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Monday, July 11, 2016

Getting Stronger From The Inside Out

It has been awhile since my last blog post. Largely because things here have been pretty monotonous, and not too thrilling.  I ran two races in June, and all things considered they went pretty well. After 3 weeks of solid training done largely on feel I ran the Columbus 10k to see where my fitness was.  The morning of the race I woke with a sore throat, and headache. But I decided to  see where things were anyway.  I ran 36:52 on a very muggy morning. I wasn't very happy with the result, but it was what it was. I went out too fast, and slowed quite a bit in the second half of the race. I finished 3rd.

Shortly after the race, I was thinking about asking for insidetracker for a birthday present.  I spoke with insidetracker, signed up, and planned to have a blood drawl shortly following my next race at the end of the month.  In 86 degrees, I won the Akron National Interstate 8k in 29:55.  Much slower than I was hoping to run, but again in the conditions, and on a very challenging course, the results were what they were.
Columbus 10k

Three days later I had my blood drawl.  I was eager for my results, and a bit nervous to know what I had done to my body with not eating great over the years. When my test results came in I actually felt a huge relief!  Most of my markers were optimal!  It was really neat to see where things were and where things should be.  I have a few issues to work on!  My DHEAS is low, still within normal range, but less than optimal.  According to insidetracker "Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, or DHEAS, is a hormone precursor that is synthesized in the adrenal glands from cholesterol. The body uses DHEAS to make different steroid sex hormones, including estradiol and testosterone, as well as other sex steroid precursor molecules."  
They suggest that I consume more dark chocolate, ummm consider it done, dark meat chicken, you don't have to tell me twice, avocado, pecans, and a number of other nuts, and granola.  Hello Breakfast!  

My fasting glucose was higher than optimal.   I was not too surprised to hear this as it has been a problem in the past. Again, while in normal range, my levels were 7 mg/dl higher than what would be considered optimal for me. The suggestion for helping to lower that are, a number of fruits like blackberries and raspberries, as well as white beans, chia seeds, fiber cereal, rolled oats, along with bulgur, and kamut. 

These same foods will help to lower LDL cholesterol, and higher HDL cholesterol. Again my makers in those areas were slightly outside of the optimal zones. 

Finally the big one for me is Cortisol. While I am in the optimal zone, I am high within it. I have a high level of anxiety during the day that I want to learn to handle better anyway. So next week I am beginning work with a therapist to help to learn better, more constructive ways to handle my anxiety. 

I am really excited to work on the things insidetracker has laid out for me and work on becoming a stronger athlete from the inside out!  I am not sure yet if I will get my next blood drawl before or after the Akron Marathon in September, but I can't wait to see what changes I can make from learning to manage anxiety better, and eat foods that will help to fuel my body more effectively. 

I am so glad I have had this opportunity to look at what I can do to become a more healthy athlete!  A huge thank you to insidetracker for steering me in the right direction!  Ryan and I hit the grocery store and have been working already toward the goal of being as healthy and fit as possible this fall!   

If you have any questions about my experience please feel free to ask!  Check out insidetracker here

Photo after the Columbus 10k with the fastest cheer squad around!  Thank you for your support Hilliard Davidson XC!

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