Friday, March 30, 2012

Science Friday: Increased Incidence of OCD in Tapering Marathoners

Disclosure: There is no actual science involved in this post, just my humble opinion based on self-diagnosis. Consider it a Pseudoscience Friday. 

Before every marathon, once I get deep into the taper, I become obsessive compulsive about checking the weather. (And don't get me started on the hand washing.*) Ten days out weather.com will begin posting its forecast. Ten days is too far out to ever be correct about the forecast, and so it will almost certainly change as the day gets closer. But no matter. As soon as possible, I'm on that site checking for the stats: heat? cold? rain? sun? A couple hours later: any difference? The hard training is done. The carbo-loading has yet to begin. There isn't much else I can do to be any more prepared for the race. Except keep going back to weather.com to find out what the day will bring. 

Weather is the most frustrating thing because it's the one thing we can't control. We can train like never before, rest well, eat well and show up to the race ready to PR. But if the weather doesn't cooperate, all that can be wasted. Even a seemingly slight deviation of ten degrees from ideal marathon temperature (50 degrees) in either direction (down to 40 or up to 60) can increase your time by 1.5-3%. (Adding between ~3-6 minutes to a 3 hour marathoner's time.)  Then there's rain, wind, humidity, snow... the possibilities for a less than perfect day seem endless. There are some ways to prepare. If you know you are running a hot race, for example, you can acclimate yourself to running in hot temperatures. You can lower your body temperature before the race with precooling vests or frozen drinks. But you need to do this in your training, weeks and months before the race. If you don't see it coming, if race day turns out to be much hotter than usual, it's too late for these kind of adjustments. So why would you even want to know? I want to know to get rid of the element of surprise. I don't want to be surprised by anything on marathon morning. Even if I can only know the weather a few days before hand, I want to make any adjustments possible. 

Heat scares me the most. I do not like running in the heat and I don't handle it well. In Chicago 2010, I ran on a humid day with temps around 85. I shouldn't even be complaining, because it was nothing compared to the infamous disaster of Chicago 2007. But the heat crushed me and I ran 15 minutes slower than I thought I would. I went out too fast and literally melted at the halfway mark. In 2011, I decided to go back to Chicago for redemption, and once again, my pre-race anxiety rose along with the predicted temperature. But this time, I was more prepared. I had trained in the summer heat, I drank a prerace slushie (which has been shown to lower your core temperature), and Rusty was on the course to hand me ice soaked sponges. I didn't start off too fast, and held myself back in case the weather reared its ugly head. When it didn't, I was able to stay strong and finish in a new PR. 

I think some would argue the added prerace anxiety of checking (and freaking out over!) the weather would be a bad thing. But I would argue that, for me at least, it's better to be prepared. Even if you only know a few days out, you can adjust what you're wearing, how much you're drinking, and, if need be, your expectations. I think knowing what I was in for helped in last year's Chicago, and I hope it helps this time.

So here we go: as of this morning (8 days away): sunny and a high of 73. I am not so happy about that 73, but Charlottesville does start at 6:30 am (!!!) While that's an issue for other reasons, it's good on a warm day, as it will ensure a cooler start and hopefully a finish before it gets too hot. But I'll be watching weather.com all week, hoping my incessant checking will make that temperature drop. And hoping no one notices, or I really will be diagnosed with OCD.

*Next week on (pseudo) Science Friday: Increased Incidence of Hypochondria in Tapering Marathoners

Dream big, 
Teal

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mile Repeat Day

Not a picture from my track,
which doesn't acknowledge this distance.
Today I ran one of my favorite workouts: mile repeats. It’s my favorite for two reasons. One is the simplicity of the distance. Whenever someone hears you are a runner they always ask “how fast can you run a mile?” It doesn't matter how fast you can run 26 miles or 5 kilometers; that doesn't mean anything to them. The mile is the classic American distance. So much so there is now a campaign to “Bring Back the Mile," attempting to get American high schools to stop focusing on the 1600 m (slightly less than a mile, which is actually ~1609 m), before turning to the internationally accepted distance of 1500 m in college and beyond. I stumble on the mile question. When was the last time I ran one mile, and only one, all out? High school? At least with mile repeats I can get some idea, or at least something to say when I get asked the obvious question.

