Monday, December 31, 2007

This one's for Zack!!!

I hope everyone has had a fantastic Holiday season!!!! Besides training for this marathon, there are a lot of more important things that have happened over the past few months that I feel very grateful for. I thank God everyday for my family, friends and that I am able to be in a profession that I have passion for.
I would like to take a few moments and tell you about a little buddy of mine that is my next door neighbor. His name is Zack, and he is truly a special person to me and my family. Since we moved to our house in 2003, we have known Zack and his family, and he and my daughter Adryana, have become very good friends!!! They have literally grown up with each other. Every Christmas, it has become tradition that Adryana and Zack trade off gifts and open them in front of each other.

About 6 months ago, in the heat of late June, I remember seeing Tina (Zack's mom) in SuperTarget, and her saying to me, "Greg, you are nuts!!! I saw you running around 5 pm yesterday in the sweltering heat!!! You're nuts!" I laughed, and we chatted for a little longer, while Zack and Adryana played and talked with each other in the store, and we went on our way.

That was the last time I saw Zack, Tina and Rob before their lives changed forever. Apparently Zack came down with a chest cold over the next few days, but it wasn't getting any better. Tina took Zack to the MD, who intially said it was just a chest cold. It wouldn't go away and Tina took Zack back to the MD. They decided to do a chest X-ray, and suprisingly they found a mass in little Zack's chest. They did a CT scan to confirm that Zack had ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).

About a week later, my family was notified of all the happenings with Zack. It was a shocker!!! My wife and I knew that the most important thing we could do for them is pray and ask God to put his hand on Zack and their family during this very trying time.

Thank God, Zack is actually coming off of steroids today, but he will be starting another round of chemotherapy (which will be 4 days/week) starting January 7th.

Many people run marathons in memory of a loved one, or for some important cause. Since Tina said back in June, I was nuts for running in the sweltering heat, I figured that I should use my insaneness (is that a word?) for good, and tell you all about his story. Please click here to learn more about Zack (in the area where it says "visit a caring bridge website" put in zackaryrozmeski [all in lower case letters]), and to follow his course of battling this condition. There is also a place on this website where you can make a donation in honor of Zack for families that are dealing with very ill children, and are having financial difficulties for continuing to get appropriate treatment for their loved ones. (Tina told me that their copays for medication were over $800 for one week!!!)

For those that are able to donate any amount to caringbridge, please put your name on Zack's website and notify me by e-mail (Use the comments section at the end of this journal entry or e-mail I will extend out a complimentary video running analysis at Renewal Rehab (1 hour) for anyone that is able to donate to this wonderful cause. For the non-runners, I will give out a 30 minute consultation for Therafit Services to assist those who are trying to get fit for the New Year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2 weeks away...

Wow... I guess time flies when you're having fun.... Only 2 weeks away till the Disney Marathon. Feel good, but my body is a little achy from my run this morning. I ran 13 miles around my old neighborhood and I tried to run pretty hard, but I had a few obstacles along the way. First of all, I had to take a potty break at mile 5-6(luckily I knew that area very well, and I went into a fitness center I used to work at...could have been a problem if there was no bathroom around!!!) It was extremely hot also (at least it seemed to be) and after my bathroom break and the sun coming up, I just couldn't push it as much as I wanted to. But it's all good... at this point I'm just happy that my (R) ankle is feeling pretty good. Chris told me he ran this morning also, and did 10 miles at pretty strong pace (8:30/mile). It seems like he is peaking at the right time!!! Since I've been down here, it looks like I have recruited a few more people in my family to start runnning....let's see how that goes... I'm excited for them, and will try to help them in any way possible!!!
Okay we will chat later!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

On the shelf....for now...

The day after Christmas, I decided to play tennis with my brother and dad....which as I said in my previous entry was probably something that I shouldn't do. Well, not using very sound judgement, I went ahead and played with them, and it aggravated my (R) ankle even more. So, now I decided to take off a day of running yesterday, and go to my brother's gym and do a spinning class. A good workout, but not the same as going out there and running. I have been training for the Disney Marathon for 4 months, and this is the first time that I have missed a workout throughout the whole program. But it's all good... because I don't want to jeopardize anything that would screw up my ability to run the race. I've put in good training, and I'm tapering now, so I'm not too concerned about it. My (R) ankle already feels much better, and I hardly feel anything there.
So guess what? As I told you earlier, I played tennis with my dad, brother, and a friend of my father. His name is John, and his wife is a marathoner. She runs them like crazy!!!! She is doing two of them in February....whoa!!!! She invited me to come run with her running group this Saturday morning on the 17th St. Causeway (which is by Ft. Lauderdale beach). I was like "Yeah!!!! Just tell me what time?" She said they start running at 3 am!!!! I just told her, "Let me think about it" Man, that's early!!! So, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do yet...but I'm definitely going to run at least 10 miles tomorrow morning...just not sure what time I will be doing it....

Since I've been down here in Ft. Lauderdale, I was able to set up my cousin (Edmund) and his wife (Sarah) on the Therafit program that I have been doing for the past year in Tampa. One of my other cousins (John) is a personal trainer, so he sat in on my instructional session with Edmund and Sarah. They love the program, and John wants to try to implement the program with some of his clients that he currently has. So this pleasure trip has now turned into a little business, as we might have Therafit start in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area. Yeah!!!!

