May 17, 2013 2:37 pm
May 17, 2013 7:58 am
This week we had the pleasure of having Kate Grace in town. We were talking together in the office about the fact that it has felt like so many great things have happened since we last saw Kate! We were all eager to hear in person about the Grand Blue Mile, the Drake Relays, and the great training that she has been doing... If you listen to any of her latest interviews or podcasts, you will be begin to understand why we love her so: her low key and at ease personality is a pleasure to be around, she is talented, driven, extremely well spoken, intelligent, funny and an all around strong woman! I decided with Kate here in Seattle, I would have great opportunity to ask her some questions, but what better way to do that..than to have our own team of women from across the country ask the questions. Things that they have been curious to know about Kate and what it is like to be a professional runner. So, enjoy getting to know Kate a little bit more through our Oiselle runners.
Questions from Oiselle Team Members for Kate:
What are three places you hope to compete around the world? Lauren Fleshman, Oregon
An Asian country - because I’ve never been. Somewhere with a crazy excited/big crowd (addendum - London or Monaco, because I imagine great crowds. And general glamour). Rio - or, Rio in the Olympics. Because, that’s the goal.
How many miles do you average a week and what is the hardest workout you are doing right now? Sarah Kjorstad, Montana
Averaging 65, with a lower mileage week every 4-6. A few weeks ago we did a four mile tempo I was proud of it - 5:45 around the neighborhood, straight to 5:30 on the track, off for another 5:45, then finishing with a 5:20 on the track. I didn’t do tempos in college, couldn’t have fathomed that one. Another thing that’s new to me is mile speed work. We had a recent track workout with three 800s, followed by some twos. Eights in 2:12, 2:12, 2:10. I was happy with that one also!
What would a typical day of nutrition look like for you? Stephanie Cosina, Washington
Oof - I’m a bit all over the map! I don’t know if you should take my advice on this one yet. A few things I have learned:
- Carbs are necessary - I cut them way down last year, and I think my performance suffered because of it. I tend toward gluten free, not because of any test, but rather I find that I don’t get the same food coma feeling of fullness/sleepiness after eating other grains. Staples: oatmeal, rice, quinoa.
- The post-workout meal is no joke. Hydration and a powder mix immediately (or as soon as possible). I use Metabolol. Vega has the yummiest one I’ve tried.
- Veggies for nibbles. I’m a big nibbler. To combat mindless binges, I try to keep a constant supply of carrots, snap peas, and celery (really any raw veggie, those are simplest prep).
For specifics, I’ll give you an idea of breakfast. Currently on a routine of oatmeal and veggie omelet. Yes, this is a varied breakfast, and a bit more time consuming in the morning (though not very. make the oatmeal as the omelet is brewing). I’ve switched to this as I enter competition season. I find the variety keeps me satisfied. And the egg whites/veggies leave me with a fresh feeling to start the day.
Oatmeal - ⅓ cup oats, made with water, topped with a Breakstone 100 cal cottage cheese double (with pineapple), and dash of Vanilla, unsweetened almond milk. Omelet - ½ pack of pre-chopped stir-fry vegetables and ¾ cup liquid egg whites, plus some good spices.
For a quicker go-to (and what approximate at other points in the year) - ½ cup oats, ½ cup egg whites, mixed and microwaved together with water. This sounds strange, but the taste is appealing (as is the protein count!). Topped with a few walnuts, and ⅔ cup 2% greek yogurt, or ½ cup 2% cottage cheese.
Are there certain things you eat/take everyday no matter what? Do you have a favorite supplement line if any at all?
Oatmeal is a constant start to the day. Though first, I do a big mug of ginger/lemon tea.
Spices always on hand (for putting on anything - from raw salads to omelets to dinner meals): garlic powder, minced onions, cayenne pepper, tumeric
I eat a lot of vegetables. A lot a lot. When grocery shopping, I’d say 70% of the cart is produce. Maybe more. No favorite supplement line. Though I’d be open to suggestions!
What is your favorite pre-race meal? Stephanie Viloria, New York
Night before - I look for salmon, cleanly cooked veggies, and some kind of rice/quinoa side. Fish is a bit of a treat for me, so it feels special. And salmon is a great source of protein and good fats.
Track races are usually at night, so the day of, I’ll eat 5-6 hours before. I always look for a Chipotle. People find this weird. Maybe I’ll be convinced out of it one day. Grew up in LA, so healthy, Mexican-inspired food is normal. Beans and rice are great carbs to sustain energy. I order a salad with chicken, black beans+brown rice, and salsas. No corn, salad dressing, cheese, sour cream, or guac. Those would all be too iffy on the stomach.
Do you ever feel guilty for sleeping in, missing a run? How do you get over the motivation hurdle; when maybe you reeeeally want to just stay in bed or go have a drink at night? Kelli Stilley, Texas
Yes. In college, definitely. I pulled all kind of nonsense. Now, missing a run is more akin to skipping out on the office. Not a great idea. And even with that added motivation, I do occasionally skip workouts. The difference is not to consider it skipping and attach the guilt factor. It is a conscious decision (made with a coach, or with an honest understanding of your body). If there is a large enough desire not to do a workout, there is probably a reason for that (feeling run down, earliest gut signs of a body issue, an overly emotional or stressful week). Training is flexible. Weeks can be rearranged. Injuries that result from not listening to your body are not.
