Archive | Guest Perspective

14-Time Marathon Finisher Won’t Let Cancer Win

the_alexLos Angeles runner serves as inspiration to others as he undergoes chemo, trains and completes marathons.

By Henry Howard

Alex Magdaleno learned he had cancer on Dec. 22, 2008. As the diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia continued to sink in on New Year’s Day 2009, Magdaleno set a goal for himself.

His goal? Run and finish the Los Angeles Marathon that May “to prove to myself that I could finish a marathon despite undergoing chemotherapy.”

Not only did he finish the Los Angeles Marathon six months after the initial diagnosis, Magdaleno has completed 14 overall marathons including the Ventura County Marathon on Sept. 7, the day before this interview. For him, it’s the marathon or bust. No 5Ks, half-marathons or theme races. Continue Reading →

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I Should Not Be a Runner

Eyrn_LynumGuest blogger Eryn Lynum shares her epic journey of finding life, health, and running after Addison’s disease and anorexia.

I should not be a runner.

In fact, there are a lot of things I should not be. I should not be a mother. I should not be a writer. I should not be healthy. I should not even be alive.

When I was fourteen years old my adrenal glands gave up on me. Or rather they put up one heck of a fight yet lost their arduous battle against my very confused immune system, which attacked them until they were completely destroyed.

Never again would I feel the heart throbbing thrill that rushes through your veins as you peak the top of a roller coaster, and then let gravity have its way as you race back to the bottom. Never again would I take a simple ride in an elevator without an inevitable and debilitating dizzy spell at the end. Never again could I trust my body to come to my rescue with its “fight or flight” response when I was in a bind and needed just that extra bit of super strength or endurance. Continue Reading →

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18 Cousins Finish The Miami Half Marathon Together

IMG_3057This race report was sent in by Adolfo Salgueiro II -a fan on the MTA Facebook page.

Given the fragility of the political situation and lack of personal security in our native Venezuela, the Araujos have spread around the world just as many local families have done in the last 15 years or so. Even though email, Skype, WhatsApp and other communications advances have helped us keep in touch, there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with siblings, parents, cousins and uncles, like in the good old days.

The time for a Family reunion was set for August 2, 2013, when the head of our family, my grandmother, would celebrate her centennial. But on March 15, she passed away four and half months before her 100th Birthday.

As the dust settled after her passing, the cousins started discussing in our WhatsApp group the best way to commemorate her Centennial. Not very many ideas were presented when we settled on a half marathon in her honor. Miami was chosen given that it is a central location. I had participated the previous two years so I knew it was a good race.

It is important to note that at the time of the decision; only four of us were active runner/walkers. Three were former runners and 11 had never showed any interest for running. 18 of us, all either first cousins or married to one, finished the race. Another, my wife, got injured in training and could not participate. Continue Reading →

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Maintaining Fitness in the Winter Months

running in the snow

Amy Will making tracks on a cold wintry day.

Staying motivated through the winter is challenging and this winter I’m doing my best to battle cabin fever.

The cold temps and shortened spans of daylight can really sap motivation. Where I live, we have what I will call a “seasonal imbalance” where winter consumes half of the year. Staying inside and being sedentary for six months just isn’t an option. Despite my dislike for the winter, I make the best of the season.

Here are a few tips to stay fit when it’s freezing: Continue Reading →

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The Advantages of Running with Music

mp3 playerOf the many factors that can help runners perform better on race day, an MP3 player definitely rocks (no pun intended)!

I generally run while listening to podcasts of my favorite talk radio show, the Brad and Britt Show (which is on WBT-AM weekday evenings in Charlotte, N.C.).

I’ve also listened to a certain podcast from the Marathon Training Academy on an occasional run!

When Brad and Britt took a few days off last Fall, I was looking for something else to listen to during a Sunday long run.

My Accidental Discovery Continue Reading →

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I Survived a New Year’s Double Marathon!

BJ TuckerWhy I decided to run two marathons two days in a row:

I wanted to qualify for Marathon Maniac status in 2013 (three marathons in 90 days)!

I heard about MM from Angie talking about them on the Marathon Training Academy podcast and thought this was the group for me!

So I signed up for three races in 90 days:

  • Rock and Roll Marathon San Antonio in November
  • The Dallas Marathon in December
  • New Year’s Eve Marathon in Allen, Texas

But when the Dallas Marathon cancelled due to the ice storm, I was in a bind. Without that three marathons I couldn’t reach Maniac status. So the best way to accomplish this was to run the Allen Double Marathon -two full marathons back-to-back! The upside is this qualified me for the Iridium level of MM (#8433) and I got some pretty cool hardware to go with it (see bottom of post). Continue Reading →

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3 Things to Try in 2014

transportation-icons-rocket-space-ship-launch-shuttleWith a new year is the opportunity for a fresh start or a new routine.

Yes, we could really have a new routine whenever we choose, but there is something about a new year – it feels like a clean slate.

This year I challenge you to add 3 new things to your marathon training routine. These 3 things will help you stay injury free and enjoy this year even more than the last.

  1. Yoga
  2. Recovery Drinks
  3. Form Runs

Continue Reading →

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How to Beat Training Burnout

amywillGuest blogger Amy Will shares how she avoided burn out while juggling marathon training and the responsibilities of being a new parent.

As I signed up to run my sixth marathon, the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon, I couldn’t anticipate how very different this race would be. This would be my inaugural marathon as a wife and new parent.

My post-baby body felt near normal, but I found myself physically and mentally exhausted as I adjusted to being a mom. In the peak mileage of training, I found myself completely burnt out and questioning whether I wanted to even run the race anymore! My desire to run had somehow snuck away. What was I thinking when I signed up for another marathon? Basically, I was burnt out – big time.

The lack of sleep, pressure I put on myself to run a certain finish time, not listening to my body, and the stress of being a new mom eventually got to me. Just in time to run my last training 20-miler, I came down with a nasty sinus infection.

I did my best not to stress about running only one 20-miler, the less than ideal training, and the fact that I didn’t even want to run this race anymore. In the last couple weeks before the race, I did my best to find joy in running again and escape this running rut.

Here are a few ways I beat the training burnout: Continue Reading →

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Using Plant Power in Your Marathon Training

photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Guest blogger B.J. Tucker shares how his plant-powered approach to a grain free and sugar free diet has helped him run faster and recover more quickly.

I began running again 2 ½ years ago after taking a 14 year vacation from marathon running. I just let life happen and gave in to the pressures of going full speed without proper nutrition. Since starting back to living a healthy lifestyle – I have dropped 75 lbs! I am leaner now than I have ever been in my life. I have run 3 marathons so far this year and I have PR’ed all my records from the mid-90s (when I was in my 20s).

Plant-powered nutrition has had a very positive effect on my running. It has provided a foundation of health to support faster and longer distances, AND I have not experienced any injuries as an endurance athlete.

So what does plant-powered mean?
In the purest sense, it means not consuming any animal products (no meat, no dairy, no cheese, etc.). Many people would call this vegan, but I don’t use that label because vegan is much more than not eating animal products.

So why plant-powered? I have followed many athletes who are plant-powered and they have all inspired me to change to this lifestyle – athletes like Scott Jurek, Rich Roll, Matt Frazier, and many others. For me personally, I have found that this lifestyle has allowed me to go from a 245 lb. coach potato to an ultra-runner in two years! Continue Reading →

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