Training for a pain free 60-mile (Training Nutrition)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about “not poisoning yourself” when training for and participating in the 3-day, 60-mile event.  This post is a bit of an extension to that.

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If you have a high performance car, you don’t want to feed it crap gas, or you will get crap performance.  Our bodies are the same. Knowing and understanding this fact, should makes fueling our bodies for long distance training walks or the actual event a bit easier.

When I was in high school, I was very active in sports. The swim team would have “carb load” dinners the night before a meet. The purpose of this was to bulk up on the carbs to give our bodies the fuel they needed to kick the other teams booty in the meet, then next day.

While in theory, this was a great idea, the execution wasn’t always the best option.  We would bulk up on highly refined carbs (spaghetti) that, I now know, would bog down our bodies, and be burned off before our meet.  My nutritional choices these days are much different. 

A 10-12 mile training walk at a 3.5-4.25 mph rate will burn right around 1,000 calories.  That’s a ton!  Its important that we feed our body the right fuel for the job.  Here is an example of how I fuel my personal engine before a training walk.

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During the Week

All week long, I focus on high fiber, whole foods with quality proteins, plant based carbs, and natural fats.  (Nothing artificial – I did eat a couple of gourmet chocolates today.) Here are some of my favorites.

Fresh Produce Healthy Grease Monkey

Morning of my Training Walk

Wake up at 6 AM. All gear was prepared the night before.  Water bladder with 1.5 liters of water & water bottle with Performance are in the fridge waiting to be placed in the camelbak.

I then mix up a Protein smoothee or I grab a meal-in-a-bar, I quickly swallow my morning supplements, eat my 2 Energy Chews & head out the door.

My phone is set to track my walk, provide my sound track, and the game is on. 

As I walk along I sip on water regularly and occasionally take a swig from the Perfomance bottle.

After about an hour of walking, I will stretch some, including my shoulders and arms.  Then, at about 2 hour mark, I will grab a snack bar.  I usually carry 1 of two kinds… Protein Snack Bar or Fiber bars or both.  (Nothing worse than being bound up and bloated while walking a long distance.)

If I am out at the 4 hour mark, I usually grab another snack or meal bar too keep the calories and blood sugar pumping at a steady rate.  I know that personally, I need to refill my 1.5 liters of water at about mile 8 or 9.  (Be SURE you plan to have a pit stop/refill station on your route.)

So I am eating about every 2 hours.

When I return home, the FIRST thing is to STRETCH out.  THEN, as soon as I can, I get my recovery Physique Smoothee mixed and drink it down. Then I shower, put on loose fitting clothes and make breakfast for my family, standing at the stove. Smile  (yes, that’s really how it happens)

Training Nutrition

Sometimes I need a little extra

For those times when I am finished walking and my muscles tighten up more than I expect, or my feet or hips hurt, that tells me I am experiencing some inflammation.  I, personally, combat this with supplements that make all the difference in the world.

  • Omegas– for the inflammation A full days dose all at once
  • Alfalfa – also for inflammation
  • VitalMag – magnesium for cramping muscles (I’ll take a double dose here b/c I know I am deficient if I am cramping)
  • Calcium Magnesium – Again, if I am cramping, I am deficient so I take at least 1000 mg
  • Tons of filtered water.  Keep the fluids pumping
  • I may also do a second Physique 2 hours after my first

After my supplement cocktail, I notice, about 20 minutes later, that the tightness, the stiffness, and any pain subsides.  I also, have a massage therapist who works with me directly to assist me in my training and a chiropractor who keeps me in line. Smile

My personal, bottom line

I don’t discuss other products, that I am not knowledgeable about.  I have found a brand I trust that has NONE of the artificial things, NONE of the doping things (thus many of my friends, who are Olympians, also use them) The products are all low glycemic, gluten free – for those who need it, and only contain nutrition boosting ingredients.

My article here is about what I use, what I have found success with and what has allowed me to enjoy 60-mile walks mostly pain free as opposed to the 60-mile walks before my friend introduced me to them (8 years prior – younger) Smile

I hope this helps you. If you would like any additional information, or would like to join me on a training walk, please contact me.

Have a GREAT Holiday weekend and…. HaPPY WALKING!

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Training for a pain free 60-mile (Don’t poison yourself)

I know this sounds silly to say, “Don’t poison yourself” but it is easier to do than you think, in many ways.  I’ve been known to pollute my self on occasion.  Not so much, these days, but in my younger years I was all about them. The less stress our bodies have to undergo, the quicker our bodies can recover.

