Thursday, August 5, 2010

Black Women, Obesity and Our Hair: The Third Rail

Studies show that four out of five Black women are overweight or obese. (See Yikes! I'm no mathematician but 4 out of 5 equals 80%. While the stats are mind boggling, one need only take a stroll down any predominately Black area to know that the stats don't lie. My own anecdotal experience leads me to this conclusion that a major reason for this is that we just don't workout as often as we should. Sad to say that when I go to the gym or am running on a trail I don't see very many of us out there.

One of the unspoken reasons we don't work out is because of our hair. Many of us don't want to "sweat out" our hair. It starts at an early age. I remember as a kid not wanting to run too hard in P.E. class or turning down an opportunity to SCUBA diving as part of a chemistry class because of my hair. One of the best decisions I've ever made in life was to wear my hair naturally. No more relaxers, flat irons, pressing combs, nada. Just let it grow the way God intended it to grow. Of course, the decision wear my hair natural was not easy. The transition/transformation took me six --yes 6--years. I stopped relaxing my hair in 2002 but continued to press, flat iron, ect... until 2008.

For many of us (myself included), it's hard to embrace our own natural beauty. From an early age we are indoctrinated with a westernized standard of beauty--fair skin long straight hair is pretty-- dark skin short kinky hair isn't. It's particularly tough because for many women notions of beauty and self-worth are co-dependent variables. It's important that we realize however that what we have IS beautiful. I love my natural hair. I especially love being able to run and workout without having to worry about "sweating out" an inauthentic hairstyle that belies who I really am. Being "pretty" on Westernized terms is literally killing us. Even if you are not ready let go of that perm or press, there are ways to maintain your straight look and still exercise. Check out this link below--courtesy of Black Women Do Workout:!/video/video.php?v=466814297432&ref=mf

Monday, August 2, 2010

Listening to your body

Unfortunately I had to take a week long hiatus from my training. My week off was very frustrating but very necessary. I suffer from anemia and have had some bad episodes before so I had to get checked out by my hematologist before resuming my training schedule. Luckily he gave me a clean bill of health and I am clear for takeoff again. One thing I've learned is that it's better to be safe than sorry.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Necessity of Stretching: Myth or Reality

I go back and forth on whether or not stretching consistently before a run makes a difference. I usually do some sort of min-strecth session before longer runs and even minier (if that's even a word..) strecth session before shorter runs. I'm not sure how much of a difference stretching actually makes but I feel like I'm opening myself up to serious injury if I don't at least feign a stretching session before a run. Below is a good article from that tackles the issue.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Running Gadgets: iPhone Running Apps

I am not a big believer in running gadgets. I don't do sunglasses, GPS trackers, hats, headbands or even hydration packs (unless it's exceedingly hot like now..) . I only have one can't run wirthout/can't live without item: my iphone. The primary reason is because it has an AMAZING runnung application that tracks the miles I've ran, how fast I am running and gives voice notifications after I've reached certain milestones. For example, no matter how far I'm running I always set it up my running app to let me know when I'v reached every half mile. This enables me to feel accomplished after every half mile and gives me the motivation to keep going. The name of the app for any iphone users is RUNNER by Delta Vee. There are other iphone running apps out there (see link) but none work in my opinion as well as the RUNNER by Delta Vee. I highly reccommend it (and no I am not getting paid to promote it).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Caffeine, the Ergogenic Aid | Page 2 |

To Caffeine or Not to Caffeine?

I find a little bit of caffeine--especially before very early morning runs-- very helpful in giving me the boost I need to get through a rub. My preferred poison is a double shout of espresso. This Article raises some interested points on the pros and cons of drinking caffeine before a training run or a race.

Caffeine, the Ergogenic Aid | Page 2 |

Sunday, July 18, 2010

6 Tips to Run Through the Heat |

6 Tips to Run Through the Heat |

Discretion is the Better Part of Valor...

Today I was scheduled to run 10 miles. Unfortunately, I woke up later than I should have (i.e. 6:57am) and given the heat wave I decided to defer my 10 mile run until tomorrow morning. Given the combination of the heat and humidity here in D.C. for once I decided "better safe than sorry." I will report back on my 10 mile run tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Running in the Rain...

Today I ran 8 miles through a constant drizzle of rain which I suppose is better than yesterday's heat and humidity. The extra bananas worked wonders as I experienced no cramping at all today. So far so good. Tomorrow I will run 6 miles.

In keeping with my promise to post a song of the day today's song of the day is "Heart of a Champion" by Nelly. The nasty drizzle today made me think once (or twice or three times) about cutting my run short but I perserved thanks in part to Nelly's inspiring words: "If hard work pays off then easy work is worthless...My work habit ain't no habit man, I do it on purpose..."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Song of The Day

In addition to my daily posts I will also try and post a "song of the day" or a song that helped me get pumped up to complete my run. Today's song of the day-- "Loose yourself" by Eminem. My favorite lyric - "Success is my only option failure's not." No matter what mile I'm on this song always makes me move a little faster! "">

Going Bananas

Tip of the Day = Eat more bananas
Today was day 2 of my Marathon training. Per my training schedule, I completed 6 miles today and will run 8 miles tomorrow. My run today went fairly well except I started cramping up around mile 2.5 through mile 4. The heat and humidity surely played a role. Along the way I met a fellow runner/marathon veteran who suggested that I increase the number of bananas that I eat to at least 3 a day to alleviate the cramping. I usually only eat 1 a day (either before or after I run) but I love trying new tricks to improve my runs so I'll try it and see if it makes a difference.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Journey of a thousand miles [or 26.2 in my case] begins with a single step

["A] journey of a thousand miles ..[or 26.2 in my case] begins with a single step."

-A 1904 Sayings of Lao Tzu
Today was my first official day of training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I'm excited but more than anything I'll admit..I'm scared (and not asahmed to admit it). Today was the "easy" part. The training schedule called for me to run 4 miles. Finished it. No problem. Tomorrow I will run 6 miles. As I was running today I kept thinking if this were the actual marathon I would have 22.2 miles left to go. Yikes. I'm convinced that the hardest part of the training and the race itself is mental. If I can dream it I can acheive it, right? Stay tuned.....