Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Where are my PANTS???

It's 49 degrees, the wind chill factor is 40 and I CAN'T FIND MY PANTS!!!! I have two pairs of pants for winter running and today seems a good day for the UnderArmour tights. Small problem - I can't find them!!! It's a slight consolation to realize my lime green fleece lined undershirt is missing, as is my navy blue $2 hoodie, and the Pistons sweatshirt I bought my ex, then borrowed and kept, so evidently I moved it all somewhere in the summer, but where....??? Not in my exercise clothes basket, not under the bed, not with the sweaters. St. Anthony help me!

I buy good running stuff in multiples, so I have brown knee socks and purple knee socks, same brand, same design. The purple ones are much cuter, but they don't fit nearly as well as the brown ones, yet I can only find ONE brown sock. I'm a mess today!!!!

I searched for "running tights" in images and THIS is what I found??? haha How does one even describe such a picture??? (My tights are a boring black)

Update: I found my pants, sweat shirts and all my cold stuff in the basement. Brown sock was in the laundry pile - it never got washed last time I wore it. Thank you St. Anthony :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The trial run

Saturday was cold-ish and windy, cloudy. A good day to stay inside and cocoon, but it was Saturday! Saturday = run day. I don't know what else to do on Saturdays! lol

Besides, I had to get back in the running groove. After the race on Sunday, my quads were sore sore sore, but by Thursday afternoon they were as good as ever. My body was ready to run, but my cold was still raging and I was woozy. There was no reason to push my recovery, so I let it ride a few days longer.

Hal says runners can / should take off as many days as miles they ran, which gives me 26 running-free days. No thanks! 26 days off will destroy my heart and lung capacity, and turn my muscles to mush.

I went to yoga on Friday and felt fine, so Saturday was the day to try it out. I've been having headphone issues and wound up running Saturday without music, but it was ok. I just wanted a short run to get my legs moving again and test my lungs post-cold. It was fine, no problems! :)

Sunday I wanted to push myself a little harder. I wanted to run 60 minutes, but I had somewhere to be at 2pm and I have serious procrastination issues, so it wound up being 48 minutes. It was soooooo cold! The actual temperature was 41, but it was gray and windy. Somehow I was running into the wind the whole way. Crunchy leaves were falling off the trees onto me, blowing up from the ground and hitting me in the face. Many times my visor just about blew away, but I kept going for 4.85 miles. My normal running strategy is to run 0.9 miles, then walk 0.1, but I managed Sunday's run with only one walking break.

I'd say I'm as good as new! Now if the students will keep their germs to themselves!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

What wall?

Marathoners talk about THE WALL as though it's a real thing. It is, and it's brutal! My first three marathons I ran squarely into THE WALL, the point where the body, mind and spirit completely shut down, and any further movement is done solely on willpower and determination. In 2010, I hit this point around mile 14, the Martian was around mile 20, and Toledo was mile 22. It definitely felt like progress to push back the wall progressively further in the race each time, but it was always there.

It seemed inevitable, and I have my funniest race stories from the miles after hitting the wall. For example, in Toledo I realized that after 22 miles, I can't count backward from 80 to 0. At the Martian, I completely put my dignity on the shelf and sang aloud, knowing I have the world's worst singing voice, and knowing full well that other runners were laughing / cringing at me.

The great Hal Higdon says:
There is no perfect distance for the long run. Twenty miles is the peak distance used in most training programs, if only because 20 is a round number. That is the longest run I suggest to runners using my training programs, even advanced runners. But in countries outside the United States, 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) is equally round and as frequently used. Most coaches feel that once you reach 16 miles, you are in long-run territory. That is the point where the psychological and physiological changes kick in.
He also says that miles 20-26 should only be run on a race course, wearing a race number. I have to respectfully disagree with him on this point. My training this summer had two distances past 20 - 20.11 and 21.64, and I was able to keep going at the Free Press marathon, without running headfirst into THE WALL. Sure I was tired, but the upper miles arrived quickly and while I was tired, I had my full mental capability at all times. It could be, though, that I knew the course. It's one thing to know I have 4 miles left. It's completely different to know I have to get off the island, turn left on Jefferson, go by the RiverWalk, turn right, turn left and done!

My next training program I'd like to bump the longest run to 22 miles and see if it lends itself to more time consistency at the end. It's a hypothesis worth testing :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2 miles all week

Hal Higdon even has a plan for the weeks after the marathon. Here's what he says runners should do the first week:

Get all that? haha In other words, NOTHING! No exercise on Monday, no running on Tuesday (massage if it's in the budget - it's not), no running on Wednesday, no cross training either. Thursday is ok for a 2-mile jog, Saturday is the same. Sunday 6-8 miles at the most, depending on how I feel.