The second reason I like mile repeat day is because it’s always the last track workout in my marathon training. (I do other track workouts during marathon training, but never mile repeats specifically.) I always do it in week 2 of the taper (~10 days before the race.) My legs are a bit fresher than usual and I only do three, so the workout isn’t overwhelming. With a warmup and cooldown it totals 8-9 miles, which is less than most other track workouts. All this translates to feeling light, fast, and efficient. It acts as a great confidence booster going into the last week, especially if I can see improvements since the last season. In fact, if I beat my projected times in my other track workouts, I start to wonder what this will mean for mile repeat day. 

This morning's workout didn't start off with me feeling fresh and fast like past seasons. The first repeat was right about where I was last season, which was disappointing. It was still dark at this point, making it was hard to see the splits on my watch (you already know my feelings about running in the dark). Second, it was windy. Excuses, Excuses. I knew I needed to pick it up on the second one, and I did, but only slightly. I started thinking about how this wasn't going as well as other seasons and how I wasn't going to get the boost I needed. I even thought about this blog, and how I planned to write about how great this workout is and started thinking I'd have to change the subject. Enough excuses, I needed to finish well to go into this race feeling strong. On my last repeat, I started out too slow but picked it up and killed the last lap, finishing in a new mile PR of 5:45 (average 5:48 for the workout.) I take it as a good sign that I picked it up with each repeat. Usually I start too fast and my times slow as the workouts progresses (last season, my fastest repeat was also my first, a 5:49.) This is a better sign of stamina and better pacing. And just like that, the workout gave me everything I needed. A good strong finish to wrap up the hard workouts for the season. Long live mile repeats!*

*In the spirit of Bring Back the Mile, I feel I need to clarify that these are actually 1600m repeats (4 laps of a track.) The track I run on doesn't even have a marker for 1 mile, which would add ~2 seconds to my times. 
**In the spirit of people asking me how fast I can run 1 mile, I'm sure I'll feel the need to clarify this time with the fact that it was 3x1600m in the middle of a 9 mile workout. So I think I'll just assume this cancels out with the slightly shorter distance, and call myself a 5:45 miler.

Dream big, 
Teal 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Science Friday: Taper Time

With three weeks to go to the marathon, it's time to start tapering. The hardest weeks of training are behind you and it's time to focus on recovering and getting to the starting line well rested and injury free. Good running plans come equipped with a taper: generally a 20% decrease in mileage your first week (3 weeks out), 40% decrease the second week (2 weeks out) and 60% the week of the race. It’s time to ease up a bit, and let your body recover and absorb all the hard work you’ve been putting in. A Runner's World article from a few years ago has a nice summary that covers everything from mileage, to what to eat, to how to mentally prepare. 


But I think one of the overlooked things about the taper is the importance of intensity. When we think about relaxing and resting up for a race, it's often thought that means less mileage AND slower, easier runs. But that isn't the case. In fact, studies have shown that keeping intensity high (while decreasing volume, i.e. decreasing mileage) yields the most effective taper. In a meta-analysis (basically a summary and evaluation of the existing research) published a few years ago, Bosquet and colleagues looked at the variables that contribute to an effective taper. They looked at swimmers, cyclists, and runners and considered changes to training volume, intensity, and frequency and differences in the duration of the taper. Overall they found a two-week taper with a 41-60% decrease in training volume to be the most effective. Additionally, they found decreases to frequency (number of workouts) had no effect and decreases to intensity were either not effective or defective. In summary, it seems the best taper consists of running the same number of days at the same paces (some easy days, some faster days, etc.) as training, but less total miles per day and per week. (Also, it seems the optimal duration in general is two weeks, although other studies looking specifically at marathons agree three weeks is better for that event.)

I think the most important lesson here is the value of intensity; all the studies and reviews I looked at agreed on its importance and I think it's often ignored. We need to be sure we are well rested but still fit on the starting line, and reducing total mileage while still maintaining intensity (keeping up with our strides, track workouts, short marathon pace runs) will do just that. Additionally, keeping intensity high will help the mental aspect. Often the taper can lead to fears of losing fitness from running less. Having some speedy (but short!) workouts can help to assure you your hard training is not going to waste. 

Dream big, 
Teal

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Race Report: RnR USA half

This past weekend was the Rock-n-Roll USA half marathon. As in past years, I took it as the last hard workout before the marathon. With a warmup (four miles to the start) and cooldown (three miles afterwards), it gave me 20 miles for the day and acted as a glorified marathon pace run. Since it was a race, with all the added adrenaline and competition, I expected to be able to go a bit faster than marathon pace, but since I had only eased up on running ever so slightly in the few days before, it wasn’t as fast as an all-out half marathon effort would be.