The Susan G. Komen 3-day is all about finding a cure for breast cancer. It is an excellent organization that has helped my family members out during treatment and diagnosis. The whole purpose is for fewer people to die of Breast Cancer.  There is another way we can assist them in this endeavor, AND it can help us prepare our bodies for a mostly pain free 60-mile walk as well.

Ingestion

  • The initial one is easy, lay off the booze, beer, and wine. This one takes us back to the hydration issue as well as slowing down our recovery process.
  • Refined, empty carbohydrates – STAY AWAY… these are sugars, finely ground and bleached flours, boxes of ready made meals, junk food, donuts, and my hubby’s favorite Noodles Ramen. (which he doesn’t get).
    • These tempting apples of the modern day world are horrible for the training body, any body really. They cause spikes in blood sugar then more importantly severe and rapid drops in energy and GRUMPIES!
    • Opt instead for whole foods.  It really doesn’t take much, if any, longer to prepare foods from scratch, just a bit of practice – they taste better and are better for you.  Herbs and spices are your friends, MSG, BPA, and empty carbs are NOT.  There are some recipes on this blog too.
  • Avoid MSG, BPA, and other initials.  If you can’t read it, DON’T BUY IT and certainly DON’T EAT IT. Smile 

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Slather it on

  • The average woman uses 9-11 personal body care products per day.  The average man 7.  If each of those products is under the threshold of toxins… say .9 if 1 is too much… we multiply that by how many products you are using (7x.9=6.3 times) you end up seeing that those toxins being absorbed by your skin are 6.3 times greater than the “safe” threshold.
  • 90 seconds after you slather it on, whatever it is, it has entered your blood stream. (Don’t believe me, mash some garlic and rub it on the sole of your feet.  Time yourself to see how long it is before you can taste the garlic.)
  • There are better option available. Avoid products with pthalates, parabens, Initials, and words you can’t pronounce.  Find a trusted source for your body care products.  Would you use just ANY product on your classic, one of a kind car?  Why would you use it on your personal body?
  • Many salons now offer organic hair care solutions, I choose to use the Prosante’ line of products.
  • Skin care involves soaps, scrubs, moisturizers, creams, repair products, etc.  Again, I recommend you find a company that does extensive research, and SAFETY testing.  I’ve been using the Enfuselle line for years and people frequently guess me as 10 years younger than my actual age. There are others out there, I have just been happy with the results and haven’t looked elsewhere.
  • Lotions.  It puts the lotion on the skin… Again… look for those without fragrance (pthalates=bad juju).  I can provide ideas if you would like here too. Smile

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Breathe it in

  • Some 80,000+ chemicals have been introduced into our homes through excellent marketing campaigns. Less than 1% have been tested to see what the results of exposing them to our selves, or especially our pregnant women or children.  The body needs time to recover from the poisoning each time we are exposed.
  • We don’t NEED to use toxic poisons to clean our homes, our cars, our toilets. I haven’t used toxic cleaners in 7+ years and our medical bills have dropped dramatically.  No need to recover if we don’t get sick. Smile
  • Fabric softeners are terrible for our bodies, our respiratory system, and our recovery process.  Try an organic option or none at all.  Did you know that fabric softeners, even though they make your towels fluffy soft, they actually reduce absorption.  hmmm
  • Vinegar and baking soda is an option, Coke and Pepsi are an options for the toilet – you need to use them up from the fridge anyway and they can’t dehydrate you if you don’t drink them.
  • I choose to use a highly concentrated, organic line of cleaning products that save me tons of cash and I don’t have asthma anymore and I’m not stressing my body so it can recover from the other stresses that much easier.

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The Bottom Line

  • Each additional stress we put on our body weakens our body.
  • When we compound the stresses of toxins, bad eating decisions, booze, smoking, training for a big event, everyday life, work and family – the body can only do so much at a time.
  • Eliminate the stressors I have control over and my body will have less to overcome.
  • Finally, perhaps, we can cut back on the cases of diagnosis so fewer people need the cures, through healthy lifestyle choices.

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If you would like any additional information, sources for my information or more options for healthy options, contact me.

Happy Walking.

 

 

Training for a pain free 60-mile (hydration)

This is probably one of the biggest issues in a 3-day.  The volunteers at the event do a VERY good job of being sure we are pushed to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, PEE! 

However, when we are training on our own, or before we get to the event, it can be very easy to “forget” how much WATER we have consumed. 

I emphasize WATER because sodas, coffee, teas (I’m not referring to caffeine free herbal teas here), and booze are counter productive in this instance. 

I train in SW Florida year round.  August is one of my bigger training months and it is also one of the hottest, so hydration becomes very important.  I must make sure that I am not setting myself up for failure in the days leading up to a big training walk. 

I, personally, strive to drink at least 75 ounces of water a day, on non-training day.  This keeps things “moving” throughout my body and prevents dehydration and other things.  I also pay close attention to my body while I am walking for any signs that I may need extra hydration.

Signs my body gives me to tell me I am moving toward dehydration:

  • Sausage Fingers – my fingers swell and my wedding band looks tight
  • Tight or Cramping muscles – this is the sign that I need to stretch A LOT, and something more than water is needed to get me back on track
  • Thirsty – once you feel thirsty, you have already begun the dehydration cycle
  • Light headed, dizzy (more so than normal Smile ) – time to sit down and cool off and drink, drink, drink

WATER

I carry 1.5 liters of water with me when training.  I know that should get me 6-8 miles into my walk and that I will need a refill at that point.  I plan my training walks to give me that option, specifically.

On a daily basis I carry my 16 ounce Tervis tumbler and fill it about 4 times per day with hydrating drinks. (water, fruit infused water, herbal teas)  I also know that if I choose to drink coffee, I will need to add more water to my daily total.

I stay away from “bottled” water.  The tap is more strictly regulated and enforced, there is less BPA and other plastic leachates in it, and I don’t have to pay to have it shipped anywhere.  I do use a filtration pitcher at home to give me more peace of mind and to pull out additional toxins.  Choose a brand you trust.

NOT WATER

I don’t mean the clear liquid that comes in the gallon jug and burns on the way down. I avoid drinks of that nature.  I AM talking about REHYDRATION – electrolyte replacement beverages.

I don’t personally drink, or recommend, the mainstream beverages on the market.  If you ask my 6 yr old, the rule is, “if it come’s in blue, we don’t drink it.” 

Here’s what I look for in a replacement beverage:

  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors OR sweeteners
  • No caffeine
  • Evidence based science

I have a friend’s blog that explains what to look for in an electrolyte replacement beverage, she is much more knowledgeable than I am, I just know it works for me.  My choice of mix is Performance, it is rated as one of the top options on this blog as well

My next blog will be, “Don’t Poison Yourself”  hmmm…

For more information, follow me here, or contact me.  Until then, Happy walking!

Training for a pain free 60-mile (The Gear)

When training for and participating in any long distance event, the gear you choose can and will make a big difference in your ability to participate, complete, and recover from the event.

Start with, YOUR FEET!

We know most walkers will be on their feet, walking, for 5-8 hours for 3 days.  That’s a long time and can cause serious issues. Poor shoe and sock choices can result in blisters, knee and hip pain, as well as ankle injuries. (Although curbs can also contribute to those ankle injuries – Just ask my 2011 walking partner)

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  • Your Shoes can make all the difference. My suggestion is to visit a GOOD running store.  The specialists there should be able to watch you walk and suggest the best shoe for you. 
    • My issues are pronation so I need good arch support and narrow feet. New Balance, now, causes me to end up with feet full of blisters. (In the first two walks they were amazing and I didn’t get the first blister during the first walk.)
    • I have worn:
      • New Balance (new make of this one are too wide for me)
      • Mizuno – worked wonders for me
      • Brooks – These are what I plan to wear for this year’s event. 
  • Socks – Good socks and plenty of them. Wet feet are blistered feet!  Keep your feet DRY. When possible.  The 2005 Tampa 3-day was a monsoon with water nearly up to our knees in places.  Dry feet were not an option.  If it is an option keep them dry.
    • I tried MANY different combinations in the past two years to find the right combination to keep my feet blister free. – I discovered my shoes were too wide for my feet (see shoes) Smile
    • The one line of socks that have proven to be the best option for me, personally, have been SmartWool socks.  They don’t match my outfits, but the keep my feet dry and cut way back on friction and blistering.
  • Shorts/skorts – (sorry guys, I can’t help you here.) Ladies, this too can make a big difference. I’ve worn spandex shorts for 4 walks, 1 skort in that time.  If your shorts are too short or ride up, its easy to become very uncomfortable – or worse yet, allow chafing to occur.
    • I’ve had excellent results with longer spandex shorts.
    • I look very forward to walking in my Sparkle Skirts this year.  I just discovered this line of skorts.  They are amazing.  I can’t say enough good stuff about them!  No riding up, tons of pockets, comfortable and FUN~!  I get no kick-backs, I’m just a customer, but I LOVE my sparkle skirts and can’t wait to walk this final Tampa walk in mine.
  • A GOOD Sports Bra.  Nothing worse than those girls flopping around and bouncing for 5-8 hours for 3 days straight… then the pain of the body attempting to recover from it.  I’ve always worn Champion brand sports bras.  They work well for me.  My girlfriend, who is much more endowed than I, wore two at a time to give herself the support she needed.  (I also therefore make sure I have very loose fitting comfy AFTER clothes to relax in after I cross the finish line and shower.)
  • Light Weight tank tops.  A lot of people wear team shirts, we’ve worn team tank tops, but I really like the New Balance tank tops. These are super soft, have a mesh back that wicks water away, and wash well.
  • Fanny pack or back pack – When on the walk, you don’t need to carry a lot of things, but you do need to carry some.  I have a CamelBak that is my bag of choice. It carries a 3 liter water bladder (I only fill it to 1.5) and has a full back pack included.  I keep my water bottle of Performance hydration in the side pocket and inside I carry:
    • A Blister care pack/kit – basic 1st aid kit
    • Knee brace (I have 1 tender knee) & an Ace Bandage
    • Rain Coat (more to keep my gear dry than my person)
    • Handkerchief for walking through cheering stations. (I’m a crier)
    • Spare Socks
    • Chewing gum
    • Cell Phone
    • Snack Bars & My “on the go lunch”
    • Powdered Performance to refill my rehydration bottle.
    • Usually some things for those around me.
    • I also carry a New Trent battery back-up for my Cell phone & a USB cable.
  • Tent Gear – just the basics.  This is only 3 nights and NOT a beauty pageant so I pack very light.
    • Duffel Bag – also doubles as my pillow
    • Light weight sleeping bag
    • 1 top sheet
    • Tarp (in case it rains)
    • Sleeping mat (cheap inflatable mattress to keep me off the ground) 
    • Basic Toiletries.

