Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Women's Run

It's not too late to sign up for the Women's Run, but you better hurry! Race Day is August 29th at 11 AM. Choose between a 5 or 10 kilometer distance. Go here for details. The last I heard there were 229 women registered and the officials are hoping to exceed 300. All participants will receive $50.00 worth of Rocky Mountain product. All proceeds (after race costs are deducted) will be donated to a local charity. The schwag is good, the cause is excellent, and the medal is one of a kind! What are you waiting for... go run!
To paraphrase a local radio personality, this race isn't about excluding men, it's about including women. It's about bringing women of all levels of physical fitness together for a safe, inclusive, and morale building run. Spread the word to the daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends in your lives! What the heck, send an invitation to batty old aunt Betty; she'll have blast!
Volunteers are needed. Go here for details. I'll be volunteering so be sure to give me a thumbs up as you gallop by.
It's a good day to be alive.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Swan Lake, running in the drizzle, and why exercise won't make you thin.

My friend Linda sent a link to this Time Magazine article the other day. The reporter John Cloud suggests high intensity exercise (like running) may actually make it more difficult to shed those junk pounds. Despite spending $19 billion annually on gym memberships obesity figures in USA have risen dramatically since 1980. About 1/3 of Americans are medically classified as obese while another 1/3 are simply overweight and yet 57% of Americans say they engage in regular exercise. What's with the contradiction?
According to John Cloud, we often reward ourselves by eating after exercise. The higher the intensity of exercise, the bigger the reward! "The basic problem" says Cloud " is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even make it harder.". Go here for full article.
Hey I just ran 14 miles. Make mine a double-double. Oh, and a couple of those Maple Dips while you're at it. ;>)
I had a perfect 12 mile solo run this morning. I left the house at 7:50 hoping to avoid the imminent rain. The weather was absolutely ideal for running: 17 degrees Celsius, a little foggy with steady but light drizzle, and a titillating breeze to cool the effects of the moderate humidity. I turned my pace function off and just followed the rhythm of my heart; 140 to 145 beat per minute felt great, 148+ was unpleasant, and 138 too easy. I had three walk breaks and one pit stop at the St. B. My average heart rate was 139 bpm and my average pace was 10:15 m/m. I could have easily picked it up at any point, but in keeping with my new mantra, no runner ever injured themselves from running too slow, I purposefully kept the pace down. It was a good run; lost in my thoughts and enjoying the freshness of the morning.
Thought you might enjoy this video of Swan Lake performed by the Chinese State Circus. You've never seen Swan Lake danced like this! Makes marathon training look like child's play.
And a final note,
Our thought and our prayers are with Bernice and her family.
Take care out there on the life-trails; there's some slippery corners and steep falls. Best bring a friend.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The miracles of GU and squeaky orthotics.

The running gods were smiling today.
I had an idyllic 14 mile run this morning with the good company of Onkar, John, Ted, Bruce, and Jason. The conditions were pretty close to perfect and the trails were in fine shape, all lush and green from the weeks of endless rain. We looped into Fort Whyte Centre and returned along the same trail. I left the others at the trail head on Grant Avenue and continued solo to complete the scheduled 14 miles. I'm still on track for Toronto full on October 18 (touch wood!).
Make no mistake, I don't endorse GU. Frankly, just the thought of it is enough to get the bile backing up in my esophagus. However, I do admit I was relieved to find a long forgotten chocolate outrage tucked away in my water belt at mile 11. I sucked it slowly and enjoyed the walk break. A little GU, a little sip of H20, GU, H20, repeat until fully choked down. The trick to GU's is to consume it in small squirts followed with a sip of water in between swallows. As much as I detest the stuff I can't deny it works. It provided the energy (glycogen) I needed to finish off the run with just enough in the tank. Truth is, I simply can't stomach more than one or two GU's so I need to substitute GU's with other Frankenfoods. My current favourite is Carbo-Pro, but that's a whole other blog post.
Squeaky orthotics!? I have new set of physiotherapist-prescribed orthotics to correct a significant pronation. My physio thinks the pronation might be cause of my exploding calf issues so I purchased a very expensive (well over $200) pair of orthotics. They feel great and I can sense a positive difference in my stride, but the left one squeaks incessantly. Every step is a squeak! It's driving me crazy. I can stop it temporarily by taking it out and re-inserting it, but this isn't too practical while running. It also helps if I tie my lace more snug than normal, but this too is a temporary fix. What to do, what to do.... a little WD40 perhaps?
Hope your training is going well and your health is solid. It's a good day to be alive,
PS. I just found this tidbit... Duct Tape, the handy man's secret weapon, does it again! Problem solved?

Squeaky Orthotics

If you have squeaky orthotics here’s an easy solution. Place cloth or duct tape on the underside of the orthotic as shown here.


The squeak occurs when the orthotic material springs on the shoe’s insole. Occasionally you will need to place the tape further back, but usually application as shown is sufficient to stop the squeak.