I deviated a little because I've learned that forcing my body to move feels better than not doing anything. Monday I put on my Vibrams and shuffled through a very slow mile. I think it was somewhere in the 25-minute area, but I wasn't timing it. Walking flat felt ok, but inclines and stairs were difficult, especially going down. Tuesday I went for another single mile walk slow slow slow.

Wednesday my quads are a little sore, but the rest of my body feels great. Well except for my head and chest which are suffering from the cold. It's getting worse not better :( Weather is great today - sunny and low 70s, but I don't need to rush into running or anything strenuous especially when I'm woozy.

Tentatively Saturday will be my back-to-running today, with a nice 2-3 mile jog. We'll see. It would feel weird for Saturday to pass without running.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Pollyanna persuasion?

Mom asked today if I feel any better about the race after a day has passed. No, I don't. I regard it as a failed race. I didn't hit my goal time, I didn't set a personal best time, I didn't even enjoy it due to this stupid cold.

I could take a different attitude to it. I could see that less than 1 percent of the world will ever complete a marathon and I just did my 4th. I could remind myself that I changed myself from non-athlete to quadruple marathoner. It was the second best time of my life, and it was done with a head cold! If I didn't stop to talk to Tammy, or pause once to pull up my knee sock, I would have hit a new pr. If I wasn't so dehydrated and walked those few extra steps so I could drink a whole bottle of water, I would have. Could have should have would have. Maybe I'll feel better eventually, but I'm still mega bummed right now.

I took a personal day from work because I really think marathons need to be the middle day of a 3-day weekend. I went for a sloooooow 1-mile walk at a 25-minute per mile pace. My legs felt good while I was forcing them to move, but the longer I sit, the more stiff my quads feel. Stairs, ramps and transitioning from sitting to standing is painful. It'll pass in a few days. The recovery seems easier each time.

It's funny. In 2010 I was pretty much the last place finisher, but I was really happy with that race because I just wanted to finish it. Now that I've gotten marginally better - and 1:25:00 faster - I'm disappointed in myself. Go figure :(

What the heck? The 2013 countdown is already on???

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I finished

My dream of the Free Press had 4 parts:

1. It was 62 and sunny (check)

2. My friend finished under 3-hours (check)

3. I ran the race in a haze (check, but in the dream it was because I was experiencing a runner's high, not because I was sick and cloudy headed)

4. I finished in 4:33 (EPIC FAIL!!!!)

Saturday night I took two big gulps of Nyquil at 7:15 and was in bed three minutes later, asleep by 8. I woke up at 1:30, out of bed at 4:00, and I still didn't feel great. I felt so-so at best. Definitely still had a sore throat, but the ear ache was gone. Woozy brain mush was present, but I tried to not think about it.

I had paid $62 for the race and dammit I was going to try!

Mile 2, my left ear bud stopped working. Aaaaaahhhhh!!!! The right one was fine, so I tucked left into my shirt and just used the right one. My quads felt GREAT! They've been stiff for a few weeks, but felt great today. Passed a woman with a funny sign "Run like a Yankees fan."

Mile 5, I was quite certain I was going to throw up. The temperature was still in the mid 40s, but I was POURING sweat, and shivering at the same time. My mouth got full of extra saliva and felt foamy and I thought surely I would leave a little something in Canada.... My breakfast stayed in place, but the excessive sweating dehydrated me and I was cramping. IN MILE 5!!!! Thanks be to God, two nice women had a table with BOTTLES of water and orange slices. I grabbed a bottle and didn't run again until I had downed the whole thing. So cold my butt was numb.

Mile 7, the 4:30 pace group passed me in the tunnel. At least I realized really early I wasn't going to hit goal time.

Mile 8, I saw TAMMY. I went over to her and stopped for a few seconds to say hi. I had posted a picture of her and her husband running through Hell on Halloween dressed as a pig and a frog. She was a spectator in the pig costume today while he ran.

Mile 12, I desperately wanted to end with the half and be a "marathon dnf."

Mile 16, 17, arrived very quickly. I thought there must be something wrong with my playlist to be that far into the songs and still feeling relatively good. Drank from the beer and polka table, enjoyed the jelly beans.

