2. Hill Workouts: Treadmill. 15% incline. For 70 minutes straight, then another 7 1/2 minutes at 10% incline. It hurts. It really hurts. My quads are on fire and on strike at the same time. It should get me ready (or ready-ish) for those scary uphills, right? Right? Any advice on this one? How to train your legs for mountains when living in a country as flat as the Netherlands? The treadmill is my best bet at the moment...
3. Fundraising Team Hole in the Wall: Hit $ 6,045 this week with 4 months to go! That's 2 kids that will get the chance to go to one of the Hole in the Wall camps! How awesome is that! And guess what: I'm kicking it into gear to see if I can raise enough to help a third kid! Want to help? (Pretty Please!) The Team Hole in the Wall link in my sidebar will forward you to my fundraising page! :)
But I did manage to mess up yet another set of race photos. Oh yeah. I'm still on a streak here!
So, let's name this post the 'How to mess up race photos by showing too much flesh' post.
Almost there. Nothing too bad going on in this picture. You are aware of the fact that 'less is more' is not in my handbook, right? Hence, the color combo. Note to self: check mirror before leaving the house. What might look good on paper, doesn't necessarily look good on moi...
Actually not that bad. Especially since this was taken just a couple of hundred meters before the finish line. I don't look at all 'beaten up'. :) But...I AM showing a heck of a lot of flesh. Uhm...yeah...I did NOT know that it was this bad... I'm pretty sure I've flashed half the town on that 24 minute run...and there were children spectating. I'm such a bad influence...
At the finish line. Showing even more flesh. Cover it up, woman! And that bruised spot on my quad...yep...that's the result of the 'couldn't get my feet out of the toe clips on my bike speedy enough' thingie...
The stats for this 5K @ 10K pace tempo run (Yeah, I'm slow. I know. Get over it.):
Name Silly Girl Running (Oh yeah! They let me register under my blog name!)
Distance 5 kilometers
Overall 38 / 1389
Category 21 / 719
Pace 12,371 km/uur
First, the legs. According to my Sports Doc the bone scan is inconclusive - for now. She explained to me that a hot spot isn't necessarily a stress fracture. Especially not when there aren't any other syptoms (mine showed up by surprise on a 'no pain here' leg). Apparently hot spots can appear right after a long long long run (I did a 40K 2 days before the scan) and are a sign of normal bone remodelling.
Second, food. And lots of it. The Sports Doc wants me to see a sports dietician. I'm the last person to call myself skinny, but she thinks my fat percentage is low-ish and my physique is quite skinny. Hmmmpfffff. And she wants me to be sure that I'm getting all the fuel my body needs. I figured 'I eat a lot, and lots of veggies', so I'm fine. Yeah, apparently that's not enough. The sports dietician has some kind of percentage-chart to work out my diet. I'm scared. ;) That she tells me to stop drinking alcohol and stop eating chocolate cake, that is. ;)
Plus, the Sports Doc wants to figure out whether or not I'm okay on my calorie-intake. I'm at 2500-2700 a day, I guess. She says 'at least 3500 for long distance runners'. Uhm...sounds like a lot to me! She didn't applaud my suggestion to add ice cream and cupcakes to my diet. Bummer! ;)
So, like any sane girl would do, I spent the night on Google. :) And found this:
"Inadequate nutritional intake is more common in female athletes than in their male counterparts. Proper diet is paramount for active individuals to maintain adequate energy during physical activity and for postactivity recovery."
Dietary components include macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals). Specific requirements are presented in the Table in the Summary of Nutritional Requirements and Sources section.
Carbohydrates are necessary to meet energy needs, more so in endurance athletes than in strength athletes.
Carbohydrate needs are commonly based on the athlete's body size and activity level. Individuals engaged in moderate-duration, low-intensity exercise require 5-7 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. By contrast, those participating in long-duration and high-intensity exercise require 7-12 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight (see the Table).
Fruit, vegetables, brown rice, enriched whole-grain breads, whole grain cereals, rolled oats, beans, legumes, and sweet potatoes are good examples of healthy carbohydrate foods.
Active individuals have a heightened protein requirement because they have a high percentage of lean muscle mass to support, they need protein to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise, and they require additional protein for energy during exercise.