But, of course, I still had high expectations. There are always goals to be reached for, and motivations to get there. I have a side goal of running a 1:22 half because that would get me free entry into Rock-n-Roll events. A 1:22 seemed ridiculous (6:15 pace, a.k.a. the pace I ran for the 8k, but 2.5 times farther.) I decided starting in the 6:30s for the first few miles and then trying to hit 6:20s for the last few miles would be nice and reasonable, and average out to a decent pace in the mid-6:20s. Then I decided I’d shoot for a 1:23 (and maybe end up with a 1:22:59, would that count for free entry?) Except a 1:23 is a 6:20 pace for every mile, not just for the last few miles as my realistic plan had. Didn’t matter, 1:23 or bust.

There are a multitude of emotions you go through in a race, but mostly it’s back and forth between:
1.) “This. Is. Awesome.” This is how you feel running across the Verrazano Bridge while Frank Sinatra sings “New York, New York” at the start of the NYC marathon. This is running through the wall of sound that is Wellesley College in the Boston Marathon. (Male or female, I don’t care, that thing gives you chills.) This is when your legs can’t move and you’re hunched over trying not to puke but you just ran a PR and so you don’t care if your legs don’t move for the rest of your life.

2.) “I.Am.Never.Doing.This.Again.” This is mile 15 of NYC, when the dark solitude of the Queensboro Bridge sets in and it just will not stop going up. This is the Newton hills, when you know Heartbreak still looms. This is the feeling that comes somewhere between the first few miles and the finish, when you are cursing yourself and thinking “why the @$%# did I do this to myself? I hate this. I want to stop right now, lay down in the middle of the road, and never run again.”

A gorgeous DC morning.
Most of the time, especially in marathons, there’s a little bit of both. Some unfortunate races have more of the latter, and there’s no telling why (I was ready to give up racing in the middle of last week’s 8k.) But hopefully the moments of pure running elation sandwich those rough patches. The beginning of the RnR USA half was definitely the former. It was a gorgeous day, the course was beautiful, the bands were rocking. I was loving it. And I was running way too fast.

At first, I thought, “Well that’s okay, I’m just going to have an awesome day and a huge PR!” Even when the 5k split came, and was way too fast, I paid it no mind. Then the steady uphill from mile 4.5 to 7 came. I tried to maintain an even effort, knowing that I was slowing down, and I didn’t freak out over the pace. Even when the 10k split came. For some reason, a little after that split, I got it in my head that although I had run the first 5k in sub 20 minutes, I had run the 10k in 48 minutes. This would mean for the second 5k I slowed to a 9 minute pace. This was not reality. But somehow, I confused myself and thought it was. I remember worrying that my Dad (who was following my splits at home) would see that and get worried that I had drastically slowed down. I remember thinking I’ll just have to explain to him about the hills. I’ll be okay, I’ll make up for this time on the downhills, I thought.

This is a prime example of how mid-race mind games can be good or bad. For one thing (the good thing), I didn’t freak out when my splits slowed. I remained calm, knew it wasn’t the end of the world, and kept going with my race strategy. Even though I was under the impression I had slowed from a 6:20 mile pace to a 9:00 mile pace, which is really not okay to do in a race and certainly won’t be fixed by a few downhills. The bad thing, is of course, that I had pulled the whole thing out of thin air and was completely not within reality.

Feeling good.
The good news is, by mile 8, the race completely turned around. I figured out/half remembered that I had actually run the 10k in just over 40 minutes and came out of my weird trance. I also saw my sister who came out to spectate, and a woman told me I was in 10th place. (To the people who diligently count places: thank you!! You have no idea how much that helps and how motivating it is.) 10th place!? I thought she was out of her mind. But there were two women right in front of me and now they were on my radar. I figured even if the spectator miscounted, one of these women must be near 10th place and all of a sudden all I wanted was a top ten finish.

I passed #9 right away and #8 by mile 9. I was in 8th place with no women in sight. I just tried to maintain my position. Somehow I find it incredibly difficult to concentrate both on time and competition, and so my diligence to my timing slipped away. I started just focusing on how far off I was from my 6:20 goal. I realized I was a minute slower and just tried to maintain that, and not slow down anymore.

