Review Category : Other News

Sure, the Disney half marathon was the most fun I have ever had, with the most number of awesome surprises. And yes I PR’d the San Francisco half in the coldest weather they had ever experienced. And the year before I was preg with my daughter my friend Shannon and I ran an ass kicking fast (for us!) 4th of July 5k.

But sometimes there are runs that mean more then just fun, fitness and PR’s.

Some are reminders of the fragility of life.  Runnincentanni 5k rung is more popular then ever right now, and so many people sign up for the big races each year as a milestone, or to check something off their bucket list.  It has become more common to see races that have been put together to memorialize loved ones. To run to raise money and awareness to cure, diabetes, leukemia, you name it.

But sometimes there are races that should be so important but don’t capture the publicity of the bigger races. The 1st annual Cetanni-Cottle 5k honors two local marines that were killed in action on March 24, 2010. This 5k will help raise money for their kids college tuition. We are a country with the largest military spending budget in the world, and yet many of the families of soldiers that are victims of war do not get compensated or taken care of the way they should.

If you can make it on Sunday the 24 please do. If you can’t make it and can donate. Please visit the website.https://centannicottle5k.webconnex.com/registeronline

 

 

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We have had some gloomy days this past week here in SoCal, which honestly makes me want to curl up with a warm cup of tea and a good book on the couch. Reality check… I have a three-year-old daughter and a 100-pound lab that make that vision nearly impossible. But it’s alright, being a Colorado native, I grew up knowing and loving most of mother nature’s elements (wind would be the exception). I am grateful to live in a temperate climate to enjoy almost year round outdoor activities; rain definitely won’t keep my family inside!

Remember jumping in puddles? Why does that just have to be a memory? My daughter and I grab our rain boots and jackets and take the dog on a puddle hunt. Yes, we all need a warm bath/shower afterwards, but it’s totally worth it when we’re breathless running from puddle to puddle. Trust me, when it comes to running, I need as much motivation and distraction as possible. If there isn’t a margarita on the line this time, at least I enjoyed some quality kid time with a decent running work out!

Grab your mountain bike when there is a break in the light drizzle that fell earlier in the day and enjoy the tackiness of the dirt. When the rain is light, the dirt gets slightly tacky, which helps improve your lines; it’s honestly my favorite way to ride. If the rain picks up into more than a drizzle, stay off the trails though. Once the dirt turns into mud, all your accomplishing is rutting out trail and creating erosion to the surrounding greenery.  That just leaves a headache for following riders once the ground dry’s out and can result in closing access to Mountain Bikers if the trails sustain damage.

Paddle out and enjoy yoga on a SUP board. What’s more relaxing than being on calm water, listening to rain, and performing yoga? Granted you need to acquire SUP skills and yoga skills to actually make this relaxing, but honestly, just being on the water and sitting on the board is relaxing and will help you clear your head!

Go for a hike. You won’t believe how fresh your surroundings smell and your senses will be invigorated. Find a good spot that gives you an amazing view at the top.

So, stay off the couch and get moving, because there is plenty to do outside when it’s raining! Just make sure you have the appropriate clothing to stay [mostly] dry.

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Geez, with all the Insanity,turbokick,  Crossfit, supermega SUP yoga, BMX-badass, Warrior Dash, it’s no wonder the average person feels too intimidated to get involved in an activity or join a fitness group or gym. The barrier to entry for fitness is so high, you practically have to be a navy seal to even take a “beginner” class. I LOVE when people tell me they modify or “scale” burpees… WTH… seriously? what if a person can’t bend and touch the ground? What if they cant hold their body weight? Then what are you modifying? It may be that some exercises and activities are just entirely unnecessary for certain populations.  And you know what? That is ok.

