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Archives for February, 2011

As reviewed earlier the Athlete’s HoneyMilk is a favorite among the Alameda Runners, even though it’s still a lesser known product. We recently received a test case of the AHM Strawberry Banana flavor (light) that we’re enjoying after training runs.

I tasted the Strawberry Banana AHM and it’s the sweetest HoneyMilk flavor, and was more like a sugary milkshake than protein drink. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the often unexciting taste of post-exercise protein and supplement drinks.

If you don’t like drinking or eating sweets, I’d recommend trying this flavor with care. For the rest of you, feel free to give it a try the next time you’re looking for a post-run option.

After a hard workout, I’m willing to give the Strawberry Banana another try (but the Chocolate flavor is still my favorite). The sweetness is something that will take getting used to, but is effective in aiding muscle recovery after hard workouts.

Here is the nutritional information from the Strawberry Banana AHM:

Calories 150; calories from fat: 30
Total fat: 3.5g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 120mg
Potassium: 450mg
Total Carbohydrates: 11g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 20g

A case of 12 bottles of Strawberry Banana costs $34.99 (free shipping courtesy of AHM), and can be found on the company’s website. It may seem like a steep price to pay, but these drinks are excellent post-race recovery drinks, because they are pre-mixed and tasty.

Alameda Runners previously interviewed Athletes HoneyMilk last year, so feel free to give it a read. If you have any questions for AHM, please feel free to comment, e-mail or Tweet us … and we’ll see what we can do!

Lower leg injuries for runners

Now that people are starting to run for the upcoming season, I have been hearing a lot of complaints about lower leg injuries.  For people on, it is easy to see them racking up the miles, fast.  A few questions from the other runners always leads to the same conclusion: we like to injure ourselves from over doing it.  We increase the mileage before our bodies are ready for the additional stress.

Social media makes the problem worse because we see all of these people doing things we want to do.  We do not think about how long it took them to get their elevated status.  We think we can work hard and get there too.  Most of the overuse injuries are on older (over age 30) runners too.  Here is a list of injuries that come to mind.  Keep in mind that I have suffered from all of these injuries because I tend to over train a lot.

Plantar Fasciitis – Pain along the bottom of the foot generally in the heal area.  I had Metatarsalgia which is on the pad of the foot near the toes.  This website has a lot of good stretches and exercises to help this pain.  I have not tried their inserts, perhaps I should.  I swear by inserts.  All of my shoes have inserts, even my cycle shoes.

Calf pain – Another injury us older runners get when we try to go out too fast.  We need to take it easy, stretch and do strength training to get our legs up to speed.  Sports injury clinic

ITB – The dreaded Iliotibial Band Syndrome.  This is a terrible injury.  It is usually caused by over training and catches up to you during or after a long run of like 18 or 20 miles.  There is nothing worse than working up to 20 miles then getting injured.   Time to run injury page

Knee pain – front and back, most likely from tendonitis.  This is one of the best injuries because it is rarely chronic and heals relatively easily from applying ice and rest.  Medical site

  • All of these injuries are generally caused by overuse and can be avoided by taking your time when increasing your speed or distance.  When you get an injury, it is always practical to follow the good old R.I.C.E. Method.  Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate.
  • Rest is probably the hardest things for us athletes.  We just want to get out and go.  If you rest as soon as you feel the pain, your healing time will be greatly reduced.
  • Ice is easy.  Strap on an ice pack for 15 minutes every couple of hours and you are good to go.  The ice reduces swelling and increases circulation.  Be careful to make sure gel packs do not touch the skin.  You can get a nasty ice burn from a gel pack.  It will take off a few layers of skin so be careful.  I have a shelf full of various gel packs in my freezer and use dollar store support braces to protect my skin and hold the gel packs in place.  Old T-shirts also work to protect your skin.
  • Compress – You can wrap your leg in an ace bandage or use the dollar store braces for compression.
  • Elevate – If you are like me, you won’t sit still long enough to elevate.  Do your best.

After your injury heals, take it easy with your training, build your strength, stretch and warm up before you work out.

I get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I forget about the people who are just starting out.  I am not a professional athlete or trainer.  I do excel at trying hard and getting injured from over doing it.  I usually fix the injury and move on to find a new body part to injure.  I always manage to have fun and find alternate routines to keep me training while

The most common cause of injury for beginners is from doing too much, too soon.  People following my training plan or any other training plan usually try to go faster every day.  Fitness and endurance are long-term goals.  You have to stay within your abilities.  It is easy to look at someone who has been exercising for a long time and think running is easy.

Running is easy; it just takes time and practice to run for extended durations.

I posted links to sites from professionals.  Look at their sites and look around for more information.  As they say, knowledge is power.  The more you know, the better you can treat yourself.

Every now and then I go on a tangent that does not seem to be running related.  Today, I am ranting about getting involved and voicing your opinion.  You may not think it matters that your elected representatives know who you are.  Think about who controls the funding for our parks, bike trails and other public places.

Talk to your elected officials.  They listen to what you have to say.  You may not agree with the answer, but you are heard.  I am tired of being “protected” by the TSA.  I sent both my senators and congressman an email voicing my displeasure.  Senator Dianne Feinstein likes a controlling TSA.  I may not agree with her but that is fine.  She listened to my complaint and responded.  Senator Boxer may or may not agree with me but enough people complained she is doing something about it.  Keep in mind, the senators do not read the emails.  They have aides for that.  But they certainly keep an eye on the numbers.  Pay attention to what is going on around you.  Your elected officials want to know where you stand on issues.  It is nice to know where they stand too.

Here is the response I received from Senator Boxer.

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new procedures for screening passengers at airports in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you know, in 2010 the TSA introduced whole-body imaging systems and enhanced pat-down procedures, either of which may be used to check for concealed weapons or explosives underneath an individual passenger’s clothes.

Many Americans have expressed concerns about these new intrusive security measures. I am pleased that TSA Administrator John Pistole recently announced a test program that would capture less revealing images to check for threats underneath a passenger’s clothing.

In addition, on November 19, 2010, I wrote a letter to Mr. Pistole, asking him to develop a “trusted traveler” program – already available for airline pilots – for fully vetted, law-abiding U.S. airline passengers.

I strongly believe that we can implement common-sense policies to protect our national security without infringing on individual privacy rights. Be assured that I will keep working to ensure that all American air passengers can travel safely and comfortably.

Again, thank you for writing to me about this issue. Please feel free to contact me again on this or any other issue of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

Thoughts from Ted

I went from a long injury layoff of 6 months right into a hard half marathon in the hills. I injured myself again by over doing it. I seem to excel at injuring myself from excess. I took three weeks off, now I am right into training for a half ironman distance triathlon. All of this has put me a bit out of sorts for writing. I am going to post a few blogs to help me get back into the swing of things.

First of all, I need to apologize to Fluid. We reviewed some fluid sports drink last year and gave it a bit of a poor review. I tried it again this year and it is much better. I ran out of sports drink and decided to give Fluid another try. This time, I paid attention to the instructions and stuck with the product for a month. The taste is okay. It goes down well and I do not feel ill effects after my runs. I put them back into the buy category.

I was out for a run with the guys from Clif about a month ago. As you can guess, our conversations all revolved around Clif. It is nice to see them out running and using the products they sell. They sent me a care package full of their new products. I tried Mojo bar between an hour run and 90 minute bike ride and felt fine after the ride. I felt no need for gel or anything else while riding. I will really put the products to the test when my mileage increases. The bars taste good enough to eat after a morning swim.

In my next post, I will try to string together some coherent thoughts.