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September 2009

Running on Food: Simple Sandwich Ideas

This article is part of a popular series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blogTrials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and loves to help runners with their questions.

Past articles can be found in the Nutrition and Hydration section and Recipe section in the Lounge.

by Heather

Running On Food Logo

In lieu of buying lunch meat that usually goes bad before I finish it (and is usually jam-packed with Sodium), I’ve started getting more creative with my grocery list and sandwich creations. Pepperjack cheese has become a staple; I can’t get enough of that flavor, and it’s another dairy serving in my day.

Most of these combinations would work with any cheese; it’s all about your preferences. The idea of a sandwich lends itself to creativity; the options are endless, it just depends on what you like and what’s in your fridge!

Roasted Red Pepper & Pepperjack Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread (toasted, optional)
2 slices Pepperjack cheese
¼ c Roasted Red Peppers
Calories: 300*

Roasted Red Pepper & Egg Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread (toasted, Optional)
2 medium/large eggs, scrambled (or cooked to preference)
2 tbsp Roasted Red Peppers
1 tbsp Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (other flavors optional)
Calories: 350

Pepperjack & Egg Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread (toasted, Optional)
1 slice Pepperjack cheese
2 medium/large eggs, scrambled (or cooked to preference)
1 tbsp Guacamole or Hummus
Calories: 420

Sweet Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread
1 tbsp Peanut butter
½ banana, sliced
1 tbsp Honey
Calories: 340

Veggie Pizza Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread (toasted, optional)
1 tbsp pizza (or marinara) sauce
Tomatoes, sliced
Green/Red Peppers, sliced
Red Onion, sliced or chopped
2 slices Mozzarella cheese (other types optional)
Calories: 310

*Calorie estimates will change depending on types of bread/cheese used.

What are some of your favorite sandwich combinations?

FREE Stuff Giveaway: Two Winners Announced

Last week’s discussion about stretching for runners produced some useful insights into whether, when, how, and how much to stretch.  Plus a few of runners are still skeptical about the results of stretching.  Ahhh, it's true how much runners demand evidence!

This week’s winner is Kavitha.  For leaving her comments, Kavitha wins a stretching instructional book and DVD by Brian Dorfman.  Thank you to everyone for leaving you ideas and experiences.  With running topics, it's seldom about being right or certain; it's more about good running conversation and considering the views of other runners.

Spirit of the Marathon Moments

SOTM Moments

It’s also time to choose the Spirit of the Marathon Moment Winner.  As you might recall, Spirit of the Marathon Moments are stories, ideas, and musings written by you about the marathon...in 262 words or less!

This week's winner is CJ from CJ Runs.  Thank you, CJ, for sharing your thoughts that go beyond marathon race day.

Everyone is eligible to participate in Spirit of the Marathon Moments by submitting your personal response in this forum. Each Monday during September and October a Spirit of the Marathon Moment is selected as a winner and its author will win a DVD of Spirit of the Marathon, autographed by the director, Jon Dunham.

Some examples of a Spirit of the Marathon Moment might be:

* For a runner hopeful to run a marathon, what intrigues you most about the marathon?
* Advice to a first-time marathoner
* Questions you'd like to ask an experienced marathoner
* Why the marathon means so much to you
* The greatest challenge of training for running the marathon or running it on race day
* The greatest reward of training for running the marathon or running it on race day
* What inspires you to complete the marathon
* How you're a better person because of a marathon
* What a difference running the marathon has made in your running or life
* What the marathon has taught you
* What you still want to accomplish in a future marathon
...in 262 words or less-...

To be eligible, share your Spirit of the Marathon Moment and experiences in this forum.

Next week's giveaway partner is a runner's favorite.  Fire up for a great week of running!

Extra, Extra, Run All About It: The Week In Running: 9/20-9/27

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, let's take a look back at the week in running:

