Monday, April 23, 2012

ali asname

i, erm, ali ran a 5k on saturday.

i was first female in this particular race a few years ago so i babied my ego and registered under an alias name, ali asname. ba dum chhh! (i'm not even linking to that race recap because i was a whiny brat about it).

there was also a half-marathon and 10k held in conjunction with the 5k. both the half and 10k start times were delayed 20-minutes for reasons i don't remember, but the 5k started at the scheduled time. clearly the race directors need to rethink the start time(s) or the course because 1-mile into the 5k i, along with hundreds of others, had to stop and wait on a freight train...

from the race results it looks like 5 people made it across the tracks before the train came through (there's a gap in results from 19:00 to 21:00, and i have to assume there were people who could have finished in those two minutes). it wasn't a big deal to me (or ali) since i was just running for fun, but i am sure it annoyed some of the other runners. it does allow me to subtract at least 5 minutes off my time though, right?

overall the race went well. i ran with a friend at her pace, and while i probably could have gone a little faster, it was good that i didn't overdo it. i know i get carried away in races and sometimes run harder than i'm ought to be (am in shape for), and i'm certainly not in any condition to race a 5k again.

two of my sisters ran the 10k (for one it was her first!) and josh ran the half. even though josh hadn't run in like two weeks and his last long run was 9-miles over a month ago, he still managed to run a sub-2:00 half. 

here's one sister finishing.
as you can see i'm an excellent photographer,
and yes i am available for weddings.

ps: if anyone has better suggestions for alias names please share! the only ones i've thought of are male names (ie: "miles long"). oh but just as i typed that i remembered "mary thoner". i should have used that one, dang it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

from boston to bagram

did you know that the boston athletic association helps provide a "shadow" event for our troops in afghanistan (and formerly iraq)?

hosted and coordinated by the u.s. army's 10th sustainment brigade, the b.a.a. generously provides official finishers medals and t-shirts for participants and volunteers free of charge. runners ran almost three laps on the roads around bagram airfield to log the 26.2 miles, and volunteers set up aid stations every mile (my employer hosted one of the aid stations).

the marathon was open to anyone military or civilian serving in the afghan area of operations. most of the participants were already on the bagram base, but some traveled from as far away as kandahar (340 miles away).

is it just me or does anyone else want to go afghanistan to run the "boston" marathon now? bagram 2013, who's in?

ps: capt. anthony calingo, interviewed in the video, ran a 2:55 but as you heard him say he's "not really competitive". what?!

video from defense video & imagery distribution system (dvids) an operation that provides a connection between the media around the world and the military serving in iraq, afghanistan, kuwait, qatar and bahrain.

Friday, April 13, 2012

there's a reason they call him coach

because believe it or not, he knows what he's talking about! (at least some of the time)

i'm not following a plan to get back in shape, i just head out and try to make the run-intervals a little longer than they were the day before. thursday evening, after another long (11hr) day of work, i ventured out for an 8pm run/walk.

i did my usual 1/4-mile warmup walk and started running, aiming for a 1.5-mi run interval. i reached 1.5 mi and felt good, so i kept going.

a little shy of 2-miles i felt a little tired, but i knew i could push to round out the mileage so i kept going. i reached 2 miles and felt better, so i kept going.

around 2.5-miles there were some people standing around a sketchy van, no way was i stopping. in fact i sped up a little here, just to be safe (it was dusky and i always let scary thoughts take over when i see sketchy strangers on a run). this made me more tired, but i kept going.

once i got to 3 miles (of non-stop running!) i was tired, but i wanted to see how long it took me to run a 5k and surely i could handle another 0.1. the 5k mark was in the middle of a short hill and i wouldn't allow myself to stop in the middle of it, so i kept going.

at this point i figured it wasn't much further to my 1/4-mile cooldown walk, so i kept going. the run finished on a hill that i normally dread, but on this day i enjoyed it. i had just run 3.85 miles without needing or wanting a walk break! as jon would say, it was epic.

surely that is how the 10% rule works, right? from 1.5-mile run intervals to 3.85-miles straight? don't worry running-moms, i will make sure my next run is a run/walk so that i don't overdo it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

you are eliminated

typical breakfast
a few days ago i mentioned that i'm doing an elimination diet (/experiment) and many of you expressed an interest in hearing more about it.

so what is an elimination diet? basically you limit your diet to "safe" foods (ones you know you're not allergic or intolerant to) for a minimum of two weeks, or as long as it takes for your symptoms to subside. then you test one food - eating a little of it for breakfast, lunch and dinner on one day only. the next two days you go back to your limited diet before repeating the cycle with another test food. even if you did not have any problems or symptoms with a test food, you still have to keep it out of your diet throughout the challenge phase. it is important to keep a detailed journal each day regarding what you ate, how you felt, any symptoms you noticed, etc.

