Kale Video: Like cabbage only cooler

Runners, be you vegan or not, you should get friendly with our friend, Kale. :)

This video was posted on my Instagram page, so if those 15 seconds left your eyes darting to read all the awesome Kale facts, let me run through them again for you:

* Iron
* Calcium
* Vitamin B6, A, C, and K
* Chockfull of antioxidants
* Fights inflammation

So yea, Kale really is hip. Without the skinny jeans. ;)

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More posts on NUTRITION
Post all about the importance of IRON
More foods that FIGHT INFLAMMATION
More CARTOONAGE :)
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Runner’s Strip: Running Insurance

I think I’m in love with my new penguin. First he schools us on ice cream, now he speaks to another runner’s truth.

runner penguin with toilet paper

What nugget of wisdom with Mr. Penguin be dropping on us next time?

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More running CARTOONS AND LAUGHS

Posts on GI Issues for Runners HERE and HERE
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1) What nugget of truth do you think our penguin will be quipping about next time?

Monday Morning Running Motivation: Please don’t waste

I grew up in a house where my mom HATED to see things go to waste. We were a household who left-over’ed and if we didn’t clean our plates we could usually count on Mommy-O to finish them off. She WAS a runner after all. The thing was, it killed my mother to put food in the trash or down the disposal.

Wasting is, well, a waste.

penguin and spilled ice cream art
This holds true in life. And with the human body, if you’re even an iota interested in physiology, anatomy, and sports science you’ve got to just take a step back and think, “Holy crap, the body is amazing. Like freaking incredible.” All the complexities, the systems working together, playing off of each other, people can quip the ‘miracle of life’…heck, it’s pretty dang remarkable what goes in to just digesting! Something enters the mouth, get broken down, gives you the energy to run, and then gets pooped out the other end. That’s pretty dang cool!

Not taking advantage of just how amazing and remarkable the human body is, it’s a waste. Obesity, a growing lack of exercise, a growing disinterest…bordering on HATE of activity is a waste, it’s sad. Here is this amazing human body machine…just waiting to DO, to perform.

A body can be worked. It can be run. It can be trained. It can be stressed by training and then, if given the chance to recover, it will GROW, become stronger, tougher, faster, and then eager to achieve even more. Keep doing that and watch how far you can go.

Physiology is quite amazing, don’t forget that. Don’t take it for granted either…PUSH yourself to discover your own potential.

A vehicle left abandoned is waste. Take advantage of the miraculously, mind-blowing things your body can DO and get DOing.

Lessons From the Track: Running your best takes more than left turns

Now my younger brother’s first love is rugby, second is football, but for the three weeks between seasons he decided to do track! Wahoo…I was stoked!! I’m also in awe of the fact that he doesn’t do any speed-work and then just blitzes those 400′s and 200′s like they’re nothing.
wesley track sprinting
The mystery is solved as to where all of the fast twitch muscle fiber genes in the family went. Clearly all were saved and concentrated into the youngest Chock sibling. Oh and I guess he stole my coordination genes too. ;)

Granted he’s got the competitiveness of a Chock, so he’ll gut out a race and pay the price after to hit those marks. But the truth is that last 100 of a 400 isn’t fun for anybody, no matter if you’ve trained or not…BLECH…talk about booty lock.

Checking out those high school meets has been fun, observing just as much so, and here are a few tips I’d pass on if teenagers actually cared to listen to us old folks:

* Warm-up and Recovery: set yourself up to run your best, not warming up before a race is setting yourself up for both injury and running below your maximum potential. Cold muscles no likey sprinting. The same for after your race, do all you can to recover so you can come back stronger. That includes a cool-down and refueling within 30 minutes of finishing.

* Drafting and Tangents: it was windy at the track meet and those are days where you really want to draft. Leading expends more mental energy and on windy days it expends a heck of a lot more physical energy to lead. If you can, tuck in behind somebody until you’re really to surge past them. When you DO make your move, try to make it on a straight away…running the tangents on a race course is the same idea, don’t run more than your race distance or your competitors are.
run to beat you
* When You Pass, You PASS: racing is mental like that, when you make a move and pass someone you want to be passing them for good. Conserve energy and then blow by that sucker! Don’t ‘weakly’ pass them because then they can just tuck in behind you and let you do the work. You want to BLOW by them and try to mentally break them. Make them think, “Dang, they’re feeling much stronger than me, I can’t keep up.” Even if you feel like crap, it’s a race, you should feel tired, but your competitors don’t have to know you’re tired as heck and clinging on until the finish line. Break them and leave them in your dust.

