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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beware of the Nike Air Max 2010!

My Nike Air Max 2010's came in the mail a month and a half ago and I could not wait to get those suckers on.   Now.. I can't wait to send them back!!  They are already ripping!  I spent $100+ and the quality sucks.  Here is a picture of my poor sneakers!

SO.. a word to the wise.  Stay away from Nike! The quality sucks.  These sneakers are a month and a half old!  Back to Asics I go!  

p.s.  The customer service guy was SUPER nice and he agreed to refund me the purchase price after I sent the sneaks back in!

Monday, March 28, 2011

soundRUNNER Sale & Free Injury Assessment

Got this email today!
Check it out!

Starts Friday, April 1st
All soundRUNNER Locations

Winter Accessories - $5.00
Tops - $10.00
Bottoms - $15.00
Outerwear - $20.00

with Dr. Kurt Strecker.
Bring your running clothes and join
us for a run at 6:30 p.m.  
For more information please contact us at

Check out your race course

Hello runners,
Ragnar is fast approaching.  Now is a great time to get onto the Ragnar site and start looking at your exact route.  To do this.  Go to  In the "select a race" drop down click New England.  On the left tool bar under RUN FOREST RUN you will see Course Maps.  Click on this and find your runner number and legs.  If you click on the leg number there is turn by turn directions of your running route.  At the bottom of the page there is even an elevation map.
This is what you will see:

Please use this as a training guide.  I suggest going to the closer routes and doing a few practice runs on your exact route.  Please please please print out your race course, and get familiar with the miles, elevation and difficulty level.  I can't stress enough how many people told me to prepare for the hills.  Upstate CT can be a hilly bitch so get those hill workouts in!
Here is a list of your runner number and leg numbers to make sure we are all on the same page

FILL IN (Thatcher?) Runner 1: Legs 1, 13 and 25.  Hands off to John
JOHN- Runner 2: Legs 2, 14, and 26 Hands off to Katie
KATIE- Runner 3:  Legs 3, 15, and 27 Hands off to Rob
ROB - Runner 4: Legs 4, 16, and 28 Hands off to Marissa
MARISSA-Runner 5: Legs 5, 17, 29 Hands off to Kelly
KELLY- Runner 6: Legs 6, 18, 30 Hands off to Chris

Van 2
CHRIS- Runner 7: Legs 7, 19, 31 Hands off to Jeff
JEFF- Runner 8: Legs 8, 20, 32 Hands off to Frank
FRANK- Runner 9:  Legs 9, 21, 33 Hands off to Liz
LIZ- Runner 10: Legs 10, 22, 34 Hands off to Brian
BRIAN- Runner 11: Legs 11, 23, 35 Hands off to Stephen
STEPHEN- Runner 12: Legs 12, 24, 36 Ends the race.

Friday, March 25, 2011

196 teams and Volunteers?

Almost 200 teams have signed up for the New England Ragnar Relay (and the deadline isn't up yet!!).  196 to be exact. That means up to 2,352 runners on course.   That means this race is going to be a BLAST!  Take a look at the website to look at all the teams/their times and their names.  Quite funny!

One of the requirements for the RAGNAR is that as a team, we provide 3 volunteers.  Does any one know some one who would be interested in being a volunteer?  Duties are anywhere from setting up the day before to handing out water/food the day off.  I talked to a few people at the meeting that were volunteers in the past and they said it was a blast.

Friday Friday Friday

 The snow has melted, the sun is out, time to hit the road!  It was a pretty cold week for running and I slacked off a little bit myself.  BUT it's Friday, the weekend is here, and you have 3 days to get your mileage up.  The weekend is going to be sunny and in the 40's so no excuses!  

     Yesterday I ran 6 on the treadmill and felt great.  Later in the day my left knee was bothering me especially behind my knee. My "knee pit" is really swollen and its pretty painful.. anyone experience this before/ knows what this could be?  I am going to take off today and ice it and hope for the best!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

56 and Sunny

What a beautiful day!  It is 1:42 and it is 56 and sunny out there!