Ok, I'll keep you posted on my run tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone. I have never been so happy to be sleeping on an airbed mattress, as I drove down to Ft. Lauderdale after work yesterday so my family and I could spend Christmas with my parents and extended family. Holiday time is so sweet when you can spend time with your family and friends. I didn't skip out on my workouts this morning as I woke up and got running around 7:30 am, and did 3 x 1 mile intervals around my old neighborhood.

As I finished and came back to my parent's house, my dad was putting on his Garmin watch and getting ready to do his morning jog. He invited me to come, and even though I was pretty beat from doing intervals, I was excited about running with him and chatting about stuff. While running he reported to me that his cholesterol has gone down to 141, from 260 (approx. 10 weeks ago), he has lost 17 pounds in 10 weeks, and it has been primarily due to running 4-5 miles/day, 4 days per week, cutting down portion sizes and eliminating late eating. It was really cool having some father/son time, and just talking about all types of stuff. I must say that I am suffering in my (R) ankle from doing all that running today, as I totaled close to 10 miles this morning. But I couldn't pass up running with my dad, so I'll just deal with it. Tomorrow morning he (my dad) wants to play tennis with my brother and I, and maybe I might have to pass if the ankle is still misbehaving. I guess we'll see. Anyways, Merry Christmas to all, and Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's Taper Time!!!

Today was the last big training test for our marathon training. 22 miles starting at 5:30 am at the Downtown YMCA with the Blue Sharks. I must say that it didn't get off to a roaring start this morning, as Chris's watch and Ipod weren't charged, d/t something not working properly with his USB ports on his computer. He was not a happy camper. I offered him my watch to use, but he declined (I didn't really want to give it to him anyway, but it was the right thing to do... I know Chris will get a kick out of this when he reads this entry!!!) Anyways from that bad start, everything else went fantastic. I was especially happy for Chris, as he absolutely had his best training run by far, since he started training for the Disney Marathon. Actually at the end of the run (the last 2 miles) he was able to pick up the pace, which I was able to maintain, until the last 1/2 mile, where some switch went on in his brain, and he started flying... he was running the last 1/2 mile under 7:45/mile... at mile 21!!! I couldn't keep up with him. So, good for him....I guess he has better luck not using the watch!!! The first 11 miles of the run was done on Davis Island with the other Blue Shark runners, and was nice. We initially were planning to do the Davis Island loop again, but we decided to go on Bayshore and finish up the final 11 miles. The Bay was very dry and there was a bunch of marsh or something real ugly washed up close to the sidewalk, so it was not the typical beauty of Bayshore Blvd. that we are used to seeing. But the run was very nostalgic, as it brought us back to our first runs...close to 2 years ago now, when we were out of shape, out of breath after the 1/4 mile mark. And when we reached the point where we would usually start running, when we worked at our other clinic, we had already gotten to 14 miles in our run....we both got quiet when we realized it, and I think in Chris's head (and I know it was going on in mine) we gave ourselves a high five and a pat on the back for progressing our health and fitness to where we currently are today. A few seconds later, Chris said, "Would you ever think at that time, that you would be training for a marathon?" I quickly said, "No", and then we started talking and joking about other stuff again. Would you believe that we didn't even use our Ipods...just talking, joking about everything was enough to get us through our run... and it was awesome!!
So now it's taper time. This week was the most amount of miles that I have ever run (approx. 36 miles), and now it is time to cut back on our running and let our muscles and joints recover in preparation for the marathon, which is in 3 weeks!!!
For the most part my body feels good, but it doesn't mean that we don't run at all over the next few weeks. We just have to gradually run less than what we are used to running. I think I will run around 24 miles this upcoming week, and 18-20 during the week before the race. Good stuff!!!! Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!!! Time to start my Christmas shopping!!! (Typical guy, huh?)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting ready for the last big run...

I apologize for not blogging about an injury this week. But yesterday, something interesting happened to Chris's sister-in-law, and it's an injury that I have never seen before, so I'm currently researching a little more on it and I will report on it over the next few days...once I have it all figured it, you'll hear about it.
Okay, so tomorrow is a 22, possibly 23 miler at Davis Island again. I can't believe that I'm excited about running this far... I guess its gonna be great, because its a relatively easy pace so it shouldn't be hard on the body. One of my patients gave me a paper that pretty much sums up what has happened to me since I started running, in particular, when I started to train for the Disney Marathon. So this is what the paper says:
"I used to think they guys who woke up at 6 am to run were nuts. When I started doing that, I decided the guys who ran in the rain were nuts. When I started doing that, I decided the guys who ran marathons were nuts. So here I am getting up at 5 am to train for a marathon and it's raining!!!"
That pretty much sums it up for me... I am here at lunch, blogging about how excited I am to run 22-23 miles tomorrow, waking up at 4 am on a Saturday... are you kidding me? What has my life become? All I know is that I'm laughing as I'm writing this... and so happy about tomorrow. After the run, a nice long shower, and a bunch of food in my mouth, I will post about how it went!!! Bye!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Interval Day

