Monthly Archives: February 2012

Post Race Recovery

Running fast around a 160-meter track (indoors are typically 200; outdoors, 400) sucks. Luckily for me and my lactic acid-filled legs, I was headed to the Endurance Sports Expo right after my races.

Meet the SportPump — yes, my legs are inside of these monster ski boots. Once they started their cycle, I received a 5-minute compression massage, as the air pockets around me were inflated and deflated slowly and repeatedly.

I’ll have to let you know later if there’s a recovery difference (since I am blogging from the chair, legs still getting massaged) but I know so far I already feel more relaxed.

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A New Day, A New Race, and Two New Pairs of Shoes

Check out my awesome, brightly colored shoes that I am trying out today at an indoor track meet!

I warmed up in the blue and green Scotts and will be putting on the pink and blue Saucony spikes for the mile and 2 mile.

Wish me luck!

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Sports Drink + Run = No Good

Today I learned a lesson the hard way. I cannot drink sports drinks before working out.

An hour before running, I drank a pre-workout formula drink. The first few thousand meters of speed work at track practice were okay. But soon I got dizzy, nauseous, and headachy. And, worst of all, slow.

After practice, a teammate asked what was up today. I told her my symptoms and she immediately asked if I drank a sports drink before running.

And now I know: even if it’s labeled “pre-workout”, my stomach is not interested in running with it in my belly.

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Speed Things Up on the Treadmill

When your only time to get a run in is 10 p.m. at night, what do you do? It’s an easy out really. Most people wouldn’t call you lazy if just skipped your run that day.

But I have lofty goals for half marathons and meeting my coach’s weekly mileage (which has actually increased to 35 instead of 33 by Saturday)

So last night, a few minutes before 10 p.m., I locked up at work and took off to the gym. I ran 1 mile to get there. My coach gave me a specific treadmill workout that totaled up to 3.1 miles and then I cooled down with .9 miles to get home.

That comes to a total of 5 miles for the day, 16 for the week and 19 more to go in 3 days.

 

My Treadmill Workout:

5 x 1000 meters, a broken down 5k

1000 meters = .62 miles on the treadmill

Each one was faster than the one before: 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6 mph

In between each one, I took a 4 minute rest

 

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Run Your Errands, Literally

Running 33 miles in 5 days: a goal that’s not a big deal to a long distance runner but seems like a lot to me right now. But, alas, that’s my goal this week.

I wanted to start off with a strong showing, running a high percentage of the miles on the first day. But who has the time? So I ran my errands, literally, to get 10 miles crossed off my to-do list.

Before any work, I went to a CrossFit workout. With luck, I accumulated a mile during that workout.

I headed to my first job of the day for a 4 hours. Then the running madness began.

I parked my car 2.4 miles from my personal training client and ran to that appointment. From there, I ran 1.1 miles to my acupuncture appointment (with an apple in my hand) and .9 to the gym I was teaching at tonight. I arrived early, so I did 2.7 miles of speed intervals on the treadmill. After teaching Pilates, I had no other choice but to run 2.9 miles back to my car.

If you’re keeping track, you did better than I — I thought it totaled up to an even 10 when I actually did 11. So without much effort, just a little planning (to make sure the timing worked out and that I wouldn’t be late anywhere), I knocked 33 down to 22 with 4 days left. That’s a third of my mileage done and only an average of 5.5 miles a day left to go.

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Why and How I Ran 8.4 Miles on a Grey, Slushy Day

I just finished an 8.4-mile loop around the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It’s about 30 degrees out, grey and alternating between rain and snow. And I loved it.

It was my first solo long run since returning to longer distances. I was supposed to get 30 miles in this week and I need 8 more today to hit that mark. I could have skipped it. I could have let the weather keep me in as an easy excuse. But I want “it” so bad and being lazy and missing the mark is not the way to get “it”.

Let’s make the hows and whys of this run into a list, because lists are just plain more fun to read, right?

10 Random Things About Running 8.4 Miles in Yucky Weather in No Particular Order

1. Very few other people are on the running path. There are no crowds, no bikers asking you to move over, no annoying walkers (or worse, boat people!) meandering across in your way. Just you and the other hardcore/crazy runners.

2. After the halfway point, you kind of get delirious. I was laughing for no reason or perhaps at myself for being such a fitness fool.

3. You cannot deny yourself a lazy night on the couch afterwards. There are no guilty feelings about how you could be doing something more productive.

4. I did the loop. Once you head out around the 8.4-mile loop around the river, there’s no turning back.

5. Since I have been fighting shin splints, I spent some time after mile 1 doing some walking, dynamic stretching. It was a wonderful decision and made for a better run than last week’s miserably slow warm up.

6. At my midpoint, a tall, skinny guy turned around right in front of me. So I decided to run with him. He was just a little faster than me so I pushed myself to keep up. Thanks for letting me be a creeper and run 2 feet behind you for 2 miles, Mr. Spandex Runner Man.

7. Playing “Ketchup Fartleks” is fun and was possible today because of number one. For miles 6 and 7 I raced to catch up to the runner in front of me. When I caught her, I slowed down. When she got far ahead of me again, I raced back up to her. My apologies to the slow but steady girl that was involuntarily part of this game.

8. Podcasts. They are a must for me for solo long runs. Today I listened to episodes from Savage Love Cast and How Stuff Works.

9. I bought new, expensive compression pants right before. New clothes can inspire me to do anything. Shout out to the lovely saleswomen at Philly’s City Sports for helping me pick an awesome pair and to CW-X for making these wonderful tights. Up top, I donned my new fave all-purpose jacket: the Lululemon Stride Jacket.

10. Pink always helps me sprint the last mile with gusto. A little “F*ckin’ Perfect”, a little “Raise Your Glass” and a lot of speed in my tired legs.

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Protein Hierarchy: Tofu, Seitan, Beans … Which Is Best?

Paleo dieters tell me not to eat beans. Gluten free fanatics say “no” to seitan. Clean eaters suggest staying away from processed foods, such as imitation meat products. Others are saying soy, and thus tofu and tempeh, are not good.

But I’m a vegan. I won’t eat meat or dairy so these other, plant-based proteins are my main options for creating a protein-heavy diet to support my athletic lifestyle.

I know that everything has protein in it — spinach has 5 grams per cup and pasta can have 12 — but which veg source is best? Here are my thoughts on what to eat and what to avoid of several different vegan protein-dense foods. The numbers included are their average ratio of calories to grams of protein:

Quinoa

27:1

Eat lots because: Contains all of the essential amino acids.

Beans

15:1

Eat lots because: On top of being easy to find, they are protein dense and full of fiber. Prepare dried beans for the best option. If you go for cans, rinse them to get rid of excess sodium and lower your risks of gas.

Lentils

12.5: 1

Eat lots because: They aren’t just cheap, they are also fast and easy to prepare and a good veggie source of iron.

Tofu

9:1

Eat some because: Soy is controversial, with adamant defenders on both sides, but it’s high protein content is a great source for vegans, especially athletes looking to eat a high-protein diet.

Tempeh

11:1

Eat some because: It’s also a soy product, but because it is fermented it is easier to digest. And because it’s closer to whole bean form, it has higher fiber and vitamin levels.

Almonds (and other nuts)

27:1

Eat some because: They are quick, easy, readily available, very nutritious … but also very high in fat.

Seitan

5:1

Eat some because: It’s the most protein-dense food on my list here and is lower in fat than the rest as well. Sodium content, however, is higher than the rest.

Processed “Fake Meats”

Various

Eat as a special treat only: They aren’t the devil, but they are definitely no angel either … and I think you know why. Enjoy occasionally as a splurge.


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