Friday, February 26, 2010

The Spice of Life ... Or How To Really Enjoy Your Week

It's been a great couple of weeks because I mixed things up.  Go ahead and try some of these ideas that helped me enjoy myself.

Try new routes.
President's Day was a holiday, which left time in the morning for new scenery and the rolling hills of a beautiful run in the washes of Scottsdale.  If there is a route you'd love to try, take the time to do it!
Indian Bend Wash
Don't go hard everyday.
For triathlons that means three hard workouts a week.  Make the other days aerobic and social.   It helps you avoid the dread of the anaerobic fatigue.

Sleep in and go for a ride when the sun's up.
Hit the snooze button occasionally and go for an mid-morning or afternoon ride if you can sneak away.  It will help you remember why you started cycling in the first place.

Rely on your coach.
The masters coaches in Mesa are firm believers of long, comfortable swimming on Mondays, intervals on Wednesdays, and Fast Fridays.  Listen and heed their advice.

Reward yourself.
A new pair of shoes, heck, even a new pair of socks, can do wonders for the excitement of getting at it.

Plan for a race in a great location.
Self explanatory.  Kona, perhaps?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Write It Down" by Guest Blogger Greg Arnett

Today's post is by my good friend, Greg.  You remember him right?
Ironman, marathoner, father of four and all-around good guy.  Greg's wife shared this story with me today and I just had to have Greg tell it in his own words.

I was doing a longer hill run in Irvine and I was just finishing a pretty significant continuous climb over about 5 miles.  Right before I get to this end of the climb this little fella just blows by me.  So a few seconds later he is waiting at the light and I stopped to hydrate and said hello.  He fired back, “Hi, I’m Bob” and he reached out. 

 Bob is about the size of my Jackson, (12 year old son) just maybe shorter, 4 foot something and maybe 80 lbs, and clearly over 50ish.  So he asks me where I am headed and I told him.  I shared that I am from Arizona and don’t always run here so I don’t really have my routes and mileage down.   

Then he fires back without any hesitation, "Have you run through Peter's Canyon?"  I tell him that I haven't and he starts running around and summons me to get going.  "I'll take you through the park/canyon and pop you right out where you were headed anyway, but it is a much better run."  I didn't even have enough time to say no, and I found myself in lock step with him and we were off.  That was just the first amazing thing.

For the next hour I got to know the midget Tony Robbins.  I told him that I didn’t want to slow him down and he said just run comfortably and not to think about how fast I couldn’t go.  He tells me of the many marathons he has run.  He tells of the many high school kids he has coached.  He tells me of his 12-year attempt at trying to qualify for Boston and what finally did it for him was all mental  (great story in and of  itself).  He tells me of his friend that is running the LA marathon this year and that he is going to help pace him…he is 72. 

We start talking, of course, about running and how I can be faster.  I tell him that running is one of three disciplines for me and how far I have come and where I am at.  Anyway,  I could go on, but he spends the next hour talking about goals.  He points out that in business I would never just sit back and hope things happen.  Running is no different.  Write down your short term and long term goals.  Be committed.  He gave me some pointers.  He tells his high school kids not to just hope to go sub 20, but to write down “19 something” and put it where you can see it every day.  He tells me the how many more years I have of improvement before the body catches up. 

 So after a fascinating hour of conversation on a gorgeous trail through a regional park, he is about to turn around and go back.  I tell him that there is not a chance in the world I am running Boston.  He looks at me as if to say  “Where have you been the last hour?”  He says,  "First of all Greg, you are a Boston guy, you just have to believe it."  He points out that the pace we did the last hour is the pace that I would need.  "If you can’t do it, you’re fooling me.  You just need to stop telling yourself that you are not that good of a runner and just enjoy it and you will do it.  Write down your goal, and you will do it.  You have to get out of your head that you can’t."  

This was as good as any motivational seminar I have ever attended…all from a total stranger.  I had just spent the last hour on the trail with a guy that had more positive energy than anyone you could imagine.  He asks me when I will be back in town and if I would like some company on my next long run and we talk for maybe 20 seconds and he starts to head back.  As he pulls away, he yells back at me…”Remember Greg, if a midget can do it, you can too.  See ya!”


P/S  Can't wait 'til we run Boston, Greg!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fashion Week

You wouldn't believe what's out there for triathletes these days.  It's off the hook.  (Am I saying that right, Abby?)

