Events, Fitness, Health, Local

Post-marathon: Allow 2-3 weeks to recover after big race

Maria Ramos helps Jaime Medina stretch after completing the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday. The two are from Colombia. CARL JUSTE
Maria Ramos helps Jaime Medina stretch after completing the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday. The two are from Colombia. CARL JUSTE

On Sunday, thousands woke in the predawn hours and headed to American Airlines Arena, where they ran, ran/walked (intervals) or rode special bikes to compete in the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon.

When they crossed the finish line, they got a rush of adrenaline and took a moment — maybe more — to recover.

But sitting still after the race is not the way to go, say sports medicine doctors and experienced marathoners. In fact, there are important steps to take immediately after a big race, and in the days following it, to prevent injury.

“Research shows that muscle, cellular and immune systems are compromised for two to three weeks post-race, so recovery from a marathon is a critical component,” said Dr. Farah Tejpar, a sport medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston. “Runners who don’t recover properly from a marathon put themselves at increased risk of injury and delayed healing.”

Tejpar recommends resting for at least three to four days after a big race before returning to a normal exercise routine. She suggests starting with low-impact cross training or 20 to 30 minutes easy jogging.

“Don’t rush to compete again. Allow your body the time it needs to recovery,” Tejpar said.

Dr. Thomas San Giovanni, an orthopedic surgeon at Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute of Baptist Health South Florida, concurred that rest is essential.

“The next day, runners want to get right back into running because they figured they’ve reached this maximal fitness and they don’t want to lose that,” said San Giovanni, who is also the co-medical director of the Miami Marathon. “That is a common mistake. You want to give your body some time to rest to allow your body to recuperate and restore.”

He advocates a good night’s rest and a well-balanced meal. To help reduce inflammation, take ice baths and keep legs elevated.

After a race, some people may not be able to distinguish between post-race soreness and an injury because it’s common to feel pain and aches.

“Look for swelling and inflammation that lasts and pain that persists,” San Giovanni said. “As the days go by, if it doesn’t seem like you’re getting better, then you may want to seek medical attention or get evaluated.”

Frankie Ruiz, brand manager for the Miami Marathon and chief running officer at Life Time Fitness, says support is crucial in the period immediately after a race.

“Have somebody near by, so that you can lean on them or in case you might need attention,” Ruiz said. “I definitely recommend somebody walk with you through the recovery and that you’re not by yourself.”

Tracy Smith, a marathon runner and director of physical therapy at Cleveland Clinic, completed the Miami Marathon last January in four hours and 27 minutes. She advises athletes to stay hydrated and get some food immediately after a race. Many marathons are stocked with bananas, oranges, bagels and protein bars for the runners at the end of the race.

“You don’t want to overeat because your body doesn’t really digest at that point,” said Smith, 41, who lives in Davie. “But you have to get some calories and some carbohydrates back in.”

She also advises not to stop after a race.

“The key after is to really keep moving,” Smith said. “Not to cross that finish line and sit down. Walk around and enjoy whatever the marathon has for entertainment.”

Paul Sykes would agree. The 50-year-old Coral Gables resident completed the New York City marathon on Nov. 1 and walked a mile to retrieve his personal items.

“At the time, that felt really bad, but it’s actually the best thing that I could have done,” Sykes said. “The last thing you want to do is run 26.2 miles and then sit down and let your legs seize up.”’

According to Ruiz, marathon organizers kept this in mind. At the Miami Marathon, organizers placed the finish line a quarter of a mile from Bayfront Park, where the food and entertainment awaited.

“There’s a purpose to that,” Ruiz said. “So people don’t just come to a complete halt, throw themselves on the ground, and end up needing medical attention.”

Sykes completed the New York Marathon in four hours and 18 minutes. In total, he has run eight marathons and 25 half-marathons. His biggest advice to others is to stay in shape.

“How you recover is impacted a lot by how you prepare,” said Sykes, who had heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach nine months before the New York City race.

Sykes underwent a minimally invasive method that involved a small, five-centimeter incision, resulting in a quick recovery. He was training just three weeks after his surgery.

His surgeon, Dr. Joseph Lamelas, the chief of cardiac surgery at Mount Sinai, recommended a minimally invasive approach because the recovery is more rapid and patients who are athletes can return more quickly to an active lifestyle.

