I thought I may be too late in the year for this blog. As I sit inside on a cold and windy MAY day I realise that I am not.
For the last 6/7 months I have added Vitamin D3 to my supplements. I have noticed stronger nails, even better skin and improvement in my hair. It could be my imagination, even happier! Especially after my last marathon in Devon, I realised that I felt stronger and did not have any “down” periods that I have occasionally experienced after my other marathons.
Looking further into this “simple” vitamin, which I learnt at school we “make” from the sun, I was amazed to find out just how important this vitamin is. It is responsible for thousands of processes in our body, including the well known calcification (Vitamin D is actually needed so that the blood can carry calcium to through the body and thus enable uptake), our immune system, soft tissue, blood sugar level, eyesight.
Inadequate Vitamin D can lead to:
- Decalcification of bones
- Heart problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Over weight
I even read an article where, according to research, written up in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society 2009, 65 plussers with low Vitamin D are almost 2x likely to die in a period of 7 years than those with a more Vitamin D in their blood. I have also read that it can prevent some kinds of cancer, kidney disease and lengthen your lifespan.
It all makes so much sense when you think that our genes have not changed very much. So the issue of shortage of vitamins lies in what we eat. For vitamin D we know that the homo sapiens grew up in Africa around water and swamp land. Thus fish were an important part of the diet. Now grain, milk and sugar products dominate our diet. Thus fish and the sunlight from Africa were important sources of Vitamin D.
So how much do we need? Ah! here is the great debate! Here are a few things that I have gleaned:
- if you live in the Northern Hemisphere then you definitely need to supplement – you can almost never get enough from the sun consistently
- if you have darker skin then your sensitivity to t he sun is not as sufficient as those with light skin (yes there is a reason for us Brits being so pale!) and therefore need to supplement
- weight also needs to be taken into account – the heavier the more you Vitamin D you need
- pregnant women need more
- breast feeding women need even more
- supplementation of Vitamin D begins right from the time you are born
- you need Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
- you will need more if you drink excessively, smoke, sport
The “how much” can be boiled down to “more than you think”…
The UK NHS site makes a difference between the pregnant, baby. young, old etc. from 7 – 25 micro gram (1000 IE). The Dutch daily recommended dose is 2,5 micro gram. The USA recommend 50 micro grams (2000 IE).
It’s too confusing for words!
Bottom line is: Shortage is more likely than too much, especially in winter. Too much = some 10,000 IE (250 mg) per day.
Sources of information that I used for this article:
- Vitamin D Might Be Able to Slash Your Breast Cancer Risk by 90 Percent (foodconsumer.org)
- What Is Vitamin D3? (homesimplicity.wordpress.com)
- Eating Vegan: Getting Enough Vitamin D (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- Vitamin D (chrisheskettfitness.wordpress.com)
- Vitamin D3 Boosts Effectiveness of Curcumin for Brain Health (liveinthenow.com)
- Food For Eyesight (musthaidekhna.com)
- Sunshine vitamin may ‘treat asthma’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Extra Vitamin D May Ease Crohn’s Symptoms, Study Finds (webmd.com)
- Study finds obesity can ‘lead to lack of vitamin D’ (bobbyedegbo.wordpress.com)
I realised that MOST of my running mates where going to run the half marathon.
I had all the excuses in the world NOT to run 30 k, including that I know that I am not where I want to be in my training scheme. Even when asked – what will you run? I replied with the facts – I had entered the 30 k.
As we started – the switch turned on. YES. I had entered the 30 k so 30 k I would do.
A small voice on my shoulder whispered the breakdown for the half marathon. NO go away! 15 k = half way.
We seemed to be running back to the finish line. I was curious, the last time that I had run this race the split of the 30 k from the 21 K was in the dunes. We were back in the village.
What a psychological test! The division was IN the village – some 500 m from the end of the 21 k the division for the additional 9 k for the 30 k. I trotted off away from the village. My body was screaming to turn the corner and go over the finish.
