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New Favorite Song and Old Favorite Shoes April 28, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise, Running, Uncategorized.
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I’ve had a few really good runs lately. There have been some real nut-busters on the treadmill, but also an eye-opening run around Seward Park. Why am I such a monster all of a sudden?

1) New favorite running song. Icona Pop, I Love It. And I’m not (too) embarrassed to admit it.

2) Same old kicks. Despite my earnest belief in replacing running shoes on a regular basis, a combination of laziness and reluctance to spend money has kept me in the same pair for a couple of years. That same reluctance to spend money means I’m sporting the absolute cheapest running shoes I could find that fit. I feel much better about my tatty old shoes after reading this article in New York Magazinehttp://nymag.com/health/features/46213/. If I’m ruining my feet with shoes, at least I’m not over-paying for the privilege.

3) Quad-strengthening exercises, particularly targeting the vastus medialis. That’s the quad muscle (there are actually four quadriceps muscles, that’s why they call it that) right over the kneecap, on the inner part of the thigh. You may have observed this muscle is particularly protrude-y on runners, soccer players, bicyclers, etc. Because of the female body structure (we have hips, you know), the knees tend to drift toward each other. Running in a knock-kneed fashion is not good for one’s knees, regardless of gender, but the ladies have to be especially vigilant. My chiropractor gave me some exercises to get my knees straight over my ankles, and I have to say, they’ve been a big help. Now when I see women run, I look at their knees. When I see women running with their knees practically pointing towards each other, I wince. Strengthen up that vastus medialis, ladies!

4) Map My Run. I had been using Map My Run to track walks and dragon boat practices, but only on my laptop. I would get home from practice or a walk, and I would log my workout, guesstimating my route and duration. Then I downloaded the app to my phone, and it changed some things for me. Most amazingly, I realized that I actually run a lot faster outside than on the treadmill, to the tune of two minutes per mile faster. Now I know why running outside has always been so much harder than the treadmill.

There are probably other contributing factors. I just got a Vitamix, so I’m all full of smoothies. That can’t hurt, right?

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Push-ups: You’re Doing Them Wrong April 21, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise.
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Every now and then my yoga instructor says something that completely turns my world upside down. It’s usually something ridiculously simple that has me smacking my forehead and yelling “Son of a triptych!” (pardon my construction dust; I’m trying to clean up my language) for not realizing it myself a whole lot sooner.

This time, she made a comment about push-ups going in the wrong direction.

Son of a soap dish, she’s right! In what position does one generally begin a push-up? Plank. And what’s the first direction we go in? Not up. It’s called a freakin push-up, people, but we start by going down. So basically, the first thing we do is fail. We haven’t gone up, like the name suggests we should, right? So…FAIL. Rubber. Plucker. I hate failing.

Try this instead:

  • Start by laying on the ground on your tummy, forehead on the ground, arms along your sides, palms up, and the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Turn your toes under, and bring your knees up off the floor by engaging your quads and hamstrings. *
  • Bring your hands directly under your shoulders, palms to the ground, all five fingers pointing forward.
  • Aim your heels toward the wall behind you, aim your tailbone at your heels, and engage your core.
  • Raise yourself directly up into a plank position, keeping your legs, butt and back in the same line the whole way up.

Congratulations, non-failers! You just did a push up.

* If you are building toward strength, or you have a sensitive low back, you can do this push-up on your knees. Just keep those knees on the ground.

Gadget Envy April 14, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food, Running.
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Dear Santa: I want a Vitamix, a mandolin,a cold press juicer, an ice cream maker, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a rice cooker, a stick blender, and a puppy.

Here’s what I would concoct if I had these things:

Vitamix

Vitamixes are for smoothies. I would make an orange-less orange smoothie with golden beet, carrot, ginger, mango, and a dash of turmeric for color. The green smoothie: spinach and/or kale, honeydew, zucchini, mint, fava greens (when they are in season). Purple smoothie: beets, red grapes, strawberries, blueberries and purple cauliflower. I also hear that Vitamixes make great soups. I think a spicy cauliflower, sunchoke and celery root soup, using a home-made beef gelatin broth, would be awesome.

Mandolin

Chips! Beet chips, sunchoke chips, squash chips. Chips chips chips. And I would bake them. They would be chippy. A chip off the ol’…chip.

Cold Press Juicer

I would juice fruits and vegetables. Duh. Favorite combination: carrot, apple, ginger.

Ice Cream Maker

Sorbet. See aforementioned juices.

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Meringue. Marshmallow. Sausage. Not at the same time. Allow me to explain:

I love meringues and marshmallows. They are the bomb, dairy-free, gluten-free, headache safe, an excellent source of sugar and a rockin’ vehicle for any flavor you choose. It takes a long time to beat the egg whites into submission, however, so I don’t make these very often because I’m lazy and impatient.

Also, I hear these Kitchen Aid things have attachments for making sausage. Sausage is one of the best foods on the planet, but it’s hard to find a sausage that I know for absolutely sure is safe for me to eat. And I’m pretty sure you can make sausage out of anything (maybe even meringues and marshmallows).

I think the Kitchen Aid also has an attachment for making ice cream, but why have one device when I could have two? And what if I want to make sausage and ice cream at the same time?

Rice Cooker

Not sure. The rice button on my microwave works pretty well. I’ve just always felt deprived because everyone else has one. Gotta keep up with the Joneses, bitches.

Stick Blender

Again, soups. There are some soups that have to start out on the stove, and then get blended. If I can avoid transferring a hot soup into another receptacle, I’m fine with that. Also, sauces. Purees. Oh, yeah. I would use a stick blender every day.

A Puppy

I really want a dog to go running with. I want to run outside more, but I”m paranoid about my safety. I don’t like running outside when I’m alone. I’m also slow (and proud of it) so I don’t want to slow down a human companion. But I figure any human would be slowing down any dog (except maybe a pomeranian – even I could outrun a pomeranian), so I’d better get a doberman.

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