Open the passage of health and imagination

20 May 2014

Some thoughts for my fellow fitness seekers.  For whoever it interests.  Or whomever.  For whoever uses whomever, this is for you.

Hey Peppi!
(That was my name in junior high because I was happy and hyper all the time.  And also because I stole all the pepperonis from the Tuesday lunch pizzas and ate all of them as my full meal.  The whole school just thought they were cheese.... So the name has stuck with me :) )

I am working on improving my health, and since you're the most amazing health conscious person I know, I thought I'd get a couple suggestions from you. So, below are my main questions about running and eating.
Thanks for being a great friend and inspiration to me!

Love, Kayd

Now for my Q&A!


-- What are your favorite songs to listen to when running?

The music I listen to is usually a hip-hop Pandora station.  I always run to hip-hop, it really gets my energy going.  And then I cool down to softer tunes.  Stations that make me go hard:  Jason Derulo, Im'ma Shine, Dark Horse.  The song "Jai Ho" is one of my favorites, and also "Latch" by Disclosure and "Set It Off" by Timomatic.  Cool Down Stations:  Laura Mvula, Zee Avi, Rosie Thomas.

-I seem to reach a point when running where I think I have to stop, and I know it's totally mental. I remember you saying something about that when you ran your marathon, but I can't remember what you said. How do you push yourself past that? 

Yes, the Brain Scream, because really our muscles can always go further, but it's the brain that gets wiped first because we get bored.  The only time the body really gives out is runs upward of 15 miles.

But back to the mental resistance - my best runs happen when I have a lot to think about.  In college I had great runs because of all the crushes I had on boys!  Haha!  And then I got real sad in my life, so I had even better runs!  But just day-to-day in the mundane of life, sometimes it's hard to keep the brain engaged.  I have a really overactive imagination, though, where I'm always imagining stories and scenarios in my head.  If someone recorded my daydreams while I ran, I could put Hollywood out of business.

Last week I made up this whole story about me stopping sex trafficking in Africa.  I was kidnapped, and I escaped by running stark naked through the desert for over a marathon distance, all the way to the US embassy.  Then they lifeflighted me back to the US, and I spent years and years researching sex trafficking and law, and then I went back to Africa undercover with the FBI, and I allowed myself to get kidnapped again, and then I busted out my karate and took down the whole trafficking chain.  A lot of my daydreams involve me knowing karate.  Or before I went to the Philippines, I had a daydream that while I was on the destroyed island, another rolling typhoon was approaching.  Everyone was running for cover through the wind and rain, and just as I was about to duck into the basement, like the one on Wizard of Oz, I could hear a baby crying in the distance.  So I ran off into the storm to save him.  Somehow we made it through the typhoon, while everyone else was wiped out, and I brought him home with me.  I was trying to adopt him, but then the US government tried to swipe him from me, so I went up in court against them, because I was really keen on law codes, and also karate, and I won the case.  Then I planned out how to restructure my entire life so that I could be a full-time, single working mom.

Or I make up stories about winning So You Think You Can Dance.  Or running so fast that I save people in fires, or win all the ultra-human races.  Basically everything making people jaw-dropped impressed.

Anyway, I've always had this extreme imagination, which has been a detriment my entire academic life, but in running, it's proven to be my greatest blessing because I can run for hours and hours in my own thoughts.  Running just gives me time to process and have as many delusions of grandeur as I please.

Boring thoughts equal boring runs.  But exciting thoughts.... exhaustive workout ;)

So try making a list of your passions and then make up best-case scenarios about them while you run. Imagine your life as best it can possibly be, chasing dreams you've always wanted, or living with extreme talent or knowledge, and build elaborate stories from there.  Then by the time you get home, you'll have stopped sex trafficking, adopted a foreign baby, and be crowned best dancer!  And then you'll be more courageous and daring in regular life.  100% guaranteed.  Running through imagination really opens your mind and awakens your senses, and it will drive you forward in your passions and pursuits, because you feel like you really can do it all!  And you can!

Also, watch this.

- Any tips for preventing blisters near the ball of your foot?

Good socks.  It's all about the socks on this one.  These socks are my absolute favorite!  For a good pair, it's about $10-$15.

- Tips for preventing knee pain and/or injuries? 

 Muscle strength.  Knee pain is the most common runner's injury, and it's because the muscles in the upper leg (quads, hamstrings, glutes) aren't strong enough to properly hold up the knee.  All runners must supplement their runs with lots and lots of lunges and squats.  I usually take one day a week to go hard in muscle work-out, and also I always run hills.  Actually I never map any running course without as many hills as I can, because that's the most self-sustaining way to be a good runner because you build up the muscles that you most need.  You can become trained faster with hill running than any other way.

As far as other injuries, stretching and full-body workouts.  Lots of stretching before and after all runs.  And then strengthening all muscles in the body.  I keep my abs super strong because it helps keep my body aligned, and if you run with your core tight, it takes the pressure off other joints, especially on downhill running.


- Do you have suggestions for quick, healthy, but still delicious meals? 

Oh, I'm all about this.  Except I admittedly eat the same things over and over, so I can't give you much on variety.  Every day for breakfast, I eat oatmeal with a spoonful of spirulina, a spoonful of hemp hearts, and topped with applesauce.  Or lots of eggs and spinach.  For lunch, tomato spinach and sprouts sandwich, or assorted vegetables with cottage cheese and soy beans.  For dinner, Salsa Chicken in a crockpot.  Or chicken on my George Foreman with kale and soy beans. I snack with nuts, oranges, bananas, and apples.

- Do you get almost unbearable food cravings? What is your strategy for resisting those suckers?

When mother nature is coming, sure do!  And dark chocolate is the answer.  But all other times, I avoid sugar.  Because if you even eat a little sugar, your body will crave it more and more.  But if you kick it out, your body stops wanting it, and you'll crave vegetables or protein instead.  Having phased in and out of sugar a few times, it takes about 2-3 weeks to kick the cravings, which sometimes got so strong I felt nauseous, but from there your cravings will be minimal and much more controllable.

The principle I always live by - strong body, strong mind.  More hills, less sugar, and HUGE imaginations!

Upward and onward,
First Image Source

1 comment :

  1. This makes me so excited to start exercising again. Thank you for sharing your healthy wisdom!!