Friday, December 31, 2010

So Young and So Many Pills

More than 25% of Kids and Teens in the U.S. Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis
Source: Wall Street Journal
Gage Martindale, who is 8 years old, has been taking a blood-pressure drug since he was a toddler. "I want to be healthy, and I don't want things in my heart to go wrong," he says.

And, of course, his mom is always there to check Gage's blood pressure regularly with a home monitor, and to make sure the second-grader doesn't skip a dose of his once-a-day enalapril.

These days, the medicine cabinet is truly a family affair. More than a quarter of U.S. kids and teens are taking a medication on a chronic basis, according to Medco Health Solutions Inc., the biggest U.S. pharmacy-benefit manager with around 65 million members. Nearly 7% are on two or more such drugs, based on the company's database figures for 2009.

Doctors and parents warn that prescribing medications to children can be problematic. There is limited research available about many drugs' effects in kids. And health-care providers and families need to be vigilant to assess the medicines' impact, both intended and not. Although the effects of some medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, have been extensively researched in adults, the consequences of using such drugs for the bulk of a patient's lifespan are little understood.

Many medications kids take on a regular basis are well known, including treatments for asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But children and teens are also taking a wide variety of other medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs, according to figures provided to The Wall Street Journal by IMS Health, a research firm. Prescriptions for antihypertensives in people age 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year if the trend though September continues, according to IMS. That would be up 17% from 2007, the earliest year available.

Researchers attribute the wide usage in part to doctors and parents becoming more aware of drugs as an option for kids. Unhealthy diets and lack of exercise among children, which lead to too much weight gain and obesity, also fuel the use of some treatments, such as those for hypertension. And some conditions are likely caught and treated earlier as screening and diagnosis efforts improve.

Gage, who isn’t overweight, has been on hypertension drugs since he had surgery to fix a heart defect as a toddler, says his mother, Stefanie Martindale, a Conway, Ark., marketing-company manager.

Most medications that could be prescribed to children on a chronic basis haven’t been tested specifically in kids, says Danny Benjamin, a Duke University pediatrics professor. And older drugs rarely get examined, since pharmaceutical firms have little incentive to test medicines once they are no longer under patent protection.

Still, a growing number of studies have been done under a Food and Drug Administration program that rewards drug companies for testing medications in children. In more than a third of these studies, there have been surprising side effects, or results that suggested a smaller or larger dose was needed than had been expected, Dr. Benjamin says. Those findings underscore that children’s reactions to medicines can be very different than those of adults. Long-term effects of drugs in kids are almost never known, since pediatric studies, like those in adults, tend to be relatively short.

“We know we’re making errors in dosing and safety,” says Dr. Benjamin, who is leading a new National Institutes of Health initiative to study drugs in children. He suggests that parents should do as much research as they can to understand the evidence for the medicine, confirm the diagnosis, and identify side effects. Among the places to check: drug labels and other resources on the FDA’s website, published research at, and clinical guidelines from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics.

When a child psychiatrist diagnosed their then 8-year-old daughter with bipolar disorder four years ago, Ken and Joy Lewis, of Chapel Hill, N.C., sought a second opinion from another child psychiatrist.
They also worked with a psychologist. Dr. Lewis, who leads a company that does early-stage drug studies, reads all the available research on each medication suggested for the girl, now 12, who has taken antipsychotics and other psychiatric medications including Risperdal and Haldol.

“If your child has a chronic problem, then you have to invest the time as a parent,” he says.

Parents and doctors also say nondrug alternatives should be explored where possible. Tom Wells, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who sees patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, frequently pushes diet and exercise changes before drugs for hypertensive kids. “Obesity is really the biggest cause I see for high blood pressure in adolescents,” he says. But only about 10% of families adhere to his diet and exercise recommendations, he says.

Beverly Pizzano, a psychologist who lives in Palm Harbor, Fla., spent years struggling with behavioral therapies for her son Steven, 10, who showed symptoms of ADHD at a young age. She worked with a counselor on a system of rewards for good behavior, and even had a research team watch him and suggest interventions. But she turned to medications after he struggled in kindergarten. “We tried everything before I would get to that,” she says.

After a drug is prescribed, children must be closely monitored, doctors say. They may not recognize or communicate a possible side effect, or whether their symptoms are improving. They also don’t always follow prescription instructions.

Robert Lemanske, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says patients at his pediatric asthma clinic are checked regularly for side effects such as slowed rates of growth. He quizzes parents and young patients on details like where they keep their inhalers to make sure they’re taking their prescribed medicine.

Nichole Ramsey, a preschool teacher whose 9-year-old son Antwone is a patient at the clinic, watches her son’s basketball practices so she can head off any wheezing or other symptoms. She also makes sure she’s around when he gets his regular Advair dose. If Antwone stays at a friend’s house overnight, she asks the parents to watch that he takes steps like rinsing out his mouth to avoid a fungal infection that can be a side effect of the inhaled drug.