I had come to run 30 k and so I would run 30 k.
For the following 2 K the voice whispered – “it’s not too late”, “it’s still quicker if you turn back now” – it was almost a killer!
I trotted on. A LOT of people were passing me. NOT encouraging. We had to run a funny “tail” turn round and run back. People were enthusiastically coming the other way. They had a couple more km in their legs and looked great on it!
At 25 k logically I had JUST 5 k to go. NOT far at all!?? I could also hear the commentator bringing everyone in.
The km 25 – 26 seemed endless. I passed someone in pain. “Come on – I feel dreadful too” I encouraged – dribble, run, dribble. As I continued with this strategy I did actually put some pace on
FINALLY into the village. The last 3 k seemed endless. There was still a chance that I could come in within the 3 hours. I pushed on.
There is was – the Finish. And the time was just in if I kept on going – yesss!!! I made it! I DID come within the 3 hours - most important of all I - Winning the psychological battle was MUCH more satisfying than the physical one!
When have you been tempted AWAY from your goal?
How have you ensured that you stay on track?
Please comment the more strategies you have the better equipped you are.
Why do you run? How can I help you with your why?
How can I help you to achieve your running goals?
My reasons for running have changed over the 4 years that I have been running. I have gone through a number of stages. I can help you achieve your goals, just tell me why you run!
Here are my reasons for running:
- It began as the most efficient (in terms of time vs. calories vs. distance) fitness apparatus in the gym. At this stage I weighed almost 100 kg. Goal: weight loss.
- It progressed (painfully) to running outside – goal was further weight loss and to learn to run at all !
- It then became a challenge to run for an hour. Again this started in the gym as it seemed easier to time and measure.
- Rather boring to run for an hour on the running band so the goal changed to running for an hour outside.
- The running for an hour progressed to running 10 km…and my first race – Utrecht 10 km in September 2009. I always thought it was silly to enter a race that there was little (I remain positive) chance of winning. However – I discovered that you run your OWN race. In fact in amongst the thousands who start there is only 1 competitor J
- “Someone” laughed and scoffed as to whether I would also be running the 15 km Zevenheuvelenloop after Utrecht – November 2009. I ran to prove that I could J
- A crazy thought entered my head…could I run a half marathon? I could! In fact I shocked running friends who did not know I had entered/could run, by showing up in one of the sponsor tents!!
- I joined a running club and wanted to improve my running technique, times distances.
- Having progressed from Group 3 to Group 1 the notion of running a marathon entered my head.
- Have set the bar at the Paris Marathon in 2010 I am now running to achieve the next challenge – the following Marathon and improve my times/ extend the time to “wall”/ find the crazy marathons and run those…
I loved running the Slachtemarathon last year in Friesland. It was really a trail marathon as we ran through a LOT of mud.
My most craziest marathon to date will be Salcombe Marathon in the UK on the 4th of May:
It includes a lot of tiny, rugged, steep coastal paths, a ferry ride, a pub lunch….
What’s really motivating me know? I see my running goals as parallel to my business goals. You achieve one goal and stretch to the next. You can achieve things that you never imagined you could (I lost 42 kg). As you achieve these things you can set more goals for unimaginable achievements (I wonder how many people actually started from NIL running with the goal of running a marathon?) and see that these too are possible.
As I have gone through all these phases I have taken care to follow training programmes and included nutrition and supplements in the preparation and execution. I would be delighted to share my experiences and help you to achieve your goals.
Are you running:
- To lose weight?
- Keep fit?
- Achieve a distance?
- For peak performance (mental and physical)?
I would love to hear from you – tell me why you run!
The first thing that you will need to do is to obtain a start number. If you have not already got one – hurry! There is not much time on the website for the Egmond Half Marathon there are instructions on “overdragen startnummer” tab. Its a good way to get your number AND it’s quite fun chatting to people on the way to this goal.
