Monday, May 25, 2009

Running For Lean Times

Guy forwarded this great article to me last week. I think there is something about it we can all relate to. No matter what level you are, there is a simplistic joy and pain to be found in the one sport that is man against himself. Running.

RUNNING FOR LEAN TIMES--It's no accident that jogging took off in the 1970s.

It's nearly summertime, but the living isn't easy -- not if you're suffering from a 401(k) meltdown. Life, in fact, is hard, and only getting harder. And when life gets tough, the tough get running.

While gym memberships are down and personal trainers are getting the boot, running is making a major comeback according to race directors and shoe retailers.It's easy to see why. Running is an inexpensive activity that requires little in the way of equipment -- a decent pair of shoes, shorts, socks and a T-shirt and you're ready. The playing field is any free land, sidewalk, park or road. (It's not surprising that America's first running craze was born of the economic malaise of the 1970s.) And most cities and towns have at least one running club, an informal group that meets for distance runs and interval workouts. In short, running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise a body can do.

But running is not just exercise. It's a great stress reliever and an inexpensive source of neurotransmitters like dopamine that wash the body with good feelings. In stressful times, running can literally make us happy. Thus, being a runner is both an emotional and biochemical commitment.

Of course, some people "jog" purely for fitness purposes and hate it. This might explain why the French were recently in an uproar after photos surfaced of President Nicolas Sarkozy in shorts and a T-shirt breaking a sweat in the Tuileries. Running is an American activity, the French press claimed, a fascistic act designed to manage and control the body. Not an intellectual pursuit at all. "It is about performance and individualism," one writer wrote, right-wing values antithetical to everything cherished by the country that gave us foie gras.Perhaps so. Yet once infected by the running bug, it's hard to find a cure.

During the winter in New York I would routinely encounter a man who ran the loop of Central Park shirtless, no matter the weather. I once saw him in the middle of a 22-inch snowstorm when I thought I'd be the only one crazy enough to venture outside. Yet the park was filled with runners.

Another time my training partner burst into tears in the middle of a run because his girlfriend had just dumped him. Rather than stopping, he picked up the pace, until the two of us were flying down the mall in Washington, D.C., in the middle of a blistering hot day, silent and relentless, burning away the sorrow.All runners have stories, many of them bizarre or off-color. In law school I ran with a world-class, 5,000 meter runner who disclosed he was stoned in the middle of a 13-mile run (apparently a common training technique for him). At the Olympic trials in Charlotte, N.C., in 1996, marathoner Bob Kempainen vomited a bright green stream of Gatorade on national television, then calmly accelerated (running a 4:44 mile) and sprinted to victory. World record-holder Grete Waitz did her business on the side of the road, then pulled up her shorts and went on to win the 1984 New York City Marathon.

Every runner has a tale about a port-a-potty just missed, a coffee that wouldn't stay down, a blister that burst and filled a sock with blood. We tell the stories with pride, metaphors for our own indomitability.None of us, of course, can beat back disease, debilitation or death. Yet imagine the runner, alone on the road, his footfalls on gravel in sync with his breathing. He is swift and fast and focused. His arms pump in steady cadence. His knees rise in regular rhythm. There is nothing on his mind but how his fingers feel as they brush his palm, his toes as they kiss the edge of his shoes, his calves as they whisper against each other with every stride. He is man, machine, spirit. Watch him fly.

Mr. Stracher is publisher of the New York Law School Law Review. He is writing a book about the 1970s and the running boom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

High Protein Banana Pancake recipe

One of the challenges of breakfast time for adults and kids is trying to get protein if you are tired of smooties and/or eggs. This recipes does still have eggs in it, but at least it is a pancake. I really like these and so do some people who won't ordinarily eat cottage cheese. The kids can also help make them and I always double this batch in order to have some leftovers.


16 oz lowfat cottage cheese
2/3 cup whole wheat, oat, or spelt flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats or muesli
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
3 Tablespoons honey
½ tsp Vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
2 bananas chopped

*A yummy option is throwing in some nuts and seeds as well.