Over the past few weeks, the Iron Gear Sports team has been meeting with reps, reps and more reps.  We've seen more gear than you could imagine.  And we like it.

Tri manufacturers have taken note of the needs of their consumers.  And they are coming to the retail racks with amazing stuff.  Jerseys have softer seams, shoes are more comfortable, wetsuits can make you swim faster and socks are ... almost bionic!

Especially exciting for us warm-weather athletes is the clothing that actually cools the body temperature by as much as 15 degrees.  What the?  Pearl Izumi's Spring line carries tech shirts and tri tops made from their own "Ice Pack" fabric.  Even black clothing will repel the sun's hottest rays.  Their cuts are less boxy and more flattering, their colors are up-to-date and their styles are cute!  I am in love with their Fall 2010 line.  But let's get through summer first.

Pactimo's high end shorts are ribbed at the leg with compression fabric, eliminating that uncomfortable tug you can get with rubber lined elastic.  They've got their own line of this new cooling fabric, too.

In fact, all the big guys are up to something, be it technical, wicking, hydrophobic, or breathable.

And it's all available soon.  Save your pennies because you're gonna want this stuff. And if you're going to own a pair of $130 shorts, they might as well keep your bum 15 degrees cooler.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Not Rocket Science

But for some reason, I need the reminder.

Things You Should Eat
Lean meat, fish, poultry
Whole Grains
Beans and legumes
Things Okay to Eat
Fiber-rich Cereal
Whole-grain Bread
Low-fat Dairy

Couch-Potato Calories
Pastries, cookies, pies and cakes
Fatty processed meats
Chips, pretzels, snack foods
Greasy fast food
And, I guess that means Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.  Dang.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Part of my weekly track workout includes strides as the final run I do before I leave for home.  I kick off my shoes and head to the grass, for four to six strides across the length of the football field.

What ARE strides, exactly?

Strides are runs of 80 to 100 meters, fast but relaxed.  You should accelerate gradually over the first three-quarters of the distance and then decelerate to the end.  Use strides to practice good form and relaxed running.  Strides work fast-twitch fibers in a non-stressful way.  Complete recovery should occur between repetitions, usually 20 seconds is enough.

If you want to feel fast - faster than you have ever felt while running - try some strides in your bare feet across a grassy field.  Man, they feel good.
Wow!  These women must've just done some strides!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Enervitene - I don't know how to even pronounce it, but it is sweet

I used this on my long run on Monday.  The two miles following my swallow of this stuff increased by almost 30 seconds each.  Good stuff and better than GU.  

Here's what Bicycling Magazine says about it:
A while back, a PR representative from Enervit's U.S. distributor was visiting Bicycling's Emmaus, PA, office, and I told him that the Enervit Cheer Pack ($20 per 5 pack of 2 fl. Oz.) had become my go-to choice on the toughest rides of the season.

"I hope they're short rides," he said, and proceeded to explain that I was using the Cheer Pack wrong, that it was only for a quick boost, and what I really needed was something with balanced carbohydrates and.... Whatever, dude. All I know is that I'm kicking your ass up and down the street. And I'll have some more of that Cheer Pack.

Don't let the packaging fool you. This is a liquid, not a gel (almost all first-time users squirt the stuff all over their faces, expecting to squeeze out a gel). Made with maltodextrin, fructose and glucose, it hits you like a bomb going off - the fastest energy kick I've ever found. You only get about 30 grams of carbo per hit (there are two servings per container, and the screw-top is easy to get on and off). There's vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. The kick lasts only about 15-20 minutes, and, as the man said, there really isn't enough to fuel you. But whatever's going on in that funny orange package is magic voodoo nutrition technology at its finest. Carry a gel or a bottle with energy drink plus a Cheer Pack and you're gonna' be untouchable. Or at least feel that way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Opening My Eyes

As I pulled into the drive thru at BofA today, I caught a glimpse of a man in a motorized wheelchair on the side of the road.  He was leaning forward trying to velcro a strap around his legs in order to lift them onto the footrest so he could move forward.  I quickly put my car in reverse and jumped out to give him a hand.

"Can I help you out?" I asked.

"I wouldn't feel bad if you did," he replied.

So I got him all fixed up and the gentleman was on his way.

As I circled back into the bank line, I was overcome with gratitude.  Sometimes chance encounters like these are the best reminders of the blessings of a healthy body.