“You’re still the best monitor of what’s going on with them,” she says of a parent’s role.

Ms. Ramsey is particularly concerned about Advair, which has been tied to rare instances of asthma-related death, but says it works better than a previous drug he was using. Before he started the medications, Antwone was hospitalized several times for asthma attacks.

As children’s bodies change and grow, they often need different drugs or doses, says Greg Kearns, chairman of medical research at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

Jennifer Flory, a homemaker in Baldwin City, Kan., says that after her daughter Cassandra, now 16, started taking a higher dose of the asthma drug Singulair a few years ago, she became more moody and sad. Ms. Flory didn’t connect the change to the drug, but when she eventually mentioned it to a nurse practitioner at the girl’s asthma clinic, the nurse suggested stopping Singulair, which currently has a precaution in its label about possible psychiatric side effects. Cassandra, who continued taking Advair, became far more cheerful and didn’t have any increase in asthma symptoms, Ms. Flory says.

A spokesman for Merck & Co., which makes Singulair, said in a statement that the company is “confident in the efficacy and safety of Singulair,” which is “an important treatment option for appropriate patients.”


Yesterday I had a good day. Well, if I can call it a good day. My low back has been a problem for the last three days. When the weather is cold it seems to cause some uncomfortable feeling down my low back, more especifically in the left side. I can run normaly without any problems but it is reducing my flexibility of movements to stretch some muscles.

I left home around 4:15PM and ran the usual out and back bike path route. I added another 13 minutes on the bike path. I started slown and gradually increased the pace down to 5:30 for a couple miles. Total run time: 66 minutes or over 9.5 miles.
This is the wrong time to have any serious injury because I should already have started doing some speed sessions. If my back doesn't get better I will have to cut back on my mileage or take a few days off.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Low Back Pain

Source: Injury Clinic

In the general population two-thirds of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their life and athletes are no exception. Few things are as annoying or distracting to runners and triathletes as low back pain. Depending upon severity it can really put a dent in your training plans and disrupt competition. The exact source of back pain may be due to mechanical factors, which account for 97% of cases, or potentially more serious conditions such as infections, tumors, inflammatory arthritis, or internal organ disease. These latter etiologies are beyond the scope of this article.
By far the most common diagnosis in patients with low back pain is the lumbar sprain/strain, which accounts for about 75% of all cases of low back pain. Other mechanical causes of low back pain are age-related degenerative changes in the discs and facets, spinal stenosis, and disc herniation. Because lumbar sprains are so common further discussion is warranted.

What exactly is a lumbar sprain? The answer is that no one really knows for certain (yes, you read that correctly). There is no test to accurately diagnose a lumbar sprain, because there is no anatomical or pathological abnormality that can be reliably found in patients with “lumbar sprains”. What about MRI scans, don’t these high-resolution images show exactly what’s going on? Surprisingly, MRI scans are not only unnecessary for most patients with low back pain, but may also be misleading and confusing. Of note is that two-thirds of healthy volunteers without back pain have abnormalities on MRI. Thus, finding an abnormality with MRI is very common and often has nothing to do with the back pain. For most patients with low back pain, X-ray, MRI, and other imaging studies are just not needed. However, it is important to note that there are certain warning signs and symptoms, and other circumstances, that may indicate more significant disease necessitating further evaluation. These include bladder or bowel dysfunction, muscle weakness or numbness in the legs, sciatica (pain down the back of one or both legs), persistent or prolonged pain (e.g., weeks), weight loss, and fever. The bottom line is, consult your doctor.

During the acute phase of a lumbar sprain there are a few useful things to keep in mind. With respect to activity, do what you feel you are capable of. Neither absolute bed rest nor aggressive back exercise regimens are helpful. The patients that do the best are the ones who listen to their body and strive for a rapid return to usual activities. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help with pain and mobility in the short-term. Physical therapy and spinal manipulation are of limited benefit in most patients. Finally, keep in mind that although the first few days are the worst, recovery is usually rapid (approx. 90% of patients are well within two weeks).

For runners certain situations may predispose to acute or recurrent lumbar sprain/strain. These include,
  • weak abdominal muscles,
  • tight muscles/poor flexibility (e.g., hamstring, calf, back)
  • poor posture (standing, sitting, or running).
Some examples of poor running posture are, hunched or stooped-over position, too much curvature in the low back (butt sticks out with excess arching of the lumbar spine), and pelvic tilt (anterior or lateral). Triathletes have the added complication of the bicycle. Improper fit of the bike, such as handlebars too low or too far forward (or saddle too far back) contribute to back problems. The “aero” position is well known for its ability to apply extra stress to the low back and neck. For all types of athletes training errors may compound the problem. Too much volume or intensity too soon in the training cycle, or hill climbing in the “aero” position may lead to low back pain. Not to be overlooked is the contribution of the work place environment (e.g., ergonomics of computer workstation).

