Sunday Long Run Winchester Highlands 2018

Sunday Long Run Six 2018

This week I managed to squeak in a long run before it was time to head off to the airport. The route was supposed to be 16.2 miles from Melrose through the Winchester Highlands.

Winchester Highlands sounds like a grand tour, especially if you are from England or something. Around here it just means we get to run a bunch of hills! Ass busters you could call them. 

I started running with my buddy Dave and we hung together until the first water stop. Dave was doing the half route and turned back to Brueggers.

All of the other long run people had arrived and left the first water stop by the time I got there. I’ve run this route at least a dozen times but I always worry about missing a turn and running all day just to get home!

After a short stop I headed out by my self with the hope of catching up to someone who knew the route better than I. As I ran down the hill from the water stop, I hoped to see someone if front of me. No luck.

As I approached the next few intersections I remembered the turns and never had a moment of hesitation! I was pleasantly surprised at my self. Eventually I found Tom Gorman at water stop two.

fall marathon training, summer running
Sunday Long Run, Winchester Highlands, Fall Marathon training

I was really glad to see him. Not just because I needed a drink, but because it meant I was still on track. Tom and I chatted for a few minutes and I headed off on my mystery run.

I would through Winchester and headed back to Melrose. I know I took at least one wrong turn because when I finished my run I only had 14 miles on my watch.

The previous week I had only run about 6.5 miles, so 14 was plenty. As I sit writing this article, my legs are sore and my left knee is barking.

While I may have missed a few miles on this run, it still feels pretty good to have run the 14 miles that I did manage.

So somehow I feel like I’m training for a marathon or at least a half. Maybe I’m just kidding my self.

I’m also using a new editor while trying to write this post and the lest two. So if these past few have been a bit of a mess, I’m still figuring out Gutenberg and trying to decide if I’m going to continue to use it. 

So bear with me and run well my friends,


Local 5K Race Directories

Over the past few years I have been maintaining local 5K race directories by town. Some towns have quite a few races while many have none or maybe one or two.

I find these races by looking at race timing and race management company websites. Quite often I find races on the web site of the organization who is the beneficiary of the fundraising from the race.

The information is all over the place and takes time to gather and maintain.

Local 5K Race Directories

Malden Rotary Road Rac e 2018, Melrose Running Club, local 5k race directoriesIf you google the name of a town and “Local 5K races” you are likely to get a list of links to individual races. Looking at each one can be time consuming and often they are in no particular order. Sometimes the link provided is to a previous years information.

Then there are the other so-called “Race Directories.” I’ve looked at many of these. They are often heavy with ads and light on actual race information. It’s not unusual to look for a race in your town and get a list that includes races in another state! Someone is obviously not paying attention to their work.

In order to provide a useful service to you I frequently update my directories. Several times a year I conduct a far reaching search for any new races. Sometimes they are found by accident. It’s amazing how some races are kept almost a secret.

I look for these races because often these events raise money for important causes and these smaller races are often fun to run.

Why do I manage 5K Race Directories?

I started creating the directories as a result of my own searches for local races. I found that no one site seemed to have all of the races for any given location. Friends would tell me about a race I never heard of or missed because of bad information or no information from the race at all.

I also manage the directories as a way to promote the My First 5K medal. Most 5K road races have awards for the top three male and female finishers and sometimes age-group awards.

first time running medal, 5k running medal, 5k running medalsI know many people who have managed to encourage their spouse or child to run a 5K with them. Everyone is excited about running the race and I love to see a new runner trying a 5K for the first time.

In most cases a new runner is not going to place over all or in their age group. So they go home without a medal to show for their first 5K.

If a race does give all finishers a medal it is often an inexpensive medal that is easily forgotten.

That just doesn’t seem right to me. All first time 5K runners deserve a medal that they can be proud of.

5K Race Directories

Here are my 5K race directories. Please let me know if I am missing a race or have some facts wrong.

Also, if you are running with a first time 5K runner, check the race web site to see if they give all runners a medal. If they don’t please order a My First 5K medal for your runner.

Medford 5K Race Directory

Somerville 5K Race Directory

Cambridge 5K Race Directory

Malden 5K Race Directory

Everett 5K Race Directory

There are so many 5Ks in Boston that I have not started a directory for them.

