Tag Archives: running

Ice Baths Are Not for the Weak!!

My running partner, Lauren, and I have had some pretty tough training runs over the past few weeks…so under the advisement of her boyfriend Zach, Lauren stepped into an ice bath for her very first time! As she told me today on our run…it was the absolute worst experience ever! I had to giggle as I know the pain all too well! Few can handle the ice bath, but those who do benefit!

(Photos of me in my own ice bath today; as well as Lauren eating pizza to make the time go by faster in hers!)

Here’s why:

The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise.

  • After a workout, your body needs to “repair” itself to prepare for the next training session.
  • It does so with the help of blood vessels that bring oxygen to your muscle tissue while removing waste products of exercise — the most common being lactic acid.
  • Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your muscles to function poorly and will often lead to fatigue.
  • An ice bath will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of your body.
  • When you sit in an ice bath — or when you rub a cup of ice on the muscles you just trained — the cold causes your blood vessels to tighten.
  • This helps drain the lactic acid out of your tired muscles.
  • When you get out of the bath, your muscle tissue warms back up, causing a return of oxygenated blood to help your muscles recover.

So next time you are need of some relief for your sore muscles, try out your very own ice bath. Directs as follows:

  1. Pick up at least two or three 20lb ice bags
  2. Fill bath up with cold water about 50%
  3. Dump in ice baths
  4. Jump in yourself and force yourself to stay in there for 10 minutes
  5. Tips: Go in fast…the slower you do it, the longer it takes for your legs to go numb. Wear a sweatshirt or towel on your upper body to keep you warm / bite when you need to scream!
  6. Have fun!!!

Wondering: Is Acupuncture for you?

I talk a lot about acupuncture on this blog…mainly because I am a fan! It has worked numerous times throughout my running career – when I thought all bets were off on an injury.

It has come to the point, as of late, that I get acupuncture treatments on the regular to keep all aches and pains at bay. If you are wondering if acupuncture is for you, here is more information on the treatment (courtesy of my acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo):

“Acupuncture improves balance and removes energy (Qi) blockages. When applied to an specific area increases the blood flow in the tissues promoting the body’s self healing process.”

Carlos (and Acupuncture) in the news:

Sun-Sentinel: Cupping draw attention after Olympics

The Palm Beach Post: Should you pin your pain relief on acupuncture?

The Palm Beach Post: Holistic Healing

Are Your Runs Suffering From Summer HEAT?

Great article from the NY Times with detailed research and studies
on what tactics seem to work best in “cooling” the body prior to a run in the summer heat.

I personally have introduced Hot Yoga (90 minute classes) to my workout routine this summer…and not only seen the stretch benefits  during/after class but also the ability to adapt to the heat during my runs easier as well!

The takeaway for those to busy to read the full article:

“The upshot of these results is that “you will receive a bigger bang for your buck from acclimating to the heat rather than by temporarily cooling yourself down” with chilled clothing and such…

On the other hand, precooling can be a useful stopgap measure when temperatures suddenly rise and you do not have time to acclimate before a looming competition, he says. “Throw your ice vest and cooling shorts into the freezer” and wear them for about 20 minutes before your event, he advises.

Acclimation demands far more time and planning. During your first workouts in summer heat, he says, reduce the time you spend outside and go at a gentler pace than normal, slowly ramping up your effort as the exertion begins to feel more tolerable, which can require anywhere from four or five days to two weeks, depending on your current fitness and heat tolerance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too, he says, since you will start to sweat more profusely.”

Try it for yourself! I know I will!

New York Times: Hot Weather Workout? Try a Hot Bath Beforehand

Returning to Maccabi in Israel

Twenty years after my first trip to Israel with team USA as part of the World Maccabiah Games, I am heading back during the Summer of 2017. Its the 20th Games and its 20 years since my first foray into Maccabi. I have been to numerous games since, including the 2013 Maccabi Games and the 2015 European Games, but I am super excited to go back to where it all got started!

Join me on my journey back as I blog my training plan, fundraising journey, and excitement right here. Only 150 days to go!

I will be representing the Women’s Open Half Marathon Team and will compete in mid-July in Jerusalem, Israel. Feel free to ask questions, leave comments, and join me as I prepare!

More about me and my last Maccabi experience in Berlin, Germany: http://forward.com/news/318584/representing-jews-at-the-maccabi-games-in-berlin/

Fundraising: http://support.maccabiusa.com/site/TR?px=1004341&fr_id=1090&pg=personal

Thanks so much!

