Paul Ryan is hot. Does that mean he’ll get your vote?


With the GOP convention in full swing – as of today…there is lots of news and media out there on Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their issues, politics. Well, since I am all about fitness and running, I thought I would highlight a fantastic Palm Beach Post article by my good friend Steve Dorfman – health reporter/editor at the Post. The column appeared in the paper today and truly gives a full summary of what is important about our politicians (wink-wink).

It’s been very common to hear about politicians running and jogging to keep in shape. Think of all the casual jogs the media just happened to see former Presidents Clinton and Bush taking – on vacation as well as around the streets of Washington, D.C. Additionally, former Governor Mike Huckabee got a lot of attention after he lost a massive amount of weight eating better and running (prior to his run for president in 2008). It could be said that his weight loss in fact renewed his chances as a potential presidential nominee…and while he did not win, he is now enjoying a prosperous cable TV career.

Anyway – back to the topic at-hand. Paul Ryan, VP nominee for the Republicans, and religious follower of the popular workout DVD P90X. Politics aside (and I went to Brown University – one of the most liberal institutions in the country so no comments necessary), this guy is in pretty good shape. Speaking purely from a professional/runner/writer POV of course. While I personally have never used the P90x program, I know it is tough! My older brother Michael has used it for years and I know he loves it and of course the results. I say – if you have the discipline to workout in front of the TV on your own – this program can offer great all-around results. Of course, consistency and eating health (as with all exercise regimes) are key.

So read on – and ask yourself – can a politician’s body (or rather health) influence your vote? Do you feel more confident he or she will be around in the long run to make good decisions? Think back to the years before we saw our politicians on TV, in print photos and on the internet constantly. If you never saw them – but rather only heard their voice and policies, would it matter less?

Read more of Steve Dorfman’s column here. And make your own decision.

Olympics Marathon: Shalane Flanagan’s POV

Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan (USA Marathon Teammates and Training Partners)

I have to say, it’s impressive when athletes push themselves to accomplish more…remove themselves from their comfort zone in the hope to reach their goals, live their dreams, etc. It happens all the time in high school and college levels, but when it is done on the professional or Olympic level, it’s even more inspiring.

Take Shalane Flanagan, an American long-distance runner, who currently holds the American record times in the 3000 meters, 5000 meters, and 10,000 meters. I remember her from back in her Massachusetts high school days as well as at the University of North Carolina, where it seemed she could do no wrong…She was always described as one of the best from my generation of runners. And she definitely met the expectations. In fact in 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, Shalane finished in third in the 10,000 meters. So while most would continue on this path of the 10,000 meters (the one that they finished third in the world in) and just look to tweak or better their performance little by little, Shalane instead did something drastic. She changed her premiere event to the marathon. And she aimed high: to qualify for the Olympic team – and medal.

In my own high school experience, I started off running the 800 and 1600 meter races in track season. I did that my freshman and sophomore years. For some reason I felt a strong draw to the 800 meters back then even though in the end I realized I had no business running such a race (one the 400 meters girls attempted the two-lap race…I was quickly left in their sub 50-quarter dust!). After finishing in fifth and sixth (I believe) at the Florida State Championships, I realized I wanted more control over how I did…and in order to do so, I needed to focus on the longer distances. For my junior and senior seasons, I refocused on the 1600 and 3200 meter races. My change in focus was obviously because I believed I had more opportunity in the longer races…and in the end it was the 1600 and 3200 meters that I won individual state titles in.

For Shalane, she already finished at the top of the pack in the 10,000 meters…so was it that she felt she could do better in the longer race (like I felt back in high school) or was it another goal she wanted to meet? To compete in and be the best at something else? Both reasons are plausible and to me both are impressive…

Shalane Flanagan at the start of the 2011 Miami Beach Latin Rock n Roll half marathon

In a 2011 issue of Running Times Magazine, Shalane said “When I first sat down with Jerry (her coach), I expressed an interest in trying to run a marathon in the next couple years, and what better way than attempt the training and see if I can handle it. I’ve never done anything close to what’s required to run a marathon. We took the time this fall to try that. This year not being a world championship year, we figured now was the time to tackle that training. Whether I run one this spring is still to be determined, but regardless if I run on the track or a marathon, I will have this really great base of work. It will allow me to have multiple options. I’m excited. I’ve never done anything like it. I can see the progress and I think it will set me up nicely for the next chapter in my career.”