As reported on People.com on September 23rd, despite gearing up for her upcoming pregnancy, Jenna Elfman, former Dharma & Greg star and now leading the way on CBS' sitcom Accidentally On Purpose, sat down and gave us a glimpse into how she has been trying to stay fit as she continues to balloon. While I may not have agreed with any of the comedic routines in the mildly-decent Dharma, I have to agree with Jenna's workout habits. As the star told People Magazine, “I walk on the treadmill as much as I can, like four times a week with the production schedule and raising a two year old...I had to actually put a treadmill in my dressing room at work. So if I have a ten-minute break I’ll just hop on it for ten minutes just so I’m staying moving. It’s very important to stay moving when you’re pregnant. Then I have some free weights here and there. Nothing outlandish". I have known many people who dreamed of one day becoming a famous Hollywood celebrity. I'm sure everybody knows people like this. Many do it for the fame. Other do it for the fortune. But me? I never actually wanted to become an actor until I read this People.com article. To actually demand, and then receive, a treadmill in your dressing room?!?! Now that's an amenity that cannot be beaten!
As reported on CNN.com on September 24th, when ultramarathoner Maria Natero-Armenta set out for an 8-mile run (a little stroll for someone who has run countless 100-mile and 50-mile races), she had no idea that she wouldn't arrive home for three days. But, after leaving her house at 5:30am on September 21st and starting her run along a trail in the the Cleveland National Forest near San Diego, she eventually got lost on the forest trail and, "Night turned into day. She had no water or food, and she didn't try to eat anything. She became disoriented but had the wherewithall to know that she was completely out of fuel. She didn't have the strength to keep walking, so she climbed into a ravine, believing that would be the safest place". With only 2 bottles of water and no food to sustain her, Armenta was on the verge of death when rescuers eventually found her three days after her run began. Despite the harrowing experience, Natero-Armenta told reporters that, "The experience has not scared her away from distance running on trails," and, that once she fully recovers, "she will be back, running". Good luck in your recovery, Mrs. Natero-Armenta. For the time being, might I suggest sticking to the roads and more populated running areas!?!?

Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, October 3rd

Freedom's Run (Shepherdstown, WV)
Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon (Leavenworth, WA)
New Hampshire Marathon (Bristol, NH)
St. George Marathon (St. George, UT)

Sunday, October 4th

Blue Sky Marathon (Fort Collins, CO)
City Of Trees Marathon (Boise, ID)
Crazy Horse Marathon (Rapid City, SD)
YMCA Johnstown Marathon (Johnstown, PA)
Lakefront Marathon (Milwaukee, WI)
Peak Performance Maine Marathon (Portland, ME)
Marathon De Rimouski (Rimouski, QC)
Mt. Rushmore Marathon (Rapid City, SD)
PEC Marathon (Picton, ON)
Portland Marathon (Portland, OR)
KMXT Run The Rock Marathon (Kodiak, AR)
Sacramento CowTown Marathon (Sacramento, CA)
Cancer Centers Of Southwest Oklahoma Spirit Of Survival Marathon (Wichita Mt. Wildlife Refuge, OK)
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
28th Wineglass Marathon (Corning, NY)

Tripping Over Myself: Post Marathon Attention (PMA)–How to Keep the Thrill Alive

Tripping Over Myself

Post Marathon Attention (PMA)–How to Keep the Thrill Alive

By Blaine Hawkes at Another Day, Another Run

The feeling of crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles of running and seeing friends and family there cheering you on is an incredible sensation. For some of you, this may be your first time in the spotlight. You have just earned the attention similar to someone who has just saved the world from the earth-destroying meteor that was hurling toward the earth. The problem that you now face is how to keep the thrill of attention alive in your life. There are some key techniques to accomplish this.

The Marathon WalkThis is the easiest and effortless attention getter to start with. Your naturally slower anyways so take it a step further and add some facial expressions and Going a little slower and wincing as you go up and down the stairs and give a groan every now and then. This should last you a good 4 or 5 days depending on your time in the race. Remember to ask your friends and family to “walk a little slower”.

Social Media

It’s time to use modern technology to its full advantage. Take time to post all your recovery stats on your Facebook and Twitter pages…sign your friends and co-workers up to receive the up to the minute text stats that the race organizers send out. Above all else….be sure to update your blog. You could even go out on a limb and bring your marathon story into a comment on someone else’s blog although we don’t condone that sort of behavior.

Race Mementos for Your Co-Workers

Make sure to bring souvenirs back to all your co-workers. Buying the race photos that are put on mugs and mouse pads are a great choice. Since Christmas is only three months away now is the time to order your gifts. You must be careful to only give out items that will not be used on a regular basis, but has enough value that it won’t be thrown away immediately. This allows you the perfect opportunity to bring up the topic many weeks or months after the race. While you are visiting with a co-worker, pick up the souvenir and say something casual like “oh, you still have this (blank) that I got from that fall marathon. That sure was a fun race…” perfect opportunity.

Casual Fridays, Halloween, Company Athletic Events, etc.