Melissa

Running Camp – Summer 2017 – High School Runners

It’s the third year of Run Republic Running Camp and I can’t wait! If you are a high school student, a runner, and like to travel, this is the trip made just for you! We run, we hike, we kayak, we see the amazing beauty of the United States, and we have a lot of fun! Learn more and join me and my crew on one of two amazing planned Summer 2017 trips.

2017 Summer Trips have been announced and include:

  • California Adventure (June 9-16, 2017): Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, Visit Alcatraz, White Water Rafting, Kayak Lake Tahoe, Hike Yosemite Park, and Explore Monterey and Silicon Valley.
  • Carolina Trails (August 1-8, 2017):Segway tour of the City of Atlanta, Explore Stone Mountain, White Water Rafting and Zip Lining, Hike through DuPont Forest to Waterfalls, and Explore French-inspired Biltmore Estate.

Past Run Republic Running Camp trips have included the following destinations:

  • Colorado and Utah (Summer 2015): Snowshoeing in Loveland Pass, UT; Water rafting in Glenwood Springs, CO; Hiking Zion and Arches National Parks; and Frisbee and Zip Lining in Park City, UT.
  • Nevada, Colorado and Utah (Summer 2016):
  • Oregon, Washington (Summer 2016): Track Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR and Weekend in Seattle, WA and along the Northwest Pacific Coast.

About Run Republic Running Camp
Run Republic Running Camp was created by two current high school cross country and track coaches with the goal of merging the typical college-campus based summer running camp with the modern, mobile and exciting teen tour. At the core of Run Republic is running. But beyond that, it offers participants mentorship, training, travel, adventure, friendship, education, fun and excitement. The Run Republic mission is to create memories, experiences and bonds that go beyond running and will last a lifetime!

Learn more about Run Republic Running Camp at www.runrepubliccamp.com. Follow Run Republic Running Camp on Facebook and on Instagram.

Attention: High School Runners; Summer 2016 Running Camp Dates & Locations Posted

Run Republic Camp Post Card
Last sumer, seven student-athletes from Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Florida, traveled to the beautiful mountains, trails and valleys of Colorado and Utah to run, build up their summer mileage for fall cross country and experience the United States’ unparalleled mountain region – all while having an awesome, fun time!

It was all a part of the inaugural Run Republic Running Camp for high school students, which merges the concept of a typical summer running camp (running multiple times a day, bonding with peers, and learning new skills, while staying in the dorms at a college campus) with the super successful and adventurous teen tour (which keeps campers on the go constantly and involves lots of exciting adventure).

“We believe we have created a running camp experience unlike any other,” said Run Republic Running Camp co-founder Doug Horn. “At the core of Run Republic is running. But beyond that, we offer our participants mentorship, training, travel, adventure, friendship, education, fun and excitement. Our goal is to create memories, experiences and bonds during our trips…that go beyond running and truly will last a lifetime!”

Horn, who is the head coach of the Spanish River High School cross country and track teams, founded Run Republic Running Camp with his assistant coach Melissa Perlman. Both Horn and Perlman are accomplished mid- and long-distance runners who ran in high school and college and continue to compete today.

Summer 2015 attendee Andres Parada, a senior at Spanish River High School added: “I’ve been on several teen tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Run Republic was by far the best. It was very similar to other teen tours, but when you add in the running, closer friendships are built and the experience somehow means so much more!”

While the summer of 2015 trip featured an itinerary that ranged from snowshoeing in Loveland Pass and water rafting in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to hiking Zion and Arches National Parks and playing Frisbee in Park City, Utah, the 2016 summer trip selection promises to be even more diverse and exciting.

Trips for the summer of 2016, which are open to all high school cross country student-athletes, are as follows:

  • Colorado, Arizona, Nevada (June 10-20, 2016)
  • Track Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon and Weekend in Seattle, Washington (June 30-July 10, 2016)
  • North Carolina Trails (August 2016-dates to be finalized soon)

Itineraries, dates, and costs are posted at www.runrepubliccamp.com. According to the founders, spots are limited, so sign up TODAY!

Running Camp on the Run

RUN_LOGO_BOn Monday morning my co-coach and I returned from Run Republic Running Camp out west in Colorado and Utah where we hosted seven high school boys (15-18 years of age). To say it was a blast would be an understatement. For ten days, Doug Horn and I were lucky enough to travel through two states, run, hike, swim, paddle, kayak, eat, play disk golf and corn hole and sooo much more with seven pretty amazing and fun kids.

Our goal is offer this Running Camp trip to more kids (and adults) from South Florida and beyond throughout the year. We truly believe we are on to something and after this first run through…we are pretty confident the demand and success will be off the charts!

