1 mile to go_edited-1Pulled a muscle in your back? Got knee pain?  Can’t exercise?  These Nine Articles Will Help.

Two months into my six-month marathon training program for the Boston Marathon (that I just completed on April 21, 2015), I pulled my back.  I don’t really know how I did it.  I think I pulled it doing sit ups.  I tend to arch my back which is a big no no.  You must push the back to the floor to protect it.  Well, something happened and the next morning I couldn’t walk.  Obviously, I couldn’t run either.  I’m pretty anal when it comes to staying on my training schedule so I panicked when I thought about days or weeks of downtime.

How did I recover from my back pain?  I visited my homeopathic doctor and she prescribed the remedy, Hypericum, or the homeopathic strength of Saint John’s Wort.  I was back to my running schedule in two days.  Amazing.

I’ve written several articles on homeopathy, my healthcare of choice, which helps keep me healthy and active.  I’ve used homeopathy for knee pain, shoulder pain, and overall body aches (as well as sinus, emotional, and hormonal issues).  People who follow my blog, and know me at the gym, are always asking me how I can maintain such a heavy running and exercise schedule for someone 60 years old.  Homeopathy is one of the ways I can stay active as I age.

I’m writing this post to make it easy for you to consider this alternative healthcare path—all in one place.  I’ve divided the articles into three topic areas:  1) My Personal Experiences With Homeopathy; 2) Other Person’s Experiences With Homeopathy; and 3) Meet my Homeopath.

 

My Personal Experiences With Homeopathy

Homeopathy: A Safe and Faster Alternative to Healing Sports Injuries (Scroll down)

“It started when I was training for the Kansas City Marathon in 2008—that pulling sensation along the side of my left knee. As the weekly miles increased, the incredible stiffness set in. Simple movements became strained—like when I got out of the car, I found myself lifting my left leg with my hands to stop the piercing pain. Sometimes when doing simple movements—like walking down the stairs, my knee would give out from underneath me.”

How To Keep Your Knees Healthy, Despite Vigorous Exercise, As You Age

“Do you suffer from knee pain?  Does it stop you from doing what you want to do?  According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.  A study from Gallup-Healthways shows that 31 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of neck or back condition that causes them pain, 26 percent have some sort of leg or knee condition and 18 percent have another condition that causes chronic pain. That’s a lot of pain—and knee pain.  Why did I feel the need to look up that statistic?  Well, I’ve been asked a few times in the past few weeks how I can run so much.  Doesn’t it bother my knees?”

The Magic of Homeopathy and Sports Injuries (Scroll down)

“Would I have achieved my life-long dream of running the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2009 without homeopathy?  The answer is a resounding NO.

I know what some of you are thinking—homeopathy?  You’re kidding.  That’s hoodoo stuff.”

Another Relationship and Homeopathy (Scroll Down)

“I had a clue that my hormones were not in balance when I experienced the tough time I had with my pregnancy.  I began to have daily multiple hot flashes and to wake up in the morning looking like I had just finished a long run.  I started snapping at anyone who dared to look at me—especially Mike.  But, when I started gaining weight, even though I was running high mileage, I couldn’t stand it anymore. It was time to get help.

Other Person’s Experiences With Homeopathy

Why I changed my mind about homeopath—There can be no doubt – people get better after consulting a homeopath, and the reason is clear

“Homeopathy has intrigued me for many years; in a way, I grew up with it. Our family doctor was a homeopath, and my very first job as a junior doctor, was in a German homeopathic hospital. For the last two decades, I have investigated homeopathy scientifically. During this period, the evidence has become more and more negative, and it is now quite clear that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are pure placebos.”

Homeopathy VS Traditional Medicine ( My Experience )

“I am one of the biggest supporters of homeopathy simply because it worked for me, and it was always the original method of healing the body and the mind. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that traditional medicine made a lot of progress and some people can benefit from its advantages as well but I personally do prefer homeopathy – it just makes more sense to me.”

A Personal Story With A Happy Ending

“My hand looked like the claw of a grotesque monster! It was as painful as it was ugly – and it was spreading! It had begun as a dull pain in the first joint of my thumb and had quickly extended to the base of the thumb and then to the other fingers of my right hand. Within a week my hand was curled up in a hideous and painful distortion of a human hand. I could no longer grasp a doorknob, prepare meals or even do up or undo a button. I had consulted every local doctor and even one specialist from another city; still I had nothing more than partial and temporary relief. I was advised that there was no cure to this condition and that treatment was limited to drugs that would act only to relieve the pain. There was, I was informed, no way to correct the actual condition.”

Meet my Homeopath

Video

Dahlia Orsalimian Shemtob, H.D., CCH holds a Master of Arts in Homeopathy (H.Hom.), from Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, in California/England; and a Masters Degree (M.Hom.) from Curentur University in California. She has also completed her doctoral degree in Classical Homeopathy (H.D.) from Curentur University.