When was the last time you just took a walk? weather you are super ultra trail runner fit? Or A big surfer or the average Jane who has some lbs to lose. Just put on the sneakers and walk out the door. STOP… notice how that first wind on your face feels,    start walking… right foot… left foot… right foot… left foot… take a deep breath in notice how your feet feel in your shoes. notice every detail of your breath and body and everything around you as you simply walk. Connecting in nature thru a walking mediation can bring you so much peace and joy. It can change the way you view your body and your fitness. It can whisper encouraging words “I CAN do this, I CAN be fit”  It can also whisper “Calm down, you don’t have to be Hercules to get enjoyment out of your body and activity”

Don’t be intimidated to get involved, find something that you enjoy, something that you might even learn to love and start, and practice every.single.day and never ever ever give up. ;o)

Take a simple walk to get in touch with nature

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ep•ic \ˈe-pik\ a : extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope

We are moving into the New Year; it’s the first week in February. If your life is like mine, chances are that January has been pretty decent. Maybe you’ve seen some gains in the gym (maybe not). Maybe you are feeling better about your new years resolutions (or dropped them); maybe you’ve just survived the flu or a nasty cold (hooray me!). Maybe you have had an adventure, taken a trip, got out and experienced something out of the ordinary (or watched the Discovery Channel/National Geographic/Netflix).

Whether January has been exciting or rather ordinary, there is good news. We all still have a little under 11 months to have an adventure for 2013! To get out and DO something, have an epic…

Is that term overused? Doesn’t matter. For modern day explorers and extreme sports enthusiasts, epics can be legendary tales of adventures gone wrong, heroic tales of subsistence living with little more than determination separating them from the void. Or for most of the rest of us, epics can be stories of a laughable debacle that you can file away to tell your friends at the bar, family at the next get-together or your children when they’re old enough. There are very few trips that my husband and I plan that don’t turn into epics or debacles:

  • Gone camping with no sleeping bags, pillows or blankets? Done it
  • ! Concussion while snow-tubing? Crushed it!
  • Ordered crab soup in the second story restaurant of a Mexican flea market? Oh yeah!
  • Leisurely bike ride that turned into a 75 mile suffer-fest? Thanks Hubby!
  • Tandem kayaking tour of La Jolla that almost resulted in divorce? Still have the un-filed papers! (Not really, but kind of…)

My point is that even mundane outings can lead to an adventurous twist. But if you’re just hanging out on the couch, the weekend is almost certain to be mundane. Here are two ideas for this year’s epic (adventure, debacle or otherwise). Ascent of Mount Whitney Mt. Whitney is located in Sequoia National Park and has a summit of 14,505 ft. The most popular way to summit Whitney is via the Whitney trail, a 22 mile round trip hike with 6,100 ft in elevation gain. Most hikers do this in two days…for a guaranteed epic, try it in one (but make sure you are trained, are prepared, have a bail-out plan and notify someone regarding your route and anticipated return time.) A word of caution, this hike is extremely strenuous and requires a departure well before dawn. Ascent of Angels Flight Angels Flight is a funicular railway in the Bunker Hill District in Los Angeles (yes, beyond the Orange Curtain). The original Angels Flight ran from 1901-1966 and connected spring street and hill street. After an almost 40 year hiatus, it has been re-opened between Hill Street and California Plaza. Rides are only 50 cents, which is a bargain to experience a historical landmark. For a real epic, take the MetroLink Train, then the Metro (subway). Have lunch at Grand Central Market (Cuban Sandwiches!) and drinks at the Standard’s rooftop bar and pool before hopping the Metro and MetroLink Train back home. Wherever this year takes you, don’t forget to embrace the adventure and enjoy your own epic.

