Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon Course

For those of you running the Rock'n'Roll 1/2 Marathon this year, be ready for a course change!!  Check out the map below and see all the great improvements they have made.  It's going to be a great course!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Who is Sue Krenn???

Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it. (Rabindranath Tagore)

Sue Krenn earned her life.  Sue was a generous and kind woman who was passionate about her friends, her running community and her own running and training.
Sue gave to her friends by sharing workouts and competition with them, by socializing with them when the workouts were over, by remembering them with gifts and letters from her travels all over the world.  She gave to her running community by enthusiastically supporting her running peers, in part, by being the race director of the San Diego Track Club's 15K race in Mission Bay.  She gives to us who never knew her by her example of an ardent, consistent and disciplined woman, friend and runner.
Sue was passionate about training and did so with great vigor and focus.  As a young woman, she began studying ballet and learned the discipline of a training routine.  She later became a rower and qualified as a member of the second string United States Olympic Rowing Team.  Later still, she became a runner and marathoner.  Sue became a runner later in life than most others do who achieve what she did.
Sue trained hard.  One Friday afternoon, she joined San Diego Track Club member Donna Gookin's training group for the first time.   Donna remembers that Sue began her running career as a big and slow runner.  Sue had been rowing a lot and had the physique to prove it.  SDTC member Dale Sutton challenged her to an arm wrestling match that afternoon and, though he won that contest, he did not win many more contests with Sue.  The run that Friday afternoon was rainy and muddy - ten miles of mud.  Sue persisted; she was determined to do ten miles.  She did.
Donna suggested to Sue that she begin her training as a runner with the beginner or intermediate runners of Donna's running group, but Sue was determined to train with the advanced runners.  She would start the workouts with the faster runners, would get left behind but would keep on running hard anyway.  Her enthusiasm for the workouts carried over into the group's post workout dinners in Tia Juana.
Sue gradually became a faster runner and began winning races.  Bill Siebold introduced Sue to Dr. Hal Goforth.  Bill brought Sue to Hal's house so that Hal could show her how to use glue (silicon) on her running shoes to get extra mileage out of them.  Hal and Sue began talking about running.  Since Hal was running and racing well and was pursuing his education in Exercise Physiology, they thought that they were a good match for training and racing together and so they began.
Dr. Goforth remembers that Sue loved training.  She trained with men because she could not find other women "who would train that hard or long and still be fast enough.  There were other women runners in San Diego at that time that were faster, but she was determined and believed in the methods we were using and followed my schedule to the T."  Many days Sue would run between school and home to be sure that she got in enough mileage.  Hal remembers, "We did heat training (before most runners even knew what it was).  We did long runs (as did everyone) but we did a long tempo [run] every Saturday on a 1.5-mile loop course and learned even pacing at close to race level effort.  We also did long intervals either on the roads or track.  The whole schedule was progressive and, as we adapted to one level, we increased the distance [at which] we could hold the pace.  There were at least five other runners at that time that would train together with this schedule.  They all have done very well.  Lorrie Dierdorf joined us and later qualified for the Olympic Trials.  She and Sue both had PR Marathons of 2:38 which, in the late 70's and early 80's, was quite good."
During the time Sue was training with Dr. Goforth, she ran her best marathon time, 2:38, and placed third among the women competitors in the 1978 Boston Marathon.  Hal ran with her partway that day; they were right behind Joan Benoit and would catch Joan on the down hills, but would lose ground on the up hills.  Hal wanted Sue to have the experience of the final miles alone, so at the eleven-mile mark, he told her that she was on her own.  He vividly remembers finding her after the finish and how she ran up, hugged him, and started jumping up and down while saying "I got third!"
Sue raced hard.  In 1979, Sue ranked seventh in the US in the women's marathon.  SDTC member Kendall Webb ran in some races with Sue and remembers her "incredibly hard and loud foot snap when her foot hit the ground with each stride".  Sue ran marathons in San Francisco (1978), Boston (1978), Seoul, Korea (1982), Vancouver, British Colombia (1982), and Venezuela (1984).  She finished all of these marathons, except the one in Venezuela, in less than 3 hours.  And she was, for a time, the women's US national record holder at the 50K distance.
Sue was an enthusiastic supporter of her running community.  She was a member of the San Diego Track Club and was the race director for the Track Club's Mission Bay 15K race that has been renamed in her memory.
Sue was a Spanish teacher and went to South America to teach.  She hiked in the Andes and ran.  In 1984 she competed in the Venezuela Marathon and placed third among the women.  A few days after running in that marathon, she wrote Dr. Goforth a card about having gone scuba diving off Bonaire Island in the Dutch Antilles north of Venezuela.  She went back there to dive again the day she wrote that postcard.  Sue Krenn died during the dive.
Dr. Goforth said about Sue - "There was only one Sue Krenn and I haven't seen anyone come close.  She was compassionate, especially for children; she was overly generous (gave gifts to everyone, from all over the world); she was tough as nails (she contracted amoebic dysentery in Columbia, she was chased by a man with a knife there while she was on a run); she never compromised her morals or beliefs; she didn't think too highly of herself (she gave away all her trophies and awards); she knew that hard work paid off and was willing to pay whatever the price to achieve a goal; she loved adventure and challenges (she traveled everywhere she could and once fell hundreds of feet in an avalanche in South America); she kept her friends in her life wherever she lived or traveled.  She lived a richer, fuller, more generous and memorable life in 34 years than 99.9999% of Americans will in their lifetime."
The race t-shirt for the Sue Krenn 15K has a silhouette of Sue on the front and a "No Wussies" symbol on the back.  Dr. Goforth remembers when Sue would use the term "wussie" - "It was a comment she used when someone may say something about the workout suggesting fatigue or [disappointment with] the conditions (i.e., wind or rain).  She would say "come on ... don't be a wussie!"  So Hal put the word "WUSSIE" on the race t-shirt inside a circle with a diagonal line through it.  Hal was the race director for the Sue Krenn 15K for ten years and one year, race day was a day of stiff winds and persistent rain, and Donna Gookin said to him, "Sue is looking down on us and saying, "Come on … don't be wussies!"
On the day of the Sue Krenn 15K, you will run along a sparkling sea in San Diego’s Mission Bay.  You will be where Sue would be and is.  You will be what she was - a runner, a competitor, and a member of a running fraternity that is richer and fuller for the participation of us all.
Thank you, Sue.
C Evans, March 2005, with sincere thanks to Dr. Hal Goforth, Donna Gookin, Dale Sutton, Brian Williams, and Kendall Webb.