The 2010 Olympics have put on an awesome display of athletic prowess and physical finesse.  I am mesmerized by Bode Miller, Apolo Ohno, and Shawn White -- the way they have mastered their sport and achieved perfection.  I love the biathlon, the skicross, the sound of the cowbell and anything narrated by Al Michaels.  I love watching the cross country skiers fall to the ground as they cross the finish line in complete exhaustion.

But it took a man in a wheelchair to make me truly appreciate the gift of health. Running is the only drug I need for my soul.  A long swim in the pool is the best elixir for pain.  I can tie my shoes, reach for an orange in my trees, and open a tight lid on a jar.   I am one of the lucky ones.

Thanks for that reminder, Mister.
Appreciate the view....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fostering Bananas

This morning in the gym I heard a, well, rather large woman tell her trainer that she does not eat bananas because they are high in calories.

You're blaming the banana? I thought to myself.  rude, i know

Then her trainer went on to spew all kinds of useless information about bananas being high on the glycemic index and blah blah blah -- big words here and there, went on to tell her that indeed bananas were not good - when I had just seen him shovel one into his mouth minutes before his client arrived.

In defense of the banana -- it is a great source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese.  It's portable, it's filling and it's calorie count is between 80-115 calories depending on it's size.  The glycemic index, which rates foods by how much they increase your blood sugar levels 2-3 hours after you eat them, actually rates the banana low to medium, depending upon it's ripeness. The more brown spots on the banana peel, the more sugars it has produced.

But stop right there. The only reason you need to worry about the glycemic index of a banana is if you were only eating bananas ALL THE TIME!  In any grocery store, there is produce rainbow of healthy fruit and veggies from which to choose.  And that's exactly what you should be doing!  Make your plates colorful, flavorful and bounteous.  Fruits and veggies compliment each other on the glycemic index.  While some rate high, others rate low, equaling a healthy balance of flavor and nutrition.  Here's a perfect example:  A banana = good.  But a banana and a strawberry together = delicious yum yumness!  (I know some of you hate the texture of both bananas and strawberries.  Your loss, I say)

So embrace color!  Enjoy variety!  Remember the rainbow!  While they might not be the magical fruit, bananas are a great addition to any diet.  Any Gorilla could tell you that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On That Note

This is a good website to show you some balance exercises.  You can press onto the photos and see the actual movement of each action.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Two legs stable, single-leg stable, two-legs unstable, and single-leg unstable

What does this jibber jabber mean?

It has to do with strength training.  In any sport or even in life, balance is important.  Basketball, gymnastics, downhill skiing -- they all require balance.  If you are as out of place in the gym next to the beefcakes as I am, here's how to act like you know what you're doing.

Develop a strength training routine based on progression.  Start your arm curls standing on two legs, nice and balanced.  Do a set of 12 then start again, this time standing on one leg only.  I'm just gonna warn you now that when you fall over on a completely flat surface, you are not alone.  Eh hem.

It might take several days or weeks to move up to the next step: two-legs unstable.  This means doing your two-arm press or barbell curls or toe touches on a BOSU Ball.  You can stand directly on the ball or try it with the ball face down, balancing your body on the bottom surface of the BOSU.  From there, the final progression is single-leg unstable, or one legged movements on a Dyna Disc, half foam roller or BOSU. 

Balance is the key to all movement.  When you train your body on an unstable surface, you're teaching your muscles to react and respond to change.  This helps when you're running and you happen to trip/skip over a rock on the canal.  It helps when you are on your bike.  And it keeps your ahead of the injury cycle.  

Today's homework:  Rinse your dishes while balancing on one foot.  Then load the dishes balancing on the other.  Then let me know when you don't feel like you are on a balance beam anymore.
Balance - our ultimate goal

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg

The Situation:  M has a frayed tendon after running in the St. George Marathon last October.  She was in a walking cast for 12 weeks.  She can feel the twinge of the injury still, but can run pain free for three miles now.  Her ultimate goal is to qualify for Boston at the next St. George Marathon.  Her short term goal is 13.1 miles in April at an 8:30 pace.  Her current pace is 9:20.  Can she get there?  And if so, which comes first mileage or speed?

Opinion from a Podiatrist:  Chris Funk, DPM, Tucson, AZ
The whole issue is whether the damaged tendon is able to withstand the stresses of running again.  Pain free running does not mean freedom from stresses on the frayed tendon.  Having said that, I know how "devoted" runners can be when it comes to putting the miles in.  As long as patients understand there is a risk of re-injury from something not quite healed, I usually recommend increasing distance rather than increasing intensity.  Increasing intensity uses more energy in a shorter period of time, and that really pushes the tissue to the limits.  Try to get up to the distance desired, and don't even think about the pace until everything is stable.