With about one mile to go, I saw another woman in front of me. I knew she must be slowing down so I set my sights on her. Slowly but surely, I reeled her in, feeling alright for the end of a race. (Although I didn’t realize it, I was actually slowing down too, as mile 12 was my third slowest mile. Apparently it is also uphill, although not as bad as the others. I find it strange I didn’t notice it, or the fact that I slowed. I really was all about catching this woman.)

Finishing strong.
With about 400 meters to go, I was right on her tail. I was scared to pass her because I had a feeling she would just pick it up and kick right by me. I don’t have much skill sprinting and figured I’d lose that battle. Coming around the final turn, a man told us we were 6th and 7th place (not 8th!) and I almost let her go. I almost convinced myself I had nothing left and couldn’t pass her. But then I realized what the hell, I need to try, and I sprinted my mind out and flew on by, finishing in 6th place, in a new PR of 1:24:17 (realizing I probably should have started sprinting earlier and not doubt myself.)

My initial reaction was proud of my place in the field (of 10,700 women) but pissed with my time. It was a PR of over 3 minutes, but not what I wanted. After more time to process it, I’m not so disappointed. Realistically, I thought somewhere in the 6:20s would be good and I managed a 6:26 pace. In the last few weeks, my confidence has been waning, with fears of the hills of Charlottesville and some subpar workouts on nights of little sleep. Going into this race, I wasn’t sure I’d come away happy with it at all, and a PR and a top ten finish have to be a confidence booster. The hard workouts are over. Now it’s taper time!

Rusty also ran the half, got a big PR, and still came away a little disappointed. I take the blame for that, since I also encouraged him to have high hopes and set big goals. But I have to say I think it’s better to set big goals and come away with a little disappointment, longing for more. One of my favorite quotes is from Theodore Roosevelt: It’s better to dare mighty things and fail, then to live in a gray twilight where there is neither victory nor defeat.

Dream big,
Teal

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daylight Savings Time: There Goes the Sun

All winter, I've gotten up before the sun and gotten in my early morning miles. Each day, the sun has risen a little earlier (literally ~1 minute) and only recently has it become light for the entirety of my runs. Spring has arrived! (Officially, according to the calendar, it comes next week.) Until last weekend, when 1:00 Sunday morning magically became 2:00 Sunday morning and all my hard work was wasted. (And an hour of precious sleep lost!)

I realize, of course, that my efforts in the early mornings have nothing to do with when the sun rises. My steps don't bring the sun up earlier. But after weeks of darkness, the early sun seems well deserved. We earned this light. And then, just like that, it's taken away. It's cruel, like running 18 miles of a marathon, and then someone grabbing you off the course and transporting you back to the start so you have to do it all over again. Now we're in the dark again (until after 7 am!!), and back to the slow process of waiting for the sun to come up.

DC is trying to make up for the annoyance of Daylight Savings Time with a pseudo spring (close to 80 degrees today) and the cherry blossoms blooming. And while I will admit winter is also annoying because of the cold and the bleak and dreary landscape, the thing I hate most is the darkness. So warm weather and flowers won't win me over. If we put it to a fight, who would win: darkness or the cherry blossoms? In a rock, paper, scissors style fight, darkness covers cherry blossoms. And it's true, they don't look as pretty at night. (Although they do still smell. And not entirely pleasantly.)


Sorry cherry blossoms. You don't make up for the lack of sun.
In the coming days, the tourists will be out in droves, clogging up the running trails to see the blossoms. But I'll be out early, running through the darkness, with the trails all to myself, eagerly awaiting real spring and the return of the sun.

*If you think this is an over the top exaggeration, I'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning. Bring a flashlight.

Dream big, 
Teal 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Race report: St. Patrick's Day 8K

Prerace. Sunny but cold!
Last weekend I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 8k. I ran the same race a year ago, when it was my first time at the distance (just a hair less than 5 miles.) The great thing about a new race distance is getting an automatic PR (personal record.) No matter how fast or slow you go, it will be your best for that distance. It can be a bit of a reality check when you run it for a second time, and realize it’s not as great as you thought it was.

