Saturday, November 25, 2006

2007 Goals.

For the 2007 season, I want to be faster. My 2006 goal was to finish a lot of different events, but now, I'd like to get it done before the volunteers, photographers, and my friends have all gone home.

I won 2nd place in the Athena division for the Southwest Challenge Series for 2006, mainly because I'm slow, but tenacious. (Helen, the champion, is tenacious and fast, which is why she, Helen, is Champion and I'm in second place.)

I'm very excited about the 2007 season for two reasons.

First, I think I figured out that for the past year and a half, I've been running completely wrong.

I thought I was running right. Whenever I would ask Sweet Baboo (who, I'm convinced, straps on a jetpack when nobody is looking; his "slow and easy" training runs are the 8 minute range and he's 6'2" and 215 lbs!) he would say, "your legs need to go out behind you" I tried that, sort of. I think I tried it without bending my knees, just kind of kicking my legs straight back.

I felt completely retarded.

I read stuff about proper running form, and that I needed to make sure that my feet hit the ground below my body. The only way I could figure that out was to stretch out my legs and leap forward so that I landed on my feet, with them right below my body.

That just hurt my knees, and boy, I just wasn't getting any faster.

But at the Turkey trek halfway point, for whatever reason, I started running differently. The only way I can describe it is that I started concentrating my effort on my hams pulling my heels up behind me instead of pushing my toes out ahead of me. It felt a little strange at first, but then, suddenly, I started speeding up, and was actually pulling ahead of people. (People who were running, not walking.)

WoW! I tried it again today, and my "slow easy" run was around 45 seconds faster per mile.

Woo-hoo! maybe I can make my age-grouper debut at the Polar Bear a memorable one. Don't know if I'll be calling people out to half irons, like Nytro does, but I do have this fantasy...

I'll share it with you...

In my fantasy, I'm soooo fast that people say, in hushed voices, "Gee, I'm glad she isn't in my age group!" I get to the finish line and there's still a photographer there to take my picture. There's even some post-race food left. I get to cheer some of my friends to the finish for a change. I even cheer Sweet Baboo in (yeah, right.)

Hey, it's my fantasy. Don't mock me.

Second, I figured out that I'm not getting enough protein. I've been getting enough protein for someone who isn't training and doing endurance events, about 30-40 grams a day, but I've read estimates of protein requirements that range from 0.5 to 0.75 grams per pound of bodyweight for endurance athletes. That means for me, at 153 pounds, I need between 77 and 114 grams a day. I'll make a safe estimate of around 90.

So starting this week, each day, I throw a cup of ice, a cup of soymilk, a quarter cup of isolated soy protein powder, a banana and an orange into a blender, and half of it goes into the tummy and half of it into the fridge for my breakfast the next day. This gives me an additional 55 grams of protein each day above what I was already getting.

I'll be my own guinea pig. Time will tell what my self-imposed experiment will do.



  1. If you eat the guinea pig, that will help boost your protein.

    Just here to help! :-)

    I'm right there with you! I'd like to be faster next season too. I sure wish we had a whole series around here like you do, that would be cool!

  2. I too take in several guinea-pigs worth of protein a day - about the same amount you are shooting for. I try for 90-125 g/day. I find it helps a lot with recovery. Plus, you get to lose your fat and keep your muscle. I only found this out when I did some bodybuilding and kept a tight rein on my bodyfat. As a result, these days, the protein is just what I do.

    And since you are vegan, pretty much all your sources of protein are lean -- this is a bonus!

    I don't know if it makes me faster.

    My beloved thinks that proper running form is the most efficient stride. I don't know if he's right, but he seems to know a lot about it. He sorta looks like he's shuffling - he doesn't do the big waste of energy gazelle gait. He shuffles along at 6:30 min/mi and doesn't look like he's working hard, so he might be on to something.

    GOD this was a long comment! See? You got me started!

  3. Don't you get guinea pig fur stuck between your teeth? Do you floss for that? :-D
    The series was started and is maintained by one guy pretty much, who has time to talk to race directors, etc.

  4. i'm pretty sure my running form SUCKS most of the time. I've tried what you described as pulling my feet up and behind, but that goes out the window when i'm tired....which is about 10min into my running.

    Hope you find the 2007 season to be all that you want it to be!!

  5. Nytro and I do the fruit smoothie thing too. We use frozen fruit of choice, soy milk, flax seed oil, and vanilla bean flavored protein powder. It's delicious. It's all about the vanilla protein though. And we bought one of those 1 serving blenders for 10 bucks. It rocks! You can mix it up really quick, drink right out of the blender cup, then just throw it in the dishwasher.

  6. Wow! You think a lot!

    My bet is that you will breeze through the marathon and wonder, "Is that all there is?"

    Somebody once told me that as you go through the miles, keep thinking of the upcoming finish line as a sort of sadness, something that signifies the end of a special journey...and while you are relieved, you are also mindful of the end of a special time. For whatever reason, this makes me personally feel content and strong.

    Keep running, keep writing, keep smiling!



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