Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome To Decatur

Decatur Named Georgia's "Most Walkable City"

Picked up from several cites.

Decatur Named Georgia's "Most Walkable City"


By - Eden Godbee

Decatur, GA -- The City of Decatur has been named Georgia's "Most Walkable City" by Walkscore.com, a website that rates cities according to their "walkability." Decatur received a 66.5 walk score, which put its walk score just above that of Brunswick and Atlanta.

A score of 66.5, according to Walkscore.com, describes a "somewhat walkable" city meaning "some amenities are within walking distance." In rating cities, the site considers their city center, their population density, the cost efficiency of housing around businesses, whether they have public parks or spaces to gather, and their consideration for pedestrians, proximity to schools and workplaces and street design.

According to this site, people who live in walkable neighborhoods weigh 7 pounds less than people who don't. Also, their studies show that for every 10 minutes spent in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities fall by 10 percent.

Read more here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bare Feet In Medecine

From barefooters.org

Samuel B. Shulman. "Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes," The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists, 49, 1949, pp. 26-30.

The low incidence of dermatomycotic infection here noted might be attributed to the fact that most foot fungi require dark, warm and damp interdigital spaces for growth such as that provided by shoes and stockings on a foot that has no free outlet for its perspiration. In addition, these bare feet get the beneficial fungicidal effects of the sun's ultra-violet rays.

No instances among the barefoot feet were found of: Onychrocryptosis, Hyperidrosis, Bromidrosis, Hallux Valgus, Hallux Varus, Bursitis at the first or fifth metatarso-phalangeal articulations.

Almost everyone surveyed showed a marked spacing between the first and second toes such as that found on young babies. The great toe was either pointing straight ahead or slightly abducted to provide a greater weight-bearing base or, possibly, to compensate for a shortened first metatarsal segment.

One hundred and eighteen of those interviewed were rickshaw coolies. Because these men spend very long hours each day on cobblestone or other hard roads pulling their passengers at a run it was of particular interest to survey them. If anything, their feet were more perfect than the others. All of them, however, gave a history of much pain and swelling of the foot and ankle during the first few days of work as a rickshaw puller. But after either a rest of two days or a week's more work on their feet, the pain and swelling passed away and never returned again. There is no occupation more strenuous for the feet than trotting a rickshaw on hard pavement for many hours each day yet these men do it without pain or pathology.

These figures prove that restrictive footgear, particularly ill-fitting footgear, cause most of the ailments of the human foot.

Baby shoes cause great harm to growing, formative feet. The so-called "sentimental" value of baby's shoes might well be dispensed with.

People who have never worn shoes acquire very few foot defects, most of which are painless and non-debilitating. The range of their foot motions are remarkably great, allowing for full foot activity. Shoes are not necessary for healthy feet and are the cause of most foot troubles. Children should not be encouraged to walk prematurely and should not wear any footwear until absolutely necessary. Footgear is the greatest enemy of the human foot.

Read the article here.

Perfect Landing

From Harvard Science online

Perfect landing

Study finds barefoot runners have less foot stress than shod ones

By Rebecca Hersher ’11

Harvard Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


New research is casting doubt on the old adage, “All you need to run is a pair of shoes.”

Scientists have found that people who run barefoot, or in minimal footwear, tend to avoid “heel-striking,” and instead land on the ball of the foot or the middle of the foot. In so doing, these runners use the architecture of the foot and leg and some clever Newtonian physics to avoid hurtful and potentially damaging impacts, equivalent to two to three times body weight, that shod heel-strikers repeatedly experience.

“People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike,” said Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and co-author of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature. “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.

“Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.”

Read on here.

For 'Sole Man' In China, One Shoeless Step At A Time

I picked up this article from NPR online

For 'Sole Man' In China, One Shoeless Step At A Time

by Louisa Lim

December 20, 2010

He calls himself the "Sole Man." Englishman Arthur Jones, who lives in China, has embarked on a year-long mission to live his life barefoot. He is one of a growing tribe of "barefooters" who have sworn off footwear, whatever the weather.

Unlike many other barefooters, however, he lives in the heart of an urban jungle, in the center of Shanghai. He's continuing his daily life shoeless, conducting business meetings and doing his job as a filmmaker.

"I've always liked being barefoot from being a kid," Jones says, explaining his year-long experiment, which he is hoping to turn into a film. "It's turned into something that's made everyday life more exciting. It opens your eyes. You're suddenly in touch with everything around. And it feels like you're a little child discovering the world for the first time."

Read on and listen to the story here.

Running At Night

Darkness falls a lot earlier and runners need to be seen in the dark.  From Running Competitor online

Be Seen When Running In The Dark!

Published: Dec 16th 2010 3:20 PM EST by Mario Fraioli

Here’s some gear to keep you visible when daylight isn’t an option.

Written by: Rebecca Heaton

As those precious daylight hours dwindle, there’s no reason your running time has to suffer. If you’re heading out in the early morning or after sunset, it’s important to run safely and stay visible to cars, cyclists and even other runners.

