AS THE DAYS SHORTEN AND DARKNESS INCREASES MOTIVATION CAN SUFFER. Marisa Cohen provides more ways than you can count on all fingers to motivate yourself on days when spirits and energy are low and completing a workout doesn’t seem possible. Her article “15 Tricks to Have More Energy and Motivation to Exercise” can be found at Shape.com.
The advice tips include fairly standard measures like mental imaging, using mint as a sensory stimulant, buddying-up with a friend, getting it done early, overcoming gym shyness, and pumping up with emotive music. Other suggestions are not the usual tried and true offerings. Cohen recommends actions that are not exactly ‘active’, like taking rest days and sleeping. Of all fifteen, the following are my favorites because they regularly work for me: going for instant feelings of fitness, reading, and sticking with old routines.
GO FOR INSTANT REWARDS
As Cohen writes, we often imagine that it will takes weeks and months of grinding out exercise sets, endurance sessions, and gym workouts to see results. This is not true. When performing strength or balance work especially I can detect slight improvement during the second set and sometimes during the third. Slight, but enough to power me through the entire workout feeling better than at the start.
I fear, yes fear, doing pushups. But after the first set I am determined to get the next two under my belt and finish proud of the effort. “My strength is MY strength,” I tell myself. The same goes for high intensity interval training. Overcoming inertia during the first interval requires the biggest push; the second to last interval is the next hardest, and the last is the easiest.
The reward from completing an endurance workout, for me, is delayed until after I’ve cleaned up. That’s when a delicious sense of whole-body tiredness comes as a reminder that a tough training day has been checked off as ‘done’. It’s like a reverse alarm clock that goes off and wakes me up to the fact that this task is behind me; it’s over. This feeling is one of the very best ever. I miss this most, now that long, Saturday morning half marathon training runs are no longer a part of my athletic life. But maybe walk-runs are in my future?
The point is that the rewards of training come on a regular basis throughout a good program. The completion of a goal evokes bittersweet emotions because of this! I’m elated to finish but sad to be finished.
The author suggests reading life stories of amazing athletes to become inspired and recommends several books. Such stories are definitely motivating. I’ve listened to several of the running classics as audible offerings while running, cycling and walking. However, I find thumbing through magazines more personally inspiring. There are a greater variety of topics, and the subjects are not always athlete celebrities. Shorter Items discuss trends, gear, workouts, and races as well as the personal triumphs of individuals. I haven’t yet nailed down what it about magazines, especially the non-digital version of Runner’s World, that sets a fire under me, but they do. Maybe it’s the fact that periodicals are by nature seasonal, and appeal to my love of annually celebrated calendar-centric events.
FALL BACK ON OLD STAND-BY ROUTINES
This is a no brainer tip in my opinion that’s rarely advised. My thanks to Cohen for doing so! Like an outfit that has served me well for several to numerous occasions, tired-and-true workouts can do the same. We know they ‘fit,’ us, that we can perform them without too much mental effort, and that they get the job done (a fitness workout) when we don’t think it’s we have desire or energy.
Sometimes going through the motions of an old stand-by exercise set is so automatic that it’s over before I realize it, and decide to tack on a few more challenging moves at the end. Like watching a favorite movie again, when nothing new grabs your interest, moving through a favorite routine promises a smooth experience with a known outcome on a rough day.
These 3 tricks top my list of best motivation boosters. Marisa Cohen offers a dozen more! Check out her article to find at least one that can be tried on your next low-energy day. And when you do accomplish a workout, treat yourself to some self congratulations for a job well done!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/6-surprising-reasons-your-workout-feels-harder (this is correct link even though the address doesn't seem to match the article title)
WEEK 7 TURKEY TROT 2019 TRAINING STARTS. Monday October 28 is the first day of Week 7 of the 10+week plan. It’s also only 1 month until THANKSGIVING DAY 2019!!! Aren’t you glad you started preparing so early?
By giving yourself the extra weeks to build up aerobic capacity and endurance, and at the same time stretching, strengthening, and foam rolling, you have decreased your risk of injury and increased your chance of competing on that huge running holiday.
ANOTHER BONUS: you are building a solid base on which to train for other races in 2018. When, you formulate NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, you will already have a strong training foundation. The challenges you set for yourself in the coming year will seem less daunting.
What would have seemed nearly impossible on January 1, 2019, now may seem like ‘upping your game’ for 2020. Perhaps you’ll want to run or walk a longer distance race in the spring or finish your next 5K with a faster time. Or take up another activity that requires an improved aerobic capacity.
Regardless, congratulate yourself on your accomplishment thus far, of perseverance…
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SUGAR SKULLS, ALTARS, CEMETERIES, MESOAMERICAN CULTURE AND RUNNING!
(Updated) The central and southern Mexico festival, “El Dia de los Muertos”, or “The Day of the Dead”, celebrated November 1 and 2 of each year is approaching. The festival coincides with the Roman Catholic feasts of All Saints Day (11/1) and All Souls Day (11/2) which follow Halloween on October 31 (All Hallows Eve). According to the website MexicanSugarSkull.com the holiday is a combination of ancient beliefs about honoring the dead and the Catholic feast days, celebrated by the indigenous people living in that part of Mexico.
