition-RDN.com
FOLLOW me on Twitter: twitter/@beyndnutrition
I'm just starting to put my website together: beyondnutrition-rdn.com. 
Stop by for a visit!
But, the best birthing this year goes to my niece and nephew. Thank you Jess and Matt for my new Grand Nephew!
Welcome Little Lucas!
I love you , tons!
Oh my gosh - he is just soooo cute!
I actually have three adorable little Grand Nieces and Nephews:
Luvuguyz!
You think they'll run with me, one day?
Even though I didn't make my Five Half Marathons per year this year, I still competed the same amount of miles because of the TCS NYC Marathon! Injury-wise, it was a very, very good year. Of course some aches and pains along the way, but nothing some good nutrition, strength training, and recovery techniques couldn't correct!
How was your year?
What was your favorite race in 2014?
Any new Family Additions?
Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time for Tiny Habits

I love strength training in the winter. 
By the time the Spring races come - I am ready!
After my recent bout with some Plantar Fasciitis pain - albeit minor to what I experienced two summers ago - I looked into strength training for my feet and ankles. I found the "Mother Load" of exercises for "Feet and Ankle" workouts/videos at Runner's World Feet and Ankle.
There are so many exercises here!
Actually, there are too many exercises. The site is overwhelming! I started to think, "How would I ever fit these exercises into my already jam packed day?" Then I went down that ugly road ... Face it, you will probably never ever break your PR you set two years ago....

Then a lightbulb went off:

I thought of this site I stumbled upon last week: 
Tiny Habits was founded by Dr BJ Fogg, a behavioral therapist from Stanford University. He came up with a Behavioral Modification Program to help create new behaviors. He says that people will change their behavior when faced with three things:

  1. An Epiphany: In my nutrition practice (beyondnutrition-rdn), I call this the "Wake-Up Call". This is the person who has had a recent heart attack or just got back his/her cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure values. For me, it was my plantar fascia pain - the pain was enough to motivate me to look up those exercises on Runner's World - but is it enough to motivate me to do them? There were so many exercises! I'm not feeling motivated, I'm feeling overwhelmed! 
  2. A Change in Environment: A move or new job are obvious environmental changes. How do I change my environment to get rid of my plantar fascia pain? (Insert another "LightBulb"): Got it! I will put my Original Medi-Dyne Pro Stretch and Foot Rubz by my gym bag. This will remind me to stretch and massage before I even go to the gym to tackle any of those Runner's World exercises!
  3. Tiny Change: To me, this is the most important step. This is the step that says, "Hey Half-Crazed, take a breather. You don't have to feel overwhelmed because you don't have to do every single exercise listed in that Runner's World site. Girl, calm down - just pick one and do it after you run." I can handle adding one new exercise after my runs. Hey, I might even add two!

Whew! What a relief. My original goal was to strengthen my feet and ankles - not make myself feel bad, like I'd never reach or break that PR!

I love the idea behind the Tiny Habits Program. It's a great way to face the New Year and any grandiose New Year Resolutions I thought about making.
Grandiose is out!
Tiny is in!
I encourage you to visit the site.
If you do,
let me know if you join a Tiny Habits Session
Or let me know - 
What gets you motivated?
Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Five Plantar Fasciitis Remedies

Have you ever had plantar fasciitis?
I'm talking Plantar Fasciitis based on logging mile after mile,
- as opposed to bone spurs, or flat feet. 
This is an annoying problem. I had this pain once before - one summer, about two years ago. Classic symptoms: pain in heel, especially in the morning, and problems running uphill (I know weird, right, since it's your heel that hurts?).
So I'm busy trying to get rid of this pain. 
Ech!
Thought I'd share my top five go to Plantar Fasciitis Remedies, avoiding the doctor, who usually recommends some stretching, maybe a boot, cortisone shots, or if fancy, PRP.
Here are my Top Five Plantar Fasciitis Remedies:

1. Roll Baby Roll: Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a big TP Therapy fan. For the Plantar Fascia, I take my TP Therapy Grid Foam Roller and their Footballer and roll out my gastrocnemius and soleus, otherwise known as calf muscle and the muscles in that little space between calf and achilles. I do this before and after I run.
I even do it while watching TV, at night 
- if I get the time to watch TV! 
Another roll I love, is with a little green ball, called Foot Rubz. I bought this little ball from my local running store, Fleet Feet. John, one of the store owners showed it to me while fitting me for sneakers one day. It's amazing how great this little ball feels on your feet!