Completely addressing lumbar sprain/strain in an athlete involves the identification of factors that lead to the problem, and proper rehabilitation. Consider having a friend videotape you -- especially at the end of a workout when fatigue is more likely to reveal problems with posture, etc. This feedback can be very useful. An experienced coach can greatly aid in this process. Rehabilitation following lumbar sprain/strain should highlight and correct muscle weakness, imbalance, and inflexibility. Proper muscle function can help prevent the problem from returning. Back strengthening and stability exercises should be a routine part of the training schedule for anyone who has had recurrent low back problems. Some useful ones are, sit-ups, back extensions, hamstring curls, and quadriceps and gluteal strengthening routines, such as lunges, squats, knee extensions, and leg press. NOTE: check with your doctor first, and then get qualified instruction for proper resistance training technique. Poor technique is the most frequent cause of injury during resistance (weight) training.

In summary, seek qualified medical care for back pain. If you are one of the many that fall into the category of “lumbar strain”, look at all of your day-to-day activities, workout schedule, and equipment. Evaluate for contributing factors and fix them. Finally, keep your back in good shape through proper posture and strengthening exercises -- even if you have never had back pain!

Cistercian Monks

An order of monks in northern California needs to raise $6 million to rebuild a chapelhouse that dates to 12th century Spain, using original stones that were once coveted by a US newspaper baron. To fund the project, they're turning to an old Trappist monk tradition: brewing beer.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Monday: 45 minutes, easy recovery run. I ran the out and back bike path route. My piriformis is acting again. It gets worse when it is cold.

Tuesday: 1 hour and 8 minutes, easy run. Ran four times a loop of 1.3 miles plus a few minutes on the bike path. Very muddy trail. Hard to keep an even pace. Good cross country course. The rain did not cause any problems.

Wednesday: 49 minutes, easy run. I was feeling a little rusty so I decided to be creative. After a 10 minutes warm up, I created a little loop with a duration of 5 minutes and 30 seconds. I  would do five pull ups and run once the loop. It went like this: 10 minutes warm up; 5 pull ups; loop; 6 pull ups; loop; 7 pull ups; loop; 8 pull ups; loop; 5 pull ups; loop; 5 pull ups; 9 minutes cool down. I did not take any breaks in between the pull ups and the loop repetition.

Who Hates Jews

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

King Solomon's Tablet Of Stone

Excellent documentary about the King Solomon's Tablet of Stone. It makes you wonder if you can trust anything that comes out of Israel.

The Piriformis Syndrome

Source: Injury Clinic

The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called "sciatica", often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.

Stretching the muscle often duplicates the pain. To do the piriformis stretch, lie on your back, and flex the right hip and knee. Now, while grasping the right knee with your left hand, pull the knee towards your left shoulder. This adducts and flexes the hip. In this position, grasp just above the right ankle with the right hand, and rotate the ankle outwards. This applies internal rotation to the hip and completes the stretch. Another way to do this stretch is to stand on your left foot and place the right foot on a chair, such that the right knee and hip are flexed at about 90 degrees. Now, using the right hand, press the right knee across towards the left side of the body while keeping the ball of the right foot on the same spot on the chair.

Anatomically, the piriformis muscle lies deep to the gluteal muscles. It originates from the sacral spine and attaches to the greater trochanter of the femur, which is the big, bony "bump" on the outside top of the thigh. The sciatic nerve usually passes underneath the piriformis muscle, but in approximately 15% of the population, it travels through the muscle. It is thought that acute or chronic injury causes swelling of the muscle and irritates the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica. Patients with an aberrant course of the nerve through the muscle are particularly predisposed to this condition.

The piriformis syndrome is diagnosed primarily on the basis of symptoms and on the physical exam. There are no tests that accurately confirm the diagnosis, but X-rays, MRI, and nerve conduction tests may be necessary to exclude other diseases. Some of the other causes of sciatica include disease in the lumbar spine (e.g. disc herniation), chronic hamstring tendinitis, and fibrous adhesions of other muscles around the sciatic nerve.

Once properly diagnosed, treatment is undertaken in a stepwise approach. Initially, progressive piriformis stretching is employed, starting with 5 seconds of sustained stretch and gradually working up to 60 seconds. This is repeated several times throughout the day. It is important that any abnormal biomechanical problems, such as overpronation of the foot or other coexisting conditions, are treated. This stretching can be combined with physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound. If these fail, then injections of a corticosteroid into the piriformis muscle may be tried. Finally, surgical exploration may be undertaken as a last resort.

A good sports medicine physician with experience in caring for athletes with the piriformis syndrome can help direct appropriate management. With proper diagnosis and treatment, there is no reason for this syndrome to be dreaded. Good luck and good training.

