All posts by Coach Stephanie

The Weekly Pep Talk Issue 275 Start April 13, 2015

WPT 275 by Coach Stephanie Atwood

Quote of the Week: “Failure to plan means planning to fail.” – Brian Tracy

WOW Woman of the Week: Let’s give a shout out to Janet McGee. Special lady who drives over from SF on a regular basis to join us. We like it when you join us Janet. Come often!


April Birthdays – Rebecca Novick, Elke Russell, Karin Tulloch, Jen Wuest, Kosheno Moore Takahashi, Emily Tharp, Colleen Blakelock, Julie Traylor-Cruz. Happy Birthday ladies


Coach Tip of the Week: Three purposeful workouts a week. This will get most of us where we want to be. Continue reading The Weekly Pep Talk Issue 275 Start April 13, 2015

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Running Deaf – Why Headphones don’t belong in Racing or Training

For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight – George Sheehan

multiple contactsI have commented on this subject in another article and would like to change the angle a bit this time. I can’t imagine the world without sound. Being deaf, running deaf would change the dynamics of relating to this world. Thus, an artificially induced removal from the outside world, while running a race is definitely not my cup of team.

Headphones (while working out and, especially racing) are an issue for me in two ways:

    1. I am reminded often during races how dangerous it is to be unaware of the people around us. People get so caught up in their artificial headphone sounds that they lose touch with the crowd around them and what is happening in the real world. This has led to uncomfortable and unsafe encounters.

    2. What are you running from? The sounds of the world are around you and the energy of the world is there for you to savor. When you race or do training runs, take advantage of that amazing energy out there. And stay much safer. A final benefit is that you will probably run faster without your music. Run with friends, instead and get them to push you!

    Please consider leaving the headphones OFF or at least use only in one ear so that you can be safe for yourself and those around you.

    Thank you!

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The Weekly Pep Talk Issue 274 Start March 29, 2015

Quote of the Week: “If I can imagine it, I can achieve it.” - Anthony Robbins

WOW Woman of the Week: Shout out to returning Member Kathrina Weekes! Now you have to come see us a bit more often, OK? Promise? Is the See Jane Run 5K on your list for this year?


April Birthdays – Rebecca Novick, Elke Russell, Karin Tulloch, Jen Wuest, Kosheno Moore Takahashi, Emily Tharp, Colleen Blakelock, Julie Traylor-Cruz. Happy Birthday Ladies 


Coach Tip of the Week: Race let-down. It is common to put a lot of effort and expectation into your race training. Distance doesn’t matter. It is the mental, emotional commitment that you put into your training that makes reaching that goal truly important. When it’s over, then what?

It is extremely common for a sense of let-down and loss. Like, what just happened? You trained hard, you got nervous and excited. You raced! Now it’s over. Oh my!

You are not alone.

In coaching and training lingo this fits in with the concept of periodization meaning that, as in life, there is time and need for ebb and flow, up and down, high and low. So now that your race is over, give yourself a pat on the back for what you accomplished. Then give yourself permission to feel a bit lost, even depressed. It goes away…

You are not alone. I mentioned to our group on Sunday, we at Go WOW Team want to make fitness something you include in your life on a regular basis and hopefully, for as long as you can move. One of the benefits of this club is that, because we always meet, every week, all year. You just need to get yourself out here even when you are a bit down. We’ll get you moving!

On to See Jane Run!

As I also mentioned on Sunday, this is our first week of training for the See Jane Run 5K and Half Marathon (also, on same weekend, the Zooma 10K and Half Marathon). So, welcome new trainees! We’ve got your back. Also, it’s not too late to join us for training. Now is the time! Jump in!

You long time members, or recovering ORF (or Livermore) racers, it’s all good! I look forward to training with you at all your individual stages. Let’s not forget to appreciate what we all have…the gift of moving our bodies!


Link to the WOW Team Challenge Form. Are you filling in your WOW Team Challenge Form? We have several members who have claimed their 10 hour dog tag. Who will be next?

  • Kim Conner
  • Allison Hickey
  • Kathleen Davis
  • Jacque Keller
  • Nicole Dryden

Please announce your 10 hour achievement on Facebook and keep track of your hours. We will reward you at our next Wednesday or Sunday workout and will put your photo on the Facebook Winners Circle and Go WOW Team page. Who else has gotten to Level 2 at 10 hours completed? Now, keep going to the next level at 50 hours! That’s some major miles…


Marathon Minute: from Coach Lauren – It’s short so I decided to post the whole things right here. You can also refer to it at the following link on our website.

Success Teams

by Member Appreciation and Go WOW Coach Lauren Ganes

Fitness and friendship, is there anything better than that? The warmth and support of the WOW team provides the opportunity for women to explore, succeed and reach goals they never dreamed of.

As a member of WOW for nearly 6 years it has been a privilege to watch women grow, whether walking, running or training for a triathlon.

We have Coach Stephanie to thank for not only founding the team, but for providing an environment where women feel safe to challenge themselves with the bonus of creating lasting friendships.

And thinking about friendships, and how meaningful the WOW team is, reach out to the members of your Success Teams today. Say hello, wish them well (email or phone) and, if you haven’t seen them recently (or ever!) encourage them to work out with us real soon. Everyone benefits when we share in the success of fitness by working out together.

Thank you, Coach Stephanie for supporting us all in our quest to stay fit!


Bay Area Go WOW News

Hi Ladies!

