Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Slim Fast

You’ve probably heard that several millions cans of Slim-Fast have been recalled because of a possible bacterial contamination.

Here’s an equally valid reason to avoid Slim-Fast: it’s junk. Look at this nutrition label:

This is supposed to be a meal replacement? It’s a soda with a little fat and protein thrown in. Okay, given the meals many people eat, I guess that would be a replacement, but you get the point.

Look at the ingredients list for the powdered version:

Sugar, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Maltodextrin, Gum Arabic, Milk Protein Concentrate, Cellulose Gel, Soy Fiber, Buttermilk Powder, Potassium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Dextrose, Salt, Guar Gum, Soybean Lecithin, Artificial Flavor, Carrageenan, Sodium Phosphate, Acesulfame Potassium (A Non Nutritive Sweetner) and Aspartame.

Sugar is listed first. That means it’s the primary ingredient — ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the product, if you didn’t already know. Not surprisingly, the nutrition website where I found the label gives Slim-Fast an “A” for nutrition. It’s low fat in fat and cholesterol, you see.

I tried the Slim-Fast plan maybe 15 years ago, one of my many failed attempts to lose weight. I lasted three days on it. After drinking a can of this swill for breakfast, I’d be famished by lunch. I’d be hungrier than if I just skipped breakfast entirely.

Now, of course, I know why: the sugar. I most likely woke up in a mild state of ketosis, burning stored fat for fuel. Then I’d down a can of sugar, which would spike my insulin. The insulin in turn would tell my body to start packing the calories into my fat cells and hold them there. So I ran out of fuel. I remember sitting at my keyboard one morning, an hour from my usual lunchtime, feeling mentally fuzzy, my hands shaking from what was obviously low blood sugar.

At that point, I said to heck with this and went out for lunch instead of drinking another Slim-Fast. Unfortunately, since I didn’t know any better in those days, I probably went out for pasta. But even that’s an improvement over this glorified soda.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Down the ladder

Noel and Donny and Ralph joined us up there tonight. The workout was

Interval 1000 m 3:41
Interval 800 m 2:47
Interval 600 m 2:00
Interval 400 m 1:14
Interval 300 m 0:53

Get faster each one..


50 wallballs (10 pounds) for time

Monday, December 28, 2009

The health benefits of green tea

Researchers seeking an explanation for green tea’s apparent health-giving qualities believe they have found it in the form of substances known as polyphenols. These constituents of the tea plant have what is known as ‘antioxidant’ activity, which means they have the potential to quell disease-promoting molecules known as free radicals. While green tea contains several polyphenols, research suggests that the most potent weapon in its armoury is likely to be a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been found to have a number of cancer-protective actions in the body, including an ability to help in the deactivation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).

The supping of green tea has been linked with a reduced risk of cancer in both men and women. In one recent study, women drinking the equivalent of about half a cup of green tea a day were found to have a 47 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those drinking none at all. In another study published earlier this year, researchers found that men consuming three cups of green tea each day had about a quarter of the risk of prostate cancer compared to non-green tea drinkers. Other research has found that increased green tea consumption appears to protect against other forms of cancer too, including those of the stomach, colon, lung and skin.

The apparent liquid assets of green tea seem to extend to benefits for the circulatory system too. Research has found that individuals who consume green tea tend to have lower blood levels of cholesterol. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition last year found that the drinking of green tea was associated with a significant lowering of blood pressure levels. These benefits go at least some way to explaining research which links green tea consumption with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.

While consumption of this big-in-Japan beverage is on the rise in the UK, we mostly elect to drink tea in its black form - itself made by subjecting green tea to a process of fermentation. The fermentation of green tea causes the chemical conversion of much of its EGCG into compounds that seem to offer more muted benefits for the body. While studies show that that black tea has the potential to benefit health, the research suggests that it’s green tea that deserves the cup

Saturday, December 26, 2009

B.U. Mini Meets

I went into the B.U. Mini meet today. Never ran in a actual track meet before. I wasn't sure what to expect. I heard horror stories of long lines not being able to warm up, sitting in corral for a long period. I was pleasantly surprised not to have any of those problems. There was a little wait to sign up but its wasn't bad at all. I found the whole thing to run very smoothly. One thing I did was warm up to early . I wasn't sure how to time the event but there was plenty of time and room to warm up.It was a great atmosphere for running. I bumped into Charlie Kelly and Dale Smith in there so I had to people to chat to.They called my heat up. I was hoping to PR here would love a sub 5:30. The first 3 laps I hit 40-41 right were I want to be.I pretty much lose track of the time from that point. I'm a little boxed in and I don't want to sweep to the 3rd lane to pass these two runners. I'm sitting back and waiting hoping I have something left. Our pack runs down two runners.One guy is hurting a bit and the other young runner worries my a bit. I don't want to see him with a 100 meters left. The pack of four has three laps left and my legs are starting to burn.One of the women in the pack makes a move and a women and a guy fall back a little and I cut into the 1st lane trying to stay with her. 2 laps to go just trying to hold on now. I'm not going to catch the women in front of me just trying to hold . 1 Lap to go my legs are on fire.. Guess who comes up on my shoulder the young kid I passed earlier. He blows right by me..I finish up with 5.31. not what I wanted but I'll take it...Next week I'm thinking about 200-400's..................

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Party Time

At this time of year, sometimes containing the damage is the best you can do. Here are some choices you may be facing at parties over the next couple of weeks:

Mixed Nuts or Olives?
The ND Choice: Olives
Olives are high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol, and low in calories. While nuts also contain healthy fats, they are much higher in calories and it can be hard to stop at just one small serving.

Soft or Hard Cheese?
The ND Choice: Soft Cheese
Although not diet fare, soft cheeses tend to be a bit lower in calories and fat than hard cheeses. So opt for Brie or goat cheese over cheddar and gruyere--but still watch your portion sizes

Roast Beef or Ham?
The ND Choice: Roast Beef
Although roast beef can be slightly higher in calories, it has far less sodium than ham. Ham and other cured meats also contain nitrites, which you are better off without.

Champagne or a Cocktail?
The ND Choice: Champagne

Champagne clocks in at only 75 calories a glass, while cocktails can easily add up to hundreds of calories for just one drink. If you must have a cocktail, keep it simple with a vodka or gin martini to keep the calories down.

Cocoa or Eggnog?
The ND Choice: Cocoa
Almost anything is better than artery-clogging eggnog. Even if you make the cocoa with whole milk, it’s still the better option—but to minimize fat and calories, choose low-fat milk. Cocoa also contains flavonoids which may help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie?
The ND Choice: Pumpkin pie
Reach for a slice of pumpkin pie over pecan and you’ll save yourself over 200 calories per slice. Plus, pumpkin is packed with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, K, E, potassium, iron, and the list goes on.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why Antacids Will Never Cure Your Heartburn

Heartburn, also referred to as acid reflux or indigestion, is one of the many common symptoms of compromised health that we’ve come to accept as normal. According to the National Institute of Health, 20% of Americans suffer from heartburn symptoms at least once per week, and nearly half of these people experience symptoms every day.

As with most health problems, conventional medicine treats the heartburn symptoms of acid reflux without making any effort to understand or address it’s cause. Unfortunately, the popular methods of treating heartburn symptoms actually worsen their most common cause and can potentially lead to significant health issues.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Knock Out Knee Pain

by Jane Hahn

Is your 10-K training, half-marathon training, or marathon training being hampered by knee pain that resides directly below the kneecap? If so, you may be battling the most common running injury: patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Also known as runner’s knee, PFPS accounts for roughly 20 percent of all running injuries. The main symptom of PFPS is pain below the kneecap that is generally mild at first and felt only during running. But if training continues and PFPS progresses, the pain becomes more intense during running and is also increasingly felt at rest.

PFPS is a mysterious injury in that it is not associated with any major structural damage in the knee. Experts now believe that the essence of the injury is chronic excitation of pain nerves in the knee caused by inflammation and general tissue degradation. Because it does not involve significant structural damage, PFPS usually responds well to modest reductions in training that give the tissues a chance to repair themselves and break free of the cycle of inflammation, and allow for the general muscle recovery necessary to any training program.

