Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote for the Day

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yeah! Cereal!

I've also added my own notes to this article. I love it when an article gives you permission to do something that is considered a little sinful! :-)


Hot or cold, day or night, cereal is the perfect runner's fuel, as long as you choose wisely.

By Liz Applegate Ph.D.
Cereal isn't just for breakfast. Its ample carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals make it a great pre- or postrun meal anytime. With enough choices to fill a grocery-store aisle, choosing one to suit your needs (and tastes) can be tricky. Here's a primer on the perfect pour.

Steel-Cut Oats
Pour it on: More cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber than any other oatmeal; also contains beta-glucan, which may improve immune strength after hard exercise.
Wait a sec: The catch? These roughly cut oats take 30 minutes to cook, but the health benefits are well worth the wait.
Dig In: Prerun. Steel-cut oats take a while to digest, so you'll stay fuller longer.
[LaVonne's note: you can also soak it the night before for quicker cooking. It is yummy!]

Old-Fashioned, Quick-Cooking, and Instant Oats
Pour it on: Oats are steamed, flattened, and chopped. They're easily digested, allowing for a fast release of carbs.
Wait a sec: Many instant varieties come with added sugars-so check the label.
Dig In: Postrun, when the quick carbs can help replenish your glycogen stores.
[LaVonne's note: I always add raisins when it's almost done cooking and bananas and walnuts on top when it's served for extra nutrition.]

Multigrain Hot Cereal
Pour it on: Bored with oatmeal? Try multigrain mixes for a different texture and taste. Pick one with at least three types of whole grains for a variety of nutrients.
Wait a sec: "Multigrain" doesn't guarantee whole grains, so read the label. These mixes can take 30 minutes to cook.
Dig In: At dinner. Many multigrain cereals work great as a supper side dish.
[LaVonne's note: My FAVORITE is Bob's Red Mill 6-Grain Hot Cereal- picture right]

Cold Cereal
Pour it on: Quick and convenient, cereal is often fortified with vitamins and minerals. Milk boosts protein and calcium. Look for at least five grams of fiber per serving.
Wait a sec: Many have tons of sugar. Aim for 12 grams or less per serving. If it has dried fruit, then higher sugar is okay.
Dig In: For a late-night snack. A slightly sweet cereal of around 160 calories a cup can satisfy a sugar craving while providing fiber.
[LaVonne's note: I rediscovered the love of frosted mini wheats - but organic versions. Yummy!]

Pour it on: Made with oats, barley, and other whole grains, granola provides good amounts of fiber and carbs along with nutrients from dried fruits and nuts.
Wait a sec: It's often made with added fat. Go with brands that have 160 calories and four grams of fat or less per half cup.
Dig In: For a midafternoon snack. Add a sprinkle of granola to plain yogurt or mix with another cereal to save on calories.
[LaVonne's note: I LOVE Erin Baker's Homestyle Granola. She's the one that makes Baker's Breakfast Cookies! All the flavors are great. Oooh, and I also have an awesome granola receipe I'll post later.]

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How to Push Past Those Last Few Miles

Great, great, great, great, GREAT information! I'm doing a half marathon on Sunday, and it always helps to hear this advice over and over again! It all brings me back to my first half marathon in 1999. It was my first year of doing triathlons as well, and I was excited to be in shape and train successfully. My BFF Lee Ann and I trained with a fun and motivational group of women called the "Buff Babes". I was convinced that I was going to run the race faster than Lee Ann, so at the starting line I said good-bye to her and took off like a bullet. Mile 9 she passed me and I barely had the energy (and dignity) to say hi. Valuable lesson on the importance of not starting out too fast! Lee Ann has since proved herself to be an excellent pacer, and a faster runner than me! So I know that if I see her and pass her in the first part of a race, no matter what the distance, then I'm screwed.

I'm highlighting some key parts of the article, both for you and me! - L

By Jenny Hadfield

It's often said that the race is won or lost in the last few miles.

Although the natural instinct is to run faster early in the race for insurance, that strategy can leave you fatigued and unable to push when it counts.

A strong finish is the outcome of a wise start. Learn how to plot your strategy to push through the final few miles.

Run Patiently

Racing is all about energy management. If you expend too much energy early in the race, you're left with nothing for the finish. It's easy to hammer out fast miles from the start.

However it takes discipline to pace yourself from the start. Especially when there is entertainment at the start, fans cheering for you along the sidelines, and you're well rested and ready to rip!

Whether you're running your first 5K or your fifth marathon, the key to finishing strong is in controlling your effort level early in the race. Line up according to your realistic planned pace at the start area to avoid getting caught up with faster runners.

Cut the race in half and aim to run the second half slightly faster than the first half (negative split). Conserving your energy early on will leave you with enough gas to push through the most demanding part of the race--the end.

Run Mindfully

Think your way through the race by keeping your mind actively engaged every step of the way. Review the course ahead of time and break it into smaller, more digestible pieces. When you toe-the-line, you'll have a mental strategic plan for the race.

Perform a head-to-inventory as you pass every mile marker to stay in tune with how efficiently your body is moving. Focus on running with short, quick strides, especially in the later stages of the race when fatigue plays a factor. Doing so, will maintain efficient running economy and avoid wasting precious energy.

When you pace yourself wisely from the start, you end up with plenty of energy to go fishing in the last few miles of the race. And that's when racing really gets fun! Focus on a runner ahead and slowly reel them in.

Then catch another, and another...there is nothing more motivating than to have the stamina to pass runners (nicely) in the final few miles. It keeps your mind actively engaged in reaching for a specific short-term target and allows your body to push hard to get there.

Happy Trails...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Girls on the Run

Is so much fun!

Girls on the Run is a fantastic local, national and international program that trains young girls to run (run/walk) a 5K race, and teaches them valuable life lessons at the same time.