Running Camp with a View!
Running Camp with a View!

Here’s an overview of what we did and where we traveled:

June 5 Travel to Denver, Colorado from Miami, Florida
June 6 Frisco, CO Running Camp w/former Olympic Track Coach; workout; Hiking and Touring Vail/Go Pro Games
June 7 Frisco, CO Running Camp w/former Olympic Track Coach; run; Snowshoeing on Loveland Pass Mountain;
June 8 Frisco, CO Run; Disk Golf and more Hiking; Drive to Moab, UT and have dinner (while watching NBA Finals)
June 9 Run; Hike through Arches National Park and travel to St. George, UT
June 10 Workout; Hike Zion National Park (8 mile hike to Observatory Point!); Swim; Pizza Dinner
June 11 Hike The Narrows hike at Zion National Park early in morning; Run; Drive to Park City and arrive at Cabin
June 12 Park City, UT and Deer Valley; Hang out at Cabin; Run; Hot Tub; Frisbee; and BBQ dinner
June 13 Park City, UT Run; Utah Olympic Park and Walk through Main Street
June 14 Park City, UT FLY HOME

Photos from the trip are posted on the Run Republic facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/RunRepublicRunningCamp

We will make our brand new Run Republic website live soon where you can learn more, sign up for emails and future trips, and ask questions!

 

#NationalRunningDay

So if you missed it (I’m not sure how you could with Social Media today…), yesterday was #NationalRunningDay. National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. And boy did they this year!

Runner’s World put together a montage of some of the best posts about #NationalRunningDay. Some are pretty funny! Click here.

And how did I spend it?! Well it was definitely a unique day of running for me…but a great celebration nonetheless!

3:00am: Woke up and couldn’t sleep; decided to go to my gym downstairs and get in my morning run. 20 minutes of arms/lifting; 3 mile run on the treadmill; followed up with 10 minutes of core/abs and stretching.

6:30pm: Spanish River High School kids 4 mile run at Boca Raton park and a fun game of tag on the fields. With it being exam week, we had a super small showing (less than 10 of us) but we pulled out the Selfie Stick and some fun #NationalRunningDay and #IRunBecause signs and had some fun!

Here are the results…

  • 7 miles of running…
  • An awesome game of tag…
  • 30 minutes of weights and core….
  • A good stretch…
  • And fun with these AWESOME kids!

 

20 Years of Running; First Dog Bite

Dog Bite 1
At Dr. G’s Urgent Care Center in Delray Beach

I’ve been running for about 20 years now and for the first time ever was bit by a dog…Now I wasn’t chased or mauled by the dog…but rather quickly and suddently bit (not a small bite).  So my post is more of a “be aware” note and advice on what to do just in case you are bit as well.

The situtation/what happened: I was running last Wednesday evening with my high school team when about 10 of us decided to veer off to a quiet nature trail in east Boca we sometimes venture off on. It’s basically a one-mile paved sidewalk that goes by bushes, plants and a lake. But a nice change-up. Anyway – the ten of us (all boys, one girl and myself) were running on the sidewalk past the lake when a couple with four dogs approached. We naturally went into our single file line and ran on the right side of the path. We were in the middle of talking about whatever when as I passed the couple (fourth in line for our group), one of the dogs (Australian Shepard) jumped up out of no where and bit me. (Not sure if it was on a leash or not, but it was with the couple and three smaller dogs.)

I immediately dropped to the ground in shock and a little bit of pain and the kids circled me. The couple and dogs were right there as well and seemed shocked as well. I had the kids check out the injury unsure as to how bad it was (a scratch, or more?) and the female owner came over to see as well. We all realized that it wasn’t a scratch at that point. The woman texted me her information so I could keep in touch as I still wasn’t sure how bad it was…or what my next steps would be. I pulled up my shorts to prevent any additional chafing and the kids and I ran back to our cars at Spanish River park.

When I got back, two of the girls (Sydney and Bailey) helped clean up the injury in the bathroom with soap and water before I jumped in the car with the plan to have it checked out by a doctor. It was at this point that the pain escalated and I realized I would have to rush to an ER Clinic/MDNow.

Bruise three days later
Bruise four days later

What the doctor said: My brother and friend met me at the clinic where the doctor cleaned me up, gave me antiobiotics and pain medicine. He mentioned that while only 5% of dog bites get infected (side note: 85% of cat bites get infected), that I should still watch it and come back if the injury turns red, gets inflamed. He also made sure that I had a tetinus shot and asked that I get the Rabies records from the dog owner’s vet.

