Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are You In?

Registration's closed, but did you get in? I think Maren and Eve (and myself) have confirmed that they are IN!!! Lemme know!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

HATE the treadmill, LOVE swim-caps!

I have been slowly starting back into running on the treadmill, and so far so good. Oh, except for the fact that I absolutely loathe running on the treadmill. Today, I was going to do 5 miles, but by 2.5 miles, I felt like I was suffocating from it being so hot and stuffy in the gym, with no air circulation whatsoever. I honestly could hardly breathe. So I only did 3. I honestly don't know how people can run so much on treadmills. I wish I could, because it's very convenient for when it's dark, but alas... But the good news is that my knee felt great. I still took it pretty easy, as this is only my third run, but I am feeling very optimistic! I am planning on going to get fit for new shoes (I don't know how happy I am with my Mizunos) on Tuesday, and after I get them, I think I will attempt an outdoor run.

On another positive note... I have also been swimming to help stay in shape, which I really enjoy. I don't usually wear a swim-cap while doing laps, just because I was too lazy to buy one, but since I have one from the triathlon we did, I decided to use it today. Can I just tell you how awesome those things are?! No water in your ears, smooth, aerodynamic movement through the water, and on top of all that, it creates a nice quiet atmosphere to swim in. I know that's a lot of praise to give a little swim-cap, but I tell you, it deserves every word of it. I really had the most enjoyable swim today that I have had in a long time. Plus, it keeps your hair from getting all damaged from the chlorine. Try one, you will not regret it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Molly's back in the saddle! Thanks for the inspiration Molly. I know I could definitely use it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sports Drinks

Another great article from Runner's World that I thought I would pass along. I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Personally, I only drink the full on Gatorade (nothing else) when I've got more than 8 miles to crank out. Otherwise I'm drinking water or my new favorite, G2.

Sports Beverages: Help, Harm, or Hype?

The market is inundated with beverage choices advertised to athletes: caffeinated, with amino acids, taurine, vitamins, minerals, etc. Necessary or not? Let's examine more closely.
What are the benefits of a sports drink and why choose one?

1) They provide fluid. And as a runner, you lose fluid through sweat, and being inadequately hydrated will decrease strength, speed, and stamina, as well as increase the perceived effort of exertion.

2) They provide carbohydrates to exercising muscles during activity, and also help fluid to empty more rapidly from the stomach.

3) They provide sodium, which can help to maintain fluid balance within and between cells.
But manufacturers have been adding lots of other bells and whistles, which can introduce complications. For instance...

Protein, which can delay gastric emptying. (Even though some studies show that the branched chain amino acids may delay central fatigue, the protein added to beverages may have a longer gastric emptying time and may cause digestive distress in some people.)

Caffeine, which may have an ergogenic (performance-enhancing effect) by increasing mental focus and expediting use of free fatty acids as a fuel source earlier in exercise, therefore sparing muscle glycogen -- but this is most likely to be benefical before, not during, runs. And for those who are caffeine-sensitive, the stimulant effect may not enhance performance.

Vitamins and minerals. Most drinks that contain micronutrients have only select vitamins or minerals, not all of them, so these products are not a substitute for a daily supplement. And vitamins and minerals are not a source of energy; therefore you really won't notice any difference in performance while running, although your wallet will be lighter because these products aren't cheap.

So what should you do?

Look for a product with 14-15 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces. More is too concentrated and will take too long to leave your stomach. If you are calorie conscious, there are some that have 7 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces.

Look for a product with about 110 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces. Less is not enough. And sodium is the bigger factor here, as the body loses more sodium than potassium during exercise.

Don't worry so much about the caffeine, amino acids, or vitamins and minerals.

Have your latte or cup of joe, eat a turkey or veggie burger to get the amino acids, and if you are worried about your micronutrients, take a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement. In the long run, it will cost you less and you'll be better nourished!


Monday, March 9, 2009


SOOoo... I have runner's knee. That's not an official diagnosis, seeing as how I have not been to the Dr yet, but from my online research, that is what I am convinced is wrong with my right knee. I am SUPER bummed. I was pretty much 1/2 way through my marathon training, and things were going SO great. The biggest thing is that I felt like I was on the brink of making my easy pace an entire minute faster than what it previously was, and had been holding an uncomfortable, focused pace for about 7-8 miles . I was consistent and strong and working really hard... AND losing weight! I was on a roll! 

As I mentioned before, I have been battling shin splints, and I felt like I was just barely staying on top of them, with icing and TONS of stretching. Well, a little over a week ago, I came home from a Friday run and didn't have time to stretch. BAD IDEA! The next day I went out for a 12 miler and felt good for the first 6 or 7 miles, but then my knee started to nag a little. By mile 8, it was so bad that I had to stop. I have NEVER had to stop because of pain. I mean, I've stopped out of laziness and all that good stuff, but never because I absolutely couldn't run another step. It was sad. Especially since I was in the middle of central park, and had no phone or money, and had to walk about 2-3 miles back home. It took awhile, and it was cold. What I think happened, is that my shins and calves were so tight, that they were getting moved out of place, and it is only natural to take other things out of alignment along with it, as they are all connected. That, along with the need for new shoes, running on uneven paths, and probably a little overuse... I'm sure they are all to blame, and can all be causes of runner's knee (which basically means that my knee is out of alignment and rubbing against the cartilage).  The weird thing is that I hadn't had any knee pain while running. It was very all of the sudden.

It took about a week of icing and ibu profin for it to feel good just walking on it. I can now walk without any pain, even when going down hill. I decided to try a run on Saturday, and was feeling very optimistic, but once I started running... pain. I only lasted about 1/2 a mile. So, my marathon training is officially on hold as of right now. I will be hittin' the pool to keep up some level of fitness, and when I do start running again, I think it is going to have to be on the treadmill for a while, as downhills are what really make it worse. I am hoping that it will only be a couple more weeks that I will be out, but that is just enough time to make doing a May 3rd marathon pretty much out of the picture. We'll see though. The good news though, is that if I indeed can't do the marathon, then I will be able to do this half marathon that I wasn't going to be able to do, as it is one week before the marathon.

Anyway... just wanted to share my sadness with everyone.  If you have any advice, please send it my way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Where I Learned To Run

Yep, this little trail. Steven's Creek Trail in Mountain View, CA. I'm traveling 2,800 miles this weekend to visit it and run it and love it. My first memories of this trail were with Jeni in 2004. We'd wake up early or wait till 5 in the afternoon to huff our way up and down the trail grinning from ear to ear after a great 3 miler or 4 miler. Then our runs became 5 milers and 6 milers, and the trail unfolded for us even more taking us out to the bay and back. Ah, I love this trail. I've spent long hours with dear friends on cold mornings, rainy afternoons, fiery evenings, and everything in between. So yes, I love this trail and I can't wait to see it again this Saturday.

Where was your first run?