Thursday, April 30, 2009

Almost Water

I am on my third day of the AquaHydrate Challenge, which calls for drinking at least two liters of this water-like product for six days, and avoiding any other water. I exist in a permanent state of dehydration; I just don't enjoy drinking water until I am totally depleted. This obviously doesn't help my performance at endurance sports. So it made sense to try and commit to this challenge to see if I could force myself to drink and see the effects.

AquaHydrate claims to absorb better than regular water and leaves you feeling less bloated (and I am a bloater). I went for my first run this morning since starting the challenge and I felt much better than usual and I ran about two minutes faster than normal. I did just break out a new pair of Asics 2130s (that are black no less) but still. I felt much more energetic and smooth. Not sure if it was the AquaHydrate but I am going 10 on Saturday so we shall see. Assuming I keep chugging the two liters.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I keep saying I am going to start integrating CrossFit into my workouts but I haven't done it. Probably the main reason is that the most basic workout, Angie, intimidates the crap out of me. The workout is complete 100 pullups, then 100 pushups, then 100 situps and finally 100 wall squats. Other than the pullups, I am not to scared but the first 100 has me thoroughly intimidated.

Going to failure in any exercise is the epitome of pain and loss, and I am not a fan of either neighborhood. But to prove I am not getting old, I need to do it. So I am going baby steps - I just did Angie in 17 minutes 44 seconds, albeit only doing 50 pullups. It of course hurt but now I don't feel a day over 41.

Next weekend I go 70 pullups.
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Zensah Compressions

I usually arrive late to the gadget and gear party, if I come at all. Took me years to realize that 100% cotton shirts weren't necessarily the way to go and Dry Fit shirts mattered, and I still haven't embraced heart rate monitors. So when confronted with the new craze of compression socks I didn't even think about it. They looked like work socks meet the 1970's tube monstrosities. Why would this look be a good thing? It didn't make sense and I had no desire to look ridiculous.

Then I had the chance to test out a pair of Zensah compression socks. I had never heard of this performance sports apparel company until they reached out to me on Twitter (see, incessantly twittering about my daily 8 mile run and Lance's latest training ride has its benefits) to see if I would be interested in testing them. Free clothes? Sounded like an offer on which I don't usually pass.

The basic thrust of the compression sock is that, due to its tight fit, it increases oxygen blood flow which can improve performance. Sounds like a good value proposition, which might possibly overcome the ridiculous sight of me in long shorts and high socks, just revealing my hot knees.

So, two days after the black beauties arrived, I took them for a test run on the treadmill last night. And I give them a big thumbs up so far. I did a typical 7 mile run at 7:45-7:50 pace. Nothing too earth shattering. I didn't feel like I was floating; the run was not effortless or appreciably easier than my usual slogs.

But I did notice something that I also noticed when I took PureSport. At the usual point in my runs when I start to feel fatigued and it becomes actual work to maintain consistent pace, I didn't feel the drop in energy. I felt like I could have kept going for longer and when I eventually stopped after 54 minutes, 45 seconds, I felt much better than I normally do. This feeling kind if snuck up on me; it wasn't like I ever had this moment of euphoria when I realized how good I felt. It was more like the Zensah socks prevented me from spiraling downwards. They company also makes compression shirts, arm sleeves and shorts so I wonder if the effect of being totally enclosed in compression garments is an order of magnitude improvement over running naked. Definite test required.

I realize that these feelings could have been psychosomatic; I was hoping to notice some effect, I ran in the afternoon and inside rather than my usual morning outdoor run and it always feels good to wear something new. That being said, I am pretty pumped up to test them out my morning 8 miler tomorrow; the dilemma becomes do I ever wash these babies or just wear them everyday until I pass out from asphyxiation.