This morning I put on my shamrock socks and met Rob for a 10 mile scenic run around Lyme... GO US! It was a great run, we parked at Lyme Public Library, ran to Salem Road, stretched, and continued on.  Salem road was beautiful, to the right is a large dam and river/lake.  We took a right onto Gungy rd. which was a good hill workout as well as very scenic (pretty barns, fields, etc).  At the end of Gungy we took a right onto Beaver Brook that met back up with 156.  We ran back to the library, threw a high five, and headed home.  

By the way, my families little Italian greyhound Peterson ran the full 10 miles no problem! I

 hope you are all taking advantage of this sunny day and hit the track/roads!  I am off to ride my horses.  Enjoy your St Pattys day and Happy Running!

P.S.  if you cant make it out today, its going to be 63 tomorrow! get out there!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

List of Running Trails around SE CT

I found a great site that has a few mapped out runs around Old Lyme here are a few.  For a complete list, check out my page above or just click on this link

3 mile run around Old Lyme- Mile Creek- flat and hills
Map of Rogers Lake, Old Lyme, CT

Rogers Lake 6.4 mile loop
Map of Rogers Lake, Old Lyme, CT

Beaver Brook 12.2 miles Lyme CT
Map of Lyme, Salem and East Lyme, CT

Staying Motivated

The temperature is finally above freezing, the sun is out, the snow has melted... yet motivation to go out for a run is at an all time low.  It seems that everyone needs a little boost of motivation so I found a few tips to keep motivated and reasons to keep running! I posted my favorites here....
#1 Start a blog (CHECK!)
where you post your daily mileage, then give out the Web address to your friends and family. Do you really want Aunt Ellen to ask why you skipped your four-miler on Wednesday?

#2  Get a new pair of shoes - Two-time Olympian Shayne Culpepper puts new gear she receives as an elite athlete to good use. "It's fun to break in a new pair of shoes," she says. "Sometimes that's enough to get me excited."

#3 4. GO SOFT. It's hard to stay motivated with shinsplints, so get off the pavement for a few days and run on a cross-country course or unpaved bike paths.

# 4 FORGET TIME. Shane Bogan, who coaches distance runners in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, advises leaving your watch at home once in a while. "It's liberating not to be worried about pace," Bogan says.

Classic Rock
"Don't Stop Me Now," Queen
"Break on Through," The Doors
"Gimme Shelter," Rolling Stones
"Come Together" the Beatles
"What Do You Do for Money Honey," AC/DC

# 6  EVERY MILE YOU RUN burns roughly 100 calories. Think of that next six-miler as two slices of pizza.

#7 RUN AT LUNCH. Daniel Sheil, a marathon coach in Portland, Oregon, recommends lunchtime runs for two reasons: (1) You get your workout in before the day gets away from you; (2) You get a midday break from work stress.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sore Shins and Stretching

       Monday I hit the track and ran an easy 6 miles no problem.  Tuesday I went to the gym and ran a fast 2 miles and spent a good amount of time at the gym after.  Wednesday I went to the track to put some more mileage in and was in excruciating pain so I stopped after two miles.  My shins felt like knives were stabbing them and walking back to the car was PAINFUL.  After running for two months in my mediocre shoes, the damage was done.  Once I laced up my new sneaks I felt great and increased my workouts, running farther, faster, and 6 days a week........ which resulted in a very painful Wednesday.  I always stretch before and after, but stopping to stretch between the miles seemed to help.  Needless to say I am taking a day or two off and resuming running when I get down to Florida (going for a week to visit Thatcher's grandparents and soak up the sun- very excited to run in 80 degrees with shorts and a tank top and a trip to the beach).

Back to shins..... When I got home I did some research on shin injuries, what they are, how to prevent, and how to treat.  There is a lot of bogus on the internet but I think I found a pretty good article.

This Article below is by Brad Walker and The Stretching Institute. Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Brad is a leading stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry.

Shin splints are a term commonly used to describe lower leg pain. However, shin splints are only one of several conditions that affect the lower leg. The most common causes of lower leg pain are: general shin soreness; shin splints; and stress fractures. For the purpose of this article, I'll only be addressing the first two. I'll save the topic of stress fractures for another issue.