Liver Weakness and Dysfunction

“The liver is perhaps the hardest working organ and the 2nd biggest organ in the body. It has hundreds of tasks to perform, including detoxification of the blood, the breakdown of insulin and other hormones including, providing proper enzymes for digestion and production of bile.

Alcohol, recreational drugs, prescription drugs, antibiotics, fatty foods, pesticides, chemicals and food preservatives ALL HIGHLY TAX the liver.

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

Nausea and indigestion. Yellowness of the sclera. Bitter taste in the mouth. Flatus, eructation, indigestion, reflux, nausea, bloating and distension. Constipation, diarrhea or alternating states between constipation and diarrhea, Right sided pains and soreness of the body. Itching, Jaundice, Eruptions of all sorts, especially moist eruptions, acne and pimples.”

 

I hope this information has opened your mind to a safe, non-invasive, alternative healthcare path.  If you have any personal experiences regarding homeopathy, please share them in the comments section.  I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s break barriers together!

Do you want FREE resume and interview tips from an executive recruiter who has placed over 4,000 people?  CLICK HERE

Book Note: Yes!  I’m pleased to report that my book Breaking Barriers is in final editing.  If you want to be inspired, my story is for you.  Check it out here.

 

After the finishShivering, I stood at the starting line of my third Boston Marathon on April 20 and started my Garmin and my IPod.  As John Fogerty’s Centerfield floated through my earphones, an announcement came over the loud speaker that Kenya’s Caroline Rotich had just won the women’s elite race in 2:24:55.  They were finished and I hadn’t even started the 26.2 mile trek to Boston.  The forecasted rain started right on schedule at 11am.  Lucky me starting in Stage 1 of Wave 4 at 11:15am.  Training in California in 65 to 85 degree weather didn’t prepare me for high 40’s with wind and rain.  I had just peeled off my throw-away clothes, to be donated to charity, and the wind cut through me like a knife—despite wearing three layers, running tights, hat, and gloves.  I gazed in wonder at some of the other runners in tank tops and shorts.  You’ve got to be kidding!

I had committed to running Boston again after the horrific bombings that took place at the race in 2013.  I had run the marathon in 2012 and my brother, Danny, and his wife, Amy, were spectators in an area where one of the bombs exploded.  I found it gratifying that 30,000 runners were running the race in 2015.  No, Boston Marathon runners were not easily intimidated by a terrorist act and neither were the spectators.  Even as we walked the half-mile from the runner’s village to the starting line in Hopkinton, crowds of supporters lined the street waving and shouting encouragement.  An electric energy filled the air and a rush of emotion filled my gut.  Call it excitement and gratitude.  A part of me couldn’t believe I was actually there—running the Boston Marathon again.

The gun sounded and Stage 1 was off and running through the tree-lined streets of Hopkinton.  I had trained hard for this race and I had an ambitious goal.  Yes, I tend to be competitive.  Okay, I am very competitive.  My ultimate goal was to beat my personal record I had set four years earlier of 3:53:23 at the Lincoln Marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Why?  I had just turned 60 and that would be sweet.  I had qualified with a 3:59:50 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December 2013, so my goal was within reach.  The first time I had run Boston, in 2009, I had run a PR.  I was 54 then.  My backup goal was to finish strong.  All was well through eight miles.  I had achieved my target splits and had even slowed myself down on the first six downhill miles.  But, at that point, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  After completing 16 previous marathons, I can tell early on.  Sometimes you’re on and sometimes you’re off.  Rather than push it, I readjusted my goal.  Hey, I was running Boston.  Why couldn’t I just relax and enjoy the experience?

What an experience it was.  What I remember most about the previous times I ran Boston was the incredible crowd support, especially on a tough course like Boston with so many hills!  Despite the rain and wind, the crowds showed up cheering.  I witnessed pure determination on the course.  I passed a double amputee, a blind runner, and a struggling wheelchair racer—all working hard to keep going.  The volunteers at every mile water stop were always courteous and smiling.

Oh, but the last few miles were phenomenal.  Not only were they slightly downhill, the closer to the finish I got the louder the roar of the crowd.  When I reached mile 24, I looked at my Garmin.  Despite no oxygen in my brain, I calculated that if I picked up the pace, I just might beat 4:20.  I thought, at the time, that my Boston qualifying time was 4:20.  So I gritted my teeth, pumped my arms, and tried as hard as I could to pick up the pace—considering I was at mile 24 and every step felt like I stepped on a nail.  At mile 25 I looked at my watch.  Oh yes, I might be able to make it!  I kept pushing.  At mile 26 I pushed even harder as the crowd roared louder.  A surge of emotion flew through my body when I crossed the finish line as the rain fell in a steady downpour and the winds picked up.  Oh I was so happy to be finished even though I had finished in 4:20:08.  So close. . .