2. Ice: I keep a water bottle in my freezer. I filled the bottle about 3/4 with water, (ice expands when it freezes), and when I get home from a run, I roll out my feet. If they're really sore, like after a long run, I'll soak my feet in an ice bath.

3. Stretch: The classic achilles runner stretch is a must!

I don't like to stretch before I warm up my muscles for at least 10 minutes, so I usually stretch out after I run, or after I do some warm up exercises, like abs with mountain climbers (love these and do all types - bringing legs in, to the side, in and across the body, you name it!).
Another good tool for stretching is the 

4. Coconut Oil and Message: After every shower, and every night before bed, I rub coconut oil into my feet. Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent . It is also naturally anti-microbial - so hey,
Athlete's foot fungus: BEWARE! 
The massage is short and sweet, but like the ice, it helps increase blood flow, which isn't too great to this area of your foot, and why it takes so long for plantar fascia to heal (no pun intended).

5. Orthotics: There are two things I do here. First, I go to the local drug store, and pick up the Dr Scholls Orthotics specifically for Plantar Fasciitis. I just put a pair in my winter boots. The second thing I do is wear Dr Weil Orthoheels.
I swear by Orthoheels. 
When I had Plantar Fasciitis two summers ago, I lived in Orthoheel sandals. They helped massage my feet whenever and wherever I walked. Just the other day, I bought a pair of Vionic Orthoheel Sneakers. I can already feel my Plantar Fasciitis pain lessening!
That sums it up for My Top Five Plantar Fasciitis Remedies.
Hope these help you too!
Of course the best measure is always prevention, including
dynamic exercises to strengthen the calves, achilles, and toes.
This sounds like a good topic for another post!
Have you ever had Plantar Fasciitis?
What are your top Plantar Fasciitis Remedies?
Train Smart Today!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Curbing Added Sugar This Holiday Season

As we head into the season of apple and pumpkin pie, cider, cakes, holiday cookies and candy, sugar steadily creeps it's way more and more into our diet. It starts messing with our sense of taste and balance, making us want more.
So what, right?
Hey - just this morning I read an article that moderate consumption of sugary drinks aren't so bad for adolescents provided they are physically active - which translates to walking at least 8,000 steps for girls, and 10,000 steps for guys. 
I don't know about you, 
but for me, on days that I don't run, and just sit and work at my computer, 10,000 steps is a hard goal to reach. At least that's been the trend per my FitBit!
Maybe we just need to accept the consequences
 - like when we eat something sweet and don't brush our teeth. 
We get cavities. 
Big deal - we get them filled.
This is a lot less intimidating than what I read on that new website SugarScience.org
SugarScience says that sugar can make us 
fat, hurt our heart, and liver, and lead to diabetes. 
The big problem with upping the amount of sugar we eat during the holidays is that added sugar is already in 74% of packaged food and Americans scoff down about 66 pounds of sugar each year
The sad thing is that we are kept in the dark. 
Take something as wholesome as yogurt. 
I like Stonyfield Vanilla Greek Yogurt, but even with my yogurt there is no way to tell how much sugar has been added to one serving. Sure I know it contains 19g of sugar, but all dairy contains sugar - I want to know how much of this is "Added Sugar"? 
For that info, 
you're gonna have to read the ingredients list.

