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highlights from this past week

Posted by pavni Feb 28, 2008

this past week of training has been tons of fun! after our speed training workout last wednesday, we had our 60 minute cut back run on saturday morning followed by our Team Brunch at J&R's house! There were probably about 4 inches of snow all over the trails saturday morning so our run was more of a march than a run since we kept sinking into the powder. when we crossed the street to go over to the other half of the trail we felt the difference in resistance under our feet over the asphalt vs. the snow and enjoyed that 10 second stretch! i was soaked afterwards since i think i was working twice as hard just to keep myself balanced and stable, but it was worth it and jayme and i felt like we'd accomplished something when we were done. it was so nice to see so many people being active so early in the morning!  


It was so much fun to have brunch with the spring and summer teams and j&r have a beautiful home! I will be sure to post photos from the adventure soon (see below!). After brunch, my parents came to visit!! Hooray! It was so nice to have them over for a few days and we had a ton of fun.




last night we had speed workout #2 at the armory and it was 24 laps instead of last week's 12 without recovery laps in between our increasing intervals. since we were working out indoors i decided to wear shorts and felt so funny since i am so used to weraing probably 4-5 layers of clothing everytime i run... it was a nice change and needless to say, i was exhausted afterwards! it was really fun to push myself (speed wise) the entire time, and i think that i am truly appreciative of the last four 50% jogging laps since that's my standard pace.




i can either rest today or get in my half hour workout (that's supposed to be friday's workout) in order to avoid the rain/snow that's supposed to show up. we've got sunshine and warmth today and my muscles truly love it. 




saturday's our 14 miler!!! i am pretty excited and hope that i will be able to finish strong. 




also, this week is unofficial st. patrick's day at the U of I, so i am hoping to fundraise out on the quad for TNT! maybe i'll bake or sell pizza slices... either way, i hope i can increase my fundraising skills and get some contributions towards my goal. hooray for saturday! 









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speed training at the armory

Posted by pavni Feb 21, 2008


yesterday evening we had our first speed training workout at the armory to get used to running at 70,75,80,85 and 100% of our top speed. the first few laps i was getting used to the indoor 1/8th of a mile track and was observing how pretty the armory building is from the inside.




We did two laps to warm up, and then a lap at 70%, another one or two to recover, then a lap at 75%, another one or two to recover, a lap at 80-85%, recover, and then a lap as fast as we could go. as coach D said, most of the time when you're doing the long distance runs you can stop and have a conversation whenever you feel like it... however, after speed training (if done correctly) it should take you a while to get your normal breathing pattern back. she was right! after the 85% and the full-out lap, it took me about half a lap or so to get back to being able to make coherent sentences. my lungs really enjoyed it, however!



j&r, our mentors, came to support us and run with us during the workout. also, members from the summer team joined us. our winter team is pretty small, so it's nice to have a larger group to train with.



our run on saturday is a timed one, and afterwards we have our team b'fast! hooray! next week... i look forward to 14 miles!



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step-back week

Posted by pavni Feb 18, 2008


a great quote passed on by coach D:




"Wellness is the key to a long and healthy life. Many people have the wrong perception of it. Wellness is from the neck up, and fitness from the neck down. Too many people work out every day, but go around with the worst attitudes, which just wastes all their physical efforts." Reader's comment sent in to Bob Welch, columnist for The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon (2/5/04)



this week is our step back week meaning that we're doing a timed run instead of a distance run on saturday. also, we'll be having our second team b'fast post-run, hooray!



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twelve miles at lake of the woods

Posted by pavni Feb 16, 2008


yesterday evening, as with most friday evenings since the beginning of the year, i got my pre-run jitters. they always show up a few hours before i am getting ready for bed and then i can't sleep well, i get fidgety, i keep checking my cell phone to see what time it is... i guess i just get anxious.



i wasn't sure if i was going to run at lake of the woods or not because our coach wasn't going to make it, my running partner (the wonderful jme) was at a horse clinic for animal sciences... and i didn't know if i could do this on my own, if i should wait til sunday, or if it would be too cold and i should just run inside. 