As a young girl I remember celebrating the ‘All Saints” and “All Souls’ Days of November in church praying with my mother. As an adult I try to continue the practice because it’s a reminder of the Polish-Catholic culture of my childhood, a throwback memory of my mother’s family traditions that brings me comfort.
Given the current appetite in the USA for the undead of all types and origins, this festival seems an ideal occasion to enjoy another good scare. Like the delicious fright generated by virus-induced zombies of “World War Z” movie, post-apocalyptic, pathogen-born “Walking Dead” of Netflix fame, and the White Walker-created wights in the “Game of Thrones” HBO series based on George RR Martin’s literary invention.
Alternately, it seems likely that others would come to embrace a festival celebrating the beloved deceased who are dearly missed.
These tradition-rich Latino holy days have the inherent mysticism, beauty, and heart to bring people of all cultures together in many ways. Some will prefer to center their activities at altars and in cemeteries in the time-honored ways. Other will march in parades, enjoy delicious food, dress in costume, or express themselves artistically. And runners and walkers will create races!
In October 2015 I scoured the internet for Dias de los Muertos-related races; there were a few. In 2016, there seemed to be an attempt to raise awareness outside of the ethnic communities of celebrations that included foot races. In 2017 and 2018, the number of events increased. This year, Active.com is managing a number of events in several cities (Chicago, Coachella CA, Los Angeles). Other cities offering events include:
This celebration, which represent holy days for some, is becoming a holiday celebration for many more, which promises to generate additional run/walk events. Images on race organization websites show there are opportunities to run in costume and face-paint; runners are famous for wanting to express their creativity and sense of style in this manner. In some instances, prizes are promised for those judged “best”.
My prediction in 2016 that there would be an increasing number of DDLM-themed competitions in the coming years seems to be trending true although at a slower pace than I had imagined. Cities in Texas, the southwestern USA, and in the north with large Latino populations have lead the movement, by establishing annual events years ago.
Some endurance races may eventually be planned that extend over several days to encompass the entire October 31 - through- November 2 time period (or more convenient weekend dates preceding or following the exact days, like the 4 day series in Las Cruces NM that starts October 31 and ends November 2, 2018 ). https://www.deadrunning.net/day-of-the-dead-series/
The DDLM event in South Beach OR November 2-3 has been changed from a 5k fun run to a serious endurance event (ultra) that can extend to a period of 2, 4, 6, 12, or 24 hours.
Prior to starting, participants can visit an ofrenda (altar) at the start/finish line to “honor their ancestors and loved ones passed on” and leave “flowers, fruits, trinkets, and written messages”, providing a “unique layer of depth, gratitude, and purpose to their endurance run from start to finish.”
The Oregon race’s website indicates that the “run's finish will be celebrated with an interactive performance of traditional Aztec dance by Huecha Omeyocan, a local group who shares the rich cultural practices of pre-hispanic Mesoamerican peoples through dance and music.”
With the rise in popularity of grueling obstacle course and “sufferfest”-like events, organizers may begin to incorporate punishing elements in DDLM competitions. Early November weather may be cooler, wetter, and inclement but not yet wintery in the northern hemisphere, and thus perfect for completing a toughing workout.
Hopefully more short, happy, family run/walk races will be held in the future to celebrate a beautiful cultural feast, giving more of us a chance to gain understanding and appreciation of another ethnic tradition.
If you can locate a convenient festival nearby, use your EARNED RUNS BIBS to create a personal event, solo or with others near and far, that could become a tradition.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WHILE OUTSIDE EXERCISING, TAKE NOTE OF THE SKY AND HELP NASA. Cloud gazers can be part of the GLOBE Observer “What’s Up in Your Sky” initiative to improve satellite weather tracking. The agency is requesting the assistance of anyone, of any age, anywhere in the world through a project that asks people to submit pictures of “clouds, dust, haze, or smoke”. According to an announcement on NASA's EarthObservatory.nasa.gov website, the images will be analyzed and compared with satellite data from space to improve scientists’ ability to differentiate between clouds and aerosols. There’s a limit of 10 observations each day, using tools provided on the GLOBE Observer Mobile app.
The very cool or creepy, depending on your perspectives about government privacy issues, part of this project is that participants can opt to be notified of times when a satellite will be overhead. Taking pictures of the sky from earth at about the time some are being snapped from above increases the probability that your images can be matched with that satellite view data. And that your effort will be officially recognized.
“If your observation is made within 15 minutes (either before or after) the time the satellite will be over your area, you have increased the chances of getting a personalized email from NASA comparing your observations to satellites!”. So says the September 2019 blog post by Marile Colon Robles (team leader at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton VA, USA) on the official GLOBE Program website.
Links to other tools are provided on the website that promise to help participants submit their observations.
A March 2018 EarthSky.org article originally posted by Eleanor Imster in EarthHumanWorld , indicated that NASA researchers very much value the data volunteered by “citizen scientists” because it allows them to validate information gathered from “a suite of six instruments known as the Clouds and the Earth’s radiant Energy System (CERES).”