Due to the increased security implemented after the bombings, we were hustled through the finish area.  Clutching my finisher’s medal and food, I hobbled forward, freezing, despite the thermal cover-ups we were given.  Yes, I had met my backup goal.  I had finished strong and I was grateful.  Even so, when I saw my wonderful, supportive brother, Danny, at the finish, I remember lamenting about missing my qualifying time for 2016 by 08 seconds.  Honestly, I hadn’t even considered running Boston again.  It was that it was so close.

I left Boston the next day proudly wearing my yellow Boston Marathon shirt.  It’s always fun to see all of the runners around town and at the airport the day after the marathon —a sea of yellow shirts.  I left town knowing that indeed, Boston is Boston Strong.  Please, check out an earlier blog post featuring some amazing stories of bombing victims.

The next day I was home in California sitting at my computer and attempting to work when I got a text from Danny.  Hey, you qualified for Boston.  Your qualifying time is 4:25.  After I caught my breath, I looked on the website.  Of course he was right.  I had qualified for 2016!  Will I register and see if I can get in?  I don’t know.  I had intended to retire from running marathons.  But I’ve said that every time I’ve run one.  It’s just that goal of beating my PR . . .  There are faster courses but, face it, Boston is the most prestigious marathon in the world.

Thus ends my third experience at the Boston Marathon.  I’m thrilled I was able to support the race.  I finished strong, pushing the pace hard at the end, and I ran a qualifying time.  No, I didn’t reach my ultimate goal, but I jumped in and tried.  Seventeen marathons and counting.

Let’s break barriers together.

Book Note:  My book is in final editing and I’m getting good reviews from people who are reading it!  I’m excited to be so close to publishing it.  All four of my audio CD’s are now listed on Amazon.  If you are looking for information and advice on resumes, interviewing, marketing, and hiring, check them out.  It’s great, practical information.  I’m presently working on audio CD number five, NEGOTIATE THE SALARY YOU DESERVE—The Seven Keys To Negotiating Success.

 

9-11 Twin TowersMost of us remember that morning on September 11, 2001, when pictures flashed over and over on TV of thick, dark smoke billowing out of the Twin Towers.  I had been training for the Marine Corps Marathon which was to take place the following month in Washington D.C.  My brother, Danny, at the time, worked near the Capitol as Communications Director for a non-profit think tank, the Employment Policy Foundation.  

***

I arrived at the office on that chaotic morning on 9-11 thinking about the Twin Towers.  I immediately dialed Danny on the phone.  He picked up on the first ring.  “Hey Danny, it’s Dolores.”

Before I could say anything else Danny cut me off.  “Hi.  I can’t talk long.  It’s chaos here.  Did you hear that another plane crashed into the Pentagon?  Then another plane crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania when the passengers tried to overpower the hijackers.  That plane was meant to crash into the Capital.”

I gripped the phone tighter.  “Oh my God.  Are you okay?”

Danny’s laugh sounded nervous.  “Yeah, I’m glad I don’t work at the Pentagon.  It appears to be a well-planned terrorist attack.  I’ll let you know as soon as I get information about the marathon.  I have no idea what will happen.  The course runs by several memorials as well as the Pentagon.”

I sighed.  “Okay, let me know.  Talk to you soon.”  Overwhelmed, I hung up the phone.  But I didn’t have time to think about terrorism or the marathon.  I needed to prep a candidate for an interview.  Time to get back to work.

On September 20th, President George W. Bush declared the War on Terror.  The attacks had killed almost 3,000 people. Danny, however, reported that the marathon was on and that security would be high.  It all felt surreal and a shiver went down my spine whenever I thought about running a marathon course that passed by a recent terrorist target—the Pentagon.

As you can imagine, I felt concerned about flying into Washington D.C. the month after the attack, but Danny reassured me.  “Look, Dolores, planes flying into Washington D.C. are the safest flights in the sky.  Believe me, there’ll be military guys on every flight going in and out of D.C.”

I thought about it.  If I didn’t go, then the terrorists would win in their attempt to spread terror.  I couldn’t let that happen.  On October 26th, I boarded a plane to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington D.C., but only after enduring a thorough check of my carry-on bags.  No, I didn’t relax at all during the entire flight but we landed safely—thank God.

Danny met me in the airport, his dark eyes sparkling.  “Hey Dolores, how was the flight?”  He gave me a hug.

I rolled my eyes.  “Look Danny, I dug a hole in the back of my hand with my fingernails!  I’m bleeding.”  I let out a long breath—finally safe.  Now I could focus on the marathon.

***

The following day, marathon day, Danny and I got up at the crack of dawn and boarded the train to the start in Arlington.  We lucked out.  The previous day’s weather report had forecast cold, windy, nasty weather, but instead we got sunshine and mild breezy weather.  I considered that to be a good omen.