The last few weeks have been hectic and exciting and brought out the best in you WOW Women. Congratulations to all racers and especially for the time you devoted to training. That’s where the commitment lies. That’s where the improvement comes from. It’s also a place that I know many of you appreciate having those WOW Buddies out there to keep you pounding the pavement, week after week.

I want to offer a special congrats to those ladies who ran the half marathon. The amount of training is significant and they followed through week after week. I think almost all of our runners had personal bests.

  • Rosa Kaderas-Redmond came in under 2 hours with almost 2 minutes to spare and 2 minutes better than last year.
  • Nicole Dryden finished her fastest half marathon yet by about 4 minutes!
  • Allison Hickey ran her first half marathon race with control and, of course, a best time ever!
  • Cecilia Han just gets out there and moves! I’m not sure about your time.
  • Lizette Byer ran the whole race with her daughter making this possibly the best half marathon she’s ever run!

We’re super proud of you all!

I want to thank all of you who jumped in to help out with details where you could. The leaders of the relay teams took on extra responsibility to make sure their teams had the pieces together. Thank you Leaders!

The volunteers who helped out at the Expo on Saturday were invaluable. We got a good bunch of names to add to our mailing list.

The group on Sunday who helped set up and managed the tent included Lauren Ganes, Sandy Baird (Dr. Baird), and Joanie Zecherle. All three of these ladies spent hours out there serving us, helping us, encouraging us racers. It was a big sacrifice of time and does not go without appreciation.

Thank you again everyone and congratulations to all you fine racers. It was fun, wasn’t it? Now we head into training for the See Jane Run 5K and Half Marathon.

Our orientation on Saturday and trail run on Sunday showed interest in both the 5K and Half. Currently I know we have Marybeth Temples, Kim Connor, Holly Haley, and Faith Enemark planning to do the 5K. Who else is training for either one or the Zooma races in Napa (same weekend)? Keep me posted. I’ll try to keep a list for you to know who is doing what. Also, just to see how many read this far, we have a 20% discount at See Jane Run by using code PROMO20. Be sure to enter you team as Go WOW Team.



New, Free! Wednesday Community Boot Camp at Bella Vista Park in Oakland. Join me for this new community gathering – free boot camp at 8:30 every Wednesday morning. Details on Meetup

Vote for a Fall Half Marathon and 5K. I’m soliciting votes for a fall half marathon and 5K Destination Race. We always have so much fun with these! Any suggestions are welcome but I am especially looking into the Wine Country Race in October or Big Sur again in November. Both of these races fill early so, once we determine our race, you’ll need to make a commitment. Make your comments on Facebook please.

Keep the Spirit!

Coach Stephanie

Upcoming Events of Note: (this is not a complete WOW Team calendar)

  • May 16 – Saturday Trail Runs, check with Tres on the series of trail runs that she will lead for intermediate runners. First one is May 16 at 1:00. Details on Meetup.
  • May 23 – Saturday workouts with Susan Haworth in Alameda. Susan has offered to help out with some Saturday fun workouts for all levels. Starting On May 23, with about one each month. Details coming soon on Meetup.
  • May 31 – practice on See Jane Run Half marathon Course
  • June 20 – 21 – See Jane Run Expo and Race Weekend

Details for these special events are on meetup. For the full calendar of WOW Workouts go to our website at or


#1  San Leandro Marina with Kathrina (Kathy) 2nd to the right

#2  Victory!

#3  See Jane Run from 2012?

#4  Oakland Run Fest Go WOW Tent 2015 with Ann Ritzma, Pat Chase, Anne Olson, Elaine Porter, Lauren Ganes

Note: If you have a question please post your question on the WOW Team facebook page  and I’ll do my best to post a response there within 1 business day. Go WOW Team!

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Forming a Relay Team

Jan 2015 Coach Lauren Ganes, Marathon and Membership Coordinator

2014 WOW ORF Dina (480x640)

Happy New Year!  The WOW team is now actively training for the Oakland Running Festival.

How will you participate?  5K? Forming a Relay Team?  Half Marathon?

In 2014 the WOW team had 5 teams participating at ORF and 5 teams ran in the Christmas Relays.  Relays are so much fun because of the camaraderie of working as a small team.   And of course the fun increases because you have other WOW members waiting with you at the chip exchange point.

There is an art to establishing the relay teams.  You want to make sure that your team will finish before the course is rolled up.  So in forming your team you need to establish just how fast each member will run 6 miles.  How fast was their last 5k OR 10k?  They will be a little slower for 6 miles than their 5K.

One way to form a team is to have your 2nd fastest runner run the first leg, while your slower runners run the middle two legs, and your fastest runner runs that final leg.  You can also just base it upon team members’ location or schedule. Most importantly, keep in mind that you have enough time for your team to finish before the course is closed.

My suggestion is that if you can’t run a 12 minute mile, you should participate in the 5K.

There will be instructions on the ORF website for establishing teams.  Let people know on the Facebook Winners Circle that you are looking for people to form a team.

Here is to a speedy New Year and the formation of Relay Teams for ORF!


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The Weekly Pep Talk Start September 29, 2014

Where Did the Time Go? It’s Almost October!

Welcome to The Weekly Pep Talk Edition 261
Starting September 29, 2014

by Coach Stephanie Atwood

Words of Wisdom:  “A snowflake is one of God s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!” –  Anonymous


WOW Woman of the Week: I have to thank Tres Fontaine big time for all that she does for this club. Tres you are an awesome athlete and also as generous as they get. Lucky WOW!