“Most people overestimate how visible they are,” says Shari Franklin-Smith, the technical service manager for footwear and apparel with 3M Scotchlite reflective taping. “They think if they can see the car headlights, the car can see them.”

Franklin-Smith says that many people think if they’re wearing light-colored clothes or something with a bit of reflective material, they’ll be seen. But often that’s not the case.

“We’ve done research on how to make things stand out,” says Franklin-Smith. “You want reflective material to outline the human body to help others detect that it’s a person. You also want to mark movement locations like wrists, elbows, knees and ankles to help drivers to detect motion. And you want visibility from all angles—front, back and sides.”

Check out the following gear to help keep you safe after dark.

Read on here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Marathon Junkie

Chuck Engle and I have run in the same marathon, the Tupelo Marathon.  I hardly noticed him because I was struggling and in pain the whole time.  From Running Times online
Chuck Engle: Fast Marathon Junkie
How many sub-3 marathons can YOU run in a year?
By Jim Gerweck
As featured in the December 2010 issue of Running Times Magazine 

Chuck Engle's Facebook nickname is "MarathonJunkie," and it's certainly apropos: He's definitely a guy who never met a 26-miler he didn't like (or run).
While there may be people who have run more of them, and there are certainly those who have run faster, if quantity and quality are considered together, Engle's the champ, hands down.
The 39-year-old resident of Dublin, Ohio, has run more sub-3:00 marathons than anyone besides Michigan masters runner Doug Kurtis (the two of them are vying to be the first to hit the century mark there), cranking out 50 of them in 2008 alone. And he's No. 2 in marathon victories in the world (first American), many in course-record times, most of them sub-3:00. But according to Engle, none of this is any part of some grand scheme to secure a place in Guinness World Records or some hall of fame. Like some real-life Forrest Gump, Engle simply likes to run.
Read on here.

Good Running Form

From Running Times online

Spreading the Gospel about Good Running Form

How Grant Robison’s traveling clinics are educating the masses

By Mackenzie Lobby

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

Until 2006, Grant Robison hadn’t thought much about running form and mechanics. He knew how to run fast, do drills and win races, but other than a passing comment from a coach suggesting he shorten his stride, he had never received any overt instruction on how to run. Despite this, he ran successfully in high school, had a stellar collegiate career at Stanford and eventually toed the line in the 1500m at the 2004 Olympics (3:35.75 PR). In short, he figured out a way to be great, even though his form wasn’t.

While shortcomings in your form may not be the only thing standing between you and an Olympic berth, they could be keeping you from reaching your full potential and staying injury-free. Curt Munson, co-owner of Playmakers, a running specialty store in Okemos, Mich., saw the issue of poor running mechanics come through his door each and every day. This led him to begin drafting a method of coaching runners that would correct these inefficiencies.

After recruiting the expertise of Robison, Playmakers co-owner John Benedict, and several others, Good Form Running (GFR) was born in the summer of 2006. Weekly lunch meetings discussing running research, examining footage of both good and bad running form and sharing personal tales of running successes, failures and injuries helped the GFR team solidify a game plan for educating runners on mechanics. What resulted was a running clinic preaching four main points: posture, midfoot, cadence and lean.

Read on here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running On A Treadmill

From the Montgomery Advertiser

THE EXTRA MILE: Treadmill running proves beneficial as temporary fill-in

Column by Kym Klass • kklass@gannett.com • December 12, 2010

I found myself running an interval workout on the treadmill this week, and was surprised it wasn't horrible. It was on Tuesday, when running in 28 degrees at 5:30 a.m. sounded awful -- even though two days later I ran in 18-degree weather at the same time.

I took advantage of the cardio room at the Montgomery Advertiser, and during my mile warm up wondered how to approach the planned 5x800s on a treadmill. I have become so focused on my timed splits when running intervals on the road, that I rarely worry about the pace itself.

Tuesday forced me to do that.

And I hate to admit it -- it helped, and I liked it.

Read on here.

Road to Boston is hilly, challenging

From Jax News online

Road to Boston is hilly, challenging

by Lori Tippets Jacksonville News

I’m moving a little bit more gingerly today. It’s tough going up or down the stairs: I feel like every muscle in my thighs is screaming and going to pop out of my skin.

My knees are grinding and popping; my shins are sore and tender.

Was I in an accident? Did I take a bad fall or get hit by a car?

No, in fact, the event that led up to all this soreness was actually fun!

Read on here.

