Friday, December 31, 2010

Food Rules Friday

Michael Pollan is an acclaimed author and whole food/heathy eating advocate. He is the author of the best selling "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dillemma."


Rule #26: "Drink the Spinach Water."


"Another bit of traditional wisdom with good science behind it.  The water in which vegetables are cooked is rich in vitamins and other plant chemicals. Save it for the soup or add it to the sauces."

Of course, in other methods of cooking vegetables, such as roasting or sauteeing, the vitamins are not leached into water.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Hill training is a form of speedwork, a way to build strength and speed. You can do hill training in two ways: 1) Run some runs on hilly courses, essential if your goal race will be hilly, also valuable for quad strength and speed, or 2) Run repeats over a single hill. It matters little how long the hill... or how steep the hill or what you do between. Make up your own workout."

Hal Higdon's Tip of the Day, December 27, 2010, http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1352143337#!/halhigdon

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Quote of the Week


“The beauty of a lake reflects the beauty around it. When the mind is still, the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it.”

~B.K.S. Iyengar

Monday, December 27, 2010

Meatless Monday




















Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.


These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/category/this-mondays-menu/.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weekly Training: December 20 - 26

(The graphic is from my page at dailymile.com.)

A mixed bag this week, some great stuff and some not so great.

Monday - Rested the legs.  Weights and Yoga.
Tuesday - Running,  6.12 mi 00:59 09:34 pace.  A comfortable run, followed by a short yoga practice.
Wednesday - Running, 8.1 mi 01:26 10:35 pace  Ugly run.  Struggled all the way.  Weights and yoga.
Thursday - Hill Repeats, 6.37 mi 01:05 10:07 pace - Struggling in the recent hilly half marathon told me I need hills in my otherwise flat terrain training.  There are no hills in my area.  Ran about a mile from my home to the nearest rail overpass, over and back seven times for about four miles of hill simulations, fourteen uphills and fourteen downhills, and back home again.  Followed with a short yoga practice.
Friday: Rested the legs. Weights and Yoga.
Saturday - Running, 8.42 mi 01:19 09:22 pace.  A nice Christmas morning run.   Ran from home to the Gulf Terrace Hike & Bike Trail, 2 laps on the trail, and back home. Followed with a short yoga practice.
Sunday - Long run, 16.3 mi 02:44 10:03 pace.  Ran a long tour of the city's west end (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/60675196).  Tired at the end, but recovered quickly. Followed with a short yoga practice.

Running Miles - YTD: 1,882.3; Month: 144.0, Week: 45.3.  Personal daily yoga practice now at 121 consecutive days.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Food Rules Friday

Michael Pollan is an acclaimed author and whole food/heathy eating advocate. He is the author of the best selling "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dillemma."

Rule #25: "Eat your colors."

"The colors of many vegetables reflect the different antioxidant phytochemicals they contain... so the best protection comes from a diet containing as many different phytochemicals as possible."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Training Tips Thursday

"Stepback weeks are essential if you want to progress in your training without injury or the dead feeling that comes with overtraining. In my marathon programs I train runners hard for two weeks, then allow them to step back for the next push upward. This works at shorter distances too. Once offered a brief respite, you can push to the next level. The effect is as much psychological as physical."

From Hal Higdon's Tip of the Day yesterday on his Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1352143337#!/

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meatless Monday




















Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.

These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/category/this-mondays-menu/.  As I publish this post, I see that this link still leads to last week's recipes. Hopefully, the link will be updated soon, as I'm intrigued by the photo of the Mushroom Pie!

In our personal vegetarian adventures, we recently tried seitan for the first time. It's widely used in vegetarian recipes in place of meat. Seitan is wheat protein, and not a good choice for anyone with celiac condition or a gluten allergy. We don't have any of those issues, and found seitan to be quite good in two recipes that we liked in our pre-vegetarian days. We used it in place of beef in our Chinese Pepper Steak recipe, and used it in place of chicken in our pot pie recipe. Nice to make a new discovery!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekly Training: December 13 - 19

(The graphic is from my page at dailymile.com.)

This week started poorly and ended well.  After resting Monday, I struggled through my midweek runs, experiencing lingering soreness from the December 11 half marathon.

I'm totally accustomed to the half marathon distance.  I run a similar distance almost every week in training, and it doesn't faze me.  However, after the half marathon race, I had considerable soreness deep in the lower abdominal muscles.  I attribute the difference to the hills on the half marathon route; I train in an area that is almost completely flat.  Because of the soreness, I ran Tuesday, Wedesday and Thursday comparatively slowly and never found a smooth running rhythm. Finally, after after another rest day Friday, I had a great 10+ miler Saturday, pushing the pace, calling it my "long-ish" pace run.  Sunday, I ran the same distance and route more slowly, calling it my weekly "long" run.

I had my fun.  I ran two races in the last three weeks.  In the process of extra pre-race rest and post-race recovery, my weekly mileage slipped from the 50 mile range into the 30s for four weeks.   Now, it's time to get in serious training mode, build miles, and get ready for my March 12 marathon race.

This marathon training cycle "officially" started in early November, with a modification of the same 18-week training plan I used for this year's marathon.  To date, I have not paid much attention to the schedule, because my routine runs follow the same general pattern, and my routine mileage has been higher than that in the first 6 or 7 weeks of the training plan.  The training plan builds mileage from week to week, so I intended to just pick it up when the plan's mileage caught up with my current in the 6 to 8 week range.

My plan will be a modified version of Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2 program.  I plan to add a few miles to it, to raise the peak weeks from 50 miles to about 55 miles, and to build to the 20-mile runs earlier, allowing me to put four 20 milers in the schedule instead of three.

Running miles- YTD: 1,836.9; Month: 98.7; Week: 40.4.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yoga Journal - "21-Day Yoga Challenge"

I just signed up for Yoga Journal's "21-Day Yoga Challenge," intended to help one start a home practice and stick with it. It runs from January 10 through January 31, 2011. I'm taking it to help reinforce my current daily practice, and for the additional instructional resources. Any of my yogi friends want to join me?

Details at: http://21daychallenge.yogajournal.com/.

Summary Description:
"Each day, we'll present original videos of yoga sequences. There are 15-minute videos for morning and night; 30-minute videos to help refine your poses, work your core, and develop strength; and a super fun 45-minute flow sequence that'll have you moving all around your mat and getting a great workout in the process. By the end of the challenge, you'll have an arsenal of practices at your disposal to use whenever and however you want."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

Running form: Can you change it? Yes, but maybe you should not. We run the way we run because we run that way. Particularly for new runners, as you continue to train your form will continue to improve, particularly as the muscles that propel you get stronger. Relax, and let running come to you rather than you going to it.

A Hal Higdon "Tip of the Day" from his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/halhigdon

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Quote of the Week - In Honor Of B.K.S. Iyengar's 92nd Birthday














"The rhythm of the body
the melody of the mind
and the harmony of the soul
create the symphony of life."

~B.K.S. Iyengar

Reposting this, one of my favorite quotes ever, to honor this day, the 92nd birthday of B.K.S. Iyengar, regarded as the world’s greatest living yoga master. Happy Birthday, Guruji!

I love how the triple metaphors of rhythm, melody and harmony so well fit the unique essence of body, mind and soul. Also how the three become as one in the activity of life. Namaste. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meatless Monday




















Running Green supports Meatless Monday, an initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of Meatless Monday is to help reduce meat consumption in order to improve public health and the health of the planet.


These delicious-looking recipes are published by the Meatless Monday initiative, and may be found at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/category/this-mondays-menu/

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekly Training: December 6 - 12

(The graphic is from my page at dailymile.com.)

This was intended to be an easy week, to taper into Saturday's half marathon race.  Weekday runs were short.  I pushed on Monday's run, with four miles at tempo pace, then ran five, three and three at easy pace and a day off before the race.  The race went pretty well, considering we had another unseasonably warm day on race day.  Details are contained in a separate post.  On Sunday following the race, I met up with a local road running group for their weekly group run.