Good-bye Michaela (sigh…)

It’s official. Go WOW will be losing our dear friend Michaela Ristaino to her new location in Florida! Too far to commute, we understand. All of you are invited to join us this Wednesday, October 1 for informal drinks after the workout at Lake Merritt with Michaela and/or mark your calendar for a brunch buffet after the October 19 workout at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. I’m working on getting her to start up a WOW Team in her new neighborhood!


Workout Leader (or two) Needed for October 12 at Lafayette Reservoir

With Lauren, Leslie, Tres, and I out of town on October 12, we need a leader for the workout! It’s pretty straight forward at Lafayette Reservoir and we could use your help. Please let me know if you can be there that day and handle the basic details. Thanks!

I am also gone for the track workout on Friday morning October 10. I will gladly write a workout for you dedicated early morning runners but wanted to share this information with a bit of warning for you.


October Birthdays: Beth Wrightson, Karen Stevenson, Yesenia Lott, Sonia Bailey, Filomena Bettencourt, Andrea Cruz, Kiera Newton, Joanne Genet, Gina Hayden, Ann Bartlett, Sharmaine Moody, Michelle Cleere, Debbie Tsai, April Nicolas, Elke Vogt, Danielle Montague Quinn, Lihbin Shiao. Happy Birthday to all of you!


Coach Tip of the Week:  Taking a bit of time off is part of the technical term for athletes’ “periodization”. The higher up you are on the professional athletic ladder the more scheduled this becomes but it is an acknowledged part of training for all of us. Sometimes we train really hard, for a specific goal, and other times we are both mentally and physically in maintenance mode, allowing us time to recover, refresh, and get renewed for the next big push.

So, after accomplishing a specific goal, give yourself a mental and physical break. Take a week or two to be in the moment and not fret about the next goal. Movement is too great of a gift to ever stop appreciating it. Sometimes we need to look at what we have right now and say “how did I get so lucky?” rather than, next week, next year, next lifetime, I’ll get there!


Marathon Minute: – – Lauren talks about eating breakfast and why it’s important


Go WOW News

Hi Ladies!
If you missed Broads Run Broadway on Saturday night you missed a truly fun event! Go WOW Women were there in costume which, for many of us is quite unusual. Tres, of course, had the costume thing down to a finely honed skill. Thanks Ellen Gordon for creating the concept of honoring Joan Rivers. Lauren G, Alice T, Sharon A, Allison H, Nancy R plus Meleane, and Karin T were all having fun in our pink boas and WOW shirts. Sharon A put together a fun video that is now on Facebook so take a look!

I hope Erin C, Ellen G, and Cecilia H are feeling better by now.

For all of you, plan to do this fun run next year. It wasn’t even timed and the goodies at the end of the event were super! I love my new jacket.

t’s quite amazing that two Sundays past, a bunch of us completed the triathlon (and duathlon) at Shadow Cliffs. It seems so far away now…

However, it was an amazing experience. Full of fun and many of you had to overcome some big challenges to complete the whole thing. I know there were swimming lessons, long bike rides, drives to Shadow Cliffs, figuring out gear, overcoming emotional and physical obstacles and yet, in spite of all this YOU DID IT! I couldn’t be prouder and know that the comments from our Facebook page and in emails back and forth, indicated that you were pretty proud of yourselves, too. Well deserved.
Duathlon Competitors:
Cecilia Han – first time
Leslie Griep – first time
Mayra Montoya
Triathlon Competitors
Nancy Rivard – first time
Nicole Dryden – first time
Gina Hewlett – first time
Kathleen Davis – first time
Rebecca Malberg von Lowenfeldt – first time
Eileen Killory
Ann Ritzma
Elaine Porter
Lauren Ganes
Vera Chrebtow
Mary Sue Thomas
Stephanie Atwood

Any suggestions for a new triathlon next year? Also comment on doing this one again, please.
We are also well into training for the Big Sur Events with 5K folks needing to get serious about their training, too. Last weekend’s run at San Leandro Marina had us half marathoners doing 11 miles – done! And you 5K folks should be looking at 60 – 90 minutes every weekend with half distance at a controlled pace (1:1 or 4:1) then returning with a faster return time and running as much of it as you can. We’re going for negative splits (faster second half of the run).

All right. This week is shaping up to be a good one. Join us soon. Stairs at the Cascade Cleveland Steps at Lake Merritt happen tomorrow at 6PM! Lizette, I hope you’ll be there. You are like a ship passing in the night at this point of your training. It’s always so good to see you!

And, welcome Lynn Sanderson and Jennifer Strang, our newest WOW Members. Catch me at the workouts so I can get you t-shirts and other new member WOW goodies!

Did I leave out anything?

Be happy, stay fit,
Coach Stephanie


Bits and Pieces…

Thank you for your book reviews!

Thanks to all of you who have already given my books your review. Believe it or not, this is what sells books. Good reviews make all the difference in the world in where the book is placed on Amazon’s search page. Any time you have a chance to make a review can make a big difference for me. Thanks again. Stay tuned for my next book about Paleo eating. Scheduled to come out in late October!

Comfort Food Meals for One

Gluten Free Meals for One

To make a review you just scroll down the page where the book is featured on Amazon. It’s easy. There are examples of other reviews to help you understand.