Let’s be honest. How many race shirts do you wear while training? Why do you think they give them out with your registration? Because they are assisting you in this process. Race organizers understand the importance of reminding people about your marathon. Take advantage of the company casual Fridays, community service projects, taking your kids to the park, etc. There is nothing like a bright orange technical shirt with the word “MARATHON” on it to become a conversation starter. You’ll want to associate with different people each time you wear it to keep the interest alive.

I’m sure this is the just the tip of the iceberg. With some additional thought you too can master the art of PMA.

Open Mic Friday: Meet Dan, the Oz Runner


Today's guest is a runner we've enjoyed getting to know.

His blog, Oz Runner , is followed by running friends everywhere because he posts about running, plus a variety of interests.  From Kansas, a state famous for great running legends, he shares his experiences why and how he took up running and where and how it's going for him.

A devoted husband and dad, he also has a great place in his heart for running and running friends. We're delighted to connect runners with Dan, one of our favorite runners and bloggers, and we believe you'll understand why.  He's a great guy and has gained and shares a lot of great insight on his blog.

                    Welcome Dan!

What’s your story about getting started with running?

I ran track in junior high, mostly because my friends and cute girls were all on the track team. My event was the 800m and I wasn’t very fast.    In high school the only running I did was around the bases as part of the baseball team. And since I didn’t get on base too much, I didn’t have to run very often.

And then in college I think I ran once or twice, not sure exactly why. Probably bored.

But I remember living with a guy right after college, Richard, who was a runner. He ran most mornings, and I remember seeing him get really fit. He lost a lot of weight and got into great shape. Though I didn't start running at that time, the running seeds were planted.

So years go by, and I'm working on a career, married with kids and overweight.    And it's been more than a decade since I ran. But I remembered Richard, and how running worked for him to lose weight. Besides, it seemed like all the runners I knew were in great shape. So I took up running. And got hooked. And I lost weight.

Dan after the race

I still remember the first time I went for a run, for exercise. I couldn't even go down the street and around the corner, which was about two blocks, without stopping to walk and being out of breath. I was way out of shape.

My first 5K was brutal. My body was not even close to being ready to run 3.1 miles. But I had a free entry offered to me through work, so I signed up. I don't remember my time, but I think I walked pretty much half of it, and felt soreness in my legs for a week afterward.

But, much as I would have liked to, I didn't give up. I kept running. My second 5K was much like the first. I wasn't ready, and my body got pounded. But it was at that race that I was first attracted to the whole "runner community" thing. So again, I kept running. And observing.  And learning.

I started to really enjoy going for runs. My one mile loop didn’t seem as far or as hard as it did before. I started running further distances. And, I started losing weight. I lost about 30 pounds in a year, largely attributed to eating right and running. I felt better about myself and I had more energy.

Somewhere in there I think I decided that I was a runner. At least I started to think of myself as a runner. I was reading running blogs and running books. I found some great running podcasts. I ran a couple more races, and started to feel like I was a part of the running community now.

I’ve now been running consistently for about a year and in April I finished my first half-marathon, the OKC Memorial Half Marathon.  I also ran my first 10K race in May, our local River Run.

Our family after running in the 2 mi. RiverRun

You have a great blog— a nice blend of friendly, community, and family-focused, along with running.  What do you enjoy most about blogging

I think what I love about blogging the most is the community aspect of it, and the mutual encouragement that happens.  There are runners all over the United States (and world) that I have connected with and can gain support and encouragement from.   And, I can offer support and encouragement in return.   We cheer each other on when there are races coming up, and sympathize with each other through various running injuries.  I have found that most runners are very generous and freely offer advice to new runners like myself.  I appreciate that.  I think all runners need ongoing encouragement and advice, and some runners get that from a regular running group or club, or from a running partner.  Mine comes from the blogger community and my running blogger friends. 


You’re still struggling with an injury.  Bring us up to date.

I have had Plantar Fasciitis for about 3 months.  Let me tell you that I wouldn’t wish this injury on my worst enemy.  It has been painful and frustrating.  Each morning I do the “furniture shuffle” to the bathroom, holding on to furniture the entire way because the pain is so intense.  For the last 3 months, I have been trying self treatment--massaging, icing my foot, rolling my foot on golf balls and tennis balls.  And, I haven’t been running.  I’ve been walking and doing some elliptical.   I also bought a sock to wear at night that keeps my foot in a flexed position to stretch the plantar tendon.  However, nothing seemed to be working.   