I have been involved with GOTR Puget Sound for several years, both as a coach and as a running buddy. As a coach you meet with the girls twice a week for three months and provide education, support and fun while following the GOTR curriculum. As a running buddy you meet twice - once for a "Practice 5K" and then for the actual race! You are paired up with one girl and your job is to motivate and support her during her run.

In Seattle, this sessions 5K race is the Fall New Balance Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday, December 12th. Although it's too late to be a running buddy or coach for this season, you can still get involved by volunteering at the race or participating in it! It has a superhero theme! Registration and more info can be found here. I hope to see you there.

Keep reading for more info on the program...

To educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

Girls on the Run is a curriculum based, experiential learning program that utilizes the power of running to provide 3rd-5th grade girls the tools to:
  • Celebrate their bodies,
  • Honor their voices,
  • Recognize their gifts and,
  • Activate their power!

Our Approach
Our program is offered twice a year, during the spring and fall, at various locations throughout the Puget Sound region. Each program session is 10 weeks long and consists of 20 lessons. Program sites meet twice a week for 1½ hours in the afternoon. Each session is led by a team of trained female volunteer coaches that guide and mentor the girls through the fun and uplifting curriculum. Along the way, the girls train together to walk or run the non-competitive New Balance Girls on the Run 5k (3.1 mile) event which takes place at the end of the program session. Completing the 5k event give the girls a chance to shine and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment!

Curriculum Structure
Our volunteer coaches facilitate a well researched and copyrighted curriculum. The curriculum is divided into three parts to encompass the following concepts:
  • Part One: All About Me…Getting to Know Who I am and What I Stand For!
  • Part Two: Building My Team…Understanding the Importance of Cooperation
  • Part Three: Community Begins with Me…Learning about Community and Designing Our Own Community Project

Each lesson focuses on a specific topic and follows a five part format that provides consistency and structure for the girls’ experience.
  1. Getting on Board: The lesson begins with an activity and brief group discussion that brings the girls’ focus onto the day’s topic.
  2. Warm Up: A short interactive running game that incorporates the lesson topic for that day followed by a stretching and group discussion.
  3. Workout: A running activity related to the topic of the day. Workouts grow longer over the course of the program as the girls build stamina.
  4. Cool Down: A stretching period and group discussion.
  5. Positive Words: Coaches recognize positive individual and group behaviors.
Sample Lesson
We have provided a sample lesson so that you can get a feel for the structure of the lessons. Please click here to view the lesson.

The objective of Girls on the Run is to reduce the potential display of at-risk activities among its participants. The goal is fewer adolescent pregnancies and eating disorders, less depression and suicide attempts, as well as fewer substance/alcohol abuse problems and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with family and friends, and give thanks for the things that are important to you.

Here is something that will make you smile. It's the "Pink Glove Dance", put together by the employees of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR. They put together this video to generate breast cancer awareness throughout their hospital system.

This was sent to me by my mom, who turned 69 yesterday and is a breast cancer survivor! She is still fit, active, and an inspiration to me. I love you mom!

And, from what I understand, when the video gets 1 million hits, Medline (who makes and is marketing the pink gloves) will make a huge contribution to the hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for the community. Please also check it out YouTube for a easy way to donate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Runner's High?

Yesterday I was suffering through another workout on the treadmill and I thought to myself:

I have not had a runner's high.

I've had runner's knee. But I doubt that is close to what the runner's high is supposed to feel like. If I'm running slow, it's boring. If I'm running fast, it's painful. Somewhere in between those two has got to be where the runner's high lives. I think perhaps I've felt it for a second or two, but it's fleeting. I'm trying to imagine what it feels like. The big "O"? :-) I wish! A caffeine buzz? I bet it feels like your running is effortless. And running has never been effortless to me, so that's why I have not felt it.

I would like to hear from some of you. Have you had a runner's high? What does it feel like? How fast were you going when it happened? How long into your run did it take it to happen? Do you get it all the time? Details please!

Happy running,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair

This is a really helpful book. Especially before I became an expert on knee pain from dealing with my own problems! Good to have on hand. Review

Whether you've been injured or want to avoid injury, the American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Repair and Maintenance can help you. Part 1 is the first place to go if you've been hurt. It presents nine common injury sites--back, neck, jaw, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, hip, knee, and ankle and foot--describing the anatomy and function of that area of the body, what can go wrong, and what to do if you experience pain or injury there. Part 2 explains how to avoid injury through proper posture, gait, body mechanics (how we use our bodies in daily activities), body weight, and footwear. You also get a program of beginning strength training and stretching, plus tips for avoiding injuries in sports, exercise activities, and in the workplace. Part 3 presents 200 clearly illustrated exercises for strength (beginning level) and flexibility that can be done at home. Some require dumbbells or ankle weights; most need no equipment. Many are done seated or lying down, so even if you haven't fully recovered, you can start to rehabilitate those areas that are ready. The illustrations are line drawings, large enough so that you can learn the exercises easily with the book open on the floor. This book is practical and helpful--don't wait until you get hurt to read it. --Joan Price

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote for the Day

"In running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions."
GLENN CUNNINGHAM, American runner in the 1930s

or woman :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The worst workout ever

Earlier this week I had one of those days...

I wanted to get my 45 minute tempo run in early, before my PT appointment (continued back problems). But of course I did not get going early enough. I had a great PT visit, and then drove straight to the gym to do my run on the treadmill. Because I had been out of the house at noon and was getting to the gym at 3:30, I had not eaten anything but small snacks since breakfast. But I figured the LUNA Bar and almonds would help me last through the workout. But here's how it went:

Got the the gym, changed into my workout clothes and brought my bag up to the exercise room.

All treadmills seemed to be taken, but I found an old, crappy one not in use, bummer is it doesn't have a fun and I sweat a ton.

