Author: TaraDell

Third in a Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude

Planning to spend fourteen to twenty one days at altitude before competing is not directly a nutrition consideration. It is however, worth mentioning because adjustment time can indirectly impact nutrition by altering appetite and, how the body feels overall. Unfortunately, before some of my biggest mountain races I haven’t had the extra time to hang out high up. So I searched for clean short cuts of which I learned, are limited. In short,  there are not short cuts for adapting your body at altitude. It takes the time it takes. How much time it takes specifically will vary because, as with nutrition, how the body responds is individualized.  Everything I have read says get to your altitude twenty-one days ahead of your race. With work, kids, and other obligations it just isn’t realistic to get that kind of time at elevation (unless I move there!).  So here are some the strategies that helped when time at elevation is limited: Go up the night before if you can’t do two-three weeks! So save the PTO and …

Selfies in London Continued: Riding Bikes

I could think of no better way to see London for the first time than riding a state-of-the -art road bike on the closed-to-cars streets past some of the world’s most recognized landmarks. Actually, I could think of a better way, running on foot. I am not a cyclist so when I learned that my role at the Ride London event was to ride forty-six miles with a bunch of athletes and journalists while spouting off nutrition information, I was a little nervous. The curly handle bars, pointed seat, and narrow tires on paved streets with pot holes and who knows what else are discomforts and fears that have turned me away from road cycling towards other athletic pursuits.  Those things aside, this actually sounded like an opportunity of a lifetime, and no place for irrational fears. So I saddled up for a different kind of an adventure. The ride was everything you could imagine cycling through and around London without worries of cars to be, complete with a finish in front of Buckingham Palace. What struck …

Selfies in London (with Friends) Day Two

Today’s selfie infused run (that started out as six miles for me and ended in eleven miles) was joined by my superstar colleague at CLIF, Serena and her husband Sean. We looped the Thames River and reveled in the opportunity to be here, running together before we Ride London in a few days. Last winter Serena and I also worked hard promoting CLIF and nutrition at another amazing opportunity space – The World Ski and Snow Board Festival. Reflecting on opportunity, my mind has been turned inside out.  It isn’t our jobs that afford us opportunities. Our jobs are simply a means of expressing the opportunities we create for ourselves. Thankfully, my company brings people together who seek opportunities and have creative curiosity about what we can accomplish together not because of our jobs but, rather through our jobs. It will be important for the next generation not to measure their worth and value on the job, position, or title they hold. These things are not only fleeting but, also less important in a digital …

Selfies in London Day One

Rise and shined from my morning nap to hit the streets to see what I could see. It has been a long time since I explored a new city and, even longer since exploring an international city. I contemplated running my sleepy self around. Then I thought I again. Why hurry through? This is time for meandering. My Mom has a fascination with the stories of Henry the VIII and his wives.I am embarrassed to say that thanks to the HBO series, The Tudors, so do I. Who needs history class when you have dramatized fiction based on history? So Mom, you will be happy to know The Tower of London was first on my list of attractions this afternoon. I crossed the Millennium Bridge, breezed by the free version of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and footed it over to The Tower. Much to my surprise The Tower is actually a compound of structures and tours with history and exhibits worth multiple visits. I got my money’s worth today though and covered broad ground with a …

Just a Normal Week

First of all my Ridge Run training is in the pooper this month. Second of all, I can’t afford the time or money to run it this year as much as I want to. My Mom says I have to make choices. Admittedly, when I was young choices were not my forte but, I have improved. So the choice was made. Why can’t I take our family on our annual summer pilgrimage back to my Montana homeland? Well, because I am learning what it means to buy a new house, move completely out of our home of the past nine years, fix it up to bay area standards , and list it all while continuing to work and parent my very active and emotionally-in-transition boys all in the span of one month plus an international work trip! My training goal at this point is to just maintain fitness to salvage some of the fall running fun. And if that wasn’t enough, I am traveling to London for work. What could a dietitian working for CLIF, …

Can Any Body Be an Athlete?