Do you know of a town that has several 5K races that I should create a directory for? Please let me know at

Run well my Friends,


Sunday Long Run Season is Over

Sunday Long Run 15

This year the Melrose Running Club made a few adjustments to accommodate our Chicago Marathon runners. Their race was on October 8th, so Jim Carson had to accelerate their schedule to get a 22 mile run in on September 17th, and still have time for an orderly taper.

Everyone else is running the Bay State Marathon on October 22nd. They had their 22 miler on October 1st. With Chicago over we had a noticeably smaller group today. Maybe 20 runners in total.

My marathon isn’t until December, so I’m totally out on sync with the program. I missed a lot of long runs this year, mostly due to work. Some runs I missed so I could go and run races.

This is a map of the route, but we headed north and not south from the start. And I added almost two miles to my run.

Sunday Long Run, MRC, Spot PondThis week we headed north on Main Street in Melrose from Bruegger’s. At Melrose Street we turned left and then left again onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. I ran with a few people early on, but no one was doing my pace.

Before the first hill I passed everyone at the back of the pack and could see the lead pack off in the distance. The lead runners were long gone.

By the time we turned left onto Highland Avenue I was running alone. I wondered where my usual gang was, but figured they were racing or climbing a mountain somewhere.

Right after I got onto Highland Avenue I took my first salt capsule and two Hyland Cramp tablets. As I got them out of the packet it occurred to me that I was practicing getting them in my mouth without dropping them as much as I was testing to see how my system tolerated them. The conditions were not that harsh.

All went as planned and I took a drink from one of my running bottles to wash them down. I saw three club runners ahead on the other side of the street. I decided to cross to get into position for the next intersection.

As we approached the first water stop the three ladies stopped, but I kept on going. I was trying to practice race conditions which means no stopping unless absolutely necessary.

For this run we were running through the intersection by Flynn Rink and heading down Woodland Road past Spot Pond and the MWRA water plant.

As I ran past Flynn Ice Rink it dawned on me the The Irish were in the right place at the right time. Boston and the area have a high concentration of families with Irish ancestry and almost every thing has an Irish name. Flynn Arena, Callahan Tunnel, Tip O’Neill Tunnel, The McGrath and O’Brien Highway, The Boston Celtics.

There are plenty of public facilities and infrastructure named after people without Irish ancestry, but the Irish seemed to lock down a lot of them many years ago.

As I ran past the Boston Boating parking lot I could see two people down by the docks and a rack full of kayaks. I knew they were closed, but did they leave the kayaks there all winter?

Sunday Long Run Running Long

Since I am at least a month from my taper time, I decided to add to this run where I could. When we got to New South Street which hugs the shore of Spot Pond I went strait down South Street to the intersection with the Fellsway West and turned left.

It probably added about a tenth of a mile, but they all add up.

The Fellsway West goes behind Spot Pond and crosses over Rt. 93. There is also an exit off of Rt. 93 that we need to negotiate. You have to run across the exit ramp and watch for cars coming towards you headed east on Fellsway West.

I didn’t have any cars to deal with this week, but it can get hairy. Drivers don’t expect to see runners. And I don’t think most of them see us when they do see us. You gotta look sharp.

I met a few runners and a cyclist as I ran the Fellsway West. As I was running up the hill I could see a woman running down the hill towards me. It was one of our regular Sunday Runners, Amanda. She was just gliding along and made it look so easy.

We said hello as we passed and I was on my own again.

Shortly after Amanda passed I took my single gel. It was a Honey Stinger Gold. I think it is pretty much pure honey with a few vitamins and electrolytes added. It tasted like honey, which is much better than some gels I’ve had.

I’m trying to keep things simple and as natural as I can. It’s a challenge.

As I took the left onto Elm Street I thought about how much better I felt this time. I was now past mile 8 and I was still running 9 minute miles, give or take. Earlier in the year and in the heat I walked part of this route.

Now I felt fine. My energy was good and my knees and quads were holding up nicely. I pushed up the hill and considered that I may be pushing too hard since I still had to run the Fellsway East hills one more time.

I crossed the road near the rotary and took a right onto Highland Avenue. There was supposed to be a water stop there. I didn’t see it and I hadn’t planned to stop any way.

The route this week took a left up East Border Road. To add on to my run I continued down Highland Avenue to the Fellsway East and turned left to face the hills.

When you make that left off of Highland onto the Fellsway you are going up hill immediately. This was just after mile 10 which came in at 9:04. With the hills, Mile 11 came in at 9:43. Not bad and some good training.

Over that mile I had gained 101 feet of elevation. This is similar to what I will face at Diamond Head in Hawaii. I think Diamond Head is steeper, but any hill work will help prepare me for that.

For me running down hill is always the toughest part of the hill. I try to run like I’m on egg shells, but it takes a lot of concentration and I always loose it. I have some tendentious that down hill running aggravates. So downhill is no gift for me.

As I got to the bottom of the last hill I crossed the street and considered taking a right down West Wyoming Ave for one last mile, and calling it good.

Instead I crossed that intersection and headed for Main Street. Across from Melrose High there was youth soccer going on, which brought back many fond memories!

As I crossed West Wyoming I calculated that squaring the corners had added about a mile to my run so far.

When I got to the intersection with Main Street, I went to the intersection and not up the Melrose Street short cut. I had gone this far to lengthen my run, why start cutting corners now?

As I turned right onto Main Street, I knew I was on the home stretch. When I got close to the finish I realized I was going to be short of 14 miles. So I went down Essex Street, ran around the block and around the Shaws parking lot a bit.

I hit 14 miles and jogged a bit more to where I wanted to stop.

I ended up with 14.05 miles at an average pace of 9:23. This was only about 0.7 miles longer than a half marathon and slower than my last one, the BAA Half. It was still more than the 12.5 on the schedule for this week, so I was happy about that.

Now I need to find ways to get long runs in by my self for the next 55 days!

The Plan for the Next 55 Days

Honolulu Marathon 2017

As of today, there are 55 days to my marathon in Honolulu. It’s both exciting and terrifying!

I haven’t run a marathon since the 2016 Boston Marathon and I’m dealing with issues.

I’ve got two half marathons, a 10K, 5 Miler and three 5Ks scheduled.

I’ll be stretching my Tuesday night Club Runs past six miles and my lunch time runs will have to be no less than 5 miles. Getting in an 18 or 20 mile run is going to be a challenge.

I find that consistent running seems to work well for me, but for marathon running, you do need some long runs in the schedule.

Let me know if you have any weekend long runs coming up or know of a good long trail race.

Run well my Friends and good luck at Baystate!


Cambridge Fall Classic 5K 2017

It sure didn’t feel like the Cambridge Fall Classic 5K. While my phone reported 64°, the 98% humidity made it feel like a Summer race.

This year I ran the Cambridge Fall Classic 5K by myself, if you don’t count the other 1,063 runners. I usually run with Team Slow and Thirsties, but no one signed up for this race. Usually a few people from The Melrose Running Club also show up, but not this time.

It is deep into Sunday Long Run season and a lot of people needed to get in their 16 or 22 miles. I could have used those miles today also, but I love 5Ks and had registered for this one in the spring.

September is also a popular racing month and there were several other local races this weekend.

Pre Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

As usual I arrived early and managed to get a parking spot on Landsdowne Street about 20 feet from University Park Commons. This is party central after the race.

I wandered over to the pick up zone around 7:40 to get my bib and shirt. As I crossed Sidney Street I saw the race director Paul and his crew. He called out to me by name and I went from feeling like a stranger to feeling like I was home.

Pickup didn’t open until 8, but I was able to get my number and shirt and chat with one of the volunteers. I joked about the Summer Classic and how this weather was much better. I couldn’t tell if he knew what I was talking about or was just going along with me. That race is legendary.

I took my stuff back to my car, pinned on my bib and went for a warm up jog. Just quick loop out to Mass Ave and back to the start area. Nothing strenuous, but enough to work the kinks out of my muscles, knees and hips.

As I was walking through the pick up area I saw Paul again. He told me he had a table on the end for my “team” with the name “PVC” on it which are his initials. I thanked him and felt like I was getting way more than I deserved.

As I wandered back I saw Liz Emerald and told her about the table.

I went back to my car and got my bag and jacket. I’ve never had a problem with my gear walking away and felt safe on my own this time as well.

When I got to the table there was a case of Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager and six cases of Nature’s Path Superfood bars.

While I hung out and stretched I chatted with the ladies next to me at the Downeast Cider House tent.

At 9:15 I headed for the corrals.

Running Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

As I walked onto Sidney Street I realized I was in front of the start line. The opening in the barricade was right in front of me so I walked to the starting line.

There I saw Liz Emerald and Emily McDivitt. I invited them back to my table after the race, but neither one was much interested in drinking beer.