Marathon runners and doctors also advise runners to congratulate themselves once they cross the finish line. Ruiz believes in rewards such as a massage or a small treat.

“A little bit later in the day, it might be time to reach for that dessert,” Ruiz said. “A scoop of ice cream or a key lime pie.”

Although he doesn’t recommend overindulgence, Ruiz does enjoy a sip of soda after completing a big race.

Events, Features, TCPalm

Local Deadheads to attend Grateful Dead’s last shows

Photo Caption: Al Zilinsky (left) and John Zias (right) from Unlimited Devotion, a Grateful Dead tribute band performing at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville earlier this year. (PROVIDED)

First and foremost, Al Zilinsky considers himself a businessman.

But when he was younger, his life revolved around the Grateful Dead. His main focus was on how to get tickets to their concerts.

“I didn’t even worry about food,” Zilinsky said. “Now I’m more balanced.”

Today the 52-year-old’s life centers around his family and his career, but he remains a deadhead for life. In his spare time, he is the rhythm guitarist for Unlimited Devotion, a Grateful Dead tribute band that performs all around Florida. They played June 20 at Terra Fermata.

Zilinsky has been to approximately 250 Grateful Dead concerts, his first was 1977 in Tampa.

The guitarist will be one of the many Florida “Deadheads” attending Grateful Dead reunion shows June 27 and 28 in Santa Clara, California, and July 4 through 6 in Chicago.

“These will be some of the most popular concerts in history,” Zilinsky said of the shows that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band and feature four of its surviving and original members.

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Events, Features, TCPalm

Where’s Waldo? In Vero Beach … somewhere

He’s been spotted in Hollywood, outer space and jungle safaris. Now you can search for him in Vero Beach.

The Vero Beach Book Center wants everyone to find Waldo, not in the familiar children’s books, but around town.

The character, known for his red and white strip shirt and black-rimmed specs, will be hidden in 25 local businesses such as the book center, Majestic 11 movie theater, ACT Computers and Chive restaurant during July.

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Events, TCPalm

Organizers say inaugural Treasure Coast Comic Con a success

PHOTO CAPTION: Treasure Coast Comic Con attendees enter the inaugural event Saturday morning at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center. (CHRISTOPHER ARNOLD/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)

The thousands of people dressed like their favorite fictional characters who swarmed into the Port St. Lucie Civic Center over the weekend helped make the Treasure Coast’s inaugural Comic Con a success, according to organizers.

John Mangan, CEO of South Florida Event Management, said more than 10,000 attended the two-day event. He estimates 50 percent were locals and said 25 percent of ticket sales came from Vancouver, Canada.

Mangan said there was a need for a fun, different event, catering to a younger crowd and it was reflected in the attendance.

There were a few snags in ticketing and getting people in the venue as quickly as they would have liked, but the event organizers said Comic Con was a huge success. “We knocked it out of the park,” Mangan said.

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Events, Features, Local, TCPalm

Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson returns to Treasure Coast for charity fashion show

PHOTO CAPTION: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) runs against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of their NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri, on Dec. 14, 2014. Wilson, a Port St. Lucie High School graduate, will be in Vero Beach June 27 for a charity event. (REED HOFFMANN/AP FILE PHOTO)

It was never a question of whether or not Albert Wilson was going to be successful, it was more about how he would one day give back to the community that has helped him become who he is today.

“He was very driven and strong willed,” said Hilary Poole, his high school football coach, “one of the most focused people I have ever come across. Once he set his mind to something, that was it.”

As a student at Port St. Lucie High School, Wilson, the current wide receiver of the Kansas City Chiefs, wondered how he could make a difference. He asked one of his mentors, Marylin Richardson-Pryor for her advice.

“Make good choices and give back to your community,” said Richardson-Pryor, who was a school-based social worker at the time. “Seek the right path and choose a productive life.”

Taking her wisdom to heart, Wilson will return to Indian River County July 27 for a charity fashion show hosted by Moral Value Love Sincerity Trust, Inc., run by four women, including Richardson-Pryor.

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Art, Events, Features, TCPalm

Developer wants to make downtown Fort Pierce an arts destination

PHOTO CAPTION: The building on Orange Avenue in downtown Fort Pierce, which houses Art Mundo and Anytime Fitness recently was acquired by Steve Tarr and his company, OneEleven LLC. (CRYSTAL CHEW/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)

The changes have already begun.