Running solo can be rewarding

From nola.com
Running solo can be rewarding as much and training with a group: coaching tips
Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 8:01 AM
Kevin Spain, The Times-Picayune
So, a week out from what initially was to be my target fall half-marathon, I decided to take what I like to call an "NPR morning." Now, for me, NPR means two different things: National Public Radio, or No Planned Run. Depending on the weather conditions it can be both, but it definitely means a large part of the morning spent with coffee, thick tomes of "mindless reading," and Suzanne. If the weather is beautiful there can be a run plugged in on the front end. If not, then I climb into my sweats or warm-ups, make a large pot of coffee and turn on the stereo to listen to our local public radio station. This time the weather was pretty, save for the sudden drop in temperature. We decided to go to the coffee-and-baked goods joint at the mall.
Minutes after we settled into our booth I saw a local runner/coach walk in, bundled up post-run in his warm-up outfit. I got up to refill my coffee as he ordered a pecan sweet roll at the counter. I walked up and said: 'you realize that stuff will kill you, right?' He responded with much the same kind of retort I would have given in his position: 'since I ran 6.8 miles this morning I think I'll be fine, thanks.' We chatted for a few moments, then I went on to get my coffee.
A couple of minutes later he stopped by our table, presumably on the way home. My wife asked how the Sunday morning run group he headed up was faring; he mentioned the past couple of weeks were good, but that this week was a little on the light side.
She said, 'how light?'
He said, 'one. It was only me this morning.'
Read on here.

Energy Drinks and Athletic Performance

From the NY Times online

December 8, 2010, 12:01 am

Phys Ed: Do Energy Drinks Improve Athletic Performance?


By Monday, Four Loko, the alcohol-and-caffeine-laced energy drink, is scheduled to be removed from store shelves nationwide, following a ruling last month by the Food and Drug Administration that the safety of such beverages is unproven and that they should no longer be manufactured or sold. During the resulting media coverage, surprisingly little attention was focused on a corollary topic. What about nonalcoholic energy drinks, which will remain on sale? Are they safe? Effective? Who should be drinking them? Who shouldn’t?

With excellent timing, a number of new scientific studies and reviews have just been published that address those and related questions about energy drinks, particularly for athletes. Their findings and conclusions are thought-provoking.

Read on here.

Races This Weekend

A couple of races this upcoming weekend but the Va-Hi X-Mas 5K is closed, watch out for the traffic.

Saturday, December 18

2010 Virginia Highland Christmas 5K, Virginia Highlands

2010 Will Chamberlin Memorial Santa Stroll 5K, Athens

DMS Jingle Jog 5K, Flowery Branch

The Frosty 5K and Kids Fun Run, Dahlonega

Sunday, December 19

Inaugural Wiseman 5K & Fun Run, Bethlehem

Lifetime Fitness Reindeer Run 5K & 1K, Alpharetta

The Question of Compression Gear

From Running Times online

Compression Gear: Hype of Helpful?

Research reveals some recovery benefits, but little performance-boosting effects

By Mackenzie Lobby

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

For over 50 years, compression garments have been used in the medical field to improve symptoms related to diabetes, edema (swelling) and vein disorders, among others. Like so much of what is used in the fitness field, such as resistance tubing and resistance balls, compression garments have made the jump to the running world. On the elite scene, superstars like Chris Solinsky, Shannon Rowbury and Paula Radcliffe can be seen racing in knee-high, calf-hugging compression socks.

Chris Solinsky wore compression socks when he broke the 10,000m American record in May 2010.

That’s why a study out of Indiana University presented this summer at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting caused quite a stir, bringing compression garments back into the limelight by questioning their usefulness for runners. In the study, “Lower Leg Compression Sleeves: Influence on Running Mechanics and Economy in Highly Trained Distance Runners,” Abigail Laymon and colleagues found no impact on running economy, efficiency or mechanics. While the subsequent headlines following the conference wrote off compression garments, even Laymon herself says the issue is not so cut and dry.

Read on here.

Doubling and Tripling Performance Incentives

From Running Times online

Doubling and Tripling Performance Incentives

A sensible approach to increasing mileage, recovery and adaptation

By Steve Magness

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

When I first started coaching high school runners, they spent all summer building a base of long single runs, but when the school year started those long single runs were gone and they had to split that mileage evenly into two runs per day because of the school schedule. For example, instead of running 8 miles all at once in the morning at practice, they had to split it into a morning and afternoon run of 4 miles. As a coach, I was initially worried that my runners might not be able to maintain or increase their endurance with such short 4-mile runs. It turns out that my fears were misplaced; athletes not only maintained their endurance, but also increased it. In investigating the effects of running twice per day, it turns out that our old adage, “Get in as many miles as you can in one run before you start adding a second run,” might be wrong.

Read on here.

Marathon's To Remember

From Runners World online

The Best Marathons

New Year New You: A 1st to Remember

This is the year you're going to make your marathon debut. These 10 races will ensure your first 26.2 is special—and worth repeating.

By Michelle Hamilton

From the January 2011 issue of Runner's World

Your first marathon is more than a race—it's a story. And chances are good that after you cross that first finish line, your tale will include how quickly the first 10 miles went by, and how at mile 25 you felt a mix of relief (Thank God it's almost over) and disbelief (Wow, I'm going to make it). To ensure that you have a good story to tell, you want to pick a race with certain features: excellent organization, a likely chance of good weather, fan-friendly atmosphere, plenty of fluid stations, and a safe, well-marked, well-staffed course. We've selected 10 marathons—out of the nearly 400 held in the United States each year—that cover these essential needs of a first-time marathoner. Whether you want a race that's large or small, urban or rural, tranquil or festive, these races will lay a special setting for the epic tale of your first 26.2-miler.

