character counts

February 5, 2009

Great post by Michael Josephson “I Just have to Outrun You.” 

‘Nuff said.


live longer

October 16, 2008

This article caught my eye: Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think.

1. Your mom had you young – If mom was under age 25, you’re twice as likely to live to 100 as someone born to an older mom, according to University of Chicago scientists. They suspect that younger moms’ best eggs go first to fertilization, thus producing healthier offspring.

2. You are a tea lover – Both green and black teas contain a concentrated dose of catechins, substances that help blood vessels relax and protect your heart. 

3. You keep fit – “Fit” peopledefined as those who walk for about 30 minutes a dayare more likely to live longer than those who walk less, regardless of how much body fat they have.

4. You skip soda (even diet) – Drinking one or more regular or diet colas every day doubles your risk of metabolic syndromea cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, and excess fat around the waist, that increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes.

5. You have strong legs – Lower-body strength translates into good balance, flexibility, and endurance. As you get older, those attributes are key to reducing your risk of falls and injuriesparticularly hip fractures, which often quickly lead to declining health.

6. You eat purple food – Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine: They all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols, compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy.

7. You were a healthy weight teen – Being overweight at age 14 increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than those without the condition.

8. You don’t like burgers – A few palm-size servings (about 2 1/2 ounces) of beef, pork, or lamb now and then is no big deal, but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week ups your risk of colorectal cancer. One of the reasons is carcinogens that can form when meat is grilled, smoked, or cured or when preservatives, such as nitrates, are added.

9. You’ve been a college freshman – People with more than 12 years of formal education (even if it’s only one year of college) live 18 months longer than those with fewer years of schooling. Why? The more education you have, the less likely you are to smoke.

10. You really like your friends – Knowing you have people who support you keeps you healthy, mentally and physically. Chronic stress weakens the immune system and ages cells faster, ultimately shortening life span by 4 to 8 years.

11. Your friends are healthy – If your closest friends gain weight, your chance of doing the same could increase by 57 percent. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to associate with people who have similar goals.

12. You don’t have a housekeeper – Just by vacuuming, mopping floors, or washing windows for a little more than an hour, the average person can burn about 285 calories, lowering risk of death by 30 percent.

13. You are a flourisher – About 17 percent of Americans are flourishers. They have a positive outlook on life, a sense of purpose and community, and are healthier than “languishers”about 10 percent of adults who don’t feel good about themselves. Most of us fall somewhere in between. In Sardinia and Okinawa, where people live the longest, hard work is important, but not more so than spending time with family, nurturing spirituality, and doing for others.


fight off fatigue

October 8, 2008

Here are some mental tricks to get your mind off the pains of a race: 

Pretend you’re in the Olympics, or any big event, and you’re about to win–but only if you can hold off the guy behind you. He inches closer. The crowd gasps. You push and gain a few seconds. You push again. And hold it, until the race is finished and the medal is yours.

Use your surroundings
Pick an object–a tree, a stop sign–and focus on running to it. When you get there, pick a new object. In a race, concentrate on staying, say, about five feet behind the runner in front of you. Or if you want to pick up your pace, choose the guy in the blue shorts and pass him, then the woman in the bright red top and pass her, and so on. 

Plan ahead
Distract yourself by utilizing the time for some productive thinking: Mull over an issue at work, mentally write your grocery list, compose a letter, or plan dinner.

Listen to music 
Everyone has a song or two that never fails to inspire them. Mine is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (I know, cheesy but it works).  

Talk to yourself
Use a mantra to rally your strength. It might be a word or a phrase like “push,” or “you can do this.” Or a sound, like “oomph.”


October 3, 2008

I have no words for this:

love, hate, and LSD

September 18, 2008

Here I go again with the Long Slow Distance running. Despite my absolute despising of this running modality (no really, I didn’t watch one single endurance event during the Olympics telecasts, not even the 10K swimming so there you go) I still have a subscription to Runner’s World. Why on earth?

I just figured it out myself. Bear with my convoluted explanation. There are many articles that I do find very interesting and helpful. There are recipes that although a bit high on the unhealthy carbs side are yummy nonetheless…and listen after running bloody marathons I wouldn’t be trying to keep it Zone compliant, pass the ice cream gallon bloody now, so I can’t blame them so much for the “carbo-loading.” There are great reviews on apparel, gear, shoes, and all the rest. For the most part they offer pretty good tips on running technique. But mostly I subscribe for the inspiration. There I said it.

It’s like Suisen says: short distance is physical, long distance is mental. Through the reading of articles about running I think I have gathered that a lot of people get into running long distance, especially as adults, to overcome something (a disease, a bad marriage, a physical disability), to honor someone (a partner, someone who is no longer among the living), or to help others through raising funds or awareness for charity. That to me is pretty inspiring. It also makes me look at LSD runners with less contempt. Ha ha!

Taking a cue from Medals4Mettle I have decided to run the Nike half marathon in honor of someone whose life I appreciate and miss a lot: Smokey. So what if it will be more walking than running because of the myriad medical issues (confirmed today through another doctor, f**k). What matters is that I will remember Smokey with each step I take. After all his struggle on that fateful night was so much worse than any little pain or discomfort I may experience during the half. Running will be my way of saying: here’s what I did to recognize the pain you went through baby boy. The Tiffany necklace awarded at the end of the race will be put next to his ashes and the Buddha figurine that accompanies him in his sleep by candlelight (thanks Ria!). 

From Runner’s World here’s an inspirational countdown that a pacer does during her group runs (entire article here). Use for the last six miles or segments of any race for any sport, event, illness, what-have-you:

Mile 6 – This is where we start taking the race one mile at a time. For each mile focus on something. For this one your focus is on the reason you are in this race. Is this a race qualifier, a dare from a friend, a personal best?

Mile 5 – For this next mile, I want you to focus on all the work that you have done to get here, and how it’s all paying off now

Mile 4 -For this mile let’s focus on the personal support system, on our families, friends, children, parents, pets…everyone who has helped you over the past few months. Give them a silent shout of thanks

Mile 3 – Almost there. We all have a personal hero, someone who has been through something so much harder than a marathon. let’s think about what they got through and use that strength

Mile 2 – Jut two miles left. Remember a time in your life when you demonstrated great strength in some other arena. Tap into that strength now. You are about to achieve something special

Mile 1 – Last mile! You are going to do it! Every step at this point is erasing that distance to the finish line. You have worked so hard and you are not going to lose it now!

things to do

September 17, 2008

So this space is blank because I forget all the fabulous ideas we come up with during the Peet’s session. So it is your fault, you see? never mine…

Post ideas to the comments or send me an e-mail and I’ll create a nifty separate page.

dream big

August 18, 2008

My coach posted this to his website and I thought it was a good message to spread around:

“Whatever your passion is, if it’s sport, if it’s art, if it’s music, I say just dream big and work hard and all that hard work will pay off. But it all starts with a vision in your head and work toward that.”

Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball World and Olympic Champion