Monthly Archives: August 2016

German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | August 30, 2016

Greetings!

Labor Weekend is upon us.  Bittersweet. It is the unofficial end of summer, kids back to school, and cherries already out of season.  But, it also the start to the fall marathon season. So get fired up! Cooler temps and fun races. We have a couple good half marathons coming up in less than two weeks.

In this week’s newsletter, we start with a serious story about an attack near Schiller Park. Then, moving on to lighter subjects, my rant about the BMI, the origins of the Winans to Winans Half Marathon, and taper time!  Go!

Incident Near Schiller Park

If you have not heard, a female jogger was sexually attacked on the north side of Schiller Park around 7am on Monday. As told in this story from NBC4i, the victim screamed and the attacker ran away.  A runner in the area heard the screams and gave chase, but could not catch the attacker.

A couple times a week, I walk around the park between 5:30 and 6am, along with a number of other walkers and runners. I always try to be on alert of my surroundings and have felt safe in this area. Please be careful of your surrounds no matter where you may be walking.

Another Rant – The BMI

I have said this for years now and I feel obliged to say it again: As an indicator of healthy weight, the BMI—or body mass index—is meaningless for most people, especially athletes. (And walkers are athletes.) That’s because the BMI is calculated based on a formula using only two inputs, height and weight. The output of the formula, your number, then places you in a range for body weight including the following categories: “healthy,” “overweight,” or “obese.” The formula was invented way back in 1832 by Adolphe Quetelet, and was never intended to evaluate the healthiness of weight. Quetelet, who was not a medical doctor, but a statistician, created the calculation as a tool to assist him in studying the relative weight of a normal 19th century male. How did it gain favor among medical professionals in the 21st century? Well, I suppose there are several possible reasons. First, it’s handy because it gives you your number. Second, it’s based on a mathematical equation. It must be accurate if it is an equation, right? Finally, and—most impressive of all—it can be presented in a fancy color-coded chart as shown below:

BMI-chart

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I acknowledge that, like Monsieur Quetelet, I am not officially a doctor, though I did earn a medical degree by proxy from my Jewish mother. But, getting back to the failings of the BMI…) This supposed measure of healthiness factors in only two inputs: height and weight. What? It doesn’t consider gender? Not bone size? Or age? How can that be?? Let’s use me as an example of where it breaks down. I am 5’10” and 165 pounds. My BMI is 24, close to the TOP of the healthy weight range (18.5 to 25). If I was few pounds heavier, I would tip over into the “overweight” category. No one would consider me overweight. (Well, except Alisa, who questioned me last week.) But, with the BMI as my guide, I am close. Let’s look at the low end of the healthy spectrum. For me to have a BMI of 18.5, which is at the bottom of healthy, I would weigh 130 pounds. That’s considered healthy? Yikes! I am pretty sure if I weighed 130 pounds you would think I was seriously sick. My point is that this is not a good indicator of healthy weight. This article from Runner’s World Magazine has a similar opinion as me on this.

Instead, ask yourself these two questions. Do you like what you see in the mirror? Do you like how your clothes fit? If you answer yes, you’re probably good to go. If you answer no to either question, work on getting healthier. Simple? Yes. Oversimplification? Maybe. But, I think it’s a better indicator than the BMI.

Winans to Winans Half Marathon –How It All Got Started

On Sunday, September 11, 2016 the 3rd Annual Winans to Winans Half Marathon will be held.  It is a race that starts at the Winans Chocolate and Coffee Shop in Troy, Ohio, runs along the bike trails to the Winans chocolate factory in Piqua, Ohio. Winans is a founding partner of the GVWC, and we love what they do for the Club.  Here is an article about Joe Reiser, co-owner of Winans Chocolates + Coffee, and how the race got its roots. Still time to sign up!

Taper Time!

For those doing the New Albany Walking Classic or Winans to Winans Half Marathons on September 11th, you have reached your taper period of your racing schedule! Woo hoo!! For a half marathon, this means it is time to rest up from your long training period, heal up those nagging aches and pains, and try to have your body fresh for race day. This week, you should be cutting your mileage in about half, including any speed work. For race week, only walk two or three times, 1 to 3 miles each.  On Thursday or Friday, you may want to do one mile of speed to keep those fast twitch muscles race ready. Drink plenty of water that week, particularly the day before the race, and that morning. Get plenty of rest. Good luck, and don’t fight the taper – more is NOT better.