Hope this helps.  I DO carry my Rehydration backpack on my training walks, mostly loaded as I will have it for the walk, so that my body is used to the weight and what will needed for the event. 

My next 3-day 60-mile topic will be a VERY important one… Hydration!

If you would like more information, subscribe to this blog, contact me, or shoot me a message on FaceBook! 

Training for a (mostly) pain free 60-mile walk

I’ve focused a lot this month on snacks and snacking as a way to maintain health.  For the next couple of weeks, I plan to focus on training for a (mostly) pain free 60-mile walk

I write this as something of which I have first hand experience. I began walking these events as a tribute to my mother, a now, 12 year survivor.

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My first walk was in Farmington Hills, Michigan in 2004. One WEEK after my first hurricane, Hurricane Charlie.  The pain I experienced after this walk, I attributed to the fact that I trained on the flat roads of SW Florida and the event was in Farmington HILLS. Winking smile  I now know differently.

My second in 2005 was in St. Petersburg, Florida, and during a monsoon.  Not sure what I attributed the pain to after this event, but it was SO excruciating that I vowed to never walk again.  And I didn’t, for several years.

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My third in 2011 was also in St Pete. (as have all since)  My ZTA sorority sister, Kendrick Hueble, succumbed to the disease in February of 2011. The idea of the pain she endured, the pain her family endured(s), was nothing compared to the, now dwindling memory, pain after my first two walks. 

I forgot about the former painful results and the fact that I was now 6 years older and into my 40’s”

The pain wasn’t nearly the issue it had been so may years prior.  In fact, it was darn near gone.  I had some stiff muscles, but as I continued to stretch and keep moving, they loosened up and I felt pretty GREAT!

Healthy Knees

My fourth, last year, was amazing.  Other than spending twice as long on my feet as I had planned/anticipated each day, it was amazing at how good I felt.  I trained the same for all 4 of these walks.  The only two factors that were different were my age (not in my favor) and my nutritional choices and, evidently, my health and ability to heal.

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My fifth, to occur a mere 60 days from now! I decided 2 weeks ago, I would WALK this final Tampa Bay event… With only 2.5 months to train for it.  My nutrition and other choices will assist or hinder me as I PUSH to train for a long distance event in a mere 67 days. (I only have 1 day a week to complete long distance training walks)

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The next few blogs will focus on suggestions for optimum recovery and stamina being built for a healthy full 60 miles without needing a week of recovery time when its over.

Items I will discuss:

  1. The right gear
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Don’t poison yourself
  4. Nutrition during training
  5. Nutrition during the event
  6. Recovery process (to be continued)

I’m not focusing on the actual training schedule as that is provided by the SGK website for all walkers.  I am using a RAMPED up hybrid of this table to be ready for the event on time.

For more information, stay tuned, or contact me.

To support me in my fundraising efforts, you can visit my 3-day Walk web page.

HAPPY WALKING!

