Month: October 2012

Effect of a Vegan Diet on Cholesterol

I have been eating vegan for over two months and I was very curious what kind of effect it has had on my cholesterol.  Since I have been getting a fair amount of blood drawn due to my recent stomach issues I asked them to throw in a cholesterol test as well.  Below are the results…

Pretty cool!

Soy beans to blame?

I have been having some tummy issues fort he last couple of weeks and I am still trying to figure out the cause.  Late last week I thought we may have figured it out and the culprit was a parasite (still awaiting test results; samples submitted).  But after further evaluation of when my issues arise, I think it may be due to a soy intolerance.  The worst three “attacks” I have had have all occurred about 90-120 minutes after eating a fair amount of soy (tempeh or tofu in every case).  I have been eating vegan for the last two months so if I can’t eat soy this might get tough.  The plan right now is to make my diet plain and boring and start re-introducing foods back in to see what might be upsetting my stomach.  I have had no soy (except for the filler stuff in food) and I have not had a tummy ache since Sunday night.  Hopefully this is it.

I have to do what?!?!

I have had a tummy ache for the last two weeks.  It comes and goes.  At times it is so bad it has me doubled over in pain and other times I am totally fine.  I finally got fed-up and went to the doctor yesterday expecting them to say it is nothing.  They ran a barrage of tests, blood, urine, and x-rays.  I expected nothing to come back odd so it was a little bit of a shock when my blood results were a little off.  You have  type white blood cell called an eosinophil.  A normal count is 0-5% but optimal is 2.5% for an adult.  I was a little shocked to see mine was 19.1%.  The doctor said anything over 20% is really high so I am essentially really high.  Eosinophilia can be to due to many different things but there two main causes; asthma (which I don’t have), and a parasite.  EWWWWW!!!!!!!!  I left the office with what you see below so I can “check” for parasites… #FML

Off to the local running store

DNA Fitting System

Yesterday I wrote about how my running feels off.  So today I did something proactive about it and went to the local running store.  I have been shopping at a large chain running store for the last couple years because I knew what I wanted and didn’t really need much help.  I haven’t really trusted the help you get at a big chain store when it comes to running shoes, which is why today I went to our local independent running store, Future Track.  I was very happy to walk in and have someone available to help me right away and they did a very thorough analysis of my needs(called their DNA fitting).  They watched me stand, walk, and run on the treadmill barefoot.  Then after discussing what shoes I have run in over the years they brought out a few pairs of shoes and had me run in each of them.  By the end of it I ended up getting two pairs of shoes (I am gonna try rotating shoes during the week).  I got the Asics GT-2000 (stability shoe for longer training runs) and the Adidas adizero tempo 5 (lighter weight stability shoe for track work).

I am happy with my choice to go to a local shop.  I feel the attention and service I got GREATLY surpassed what I experience at the larger chain store.  And I am pretty sure I didn’t pay much more for my shoes (I get 10% off because I do my track workouts with them). I feel like this is the right way to remedy the problem I am having.  I really tried to run in the Newtons but they are not for everyone. Hopefully you will see a post in three weeks saying all my lower leg problems have gone away… cross your fingers!

I just want to run

Could these be the solution?

As my miles start to creep up as I train for a half marathon and eventually the Boston marathon my confidence is being shaken.  I am having pain in a new place. And I don’t know what to do.  A year ago I could run all I wanted and nothing hurt. I am not sure what is triggering this.  But I have a list of possible suspects and the possible solutions.

  1. IT band again (don’t really think it is ), but the solution of stretching, foam rolling, and hip/glute strengthening exercises would help regardless.
  2. Shoe issue.   I ran for YEARS in plain old stability shoes (Asics mostly) and NEVER had a problem.  I have been trying to fix my heal striking and therefore have been running in more minimal shoes and right now I run in Newtons.  Maybe I am just such a heavy striker that I can’t make the switch.  The possible solution is different shoes and for this weekends run I am gonna bust out my moon boots (Hoka’s).  They are not the sexiest looking shoes but I don’t really care anymore.
  3. Increase in track work may be tougher on me than I thought.  I have recently started doing organized track workouts and I LOVE them!  Running with a group really pushes me to run faster than when I do them on my own.  The running on a track may be too repetitive.  Solution, mix it up with trails.  This is tough because of my schedule constraints but I just may have to make it happen.

Hopefully I can figure it out soon.  I want so badly to have a strong Boston as well as a strong Challenge Penticton next summer.  But all I really want is to run…

Monday Motivation

As the weather turns colder (for some of us) and there are fewer races on our calendars it gets easy to get a little bit lazy.  Maybe you just came off a big year where you had a bunch of huge races and you are enjoying your downtime a little more than you should.  Whatever the reason, this seems to be a time of the year (for me at least) where I have trouble finding the motivation to stick to a training plan.  So Barb (aka Kelownagurl) were commiserating how we both need a swift kick in the pants to get motivated.  So we have decided to be motivation buddies!  We are defining some goals and plan on getting our butts back in shape!  So look for our tweets with our motivating hashtags as we try to lose a few pounds and improve our fitness levels as we go through the winter months.