But even if something happens and a workout gets rearranged, I will go still for a run. (Again, no absolutes. Once in a blue moon, everything is off, and a run will not work. Take it, and move on. That way there are no negative feelings or guilt for the next day, just excitement at returning to the plan).
For motivation, I keep a full arsenal of tricks - leave no option for failure! Some examples (a lot are cliche. cliche because they work):
- Buddy system - set up a time to meet. Hard to not go if someone is knocking at your door.
- Music - both on the run, and before it. Start the ipod as you get dressed, or are still lying in bed. It instantly lifts my mood. also, the chance to rock out on a run is always a good motivator.
- Podcasts - occasionally it’s the boredom of a longer run that scares me. music doesn’t help this. the chance to listen to a great podcast does. i’m a fan of “this american life” “stuff you missed in history class” “stuff you should know” “planet money” and “radiolab”
- Warmth - I go overboard with layering for walking out the door. This is against conventional wisdom, of dressing for 10 degrees warmer. I find runs are much less scary when i enter the world in a marshmellow of warmth. I would rather carry an extra jacket around my waist after 15 minutes, than start off freezing.
- Don’t be scared of the slow run. Start off at a glorified shuffle. Basically bouncing. Someone could feasibly walk alongside you. It’s movement, it’s something, and usually, within 5 minutes, it’s picked up in speed. (or not. also fine. again, sometimes there are just those days).
- Caffeine - especially for the afternoon run. A nice cup of coffee or green tea (iced if summer!) is a great start.
- Treat yourself - i will pop my debit card in a convenient zipper pocket (woop, oiselle shorts!), and plan on ending at the market, or maybe my favorite coffee shop.
And if I reeeally want a drink? I have a drink. I don’t make rules on drinking or not. My only semi-rule is that I keep it to red wine (which, also has exceptions when celebrating good races). Didn’t do a ton in college, and my teammates now have taught me the simple pleasure of a glass of red wine with dinner. My sleeping suffers if this happens too much, so I’ll go through times where I don’t have a drink for a few weeks, and others where it’s two or three glasses a week. I don’t impose no-drinking periods. Actually, have found that I’ve run great races the day after the slightest buzz at dinner. As long as I am hydrated, and don’t feel that I am at all in a routine or dependency, I only find positives. Running is fun, and great dinners with friends remind me to keep that outlook.
What, if anything, have you done different in your training since college? You have taken your racing to such a new level, do you attribute that to anything in particular? Vicki Rudawsky, Pennsylvania
What have I done differently, and what has contributed to recent success: Running, more, and more consistently. I was at 30 miles a week in college, and generally more scattered with my approach. I was deeply committed to my team, but not necessarily my own training. That has all changed since college. I am currently running 65 miles a week. And my workouts have increased in length. Long runs now range from 12-16 miles, track workouts can be over 5 miles of work. This was a slow progression though, last year was a stepping stone. Increases in mileage need to be done in moderation! The consistency is something to always strive for!
What is your "ab" routine because man do you have some good ones! Meggie Smith, New York
I do 10 to 15 minutes four times a week. After a run is a perfect time - already sweaty. I switch up exercises - to prevent acclimation. Start the stopwatch and do a mix/match. Each one for 30 seconds or a minute. Some places I’ve looked for inspiration:
Since you are a Yalie, what is your fave New Haven pizza place and does she know anyone in Skulls and Bones (a secret society at Yale)?
Bar pizza! Mashed potato bacon white pizza. Mmmm. Yeah, the society thing is much less weird/secretive than it sounds. About a third of each senior class is in one.
How does it feel to be a sponsored athlete by Oiselle? Kari Brown Budde, Ohio
Like I couldn’t even imagine a situation this good.
What is your biggest dream for your running career?
- To have *those* races. The ones where you reach another level - synergy of mind, body, toughness. Out of body performance and grit.
- To inspire others, runners and not, with my work.
- To use running as a starting point for conversation and action that increases happiness, health, and wellness.
- To medal at the Olympics.
I know that your performances have been amazing this winter and spring but I wanted to know where you came from so to speak. What kind of times did you run in college? Surely you were still really fast but now you have hit super-human status. Shannon Botten, Oregon
I’m paraphrasing a recent email to a running site, Runnerspace:
I was good, but not a national standout in either high school or college. There was always a lot of potential, but I made choices to follow other interests, and was not training at my highest abilities. I entered college with high school prs of 25/55/2:10/4:59/xc-18:20. I continued PR-ing each year. Made jumps to a 2:06 as a freshmen, 2:04 sophomore, 2:03 senior. This was based on January-June training, usually I did very little in the summer, and was either sick or abroad in the fall (so, no base training or cross country!) I ran tons of relays, even 4x1s, and loved them. I honed my competitiveness and consistency - mostly within the Ivy League. In national appearances, I improved each year on my finish. I finally started branching out my senior year with mile work, got a bit of notice when I ran 4:39 indoors, then the fastest 1200 split in 20 year at Penn Relays. Within the Ivy League, I was well known. But you are right, hidden nationally. A mix of never being in serious contention for the win, and in general East Coast runners getting less airtime. Especially for those of us who did not travel to many of the big invitationals. Sparknotes: finished college with PRs of 2:03 in the 800, 4:20 in the 1500, 4:39 in the mile, 6 national appearances, 4 time All-American, highest finish was 5th my senior year. This sounds good, but the great athletes have much better college resumes. My coach and mentors (and Oiselle!) knew the story and the progression, and knew there was much more to come. Read more at RunnerSpace.
