Blair’s Weekly Update 04-21-2013

Doc’s Talk

by Andrew Laurence

A teleological question:  Why do we have fingerprints?  Dr. Scaff may discuss this next week.

If you cannot attend the Doc’s Talks on Sundays, all of the information Dr. Scaff covers is in his book, Your First Marathon – The Last Word In Long Distance Running, by Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S.M., available for purchase at the Honolulu Marathon Clinic on Sundays and online at:  If you’re traveling, Dr. Scaff would encourage you to get a copy.  Dr. Scaff wrote it due to the fact that he can’t say everything that needs to be said in 10 minutes.  There’s a lot of good material (and it‘s a fun read).

Last Sunday, Dr. Scaff talked about heat exchange, and how when a person’s core temperature starts reaching 104°F – 105°F heat stroke occurs.  Untreated it can be 80 percent fatal.

Something else that occurs is called Post-Race Collapse.  Post-Race Collapse is when someone running a race crosses the finish line, looks great, and ends up unconscious in the First Aid tent, when a few minutes before s/he was a healthy relatively young runner.

Whenever you see a runner collapse along the course it’s always attributed to a massive heart attack, …and yet a lot of times autopsies find the heart is normal.  Most of these are rhythm disturbance deaths.  When you have a heart attack you don’t feel good.  When you have a rhythm disturbance you just fall on the ground, and in most cases that’s what is happening.

When you come back from a training run you are 2 – 3 pounds lighter.  If you measure blood volume, it’s normal, although you are dehydrated.  Where is that fluid coming from?  From the muscles and everywhere else.  The blood volume is normal because the muscles are giving up everything to the heart so you can keep going.  However, the minute you stop running the fluids start going back into the muscles, …and if you have a beer, which is a vasodilator, you may pass out.  Alcohol (e.g. beer), is not bad overall, but immediately after a race could be a problem.

Dr. Scaff mentions Post-Race Collapse because you are going to see it in marathon training.  It’s happened every year in the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.  Post-Race Collapse will only occur with runs that are longer and a little bit harder, not a 1-hour run.

How Do We Avoid Post-Race Collapse?

For yourself:

1.  As soon as you stop running start re-hydrating.
2.  Keep moving aroundIf you don’t feel good, lie down, have somebody get you water.

Actually cola is the best for 2 reasons:

1)  It gets you out of lactic acid metabolism, and

2)  The caffeine is a stimulant and causes mild vasoconstriction.

For someone else:
1.  Start them on some beverage, e.g. Gatorade, or cola with a straw that bends.
2.  Lie them down.
3.  If they have a pulse and they are talking they should be alright.
Dr. Scaff is not saying you should not call 911, but you have to remember, when 911 arrives, by law they cannot legally treat a person on the scene, they have to take the person to the hospital, unless the person signs out against medical advice (AMA).
4.  If they have no pulse you may do CPR
What happens if you start CPR and the person doesn’t need it?  They’ll tell you! …It hurts!


The Honolulu Marathon Clinic can get an instructor down to Kapiolani Park some Sunday and do CPR training for anybody who wants it.  We can get it done for free, but if you want certification it costs about $30, which goes to the American Heart Association.  Dr. Scaff personally believes everyone should be CPR certified.

So, now you know the physiology of heat, heat stroke, fluids, and Post-Race Collapse.

Next Sunday: Dr. Scaff will talk about weight, how it affects running, …and maybe fingerprints.  The following Sunday, Dr. Scaff will talk about stretching, whether it’s beneficial or not.


ANOUNCEMENT:  After over 2 years of capturing the Doc’s Talks for everyone to read, review, and apply effectively in their life, I am relinquishing this role to anyone else who might like enjoy the privilege of “carrying the word” to others in need of useful information.

If interested, please let Dr. Scaff know.  Perhaps this is something several people would like to take up so that there is always back-up.