* Cling-on: sorry, no sci-fi reference, but this speaks to those getting passed. Read above. You can’t get in the mind of your competitors and chances are they’re working, tired, and hurting too. If they pass you, rally the troops and try to stay with them. Don’t let THEM mentally break you. See, it works two ways like that. ;)

The last thing I’ll add, while I like to joke that I have not a single fast twitch muscle in my body (I’ve never been biopsied, but I’ll say I probably only do have one!) DON’T use that as an excuse to avoid speed-work. It’s incredible how much you can manipulate and overcome your natural predisposition in terms of speedster versus endurance maven. You’d be surprised that, yes, even ye of one speed can get some wheels on themselves and wind up with really strong kicks.

The thing is you just have to train those muscles! For speed you need to build power (hills, sprints, plyo’s) and all that good stuff is plenty of fodder for another post!

Get out there and kick some butt…embrace the booty lock too! ;)
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Have you checked out my Ezzere Running Tees yet?? Mosey over, folks!!

Send MAJOR cheers to one awesome Kim @ Day with KT this rockstar runnerchick and mom is out to kill it at her 50 mile race this Saturday!! WAHOOOO!!!

Hydrate Like a Champ: Running, fluids, electrolytes, and Nuun Energy

Hydration is not something runners can afford to skimp on. Fun fact: by the time you actually FEEL thirsty you’re in a state of dehydration. The key is sipping those fluids consistently, throughout the day, and ensuring you’re urine is rocking the clear-light yellow hue rather than radioactive yellow-orange.

With summer fast approaching and the hotter temps that accompany, it’s important runners are issued a reminder just HOW crucial it is to stay hydrated. If you don’t, your performances will suffer but more importantly it could become dangerous. Dehydration can also wreck havoc on your stomach and intestines.
nuun hydration sample
For runners, hydration is more than just drinking water. Water is essential but so are electrolytes. When you sweat you lose more than just H2O; electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, are also lost through sweat and are just as important to replace. When electrolytes get unbalanced, that’s when you run the risk of heart issues and other complications due to an overly dilute blood stream. Not fun. Besides, before you even get to THAT dangerous of a point, your running will be sub-par if you’re not hydrated fully with water AND electrolytes.

Our good friends at Nuun have been supplying those cool tablets that you can drop into your water bottle, shake, and voila have your electrolyte-infused (and tastified) drink for years. They’ve introduced their new Nuun Energy line and I served it at my Ezzere Launch Party even! Nuun was generous enough to give samples to all of my guests and put together a prize pack for this lucky winner…
nuun energy
He’s excited, he’ll never be dehydrated. ;) Here’s the scoop on the new Nuun Energy:

* Electrolytes: These new Nuun tablets have all the essential electrolytes as the pervious Nuun Active Hydration line as well as extra B Vitamins and a bit of caffeine.
* No Sugars: There’s not any extra sugar added, meaning you can replace your electrolytes without tons of excess calories. Each tablet is less than 12 calories which, unless you need immediate glycogen while running a marathon, is what most runners are looking for in this type of hydration performance supplement. Unless you’re needing to gain weight, a common mistake runners can make is drinking too many unnecessary calories by way of sports drink. Namely because of a high sugar content. Not so with Nuun.
* Caffeine: The extra caffeine (40mg) perks you up and certain studies have shown that a small dose of caffeine pre-workout or race can give you a boost there.
nuun energy
The Taste Factor:

I like that Nuun adds a nice flavor to my water but doesn’t turn it into Kool-Aide. It’s not overly sweet. “It’s fizzy!” one of the guests of my Ezzere Launch Party squealed in delight. These new flavors have a cool fizz to them and I liked that, as did my guests.

The new flavors are Wild Berry, Lemon Lime, and Cherry Limeade. My favorite was the Wild Berry. They come in the portable vial which is handy to take anywhere and infuse your water. Thank you, Nuun, for joining my party and donating your new Energy drink!