Mile 18-24, the second half wasn't bad at all when I had company. When I ran through the neighborhoods in 2010, I was the dead last loser, but it wasn't bad at all this time. It was even a little peaceful.

Mile 24, I saw the 5-hour pace group just around the corner. Panic time! If I couldn't hit my 4:33 please please please please please let me finish ahead of the 5:00 group. It was so hard, definitely the hardest part of the race, my legs were beyond fatigued, but my mind was screaming "Do NOT let them pass!!! Once they pass, it's all over because you won't be able to chase them down. STAY AHEAD OF THE GROUP!!!!"

Mile 25, there is an UPHILL. Who designed the course??? A guy on the side said it all "Make this hill your bitch!" lol All ten of my fingers were tingly as though they all instantly fell asleep. Tried unsuccessfully to shake feeling into them. Heard one person on the sideline say to another "There's the 5-hour group." Friend said "Is it the right time?" uh-oh, what does that mean???

Mile 26.0, 26.1, on Fort Street approaching the finish line, gasping and grunting to finish, completely oblivious to the crowd, passed several people.

Finish line, I didn't even have the energy to raise my arms. Just let me collapse!

A few minutes later, the 5-hour pace team finished. Yup, I held them off! :D

After I shuffled to my car, I called my brother for my final time. The app and online tracking were both abysmal, but the website said 26.2, 4:53. I was happy with that, not my goal, but a 15 minute improvement over Toledo.

Got home, looked online. 5:08:39. What. The. F^&k??? I WAS AHEAD OF THE 5:00 PACE GROUP! I lose some of my mental capabilities around mile 24,  so I wasn't thinking that I started BEFORE the group, which made their time was irrelevant to mine. I was actually 13 seconds SLOWER than I had been in Toledo.

Not happy with this race. I really don't want to make excuses for my time, but the reality is that I was only about 75% healthy today and a full marathon takes 100% healthy. It feels like a great big waste of time and money. I could have had a crappy run in my neighborhood for free :( I had been as giddy and excited as a little kid on Christmas Eve and THIS is how my running year ends? Booooo :~(

My wonderful girl friend texted after "I love you and am sooooooo proud. I know you're disappointed but u need to stop judging self and be more gentle. Seriously. U just completed a marathon. The original marathon runner died afterwards...and we r talking about soldiers. So yeah. Even though u feel sad, u r an athlete who can push thru pain. Mind over matter. Love u. You are my hero for trying." Very nice of her, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. I want a Mulligan :(

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting ready

I'm not a fan of pre-race expos. I wish all races would mail the numbers and shirts. The numbers are always at the BACK of the booth arranged in a serpentine pattern and I just want to get in and out!!! Sheesh! I understand I need to show my passport for the international crossing, but can't we have an option for "express pick up" in the lobby???

Anyway, picked up my shirt. Bought a pint glass. I saw them online in 2010 and it was $10 for the glass, but $9 for shipping? No thanks! Took a picture of the signs outside.

This was all after I made it to the expo. I grew up in the Detroit area, I've been to / seen Cobo Hall many many times, yet I couldn't find it!!!! I drove around and around, at one point I knew I was driving under the building, but I couldn't find it! Then I finally did, but the only parking structure I could see was full. Such frustration! I wound up parking a half mile away and walking in the cold wearing heels. I'm glad it's over!

Here is the pre-race arrangement ====> Same outfit I wore in Hell, except for the socks.

Still working on this darn cold. Picked up some oil of oregano, which I've heard many people rave about. Consumed major amounts of vitamins c and d, ate honey by the tablespoon. I plan to be in bed by 8 pm. This is the absolute worst day of the entire year to get sick >:(

Time to PANIC

I had a work meeting on Friday. There were 40 people in attendance and approximately 35 of them were sick, sneezing everywhere, coughing deep bronchial coughs. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE COME TO WORK THAT SICK?!?! I sat completely isolated in the corner away from their germs, didn't touch anything, didn't touch my eyes, nose or mouth, and hand sanitized every 5 minutes.

Two hours later - WHY DO I HAVE A SORE THROAT???????  I had a big glass of orange juice, a vitamin d pill and a mug of hot tea with honey then I was in bed at 9:15.

Saturday morning - sore throat and ears are start to hurt. At this rate, by tomorrow morning my brain behind my forehead will feel mushy and I'll be woozy. I'M SO ANGRY BEYOND WORDS!!!!!!!!!