Preheat griddle to 300-325 degrees or medium heat. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add a little more liquid if necessary,but the batter will be MUCH chunkier and thicker than normal pancake better so don't stress about that. Cook pancakes using a full half cup measure of batter for each pancake. Cook on first side for about 5 minutes then turn for another 3 minutes. The pancake should be golden brown if the grill is at the right temperature. If it is too dark, then turn down the heat(or turn up if they are taking too long.) Serve with REAL maple syrup, fruit topping or eat plain.

Each half cup of batter will provide ABOUT 20-23 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams fat. If eating these after a workout, then make sure to add honey or maple syrup as a topping and/or 1-2 servings fruit on the side depending on how many carbs you need. Make sure you have a full and satifsfied belly post workout when you are done eating.

REMINDER: SLRUNNINGCO is starting our FREE year long monthly series on "going long" in the endurance world. Our first seminar is this Thursday May, 21th at 7:30 pm at the Highland Dr. location. I will be giving the first presentation on the basics of training in order to keep your volume down and what is means to really be fit before you start the longer journey towards half/full marathons and/or half/full ironman. Part of the discussion will also be about when to decide to do certain events and how they may impact your life. Lots of great stuff for sure and in the future we will have other really great topics and presenters including BJ Christenson. Oh and this is open to triathletes and runners. Keep in mind that some months will be geared towards tri stuff, but that will be obvious by the title of the seminar. see the website for more info. And if you will excuse me, I need to finish my power point presentation for Thursday's seminar!

Monday, May 11, 2009

When the wind blows, fly a kite!

So, for the 2nd year in a row, the usually wonderful race conditions of Saint George Triathlon were blown into a million windy pieces. And there we all were again waiting around with pre race nervous stomachs hoping the swim wouldn’t get canceled again. Sure enough, almost an hour past race time, the shivering and windblown athletes were informed that there was no swim(which was the best call at the time) and that the Olympic distance needed to be ready within about 10 minutes to run a 5k, bike the Olympic course, and then run another 5K. Okay not so bad, just splitting up the planned 10K.

But, right after their waves left for the run, the sprint triathletes, were then warned that they had only about 5-10 minutes to also do a 5k, Sprint bike and another 5K. Poor things, twice the run, than what they were ready for. And that is a pretty tall order for some of those people not expecting or ready to run that far.

Now, I don’t know how everyone felt about the situation. I am sure there were a variety of reactions ranging from disappointment, to frustration, to I don’t care I just want to do something and get this race going. For the most part, endurance athletes make the best of the environment especially since everyone at the event has got to deal with it too. But, what about me? What was I going to do? My “A” race, Hawaii 70.3, is only in 3 weeks and I really needed to do was only the original plan of a sprint tri. That was it, all I needed was a little over an hour of threshold training and definitely not spend anymore than 20 minutes running hard. I had way too much training left to do and couldn’t risk running any farther than a 5K and taking too long to get recovered. So, while I was cool with doing no swim leg, now they threw out a double dose of the 5K leg. ARGH! The best laid plans of mice and men!

So what’s a girl with a goal to go fast in 3 weeks for a half ironman to do? Well, I had already looked around me earlier in the morning and realized that it was hot, windy and the bike course was really hilly. Just. Like….Hawaii 70.3! So I thought to myself, “Hmm...I really wish I could just do my last long ride today rather than the middle of next week. I have been inside on my trainer for all my long rides so it would be nice to get adapted to being out. And that’s what was on the training plan to begin with for today, not a race. BUT, I am rested for this race and still hoping to get in a race effort before I go. Even if the conditions aren’t great and I don’t swim, then it will be a great lactate day with just the right amount of work to recover quickly from so I can do long stuff in a couple of days.” I was TRYING to be positive and then got blown over by the announcer’s proclamation of the new double the sprint 5K run plan. I think all the other sprint triathletes were shocked too. In fact, I was so shocked, that a switched flipped in my head immediately and the light went on. “What am I thinking? I am so getting on my bike and doing what I really need to do for the race I REALLY care about. Sign me up right now for a 65-70 mile ride on hot, hilly and windy roads!”

Yep, that is really what I did. Within 5 minutes (and I kid you not!) I grabbed my TYR race backpack, jumped on my bike and turned in my timing chip as I rolled out of transition. See you later guys and dolls, this lady is going for a ride! So ride I did for about 68 miles on terrain and in conditions that are similar to what I will face in less than 3 weeks in Hawaii. The fun part was that for the first hour, I got to ride on the course while the racers were racing. And for the first time ever, I got to watch a bike leg without being in it! Very fun and I got to see one of my athletes,Weston Woodward, riding his way to the fastest bike split of the day and 2nd overall. Even better was that I saw another elite athlete, coach and good friend of mine, Coach Keena, out there too on her bike cheering on her friends and athletes. So I guess I am not the only one crazy enough to drive all that way, see a better plan for their long range goals and decide to go fly kites on that windy day.


“No matter where you are at fitness wise, getting out and doing what you are ready for is what should make you happy. Other peoples' or society's expectations should be disregarded. They are not in your shoes and don’t know what brings you joy or makes you tick.”


Thursday, May 7, 2009

BORN TO RUN book Signing at Kings English

I just found out from Jodi P. that there will be a book signing of this really interesting looking book titled BORN TO RUN. See below for information.

Time: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:00 p.m.

Location: The King's English Bookshop

Christopher McDougall presents Born to Run.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen(Hardcover (Cloth)) by McDougall, Christopher Format: Hardcover (Cloth)Price: $24.95Published: Knopf Publishing Group, 2009 Inventory Status: On Our Shelves Now

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, "Born to Run "is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: "Why does my foot hurt? "In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder. With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. "Born to Run" is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
For more info, visit King's English website

Monday, May 4, 2009



In general, triathletes(and runners) have the best of intentions to eat like champions. This is pretty easy to do when you’re preparing your own meals. It’s harder to do when you have to eat out. One winter night, my six-year-old son, Jansen, decided he REALLY wanted to go to Chuck-A-Rama for dinner. My husband and I were way too tired and hungry to argue with the kids so we found ourselves dishing up dinner on the nice warm plates associated with the all-you-can-eat buffet. Ironically, it was easier to eat healthy than I thought it would be. Follow me through the buffet one plate at a time.

When you eat at any restaurant, your first thought should be, “How am I going to get my raw vegetable that is packed with the nutrients I need to repair my trained body?” The most obvious answer is the salad bar or a salad made with dark greens like spinach and spring mix. Iceberg lettuce has very little nutritional value. Try to get as many other raw veggies as you can stand, beans, and nuts. Don’t ruin your salad with the dressing – go for a vinagairette or a lite creamy dressing.

Your next priority should be to get a lean animal protein such as chicken, fish or turkey (not breaded, of course). This should be an easy task at most restaurants. Remember, however, that overcooked protein is damaged protein that your body can’t absorb very well.

The carbohydrate serving at restaurants should be kept to about the size of your fist. If you are working out more than 90 minutes a day, you can double the serving. Remember that you should be eating the majority of your carbs during and after your workout, not six hours later. The smartest carb choices are potatoes, brown or wild rice, fruit and steamed high starch vegetables.

Plate (or cup) #4 - HYDRATE
Hydrate all day, every day, but especially when you’re eating out. Filtered water is the best choice. If you absolutely have to have something else to drink, then add it to the dessert category.

Dinner out with family or friends only gets better with dessert. If you ate a big salad, lots of protein and the right amount of high quality carbs, you should be pretty full. Luckily, this gives you a perfect excuse to share a dessert. You can have your dessert and keep your waistline as long as you avoid overindulgence. I believe the only dates you should make an exception on are race days and your birthday. On those days you deserve and should have as much as you want.

Do everything you can to pick eating establishments that offer the freshest food possible and that cook with real ingredients. The higher the quality of food, the better you will feel about eating out, even if it does mean spending a little more.