Thursday, June 28, 2012

Salt! Friend or Foe?

Salt. Friend or Foe? I've been experimenting with lowering my sodium intake quite significantly since sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure/ hypertension. Last Summer, when I was training for the Rochester Marathon, I just kept my sodium intake normal and didn't really think much about it. I think I started this reduced sodium diet around February while also in the midst of increasing mileage and beginning to train for the Mega. The result; is not what I had expected at all. It seems now, that any salt intake immediately results in water weight, bloat and retention that just doesn't go away. I honestly think a low sodium diet and marathon training is not working for me. I'm slowly starting to go back to my normal salt intake and get my body back to being able to process the salt and not bloat me up like a whale. The combination of glycogen storage in my muscles after long runs, bloat from sodium and tired legs is making for one grumpy runner. There is nothing worse than running 40 miles a week and gaining 4lbs of flab, which seems to just love hanging out on my face and abs. Joy! Retention, in any form, is not comfortable. I've increased my sodium intake a little this past week alone and I've already noticed a difference. My sausage fingers are gone!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why I Love Running

Ah Sweet, Sweet Serenity. Running, to me, is like a meditation. Most of the time, I am thinking about all sorts of weird things (i distinctly remember itemizing all the things I would do with my 205 million dollar lottery winnings during my run on Sunday) and sometimes, there's literally nothing going on upstairs. Both are fine. I'm running, on average, around 128 miles a month right now. That's a lot of meditation. Chemically, I am addicted to the endorphins released in my brain while running (Hello Runners High!) and physically, running is the only thing that feels like a true work out. (Sorry Elliptical, things just aren't working out...haha) I do, however, supplement with the Elliptical during the week. My reasoning is simple:

1. I feel that I'm saving my joints a little bit by doing some of my mileage on the Elliptical and then, years and years down the line, when I am still running, my knees, ankles, hips will still cooperate.
2. Running shoes are damn expensive! Again, I'm cheap. I'm stretching my dollar just a little bit by supplementing with the Elliptical and lengthening the life of my shoes.
3. Sometimes it's nice to hop onto the Elliptical and watch a show while I work out. (even if it's Jersey Shore...)

I still feel like I'm cheating on running but running will just have to understand. Variety is the spice of life.