What's you "go-to" get pumped song? Rebecca Trachsel, Massachusetts
Currently: Pit Bull and Christina Aguilera’s Feel the Moment!!!
Last year Oly Trials: Nicki Minaj Starships and Robyn Dancing on My Own
I can chart my running history in the songs I listened to, both to pump up, and for relaxing, or relieving emotions. I owe you a blog to talk about it!
What is your favorite cross training activity? Lisa Verwys, Montana
Swimming! It’s awesome. A full body decompressor in addition to good cardio work (I cross train for cardio. Workouts are all the intensity I need). Because I’m not efficient, I get cardiovascular benefit from not going very fast. Gags’ only instruction is to not breathe. It’s effective.
20-30 minutes. Start out with laps, breathing every 3 strokes. Once warm, cycle through laps of breathing every 3, 5, 7, and 9 strokes. Usually by 9, I’m a sputtering mess. It helps that my roommate is a former swimmer. A new workout addition that I learned from her: Watch the clock, and start at the minute. Go underwater, hands straight out, just kicking, for as long as you can. If you have to, come up for a breath. When you get to the other side, rest until the next minute mark (I have now cut this to 50 seconds) and repeat. I do this 6 times on a 25 meter pool. Great for simulating lactic feeling.
What is the hardest part about being a professional runner? Jocelyn Bonneau, New York
Figuring out when to break. If your profession is your body, it’s a constant project. But (as I talk about in other parts of this entry) rest is important. How to fit that in, turn off the mind, and not feel guilty about it. Thinking about yourself as a business. Also, finding ways to talk about what it means to be a professional runner. (Awkward silence. ;)
If you weren't a professional runner, what profession would you be in?
My life’s work will include a focus on human and public health and wellness. Though I am not sure under exactly what title that will manifest itself. A great runner, Alice Schmidt, is starting her post-bac, in preparation for med school, at the age of 31. I can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.
A purely indulgent profession (we were recently having an ‘if I won the powerball’ hypothetical convo) would be an event planner. It just seems like it would be a constantly fun, stimulating, creative, experience. Great for detailed oriented, possible for doing good/creating happiness, and always involving different, interesting people.
What are your tips for pushing through the tough parts of a race? Sun Torke, Michigan
Another thing I’m working on! My more distance-oriented clubmates (Julie Culley, Ashley Higginson, Renée Tomlin) have been great resources. One visualization technique that I find helpful is the “pulling the rope” idea. Imagine that there are two ropes attached to the back of the person in front of you. As you move your arms, it’s as if you are grabbing these ropes and pulling yourself on. Double benefit – helps take the focus away from tired legs, and gives you something to think about in the middle of a race effort. As for going to the grit and crazy out of body competitiveness at the end of the race, it’s something I had in college – and am just now returning to. I think the cocky confidence that comes from solid training is important. A recent interview with Jens Voigt pretty much distills this mindset (start at 1:20). Go into a race knowing (not just believing. Knowing.) that you are the shit. “I’m motherf***ing ____________.”
May 11, 2013 6:51 pm
When I was a kid, my Mom's Berkeley apartment was magic. It was a large, Victorian duplex that was filled with curiosities...things she called "weird and wonderful." From a rusted cable car wheel to a rat skeleton suspended on strings like a witch doctor’s mobile. Dozens of books...on everything from tattoo design to human anatomy. 100's of LPs...from Janis Joplin to Earth Wind & Fire. Not to mention the 100-gallon fish tank and pet Boa Constrictors that my brother and I wore like scarves. In hindsight, very little of it was "normal." But it was TRULY wonderful. And I often poured over pictures and art while listening to music and tuning into the conversations of eclectic adults. In the end, I believe her world shaped my design aesthetic. It taught me that the unexpected is of immense value. That something like a shed snakeskin – all tissue paper and leathery -- is actually wondrous and beautiful. And for that I will always be grateful. Thank you Mom…for your eye, your curiosity, your love of the "weird and wonderful."
Mama says, "People will tell you lots of different things about how the world works, and who God is, or isn't. All you have to do is close your eyes and think with your heart and you'll know the right answer."
My mom laughs so hard that her eyes get super squinty and she can barely catch her breath (a trait I have inherited). Getting her going is a Fleshman family past time!
She grew up without the best family support, and had no real role models for how to make and build a family of her own, but she was doggedly determined to make a strong family of her own. She nailed it.
When it comes to my running she honestly could care less if I win or lose, or run or don't run, so long as I'm happy. She simply did what she could to enable me to do what I loved (drove me around, etc). That is the greatest gift she could have given me because I do best in things that I take ownership over, and it made running MY thing. I feel unconditional support.
Mama says, "start every day with meditation, and fill it with joy and love (and vegetables!)" - my interpretation of her wisdom
If I were spending mother's day with her we'd take a morning hike, followed by a yummy breakfast at a local health food store, some downtime reading the New York Times, an afternoon museum visit, and an evening trip to the movies. Shhh... this is close to what my sister has planned for them.
How do I admire my mother... how can I count the ways! One thing I admire is the example she sets for us. She loves what she does, and is also always doing, trying, iterating, improving. She is constantly thinking of us, incorporating us into her decisions. She has taught me the power that comes from living life in the service of others. And the value of spending time to solidify relationships. She has fought for our family, and in doing so, has given me (us) the greatest gift.
