If you’ve been in the running world for some time, you’ve surely noticed what the typical road race winner looks like, right? Tall, toned, and thin. It’s fair to assume that this is what it takes to be fast. Unfortunately, many of us, and especially females, go about improving our performance based on looking like these elites. Many female athletes are under nourished in relation to the amount of energy they expend. Truth is, this common behavior is actually very dangerous and can cause serious damage to a female athlete’s body.
I have been running since 2006. In 2010, after my sixth marathon, my doctor raised his concerns about my weight, my bone health, and something called the female athlete triad. I had never heard this term before, but I was quickly learning that I was in serious danger of falling into this condition.
Loyola University defines the female athlete triad as being characterized by disordered eating, irregular periods, and osteoporosis. I sat listening to my doctor explain the condition and knew that my periods were not regular, however, surely the other issues didn’t apply to me, or so I thought. He proceeded to perform a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan, to check my bone density. He didn’t like what he saw for a female in her late twenties. But then he got to the eating. I was in complete denial. I was thin, but I was a runner and I needed to keep my calories low so I could stay light for performance. So I thought. (more…)
We asked fans of the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Facebook page to post their biggest running questions. We received several great questions as these runners prepare for their half and full marathons on October 14. We have collected the best questions and better yet, gathered the best answers from our team of experts, which include Mary Hartley, RD for nutrition, Holly Perkins for fitness, Dr. Josh Umbehr for fitness and nutrition, and Jill Lawson for stretching.
These runner questions were so great and so common that any runner could benefit from hearing these expert answers.
Digestion issues, sore muscles, stretching inquiries, and diet conundrums were just a few of the topics we were able to cover. If you’ve ever had a running question, chances are it’s answered by clicking below.
Running is a learning process. I’m far from the runner I was two years ago, and unrecognizable from the one I was when I first started. There are so many mistakes to learn from and so many trials and errors to experience. It’s been six years since I put on my first pair of running shoes and began my journey. As I prepare for my long run this weekend, I can certainly say I learned one lesson the hard way: The issue of refueling during runs. This took a lot of trials and even more errors on my part. But today, my pantry is stocked with my fuel of choice and I hope my days of struggling with mid-run fuel is over.
Recently, NPR’s food blog “The Salt” reported on the issue of using real food as athletic fuel. That is, real food instead of the many popular gels, chews, and drink mixes. The title alone made me laugh at my former self. I recalled my early days in training for my first marathons. I was so convinced that I needed all natural foods. On long runs, I toted around the most cumbersome bags loaded with fresh fruit, honey, or even nuts. I was trying so hard to live up to this uber-natural standard I placed on myself. Furthermore, all awkwardness aside, these methods weren’t working. I wasn’t feeling any energy from my fuel and even worse, I was having such a hard time digesting these foods while on the run. Come marathon day, there was no way I could run a strong, fast race with these issues and a pantry in my shorts. (more…)
If there’s one thing we love sharing, it’s stories of health and personal triumph. But love stories take a close second. So any time we hear about a story that combines the two, we get downright giddy.
Caitlin Donovan is a friend of our Diets in Review staff, and when we caught wind of her unlikely engagement story, we knew we just had to share it. Her then-boyfriend, Dan, popped the question immediately following one of the biggest ‘mountaintop moments’ of her life: Her third marathon.
Caitlin and Dan have known each other their entire lives, literally. “We were sent to the same babysitter when we were the tiniest of tots,” she said. “And we’d been dating for about nine years when we started talking about getting married.”
The pair looked at rings together and came to a mutual understanding that they were going to tie the knot, but as weeks passed, talk of the subject subsided.
“In the midst of all this I was training for my third marathon,” said Caitlin. “When marathon Sunday rolls around, things are always exciting to begin with, so the last thing I expected at the end was an engagement ring!” (more…)
Marathons are always memorable. The grueling task of traveling 26.2 miles on foot leaves permanent marks on our mind. While the thrill of crossing the finish line is often a favorite moment for all marathoners, those 26.2 miles can leave us with many other flashbacks as well. Marathoning can get messy, brutal, and downright embarrassing at times. Here are some of the most unique marathon moments from fellow runners across the country.
One of the most uncomfortable moments in my marathoning career occurred just feet after the 2011 Boston Marathon starting line. Runners had been lined up in corrals for some time with no bathrooms in sight, the first chance to go was in the brush just off the street before mile one. The brush was shallow and the runners were in a hurry. I’d never seen so many bare backsides in my life. Men and women alike were squatting and some very boldly doing more than number one right in plain sight. All I could do was look straight forward because they were everywhere!
April Reed of Wichita, KS was honest enough to admit being in a bad situation at the San Diego Marathon. “I peed in downtown San Diego right off the street in some low lying bushes. I think I came out of the bush before I really had my pants up.”
