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November 2009

Extra, Extra, Run All About It: The Week in Running, November 15 - 22

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear Readers, Let's take a look back at the week in running:

As reported in the Washington Post on November 18th, it would seem that my hatred of walking and cell phones when exercising is very well-founded indeed. In a study conducted by the University of Illinois, researchers not only found that people who talk on cell phones while crossing the street took much longer to get to the other side than did those who weren't gabbing with pals but also that, when it came to adults 60 years old and higher, those talking and walking had a 15% higher chance of getting run over than did they non-talking fellow octogenarians. Employing a treadmill to simulate a 'virtual environment,' this study is evidence of the dangers inherent in both walking and talking. The only clear solution: Do as I do: run and stay mute!!

As reported by a Google news subsidiary on November 19th, maybe a recession isn't so unhealthy after all. In fact, it may be one of the biggest catalysts in helping to fight America's growing obesity problem. In a year that has seen fortunes vanish, jobs dry up and growth becoming a forgotten concept, "some 9.2 million people completed a certified foot race in the United States in 2008, up from 3.7 million in 1987. Of those, 425,000 completed a marathon -- 26.2 miles, or 42.2 kilometers -- and 715,000 ran a half-marathon, according to Running USA, a non-profit group that promotes running. That's up from 143,000 marathon runners in 1980". While I would have thought the reason for this increase in runners during bad economic times would be the fact thatrunning is a relaxing activity that calms the mind and distances it from the woes of the world, according to the article which cites, Ryan Lamppa of Running USA, the actual cause of the increase is the fact that, "We live in a financially uncertain, violence-scarred world, and running 'gives you something to control -- you can't control the stock market or the economy, but you can control your health'". Either way, the fact still stands that, as a runner who loves the camaraderie found in running corrals the world over, I can't wait for the next recession!
Next Weekend's Marathons

Thursday, November 26th
Atlanta Marathon (Atlanta, GA)

Saturday, November 28th
Mississippi Coast Marathon (Waveland, MS)
Baltimore Road Runners Club North Central Trail Marathon (Sparks, MD)

Sunday, November 29th
Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon (Seattle, WA)
Space Coast Marathon (Cocoa, FL)

Take It and Run Thursday: Unconventional Races

TIART logo This week's sponsor, Kate of OOKate. She offers readers this question to ponder and respond to:

What's the most unconventional race you've ever run? Have you run a race like North Carolina's "Take Pride in your Hide" naked race? Does your local running group have "prediction runs" where everyone guesses their finish time, and the winner is the person who has the closest guess? How about a Mud Run? If you could make up a wacky race, what would the twist be?

Stop by the response page and and leave your thoughts on this topic .  

Kate leaves us with a couple pic from running trails in her community in Virginia.

Picturesque trail
 Breathtaking Lake

Running on Food: For the Peanut Butter Lovers!

By Heather

Running On Food Logo 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.

I am a huge fan of peanut butter. To me, there’s no other food that tastes good with such a variety of things! Plus, because of its protein and fat content, peanut butter is great as part of a pre-workout snack and great recovery fuel!

In the midst of training for a few races this Fall, I noticed my grocery bills continuously hiking up. When I took a closer look, it was often the result of energy bars and, more energy bars. These used to be my staple Pre-run snack; portable, tasty (flavor varieties!), and packed with protein. However, these packaged items should never replace food. And a running/training-friendly diet shouldn’t have to be expensive.

I made the decision to replace my CIF and LUNA bars with something cheaper, equal in calories, and still high in nutrients – ½ whole-wheat bagel + 1 tbsp Peanut Butter.

So simple!

I save at least $5 per week ($20 per month!) with this little substation in my running routine. I’m also reaping the benefits of an excellent protein source, that is often overlooked – Peanut Butter!

Yes, this nut butter is calorically dense. It is high in fat, but in a diet-friendly way! Peanuts are high in mono and poly-unsaturated oils*; these healthy fats have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease by helping to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Peanut butter is also high in protein, providing around 7 grams of protein per serving. As a budget-conscious shopper, I find it interesting that you pay only $0.015 per g of protein in peanut butter. Compare that to the $0.16 you pay per g in a CLIF bar (at $1.69 each, 10g protein)! Per calorie, it is also cheaper than other protein sources such as cottage cheese, deli meats (turkey, ham, roast beef), and tuna.