I was missing out on some prime running weather, and had to back out of our local half marathon (ran last weekend).  So, about 10 days ago, I finally went to my general practice doctor.  He said he’s had PF twice in his life and the last time he was given a steroid shot in the heel of his foot that fixed him right up, so I quickly asked him to give me the shot.  I can honestly say that now, 10 days later, I feel like my injury is healed.  The pain has almost totally gone away.  It is great.  I am going to do a fun run with my 7 year old son this weekend, and hope to begin running regularly next Tuesday.


Best race experience?

I don’t know if it’s my best, because it was slow, but it’s my longest-the OKC Half Marathon.  And, it’s also the race that I learned the most from by far.   So in that regard it’s the best.  I learned some good lessons from this race.   I learned about electrolytes and sodium and potassium and how important it is to stay properly hydrated.  I only wish I had known about these things BEFORE the race.  

The race was in April, after I’d been training all winter, and race day was hot and humid, and I was not prepared at all.   I did okay the first half of the race, but during the second half I experienced major calf cramping and dehydration.  There were two times that I got weak in the knees and light headed and had to sit down to get my strength back.  I actually thought I was going to pass out.  I couldn’t run at all the last two miles because the cramping was so severe.  When I did finish, I drank 3 bottles of water, 2 bottles of Powerade, 1 bottle of orange juice, and 2 milks within 30 minutes.  I definitely learned my lesson the hard way on this one.

What have you not done with your running that you’re still looking forward to?

I would like to run at least one marathon in my life.  Just one, then go back to running shorter distances like half marathons/10Ks/5Ks, etc.   But, I’d like to at least run one marathon. Someday.   Just to say that I’ve done it.   I read a quote from Lance Armstrong in a Runner’s World magazine that went something like this—“anyone can sit around and do nothing for months and months and go out there and run a 5K or 10K, or even a half marathon.  But you can’t fake a full marathon.”   I think I want to run one or two more half marathons and then hopefully I’ll be mentally and physically prepared to tackle a full marathon. 

K-state pic redone2

Non-running, non-blogging interests?

I am an avid Kansas State fan, I love K-State.  I graduated from there and love following my Wildcats.    In fact my oldest son was born on 01-01-01 (New Years Day), and K-State was playing Tennessee in the Cotton bowl that year while my wife was having labor pains.  I coaxed her to wait until the game was over, and she was able to, so then we drove to the hospital and had a baby.  K-State won their bowl game and I had my first child on the same day. It was one of the greatest days of my life.

What gets you excited about running?

There are days and mornings when it is difficult to get out of bed and go for a run, especially in the winter when it is dark and cold, and I am sore from a run the day before.  My body tells me not to run and my bed is pulling me back under the warm blanket.  It would be very easy to skip a run (and I have skipped some runs). 

But---I have never gone for a run and regretted that I went.  I always feel more energized, more alive, more focused.  And I have a greater sense of accomplishment and a more positive outlook on life.

Running hero?

I just finished reading 50/50 by Dean Karnazes not too long ago, and he is now officially my running hero.  That guy is amazing and that book is very inspirational.  If you haven’t read it, and you are a runner, you owe it to yourself to check it out.  You will be inspired to run.   I enjoy Dean’s love for running--not just racing, but purely running.  And I love his heart and desire to get kids active and moving and off their couches and away from their video games and out the door.


Best running advice you’d like to share?

  • To anyone considering taking up running, or racing in their first 5K, I want to offer some advice from my own experience. Since I have only been running regularly for about 12 months now, I am certainly not an expert, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but writing this list helped me to reflect and think about the things I've learned about running myself.
  • Don’t worry about your pace. In the beginning you will be slow. Everyone is. Heck, I still am. You will see others running faster and be tempted to become frustrated. Don’t. Just take it easy and run at your own pace. Over time speed will come and you will become faster, but don’t make that your primary goal.
  • Run where you are. By that I mean, make running convenient for you. Don’t make it such a chore that you have to drive somewhere to do it, or have to have someone with you. Just open your front door and start running. Put one foot in front of the other. Run around your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised at the things you’ll learn about your neighbors by just running around. And, you will eliminate some of the excuses for not running if all you have to do is open the door and put one foot in front of the other.
  • Be flexible. If the run you had planned doesn’t work out due to scheduling or weather, don’t worry about it. Do it another day, or at another time. It’s good to try to pre-plan runs, but if they don’t work out exactly as you had anticipated, don’t sweat it. Life happens and things get busy. Just work in your runs as you are able.
  • April 2009 185

