Child Obesity Rates Rising – America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2007 – Health: Overweight

From a recent study on the wellbeing of America’s children.

Even sadder is the fact that only 20% of children get five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Only one in five.

It doesn’t surprise me.

I went to market on Pacific Avenue two days ago, (lower income side of Pedro), and there was not one living fruit or vegetable to be bought.

There was lots of beer, chips, processed food, sodas, etc.

So remember when you’re eating 10 or more servings of fruit or vegetables a day, you are setting the appropriate example for your children.

It is noon as I write this and I have had 8 servings of fruit and vegetables already today.

Think that makes a difference in my running and weight loss?

You bet it does.


Reframing a Missed Workout


So you’re weeks into a marathon training program. How’s it going?

I’ll tell you how its going for me.

It’s a little difficult. Mainly because I have many coaching/teaching responsibilities in this program. The last two weeks I’ve not done the long run with the marathoners.

Not good.

I almost feel like I’m getting fat. Looking at my waistline, seeing that beer belly starting to return. Though nowadays its more from my love of pastries and Reeses peanut butter cups than beer. Funny what a missed run can do to your perception.

Should I quit? Should I lower my running goals? Do I switch to the half marathon? Should I do my long run today on Wednesday? Try to make it up?

One thing I learned a long time ago about working out…you can’t make up a missed run. It has come and gone. The opportunity the chance to put on the running shoes that day came and passed like a cloud that didn’t rain. I can sit there looking up at the sky and my dry garden and piss and pout on how the cloud didn’t rain on me. How much my plants need some more rain, and how much dryer this year is than last year. That vegetables won’t be as large. Yada. Yada. Yada.

Or I can go out pick a weed and water the plants.

Or in running terms…I can move on and just do my regular workout.

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.” Fulton Oursler

When we worry about the past its called regret. The more I think about the past the more I live in regret and its associated demons of the mind…worry, shame, guilt, embarrassment, self doubt, etc.

Instead I can focus on my present. As I write this, I just straightened my posture, sat up straight and consciously added more attention and presence to this very process of typing and thinking about the points I’m making in this article.

How many times do we quit something good in our lives because of regret? I wrote some mean words to someone I care about about the other day and the regret was suffocating. I was ready to overreact and end our partnership right then and there because my mind went so deeply into regret. So I quickly, like the next day, apologized over the phone. But more importantly I realized that there were some alternative things I could have done or said. We spent some time together the next day and all was quickly forgotten about.

So if you’ve missed a few workouts or a long run or maybe even a month of training…”forget about it”. Its the past. The past is just an illusion, a holograph of images in our consciousness. In the movie “What The Bleep Do We Know?”, a number of scientists explain how the very images we carry in our minds produce the chemical reactions in our bodies. Regret is not a productive emotion. It quickly leads to deeper more destructive emotions of depression, low self esteem, and hopelessness.

When we’re living in regret we’re living in the past not the present. So how do we get out of the regret of missed workouts. How do we get out of the regret of eating too much ice cream last night?

One thing we can do is to REFRAME our past actions. REFRAMING is a MENTAL TRAINING technique from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).

Lets do an exercise.

1. Visualize the old behavior you’re regretting. For me it was not doing a long run last weekend. I sat at my computer writing then cleaned my house on Saturday afternoon.

2. Shrink the old behavior. Once you have that visualized shrink the whole memory and put it in your left hand. So it is now a bubble. Wow. That put it in perspective.

3. Feel the old intention. Look in that bubble and discover why you did that old behavior. For me, I needed to progress some website issues. But the more I look into that bubble I see that I needed to rest. The week before I had worked out hard everyday including three very difficult runs. Also I’m an introvert, so after interacting with so many Beach Runners I need some quiet reflective time. This simple exercise helps us realize that we had good reasons for our behavior, despite our perceived regrets.

4. Visualize the NEW behavior. Now visualize what your ideal behavior would have been in the past. For me it would have been to return home after Beach Runners and gone out for a two hour twenty minute run in the afternoon on the trails.

5. Now discover the NEW intention. Shrink the new behavior and put the bubble into your right hand. Explore in your heart why you want to do this behavior. For me, I need to get a long run in on the weekend to keep up my aerobic base. But also, for recovery, because I run fast and hard in the week, I need to run slowly on the weekends to keep my legs moving for hours. Remember our program is based on time, not mileage or speed. I need to get out and do running or at least some other form of cardio for the time designated in our program.