Postscript, December 2005
Sue Krenn is buried in a Catholic cemetery on the island of Bonaire in the southern Caribbean. Thanks to Harrie Cox, Tish Dance, Brian Williams and Ray LaFleur. Mr. LaFleur posted some photos of Sue partway down this Bonaire Talk Discussion Group message board thread.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Common Nutritional Mistakes Marathoners Make

By Kim Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD

As many marathoners have discovered, you don’t have to be a rookie to falter on the nutrition front.  In fact, many find nutrition to be the hardest aspect of marathon performance to perfect. Below I cover some of the more common mistakes I currently see and the quick fixes to ensure a successful marathon journey.

“Training low” too often

The concept of “training low, racing high”, which refers to the act of avoiding use of carbohydrate in and around training and then introducing carbohydrates on race day, has become quite trendy in the endurance sporting arena and, with good reason. A large handful of studies over the past decade have found strategic implementation helps to enhance an athlete’s utilization of fat as a fuel, thereby sparing limited carbohydrate stores and paving the way for enhanced endurance performance. On the downside, however, there is also evidence that poor execution can lead to a plethora of performance-crushing problems, including reduced endurance, poor recovery times, and an increased number of nagging injuries and illnesses. Therefore, understanding how to best engage the benefits while minimizing side effects and performance detriments is key.

