Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia :)

Now that I've got that jingle stuck in your head, you're going to have to bear with's post is going to have to be two-fold. I tried to figure out a way to make them separate, but they kind of go together.

I completed the Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half Marathon put on by Fitness Collaborative. The good thing about this one is that you didn't have to complete the 13.1 miles in one shot. Since I need to be averaging 13.1 miles a week to make my goal of 1100km in 2011, I wanted to do it all in one week, starting with my birthday on Monday.

My runs for the week looked like this:

Monday, my birthday: 3.1 miles in 32. 55, counting as my Moms Run This Town Fuelbelts Hydration Hustle Virtual 5K. It was a neat run for me as I remembered my "3 Miles at 30" just two years ago.
Wednesday, my son's birthday: 4 miles in 46:08.

Saturday: 6 miles in 1:16:42, quite possibly my slowest 6 miles ever!
Who knew it took this much stuff to "gear up"? And I already had on my SpiBelt, Garmin and BondiBand!
And my RoadID was still MIA as of this morning!
 Today's run was hot and hard. I was dripping sweat by mile 1. I felt decent by the time I hit mile 3. And then I really struggled between miles 4 and 5, taking a couple of walk breaks. I had forgotten, until about 5.25 miles, that I had planned on using an idea sparked by something I read in Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong for today's run. I had to modify it...a make it work with what I had left in my run, but basically, what I did was thank God for and pray over each room in our house, one tenth of a mile at a time. I thought about the things I wanted each room to foster and develop, such as family fun in the living room and good conversation in the dining room. I also prayed for my kids, our relationships and my marriage using each room to keep me focused. I wish I had remembered this late night idea when I started the run.

Of course, just almost as soon as I walked in the door, I realized I should have worn my Super Mom BondiBand because I started cleaning up puke from my daughter just about that fast. That's the life of a mother runner, I suppose.

One thing I tried for today's run was chia seeds. 
And yes, I picked a turtle on purpose...because that's what I feel like these days.

Yes, like that kind of chia.

I think the idea of trying chia seeds first popped into my head when I read Born to Run by Chris McDougall. And then I would see bits and pieces of information...just enough to keep reminding me about them. Some highlights I've found...

From Raw Reform:
Chia seeds are said to have:
•2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
•5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
•2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
•3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
•3 times more iron than spinach
•copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids...

From The Natural Health Yellow Pages:
Some other benefits (especially for runners)
Providing energy
Boosting strength
Bolstering endurance
Leveling blood sugar
Inducing weight loss
Then I realized that a local grocery store has started carrying bulk items like granola, beans and flax seed...and yes, they had a bin for chia seeds! The first time I checked, the bin was empty, but they had them this past week. I bought a small bag of them and kept forgetting to do anything with them. I had read that you should soak them in water the night before a run...and I could never remember to do that.

Is it me or does this look like it should be illegal?
This morning, however, I quickly googled what to do with chia seeds before my run. One Runner's World forum person said you could mix them in water with a little honey and just drink before a run, which is what I did (using my Farmers' Market local honey...yum!). While these pictures are from tonight and not this morning, this is what it looked like at first.

By the time I had gotten my gear ready to go, they had "fuzzed" up a little bit, absorbing some of the water. I, surprisingly, didn't mind the texture or the little seeds in the water. The flavor was very mild, especially with the honey.
The fuzzier version

As for the run, it was so hot and sticky that I'm not sure how much good they actually did. And I went farther than normal, so it's hard to tell if it helped with endurance...I mean, I did finish the extra distance, so maybe that does say something.
I'm going to try them again. In fact, I had a glass tonight of the quick version while I was working on making a batch of the gel these little things make as they absorb water. You can use the gel like a Gu or other fuel or you can mix it into things like smoothies and yogurt. Here's tonight's work in progress:

If they look dramatically different in the morning, I'll post another picture.

What is about runners that make us what to try the newest, strangest, silliest things trying to gain some sort of edge? I'd understand if I was super competitive in races, but I know I will never win a race (or probably even my age division). Still, I am all for trying something that might help me run faster, last longer, or look better. First, it was getting a Garmin so I would know how far ago and just how slowly I'd gone. Then I started wearing Phiten necklaces because I hoped they'd give me a boost. Next I got blister-preventing socks (well worth it, by the way). I got fitted for shoes after running in a pair I'd picked out on my own for a very long time. The Stick and a foam roller have taken up residence in my living room. Now I wear compression sleeves and am drinking fuzzy little seeds.

I think there are a couple of things at play here. First, running takes us back to being a kid again...something I was reminded of as I was reading Mile Markers today. So it fits that we like to try out these new "toys" in our running. And second, I think these things give us some glimmer of hope that we will progress and improve and thrive. I'll hang on to that hope for now as I struggle through this hot, slow season.

Mileage Report:
Weekly: 15.15 miles
YTD: 433.5 miles

1 comment:

  1. I think I missed posting my miles last week, so I'll back up.
    Last week: 3 miles (the first one being only 11 days after Parker was born)
    YTD: 303.03

    This week: 6.24
    YTD: 309.27

    So, I'm trying to slowly come back from having my lil' man. It's hard not to run down the road every time I lace up my shoes, but I know I need to heal.