Don’t Miss Our 12th Annual Turkey Trot

Remember – our 12th Annual Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving morning.

The fun kicks off at 7:30 a.m.  As with the previous 11 trots, we will meet at Rush Creek to stroll, power walk or run along a mixed-use dirt path through the marshlands.   The path is pretty much flat except for a few rolling hills.

It’s a gorgeous way to start your Thanksgiving!  It’s not a race so there’s no starting line, no finish line, no fees, no free goodie bags and even better, no pressure!  The only thing that’s serious is our start time at 7:30 a.m.  I don’t know about you, but I have people to feed so I’ve got to get home.

If you are interested in joining in the fun click this link so you know where we’ll be.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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3 tips to survive the holidays

Thanksgiving is next week and as you may have noticed, your schedule is starting to fill up with parties, concerts and office pot lucks.  To add to the fun, every holiday treat it out in full force.

We all have our favorite holiday goodies, drinks and traditions but there’s a huge difference between enjoying a treat, a cocktail, or a meal and diving face first into it.

Here are 3 tips to help you make it through the holidays, relatively unscathed.

Tip #1 – Don’t Eat the 3rd Cookie

A Christmas cookie is a delightful treat.  The first one takes you to a special place.  The second one, well, every now and then, ok.

The third cookie, however is the kiss of death.  When you are 3 cookies in, you’re just that close to a full-blown cookie binge.  If you have cookie #3 in your hand, put it down and walk away.

Tip #2 – Don’t Drink the 3rd Glass of (fill in your alcoholic drink of choice)

Just like the cookie, a drink or even two is moderate.  Once you pass the two drink minimum a few things start to happen.

1) Your ability to select healthy food drops about 85%.  Don’t believe me?  Think back to your late 20’s – how many of you grabbed a salad or an apple after an evening of drinking and dancing?  A Denny’s Grand-Slam or a stack of pancakes at 3am was more like it.

2)  Your ability to have a healthy day-after also drops about 85%.  You may skip a run, pass on Zumba or sleep through your Sunday walking group.  Plus you’ll wake up dehydrated, puffy, and craving a Nacho Bel Grande from Taco Bell and a beer.

So enjoy two really good drinks and then switch to seltzer, soda or a cranberry juice spritzer instead.  Make it in a nice wine glass or even a champagne flute so you don’t feel like a kid with a sippy cup.  (And as always, if you are out, please designate a driver to get you home safely).

Tip #3 – Move Your Butt

With the parties, the shopping, and family obligations you may be thinking that you just don’t have time for a workout.  Well, you would be wrong.  There is always time for a workout.  That bears repeating.

There.  Is.  Always.  Time.  For.  A.  Workout.

If you can’t manage your usual 45 minutes or an hour, cut the time by 10 or even 15 minutes.  If you can’t manage 5 days a week, make sure you have 4 solid days.  Be flexible with your schedule, allow for some days off or some lower-intensity workouts.

And remember, the holidays are about family, friends and spending time together.  And there is not a single food that you cannot have any other day of the year.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Today, girls and boys we are going to improve your running form is just 3 simple steps.

Raise Your Gaze

The next time you go on a run focus your gaze on a spot about 5, even 10 feet in front of you.  This simple trick will force you to lift your head up slightly.  When you do this, drop your shoulders (they should not be hunched around your ears) and pull your belly button in a bit.   This simple tweak will prevent your upper body collapsing and keep your  shoulders from rounding forward.  I promise if you practice this trick you will feel more confident and better about your run.

Arm your Arms

I see a lot of runners that rarely use their arms or don’t use them at all. There’s a runner in my neighborhood that keeps her elbows bent and tucked right under her armpits and her arms do not move. 

Drives.  Me.  Crazy.

Your arm speed dictates your foot turnover, it helps power you up a hill, it pull you forward in a sprint and on a long run it provides momentum forward.  If you don’t use your arms you are missing out on an important component of locomotion. 

  • Hills: Your arms should be pumping as you shorten your stride.  You pitter-patter up the hill with less effort.
  • Long runs:  Elbows bent and they should come back nice and far behind you.  To do this focus on getting your hands to hit right below your ribcage. 
  • Sprints or Track workouts:  Think reaching in front of you grabbing air and pulling back.  This motion will pull you forward.
  • General:  Keeping your arms pumping will dictate your foot speed.  If you stop moving your arms your speed with suffer.  Focus on pumping your arms in a consistent rhythm and watch your times drop.

Fancy Footwork

Pick. Up.  Your.  Feet.  Don’t shuffle, drag or scuff your shoes along the road or trail.  Think lean and lift. 

Chi Running is a great resource for this technique but here’s the quick and dirty.  Lean slightly forward from your ankles to start and let your forefoot touch the ground and quickly snatch it back up – pull your heels back behind you.  Opposite foot lands, quickly snatch it back up.  Repeat. 

You should not fall heavily to the ground, nor should you land completely flat on your feet.  Think landing on the front 2/3 of your foot.  It’s a lighter and quick landing. 

The next time you head out for a run, try one or more of these techniques.  I think you’ll be happy with your results.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

There’s never a good time so just get going already

I like to run marathons.  For fun.  I have a goal in place to run 10 marathons by the time I’m 50.

And since I run a race every other year, I’m due for one next year (age 47) and then number 10 in 2 years (age 49).  Easy peasy, right?

My conundrum is timing.  Now that my kids are older and involved in more things, there doesn’t seem to be a “right” time to train and then run a race.

