Saturday, August 30, 2008

Encouraging 21 miler

I am pretty encouraged by today's 21 miler with the group. Starting at Greenlake, we ran through downtown Seattle, by Elliot Bay through Magnolia, before crossing the ship canal back. There were several hills both at the beginning and late into the run. The long Magnolia bridge climb and Stone Ave climbs were good tests. I would not have pushed myself to do all these hills if I were running alone - peer pressure :)

We could not have asked for a better day for a run - 55F and cloudy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Epsom salt for recovery

This week someone strongly vouched about the effectiveness of Epsom salt as a recovery aid. I had heard about this before but it had not stuck in my mind. This time I decided to give it a shot.

It's too early to swear by Epsom salt but I seemed to have recovered pretty quickly from my 20 miler yesterday. I had expected to be sore since I have not run this far since the marathon. After my run, I soaked my legs in a salt solution in warm water for 20 minutes. For areas I could not dip directly I used a soaked towel.

Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Salts are just molecules that form because the parts have opposite electrical charges that bind together. Magnesium has a positive charge. Sulfate has a negative charge, and performs all sorts of unique biological functions. The two elements dissociate in solution.

The magnesium and sulfate in the salts are absorbed into the body through the skin. Because the sulfur is already in the sulfate form, it does not need to be converted like other forms of sulfur do. Sulfate is thought to circulate in the body up to about nine hours. Any Epsom salts left on the skin may continue to be absorbed as long as it is still on the skin, offering continuous ‘timed-released’ input into the bloodstream – like medications given through skin patches.

Studies show that magnesium is an electrolyte, helping to ensure proper muscle, nerve and enzyme function. Medical research also indicates that magnesium may reduce inflammation and relieves pain, making it a beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles.

Medical research indicates that sulphates are needed for the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Studies show that sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and help to detoxify the body's residue of medicines and environmental contaminants. Studies indicate that sulfates are difficult to absorb from food, but are readily absorbed through the skin.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Running 'can slow ageing process'

Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of ageing, a study by US researchers shows.

Running not only appeared to slow the rate of heart and artery related deaths, but was also associated with fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease, infections and other causes.

And there was no evidence that runners were more likely to suffer osteoarthritis or need total knee replacements than non-runners - something scientists have feared.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

End of the Seafair marathon

Good bye Seafair marathon :( Hello Rock and Roll Seattle ...

After this year's fiasco the organizers sold out the race. Thus ends my love-hate relationship with the marathon. I was looking to get even with the new course over the 520 bridge (sigh)... The new marathon course seems to start in Tukwila of all places :- One of the attractions of the Seafair course for me was that the start/finish used to be just 5 minutes from home. Now I can skip this marathon and recover properly/not get injured after my Spring marathons :) For starters I resisted the temptation to register at half the entry fee today.

I guess it might not be a bad thing for the marathon in the long run. The RNR organization might be able to generate some buzz. The race might have fewer glitches. I'm sure the entry fees will increase quite a bit. This will probably end-up being a destination TNT event. Only time will tell what will happen to our local summer marathon :)

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