Sleep running around mile 4.
A year ago, I ran at a 6:21 pace, five weeks before going sub-3 hours at Boston. This time, since I’m hoping to take 15-20 seconds/mile off that marathon time (I already took 9 seconds off at Chicago), I was hoping to run 15-20 seconds/mile faster for the 8k. Six minutes flat seemed a little nuts, so I aimed for 6:05. I hit the first mile a little fast (5:57) and slowed drastically for the next two (6:20, 6:21). I got a little boost coming through 5k when I realized I had beaten my 5k PR en route (with a 19:12, which shows how pathetic my PRs at shorter distances are.) At 3.5 miles, there was a turn around where I realized my place among women (13th; since the first 10 win money, this race gets some top local athletes), which kept me going a bit. Also the entire crowd seemed to be cheering incredibly loudly for some “Karina” girl who was right on my tail. I finished in 31:02 (6:15 pace), happily in front of the infamous Karina. BUT, since the overall results are based on chip time (with the time starting when you cross the start line) and not gun time (the time starting when the gun fires) she beat me and I wound up 14th, the same spot as last year. We were both clocked in 31:02 but she started a second behind me and finished in an overall time that must have been a tenth of a second (or less!) faster than me. Note: In the closing stages of a race, no matter how much you think you have on your competition, keep pushing. (Most overall awards, such as the top places that win prize money, are measured by gun time. They consider chip time for age group awards.) I also won 2nd in my age group. (The top ten winners don't count for age groups. Last year I won my age group but was 30 seconds slower.)

Both years, I trained through the race, meaning I didn’t take time off or taper leading up to race day. (In fact, my long run the day before was the same as 2011: 18 miles.) Because of this, I have to account for a time that’s not my best. In addition, I had been having stomach issues all weekend, which I’m attributing to work stress. Still, I was disappointed with this race. I feel like I should have improved more in the last year, especially given my ambitious marathon goals.

Swag and prizes. (The sweatshirt actually looks better here.)
Not pictured: the yummy cookies we devoured at the finish.
Regardless, I did win a gift certificate to Pacers Running store and a green sweatshirt. I don’t mean to sound unappreciative; I have to say the T-shirts they give out for this race are always pretty tasteful. But the prizes are pretty ugly (last year was a fleece vest with completely clashing colors.) I don’t know why the designer of the T-shirts doesn’t also design the sweatshirts. I think I can safely say this sweatshirt will be designated my ice bath sweatshirt. (Turn in to future posts for more about my relationship with ice baths.)

Dream big,
Teal

Saturday, March 10, 2012

#Seen on my run

If you spend enough time running, you tend to see some interesting stuff. Often, in the form of other interesting runners. On one of my favorite weekend routes, I regularly see a man doing tai chi by himself on the side of the trail. I've also seen a woman who dance-shuffles instead of running (there's a lot of grape-vining and arm waving.) Both of these people look they are having more fun than anyone else. I also saw a man with a genuine (looking) long white beard and a little round belly, wearing only a red tank top and red shorts. In December.  (Doesn't he have elves to attend to at that time of year?) 

In honor of my sister's birthday, this is her dog, Jaden.
He's not up for adoption, but he is a runner,
specializing in sprinting events.
This morning I saw a different pack of runners: runners with shelter dogs.  I had heard of this in Philadelphia, but didn't know there was an equivalent here in D.C. Basically you sign up to run a few miles with a shelter dog (who wears a little "Adopt me!" vest.) It's a win-win for everyone. If you're interested in having a furry running partner for a day, it seems to be organized by the Washington Humane Society. And if you're not in the area, it seems like most humane societies have similar programs. 

Dream big, 
Teal 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Science Friday: Exercise changes gene expression

Although all your cells have all your genes wrapped up in their DNA, not all those genes are expressed. Heart cells don’t express genes specific to your liver, for example. The genes which aren’t expressed are turned off by being kept tightly wound up, like thread wrapped around a spool, so that proteins and various cellular machinery can’t get to them. To get them turned on, they need to be unraveled from the spool. One thing that keeps them wrapped up is a process called DNA methylation, which is basically the addition of a small group of atoms (a chemical “tag”) that puts a lock on the spool. Removing the methylation allows the DNA to unwind and proteins to interact with it (eventually creating more proteins, the worker bees of the cell.)

These chemical tags are epigenetic changes.  Epigenetic changes are not something you are born with (like your DNA is) but are modified during your life, perhaps because of some external influence. In a new study, one of these external influences seems to be exercise.

