Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Last Run in 2011 - in Wisconsin

It's a beautiful sunny day in Wisconsin today, New Year's Eve day, 30 degrees and light wind.  I had a delightful run down on the trail..  lots of runners, walkers, people on roller skis (I don't know what they're called--simulate cross country skiing).

So, I thought I would video myself when I got in from my run:

If you go out tonight to celebrate, have fun and be safe out there!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Less Equals More, In Running and In Life

After the glorious hustle and bustle of Christmas prep and a wonderful Christmas day in South Florida, John and I are now in Wisconsin to ring in the New Year with his family.  In the quiet of our little condo here, I have been reflecting on this past year, and planning and setting my intentions for the new year.

Over the last several months I have been bemoaning our lack of storage space both here and in our condo in South Florida.  And I have come to the conclusion that what we need to do is not acquire more space but GET RID OF SOME OF THIS STUFF!  Get smaller, leaner, simpler.

It's what I like about running..   all you really need is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt (and a sports bra for the ladies) and a pair of shoes (or not).  (Well, here in the north country in the winter, you do need a bit more--tights and some warm shirts, but that's pretty easy to do.)  You can run most anywhere, most anytime, with others or alone, fast or slow, long or short, with music or not...    Running regularly, you get smaller and leaner, naturally.  What could be more simple? 

This video from Graham Hill on TED says it best:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sara's PR in Jacksonville Marathon - 3:11!

Perfect marathon weather, great marathon course, and ready to race--Sara ran 3:11:52 in Jacksonville on Sunday, for 6th place woman overall!  I wish I could have been there to watch!  She says she felt good the entire race, stayed on pace for the most part, slowing a bit around 23 miles, but never hitting the wall, and picking it up in the last mile to finish strong!  A little sore the next day plus one little blister, but otherwise, now--five days later--she's feeling pretty good; ran a little Wednesday and a little more today. 

                         Sara at 26 miles, about to get on the track--Good form and a big smile!

                                     And here she about to cross the finish line (clock time):

A little down time to recover and enjoy the holidays, then ready for some hard training for Boston in April!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jacksonville Marathon Sunday!

The Jacksonville Marathon is tomorrow and it is a fantastic Florida marathon--I love this marathon!

Although for some the weather may be much too warm and humid, for us South Floridians, that doesn't usually present much of a problem.  The course is 85% shaded and this year the predicted temps for Sunday couldn't be better..   45 degrees at 7 am, 62 degrees at noon.

The course is rated as one of the top ten fastest in the country as it is flat, no hills, no bridges, no overpasses, not a whole lot of turns--a great qualifier for Boston.  There is prize money for the top three overall male and female places and top masters male and female.  The field is usually somewhat competitive, though relatively small--I think around 1,000 or so run the marathon, with maybe 1,500 running the half.
                                                        Jacksonville Marathon START

The local running store, 1st Place Sports, puts on a wonderful event, very organized, well-stocked aid stations and friendly, helpful volunteers.  Because of the small size they are able to provide packet pickup on the morning of the race, which you NEVER get in a marathon anymore.  But the very coolest thing about this marathon is that it finishes on the Hodges Field track in the Skinner-Barco Stadium at The Bolles School, with the announcer calling out each finisher's name as they come into the stadium.
                                                         Jacksonville Marthon FINISH

My runner Sara will be running Jacksonville on Sunday, her second marathon.  Her training has gone very well...   she's been visualizing and using her mantras, she's done her long runs and her pace runs, she has tapered and carbo-loaded, and she is ready and raring to go!  Go, Sara, run2joy!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Video - 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

In keeping with my last post about the importance of exercise, here is a video I first saw on the blog Runblogger called 23 and 1/2 hours:  What is the single best thing we can do for our health? by Dr Mike Evans.  Dr Evans is the founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St Michael's Hospital.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Exercise, the Brain, and a Healthy Weight

Here's a nice article from about research which shows that exercise changes the brain in ways that can help us make better food choices.  The study was done by Harvard University research scientist Miguel Alonso.  The report says,
The experts point out that these changes seem to have a certain specificity. The Harvard researcher supports the notion that "regular exercise improves output in tests that measure the state of the brain's executive functions and increases the amount of grey matter and prefrontal connections."

Inhibitory control is one of the executive functions of the brain and is basically the ability to suppress inadequate and non-conforming answers to an aim (the opposite of this would be impulsiveness), which makes modification or self-regulations of a behaviour possible.

With regards to losing weight and sustaining weight loss in the long run, various recent studies suggest that executive functions such as inhibitory control and optimal functioning of the brain's prefrontal areas could be the key to success. This success is mainly the fruit of a behavioural change. Inhibitory control could also help to prevent weight gain in healthy people.

The researcher outlines that "in time, exercise produces a potentiating effect of executive functions including the ability for inhibitory control, which can help us to resist the many temptations that we are faced with everyday in a society where food, especially hypercaloric food, is more and more omnipresent."
 So what that means is that if you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, start exercising.  Whatever you decide to do--walk, go to the gym, yoga, pilates, start running...   just begin.  It will help you become aware of your eating habits. 

Put it on your schedule.  Make exercise a priority in your life.  Don't wait till after the holidays--do it now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First Marathon - Check!

You can have everything go right:  consistent training, lots of long runs, decent taper, carbo-loading just right, prepared for the high temps and windy weather...   but becoming nauseated early in the race and having it continue to only get worse..   that doesn't seem fair.  That's what happened on Sunday, Chuck's first marathon.  It also happened to Jane during her Ironman a few weeks ago, starting at the end of the bike and continuing through the entire marathon; never had it during her first Ironman a couple years ago nor in any of the gazillion marathons she's done in the past.  What??  If anyone can clue me in on what that's about, I'd love to hear from you.

Chuck finished, nicely actually with his three young daughters running through the finish with him!  I saw him at around halfway and he told me he didn't feel well, had slowed it down and felt better, but he was still running.  Then I saw him at around 19 miles; he was walking/running at that point.  He ended up sitting down for a while on the side of the road, and started to feel better so got back in the race and finished with his girls at his side and a big smile on his face!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Palm Beaches Marathon Tomorrow

I will be cheering on the runners tomorrow morning as they cruise along beautiful Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach.  It will be warm, up to the high 70's, especially with the late start, 6:45 am, yikes!  My runner Chuck will be running his first marathon.  He's ready, he's done the training...    five long runs of 20 miles or more, and consistent mileage, throughout our SoFL summer heat. 

Go, Chuck!   run2joy!

Thank you for visiting… Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by!