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EmPOWERed Kids Run to Take Place One Month After Boston Marathon Tragedy

When my young son came home from school on April 15, I had to share with him the sad news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I was gentle and only gave the information a nine-year-old needed to hear. I had the TV on and he walked into the room and saw the cleared scene of the crime. He immediately said, “Mommy, that’s exactly where we stood.”

I knew that the moment the news broke, my husband did, too. But it didn’t quite sink in until our child was impacted by the closeness of this terrible event. The second time I ran Boston, my son and husband stood under the international flags and cheered for me as I finished. My son’s world changed on April 15, 2013. It changed in a way that broke my heart.

empowered kids

Erin Kreitz Shirey also had a similar sad moment with her little girl on April 15. Instead of being able to report the winning times, she had to tell her about the tragedy and how the race was stopped.

“What about the kids cheering on their parents? Mom, are they OK? Are the kids hurt?”, innocently questioned Shirey’s daughter that night. Her daughter, like my son, had cheered for her mother at many races as well.

We and many other parents struggled to talk to our kids about this event, especially our fellow running parents. We’ve all had our kids at races, standing on the curbs, hanging on the fences cheering. Now what are we supposed to tell them?
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Run For Boston: The Races and Hashtags Uniting Runners Everywhere

“We’re a tough lot,” commented Lacy J. Hansen about she and her fellow runners. She’s a friend, the running contributor here at DietsInReview.com, and a marathoner. Just as Stephen Colbert said in his open on Tuesday night, this is a people who run 26 miles on their days off. They’re hard core to nth degree.

So it’s no surprise that Boston Marathon finishers crossed the line on Monday afternoon and headed directly to nearby hospitals to donate blood. And it’s no surprise that on Tuesday runners across the nation wore their souvenir race T-shirts to symbolically stand with their swift-footed brothers and sisters. In fact, #RunChat is rallying runners to do so again this Friday.

And it’s equally no surprise that this weekend you will be able to find a running event from sea to shining sea that will raise money for those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. More powerful than the money is that we will all see this incredible community pull together in solidarity once again, liken to the wave of support the cancellation of the NYC Marathon brought on post-Sandy.

This weekend, runners of all kinds will lace up once again to help their neighbors from as far away as LA and nearby as New York and everywhere in between.

Here are a few you should plan to join.
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Help Boston: 6 Ways You Can Give Money, Time, and Support Today

The tragedy that struck Boston yesterday is just one more attack on the people, land, and values we all hold so very dear. And yet this one, at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, disrupted something so pure and so joyful that it feels like more of an attack on our hearts. It seems we as Americans are becoming all too familiar with the pain of these attacks, and yet the most promising part that we see time and again is the outpouring of love and support for our neighbors, our friends, our fellow citizens.

We never see humanity more at its best than when it’s at its very worst.

boston heart

We know everyone wants to help and do something; it’s a natural reaction. It helps us grieve and feel of use, but more importantly, it helps those most directly impacted by the bombings that have claimed three lives and injured more than 115. Here’s how you can do something to help and support.

Wear Your Race Tees!

It’s a small and simple gesture that is uniting the running community at large today. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are full of people proudly donning their souvenir T-shirts from 5Ks to marathons they’ve completed in the past.

Donate to the Red Cross

You can donate funds to the Red Cross. Just before 6pm ET on April 15, the day of the bombing, the Red Cross announced their blood needs have been met; however, there is always a need somewhere as they explain in this press release. Follow @RedCross on Twitter for more current updates on specific needs this global organization may have.
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Two Explosions Near Boston Marathon Finish Line Hault Race, Injuries Reported

  • Two explosions have occurred just near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two loud booms were reportedly heard from near the finish line, just inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel.
  • As a result, race officials have locked down the hotel and the area has been evacuated. The blasts reportedly sounded like thunder.
  • Various people are injured but conscious. Spectators are being shepherded to medical tents. No deaths have been reported.
  • People are being urged to stay away from trash recepticals and garbage cans, as it is unclear where the explosion originated from.
  • Runners are being redirected away from the finish line. As a result, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley tweeted that he and around 20,000 runners are stuck at a corral at mile 26.
  • 3:43p ET: “Trauma nurse tells ABC News that the race’s medical tent has become a makeshift morgue. Dealing with injuries including severed limbs and children with severe burns.”
  • 4:00p ET: ABC reports 15 to 20 injured.

Find more information at LA Times and NYPost.
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Record Marathon Registration Numbers are Crashing Servers, but Not Yielding Better Runners

Just seven tiny years ago, I couldn’t have told you how far the 26.2 mile beast was. I didn’t even know what 5K meant. Now, the race of epic proportions is just part of my daily life and vernacular. I used to think this made me unique, different from the crowd. I didn’t just run, I was a marathoner. In the seven years that I’ve called myself a runner, the world of running has changed pretty dramatically. I may not be as set-apart as I thought.

The registration numbers are growing tremendously as the marathon seems to be a “must-do” item on so many people’s “bucket lists.” I like the idea of more runners, but I’m not so sure the quantity increase is bringing more quality to the sport. Don’t hear me wrong, there’s room for many speeds in running, but is there room for people who don’t train properly? Is the marathon really a place for someone who doesn’t respect the distance? Bottom line: what’s happening with the marathon? What’s it becoming? And what are the side effects of all of these people taking on the once exclusive 26.2 mile race?

Research published in 2012 and reported by StrideNation.com stated that marathoners used to be one in a thousand. Now, for every 607 Americans, one of them finished a U.S. marathon in 2011. The annual report from Running USA also stated that since 2000 there has been a 47 percent increase in in the number of marathon finishers nationwide. These increases are being seen outside the charts and surveys. In 2011, the New York City Marathon had more than 47,000 finishers. This made for the largest race ever held.

Other large scale signs are being seen in what happens when marathoners attempt to sign up for the major races. In 2010, those attempting to register for the 2011 Boston Marathon crashed the race’s website and the event filled within hours. This race requires qualifying times, so not just any runner could sign up, but the number of eligible filled the slots quickly, something that rarely ever happened in recent past. This forced Boston to change their qualifying times and registration process.
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