What’s New? Nut Butters, Nathan, and Compression!

So was asked recently what are some of your favorite must haves!!! Ha, the list is long and varied so thought what better place to start writing about them.

 

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Pocket Fuel 

Let’s start with nut butter!! Always a fan of peanut butter but in the past few years have tried to stay away from peanuts as much as possible. Research has shown that other nuts have increased benefit for your health and now we have so much more to choose from out there, so why stop at peanut butter. But, then I found a product called Pocket Fuel  , Pocket Fuel Naturals was founded in Oregon, by athletes for athletes. To fuel athletes with natural, many are vegan, gluten free, whole real food. There line of nut butters and now cold brew coffee energy shots are amazing. These products have saved me many times before, during, and after workouts. Even first thing in the morning perfect for a treat before a training session on a piece of toast or waffle with a shot of espresso or soy cappuccino.

 

 

IMG_7705Fusion Compression Sleeves

Many ask, do they really work? Won’t I just get hot wearing them. No and no? I am a firm believer in compression sleeves and socks for training and racing. Fusion PWR Tubes compression sleeves are the best on the market without doubt! There have been years of research done to prove the benefit of increased circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Sure, you will always get someone who will find something contrary to wearing them, but I choose to wear them for both training and recovery. Usually not both on a given day. If I train in them I will not put them on immediately after for recovery. If I choose not to use them for training that day, I will use them for recovery following the workout. I will often sleep in the socks but never the sleeves as you can get pooling under the ankle of the sleeve band (better to use the socks to sleep in or for driving/flying). I feel Fusion has developed a top of the line compression sleeve, the fit is right on, staying in place and proving graduated compression. They are comfortable when on for extended periods of time and stay nice and cool when training in hot climates such as Arizona. I don’t go anywhere without a pair of compression sleeves or socks when training hard or racing. Thanks Fusion for providing athletes with the very best apparel on the market.

 

 

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Nathan Sports

What doesn’t this company provide us athletes with these days, thanks Nathan! But most importantly Nathan has provided me a way to hold water and hydration for more than a decade of my life. My absolute favorite would be my insulated QuickShot Plus. For me it is the perfect size for most of my runs, and I can often find a spot to refill it. It is insulated so my water stays cool in the Arizona heat. It hits perfectly in my hand and the pocket can easily hit some money, a key, and any other small necessity. I have many other Nathan products that are part of my must haves as well, which will be reviewed soon!!!! Thanks Nathan for providing athletes so many ways to stay hydrated, in addition to a huge assortment of other products to use out playing on the roads and trails.

 

 

 

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National Running Day Re-Cap and More

Happy Thursday! Yesterday was National Running Day and a great day it turned out to be. The day ended with working at Sole Sports with some awesome employees and then a group run with friends and customers. After the group run in 100+ degree temps we headed over to Oggi’s in Glendale. Happy Hour was a blast with great conversation among friends.

IMG_5631I am feeling super encouraged today with my own training after this morning’s run on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. I think the iron supplementation is helping in addition to the increased calories. I am taking a double dosage of iron daily to get my super low ferritin numbers up. Also trying to eat a lot more and more frequently. This morning I ran 6.2 miles at 75-80% bodyweight at ave. just a little over 8:00/mi pace and it felt pretty easy. Which is very encouraging because lately NOTHING has felt easy or even remotely easy. So this is a HUGE step in the right direction. This weekend. I will get in another easy run, some cross-training on the bike and maybe a swim too.

 

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(Happy Hour After National Running Day)!

Do Dr.’s Know Best?

This is a question I am asking myself a lot lately. With our health care system better known as “broken” and the recent medical issues I have faced, I am both frustrated and extremely confused on whom to listen to and believe.

To make a super long and scary story short… I contracted a virus in Oct that attacked my peripheral nervous system and brain. Temporary paralysis of arm, then numbness and lack of sensation in feet and legs, bad headaches, etc. I spent most of Oct. in the hospital where it was also discovered I had some immune and adrenal system issues. We discovered via blood tests that my body doesn’t make the needed antibodies to fight infections and my adrenal system doesn’t work to well.

Dr.’s told me I would need immunoglobulin antibody infusions every 21 days to give my body the antibodies it doesn’t make to fight infections and strengthen my immune system. Since then every 21 days I go and get an IV put in and antibodies … every time I feel like shit for 2-3 days. They say a common reaction.

The third time (a week ago yesterday) I had an infusion. I felt sick all week and by Fri, a friend took me to the ER. I had tests run, a spinal tap done, a CT scan on my brain, etc. The spinal tap revealed aseptic meningitis (a reaction from  the antibody infusion). And an explanation for the insane headache, nauseousness, stiff neck, and tiredness. I spent Fri. through Sunday at the hospital (Mayo Clinic) on IV anti-virals and antibiotics (just to play it safe according to the Dr.’s) plus morphine and IV fluids. I come to find out from the Neuro at Mayo, that it might not have been necessary after all to have the antibody infusions and those infusions in particular are extremely hard on the body especially someone who has adrenal system issues. To say I am frustrated is an understatement. Here we are paying close to a grand for each infusion and come to find out that there might have been an easier less invasive and less expensive way. What was suppose to make me healthier gave me meningitis. And let me tell you aseptic meningitis is brutal and painful.