If anyone was to question my dedication to training for this race, I think it would have to be laid to rest today. It was extremely difficult to get out of bed this morning, and start running in the cold weather. Considering that I’ve never seen snow, and have only lived in Florida or Jamaica at any point in my life, I would consider having temperatures in the upper 30’s as bitter cold. And that is what it was today…brutal!!! I actually stepped outside, and quickly went back in and got a sweater to put over my long sleeve Underarmour shirt I was wearing. Once I turned on my watch and turned on the Ipod, I was ready to roll…. I forgot about the weather about 2 minutes into the run, and was ready to do some speed work. I ended up running ½ mile intervals, 10 of them, with a 30 second rest break in between each, trying to complete each interval in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I was able to do that, which made me so happy! This is my last hard week of training, so I want to make it count, and really have everything go extremely well. Once I got back home, I took a shower, got something to eat, and started to work on some end of the quarter stuff for work. Later in the day, I went to Family Care and set up 3 new people on the Therafit Program….people are trying to get their act together for the New Year, which is pretty cool. I guess the most inspiring thing today at their office is that one of my clients had a death in her family this past week (which is terrible), but she still managed to do all of her workouts, and said that her workouts have allowed her to really keep sane through all of the trials that she has been dealing with. Exercising has been her escape. Earlier today, Kerry was commenting on how much more energy I have to do things around the house and help with stuff since I’ve been training for this race. There are so many great reasons to exercise, beside the obvious health benefits. I have a long day of work tomorrow, so I gotta help get the kids ready for bed and get some rest…

P.S. Tomorrow, I will address an injury…I’m just not sure which one yet… I’ve got 3 things that have happened to Disney Message Board folks, and 1 issue at the clinic yesterday that is running related, so I will think about it tonight, and report on one of them tomorrow…. See ya!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nutritional Advice

For the most part, my training for the Disney Marathon has gone quite well. I really haven't had any injuries that have held me out of training. I have been able to follow my training program nearly to the tee. The only thing that has caused me some concern is the 20 mile run that I did about 1 month ago. I "hit the wall" at about mile 18, and I have never experienced pain in my legs and just an overall awful feeling during running, until that day. As soon as I came home, I started to research on how to avoid "hitting the wall". I have asked fellow runners, triathletes and patients on their advice on how to avoid experiencing that awful feeling. Some have said, "Oh with it, it's gonna happen anyway you look at it" Some have advised me on using energy gels. But the best advice I have gotten was today from a patient that did some research for me this weekend on nutritional advice for endurance athletes. Some I am going to highlight some of the things that I got from this article about supplements:


Multi-vitamin / multi-nutrient (whole-food supplement) – Mutli-vitamins “plug” in the dietary holes that may exist in your diet. They provided targeted, concentrated nutrients that aid in providing balance to an otherwise good diet. Multi/whole-food supplements provide a more complete array of nutrients by offering more of the benefits that might be derived from a given food if eaten whole; as opposed to targeting some constituent property of the food (ie., wheat = vitamin e, tomatoes = lycopene and vitamin c…etc.)

Solgar, and Nature’s Way both make a great multi-nutrient – and both make a great product generally speaking – with Solgar being regarded as the “Cadillac” of supplements. If you choose to go to a multi-vitamin, the Solgar VM-2000, or Country Life “Max for Men” is a good choice. Take these with food, and break them up over a couple of meals. Don’t take these with your evening meal, as the B vitamin concentration might keep you up.

Multi mineral (Cal-Mag-Pot) – essential minerals / salts needed for sustained energy and to carry out several metabolic processes.

TwinLab and Now make great multi-minerals. Try to get one that is just Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Most of the other minerals will be delivered in an acceptable dose via your vitamin or normal diet. If you decide to get a broader spectrum mineral, watch out for too much iron (in fact, if you’ve not been diagnosed as anemic, I’d not taken iron at all). Take these with food as they can cause gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea)…and like the vitamin – take this over the course of 2 meals – but not dinner – the potassium might disturb your sleep.

B-100 – B vitamins are responsible for facilitating many different biological processes – they also support the central nervous system and aid in more neural functions than could be listed here.

TwinLab makes B100 supplement named “Stress-B complex.” I would take 1 in the morning while your not competing; then, during pre race training, up it to 1 or 2 in the morning with breakfast and another 1 or 2 with lunch, 10-12 days prior to the race. Always take these with food. If you feel nauseous, either cut the dose in half, or try to eat a little more.

Octacosanol – Essential! Improves the body ability to utilize oxygen – Aids in sustained energy production in muscle tissue – prevents the buildup of lactic acid in muscle - increases the body’s ability to store glucose. Can take weeks to see the beneficial effects, so begin taking as soon as possible.

CoQ10 – CoQ10 provides a tremendous amount of support to cardiac tissue and aids in general heart function, especially during times where there may be a depletion of oxygen (ischemia). High anti-oxidant properties, aid in reducing free-radical damage Brought on through extended periods of exertion. Try to find this blended with Vitamin E – sometimes sold as ToCoQ10. Take 50-100 mg per day – and take with a meal that contains a little fat (margarine, chicken, cheese…).

Turmeric – Strong anti-inflammatory properties, aids in complete digestion, thus making nutrients more available for absorption. Nature’s Way and Gaia produce a really good (herb) product – try to get this “Standardized.” You can take this anywhere from 1 to 3x/day.

