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Shalane Flanagan
In the past several years, American top runners have begun a surge to the podium in distance running. This year, Shalane Flanagan outpaced Kenyan and world record holder, Mary Keitany, at the 2017 New York City marathon. In the lead pack from the beginning, Flanagan began a relentless pace at mile 21, increasing her gap over Keitany and the rest of the women's field. The win ended a 40 year drought for American women in New York City.

“I've dreamed of a moment like this since I was a little girl,” Flanagan said through tears after the race. “So this means a lot to me, to my family and hopefully inspires the next generation of American women to just be patient. These are the moments that we dream of as athletes, and this is going to feel good for a really long time.”
Meb Keflezighi
Optimism runs high for the American elite runners as older runners Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman step down from their running careers. Young runners, such as Galen Rupp, Jared Ward (men) and Jordan Hasay (women) are showing their talents on the US elite team.

Keflezighi, now 42 years old, announced his retirement shortly before the TCS New York City Marathon and finished 11th overall this year. Wins by Keflezighi at the 2009 New York City marathon, and again at the 2014 Boston Marathon, showed that American distance runners are a force to be reckoned with. He was the silver medal winner in the 2004 Summer Olympics and finished out his career by running his 26th marathon.
Training Tip
Effective Carb Loading
For the most part, runners monitor their food and nutrition more than non-runners and try to maintain a diet that’s low on fats. Most athletes understand the importance of a balanced diet fueled primarily by carbohydrates. As we noted in chapter six, carbohydrates are especially important for runners because muscles need the glycogen that comes from them in order to produce energy for your body. Most health professionals agree that carbohydrates should supply about 60% of nutritional intake among runners. In order to enhance their energy stores, most distance runners practice “carbo-loading” before their races. It’s common practice to eat a carb enriched diet during training, but most runners elect to increase a diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as pastas, breads and potatoes, just before a race or long run.

To some folks, carbo-loading might seem to be the most effective way to enhance performance, but it’s really only a small part of your overall training. Carbo-loading does, however, allow you to store more fuel just before your race or long run.  It should also be noted that running does not increase appetite. In fact, exercise tends to diminish it, acting as a suppressant.  Many runners, like me, have to force down food the morning of a marathon. Even though I don’t feel hungry on race day, I know the importance of the fuels that are available from the food. For many years, clinical dieticians have known that a fatty diet doesn’t allow muscles to work well and intake of fat should not exceed 25% of your diet plan. Aside from carbohydrates, proteins can also supply energy and should make up about 15% of the calories in a runner’s diet. Most importantly, fluids are necessary to allow blood to transfer glucose to the muscles and aid in flushing out metabolic waste. Moreover, insufficient fluids hinder your ability to sweat, an important function of our bodies during intense activities.

Start with a good diet throughout your training program. Don’t carbo-load just the night before. If you’re really doing it right, you will be consuming the proper amount of carbs, proteins and fats through your entire training program, you’ll taper a week before, and you’ll begin heavy loading of carbohydrates at least three days in advance of your run. Please don’t worry about your weight! You’ll lose some of the additional weight during the race anyway.  During the race, try to take on carbs, simple sugars for quick entry into your system, and gels that contain adequate amounts of ingestible and fast-absorbing carbs.
(Exceprts from Running for the Average Joe)
Colorado Trail
Colorado Trail - supporting mental health awareness

In July, I ran the entire 486+ miles of the Colorado Trail to raise awareness for mental health issues.  It was an honor and privilege to work with Defeat the Stigma organization in Minnesota.  Even though they struggled to keep their program going (now defunct), we were able to raise awareness to help support those in need of mental health services, and I encourage you to support your local charities and mental health support groups.

"My days running on the Colorado Trail have been nothing short of extraordinary. I've found that the trail has a heartbeat of its own. I was able to see, feel, smell and hear the trail as she told me stories from years gone by. I BECAME part of the trail and was at her mercy as she told me when, where and how I could move. And every once in awhile, she allowed me small victories so I could tell my own version of the story...."

While I was on the trail, I was able to capture photos and videos of the incredible scenery in Colorado and hope to have a full account in writing in the next few months. I have a number of blog entries and photos from my 13 days of running the trail. It was one of the most difficult, yet enlightening experiences of my life, and I look forward to many more miles on the trail in the future.

Watch the video here.
Recommended Run
Jemil Kassahun, 18, winner of the ADT Marathon (2:50:21)
ADT Marathon - Recommended Run
Young runners dominated the 2017 American Discovery Trail marathon, held on September 4th, 2017. With a time of 2:50:21, the winning male was 18 year old Jemil Kassahun, and the top women's runner was Katie Standfort, 22, with a time of 2:55:44. Both youngsters reside in Colorado.

The American Discovery Trail Marathon is a USATF certified Boston Qualifier (CO-08011-DCR). With a start line in Palmer Lake, CO, it descends gradually from 7,300' to 6,040', finishing in downtown Colorado Springs. It consists of two-thirds hard-packed trails, with the last one-third finishing on a concrete trail that follows the greenbelt. The beautiful course traverses several miles through the US Air Force Academy property.

This is a favorite among local runners because of the superb September weather conditions and the fast course that allows many runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon. If you're a 50-state marathon runner, this should be one of your destination considerations.

This event is sanctioned by the Road Runner's Club of America (RRCA) and is an official state championship race.
Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis

         Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel and arch pain. It involves inflammation and pain of a fibrous band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This band of tissue runs nearly the length of the bottom of your foot and connects your toes to your heel bones. Plantar fasciitis generally causes very sharp pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once the foot limbers up a bit, the pain usually decreases, but there may be a reoccurrence of pain after long periods of sitting or standing. Plantar fasciitis is very common in the running community. Persons who are middle-aged, overweight, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
      Normally, your plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorbing bowstring that supports the arch in your foot.  If tension on that fascia becomes too great, small tears develop. Repetitive tearing and stretching  causes the fascia to become inflamed or irritated. Plantar fasciitis is most common in persons between the ages of 40 and 60 and is not gender specific. The most common contributors are a sudden increase in activities that place abnormal stress on your heel and attached tissue such as long-distance running and hill running. Other contributors such as faulty foot structure or mechanics, like flat feet, or excessive limping, can cause plantar fasciitis.
        Other causes may be related to uneven weight distribution, such as bearing weight on one foot more than the other one. Finally, obesity or a sudden onset of weight gain can cause tearing or inflammation of the plantar fascia.
       Complications of plantar fasciitis can occur if you ignore the pain and symptoms. This may result in chronic heel pain that hampers your normal activities. Changing the way you walk to minimize the pain of plantar fasciitis can also cause the development of foot, knee, hip or back problems.
          The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is fairly straightforward. Normally, X-Rays, CT scans or MRIs are only ordered to find out if there are other problems besides the plantar fasciitis, such as torn heel ligaments or bone spurs. Most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis recover with a conservative treatment plan in just a few months, although some cases may take years depending on the extent of the damage and condition of the patient. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
Strengthening and stretching exercises, combined with the use of simple, yet specialized devices may provide symptom relief. A physical therapist can show you special exercises that stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, along with strengthening your lower leg muscles. All of this helps to stabilize your ankle and heel.
     Home remedies may include rolling a tennis ball, baseball, or frozen water bottle on the bottom of your feet, several times per day for about 10 minutes each time. Ice can help alleviate the pain and rolling a bottle or ball can help stimulate the fascia and return much needed blood supply to the injured area, critical for the healing process. Your physical therapist or doctor may recommend wearing a “Strasburg sock” or splint that stretches your calf muscles and the arch of your foot while you sleep. This helps to hold the plantar fascia tendon and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight and facilitates proper stretching of the fascia.
        Custom-fit arch supports (Orthotics) may also be prescribed to help distribute the pressure more evenly. These are usually prescribed for those with weak or flat arches. 
When conventional treatment doesn’t work, your doctor might recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy.  Extracorporeal shock wave therapy consists of sound waves being directed at the area of heel pain to help stimulate healing. This special therapy is usually reserved for those with chronic plantar fasciitis in which more conservative treatments have failed. This procedure may cause swelling and bruising, along with pain, numbness or tingling—and it’s not always an effective treatment plan.  Steroid shots can provide temporary pain relief, but use caution. Repetitive or multiple injections in a six month period are not recommended because they can weaken your plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture or damage the fat pad covering your heel bone.
      Runners beware:  Do not run for at least 10 days after steroid injections or you may risk rupturing the fascia!  In extreme cases, some people require surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This should be considered as a final option only when the pain is severe and all other treatments have failed. Side effects include a weakening of the arch in your foot and it could end your running career.

(Excerpts from "Chapter 7 - Dealing with Injuries" - Running for the Average Joe)
Book Launch
Book Launch - Tattered Cover - Aspen Grove
On August 13th, Running for the Average Joe was launched at The Tattered Cover, an independent book store in Littleton, CO. The event marked the first of several book signings at various stores and local races. 
Book Review
If you've read the book, please let us know what you thought by filling out this quick survey.
Top 10 Best Seller
Listed by the Denver Post as a Top 10 Best Seller, Running for the Average Joe is storming the running market. Listed as "one of the best new running books of 2017..."

On sale through December 17th for just 23.95 - FREE shipping in the US
Buy it now
3W Ambassador
2018 will be a good year for running and volunteering!

On November 15th, I was selected as a 3W Race Ambassador for 2018, and I'm really looking forward to serving the local running community.

"We're creating a better existence for ourselves and our neighbors by offering local racing events in partnership with local businesses which benefit local charities..."

If you'd like to volunteer to help out at their races, be sure to contact them!  Volunteering will earn you a race voucher for $40.00 that can be used for most of their races.
In my book, I have dozens of "mote-quotes" - motivational quotes to help you stay focused and driven during your training. This issue's quote is:

"You don't need to be THE best - you need to be YOUR best.”
- Bill Watts
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