COPYRIGHT ©1997 SportsMed Web

A Match Made In Africa

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Great run! I had a very good day.  My run started from home to the bike path and to the Ten beach and back. I added another 15 minutes to get the expected mileage. My legs felt great. It wasn't raining for a change. Total run time: 2 hours or 17 miles.

This was a very good week. I ran seven days out of seven, averaging about over 7.7 miles in six days and a long run of 17 miles. My goal is to keep the mileage as it is now or increase a little by doing a second daily run a couple days a week.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


My daily run was a little wet this afternoon. I left home under heavy rain that never stopped. Some areas in my regular route were flooded. But I managed to run at a pace slower than yesterday. Yesterday I hammered the same route in 51:40. I could not manage to run faster than 55:25 under very adverse conditions. It was an easy run with very tired legs. I hope I will have some legs left for tomorrow long run.

China Restaurant Goes Robot Crazy

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is tough fibrous tissue on the bottom of the foot , traveling from the heel to the toes. Inflammation of this structure is called plantar fasciitis and is usually felt as pain in the arch, near the heel. Runners usually find that the first step out of bed in the morning is the worst, and then the pain gradually decreases during the day. Predisposing conditions include overpronation of the foot, tight calf muscles, poor ankle flexibility, and weak muscles on the bottom of the foot.

Treatment consists of ice, relative rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching. Arch taping, heel cups, and orthotics are also useful. Once these treatments have begun to work then a strengthening program can be started. Using your toes to pick objects (eg. socks, newspaper, or marbles) off the floor is a simple exercise to help strengthen the muscles in the foot. All of the modalities -- including strengthening -- should not increase pain. Listen to your body and adjust your rehab. program accordingly. last update 7/96 Source: Injury Clinic

Friday, December 24, 2010


I ran a little early this afternoon, around 12:30PM. The  regular route from home and out and back on the bike path. I did some short pick ups. After about 10 minutes of  warm up  I ran  8 minutes and 34 seconds hard from the bike path half way  to the turn around. Then I ran about 7 minutes and 30 seconds easy and 4 x 30 seconds hard with 45 seconds easy. I was planning to do a few more repetitions but I got a stomach pain. So I had to easy up and head back home. Total run time: 51 minutes and 40 second, the fastest I have ran this route this year.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Another easy run a little longer than yesterday but the same route with an extra loop around the golf course. I felt very "heavy" this afternoon. My legs were not feeling well. I don't know why. I have decreased my tuesday and thursday runs from 1hour and 20 minutes to about 1 hour. But  I have had no short recovery runs of 30 plus minutes. That might explain the heavy legs. Total run time: 1 hour and 25 seconds.

Doping: Dr Fuentes Bio

Dr Eufemiano Fuentes (born 1955) is a Spanish sports doctor best known for being implicated in the Operación Puerto doping case.

Eufemiano Fuentes has a respectable career as a 400m runner (a couple of medals). Cute fact: He was trained by Manual Pascua Piqueras - Manual's brother Luis is the trainer of Oscar Pereiro. He starts studying medicine and works with the Argentine preparatore Guillermo Laig - a known doping doctor known to have provided his athletes with among other things anabolic steroids.

Fuentes gets his doctoral exam (specialized in gynaecology). Manuel Pascua gets Fuentes a job in the Spanish Athletics association, where he quickly gains a reputation. In 1984, he is accused of providing athletes with doping.

Fuentes start working in cycling, where he joins the team Seat-Orbea (again, Manuel Pascua helps). Here Fuentes meets Manolo Saiz.

Fuentes is forced to retire from his position in the Spanish Athletics association. Reason - his girlfriend (now wife) - the athlete Cristina Perez tests positive for doping. His client - Pedro Delgado - also tests positive for probenicid during the Tour de France (which he won - by the way). Delgado is lucky - although probenicid is on IOC's list, it is not on the UCI's doping list at the time. Delgado has subsequently admitted to doping to Jorn Mader.

After two positive doping tests, Fuentes retires from sports for a couple of years and works as a private physician. He specializes in auto-transfusions and blood recovery.

Fuentes returns - and joins Manolo Saiz's ONCE.

Melchior Mauri (ONCE) shockingly wins the Vuelta a Espana. On the eve of one of the critical stages of the Vuelta, Fuentes is on a plane to the start city of the next day's stage and talks to a journalist. Tapping the refrigerator bag on the seat next to him, he answers the question about its contents. "Here is the key to the Vuelta".

Spanish 1500m runner Fermin Cacho wins gold at the Olympics in Barcelona. His doctor... Fuentes. According to the article, Fuentes was preparatore for almost the entire Spanish athletics team during the Olympics '92.

Fuentes starts working with Elche CF - a Spanish second division football team. In 1996, Barcelona try to buy Fuentes into an exclusive contract. He refuses.