Picked up my race number, yoga, etc. NONE OF THAT MATTERS IF I'M SICK!!!! SOOOOOOOOO FURIOUS!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

$6.87 well spent

My Monday agenda included going to the Salvation Army for warm clothing to wear at the start of the race. Here is the best they had (for what I was willing to pay):

Yes, the fleece jacket is from the men's department. They always have longer sleeves than do women's shirts. Hat and gloves are cute! Why do I always buy cute stuff for races, knowing full well I'll discard it? Well except for Toledo when my vest came home with me... Gloves rarely make it past the first mile though, so it didn't matter one bit that my gloves for the Martian had a hole in the top layer. These pretty blue ones are sooooo soft. I should keep them and wear a pair I have at home and never wear.

The shirt is Vardar. Maybe it's Yardar? Who knows? It's big and warm and has pockets for my tissues. What else do I need?

Tuesday's weather was 56 and sunny - absolutely perfect!!!!!! Hal said only 3 miles though. I made the best of it - averaged just over 9-minute miles with no walking whatsoever. You're killing me here, Hal! Legs and mind wanted to keep going indefinitely!

Running tip (courtesy of my brother): If running an international leg, photocopy your passport, seal it in a ziploc baggie and carry it on the race, just in case. In 2010 mine was taped to the back of my race number, which seems as good a place as any.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Calm

This week - like the previous 16 - is all about getting ready for the race. This week, though, is less about the running and more about everything else. At lunch I made a list of everything that needs to be done between Monday afternoon and Sunday morning.

As a sample,

Monday - post office, Salvation Army for sweater and hat, side work 1 hour, bed by 11

Tuesday - Kroger for race day breakfast, run 3 miles, side work 1 hour, Tigers at 8, bed by 10:45

Wednesday - run 2 miles, work, Tigers at 8, bed by 10:30 (dvr American Horror Story - Asylum to watch at a decent hour in the near future)

Thursday - Tigers at 4, bed by 10:15

Friday - work, expo to pick up race number, yoga, used book sale, bed by 10

Saturday - run 2 miles, different used book sale, make sure iPod and gps watch are charged, and car has gas, bed by 9

What a week!

Running tip - the Free Press advises runners to not wear headphones, but they're not strictly forbidden. Yes, you want to hear the spectators and the on-course entertainment, but it's definitely not constant, so if you trained with headphones, run with headphones (perhaps a little lower volume). Keep consistent with the training. Changing anything last minute, especially something as major as music, would totally throw me off my game!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The emergency purchase

My male readers might want to skip this post.... :)

A few years ago, one of my very first posts was about the world's greatest sports bra, the UnderArmour Endure. I picked up two at REI and I have mad love for them (well as much as it's possible to love clothing that is designed entirely for function). Ok, perhaps it's not the greatest ever, but like shoes or jeans, I found something that works for me, and I keep using the same brand / model indefinitely.

Fast forward a few years. I alternate between the two, immediately rinse out the sweat, wash on delicate, but they both still seemed to be slowly falling apart and just not providing the support they should. I thought I had myself convinced one was in better shape than the other, but no, they're both shot.

Grudgingly I went to Amazon and ordered 2 replacements, for an extremely painful $95. Oh it kills me! Definitely not in the budget, but as I told my friend - $95 is a whole lot cheaper than plastic surgery to lift the girls after they painfully fall to my belly button.

It's the same dilemma Marcie had over the summer. I said a really good bra is an ESSENTIAL so don't sweat having to buy it, and I didn't hesitate to follow my own advice. Besides, let's put $50 in perspective: when my Mizunos were $50, I bought 6 pairs in one transaction, I wouldn't think twice about spending $50 on really good jeans, I don't even blink when the gas pump goes past $50, so I need to get over it and have the same nonchalance for a few dollars that bought me YEARS of comfort and protection.

I tend to think most things should last forever. I wondered, though, how long should a sports bra realistically last? The ideas online were very surprising and I certainly don't believe them.
After 30-40 washes most sports bras need replacing. As a rule of thumb you will need three new bras for every one pair of running shoes," [Seriously? I go through 2-3 pairs of shoes a year, so Runner's World UK recommends 6-9 bras PER YEAR? um yeah, not going to happen]
Another opinion:
Anywhere from three months to a year, depending on how often you wear it and how well you take care of it. 
I first bought the Endure when I was training for the Motor City Triathlon in June 2008, so I guess I got my money worth.

