The Flourishing Experiment

Author Margaret Webb (of Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer) returns to talk about race etiquette, body image, and ways to live a healthier, longer running lifestyle. Serena Marie, RD, and Kari fill the Gratitude Jar this week and also talk about what stress and cortisol levels do to the body. Serena recaps the Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K that she recently ran, and Kari updates listeners on her back injury.

Featured Guest: Author Margaret Webb

Kari and Margaret Webb, from self-titled Episode 48, converse about what’s going on in Margaret’s life right now, race etiquette, body image, the top seven ways to live a healthy life, and much more.

  • Margaret has been running in her late 20s, and because of her flat feet, she was always afraid of running too long or far.
  • One day, her sister challenged her to run a half marathon, and she felt she couldn’t say no since her sister is thirteen years older than she.
  • After her first book came out, called Apples To Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour Of Canadian Farm, she felt she needed to lose a few pounds gained while researching and going on tour to promote the book.
  • She thought she’d try her hand at a marathon, and she was about to turn fifty years old, so she wanted to try to get into the best shape of her life.
  • She had an amazing fiftieth year, ran several marathons, and achieved a personal best (PB).
  • Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer is her memoir as an overweight smoker and couch potato to a fit distance runner. She also talked to long-distance female runners while writing the book.
  • Her largest goal was to turn herself into a runner who could run for life.
  • She found that when you get into distance running, there’s about a ten-year arc where you continue to build your speed and strength but you inevitably run into a slower period.
  • Age doesn’t disappear, and it shouldn’t stop anyone from starting running at any age.
  • Find the age grade running calculator that Margaret mentions here.
  • Kari updates Margaret on her experience of running three marathons (and how it all started in “ Bank Of America Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski” Episode 88) and how she enjoys 5Ks and half marathons much more.
  • Margaret talks about the ridiculousness of thinking we are not runners if we haven’t run the marathon distance. She thinks it’s useful and interesting to have trained for a marathon, because it’s a big goal to achieve.
  • Many women can and do successfully run marathons well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. But for most of us, in order to be healthy running those distances, we need to cross train a lot.
  • Margaret wants to get into distance swimming, kayaking, and cycling.
  • One major takeaway is to respect your body type and mechanics in order to run injury free.
  • Last year she ran the BAA 5K with some of her running club friends and had an amazing time. The next day, she took a running tour through Boston. Although it’s sexy to run a big-city marathon, there are other ways to run a city too!
  • Margaret thinks that 5 and 10K distances should get more respect. For the BAA 5K, you self select what corral you go in, so those runners who are least experienced go to the first corral to try and get to the finish line faster. In the first corral, there were elites mixed in with slower runners.
  • For folks in the second or third corral, they had to pass the slower runners from the first corral. People were even stopping to walk in the first corral, which made it very difficult for the faster runners who had to dodge and weave around slower folks. It becomes frustrating and dangerous.
  • Her goal was to run a personal best there, and she wanted to try and place in her age group, so she wanted the conditions for a fast race.
  • For someone who’s new to a 5K race, Margaret suggests the following etiquette:
    • All races should have an etiquette guideline with the race kit/bag.
    • For those who are on a run/walk program, during the walking phase, you should make a signal before you start to walk and move to the side of the race course. Kari mentions that when doing the Galloway Method, Jeff Galloway suggests to raise your arm to say that you’re slowing down and to go to the side of the course.
    • Properly place yourself in a corral that matches your ability.
    • Kari mentions a book called Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species by Mark Remy that satirically classifies 23 different types runners in a humorous way.
  • Margaret talks a bit about body image in her second book.
  • The women’s running movement is still so young and new that most runners have not really experimented or understood the full range of running opportunities that are available.
  • The movement is fixated on the half marathon, but there are many other distances to choose from.
  • One thing that women has largely ignored is the USATF Masters Track and Field movement, which includes shorter distances like the 100- and 200-meter races.
  • You can get tremendously fit by doing shorter distances, and that suits many women in terms of training.
  • What Margaret learned from the sprinters is that they built muscle really well, and older women struggle to keep muscle mass, so it’s important to do activities that enhance muscle gain.
  • Sprinters have a bit of a stronger physique, and they look less “ravaged” as Margaret puts it. The distance runners seemed to be more frail because of less upper-body strength and miles taking their toll.
  • In terms of body image, she’s spoken to quite a few women at women’s-only races who started out their running careers at higher weights. When she started with her running club, she was 40 pounds overweight.
  • Margaret talks about social contagion, which is when you run with a group of positive people, you will catch that positivity. When you run, take some time to get into a positive mindset before you run.
  • For runners who might be insecure about their bodies, she suggests joining a supportive, like-minded group to keep you positive and motivated.
  • There is a movement called City Fit Girls that started in Philadelphia that’s just for women runners, and their mantra is, “No woman left behind.”
  • Kari recently heard about Alexis who moved from Baltimore to Phoenix, who went on a run sponsored by a running store, and she was left behind on a run in the dark, having just moved to the area.
  • It’s key to also find a good running store that takes you seriously and respects you.
  • Margaret is hungry to get back into a regular, disciplined training program soon with a few goal races but more diversified (like the Thousand Islands race series).
  • Kari and Margaret chat about mindset, nutrition, sleep, exercise, meditation, being with your tribe, and being outside. Kari mentions giving up alcohol and sugar, and she feels better without both. It affects her sleep and the way she feels.
  • Going through major life changes like selling a house, moving, moving away from good friends, can all be stressful. She recognizes that getting on a stricter schedule and focusing on the six or seven keys will get her back on track.
  • Kari gives a shout out to Canadian listener Malcolm Richmond who got into both Chicago and New York through the lottery system. His wife ran the Chicago Marathon for the first time, and Kari tells a funny story about Malcolm shouting out of a cab window. When Kari and fellow TRLS listener Liz Whitteberry were talking to meet Serena for dinner, who do they bump into, but Malcolm!

