Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three Keys to Health and Fitness: Moderation Accountability Consistency

This morning I posted on Facebook that I've lost 11lbs and getting closer to my racing weight goal. This sparked an awesome conversation amongst my FB friends about weight loss and racing. I have a goal to lose about 15lbs in prep for my Philly Marathon in November.

With owning my own business and having just written my first book, I began devoting less and less time to my own fitness needs. As a results I added a few pounds. More than that, my fitness level just began to wane. I could tell it in my runs. So, about a month ago, I started being more accountable with my diet. No drastic changes. No weird diets. Just being more cognisant of what I was eating, how much, and when. And I started making sure I was getting in daily "me fitness" be it running or resistance training.

One month later, I've lost 11lbs and my body composition is changing. I can already feel it in my runs. I gave my son Duncan a good run on the latter half of last Saturday's long run hitting a 6:10 pace up a rather hilly portion of the greenway. Not too shabby when about a month ago an 8:30 pace felt labored.

My point in sharing is that, you don't have to make drastic changes to make changes. Moderation. Accountability. Consistency. These are the three keys to good health and fitness. Dropping 5-10lbs can make a big difference in how you feel on your runs as well as make a difference in your overall pace. I'm not saying you have to lose weight to run well. Far from it. But, if you've gained a little and you've let your fitness level slide then getting back on the fitness and good nutrition wagon will make the differences you want to see happen and happen more quickly.

For more reading on racing weight, author and athlete, Matt Fitzgerald, has an awesome book titled, Racing Weight that delves more in depth into finding your racing weight. He also has a companion book just out titled, Racing Weight Cookbook with lots of great recipes.

Are you working on your fitness and weight loss? I'd love to share your before and after pictures and the story of your journey. Send your pictures and stories to and I'll feature them on the blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where did the .2 Come from?

Did you know that the distance of the first modern Olympic Marathon in 1896 was 24.8 miles. So why is it 26.2 today?

King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria
You've probably heard the legend of Pheidippides, the Greek who ran from the city of Marathon to Athens to deliver a message that they had defeated the Persian Army. You also probably know that upon reaching Athens, he staggered and exclaimed, "Rejoice! We Conquer!" and then collapsed and died. Nice story, huh? Really motivates you to run a marathon. LOL!

But I digress....why is the distance for a full marathon today 26.2 instead of 24.8 miles (the real distance from Marathon to Athens)? Well, in 1908 when the Olympic games were being held in England, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria requested that the race begin at Windsor Castle. Why? They wanted to Royal family to be able to see the start. I guess when you're King, you can pretty much get what you want.

1908 London Olympic Marathon Route
The distance from the castle to the Olympic Stadium in London was 26 miles. So what about the .2? The distance was extended 385 yards (.2 miles) around the track at the stadium so the runners would cross the finish line directly in front of  Edward and Alexandria. Pretty swanky huh?

The marathon distance in other competitions kept varying in length until 1921 when it was decided that the official distance would be 26 miles and 385 yards, or 26.2 miles.

So, you can thank Edward and Alexandria for the extra 1.4 miles.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Clean Kicks!

Do your running shoes need a room of their own after a few summer runs? Mine do. They don't stink like teenage locker room stench, from rampant athlete's feet, but they do get a sweaty smell that can be quite overwhelming, especially after having been left by "accident" in the car overnight.  So, what's a runner to do?


I know, every time I tell people I wash my running shoes I get all kinds of flack about how I'm ruining them. But, I don't really see how my run yesterday which left me squishing in my shoes from the sweat pouring down my body and into my shoes is any different from me rinsing them with clean salt free water. Or how is it any different from the tempo run I had last week when 3/4 of the run was during a monsoon during which I had to run through a foot of water because a street drain was clogged.

Not really that much difference. Water is water.
Soak in cold water with mild detergent for 10 minutes,
then rinse thoroughly.

However, I am careful what I wash them in. I prefer something like Woolite. I also like detergents such as WIN and Sports Wash that are designed to get sports related odors out of clothing. Sometimes, I'll put the shoes in the washer on the delicate cycle using only cold water, but normally I just fill a sink with cold water, put in some detergent, pull out the insoles and laces and soak everything for about 10 minutes. After soaking, gently rub the fabric to loosen any dirt still hanging on, then rinse them thoroughly with cold water and squeeze out any excess water. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the padded areas in the back of the shoe near the heel area. Detergent will often collect in the padding. Rinse until you no longer see any bubbles emerging from the padding.
Use a Magic Eraser cleaning sponge to
clean the soles.

