Friday randomness

Friday already? I don’t know about you but this week has just flown by over here in Utah. Today seemed to call for a little bit of randomness.

Calf update: I figure that everyone wants to talk about my calf as much as me, right? Or not. But I will say that I’m feeling a lot better. There was some limping on Wednesday but also plenty of stick rolling, compression sleeves and ibuprofen. Thursday was a little improved – no ibuprofen but still sleeves. I was able to stretch a little and really got stuck into that muscle with some finger massage. Today – even better. Still a couple of twinges when I walk up and down stairs but am definitely on the road to recovery. My medical research (thanks Google!) suggests 7-10 days until you’re back to normal so that should have me trying some easy runs in the middle of next week. The perfect start to week 1 of marathon training?

Speak of marathon training, I have become a little obsessed with my Advanced Marathoning book. There is so much useful information in there. (Random fact: they recommend cooking with cast-iron to increase the iron in your diet -> more iron -> increased hemoglobin -> carry more oxygen in your blood -> run better). If you plan to race a marathon I would recommend it. I’m still not convinced that I am in the right shape to launch into this program right now (Week 1 is 33 miles starting with an 8 mile tempo run), but I can see myself incorporating some of the things I’ve learned into my marathon training program. One thing that really spoke to me was their recommendation of even pacing throughout the race. They even say that if you run a negative split that you likely ran the first half too conservatively and are capable of a faster time. For my marathon I ran my second half two minutes faster than the first so I’m not crazy for thinking that there might be a PR on the cards this spring.

But in one way it’s kind of the ideal time for me to take a break. My gym is closed for this week – no pool, no treadmill. But it will open on Monday and looks awesome. Thank you students and your ridiculously high tuition fees for funding this!). We are also experiencing the dreaded January inversion. This is the dark secret of Salt Lake City that nobody ever wants to mention. In winter we can get a temperature inversion here. Basically, when it snows the cold air gets trapped in the valley (because the ground is so cold), meaning that it is warmer in the mountains (9000 ft) than onĀ  the valley floor (4500 ft). You’re probably thinking that it doesn’t sound so bad especially because our highs have been in the 40s for the last week. But this cold air traps all of the pollution (cars, wood burning, oil refineries) in the valley. And if there is no storm to mix up the air the pollution builds and builds. For most of the past weak it was in the “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range, but yesterday it was in the “unhealthy” range. This means exactly what it sounds like – that our air was unhealthy to breathe in, and you should minimize your time outside. During January, not only do I check the weather so I know what to wear to stay warm but I check our Division of Air Quality to make sure it’s safe for me to run outside. Luckily, the pollution varies during the days so if you get up early enough you can run outside but man January SUCKS!

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You can see the smog in this photo. But looking out of my office today I can’t see the top of these mountains anymore :(.

I really enjoyed this article – about the dangers of disordered eating and exercise addiction. A story about a talented runner who is right in middle of the recovery process. While I personally have never suffered from disordered eating, I did have a close friend in college who suffered from anorexia. Articles like this always hit me hard and bring me back to that time in my life when I watched helplessly as a close friend starved herself. Since then, I’ve always been extra-vigilant about self-monitoring for any disordered thinking/behaviors. I think back to how I felt watching someone else go through that, how hard recovery is, and how getting caught up in this pattern can change your whole personality. I like to run. I like to eat a nutritious and balanced diet. But most of all I value my health – physical and mental – and that is my priority. Sure, I’m not thrilled when the number on the scale goes up and when I eat too much chocolate I feel a twinge of regret. But I let it go – and don’t beat myself up about it.

Enjoy your weekend! I will be either inside away from the air or up in the mountains.

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