Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Saint Charles Children's Home 5K--a video from last year

I happened to find this video that someone captured from our race last year and put together, and thought I would share it on the blog.  Last's year's race was wonderful and we hope for another great race just 8 days from today on Labor Day!

Just a reminder that if anyone wishes to run our 5k but can't be with us on Labor Day for whatever reason, please consider running our Virtual 5k wherever you are, whenever you want.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feedback from a runner: St. Charles 5k "One of the Best"

With the 14th Annual St. Charles Children's Home a week from Monday, I thought I would share a nice letter I got last year from one of the runners:

"Your race was one of the best that I have attended this year.  Very well organized and all of that wonderful food!  Many times at a big race the food will run out before the last finishers cross the line.  Not the case in your race, there was plenty for everyone.  You did all of the right things to draw people back to your race next year.  I intend to be there in 2010..."

The highlight of our post race food is a barbecue of hamburgers and hot dogs donated and cooked by all of the Applebee's restaurants in this region.  Tommie Mattie of the Portsmouth Applebees is chief chef, and I can attest to the fact that there is nothing like those hamburgers hot off the grille. Other food includes donuts, bagels, fruit, cookies, pizza and more.  

I was excited to get a letter from a runner last year.  If you have run our race and would like to share your thoughts about it, please let us know!  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Climbed a Mountain in Vibram Fivefingers!

Today is a milestone day for me.  In March I got a a pair of Vibram Fivefingers shoes, and have been building up my ability to function in them ever since.  My goal on DailyMile has been to climb a mountain in the VFFs.  Well, today I did it.  Note my happy little feet in the corner of this picture of the monument on the top of Cowles Mountain.

I made the 950 foot climb in 36 minutes.  Cowles is the highest mountain in San Diego county.  This trail was perfect for the VFFs.  It is mostly a dirt trail--not filled with sharp rocks which would have made the barefoot walk more challenging!  As I have noted in other posts, the Vibram Fivefingers give you some protection, but they are a lot like really being barefoot since you feel everything under your feet.

The shoes performed well.  I learned that it is easier to climb in Vibram Fivefingers than it is to navigate down a steep trail.  First of all, because you're going down you naturally want to go fast.  I stubbed my toe and that reminded me that I need to slow down and pick my way carefully.  The other difficulty in going down is that steep, dry, dirt trails can be slippery, and today was no exception.  VFFs can be slippery just like any other shoe.  I slid just as much as in sneakers.  I was not handicapped in any way by the VFFs.  It was a great hike!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Natural Drink to Balance Electrolytes

Image borrowed from
I first learned about electrolytes after a race in the late 90s.  It was a sweltering hot day--the first really hot day of that summer.  After completing the race I was talking to a reporter, who was intrigued by the fact that our sisters were running in full habits with the children from St. Charles.  

After that conversation, I remember turning around and heading to the refreshment stand.  Next thing I knew, everything around me started to swim and my face was in the grass (I am so glad there was grass there!)  Other runners were very kind.  They told me to sit there and put my head between my knees until the dizziness went away.  Some one got me a banana.  I wanted to disappear into the grass.

Since then I have learned that if I sweat a lot and then rehydrate really quickly right away, I am susceptible to this kind of dizziness.  I am not alone:  that is why sports drinks have been invented, with their special ingredients to help replace the electrolytes in our body that we lose when we sweat a lot.  I don't like all the sugar in those drinks, however, and I wanted to share a natural recipe given to me by my naturopath  that works really well for me. Here it is:

1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grapefruit juice (I use unsweetened)
3 1/2 cups water

It's quick and easy to make and less expensive than those sports drinks.  Works for me!  For more information about electrolytes and how to avoid electrolyte imbalance, here is a good article.