Archive | Guest Perspective

‘A Voyage of Self-Discovery’

kenMFormer smoker/couch potato has turned his life around, chasing ultras and motivating others. This fall, he plans to run the Ultra Race of Champions again.

By Henry Howard

Ken Michal had been a chain-smoking couch potato for most of his adult life. After he quit his 2.5-pack a day habit, he put on a lot of weight.

“When I quit, I ate whatever I wanted as long as I wasn’t smoking,” Michael says. “When it came time to drop the weight, I found running. It was really hard at first but I found that I had a gift for long and slow!”

Now Michal pours his contagious enthusiasm into running — competing in endurance events, coaching other athletes and motivating listeners on his Running Stupid podcast. Continue Reading →

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Masters Runners: Body Changes and Injury Prevention Strategies

SeniorRunnerThe question most often asked in regard to the older runner: Is it safe?

The answer is yes! Running can actually help to decrease some of the physiological declines that occur with age.

Who is considered to be an older or masters runner? Typically, masters runners are over the age of 40. Shocked? Me, too!

While it’s true that getting older is not for the faint of heart, it’s also true that if you do nothing, the following age related declines in physical functioning will occur regardless.

Continue Reading →

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A Not-So-Fast Runner’s Ultimate Dream

IMG_3803TJ Wilkinson ran both cross-country and track in junior high and high school. He readily admits that he was not very fast but enjoyed the sports for the camaraderie.

“I also didn’t try very hard, which is probably why I wasn’t fast,” he says. “When I say I ‘ran track,’ I really mean I was a high jumper, and I spent many practices laying on the high jump mat watching the girls run by. Needless to say, my running didn’t transition to college.”

Wilkinson never did improve his speed. His friends like to tease him about a local 5k he entered. “I was beaten by a guy wearing snorkel gear, including the flippers. Seriously.” Continue Reading →

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Race Review: Tobacco Road Marathon

IMG_3288The well-organized race is great value to runners — nice tech shirt, strong communication, PR bell to ring and a great post-race party.

By Henry Howard

The Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, N.C., offers runners a flat and fast course, using much of the American Tobacco Trail.

Marathoners run more than 20 miles along the trail, which is mostly what I would call packed sand or dirt. No need for trail shoes, the surface is smooth and easier on the body than a typical road marathon. Continue Reading →

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A Nutritionist’s Take On Diets For Athletes

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From carbo loading to recovery balance to proper diet, Sarah Koszyk dispenses advice to help runners fuel themselves properly.

By Henry Howard

It’s no wonder that Sarah Koszyk has always had a passion for food. After all, she was raised by two food scientists in Hawaii.

Her youth was spent swimming or body boarding in the ocean, running in the mountains, hiking in the jungle and enjoying well-balanced meals featuring fresh produce.

She was surrounded by real fresh food daily, having an avocado tree, kumquat tree, papaya tree, mango tree and banana plant all in her backyard. And, of course, the ocean provided fresh seafood. Continue Reading →

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Single Mom Tackles Parenting and Ultra Racing

Jameelah_closeupJameelah Abdul-Rahim Mujaahid is motivated by family as she completes endurance events nearly every month.

By Henry Howard

Jameelah Abdul-Rahim Mujaahid admits to being “hyper all her life.” The only thing that helps her keep focused is training.

“I have been diagnosed with ADD but I refuse to take medication; I just keep talking to myself so I can remember most things.”

To say that she is an ultra runner is an understatement. Glancing through her completed races on the Ultrasignup website, one will find six-day events, 24-hour races, 100-mile races and more. Mujaahid runs practically an ultra a month. Every month.

Even more impressive is that she is a single mother of five children and works full time. Continue Reading →

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How to Self-Treat Metatarsalgia

Pain in the female footMetatarsalgia is a general term that refers to pain in the foot (typically around the ball of the foot).

It’s common in runners, track and field athletes, and for those who participate in high impact related sports (such as basketball and soccer). It’s also commonly associated with overuse syndrome.

Metatarsalgia is pain and irritation at the end of the metatarsal joints near the toes. Potential causes for the pain include: a stress fracture; gout; osteoarthritis; hammertoes; calluses; and pain in the joint from swelling and irritation. It can also be from neuromas, in which nerves tend to bundle and become irritated between the metatarsal heads. Continue Reading →

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What To Do The Day Before A Marathon

image2You’ve trained hard and prepared for this challenge. Now as the minutes tick down to the start of the race, nerves rattle and questions mount. Here are some tips to help you get to the starting line.

By Henry Howard

In a few weeks, I will be at the starting line of my 12th marathon. Even though the past 11 marathons have taught me a lot, I will undoubtedly feel a bit of nerves at the starting line.

Did I train the best I could have? Is my nutrition plan solid? Are those Oreos I ate a month ago going to affect my performance?

Of course, the starting line is way too late to make any adjustments that will create a better outcome. That’s why all the training, tapering and recovering are so crucial. But in the final 24 hours, there are some ways that runners can help themselves. Continue Reading →

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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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