The article includes a NASA statement about the technical issues involved in CERES instruments positively identifying specific clouds. “For example, it can be difficult to differentiate thin wispy cirrus clouds from snow, since both are cold and bright; even more so when cirrus clouds are above a surface with patchy snow or snow cover.”
But you don’t need to live in a location that experiences snowfall. It would seem that haze, smoke, and dust present similar difficulties.
There’s an opportunity to totally geek out with this challenge. The Robles post (this person is leading the effort) writes that NASA scientists will CONGRATULATE participants submitting the most observations (remember only 10/day are allowed) with a video post on the GLOBE Clouds website!
I downloaded the app but haven’t yet had time to test the system or educate myself further about the process. Or learn about the satellite notifications..
The Clouds Challenge runs from October 15 to November 15, 2019 so there’s no time to lose.
If you spend time outdoors exercising this activity might boost motivation to scan the sky at the same time.
At the very least, you can learn when satellites are passing overhead at your location and know that NASA is watching.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
RUNNERS 5K AND WALKERS 5K - 10K TRAINING Monday is the first day of Week 6 of the 10 (plus part of a week) plans. Runners who incorporated the optional track day into their plan, have graduated to running FULL laps only; no more half laps, except when walking, during the remainder of the program.
The reasons and importance of foam rolling and rest days have been discussed recently.
Have you remembered to perform MYRTLs every week? The mobility routine is scheduled only once/week on this beginner 5k plan, but ideally you should be loosening up before each run. Jay Johnson provides a demonstration of images that should help you to learn the basic moves; the the pdf is on the RESOURCES page
An excellent YouTube video presented by the Wolf Creek Track Club’s USATF Registered Coach Brandon Wise, does a beautiful job showing the 12 different moves from several angles. Pay close attention to the words superimposed on the video describing each move. Coach Wise progresses so quickly through the exercises that you might miss one as the camera switches views and the coach moves.
Once you master the routine and perform it regularly before runs, you will “feel” ready to move, especially early mornings, or evenings after sitting all day.
Not only do these exercises help you to improve and maintain mobility in the hip girdle (mobility + girdle = MYRTL) some will also assist with hip strengthening when performed as an exercise rather than a mobility routine
The side leg lifts and clam-shells included in this set of moves are often prescribed to build the gluteus medius (GMed) muscle. The GMed helps prevent runners’ and walkers’ knees from wobbling, as one leg after the other is alternately set down in a linear forward motion in the act running.
Outside of the scheduled MYRTLs routine for mobility, you may wish to work on gluteal strength. The lateral (side) leg lift is simple; it’s been shown by research studies to be one of the most effective at that targeting the GMed. Add light ankle weights to the lateral leg to increase the resistance in this strength exercise, as in indicated in the AAOS Knee Conditioning instructions.
Download the full knee conditioning PDF to find additional lower body strength exercises. The AAOS Hip Conditioning program includes lateral leg lifts too, as well as other exercises you may wish to perform for strength training. Links to both PDFs are posted on the RESOURCES page.
You are more than halfway through the plan. Thanksgiving is approaching. Great work!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
AAOS Knee Conditioning Stretches and Exercises
AAOS Hip Conditioning Stretches and Exercises
MIKE DONAVANIK PROVIDES A 10-MINUTE ARM-BURNING UPPER BODY WORKOUT in a shape.com article. The impression might be that Donavanik has a less than serious approach to strength building. After all he is appealing to exercisers who cannot or do not wish to perform pushups, in “The Challenging At-Home Arm Workout Without Any Push-ups” and indicates light or medium dumbbell weights are to be used. Donavanik’s introduction to the session mentions looking good as the reason to make it through this session. The trainer promises all that is needed is 10 minutes of continuous effort but ends by saying it could be repeated another time or two in the article to create a 20 to 30-minute session.
Actually, this workout is not an even-up substitute for pushups, which target the chest (pectoralis major), the front part of the shoulder (anterior deltoids), and triceps, and use the biceps, core muscles (rectus abdominus, obliques, serratus anterior, erector spinae), and thigh muscles (quadriceps) for stabilization. The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises indicates that 75% of body weight is lifted in the course of performing a pushup, far more weigh than light dumbbells.
However, Donavanik’s routine does target biceps (and triceps), which many runners don’t bother to build. An article from RunnersWorld.com (RW) by Samantha Lefave, “Why Runners Need Strong Arms,” also suggests performing a 10-minute workout several times a week. Not to tone muscle for appearance sake or endurance, but to build overall body strength that improves bone density and helps with injury prevention. The difference in approaches taken by Donavanik versus the RW article centers on amount of weight and number of repetitions. Lighter weights and numerous reps that will increase endurance are suggested by Donavanik. Heavy weights lifted to exhaustion that will build stronger muscles, are suggested by RW.
Choose the approach that fits your needs and state of mind. If not quite mentally or emotionally ready to ‘go heavy’, start with an endurance workout and follow the Donavanik video. Or, using the same exercises, test yourself with bigger weights, as instructed in the RW article, and concentrate on achieving perfect form with fewer repetitions.
