Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year. Let us all remember the beauty and purpose behind this miracle day.

We are in the Tetons with a blanket of fresh snow. My friend Mike just ran past the house with his headlamp on and stopped in to say good morning and asked me to go run on Christmas day at 4:30 am!!! Now how many of us have friends willing to run with us at 4:30 am? :) I am blessed.
Our weekend was full of time spent with friends and friends kids,,what a joy. We had dinner last night at Barb and Loren Lindquist and there twin boys who will be 1 year on the 27th. Last year on Christmas Eve we went to church with them and we will go again with them this year. lst year Barb was as big as a house just a few days away from delivering the boys and last night they were both walking and running all over the house. Life is such a miracle!!!

Our kids are soooooooooooooooo looking forward to Santa coming tonight. We have to bake cookies today for Santa because as you know he will be very hungry when he gets here!

Many of of are doing winter running right now, some find it very hard to get outside. I really feel it is best to run outside if your going to run races and not do all your running on the treadmill.
I put my clothes in the dryer to get them all toasty warm before putting them on to go out and run. I also carry a hand hold water bottle full of warm tea! Try it, it will make your cold experience turn into something you might actually look forward to.
At times on days where there is a long run it can be replaced with snowshoeing, cross country ski or skate ski. Downhill skiing I am sorry does not count for a cardio workout unless you are doing some long hikes through the back country!



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Low Down on Plantar Fasciitis

Our feet-we use them, even abuse them, yet we seldom think of them until they cause us pain. One of the most common conditions causing foot pain in plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis, sometimes mistakenly called "heel spur syndrome," is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects your heel bone to the metatarsal (toe) bones. The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and acting like a shock absorber. But if there's too much tension on the bowstring, tiny tears in the plantar fascia can occur, causing it to become inflamed and painful.
Repetitive stress on the feet from activities such as distance running, walking or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces may lead to plantar fasciitis, as can being overweight or wearing unsupportive shoes. This is also true if you have biomechanical problems of the foot, like being flatfooted or having a hig arch. Both of these conditions change the way your weight is distributed while walking or running, which puts more pressure on the plantar fascia, and sometimes causes injury.
Some people with plantar fasciitis develop heel spurs, which are deposits of calcium in the heel that occur in response to inflammation. The heel spurs themselves don't necessarily cause pain, but may indicate the presence of plantar fasciitis.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you'll notice a burning or stabbing heel pain, usually after first stepping out of bed in the morning, when the plantar fascia is tight after a night's rest. As your foot stretches out from walking, the pain subsides, but may reoccur after (but not during) exercise or when getting up from a seated position. You may also see some swelling in the heel of your foot.
The good news about the plantar fasciitis is, if caught early, most cases are resolved without invasive treatment such as surgery. If you have pain for more than a week, you should consider getting it looked at by a sports Doctor.

Below are some suggested treatments that will help;

*Icing your foot three or four times a day to reduce pain and swelling.
*Resting your foot by avoiding the activities that make it hurt. If you want to work out, switch to something that puts less stress on your feet, such as swimming.
*Stretching exercises done first thing in the morning and several times a day.
*Wearing supportive shoes that have a cushioned sole and good arch support. You may also try shoe inserts, such as gel heel cups, which cushion the heel and are available at many pharmacies and medical supply companies. Be sure to wear the inserts in both shoes!

If these treatments don't work and start to relieve pain you made need custom shoe inserts or a split that is worn at night to help gently stretch the plantar fascia.
Another treatment is high intensity ultrasound waves to break up the scar tissue in the heel and promote new growth of blood vessels to the damaged area which helps in the healing process.

Once you have treated your plantar fasciitis it can return. The most important this to avoid it coming back is stretching. STRETCHING IS FOREVER!!!

Here are three simple stretches you can do:

1. Towel Stretch: Sitting on the side of the bed or in a chair, place a towel on the floor with one end just under the tips of your toes. Using your toes, grip the towel and pull it under your feet several inches. Relax your toes. Repeat several times until the towel is entirely under your feet.

2. Towel Stretch: Wrap the towel around the ball of your foot, keeping your leg straight and holding the two ends of the towel in each of your hands. Gently pull the towel (and the ball of yuor foot) toward your body, holding your foot in this position for about a minute. Relax for a minute and repeat several times.

3. Tennis Ball Roll: Sitting in a chair or on the side of the bed, place a tennis ball underneath your foot. Slowly roll your foot over the ball. This exercise can be done while watching TV or reading or at your desk.

Happy Stretching!!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Red Meat! yes or no?