Amino Complex (free form and essential) – Your protein drink is probably supplying this. Helps to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue and aids in the production of new muscle (BCAA). Take as directed, but since your using a protein powder – it you choose to use this, take it mid day, on an empty stomach. [ An “empty stomach” being 45 minutes before, or 2.5 hours after you eat.

L-Glutamine – the most abundant amino acid in the body. May aid in the production and maintenance of lean muscle tissue as well as sustained energy. Take as directed – get this as a loose poiwder - mixing it into a “warm” liquid will help it to break down. You may want to add this to either your protein mix or to your energy/running drink.

Hyaluronic Acid – Joint support. A component of synovial fluid – helps maintain tendons, ligaments and generalized joint function. Also good for the skin. Look for Nature’s Way “Hydra-plenish” – take as directed.

Chromium Picolinate – Chromium is needed for energy. It stabilizes blood sugar by aiding in the metabolization of glucose and aids the body in using those sugars to provide energy to cells via insulin.

Normal dosage is 200 mcg, 1 x day. If you tolerate it, you might want to go to 400 mcg (1, 200mcg tab, BID) about 10 days before the race and then nor another 2-3 days thereafter – then return to 200 mcg. ** If you are diabetic or are borderline diabetic – talk to your doctor first. If you feel light-headed or develop a slight rash after using Chromium – stop using it entirely.

MSM – A derivative of DMSO, it has huge therapeutic benefits in aiding in healing injuries. A VERY strong detoxifier, aids the bodies natural ability to clear the blood and tissues of toxins (including those that occur naturally from exertion). Huge benefits found in joint support and reduction of inflammation in joints.

Recommended dosage is about 1000 mg, BID (2000 mg total). Start at half of this dose for about a week, as it’s detoxifying properties might make you feel “fluish” if toxins are liberated and removed too quickly. If you decide to use this, be consistent with it to get the benefit from it.

Green foods – excellent source of vitamin B – great energy source. Mix with protein drink or add to juice and drink in the morning and/or at lunch – don’t take this too late in the day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Runnin' with the Sharks

This Saturday, Chris and I decided to do our 11 mile run a little differently than our previous runs. We decided to go to downtown Tampa, and meet a group of runners at the YMCA. They are known as the Blue Sharks. They run every Saturday morning at 5:30 am, start at the YMCA, and work their way into Davis Island. It ends up being a 9-mile loop, but at one part of the run, you can extend it if you so choose. It was our first time doing the run with this group, and there was some very positive things that came out of the run. First of all, the group was huge!! There were 78 people out there running, and from what I heard from other runners, there are sometimes over 100 people that run on a Saturday morning. When we started, it almost felt like a race... with so many people going. I didn't really spark any conversation during the run with anyone, it seems as though I was either too slow for the leading pack of about 20 people or too fast for the other folks. So I was just in the middle, making sure I keep the fast runners in visual sight, so I didn't get lost out there. Unfortunately for Chris, he got lost about a mile into the run (remember it was on Davis Island, which has a lot of turns, and it was very early and dark) in the morning. Anyways, at the 3rd mile, we met up and he was ok for the rest of the run (until the very end, where he got lost again!) The other real nice thing is that the organizers of the group put out water every 2 miles, so it helps simulate hydration during a race. Fantastic idea!!! I'm very happy that I went!! I realized a few things... one is when you stop for water, it gets you out of your flow, so I have to get used to that before the Disney race. I'm so used to bringing a belt with water bottles around it, so I never have to stop. Thank God for the Port o Pottys, because I continue to have stomach issues during my run ever since I came back from my trip. So... all in all it was a good run, and I have decided that the last extremely long run (22 miles) that I have planned next week, will be with the Blue Shark group, so I can continue to get used to the stopping, drinking routine. At the end of the run, I met two people, and we started talking about preparation for marathons. Basically, they were giving me some good advice about how to prepare for the race, as they are veterans in the marathon runs. They gave me some good advice on how to do interval training, which I am going to try this week. As we continued to talk, we realized that I used to treat the husband and niece of one of the people that I was talking to..... what a small world!!! Anyways, I am excited about my week of training ahead of me. It really is my last week to make some improvements, as after this week, I start to taper down in preparation for the big race.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shin Splints

Ok... here we go... our first educational blog!!!! Many people currently training for a race of some sort have been struggling with shin splints.

Shin splints is a general term used to refer to a painful condition in the shins caused by small tears in the muscles where they connect to the shins. It is often caused by running or jumping, and may be very slow to heal. Shin pain may also be the result of inflammation of connective tissue such as periosteum (periostitis). The pain may be caused by a stress fracture in the bone or some other problem like osteosarcoma. Pain in the lower leg may also be referred from a distant area of the body, such as pressure on the sciatic nerve (sciatica) which lies in the posterior thigh.

Improper pronation of the foot during the footstrike can also cause pain in the muscles which oppose pronation, on the inside or outside of the shin. In proper pronation the foot strikes the ground on the outside of the heel and then rolls toward the inside of the foot approximately 5%. The ideal degree of pronation varies slightly with the individual. It is determined by factors such as the height of the arch (a higher arch has more clearance for pronation than a low arch) and the flexibility of the arch. In over pronation, the foot rolls in too far. The result is that the foot pushes off almost entirely from the big toe, causing excessive strain on the big toe and the outside of the shin. In contrast, under pronation occurs when the foot does not roll enough. This causes the entire weight of the foot strike to concentrate on too small an area on the outside of the foot, which places a corresponding strain on the shin.