Reading the ingredients list is no easy feat.
Especially if your my age or older - you're out of luck if you forget your granny specs. When did print get so small?
Next, you gotta do like a word search because there are 
So, what should we do?
How do we stop sugar from ruining out smiles, our bodies, and our guts?
Here are Five Easy Ways to Curb the Amount of Added Sugar to Your Diet this Holiday Season to avoid craving more sugar:
  1. Reduce (or eliminate) sugary sweetened beverages, like soda, juice, iced tea, coffees. What's wrong with water? 
  2. Before you chow down on any sugary snack, ask yourself, "Is there something else I can eat?" Fruit? Veggies? Low Fat Cheese Stick?
  3. If the answer to #2 is "No Way, Baby - I need a sugar fix, and I need it NOW!" then check to make sure you are not HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired - because those emotions aren't going to feel satisfied with one piece of chocolate, or just two cookies.
  4. Avoid simple carbs - whether it's pasta, crackers, or rice. Go for the whole grain. The fiber will help fill you up, plus it will keep your blood sugar from spiking up, which when it crashes and leaves you craving more sugar.
  5. You can do the math: How much sugar is enough? SugarScience.org recommends 25grams of added sugar for adult females (25g X 4cal/g = 100 calories of added sugar per day) or 38grams of added sugar for adult males (38g X 4cal/g = 152calories of added sugar per day). But if you're like me, you're gonna want to ditch this one. Eating should be fun and easy, right - well Don't ditch it - make it work for you another way ...like using it to compare which product to buy. Example: Low fat BBQ Sauce or Salad Dressing with tons more sugar (10g) or the regular BBQ Sauce or Salad Dressing with a healthy fat (like Organic Canola or Olive Oil), and less sugar (1g)? Or maybe there's some product in between that work best for you.
Bottom line: Knowledge is Key! Know what's in your food. Learn those 61 names of sugar. Also, go slow - and we're not talking about running here. But just like when you started to run, you didn't start out running marathons - you made small improvements, and added one mile at a time. Well, maybe this holiday season, you start with one snack or drink during the day - and if that's too much - maybe you practice less sugar for only one day a week. Try that for a few weeks, and challenge yourself again, eventually building a healthier holiday season while saving your figure, your heart and liver, and of course - your beautiful smile!
What do you do to avoid eating too much sugar?
Train Smart Today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