Sarah (Mac) Robinson
My mama has shaped my life in so many ways. Though I can't remember a lot of verbal lessons, proving her right, I really wasn't listening. But I was watching and her actions taught me valuable lessons like, it's okay to laugh at yourself, no one is worth putting on airs for, competition is healthy and a hell of a lot of fun, always protect your family, it's alright if you don't have all the answers as long as you're looking for them, curiousity is a virtue, and most importantly, if you're done with that cup put it in the dishwasher! ;)
She is the most loving mom, she poured all of her love and imagination and humor into every single day with us kids. She gave us the gift of being active and free. We were outdoor kids, out the door at 6am in the summer most days. Playing outside only stopping to eat. Allowed to be dirty all the time (but also eating many a meal on the porch). And the day I dragged a bag of freshly picked over deer bones home was crossing the line. I get it, I get it. But I was the line tester.
My mom was a competitve runner right around the time the 2 mile was first allowed for girls. She was gutsy and fast. My favorite story she tells is that at one road race a dude was just killing himself to beat her once he saw a woman had passed him. He grunted himself across the line just in front of her and when she finished she said, "congratulations, you're the first woman". I can just picture the sass. Ahh, makes this daughter proud.
Mom worked for the Forest Service as a hydrologist, out in the woods, and fought forest fires for overtime pay. Mom made my wedding dress by hand. (pic 1 me n her wedding) She will tackle and conquer literally any problem, from rat poop infestation to calculus to camping in Mongolia. Nothing scares her. I love my mom! And I want to be like her when I am in my 70’s! No blue-hair granny action for her.
And yes, my son Risely is named after her! She's pictured to the left holding him.
Mama says, "When life gets you down, just keep running"
My mom was a huge inspiration to me growing up. She got me involved with running from an early age, and I have her to thank for that. She was a runner before women's running was popular and before Title 9. She traveled all over the country to race - broke the 5 minute mile in 8th grade and ran a 9:51 3200m in high school. She raced against Mary Decker and in the same meets as Pre. She used to have rocks thrown at her and was told that it wasn't a sport for women. She helped pave the path for women runners everywhere and instilled in me that you can be feminine and strong as a female distance runner.
My mother, Joyce, lives out in the sticks near Beloit, Wisconsin where I was raised. She always advised me "to suck it in" referring to my tummy and to "stand tall" which I can still hear to this day, encouraging me to work on my posture. I have always admired how many friends my mom has and how she is able to nurture so many relationships. When people talk to me about my mom, they always say she is the nicest person they know, and they sincerely mean it. She receives more birthday cards for each birthday than most will receive in a lifetime! Since we live far apart, she isn't able to witness too many of my races. However, at one marathon she was standing near the 26 mile marker and she cheered, "Good job, Christy; you still have quite a ways to go!"
Mama says, "Get out there and have five minutes of fun." (This pithy advice applies to everything from the party you don't want to go to, to the tempo run you're dreading. You can leave or stop after five minutes, but usually, those five minutes make you want more.)
Mama Fries has been a runner longer than I've been alive. She's run countless 5ks, 10ks, halves, and marathons, but races aren't what motivates her. She hits the pavement every morning because she truly loves to run. That joy inspired me to take up the sport, and it still inspires me to care more about my love of running than the time on the clock. She's pictured here at a Mother's Day 5k in 1989 -- her first race as an official mama, and my first race as a passenger!
Mama says, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
My favorite memory of my mom is when we went to Europe as a family. It was the first time that my parents had been to Italy, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. We had a blast together. I had traveled there before by myself and so being able to go with my parents and show them the things that I had seen alone was extremely rewarding. Watching my mom enjoy the experiences of Europe was priceless. We had a great time together and made memories that I think about often.
Perfect Mother's Day with Mom: I think the ideal Mother's Day with her would be brunch and a walk along the beach in Oregon.
I admire my mom because she is extremely loving and patient. She is exceptional with children; watching her with my daughter MacKenzie inspires me to be a better mom. She is creative, intelligent, and fun to be around.
My mom inspires me to be the best mom, wife and person that I can be! She has always taught me to work hard and to make the best of any situation or experience that I am in..She is an exceptional woman! Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Mama says, "Sweetie I could care less if you get first or last!"
Clearly my mother is not your average competitor, nor the raging side line parent who makes you sprint a few 100's after a bad race. When I began running it was never about if I ran a PR, slipped on my butt mid race, or even did not finish. She came to my high school and college races for one reason: to be my consistent supporter. I'll never forget the one day she came to a high school track meet and to her unbelievable surprise, she watched her uncoordinated daughter (moi) finish first place in the mile. A solid PR later, I can't quite describe the look on her face as she came running down attempting a ginormous bear hug through the barbed fence. Story short: she was ridiculously overwhelmed and I have never been so excited to make her proud. Today is for you mama! The person in my life with a never ending supply of unconditional love.
May 9, 2013 9:46 pm
A couple weeks ago we all saw Oiselle Team Elite runner Kara Foster rock the 5k at the Penn Relays, finishing first in a PR time of 15:54.66. Many of you know her stats, have followed her races, but sometimes it is the day to day of an Elite runner that raises our curiosity the most. What does their normal day look like, what are their secrets, what are the little things that they do to make themselves better, how do they relax, how do they have fun, etc. This week Kara gives us a glimpse into her day to day and where she lives and trains.
A Day in the Life of Kara Foster:
It was a Wednesday and I woke up to take the trash out at 8am. I got back inside and Zina, my cat, persuaded me to go back to bed for another half hour.
