A few weeks ago my fiancé and I decided to try a juice fast for the first time. This little endeavor was intentionally scheduled right before a nice vacation week. We had a couple different reasons for trying this, from dropping a couple pounds, to cleansing, to rebooting our nutrition in advance of a little vaca-style food frolicking. Personally, I was also looking forward to kicking my morning coffee habit as well.
We started our juicing adventure shopping for a grocery cart full of fruits and vegetables, including apples, carrots, lemons, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, pears, pineapples, mangos, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, kale, parsley, tomatoes, onion, ginger, kiwis, and red cabbage. All told, we spent about $80, with the idea of juicing for two people for four days. That math worked out pretty good as we would have just enough fruits and vegetables to get us to the finish line, spending just $10 per person per day.
Just the other day I found myself called out for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by my friend Carly Schroeder from Adventure Happy Diaries. So I had to devise something valuable that I could bring to the table. I made my donation and then took the challenge anyway, so that I could nominate some people of my own.
I nominated the entire staff of Ultimate Superfoods to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and as an added bonus, the company will match any donation that the employees make at ALSA.org to help combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I encourage everyone to log on to ALSA.org and learn more about this terrible disease, the people affected, and what this organization is doing to help them.
Everything seemed so peaceful at the very beginning.
As a runner, and one who occasionally runs long distances, I am a big proponent of massage therapy. Now when I say massage I am not referring to the type of Swedish massage that has you fast asleep on the table in 15 minutes. I am talking about the kind of therapeutic sports massage that features a masseuse that has to remind you to breathe and apologizes for the pain 9 or 10 times in the matter of an hour. Last night, I let my inner masochist out and paid a little asian woman to make me cry.
Normally it doesn’t come to this, but I have been lax in my stretching and foam rolling and I noticed over the last week that my legs were getting very sore and very stiff. So I booked a massage with the full expectation of having it be a bit painful now, but beneficial in the long run. Because I called at the last minute my appointment was with a woman that I hadn’t seen before, named Bee.
“Do you have any problem areas?” she asked.
“My legs. I have been running longer distances lately, so my legs are getting sore.”
“And you want hard massage right?” she confirmed.
“Is it okay if I walk on you?” she asked mater-of-fact.
The App is on your phone, the phone is on your arm, and your tracking obsession is off to the races!
One very good way to keep track of your training progress as well as to develop a strong running support group is to join an on-line community dedicated to the same goals that you are. For runners there are several very good options, although I must warn you not to join them all. You will spend more time updating your profiles and logging your runs than actually doing the running! Because of this, you should check each of these options out, surf through the different features, see if there is anyone you know already signed up, and then pick the one that suits you best.
Here are my three favorites:
Some people run just for the bling.
One of the hardest parts about training is getting and staying motivated. The trick for each of us is to identify what motivates us individually. Some run for charity, some to prove something to themselves, others to collect racing shirts and medals. Since no two people are the same, I am simply going to explain some of the things that motivate me, and maybe some of them will resonate with you.
The number one motivator for me is Race Day! Usually, I look out on the local event schedule and find a race that I want to run and I mark my calendar. I start to train for a few weeks to make sure that everything is in working order, then I register for the race and spend my money. At that point, I am committed. There is no backing out now. All of my training from that point forward is focused on Race Day.
The Science is in. Running is officially good for you.
For people who run, even just a little bit, I’m sure that the general consensus is that running is a healthy activity. Ask a runner to be more specific and you might get an answer like it burns calories, or its good for your heart, or something more generic, but specifics about the long-term health benefits of running are few and far between.
For that very reason a group of researchers set out to find out if running regularly really did impart long term health benefits. Their results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology which is due out on August 5th. The head line is an eye catching one: Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk.
We win. Runners live forever. Hooray!