Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MAINTAIN

Although I appreciate the discipline and the validity of those who adhere to a vegan diet, I have always been a proponent of the "everything in moderation" philosophy.

Now, I don't profess to be a dietitian, but I do believe that a varied diet, including a moderate amount of red meat once in a while, is acceptable. Loading up with fruits and vegetables, following the American Cancer Society's 'Nine fruits and/or vegetables daily' is a smart idea.

It is the Holiday season, however, and for many of us, healthy eating and drinking, at least for a while, often takes a back seat to celebratory indulgences.

The egg nog, homemade cookies and baked goods of all kinds, copious amounts of turkey, ham and stuffing, along with toasts of beer, wine, and spirits, add up the calories faster than Santa's sled on Christmas Eve.

Here in the hard coal region of Eastern Pennsylvania, we feature a patchwork quilt of third or fourth generation immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy, and Ireland, most of whom arrived here in the late 1800s and early 1900s to find work in the coal mines.

Over the Holidays, many of us concoct an old-fashioned Christmas libation brought to us by our Eastern European ancestors called, "boilo."

The tasty drink is a mixture of oranges, lemons, cinnamon sticks, and other spices, mixed with ginger ale, and spiked with either whiskey, or a stronger spirit. It is heated when prepared, and heated to be drunk.

Boilo warms the body on a cold winter night. It can also knock you on your ass if consumed in large quantities.

So, with all this food and drink, and a workout schedule to worry about, what is a runner to do?

That's easy.

Maintain!

Shake off the food and drink from the night before and make sure you slog out a few  miles in the morning.. Now is the time of year to allow your body, nicked up from hard training and racing, to heal. Miles can be slow. The watch may be left at home. Sweat out the poison; allow the oxygen to evaporate the food and drink hangover.

When the New Year's festivities have ended, mark January 2 as your time of renewal. Slowly build yourself back up by logging lots of miles during the month January.

Lighten up.

Enjoy the Holiday season with your family, because that's what the Holidays are all about.

Remember, everything in moderation.

Don't slide back.

Maintain.

When you do, the New Year is sure to bring a personal best.

For more, visit: www.muldowneyrunning.com