Began my warm-up by walking, and after 3 minutes one of the nicer treadmills (with a fan!) next to me opened up. So at 5 minutes I got off, grabbed my bag, moved to the treadmill, set up my waterbottle, strapped my watch to the front handrail, got my iPod going, and continued my warm up with a slow jog.

After 10 seconds I realized the treadmill was off balance and shaking violently. Tried to stick with it since I had just changed treadmills. Laster another minute, realized I was not going to be able to run this way, and got off.

Back to treadmill #1. Moved the bag, re-set up my stuff, got my music on, started jogging again.

One minute later a different treadmill in front of me opened up. It was a nice one and had a fan in front of it! So again, moved all my crap, got set up, and continued with my warm-up.

After a total of 15 minutes of warming up I began the tempo run. It was tough, but normally the music helps me block out the pain. 10 minutes into it I knew it would really be a struggle because the music was not cutting it. Not even my favorite 80's music was helping!

At 15 minutes into the tempo portion I started to feel a lot of stomach pain and knew the small mocha I had in the am was coming back to haunt me. I have discovered (time and time again, unfortunately, that milk+hard run=well, how do I say it, ummmm, bowel problems). Took a trip to the bathroom.

Back on the treadmill I jogged slow for a few minutes, felt pretty good, then started the tempo run again. 10 minutes later, another bathroom break. I think the people behind me were wondering what the heck was going on.

Back on the treadmill again, I re-start the tempo run, and felt terrible, so decided I needed more calories. I got off the treadmill again (I think this was the 6th time off) and took a Gu.

Back on the treadmill I started the tempo run again, still felt terrible, and decided this would be an AeT run instead. If I had continued running fast, I was afraid this would happen:

Click Here!

I ran slow for the remaining 20 minutes, did a cool down. Then was ready to get the heck out of there.

I hopped off the treadmill, put a warm shirt on, got my bag and went home. What made people think I was even more of a freak is that I was wearing my Sugoi knee-high compression socks with my shorts. Nice late 70's look.

On the way home I realized that I had not left with everything I came with. I left, sitting exactly as it was, all the stuff ON the treadmill. My watch, my iPod, my waterbottle, my empty Gu wrapper, and my sweaty towel. Nice.

Now I have to go back and get it all. Hopefully this is not a sign of how my upcoming half marathon will go! Guess it's time to taper as my brain and my body are no longer functioning properly!

And for another laugh, check out this video too!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nutrition Quackery

This is a portion of an article that appeared in the USAT "Multisport Zone" (a weekly newsletter) on October 7, 2009. It's by Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, a sport dietitian and elite triathlon coach. I like the below checklist to use to help decide if a supplement is really worth buying:

The following is a 12-step checklist to help you decide if a product is truly worth buying. If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you should be skeptical of such supplements and investigate their value before investing any money.

  1. Does the product promise quick improvement in health or physical performance?
  2. Does it contain some secret ingredient or formula?
  3. Is it advertised mainly by use of anecdotes, case histories or testimonials?
  4. Are currently popular personalities or star athletes featured in its advertisements?
  5. Does it take a simple truth about a nutrient and exaggerate that truth in terms of health or physical performance?
  6. Does it question the integrity of the scientific or medical establishment?
  7. Is it advertised in a health or sports magazine whose publishers also sell nutritional aids?
  8. Does the person who recommends it also sell the product?
  9. Does it use the results of a single study or dated and poorly controlled research to support its claims?
  10. Is it expensive, especially when compared to the cost of equivalent nutrients that may be obtained from ordinary foods?
  11. Is it a recent discovery not available from any other source?
  12. And finally, are the claims too good to be true or does it promise the impossible?

Take into consideration these questions the next time you are looking for that nutritional edge to enhance your performance or health. Not all ergogenic aids/nutritional supplements are useless, but a good majority of them are. There may be some products out there that may help you become a better athlete but do your research first to make sure the product is safe and that it actually holds true to the claims it is making.

You can read the entire article here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to Prevent Breast Cancer: Use Natural Cosmetics

Some beauty products contain toxic and endocrine disrupting chemicals that may be breast cancer risk factors.

Most consumers assume that the substances that put on their bodies, -- whether lotions, or cleansers or cosmetics – are safe. Unfortunately in the United States, the personal care products industry is virtually unregulated, and many toxic chemicals can be found in the most common of makeup, shampoos, lotions and other personal care products.

Many of these compounds contain substances that have been linked to cancer, including breast cancer; others contain chemicals like phthalates and parabens, both of which are endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and other health problems.

For more information about safe cosmetics, for both adults and their children, consult the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics on-line guide. And for a great resource that allows you to see whether your favorite personal care products are considered safe or not, try the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics safety database.

See DIY Natural Beauty Products and How to Tell if Your Cosmetics are Truly Natural.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 Laws You Should Know About Working Out

I think these are GREAT tips to increase the benefits of hitting the gym this winter. This article is taken from

By Claire Martin
Women's Health

Have you ever stopped to wonder why it's so freakin' hard to do a simple pullup? Well, here's the answer: physics. When you do a pullup, your body is in a position that forces your back and arms to lift your entire body weight, so the scientific laws of motion and leverage are working against you. In other words, says Alwyn Cosgrove, your body becomes an uber — efficient resistance machine.
All bodyweight exercises can be just as challenging (and effective) as a pullup if you apply the body-trimming physics of these principles.

Law No. 1: To Get Leaner, Be Longer

The Science:
As you increase the distance between the point of force (your target muscles) and the end of the object you're trying to lift (your body), you decrease your mechanical advantage. Translation: The longer your body, the weaker you become and the more your muscles have to work. This is the major difference between "girly" pushups and regular ones. When you get off your knees and rest on your toes, your core muscles have to work a whole lot harder to support more of your body weight.

Apply It:
Raise your hands above your head so your arms are straight and in line with your body during lunges, squats, crunches, or situps. Too hard? Split the distance by putting your hands behind your head.