In case you need any more convincing that peanut butter is worth your nutritional buck, check out the other nutrients it packs in one tablespoon:
  • Folate
  • Vitamin E (antioxidant)
  • Reservatol (phytochemical – also in Red Wine – thought to reduce “bad” cholesterol and help prevent blood clots)
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Sodium (important electrolyte for endurance athletes!)
One disadvantage of some processed brands of peanut butter is that they do contain some hydrogenated oils. However, it is typically in small amounts, and not enough to trump its other health benefits. You can also steer clear of this by choosing the “All Natural” varieties (Ingredient List should read only Peanuts and Salt).

Lastly, there are a few ways that I enjoy this creamy nut butter! I combine it with a variety of foods, including:
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-wheat toast/bagels
  • Frozen-yogurt topper
What do you eat with your peanut butter? Is it part of your pre/post workout routine?

*More information on Dietary Fats


Take It and Run Thursday: Fav Race

Take it and run thursday

This week's sponsor, Joanna of Yummy Running  offers readers this
question to ponder and respond to:

What is your favorite race?  Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k?  Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night?  Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?

Stop by and leave your thoughts on this topic.  Click here now!

And don't forget to check out Joanna's story!

Open Mic Friday: Meet Dr. Jami


This week's guest is Jami, doctor, mom, winemaker, and runner.  Author of the blog Runner For Good, she shares what's going on with her family, running, and racing.

As a cardiologist, it seems she might have an advantage over the rest of us when it comes to training with a heart rate monitor.  Well she does, and she discusses that today.

Welcome Jami!

How did you develop your passion for running and fitness?

I ran a little in medical school mainly to burn off ice cream calories.  My sport was always golf.  However, with a family and starting a new practice there was not much time.  My daughter was on a swim team at a very young age so I would swim laps during her practices.  After she moved on to other sports I started to run.  I received a brochure from the American Diabetes Society in 1999 about running a marathon in Rome.  My mother is Italian so I thought it would be a great way to get her to go to Italy to watch me run a marathon.  So I signed up never having run more than 3 miles at a stretch.  My goal was just to live through it.  I finished around 5:20 and was hooked. Next step was to get quicker. That has not been so easy.

Post Race Jami You recently participated in the World Wide Festival of Race.  Tell us what about WWFR and your experience

I did the half distance for my world wide festival of races.  I ran a loop in Punta Gorda Florida.  I started at Gilcrest Park and ran across the Peace River Bridge which is 1.4miles long.  On returning from the park I ran by Lashly Marina along the Peace river along a path called Harbor Walk.  On my return I ran to another waterside park called Ponce de Leon and back to the beginning.  I ran alone listening to podcasts.  The weather was in the 80s as usual.  I fueled with Perpetuem and water.  My time was 2:16.

As a physician, you also enjoy studying the physiology of training.  What are some running breakthroughs you’ve experienced by understanding the science behind running?

Heart rate during running has been a real interest to me.  I have never done a formal test but through 5Ks I know my maximum and what HR I can sustain for that event.  I also watch my HR during easy runs for my low.  When I start to get dehydrated during the end of a long run at 90F I see my HR start to climb.  I also noted my HR during threshold runs and intervals.  I used these numbers to pace myself during the marathon.  I knew from previous races when I went out too fast my HR would be in the 5K zone early and then I would crash in the last 10K .  I ran conservatively during my Dublin Marathon not letting my HR get into levels I would see during my longer interval training.  I may have undershot my potential but it felt good to finish with a smile and not have to walk.

The other factor is nutrition.  I think it makes a big difference in how much and what kind of calories you consume.  I am a believer in complex carbs like maltodextran vs fructose or simple sugars.  I also think a little protein after 2 hrs helps to regulate the energy usage.  I made sure I had consumed my 300 calories 3 hrs before racet time to prevent the insulin spike during the first few miles.  I also cut my consumption to about 200 calories an hour to avoid the colon load so to speak.  After my bad experience in MCM I carry my own nutrition that worked in training. 

You also recently had an international running experience.  Tell us about it.

