Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My 16th marathon race report

My last marathon PR was CIM 2007 where I ran a 3:22:01. I really just thought I was going to get faster and faster. Well, I did in 2008 when I ran a PR half marathon at San Jose in October 1:32:36. This was my tune up to the 2008 New York City Marathon. I was very confident going in to NYC. I travelled with friends and we were going to have a blast. Well, at mile 4 I psyched myself out when I spend an entire minute on the porta potty. And then my hamstring started hurting so I decided to walk it in at mile 16 and try again at the California International Marathon 5 weeks later. This was probably not a very smart move for me. I had trained and tapered for NYC and then continued the training cycle for the next 5 weeks. Well, at CIM I ran really well until mile 18 when I started having sharp pain in my right hamstring. I thought I was done, but when I resumed running, the pain subsided somewhat and I was able to shuffle to the finish in 3:28. I won the Athena division, but cried so hard at the finish line because I did not even come close to my personal record.

As the great Haile Gebrselassie said, " There are good days and there are bad days, today was a good day". This was after he ran a world record in the Marathon. So I learned from my bad day at CIM 2008. Racing a marathon 5 weeks after another does not work for me. I extended my training period and probably got burned out in the process. I also learned to have more fun with running, then the minute long porta potty stop at New York would not have been a big deal. I also learned that some pain comes and goes. In my case, the hamstring pain was fleeting.
I then struggled to pull myself together in 2009 and 2010. I gained 20 pounds in 2009, lost the weight in 2010. Add to that some personal problems, 2010 was less than ideal. I was so stressed, I had a series of not so great races. My hamstring would flare up during races. I had diarrhea in Philadelphia. I bonked during San Diego.

So when I was finally able to deal with my stress and personal problems (October 2010) and lose the weight, I felt a huge relief and started focusing on training again. My confidence was slowly starting to come back and having my husband as a training partner really helped me get to the starting line of CIM 2010. This would be my husband's second attempt at racing the marathon. His first attempt at San Diego 2003, caused him to get injured at mile 18 and not finish the race.

I started the 2010 CIM race, right at the line because the Athena times are based on gun time, not chip time. I felt really stupid doing this though because I got passed like crazy at the start for at least 5 miles. It was like a stampede. LOL. I ran my first mile in 7:59.
Mile 2 7:45 - ok I thought this feels easy
Mile 3 7:45
Mile 4 7:32 - oops too fast
Mile 5 7:41 - ok better
Mile 6 7:41 - I am now behind the 3:20 pace group
Mile 7 7:39 - still feeling good
Mile 8 7:55 - Uh oh what happened here?
Mile 9 7:51 - Uh again, I better try to pick it up but I am not even half way yet
Mile 10 7:38 - ok that's better
Mile 11 7:52 - yikes - I am feeling pretty tight
Mile 12 7:51 - can I at least keep my splits under 8 - God I hope so. The 3:20 group is fading in the distance
Mile 13 7:43 - ok maybe I was just having a bad patch earlier or maybe it's the hills
Half 1:41:xx - that's kinda what i was shooting for so I am good, yet I don't feel so good or very confident about going another 13 miles
Mile 14 7:59 - ouch
Mile 15 8:04 - Oh suck! My first mile in the 8s and it's only mile 15. C'mon Reyana this is when the hills end right? I have been telling everybody and their mother that the hills end at mile 15. I need something to motivate me.
Mile 16 8:04 - Another 8 min mile. Yikes. Ok well keep it in the low 8s at least
Mile 17 8:01 - Nice I am ok with this now. I see people that blew by me at the earlier miles slowly coming back to me. Yes I am passing people left and right.
Mile 18 7:59 Yay a mile under 8 min. I can do this. I know I can do this. I am an athlete. I am strong. I can do this.
Mile 19 8:05 Oh goodness. Ok so if I can run 7 miles at 9 min pace I should be able to run sub 3:30. 9 x 7 is what? @#$% Damn I can't do the math. Ok I know 9 x 5 is 45 so 9 x 7 is more than 45 mins. Ok how about 10 x 7. So at 10 min miles I have another hour and 10 mins. That will put me at over 3:30.
Mile 20 8:55 The beginning of the end. Damn Damn Damn c mon Reyana
Mile 21 8:30 Ok so if I run 8:30s from here can I run sub 3:30. I try to do math again. 5 x 9 is 45 mins. Yes, this I can do. If I run 9 min miles to the finish I can run 3:29. Yes Yes Yes.
Mile 22 8:54 Oh no, what about the 0.2. How do I calculate the time for the 0.2. How fast have I run 0.2? What is 0.2? Is that a quarter mile? Oh geez no that's less than a quarter mile.
Mile 23 8:35 Oh nice not bad. Please God let me finish. My dad did not raise a quitter. I am a winner.

