Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

My Christmas morning started with an 8 mile run on a beautiful, crisp, clear day.  I returned and watched my two year old run away from the Elmo that he unwrapped under the tree.  I'm very fortunate to have my health and my family to share this day with.  As I pig out today I can say that I am celebrating and carbo loading at the same time for my 17 mile run tomorrow!

Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Better With Age?

Masters Runners, those over the age of 60, are the fastest growing demographic in running.  While these runners are more prone to muscle strains (Achilles tendon, calf, and hamstring being the most common), there is evidence that running "economy" does not deteriorate with age.  Baby Boomers are frequently able to compete well into the 6th and 7th decade of life.

For Masters Runners, it is probably important to take more rest days, stretch, and spend some time with upper body resistance training.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#12--Olathe Marathon

Olathe, Kansas
March 31, 2007

While in residency, I was usually able to train for and do one marathon a year.  I was now in my last year of residency and had more time to devote to training, so I decided to take advantage of it.  The Olathe Marathon fit into my schedule, and was an easy drive from Omaha.

I remember we stayed in downtown Kansas City the weekend of the race.  I got up early and drove to Olathe.  It was pouring rain, I didn't have a map or a GPS.  I got lost trying to find the area where the buses took the runners to the starting line.  The start of the race was getting very close.  I raced into a gas station to ask for directions.  The attendant looked at me like I was crazy.  I had enough change in my car to buy a map.  I hurriedly figured out where to go and drove as fast as I could.  I barely caught the last bus to the starting line.

After that, the race was almost anti-climactic.  The course was mostly rural.  The clouds parted and conditions were pretty good.  I felt pretty good that I was running marathon #12.  I was humbled by the guy next to me running #212 or something like that.  Now that guy was crazy!

I finished in just over 4:30.  I went back to the hotel where my wife had been watching movies all morning.  She said to me, "Hurry up and change.  We are going shopping!"  Clearly, the novelty of me running marathons had worn off and she had other ideas for our weekend in the KC area.  With that, I made myself an ice bath and soaked for 20 minutes.  After popping some ibuprofen, I was ready to start what felt like my second marathon of the day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

If you are looking for inspiration, look here

Last month's Runner's World was devoted to common readers who have done uncommon things.  Among the runners featured were ex-cons and cancer survivors.  My favorite story featured Ben Davis.  Ben lost 120+ lbs through diet and exercise.  He has completed multiple marathons and triathlons and shares his story with others struggling with obesity and depression.

He made a video scrapbook of his transformation that became a YouTube sensation, and he continues to chronicle his journey on his blog.  I've included links to both.

LTC 2012 Race Schedule

The Lincoln Track Club has released it's 2012 race schedule.  The highlight is the Lincoln Marathon and 1/2 Marathon, the first weekend in May.  Register early as this race quickly sells out.

This is a great time to set goals for 2012.  Maybe your goal is to run a marathon, or run a PR, or even just to run your first road race.

View the entire race schedule here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

America's State of Health

America's health rankings are in, and the results are not good.  Although we have made great progress in treating cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other acute and chronic illnesses, the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes is threatening the nation's health.

With New Year's fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about a healthier, happier you.

Read the sobering report here:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Winter Running Gear, Vol. I: Traction

This weekend marked the first snowfall of the season in Lincoln.  The elements really test the dedicated runner in Nebraska.  We deal with heat and humidity in the summer, and cold and ice in the winter.  In the summer I posted my tips for summer running.  During the next few weeks I'll share some things I've learned that should enable you to continue to train through the challenging winter months, and have fun doing it.

As an orthopaedic surgeon, the first snowfall means one thing--falls and broken bones (technically two things, I guess).  I've been very lucky and have never suffered a serious injury from a fall on the ice.  I've had some embarrassing moments and a hard time sitting down for a while, but nothing that kept me on the sidelines for any length of time.

One of the very best things I've discovered are Yaktrax.  They are lightweight metal coils around rubber that can be strapped to the bottom of your shoes.  They provide excellent traction on even the most slippery terrain.  I highly recommend them.  I've included a link to the company website.  You can probably find them at your local running store.  As always, I encourage you to shop at your local running store (Lincoln Running Company here in Lincoln).

For those who prefer a "do-it-yourself" option, try putting metal screws in the bottom of your shoes.  I've included a link explaining how.