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Marathon Mama: What’s next, runners?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Thursday, March 26, 2015

running people

By Beth Gallini, marathon mama of 2

With the Hogeye Marathon races just a few days away, you may have started to wonder what to do after the race.

If you haven’t started wondering about this yet, chances are you will soon! In my opinion, the two most important things to think about are your recovery alongside your post-race plans.


How you recover from a race will have a huge impact on how you feel over the days following the race and how soon you will be able to get back on the road.  What you do immediately following a race and in the first few days is exceptionally important. 

Stay on your feet. While the instinctive thing to do may be to sit down, try to stay on your feet.  If you ran a half marathon or marathon, try walking around post-race.  If you ran a shorter distance race you may want to go on an easy run of 5 to 10 minutes.

Get something to eat and drink. It is important to get a mix of carbohydrates and protein (3:1 ratio) in your system within 30 minutes of a race to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness and to allow your muscles to begin the repairing process.  You’ll also want to be sure you drink some water or a sports drink.

Ease back into running and listen to your body. A general rule of thumb is that it takes your body one day to recover for every mile you raced.  The longer the distance of your race, the slower you want to ease back into running.  I always take a full week off with no running following a marathon and then do a reverse taper.   The amount of time required for a full recovery will differ from person to person and even race to race, so it is important to listen to your body during this time.  If you do too much too soon, you will set yourself back farther in the long term.

Get a massage. Getting a massage within 24-48 hours after a race will help reduce soreness.  Using a foam roller on any sore areas will also help you feel better.

Take a bath. Ice baths are the common go-to for runners, but I personally prefer Epsom salt baths (Epsom salts are sold at drug and grocery stores, are very inexpensive, and do wonders when mixed with warm water [and bubbles!]).  Regardless of which you opt for, taking a bath will help you to recover and reduce muscle fatigue.

Make a plan:

Runners are funny people. Many runners approach their first half marathon or marathon as a bucket list item – “one and done.”  And many runners will swear off ever running another race of “x” distance mid-race. But as something happens as soon as they cross the finish line and they start planning their next race.

Find a race. If you are searching for a full or half marathon, www.marathonguide.com is a great resource with a full calendar and reviews.  For local races, www.arkansasrunner.com lists races of all distances in Arkansas and some races in border states.

Don’t jump right back into hard training. Give yourself some time to run for fun without feeling as if you need to follow a strict training plan.  Go for a run without your watch, arrange to meet some friends, or simply run when you feel like running.  If you jump back into a structured training plan, you increase your risk for injury and/or burn-out.

Think about your goals. You may want to find a race of the same distance and see if you can improve your time or maybe you want to tackle a new distance.   Think about how your training went, where your fitness level is, how motivated you are, what life events you may have coming up, and give yourself time to make the decision.

Good luck to everyone running the Hogeye this weekend and thank you to all of the spectators and volunteers!  I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the Marathon Mama series and I always love receiving your questions. Keep them coming!

Beth Gallini runningAbout Beth: Beth is mom, runner, running coach, and the blogger behind RUNNING around my kitchen. She and her husband adopted two boys who are a month apart and are 1 year old. Beth serves on the board for the Hogeye Marathon and is interested in helping other moms with their training and answering any questions you have. Be social, connect with other Hogeye runners, and let them hear from you by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  #hogeyemarathon

Healthy Mama: March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We know this isn’t always an easy topic to discuss, but it’s an important one and this month is the perfect time to talk about it. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month which means it’s time to march yourself to the clinic for this important screening test, if you haven’t done it already. Why is it such a big deal? Because colon cancer is the SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER DEATHS in the United States.

We interviewed Dr. Natasha Nathan, a gastroenterology specialist with Mercy, to find out what we all need to know about the risks of colon cancer and about colonoscopies.

What factors increase a person’s risk of colon cancer?

The factors that increase your risk for colon cancer are:

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Family History

colon cancer posterWhat types of lifestyle changes can lower a person’s risk of developing colon cancer?

There are several good things you can do to lower your risk of developing colon cancer, but these three are the most important:

  • Eat foods high in fiber
  • Eat less red meat
  • Exercise MORE

What are the symptoms that might indicate a person has colon cancer?  (Are noticeable symptoms always present in someone with colon cancer?)

The symptoms you might notice include seeing blood in your stool, having an unexplained weight loss or seeing a change in stool size. Some patients might also have abdominal pain.

But it’s very important to know that some patients may not have ANY symptoms. That’s one of the reasons why testing is so important.

When should a person have her first screening test for colon cancer?  How often is it necessary to repeat the screening tests? 

Have your first test when you turn 50 years old, unless you have a family history of colon cancer OR you have had polyps or cancer in the past. If there’s past cancer or a history of it in your family, start having screenings at age 40.

What are the latest advancements in the detection of and/or treatment of colon cancer?

