Sunday, June 29, 2014

Let the Paleo Diet Begin!

Yes, I will admit it -- my joints are old!  So, any weight loss will definitely ease my knee pain while running.  I have decided that it is time to lose some unwanted pounds of fat.  Tomorrow morning, I will officially begin both my marathon training schedule and the Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet is all about eating the way our ancestors did -- it is a Hunter-Gatherer type of eating plan.  Basically, you eat lean meat, fish, shellfish, most veggies, fresh fruits, and nuts in moderation.  You avoid dairy, grains, starchy tubers (e.g., potatoes), and refined sugars.  If you are interested, I suggest purchasing the book for all the details.

I have enlisted several friends to embark on the Paleo Journey with me.  Today, we are going grocery shopping.  My grocery list includes the following items:
  • steak, turkey, free range chicken
  • salmon, tilapia, sardines
  • shrimp
  • chicken eggs
  • almonds, pecans
  • cantaloupe, peaches, plums, apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach
There is no need to count calories on the Paleo Diet.  Supposedly, I will be full from eating the "right" foods so I will not overeat.  Ahhh... time will tell.

The most difficult part will be cutting out the morning cappuccino.  I am going to do some research today to see if there is any possible way to just include this one little cheat!

And now, the fun begins... stay tuned for all the details!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Official Training Begins for NYC 2014 Marathon on Monday, June 30th!

Okay, one week to go until I begin my official training program for the 2014 New York City Marathon.  This will be my thirtieth marathon and my fifteenth on the streets of the Big Apple. There is no marathon quite like New York City -- on Marathon Weekend, New York comes alive!  It seems as though every NYC inhabitant is standing somewhere on the course on that Sunday, cheering as loudly as possible for the runners.  

I will be blogging all about my training -- hopefully, my running audience will find some useful tips.  I welcome all questions in the Comments Section of each blog post.

Typically, my formal training for a marathon begins 18 weeks prior to the actual marathon date.  My training weeks always start on Mondays and end on Sundays -- I like this format because, if I need to make up mileage in a given week, the optimal days for me to do this are on Saturdays and Sundays.

Since I am now 55 years old and have one knee that is not all that cooperative, I plan to include a fair amount of cross training in my weekly schedule.  I will also do some strength training exercises at least twice a week.

I will go into this training program with a base of approximately 15 miles of running and seven miles of brisk walking per week.  In the past two months, my longest run has been four miles and I have completed three 5K races.

So, I have my work cut out for me!  My biggest assets are tons of experience, an awesome ability to detach my brain from pain, and a very positive attitude! My greatest challenges are my aging body and finding the time in my crazy, hectic life to train appropriately.

I hope you follow along on my training journey.  As I enter my final week prior to the official start of training, I am aiming for a 20 mile running week.  

Are you running a fall marathon? If so, let me know which one in the Comments Section below.

Please "stay tuned" as my training journey begins...


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nutrition for Marathon Training, Racing & Recovery

Training for a Marathon 
And Continuing to Eat Poorly 
Is Like... 
Detailing Your Car 
And Continuing to Drive in the Mud
I cannot overemphasize the importance of proper nutrition when training for, racing, and recovering from a marathon.  You will only get the most out of your training if you properly fuel your body.

Recently, I came across something awesome, the Marathon Nutrition Blueprint --  I totally recommend this tool -- it is a fabulous way to learn how to hydrate properly, get the proper electrolyte balance, and store & utilize as much glycogen as possible during a marathon.

This is not a paid endorsement - I just know a great plan when I read one!  Check out the link below for all the details and then, let me know what you think in the comments section of this blog post.  I went for the $99 package because I love all the details!

I am confident that utilizing all the information in the Marathon Nutrition Blueprint is going to help me run a faster marathon in New York City in November than if I ran without using the tools that are provided.

