Friday, April 18, 2014

The Salmon Run: Fun Local Run and Great Training Race

Written by: Ron Deems

I have been running the Salmon Run almost every year since 2004 and normally participate in the 10k race. I think of myself as a slightly serious runner in the respect that I consider running more than just a hobby, more of like a passion, something I really look forward to doing.  Over the years I have spent my training time preparing for various ½ marathons and have found the 10k races to be great for testing my fitness level for both speed and endurance. Keeping in mind that the 10k pace is not the same as my ½ marathon pace but with good fitness I can usually push the limits of my ability for the seemingly shorter distance.  The timing of the Salmon run has always fit right into my training schedule to allow me to see if my training between March and May has been effective and to allow me time to adjust before the summer races arrive.  I have also noticed that with the timing of the Pole Pedal Paddle race the Salmon run fits into most of the local PPP racers as a last hard run before the big race, especially among the elite PPP individual and pairs racers.  This has added an additional level of competition to the race then you see in the typical local races, which is really exciting to me, as I find these athletes amazing!   I have also become friends with a few of these athletes and have found listening to their training schedules and advice to be not only awe inspiring but quite amazing as most are not professional athletes but train as hard as you would imagine a professional.

Naturally we all have different goals, even different from year to year.  This past winter I have had several injuries that have kept my mileage down from a typical 35 - 50 miles per week down to 9 -15. So training for a ½ marathon in June is going to be pretty much out of reach for me this year.  This has been torture for me not being able to go for a 9 - 15 mile run and having to settle for a 3 - 5 mile run instead.  But it is all I can do for now, so I must face it and make it work.  Of course it will have an effect on what I can really attempt as far as racing.  Luckily races like the Salmon run offer several distances, like the 5k, which will allow me to be able to set race goals and still get that feeling of accomplishment rather than just sitting out the season because I can not fully prepare for the ½ marathon.  The 5k is also great for runners that are just getting started as you can run in several throughout the season and see improvements from race to race.

With the recovery of my injury I have been slowly increasing my mileage and working in some speed work.  In theory I want to build up the mileage so I can easily run the race distance but at a faster pace than a typical run without getting re-injured or feel like I over did it.

Ron Deems, 57, has been running since his senior year in high school.  Mostly a casual runner for many years until a friend challenged him to run in the second annual Dirty Half marathon in Bend.  From that point on he was hooked on having competitions as part of his running schedule.  His favorite day of the week is Tuesday because that is the Tuesday Performance Group night with Max King!

Power Recipes from Stephanie Howe

Enjoy these recipes from Stephanie Howe's Nutrition for Health and Performance Clinic at FootZone.  Stephanie discussed the importance of fat, protein and carbohydrates in an active person's diet. Below are recipes to keep you moving and healthy!

Stephanie’s Super Smoothie

— 1 frozen banana

— ½ c frozen blueberries

— ½ c milk (non-dairy milk)

— 2-3 T yogurt

— 1 handful spinach

— 2 T Udo’s Oil (2.6.9 blend)

— 2 T peanut/almond butter

— 1-2 T maple syrup

— ½ t cinnamon

— ½ t flax seeds

Put everything in the blender and turn on. It’s that easy J

Kale Salad

— Kale, 1 bunch

— Avocado, ½ -1

— Udo’s oil, 2-3 T (or other olive oil)

— Sea salt, ½ t

— Lemon juice, 1 t

— Nutritional yeast, 3 T

— Toppings: rice, black beans, chicken, steamed vegetables, poached egg

Tear kale into bite sized pieces. Add avocado, Udo’s oil, sea salt, lemon juice, and

nutritional yeast. Massage into kale for 2-3 minutes. Serve with toppings!

PB Power Cookies

— Oats, ½ c

— Flour (or other grain), 1 c

— Peanut butter, ½ c

— Coconut oil, ¼- 1/3 c

— Baking soda, ½ t

— Egg, 1

— Vanilla, ½ t

— Honey/maple syrup, 1/3- ½ c

— Nuts, ¼ c

— Chocolate chips, ¼- ½ c

Mix all dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients + chocolate chips and nuts ( I like to

use walnuts). Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Out of my element…. into a P.R in more ways than one!

