Monday, April 25, 2011

Run Like A Pirate. ARRGGGH!

Well, I’m a little late on blogging about the first ½ marathon of the year, but I’m still psyched about how well we did! 

The Flying Pirate ½ Marathon was April 10th in Nags Head, NC.  When we arrived Saturday afternoon, it was windy and COLD! I’m talkin’ like 20’s with the wind factor…. We thought we were certainly in for a loonnnng, windy and probably, miserable event Sunday. After we checked in I took Ginger out on to the beach for a walk. She loved it! She had sooo much fun in the sand. It took a little while for her to get used to the sand but it eventually wore her out enough that she practically begged me to stop walking. While we ate our dinner (in the room) we let Ginger lie around on the floor and once we had finished, I put her on the bed to lounge w/me (fyi – she never gets to get on the bed). Not even 5 minutes after she was on the bed, she looked like this: 
In Doggie Heaven!

We were in the bed early and up again by 4:30AM. I put on my new running outfit (the first new pair of running shorts I’ve purchased since I started on the UNCG track team by the way!), ate my oatmeal and tried to chug down some of the nasty coffee from the hotel. Todd slowly emerged from the bed to put on his running shorts and t-shirt (yes, I tried to get him a cool new outfit too… but he was “fine” without one), carefully laced and tied his Asics, fixed himself a bowl of oatmeal and together we got pumped up for our race! In the car all the way to the shuttle stop I had the new Britney Spears blastin’ and we (yes, WE) were jammin’! 

Finally – we were at the start. I was pumped, but calm and collected. Todd’s always like that… so for me, it was actually a rare race start for me. The morning was actually gorgeous. It rained most of the night so everything was damp, but God painted the sky of the OBX with some of the most incredible colors…. Breath-taking really. The wind had stopped. The crowd was small, for a ½ anyway… around 3,000 runners, but energized and fun. The national anthem was sung by a local OBX-er. A prayer was said by the announcer and then…. It was GO TIME! The gun went off and the first heat (we were in heat 1) was off…. 10 seconds later the big pirate cannon went off.  Other than that (the late firing cannon) the race was executed very well without many technical difficulties.

At mile one, I was feeling awesome. Still calm, not breathing too hard and my nose wasn’t running! I checked my watch and I was hitting the flag right at 06:58. I instantly knew I was in for a good strong race. My body was doing what I had asked and trained it to do well already and my mind wasn’t so ahead of my body that I was pushing it too hard, too fast. “We” were all in-sync. About mile 6 of hardly any spectators, I was getting a little tired and in need of some extrinsic energy. I talked this guy who kept running past me, only for me to catch him and pass him for a mile or so, to relax, run steady and stick with me. We were like the only people “close” at this point in the race and I knew I was going to need him sooner or later to push with, and against. He turned out to be awesome! His name was Brian and he was from PA. We kept small conversation periodically… but ultimately, he asked me what time I was aiming for. My response: 1:45… but I smiled and said, we’re on pace for 1:40 now, let’s do it?! He said “HELL YEA! I’ve never ran a ½ less than 1:58 and I’m feeling great running with you!”  

Soon we were running around the Kitty Hawk Memorial (seriously, the most boring giant circle I’ll ever run) and after about a mile of relative silence, I had another energy burst and got us all pumped up again. Mile 9.5 we hit the trails. The shade was nice (my recent Goo-gel, not so much, yuck!) and a slight breeze was coming in through the trees off the inter-coastal. About the time we got to mile 11 I was really counting on Brian…. I hadn’t had the proper time in my training to get as many runs in over 10 miles as I would have liked… so I anticipated I’d get a little groggy here and I forewarned Brian too. He was a great sport though. He knew when I needed the encouragement and simply a distraction. Finally we came to the yellow house on the trail. I looked at Brian and said, “it’s time to move boy!! Go finish your race!”

At the yellow house the trails curves and runners are directed off the smooth, well beaten trail and up a sharp, steep mulch covered hill. Honestly – this hill feels like it’s never going to end and you can’t get a good grip thanks to the over-sized, lumpy mulch. UGH! I was tearin’ it up as hard as I could… but as soon as I got down the good side of one hill, I was having to climb another. I hated every second of miles 12.45 – 13!! Finally, I was curving around the last bend/hill and I could see the Mile 13 marker. I knew it was literally, allllll down-hill from there!  I smiled at the last cheer-leader on the course and came flying out of the trees and down the hill towards the finish line. Finally – some cheering!!!

