Sunday, September 30, 2012

You're vegetarian, where do you get your protein?

My son, he's such a goof-ball. :>) 

I get my protein from plants of course. 

A grade 9 biology refresher might help.  The adult human body needs 8 essential amino acids to produce protein. Children need 9 essential amino acids.

According to Wiki...

9 of the 20 standard amino acids are called "essential" amino acids for humans because they cannot be created from other compounds by the human body, and so must be taken in as food...

Protein is one of the basic building block of the human body making up for about 16% of total body weight. Without protein we enter a negative protein balance (aka starvation). Complete protein are foods that contain all essential amino acids.  Meat eaters have it easy because meats are complete proteins.  In fact, meat eaters tend to consume more protein than needed.  Much of the protein consumed by meat eaters passes through with zero benefit. 

Vegetarians aren't so lucky. Plants contain proteins, but most are not complete proteins.  Vegetarians need to eat a variety of plant based food to ensure they consume all essential amino acids.  Unlike meat eaters, vegetarians cannot rely on a single food source for protein.  Plant based food contain some, but not all essential amino acids.  

How much protein do we need? Good question. 

It depends on our level of activity.  For example, a sedentary male my weight needs about 51 grams of protein to maintain a positive protein balance. Compare this to a very active male of my weight who needs upwards of 115 grams of protein.  

There's many protein formulas online but this one seems to be the most reasonable.  As with anything you read on SMR consult your doctor... don't take my word at face value!
  • Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg. 
  • Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
  • Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). 
  • Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Where is this blog post going?  Another good question.

My son thinks my vegetarian diet coupled with my level of my endurance training puts me in a negative protein balance. I suspect he's bang-on. He bought me the whey protein mix above for my b-day several weeks ago (he also doctored the photograph in case you haven't noticed).  I have included one drink a day which provides me with an additional 35 grams of complete protein and I feel wonderful! Really, I can instantly feel the positive effects and they last the entire day.  

I realize this is a quick fix and I should really be getting my protein from food but, heading into Twin Cities Marathon, I'm using this stuff!  

So yes, my son's a goof-ball, but he's also the sweetest lad that has ever walked this planet. I love him dearly.

Perhaps you've seen this?  

On a sadder note, my thoughts are with wee Scarlet who slipped away having never felt the softness of her mother's arms or the warmness of her father's breath. Scarlet is on my mind and in my heart. 

It's a good day to be alive but sadly, some days it just doesn't feel so.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fort Garry Rotary Club Half Marathon Race Report 2012

Congratulation to the first annual Fort Garry Half Marathon planning committee for a job well done. They can stand tall and sleep well tonight in the knowledge that their race is of the highest calibre and has gained the respect of the running community. See Mike Run predicts this event will become a mainstay race and a premiere event within a few short years. It's no secret that the race committee is disappointed with the low turn-out (135 registered runners), but the finish-line buzz was unanimous... this is a race not to miss next year!

It was a glorious day and a spectacular race from start to finish.  I even managed to chop 3 minutes, 49 seconds off my PR for a new best of 1:49:49. Occasionally I manage to shave a few seconds off my PR, but to zap almost 4 minutes is humbling. I give credit to the amazing volunteers whose cheerfulness fuelled me. One volunteer in particular stands out...a young person wearing a bright yellow tee-shirt with equally bright red shoes and black hair against a brilliant blue sky. An angel in red shoes, and such a happy angel...whoever you are... thank you for being at that particular spot at that particular moment!

As good as this race is, and believe me, it is very, very good, there's always room for improvement.  Here's a couple of suggestions to the race committee from my perspective:
  • Reconfigure the course so the start and finish line are the same.  I realize this is not an easy thing to do, but it is possible. Many runners stashed their warm clothes at the start line not realizing the finish line would be at a different location.  It was a cold jog back to the start line.
  • Have a raised platform for the award ceremonies. Handing out medals at street level takes away from the moment.  Even a truck bed would be better than street level.
  • Include a couple of zip-ties to attach the chip to shoes.  Don't cheap out here.  I had to root through my garage to find a couple when it would have been so easy to include them in the race kit. 
  • More on the chip; dress it up a bit.  Stick the Rotary logo on the chip. It would fit perfectly. 
  • There wasn't a blue bin is sight... what's up with that? 
  • Invite hand cycling athletes (aka wheelers) to participate. They always make the race more exciting and it becomes a more inclusive event.
I urge the Rotary Club race committee not to be discouraged with the low numbers. Most races take a few years to attract the attention of the larger race community.  Be patient and believe in yourselves. You have exceed by a large margin the expectation of the 135 participants.  All we need to do now is grow this race to 500 runners.  It's ripe for growth. It will grow. It would be a terrible shame to throw in the towel.  

Truly, and without a word of exaggeration, this is one fine race with tremendous potential.

It is a good day to be alive,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shadow Play

Please excuse the bad poetry. This image has been stored in the cellar of my brain for a couple of weeks but it keeps rising to the top. I can't let it go. Early morning runs really are special. Have you run in the morning? They're pleasant and they are a wonderful way to greet the morning. They keep me energized the whole day through. They make my spirit and mind sharp. I like that.

I don't think it's finished so I might come back to it over time... or maybe not... maybe the image has been reflected just fine.  But I think it needs a third stanza... something is missing, yes? 

Yes, something is missing.  I know what it is, but I can't think of the words. Maybe it'll percolate to the top. 

I wish you the best of early morning runs. 

It's a good day to be alive,


Shadow Play

Early morning runs along dark tree lined streets
I take comfort in the silence
And refuge in the stillness
I am mindful of the moment
Blessed be to life

Shadows of runners play beneath my feet
They grow tall and wistfully fade
Like a passing memory
I am mindful of the moment
Blessed be to life

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ted's Run For Literacy, 2012

Dear Runners,

Last October many of you participated in the first annual Ted’s Run for Literacy at Kildonan Park in Winnipeg. Thanks to runners such as you and our wonderful sponsors, Ted’s Run donated $3500 to Start2Finish, a national organization that promotes literacy and physical activity in disadvantaged neighborhoods in cities across Canada. The money we raise through Ted’s Run stays in Winnipeg and directly supports running and reading clubs at three innercity schools; Shaughnessy Park, Sister MacNamara, and William Whyte Community School. This year our goal is to donate $5000 to Start2Finish and we need your help!

Please accept this as your personal invitation to register for the second annual Ted’s Run for Literacy. We have implemented a number of improvements such as:
  • Economical registration fees including a very affordable family rate.
  • A re-certified course, which allows for the start and finish lines to be very close together.
  • We are a Timex Series run (the last one of the season).
  • We are using chip timing.
  • A new 2 k and 4 k fun race, which will not interfere with the 10 k lead runners.
  • An effort to be the most environmentally friendly race in the city.
  • A lead cyclist to guide faster runners. 

Ted’s Run is on October 21 at Kildonan Park. The early bird registration ends on September 30. All early bird registrants will be eligible to win a men’s or women’s watch valued at $500. The early bird registration fee is $30 (adult) and $10 (youth). After September 30th the fees are $35 and $15.

Men's Citizen Eco-Drive Watch valued at $500

Women's Citizen Eco-Drive Watch valued at $500.
Ted Swain was active in Winnipeg’s running community. Those that knew him will remember a gentle and patient man. Ted was also an English teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate. Ted died from heart failure in May 2009 after completing the Police half-marathon. Ted’s Run is our attempt to honor a most remarkable man and his two passions, running and reading. Please join us on October 21 at Kildonan Park.

Click here to register or click here to contact me directly.
Ted’s Run Race Committee is:

Joan Swain
Pat Button                                         
Darcie Wadelius                 
Petra Rapmund       
Connie Lowe                                     
Aldo Furlan                           
Sherri Grandmont   
Roger Berrington                              
Joanne Schiewe                   
Linda Klaric              
Christy Zamzow                                
Sandra Danberg  
Michael Bennett 

It's a good day to be alive.  

:>)  Mike