Opinion from a Coach:  DeeAnn Smith, USAT Level II Coach, CPT Carlsbad, CA
I agree volume before intensity (and I think her PT would also, a good question for her to ask her PT).  You must progress slowly and stick to the 10% per week rule like glue.  Be sure she is giving you comments on each workout regarding pain from injury so you can adjust or delete workouts accordingly.

Opinion from Another Coach: Gail Leveque, USAT Level II Coach, Dallas, TX
I agree with the volume before intensity for sure. Especially if it is an Achilles issue. Intensity is just asking for trouble.  I may be wrong in assuming that it was her Achilles, but if it was, coming back too soon or too hard could leave her with a chronic issue that will cause her a lot more trouble. Is she willing to try water running? That is a great way to keep working the run with no impact and will really give you an idea of how serious she is about taking care of her injury.

And from Runner's World March 2010:
You used to run 30 miles a week, you got injured, now you want to get back to your old routine as quickly as possible.  Don't.  Take your time.  The same applies to that upcoming race - if you missed some training time, don't accelerate the pace and distance of your remaining workouts in an effort to "catch up."  Instead, adjust your goals as needed.  Try balance training, shortening your stride, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and stretching the back of your legs with dynamic (not static) stretching.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Tri Tips (very beefy)

Half Ironman training is tricky.  You can't relax on one sport thinking you'll make up for it by going faster in the others.  It just doesn't work that way.  And to add insult to injury, if you train with single sport specific groups, you're bound to be dropped by at least one group because, let's face it, those other guys are just doing one thing ALL THE TIME.
1 drop baby shampoo + 1 rinse = fog free goggles

Here are some discoveries I've made along my HIM journey.

1.  Get a VO2 Max test from a qualified administrator.  I've used Endurance Rehab in North Scottsdale for years.  The test results will give you tons of information on how you should be training.  It will tell you if you are burning carbs instead of fats.  It will outline your specific heart rate zones.  It will detail what is going on in your body so you can maximize your training instead of exhausting yourself.  It's the best $150 you will spend on tri stuff.

2.  Train smart.  Once you have your proper heart rate zones established, map out or talk to a coach about formulating a plan for success.  If you are just jumping out on random road rides or runs, you are not making the best use of your time.  You need to have a scheduled plan of build weeks, recovery weeks and taper weeks.  Share your goals with your Master's swim coach, too.  And document your training.

3.  Eat to train not train to eat.  That Denny's Grand Slam breakfast after a long ride is really tasty, and you deserve it, but it's probably not conducive to your training plan.  Try and eat like you know you should.  It's not rocket science.  We all know what to avoid:  processed foods, fast foods and caffeine, just to name a few.

4.  Practice race day nutrition.  Try it all now, before the day of the race.  Endurox, Accelerade, Cytomax, Heed, G2 -- find what works best in your tummy.  Buy trial size packets at your local tri store. Then check out what nutrition will be on the course and see if you like it.   BTW,  I am anti mixing 1000 calories into one water bottle.  More on that another time.

5.  Transitions.  Most of us triathletes do the standard bike-to-run brick.  But how often?  What distance? Mark Allen recommends short 3-4 mile transition runs after the long bike.  He advocates the long run the day before a long bike to avoid fatigue and injury, instead of  massive 50 mile bike/10 mile run bricks.  Make sense?  Bobby McGee, a USAT Certified Level III coach, goes a little further.  He suggests getting in as many short transitions as possible.  Bike for 10 minutes before you start your run.  Get in a short 1 mile run after every bike.  Bring your bike to the pool and ride home.  Nothing crazy.  Just get the feel of transitions so it becomes second nature to you.

6.  Above all, remember, you GET to do this.  No whining.  Stay positive.  Smile.  Enjoy the training then enjoy the race.  And thank those volunteers.  It's good karma and we all need that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Grief Therapy

In my little group of running women, we have now buried four of our loved ones.  It started when my dad fell while riding his bike in El Tour de Phoenix in 2008.  Then it was a Sister, a Dad, and last week, another Dad.  This is not a fun club to be in.

But surprisingly, what we all have looked forward to during our personal struggles is the morning run.  Half the year we run in the dark.  It's cold and early and the only ones out on the streets are us the paper boys.  We meet at that time because we are Moms.  If it was 8:30 am or 5:30 pm there would be soccer, or dentist appointments, or kids still at home.

