Whew! What a weekend! The Dallas Athletes put on a great Halloween party at the Monster Triathlon in Keller, Texas this fine Sunday morning. After severe weather yesterday afternoon, the weather had cleared up to be perfect for racing. The start was in the beautiful Keller natatorium where the water is always a balmy 81 degrees. A lovely hilly ride (hills for Texas) through Bear Creek and finished with a run through the nature trails. What more could you ask for? (Maybe next year we could start at 9am instead of 7? Ha ha)
This year, I have been running long course triathlon and concentrating on the 70.3 distance, so frankly I was in no shape to race a fast sprint. I decided to have fun with the day and put on my costume. I was the “Tri-fairy” because it turns out they don’t make a Tinkerbelle costume in my size. I borrowed wings, a crown, and a magic wand from Sasha, my 4-year-old, and got a black tutu from Target. Add to that some ribbon on my hot pink bike and my costume was ready!
Tom was the race starter in his Burger King costume and we were officially under way. It’s amazing how triathletes really do come in all shapes and sizes! The youngest one I saw was 10 and the oldest at 78. Tall, thin and muscular all the way to looking like a small Sumo wrestler. It’s great to see so many people (almost 700) celebrating fitness and pushing the envelope.
The race is a favorite among the local tri-heads, but it also tends to draw a lot of first timers. My office administrator, Lori, was a newbie this morning. Not only did she push herself hard and do fantastic, but she finished in a virtual tie with me! I see many more triathlons in her future!
As for my race, I had a nice swim and was only run over by three guys. Got my costume on and went for a nice bike ride with 700 of my closest friends. Lots of comments when you are biking in a tutu with a crown affixed to your helmet and pink wings on your back!
Off the bike and on to the run! Tom announced as I went by the finish line that “This is Dr Crane, she treats feet and halitosis”. Very funny Tom! I only treat halitosis if your foot is in your mouth!!
Lori passed me on the run as I was jogging along giving lots of fairy dust to other runners with my magic wand. I sped up as she past me and finished just a few steps behind her! A good time was had by all!
Now it’s time to get busy and build some base for the winter s we can tackle the Inaugural Texas Ironman in May 2011. Tune back for updates from Janet and I on the road to Ironman Texas!
Amazing fun this morning at the Monster Kids Triathlon in Keller, Texas. I am so proud of my daughters, Alex (12) and Caitlin (10). They worked hard, didn’t give up and finished with a smile! Donuts were the finisher prize this morning. The look on their face when they finished was priceless. They can now call themselves triathletes!
Dallas Athletes did a great job putting on the event and the volunteers were awesome. Imagine over 300 kids ages 4 to 13, separated into three groups; 4-7, 8-11, and 12-14. It was like herding cats to get them all to the starting line and then in the pool!
The littlest kids were adorable. Life jackets and a parent in tow are legal for under 7. Then they got on their tricycles or little bikes with training wheels and off they went for a one mile bike, then off the bike to run a half a mile. Just adorable were the smiling faces when they crossed the finish line and got their medals.
The older kids were much more serious and nervous, pacing the pool deck while the little kids got started first. Ages 8 to 11 had to swim 50 meters, and then bike 2 miles, then run a mile. Ages 12 to 14 had to swim 100 meters, then bike 3 miles and finish with a one mile run. The serious looks on these kids’ faces said they were not there just to have fun, but to compete!
The parents were an absolute treat to watch as well. It was very obvious that most were either runners or triathletes who had dragged their kids out of bed at 6am and were trying to infect them with the love of triathlon as well. It was great to see kids being dragged away from the video games and shown that competing can be fun!
Tomorrow morning there is over 700 adults signed up to race in the Sprint triathlon version of the Monster Tri. I hope we all have as much fun as our kids did this morning.
Run Happy….and Bike and Swim when you can!
Whew! Gear is all together and ready to go at 6am tomorrow morning. I’m excited. My first tri was at the age of 40! I’m glad my kids can get a taste of the sport I’ve come to love. The race is called the “Monster Kids Triathlon” and looks to be a lot of fun! They have competitors as young as 4 and as old as 13. Picture little kids on tricycles up to early teenagers. What a mix!
The adult sprint triathlon is Sunday, so we get to get up before dawn both days this weekend! I think I’m more excited then the girls, but my 12-year-old was telling everyone in school she was doing a tri and they were all impressed! Wish them luck! Will update with results and even pics!
Run Happy! (and Bike and Swim if you please!)
Why do my feet itch so much? Why does it seem to happen more in the summer time even though I'm not wearing closed in shoes? Why does it itch more some days but not others? All good questions! Let's talk a little about itchy feet.
Many people have itchy feet from simply dry skin. Their skin is drier in the summer because they are either going barefoot or wearing sandals all of the time. They also don't habitually put moisturizer on like they do in the winter time. They also may be predisposed to dry skin from underlying medical problems like diabetes, poor circulation or hypothyroidism. Luckily dry skin has a simple fix. Exfoliate your feet with a combination of a cream or lotion that contains urea or lactic acid coupled with a gentle buffer or sand paper. If you do this a few times a week, it should alleviate all the itching of alligator feet.
