Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Land of grapefruit & trail running

Running in South Mountain Park

Yes, I have escaped for a warmer weather getaway. Not without a bit of guilt for leaving behind two hard-working students at home. Hopefully, they will have a bit of time while parent-free to host some social gatherings in our absence. Thankfully, our two young men are very responsible and sometimes when we return the house is in better shape than when we departed. They are very thorough with their tidying up which we really appreciate.

Breakfast time

We are staying in Atawatukee a neighbourhood of Phoenix at our nephew’s home which backs on to  South Mountain Park the largest urban park in North America with 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. My first run in the park was an add-on to three miles run on the road with my husband. The path surfaces are variable particularly the less trodden paths close to our backyard entry and while turning this way and that to find the sign post cactus named Mrs. Boobs (by our grand-nephew and niece) I took a slight turn on my ankle. Not much harm done.

The following day around mile five of my planned twelve mile run I went flying to the ground, scraping knee, hands and elbows. Ouch! I had to call it a day and headed to Target for an ankle brace. For $10 I bought a very streamlined brace by 3M designed for a woman’s ankle in two sizes.

Mrs. Boobs

This morning I realized that it was not realistic to squeeze in a 12 miler in order to get my 40 miles this week. Easy running was the order of the day and I was satisfied with a 5.5 miles run at a very slow place. I felt okay but there was not much propulsion in my right ankle. I iced my ankle after the run and feel that I may be able to run ten miles or more tomorrow. I’m anxious about getting a longish run in for three reasons; 1) I made the commitment to join the masters group at U of T and have started to do track work. 2) We are flying to Albuquerque tomorrow for four days and I’m guessing that running this distance at 1,619.1 meters above sea level might feel fairly difficult. 3) I was planning to run a 5K next Sunday but given the latest development, we shall see.

Before the fall

In addition to having a park in his backyard, my nephew also has a massage chair. Yes, a massage chair and this one is a breed apart from the type you may have seen in malls.  It has options for Swedish, Shiatsu, stretch mode and a quickie massage among others and massages the legs and arms. As I write this my back is remembering how good it feels. I really should go!


New York City Marathon – What’s in a bib number?

Starting area for NYC Marathon

So much to blog about but so little time.  A couple of weeks ago I ran 80 miles (130K), last week I ran the half-marathon and our Matthew House fundraising team set a personal best for funds raised ($58,000 and still counting) and team size (120). I’ve racked up a month or so of vacation time in the past weeks and have not been as focused on New York as I would have liked.  At the height of this and when I was feeling a bit drained I received this email which was a total pick-me-up. I had applied to be in the Competitive Start Corral with bib numbers from 500-999 and was accepted.

I didn’t know what to expect as I applied just before the deadline for submission and am not part of a team.  Last year over 45,000 runners finished the marathon.  To be in the first wave, just behind the Elite & Sub-Elite groups is a huge thrill.  My bib number is 757.  WooHoo! Price of entry: 80 miles a week 🙂

Dear Lynn,

Congratulations!  You have been accepted into the 2011 ING New York City Marathon Local Competitive Program.  Please access your new registration card by going into your marathon profile after Tuesday, October 25, 2011. You must print out a copy of your registration card and bring it with you to the Expo.  No Blackberry or I Phone versions will be accepted.

Your bib number will now be somewhere between 500-999.  If your bib number is not within this range, please email janetc@nyrr.org.  You can find your bib number information on your registration card.  Once you pick up your bib at the Expo, you should be all set!

Athletes in the Local Competitive Program will have exclusive access to the Local Competitive staging area located near the runner entrance by the Verrazano Bridge Toll Plaza.  Look for the “Local Competitive” sign attached to the fence near the entrances.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP.  Runners will be asked to show their bib number before entering this area.

Amenities in this staging area include:

  • Bottled Water
  • Gatorade                                             NOTE: Limited quantities available.  First come, first serve.
  • PowerBars
  • Coffee
  • Bagels
  • Toilets

The Local Competitive Program is designed to give a preferred starting position to those who meet a time standard based on gender and age.  Your starting position will be at the front of the green start, Wave 1.  This start is at 9:40 a.m.

Your UPS Baggage truck will be the very first truck in a long line of UPS trucks.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP

Look for the UPS truck that has a green sign .

