Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it.  The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.

— T. Alan Armstrong


A message from Andy Baldwin.


Preventing Sports Related Injuries

by Andy Baldwin

This past weekend I ran the longest distance I have ever run in my life – 40 miles.

It was my final long training run in preparation for the Comrades Ultramarathon. On May 30, I will run 56 miles with my teammates in South Africa in an effort to get over 1,500 children sponsored in Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa through Team World Vision. We need your help. Please consider sponsoring a child in need by going to I sponsor little five year old Matt-Andy in South Africa and will visit him after our run. I can’t wait!

The past few months have been full of intense training and racing. I’ve done eight marathons, a triathlon, and a 50k race since November. Oftentimes my muscles… hurt and my body aches from the training. But I recognize the difference between musculoskeletal soreness due to intense training versus pain related to an injury.

Have you ever heard the slogan “No Pain, No Gain?”

I hate this phrase.

It may be intended to inspire, however I think oftentimes novice athletes may hear this and interpret it too literally. There is a significant difference between “discomfort” of pushing ones limits, and “pain” in an area of the body signaling ongoing or pending injury. This pain is the body’s way of saying “Stop!” and you must listen to this and learn to distinguish the difference between these two types of physical pain.

To relate a personal story, when I was a senior in high school, I decided to try out for the cross-country team. For many years I had been a competitive swimmer spending hours in the pool each day, but had never done the equivalent as a runner on land. To prepare for the cross-country season I started logging many miles each week, doing runs in the morning and at night. I tried to make my workouts “hurt” by taking on hills and pushing the pace and distance of each run. A pounding heart, a body drenched in sweat and overall physical fatigue is good discomfort. At some point in my training, I started to feel sharp pain and soreness in my upper leg, but chose to ignore it. I kept getting up early in the morning to run while each step I took resulted in immense physical pain. One morning while thinking that “No Pain, No Gain” was the way to go, I took a hard step, heard a loud CRACK and my leg buckled to the ground. I had fractured my femur in the femoral neck. It was excruciatingly painful and to this day I can remember the sound of the ambulance siren as I was transported to the hospital. Needless to say there was no cross country season for me that year.

Learn to listen to your body, take precautions early on; you can prevent injury by taking care of your body.

Here are a few tips on how to prevent sports injuries during your training:

1. Warm up and cool down properly. Don’t go into a high impact activity like running without getting your blood pumping and stretching. Hit the exercise bike, stair climber or elliptical machine for 10-15 minutes before getting on the treadmill or pounding the pavement.

2. After a hard workout, make sure you hydrate adequately and have a good meal full of protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Treat your body for the exercise it has done, and take a day off for rest after a hard workout.

3. Yoga rocks! Yoga has been my solution for injury prevention over the years. The poses that yoga takes you through builds intrinsic muscle strength around joints like your ankles, knees, and hips that help provide better support and balance, thus preventing injuries. Additionally it improves your core strength and range of motion through stretching. This leads to better performance.

4. Massage. During the years I have trained intensely for triathlons and marathons I have tried to get an hour long massage at least every other week. Massage helps to stimulate blood flow to the muscles and flush the toxins and lactic acid out of the muscle belly. This may leave you even sorer the following day, but it will benefit you in the long run. Be sure to drink lots of water post-massage!!

Train safe and smart!

As taken from his blog on the Nautica web page:   (

Meb’s thoughts about Boston.

As reported in an earlier blog post, Meb Keflezighi was the winner of this fall’s NYC Marathon.  Here are his thoughts on his performance during the Boston Marathon this month.  (courtesy of


Following my victory at the ING NYC Marathon, I was in pursuit of my next goal which was to try to win the prestigious Boston marathon. On Dec 1, 2009 I began my training in San Diego and made it up to Mammoth by year end to start my marathon training. Things were clicking right away and training was going exceptionally well. It felt as though I hadn’t lost any fitness following the fall marathon. Then came along a major setback because I started to feel some discomfort on my left knee at the end of January. I consulted with Dr. Karch in Mammoth to determine the cause and severity of the injury. Dr. Karch suggested taking time off running, so I took off about two weeks.

Anxious not to lose the endurance training, I attempted to do water workouts but that would only last one day. The inflammation on my knee seemed to get worse by some of the resistance in the water so I just gave my body complete rest.

Two weeks later, I got out for my first run to test the knee. I was getting a little nervous because at this point I didn’t know how the knee was going to feel. Following my first 30 minute or so run, I could still feel the discomfort on my left knee. Nonetheless, I resumed my training and Boston was now 9 weeks away. I began training again but very conservatively so that there wouldn’t be any more setbacks by building up too fast. The next 9 weeks of training were going to be tricky because it was going to require a balance of therapy/rehab and trying to get the mileage so I can get to the starting line and be competitive. Luckily my knee was holding up ok with the faster workouts but the pain was intolerable with the slow runs. Over the first week I was able to get 38 and 68 miles into the workout. I could only manage to run 100 to 110 miles for 5 weeks. Therefore, it is evident I did not have the ideal preparation of running or cross training.