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So what to do? Well I am taking some charge with advice from those I TRUST in the medical field. I am going to attempt to deal with the immune system and adrenal issues through nutrition and non pharmaceuticals … I will take a multi-vitamin and other vitamins with no potential side effects, I will get more sleep, work on staying properly hydrated and hope to be able to add some super food smoothies and juices into my daily nutrition.

It is when ultimate frustration occurs that you have to take charge, trust your Higher Power, believe that you know yourself better than anyone, and live each day trying to better yourself and inspire others. So here’s to moving forward with fast feet and ultimate stamina.

A Time of Change

I have started and stopped this blog more times than I can recall. 2010, what a year! It contained the good, the bad, the ugly, and most important…2010 made me a stronger person. Major scary spine surgery in Jan., the months of rehab., a frightening event that occurring at work in late summer, surreal success in training and racing, the AMAZING support from friends, coaches, and the best medical team including Dr. Porter my neurosurgeon, a serious pancreatic condition, the lose of a close friend and role model, more injury setbacks, and another spine surgery in Dec. . What a year and those are just some of the good, bad, and ugly. BUT what’s most important is the lesson I have learned this year.

“Happiness lies in loving everything you do and living each day like it might be taken from you tomorrow” I have been taught by the grace of God that I have more endurance and perseverance than I thought. I can get up many more times than I fall down, and the strength of those supporting me is my greatest gift.

2011 is a year I am super stoked to begin. Yes, 2011 will be a year in which I strive for happiness is everything I do. I will have the courage to attempt what I fear, I will take the time to experience what makes me feel complete, and I will stand up for my beliefs.

A couple EXCITING changes and additions to 2011.

Running for a deeper meaning. The ultimate goal remains the Olympic Trials Marathon time. A goal I am beyond passionate about and know I can achieve with dedication and the right attitude. BUT also running for a more spiritual reason (something that will no doubt help me achieve all of my running goals and enjoyment in each mile covered). I will also experiment with the Ultra’s. Something that really will be easier on the body being on softer terrain. Distances too that I am excited to explore and think will provide a whole new atmosphere to enjoy and cherish.

Graduate School – I plan to start Grad. School this year. I will pursue a Graduate Degree in Psychology. A topic that has interested me since I was in college and especially following the life changing cycling accident I was involved in. I believe my greatest gift is helping others come back from the obstacles they are faced with the right tools and right attitude. Therefore I have decided to journey into this field at a much deeper level. I am excited and nervous but will turn those feelings into positive energy helping me become successful in this endeavor.

Career – I will continue to be a Consultant, more than just a coach and personal trainer, I want to really help others look at ALL areas of their lives. I have learned what has helped me achieve what I set my mind to and it goes FAR BEYOND working out and eating healthy. It is a state of mind. A state of mind that has many components. These components are not always understood by others but they are crucial to achievement of established goals. I will be a Consultant that has the added knowledge of being a Certified Personal Trainer and Running Coach. My best certification is not one that I can put under my name but lays in the years of experience and obstacles I have faced. What I will teach is a state of mind.

Representing my AMAZING sponsors. Froedtert Sports Medicine Institute (the superior source for Performance Enhancement and rehab. from injury, their support/guidance/motivation is what fuels my training). Mike and the team there are 2nd to NONE! First class all the way!!!I am so excited to get home and back to working with Mike 3 x a week. Mike makes some of the hardest workouts fun!!!

Brooks Running I will be running head to toe in Brooks apparel and shoes. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be an ambassador and sponsored athlete by such a quality company with amazing product and athlete support.

Hammer Nutrition As I embark on the distance and endurance events this year I will be fueled by ALL Hammer Nutrition products. I have used their Hammer Gel, Recoverite, Endurolytes, iFlora, Tissue Rejuvenator, Hammer Bars, and Super Antioxidant. Now I will start using the Perpetuem along with the other products I have used for years. No doubt I will have the greatest fuel sources available. Check out their site for more info on all products.

Grafton Chiropractic Center – I simply can’t say enough great things about these guys (and gals). They have gone above and beyond in caring for me and it is the only Chiropractic Center I send my clients and friends to, knowing they will get the BEST in care and support. Dr. Werner, who primarily works with me has not only provided the highest level of care but also has been so supportive in the setbacks. The experience of the chiropractors at Grafton is of the highest level and the ladies that work there are a pleasure to chat with upon arriving, also being so supportive. Whether it’s your neck, back, shoulders, etc.. you will be taken care of and feel better in no time after a stop at Grafton Chiropractic Center.

Horses – Yep, after a 8 year hiatus I will return. Certainly not at the level I once was at but I will return!!!! There is a simple and pure happiness I feel when horseback riding. Something special. It was “life” for 16 years, and holds a huge part of me. I want to thank my best friend Chrissy, for helping me realize that. We shared so many years riding together every day, going to shows, cold mornings in the barn, supporting each other through the good and bad. Wow, those days were crazy and so fun. Thanks Chrissy and can’t wait to get home and start riding!!!!!!

I also am embarking on writing a book, plan to explore yoga as a way to slow down and look from within, and will submerse myself in learning proper plant-based nutrition for better health and performance. I have fought a year of some serious pancreatic issues (my pancreas just doesn’t work we discovered). I am learning that has to do with inflammation and adrenal fatigue. Soooo…I will explore all avenues to repair what needs fixing and hopefully someday not have to take $300/month pancreatic enzymes. There has to be a more economical way. 😉

I hope each and every one of you has the most Happy New Year and remember to never give up on your dreams!