Birthdays Are a Good Time to Renew Your Resolutions and I’m Reducing My Refined Sugar Intake

refined sugar

Yesterday was my birthday. I ran, gave ChiRunning® lessons, went out for lunch, received some cool gifts. It was special and low key, just the way I wanted it.

I finished the day by going out to one of my favorite restaurants with a few friends. It was a night of indulgence. Great food, some wine, dessert and I finished it off with a cappuccino. I don’t drink a lot of caffeinated drinks and they usually don’t keep me up. When I got home I was exhausted. I went straight to sleep.

Around 12:30 AM I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. The caffeine was working now. So I got on my computer and started reading an ebook on natural and barefoot running.

I was reading the section running injuries, specifically about Plantar Fasciitis which I have had a lot of runners asking me about lately. I can relate, I had it and it took a while to finally heal. I tried everything and I don’t have a great answer on how to heal it without trying everything. So, I started searching Plantar Fasciitis articles.

There are many methods and lots of interesting information. I’ve read most of it before but then I read an article on nutrition and Plantar Fasciitis. I started searching more on nutrition. This wasn’t new information either but it seemed the universe directed to these articles and it was time to reevaluate my nutrition.

As I read these articles one thing kept popping up as an inhibitor to healing and top performance, Refined Sugar.

I am addicted to refined sugar! There I said it.

I mean, I can’t imagine a day without cookies, ice cream, chocolate, tasty blended drinks…sugar. And, that doesn’t even include the foods I eat that are not “Sweets” that are made with refined sugar. I crave sugar, especially at night.

Waking up last night seemed to be a real “Wake up call.” I need to reduce my refined sugar intake and see how I feel.

I am also going to focus on increasing my intake of anti-inflammatory foods. Foods high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Foods high in Probiotics, more green vegetables, more juicing and more water. I’ll also be using some supplements to help my diet.

As an athlete and coach, I am always learning about improving performance. The training seems to be the easy part for me. Nutrition has been the difficult piece of the puzzle. Cleaner fuel has to improve performance. It’s time to make some different decisions.

To be honest, I’m not completely cutting out all refined sugar, but I am going for a major cut-back.

Today, the day after my birthday, is going to be like the day after New Year’s Day. It’s time to work on this new resolutions and renew my old ones. It’s time to refocus and “Begin Again” as my coach, Steve Ilg like to say. I am going to write down my goals and begin again. Let’s see what happens. I will keep you updated along this journey.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Endurance Athlete

Boston Marathon Bombing – Our Family, Friends and Volunteers Were Attacked

As many of you probably are, I am watching the news, reading blogs, checking Facebok, talking to my friends (especially runners) about what happened yesterday. I am totally bummed out. I feel a hole inside me and deep sorrow for the victims, their family and friends.

As a runner, I am pissed off that some a-hole could do this, let alone on a day I look forward to every year even though I haven’t even qualified for Boston yet. Running Boston is still my goal and dream.

As a runner, I know what runners go through. All the training, time, dedication, pain, joy and sense of accomplishment.

But what happened yesterday isn’t as much about us, as it is about our family, friends and the volunteers that make our races and the experience special.

The majority of victims were spectators. Our family members, friends and volunteers. These are the people that emotionally support us when we might doubt ourselves, watch our kids while we go for long training runs, help us if we get injured, set up the course, work at aid-stations, cheer us on, put the medals around our necks and give us those meaningful hugs at the end of the race.

I am always so thankful for the volunteers, family and

friends that do all of this for us. Now, they were attacked and I don’t know what to do except pray for them and their families. This is where I am emotionally ripped up inside.

As a runner, I am thankful for the volunteers quick reaction and selflessness once the bombs exploded. The way everyone worked together and the city of Boston’s handling of this terrible situation.

As a runner, from this moment on, I will take extra time to thank the volunteers, be more courteous to everyone helping with any race I enter. I will go out of my way to thank my family members and friends that support my training and everything that takes to get me to my race. I will smile at that person on the side of the road cheering me on. I will high-five that hand extended out as I run by. I will volunteer at an upcoming race and dedicate my efforts to yesterdays victims.

As a runner, with all this in mind. I will keep running.

Stay Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach, Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs