Tag Archives: running

#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

No Gravity Running?! Testing Out the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

I’ve been super lucky the past ten years or so…avoiding injury and any major aches and pains. I’ve chalked it up to taking off when I feel the need to, stretching a lot, sleeping even more and keeping my body strong. However, that all changed two weeks ago when I felt a pain in my left knee. Since then, I’ve been spending my days in Acupuncture (Integrated Holistic Medicine in Boca Raton) sessions with Carlos and Su and Physical Therapy (Physical Therapy Institute, Inc.) with Krystal.

IMG_7924Acupuncture is always my go-to…however, I knew while waiting for my knee to heal/feel better, I’d have to look at other alternatives to keep my body in shape and endurance high. A few of my Spanish River High School athletes had tried the AlterG(R) Anti-Gravity Treadmill at the Physical Therapy Insititute in Delray Beach, as had my co-coach Doug Horn….and all spoke highly of the unique experience. So when Krystal offered up the machine during my PT session, I jumped on board. (Besides the fact that the machine looked REALLY cool; I hadn’t run for a few days and was itching to get my legs moving!)

So what is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill?

Anti-gravity treadmills, like the AlterG, are taking the aches and pains out of cardiovascular training by “unweighting” runners from 20 to 100 percent of their bodyweight, one percent at a time. The benefit? The AlterG can reduce the risk of stress-related / pounding injuries, while allowing athletes to train harder, faster, and smarter in a safe, controlled environment. Learn more here.

Krystal had me put on the tight neoprane spandex-style pants, step into the machine, get zipped up, and begin. After the machine calibrates you and your weight, you can change the speed and the percentage of body weight that you feel (i.e. you can run at 50% body weight and feel like you are literally flying). I quickly turned up the speed and felt my legs turning…FAST. I have to say it’s a pretty unique experience. Like pool running but so much more realistic. I was only on the treadmill for a brief 10 minutes but it felt like far less (two-four minutes at most). I found myself yearning for a lot more time on the treadmill…and wondering how I could make this a part of my daily routine (regardless of whether I had an injury). It turns out, I am not alone, in the yearning…professional athletes and sports teams around the country have their own AlterG treadmills and are changing the way athletes train (in good health or not) every day.

The negative? Really only the cost…The treadmills are expensive – hence going to a physical therapy location to use it. It will be a long time before your neighbors (or me) have an AlterG in their garage / home gym. The treadmills start at around $34K…

Here’s a good video from Runner’s World of the AlterG: “Running on Air.”

 

Session Two of Boca Raton Kids Run Club Kicks Off in March!

Thanks to our friends at ModernBocaMom.com for featuring this awesome Kids Running program. Learn more HERE:

Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Runner’s Edge Boca Raton is partnering with The City of Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida, a school and organization fundraising/event management business, to launch a highly requested Kids Run Club here in Boca starting March 3rd.
The Kids Run Club is open to first through sixth graders or kids ages 7 to 11. The kids meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 pm at the Spanish River Athletic Complex (across from Spanish River Library).
Lacey Chimienti, a teacher and track coach in Boca Raton and a weekend Runner’s Edge Boca Raton employee, is the head coach of the program; she is assisted by Runner’s Edge owners (and runners) Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga.
To participate in the Runner’s Edge “Kids Run Club,” please call Runner’s Edge Boca Raton at 561-361-1950 and/or email Coach Lacey at lacey@runforfundsflorida.com to sign-up to receive details on registration.
The cost of the Kids Run Club is $75 for residents and $93.75 for non-residents. The Spring session will kick off on March 3 and end April 23, 2015. Kids will race in the Run for the Rays race on April 26th in Boca Raton.

How’s that New Year Resolution Going? Couch to 5K Training Program

The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program
The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program Participants

We are just two weeks into the New Year! So…how’s that New Year resolution to get in shape, to finally run a 5K race, to feel better…going? Well let the Runner’s Edge Boca Raton training team help! Whether you are a self-labeled “couch potato” or a regular runner looking to race faster, the Runner’s Edge has a training program for you. Read on:

  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 Carol’s Couch Potato 5K Training Program (aka “Zero to 5K”) (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for beginners! This program is built around interval training (run/walk) and the focus is on fitness, not competition. Includes: personalized coaching, schedule, discount on store purchases, t-shirt, free entry to Run From the Rays 5K, alumni pace leaders, and three group meetings/classes per week. Cost is $99 for 10 weeks. Orientation Thursday, Feb 12th.
  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 5K/10K Training program (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for runners of all levels. The goal is to improve speed and conditioning and includes coaching seminars, individualized training, group runs (three-times a week), daily training schedule for 11 weeks, alumni pace leaders, free entry into Run From the Rays 5K on April 26th, training t-shirt and discount on purchases at Runner’s Edge. Cost is $99. Orientation is Thursday, Feb 12th.

