Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Functional Medicine Test and Eat Clean

As you all know my doctor was no help when it came to my questions of why I can't lose weight when I work out and eat right. So I went gluten free and that has been really helping me feel better but the weight still isn't coming off. One of my twitter friends suggested a Functional Medicine Test. I was sent a sample kit- urine and saliva. The results revealed my blood chemistry is a mess- pH electrolytes just about all of it. So essentially yes my systems work well so my doctor was right but this proved the blood flowing through those systems was less than ideal.

The prescription to help me- supplements and eat clean. I bought the newest edition of the book and started following the principles as much as I possibly could. As much as I travel it is a bit difficult at times to follow the diet to the letter but I saw the eat clean diet as a lifestyle more than a diet. Making sure I have proteins and carbs. Drink lots of water. Eat unprocessed foods. And the hardest thing for me- especially while traveling NO SUGAR. I have pulled it off thus far. Candy is no longer in my diet! It has been replaced by fruit.

I have been doing the supplements and the eat clean diet for about 2 weeks now and I can honestly say I feel the difference. My energy levels have really increased. I was the queen of coffee and I have now cut it out completely or only have one cup. I haven't weighed myself to see how this change is effecting the scale. But I can tell you this my pants are lose again. I'll keep you posed as I continue with this nutrition journey. Hopefully I have cracked this nut once and for all!

Barefoot Running- Less is More

After my hip surgery I started looking into new shoes with my new stride. I saw a lot of articles talking about all the benefits of barefoot running or less cushion. With my hip injury- come to find out caused by my nice big femoral head- I had a swing to my right leg. Whenever I got fitted for shoes they wanted to give me lots of stability to help "the kick". Since I also read articles that all the cushion in our shoes could be to blame for my problems with calves and possibly even my hips- I decided to try less is more theory.

I started with a pair of nike frees. The minimal cushion shoe from nike was perfect as I started running again I could break my feet and legs into the world of barefoot running. The frees worked well for my shorter distance runs but as soon as I was comfortable up around 6 miles I knew I needed some more cushion to help with my training.

I went back to the running store I always go to- Marathon Sports. Told them I was liking the frees but wanted a bit more cushion for longer runs. I was fitted into some mizzunos. The shoes were super light and didn't have too much in the world of stability but seemed to work out fantastic for long runs. I still wore the nike free for the shorter mid week runs.

Slowly my stride has seemed to completely get rid of "my kick"- it comes back when my hips are out of alignment. For the last couple years I have had calf problems- my chiropractor thought it was blood flow problems- after many graston technique sessions and a lot of active release it would go away for a few miles then come back. Compression sleeves would help with recovery but I would still get pain when I was running. As my legs got used to my less cushion and less stability shoes my calf pain just melted away. I can now run 10 or 11 miles with no calf pain at all.

As I started to realize maybe this barefoot craze was for me. I looked into my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Following my surgery I had not been able to run on a treadmill without pain but I thought these might be the way to fix it. I hopped on a treadmill at the running store to test them out and had no pain and shockingly D commented "no kick". I am slowly trying to work the Vibram's into my training. I am not able to do long distance in them yet but I can't wait for warmer weather when I can actually train in them!

I think barefoot running isn't for everyone but following my surgery it seems to be exactly what I need. Less is more for me!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Racing at Altitude- A 10k in New Mexico

I just took a lil vacation. Went down to NM and visited my best friend from college, her hubby and their cute as a button 9-month old twins. The plan for the trip was to have my friend run her first 5k with me on Sunday. Well life happened- she ended up needing surgery to have her gallbladder out on Friday. Which made us running together on Sunday's IMPOSSIBLE. I took her to her surgery and tried to help her husband with the kids- man he has it down by himself he didn't need my help.

Since my friend pulled out of running the 5k I decided to register to do the 10k. The weather in NM was cold by their standards- in the 30s or 40s. I did a run in Friday morning at the gym in hopes it would help me with the altitude adjustment. The morning of the race I had a why am I doing a 10k feeling. My hip wasn't feeling too great and I didn't pack my cold weather running gear. It was a cool morning and the wind was howling at the start line. I kept thinkin I haven't done a 5k in a while... why didn't I sign up for a 5k?

The race started on the high school track then went out around the school and had a 2 loop path for the 10k and a single loop for the 5k. The field was pretty full. And I quickly realized when I was at mi 3 getting lapped by the top male racers in the 10k that this field was fast. I had decided at the start line with my hip pain and the altitude I was just going to race my race. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy run so I just kept a slower pace to be able to finish without issue.

Well it was cold at the start but at about mile 4 I had to take of my sweatshirt and I was running in shorts and a t-shirt. Which is a HUGE deal in February if you are used to being in New England. The sweatshirt slowed me down a bit and my rhythm just wasn't there but I kept chugging along. I finished in 1:10- which is slower than any 10k I have done. I had a lil hyperventilation issue right before the 6mi mark. I could hardly breathe from the altitude and I started getting upset about how slow I was going and the pain in my hip. But with a lil help from D- I pulled it together and finished.

I have a goal of getting a race (run tri whatever) in every one of the 50 states. So my bigger goal was to finish a race in New Mexico- which I did. I have so far checked Texas, Georgia and now New Mexico off the list- in addition to Massachusetts obviously. The mountains all around the race course were gorgeous and having t-shirt and shorts weather in the winter was fantastic. Even though I didn't have a great finish time or a great race I took another state out of my list and enjoyed the scenery while I was there.

To finish out my long run miles I went out for a run after the race- it is nice to run through the desert. All in all- I had a great vacation. I really needed the break from work and life- both have been really stressing me out lately. It is always nice to hang with old friends and get to play with kids to help relax you and bring it back to the simpler things.

The pictures are of me post race and of me with my friends twins :) The plan is to race with my friend sometime in the future- whether it be when we are both traveling for work in the DC area or maybe when she comes to visit or we go to visit again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Run

Through twitter I have made many great running triathlon and overall athlete friendships. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the friends I have from HS and college and realizing that with training being such a big part of my life we don't have as much in common as we once did. Don't get me wrong I love them but I can't talk about my long runs and the torture of sitting on a bike for an hour or 2 with them. It is nice to have friends (esp. female friends) that can relate and are doing the same.

That being said- one of my best friends from college just decided to take up running. She asked me how one would go about training for a 5k. I sent her to the couch to 5k plan. She was so excited to start. After just having twins she was ready to start a new challenge. I got so many excited phone calls after a run. It is great to help others find the fun in this sport. D and I are headed to go visit her soon and we are all planning to race- her first 5k! So exciting!

My twitter friendships with kissing frogs and getting stronger, burning fat have now brought me into a group of women that run for the Luna Chix running team. I did a hill repeat workout with them in Boston on Saturday followed by brunch with a great group of women! Not only did we all have running and training in common but they were all intelligent and fun to be around! I had a great time!

Since kissing frogs, getting stronger, burning fat and I are all running the Hyannis half marathon at the end of Feb. We decided to get together and do another long run on Sunday. My legs were sore from the hills and the slushy mess that we had to go through made it a bit more of a workout. But we trudged through and got a nice long 9.5 miles in. Let me tell you the whole theory group suffering makes it better was true. I wanted to stop so many times but kissing frogs and getting stronger, burning fat wouldn't let me give it up! They were great pushing me through the run! Thanks ladies. It is great to have running/training support. Looking forward to our next long one!!!