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We are pretty spoiled by the temperate climate here in SoCal, but this winter, we have been experiencing especially cold temperatures. It can be challenging to get motivated when it’s chilly outside, however, if you have a black lab that still needs to go out in the morning, it’s a lot easier to tolerate the cold temperatures when you are dressed appropriately for the conditions. This means dressing in layers. My husband had a track coach in high school who mandated the number of clothing layers to be worn on a given day.

 running in the cold

For example, a 30 degree day would be a “four layer day” meaning:

  • Base Layer: Tights/Under armor
  • Fitness Clothing: Running Shorts/Shirt/Singlet
  • Thermal Layer: Sweatshirt and Pants
  • Wind Layer: Wind Jacket and Wind Pants

 

A 70 degree day; however, would be a “three layer day” meaning:

  • Base Layer
  • Fitness Clothing
  • Either Thermal OR Wind Layer

 

I bring this up because layering is personal and should be fine-tuned to each individual’s comfort level.  However, the basic principles for appropriate layering in cold weather are:

  1. First layer, should wick moisture away from the body; Look for appropriate technical fabrics, such as synthetics and or wools.  Try to avoid cotton fabrics as they absorb sweat and moisture and you will end up cold and damp (This rule also goes for your socks)
  2. Second layer, should regulate body temperature and provide insulation.
  3.  The Third layer should protect against elements such as wind, rain, sleet or snow. Technology continues to advance for us outdoor enthusiasts; look for a fabric that is treated with a hydrophilic coating inside and a hydrophobic coating on the outside. This allows warm moist air to escape from inside, while preventing rain or snow from penetrating the shell.

 

The rationale and need for layering is based in peer-reviewed scientific research which indicates that in cold weather running is effected due to:

  • In cold weather the human body has a higher reliance on carbohydrate energy stores, a lower reliance or ability to utilize fat stores, and has a higher oxygen consumption for a given level of activity
  • Additionally, explosive power and dynamic strength is limited based on muscle temperature (which can be significantly lower in extremities

 

Studies show that runners and endurance athletes are especially susceptible to cold weather conditions based on their low body fat percentages and slender builds.  So, if you’re a 6’1 220lb power athlete who happens to be running a 5K in 40 degree weather, dress how you’re comfortable and happy.  If you’re a 5’2 110 lb endurance athlete who is running a 5K in 40 degree weather, put some layers on!

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As we all know, one of the major perks of living in Southern California is the opportunity for outdoor exercise all year.  We’ve all called our friends and family on the East Coast or in the Midwest to gloat about the temperature in January.  However, in order to take advantage of outdoor exercise opportunities most of us have to bike, run or walk are in twilight or nighttime hours.  Night workouts can be fun, exciting and dangerous; especially when it comes to seeing others and being seen after the sun goes down.  In order to put accidents in perspective; the following are some statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

 

  •  69 percent of pedestrian killed in 2009 were males.
    •  70 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred at night (4 p.m. – 4 a.m.).
  •  Almost three out of every four pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas (72 percent).
    •  The top four states for pedestrian fatalities are California, Florida, Texas, and New York. These four states make up 41 percent of pedestrian fatalities nationwide while only accounting for 5 percent of the total traffic fatalities across the country.
    •  Nearly one-half (48 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (16%, 17%, and 15% respectively).

 

The following are some tips for staying safe when running, biking running and walking at night.

  • Always cross at crosswalks.  Limited visibility (including drastically reduced peripheral visibility), glare and distractions, crossing mid-block is almost twice as likely to result in an accident.
  • Always wear reflective clothing. This ensures that others can see you clearly at night and reduces your chances of being hit.
  • Carry a light, wear a headlamp, put a light on your bike and put a lit collar on Fido. Always check to make sure you have fresh batteries or that your battery pack is fully charged.  This is especially important for pedestrians who don’t often carry lights on Multi-use paths.  Most people drastically over-estimate how visible they are.
  • Establish a route or variety of routes, stick to the route your taking, and tell someone where you’re going.
  • Always walk or run facing traffic, always ride your bike with traffic.  Note that bicycles are considered vehicles in California and should be ridden on roads or paths only, riding on the sidewalk can be dangerous, because drivers aren’t usually looking for fast moving bicycles.
  • Make eye contact with drivers while crossing the street or changing lanes.
  • Bring identification with you.  Include emergency contact information, blood type and allergies.

 

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