Studies have shown that PFPS sufferers commonly have weak hip stabilizers. The hip stabilizers are the muscles on the outside of the knee that must keep the hip and knee in alignment when the body is supported by one foot during running. If they are too weak to do their job properly, the knee’s movement is inhibited and tissue damage results. Doing exercises to strengthen the hip is an effective way to prevent and overcome PFPS.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The 48-Hour Countdown

The final two days before a race are very important. The final workouts, meals, equipment and mental preparations and logistical planning you do in this window can have a major impact on your performance – for better or worse. Here’s a checklist of things to do in the 48-hour race countdown to ensure that you get the most out of the hard training you’ve done.

48:00 – Do a short, fast workout
Your next-to-last workout before a race should be relatively easy, so you’re not fatigued on race morning, but it should include a dash of speed to prime your nervous system for competition. For example, run three miles easy, then run 6 x 30-second relaxed sprints.

31:00 – Get a good night’s sleep
Getting adequate sleep is critical to endurance performance at all times, but it is never more important than in the final days before a big race. In a recent British study, runners covered 6 percent less distance in a 30-minute time trial after being awake for 30 hours than they ran after a full night’s rest. While that’s a pretty extreme sleep deprivation, even a few lost hours of rest could keep you from reaching your race goal.
Because of pre-race jitters and early-morning race starts, it can be difficult to get a full eight hours of shuteye the night before a race. So be sure to get a good, long sleep two nights out.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A little more to add from Linda's post

Sleep deprivation mimics many elements of the aging process. One could make the argument that how you feel when you are sleep deprived is likely how you will feel if you are both diabetic and old (sleep deprivation dramatically impacts insulin sensitivity). Improved sleep time and quality will help you: Lean out, avoid depression, autoimmunity, heart disease…it might even help you be a better athlete. This is a very interesting article for me in that coaches simply tried a schedule more conducive to better sleep and they saw immediate performance improvements in their players.

I just downloaded this book to my Kindle. I hate to be Captain Obvious about sleep but I suspect that it's most likely a missing component in many of our training plans. We get so hung up on our training schedules, and getting all of those runs in -- many times before dawn or late at night -- that proper sleep is an afterthought.

If you're at a plateau and not seeing the results you want despite a solid training plan -- check your nutrition and rest. Adding another hour a night to your daily sleep could make all the difference and get you to that next level. Sound impossible? If you have time to run 40+ miles a week, I know you can figure out how to get more sleep. Dare I suggest swapping out some miles for sleep one morning a week?

Once I started weight training more frequently, I found that without proper sleep and nutrition I could make zero progress and felt sore and tired all the time. It sounds funny, but simply sleeping more isn't the easiest thing in the world when you've gotten by on 6-7 hours for years. It took a few weeks to adjust, and involved staring at the stupid clock wishing that minutes would pass faster (those of you that have suffered from insomnia know what I'm talking about) 9 hours, as the author suggests, would be a stretch for me, but increasing to 8 hours has made all the difference. Try it and let me know how it works!

As for the book, it's full of scientific studies that are about as interesting as watching paint dry. Everything you need to know is on the front cover :-) I'll update this post if there are any other worthwhile tidbits when I finish it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Running Faster

There’s a good chance you can lower your running times by simply refining your running skills. Speed skill is so important to running that I have the athletes I coach do drills and other skill-enhancing workouts every week throughout the year. The skills that need mastering are simple and few.

Biomechanically, there are only two things you can do to run faster. You can run with a faster cadence or you can run with a longer stride. The fastest runners in the world, such as the Kenyans, do both of these. The place for you to start in improving your running efficiency is with cadence. Let’s examine how you can do that.

The next time you go to a race or watch one on TV check the cadence of a few select elite runners. To do this count every time a runner’s right foot strikes the road for 20 seconds and then multiply by three. The Kenyans are running at a cadence of 94 to 98 even late in a long race such as a marathon. The others generally have a cadence of 90 to 94. So the only way these lower-cadence runners can keep up with the Kenyans is to lengthen their strides. That’s inefficient because it produces a bit of vertical oscillation. They bounce up and down just a slight bit too much. And since the finish line is in a horizontal plane, energy expended vertically is mostly wasted.

Count your cadence the next time you are out for a run. If you’re like most age group triathletes it will be in the range of 76 to 86. And the slower an age grouper runs the lower their cadence becomes. Elite runners tend to keep their cadence about the same even when running slowly. They’ve trained their nervous systems to fire at a set rate which isn’t appreciably altered by pace.

Besides reducing vertical oscillation, running with a higher cadence means the foot spends less time in contact with the ground. That means running faster. Until your foot comes off the ground you aren’t going any place. It’s like an anchor.

So let’s work the other direction now – from foot contact time back up the chain to cadence – to see how we can improve your running times.

To minimize foot contact time you need to reduce the angle at which your foot comes in contact with the road surface. If you land on the heel with your toes pointing skyward at about a 30-degree angle, which is common for slower runners, it will take a relatively long time for the foot to be lowered to the pavement and then to rock forward and finally come off the ground at the toes. This will take only a few more milliseconds than had you put your foot down flat on the pavement and then toed off. But those extra milliseconds for each footstrike add up by the finish line.

It’s alright to have a slight heel-first contact with the road. But it should be so slight that someone you’re running at would not be able to see the bottoms of your shoes. You can check this for yourself by having that person shoot a video of you running at the camera. Do you see black soles? If so, you have an exaggerated heel strike. Minimizing it will speed you up.

How can you learn to minimize heel strike? Or, to put it another way, what causes you to land on your heel with your toes high off the ground? The answer to this latter question has to do with your knee. The only way to land on your heel is to lock, or nearly lock, your knee out straight. This is what you would do if you were running fast and trying to stop abruptly. You would straighten your knee and land on your heel. So running this way is like running with the brakes on. No wonder it slows you down.

The fastest way to experience flat-footed running is to run with your shoes off. Shoes with their often thick, rubber heels seem to be saying to us, “land here.” As soon as you take them off you’re back to the way our ancient ancestors ran on the grassy plains of Africa. We’re also running the way the Kenyan kids learn to run – without shoes.

I have the triathletes I coach do a drill called “strides” almost every week in the Base period. If they can do this without shoes, all the better. Often they can’t because snow and cold weather in a winter Base period make this impractical. But whenever they can they are encouraged to do this drill shoeless. This may be on a treadmill during the winter. Another option is to do this drill in “water walkers” – light, slipper-like shoes that fit snugly around the foot and are designed for the beach. (Be careful at first not to do a lot of barefoot running initially as you may well develop tender tendons as your feet and legs adapt.)

The strides drill is simple. Go to a park or other grassy area that has a very slight downhill grade of about one percent for 150 yards or so. Warm-up for 10 to 15 minutes. Then take off your shoes (or put on the water walkers) and run down the hill for 20 seconds. Do this six to eight times in a session. This should be a fairly fast run, but you could go much faster. In other words, hold back just a little bit. Focus on a flat-footed landing with the knee slightly bent. Count every time your right foot strikes the ground. Your goal is 30 to 32. That’s a cadence of 90 to 96. Don’t try to go above 96. Note a landmark where you completed the 20-second stride. If you start at the same spot for each stride, during the workout, as you warm up even more, you’ll finish farther down the course indicating that your stride is also getting longer since cadence remains steady. You’re now running like a Kenyan.

Now for the hard part of the drill – at least for most type-A triathletes: Turn and walk back to the start point. Fatigue is the enemy of skill development. Walking will make sure you aren’t fatiguing as the workout proceeds.

As your fitness improves you can insert drills into the walking portions. Start by doing skips as you did when you were a kid. Do 50 total skips on the recovery. This will further ingrain the flat-foot, slightly knee-bent landing. Later in the Base period do these skips for height. How high can you skip? Skipping for height builds power in your legs which in turn increases stride length – without even trying.

When out for your normal Base training runs occasionally check your cadence. Try to raise it by two or three RPM. This will feel awkward at first, as if you are running with baby steps. And your heart rate will probably rise even though you aren’t going any faster. It will take a while for your nervous system to adapt to a higher cadence. During this time you may seem to be going the wrong direction. That’s common and necessary if you are to eventually run faster as your body adapts. Hang in there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


7x600 2 mins rest

Interval 600 m 2:04
Interval 600 m 2:01
Interval 600 m 2:02
Interval 600 m 2:02
Interval 600 m 2:03
Interval 600 m 2:02
Interval 600 m 1:59

"A fitness regimen with no goals is like driving to a destination you have never been to before without a map or directions. Goals keep you on track. You seek out guidelines and information on how to achieve them. Make those goals!!!" by freddy c.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One of Linda's workout buddies...I heard he's not always that intense...He's Cleaning and Jerking 275.........

Cities with the best water:

1. Arlington, TX
2. Providence, RI
3. Fort Worth, TX
4. Charleston, SC
5. Boston, MA
6. Honolulu, HI
7. Austin, TX
8. Fairfax County, VA
9. St. Louis, MO
10. Minneapolis, MN

Cities with the worst water:

1. Pensacola, FL
2. Riverside, CA
3. Las Vegas, NV
4. Riverside County, CA
5. Reno, NV
6. Houston, TX
7. Omaha, NE
8. North Las Vegas, NV
9. San Diego, CA
10. Jacksonville, FL

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Food for Healthy Intestine

Asparagus contains a special kind of carbohydrate called inulin that we don't digest, but the health-promoting friendly bacteria in our large intestine, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, do. When our diet contains good amounts of inulin, the growth and activity of these friendly bacteria increase. And when populations of health-promoting bacteria are large, it is much more difficult for unfriendly bacteria to gain a foothold in our intestinal tract.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Sick to Train?

When you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu, should you continue your marathon training or triathlon training as normal, do you need to cut back, or must you stop entirely? It all depends on the type and severity of your symptoms:

Conquering a Cold

Most experts agree that it is okay to continue exercising as normal when you have a mild or moderate head cold with symptoms such as sinus pressure, runny nose, cough and sore throat. But a cold that has moved into your chest, with symptoms such as chest congestion and tightness, is more likely to negatively affect your training—and if a cold negatively affects your training, then your training may negatively affect your cold! So in such cases, listen to your body and use common sense. If you are reasonably comfortable when you train despite your symptoms, and if training does not worsen your symptoms, go for it. Otherwise let discretion be the better part of valor and take a day off.

Fighting the Flu

Until recently there was virtually unanimous agreement in the medical community that one should not exercise while battling flu symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and body aches. Newer research, however, has called that dictum into question. For example, a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Iowa found that moderate daily exercise improved flu symptoms in mice infected with a flu virus. The key word here is “moderate.” Attempt only short, low-intensity workouts when you are experiencing flu symptoms, stop exercising immediately if you feel horrible while working out at a low intensity, and simply avoid exercise completely if you feel miserable even thinking about working out. So, as with colds, listen to your body and use common sense in deciding whether to train with the flu.

Protecting Your Immune System

While exercise generally strengthens the immune system, strenuous individual workouts such as long marathon training runs or lengthy speed sessions temporarily suppress immune function. Therefore you should also consider your training workload when trying to decide how to respond to symptoms of illness. If you’re feeling under the weather yet you’re training moderately, it is unlikely that you’re suppressing your immune system and making it harder to beat the virus. But if you’re in very heavy training, it might be best to cut back your workouts to give your immune system a quick boost so it can beat the virus instead of letting it linger and possibly affect your training for many weeks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pure Protein

There are different kinds of protein, however, there is a difference in how your body sees these. In order for your body to release Glucagon (counter hormone to insulin) your protein source must be a pure one (it must have had a face, and soul and you killed it to eat it!!!!). Therefore, if you are using dairy products (string cheese and Greek yogurt) as a protein source your body will not recognize this as a protein source and will not release Glucagon. Does this mean you need to cut out all dairy? Not necessarily. You may just need to re-visit your protein sources to make sure they are pure and use dairy in moderation. Also be weary of using beans as your source of protein.

Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas in response to low blood glucose; it works to raise blood glucose levels. Its main effect is on the liver, where it promotes conversion of glycogen to glucose. It is also available as a drug that is used to treat severe low blood sugar hypoglycemia.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


5x800 2:30 rest


I used the tempo trainer tonight for the 1st time on the track.It keeps on pace like nothing I've used before.One thing I've notice running the turns, each one is harder and harder...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Lools like the Shamrock site is down .....I'll post the results here until I can get back in ..

Total Points for Each Club

Gate City Striders 107
Winners Circle Running Club 97
Somerville Road Runners 77
North Medford Club 76
Greater Derry Track Club 63
Whirlaway Racing Team 43
Greater Lowell Road Runners 42
Shamrock Running Club 41
New Hampshire Athletic Alliance 30
Merrimack Valley Striders 30
North Shore Striders 26
Wicked Running Club 24
Squannacook River Runners 19
Mystic Runners 14
Gil's Athletic Club 11
Andover Striders 10
Melrose Running Club 9
Sandown Rogue Runners 5

DIAMOND GIRLS Female Seniors 2:34:38 4
THE FROZEN SHAMROCKS Coed Open 2:54:38 11
SHAMWRECKS Mens Masters 3:13:26 3
SHAMROCK 50 CLUB Mens Seniors 3:16:41 5
SHAMROCK'S BORN TO BE WILD Mens Seniors 3:24:57 3
HERE COMES SHAMROCK-CLAUS Coed Masters 3:40:14 1
HUSTLIN' HONEYS Female Open 3:50:13 4
SHAMROCK SHUTTLE Mens Veterans 3:50:42 3


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 caught up with three-time US Olympian Jen Rhines as she was training in Mammoth Lakes, California. Jen walks us through a short workout and gives us a glimpse inside early season training.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The coach really mixed it up tonight.I would have never guess this for the workout. The coach gave us 2 assignments numbers from 1-14. We couldn't tell anyone what they were. We all started running at a relax pace. When we came around the coach would call out a number.If that was your number you would take the lead and run your assignment. Everyone had to follow the leader at the leaders pace. Some of the assignments were
sprint 1/2, sprint full lap,race pace 1,2,3 laps, tempo pace 1,2,3 laps,pushup , burpees, sit ups, butt kickers, high knees. All and all good workout changed things up from the regular intervals........

We did 1x800 to finish things up 2.38. Donny is back.......

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I ran Breakheart for the 1st time today. Noel,Chris,Bill,Sarah,Randy,Ellen were all out there today.I heard it was hilly but didn't expect that....There's very long incline and declines , very steep climbs and descents.We ran 3 loops.The first one we missed a turn so that was a short one.Great place to train for hills its totally different from Johnson rd. Your constantly changing up and down and incline and decline. Great place to train for Winnie....

Friday, November 27, 2009


I ran 23.12 today at Gabe's Run.It was awful out there today.This is a true XC course no pavement.The rain was coming down good to make matters worse they held us in line for extra 5 minutes before the race started. The women went first to get the course nice and muddy for We take off already soaked in the first 100 meters and the mud is flying everywhere.The first mile went pretty good 6.52.I slipped up and end up in a puddle of mud and water. Back on my feet hit mile 2 about 14'ish. I notice my legs are getting smoked from all running in the puddles and mud.We hit the hill this is about as steep as Sturgis St. I ended up walking up the hill, not wanting to fall again.This is the worse part coming down the hill. It wasn't that steep but they pack the trail with combo of dirt/manure. Its well over ankle high the whole way down and there's no way I'm falling in this stuff... Finished up at 23.12. There was a team division 6 teams we took 3rd.(ran with my NSCF crew)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vitamin D and Endurance Exercise

We are only just beginning to understand the complexity and importance of vitamin D in relation to health. Of importance to athletes is the function of vitamin D as it relates to overall health, bone density, innate immunity, muscle wasting, and exercise-related inflammation and immunity. To train and race optimally, an athlete should not have any nutrient deficiencies.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here are a few startling facts: The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) states that some popcorn and drinks combos are equal to consuming three McDonald's quarter-pounders topped with 12 pats of butter. Research shows that a medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the United States' biggest movie theater chain, contained an eye-popping 1,610 calories and around 60 grams of saturated fat.At AMC theaters, the second largest theater chain, a large popcorn contained 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat, equivalent at a pound of baby back spare ribs topped with a scoop of luxury ice cream, CSPI said.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


400 1:22
600 2:01
800 2:43
600 1:59
400 1:13

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I thought this was funny

There was article last week about how a team of US and Egyptian scientists carried out medical scans on 22 mummies from Cairo's Museum of Antiquities. Someone commented

Scientists just discovered mummies with heart disease. These same scientists have not been able to confirm whether vampires and werewolves have heart disease, but it’s looking likely.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Real Food & Performance

Have you noticed how food is becoming medicine? Cheerios lowers your cholesterol. Activia yogurt keeps you regular. Milk builds strong bones. We no longer are encouraged to eat food simply because it tastes good. It should also correct some medical condition we have.