If worried about bulking up with heavy weight work, check out the video of elite marathoner Jordan Hasay* embedded in the RW article. She is performing a compound exercise: single-leg Romanian deadlift + alternate side bent over row with knee lift. No chance she would be described as bulked-up.
Inspired by the Hasay video to attempt lifting for strength? I am.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*At the time this post was written the 2019 Chicago Marathon had not yet been contested. Good Luck to Hasay and all other competitors!
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HEALTHY DIETS INCLUDE NATURAL WHOLE RATHER THAN PROCESSED FOODS says a wedmd.com item. When it comes to athletics, the same rule may hold suggests Julia Malacoff in a SHAPE.com article “10 Whole Foods That Are Better for Workout Recovery Than Supplements”. Just like listicles that promise to identify the top choices in any category, “10 Best… for…” (fill in the blanks yourself), the judging criteria can be strictly defined or rather loosely applied.
Whether or not the nine unprocessed food items that Malacoff names in the article truly lead the field of recovery foods (if such an award were to be bestowed), and beat out protein and energy bars, powders, and drinks, she has picked definite winners in my experience.
Except for eggs, her protein choices – dairy-based yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir – not only supply the basic amino acid building blocks for tissue repair but are good sources of calcium, vitamin D (if fortified), and phosphorous for maintaining bone health.
Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes both add satiety to meals. A creamy topping of cool cottage cheese can create a delicious and hearty combination, sprinkled with a little pepper. Eggs have also been included in lists of high satiety (filling) foods, but I can’t claim to have had this experience with hard boiled eggs, as pictured with no added butter.
Red- and blue-colored fruits, berries and cherries, packed with natural anti-oxidants, beat inflammation-fighting supplements hands down. ‘Nuff said!
In a pinch, cereal and milk will do as a recovery food, but to me the duo is so much like dessert because of the added sugar, that I save it for a treat.
Orange-colored beta-carotene rich carrots and sweet potatoes are high in fiber too. Filling and naturally sweet, they’re almost like fruit. Cold baby carrots can be sliced lengthwise and used in place of chips to scoop pico de gallo or salsa for a fresh veggie treat.
The entire list of 10 foods are delicious; I agree with Julia Malacoff. Each one beats eating a supplement to recover from workouts. Check out her selections and the information she provided.
[RECIPES: first version from my Mom; short cook version from Annie Petito Cooks Illustrated recipe in an America's Test Kitchen magazine "The Best of 2019" p 67.
Did you know that baked sweet potatoes are as easy as russets to prepare? Because they tend to be larger-sized and very dense, a longer time in the oven is needed, from 1.5 to 2 hours, at 350-degree F. Washed, unpeeled potatoes should be set directly on the middle rack, not on a pan, not wrapped in foil. Instead aluminum foil can be placed beneath on the next lower rack to catch drippings.
They’re done when very squeeze-ably soft, after the skin loosens and separates from the underlying flesh, and natural oils drip from the ends. My mother passed on this easy-bake recipe to me. I’ve prepared them in this way, without added ingredients, without piercing/peeling/boiling for decades. My personal view (I couldn't find the science to back this up) is that piercing or removing the skin allows moisture to escape during baking and interferes with interactions between the yummy skin oils and juices of the orange-colored flesh to escape, preventing full caramelization (development of a rich deep orange-brown color) of the surface flesh, next to the skin.
To speed up the process a tiny bit, potatoes can first be partially microwaved until slightly soft, about 6-7 or more minutes depending on size, flipping every every 2-4 minutes. Holes should NOT be poked into the potatoes beforehand! After microwaving, brush skins with oil (be careful the surface is hot, use tongs). Then place potatoes directly on the middle rack, in a 425-degree F oven to bake for an additional 45 to 60 minutes (foil underneath on next lower rack). At this high temperature the skin will become very crispy. As before, remove potatoes when squeezeably soft and oils leak from the ends. Slit down the center and eat! Or peel and mash. Add butter and brown sugar to make them decadently delicious.
Sweet potatoes can be baked in batches and frozen. When fully baked, remove the skins and mash the innards without adding butter or margarine. Place in freezer-safe containers in amounts convenient for a single dinner and have several ready for last minute thawing and warming.]
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WHILE AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES MAY THINK THEY HAVE A LOCK ON THIS HOLIDAY, our neighbors to the North began expressing gratitude for survival in the New World over 40 years earlier. The official day has been moved around a bit, and the second Monday in October has been designated for the national celebration. This year it falls today, on October 14!
For runners and walkers training to participate in a Turkey Trot before feasting later in the day, (in the USA in November, or in Canada today), a reward, like a pie for dessert, might be part of their motivation.
To honor their culture and contributions to harvest banquets, Earned Runs is posting a pie crust recipe (below in image) provided on the container of a Canadian product, Tenderflake™. In a recent quest to make my own perfect homemade crust for summer fruit pies, and my husband’s favorite lemon meringue and family Thanksgiving pumpkin pies I discovered and tested it myself. The results were amazing. Vegans might outright reject Tenderflake* (its lard made from rendered pig fat), and butter lovers view it with disdain, but old-fashioned flaky-pastry lovers may embrace it’s use.
