All The Worst Things That Happen While Running

Here on The Rad Dish, I like to talk about all of the really great things that happen during a run:  The endorphins, the stress relief, feeling stronger, the getting faster part, the good conversations with your running friends but today I fell like going the opposite direction.  Let’s talk about the things that can go wrong during a run.

That little clip above inspired this discussion:

The video summed up a lot of the worst things that can happen during a run but here is my list.  All things that have happened to me before while running—>

1.  Chaffing.  I wore a pair of shorts the other day that completely chaffed the front side of my right leg.  My leg still hurts (please note that I
have the lowest pain tolerance in the history of the world.  For example- I wanted my doctor to give me a continual epidural starting when I was 5 months pregnant).

2.  Dropping your phone and/or iPod or any other really expensive thing while running.  I have only cracked a few cell phone screens by doing this.

3.  The runny nose.  My nose goes into shock and it ALWAYS runs when I am running especially outside.

4.  Having to use the restroom when you are really far from any.  

5.  SIDE STITCHES.  Cramping anywhere.  It kind of takes my breath away from me when it happens.

6.  Hitting the wall/your legs feeling like cement/feeling like laying in the gutter may be your best option.  Whenever this happens, I always remember this quote:

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7.  Getting lost.  I don’t even want to tell you how many times this has happened to me when I go running while traveling.

8.  Getting a ginormous blister on your foot when you are still really far from home.

9.  Your treadmill stopping because it hit the time limit or the safety cord fell off and you have no idea how far you had gone.  You then have to start the treadmill again after your legs now know the feeling of how nice it is to stop.

10.  And the worst of all, falling on the ice and nearly spraining an ankle and twisting a knee.

Even after all of these things that can and do happen when running… Istill love it and am kind of addicted to it.

Tell me what some of the WORST things that have happened while running?  Or things that you are very worried about happening when you are out for a run?  

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Weight Loss Wednesday – The Best Diet

Happy Tuesdsay! We are just 42 days into the new year and my gym has been PACKED lately. My go-to walking path is seeing a lot more action too. I love that so many people are trying to get healthy!

But, losing weight isn’t about what you do it’s about what you eat. There are 5 Steps to Weight Loss:

  1. Diet
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Hydration
  5. Sleep

Yep – it’s twice as much about what you eat as what you do. So even though someone like me may love running…

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“If” I love food equally as much (or more!) I’m not going to lose weight. Bottom line. 

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I can honestly say Diets Work.

For a week.

Maybe two weeks if you have killer willpower. I have zero willpower. I actually was born without the “willpower gland” so every time I try a diet with prescribed food or extreme restrictions I fail.

But, some people are awesome at doing crazy shit like drinking nothing but cayenne pepper lemonade for a week or swearing off ice cream forever or something equally as crazy and masochistic.

And then there’s people in the middle who can read some suggestions from a healthy diet plan and incorporate it into their lives. For those people, I present to you U.S News and World Ranking’s Review of the Best Diets

The #1 choice was the DASH diet – this program was actually put together to help people with high blood pressure. It’s a pretty solid plan that suggests “clean” foods, lower salt and sugar intake. First step is to determine your calorie needs. I love that these are realistic calorie numbers with 1,600 being the lowest for older, less active adults. Thank you.

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You can click here for a pdf on the DASH diet with tons of information.

2. The TLC Diet is next on the list and it’s very similar to the Dash diet, so just go with #1, right? Low fat, healthy carbs, don’t eat 62 Snickers a day, you get it.

3 was a three way tie. The Mayo Clinic Diet, Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers – all of which are very different options!

I’ve done Weight Watchers multiple times, but every time drop out because the points counting just seems tedious and more work than just counting calories. Plus, I feel like when I first tried WW in college it was a game to see what you could eat for the least points <- this is when I started drinking diet soda and chewing a ton of gum and eating super processed foods with added fiber. It didn’t work for me, but I know it’s amazing for a lot of other people.

Info on Mayo Clinic Diet

Mediterranean Diet Info

Weight Watchers info – Every food get a point value. You eat a certain amount a day and listen to Jennifer Hudson on Pandora. Then, you look like her.

#6 is the Volumetrics diet. I always say I’m a volume eater, so this is basically what I do very very unofficially. Example: Salad served in an industrial size mixing bowl. 

Ultimately I think the diet that works best is the one that you can realistically do long term. It’s cliché, but we really are all different. I love eating salads for lunch every single day – other peeps may hate that. I also have a very bad night time snacking habit, when others can close the kitchen and 7pm and not bat an eye.
 
When I talk to my clients about their eating habits I first try to figure out if there is an obvious detrimental habit and work on that first.

