Friday, February 27, 2009

Pre-race excitement!

The big marathon run is tomorrow! I'm really excited! I was really, really excited before yesterday when I caught a little head cold (I think it's TX allergies). I'm hoping to pop a few pills and be able to breathe again. The marathon prep has been really fun. I've had some great long runs and I haven't been training long enough to get sick of EXCITED! We're off to Dallas now to stay with the in-laws and in the morning Jake and I will drive to Cowtown (Ft. Worth) to the starting line.

I just want to thank my cousin Kristen for asking me just one more time to run it...I wouldn't have thought about it again if you hadn't.

I especially want to thank my man, Jake, for giving me the thumbs up. I told him that Kristen had mentioned the marathon again and he said, "Why don't you do it?" I instantly got a big smile on my face and knew I was in! The man sacrifices his Sat. mornings so I can squeeze a 20 miler in to our already full schedules! Gotta love him! I definitely wouldn't have done it if he hadn't given me his support!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Q & A (shin splints)


Anywho, I'm having some issues. So I'm getting back into running. I've been back at it for about 4 weeks now. I've surprised myself with how easy it's been but I think I got a little tooooooo ambitious and added mileage/speed too quickly. The infamous "too much, too soon." So now I've got a shin that's hurting a bit. I think I've had "shin splints" once in my life a long time ago. This doesn't feel like my leg is about to crack, rather it feels like a dull throb after a run. During the run I feel great; no pain whatsoever. AFTER the run I start to feel a little achey. Saturday I did a pretty intense four-miler and I was really pushing myself. I felt pretty decent by the end but when I got home I realized my right leg was starting to really hurt! I try to take it easy on my off days (I run M, W, cross-train F and run again Sat). I'm trying to run a 10K in April that I'd like to do in an hour and I'm currently pushing it at sub-11 minute miles. SO, my question: Should I take a week or two off and just cross-train? What should I do? Can I stair master and ellyptical? I've been doing the bike (not recumbent) on Fridays after the stair-master. Additionally, if I do take time off will I have to lower my mileage and build up again when I come back?
Injuries are so dumb. BUT I also don't want to sideline myself by not paying enough attention to this.


Hey there! Aack! I hope it hasn't taken me all week to get back to you! I was just washing my counters when I thought, "these counters are going to be here forever and dirty again in about 2 mins and ANNA has shin splints!" Sounds like you have it about right with the too much too soon theory and the dull ache being shin splints. It is a tricky injury because everyone's body responds differently and some can run through it and others not. Here are some healing/preventing tips you can use while you wait to see what your body will do:

ICE! get a bag of frozen peas and carrots or a little dixie cup with frozen water and ice those puppies! Right after you run and throughout the day whenever possible.

Take Ibuprofen: take after running to reduce swelling and allow the white blood cells to get in there and repair damage...NOT to mask the pain, so don't take it before running.

Speed walk: get those hips a-swingin' and walk as fast as you can. This strengthens the muscles around your bottom'll feel the burn plus get a great workout...I think it's more difficult than running!

Duck walk: walk with toes up, walk with toes pointed in and up, walk with toes pointed out and up...again strengthening the area

Stretch: Shin are often pulled loose because the calf muscle is too tight (causing shin splints). Do some downward doggie and toe flexors (sit on the ground point your toes then flex your feet and Hold)

See how it goes: If the pain gets worse, you might take some time off from running completely. See how the above tips work for you and if your legs feel better.

Follow the golden rule of running: only increase your milage by 10% per week. I know it's slow going, but better safe than sorry when it comes to injury! If you take some time off you don't really have to start at zero again. Just start with 2-3 miles on you running days the first week and move up slowly the following.

Hope you get to feeling better and running happily again soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Remember when...

Remember when we were talking about that whole "I eat better when I work out and worse when I don't" cycle? It's odd because you'd think you would make a greater effort to eat healthier if you don't work out, and make the working out an excuse to eat worse. I enjoyed reading up a little on the topic with THIS little study that is somehow related.

I also find THIS website to be a bit of fun. I want to try out some of The Biggest Looser recipes! If you try some out, let me know and we'll keep the good ones.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cookie Love

I wrapped up some of this biscotti from MARTHA for a few Valentine's Day treats. I LOVE this tasty, and a healthier way to curb a cookie craving. Here we go.

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. preaheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 mins. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In the bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on med speed until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mix and mix on low until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
3. Turn out dough (which is pretty sticky) onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16x2 inch log, transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Flatten logs slightly with palm of hand. Brush beaten egg over surface of dough and sprinkle generously with sugar.
4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 mins. Transfer logs on parchment paper to wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 mins. Reduce oven temp to 300.
5. Place logs on cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange slices, cut sides down. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 mins. Remove pan from oven, let cool completely. Can be kept in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

March Marathon

You know the drill (we did this last year), it's Marathon time! March 16th to the 22nd we'll hold a Marathon Week. Sign up now for a 1/2 or Full marathon and you have that week to get your miles in. I'm posting this early so you can start running and build up miles for the big event. Comment if you're in!

Training Log

Who: Kelly Swanson

What: 20+ (I always error on the side of more) of fun, fun, fun!