Read on here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Local Races This Weekend

Local runs, most with a Jingle theme

Saturday, December 11

23rd Jingle Jog 5K / Jr. 1K / Elf Run Tot Trot, Atlanta

2010 Gwinnett Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K, Lilburn

Sleighbells on the Square 5K/1K, Marietta

Sunday, December 12

2010 Race 2 Read 5K, McDonough

Friday, December 3, 2010

Racing Your Best When You're Feeling Your Worst

From Running Times online...

Racing Your Best When You're Feeling Your Worst

Learning to make the best of a bad day can help you become a better runner
In the middle of a Gigli-style flop of a race, many of us will console ourselves to the point of fantasy, but at some point we eventually realize -- usually well before we stumble dejectedly across the finish line -- that we're running poorly. So poorly, in fact, that barring divine intervention over the next few miles, we're going to fall well short of our expectations. The challenge now is to summon the motivation to give your best effort.

This is a story, then, about how to race badly. Or, to put it more instructively, how to race when the race is going badly.

Read on here.

Motivation From Behind

From Running Times online...

Motivation from Behind

Photos of T-shirts seen at various high school meets
We runners take pride in enduring the hard knocks of training and the pain of full-throttle competition. This photo essay celebrates the true grit of competitive running through sage words emblazoned on T-shirts. 

See more here.

Holland Reynolds Helps Win State Title Crawling Over the Finish

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Old Vs. New

From Running Times online

How They Trained

Changing fashions in training, why they had their day, and what we can learn from them

By Roger Robinson

As featured in the December 2010 issue of Running Times Magazine

At the high school track today I watched young runners doing skip-and-swing warm-up drills. For a moment I thought I was back in the 1950s. Then I remembered. They were doing "dynamic stretching," the latest scientifically approved prerequisite for an effective training session.

Things change, and happily that can include the things you were supposed to do but didn't enjoy. Like static stretching. In my elite days in the 1980s, every runner before a race was propped at a 45-degree angle against a tree or wall or someone else's car. "Trying to push it over?" the passing public would inquire jovially, as you leaned, one calf extended back behind, pressing, creaking, silently counting. "No stretch less than 45 seconds is effective," was the mantra. The stretch had to be lo-oo-oo-ng. Impatient to race, I thought about Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid drawing his six-gun, when he pleaded, "Can I move now?"

And sure enough, movement is back. Coaching best practice has dumped those long static stretches, and brought in (or back) "dynamic drills" — skips, leg swings, lunge twists, butt kicks, reach-for-the-sky extensions. My ex-Army high school physical education teacher had us doing those half a century ago. Things come around. But not everything.

Read on here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Avondale Tour of Homes and Holiday Market

Tour the Town in a Trolley

Christmas is an amazing time here in Avondale Estates and the Tour of Homes and Holiday Market add to the wonderful feeling of the holiday spirit.  This year trolleys will be back in town to take visitors from house to house. Pick up the trolley between two Points of Interest…the Avondale Baptist Church and The Museum School. 

December 12th!

Visit the site here.

Decatur Holiday Candlelight Tour of Homes

Friday & Saturday
December 3 & 4 • 5:30-9:30 pm

Decatur’s 28th annual Holiday Candlelight Tour of Homes features nine older homes in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, which celebrates its centennial this year. Also featured: the Clairemont Holiday Marketplace and CafĂ© at Clairemont Elementary as a Point of Interest.
Check the site here.

Local Races This Weekend

Let the Jingle Jogs begin

Saturday, December 4

XTERRA Georgia Victoria Bryant State Park 5K / 10K Trail Run Royston (not local but cool enough)

ATC Cross-Country 5K, Milton (not local but cool enough)

1st Annual Elf Trot 5K, Kennesaw

Jingle Bell Trail 5K & Mile Fun Run, Peachtree City

Jingle Jog 5K, Cumming

Sunday, December 5

Santa Safety Run 5K & Tot Trot, Inman Park

No Aspirin Needed

From Running Times online

Fight Inflammation with Food

Maximize your diet to minimize NSAIDs use

By Jackie Dikos, R.D.

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

Who wants to start or finish a run by downing pills? Sure, there are aspects of running that can hurt.  One might call an ultra event a journey in overcoming pain, soreness and inflammation. Even an easy 3-mile run can be a painful, daunting task when battling tendinitis, muscle strain or a generally aching body.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, are used to ease pain and inflammation, so it would only make sense to utilize them when we intentionally push the body to the point of pain and inflammation, right? Not so fast. The body may adapt better to training when left to heal without the use of anti-inflammatories; minimizing their use allows runners to listen to warning signs and adjust training with a clearer perspective. 