Your Health
Red Meat, Fatty Foods May Up Cancer Recurrence
by Patti Neighmond

There's significant evidence that diets high in red meat and fatty foods increase the risk of colon cancer. Now, research published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association provides evidence that this type of diet may also increase the risk of recurrence once colon cancer has been diagnosed.
Researchers from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston analyzed the diets of more than 1,000 patients with stage 3 colon cancer, meaning the cancer had spread to nearby lymph nodes. The patients had surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy.
Oncologist Jeffrey Meyerhardt headed the study, which asked patients about their diet during, and six months after, chemotherapy.
"We looked at a whole variety of fruits," he says. "Apples, oranges, grapefruit, vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, multiple types of meats including processed foods like cold cuts, turkey, fish, breakfast cereals, cooking oils, supplements people add to their coffee, and then a whole variety of desserts."
The critical question, Meyerhardt says, was exactly how much high fat, sugary food people ate.
"Do they have ice cream?" he says. "One serving? A half a cup? Do you never have it? Do you have it once a month, three times a month, once a week, once a day, two times a day and so forth."
Once patients are diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, even if they follow recommended treatment (surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy), after five years about 30 percent can be expected to have a recurrence of cancer.
In his study, Meyerhardt found that, indeed, did happen. But he also found another, more dramatic result: Compared with patients who ate relatively little fat, meat and sugar, patients who consumed high-fat, high-sugar diets were three and a half times more likely to see a recurrence of cancer.
"High-fat, high-sugar diets," Meyerhardt says, "included people who had five to seven servings of red meat per week; one to two sugary desserts per day; and one or two servings of high-fat foods per day." He says this type of diet clearly put patients "in the category of Western-pattern diet."
Scientists know that high-fat, high-sugar diets increase cardiovascular risk. Meyerhardt says it makes sense they could also increase colon cancer risk.
Extra fat and sugar may increase insulin and insulin-like growth factors. And if there's more of that circulating around colon cancer cells, it will help the cell grow, divide and spread.
These hormonal changes might also interfere with cancer treatment.
Dr. Stephen Forman is an oncologist at the City of Hope Cancer Center. He says the changes that the body undergoes when it is processing these foods should be addressed in future studies.
"We need to know what impact these changes have on the growth of the cancer itself, as well as the impact on drugs used in treatment of the cancer," Forman says. "Could it be that we are undermining our therapies by the diet we maintain? I think that's the important question this study raises, and it's an important question to answer."
The link between cancer and diet is not entirely clear. But one thing is, according to Forman: People undergoing these very difficult treatments need to maintain a healthy diet.

Have a great day!
Would love to know your thoughts.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Natural Pain Relief

Thanks once again for the many emails that you have sent asking and praying for my father.
We are so thankful. My father continues to improve.:) He has a very long way to go but he is working very hard to get back into his garden!

Below is some great information for all of you: Pass it on!

The most common remedies for runner's pain management are rest and anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which often have unwanted side effects, like upset stomach. But natural pain relief alternatives exist, and may be no further than you kitchen pantry.

Natural remedies, which often have no side effects and get you back on the road quickly, are worth a try for those with less severe pain. On the other hand, aggressive persistent pain accompanied by swelling and joint pain, requires a visit to your doctor.

Do your homework and read labels carefully because many herbal remedies have no standards in terms of potency and/or quality. Make sure you check with your Doc. or pharmacist to see if there is a problem mixing the two.

An ancient spice native to Southwest Asia, turmeric is used to make curry and gives mustard its yellow color. Most runners find a teaspoon of powered turmeric taken twice daily helps with minor aches and pains attributed to muscle overuse. Add the pure powdered form to food to benefit from the active component, curcumin. The usual dosage is 400 to 600 milligrams three times a day.
Health food stores sell a combination of curcumin with bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple that enhances curcumin's adsorption and also has anti-inflammatory qualities of its own.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids and fish oils restrain pro-inflammatory prostaglandin production, which leads to pain. Fish oils are the highest source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for cardiovascular health also aid in reducing inflammation. Oily, cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, macherel and herring are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Dr. Andrew Weil in EATING WELL FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH recommends two to three servings of fatty fish per week and more if possible. He doesn't recommend taking extracted fish oils in supplemental form because they're unsaturated, oxidize quickly and may have more toxic contamination.
For centuries, bing sweet cherries have been used to treat pain because of their natural rally occurring phyto-nutrients. According to research by the Department if Nutrition, University of California at Davis, cherries can lower circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. Studies showed that after cherries were consumed for 28 days, circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein (CPR), an inflammation indicator, dropped in healthy persons.
Known as an aid for stomach upsets, ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which ultra runners have found to be extremely helpful at high elevations because it neutralizes stomach acids. It's available in food or capsule form. A suggested dosage is one twice daily.

* Add turmeric to soups, tea and vegetable juice
* Sardines (omega-3's) are a good topper on a spaghetti dish or a seafood salad.
* Eat dried cherries as a snack, and frozen smoothie or buy fresh cherries and add them to fruit salads.

Have a great day


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tucson Marathon!!!!

What a day we had at the races!

It rained for 2 day's before the race and high winds. Very strange for Tucson this time of the year so I am told.

Race morning the sky was crystal clear and deep blue, no wind...needless to say it was perfect for running any kind of race. With over 3,000 people running I had 14 coaching students running from all over the USA but also one from Canada! Most everyone had a personal best!! Jim from Chicago was 24 minutes faster than his last marathon, Ed from NYC was 16 minutes faster than his last...the list goes on and on! Marcy from Calif. qualified for Boston:):)
Some this was there first half or full marathon. What a joy it was for me to see them all come across the finish line...I felt like I had run 10 marathons by the end of the day I was so full of emotions.
Mike from Canada did his 1st half marathon. He started working with me 2 months ago at 305 pounds. In 2 months he has lost 24 pounds and went from only being able to walk 1 block to walking and a few minutes of running a HALF MARATHON IS 3 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the marathon to run if you are looking for a fast time or to qualify for Boston. Great course! The winning time was 2:24!!!! We hope Mike Wardian will come next year to see how fast he can run and we hope to see the rest of you here as well.

Way to go Dreamchasers!!!!!!!

I leave you with this today: which are you??? Thank you Becky!

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.