But you don't think you simply have dry skin? Perhaps you have a fungal infection. Chronic itchy feet from an underlying tinea pedis (also known as athlete's foot fungus) is extremely common. It is more common in the summer due to increasingly sweaty feet. Fungus loves sweaty feet! Take a look at the skin on the bottom of your feet and in between your toes. Do you have a wet whitish peeling look to the skin in between your toes? This is called maceration. It happens when you toes are wet a lot or have been submerged in water for a long time; but it is also a hallmark of interdigital tinea pedis or fungus in between your toes. Check out the bottom of your feet. Does the skin have little red bumps or scaling skin in the pattern on very small circles? This is also indicative of fungus. The great thing about athlete's foot fungus is that it is easily treated with a topical medication and then decontaminating your shoes. Keep your feet clean and dry and make sure you change your socks if you sweat a lot.
So you don't think its dry skin and really don't have the hallmark signs of fungus? Another common problem is contact dermatitis. You may have contact dermatitis if you have a red, scaly, itchy rash and it is in the pattern of your new sandals or perhaps socks. You can also get contact dermatitis from a new cream or tanning lotion. Any kind of topical allergen can cause a skin reaction. I've even seen dermatitis from an ankle bracelet! Contact dermatitis is usually a new problem and a little detective work will help you find the culprit! Topical treatment with a steroid cream coupled with removing the allergen usually rapidly relieves the itchy rash. Rarely an oral steroid is needed to calm down the itching and alleviate the rash.
Other causes of itchy feet can be any kind of skin problem like eczema or psoriasis. Most people will see a telltale skin rash prior to the itching and are familiar with the symptoms they have in other area of their skin. Treatments vary depending on the underlying skin problem.
So these are the top reasons for itchy feet: chronic dry skin, tinea pedis, or a dermatitis or skin disorder. Itchy feet driving you nuts? If your detective work falls short, and your itching persists; it is time to visit your podiatrist. Skin scrapings or a biopsy can often help find the culprit and eliminate the annoying itch!
Spring is finally here! That means more and more older runners and athletes are flocking to my Grapevine, Texas, office complaining of a multitude of aches and pains. 'Tis the season to overtrain and suffer from the dreaded tendonitis. What is this mysterious 'itis? Why does it effect aging athlete's more than the younger ones? Why does one person have multiple bouts of recurrent tendonitis all over their body and another does not? These are all great questions!
Let's start with the basics. A tendon connects your muscles to the bones. It is a flexible but really tough band of fibrous tissue. A muscle contracts to move one of your joints and transmits a force on the tendon to cause the movement. Tendons, when functioning normally, glide very smoothly when the muscle contracts. When they are irritated, they cause pain and even creaking when they glide. This is tendonitis or in easier terms, inflammation of the tendon.
Tendonitis can occur in any tendon, but in your foot and ankle the most common tendons effected are the ones that stabilize you foot when you run, jump and play with the other kids. These are the Achilles tendon, the posterior tibial tendon, the anterior tibial tendon and the peroneal tendons. Less likely to be irritated are the multitude of smaller flexor and extensor tendons in your feet.
Tendonitis is more common in your aging athletes between 40 and 60. This is because the lovely aging process causes our tendons to become less elastic and therefore less forgiving. A stress that would've been easily absorbed in our 20-year-old tendons causes tendonitis and even rupture in our 40+-year-old tendons.
Tendonitis is usually due to repetitive stress with an underlying biomechanical abnormality or anatomical deviation. This is why it is important to treat the tendonitis and the underlying cause before return to sport. If not, recurrence rates are high!
What does tendonitis feel like? Pain and swelling in the tendons usually first thing in the morning or at the beginning of an activity. The pain and stiffness often "warms up" in the early stages, but can become constant if you ignore the early symptoms. Sharp stabbing pains can occur but these are usually a sign that your tendon is so stressed it may actually tear!
How is it diagnosed? Usually your doctor will perform a physical exam and then rule out a bone problem or fracture with an x-ray. Sometimes an MRI is needed to rule out a small or partial tendon tear.
Treatment for tendonitis begins with relative rest. Take the stress off the inflamed tendon by doing alternative exercise like cycling or swimming. Sometimes complete rest is needed. Ice, anti-inflammatory medicines, bracing, physical therapy and even a cortisone injection may be needed. Functional foot orthotics are often quite helpful in chronic tendonitis because they stabilize the abnormal movements and help treat the underlying biomechanics of your feet.
Remember that after having a bout of tendonitis, slowly return to activity and try to avoid the overuse that caused the tendonitis in the first place! Too much, too soon, too fast syndrome is often the culprit in tendonitis!
Is carbo loading all about eating more pasta?
Is there a magic formula?
If you are an endurance athlete who is fearful of hitting the wall,listen up: proper fueling before a marathon, triathlon, century bike ride, or other competitive endurance events can make the difference between agony and ecstasy!
If you plan to compete for longer than 90 minutes, you want to maximize the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles, because poorly fueled muscles are associated with needless fatigue. The more glycogen, the more endurance (potentially).
Read the entire article by Nancy Clark, a leader in sports nutrition.
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