Taking ibuprofen before an ultra can actually increase oxidative stress on the body by reducing the kidneys’ ability to manage the by-products of a long and demanding endurance crusade. Pre-race consumption of NSAIDs can also contribute to electrolyte imbalances, which can have devastating effects during distance events.

Dietary adjustments provide the healthiest alternative to popping anti-inflammatory medications. Consider some of the following tips to reduce inflammation naturally.

Read on here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jogging for Justice

From the Wall Street Journal, a Florida judge's intersting idea...

November 24, 2010, 10:40 AM ET

Jogging for Justice: One Florida Judge’s Novel Idea

Judges can get pretty creative when it comes to sentencing criminal defendants, including requiring offenders to hold signs announcing their bad deeds.

But can a defendant be asked to strap on running shoes and hit the road?

A Florida judge came up with the unusual idea of having juvenile offenders participate in a jogging program . . . with the judge.

Read on here.

Developing a Good Kick

What's a 'kick', from Running Times online...

Developing a Good Kick

Sage advice from a champion Ethiopian kicker
What's the best strategy: To try to drop your competition to get into the clear before the final stages, or to use the pacing and the energy of a pack of runners through the early and middle stages, and then attempt to pull away near the end?

The conventional wisdom is that a runner with strong finishing speed should attempt to win with a kick. This was the tactic used by 20-year-old Lelisa Desisa to win the Utica Boilermaker 15K in July, a race on a hilly course, including a downhill finish that can favor a strong kicker.

"I am very confident to run in a pack or in the lead," says Desisa, who had placed third at the Peachtree Road Race 10K on July 4, another close race with a fast finish. That confidence, of course, comes from training -- not just the physical conditioning, but also learning one's strengths and aiming to improve upon weaknesses. In addition, Desisa knew the competition at Utica, and he wasn't fazed by the prospect of a hilly course. "The week before, at Peachtree, I raced against some of the same athletes. I like to run hills and was confident at the start that I would win the race," he says.

Read on here.

Developing Intrinsic Motivation

From Running Times online...

Developing Intrinsic Motivation

Learn to weather the weather, whatever the weather
Remember when the multipurpose shoes kids wear were called tennis shoes? I wore them to practice when I first went out for high school cross country. When coach took me to the running store, we picked out the gray-on-blue Tiger X-Calibers. When I wore through the soles, I got another pair, and then another after that. If I lined up all the shoes I've worn out since then, heel to toe, they'd make a trail clear from my hometown to where I've landed, 321 miles away.

Coach Worful carefully tended my budding running career. He took the team to the sports rehab clinic to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. He spoke privately with my parents about my potential. He actively involved me in important training and racing decisions. But I set the alarm for 6 a.m. so that I could rise in time to fill a thermos with orange juice and ice cream, drop my backpack at my friend's door, and then run the 4.5 miles to school holding the thermos in my hand so that I could have an Orange-Julius-style shake when I arrived.

Twenty-eight years later, I still rise before dawn on many mornings to supplement my training mileage. My wife, burrowing deeper under the covers, thinks almost audibly: How do you do it?

Read on here.

Atlanta Turkey Half-Marathon and 5K

Tomorrow morning on Thanksgiving Day is the Atlanta Track Club Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon and 5K.  The half goes from Chamblee to Turner Field.  I think it's a great challenging course.  Downhill for the first half and climb out of the second half.  As it flattens out on Peachtree St you are then challenged by a couple of late mile rolling hills.
Good Luck to all who are running!
And I'm not all that disappointed that the Full-Marathon is gone.  The Half is one of the best I have run.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Female Jogger Attacked In Kirkwood

Picked up from Decatur Metro

Info form Atlanta Police’s Major Dalton, Zone 6 Commander…

On November 17, 2010 at approximately 8:30 p.m., a female was attacked while jogging on Ridgedale at Hillcrest. The victim was grabbed from behind and drug into a wooded area on the northeast side of Ridgedale after she crossed Hillcrest. Due to the time of night and the way in which she was attacked she is unable to provide a detailed description of the suspect.

The Departments Special Victims Unit will be handling the case and would appreciate any information residents in the neighborhood can provide. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me directly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Volunteer at Atlanta Half Marathon & Thanksgiving Day 5K

Below is a plea from the Atlanta Track Club. They are still short of volunteers so if you’re looking for something to do on Thanksgiving morning before you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast consider volunteering.


Volunteer at the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K

If you’re looking for a fun way to kick-off your Thanksgiving, consider volunteering at the 2010 Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K.   The Atlanta Track Club is still in search of close to 500 volunteers to help out with the Thanksgiving Day event.  As a thank you for all their efforts, all volunteers will receive an Atlanta Half Marathon fleece vest.  Visit atlantahalfmarathon.org  for more information on how to sign up to be a volunteer at the 2010 Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K.

