Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things Rattling round in My Head

"You know you're a runner when you know exactly where one mile is from your front any direction!" - Unknown

On my way to Boston to visit the family, I'm having trouble coming up with a killer subject for this week's RWA, but I always have thoughts rattling around in my mind, so I like to share some of those with you every few weeks. Lots of different subjects to comment on this week...

When I was seriously training, nothing was more challenging than running hills, but unlike speedwork the results I got from it were almost immediately noticeable.

Gadgets are cool, but unless you're an elite runner who knows what to do with the data collected they're mostly unnecessary. On the other hand, there is NO WAY I would want to give up my GPS so I know exactly how slow I'm going over exactly how far.

It's frustrating that shoe companies update shoe models as frequently as they do because even subtle changes between models can be significant for individual runners. When you find something you like, buy a couple of pair and stash them away. When you have to change, talk to one of your local shoe guys to find out what the changes are in the new model and if it's still right for you.

If you're not an elite runner you're only racing against yourself and the clock, and no one else cares how you look running, what you wear while running, or how fast you're running. But everyone wants to see you cross the finish line and everyone cheers. Running is really a cool sport.

Running is inexpensive. Shoes and clothing that don't rub your sensitive parts to shreds are not. It pays to get well made clothing, but it doesn't always mean the most expensive. Wait for sales if you must, but do support your local running you know, I am partial to The Trak Shak.

On the other hand, I recommend you stick with name brand shoes. Even though mostly everything is now made in China (dag-nab-it), I believe there still has to be some quality control more with the name brands. I tell my patients or runners who actually think I have a small idea what I'm talking about that the most important aspects of a running shoe are the flexibility of the forefoot into flexion, the firmness of the heel counter, and the ability of the shoe to twist just behind the ball of the foot. The importance of cushioning has so many variables that it is the subject of another whole blog.

Speaking of expense, let's not even talk about (admittedly very optional) entry fees for races, where little neighborhood 5Ks can run $30 or more. I will admit up front that I have never directed a race. I will also admit that I don't mind paying when most of my entry fee for sure goes to charity, but Holy Cow!, it takes a chunk to run a bunch of races.

No matter where or when I run, it will always be into a head wind.

You can meet really great, interesting people through running. But, you can also meet an idiot here and there.

This is controversial, but I think stretching is overrated. I know, I know! I believe it's necessary to stay as flexible as you can, but (and remember, I am a Physical Therapist), I think strength of your ligaments and tendons does a whole lot more towards injury prevention than stretching, and the ONLY way to strengthen them is years of running! Stretching is invaluable though, when rehabing from an injury or if you're extremely tight or imbalanced.

Average time of the 2011 NY Marathon Top 10 runners was 2:07:32. The NY Marathon course record before 2011...2:07:43!! WOW!

Richard Donovan ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 4 days, 22 min, 3 secs. Antarctica, Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Orlando, London, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Good for Frequent Flyer Miles, but really, what's the point?

On June 1st, the National Park Service Director designated the Oak Mt Red trail in Pelham (just outside Birmingham) a National Recreation Trail. This hike/run/bike trail now is 21 miles long with the addition of the Lake Trail that circumvents the OM Lake. I love the Oak Mountain Trail system..

Saw a Cooling Towel advertised that was supposed to stay 20-30 Deg. cooler than the air for 3-6 hours after taking it out of it's ziplock bag. Comes in several sizes. Sounds like a great idea for the hot Alabama summer while running. Bought one. Won't buy another. Yeah, it's cooler, and it is treated with some (hopefully not dangerous) chemical, but I think much of it is that the cloth is wet to begin with and if you stick it in your waistband, the 6 MPH windchill you create will keep it cool. PLUS, if you wash the daggum thing, supposedly it loses it's magic cooling property!!!!! If you want to try one, they sell them at Walgreen's for under 3 bucks.

This country is going down the toilet diet-wise. Burger King is now selling a Bacon Sundae! That's right folks...soft ice cream with bacon crumbles, hot fudge, and a bacon strip. Good Grief!! This comes on the heels of last year's KFC's Double Down Sandwich - two pieces of cheese, two pieces of bacon, special sauce, made into a sandwich with, not bread...oh no, in the best American example of ingenuity, this is "sandwiched" with two pieces of fried chicken!! It's a losing battle, I'm afraid! God Bless America.

One day I will not be able to run. Today is not that day, so I'm going running. I'll see you all on the roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

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