Not only do we support Chicago athletes, we are Chicago athletes. This year, we couldn’t be more thrilled to cheer on two of our team members who are running the Chicago Marathon, five more that are running the Grand Rapids Marathon the week after, and one running the New York Marathon!

All of these runners are extremely diverse, not only in their training habits but also in their positions here at Aligned Modern Health. One thing is for certain, all our Aligned Modern Health runners have a passion for keeping each other – and our patients – strong and injury-free.

Here’s an inside look at all of their personal training styles:

Meet our Aligned Modern Health Runners  

Dr. Blake Butler, DC: River North and Wicker Park Functional Medicine Provider

 

Why are you doing the marathon?

I am running in recognition of loved ones and family members who have lost the battle with cancer. I am partnering with the American Cancer Society and Aligned Modern Health to raise funds to support cancer research and families as they seek care.

Have you done a marathon before? 

This will be my first road marathon. However, I have completed multiple trail races covering the distance of a marathon.

How has AMH helped you throughout training? 

I have had the great privilege of receiving both acupuncture and physical medicine during my training process. I feel that these have been essential for injury prevention and recovery throughout the training process…It helps that my wife, Dr. Anna Butler, is on the physical medicine team 😊

What is your go to food before the race?

I typically maintain my regular routine as I am not a fan of changing things up prior to a race. Therefore, I will likely have a combination of vegetables with fish or chicken loaded up with olive oil the evening before a run. On race morning, I will typically stick with gluten free avocado toast with spinach and a coconut water.

Any good luck charms or special routines?

I do not have any good luck charms. However, I typically attempt to get to bed before 10 p.m. prior to a big race.

What will your recovery be like after the race?

I benefit from an ice bath, if I can motivate myself to get in, following the race. I also attempt to walk for 30 minutes the day following the run and run for 2-3 miles at a slow pace 2-3 days following the run to reduce recovery time.

Any advice for other runners?

Run with friends whenever possible…The running community is pretty great.

Did you have any challenges during your training?

Like most, I had a few tough weeks of training. I did not hit all my mileage goals all of the time, but overall it was a good journey!

 

Ryan Walters: Streeterville Rehab Specialist

Why are you doing the marathon?

Hard to say one reason. Overall I would say the physical and emotional journey through training and during the race. With all the support cheering marathoners on for 26.2 miles, it is unlike anything else.

Have you done a marathon before?
Just one, the Chicago last year!

How has AMH helped you throughout training? 
I had the chiropractors examine my hip at the beginning of the marathon due to a injury to my hip.  That injury dissipated with the help of the great acupuncturists I saw at our West loop and Lincoln Square office.  My hip is good to go now but it was a tough month and a half of treatment/recovery for the hip bursitis.

What is your go to food before the race?
Fried egg and toast with honey and crunchy peanut butter.

Any good luck charms or special routines?

Not really, just have a few sayings I use for motivation. “One flow, start to finish”

What will your recovery be like after the race?

First thing is a cold beer and then massage from my AMH people! It’s all about eating a lot of your favorite food for the mental aspect!!!

I really enjoy the NormaTec boots that Fleet Feet has at their locations for muscle recovery specifically. As well as foam rolling multiple times and KEEP moving using your muscles to stretch them.

Any advice for other runners?
Stay positive, everyone crosses the finish line at some point. No matter what, you accomplished a marathon! The race is quite an emotional journey.

Did you have any challenges during your training?
I was being treated with hip bursitis in the middle of training that really threw me.  I am staying positive and honing in on my wellness at the end of this year’s training.

 

Eddie Moline: South Loop Rehab Specialist

Why are you doing the marathon? 

After working the marathon with AMH last year I was inspired from all the different stories of runners I worked with.

Have you done a marathon before? 

This is my first one.

How has AMH helped you throughout your training? 

Early on in training I talked over different exercises with Dr. Korzen to stay strong for race day. I have also gotten multiple Acupuncture and Massage treatments to help recover after long runs.

What is your go to food before the race? 

Keep it light with a peanut butter sandwich and a banana.

What will your recovery be like after the race?

I’m a fan of active recovery so I will try to get some laps done in the pool and get some massage work the day after.

Any advice for other runners? 

Dedicate enough time for recovery. The more you neglect it the worse off you will be.