Jenny Poore of Chicago, IL explained how her bladder got the best of her at mile 22 during the Chicago Marathon. She could have stopped but she was having a great race so she just let nature take its course, down her legs. “I’m not ashamed. It was exhilarating. Just glad I don’t have a photo with water spewing everywhere. hahaha!” (more…)
A January marathon means runners can’t slack off during the holiday season. Training must persist during the endless opportunities to feast and curl up by the fire. We all should run a January marathon! While the country gets cold and busy, there aren’t a ton of races, but what the calendar lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for it in quality. January presents some of the nation’s best races.
1. Walt Disney World Marathon January 8, 2012
Billed as the most magical 26.2 miles on earth, the Disney marathon has a course like no other. All four theme parks are included in the races course. Runners will travel through Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and the Hollywood Studios. The course is lined with entertainment and support as well. Finishers earn a well deserved Mickey Mouse medal as they cross the line.
It wouldn’t be Disney if the race didn’t offer even bigger options as well. The marathon is the final race of a major race weekend. The Disney half marathon is the day before and for those up for the ultimate challenge, The Goofy Challenge is presented. Runners can attempt to run the half marathon on Saturday, earn their Donald Duck medal, and then lace up the next morning for the marathon. Those who complete the 39.3 miles earn an additional Goofy medal. Two races, three medals, and a whole lot of bragging rights!
December is possibly one of the most hectic months of the year. Perhaps that’s why the country offers fewer marathons in December than any other month of the year. However, what the offering lacks in quantity, it more than makes up in quality. Some of the best and most popular marathons of the entire year take place in December. What a fantastic way to kick off the month of non-stop celebrating than by running 26.2 miles?!
1. The Las Vegas Marathon “Strip at Night” December 4, 2011.
The Las Vegas Marathon is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. This race has had instant popularity as the course is noted for being flat and festive. A recent change has really upped the ante, though. The race starts at 4:00 pm so that runners will take on the famous lights of the Las Vegas Strip at night.
The race time adds some unique changes to traditional marathon weekends. There’s a race day brunch in addition to a pasta dinner the night before. Instead of a post-race concert, Cheap Trick will be headlining the pre-race party. And since the runners will be finishing at night, the post-race party will be at Vegas’s premiere hot spots: XS Nightclub at Encore and LAVO at the Palazzo.
November is another banner month for marathons in the U.S. With crisp temps and the changing of the season, many phenomenal race times are turned in during the month of November. Here are just a few of the excellent marathons taking place in November 2011.
1. ING New York City Marathon, November 6, 2011
Another member of the World Marathon Majors, New York’s marathon is an elite experience. Drawing in over 100,000 applicants each year, this historic race is huge and exciting. Elite and amateurs alike share the streets as the 26.2 miles course traverses the five boroughs that make up New York. Over 2 million fans line the course while over 315 million watch the world-wide televised event. It goes without saying that NYC is a must-run for any marathoner, however, the race fills up months in advance. Be on the look out as the lottery opens each winter for the following year.
2. Williams Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa, OK. November 20, 2011
The Route 66 Marathon is a great race ran on many portions of the original Route 66 highway. The race offers a distance for every type, even a great kid’s marathon event. While the course is in Oklahoma, a place not known for hills, there are some decent hills in this course. The event also hosts a classic car show at the finish line along with a great after party complete with a concert. The Route 66 Marathon may have the best finishers medals in the sport. Every year they seem to top the design from the previous year.
October was made for running! After months of training in the heat, the stage is finally set for a great marathon with the cool, crisp autumn weather. The only trouble is choosing which race. There are so many in October. Here are just a few of the great options for 2011.
1. Bank of America Chicago Marathon
A member of the World Marathon Majors series, Chicago is a must-run marathon for all marathoners. The 34th running of this famous race will be held on October 9, 2011. Notorious for it’s fast and flat course, Chicago targets elites and amateurs alike. In addition to its record setting potential, the course offers a scenic tour of the great city of Chicago and all the acclaimed neighborhoods. There’s a reason this race is among the top five in the world!
2. St. George Marathon
One of the most scenic marathons in the country will be held on October 1, 2011. The St. George Marathon is a beautiful point-to-point race that begins in the Pine Valley mountains of Utah and descends nearly 2600 feet into Worthern Park. This race is noted for its amazing scenery but it’s also acclaimed as one of the fastest fall marathon courses in the nation. Along with its beautiful and fast course, St. George has been honored with the title as “most organized” marathon as well. There are just too many positives about St. George, not to add it to the must-run list.
August is a great time of year to run a marathon in most parts of the country. The majority of marathons are scheduled to begin early in the morning so the heat shouldn’t be unbearable. See below for a few of the best marathons in the month of Augusta near you!
Grizzly Marathon: These marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and kids 5K races are held in Choteau, Montana on August 6, 2011. Choteau is located in northwestern Montana and should be one amazing marathon experience. The marathon is scheduled to start at 5 A.M. for the marathon walkers and 6 A.M. for the regular marathon and half marathon participants. Each marathon participant will receive a finishers medal, a beanie, and t-shirt. Be sure to attend the huge expo before the race for new fitness tips plus some of the top 2011 gear.