Leukemia/Lymphoma Study for Twins at Fox Chase

This week, my aunt is in town visiting us, as she does every summer. On the itinerary: patronizing the fabulous malls of the Garden State, seeing the new Harry Potter—oh yeah, and participating in a twin cancer study.

My mom and her sister are identical twins. My mom has a chronic form of leukemia—the sort of thing you typically live with, rather than die from—and she sees doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center. She recently learned that Dr. Mitchell R. Smith, director of the lymphoma service at Fox Chase, is recruiting pairs of identical twins for a study about blood cancers, and both my mom and aunt were eager to participate. When I learned that Dr. Smith is still in need of participants, I scheduled a chat with him to get more information. Read more »

Living With Ulcerative Colitis

Surgery looming couldn't stop Alicia from knitting a sweater for Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh

Today, I am thinking a lot about a particular friend of mine. Her name is Alicia, and she’s currently recovering from her second of three major surgeries to remove her colon and thus rid her of a condition known as ulcerative colitis. Read more »

Changing Your Fitness Routine

As part of my plan for rehabbing a knee injury, I’ve been dabbling in barefoot running. So far, I’ve only run shoeless a handful of times, although my sports medicine doctor began encouraging me to try barefooting back in April; he believes that the switch to running barefoot could solve my knee-pain issues. And given how desperately I’ve wanted to resume my normal running routine and usual weekly mileage, you’d think I’d be aggressively pursuing this alternative approach. Read more »

Barefoot Running 101

Since writer Christopher McDougall published the popular book Born to Run (Knopf, 2009), barefoot running has been a hotly debated topic in the running community. You see it in the increasing numbers of runners wearing minimalist footwear like the Nike Free and Vibram FiveFingers, and in articles covering the pros and cons of shoeless running. I read—and enjoyed—Born to Run, but I wasn’t swayed enough by proponents’ arguments to dabble in barefoot running. Read more »

Running: The Upside of Injury

I am grateful not to be one of those runners who are perpetually injured. You know the type: If it’s not a tight IT band, it’s a sore Achilles or a case of shin splints. And when I do get hurt, I’m not the sort of person who “runs through it”; I take note when my body speaks up with an urgent “Ow!” Which is why, since mid-March, I’ve been running a whole lot less than usual, thanks to a bout of patellofemoral pain syndrome (codename: runner’s knee). Read more »

Cooking Class Confidential

Jane Morley // Photo by Zoey Sless-Kitain

When I registered weeks ago for this past Saturday’s cooking class with Christina Pirello—whose cooking show, “Christina Cooks,” airs on PBS—at West Philly’s Restaurant School, I was in awe that the three-hour class set me back a mere $30. The more I thought about it, the louder the little cynical voice in my head grew: What kind of cooking class costs just 30 bucks? It’s probably going to suck.

Boy, was I wrong. Read more »

A Super Tip for Runners

Jane Morley // Photo by Zoey Sless-Kitain

Last night I attended a free injury screening at the Excel Physical Therapy inside my gym, Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club, and I was completely wowed by the experience. Dr. Kathryn Gollotto of Reconstructive Orthopedics—which has offices in Marlton and Lumberton—ran the consultation, and I’m still trying to figure out how she covered so much in the mere 15 minutes I spoke with her. After listening to me describe the symptoms I’ve had for the past two weeks, she did a little poking and gentle twisting around the injury site, then confirmed my suspicion that what ails me is patellofemoral pain, a.k.a. “runner’s knee.” Read more »

The Area’s First Anti-Gravity Treadmill

Try the AlterG at Moorestown Running Company.

Ever wonder what it feels like to walk on the Moon? Since that’s an experience most of us will never have (other than in our daydreams, sigh), the next best thing might be a session on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill at the Moorestown Running Company (MRC).

Typically only found in some physical therapists’ offices and the homes and training centers of über-speedy elite-level runners thanks to their hefty price tags—MRC’s AlterG cost $29,000—anti-gravity treadmills are invaluable to anyone dealing with an injury who doesn’t want to, or can’t afford to, lose fitness by taking time off to let an injury heal. Read more »

Build Speed Despite the Snow

Jane Morley // Photo by Zoey Sless-Kitain

Snow. Ice. Freezing rain. Cheek-stinging wind and teeth-chattering temps. These are a few of my least favorite things—and not just because they make me crabby and cranky and a more-nervous-than-usual driver, but because they interfere with my running schedule.

Since I registered last month for a mid-March 5K in Haddonfield, I’ve been fiercely determined to set a new personal record, or “PR,” at that distance. For the first time, well, ever, I’m actually committed to doing speedwork, and I’ve got a fancy training schedule packed with technical sounding workouts (7×400 meters at mile pace! 45-minute tempo run!) to help me develop cheetah-like leg turnover. Read more »

BWP Book Club: Long May You Run

Reading Chester County author and runner Chris Cooper’s Long May You Run (Touchstone, 2010) is like chatting with a wiser, more experienced older brother—who happens to know a ton about running (Cooper is a sub-three-hour marathoner whose running resume includes winning several road races and finishing the Boston Marathon. He also blogs about running at Writing on the Run). Read more »

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