Local Races This Weekend

Saturday, November 20

Run for Justice 5K, Oakhurst

Paideia School "Slither" 5K, Atlanta

Lakeside HS Annual Viking 5K, Decatur

Sunday, November 21

4th Annual Gobbler 5K Run & Mile, Athens (not so local)

The Art and Science of Marathon Pacing

In most every marathon I have ran, this has always baffled me.  My best marathon was done by going hard in the first half and surviving the 2nd half.  The last time I tried this method, it failed me miserably because I hit the wall at mile 16 and made for a painful and very long 10 mile finish.

From Running Competitor online

The Art and Science of Marathon Pacing

Updated: Nov 11th 2010 11:04 AM EST by Matt Fitzgerald

Why we hit the wall in marathons, and how not to.

My first marathon was the 1999 California International Marathon in Sacramento.  As I trained for it, many of my friends who were marathon veterans gave me the usual warnings to “respect the distance,” pace myself conservatively, and avoid setting too ambitious a goal.  I truly believed that I would heed this advice, but I did not.  My 6:06 first mile felt so easy that I decided to forge ahead at that pace.  Consequently, by the 18-mile mark I was walking.  I finished in 3:34, after having run the first half in under 1:23.

My second marathon was the 2000 Long Beach Marathon.  I truly believed I had learned my lesson and started at a slightly more conservative pace than I had in Sacramento, despite the fact that I was now fitter.  But by the 23-mile mark I was again walking.  I finished in 3:11, a scant 26 minutes off my goal time.

Not until I ran my third marathon did I run my first halfway decent one. I finished in 2:46:42 at the 2001 Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.  Yet while I did not fall apart in this race as I had in my first two marathons, I still slowed substantially in the closing 5K.  My average pace over the first 23 miles was under 6:20 per mile, but my last mile was run in the range of 7:30.

If I have learned only one thing from the 14 marathons I have now run it’s that pacing oneself optimally in a marathon is very difficult.  The only marathons in which I have not run the second half substantially slower than the first are the few I have run non-competitively, as workouts.  I don’t have this problem at shorter distances.  My pace is almost always metronomically steady in 5K’s, 10K’s, and half marathons, even on my bad days.

I am hardly unusual in this regard.  The vast majority of experienced runners are able to pace themselves well in shorter events but bonk to some degree before they reach the finish line in marathons.  For example, in the 2007 California International Marathon, which happens to be the most recent marathon I’ve run, only 24 of the top 100 finishers managed to run the second half of the race no worse than one minute slower than the first.  By contrast, in the 2008 Carlsbad Half Marathon, only eight of the top 100 finishers slowed to a similar degree.

Why is pacing the marathon so much more difficult than pacing shorter races?  And for that matter, considering the fact that even the winner of most marathons runs the first half slower than the second, can we even assume that maintaining an even pace throughout the entire race is the optimal marathon pacing strategy? What can we do to improve our marathon pacing?  Let’s tackle these questions one by one.

Read on here.

Running Safely Through Pregnancy

From Running Times online

Running Safely Through Pregnancy

You can run while pregnant if you know what to expect

By Mackenzie Lobby

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

The running community sat up and took notice this year as one elite runner after the next announced their pregnancies. There has been much said about Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe’s shared due date this month, as well as Deena Kastor’s recent announcement that she will forgo regular training for the next nine months. To the interest of many, Sara Vaughn blogged about her day-to-day experience of pregnancy and the journey back to the roads after giving birth. Carrie Tollefson, who had her first baby in April, has been frequently cited discussing the 2010 birth and the 2012 Olympics in the same breath.

While the existing literature on exercise and pregnancy has come a long way, a certain stigma remains attached to running with child. Although the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists propose that 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week is safe and suggested, their 2002 research basis has already been trumped by emerging evidence that advocates for the safety of longer bouts of exercise. In fact, a literature review published last year examined a wide base of recent studies that monitored the health of both the mother and child, showing that the former half-hour guidelines of the early aughts may be outdated and underestimated. 

The recent research, as well as stories of pregnancy from the best of the best in women’s running, serve as testaments to the fact that running through pregnancy can be both safe and beneficial for most running mothers and their babies. That being said, it is no jog in the park. As the research elucidates, pregnant runners encounter plenty of changes and physiological surprises as they run through their nine months. Consider a few of the following common issues associated with running during pregnancy and always consult your doctor before entering into a running regimen.

Read on here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Urban Hiking The Beltline

From Urban Hiking Atlanta

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

**11/20/10 Beltline Hike planned**

Hello friends and hikers,

It's been far too long and the Beltline has seen many drastic

improvements, so join me this Saturday as we hike the stretch from

Amsterdam Walk south to DeKalb Ave. Also it's supposed to be 64 and



What: FREE 5-6 mile walk on the eastside Beltline trail

When: 10am-1pm (can be cut short)

Where: meet at Amsterdam Walk (550 Amsterdam Ave, ATL)

Who: EVERYONE is invited including kids, adults, and leashed dogs

Why: great weather calls for a great walk to see some great changes

Check out this PBA video from last year to see what this section of the

Beltline USED to look like: (and to see what Angel and I looked like too)


Map of route:


Feel free to stage cars at DeKalb and Airline St if you like, but be at

Amsterdam by 10am to walk with the group.