Law No. 2: Take the Spring Out of Your Step

The Science:
When you lower your body during any exercise, your muscles build up what's known as elastic energy. It works like a coiled spring: The elasticity allows you to bounce back to the starting position and reduces the amount of work your muscles have to do.

Apply It:
Take a four-second pause at the bottom position of any exercise. That's how long it takes to discharge all the elastic energy of a muscle. Without the bounce, you'll force your body to recruit more muscle fibers to get you moving again.

Law No. 3: Go the Distance
The Science:
Physics defines work as force (here, that's how much you weigh) times distance. Since in a weight-free workout you can't increase force beyond your own body weight, the only way to work more is to move farther during each rep.

Apply it:
For body-weight exercises such as lunges, pushups, and situps, your range of motion ends at the floor. The solution: Move the floor farther away. Try placing your front or back foot on a step when doing lunges, or position your hands or feet on a step when doing pushups.

Law No. 4: Add a Twist

The Science:
Human movement happens on three geometric planes: the sagittal plane (front-back and up-down), the frontal plane (side-to-side), and the transverse plane (rotation). Many common bodyweight exercises — like squats and side lunges — are performed on the first two planes. But we rarely train our bodies on the transverse plane, despite using it in all the time in our everyday lives: walking, for example.

Apply It:
Simply rotate your torso to the right or left in exercises such as the lunge, situp, and pushup and you'll fully engage your core in addition to the muscles those moves are intended to target.

Law No. 5: Get Off the Floor

The Science:
The less of an object's surface area (in this case, your body) that touches a solid base (the floor), the less stable that object is. Fortunately, we have a built-in stabilization system: our muscles. So knocking yourself a little off kilter makes you exercise harder and enlists more muscles.

Apply It:
Hold one foot in the air during pushups, squats, and planks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Madsen Bikes

As a disclaimer, I don't know anything about the quality of these bikes, what I do like is their innovative way they've designed the kid carrier. Because you care about your body and the environment, I hope you do as many errands on your bike! With this bucket system, you can take the kids to school, and then do some shopping on the way home! Perfect if you're taking part in the Clif 2 Mile Challenge!

kg271/Bucket Load up the kids and head to the market. The kg271/BUCKET model will carry your precious cargo and help you complete all your errands in style. The BUCKET comes equipped with a removable seat and two seatbelts.

Did you read that, it has seatbelts! That is awesome! And I love the way it looks safer if you accidentally tip over.

Check out their website at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quote for the Day

"Some runners judge performance by whether they won or lost. Others define success or failure by how fast they ran. Only you can judge your performance. Avoid letting others sit in judgment of you."

LaVonne's Note:
I love this quote. "Only you can judge your performance." Check out Hal Higdon's website, He has lots of great running and training information there. Many of my friends have used his half marathon training plans to prepare them for successful races.

About Hal (from his website):
Hal Higdon has contributed to Runner's World for longer than any other writer, an article by Hal having appeared in that publication's second issue in 1966. Author of 34 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, Hal also has written books on many subjects and for different age groups. His children's book, The Horse That Played Center Field, was made into an animated feature by ABC-TV. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. One of the founders of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), Higdon also was a finalist in NASA's Journalist-in-Space program to ride the space shuttle. He serves as a training consultant for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and answers questions online for TrainingPeaks, also providing interactive training programs. At the American Society of Journalist and Author's annual meeting in 2003, the Society gave Higdon its Career Achievement Award, the highest honor given to writer members. An art major at Carleton College, he lately has begun to sell and exhibit his paintings in a Pop Art style. Hal's wife, Rose, hikes, bikes, skis and supports him in his running and writing. They have three children and nine grandchildren.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Are you a “sedentary athlete”?

One more thing from Nancy Clark, then I'll get off this kick! This is a great post from her blog on

Posted by Nancy Clark RD CSSD Aug 29, 2009

We are all familiar with unfit couch potatoes … the sedentary folks who sit all day and shudder at the thought of doing purposeful exercise. Yet, few athletes recognize they may also be couch potatoes—apart from the time they spend exercising. Think about it. The average “active” person:

Sits at breakfast

Drives to work

Sits at work

Takes the elevator to the lunch cafeteria

Sits at lunch

Takes the elevator back to work

Sits at work

Drives to the gym

Exercises for 45 to 60 minutes

Drives home

Sits at dinner

Sits in front of the TV or computer

Sound familiar? Even if you consider yourself “athletic”, you likely spend the majority of your day sitting! We no longer get built-in exercise by opening the garage door, rolling down the car window, climbing stairs, walking down the hall to ask a question to a colleague (email is easier), etc., etc.. You get the picture.

We have engineered activity out of our lifestyle. For many of us, the only movement we get in a day is when we do purposeful exercise. According to Neville Owen, speaker at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting (Seattle, May 2009), the average person sits 9.3 hours a day. This high amount of inactivity is bad for our health, even if we are physically fit.

Owen reports the more a person sits, the higher the risk of mortality. Hence, we not only need to find time to exercise, we also need to find time to not sit – such as by standing up when talking on the phone or answering emails (raise your computer by putting it on a cardboard box that you keep under your desk), and biking to work. We can even go back in time and hang laundry out to dry (instead of use the clothes dryer)! I invite you to be creative, and figure out how to move your body in ways that have purpose and meaning. Your health and waistline will be glad you did.

Nancy Clark

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carrot Raisin Muffins

As promised, here is one of my favorite recipes from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. I hope you enjoy them!

Carrot Raisin Muffins

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs or substitute
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup oil, perferably canola
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely shredded carrot
1 medium apple, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts

*as a substitute for buttermilk you can use 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar & left to stand for 5 minutes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 muffin tins with papers or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, then the carrots, apple, raisins, and nuts. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 12 muffins

Nutrition Information per Muffin:
Calories 230
Carbs 37 grams
Protein 5 grams
Fat 7 grams

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

This is one of my favorite books!

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD is an internationally known sports nutritionist and nutrition author. She is a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in nutrition for exercise, health and the nutritional management of eating disorders. She is board certified as a specialist in sports dietietics (CSSD). Check out her website at

She also has a blog on which is worth reading.

Anyway, back to this book. The Sports Nutrition Guidebook covers all the nutrition questions you have as an athlete. The chapters include:
  • Eating Strategies for High Energy
  • Fueling During and After Exercise
  • Eliminating the Carbohydrate Confusion
  • Protein and Performance
  • Balancing Weight and Activity
  • Finding a Healthy Body Fat Level
  • Losing Weight Without Starvation
  • and many more!
Plus the book has fantastic recipes! I'll post my favorite on tomorrow... Review
What's the best diet for good health and athletic performance? Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., describes the dietary balance and specific foods shown to be optimal for athletes from recreational exercisers to Olympic hopefuls, citing supporting studies. Refreshingly free of high-protein hype, Clark emphasizes a varied, wholesome, moderate diet high in complex carbohydrates ("without question, wholesome carbohydrates are the best choices for fueling your muscles and promoting good health"), especially whole grains and starches; adequate but not excessive protein; and 20 to 35 percent fat. Learn the components and variables of your ideal diet, with tables of nutritional information and marvelous tidbits, such as calorie/fat counts of various fast foods. Did you realize that an Au Bon Pain pecan roll has 800 calories and 45 grams of fat--double the calories/fat in a serving of KFC's Crispy Strips? Did you know that a Dunkin' Donuts 16-ounce Coffee Coolatta with cream has 410 calories and 22 grams of fat--about equivalent to a McDonald's Quarter-Pounder? Clark, a well-known sports nutrition expert, also covers weight loss, weight gain, eating disorders, and includes 72 recipes. Highly recommended for athletes, exercisers, and average folk who want to understand how to design a personalized diet. --Joan Price

You get get the book on, and most other book sellers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sarah Reinertson

Sarah Reinertson is the first female above the knee amputee to become an Ironman.
picture from

She has been missing her leg since she was 7 years old, and has become an inspiration for women athletes of all ages, and especially for young women with disabilities. Since she got her first prosthesis at age 11 she has ran in track meets, run marathons, and set world records! Read more about her story.

Sarah has recently released her autobiography, In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself, and Training for Life. "A must-read for disabled readers seeking inspiration for their dreams, and will hold the interest - and crush the excuses - of those training for marathons and triathlons." - Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2009.

Sarah is also on the cover of the October 19
th issue of ESPN Magazine, which is “The Body Issue”, celebrating the athletic form. Holly Bennett of Women's Running said after meeting with her recently that "the timing was perfect, after having exposed herself emotionally through writing the book, to expose herself physically as well."
Picture from usatoday blog.

You can visit Sarah's website at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"How To" Videos from Marc Evans Coaching

Recently I was looking through You Tube to find videos of how to run downhill. I've started hill repeats to prepare for my hilly half marathon in November, and had forgotten how painful they are on my joints. I wanted to learn the right way to do it.

Anyway, I came upon this series of videos from Marc Evans describing everything from Running Balance Drills and Testing to Swimming: How to Breathe Freestyle. I thought it might be something some of you would be interested in checking out!


The Evans Coaching Channel provides professional technique coaching and instruction in swimming, cycling and running, dryland training and workout modeling.

Coach Evans works with beginners, recreational, competitive, elite, professional and coaches.

The videos are intended to be viewed as if working with coaching Evans 1-on-1.

The channel is updated bi-weekly with new videos in: Swimming, Cycling, Running, Fitness, Q+A, and Workouts for endurance sport-triathlon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Prevent Breast Cancer: Choose BPA-Free Water Bottles

Bisphenol A has been linked to a variety of health problems, and may be a risk factor for breast cancer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

my favorite websites

Today I'm going to tell you about my favorite websites!

McMillan Running - McMillan's Running Calculator
This part of the website rocks in that you can enter in the time and distance of a recent race, and it will tell you your predicted time for a different race distance. Of course, that depends if you're actually trained for that distance, but it's pretty good! It also gives you paces to train at.

For example, my last 10K was 53:38 and I wonder what my time will be on my upcoming half marathon. Actually, it will be over by the time this post goes live, so I'll put my result at the bottom! :-) It says I'll do my half marathon in 1:59. I sure hope so! But, I'm taking into account that my 1oK was flat and the half is hilly. Also, I am training for that distance, where I was doing more speedwork for the 10K, so it all might even out!

Running For Fitness
I just found this website when I was looking to convert speed to pace. It has some great calculators listed to the left; age graded target times for races, predict VO2 max from a race, daily caloric needs, heart rate zones, and more!

Sports Basement
The best place online to buy discounted athletic apparel and gear! And if you're even in San Francisco, they have 3 stores there - but visit the giant Presidio store!

This store gets WAY too much of my money! Only the cutest yoga, athletic, swimwear and "lifestyle clothing" around! It rocks. They were purchased by the Gap about a year ago, which has ended up being even more dangerous for me, since the only store credit card I own is from the Gap, so I get points and special discounts. Yikes!

Team Estrogen
"Where Style Meets the Road" - so true! The have an extensive selection of women's cycling clothing, and they've recently added triathlon clothing as well. And the last couple of times I've ordered I've gotten free Team Estrogen sticky notes in my box!

May My Tri
I've tried Google Maps but find it just too frustrating to use. I use this to map runs and bike rides, but you can also find swim distances too. The annoying thing is they have an ad that pops up on your map that you have to move out of the way, but if you upgrade and pay that goes away! I'm too cheap to do that!

Training Peaks
I use this to record my training. I like it, but I have not used anything else, except for my homemade spreadsheets! I have friends that use the log on Beginner Triathlete.

Fit Day
I use this when I track my eating. It's nice because it has many foods already in it's database, you can create your own foods, and it tracks your calories by fat, carbohydrate and protein percentages. You can also enter in your fitness information, but I don't do that.

Feel free to add others by responding with a comment!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How can I gain muscle and lose fat?

The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

Time and again, athletes repeatedly ask questions about sugar, protein, supplements, caffeine, carbs, recovery, and body fat. To address these issues, an international group of sports nutritionists (Professionals in Nutrition & Exercise Science (PINES); ) gathered in Seattle in May. Experts in their fields discussed the latest research and answered commonly asked questions. Perhaps the answers will help you resolve confusing nutrition issues.

Q. How can I gain muscle and lose fat?
A. It’s difficult for the body to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Building muscle requires calories. If you are restricting calories to lose undesired body fat, your body does not have the fuel it needs to create new muscle tissue. Instead, the body breaks down muscle to use for fuel.
A dieting athlete can minimize muscle loss with—

  1. a small calorie deficit that contributes to slow fat loss.

  2. an adequate protein intake (i.e., some protein at each meal).

  3. frequently eaten meals that offer a constant supply of protein and fuel.

  4. strength training to help protect against muscle loss

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both casual and competitive athletes in her private practice at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-383-6100). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook, and food guides for marathoners, new runners, and cyclists are available via See also

[From LaVonne - Nancy Clark is great, she has a nutrition book I love, will post that later when I can find it in my mess of books...]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quote for the Day

"The crime is not to avoid failure, the crime is to not give triumph a chance."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Anit-Inflammatories and Exercise

NSAIDs and Exercise

NSAIDs are now starting to be used as an ergogenic aid to enhance performance especially before and during long endurance races and longer training sessions. Is this safe?

By Anna L. Waterbrook, M.D.
Member AMSSM


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are a class of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications that include Ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve), Aspirin and others. They work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, natural substances produced by the body that control a number of different processes including pain and inflammation. They also help to keep the blood vessels of the kidneys open and protect the stomach lining. They are commonly used for the treatment of various causes of pain and inflammation.

NSAIDs are used by athletes to treat many conditions including acute musculoskeletal injuries, such as a sprained ankle or muscle soreness after an intense workout. However, they are now starting to be used as an ergogenic aid to enhance performance especially before and during long endurance races and longer training sessions. 30-50% of participants in Ironman races and marathons are reported to take NSAIDs. The theory behind this practice is that the prophylactic inhibition of the production of inflammatory mediators will lead to decreased muscle soreness, fatigue, and ultimately shorter recovery times and improved performance.

Do NSAIDs enhance athletic performance?

Currently there is no convincing evidence that NSAIDs enhance performance or recovery time.

David Nieman, Dr. PH., of Appalachian State University, studied the effects of two different doses of ibuprofen and a control group during a 100-mile trail running race. He found that “…ibuprofen use compared to nonuse by athletes competing in a 160-km race did not alter muscle damage or soreness, and was related to elevated indicators of endotoxemia and inflammation.” In addition, he found no difference in race times or rate of perceived exertion between the three groups.

McAnulty, et al, studied the effects of inflammatory markers in a group of ultramarathon ibuprofen “users” versus “non-users”. He found that some inflammatory markers were actually increased in the ibuprofen user vs. the non-user group.

Donnelly, et al, studied the effects of ibuprofen and exercise to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness and its effect on known markers of muscle breakdown, which can be seen in the blood and urine. He found no change in either of these parameters in the ibuprofen vs. no ibuprofen groups.

However, these are all relatively small studies with several limitations in the way their research was conducted. More research still needs to be done until any final conclusions can be made.

What are the side effects of NSAID use?

There are several side effects to NSAID use. The most dangerous is bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. This is usually associated with chronic use, but can also be seen acutely. Prolonged use can also lead to kidney damage.

NSAIDs have further been shown to increase gastrointestinal permeability and contribute to the development of hyponatremia when taken by endurance athletes during long races.

Safe uses and indications for NSAID use

So, with all of these possible side effects and lack of scientific evidence that they help to enhance athletic performance, should one ever take NSAIDs? In general, moderate use after exercise to treat acute musculoskeletal injuries or muscle soreness for a short period of time is usually safe. People who have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding or kidney problems should check with their physicians before taking any NSAIDs.

Bottom Line

Take care of your body including proper training, rest, nutrition, hydration and recovery. Occasional NSAID use AFTER exercise is probably helpful and safe if used for a short time period for an acute injury. It is probably safer to avoid taking it as an ergogenic aid to improve athletic performance before or during races. Always seek physician recommendations and expertise if you are ever in doubt about what is best for you.

Anna L. Waterbrook, M.D.
Board Certified in Sports and Emergency Medicine
University of Arizona
Arizona Institute for Sports Medicine
Tucson, AZ

Friday, November 6, 2009

How Miss Piggy Stays Fit


How Miss Piggy Stays in Shape

The object of exercise is to achieve your beauty aspirations without perspiration.

Exercise caution.

Every young lady should include a regular (TV) sports program in her schedule.

I find that a vigorous round of shopping (at least one store an hour) is both stimulating and refreshing.

Her secret is a simple series of aerobique movements. We exercise all the time. We run when we are late for lunch date. We stretch when we hail a taxi. We twist when we wave our hand to a friend. We bend if we must examine someone's diamond ring. All other exercise methods require you to perform difficult movements which are unnatural and which you will never use in daily life. Is you mail opened behind your back? Do you lift your leg or twiddle all your toes to call a waiter? Do you use your knees to turn on a light?

How Miss Piggy Stays Trim

Moi does not recommend dieting. The only way you can lose weight is the same way you lose anything - by forgetting where you put it.

The way to a man's heart is through your stomach.

A very common oversight in most weight-limitation programs is to pay excessive attention to the calories you consume rather than to the enormous numbers of calories you routinely avoid.

