Friday, September 28, 2012

Why (MOST) Women Shouldn't Run

So I've wondered this for a while after doing triathlons...... running is hard for me.  If I run too long and too fast, my hips and knees get tight and my body just doesn't like me!  Finally someone has answered why, it's not that I'm just physically unfit .... read article below.  This won't help me with my half-ironman training coming up but I will just have to realize I was made to sprint, not pound away long distances. So it will require some training and SLOWLY getting my body used to the long distance running.

UPDATE: There are ways to correct for your Q angle by strengthening your hips and butt, as well as do some "glute activation" mobility exercises before running.

By Michael Boyle

I really like Diane Lee's quote, "You can't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run." In fact, I've used it in numerous presentations and articles. It really resonates with me. Simple, to the point. I'm going to take the idea one step further. I'm not sure most women should run. When I say this in seminars, it really pisses off the female runners. Sorry, I'm not worried about you; I'm worried about all the other women. If you are a runner and healthy, read on, but realize that you are the exception, not the rule. I'm going to go from bad to worse.

Here's a riddle for you. 
Q- What do most female runners look like?
A- Male runners.Ever ask yourself why? 

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Women who run successfully for long periods of time were made to run. They look just like men runners. Good female runners generally do not look like plus-size models. It's not a question of cause and effect; it's a question of natural selection. You can't run to get that cute little runner's body. It's actually reversed. You have to have that cute little runner's body to survive running. 

"She has narrow hips and she has small breast"
Why do I say this? Two simple reasons. Anatomy and physics. My favorite two sciences. No matter how hard you try or how well you eat, you can't change your skeleton. The problem with most women and running comes down to something they call Q angle in sportsmedicine. I won't bore you with the details, but it boils down to this. Wider hips make for narrow knees. This angle of hip to knee creates problems. 

Problems are magnified based on the number of steps. The average person gets about 1500 foot strikes per mile. Do the math on your 5-mile run. Running produces forces in the area of two to five times bodyweight per foot contact. Do we need more math? Let's go back to our elite female runner. Look at her body. You will generally see two things. She has narrow hips and she has small breasts. I know, there may be exceptions, but at the elite level, I doubt it. 

The angle of knee to hip creates problems
One thought process would say, Great, my hips and breasts will decrease in size if I run. The other thought process is more logical. Women with larger breasts and wider hips don't make good runners. It is the same logic as why there are no large gymnasts or figure skaters. Physics. Big people rotate slower. Natural selection rules it out. 

So what happens when a "normal" woman begins to run? 

She becomes a statistic. She becomes a physical-therapy client as she tries to shovel you-know-what against the tide. Her wider knees cause her to develop foot problems or most likely knee problems. Her greater body weight causes greater ground reaction forces. Greater ground reaction forces stress muscle tissue and breast tissue. Get my drift yet? The end result is likely to be hurt and saggy instead of the cute and little. The bottom line: Running is not good for most females. If you want higher-intensity exercise, ride a stationary bike. Take a spin class, use a stairclimber, and don't run.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ostentatious Rich Folk - Biltmore Estate

So here we are folks to the main event of the weekend.... the big ass house on the hill.  Nothing like going to see the LARGEST privately owned home in the United States to make you feel slightly inadequate and inept in your life's earnings.


Now most people know a little bit about the Biltmore "Estate,"  it's a big freaking house, they have wine, there were some famous movies filmed there, it's a big freaking house.... But again you know all that.  So what did I find interesting, and what were a few things that stood out to me that might make this post actually worth reading?  I read a blog post that listed (ironic) that you aren't supposed to have lists in your blogs- well boo to that I'm a nerd engineer who happens to like lists so here's a list for all you Type A list junkies like me.  


In the 1880s George Washington Vanderbilt  decided to create his own summer estate in the area, which he called his "little mountain escape." 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms, and three kitchens = little mountain escape. 