There is a similar trend going on in sports nutritional products. Athletes seem to be coming to the conclusion that sports bars, protein drink mixes, electrolyte concoctions and more are healthy and a good source of what we need to improve performance. Athletes comment on such supplements as if it is a foregone conclusion that this stuff is not only healthy, but also the best source of whatever it is we need to become faster and more enduring.

I believe just the opposite: A diet high in such highly processed stuff (I don’t think of them as “food”) is unhealthy. Nature has been making foods such as fruits and vegetables for millions of years. We evolved quite nicely as a species eating these along with animal products. Such foods seem to have everything we need to not only survive as a species but to thrive as athletes.

On the other hand, sports nutrition scientists have been making their stuff for about 30 years. And it’s only been for the last 15 years or so that athletes have preferred to carry a bar in their pocket on a bike ride rather than a banana. Now we’ve come to the point where many (most?) think that the best possible food to eat post-workout is something out of a plastic bag. Some even carry this preference for sports nutritionals into their daily lives eating stuff throughout the day that was unheard of just months ago.

Here are a few guidelines I believe will help you when it comes to making food selections.

• If the product comes in plastic packaging eat it only in very small portions, preferably during exercise, and then only because of convenience.
• If the product has more than five ingredients listed on the package it’s best avoided or eaten in very limited quantities. Eat these only when “real” food is not readily available.
• The foods you should be the most wary of are those that proclaim loudly to be “healthy” or “all natural.”
• Typically, the more expensive a product is per calorie, the less healthy it is.
• The less advertising there is for a food, the healthier it is.
• If your grandparents could not have eaten it, it’s best avoided.

This is not to say that you should never eat sports bars or the like. There are times and situations when they are convenient. But the primary time to eat them is during exercise, and then only very long or very intense workouts. Generally, if you are in decent shape and the workout lasts less than two hours all you need is water, assuming you had a meal sometime in the last few hours before starting the session. For such short workouts you really don’t need all of that sugar or the other stuff (protein, sodium, magnesium, vitamins, minerals, etc) we’re told are some how necessary for sports performance.

For optimal health and sports performance simplify your diet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 mile run work on cadence with the tempo trainer. I figure I was running at 88 cadence per minute


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fat and the Endurance Athlete

Fat is the victim of an unfortunate name. It is all too easy to believe that eating fat makes you fat. Indeed, for many years most diet experts thought that it did, and many do even today despite compelling evidence that eating a fairly high-fat diet is no more likely to cause you to become overweight than eating a high-carbohydrate or high-protein diet.
read more

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Tim Stott showed up tonight and brought is friend Eric Sherry. Eric and Tim ran together at ULowell. Eric ran the 800 in 1:50ish when he was at Lowell.He said he coming every week this will get interesting....

Up The Ladder

300 1:02
400 1:20
600 1:59
800 2:42
1000 3:27

push ups
sit ups

More reasons to take Vitamin D

I keep reading over and over again about the benefits of higher doses of Vitamin D. It may be just the "favored" supplement this year, but along with fish oil, it's the only supplement I take. What do you think?

New study links vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular disease and death
Study finds inadequate levels of Vitamin D may significantly increase risk of stroke, heart disease and death
MURRAY, UT – While mothers have known that feeding their kids milk builds strong bones, a new study by researchers at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City suggests that Vitamin D contributes to a strong and healthy heart as well – and that inadequate levels of the vitamin may significantly increase a person's risk of stroke, heart disease, and death, even among people who've never had heart disease.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Keys to Great Digestive Health

Digestive issues have become extremely common and are often a result of the typical modern lifestyle. Unfortunately, most people perceive digestive issues as nothing more than an inconvenience and fail to recognize that they can easily lead to compromised health and disease.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Faster Running

By Joe Friel

I received two emails this week from triathletes who wanted to know how they could become faster runners. One believed it could be done simply by knowing a few key workouts to do. I wish it was so simple. There are no magic workouts to make you a fast runner. In fact, you can take a fast runner and have him/her do exactly the 'wrong' workouts and he/she will still run fast.

I told her that the starting point for becoming faster was to decide what was standing between her and faster running--her run limiter. For most runners that starting place for limiters is usually some combination of running posture, cadence and footstrike. Posture is tall, head in a neutral position (not looking down) with a slight S-shape from the spine through the legs. Cadence is at least 88 rpm at all times--even when running slowly (count your right foot strikes for one minute). Most age group runners are around 78 to 84 rpm. That means a lot of loping with vertical oscillation. Footstrike is flat or midsole, however you best visualize it. It is definitely not back on the heels as probably 80% of all runners land. It is also not on the toes or ball of the foot with the heel off the ground. For some reason, that is what most runners think they are supposed to do when they make the change. The best drill for learning to flat foot strike is the 'paw-back' drill. Aggresively pull the foot backwards to the ground on each stride until it becomes habitual and effort or thought is no longer necessary (actually, the foot doesn't move backwards when pawing back--it decelerates, but I don't want to get too deep into thinking about the details here). Land on the flat or midsole of your foot. You can't put your foot down too soon. For more details on this see my blog entry below .

Once all three of these are optimized then it's time to start thinking about workouts that will help you get faster. These will almost always be short intervals at first--less than two minutes duration with long recoveries (at least two minutes). Then just as a young runner would do as he/she matures, the intervals get longer until one is doing six- to twelve-minute intervals with short recoveris--fast! This entire process could take a year or two. There are no shortcuts to realizing your potential as an athlete.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009



"We need to remember with sincere respect those who paid the price for our freedoms; to keep in sacred remembrance those who died serving their country and never let them be forgotten"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


8x500 meters aka a hard quarter 2-1/2 mins rest

Interval 500 m 1:42
Interval 500 m 1:39
Interval 500 m 1:38
Interval 500 m 1:37
Interval 500 m 1:39
Interval 500 m 1:38
Interval 500 m 1:37
Interval 500 m 1:35

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What type of runner are you?

I have found in nearly 30 years of coaching endurance athletes that there are three general types of athletes — artists, scientists and accountants.
Which one are you? Post your type.....
Read More

Friday, November 6, 2009

Know Your Fats

The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:

* Butter
* Beef and lamb tallow
* Lard
* Chicken, goose and duck fat
* Coconut, palm and sesame oils
* Cold pressed olive oil
* Cold pressed flax oil
* Marine oils

The following new-fangled fats can contribute to the causes of cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:

* All hydrogenated oils
* Soy, corn and safflower oils
* Cottonseed oil
* Canola oil
* All fats heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying

A library of over 30 articles on Fats and Oils are available from The Weston A. Price Foundation.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Down the ladder run

1000 3:45
800 2:49
600 1:58
400 1:15
300 :53

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


A box of Cocoa Krispies carries Kellogg's controversial claim that the cereal can boost immune systems.

Of all claims on cereal boxes, "this one belongs in the hall of fame," says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "By their logic, you can spray vitamins on a pile of leaves, and it will boost immunity."

As the H1N1 virus worries parents and threatens children, the claim of supporting immunity is compelling to many. But it comes at a time foodmakers are being held more accountable for claims. The industry's self-created "Smart Choices" nutrition-labeling program was voluntarily halted recently after federal regulators expressed concern that such programs may be misleading.

Last week, San Francisco sent a letter to Kellogg and to the Food and Drug Administration asking Kellogg to prove its claim. "I am concerned the prominent use of the immunity claims to advertise a sugar-laden chocolate cereal like Cocoa Krispies may mislead and deceive parents of young children," said Dennis Herrera, the city attorney.

Kellogg says the critics are wrong. Development of the line started more than a year ago, and it was rolled out in May 2009. "It was not created to capitalize on the current H1N1 flu situation," spokeswoman Susanne Norwitz says. "Kellogg developed this product in response to consumers expressing a need for more positive nutrition."

Since studies showed that antioxidant vitamins A, C and E play an important role in the immune system, Kellogg increased its amount in the line — which includes Rice Krispies — from 10% daily value to 25% daily value, Norwitz says.

"The idea that eating Cocoa Krispies will keep a kid from getting swine flu, or from catching a cold, doesn't make sense," says Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University. "Yes, these nutrients are involved in immunity, but I can't think of a nutrient that isn't involved in the immune system." Nestle saw the claims at a grocery store in August and sent a letter to the FDA. She hasn't heard back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Devil made them do it!

