Friday, April 20, 2012
I haven't stopped blogging, I am just very busy these days working almost full time and studying full time. But soon, the school is finished and then I can write as much as I want. I might add that I have registered for two marathons, one in Reykjavik in August and NY marathon in November. There is one phenomenon I have been doing some research on. Procrastination. This is not the reason for me not blogging here, not that I am a procrastinator myself, but I have a couple of clients that suffer from it. I might write an article on the subject some time. And I might even publish it here. Stay tuned :)
Posted by Fríða at 5:31 PM
Monday, March 5, 2012
Energy is a word one often hears. People say they get energy from all sorts of things and sometimes I must admit that I am not sure what they mean. There aren't many calories in vegetables, but I often hear someone say he/she gets energy from eating a lot of vegetables. Well... that is in fact also what I have experienced, but I wonder if the word energy is the right word to describe what is going on, why one feels so much better by eating a lot of vegetables.
I myself would rather think of energy as just calories, those units that measure how much energy you get from the food. There aren't very many calories in 100 grams of vegetables. Not as many as in olive oil for an example. I don't think I could possibly get the calories I need to run a marathon just from vegetables. Or rather, I know I have to eat something else. Vegetables are healthy and if you want to be healthy it is wise to consume a lot of them. But that doesn't mean they are the ideal food for strenuous runs or walks out there in the mountains. Then it is easier to get the calories from something easily accessible for the body. Fruit sugar or fructose gets easily into the blood stream and you get the energy you need almost immediately.
At the same time you can count on that fructose is not what you need if you don't move much. Fructose is very common. It is in most of the prepared food you can get these days and it can be hard to avoid it. Fructose is a kind of sugar and it doesn't matter if the name of the sugar is fructose, corn syrup, agave syrup or what it is.
Sugar isn't good for the body if you sit still. Nevertheless it is the main source of calories for many of us. I would call that energy. Energy you don't need if you aren't going to exercise.
When people talk about weight loss, it seems as if the most important thing is to be able to eat as much as you use to. Like the method of just eating less is useless. Why is that? Why is it so important to eat much? Well... if you move a lot, then you have to eat more to maintain the same body weight. But that isn't enough for most of us if we want to lose considerable amounts of weight. Then we have to eat fewer calories as well.
The method I use is counting calories both the ones I burn when running and the ones I consume. And I try not to get too many of the calories I eat from carbohydrates like sugar or starch. The calories in vegetables are mostly carbs also, but that is ok because there are loads of fibres and other important things there.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Once I had a dog. In fact the dog played a pretty big role in getting me out of the sofa and out on to the streets each and every morning. It was a border-collie, clever and playful. Poor dog had a very nervous nature and was afraid of all sorts of things. But it was also happy and clever and it was very easy to teach him all sorts of tricks. The dog was a he, therefore I refer to it as him.
Border-collies are sheep dogs that need to run every day. If they don't get their exercise they get bored and difficult to take care of. Some of them bite, but my dog never did anything like that. If he didn't get to run he was difficult and kept seeking attention all the time.
The best thing he knew was to run outside of town with me, where I could release his leash and let him run free. He could run very fast and far. I sometimes took him on a trip which took the whole day and he could go on and on forever. The only runs he wasn't allowed to accompany me in were races and when I ran with my running group. And I didn't want him with me when I ran along the highway 30 km or more.
It is illegal to let dogs run loose in town so he had to be on a leash near my home. But the town is not big and it was fairly easy for us to get out of town where he could run as much as he liked. I had to be careful that there were no sheep around because he didn't know how to behave around them. He was obviously a sheepdog, but never got the proper training for that. Instead he was an excellent runner's dog.
Usually I kept him by my left side, but that could be a problem when we met other runners. Then the dog would be between me and the other runner and that would make the dog stressed. But he had to learn.
I am sure that he was born leader of the pack, he always tried to be first and it wasn't easy to teach him to heel. If I said something like "good dog" or other nice things to him when he was at my side as he was supposed to be, he got all giddy and happy and ran faster because he was so happy, and ended up in front of me. Just what he wasn't supposed to do.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I ran my first marathon in Reykjavik 2007. It was my new years resolution that year and I had been telling everybody about it. I was careful to make sure there would be no way out. The year before I ran a half marathon, but it was different then because no one knew what I was doing. My kids and a few of my friends knew I was running, but I went alone to Reykjavik and back then I didn't know any runners. That has changed for sure.
Marathon for me is 42.2 km, nothing less. The whole event in Reykjavik that day is called Reykjavik marathon, but only few run the whole marathon. I think there are several thousands that run 10k, and a few hundreds run the half marathon. I don't know precisely how many runners participated in the whole marathon in 2007, but it felt as if they were not many. And most of them were foreigners. The cheering was mostly in English. I must admit that I felt kind of special, being that old (I was 46), a woman and Icelandic. Even in my own country. I don't live in Reykjavik so I wasn't at home, I had to spend the night before the run at a hotel like most of the other marathon runners that day.
In the start area I met a woman I think was little older than me, she asked me if this was my first marathon and what time I was aiming for, in English. I don't know where she came from, I guess she was an American. I said this was my first and I would be happy if I could finish and I hoped I would be faster that 4 and a half hour. My secret goal was to be quicker than the first woman who ran a whole marathon in Boston, in 1967 I think, her time back then was 4:20. I didn't say that to the lady there in the start area but I remember that I thought she was pretty and her hair looked really nice. It was grey and in one braid down her back. I said to myself that I would not only like to be able to run a marathon like she could, but I would also like to have hair like that.
Need I say that I finished the race, got the time 4:16, I quit dyeing my hair and now it is getting long.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Life isn't always easy.
Running can be really hard when every muscle of your body aches, the knees, hips, ankles and all other joints scream, your stomach aches, you want to throw up or need a toilet desperately, your hands swell, your face gets bright red, you sweat like a pig and if you stop you freeze, you are thirsty and hungry but can't get another bite down and the thought of another pack of gel makes you noxious.
Everyone you thought was your running pal is gone, they all somehow disappeared there in front of you, further and further away in the far distance ahead. The iPod has an empty battery and is of no use, which maybe isn't all that bad because all the songs are getting on your nerves anyway. The fuel belt teases and threatens to either fall off or drag your trousers down to your knees. Not a flattering sight.
Your right thigh suddenly begins to cramp so you nearly fall as the whole leg gets disabled. You don't have a choice, you have to stop and stretch out which isn't easy on this exact spot with no trees, poles or anything you can hold on in to.
The taste of the energy drink is far too sweet and it sticks to your tongue. The top tightens around your chest and makes it hard to breath. Your shoulders are stiff and ache and you have difficulties turning your head if you want to see if anybody is behind you.
On days like that it is inevitable that slow runners, you don't even know, have to come out of the blue and overtake in a way that makes you feel like you are some kind of an alien snail that doesn't belong on the surface of the earth. Your stomach makes you go outside the road for a moment but it doesn't seem to help much.
You can feel that the toenail you were worrying about has decided not to heal, but most probably will turn blue, which also means that it will fall off when time comes. And you know you are getting blisters on the little toes of both feet. You hope your feet behave and they don't develop blisters under the forefoot because things like that can go on and on bothering you for the next days if that happens. Days like that make you understand how the sheep dogs must feel when they have been running out there in the rough landscape for days with nothing to protect their feet.
Well... I told you. Life isn't always easy