I am not a prolific pastry-baker, so on the special occasions that arise in which a I want to make a memorable and delicious homemade pie, about 2-3 times a year, the results obtained with Tenderflake make it a strong contender for pie crust shortening.
The news about lard isn’t as frightening as I imagined, as it contains no trans-fat (like hydrogenated vegetable products) and a bit less saturated fat (40%) as butter (54%), the darling of today’s cooking shows. Still, it’s not a health food, like any fat, and moderate use is advised by experts.
I combine it with another North American product, King Arthur brand unbleached, all-purpose flour, made in Vermont. I like that the protein content is listed on the packaging of its different flours, and that KA’s all-purpose flour is a bit higher (11.7%) than others (10.4-10.5%) according to information on the company’s website, but not as high as its bread flour (13%).
It is not a coincidence that the Earned Runs ‘Finisher’ sticker image posted each week shows pumpkin pies. To me this treat is symbolic of a bountiful harvest and my thankfulness for the sustaining food that our land and workers provide. And a reminder of the responsibility resting with me and others to protect the earth’s environment.
Happy Thanksgiving today to Canadians; we in the US will be following your lead next month, ready to run, walk, and then feast!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
* can be purchased through Amazon.com
THIS WEEKS TRAINING STARTS MONDAY After four weeks of training you should be settling into a groove and hopefully becoming accustomed to track days, if you decided to stick with that part of the plan. Last week those on the runner plan ran/walked at a ratio of 3 minute to 1 minute (about 75% of the total time was spent running). This week the ratio will involve running 80% of the total time. Overall, the total running duration and distance is increasing.
Those on the walker plan will notice a big change in the range of duration of the long easy walk. Last week Saturday it was 60 minutes. This week it will be 45-90 minutes! Hal Higdon’s walker training plan, adapted by Earned Runs calls for this change. Since you will be increasing mileage and minutes earlier in the week he is giving you the opportunity to either rest up from the extra effort, or reach for the stars. Ninety minutes is the longest duration walk of the entire plan!
My thought is that Higdon figured most regular walkers can push themselves to this point once, but perhaps not easily. However, if you are going to compete as a walker in a Turkey Trot event you will want to cover a greater distance over the course of the 90 minutes as training progresses, so at the end of the plan your pace is about 15 minutes/mile or less. Which means you can walk a fast 5k the day of the race or finish a 10k with a respectable time.
As runners and walkers add on mileage, you may decide FULL REST DAYS are needed, and it's best to SKIP A CROSS-TRAINING session. This is perfectly fine and a smart thing to do if you notice too much fatigue carrying over from your long running or walking days the prior week.
Forty-three-year old Olympian marathoner Meb Keflezighi provides great advice for runners in an article “Meb’s Tips for Performing into Your 40s and Beyond”. He says to listen to your body; it’s safer to err on the side of doing less than more, to avoid injury. HIS ADVICE APPLIES TO BEGINNER RUNNERS AND WALKERS as well veterans! No matter what your age, the risk of injury increases with over-training. Take a break, get enough sleep, make sure you stretch, and perform weekly core and strength work.
With Thanksgiving travel season upcoming, consider preparing for the increased risk of influenza viral infection this month by obtaining a vaccination at least two weeks prior to your expected departure date. CDC recommendations for persons living in or visiting the Northern Hemisphere are to get this done by the end of October. Staying healthy means including this important prevention step in your pre-holiday planning activities.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
FIVE YEARS AGO IN OCTOBER, THE EARNED RUNS WEBSITE WENT LIVE. A SAMPLING OF PICTURES TAKEN ON RUNS OR WALKS, MORNINGS, MIDDAY, AND EVENINGS, 2014 THROUGH 2019 IS OFFERED BELOW. There are so many to choose from to post, but this selection of favorites shows roughly a progression through the seasons from October to October over these years.
It became apparent, early on in 2014, that the need to find images for the Earned Runs blog posts was opening my eyes to the beauty that awaited me on everyday runs and walks, both at home and while away. At earlier and later times of day, during fitness activities like running, there hasn't been time to stage amazing photos. or seek permission to use images of people captured in them.
However, in spite of the limitations, spectacular sights have frequently made my exercise outings memorable. A simple mobile phone camera helped preserve these moments during training walks and runs. A treat to myself on business and family trips has been to take time to go outside for workouts to experience the beauty of each place and time. I don’t have the need to travel for business as much now, so familiar places must continue provide new inspirational views.
I've been mostly surprised when ordinary places suddenly reveal hidden visual gems at just the right time of day and under certain weather conditions. Like the unexpected glint of a rising or setting sun reflected off a natural or structural surface. A prism of color, plume of fog, or a frosty coating created by atmospheric vapor on a hazy or brightening day. Vibrant colors that show themselves when the sun doesn't dominate the scene. And glowing light that is most precious because it is rare, distant, or small.