Fuentes moves to Kelme. He collaborates there with Nicolas Terrados - a man with his fingers deep in the Festina scandal. Terrados was also the preparatore of Johann Muehlegg - the German-born Spanish cross-country skier who was busted for doping in the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

Las Palmas FC (Spain) is involved with a scandal involving large numbers of syringes found in their dressing room. Doctor in the club? Fuentes, of course. Fuentes is also alleged to be involved in the doping affairs surrounding Marco Pantani, Dario Frigo, and Giuliano Figueras.

This is the heyday of Fuentes career. Although Fuentes is the official team doctor of Kelme, he will work for anyone willing to pay. It is said in Spanish sports circles that Fuentes not only makes or breaks careers; he also decides who wins the races - especially the Vuelta. This is the year that the Spanish press acuses Fuentes of having rigged the Vuelta win in favor of Angel Casero. Fuentes wins the ensuing defamation lawsuit.

Aitor Gonzalez is the surprise winner of the Vuelta. He was suspected of doping at the time, though it took 2 years before he was caught. Instead, another Kelme rider is busted for doping.

FC Barcelona again try to buy Fuentes into the club. He refuses again.

At this time, La Gazzetta dello Sport alleges that Michele Bartoli regularly travels to the Canary Islands (Fuentes office) to purchase Aranesp.

Jesus Manzano falls unconscious during the Tour de France. In 2004, Manzano explains that he was the victim of a blood transfusion gone wrong and exposes Fuentes.

Fuentes is forced to leave his post at Kelme. His replacement is his sister, Yolanda Fuentes.

Tyler Hamilton and sensation-of-the-year Santiago Perez test positive for blood doping. Both are clients of Eufemanio Fuentes.
Previously a svelte, muscular runner, known for her grace and glamour she was now a bulging jumble of muscles, veins and sinews, not a pretty sight, akin to a female body builder, therefore grotesquely over developed and abnormal. Even the East German drug queens, worried about being shown up amidst tighter testing, couldn’t keep up with this new, revamped, souped up Flo-Jo as she was now to be known. Source: Drug Cheats

Francisco Mancebo tells Patrick Lefevre that he works with Fuentes in a private conversation.

Fuentes goes back to work - this time with Liberty Seguros-Wurth and Manolo Saiz. He got the job through his good friend - and LSW team doctor - Alfredo Cordova. Cordova, of course, was also involved in both the Manzano and O.P. affair. The same year, Nuño Ribeiro och Isidro Nozal get busted for abnormal blood values. Roberto Heras wins the Vuelta - and is busted for doping.

Operation Puerto hits the airwaves. Initial reports suggest that at least two hundred athletes are involved in the doping network - not only Cyclists, but also Basketball (Spain is defending World Champions and was runner-up in the 2007 Euro Championship), Football, athletics, and tennis players. This was initially confirmed by Fuentes in interviews, though he subsequently shut up.

In December, Le Monde publishes an article based on papers showing that Barcelona (winner of the Champions League 2005), Real Madrid, Valencia, and Betis were all clients of Fuentes. That basically takes care of all the top Football teams in Spain. Fuentes latter denied the rumors.

The case against Eufemiano Fuentes is shelved by the Spanish courts. Latter this year, Fuentes is a speaker at a seminar organized by the Spanish Sports federation on the subject of doping.

The Guardia Civil has persistently been refused access to several harddisks seized from Eufemiano Fuentes and his partners. Why? The judge has dictated that they are not a part of the investigation. At the same time, funds to the investigation by the Guardia Civil have been cut off.

Now why would "someone" not want Fuentes brought to justice? Apart from the impact a full disclosure of Fuentes network could have (if even half of what is alleged is true), one may discern other reasons.

Back in 2006, the Guardia Civil raided Fuentes apartments in Spain... but they failed to raid one location: Fuentes apartments in Gran Canaria - his primary office. As a result, the Guardia Civil seized only a fraction of Fuentes customer sheets. No doubt, Fuentes has made sure those papers are now in a very, very safe place... to be released in their entirety to interested media outlets if Fuentes is ever convicted in a trial.

It was no leak in the Spanish Law Enforcement services that allowed Le Monde access to papers indicating doping in Spanish football last year. The Guardia Civil had never seized those particular papers - Le Monde received it from Fuentes himself. I suspect that someone got the message loud and clear...

It was in the same interview, incidentally, that Eufemanio Fuentes replied to a question about his connection with Barcelona and Real Madrid saying:

"I cannot answer that. I have received death threats. I was told that if I revealed certain things, I or my family could have serious problems. I was threatened three times, and I won't be threatened a fourth time."

Fuentes was arrested by Spanish police as part of Operación Galgo (Operation Greyhound). In a series of simultaneous raids across five provinces on 9 December, Spanish police seized a large quantity of anabolic steroids, hormones and EPO, as well as laboratory equipment for blood transfusions. According to El Publico newspaper, Eufemiano Fuentes and his sister Yolanda were the leaders of the alleged plot. Also arrested were the athlete Marta Dominguez, who was released on bail after having been charged with the trafficking and distribution of doping substances, and Alberto Leon, now retired from mountain biking, in whose fridge anti-doping police found several bags of blood. Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This afternoon around 5PM I ran my daily run. It was the same route as the last couple days. I m still feeling the aches and pains of my piriformis and ITB. But so far I m able to run without any major problems. If I keep it simple for a few days I might survive without any long training interruptions.  Just need to be aware of how much my body can handle. Total run time: 54 minutes or approximately 7.7 miles.

I Wasn´t Born In Tennessee (1975)


Yesterday I ran the same route as Monday. My legs are acting a little weird. My right quad becomes very tight after 30 minutes of running. My left knee is holding well but  the piriformis syndrome is showing up again. I'm doing R.I.C.E. and stretching. The weather has being very nasty lately with lots rain, wind and temperature swings. Muscle imbalance can really destroy your running plans. Better treat such  problems early than suffer the consequences later. Total run time: 53 minutes and 35 seconds.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Louisiana Woman Mississippi Man


I just came back from my daily run. It was raining heavily when  I left home. I ran the out and back bike path course and headed back home. Some areas were flooded but I did not have that much problem to finish my run. At first I thought the pace was a little slow. But When I got home and checked my watch I realized that I have run faster than last monday by a full minute. It is not a good thing because my quadriceps are very tight as my ITB. My left knee is starting to act again. I might have to back off on the mileage or take a couple days off. I will have a better idea about what to do tomorrow. Total run time: 53 minutes or approximately 7.7 miles.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Dead legs. I just did a short jog. My legs are trashed. I will need a couple days to recover. When my quadriceps become too tight some different injures start to show up. Usually it is piroformis syndrome or knee problems. I will have to back off and see what happens. It was a good week. I was able to run over six hours. Total run time: 34 minutes.

Pushin Too Hard

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I usually run my long runs on sundays. But I changed my schedule this week. This afternoon around 2:53PM I started my run from home. Things were going well for the first 20 minutes. After I passed the Oakwood Valley entrance there was a gently hill of about 3/4 miles. I started to feel really crappy going up this hill. My quadriceps were trashed. My left ITB was tight and shooting down to my knee. I was seriously thinking about turning around and heading back home. The rain and cold weather wasn't helping  either. But somehow I was able to make to the parking a lot and run to the Ten beach. The rain was on and off and added a few ounces of weight to my shirt and shorts. I started to feel a little better after I turned around by the beach and started to run back. I passed the parking a lot and Oakwood Valley entrance and I see myself on the bike path again. To add some more time I ran the out and back bike path route. And then I ran back home. I was expecting to run at least for two hours but it didn't happen. Overall I was glad to be back home a little early and without any problems. Total run time: 1 hour and 45 minutes or 15 miles.

Bernie Madoff On The Modern Stock Market

Friday, December 17, 2010


This afternoon I felt like a mad man. For some reason I decided to go for a run during the rain. It was cold and dark. To make things worse my usual bike path route  was partly flooded. I was wondering what hell I was doing on friday night running on complete darkness during a rainy storm. I tried to keep things simple. It was an easy and short run. I added a loop around the golf course. Total run time: 42 minutes or about six miles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I knew that today I would feel great during my run. It seems like everytime after a little speed session you have a tendency to feel really good. I mean light and fast. This afternoon it wasn't different. I left home around 5PM and added this nice steep hill during the first ten minutes. After that the usual bike path out and back. Well, I did twice. First time, I ran it in 32 minutes and the second time I did in 31 minutes. My legs were feeling great. Ran in the dark is something that I really enjoy. Total run time: 1hour and 26 minutes or 12.5 miles.

Right now I'm a lot more confident about my runs and I still need to watch for injuries. I have had so many set backs this year. I hope the next year I will have better luck. It would be great to stay health and  be able to put a decent running schedule together. My mileage is not that high at moment but I am happy to see some daily improvement. As a master runner over 40, I would not expect anything else.

My Rival

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I just got back from my short run. After increasing my mileage for the last few days I decided to back off. I ran  the usual bike path route out and back. It is approximately 4.7 miles by Google Earth measurements. I started easy with a very short warm up of 5 minutes and 30 seconds then I found some magic number 3:20. It means I should run hard for 3 minutes and 20 seconds and easy for 90 seconds. I am talking about Fartlek. So it went like this: 5:33 easy; 3:32 hard; 1:35 easy; 3:20 hard; 1:31 easy; 3:33 hard; 1:32 easy; 3:50 hard; 6:23 easy. Total run time: 30 minutes  and 53 seconds.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No More Hot Dogs


This afternoon around 4:16PM I started my run from my home. The route that I planned was from my home to the Ten Beach and back. It was raining when I left home and it did not stop during my entire run. It was dark when I hit the Ten Beach parking a lot. The trail was muddy. There were many salamanders on the ground.  I had to avoid smashing them with my feet. The owls were very active hooving and flying in the dark.  I turned around by the beach and head back home. Total run time: 1 hour and 23 minutes or a little over 11 miles.

Louisiana Man

Monday, December 13, 2010


My one hour runs are starting to become a little more comfortable. This afternoon I ran my usual route from home to the bike path out and back, and back home. Total run time: 54 minutes and 20 seconds or about 7.7 miles. Actually it is not really one hour runs but almost one hour.  Eventually these runs will become recovery runs.

This past week was a good week. I was able to run three almost one hour runs, one almost long run and four short runs of 30 plus minutes with a short tempo run. The pace of my runs increased and I am feeling well recovered.

Mean Machine

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Sunday is my long run day. I would not consider a less than two hours run as a long run. But you have to start somewhere. Eventually I will be running two or more hours. I would prefer to be cautious and increase my mileage slowly to avoid injuries.

This morning around 7:20AM I headed out the door for my run. I mixed up different terrains, mainly running on the trails. But I spent about 30 minutes running on the pavement. I added a couple rolling hills sections. The last 30 minutes of this run became almost a tempo run. For some reason I felt really good and just wanna run fast. It was hard to control the pace. Total run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes or a little over 13 miles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


My running is moving along. Sometimes you have to just run without being worried about going far or running per a certain time. Yesterday I just did that. I was planning to run for no more than 30 mintues. But I decided to add a few more minutes and a couple hills to my daily run. Hills are good to get strenght but if you run hilly courses everyday you are asking for trouble. My ideal schedule would ask to run hilly courses no more than twice a week.

I left home around 4:55PM and run to the bike path out and back, and ran back home. Total run time:57 minutes and 48 seconds. At this stage of my running I'm not concerned about how many miles I'm running. My aerobic runs are at an easy pace and I'm just trying to get as much  time as I can in my legs without any injuries.

This morning I rode my bike to the golf course. I love this old fashioned Pinarello road bike that I got a few years ago. They did a nice painting job on this frame in my local bike shop. Even that I had to wait five years for them to put it together. Well, that is another story. I created this nice loop around these two grass fields. The loops are about 5minutes and 30 seconds. I ran these loops five times and one time the short loop. I added ten pick ups over this  "bump" that separate the grass fields. Total run time: 34 minutes and 38 seconds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I had another good day. This afternoon around 3PM I started my run from my local track. I made a left turn by the  bike path  and ran to the its end. Then I turned right and ran to the golf course. I ran the golf course loop about 12 to 15 times.(2minutes and 45 seconds per loop) I ran some diagonals going up this little hill in the middle section. After 30 minutes I ran back to the bike path and  all the way to the other end, turned around and ran back making a left turn by the second little bridge finishing by the laundry mat. Total run time: 1hour and 3 minutes. (8.3 miles)

Europe As Seen By The Americans

Source: Strange Maps

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My training is going well. Not even the rain  seems to be stoping me. Yesterday I had a long day. I worked until late but I was able to run. Around 6:25PM I did my run from home to the usual bike path route and back. It was about 7.7 miles in 53 min. I did not think I had any legs to do this run but things just worked out well.

This Afternoon I backed off and did a very short run. I left home around 4:57PM to the bike path, made left and ran the loop around the golf course and back home. The rain was very ligth by this time of day with some flooded areas. Total run time: 33 min.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


No more aching bones. Very soon I will have a robot to do my runs. Life is becoming too easy. Interesting times we live in. Adapt or die. Maybe I don't want to live in a mechanized  world...too late.




Unemployment and overpopulation...Solution?

Monday, December 6, 2010


What does the word "Platonic" means"?  By my wishes I would  prefer to hear the word  "Anatomic". Well, this blog is not about book worms. My webster's Dictionary gives a precise definition of the word "Platonic". I can't understand how it is possible to mix words like Plato, impractical and without sexual activity in the same description of a word's meaning.

But back to my daily run. The same course as yesterday. It was 4:30PM when I hit the bike path. The plan was simple: do a little tempo run between 15 and 25 minutes, and keep the entire run under 30 minutes. Yesterday I ran the same course in about 32 minutes. So I should run the same course two minutes faster. I started by half way, turned right, ran to the end.(8:45) Turned around and ran back.(17:15 by the halfway) and I added a couple more minutes to finish it in 20 minutes. Then as cool down I ran to the other end and turned around and finished by the half way or starting point. Total run time: 29 minutes and 30 seconds.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Yesterday I had the opportunity to test my knee and it is getting better. After four days off the shin splints seems to be gone. So this afternoon around 5:45PM I was ready for my daily run. I started by the local track parking a lot. The same easy and flat bike path course. It is an out an back course and I usually start by  the halfway mark. It was not raining when I started my run. After five minutes into my run, right after I pass the free way overpass, the rain starts again. Parts of the bike path were flooded making things a little difficult. Not to mention the lack of light. I ran to the end by the bikeshop, I turned around and ran back. By the freeway overpass the rain stops. But a very strong windy starts. It was coming from behind giving me a little push. So I pass the halfway or starting point again and ran all the way to the other end. I almost collide headon with some other runner that was running on the wrong side of the bike path. The last 1/4 of this ran I had to run against the wind making things a little more fun. Total run time:32 minutes.