I remembered my experience in New York, starting in the back of the pack and not being able to run at full stride.  I urged Danny to hurry.  We checked our bags and worked our way into the mass of runners who got there before us and ended up in the middle of the pack.  Satisfied, I looked at Danny who didn’t seem at all nervous.  Amazing.  It had taken me three or four marathons to relax even somewhat.  But, then again, he had had all that competitive experience in high school and college.  This was just another race to him.  I hoped he would do well.  I hoped I would do well.  I counted to myself—marathon number eight—time to qualify.

The gun went off at 8:30am and Danny smiled.  “Let’s go!”

We moved slowly forward as the rising sun cast a shadow over the starting line.  When we crossed over, we both started our running watches and broke into an easy run.  The energy coursed through my veins and I fought my first instinct—to take-off and get going.  I had 26 miles to go.  I smiled thinking that, finally, I had learned how to run a marathon.

I didn’t know how long I’d be running with Danny but he left me sooner than I expected. At two miles Danny announced that he needed to stop at the porta-potty.  What?  He clearly wasn’t running for time.  Of course, I couldn’t wait for him.  I had to beat four hours.  We said our good-byes and I continued on.

Okay, first the good news.  What a spectacular course and a memorable experience.  We ran surprisingly close to the Pentagon at mile five.  As I passed, it got quiet.  No talking, just the pounding of shoes against the road.  I, like my fellow runners, slowed our pace as we stared at the wing where the plane had hit leaving nothing but a burned shell.  As if on cue, I noticed, at that moment, a runner ahead of me carrying an American Flag.

Besides the chilling sight of the Pentagon, we were treated to many famous sites including the Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials.  At the end of the marathon we ran by the Arlington National Cemetery and finished at the Marine Corps Memorial.  Quite the course, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, the not so good news.  I fell flat on my face at mile 24.  Yes, literally on my face—on hard concrete.  I must have been shuffling because I tripped on a small rock in the pavement.  I remember falling in slow motion but not being able to move my feet fast enough to regain my balance.   First I landed on my knee before I did a face plant on the street.  The pain surged through me—like a knife had been shoved through my knee followed by a punch to the face.

I lay there a few seconds trying to catch my breath writhing in pain.  But before I could get up, a cart, like a golf cart, moved in beside me.  A woman stepped out as I struggled to sit up.  Her harsh tone took me by surprise.  “Get in the cart.”  She moved closer to me.  “Get into the cart.”

I’m sure she repeated herself because I just sat there and stared at her.  It took a minute for her words to register.  “No.  I’m fine.”  I turned away and struggled to my feet.  She had to be kidding.  I only had two miles to go.  I would limp to the finish if I had to.

The woman’s voice got louder.  “Please, get into the cart.”

I waved her off and broke into a run.  Good, nothing broken.  Not finishing wasn’t an option.

 

Book Note:  My editor returned the book and now I’m making final changes.  It’s getting close to being published!  Meanwhile, my speaker website is also getting close to going live.  www.doloreslara.com  All of my audio CD’s are now on Amazon.  Good stuff if you or someone you know is job hunting.  Just search Dolores Lara Breaking Barriers.  More book excerpts can be found on my blog.

Training Report:  Less than four weeks to Boston!  I just finished my toughest training week logging a 21 mile long run with a total of 60 miles for the week.  I’m tired and ready to taper!  But I feel strong.

 

Surf City Half 1-15 croppedDo you suffer from knee pain?  Does it stop you from doing what you want to do?  According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.  A study from Gallup-Healthways shows that 31 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of neck or back condition that causes them pain, 26 percent have some sort of leg or knee condition and 18 percent have another condition that causes chronic pain. That’s a lot of pain—and knee pain.  Why did I feel the need to look up that statistic?  Well, I’ve been asked a few times in the past few weeks how I can run so much.  Doesn’t it bother my knees?

I regularly take a treadmill class at the health club I belong to.  The instructor, Norma Shechtman, is in her sixties, has completed 20 marathons, teaches 13 various fitness classes a week including cycling and pilates, and a few months ago hiked to 18,000 feet on Mount Everest.  Her treadmill class is a great workout and she’s been giving me encouragement during my current Boston Marathon training.  As a result of Norma’s encouragement, other people in the class are aware of how much running I’ve been doing lately.  Last week I ran 52 miles logging a long run of 19, and, before I taper, I’ll top out at 60 miles per week with a long run of 22 miles.  Of course I’ve got aches and pains…  Who wouldn’t?  However, I haven’t suffered from knee problems for so long that the questions about knee pain took me by surprise.