6. REFRAME the two behaviors. We suffer regret because our consciousness is trapped between these two images. Between what we
did and what we wanted to do. Understand that both had good intentions. So now see both bubbles in your open palms and slowly bring your hands together and visualize some three alternatives behaviors. Behaviors that would have allowed both intentions to be fulfilled. For me that would be (1) go out for a long slow run/hike. Lately I have been running quite fast in training so my body was telling me to not go out and run because it needed the rest. I could have just taken it easy with a real slow recovery run. (2) I could have gone for a long slow bike ride in Palos Verdes. (3) I could have run for a long slow run/bike ride on Sunday the next day.

Let this bigger bubble encircle your hands together. ANCHOR these alternatives by holding your left and right hand together in a special way.

7. Visualize the ALTERNATIVE behavior. Now visualize your mind like a slide projector. Show the slide with the old behavior. Feel its consequences. Now swish in a new slide of one of the three alternatives. Put yourself in the slide, see the details, feel the emotions. See what a difference just a little mental training can do.

That’s called REFRAMING and its allows you look back at old regretful behaviors in a new light and see there were some good intentions. And that we don’t have to suffer from not living up to our ideals…that there is an alternative between what did and what we want.

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret” Jackie Joyner-Kersee

One thing to not do is to try to make up missed workouts. Doing a 2 hour 20 minute in the middle of the week before another long run on the weekend can lead to big problem called OVERTRAINING. Last week, I overtrained. So I was physically tired all week. When we work out on tired, strained muscles, we risk the chance of injuring ourselves. Danny in his CHIRUNNING book says the primary source of injuries is overtraining.

Think about that before trying to make up your long run in the week. Better to let the past go, do your regular workout today, and be well rested for your next long run.

You’ve done the MENTAL TRAINING now, so that you will have alternatives next time for your behavior. Keep practicing the REFRAMING exercises, do the alternatives, be easy and loving to yourself, and you’ll do fine in your marathon training.

That’s what I’ll be doing this week. I actually feel great right now after a weekend of rest. I am more energized and feel stronger after all the hard work I did last week.

I’m looking forward to a good run on Saturday.

ChiRunning Instructor

Oscar Pistorius about to make running history…

Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee who races on carbon fiber blades attached below his knees, will get a chance to prove himself against the best runners in the world.

Double amputee to compete in able-bodied sprint – Yahoo! Sports

Amazing athlete. Has never walked on his own feet and is now competing against the best runners in the world in the 400m.

Another inspirational story to teach us all that the ONLY limitations are those we place on ourselves.

Go out and do something significant athletically!

Watch this video of him running.

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Vegetable-soy-fish diet lowers chance of breast cancer

Chinese women who ate a diet that included red meat, starches and sweets were twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate the traditional vegetable-soy-fish diet, according to a study in the July issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Meats, Sweets May Boost Breast Cancer Risk – Yahoo! News

All the more reason to increase your servings of vegetables and fruits to 10 or more servings a day as Steve and I recommend.

Let’s face facts, our society is terribly overweight because of its diet!!!!

So have a salad for lunch and a piece of fruit and know that you are prolonging your life.


Steve and Gary’s RunCall 6 w/Larry Rosenwinkel Tonight @ 6 p.m


Dear Runners,

Join us tonight for another information packed RunCall with ChiRunning and marathon instructors Steve Mackel and Gary Smith.

Tonight we will answering your questions (send them in!!! using the webpage).

We will also we interviewing Larry Rosenwinkel. Larry is a long time Beach Runner, mentor, multi marathon finisher…


just got back from Ireland where he was trained to be a ChiRunning instructor by Danny Dreyer.

Should be another fantastic show to help your running and fitness.

EVENT: Steve and Gary’s RunCall 6
DATE & TIME: Monday, July 9th at 6:00pm Pacific
FORMAT: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast — it’s your choice)

Steve and Gary’s RunCall 5 w/Ron Jones


Another information rich Runcall last Monday night.

Steve and I interviewed Wellness/Fitness Coach Ron Jones, winner of the Race across America.

