Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Texter:

Dear Texter:
I understand the need. I really do. I also text, but not while driving, and the fact that you almost hit my little pooch today sent me through the roof. You couldn't hear my yelling and screaming though, because your music was too loud in your puke green Volkswagen Bug.

Stop it. Stop texting while driving. Your boyfriend or mom or bestie can wait. Put the phone away. Turn it on silent, because next time it may not be a dog, or it may not be"almost". Ridiculous.

An Incensed and Concerned Runner,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stretching Your Lungs

Last night I went on a run with 2 guy friends from one of the companies I work for. They are both very experienced runners, so I knew I was in for a difficult run. We met at Yuba and agreed on 5 miles (not "to the drinking fountain and back" which we all know isn't actually 2.5 miles according to Garmin, they wanted to run 5 REAL miles). They were particular about the distance, and they were FAST.

We took off and after a few minutes I felt my heart wanting to explode - already! My trusty Garmin told me we were running at a 7:50 pace. No thank you. I slightly slowed down, silently encouraging them to do the same.

We ended up running the 5 miles in 44 minutes which is a first for me. I've never kept up an 8 something minute pace for 5 miles. 2 miles? Yes. 5? No.

I walked back to my car and drove home already feeling exhausted. By the time I got home, my chest hurt, my lungs hurt, my head hurt, blah blah blah...everything hurt. Later that night I mentioned that my lungs hurt to Brook (thinking it was just my weak lungs) and he said, "That's great! They're stretching."

"What? They're what?" I thought he was making junk up. I thought my lungs only stretched when I practiced streching them by doing vocal exercises and purposefully would hold my breath or would hold my breath under water and work on filling up my lungs, etc.

I understand the whole speed work outs, working on being able to endure more hills, taking short rest breaks to keep your body working hard, which then by default helps build your lung strength, but I had NEVER put the two together about purposefully stretching my lungs. And then I thought, I don't ever recall even having a discussion with anyone regarding this topic. Why don't runners work on breathing exercises to help expand their lung capacity? Like I mentioned, many types of workouts help increase your lung capacity, but that's not necessarily the only goal - it's to increase your fast twitch muscles, your lactic acid threashold, your heart rate, and many other factors.

Why don't runners dedicate exercises JUST to stretching your lungs? Or, why had I never heard of this if they do?

I googled "how to stretch lungs" and came up with a ton of clinical studies where scientists tested lung stretching techniques on mice and found that voila! They worked.

After searching through the clinical data, I found some informal websites like this http://everything2.com/user/JosieWales/writeups/Stretching+your+lungs

and also a YouTube video of Michael Phelps teaching breathing exercises.

Essentially, I feel very out of the loop and feel like especially for someone like me who has poopy lungs, I could very much benefit from sitting on my couch and doing lung stretching exercises in my down time.

Have any of you tried this? Or, read articles about this, heard about this, have advice?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Went to the doctor on Tuesday ... they diagnosed me with pharyngitis, conjuctivitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis. No lie.

I ran 10 miles (was supposed to be 16) on Saturday when I thought I may be "on the mend". Try again.

Lesson learned (after being on antibiotics now for a few days and feeling "on the mend"): getting that training in to "get it in" is probably not the best idea. Listen to your body. Give it time or you may come out with a few "itis'". :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

running in my mind

I haven't run in, oh, 15 weeks. I know, because I stopped running at 20 weeks pregnant. It wasn't comfortable. I would hurt after every run. I was done.

And then came the heat. This oven in my belly made me despise summer. I am always uncomfortably warm, so the only time to exercise is the early morning. I'm also tired, so getting up in the morning has been difficult. I can't meet up with anyone for a morning run, so I haven't had any peer pressure to get up and exercise.

But this morning brought everything back. After waking up to lightning and thunder during the night, I noticed a beautiful sky full of clouds this morning. A cool breeze came in the window. The ground showed signs of a light sprinkle. I looked at the clock: 7:50am.

I tried to do a quick calculation of who might still be out on the Steven's Creek Trail. Julianne was planning to run 8 sometime after 8am, but where? Maren and Sarah were running 10, but never said when or where they were starting. Kaylynn and Lindsey started sometime between 6 and 7 and were running 4-5 miles. They would be have finished long ago. Rachel, April, and Shayla were starting around 7 and all running various distances. Even if I jumped out of bed and drove to the trail, my chances of walking until I ran into some of my runner friends was looking pretty slim.

But I was craving it. I wanted to be out on the trail like everyone else. Even though I can't run, I can walk (more or less). I decided I would just tell my pubic bone to deal with it. Sometimes it's worth the pain. You really couldn't have asked for a more perfect morning. But I stayed in bed.

Later, as I was folding laundry, I heard a quiet tapping noise. I looked outside and realized it had started to rain. A light rain, but big drops. I immediately dropped what I was doing, threw on some clothes and shoes, grabbed an umbrella, and booked it out the door. I walked around the neighborhood for almost an hour.

And then it all came back to me--getting up to run during the winter. Cold mornings. Frozen fingers, watching our breath, moaning and groaning (and giggling) to each other about whose idea it was to run that early on such a cold morning. Warming up after a mile. Commenting after 5 miles how perfect the weather was.

I miss it. Being outside, breezing through easy runs, pushing through hard runs, chatting with friends, training for races.

Can't wait to get back out there...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Sugar Days

I jump started 30 days with no sugar in September. I am already struggling and would love some advice/ideas on things to eat to curb the cravings.
Thanks in advance!