TCS New York City Marathon

I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
My FIRST Marathon!
The TCS New York City Marathon!
And it was freakin' awesome!
I can't even begin to explain it. I trained so hard. Twenty milers, Jump Squats, One Legged Squats, Hill Runs, Pick Ups, Holding Planks for 3-4 minutes, Foam Rolling, Active Release Therapy, NormaTech Boots, No Alcohol - and, of course lots of Whole Foods, Timed Right!
Even though I was prepared, 
I was soooo nervous.
On Friday night, Side-Kick and I went in to get my packet at the Jacob Javitz Center. Steve, the 3:30 pacer, was there with his sign. I ran up to him and riveted him with questions. He was kind, and patient (Thanks Dude!). He even gave me some pointers - like how to drink water or gatorade and run at the same time. Then he turned toward Side-kick and said, "She looks terrified. Will she be okay?"
I was terrified!
I wanted so badly to make my goal time: 3:33!
But I never ran this far before. 
I didn't want to wake up on Monday morning 
disappointed in myself.
Last Friday, was also Halloween. NYC on Halloween Night is crazy. It's like going to a Broadway Show and seeing amazing costumes everywhere you turn. Actually, the whole night was pretty crazy. There were tons of people at the expo, and there was such cool running gear. It's like a candy store for runners! Surprise, surprise, I picked up another foam roller. This one is by RunMD,  called The Matrix. I love it. It gets into your piriformis - deeper than the TPTherapy Roller, but softer than the Rumble Roller. It's great for the calves too!
I was a ball of nervous excitement. 
I couldn't believe I was going to run through all five boroughs!
First, Staten Island
Then, Brooklyn
You got it baby, Queens is third!
No J-Lo butt here,
just the fourth borough!
Then ...Manhattan!
I love you, NYC!
Saturday was rough. It seemed to go by very slowly. I helped my son with some college essays, rolled out, stretched, planned my outfit, and my bag. I was smart to pack a Dry Warm Shirt to change into after the race, the Race Village Directions, Hot Hands, a Large Garbage Bag, a Blanket, a Tennis Ball and my MoJi Mini Massager to loosen up my muscles pre-race.
No sandals! LOL!
All in all, I slept 5 hours. Not bad considering the nerves. Sunday morning, Side-Kick took me to the bus in the Meadowlands for the New Jersey-ites to take over to Staten Island.
Waiting On-Line to Board the Bus.
Already freezing!
The bus was packed.
There must have been twenty or more buses. We left at 6:15 - we were on our way! On any normal day, it would have taken 20 minutes max to get to Staten Island, but this was no normal day! We were stuck in a terrible traffic jam! It took an hour and forty five minutes to get to Staten Island.
Plus side: We kept warmer, longer
Down side: I didn't have my morning Joe, I hadn't eaten anything, 
and my leg was getting a cramp from sitting. 
So glad I brought that tennis ball!
We arrived at the start villages at 7:30! I took my village map out, and headed for the Orange Village. Once I got there, I stood on line for a cup of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee. While on-line, I ate my oatmeal, with hemp seeds and walnuts. Next, I sat on my blanket, donned my garbage bag, drank my coffee, drank my beet juice, and gave the old muscles a massage with my Mini MoJi.
It was FREEZING!
The wind was relentless. It was bitter cold! 
Everyone was shivering! 
Eventually, I had to give my bag and my blanket (ultra sad face) to the UPS volunteers. The next thing I knew, it was time to head over to the start. People representing every country, speaking all different languages, announced to everyone in the Orange Village that they needed to go to their starting corrals. I headed for Corral D. All of us, didn't matter what country we were from, all huddled together to stay warm. I met an older man from France. He told me this was his 20th marathon! I told him I was shooting for 3:33, and showed him my Mercy Band. I told him that I was running a half in all fifty states to honor my husband who was killed in the World Trade Center, and that I wanted to run through all five boroughs for the same reason.
I love you, I love you, I love you!
3:33!
At the start of the race, I found Steve, the pacer! 
I stood by him, and did everything he did. When he took off his extra layers, I took off mine. When he did some high knees to get his legs going, so did I. We walked a bit further, only to wait some more. We were waiting for the cannons. And then ...
Bah-boom!
Felt it right through my chest!
We were off!
I can't believe I was in that sea of runners crossing the Verranzano Bridge - Trying not to get blown over by the gusts of wind blowing up to 40 mph. It was literally breath-taking. 
I followed pretty close to the pacer for the first nineteen miles. 
Keepin' up that 8 minute mile pace!
It felt very slow at times, but I kept telling myself it was going to save my legs in the end. At mile 15, we crossed the Queens Borough Bridge and headed up 1st Avenue in Manhattan. My legs started to feel it. The wind made it feel as if you were constantly climbing uphill. Keeping that 3:30 pace was getting harder. I pushed, but knew I was slowing down. I really felt myself slowing down at mile 23. There was a slight hill. I thought, "Really? Like who plans a hill at mile 23? The Devil?"
So many people were screaming:
Go. You can do this.
You're doing great!
You only have three miles more.
Finish Strong!
I screamed inside my head, "Even if you have to shuffle, don't stop! You are not allowed to stop!" The only problem, I had one more small incline from mile 25-26. I couldn't feel my legs. I just hoped my bones would catch every move I made. People were still screaming. Okay, Mile 26, I got this. I tried to muster some extra push to chew off those last few seconds. I pictured myself at a track work out, running that last quarter mile. 
Then, like an answered prayer, 
the end was in sight!
Hallelujah!
I ran my first Marathon!
3:35:27!
Me with my Medal and Mercy Band,
Holding Back the Tears!
I was 44th in my age group. I placed second in my age group for the 50-54 year old women in New Jersey!
The best part,
my Coach saw me finish (Thanks, Joel),
My Family saw me run (I'm sorry I didn't hear
you guys hootin' and hollerin')
And
I got to celebrate with my family 
at Carmine's Restaurant!
They made me feel so special!
I love you guys!
Thanks for all your support!
Love you, Freckles! 
Love you, Mini-man! 
Love you, Side-Kick!
Thanks for all your support!
Boston, next year?
A definite maybe!
Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

So, Anxiety is Good?

