Archive for the ‘Health/Fitness’ Category

Running in the rain

Running in the rain brings a new perspective. picture from

Running in the rain brings a new perspective.
picture from

You don’t often plan to get caught in the rain, but when you do… a thunderstorm is the best way to go. This morning I had a beautiful, calm start to my run, but about 1.5 miles in I saw the first flash of lightning and then the rain started. It was easy at first, but then it started pouring. By mile 2.5 it was a full on storm. It was awesome. I would have likely not gone out this morning if it had been raining like that at the start, but I’m glad I got caught out in it. It’s good to get that perspective every once in a while. What’s the last unexpected change to your perspective that you experienced?


Morning Run = Longer life

So, leave it up to scientists to point out what many athletes have known all along. Stay active and you live longer. Pretty simple conclusion, but some of the specifics of the research that was recently conducted by a team at Canada’s McMaster University is pretty interesting. Their recent study shatters the myth that life span is predetermined by genetics. The latest bombshell: your morning run could be the fountain of youth.

While there are some awesome informational snippets within the article, the “Age old wisdom” below is a pretty great wrap-up!

Age-Old Wisdom
There’s no avoiding aging altogether—at least not yet. But in addition to regular endurance training, these three promising habits may extend your life span.

Cut your calories. The evidence is strong: in studies of everything from flies to primates (but not yet humans), animals that ate less—30 to 50 percent of their normal dietary intake—lived longer than those that did not. It’s not just about keeping the weight off. Even obese mice bred to stay fat, when given low-calorie diets, lived longer than obese mice eating normally.
Boost your antioxidants. Antioxidants mop up the free radicals that are believed to cause age-advancing cellular damage. In a recent study of fruit flies (commonly used as human stand-ins), a key antioxidant in apples extended the life span of the flies by 10 percent and preserved their ability to function well late in life.
Stay positive. A recent Applied Psychology review of 160 studies examining emotional health and longevity found “clear and compelling” evidence that people who have a feeling of well-being in their life—people who maintain an optimistic perspective, have harmonious relationships, and minimize stress—outlive those who are anxious, pessimistic, depressed, manic, stressed out, or unable to enjoy daily existence.

Dr. Lieberman talks about feet and running

Dirt Days Trail Series

For those of you who may have an interest in running some great trail races this year, consider the “Dirt Days Trail Series sponsored by Bob Roncker’s Running Spot! You can find out more by clicking through the links below.

2011 Dirt Days Trail Races – Follow links for details of each race

Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:00 am – Run for the Green Trail Run – 3+ mile Trail Run

Kick off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with this unique race. This is the first in the series and features run and walk age group awards and prize money to top three male and females.

Sponsored by Deerfield Township.

$$$ Cash Prizes and Age Group Awards $$$

Sunday, April 17, 2011 9:00 am – Ault Park Switchback 3.3 mile Trail Run

This event is scheduled to be the same as in past years. This course features many twists and turns with a few hills mixed in for good measure.

Sunday, May 15, 2011 9:00 am – Mt. Airy Forest Ridge Run 5.4 and 10.6 mile Trail Runs

Mt. Airy is a perennial favorite. This is the largest park in the city and features extensive trails. Like last year, we will be doing a one loop and a two loop course. Each race will count toward Series points.

Sunday, June 12, 2011 9:00 am – French Park Creek Crossings 3.4 mile Trail Run

Same format as in past years

Sunday, July 17, 2011 9:00 am – East Fork Backpack 5.6 and 10.8 mileTrail Runs

choose from a 5.6 mile handicapped start run or a 10.8 mile mass start run

Sunday, August 21, 2011 9:00 am – Mitchell Woods 11.7 mile or 3-person relay

11.7 mile individual run or three-person relay (3.9 miles each)

Saturday, August 27, 2011 9:00 am – Powder Keg 5K Trail Run
This is a points qualifier for the Dirt Days Trail SeriesSponsored by Deerfield Township – The same people who brought you the Run for the Green.