For myself, I hope you benefited from these write-ups.  If need be you can always access Doc’s Talks from 2011, 2012, and 2013 on the Honolulu Marathon Clinic web site.  Aloha!


To read full, unabridged summaries of the Doc’s Talks:
1)  Go to the Honolulu Marathon Clinic web site (
2)  Look under the “Categories” listing.
3)  Click on “Doc’s Talk”.




Table Duty:

Thanks to staff leader Dean for the great refreshments at table duty!

Group Reports:

Advanced Group by David FitzPatrick:

(Pace – < 9:00 min. per mile)

Hi folks! The advanced group welcomes everyone. Our goal is to run the marathon under 4 hours which is a 9 min/mile pace or faster. The advanced group met at Kawaikui Beach Park at 6:15 am, ran about seven miles at an 8:30 min/mile pace to hear Doc’s talk. We ran back to the beach park with negative splits for a total of about fourteen miles. Les, Nancy, and I were joined by Kevin from British Columbia who is an experienced runner and a good guy. As a reminder: hydration is very important. Runners lose about a pound of water for every three miles running. Take fluids early in the run and throughout (about 10 oz every 20 minutes). Electrolyte drinks are helpful and so are pretzels.

Red Group by Jeff Beard:

(Pace – 9:00 – 10:00 min. per mile)

The Red Group shrank to 3 people this Sunday – myself, Rachun & Tim. We started out together for a run down to Elepaio, through “the neighborhood” – Tim & Rachun took off up Diamond Head hill and quickly lost me, and finished with a sub-10 minute pace. I struggled to do the 6½ miles in a 10:45/50 pace – both were improvements over the last 2 weeks, so I was happy (although it still kills me to have most of the other groups pass me up), but I’m slowly getting stronger. We’re expecting rain this week, so be careful on your practice runs – we get familiar with our routes, and tend to pay less attention to things.
The Red Group will probably go 6½ next week, then kick it up to 8 in May, then 10 in June – that’s when we should also be running 3 times during the week (if we aren’t already) to really start pushing our weekly mileage up – it helps build up the stamina we need to do our increasingly long Sunday runs.

 Pink Group by Rosie Adam-Terem

(Pace – 9:30 – 10:30 min. per mile)

The PINKS will be getting back together next week to run an 8 miler at an average 9:45-10:00 minute pace. The early group will meet at the park at 6 and meet the rest of the group after Dr Scaff’s talk and Peter’s messages.

Rosy & Rosie @ Boston Memorial Run in Virginia

Rosy & Rosie @ Boston Memorial Run in Virginia

Rosie – in DC for a meeting this weekend – met up with Rosy (old member of the advanced group) and ran a Boston memorial/fund-raiser for the injured trail loop at Burke Lake, VA this morning. It was beautiful and very cold.

Don’t forget our picnic on May 5th. Sign up next week if you haven’t already.

 Grey Group by Ron Alford:

(Pace – 10:30 – 11:30 min. per mile)

Ivie and Ron led a group of 22 grays including Aurene, Mike, Marisol, Dr. Rob, Donna, Lance, Emily, Christine, Jesse, Romeo, Brandon, Pavy, Dr.Joe, Bill, Rob (our Marine, photographer, Ninja) New: Dr. Jason (Bill’s friend), Prashad (was with Red group last year, says our group has more “chatter”).  We managed to keep a nice, steady pace through the entire 8 miles (see stats below).  On the way back, Ron talked about hydration and the use of water bottles. Sipping from the water fountains along the way is good but you don’t know how much water you are actually getting, you are usually in a line so you may hurry (take less water), and sipping from a fountain, for some people, includes ingesting some air with the water causing some burping when you start running again.  Carrying a water bottle allows you to spend less time at the fountain as well as measure the amount you drink during your run.  You can also “wear” some of the water from the bottle more easily than from the fountain.  Regular sport bottles generally hold 20+ ounces – you don’t need that much between water stops so if you use this type of bottle, just put a few ounces in.  The rest is just extra weight to carry.  The small bottles are more versatile – you can carry two bottles on long runs with water or one with water and one with a sport drink.  Bottom line:  Do what works for you but now is the time to figure out how to stay hydrated on long, hot runs.

