Archive | Guest Perspective

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 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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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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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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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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From Freak Achilles Injury to Ultramarathoner

Relay Iowa start (1)A pool accident sidelined Jill Becker as she transitioned from high school to college running. She’s fought back with patience and perseverance, and now runs faster and longer than before.

By Henry Howard

Jill Becker found her passion — running — when she joined the middle school track team. Later, she excelled on the high school cross-country and track teams.

“First off, I love to run,” she says. “I love the feeling. The ups and downs. The runner’s high, the accomplishment, the health benefits, the challenge, being a motivator, my idea time, my focus time, and it’s part of my routine. I enjoy challenging myself, pushing my limits, and the process of being the best I can be!”

A freak accident before Becker started college gave her the challenge of a lifetime. Continue Reading →

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Running Miles and Miles for Charity

CBU-2014-etape3-0289By his own estimation Adrian May is an “average runner.”

He started slow, signing up for 5Ks and similar shorter distances.

Then, based on a gym manager’s encouragement, May eventually signed up for half marathons and a marathon, even though he didn’t think he could finish.

Now, seemingly no distance is too challenging for May. But his efforts are not just about him, they are focused squarely on the charity — Hope for Children — that he supports through his running quests. Continue Reading →

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How to Best Transition to Trail Running

RunOver the river and through the woods will take runners on a journey often more satisfying than a road run. Here’s what to know before you take to the trails.

By Henry Howard

If you are like me, you started out running on the roads or a treadmill. Your first race was probably a 5K on a paved road or maybe a paved trail in a community park.

Since those early days, I have gravitated toward running trails.

In fact, three of my nine long-distance races this year were trail runs — my first full marathon on a trail in Wisconsin, as well as two half marathons, one at night and one during the morning.

Continue Reading →

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How to Self-Treat Posterior Tibialis Pain

FallenArchesThe most common cause of pain along the inside (medial) portion of your ankle when running may also be associated with the most common reason for adult acquired flatfoot.

It’s likely something most of us haven’t ever heard of before. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), also known as posterior tibial tendon syndrome or tibialis posterior syndrome, can develop into a tibialis posterior tendon insufficiency which causes a fallen arch. Continue Reading →

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