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Archive for January, 2013

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Tomorrow is the last day of January, the first month of 2013. Some have managed to stick to their Healthful New Year’s Resolutions while others have, well, to put it nicely, fallen off the wagon.

Here’s the cool thing – just like the change from December 31st to January 1st, tomorrow night at midnight the calendar turns once again. For those who want a “clean” beginning, February 1st offers the same “magic” that January 1st does, giving you a second chance to start again, this time hopefully learning from any mistakes you may have made over the last month.

So if you have fallen, you CAN get up, dust yourself off and try, try again.  If you stumbled and stopped running, going to the gym, eating clean, meditating daily, whatever your healthful resolution was, think about it today and tomorrow; ask yourself where you fell short and on February 1st, wake up and take back what is rightfully yours.

And if you’ve been strong and steady in your resolution, then take tomorrow to pat yourself on the back and then resolve to do it again for another month!

DO IT!

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It was c-c-c-c-c-coooold this week.

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A lot of runs were in the low to mid teens, which I think, combined with a busy schedule limited my miles. That didn’t stop me from contemplating going out in a singlet…

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I’m not sure if it was that I’m starting to get back into running shape OR if I was just motivated to get done because I was so friggin cold, but that 5-mile run was my fastest (6:55 per mile) of the year.

After my 5-miler in 19ºF weather in a singlet and shorts - "just get me out of here!!!"

After my 5-miler in 19ºF weather in a singlet and shorts – “just get me out of here!!!”

Two days later brought an unexpectedly quick 11-miler that also happened to be my longest run of the year.

Hard to believe that #AutismStreaks is already at 28 days. Leaves me 72 days to reach Kelly, Michael, Kathie Lee and Hoda. If any of you know them, please feel free to pass my letter on to them!

Hope you are staying active!

-Luau

Week 4:
January 22 1.0 miles 08:32 8:28 pace aHR 114
January 23 5.0 miles 39:22 7:51 pace aHR 141
January 24 4.0 miles 28:56 7:14 pace aHR 141
January 25 5.0 miles 34:35 6:55 pace aHR 172
January 26 3.0 miles 25:23 8:28 pace aHR 130
January 27 11.0 miles 84:24 7:38 pace aHR 147
January 28 3.0 miles 23:24 7:48 pace aHR 139
Week 1 Total – 32.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 146.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

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OneWorldOneLoveOneCommunity

***

Gandhi spoke of being the change you want to see in the world.

Martin Luther King Jr said that “darkness cannot drive out darkness; Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

Buddha spoke of the “middle way“.

The sooner we get there, the better.

 

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Assorted Junk Food

Last Tuesday I was undone by one of the few food weaknesses I have – shortbread cookies.  Jess had had a little get together over the weekend with some friends and one of the items brought was an oversized Costco package of chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.

I held out for as long as I could, even throwing out much of what had been brought into my house, my kitchen; but I had been unable to bring myself to toss the shortbread.  Well, I paid for it.  On Tuesday, along with only running 1 mile for my designated #AutismStreaks rest day, I ended up eating a huge stack of those shortbread cookies.

All that yummy shortbread goodness.

All that sugar and flour.

By the end of the day I felt like doodie!

And you know what?  It was a good thing, because it made me realize just how well I take care of myself on a regular basis.  I realized that “this crappy feeling” is how a large majority of society unwittingly feels ALL the time!  No wonder kids don’t go out and play anymore!  No wonder adults come home from work and reach for the vino, the remote and the couch!  If I hadn’t run my mile earlier in the day, #AutismStreaks would have been in serious, serious jeopardy!

***

Every once in a while, if you are a generally clean eater, it’s not a bad idea to pump your body full of crap; to shock the system if you will, because it’s a good reminder of why you are a clean eater.

Try it!

You will feel like shit!  And you will so appreciate it!

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Dear Kelly, Michael, Kathie Lee & Hoda,

Recently your two shows featured a wonderful app called Charity Miles. For those who don’t know, very simply put, Charity Miles allows you to track your run/bike/walk while simultaneously raise funds for any one one of sixteen charities.

As Kelly so aptly put it on her show at the time, when one is “doing it” for charity, one is more likely to actually finish a workout.

***

I have been running with Charity Miles on my iPhone now for several months, recently engaging in a one on one throw down with a runner from Florida to see who could run more miles over the course of a month for our charity of choice (Autism Speaks) – the loser was required to run the difference between our miles in a gorilla suit and blue afro. I was lucky enough to win by nearly 40 miles.

I am currently 22 days (I started on January 1st) into what I hope will be a 100 day running streak of running a minimum of 1 mile every day. As of this posting I’m closing in on 120 miles run for the year; my goal is to run between 500-550 miles by day 100.

This is where YOU come in.

Charity Miles donates 25¢ to my charity of choice for every mile I run (10¢ per mile were I riding a bike). At the end of this streak, I am hoping to have raised over $125 for Autism Speaks simply by doing something for myself – running daily. A friend coined the phrase Autism Streaks (get it? Autism Speaks + Running Streak x Charity Miles = #AutismStreaks). You have hopefully seen the hashtag in the tweets I have sent you. In the grand scheme of things, $125 is not much when it comes to the overall needs of charities.