Did you have any challenges during your training? If so, how did you overcome them? 

After an 18 mile run I had a bad pain in my foot that I thought was going to limit me running the race. I overcame it by getting worked on by Dr.Korzen and Dr.Tangel at south loop and having my girlfriend Alyssa (who is conveniently a massage therapist) work on my foot almost every day. They all gave me the confidence to keep training and get through the set back.

 

Ross Drever: Area Manager

Why are you doing the marathon?

I am running the NYC Marathon with a team of friends to raise money for the Colon Cancer Foundation.  Each one of us (or our family) has been affected in one way or another by this disease.  Together, we are raising money and awareness for this disease! (FYI–https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/colon-cancer-foundation-nyc-2019/rossdrever )

And…I love setting a goal that puts me out of my comfort zone and making incremental steps to accomplishing it.  It forces me to make positive choices (eating, exercise, sleep/rest, work/life balance) to accomplish the goals.

Have you done a marathon before? 

This will be my 7th.

How has AMH helped you throughout training? 

Training takes a toll on your body and the physical services of AMH (chiro, ACU, massage) help to provide relief to counterbalance these forces.  I especially appreciate the exercises the PM docs have taught me to “offset” the muscle imbalances that occur on the “forward motion chain” during the long hours of training.  (There is a clinical term for this, but I forget!) I also appreciate the diet choices and supplements recommended by my FM doc.  They have helped keep my energy (and immune system) up during the season.

What is your go to food before the race? 

I go bagel with peanut butter and honey.  I try to limit fiber in the 18 hours leading up to the race and eat easily digestible foods.  It helps me limit gastric distress.  The fat also helps fuel. I also HAVE to have some coffee in the morning, but am careful to properly hydrate as well.

Any good luck charms or special routines? 

I always write “THANK YOU” in sharpie marker on both of my hands.  When I go to grab water on the course from the volunteers, they see it and get a kick out of it.  I am grateful for the folks that help make the race happen and want them to know I appreciate it. At mile 20, I am sometimes too tired to speak! 😊 I also wave to friends and family on the course cheering.  I try to say thank you for coming out, and they see it in my wave.

What will your recovery be like after the race? 

Believe it or not, KEEP MOVING.  Walk around and get some post-race food.  It is good to keep circulation moving a bit in the hours after a race.  Ice and compression socks are also a must for me!

Any advice for other runners?  

Run the race you have been training for and have fun!

Did you have any challenges during your training? 

Mostly time and energy management.  I love going out for a run.  I find running therapeutic and meditative.  I had small injuries/discomforts to overcome, but nothing out of the ordinary.  But I want to be sure the demands of training for a marathon don’t impact my relationships with my family, friends, and work.  Making these all balance is key!

Dr. Nadrine Omar, DC – Lincoln Square Chiropractic Physician

Why are you doing the marathon?

I was inspired by friends and patients last year, and I wanted to challenge myself this year. Plus, it’s on the old bucket list!

Have you done a marathon before?

Nope. I was hoping for it to be a “one and done”, but we will see…

How has AMH helped you throughout training?

The company is super supportive, with amazing company alliances with fleet feet and CES. I have also received amazing care from our practitioners! Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and massage therapy have been helpful along the way. Also good advice from functional medicine as well.

What is your go to food before the race?

Ok very taboo, but I had tremendous success on one of my long runs by eating fried chicken the night before. I’m not telling you it is the right thing to do, but it worked for me. And of course I had Lou Malnatis deep dish, pasta, and basically any carb that I can find!

Any good luck charms or special routines?

My spotify playlist keeps me hyped! Super eclectic and even when I forget my headphones I can sing the songs in my head to pass the time.  Before the race I will eat a Stinger waffle, and during the run Ill drink NUUN tablets or salt tabs. If it is a long run, I’ll do the margarita chews from cliff bar. After running I like finding a delicious brunch spot that I can hobble to.

What will your recovery be like after the race?

I plan on stopping through every Lou Malnatis that I passed during the race course. I will probably also need to shower. I also foresee the usage of anti-rash cream.

Any advice for other runners?

Do the training and don’t be too hard on yourself. Eat your vegetables. Sleep more than I did. Drink more water than coffee. Get help from the folks at AMH routinely. Try to have fun! Stay hydrated out there!