Keep in mind that your baggage truck is approximately ¼ mile away from the Local Competitive staging area.  Please allow yourself enough time to check your bag and get back to your staging area before your group is moved to the start line.


6:00 am – Baggage Opens

8:10 am – Suggested baggage check

8:20 am – Wave 1 corrals open

8:55 am – Wave 1 corrals close.  Local Competitive athletes move onto the bridge, ahead of the general green start runners.  If you are not in the Local Competitive staging area at this time, you will not be allowed the preferred starting position.

9:40 am – Wave 1 starts, happy 26.2!!!

Thank you,

Ro and Skip on Behalf of NYRR Team Mailing

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R&R at a B&B – Stratford, Ontario

The week of September 20th to October 2nd was an easy week ending with an “R” for racing at the Stratford Festival 10K on Sunday. A couple of years ago we stayed overnight in Stratford to see a production of Julius Caesar. We stayed at a charming B & B called the Judges Quarters. We vowed to return soon. I was looking for a race on Sunday, October 2nd and one of the very few choices on that day offered us the chance to return to Stratford for some racing and that particularly sweet form of relaxation that comes after racing.

After settling into our B & B we got our bearings and discovered the race start to be about 400 meters away, via a footpath.  The morning of the race I was able to jog to pick up my race kit in less than three minutes, return to our quarters to pin on my race bib, warm-up and return again for a final pre-race pit stop a real bonus with the unseasonably chilly temperature of 0C (with windchill).

The first 200 meters . . . time to settle in

I ran the first half of this rolling 10K at a steady, hard pace determined by my heart rate monitor. Around the halfway point I was passed by a masters female. I wished her luck and decided to stick to my plan of running steady picking up the pace over the last 3-4K. Shortly after I was passed I noticed that my heart rate had dropped a bit so I pushed a bit harder and passed the same woman. The competitive spirit began to set in and I decided to stop watching my heart rate and rather than wait for the drama of a a finishing kick, began a long steady hard drive to the finish over the last 3K.  I was able to pull away from her successfully and finished 20 seconds ahead. This competitor it turns out was a fresh entry into the 50-59 age category.

The pain of being pursued by a 50 year old with 25 meters to go

My time of 46:18 on a moderately slow course in the wind was quite an improvement on my 23:08 time on a flat 5K course three weeks ago. According to the age-graded tables for runners my time is equivalent to  just under 38 minutes in the open category. So it looks like 46:18 is the new 37:52. We age-groupers get our kicks from these relative comparisons but as I get older and the gap approaches 10 minutes over 10K, the effects of aging become more glaring.  Moving on however –  it felt great to run strong and steady and see my fitness improve over just three weeks.

Age-Grading Calculator from Runner's World

Exactly three hours after finishing the race I was sitting in the Stratford Festival Theatre 50 meters from the start of the race to see the Misanthrope by Moliere. Another indicator of passing time was the program mentioned the debut of this adaption took place in 1973 at the Old Vic in London with Diana Rigg as the female lead. My mother and I saw that production of the Misanthrope in 1973 when I was 17 years old – 38 years ago. I highly recommend this production as entirely entertaining and with excellent production values. What a wonderfully enjoyable day.

We’ll be returning in two months, not two years for our next visit as we have booked tickets for Gordon Lightfoot’s farewell tour which ends at the cosy Stratford Festival Theatre.  No racing however as I’ll be enjoying my post-NYC marathon down time. Yikes, New York, New York . . . four weeks to go!


“The More You Move, the More You See”

I think I first saw this expression on the New Balance website.  Non-runners may not appreciate that using your legs to get you around town can be scenic and entertaining.

My NYC training plan called for 31K or 19 miles on Saturday. I had to be mentally tough going into it as the usual Saturday crowd were not around. I decided to focus on putting in the time on my feet and not worry about quality as that will come in good time. I devised a  scenic and mainly flat route and looked forward to taking my camera along.

Route to High Park

First mile to the west

Rather than the usual due south route down Strachan which is in the throes of  increased traffic caused by the Canadian National Exhibition, I ran west to High Park. Between Lansdowne and Roncesvalles are a few blocks blocks of urban decay, the outcome of a busy and confusing juncture where two streetcars lines intersect.  To enhance the ambience of this strip, leading the way was a man on a large motor scooter driving on the sidewalk whilst leaving a trail of marijuana smoke in his wake. Some people!