Quick fix: Right off the bat, it is important to note that the act of “training low” is proven ineffective for high-intensity training and thus is only recommended as a potential performance tool for aerobic-focused training and racing. To garnish the benefits of training low, approximately once a month, an athlete may complete an aerobic long run (up to 2 hours or 14 miles) without taking in carbohydrate fuel during the workout. In addition, once a week, an athlete may complete an aerobic-focused workout in the morning after an overnight fast OR complete 2 workouts in a day without replenishing carbohydrate between efforts.  An extra day of recovery should be penciled in after any “low” session.

Not nailing down a hydration plan before race day

Some of the most memorable, though not pretty, images of marathoners are of athletes staggering towards the finish line and ultimately being treated for fluid and electrolyte imbalances.  To avoid being the subject of such an image, it is important to determine sweat rate in a variety of different conditions (hot versus cold, humid versus dry, etc) as well as understand personal tolerance to fluids (how much can you absorb) so an appropriate hydration plan can be drawn up for race day.  Knowing how to adjust effort when Mother Nature deals not-so-ideal race conditions like heat and humidity take effect as most athletes will find their sweat output far exceeds ability to absorb in such conditions and thus failure to reduce heat generated by exertion pretty much guarantees a trip to the medical tent or ER.

Quick fix: Consider investing in a digital scale and journal to help monitor sweat rate and hydration throughout training and ultimately create a hydration plan for race day. Within the journal, make note of the workout (those closest to target race pace most relevant) and Mother Nature’s mood (was she hot, cold, etc.). In addition, log data from the sweat test, which entails measuring pre- and post-workout weight as well monitoring fluid intake and urine loss during the workout. Each pound lost is equivalent to approximately 1 pint of fluid and 200-500 mg of sodium. Voiding a significant volume of urine, a urine color that is consistently clear, sloshy gut, weight gain, nausea and vomiting are all signs that fluids are not being absorbed. Be aware that not many can tolerate more than a liter of fluid per hour. In order to protect against performance and health declines associated with dehydration, post-workout weight should stay within 2-3% of pre-workout weight.

Failure to train gut at race pace

If I received a dollar for the number of times I have heard “but my nutrition worked in training” after describing a dreaded cocktail of gastrointestinal problems experienced on race day, I’d be a millionaire.  Because heart rate and oxygen consumption by muscles tends to be higher on race day (thus less available for digestion), it is important to train the gut on the nutrition front, including planned pre- and race day fuel, at target race day intensity.  

Quick fix: At least once a month before a key training session or at a “B” race, complete a race simulation where everything from carbo-loading, timing and execution of pre-race fueling, and fueling and hydration on run are practiced at target race pace/heart rate.

Skimping on performance-focused fuel in attempt to lose a few pounds

There is no doubt that finding the ideal “race weight” is a tricky science. Proper execution of a fat loss program can most certainly aid running performance. However, cutting the wrong corners or being overzealous with restriction can lead one to be defeated and/or injured at the same weight.  Finding a sweet balance between energy intake from food and output from training, therefore, is key.

Quick fix: Calorie restriction should be avoided on key training days and weekly calorie deficit should not exceed 3500 calories (500 daily) while in marathon training mode. Unless purposeful, such as during a “training low” session, it is not recommended to skip pre-, during, and post-workout fuel demands. Significant weight loss (>10% body weight) is best achieved in the off-season.

Kimberly Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, author of The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Supplements (Human Kinetics, 2013) and elite runner who enjoys helping others fine tune their nutrition as means to achieve a variety of health and performance-related goals with her company, Fuel Factor ( Contact her at

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting off on the Right Foot!

The importance of the intrinsic muscles of the foot in running
By Christina Valerie, Wednesday, February 2, 2016

One of Track Club’s finest attributes is its ability to bring together a wide variety of runners.  From scientists (yours truly), to artists, lawyers, teachers, cooks, armed service personnel, on and on... The San Diego Track Club has it all, which provides for so many interesting and insightful interactions, and additionally, a wealth of information to draw from! Need content for an article from a physical therapist? Well, turns out SDTC has got those too!

