Posts Tagged ‘run’

Bionic Man

Posted: October 29, 2014 in PERSONAL, Running
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Amy Freeze with Marathoner Fred Volpacchio

Amy Freeze with Marathoner Fred Volpacchio

Natvie New Yorker Fred Volpacchio was concerned he would never be the same. the 55 year old had run 28 marathons when a high speed bike crash in Central Park took him off course.  Fred says, “I swerved to avoid a biker and I crashed.”  His wife got him trauma care at the Hospital for Special Surgery with Dr. David Helfet. “He fell off his bicycle – broke his pelvis and ball of the hip joint went into the pelvis… well, after this your lucky if you could walk without a limp,” Helfet says. 

Remarkably, Helfet performed a surgery that would put all the pieces back together using metal plates and screws. The process would allow the hip to heal instead of a total hip replacement.

Fred had not missed at new York marathon since 1995 and he still hasn’t!! Ironically his surgery was the year of Superstorm Sandy’s cancellation – now rebuilt, he’s become somewhat of a bionic man! “I’m actually in better shape now than I was before the injury.”

Dr. Helfet says “We are focused on an accident not being the end – get you back in the game back to what you were doing before…

Doc Helfet explains trauma care can make people whole again but he credits Fred’s pre injury active lifestyle and his marathon mindset to securing his full recovery. “For a guy like fred many marathons he had made up his mind mentally to get back to marathoning, back to doing that.” Fred ran new York last year and he’s looking for a 3:40 PR this race visualizing the last turn from Central Park South! Fred says, “tasting the finish and seeing it in front of you that little extra bit to spring and cross that TCS NYC Marathon finish line  is thrilling!”

See you at the finish FRED!

-Amy Freeze

Fred2 Fred3


GO DAD! Fred’s Wife and Daughter will be cheering him on on race day!


Thinking about my cold weather workouts… the doormen think I’m crazy to venture out in the cold, my neighbors are packing the gym… and my Mom still says “you’re gonna get sick!!!”   Does getting soaking wet with sweat during a winter workout seem to increase your risk of catching a cold?   Why does exercising in the cold increase your risk of having a heart attack compared with exerting yourself under temperate conditions?   Does cold weather exercise tend to cut excess fat from your body which might not fall during the summer?   I’m not about to tell you that your Mom or your Grandmother was wrong about exercise and getting sick in cold weather.  And I won’t promise you that you’ll drop a ton of weight running in sub freezing conditions but I do know that you will workout better if you understand your body and the physiological responses for exercising in cold air!  I know that I do!NYC11AF2

Ways to Cope with COLD

* During extremely cold weather, I try to find sheltered spots which are at least partly out of the wind. This will allow you to exercise more efficiently and reduce your risk of getting excessively cold. For example, I run in Central Park in the Winter and on the Hudson River in the Summer. The park is sheltered from winds, while the Riverfront offers a refreshing breeze in hot weather.

* Wear season-appropriate, adaptable clothes during runs. With today’s clothing technology there is no excuse to not be relatively comfortable during outdoor workouts ANY time of the year.  Get lightweight wind breakers, water resistant, and wicking clothes and you’ll feel good in winter weather!

* Two pairs of running shoes are necessary in winter weather. Winter’s slushy conditions often take their toll on shoes… running-shoe midsoles can become saturated with moisture. When midsoles get wet thy absorb shock less than dry soles, so leave water-logged shoes to dry out for 48 hours and use your second pair for the next day’s run.  I also tend to put my wet shoes near the heater to dry (but not close enough to melt the soles!)

* Drink!   Don’t reduce your fluid consumption.   I know I sweat in any weather!  But science shows perspiration rates are lower in the cold than in the heat, but cold weather exercise can still be dehydrating. For one thing, water is lost from the respiratory system at an increased rate on chilly days. Exposure to cold air can also increase the need to eliminate since urine prodution is increased.  You may not feel thirtsy in cool conditions but if you don’t drink you can become dehydrated which affects performance and makes it harder to stay warm. Taking at least 8 ounces of fluid immediately before a wintry workout. Doctors recommend to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.