Shalane ended up winning her debut half marathon race, won the Miami Rock n Roll Latin Half Marathon in December 2011 (where I ran as well), and then won the Olympic trials for the full marathon in Houston, TX a few weeks later. While there were many articles and features claiming this was the USA’s best chance for a medal in the women’s marathon in London…Flanagan unfortunately did not. She finished 10th overall – her body cramping, aching, etc.

However, Shalane spoke of her experience in a recent article appearing in Innovation For Endurance.


Women’s Running Magazine: “Blogger on the Run”

I am thrilled to announce that is featured as a Blogger on the Run by Women’s Running Magazine!! My goal with has always been to share my personal nearly two decades of running knowledge and experience as well as the expertise of the many contacts, coaches, doctors, athletes, and go-to sources I have had the pleasure to get to know over the years. (And there is much more exciting stuff to come – including interviews with athletes like the legendary Michael Johnson!!! Yes, I am serious!!!) I have also been a faithful reader of Women’s Running Magazine for some time now (since it launched) so to be featured as one of its bloggers to watch is very exciting!

Women’s Running is the only women’s-specific running magazine. As the number of female runners exploded over the past few years, interest in women’s specific running information also grew. Women’s Running covers all aspect of the running lifestyle. The Women’s Running mission is simple: to create a high-quality magazine for intelligent, successful, female runners who use running to balance and enrich their lives. Women’s Running seeks to set a standard of excellence through quality editorial that encourages women to train healthfully, participate in active travel, adopt healthy nutrition habits, and to nourish their minds as well as their bodies. In doing so, the magazines hopes to capture the attention of eager female consumers in a way that mainstream women’s fitness magazines and co-ed sports verticals do not. More information available at

Check out my feature as “Blogger on the Run” here. Also, even more exciting for you…is that Women’s Running Magazine is offering one of my readers the chance to win a 1-year subscription to the magazine!!!  All they have to do is visit the Women’s Running blog, view the RunningTips101 “Blogger on the Run” feature, and leave a comment to be entered to win. Good luck and please share around! (If my online feature is popular…there is a good chance I’ll be featured in the monthly hard copy issue!!)

Thanks in advance! And thanks Women’s Running Magazine!

New school year, new cross country season

2011 Spanish River HS Boys Varsity Cross Country Team

The new school year in South Florida has begun and along with it has come the start of fall sports – most importantly high school Cross Country! Yes, it is my second year coaching the Spanish River Community High School boys and girls cross country teams and I’m thrilled! With a year under my belt, I’m more ready than ever to join with head coach Rick Rothman in helping the teams achieve more than they did last year.

With that, I wanted to share some tips to get you, your child or your runner ready for the new school year and season. Here they are:

1. Hydrate. This is so important – especially in South Florida where the temperature regularly climbs into the 90s and the sun is blazing exactly when the kids are running – after school at around 3pm. Experts recommend upwards of 8 cups of water a day for a regular person; imagine what they’d recommend for a high schooler running in the heat and sun for 60 minutes plus a day! They’d recommend quite a few more…

2. Stretch, ice, rest. While we require that our athletes run during the summer to build a base for the season, some do not – and most who do are not running at the high intensity that they will run at during the season. That means – there is a lot of new stress on the legs, feet, knees, ankles and body in general. Take care of your body. Rest when necessary. Ice when sore. And stretch. I personally go for massages and acupuncture when I need a fix. And in between, you’ll often find me in an ice bath or Espsom salt bath. Either one will benefit you and your body!

3. Eat healthy. It’s critical that both male and female cross country runners eat enough and eat healthy. The Spanish River team reaches upwards of 40 miles a week of running…That’s a lot of calorie burning! And that means, your growing kids need to replace those calories with healthy proteins, carbs and fats. As Coach Rothman has always said, “If you have a race horse – what will you feed it? The best of oats, right? So do the same with your body.” Remember, when we are training and running and racing, we are machines.

4. Listen to your body. If something is hurting and it’s not a simple ache and pain, tell your coach, tell your parent, tell the athletic trainer. Don’t wait until the injury becomes something much worse. Tackle it while it is still small and while there is still time to fix and/or heal it. Remember, high school sports seasons are short. An injury in September can keep you out of competition for two to three months – which covers the entire season.

5. Be a good teammate. Motivate your teammates, cheer them, and push yourself to stay up with them and/or lead them to great things. I attribute my high school running success to just that…as a freshman, I forced myself to stay up with my older teammates and ultimately that made me better. And then when I was a junior and senior, I did the same – I motivated my teammates to stay up with me during long runs. It will make you a better runner and person; and it will make your team better – which at the end of the day – is the biggest goal of Cross Country. You need five (or more) great runners to win!

