Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why I Am Happy to Pay Expensive Race Registration Fees

A friend I made during the last 3 miles. It was so helpful to have someone to talk to as the running got tough and we definitely helped push each other to the end, both finishing under 2:10!

I have heard people complain about the registration fees for races, especially those longer than 10 miles which can easily cost over $100. Although I certainly don’t like shelling out so much money just to run, I definitely understand the fees. Allow me to illustrate the need for such high registration costs by pointing out a few things about the race I ran this weekend that started at $40 and went up to only $60 as race day approached.

1. Bathrooms? Who needs port-a-potties? The only place to take a quick bathroom break was the start and finish line. Luckily, I have never needed to stop and go during a race of any length, but unluckily several of my fellow racers yesterday were not so good at holding it. I had to watch far too many people, men and women, peeing along the side of the course. And some were not concerned about being discreet. Wonder how the course smells today…

2. You’re not thirsty, are you? Again, I am fortunate that I train without water or gel and was able to power through and wait til the end to rehydrate because this race was not concerned about keeping you hydrated. There were a couple places to grab a drink — maybe 4 or 5 water stops and 1 Gatorade — but no gels.

3. Safety? What’s that? Along the course there was very little support of any kind. I saw only one place where medical could have seen you and I saw several spots where older runners were sitting down on the sidewalk, struggling. There was no one I could tell that these runners might need help. And the biggest safety risk that is also one of the biggest costs of races? The roads were not closed! We were running with traffic, angry, pissed off traffic. There were times when cars were even crossing the course and runners had to stop and wait for cars to pass: not a problem on your training run, but not something you are apt to look out for during a race.

So if you are okay with no bathrooms, minimal hydration and no concern for your safety, then by all means, complain away about paying so much for a race. Otherwise, try to understand where the costs are coming from and how much work goes into putting together a safe, fun race.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

As my track and running training grows, I have more workouts and races that I have to really push through than I used to. I’ve picked up a few key phrases that seem to work for me, for repeating in my head when you need to keep calm and carry on, keeping your legs moving, your shoulders back and relaxed and your head up.

“Go with her!” — courtesy of my track coach, for when someone is getting ready to pass me.

“Look up and see where she is. Don’t let her get too far ahead.” — my track coach, when I am slipping back.

“You can do anything for 90 seconds!” — coach at CrossFit 215.

"You are in control of your breath."

“You are in control of your speed. Make this speed your easy pace!” — all running coaches seem to love to tell you this.

“Relax and let it happen.” — track coach, when I am fighting too hard.

“Control your breath. You are in control of your breath.” — I think I took this one a bit too much to heart during the New Orleans Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Check out the picture attached to this post!

“Focus on your form. Don’t let your form suffer as you get tired.” — track coach, when I am exhausted and have a little more workout to get through. When this one comes, I know I am sucking.

Here’s a new one that came to me this morning via Runner’s World Quote of the Day email: “The true measure of a runner isn’t in time, but rather in the effort it took along the way.” — Coach Jenny Hadfield

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Plyo Out the Sore Muscles: You’re Going to Have to Just Trust Me on This One

The first time my roommate told me to try some plyometrics to get rid of my muscle soreness, I had a hard time believing her. Despite the fact that she wins marathons and is a physical therapist for athletes, I still struggled to believe her. But then I tried it. I did some box jumps and I swear to you that it somehow magically pounded the tenderness away. The best solution, of course, is rest and ice since the soreness is caused by tiny tears and minor trauma to the muscles, but when that isn’t feasible (maybe you work at a gym or have a race coming up or are an exercise addict like me), try the plyometric method and box jump your pain away!

 

Side note: I like this video of box jumps except for the fact that he never fully opens up his hips. When you do these, stand all the way up at the top before coming back down and feel free to step off the box if you want.

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Filed under General Fitness

Snot Rockets Happen

I overheard two moms talking. One mom said that she was disgusted by the fact that her husband taught their son that it was okay to blow his nose in the shower without a tissue. Aside from being annoyed that she was ungrateful about the fact that her husband was spending time with the little boy, I was also sure that she was not a runner or biker. Because there are certain things that make you one of these athletes in my mind and one that clearly stands out is that you don’t think twice about blowing a snot rocket. (You’re too much a runner/biker when you accidentally blow one in normal street clothes, walking down the sidewalk. I may or may not have done this before.)

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Filed under Athletes, Biking, Running

You Want Me to Pay How Much for a Gym Membership?

I don’t pay for gym memberships. I work at them and attend classes for free, or I buy cheap deals from Web sites such as Groupon. I thought it was because I am cheap and often broke, but apparently it was because no one gym had yet to present me with a reason why I, a fitness professional, should give them my money. Until now.

There are many reasons why I choose to spend over $100 a month at CrossFit 215, but I know you don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph about the awesome, strong female friends that I have made there; the welcoming, family environment; or the fun, creative, results-creating workouts. So instead, I’ll just tell you what happened today at class.

Still recovering from car accident-related injuries that were on fire this week after I pushed them through a half marathon on Sunday, I wasn’t able to fully push myself today. Go to your neighborhood sales-driven gym and you’re lucky if anyone notices. Go to CrossFit 215 and not only will someone notice, but they will take time out to help. The coach today noticed that I was sub-par and took me aside to show me some exercises that I should be doing to release the tension in my hip.

I challenge you to find another gym that will do the same! … though Amrita Yoga and Wellness is coming pretty close. So far I am still attending classes using my bargain-bought 10-class card, but if the finances align you might see me paying two exercise facilities a month!

 

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Filed under General Fitness, Weight Training

Check Out My New Sponsor: JACO Clothing!

Making connections with companies is every athletes dream. Once you start winning, you start hoping for sponsors.

I am excited to announce that one of my new sponsors for 2012 is a clothing company that I love: JACO Clothing!

Beyond comfortable, cute clothes, JACO also follows four core values that I am happy to support and honored to know that, in choosing to sponsor me, JACO feels that I embody:

Respect for yourself, for others, and for the environment

Strength in mental fortitude

Courage to do what others only dream of doing

Tenacity with the ability to view failure as a valuable part of the journey

** One more exciting announcement … They want you to benefit from my sponsorship, too! When ordering, use the code “WELCOME15” and you will get 15% off your purchase! Start shopping!

 

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Filed under Athletes, Equipment and Gear

A Healthy Addiction to Sweet Potatoes

Hi, my name is Sally and I’m a new sweet potato addict.

I’ve never disliked the root vegetable, but I also didn’t buy it that much (except at restaurants in the form of French fries!). Between working with Miss Rachel of Miss Rachel’s Pantry (who seems to be a sweet potato addict herself) and hearing from several weight-lifting friends about sweet potatoes being a healthy carb choice, I’ve fully bought in to the hype.

Tonight, I microwaved a large sweet potato, steamed a broccoli crown, and topped the two with olive oil and spices. Delicious! With Rachel, I have been making a lot of pureed veggie soups that include sweet potatoes by boiling all of the veggies until they are soft and then blending them to a smooth consistency.

I am ready to go further. So tell me, what’s your favorite way to nosh on these tubers that are rich in good carbs; fiber; vitamins A, B6 and C, and so much more?

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