Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 SDTC Boston Marathon


On Patriot’s Day, April 18th, the SDTC’s Boston Group of 46 runners took off with the starting gun in the 120th version of the famed Boston Marathon, this year celebrating “50 Years of Women at Boston”. It was in 1966 that San Diego’s own Roberta Gibb quietly slipped into the race and became the first woman to complete the world’s oldest continually run road race.

As is often the case with the Boston Marathon, the most difficult obstacle this year was not the Newton hills but the weather. Unanticipated heat at the start in Hopkinton had runners waiting for hours in the hot sun and pouring water over their heads before the gun went off. By the 10 mile mark, the low humidity had salty racing singlets pasted to bodies but the thought of cooling ocean breezes ahead gave hope of relief. It wasn’t to be however as those on-shore winds and increasing humidity then reversed the effects and caused chills and cramps when none had ever been experienced previously.  Paces slowed, water stations became crowded and 8.3% of all race participants (2,490) made visits to the medical tents, including some of our SDTC runners. Even the winning, elite runner’s times were the second worst in the last twenty five years.

In spite of the conditions, the Bostonians still managed to persevere and if maybe not reaching their intended goals, they came close enough to call it a “PR effort”. Still, about half of the group finished with a time that re-qualified them for the 2017 Boston Marathon and a fourth of them ran a legitimate PR. The top 4 men were led again this year by Fasil Tadesse with his PR 2:51 followed closely by Rashaad Forehand at 2:56:06, Pat McBride with a PR 2:56:38 and Jeremy Crossley with a 2:56:51. Only 45 seconds separated these three in a race with 30,000 runners! The women were led by Erica Schoeller with a 3:07, followed closely by Sarah Jerotz with a 3:08 and Lisa Ryan with her 3:10, all with a re-qualifying effort. The “Special Category” award goes to Natasha Bliss who, at 26 weeks into her pregnancy, ran the 26 miles in a 4:24, losing a close one to her “baby bump”. In the Team Divisions, the SDTC scored 8th in the Women’s Masters out of 59 teams, 10th of 74 teams in the Men’s Masters, 11th of 59 teams in the Women’s Open and 40th of 68 teams in the Men’s Open. These were all great showings in the first year the SDTC entered the team competitions. Watch out for next year!

As is always the case with Boston, performances are only a part of the total Boston “experience”, a sentiment expressed by all who look forward to making a return trip. Next Tuesday at the track, Paul will take some time to acknowledge these runners and have them share their experiences with all of you so plan on being there and catching the Boston fever that might spur you on to your own BQ. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Skinny Cranberry Crumb Coffee Cake!!

As runners, we need fuel, pure and simple. That means we get to eat carbs, and guilt free at that! But sometimes, it can be easy to wear that badge of honor and take it just a tiny bit too far. In fact, as many new runners transition to fueling for performance and also adjust to the new, often ravenous, hunger that comes from a tough run it’s easy to pack on a few pounds. So yes, as runners, we do get to enjoy carbs, but we still need to be a little smart about it. This Berry Coffee Cake recipe is one of those lets your runner heart have its cake, and you can stay fit and trim at the same time!

Why is coffee cake so delicious?

Well, let’s start with the fact that it’s cake. Just because it’s not covered in frosting and is lacking birthday candles does not change the fact that it’s cake. It’s traditionally made of white flour, white sugar, shortening, salt, milk, eggs and butter. A small slice will run you about 250 calories, 11g fat and 17g of sugar. Not the end of the world, especially for a runner racking up serious mileage, but it can certainly be better.

What can you swap to make a leaner piece of cake?

Use partial oat flour for added fiber
Swap butter and lard for coconut oil
Ax almost all of the added sugar and used honey and OJ
Add ground flax seeds for texture, fiber and omegas
Use nonfat Greek yogurt over milk for density

Those healthy swaps earn these stellar nutrition creds on a per slice basis:

·         250 calories to 150 (40% fewer)
·         17g sugar to 6g (63% less)
·         11g fat to 7g (39% less)
·         .6g fiber to 2g (2.5x more)
·         3g protein to 4 (18% more)

Skinny Berry Crumb Coffee Cake

Crumb Cake Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup raw oats
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2T ground flax seeds
Cake Ingredients

1 cup pancake mix
1 cup oat flour*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2T ground flax seed
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
3T honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 large eggs
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 cup cranberries
1/2 – 1 cup blueberries
*just put 1 cup oats in the blender if you’re not in the mood to buy oat flour.


