How to Avoid Bonking and Cramping During Your Marathon

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In this podcast episode and blog post I will zero in on two common difficulties that can make your marathon a lot more challenging —bonking and cramping. I have heard from many runners who have experienced one of these mishaps. It is time to understand why they happen and what you can do about it.

Bonking

Bonking is often referred to as “hitting the wall” and this phenomenon happens during long runs and marathons. Bonking can occur when you don’t take in adequate carbohydrate replenishment during your run.

Because the average runner burns 100 calories per mile the body will have depleted its muscle glycogen fuel store after approximately 90 minutes of running (if you haven’t been replenishing the lost calories). When you bonk, your body has burned through its reserve supply of muscle glycogen and what you’ve put into your body hasn’t kept up with the demand. You may feel a sudden fatigue, loss of energy and start taking long walking breaks. Other symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, feeling faint, shakiness and rubbery legs which may indicate that your blood sugar is low.

Bonking may also have a mental component where you feel hopeless or like you can’t go on. If your brain is low on glycogen it logically will be signaling your body to stop whatever folly you’re engaged in.

Here’s what you need to do to prevent bonking:
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Race Recap: The Hatfield-McCoy Marathon

Let's get It started!

Let’s get It started!

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On June 8, 2013 I got to run a last minute race, the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon. I’d wanted to sign up for the race previously but Trevor didn’t think he could get away from work.

Three days before the marathon he asked if I still wanted to run it and of course I said, “YES.” My appetite for marathons is never satisfied. What followed was a bit of frantic registration, trip planning and packing. Even though I registered so late the cost of the marathon was only $70.00 which is a very reasonable price in my book.

It could be that you’ve never heard of this small marathon before. Well, you’re going to get the inside scoop on a fun and growing marathon. Continue Reading →

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How Running Improves Your Body Image

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I‘ve been thinking a lot about body image in recent weeks. Why do so many of us struggle to love our bodies?

The more I studied the topic of negative body image and the never ending attempt to attain physical “perfection” the more disturbed I became. It is sad that a large marjority of people are dissatisfied with their bodies and often go to dangerous lengths to change it. I admit that I’ve been guilty of body dissatisfaction and I have purposed in my mind to start changing that.

This episode is all about body image. I want to show you how the Western concept of beauty is influencing the world and suggest three ways to improve your body image. You will also be inspired to hear how real people from the MTA community are using running to change the way they look at their bodies.

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Running with a Hydration Vest

hydration_vestTo celebrate my birthday on May 20th, Angie and I stole away to Hawn State Park (1 hours south of St. Louis) to run the 10 mile loop.

We meant to get an early start but by 7:30 I was still gathering my running gear. As I clumsily pawed through the cupboard for my handheld water bottle Angie said, “Here, you might want to open this birthday gift now.”

“Ok” I said, never objecting to birthday gifts when they present themselves. When I tore away the tissue paper what did my eyes behold? A Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Vest. Hot diggity! Continue Reading →

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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too- Angie’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

Trevor’s Birthday – a 10 Mile Trail Run
Yesterday we celebrated Trevor’s 33rd birthday. That’s not a huge milestone but nevertheless a still a cool number. Since Trevor is becoming a hardcore runner he wanted to go trail running together. You know…challenging yourself, communing with nature, and spending time with me. Obviously the ultimate birthday experience!  Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz

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The Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz is held in the town of Olathe, KS in April. The word Olathe is Shawnee Indian for “beautiful.”

The town has around 100,000 people and is a 25 minute drive from Kansas City. This race is in its 12th year and is a well-organized small marathon. You’d think that KS would be flat, but this area certainly has plenty of hills. Continue Reading →

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My Running Skirt Reviews

Angie_Garmin_MarathonDuring my 14th marathon I started to get annoyed with my running shorts. In the warm weather they kept riding up in the middle and I was focusing undue attention on yanking them into place. These Race Ready shorts have been my go-to shorts for races because of their unparalleled ability to hold fuel and accessories. However the time had come to try something new.

I know I’m way behind the running skirt bandwagon but I have been admiring how cute they are and have been influenced by women who say they’ll never go back to shorts. After my recent shorts angst I decided to test out some running skirts.

Late one night I sat at my computer reading reviews of dozens of running skirts. I knew the “perfect” skirt would have to be one to accommodate my large thighs and be on the longer side of the spectrum so that my confidence level didn’t take a total nose dive.

I ended up ordering four running skirts and evaluated them on fit, appearance, undershorts, storage (pockets), and price on a scale of 0-5 (zero being horrible and five being excellent). Continue Reading →

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Boston Marathon Tribute

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This is a special tribute to the 2013 Boston Marathon. In this episode we read emails from people within the MTA community who were at the Boston Marathon, and speak to our friend Angela Coloumbe who was volunteering near the finish line.