My training leading up to the race was adequate for me to do well, but far from ideal, given the short time for training. I wanted to just run a gutsy race and see how things go. I knew there were guys in the race that had far better preparation than I going into the race but I felt I could tough it out and try to be competitive.  The Boston Marathon only comes around once a year and I wanted to seize the opportunity, but also knew that it was going to require a little bit of luck to come on top given my limited training, injury setback, and not feeling 100 percent healthy. I didn’t want to make any excuses for myself to not do well. I trusted in my experience, years of buildup and competitive nature to carry me through the race.

Race day conditions seemed to be perfect with lots of energy. The first 5k was nice and easy and I just decided to sit back and relax to conserve energy. As we were coming up to the 10K mark, I thought to myself this is going to be my kind of race and that I just need to be ready if a move is made. The pace was fairly comfortable (averaging 4:50 mile) and I could still tolerate the discomfort on my knee. Just as I was feeling good and getting into a rhythm a big move was made at mile 10. It was too risky to let them go so I covered the move at 4:35 for mile 10. In the next 4 miles, we averaged 4:48 or so which was not too bad but I could feel my knee flaring up and my quadriceps tighten.

At mile 16 the guys made another move by running that mile at 4:37. At this point my body was starting to fall apart. My quads were tight and of course and not having the proper mileage to carry me through to 26.2 miles became evident. The next 10 miles were very painful and I could see the leaders drifting away. I just had to push through the pain and try to maintain my place and hopefully someone would come back to me.

Once I got to mile 20, I desperately needed to take a bathroom visit but couldn’t afford to stop. Those last miles seemed so long and painful. I could see my pace slowing down now to 5:20’s. My good friend Ryan Hall caught me right before 25th mile and I gave him words of encouragement. I was glad Ryan was making up ground but I knew this wasn’t the year for an American to win Boston. It was a day for a young man that shined and ran a personal best. No time out to regroup in this sport. Robert Cheruiyot ran a great performance. Robert, you have a long future in the sport, as long as you have the same drive.

Overall, I was thrilled to have participated in this year’s Boston Marathon. I gave it my best and that is something I am very proud of and hopefully I can come back and get another shot at winning it for America. It is my kind of course and under ideal conditions it is not a distant dream.

Thank you to John Hancock, Boston Athletic Association, and the fans who made it possible for me to come out and race this year.

Thanks to the Mammoth Hospital and Mammoth S. P. O. R. T. Center who worked on me weekly and sometimes daily to get me to the starting line. I wouldn’t have been able to get through my training without their help.

Thanks to all of those who showed concern and asked about my injury. Dr. Andy Rosen just did an MRI on my knee while in NYC for the launch of my foundation. The results on the MRI scan show a small amount of fluid in the pre-patellar bursa. I am relieved to hear it is not too serious so it gives me plenty of time to treat it and be healed before beginning my buildup for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon.

I would like to wish my friends Deena Kastor and Zersenay Tadese and all of the runners of the Virgin London Marathon the best of luck.

Run To Win,

Positive vibes.

Loving this quote today, as seen on a greeting card.  Hope you all had a great day.

Borrowed blog alert!

I came across a great blog today and I’m going to copy & paste part of the entry that really hit home.

Here’s his blog link,  and here’s the entry:


We all have the same 24 hours in a day – the question is, “What will you do with your 24 hours?”  I’ve harped on the idea of doing important things and leaving the urgent alone (provided it’s not important), but in order to maximize your time, you MUST determine what is important in your life and what will yield results.  Big question – what does it take to strategize on how to maximize your time??  The answer is TIME – stop letting circumstances (“urgent” things – phone calls, TV, deadlines on worthless projects, things people NEED you to do, etc) dictate your schedule.  No one can control your time, but you – focus on what is important……

Thanks, Chris!

Congrats Josh!

Josh Cox won Boston’s BAA 5K race today.  It is the 2nd annual BAA 5k and held the day before the Boston Marathon.  What an amazing athlete and great role model.  Way to be FIRST!!!  Reminds me of this bumper sticker:

Oh, and I forgot to mention: he finished the 3.1 mile race in 14 minutes and 30 seconds!!!!! Yes, superhuman.  *shaking my head in disbelief*

Here’s a picture of when I met Josh at the 2008 NYC Marathon Expo.

A shout out from the blogosphere!

When I wrote about my Momofuku visit on Thursday night, I forgot to mention the real reason that I was in the city!  I was there to see the screening of a film called Fresh, and purchased the ticket through a fellow blogger named Chris.  He is cooking his way through David Chang’s Momofuku at Home cookbook and blogging about it the whole way through.  It’s an awesome blog – you should check it out!

Chris mentioned that he gave me a shout out  on his newest blog entry (look out for the Roadtrip Nation link), but in actuality he called me out on being late to the screening!  At least he realized that finishing my Ginger Scallion Noodles was of utmost importance. 😉  He could always get me another slice of crack pie and we would call it even (you hear that Chris?)  At any rate, hope you enjoy his blog below.