Tree that grows in Brooklyn

Urban decay, Ailanthus altissima, that tree that grows in Brooklyn

I entered into High Park by the northeast quadrant, running counter-clockwise on the trails past Grenadier Pond and then south to the lake and the Waterfront Trail.

High park trails

Favourite section of High Park trails

In High Park I was watching out for friends from People to People AID Organization Canada, who were holding a fundraising walk later that morning but did not see a soul as I must have been a bit too early having set out at 7:30 a.m.  That is the group for which my husband and I organized a the fundraising gala, People4Kids last April.

Grenadier Pond

Grenadier Pond 8 a.m.

The fogginess of the morning set the scene for some pretty and atmospheric sights and one rather euw’ish sight which I learned upon examining the photo I took was a tent caterpillar nest.

Tent Caterillar nest


When I hit the lake I went east for 3K and then back west through the Humber Bay Park east and then to a never-before-trod for me, destination of  Humber Bay Parks – Waterfront Trail

Butterfly garden

Twig sculpture in the butterfly garden

Running through the wild flower garden I spotted what I think were American goldfinch, twittering about. In Humber Bay park east, I saw what appeared to be a female cardinal.  The entrance to Humber Bay park east is quite a maze of paths and parking lots and I was on the lookout for the entrance to Humber Bay park west which I had over the course of three decades missed in my occasional forays to this area of the lakeshore.

Lighthouse, Humber Bay park west

To the lighthouse

I was successful in finding the entry point and was rewarded with a pleasant run of about two miles, out and back on this new found route. Waiting for this intrepid runner at the turnaround point were two surprises,  a groundhog and an historic lighthouse.


Twas a groundhog . . .

Along the way I also spotted a photo session with a lean, blond model wearing a black negligee and a large number of scuba divers, in and out of the water.

The run itself was verging on being a “slog” but with the help of some Gatorade, I perked up a bit in the second half.  I made two stops to drink Gatorade using the plastic bag technique mentioned in a PREVIOUS POST.  I’ve refined this method by adding a second chamber, sectioned off with an elastic.

Gatorade in a bag

Low tech fluid replenishing system

This weekend my husband was a model of support in that while I was out running he shopped for meat at Grace Street Meat Market, bought vegies and fruit at the Wychwood Barns farmer’s market, brought me my fatty latte from Starbuck’s (triple-venti-whole-milk-vanilla latte) and cooked me a bacon and egg breakfast.

I felt quite tired today, as though I was coming down with “something” and while I napped he went and did some essential grocery shopping and my son did the dishes after my husband had cooked breakfast again.  He also cooked dinner last night and is cooking dinner while I write. Thank you, thank you my darling.  This felt even more commendable given that he feels that I’m not coming down with  “something” but suffering the effects of two large glasses of wine enjoyed at a  party last night.  Alcohol has greater effect when in hard training, this is true.

I should also mention that getting out the door this morning for a 10K run was easier for having our roommate Alain to run with.  I certainly can’t complain about household support for my training.

So I got my 108KM in for this week and am hoping to hit 116 km or 70 miles for the upcoming week.  I’m sure looking forward to the easy week scheduled after that.  But the fatigue level of this week tells me that I am pushing myself in the way that one must, to get to the next level of fitness.

The more I move, the faster I’ll see that finish line at the New York City Marathon.  Olé!

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The Country Mile

Some of the toughest training I’ve done has been in the country. Thus I find that intense training while on a cottage vacation is to be avoided. I organize my mileage to peak just before such holidays in anticipation of unfavourable conditions such as ornery, ill-trained country dogs, trekking through bear country and narrow sloping shoulders on the highways and byways, elements which help do justice to the term a “country mile”.

Running Haliburton

North Shore Road, Haliburton Highlands

I once saw Dick Beardsley speak at the Ottawa Marathon Race Expo. He is famous for his Duel in the Sun with Alberto Salazar at the Boston Marathon in 1982 where they ran together for the full 26.2 miles and finished 2 seconds apart, Salazar the victor. At the Expo Dick Beardsley told us that whenever he had to train in the country he would visit the farms nearby and introduce himself to the neighbourhood dogs. Good advice if you want to experience less tension when running in the country. Though I admit that my fears have a tinge of irony in that the only time I have been bitten by a dog was while running on Queen Street West when a leashed dog leapt up and and set some faint tooth-marks into my thigh.