Juleen Zierath’s group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm took muscle biopsies from the quadriceps of adults and found that methylation was decreased after exercise (biking.) In particular, the methylation of genes known to play a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism (including PGC-1 alpha, which we have heard about before) was decreased (meaning these genes were turned on.) They also compared low-intensity exercise to more strenuous exercise and found the decrease in methylation only after a hard effort. Interestingly, they found that this was caused by contraction of the muscles themselves (not messages from the rest of the body) by isolating a piece of muscle from a mouse and making it contract in a petri dish. Even cut off from the rest of the body, the methylation still decreased. Finally, they used yet another system (muscle cells grown in the lab) to test the effects of caffeine. Caffeine causes calcium to be released from intracellular organelles and they hypothesized that calcium release might be causing the demethylation. Their findings supported that idea, as caffeine also demethylated the genes in question. The authors are quick to note in various press releases that that does NOT mean caffeine has the same effects as exercise. Bathing your muscles in the same amount of caffeine the cells got would mean 50-100 cups of coffee/day—close to the lethal dose. It has already been shown that caffeine may be beneficial to endurance athletes, but for other reasons, which is certainly verified by anyone trying to squeeze in a workout before the sun comes up.

One important thing to note: a lot of the press regarding this paper claims that this means exercise changes your genes. That isn't the case. Your genes are something you inherit from your parents and aren't changeable. Epigenetics don’t change the actual genetic code, just the expression of those genes. Although this group plans to test if epigenetic changes are heritable and can be passed on to your children, as far as this study is concerned, the changes discussed are transient.

Note: This research was presented on the real Science Friday! I listened to it while doing my own experiments with cells in culture.

Dream big,
Teal 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A girl and her shoes

As Sex and the City taught us all, girls love their shoes. And while I count myself among those, I don’t have a particular affinity for the Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, and Louboutins of the world. No, I’ve bought far more Saucony Rides than stilettos, and worn each of them into the ground.

I donated my last collection to Shoes for Africa in November. Which means I've accumulated this many since then. Are you listening, Saucony?  
A few months ago, I branched out a bit. I was noticing as I glanced around everyone’s feet at races they were all wearing some form of lightweight shoes—what we used to call “racing flats” and now, in the post Born to Run era, call minimalist shoes. I was still racing in my clunky training sneakers, whether it was a 5k or a marathon. I was reluctant to change shoes (if it ain’t broke why fix it?), but clearly the people I was racing against had moved on to more professional looking shoes, so I decided to give it a try.

I bought my first pair of Saucony Kinvara’s (a light 6.7 oz compared to my 9.7 oz Rides) and have been slowly easing into them. Currently I wear them for track workouts, some short runs, and shorter races like 5ks. Immediately when I started wearing them I noticed they cut up my left ankle, but only my left ankle, which made me wonder if I am lopsided or the shoes are. When I wear high enough socks that problem seems to be fixed. (But whether or not I am lopsided is still TBD.) I raced one 5k in them on a cold and icy morning and immediately felt like I had contracted shin splints, but that may have been due to an insufficient warm up for such a cold race. Other than that, they seem to be okay and my disloyalty to my Rides hasn’t backfired. I’m not ready to race a marathon in them (God forbid my sock slipped, my whole left ankle might be sliced off by the end) but I think I’ll keep trying them in successively longer races and see what happens.

They also make me feel a little more official when I head to the track. The track I run on is 3.5 miles away (and then 3.5 miles home) so I haven’t yet graduated to wearing them to and from the track, but I carry them in my hands and change into them when I get there. Which seems like a perfectly logical thing to do to me, but certainly looks a little crazy. On the way home the other morning, a biker stopped, gave me a strange look, and finally asked the obvious question: “You carry an extra pair of shoes??” Like I was running Forest Gump style and would need to switch shoes somewhere on my way to California. I explained briefly it was for the track, but I think he thought I was crazy nonetheless. I was vindicated later, while walking to work, when I spotted the entire Georgetown track team running off to practice, carrying their spikes in hand. (I wish I had looked at them more carefully, apparently Jenny Simpson was in the mix!!)

Ok so I’m not a collegiate athlete with fancy spikes. But I am a marathoner trying to do speedwork and maybe my Kinvaras will help me shave off a second or two. And even if my shoe collection is a little atypical, it’s a bit easier on my bank account than Louboutins. Although, Saucony, if you’re listening, I won’t mind a sponsorship.

Dream big,
Teal

Friday, March 2, 2012

Science Friday: Video Edition

I saw this video a few months ago, in the days before I had a blog, and thought about how it needed to be shared. Fortunately, I was recently reminded of it in a post about how doctors ignore this advice. I know it’s sort of a cop out of a post but I think Dr. Mike Evans says it better than I can. So please take the time to watch the video, and then the time to follow its advice.



As the video says, it doesn’t have to be running. But if it is, here’s what you can look forward to: 



Dream big, 
Teal