Sunday, October 14, 2012

That's all she wrote...

Well, race day came and went. It was a long, soggy affair. Well done to everyone who chose to toe the line despite the weather. I'm proud of each and every person who ran the 5K, 10K, half and full marathons. You all did something that few ever even consider. Congratulations.  

I've really enjoyed writing this little blog. I was grateful for the chance to have an outlet for my obsession with endurance sports and to provide a little help to folks along the way. I hope that some of you have gained some knowledge from the blog and will refer back to it when or if the time comes. I consider this blog the start unofficial start of my coaching business, Emerald Island Endurance.  I am now available for coaching for all types of events, with specific emphasis on running and triathlon.  Interested? Drop me a note and we can get started right away. 

On a personal note, I am three weeks away from my own big fall race.  I will be racing the New York City marathon on November 4th.  I am running this race on behalf of Team Continuum, a non-profit organization that provides immediate, vital, assistance to cancer patients and their families. Unlike other cancer-related charities that raise money solely for cancer research, Team CAN has differentiated itself by advocating for cancer patients' immediate needs.  Put simply, Team CAN is about care, not the cure.  I humbly request that if you have enjoyed or benefit from this blog in anyway, that you make a donation to Team CAN on my behalf. You can donate directly online at: Bree's Team Continuum Page. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. 

Run for your lives my friends,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Avoid these prerace nutrition mistakes

A very timely article from Runner's World

5 Prerace Nutrition Mistakes


Get a good night's sleep tonight. It's actually more important than the night before the race.
This has always been a comfort to me since I generally don't sleep well the night before due to nerve.
More race day tips coming tonight and tomorrow!

Run for your lives,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Taper...a blessing and a curse

Oh, the wonderful complex world of tapering.  It never fails that every time I train for a big race, as the mileage and hours build, I find myself longing for the taper. If I can just make it to taper time, I will bask in guilt free wonder as I relax and let my body rest and prepare for race day. And then taper time arrives and I feel irritable, lazy and I begin to question every little tingle I feel.  I take solace in the fact that pretty much everyone goes through this same mental battle and IT'S COMPLETELY NORMAL!

What can you expect during a taper? Yes. The answer is yes, you can expect that.

There seems to be no wrong or right way to feel as you navigate your taper. What is wrong, however, is to question the benefit and necessity of a taper. Once you've entered the taper phase, the hay is in the barn, so to speak. It's very easy to question your training and your fitness, but you need to trust your body and the hard work you've done. Sit back and enjoy the extra time you have on your hands. If you have a lot of nervous energy, try meditation or visualizing how you'd like your race day to go. Don't decide to paint your house.

Here are things to avoid or watch out for during taper:

Making up for lost runs - You may have lost a long run or two along the way. Regardless of why this may have happened (injury, work, family), trying to squeeze one more long run in before race day is a big mistake. It can only lead to injury or extra fatigued.

Trying something new - An upcoming race can do a number of your nerves and may tempt you to make irrational decisions, like deciding you need a new pair of shoes for the race or trying a new nutrition plan that involves only coffee and cigarettes. Stick with what you know. Trust yourself and follow your plan.

Eating too much - You may have grown accustom to eating a few more calories during your training and it can be hard to stop this when your volume decreases. Be mindful...reduce the overall amount of food you're eating while still sticking to your normal food choices.

Not tapering - this seems like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many people think they don't need to taper or decide half way through the taper that it's doing more harm than good.

Run for you lives,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Snot rockets!

I couldn't help but share this great article on perfecting the snot rocket; a skill that every runner really should nail down.  Apparently this is going to be the week of bodily functions. Sorry...but not really.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Everybody Poops

There are two types of runners.
1. Runners who have GI issues when they run.
2. Runners who don't have GI issues...yet.
While it may be a taboo subject to discuss, the fact is that most runners have experienced some degree of GI distress whether they admit it readily or not.
At the most basic level,  the reason for stomach rebellion  has to do with where your body diverts blood. When you are running, your running muscles (mainly your  quads and hamstrings) demand attention and so your body obliges by giving them extra blood and giving less to your GI system.  Add to that the nice jostling action of jogging and you may be in for trouble.
Tips on how to reduce and limit the issues:

1. Stay hydrated - dehydration draws even more blood and fluids from your GI tract.  It also makes it harder for your body to absorb fluids (and gels, etc.) you may take it during the run, especially during longer efforts. Try to drink 6 to 8 oz. of water 20-30 mins before your run and then drink to thirst during. Also take a few sips of water with each gel if you are using them.

2. Give it time - don't eat a meal or snack and then run out the door. Give your body time to clear out before your run. Big meals should be eaten 3 to 4 hours before, while snacks usually only need an hour or two.

3. Choose wisely - avoid high fiber and high fat foods before you run.  An ideal pre-run meal or snack isn't over complex and contains a bit of easy to digest protein.  Also try to avoid sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, which can have a laxative effect.  Lactose is another culprit and can cause issues whether you are lactose intolerant or not.

4. Don't try anything new on race day -  experiment with liquids and gels during training, not on race day. You never know how your body is going to react to a new product...don't wait until race morning to find out.

OK. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Run for the lives...but don't have runs for your life