Click on the "Read more" link to view the Earned Runs selections this year for the Anniversary Gallery of Images. Share your pics of the past year or more with Earned Runs!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
OCTOBER 2019 MARKS 5 YEARS ONLINE! THANK YOU
THE FIRST DAY OF THE 10TH MONTH OF 2014 was shaping up to be an important one for Earned Runs LLC. The company was incorporated in February but the online material wasn’t ready until later in the year. Ready to go live, all of a sudden, the website host rolled out a formatting change! No kidding. Weebly.com had chosen that very day to accomplish this overhaul. The Earned Runs materials were a mess.
There wasn’t a crisis because I had decided beforehand not to go live with the Facebook rollout until October 12, Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day. Only family were notified that the site was live, to obtain their critical reviews before the outside world had a chance to see what was being offered. All was fixed by October 2.
But since then it’s been a positive experience, with a few glitches, in terms of excitement and rewards. In 2018, bib requests began to come in from competitors all over the world. Most have come from the USA, Eastern Europe, Russia, and recently from Northern Africa. Your notes of appreciation have been greatly appreciated! Thank you!
The international requests busted the 2018 and 2019 Earned Runs budgets, and difficulties interpreting addresses slowed the mailing process considerably. Mailings outside the USA and Canada were suspended until this past September. Currently the policy is to honor international requests that include complete addresses on a limited basis from each country.
The address issues mostly involve international mailings that lack street names and numbers. All locations are investigated online, but with mixed results. Sometimes the proper address can be deduced, but oftentimes that cannot. Over the past year I’ve come to think that not all will have a number because the town, center, or village is very small and certain residences may be known to mail deliverers by description (“third house from the corner”). Like in Hebron, the West Bank, in the Palestinian Territories. As a result, some mailings have been sent, with fingers crossed, that the person making the request will indeed receive their bibs. Only two envelopes have been returned, but there’s a good chance that many don’t find their way to the correct ‘home’.
Initially Earned Runs made efforts to email requests for complete information, but possibly due to language issues, this action has not realized good results and has been stopped. The option of personally printing a bib has been offered, although it seems not an optimal solution. Hopefully another will be identified this year.
But enough with the business of mailings!!!
KNOW THAT YOU ARE PART OF A NEARLY GLOBAL COMMUNITY. Requests have not come from the continents of Australia and Antarctica, so not quite global (yet?). Below is the listing of the countries from which requests have come.
ALGERIA (MANY), ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, BELARUS, BULGARIA CANADA, DENMARK, EGYPT, FINLAND, FRANCE, GREECE, INDIA, IRAQ, ITALY, JORDAN, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MOROCCO (MANY), PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, POLAND, RUSSIA (MANY), SPAIN, TUNISIA (MANY), UKRAINE (MANY), UNITED KINGDOM, USA (MANY), and UZBEKISTAN.
The USA states from which requests were received include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
In attempting to decipher addresses so mailing envelopes could be prepared, I’ve used the internet to investigate whether place names (unfamiliar and exotic sounding to me) were streets or city sections, villages, regions, or administrative seats. The online images that appeared showed incredibly lovely parts of the world, many that are situated on coastlines near beautiful bodies of water. Others are in very rural locales. The Ukraine, Russia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria have provided the greatest of such surprises in the course of this detective work.
The isolated nature of some addresses reminds me that these athletes might benefit especially from having bibs and informational support, at no cost, to motivate and power their efforts to train and compete in personal events. It’s exciting to think that they will be helped to challenge themselves as others do in big population centers surrounded by easy to join groups. In imagining outdoor workouts in these homelands, I hope each person feels connected in a small way to each other. If you train to meet an athletic goal, you can consider yourself an athlete in my opinion, regardless of the remoteness of your training site.
Thanks are due to all who have been supportive, especially family. My sister is the Number One cheerleader! She took me to the start of the Dipsea Trail last summer so I could experience the feel of the iconic race, if not actually participate in it, and regularly suggests potential topics for blog discussion. My husband passes research news along to me that might be used for Science Friday posts, and endures the clutter of bibs, stickers, envelopes, and stamps in our living space without complaint. My friends and family endure constant comments on topics they raise, “… that topic was covered in one of my Earned Runs blog posts.”
At this time, blog posts since 2014 number 1230!
I am grateful for having an opportunity through Earned Runs to share my enthusiasm for running and fitness, and the interest shown by all who visit the website. Thank you for the connection I feel to you from my small town on the shore of Lake Michigan in the USA.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
THE 4TH WEEK OF THE 10+ WEEK TURKEY TROT 2019 TRAINING PLANS FOR RUNNERS AND WALKERS START Monday. Your mileage is increasing, so performing the Foam Roller session sometime this week becomes more important. If you have not yet experienced this routine, you might be surprised at how it helps you to recover after a longer run. No doubt, the first several times rolling can be uncomfortable. But with repeated sessions over time, it feels wonderful. An ice bath doesn’t ever feel wonderful.
Before I knew anything about FR, I would attempt to ease post-run leg stiffness by sitting in an ice bath. To prepare I put on a bathing suit and a short warm sweatshirt, made a cup of hot tea to drink, drew a tub half full of cold water, and filled a bucket with ice. First off, I eased into the cold water, then gradually added ice. I never spent the recommended full 10 minutes in the ice bath, so that’s possibly why it did not have provided relief from stiffness. To those who think foam rolling is painful, I would argue that it in my experience it is much less uncomfortable than icing. is more effective for me, compared with icing.