"they" say elimination diets can be helpful for autoimmune conditions, ibs, arthritis, skin rashes, and migraines, among other conditions.

disclaimer: i should mention that i did not consult a medical professional before beginning the "diet" (i don't really want to refer to it as a diet because i am not doing it with the intent of losing weight). i am also not certified at, well, anything. i googled it and sort of came up with my own procedure for doing it as there aren't any direct instructions on how to do an elimination diet. i'm sure i could have researched a few books and read up on it more, but i figured it's not rocket science.

with that said... here's how my elimination diet has been going:

my safe foods: rice (mostly brown), vegetables (no beans, tomatoes, potatoes), fruits (no citrus)

i've been eating these foods for over three weeks (with the exception of challenge days). rice or coconut milk is also allowed. so far, i've tested tomatoes, dairy and wheat/gluten. tomatoes tested ok, dairy failed (i'm heartbroken), and wheat/gluten i just tested yesterday so i still have to wait it out. i love dairy (cheese!) so i might re-test it again later, just to be sure of course.

lunch or dinner - rice, squash, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower
snack - salted plantains
another lunch - asparagus stir fry, kiwi, rice
i've felt pretty good on the limited diet. though i imagine eating so many wholesome foods and drinking more water (can't have juice unless you jiy) will do that regardless. i realized how few greens/veggies i was eating prior to the diet; i had been in denial. i do want to add in quinoa in place of rice everyday, but i keep forgetting to buy some. obviously the cyclosporine is covering up my symptoms a good bit, but i was itchy on the day i ate dairy which leads me to think dairy failed.

the amazing mac and cheese i got to eat on dairy test day (rice noodles)

breakfast - banana/strawberry smoothie with rice milk
lunch or dinner - veggie soup
(organic veg broth, carrots, rice, collards, broccoli, etc)
the 'diet' and food challenges are far from over; i'll be doing this for a few more weeks as i continue to test and try to find foods my body doesn't agree with. it's a lot more inconvenient to eat such a restricted and clean diet, but i feel good in general from eating so clean.

elimination diets aren't for everyone, but i do think they could help some people and some symptoms because i believe that a number of health issues stem from all the crap that is in our food today. i hope i will find some results from this experiment without too much interference from the cyclosporine.

if you have any questions, leave them below and i will be happy to answer them!

just an fyi, some of the links i read about elimination diets:
the elimination and detoxification diet
whole life nutrition: elimination diet
elimination diet to detect and relieve hidden food allergies and to reduce stress on the immune system
allergy avoidance diet

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

running is hard


i just didn't think it would still be this hard five weeks into the 'swing of things'.

i still can't run two miles without needing a walk break. well, i could go further if i slowed down (apparently my run pace is about a 9:30) but i have a hard time making myself do that. i ran a slower pace once with friends and it wasn't as uncomfortable (and i didn't have to stop to walk).

it still burns in my lungs (i've been blaming it on the pollen), and hills, ohhh hills. don't even think about making me run up the slightest incline.

maybe it just takes longer than five weeks to get back in shape (does it?). afterall, i did sit on the couch for 6+ months.

i have to remind myself that i've gone from a 0.25mi walk/0.75mi run interval to a 0.25mi walk/1.5mi run. i go out for 4+ miles now instead of 2.5. my average run/walk pace has gone from a 11:59 (first three weeks) to an 10:56 (past two weeks). i'm sure that's plenty of progress in just five weeks.

i know i've been overly conservative with this "run/walk every other day" plan - i need to be doing something on those other days, yoga/strength training/cardio. i certainly want to work out while i can (i am concerned about what will happen when i have to go off this medicine in august -- things could switch right back to how they were and i don't know if i could handle that again).

i'd also like to get back to the gym, since we've been generously funding them for the past few months (yes, i became one of "those" people), but look at all this fancy new cardio equipment i paid for!

a tv on every machine...
how did people ever find the
motivation to workout before?

oh, and forgive me for taking forever to a winner for the zhip. the winner is tri runner! george, email me your address and i'll drop it in the mail to you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

march 2012

miles run: 30.15 (from 0 to 30! woop woop!)

miles walked: 0.0 (although technically some of the running miles are walking ones)

other workouts: yoga (1x), nike training club (2x)

days off: 18

netflix obsession(s): it's a boy/girl thing. a movie, but i continue to put it on at night to "fall asleep to". it has a super original story line -- a boy and a girl grow up next door to each other and are mortal enemies, then a magical spell happens and they switch bodies, but eventually they fall in love with each other and get their real bodies back. props to the hollywood writers for their creativity in writing this plot.

netflix fail: dance academy. (tv show) boring.

artistic/creative outlet: attempted a watercolor. fail. played lots of drawsomething. fairly good at it if i do say so myself. start a game with me - chasingkenyans!

 i drew this

new food i tried: this isn't new food, but i'm wrapping up a hardcore elimination diet. i'd been thinking about doing one for quite some time, but was always intimidated by the idea of such a limited diet for such a long period of time (erm, 2+ weeks). i finally put mind over matter, cooked up enough brown rice to feed all of asia, and started the diet. i am doing it to see if there are any improvements to my skin, and i've been planning on doing a post about it for the past week, so more to come...

not part of my elimination diet

book(s) read:
room (emma donoghue) - read it in one sitting on a sunday afternoon (it wasn't that long of a book, but it was good).
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. 
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
the american wife (curtis sittenfeld) - couldn't get into it. i realized after this and a couple other reading fails that i need reasonable-lengthed chapters in order to make it through a book.

number of blog visitors: 890 (you guys rock!)

number of doctor visits: 8 (i think anyway)

as my first month of feeling "normal" in a long time (6-7 months), i tried to take advantage of that both by wearing nicer clothes (vs baggy ones that could get "messed up" if i had an itch attack) and by "living a normal life" - doing workouts, things around the house, running errands, and of course working 24/7.

we had a pipe leak resulting in a water bill 3x the norm

josh built a raised garden bed

i worked 3 weeks straight

and therefore had the dirtiest car in the parking lot
since i didn't have time to take it to the car wash
(thank you tree sperm)

ended the month with a weekend in beaufort with friends