Monday, September 13, 2010

More Running Adventures: Staying Hydrated and Sports Drinks Myths

Hello friends, sorry it's been so long since I've updated... I'm still scratching my head pondering where all my free time has gone since I came back from vacation...Aside from the running, bootcamp, soccer, miscellaneous real life things....

It's all kinda a blur of pretty really. But it started with seeing those pics and ended in a downward shame spiral of fan fiction...this is why I will never be an adult...I discovered that there are blogs that are only dedicated to reviewing and recommending new stories...this is HIGHLY dangerous. HIGHLY. Because I can all of a sudden have 5 or 6 stories lined up to read...bad news bears for the amount of time I spare for blogging.

But anyway, I'm still here... I'm still running, I'm still watching what I eat (when I don't have a wedding to attend that has an open bar with top shelf liquor...but then again my philosophy has never been to count alcohol yea yea... I know about the sugar, I know about the crashes, but I also know bad music at weddings are much more tolerable and easier to dance too with a few gin and tonics and long island ice teas in my system....I'm sure there have been studies done to prove this.)

That being said... my current diet (when not tossing back beve's at a family wedding) is consisting of no sugar, no salt no dairy for two weeks to get my metabolism running again. I'm eating lots of lean proteins, vegetables and very filling whole grains...but enough about that ON to the runs!

Since I've been back from vacation I've had three training runs:

First run was 10 miles of flat running. I have never run this far before. I was concerned about a few things during this run. Obviously staying hydrated is my biggest concern. I had previously purchased a little hand-held bottle when I was training for the 7 mile relay last summer/fall...

This is the Nathan Quickdraw Elite. Nathan makes a whole line of different hydration products for runners. This particular bottle I recommend this for short runs or for walkers. For a longer run it's not going to hold enough water, and to me it was really annoying holding on to it for a run, I kept switching hands so again...not for the longer runs.

Obviously I needed something that was going to hold more water. Since I've been having problems with my hip I pretty much knew I shouldn't have gotten a belt system, but I decided to try one out anyway. I didn't want to fiddle with little bottles of water so I looked at camelbaks line up of products...

This is the Camelbak montara. Camelbak specializes in hands-free hydration. Very convenient to just grab the hose and take a sip instead of trying to unhook and reattached a water bottle. This particular product though, I only recommend for dudes... because men, unlike us ladies and myself in particular, don't have hips or a shelf-ass. No matter how much I tried to tighten the straps once this was filled with water the water pouch kept smacking against my lower back. If I tightened the straps too much they dug into my hip bones. Unfortunately this had to go back.

So I ultimately ended up with this:

The Camelbak Charm. Isn't is so freakin cute? I didn't want an excessively large pack. This is slim and sleek and doesn't bounce all over the place if you wear it tight enough. Back packs are great because the weight is evenly distributed. The colors are bright which I like for when I'm running on roads. Have to make sure the cars see me! Safty first friends! It holds just enough water for a longer run (1.5liters), the only draw back is that I think I probably should have gone up one more size so that I can carry just a little bit more water especially if it's a hot day. Fortunately, we're heading into the fall so I might not need to think about that until next summer.

Sports Drink Myth Buster!

My other concern was my energy levels. If I'm running 10 miles do I need sports drinks or an energy gel or shot blocks or whatever other latest greatest performance product there is on the market? My research and after speaking with a nutritionist has all signs pointing to NO!

After a certain point in activity the body burns off more than just sweat...but for 90% of us hitting the gym for a 30 minute treadmill exercise or even up to an hour of exercise doesn't justify the need for sports drinks. They add extra calories and sugar that just aren't necessary...if you're eating healthy meals your body should pull enough energy from the calories and nutrients you consume during a regular meal to sustain you through your gym routine. However, if you're doing a strenuous work out (ie. more than an hour of strenuous activity - more than 10miles of running) then the body starts to deplete in electrolytes sodium and potassium.

So my advice ladies is to leave the Gatoraid, poweraid, sobelife water, vitamin water or whatever other sugar/chemical filled GARBAGE at home and just take a big bottle of water with you to the gym. If you do an exercise that only burns 150-200 calories and you add that back in a sports drink you're really not going to burn those excess calories. At one point in my life I did actually think that grabbing a sports drink was a healthy alternative to soda. Now that I know better I've only ever worked out with water in my sports bottle since I started my weight loss.

If you need to replenish your body with potassium try a natural alternative such as coconut water. I'm not going to recommend a brand, I only included a link to a google search so you can do a little reading...but coconut water is all natural and loaded with potassium. Banana's are another good source of potassium.

If you would like, please read this article in the Baltimore Sun, this is the first article I stumbled across while reading the morning paper that made me want to delve a little more into the topic of sports drinks. (It's also interesting to note that Vitamin Water is being sued for misleading that their product actually healthy for you. Guess what it's sugar content makes it more like a soda than a "health" drink...and yup yup back in the day I did also think this product was a healthy alternative to soda.)

Again dear readers... Just Drink Water!!!

Ok, back to the 10 mile run!!!

I was so so happy to reach the five mile marker and turn around. I finished in 1hr. 58mins. I wish I could have gone a little faster for but some strange reason my left hip did not like me on this run...or the two runs previous. I've worked past most of the pain with a few chiropractor visits, but It's still a little tight especially when I'm playing soccer...lots of stretching on the sidelines for me.

2nd run we scaled back and did 7 miles of hills! Hills. ugh...but surprisingly this wasn't so bad! I finished in 1hr 18mins. And even more surprisingly my hip did not bother me. It was a good run on a beautiful morning!! Ahhh... I love fall weather starting to set in!

My 3rd run was this past Saturday. It was supposed to be 11 miles of hills... I crapped out after 9. Adding those two extra miles of hills in the middle of my run really did me in. I turned off my regular route onto a side street that was ridiculously steep for almost an entire mile straight!!!! Once again, I got a side stitch going down hill but once I hit flat ground I focused on deep breathing and taking my mind of the pain and was able to push past it. My time wasn't so great for the 9 miles, but I know I was also pacing myself more in anticipation of those really steep hills.

P.S. So far I've raised $175 towards my $655 goal for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!! Thank you very much for your donations!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Help Me Raise Money to Fight Blood Cancers!

Help me raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding.

Since I'm already signed up to run a race that isn't part of Team in Training, I decided to try and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Light the Night event! Please donate any amount you can spare to this VERY important cause!!

I want to try and raise $50 for every mile that I run. That's $655 and if a few more than 30 people donate about $20 each then I will reach my goal!

If Flash image does not work please click the image to Donate! Or click HERE!

p.s. Training runs are still going awesome! Last week I did 10 miles in 1hr 57mins. This week we run 7 miles of hills!! I'm well on my way to being prepared to run the half marathon!