Read the post here.

Hit By Deer During Race, Recovering

From PennTrackXC.com
Kara Shen is recovering from her experience at XC state champs. One that no one else would want.
By Don Rich / November 13, 2010 7:38 PM

Kara Shen is recovering, back in school, and looking forward to the time when she can run again.
Kara, if you recall, was the Central Bucks East junior who was knocked down and kicked by a deer at the top of the second of the Aloha Hills on November 6th in the girls' AAA race in the state championships.
At first, she says, she thought it was a man wearing brown pants running onto the course. It wasn't.
A woman and fan who was nearby immediately helped her from the course so she would not incur further injury from other runners. "The fan said to me, 'honey, you got hit by a deer'." Shen was conscious the whole time, and soon found herself in a cart headed for trainer's tent.
Read on here.

The Future Of US Women's Marathoning

From OregonLive.com
Shalane Flanagan's NYC finish nudges the bar a little higher for U.S. marathoners
Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 2:50 PM     Updated: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 3:24 PM
Special to The Oregonian

Picture by The Associated Press - Shalane Flanagan crosses the New York City Marathon finish line in second place.
Every time Kara Goucher reaches a new racing milestone, it seems, Shalane Flanagan comes along and exceeds it.
"Anything I do, Shalane does it bigger and better a year later," Goucher said. "It's actually funny to me."
Both women, Portland residents who run professionally for Nike, are raising the profile of U.S. marathon running.
Both are beginning to target the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and both dream of winning a medal.
And yet, it may be too early to suggest that a recent U.S. running boom -- and an increasingly larger proportion of female participants -- is leading to more world-class performances.
Read on here.

Don't Get Sick!

I am working over a cold right now so this article interests me

Food for Runners

Don't Get Sick!

What to eat and drink to avoid getting sidelined by common winter woes.

By Leslie Goldman

From the December 2010 issue of Runner's World

Winter presents a number of training obstacles for runners. Shorter, darker days and icy roads can freeze training in its tracks, while a storm of season-specific health problems—including cold fingers and toes, stiff, achy joints, and even seasonal depression—can leave you wanting to skip your run altogether. Luckily, making certain foods and drinks a regular part of your diet can help you avoid common winter problems, says David Grotto, R.D., author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. So before a winter woe sidelines you from yet another workout, try these consumable prescriptions for staying healthy—and running strong—all season long.

Read on here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Run for Justice 5K

Saturday, November 20, 2010
Decatur, Ga. - Oakhurst
A 5K run and walk to benefit Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Meet in front of One Step at A Time, 650-B East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.

More info here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Protein Sports Drinks

Article from the NT Times online

Phys Ed: Do Protein Sports Drinks Work?


Could sports drinks be improved with the addition of protein? That question has long gripped physiologists and nutritionists. It’s well established that the carbohydrates (sugars) that sweeten most sports drinks aid performance. They provide immediate fuel for straining muscles, keep blood-sugar levels stable and allow you to work out for a longer period of time or at a higher intensity, or both, than if you don’t swallow any extra fuel. But why wouldn’t taking in protein, together with carbohydrates, during a workout or race make you even more speedy and durable? Protein, after all, is what muscles fundamentally are made of, so it seems reasonable to imagine that adding it to sports drinks could provide some additional benefit.

Read on here.

Current NYC Course vs. the Proposed Olympic 2012 Course

Changing the NYC Marathon Course

Interesting article about the NYC marathon course, from the Wall Street Journal
Is Bigger and Faster Better for Marathon?
NYC Race Officials Are Committed to the Current Course, but Others Think It May be Time to Consider a Few Changes
Photo by Associated Press
A wave of runners enters Brooklyn near the second mile of Sunday's New York City Marathon.

As the winners of Sunday's ING New York City Marathon burst across the finish line, their winning times made one fact abundantly clear: In a city known for its swift pace, its marathon route is notoriously slow.
Though the men's winner, Gebre Gebremariam posted the sixth-fastest time in course history at two hours, eight minutes and 14 seconds, his victory was still almost two minutes slower than Sammy Wanjiru's winning time at this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon: 2:06:24. The difference on the women's side was even more pronounced: Edna Kiplagat's victory in 2:28:20 was more than eight minutes behind Liliya Shobukhova's 2:20:25 win.
The challenging topography and slower times run on New York's course has prompted some of the world's greatest runners to bypass the city in favor of other faster races, and has led others to call for changes to the course itself.
Read on here.

Shalane in 2nd

NY Times article on Shalanes 2nd place finish in the NYC Marathon this past weekend
In Second, and Mulling an Olympic First
Published: November 8, 2010
At a news conference a couple of hours after she finished second at the New York City Marathon, Shalane Flanagan hinted that she might compete in the United States marathon trials for the 2012 London Olympics.
Photo by Avi Gerver for The New York Times
Shalane Flanagan finished second to Edna Kiplagat of Kenya at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, her first race at 26.2 miles. 
“We’ll see how the whole next track season plays out,” she said. “My passion for the marathon is very strong after today.”
Read on here.