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of our SDTC members, Adam Iannazzo. I visited him at Feats of Strength, Adam’s physical therapy practice in Mission Valley. Adam has been a practicing PT for over 13 years now. He began running in 2010 after practicing Tae Kwon Do for many years and wanting to improve upon his cardiovascular fitness.  He loves SDTC and plans to be lifer!

Through Adam’s experiences in running, he has significantly increased the focus of his practice to treating athletes and runners in particular. He has gained invaluable knowledge about the imbalances, weaknesses and injuries that impact runners the most. Adam hopes to spread his message of preventative maintenance to the running community. He believes that a strong and well balanced runner is a faster runner and most importantly, is an injury free runner!
When I first came to see Adam, he put me through a whole battery of tests to assess my needs. One of Adam’s beliefs, which he shared with me, was about just how paramount the foot is in running, and how we often neglect it when it comes to strength and mobility training.

“Almost all knee pain issues are a combination of poor foot and ankle mechanics and hip weakness... Plantar fasciitis, Achilles and calf tendonitis … mortons neurmoma... stress fractures, “shin splints” and over-pronation… These little muscles are so important but nobody works them! It’s like the little muscles in your palm for gymnasts.” -Adam Iannazzo, PT and owner of Feats of Strength (

Interestingly enough, a recent review article was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (, describing this very topic. I guess Adam knows his stuff! According the review:

“The movement and stability of the arch is controlled by intrinsic and extrinsic muscles. However, the intrinsic muscles are largely ignored by clinicians and researchers. As such, these muscles are seldom addressed in rehabilitation programmes.” -BJSM Review Article

During our meeting, Adam talked about the importance of these intrinsic muscles and even pointed out during some of my single leg balance tests, how much my extrinsic muscles were firing, obviously compensating for weak intrinsic muscles.

But what on earth are intrinsic muscles and intrinsic movements, you ask? I have no idea… But thankfully Adam does. By his calculations, they are:

“…the small motion controlled by the muscles located inside of the foot arch and between the long bones of the toes … The intrinsic muscles of the foot (along with a few extrinsics and the plantar fascia) support and absorb the force created when walking, running or jumping. If the intrinsics are weak, we can’t fire them or have poor endurance, the force from the ground goes to the next available joint and muscle which is the ankle and Achilles tendon and then into the knee and up to the hip and then all the way out the neck and head!!!! With good intrinsic control, the amount of force that exits the head is significantly reduced and all pains get better, runners become more efficient and faster!” -Adam

The aforementioned article provides a great figure illustrating the numerous intrinsic muscles of the foot (don’t worry, I was completely oblivious about these too!):

So now that we know they’re there, how do we put them to work to keep us healthy and  improve our running efficiency?  Adam has a few exercises which he likes to prescribe to his fellow runners:

“At the foot and ankle I would like everybody to start working on lifting the toes while pushing down with the big toe and then reversing it as many times and as fast as they can until they almost cramp. Then trying to let the medial arch fall then squeeze it up to create the biggest arch they can.” -Adam

The last part of this exercise is also mentioned in the recent review article and is diagramed below for all of you visual learners:

Additionally, Adam suggests:

“… try a few barefoot runs in the sand at first but start slow…” -Adam

Adam does warn that this should be introduced Very slowly, starting with a quarter to a half mile per week, to allow for your body to properly acclimate as this can be strenuous on your calves and Achilles tendons at first.