    Listen to yourself. That means listen to what your body and mind are telling you, before during, and after your runs. The three things that I really try to pay attention to when running are my body, my breathing, and my mental state. Honestly, I think mental state is probably most important. When my mental state is right, it usually doesn’t matter how my body feels. And when all three things, body, breathing, and mental state, are clicking, then it makes for a great run.
  • Get the right tools. For me, this meant investing in some high quality shoes, buying some clothing that “wicks” (yes, I had to learn what that term meant), and getting some shiny things to wear when I run in the dark. In the winter here, it is dark pretty much all the time before and after work, so I needed to find a way to run safely on the streets in my neighborhood.
  • Track your runs. I have two ways that I track my runs. I know, it's probably overkill. I have a paper journal that I write in after my runs. I put down how far I went, how I felt, what the weather was like, and anything else I want to put down. It’s an old fashioned paper and pen journal, and it is fun to look back and read my thoughts about previous runs. I also track my running electronically.  Originally I used the my Nike+ sensor through the Nike+ web site, but about 6 months ago I upgraded to a Garmin and now I can’t run without it.  Garmins are the best, and it has proven to be a great way to electronically track and record my runs. There are also many other websites and tracking tools out there.
  • Get connected to the running community. Don’t be a lone ranger. Find a podcast, a blog, a website, a friend, or a running group, that you can get connected to. Support and encouragement is very important and getting connected helps with your motivation and continued success with your running. Getting to know others that love running gives you a place to share your experiences, both good and bad, with running. Runners are great people, and very welcoming to talk about running with others. I have learned a lot about running by just asking questions to others.
  • Get the right fuel. Think about what you are putting into your body. Running and exercise is just half of the equation. Eating right is the other half. If you eat right, you will be well fueled for a good run. And conversely, if you eat wrong, you will pay for it on that long run.
  • Stretch. This is something that I learned I was not very good at, and took me getting injured to realize it.    Your feet and legs take quite a pounding on the pavement, so treat them well and stretch them out. Stretch more after your runs. Do just a light stretch before your run just to loosen up, and then stretch more after your muscles are warmed up, either mid run or afterward.

                                                    Thank you, Dan!

Do you know a runner you would recommend for Open Mic Friday?

Pass along their name, contact info, and some background and we'll explore introducing them to the Runners' Lounge Community.

Send your suggestions to Tom@runnerslounge.com or Amy@runnerslounge.com

Take It and Run Thursday: Yoga and Running

Take it and run thursday This week's sponsor is Kitzzy from the blog http://kitzzyfit.blogspot.com/  and offers this question to ponder and respond to:

I find yoga to be an excellent companion to my running to avoid
injury, improve flexibility, and help relieve sore muscles after a
hard workout or race. Tell us about your experience with yoga as it
relates to running. If you have not tried it, why not? If you have,
did it help? How often do you feature yoga in your weekly workout
regime? What are your favorite yoga poses and routines? Pass on your
recommendations for your favorite yoga DVDs, instructors, podcasts,
online resources, etc.

Share your take on yoga and running with Kitzzy and the Lounge by jumping over to the article and leaving your advice.  But before you do, check out Kitzzy's running story:

For next week's question, Heather joins us as the sponsor and offers this question to ponder and respond to:

If you had the knowledge, time and/or means by which to Organize a race - what would your "Race Info" include?  Would you chose an organization to donate to? What distance would you choose? Other questions to ponder - Location? Time? Race Expo attendees (guest speakers?)? Shirt design? Get as creative as you want....!

Running on Food: Omelet Options

This article is part of a popular series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blogTrials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and loves to help runners with their questions.

Past articles can be found in the Nutrition and Hydration section and Recipe section in the Lounge.

by Heather

Running On Food Logo

Eggs are one of the best sources of protein in a diet; they also happen to be very easy to prepare and extremely versatile! While commonly thought of as a “breakfast” food, I often find them on my dinner plate after a late run. One obvious reason is convenience, but eggs can be the staple of a healthy entrée not to be overlooked!