Treatment - Form
The long-term remedy for muscle-related pain in the shin is a change in the running style to eliminate the overstriding and heavy heel strike.
Most competitive runners do not strike the ground heel first. Sprinting is performed on the toes, as is middle-distance running. In long-distance running, the footstrike should be flat, though some elite long-distance runners will retain their forefoot strike acquired from years of competing in track-and-field. Look into the book Chi-Running... it is fantastic book which helps all runners with their running form.

Stress on the shin muscles can also be somewhat alleviated by footwear and choice of surface. Runners who strike heavily with the heel should look for shoes which provide ample rearfoot cushioning. Such shoes may be referred to as "stability" or "motion control" shoes. The so-called "neutral" shoes for bio-mechanically efficient runners may not have adequate support in the heel, because the runners for whom these shoes are intended do not require it. When their cushioning capability degrades, the shoes should be replaced. The commonly recommended replacement interval for shoes is 300-500 miles. Excessive pronation can be reduced by extra supports under the arch. Running shoes which have a significant supporting bump under the arch are called "motion control" shoes, because they work by limiting the pronating motion. Also shoes with cushion shock features and shoe inserts can help prevent future problems.

Ok... I hope this brings some light to some of your issues

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big Step Ahead

Yesterday, I made the biggest step in getting prepared for the Disney Marathon. I was able to run 22....yes 22 miles in the early morning. sounds like a long run... and guess what??? It was!!! It felt like it took forever. I enjoyed most of it, but I had some stomach issues before I left my house, 3 miles into the run, and 11 miles into the run, in which I had to stop and.... take care of business. My neighbors must think I'm a nut job, because I continued to run around a loop in my neighborhood...10 times!!! I saw people running and go home, and I saw one guy who was running, then I saw him go to work, and I was only 1/2 done. So, I guess I was never fully in a groove with my running, but who cares? I did it... one of the cool things about this first time of training for the marathon is that everything feels like such a big accomplishment because it's all firsts. I remember Chris and I slapping high fives when we completed 10 miles for the first time, then 12,14,16,18 and then 20... Now 22 (but we didn't run this one together). To be honest with you, I remember the first time I did a circuit training session after I saw my MD about my cholesterol, and I remember how satisfied I was that I finished 15 minutes of the circuit... it puts everything into perspective. Be proud of your fitness accomplishments, no matter where you are currently at...just continue to progress. I got some good nutritional advice from a patient at our clinic on how to intake energy gels during my training run, which seemed to help me throughout. My stomach problems were there before I even got out and ran, so I know it wasn't due to the energy gels. Anyways, I was sore after finishing...not as bad as I felt when I did the 20 miler, but I wasn't going as fast. I'm getting psyched... I just don't want to get hurt at this point...As I read, I'm starting to see more people write on the message boards about their injuries keeping them out of the Disney race...what a bummer!!! Well, you just gotta take everything in matter what happens. Okay, tommorrow I will be blogging about shin splints for all of you Disney people asking me about your shin problems. I hope I answer your questions.

Happy Running!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I'm Baaack!!!!!

One word can describe how I'm feeling right now.... Exhausted!!!! Why does it work like that? You go on vacation, and you feel more exhausted than before you left. Oh well, I feel very blessed that I was able to go away for that long and enjoy being with family and friends. As I was driving back to Tampa today from Ft. Lauderdale, I looked around and realized how blessed we all are to live in this beautiful country. We have so many priveleges and luxuries that we take for granted, so I just had to take a moment to reflect on things...
I also don't want to take for granted the good people that I work with. Everything went well at work while I was away, and its because the people I work with care so much, and I'm just so appreciative of them. Chris, Cheryl and Denise are the best... great friends and co-workers, can't beat it!!!
Perhaps the most disappointing news I heard from any of my co-workers was today when Chris gave me a review of his longest training run, which he completed today... a 22 mile run in Seven Oaks....
Good news is that he finished it (and he finished it in a very respectable time).
Bad news is he told me that it was quite uncomfortable...actually he used the words "downright painful" to describe the last 3 miles. Chris and I, are more or less at around the same fitness levels, so usually what he feels with running, I feel about the same..... so I'm a little worried. Excited and anxious may be better words to use. We usually do all of these long runs together, so maybe its going to be worse for the both of us, because there is no encouragement going on while we are out there. Because I just got back in town, I have decided to attempt this 22 miler Tuesday morning, (also, my (L) knee was acting up just a little bit yesterday). So an extra day or two before the run can only help.

P.S. Now that I'm back, I plan on blogging at least 1x/week about common injuries that happen during strength training and/or running. Many of you from the website have been sending me private messages about your injuries and I have, for the most part, been answering your questions on an individual basis. I will decide what injury/topic gets discussed, based on what people are dealing with the most during the current week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quick Update

Hey guys... can't write for long... $10 every 30 minutes for internet use at the hotel.... insane!!! Well anyways, as you know this blog that I am doing is for running and rehab purposes for the most part, but if you want to know about our trip, Kerry, the original blogger, can tell you all about it at her website
She expresses herself a lot better than I do!!
As for the post-race feelings... I couldn't ask for a better race. The conditions were great... it didn't seem to hot, since it was an early start, but the cramping at only 12 miles worries me and when I get back, I'm going to have to figure out some more stuff to put in my body so I don't run into this issue at Disney.
I ran 8 miles yesterday morning on the same course as the race. Probably about 8-10runners out there also, and I enjoyed it. Didn't use my Ipod, just enjoyed my surroundings!! My body feels good, and I forgot to tell you that I found a running partner to run with tomorrow morning. He is part of the Norwegian group that is here for my wife's cousin's birthday party. He actually placed 3rd in his age group at the race with a 1:35 finish time. He's 50!! He was on the Norwegian ski team, back in the day, and he has a all-time best of a 1:10 half marathon finish. No joke!!! So, tomorrow, I will try to keep up with him, and it should be fun.
Ok... gotta go!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Race

The Race directors arranged for a bus to come every 15 minutes to our hotel, from 3:45 to 4:45 and drop runners off at the starting line. When I actually go on the bus @ 4:30, nerves started to set in. Was my (R) foot ok? Am I going to have to stop and walk, like the 1st half marathon I did? Will me not sleeping last night affect me? Before I could give myself answers to any of these questions, the bus driver said "Good Luck!!!" and opened up our doors. We were there and I guess I just figured that I'll have those answers in about 2 hours. I saw a bunch of people doing their pre-race routine. Some local track teams were doing their stretches, Joints in Motion was doing their pre-race thing and the DJ for the race was playing reggae-exercise music that got a lot of people pumped up. Believe it or not, the race was supposed to start at 5:15 am, and the starting gun sounded off at.....5:15!!! I would've bet all the money in the world that a Jamaican race would start at least 30 minutes late, at the earliest
I started and like all races, the start was very difficult to maneuver in and out of people. I finished my first mile in 8:24, which is slower than the 7:55 goal pace that I wanted to accomplish. By mile 2, I seemed to settle in and get in a groove. I was right around 7:50ish/mile for miles 2-6. Mile 7 had the most amount of supporters and cameras and bunch of a media folks were around that area. I got excited and started running faster, and I negatively felt my change in pace after 3 minutes. I was unable to finish miles 7&8 under 7:50 pace. Mile 9 was where I knew I was within reach of the finish. I told myself that I should start to push it and try to get back in the 7:40ish/mile pace. That worked well, until the end of mile 11, where I felt the cramps coming on... uh oh!! My legs felt heavy, but I hung in there. Mile 12 was rough. I knew this wasn't going to be a fast one, but I wanted to make it respectable. Two guys passed me, and then one guy, who I was talking to earlier in the race, caught up to me and said, "I'm hurting" and then I said "I'm cramping, so since we are in the same boat, let's make a deal. You push me to the finish and I'll push you." He said, "Fair deal", so we talked all the way to the end. The last .10 mile, we sprinted and said we wanted to look good for the pic!! It was greatly appreciated, and we talked for about 20 minutes after the race. Guess what his name was??? Greg!! It must've been meant to be that Greg helped Greg out, huh?? After the race, I was interviewed by and it wasn't until after the interview that I realized that I forgot to stop my watch. My unofficial time was 1:43 minutes, by their clocks. My chip time will be a little different, due to me starting at the back. I finished 7th in my age grop and 82nd overall. Sorry, no pics at this time, because I only have internet access and I can't download stuff from the camera. After the race I watched others come in and cheered them on. I left the race area after watching the first marathoner come in at around 2:30 min. A guy from Belgium won, and he is staying 2 doors down from me. As I am writing to you all, there are people still out there doing the marathon.... Boy oh boy, 6 weeks left until the big one, and I got my hands full!!!

Sore, stiff and satisfied


We're Here!!!

Wow!!! I guess I have a lot to cover. The last time I blogged, I was in Tampa getting ready to leave for Ft. Lauderdale. I guess I will pick it up from there. Ft. Lauderdale turned into a longer than expected trip, due to heavy traffic (over 6 hours,and it usually takes us 4). Due to us getting in past 10 pm, and being completely exhausted, I was not able to run on Wednesday. Thursday at 5 am was my running time, and it didn't go as planned. Two huge dogs started to chase me, but luckily as one of the dogs were coming after me, the owner yelled to him and he obeyed. I freaked out, so I decided to work my way back to my in-laws. On the way back, my (R) foot started to hurt, so I walked the rest of the way back (yes, physical therapists actually get hurt). When I limped back to my in-laws, I got the kids ready and we were off the airport. Flight was great and we actually arrived 5 min. early (which is very shocking that anything affiliated with Jamaica is on time). Our trip from the airport to our hotel was 2 hours. When we get here, the first thing I noticed was the different groups that were here to race the marathon. Joints in Motion, The African Leukemia Society, etc.... and they were easy to pick out due to them wearing badges displaying who they were affiliated with. Again, the beauty of these races is the you can't pick out a runner based on an individuals age, size, shape, gender or color. Since being here I've met many runners from Florida and other parts of the USA, Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Africa, Norway, and Denmark.
Fast Forward to yesterday, one of my little ones has a pretty bad fever and has been sick since our first day. Yesterday was awful for him and last night, Kerry and I probably slept 1-2 hours combined, as we were up with him as he cried and vomited throghout the night. Didn't have to be nervous about the race, as more important things took center stage. So with that said, I didn't need an alarm for my 4 am rise. Kerry always gets nervous about me racing, and was even more nervous, because she didn't want bad things to happen to both me and Arjay. She prayed for me before I left the room and I was on my way!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On our way!!!

Hey to all...hope all is well with everyone. I just finished work, headed home and I have packed the truck with our baggage and we are ready to head down to Ft. Lauderdale. We will catch a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay tommorrow morning. Not too excited yet, because I'm still just trying to remember if I took care of everything at work. I think that once I get on the plane I will be able to let loose and relax. Unfortunatley I haven't run yet today. Planning on running tonight in Ft. Lauderdale or before I leave for the airport tommorrow morning. I will do some speed intervals, so hopefully it will carry over to the race. I don't know how accessible internet access will be for me once I am in Jamaica. My intention is to blog at least every other day, but we will see how it goes once I'm down there. Hopefully I will be able to tell you all the results of the race. You might be able to check out the results at (just don't know how quickly they will get it up on their site). From what I have heard, there will be over 1,000 runners.... should be fun!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Personal Trainer

I love my personal trainer. I, like many runners, don't have a human personal trainer. I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 to track my distances, monitor my heart rate and watch my pace of running as I continue to train for these races that are coming up. I can come to my training appointments at any time, and my trainer only yells at me if my heart rate is too high or low!! It's funny that it has probably gotten to an unhealthy level now, in that I probably can't go out for a run, if I don't have my watch on to train. Honestly the true fun begins when I get back home after my runs. I am able to download all types of cool information about my run to my computer and I can analyze how well my run went. I guess I am a data geek when it comes down to it. What a lot of people don't realize about the Forerunner is that you can customize workouts, not only for running, but for indoor workouts also. About 8 months ago, I decided that there was something more that I could do with this watch than just run. I, along with my business partner Mike, decided to bring the idea of doing heart-rate based circuit training programs at home, using this great piece of equipment, by setting up specialized programs using the software that came with the watch and downloading it to the watch every 4-6 weeks for patients. We decided to call this exercise program Therafit, which is fitness based on therapeutic exercises. Therapeutic exercises are the type of exercises that we do in our field of physical therapy to get patients stronger and fitter, when returning from an injury. We have over 50 clients that have signed up for the Therafit program, and we have had tremendous success with people managing and losing weight and improving their overall conditioning. The neat part is that all of our clients download their information to us on a weekly basis, and me being a data geek, analyzes their information and give them tips on how to modify their home exercise program in order for them to achieve their goals.
Well enough about that.... Yesterday I decided to go out for a run after I finished my last patient at around 8 pm. Seven Oaks, which is where our clinic is located, is a beautiful place to run and roads are lighted and not too many cars are around. I planned on running 5-6 miles, but about 10 minutes into the run, I went from feeling tired to having that typical euphoric feeling while running and enjoying my music on the Ipod. I did a little over 7.5 miles, and completed a tempo run. A tempo run is basically when you run fairly slow for the 1st part of your run (usually the 1st mile), pick up the pace for the mid part of your run, and then cool down for the last leg of the run (usually a mile or so). It is quite challenging, so when you finish, you always feel proud of yourself. Here is a peek of the run:
P.S. If you click on view activity, you will be directed to a site where you can see all the neat information that my watch recorded during my run (how fast or slow I ran each mile, my average heart rate for each mile, etc.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Perfect Formula

So, I'm sure you are probably wondering about my cholesterol that I talked about initially when creating this blog. My levels were in the high 200's and now are in the mid-low 100's!!! Since 2006, I have gone from hovering around190 lbs to currently in the low 160's (don't weigh myself too often) My body fat percentage is between 16-18%, and I am in the best shape of my life by far!!! But to be honest with you, the numbers don't really matter to me. I know it might seem easy for me to say, but I am not running to maintain a number of any sorts. Obviously there are significant benefits to running, but I must say that now I mainly do it for other reasons. Here are a few of them:
1. Running is my personal time away from everything. Everyone needs some quiet time, and if it takes waking up at 5 am to get it, so be it. No kids, patients, co-workers.... just myself, the course and my Ipod (sometimes)
2. About 10-20 minutes into my run, I get my endorphin high, where I almost feel like I'm floating and sometimes I feel like my legs are moving and I'm not even's the coolest feeling and you truly feel like a well-oiled machine.
3. Running a race is a very exciting feeling. You get butterflies in the stomach before the race....have trouble sleeping the night before, and analyze every move you made during the race, just like being part of a big football, basketball or baseball game. (I can't even imagine how exciting it's gonna be at the start of the Disney Marathon 18,000 people!!!!!)
4. It keeps me accountable to my patients and my fitness clients. I have to set the bar for everyone else. I will never ask someone to do something that I can't do myself. So if I can't set the bar, I don't deserve to work with you.
5. Running gives me great energy throughout the day. My workdays can sometimes be 13-14 hour days. Since I started to run consistently, I don't have the fatigue that I used to have about 7 hours into the day. I used to come home from work and fall asleep on the couch after about 5-10 minutes. Now, I stay up... talk to my wife about her day and my day, play with the kids if they are not sleeping yet, and send out e-mails, do bills, or wash the dishes before I go to bed.
6. It's also quite amazing that people have said to me that I inspire them... my dad recently started running more consistently, because he saw how much weight I lost and was impressed that I ran 14 miles one morning before he even got up. He has started to increase his running to about 15-18 miles/week, and has lost about 15 lbs over the last 2 months. My patients and clients inspire me, and I sometimes inspire them, so I think that's pretty cool.