Some research does in fact exist, supporting the benefits of barefoot running (another point to Adam!!). The review article summarizes a previous study:

“Robbins and Hanna reported a significant reduction in the foot length (measured radiographically from the anterior aspect of the calcaneus to the first metatarsophalangeal joint) following 4 months of barefoot walking and running. The shortened foot is an indirect measure of foot strengthening as it indicates a raising of the arch. Muscle size has been directly correlated to muscle strength.” –BJSM Review Article

The evidence for a higher arch and stronger foot is there, however, the authors do explain that:

“Further studies are needed to determine whether strength and cross-sectional area gains of the foot core muscles lead to a reduction in running-related injuries.” But that “ Clearly, a stronger foot is a healthier foot.“ –BJSM Review Article

So, in the meantime, let’s put those little piggies to work and find ourselves on the path to more efficient and injury free running!

See you all on the track!

**More questions on this topic? Feel free to contact Adam Iannazzo.


  1. McKeon et al. The foot core system: a new paradigm for understanding intrinsic foot muscle function. British Journal of Sports Medicine  (2016).

  1. Adam Iannazzo, BS, MPT
Owner of Feats of Strength  

Monday, February 1, 2016

2015 USATF Club National Cross Country Championships

San Francisco Golden Gate Park, December 12, 2015.
by Dan Trone, SDTC Life Member
The 2015 USATF Club National Cross Country Championships were at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on December 12th, 2015. The San Diego Track Club sent teams representing the women's and men's open division (younger than 40 yrs.), women 50-59 yrs. (2 teams), women 60-69 yrs., women 70+ yrs., and men 60-69 yrs. (3 teams). There were also many San Diego Track Club runners racing on other recreational and sponsored teams, too. This tome is about the 60+ traveling harriers. I am not 60, did not run the race, and tagged along to be their mule, just looking forward to another adventure. I met and recognized so many runners from San Diego that I'll bet America's Finest City was the second most represented only behind the host city.

The travel plans started during the summer when tireless Paul Baumhoefner started recruiting a men's 60-69 team - in the end, he recruited 3 teams! Robb Latimer, Greg Wilson, Peter Stern, Douglas Kenyon, Paul Baumhoefner, and I travelled together. Waiting for our flight to depart San Diego, I noticed Bill Walton in the packed Southwest Airlines terminal. Of course we flew into Oakland, home of the Raiders (Paul's team). Paul sat right next to Bill at the gate their 17 inch different in height less than half in the sitting position. Bill Walton still towered over Paul. The flight was uneventful. We took the scenic route from Oakland airport - monorail to the BART, BART to Market and Powell Street, cable car to Fisherman's Wharf, and walked to our hotel. Whew! Almost 2 hours! Glad I wasn't running the next day - my legs were a little flat after that trek
.C:\Users\Dan.Trone\Pictures\San Francisco street car_December 2015.jpeg

The night before the race, legendary coach Joe Vigil (pronounced V-hill; great name for a running coach) gave a motivating keynote presentation at the host hotel. [] I thought we were going to hear about training programs, race tactics, and how to get your head into the race. Instead we heard about life, adventure, sportsmanship, and being part of a team! Refreshing and true! How many races do you go to as part of a team and come away only remembering your mile splits and how you did? Coach Vigil talked about the things of life - the funny stories we remember when we do things together, and how the memories of being part of a team can stay with us for the rest of our lives. I agree - especially since I was not running this race :-)

It rained hard a few days before race day, so the course was honest, muddy, and squishy. Race day was clear, crisp, cool, and no rain! Side bar --- the day after the race the weather was so bad that seagulls were flying sideways with a lot of yaw in the high winds and swirling rain, and the grey cloud cover made midday seem like dusk. Missed perfect cross country weather by 1 day - maybe next time?

The disclaimer at the foot of the official race map reinforced what most cross country runners love; they are tough mudders: "DISCLAIMER: USATF and the author of this route make no warranties as to the conditions, safety, distance accuracy, or suitability for running of this route. Run at your own risk!"

That says it all! There are no wimps in cross country and you just toe the line and 'Go!' under any conditions. Most of the old-timer courses are understood to be approximate - 8 kilometers give or take. [GPS has taken a little fun out of estimating the distances for cross county races because they are precise. Another strike against technology? GPS takes a little fun out of XC.]