So we meet.  And run.  And talk.

When my father died, my favorite thing to do was go out on long bike rides. I could cry deep sobs and no one would hear.  The tears would roll down my cheeks and then get dried by the wind.  And when the group circled up I would pull it together and everything would be a little better.

The difference on a run is that you get to talk it out.  These girlfriends did not say "Let me know if there is anything I can do" and not mean it.  Meals would magically end up on my dinner table.  Beautiful flowers arrived at the mortuary.  And nobody cared if I stopped to cry during the run.

The interesting thing when something tragic happens to you, is that you know exactly how to help someone else when it happens to them.  Besides the meals, our runner who lost her dad last week needed someone to swing by her house to get her to the track.  She needed to run.  And she needed to talk.

I don't know if there are studies done on running therapy.  But for our group of women, it's what got us through the days the weeks and the years.

A run, a friend, an excuse to cry.  We're all gonna be just fine.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Paceline Perfection

Bicycling Magazine offers great advice to all levels of riders.  Here's one question they addressed last month:

"How long should I stay at the front of the paceline?"
In general, the higher the wind resistance, the shorter your time leading the pack should be.  In stiff headwinds you may see the front for only a second or two.  On a gradual downhill, you may spend two minutes leading before you pull off.  The length of a pull also depends on the ability of the rider; if you find yourself struggling to maintain the group's speed, it's time to drop to the back.  If you're feeling strong, you can stay up front longer -- just save something for the trip home.  
And a little advice from Gorilla...  When you get to the front of the group, the key is not to accelerate, but to MAINTAIN the speed of the paceline.  Resist the urge to be macho.  Keep the pace strong, steady and even.  Now is not the time to prove your awesomeness.  Keep your chin up, eyes ahead, hands relaxed, and let the power of the peloton give you wings.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Case For Naps

Ryan Hall, Olympian and our American gold-medal hopeful for the marathon has this to say about successful training:

"Get Enough Sleep!  Everyone else seems to call their afternoon shuteye 'naps.'  I call them 'business meetings.'  On my easy days, I schedule two hours for these meetings.  When you're sleeping, your body absorbs all the hard work.  It's ironic:  one of the best ways to get better is to do nothing."

I always knew I liked him.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It Took Years for Me To Try Sushi. Now Soy??

Recently I've been using Silk chocolate soy milk as a recovery drink after a long ride or run.  Believe me, I was skeptical regarding anything soy. Was it just another disgusting beverage I had to force down strictly for it's replenishing benefits?  I am not an adventurous eater.

I'm happy to say that Silk is really very good! Super chocolaty and .... silky!   I like it, hey Mikey!?!  Seriously, it is yum.  But besides being tasty, it does have some great benefits.

In 2009 scientests tested the effects of chocolate milk on nine male cyclists who did an energy depleting exercises session.  After each session they drank one of three test drinks halfway through a four-hour recovery period.  They then cycled in an endurance trial.  Eight of the nine subjects cycled for longer in the trial after drinking chocolate milk than after drinking Gatorade or Endurox.

The thing about chocolate soy milk, is it's a real food.  Drinking a sports drink is like putting vitamins in a glass of water.   While this is effective on the fly, using real food just has a greater overall benefit for the body.  

Milk does a body good.  But chocolate does a body even better.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Orient Express or Marathon Tales from Overseas

Caroline Gammons, Runner Extrordinare

I am 43, mother of 4 and have lived in HK for 15 years.  Not sure where the time went.  I've always loved running for exercise.  During SARS (2003) my friend and I were stranded in New Zealand for 6 weeks and we started running together to keep sane.  After her last baby, we decided to challenge ourselves to a marathon.  We had a friend of ours train us - Maria!!  She had a PR of 3:18 and had run 12 marathons so we did whatever she told us!  She has since written training schedules for me for all 5 of my races.  She's moved on to Ironman races, but still helps me out!