It’s the reason behind my encouraging foam rolling!
It’s best to start this practice early-on in training, before your soft tissues (muscles and surrounding connective tissue) significantly ‘tighten’ from repeated cycles of micro-injury and repair. At a later point in training you will likely experience exquisite tenderness (otherwise known as pain) when the tight tissues are compressed by your body weight during rolling.
Recommendations have included foam rolling immediately after running and every 24 hours on subsequent days as needed up to 72 hours (3 days later), to prevent delayed-onset of muscle soreness, called DOMS. Even though you might be able to grit your teeth and endure the DOMS, another reason to foam roll is that it can help prevent injury. This may be especially helpful if you are planning to run or exercise 24-72 hours after a tough long run.
A bonus of this session is that you work arms, core, and upper body as well. Feeling a little DOMS in these areas the day afterward will be proof.
If you find yourself forgetting it or skipping it due to lack of time, foam roll at least one time each week. I’ve confessed before that I find it best to hit my tightest spots (piriformis, calves, quads, back) PRIOR to a long run and then hit all areas AFTER the run.
Try it, at least once, before deciding to skip these sessions. The RESOURCES page lists some demonstrations.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
A SLIDESHOW ARTICLE BY WEBMD.COM, “Guide to Overuse Injuries” covers a few problems that don’t typically arise because of repetitive use in sport participation like carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger. However, the remainder are conditions that runners, walkers, and other athletes might commonly suffer: plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendinopathy/tendinitis of the elbow, jumper’s/runner’s knee, shin splints, ilio-tibial band syndrome, and stress fractures.
Because nearly every sidelining problem I've developed over the past 40+ years has been caused by overtraining, and named in this list, I thought the slideshow information could save others from a similar fate.
In the first part of the article, each malady is briefly explained. The common theme is that repeated performance of a physical motion over time can cause irritation leading to inflammation of soft tissue structures like ligaments, tendons, bursa, muscles, and bone. Even a stress fracture of bone involves inflammation. The end result of inflammation is pain.
PREVENTION: The next part of the slideshow (starting with slide #10) discusses prevention, the focus of this blog post.
First, a warmup of about 5-10 minutes is recommended in which a low intensity aerobic activity is performed to "loosen up" muscles and other soft tissue structures. Pumping blood at an increased heart rate to those tissues will literally warm them. You will know you’ve accomplished this task when you feel, well, warmer, and want to remove any extra clothing worn for the session. Warm-ups could also involve dynamic stretching and mobility routines.
The next prevention recommendation is to “take it slow” aimed at beginners or those starting a new program. If you’re a long-time, experienced runner, cyclist, or aerobic fitness equipment user you may tempted to skip this piece of advice and see what’s on the next slide. STOP. This slide’s message should be interpreted more broadly. Understand that regardless of experience level, efforts to increase speed, distance, weight, or intensity in training will increase your risk of overuse injury. Incremental training progressions should be gradual and should be confined to one dimension at a time (speed or distance, for example, but not both simultaneously).
The article’s third important prevention tip, "do it right,” is about technique and form. However, performing an activity with proper technique is not a simply matter.
There are both mental and physical aspects to learning sport-related moves. I know how a single-leg dead lift should be performed, but it takes significant work to gain the strength and balance to accomplish just a few perfect repetitions.
Deficiencies and inequalities in muscular strength, mobility, balance, and endurance have prevented me from moving as I wanted or should at various times in my running career, an orthopedic surgeon has explained. So, I unconsciously compensated. When compensated movement occurs repeatedly, body parts and tissues may move in unnatural ways, he said more than 20 years ago, which is what leads to tissue irritation, then inflammation, and worse.
A physical therapist further explained that as fatigue sets in during an extended effort proper form is most likely to break down. Near the end of a long race there can be much more wobble in my stride or cycling than at the start, she said. I'll notice a greater ache in one joint or tissue is because it is likely taking the brunt of the beating inflicted by sloppy form brought on by fatigue. And ok, maybe also because I am tired and mostly focused on just finishing, not proper form
The key to following this prevention directive, “do it right” is to adhere to a solid comprehensive training program that works not merely on increasing mileage to cover a specific distance. Rather one that builds overall endurance by improving strength, mobility, and balance, and prepares both body and mind for a level of performance that does not risk injury.
The last bit of prevention advice “Mix -it -up” supports the above discussion. It makes the point that other aerobic and strength efforts can be substituted for the one that is repeated day after day. Like swimming for running or biking and yoga for strength. To my mind, changing-up physical training to include other types of activities accomplishes two goals in preventing over-use injury:
[The last two article slides cover treatment, a huge topic that will not be discussed in this prevention-focused blog post. ]
With fall being a big season for endurance race training, and many athletes gearing up to take on the more difficult portions of their schedules, a bit of a reminder about the risks involved is timely. Webmd.com cautions us to warm up sufficiently, plan training progressions that are graduated, and take a well-rounded approach to training for overall endurance that includes a mixture of exercises.