Thank you, TRLS listeners! “Running And Art: Turn Your Dreams Into Plans” (Episode 124 with Ann Rea) has received a ton of feedback! Many listeners thought it was a refreshing episode, because it portrayed depression and anxiety in such a raw and real light. We LOVE feedback and show ideas, so e-mail, leave a note on the Facebook page, or reach out via Twitter.

It’s almost here! The Delaware Marathon Festival in Wilmington, DE, will be held on Saturday, May 7 (5K and kids race) along with a TRLS dinner meetup (details to come). On Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8), the marathon, half marathon, and the relay races will take place. Kari will be the relay race finish line announcer. Go to the Contact tab of the TRL site to let Kari know that you’ll be at the meetup!

Gratitude Jar (Woot! Woot!)

This week, go-to, real-food dietitian “Speedy Scientific” Serena Marie, RD, is grateful for science. As a dietitian, she’s invested in science, and now she’s reaping the benefits of science in terms of the different types of training she did while she was injured (HIIT workouts and strength training). Now she’s only running twice a week, but she PRed at the Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K. She’s grateful that by listening to science and doing HIIT workouts, she’s been able to keep up her endurance and speed without a ton of running the last three months. She was the first woman to cross the finish line! Congratulations, Serena!

Kari is grateful for Serena! She talked to Serena about something that she was taking to heart too much that wasn’t even her own stressor, and Serena snapped her out of it by explaining things in her scientific, millennial way.

Serena Marie, RD
Serena Marie, RD, explains what happens physically to your body when you’re stressed out.

  • Don’t take on other’s issues. It’s important to minimize stressors that aren’t actually your own. When you respond to other people’s stress, you are doing damage to your own body.
  • The hormone cortisol spikes in your body, and it sets off the fight or flight reaction in your body, where your body thinks there’s a major stress going on, even if it’s a slight emotional stress.
  • When we exercise, it’s a healthy stress to our bodies, but when you’re sitting in the car during rush-hour traffic or recounting a stressful situation to your significant other at the dinner table, your liver starts to put out triglycerides (sugars) and LDL cholesterol, which is preparing your body for that flight reaction. When you’re sitting down, you’re not utilizing these sugars and cholesterol, but if you were running and your body reacted that way, it would be good because your body could use the sugars for fuel.
  • Try to be in the present and just breathe. Visualization is powerful, but it’s hard to believe until you see it manifested and actually happen.
  • Take a picture of what you visualize, and use the hashtags #TRLS and #visualization on social media. Mindset is everything, and we are our own worst enemies at times.
  • Serena also chats about her BAA 5K experience, which she loved, because Boston is alive with the spirit of the marathon that weekend. Being a part of the running community was amazing, she thought the starting line was well organized, and she doesn’t recall tripping over other runners or it being too crowded.

Share with us what you’re visualizing for success! Think about a success happening and what you’ll say or feel like. Have you used visualization before, and how did it work out for you?

The first week of May is National Pet Week, so in next week’s episode, Kari talks about how to run with dogs and which breeds are great to run with. She feels honored to chat with Rachael Ray’s go-to veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward. Ward is an Iron Man who talks to Kari about Lyme disease, how to care for a bearded dragon, and much more.


Margaret Webb:

Book: Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer
Twitter: @MargaretWebb
Margaret's Facebook Page

Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD

Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: margaret-webb-04-28-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT