Sunday, May 30, 2010

Making up for lost time (Psst...You can't)

I thought this was a GREAT post from Joanna Zieger's blog, Fast at Fourty.....

It was pointed out by my father that many of my posts deal with injury and illness. I explained that the original intention of this blog was to chronicle my story of healing from the crash in November. My purpose was two-fold; writing about the aftermath of a serious incident would serve as an outlet for me as I convalesce and hopefully my ruminations would help others faced with difficulty.

Athletes are not patient people, and we are accustomed to things happening in a time-frame that we dictate. The body does not work in such a manner. Believe me, I have tried to force my body to heal on my timetable, but, alas, I have lost that battle. And, while I am no stranger to injury, each time one surfaces I have been forced to re-evaluate my coping mechanisms and how I handle my return to training.

Over the last few weeks, as I hurriedly prepare for races while still rehabbing my ribs, I realized that in training you cannot make up for lost time. Training is not akin to cramming for an exam. Post-injury training requires a special type of regimen.

Amnesia
Before you can restart your training program, you must acquire amnesia. Memories about what you did before the injury need to be erased, because when you get back out there, you will re-injure yourself trying to attain those standards. I know this from experience.

I, myself, have cursed many times on the bike in the months since the accident when my Power Tap blatantly lies to me about my power. Why is it so mean to me? Despite my many recalibrations, the numbers staring back are not what they were.

After many discussions with Coach Phil, we set new standards in training as I work my way back to health and fitness. While the big picture does loom, I have smaller goals, in the way of power and running pace, which let me know that I am progressing. And, when the time is right, my Power Tap will once again show me numbers that will make me smile.

Go it alone
I am lucky to have training partners that are supportive, funny and always go the extra mile (or 10) in training. Between my dizzy spells last year and my injuries this year, I am fortunate they are still willing to train with me.

However, some days, it is best to go out solo and not get caught up in the workouts of other people. Injuries often make workouts unpredictable – some days feel great while others leave you wondering who stole your legs.

Training by yourself during this time of flux allows for greater concentration on form and if a workout goes awry nobody has to know but you.

Be flexible
As I mentioned above, workouts tend to become erratic after an injury. A great day or two is often followed by a dreadful workout. Or maybe, after several pain free days, you wake up with the injured area feeling sore.

A plan is imperative during the recovery process to prevent re-injury, but sometimes a workout must be shuffled to another day or forgone altogether.

Just this weekend, I had to cut my long ride short on Saturday and compromise on Sunday by doing a shorter long ride in the morning and doing a shorter long run in the afternoon.

A final note
Coming back from an injury is never easy. Hopefully, these suggestions will make it easier. The bottom line: you cannot rush your body nor can you expect to start off where you left off.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quote for the Day

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.

Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ



Friday, May 21, 2010

Biking Bloomers

This is an interesting product from a company called My Alibi Clothing.

Bloomers

My Alibi’s Bloomers are a unique padded short to be worn with your favorite skirt, shorts or capri’s. This sexy cut short keeps the padding where you need it, so you can forget about it. With a no elastic, low-rise waistband and just enough length to cover your booty, they simply disappear under any outfit. No panty lines, no girdle, no stuffed sausage feel! your fashion just got a whole lot more bike friendly. Made in Italy of the highest quality Lycra and Pro Racing gel Chamois. My Alibi logo embroidered on right hip. Available in brown or pink. Sizes 4,6,8,10.


They are $80. Seems a little expensive for something you will wear underneath clothing! But then, good bike shorts cost more than that. Might be worth checking out...

They have some other cute stuff:



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Workout Nutrition

This came through on Joe Friel's blog this morning and I thought it was GREAT information.
Questions on Workout Nutrition
Posted: 18 May 2010 07:40 PM PDT
I had a recreational rider ask me today what he should drink while riding. My answer wasn’t what he expected.

Basically, I believe recreational athletes don’t need nearly as much sugar while working out as they have been led to believe. Their biggest problem is not fading or bonking while on a workout, but rather trying to lose excess weight. All of that sugar is not helping. They need to train their bodies to use more fat for fuel. Pouring down sugar from the start of a workout doesn’t help that at all.
I told him what he should use depended on two things: how long and how intense and the workout is. For workouts of an hour or less regardless of how hard they are water is all that is needed for even moderately fit people. For very fit athletes that may be extended to 90 minutes or even two hours. Beyond these durations, as the workout intensity increases, the need for sugar also increases.

For these long and intense workouts how much sugar you need depends once again on how fit you are. Some people, especially those who eat a diet composed largely of high-glycemic-load and high-glycemic-index carbohydrates (this is mainly starch) will need more sugar than the athlete who eats a diet that is more vegetable, fruit and protein focused. I see this every winter when we test the athletes I coach. Some are obviously sugar burners while others are fat burners. The fat burners have a definite advantage when it comes to endurance in long events.
He also wanted to know what he should take in right after a workout. If it was an hour or so easy nothing out of the ordinary is needed. If it was long or highly intense and there is another important workout coming up soon then some sugar and perhaps some protein may prove beneficial. But this doesn’t have to be anything complicated or expensive. Real food will work quite nicely. I drink some fruit juice cut with ice tea, a couple of handfuls of crackers, a banana and perhaps leftovers from a recent meal.

I’m afraid we have been led to believe that we must use exotic food and drink products because we’re athletes. That may be good for the manufacturers’ bottom line, but it really isn’t necessary for most athletes’ training and performance.

Of course, I also told him that if he was training like pro endurance athletes and putting in 20 to 35 hours of training a week including lots of high intensity he’d need a lot more sugar coming in at all times of the day including during workouts, post-workout and until the next workout. But he rides about 8 hours per week, in a good week. All of this expensive stuff he’s been led to believe he needs really will have no positive effect on his riding or his fitness. In fact, I think it might prove a hindrance.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rest Day Blues

Monday's are my day off from working out. Last Monday I didn't get out of the house and never changed out of my pajamas. I was feeling bleh. Today, although I did take a shower and get dressed, and had lunch with BFF #1, I realized I am still feeling a little down. I think it's because I am not working out today! Has anyone else experienced this? The rest day blues?

I know my body needs a rest after 6 days of training, but it feels different because it has not been worked. Bleh, I think I'll go back to bed now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Prevent Breast Cancer: Use Natural Sunscreens

Many sunscreens contain chemicals that may be breast cancer risk factors.

We all know that we need to be careful when we are out in the sun for any substantial period of time. Too much exposure to direct sun (UV light) has been linked to increased rates of skin cancer.

But many sunscreens contain the active ingredient titanium oxide. One problem is that dioxin, a carcinogenic agent linked to increases in breast cancer, is released during its production. Small amounts of dioxin are often found in sunscreen products.

Many sunscreens also contain chemicals that mimic estrogen, the female hormone. Theses endocrine disrupting chemicals are accumulating in both human and wildlife tissues, as we apply more and more sunscreen to our bodies and then often wash it off into the waters in which we swim. Examples of chemicals with estrogen-like activity that have been shown to increase rates of breast cell growth and proliferation in laboratory studies, an which are found in common sunsreens include:

  • 3-(4-methyl benzylidene)-camphor (4-MBC)
  • octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
  • .

Like many other environmental chemicals that may affect health, the chemicals in sunscreens may have multiple effects. For example, application of sunscreens to the skin may increase the penetration of endocrine-disrupting herbicides into our bodies.

For safer alternatives to sunscreens that contain these chemicals, go to the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database, or get a quick look at these 14 Natural Sunscreens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quote for the Day

"The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there." Betty Grable

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I thought this article was really good. Straight forward and doable! I've added some of my comments and suggestions to this article. I am not the best eater, but am always striving to make improvements!

Mark Bittman offers eight new rules for healthy eating.

By Mark Bittman
From the October 2009 issue of Runner's World

Eat what you like, but think about proportion

Americans eat more doughnuts, soda, and chips than real food. While you should continue to eat the foods you like, eat them moderately and concentrate the majority of your diet on foods that are naturally low in calories (low-fat junk foods can be pretty high in calories, and even low-calorie junk foods add up quickly, too). Don't fall into the trap of thinking about foods as "good" or "bad"—nothing is evil, or is going to hurt you in moderate proportions; similarly, no one food is going to save you.

Make it Happen So how do you find the right proportion? For me, it means eating loads of fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts during the day, and saving meat, processed foods, and desserts for dinnertime. Maybe this method will work for you, too, or maybe you'll find you need a tiny bit of dessert after another meal, or you get less hungry if you have high-protein eggs or other meat with breakfast and not dinner. The key is to experiment until you find what works best for you. [Yes! For me, if I have extra protein with breakfast it helps me crave sugar less during the day! Also, if I have a tiny bit of dessert after lunch and dinner, I am less likely to binge on chocolate! - L]

Think plants first

You cannot go wrong relying on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans. In general, they contain far fewer calories per ounce than anything else, along with nutrients that runners need. Iron, for example, which helps runners sustain energy and fights fatigue, is found in spinach, green peas, broccoli, kidney beans, and chickpeas—all of which also provide more protein per calorie than animal products (per calorie, cooked spinach has more than twice as much protein as a cheeseburger). Even those plant foods that are relatively high in fat and calories, like avocados and nuts, contain the sort of fat that should be in our diets (namely, mono- and polyunsaturated, which are actually good for your joints—good news for runners) and minimal saturated fat, the unhealthy kind that's been linked to increases in the risk of heart disease.

Make it Happen Set goals that are going to help you cut back on animal products, processed foods, and junk foods—as well as help you load up on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans. Here are a few easy changes to incorporate into your routine: Try adding a salad to dinner every night, or going completely vegetarian once a week. I keep a bag of superportable nuts and dried fruit in my desk drawer at work all the time so I don't reach for a bag of chips or an energy bar out of laziness. [I have made the goal to each vegetarian 2x a week - to do it the easy way, you can buy the "fake meats" then use those instead of real meat in your favorite recipe. - L]
Start shopping and start cooking

It's impossible to eat well if you don't shop; it's nearly impossible to eat well if you don't cook. I'm not talking about shopping in farmer's markets (though they're great), and I'm not talking about cooking four-star meals. You should be shopping like your grandmother, which means buying ingredients that are fresh (vegetables) or naturally long-keeping (grains and beans), and cooking like, well, me, which means simply. The recipes in this story are good examples.

Make it Happen Start shopping regularly—twice a week is great (I often wear a close-fitting backpack on runs so I can pick up a few things while I'm out), but once a week will do to keep your kitchen stocked. Few runners have time to cook seven nights a week; but if you cook none now, one would be a good start, and if you cook three now, try to make it five. [I try to shop once a week, then have organic produce and groceries delivered once a week from Spud! - L]

Buy and make extra

Once you're shopping regularly, start buying and cooking in bulk. It takes just a little more time to roast or grill three pounds of vegetables than one pound.

Make it Happen Wash, prepare, and cook vegetables, beans, and grains in large quantities that will last all week. It also helps to plan for leftovers; if a recipe is for four and you're only two, that's perfect; or you can easily double recipes and freeze the remainder for a future meal—it's just a matter of thinking ahead. [Super advice! It's easier to eat healthy when it's convenient. - L]

Don't set goals you can't reach

It's just like running: If you've run a 50-minute 10-K, you wouldn't shoot for 35 minutes the next time around. If you set realistic targets and reach them easily (or at least without too much of a struggle), you're likely to move closer to your ultimate goal than if you set an unrealistic one, try to reach it all at once, and fail.

Make it Happen If you're incredibly motivated—as I was—you might cut your consumption of animal products and processed and junk foods by two-thirds. For many, that's a huge adjustment. If you are intrigued about gradually changing your diet, you might try this: Each day, eat one more piece of fruit and one more vegetable than you do now, and one less serving of processed foods than you do now; each day, eat one more serving of whole grains than you do now; and each week, eat one less serving of animal products than you do now. Take it from there. [I've been tracking my dessert and junk food consumption every day to see what I'm eating. Have not made much progress, though. :-( -L]

Ultimately, animal products are treats

USDA data shows we eat 225 pounds of meat and cheese per person every year—that's up 79 pounds per person just since the 1950s. That's way more than is good for our health. If we reduce our intake by 10 percent, that'd be a terrific first step.

Make it Happen Meat is flavorful, so think of it as a seasoning rather than the anchor of your meal. Use bacon to flavor beans and rice instead of eating a quarter pound of it at breakfast; make vegetable sauce for pasta with some meat, rather than a meat sauce; have that huge steak four times a year—not 20.

Don't worry (too much) about "nutrients"

Many runners are hypervigilant about getting a certain amount of carbs and protein in every meal. They forget that carbs are in everything; if you eat plenty of whole grains, beans, and greens, you're getting enough. Same goes for protein. The only exception is when you're in heavy training, like for a marathon. If you're seriously training, you'll want to eat some extra complex carbohydrates before most runs to make sure your energy levels are high. And throughout the day, get an extra serving or two of protein to repair your muscles from workouts.

Make it Happen Oatmeal is one of my favorite sources of complex carbohydrates, and I usually have a bowl before most runs—but any whole grain will do the trick. If you eat two servings of concentrated protein a day, you'll be fine even if you're training hard: That could be in the form of eight ounces of animal products or one serving of lean meat, fish, or poultry and one of tofu, or for that matter, peanut butter or beans. Remember, "protein" is not synonymous with "meat" or even with "animal products." Per calorie, lentils have nearly the same amount of protein as ground beef. [Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are both excellent sources of protein! -L]

Don't confuse energy bars with real food

A heavy dose of simple carbohydrates has its place in a runner's diet: namely, during a run. But for recovery, eat real food consisting of protein (preferably plant-based) and complex carbohydrates. While energy bars can be useful in a pinch, most runners mistakenly eat them in addition to—not in place of—an actual meal. [This is something I've tried to take to heart. The bars are great in a pinch, but don't think of them as a small snack, they are dense calories. I use them as a meal replacement if I'm on the road, along with a piece of fruit. -L]

Make it Happen On runs over an hour or so, make sure you have a sports drink like Gatorade or a gel out on the route to keep your energy up. Postrun, skip the 350-calorie protein bar in favor of real food—a slice of whole-grain bread smeared with your favorite nut butter and topped with sliced banana is nearly as simple and much better tasting. [Although, it's important to have recovery food within 30 minutes of a long or hard workout, and sometimes when you drive to your workout, you need to re-fuel in the car rather than waiting until you get home. But you can do that with a LUNA Bar, Mojo Bar, Z-Bar, or Baker's Breakfast Cookie (my favorites!), it does not have to be a mega-calorie protein bar. -L]


Mark Bittman, avid home cook and author of "How to Cook Everything" and "Food Matters" shares his cooking philosophy—and explains how to create healthy, tasty, and simple meals that will help you run your best.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Proper Wetsuit Care

From USATriathlon

Most wetsuits are constructed with the fastest and most technologically advanced materials available. Because of this, your wetsuit is delicate and requires proper care and handling to prolong its life. USA Triathlon Wetsuits has a few tips on how to best care for your wetsuit.

GENERAL CARE

Do:

  • Rinse inside and out with fresh water after each use paying close attention to the zipper area.
  • Hang to dry inside out on a thick padded hangar (not wire). Do not leave your wetsuit in the direct sunlight.
  • Store your dry wetsuit in a cool dry place, laying flat folded across the waist.
  • For travel, fold your wetsuit according to the following diagram. Do not fold your wetsuit lengthwise.

Don't:

  • Do not use petroleum based products like Vaseline on your suit.
  • Do not use your suit in chlorinated water.
  • Do not use your wetsuit for sports other than swimming.
  • Do not hang your wetsuit for a prolonged period of time. This could put stress on the rubber in the shoulder area causing it to stretch and possibly crack.
  • NEVER leave your wetsuit folded in a hot car or in direct sunlight! The rubber in your wetsuit will fuse.
  • Do not put your wetsuit in a washing machine or dryer. Do not dry clean your wetsuit.
  • Be very careful when putting your wetsuit on and taking it off. The rubber in your wetsuit is very technologically advanced, making it extremely flexible and comfortable but also making it susceptible to nicks and tears from sharp objects, especially fingernails.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To Race or Not To Race

That is the question I am asking myself. Should you do a race "just for fun"? I guess I have to ask myself, if I'm doing it just for fun, why bother paying the entry fee to do it just for fun? And if I say I'm doing it just for fun, will I really take it easy enough for it to be fun? And let's say I end up racing it, then time it will take to recover will screw up my training for the next week or so. So is it worth it? It costs time and money. Is it worth it for 2 hours with 2,000 of your closest friends? For the finishers medal? For the overpriced picture?

I guess I need to look at the big picture. What is the end goal, and is doing the race worth it?

Happy Mother's Day!
- LaVonne

Friday, May 7, 2010

13 Biggest Half Marathons

Run 13.1 miles at these 13 races you don't want to miss. These are the biggest half marathons in the U.S., according to Running USA. From active.com


One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Indianapolis, Indiana; 30,050 finishers

This popular half marathon festival draws in some of the fastest runners around. Join the festival at next year's race. Read More »


Country Music Half Marathon

Nashville, Tennesse; 21,462 finishers

Take in the sights and sounds of Nashville, the home of country music. After the race, kick off your running shoes and trade 'em in for dancing shoes. Learn More »


P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Phoenix, Arizona; 20,296 finishers

The race kicks off the year's Rock 'n' Roll events. Grab a PR on this flat course and enjoy the perfect winter race to start your season right. Read More »


Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

San Antonio, Texas; 17,115 finishers

Experience the history and heart of San Antonio with this half marathon course through the Spanish Missions, downtown and the Mission Trails. Read More »


Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

Virginia Beach, Virginia; 16,572 finishers

This scenic, oceanfront course is a hit year after year. Come join the fun and the concert in the sand after the race. Read More »


ING Philadelphia Distance Run

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 13,275 finishers

Want to run with some of today's elite? This event attracts some of the finest athletes and has been considered a premiere race for more than half a century.


Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Lake Buena Vista, Florida; 12,293 finishers

Feel like a kid again as you race through the Magic Kingdom at this jam-packed, weekend event. Learn More»


Nike Women's Half Marathon

San Francisco, California; 11,530 finishers

The comraderie, the course, the city--it's no wonder ladies love the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Bring all your girl friends out for a good time running around the bay.


Disneyland Half Marathon

Anaheim, California; 10,846 finishers

Who doesn't want to run around the Happiest Place on Earth? Bring the whole family and make it a weekend getaway for all.


Chicago Half Marathon

Chicago, Illinois; 10,550 finishers

Enjoy Chicago like never before at this scenic, Windy City race. It might be just the urban experience you've been looking for.


NYC Half Marathon Presented by Nike

New York City, New York; 10,506 finishers

Run through the Big Apple at this popular New York Road Runners event. Find out what's behind the streets of one of the greatest cities in the world.


Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon

San Jose, California; 9,622 finishers

This popular Bay Area race draws crowds full of runners looking to PR or add a late season half marathon to their schedule.


Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon presented by Walmart

Louisville, Kentucky; 10,791 finishers

Enjoy the comfort and charm of Kentucky and see the best of Louisville at this half marathon event for an experience you won't forget.