Here's some interesting information as further justification for shelling out for a good bra:  
The average breast weighs between 250 and 300g, and any unsupported movement – such as running – causes three-dimensional movement: up-down, in-out, and side-to-side.
The Shock Absorber Sports Institute (SASI) at Portsmouth University research also shows that on average, a woman's breast moves 9.08cm with every stride when running.
This can result in discomfort, chafing and strain on the breasts' supportive tissue – the Coopers ligaments – which in turn can eventually lead to sagging [which once damaged can only be fixed with surgery].
To explain the chafing that's been going on since ummm February:
Sports bras usually start to chafe when the elastic has begun to age. It can also occur more frequently on longer-distance runs – this is because of the increased movement of the bra against the skin, due to perspiration.
I placed the order Tuesday at 10pm. With free shipping, they were still on my front porch by lunch on Thursday. Amazon rules!

For comparison I held up the new bra against the old one. The old one had stretched almost 1 1/2 inches. Yikes! I wore the new one today and it was great! Well worth the cost :)

Running tip (courtesy of Hal Higdon's twitter feed): Before marathons, begin carbo-loading seven days in advance. Not only pasta: Fruits, vegetables, and grains will get you good to go.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Need inspiration?

Inspiration is definitely NOT a problem for the Free Press marathon. I'm soooooo ready and excited for it! I was ready to run it three weeks ago - why can't the last 10 days go faster????

It's funny. When I DON'T NEED inspiration to keep going, I'm being bombarded by it.

Exhibit 1: I went to the Y for one final cross-training session before my membership expired. I logged the workout on their computer system and there was a message waiting from one of the workers:
Michelle, Glad you're here today! [except I WASN'T there the day it was sent] To make exercise enjoyable you can try different strategies each time you're here. For example, read a magazine on the cardio equipment, listen to music, or chat with a workout partner while exercising. Try one of these today to see that over time this helps you to stay consistently active. Leo
I know the messages are automated, but I think it's hilarious! I know how to self-motivate!!! Even when I'm not training for a race, I still exercise 4-5 times a week (mostly so I can eat pizza and cookies but still have my pants fit). Evidently he didn't see the 21-miler I logged the previous time I was there... (ugh, that sounds so condescending :(

Exhibit 2: I was working with a 4th grade student who sneezed. Could have been a cold, allergies, nothing at all, but I immediately went into anti-germ mode. I hand sanitized, then dug in my purse. I didn't have any vitamin c drops, no zinc either. All I had was a cough drop. I took it for psychosomatic benefits. It's like the wrapper was talking to me:

Push on
Power through
Be unstoppable

How did the cough drop I bought months ago know I was training for a marathon??? Sweet synchronicity :)

Exhibit 3: The Free Press published images of the medals. This will look great with my collection!

I don't WANNA wait another week!!!! Besides, the further we go in October, the more likely it will snow on race day. I already ran through hail in the Martian - def not an experience I want to repeat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The cavalier 11 (I'm a running snob...)

The last three weeks of Hal Higdon's training program are devoted to tapering, gradually decreasing the total mileage to give my legs time to recover and rest before the race. He says runners won't add any benefit by doing more mileage at the end, but run great risk of causing harm or damage. He claims runners are more likely to be hurt or miss their goal if they overtrain, as opposed to undertrain. It kills me to not run as far / long as my legs want, but I know what he's saying.

I searched for "cavalier" and this is what came up. Greatest car ever :)
So I've been tapering. As per the other 17 weeks of the program, Saturday was my long run, but this time it was "only" 12 miles. I had done 21 the week before, so 12 was no biggie. I find though, that I have a horribly cavalier attitude toward the shorter runs. I have thoughts like "I can run that in my sleep!" or "No biggie, I'll stay up late, run it whenever, and be done in time for the Tigers." etc.

I know, I know, it makes me sound like the biggest running snob ever, but the truth is...12 miles isn't difficult for me anymore. Yes, it's work, but it's a completely different kind of work than is a 20 miler, which takes days to gear up for mentally. 12 is over in less than 2 hours, taking my water belt is enough, without worrying about when and where to refill it.

Last Saturday was no different. Heck, one loop through the subdivision and I was done :D Early in the run I had to wait for a stoplight to cross the street. On the opposite side of the street and crossing the same way was another runner. We waved, then he took the hypotenuse side and I took the two sides of the triangle.

20 minutes later, we were on the same street again! He had taken the shorter route and we were still relatively close. I had a new goal - pass him!!!! Step by step by step I drew closer, then finally passed him. Yay!!!! A mile later, I was enjoying one of my mini walk breaks, chomping on a PowerBar gel bite when I thought I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Nevermind that I had a mouth full of gel bite, I was off! The beginning, middle and end of the story - he wasn't passing me! Period! I ran until I had to wait to cross another street and never saw him again.