Recognize anyone in this picture?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Battlegreen 5k-10k

Shamrocks took 1st in the Team 5k and 10k. We held off a very tough Mystic team in the 5k it was close.We had our big dawgs out there Ray Johnson in the 5k and Frank Row in the 10k,both guys crushed it. I was planning on running the 10k but we only had 2 runners on the team for the 5k. I jumped over to the 5k team to make 3 and Kristen signed up that made 4 we were good to go.They totally messed up the 10k they send them in the wrong direction they ended up running a 11k race .The 10k team held strong and finished strong... Great team effort today from all the Shamrocks........

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Running "the library" group

Ran 7.5 or so miles from the library this morning. We had a really big group for this time of year -- at least 10 people! One of my better runs for sure as I've been battling a sore ankle/knee thingy for the past week or so. Thanks to Katherine for keeping me company during the middle miles.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall 2009 Mile Time Trial Results

October 27th 2009 Time
Chris Negron 5:24
Chas Hodgdon 5:34
Steve Blair 5:37
Gabe Negron 5:41
Patrick Sheeran 5:45
Jon Lineban 5:58
Eric Yee 6:01
Nicole Scire 6:53
Larua Daggett 6:54
Ram 7:20
Kristina Prifh 7:51

Warm UP

The Warm-Up: What should you do?

Do you want the truth? I have no idea. No one really truly knows. That goes for just about anything unfortunately. There are no definitive answers; it’s not black and white. If anyone tells you that it is, be very wary.

Okay, so that doesn’t help anyone out too much. Let’s delve into the warm-up a little and see if we can make any sense of it at all.

The goal of the warm-up is simple in running, to prepare the body for the task at hand, running. That sounds simple enough, but the warm-up is all about balance because we have to do enough to prepare the body to get ready but we do not want to induce too much pre-fatigue. That last bit is important. If you look at the research studies done on warm-up, they are all over the place. About half say it helps, half say it doesn’t, and some say neither. Why is this? Because of that balance concept we have. Basically, a good warm-up to improve performance has to do three things:

Read More

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We had the mile Time Trial tonight.
Chris 5:24
Chas 5:34
Steve 5:37

Thats all I can remember

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On a side note, I don't know if you know who Craig Fram is he's Whirlaway guy.
Ran Baystate Marathon in 2:44 and just ran a 5k 17:42 5:42 which is crazy fast but the most impressive part of him is he's 51..............
His bio

Saturday, October 24, 2009

After The Race—Part 2

I ran 4x800's today with 20 pound weight vest 4 mins rest . I was little surprised with my times.
3:28 - figure I would try to hold that

After The Race—Part 2

In my last blog, I provided some tips that help promote physiological recovery within the first 24 hours after racing, when the highest priorities are initiating muscle repair, restocking muscle glycogen stores, and rehydrating. Now I’d like to focus on phase two of post-race recovery, where the emphasis is on the return to training.

How quickly you return to normal training depends on the length of the race you’ve just completed, your fitness level, and when you plan to race next. If the race you’ve just completed is the last one in your current training cycle, you should feel no rush to return to normal training. In fact, you’ll be better served in the long run if you allow your body and mind to rejuvenate through a brief period of inactivity followed by a period of informal, just-for-kicks workouts, perhaps featuring some alternative modes of exercise. That said, here are some general guidelines to consider when planning your return to training:

Read More

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 Detroit marathon runners die

(CNN) - Three runners died Sunday during the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon in Detroit, Michigan, police told CNN.

All three deaths occurred between 9 and 9:20 a.m. ET, Second Deputy Chief John Roach said.

A man in his 60s fell and hit his head, Roach said. The cause of the fall was unknown. The man was transported to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two other men, aged 36 and 26, also collapsed during the race and were pronounced dead at the hospital, Roach said.

All three collapsed near the end of the race, he said.

The weather at the time was overcast, Roach said, with temperatures in the low 40s

Sweden has a "T"!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


We had a small but fast group up there tonight. Andy Chris Negron and Chas running
7x600's 2:30 min rest


Cool Down


Man Makers

Hand Stand Holds

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fructose: Sweet, But Dangerous


With fructose there is no certain regulation like glucose. Glucose is closely monitored in the body by insulin – sort of a lock and key. Glucose cannot enter the cells without insulin. However, fructose is like a bugler which enters the liver cells without regulation of insulin. This sets an interesting situation where energy is quickly stored. The cells turn fructose to glucose in the liver to triglycerides which are the fatty storage form. But to get to the cells in the body from the liver, the cholesterol and triglycerides need transporters which I see as “Taxi Drivers.” There are proteins called lipoproteins – HDL, VLDL, and LDL. VLDL and LDL bring cholesterol and triglycerides to the cells of the body where as HDL brings the cholesterol esters back. What happens when there is a large fructose intake consistently:

- HDL goes down
- LDL goes up
- Triglycerides go up

According to Sugar Fix by Richard Johnson, MD, ideal intake is to stay below 25 grams per bay. I try to stay even lower than this. This is a contradiction to Loren Cordain, PhD of The Paleo Diet who allows for unlimited fruit intake and stresses a low fat intake. I do not agree with this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Training to combat fatigue

It's also a hot topic of scientific research. From a physiologist's perspective, fatigue is the inability to maintain or repeat a given level of muscle force production, resulting in an acute impairment of performance, i.e., you slow down. Exactly why muscle force production declines is a difficult thing to pin down. Because there are so many things happening simultaneously when muscles are working hard, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of fatigue. Fatigue takes many different forms. Runners know that the fatigue associated with the 800 meters is not like the fatigue associated with the marathon. However, all causes of fatigue have one thing in common: They lead to a decrease in effective muscle force production.
Read More

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to protect yourself from swine flu:

1. Vitamin D3:
a) Get your levels tested through Grassroots Health.
b) Take 2000-4000 IU daily of D3 until you get your blood test results.
c) Get as much direct sunlight as possible, without sunscreen, between 10am and 3pm, with as much skin exposed as practical.
d) Maintain levels at 50 to 70 ng/ml. Many people will need 4000 IU daily to reach and maintain this level in the winter.
e) If you feel an infection coming on, take 10,000 IU daily for 3 days or until the infection passes.

2. Vitamin A (retinol):
a) Eat 4 ounces of liver once weekly, or take 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil daily.
b) If you feel an infection coming on, either eat liver, or take 10,000 IU of fish liver oil source vitamin A for three days in a row.

3. Eat saturated fats, especially coconut milk or oil, or butter fat. Coconut products and dairy fats provide antiviral fatty acids (lauric, caproic, caprylic, and capric acids)

4. Avoid sugar, corn syrup, honey, fruit juices, etc. A 50 gram dose of sugar can depress your macrophage activity by 50% for more than 4 hours.

5. Reduce carbohydrate intake. Diets high in carbohydrate raise blood sugar levels, which suppresses the immune response. Eat a paleo diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, as outlined in my book, The Garden of Eating.

6. Take herbs

For prevention:

If you have frequent exposure to infectious disease (e.g. schoolteacher) and history of frequent upper respiratory infections, I recommend ongoing use of Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San) throughout the flu season. This contains a high dose of astragalus root (Huang Qi), which raises white blood cell production. I have found it very effective for such situations.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

After the Race—Part 1

by Matt Fitzgerald
What to do in the 24 hours after running a race to ensure proper muscle recovery

After weeks or months of 10-K training, half-marathon training, or marathon training, you finally cross the race finish line. Time to celebrate, for sure. But keep in mind that every finish line is also a starting line—both for your recovery and your preparations for the next race. What you do in the minutes, hours, and days after running any race will determine just how quickly you get your legs back and return to regular training. Doing the right things will make racing minimally disruptive to your overall training program, whereas doing the wrong things could spoil your next race by setting back your training or causing illness or injury.

