The Answer is: Celiac Disease

For years I thought the gluten-free diet was a fad and did not expect it to last long. I can remember saying, “Not everything needs to have a gluten-free option.”

Then earlier this year I was diagnosed with celiac disease. For those of you not familiar with celiac disease, it is an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten. According to eating gluten causes my body to mount an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage to the villi, the small finger-like projections that line the small intestine and absorb nutrients. When the villi are damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly.

People can have severe symptoms or appear to be symptom free. I thought I was symptom free and had just an inkling that wheat might be an issue. After doing a Whole 30, I noticed I felt a little better not eating bread and pasta or drinking beer, but I didn’t think I felt “bad” after consuming any of those items. In fact, the way food affected me, I thought I had an ulcer.

When testing showed no ulcer, but I had celiac disease, I was surprised! And apparently I have had the condition for a long time. I love pasta and bread. I make fantastic lasagna. I enjoy beer — especially German wheat beer. And I didn’t think I had symptoms. I’ll be able to just do the big stuff, I thought. A little gluten here and there wouldn’t hurt me. (FYI At the same time I was diagnosed with GERD, which did explain the ulcer-like symptoms.)

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Episode 20 Podcast — Flying Pig Weekend Race Recap (3-Way with Extra Cheese)

In episode 20 of the WALK Magazine Podcast, my friend Deb and I talk about the Skyline Chili 3-Way with Extra Cheese Challenge that was part of the Flying Pig Marathon weekend in early May. The 3-Way Challenge is a 3-race series that ends with the Flying Pig Half Marathon. The Extra Cheese adds a 1-mile race on Friday night of race weekend. (The 4-Way Challenge finishes with the full marathon instead of the half.)

Cincinnati is a great city and the Flying Pig is one of my favorite half marathons. It’s a pretty race with fantastic crowd support. Plus the swag — a nice backpack, five shirts, six race medals…

Flying pig 1 mile

In the rain at the Little Kings 1-mile race Friday night of race weekend. From left to right: me, Deb, Laura and Laura’s niece.

We also talk a little about the Run for Home Challenge — a 10K and half marathon we did in April in preparation for the Flying Pig.

We both agreed we probably should have trained differently for these events. Here are our hints for training for and finishing multiple races back-to-back:

  1. I didn’t train hard enough. If you typically do long days of 10-12 miles for a half marathon, I’d recommend going farther.
  2. Practice back-to-back long distances over a weekend at least once.
  3. If you are staying in a hotel, try to find a location close to the starting lines, especially if the races are in a big city.
  4. Bring more than one pair of shoes in case of bad weather.
  5. It’s OK to take a nap after any of the races. If you need a special pillow, bring it with you.
  6. Finally, take it easy and enjoy the races. There is no need to go all out for the first one, then have nothing left for the last race.

For more information:
Flying Pig Marathon 3-Way —
Run for Home —
Women is Sports Radio —

Flying pig medals

All six medals earned during the Flying Pig race weekend.






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6 Tips for Walking in the Heat







Copyright 2017 Photobucket

Last week I stepped outside for a speed workout, and it was much hotter than I had expected. During the warm-up mile, I realized I was not acclimated, and made the decision to adjust the workout for the heat. As I thought about my options, I decided training in heat would make a great blog post.

So, here are my 6 tips for training in the heat.

  1. Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, breathable, wicking fabrics in light or bright colors. Believe it or not, color does matter — a black technical shirt will feel warmer than a white shirt.
  2. Wear a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face and keep the sweat from dripping in your eyes.
  3. Carry water. I cannot emphasize this enough. It doesn’t matter if you are walking just a couple of miles or 10 miles — carry water. It is better to have it with you and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you have ever had an issue with over-heating or heat stroke, it is even more important for you to have water. I can’t find the article right now, but studies show that once you have had heat exhaustion, you are even more likely to be affected by heat. Being over 65 will also increase the risk of heat stroke.
  4. Let yourself get acclimated before you go all out. It takes about two weeks for your body to adjust to higher temperatures. So, for right now, get used to the higher temperatures. And if your workout seems too hard one day, make adjustments — reduce your speed or your distance.
  5. If possible, walk either early or late in the day when it is cooler.
  6. Take a shady route whenever possible.

I personally think it is important to train outside year round. You never know what the weather will be on race day, and you won’t be ready unless you train in all weather. (If the temperatures are not safe, move indoors to a treadmill, or take it extremely easy.)

So be safe and keep walking!


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Episode 19 Podcast — Dressing for Walking in the Winter

In this episode of the WALK Magazine Podcast, I talk with Larry Smith about how to dress for walking in winter.

Larry is not only a walking visionary (he started an urban walking club in German Village) and a very fast walker, but he is also one of those hard core athletes who is outside regardless of the weather. (Except for ice and lightening.)

So Larry was the perfect person to talk to about dressing for the winter weather. And because this winter in Central Ohio has been weird and not as cold as typical — yet — it’s not too late to post this information in February.

Follow Larry and the German Village Walking Club Here:

  • website:
  • Facebook: GermanVillageWalkingClub/
  • email:  or
  • Twitter: @LarryWalksFast


Posted in exercise, marathon walking, podcast, racewalking, training, treadmill walking, walking in snow, weather | 5 Comments

Episode 18 Podcast — Two Halves, One Week — Air Force and Run with the

In Episode 18 of the WALK Magazine Podcast, my friend Deb and I talk about doing two half marathons in one week — again.

This year was the 20th anniversary of the Air Force Marathon. Because this is the only marathon I have ever entered, it’s special to me and I wanted to be there for the celebration even if I don’t do full marathons any more.