Topics covered included:

Core Training
Interval Training
Strategies for motivating youth
Injury prevention/rehabilitation…

Steve and I learned a ton of good training information. Well worth listening to.

Click here to listen to the Show.

We recommend downloading it because it is long (over an hour).

Take care,

Gary and Steve

Beach Runners Program Kicks It Up A Notch

Yoga With the Beach Runners

The Beach Runners kick it up a notch. I loved being open to being inspired. Last Saturday was one of those days.

My Saturday’s started out early, yet most of my days do. I try to be in the parking lot by 6:35 AM preparing for the Beach Runners group run. Today was a usual day; Larry was there first and then slowly our participants showed up.

Everyone arrives around 7 AM and we usually do not get started until after an informational talk, business and ChiRunning® Body Looseners. Today, I ran with the marathoners, while Gary ran with the half marathoners. Gary was in an interesting mood. It seemed his game face was on, preparing for Sunday’s 5k race.

I was able to run with many people I have not run with yet. This is the reason to join the Beach Runners. We run with you and help you learn ChiRunning®. You cannot put a dollar value on this part of the program. The bottom line is that ChiRunning is not easy. So many people that have bought the book and DVD still need a certified teacher to get the technique. It also usually takes more than one session. I practice ChiRunning® almost everyday and I practice even when I am not running.

During my Saturday run I was able to run with at least 50 different people over the 2 hours. We worked on cadence, arm swing, foot fall, loose ankles, chin position and much more. I started to see immediate improvements. Then I walked over to lead the marathoners in yoga, my first time teaching to this group. When I turned around I saw the hoard, 80 – 100 people. After a 2-hour run they were psyched to do another 40 minutes of yoga. I taught a moderate flow class. We followed our breath and did strength moves along with some traditional poses for stretching.

I was inspired by the size of the group that just as easily gotten in their cars and driven home or out to breakfast. We are truly the warrior marathon training group out there. The other groups offer good training and good runs, yet when the run is over the workout is over, sometimes it feels like we are just getting started. Our yoga can be very demanding but by the end the payoff is big, you feel great. Gary and my goal is to build the world’s best marathon training program. Train with us and you will feel the difference not just on Saturday but all week long.

Later Saturday night I had a movie night and watched “A Peaceful Warrior and Conversations With God.” I was inspired once again. I had already seen “A Peaceful Warrior” and in some ways it reminds me of my training under Coach Ilg. “Conversations With God” lit me up again too.

So without spoiling the ending, we are ramping up our training program. Look for more of the same and more potential self-discovery. Today reminded me why I like to train, because, when I focus in on the present moment and make my training a form of my meditation, I discover parts of my true self. One that is not based in fear but based in love, one that takes on challenges with a smile on my face and does not quiver when the times get tough. I get all of this out of my training.

If you are interested in joining the Beach Runners, do it quick. We will be offering two ChiRunning workshops in July. One more reason you get so much when you train with us. See you Saturday and feel free to Email Steve with questions.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Beach Runners’ Head Coach

Beach Runners Slideshow

Our gift to you today.

Please enjoy.

BeachRunners SlideShow


Gary and Steve

Beach Runners and Members Take Home Medals

L-R Janet, Uncle Sam (Jim), Steve and Gary

Sunday was the best race day ever for Beach Runners on the podium at the Pacific Open Water Challenge 5K.

Congratulations to the whole Beach Runners and crew who came out and raced or supported the racers.

It was a historic day with 8, yes 8 medals!!!! And 2 top ten finishes.

Steve wins 1st in age group and 10th overall. (20:42)

Pat 1st in age group – Beach Runner
Uncle Sam (Jim) 2nd in age group – Beach Runner
Jennifer 2nd in age group – Beach Runner
Janet 2nd in age group- – Beach Runner
Jorge 2nd in age group – Beach Runner
Nichole 1st in age group Member

And Finally…….

Gary 2nd in age group and 6th overall! Time (20:02)

I am so stoked today. This was one of my big big goals this year to stand on the podium with a medal.

View my short slideshow here. 

Notice that all six people on the podium are serious practicing ChiRunners.

Who says ChiRunning is slow?

Congratulations team.

I love you,


Beach Runner Jennifer Takes 2nd in Her AG and PR’s

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