Around 8:45 I hopped out of bed and into the shower. The rest of the morning was spent on eating breakfast and doing the laundry and dishes. I rushed out the door at 11:45 for an appointment with my jaw physical therapist. That’s right, I do jaw PT. Every time I chew my jaw clicks and it drives Ryan, my husband, crazy. Anyway, they have me do all these mouth exercises and put electric stimulation and heat on my face!
After PT, I went home to grab my stuff for practice! Here's a little video of where my day goes from here. So, I hope you enjoy it!
Watch for Kara at USA Championship in Des Moines, Iowa in the 10k June 20th! #oiselleteamUSA
May 8, 2013 10:11 am
Guest Blog | Allie Bigelow
Allie Bigelow lives and trains in Durham North Carolina, so she is no stranger to hot, humid, sweatastic running. She often trains and races with Ellen Moss. They have also adopted NW native Allison Camp who's living in NC while she completes graduate school. Allie Bigelow is a powerhouse of positive energy, joy and laughter.
Great news! Summer is almost here! That means that barbeques, flip flops and sunny days are just around the corner. Unfortunately it also means that hot, sticky, sweaty runs are right around the corner. And for one of the women pictured below it also means that, pretty soon, the rat's nest ponytail mess is about to become a daily occurrence.
It has come to my attention that many long haired runners are still vexed by their ponytails. Short of cutting all their hair off (like the other 3/4 of that crowd above), what can you do to avoid coming home from each and every run with your hair looking like this?:
Well, fear not fellow runners - I have an easy solution for you! Your summer runs don't have to be ruined by a damp, knotted rat's nest where your ponytail used to be. Years of running in the heat with a long, curly ponytail led me to develop a no-fail plan for avoiding the dreaded "nub" of knotted hair. It is a fairly simple process that, once you get the hand of it, takes only a few short minutes to implement but will save a lot of time and angst post-run.
First, a word or two about the supplies. You are going to need 3 to 4 hair clips and 3 to 4 hair elastics. I like to use the Goody "contour" hair clips and their heavy duty hair elastics. Both come in a wide variety of colors so you have the choice of either matching your hair color, going to basic black or making a colorful race-day statement. You do NOT want to use thin hair elastics...get the thick ones. The thin ones just won't keep your ponytail or bun in place.
Once you have the necessary supplies in place it is time to get to work!
Step one: gather the hair into a ponytail. Make sure the ponytail holder is on there TIGHTLY. No saggy ponys here! You need to start with a solid foundation for the steps to come. A mid-height ponytail seems to work best. I liked having a ponytail that could peek out through a cap or sit above the back brim of a visor. That way I could have bounce-free hair AND protect your face from the sun if you so chose.
Step two: add some hair clips. I like a clip right at the crown of my hair (sometimes even two if you have lots of unruly curls) and one on each side of the head. These just help keep the frizz and flyaways that develop during a run at bay. Bonus...when you get done with the run you have no sweaty hairs sticking to your face!
Step three: braid the ponytail. As with the ponytail, make sure to make the braid as tight as possible. It doesn't need to be perfect, but the tighter the plait the better the bun will be.
Now, some people like to stop here, but then you have a braid thwapping the back of your head throughout your run and you don't want that! Plus, the braid tends to come undone leaving you with a worse situation than you started with...the dreaded braid rat's nest. That is why it is so important to master step four!
Step four: the bun. Take the end of your braid and wrap the braid into a tight bun around the base of the ponytail. Then, holding the bun with one hand wrap another hair tie around the bun. Wrap it tightly ... stretch the hair tie and get that sucker around the bun at least two times! If your hair is fine you can probably go for three wraps. Once you have done this, jump up and down a few times to test it out. If the bun jiggles, grab another hair tie and double wrap that sucker.
Step four takes a few tries to master...sometimes the bun just doesn't work out the first couple of times. But stick with it and before you know it you will have a nice secure bun that won't budge throughout your run.
A few other thoughts and suggestions. First, I am sure you have noticed that the hair model for this demo has fairly fine, thin hair. Maybe you are even saying to yourself "but Allie, I have lots of smooth, straight, thick hair! It will never stay in a braid or a bun!" When I had long hair mine was fine also, but it was FAR from thin. I had a truly ridiculous amount of hair! So my braid and bun were significantly thicker and larger than Allison's and yet the technique worked like a charm. Here are some more details of how I made it work for me:
1. Try to work with dirty hair. Yep, I am suggesting that you don't wash your hair as often. If your hair isn't shiny clean when you braid it the braid will hold better.
2. Get your hair thinned out at the beginning of the summer. I learned that I could have my hairdresser reduce the overall weight and sheer mass of my hair reduced by using special sheers that thinned the hair out. I would have it done at the beginning of every summer and it made a world of difference.
3. Realize that this technique does have its limits. I found that once my hair grew to a certain length (for me it was when it got down past the bottom of my sports bra) my bun would get pretty heavy. I always kept my hair at mid-back length; as much as I loved how pretty it looked when it was longer it just wasn't practical for my lifestyle. Tough choices have to be made sometimes.
4. That said, if you have Jordan Hasay-length hair and realize that this ponytail/braid/bun technique probably won't work, you can always try Jordan's nape-of-the-neck ponytail technique. It seems to have worked for her!
5. If all else fails, you can always follow Ellen's technique for dealing with the summer ponytail rat's nest: cut it all off!