You can eliminate a lot of calories by entirely cutting out things you hate.

Eat what you want, exercise your prerogative, and find a good plastic surgeon who gives frequent-flyer miles.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

3 Swimming Drills for the Offseason

3 Drills for the Offseason (or Anytime!)

1. Kick WITHOUT a kickboard, On your side. This improves balance in the water and with practice, will improve your kick. Also, stretch your ankles- ankle inflexibility is the #1 reason for a weak kick!

2. One-Armed Freestyle. Freestyle only using one arm to stroke, while keeping the other arm at your side. Rotate your hips as if you were swimming full strokes. Breathe to the opposite side of your stroking arm.
WARNING: This is a more advanced drill and will take some practice to get it right!

3. 3/4 Catchup Drill. Many coaches will have you doing Catchup Drill- touching your hands out in front in freestyle with each stroke. The problem with this is that it keeps you on your stomach too long, when you want to be rotating from one side to the other. 3/4 Catchup means as you slice one hand into the water, start your pull with the other hand. It’s “almost” catchup. This helps with balance and rotation.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New sports bras that hold up to the rigors of running


New sports bras that hold up to the rigors of running.

By Lisa Jhung
Image by Karen Pearson

From the October 2009 issue of Runner's World

Women ask a lot of a running bra. It needs to be comfortable enough to move with them during a run and dry off quickly to keep workouts from becoming sweat-fests. It also needs to provide ample support for their body types without making them feel suffocated. To find out which of the new sports bras best meet these tough demands, we enlisted the input of 26 runners, whose sizes range from A to DD. These are the nine bras that rose to the top.


Most Forgiving
For a form-fitting top, the BROOKS PACER SUPPORT TANK ($40) is amazingly unrestrictive. The comfortable tank manages the trick of covering up while remaining lightweight and wicking sweat like a champ. And it does this in style. "The cut looks so good that people complimented my back,"said one tester of the T-shaped racerback. Note: The interior shelf-bra holds A/B cups in place, but it isn't supportive enough for bigger sizes.

Asset Enhancer
Wearing the ASICS ABBY ($42) is a form of flattery. The V-neck and padded cups give shape to smaller chests, and the racerback cut enhances the look of a long, lean back. The bra's mesh panels in the straps, sides, and back provide ventilation relief on hot runs. Still, some testers griped that the extra insulation in the cups and the cottonlike textured-nylon and spandex blend trapped moisture. "It was a little soggy and heavy feeling," said one tester. XS-XL

Most Breathable
The SAUCONY IGNITE ($35) uses a thin and stretchy fabric blend and open mesh panels to get the sweat off the skin without becoming a sopping mess. Several testers noted how well the lightweight bra wicked moisture, happily proclaiming that it dried off in a few minutes. And the soft material is stretchy, making it easy to get on and off . Lined, encapsulated cups support an A/B cup, though one size B tester complained of jiggling. XS-XL


Best Buy
Testers loved the no-frills CHAMPION COMPRESSION VENTED SPORTS BRA ($33) for its simplicity. And its mesh lining kept them cool in sweltering conditions. One tester said, "I didn't think twice about this bra while running, and that's a good thing." It fits a bit small and isn't as stretchy as some of the other bras we reviewed, which makes putting it on a slight challenge. In any case, it managed to keep everything up to a C cup locked and loaded. XS-XL

Most Attractive
The surf-inspired look of the ROXY READY SET RACE BRA ($42) won over many testers, with its stylish bottom band, V-neck cut, and bright color. The bra's inner mesh wicked sweat quickly, while paneling through the back, front, and center kept air moving on muggy runs. The overall support ranked high for testers up to a C cup, as did the bra's bonded seams, which minimized chafing. "There was absolutely no movement," noted one. S-XL

Most Versatile
Tanks commonly employ a simple shelf bra that doesn't always keep excess bounce in check, but the NIKE LONG DISTANCE AIRBORNE ($45) holds everything in place with molded cups and a thick, supportive band around the rib cage. The tank is longer than most and flares out slightly at the bottom so it doesn't ride up and isn't constricting. One tester said, "I wore this to get my postrun coffee and didn't feel like I needed a shirt."


Most Supportive
The CW-X ULTRA SUPPORT BRA ($70) got rave reviews for securing larger chests. "There was absolutely no bounce," said one size-DD tester. Extensive mesh webbing radiates from the center of each cup outward in the shape of a five-pointed star to reduce movement without feeling like a straight jacket. Testers liked the adjustability of the back closure and shoulder straps. "I love that you can tailor it to your body type," said one. 36B/C-42DD

Most Innovative
The MOVING COMFORT HELENA ($58) cocoons each breast in a firm fabric that's molded with bonded seams, resulting in a secure hold and no chafing. "I didn't jiggle at all," said one marathoner in training. Testers appreciated the padded, adjustable straps, but they were split on the fabric's breathability—some thought it wicked well, others called it wetsuitlike. Due to a lack of give in the material, only testers who fit the bra perfectly loved it. Others simply did not. 32-40, C, D, DD,

Most Comfortable
The cozy embrace of the ISIS C/D SPORT BRA ($48) comes courtesy of its seamless construction and stretchy fabric blend. One tester loved how the bra felt so much she wore it all day postrun. Testers with C cups found the bra's encapsulating design supportive, while D cups wished for a little less bounce. "This will be my first-layer bra for my next marathon," said a D cup tester. "I just wish it was supportive enough for me to wear alone." S-XL

Don't Throw A Fit

Tips to finding a bra that feels just right

Determining the right jog-bra size can be maddening, since one brand's medium fits differently from another's. But each company tweaks sizing based on its own testing. Even bras that come in materials add to the variation, as does how the cups are formed. To get the fit just right, you need to spend extra time in the dressing room. Here are five tips on what to look for in your next bra.