however, when i got up this morning, all of my anxiety faded and i was ready for action. after downing some peach yogurt (not as tasty as it is in the afternoon when you're eating it at 6:30am for some reason), i got dressed in as many layers as possible and drove over to L.of the W. there i met up with the summer team training for the SD marathon (woohoo!) and one other member of our team who is doing the nashville half. i realized that i was going to be the only one doing the full twelve miles today, and for some reason it was kinda peaceful. i didn't feel rushed at all and j&r (our TNT mentors) were so enthusiastic and motivational, that i was ready to go once i pulled into the small parking lot by our start line.  the summer team was doing a 50 minute run, so they came and went, and my nashville teammate finished her six miles and went home, and j&r were still there... waiting for me to finish. my ipod's battery died around mile 8 and so would keep singing in my head or be making up conversations for the animals that were in the beautiful wildlife around me. it was truly a beautiful morning. we had great weather, it was nice and sunny, and even though chilly- the breeze felt really good. after a solid 2 hours and 20 minutes, i was done and hugged the yellow pole mile-marker. twelve miles. sigh. it felt so good.



j&r were so great to wait the entire time for me to be finished. they were so supportive and i am so blessed to have such great mentors. 



once i came home i decided that i should celebrate, so i ran myself a bath and popped in one of my christmas presents of a lush bath bomb. my avobath ( bathbomb made the entire bath a tint of green with pieces of confetti stringing out into the water. it was truly a party in the tub. all of my muscles appreciated the smells and warmth and i am pretty sure i fell asleep in there for about ten to fifteen minutes cause the next thing i knew, i woke up and my fingers were pruny.



s. made a wonderful breakfast of strawberry banana smoothies, grilled cheese of rye bread and sharp cheddar and gimmelean sausage which we ate while watching russel peters on jay leno (from yesterday). i felt rejuvenated and now am ready for the rest of the day!  hooray for twelve miles. that would be like running from my house in cali to the westlake promenade and back. woohoo! :o)



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great crosstraining advice

Posted by pavni Feb 15, 2008


ankur passed this on and it's pretty awesome:








|][See all Crosstrain articles|]





var ol_delay = 250;


Quick Tips—Running

By Lauren Reynolds




  1. Warming up before running
         helps prevents injury and encourages better cardio conditioning. Ten
         minutes of walking or light calisthenics will warm up your muscles (and
         your heart). Avoid stretching cold muscles as it's easy to overstretch
         them. Save the stretching for your post-run routine (see #14 below). 

  2. Running too fast, too soon
         often results in injury and puts beginning runners on the sidelines.
         You can tell if you're going too fast by having a conversation with
         your running partner (or talking aloud to yourself). If you can't talk
         comfortably or easily complete a sentence, slow down! 

  3. Shin splints
         are often caused by the forceful impact of heel strike. The best way to
         avoid injury during your stride is to try to land midfoot. This lessens
         the overall impact on your joints and reduces the time your foot
         touches the ground, which helps increase your speed and efficiency. If
         you land heel first or overstride, your foot acts as a brake and
         actually slows you down. 

  4. To 
    build endurance,
         first and foremost listen to your body. Do not add mileage if you're
         still fatigued from previous runs or your starting heart rate is above
         its normal resting rate. You can increase your mileage up to 10%
         weekly, but this really depends on your weekly mileage to begin with.
         Also, be sure to schedule a comparatively light week every fourth week
         to help avoid overuse injuries. 

  5. Running hills
         will improve your overall strength. It will also increase your speed,
         since the motion of climbing hills mimics the high leg lifts of

  6. To develop 
    strength and 
         alternate intervals of sprinting with recovery periods at your normal
         training pace. Just be sure to warm up beforehand and cool down
         afterwards to allow your muscles to return to normal functioning. 

  7. Remember to 
         sufficiently before, during and after running, even in cold weather.
         Your body still loses water through perspiration even though you may
         not feel like you're sweating or even thirsty. Don't overdo it, though,
         as overhydration can be as dangerous as too little water. 

  8. In 
    hot weather,
         it's best to wear lightweight, UPF-rated garments, which will breathe
         and protect you from sunlight. A cap with good ventilation or mesh and
         a brim to keep sun off your face is good, as is a generous dollop of
         sunscreen for exposed skin. 

  9. For 
    nighttime running,
         a safety light worn on a belt or armband offers good visibility to
         drivers. Models are available in clear or red light, and some feature a
         flashing beacon option. 

  10. If you get injured while running, make sure you get adequate rest before you go back to your training schedule. 
    RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is the first line of defense for pulled muscles, strains and sprains. 
    Rest to prevent further injury, 
    ice to slow swelling or bleeding, 
    compression from an elastic bandage to immobilize a joint and/or further reduce swelling, and 
    elevation to prevent fluid buildup in the tissues. 

  11. On 
    race day,
         it's best to eat a light meal, high in carbohydrates so you'll have
         plenty of quick energy. You can get your carbs from energy bars,
         bananas, bagels or even pasta or rice. Sports drinks are also a good
         source of carbohydrates and will make sure you're well hydrated. 

  12. Cross-training
         is an excellent way to work different muscle groups, prevent workout
         boredom and overuse injuries. Cycling, stair climbing, cross-country
         skiing and aerobic dance are all great ways to cross-train for running.
         Weight training also adds the core strength you need to maintain proper
         running form when fatigued. 

  13. Wear the right running shoes. If you have low arches and tend to pronate
         (have excessive inward foot movement), a straight lasted shoe is
         usually a good choice. Curved lasted shoes with cushioning are best if
         you have high arches and tend to supinate (have excessive outward foot motion). See our Expert Advice article on running shoes for details.

  14. Stretching
         after running is a good idea. This moves lactic acid out of your
         muscles as well as stretch some of the complementary muscle groups that
         aren't used as much during running.






See all Crosstrain articles



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cinnamon: doctor's orders

Posted by pavni Feb 14, 2008


i went to get a physical, as i do every year, but this time i wanted to see if training was effecting my overall well-being in measurable terms... basically, i wanted to quantify the change, and if that's incredibly nerdy of me... well, it probably is.



anyhow, what the doctor ordered was that i need to take a quarter tsp. of cinnamon everyday. that was it. he said it would help maintain a steady state level of blood glucose all day... hmm.



i decided to google his advice and many articles came up: "Cinnamon: Help for  Insulin Resistance and Weight loss" (,"Cinnamon spice produces healthier blood" (, and one of the most informative: 


What is the Scientific Evidence for Cinnamon's Health Benefits?


Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.



One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care.

Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in

pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a

teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.



After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood

glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7

to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.



For more information about cinnamon and diabetes, read Is Cinnamon a Proven Diabetes Remedy?



Preliminary lab and animal studies have found that cinnamon may

have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It's active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections and thrush, and Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.






i had no idea that cinnamon was "prescribable" and will try it out to see if it does anything!



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the miraculous chocolate milk

Posted by pavni Feb 12, 2008


everyone's been talking about chocolate milk!! r.b., our postdoc, told me today that when coaching hockey, he had his team drink chocolate milk post workouts. he mentioned the carbohydrate to protein ratio being really great to restore your body after a strenuous workout. i think ankur had also mentioned chocolate milk as his favorite post-run. also, when we went to our first group brunch, many people there were drinking chocolate milk and coach dolores said it was her favorite...



i started doing some research and here's a paper from Feb. 27, 2006 — "Chocolate milk is an effective postexercise drink

that improves recovery, according to the results of a small, randomized

trial reported in the February issue of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.




study indicates that chocolate milk is a strong alternative to other

commercial sports drinks in helping athletes recover from strenuous,

energy-depleting exercise," coauthor Joel M. Stager, PhD, from Indiana

University in Bloomington, said in a news release. "Chocolate milk

contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is critical

for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can

enable athletes to exercise at a high intensity during subsequent

workouts." "



It's amazing that it's published! i did a pubmed search of "chocolate milk" and 385 hits came up! it is truly amazing.



the details of the study are as follows:


Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid.

<!AuthorList>[Karp JR|], Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, Stager JM.



Dept of Kinesiology and Applied Health Science, Human Performance Laboratory, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405, USA.




male, endurance-trained cyclists performed an interval workout followed

by 4 h of recovery, and a subsequent endurance trial to exhaustion at

70% VO2max, on three separate days. Immediately following the first

exercise bout and 2 h of recovery, subjects drank isovolumic amounts of

chocolate milk, fluid replacement drink (FR), or carbohydrate

replacement drink (CR), in a single-blind, randomized design.

Carbohydrate content was equivalent for chocolate milk and CR. Time to

exhaustion (TTE), average heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion

(RPE), and total work (WT) for the endurance exercise were compared

between trials. TTE and WT were significantly greater for chocolate

milk and FR trials compared to CR trial. The results of this study

suggest that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between two

exhausting exercise bouts.



PMID: 16676705 - indexed for MEDLINE









    • i guess i better get a move on and try chocolate milk after our 12 miler on saturday! woohoo! 









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double digits- 10 miles!