Run on, everybody!

he marathon to avoid the dreaded marathon bonk.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Random Lessons I Have Learned Along "My Running Path"

My 6/4/14 post was so well received that I decided to add more lessons to the list.  So, here goes...  

  • The moment you cross the finish line of your first marathon, you are changed forever!  It is truly a moment that you will never forget!                             

image from:
  • Wear a hat with a brim when running in the rain.  The brim will prevent rain from getting in your eyes -- rain in your eyes really hinders your ability to see!                                                        
  • Temper your "adrenaline surge" when racing.  Do not go out too fast!  You will bonk in the later miles of the race, whether it is a marathon, half-marathon, or even a 10K.                     
  • In marathons with many thousands of participants, do not go to the first water table to hydrate -- it will be very crowded, causing you to slow down, come to a screeching halt, or even worse, get injured.                                                                                                                 
  • Run for a cause -- something that is much bigger than you.  If you raise money for a charity, you will really think twice about quitting in the middle of the race -- chances are that the group that you are running for is in worse shape than you are in at that moment when you want to quit.                                                                                                                           
  • Never wear brand new running shoes on race day!                                                                     
  • Be sure to wash brand new clothes prior to racing in them.                                                          
  • Do not take Motrin or Aleve the day of a race -- it may cause you to become dehydrated.     
  • Always carry Extra Strength Tylenol with you -- wrap two capsules in tin foil and place in your shorts/skirt pocket.  If running a marathon, wrap four capsules in tin foil, two in one piece of tin foil and two more in another.                                                                                        
  • Do not use antiperspirant the morning of a marathon or half-marathon -- underarm deodorant inhibits sweating, a big problem if you are trying to keep your body temperature cool while running.                                                                                                     
  • Try Coca Cola or Pepsi at around mile 16-18 in a long run of 20 miles or more.  If it works for you, I would use it during the actual marathon at around the 17 or 18 mile mark.

The feedback and additional lessons that my readers left after reading my 6/4/14 post was terrific.  Please see the Comments Section of my 6/4 post for their great suggestions.

Keep on running!  Any questions, please ask in the Comments Section below -- I look forward to helping you along your running journey!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Random Lessons I Have Learned Along My "Running Path"

June 4th, 2014

Happy National Running Day, everyone!  I got in an early morning four mile run today and hope to double the celebration with an evening run.  During my 7 am run, I found myself thinking about all the wonderful experiences that I have had during my 35+ years of running and racing -- I started pondering what I have learned while logging in many thousands of miles.  I came up with the following list of key pointers that I should share. Please note that these are in no particular order

1.  It is better to race and bonk than not to race at all.  Racing is a great experience even if you do not perform well -- crossing the finish line is always empowering!

2.  Water is your best friend before, during, and after a run.

3.  Runners, as a community, are awesome! 

4.  Double knotting your shoelaces does not ensure that they will remain knotted, especially if they are the "rounded" (not the "flat") kind. 

5.  Runners are so passionate about running that they want to encourage everyone to become a runner!  

6.  On a windy, fall day, when your marathon starts on a bridge, be sure to wear a hefty garbage bag with holes for your head and arms -- this will block the wind so you do not freeze while waiting for the gun to go off.

7.  When running on a cold day, wear layers on your upper body.  

8.  When running outdoors, wear high quality sunglasses to prevent premature cataracts.

9.  If there is any possible chance that you will be walking through wet grass or mud on your way to the start of a race, especially a marathon, wear a plastic bag over each running shoe and tape shut the tops of the bags.

10. Learn how to fold paper cups so that you can drink on the run instead of walking at water stops.

11. Cut your toenails at least two days before a big race, not the night before!  What if you cut off too much?  You do not want to hurt or risk an infection during the race.

12. Put Glide or Vaseline or Aquaphor everywhere when running for an hour or more.  Chafing is very painful (and not particularly attractive).