The amount of protein required depends on the type of activity being performed. Researchers recommend protein intakes of 1.2-1.4 g/kg/d for individuals participating in endurance sports and 1.6-1.8 g/kg/d for those involved in anaerobic activities (see the Table).
Benefits of substituting carbohydrates with protein include the following:
•Enhanced weight loss
•Reduction in truncal adipose tissue
•Optimal maintenance of blood glucose levels
•Improved lipid profile
Protein-rich foods include lean pork and beef, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, and low-fat dairy products. Women at risk for having a low protein intake are those who restrict their energy intake to achieve weight loss or those who eat a vegetarian diet.
In the past, some investigators expressed concerns that a high-protein diet can cause renal damage. However, no conclusive evidence suggests that a high-protein diet negatively affects healthy adults with normal renal function. In addition, some researchers have raised questions about whether a high-protein or low-carbohydrate diet may increase the all-cause mortality risk in women. Further research is necessary to determine if this is the case.
Fat provides essential elements for the cell membranes and is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Fat should account for 25-30% of a person's energy intake. Diets should be limited in saturated and trans-fats, while providing adequate amounts of essential fatty acids (linoleic and alpha-linoleic acid). In women, the following intakes are advised (see the Table):
•Linoleic acid intake 11-12 g/d
•Alpha-linoleic acid intake 1.1 g/d
Functions of essential fatty acids include regulation of blood clotting, blood pressure, heart rate, and immune responses.
Dietary fatty acids should come from naturally lean protein foods, nuts, seeds, nut butter, fatty fish (eg, salmon, trout), fish-oil supplements, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, avocados, and egg yolks. Women should avoid consuming fats found in processed foods because of their highly saturated nature.
Low-fat diets are not recommended for active individuals. Low-fat diets decrease energy and nutrient intake, reduce exercise performance, and decrease oxidation of body fat stores. Fat provides the most energy per gram of all the macronutrients and can help in achieving a positive energy balance. Dietary fat maintains concentrations of sex hormones and may prevent menstrual disturbances.
Fluids and electrolytes
Dehydration impairs performance; therefore, athletes must remain well hydrated. Adequate fluid intake is approximately 2.2 L/d for women aged 19-30 years, and increased drinking is required for active individuals or those in hot environments (see the Table).
Athletes should consume 400-600 mL of fluid 2 hours before exercising. During exercise, 150-350 mL (6-12 fluid ounces [fl oz]) should be ingested every 15-20 minutes. For exercise lasting longer than 1 hour or occurring in hot environments, the fluid should be a drink containing carbohydrates and electrolytes. Postexercise meals should include fluids and foods containing sodium, because diuresis occurs with the ingestion of plain water.
Vitamins and minerals
Female athletes are at increased risk for iron, calcium, vitamin B, and zinc deficiencies. These nutrients are vital for building bone and muscle and for energy production. Vegetarians are particularly at risk for developing deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals.
Iron insufficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies among the female athlete because of menstrual losses (see the Table). Iron deficiency may lead to fatigue. Ferritin values are commonly used to reflect iron stores; however, their reliability in the female athlete is questioned.
Excessive iron ingestion may also cause problems, including gastrointestinal distress, constipation, and iron toxicity."
and this (this is the last one: promise):
Total daily energy expenditure (TEE, TDEE)
A female athlete's TEE is calculated by using the following equation:
TEE = REE X PAL + TEA
where REE is the resting energy expenditure, PAL is the physical activity level, and TEA is the thermal effect of activity. Various means exist to estimate REE, PAL, and TEA.
Resting energy expenditure (REE)
Calculations of REE that are conducted in a laboratory by means of indirect calorimetry are the most accurate.
An alternative is the use of equations that incorporate anthropometric variables. The Harris-Benedict equation is most commonly applied to athletes. This equation is as follows:
REE = 655 + (9.5 X weight) + (1.9 X height) – (4.7 X age)
where REE is given in kilocalories (kcal) per day, weight is in kilograms (kg), height is in centimeters (cm), and age is in years (y).
Physical activity level
The PAL value can be determined by using accelerometers, heart-rate monitors, activity diaries, or self-reported activity estimates. Depending on their occupation and daily activities, female athletes may be considered to be moderately to extremely active (ie, have PALs of 1.6-2.5).