No inflammation resulted the following day but the bruising has been pretty bad. And kept getting worse the first few days. Now it has calmed down a bit. Running was impossible the two days following the incident (felt super sore) but has been okay the last couple of days. (Sorta running through the pain a tad…)

The dog owner has been very attentive and checked in on me daily. She has agreed to buy me a new pair of shorts (the ones I was wearing were ripped) and pay for my co-pay/prescription (medical bills). We are both very lucky it wasn’t worse!

Lessons Learned: While honestly there was no way for me to have prevented this incident…I have learned a few things that I’ll share here:

  1. Run with a phone…I didn’t have a way to get the dog owner’s contact information. Luckily she had a phone and texted me her correct information.
  2. Don’t just run on the opposite side of the sidewalk…potentially run off on the grass if possible. Even if the dog is on a leash with owners…even if you look strange running so far away – it’s for your safety.
  3. Get the other person’s contact info no matter how bad (or not bad) the bite was. I didn’t think it was that bad at first. The adrenaline was pumping apparently. Get the information just in case.
  4. Be kind. It stinks to be bitten by a dog…but dogs are animals. And it’s not necessarily the fault of the owner (or you obviously). So be kind with each other…and see the situtation for what it is. I was lucky to have an attentive and caring owner that teared up when she saw how I was hurt….and I’m sure she felt lucky that I was understanding and not immediately threatening, yelling, etc. So be fair and kind.

*THANKFUL: Super thankful it was me that was bit and not one of the student-athletes I was running with…

Resources:

Run Eat Repeat Blog: Runner Bit by Dog

Runner’s World: Mean Dogs Bite

Great Fitness Experiment: Dog Attack!

UPDATED: So randomly, I learned that last week was National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Random! Details on the week here.

From Asthma to COPD: This Runner Promises to Keep Going

IMG_1944Ailments, illnesses, sicknesses…they all seem so distant, foreign, disconnected from you…until someone close to you, a friend, family member, etc., is diagnosed, assigned that title, matched with said “situation.” And from then on, that name, acronym, label is no longer someone else’s problem or sad story…it’s now yours as well.

This was never so true as when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and then passed away two very short years later. But today, I’m referencing COPD. Sure, the commercials on TV are pretty common, the pretend definition “chronic old people’s disease” always a throught or two away, but in reality did I know what COPD actually was? No, and I am pretty sure the majority of people out there don’t either. That was until, my friend and running buddy Sam informed me via text one afternoon that he had just been diagnosed with COPD. He was telling me not to spread the word or make some official announcement, but rather because I had put out a feeler via social media asking friends if anyone knew someone with COPD, asthma, or some other related breating ailment. (You see, my other friend / Palm Beach Post reporter Steve was looking for a local person to be profiled for the next issue of Health Living Mag, distributed by the Post.)

Sam let me know that he was probably the ideal candidate for the profile – having had asthma as a kid…and now only months early being diagnosed with COPD. He wasn’t sure if he really wanted to spread the word and announce to people he had COPD…but figured it was a good thing to tell his story in the hopes of helping, informing someone else. So he put his own concerns, selfish feelings to the side and offered up his full story. Sam and I sat outside Starbucks one morning…and he told me what a diagnosis of COPD really meant, when he received it, what his plans were, and what he was scared of…

And that’s where the story becomes real. Sam’s real fear/concern in telling me (and the Post and its hundreds of thousands of readers) his story…is that by putting it in writing, out there for everyone to read and hear, was making it real. He knew he couldn’t avoid it anymore, pretend he didn’t receive this news from his doctor, etc. He’d have to accept it, strategize, plan, and go-on with his life – different or not. I think the fear is still there…Sam acknowledges he is dealing with it still…and probably will for a while. But what I told him (and will say again here) is that life can’t always be planned. Diagnoses, changes, challenges happen. And if you focus too much on them and what will happen next, you will miss out on today. So yes, plan and strategize and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy…but be sure to live every day life to the fullest, unconcerned with what you can’t control, and focused on being happy.

We didn’t know my mom would be diagnosed with cancer and die two years later. We couldn’t plan for that…but what we can do, is make sure we are living every day to its fullest while we are here. It’s the only way to win at life, regardless of what is thrown your way (good or bad).

So with that said, please read on…Here’s the Palm Beach Post, Healthy Living Magazine cover feature story on my good friend Sam.

Healthy Living: Can this Boynton Beach Man Out Run COPD?

PB Post Healthy Living - 2 PB Post Healthy Living - 3 PB Post Healthy Living - Cover