Number of marathons and PR
I have run 5 marathons: Hong Kong, Chicago, Boston, New York, Grandma's......I'm running Seoul, Korea on March 21 (yahoo!)  I PR'd in Chicago with a 3:33!!!  I think it's kind of funny that most of my races have been done in the US.  There is only one marathon here in HK, anything in SE Asia would be WAY too hot/humid, China is that leaves US, New Zealand, Australia.  I guess also, that while my times were decent, I wanted to do NY and Boston.  I applied for London this year in their lottery, but was sadly rejected.  I'll try again next year.  Supposed to be a flat and fast race.
Favorite Marathon, and why
My favorite would have to be Boston.  I was just so excited to be running there!  There is something about running on the streets of a great city like Boston when no one else is allowed.  It is your privilege because you've earned it.  That is cool.  Running through all the neighborhoods, little kids at the end of their driveways passing out oranges and candy, the Wellesley was just great!
Most scenic/beautiful marathon or triathlon
In theory, Grandma's should have been the most scenic.  Running alongside a beautiful lake on a summer morning....I didn't see much of that scenery though.  It was so dang hot and humid that all I could do was look at the pavement and put one foot in front of the other!  
My husband Chris did the Phuket, Thailand Triathlon and that was spectacular!  Started on the tropical beach, bike through the little villages with the kids chasing you and cheering for you, finishing off with a run through the palm trees lining the beach.  As a spectator - I think I got the most out of it!  Plus it's a smaller race so the kids all got to help out with sponges, water and run the last 400 M to the finish line.
The difference between overseas events and US events
Certainly for HK, it just isn't a "running" city.  The gov't can't possibly change traffic patterns for longer than 5 hours!  So you don't get the support from the city.  However, in Tokyo (my friend just ran it last March), the crowds were bigger than NYC and there are loads of whirlpool tents** at the end of the race for runners to rest their weary legs in!  That one fills quickly so get your registration in early if you want to run it.  The same is true for Macau.  They are just at the beginning stages of the running/racing world.  **like
Any bad experiences at any races?
I ran Boston in '07 which was the year of the late Nor'easter.  The rain, wind, and temp (freezing) were not kind, but it was Boston and it was fine.  I ran Grandma's in 80 degree + temp and 80%+ humidity and that was not nice.  BUT, I think Hong Kong takes the top spot.  My very first race - not sure what to expect.  No one, not one person other than the volunteers handing out water was on the course to cheer you on.  At about mile 22 there was a lone bystander on a pedestrian bridge that clapped for me and my running partner.  Sad really.  Maybe 50 people at the finish line.....14 were family and friends!  The worst memory was of a runner on the ground who seemed to be bluish in color.  We passed by him on the other side of the street at mile 13 and later found out that he had died.  It was determined he had had a heart attack.  
Races you'd like to do -- why?
I'd really like to do the Great Wall of China 1/2 marathon.  Not sure I'm up for the full as it has loads of stairs.  More of an endurance race.  I think of all the rich history involved with the Wall and would like to be able to say I've run on it.  I'm saving that one until Emma, my daughter, will run it with me.  I'd also like to do the Marine Corp Marathon in DC.  I guess I'd consider that my hometown race.  Running on the streets of DC, around the monuments would be a treat.
Any great brand of technical clothing we are missing out on here in the US
I buy all my clothing in the good 'ol US of A.  It's funny, but Asian women don't like to show their arms - so that makes it very hard to find running tanks here!!   
Type of shoes you wear
Asics Gel Kayano.  I'd really like to pick up a pair of Newton's when I'm in the US next summer.  They don't sell them here.  
 Training advice to become a fast runner like yourself
I think that speed work is important.  Sacrifice the miles to get your legs turning and your heart adjusting to the quickened pace.  

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

You all know what that is, right?


On my quest to excel in the swim bike run game, I've put imitation to it's fullest use.  You might even call me a copycat.  I tend to stalk the faster runners on the track -- get behind them, mimic their turn over, the way they pump their arms and their general overall posture.

It's the same when I jump on a bike.  I usually try and tuck myself in behind Jim because he is The Best.  But you can spot the good riders in the group by the beautiful fluidity of their movement.  Their arms are relaxed.  Their hips are perfectly stable and unmoving.  The grip on their hoods is soft.  And their legs turn the cranks in nice, even circles.  It's lovely.
And swimming.  Well, I could go on all day about the beauty of the butterfly stroke.  Ian Thorpe, Michael Phelps, I watch you on YouTube anytime I need to see how humans really should move through the water.  Sometimes in the pool I just duck my head underwater and watch those part man/part fish people.  Do they have gils?  A special porpoise-like layer over their skin?  Could be.

I've found that imitation is the closest I will ever get to being one of those athletes that I stalk.  Maybe it's helping me improve.  Maybe it's not.  Either way, I'm still havin fun.
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True