Thermal effect of activity
The TEA is calculated as follows:
TEA = weight X duration X METs
where TEA is expressed in kcal, weight is in kg, duration is in hours (h), and METs are the metabolic equivalents of the task being performed, in kcal/kg/h.
METs are found by consulting the Compendium of Physical Activities — a coding scheme developed by Ainsworth et al that classifies specific physical activity by rate — and are determined by dividing the metabolic rate during activity by the metabolic rate at rest. A MET value of 1 is defined as 1 kcal/kg/h, which is approximately the energy expended when a person is sitting quietly. Different physical activities are associated with different MET values. For example, weight lifting is equal to 6.0-8.0 METs."
Heck of a lot of info, but it IS quite interesting. Lot of it is a no-brainer actually, but there is some info in there that I did not know of. Worth reading for every recreational female athlete/runner, in my opinion. For what that's worth. ;)
Guys, stop reading
Third, my 'baby machine'. Any guys out there reading this? You might want to stop reading now. As in, NOW! If you don't, and think I'm a freak after this, I did warn you!
What the Sports Doc also told me (the Redhead will understand!) is to stop taking my birth control pill for the time being. Why? Not because she wants me walking around with a huge pregnant belly. Nope. She wants to see if the baby machine will still work without the birth control pill (have been taking it since I was 16 - because I had awful migraines). There are no signs that it wouldn't work (that's what she said), but she still wants to rule out any signs of amenorrhea. Better safe than sorry. I kind of like her 'better safe than sorry' kind of approach.
So, that's the story. For now. I'll just take this thing by the day. :) Please feel free to share any thought on nutrition, etcetera!
This whole 'I have no pain in a leg, nor had any in the past, but they found a 'hot spot' on a bone scan while looking for something else' has taken me down mentally. Saw another Sports MD today that agrees that the whole thing is weird and doesn't make any sense. Plus, she told me she isn't a fan of bone scans to begin with, and would go with a CT-scan any day. She's checking it with another Sports MD and will let me know when she finds something out. For now, cycling it is. Hope to be my normal 'hyperactive' self by tomorrow. Sorry. :)
My left shin (shin splints) feels 100% better. Yay. That I DO get.
What I do NOT get. The right shin, that apparently has a SF in it, still doesn't hurt (knock on wood). No pain when touching it. No bump on the shin. Even my Sports' MD and Sports' PT don't get it. At least, when you actually feel pain, you know when it's getting better. I don't. Not at all. And it's frustrating and makes me scared to even try running when I'm allowed to again. What if the shin snaps out of the effing blue when coming down a mountain?
Lessons learned (on this weekend's cycling sessions):
1. Cycling 32 miles a day - coming from a 3 mile base - will make your lady parts hurt. Enough said.
2. Cycling is fun. Seriously. :)
3. It doesn't really matter whether you're running in a skirt or cycling in a pink cycling jersey, the honking continues. That is, when on a bike, the honking actually scares the shit out of me! At one point I actually figured I must have been on the wrong side of the road or something.
4. Uphills will make your quads hate you.
5. A GPS on your bike is a godsend. No kidding. Especially with my navigation skills.
6. Wearing a helmet for 2 hours straight will give you helmet hair. Please check mirror before rushing out the door to meet a friend for drinks...
7. Moeben arm sleeves work as great on a bike as they do on a run.
8. Cycling is actually fun. Oh, I already said that? ;)
However, I carefully avoided all the 'might be slippery' bits of the road today. Why? Because I'm a wimp. I'm afraid I'll crash and break something all the time (then again, apparently I don't need to actually crash to break something...). Okay...and it might have something to do with me spending several hours on YouTube last night, searching for 'how not to crash on a bicycle'. Guess what came up in the results? Correct, lots and lots of clips of crashes. After watching this one, I'm ready to wrap myself in bubble wrap.... That wouldn't be weird, right? Right?