My answer was simple.  No I don’t suffer from knee pain—now.  I used to, however, but I worked hard at achieving this condition.  In addition I drink gelatin every morning in my calcium enriched orange juice and add a shot of colloidal minerals.  One person, clearly shocked, said, “Oh that doesn’t work!  Studies have shown that.”  Well, I’ve been taking gelatin now for about 15 years and I’m running…a lot.    A 1998 study at Ball State University, which was funded by Knox/Nabisco, found that gelatin supplements helped keep the joints of athletes more flexible and lessened pain for some. It demonstrated the ability to repair and/or rebuild cartilage.  A German research study also found gelatin to be helpful for joint pain and arthritis. But at least one other research study came to the conclusion that gelatin does not help.  All I can say is that ever since I started this practice that I’ve experienced much less knee stiffness, plus I have really nice nails and strong teeth.

But only some of the credit goes to consuming gelatin.  Yes, as I said before, I used to suffer from severe knee pain.  When I started running in my mid-twenties, I felt it immediately.  I found a chiropractor who worked with runners and discovered that I had a crooked hip which caused one leg to be slightly longer than the other.  When that was corrected, I was able to run pain free.  But it didn’t last for long.  As my mileage increased, the pain started coming back.  That’s when I discovered, by going to another chiropractor, that muscle imbalance causes knee injuries.  Then I started an all-around fitness program to not only strengthen the important thigh muscles but also my upper body and core.  I also started stretching—very important to keeping a range of motion.  I also discovered icing which is miraculous in reducing swelling as well as Advil, which has been a God send to me, especially after a tough run.

Once however, as I trained for my first Boston Marathon in 2009, I believe I suffered a meniscal tear and could not run.  I had no stability in my knee and even walking was difficult.  Devastated and desperate, I decided to forego a diagnosis from a typical doctor and instead consulted my homeopathic doctor who prescribed a remedy for me.  Believe it or not, I went out the next day and ran a strong 12 miles.  I’ll talk more about the magic of homeopathy in my next blog post.  It’s saved me numerous times throughout my long marathon career.

In other words, the lack of knee pain isn’t because I’m lucky as so many people have suggested.  It’s because I took steps and continue to take steps to maintain my body so I can continue to do the sport I love.  Anything worth having is worth working for.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Meanwhile, my third Boston marathon experience is only eight weeks away.  Boston here I come!

Let’s break barriers together!

Book Note: Yes!  I’m pleased to report that the final re-write of the book is done and will soon be going to my editor. Meanwhile, my new speaker website will be going live very soon.  If you or someone you know wants FREE resume and interview tips or inspirational quotes to keep you motivated for a year, you can sign up on my website at www.doloreslara.com.  I’ll let you know when it goes live.

Training Report:  As Boston gets closer, I’m running strong and on track.  I’ll be taking an easy week next to recuperate and I’ll be running a 10K on March 1, the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker.  Love that beer garden at the end!

 

 

Long Beach Marathon 1993

Maybe one of your resolutions this year is to lose some weight and get into shape? It’s true. Running is a big calorie burner. So if you start a running program, or increase your miles, or even train for a marathon, will you automatically lose weight? Well…maybe. Maybe not. Losing weight is more complicated than just starting an exercise program.

Back in 2002, my boyfriend at the time, Mike, accompanied me to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego. He positioned himself at the half-marathon mark to watch me run by.  At the time that was my ninth marathon and I was desperately trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I told him I would fly by at the 1 hour 50 to 55 minute mark in my quest to beat 4 hours and qualify.

No one said watching a marathon was a spectator sport. Once the lead runners zoom by, what is left is a sea of lumbering bodies.  Fascinated by his first marathon, Mike patiently waited and watched. He saw the 3:50 pace group go by and then the 4:00 pace group go by and then the 4:10 pace group go by.  I don’t know if he even saw me go by…  He did comment on how surprised he was at the large size of some of the runners he saw on the course—runners who were much faster than me.  He thought anyone crazy enough to train all those miles and then top it off with an ultimate 26.2 mile race would all be slim—especially if they were sub-4 hour runners.  Not so.

Losing weight has become a national obsession.  According to the CDC, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The average American is 23 pounds heavier than his or her ideal body weight. If we equate “normal” with average, it’s not much of a stretch to say it’s normal to be fat. Did you know that the average American spends $1,200 a year on fast food – that’s burgers and fried chicken twice EVERY week. That’s not helping in the weight department.

When I was in high school (back in the 70’s) girls were not allowed to participate in sports so growing up with a healthy exercise habit was not likely.  When I went to work at the “Dari-ette”, one of the town’s burger joints, it was no surprise that I started to gain weight.  I would be lying if I told you I didn’t obsess constantly about my weight. We all know someone who can’t talk about anything else but their weight—maybe it’s you?

There are several reasons why you may be gaining weight.  The most common is that you are eating more calories than you are burning.  Now consider that you have decided to train for a marathon to lose weight. When I run, I burn between 500 to 700 calories an hour when I run depending on how fast I am running.  A pound is comprised of approximately 3,500 calories so I must run over 4 hours to lose 1 pound (of course this does not take into consideration the increase in metabolism over a longer period of time if you run for 2 hours or more).  Now consider that a Big Mac is 540 calories and a large fries is 500 calories (not including a soft drink).  If I run for an hour—even 2 hours at an easy pace (500 calories an hour) and then go out and eat a Big Mac meal, I’ve eaten at least 40 more calories in one meal than I burned running.  That is a sobering fact.  Many people who are training for a marathon will actually eat more calories than they burn.

