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Pain and Recovery

Yesterday was a bad day for me. I got in a 10K run before work but ended up exacerbating the problems with my right hamstring. All day I had to get up and walk around to stretch it and felt like an old man each time. On the drive home my leg and hip were killing me and I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

Pain and recovery

pain and recoveryLast night I went and did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: I bought a foam roller. People have been telling me how wonderful they are. I have finally gotten to the point where I have to try something different. The Coleman freezer pack under my leg while watching TV at night just isn’t getting it done.

I went over to Marathon Sports in Melrose and looked at the rollers they have. They are not cheap! I kept thinking these are extruded in some third-world country and cost a dollar to make. The guy at the store had me try a few out and answered my questions, all the reasons we go to running stores!  The one I ended up buying cost $64.95!

After trying a few different rollers and asking lots of questions, I decided to go with the firmest one with the ridges, the Thera-Roll. I need to dig deep into that hamstring!

To save a few bucks, well a lot of bucks, I went with the 18 inch 6lb Thera-Roll. As I walked out of the store and then drove home, my hamstring seemed to feel better all ready. “Is that possible” I thought? I only rolled for a few minutes and have no idea how I’m supposed to do this.

I used it some more when I got home. As a multi-tasker I was psyched that I could roll and watch Charlie Rose at the same time! Fantastic! Those ridges dug in good and deep and I could feel something going on.I only rolled for about 5 minutes and I have no idea if that was too long or to brief. I need to do some research today.

I’ll let you know what I find from my research and if this thing actually works.

  • Have you used one of rollers before?
  • Did it work for you?
  • How long did it take to feel results?

Run well my friends!

©2012 anagelin

Starting the week out right

Now that the kids our out of school and I don’t need to give anyone a ride in the morning, I have time for a morning run.

Starting the week out right

This morning I threw my work shirt over a t-shirt, packed my gym bag and headed for work. We have a locker room to change in and showers, so it’s a great set up.I went out for a nice 10K along the Charles river in Boston and enjoyed the morning sun, the sites and my fellow runners. I was having a great day.

Then I got back to the locker room and took out my gym bag. Something smelled funny, and not the usual funny. I opened my bag and took out the plastic bag where I put my toiletries. The bag was full of some oily looking substance. It turned out that somehow the entire bottle of spray on sun screen had discharged and turned into a liquid! I took all my stuff out, tossed them in the sink and rinsed them off. What a mess!

Then I looked for my tie. I couldn’t find it. I checked all the pockets in my gym bag. Nothing. Didn’t I bring a tie? Then a rummaged around some more in my bag and found my tie on the bottom of my bag with several large oil spots! Oh F*#%!

My brand new tie that I bought my self for Father’s Day. Ruined. It still had the price tag on it, never worn. So my great way to start the day and the week turned into a real pisser.

Anyone know how to get an oil stain out of a silk tie?

©2012 anagelin

Friday post Athlinks.com

I don’t have any recent races to write about and I’ve been sick all week so my training program is totally shot. Yesterday I wrote a piece that was about life and changes and not so much about running. So I didn’t think that quit fit in with the theme I’m going for with this blog.

So today I want to let everyone know about a cool website that I recently discovered called Athlinks.com. What is so cool about this site is that you can gather all of your race results into one place. Over the past nine years I’ve run about 40 races and except for a few small races run by local Parks & Rec departments, they are all on my list.

It is free but you do need to sign up. Then the site looks for your races. If it does not find a race you can still try to find your results. I ran the Ocean State Marathon in Providence, RI in 2003 but the results did not show up. I knew I ran near the end of the pack so I started at the bottom of the finishers list and worked my way up. I was there but my name was spelled wrong! I was able to claim my results and add it to my list.

Once you have your list compiled you can then look at each race and see how you compared to the other runners in that race and how your results compare to your previous results. Cool stuff!

So check out athlinks.com, for a wicked good time! Thanks for reading and have a great Friday!

BTW – I’m going out for a 5K at lunch even if it kills me! I hate being sick.

©2012 anagelin

VERT Sasquatch Benefit Race

VERT Sasquatch Trail Run

The Friends of The Fells are having a 2.35 mile trail race on July 16th. All proceeds go to support their efforts to maintain trails in the Middlesex Fells Reservation.  The registration fee of $40 includes a t-shirt and a post race party at the Stone Zoo featuring Slumbrew, Pretty Things and NOTCH, food and music.

Middlesex fells, trail race,vert

The race timing is by RaceMenu and results will be posted on coolrunning.com and Race Menu. If you are looking for a local July trail race and/or want to support the Friends of The Fells you can register at VERT Race Series.

VERT,Sasquatch2012 is the first time that The Friends have tried a trail race as a fund-raiser. Many people use the trails in The Reservation for walking, running and cycling. Now runners have the opportunity to support the work of The Friends to maintain those trails.

A nice run through the woods and some cold beer. What’s not to love? Come spend some time with your friends and make some new ones at the VERT Sasquatch Trail Run at The Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham.

Run well my friends.

Andy

Running Safety and Etiquette

Running Safety and Etiquette

Anyone who has been a runner for a while has probably run in the road at one time or another. Often runners encounter other runners, cyclist, dog walkers and cars and trucks. Even if you run on a trail or the side-walk you may have encountered all of these fellow travelers. On several occasions I have been running on a trail and had to negotiate a park ranger’s pickup truck or golf cart type vehicle.

“Right of way”

Runners often feel like they have the right of way as pedestrians. This may be true in some places but we do need to be both responsible and careful. When we encounter vehicles while out running, runners often loose in the collision. Is it worth being “right” or being a little aggressive with someone we feel is in the wrong?

I see runners running too far into the street or running three abreast and blocking traffic. With my own running club I occasionally see an oblivious mob taking up most or all of a street with no awareness of what they are doing. Sometimes patient drivers will give them the room and time they need to eventually get out-of-the-way.

Too often I have had cars pass way too close, even when they have plenty of room. I’ve had cars slow down and follow me as they try to give me room but only piss me off or freak me out. How about the cyclists who refuse to move at all? They know the challenges of the road but sometimes they act just like cars.

Most people are respectful and careful. Drivers pass at a safe distance, cyclists move over a bit, dog walkers have their pets sit or pull them a little closer. Many people out walking are aware of their surroundings and will move right even without a prompt.

Here are a few things that all of us should keep in mind as runners, cyclists, walkers or drivers.

Share the road and be courteous. Stay on the sidewalk or side of the road out of traffic. I always run inside of the white line on the side of the road. Most drivers do not cross over the white line and by staying inside the line I give them plenty of room. The side-walk is the best bet for safety.

When running in a group, run single file on busy or narrow roads. Don’t run three abreast so you can chat. That just pisses people off. And don’t run in the middle of the road blocking both lanes. That is completely inconsiderate.

When someone gives you the “go-ahead” at an intersection, wave politely and smile. Let them know that you appreciate their courtesy. They are more likely to be courteous next time.But keep an eye on them, they may still pull out in front of you.

At a cross walk, Don’t dart out in front of cars just because you are at a cross walk. The car can still hit you.

If there is a walk light button use it sparingly. If there aren’t any cars or they are far enough away that you can cross safely without stopping traffic, don’t press the button! A few times I have been stopped at a red light at a cross walk and watched a runner who crossed the street before the light changed and before I was even close to the cross walk. Even as a runner this pisses me off. Imagine how other stressed out and hurried drivers must feel. It doesn’t help our case any if we are carelessly stopping drivers when we don’t need to. Use your best judgment and be careful!

Always assume the driver doesn’t see you.

When a cyclist is approaching you, move over and look them in the eye. On a road a cyclist can only move over so much, so you need to give them room. By looking them in the eye you know if they see you and can usually get a pretty good idea of what they are going to do. I often get an appreciative nod or smile when I do this. They don’t want to hit you and they don’t want to get hurt either.

Run against traffic so you can see if a car or cyclist is going to pass too close. Be prepared to jump out-of-the-way. I want to see the white of their eyes before they hit me!

It’s a good idea to run with proper ID just in case. If you do get hit and become unconscious the people who are trying to help will need to contact your family. Some people suggest carrying your cell phone so you can call for help.  When traveling carry your business card and the hotel room key.

Visibility

Runner’s World suggests that in the dark, drivers can see you up to half a mile away if you are wearing a head lamp and up to a quarter-mile away if you have a flash light. At 150 yards bright clothing can get drivers attention. You should avoid dark colors at night and wear as much reflective material as possible. I’ve been running behind people in the dark many times. When a car comes up behind us and their lights hit the people in front of me, they often light up like a Christmas tree.

When I run after dark in the Fall or Winter I often wear a reflective vest and an LED head lamp. While I feel like a DPW worker, sometimes it is not enough and cars still get too close. You have to ALWAYS be aware.

Awareness

You should always be aware of your surroundings. Know the area you are running in and if it is safe or unsafe at certain times. I see people, especially women, walking with ear buds and being totally oblivious. To me this is just asking for trouble. I often call out “To the right”, but these people cannot hear me and I’ve had some close calls. If they can’t’ hear me and I’m trying to get their attention, imagine how easy it would be for someone to hurt them.

It is easy to get lost in your thoughts or just space out while running. A few times I’ve almost been run over by a cyclist or run into someone else because I was not paying attention. You may think you are alone out there but you’re usually not.

For Drivers

If you are approaching an intersection or cross walk and see a runner waiting, flash your lights if you are going to slow down and let them cross. They may just reach for that cross walk light button and make you stop.

Runners need some room when you are passing them but you don’t need to go into the other lane. Also, don’t drive next to a runner for long. I get nervous when a car slows down and drives beside or behind me. I guess they are waiting for a good time to pass, but I’m just waiting for them to hit me.

For Walkers

I often run on the sidewalk or paths in a park. I’m always encountering walkers who are deep in thought, conversation or just deep space. Two or three people walking side by side having a great chat; Fantastic. But how do they expect me to get around them?

I’ve yelled out “To the right” many times. Often people look around in complete bewilderment. Totally confused as to what to do; what side is my right anyway? As a walker please try to stay to the right side of the path and please try to pay some attention to your surroundings. And take off the ear buds.

I used to yell out “On your left”, but I think people were more confused by that. I think that people have an easier time responding to the command to get to the right. When you tell them you are on their left they’re not sure what to do about that. It is really amazing how many people seem to forget what side is their right side.

Run well my friends!

©2012 anagelin

Survey Results Am I a Runner Yet?

Survey Results

Last week I posted a survey asking if you felt like a runner, or a person who runs. If you keep at it long enough, running becomes part of your identity. It not only consumes your time but excites your imagination, hopes and dreams.

Becoming a runner sneaks up on you. In 2003 I naively signed up to run a marathon, having no clue what it was all about. Over the next few years I ran a few more marathons and then started to run 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons.

I joined a gym so I could use a treadmill in bad weather and also joined a running club. I’m pretty sure that anyone who knows me thinks of me as a runner. I really can’t go more than a few days without running before I get a little cranky. A friend of mine says that being able to control your pace and not always running as fast as you can defines you as a runner. I don’t quite meet his definition of a runner but, yeah, I do feel like I’m a runner.

15 people responded to the survey and this time that number does not include me! Everyone did not respond to all of the questions and multiple answers were allowed. Percentages are based on the number of people responding and not the number of answers. So the math may be a little kludgy.

When did you first feel like a runner?

Responses

%

The first time I put on a pair of running shoes

2

18.2

After I ran my first race

5

45.5

After I achieved my first goal

3

27.3

After I set a new PR

1

9.1

I still don’t feel like a runner

1

9.1

Total Responses

12

Four people left comments on when they first felt like a runner:

When running became a consistent part of my lifestyle and when I began to consciously adjust my pace for specific workouts.

I first felt like a runner, when in fourth grade I destroyed the rest of the class in a 600-yard run in gym class. Up until that point, I had felt like an athletic failure in every other conventional sport that is typically offered to children (baseball, basketball, football, etc.)

When I won my first medal

When I could not go more than 3 days without running.

 How many miles do you run per week when you are not training for a race?

Responses

%

Less than 10 miles

1

6.7

10 to 20 miles

4

26.7

20 to 30 miles

4

26.7

30 to 40 miles

4

26.7

Over 40 miles

2

13.3

Total Responses

15

10 out of 15 (66.6%) respondents run at least 20 miles per week and two runners maintain over 40 miles per week as their base mileage.  I’m in the 20-30 miles per week range.

Do you incorporate a long run into your training when you are not training for a race?

Responses

%

No

1

6.7

Yes, under 10 miles

5

33.3

Yes 10 to 15 miles

8

53.3

Yes, over 15 miles

1

6.7

Total Responses

15

Just about everyone (93.3%) incorporates some sort of long run into their base mileage program. This can be difficult to do on an ongoing bases because the process of preparing to run, running and then getting home and taking a shower etc can easily take several hours. I know this is an addiction, but congrats!

Do you run with a club, group or a friend?

Responses

%

I run with my local running club

8

61.5

I have a group of friends or colleagues I run with

3

23.1

I have a friend or friends that I run with

3

23.1

I run with my spouse

0

0

I run with the dog

2

15.4

Total Responses

16

So no one runs with their spouse? I don’t either but I wish I could. Besides the bonding that runners experience on those long runs, running together could add years to both of your lives.  I should have been clearer on the second answer. I meant to say “I have a group of friends or colleagues I run with at work.” I doubt anyone runs alone all of the time, but I should have given that option. Just in case. Since that wasn’t an option, I’d have to say this is a very social group!

Thanks to everyone who answered the survey, I hope it was fun. I hope everyone enjoys reading the results. As always, thank you for reading my blog.

©2012 anagelin