Cosy Corner

Cosy Corner, Haliburton – Sweet Tooth Special – Note: I could not eat the toast 🙂

My weekly mileage tally ending last Sunday was 56. This put me a little ahead of my NYC Marathon training plan, especially since I ran an unplanned-for 17 miles very early on the Saturday before we left for the Haliburton Highlands. I had planned to do 17 miles two weeks later but capped a successful four-week training bloc by doing more than planned. WooHoo!

My easy 6 miler last Sunday was run from a cottage on Boshkung Lake  just north of Carnarvon off of Highway 35 in Ontario.  Thankfully, after a one-mile busy stretch on the narrow shoulder of the highway, I was able to run on North Shore Road, a meandering road with varied terrain, which curves pleasantly along Beech Lake and is dotted with cottage homes and farms. This is the best cottage running I have ever enjoyed and for the first time, country miles felt shorter than city miles.

Stanhope museum

Roadside attraction

While it was an easy week for the legs, my arms were called into action. The first morning, I was invited to be the fourth in a game of tennis. I like tennis but since playing a bit as a girl, have averaged a game a decade.  The day was cool, the company congenial and the approach relaxed so I very much enjoyed this uncommon departure from my usual athletic routine.

Par Three Golf

Par Three Golf in Carnarvon

The tennis game sparked my desire to one day learn to play a bit better and my friend suggested that we might play now and again at Glendon College. After tennis, I had allowed myself the option to skip a run, but thanks to the initiative of my husband got out for a six miler although my legs were none too perky after 90 minutes of running around the court. In addition to tennis we kayaked , played ping pong and then had a nine-hole, par three game of golf; my score, an astonishing 24 over par at 51! My husband did much better and scored his first birdie ever.

North Shore Road, cycling

Bike Escort on North Shore Road

Yesterday, was our last day in the country and I ran earlier than the rest of the week.  My reward was seeing three deer in two separate sightings. I also spotted from afar a very large black dog prowling in front of a home and decided to do some double loops closer to home. It struck me then that part of the ease of my previous runs was due to having my husband leading the way on his bike. This was the first run I did solo.

Deer on North Shore Road

Deer on North Shore Road

So after being buoyed by my earlier runs, I returned home  like a dog with its tail between its legs in reporting that I chose the comfort of cars whizzing by on the main road to the perils of country dogs. My overactive imagination created the faint thought that perhaps that large black dog with white around the neck, seen from afar was a wolf. My husband will be distressed to read that I even mention this outrageous imagining. Perhaps I was influenced by thoughts of an outing planned for later that day, a trek to the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre. To be honest, learning more about wolves made me well . . . more wary of dogs perhaps not the best outing for this easily startled runner. Awoooooooo . . .

Wolves at Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre

Wolf pack at Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre

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Training for NYC – The Plan

Here is the draft of my training plan for the NYC Marathon, committed to paper while flying to Edmonton the other week.  I’ve since transferred the plan to the Excel spreadsheet that I’ve been using as my training log for over a decade.

Marathon Training Plan 2011

Training Plan for NYC Marathon

For all the gadgets in the world, I’ve found that sometimes there is nothing that beats pen and paper for keeping organized.  I’m at my best at Getting Things Done GTD®  à la Dave Allen when I have notepads strategically located around the house, so as to easily download from my mind, all the things that need doing.  CLICK HERE for my earlier post about Dave Allen.

You’ll see in my plan that I’m hoping to do 80 & 85 miles weeks at the peak of my training.  Pulling that off will depend on whether I can both increase the quality of my runs and increase mileage concurrently.  I used to be able to do this easily but with a lapse of a few years from hard training and age, we will have to see.

The “E” stands for Easy Week and as a concession to the aforementioned, I will experiment with two weeks hard, one week easy.  Previously, I would usually do three weeks hard and one week easy. “R” stands for race, the first being the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and then of course NYC.

I hit my target of 50 miles last week and this week got off to a good start with a workout that will segue into a weekly tempo run.  I ran a 4 mile warm-up outdoors and then hit the treadmill for 2 X 10 minutes of marathon-pace and tempo-pace running for a total of 8 miles.