May 6, 2013 10:31 am
Guest Blog | Laura Hunter
Laura Hunter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a special love for athletics. As former University of Washington distance runner, Laura understands hard training and passion for competition at all levels! As a dietitian, Laura loves using whole foods as the perfect fuel for training and a happy life! Check out www.laurahunternutrition.com for more information or follow her on Facebook!
As a sports dietitian, I frequently battle the mainstream media diets out there currently spreading the message that carbohydrates are bad for you, make you fat, make you sick…This false information is astounding! I hope this post give you a better idea of the value of carbohydrates and how to get what you need to perform at your best!
Why do carbs rock? This is the BEST form of energy for working muscles. While your body can use fat and protein for energy if necessary, the energy in these nutrients is not as readily available as carbohydrate fuel. Furthermore, non-carb fuel does not give you the muscle strength or endurance that a “full tank” of glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates in the muscles, does. Anyone who has felt the dreaded “bonk” during a race or workout knows a little what it is like to be carb depleted.
How many carbs do I need? Carb need depends on training level and intensity. For moderate exercisers (one hour per day) you need 2.5-3g/pound of ideal body weight for training energy. As the intensity and duration goes up, more carbs are needed (up to 5-6g/pound for extreme endurance athletes). For example, a 130lb moderate exerciser needs ~325-390g of carbohydrates during the day. Spread out over the day, this means you can have about 80-100g of carbs at three meals, a couple of carb filled snacks, and some carbs during training.
What carbs do I choose? This question has a two-part answer, depending on if you are training or not. In general, I recommend getting carb fuel from whole grains, breads, pastas, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The key here is looking for whole food sources, not carb-filled junk foods. The reason that carbohydrates have gotten such a bad rap is that when people think of carbs, they think of junk foods like cake, chips, pastries … all of which generally come with a good dose of fat and calories. Whole foods will contain quality complex carbohydrates and are generally lower in fat and calories if prepared right than processed foods. Whole carb foods also bring along vitamins, minerals, and other food compounds that will keep you healthy and help avoid chronic disease and injury. These foods will nourish your body and fuel your muscles to help recover between training sessions.
Another important point to make is that these meals should be spread out over the day. Often I find people skimp on fuel early during the day to “save food for later” or are cutting calories for weight loss. This can lead to poorly fueled muscles and promote overeating later in the day. For improved energy, I recommend increasing intake earlier in the day and eating every 3-4 hours during the day.
For training, I recommend having a well-tolerated arsenal of simple carbohydrate products (sports gels, drinks, etc). These simple sugars are easy to absorb before, during, and after a workout. They can also help to spare the use of your stored glycogen energy (which is very appreciated at the end long run or race) and help speed up refueling of your glycogen post-workout (so you can be ready for the next training session). If you plan to exercise more than one hour, consider some supplemental carbohydrates such as sports drinks, shots, blocks, etc. I have even had some clients fuel with jello, pretzels, and puréed baby fruits. The important point here is that you experiment with some fuels to see what your stomach tolerates, and consider some variety to prevent getting bored with the same product. The goal repletion rate is 8-15g per 15-20 minutes.
After exercise, the best time to refuel is within the first 30 minutes after a workout with a ratio of 4g carb:1g protein. Interestingly, one of the best refueling foods out there is low-fat chocolate milk.
But what if I want to lose weight? This is another issue that I commonly talk through with clients. When trying to reduce weight while training, I recommend decreasing total calories by 10-20%. Continue to fuel well with quality carbs to avoid burnout, binges, and just feeling like crap.
What if I don’t eat gluten? Luckily, there are so many carb options that can fit into a gluten-free lifestyle. Some gluten free grains include rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and corn. Focusing on starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas, beets, and dairy as well as high carb fruits such as mango and banana can also help meet your carb needs. If you need a good sports bar that meets these criteria, try the wonderful Picky Bars.
The challenge: If you still aren’t convinced, then my challenge to you is to try increasing your carb intake for a week or two. Most of my clients report they feel like superstars!
Laura Hunter, MS, RD, CD
May 3, 2013 2:16 pm
This month we added a new member to Oiselle Team: Regina Joyce. Regina has been a pillar of consistency in the Seattle running scene since she came to the University of Washington as a college runner. She was the NCAA champion in the 3k in 1981 and the NCAA runner up in 1982. In 1984 she competed for Ireland in the Los Angeles Olympics and finished 23rd in the marathon. After becoming a US citizen in 1993 she competed in US Olympic Trials marathon in 1996 and again finished 23rd. She held the 3k, 5k, and 10k records at the University of Washington for over 30 years until a month ago her 10k record was finally taken down by Junior Megan Goethals. Megan finished the 10k at the Stanford Invitational with a blazing fast time of 32:52.78. On April 18th Megan also went on to break Regina's 5k record at the Mt. Sac Relays in a time of 15:33.63. Regina's accomplishments are legends within the Husky community. Last weekend the University of Washington had its first meet on their new outdoor track. Regina and Megan met and talked a little about running. So fun to see a talented runner like Megan following in her footsteps and now holding two of the 3 records.
I caught up with Regina and asked her a few questions that give you more of a glimpse into Regina's years of experience and expertise.
Oiselle Q&A with Oiselle Team Member Regina Joyce:
1. When did you first begin running?
December 1969 - I trained for one week and ran my first cross country race and placed 2nd.
