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Posts tagged ‘athletes’


I have come to the sound conclusion that athletes have an incredible ability to tolerate pain. Yes, most of us already know that athletes have to deal with a little more pain than your average person, but they really do deal with some intense pain. I couldn’t even begin to list all of the accidents Chrissie Wellington had during her Ironman training (according to her book). Broken bones, severe road rash, hamstring injuries, etc.  And yesterday I read an article about how Paula Radcliffe suffered a dislocated jaw, a jammed hip, and whiplash one week before her world record performance. Um, ouch?

There are many studies out there detailing how athletes handle pain. According to this study, endurance athletes can handle a moderate amount of pain, while other game sport athletes can handle more intense pain. Perhaps because endurance athletes deal with it for longer periods of time versus short bouts of pain? Two of the common coping mechanisms are association (thinking about the pain) and dissociation (thinking about something else). For me personally, I prefer association, especially if I’m doing an intense effort.

Although I do not have the stories of Wellington or Radcliffe, I do have my own broken bone story. On my wedding night, I broke my collar bone. (Apparently having a bunch of people of varying heights lift you in a chair is a bad idea. Gravity will win.) Anyway, three days later I was biking again and one week later I was running. The key to running with a broken collar bone…. do NOT swing that arm, 🙂 Sure, it hurt a bit but I’m an athlete. I deal with pain. Most people said I was crazy. For me personally, I never understood how a broken collar bone affected my legs anyway. I also went hang gliding over the Swiss Alps but that’s another story.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


One of the last photos taken at my wedding. But how many people can say they fell 7 feet and left their wedding in an ambulance?

One of the last photos taken at my wedding. But how many people can say they fell 7 feet and left their wedding in an ambulance?

A flight to Switzerland like this wasn't much fun

A flight to Switzerland like this wasn’t much fun.

But I couldn't let a broken bone stop me from this - amazing!

But I couldn’t let a broken bone stop me from this – amazing!

Running/Recovery Update: Perhaps I shouldn’t have run two days in a row but I couldn’t stand the thought of working out on the elliptical in that stuffy gym. I ran 4 miles through Microsoft’s campus, followed by strength training and stretching. I’m continuing to run in my Minimus shoes and my calves can tell. On another note, I had a crazy idea this morning. On May 2nd, I am turning 30 years old. Wouldn’t it be cool to run 30 miles? Maybe not the best idea for a recovering runner but I think this would be amazing!

The Best Athlete

There are so many different types of athletes in this world. Basketball players, football players, tennis players, runners, swimmers, and the list goes on and on. However, I do not think there is one single athlete who can compare to Kilian Jornet. I’ve written about him before and shared a few of his videos. But yesterday my friend Jenny on G+ shared an amazing article about him that was featured in the New York Times. In four pages, Christopher Solomon tries to put into words the incredible athlete/human being that is Kilian Jornet. No, I’ve never met Jornet but one only needs to watch a few YouTube videos and read the article to understand what I’m talking about.

At only 25 years of age, he has dominated the ultra running world, but he dominates not because he really wants to win every race that he can. He dominates because he is seeking more than just running. He is seeking truth, happiness, life, and himself. Jornet’s oneness with nature, his simplicity, his humility, his fearlessness – these are all qualities that help make him the best. And these are all qualities that inspire me to be better. (It doesn’t hurt that he speaks Spanish either 😉 )

If you haven’t already looked him up on YouTube, check out a few of the trailers from his documentary, A Fine Line: 


<p><a href=”″>Summits of My Life Trailer</a> from <a href=””>Summits of My Life</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


<p><a href=”″>A Fine Line official trailer.</a> from <a href=””>Summits of My Life</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Happy Trails and Happy Running,



Recovery Update: I’m feeling 90% and I think I could have run this afternoon, but I decided to wait. I’m thinking I will save my first run back for this weekend. The thought of an easy early Saturday morning run makes me very, very happy. 🙂 In addition to cardio at the gym, I’ve been doing some workouts from the Nike Training Club app. It’s amazing how someone who is a fairly decent runner can look like such an idiot when doing anything OTHER than running. I’m working on it though.

Chrissie Wellington

Today Chrissie Wellington announced that she is retiring from the Ironman distance as a professional athlete. Her announcement can be read here on her website.  I think I first learned who Chrissie Wellington was back in 2009 and it wasn’t because of her stellar performances (although I learned about those a little later). It was her radiant smile that got my attention. How could someone be so dang happy after almost 9 hours of strenuous physical activity? Her smile captivated me and it was contagious. Read more

Sid Howard

Meet Sid Howard – a 73 year old runner who recently won 2nd place the 5th Avenue Mile for  his age group in a super fast time of 6:20. Sid helps coach runners to their first marathon, visits a senior center every Wednesday to promote an active lifestyle, and still runs… really fast. He rediscovered running at the age of 39 and has since set the Master’s world record in the 800 meter on his 60th birthday, won a gold medal in the mile at the National Championships in Maryland, and set a national record in the 800 meter in the 70 and up age group. And not to mention his 40+ other national titles.