We were about 2 runners back from the front. When they moved the barricades and told us to move up, I let most of the crowd go around me. I was about 10 runners back and that seemed a little aggressive.

At 9:30 AM they called out “Go, Go Go!” and we were off.

I flew out of there with the rest of the lead pack. It was humid but cooler than my previous race in California, so I felt pretty confident in this pace.

Cambridge Fall Classic 5KAt the first left onto Pacific Street I still felt good and negotiated the turn well. I got into position for the next turn onto Albany Street and still felt good. As we ran towards Mass Ave I began to feel like I was running.

I tried to decide if I should push or let people pass me. I let some people pass. At Mass Ave we made a left and the wide avenue was open to us.

My legs felt strong and my feet felt solid as they landed. I tried not to think about my breathing but there were people around me who were laboring. I tried to ignore them and focus on my pace.

I didn’t want to spend too much time looking at my watch, but when I did I was pleasantly surprised. The first time I looked it said 7:14, then on Albany Street it was 7:12! Still early but I felt good at this pace.

On Mass Ave I locked into a pace around 7:20 and kept it going. Mile One chimed at Central Square and I had a 7:15 pace. Unbelievable!

Everything felt good and I was passing a few people. At the turn onto Putnam Avenue I got close to the curb and slowed a bit to slip behind some other runners. Just after the turn was the water stop.

Lots of runners took a cup and I was worried I wouldn’t get one. As cups got snapped up I saw one still held out and focused on it. As I approached I got into position to keep anyone behind me from grabbing it.

I made eye contact with the young girl and plucked the cup from her hands. Without breaking stride, I took a gulp, crumpled the cup and missed the trash bag. Almost a perfect execution!

Taking the drink broke my breathing pattern and it took me a few steps to get back into a normal breathing pattern.

I was half-way, had a drink and still felt good. Wow.

We were in the neighborhood now and there was some shade. I recalled how the last time I ran in this area it was pouring rain and the streets were lit by lightening. I was moving so much faster this time.

Just past Western Avenue mile two chimed in at 7:29. I was surprised I was still running so strong.

Putnam Avenue seemed to go on forever and then I saw the turn onto Brookline Avenue. How many more turns were there?

We were still in the neighborhood and I looked around at the shops and business as we ran down the street. It’s an interesting area. Way more urban than I am used to.

Before long the turn onto Franklin Street came into view. I was pretty sure it was the last turn and waited for mile three to chime on my watch.

Just over a block from the turn my watch chimed 7:30 for mile three! I had hardly slowed at all. Now the foot race down Franklin to Sidney Street began.

Finishing Cambridge Fall Classic 5K 2017

Soon after we had turned onto Brookline Ave, I knew I wouldn’t have any kick for the end. All I could do was maintain my pace and hope a bunch of kids wouldn’t smoke me at the finish line.

As I ran down Franklin towards the finish I kicked in what I had. It wasn’t much but I ran the last 0.14 miles at a 7:18 pace. Probably could not have maintained that pace for much longer.

At the Summer Classic I didn’t get any finish line photos. I tried to run on the right side this time and dropped back a bit so other runners wouldn’t block me. I didn’t see a camera person, but they must have been there.

I didn’t even see a clock at the finish.

As I slowed to a walk my breathing was deep and insufficient. In California my chest was actually sore from breathing so hard. This time nothing hurt.

As I made my way down the street I got two bottles of water and headed for the team area. I knew I was on my own so an extra bottle of water would keep me from drinking too many beers.

My official finish time was 23:13 for a 7:28 pace. In California I ran 23:36 on a slightly shorter course, so I was happy and surprised by my time.

Apre Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

Brooklyn Brewery OktoberfestThere was a case of Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager on my table along with six cases of Superfood bars. I went over to the beer table and grabbed a lager and an Oktoberfest.

Soon after getting back to my table I went into trade-show mode and started passing out Superfood bars. What else was I going to do?

It was actually a lot of fun and I got to talk to a lot of people.I managed to move all but a case of the bars. I took a bunch home and even managed to take a few beers with me.

Natures Path Superfood BarsSince I was driving I didn’t drink very much and even tossed some beer in the trash! With a box of beers, it made little sense to keep drinking. Especially since the crowd was thinning and I didn’t want to hang out by my self.

It was another fun Cambridge Classic, even if I had to make my own fun this time around.