Any advice on this one? ;) (And nope 'stop spending several hours on YouTube' won't help. ;))
2. What? How old am I?: I had braces as a kid (11 year-old). Had them for two years. Then had a retainer placed behind my front and lower teeth to prevent the teeth from moving around again. Two years ago the retainer behind my front teeth broke. My dentist fixed it. Or at least, he said he had fixed it. Turns out, it was never fixed correctly. So, one of the teeth started moving around a bit, resulting in a gap (2-3 millimeters). Yup. I need a new retainer. The orthodontist adviced me to wear a Invisalign brace thingie for 3-6 months to fix the gap. Hmmm...and I'm kind of okay with the gap. Just don't want it to get worse. But, okay, I agreed to check this Invisalign thingie out. Guess what: you need to wear the thing for at least 22 hours a day (you need to take it off to eat) and are not allowed to drink sports drink or choke down GU when it's in. How the heck am I supposed to do my long runs? Not an option? Any thoughts?
Photo courtesy: Invisalign
3. Zzzzzzzzzzz: It's crazy busy at work. At this point I truly believe that everyone wants to go to court before their summer vacay. Keeps me going, and might drive me insane. Or already did. Either way, I'm tired. And that won't help The Shin in the whole healing process...
Well, not really, but I was injected with some radio-active cocktail thingie, so - in a sci-fi movie - I should be able to glow in the dark at this very moment. Not to mention that I was instructed - by the MD herself - to not let others pee on the same toilet as I am using for the next 24 hours. Hehehe. Kind of funny.
Okay, on a more serious note, today I was scheduled for a bone scan. To check whether or not there's a stress fracture going in in my lower legs and feet. Yes, I figured they would only need to check The Shin, but the MD figured 'why not check legs, knees and feet while we're at it'. Better safe than sorry, I guess. :) I hope the results are ready this Friday. If not, it might be Tuesday before I hear anything from the MD.
As for what a bone scan is (in case you didn't already know):
"A Bone scan or bone scintigraphy is a nuclear scanning test to find certain abnormalities in bone which are triggering the bone's attempts to heal. It is primarily used to help diagnose a number of conditions relating to bones, including: cancer of the bone or cancers that have spread (metastasized) to the bone, locating some sources of bone inflammation (e.g. bone pain such as lower back pain due to a fracture), the diagnosis of fractures that may not be visible in traditional X-ray images, and the detection of damage to bones due to certain infections and other problems." (source: Wikipedia)And it looks like this:
I've had CT scans, X-rays, etcetera tons of times for my kidneys, so I didn't feel nervous about this scan - at all. However, the stuff they inject you with makes this scan a whole different ball game. The scan took about 1 1/2 hours and didn't hurt, but it did leave me feeling tired. Like, I've just finished a marathon tired. Without the 'burned enough calories to eat your weight in chocolate' part. Not that that will keep me from actually eating my weight in chocolate and marshmallows tonight. :)
I'll be hitting the sack early tonight. :)
What did you expect me to wear when heading over to the gym to spend some time on a bicycle? ;) I had to make it kind of fun. ;)
And yes. I'm only smiling for the camera, not because I'm looking forward to cycling. Just for the record.
Rest days planned / taken: 10 / 11 - Took an extra rest day after the Edinburgh Marathon
Highest mileage / km week: 9/5 - 15/5 : 50.1 miles / 80.2 km
Long runs planned / ran: 4 / 6
Pace / speed work outs planned / ran: 3 / 3 (Because a marathon still counts as a pace work out in my book....)
Cross training work outs planned / done: 6 / 6
Donuts burned: 102.5
Current shame-inducing guilty pleasure: Drinking way too many Starbucks Chocolate (skimmed milk ;)) Frappucinos. It's calcium, right? Need calcium for the ol' bones. :)
Current obsession: Stalking Google: need all the info on lower leg problems and stress fractures. :(
Current drink: Still fennel tea, water and diet coke. And Gatorade. Still boring.
Current song: P Diddy - Coming home.
Current need: Sleep. And my body to stay on track. Bloody shin.
Current triumph: Getting 20 minutes of my marathon PR within 51 days. I heart Edinburgh Marathon. :)
Current bane of my existence: My left lower leg: shin. And being scared sh#t of what the outcome of the bone scan will be. Enough said.
Current blessings: A perfect marathon at the Edinburgh Marathon on May 22nd.
Current excitement: New 3:50:33 marathon PR. Enough said. :)