School is Back – Tutors Are Needed

For those interested, Stewart Elementary School (the school just west of Schiller Park) is looking for tutors to work with students once a week for an hour between the school hours of 9am and 2:30pm.  Kathy Wightman, GVWC member, is the coordinator.  You can email your interest at kwightma@aol.com .  Kathy says that no experience is necessary, and sometimes just the willingness to lend some extra support to a student makes all the difference.  I had the pleasure of working with two 6th grade boys last year.  I shared my experience as found in this GVWC newsletter earlier this summer.

Raining Cats and Dogs

There are two 5Ks in September where the proceeds go to help our local animals.  The races are listed below with the links to the details.

  1. Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Cat Caper 5K benefiting the Welfare Association.
  2. Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Our very own Alisa has been volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society as she says “forever”, and that the money goes to a great cause.

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route is here.  For those of you who tell me that I always say we are doing a different route than on the website – you are right!  I forgot that I have to change the mobile version of the website, as well as the website.  Sorry!  Fixed.

Motivation of the Week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PechzO5LASs

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | August 23, 2016

Greetings!

If you are like me, you are feeling a bit of a let-down this week, maybe a little sadness. Yep, the Olympics are over so it is time to move on to something else. For me, I will be catching up on the next season of The Americans. How about you?

In the newsletter this week, an article of what it feels like to be at the back of the pack in the Olympic marathon; 100 is the new 35, lots of laughs at 56, and tutoring time again. Enjoy!

The Spirit of the Olympics – A View From Behind

As walkers (and for some of my running audience, as well), we usually experience our races somewhere toward the back of the pack. We’re assigned to the last corrals. We encounter water stops running dry. And we experience dwindling cheers from sparse crowds. But we don’t do it for the cheers, for the glory. We do it because we enjoy the challenge, the sense of accomplishment, and the camaraderie of our fellow back o’ the packers. So, what does the Olympic marathoner experience from the back of the pack? You know, they can’t all get gold, silver or bronze. Here is a nice article from Runner’s World Magazine titled, What It’s Like to Finish Second-to-Last in the Olympic Marathon which chronicles Saudi runner Sarah Attar’s experience, and gives insight into both the spirit of the Olympics and the spirit of finishing strong!

I use to be a “fair weather spectator” at half or full marathons. There, I said it. I liked to watch the leaders, sure. Who doesn’t? I was mesmerized by the elites racing by so effortlessly, their feet seemingly not touching the ground. How do they do that? How do they make it look so easy? And I was glad to cheer on my walking buddies, encouraging them to FINISH STRONG and empathizing with their every step. But I never stayed for the participants at the back. I didn’t give it much thought until one day, Andrea and I were at a race, and when the crowds started to thicken as did the size of the participants, I figured all the good athletes had passed and it was time to go home. “What are you talking about?” she said. “All the runners haven’t come through yet.” I was like, “What? You plan to stick around to watch the entire race?” That seemed excruciating. She pointed out, though, that the folks at the back of the pack need our support, our encouragement, as much—if not more—than the competitors who finish with the best times. Indeed, for the athletes who are not naturally gifted or who lack experience, they probably have even greater struggles than the more talented athletes. They deserve the same enthusiastic support from us. You can see the appreciation on their faces.  And now that I stay and watch, sometimes until the bitter end, I am so impressed with the accomplishment of these athletes—yes, athletes!—that I’m almost moved to tears.

I Got Your Motivation Right Here

No other words than to say: “Ida Keeling, you’re my hero.”  Oh, and, you do push-ups. Check out this terrific story from the New York Times Well Blog, “At 100, Still Running for Her Life.”

Breakfast, Laughs and 56

We had a blast at Valters on Saturday to celebrate Dr. Steph’s 56th birthday. The food is always terrific and it is such fun to hang out with great friends. Dr. Steph gave a toast about how much healthier she feels at 56 than when she turned 50. Very cool to be part of the celebration. If you missed it this time, I hope you’ll join us at the next post-walk brunch at Valters.

steph bd

steph bd group

School is Back – Tutors Are Needed

For those interested, Stewart Elementary School (the school just west of Schiller Park) is looking for tutors to work with students once a week for an hour between the school hours of 9am and 2:30pm.  Kathy Wightman, GVWC member, is the coordinator.  You can email your interest at kwightma@aol.com .  Kathy says that no experience is necessary, and sometimes just the willingness to lend some extra support to a student makes all the difference.  I had the pleasure of working with two 6th grade boys last year.  I shared my experience as found in this GVWC newsletter earlier this summer.

Raining Cats and Dogs

There are two 5Ks in September where the proceeds go to help our local animals.  The races are listed below with the links to the details.