Run well my Friends!


Achieving Clarity Through Pain

Achieving clarity in our daily lives is often difficult. When was the last time you were totally focused? When was the last time you thought about just one thing, without your mind ping-ponging from one thought to the next?

Achieving Clarity Through Pain

When I refer to pain I mean that level of discomfort that gets and holds your attention. It’s not debilitating pain that some people deal with on a daily basis.

It’s not the type of pain that requires medication, but that could be described as a medication.

Merriam-Webster defines medicine as: a substance (as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease.

As a method to achieve clarity, pain could be described as a medicine. Focusing the mind on pain or discomfort blocks out all other thoughts.

The avoidance of pain is a basic survival instinct of all living things that can feel pain. When our bodies feel pain the mind immediately clears all extraneous thoughts and becomes focused.

When the mind is focused on a single thing, such as an ache or pain, clarity can be achieved.

Some people use meditation to clear their minds and achieve peace and clarity.

Achieving Clarity through Exercise

Recently while practicing Yoga I achieved clarity. While practicing Yoga I try to clear my mind and not think about everything I have to do. It is my oasis of calm in a hectic life.

When you are actively practicing you cannot day dream, space-out or drift off. You have to focus on what you are doing. Your mind is focused on maintaining your balance, posture or form.

In a class environment you don’t even have to think about how long to hold a pose or which pose to transition to. Your mind can be totally focused on what you are doing at that very moment. There are no cars outside and you’re not thinking about the person next to you and if you are “doing it right.”

You are totally in that moment and there is nothing else. That is clarity, a clear mind.

Clarity Through Pain

Often while practicing yoga I experience pain. It is the pain that comes from stretching tight muscles or moving in a way that my body is not used to.

I know how to hold a stretch and let my muscles relax. But while I am focused on the pain and working to relax my muscles, that is all that I’m thinking about.

For a brief moment the world has ceased to exist. I am one and alone with my pain. Sometimes I work through the pain and sometimes the pain lasts until the next pose.

During poses that do not cause pain I have to actively restrain my mind from wandering. While holding a comfortable pose it is easy to think about anything and everything.

Sometimes I think about clarity and peace of mind in a comfortable pose. Sometimes I think about my in-box.

Achieving clarity while practicing alone can be challenging. You have to think about how long to hold a pose, which pose do you want to transition to and did you pick up your dry cleaning!

Achieving clarity on the run

Sometimes while running alone I can achieve clarity. I have come back from a run and realized that for the past hour my mind has been clear. It may be the endorphin’s or just the magic of the run.

While running, sometimes I am solely focused on my feet hitting the pavement. Sometimes I am completely consumed thinking about my breathing, posture or speed.

I can feel my body moving and I am thinking about each motion. Sometimes I am thinking about one muscle and how it feels. My mind may not be perfectly clear, but I am relaxed and focused on the moment. There is nothing else and all stress leaves my mind and body.

You cannot experience Clarity

Achieving clarity is not the absence of thought but clarity cannot be enjoyed in the moment. If you know you are experiencing clarity, you no longer have clarity.

It’s like waking up and realizing that you were asleep. While you are asleep you cannot know you are asleep or you would be conscious. The moment you know you are experiencing clarity you no longer have clarity.

Sometimes while practicing yoga I will experience great joy when I realize I just had a moment of clarity. It may have been 10 seconds, but for a brief moment there was nothing else.

There is joy in the moment and joy in the realization of that moment.

How to experience clarity through pain

Achieving a clear and focused mind is challenging. Very few activities allow you to even attempt clarity. Being engaged in a task and loosing track of time is not the same thing. A task may have you thinking of a hundred things.

With clarity your mind is clear or completely focused on one thing. You cannot be thinking about how clarity makes you feel or how long clarity is lasting. The moment you are conscious of clarity it is gone.

For me I have been trying to relax and clear my mind as much as possible before yoga. I know I can and will achieve moments of clarity, but I am trying to make it last longer.

Clarity is peace and the release of stress. Something we all need more of in our lives.

It is difficult to leave the world at the door, but it helps if you can. Just trying to relax and put things out of your mind help.

I have found that focusing on my pain allows me to achieve clarity.

While my quads are screaming at me in Chair Pose all I can think about is pushing my hands higher and keeping my balance. I don’t see anyone around me. While I’m in downward dog all I can think about is the stretch in my back and legs and how far I can go.

