MRTC Road Race Series 5K #2

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This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

This morning was the second race, and second 5K in the Memphis Runners Track Club Road Race Series.  And while the temperature was not quite as high as 2 weeks ago, the humidity was absolutely oppressive.  By the end of the race, I looked like I had completed a 5K in a pool, not the street.  Add this to my miscalculation not to drive to the event, but rather run/jog/walk to it, and I had a miserable morning.

I had my doubts

I had my doubts

I decided to go to the race on foot because I needed a long day according to my training plan, so I thought that adding the 2.5 miles each way to the venue plus the race, and I would almost have my mileage done.  Instead, it accelerated my sweating process, and after mile 1 of the race, the wheels fell off.  I ended up run/walking to my worst 5K finish in 3 years.  There was not a dry stitch of clothing on my body, including my shoes and socks  And I still had to get home!

This was me

This was me today.

In the end, I finished close to the same spot as I did 2 weeks ago, so I am guessing that I am not the only person that was sacked by the humidity.  I am, however, 1/5 of the way towards the coveted road warrior status, and will hopefully run stronger in 2 weeks for the first 5 mile race of the series.

NOW Foods Supplements Review

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The following post is sponsored by FitFluencial LLC on behalf of NOW Foods.

I am currently a FitFluential Ambassador, and with this designation, I am provided the opportunity to review products and services from time to time.  This post is about one of my recent opportunities.  I was provided with various supplement samples from NOW Foods.  NOW Foods is a family owned company with over 1,400 products.  The five natural, non-GMO supplements were L-Citulline 1200 mg Extra Strength, Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Pro-GH, ZMA, and L-Leucine Powder.

NOW SupplementsL-Citulline 1200 mg Extra Strength – an amino acid tablet that was to be taken 1-2 times daily, between meals.  I would leave these at work and take them in the  late afternoon.  This is what the NOW Foods site said about it:

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that is an important intermediate in the urea cycle, functioning along with other amino acids to rid the body of ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism. Citrulline also plays an important role in the healing process and in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

One serving of L-Citulline

One serving of L-Citulline

Sprouted Brown Rice Protein – a non-dairy, non-soy protein powder option for those with food allergies.  It was suggested that you mix 1 tablespoon of the powder with 4-6 ounces of water, juice, or another beverage.  If you have ever had a protein powder, you know what to expect from this one.  The flavor is good and it does mix well, though blending it in a mixing cup or the such would produce a more consistent drink.  The following is what NOW Foods said about the protein powder:

Protein is vital to hundreds of the body’s most basic biological functions. Unfortunately, many individuals can not tolerate some of the natural compounds found in whey, egg, soy and other protein sources due to their unique food allergies. NOW® Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder is ideal for those who live with allergies and sensitivities to these ingredients. This brown rice protein is also natural and pure, with no added ingredients, and mixes easily into your favorite beverages.

One serving of Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

One serving of Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Pro-GH – an amino acid supplement that was to be mixed with 4-6 ounces of water or juice, 20 minutes before bed or exercise.  I chose to use it before my morning boot camp classes.  It was also suggested that the supplement be taken on 5 consecutive days, then take 2 days off, and repeat.  The powder is some variation of berry flavored and tastes good.  It dissolved well in water each morning.  The following is what NOW Foods said about Pro-GH:

NOW® Pro-GH™ is an amino acid supplement formulated to support optimal sports performance.  Pro-GH™ has Arginine, Ornithine, Lysine, and Glutamine, which are critical for normal endocrine function and help to promote muscle tissue growth and recovery.  These same amino acids are also essential for the production and maintenance of nitric oxide (NO) within blood vessels, further supporting the body’s optimal response to intense physical training.  Glycine, known for its role in glycogen synthesis, has been included to support muscular energy output.  Finally, Glutamine and Glycine help to support healthy immune system responses, especially during times of physical stress and intense exercise.  NOW® Pro-GH™ thus combines the amino acids needed to help you attain your training goals into one convenient product.