Although I would love to ask you to match Charity Miles’ 25¢ per mile donation to Autism Speaks, I understand that autism is not necessarily the charity of choice for everyone – so my request is this: I would like to ask you Kelly, Michael, Kathie Lee and Hoda (and any readers who are feeling charitable) to pledge 25¢ to YOUR charity of choice for every mile I run during this running streak.

If the four of you hop on board, then who knows how many others will do the same? The four of you could inspire 40 people to pledge 25¢ per mile; those 40 could inspire 400 more. If I could get 500 people to pledge 25¢ per mile, that would raise $125.00 in donations for every mile I ran for the various charities of their choice – that’s $68,750.00 if I manage to run 550 miles over the course of the streak.

I’m sure you get these types of requests all of the time – but imagine what your 25¢ per mile donation can do! People signing on would have to live by the honor system, check back here on April 11th to get my mileage total (or they can go to my twitter feed – @luau – to see the automatic postings Charity Miles puts up after every one of my runs) and then send a check to their respective charities.

I would love to be able to say I’ve got the four biggest morning TV celebrities behind me because I know you would inspire many others to join in.

I hope you will help,

Sincerely,
Luau

PS: to any and all of my readers – should you like to join the fun, simply leave a comment on this blog post stating you pledge 25¢ per mile for the 100 days. Make sure you mention which charity you will be pledging 25¢ per mile to (and if you don’t have any particular favorite, feel free to choose Autism Speaks). I don’t have any system to enforce your pledge – we will be going on the honor system, but I do hope that A) you join in and B) you follow through. The more of you that sign up, the more pressure and responsibility I will feel to get out and run every day to keep the streak going.

PPS: to let Kelly, Michael, Kathie Lee and Hoda know that you want them to join the fun, please tweet them at @KellyRipa, @michaelstrahan, @KellyandMichael, @KathieLGifford, @HodaKotb and the @todayshow to let them know; and be sure to use the hashtag #AutismStreaks.

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Streaking

The Streak Continues…

21 Days in the books.  Better than 1/5 of the way there.  Due to differences in GPS measurements, I’m at 116.851 “Charity Miles” miles.

Wanna help your charity of choice simply by running or biking or walking?

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

Week 3:
January 15    1.0 miles   07:36  7:36 pace    aHR 156
January 16   5.0 miles   41:29   8:17 pace    aHR 134
January 17   8.0 miles   58:27   7:18 pace   aHR 151
January 18   8.0 miles   71:41   8:57 pace   aHR 116 (100 miles on the Garmin as of today!!!)
January 19   4.0 miles   39:55   9:58 pace   aHR 111
January 20   7.0 miles   55:02   7:52 pace   aHR 146
January 21   3.0 miles   23:06   7:42 pace   aHR 133
Week 1 Total – 36.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 114.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

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the sun

I’m 20 days (21 if you count today) into this #AutismStreaks thing.  20 straight days (and 111 miles) of running – there has been one “rest day” where I ran just one mile and the rest have been at least 3 mile runs.  Last Friday, 18 days into this streak I hit 100 miles on the Garmin.

It has been fantastic to be running regularly again, and it has done wonders for my inner peace.  I didn’t realize it until the end of last week, but toward the end of 2012, I was grumpier and more short-tempered than I had been in a long time.  Distraction came easily.  I didn’t notice until this past week when it dawned on me that, “I feel pretty darn good!

During this streak, along with the knowledge that I am raising funds for Autism Speaks through Charity Miles,  I’ve justified the daily running to myself as a way to hone my body to be a fine example of what training can do.  If I am going to be a personal trainer/strength & conditioning specialist, I need to be in excellent shape.  Would you get your haircut from someone who had awful hair?  What I didn’t expect was the therapeutic side effect of running outdoors every day.  Although I am running nowhere near the distances I once did nor spending nearly as much time, the short 15 – 45 minute trips outside are providing me with much more that just improved cardiovascular health.

***

I had heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago that January 13th is the most depressing day of the year.  It’s a product of something called SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – and it’s reality for many people.  Many cases of SAD have been attributed to a lack of vitamin D.

The most abundant and most easily accessed source of vitamin D?

Sunlight.

Going to work before dawn, returning home after sunset keeps people from receiving their required daily exposure of sunlight, preventing their bodies from converting light into vitamin D.  That lack of vitamin D can wreak unexpected havoc on your system.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems.

Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

-http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

But along with the many physical issues a lack of vitamin D can cause, it has also been associated with seasonal depression.  Unfiltered exposure to the sun for as little as 5-15 minutes a day provides you with all the vitamin D that you need for the day and, along with aiding your body with the absorption of calcium (and in turn keeping your bones and muscles strong), keeps you mentally and psychologically “up”.

And that is exactly what has happened to me over the past 3 weeks.  Mentally and psychologically I am more “up”.  Stumbles and hurdles, no different than the ones I faced in November and December, don’t seem as daunting nor as challenging as before; studying has been more focused; general happiness more abundant.

I know it’s cold up here in the Northeast, but if you are feeling the winter blues, and if you are able, get outside for 10 minutes a day – if you get a lunch hour, take it away from your building and walk to a location; if there is no lunch hour, volunteer to go pick up lunch for your co-workers (maybe even get them to pay for your lunch as a convenience fee!), instead of a smoke break, take a walk with your face and arms exposed.  A little exposure will go a long way.

I don’t know just how long this streak will last, but if one of the side effects is a better overall mood, then for the sake of those around me, I’m at least doing it for the rest of the winter!

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