In terms of heart health, it is the short, hard bursts of exercise that really improve the hearts of those with ischemic heart disease, and this is perhaps a lesson we could all learn from. So, I ran a tempo run at a race today. It was a training run, in that no tapering was involved, no Garmin and I didn't want to go so hard that my running would be affected in two days.
I drove to Eyota, MN this morning, an hour from our house, and if that town doesn't sound small, what town does? They have a 50k, 10 mile, and 5k with staggered starts in the gorgeous Chester Woods. The 10 mile race is part of the USATF Minnesotal trail and ultra series. Here is the Chester Woods Trail Run website.
The race started out very deceivingly on a road followed by a short stint on a bike path, but then turned into mostly dirt & grass and some sand trails, at times techincal and the hills just kept coming, each one seeming to be steeper than the last.
There were about 200 runners and the runner in second place after the first mile was a woman. I could not imagine she didn't start too fast. I was the next woman after her, though there were about 10 men between us or more. There were also at least two women right behind me, but by mile 5, after it had started getting more technical, I dropped the women and passed a few guys. It was grueling - but the guy I ran the last 4 miles with did it barefoot! I gave him kudos, but turns out it wasn't on purpose "I intended to wear my Vibrams (he pronounced them VEEbrums), but I brought two left shoes. Literally ouch. He really slowed on the patches of gravel but managed to beat me.
I finished second female out of ??? in 1:13:20. It was an age group course record, so I get on the website! The first place female ran apparently in 1:08 something, shattering the old course record of 1:11:38. I guess her name was Jenny somehting, but I am eagerly awaiting the results to learn more. Isn't this a nice hat that all participants got? (that's a lake behind me down that hill in Chester Woods (CW)).
The Belly Mystery Solved (?)
My ophthalmologist friend, Andrew Doane, posted a link on Facebook today about diet soda and one thing I learned about in the article was "The Diet Soda Belly", that compared to controls, people who drank diet soda had a 70% increase in waist circumference (this is a study from the University of Texas Health Science Center where they monitored 475 adults for 10 years and it was presented at the 2011 ADA meeting) . For a woman who must (but hates to) admit she drinks 2-7 cans of diet soda a day, I have to suspect this may be contributing to my belly. I have officially given up diet soda- for two weeks.
In the name of science, I am going to buy a tape measure today and then begin recording my waist circumference, hip circumference and weight each day (the latter two as controls) to see if eliminating diet soda helps my problem and how much. At the end, you can expect a pretty graph (if not a pretty belly).