It's the count down for the 
New York City Marathon!
Just the thought of running twice 
as far as I'm used to is unnerving to me!
So much so that I wake up from my sleep because I'm tossing and turning thinking about the marathon. Last week, I woke in a full sweat - and this time, it wasn't due to menopause (sorry guys!).
I had a dream!
No, I had a nightmare!
There I was - at the start of the NYC Marathon - right there on the Verranzano Bridge. I look down at my feet, and I see I'm wearing sandals. Not just any sandals, either. These sandals are way too small and they're cutting into my feet. I start to panic. I think, 'OMG! What should I do? I can't run 26.2 miles in these tight sandals. I know, I'll take them off. OMG! What am I crazy? I've never run barefoot before! How am I gonna run 26.2 miles barefoot?'
I call Side-Kick on my cell.
Where my cell came from - I have no idea. 
"Ron, you gotta come to the start (like that's even possible! LOL!). I don't have my sneakers - you gotta bring me my sneakers!" Side-Kick proceeds to tell me that I packed my sneakers in my bag, and that I just need to look in my bag. Okay, I start rummaging through my bag like a wild woman. Oh yeah - and I have no idea where the bag came from either! Rifling through my bag, I finally feel something ... could it be my sneakers? I pull out sneaker #1, then sneaker #2 ...OMG! These aren't my running sneakers ... they're my Converse.
All Star for Converse - yes, but not for 26.2!
If you were in my dream, 
you would have heard my scream 
from Staten Island to Manhattan!
My friend in town tells me (in his most relaxed voice ever): "This is good! Anxiety is good! It will increase your adrenaline levels, which will propel you through the race!"
Okay Dan, I'm trusting you on this one!
So now, I just need to repeat:
Anxiety is good!
Anxiety is good!
Anxiety is good!
Train Smart Today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Strength and Endurance Training: Timing it Right!

I kept exchanging places with another racer. 
He looked about my age, and he seemed to be in great shape. He would pass me on the straight, flat sections (not too many of those) and I would pass him on the hills. Since there was a huge hill at the end, I made it to the finish a little before he did.
After the race, he told me,
"I tried to keep up with you on those hills. 
You really got me on the hills. 
Great job!"
I complimented him back. Then I joked ...
"I guess all those hamstring curls paid off!"
Hamstring Curls
Once a week, I strap on a 10 pound ankle weight 
and do 100 hammy curls per leg. 
My biggest problem with lower body strength training is 'when'? When do I fit it in with all the running? I mean - sometimes I do legs the day before or after a track/speed work out, or the day before or after a long run - but it's exhausting! I'm always wondering:
Am I getting anything out of it?
- Or just setting myself up for injury?
So when I came across the American College of Sports Medicine Certified News report, "Effects of Concurrent Training: Strength and Endurance Exercise" by Wayne L. Westcoff, PhD, I was ecstatic!
Finally, a report to tell me when and how to schedule 
my endurance training with my strength training!
This article revealed that endurance exercise can interfere with lower body strength development and gains  - but this is based on the frequency and duration of the aerobic training. For this reason, recovery days between high-effort endurance exercise and lower body strength training are key if you want to increase lower body muscle strength. And another study revealed that if you want to optimize your lower-body resistance work outs, you should not perform lower body aerobic activity before you strength train.
To maximize lower body muscle strength,
Wescott recommends the following:

  1. Do a non-weight bearing aerobic activity (cycling or elliptical vs running) the day before, or after your lower body strength training sessions.
  2. Don't do any more than three high-effort endurance exercise activities per week. (Makes me feel a little better about those so-called "junk miles" mid-week!).
  3. When you combine high-effort endurance exercise with lower body strength training on the same day, do the high effort endurance exercise after your strength training session.
  4. If you must combine high-effort endurance exercise with lower body strength training, do shorter bouts of various endurance exercises.
  5. Consider taking supplemental protein before and/or after those days when you combine high-effort endurance exercise with lower body strength training sessions to enhance post-exercise protein synthesis. 