I just completed my 8th marathon running the Dublin Marathon.  Two of my running friends convinced me to go with them to run their first marathon.  It turned out to be one of my favorites.  The crowd support was fantastic for the 12,700 runners who started.  I tied a PR with a time of 4:36:37.  The best part was that I did not do any of the usual stupid tricks I usually pull.  I actually had negative splits and did not walk a step.  Usually, I go out way too fast only to finish with the death march.
How did your marathon training go this time around?

My training went pretty well.  I followed an 18 week progression training regimen with a long run each week.  I added hill work one day a week early and gradually added some long intervals and tempo runs two days a week.  I focused on really keeping my easy days easy.  In the past I think I pushed them too hard which may have contributed to injuries.  I used components from Pfizingers book, Jack Daniels book and Hudson’s book for my speed, hill, and tempo work. 
What were you most excited about running Dublin?  Most nervous about? 

I was most nervous about the weather. During previous marathons that were cold and it would be very cold if I had to walk at the end because of going out to fast.  Ireland is known for rainy damp temps.  We have trained this summer in Florida in temps from 75 to 90F.  When it rains here it is a soaking rain that makes your shoes weighs a ton. My fear was to have to walk in the rainy damp cold.   Hydration has been an issue with the heat causing my long runs to be slower than I would like.  I was not sure about what pace I would be able to hold in cooler weather.  I determined my lactate threshold HR and decided to stay within that no matter what the pace was and it worked. 
What are some key things you’ve learned about yourself and about running while  training for Dublin?

I did a lot of slow base miles early in the summer with my daughter who was base training for XC.  I think this really paid off when I started to increase the intensity.  I also did a lot more core work in the form of planks, bird dogs and lunges and push-ups. I think this helped to keep me injury free.  In past training seasons I have got injured pushing speed on top of mileage.
The majority of my training was in the morning.  That allows me to finish my work out without the day’s events getting in the way or taking time away from family.
What would your family and friends tell us about your passion for running?

I am a much calmer person when I run.  I am a private practice Cardiologist and single mother.  Things can be quite hectic.  Running is a great outlet.  I feel it is important to set a good example for my patients and well as my daughter. Patients can never tell me they don’t have time for exercise.
Who from your past would you like to know that you’re now a runner?

My Grandmother.  I think she would be proud to know what I have achieved.
Best race experience?

Must say it was Dublin. No walking.  No bonking.  Negative splits finishing strong. 
Any quirky running traits?

I am pretty regimented. I log miles on Buckeye outdoors, calculate my nutrition for long runs and mark race day clothes that work early.
What have you not done with your running that you’re still looking forward to?

I would love to Boston Qualify breaking the 4 hour mark.
What gets you excited about running?

Lining up the next race. Planning my schedule.  I like to race a different marathon location each time using it as a vacation of sorts. I love the crowd scene lining up with thousands of people for a long run.
What’s your secret to running success?

Well I am not nearly as successful as the people I follow on podcast and blogs.  I just love the thrill of trying to shave a few minutes off.

Favorite race?

Marine Corps was up there.  I have so much respect for our military and the finish at the World War II monument is fantastic.
Favorite distance?

The marathon because it is such a challenge to have the right race strategy to complete it well. The half is probably the best distance with regards to thrill to pain ratio but I just love the marathon challenge. The marathon puts your mind and body to the test.  It challenges your will and forces you out of your comfort zone. 
Greatest running accomplishment?

Completing the Marine Corps Marathon after 7 trips to the woods between mile 15 and 22 with intestine problems. Fiber is not your friend before a marathon.
Current running goals?

Boston qualify. Probably run a few halves then a full in the spring.
Non- running and non-blogging interests?

I make homemade wine from pasteurized grape juice.
Running hero?

Roger Bannister
Greatest running moment?

I love seeing my daughter at the finish line of a marathon.  I also had a bad race in Paris.  My ITB started flaring out of the blue around mile 16.  I walked/ran the last 10 miles freezing because I was dressed for running not walking.  I briefly thought about quitting but thought of what a poor example that would be to my daughter waiting for me at the finish.  I was extremely disappointed at my time but realized how proud she was just to see me cross the finish line.  I think that is the great life parallel.  We all struggle at some point but to persevere is contenting. 
What is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?

I don’t think it is unique but I have a fierce desire to see and do and learn all that I can.  Be all that I can be.  I should have been in the Army-LOL
Who are some of your virtual running friends you would like to meet up and run with?

