The Inside Track - February 2015


It is so great to have the iRun4Life running programs up and "running" again this year.

Over the past year and going forward we are introducing some really exciting changes:

You told us last year we have to change the on-line mileage tracking system and we did........On February 16, 2015 we released a new look and feel to our website (  This website has the database necessary to register the children and keep track of the children's miles and good deeds; while providing awesome feedback to the child, iRun4Life School Director/coach and parents.  We tried our hardest to make it user friendly.  In doing so, we may have overlooked a couple of items.  So please let us know any changes we should to do, to make it better.

I mentioned before we have a Physician Resident on our Board of Directors who will be providing valuable running information. Please see the below article regarding running while it is cold. Look for more articles from her plus maybe a video or two on-line soon.

Great food recipes are being provided by a several parents who just love to cook healthy and want to pass the recipe on to each of you.

We are gearing up for our 6th annual iRun4Life Kids Only 3K.  We are also partnering with a couple of local races that will help raise funds for the iRun4Life's running programs. Please see the iRun4Life website for details.

With all the changes, we continue to remain strong with our mission to improve the lives of elementary school children through running, healthy nutrition and doing good deeds.

Gotta Run,



If The Weather Outside is Frightful

Dr. Casey Meizinger, MD

Why does the cold air hurt my lungs? Should I run if I have a runny nose? Wool or cotton or that stretchy stuff?

Here are some key tips for running this winter:

Frigid temperatures can cause irritation in our airways, anywhere from our mouth and nose down into the trachea and smaller airways. "Cold, dry air and increases in minute ventilation are both stimuli for bronchoconstriction, which manifests with shortness of breath, chest tightness and a cough," says triathlete and Doctor Cathy Koger. To prevent the runner's cough induced by cold, dry air, be sure to wear a scarf to aid in warming and humidifying the air. "If it is cold, cover your mouth and nose to warm the air," says Michael G. Miller, EdD, a spokesperson for the National Athletic Trainers Association. Or "move to indoor areas that are well-ventilated and have humidified, warm air." "The pulmonary system is very, very good at warming air," said Dr. Jack Daniels, two-time Olympic medalist in the modern pentathlon and world-renowned exercise scientist featured in the book Born to Run. "That doesn't mean it's going to feel good to go running at 40 below, but it probably won't freeze your lungs."

"If the cold is below your neck then don't run. If it's just in your nose, it's probably okay. That true for running period, but it goes double when it's cold out. When you have a cough, the tissues in your lungs and throat are likely to be weak and inflamed already. You don't want to compound those problems by pummeling them with cold, dry air." says Dr. Daniels. According to an article from WebMD, it is usually safe to exercise with a cold as long as you listen to your body. Sometimes cold medications such as decongestants can increase your heart rate. In addition, your heart rate is increased with exercise. The combination of exercise and decongestants can cause your heart to pump very hard. You may become short of breath and have difficulty breathing. If you have asthma and a cold, make sure you talk with your doctor before you exercise.

If you exercise with a cold and have symptoms of increased chest congestion or coughing and/or wheezing, it is important to stop your run and call your doctor.

Synthetic fibers –nylon and polyester - and layers are the way to go! The fabric closest to the skin should be synthetic and preferably sweat-wicking and it should fit snugly. Cotton should be avoided because it gets wet with sweat and can cause chafing. "Wool is great when it's cold because it will keep you warm even when it's wet," says Dr. Daniels. That said, preventing perspiration should still be a high priority. Your outermost layer should be wind-resistant and waterproof, especially if it is raining or snowing. A hat and gloves made of synthetic material are a great idea, as is a face mask or scarf to cover your neck and face. Be mindful that wind increases the effects of the cold; you may risk a mild form of frostbite called "frost nip" on unprotected areas if it is near-freezing and windy. Apply a sweat-resistant sport moisturizer and lip balm for extra protection. Apply petroleum jelly to any spots prone to chafing or chapping.

You will still sweat! Be careful to avoid too much warming up inside that will cause sweating – this will just chill once you get outside. It is important to not ignore shivering. It is a key first sign that you are losing essential body heat, and you might be at risk of hypothermia. And since you are sweating, hydrating when you feel thirsty or based on your run duration is key. Maintain a hydration rate of about 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes.

Most importantly, respect your limits and pay attention to your body...and you can still enjoy the benefits of running even once the snow starts to fall!

*Casey Meizinger is a resident physician at Abington Memorial Hospital where she is completing a preliminary year of internal medicine training. In 2015 she will be starting her specialized training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford University. Casey received her Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science at the University of Louisville, where she was also a member of the Division I Field Hockey team. She earned her MD degree at Temple University School of Medicine in May of 2014, and during medical school she also obtained a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Please note that Casey cannot give specific medical advice, cannot provide individual examination, diagnosis, or prognosis, neither through the newsletter, nor in person. The material in the newsletter is meant for general information and education, and she does not have specialized training in pediatrics. If you need specific medical advice or have specific questions regarding yourself or your child, please talk to your doctor or their pediatrician.

Sneaker Recycling 

Several of our iRun4Life schools will be collecting shoes as part of the Community Recycling Program. They will be collecting all types of shoes, including cleats and dance shoes. All shoes received in February will be sent to Bolivia, via Chili and shoes collected in March are destined for Guatemala, Ghana and Liberia. Proceeds from the collection will benefit the schools' iRun4Life programs.

 iRun4Life will also be collecting shoes at Sports Authority during race packet pick-up on Saturday, May 16.

 If you or your school would like to participate in this program please contact

Recipes for Runners

These crunchy chickpeas may sound weird, but they are a great alternative to chips and a perfect after school snack. Create your favorite spice blend, or use a salt-free purchased spice mix. My favorite is Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute. You may want to double this recipe - it will go fast! They are also great as salad toppers.

 Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans

1 tablespoons olive oil


Spice blend of your choice:

•             Smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, salt

•             garlic, salt

•             pepper, salt

•             turmeric, curry, salt

•             rosemary, 1tbsp brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towel on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Season with spice blend (not salt). Roast for 45-55 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

4. Season with salt, if needed.

Recipe provided by Leia Barrett.  She is a Groveland Elementary School iRun4Life Parent and designer/owner of Ebb and Flow bags.

Celebrating Youth Fitness With School Running Programs