Some of the latest advancements in this field of medicine include improved stool tests as well as genetic tests. The great news here is that, with early detection, people with colon cancer live longer lives.

What do you say to patients who are fearful about getting a colonoscopy?  What information helps them overcome the natural tendency to procrastinate doing something that seems so unpleasant?

I let them know that our sedation methods have improved over the years which means there is much less pain associated with this test.

It’s also good to know that the preparation method required the night before the test has also improved. Some patients found it difficult to drink all of the prep liquids the night before their scheduled colonoscopy. There’s a new “split dose preparation” method that lets patients drink part of the liquid the night before and then the remainder the next morning. Ask your doctor about the split dose preparation method to see if this would be a good fit for you.

The most important thing I can tell patients about this test is that colon cancer is a PREVENTABLE cancer, and this test is the best tool we have that helps us Thusha_Nathan_1295718211prevent this cancer from taking a patient’s life. It’s as simple as that.

We want to give our thanks to Dr. Nathan for taking the time to answer our questions. For more info on Dr. Nathan or to schedule an appointment with her, call the Mercy Gastroenterology Clinic at 479-338-3030 or click here for more info. The clinic is located in the Physician Plaza at 2708 S. Rife Medical Lane (Suite 300) in Rogers.



Good Gossip: Updates on celeb wolf and shark!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

good gossip celebrities

Yes, we do love a little celebrity gossip but we also know it’s not cool to do something we teach our kids NOT to do. It’s never okay to indulge in stuff meant to humiliate or hurt another person. That’s why we came up with the concept of “Good Gossip,” which is celeb news minus any mean stuff. Have as much as you want because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

As always, this feature is sponsored by Great Day Farms, a national brand based right here in NWA. Look for their products at the Walmart Supercenter. Click HERE to like them and get coupons on their Facebook page.

taylor lautner 2015Our favorite Twilight wolf, Taylor Lautner, is staying busy these days starring in a new movie called Tracers. During a recent interview in People magazine, Taylor said his celebrity crush when he was younger was Jessica Alba. He got the chance to sit next to her at the Super Bowl several years ago but was too nervous to even say hello when she talked to him. (They got to know each other later during the filming of the movie Valentine’s Day.) Taylor also said he is really into Christmas and starts listening to Christmas music and making a list of what he wants to buy for friends and family way before Halloween.

kelly rowland 2015Kelly Rowland, former member of the pop group Destiny’s Child, is featured on the cover of Essence magazine with her husband and their new baby boy named Titan Jewell Weatherspoon. (He is SO cute!) Kelly said that their new son is already showing a love for music and often giggles when they sing and dance with him. “When Titan laughed for the first time, I cried,” she said. “It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.” Her son is bringing some much-needed joy back into the singer’s life after her mother unexpectedly died last December. Congrats to the new parents.

josh brolin 2015Actor Josh Brolin was on vacation last month in Hawaii and happened to be in the right place at the right time to save a fellow surfer from drowning. There’s a video showing the actor bringing the surfer and his board back to shore.

robert shark tank 2015Who’s your favorite shark on Shark Tank? If it’s Robert Herjavec (who is also a contestant right now on Dancing with the Stars) be sure to read the moving article about him in the latest issue of People magazine. The father of three kids (ages 21, 18 and 17) went through a painful divorce last June and became suicidal when his children sided with their mother and refused to talk to him. He called his pastor who suggested he go immediately to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter, and start serving others. He took the advice and started working in the soup kitchen and then helping homeless people out on the streets. “Nobody knew who I was,” he said. “People thought I was a recovering addict.” Robert said helping the homeless has helped him make peace with his family’s situation and recover emotionally. He said one of the reasons he agreed to be on Dancing with the Stars is because it was his mother’s favorite show and he watched it with her in 2007 while she was dying of ovarian cancer. His professional dance parter, Kym Johnson, said Robert has great energy and is “laser-focused.”

naomi watts insurgentDo dirty dishes in the sink make you nuts? Actress Naomi Watts feels the same way. She said her pet peeve is seeing dirty dishes in the sink from the night before. “I’ve always been like that. Growing up, I spent a lot of my childhood living with my grandmother, and we all had to do our bit.” Naomi’s newest movie, Insurgent, is in theaters now.

Source: People magazine, March 30, 2015 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day All Natural Eggs. These eggs are produced by happy hens who are fed premium vegetarian diets with no animal fats, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Great Day Farms also offers hard-boiled eggs, which you can find in the deli section of the Walmart Supercenter. (Love the hard-boiled eggs because they’re peeled and ready to eat! Perfect in salads.)

Mealtime Mama: Jump into spring with this bunny cake!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Monday, March 23, 2015

easter hare and eggs, recipe

I know it’s a little early, but I saw this adorable Easter bunny cake on the Kraft website and wanted to share!

I have a very fond memory of my mom making a cake almost exactly like this and bringing it to my first-grade spring party. She looked so pretty and so did the cake — and all my classmates thought the bunny was adorable!

