Sunday, November 20, 2011

Got Achilles Tendonitis

There's nothing runners and other athletes want to wish away more than injuries.  I've had right achilles pain for at least a couple of months now and it's grown progressively worse, especially after the NYCM.  Like all other injuries, it seems the only thing I can do is to not do too much (running) and stretch it.  So I'll follow orders and keep my running to about 10 miles per week and get back to core and functional strength month. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I May Have Just Become a Fruit Lover

It's no secret that I dislike fruits.  I put up with some for nutrition and health, but in general, I much prefer vegetables.  If you must know why, it's because I grew up in the tropics surrounded by an overabundance of rotting mangoes and papayas.  My favorite ways to consume fruitin pie form or as smoothie ingredients.  I especially dislike sour fruits.  That said, I think I may have found a cure to my fruit revulsion.

Enter the Miracle Berry.

Synsepalum dulcificum

After seeing it on the Dr. Oz show, my wife and I had to give it a try.  We found a place in NYC that sells them at $5(!!??).  When my wife came home today with 4 miracle berries and a basket of strawberries, grapefruit, kiwis, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, lemon and lime, the party was on.  We started with the a miracle berry each, chewing the berry and the seed and swishing it for a couple of minutes.  Then began the fun.
  • strawberries - OMG.  Were these just plucked from the Garden of Eden??  So good, I had to have another and another.  Then...
  • lemon wedge - I still taste a little bit of sourness, but more sweetness.  
  • lime wedge - Same as the lemon, but slightly sweeter
  • grapefruit - I'd never had grapefruit in my life, but I was spooning it and slurping like a starving mad man.
  • under-ripe kiwi - Best kiwi ever!
  • pineapple - sweetness!
  • cantaloupe - heaven!
  • honeydew melon - WOW!
I continued to devour fruits for another 10 mins or so, when the berry effects wore off.

I love my sweets and usually get them in the form of baked goods, but with this miracle berry, I think I can now actually eat a little more healthily by cutting out some processed sugars in exchange for fruits.  The best thing about it is that it doesn't mask any of the natural flavors about the fruit.  It just enhances them, so a strawberry still tastes like a strawberry.

If you're skeptical, check out a few of the links below.  Or find a fruit purveyor in your area and give it a try.  It's about as much fun as you can have eating fruit.

 - CNN
 - NY Times
 - Doctor Oz show

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Off-season Plan - Vibrams!

The main goal this off-season is to take it easy.  Three marathons this year (Disney, Chicago, New York City) is what I'd usually do in three years.  Going to take a couple of steps back this and I'm going to enjoy it so come next season, I'm ready to tackle the next goal:  sub 5 minute mile.  Don't know if it's possible, but I won't know until I try.  My current PR is 5:22 without specifically training for it.

There is one unorthodox element I'm introducing into my life this off-season - Vibrams.  I've run barefoot on the treadmill before and actually enjoyed it.  And with my wife wanting a "monkey foot" partner since she's been wanting to wear them for her lower back ailments, now was as good a time as any. 

We've gone out walking in them only two times so far for starters.  Today's 5 mile walk around the city to Central Park, LeVain Bakery and Trader Joe's felt more taxing than usual.  And I guess that's a good thing.  I felt like I got a better workout below the ankle today than I would have in regular shoes.  I don't like walking on asphalt and hard surfaces with them, but love walking on Central Park grass, dirt and trail.  At this point, I definitely can't imagine running more than a few miles in these.  But I know the body will adapt, and I hope it'll translate to a few seconds faster for my mile time next year.