I found Todd cheering in the crowd and I kept running for that finish line! The announcer said my name and I was done. YAY! I slowed down, caught my breath, stumbled around a little bit and then realized… hey, it’s over!? HA! Someone took my arm and placed a super cool metal around my neck, gave me a sun visor, a lunch bag, a bottle of water and a banana and said CONGRATULATIONS! 

Finally – Todd found me. I told Brian good job. We posed for pictures and went to the pirate party. Results came via email:
Todd Delp
Finish Time:
Overall Place:
Age Group

Amanda Delp
Finish Time:
Overall Place:
Age Group

Overall – I’m thrilled with our accomplishment! Todd ran a great race and I’m ready to find our next race. Anyone else want to join us?!

Big "thank you’s" to all of you for your well wishes and loving support! It always makes training easier, and much more rewarding.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Give Me Some Suga! :)

So, like many of you, I have my own sweet tooth. One I really do try to work on .... but I'll be honest, I'd sometimes rather run a little farther to have some sugar.... but this presentation really put a lot in PERSPECTIVE! 

My sweet Step-mom, Sharon, got this in an email this week and sent it straight to me... "for my blog" (i was so excited!). I LOOOOVE visual aids and always appreciate having others help create an image to explain a concept better.... The easier it is to "get", the more likely we'll remember it. I hope you learn a thing or two as well! 

 4.2 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar = 1 sugar cube (in the images)

Quite interesting isn't it? So, have you figured up how much sugar you've had today? 
Now think about what that sugar is doing to your vessels and heart..... if you don't know, read my post on Diabetes

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Exercise Preserves, Builds Heart Muscle"

Exercise preserves, builds heart muscle

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Consistent lifelong exercise preserves heart muscle in the elderly to levels that match or even exceed that of healthy young sedentary people, a surprising finding that underscores the value of regular exercise training, according to a new study.

The first study to evaluate the effects of varying levels of lifelong exercise on heart mass was presented on Saturday at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

It suggested that physical activity preserves the heart's youthful elasticity, showing that when people were sedentary, the mass of their hearts shrunk with each passing decade.

By contrast, elderly people with a documented history of exercising six to seven times a week throughout adulthood not only kept their heart mass, but built upon it -- having heart masses greater than sedentary healthy adults aged 25 to 34.

"One thing that characterizes the aging process by itself is the loss of muscle mass, particularly skeletal muscle," said Dr. Paul Bhella, a researcher from John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas who presented the study at the conference.

"But we are showing that this process is not unique to skeletal muscle, it also happens in cardiac muscle," he said. "A heart muscle that atrophies is weaker."

The study enrolled 121 healthy people with no history of heart disease. Fifty nine were sedentary subjects recruited from the Dallas Heart Study, a large multiethnic sample of Dallas County residents.

Some 62 lifelong exercisers, all over age 65, were recruited mainly from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which had documented their exercise habits over a period of 25 years.
In the new study, exercise was assessed by the number of aerobic exercise sessions per week, rather than intensity or duration. Subjects were broken down into four groups: non-exercisers; casual exercisers (two to three times a week); committed exercisers (four to five times a week) and master athletes (six to seven times a week).

Heart mass measurements, taken using MRIs, showed that sedentary subjects had diminished heart mass as they aged, while lifelong exercisers had heart mass expansion with increasing frequency of exercise. "The data suggest that if we can identify people in middle age, in the 45 to 60 year range, and get them to exercise four to five times a week, this may go a very long way in preventing some of the major heart conditions of old age, including heart failure," said Benjamin Levine of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who headed the study.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Bill Berkrot; Editing by Paul Simao)

Thank you Mr. Paul Clawson for sharing this article! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My New Favorite Thing

For those of you who know me well, I'm a sucker for a GREAT workout DVD!!

Life is crazy enough without having to plan your trips to the gym, pay for a crazy expensive gym membership, or good grief - worry about your body image while you're at the gym.... SO, do as I do. Workout in your underwear in your living room at 4:30AM while everyone's asleep and WORK OUT HARD!!! [seriously]

Like most people, I have my favorite DVD's, but I recently discovered Tonique Fitness and I'm in LOVE!