Examples:

No Breakfast

Drinking Soda

Pounding Bear Claws

Then, we work on that for a few weeks before moving on to another improvement. This process takes longer than a quick fix, but it’s realistic and you don’t necessarily have to alter (or hate) your life to get results!

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The 6 Most Important Treadmill Rules

Yesterday I did not have it in me to run outside.

Before you start calling me a pussy, you must understand I am not afraid of the cold – in fact, I kind of like it. But, I am very ICE-phobic.  The last thing I need is to break my ass bone or get a phallic shaped bruise from falling on the ice.

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I am also sick and tired of wearing 29 layers on each run and was in the mood for a cute running skirt. But, cute running skirt + 10 degrees does not equal smart.The scenery at my gym is really outstanding:

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Here was my view for 7 miles. I am so glad the treadmill doesn’t look out onto a beach or a mountain range or something. That would be far too distracting:

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As I was bored and running, I decided there should be some steadfast RULES FOR TREADMILL USE:

1. Wipe It. Always use a wipe to clean off other people’s germs, STDs, diseases and bodily fluids from the treadmill before you begin your workout. Also, use a wipe to clean off your germs, STDs, diseases and bodily fluids from the treadmill when you finish your workout.

2. Be Covert. Always spy on people nearby to find out how fast they are running. They best way to do this is to go get a drink from the water fountain and as you come back to your treadmill, casually walk behind them and glance at their pace and miles run.

3. Hang Up. Never talk on the phone while running on the treadmill. This is a sure fire way to be hated by other runners and will immediately classify you as a non-real-runner. Plus, if you can run and talk on your phone while on the treadmill, you should not be a runner you should join Cirque du Soleil because you are very coordinated.

4. Watch the Gas. If you wear ear buds while running, be aware that when you fart that while you may not be able to hear your flatulence, others around you who do not have ear buds on, CAN. And, everyone can smell it, ear buds or not.

5. Keep Quiet. Try your best not to slap your feet, grunt, groan or sing so loudly that you draw significant attention to yourself. We are all in this together, sharing a small space, so don’t monopolize.

6. Don’t Stink. Wear deodorant and FDS (if needed).

And, for God’s sake, do not try to do tricks or get on moving treadmills like some of these people (this clip is hilarious and puts those Biggest Loser treadmill accidents to shame).

Got any treadmill rules to share?

Ever had interesting/funny incidents happen to you while on the treadmill?

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Why I Love the Treadmill…NOT really!

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It’s been ARTIC cold in Northern Colorado the past several days which makes me grumpy! I hate cold! The only thing that made me laugh this morning was reading Remy’s World about Treadmill Myths. My favorite one is:

If you have sex on a moving treadmill, you can’t get pregnant: MYTH. You can, and probably will. Trust me on this one.

How would it even be possible to have sex on a moving treadmill? Maybe I am just not adventurous enough.

Needless to say, because of the fridgid temperatures this week,  I have not been going outside for my training runs.  Which means only one thing: Treadmill. I will not call it the “dreadmill” because apparently that is very uncool. I have spent way too much time on that thing this winter. Triathlon training in January/February is icky, for lack of a better word. Am I being a whiny baby? Yes. Do I care? No.

In an effort to turn around my attitude, here is why I am excited to get on the treadmill.

  • I might get a treadmill high.
  • I can wear shorts and will be warm.
  • I can catch up on the news/tv shows.  This is also called being a treadmill potato.
  • I can smell someone’s sweat other than my own.
  • I can watch myself in the mirror and pretend I look really *hot* while I’m running.
  • I can listen to the gym rats in the weight room dropping 4,000 pound weights and grunting. So attractive!
  • I can hop off and in an instant be in a warm bathroom stall if needed. And, it will be needed.

I have tried really hard, and this is all I can come up with. So, off I go!

 Give me one reason you love the treadmill. Just try.

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Its time to talk about SWIMMING….

My favorite thing about swimming is how little gear you need to get into the sport (unlike cycling).  All you need to begin swimming is a swim cap, goggles, and a bathing suit.  You can get swim cap and goggles at Target, and if you don’t have a ‘real’ one piece, you can always swim in bikini bottoms and a sports bra.  I plan to wear a trisuit for my races, but other triathletes opt to wear sports bras and bike shorts (or tri shorts, which have less padding).  Some newbies even swim in a bathing suit and pull on bike shorts and a sports bra after they exit the water.

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Step 1:  You must learn how to swim (and find a place to practice).

