Todd’s First Ironman

todd-stabenow-photoA good friend, Todd Stabenow, is participating in his first Ironman (Chattanooga) this year and raising money for a great cause.   I’m supporting him not only because of our friendship, he is also putting up a $1,500 4-night stay in Charleston to one lucky winner.

Every $30 donation gives you an entry where you have no worse than a 1/100 chance of winning a stay Sept-May in this beautiful Charleston home.

You can make an easy tax-free donation through the following link:

Go Todd!


Hill Workouts – Great Charlotte Location for Hill Sprints

According to Runner’s World, hill workouts are one of the greatest ways to improve strength and speed.

If you are unfamiliar with hill workouts here are two great articles on the benefits:

Hill Training – Brian Mac, Sports Coach
Mastering Hill Workouts – Pete Magill, Running Times

Looking for a good medium hill in Charlotte to do a hill workout? My favorite for the 400m distance is located close to the Bank of America Panthers stadium on Greenleaf Ave and West 1st Street off South Cedar Street.


There is plenty of parking on either street, and the traffic flow is low in the mornings. After you warm up, I recommend starting here and running to the top of Greenleaf Ave.

Recover back down the same hill until you reach your starting point, then run the opposite direction (West 1st Street) until you reach the top. Repeat the recovery jog down, and run back up Greenleaf Ave.

Here is what the workout looks like if you are using a Garmin:

If you are using a watch, you can leave the clock running, pressing the lap button at the start and stop of each hill to gauge your splits.


Give it a try, I believe you will like the hill variation, challenge and scenery.

2014 Race Calendar

Below is my 2014 tentative race calendar. Provided I stay injury free, the following are on my radar with New York City Marathon confirmed.

Charleston Half-Marathon (Jan 18) 1:18:45 (New Half-Marathon PR, 2nd overall)

BB&T Corp Cup Team 5K (Mar 8) 17:31 (3rd overall)

Charlotte 10 Miler (Mar 23) 17:15 (New 10 Mile PR, 1st overall)

Know Your Craft 5K (Apr 5) 17:15 (3rd overall)

CPCC Skyline 5K (Apr 26)

Blue Ridge Relay (Sep 5-6)

Lynchburg 10 Miler (Sep 27)

New York City Marathon (Nov 2) [Confirmed]

Do you have a race calendar in place for 2014? 

Exercise can reorganize the brain and boost your willpower


Exercise is not only good for the body, your brain also benefits.


Sure, exercise is good for your body, but what about your brain? Well apparently there’s a link between exercise and mental alertness, in a similar way that happiness and exercise are related.

A lifetime of exercise can result in a sometimes astonishing elevation in cognitive performance, compared with those who are sedentary. Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in tests that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid-intelligence tasks.

Of course, exercise can also make us happier, as we’ve explored before:

If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.

At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. The main purpose of endorphis is this, writes researcher McGovern:

These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.