Shin Splints

The following article can be found in this website: Injury Clinic

Sooner or later almost all runners experience pain in the calf or shin. There are several types of overuse injuries that may develop in this region as a result of the repeated pounding from running. Shin splints, stress fractures, and chronic compartment syndrome have a common mechanism of development. Understanding the circumstances that lead to these injuries is the key to preventing them.

The overall recurring theme that leads to overuse running injuries is excess training with inadequate recovery. Excess and inadequate are relative terms and must be judged against one’s usual training routine. The more that excess and inadequate deviate from the usual training routine the less time it takes for an overuse injury to develop. Keeping this theme in mind one can now examine the specifics for how shin splints develop.

A simplified view of the mechanics of running shows a foot-strike, then a loading/energy transfer phase, and finally a push off (“toe-off”) with the forefoot. Each foot-strike delivers a shockwave that travels up the leg. This energy must be absorbed by the musculoskeletal system. The harder the running surface the greater the shockwave. Soft grass, smooth dirt, asphalt, and concrete represent, in order of increasing “hardness”, the usual spectrum of commonly encountered running surfaces. Concrete is very hard on the body and training on this surface should be avoided.

Distance running shoes are specifically designed to provide padding and support for the biomechanics of endurance running. They help absorb shock and facilitate efficient energy (motion) transfer. Matching the type of running shoe to the athlete’s specific biomechanics, and proper shoe fit are important. Similarly, worn out shoes should be replaced early because of reduced shock absorbing capacity. Runners with high rigid arches tend to experience greater pounding shock, whereas those with flat feet tend to experience greater fatigue of the muscles that support the foot -- and push-off. Both tend to develop shin splints.

The term shin splints refers to a painful condition that develops along the inside (medial edge) of the shin (tibia). The usual location is along the lower half of the tibia, anywhere from a few inches above the ankle to about half-way up the shin. The repeated running cycle of pounding and push off results in muscle fatigue, which may then lead to higher forces being applied to the fascia, the attachment of fascia to bone, and finally the bone itself. Respectively, this represents a spectrum from mild to severe. On the relatively more severe end of the scale the injury may progress from stress reaction within the bone to an actual stress fracture.

In the early stage of shin splints a runner will describe a pain that is present when the training run first begins, but then disappears as running continues. The pain will often return after exercise or the following morning. As the injury progresses the athlete will experience more time with the pain, and less time without it. There is frequently a tender zone along the medial edge of the tibia that one can map out by pressing with the fingertips as they “march up” along the bone. Eventually, if ignored and training continued, the pain may become quite sharp and may focus on a very small area of the bone. If this happens a stress fracture should be considered.

The treatment for shin splints is rest. Depending upon severity it is often necessary to completely stop running for a period of time. Generally this is done until day-to-day activities are pain free. When running is resumed – and this is where many injured runners make a mistake – it must be significantly different from the routine that lead to the injury. The concept of relative rest employs lengthening the interval between training as well as decreasing the volume and intensity of training. One can often substitute cross-training activities (e.g., bicycling) for running to help increase the interval between running days. There should be a graded and gradual increase in run training, keeping an eye out for the return of any shin splint symptoms.

Stretching and strengthening the calf muscles can help prevent the injury from returning. However the most important preventive strategy is not to repeat the mistakes that lead to the injury. Examine all the training variables – surface, shoes, training volume, intensity, workout type, hills, weather conditions, etc. Seek help from a qualified trainer or coach. This all takes time and effort, but it is well worth it.

copyright 2003 © Mark Jenkins, MD

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Yesterday  I had another day off. I lifted some light weights for the upper body. I have not done that for a long time. When you have injuries like piroformis syndrome you should not lift weights. It will aggravate this type of injuries. 
This morning I lifted weights again and went for a short bike ride. My left knee is getting better. It is not 100% yet. These injuries seems to appear everytime that the weather changes. Usually when it gets cold or rain a lot.
This afternoon around 3:20PM I ran the usual bike path route out and back. My knee needs a little more rest but I was able to run without any problems. I felt "light" and comfortable trying to not speed up. After a few days of rest you feel full of energy and just want to go all out. This usually causes more problems and time off to recover.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Off Off Off

My third day off. I have shin splints in my right leg causing me some nasty pain. And to get worse I got some knee problem in my left leg. The weather has been cold and the rain started again. I am just trying to avoid any more complications from these injuries. My training was going well but you have to deal with the set backs sometimes. It is just part of being a runner. You have great days and terrible ones. I will try to run tomorrow.