 In my world of a small townhouse and a boyfriend  with a 900 square foot home good 'ol George's mountain escape could house my entire extended family comfortably, although it might drive my cleaning machine mother bonkers with that many Hicks running around dirtying 34 rooms...

The Vanderbilts’ kindness is legendary. Instead of listing off famous guests that visted the estate, the tour talks about Essie Smith, a servant. Smith was a teenager when she began working at Biltmore, and she was intimidated by its opulence. On her first day as a server, she walked into the house’s grand banquet hall and, startled by the vastness of the room, dropped the tray of monogrammed china she was carrying. Instead of getting upset it is told that he got down on his hands and knees and helped her pick up the shards before saying, "Come see me in the morning.”  The servant assumed she was going to be fired. Instead, she was promoted to chambermaid, so she wouldn't have to carry such heavy dishes. 

Okay so as you can see all the ostentatious decor that Vanderbuilt picked out himself (14 carat wallpaper people) BUT he was known as a kind person.  In today's world those that "have" tend to look down on the little guys especially when they mess up.  One thing I got from the tour was this story and also stories of the love between George and Edith.  I guess I would be pretty happy without much work to do and that much money to enjoy my life, but as we can see from today's socialites this is not always the case.  In fact the very opposite -- the more money you have the less long lasting love and happiness you seem to have.  

When Vanderbilt turned 21, McHenry (a friend and fellow Napolean fanatic) presented him with Napoleon’s chess set, which can be found on display in the Biltmore library or now in the new Biltmore Legacy display near the winery.  The chess set started Vanderbilt’s fascination with Napoleon, and according to the audio tour Napoleon thought he was being poisoned and ordered an autopsy to take place after his death to confirm or deny. After the autopsy the heart was placed on the table upon which the chess set rests. Napoleon had a high level of arsenic in his blood, the official result was listed as stomach cancer. The debate is still going on today as to whether Napoleon was or was not poisoned.

Conrad's favorite part from when he was a boy and today still! 

There's a few fun facts about the Biltmore.  Our tour took about 2 hours (the audio was definitely worth it) and we toured all around the gardens then hit up the winery for some wine tasting.  If you have the chance I would visit at least once to appreciate the stories and history for yourself.  You may find other parts more interesting than the gory story of a heart on a chess set.  
On tour with my nifty headphones learning about the Biltmore

End of a long day of touring the gardens and house.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to use Utensils for Dummies- Weekend Sidenote

Before I get into the rest of Adventures from the Asheville weekend...  An important sidenote for food!

I'm a girl, I like food, but even more than just food I LOVE breakfast foods. Case and point this old blogpost: Made with Love,  I probably have an unhealthy addiction to eggs, and could probably eat breakfast for dinner the majority of the week if C didn't roll his eyes and insist on real dinner food. But despite eye rolling I have managed to be lazy and eat hard boiled eggs a lot for dinner lately when I've been too lazy/tired from Forged Fitness to cook. Needless to say BREAKFAST at a Bed and Breakfast is what makes it or breaks it for me... and boy did they deliver.

Being a Bed and Breakfast virgin I wasn't really sure what to expect, and from the happy hour the night before I definitely was out of my element with all the cute antique whatchamacallits throughout the house.  Antique teapots, crystal utensil holders so you don't dirty the linens between courses, butter holder (this is probably not the correct name for it), tiny teacups and scone holders..... I felt like it was my first day of "Learn to be a Lady" Etiquette school.  All I can think is crap I JUST NOW learned how to properly use a fork and knife at the same time and not look like I am stabbing something with my awkward left hand.  C may disagree... Who knew I can athletically and for the most part gracefully play a large number of sports BUT make me cut steak and figure out how to get the steak from my plate to my mouth without awkwardly twisting my hand or switching hands is almost an awkward disaster.