So whether it’s running or some other form of exercise, it won’t work unless you change your diet too. The whole idea is not to “diet” per se. It’s a change in lifestyle. When I worked at the Dari-ette, I was obsessed—I thought about food constantly.  Trying to “diet” was a disaster.  When I started running in my mid-twenties and reading Runner’s World magazine, I started to change my eating habits (giving up the snacking on fries, for instance) and I began to lose weight naturally.  I changed my eating habits, not to lose weight, but to become healthier so I could run faster.  It’s true. Once a new lifestyle becomes a habit, then you create a new reality.  It’s important to not focus on weight loss as the goal but on something else more positive, like being able to run faster, or learning how to ball room dance, or discovering hiking to connect with nature.  It’s important to do something you enjoy and to have fun.

Returning back to 2002 and the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, no, I wasn’t with the 3:50 pace group, nor the 4:00 pace group, nor was I with the 4:10 pace group. I didn’t qualify for the Boston Marathon and I certainly did not beat four hours. That quest was to continue for several more years… You can read my story in my upcoming book Breaking Barriers, to be published this year.

Meanwhile, through the years, I’ve developed a strong and lean body and I’m in the best shape and health of my life. No—middle-age does not have to mean gaining weight and watching your body fall with gravity.  It’s amazing what small changes in life style will do enhance life.  Exercise and focusing on healthy eating are major factors in quality of life as we age.  Get out there and do something physical and fun!

 

Book Note: Yes! I’m pleased to report that the final re-write of the book is done and will soon be going to my editor. Meanwhile I’ve completed my fourth audio CD, AVOID HIRING MISTAKES—The Seven Biggest Mistakes Hiring Managers Make. All four of my CD’s will soon be available on my (almost live) speaker website.   www.doloreslara.com

Training Report: I’m running strong and on track. I’m starting my fourth month of training and my long run is now 17 miles and my weekly mileage is 47. Now it’s time to focus and keep going as the training gets intense. Looking forward to Boston in April!

BBGIFlogoColorSmallDid you ever write a list of qualities you wanted in a spouse?  I wrote one—after I separated from my first husband.  Yes, the second husband would be different.  I met someone, a possible candidate.  We had just started training together for our first marathon.  We both worked at Pizza Hut, Inc., in Wichita, Kansas.  My new running friend had just moved to Wichita from Chicago.

* * *

Monday morning I sat at my desk, phone in hand, about to call back a stack of those lovely messages when Art popped into my office and sat down.  “What’s happening Dolores?”

“Oh, you know, work.  What’s going on with you?”  Happy to have the distraction, I put the phone down.

Art leaned forward and looked me right in the eyes.  “You want to date Arne, don’t you?”

My jaw dropped.  “What?”

Art leaned back and crossed his legs.  “I heard about your divorce.  Arne is single and I know you guys are training together.  Did you know that he has a girlfriend in Chicago?”

The words hit me like a ton of bricks.  I sat back in my chair and crossed my arms.  “Art, you’re a gossip!  We’re just training together.  My divorce isn’t even final yet.”  I hoped he couldn’t see my real reaction.

Art stood up.  “Oh, I keep my ears open.  Talk to you later.”  Art swept out of my cube.

I sat for a minute.  Girlfriend in Chicago…  I picked up the phone but, distracted, put it back into the receiver.  What did I feel at that moment?  Disappointment?  I shook it off and picked up the phone for another try at those messages.  Obviously Art talks to Arne enough to know that information.  So why didn’t Arne talk about his girlfriend when we ran on Saturday?

I met Arne the next day after work in the fitness center for our four mile run.  Cyndi and Leo joined us as we took off down Rock Road.  Cyndi ran beside Arne.  “Hi Arne.  Nice to see you join our running group.  I hear you’re training for the Wichita Marathon.”

Arne laughed.  “Yeah, Pat talked me into it.  How hard can it be?”

Leo chimed in.  “We’ll ask you that in about four months when your long runs get over 17 miles!”

Arne and I completed our scheduled run and Cyndi and Leo continued for another couple of miles.  Arne thanked me for the run and went off to the locker room.  I shrugged.  Obviously his intention was just to be running friends.  But, still, no mention of his girlfriend in Chicago.  Weird.

As the training progressed, we ran with the Pizza Hut running group a couple times a week.  Arne had fit in immediately.  We chatted but nothing too heavy.  The training was going well so far and I felt strong.  I knew that soon, our Tuesday and Thursday runs would increase to six miles and our long run would increase to 10 miles.  I needed to mentally prepare for that.

Meanwhile I went on another date.  I met Joe when Sharon and I went dancing.  Joe loved to laugh and had his own spa cleaning business.  I loved his dark hair, sparking eyes and outgoing personality.  We went to a local Mexican Restaurant and enjoyed the spicy tacos and margaritas.

“Oh Dolores, beautiful senorita, you don’t seem like a bean counter.”  Joe twirled me in the parking lot.

“You make me laugh!”  I grabbed his arm to avoid landing face first on the pavement.  We must have been a sight in the parking lot. Maybe too many margaritas?  We had fun, but Joe didn’t fit my list.  At the time, I didn’t appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit or that he made me laugh.  He wasn’t an executive on the way up.  End of story.

Finally, my court date arrived.  My knees were shaking when I met Cal Dunnart in front of the court house.  I opted to wear a pantsuit with a navy jacket and slacks and a white blouse—a Peat, Marwick favorite.  For some reason, I wanted to look conservative in front of the judge.

We walked into the court room and sat down on the front row of several rows of wooden benches.  The courtroom looked nearly empty except for the court bailiff, stenographer, and another man and woman sitting in the back row.

Carl leaned over to me.  “Do you remember how to answer the questions?”

I sighed.  “Yes.”

The bailiff stood up and announced Judge Reynolds.  The Judge walked into the courtroom, sat down and shuffled through a stack of papers.  He nodded to the bailiff who called my name.  I took a deep breath and walked to the witness box and sat down.  I could feel a whisper of cold air from the fan above me.  Judge Reynolds’ gray hair was slicked back and his dark glasses dominated his face.  He looked like he’d heard way too many cases and didn’t look forward to hearing any more.  Cal stepped up to the witness box and started asking me our rehearsed questions.  I answered as instructed.

“Ms. May, you may step down.”  The Judge’s voice boomed.

I jumped.  “Thank you.”  I stepped out of the witness box, my legs still shaking.

Cal led the way out of the courtroom and I followed him down the wide hallway hearing an echo with each step we took.  We didn’t speak.  I stifled a sob.  When we got to the steps outside of the courthouse, Cal turned to me.  “That’s all there is.  Your divorce is final.  You’ll receive the documents from the court in the mail.  Do you have any questions?”

I blinked and cleared my throat.  “Can I start using my maiden name now?”

Cal held out his hand.  “Yes, Ms. Dolores Lara, you can.  Have a wonderful life.”

We shook hands and Cal turned and hurried away.  I stood there for a minute letting the words soak in.  Ms. Dolores Lara.  Have a wonderful life.

* * *

Book Note: Yes!  I’m pleased to report that the final re-write of the book is proceeding well.  I’m hopeful to turn it over to my editor within a month.  Meanwhile I’ve completed my fourth audio CD, AVOID HIRING MISTAKES—The Seven Biggest Mistakes Hiring Managers Make.  All four of my CD’s will soon be available on my speaker website.   www.doloreslara.com

Training Report:  I am back on track from my back injury after taking a week off from running.  I’m in my second month of training so I can catch up on the schedule.  I ran 37 miles this week and completed a strong long run of 14 miles.  Looking forward to Boston in April!

Think of a time you embarked on a challenging, long-term project–one you knew would take much time and effort.  Why did you do it?  My latest challenging project is training for the Boston Marathon.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited and honored to be included in the upcoming marathon, but I know how much effort it’s going to take and it’s a big, big commitment in time.  But this time is different than the last two times I trained.  As I complete my first month of training for the Boston Marathon in April 2015, I pause to remember just why I decided to run Boston for the third time—to honor the marathon and the victims after the horrific bombings on April 15, 2013.  Two hundred sixty-four people were injured and three people were killed including eight year old Martin William Richard.  I wasn’t there in 2013 but I was there in 2012.  My brother and his wife were spectators in the same general area where one of the bombs went off.   I stood mesmerized in front of the television most of the day feeling shocked and angry.  I shudder thinking about what might have happened to them if the bombings would have happened a year earlier.

The city has adopted a phrase–Boston Strong.  That certainly describes the resilience of the victims.  Following are just three examples of the real strength and courage shown by all who have been affected by this tragedy.

Rebekah Dimartino, of Texas, a spectator and 27-year-old mother, stood 10 feet away from one of the bombs.  When it exploded, it severely injured her leg.  After undergoing 17 surgeries, she opted for amputation as a way to help put the bombing behind her.

Mrs. Corcoran, a 47-year-old hairdresser from Boston, lost both legs as she watched the marathon.  Even now she still feels stabbing pain in toes she lost months ago.  She uses state-of-the-art prostheses which are slowly helping her reclaim her independence, but she’s frustrated at the grueling effort required in learning to use them and can tolerate them only for a few hours a day.  She longs for the days when she was truly independent.  Her husband carries her upstairs to bed each night.