Not all the treadmills at my gym are equipped to read out heart rate data and while fidgeting with the controls of one treadmill, I had to input my age.  By mistake I entered 50 and then my target heart rate which was 145, my marathon-pace heart rate.

Immediately I received in three warnings in quick succession that this was 85% of my maximum heart rate and did I realize the risk involved.  These warnings reminded me of how off-the-mark heart rate zone charts can be.  Normal resting heart rates for the general population differ by up to 20 beats.  Age maximums vary even more depending on fitness level.  If I had entered 172, which would be my target were I planning to run intervals, along with my correct age of 55 perhaps the treadmill would have gone on red alert and shut down.

My best advice to those seeking to improve their marathon times is get a lactate threshold test done.  This will insure that you are doing those important tempo runs at the just the right effort level. Runner know thyself.

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Here, There & Everywhere

That’s how the day felt.  I got to work early for a three-hour shift leaving before noon to head out to Scarborough via TTC for a funeral.  I barely knew the deceased but was happy to be pay my respects to the family of my step-grandfather, the only grandfather, on my mother’s side, that we knew.

I got a ride back from my brother and he dropped me off on Queen Street West.  I picked up a gift certificate from the Australian Boot Company where I bought my Blundstone boots, their contribution to the gala Silent Auction.  Then I had a quick lunch at Sweet Lulu’s, a Pad Thai’ish, design-your-own noodle dish, had a peek at The Paper Place, formerly the Japanese Paper store and then home with a short stopover at Starbuck’s for a latte.  I did some work and then got ready for my first outdoor track workout of the year at Varsity Stadium.

I checked the forecast before leaving, 17C with wind gusts up to 69K!  The wind was very fierce at times, and I saw a large flat piece of wood fly onto the hood of a car.  With this strong wind at my back, I was not looking forward to the post-workout jog home into the wind.

The workout consisted of 6 x 600 meters with a 90 second recovery.  It was quite a huff and puff effort but it felt good to feel my legs turn over quickly.    In spite of missing a speed session last week, I felt fairly sharp so perhaps my speed is on the rise.   The circuits felt easier, due to the notable absence of the dreaded hopping up stairs from same leg to same leg. There is something refreshing and dreamy about lying on your back doing a stretch, looking at the great expanse of sky from a large field in the middle of downtown Toronto. However, there is something disgusting about lying on this same track and noticing that the there are numerous cigarette butts and matches littered about on the astroturf.

Thankfully, the wind had died down on the way home and it wasn’t half bad.  Waiting for me was a meal of Osso Bucco prepare by our resident chef, Alain.  I have a good life.


Around the Bay 30K

Kudos and congratulations to all those who took part in this historic road race today.  It is the Ontario road runner’s equivalent of a season-opener.

While out on Friday we ran into an acquaintance who asked if I was running on Sunday.  I drew a blank.  It was only on Saturday morning that it struck me that this was the weekend of one of Canada’s foremost long-distance races, the Around the Bay 30K in Hamilton.  How could I forget?! Many of those who have been training diligently through the winter have been driven by the goal of racing this 30K.

Last year a record I had established in 2006 was broken.  A new course (and Canadian) record for 30K of 2:07 was set by Jennifer Ditchfield.  My goal when I set the record was to run under 2 hours and 10 minutes.  I was disappointed to run 2:12 and that did not feel easy.

Around the Bay on a warmer day.

My friend Michal Kapral, a.k.a. the joggler jumped in around 25K and ran with me for awhile.  I told him that I was fading and wondered out loud whether any masters women were closing in on me.  He immediately started running backwards and let me know that I was in danger of being picked off.  That is when I learned that sometimes it is better not to know.  Ignorance is more blissful than having a set of eyes in the back of one’s head.  The rival masters runner did pass me and it felt worse knowing that this was a possibility so far in advance.

Michal at one time was considering trying to set a Guiness record for the backwards marathon.  He holds or held, the record for a marathon pushing a baby jogger and for running an entire marathon while juggling three balls.  He has also won the Toronto marathon in a time of 2:31.

With my plan to run Boston next year, it is doubtful that I can do the 30K as it is my view that many a runner has left their Boston best, down by the bay. It is a challenging 30K route that when raced to the full, is not far off the effort of running a marathon. With 3-4 weeks separating it from Boston, there is not much time to recover to put your best foot forward at Boston. This has been the subject of ongoing debate among long distance racers and their coaches over the past century.

