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Tempted To Cheat! February 28, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in boston marathon, Fat Tuesday, nutrition, Weight Loss.

I woke up this morning and found 6 boxes of girlscout cookies on the dining room table. They weren’t there when I went to bed! A friend of ours has two daughters who are girlscouts. Apparently, Phil didn’t know about my pact with my sister to give up sweets for lent! Either that or he just couldn’t resist a couple of cute kids.

They are in our freezer right now, out of sight, out of mind right? I feel like the guy in the movie “What It Takes.” He doesn’t keep any food in the house, so he won’t cheat.

The cookies are calling me! Should I keep my word? or support the scouts?


Recovering From Plantar Fasciitis February 26, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in fitness, Plantar Fasciitis, running.
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I took the last week in January off running.  I got my new orthodics on February 3rd.  I ran for the first time in the orthodics one week later on February 11th.  The following week I ran twice.  Last week I was able to run 3 times.  My goal is to keep my running to 3 days per week as I recover.

I ran today at Greenlake for about 40 minutes straight.  I have been stopping and stretching in between each mile, so this was almost back to normal running for me.  I didn’t have serious pain for the first few minutes: this is progress.  Slow progress!  Emphasis on the slow!  I feel like I am running at a snails pace.  My aerobic conditioning is lacking. 

I think I need to get into spin class again until I can push myself with running again.  It’s amazing how fast you lose it!

Strength Training With My Daughter February 25, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Crosstraining, fitness, Fitness Goals, healthy lifestyles, Injury Prevention, personal training, Strength Training, Weight Lifting, Working out with kids.

I love working out with my 13 year old daughter, Natasha.  She is an athlete who made the switch from gymnastics and dance to volleyball about 2 years ago.  Natasha began competing as a gymnast at 6 years of age.  She is very familiar with training and conditioning.

Some of the conditioning Natasha did in gymnastics has helped with volleyball.  She is coordinated and very flexible.  She also has incredible team spirit.  Hand-eye coordination is something new for her.  Her dad, who played a lot of sports growing up, has had a great time practicing bumping, setting and serving with her.

I played a little basketball and tennis in junior high and high school.  I was a late bloomer and didn’t get much playing time.  Running was a better fit for me, therefore I leave the sports specific stuff to her dad.  My job as a personal trainer and a former gymnastics coach is to help Natasha with strength training.

We are working on building strength and learning how to transfer power.  It’s a lot different than gymnastics even though both sports are explosive.  We are spending time in the weight room, doing a lot of body weight squats, lunges and presses with light weights.  She is learning how integrate her core and control her body.  Volleyball is such a fast sport and she needs to be ready to move quickly and anticipate the ball. 

It’s great to work with her because she and I both need to work on strengthening the core,  and maintaining strength and mobility in the lower body.  We both need to work on balance etc.  Our goal is to get the gym twice a week for strength training. 


Seahawks Yoga February 24, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Crosstraining, Injury Prevention, Plantar Fasciitis, yoga.
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I met with my physical therapist yesterday and she told me to keep being patient  with my recovery from plantar fasciitis.  She advised me not to run the St Paddy’s dash in March and to keep doing my exercises and keep doing yoga.  I am getting rather tired of this whole thing!

I went directly from my physical therapy appointment to yoga.  I was surprised to find a huge crowd of people in line when I went to check in before class.  This was not the usual crowd of women and skinny wiry guys that typically take class.  There were a bunch of big tall guys in Seahawks clothing waiting in line.  “Oh, I didn’t know this was Seahawks yoga.” I said to one of the players.  “Why don’t you go ahead?” he said as he and his teammates were taking off their shoes.

I got my usual spot in the corner near the front.  I like this spot  because it’s a little closer to the door and not quite as hot.  The Cute Blonde Football player that I spoke with earlier put his mat down next to mine.  The class was filling up pretty fast. The other players, some really tall and muscular guys were also in the front row.  Toni came in and switched the guys in the front row with some students who had taken class before.  I found myself surrounded by Seahawks. 