I hope they do not think I am a stalker.  I like DirtDawg and Rundigger podcast guys.  They seem very genuine.  I also follow Criss J Cassidy’s running blog. He is from Ireland gave great tips about the marathon.  He seems like an extremely positive person.
Most embarrassing running moment?

Definitely the trips to the wood in Washington DC were most embarrassing.  . 
What’s going on in your life outside of running?

My daughter is a senior in high school so she is deciding on colleges and careers.  My Cardiology practice is busy. I am trying to do as much preventive medicine as I can.  I also coach track so I am busy planning training schedules.
If money could buy you a running dream, what would it be?

Travel to world running marathons.  Educating others about the joy and benefits of running
Favorite running shirt?

Pink Nike technical shirt my daughter had printed.  Runner mom.
Best running advice you’ve ever been given?

You need to take in nutrition after an hour.
Best running advice you’d like to share?

Go out slow.  It feels a lot better latter.

Thank you, Dr. Jami!

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: The Nobel Prize for Running

Take it and run thursday

Chelsea of
Early Runner is this week's sponsor and she offers readers this question to respond to:

You’re on the selection Committee for the Nobel Prize for Running.  Who would you nominate for the winner and why?
It could be an elite or a beginning runner....a courageous ordinary runner in your community who inspires you.... or the local running club leader, race director, or running store owner who gives tirelessly back to running. It could be the senior runner in your community who knows no age limitations.
You decide.  Who do you think deserves to be recognized for enriching and advancing the experience of running for others?

Before you share your Nominee, make sure you take in some of the great pics Chelsea shares of the beauty of running in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Chelsea TIART 001[1] Chelsea TIART 019[1] Chelsea TIART 004[3]


Chelsea TIART 011[1]

For next week's TIART, Joanna of Yummy Running is the sponsor and she offers this question to ponder and respond to:

What is your favorite race?  Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k?  Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night?  Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?

Hope everyone is having a great week of running and living!

Running on Food: Staying Healthy Step 1, Be Safe With Your Food!

By Heather

Running On Food Logo 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.

There’s been a recent E.Coli outbreak; according to an article this morning on CNN Health, the CDC is reporting 2 dead and 28 sick, so far. Fortunately, this food-borne illness is easy to avoid as long as simple food safety practices are followed. Unfortunately, there are too many out there who are unaware that little things in the kitchen can result in Very unpleasant consequences.

As the winter season approaches, too many of us are familiar with the cold/flu like symptoms that follow!  There’s no need to add food poisoning to the list of illnesses, as it is almost entirely preventable. Here, I give you some basic information on E. Coli and some easy Food Safety tips.

The Facts about E. Coli

  • This is a bacteria that lives in the intestines; most types are harmless, but some make you sick. The strain, E. Coli 0157:H7, can cause bloody diarrhea, and sometimes lead to kidney failure and death.
  • Sources: Raw/undercooked beef (ex. Hamburger), unpasteurized juice and milk, soft cheeses made from raw milk, contaminated water, and feces from infected people (wash those hands!)
  • Symptoms: Severe diarrhea that is often bloody, abdominal pain and vomiting. Usually, little or no fever is present.
Food Safety Tips to Prevent E.Coli Infection
  • Keep food OUT OF the “danger zone” – temperatures between 40 – 140* F.   Within this range, bacteria can survive and multiply rapidly.
  • Beef should be COOKED to 160* F, or chilled in the refrigerator (<40*F)Refrigerate, freeze, or cook as soon as possible
  • For raw ground meats, poultry and seafood – refrigerate no longer than 1- 2 days before cooking
  • Beef, steak, chops and roasts can be refrigerated up to 5 days.
  • After cooking – leftovers can be safely refrigerated for 3-4 days.
  • Pay attention to the SELL-BY date – Freeze or cook beef, veal, pork and lamb that are labeled with a “Sell-by” date within 3-5 days of purchase.
  • For fresh and ground poultry (turkey and chicken), cook or freeze within 1-2 days.
  • Wash your hands!!!  This is the easiest way to prevent food poisoning. Wash your hands continuously while working in the kitchen, especially when working with both meats and produce.
STAY HEALTHY, runners! Your body tackles those miles best when it’s taken care of.