My main goal when I strength train is to 
reduce injury and gain speed:
Strong Butt = Happy Runner
Now, at least I can follow some guidelines to maximize strength, 
minimize injury, and get up those hills!
Do you strength train?
What's your favorite leg work out?
Train Smart Today!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Salt

This is crazy - the CDC just came out with a report 
that children consume way too much salt! 
Of course you always read how Americans consume way too much salt and about 30% have high blood pressure (hypertension) - but kids, too?
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
And just like adults, excess sodium can increase 
their risk of high blood pressure and heart disease!
For endurance athletes, especially runners, it may sound crazy associating salt and blood pressure. I know with all the running and sweating, I'm always afraid of hyponatremia. Plus there's tons of research showing that during endurance exercise, consuming salt along with carbohydrate can help maintain cardiovascular function, enhance carbohydrate oxidation (yeay, more energy!), reduce potential for low blood pressure, and improve performance! 
The suggested sport nutrition guidelines are: 
(Sports Medicine 2007, Vol. 37 Issue 4/5, p358 3p.)
1g carbohydrate per kg (about 2g per pound) per hour of
prolonged exercise,
and
about 450mg sodium per hour to enhance performance.
This is easy to achieve with a sports drink. The amount consumed should be based on how much a person sweats, which could be anywhere from drinking 440ml (~13oz) to drinking 1.5 L (~ 6 cups)!
But back to the kids ....
Where are they getting all this sodium from?
Top ten sources of sodium in kid's diets today: 
Pizza, 
Bread and Rolls, 
Cold Cuts/Deli Meat, 
Savory Snacks (Chips, Pretzels, Trail Mix, and Salted Nuts), 
Sandwiches, 
Cheese (esp. Cottage Cheese), 
Chicken Patties/Nuggets, 
Mixed Pasta Dishes, 
Mexican dishes, 
and Soups.
I'm sorry, but parents need to set some good examples. Simply put: Their job is to buy healthy food, and the kids job is to eat the healthy food!
Some tips to lower salt intake:

  • Make lunch. Instead of having kids buy a school lunch, make their lunch! Better yet, get involved to help schools provide lower sodium food choices.
  • Add carrot sticks, celery, or apple chunks to their lunches, in place of chips, crackers, or pretzels.
  • Give them water - not a sports drink or soda! Save the sports drinks for exercise lasting 1 hour or more.
  • Get kids involved with making meals - something as simple as peeling carrots, cucumbers, or zucchini. Kids take pride in their meals when you involve them in some way - and studies show they are more likely to eat their veggies when they get to choose which ones to buy, and when they help in preparing them too! 
  • If you go out to eat, teach the kids how to ask for the sauce and/or the salad dressing on the side. 
  • Teach kids how to read food labels. They can act like detectives, hunting down the best options. So if they like two cereals, but they see one has 235 mg sodium, and the other has 70 mg sodium, they can be proud that they eye spied the difference and will (hopefully) choose the one lower in sodium.
  • Teach kids how to use the Percent Daily Value on the Food Labels. The %DV is a quick way to compare products. If a food has 5% DV (120mg sodium) it is a low sodium food. If a food has 20% DV (480mg sodium) it is a high sodium food.

    http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm#twoparts
Doesn't get any saltier than this:
Salt Free --> 5mg sodium per serving
Very Low Sodium --> 35mg of sodium or less per serving
Low Sodium --> 140mg per of sodium per serving
Reduced Sodium --> has 25% less than the original product
Lightly Salted --> At least 50% less than the original product
No Salt Added --> no salt added during processing, but not sodium free. Check Nutrition Facts Label

Do you limit your sodium intake?
Have any helpful hints? Share them here!