You could almost feel the testosterone as we went through our series of down dogs, up dogs and chattarangas.  Toni was great about describing modifications in the poses.  I was definitely aware of the guy next to me with huge shoulders and a couple of tattoos.   I think we did a few more pushups than usual.  The players were starting to melt!

 I don’t know if I got a better work out or not but my heart rate was definitely higher!

Silent Ring Tones February 23, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in technology.

You know you’re getting old when your kids order silent ring tones that you can’t hear. Apparently, these “silent” ring tones aren’t really silent. Supposedly, the ring tones cannot be heard by people over 30 years old. No kidding my son ordered a free ring tone, that I can’t hear.

Test for yourself…. test here

3 Ultra Athletes Endure Sand, Heat To Run Across Sahara Desert February 21, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Endurance Training, fitness.

3 ultra-athletes endure sand, heat to run across Sahara Desert

3 ultra-athletes endure sand, heat to run across Sahara Desert
By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
February 20, 2007

IN THE WESTERN DESERT, Egypt (AP) — Three ultra-endurance athletes have just done something most would consider insane: They ran the equivalent of two marathons a day for 111 days to become the first modern runners to cross the Sahara Desert’s grueling 4,000 miles.

“It will take time to sink in … but this is an absolutely once in a life time thing. They say ignorance is bliss, and now that I know how hard this is, I would never consider crossing the Sahara on foot again,” said American runner Charlie Engle, 44, hours after he and the others completed the run at Egypt’s Red Sea.

Engle said he, Canadian Ray Zahab, 38, and Kevin Lin, 30, of Taiwan, ran the final stretch of their journey that took them through the Giza pyramids and Cairo to the mouth of Suez Canal on four hours of sleep. Once they hit the Red Sea, they put their hands in the water to signify crossing the finish line.

“We touched the water in Senegal at the beginning, and we touched the water in the Red Sea at the end. They were the bookends of our journey,” Engle, of Greensboro, North Carolina, said on the telephone from a hotel room in Cairo.

In less than four months, they have run across the world’s largest desert, through six countries — Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and finally Egypt.

A film crew followed them, chronicling the desert journey for actor Matt Damon’s production company, LivePlanet. Damon plans to narrate the “Running the Sahara” documentary.

The trek is one of extremes. The relentless sun can push temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, but at night it sometimes dips below freezing. Strong winds can abruptly send sand swooping in every direction, making it difficult to see and breathe.

Running through turbulent conditions is nothing new for these athletes who have traveled the world competing in adventure races. But they say nothing has tested their physical and mental limitations like the Sahara.

Throughout the run, the runners have been stricken with tendinitis, severe diarrhea, cramping and knee injuries all while running through the intense heat and wind — often without a paved road in sight.

“This has been a life changing event,” Engle said.

The runners say they undertook the challenge to see if they could accomplish something that many have called impossible. They use GPS devices to track their route and teamed up with local experts and a host of sports professionals who also followed them, along with the documentary crew, in four-wheel drive vehicles.

Typically, the three began each day with a 4 a.m. wake-up call. About an hour later, they started running. Around noon, they took a lunch break at a makeshift camp, devouring pasta, tuna and vegetables. A short nap on thin mattresses in a yellow-domed tent usually followed before they headed out on the second leg of their day’s run.

Finally, around 9:30 p.m., they called it quits each day, returning to camp for a protein and carbohydrate-packed dinner before passing out for the night.

Despite the preparation and drive to finish, the runners said they often questioned — mostly to themselves — what they were doing. Zahab described stopping one recent day for a bathroom break only to discover the wind was blowing so harshly that he couldn’t keep the sand out of his clothes. “And I thought to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing?”‘ he said.

But Zahab kept going, as did the other two, never skipping a day. Most days the three ran a total of 44 to 50 miles — sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

They were interviewed by The Associated Press on Saturday — day 108 — on the side of a road about 112 miles from Cairo in Egypt’s harsh Western Desert, part of the greater Sahara.

