Sunday, January 31, 2010

Training runs/races and winter running

We have completed two races in so far in 2010. The first was the Sarasota Ringling Bridge run. There were 1573 finishers for the 4 mile run. It was very congested in the early miles but a great run over the bridge on a cool January morning in the fifties. My time was 34:32 about 15 sec slower than last year. I am going to attribute it to little speed work and a very slow first mile secondary to congestion. We followed this with a 10 mile training run the next day. This week we did the Hands across the Harbor 8K in Punta Gorda. Time 43:45 . It was very windy on the return trip across the Peace River Bridge but overall a nice day to run. There were only 83 runners and 9 in my age group. I won my age group thanks to Leah D winning overall masters. She usually beats me in the age group. Today we did a 15 mile long run at a slow pace. It was cool and windy in the fifties. It seems we have had more cool runs this year than last year.
My treadmill broke so I have been running outside at 6 am with my running buddies. It is really nice running with them and the sunrise is very pretty. However, there is not much spare time before work so speed work and increased mileage is more difficult.
We are still experimenting with the raw diet. The granola is good. Getting good a smoothies for breakfast. Tried corn chowder made with walnuts, corn, and olive oil this week. Pretty good. I think there are many benefits so far. I had a banana/almond milk smoothie and granola prerun and did well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Raw vs Julia : your genes win

I have no doubt that eating a raw plant based diet has health benefits. The nutritional benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and nuts are clear. There are some drawbacks of course. It is very difficult to go out to eat and find something besides a green salad, which means you need to eat before or after you go out. If non raw friends find out they will be afraid to have you for dinner or stress out trying to prepare you something special. The prep time requires you to plan ahead for things that need to be sprouted and dehydrated. I do not get the purpose of making raw substitutes for dishes that do not exist like pasta or bread. I do feel from my personal attempts so far to eat fairly raw that I did digest things well without bloating (except for the raw broccoli) and was very satisfied and not hungry.
I am not a huge cream fan and actually do not tolerate it well alone. But Julia Child's movie did inspire me to look more closely at some of the recipes. Butter makes everything better. Cream and gravies. Beef and pork. Sauteed vegetables. Potatoes. Of course the prep time for good French cooking can be extensive. I think the main thing with French cooking is portion size. If one were to consume the traditional American portions, the caloric intake would become a significant problem.
This does not even bring into other favorite ethnic foods such as pastas and breads.
So what to do.
One argument I read for the raw diet was that humans were the only ones to heat their food so it must not be necessary and domesticated animals get similar diseases as humans. To my knowledge wild animals do not live as long as humans. Julia Child and her husband, as well as a lot of French, live quite l0ng and productive lives eating cooked food with all the bad things we were not meant to eat. We all know people that developed diseases young and those who lived to be very old eating a horrible diet. I have definitely seen people and been one of them that drops weight and cholesterol with a vegan diet. I have also seen overweight vegetarians who consume a lot of dairy and sugar. I have never seen a study comparing cooked vs. raw so it is hard to say that a cooked vegan organic diet is worse than raw.
The answer: check your risk factors. If everyone in your family lives to be 100 you can probably live on donuts. If your relatives die young of cancer or heart disease you would be better off with more of a raw diet. I also think the French diet that Julia Child writes about is much different than the antibiotic, pesticide, poorly fed plants and animals we consume today. So again, we are probably better off leaning more toward the plant based diet with organic ingredients. That said the words of Julia are still pertinent. Eat small portions and don't snack.
My plan is to eat mainly vegan (cooked and raw) with a little of Julia and Nuni thrown in there. Keep the portions controlled and run until I cannot.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

2010 begins today. Last year I fininshe 1486 miles. The goal will be more for this year. The first run this year will be on the treadmill since it is raining so hard hear in Florida. Boston Marathon training officially begins. Will start increasing the base from the low 30s trying to peak in the fifties again. Need to get back to the weight lifting two days a week. Will focus on stability training with this.
On the road to Boston I plan to run a 4 mile Bridge run in Sarasota, the Gasparilla relay, the Sarasota half marathon and a few scattered 5ks perhaps.
I think I will stay with a more basic shoe such as the Brooks launch as opposed to more cushioned shoes. I think less is probably more with the shoes. Core stability with push ups, squats, stability ball exercises and planks will be a big focus. I will get back to healthy eating from this Christmas hiatus.
As for the diet plans, I think I will be searching for middle ground. I would like to eat as clean and organic as possible. More plant based. A good portion raw. Minimal processed foods. I will also add a few special dishes at night be it Italian or something from the Julia Childs cookbook.
The priority is to maintain small portions of the bad stuff.