Train Smart Today!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Freedom's Run Half Marathon

State #22: Sheperdtown, West Virginia
Woohoo!
If you are looking for a challenging, hilly half marathon - then look no further:
The first three miles weren't so bad. 
Starting out, I heard my Coach in my head: Now, don't go out too fast. But this time I thought if I don't go out fast, how will I ever make up for the time I'm going to be losing on those upcoming hills?
I was a little torn.
What do you do?
I didn't totally go out fast - I couldn't. It rained all night the night before the race and the first few miles were on trail that was pretty muddy. And if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - I'm a city girl. I like to run on pavement. I don't like mud on my legs, my socks, or my shorts. So, about mile two, I yelled out,
"I HATE trail running!." 
Everyone around me started laughing. One girl schooled me, "This isn't really trail running." I know, I know - this wasn't really trail running, but for me, "Blacktop Girl" - it was!
The first big hill, after mile 3
looks worse than it was. 
I was prepared to climb. A few years ago this would have killed my time because of my proximal hamstring strain. That's pretty much healed (took two years!) and I actually passed lots of runners on the hills. I credit Underground Strength Coach, Zach Evan-Esh for this - he reviewed my leg strength-training routine and told me to add hamstring curls with ankle weights.
I think it was the fact that there were so many
hills - one after the other -
that left me dogging it by mile 11. 
Challenging, but very beautiful
Top 25 Half-Marathons in Runner's World Magazine
Even though the course was beautiful - it still wasn't like a spoonful of sugar - the hills were hard on the legs. It was the first time in years that my legs trembled after a race - like they weren't conditioned at all - and I've been running 18 milers to get into shape for the NYC Marathon!
I'm sure my bronchitis added to my exhaustion.
This awful cough and congestion has been
 lingering since late August.
Anyway, the after party was held at the Bavarian Inn.
The Bavarian Inn
And if you went  to the Bavarian Inn, you received a pint glass and a free beer - which of course I took advantage of! There was a live band, too. It was a great after party!

Love the pint glass!
Even though there's an H is missing!
Overall Freedom's Run was a great half to end 
my 40-49 year old age group!
I placed second with a 1:43 finish.
And, let's talk medals ...
The finisher's medal was hand made by a local potter. All the straps were leather - and they were tied on by the Local Girl Scout Troop! I've never seen so much community involvement for one race! 
I love this medal!
Hand made! So quaint!
Gotta love it!
I will definitely always cherish 
my Freedom's Run Medal.
What's your favorite race medal?

Train Smart Today!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

I didn't post last week because I was studying 24/7. 
This is what I woke up to every morning:
Study, study, study!
And this is what I went to bed to every night:
Good night books. See you tomorrow!
But Saturday, I took my exam and ...
I passed!
Yup,
I passed my Commission on Dietetic Registration Examination!
I can't wait for my CDR email granting me full use of the title I earned:
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!
The exam was very difficult - so glad it's behind me!
Amazingly, throughout all the studying, I was 
still able to stay focussed on my training for the NY City Marathon.
Also, I am running a half this Saturday in West Virginia:
State # 22, here I come!
What races are you signed up for this fall?

Train Smart Today!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Run to Never Forget: Part Two

Jeremy Boyd
Made it to NYC! 
240 miles of running
from 
The Pentagon 
to Shanksville, Pa
to Ground Zero!
It was an great way to end a very emotional day.
Thank you Jeremy for caring so much to decide to run 240 miles to support the 9-11 families, and children. Funds raised for the Run to Never Forget were going to Tuesday's Children and The Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Sissy and I with Jeremy
at the World Trade Center Memorial
My sister and I met Jeremy, his mom, his brother, supporters, and a few other 9-11 families, along with some Tuesday's Children board members and employees at Pier 11. Jeremy and his supporting friends and family took the ferry over from Port Liberte in Jersey City, New Jersey.
From Pier 11, we all ran up Wall Street 
to the World Trade Center Memorial.
I can't believe we ran up Wall Street!
Waiting at a light in downtown Manhattan
with my Sissy!
It was amazing! 
Congratulations to Jeremy and to all his supporters. 
Jeremy and his supporters!
I think he was delirious - 
because he said he wanted to do this again next year! 
Sixty miles everyday for four days! 
Wow!  
I'm glad you got to see the tower of lights
And The Freedom Tower
I'm sure there is one person in heaven who is also amazed at your vision, goal, and success in reaching that goal ...
<3
Train Smart Today!