You can follow Barb on Twitter at @kelownagurl and I am @Tri BeccaTO (not Toronto).

And remember, Barb and Becca are pretty good…for their age!





So Saturday afternoon I set out for a 50 mile ride.  It was a picture perfect day – a “chamber of commerce” day, so to speak.  Mid 80’s.  Sunny.  Not too windy.  Humidity not too bad.  Generally a perfect day for a long bike ride.

Until the good ride was interrupted by a heart-stopping, shake me to my core experience.

I was out on one of my favorite roads, down in my aero bars.  Really cranking it, if you know what I mean.  Sometimes when I’m in my aero bars, I have a habit of not really looking that far down the road – especially if I know the road I’m on.  This was the case on Saturday.  I had my head down and was thinking about God knows what.

When all of the sudden, a car blew by me – close enough to make me look up at it. …

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RAD 10K Race Report

This year has been an interesting year.  When the year started I had some really high hopes and plans.  2011 was an amazing year for me racing wise.  I had two pretty successful 70.3 triathlons, I qualified for Boston, I won my age group in a marathon, and I completed my first Ultra. 2012 has been tough to say the least. Personally there has been a lot of change but race wise it has been very disappointing.  In January I started having IT band issues and then the first weekend in February I crashed my bike during training for the St. George Ironman.  Those two issues had me showing up on May 5th to do my first Ironman not in the best shape of my life.  I finished, but just barely.

This may sound like a lot of back story for a 10K race report but it is important to me. I feel like a failure this year which may sound absurd to you but it is how I honestly feel.  This 10K was the first running race I had trained specifically for.  I have never trained for a 10K but this one was significant because it is my entry back into running.  I want to be a good runner.  I want to be a (relatively) fast runner.  This race was my first entry back into structured running training and I am committed to get faster.  I used the FIRST training program and followed as best I can. I will admit I wasn’t great about following my plan like some people I know.  But I did all I could.  Anyway, enough excuses, how did it go….

I was lucky enough to get Quadrathon to pace me for the race and help me achieve my goal of a sub 50:00 10K. We parked near the finish and then ran a little over a mile to the start to find that the 10 miler that started before the 10K hadn’t started yet.  There was a potty emergency so they started the race late.  Which meant the 10K started late as well.  The course was very rolly but mostly downhill.  We tried to keep the pace consistent and the first three miles went by without incidence. The next three got a little bit tougher.  I did my best to just keep the pace up the hills and floor it down the hills.  The last 0.20 was  the hardest.  I ran as fast as I could (6:51 pace which is good for me!).  I really thought I might earn a pukey award!

When all was said and done I ran a 49:21, got 5/60 for my AG, and 8/268 for the women.  Not too shabby!  The best part of the day (besides having the best pacer money apple pie can buy) was meeting Lisa. She also got into the Boston Marathon and lives not too far from me so I am super excited for a long run partner!

From here I start training for the 13.1 Los Angeles half marathon January 13th and hopefully all will go well and I might get the PR I am looking for in Boston.  Regardless I am excited to focus on my running for the next couple months.  I really miss it.

September 2012 Training Summary – (return to accountability)

I have been neglecting to give monthly summaries of my training ever since I completed my Ironman in May.  Honestly, since then my training has been very disorganized.  I have some goals but I have not been true to any sort of training plan.  Life has been a little bit more unpredictable and finding time has been tough.  So with the excuses out of the way lets see what I did and what I want to do next month.

Swim – 5 miles / 2:38

Bike – 189 miles / 14:16

Run – 72 miles / 11:46

Total – 267 miles / 31:30

This month was mainly focused on training for the RAD 10K that is October 6.  I did do a decent job with the interval workouts but I didn’t do great on my long runs due to starting too late in the day and having to battle the heat.  I do not expect to PR at this 10K next weekend and just really hope to have a consistent race and not die the last mile or two.

After the 10K I plan on starting half marathon training for the 13.1 Los Angeles race in January.  After the half I start training for the Boston Marathon (which I am registered for!!!).  My goal for Boston is to PR and hopefully run sub 3:30.  I am far from that pace right now so I have 5 months to get there.  Not sure if I can but I am going to try.  I am highly motivated to get back to the good running I was doing a year ago.  I did it once; I can do it again!

I have also sketched out my 2013 race pans already!  Just need to fine tune it with my family and friends, but you can see what it looks like here.

I don’t say it enough but I really appreciate all the feedback and comments I get here and in my other online circles.  Telling you all my goals helps make me more accountable to achieve them.