There are two phases of the post-race recovery process. Phase one is the first 24 hours, when acute muscle repair, rehydration, and refueling occur. The second phase encompasses the days and weeks that follow the race, when the focus shifts to a successful return to training. Here I offer up tips on what needs to happen during phase one to promote proper muscle recovery. In my next blog, I’ll share advice on how to ensure that phase two results in a speedy return to 10-K training, half-marathon training, or marathon training.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Night Track

1st indoor workout about 15 of us.
5x800 3min rest



shoulder presses
weighted sit ups

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hooverball anyone..... Volleyball with a medicine ball

Cheat Meals, Flexible Eating, and Dietary OCD
So how you deal with cheat meals is up to you. I know that they’re going to happen, so I don’t go out of my way to schedule them. I eat clean 90% of the time so that the other 10% of the time, I can relax and do whatever. I can eat sushi without being concerned about the rice. I can dig into the chips and guacamole at a Mexican place before my plate-load of carnitas. I can have a drink or two while watching football with friends.
Read More

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Water Stop

We worked the water stop at the BAA 1/2 today. We set up the tables like a Nascar car pit crew..There was about 4k runners out there once they start coming everything goes by so fast...We had plenty of water more than plenty,,,,,

A couple of links to check out

Vibram's competion

Soy Milk good or bad.

Before you go out to eat check this website out . You'll be shocked on how many calories your putting down

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Get Fat, Stay Healthy

Do you constantly have to make changes to your marathon training plan or triathlon training program because you’re hobbled by injury? If so, you might want to check your diet to be sure it contains the right amount—and right kinds—of fat. Although fat is a much maligned nutrient, it’s needed in the diet to create healthy cell membranes that are resistant to damage during exercise. Certain types of fat are also essential ingredients in compounds that participate in the inflammation process, which can keep small injuries from becoming big ones. And a recent study has confirmed this fat intake/injury connection.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo interviewed 86 female runners about their eating habits and current injury status. Turns out their level of fat intake was the single best dietary predictor of injury status, with the women who ate the least fat being the most likely to have an existing injury.

The women in the Buffalo study who had the lowest injury risk got roughly 30 percent of their daily calories from fat, and for those in marathon training, triathlon training, or any other endurance sport training that’s a good number to target. But you also want to be certain you are eating the right types of fat. Make sure that no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories come from saturated fat, and try to consume twice as much unsaturated fat as saturated fat. So skip the fatty cuts of meat and whole-dairy products and favor leaner meats and poultry, raw nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy products, and olive oil. Also, do your best to hit a daily target of 3,000 mg of omega-3 essential fats. Good sources of omega-3s include fish, flaxseed, meats from grass-fed animals, .

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday Night

We ran the New Years course. I ran 3x 1.5 mile intervals 5 mins rest


The big discussion after the run was setting up a marathon in Woburn. The catch was the course could not leave Woburn...Someone suggested closing down 93 and 128 so we could run on it.Another was to have it start in front of the Halloween Day Parade.I'll keep you posted on how things are coming....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A small groups of ran a hill workout tonight. We changed things up a touch. We ran up a Hilltopper and ran down the backside up to the corner of Salem and Bow st.We took a recovery run up Bow back to Hilltopper. We ran 5 intervals. Then we cool down and did tabata plyo push ups

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Linda's IA Road Race Report

Coming off last week's crybaby performance at Lake Winnie, I knew that this race would be successful if I could simply cross the finish line dry eyed. That's not much of a goal so when Steve B gave me a pep talk pre-race and told me to shoot for 43 minutes, I listened. He reminded me to run my own race and not go out too fast with my buddies (you know who they are -- Chris, Sarah,and Ram!)

I didn't expect a whole lot since this was my 5th day in a row of running -- I usually don't run 5 times in 2 weeks much less 5 consecutive days. I found myself lining up at the start on weary legs, but my only anxiety was that I wouldn't be able to keep up with my friends. A sip of beer from Dave Sullivan and we're off.

First mile is downhill and goes by in 8 minutes. My friends are a few seconds ahead of me and I need to stop chasing them. The small stitch forming in my side reminds me of what happened last week and I'm not about to repeat that misery. Ram huddles with the others and agrees to stay behind with me. How great are my friends? Stupid, but great. Miles 2-4 are unremarkable except for the fact that I'm keeping Sarah and Chris in sight and feeling pretty good. Ellen flies by without a care in the world. I keep her in sight as well, but she is fading into the horizon and I let her go.

Mile 5 is my favorite mile as the final 800 meters or so (before the last hill) are a nice gradual downhill. I can pick it up here and am still feeling good. The Whirlaway guys go by running the opposite way on their cooldown offering words of encouragement. They've probably had 3 beers each, smoked a cig and macked on a few chicks before beginning their cooldown. No matter, I'm finishing now in 42:56. Not my best but I hit my goal! I heaved at the finish line so I know that I couldn't have gone much faster without giving the finish line crew something to really cry about :-)

Next up, Firefighters 10K in Dorchester in a couple of weeks. Who else is in?

IA Road Race

Big crowd at the IA this year. Strong showing of Shamrocks.I notice right off the bat the Whirlaway crew was there with Rob Dabrio.I figured a lot sub 30's. The Shamrock had there big dawg's there also Ray,Noel,Jake, Mike D and Noel. As expected they took off with a blistering pace. I took see the Whirlaway crew and Shamrock neck and neck. Ray was able to hang with Rob Dabrio until the 4 mile mark which is quite a feat in its self. Rob Dabrio finished up with a 28:20'ish with Ray only 20 seconds behind.....It seem all the Shamrock threw up good times the results will be posted shortly. I ran 32.40 battled Dan Connolly for most of the race but he got the better of me.. Great turnout on and awesome day for running....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finally the Truth about The Biggest Loser

It’s a made-for-TV spectacle that has morphed into a cruel hoax perpetrated on the typical overweight person in America who is desperately looking for the weight-loss secret. It shows precisely how NOT to lose weight. Talk about two steps forward and three steps back Read More

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shamrock Shuttle Winnie Relay Report

Steve provided an excellent synopsis from the front of the pack. Here's what it looked like further back.

Leg 1 - Ram, at 71 years old, manages to finish his leg just 14 seconds behind Renee. Amazing.
Leg 2 - This is me. The weather is perfect and my training was good, so I am looking forward to this. After 5 minutes, however, I can tell it's not going to be a good day for me. I feel like crap and have a bad stitch/cramp in my side that will NOT go away. Slowing down, walking - nothing helps. I am pissed now and feeling sorry for myself. I even shed a few tears. What is wrong with me? My Shamrock supporters are incredible but I am sure they think I am nuts. Then, ahead in the distance I see Melissa!! She is struggling after RTB and a sore foot. I catch up to her and tell her what a terrible run I'm having. We commiserate, and I feel much better. We wish each other luck and I move on. I finished up OK, but never really recovered. I feel awful that my team is now so far behind and won't make the cut-off for Leg 8, but there is no time for pity -- we need to get a move on.
Leg 3 - Jen. Jen also ran RTB, and we didn't mention how hard Leg 3 was until the day before the race. She powered through like a champ -- finishing strong and swearing that she would NOT do Leg 3 again!! We'll see about that :-)
Leg 4 - Joe "I haven't run more than 3 miles since June" Well - Joe ran the race of his life with an 8 minute pace. I think he's recovered from whatever was ailing him.
Leg 5 - Maureen. Despite not having her fuel belt with her - Mo maintained a consistent pace start to finish without ever looking tired. She even did leg 8 for another team when she was finished.
Leg 6 - Ellen - Ellen witnessed my breakdown and had to play therapist for me earlier in the day. I think this helped her on her leg as she was no longer trapped in the car with me (and Ram's Hindu music!) She finished with a huge smile and talked about what a wonderful race she had. She's a pro.
Leg 7 - Randy running a second leg here was able to make up some time on Bob Croke (Gerry Crowe's team was running pretty much neck in neck with us all day) He gave it everything he had.
Leg 8 - Erin's boyfriend (not a Shamrock) killed this leg - I don't know his time but I am going to guess it was our fastest of the day.

Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lake Winnie Mens' Open and Mix-Masters

Leg-1 Noel started off with bang running 1:10'ish, Kathy Stackpole had a great leg on her run.

Leg-2 My leg, I knew Vlad was running this leg. I knew at some point out there he would catch me. Leg 2 start with about 1 mile hill climb then down for about 3 miles pretty steep at some points. Trying not to get to beat up from the hills because there's still a 10k to run at the bottom.I notice this year there were hardly any runners to be seen out there(other than the numerous Shamrock support cars).I was more or less a solo run.Approaching Alton Bay I hear the footsteps that I don't want to hear. Its Vlad cruising along like a sports car. Lucky for me , we about 800 meters from the finish. I make my final push to keep it as close as possible. I finish up at 1:15:50

Leg-3 Andy takes off with Danny right behind him. This continues for most of the leg 3. Andy ended up a PR for leg 3.