One last piece of advice should be added to the webmd.com list: REST when the schedule calls for a day to recover. More training is not likely to translate to better performance. The best strategy for success in an upcoming competition may be to train to stay healthy to insure participation, rather than be sidelined by injury.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
RUNNER’S WORLD EDITORS OFFER a convenient tool to guide clothing and gear selection for various weather conditions in an online article “What to Wear When You’re Running.” All that’s needed is to make selections from drop-down boxes that describe yourself and the weather: gender, temperature, conditions, wind, time of day, intensity, and feel.
The article also explains, what experienced outdoor exercisers know, that it’s best to feel uncomfortably cool when starting out to avoid feeling uncomfortably warm during the workout. I’ve heard slightly different versions, but the rule is for runners to add 15-20 degrees to the outside temp to determine what conditions will feel like once your effort intensity ramps up. The temperature increase is likely to be less for walkers, but still should be anticipated.
It’s not always possible to fine tune a workout wardrobe for all types of weather. Purchasing clothing that can be “adjusted” on the go is key to making more out of less running apparel items for the upcoming cooler weather months when layering becomes necessary.
Dressing appropriately for the outdoors at the start of each session, as the runnersworld.com piece does nicely (it helps you to make inter-run adjustments), is important. However, certain aspects of the weather can change over the course of a workout, making it difficult to evenly maintain comfort levels.
Earned Runs offers a little more insight into clothing selection to help you make adjustments during a session (intra-run) with regard to:
Wind direction: it is not likely to shift in an hour, but if your body orientation does, the wind will be hitting you at various angles over time. Facing a cold wet wind at the beginning of your run or walk means the opposite will prevail during the return leg of an out-and-back course. Old school advice is to avoid a return leg facing the wind, when fatigue may have set in. Multiple loops of a short course can also work to keep the wind direction manageable.
Sun warmth: a rising or setting sun, or a sun that is intermittently obscured by clouds, buildings, or natural features may alternately warm or cool the air and you, changing conditions significantly from those at the start of a run.
Precipitation: might not be an issue at the outset of a run or walk, but threatening skies can suddenly deliver moisture during a run or walk, which in cool and windy weather means there is potential for dangerous chilling to occur.
Below are a few clothing tips that address intra-run environmental condition changes that may affect an extended long distance outdoor workout.
Full Zip Shirts: The runnersworld.com guide says to use a jacket zipper “as a ‘thermostat”-zip up or down on the run, as needed, to stay comfortable.” I’ve found that full zip jackets work better than half or less zipper lengths at warming then cooling my torso, and then warming it up again, whether the jackets are light- or heavy-weight. If I wear 2 jackets because a thin wind and water-resistant shell is needed in addition to a warmer fabric under-jacket, having full zippers on both is most helpful, especially when running course reverses cause wind direction changes. Zippers are pulled up as I turn into a stiff breeze!
Sleeveless base layer: When several tops and/or jackets are layered, the armhole region can begin to feel confining and arm swings may become restricted. Starting with a technical fabric sleeveless tank as base can help avoid the pinch of too much fabric in this area as well as overheating. Choosing a tank that’s longer than the items that will be layered over it keeps it from riding up in the back, creating a gap that lets cool air enter.
Mittens: Not only do running mittens keep hands warmer in cold, wet, and windy conditions, they generally are less bulky than gloves. I find that thin wind-resistant mittens are more effective than thicker gloves at keeping hands comfortable, neither too cold or too hot, as running conditions change and more or less protection is needed. Hot hands sweat; sweat cools when gloves come off, and hands are once again cold. In my experience, wearing hand covering continuously tends to be more comfortable than cycling between on-and-off. I find that thin wind-resistant mittens help prevent hand sweating. Mittens can be pulled over the long sleeves of shirts/jackets that are designed with thumb holes. If hands warm, thin mittens can be carried and easily pulled on or off intermittently.
Ankle/leg warmers: cozy light-knit legwarmers worn bunched around ankles or pulled up over calves can help keep lower legs from feeling jarred and shocked by hard roads and paths on frigid, late fall or early winter mornings. Later on, once snow/rainy season has commenced, the extra light layer can prevent cold road moisture from seeping into socks and the ankle area of tights.
Visor hat plus earmuffs: A baseball-style hat with a visor is great at keeping rain, snow, or sun off the face. The hat’s cap protects the top of the head and prevents warmth from escaping, mostly without causing over-warming and sweating. Like the hands, head sweating can lead to uncomfortable cooling-heating cycles. The problem with baseball-style caps is that they don’t offer any protection for ears. Pairing a baseball-style hat with earmuffs (or a head band) does this nicely. The beauty of earmuffs is that they can be adjusted to cover more or less of the ear depending on outside conditions. The biggest drawback is the dorky look this combination generates. One solution is to wear a Stormy-Kromer hat! If you haven’t explored this option and you live in colder regions, check them out. I love mine, the ivory-color one pictured in the image above, featured in a previous blog post.
Earned Runs highlights some options on the GEAR LOVE page too.
Enjoy the coming cooler Fall outdoor weather in comfort by preparing for intra-run or intra-walk changes with wise purchases!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...