  1. Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Cat Caper 5K benefiting the Welfare Association.
  2. Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Our very own Alisa has been volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society as she says “forever”, and that the money goes to a great cause.

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route is here.

Motivation of the Week

couch

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | August 16, 2016

Greetings!

Rain, rain, go away … I got caught in a torrential downpour during my long miles on Sunday. I was thoroughly soaked by the time I got home. Normally, I enjoy walking in the rain; unless it’s 40 degrees—in which case being out in the rain is the absolute worst. So on a day like today, I didn’t mind at all. It’s refreshing. Cleansing. Even peaceful. Though that last one can probably be attributed to the fact that no one else is crazy enough to be out in these conditions.  By the way, rolling up old newspapers and stuffing them in your wet shoes really does help them dry quickly.

In the newsletter this week, I have another example of how we weekend-warriors share things with Olympic athletes; 6 ways to hit the stairs; races going to the dogs (and cats), we’ll see you at Valter’s this Saturday (email RSVP by Wednesday!), and some Olympic Carpool Karaoke.

One Leg At a Time

You know how nerve-racking it is when you get a chance to meet a famous or accomplished person? Someone will invariably try to calm you down with that old expression, “Don’t worry, they are just like you and me: they put their pants on one leg at a time.” I have a comparison with the Olympians competing in Rio in track and field and gymnastics. You see, it seems that, even in the multi-billion dollar business of elite athletics, with ever-increasing innovations in things like featherlight running shoes, ultra-wicking material for uniforms, scientific measuring devices, and food and nutrition, we all—Olympic athletes and you & me—affix our race bibs to our race day shirts with four safety pins. I can just imagine Usain Bolt gathering his race day shirt (either the night before or that morning in his Olympic dorm room), grabbing a handful of safety pins to carefully attach the bib with his name on the front of his shirt and his race number on the back. I see him taking care to make sure it is even, straight, not too high and not too low. For the bib on the back of his shirt, he looks in the mirror, straining to see if it is straight enough for the world to see. Is that really part of the pre-race routine of an Olympic champion competing for gold? See? They are just like you and me, putting their race bibs on one safety pin at a time.

As a post script, I don’t know about you, but I am going to come up with something to improve that 1849 technology.

safety pins

Illustration included in Walter Hunt’s 1849 patent on the safety pin, U.S. patent #6,281

Cross Training – Stairs

Thanks to Mo, many of our members like to do stair workouts as part of cross-training. Thank you Mo! To keep things fresh, here are a few variations demonstrated by Jeremy Scott from his Jeremy Scott Fitness Facebook Page. I run the steps behind COSI at 5:45am on Wednesdays if anyone would like to join me.

Raining Cats and Dogs

There are two 5Ks in September where the proceeds go to help our local animals.  The races are listed below with the links to the details.

  1. Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Cat Caper 5K benefiting the Welfare Association.
  2. Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Our very own Alisa has been volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society as she says “forever”, and that the money goes to a great cause.

This Saturday – Valter’s Brunch – August 20th

This Saturday we are heading back to Valter’s will be after our walk, where we will celebrating Dr. Steph’s birthday. If you would like to attend, please email me.  Thanks!

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route is here.

Motivation of the Week

Olympic Swimmer Car Karaoke

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | August 9, 2016

Greetings!

This is the greatest two weeks on earth – the Ohio State Fair AND the Olympics! It doesn’t get any better than that. Quite the dichotomy. I tried to give the newsletter a little Olympic accent this week. It includes a reflection on toeing the line with Olympic athletes; risks of dehydration among Olympic athletes (about the same experience as mere mortals); and a detour through Chicago. Also, GVWC t-shirts are in, and Valters August 20.  Hey, Alisa, thanks for filling in admirably for me last Saturday!

Is That Who I Think It Is?

Have you ever played in an NBA game against LeBron James? Ever been across the offensive line from Ben Roethlisberger in an NFL game? Tee off in a PGA tournament in a foursome with Jason Day? Probably not. One of the cool things about our sport is that you can compete in the same event as the elites—even a Boston Marathon winner or Olympic Marathon champion! You don’t think so? Well, if you entered the Cap City Half Marathon this year, you were in the same race as Desiree Linden. Linden is scheduled to compete in the Olympic Marathon next week in Rio. Pretty cool, huh? It was super fun for me in 2009 to line up with giants of the distance racing world, including the first woman’s Olympic Marathon winner, Joan Benoit Samuelson (LA, 1984), and 4-time Boston Marathon winner, Bill Rodgers. The three of us toed the line at the first-ever Boston Marathon 5K where relatives and friends of Boston Marathon runners could run or—in my case—walk part of the historic course and cross the famous Boston Marathon finish line. What a unique and cool perk of our sport!