If you have been following me on FB and/or Runkeeper you will know that I have undertaken a few “adventurous” runs recently.
Egmond is a mix of road work, sand (soft & hard) and running in the down. Oh, and there are some hills as well.
The Sylvestercross is a “cross” over down and through wood. This year the start was through DEEP sand. It seemed to carry in endlessly and I wondered if the whole course would be like this. Fortunately we hit the wood and conditions were surprisingly “unmuddy”! You had to keep an eye out for tree roots, holes in the ground, tree branches and generally people. The last 800 meters or so was back in the sand again! Great training for coming on and off the beach at Egmond.
The new year also brought our own, Bergse Runners Club New Year’s Run. This year it was held in the woods at the Natuurmonumenten s’Graveland. The first round was almost at walking pace as we started all together. It amazing how it quickly thinned out and there were just 3 of us running together. The conditions were, well, “woody”. Quite soft not too muddy and here and there som hilly bits. Super training for the downs.
Sylvestercross was some 8,6 klm and The New Year’s Run was 10-ish klm so I am still a little short on distance.
This morning I took to the Amsterdam Bos – in the dark. Focusing on heart rate I began quite slowly. I built in a few intervals and dared to venture to places that I had not been before (my sense of direction is awful, as you know so this is always risky!). Runkeeper shows some 12,6 klm as I could not find the GPS for a while I probably ran a little over 13 klm. So moving closer to 21!
Are you running in Sunday to? Let me know if you are.
1. yesterday was a whole day of eating drinking where the most exercise was moving from room to room, chair to chair and, oh yes, some weight lifting in the form of moving plates & dishes and food.
2. stimulate the metabolism and move some of that food out
3. get the blood going to those areas that have not been stimulated for at least 24 hours
4. in the UK the weather is great – no rain, a little warm and very little wind
5. enhance your serotonin level
6. allow you some thinking time out of the mêlée of Christmas presents(ce)
. prepare for more eating and drinking over the next few days
If there is not much time - don’t stress about the time – less time – work out more intensively – for example
For more experienced runners
option 1: with only 45 mins – run at low heart rate (D1) and stretch out to D3 (up to max.) for 1 minute with 5 min intervals
option 2: 1 hour – run at D2 (mid range heart rate) with sprints of 30 seconds/ between trees/ lamp posts at every 15 mins
Eben if you have just 20 mins – RUN! walk/jog/ sprint – with 3 mins walking. 5 mins jogging, 30 sec sprint.
Enjoy feeling the conversion of the “lazy” energy into useful “running” energy!
What a great experience I had at the weekend. I ran the Midwinterduinloop, Egmond-binnen with friends from the Bergse Runner’s Club. It was a cold winter’s day with snow on the ground. It pushed pretty much all the buttons to cold weather running. We had some challenging choices and the following tips may be helpful for you:
- Find a trail run or a competition - There is nothing like a race to get your blood running. It was a great buzz to be running with a large group of people. I could also add a sub-tip here – go with a group of friends. It was really great fun preparing for the event. It was also good as various people had forgotten hats, gloves, scarves so much borrowing and sharing was done. Which brings me in to:
- Layer dress - thin layers are good. There are various theories about how many layers you need for certain temperatures. The best tip – is 2 – 3 THIN layers, start cold and with clothes that you can easily either remove OR open. I was MUCH too warm during the race and so struggled out of my jacket, first shifting my number, then my water bottle and, lastly my telephone for runkeeper!! I don’t recommend it. Protect your hands. My hands get too warm in gloves so a tip is to where a sweatshirt or jacket that you can scrunch your hands up into the sleeves. You can poke them out again when you are warm enough.
- Warm up - this gentle jog of about 1 km was great for getting the blood running. We were also able to test the ground to see how slippery it was. A few leg kicks and hamstrings were warmed up, as well as the fluids flowing round the joints to prevent injury.
- Take you own drink - you will already know that I rarely rely on water stops. This run was 16 something km. I use a sugar-free vitamin & mineral drink: Winrgy. It’s important to stay hydrated and in the winter it does not seem as if you are losing water – you are!
- Protect your lungs - when we set off it was -4.5. Luckily as we arrived the day had started to warm up. On very cold days its wise to use a neck scarf that you can pull up over your mouth to breathe through.
- Watch where you run - and run with small strides so that you can
keep your balance. You can also watch the other runners in front of you (assuming you are not in 1st place!) and run in well trodden paths.
- Deal with the wind - we were fortunate – it was a still day with brilliant sunshine. Never-the-less it would have been fine as we ran most of the race in the woods. So that’s the tip – run in protected areas. If that’s not possible then make sure that you have a hat or ear warming band otherwise your ears will be frozen off. If you have to run against the wind – run backwards and lean back into the wind. It’s very good for your core training as well as being pleasanter than facing the icy wind.
- Deal with the rain/snow/wet - Good socks are essential. You may like to try wearing plastic bags on your feet… a windproof jacket is all you need as you stay warm when running.
- Rush into the shower - I did not hang around after the race – I dashed into the lovely warm shower – and – yes, even in a sport hall it felt like luxury. I did get a call when I was half naked pointing out that there were 6 men waiting for me outside!!
- Recover with a protein shake - My chocolate protein shake seemed to warm my insides and will enable you to avoid that after race “dip” .
An easy solution is - scrap all this and run in the gym – BORING! There really is nothing better to compare running in the crisp cold, still environment, in the snow with blue blue skies all around. So use the tips and ENJOY your winter running!
Part of life and so business and so running is just about doing it. It’s not just “learning by doing” that I learned in the organisation that I met my husband in – JCI , its more about growing by doing and always changing.
I was juggling dates and, whilst I had registered for the Sevenheuvelenloop, we selected this day to run our business planning day. Then up popped another opportunity – the Olympisch Stadionloop in Amsterdam. Recommended by fellow runners in my club, the Bergserunnersclub it was also in aid of Unicef. I have for a while been considering how I can link all the running I am doing to a charity – after all it does seem a lot of kilometers to be running that I could be sharing to help others.
This was not an event that I had specifically trained for. I had been running in Dallas and my usual minimum 3 times a week but not really goal driven. It was to be a test of my underlying fitness. AND my basic training scheme.
I have been recently focusing on how much my business runs parallel to my running – and vice versa. Throughout this year, alongside our internal training, I have been attending the Business Bootcamps provided by Open Circles Academy. One of the many things that I have learned here - and it underscores one of the key areas in our own training – is the value of having a system and using it consistently. The Olympisch Stadionloop was to be a test of this AND – another real changing point – my own belief system.
As we started the race I joined the 45 min pacer. I just wanted to feel how fast I really had to go to reach this milestone. We introduced ourselves. We started and I was “in touch” and keeping up the pace for c. 3 km then I gradually moved of pace – initially by 10 – 20 seconds – then a little more…. I did manage to speed up a at the last 1.5 km but still not up to pace. HOWEVER there was value in the underlying training and thus the SYSTEM as I took some seconds off my 10 k Utrecht time and came in at 48,12 so I was quite amazed!
What was even more incredible is that my pacer found me at the finish and asked me how I had performed. She herself is an ultramarathon runner (something that I seem to be coming across more often) and will run in the 65 km Olne-Spa-Olne in Belgium – certainly something to aspire to!
The final results - my pacer, who ran within 45 mins, was 5th and I was 11th in the women’s recreational run:-)
- Main Event Of The Year – Men’s Health Survival Of The Fittest (fearlessfeet.wordpress.com)
- Dallas Marathon training: final phase (runningkick.wordpress.com)
- Seeking Balance: Taking a Closer Look (crislercoaching.wordpress.com)