Age: 26 State: WI
Experience: Iron Woman
Age: 46 State: NY
Age: 29 State: NY
Age: 22 State: CO
Age: 26 State: CO
Age: 25 State: WI
Age: 34 State: WI
Age: 32 State: WI
Annie Weiss has found her balance through a healthy combination of fitness and nutrition. As Dirty Girl’s fitness ambassador, she will use this space to lead you through a weekly session of training that will help you not only prepare for your Dirty Girl event, it will help you find a better balance in your own life. Feel free to message her on this blog or email email@example.com
Have you ever said to someone, “eat my dust???” or “eat my dirt???”… because after this obstacle, you will be saying that to everyone you just flew past…or slid past, or one of the two! The biggest challenge here is not having the energy or strength to push through…it’s not getting mud in the face. Don’t try to sprint up to the top….take your time going up the mud hill because if you fall, A. you’re muddy, and B. it will be hard to get up and find the momentum to keep going to the top. Once you get to the top though, I wouldn’t sprint…save your legs so you can sprint from the bottom of the hill to the next obstacle. You took your time getting to the top, if you see a mud slide, you know ladies are going butts down…it’s an easy and fast method…or you can slide on your feet (like you are snowboarding) to the bottom. And if you don’t want to risk hurting yourself, do the side walk or run down to the bottom…again it’s like snowboarding but take small steps instead of sliding. All three methods get you to the bottom and on to the next obstacle. For training purposes, if you want to prepare for a muddy, sticky hill, incorporate some squats, lunges, and stair stepping into your workouts.
The Powers of Caffeine
Before I begin to tell you the nutritional and scientific facts about Caffeine, and if it’s good or bad for athletes, etc…I want to tell you about my experiences with it (and just remember, every athlete has different experiences with its use, some swear by it, and others won’t touch it).
Spring 2010, I was gearing up for my 2nd marathon….The LA Marathon. Unfortunately, I was also in PT at that time trying to remedy my IT Band. Therapy was helping, but my leg would not be 100% in time for the marathon. They knew I was still going to run…that wasn’t a question….but they told me to keep track of pain levels during the race. My plan of action was not a plan I would EVER recommend to anyone….I was a desperate, injured athlete just wanting to qualify for Boston. My solution for the pain was to take pain medication before and during the run…and my solution to get to the finish line faster than I knew I could, was caffeine. Like any other race, I used caffeine, so I didn’t think it would matter to take it for the LA Marathon. My typical routine was a caffeine pill before and during…plus whatever caffeine was in my 1 cup of coffee before the run in the early morning and whatever caffeine was in my gels during the marathon. Each caffeine pill is 200mg caffeine, each gel has ~20-40mg caffeine, and generic coffee is usually 90-200mg per cup. I can’t even tell you how many caffeine pills I popped thinking it would make me faster, and how much pain medication I took during the run…and to top it off, I didn’t drink much water because when you run in the desert, sweat just evaporates off your body.
I was able to run pain-free until mile 11…my pace gradually slowed until mile 18 when I walked to the finish (which was a total death march)…the pain continued to get worse and worse….unbearable….i was in tears for miles. And to top it off….my heart was racing…my head was spinning…and I still wasn’t thirsty (nor did I realize I had nothing to drink for a few miles).
By mile 25.5 I started to run…there was no way I was going to finish walking…I dashed to the finish line, and found my sister waiting for me. I was balling my eyes out…in pain. She knew what would help…an ice cream cone of course. After, we left and started driving home. About 10 minutes into our drive, I began to feel sick…I started to vomit…
Okay, so it was the ice cream cone, right?….nope. We got home and it was non-stop vomiting for the whole day. After admitting to my sister what I took through the race, it ended up being ~2000mg caffeine mixed with 2 different pain killers…and again, no water. The caffeine overdose (and for some, 2000mg might be nothing) caused my racing heart and dehydration/vomiting. A lethal dose of caffeine is 10g, so it certainly wasn’t that much! Since that marathon, all caffeine pills have been disposed of, and my intake pre-race has dwindled. I now drink my cup of coffee (it’s a routine piece for me), and whatever caffeine happens to be in my gels is all I consume. It doesn’t affect my racing times as I thought it did taking it – I still qualify, place, and beat my times.
I know it’s a long story, but it’s a good lesson for any athlete getting a bit nutty about their training and goals. Caffeine can spark my legs for a couple miles of a race, which feels great, but the crash made the rest of the race so much worse and hard to bounce back from.
My greatest suggestion from my own personal experience is prepare your heart, lungs, and legs properly….train with a program and if you run, add 10% to your base every week. If you are injured, take out 10% until the pain goes away….or see a PT…or stop your activity. I know it’s not fun to stop, but it usually is short term, better than not being able race again.
Caffeine fast facts:
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug. It affects mood, stamina, metabolism, stimulates the nervous system, and GI system. It can be found in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate. It certainly can be addictive for some regular caffeine users, and when withdrawal occurs, those people may have severe headaches, tiredness, fatigue, lack of energy, decreased alertness, difficultly concentrating, and irritability (to name a few!). If not in withdrawal, caffeine in appropriate doses can cause the opposite…jolts of energy and full alertness.
September 6th, 2011
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