You want the bottom band (around your torso) to be even all the way around. Look in a mirror to ensure it isn't riding up in the back—a sign the bra's too small.

Swing your arms like you're running to make sure the bra doesn't move around and to find how well it stays with your skin on the sides. If it gapes, it's too big.

Look in the mirror while you're jumping to see if there's any movement. If you can see the bounce in the mirror, you'll definitely feel it over time on a run.

Slip two fingers under the shoulder strap. If they fit comfortably, and the strap rebounds back to your shoulder when you remove them, you have a good fit.

Move around to see if the bra slips or slides when you're in motion. If it does, or if you feel any points of irritation, you'll feel chafing on your next run.

For additional bra reviews and video fit tips, go to

Flatter Yourself

How to figure out what looks good with what you've got

Your sports bra needs to support you—that's the number one goal. But there are definitely design details that go better with some body types than others. For instance, if you're concerned with your back looking flabby, apparel designer Beth Reece says a bra with a narrow back that follows the contours of your spine will look better than one with a wider cut." For smaller chests, Reece recommends a V-neck or contoured cups and padding. If you're large-breasted, a bra that encapsulates each breast individually will eliminate the "uni-boob" look.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Splish makes the greatest swimsuits! Not only are they good quality, but they have the cutest and sassiest prints around! They come in racerback, thin strap, super thin strap and bikini styles, so there is something for everyone! Most are also available in men's as well - so you can match (if you are so inclined)! Matching accessories are available too.

Here are some of my favorites (shown in the different styles)!

They give a discount for group orders:
Order 5–10 items and get 5% off.
Order 11–20 items and get 10% off.
Order 21 or more and get 20% off.

You can also custom design your own suit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts the night before her first marathon

I used to think people who ran marathons were completely crazy, a bunch of nutsos with something "weird" to prove to the world. I told myself that not only couldn't I do it, I didn't want to do it. Uh-uh. No way. It isn't even healthy to run that much, I would proclaim. That gave me an easy out to not even try. At that time, I also thought triathletes were a whole different class of crazy. Who has the time? Who has the money? Again, very convenient excuses. I think I did protest too much. But if I was honest with myself, the reason I took the time to list all the reasons I COULDN'T do it was because I really secretly WANTED to do it. I wanted to be one of those automotons gliding through the water, spinning through the air, pounding out those miles. In the back of my mind I remembered how good it feels to swim, bike, and run.

So all it takes go from dismissing the crazy people and becoming one of the crazy people is to get a little inspiration and encouragement. Mine came when I met a friend for sushi one bright August day. She had black numbers on her arms and legs from the Danskin triathlon. "You did a triathlon??" I asked. I was so impressed. She said, "Yes, and you can totally do one, too." And that is when the seed was planted. It was all women, the distances seemed doable, training groups are all over the place for practice and I started to actually see myself doing it.

I wouldn't admit that outloud, and I was certainly not going to sign up for a triathlon of all things, and NEVER a marathon. But it did get me to sign up for Bloomsday for the first time in 10 years. Once off my butt and forcing myself to run a whole half a mile in a row on a regular basis, all kinds of good things started happening. It started to actually feel good after about 6 or 8 months of running.

It is a slippery slope from there. If you train for a 12k, you're more than halfway to a half-marathon. If your half-marathon training schedule includes cycling and swimming, why not go ahead and sign up for that all-women sprint tri? Once you can do a sprint triathlon, it isn't that much of a stretch to go for Olympic. Why not do an Olympic anyway? You do all that training, it is better to make the race experience last, right? I said I would NEVER do a marathon, and one day last fall I found myself signing up for, and LOOKING FORWARD to - a marathon.

Tomorrow I'm going to run a marathon. The amazing part won't be when I cross the finish line. It will be when I cross the start line.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heat vs Ice

Good article from the Running Doc at It was posted September 8, 2009.

Acute Injury: Heat or Ice?

Although there appears to be a controversy about heat vs. ice, there really isn't. Most who treat athletes on a regular basis agree that from the first day through the first 24 hours, ice is the treatment of choice. Heat tends to further injure friable blood vessel walls thereby promoting leaking of fluid and increasing swelling. Ice, on the other hand, also vasodilates and does not injure the vessel wall, and, in fact, helps its integrity. Ice is truly a great vasodilator. Although initially vasoconstricting in the first few minutes, it then promotes vasodilation, as evidenced by the red area on the skin after icing.

After 24 hours we want to continue vasodilation to bring in blood flow with nutrients and cells to promote healing. The vessel wall has regained its integrity and both ice and heat work: after a 20 minute treatment, both result in an area that looks red due to increased blood flow. Which should you use then? I prefer ice because it temporarily deactivates receptors in the vessel walls, thereby keeping the vessels open for an additional 45 minutes following a twenty minute treatment. When heat is applied, as soon as the heat comes off, the vessel area begins to cool the receptors and the vessel walls are reactivated to normal blood flow. Therefore, ice gives you a longer treatment for a 20 minute application. Contrary to grandma's old advise of doing contrast ice then heat, etc., ice works better, 3 times a day for 30 minutes. The contrast baths only had you doing more treatment. And more treatment is always good to a point. You can ice up to six 20 minute treatments a day for the most effect.

Be careful of burning the skin with either treatment. My favorite way to ice is with a zip lock bag filled with ice and water. The water raises the temperature to 32 degrees so no need for a cloth between the ice and the skin and no freezer burn to the skin. I have also found using a bag of frozen peas useful but just as those frozen chemical packs, they can get too cold so be careful about having a cloth between your skin and the pack.

Enjoy the ride.

Ask the Running Doc
Dr. Lewis G. Maharam is the world’s premier running physician. He is medical director of Competitor Group’s Musical Marathons and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors, International Marathon Medical Directors Association. He is former medical director of the New York Road Runners and ING New York City Marathon.