The building on Orange Avenue in downtown Fort Pierce, which houses Art Mundo and Anytime Fitness, was bought in May by developer Steve Tarr.

His goal is to include the building in a plan to make Fort Pierce Florida’s next big arts destination.

The building is approximately 35,000 square feet; about 5 percent is used for gym space and the remainder is for art. Art Mundo has a downstairs loft and third-floor gallery space with studios for rent.

“We’re going to create a brand for the building,” Tarr said of the acquisition he calls the OneEleven building.

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Education, Events, Features, TCPalm

Children’s book author, photographer David FitzSimmons to visit Vero Beach Book Center

Photo Caption: David FitzSimmons,  freelance photographer and writer, has a childbook’s series, Curious Critters. The third book,  Curious Critters Marine is shown in photograph.

When David FitzSimmons was in elementary school, his mom, a high school English teacher at the time, would take him to a children’s literature conference at Ohio State University. It was there the landscape and wildlife photographer’s love for books grew.

FitzSimmons’s dad was an outdoor educator and would often bring home such animals as snakes, turtles and lizards. His love of nature grew.Now, the 45-year-old author hopes to spread that love through his series of “Curious Critters” children’s books, which he will present at the

Now, the 45-year-old author hopes to spread that love through his series of “Curious Critters” children’s books, which he will present at the Vero Beach Book Center June 9.

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Events, Features, Profile, TCPalm

National touring bands perform at Terra Fermata

Photo caption: Two-time Grammy nominated song writer and country blues musician Lee Roy Parnell performed May 16 at Terra Fermata in Stuart. (HOBIE HILER/ SPECIAL TO TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)

Regulars at Terra Fermata, the live outdoor music venue in Stuart, might have noticed some changes since its opening in early 2013.

The establishment on Sixth Street, just off Colorado Avenue, plays live music every night and the featured artists have been slowly transitioning from local bands to more national acts like The Original Wailers or festival favorites, Donna the Buffalo. Lee Roy Parnell, a two-time Grammy and three-time Country Music Award nominated artist performed last weekend.

“We are keeping up with our aggressive agenda of attracting national touring bands,” said Ronald Hart, owner of Terra Fermata, who recently booked Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leon Russell to perform July 23.

To Hart, booking Russell is a huge deal, especially since booking national music acts was his original goal all along.

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Events, Video

Dads and their kids mix it up at Miami Dolphins Day

For Miami Herald.

For Carl Toussaint, the hardest part of being stationed in Afghanistan was watching his four young children grow up on a computer screen.

“Out of all the things that happened over there, that was the worst,” said Toussaint, 40, an Army soldier who spent a year away from home.

On Saturday, Toussaint, along with hundreds of others, participated in a Dads, Fathers & Kids event hosted by All Pro Dad at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. The event kicked off a partnership between Family First and the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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Events, Local

Florida City turns 100-years-old

For Miami Herald.

Florida City, whose early inhabitants were from Detroit, recently turned 100.

The city began its celebration of the milestone birthday in late July with an event that honored residents 80 and older.

“They are the ones who deserve it,” said Commissioner Avis Brown, whose father was born in Florida City in 1922.

“They deserve the honor of saying they made an impact on Florida City. But the impact is not only on the city, but also on our children and our families.”

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Education, Events, Local

Young musicians from the Miami Lighthouse visit Jungle Island

For Miami Herald.

On Saturday mornings, while many teenagers are sleeping in, the 25 students from the music program at Miami Lighthouse for the Blind are learning sound production from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During the summer, the music production program meets Monday through Friday for two months.

Last Saturday, the teens put down their instruments and had a chance to visit Jungle Island for a Touch Tour to visit animals for a multi-sensory field trip.

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Bass Museum hosts family art event to celebrate end of semester

For Miami Herald.

Ana Uran felt her 7-year-old daughter Ana Alcaza did not have enough exposure to art. So Uran started her own little art club for Ana and her friends.

Uran called the group the Goodness Gorillas and took them to museums and galleries, where the children looked at art and then tried to create their own.

For three years, Uran inspired the kids until she heard about a community outreach program run by Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach.

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Events, Fitness, Health

Run, have fun and support a worthy cause

For Miami Herald.

Alexandra Benitez, 25, used to observe people running races for causes like HIV and cancer, but she never really thought much about it.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and large B-cell lymphoma on Nov. 27, 2012 and cleared the same day the following year, Benitez now had a new outlook on life and running.

