Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I have been staying indoors a lot and I have found that I am suffering from a particular winter disease known as..... cabin fever. I always thought of cabin fever as being cooped up in the house during the cold winter months waiting for Spring, but this is not the case this year. I don't think there is anyone out there in the continental U.S. that does not know that it has been one super hot summer.
The only cure for cabin fever is to....get the heck out of the house. Well it's hot, too hot to run [whine, whine, whine]. Yes it's hot and that's not going to change anytime soon, so should I just sit inside sulking and wishing for cooler weather? or should I just learn to deal with it?
I want to keep my running game sharp so I've been venturing outside in the heat lately, experimenting with different things to beat the heat and to get myself acclimated. I have a fun race coming up on July 28th...The Military Challenge. Last year I was a spectator at this race because I felt my abilities could not keep up in the intense heat, I know it was probably 95 degrees with high humidity on race day last year. And I'm guessing this year will probably be a repeat of last year's weather, so do I sit on the sidelines as a cheerleader again and skip it? OH HECK NO!!!! I've made a team commitment and I'm going to do it and I'm going to have FUN doing it.
I have been reading a lot on running in the heat. Here's some helpful tips I've picked up along the way from Runner's World articles, some of the following are excerpts, some are my own words.
Best Times And Places to Run in Summer: Do not pick the hottest time of the day to run, it places unnecessary strain on your body. The best times to run is as early as possible in the morning or late in the evening. Alter your route that is more shady and stay out of direct sun as much as possible.
Acclimate: Recommended period to help your body to adapt to the changing temperatures is at least two weeks. Decrease your normal running distance to a comfortable distance. Should it happen that your running program requires you to run 25 miles or more, make effort to alter your program to adapt to the environmental factors.
Hydration: THE MOST IMPORTANT. Incorporate drinking water while you workout and practice. Making sure that you do not dehydrate while running is not a skill that comes instinctively. It is a skill that one needs to learn and practice to do it the right way. Taking in some fluids while running is certainly not easy! Have you ever tried to drink from a cup while walking? You need to get a proper grip on the cup to prevent spilling most of the content and if you drink to fast, you start wheezing and coughing; or if you waste time at the water stations to drink properly, you waste your valuable running time. The best way to make sure you will be able to consume enough fluids during running in hot weather is to practice drinking water while you are training.
Tips on How to beat the heat while running
1. Before You Run: Drink enough water up to two hours before you start running. Your body will pass all fluids that you consume in excess, in the time before you run, through urine. Make sure to remember stop hydrating at least one-and-half hours before you start running though.
2. While You Run: It is recommended to start consuming fluids again in small quantities moments before you start to run. The moment you start running, you will transform the excess liquid into perspiration before it can get to our kidneys to produce urine. You need to consume fluids while running even if you are only practicing, in particular when the weather is warmer than what you are used to. The advantage of keeping hydrated during the run is that it will help boosting your performance and your recovery after the run will be much sooner. It is strongly advised to run with a water bottle when dealing with high temperatures.
3. Walk and Drink: When approaching a water station, take the time to walk while you drink instead of trying to drink hurriedly. You will be able to consume fluids more effectively than you would if you keep on running. You might think that you will lose more time, but in fact, because you are hydrated properly, you will be able to perform better and make up for the “lost” time without noticing. [TRULY...it is not a waste of time to stop at a water station if it will keep you from a heat stroke - that has been drummed into my head by dear ole dad]
4. After You Ran: As soon as you stop running, consume some fluids immediately. It is important to note that once you have quenched you thirst it is not enough and you still need to consume some more fluids.
5. Do not overrate your capabilities: It is only good common sense that you will not be able to run as fast and as far as usual in warmer weather conditions. Be reasonable to yourself and do not anticipate a personal best time when running in hot summer weather. Once you start feeling exhausted either slow down or call-off the run when you realize that you are dehydrating too much or start to overheat.
Things that work for Me:
1. I carry three water bottles on my fanny pouch - one completely frozen, one half frozen and one not frozen. But the time I've run about 4 miles the frozen bottles are defrosting. I use the frozen bottles to rub on my forehead, neck and face to keep me cool, and as the ice melts I use for drinking. I read somewhere that if you carry a frozen bottle in your hand while you run, it keeps you cool. I tried this yesterday on my run and it worked great.