The Adams County Run with the Amish Half Marathon was so fun last year, we wanted to do it again the next week. (Plus we heard a rumor the race would not be held in 2017, so this might be our last chance.) Not only are the medals and finisher awards unique, this race gives equal prizes to fast walkers. I seriously wanted to win one of the great walker prizes.

In this episode we discuss the races, how we trained, how the weather affected our training and the race days, and how this year’s races were so different from last year’s races.


Posted in exercise, half marathons, marathon walking, marathons, podcast, races, racewalking, walking | 2 Comments

Independence Day 5K


Buckeye Striders at the New Albany Indpendence Day 5K: Nancy, Pat, Cheryl, Steve, Linda and me.

The Buckeye Striders have started a new race tradition — entering the New Albany Independence Day 5K. It’s one of the few local 5Ks with a walking division.

Last year was our first year doing this race as a group and every one of us who entered placed in our age group. I not only won my age group, I set a personal record by more than 2 min.

This morning was overcast and chilly and some of us debated keeping our jackets on. None of us did.

This was my first race since starting the Whole30 plan 21 days ago, and I was a little worried about whether the switch from burning carbs to burning fat for energy is really working yet.

I didn’t have a race plan — basically go as fast as I can for as long as I can, and see what happens. The race is mostly on streets, but when the crowd thins out, it moves to bike trails.

I started strong at about a 12:20 mile. There were plenty of little kids to dodge (so cute). At one point I realized I wasn’t breathing hard, and looked to see I had slowed down to a 13+ pace, so tried to go faster. The best I could do was about 12:35.

At another point I could see my friend Cheryl  out of the corner of my eye. We are in the same age group, and I really wanted to beat her. I looked at my watch, saw that I had slowed to 12:45, so I tried to pick up the pace and got back down to 12:35. It was enough to stay ahead of her the rest of the race.

I finished in 38:28, which is about a minute slower than I did the same race last year. (Darn.) I took fifth woman, sixth overall, first in my age group and first master woman!



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Episode 17 Podcast — Olympic Hopefuls Melville and Mannozzi

In Episode 17, Miranda Melville and Michael Mannozzi each talk about the road to the Olympic Trials.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast:


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What Happens After a Few Weeks on Whole30

Whole30 book

My dog-eared, stained, bookmarked copy of Whole30.

I started the Whole30 eating plan for a couple of reasons.

  1. I have digestion issues and thought it would help me pinpoint the foods that are the cause.
  2. I have not been making good food choices for a while, and felt I needed to do something drastic to kickstart my diet.

What Is It?
Whole30 is a 30-day elimination eating plan that is pretty strict. You must eat three complete meals every day. You cannot eat grains, dairy, legumes, added sugar or drink alcohol. You need to eat protein, healthy fats and lots of vegetables at every meal. Fruits are OK on a limited basis. Food choices are not designated as breakfast, lunch or dinner foods. You are encouraged to eat any of the compliant foods at any meal. Snacking is discouraged.

After 30 days, you gradually add in the eliminated foods to see how you feel. After so long without these foods, it should be easy to figure out which ones do not agree with you.

Some of the things I did not know before deciding to try the Whole30:

  1. Your tastebuds relearn to appreciate the taste of whole healthy foods without the tons of added sugar in so many American processed foods.
  2. You learn how to add healthy fats to your diet so you are less hungry.
  3. You learn to have a healthier relationship with food.
  4. Your body learns to burn fat for energy instead of carbs!

My Experience
I’m on Day 14 of the plan, and I thought I would share with you some of the things I am experiencing.

Greek salad

This huge Greek salad with romaine, red onion, tomatoes, 15 kalamata olives, diced chicken and fresh-made dressing was one meal. I had to make it in a huge plastic container because I couldn’t find a bowl big enough to hold it. This salad can be eaten for any meal, including breakfast.

The first few days are pretty hard. I’m not a breakfast eater, but the plan says to eat within an hour of waking and before you drink coffee. I’m not hungry in the morning, and I love drinking coffee while I get ready, so this change was hard.

In those first few days I confirmed that I cannot eat eggs. I had a stomach ache for three days before I realized both the hard boiled eggs and homemade mayo were bothering me!

Unfortunately, eggs are a big part of this program. Not only are they a good protein source, good for breakfast and portable (hard boiled eggs), but I had planned to eat lots of salads made with mayonnaise (tuna salad or egg salad). And I even made mayonnaise from scratch with raw eggs for that purpose!

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A Cautionary Tale: Pineapple and Smoothies


by Darren Lewis

Recently, a doctor recommended I eat half of a pineapple every day because of the natural anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit. No problem, I thought. I love pineapple.

When I actually tried to eat that much pineapple several days in a row, it was rough! My mouth burned and I ended up with acid-based stomachaches.

Eventually it dawned on me that if I put the fruit in a smoothie, I could drink it and avoid the mouth pain.

I am not a smoothie person. I think it is better to eat a piece of fruit than to puree it with high-calorie ingredients. But at this point I was willing to try anything, and was convinced I could make healthy smoothies. Continue reading


Posted in diet, health, nutrition, walking, weight loss | 1 Comment

4 Convenient Ways to Carry Your Essentials

pocketsDuring training walks and races I need to carry things with me, and that can be difficult when my workout clothes don’t have pockets.

Luckily, there are many inventive people who have come up with creative ways to carry essentials. Over the last couple years, I have acquired several different carriers, and I like all of them for different reasons.

Four of my favorites, in alphabetical order, are the BANDI Pocket Belt, RooSport Pocket, SPIbelt and Walkapocket. (Note: I bought all of these except the BANDI, which was a gift from a family member.) The SPIbelt I have is older and a little outdated. There have been improvements since I purchased mine. Continue reading


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