Sunday, May 31, 2009

What I did and didn't do this week

Well, we didn't get to run around this mountain.

But the week was yet filled with all sorts of goodies!

I headed to Seattle Tuesday for the American College of Sports Medicine conference. The kick-off speaker was Dr. Dan Lieberman. I first heard him speak in Chicago in 2006 at the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon 2006 World Congress: Science and Medicine of the Marathon, which was presented by American Road Race Medical Society (ARRMS)and the ACSM.

This 2006 conference was IMO the BEST conference ever on running medicine. I admit I get totally geeked out about this stuff, so please bear with me....if there are any running medicine geeks out there other than me, here are the topics that were presented and discussed at that outstanding conference. You may notice that these are the world's most prominent researchers on these topics. So, if you ever want to look up information on these topics, you should start with names from this list. If you're not interested, I'm not at all offended if you just scroll on down....or just check out the pictures below.

Demographics of modern marathon running
1) An overview of the 1976 New York Academy of Sciences Meeting – Dave Costill
2) The Marathon Race: Historical perspective – Amby Burfoot
3) Endurance running and the evolution of man as a marathon runner - Daniel Lieberman
4) Marathon Medical Care: Historical Perspective – Dan Tunstall Pedoe
5) American women in the marathon - Russ Pate
6) Can children and adolescents run marathons? - William Roberts
7) Marathon Runners: How do they age? – Scott Trappe

8) Physiological limits to marathon performance - Ed Coyle
9) Thermoregulatory function during the marathon - Mike Sawka
10) Running economy and body dimensions - Carl Foster

Marathon performance
11) Elite marathon performance: How fast can they go? – Ed Coyle
12) Marathon Performance in Thermally Stressing Conditions – Scott Montain
13) Strategies for optimizing marathon performance in the heat – David Martin

Energy Metabolism
1) Metabolic adaptations to marathon training and racing – John Hawley
2) Regulation of substrate use during the marathon - Lawrence Spriet
3) Protein turnover in endurance activity and dietary requirements - Marty Gibala
4) The role of the lactate shuttle in marathon energy metabolism – George Brooks

Nutrition and fluid balance
5) Nutritional strategies for marathon training and racing - Louise Burke
6) The effects of negative energy balance on women in the marathon – Anne Loukes
7) Fluid replacement during the marathon – Sam Cheuvront
8) The role of salt and glucose replacement drinks in the marathon – Bob Murray

Muscle Damage
9) Muscle adaptation and rhabdomyolysis in the marathon: “Normal” findings and
potential pathophysiology – Priscilla Clarkson
10) Muscle cramping in the marathon – Martin Schwellnus
11) The role of sodium in muscle cramping during and after the marathon – Randy

Exercise tolerance and collapse during and after a marathon
12) Hyperthermia impairs brain, heart and muscle function – Jose Gonzalez-Alonso
13) The central governor model of exercise regulation applied to the marathon – Tim
14) Heat exhaustion, exhaustion, and dehydration as causes of marathon collapse –
15) Reduced peripheral resistance and other factors in marathon collapse - Tim Noakes

Doping issues
1) History and prevalence of doping in marathon competitors – John Hoberman
2) Blood doping in the marathon: infusions, EPO and artificial oxygen carriers – Randy Eichner
3) Customized androgens: Fooling drug testing – Don Catlin

Environmental issues
4) Altitude training for marathon performance – Ben Levine
5) Heat and cold: what does environment do to marathon performance? – Ron Maughan
6) Heat and cold: what does environment do to marathon injury? – William Roberts

7) Psychological characteristics of elite marathon runners - John S. Raglin
8) Monitoring and titrating symptoms of anger, fatigue, depression and pain: A science-based approach to using your brain to improve marathon performance - Patrick J. O'Connor

Immunology and Hematology
9) Marathon training and immune function – David Nieman
10) Strategies to enhance immune function for marathon runners – Thorbjørn Åkerstrøm

11) Biomechanical factors contributing to marathon race success - Keith Williams

12) Genotypes and marathon performance – Yannis Pitsiladis

Race day medical care
Marathon medical care and planning
1) Marathon race medical administration – Greg Ewert
2) Exercise associated collapse care matrix in the marathon – William Roberts
3) Intravenous fluids post marathon: when and why? – Scott Pyne
4) Marathon running injuries: epidemiology and etiology – Michael Fredericson
5) Exertional Heat Stroke in the Marathon – William Roberts

Cardiovascular medical issues
7) Cardiovascular adaptations to marathon running – Paul Thompson
8) Cardiac arrest and sudden death in the marathon – Dan Tunstall Pedoe

Hyponatremia in the marathon
9) Hyponatremia: Identification and Evaluation in the Marathon Medical Tent – Joe
10) Renal function and vasopressin during marathon running – Joe Verbalis
11) Hypertonic saline to treat hypervolemic hyponatremia: The Boston Experience – Art
12) Hydration in the marathon: too little or too much – zeroing in on safe replacement? – Tim Noakes

So, when I heard that Dr. Lieberman was giving the opening lecture at this year's ACSM, I was thrilled. He spoke on "Human Evolution, Endurance Running and Injury." I am now convinced that we were adapted to run and that only in modern times have we started "de-evolutionizing" our feet with treatments such as orthotics and motion control shoes and thick soles that prohibit us from sensing the ground. Interestingly, all the various models of expensive running shoes have NOT decreased the incidence of injury one bit!