Only after the pose do I think about my trembling legs or gasping for breathe.

Sometimes I am too aware of my surroundings. The air conditioning or the sound of passing cars. With so many distractions, achieving clarity is a challenge even with the benefit of pain.

Pain can deliver peace and clarity, but you have to be open to the experience. You have to be able to relax into the pain in order to push out all distractions.

Be well my Friends,


Tick and Mosquito Season is here

Tick and mosquito season seems to get worse each year. Tick season is generally from April to September but this can fluctuate depending on the weather.

Mosquitoes can emerge on the first warm days of spring as some can hibernate through the winter. Mosquito season lasts until the first frost in the northern US, though some can survive the first frosts. Over the winter, you may even find a mosquito in a closet.

The further south you go, the longer tick and mosquito season lasts. In the southern US, you can expect tick and mosquito season to last all year.

Black fly season lasts from late May into July in Maine and is dependent on the weather. Heat and water tend to bring out all of these pests in swarms.

When I was a kid we never worried about EEE, Lyme Disease, West Nile Disease or Zika. Mosquitoes left welts that itched. Black flies actually bite and can make you bleed. But that was about it.

Tick and Mosquito protection

As runners, we spend a lot of time outside in very little clothing. While we are running we are fairly safe from insects.When we stop for a drink, or at the end of a run, all of that exposed skin is prime for these insects.

While ticks do no fly, jump or drop from trees, they can hitch a ride if you brush up against a branch where they have been waiting. Ticks also live in leaf litter in the woods and mulch that you may have in your yard.

This CDC info-graphic provides good information to protect you and your family from mosquitoes. Click to open the pdf.


Tick and mosquito season safety

To avoid mosquito bites the CDC recommends wearing long sleeves and pants. For a runner this is impracticable. While many of us hate to use bug spray when we run the CDC recommends the following:

Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.

Most species of mosquitoes bite primarily during the day. This means even if you run during the day you are still susceptible to bites and infection.

If you plan to hang out after a run, bring bug spray to apply after your run. You may also want to put on pants and a long sleeved shirt. If you are in the woods or near water, expect the swarm to be pretty thick and plan accordingly.

I have run several races along The Charles River in Boston.  At these races I see lots of swatting and slapping going on. Some runners bring a can of spray and it usually gets passed around.

You know that go bag in the trunk of your car full of running gear? Toss a can of spray in there for the summer. As long as you avoid your face and don’t get much on your hands, you should be good.

It’s a small price to pay to enjoy running in the summer.

Zika virus

This year we have a new disease to worry about, the Zika virus. So far the CDC reports  – Local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus has been reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. No mosquito transmitted cases have been reported in any of the 50 US States.

Also from the CDC:

What we know

  • No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
  • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Steps to prevent mosquito bites

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Use repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.

Use this CDC link for ways to control mosquitoes in your yard and inside of your home.

While men and women who are not and do not plan to become pregnant are at little apparent risk, more needs to be learned about this virus. The long-term effects on healthy adults and children have not been widely studied. So while you may feel you have nothing to be worried about, preventing or minimizing exposure to Zika is still a good idea for everyone.

Into the woods

tick,ticks,lyme diseaseTrail runners will be exposed to more mosquitoes and ticks than urban or road runners. There is more habitat and shelter for ticks and mosquitoes. The woods also reduce breezes that might keep mosquitoes away from you when you stop running. The woods are where the deer and deer ticks live.

In the woods, ticks are the bigger problem.

As discussed earlier, ticks do not fly or jump. Generally they will crawl up your leg or latch onto you when you brush against a bush or branch where they have been waiting for you.

To avoid ticks, repellent is recommended and so are long sleeves and pants. Since ticks need to come into contact with you, avoid brushing against bushes or low hanging branches.

Since most runners will not wear long sleeves and pants on a hot summer run, your best bet is repellent and avoiding contact with bushes and branches as much as possible.

When taking a break after a run, try not to sit directly on the ground. This isn’t a guarantee that you wont pick up a tick, but at least you wont be sticking your butt into their home!

The American Lyme Disease Foundation has a very informative site on all types of ticks. They also discuss the other diseases carried by ticks. This CDC page has a map series that shows the spread of Lyme disease and links to additional resources and information.

Enjoy the great summer running weather, but take a few precautions to protect your health.

Run well my friends!


© 2016 andrew nagelin