Learn more and sign up at http://www.runnersedgeboca.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/zeroto5kbrochure15.pdf

Runner’s Edge Boca Raton
3195 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-361-1950

High School Cross Country “Clue Run”

My fellow coach at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, Dough Horn, loves to intertwine fun games and team activities within our serious and high-intensity season (which happens to last from summer through mid-November). So when he asked me to plan a “Clue Run” of sorts that would take place the week prior to the Florida State Championships and therefore act as a stress reliever for those that qualified for States (the boys varsity team) and a fun run for those who had already ended their seasons (the remaining 40 kids)…I quickly got to work strategizing! The “Clue Run” was a success for many reasons, which I will list below, and therefore I wanted to share it with others/coaches looking for a great activity to execute with their own respective teams. (Thanks for the push to post here Lacey!)

Overview/Direction:

  • Doug wanted the run to total 8 miles and of course stay around the Boca Raton area (running distance from Spanish River high school, where the kids would begin the run).
  • We also decided to split the teams so that the faster kids would be required to “run with” and/or push the not-so-fast kids. Initially we were going to choose the team ourselves, but ended up having captains choose their own teams.
  • We also needed a way to prove that all of the kids were running the full distance (i.e. making their way to each of the clues)…and that’s where the selfie requirement came into play! (I borrowed that strategy from a Delray Beach “Seek In The City” event I participated in earlier in the year!)
  • There were 9 clues…and each was spaced a little less than a mile away from the prior clue. Clue locations included: local play ground, water park, cemetery entrance/bench, flags at local university, one of the team members’ houses, crossing guard, Publix produce section, and back the school.

Rules: We gathered the kids after school, named two team captains who went ahead and took turns choosing team members, and then listed the rules. (Earlier in the day, I had driven/run around Boca Raton placing our clues in their “homes” and hoping no one would move anything before our runners had the chance to find them! While most clues were hidden, I did put balloons in certain places where I felt the clues would be tough to find. Remember, the goal was not to get the kids lost but rather for them to run the full 8-mile distance and have a lot of fun!)

Following are the rules shared with the kids:

1. All runners must reach each location. And to prove it, they would have to take a picture of the “team” a the clue location and immediately text it to me.

2. No stealing or moving clues meant for the other team. (Each location had two clues – one for the green team, and one for the blue team – which looking back was a mistake! If I could do it again, we would have had one team go in the reverse direction…to allow for a real race!)

3. No jaywalking! This was critical as the Clue Run is lots of fun…but as we always tell our runners, safety is the priority and cars don’t stop!

4. Be professional! Some of our clues were in private locations (Publix, a park, etc.) and it is important that the kids understand that and act appropriately. On that note, dressing appropriately (wearing shirts) was important as well.

And with that, we sent them off with their first clue…

Lessons Learned

  • A few injured runners were on-site to help out. We wanted them to feel included, and I wanted pictures of the excitement…so we provided them clue locations in advance and they were asked to take pictures. As a result, we had awesome pictures…but having them out there with cars led to a few kids on the team bailing out early and/or being lazy and jumping in the cars. Not the intention…and lesson learned for next time!
  • As I said earlier, two teams going to the exact same location lead to the ultimate merger of the two teams…by the time the kids finished, there was a complete merger of the two teams…luckily the winning prize (a sheet of Rice Krispy Treats) was able to be shared! But next time, we’ll have one team go in a different direction!
  • Try and keep the number of clues below 8! By the time the kids got to number 7…they were bored and distracted.

Questions? Comment here and I’ll share more detail as needed!

RUNNER’S EDGE, RUN FOR FUNDS FLORIDA AND THE CITY OF BOCA RATON PARTNER TO LAUNCH “KIDS RUN CLUB”

runners edge logo
RUNNER’S EDGE BOCA RATON, RUN FOR FUNDS FLORIDA AND THE CITY OF BOCA RATON PARTNER TO LAUNCH “KIDS RUN CLUB”

Kids Running Program Open to First through Sixth Graders; Kicks Off on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WHAT: Runner’s Edge Boca Raton is partnering with The City of Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida, a school and organization fundraising/event management business, to launch a highly requested Kids Run Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Runner’s Edge Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida will provide the coaching and training for the kids and manage all logistical needs for the 10-week program; The City of Boca Raton is the official sponsor. The Kids Run Club will culminate with all participants running in the Boca Raton Holiday Mile, which takes place in East Boca Raton on December 3, 2014.