Glued to our laptops, Angie and I watched the live streaming of this year’s Boston Marathon until the elite runners crossed the finish line. We have truly grown to love these running icons (especially Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan) and every year we cross our fingers hoping an American will win. No offense to my non-American friends . . . it’s a rooting for the home team sort of thing. The last American to win Boston was Greg Meyer in 1983.

You gotta take your hat off to both Lelisa Desisa Benti, who has only ran one other marathon before winning Boston, and Rita Jeptoo who won in 2006, took 7 years off to become a mother, then returned to win it this year!

In case you didn’t see this yet: Continue Reading →

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Boston Marathon 2013 – I Was There

Boston logo 2013Angela Coulombe is a graphic designer and photographer. She uses her running to raise awareness for Lyme Disease. She and 5 friends were near the finish line as volunteers.

Boston – In 2012, a friend and I set a goal to train for and run a marathon that would qualify us for Boston, which, as you know, is a runner’s Mecca. It’s the worlds longest standing marathon and most prestigious, either you qualify or you raise lots of money to run for charity. Two of us were fortunate enough to qualify for 2014: me with a time of 3:41 and a friend with a time of 3:40. Because we hoped to run it in 2014, we thought it would be a great idea to go down and volunteer, to give to runners and help in a very karma like way, so that when we run it in 2014, we receive back the same karma. Also, meet new friends, speak with runners, get a lay of the land, but mostly, really to give support and help to runners and the BAA. Three women from Saco as well as myself met two other friends from MA in Cambridge the Sunday before the race, all of us volunteering together in what we thought would be a great girls weekend away.

We thought ourselves very fortunate that a college friend was able to get us a spot in Sector 6, finish line security, our sector starting right after the finish line. Our responsibilities were to direct runners towards water, Gatorade, blankets, their medals, or medical help. It was also to direct VIP runners down the VIP chute and to keep the medical lanes open so that medics could get from the finish line to the end of the water line and back again to the medical tent which was positioned in the middle of our sector. And so we started our day at 9:30 a.m. at an introduction meeting, picking up our volunteer jackets and badges, name tags and security badges and set off to work. Continue Reading →

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Eyewitness Account of Boston Bombing

eric_bostonEric Strand is a friend of ours from St. Louis, MO. We interviewed him on podcast episode 67. He crossed the finish line approximately 10 minutes before the first bomb exploded.

BOSTON—This was my sixth trip to the Boston Marathon. (My wife) Tami and I love the marathon weekend here. Everyone in the city embraces the race, even the cabbies who grumble about the street closures. Just like St. Louis knows its baseball, Boston knows marathon running—and maybe a bit about baseball. Weather conditions were very good with a light headwind that picked up to a stiff breeze as we made the turn on to Boylston (Street).

Crowds were excellent, about three or four deep the entire length of the run down Boylston from Hereford to the finish. Tami, my mom, aunt, uncle and some local Boston friends were camped out along Hereford about a half mile from the finish. Their plan was to watch me run by and then walk back to the hotel to meet up. We are staying near Tufts Medical Center, so they had to head in the direction of the finish line.

As I approached the finish, they had the second wave runners go to the left and the third wave runners to the right side of the finish line. I was in the second wave. My son pointed out that the bomb was probably already planted a few feet away as I ran by about 10 minutes before the first explosion. Continue Reading →

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Interview with ‘T-Rex Runner’ Danielle Hastings

I shared a hotel room with Danielle (left) at the 2013 Go! St. Louis Marathon

I shared a hotel room with Danielle (left) at the 2013 Go! St. Louis Marathon

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In this podcast episode we talk with Danielle Hastings (T-Rex Runner) about her eleven year battle with an eating disorder.

I’ve followed Danielle’s blog for some time and was able to meet her at the recent Go! St. Louis Marathon. She has written an excellent series on Eating Disorders for her blog.

Reading these posts made me realize that this serious issue is often avoided or minimalized. I’ve had a few friends over the years who’ve struggled with an eating disorder and I know that there are many people out there with the same battle.

This episode will help educate you on this very important topic. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: Go! St. Louis Marathon

T-shirt and Medal from the 2013 Go! St. Louis Marathon

T-shirt and Medal from the 2013 Go! St. Louis Marathon

I had the privilege of running my 14th marathon recently. The Go! St. Louis Marathon is in its 13th year and bills itself as a “Family Fitness Weekend.”

Although I’ve already run a marathon in the fair state of Missouri I was already going to be in St. Louis that weekend for a coaching clinic.

You might say that this was an opportunistic marathon. That’s one of the benefits of staying in marathon shape—you can sign up for a race at the drop of a hat.

After spending two days sitting in class from 8-5 and cramming my head full of information I was ready to run 26.2 miles. I stayed at the lovely Drury Plaza Hotel and my room had an awesome view of the Arch. I shared my room with Danielle (T-Rex Runner) who we interviewed in episode 79 and her friend Amanda. When they got into town on Saturday (after running a marathon that morning in Indiana) we went to the race expo together to get our race packets. I was embarrassed to be unable to help with directions around St. Louis in the slightest. Continue Reading →

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