I take mine scrambled, but really prefer some veggies in the mix. It took a while, but I’ve finally “perfected” the Omelet! Here are some tips:

  • Use a non-stick pan! These decreases the amount of fat needed (pan coating)
  • Whisk the eggs together before pouring in the pan
  • Estimate ~3 eggs per omelet (helpful if you’re using Egg substitute)
  • Milk is optional (~ 1 tbsp) – water works too – to increase “fluffiness”
  • Coat the pan lightly with unsalted butter (Cooking Spray works too)
  • Use a rubber spatula to loosen the sides (and flip one half over the toppings)
  • Wait until eggs are nearly cooked before filling and/or flipping

Usually my Omelet meal is paired with whole-wheat toast, bagel or English muffin. The post-run carbs are important too! Then, in addition to your high-protein omelet and healthy-carb side, you can also throw in a serving (or two!) of veggies. Yes, this is what I like to call a well balanced meal!

To increase the protein (up to you!), here are a few healthy options:

  • Turkey sausage or turkey bacon
  • Lean ground beef
  • ham steak (chopped)
  • Low-fat  / part-skim Cheeses

And lastly, here are some of my favorite tasty Omelet combinations:

  • Green pepper + onion + 2% cheddar + meat-of-choice
  • Green pepper + red pepper + corn + onion + meat-of-choice
  • Tomatoes + onion + spinach + part-skim mozerella
  • Tomatoes + onion +  green pepper + 2% cheddar
  • Diced potatoes + onion + meat-of-choice

However, anything goes! Be creative, use your favorite veggies and meats. Top it off with some salsa, cilantro, red-pepper flakes or even a little extra cheese for more flavor!

What’s your favorite omelet option??

FREE STUFF Giveaway: Stretching DVD and Book

Runners sharing best tips and lessons learned--that's one of the greatness of the running community. 

Last week dozens of runners disclosed pearls of running wisdom in the giveaway forum.  Now if we can all just follow the advice of others--and our own advice learned the hard way.  Thank you to everyone for taking the time and humility to help fellow runners.

The winner of the latest trail shoe, the New Balance 910, is Joanna.  She stressed listen to your body and heart--and countless others stressed the theme of take it easy, slow, recover, and enjoy!

We want to thank New Balance for partnering with Runners’ Lounge on last week’s giveaway.  New Balance gave away their newest trail shoe, the 910

This Week's Giveaway Partner: Stretching Book and DVD by Brian Dorfman

One of the longest standing debates in running is about stretching.  Does it help or hinder?  Stretch before or after running? Or both?

What are the best stretches?  How long do I hold a stretched position?  Does stretching simply make me feel better, reduce injuries or does it improve running performance?

Stretching BD

In the course of working on The Ultimate Runner, we’ve met up with Brian Dorfman, a leading expert in the field of stretching.  Brian’s knowledge of muscle, movement, health and injury, all bundled together as an instructor and coach, stands apart from many experts on stretching.  He has worked with elite to ordinary athletes, and always teaching as well as helping them improve. 

This week’s giveaway is his DVD and book on flexibility and stretching.  The winner of these resources will have access to some valuable instruction on how to get the most out of stretching for prevention and improvement.

To be eligible for this week’s book and DVD giveaway, share a response in the forum to some of these questions:

What has been your experience with stretching and running?  Do you stretch?  Don’t bother?  Hate it? Enjoy it?  Don’t believe in stretching?  Know you should but don’t take time?  Know you should, but don’t know how to stretch correctly?

Just leave your response in the forum to be eligible to win.  The winner will be announced on Monday, 9/28.

Extra, Extra, Run All About It: The Week In Running: 9/13-9/20

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, let's take a look back at the week in running:

As reported in the Journal Sentinel Online (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) on September 15th, there must be something in the water which flows in Wisconsin and Dublin, Ireland. What else would explain the fact that, over the last four years, the Guinness Book Of World Records' record for the most siblings to complete the same marathon has bounced between the Dublin Marathon and the Community Fire Fox Cities Marathon three times. With a potential four record about to be set in this Sunday's running of the Community Fire Fox Cities Marathon. In 2007, the record was set by the family Weiss whose 13 siblings finished the Fox Cities thon. Two months later, the family O'Donaghue set the record as their 15 siblings finished the Dublin Marathon. And, this Sunday, the family Kapral will go for the record when their 16 siblings will compete in Fox Cities. While eight of the Kapral brothers and sisters have children under 5 years old, and four of them are still under 25, they have been training extensively over the last several months and have dedicated themselves not only to the 26.2 mile adventure that awaits them but also to setting the Guinness record. While many of the siblings are probably feeling the nerves that come only days away from any marathon, they remain upbeat and positive, 'A lot of us probably never thought we would do a marathon, but there's been a lot of motivation with all of us training together,' said Sarah, 18, the youngest of the group". Good luck to all of you siblings out there!! If nothing else, I'm sure you're next family reunion will be filled with interesting, albeit similar, new stories!