1.      Preheat oven to 350 and coat your pan with non-stick cooking spray or oil.
2.      Mix all the topping ingredients together so that it becomes crumbly.
3.      Mix the first 4 cake ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well.
4.      In a smaller bowl, mix remaining wet ingredients (less the cranberries) until well combined.
5.      Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well then fold in the berries.
6.      Add to prepared pan and top with crumb mixture.
7.      Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (mine was 35, and it could have taken a few more minutes. The center is pretty gooey, but kind of extra delicious that way too.)
8.      Note on pan size: I used my trusty casserole dish here and I actually had to measure it with a measuring tape.  It turned out to be 9×6…kind of a weird dimension. I bet an 8×8 square pan would be perfect.

For more ideas and recipes like this, be sure to check out my Color Yourself Skinny program which is included as a part of my Simple Secrets Digital Health Coaching Program (simplesecretsprogram.com) . The smallest shifts can add up to the largest results.


Teresa Marie Howes
Health & Happiness Coach, BS, CPT
p: (858) 775-9005
t: @SkinnyTinis
i: @EatDrinkandbeSkinny

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Improving Gut Performance on Race Day

Improving Gut Performance on Race Day

By: Kim Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD

You’ve conquered 13.1 miles and are determined to carry the speedy momentum to a shiny new marathon PR only you are quickly greeted with bloating, embarrassing gas, and some pretty severe stomach cramps that has you doubled over on the side of the road at mile 14 rather than pressing towards that covenanted finish-line.

If this sounds all too familiar, you are not alone. Gastrointestinal (aka, gut or GI) disturbances, which can target the upper and lower abdominal wall (see table below), have been shown to impact nearly every runner at some point during a racing career. In some incidences, these disturbances can be so severe that the athlete has to accept a DNF rather than a finisher medal.

Common GI Disturbances

Lower Abdominal Disturbances
Upper Abdominal Disturbances
Side aches
Urgent need for toilet
Intestinal bleeding
Lower abdominal cramps
Stomach cramps

Causes of GI Disturbances

While the cause of GI disturbances can be multi-faceted, it is thought that the primary instigator is an overall reduction in blood and oxygen supply to the intestines, also known as ischemia, manifested by the fact that other cells, namely the muscles, are also in demand.  Ischemia tends to be most pronounced in prolonged strenuous exercise. such as a marathon.

Other key contributing factors are mechanical and nutritional in nature.  Consuming too many foods high in fiber in the final few days leading up to race day as well as on race day, for instance, will leave residue in the gut and increase the likelihood of lower abdominal disturbances.  Similarly, meals heavy in fat and protein can slow digestion making them undesirable choices especially the night prior to and on race morning.  Failure to allow adequate digestion time prior to gun start can cause unpleasant burping and vomiting to occur early on. It is also common for runners to swallow some air when drinking from water bottles and flasks, increasing risk for stomach distress.  Consuming too much of any ingredient (carbs, electrolytes, protein, fat) without the right volume of liquid/water or just too many calories in general based on oxygen available for digestion during racing is similar to throwing too much food down your kitchen sink; it results in a clogged gut, delayed gastric emptying and a consequent cocktail of upper and lower GI disturbances. Gastric jostling on the run tends to exacerbate lower GI disturbances, especially gas and bathroom urgencies.  And, lastly, failure to stay hydrated does not help.


While complete avoidance of GI disturbances in racing may be a challenge for some due to an apparent genetic component to such problems, the following strategies and nutritional practices can certainly help increase the likelihood of a happy gut on race day.

Gut Training Tip

Consuming carbohydrates in training at a rate of 30-90g/h, preferably from multiple sources (e.g., glucose + fructose), has been shown to increase the rate of carbohydrate oxidation due to enhanced intestinal absorption, helping to improve  nutritional tolerance as well as endurance performance.

Train the gut: Overall running performance is most certainly impacted by proper execution of race day nutrition. The problem is that many athletes focus all their attention on training and enter race day vastly underprepared on the nutrition front. Right off the bat, research supports the notion that athletes who fail to practice taking in fluids and nutrition in training are twice as likely to experience GI disturbances on race day compared to those who have practiced with their nutrition in training.  As a side note, if it’s not the same nutrition you plan on using on race day, you are not prepping your gut properly. At least once a month, try doing a mini race simulation where you practice EVERYTHING nutritionally from a timing, hydration, and fueling perspective at your target race pace.  It doesn’t have to be the entire distance of your goal race but it should encompass at least a portion of it.  Document your results in a training log so you can review what nutritionally has worked (or not) leading up to race day.