Coincidentally, while I was staying at my friend Glenn's house (eating yummy healthy food made by Glenn), I got a call from Chris McDougall, author of the new best seller "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen."
I had the opportunity to tell him personally that I am reading his book and find it a highly compelling read. I am quite the book critic and have started and put down many books half-way through. Born to Run however is engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking. McDougall starts with the question of "Why does my foot hurt?" and by way of history and mystery, humor and appreciation of the reclusive Tarahumara Tribe, he proposes the answers. When I mentioned Dan Lieberman's spectacular lecture on the evolution and endurance running to Chris, I was not at all surprised to learn that the two are friends.

I chose to spend most of the conference in lectures on endurance training, hamstring strains, stress fractures, supplements, and immunology. I even FINALLY regrouped enough to readdress some research data we collected at the Badwater Ultramarathon a couple years ago, and we are going to get those data published. Yes, finally! (This is a difficult task when research is a hobby and happens only in "spare" time and with the money in our pockets.)

And just when I thought the conference was good enough, I wedged myself into the packed auditorium to hear Dr. Barbara Drinkwater of WomenSport International and the first female President of the ACSM in the 1980s talk about "Evolution of the Female Athlete: Myth Versus Reality." All I can say is Wow! She was outstanding, highly inspirational. Her talk was interrupted several times by the audience bursting into applause. There were even tears, yes. Even me. She received a never-ending standing ovation. It was the most poignant and inspirational talk on the history of women in sports I have ever heard. Oh, and in case you were wondering...we are for real!

So, after all that geeked-up good stuff, I left the conference early and headed to Cougar, WA to meet Tim and eight other friends for a run around Mt. St. Helens Saturday morning. Well, unfortunately, Tim's MRI results came back still showing the femoral neck stress fracture, so we decided instead to just hike on our own while the others attempted to make it around the mountain before dusk. We all hoped that the snow would not be a significant problem. Sure enough however, they made it only a few miles into the trail before they were forced to turn back due to the inability to locate the trail in the high snow conditions.

While everyone else was making his or her attempt at the mountain, Tim and I hiked 6 miles out and back along the Lewis River. It was nice to move slowly and be able to really look around. The trees were so tall and the air was thick with fragrance. I have some pictures, which I'll post here.

(pic: tree parasite)

(pic: Tim races a slug and barely wins by a toe-box)

(pic: Bolt Camp still standing since 1930)

(pic: Tim and I shimmied up this downed tree, and then had to figure out how to get back down!)

(pic: Tim bushwacks back down)

(pic: look how strong I am!)

(pic: sappy)

(pic: sufficient clearance for hikers but not for mountain bikers. Doh!)

Next up is another adventure...just not sure what yet.


Backofpack said...

Any chance you'll be giving a synopsis of a couple of those talks here? What did Dr. Drinkwater say that makes you say "we're real"?

I really appreciate the time you made to type out the list. A couple of those topics interest me, and I can do some googling with what you provided. (I can only hope there is something in layman's terms though - I've tried to read some medical articles before and have no idea what they are talking about!)

Ever since I saw Tim's fb report, I've been wondering - so he ran PacRim, and the Yakima trail thing, and Windmere, all on a fracture? Yikes! He must have a really high pain threshold. Sure hope he heals soon.


Wow, that looks VERY interesting! Thanks for the outline. Great info. I have already googled many of them!

olga said...

Those topics are so interesting! And so is the hike:) Loved the pictures! Sorry about Tim's long recovery, totally understand.

Backofpack said...

One more thing - the evolution of the runner...I'm reading Brain Rules by John Medina of the UW. He talks about how our brain evolved based on movement - covering 11 to 12 miles per day - and how exercise improves brain efficiency. If we could get everyone moving - treadmills at workstations - walking meetings - walking classes - productivity (and test scores for kids) would go up!

Chris Roman said...

Great post, awesome topics, amazing pics. Did I say amazing pics, wow!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

I loved "Born to Run" too. Couldn't put it down!

Us geeks out here would love to hear more about your meeting. I've read some of Noakes work on the central governor idea, but I'm more interested in nutrition/metabolism stuff, the role of protein in fueling endurance events, etc. Sounds like so much fun! Please feel free to post more details.

Sorry to hear about Tim's stress fracture. Hope he heals up soon. Maybe slowing down for a bit will allow all those other nagging injuries (assuming he has them) to heal up. I'm sure he'll emerge better than ever.


Laura H said...

Wow! I geeked out just looking down that list. Also did a little drooling. I read Born to Run and went to the book signing at SRC - could NOT put it down AND still can't stop talking about it! I'd love to hear/read s synopsis of what Dr. Drinkwater said, too.