NO EXCUSES, Runners, you can stay hydrated all day long. Your running will thank you, heck, even normal people need to be conscious of staying hydrated…it’s just when you’re asking your body to perform at its best it’s THAT much more important you give it the fluids and electrolytes it deserves!

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Check out my latest Active Article: How to Settle Your Race Day Jitters

SUPER stoked to be able to catch up with David Torrence, he’s killing it this year and only going to be setting more records, so check out my story on him over at RunBlogRun: Records Falling and David Torrence is Hungry

Two Surprising Canned Foods Runners Aren’t Eating But Should

Runners are hip to knowing it’s important to fuel their bodies right. Gotta fuel the beast if you expect it to perform. It’s become pretty common knowledge to seek out protein-rich foods for muscle repair and growth and even Sesame Street can tell us we’re supposed to eat our fruits and veggies.

But canned foods, those can sometimes get a bad rap. Like the Foodie Snobs may not even walk through the canned aisle, right? ;) JK. It’s true the SOME canned foods can be loaded with sodium and fresh foods may seem like the better choice. However, canned foods really have come a long way in terms of getting ‘healified’; runners can easily find lower sodium options on the shelves. And hey, bottom line it for you: canned veggies last forever and a day, they’re often cheaper, and a canned veggie if it’s eaten is FAR and away better than no veggie at all!

run for pancakes

Yea, runners LOVE food!


Though let’s talk about two AWESOME foods for runners that are canned but probably aren’t even on your food radar at all. I’ll amend that…these guys aren’t exactly canned but rather tinned.

TINNED…yea, I know, cut to the mental image of people hunkered down in a bomb shelter, ‘those’ kinds of situations are when tinned foods are called for. ;) Just kidding. Actually, runners need to start stopping their carts front and center in the tinned seafood section.

Oysters

I’m a huge seafood fan and love anything and everything from the sea, but if your face scrunched up at reading oysters…unscrunch that runner face of yours. Oysters are loaded with iron, which is incredibly important for runners. Iron is one of those things where if your levels start to dip your energy takes a nosedive. Symptoms mimic that of overtraining, you could be beating your head against the wall in frustration wondering WHY your workouts are tanking, your easy runs NEVER feel easy, and no amount of cutting back is making you feel better.

That kind of over fatigue kills not only your workouts but your mental outlook, it’s not fun slogging along feeling like you’re running with bricks on your feet. One of the first things to do if you start to experience prolonged tiredness like this is to check your iron because you may be anemic.

Runners never want to get to that point and experience being anemic so it’s important to be eating iron-rich foods. [I also recommend that you supplement in addition to those foods.] Oysters are a great source of iron (zinc too) with 6.1mg for 6 medium oysters, or 88grams of oysters.

Sardines

That’s right, these little fishies are a perfect catch for runners! (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Sardines are an excellent source of protein and they have the healthy Omega 3 fats. All of this means they’re restoring your muscles, they have an anti-inflammatory effect, are heart-healthy, they’re also helping build that mental muscle…yea, runners are smart like that. [Omega 3 Fatty Acids help boost brain healthy among many things.]

fish on treadmill

Don’t swallow a live fish though, please.


Like most other foods from the sea sardines are also low in calorie, making those calories give you lots of bang for your buck in terms of the protein count. One sardine fishy has 25 calories and 3 grams of protein.

Now sardines come tinned in a few different varieties: in water, in oil, and in mustard. I recommend picking the water or mustard options, and from there get swallowing! Just kidding, of course I’ve got no problem eating a raw fish but there are lots of ways to creatively add your sardines to meals, added to a delish pasta sauce is one option.

So there, Foodie Snobs of the world be darned, there IS reason to park that card right in from of the canned/tinned food section! Runners should do it most definitely. :)

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It’s COMING!! If you’re in the Roseville, CA area be sure to come out to my big Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night on Monday, April 7th! All the details are HERE!! Lots of runners, prizes, shirts, fashion, and more. :)
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1) Do you like seafood?
2) Have you ever tried oysters or sardines?
3) Do you buy/eat many canned foods? What are your healthy canned food finds?

What’s Fueling YOUR Run?

Whether it be sarcasm, pancakes or otherwise, whatever fuels your running must be celebrated.