Quick Workouts

From Runners World online

Tips for Beginning Runners

Just 20 Minutes

When time is short, quick workouts will keep you fit.

By Jeff Galloway

From the December 2010 issue of Runner's World

Holidays are certainly joyous, but family gatherings, holiday parties, and office functions can bump running right off your to-do list. Fortunately, you don't need to run for hours to maintain your fitness during this busy time of year. The following 20-minute (or less) workouts cover all the bases of strength, speed, and endurance well enough so you can start the New Year strong.

Read on here.

The Final Push

From Runners World online

Training Tips

Final Push

With the right last-minute strategies, you can still hit an unmet running goal.

By Amy Rushlow

From the December 2010 issue of Runner's World

Like many runners, you probably set a resolution last January. You planned to enter your first race, or set a PR. Congratulations if you did it. But if life got in the way—plans got pushed back, runs got derailed—don't despair. There's still time to make good on a goal, even if you have to rethink it a bit. "Modifying a goal is truly the sign of a wise runner," says Jenny Hadfield, coauthor of Marathoning for Mortals. "Instead of lamenting what you haven't accomplished, use the fitness you have to reach a target that's achievable in the time you have left." Here's how to end your year on a high note.

Read on here.

2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off -- Sunday, November 16th @ Steinbeck's

2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off -- Sunday, November 16th in the Steinbeck’s Back Parking Lot. Setup will be at 9:30AM and cooking from 10:30AM till 12:30PM. Judging will be from 12:30PM till4:00 PM. 25 entries with a $10 entry fee. 5 restaurant contestants with a $50 entry fee, see Marc.  For more information or to enter call 404-373-1116.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Atlanta Undy 5000

2010 Atlanta Undy 5000
Welcome to the 2010 Atlanta Undy 5000!
Who:      You and others dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colon cancer!
What:     Undy 5000 (5K) and 1 mile fun-run/walk    
Where:    Historic Downtown Decatur
When:     9:00 a.m. on Sat, Nov 13, 2010
Why:      To fight colorectal cancer
Link here.  Check out the course map, here.  The hill up Glendale is one of my favorites but it doesnt stop there because you have that slight rise on Ponce after making the righthand turn.  I see it as where someone can win the race or make someone else work harder to the point where that last ½ mile works to their advantage.

Local Races This Weekend

Saturday, November 13

Undy Run 5000, Decatur

A Future. Not a Past 5K. 7200 Steps to Stop Demand, Candler Park

Race 2 Recycle 5K, Piedmont Park

Hillside Fall Fiesta 5K, Virginia Highlands

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon & Half Marathon, Chickamauga, Ga. (not local but a great race to run)

Elaine Clark's Hustle for Hope 5K, St. Pius X High School

Sunday, November 14

Girls on the Run 5K, Inman Park

What types of runs?

From Competitor Running online

Running 101: The 8 Basic Types of Runs

Updated: Oct 29th 2010 10:50 AM EDT by Training

If you want to run your best, you’ve got to do a variety of workouts. Here’s how.

There are eight basic types of runs that are practiced by runners of all levels everywhere. These formats evolved through a global trial-and-error process over many decades. They survived because they work. If you want to get the most out of the time you devote to training, you will need to learn and practice them too. You can add all kinds of wrinkles to these formats (for example by combining two of them within a single session), but even in their most basic form these workouts will take you far.

Read on here.

2010 NYC Marathon

Congrats to the winners and the top Americans.  NYC was also the USA National Marathon Championships.  I was watching the final 3 women finish and it was an exciting race.  Shalane dropped back to 3rd while Edna pulled away and then Shalane comes back to finish 2nd.


1. Gebre Gebremariam, Ethiopia, 2:08:14

2. Emmanuel Mutai, Kenya, 2:09:17

3. Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Kenya, 2:10:39

4. Abderrahim Goumri, Morocco, 2:10:51

5. James Kwambai, Kenya, 2:1131

6. Meb Keflezighi, USA, 2:11:38

7. Marilson Gomes dos Santos, Brazil, 2:11:51

8. Dathan Ritzenhein, USA, 2:12:33

9. Abel Kirui, Kenya, 2:13:01

10. Abderrahime Bouramdane, Morocco, 2:14:07


1. Edna Kiplagat, Kenya, 2:28:20

2. Shalane Flanagan, USA, 2:28:40

3. Mary Keitany, Kenya, 2:29:01

4. Inga Abitova, Russia, 2:29:17

5. Kim Smith, New Zealand, 2:29:28

6. Christelle Daunay, France, 2:29:29

7. Ludmila Petrova, Russia, 2:29:41

8. Caroline Rotich, Kenya, 2:29:46

9. Madai Perez, Mexico, 2:29:53

10. Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia, 2:29:55