Did you have any challenges during your training?

Global warming really did not work in my favor during training this year. There have been times when I was dehydrated or not well nourished or sleep deprived and have hit some sort of wall. It is scary! I have definitely not made the right decisions a few times and suffered from low blood sugar, or running in intense heat.  Heat stroke is no joke.

Maddison Kusey – Lincoln Square Clinic Manager

Why are you doing the marathon?

Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list, but nothing I ever tried to pursue. Then, January 2019 hit, Eddie, Korzen, and I (SOLO crew at the time) came up with this crazy goal to run 1000 miles each in 2019. We hit it hard and I started running a LOT more than I had in the past. Long story short, Ryan C caught wind and starting pushing the idea of doing a marathon since I was running already – and with Eddie’s persuading as well (and my competitive nature), here I am.

Have you done a marathon before? 

I have not, this will be my first! So stoked to be doing it in the city I moved here from with my new Chicago friends I picked up along the way!

How has AMH helped you throughout training? 

AMH has provided me with an AMAZING crew of people to train with, coach me, share experiences, and so much more. Would not have even thought of doing this race without the support of these crazy cool coworkers. Outside of the friendships – self-care is such a HUGE part of training and staying healthy. I definitely had help from acupuncture, chiropractic, and a bit of massage therapy along the way!

What is your go to food before the race?

Sushi or Poke Bowls – by far the best night-before long runs meals (and a great excuse to indulge) 😉

Any good luck charms or special routines?

I always run with a hat – specifically a hat I won at a competition with my old gym back in Grand Rapids. And something to listen to – have to have a good playlist or podcast geared up.

What will your recovery be like after the race?

YOGA and walking, definitely a chill couple days/weeks to unwind. Running has taken up so much time, it’ll be nice to eventually be back in the gym lifting and relaxing with no obligations!

Any advice for other runners?

Running is absolutely a mental game – staying positive and having an INCREDIBLE support system around you changes the entire process.

Did you have any challenges during your training?

Definitely. I dealt with injury and lack of strength from not cross-training enough, luckily I had some pretty cool doctors and individuals around me, giving me the tips and tricks I needed to have to get better and power on.

Izabella: Deerfield, Park Ridge, and Evanston Massage Therapist

What motivates you? 

I am very happy to be apart of the AMH team! It has been a challenge for me: after a lazy winter I couldn’t run 3 miles without panting afterwards.  CES training has amazing people who not only trained, but also supported/helped me build the strength to get ready for the marathon. Training for the marathon is not only great motivation to stay active, but also opened my eyes to all of the amazing sponsors who support the marathon as well such as American Cancer Society.

Why are you running the marathon?

I haven’t planned run marathon this year, It was very spontaneous decision,for most of us. That’s what happens when Ryan Caturan visits your clinic 😅

Is this your first marathon?
I’ve done Chicago marathon last year.

How has AMH helped you throughout training? 
We have amazing group of AMH runners! I love how it’s growing! We not only train together, challenge each other and stalk on STRAVA, but mostly support. Also seeing 🍏 and cheering coworkers during the marathon is absolutely priceless!

What is your go to food before the race?
Before the race I always eat banana and bagel with jelly. Nothing heavy, just some carbs and sugar 🤪

Any good luck charms or special routines?

I don’t have any special routines. All I need is some good music in my ears and this amazing crowd around!

What will your recovery be like after the race?
Nice, long bath for sure 😂 then good dinner and definitely massage next day!!! 😁

Any advice for other runners?

My advice to other runners is don’t stress and don’t push yourself too much. You are already a winner! Stretch before the race, don’t forget to reset your arms and shoulders, they are working hard too!
Training is the biggest challenge here, marathon itself is like cherry on the top 😜

Ryan Caturan: Director of Community Partnerships

Ryan lives and breathes everything running and endurance related! He is an active coach for Chicago Endurance Sports. To get some inside tips on Ryan’s ideal running form, check out his blog!

We are so thrilled to cheer this incredible group across the finish line in the 2019 Marathon! If you yourself are running, or know anyone who is, our team of experts would be more than happy to answer any questions related to running preparation or recovery! To set up an appointment or a 15 minute consultation click here.

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