Leg-4 Randy and Marsha ran leg 4 both ran very good legs

Leg-5 I only saw the finish of this leg. I hear one of the official yell Shamrock coming in I see Kieran coming in and a second later I hear the official yell again another Shamrock runner coming in its Mike Burns right behind him.

Leg-6 Chris takes off and makes the this looks easy with a 38'ish leg.Val was right behind him running a strong leg.

Leg-7 Matt takes off and Ray Johnson is behind him.They both came in neck and neck at the finish. Matt look real strong during his leg and I think Matt hit a PR for his leg 60ish.Ray crushed the leg with a 52ish. My guess probably one the fastest for that leg.

Leg-8 Noel and Julie are finishing up . Traffic is heavy which make for tough runners .They both threw up great times..

We finish up
7 63 1/5 SHAMROCK MIXED MASTERPIECE MIXED 40+ 7:25:00 6:51

We dropped 8 minutes off last year's time. Noel also went back to run leg 8 again for other team........

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RTB Report

We had a great time at RTB. I was on the Veterans team and van 1 started at 8:00 Friday morning. Our van started about 1:30 PM. I had leg 11 (5th of 6 in our van). Total miles about 17.5. I was hoping to average 8:00 pace and I was close coming in at 8:05. My first leg had some brutal up and down hills right at the beginning and I was off pace coming in at 8:13 for 7.4 miles.

I had Gerry, Cindy, Siobhan, Renee and Linda Santullo in my van and we all got along great and had some great laughs. Cindy's 5-breasted chicken (I prefer my breasts in pairs, thank you) and Siobhan offering to change her first name to Colette (so her mother-in-law would get her name right) were some of the classics.

Oh yea, Randy was talking trash about his team passing us on Saturday morning. I'm proud to say that my van mates stepped up and we all ran our fastest times on our last leg!

Randy we all love ya, but talking trash to a bunch of over the hill runners half your age who are out there to have fun, doesn't cut it!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Reach the Beach? plus Sat trails update

Bob - we need a race report posted, pronto! Congratulations to all who ran this -- I saw the Shamrock average pace on both teams and was mighty impressed.

The trails were dark at 6am - I think any future 6am trail runs will need to move to 6:30 or later. A small but ambitious group! I kept up a reasonable pace (considering I was watch-less) and still finished DFL. No matter, it felt fantastic. The weather was phenomenal.

I saw people (not Shamrocks) running with hats, mittens, long pants and sleeves both Sat and Sun morning. C'mon!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quick and Effective Hamstring Warm-up

There are a huge variety of hamstring stretches, and many of them are good, but my goal is always to reduce things down to what is essential and leave the rest for special case scenarios. When it comes to effectively warming up the hamstrings, I have reduced it down to two movements, the squat and the leg swing.I include the leg swing, because the hamstring is composed of four muscles and the squat does not affect them all equally. According to bodybuilding wisdom, the hamstring is a knee flexor. According to reality, it is both a knee flexor and a hip extensor. Without getting too technical, some of the muscles in the hamstring cross the knee joint, but not the hip joint. Some cross the hip joint, but not the knee joint, and others cross both joints. As a result, the squat will stretch the hip extensor muscles very effectively, including the glutes. It will not stretch the knee extensors at all, because they are in a shortened position. The result is that your entire hamstring is not being stretched. By contrast, on the leg swing, you are stretching the knee extensors and dual extensors to the max, with less emphasis on the hip extensors.

The Squat

In your warm-up, bodyweight or broomstick overhead squats are fine.

The Leg Swing

To perform a leg swing, you simply swing your leg forwards and backwards. You can hold onto something for balance if necessary, or do them free standing to train your balance. Keep your swinging leg straight and keep a slight bend in your support leg. It is okay to come up onto your toes at the top of the swing. Try to get good range of motion on the backswing as well, because it is also very important to stretch your hip flexors.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My computer was down for a few day but I'm back ...Thursday Night Tempo ran Johnson road a 9'ish mile course about 1.08

What Are Probiotics?

To cut to the chase, they’re the bacteria that sit in your intestines. And there are lots and lots of these little buggers in your guts. In fact, there are far more of them than there are cells in your body, to the tune of 10 times as many.
Basically, the bacteria in your intestines handle a few minor jobs for you, such as:

Digesting your food

Fighting off pathogenic bacteria before they actually enter the body, i.e., front-line immune system defense

Keeping things, umm…moving in the bathroom

Basically, these little guys in your guts are out there fighting for you and freeing up the nutrients you eat so your body can absorb them. Just minor things like that. Given their importance, it’s pretty obvious that you better be doing something to keep them happy

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Its not as bad as it looks....

Food Cravings

There are different reasons as to why people will crave certain foods; this all depends on the individual. The reason behind food cravings can be as simple as not eating the right balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates which your body needs in order to function optimally. Cravings can also be a sign of vitamin or mineral more

Long Run!

I did my last 20 miler of my Chicago program this morning in the pouring rain. I have to say that I didn't really mind the rain all that much.

I felt really good today and was still strong at the end. RTB next week then 2 weeks to taper before the big day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

O-Lifting is all about speed...

Tempo Run with a Funny Twist

So today called for 10 miles. 1 mile warm-up 8 miles at 1/2 marathon pace and a 1 mile cool down. I have been doing 8:30's as my "training" 1/2 marathon pace because I've been doing Johnson Rd. McMillan calculator says a race pace at the 1/2 for me is 8:10. So this morning I decide to split the difference and try for 8:20's on my home 10 mile loop.

I didn't have too much trouble maintaining the pace until the last 2 miles. I still managed to average exactly 8:20/mile.

At the end of the run I look at my watch and notice that my total time is 1:26:46 which includes a 9:41 warm-up and 10:06 cool down miles......that time is SIX minutes FASTER than my time for Yankee Homecoming!!! And at no point during today's run did I feel anywhere near as miserable as I felt up in Newburyport.......I hate that race!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cape Ann 25K Race Report

Perfect day; perfect weather; beautiful scenery, and a pretty landscape too. I really have to work on my race estimating skills now that I run 64 mpw. I guessed this one at 1:55, an improvement of almost 3 minutes. Instead I get 1:49:31, an improvement of over 8½ minutes! That's a PR for this course, my fourth running. I really never ran out of steam, though it did hurt a lot. Only two glasses of Gatorade on the course and it might have hurt a bit less if they had a couple more Gatorade stations. Started out with Andy, but he went ahead when I stopped for my first Gatorade. He paid me the highest running compliment at the end though, saying he kept going full-on because he expected me to come up behind him at any time. Yikes! He had me by over two minutes though. He is going to rip some races when he bumps up to 50 mpw then 60 mpw. He's at 40mpw minimum right now and running like the blazes.
Eight of my mile splits were in the 7's; two of those were Gatorade stops, one was the first mile. Seven full mile splits were in the 6's, and the final partial split was at 6:31 pace. Sweet! Best full mile split was 6:41, slowest was first mile at 7:28; next slowest was 7:19. I can live with those numbers for a long, long time. Garmin teased me with a 6:58 average, but at race distance it came out to 7:03. Very hilly course. Sixteen significant hills, they claim. I can't argue. A ton of Shamrocks ran this, or the 7K Around the Goose race. There is a group photo floating around somewhere. A carload of Shamrock cheerleaders came around near mile 13 or so. That was cool. There was a party afterward somewhere, but I had to leave for another event.





push ups

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to Get Stronger at Push-ups and Pull-ups

How to Get Stronger at Push-ups and Pull-ups Using a Soviet Special Forces Technique

I want to explain to you a method of how to get stronger at push-ups and pull-ups. I found out about this method from former Soviet special forces trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline. Pavel is a guy I began following closely since the late 90's. I was just fascinated by his advanced strength training methods that were unlike anything I had read in the mainstream fitness magazines. His methods were based around training elite military forces how to stay light and lean, while gaining amazing strength. I began studying this guy like a mad-man. Here is just one of the many techniques I learned from this master trainer from the former Soviet Union.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Nutrition Facts Of Milk And Milk Substitutes

I found this pretty interesting...

There are any number of reasons why people choose not to include milk in their diets. For those of us that adhere to a Primal or Paleo lifestyle, milk doesn’t fit. Vegans and some vegetarians don’t include milk because it’s of animal origin. And then there are those that are lactose intolerant. Finally, there are the people that have been convinced by slick marketing that non-milks are better options than the real deal.

