Don’t Stress, Be Happy

Amesbury Days 5K Start – First mass start race!

Saturday, I woke feeling good and ready to run the local 5K. I was happy it was cool cloudy 58 degrees. Race start was 5 min drive but I realized I forgot my Garmin watch I got there but decided to not go back home to get it. It was drizzling at start to pick up my number but I was greeted with warmth from my running friends. It was great to see all my running friends which I couldn’t stress out about not having watch. Try to download a running app but decided to run based on iPhone stop watch time and feel. And since our number bibs was chip with mat at start and finish I was good with the race result time. As I was doing my warm up, my legs just wanted to go which put a smile on my face. Since it was warm and humid decided to go easy to avoid asthma attack. My body just cruised up the hills for the first 2 miles and the legs wanted to spin. After the race my body was still happy to do a couple more miles. Last week, my thyroid started to feel happy, not feeling stressed or anxious. It is funny that I did a 5K race 2 months ago with the same result time. But 2 months ago I was a walking zombie, stressed and anxious about the hour drive and the race. 3 weeks after I stop taking the vitamins my body has started to feel better. This Sunday is the Dam Triathlon a local race which will be fun. I’m just going to relax and get through the race with a smile. I know my training has not been good the past month or 2. I cannot stress about it but just be happy we are having races and I still can do them. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck @tritobeyoungathlete

Hot Times!

In the USA, we are feeling the heat this summer and records are being broken. Here in Massachusetts, we are in our second heat wave and it is only June. In my town today we are 96, which feels like 106. Oregon and Washington states are breaking records of over 110 degrees which is normally in the 70s. As athletes that are not use to this hot weather then the question how do I train? On Strava, I saw many opt out there training run for a walk or run at 5:30 am. Then some of us did yoga or strength/core workout. Next question is when is your big race/races? If in the summer then you need to get use to this heat but safely. If you do have a race in the summer slowly build up the distance in the heat. This includes biking and running! Start with shorter easy rides and runs till you feel comfortable to increase distance. Drink electrolytes throughout the training day. Be smart and plan ahead to have a successful race. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Different Directions

Amesbury Cultural Council Art Project 2021

Some days, our minds and bodies want to go different direction. As I deal with the hyperthyroid side effects, they don’t want to work with my training schedule. Right now I am build phase of training for Olympic distance triathlon which is about 8-10 hours for 2 weeks then 1 week low training of 6 hours. This week, I am on the 2nd week of build which my body hurts and still cannot sleep. Today plan was to be 5-6 mile tempo but the energy level and body said no so I walked 3 miles. As an athlete I find it discouraging, but as a coach I’m trying to fine a compromise. I know I am not in overtraining because my resting heart rate has lowered 10 points which is good. At the end of my walk, I decided I’m going to do 1 heavy week then 1 pull back week. I am hoping my body will cooperate and have me ready for the triathlons and half marathon in the fall. Stay safe and healthy. @pamhouck

Beware of Misinformation

My boyfriend’s way to make me feel better!

The internet is full of information especially with health and medical but some can be bad. Unfortunately, I fell for it! I was looking for a good multivitamin to take. I stick to the strict diet but still lack key nutrients for my body. I take many different vitamins because celiac has reduce my nutrients intake from the past destruction of my small intestines. Instead of buying certain vitamins, I thought it would be cheaper to buy a multivitamin. Wrong! First, I take thyroid medication in the morning, which you need to wait an hour to eat. Also, calcium and iron vitamins need to be taken 4-6 hours after thyroid medication. And certain foods can interfere. I take calcium at night to avoid interference with thyroid medication that has zinc and magnesium but has no vitamin D. Also, I have to avoid vitamin D because of my 1 functional kidney cannot absorb it. Yet I still need vitamins at my ripe old age to train for endurance races. The 2 multivitamins I tried still gave me problems. One made my thyroid go from hypo to hyper which is rare but can happen. And the other made me fatigued because a few ingredients interfere with my thyroid and kidney. I stop them on Saturday by recognizing the fatigued symptoms and back to what I took before. I am slowly feeling better and hope by next week I’ll be back to normal training. If it looks too good to be true or you have questions, don’t buy it and talk with your doctor. Even if a friend tells you how great it is for them, stop and research. If it works for one person it may not work for you. If you have questions about any health stuff, ask your doctor. Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Plan A, B, C

