Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Another beautiful fall day, and since I knew there won't be too many my daughter and I hit the trail, she on horseback and me on foot along with our whippet Sky. I probably did more walking than running but the view was great as we were going along a ridge with great views on a day with clear blue skies. We were out for about 90 minutes total. Before that I had already walked some of the other dogs.
When I was near the gym this afternoon I couldn't resist getting on the treadmill to see if another MAF test would show any improvement compared to my first one a week ago.
I set the treadmill at an incline of 2 and kept my heart rate around 132.
Here are the results:
Mile1: 3.8 mph
Mile2: 3.6 mph
Mile3: 3.4 mph
This is definitely an improvement from a week ago, particularly considering that I was running/walking a lot of the morning as well.
I've paid more attention to my eating again. This morning I tried steel-cut oats for the first time and unlike cooked oatmeal I liked them a lot because there is more bite to them. We added banana, nuts, some raw coconut crystals (low-glycemic sugar alternative) cinnamon and lots of milk, absolutely delicious!
Last night my husband made a wonderful bean soup from dry beans that had many of the veggies from our garden in it: tomato, carrot, onion, beets, celery, kale, swiss chard and spinach. There was enough for dinner tonight as well so I didn't have to cook. We just added some whole grain bread and some of our own duck eggs. For dessert we had several pears each, also from our garden. Vegetable gardening is a lot of work but we are eating like kings right now.
I'm looking forward to crashing in front of the TV now to watch "Biggest Loser". I do find more and more about their approach that I find less then ideal, but some of the people are very inspirational.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Today I took advantage of the sunny weather and spent about 2 hours trail running with the dogs. There were many interruptions, ranging from dogs charging at us to taking my shoes off and running barefoot for 10 minutes. The surfaces I ran on were very varied: concrete, asphalt, gravel, grass, soft dirt, harvested wheat fields. There was lots of uphill and downhill.
It was interesting to see what affected my pulse. Running barefoot on grass increased my pulse, having my dog pull me up the hill did not really lower it.
I enjoyed running at about an 8 minute mile downhill but did not mind climbing the hills since the effort was the same. My average heart rate was 130. It was nice to not have to worry about distance at all.
This is what I hope the majority of my runs will be like this fall and winter.
I'm reading more in Phil Maffetone's book and find the info he gives about how processed carbohydrates, especially sugar and white flour, affect the body in line with my experience, they are best to avoid as much as possible.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I decided to take a rest day today. I did exercise four days in a row and am looking forward to taking an outdoor run tomorrow. Today my muscles were a little sore from the uphill walking.
I spent some more time thinking about stress and what causes it. There is acute stress, where the body reacts to a challenge and this kind of stress happens in training and leads to the body developing endurance. This kind is not a problem.
The kind of stress that is of concern and interferes with aerobic training and performance is a high level of chronic stress. This kind of stress can reduce memory, negatively affect aerobic function, reduce immune function and fat burning and affect blood sugar.
Phil Maffetone asks his readers to make lists of stressors in their life and to distinguish between those that can easily be changed and those that can't. Then he recommends to take the ones that can't or won't be changed anytime soon off the list and focus on a few of the ones that can be changed.
This made me think about the difference between seemingly stressful events and things I choose to get stressed about. Doing too much, even of fun activities, falls in the second category. Perfectionism, whether it's in the area of work or of eating and exercise or hobbies also falls in the second category.
For those stressors that are unavoidable sometimes meditation or prayer as well as breathing exercises are very effective ways to manage stress. But we only think of these things if they are a regular part of our lives, which means we need to practice them in times of low stress as well.
Foods that increase adrenal stress are refined carbohydrates and sugar and caffeine, a good reason to avoid these, especially in combination or in higher doses.
Phil's book mentions not only Zinc but also Choline as nutrients that are beneficial for people with adrenal stress. Choline is the easiest to get from egg yolks, cauliflower, wheat germ or grains like amaranth or quinoa.
There is much more information in the book and I think I need to read it several times to put more of it into practice.
Avoiding most sugar and caffeine and increasing my intake of Zinc and Choline looks like a good place to start for me.
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