So surrounded by Southern Frill here comes the food:

Saturday Morning:

  • Apple cinnamon muffins with four berry preserves - yum (no utensils required yay)
  • Baked plum with yogurt and granola 
  • Scrambled eggs with organic spinach and parmesean with homemade biscuits and gravy
Sunday Morning:
  • Scones of some type.  At this point I wasn't even listening to his description but knew it was going to be fantastic so I was more focused on it making it into my mouth.
  • Fresh fruit
  • Banana Foster Waffle with pecans and fresh whipped cream with real maple syrup and crispy bacon - (luv ya like a fat kid luvs cake)

Sidenote complete, I must be hungry...

The Adventures of G n' C - Asheville Edition

This past weekend me and C visited Asheville to make use of his work's VERY generous 2011 Christmas gift of a weekend at Black Walnut Inn Bed and Breakfast (left) and tickets to Biltmore House.  Now most people who have grown up in North Carolina do not consider going to the mountains and seeing the Biltmore an adventure.  It's pretty much a staple event in elementary school (back when it was allowed to go on school field trips)... you all pile in the bus and away you go to see this big house.  In elementary school we are more concerned about who we are sitting next to in the bus ride there than the history of the house and what it took to accomplish it SO needless to say I got a little more out of experiencing Asheville this time.

Now that I'm adult (in age only) the trip there is definitely NOT the exciting part although I am in awe that first time you turn the corner and see the mountains looming in the distance.  Sadly I didn't go to the mountains a lot growing up, my parents are/were teachers so school year was filled with school activities and in the summer we were always on the water, Rivah or Lake.  So even though  North Carolina mountain trips should have been a staple of my youth growing up, it wasn't and the mountains are still something new to me (good and sometimes bad).  Overall I loved the trip, but I have to be honest I hate freaking hilly winding roads.  After my wreck last year I think I've gone into ultra sensitive mode around cars so yea anywhere where it's necessary to have runaway truck ramps pretty much makes me have final destination flashes.  Yes yes overactive imagination... Sorry C, you are a very good driver and patient enough to deal with me cringing randomly in the passenger seat for the hour it takes to get down and up the mountain.

Not only is the drive an "adventure" for me... but we also made the most of the trip and crammed as much activities into the days as we could. (Well except for that first night where C decided vacation was an excuse to go into a coma.) First stop was Catawba Falls... although not the most famous falls in the Asheville area, it was on the way and broke up the drive a little bit on Friday.  This was my FIRST hiking to see a waterfall and the pups did great.  Gypsy is a straight mountain dog, if you can claim a 14 pound jack russell to be a mountain dog.  She claimed (peed) every mile of that trail there and back and led the way the entire time.  Who knows maybe she was a mountain dog prior to our rescue of her.  Leuca and I were not as graceful... screw the rock jumping let's just splash on through the water.

1.5 miles later we were there squishy shoes and all.... Pictures surrounding... Aren't our girls cute?  And of course C risked life and limb for a good shot of him balanced on the old damn over the river at one part of the trail.  (We really need to update that will of yours babe.)

My first waterfall - CHECK. Adventure #1 Complete. 

 From there we ate downtown for a super late lunch at Mayfel's that had some pretty delicious French donuts for an appetizer, checked into the Bed and Breakfast, let them stuff us with hor d'oeuvres (I hate spelling this word) and wine, stood in awe at the awesomeness of our room in the Carriage House, then C passed out for 13 hours while I watched Miss Congeniality and Salt, mixed in with trying to be annoying so he would come out of his coma (to no avail.)  I guess I can't blame him with a cute little dog snuggled in his neck (right). 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Live Aboard

There's quite a few topics I could write about since I've been slacking for a year like.... my ridiculous attempts to model  for AtomicCowlick (not to be confused with "attempt to be a model" I have no delusions of being a rail thin waif who can go more than 5 minutes without making an unattractive goofy face for the camera); my first triathlon (without training) after a year and a half hiatus; my new love in my life our doggy Gypsy (aptly named); or describing my slight panic attack at 65 feet underwater in Cozumel.  BUT I'll leave all those for another time.  Today I want to talk about the latest obsession that has spread from C's neighbors to C to me, despite my attempts to logically talk myself out of it.............. SAILING.