* As reported on Core77.com on August 18th, I may have found a solution to the homesickness I always feel whenever I travel abroad. Florida-based designer and professor at theArt Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Jeff Smith, may have just invented something that will make my unfamiliar surroundings seems that much more familiar...and comfortable. Working for Reflex Design, a full service industrial and graphic design consulting firm, Smith has created a fully-functioning folding treadmill that is sure to be a hit with traveling runners the world over. While Smith has not made any claims as to whether this folding treadmill is simply a concept or whether it will be manufactured in the future, his idea is one that is well before its time. Should nothing ever come from the prototype, I may have to make a trip down to Fort Lauderdale with a car big enough to hold an object the size of, say, a folding treadmill!!

* As provided for on FitSugar.com on August 18th, lovers of treadmills can now prove just how strong that love. FitSugar.com has provided this interesting (though exceedingly short) quiz that will test your knowledge of all things treadmill and will help separate the runners from the wannabes! Not to brag, but I, of course, scored a 100%!!

Open Mic Friday: Meet Cyndi, Rookie Runner

Open_mic_friday She goes by Rookie Runner.  However reading her blog tells us she's running wise beyond her years running.  We appreciate her insights about running, family, life, and how to get the most from them all.

She recently observed her one year "runniversary" and has unleashed enthusiasm for everything running.  We love featuring runners with her heart and spirit more than running elites, running legends, and running rockstars. We're delighted to introduce you to this week's guest.

Welcome Cyndi, Rookie Runner!

Profile Tell us about your experience getting started running.

I started running in July 2008 as a way to drop some pounds and to work my way towards a permanent lifestyle of fitness and wellness.  I have battled the scale most of my adult life – gaining and losing the same 20, 30, even 40 pounds.  While surfing the internet one day, I came across some very inspiring blogs about people who had adopted a lifestyle of fitness and had accomplished great personal victories.  I wanted a piece of that! 

I decided to try the Couch To 5K program.  I had never run in my life, and certainly was no athlete! So this would be interesting.  But I figured, I can do anything for 9 weeks.   I started my first blog, Tales From The Broken Scale, as a way to document my C25K journey, and report in on my weekly weight loss progress.  I took my first ‘run’ on July 26, 2008, and little did I know then….a runner was born!  It was not long before my focus moved from weight loss numbers to running stats.  I finally ‘broke up’ with my scale and started my new blog this summer, one year after I started running.  As long as I was running, cross training and eating well to support those efforts, the scale pretty much took care of itself.  Sure, I still weigh daily – but more out of habit than for any other reason.

You’re dealing with an emotional rollercoaster right now with an injury.  Tell us about it.

I am sidelined from running right now trying to get through an IT Band issue.  It has only been two weeks so far, but it has REALLY thrown me off mentally. I can handle physical discomfort…it is the not being able to run part that has been surprisingly challenging.  I knew I loved running, and not just for the physical benefits…running has become my spiritual and emotional sanctuary of sorts.  My time out on the road is the one thing I have that is all for ‘me’ – I think, pray, smile, I problem solve, I breathe deep, and sometimes I even cry a little. The frustrating part of being injured for me though, is that I made every rookie mistake in the book, and this should not have happened.  So now I am trying to be patient and smart about getting through this, and hopefully will be able to prevent it from happening again! 

First Half Marathon[1] Best race experience? 

In May this year, I crossed my first Half Marathon finish line in Cleveland – just 10 months after I took my first pathetic quarter mile jog around a track.  Crossing that line was the sweetest personal victory for me.  Exactly one year ago on that day, I was in a very serious car accident that quite frankly, I should NOT have walked away from.  It was an astounding miracle that I climbed out of my completely crushed van.  One year later, as I completed my first 13.1 mile run, I felt very much alive and strong - appreciating every breath and step I took to cross that finish line, and hungry for much, much more.

What are your current running goals?

For the short term, I hope I am able to participate in my scheduled half marathon on November 1st, because I want a new PR to close out the season.  Eventually, I would like to do a marathon just to cross that off the list, but it may be another year or two before I am ready for that.  I am looking into a running coach certification class (through RRCA) next spring.  I really enjoy helping other new runners and feel the need to share the ‘running love’ with others, especially people who would otherwise never expect to be a runner themselves. 

