Saturday, March 29, 2008

Luna Sport Energy Chews

Many distance athletes eat on the run. For long days mountaineering, my preference is for real foods like pizza, Italian sub sandwiches, apples, Salmon Jerky and Cornish hens. However, when moving full throttle (like trail slogging), it’s difficult to eat something heavy and then resume running.

On long mileage days, I’ve been relying on fruit, chocolate and Clif Shot Bloks – which I refer to as “Snot Bloks”. The great thing about Bloks is that they are easy to digest and the flavors are tolerable.

Now, Luna is getting into the act. The blueberry flavored Luna Sport Moons, trump the Clif Shot Bloks. As the name suggests, Luna Moons are moon shaped chews. These are the texture of gummy bears. Being smaller than the Clif Shot Bloks is an advantage, because they are easier to eat while running.

There is a statement on the package front that reads, “Nutrition for Women Athletes”. Mmmm…gender based nutrition sounds like marketing to me. According to the packaging on the back, these chews contain the antioxidant vitamins A, C & E in significant amounts.

My understanding is that men need these antioxidant vitamins as well. So whether you’re a guy or gal, checkout the blueberry Luna Sport Moons. In an already over crowded goo, gel and Blok market there’s definitely room for the Luna Sport Moons.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Carries-Broken-Log: Encounters with Mountain Lions

Night running is something I have enjoyed immensely this winter. Not only does it provide solitude, it also gives me the opportunity to work with animal medicine for balance and healing.

Earlier this winter, on one night run, the clouds were low…so low in fact they created a soupy fog. The sky was spitting a rather unusual rain and snow mixture, yet I ventured out into the vast whiteness. Visibility was less than three feet in any direction. The combination of my warm breath, perspiration and the descending slush caused my eyelashes to freeze and stick together. I also experienced a vertiginous sensation as the ethereal whiteness enveloped me.

After crossing a creek on this particular trail, there is just one mile back to the trailhead, I jumped across the frozen creek and suddenly my headlamp illuminated a long slender deer leg. Stopping dead in my tracks, it took about a minute to process this appendage. I remember thinking, “What could rip off a deer leg?” (There was no deer body around.) Then I thought…. a big mountain lion could rip off a deer leg instantly! Yikes! I spun in circles, off-balance, swaying my headlamp left and right desperately trying to find the rest of the deer, the mountain lion or both. Where the hell was the rest of the deer body? the blood looked fresh. Where was the mountain lion? Feeling extremely exposed and afraid, I picked up a large gnarled log and proceeded to hike out the last mile to my car. In an effort to look unappetizing, I banged the log on the ground and began to growl. My chosen log could have been better because after a few taps it broke in two! Now I was welding a very broken log … all the while praying to Great Spirit for guidance and protection.

Once home I shared this story with my daughter and from that time on, she’s affectionately referred to me as “Carries-Broken-Log”.

Flash forward to yesterday’s lovely conditions. Daytime temperatures hovered in the upper 40s. My training schedule called for a 20+ miler. Late in the afternoon, I slipped on my muddy trail runners, comfy backpack, and dual headlamps then headed out for some mileage. For some reason, on this run, I did not bring my iPod. Last night seemed like an excellent time to immerse myself in nature’s lessons; listening, seeing, smelling, and feeling what Great Spirit has in store for me.

While on the Mesa Trail, my headlamps suddenly illuminated two large eyes close to the ground. These were the largest animal eyes I have ever seen (and I’ve seen bears before!). The eyes were fixed square on me, stationary, unmoving. Mmmmm…I slowed to a walk and then with trepidation turned fully toward these glowing orbs. My headlamp illuminated a mature cougar crouched perhaps five feet from me. It was ready to pouch on its prey. In that moment, I felt very small, which I am not. I am 5’7” and 132 lbs. The cougar looked to be larger than me! Its front paws appeared broad and powerful.

Staying completely calm so as not to send “fear hormones” to the cat’s nose, I spied a broken log not more than two feet from me. (Two feet closer to the mountain lion!) Calmly, confidently and slowly I took one step forward and slowly bent to the ground to pickup the broken log. Raising it above my head, I made all sorts of ridiculous growling and hissing noises, careful not to make any sudden moves, yet making sure this cougar knew that I was in-charge!

The statuesque mountain lion never moved nor removed its eyes from me. With a growl and the broken log held high above my head, I began to walk away from it…. turning around every few feet to see if the cougar was tracking me. Then I talked out loud, very loud as a matter of fact…. thanking Great Spirit for keeping me safe and also for giving me powerful medicine to work with. I also gave thanks for that broken log. Carries-Broken-Log walked the next three-and-a-half miles with that log held high above her head, growling and hissing until she reached the parking lot.

All content on this blog is (c) 2007-2008 by Jill Salva.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week 2 of 14: Bump it up a notch

Some weeks are longer than others. My most recent week was over a month long. Delving deeply into experimentation with energy, I’ve emerged renewed just in time for Spring and the awakening of our great Mother Earth. Thanks to those who continued to check this blog. I had vastly underestimated the number of regular visitors.

Kudos to those of you who kept on training. Renee, 49, asked me some interesting questions about preparing for her first 14er. One of her concerns was her age. She wondered if she was too old to do a 14er. As far as I know there’s no age limit on climbing. If you have the drive and desire to climb, then by all means go for it!

Renee also wanted to know if she should do a 14er with a group of people or if it was ok to do one alone. As with most things in life, some people thrive in a group setting, while others bask in the solitude of being alone. I’ve done many 14ers solo during a weekday without seeing anyone else all day. It is perfectly fine to go it alone. If this is what you choose, then self-reliance is your mantra. Be sure to have the proper conditioning, be certain of your route, and tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back home. We’ll go over the essential gear at a future date.

Because the 14ers are so popular, it is often rare to have one of them to yourself. Especially on summer weekends, there can be literally hundreds of people slogging up the trails.

Week Two Training
NOTE: These workouts assume a novice climber, without a base level of physical conditioning. Adjust them to suit your lifestyle and use commonsense.
1. Each morning read your 14er intention out loud.
Our sample intention: On or before July 15, 2008 I climb Mt. Wilson quickly and easily with two friends who share my passion for the outdoors.
2. Wearing a 12 lb backpack, walk 2 days this week for 30 minutes and one day this week for 45 minutes. Your pace should be brisk. Go ahead and swing your arms. Many people choose Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for their walks (taking Monday as a rest day).
3. On alternate days, Tuesday and Thursday, stretch or do yoga for 60 minutes.
4. Substitue a fruit or vegetable for one serving of junk food.

Have a great week all!