2. I put a frozen facecloth in a ziplock bag in my pouch. This works super fantastic to put on the back of my neck when I have finished my run. I use when I am walking the last 15 minutes - a cool down...LITERALLY.
3. I run into the wind the last half of my run, it helps to keep me cool and I usually go out of my way to find shade. Last night I discovered that it's not always the shade that cools you off. I usually run on the sidewalks down a few streets usually lined with privacy fences. Guess what, no air/breeze comes thru the fence so I moved out onto the road and lo and behold....a breeze.
I can't say that I love running in the heat, but it's better than sitting around wishing and hoping. I had to include this pic.
I've been asking myself this question...............Can I survive???
Answer: JUST WATCH ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
There is nothing worse than an afternoon snack attack at the office, especially if you are unprepared to ward off the evil snack attacker. I read an article in Redbook this month...snack yourself skinny. Snack and skinny don't seem like they go together, but read on....
1. Always have an afternoon nibble: when you eat lunch around noon and dinner around 7 this means you will be ravenous when you get home. An afternoon snack around 3-4 p.m. of high-volume, low-calorie like fruit or veggies can help you cut calories before your meal. Studies found that people who ate an apple 15 minutes before a meal ate 187 fewer calories later on.
2. Have dessert or a bedtime snack, NOT BOTH: Pick one or the other and make it the smallest treat of the day, no more than 120 calories
3. Go for protein plus fiber: choose lean protein or healthy fats (like hummus or nuts) and some fiber (baby carrots, whole grain crackers). Protetin and fat trigger hormones that keep you feeling satisfied for hours
4. Snacks should be 200 calories or less: Make sure to have healthy snacks on hand and to always measure your snacks. A handful of nuts could easily be over 300 calories, so measure, measure, measure.
5. Pack a snack: Keep a snack in your purse, gym bag or desk drawer. I find that when I don't have a snack is when the doughnuts in the kitchen start to call my name and I am easily tempted. Also, I only keep one snack in my desk, if I'm bored or hungry I would eat more than one, so I only bring ONE snack per day.
6. Don't snack while distracted (SWD): Take a little mini break to enjoy your snack, when we snack while distracted like watching tv, we tend to eat more. They suggest things to snack on that take effort to eat...like shelling pistachios.
What's in your arsenal to fight the snack attacker????????
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
OMG, I can't believe I just clicked the REGISTER button. I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT..... I am officially registered for the Shamrock Marathon in March 2013. I wanted to get the early bird registration rate before the price increase and I wanted to finalize my committment before I lost the nerve, lol.
I joined under a corporate team - TEAM TSA, which is the Tourette Syndrome team. My oldest GS has Tourette's and I thought this would be a great way for me to honor him and all those with Tourette's. I am so excited.
In the meantime, I will be running some 5K's, the Wicked 10K in October, Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon in November (a repeat of last year and my SIL's first half), the Surf and Santa 10-mile in December and the Valentines Day 14K in February.......all in preparation for the big 26.2. My sister bought us a 26.2 sticker for added inspiration, it is hanging on my mirror - it will be a joyous day when I get to proudly display that one on my car window.
My next race is the Military Challenge in July - I'm definitely nuts for doing this one, but it's all for fun. I am on the best team for that one: my aspiring runner Son-in-Law Danny, GS Khris (15), GD Heaven (13) and my GS friend Randy. Going to be a day of fun, hoping it won't be 100 degrees like last year, but we will just take it slow and have fun. I'm a little uneasy about all the obstacles on the course, I'll just cross that bridge when i get there, and if I can't cross it, I have three big dudes on my team to help. And then there's the crawl thru the mud, uggghhh - what have I gotten myself into???????????
ANSWER: It's called....putting my money where my mouth is, leading by example.
I would love for my whole family to be physically fit and would love them to feel the passion for pushing yourself to the limit - seeing what your body can do, what you are capable of, what you are truly made of.