Those are just a few quick tips. What are yours for your fellow cross country runners this year?! I’d be curious to hear.

Psoas, what?

Check out my new article appearing on the And thanks to fellow South Florida Runs runner and friend Andy Zircher for the idea to write about psoas.

Andy Zircher, a West Palm Beach resident and international business professional, admits as of late he’s been spending the majority of his time at work standing rather than sitting. It’s all in an effort to reduce the strain on his back and his psoas. His what?

His psoas. The psoas is a long fusiform muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the lesser pelvis. It joins the iliacus muscle to form the iliopsoas, which is known as the body’s most powerful hip flexor. In less than 50 percent of human subjects the psoas major is accompanied by the psoas minor. In mice, it is mostly a fast-twitching, type II muscle, while in human it combines slow and fast-twitching fibers (Wikipedia)…

Read more.

Palm Beach Post, Steve Dorfman Column: “Pinning Pain Relief on Acupuncture”

Integrated Holistic Medicine (Boca Raton) Co-Owners and Acupuncturists Su Sandy Aung and Carlos Restrepo

Great column from The Palm Beach Post by my friend and fantastic health reporter/editor Steve Dorfman. Enjoy!


Should you pin your pain relief on acupuncture?

By Steve Dorfman

Way back in the day, circa early 1970s, my mom was one of South Florida’s earliest acupuncture patients. She regularly underwent the then-exotic treatments in order to relieve searing pain in her surgically-repaired spine.

Hence, I’ve always been intrigued by alternative, and holistic, forms of Eastern medicine.

Non-invasive and chemical/drug-free, they tend to rely partly on science — and greatly on the intuition of the practitioner.

Do they require leaps of faith?


But then again, so does undergoing anesthesia, surgery and a host of other invasive, commonly-accepted Western practices to which we give little critical thought.

Actually, the practice of all medicine really is part-art, part-science — and a whole lot of faith.

So, when Carlos Restrepo, one of the co-owners of Integrated Holistic Medicine in Boca Raton ( offered me a complimentary acupuncture session, I gladly accepted.

Read what happened…here.

Related articles:

Jobs with Benefits

Examiner – WPB



Jobs with benefits

I have to say, I am one lucky girl.

As many of you know, I fell to a foot injury nearly two months ago and have spent the summer dealing with the pain of this issue. I had to take off nearly two months of running…killing my summer training before the high school cross country season. At first I thought it was plantar fasciitis…but soon realized it was more of a mechanical and muscle injury, which was causing the bones in the top of my foot to bump into one another. Realizing that the injury was not getting better – I went into full rehab mode, cutting off all running, replacing with cross training, icing and heating over and over again, and taking my foot to the best in the business.

This is where my jobs with benefits come into play.

1. Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute in Boynton Beach. Dr. David Rudnick and team have spent that past month working on my foot with a combination of K-Laser Therapy, Massage Therapy, Ultra-Sound, Rehab and more. Each treatment definitely made the foot feel better – however, the most drastic improvements happened immediately after my Ortho-Bionomy massages. Yes, ortho-bionomy. Let’s be clear – these aren’t regular, feel-good massages…these really work the muscles – and bones. It truly felt like magic how massage therapist Jeannie was able to move the bones around and re-align them where they were supposed to be. This is one therapy I am one hundred percent adding to my training package monthly.

More on this method in a future post. Interested in learning more and having your own treatment, visit

2. Integrated Holistic Medicine. I had been getting facial acupuncture treatments for a few weeks at the Integrated Holistic Medicine clinic in Boca Raton…when someone gave me the recommendation and push to try acupuncture on my foot. I figured why not – honestly not even thinking about the option before. I forgot how acupuncture truly treats nearly everything…stress, sweating, aches, tightness, skin issues, stomach and more. Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo worked on my arch and surrounding muscles where he could feel the tightness. I was in for a total of three sessions. After two, I felt the difference. After three – I was on my way to running twice that weekend – with no issues. We forget how acupuncture can work on sore muscles and tightness…but obviously it works and it’s a great option. Interested? Visit I obviously will be recommending this to any runner I run into having an issue – big or small.

Anyway – I lucked out having two amazing clients that were able to work together and solve my issues and get me back to running! Both acknowledge the combination of both probably had the greatest effect possible.