Power of the Running Snark

fueled by sarcasm
Trust me, a runner’s brain is wont to wander on those long runs and easy days, making jokes is certainly one of the best ways to roll. The perks of being your own running comedian:

* No hecklers: yea, let’s be honest, our brains may be a little deprived of of oxygen mid-run so the jokes may not exactly hold-up on a real comedy tour.

* Free laughs: it’s always MORE than okay to laugh at your own jokes, and out loud. Heck, you could wail like a hyena in the middle of the woods.

* Good times: spot really random moments of people when they have no idea anyone is like finding gold. Runners tend to go unnoticed by normal folk, we just blend into the background, so running is sometimes like the People Watching Olympics.

Running For Pancakes

fueled by pancakes
Literal fuel for your running, certainly never to be overlooked. Now the bait reward of the foods to come often spend copious amounts of time on the brain during a run…

* Long run salivation: staring that 22-mile long run? Shall I take a poll as to how many of those miles were spent drooling over just how much you’re going to savor devouring [insert favorite food here] upon return? No judgement if drooling starts the moment the watch starts.

* Pre-food penance: on the flip side, pick the WRONG food before a run and you’ll most likely spend the entirety of that run paying the price. We need to start assigning a Points System for certain foods if ingested before a run: ice cream ands loads of dairy = 15 fart points, super spicy thai = 27 bush-dive points, burrito bomb = 45 clenched cheek shuffle point/27 fart points/39 bush dive points…that may work in making us reeeealllly consider if it’s worth eating that BEFORE we run. ;)

* Energy: okay, let’s take a moment for a bit of seriousness…use food to fuel your performance people, fuel up right and you’ll feel the benefits. Good news is there aren’t militant expectations, it’s all about balance: ensure you get enough protein, time that protein right, make the majority of your carbs high-quality, eat your fruits and veggies, hydrate well and with electrolytes too, get enough iron and THEN…after that you deserve your desserts, treats, and rewards.

So now I ask, Runners, what’s fueling YOUR runs??

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Tips for coming up with a winning running nutrition plan.

How to eat out while still eating to perform…BONUS, that means you CAN eat for ‘fun’ and ‘performance’…hehe. :)

More cartoons and humor because, let’s be honest, laughing is the only way to go!

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1) Last thing you found hilarious while on the run?
2) What were you thinking about on your last run?
I had this annoying song stuck in my head, and that you just can’t run away from. ;)
3) What’s one tip when it comes to running and nutrition you like to live by?

Runner Tummies on a Roller-coaster and Clif Protein Recovery and Electrolyte Drinks Review

Us runners sure do a number on our poor tummies. All the pounding, up, down, fast, jiggling, jiving…if our stomaches and intestines could speak I can only imagine the expletives they’d be yelling at us!

Actually, those stomaches and intestines of runners DO speak…just with things much more powerful, dare I even say explosive, than words. Yes, runners and their guts are stuck in a state of ongoing negotiations.

“PLEASE behave for my long run, preeeettty please!!” the runner’s silent prayer before heading out the door.
tummy on the run
Runners plan their foods accordingly, learn from trial and error, we do our best to set ourselves up to avoid a stomach related attack but sometimes it feels like we’re in some kind of peace-treaty contract negotiation House of Cards style.

Those runner guts are testy, moody, volatile. Sometimes there is just NO pleasing them despite what feels like us doing our best to abide by the ‘rules’.

I’ve done a few posts on handling GI issues HERE and HERE

Today let’s talk about those post-run, especially post-workout tummies and guts. After all that jiggling and jiving lots of runners complain of feeling nauseous, that food is the LEAST appealing thing in the world, and sometimes runners actually struggle to keep food down.

The issue is that runners ALSO know how incredibly important refueling your body and muscles is within the first 30 minutes of finishing your workouts. In order to maximize your recovery (upwards of 60% better) so you can come back stronger, it really is crucial to find something, anything that will get into your system and STAY there.

This is an occasion where liquids can be a runner’s best friend. If you struggle with keeping actual food down due to an upset stomach after your runs and hard workouts take it to the liquids. Recovery drinks and smoothies can get you those essential protein amino acids and carbs to repair those muscles.