Race Walking … Is An Olympic Sport?

For those interested in watching the Olympic race walking competition, here is the schedule:

  • Men’s 20K race walk | Friday (8/12) at 1:30pm
  • Men’s 50K race walk | Friday (8/19) at 7:00am
  • Women’s 20K race walk | Friday (8/19) at 1:30pm

By the way, the 50 kilometer race walking event, which equates to 31 grueling miles, is the longest Olympic distance for any sport. Yohann Diniz of France holds the world record for the 50K at 3:32:33, which is an average pace of 6:50 minutes/mile. Walking. For 31 miles. Now that’s moving!

Dehydration – I Mean It!

We can never remind you enough about the dangers of dehydration, particularly this time of year. Keeping with the Olympic theme of this newsletter—and offering another public service announcement—here is an article from Runners World about the dangers dehydration and how to prevent it when exercising. The article does a great job of explaining in laymen’s terms what happens to your body and offers some good rules of thumb for hydrating properly. Drink up!

Chicago’s Lakefront in the Summer

Have you ever run or walked along Lake Michigan in Chicago during the summer? If not, put it on your list. The trails, beaches and harbors north and south of the loop are amazing. You may even see a polar bear swimming around at the Lincoln Park Zoo. On a Saturday morning, it is incredible and inspiring to see all the health-conscious people walking, running, biking, swimming, roller blading and pumping iron along the paths. Here is a picture of me surrounded by Emily (GVWC Chicago Chapter President) and Andrea on Friday.

Em LSS AJA Chicago 8-16

T-Shirts Are In

If you ordered a t-shirt, I will have them available after our walk on Saturday. I still have a few that need to be picked up from our last order. Thanks promoting our partners and the Club with your t-shirt purchase.

Next Valter’s Brunch – August 20th

The next outing to Valter’s will be after our walk on August 20 when we will celebrate Dr. Steph’s birthday. If you would like to attend, please email me.  Thanks!

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route is here.

Motivation of the Week

https://www.facebook.com/olympics/videos/10154460504554216/

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | August 2, 2016

Greetings!

Happy August everyone! Even though the dog days of summer can wear you down, if you’re training for late summer race, or one in the fall, keep it going. You will be well-prepared when you toe the line on race day. In the newsletter this week, we’ll take a break from tips on physical exercise and focus instead on a little mental health. Also, you will find a review of our Valter’s outing and the next one scheduled August 20. Have a great walk this Saturday. Alisa is leading the group, as I will be in Chicago.

The Daily Twelve for Good Health and Fitness

Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert, JJ Virgin, wrote this article in MindBodyGreen which represents her 12 truths of good health that she compiled over the 30 years of being in the health and fitness business. Two of my favorites include No. 4 – “You can’t out-exercise a crappy diet” (which I found to be a humorous title), and No. 8 – “Remember small hinges move big doors,” meaning making small changes until they become habits can make a big difference in your health. Recall this is a core tenet of the GVWC’s philosophy: make one small health change for a month or until it becomes a habit. Add another the next month until it becomes habit. And so on and so on. After a year you will have developed a portfolio of good health.  But, go slowly!

Keeping it All Together

Thank goodness for my Beck Street Buddies. On our early Friday morning walks, they listen to me blow off steam after what seems to week after week of crappy news in the world. Perhaps you are like me and the seemingly never-ending news of tragic and incomprehensible events from every corner of the world is getting you down. Or you may be dealing with a sick loved one, a job loss, or other stressful things in your life. This article in MindBodyGreen from Christy Tennery-Spalding—a self-care mentor, healer, activist, and writer—has terrific tips to help you put things back in perspective. It includes six self-healing practices to help people navigate difficult times. I am definitely implementing No. 1 on the list: Unplug.

Fun time – Great Food at Valters – Next Brunch – August 20th

We had another great time at Valters on Saturday. And, the food is incredible!  Below is a picture of the group.  The next Valters outing will be after our walk on August 20 when we will celebrate Dr. Steph’s birthday. If you would like to attend, please email me.  Thanks!

Valters July 30 2016

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route is here.

Motivation of the Week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvvn0xl6kSQ

Finishing Line

I will be gone this weekend, and Alisa will be leading the group.  Hope to catch you all the following Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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