Posted by pavni Feb 9, 2008


  this whole week i have been thinking about saturday morning... ten miles?! who runs ten miles... i guess a lot of people do, but people like me? i have never even thought about running ten miles! i was nervous, anxious, and overall really excited for this morning. i have turned into a bit of a homebody because the night before we run i make sure i am in bed latest by 11, which doesn't really help me to be social at all, but i think that the saturday morning endorphin high after we're done is worth sacrificing my extra half hour of being out on friday nights. 


this morning, i got up early to get some food in my stomach before showering and getting dressed for the "it's-34-degrees-outside-but-feels-like-23" weather and headed over to lake of the woods for our first double digit run! lake of the woods ( has many different trails and walking paths. we followed a "Y" shape (as our coach called it) and it took us roughly 2 hours to finish our distance... we got a little bit turned around a few times, and went over the bridge about 6 times (ha!), but it was the last 2-tenth's of a mile that pushed our lungs beyond normal capacity.












jayme and i made a sign saying "we did 10 miles!" and held it up in victory! 



when i came home, samit had made me a coffee-bundt-cake! YUM! it was amazing and had walnuts and streudel inside... yum!






what a great morning! (the above picture is me post-shower and post-meal!) i ate a big brunch (courtesy of the chef shah), some cake, took a ten minute nap, and am feeling the soreness that kicked in about 20 minutes post-finishing the run. one of the weirdest feelings was that i was so cold after i stopped running. it just hits you really fast that it's 20 something degrees outside and you're no longer in motion... whoosh. goosebumps. aside from the sudden cold, and the salt streaks that i have been getting on top of my eyebrows (i guess i sweat and it sticks in the wind...yummy!), it was a wonderful post-run experience. hooray. 



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from ""

Posted by pavni Feb 5, 2008

while checking out: ... i came across the following article! 


Marathon Miracle Also Works for Glamorous Shoes



I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) around the perimeter of Key West

last weekend. Katie Holmes-style, I gave myself four weeks to train (I

needed a New Year's resolution and an excuse to spend a few days

somewhere warm in the middle of winter).



The first two weeks were no problem: not terribly intense compared

to my regular runs. But as I started to increase my mileage, I started

getting blisters.



Looking for a solution before the big race, I pored over back issues of Runner's World. In just about every one, a writer recommends Body Glide—which I'm sure is great, but I just can't get past the name.



The more straightforward-sounding Blister Block (made by Band-Aid),

however, caught my eye: It's a chubby stick that feels like silky wax

and smells sort of like baby shampoo. I slathered it all over my feet,

concentrating on my big toes and heels, before I put on my socks—and I

didn't get a single blister.



And Blister Block is not just for running: I now can't wear my

semi-uncomfortable-but-amazing-looking Kors boots without it. —Dawn

Spinner, associate beauty editor




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my TNT Tide commercial

Posted by pavni Feb 5, 2008
483 Views 1 Comments Permalink


the weather the past few days has been incredibly odd. it's warmer than it has been in quite some time but you can't see anything since all of champaign-urbana is under this white blanket of fog. it's unlike anything i have ever seen and it makes the entire neighborhood look completely mystical. nothing looks quite the same and you can't remember if you are walking the right way since all of the visual cues and markers that i usually use are hidden by mist.  



yesterday, in my attempt to run outside, i couldn't see farther than maybe 5-10 feet in front of me... i aimed to stay on the sidewalks, but the snow that was previously residing there has now turned into a grayish-brown-muddy-runny mess and seeped deep into my shoes. sigh. atleast i didn't need to wear ten layers and a face mask to be outside! i keep thinking of warmer days and sweet sunshine.



  &lt;-- this is what has to say about champaign  











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spring training week #8

Posted by pavni Feb 3, 2008


this was our week of cutting back on the distances and working on our strides, so our saturday workout was roughly 4 miles. however, the icy conditions (although the snow was breathtaking), led us all to be sore in pretty weird places. i think it was all of my muscles compensating for the ground slipping out from under me!



on a side note, i am dancing with the persian cultural association in their new year (nourouz) celebration, so we have been having dance practices which are incredibly fun. the dance style feels like a mixture of indian and salsa and is incredibly expressive. it's been really fun to learn the steps and i am hoping that we'll do a good job in march!



in terms of fundraising, i have contacted coldstone creamery in campustown and am hoping to have our event setup for the end of february! :o) hopefully it gets warm enough to persuade others that they would like some ice cream! once again, i'd like to thank all of those who have donated so far (and the new donations that i recieved this week), because without you, i wouldn't be able to be a part of this amazing experience and help this incredibly deserving organization!



also, if you haven't gotten a chance to take a look at my fundraising page: Team in Training: i have learned a little basic html and have tried to spice it up! i was pretty amazed that a few "&lt;b&gt;" and such could make such a huge difference in the overall presentation of the page! who knew i would learn things like this when i began.



hope you all have a wonderful sunday, i will be doing my required "rest and stretch" to get stronger for next week's 10 miler!! can't wait!












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