Fearless Words from a Former Fat Girl

Stephanie Laska after winning the Athena Division at the Modesto Marathon

Stephanie Laska after winning the Athena Division at the Modesto Marathon

When I run into someone I haven’t seen in awhile, one of two things happen. Either they keep walking (having no idea who I am), or they stop and demand , “HOW did you DO it?” and “WHAT does your husband say?”

To back up a bit, I’ve lost half of my body weight. Yep, 50%. I currently weigh in the 140s ­­ you do the math. I did not have surgery or use any medication.

I lost an average of 10 lbs per month. My journey took about a year and a half. I’ve kept off the weight for three years, and counting. .. Continue Reading →

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Like the Treadmill

treadmillRunning on the machine offers up some benefits when it gets too cold or icy to be out on the roads or trails.

By Henry Howard

OK, so I couldn’t actually justify using the word “love” in the headline as was used in the Dr. Strangeglove movie title that gave me the inspiration for this story.

But I did find that running on the treadmill was actually palatable during bitter winter days or when sidewalks and roads still had icy spots.

Not as enjoyable mind you as an outdoor run in spring or fall when the temperature feels just right. And certainly not as enjoyable as an invigorating trail run. Continue Reading →

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How to Become Better Than Before -Interview with Gretchen Rubin

photo credit: Elk Studios

photo credit: Elk Studios

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In this episode we talk with Gretchen Rubin, author of the book Better Than Before -Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.

Angie and I read this book in January to help ourselves get focused on goals and personal growth. It’s a great read and has many applications to marathon training.

All of us would like to run, exercise, and eat heathy without even thinking twice. Thus the power of habit is preferred to the strength of willpower. But making new habits is easier for some people than it is for others. Here’s the secret, Continue Reading →

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How to Avoid Upper Back Pain When Running

Man with backache. Pain in the human bodyImagine how much the average person actually slouches during a day.

Slouching during breakfast, then hunched over the kitchen sink to wash dishes, slouching while driving a car, and then slouching while sitting at work or at a school desk.

Don’t forget about slouching while texting, watching TV or using the computer. When you are not slouching, you’re bending over to clean or pick up children and/or pets. The list of slouching possibilities is endless!

Now envision your running posture. Does it look any different? Many of us run in a forward head and rounded shoulders position–a slouched posture! Runners experience many of the same aches and pains as their sedentary counter parts. Upper back and neck pain is a common occurrence. The most typical cause is almost always poor posture. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Jacksonville Bank Marathon (How to Run a Last Minute Race)

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The Jacksonville Bank Marathon was held for the 33rd time on January 3, 2016.

This race is billed as the “fastest marathon course in the south” and rated the Top 10 Fastest by Runner’s World. It has a 6 hour time limit for the full; 3 hour for the half and also featured a 5k.

I was able to travel to Jacksonville, FL to visit a friend for a few days during the holiday and by chance found this marathon to do while I was there (because doesn’t everyone search for races at their trip destinations). I registered for the race about one week out and it was still a reasonable $80. I love a good bargain! Continue Reading →

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Beating Alcoholism, Conquering Ironman

Rachel2Rochelle Moncourtois hit rock bottom and entered rehab to beat her addiction. She emerged on a quest to complete an Ironman.

By Henry Howard

Rochelle Moncourtois was a very competitive dancer when she was growing up. She completed her first solo when she was 8 years old, and went on to compete on her high school dance and cheerleading teams.

But demons raged underneath her smile and positive outlook.

“I used to handle the pressure very well,” Moncourtois says. “Around my junior-senior year of high school things really started to change for me. I really felt all the pressures from dance to look a certain way. I turned to an eating disorder for comfort, but it just wasn’t enough. That’s when I began to find comfort in drinking.” Continue Reading →

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Here’s Our New 50k Training Plan

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.47.35 AMFor those who want to break into the ultramarathon world . . . a 50k is a good distance to start with.

You might have heard on the MTA podcast that Angie ran 3 ultras last year – a 40 miler, 50k, and 50 miler, and loved it. Well, she’s just put the finishing touches on a beginner 50k Training Plan available for sale on our website.

Here’s a look at what’s in it . . . Continue Reading →

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Notes from the Disney Dopey Challenge

12545815_10208747577633832_1879710416_oLongtime Academy member Mark Welch, a radiologist from PA, ran the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend through the Runner’s World VIP program and sent in this report. The Dopey Challenge requires you to run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon (four days and 48.6 miles).
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From Mark Welch:

Trevor posted something about sending in a race report . . . I have to tell you that I hate writing so here it goes . . .

My Dopey experience included a stop to ride Expedition everest during the marathon and a stop to drink at mile 25.5 (I was running through this international section of Epcot, and during Germany . . . well the thing to do seemed to be going to get a beer and stopping for a turkey leg). This was interesting because I really dislike beer and turkey legs! Continue Reading →

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An Unlikely Inspiration – The Derek Mitchell Story

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Derek Mitchell started his racing journey at 625 pounds. Since then he has completed more than 20 5Ks, and is aiming for 30 this year as well as a half marathon.

By Henry Howard

It all started with an innocent New Year’s resolution around this time last year. Derek Mitchell, of Kansas City, Missouri, vowed to eliminate soda from his diet and eat healthier, using smaller portion sizes. Continue Reading →

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Angie Made the Front Page of the Sunday Paper

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Here’s a story about MTA that ran in our town’s newspaper last Sunday. Our thanks to reporter Leonna Heuring and The Sikeston Standard Democrat for featuring us (well, mostly Angie). If you’re interested in reading the story I have a pdf version of page one here and page two here. Open and scroll to bottom of page.

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Going From Zero to Marathon

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If you’ve recently started listening to the podcast we’d like to give you a big welcome and let you know that you have come to the right place, even if a marathon seems like a long way off.

Trevor and I didn’t start off in marathon shape and it’s been a process through the years to get to the place where we can run a last minute marathon.

You may be looking to train for your first half or full marathon or you’re just returning to that level of fitness after some time off. That’s what “From Zero to Marathon” is all about. Continue Reading →

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The Case for Urinals at Starting Lines

542 - Public Urinal frontin the Dept of JusticeHere’s something we’ve never talked about on the MTA blog -contributed by MTA fan Adolfo Salgueiro.

I had the opportunity to visit Europe recently and of course I looked for a race. I was going to be in The Hague, Netherlands, and God smiled at me with the Den Haag Marathon on the exact same weekend I was there. I ran the half. It was an unbelievable experience. The most beautiful course in one of the prettiest and quaintest cities I’ve ever visited.

But one of the memories that has endured from my experience in the Den Haag race is kind of a weird one. The urinals at the starting area, which was in a public park. Yes, urinals. And not just at the starting line but also in many public places as permanent structures throughout several cities in The Netherlands. Continue Reading →

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