Thursday, September 25, 2008

Help support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation: I'm running for the Cure!

My wife and I are taking part in this years CBCF Run For the Cure! It happens in a week and a half, and I'd love your support to raise money for breast cancer.

I ran the Run for the Cure in 2006 and did a time just over 37 minutes I believe. I didn't know much about racing, and it was first race ever! And also the first time I had really done any running. The race was difficult, I almost threw up afterwards, I was completely out of breath, and I was in pain for a few days after that. :) It was the goal race at the end of my first "Learn to Run" clinic with the Running Room.

In January of this year I went back to running in a 5K clinic at the Running Room in Waterloo. The clinics there are fantastic, and I highly recommend it as a place to learn about running at all levels, from walking clinics, 5K, 10K, and all the way up to marathon training!

In March I ran the St. Patrick's Day race in Hamilton, starting at the top of hill of the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton and straight down, ending at Slainte pub where a free pint and a bowl of Irish Stew awaited us. Given that it was the day of one of the worse storms of the season, my time of just over 33 minutes was even more incredible!

In 9 days I will be running in the Run For The Cure again, this time with my wife. We have been taking the 5K clinic at the Running Room together this time... which is going in to its 9th week on Friday! Last Friday we ran a full 5Km and my time was about 34m44 seconds, and that was not at my fastest race pace. This time I have not missed a run yet (running 3 times a week for 25 - 35 minutes each) whereas just before my last race I didn't always make it out 3 times per week.

So I expect I should be able to beat my personal best time on October 5. My goal is to run in under 33 minutes. I have a longer term goal of being able to run 5K in under 30 minutes, but for now I feel I need to continue to build a strong base. They recommend having a full year of running experience before going any further than 5K really. There is plenty of anectodal evidence from our clinic's leaders as well as others, that people who take a 5K clinic once and then move directly to a 10K clinic right after have a higher risk of injury while training for or running 10 kilometers (which is 6.2 miles).

I am also raising donations for this race. Please consider donating to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through my donation page.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baby Poison: Bisphenol A - Hazards and Possibilities

Another study has surfaced regarding the possible hazard of a chemical known as Bisphenol A or BPA.

This time, a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that there is a statistical possibility that BPA is linked to increased rates of heart disease and diabetes.

While the report has gained critics for not being definitive enough, its important to realize that in scientific studies "statistical possibility" of a high enough magnitude is the strongest conclusive evidence that can be found.

It seems to me that while more studies are definitely needed, it seems clear that enough action is being taken to warrant a serious look at what is in your plastics. My wife and I have been staying away from plastic containers that contain BPA for months now. In fact she just sent me this link for a great stainless-steel travel mug that would make a great birthday present :).

While in the US, the FDA has stated that there are no cause for concerns and the European Union also doesn't consider BPA a threat, in April the Canadian government proposed a ban on materials containing BPA making it the first country in the world to do so. Its decision came after study of animal test results (that proved BPA causes diseases in animals) and discussion with experts.

If you're a health nut, you may be one of the people who had bought Nalgene bottles to keep yourself hydrated... it became the hip thing for a while. While the Nalgene site states they believe there is no cause for alarm if using their bottles which contain BPA, they have taken the opportunity to switch to BPA-free materials because of consumer demand.

Also, one of the risks mentioned in the Canadian reports is the boiling of plastic baby bottles, as the high temperature could cause the disease causing chemicals to leach out and into the milk.

Is there a controversy? Of course there is. The makers of the chemicals say its safe, but a growing number of reports say otherwise. I don't like acting primarily on "conspiracy theorist" instincts but I think the evidence in animal trials makes it a wise decision to try and reduce the amount of products in your home that contain Bisphenol-A.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Learn Wisdom: New Lamp On The Path Schedule

I've just received the new schedule of events for and it looks like a good one!

Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw will be teaching a new series of Five Tibetan Yoga classes this September, which is the first time in 2 years! There is a day long intensive for beginners and those who want a refresher on September 20, and I highly recommend it!

Visit the site and see the list of events, and sign up for the schedule.