Friday, December 21, 2007

Whole Foods Soy Protein Powder (Natural Vanilla Flavor)

The day before I went on vacation last week, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a few bars to pack and also picked up a pouch of their soy protein powder to try. I had been thinking about getting a can of the stuff, but I definitely wanted a trial run before that. Fast forward to a week later. I was sore from weights and such for the second day in a row, which reminded me that I had the pouch.

I've had protein powders before, though in whey form. I used to swirl them around in ice water, and it really didn't taste half bad. Expecting the same thing, I mixed the soy protein and drank away.

To put it simply, it was gross. No flavor, thick, gag-worthy (I nearly vomited, but I guess you didn't need to know that). I looked on the label and noticed that there were no carbohydrates, 110 calories per serving (the whole pouch), and 24 grams of protein. So I guess it tasted like that for a reason. I ended up having to chase it down with additional water and the skin of a muffin that someone brought to work.

I don't want to give up on soy protein, because it's a lot of protein for both your calorie and monetary buck. I noticed that the back of the pouch said to add it to soups, cereals, baked goods, etc. If I'm to continue with this, I will need to find something to put it in, though I am disgusted with the concept of thickening my soup. Maybe oatmeal would be a good candidate when I start having that again. I eat Quaker Weight Control instant oatmeal (which is SUPER good in Banana Bread flavor with 160 calories and 7 grams of protein); the soy powder would bring it to 270 calories and 31 grams of protein, 11 more than a Clif Builder's bar for the same number of calories and probably more fulfillment). I wonder if the oatmeal will taste less good, though.

UPDATE: So trying a very similar protein blend (Genisoy) in the oatmeal rendered it a gross mixture, but I choked it down anyway. I think I will try to shake it up with soy milk in the future and just chug it down. I have to use up a whole canister now...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rose Bowl Inaugural Half-Marathon

EVENT: Rose Bowl Inaugural Half-Marathon
DATE: Saturday, December 8, 2007
LOCATION: Pasadena, CA
RACE BEGAN: 8:00 am
FINISH TIME: 02:05:04

The start time for this race was supposed to be 8 am, but I think they lingered and started at 8:03. The national anthem could barely be heard, even though there were maybe about 1000 people out there. This was the first of many things that made me wonder why I signed up for an inaugural run that pretty much cost $90!!

The course was definitely tough. Pretty tough incline between miles 2-3, then the trails began at around mile 6.5. Oh yeah, and I should probably mention that my speed-demon sister passed me shortly before mile 6. My 10k split was probably around 0:57, not bad for me. At mile 7 as we were about to turn a corner, a guide said, "If you see people walking, just run around them." I turned the corner and found myself at a rocky, VERY steep, VERY narrow trail, where falling would mean serious injury. I obviously walked there. Shortly after that, there was a similar, less narrow climb that was three times as long, which I also walked. At the top, some girls dressed in Ms. Clause and elf outfits congratulated us for reaching the top of the hill, only to be thrown into some tunnel that smelled of paint.

Another not-so-grand point of the race was miles 8-9 that were in a lonnnng parking lot. I got so bored that I walked, and I found out later on that my speed-demon sister had done the same. But basically the second half of the race was on a mix of trail (a bit wet from the recent rain we had) and asphalt. Mile 10 was partly downhill, which was nice, and 11-13.1 were relatively flat. I recall that at mile 10, I was clocking at around 1:37, so I knew I would not make my sub-2 goal. I wanted to throw up during the last .1 mile, so I couldn't sprint and almost forgot to get my chip collected.

Gun time was about 2:06, chip time around 2:05, a PR by more than 6 minutes. Considering everything (the course and my cough due to a week of working late, sleeping less than ideal, upcoming finals, etc.), I was pretty happy with my performance.

...But, the medal was beautiful, and I got to cheer my other sister and friend in since the crowd was small.

Overall, an interesting, challenging race. I am not so sure about competing in the Pasadena Marathon next year if it is going to be of that difficulty. I also am fearing the marathon. Hm.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Aquaphor Sample

In this entry, I talked about how Aquaphor helps with chafing, so now it's time to get a sample of your own (while supplies last)!



Sunday, December 2, 2007

Running Makes Your Gut Bigger

Running makes your heart big (I'll probably write more about that later), but it also gives you more guts.

At my first track meet ever in the spring of 2000, there were not enough JV hurdlers to sweep up points in the 100m hurdles. I had trained with the sprinters for about 3-4 months, and although I was already signed up for other sprint events, my team duty was salient. I had exposure to SOME hurdling, about 50m worth during a "hexathlon" that took place to find our strengths, and no, hurdling was not one of my strengths found that day.

I rememeber kneeling in the blocks, wondering how this would go. Gun. Boy, those hurdles are a lot taller in the 100m than the 300m, I thought. I probably cleared the first five hurdles and then started faltering. Anyone who hurdles knows that once you lose your rhythm, it's VERY difficult to settle back into it. So I was intimate with the ground and slowly finished the race, even though everyone else had long finished. My finish would still be worth 1 point, and as it goes, you should always (if it's within your ability) finish what you start. My teammates helped me clean up some minor scrapes with water bottles.

A bit of perspective here. The only other time I've met ground while running was at a 400m race. I was neck-in-neck with the girl behind me, and in order to cross the finish line first, I dove. The damage was a bit more mild that time.

But the story below is an extreme case of courage, tolerance, and strength. I am not endorsing this level of extremity, but it is certaintly admirable. Now it's time to run and be thankful for my good health and healed foot.