Follow a low-residue diet pre-race: For up to 72 hours pre-race, minimize residue in the diet (http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/low-residue-diet-foods).

Give yourself adequate digestion time pre-race: In general, allow approximately 1-hour digestion time for every 200-300 calories consumed, focusing on low-residue carbohydrates on race morning.

Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and aspirin pre-race: Chronic use of NSAIDs and aspirin has been shown to damage the intestinal wall and increase incidence of GI disturbances.

Be careful about certain supplements: Several supplements and ergogenic aids, including caffeine at high doses, beetroot juice, and sodium bicarbonate, can increase risk for GI disturbances so be aware how your body responds to a supplement prior to implementing it on race day.

Stay hydrated: Sip on fluids so that urine runs pale yellow pre-race and water weight loss does not exceed 2% during racing.

Kimberly Mueller is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, elite runner, author of The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Supplements (Human Kinetics, 2013), and owner of Fuel Factor (www.Fuel-Factor.com). She has enjoyed helping fellow runners dial in their nutrition and training for optimal health and performance for over 15 years. Contact her at kim@Fuel-Factor.com 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

SDTC Cleans It Up!

This past weekend SDTC went out and made a different at Mission Beach. We reached out to San Diego Coastkeeper and asked how we could help.  They shipped us off to the beach and asked us to keep track of all the trash we picked up.  2 hours of combing the beach and we found about 27 lbs of trash.  Believe it or not, this was a "clean" day.  Over 200 cigarette butt, tons of plastic bottle tops, balloons, more socks than you would think and even a shoe!  I have no doubt we will be heading back out there in the near future.  We had a blast!  Thank you to all the difference makers who were able to make it out on Sunday morning!

San Diego Track Club is always looking for ways to give back to the community.  All ideas are welcome!  Please leave a comment below if you have some great ideas on how SDTC can make a difference!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Womens Masters @ C-Bad

 Carlsbad 5000 aka C-BAD! Ahh the race we all look forward to. Why? Is it the Fastest 5k in the world? Could be, depends on your version of fast. But with us Ladies our version of Fast could be on any given day. But what we give that day is about TEAM. It starts with knowing who is going to be there. All the studettes show up to toe the line at C-Bad. And mind you, where we are in our years, we are all awesome. 

As a Team, we don’t always get to train together. We come from all over the county. But come race day, we are all full of love and hugs as though we just saw each other. Warm-ups, smiles and photos is always a must with this group. Doreen will always grab you for a quick photo. Of course we all have our pre-race rituals, yes Debbie Shea without a little lip stick on would not be complete. Though we might be all giggles and hugs before the race once that gun goes up we are all business. It never ceases to amaze me the talent that is on the SDTC Women’s Masters Team. From new comer Maureen Friend, just fresh in the 50-54 AG, clocking in at 19:48 to the Grand Dame of the Team the Lovely Ms. Martha Walker, who we all hope to emulate. But we are all there giving are best and representing SDTC. I loved the fact that after all these years of running against Debbie, Mary and Marian I was part of them as I stayed as close to them as I could never quite letting them get to far away from me. I was happy to be behind such a great group of running ladies. I knew Marian was not about to let me get her as she kept hearing my name being shouted out throughout the race and especially at the finish but it was all in good fun. Because thats what you do as a Team, You work together. 

Once we all crossed the finish line there was a lot of hooping and hollering, highfivin’ and back to our usual shenanigans. Silly photo’s, make-up being reapplied, yes we Love you Debbie you’re a sport. And then it was time to take that illustrious Group Photo. Moving this group of ladies was like herding cats. But we managed to gather up and Janice even added the Geico Geko to liven up the photo.
I know that several ladies placed in the top three in their respective Age groups and we are very proud but what I see and feel with this group, yes it might sound cliche’, but we are all winners. Our success as a whole is what makes us who we are and let me tell you many folks were amazed at what a contingent of ladies we had competing that day. We looked strong, solid and ready and that you can take to the bank! 

-Tina Breen

Monday, April 4, 2016

Balboa 8 Miler

The Balboa 8 Miler is back and better than ever with a revised 8 mile course and fresh new website. Mark your calendars and get ready to run on Saturday August 6th, 2016. This race will sell out and we want to take care of San Diego Track Club. We aren't able to reserve spots but you will have access to register before anyone else and at a lower price.

Become a member of the San Diego Track Club to get access to sign up early and get the Balboa 8 Miler at a discounted rate!! (Join Here)

Registration will be $35 for SDTC members from Monday April 4th - Monday April 11th

The remaining price increases are:  (only for SDTC members)
April 12 - $40
April 14 - $45
May 12 - $50
June 23 - $55
RACE DAY (if available) - $60

To see the new course or get more details check out the website balboapark8miler.com.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Carb Up!!

Healthier Lasagna Recipe: Ground Turkey + Veggies

Lasagna can go either way. You can stuff it full of saturated fat and cheese or lean protein and veggies. This healthier lasagna recipe features the later and is delicious! Taking the time to prep a giant lasagna for friends and family can be a great way to sneak in nutrition and satisfy a hearty appetite at the same time. Plus, this recipe is practically perfect runner fuel! Whether you’re feeding a small army or simply wanting healthy leftovers to have on a on hand all week, this healthy lasagna recipe can be a runner’s best friend. 

Healthier Lasagna Recipe Ingredients

As a part of my clean and colorful concept (http://eatdrinkandbeskinny.com/teresa-maries-clean-and-colorful-diet-principles/), I simply can’t prepare a dish that is not stuffed to the brim with vegetables. So in addition to meat and cheese, this recipe features zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli. For cheese, I used mozzarella and ricotta on the inside and parmesan on the top. For meat I went with lean ground turkey and also made a meatless version for my vegetarian BFF (who swore it was just as delicious).

Healthier Lasagna Recipe

I don’t actually follow a recipe when I make lasagna, it’s more of a piece of art than a finite, product that can be identically recreated over and over again.  But here is the general gist of it all. And make as much as you can at once because the leftovers are even more delicious than the initial meal! And yes, while it cooks in one pan, it did actually require 4 other vessels and the blender to prepare it all. Still far easier than a ham and 4 side dishes in my opinion 


 1 box Lasagna Noodles

 28 +15 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes

 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey (optional)

 Garlic Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning

 4 cups Broccoli Florettes (chopped)

 1 Zucchini (sliced in medallions)

 1 package of Mushrooms (sliced)

 15 oz Part Skim Ricotta Cheese

 1/3 cup Milk (of your choice)

 5 cups Raw Spinach

 3 cups Mozzarella (shredded)

 4 oz Artisan Parmesan (shredded)


 Cook the Noodles: According to package directions, or just get the kind you can toss in uncooked and they cook while baking. I prefer to cook them before, but that does require an extra step and pot. You can also make this gluten free by purchasing 4-5 extra zucchinis and slicing them lengthwise to create thick “zucchini noodles.”

 Prepare the Sauce: Open the cans and empty the tomatoes into a medium sauce pan and heat to a mild simmer. Season with your favorite herbs and spices like garlic salt, cracked pepper, oregano, thyme, basil or a simple “Italian seasoning” is an easy way to go to.

 Cook the Turkey: In a large skillet, add the ground turkey and use a spatula to break it up into crumbles. Season as you’d like and cook until fully opaque. About 5-7 minutes.

 Cook the Veggies: I like to do a steam/sautéed  version here. I use a large skillet and add about 1/4″ of water to the bottom and heat it up. Feel free to toss in some fresh diced garlic here too. Then when it’s almost to a boil I add the veggies. Broccoli first, let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini, let cook about 2 minutes then add mushrooms and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes. You will need to add more water as it evaporates and cover it in-between adding veggies to allow for a good steam bath.

 Prepare the Ricotta: Ricotta can be clumpy/sticky so tossing it in the blender with a little milk and the spinach is a great way to get it “spreadable” and also sneak in even more veggies! Blend until smooth.

 Put It All Together: This is the fun part! I put a tiny bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan and then add a row of noodles. Then add meat, veggies, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, then sauce. Then you can add a new row of noodles and repeat until it’s all gone. I got up to 4 rows of noodles I think. Top the entire pan with the shredded Artisan Parmesan.

 Bake it ‘Till it’s Bubbly: Bake it in a preheated oven at 375 for 25 minutes. If it’s looking a little crispy, cover it with foil and cook for an additional 20-30 min. You’ll know it’s done because it will literally be bubbling up deliciousness on the sides of the pan.

-Teresa Howes