Friday, July 31, 2009

Healthy post-running treat!

San Antonio, TX personal trainer Boyd Myers offers this dessert idea on his blog

The recipe is as follows:

Mix two portions of low-fat cottage cheese, two portions of frozen fruit, and some sweetener in your blender, and blend until creamy. I love the taste of this dessert, but blending it can be quite hard. I find it is easier to place the fruit in the middle of two layers of cottage cheese for easier blending.

This could be a healthful post-workout food on very hot days when chocolate milk or a shake would seem too sticky to drink. Whip it up before you head out and store in the freezer so it will be ice cold when you get back home.

What is your favorite fruit to add to ice cream?

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Monday, July 27, 2009

How to prevent and treat a blackened dead toenail

My twitter friend Thad McLaurin a.k.a. RunnerDude_ shares some tips for runners on dealing with blackened toenails in his blog post ‘Eww Yuck! Blackened Toenails.’

I suffered a blackened toenail after hiking with too-long toenails last summer. It eventually fell off and a new toenail grew over the bare skin. Luckily, I have the my toenail back now that it is sandal season! I make sure to tell the pedicurist to cut my nails SHORT every time I get a pedicure.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

How to stay motivated and how to use a running log, journal or diary

Training for the 15K has gone well this week, even though I spent a night in a hotel in Buffalo. I am also excited to get a much needed bike tune-up at the Downtube in Albany, NY, which will put me back into the saddle on crosstraining days.

I will really need my running journal to keep my schedule straight in the next two weeks of travel. I will be visiting Long Island, NYC, Buffalo, Reno and San Francisco.

Professional running and triathlon coach Ron Bowman offers tips for beginning runners in this video available on Youtube. My favorite tip was the advice about keeping a running journal.

My running journal is a month to month datebook with a photo of Ronald Reagan on the front. I record each day’s workout, how I felt, and if I ate any fried or empty carb foods (pizza, rolls, cake, etc.) This journal came in handy when I injured myself, I could show myself and my doctors exactly what type of training I have been doing over the past few months.

Personal Trainer Lee Hayward advises his bodybuilding clients to keep a training journal as well, it is tip #4 of his ten tips to stay motivated.

What details do you record in your training or running diary?

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Review - Training for Young Distance Runner by Larry Greene and Russ Pate

As a former high school cross country runner, the book Training for Young Distance Runner by Larry Greene and Russ Pate seemed to do a great job of providing a comprehensive overview of the skills needed to coach high school cross country runners. Greene and Pate offer advice on nutrition, running physiology, psychology and biomechanics for high school athletes. They book also covers training methods that improve the flexibility, mobility, and running technique as well as the proper amount of recovery time after hard workouts and competition.

As an adult runner, I only race once per month, but I remember racing several times per month in my high school days. This book will provide insight into running for high school runners, but adult runners can also benefit from the advice on creating a proper training microcycle and mesocycle. I loved the author's post-workout questions for cross country runners on page 171:

How are your legs feeling after an interval workout?
How is your breathing (during the workout)?
How did your technique feel on that last stride?
Did you like that workout?

These questions are valuable for me, because I tend to want to overtrain and overachieve in anything I set my mind to. Asking myself the right questions and listening to my body will help me prevent running injuries and keep my motivation to keep on training.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Safety Tips for Women Runners

I am officially addicted to long road races! It took me about 48 hours after finishing the Boilermaker to choose my next race, and I'm back to training for the 15K!

I am planning to run the Castleton Kiwanis Clove Run on August 22. Proceeds benefit the local food pantry!

Are you training for a late summer or fall race too?

USA Track and Field presents a wealth of tips and motivations for training for a 5K at

The most valuable information for every runner is in their “Finding the Time - and more...” section -- Safety Tips.

USATF recommends that runners DO let people know where you are going to be and how long you expect to be out, run with a partner, wear bright or reflective clothing, and run facing traffic.

I was on a work trip to Gouverneur earlier this week and stayed at the wonderful Lawrence Manor, a bed and breakfast. I told the owners the route I would be running and the time I would return, and I carried my cell phone with me in a pocket in my running shorts.

One of the hardest don’ts for ‘nice girls’ is the admonition to NEVER stop at a car that pulls over unless you know the occupants.

Please share your most valuable running safety tips in the comments section!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Boilermaker 2009 Race Report and a primer on how to treat race day running injuries

I was so thrilled to complete this year's Boilermaker 15K in Utica last Sunday!

The race is a lot of fun. The race was so large I could not help but start off slow, which enabled me to finish strong. My 5K splits were: 31:59, 29:21 and 28:47 for a chip time finish of 1:30:06, which is only 6 seconds off of my goal of 90 minutes for 15K. I was the 238th runner of 581 in my age group, Females 35-39 and ran an average of a 9:40 mile. Not bad for a girl who has never run longer than 8 miles in her life!

I enjoyed the cheering crowds, but wish more spectators had cowbells. I love the sound of cowbells and they are easier for the crowd than constantly clapping and yelling. I was honored to see all the cyclists cheering by the sidelines, especially when the Tour de France was happening at the same time as the Boilermaker! I liked the fact that there were so many paramedics on the sidelines, ready to assist the runners, and the constant water stops made running easier and more enjoyable.

There was also ice available and popsicles, but I'm not sure how to handle either so I stuck with gulping water.

WebMD author Denise Mann offers advice on preventing and treating the most common running injuries in the article ‘Every runner's guide to preventing and treating 10 common pains.’

Injuries covered include runner’s knee, stress fractures, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), shin splints, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, muscle pulls, ankle sprains, dizziness and blisters.

I have an old friend in Iliotibial band syndrome. My right iliotibial band was injured in high school track practice and my left was injured while running a few years ago. I was surprised to learn that ITBS is responsible for as many as 80% of all overuse pains on marathon day.

My new orthotics prevented any Iliotibial injuries for me, but I still managed to bring on a blister in the instep of my right arch because I forgot to put extra padding in my sock before I started running.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Less than a week until the Boilermaker!

With less than a week until the Utica Boilermaker, I shortened my final long run to five miles and added a 10 hour day of strenuous Adirondack High Peaks hiking. According to my 15K training plan, I am due to run a few 2 and 3 mile runs this week as part of my pre race taper. More important to me is getting into the right state of mind - 15K is farther than I have ever ran in my life!

North Carolina runner Thad McLaurin shares some great advice from Joan Benoit Samuelson’s speech at the pre-marathon pasta dinner for the North Carolina Marathon on his Runner Dude’s Blog. Joan Benoit Samuelson advised the runners to mentally break up long races into shorter runs and keep motivated with a personally relevant mantra.

Her advice to Lance Armstrong in the 2006 NYC Marathon is a technique I use – focus on catching up to and passing runners ahead of you, one after another, instead of struggling from one mile marker to the next.

What racing strategies do you use during long distance races?

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