Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lazing Around

It's a year ago next week that I was already planning the 2008 race schedule. This year? I'm planning my garden - ha! It'll have organic potatoes, corn, onions, and beans - lots of beans so I can toot my organic heart out. Oh, that's to go on my other blog. Back to the active, healthy stuff. No, I haven't been thinking much at all about racing next year. In fact, I'm contemplating giving up running 'cause lately my bladder doesn't seem to want to keep it inside the bladder everytime I try to run. Lovely. And the bike? What's that. Rick and I haven't been outside on a bike since October 19. So next year's race schedule may be questionable. I mentioned in a previous post that Rick was ok with me doing an adventure race or two, but right now I'm not in the mood any more -- especially if I quit running. We'll see. I'll let you know when the garden planning is done. Doesn't Rusty look comfy? That's how I look most of the time now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Philadelphia Marathon

Yesterday was the 15th running of the Philadelphia Marathon along with a half, 8K and a kid's race. These races pull a heck of a lot more people than any race I ever entered -- Over 7,000 in the full marathon and over 5,000 in the half. What made me look? I actually know 3 people that raced it and one of them is my nephew! The first is our famed Xterra Chic from Bryn Mawr - Sue Ann Clark. She finished in 3:50 -- an 8:47 pace! To me, that's incredible -- I can barely run that fast when I'm going all out let alone do it for 26 miles?! I'm in awe. And my nephew? Guess I never mentioned there's a runner in the family. I guess I never knew it either! He did it with his girlfriend, Katie. Her and Justin both did the half marathon and it looks like she did it in 2:23 and Justin in 3:05. I'll get details on Thanksgiving. And for you Carlisle folks, here's a guy you might know: Josh Beck was 25th overall!!! He raced 26 miles in 2:35 -- a 5:54 pace. That's not human. Full results are here. Reading all this makes we want to go run a mile or two.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On the Trainer for More Than Fitness?

As the cold months approach and the trainer starts getting its workout, I find it timely that the latest issue of Mother Earth News has a BIG article about Making Electricity While You Exercise. Yup - they are talking about a set-up very similar to the trainer set-up we all love and use all winter long. Ellsworth Actually had this same set up at Interbike in 2007. SEE THE VIDEO FROM INTERBIKE HERE. It sure makes sense to me to actually USE that energy we expend in a hour or so of pedaling. But don't expect too much in that hour of energy - one hour of pedaling produces about 100 watt-hours. That’s about enough energy to power:
A clock radio for 10 hours
A 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulb for 6 hours, 40 minutes
A laptop computer for 2 hours
A 19-inch LCD TV for 1 hour, 40 minutes
A toaster for 7 1/2 minutes
An iron for 3 1/2 to 6 minutes

The article claims one hour of pedaling is worth about one penny -- that's $.01 cent. Geez - you'd think we'd be worth more than that for an hour's worth of pedaling. The article didn't get into exertion or force, so I'm sure the possibility exists that you animals will generate more power than the average joe sitting on a bike for an hour. And where to get the equipment to hook up to your bike? Wind Stream Power is the primary source, manufacturing home sources of power since 1974. (They have other cool stuff on their website too -- but it ain't cheap!) It'll set you back about $1,000 for the set up to generate power from your bike. Is it worth it? Maybe. You tell me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can you guess what this is? We couldn't either. Rick was a little surprised I picked it up. There were three of them, lying in the center of a bankside path to the Lehigh River. I believe they were some sort of seed pod that opened, but then again they could have been alien seed pods and now I have one in me. Not sure. I feel like there's an alien in my body -- sluggish, lethargic, tired -- just waiting for something else to happen. Maybe its just taking time to work that saturated fat from raw milk and butter out of my system. Hmmm? The day in Jim Thorpe was nice. The rain stopped just enough for us to hike along the river for about 1.5 hrs after we ate lunch and walked a little bit through Jim Thorpe (very cool town, by the way). No great physical workouts though, just leisure time. We're both showing our ages of late with our workouts - slow, easy, and when we feel like it. Just another of life's stages.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Celebration

Saturday is our 4th wedding anniversary. Yes, we got married a little late, after living together for 16 years prior to that. My dear hubby is my soul mate, my best friend, my “better” half and he’s smarter too. And I adore him - especially since he agreed to take me to a vegetarian restaurant to celebrate the special day. But its rather convenient that the veg restaurant is at his favorite place in PA at the moment -- Jim Thorpe and the Lehigh River. So we'll be scouting rapids yet again. This will be about the 10th time we rode bike (or maybe hike if it rains) on the rail trail and stopped to look at rapids. But that’s how Mr. Brown learns a river. He did this for the Tohickon Dam Release and by golly, he knew the creek when he finally kayaked it and was able to predict each rapid and what it would be like. So the anniversary will be spent in Jim Thorpe at an artsy fartsy vegetarian restaurant on Broadway called CafĂ© Origins, then we’ll be heading off to the Lehigh Gorge State Park for a little bike riding on the rail trail from Glen Onoko to Rockport and return, or if its raining, we’ll don the rain gear and hike to the river and look at rapids.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Irony - The Healthiest Diet

This is way to ironic after my last post on being confused on diets. I picked up my latest read, "The Spectrum" and the first Chapter states:
"By now, many people are thoroughly exasperated by the seemingly contradictory information they read about what a sound nutrition and lifestyle program should be. Nowhere are the claims more conflicting than in the area of diet. "

W.O.W. And the author of the book is the same guy that guided Rick to a 40 pound weightloss 7 years ago... and me to vegetarianism -- Dr. Dean Ornish. I believe, just possibly, HE may have the healthiest diet. Why? He calls it a lifestyle change and its SO recognized after 30 years of proven research and studies, that several insurance companies including Medicare, pay for the plan as part of preventative medicine because the plan is saving the insurance companies millions of dollars. His plan is proven to reverse heart disease, lower cholestrol, lower high blood pressure, reserve type 2 diabetes, and prevent and treat prostate cancer and breast cancer. By practicing his preventative measures, there's less hospitalizations, thus huge savings all around. I'm sold -- again. And I think I can adapt this to local foods too -- or at least buy from a local store that sells organics made in USA. The diet stresses exercise, meditation/yoga, and below is what you can/can't eat. He doesn't restrict calories -- eat from the first list until you feel full.

The following can be eaten whenever you are hungry, until you are full:
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits -all
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

These should be eaten in moderation:

  • Nonfat dairy products -- skim milk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cheeses, nonfat sour cream, and egg whites
  • Nonfat or very low-fat commercially available products

These should be avoided:

  • Meat of all kinds -- red and white, fish and fowl (if we can't give up meat, we should at least eat as little as possible) . Ornish's latest book, the Spectrum, allows fish 2 times a week.
  • Oils and oil-containing products, such as margarine and most salad dressings
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dairy products (other than the nonfat ones above)
  • Sugar and simple sugar derivatives -- honey, molasses, corn syrup, and high-fructose syrup
  • Alcohol
  • Anything commercially prepared that has more than two grams of fat per serving

Note - very low fat; and that's where critics balk at Ornish. Most feel 10% fat is too low. But remember, Ornish is reversing and preventing diseases and this is what works.

What to Eat for Health - Thoroughly Confusing

I've had it. Too many books and too many opinions have officially confused the hell out of me. Food is all that's on my mind lately. Eat local, don't eat processed, eat whole foods, don't eat saturated fat (but that eliminates a bunch of local staples like MEAT, MILK and EGGS!), don't eat meat, don't eat salmon or tuna or shrimp, grow it all yourself, don't eat the Nature's Promise organics - its from China, make sure nothing is from China. ARGH!!! And if you don't eat meat, you still have to buy it because you're husband eats it. Maybe we shouldn't eat at all. For the past 7 years, I trained, raced and tried to eat the best foods to maintain a healthy diet to endure the training and racing. Carbs, protein, fat, calcium, iron and of course calories were tracked on a daily basis to assure the proper ratios and RDA were being met. At first I tried it as a vegetarian and was tired nearly constantly, then I added lean meats and felt pretty good. One year I actually dropped about 8 pounds. How? Lowering carbs and eating lean meat at nearly every meal, keeping calories under 1500 per day, and exercising like a mad woman. Then I quit racing and tried the vegetarian thing again (for the environment), but got fat -- mostly on the local meat, milk, and eggs. Now what? Is it ok for the enviornment if you eat local meat (but its making you fat Jill!)? And then there's my idol -- Vegan Rob (Rob Lichtenwalner) who manages to do ultra-endurance sports and maintain his strict Vegan diet. To me, that's the most intriguing diet of them all (VEGAN) -- BUT, does he do it local? How can he do that and still stay vegan? Is there a food processor in Lehigh Valley that processes tofu and soy products? (or in PA for that matter). If so, fill me in! But then again there's that dirty word -- PROCESSED food. Something I read (huh, imagine that) that we stay away from. At the BASH this year, I met a really cool dude that actually cooks for Vegan Rob and his menus sounded aboslutely delightful -- but are they local? He used to work on an organic farm so many of his foods were just what a Vegan orders -- vegetables which are easy locally. But is Vegan the most healthy? So there's the question of the day. What, EXACTLY, is the most healthful diet? And can any of these be adapted locally. Here are some that claim to be the most healthy - but can they be local and non-processed?:

Paleo Diet (lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts)
$3.57 a Day healthful diet (Beans, Lentils, Fruit, Vegetables, walnuts)
Eat Food, not Too Much, Mostly Plants - Michael Pollen's Philosophy
Mediterranean Diet (includes an ad for McDonalds).
More from NY Times on the Mediterranean Diet - are they telling us something?
And to add to the confusion - choosing the right diet - all the kinds of diets out there. I even more confused now.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Exercise - Circa 1983

Long before I knew Rick, and long before many of you could ride your new bike with training wheels, TV shows on aerobics became the fad. Jane Fonda started it with her VCR tapes and others followed suit. Yes, I had (and still do!) the entire collection from Gilad to Jane to Susan Anton. One show, in particular, was popular in 1983 and 1984 called the :20 Minute Workout. Bess Motta was my hero - she went onto to have a tiny part in a Terminator Movie (of course Arnold killed her). The routine took only 20 minutes and that was it for the day. There was timer counting down the workout as you followed girls doing stretches, jumps, skips, hops, and ending with more stretches. The camera crew was really enjoying themselves the entire time (shots between legs, cleavage, etc - you get the picture). Thinking back, THAT was the exercise of that era. Aerobics. On hard floors in scantily clad attire. Yup, I still have my leg warmers too. And Bess Motta? Well, she's 50 now, check how she looks today -- BESS MOTTA.COM. My, how far we've come. Ha!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Not Even Open Heart Surgery Would Stop Him

My hubby Ricky is a die-hard, obsessed kayaker and he ran the Tohickon Creek today - while my mother was recouperating from emergency open-heart, triple bypass surgery less than 24 hours ago! The nerve of him, huh! So my plans to hike/ride bike next to the creek were squashed as I did my daughterly thang and visited the hospital with my dear 78 dear-old dad. Rick was pleased with the Tohickon trip and portaged one section (this picture), and swam once. And my mother? She's as tough as nails and is already up and walking. Nutty weekend with lots of changed plans. Next week or two will be goofy too as she comes home and gets back on her feet.