Running hero?

My running hero is not even a runner!  But my 18 year old son, Chris, is my hero and inspiration when the miles get long and tough.  Chris has epilepsy, and a host of other special needs.  When I get tired or frustrated, or when I hit a progress plateau…I think of Chris and all the challenges he faces every minute of every day of his life.  He keeps on going every day no matter what the obstacles, with a smile on his face, and a ‘can do’ attitude.  Suddenly, my IT Band issue becomes insignificant!

Best running advice you’d like to share?

I still view myself as a ‘rookie runner’, so I’m still learning as I log the miles.  But I’ve learned that there are three important components for new runners to keep in mind always: 

1)  Be Consistent  – Get a plan, follow the plan.   Don’t skip runs unless you are injured or sick.  No matter how much I am dragging to get out the door to run, I ALWAYS come back feeling fine, every time.  Just do it.  I firmly believe that anyone…including 40 something moms who work full time and have 3 kids and a house to run….ANYONE can find 20-30 minutes minimum to run.  Find that time consistently, place a high value in it, and every aspect of your life will be that much better for it!

2)  Be Patient -   It’s easy as a new runner to get caught up in numbers, and wanting to be *fast* and go far.  But it takes time and dedication and effort to get reach goals safely.  Never compare yourself to other runners, focus on what you can do at this moment, and just keep running.  Progress is sure to come if you just run.

3)  Follow The Rules -  Stretch, follow the 10% rule for increasing time or distance each week, take rest days, do some strength training, invest in properly fitted shoes for your foot and replace them every 300-400 miles.  Very simple rules really….and not following them will eventually lead to injury.   I made the mistake of NOT following the basic rules, and here I sit with ITBS and wondering if I’m going to be able to run my planned November 1st Half Marathon.  Runners are fit people, but we are not invincible!

Cyn and Shosh Who are some of your virtual running friends you would like to meet up and run with?

Oh boy, there are so many!  I love the blogging community and have read so many inspiring stories.  I have developed what I know will be a life long friendship with one of my blogging friends, Shosh, from The Constant Trainer.  Hers was one of the first blogs I ever read, and her story was so much like mine, I felt immediately connected to her.  She was the one who encouraged me to sign up for my first half marathon, and she even flew fron NYC to Cleveland just to run it with me!  We chat and email daily, and she has also become ‘Aunt Shosh’ to my kids and one of my dearest friends in life.

I would love to spend a day with AKA Alice and her ‘Herd’. I mean come on, who wouldn’t?  I love reading about her adventures in running and mimosas, and her cycling adventures complete with flat tires and…well, flat tires.  She definitely puts the fun in run and I know every time I visit her blog, I’m going to laugh out loud.

Another blogger that I admire and hope to meet personally someday  is Mel from 2nd Chances.  She is another inspirational story that touches me on a personal level.  She has overcome epilepsy by having brain surgery, and she is now living every moment of her life to the fullest as a runner-turned-triathlete!  She is a true example of how we should all live our lives…blessed with the bodies we are given, and never giving up, no matter what gets us down. 

What’s going on in your life outside of running?

This summer I started experimenting with the rowing machine at my gym because I was looking for an alternative cardio activity for cross training.  I LOVE IT!  Rowing is such a great all over body workout, and it a very short time, I noticed an increase in my core strength, leg strength and overall endurance.  The biggest surprise is that rowing comes a very close second to running when it comes to endorphins.  I plan to keep working at rowing and hope to join a local beginners rowing club next spring so I can get out on the water!  There is never a line at the rowing machines at the gym, and I feel like I’ve stumbled on to this big secret!  Another bonus….  Want to bust through a weight loss plateau?  Get on the rowing machine!

Kolonicks What are some key things you’ve learned about yourself since starting running?

I have become more centered and balanced since I started running.  I’ve realized that I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for…physically AND emotionally.  I’ve learned that it is OKAY to take time to care for myself ‘first’ because it makes me so much better for everyone else that needs me.  I’ve learned that I can probably do just about anything I set my mind to do if I want it enough.  I’ve learned that it is not enough to simply go through the motions of life….I don’t let life run me…I run my life!  

                                                Thank you, Cyndi!

Do you know a runner you would recommend for Open Mic Friday?

Pass along their name, contact info, and some background and we'll explore introducing them to the Runners' Lounge Community.

Send your suggestions to Tom@runnerslounge.com or Amy@runnerslounge.com

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