* Don’t overeat. As much as I would love to say I’m fattening up for my winter workouts… it’s any sort of adventage!  Accumulating “winter” fat under your skin offers no athletic help. It’s true that a fat person will feel more comfortable than a skinny individual when both are standing still in cold air, but the situation is reversed during exercise. Lean people can usually exercise more intensely than heftier folk and can therefore generate more internal heat. If your goal is to stay warm while exercising, being fit is definitely better than being fat! The exception to this rule is swimming, where a bit of fat under the skin prevents heat from being lost too rapidly to the water.

*Breathe in Your Nose more than Your Mouth which warms the air before it gets to your lungs.  Taking yoga classes really helped me learn this!

*RUN SMART!  Winter workouts depend on wind speed, too.   Look at the science!  A tolerable 32 degree F temperature will suddenly feel much colder when a swift wind develops, and the “feels like” coldness will plummet to about  23 degress F with a 19 mph wind.  It’s important to remember that running itself can amplify or minimize this ‘wind-chill’ effect. For example, running at 10 mph into a 9 mph wind provides the same chill as standing still in a 19 mph gale. For that reason, on windy winter days it is important to complete the first half of all your runs INTO the wind. The second half of the run – when fatigue is slowing you down, your body is generating less heat and your clothes are wet with sweat – should be completed with the wind at your back. Running at 8 mph with an 8 mph wind behind you totally eliminates any wind-chill effect, whereas running at the same speed into an 8mph wind produces the chilling effects of a 16-mph force.


According to the Gatorade Science Institue the BEST WINTER WORKOUT IS basically, 60-minute rounds of exercise in chilly air, where you attempt to push up the intensity a little rather than just poking lethargically along.  These workouts will allow the body to break down fat.  One useful strategy that I have just begun to try is  to exercise for about an hour in the evening after dinner then refrain from eating afterwards.  Get up early and complete another 60-minute bout of strenuous exercise on the following morning before breakfast. Your muscles will be quite glycogen-depleted during the sunrise session, causing fat to be metabolize at a higher rate than usual. This strategy also works during warmer parts of the year too according to many athletes, but the unique nature of cold weather running may tend to magnify fat utilization.



I like the cold.  I think mindset is one of the first hurdles.  If you don’t want to do it.  Don’t.  If you do, just recognized the different environmental factors!  It’s true our bodies perform differently under extreme weather conditions.  For example, researchers at Japan’s National Defense Medical College have shown that exposure to cold air enhances the activity of large white blood cells (which actually depress immune system functioning.) The mechanism underlying this negative change may involve hydrocortisone/cortisol, the hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to cold stress which tends to ‘turn down’ immune system activity. This somewhat perverse reaction may explain, at least in part, why getting chills during a workout seems to increase your risk of getting ill.  Fortunately, the Japanese research says those who train regularly in cooler air are less likely to experience downturns in their immune systems after workouts than those who are exposed to the cold only sporadically.  BEWARE!  Researchers aren’t exactly sure why cold air is worse but cold-air exposure is known to raise both the heart rate and arterial blood pressure, so increasing the stress on the heart. Human blood also clots more easily in cold weather, which might increase the risk of a coronary artery blockage. These changes are modified by frequent exposure to the cold, so it is probably sudden and unexpected or sporadic interactions with cold which carry the most risk, in other words, “heart attack” shoveling after big snow storms.

DANGER:  One of the dangers of cold weather workouts is that you can sometimes get too cold. The danger is not from freezing air but the combination of cold temperatures with sweat, or rain, or wind. Cold air doesn’t shut down the sweating process – so you need clothes that wick away the moisture.  If you get wet, you start to lose heat at an accelerated rate because water is not an insulator.  If you get wet from sweat or rain, expect to feel miserable.  Sometimes people wonder if inhaling large amounts of cold air could freeze the throat or respiratory tract.  The trick is breathing in your nose more than your mouth.  The risk appears to be quite low if you are able to pull most of the incoming air through your nose rather than your mouth. Bear in mind that even when the outside air is about 13deg F, inward-moving air is warmed to about 59deg F by the time it has moved just two inches into your nasal passages. By the time it reaches your larynx, it is close to 70, and the news is even better at the entry to your lungs, where the temperature of the in-rushing air is up to 86F.82760-17519-002f



Who Gets You to the START

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
–Booker T. Washington

I’ll be running the race with my training partner Curt Nuncio. I met Curt in Denver in 1999, at the time we worked at a local tv station, trained on Cherry Creek path and ran both the Colroado Marathon together and Chicago Marathon too (another co-worker and my husband joined us for that race,) and then we both moved on to different TV jobs in different cities. Fast forward 10 years and we’re both working in NYC again… and NYC Marathon will be our race reunion!

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Curt’s faster than me. Probably way faster but in marathon training, very little is fast so it works out. Curt’s a great training partner. He’s got stories to share, he’s a good listener, he can also run in silence. He will skip a workout if we want to postpone or go the extra mile if we need to do it. When you think about it… most people have a hard time doing the same thing for four hours… let alone doing the same thing with the same person for four hours! So, finding the right training partner is critical unless you are willing to train alone! Plus, if you like your partner, you’ll look forward to training.

Over the years, my training partners have included a wide variety of situations:
my hair dresser transformed to best friend and Warrior Dash partner,
my neighbor who had never run before/mother of 4/pediatric nurse who now has run several marathons,
a TV news anchor who lives thousands of miles away + we have never lived in the same city = we have run at least 2.5 marathons together and we ran together the morning of her wedding,

The point is this. I would not get to the finish line without training. But getting to the start line is always because I have the right training partner. I also think that the quote about “it’s the journey, not the destination,” was from somebody with a really cool training partner!  Love you all!

“It’s rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud.” -Adidas

I admit I’m a social runner. I like to talk. It’s easy to start the conversation… you just talk about the weather, right? I’ve met several people (strangers) while running who have later become my friends. And I really hope the guy I met today wants to be friends! At first, I passed him. Then he passed me. I passed him going uphill, he passed me going down. Our pace was similar. Yet our strides totally different. I looked like a runner, he looked like, well, a juggler. I skipped the small talk about the clouds overhead and asked, “Are you doing that the entire time you are running?”

He smiled as if he’d been asked the same question dozens of times before. Today he juggled the entire 15 miles he was jogging in Central Park. And he’ll be running the marathon again this year while juggling (at about the same pace as me – not juggling!) Which came first? Juggling or Jogging? Juggling he says is his passion. He can juggle seven items but sticks to just 3 during the 26.2 mile marathon. He speaks with a pleasant accent because he’s originally from South Africa, now living in New York City. (I was asking a lot of questions and felt guilty since he was juggling while answering so I talked about my trip to his native South Africa but my story didn’t last long because more people were passing us and cheering at him as we approached Strawberry Fields.)

It’s not everyday you see a Joggler. Yes, that’s right. I was jogging with a joggler. Meet the very fit and youthful 66-year-old Jack Hirschowitz. He’s the oldest joggler to complete a marathon. Lots of people smile when he runs by, some might be silently wondering if he’s somewhat insane. Juggling while jogging. But you should know, he’s a psychiatrist. I asked him what a doctor would say about a man who jogs and juggles… he said it’s “a very good thing to desire to be fit.” I hope it’s just as sane to want to have a friend who is a joggler.

The ING New York City Marathon is Nov. 6th. Jack’s fastest marathon is 4:51. My goal is to beat the Joggler!

Joggling is a sport! Check out this blog JUST YOUR AVERAGE JOGGLER or you can email a guy who know show to get started joggling…. Perry Romanowski.

Running into Memories

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Besides the first time I held my children, some of my greatest life moments have happened while running!  Meeting friends, seeing new places and of course, crossing finish lines… so when I train it seems I can’t help running into memories… thought I’d write a few down….
I think about my days running cross country where we would countdown until Friday where we would run to the Dairy Queen after practice.

I remember my high school coach running along side me during races cheering me on to the finish.  I remember doing my first triathlon with Olympian Amy Van Dyken when we were working for the same TV station in Denver.

I remember racing (use this term loosely!) Mary Decker Slaney on leg 12 of the Hood to Coast TWO years in a row!

I remember Media Team for relays and charity races. I think about some of my best friends in the world turning out summer after summer for my favorite race Miles to Fight Melanoma.

I love the memory of Deirdre and Maree helping me finish my 1st New York marathon and the phone call I made right after I finished the race.

I think about people I spent running 185 miles with… but havent’ seen since.

I think about the mornings my Dad woke me up before school growing up…it was still dark outside as we ran up and down the hill on Pawnee Drive visualizing the runners I’d pass in my next race.

There’s a country song, every mile a memory and it reminds me that the race is the destination… but the training is the real treat as it provides the road to reflection where I think about memories that have been made and the one’s that are waiting at the next race.  Looking forward to ING New York Marathon 2011


Meteorlogist Amy Freeze

From Shorter: Go Faster

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Frank Shorter


From Shorter, How to Get Faster

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” – Sir Roger Bannister (first person to do a sub-4 minute mile)
I have a few blue ribbons from my early days running (before I turned 12.) I even have an age division award from the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in the late 80s. But I’ve never been obsessed about PRs And I don’t have a case full of running trophies! I suppose my running satisfaction is quenched less by the clock and more by crossing the finish line. I would define my running career as a satisfied “middle of the packer.” And althought, I’ve never been discouraged by not finishing first, I have wanted to run faster at different points of my training.

When I was in my early 20s I was asked to serve on the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness. Another councilmember was the World Class runner Ellen Hart Pena. Ellen not just an amazing runner, she’s a terrific mother and I really admire her! She introduced me to a friend of hers… the legendary American long-distance runner Frank Shorter. Shorter won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His victory is credited with igniting the running boom in the United States of the 1970s.

I actually met Frank in a limosine on the way to his race the Boulder Boulder in the late 90s, (which would be glamorous except it was about 4am in the morning on race day!) Because of my work on the Fitness Council I was helping with some Boulder Boulder race preps and was riding from Denver to the race with the organizers. I had just returned to running a few months prior following the birth of my first son. Getting through my workouts and races faster had become more important because I had a reason to get home quicker— to be a mom!

As we road together I asked Frank a simple question. I told him I wanted to be quicker. I laughed and said I’m not trying to beat Ellen but as a runner “How do you get faster?”

He paused. Then answered with this, “Amy, to run fast. You have to run fast.”

Everyone laughed. Maybe there is a hidden message in his advice but I took it this way…. you have to train fast, to get faster. So that’s what I did for his race…. Year after Year. And I looked back at the race results for Boulder Boulder for the years I ran it…. And it must have motivated me…

By the way, the Boulder Boulder can have as many as 50,000 runners and is the largest timed race in the USA. It’s an awesome course!

1999 (under my married name) 1:04:50
2000 AMY FREEZE 55:22
2001 AMY FREEZE 50:27
2002 AMY FREEZE 48:22

Running fast for me is about running faster when and where I can. I like my spot in the middle of the pack on race day… getting ready to run my best race. And yes, I admist I’m happy when I finish a workout quicker than usual. But it’s mostly because I can start working on dinner!! 🙂



My Dad Taught Me to Run

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Everybody has a story about how they started running as a sport. Mine started young. I began running road races when I was 8 years old growing up in Southern Indiana. My Father, Bill Freeze, loved to get up on Saturday mornings and run the local races. His example and love of running is why I am a runner today. He started taking me and my 4 sisters along with him to races. At first, we ran the kids “fun runs.” I remember meeting a local news anchor, the beautiful Jackie Hays from WAVE-TV in Louisville.

But it wasn’t long before I joined him in the 5Ks and then 10Ks and then my first Mini Marathon in 1983. It was such a thrill to run along side my dad in the races. I grew up loving to run. In a time where there were not many sports for girls, I was taught a love of physical fitness through the sport of running.

My dad was usually a “middle of the packer” but that didn’t keep him for admiring the guys that won the races. He met many of them and had his photo with them. My Dad made sure that I learned how to run from the very best. The summer after my first Mini Marathon I attended a running camp put on by the legendary Swag Hartel. I joined other preteens learning form, how to run sprints, drinking just enough water before races and how to chose the right shoes. I still think about the tips Swag taught me during that camp:
Form – holding my fists gentle enough to carry an egg!
Sprints – sprints can be incorporated into any run… it’s called tempo training
Water- drink the day before a race, sip on race day
Shoes- ALWAYS get them at a Running Store so you have the right size

Rare Video of 1983 Swag Hartel KY Derby Mini Marathon

I still think about those training tips when I run today. Even though I started young, I feel like I learn new things about myself and my fitness level every time I hit the road. P.S. Swag: I’m on my way to get a new pair of shoes for my NYC Marathon Training.

Photo One Louisville KY TV News Anchor Jackie Hayes at a local Road Race when I was about 8 years old.
Photo Two Family photo of me at the age of 10

Jackie Hayes

Grew up Running as a Kid in Southern Indiana

Freeze Family

Freeze Family