The men's 60+ race went off without a hitch; they were the second race of the day and the course was still in pretty good shape. Teams lined up in their assigned boxes, the start line was wide and soon narrowed to about 15 yards across. I ducked in at the first kilometer and ran about 5km of the race from the back, staying out of the way and swinging wide at times. I cut across the course and cheered about 400 meters from the finish line, in time to see the top finishers approach. The amazing Greg Wilson, who splits his time between San Diego and Maui, was in 10th place! His front side was pretty clean - not much mud - which means he was with the front pack most of the race. Mud on the backside is proof of strong strides that kick mud behind and up - even someone who is in the lead from the beginning is clean on front and covered in mud on the back!

The results are posted below. The teams did great! The 60+ SDTC A-team came in 7th even though a couple runners were coming off injuries. The SDTC 70+ year old team was missing their captain (3 runners are needed to field a team) and the two that made the trip were folded into the SDTC 60+ C team. If the caption made the trip, the 70+ team might have placed 3rd overall! Next time ….

Coach Vigil spoke at the awards ceremony later that night. He is truly a treasure! In response to a question about training he brought up a very good point about diet. Younger runners can get away with eating pretty much whatever they want because they burn it off. Howeve, as we get older, we should be more concerned about watching our diet, reading our aches and pains, and allowing time to recover. As we age, we should not be too concerned about weekly mileage (we are running slower in training and won't be able to run as many weekly miles), so Coach Vigil did not say there was a magic number of miles per week we should run (of course training mileage is determined by race distance, so talking about training mileage is an open ended question). He closed his presentation by emphasizing team commitment and enjoying the experience, just as he did the previous night. Enjoy the ride and remember the journey!

The next morning, the day after the race, some of us wanted one last run before heading home to San Diego. The weather was nasty, so we went to breakfast instead :-) We took a limousine back to the BART - no street car this time - and made the uneventful flight back to San Diego. I sat next to a SDTC women's team member who said they ran a few miles that morning in the dreadful weather! Well, that put me in my place!! I should have gone for it.

The storm we experienced in San Francisco that morning made its way down the coast in time for us to experience it again shortly after landing at Lindbergh Field. Same storm twice in one day, but it's always great to be home in America's Finest City!

Now that cross country season is over, we are back to being prisoners of the white line on the freeway (excuse me Joni Mitchell) and running road races. Everyone knows, though, that grass and dirt are good for running legs, and eventually we are all dirt and to dirt we will return to running.

Next year's championship is in Tallahassee, Florida, December 10th, 2016. Will the SDTC send a few teams? Start planning now.


A couple notable SDTC individual results: Hank Sullivan was 3rd in the 65-69 yr. age group and garnered an individual medal; Greg Wilson was 10th overall out of 190 runners.

USATF National Club Cross Country ChampionshipsGolden Gate Park -San Francisco, Ca
Team Results 60+ Men [There were 36 teams]
7. 80 San Diego Track Club-A ( 32:45 1:38:14 2:10)
1 9 Greg Wilson 63 31:21 1637 
2 34 Gregory Wagner 60 33:22 1636 
3 37 Hank Sullivan 66 33:31 1635 
4 ( 74) Les Shibata 60 36:45 1632 
5 ( 89) Marc Frommer 63 37:44 1628
23. 255 San Diego Track Club-B ( 37:36 1:52:47 1:42)
1 75 Paul Baumhoefner 63 36:50 1625 
2 83 William Molesworth 63 37:25 1631 
3 97 Rick Bushore 62 38:32 1626 
4 (111) Robb Latimer 63 39:29 1630

36. 387 San Diego Track Club-C ( 43:06 2:09:18 2:36)
1 122 Steve Edwards 64 41:29 1627 
2 132 Peter Stern 71 43:44 1634 
3 133 Douglas Kenyon 72 44:05 1629 
4 (139) Benjamin Spowart 60 53:44 1633