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The ONE thing that made me gain weight!

It is amazing all the articles written about what it is that is making our fellow humans overweight and obese.  I have compiled a list of articles listing out what is making us fat. I will post some links at the end of this article.

I’ve heard such a list of “the one thing” that make us fat, but I don’t believe 1 thing makes us gain weight.  It is a list of things, combinations; the perfect storm.

What makes me Fat

So, what ONE thing on this list has made me fat?  How about you?

There are so many myths about what is making our friends, neighbors, family AND enemies fat that it is getting difficult to recognize the actual culprit.   We KNOW what to do, we KNOW what to eat, we KNOW we are gaining weight.

ALL OF THESE MADE ME FAT… and ATTENTION TO ALL OF THESE made me thin again.  Each one of us has the ability to change our personal future.  Each one of us has free will.  It is a matter of being mindful and choosing the healthier alternative.

Temptation has always been there and it will continue to be there, we just need to learn to brush it away and grab an apple instead. (Pun intended)

Genesis 3:3

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  – BibleGateway.com NIV

My personal story:

I realized my health was declining, my weight was increasing, my pain levels were increasing, and I was sick all the time.  Hence, attention to prevention (or in my case repair). 

Through attention to what I eat, how much I move, what toxins I surround and slather upon myself, and disproving the time and money myths, I have been able to lose the weight, gain TONS of energy, lose the pharmaceuticals, and cut back to one cold per year.  My asthma is all but eliminated, my depression is controlled without Rx, I don’t need pain meds all the time, and I can walk 60 miles at a time.

If you would like more information, or to discuss what a plan for you might look like, contact me.

MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!!!

(HERE’S YOUR PROMISED LIST OF LINKS)

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/5-surprising-reasons-you-are-gaining-weight

  1. Lack of Sleep
  2. Stress
  3. Medications
  4. Medical condition
  5. Menopause

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/for-women/11-causes-for-weight-gain-in-women.html#b

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Menopause
  3. Not eating enough
  4. Eating “low fat” foods
  5. Lack of Fiber
  6. Too Much stress
  7. Lack of Sleep
  8. Depression
  9. Lack of fatty acids
  10. Diseases & Illness
  11. Birth control

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-sugar-drink-preschoolers-20130805,0,4412618.story

Among the randomly selected children in this study, 31.4% of 2-year-olds were already classified as obese, and 32.7% of 4- and 5- year olds.

"Overall, children drinking sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis have 17% to 20% increase in total calorie consumption," the researchers write in the paper.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/25/7-surprise-reasons-for-weight-gain/

  1. Depression
  2. Rx
  3. Gut is slow
  4. Body doesn’t have enough of certain nutrients
  5. Getting older
  6. Plantar Fasciitis or other aching joints
  7. Cushing’s syndrom

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/Puttingonweight.aspx

  1. Foods labeled “low fat”
  2. Stres
  3. TV
  4. Rx
  5. Late Nights
  6. Good Manners
  7. Portion sizes

What makes a snack healthy?

Okay, all this talk about snacks this month is making me hungry.  Winking smile  Not really, I keep my hunger number between 2 & 4

As I began working to improve my health, and thus reduce my waist line, healthy food choices and portion sizes became really important.  I used to crave sodas, breads and pastas, and sweets A LOT! I was certain there was no way to overcome them. 

What I found was, when my body had the nutrition and components necessary for building a healthy body, the cravings melted away just like the inches on my waist.

Why or how could that be?  Lets look at a graphic to explain a bit of it.

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What we eat as a snack is just as important as when and how much we eat.  When we grab a soda, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal as our answer to our hunger situation… we are really setting ourselves up to fail. 

This is why the coffee break became so important.  When you eat a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, or a donut for breakfast, as you can see in the chart, your blood sugar SPIKES quickly and drops off just as fast… leaving you in state of “starvation” via the mind tricks because of the sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar.

Otherwise, if your chosen food item is a good quality protein, then your blood sugar doesn’t spike, it stays stable and you don’t get those “I gotta eat a 10 pound donut” sensations 2 hours later.

When we eat was covered in my blog a week ago on how Snacking can make you skinny.

How much to eat depends on your personal caloric needs for the day, how much activity you’ve had during the day, and how long it will be until your next full meal.  I made some great snack suggestions earlier this month.

So, now you have the logistics of how it all works, suggestions of healthful snack option, and a hunger scale to use… all that’s left is a big glass of tasty water to keep things on an even keel.

Fruit_infused_water

Healthy snacking, and may the grumpies stay far, far away!

For more information on healthy alternatives and choices, please contact me.