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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Can't forget Dad...

Forgot to thank Dad in my last post for the hat from last year's marathon that kept me oh-so-dry as it poured for the first half I the 18 miles Saturday :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Physical Activity and the Immune System

I've been a pretty inconsistent blogger these past few weeks, but I finally thought of something extremely interesting to post about! Unfortunately, the only reason I thought to post about this is because it's happening to me as we speak.
This past weekend, I ran 18.8 miles-18 felt so good I kept going for a bit, and it felt great.  The next day, I wasn't even sore.  This workout really had me feeling good about myself for a while, then Monday afternoon a sore throat hit.  Research has shown that physical activity can help boost the body's immune system and reduce our risk for contracting viruses.  Physical activity can even help minimize the amount of time a particular virus stays in your system, shortening the overall duration of your "cold."  Unfortunately, as one nears the marathon territory and the intensity and duration of workouts increases, immuno-supression also intensifies. This can be better explained by the J-shaped curve below, where at a sedentary state, one's risk of disease is average, with moderate physical activity, one's risk of disease is below average, and with very high levels of physical activity, one's risk for disease is above average.
So for the next few days I'm going to be resting up so that I can continue on with my training later in the week.  Just some light yoga and leisurely bike rides to work.
Also, thanks mom for the bracelet..."it's not a sprint, it's a marathon" !

Friday, August 10, 2012

13 miles And Some PB&J

I spent last weekend with Conor, Kimmie and Bennett in RI- a much needed escape from the city. Kimmie and I did a nice woodsy trail on Saturday, but unfortunately the heat took its toll on us and we cut our distance a little short. Since I was pretty much occupied all weekend, I saved my long run for last night. I ran 13.4 miles after work yesterday, and had to bribe myself with a Starbucks mocha cookie frappuccino, which I happily indulged in this afternoon. Is it sad that one of those drinks is the only reason I will put on running shoes after work?? I'm more of a morning runner, so the bribery was very necessary. Here's a view of the Williamsburg bridge from the East River. One nice thing about evening runs is the scenery!

I got back from my run around 9:15, In Stamford in less than 30 minutes. and recovered with some PB&J& oatmeal. PB&J and oatmeal are two things I'm obsessed with individually, and a few weeks ago I decided to combine them. This hearty breakfast holds me over straight through lunch, which is very atypical for me- my stomach is usually growling by 10:45am.

PB&J oatmeal:
1/3 cup rolled oats
3/4 cups almond milk
1/4 cup wheat berries (I didn't know what these were until I read Carrots n' Cake- now I'm obsessed!)
1 tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 tbsp jam or jelly
Mixed berries (I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Combine oats, almond milk and wheat berries into a saucepan and simmer until mixture thickens. Top with peanut butter, jam and berries... Enjoy!

Nora watched my every move as I made this post-run snack...