Extra, Extra, Run All About It! The Week in Running 10/25 - 10/31

Extra Extra

By Peter Washkowitz

Dear readers, Let's take a look back at the week in running.

As reported in the Tampa Tribune on October 27th, if nothing else, at least Jesuit High School cross country runner, Shayan Falasiri, got an opportunity to break-in his pair of jeans this past summer when he visited his parents in their home country of Iran. Despite the desert heart temperatures which often exceed 100 degrees, because Iran strictly adhere to the teachings of Islam, those wanting to go for a run outdoors must do so in long-sleeve tshirts and pants since, according to Iranian edicts, men and women are not supposed to show their skin while out in public. On top of this, because Iran imposes severe restrictions on how much visitors are allowed to bring into the country, the only pair of pants that Falasiri brought with him and was thus forced to wear while running outdoors were his jeans. While Falasiri did not question the idiocy of having to run in jeans as the desert sun beat down on him, there was no question in his mind he would return to wearing shorts when he got back to America, "I never really got used to running in jeans, not like I thought I would after all that time last summer...They're not only hot, they're heavy and they restrict your movement. When I put on a pair of shorts again - oh, my gosh - I couldn't believe how comfortable it was to run."

As profiled in the New York Times on October 27th, Wesley Paul and Howie Breinan both agreed that when they ran the New York City Marathon in 1977 and 1979 respectively, they both felt some sense of child-like glee. But then again, that's probably because they both were children back then! While the first NYC Marathon was run in 1970, it wasn't until 1981 that marathon organizers set the minimum age of runners at 16-years old (in 1988, it was raised to 18-years old). Exhilarated by the cheers of the crowd, Paul finished the 1977 marathon in 3:00:31 (2 hours and 41 minutes faster than Mario Lopez) when he was the ripe old age of 8-years old while Breinan finished the 1979 marathon inn 3:26:34 (2 hours and 15 minutes faster than Mario Lopez) when he was but 9-years old. While both (now) men still run today, their last marathons were back in the 1980s after suffering various knee and leg injuries over the long course of their careers. While Paul and Breinan should serve as an inspiration to today's youths about what they can do if they put their minds to it, they also provide me with evidence as to why marathon organizers should set lower minimum age standards for entrants into the NYC Marathon. Hopefully, come next year's marathon, both myself and Baby Petes will be lining up at the start line in Staten Island!

As reported on WebMD on October 27th, it seems I may have been somewhat wrong in the assumption that chewing Nicorette does not negatively impact a runner's performance in any material way. While one can hardly argue with the myriad evidence concluding that cigarettes are harmful not only to one's health but to one's ability to run, I had been under the impression that chewing Nicorette, which not the most attractive habit, was akin to chewing bubble gum and, as per a past post, occasionally chew Nicorette whilst running. However, new research by Stella Daskalopoulou, MD, of the McGill University Health Centre, has shown that, while not on the same level as smoking (increasing arterial stiffness by an astounding 24.5% after running on a treadmill), chewing nicotine gum can cause arterial stiffness to increase by 12.6% after being put through a treadmill exercise test. Daskalopoulou noted that this finding is important because, as "arteries stiffen...the heart must work harder, increasing the risk for heart disease or stroke". With all the technology available today, why someone can't produce some nicotine product that is completely harmless, is beyond me. But for now, unfortunately, I may have to rethink chewing Nicotine next time I head out for a run.

Celebrities Running The New York Marathon

As reported on RadarOnline.com on October 23rd, let's just hope former ER star Anthony Edwards need not make a re-appearance at the ER after running in tomorrow' New York City Marathon. The former Thursday night doctor will be running the marathon in the hopes of raising enough money for shoe4africa whose goal is to raise enough money to build the first public children's hospital in Kenya.

Next Weekend's Marathons

Saturday, November 7th
St. Francis Hospital And Health Centers Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (Indianapolis, IN)
Midsouth Marathon (Wynne, AR)
Stinson Beach Marathon (Stinson Beach, CA)

Sunday, November 8th
Vertical Runner Bobcat Trail Marathon (Glouster, OH)
Oroweat Fort Worth Marathon (Fort Worth, TX)
Select Medical Corporation Harrisburg Marathon (Harrisburg, PA)
OBX Marathon (Outer Banks, NC)
Santa Clara Marathon (Santa Clara, CA)
Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon (Fresno, CA)

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