Written By: Natalia Martin

Not long ago I was purely a solo runner. For the past 24 years, I had always trained alone except twice (no mystery as to how that turned out…) I assumed the head-clearing, blissful, sweaty solitude over the miles as I inhaled nature on my own terms was the ultimate running experience. It worked for me. My fear was that this experience would be tainted if I ran with others outside of a racing environment.

But when I started training for my first two marathons (Chicago ’97 & Paris ‘06) those longer marathon training runs got BORING; the motivation that never fails to get me out the door would morph into a stale attitude that clung to me, dragged me down, & occasionally muttered “Sure, slow down that pace” or “heck, stop and walk”, or “hey, look, a GARAGE SALE!!!”

It wasn’t leg fatigue, inadequate fuel/hydration, or the wrong shoes that got me, but the monotony of going on long solo run after long solo run. After finishing those two marathons I knew I could have done a lot better in my training and finishing times if I had felt more inspired and motivated throughout the training journey, as well as being more knowledgeable about strategies for running longer distances.

Running should be enjoyable and training for a marathon should be the same….but HOW? I had signed up for the 2013 Portland Marathon and was excited to train, but needed to do something different….like, perhaps, run with other people (YIKES!) I feared running with someone who was one or more of the following:

• nauseatingly chatty

• had too many annoying habits (I can tolerate up to 4 or 5)

• overly competitive (I save that for race days)

• not serious enough (coffee stops are for before and/or after a run)

• had a pace that didn’t mesh at all with mine

• unreliable

• a chronic complainer (toenail issues are only interesting for 5 minutes…)

Despite these concerns and mentally armed with one of my favorite quotes, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone” I signed up for the marathon training group offered by USA FIT Bend. My comfort zone was running solo and I very reluctantly challenged it. This was the best running-related decision I have ever made (second best was buying a great running watch…FootZone sells those;-) The Saturday training runs quickly became the highlight of my week, for many reasons, a large part because of my fellow runners, the conversations, and the shared experience of working towards a common goal.

Geof & Tonya, the USA FIT Bend organizers, and the coaches, have created the perfect environment for participants (seasoned runners and those completely new to the distance) to be inspired and motivated by ALL to meet the marathon goal. Participants are placed in coached groups based on running pace. There is a different training plan for each group and a track workout during the week. All of the coaches are seasoned athletes with TONS of interesting, valuable information, great stories, and a genuine interest in making the journey to the marathon fun, injury-free, educational, and motivating. They deliver! I am a far more knowledgeable runner in training and racing because of what I learned from the coaches and other runners every Saturday. But the most impressive part of the experience was the support, camaraderie, friendships I made, and JOY of running those training miles together with USA FIT Bend without boredom or diminishing motivation! This is a big change from my previous marathon training experiences running solo. My running experience has a new dimension, and I have some fabulous friends to run with year-round.

As for the Portland marathon, I got a PR, qualified for the Boston Marathon, and have training friends as I venture into ultra marathon territory. Of course, I have signed up for USA Fit Bend again! You should, too! It’s true, that “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. I am excited about this personal mental and physical change from this awesome training program.

Natalia Martin, 38, is a stay at home mom to a Nicolas (5) and Keira (3). Her supportive husband, Keith, thinks she is a bit nuts with this long distance running stuff. He is grateful (and spends less time rolling his eyes at her) because she has found USA FIT Bend; consequently, he doesn’t have to listen to her talk quite as much about running shoes, hydration options, gel ingredients, race reports, salt capsule brands, and finding the best calf sleeves because she can channel all that fun into Saturday morning runs.

Interested in stepping outside your comfort zone? Join USA Fit Bend and train for the Portland Marathon or another fall marathon of your choice. For more information, go We can't wait to run with you!