• Heat Wave!

    It has been so hot in the Bay Area the past 5 days.  On Monday it heated up to 106 degrees where I live!  Training has been unbearable unless I wait for the late, late afternoon or get it done in the early morning.  I know practices are still going when school gets out for all of you high school and middle school kids, which means the hottest time of the day!  If you live around here, be careful!  Drink water not just at practice, but all day long.  Eat lots of fruit and veggies too because their water content is high and they have those extra vitamins that you are sweating out by the minute.

    During practice be sure to take in not just water, but also some sort of sports drink with electrolytes and salt.  When you exercise at high levels, especially in the heat, your body is desperate to replenish the minerals you lose. Sports drinks are the fastest way to get what your body needs.

    While the heat can be annoying when you are trying to run a cross-country race…

  • Spring Road Racing!

    As a professional runner, there are lots of options for the types of races I can do.  There are races on the track and there are also tons on road races.  I love the energy and huge number of participants in road races, so I typically stick to those.  So far I have been in 6 road races this spring and won almost all of them.  They are a blast!  From the half marathon to the 5k, road races sometimes feel more like huge parties than races.

    Once thing that road races always have at the finish are food and refreshments.  I LOVE this part!  Because the most important time to eat after exercise is within the first 30 minutes, this makes life much easier.  The most recent race I was at was called the Big Sur 5k down in Carmel.  I loaded up on bran muffins, bananas, bagels, strawberries and juice within minutes of the race.

  • Hawaii!!!!

    I just got back from Hawaii! Here in the Bay Area we have had some serious rain this season, so to take a week and get some sunshine felt awesome!  Not only was is awesome to be in the hot sun to get a little tan and enjoy the feeling of sun beams while walking around the big island, but it was also an excellent opportunity to get some vitamin D!

    Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and there is no better or more natural way to get in than being in the sun.  This doesn’t mean that you should be careless about sun protection, but just know that when the sun comes out, striping down a layer and soaking up a tiny bit can help!

  • Boys Lose Bone Too!!!

    I recently read an article about a professional cyclist named Blake Caldwell.  He was a rider for a team called Garmin Slipstream, which is a prestigious cycling team similar to the ones that Lance Armstrong has ridden with (they were in the Tour De France along with a lot of other world famous bike racers).  The article however, was not about many of the success that Caldwell has seen as a cyclist (he has placed as high as second in a few tours such as Utah and was second at the pro championships in 2008) but about his recent discovery that he has osteoporosis.  Due to Caldwell’s low weight and lack of weigh bearing in cycling, Caldwell’s bones are frail.  It is important to include weigh bearing exercise on a regular basis to build bones.  This means sports with running and jumping can be fantastic for your bones.  Sports like swimming or cycling are not weigh bearing so often times these athletes are at higher risk for low…

  • New Year Resolutions

    I started my New Year the same way I always do, with a New Years Day race. It was an easy win over a gorgeous 6.5 mile course in Carmel, California.  Luckily, my husband volunteered to baby-sit while I ran, because he usually likes racing also.  Not only do I like to start my new year with a race because I love to run, but I also like to start it by making a list of my goals for the year.

    Over the years my goals always change.  In high school almost every goal was running related from the times I wanted to run to the races I wanted to run.  Now that I am older and have more responsibilities, my goals have broadened to include more than just athletic endeavors.  For example, now that I have a baby, I have goals about being a good mother.  I also include the goal to maintain healthy bones.  Now that I am exercising and training, I have to remember to support the most important part of my body, my bones.  This means eating lots of delicious foods and being sure to…

  • The Holiday Season!

    Now that it’s December, I can finally feel the season changing.  From the frost on the ground in the mornings to the packed parking lot at the mall near my house, it’s clear that we are smack in the middle of the holidays.  Sports seasons are changing too.  Volleyball and cross-country should be just about finished and basketball and soccer season are just around the corner.  Your sport and training regimen is changing as well.

    It is important to start new seasons out right. The month of December is special for most athletes since most sports do not have any serious competitions. Of course there are the off-season basketball tournaments, New Year’s Day 5K’s and family flag football games, but these are for casual fun and don’t represent the accumulation of your season.  December is a month where everyone can truly cut back a little and let their bodies rest, recuperate and prepare for the New Year ahead.  Now is the best time of the year to slack…

  • The Jogger Stroller

    My son, Ramsey, is now almost six months old. It has been incredible to watch him develop and go through the stages of infancy so quickly. Each day he does something new, whether it is a sound or physical movement. When babies are first born they can’t do anything. The first month, my mom called Ramsey my “luggage” because he used to sleep all day and I would just carry him around in his car seat. Slowly however, he began staying awake longer, using his arms and legs, smiling, laughing and he has really gone from a helpless lump to a real baby (and still changing).

    This means he is ready for the jogger stroller!All the doctors say that once your baby is sitting (which is usually around 6 months) the baby is ready for the jogger. Prior to the jogger they can go in a stroller, but it’s just the kind that the super safe car seats snap into.Our first time out, Ramsey loved it. He saw the world fly by ahead of him in a way that he never had. I could hear him cooing and even…

  • Back to Racing!

    Last week, I had my first race since I gave birth to my son.  It was a low-key cross-country race held by the USA Track and Field Pacific Association in Santa Rosa.  I won by close to a minute and felt super.  I am pleased that five months after having Ramsey I am energetic and able to run almost as fast as I could when I became pregnant.

    Much of my feeling good has to do with nutrition.  Without eating properly, I would not have been able to recover from having a baby as quickly as I did, or return to my sport. Eating lots of balanced and healthy foods before and after exercise throughout the day is what keeps us as athletes healthy and performing our best.

    As your new season get going and practice starts becoming part of the daily routine, don’t forget to fuel up during the day.  Pack snacks, a big, healthy lunch, and a post practice snack.  Along with eating, hydrating will help you avoid cramps or muscle pulls.  We ask a lot of our bodies as athletes, so giving…

  • The Tour de France

    The Tour de France has ended and I watched every single day of the three week race on TV. It was incredible to watch the athletes race day after day over the mountains and through the towns of Europe.  It was also inspiring to watch Lance Armstrong make a come back and be so close to winning after a four year break from the sport.   

    Nutrition is a crucial part of the success of the athletes during the Tour de France.  The riders scientifically calculate how much energy and hydration they will need during the race and have it all packed in their uniforms during the ride or have their team car bring it to them at certain points on the course.  The riders need 6,000 calories a day and most of that is during the ride.  Through energy drinks, condensed sports bars or whatever else they need to fuel their ride, they must consume the proper amount of calories so they can finish each stage of the race. 

    It was so fun to watch these athletes literally treat their body…

  • Graduation and Goals

     I was at my little brother’s high school graduation on Saturday.  It was exciting to see all of the graduates finish their high school careers and plunge into the world of college to pursue the next chapter in their lives.  After the graduation was over I told my brother to make a list of goals.  He is going to UC Davis to play tennis and study vitaculture (the study of making wine).  Without goals, sometimes we forget what we are working for. 

    Whether you are graduating from middle school, high school, college or just going from one grade to the next, now is the time. Make your goals realistic and have them relate to the big picture. Once you decide your major goals then make small ones that lead up to the ultimate one.  For my brother, his ultimate goal may be to have a winery someday, but in order to get there small goals must be achieved first, like getting his degree in viticulture. 

    Athletic goals are the same.  It may not be realistic to say your goal…