Anyone can be an athlete. It is true. Not having enough time, only have one leg, or fear of swimming can all be overcome. I have met climbers missing fingers, mountain runners with one leg, Olympic marathoners who previously lost their ability to walk and they are doing it. It is in us if we want it. Then there are the busy people – really busy – like full-time jobs and five kids busy – who make it happen because they want it that bad. When someone says to me “Oh, I could never do that” – ‘that’ being something seemingly out of their reach like running a five kilometer race, climbing a mountain, getting up every morning and running ten miles on a tread mill – I don’t believe it. I have had the privilege of getting to some of the world’s best athletes. What they all have in common is something we all have within us. That is the gift of perspective on limitations. Limitations don’t become boundaries. Instead, they become challenges to …

The Organized Circus

The “organized circus” is a phrase I recently used with a friend inquiring about how things were going.  This means  that there are many moving parts of the collective adventures in being a mother, writer, runner, wife, and employee right now that are loosely planned. Last Thursday night, in a very late night and organized fashion, I packed up the car t for a weekend in Tahoe with my kids while my husband was out of town. This was an ambitious adventure in its own right but, the plan also included spending Friday at my office with kids and puppy in tow on our way to the mountains. There is no denying this was highly ambitious  but, it seemed worth a try.  We had also just spent the week packing up of our entire house so it could be painted.  It was probably the lack of sleep that lead to my inevitable tears of defeat a few short hours after attempting to manage at an office that is also an organized circus of dogs and …

Second of Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude

While I am a back at sea level for the moment, my attitude remains elevated post adventures above tree line.  My Broken Arrow Sky Race  experience has my giddy weeks later. The run started off slow for me as one can expect going up a mountain at elevation. The air, however, was crisp, sky clear, and snow (in June) slushy for bombing down the mountain without wiping out on jagged rocks! Toeing the starting-line a running friend asked me for last minute nutrition advice for running at elevation. Scanning my mind for tidbits that would be useful to her on short notice, I opted for this piece of intel:   Eat early and often! Experience (aka fails) has confirmed for me that the body indeed runs at a higher intensity at altitude (as if there is room to doubt) due to the stress of less oxygen. This stress results in an increase basal metabolic rate, respiration, and heart rate creating increase demand for energy (food with carbohydrate calories). The trick is to remain conscious of …

First of Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude.

Anyone attempting to train at sea level and, also loves mountain running has probably experienced the challenges of  a high-elevation race. What is the challenge? Well, let me put it this way, my first attempt at climbing mountains in a race felt like being pregnant while also having a big pile of bricks on my chest.  In was difficult. But, as challenges are, also a great opportunity to learn. Mountain running used to just be me going on a run in the mountains. That however, was when I lived IN the mountains adapted to elevation. Now a seasoned sea level dweller,  mountain running requires more attention to nutrition to feel good and have fun. Why? Consider the dry climate, potentially abrupt temperature swings, and the exposed climbs.  In conditions like these, even the most fit and altitude adapted athletes suffer many of the same effects of altitude. There are four key nutrition considerations that I take into account to help me ascend new heights above tree line. Here is the first consideration I will be …

What worked for you in treating and preventing blisters?

Blisters are a big deal! I have made the mistake of thinking otherwise but, blisters can impede the ability to train and participate in athletic adventures as much as an injury or illness. My advice is to take blisters seriously especially of you feeling one heating up under foot. Here are a few of my go-to treatments and prevention tools: When have blisters  bust: https://www.amazon.com/Spenco-Skin-Blister-Sports-Count/dp/B004UOTUXK/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1493240870&sr=8-8&keywords=blister+pads I used this and made it through Ragnar Trail Relays with blisters that had popped before the event even started. I also added these where needed https://www.amazon.com/Band-Aid-Advanced-Protection-Adhesive-Bandages/dp/B000Y8W50G/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1493244021&sr=8-4&keywords=blister%2Bprevention&th=1 Super awesome for blister prevention that I use to reduce friction on new shoes and with my orthotics is this ease, simple solution https://www.amazon.com/Blister-Prevention-Patches-Runners-Athletes/dp/B003URZNW0/ref=sr_1_6_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1493243976&sr=8-6&keywords=blister+prevention