Thanks to Emily for the homemade coffee marshmallows (sorry, Andy, you missed ’em!).

Reminder: Wednesday 5:30 pm Homework Run, join us!: Ala Moana Park, Magic Island parking entrance. We run for one hour.


April 28 – 8.5 miles (Kahala Avenue and Marathon Finish, greet Queen Kapiolani)

A couple of weeks ago at Triangle Park, Ron and Andy talked about how to handle hills. Here is a recap of that discussion:  Many runners dread hills and slog to the top, head down, shoulders slumped inward, just wanting to get over the top.  For runners with basic conditioning (like all of us) it is not the extra physical effort, it is the mental attitude that makes the difference on a hill.  One way to look at it is control: who is in control? – you or the hill?  Often it is the hill. Here is how to take control.  First, as you start up a hill, shorten your stride a bit and don’t slump into the hill, keep you posture upright.  This will accomplish two things: open your chest so that you can breathe more easily and take you out of the defeated (slumped) body posture.  Second, focus your gaze about 10-12 meters in front of you rather than focusing on the top of the hill.  When you look at the top of the hill, it never seems to get closer – very discouraging.  When you set your gaze on a spot just in front of you, the pavement is literally disappearing below your feet and you KNOW you are making progress up the hill!  So, the Rx for hills:  Head up, eyes down.  Be in control.

Garmin Stats for today: Distance: 8.1 miles, Running Time: 1:24:56, Total Elapsed Time: 1:38:07, Running Pace: 10:27.

A good way to see your progress is to keep a training log.  Ron has set up an on-line user group at for Gray Group (or anyone in the Honolulu Marathon Clinic) to log their runs.  The user group name is ‘HMC Gray Group’ and the password is ‘Aloha’.  There is also a feature for posting questions and comments for the group. If you need help with the site, see Ron (who is also an RRCA certified running coach and can assist with any training issues

 Silver Group by Lynnae Lee:

(Pace 11:00 – 12:00 minutes per mile)

Volunteer staff leaders Paris, Tony, and Lynnae led 16 Silvers on another 8-mile run to the gas station and back.  We’re thankful that Paris has agreed to help lead the Silver group in Alberto’s absence.  Together with Tony, fresh on his successful finish from the North Shore marathon, they kept the Silvers on a strong pace.  No doubt Tony wants to make all of us faster, as he celebrated a personal record of 30+ minutes faster than his last marathon.  Congrats!  Yes, HMC training works.  Silvers in attendance included:  John, Jun, Speedy Joe, Evelyn & Kam, Scott, Sun Hee, and Yong Moon.  John was celebrating the end of tax season – wahoo!  And others were just thankful to have made it to the clinic before the group left the park.  We also welcomed some runners joining us from other groups, but everyone was an experienced marathoner.

As a refresher, we covered safety and hand signals – (1) single file; (2) leave space between you and the runner in front; (3) signal by raising your hand if there’s another runner coming at you; and (4) signal by sticking out your arm if there is an object being approached that needs to be avoided (ie. bench, hydrant, dog poop).  Just because you can avoid hitting something doesn’t mean the person behind you can unless you communicate that to them.  There are plenty of stories of someone getting hurt for not seeing the oncoming (or stationary) obstruction, so please kokua.  Fortunately, nothing’s happened to the Silver’s yet.  Running in a group means we should look out for one another, so please incorporate the hand signals into your running etiquette. 

Weather conditions were extreme again… the humidity was fairly high and it felt like summer.  If spring feels like summer, then what will summer feel like?  Many of us brought our supplements to help with replenishment on this hot day.  Next week we’ll do another 8 miles to the gas station and back.