Start your own WOW Team neighborhood group. We’ll help! We’re just in the testing stages of this but if you want to start your own group contact Let’s expand and share the Go WOW LOVE in your city or state!



Upcoming Events of Note: (this is not a complete WOW Team calendar)

  • Sunday, November 16 – Big Sur Half Marathon – WOW will make this our “end of season away-event”
  • Sunday, December 7 – Run the Bay Bridge with us! Just a fun thing to do that we haven’t done for almost a year. Coffee afterward.
  • Sunday, December 14 – Christmas Relays at Lake Merced in San Francisco. WOW will put teams together under WOW (all ages) and BAWRF (age related, competitive teams)

Details for these special events are on meetup. For the full calendar of WOW Workouts go to our website at or

Photo Credits – Photo #1 – Coach Stephanie and Tres at Broads Run Broadway – L Ganes photo
Photo #2 – Michaela R, Leigh C-O, Tres F, and Elaine P at rainy Point Isabel – L Ganes photo
Photo #3 – Happy Birthday!
Photo #4 – Sharon A, Karin T, Coach Stephanie, and Tres in costume at Broads Run Broadway – L Ganes photo
Photo #5 – Leslie G, Rebecca M-L, Elaine P, Ann R, Cecilia H, Priya, and Lauren G at the See Jane Run Triathlon – unknown photographer
Photo #6 – Gina H and Kathleen D, happy triathletes – L Ganes photo
Photo #7 – New member Lynn S finishing her workout at San Leandro Marina – L Ganes photo
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The Weekly Pep Talk Issue 260 Start September 15, 2014

Do You Tri?

Start Sept. 15, 2014
by Coach Stephanie Atwood
I just realized that I have actually written 260 Weekly Pep Talks. Yowza!

Words of Wisdom: “If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.” – Lyall Watson


Book Reviews Needed. Will trade for books! If you will take the time to review one or both of my new books I will be happy to send you a pdf version to download. This means that you don’t have to purchase the book and can have full access to the material today. What I need in return is a review to be placed on on September 22 (for the newest book) and ASAP for the other book.. Are you interested?

Only 20 words from you could make a big difference in sales. Thanks for the LOVE! Contact me by email at and I will forward a pdf attachment right away!

Free book for your Review

Thanks to all of you who have already given my books your review. This has rocked my Comfort Food Meals to #3 in the “Cooking for One” Category!

Gluten Free Meals for One, including a meal plan, shopping list, and recipes is set to publish on September 22 and is now available for pre-launch sale.

To make a review you just scroll down the page where the book is featured on Amazon. It’s easy. There are examples of other reviews to help you understand.


WOW Woman of the Week:  Leticia Duenas is one of the longest term members in Go WOW dating back to 2005! This was actually before WOW started and I was coaching for See Jane Run. At that time Leticia was single and without children. She is now married and has two young boys! Talk about some life changes. Thank you for your friendship and support of WOW Leticia. It’s been quite a journey and we’re just getting started!


September Birthdays: Jacqueline Rickman, Jessica McElroy, Janet Mc Gee, Tami Price, Mayra Montoya, Sharon Alberts, Joann Denning, Mary Sue Weston Thomas, Sophie Jani, Tiffany Akins-Dunbar, Dawn Robinson, Julia Halsne. Happy Birthday September Girls!

Coach Tip of the Week:  Race week! This is the time to focus on lots of rest, eating good, healthy food, staying hydrated, and visualizing your race day. I encourage you to mentally picture and physically go through the transitions from swim to bike to run (triathlon) or run to bike to run (duathlon). This weekend will be a learning experience for all of us and should also be fun! Be sure to plan to join us afterward for breakfast at Dean’s Restaurant in Pleasanton.

Here we go!


Marathon Minute: –  . Stepping out of your comfort zone? Lauren shares her recent experience with this.


Go WOW News

Dear WOW Ladies and Interested Readers,

Last Sunday at Point Isabel was so much fun! We had new faces – Jennifer; returning faces like teachers Erin ConklinKathrina Weekes and Kathleen Gadway; and we also had some women checking out their bikes after taking a few decades’ hiatus – Go Ellen Gordon! It was also nice to see Jessica Mangaccat, Tricia O, and Julia Halsne walking their dogs.

And of course we had a super group of runners and walkers who show up on a fairly regular basis and make it all worth being somewhere by 8AM on a Sunday morning. Super Sunday. Really fun!

While the triathlon is the big thing for this weekend and we encourage all of you to come out and participate or support The TEAM, we also have a workout planned at Emeryville Marina. Lori Whittock will head up that workout for runners and walkers with our half marathon trainees going for 10 miles or 120 minutes (whichever comes first). Thank you Lori, for helping out!

Broads Run Broadway is Saturday, September 27, Saturday night, 6PM in downtown Oakland. You can still register for this fun, costume event and join several of your WOW Teammates in this low key, untimed, 5K (3.1 mile) run, walk, or hop, costume event with prizes and a good looking jacket as part of your registration fee.

I’m still checking on details for our triathlon this weekend and will be organizing a call-in on Thursday evening. If you have any questions or comments about the triathlon OR Broads Run Broadway feel free to call in on Thursday, September 18 at 5:30Pm to talk with Lauren Ganes and Me. The call in number is 1 712-432-3011, Conference Code 211360. Also check on Facebook for updates.