This Saturday is an "easy" 8-miler. I really hope I never refer to it as a "baby run...."

Running tip - at big races, there is a photographer at the finish line. DO NOT LOOK DOWN AT YOUR WATCH!!! Look alive, smile for the photo, pose. The watch will be fine for three more seconds.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The best dream

I had the best dream on Sunday night:

It was marathon day and the temperature was perfect - 62 and sunny without a cloud in the sky. I ran the race, largely in a fog, unaware of the spectators, unaware of the other runners, unaware of any pain!!
I glanced at the big clock as I approached the finish line, realizing I would hit my goal time!!! The big clock registered 4:37, my watch was exactly 4:33. I didn't even grab my medal, I was so distracted by finishing at goal time! (In the real race, my clock and watch times wouldn't be this close. I'm in the G start wave, so I'll be 10-12 minutes behind the first start, and the big clock at the finish)

My friend had hung around after his race to watch me finish mine. Totally disregarding my smelly sweat, I gave him a huge hug, as happy for him finishing his half as I was for finishing my own race at goal time. He finished sub 3-hours.

Then when I went home, I wasn't in agonizing pain, I was able to move freely, but it made me wonder...if I was in so little pain, I obviously could have run faster and harder...why didn't I?

What a great dream! What a great start to the day :)
I have an official race number - 131 :D

Running tip #8 - if it's raining, wear a visor or hat with a brim to keep the rain off your face.

Friday, October 5, 2012

gps and cow hormones

I'm not scared of much. Aside from big dogs, I'm not affected by traditional fears. Heights? No problem! Public speaking? A regular part of my job that doesn't faze me in the slightest.

The one thing that does scare me - laugh if you want - is knowing that the government is spying on me and completely eroding my privacy. When I'm at work, even at the elementary school, the cameras are always recording. Walk into a store and be photographed, drive past or under any street light and the surveillance is going. I don't like it!!!!

I still struggle to embrace my gps watch. I like it, but every time I turn it on, I feel like I'm plugging into the mainline tracking system. Using it destroys the mental enjoyment of leaving my cell phone at home and being somewhat off the grid for a few hours. I'm still balancing the convenience of it against the lack of privacy that goes along with it.

Something else that legitimately frightens me is the widespread use of hormones in cows, well all food animals really. Over the summer I bought a gallon of milk at the grocery store. The "sell-by date" was July 27. In the first week of SEPTEMBER I threw away what was still in the carton. Milk is a natural food and is supposed to spoil, but this gallon didn't even smell funny. Natural food decomposes!!! Not to mention all the stories I've seen/read about kids going into puberty at really young ages, almost certainly due to all the hormones they've consumed since birth. It just scares me. I refuse to take the flu shot, so why would I willing ingest other toxins through my food?

So I made the conscious decision to stop buying grocery store milk. There is a small store in Lincoln Park called Calder's. It's a tiny store with a super limited selection, but I go for one reason only. (Ok, I always get a scoop of ice cream too...) Their milk comes from the Calder dairy in Monroe, about 30 miles south of the store. The cows are hormone free, and the milk is pasteurized, but nothing else.

I started buying the milk because it's hormone free, and it comes in a glass bottle, so as to further limit the amount and kind of chemicals I'm ingesting (in reference to chemicals in plastic leeching into the liquid). Even more than the health reasons - it's freaking DELICIOUS!!! The best milk I've ever tasted! I buy the 2% and it tastes like sweet cream. I'd been drinking grocery store skim milk for so many years that I had forgotten what REAL milk tastes like. YUM!!!

A half gallon is $2.49, exactly the same price as a gallon of grocery chemicals and hormones. I don't drink a ton of milk, so I'd much rather spend the same money on quality and health.

Dairy milk ties in to my running because I swore off grocery milk at Labor Day and switched to Calder milk and the eggs they carry - not from their own farm, but from local hormone free chickens. My running the past 6 weeks has been the best of my entire life. Did removing some hormones cause better running? Coincidence or causation? I have no idea, but for the $5 it costs a month, it's well worth it!

So far the recipe for great running seems to be:
1. no fast food
2. natural milk
3. sufficient sleep
4. unlimited supply of dedication/delusion
5. yoga (to be covered in a future post)


Running tip #7 (specific to Detroit) If you're scared of heights or bridges, run on the inside of the bridge lane.