Oysters with kimchi consommé

Published April 17, 2010

This week in Momofuku At Home

For all those interested in eating fresh, local, sustainable food, I attended the screening of a new documentary,  Fresh screened in NYC, followed by a Q&A session with the director Sofia Joanes.  The movie is fantastically directed and well edited.  I felt a little sorry for Ms. Joanes while watching a film topic recently covered by similar documentaries such as The Future of Food and Food, Inc.  Ms. Joanes bravely shared that she cried when hearing about the release of Food, Inc. (she filmed at Joel Salatin’s farm before the Food, Inc. director).  Nevertheless, it’s well worth watching or grabbing a license for a viewing party.

Spread the word, support the cause.

ON Q&A questions, in general,  you know what really grinds my gears? audience members who provide an autobiography leading up to the question, which, in fact, has very little to do with the question.  “I’ve been grinding my own coffee since I was 14 and my question is this: what are the T-shirts made out of?” and “I’ve been shopping at Whole Foods before it existed in NYC, and my question has to do with…”

Which leads me to my second pet peeve, starting a question with the phrase, “I have a question”.  Of course you do, that is why you raised your hand and the speaker acknowledged you.

I did get a chance to meet up with a Momofuku At Home fan, Amy.  Check her out on Roadtrip Nation trailer, a PBS documentary were, you guessed it, she took a road trip around the country including the opportunity to interview David Chang beforeSsäm bar opened.  Amy was a little late to the screening trying to squeeze in some ginger scallion noodles at Noodle Bar.  She managed to get the trifecta when we wandered through Ssäm Bar and Milk Bar to pick up some crack pie and share some fruity pebble cereal milk.  I, of course, had the pork buns.

Ssäm Bar does not have the kimchi consommé on the menu.  Oh well…


I’ve had an obsession with making consommé for about eighteen months.  You would think I would have just made some and scratched that itch.  It started with regular making batches of homemade stock.  Mike Pardus, guest posting on theHunger Artist posted videos demonstrating how to make beef consommé.  Riveting.  Not to most people, but it was to me.

Going back about a year ago, I showed that video my (now ex) girlfriend.  She thought I was a little strange.  [NoteI won’t be using any ex-girlfriend’s name in the blog or names of dates I cook for, it’s just better that wayfor everyone.]  Anyway, girlfriend thought it was tedious, who in their right mind would do that?

She asked, “what’s the fascination with consommé?”

I highly recommend not starting this conversation to begin, nevertheless, if you do find yourself in this predicament, the wrong answer is the technical one and includes explanations of protein coagulation, rafts, and convection.  That will drive a New York resident to actually turn on those annoying commercial screens in the taxi cabs.

The right answer includes tasty words such as delicious, perfection, and pure while ordering a half dozen of these at Momofuku Ssäm Bar.  Let’s just say girlfriend, who craves seafood, was a convert.

“Wait a minute,” she said, “tell me more about consommé…”

For just a little while longer, I was cool…

I won’t get into the technical details of consommé, particularly clarification with gelatin.  This technique gained some steam last year on the blogosphere with great posts on Ideas in Food: Compression Clarification and Cooking Issues 12 Agar Clarification.  David Chang refers to Dave Arnold, from Cooking Issue, a couple times in Momofuku, once as “The Smartest Person Alive”.  Read Cooking Issues and it will be hard to dispute, with all due respect to Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking.

Kimchi Consommé

First you need a pureed kimchi.  The original kimchi post is here.

A little sugar and vinegar…

Sheet gelatin is pretty neat stuff.  It can be picked up at NY Cake on 22nd street and only costs a couple dollars.  The gelatin does the job eggs white will do in a traditional consommé.  But all you need to know is dissolve it in some hot water.

Mix in the other ingredients.

Once this is all mixed up, it goes into the freezer to set, just like jello.

Frozen kimchi.

Once frozen, it goes into some cheese cloth for a 12 hour drip…

When it’s done, you get the beautiful, transparent liquid with no particles.

Oysters with kimchi consommé

A well shucked oyster…

and a few that could have been done better…

Normally, I’m an raw oyster purist, skip the minuet or cocktail sauce, Shuck N’ Suck or whatever those colorful T-shirts say.  Even at Ssäm Bar, I’m not a fan of the oysters with pureed kimchi.  However, the oysters with kimchi consommé are divine.  The consommé looks clear and pure hinting at subtle tones that manage to surprise the palate with strong, yet, not overpowering flavors.  It’s sort of like the first punch Rocky connects with Apollo Creed and he goes down thinking, “I wasn’t expecting that?”

The actual time to make this recipe is about 16 days!  Crazy.  Make the kimchi (two weeks), puree and freeze (overnight), strain through cheesecloth (overnight).  It’s a long process, but most of it happens in the fridge…  The most difficult part of this recipe is picking up the sheet gelatin.

Plan ahead and you’ll be sure to surprise some guests!