Adrianne Haslet-Davis went to the Boston Marathon with her husband to celebrate his safe return from Afghanistan only to find a war zone in their own neighborhood.  Adrianne, a professional ballroom dancer, severely damaged her left foot and it had to be amputated.  She didn’t give up and with the help of “MIT bionic limb wizard” Hugh Herr, she is dancing once again.  Herr, a double amputee himself, created a special bionic limb foot for a dancer.

Amazing how a split second cowardly act of terrorism can turn lives upside down.  You have to admire the courage and resilience as the victims continue to recover.

And what about the terrorists?  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected of planting the bombs, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges related to the April attacks.  His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died a few days after the bombings in an altercation with police.  Dzhokhar will face trial in January 2015 and Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty.  Several people have been charged in aiding the brothers in the attack.  Read an account of the terror attack here.

I vow to be Boston Strong and I train for freedom.  Not only will the Boston Marathon survive and thrive, so will the victims.  Yes, the training will be long and tedious and command much effort.  But the reason I’m training is the push I need to get out there and do it.  The next time you commit to a big challenging project, make sure you believe in your cause.  Maybe it’s to help your family, to improve yourself, or maybe it’s a stand again terrorism.  Whatever it is, commit and go for it.  Boston, here I come!

Let’s break barriers together!

Training Report:  One month into my training, I’m now at 35 miles a week including a long run of 13 miles.  My weekly routine also includes one day each of Bikram Yoga, Boot Camp class and Pilates.  I’m running strong and injury-free.

Book Note: The book is now taking a priority.  I’ve completed my fourth audio CD, AVOID HIRING MISTAKES—The Seven Biggest Hiring Mistakes Hiring Managers Make.  All four of my CD’s will soon be available on my speaker website.   www.doloreslara.com

Life events happen for a reason. I have gained valuable insight and experience over the past year with my speaking and producing the CDs.  My ever changing and challenging love relationship gave me pause—I didn’t know how the book would end.  Now I do.  I’m looking forward to completing the book.

 

Picture 3Yes!  I’m officially training for the great Boston Marathon again.  This will be marathon number 17 and the third time at Boston.  Fitting that I will be running it again at age 60 and, you know what…I’m going for it.  I want to run the best and fastest marathon ever.  Why not?  I heard 60 is the new 40.  But age is just a number anyway.  It’s our paradigm of aging that’s hard to ignore.

Take a look at the Boston time qualifications for instance. Qualifying times get longer as the age groups get older.  The times increase 5 to 10 minutes per age group until age 60 when the time increases 15 minutes.  What’s that about?  I went to the doctor and she ordered tons of additional tests for me because I turned 60.  She even ordered a prescription of vitamin D for me because she was sure I needed it.  So far all of the tests are fine—even at 60.  Nope, I didn’t need the vitamin D.  I already take a number of vitamins and herbs to maintain my health.  They work!

I needed role models so I did some research and found a great article on athletes over 60. For instance,   Pat Gallant-Charette, 63 years old and a full time registered nurse, took up open water swimming 15 years ago.  With no prior experience she is now on her way to becoming the fifth finisher ever (not to mention the oldest) of the Oceans Seven, the most challenging and longest open-water swims in the world.  She has three swims to go and will take on the North Channel, a tough swim between Great Britain and Ireland in 2015.

How about Yuichiro Miura, who became the oldest person to summit the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in May of 2013 at the age of 80.  That’s 29,035 feet above sea level.  No easy feat for anyone.  Four thousand people have attempted the climb but only 660 have succeeded.  Miura has reached the summit three times in his lifetime—all over the age of 70.

Pretty inspiring, wouldn’t you agree? All I’m hoping for is a measly PR in the marathon at age 60.  After all, my last PR was at age 56.  I made a miraculous leap in running ability in my fifties—certainly not normal.  Running a marathon, as in any endurance sport, is more mental.  The body will perform as you believe it will.  I must admit, I made miraculous mental leaps in my fifties too—and the running is evidence of that.  Anything is possible—even qualifying for Boston at the age of 54 (with a qualifying time for a 40 year old).  That was me!

Let’s break barriers together!

Training Report:  I’m starting a six-month training program at a base of 30 miles including a long run of 11 miles.  My weekly routine also includes one day each of Bikram Yoga, Boot Camp class and Pilates.  I feel strong with no injuries.

Book Note: The book is now taking a priority.  I’m close to completing my fourth audio CD, AVOID HIRING MISTAKES—The Seven Biggest Hiring Mistakes Hiring Managers Make.  All four of my CD’s will soon be available on my speaker website.   www.doloreslara.com

Life events happen for a reason. I have gained valuable insight and experience over the past year with my speaking and producing the CDs.  My ever changing and challenging love relationship gave me pause—I didn’t know how the book would end.  Now I do.  I’m looking forward to completing the book.

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