At several points in their trek, the athletes stopped near sparsely populated wells to talk with villagers and nomads about the difficulties they face finding water. That marked another goal of the run — raising awareness for the clean water nonprofit group H2O Africa.

“We have seen firsthand the need for clean water, which we take for granted in North America. It’s such a foundation for any community,” Zahab said during day 108’s lunch break. The three plan to fund-raise for the group after they return home and finish recuperating.

“It started off as a huge motivator, especially as we passed through countries where the water wasn’t clean,” Engle said.

But as the trio’s bodies became more depleted, the focus was “the day-to-day battle to stay alive and keep moving,” he said.

On the Net:






I thought running 1 marathon was tough! These guys are amazing!

Morning Work Outs February 21, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Crosstraining, fitness, healthy lifestyles, personal training, yoga.
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Every day is a new day, a time to start fresh. That is one of the reasons why I like to exercise in the morning. I don’t always get the luxury of doing this when I have appointments at 5 and 6 am.

Once in a while I will have the opportunity to get in a workout prior to work. Sometimes I rationalize that I need the extra sleep. Sometimes I get up and work out. I am usually glad when I do this.

Today I rolled out of bed made a cup of coffee and headed out to hot yoga. I turns out that my favorite instructor, Toni Best was teaching. She is as good as her name. I love her class! She took us through power yoga for 1 hour. It was an hour well spent, just what my body needed.

Fat Tuesday February 20, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Fat Tuesday, Fitness Goals, healthy lifestyles.
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What is Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday is Mardi Gras, the festival New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for. “Gras” is French for fat and “Mardi” is French for Tuesday.

The annual festivities start on January 6, the Twelfth Night Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings are supposed to have visited the Christ Child, and build to a climax on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which always occurs on the day before Ash Wednesday. The parties and parades will continue until Lent begins at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.

Mardi Gras is a legal holiday in New Orleans. It is scheduled to occur 46 days before Easter. Since the actual date Easter occurs on changes yearly, Mardi Gras can happen on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9.

For two centuries it has been an annual event in New Orleans, except during the two World Wars.

I’m not a big celebrator of MardiGras, and I don’t really recommend pigging out and partying on “Fat Tuesday” However,I do think it’s kind of fun to give up something for a period of time. I guess Lent gives us a reason to do that even if we aren’t catholic.

My eating habbits have not been the best lately. In fact I came home today and ate my son’s left over pizza. It was Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Garlic Cheese. Now, I’m feeling kind of fat!

I made a pact with my sister today. We are both giving up sweets. She is also giving up mashed potatoes. I don’t have a problem with potatoes, but I will struggle with giving up ice cream. Wow 45 days is a long time!

Runnning and “The Serape Effect” February 19, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in boston marathon, fitness, marathon, Plantar Fasciitis, Uncategorized.

I spent the last two days in a seminar called “Following The Functional Path.” The speaker was Vern Gambetta, who is considered the father of functional training. I am sure most of you have heard of functional training. But you may not know what it is or how it applies to the runner.

If you have been following my blog, then you know that I am suffering from plantar fasciitis. I have been coaching and involved in the fitness industry since about 1997, when I started coaching gymnastics. I have been running seriously since 1993 and became a certified personal trainer in 2001. I have had plantar fasciitis off and on 3 times now. Each time that I have had a flare up of plantar fasciitis, I’ve gone to a podiatrist and looked at the problem from the feet. I am a bit of a pronator, but not an excessive pronator. I have had plantar fasciitis on both sides. I had forgotten that my symptoms were on the right side originally. My podiatrist gave me a cortisone shot in 2004, on the right side. Now I have it on the left.

I started thinking…I know I need to keep up with my strength training. I am not always consistent in the weight room. I love to run more than anything, so sometimes strength training takes a back seat to running or even cycling. Okay, it’s last on the list for me! That is beside the point though. Why did my plantar fasciitis move from the right to the left? I am not sure that I can answer that. The human body is complicated in the way it compensates for muscle tightness or weakness. It’s always changing.