One serving of Pro-GH

One serving of Pro-GH

ZMA – a capsule taken to aid in the recovery process, especially on days of strenuous workouts.  For men, if was suggested that I take 3 capsules 30-60 minutes prior to going to bed.  The thought of taking 3 pills at once is not appealing to some, but these capsules were easy to swallow and I would take all 3 at the same time. The following is what NOW Foods says about ZMA:

ZMA® is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B-6 designed to maximize absorption and to promote recovery from exercise. Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair, as well as the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuromuscular function. Because physical activity can increase the need for these two minerals, ZMA® is the ideal supplement to aid in their replenishment.

One serving of ZMA

One serving of ZMA

L-Leucine Powder – another amino acid directed towards building lean muscle tissue that was to be taken once daily by mixing it with 8 ounces of water or other beverage, and taken 1-3 times daily.  The flavor is not the greatest, but it does not keep you from taking it.  It mixed OK with the water, but like the protein powder, a more consistent result would be produced from a mixing cup or the such.   This is what the NOW Foods site says about it:

L-Leucine is one of the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that is critical in muscle tissue structure. Among the BCAAs, Leucine is unique in its role as a signaling molecule that helps to regulate optimal skeletal muscle protein synthesis in normal tissues. In addition, it helps to maintain already healthy glucose metabolism and insulin function, and may help to promote the use of fat for energy. Studies suggest that L-Leucine, in conjunction with adequate dietary protein, may help to build and maintain lean tissue and optimize body composition. NOW® Leucine Powder is instantized for easy mixing in water, beverages or smoothies. No clumping.

One serving of L-Leucine

One serving of L-Leucine

The point of reviewing a product is to give my honest feedback about what I thought about the product, and not just reciting what the company’s website says about it, but I thought that adding the description would better clarify what each product was.  I started using these supplements at the end of June, so I now have about a month of usage from the products.  There have been no weird side effects, nausea, or adverse effects on my physical performance, so that certainly is a plus.  I used all 5 products simultaneously, so I cannot determine which if the 5 is the best or worst of the group.  I will say, that I actually feel great using these products, and I honestly think that it is a blessing that I started boot camp around the same time as I began using these products.  I have not been overly sore on the day following any of my boot camp sessions and I am certain that the NOW Foods supplements have aided with this.

Obviously, I am not a doctor, or a nutritionist, so I cannot tell you which supplement is right for you. But I can say that if you determine that you want or need to use a supplement in your health quest, NOW Foods has a viable option for you.

All of these products are available on the NOW Foods website, and there is also a find a retailer option.

 

 

Jim Valvano’s ESPY Speech Never Gets Old

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Today is a dark day in American sports.  Or maybe boring is a more apt adjective for the day.  You see, today is the only day of the year in which there is no game from any of the four major sports, MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL.  This happens every Wednesday following the MLB All Star Game, and ESPN, with the marketing juggernaut that they are saw an opportunity.  They decided to put their sports awards show, the ESPY’s, on this night to fill a void and grab some viewers.  The ESPY’s are an award show in the vein of the Academy Awards, and started back in 1993.  And in 1993, the ESPY’s produced their best, and probably only great moment when the magnanimous Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches of all time.

Unless you are a huge NC State fan, you have probably only seen two things about Jim Valvano.  One is his NC State Wolfpack beating the top ranked and loaded with NBA talent Houston Cougars, nicknamed Phi Slama, Jama, for the National Championship in 1983.  And two was his diagnosis with metastatic adenocarcinoma leading to his ESPY speech.  I have posted a video of the entire speech, as well as the most famous excerpt from the speech.

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.

Watching and listening to the entire speech is definitely worth your time, even if you are already familiar with it.

MRTC Road Race Series 5K #1

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This morning was the first of ten races in the Memphis Runners Track Club Road Race Series.  So from now until the middle of November, I will be running in races associated with this series.  Today was a 5K, and the next race in 2 weeks will also be a 5K on the same course.  It is a no frills race series, but it is a testament to your dedication to complete all ten and achieve road warrior status.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

This morning was hot and humid.  It felt like I was running through soup.  I do not have an official time, but my Nike+ watch recorded my run at 29:20, so my time should be near that.  There were over 1,500 announced runners there this morning, and I saw bibs numbers even higher than that.  The crowd was only bad for the first half mile or so, and then we tended to separate out to a manageable level.  Overall, it was a good run today despite the heat and humidity.