List of GO WOW Participants for this weekend’s Triathlon and Duathlon:

1. Rebecca Malberg

2. Kathleen Davis

3. Gina Assoni Hewlett

4. Nicole Dryden

5. Elaine Porter

6. Ann Ritzma

7. Maria Carmela Keys

8. Stephanie Atwood

9. Cecilia Han

10. Nancy Rivard

11. Eileen Killory

12.  Vera Chrebtow

13.  Leslie Griep

14.  Mayra Montoya

15.  Lauren Ganes

Welcome to newest member Lynn Sanderson!

Here’s to a great race this weekend to all you tri and duathletes!

Go for it!

Coach Stephanie


Bits and Pieces…

Belly Fat Blowout reduced price from September 17 – 20. If you haven’t picked it up yet, here’s your chance at a reduced rate. 72 hours only. Both Book 1 and 2 are available for only a brief period of time at reduced rates.

Also reduced is Belly Fat Blowout 2, the sequel. 72 hours only!


Start your own WOW Team neighborhood group. We’ll help! We’re just in the testing stages of this but if you want to start your own group contact Let’s expand and share the Go WOW LOVE in your city or state!


Amazon Books by Best Selling Author Coach Stephanie Atwood


Fresh to Freezer Meals for One: Quick and Easy Complete Meal Plan, Shopping List and Recipes. Please leave a review on Amazon.

Coming September 22!

Gluten Free Fresh to Freezer Meals for One: Gluten Free Meal Plan, Shopping List, and Recipes

Scheduled for release in October!

Paleo Meals for One

My books are also available online at our new website at and on Amazon in Kindle format and paperback.

Belly Fat Blow-out 2! Sequel to the bestselling Belly Fat Blowout 1. Lose inches, balance blood sugar, reduce night sweats, burn fat and be a better athlete.

Belly Fat Blowout Book 1 . Now in paperback, too.

Run Faster Race Even Better

Run Faster Race Better Now in paperback, too.

Journal – A Day of Achievement and Inspiration – in paperback only

Upcoming Events of Note: (this is not a complete WOW Team calendar)

  • Sunday, September 21 – See Jane Run Sprint Triathlon – WOW is an official training team for this event
  • Saturday, September 27 – Broads Run Broadway – a 5K fun run, especially for women. Go WOW is Official Program Training Team
  • Sunday, November 16 – Big Sur Half Marathon – WOW will make this our “end of season away-event”
  • Sunday, December 14 – Christmas Relays at Lake Merced in San Francisco. WOW will put teams together under WOW (all ages) and BAWRF (age related, competitive teams)

Details for these special events are on meetup. For the full calendar of WOW Workouts go to our website at or


Photo Credits -

Photo #1 – Book Covers

Photo #2 – Leticia Duenas is second from the left. Also in photo (from left in back) Yolande Sterling, Jeanetta Mack, Coach Stephanie, Ellen Gordon, front Gwenn Smith, Virginia Guinto

Photo #3 – Happy Birthday!

Photo #4 – Go triathletes and duathletes! Photo from the AASK Walk/Run around Lake Merritt in August.

Photo #5 – Eileen Killory at the UN Peace Run

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Marathon Minute – Hydration, One More Time

by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator, February 19, 2013

IMG_6047 (398x640)
Pat C, Lizette B, and Lauren G at the CIM Relay 2012

Amazing!  WOW Half Marathoners  completed 130 minutes of running on Sunday at beautiful Inspiration Point.  And this Sunday they will increase their time and or mileage to 140 minutes or 13 miles (whichever comes first). This is an incredible accomplishment!  Thank you, Coach Stephanie for creating a great training program.  It is so wonderful to know that on Sunday mornings you will have friends to run this long and increasing distance with.

As you add these longer distances it is important to stay hydrated.  Hydration begins now, during the week, by making sure you are drinking plenty of fluids.  Since it is currently cold, in addition to water, you might want to include tea or soup to stay warm.

Lemon-Lime Gatorade will be at the 8 Aid stations along the Oakland Marathon course, make sure you try it before race day.  If it doesn’t agree with you, make sure to try another electrolyte liquid like Nuun or Gu Brew.  You want an electrolyte liquid with sodium, potassium and calcium. Try to have 16 ounces of electrolytes with you this Sunday.  I always use my 1 minute of walking as a time to hydrate.  The electrolytes help maintain the hydration of your leg muscles.  You don’t want a side stitch or muscle cramp to interfere with your run.

A WOW member, Kara Waltz, who is a chiropractor and soccer player told me that she drinks a large glass of water and another glass of electrolyte liquid on Saturday night before training, races, or games.

After your long run it is equally important to eat some protein within the first 30-60 minutes.  Additionally, drinking an electrolyte liquid all afternoon will aid in a faster recovery.

Hydrating early and often is a key to a successful half marathon.

Go, WOW Women!

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Marathon Minute – Training picks up

The girls take a walking break in Sunday’s training at Heather Farms

by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator

Sunday was a beautiful day out at Heather Farms where the WOW women training for the Oakland Half Marathon ran for 2 hours!  It is so exciting to continue to add the extra distance for your very first time.  It’s a great achievement for all.

These training runs are important to not only learn that you run this distance, but also to understand what foods, electrolytes, and clothing work for you.

While it was cold at the beginning of the morning, it warmed up as we ran.  Either beginning the run with a little less clothing than is comfortable at the time, or wearing a layer that you can easily wrap around your waist is helpful in this kind of weather.

