Sunday, August 30, 2009

It Worked!

The little pickle juice experiment was a success. So much so I now realize how much nutrition plays into the whole exercise equation. I took Da Fish's advice and stayed away from eating pickles while exercising.

Pre-Run Nutrition

Friday Night 7:00 pm
Mt. Olive pickle spears with Garlic
325 mg sodium x 5 spears = 1625 mg sodium

handful of pretzels
320 mg sodium x 1 = 320 mg sodium

Total = roughly 2 G of sodium or two tablespoons of salt.

Saturday Morning 5:00 am

Emergen-C Electro-Mix
Calcium 100 mg
Magnesium 120 mg
Manganese 2 mg
Chromium 20 mcg
Potassium 408 mg
Stevia 10 mg

Emergen-C Tangerine Multi-vitamin and multi-mineral
Sodium 60 mg
other minerals and vitamins

Nutrition on the Run
Accelerade Gels (2): sodium 200 mg, potassium 80 mg, carb 40g, protein 10g
water on the 10-mile course

Post Run Nutrition
Immediately after run and while soaking in the 68-degree Barton Springs
Kashi Chewy Ganola Bars (2): sodium 210 mg, 40 g carbs, 12 g protein
Accelerade powder (24 oz.): sodium 380 mg, potassium 130 mg, carbs 42 g, protein 10 g

Thirty minutes later at home.
Mt. Olive pickle spear (1): sodium 320 mg
Spaghetti sauce (100 g): 590 mg sodium carbs 9g, protein 1.2g + handful of crushed broccoli.
Spaghetti noodles: 1mg sodium, 43g carbs, 8g protein
V-8 8 oz.: 480 mg sodium, carbs 10g, 2g protein

I started to get somewhat of a pre-headache after eating the pasta and drinking the second glass of V-8. I get sodium headaches after eating heavily salted French fries that include too much salt. At that point I backed off eating and just drank water until the pre-headache went away which wasn't over 15 minutes. I felt great the rest of the day and the only indication I had ran was felt in my feet and a little in the knees. This was the best recovery ever. Using pee color for over or under hydration and the sodium headache as an indicator of too much sodium I should now be able to determine how much sodium I need on the long runs and what my sweat rate is and more importantly, how much and often I need to replace electrolytes. This is huge for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Underestimated

"Normal sweat rates can range from 0.75 to 2 Liters/hour, depending on conditions such as temperature, humidity, pace, clothing, and the degree of heat acclimation the rider has."

"2) Not consuming enough sodium. You're using Endurolytes, which only contain 40 mg of sodium / capsule. A liter of sweat contains 1000 mg. So you'd need to take 25 Endurolytes / liter of water.

The two Accelerade gels I took last week amounted to 200 mg of sodium over the one hour, thirty-eight minute run.
There's no way I can pop 25 Endurolytes over the course of that run every weekend.
Golden Pickle has even created a sports drink, appropriately named “Pickle Juice Sport.” Golden Pickle claims that Pickle Juice Sport has “approximately 30 times more electrolytes than Powerade and 15 times more than Gatorade.” ( It is even endorsed by Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten.
So maybe what's for dinner Friday night before the run is pickle juice and pretzels. At least while we still have the 100-degree+ days.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Switching To Gels

One of the TO-DO items on any runner's list prior to an endurance race is to see what their stomach can tolerate and digest. This isn't too important for a 5K and I'd say if anyone ate A N Y T H A N G before a 5K they'd be asking for it. I've eaten pretzels, Twizzlers and drank most of the major sports drinks, along with chicken soup and even a couple of beers at mile 25 of the Austin Marathon. Most of the drinks upset my stomach upon contact. One or two more than others. Accelerade didn't upset my stomach and also had the magical 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. As I have a high sweat rate I've found I really need to take in more than just water.

Last week I ran with two NUUN vials filled full of Accelerade powder. It got me through the run better than water alone and recovery went from eight hours with just water, after a 10-mile run, to six hours of recovery using Accelerade powder. The weather conditions were the same at 6:30 am; a temperature of 80 degrees F, with 84% humidity and little to no wind. We've been in the same weather pattern all summer it seems like. So improvement with the powder.

Last weekend I ran with two Accelerade gels. I wanted to see if I could tolerate the gels as it would be easier to run with water and carry a couple of gels, rather than mixing powder on the road while running. I took one after 45 minutes and another 30 minutes later. While soaking in the 68-degree Barton Springs, I drank a little of the powder. After I got home I drank more water and ate about 15 salty potato chips and a bowl of plain red-sauce spaghetti to replace the salt. The result was a three-hour recovery. Dang! And this was after having three tequila shots the night before so I was feeling less than normal to start with. And P.S., I added a four-mile run the day before so that made the Sat. long run a little longer.

I had heard Desiree Ficker talk about dialing in her nutrition before events and I can see what she was talking about, although she has it tougher than I doing longer distance events, combined with being gluten intolerant. "I have often the thought if I could just change one thing physically about myself it would be my celiac disease or gluten intolerance and overly sensitive stomach. It has caused me much strife, said Desiree from her Web site.

I don't have celiac disease but do have a high sweat rate that causes me to lose to much of my electrolytes and a sensitive stomach for salty drinks. For the past two marathons it's been a huge problem when trying to press on past mile 20. Even for the weekend 10-mile runs it causes quite a long recovery. I think my nutrition is finally getting dialed in.