There isn’t really much more to say about the run being that it was a no frills 5K with rolling hills.  There were two water stops along the course and fruit, water, Nuun, and cookies available at the finish.

Great Race Medals

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It has been awhile since I posted, but I just came across this article about the coolest race medals of the year thus far. I have one of the medals (Disney), and at least four of the others would have been very manageable to obtain from Memphis (and I might try obtaining the Jackson, MS, and Little Rock, AR ones next year).

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

I will say that it seems that size matters for these medals, but the one for the ODDyssey Half Marathon is amazing and original.  They have taken the idea of a bottle opener and took it up a notch by making the medal a mountable bottle opener!  Very cool!  I do feel that the Oak Barrel Half can hosed on not being included, but it is still a solid list.

My awesome race medal!

My awesome race medal!

So anyway, you can find the entire list here.

I think that I will do my own top ten list of race medals at some point.  Maybe a top ten of the ones I have earned as well as a top ten of all that I have seen.

2014 Goals, Halfway Point Check In

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Before the year started, I composed some goals that I would like to reach this year.  And since it is the halfway point of 2014, I decided that it would be a good time to look at them once again.  Consider this an accountability exercise.

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

  1. Run a Marathon. This was not an exact goal since the marathon was 12 days into the year, but it was my first marathon and warrants some mention.

    Very nice looking medal

    Very nice looking medal

  2. Redeem My Germantown Half Marathon.  I did not exactly set a land speed record this year, but I was not injured and I did complete the race, so this goal is complete!

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

  3. Become a Tough Mudder and a Spartan.  50% complete with the Tampa Special Ops Spartan Sprint in February.  I ended up missing the Tough Mudder event in June.

    My awesome race medal!

    My awesome race medal!

  4. Try New Races.  So far this year I have run in 11 new (to me) races. There was a full marathon, a Spartan Race, 10 nautical miler, and multiple half marathons. Country Music Half Medal
  5. Run More Half Marathons in 2014 Than My Entire Life Prior.  Speaking ofhalf marathons, so far in 2014, I have completed 5 half marathons which is the same number for my entire life prior to this year.  And with 6 more half marathons on the horizon, I should have a couple of chances to eviscerate this goal.

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

  6. Run At Least 1,000 Miles. Well, at this point to be on pace for this goal I should be at 500 miles.  I am actually at 439.09, so I am 60.91 miles short, so I will need to pick it up in the second half of the year to reach this goal.  February, March, April, and June were all sub-par months.  I need to average 93.485 miles per month for the next 6 months to reach 1,000. USMC Fitness Boot Camp
  7. Focus On Cross Training. By joining the USMC Fitness Boot Camp, this goal will be realized by the year’s end, I just have to stick with it. 10NMMedal
  8. Continue My Race a Month Schedule. So far in 2014 I am 6 for 6, so this goal is going strong.  And I have already paid for at least 1 race in each of the next 6 months, so it is all on me now.
  9. Complete At Least One Pull Up.  Well, this goal has been completely ignored.  I am no closer today that I was at the beginning of the year.  Completing this goal is not looking good, but there are still 6 months left to realize it.

After looking at the data, 2014 has gone rather strongly for me, even if my running times have been somewhat lackluster.  There are some areas that I have lagged, but I have realized quite a few goals as well.  With a few tweaks and adjustments, I should be able to improve on my 2014 results.

Motivation Monday: You Are What You Eat

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The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

I struggle with this concept more than I should.  If I burn 3,000 calories, why can’t I consume 3,000 calories throughout the rest of the day?  I gained weight while training for the WDW Marathon, and I have not lost any of it since the event in January either.  In fact, I have gained some more weight since then despite running in as many have marathons in 2014 as the rest of my life combined!  Why?  I have not focused on my diet like I should.  There have been too many trips to Muddy’s for cupcakes and a reemergence of fast food into my diet.  I have always struggled with keeping a good balance in my diet.  If I log the miles, I should see the results.  Or at least that is what my food obsessed brain thinks.  I need to focus a little stronger on this idea moving forward.