Recently Clif sent me a care package, among the bars (which I already knew I liked and enjoy), they introduced me to their recovery and electrolyte drinks. I hadn’t tried either of those so was interested to test them out.
clif review
Clif Protein Recovery Drink

I sampled the Orange Mango and really liked it. I tried it mixed in with a smoothie (berries and other fruit) and I also tried it just mixed with water. It’s sweet but not overpoweringly so, and plenty tasty on it’s own just with the water.

Each pack has 170 calories and 10 grams of protein. If there was anything I would change or suggest it would be if there were more grams of protein. Ideally, post-run and post-workout you want at least 25 grams of protein. But other than that, I really liked this one…it also comes in Chocolate and while I didn’t try this flavor, really I’ve not met something chocolate I don’t enjoy.

Clif Electrolyte Hydration Drink

These little guys come in tiny sleeves and are really easy to carry around and stash in a bag. I tried the Cranberry Raz and it was a win in the taste department. The thing with hydration for runners is this is an ALL DAY thing, you need to continually be drinking water and fluids…not just right before or after your runs.

I’ve also explained a lot how crucial it is to drink not JUST water, but to find electrolyte replacement drinks to ensure your balances there are correct. Especially with the potassium and sodium. So this is why the market for electrolyte drinks has exploded the past few years. Taste-wise Clif nailed it. The only recommendations I have is that they offer a few with less calories…one pack is 80 calories because it also contains the simple sugars.

If you’re actually RUNNING (ie: part of your marathon training fueling strategy) you DO need that quickly digested glucose. But, if you’re not and you’re just needing the electrolytes the extra carbs and calories may not be what you need.

Thank you, Clif, for sending me these to test out and review!! All their products are available online and I’ve seen them in lots of stores too. :)

Soooo, while I STILL feel entitled to complain and be irked at my stomach any and every time it causes me trouble…on some level, when I imagine the bumping, jumping, jiving, and all that other stuff it has to put up with I can kinda sympathize with it for putting up with me as much as it does! ;)

Treat your stomaches with care, Runners!

1) If you’ve had a dialogue with your stomach how did it go? Do you say a little hope/prayer before long runs?? haha.
2) Something you’ve learned about running and nutrition lately?
3) Have you tried either the Clif Recovery or Electrolyte Drinks?

Running: Brought to you by dreams of pancakes and carbs

That long run brought to you by dreams of PaNcAkeS!!! Or insert your favorite post-run food there. Actually, you can swap out the long run for a race. Scratch that you can preeeetty much just swap that out for any run. Any distance…any food. #runners #workforit #reward #bait ??
run for pancakes
While us runners certainly can eat more than a football team, amongst those pancakes, Pop-Tarts, burgers, fries, milk shakes, etc…we DO know that in order to run our best we need to fuel our best.

The beautiful thing though, is that eating to PERFORM doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat your apples too. It’s all about balance. There are some KEY elements that all runners in training should be mindful of:

* Protein: getting enough and timing that intake
* 30 Minute Recovery: eating protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a run
* Healthy Picks: insert your fruits, veggies, whole grains, quality carbs here
* Vitamins and other nutrients: IRON is sooo important for runners and ensuring they get enough!
* Hydration: it’s crucial runners ensure they drink enough fluids and more than just water, replacing those electrolytes too

But it’s ALL about balance, and even professional distance runners are allowed their cookies and burgers too. Hey, when you’re burning all dem calories you earn those treats!

This post comes in step with my latest article over on Running Times: “The Power of Protein Timing”

Good luck to all those racing, and to everyone else go out there and get your run on…enjoy every sweaty mile!! :)

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More posts all about how to eat to fuel your running and preform your best HERE!
Highlighting living in the real world and eating post: “How runners can stuff their faces at restaurants but still perform at their best”
More Cartoons and laughs HERE!
Tomorrow are the USA Cross Champs and here is one more recent article highlighting HTS Elite runners there tomorrow: RunBlogRun – Taking Boulder Back: HTS Elite looks to make this the distance runner’s power city once again
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1) What’s your ‘drool dream’ food while running?
2) How do you keep track of your protein intake and ensuring you get enough?
3) How do you track your fruits and veggies and make sure you’re getting enough?