What You’ll Need:

2 baked 9-inch round white cake layers, cooled

1 tub  (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed

1 pkg. (7 oz.) Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

Suggested for decorations:

Licorice, gumdrops, jelly beans

How to Make It:

Leave 1 cake whole. Use a serrated knife to cut the remaining cake into 3 pieces as shown in the video. Arrange on large foil-covered board or platter to resemble a bunny’s head and bow tie, using small amount of cool whip to attach pieces to each other.

Frost the cake with remaining Cool Whip.

Sprinkle with coconut. Decorate with remaining ingredients as shown in photo. Keep refrigerated.

Do you make a cute bunny cake for Easter? Or do you have another recipe that’s your go-to every year? We’d love to share it with other moms on Motherlode if you’d like to send it over! Email us at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

Devotion in Motion: What to do about the haters

By nwamamas - Last updated: Sunday, March 22, 2015

17 ¶ “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” ~  John 17:17 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

As the great modern philosopher Taylor Swift once said, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” And as the great Protestant reformer Martin Luther of haters-gonna-hate-catGermany once said, “This is most certainly true.”

So, parents, get ready. “The haters” are going to “hate” on your children. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s going to. Be prepared.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. When Seth was in middle school, he became a cigarette smoker. Now I’ve never been a smoker. I tried it once when I was a kid. I took a long drag off of a “Lucky Strike” (filtered), and instantly the interior of my respiratory system broke out in spots. I’ve never smoked another one. That first cigarette was plenty.

The same thing happened to his mother. Susan tried one cigarette, and that was enough to last her for the rest of her life.

But when Seth was in 5th grade, some big boys offered him a cigarette. He lit it up, smoked it, and enjoyed it very much. He told me that after that first time, he smoked whenever a cigarette was offered or was available. I guess smoking just agrees with some people more than others.

a very sweet boy

Seth, a very good young man :-)

Now, as you might imagine, this wasn’t something his mom and I had planned for our youngest child. We always talked to our boys about the danger of lung cancer. And we tried to set a positive example for our children. We never had a conversation in which we said, “Seth, you’re going to be turning 10 years old soon. Your mom and I have been talking, and we think it’s about time we bought you a Bic lighter.” (Just sayin’.)

That’s the “smoking” part of the story. Now we get into the “hater” part of the story.

One day a man, who also had a teenage son, walked up and said this to me: “I saw Seth walk behind the gymnasium with one of Spencer’s friends. I’m glad the older boys take up time with him.” That’s what he SAID. But from his tone of voice, I knew the meaning of what he was trying to convey. What he MEANT was, “Seth is a hoodlum. I saw him smoking behind the gym.”

Well, this is where the “be prepared” part kicks in. I answered with the first thing that came into my head: “I would imagine that Seth went behind the gym to smoke a cigarette. I think Seth smokes Camels-without-filters-in-a-crushpack. He’s a very tough little kid. We wish he didn’t smoke, but he does it anyway. You know how it is. Your son is a smoker.”

(Note to the reader: Everyone in a 100-mile-radius had seen this man’s son light up. Honestly, the kid used a 3-pound-coffee can in his car for an ashtray.)

To which the man answered, “Oh, no, Mr. Cash. My son doesn’t smoke.”

Later on, as I was recounting this story to my older son, I said, “Spencer, it’s the oddest thing. After the man said what he did, I heard a roaring sound in my ears. It was such a thunderous thing that I was afraid everyone in the room could heard it.” Spencer (who was wise beyond his years and also knew the young smoker) said, “Dad, I know what it was. It was the sound of all the truth being sucked out of the room.”

yosemite samThis story still makes me mad when I think about it. (Susan just proofread this story. She said she would not have been so pastoral in her reply. If the man had said it to her, she would have turned into Yosemite Sam and started shooting the place up. But I digress.)

People who think your kids are always bad and that their kids are always good are the worst — because those parents are stupid, and it’s always a lie. But I tell it to you because you’re going to go through a similar situation some day. There are people in this world who insist on pointing out the unpleasant realities in your life. The best thing you can do (in my opinion) is to tell them the truth. Beat them to the punch line. It ruins all the fun for the haters in this world.

There’s one more thing to realize. The haters who insist on pointing out the unpleasant realities in your life often refuse to tell the truth about their own situations. In that case, your strategy is different. Don’t point out to them that they’re lying. It’s quite enough just to know the truth in your own heart.

There’s an ancient Jewish story about a king who had a contest to figure out the “strongest thing in the world.” And at the end of the story, the winner is truth. The older I get, the more I believe that. Most of all, I remember that Jesus said that God’s Word is Truth.

So, parents everywhere, get ready for the haters. There are just three things to remember:

1. Tell the truth.

2. Know the truth.

3. And most of all, believe the truth.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher’s son, Seth, is no longer a smoker because it gives him a migraine.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

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