I have about 25 more reasons I could bore you with...but that'll do for now. Ok...gotta go, patients are coming through the door!!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Doctor Visit

For most people, having your MD tell you that you have high cholesterol might not be a big deal. And at the time, I was more relieved than anything when Dr. Blazejowski told me that, because I thought something else was going on with having diabetes (which runs in my family). For many weeks before my MD appointment, I was feeling extremely tired, urinating frequently (especially at night) and not being able to sleep good. But then Dr. Blaze said to me, "Greg you are only 28, so you might need to think of some lifestyle changes to get this regulated, or I may need to put you on meds....come back in 8 weeks and we will re-check you". At that point, I called my wife and told her what the verdict was and she, like myself, was relieved to know I wasn't dying! When I got off the phone with her, it all set in for me on what the MD said, and at that point I remember feeling embarrassed on what was going on with myself. The fact was that I am a physical therapist, telling people everyday how therapy is a lifestyle change and how fitness needs to play some part in their lives to help prevent injuries from happening on a frequent basis. I basically was not practicing what I preached and I was exposed!!!! I have never really had weight issues, but at that time I was inching to the 190 lb mark and finding it very hard to fit into any of the pants that I owned. Most of my patients couldn't tell that I had a belly, because of the outfits that we wear at work. For the next few days, I started to google everything about cholesterol, and voila!!!! Diet and Exercise continually came up as the best way to manage cholesterol issues. It's amazing that when you are in the medical field, you can't even think when it comes to how to take care of yourself, even though you take care of others every day!!!!! Two days later started the change in my life for the better.

October 2005

I decided to go out for my 1st run on a Saturday morning and run around my neighborhood. My goal was to run for 20 minutes without stopping....which should be a breeze, or so I thought it would've been. I remember winning a 4 mile race in 4th grade at my elementary school, so I just felt as though I could switch back the clock 20 years for this run and we would be ok. Everything went well.... for the first 10 minutes.... and then I slowed down... then I stopped. Brutal.... I realized then that I had a lot of work to do, but I was determined to get going. I started running consistently about 2 days/week working my way up to 30 minutes each time over the next 3 months.

February 2006

My breakthrough with running was when I participated in the Gasparilla 5k in Feb. 2006... It was an awesome experience, as I saw thousands of people run... all ages, sizes and it was cool to see everyone running, no matter how fast or slow they were. It really got me psyched up to take my running to the next level. I finished that race in about 27 minutes, which was about 9 min/mile, and I felt like a truck hit me at the end of the race. I couldn't believe that 3.1 miles would do that to me, but it did, and due to my competitive nature, I started to train up to 35 minutes per run, and sometimes 3x/week. A few months later I signed up for the May Classic 5k and shaved off 2 minutes off my time!!! I was so pleased with myself and the progress I made. On and off through the summer and fall of 2006, I ran sparingly as I was engulfed with opening up our Wesley Chapel clinic.

December 2006

Later on in the year, I decided that I wanted to take my running up a notch and attempt to complete the Gasparilla 1/2 Marathon. I figured that I needed about 2-3 months to get ready for it, but I continuted to procrastinate until the New Year. I started running 3 days/week, running about 4-5 miles each time to get myself ready for the race. I had no clue of what I was doing, just figuring that it would suffice. I was getting excited about the race, as I was treating a good amount of patients that were runners and were trying to get ready for one of the four Gasparilla races for that weekend. As much as I knew that I was planning on doing the race, it was when I started to tell my patients that I was doing the race, that I felt locked into this feat.

Feb. 2007

5 days before the race, I pulled my hamstring while running and 2 days before the race I got food poisoning from eating at a seafood restaurant. I was in bad shape, but my pride and ego couldn't allow me to not show up for the race. I didn't want to look like a joker, so stupidly I went out there and attempted to finish the race. Believe it or not, I actually did, but I was pretty dehydrated at the end, with a sore hamstring and having to walk/run the last 3 miles. It wasn't pretty, but what a sense of accomplishment. I finished the race in 2 hours and 13 minutes. That was the day I felt like I was a "Runner"... beat up and all. I remember talking to Chris (good buddy and co-worker) after the race and telling him I would never do this distance again, because of how awful I felt, and within 5 hours after the race, I remember saying to myself "I'm going to do a marathon". Crazy huh? My competitive nature is maybe unhealthy at times, and I like to challenge myself on things that I don't think I can do.... just to prove that I can do it... so in a nutshell that has been what has gotten me to the point that I am now..... 6 days from my 2nd half marathon, "The Reggae Half-Marathon" in Jamaica, and less than 7 weeks from my 1st marathon, the Walt Disney World marathon on January 13th.