Running miles - YTD: 1.796.5; Month: 58.3; Week: 34.7.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Race Review - Swamp Stomp Half Marathon, Lake Charles, LA

Swamp Stomp Half Marathon - 13.1 miles - 2:04:19 (9:29 pace)
















This was a tough run. I didn't quite make my sub-2 hour goal, but it was still an official PR. Slightly disappointing, considering I ran four trial halfs in training between 1:52 and 1:58, but the trials were all in 30 to 50 degree temps, and today's weather brought unseasonably warm and humid mid 70 temps with gusty south winds.


I actually feel pretty good about the results, probably the best this day could yield for me. Unlike Thanksgiving Day’s 10K fiasco when I went out way too fast and crashed early, I think I had a reasonable pace strategy. I wanted to ease into it it, find a good rhythm and build gradually, averaging about 9:00 pace. My plan was to run the first mile at 9:30, the second mile at 9:15, the third at 9:00, and cruise the rest of the way between 8:50 and 9:00. I stuck to the plan fairly well through 8 miles, but could never quite find that sub-9:00 cruising zone. Splits through 8 were 9:28, 9:16, 9:02, 9:04, 8:57, 9:04, 9:05, 9:07. From there, it got ugly. and my goal became just holding on enough to finish without walking. Miles 9 through 12 were: 9:32, 10:06, 10:59, and 10:50. I tried to pull together what I had left at the beginning of 13, but my left calf cramped when I pushed too much, and all I could manage was 9:32 the rest of the way.

















Overall, it was a good event in a beautiful setting. I met up with local dailymilers Tammy H, Shauna A, Jeremy F, and WiIlliam F.





Friday, December 10, 2010

Food Rules Friday

Michael Pollan is an acclaimed author and whole food/heathy eating advocate. He is the author of the best selling "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dillemma."


Rule #23: "Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl) which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs and other mammals)."

"This Chinese proverb offers a good summary of traditional wisdom regarding the relative healthfulness of different kinds of food, though it inexplicably leaves out the very healthful and very legless fish."

A good point on the relative healthfulness of fish.  Perhaps it isn't in the proverb because fish would presumably be inserted between plants and fowl, putting a zero between one and two, and disrupting the illustrative numerical progression.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Training Tips Thursday - Marathon Success

From a Hal Higdon "Tip of the day:

"Building mileage is essential for success as a runner regardless of racing distance. Gradually increasing mileage loads over three or four months seems to work best. But how many miles a week? A high of about 35 seems adequate to finish a marathon, 55 miles to finish well."

http://www.facebook.com/halhigdon

This kind of defines the difference in how I look at my upcoming second marathon, compared to my first.  On my first, my focus was on finishing.  I finished, and finished respectably, for a first effort.  I took quite a few short walk breaks between 20 and 26.  For my second, I want to finish well.  I'd like to complete the whole distance on the run.  I want to finish feeling strong instead of struggling to survive.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

News Flash - Bad Blogger Vows to Do Better

I got way behind on blogging over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I haven't posted any original content since just before Thanksgiving.  During that time, there have been several noteworthy items.  I ran a 10K race on Thanksgiving morning.  I hoped to beat my last year's 10K record. but didn't run nearly as well as I hoped.  I missed a new PR by around 2 1/2 minutes.  My running in general is much stronger than last year, but last year's race was on a cool crisp morning, and it was warm and humid this year.  I also made tactical mistakes, but we all live and learn.  I've also been preparing for a half-marathon race this Saturday.  Longer-term, I'm training for my second marathon on March 12.  And my daily yoga practice reached 100 consecutive days last Sunday! 

Today, I resolve to get back on track with regular blog updates!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekly Training: November 29 - December 5


(The graphic is from my page at dailymile.com.)

This was a transitional week.  I ran one last half-marathon tune-up  Tuesday, running under my 2 hour race target at 1:58:56.  Following this, I let myself take extra leg rest logging sixes and a five at easy pace.
Running miles - YTD: 1,761.9; Month: 23.6; Week: 36.7.