$$$ Cash Prizes and Age Group Awards $$$

Saturday, September 17, 2011 9:00 pm – Glenwood Gardens 5K Night Run

Unique 5K Night Race

Sunday, October 23, 2011 8:30 am – Mt. Airy Stone Steps 27K

In conjunction with the Stone Steps 50K

Series Rules Your best 5 finishes keeps you in the running for the Dirtiest Dozen Awards (Top 12 Men and Top 12 Women). If you run more than five, we use your three BEST five results.
Awards Separate event awards to top finishers – Actual AND Age-graded. There will also be random drawing awards each race day. Participants completing six or more events will receive a nice premium award. Read more about Age-Graded Results.
Door Prizes There will be random drawing for a free pair of trail shoes after each race. You must be present to win. No duplicates please.
Registration Fee $10 Pre-registration per race with one exception: Mt. Airy 27K is $30 (includes shirt). Also, Run for the Green offers an optional Long-sleeved t-shirt.There is a package deal for 2011: sign up for six races at the same time (six-pack) and you will receive a 20% off coupon for a pair of trail shoes..
Late Registration $15 Late/Race-day Registration. (no race-day registration for East Fork, Mitchell Forest Relay, and Mt. Airy 27K)
Dirt Days T-shirts $10 while available. No pre-sale. They can be purchased at packet pickup or at the race.
How to Register Register by printing an entry form, filling out and mailing before the pre-registration deadline. This is the cheapest way to goRegister with a credit card online. A small service charge will be added to your fee. This is the most convenient way to go.There is no in-store registration for 2011.

Register on Race Day at each venue. It costs more but if you really must wait so see what the weather is going to be like, it may be worth it!

Free onsite therapist Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine will have therapists on site after each of the Dirt Days events to attend to your needs.(We know you all need your head examined, but that is not what they are all about!)
Free Entry Opportunity Purchase a pair of trail shoes at any Bob Roncker’s Running Spot and receive one free entry ($10 Value) to the Running Spot Dirt Days race of your choice. (excludes Run for the Green and Powder Keg races.)
Email Address If you would appreciate race confirmations and emailed results, make sure that we have your email address (make it readable).

My Lenten Promise

While this notification comes a day late, I wanted to ponder the value of Lenten sacrifice as we begin a season of careful consideration of the sacrifices Christ made for us.

The season of Lent is one that is far too often approached out of context. Many folks consider it the time when they’re no longer allowed to indulge in a Cheeseburger on Friday nights, some take the opportunity to renew their new year’s resolutions, and others choose to find ways to torture themselves (no chocolate, soda/coke, alcohol, tv, etc.) with no intention of contemplating the symbolism in their sacrifice.

For me, Lent has always provided a unique time to reflect on the purpose of sacrifice. Instead of giving something up that carries little significance, I’d challenge you to find a new way to thank God for the sacrifices He’s made for us and for the blessing He’s bestowed upon us. Even if only for the Lenten season, find a way to more closely connect with your Creator.

This year, I’ve decided to hearken back to one of my favorite parables, The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30. My sacrifice will be to fight the temptation to hit my “snooze button” and use the time I had previously spent catching worthless minutes of half sleep to exercise one of my favorite talents: my ability to run. During this time running, I will be mindful of the sacrifice that Christ made for me and the blessings He has so graciously bestowed upon me.

What sacrifice are you making this year?

Is diabetes an epidemic or just a result of laziness?

Is the ice cream the real problem?

The Enquirer recently published an article about the diabetes epidemic and the widespread increase of Type 2 diabetes, especially in kids and teens, and below I’ve pasted some of the key points I took from the article. I find it aggravatingly hilarious that the article talks repeatedly about the effect of healthy weight maintenance as the leading suppressant of the disease, but continually asks what we should do to prevent the spread. It seems pretty obvious to me. My 93 year old grandfather always said if you get fat stop eating so much!

Weight loss is a difficult prospect for some people, I’ll concede that, but for parents who allow their children to balloon to more than 300 lbs in middle school, as one story in the article speaks of, they are failing their children and their responsibilities as parents. Kids can’t always be expected to understand the implications of their morbid obesity, but parents should.

Finally, I apologize for this rant, as I know obesity is a tough battle for many people, but stop whining! Losing weight is a result of a simple math problem, calorie intake – calories burned = weight loss. Like I said very simple. the part that seems to confuse people is the “calories burned” part. That is simple also. MOVE!

I don’t care if you wave your arms at passing vehicles or whether you run ultra-marathons, just move.

full story>>>

“A study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found a 10-fold increase in Type 2 diabetes among adolescents.”

“Authors of the study blamed an increase in obesity, and warned the spike in diabetes could have dire consequences as those youths hit adulthood.”

“According to the report, 1 in 10 U.S. adults have diabetes. By 2050, as many as 1 in 3 could have the disease.”

“It’s a disaster in the making, experts say, and it’s a disaster Americans helped make themselves.”

“Our society is engineered to make us unhealthy,” said Lisa Simpson, a pediatrician and the director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “Diabetes is just one of the consequences of decades of choices that have led to the obesity epidemic.”

That means teaching people to exercise more, eat healthy and lose weight – three lessons many won’t learn until their lives depend on it.

“In 2008, diabetes’ total economic impact, including lost productivity, added up to $187 billion.”

“Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., and a leading contributor to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and a host of other ailments – all on the rise as baby boomers age.

To put it in perspective, diabetes kills about 72,000 Americans a year. Heart disease kills more than 630,000 Americans a year, and its economic impact is $316 billion – nine times the number of fatalities, but less than double the cost.

