Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Fitness Tips

It's that wonderful time of the year again. A time for friends and family to get together to eat, drink and make merry. Now there's nothing wrong with this, just be careful that you don't over do it or you'll start off the New Year looking like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man! Here's a couple tips that might help you out during the next couple weeks.

We all know how easy it is to avoid exercising during the holidays. It's easy to make the excuse, "Oh, I want to spend more time with my family and friends." Who doesn't? When I'm home, I try getting up a little earlier than everyone else and go for a jog or hit the gym. Get it out of the way in the morning. That you won't put it off during the day. You really feel so much better the rest of the day after a little morning sweat. It's also a good way of cleansing the system from the night before.

How do we avoid over-eating and filling up on all those goodies? This is very difficult. I grew up on a farm and my mother can cook. Unfortunately most dishes are made with old-fashioned Crisco. The good stuff. To avoid over-indulging as much as I possible, I go shopping for myself even before I get home. I like to stop by the store and buy fruits, veggies and lean meats. I know I will not find a lot of this at my parents. When I'm sitting at home and the urge strikes to munch, it's nice to know that I have some healthy alternatives. It's not a 100% guaranteed, but hey, every little bit helps in the battle of the bulge.

I hope that everyone has a very Healthy and Happy Holiday Season!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Death Valley Marathon recap

We got to Death Valley Friday night around 9:00PM. It's been six years since I was there. I really forgot how incredibly awe inspiring the place was. Plus, I forgot how darn cold it can get there at night. The temperature was around 37 degrees. I pitched the old Sierra Design tent and we crawled in our warm and cozy Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags. Race day was bright and sunny. We checked in at the Furnace Creek Saloon to get our race numbers and chips. Nicole's goal was to run a sub-4 hour marathon. My plan was to pace her. At 8:00AM we were off. It was a pretty small group of runners and spread out fast. I forgot how darn hilly Death Valley was which really affected our mile split times. Still, at the turn around point we were right on mark. But the hills did catch up with us and we crossed the line at 4:05:32. Not bad for a December marathon in a beautiful place like Death Valley.

If you ever get a chance, you've got to do the race in Death Valley. It really is an incredible experience. If the marathon isn't for you, they have a half-marathon and a 10k. For marathon, half-marathon or 10k training info, check out I've been using Hal's programs for years to get ready for races. Hope this helps!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Death Valley Marathon

We head out today to run the annual Death Valley Marathon on Sat., Dec 2. Ahh, 26.2 scenic miles through lovely Death Valley. Well, maybe not so lovely, but it is definitely an awe inspiring place. I have run across the length of it twice now while competing in the annual Badwater 135 http://www.badwater135/ . 135 miles of running on asphalt, in July, from Badwater, 282 ft below sea level, to the Mt. Whitney portals at roughly 8,600 ft. Why? Because it's there of course. It is an extremely challenging race but what an empowering achievement once completed. Tomorrow will just be a little stroll down memory lane. A chance to ponder how totally alive I felt in a valley named after Death. Hmmm...Interesting. It's hard to believe that my passion for running ridiculous distances all started with my meat head buddies in the gym saying, "Dude, you can't run. You're too big and bulky." I replied, "Yes I can. I just choose not too." And then actually thinking to myself that maybe I couldn't run. I didn't like the thought of not being able to do something. So I grabbed my old worn out pair of Chuck T's and hit the pavement. And just like Forrest Gump, I kept runnin' and runnin'. Hopefully this will inspire of few of ya to dust off those running shoes and do the same. "Life is about the journey, not the destination." Have a great weekend!