Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Running in the Movies

Here’s a list of the best running movies of all time as polled and ranked by runners via Lets.run.com.

Fire on the Track
Storyline: Documentary on Steve Prefontaine, America’s top distance runner in the 1970′s whose front running style, brashness and American records from 2,000m to 10,000m captivated the American track public like no other distance runner. He narrowly missed an Olympic medal in 1972 and then his life was tragically cut short in a car accident. Fire on the Track is excellently produced, has in-depth footage of the 1972 Olympic 5k final, with comments from Prefontaine’s competitors.

Without Limits
Incredible story of life of Steve Prefontaine who broke numerous American records, just missed an Olympic medal and revolutionized the idea of how some people race (from the front) before dying in a tragic car wreck in his prime. Prefontaine’s story is worth remembering. Tom Cruise producer. Get a little on foundation of Nike with Bill Bowerman (Pre’s coach) being behind this movie. Other movie on Prefontaine, Prefontaine, will steal votes. Some say stretches truth a bit more than Prefontaine. Pre’s romance is stressed more in this movie than in Prefontaine.

Chariots of Fire
Fascinating story of two Olympic sprinters from Great Britain, Erick Liddell (devout Protestant) and Harold Abrahams (Jew), of vastly different backgrounds who run for different reasons in the 1924 Olympics. This classic won four Oscars including best picture. Inspirational, especially it’s famous soundtrack by Vangelis.

Tells the story of perhaps the greatest runner of all-time, Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, leading up to his victory in the 1996 Olympic Games. Intersperses footage of Olympic 10k race throughout film. Footage of Gebrselassie running (in Ethiopian and Olympics) is truly incredible and worth seeing in its own right. Most of the actors are Gebrselassie’s real family members.

Jericho Mile
This is a made-for-TV movie about a man serving life sentence in prison who find hope in running. After running a sub-4 minute mile, he trains for the Munich Olympics from prison. The story is inspirational although fictional and sometimes unrealistic.

Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner
Based on a book of the same title, it tells the story of rebellious youngster named Smith who finds comfort and security through his running skills while attending classes at a reformatory school after stealing from a local bakery. Running provides him with moments of quiet reflection to consider the choices he made—and the choices made for him. Runners can relate to the sense of peace and reflection provided by solitary runs, while non-runners can relate to the challenges we all face to our moral integrity on a daily basis.

(of course I highly recommend, Run Fat Boy Run, Running in the Sun, Running the Sahara,  and of course Thelma)

what's your fave running movie?



Evolutionary Psychiatry Low Carbs treament for Alzheimer's Patients

Eating smartly, looks like it's not just for prevention of diabetes, obesity, blood PH, etc etc.. . Ketgenic (low carb) diet showing promise in treating Alzheimer's patients.  The amount of insulin response by consuming foods that trigger such a glycemic response, our insulin production is jacked for life.  Yet another unintended consequence of food production whose ONLY dsired outcome is yield and NOT health.

From Dr Emily Deans's Evolutionary Psychology

......The second article I was excited to hear about is probably a watershed paper in the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia: Intranasal Insulin Therapy for Alzheimer Disease and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. This paper discusses a pilot trial of 104 adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease vs controls with a couple of doses of intranasal insulin.

Why intranasal? None of the subjects had diabetes, and obviously systemic insulin could cause dangerous hypoglycemia. The intranasal dose goes pretty much straight to the central nervous system via the olfactory and trigeminal nerve perivascular channels, and none of the subjects had hypoglycemia during the trial.

Why insulin? Well, as I've discussed at great length (I really ought to repost some of those dementia articles up on Psychology Today…), there are very clear issues with the ability of a
dementing brain to metabolize glucose (the example in that article is Parkinson's disease, but the principle is very similar for Alzheimer's). This problem results in inefficient use of energy, free radical generation, and neuronal toxicity and death. There are several ways to (theoretically) improve this issue - one of them is to use a therapeutic ketogenic diet. The other way is to jack up insulin in the central nervous system to improve the ability of the cells to pull in and utilize glucose, theoretically. In addition, insulin seems to have an effect on amyloid-beta peptides that may protect the neurons, and insulin and insulin activity are generally low in the CNS of folks with dementia (though hyperinsulinemia with insulin resistance seems to be a long-term risk factor for developing Alzheimer's dementia eventually).

My question is - and this is highly speculative - without improving the energetics, does jacking up the insulin help in the short term but hasten the problems in the long term? No long term studies have been done. In the absence of insulin resistance and with insulin in the CNS low already, perhaps not? I'll have to think a little more on that one.