When: Yesterday, Sat. 14th of Feb. 4:40am -7:39am (don't want to give away that minute) including 1 bathroom break (not necessarily in an actual bathroom), 5 pear eating stops, and 2 just making sure I didn't just step on something sick double takes.

Where: all over Northwest Houston...mostly on sidewalks and street, but a bit of comforting trails and grass.

Why: because I just have 2 more weeks till race time!

How: with a pear in one hand, a flashlight in the other, and a little wad of TP in my running shorts pocket (I'm tired of wiping with leaves). In my fav running shorts and t-shirt. Once again, I started out with Kathy Ireland (my old long sleevy), ditched her a few miles into the 66-60 degree weather run, and went back for her at the end. I'm never going to get rid of her. About the pear, very good and energizing, but a little sticky...nothing beats the clementine! About the flashlight, I couldn't take another morning of road kill fear so I thought I'd be smart and take a little light with me. Once out the door and down the street (much to far from home to turn back) I noticed that it was oddly light outside due to an overcast sky reflecting the city light? I don't know why some nights the sky is just lighter, but such it was. FELT GREAT! I continue to be surprised. I started out slow and comfy and kicked it in the last several miles. 3 hours for 20 miles is nothing to brag about, but I was glad I felt good and that I ran negative splits (not hard to do if you start out really slow!). I think I'll use this strategy in the race. Usually I run at a good clip in a marathon and hit a wall about mile 18 and end up "just trying to finish the race." This time if I start out slow, I hope to be feeling good down the last few miles.

Some might say I'm ridiculously excited about this race!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Training Log

Who: some crazy lady who decided to run a marathon only one month in advance

What: 16+ miles at a moderate pace, negative splits. I was slow going out because I tortured myself with the thought of tripping over road kill in the dark...I was running rather cautiously.

When: yesterday, Feb. 7th. 5:30am-7:40...I would have started at 5am, but Maria woke up as I was sneaking out the door and I had to get her back to sleep before taking off.

Where: outside, I ran to my dentist's office and back. it was a balmy 60degrees.

Why: because I only have 3 more weeks till race time.

How: with a bag of grapes in one hand...not as good as the clementine from last week/I lugged that baggie the whole way/also poses a choking hazard. in shorts and a t-shirt. I started out with my trusty Kathy Ireland long sleeve that I bought as a sophomore in high-school from Shopko. I've been trying to ditch that thing at races and on long runs for years now, but when it comes down to saying goodbye for good, I always go back. Surprised again...felt great the whole time and played a fun game of tennis with pal Debora afterwards!

Who: girl on first long run in a long time. from 10 mile weeks (training for an unplanned 5k) to 13 in one day.

What: 13 miles easy to moderate, negative splits.

When: last Saturday, Jan 31. 5am to 6:30.

Where: outside in a FREEZING 40 degrees. Luckily at the last second I changed out of my running shorts and into some tights. Donning tights, long sleevy, and beanie I was still cold!

Why: because I'm a runner

How: with a clementine in hand...the perfect long run treat. I just pealed off a piece every few miles beginning after mile 6, plus the peal is bio-degrate so I had no guilty conscience tossing it into the ditch along the way. Suprised! I felt great the whole time and afterwards!

Friday, February 6, 2009

V & M part II

Vitamin E: one primary role is to protect the polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes against oxidative damage. Found in high-fat foods including vegetable oils (excluding corn and soybean oil), avocados, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) from food 22 IU, or 33 IU from synthetic form.

Vitamin C: searches and collects oxidants and free radicals, aids in regenerating vit. E, enhances iron absorption, improves gum health, assists in wounds healing and stimulates the immune system. Best sources of vitamin C are found in vegetables and fruits like broccoli, oranges, strawberries, grapefruit juice, and red bell peppers. It can be destroyed by exposure to heat. RDI for men 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams for women. Some recommend as much as 500-1,000 milligrams/day.

Beta-Carotine: not actually a vitamin, but a plant pigment that is converted to vitamin A once inside the body. The remaining beta-carotene acts as an antioxiant. Best sources are plants with dark, rich colors like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, and spinach.

Vitamin A: aids general growth and repair of body tissues, especially important for bone formation, night vision, and healthy skin and hair. RDA is 2,333 IU daily for women and 3,000 IU for men. and NO MORE than 5,000 IU.

Selenium: Works with other antioxidant nutrients to combat cellular damage. As a trace mineral, it travels in soil and water. A few good sources are brazil nuts, tuna canned in oil, cod, noodles, turkey breast, spaghetti with meat sauce. RDA is 70 micrograms/day for men and 55 micrograms/day for women.

Zinc: Trace mineral that is part of about 300 different enzymes, playing a role in almost every process in your body. Soil is frequently deficient in zinc, limiting its availability in foods. Zinc deficiency is not uncommon and often seen as the most common of all mineral imbalances. The RDA is 15 milligrams.

Calcium: 99% found in bones and teeth, also required for blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and maintenance of normal blood pressure. Dairy products are the most common sources of calcium. Rhubarb, Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, cocoa, soybeans, cashews, kale, alkaline foods, antacids, carbonated beverages, and megadosing calcium supplements are all things that decrease calcium absorption.