Most women now have fuel belts or are carrying a hand-held bottle.  Make sure that your electrolyte liquid and gels agree with your stomach.  The Oakland Half Marathon will be providing water and lemon-lime Gatorade at 8 stations along the course.  They will also have Gu gel, some salty snacks and fruit along the way.

Don’t forget to eat a breakfast with protein and carbohydrates to support your long run.  Bagels and peanut butter, oatmeal with milk, protein shakes, waffles, and bananas are common breakfasts of runners.

Remember to rehydrate after your run.  It’s important to drink water, and/or more electrolyte liquid, and my personal favorite, chocolate milk.

Keep up this great training and you will definitely cross the finish line with a smile on your face!

Go WOW Women!

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Marathon Minute Feb 5

by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator

From left – Lauren G, Julia H, Aida D, and Libhin S at the Christmas Relays 2012

Congratulations to the WOW women, Edie, Emily, Julia and Kim.

Three participated in the Kaiser Half Marathon and Emily ran the 5K race on Sunday!

How exciting for Edie and Kim who completed their very first half marathons, way to go ladies!

Congratulations to Julia on breaking the 2 hour half marathon with a personal best by 5 minutes. Julia ran the half marathon in 1:55:24, now that is impressive! Bravo, Julia!

And Emily V, we weren’t sure if this was either your first or fastest 5K but congratulate you for getting out there!

There were plenty of women training for the Oakland Half Marathon on Sunday at the San Leandro Marina. For some this was the first time they have run for 110 minutes, or 10+ miles.

Nicole and Lesley T both raised important questions this week-end. Do you do other exercise beyond running? Coach Stephanie provides us with a day by day training program that slowly increases our mileage, and also gives us the opportunity to work on speed through track work-outs and tempo runs. It also suggests cross training for a regular part of our workouts.

Stretching and strengthening exercises for your core, arms, and legs are important to incorporate into your weekly work-outs. We did some of that at Lake Merritt with Coach Stephanie last Wednesday. Fitting in cycling, swimming, dancing, yoga or any activity that uses your muscles in a different way than running will be beneficial to your training.

Again, CONGRATULATIONS to Edie, Emily, Julia and Kim! Thanks for inspiring the WOW Team!

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Marathon Minute – Hydration and More

JANUARY 21, 2013, by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator

Lauren (2nd from left) and buds after the ORF 2010

WOW Women walkers training for the Oakland Marathon walked 17 miles on Saturday! BRAVO!

Sunday there were over 30 WOW women at Point Isabel staying fit by moving for 60-80 minutes. Coach Stephanie reminded us about the importance of hydration and that for runs over 60 minutes we should carry some water or sugar free electrolyte liquid. Some women wear belts that have a pocket for water bottles, and other women use hand-held bottles. Both Amphipod and Nathan provide excellent belts and hand-held bottles.

The Oakland Running Festival is one of the best organized marathons I’ve ever participated in. This year the half marathon will have 8 aid stations with water and lemon/lime Gatorade. There will also be a port-a-potty at each aid station. In addition, some aid stations will have a salty snack and Gu gel.

It’s important to try the Gatorade out on a training run to make sure it agrees with your stomach. If it doesn’t, there are many other products that you can try.

Now is the perfect time to find out which electrolyte liquid, gel or shot block is best for you.
With the right balance of electrolytes and gels you will have the energy to cross the finish line with a smile on your face!

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Pre-Race Fueling

Perfecting Your Prerace Food Strategy

What and How much should you eat and drink for your prerace breakfast? By Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.

If you’re like most runners, you spend the final days before your half- or full marathon feasting on high-carbohydrate foods. But a good nutrition plan doesn’t end with that last plate of pasta the night before your race. Just as important is your prerace breakfast, which helps restock the liver glycogen (or stored energy) that got depleted overnight. “Liver glycogen keeps your blood-sugar level steady during exercise,” says Jackie Berning, Ph.D., R.D., sports nutrition and metabolism professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Your morning meal provides fuel for your brain, helping to sustain motivation and concentration during a long race. But just how much should you eat on race morning to optimize your performance? Probably more than you think. Here’s how to choose the ideal amount and combination of foods and fluids to power you through to a strong finish.

The best prerace breakfast consists mainly of carbohydrates, since they’re digested most rapidly and are your body’s preferred fuel source, says Penny Wilson, Ph.D., a Houston-based registered dietitian who works with endurance athletes. Small amounts of protein will help stave off hunger during the later miles. Limit or avoid fat and fiber; the former takes too long to digest, while the latter can cause bloating and GI problems. “I recommend foods like a bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal with milk and dried fruit, or yogurt and toast,” says Wilson. Other good options include a banana and high-carb energy bar, waffle with syrup and strawberries, or even a bowl of rice.

For runners who tend to feel queasy on race morning, sticking with liquid carbs can help prevent GI problems while still providing energy and hydration. Smoothies, juices, and sports drinks all pack quick-digesting carbs that empty easily from your stomach, says Wilson.