If your shoes have white soles, use a Magic Eraser cleaning sponge to get rid of those lingering stains and smudges.
Hang to dry.

Next, clip the tongue of each shoe to a hanger, loop the laces around the hook and hang them to dry. Prop the insoles by an air vent to dry.


Next day, I have clean, fresh smelling kicks for my next run.

Greensboro's Greenways: Proud and Saddened

RunnerDude's Fitness is so lucky and proud to be situated along one of the newest stretches of the Yadkin
Heading north into the Yadkin & Atlantic Greenway
tunnel underneath Cone Blvd.
and Atlantic Greenway in Greensboro, NC. The greenway is a part of an old railway (The Yadkin & Atlantic) that used to bring granite from Stokesdale, NC, into Greensboro. There's quite an impressive tunnel that was built underneath W. Cone runners, walkers, and cyclist could avoid having to cross 4-lane Cone Blvd. Granite-like blocks lead into the tunnel tying in the railway's history. Inside is a wonderful mural painted on both walls running the length of the tunnel as well as the ceiling that incorporates the native vegetation and animals as well as local landmarks.
Me running inside the Cone Blvd. Tunnel past the awesome
mural painted inside the tunnel.
RunnerDude's Fitness has a kinship and sense of ownership towards this 1.5-mile strip of greenway that begins at the Pisgah Church Rd./Battleground Rd intersection (at the CVS) and running south parallel with Battleground. You may not have realized it's there, but it's behind all the shops on Battleground such as Papa John's, Stamey's, Rice Toyota, Taco Bell, Texas Roadhouse, and Office Depot. It emerges and ends in front of the Golden Corral at the Target shopping center on Lawndale. Eventually this stretch will connect with the downtown greenways. On the northern end of this strip, the greenway crosses over Pisgah Church Rd, and dips behind the Methodist church picking up with an older stretch of the greenway that runs all the way out past Bur-Mill Park, currently ending at a tunnel that's under construction at Hwy 220. From RunnerDude's Fitness, heading north you can easily get in a 13-mile out-n-back run. It's awesome!
Trash collected along greenway on June 22.

Because of this kinship and sense of responsibility, RunnerDude's Fitness is in the process of adopting this stretch of greenway. We've had two clean-ups which is apart of the official process. The last clean-up was on June 22. We had an awesome group show up and we picked up quite a bit of trash.

Since that clean-up I've been very aware of the trash along the greenway. Kind of like when you buy that new car that you think is so special and unique and then after you buy it, you begin seeing it everywhere. Well, now every time I run the greenway, I'm very aware of the amount of litter scattered about. The past week or two, I've noticed quite a bit of trash in the tunnel. So, today I slipped on some rubber gloves and grabbed a 30-gal trash bag and headed out to clean up the tunnel. Trash trailing out of the tunnel along the greenway kept me moving north picking up litter. An hour-and-a-half later, I returned to the studio with that 30-gal bag completely full. I was dismayed and saddened. How could that much trash have been left since June 22. It's not even been one month. Also, the group clean-up on June 22 (see picture above) covered the entire 1.5-mile stretch of greenway from Golden Corral to CVS. My clean-up today covered only the mile from RunnerDude's Fitness to CVS.

What did I find? Just about everything. I found the expected beer cans, beer bottles, and cigarette butts,
Trash I collected today.
candy wrappers, fast food containers and Styrofoam cups. Some of the debris you could tell was from some of the area homeless population, but I was very disheartened to find Gatorade bottles and GU wrappers. I also, picked up nicely tied up bags of doggie poop (these had been there for days). I'm not thinking that the homeless population bags up their critters' poop.

Reaching  CVS, my 30-gal bag full, I turned and headed back to the studio. On the 1-mile walk back, I collected a few pieces of trash I missed. Then something white caught my eye about 200ft down the greenway. As I got closer, I realized it was a CVS bag of trash that someone had discarded in the middle of the greenway within the few minutes since I had just been in the area. My heart felt heavy as I picked up the bag and added it to the rest of the trash I had collected.

Greensboro is so lucky to have more than 90 miles of greenways and trails networked together for everyone to enjoy. Let's encourage everyone to play a part in taking care of this treasure.