Check out the trailer for an idea of what you're in for:

Here's the skinny: It's HARD! 

I like to think that I'm quite fit.... but even I struggle to keep with tempo at times. This isn't to discourage you though. Please don't see it as such. I believe this video offers the best variety and challenge for those seeking an "investment" video that will be a constant "go-to" as your fitness levels grow and improve. When I first looked in to Tonique, I thought "Oh, I've got this --- easy! It's just a lot of jumping around and how hard can 2-3lbs. be?".... well, I started hard and about 30 minutes in to my first workout, I was not only soaked in sweat but I actually had to hit the PAUSE button! (and i NEVER use the pause button! NEVER!) HA! 

- Each exercise is highly cardiovascular = FAT BURNING!!! a huge variety of squats, lunges and lifts keep your heart thumpin' and your thighs dreaming of summer time shorts.
- The light weight, high repetition moves increase the heart pump, the fat burn and make your muscles, even the small muscles you never work, beg for just a smidgen of mercy! 
- The music is very high energy and you change moves so often it's really hard to get bored (trust me, I've almost worn this video out already and I'm still not bored!)!!!!
- Unlike a few of the other workouts I have (*cough*cough* P90X), this is one hour of no fluff or waste! Each minute is used to transform your body and challenge you mentally in ways Tony Horton only wishes he could. (Plus, the over-voice is much more motivating than the crazy antics of the Horton-ator!)

Now, a few things to note and think about if you're interested in giving Sylwia a try. High reps mean 30+ repetitions of each move. And these high reps can be hard some major joints, especially the knees, if you're not cautious of this ahead of time you might hurt yourself (and no one wants an injury to keep you from your fitness goals!). 

So, if you have tender knees, start slower, don't go as deep into your lunges and EVERYONE has to watch their FORM (as with any other workout)!!

I hope my love for a great and convenient workout helps you find a new obsession for some TONIQUE Fitness too! Trust me - this series has it all in one. I have the mat workout and the premier workouts. Tonique is definitely worth every penny and every minute of your time. If you want your own copy, check out Amazon.

Here's to sexy butts and very happy hearts! :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Motivating Word...

So, today Ginger and I were out on our 3 mile power walk (my best attempt to wear her out!) and we meet a new friendly face on the greenway.

Before we met her, I saw her getting ready to start her walk. Her husband was also with her running some "warm-up" sprints like he was getting to run a 5k or something.... Picture Napoleon Dynamite with some age on him.... no joke, that's her husband. Sweat pants, sweat bands and his t-shirt perfectly tucked. He was quite a character himself.

Back to this lady....

I noticed quickly that she had on a super cute workout outfit - neon pink runners jacket with the standard black workout tights and some kickin' Nikes: black with a neon pink sole and neon pink laces. I soon was close enough to notice she was probably 50-something. Ging and I passed her and she loved all up on GG for a few minutes before she said, "I've got to get! My heart-rate's dropping!" and all with a smile, she marched off.

Eventually, Ginger and I caught back up with this lady. I got beside her and told her that her shoes were awesome and asked what she was training for. She smiled real big and said, "For Me!"

We continue to huff and puff our way down the greenway and her husband passes all of us... she gestured to him and said "He got me these shoes to keep me moving... so he says, I think they just look good and they make me feel like I'm going fast!" We giggled and exchanged a few more words before she said:

"I've got to keep movin' to keep living! So I'm doing it!"

I looked at her and said, "That's AWESOME! Keep up the GREAT work!!! You look great and you look happy out here working on YOU!"

She looked at me and said "Honey, you have no idea! I've never realized how happy I am until now. You made me realize I'm taking GOOD care of myself doing this every day. It's not just "walking"... I'm building a better me!!! THANK YOU!"

I quickly smiled and said thanks... but told her to make sure she thanked that man of hers for getting her those killer shoes! ;)

Just when you think you haven't made a difference.... Something happens and proves you wrong! Keep moving friends! Who knows, maybe you need some kick ass new shoes to help get you movin'!?!? Whatever it takes - DO IT! Keep loving and working on you!

No one is more important. I love you guys!