“I’ve lost a couple friends to cancer,” said Benitez, who is training for her first half-marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training group. She will be running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Jan. 7.

“When I’m running, I have these people in my mind and I’m thinking they didn’t make it and I need to find a cure,” she said. “I need to help. It’s my way of giving back.”

Many people in South Florida can relate to Benitez, because they also use fitness as a way to help causes they feel passionate about.

For more information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, visit

Here are some other organizations in South Florida that give back through fitness.

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Events, Fitness, Health, Profile

Coral Gables man will do Ironman triathlon despite injury

Finishing the last stretch of a five-hour bike ride to and from Everglades National Park, Humberto Speziani was feeling great.

“I was doing awesome,” said Speziani, 51, a Coral Gables resident and father of three. “Other people were complaining about the wind but I was cutting through like a knife.”

Riding at about 20 miles per hour and approaching Black Point Marina in south Miami-Dade, he was about five minutes ahead of his riding group as cars and boats passed him on the road. In a flash, Speziani looked up and saw cars piling up on the road as a boat trailer had gone past the guardrail shoulder, leaving Speziani little space.

“I just really wedged myself through,” said Speziani, who bounced against the boat, lost control and tumbled off the bike, flying shoulder first into the guardrail, damaging his collarbone.

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Moms learn about climate change

Moderator Dominique Browning and panelists from left to right: Vanessa Hauc, Dr. Susan Pacheco, Nicole Hernandez Hammer and Angela Barranco during the discussion: “Kids in a Changing Climate: What Parents Need to Know,” at Hibiscus Room at Pinecrest Gardens on Sunday, Oct. 5. MATIAS OCNER/MIAMI HERALD STAFF

For Miami Herald.

Is climate change too complicated to control? Can we do something about it — and if so, what? Can we protect the environment for our children and their children and their children’s children?

These were the questions considered Sunday by about 60 people, some holding crying babies, others pushing strollers in the Hibiscus Room at Pinecrest Gardens during a panel discussion: Kids in a Changing Climate: What Parents Need to Know.

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Doral karate school hosts anti-bullying workshop

Diego Ordonez, 9, practicing his martial arts during the Annual Back to School Bash on Sept. 5 at Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense in Doral. Matias Ocner / South Florida News Service

For South Florida News Service.

When Aura Ordonez heard a commotion during a birthday party that her son, Diego, 9, was attending, she wondered what was going on.

As she approached the site of the noise, many parents told her, “You have a wonderful son.”

Diego, a 5-year-student at Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense karate school in Doral, stopped another child from bullying his younger cousin with one of the lessons he learned from the school’s anti-bullying campaigns.

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Education, Events

Museum brings art to Miami-Dade summer-camp kids

For Miami Herald.

Starting with a pile of colorful twist-ties — those flat, wired ribbons that keep your bread in the bag — two dozen Miami-Dade kids made frogs, spiders and hats.

The kids, ages 5 to 14, then attached their creations to the ceiling of a community center at Juan Pablo Duarte Park in Allapattah, creating a larger work of art.

The art-making exercise was part of the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s outreach program, “PAMM in the Neighborhood,” in which the museum traveled to more than 70 camps and community centers throughout Miami-Dade County, from North Miami Beach down to Richmond Heights. The project reached more than 8,000 budding artists.

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Events, Technology

All things tech will be the focus of festival at Coconut Grove science museum

By Matias J. Ocner and Crystal Chew

Read in Miami Herald or South Florida News Service.

When Gillian Thomas drives down Biscayne Boulevard, she looks past AmericanAirlines Arena and checks on the progress of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, set to open in 2015.

“You can see it growing day by day, getting higher and higher,” said Thomas, the museum’s president and chief executive. “We are nearly up to the roof on one of the four buildings.”

The $275 million project will transform the museum into a state-of-the art facility, complete with a planetarium, aquarium and a center dedicated to scientific innovation, including engineering and technology.

To reflect the future, the museum and the Ryder Charitable Foundation are hosting a festival called NEXT: From Nano to Macro, Innovation at Every Scale, taking place next weekend at the science museum’s Coconut Grove location, near Vizcaya. Visitors will learn how technology is rapidly adapting to accommodate society’s demand for the next big thing — from the epic to the tiny nanoscale.

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