HOMEWORK:  Continue to do 2 homework runs of 60 minutes minimum duration with a rest day in between.  Remember that rest days are important to the marathon training regimen.  It’s not advisable to run on Saturday and also come to clinic.  Consider packing a supplement or bring a water bottle with a sport drink in case we experience another hot day.

Teal Group by Jan Kadowaki:

(Pace -11:30 – 12:30 minutes per mile)

About 14 runners made up today’s group.  Thank you Diane, Norm, and Jun for being our group leaders!  I haven’t met everyone in the group yet, so I apologize if I missed you.  We had Debbie, Russ, Marissa, Leann, Carolyn, a teacher from Ewa Beach and a few more.  We stayed on our normal route that takes us from our start to Kilauea, then on Elepaio through the residential area and secret water fountain, onto Kahala Ave, and back to the park.  It was about a 6.5 mile run for the teal group!  Sam was able to get in a few shouts at us to hurry up since we split off from the White Group to go a little faster.   After the Diamond Head water stop, everyone caught a lot of speed on the way down for a speedy finish.  Great job, see you all next week!

 Welcome aboard to all the “Teal totalers” (all of the runners in the Teal group; a play on words – I couldn’t resist.)

 White Group by Blair Hoashi

(Pace – 12:00 – 13:00 min. per mile)

Initially there might have been a little “separation anxiety” (the split within our White Group ranks with the resurrection of the Teal Group and the re-emergence of the Blue Group; these groups were created because of the huge amount of runners [50+] in our group) but Guru Sam and Blair “held back our tears” and led a group of about 20 runners (most of them newbies) for a 6 mile run.  Special thanks to staff leader Dwight who is coming back from a nasty injury and also to staff leader Richard in helping to lead this great group.   White Group regulars like Russell and Mayumi were joined by Gino, Clyde, and Glenda, our ever diligent teachers, from Ewa Beach(you are a great example for your students), nurses Jennifer and Agnes, Stan (Advanced runner Carl’s brother), “quiet and demure” Bob, Eric, Stacy, Dana, organic farmer Lisa,  and our good friend Viendra visiting from Maui.  Everyone came in together and finished very strong.  I think most are ready for next month’s 8 milers; the always “friendly and picturesque” Kahala Avenue stretch (part of the actual marathon route) will be included in our schedule at least once a month.   

Please continue to do your slow and easy one hour homework runs; no need to keep track of your mileage or speed on these runs; just keep at it for one hour or more (water stops included).

 Blue Group by Val Ogi:

(Pace – 12:30 – 13:30 min. per mile)

Group leader Andy had to work, but still came out and gave a talk before sending us off (what dedication); thanks Andy, we’ll miss you while you’re working in DC. Elena ran early as she had a breakfast engagement. We had Sandra, Martha, David, Duane, Craig, Jin, Jolene, Jaime, Susie and Madeline and new comer Nathan in the Blue group this week. I’m glad that we’re the in-between group and people feel that they can move up or drop back a week if they’re not feeling up to running with the white group.  Overall goal is to have a fun casual Sunday run, but encouraging all to be good neighbors keeping our voices down while in the residential areas of the run and share the road with bikers, walkers and other runners.  Everyone managed the 6.5 in great form.  It was pretty warm and we did have a couple of side stitch incidents that allowed me to share from personal experience a pressure point under the nose, on our upper lip to relieve their side stitch and they were skeptical, but told me that it worked.  I first found this trick for night leg cramps.
I want to invite any beginners wanting to move up to the intermediate group to give us a try.


Walkers by George Ushijima:

We had such great weather today. There were nine of us doing our four mile jaunt. As we are always trying to put subtle differences in our routes, we tried a clockwise pattern around Diamond Head. The group was excellent in keeping to single file while walking past other people on the path and we all made sure we consumed water at every mile. We took a shoreline detour to check out the low tide and to keep it new for all. Keep on walking.