WHO: The Kids Run Club is open to first through sixth graders or kids ages 7 to 11. Lacey Chimienti, a teacher and track coach in Boca Raton and a weekend Runner’s Edge Boca Raton employee, will coach the program; she will be assisted by Runner’s Edge owners (and runners) Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga.

WHEN: The program kicks off September 30, 2014. Practices will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45pm to 4:45pm from jake runningSeptember 30, 2014 through December 2, 2014.

WHERE: Countess De Hoernle Park aka Spanish River Athletic Facility, 1000 NW Spanish River Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

DETAILS: To participate in the Runner’s Edge “Kids Run Club,” please call Runner’s Edge Boca Raton at 561-361-1950 and/or email Coach Lacey at lacey@runforfundsflorida.com to sign-up to receive details on registration. The cost of the Kids Run Club is $75 for residents and $93.75 for non-residents.

About Runner’s Edge Boca Raton
The Runner’s Edge was founded in 1996 by Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga. It is South Florida’s largest running store with about 4,500 square feet in Boca Raton. Runner’s Edge carries all major running footwear brands including Nike, Brooks, Asics, Adidas, Saucony, Pearl Izumi, Mizuno, Newton, Innov8, Five Fingers, among others. The Runner’s Edge staff consists of current and former high school, college and professional runners at all levels; all are also trained in professional running shoe fitting. Runner’s Edge was recently awarded the prestigious award for “50 Best Running stores in America.” Learn more at www.RunnersEdgeBoca.com.

Maccabiah Games Recap: Bronze Individual Medal; Team Gold!

2Well, I have returned from Israel after three weeks…and spent the last day catching up on rest, unpacking, doing laundry, and reminscing on my time overseas. I have to say that the experience was unlike anything else. I had the absolute BEST time in Israel as a member of Team USA in the 19th Maccabiah Games. I had high expectations of everything – yet somehow the experience was better than anything imagined. I’ll keep this short but wanted to share some of the highlights:

IMG_2954

Team USA: The most amazing group of people and athletes ever. To have the opportunity to be back on a Track team was an experience in itself. It felt like college running again, but with the maturity that only comes with age. The mindset of a competitive runner is so unique and to be part of that addictive and passionate atmosphere again was really cool and inspiring. (So much so, I have a few new goals and plans for myself and my running/racing this Fall and onward.) The Half Marathon team specifically was my famiy while there. I cannot begin to describe how much fun I had with my group. I truly feel so lucky that our group was hand picked and put together….and I know we will be friends for a lifetime to come. First reunion is already planned for October!

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Israel: Wow! It may have been my third time in the country, but the tours, the views, the places never get old. I love that place. And to have the opportunity to see it with a new perspective on life – was a privilege. I cannot wait to go back again (4 years!)!

gold medals - half marathon - team USA

Family: It was a brief visit…but I had the opportunity to see my family while there for a day. My dad’s brother moved to Israel when he was in his 20s, joined the Israeli army, got married, raised a family and lives there today with the family. I got to see my uncle, aunt, three of my cousins as well as one of their wifes and kids. It was an amazing lunch and I am so thankful I had the time to make it happen!

Competition: Ah the competition. I said coming in that my goal was to medal and finish under 1:30 in the half marathon. But you say a lot when you have goals…and hopes. To finish the race in a 1:29:31 and to win a bronze individual medal and team gold medal was beyond my greatest expectations. The race was hard (hilly and humid); my body barely held up (still can’t put on sneakers to this day…because of how damaged my feet got – blood blisters and cuts on my heels); but my mind kept me in it…and my legs listened. I will tell you that the last 4K (a half marathon is equal to 13.1 miles or 21K) was rough and I had to do a lot of talking to get myself through it. On a personal note, I have to thank my mom (in heaven) for getting me through a lot of it. Most of my talking was to her…and apparently she listened. 🙂

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Special thanks to all those who supported my trip and experience monetarily with donations! And special thanks to my family for their support, my Spanish River team that sent me texts and facebook messages before and after the race, my high school coach Rick Rothman who was on-site and gave me the best pep talk ever, Jordana Kimelman – who despite having to race the next day and being sick – was there in full force  to take pictures of Team USA and to help me post-race, my Team USA girls who were there for me throughout the race as running partners and water passers, Rob Fellman and Coach Smolka for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Maccabiah Games, and so many more!!!!