If you can swim for fun but don’t know how to swim-swim, it’s very important to learn proper form.  Swimming with improper form is kind of like running with a brick-filled backpack on; it’s totally inefficient and makes the experience so much less enjoyable and harder.   I am learning proper form three ways:

  • YouTube It:  I watch YouTube videos on ‘freestyle swimming.’  There are many great instructional videos on YouTube that break down the most basic triathlon stroke step-by-step.  I am learning so much from YouTube videos – especially how to BREATHE!  I never knew you were supposed to breathe out underwater.  Also, try not to incorporate too many things at once.  Spend one day working on your arms; the next on your legs; the next on your breathing.  Don’t try to swim too quickly – swim very slowly to start and focus on form, not speed. 
  • Get a coach:  I haven’t done this yet but hope to in the near future.  If not a coach, then at least someone a lot more skilled then I am to offer suggestions. If you don’t have a friend who can help train you in the pool, definitely look into lessons.  You probably only need one – three sessions to really get the basics down.  Many cities have Triathlon Clubs that cater from beginner to advanced athletes; clubs are a great way to get into the sport!
  • Practice:  Practice, practice, practice.  I felt like a fish out of water – hah – for about a month of dedicated swimming, and then one just this weekend, I finally starting feeling like it is beginning to click for me. 

You can usually find pools at larger gyms, community recreation centers, or aquatic centers.   To find a pool in your area, search the U.S. Masters Swimming website. 

Step 2: You must prepare for race conditions.

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The reason why I crashed and burned at my first sprint triathlon was I was not physically or mentally prepared to get into a lake.   Swimming in a lake is nothing like swimming in a pool, especially when there are hundreds (or thousands) of other people swimming right next to you… or on top of you.

Some things to consider about lake swimming during a triathlon:

  • You will not be able to see the bottom.  Actually, you probably won’t be able to see a foot in front of your face underwater.
  • There are no lines to follow to make sure you are swimming straight.  This means you will need to ‘sight’ every now and then by breathing up instead of to the side so you can check the guiding buoys’ positions.
  • There are no ledges in a lake.  If you need to take a break, you will either need to switch to a different stroke, float on your back, or tread water.
  • When you lift your head up to breathe, you may get water splashed into your mouth.
  • Other swimmers may bump into you, kick you, or swim over you.
  • The water may be cold, so you may be wearing a wetsuit, which can feel restrictive and uncomfortable.

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To be successful at the swim leg of a triathlon, you have to be prepared for the realities of swimming in a lake.  Unfortunately, most first-time triathletes do all their training in a pool and are underprepared for an open water swim.  There are a lot of panic attacks during a swim (don’t worry – there are always lifeguards on kayaks nearby – you can always grab a kayak and rest; however, this will technically disqualify you… Edited to clarify:  You will not be disqualified for resting on a kayak but you will be disqualified for using another device to assist in ‘forward motion.’). 

The New York Times recently published a very interesting article about triathlon deaths.  Sadly, from 2006 to 2008, 14 Americans died during triathlons; 7 out of 9 who had autopsies died from cardiovascular abnormalities.  However, 13 of the deaths occurred during the swim leg.  Researchers theorize the high number of deaths during the swim leg because of the chaotic mass starts; people panic when they hit the water, and it’s difficult for rescue workers to identify who is in trouble. If you’re nervous about the swim, it’s very important to be SMART about it. 

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So, how can you mentally and physically prepare for a SAFE lake swim?

  • Practice swimming in a lake.  Never swim in a lake alone, obviously.  Talk to your local triathlon club about group lake swims so you can practice open water swimming a safe manner.
  • Spend time thinking about what the swim will be like – prepare yourself to be splashed, kicked, and swam over. It’s not a big deal if you are truly emotionally ready for it.
  • Practice swimming in your wetsuit, if you are going to use one.  You can wear the wetsuit to the pool.   Edited to clarify:  As you should do with your bathing suit, always rinse your wetsuit with fresh water afterwards to help prevent breakdown due to the chlorine. 
  • Practice sighting (looking up) when swimming in the pool. 
  • Decide what you’re going to do if you need a break.  I usually float on my back when I need a break so I can catch my breath.  There is NO SHAME in this. 
  • Especially for your first triathlon, select a smaller event and double-check to make sure the swim will begin in waves (they usually do waves by sex and age group).  This will make the start less chaotic. 
  • Don’t push your way to the front.  If you are nervous about swimming, wait 30 seconds after your wave starts to begin swimming.  Stay in the back or the sides.
  • And last, but not least, start slow.  If you go out too fast, your breathing will become irregular, and you’ll feel panicky.  Slow and steady!

Do you love the swimming leg of triathlons?  How did you learn to swim?  Did you conquer an open water fear?  What advice do you have for newbie swimmers?

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