2. What was your fondest memory of growing up in England?
I grew up in England and spent summers in Ireland. My fondest memories involve family...I was the fourth child of five. My younger sister Monica got me into running and was my training partner and companion. Eventually I'll move closer to Monica in Michigan so we can train/run together into our 60's and 70's.
3. What brought you to the University of Washington?
I was recruited to run at Clemson. A friend suggested I look at west coast schools. UW seemed liked the best fit!
4. What was your most favorite memory of racing in college? Post collegiately?
Loved putting on the UW uniform and racing...going to Nationals..being part of the team! Post collegiately, I loved road racing, the World Championships in 1983, and the Olympics in 1984 for Ireland.
5. What is your best piece of advice for young runners who want to be competitive and successful in their running?
Have balance in your life. While running takes a lot of dedication, there is more to life than running: Balance helps keep things in perspective.
6. Since you have been running for so long, what have you done when you go through lulls in your training and racing and how do you stay motivated?
Find training partners/friends who make you laugh. Know that all phases will pass. Each challenge is there for a reason. Maybe you need to focus on another area of your life during the lulls!
7. Do you incorporate cross training in your schedule? Do you have a usual core/strength routine that you do?
I belienve core strength is critical to injury prevention of distance runners. I try to go to a core class a couple times a week.
8. How do you approach your nutrition? Do you have items that you can't live without since you are a runner? Standard items that help you overall health?
I've always eaten healthy, but for now I follow an almost vegan diet (can't live without chocolate). i believe a plant based diet is best for me. Protein and calcium are available in abundance in grains and vegetables!
9. What are you most looking forward to this year in terms of your running?
Recovering from a broken collarbone and 8 broken ribs from a bike accident. I hope to be back running by early summer. So maybe doing a few 5k's and cross country races this fall! Being a part of the Oiselle Racing Team!
April 30, 2013 1:59 pm
Guest Blog by Lauren Fries
Advance warning: this race report gets a little long! Scroll down to the end for the highlights if you're in a rush, and enjoy the pictures along the way.
It all started with the crazy idea to run a marathon in Paris. For a runner, 26.2 miles on foot is best way to see the City of Lights. It would be the perfect end to a two-week adventure through Europe.
What I didn’t know was that running a marathon abroad is an exercise in adjusted expectations. Your pre-race rituals fly out the window. Packet pick-up, night-before dinner, morning-of breakfast, post-race ice bath – nothing is the same as it is at home. For the more adventurous soul, this might be an exciting challenge! For me, it was scary and stressful – worrying about all the logistics meant my head wasn’t in the right place when I got to the starting line.
As I waited in my corral, within spitting distance of L'Arc de Triomphe, inching slowly forward for 45 minutes, I tried not to tick off all the reasons I wouldn’t perform well that day. Instead of letting any hits against me take over, I zeroed in and focused on my goals. I pictured my secret A-goal in my head: a finish clock that said 3:59:59. Greg McMillan told me I could do it; my recent 13.1 PR of 1:53 told me I could do it; my Yasso 800s at 3:55 told me I could do it. I tried to shut out that voice in my head that said I couldn’t.
It’s not an exaggeration to say I don’t remember much of the actual race. It’s a blurry kind of fog in my memory. We started at L’Arc de Triomphe, and ran down Les Champs Elysées. We ran by the Bastille, the Grand Palais, the Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, and finally, the Eiffel Tower. I wish I could summon more of the course to my mind. I do remember the crowds that lined much of the course, shouting “Allez Lauren!” Many spectators thought I was French because my singlet said Oiselle – as you know, French for bird.
The first 5 miles clicked off with great splits: not too fast, not too slow. I focused on the advice given me by my marathon-expert coworker Christy: lock in a decent for the bulk of the race and “bust it out at mile 22.” Of course, knowing something on paper doesn’t mean following it in practice. As soon as I caught sight of the 4:00 pacer, I felt myself speeding up to catch him – faster than my comfortable pace of 9:20ish.
For the next 13 miles – from 5 all the way to 18 – I was between 15 and 60 seconds behind the 4:00 pacer. I knew I was out of my comfort zone, and that trying to chase the pacer would not end in success for me. I tried to slow myself down, to calm my brain, to run my own race, to let my body settle into the pace it wanted to run, but I just couldn’t do it.
My Garmin died at mile 17, immediately after emerging from a half-mile-long tunnel to run along the Seine. Not long after that – maybe mile 19 or so, but I don’t remember – I hit the wall and hit it hard. I never doubted I would finish, but instead of soaking in the final 10k with a smile, I slugged it out with gritted teeth.
Immediately after crossing the finish line, I burst into tears. After more than an hour of feeling miserable, I was so happy to be done. I cried for the next 15 minutes straight as I collected my medal, shirt, bag, and water and wove my way through the crowds to find my boyfriend.
My time, I found out later, was 4:12, a three-minute PR for me. Weeks later, I’m focusing more on the fact that I’m fit enough to run a marathon and lucky enough to do it in a place like Paris than the actual PR. It’s not a race I’m necessarily proud of: I made mistakes that I knew were mistakes while I was making them. Even though I actively tried not to worry about PRing in Paris, I wanted to run a race I was proud of, and I felt I had failed that goal.
With a little time and perspective, I’m able to see more clearly. My positive split was six minutes – nothing to write home about, but it could have been a lot worse. I also recognize that it’s valuable to hit the wall so hard, and to know what that feels like for future marathons. I didn’t have that experience in my first 26.2, so I didn’t have as much respect for the distance as I should. Twenty-six miles, 385 yards is a beast. There’s no way to know how well you’ll stack up against it than to show up that day.
- A marathon is an amazing thing. To see 40,000 heads bobbing and hear 80,000 feet slapping against the cobblestones is inspiring.
- Don’t rag on runners who listen to music. I go without for 95% of my runs, but “Something Like That” by Tim McGraw really lifted my spirits when I plugged in at mile 14. I really don’t know if I would have made it without “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry.
- My Garmin died at 17. Was this a blessing or a curse? We’ll never know.
- Never try to catch the pacer. Let me repeat that. Never try to catch the pacer.
- Somebody’s always got it worse than you do. Passing the young kid wearing a 3:00 bib, limping in a season-ending-injury way, in the last mile absolutely broke my heart. My wall looked a lot nicer when I compared it to his wall.
- In the words of the great Sally Bergesen, “Marathons come and go, but Paris is forever.”
April 29, 2013 4:45 pm
Guest Post by @JackElizabethK
Whatever it is your palate craves after a hard race, I can guess it falls into one of these categories: salty or sweet. If coffee was a category, I know that many of you reading this would jump right on board, but news flash: coffee is not a snack! After taking multiple nutrition classes in my undergrad years and being coached by nutritionists while running collegiately, I learned some valuable post-run nutrition habits:
Post Workout Nutrition Tips
- The 30 minute window. Eat at least 100-300 calories within 30 minutes of workout/race.
- Limit fats. In your 30-minute window, it’s important to focus on carbohydrate intake. Fats (ie: a handful of nuts, avocados, etc.) inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates back into the muscles. Stick to a snack with less than around 10 grams of fat.
- Rule of thumb is 4 to 1. Your snack should include four grams of carbohydrates for every one gram of protein. This applies to post workout snack and larger meals as well. As a distance runner, carbs are our main fuel source – we want the tank full all the time.
I’m far from an expert in nutritional sciences – even though I would love to be – but taking these tricks and tips to the kitchen is one of my specialties. These simple snacks are exceptionally helpful for runners who think they don’t have “spare time” to cook or become overwhelmed setting foot in a kitchen. I promise: whipping these up is not rocket science. They are guaranteed not to take more than five minutes.
Three Post Run Recovery Snacks
- Yogurt + oats: 3/4 cup low fat Vanilla yogurt, ½ cup rolled oats uncooked, ½-1 tbsp. flax seed, coconut flakes, topped with frozen blueberries and/or banana slices.
- English muffin + apples: Whole wheat English muffin, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, 3 apple slices.
- Pita pocket + turkey: Whole wheat pita bread pocket (or cut in half for smaller snack), 3 slices peppered turkey, small bunch of sprouts, 1 tbsp. hummus (I use garlic and chive).
If you’re really on a time crunch, here’s a snack that will do just the trick…
- Picky Bar + chocolate milk: Chocolate milk and Picky Bars fall into the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Bring this snack for a post track workout, or pack it in your Feather Spike Bag for a post-race treat.
That’s all for now. Craving more nutritious recipe ideas? Tweet me at @JackElizabethK.
April 26, 2013 12:56 pm
By Erin Taylor, Jasyoga Head Coach
Lead legs. Booty lock. Zombie walk. Sound familiar?
Post-race can be, well, painful. I hear ya — the last time I ran a half marathon, I had a few beers afterward and didn’t stretch before I went to bed. The effects weren’t pretty — I was a hot mess the next day.
Just 15 minutes of yoga tailored for your running body can help reduce lingering race tension and stiffness. So, after you’ve completed your victory lap and celebration, use this short sequence to help kick start “reset” mode. This month, we’ve picked poses that address a few of the key areas we often hear runner chicks moan about post-long haul. So get in there and restore balance — your muscles will thank you tomorrow!
Spend about 10 deep breaths on each pose/movement…
All Fours Calf Stretch — For calf relief
- From all fours, straighten your right leg behind you and tuck your toes under on the floor.
- Gently rock forward and back on the ball of your foot, lengthening the entire back of your leg and stretching your calf — be sure not to lock your knee.
- Try to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.
- Continue rocking or be still in a spot that feels like a good stretch.
Child’s Pose — To help wind down and reduce tension in your back
- From all fours, drop your hips back toward your heels.
- Your thighs can be touching to support your torso, or wide apart so that your torso to drop toward the floor.
- Keep your arms extended out in front of you or bring your hands back toward your feet.
NOTE: If your knees are really uncomfortable like this, just lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest.
Prone Windshield Wipers — To restore hip mobility and give your quads a massage
- Stack your palms to make a pillow for your forehead.
- Bring your legs about hip’s width apart.
- Bend your knees and flex your feet so that they face the ceiling.
- Drop your shins toward the right, then take them all the way toward the left.
- Continue to “windshield wiper” your shins side to side, feeling that the movement originates from your thighbones rotating in your rips so that there’s no strain on your knees.
Variation: “Criss/cross” your ankles — notice what part of the movement feels like more of a stretch and pause there for a breath (pulling the shins apart is a great stretch for those stiff outer hips).
Once you’ve hit up that trio of poses, go put your legs up the wall (just what it sounds like!) for at least 10 minutes to help recirculate the blood in your legs and reduce lower-body heaviness.
Major props to all you fasties who are throwing down this marathon month!
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