I learned something new this weekend. Vern talked about the “Serape Effect” A serape is a Mexican or South American garment that crosses over the body in an “x” shape. No, it is not like the leather belts worn by the guys who string people upside down and give them shots of tequila in Cabo. Although, I felt like I could’ve used some tequila after some of the lunges Vern had us doing this weekend!

A key concept to understand in regard to core function is the “Serape Effect.” This concept was articulated by Logan and McKinney in their book “Kinesiology” over fifty years ago. The serape is a Mexican garment that is draped loosely over the shoulders and is crossed in front of the body. The concept serves to reinforce the concept of the muscles of the core as a connector. They identified the serape muscles as the rhomboids, serratus anterior, external obliques and internal obliques. These muscles working together are called the “Serape Effect.” Logan & McKinney state that: “The serape effect incorporates several major concepts which are vital to the understanding of movement. In ballistic actions such as throwing and kicking, the serape muscles add to the summation of internal forces. They also transfer internal force from a large body segment, the trunk, to relatively smaller body parts, the limbs. For example, the serape effect functions in throwing by summating, adding to, and transferring the internal forces generated in the lower limbs and pelvis to the throwing limb.” (Logan & McKinney p.154)
The serape effect clearly makes the connection that in overhead activities there is a definite hip to shoulder relationship. According to Logan and McKinney using the example of a right handed thrower: “There is a definite interaction between the pelvic girdle on the left and the throwing limb on the right by way of concentric contraction of the left internal oblique, right external oblique, and serratus anterior on the right at the initiation of the throw. The pelvic girdle is rotating to the left and the rib cage is rotating to the right.” (Logan & McKinney p 156) This movement paradigm is true in all overhead activities. It is a clear rational for training the core in diagonal and rotational patterns in order to take full advantage of core function. What is amazing is that this was articulated over fifty years ago and there are still people who do not take advantage of this naturally occurring phenomenon. This has broad implications in performance enhancement as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation.

This weekend Vern had us all line up and do some running without using our arms. This demonstated how much rotation occurs in running. After that, we did some walking while rotating our arms across the body, forwards and backwards. We did several variations of this simple exercise. What became apparent to me was that I had trouble rotating my upper body. I was tight rotating in the transverse plane.

I am going to incorporate more rotational movements into my routine, along with the usual squats and lunges. I have always known that it’s important to flex, extend and rotate and to work in all 3 planes of motion. Now I have a clearer understanding about how this applies to us runners. It’s important to be sports specific in your training. That means if there is a rotational component to running, then runners should not forget to include rotational movements in their training to prevent injury.

Thank you Vern for a great seminar. The two days were well spent.

Vern Gambetta, Gambetta Sports Training Systems

Talked To My Coach February 16, 2007

Posted by Lisa Sabin in Injury Prevention, Plantar Fasciitis, running.

I ran on Wednesday for 52 minutes. The last 10 minutes or so I felt like I was ready to be done with the pounding. My coach recommends running 3 times per week, but only 30-40 minutes to start. She also recommends running every other day. She thought 52 minutes on concrete was probably too much.

I agree, I was just so excited to be running, that I wanted to keep going. Our strategy is to keep up the icing, stretching, yoga and PT exercises. I’ll add time to my long run as the plantar fasciitis improves.

Rolling on the golf ball in the morning is helping. I also have a fancy footlog that I got from Roadrunnersports I roll on this when I’m at my desk. I think I am on the mend, but I need to take it slow!!!

Today I ran with my friend Michelle, on the baseball field near her house. Michelle is a great friend and fellow runner. She and I went down to Vegas with a bunch of friends in December. Michelle is also training for the Portland Marathon. She ran Boston a few years back and is willing to go do it again with me. I appreciate her support, even though she is going to kick my butt!