There is no feeling in the world like accomplishing what you thought was IMPOSSIBLE. For the next 8 months I will be thinking "GREEN" - working towards making what I used to think was impossible.......POSSSIBLE. I WILL BE A MARATHON RUNNER.
Chasing that SHAMROCK dream.
Monday, June 25, 2012
I am so blessed to have so many wonderful SP buddies and I am sooo fortunate to have had the pleasure of meeting one of my long time Sparkettes - JLITT62 (we will call her "J"). Her and her DH were vacationing in Virginia Beach and she gave me the heads up she was coming so we could finally meet up.
We decided to meet for dinner on Friday night. Things didn’t go quite as planned because we had one heck of a thunderstorm storm and some horrible lightning, worst I’ve seen in a long time, so had to change things up a bit. We decided to meet them at their hotel restaurant. J presented me with a birthday present at dinner. WOW, I was soooo surprised, that was the sweetest thing ever. She got me a hat that says “RUN HAPPY” and she baked some healthy sweets. So unexpected and such a nice gesture. Thanks again.
The food was pretty good, J convinced my DH and I to try some of her appetizer: Pan seared tuna (almost raw) with seaweed salad. After a lot of nose scrunching I tried it and it was delicious, the DH even liked it. Thanks J for encouraging that, DH and I will have this again sometime soon. After an enjoyable dinner, the night was still young, I asked if they were up for a tour of Virginia Beach. The weather was still pretty nasty, but we hopped in my car and I took them on a driving tour of Virginia Beach, in the middle of a thunderstorm, lol, but it was a nice evening despite the torrential rain and lightning, and I mean severe lightning. We safely dropped them off at their hotel. Dag gone it, I forgot to take a pic of us at dinner.
J and I met up on Saturday morning for a run on the boardwalk. J is currently on a training schedule, so she needed a 4-miler. I wore my new hat she had given me, she was wearing hers so we were twinsies), the run went great and the hip cooperated.
After our run, I invited her and her DH to go along with us on a sunset cruise that evening on the American Rover sailing vessel. I was so delighted they accepted our invite.
We picked them up from their hotel around 3:00, took the train into Norfolk, walked around the downtown waterfront.
Me goofing around as usual, lol.
Had a casual dinner then we boarded the ship for a 2 hour harbor cruise.
The cruise was nice, we all had a great time, despite sudden stomach issue. I got soooo sick on that cruise, I suppose it was something I ate because my stomach has never hurt that bad and I got sick really quick. We all blamed it on the olive I had at dinner (I tried an olive, never liked them in the past - and guess what???? still don't like them). Thought I was gonna die, but I managed to make it home without incident. Lesson learned: NEVER leave home without Pepto pills, just in case.
We all arrived safely back at the hotel and back home - bet we all slept good - we were pretty beat from the heat. It was a nice adventure. So glad to have met such wonderful people, hoping to venture to their neck of the woods someday.
Again, thanks J for meeting up with us, we had a great time and really enjoyed your company. You made it a great weekend, hope you enjoyed your time here and with us.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I just love "summer" foods - anything and everything, as long as it's fresh. I have made a habit of stopping by our local market and picking up fresh produce daily and I love when all the summer freggies are abundant. I bought a couple pounds of fresh snap beans. I was in the kitchen preparing them and washing them, when the DH comes in to see what I'm up to. He asked how I was planning on cooking the beans. I had asked a couple friends the best way to cook them and its was unanimous....steamed.
I immediately got the "nose squinch" from the DH and then he asks if he can have half the beans cooked "his" way, with some "grease". Really????? Bacon drippings??? I wanted to SHOUT...this ain't Paula Dean's kitchen, but instead I whispered softly.... "yes dear" [in my best June Cleaver voice ]
No sense in arguing over how to cook beans [sheesh] so I compromised [ya have to do that with the men folks, ya know]. So here we have it.... His and Hers beans, lol.
DH grilled us a hamburger [extra lean beef, of course] and we heated up some leftover corn on the cob. I skipped the bun and cheese, topped my 2.4 oz burger with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese, raw onions and fresh japaleno peppers, with a bed of lettuce and tomato on the side.
My yummy presentation of 250 calories.
What's for dinner tonight? That is the million dollar question....depends on what jumps into my shopping cart.
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