But as I often do (and will continue), I am now sharing their information with you – so you too can benefit! Good luck and let me know how they help you!!! Results are pretty much guaranteed! 🙂

The Benefits of the Olympics and Unemployment: Running

I recently wrote a post about fans of the Olympics and professional sports being motivated to workout, get in shape and more…A friend of mine (ironically from my Running Group) sent the following article which was published on yesterday (but originally written by Reuters). It talks about how a combination of the Olympics (and its excitement) and the depressed economy has caused many individuals to turn to running. Running, of course, is cheaper than gym memberships and other sports (like tennis lessons or renting a court, swimming, etc.). It refers specifically to Europe, but I am confident a similar phenomenom has been happening in the United States as well.

I have pulled out a few of my favorite points. I, however, do recommend that you read the whole thing here.

Fun Runners Hit the Road in Crisis-Struck Europe

As budgets tighten and working lives get more stressful, running is experiencing a boom as people hit the parks and streets of their cities to escape from it all and keep themselves healthy for just the cost of a pair of sneakers.

With places in marathons and road races from New York to London to Berlin being snapped up almost instantly, and hundreds of thousands of spectators turning up to watch the triathlon and marathon at the London 2012 Olympics, the $18 billion running market is set for further growth.

“There is absolutely a running boom and it’s global,” Mike McManus, Adidas market director for running, told Reuters at the group’s headquarters in the small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurauch, where employees regularly make the most of the area’s woodland trails for lunchtime runs.

While the successes of the Olympics may inspire some people to get off their sofas and into a pair of running shoes, medal-winning is not the main motivation behind the trend.

“People are doing it not to win, like Usain Bolt, but because they want to get fit. People run to have fun and keep their weight in check, because we all like to eat and drink a little too much,” said Klaus Jost, chairman of Intersport International Corp, the brand management and purchasing arm of the world’s largest sporting goods retailer.

A typical health club. Photo credit: Photo by /

The boom is especially noticeable among people in their mid-20s who are new to the sport and who see running as a way to escape the stresses and strains of working life, or even as a way to get to the office, say people in the sports industry.

The health club sector, meanwhile, is suffering in the economic downturn as consumers cut discretionary spending.

The UK’s Fitness First chain narrowly avoided insolvency in June, but is now looking to sell around half of its gyms.


Running coach Peter McHugh de Clare, who at 65 years of age still runs for 90 minutes a day, agrees.

“We’re built to run and if we don’t do it, we’re going to have a very big health problem. Running is easy, it’s relatively cheap,” he told Reuters.

Continued… Are the Olympics Getting You in the Mood?

ESPN: The Body Issue, 2012

Are the 2012 London Olympics getting you excited, motivating you to head to the gym after work, take a few extra laps around the block – all with the intension of getting your body into better shape? The majority of us won’t be qualifying for 2016 games, so what is it about watching the highest level of athleticism and competition on television that gets us in the mood?

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) argues that “Sports provide an excellent opportunity to observe athletes in positive and negative situations; and watching the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and beyond can be a source of valuable life lessons.” And motivation?

Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) President Gill Stotter adds: “The Olympics is one of the biggest sports events in the world today and it often inspires those of us watching to do more. The athletes can act as great role models and really help us dream a little more and set some of our own goals.”

And the statistics support the feeling:

  • On average, there has been a 25% – 37% increase in gymnastics student enrollment in each of the Olympic years.
  • In China, gyms across the country have reported a spike in new members already, with many residents inspired to get in shape by their new Olympic heroes (specifically those coming from their hometowns).

This phenomenon has also been proven by a recent national survey by 24 Hour Fitness. According to the corporate gym franchise, 89% of those surveyed are motivated by the Olympic games and admit that watching the athletes gives their fitness routines a boost and encourages them to live healthier lifestyles.

So what did members of the South Florida community have to say?

  • Adam Ardenfriend of Delray Beach said: “I’ve been watching the Olympics and I love it. The athletes are amazing, inspiring, and simply a pleasure to watch. I have to admit that I am quite addicted to the games, all of them, regardless of the sport. The athletes have certainly inspired me to achieve even more with my own personal fitness.”

Read more feedback and share yours here.

Sun-Sentinel: Delray Man Promotes Adult Cross Country

Great article on my Coach Rick Rothman from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, and the great things he is doing for USA Track & Field as well as the sport of Cross Country in general. Proud to have been his student as well as his current colleague!

Enjoy! And thanks to Marlene Roberts from the Sun-Sentinel for taking the time to get this information out there.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Delray Man Promotes Adult Cross Country

Other recent articles about Coach Rick Rothman