Tag Archives: exercise

Grandma’s Marathon

This weekend saw the 40th running of Grandma’s Marathon.

In a city used to 70 being really, really hot, the weather was almost too warm this weekend for the 40th running of Grandma’s marathon.

The Duluth News Tribune reported on conditions:

Grandma’s uses the American College of Sports Medicine’s color-coded flag system. Both Saturday’s half-marathon at 6:15 a.m. and the full at 7:45 started with green flags, or low-risk. Those gave way to yellow (moderate), then red (high) and, starting at 11:30, black (extremely high). They are determined by the WetBulb Globe Temperature, which takes into account a combination of factors, including humidity, ambient temperature and radiant temperature, according to Ben Nelson, Grandma’s medical director.

Consequently, Nelson and the medical tent saw an increase in heat-related illness. They treated 369 people Saturday, up from a six-year low of 184 in 2015.

Photo by Clint Austin (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Photo by Clint Austin from the Duluth News Tribune

With all the tragedy and bad news it is difficult sometimes to find reasons to smile and laugh, an important part of living a wellness lifestyle. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “Laughter matters. It brings you back down to earth in heated moments, strengthens social bonds and calms your nervous system. Research suggests that laughter may even strengthen your immune system.” The reasons to cultivate happy thoughts are myriad. Here are some smile starters.

Here are some amazing statistics about Grandma’s Marathon 2016:

7,751 runners started the full marathon, 7,521 runners finished.
7,920 runners started the Gary Bjorklund half marathon, 7,919 runners finished.
Around 5,000+ volunteers kept the runner hydrated, healthy, and fed.
Around 60 to 70,000 people were connected to the Marathon this weekend. Duluth has a population the rest of the year of around 86,000.

These stats for the half marathon are amazing. All but 1 runner was able to finish the race – all 13.1 or so miles. Other races included The Whipper Snapper, and The William K. Irvin 5K.

Here are some photos, courtesy of Grandma’s Marathon’s 2016 website and Facebook page to help that smile along. Thanks, Kate, for permission to share them with our readers.

Are you training?

Are you training?

Weekly "Ready, Get Set" emails.

Weekly “Ready, Get Set” emails.

Grandma's whipper snapper

Running hard.

Kids love to run

Kids love to run

And they're off

And they’re off


Grandma's 2016 1

40th Anniversary Finishers’ Medal

Runner's in downtown Duluth...almost at the finish.

Runner’s in downtown Duluth…almost at the finish.

Coming in to the finish line

Coming in to the finish line

Finally...the finish line. First Place Women's 2016

Finally…the finish line. First Place Women’s 2016



 Grandma's 2016 happy finisher

Remember the importance of laughter and of exercise. I’d like to say that I’ve run the full or the half marathon, the 5K, the Whippersnapers, or even the Fun Run, but I haven’t. I have, however, lustily cheered family members as they did. I’ll stick with walking the dogs and do lots of laughing.

Don’t Ask Your Doctor

Leigh Anne Jasheway-BryantI am an outlaw. Maybe I’ve never robbed a bank or tagged a train with “Menopausal women rule!” but I have worked out to exercise videos without consulting my doctor first. Go ahead, send the fitness police–I’ve got some Zumba moves that will daze and confuse them.

Really, how many of you have a doctor who gives you more than 5 minutes to discuss the situation de jour? Once you’ve chatted about that weird mole on your back or the fact that your right kidney seems to be asleep, you’re supposed to yell at the M.D.’s quickly disappearing backside, “Do you think I can safely do the Bollywood Bootylicious Bounce for Beginners?”

Unless your doctor happens to also be a fitness enthusiast, chances are he or she knows less about exercise than your pet groomer, hairdresser, or plumber. In fact, I’m fairly certain you can better fitness advice from a 12-year-old nerdy boy who never leaves his mom’s basement. At least he knows how to play Wii tennis.

I was once married to an overweight man who went to the doctor a lot with issues that were all clearly related to being overweight (bad back, bad knees, high blood pressure especially when weighing himself, permanent impression in the mattress because he never left bed except under threat of no food or sex). I regularly accompanied my ex on medical appointments because he tended to have anger issues (yes, he was a peach; thanks for that). Not once in five years of visits to multiple practitioners did any of them say, “Just get off your fat ass and get some damn exercise!” Which made me look like a bad guy when I said it.

Most doctors learn everything they know about exercise from watching Dr. Oz and The Biggest Loser. This does not make them an expert in the field any more than my watching Private Practice means I am qualified to deliver a breach baby or sleep with everyone in the office.

I understand that exercise video people are just trying to cover their Spandex behinds in case you keel over and die while kick-boxing in your living room. I think we’d all be safer if they changed their warning to: “Consult yourself before beginning a new exercise program. And remember: we have lawyers on retainer.”

From Leigh Anne Jasheway’s blog, accidentalcomic.

Physical Stress Reduction

Stress skills are as varied as your stressors, but so far we’ve only talked about mental ways to combat stress. What about physical symptoms of stress? Shouldn’t they have physical stress skills to go with them? Yes! One of the key aspects of physical stress skills is exercise.

Exercise skills are an important part of taking care of yourself. They increase your strength, stamina, and energy. Your body works best when it is used regularly, just like a car. If it sits too long, it begins to rust. However, be sure you’re willing to exercise consistently or you can do more harm than good. It’s easy to get over-zealous and hurt yourself. Instead of starting off by running five miles, start with one and work your way up. If you feel exhausted an hour after exercising rather than energized, you’re going too hard. Spend at least five to ten minutes warming up before you start and an equal amount cooling down afterwards. If you don’t think regular exercise is something that you can schedule in, then at least try to stretch your muscles every day. If you need motivation, try exercising with a friend or two. If you use exercise as a de-stressor, you may get more out of it if you do it alone to burn off some steam. If you’re using it as an energizer, then spending time with friends will help.

  • What kinds of exercise for you want to do?
  • What kinds would be healthiest for you?