It’s been a different kind of week around these parts, so Brigid figured what better way to finish it off than to give me the reins on a Friday Five. Here we go!
- Did somebody say Graston? I’ve been getting treatment on a lingering shoulder issue since late last week, and part of the program (along with the traditional PT, stim, and chiropractic modalities) has been the introduction of something called the Graston technique. Basically, some guy with arthritis figured out that if he used some stainless steel implements in a certain way, he could break up underlying lesions between the muscle and surrounding tissue, thereby easing the discomfort and annoying popping sound. While it’s certainly not an overnight panacea for what ails me, I have noticed some immediate returns in the form of less Rice Krispy action in my shoulder. The only drawback is cosmetic, in that the procedure leaves some gnarly bruising behind. Small price to pay, IMHO.
- Beef jerky. I was contemplating a snack from my local 7-11 after an afternoon meeting downtown, and I couldn’t decide between a protein bar (BSN Syntha 6, my go-to multi-faceted protein choice) or beef jerky. Tough call, right? But here’s the surprising thing about the camping staple that’s always overpriced in stores: Aside from the above average dose of sodium you’ll take in, beef jerky is surprisingly good from a fitness food perspective. Low fat/cholesterol, high in tissue proteins, and the chewing will build up your jaw muscles. Seriously, I was on the verge of a jaw cramp. While it’s not as bioavailable from the word go as the more commonplace protein sources we chug down, it’s worth considering as a change-up to the usual post run protein shake.
- And while we’re on the subject of bizarre protein sources…allow me to ramble for a moment about my most recent kitchen creativity. Brigid handed me a recipe for homemade veggie burgers (via CinnamonGirl). It’s a basic proposition from which to riff: Navy beans, breadcrumbs and an egg for binding, and then mix in whatever suits your fancy. My problem was that I decided the entire conflagration needed to be food processed. What should have been an oops led, instead, to a tasty veggie meatloaf that won the approval of Brigid’s discerning palate. Two keys to making non-meat things taste more meaty are paprika and ancho chili powder. Both add a dense, smoky flavor to food, and also provided some nice color. The best part, aside from the creative save, is that the beans are rich in protein and fiber. Winner!
- Don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. I don’t know about your parts of the country, but in the mid-Atlantic we’re getting a preview of spring to end our work week, just in time for the temps to crash back into the 40’s over the weekend – great long run weather, but not much else. In NY, at my folks place, they’re waking up to wintery stuff on the grounds and temps around freezing, so it can always be worse I suppose. Honestly, I’d settle for consistent weather, even if it’s a touch colder than I really like it to be.
- And then there was one. The allusion to the long run is apropos, as Brig and I will tackle our final build run this weekend, knocking out the half marathon distance on Sunday morning. While I’ve yet to map an official route, I figure a change of scenery down to the Mall might do some good for this run. My thinking is that you always want to go race distance three weeks ahead of the race, so you know in your own mind you’re ready for the distance absent the adrenaline stoking environs that accompany race day. I’m also going to pop over to the Whole Foods and pick up some energy cube looking things they have in the bulk bin to try as our possible mid-race fuel snack. Fun times indeed!
QOTD: Which would you rather do this weekend: A cold weather long run, or a warmer weather speed workout at the track?