Tricks and Treats

you know how sometimes, bloggers start out their posts by saying: "I'M BACK!! sorry, SORRY I've been gone for so long.  It was a crazy busy week....."

And then you're like: "oh, no big deal, I swear I actually didn't notice you hadn't posted in a few days, I have a life too that doesn't revolve around tracking your blog"

So, I'm not going to apologize for not posting since TUESDAY NIGHT, but I will say that the Blogger platform blows for being down for over 36 hours.

I'm not sorry.  I was busy computering with large headphones

Normally, when something crashes, a computer genius gets it back up within an hour or two, right?  36+ hours is majorly lame.  I imagine instead, Blogger had some computer average-knowledged-person such as myself try and fix it.

So I had a great post bubbling inside my head for Thursday, but Blogger was broken, and now I have weekend brain so you have to deal with this instead.


Tricks = things that I have found successful for improving my running

Treats = things I greatly enjoy indulging in right now.

TRICK # 1: cherry juice

about 4 weeks ago, cutie-pie-panini forwarded me a news article about the benefits of cherry juice for runners.

in short, it helps with inflammation, much the way ibuprofen or any other NSAID would.

I never, ever take ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), Aleve, etc anymore.

Years ago, when I was feeling an injury coming on, I would take two Advil every morning before a run.

In March of 2010 for the Napa marathon, I took 4 before the race, and 2 during the race, because I had a hip injury that I thought might feel OK on race day.

For the next 3 days after the marathon, I suffered from the WORST chest pains I've ever felt.  Like your worst heartburn imaginable times 8.  I barely slept for those 3 days.

On the last day, after calling my dad (a former doctor) at 6:00 a.m. crying about how I couldn't sleep I was in so much pain, he demanded that I go straight to the ER.

After blood tests, an EKG, chest x-rays, and every other test you can imagine, it was ruled down to either an ulcer or esophageal spasms. 

Esophageal spasms largely come about because the lining in your esophagus has grown very thin.  Too much ibuprofen can cause this.  ding ding ding ding!

So, I never take Advil anymore.

Cherry juice has really worked!! I had some before and after the Western Pacific half, and the Eugene Marathon, and had very very little soreness.  

It's a miracle!!  Trader Joe's, $4.

TREAT #1: See's lollypops


These are heaven.  They're so amazing -- unlike most lollipops, which are purely sugar, these are actually made with cream and butter so they just knock you OUT.

If anyone really loves me and wants to make me super happy, this is all I want as a gift.  Just hundreds and hundreds of them.

They are not cheap!  $1.50 each I think.

My favorites, in order from best to least are:  Butterscotch, Chocolate, Vanilla, Cafe Latte.  They have a seasonal pumpkin flavor that I've never tried.

I could eat the butterscotch lolly alllll day.  It is such a treat at work.

TRICK # 2: black beans

Back when I first started this blog -- January -- I was feeling lethargic and slow during runs for now identifiable reason.   I was nearing my 1 year anniversary as a vegetarian, so I began blaming a lack of iron.

I learned, mostly through bloggers, that I could either take an iron pill (which has certain not awesome side effects), or get more iron in my diet, from sources like spinach or black beans.

I already eat a fair amount of spinach, so I attacked black beans.

I eat about 2 to 3 cans per week.  Just dig my spoon in and go to town.  And haven't had those lethargic feelings since!

TREAT # 2: Trader Joe's almond milk

If you love Blue Diamond's almond milk, try TJ's new version.  I actually think it is BETTER! the vanilla flavor has a little more kapow, and it is so creamy.

TJ's is better!

And $3 for a TJ's gallon.  Not bad, although I've seen the Blue Diamand almond milk for the same price at Target.

I use it for smoothies, cereal, and in a tall cold glass (with or without cookies).

TRICK # 3: Glucosamine and Beta-alanine

I've fallen off the wagon with these two, but I was taking them regularly for a couple months prior to Eugene.

Glucosamine = joint health.  I have nothing else to add.  My joints seem great.

Beta-alanine, I learned about from Janae.  I have no idea how to explain what it does, but it has something to do with increasing your fatigue capacity.

Don't know if it worked, but I definitely did not shut down as much as I have in the past at the Eugene marathon.

TREAT # 3: Trader Joe's almond butter

I've already talked about this cute little jar, but I still eat about 1/4th of a jar a day.  I'm obsessed, it is divine.

I eat it plain, with yogurt, with crackers, with banana, with frozen yogurt, and I always sprinkle some salt on it.  I like salt.

I like when it has been in the fridge and gets kind of stiff.  Don't know why....

TRICK # 4: Body Glide

Everyone knows about this little guy, but smearing it on my sports bra line, my inner thighs, my inner-upper arms, and where my shorts tag sits before my last few half marathons and at Eugene was a life saver.

I had NO chafing.  not a single spot of irritation.  Amazed!

TREAT # 4: Sodastream

I can make my own soda at home.  It tastes delicious.  It takes about 45 seconds.  Jealous? YOU SHOULD BE.

I got it for Christmas.  It has changed my life.

Best flavors: diet grapefruit, diet lemon-lime, and root beer.  There's even a red bull flavor.

TRICK # 5: FRS drink

I don't know what's going on with this drink (yes I do, it's something called quercetin), but I had half a can before the Oakland half and the Western Pacific half, and it seemed to wake me up a little, without the shakes that caffeine gives you.

I have no idea where to buy these...I just grab 3 cans at expos, and then save them for races.

It's strange how good they are at promoting themselves, but I feel I have no choice but to get them for free.  Because I never see them in stores, only expos.

TREAT/TRICK # 5: Britney Spears on my ipod

Still loving her new album.  Treat because she's always a guilty pleasure, trick because her songs always pump me up to run with the fast beat.

What are your running tricks?  What treats are you enjoying these days?