Mile 24 8:53 Oh who cares about winning. I just want to stop. I don't care about this stupid race. I hate this part. I still have 2 miles to go. What is the street number? Are we still in the 50s, 40s? I know we have to turn on 8th street. HELLO that is a freaking long way to go.
Mile 25 8:32 WOW I had no idea I could even pick it up a bit at this late stage of the race. Oh yeah a runner in pink tried to pass me. No, you don't pass me.
Mile 26 8:27 Yes the mile 26 flag how beautiful you are. I love you flag. What? I am at 3:30 already. Oh no, that's right the 0.2. I did not know how to calculate the 0.2 into my time. So much for sub 3:30. Dang it!
The last 0.2 1:35 - yeah I actually sprinted to the finish line (well, sub 8 pace). I obviously did not give it my all out there.
I ended up taking third in my division. The first place Athena ran 2:54. I am sooo motivated now.

Today I feel good.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nutrition Misinformation

Nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on the health, well-being and economic status of individuals. About 22% of consumers claim to be confused by reports on health and nutrition. Sadly it is not always easy to decipher all the information out there. The good news is that accurate food and nutrition information is a result of scientific agreement from peer-reviewed studies that can be replicated.

Erroneous information is abundant and consists of incomplete, misleading science or anecdotal evidence. It can be disseminated recklessly, to gain attention, to promote a product, or to promote a philosophy of a special interest group. Food and nutrition misinformation includes food faddism, health fraud and misdirected claims.

Food fads are exaggerated unreasonable claims that eating or not eating certain foods, nutrients, supplements, combinations of certain foods may cure disease, provide significant health benefits, offer quick weight loss or provide some magical solution. More often these claims are made in an attempt to sell a product. Be wary of magic bullet statements. For example, "Eating 100% organic is the only way to be healthy".

Health fraud is a deliberate use of food faddism to make money. For example, marketing and selling a pill claiming that it will make your burn fat. According to the American Dietetic Association's (ADA's) Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, "health fraud means a promotion for financial gain, a health remedy that doesn't work - or hasn't yet been proved to work" and that is "promoted to improve health, well-being, or appearance".

Misdirected claims include those that lead consumers to make incorrect inferences and generalizations about food. A label on a food item may read, "low in cholesterol" in a plant product that does not contain cholesterol to begin with. It is perfectly legal to provide misdirected claims on food products, yet the Federal Trade Commission is working on providing adequate disclosures to correct advertising misinterpretations.

So, we have to be savvy consumers and take charge of our self-care. In 2004 consumers spent $43 billion on weight-loss solutions. Food faddism, health fraud and misdirected claims can be very expensive for individuals. it is thus important to get information from credible sources such as nationally credentialed dietetics professionals working in health care, academia, public health, the media, government, and the food industry because they are uniquely qualified to promote science-based nutrition information.

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (1) that Registered Dietitians (RD) and ADA members provide consumers with sound, science-based nutrition information and help them to recognize misinformation; (2) RDs and ADA members need to be the primary source of sound, science-based nutrition information for the media and to inform them when misinformation is presented; and (3) ADA members should continue to diligently work with other health care practitioners, educators, policy makers, and food and dietary supplement industry representatives to responsibly address the health and psychological, physiological, and economic effects of nutrition-related misinformation". Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2006; 106:601-607