Monday, May 14, 2012

Now Processing


Recently, I have been researching non processed and raw food diets. Not so much for the weight loss aspect, but more for the sake of putting good things into my body. I am no stranger to Ramen or the occasional fast food joint, but if the adage is true, and you are indeed what you eat, I guess I am a big bowl of ice cream. Lately, I've been thinking about meat and sugar in particular. There once was a time, that I didn't eat meat for 30 days. I eventually caved at a backyard BBQ when my uncle Dave made my veggie burger and it looked like a charred hockey puck. Less than appealing. A burger made of vegetables just seems wrong. On the other hand, things I read about meat and the process of how it comes to be at my kitchen table scare me. Food Inc. in particular,was one of the most appalling documentaries I have seen. The conditions that animals are kept in and the steroids and antibiotics that they are pumped with, make me sick. Currently, I don't really eat meat aside from the occasional burger or taco but I am not so sure on where I stand with meat presently. Part of me says yes, part of me says no. On to sugar. We all know that sugar is bad. It rots your teeth, it makes you fat and it also makes you hungry. Refined sugars in particular are evil. When you eat foods with sugar, it is stored in the liver as glycogen. Unfortunately, when your liver gets full the excess gets returned to your blood stream as fatty acids. I think we all know where they end up- your butt hips and thighs! Sugar can be sneaky, so you have to be careful as to where its lurking in your kitchen. Most foods have sugar that you would never dream of. Sugar is like crack, the more you have the more addicted you become. Don't take my word for it, read the labels on your favorite foods- you might be shocked at the sugar thats lurking!  This leads me into my research on non processed foods. This week I am trying to cut back drastically on processed foods, albeit difficult. I had cereal this morning, which is obviously processed and a taco for dinner with a nice crispy processed shell. Its a difficult demon to exercise from your diet, but with a little practice I hope to get there. I am hoping to see a vast difference in energy and mood after the switch. I am looking to start a 10 day non- processed food trial sometime in the near future- baby steps. 

Additional resources
New York Times Article: Is sugar toxic?

Live Strong- Non processed food diet

The Opinionator Blog: Meat is bad for you ( and good)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fill up your heart and hit the road

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up you'd better be running. - Anonymous 

I love this quote because its so true. Running is a mysterious thing. It can make you feel on top of the world, or like a failure. The power and hold that it has on you is addicting. As much as you want to quit or give up, after each race you crave more. Sometimes you need to do another race to redeem yourself after a bad one, sometimes you just want to work on your PR. Often, you find yourself looking for the next big thing to fill that need for endurance and determination. It seems like after every finish line, you find yourself saying, "26.2 miles wasnt that bad" or "I really think we should do another half". It never seems as hard looking back. Either way, running takes endurance, strength, preparation and a lot of heart. I think its due time to present to you, in no particular order some people who deserve to be recognized for their running prowess. These people make me want to be better, run farther and train harder. 

Jen Rarick 
Elite Runner Currently running a 5k in every state.

Dan Santos 
1/2 marathon runner 5k

Jacklyn Unzeitig
5k 10k 8 miler 

Luisa Santos
1/2 marathoner 5k 
Stephanie Hines
8k 5k 

Tyler Smith
10 miler 5k soon to be 1/2 marathoner

Amanda Piccirilli
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 10 miler 5k

Hans Gibson
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 5k 8miler 

Rebecca Hann
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 10 miler 5k

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Now that my big races of the season are behind me, I am searching for the next big thing. I do have plans to do another half this fall but until then I've been researching other races. I recently got a card at the Broad Street Expo giving information regarding the Ragnar Relay. This race is unlike the others. It starts in Lancaster county and goes 200 miles to the Pocono mountains. A team of 11 assembles and runs day and night till the finish. Participants rotate and run 5 mile intervals all day and night until the destination is reached. The nice lady promoting the event said that the group goes in a van across the course screaming out the windows and cheering on team members. Seems like a good time. Now I just need to find 10 friends crazy enough to join me. 

Check out the link for more information.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Broad Street is OVER! Time to party!

Today was the Philadelphia Broad Street run. Last night I hit the sack early and woke up at 4:40 this morning to eat what I could and start the drive down to the city. While taking the subway to the start, I reminisced about last year, and how I was so overwhelmed by the runners who were participating in the race. I longed to be out there with them, and now was the time. Unfortunately, as many of you know, a lack of effort and preparation in training went into this race, so naturally I was nervous. With my cousin Amanda and my brother and Becky by my side the race began. During the first mile, I was miserable and thinking this was going to be the longest 10 miler of my life. I pressed on and somewhere around City Hall ( mile 5) I got into a solid pace I was comfortable with. My mom and Tyler's girlfriend were at mile 6 which made it easier to keep going. I just kept telling myself to get to mile 8 then, If I needed to stop I would. It was a rough road to mile 8, but a water station was on the horizon so I kept going. I grabbed a water and looked up to thank the generous volunteer and BAM! I realized that the silver fox in front of me was no other than David Murphy from Action News! I love love love love Action News! I screamed "Oh my God I love you!" and went in for a hug. I am sure I smelled like a goat but whatever, I was in heaven. I ran away and was in disbelief. I swear my dad sent me that run in with David Murphy to make it to the end. Former Mayor Ed Rendell was also on the course, cheering people on. Its amazing taking part in something that large. 35,000 people ran today and for each one of them the streets were lined with people cheering and screaming to continue. Its pretty overwhelming running and having that much support. It was incredible, and by mile 10 I was glad I had finally made it to the naval yard ( race finish) and done the race. Congratulations to all the Broad Street participants and thank you to my mom who came out to support my brother and I today. I would also like to give a shout out and a congratulations to my friend Dan Santos, who ran his first half marathon today to raise money for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Great job Dan! 

Dan's 1/2 Marathon!

5:00 am 
runners on broad 

Amanada and Jac post run
Tyler and Amanda got hungry

The Girls

Beasts of the East

Its a family affair.