Some days you have a plan for your work or workout in the training plan but something happens to change it. We started with a swim at our the local lake where we do our open water swims. There was an accidental drowning which caused Lake Gardner to close for an investigation. So a friend and I decided to swim Stiles Pond which is 40 minutes away from where we live. We were all set for Wednesday but she text early that morning she was sick. Immediately, I called our local gym to get a swim lane which I was able to. I planned to swim a mile Wednesday and I did but in the pool. I already swam the lake twice which I will be good for Saturday’s Land Shark Swim 1.2 mile event. The big but was distance and speed. The swim in the pool proved I was ready. So the morale of the story, don’t give up and find alternate plans to complete your task. Be healthy and safe! @pamhouck

And Now Summer!

The entire United States will be under an heat advisory starting tomorrow. Some states started a couple days ago. Memorial Day in New England was cold and rainy, now heat. Welcome to New England weather! Question is now how do you train in this weather? Simple, modify your workouts, adjust the time of day and hydration. Tomorrow, I have long run which I will run earlier like 6 or 7 am. Don’t try to push hard, go easy and your heart rate will be higher which is normal. After a few runs/workouts your body will adjust to the heat. Hydrate more! That is not just water but electrolytes in your water, gels and chews. The electrolytes should have calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, which should be balanced of all 4. Also drink often and bring extra hydration. Some sports drinks can be high in sodium which can cause gastro issues. Some of these tips will help make your training a little easier and your body will be happier. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

It Is That Time of the Year

Now the weather is warm, we can bike and run outside without masks if vaccinated. And there are more cars on the road. So here are a few ways to stay safe when running on the road: wear bright clothes; run against traffic; if wearing head set keep the volume down to listen to nature and the cars; beware of your environment; run on safe roads and avoid major roads/highways. Here a few ways to be safe on the bike: follow the rules of the road (you are a vehicle); don’t listen to music when riding; don’t bike on the sidewalks (that is for pedestrians); avoid biking in the cities and highways; beware of your environment; check the forecast before you leave. Now as vehicle drive respect walkers, runners and cyclists and don’t text while driving. Hope you a safe and healthy summer!

That One Nagging Thing

So many runners and triathletes don’t make time or forget to stretch. It so simple but the focus is on the training. I started to put it in my athletes training schedule. Then there is the question I get from athletes and friends: how do I stretch the muscle that is hurting? I always shake my head and chuckle a little. You might think the muscle hurting is tight but it may not be. All muscles are connected. If the muscle is just tight then stretch that muscle and all other muscles around it. If it continues hurting after stretching then you need to see a doctor and physical therapist. Also something can be out of alignment especially from running on the road. Many roads in New England are cambered (slanted) to allow the rain to run into gutters/drains. This puts a lot onto the left side of the lower body. Then try to run on rail trails or trails. Check out my videos on stretching and foam rolling at: Be safe and healthy.

We’re Back

On Sunday, Cinco de Miles 5K was the first race I ran in person since 1/1/2020. The weather was nice but seeing all my running friends was the best. Millennium Running put on great safe events (road races and triathlons). Many runners and volunteers at the race were fully vaccinated and runners wore the masks before and after their run. Everybody, that is 1800 runners, followed the rules. It was time trial start, with 2 runners going off every 10 seconds. Many races including triathlons, marathons will be doing this. Some runners like time trial and some like the mass starts but you have to look at the big picture. And the big picture is we are getting close to being back to normal. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck @millenniumrunning #millenniumrunning

Patient With Process

Completed Run Maine (495 mile) Virtual Challenge

Saturday’s long run help me complete Run Maine (495 miles) Virtual Challenge, which I started 9/1/2020. Today’s run I completed Run Rhode Island (140 miles) Virtual Challenge. Today’s news was the best to hear that road races and endurance events will be permitted to start May 10th in Massachusetts. I have 2 more states (CT and VT) which I will finish in May and that will be the end of virtual racing for me. This Sunday, I will be racing a 5K in New Hampshire in person. And I am excited because it is 15 months since the last race. All my friends and clients (triathletes and runners) are doing happy dance as more states allow races to happen. But we all have to do our part by getting vaccinated to allow more businesses to open and we get back to normal. Stay healthy and safe!

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