If I plan a winter race I’m training in soccer, fall ball and volleyball season.  If I pick a spring race I have to contend with travel volleyball, baseball and soccer.  A summer run means heat so no, thank you, right off the bat and that leaves a fall race which is great weather-wise, but I have to train in the summer.

Well, to avoid the problem I could skip a few years until life settles down.  Or I could scale back my distance to half marathons or shorter distances but those choices, well, they suck.  (Note – I am not disparaging people who choose not to race or those who choose to race shorter distances).

You see, the reality is (wait for it) there is no perfect time to train.  Something will always be planned or something will come up.  So I will plan a race and figure out the training.  I may miss some things or have to work my training around some things but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will figure it out.  Because if I give in and plan my race for a *more convenient* time, it will never come.

And so when you want to start an exercise program or to lose a few pounds but are waiting for things to settle down, they won’t.  Or if they do, something else will come along to upset your apple cart.

Then you’ll be waiting for that crisis to be over.  Etc., etc., etc.

Stop the madness, set a goal and make it happen.  You are worth the time and energy and even though it’s super great to watch our kids play soccer, a missed game here or there is not going to doom you to Bad Parent Hell.  But if it does, I’ll save you a spot and we can hang out.  Maybe do some burpees.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

12th Annual Turkey Trot – Only 2 Weeks Away!

Get your tail-feathers in gear, grab some of your flock and fly on over to our 12th Annual Turkey Trot.

The fun kicks off on Thanksgiving morning (11/28) at 7:30 a.m.  As with the previous 11 trots, we will meet at Rush Creek to stroll, power walk or run along a mixed-use dirt path through the marshlands.   The path is pretty much flat except for a few rolling hills.

It’s a gorgeous way to start your Thanksgiving!  It’s not a race so there’s no starting line, no finish line, no fees, no free goodie bags and even better, no pressure!  The only thing that’s serious is our start time at 7:30 a.m.  I don’t know about you, but I have people to feed so I’ve got to get home.

If you are interested in joining in the fun click this link so you know where we’ll be.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…floor

With the holidays comes increased libation consumption.  But before you start tossing the champagne and wine back, here’s an interesting article on alcohol consumption as it relates to good health.

Before you freak out too much, however, please read all the way to the bottom where you’ll also see some of the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.  Courtesy of ACE Fit.

Alcohol Eats Away at Muscle Mass

If increasing muscle mass is one of your goals, then think twice before you go out for a night of heavy drinking. Consuming alcohol in large quantities has a direct effect on your metabolism, causing fat to be stored instead of being utilized as an energy source. Alcohol contains seven “empty” calories per gram, meaning that these calories don’t provide you with any of the essential nutrients you need to build that muscle mass you desire.

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Your Body

  • Muscles—Reduces blood flow to the muscles, causing weakness and deterioration
  • Hormones—Reduces testosterone in your blood and increases conversion of testosterone to estrogen, causing increased fat depositing and fluid retention
  • Liver—Creates imbalances that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fatty liver and hyperlipidemia (build-up of fats in the bloodstream)
  • Brain—Cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a “blackout” caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain that can kill tens of thousands of brain cells

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Physical Performance

Alcohol is a known depressant that suppresses the brain’s ability to function. Even though you may feel a “high” after several cocktails, the truth is that your reaction time, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination and endurance all decrease dramatically. Furthermore, the after-effects of a night of excessive drinking can be detrimental to your fitness goals. Alcohol is a diuretic that may result in dehydration. This dehydration is known to decrease physical performance, so that previous night of drinking will continue to affect you the following day.

Alcohol and Sleep

Alcohol consumption can cause sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time and the time required to fall asleep. It is popularly believed that a drink before bedtime can help a person fall asleep. However, alcohol’s affect on sleep patterns results in increased fatigue and physical stress to the body. Therefore, alcohol consumption indirectly affects a person’s strength-training ability due to increased fatigue and a lack of healthy reparative sleep.

Alcohol and Nutrition

Alcohol inhibits the breakdown of nutrients into usable substances by decreasing the secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Regular alcohol consumption also impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the cells lining the stomach and intestines and disabling transport of some nutrients into the blood. In addition, nutritional deficiencies themselves may lead to further absorption problems. For example, folate deficiency alters the cells lining the small intestine, which in turn impairs the absorption of water and nutrients, including glucose, sodium and additional folate. Such interference of nutrient breakdown and absorption may impair the physical performance and recovery required to build and maintain muscle mass.

Putting on the Pounds

Many people under the influence experience “drunk munchies” that can result in the consumption of several hundred extra calories for the day. A study examining how alcohol affects caloric intake found that subjects who drank wine with their lunch consumed an additional 200 calories and did not compensate for those calories by cutting back at dinner.

Safe in Moderation

Now that you know some of the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption, you might be scared to have that glass of wine with dinner. Don’t be. When alcohol is consumed in moderation (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men), it has been shown to have some positive effects:

  • Increased HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) within one to two weeks
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced insulin resistance

The Take-home Message

In conclusion, if you want to increase muscle mass, decrease fat or improve general health, make sure alcohol is only consumed in moderation. Next time you are asked to go out socially, be the designated driver. Not only will your friends appreciate it and be much safer, but you will be one step closer to your fitness goals.

Calories Add Up Fast

12 ounces of beer = ~150 calories
5 ounces of wine = ~100 calories
1.5-ounces of distilled spirits = ~100 calories

Additional Resources

National Institutes of Health—Alcohol Consumption: www.health.nih.gov/topic/AlcoholConsumption
National Strength & Conditioning Association—Alcohol Consumption and its Effect on Performance: www.nsca-lift.org/perform/article.asp?ArticleID=204

Now go run!

Keli 🙂