While your usual bagel and banana might power you through a morning of meetings, it’s not enough to fuel you through a half- or full marathon. Research shows that consuming 1.5 to 1.8 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight is ideal for improving performance, says Berning. For a 150-pound runner, that translates to 225 to 270 grams of carbohydrate–or about 1,000 calories, which may sound like a lot just before a hard effort. The key is to get that meal in early–three to four hours prerace to be exact, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. That gives you enough time to digest so your stomach will be fairly empty and your muscles and liver totally fueled. If you’re not sure you can stomach 1,000 calories at once, you can divide them up into two smaller meals, says Berning. In that case, eat 200 to 400 calories four hours before the start, along with 12 to 20 ounces of water or sports drink (giving you plenty of time to hit the porta potty). Between 90 minutes and two hours before the start, eat most of the remaining carbs–again, choosing easy-to-digest options.

Since many races start at 8 a.m. or earlier, you’ll have to set your alarm for a very early wake-up to hit that four-hour window. If that’s not realistic, you may choose to eat your entire prerace meal just two hours before the start. But because you’ll have less time to digest, eat only one gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight (or 150 grams, or 600 calories, for a 150-pound runner)–sticking with foods and liquids you know are very easy on your stomach. Since you’re consuming less, you do risk running out of liver glycogen, which will cause your blood sugar to plummet and may mean you hit the wall. So be vigilant about fueling early in the race (consuming 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour) to keep your energy levels high.

Finally, have your last 25 to 30 grams of carbs 30 to 60 minutes prior to the start. This could be an energy gel or chews (with 12 to 16 ounces of water) or 16 ounces of sports drink. “This provides the last shot of fuel to hold you over until you get into the rhythm of fueling midrace,” says Berning.

Berning also stresses that every runner has different food and fluid tolerances, which means a plan that works for one runner might spell GI disaster for another. That’s why it’s key that you practice your prerace meal strategy during training. “The stomach and gut need to be trained to handle food before a long run,” says Berning. She suggests trying different combinations to find the one that works best for you. And once you find the perfect mix, stick with it. “Eat the exact same meal on race morning that you practiced with in training,” says Wilson, “and you’ll be set.”

Can’t stomach one huge morning meal? Divide it up. Here’s how a 150-pound runner would fuel

3 to 4 hours prerace
1 cup cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons honey 62 g of carbs
6 ounces yogurt 17 g
1 large banana 31 g
2 tablespoons raisins 16 g
4 ounces juice 14 g
12 to 20 ounces water 0 g
Total Carbs = 140 g

90 minutes to 2 hours prerace
1 slice bread with 1 tablespoon jam 28 g
24 ounces sports drink 47 g
Total Carbs = 75 g

30 to 60 minutes prerace
1 energy gel or serving of energy chews 25 g
8 to 12 ounces water 0 g
Total Carbs = 25 g

Recover Right
How to eat and drink after you cross the finish – right away and beyond

Focus on carbs
Eat half a gram of carbohydrate per pound of weight. For a 150-pound runner, that’s 75 grams, or the equivalent of a bagel and banana.

Eat protein
Consume 15 to 20 grams of protein to kick-start muscle repair. Get it from a high-protein energy bar along with fruit, or a PB&J.

Drink up
Aim for 20 ounces of fluid. Including 200 mg of sodium or more will boost fluid absorption. Try sports drinks and recovery shakes.

But skip the booze
You’re already dehydrated. Wait at least several hours, till you’ve had a chance to rehydrate and refuel, and then toast your finish.

Keep it going
For the next 48 hours, continue to focus on eating plenty of carbohydrates and modest portions of high-quality protein.

79% of runners always have breakfast in the morning before a race, According to a poll on

EAT BETTER: If you’re prone to midrun GI trouble, try cutting back on fiber, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners, all of which can exacerbate symptoms.

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by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator

To quote, Ellen G, “check it off your bucket list ladies, running in a TYPHOON!”  We will all be talking about this experience for years to come.

It is such an honor to be a member of the WOW team, and being part of the relays pulled us all together with individual and communal strength.  Alone, I doubt if any one of us would have ventured out in that rain to run, but knowing that your team mates were counting on you, out we went.  And it turned out to be memorable and lots of fun for the 6 relay teams!

I can still hear Pat C laughing while waiting at Leg 2 as the rain just poured down on Ann, Vera, Michaela, and myself (Lizette was already on the run).  That was just the beginning, because we all ran/splashed through the infamous ankle deep water.

It was so wonderful to greet our team mates at the transitions, and to later see the posts and pictures that surfaced on the internet, even while we were running.  (Thanks, Colleen!)

It was particularly special to celebrate the race with so many WOW Women at the sunny Capitol steps.

Thank you Coach Stephanie for providing WOW members with a safe environment where all women can participate and stay fit, grow, and reach beyond their expected potential.  We all reaped the benefits this week-end!

Way to Go, WOW Women!

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5 Tips for Walking or Running in the Dark

Working out with a group creates safety even in the dark. Photographer unknown

by Coach Stephanie Atwood

On these cold, black mornings and evenings, that stay dark until many of us start working and become dark before we leave the office, we are faced with a dilemma; work out in the dark, head inside to exercise, or skip it. Two of those options will receive an OK from me and one doesn’t cut the mustard.

If you choose to work out at the gym then excuses should never be an issue.

My personal preference is outdoors whenever possible but this has to be tempered with reality.