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50 Hard, 50 Easy x 20-25

Like last week, my Tuesday running plan was to take the long way home from work, i.e. the 7 mile route, rather than the 1 mile route.  Just before noon I found out that I had to go to Avenue Road and Lawrence to do a presentation so I left earlier than planned and enjoyed the 7 miles with 5 X 5 minutes at marathon and tempo pace.

I had a couple of hours to regroup at home and then off to work, again.  The trip there was super-speedy and I arrived 35 minutes early.  I’m a person who likes to be on time.  The meeting and presentation went well and then I had an extremely slow trip south.  To compound the situation after getting off the Avenue Road bus I got on the northbound subway and went back to Lawrence station.  Aargh!  It was a good thing that I had the leftovers from my Japanese meal last night for breakfast.  I was stuffed when I got to work but it staved off hunger until after my run.  I had a very early dinner but on my long slow trip home resorted to eating chocolate eggs purchased for the annual Easter egg hunt for my 23 year old son.  Will he be angry that I’ve gone public with this?  He subscribes to my blog but claims to rarely read it.

I think I’m starting to feel a bit of perkiness from the two speed sessions over the past two weeks.  I’m planning to hit the track on Thursday when we will be racing round the 200 meter oval in this way.  Sprint the straights and walk the curve, this is called 50 hard,  50 easy.  I thought this meant 50 seconds so I’m glad I asked for clarification from coach Paul and found out that the straights are roughly 50 meters.  We are supposed to aim for 20-25 times around the track.  I’ll likely aim for 15-20.

I may even wear my racing flats for this.  Now where are they??!  I’m getting excited about this.

My New Balance Racing Flats are very similar to these!

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Rats ‘R’ Us – Running for Research

Yesterday was my first day off from running in 2011, which is a step towards getting faster.  Today, I ran just over two miles and this short run confirmed that taking yesterday off was a wise move.  My ligaments and muscles are definitely feeling the after-effects of the much-harder-than-usual workout with the U of T Masters group.  The day of rest, and the very easy day will ensure that my body will come back stronger, rather than accumulate stress and break down.

So the blogging versus running count for 2011 now stands at:

Blogging = 64 days (65 posts) Running = 67 days (67 runs)

And this day off came just in time to avoid (ever so slightly) comparisons with the overworked rats with heart troubles mentioned in an article in today’s New York Times called . . .

When Exercise is Too Much of a Good Thing.

Recently, researchers in Britain set out to study the heart health of a group of dauntingly fit older athletes. Uninterested in sluggards, the scientists recruited only men who had been part of a British national or Olympic team in distance running or rowing, as well as members of the extremely selective 100 Marathon club, which admits runners who, as you might have guessed, have completed at least a hundred marathons.

All of the men had trained and competed throughout their adult lives and continued to work out strenuously. Twelve were age 50 or older, with the oldest age 67; another 17 were relative striplings, ages 26 to 40. The scientists also gathered a group of 20 healthy men over 50, none of them endurance athletes, for comparison. The different groups underwent a new type of magnetic resonance imaging of their hearts that identifies very early signs of fibrosis, or scarring, within the heart muscle. Fibrosis, if it becomes severe, can lead to stiffening or thickening of portions of the heart, which can contribute to irregular heart function and, eventually, heart failure.


The study was supposed to mimic marathon training as  “. . .  scientists prodded young, healthy male rats to run at an intense pace, day after day, for three months, which is the equivalent of about 10 years in human terms.”  I have questions, serious questions.  Were the rats given easy days?  Did they wear heart rate monitors and were they able to vary their pace from very easy to very hard with interval breaks between the hardest run sections?  Did they have sedentary time in front of computers, at work and at play?  Were they encouraged to stretch?  To me the training sounds more like a ten year tempo run.  The study is published in the journal, Circulation.

My husband had questions as well.  The one-hundred-marathon group is self-selected.  How many of the rats were truly talented distance-running rats?  Did they hold rat time trials to select their subjects?  If you are naturally a sprinter will it be damaging to your heart to try distance running?

Due to the short supply of female marathoners available for an equivalent longitudinal study, I’m waiting for science to call.