So I suppose the starting point is to look at the nutrition facts of the main “milks” that people drink. I’m going to focus on plain ol’ “moo juice,” soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. Note that there are other, lesser known, milk substitutes out there like oat milk, peanut milk, hemp milk, and milk made from other grains. Without further ado, the nutrition labels of the Big Five:
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday Night

A bunch of us ran Johnson rd last night. I threw in a little twist.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coyote Sighting - Part 2

I'm pretty sure I saw my coyote friend again this morning. This time s/he was crossing main street close to where we make the turn up Lake Ave in Winchester on the IA route. It's not far at all from where the first sighting occurred. I'm begining to think it is actually just a dog and my poor vision and vivid imagination is making it into something it's not. Anyway, it looked just like this:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


7x600's 2-1/2 mins rest

00 m 2:05
600 m 2:03
600 m 2:02
600 m 2:03
600 m 2:02
600 m 2:03
600 m 1:53

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Acid Alkaline Balance

An acidic imbalance can cause many health problems, and although most conventional doctors don't believe that an acid-producing diet can be the leading foundation for chronic illnesses, conventional medicine has evidence supporting the link between an alkaline diet preventing many illnesses, such as osteoporosis, age-related muscle wasting, heartburn, insomnia and nasal congestion.

The human blood pH should be at a slightly alkaline level of 7.35 - 7.45. A pH scale will show 7.0 as neutral, below 7.0 as acidic and above 7.0 as alkaline; below or above this range can lead to the onset of disease


Friday, August 28, 2009

Doubling in Running

There’s a simple rule that runners can use to decide whether or not they should double: If you plan to consistently run more than 70 miles per week, double at least once or twice a week. The rationale behind this rule is that every runner’s training schedule must include some easy runs, and if you try to pack more than 70 miles into just six or seven runs each week, none of those runs can be very easy. You can double if you want to on a schedule of fewer than 70 miles per week, but it only really becomes necessary when you run more.

As you continue to add mileage to your weekly schedule, continue to add doubles as necessary to keep your average run distance from creeping above 10 miles. So, for example, if you run 100 miles a week you should run at least 10 times.

Ease into doubling by inserting one or two very short, easy runs into your schedule. Gradually increase the distance of these runs and add more doubles until you reach your weekly mileage target, but keep the pace easy in all of these extra runs. Never try to perform two hard runs in a single day.

Some runners do an easy run in the morning and a longer and/or faster run in the evening. Others do the opposite. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Herbs and Spices

Many of these herbs and spices have a long list of health properties. Remember when it comes to herbs, fresh is always best.

Fresh Herbs
Basil: Antioxidant, decreases inflammation. Use in home-made pasta sauces or pesto.
Cilantro: Antioxidant, digestive aid. Use in home-made guacamole or to add more flavor to any Mexican dish.
Dill: Antioxidant, antimicrobial, diuretic. Combine with greek yogurt to make a creamy dip or make Creamy Cilantro Dill Dressing.
Thyme: Antioxidant, inhibits bone resorption. Add to organic scrambled eggs.
Mint: Antioxidant, antimicrobial, stomach soother. Make your own herbal mint tea by steeping leaves in boiling water.

Cayenne Pepper: Boosts metabolism, decreases inflammation, improves digestion. Sprinkle on soups, stir-fries, or anything that could use a spicy kick.
Turmeric: Antioxidant, decreases inflammation, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal. This Indian spice is being widely recognized for its astonishing health benefits. The taste is similar to mustard. Sprinkle on salads for flavor, or use in curry powder to make Indian dishes.
Cinnamon: Antioxidant, antimicrobial, controls blood sugar, boosts metabolism. Add cinnamon to fresh fruit or any sweet dessert to help manage blood sugar levels.
Garlic: Antioxidant, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, decreases inflammation, boosts immunity. Add to sautéed vegetables.
Ginger: Antioxidant, decreases inflammation, boosts immunity, digestive aid. Use fresh ginger in stir-fries or home-made vegetable juices.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Ran the Lynn Woods Relay tonight. Its more of a trail run lots of hills and you run up some steps on the trail. Some people didn't like the steps I didn't mine them to much. Finished up at 16.34'ish on a 2.5 mile leg..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Track Workout

Since Steve was sandbagging and resting up for tomorrow night, here's my track workout.

Oh yeah, Linda no more walking to track!

400- 1:37
800- 3:14
1200- 5:05
800- 3:16
400- 1:22 (PR....go figure) I'm sure I'll regret this tomorrow night at the trail race.

Tuesday Track 8/25/09

Pyramid workout tonight:
400 1:47
800 3:36
1200 5:37
800 don't know, but met pukey at this point even though I wasn't feeling bad.
400 1:38

Tabata cooldown w/ small group. Planks, situps

We missed Steve!

How To Avoid “The Wall”

By Jeff Galloway

There are a few workouts or races every year when everything is going well…until the end. Within 100 yards or so, you shift from feeling strong and under control to questioning whether you are going to finish. You’ve hit the wall: there’s no bounce in the muscles, energy level drops, and your breathing rate increases. You find yourself struggling even when the pace slows down dramatically.


Monday, August 24, 2009


MIDWEEK INTERVALS: 1500m–10K of intervals at roughly 95 percent or faster of your current 5K race pace. These are the meat-and-potato workouts that define a competitive distance runner: repeats of 200m–1600m with a rest interval. We generally break these down into short intervals of 200–400s run at 1500m–5K pace with a half-to full-distance jog recovery, or longer intervals of 800m–1600m at 5K–10K race pace with a recovery jog of one quarter to one half the repeat distance. Regardless of event distance we usually alternate each week; week one includes short intervals while the second week features long intervals.

RACE OR ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD RUN: Sustained, unbroken effort at 85–95 percent of your current 5K pace. This would be classified as the faster, shorter tempo run. The anaerobic threshold run is usually 20–40 minutes in length. A 5K–10K race certainly works here in place of this workout if you choose to do so.

MID-WEEK LONGER AEROBIC THRESHOLD RUN: Total run distance is roughly 15 percent of your weekly mileage, so it's the second longest run of the week, with a significant portion of the closing stages at a strong, steady-state effort. The last 40–60 minutes or so are at about 75–85 percent of your current 5K pace, so definitely not easy, but not over the top either. A runner who generally performs a 20-minute tempo at 6:00 per mile pace would run the last 40 minutes or so of this run at 6:40 pace.

MAINTENANCE RUNS: The 30-to 60-plus-minute runs at 65–75 percent of your current 5K race pace that make up a lot of your weekly mileage. The runner completing a shorter faster tempo run at 6:00 pace would perform this run at roughly 7:10 pace.

WEEKEND EASY LONG RUN WHEN NOT RACING: Longer run, easy to moderate, at roughly the same pace as the maintenance run, so 65–75 percent of your current 5K race pace. The distance is roughly 20–25 percent of your weekly mileage. With the midweek longer run at such a high level and the weekend tempo run at a good clip, it makes sense to keep this mellow. Also, the traditional weekend long run isn't as sacred as one would think. If you miss a weekend long run because of a race, don't stress it; the midweek longer run has you covered.

TRUE RECOVERY DAY: This is the most important day for the week for people reading this article and the one most type-A runners skip. Run at 60–65 percent of your current 5K race pace, which would be easy jogging for most everyone. This can also be a day off, or you could go for a walk, hike or cross-train. All physiological gains are made during rest and recovery. Rest is part of training, rather than an absence of training, so don't try to make up extra ground by running too fast or too far this day. If you're not improving or not improving as fast as you'd like, a lack of a true recovery day or two each week is the likely cause.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Track Workout

I decide to jump in with Andy and his crew for 8x800's 2-1/2 min rest
Ran the first 6 at 2.54-2.55
7-8 at 2.50

Sarah ran 3.30 on her last 800.............

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Endurance Sports Nutrition Needs: Vitamins

Are You Getting Yours.....

Endurance Sports Nutrition Needs: Vitamins
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 by Matt Fitzgerald
The vitamins you need most to support your marathon training or Ironman training

Of the 13 vitamins that are essential for human life and health, a certain few may be considered especially important for endurance athletes—either because endurance sports training increases the amount needed or because a deficiency could have an impact on endurance performance, or both. Consequently, the most important endurance vitamins are: B12, C, D, and E.