Here are some tips to working out outdoors in the dark:

  1. Join a group or enlist a buddy to work out with you. There is safety in numbers and the more the merrier.
  2. Get a good flashlight or headlamp and make sure you have batteries that are charged. It takes some getting used to moving quickly in the dark and accepting a limited range of vision to work from, but a good flashlight will give you ample illumination to move comfortably.
  3. Most people will slow their pace or shorten their stride in the dark to allow for less of their senses filling in details. This just makes good sense when your vision is limited. Your feet need to be more attuned to the surfaces they’re touching and given a bit more time to interpret the results. Bumps and breaks don’t always show up when you’re only seeing black and shades of grey so feet have to take on additional work.
  4. Arms also need to be at a bit more attention, meaning that they will be working just a bit harder. This is to allow for a change of balance when your brain is working with information that depends on eyes less and feet more.
  5. Wear reflective clothing – shoes, gloves, jackets, pants, and hats all come with reflective strips and will up your visibility to others, especially cars. There is nothing worse, as a driver, than to see a pedestrian darting into or out of your car’s path, at just the last moment.

The Bay Area has a climate that accommodates working out almost every day outside. We are blessed with decent weather and beautiful places to exercise. With a little planning and some common sense you can have the benefit of fresh air and open space to enhance your exercise regimen. What could be better?

by Coach Stephanie, Bay Area Women’s Fitness Writer and Founder of Go WOW Team

originally published at

Coach Stephanie Atwood M.A. has been running and coaching for more than 3 decades. With certification from US Track and Field, Road Runners Club of America, National Academy of Sports Medicine and more she is truly a professional in her field and has helped thousands of runners achieve their goals. As Founder of Go WOW Team Coach Stephanie offers opportunity for each woman to find her athlete within and push those boundaries to see just how far she can reach.

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Marathon Minute – Humboldt Half Marathon


Eight WOW Women were delighted with the results and the exquisite environment of the Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon!

Congratulations to Julie, who came in 5th in her age group! Julie continues to welcome each new member to WOW and help them with their run/walking. Iris was the perfect companion as they ran/walked at least 11 of the miles together. Iris, you are such a great friend.

Bravo to Robbi, who surpassed her goal with a PR of 2:13! Eileen was close behind as she crossed the finish line with a PR of 2:15!

Christie and Michaela were another awesome pair and also reached their personal goals.

Laura persevered through injury and crossed the finish line with a smile on her face.

Most important of all, we enjoyed the beautiful run underneath the canopy of the old growth redwoods. The weather was perfect, and the out and back course allowed us the joy of seeing our team mates along the course.

We were sorry to see Michaela and Christie leave after the race. The rest of us celebrated our victories with Margaritas and Mexican food as we watched the Giants win game 6. It was a great way to recover from a fabulous day.

Way to go WOW Women!

Note from Coach Stephanie: While it was not a PR, Lauren ran the fastest of her 4 half marathons of this year, with a time of 2:10!

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Marathon Minute 10-8

by Lauren Ganes, Marathon Coordinator

Coach Stephanie and Lauren at the Walnut Creek Half Marathon, BFF

WOW Women showed their power at the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon this week-end. Bravo to Lizette and Coach Stephanie for breaking 2 hours, Lizette at 1:57 and Coach Stephanie at 1:59, and 4th in her age group. You two were flying! And bravo to Leti who was also flying along the course with under 10 minute miles.

Congratulations Ann, on a well-run race without cramping. And of course, our hats off to Elaine on finishing her very first half marathon.

New WOW member Pat Venerable was in San Jose walking the half this past weekend. We look forward to getting to know you better Pat. Keep walking fast!

Although it was not in a race, Eileen ran continuously for 13.1 miles for the first time this week-end. Humboldt participants are now in various stages of staying strong, or in taper mode with the half marathon coming up on October 21.

This is an important time for the Humboldt half marathoners to: fuel well, (focusing on protein, complex carbohydrates, less refined sugar) hydrate well, and rest.

Training continues for the WOW women training to walk the Oakland Marathon in March.

Again, congratulations to Coach Stephanie, Lizette, Leti, Ann, Pat and Elaine on their successes at the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

All WOW women thank Coach Stephanie, for guiding us and inspiring us to reach our individual potentials.

WOW Women, Fit Women of the World, Go for it!

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Obesity and You

Obesity can kill you. Exercise can make a difference.

This is not my article and I have lost the source. The information is disturbing but gives us data to be able to start making some corrections. – Coach Stephanie

The title of skinniest state in America still goes to Colorado, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2011, Colorado’s obesity rate was 20.7 percent — the lowest in the nation.

Between 2005 and 2009, Colorado remained the sole state with an obesity rate below 20 percent. Now, no state falls into that category, the CDC says.

In 2011, 39 states had obesity rates of over 25 percent, and 12 had obesity rates over 30 percent. The highest obesity rate was in Mississippi, in which 34.9 percent of the population is obese.

[Related: Most Americans ignore the truth about obesity]

Obesity rates were high in the South in general, with about 30 percent of people in that region qualifying as obese. In the Midwest, the rate was 29 percent, followed by the Northeast at 25 percent, and the West at 24 percent.

After Colorado, the lowest obesity rates were found in Hawaii (21.8 percent), Massachusetts (22.7 percent), and New Jersey and Washington D.C. (both 23.7 percent).

After Mississippi, the states with the highest obesity rates were: Louisiana (33.4 percent), West Virginia (32.4 percent), Alabama (32 percent) and Michigan (31.3 percent).

Because the CDC made changes in the way it collects information about obesity in the country, estimates from 2011 onward cannot be compared with estimates made in the past. The current estimates come from a telephone survey known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national telephone survey that now includes cellphone-only households, as well as those with landlines.

Complications of obesity include heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, the CDC says.

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