Good recovery video on YouTube. Olympian athletes ran a tempo run and then went to the stream with 60-degree water. Olympic Marathon Trials Training Camp in Mammoth Lakes, CA. 2004 Olympic Silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, Olympian Dan Browne and marathoner Josh Cox.

Paraffin Candles in the News

The amounts of misinformation on the Internet are growing as large as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I've become almost numb to the article that swims in the face of common sense and decades worth of research, such as exercise will not make you thin by TIME Magazine. It didn't take long before 10 Reasons Why Exercise Makes You Thin (Or Why TIME Magazine Got It Wrong) .

Today, was one of the first instances where I've seen the common sense finding refuted in the same article. CNN reported that paraffin-based candles emiited toxic chemicals toluene and benzene.

They found that paraffin-based candles -- the most popular kind -- emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene. Soybean candles did not, according to the study, which was presented this week at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. Candles made of beeswax or soybean tend to make mention of that ingredient on their label; paraffin candles may not.

At the bottom of the article CNN reports, Barbara Miller, a spokesperson for the National Candle Association, says "no candle wax has ever been shown to be dangerous or harmful to human health....that none of the candle waxes tested -- including paraffin, soy wax, and beeswax -- produced benzene."

Which is it? It does or it doesn't? IN 2007 they didn't but in 2009 they do? This is clearly an industry-killer (paraffin candles) finding and that may be why we see such a strong, desperate denial of research findings and common sense.

My personal unscientific take. I can smell the strike of a sulfur match anywhere in the house and get an instant headache from it. I can see the black smoke rising from the flame of a paraffin candle. This is one article I'm sure Ms. Miller hopes would go up in smoke.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Link Friday

Here's one that goes counter to common sense. BTW, it seems there are a lot of articles like this these days. New research? Thinking out of the box? But running can be good for you? Can be good for your knees?

Phys Ed: Can Running Actually Help Your Knees?

Bolt lives in a cloud of suspicion

Make Your Own Messenger Bag Out Of Old Plastic Bags

Phys Ed: Does Exercise Reduce Your Cancer Risk?

Orwell versus Huxley

Friday, August 14, 2009

Link Friday

Again this Friday I have just one link. The TED conference does an amazing job of bringing the bleeding-edge thinkers to speak and then shares the videos of the lectures. One such lecture was "crocheting a coral reef." Amazing stuff.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Can't Smell A Thing

There was an interesting piece on page 18 of the September 2009 Runner's World Magazine. In the Ask Miles section, Tammy L. from Charlotte, NC posed the question, "Do elite athletes inhale the fumes from the lead caravan of motorcycles and cars?" Miles posed the question to elite runner Ryan Hall, who said," I can't remember ever smelling the exhaust." So Ryan wasn't aware of any problem and Miles didn't see fit to research if there is exhaust, if it's a problem or not so I don't think they answered the question.

It's a valid question. One that the riders of the Tour de France riders must deal with. Recently, Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon was diagnosed with cancer. Immediately everyone thought of drugs. I haven't seen anyone mention that he followed cars many a day riding on the bumper of a pacer car motor pacing, smelling God knows how many chemicals and carcinogens.

I go back to my assertion that if I run in the morning during the time of day the air is at it's cleanest and come across the recent exhaust of one car I can smell it. If I run on the hike and bike trail right next a thoroughfare of cars, maybe thousands that have gone by in the last hour, I can't smell a thing. What is that about?

"The average cancer risk from air pollution nationally is 36 in 1 million, according to the National Air Toxics Assessment, an analysis of health risks posed by toxic air. A neighborhood in Los Angeles County had the greatest cancer risk due to toxic air pollution — 1,200 in 1 million." So take the folks who spend the most time outdoors breathing hard who just may be endurance athletes. You put a few cars right in front of them for those hours and badda bing, badda boom.

Link Friday

I'm including below only one link for this Friday. One, because I just got off of vacation and have been driving more than I've been reading and, two, it's something we should should spend some time reading.

For some time now I've been disagreeing with some of the NYTimes Magazine articles being published. They are contrary to common exercise thought. Now, Time Magazine is following the same premise, namely Can Exercise Be Bad For Us? and in this specific case,
Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin. I have always believed and experienced the belief exercise and proper nutrition both are needed for the common person to succeed with weight loss and make physical improvement. Someone like Michael Phelps or Lance Armstrong who each spend six hours in the pool each day or six hours on a bike can eat every meal at IHop or Denny's if they wish, downing plates of pancakes drenched in syrup.

The article makes some good points. I just wish they would have emphasized exercise a little more with the thought that one must resist the temptation to power down bags of Cheetos washed down with a Starbuck's Frap after a workout.

And then there are those that didn't exercise after Jim Fixx died during a run, stating exercise was bad for one's health. It seems we finally got away from that and now a woman just died while on her daily jog and people are going to say, "See, that's why I don't run. You run, you die."

Great, that means more room for me on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. Hopefully, the people that take heed are the ones jogging with double strollers, two friends a two large dogs. Yeah, hopefully they stay home.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saline Versus Chlorine

I swam in my first pool treated with saline instead of chlorine. I must say that I liked it much better. Where I usually needed goggles with a chlorinated pool, I didn't with the saline pool. A secondary benefit would be clear sinus passages if you swim under water.