13. Have a New York City salted pretzel the day before the marathon -- you need the electrolytes and the carbs!

14. Enjoy the sights and sounds along your running routes.  Take a break from your headphones every so often so that you can listen to the babbling brook or the bustling noises of the big city.

15. Watch out for potholes and other nasty obstacles during races.  Be sure to do a quick survey of the ground ahead of you at regular intervals.

16. Life is short.  Be grateful for every step that you can take... Ready, set, go -- seize the day!

Okay, enough random thoughts for today!

Do you have any lessons you would like to add? Please do so in the comments section below.

                              And, always remember to:


Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Image from:

Water is the most vital compound to our existence.  I cannot think of another compound that has so many physiological benefits.  How important is water?  Well, humans are composed primarily of water as shown in the figure directly below:

Figure 1:  The Amount of Water in Humans -- image from:

So, why drink water?  The list of reasons is quite extensive as shown below:

The Physiological Benefits of Drinking Water

1.  Boosts immune system

2.  Promotes weight loss 

3.  Helps the kidneys flush out toxins

4.  Increases energy & relieves fatigue

5.  Improves skin complexion, giving you a younger appearance

6.  Maintains regularity

7.  Helps prevent and relieve headaches

8.  Prevents muscle cramps & joint sprains

9. "Energizes" muscles 

10.  Helps prevent kidney stones

11.  Improves concentration & focus

12.  Combats skins disorders (eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, wrinkles & spots)

13.  Helps to increase metabolic rate

14. Likely to reduce the risks of bladder & colon cancer

15.  Helps maintain a neutral ph of 7 (necessary for proper  body functions)

How much water should you drink?  Take your body weight in pounds and multiply by 0.5 -- that is the number of ounces of water that you should drink per day.  For example, if you weigh 120 lbs, you should take in 60 ounces of water daily, which is equal to 7.5 cups.

If you are exercising at a moderate to high intensity, you should probably be increasing your water intake beyond the amount recommended in the formula above.  The following recommendation is fairly standard for runners:  An hour or two before you run or race, take in 16 ounces of water or sports drink.  Then, consume between 5 and 12 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during the run.  If you are running for less than an hour, you will do fine with just water; however, if you are running for longer, you will need to use a sports drink.  When running, do not wait until you are thirsty to start drinking -- if you do, you will probably start suffering from the effects of dehydration.

Stay tuned for a separate blog post (within the next two weeks) on fluid replacement while running.  In the meantime, listen to your body!!!  Drink plenty and drink often! 


Sunday, June 1, 2014


I am a big fan of calf compression for enhanced running performance and recovery, so when I came across the company, Crazy Compression, I was certainly intrigued.  After discovering the company on Twitter, the owner sent me a pair to try out and review.

I was psyched when my sleeves arrived in the mail three days ago!  I decided that I needed to try them immediately on a three mile run around the neighborhood.  I am totally sold.
Pink Sleeve "Groovy"  Compression Arm or Leg Sleeve
Crazy Compression Sleeves come in bold, bright colors, with fabulous designs.  If you want to be noticed in a crowd, these will certainly do the trick.  However, more importantly, they are super functional and made in the USA.  The photo below shows some of the awesome features of Crazy Compression:

Crazy Compression Sock Features
When I went on my three mile run three nights ago, I actually was not aware that I was even wearing compression sleeves; however, my calves felt great and I was able to "heat up" faster than usual.  Unlike some of my other compression sleeves, Crazy Compression felt "just right" -- I did not experience any calf cramping, which has been a problem for me in both 2XU's  and Skins.

After I finished my three mile run, I tried the sleeves on my arms and was equally impressed.  The compression felt great on my arms and definitely kept them warm.

I am definitely going to purchase a few more pairs of Crazy Compression Sleeves to match different outfits.  I particularly love the new patriotic sleeves as shown below:

The "America" Sleeve - 10% of Proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project

It's time to get crazy while enhancing circulation and recovery!  Check out the Crazy Compression website at:  Happy shopping!