Oh and not JUST sailing LIVE ABOARD (not to be confused with live abroad), I'm referring to selling all your belongings, buying a 38-40+ foot catamaran and taking to the high seas to live, work (if you can figure out what to do), and use a thousand gallons of sunscreen a month.  When C first mentioned it I thought this obsession would pass, the benefit of dating someone with A.D.D. being they always keep you on your toes with their current main interest, but it didn't, and slowly I also grabbed onto the idea with my singular focus and spent at least a whole day researching boats, forwarding boats for sale, and contemplating if I could still be an Environmental Engineer in a boat?  I mean could I? All I need is the internet and phone to communicate and research.  Damn you C for spreading your obsession... I hear misery loves company so here are a few reads to make you understand what it's all about: BumFuzzle, Windtraveler, and LifeRemotely.

People have their animals, children, etc and sail all over the world, mostly stay where it's warm.  Everything is a good idea when you abstractly think about it, but could I really LIVE on a boat, spend every day in the sun  reading, working, travelling.... I'm pretty sure anyone who is asked that question would say hell yes sign me up.  But could you go through your stuff and sell everything?  90% of me thinks I could....... I'm not really attached to "stuff," I have a lot of "stuff"- a whole townhouse full in fact, but I don't use 99% of the things in my house that wouldn't be on a boat.  I work, go to the gym, and am only home maybe 25% of the week.  [yes I just threw out a whole slew of percentages-- it's how my math brain works bear with me]  I think the only hard part would be not having people around to communicate with besides C and the pups.  Don't judge I talk to and FOR the pups.... It's a completely endearing quality I possess where I imagine what any animal (even snail) is saying and have to say it outloud.

I guess the big picture questions can wait though as I try to remind C.  Let's get down to the details and steps:

  • Do you get seasick? This is probably an important thing to find out before you build a dream around living on a boat.  I've grown up on water, been skiing since age 5 but I hear the rolling water is completely different.
  • Can we sail a boat?  We took the first steps to figuring this out this past weekend.  Mr and Mrs Ishbrandtsen took us out on their AWESOME 45foot Hunter Monohull.  This was my first time on a BIG sailboat. Sorry little 14foot catamaran you aren't blue water capable.  It was definitely an awesome experience and gave us experience for what it would be like hours on the water.  Afterall it would take a month to 5 weeks just to get to Virginia to Florida so you better like being on a sailboat.  The only downside to a monohull is it rolls from side to side (heeling).  Try sleeping while the other person sails when you are rolling off the bed...  (Pictures from the experience throughout)
  • Sailing lessons-  this is in the works for next year probably.
  • Chartering a Catamaran in the British Virgin Islands-  This is my number 1 interest at the moment.  You can charter a boat for a week with a captain and co-captain and can sail as much or little as you want with them! 
So that is our latest obsession... in the works for 2018.  Good 'ol 5 year plan as soon as C raises the moola to buy a boat. :)  That's all for now...... leave a comment for what you would like me to write about next, as it's hard to narrow down all the experiences I've had lately!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whhaaaaaat's been going on...

Well hello! I know it has been over a year since I have written anything on here... That seems the be the way things go with me in general- I can't do anything half ass.  It's either hey I'm going to be a blogger or I get a feeling of guilt for never writing or having the time to write so I just make the whole thing private and don't write at all.  Don't worry it's not just you (my followers) it happens with any variety of my hobbies and interests- prime example triathlons.  Burn out happened a little over 1.5 years ago so my poor little, and by little I mean little it is an XS bike (sigh for the vertically challenged), has sat in the bf's garage collecting dust and even a black snake or two who thought it's twisty turvy handle was a new mate.

So what's been going on, what's changed, where is my mind at nowadays......... There's so much that will make multiple posts but in general been on many new adventures, gotten some addicting new interests, and just been having fun with my partner in crime, my bf!  Anyways welcome back to the randomness and enjoy the show.