Runger: How runners can tame the beast and eat to perform

There’s a little beast that lives inside every runner. He gets really irritable after long runs. He’ll yell, he’ll scream, he’ll kick, he’ll throw a full on Toddlers and Tiaras style tantrum until you give him what he wants. He’s screaming, “FEEEEED ME!!!!”
runger
Yup, that’s your Runger talking. Shut him up. Feed the beast! ;)

Runger’s an interesting thing, as is sports nutrition. It’s a tricky topic because running burns tons of calories so naturally runners need to EAT more. At the same time, what we fuel our bodies with has a direct correlation to its performance. Add in that every runner’s metabolism and body type is different and things can get kinda hairy, scary monstrous.

So getting back to Runger? Here are some more quick facts about our little belly-dwelling man:

* Running and Appetite: Exercise requires more energy, so duh, runners need more calories [energy] than the sofa-surfers of the world. Input versus output. Ideally everyone could eat intuitively, but food is such a cultural/emotional/past-time, growing up people tend to lose touch with their ‘intuition’ when it comes to hunger and fullness.
* Feeding Runger ASAP: The key to speeding up your muscle recovery, and to help quell the Runger beast from yelling at you so loud later that you over-eat, is to refuel RIGHT after you finish a run or workout. That 30 minute recovery window is critical! Get your protein and carbs in before you even shower!
racing weight
* Marathon Weight Gain? Lots of new runners jump straight to a marathon and think, “Hey, I bet I’ll lose weight!” The irony is that a good portion of those runners notice they GAIN weight and are puzzled. Why? Runger, Baby, Runer. Easy runs and long runs especially kick up the appetite of a person, incidentally the body doesn’t have a totally accurate gauge between the amount of calories burned running and then amount of calories it wants to eat. Probably a survival mode thing that’s outdated. What that means is after those long runs your hunger level will probably leave you wanting to inhale more calories than you actually burned.
* Female Runger: It sucks but the whole mistaken gauge of amount of running in respect to level of hunger is more skewed for women. So women tend to get even hungrier than men after the same run, so can wind up, again, taking in more than they need.
* Speedwork: The irony to the people who sign up for a marathon JUST TO lose weight, is that they would be better off doing shorter races and speedwork. Why? Harder workouts tend to suppress the appetite after and they also kick your metabolism up more than easy runs and they also keep it elevated hours after the hard run.

Taming Runger Tips:

* Protein! Not only do you need protein to build and repair your muscles but protein is also going to really help with satiation; it will keep you feeling fuller longer. If you’re finding yourself insanely insatiable you probably need more protein.
* Eat Fast: Not the rate of your eating, but you need to eat sooner rather than later. Meaning eat when you’re not on the verge of feeling like your stomach is sucking up against your spine, wait too long and you’ll be too famished. Again, another reason to refuel as soon after your runs as possible.
* Eat Healthy: Fiber will help fill you up, so get lots of fruits and veggies in there. Good for straight-up health but also, 10 apples are way more filling than 10 Cheetos. Who can eat just 10 Cheetos??

Gaining Weight:

I said how every runner is different, well the cruel irony is that some runners are constantly trying to tame their Runger in a way to avoid gaining weight, while other runners are constantly fighting to keep weight on. For those with speedy bullet metabolisms:

* Liquids: Fluids don’t fill you up like foods do, so adding liquid calories are super easy. Good choices are milk, smoothies, and protein shakes.
* Calorie Dense: Think the opposite of the 10 apples thing, look for foods that have more calories in smaller portions. Examples: peanut butter, avocados, cheese, nuts, ice cream!! :)
* Healthy then Plus: Just because you need more calories doesn’t mean good nutrition goes out the window. I liken it to the healthy+plus method. I tend to have a faster metabolism so I make sure to get my healthy stuff (fruits, veggies, enough protein) in and THEN I use whatever more calories I need as ‘fun foods.’ Totally inhale your cakes but don’t neglect your apples type of thinking.

Whew, I think we covered a lot about that hungry little gremlin dwelling in your stomach. All that food talk probably woke him up….if so, avoid Pinterest or Instagram. ;)

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More posts on RUNNER NUTRITION HERE
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1) How do you balance healthy eating with Runger?
2) What kind of runs tend to leave you the most famished?
3) If you’re trying to gain weight, what are some of your go-to foods/liquids?