In 2004, 71,000 amputations were performed in the U.S. because of the damage done by diabetes.

Scientists have even identified a link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Dolan and his colleagues are trying to figure out the best way to manage diabetes in teens.”

Work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has shown that gastric bypass surgery, which causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach and limiting the calories the body can absorb, is an effective cure in teens.

At the University of Cincinnati, researchers are trying to discover why the surgery works and how they can get its effects in a less invasive and less expensive way.

full story>>>

Why runners usually make great employees

VIA: The BrandBuilder Blog – Below is a blog post that I believe to be extraordinarily powerful and very interesting. In my experience, while it is certainly biased, I have found the below information to be inexplicably true! Anima Sana in Anime Corpore Sana – Sound Mind in a Sound Body!

Why runners usually make great employees.

February 21, 2009 by Olivier Blanchard

My good friend and super personal trainer Holly DiGiovine sent out an email over the weekend that struck a chord with me. Here’s some of what she had to share:

When you have a goal that is as huge as the marathon-it will “keep you honest.” It’s not like a smaller goal that you can announce and then put off or fake your way through. Once you sign up, commit months to training, and take your first step on race day-you better have done your homework.

The beauty of this is that it goes against 99% of the natural tendencies of our culture that favors gratification without effort or devotion. But is that kind of achievement ever as satisfying? Linda Hill once told me she loved the quote, “There is no glory in training, but there is no glory without training.” In no way is this more true than in running.

And business.

One thing I’ve found over the years is that many of the folks I train with (and race against) are for the most part as devoted to their jobs (if not more) as they are to running or cycling or triathlon.

Unlike participation in say, golf or softball or basketball – no offense to club/league sports – the type of determination, discipline and emotional focus that comes with training day in, day out for extremely challenging endurance events (often by yourself) tends to bleed over into people’s 9-5′s.

Whether you’re training for a marathon, a century or the Ironman triathlon, one thing you quickly find out is that there’s no room for bullshit out there on the pavement. You either do the work or you’re screwed. Politics won’t get you to the finish line. It doesn’t matter who you know or how well you can work the system. When you’re out there, every weakness bubbles up to the surface and stares you in the eye. Lack of preparation, lack of motivation, lack of dedication will all come back to bite you in the ass. there’s nowhere to hide. They will all find you and jump up on your back to stop you dead in your tracks. The choice becomes this: Do you let them stop you, or do you accept them and keep going?

You learn a lot about yourself, training for that type of event.

You learn a lot about how to break thresholds and get past your own little ego, training for events like these. When you’re tired and sore and hungry but you still have four miles to go, guess what? You still have four miles to go. How you get through these last four miles is entirely up to you. Nobody cares whether you walk those last four miles or run, or hail a cab. Nobody made you set 26.2 miles as a goal. Or 100 miles. Or 144+.

Once you’ve broken past your lack of will and learned to keep going, you are transformed. A similar thing happens to Marines during training. At some point, who you used to be before you went beyond what you thought your limitations were, before you kissed excuses goodbye, before you left all of the bullshit that stood in your mind’s way ceases to exist. You become someone else.

That someone else, the marathoner, the long distance cyclist, the triathlete, the Ironman, he or she walks into your place of work with you every morning.

We all work with two types of people: Partisans of the least amount of effort, and dedicated professionals.

The latter aren’t all marathoners or triathletes, but I have yet to meet an Ironman or marathoner who didn’t take his or her intensity and dedication to their job.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking a case of beer and watching sports on TV all weekend, but who you are outside of your work does have parallels with who you are when you are at work.

Something to think about.

Update: Wow. You guys have turned this post into The BrandBuilder blog’s most popular post ever. Over 2,000 views in less than 24 hours already. Thank you all: Fellow runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes… It’s amazing to have so many of you respond to this post with so much enthusiasm. You’ve really made my day. Next time you’re in the Greenville, SC be sure to look me up. Lots of great running, cycling and racing out here.

Train hard!

Cost of Obesity

Aside from the fact that folks who are obese become that way because of a habit of over-consumption, according to a recent study out of George Washington University, folks who are obese face significant costs not faced by individuals who are healthy.
In fact, women who are obese spend, on average $4,879 more per year and men  dole out $2,646 more annually.

Back to Football Friday by NFL Play 60 and United Way

Tomorrow, Friday, September 10th, you can join fans and activists across the country by wearing your favorite NFL team’s jersey or colors.

When you do this, you’ll be sending a message to America that you support the NFL and United Way’s efforts to end childhood obesity. To make an even bigger impact, team up with your friends and coworkers and plan an event at your home, office or school. Click here to see how kids and schools can get involved.

As a bonus, when you sign up to participate or organize an event with your friends and coworkers, you’ll be eligible to win a free trip to the Super Bowl!