Physical Therepy – On the Cheap

March 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

After hearing how it benefits sore muscles on multiple fitness blogs, I finally got a foam roller.

Here’s a great little video that shows a few exercises. I was especially excited to find out there’s a back massage exercise!

I also picked up a few new yoga DVD’s that were on sale at Target today.

I’m hoping that working these new exercises into my training will balance me out a bit. I’ve been feeling a pretty burnt out on running – which isn’t great since Marathon Day is only a month away! I’m going to try and dial down the mileage in two weeks in order to taper my miles. I know a lot of marathoners complain about the taper weeks, but I’m anxiously anticipating them! I’m certainly ready to regain a normal appetite. I’ve said it before but marathon training has got me eating like  a 15 year old boy (a 15 year old boy who likes almond butter, french bread, fancy cheese and sushi). I’ve only got to attempt that 20 miler next week and I’ll be ready for the taper!

Speaking of sushi, a few days ago Don & I visited our favorite sushi spot, Doraku.

I love the Bamboo Roll. It’s vegetarian and contains avacado, yamagobo, shiso leaf, kaiware, asparagus and cucumber. It is so tasty.

The sushi at Doraku is awesome. And for all my Florida people, they have a second restaurant in South Beach, so if you find yourself in Miami you should absolutely visit!

 

 

 

Once a Runner: Book Review

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just finished reading Once a Runner by John L. Parker. This book is notorious among runners for it’s status as a cult classic, a guidebook, a diary of a fictional running hero. The book began circulating in 1978 when the author, John L. Parker sold it at races out of the trunk of his car. In preparing for my upcoming marathon I thought it seemed like appropriate, and maybe even motivating reading material.

Once a Runner is the story of collegiate runner Quenton Cassidy and his “Trial of Miles” which leads to his ultimate goal of running the mile in under 4:00 minutes. That’s right, I said run a mile in less than 4 minutes. After realizing my limited exposure to the track and field end of running, this book illustrated that there is much more to being a runner than completing a distance race.

The initial tone of the book was a little off putting at first. As a new runner, running a mile in under 8 minutes seems like a major achievement to me. But passages like this promptly put me in my place :

At paces that might stun and dismay the religious jogger, the runners easily kept up all matter of chatter and horseplay. When they occasionally blew by a huffing fatty or an aging road runner, they automatically toned down the banter to avoid overwhelming, to preclude the appearance of showboating (not that they showed it in the slightest). They in fact respected these distant cousins of the spirit, who, among all people, had some modicum of insight into their own milieu. But the runners resembled them only in the sense that a puma resembles a pussycat. It is the difference between stretching lazily on the carpet and prowling the jungle for fresh red meat.

I nearly cried when I read this. Running for me is emotional, and despite the fact that I know I am a new runner, reading this paragraph made me feel like I’d just been kicked out of a club that I so proudly sought to represent. Although, I regained my pride in my personal running capabilities and turned the pages looking for further insight into the mindset of a serious runner.

The bulk of the story takes place at a fictional Southeastern University, and growing up in Florida myself, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the scenery and school politics reminded me of the University of Florida. Come to find out, the book really was based on the UF track team.

Throughout the story you gain some interesting perspective into the mind of a professional runner and are introduced to the will and determination it takes to achieve greatness in such a physically and mentally demanding sport. More than anything I appreciated Cassidy’s mental narratives which pick up near the end of the book as he nearly goes insane while living in isolation in a country cabin owned by his former Olympian coach, in order to train for a race he isn’t even allowed to race in.

There were times in the beginning where the book really slowed down and got kind of mucky. It seemed to me that some of the backstory that involved the school and its administrators was really unnecessary to the main plot. Honestly I didn’t really start to enjoy it until about the 25th chapter.  But it did give me some of the running motivation I had hoped for. I know I will never be a speedy runner. For now running is still fairly new to me, and I get plenty of satisfaction out of knowing that I have the mental wherewithal to run long distances. I do though have a new respect for all those runners out there who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of speed.

Once a Runner has a sequel that was published in 2007 named Again to Carthage. I plan on reading it too, because despite my initial disdain for the tone that left me feeling kicked out of the runners club – reading about athletes accomplishing feats I could never dream of might just push me to cross that marathon finish line in one piece and maybe even one day run a 7 minute mile.

Weekend Wrap Up

March 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

This weekend has been pretty quiet and relaxing.

Saturday Don & I went up to the North Shore so I could drive the race course for the Marathon.

Thankfully it wasn’t as hilly as I was expecting, although I did think there’d be more of an ocean view.

The race starts in a fairly small state park.

It then loops through the Historic Haleiwa Town. We were just driving through so I didn’t have a chance to take very many photo’s of Haleiwa, but I’ll probably go back this week sometime to explore some of the cool little stores.

The race course turns around at Kaena Point which is the northwestern tip of the island and the road dead ends. Kaena Point is said to be one of the most sacred spots in Hawaii, as local folklore suggests that it is the place where the souls of ancient Hawaiians jump of the lava formed mountain and into the spirit world.

The dead end led to a off road course where there were a few fellow jeeps exploring the trail. We stayed on the road though and took a few “before” photos of the new wheels. Like I mentioned before, the hard top needs a new paint job, and Don wants to get new (bigger) tires and rims but I already love my new jeep!

I also had the pleasure of enjoying my very first Blogger “friend date”. I met up with Angela from Aloha: Yinz Mangia! at La Tour Cafe. We chatted it up over brunch and macaroons and I had a great time! Angela is really funny and super easy to talk to, so much so that we lost track of time! I can’t wait to get together soon and hopefully learn some cooking tips from her (her blog is full of all kinds of yummy looking food). 🙂

 

20 minus 2

March 26, 2011 § 5 Comments

Ok so my 20 mile run planned for yesterday ended at 18 miles.

Overall it wasn’t fun and honestly left me questioning whether or not I really want to do this marathon at all.

But after getting over my self defeating attitude I took a look at some of the ways I could have better prepared for the long run that might have made the experience more enjoyable.

  • Eat and drink more efficiently during the week of a long run.

I tend to be a bit of a wino and although I’ve cut back significantly, I had 2 glasses of wine with dinner the night before and probably did not drink enough water. I also need to plan out my night before meal more thoroughly. I was still kind of wishy washy on Thursday night as to if I was going to do the 20 miler on Friday or Saturday. Consequently my dinner of frozen pizza from Whole Foods probably wasn’t the most wholesome fuel.

  • Get up earlier.

I usually have good intentions of waking up early enough to start my long runs while it’s still dark out but more often than not, the alarm clock doesn’t win and I get a late start. For instance yesterday I woke up around 8 (when I’d set my alarm for 5). Knowing that I’d already missed my early timeline I ate breakfast & lollygagged until I finally set foot on the course at 10:15. Consequently it was hot from the very beginning. It was also extremely windy which I have no control over, and although the trade winds can be refreshing when your standing still they can be quite an added challenge when you are running.

  • Figure out the “gear” situation.

Although I love my Camelback, it can be really bulky and can lead to some uncomfortable chaffing issues. I’ve never had an issue with it before, but yesterday I had it stuffed full of water (it’s intended purpose), my camera, wallet, phone, keys and my tank top that I shed halfway thorough. Since it was stuffed to the brim I ended up with a chaffing rash on my back that felt like a bee sting!

  • Address joint pain before a run.

My right knee has been irritated for months. It’s not really an injury, but it just feels bruised. I wear a support strap but I don’t think it’s doing much other than giving me a funky tan line. Since my knees felt like glass yesterday I’m going to make a point of seeking out some sports medicine advice and hopefully discover some ways to lessen the stress on my joints.

Ultimately, all those factors combined yesterday and I felt like it was in my best interest to call it a day at 18. I still have room in my training schedule to fit in a 20 mile run, and next time I’ll be more prepared.

Even though I didn’t finish 20 I still rewarded myself 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

20 miles

March 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

20 miles scares me.

I’m off to try and conquer my 20 mile training run.

I hope I come back in one piece, with at least a few toes in tact.

I’ll let you know how it went in about 4 hours!

Fresh Air

March 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

I was on base a lot today, and can you believe you get a view like this on an Air Force Base?!

What a nice place to eat on your lunchbreak!

Taking the beautiful weather and scenery into account, many folks who live in Hawaii drive Jeep Wranglers. Don bought one when we first moved here, and I on the other hand did not. I bought a used spiffy looking Jaguar x-type which turned out to be a mechanical nightmare, a lemon. It definitely wasn’t worth it to me to invest an ever increasing sum of money into this clunker disguised as a luxury car, so Don & I talked it over and we decided to get a second Wrangler. I got it today & I’m in “Jeep Love”. It’s used, but it great shape. It just needs a minimal paint job on the hard top and it will look as good as new. It just feels right, like the car I’m supposed to have. Can’t wait to get it picture ready so I can show it off 🙂

The Purple Potato

March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Since moving to Hawaii I’ve discovered lots of exciting new foods native to the Pacific. Suprisingly one of my favorites is a potato. The Okinawan Sweet Potato that is. The first thing that drew me to this spectacular spud was it’s psychedelic purple hue. I saw it for the first time in the Whole Foods Hot Bar – and the rest was history.

So last night I cooked up some of my favorite purple spuds and I also used another new Hawaiian food, Macadamia Nut Oil to cook grilled chicken with.

It gave the chicken a light nutty flavor.

In training news, the winds are killing me. Seriously we had sustained trade winds of 20mph and gusts of up to 50mph! I literally almost got blown off the sidewalk! The only thing I can compare running in high winds to is running up a hill. You get some major resistance from the winds and it pretty much feels like you’re parachute running.

My heart rate monitor reported a max HR of 194, average 173 today on a 5.5 mile run. That’s some hard work! All I can think is that it may be preparing me for some unexpected trade winds on Marathon Day (but I sure hope not)!

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