For someone who didn’t really start running until 39 (when some people say they are almost “over the hill”), I’d say that’s pretty impressive. His motivation for running? Just the simple fact that he can run. Check out his awesomeness, it’s only 3 minutes. Read more

Norseman XTreme Triathlon

Tonight I learned that there are people even crazier than those who complete an Ironman. Thanks to my G+ friend Chas, I learned there is such a thing as an XTreme triathlon.  However, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. I mean if there is a sport,then there is almost always an xtreme version of it. I just thought the Ironman was the extreme version. Wrong. 

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Athletes and Pain

Tonight I was walking home and all I could think was holy cow these shoes are giving me some serious blisters. I knew they were going to hurt before I put them on to go out but I wore them anyway. I can handle a little pain. 🙂

Earlier today I read an article about how athletes can tolerate more pain (hence the reason behind my shoe selection). I think that’s kind of a given, but it was still interesting to read.

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Last week I came across this video on highlighting the upcoming Paralympics. There is something profoundly moving about these athletes. Their character, drive, determination, and out right dedication is something I can only aspire to achieve.  Today when I was entertaining the idea of cutting my workout short, I reminded myself of this video. Zip it. No more lazy thoughts and no excuses I told myself.  I reminded myself of the end goal and kept at it. You can watch the video here.  It’s only 1:30 and these athletes deserve your attention. Read more


A few days ago, my Google+ friend Jenny posted an excellent article on sports drinks and athletics.  You can read the entire article here.   It brought about an interesting discussion among some of my fellow running friends and it challenges the conventional wisdom that many people follow with regards to hydration.  Back in January I posted an article about hydration and endurance sports, and I wanted to share it again.  I would also like to add that since incorporating the idea of “drink to thirst” into my approach to running, there have been no bad side effects and it is has been nice to worry with less.

This is what I wrote back in January

This marathon training season, I am experimenting with some new training techniques, including different nutrition guidelines and training regiments. When I came across Dr. Tim Noakes (author o fThe Lore Of Running) and his belief that endurance athletes drink too much, I was a little skeptical and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to incorporate his ideas into my training.  According to Dr. Noakes, athletes should drink according to their thirst and if they do this, then performance will be optimized.  As someone who often suffers from blue lips after a marathon and who believes it is due to the lack of liquids and sodium in my body, consuming less liquid is not on the list of things I want to change.  However, in looking at the research and listening to Dr. Noakes, maybe it’s not the lack of sodium giving me blue lips.  Perhaps it’s just really cold. =)

With regards to hydration, the recommendation that athletes are most familiar with is, if you wait until you are thirsty, then you’ve waited too long.  You are already in a state of dehydration.  Also, if you lose more than 2% of body weight, you are losing too much fluid and hence decreasing performance.  However, when Haile Gebrselassie set the world record for the marathon, he had lost 10% of his body weight, and it is common for those who finish first in long distance events, finish in a dehydrated state.  The people who tend to over-hydrate (hyponatremia) are those middle and back of the pack runners.   Dr. Noakes argues that the common advice to drink before you get thirsty and drink to prevent dehydration may sometimes result in over-drinking, with hyponatremia (when fluid intake exceeds your rate of fluid loss from sweating, resulting in low blood-sodium levels) as the consequence.

Throughout the history of hydration guidelines, there have been changes from not drinking anything, to drinking as much as possible, to most recently, drink when you are thirsty.  Certainly, there are times when we need to drink more than others – such as in high heat and humidity.  However, I am often of the mindset that I should drink at aid stations, regardless of the fact of if I’m thirsty or not.  According to the International Marathon Medical Directors Association’s (IMMDA) latest revision, this really isn’t necessary.  In 2006, IMMDA released its long-awaited hydration guidelines, which concluded that runners should, simply, drink when thirsty.

This weekend, along with my beet juice pre-race beverage, I’m leaving the handheld at home.  Instead, I’m leaving the water bottle in the car and running a loop where I can easily get to it when I start to get thirsty.

Here are a few other interesting articles I found on hydration from Runner’s World and

The New Rules of Hydration: Revisionist Drinking
The New Rules of Hydration
Revisionist Drinking

Running is a simple sport and I don’t think we should try and over complicate things.  Listen to your body and not the  mass media.  Your body really is incredible at letting you know what it needs.


Photo from U.S. Navy, Wikimedia Commons

Sending happy running thoughts your way from Walla Walla.  I’m looking forward to my long run tomorrow morning through the vineyards.