Sweet 16’s by Cliff Hand:

We continued our plan to get a jump on next month’s jump to 6 miles.  Twenty-one walkers made it through 5.2 miles without lagging behind (or going out ahead, for that matter).  There were a few complaints about the heat; not so bad today but warmer than last week.  But dealing with heat is part of what we’re training for, and it was a good practical lesson about the need to stay hydrated.

Pace leader Cliff told the group about the Galloway technique and how it might be applied to walkers rather than runners. Y’all probably know this, but the Galloway technique (for runners) is to insert regular periods of walking into the marathon experience.  For instance after every ten minutes of running, walk for one minute – right from the start.

Cliff joins several other pace leaders in meeting once during the week for a one-hour walk.  We meet at Kapiolani Park 5:45pm on Wednesdays, and anyone who wants to walk at a 16-minute pace is welcome to join us

Golden 14’s by Norm Uyeda:

Thirty (30) Golden 14s did a hot and humid 4.2 miles today with Norm in the lead, Sandra in the middle, Lehua doing the sweeper duties and Dean handling Table Duty.  It seems like we might be in for an early summer, so please don’t forget to drink water at each and every water stop.  Do your weekday homework and try to show up each and every Sunday.  Over the course of the upcoming months the Clinic will take you along the ENTIRE marathon course.  But you have to show up.  Do you want company on your weekday runs?  Norm’s group meets in Ala Moana Park / Magic Island at 5 P.M. on Tuesdays and Fridays.  This Friday’s run will probably end up at “Eat the Street” – this month’s specialty is BACON!

Do you feel like you are running too fast or too slow?  Talk to a group leader and run with another group until you find your “Goldilocks” group … not too fast and not too slow.

One more week of 4 mile Sundays, then we will transition to 6 miles in May.  Small incremental increases. Baby steps.  Almost Painless.  Almost. Don’t give up!  You are going through the hardest part of the training right now.  It will get easier.  Not easy, but easier.

Picnic in 2 weeks!  Good time to sit down and talk story.  Please sign up.

Lucky 13’s by Medelyn Harkins:

Ed, Kali, Cody, Fiona, Derby and Medelyn led 24 Lucky 13’s on a 6.44 mile. Average pace was 12:50 and we burned 650 calories. It was a very humid day and everyone kept up well and finished strong. Single file was emphasized and the group did a wonderful job. Ed talked about water intake especially when we start longer runs with the summer coming up.   Again do your homework and hydrate! See you all next week! Great job everyone

 Da Comment Corner:

First Picnic – May 5th

Beginning Group leader Sensei Norm used to race Camaros?  Guru Sam, our White Group leader was a jet fighter pilot?  Red group leader Jeff played in the Rose Bowl (as a musician)?  Val, who leads the Blue group has done over 30 marathons (she started when she was 2 years old)?   Find out more about these and other fascinating people at our May 5th picnic; get to know your fellow runners as well as your staff leaders at this fun and food filled event.

Everyone is encouraged to attend and bring something for our potluck buffet such as salad, dessert or your latest main dish creation.  Chili and rice and soft drinks will be provided.  Please bring your families!  The cost is $1.00 per person; children 12 and under are free.

Because people have asked – members go out for their usual run (approximately 4-6 miles) and get back for our picnic which usually starts around 9:45 or so.

Global Membership:

Nearly 1100 members are receiving our weekly updates worldwide.  And, of course, countless other runners are clicking on to our website and viewing its contents.   I am always receiving great positive feedback about our weekly newsletters (even from former clinic members throughout the world).  Please thank your staff contributors for helping to spread the clinic’s weekly message.  Every one is a volunteer and puts in a lot of time and energy to keep our members (as well as others) informed.

Please keep up with your homework!

Have a fantastic week!

See you at the water stops,