If you suffer from shin splints or are seeking to prevent its occurrence it is important to follow the information in this article. In addition, adding a few simple stretches to your fitness program will also help. To get started on a safe and effective stretching routine learn more about The Stretching Handbook and how it can improve your fitness.

Before I move on to shin splints, I want to quickly cover the topic of general shin soreness. Shin soreness is simply a muscular overuse problem. By including adequate rest in your training calendar, and using the R.I.C.E.R. regimen when pain does occur, you'll be able to overcome 95 percent of all general shin soreness within about 72 hours. For lower leg pain that goes beyond general shin soreness, a more aggressive approach must be taken.

What are Shin Splints?
Although the term "shin splints" is often used to describe a variety of lower leg problems, it actually refers specifically to a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). To better understand shin splints, or MTSS, an understanding of the muscles, tendons and bones involved is required.
Lower Leg Muscle Group picture used from "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology" - Sixth Edition. By G.J. Tortora and N.P. Anagnostakos. Published by Harper & Row - 1990
Shin Splints image from Principles of Anatomy and
 by G.J. Tortora and N.P. Anagnostakos.
As you can see from the diagram to the right, there are many muscles and tendons that make up the lower leg, or calf region. It's quite a complex formation of inter-weaving and over-crossing muscles and tendons.
The main components of the lower leg that are affected by the pain associated with shin splints are:
  • The Tibia and Fibula. These are the two bones in the lower leg. The tibia is situated on the medial, or inside of the lower leg. While the fibula is situated on the lateral, or outside of the lower leg.
  • There are also a number of muscles that attach to the tibia and fibula. It's these muscles, when overworked, that pull on the tibia and fibula and cause the pain associated with shin splints.
Specifically, the pain associated with shin splints is a result of fatigue and trauma to the muscle's tendons where they attach themselves to the tibia. In an effort to keep the foot, ankle and lower leg stable, the muscles exert a great force on the tibia. This excessive force can result in the tendons being partially torn away from the bone.

What Causes Shin Splints?
While there are many causes of shin splints, they can all be categorized into two main groups. Overload (or training errors), and Biomechanical Inefficiencies.

Overload (or training errors): Shin splints are commonly associated with sports that require a lot of running or weight bearing activity. However, it is not necessarily the added weight or force applied to the muscles and tendons of the lower leg, but rather the impact force associated with running and weight bearing activities.
In other words, it's not the running itself, but the sudden shock force of repeated landings and change of direction that causes the problem. When the muscles and tendons become fatigued and overloaded, they lose their ability to adequately absorb the damaging shock force.
Other overload causes include:
  • Exercising on hard surfaces, like concrete;
  • Exercising on uneven ground;
  • Beginning an exercise program after a long lay-off period;
  • Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly;
  • Exercising in worn out or ill fitting shoes; and
  • Excessive uphill or downhill running.

Biomechanical Inefficiencies: The major biomechanical inefficiency contributing to shin splints is that of flat feet. Flat feet lead to a second biomechanical inefficiency called over-pronation. Pronation occurs just after the heel strikes the ground. The foot flattens out, and then continues to roll inward.
Over-pronation occurs when the foot and ankle continue to roll excessively inward. This excessive inward rolling causes the tibia to twist, which in-turn, over stretches the muscles of the lower leg.
Other biomechanical causes include:
  • Poor running mechanics;
  • Tight, stiff muscles in the lower leg;
  • Running with excessive forward lean;
  • Running with excessive backwards lean;
  • Landing on the balls of your foot; and
  • Running with your toes pointed outwards.
How to Prevent Shin Splints!
Prevention, rather than cure, should always be your first aim. I was very surprised when researching this topic at the number of articles that totally neglected any mention of preventative measures. They all talked of treatment and cure, but only one out of twenty took the time to address the issue of prevention in any detail.
Even before any sign of shin soreness appears there are a number of simple preventative measures that can be easily implemented.
Since about half of all lower leg problems are caused by biomechanics inefficiencies, it makes sense to get the right advice on footwear. Your feet are the one area you should not "skimp" on. The best advice I can give you concerning footwear is to go and see a qualified podiatrist for a complete foot-strike, or gait analysis. They will be able to tell you if there are any concerns regarding the way your foot-strike or gait is functioning.
After your foot-strike has been analysed, have your podiatrist, or competent sports footwear sales person recommend a number of shoes that suit your requirements. Good quality footwear will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems.
Apart from good footwear, what else can you do? I believe the following three preventative measures are not only very effective, but crucial.
Firstly, a thorough and correct warm up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come. Without a proper warm up the muscles and tendons will be tight and stiff, which may limit blood flow to the lower legs and result in a lack of oxygen and nutrients for those muscles. Before any activity be sure to thoroughly warm up all the muscles and tendons that will be used during your sport or activity. Click here for a detailed explanation of how, why and when to perform your warm up.
Secondly, flexible muscles are extremely important in the prevention of lower leg injuries. When muscles and tendons are flexible and supple, they are able to move and perform without being over stretched. If however, your muscles and tendons are tight and stiff, it is quite easy for those muscles and tendons to be pushed beyond their natural range of movement. To keep your muscles and tendons flexible and supple, it is important to undertake a structured stretching routine.
Below is just one example of an effective calf stretch for shin splints treatment and prevention. But don't rely on just one stretch; it's important to do a range of stretching exercises for the Achilles, the upper and lower calf, and the hamstrings.
Shin splints stretch for shin splints treatment and preventionStanding Toe-up Achilles Stretch: Stand upright and place the ball of your foot onto a step or raised object. Bend your knee and lean forward. Watch instructional videos of stretching exercises for shin splints.
The Stretching Handbook and DVDWhile the recommendations on this page are a good starting point, you'll get a lot more benefit when you include a wider range of exercises. So to improve your performance, reduce injuries and really take advantage of all the stretching exercises on offer, grab a copy of the updated 2011 edition of the Stretching Handbook and accompanying DVD. Together, they include 135 clear photographs and 44 video demonstrations of unique stretching exercises for every major muscle group in your body.
The DVD also included 3 customized stretching routines (8 minutes each) for the Upper Body; the Lower Body; and the Neck, Back & Core, plus a bonus DVD-ROM feature that allows you to print out over 80 stretching routines that you can take with you where ever you go.
The Handbook and DVD will show you, step-by-step, how to perform each stretch correctly. Plus, you'll also learn the 7 critical rules for safe stretching; the benefits of flexibility; and how to stretch properly. Check out theStretching Handbook & DVD for yourself.
And thirdly, strengthening and conditioning the muscles of the lower leg will also help to prevent shin splints. There are a number of specific strengthening exercises you can do for these muscles, but instead of me going into the details here, I have simply found another web site that has already done all the hard work. It explains a number of exercises you can do for preventing shin splints. You can find these strengthening exercises by going to
The above-mentioned article is the only other article I found that included a comprehensive section on shin splint prevention. If you're only interested in the strengthening exercises, you'll find them towards the end of the article. If however, you suffer from shin splints or you're looking for more information on shin splints, I recommend you read the entire article.
How to Treat Shin Splints!
Firstly, be sure to remove the cause of the problem. Whether it is a biomechanical problem, or an overload problem, make sure steps are taken to remove the cause.
The basic treatment for shin splints is no different to most other soft tissue injuries. Immediately following the onset of any shin pain, the R.I.C.E.R. regimen should be applied. This involves Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Referral to an appropriate professional for an accurate diagnosis. It is critical that the R.I.C.E.R. regimen be implemented for at least the first 48 to 72 hours. Doing this will give you the best possible chance of a complete and full recovery.
The next phase of treatment (after the first 48 to 72 hours) involves a number of physiotherapy techniques. The application of heat and massage is one of the most effective treatments for speeding up the healing process of the muscles and tendons.
I have found both from personal experience and from working with many clients, that this form of treatment is the most effective. The application of heat and deep tissue massage on the affected area seems to bring the best results. If you suffer from shin splints, be sure to spend at least a few minutes massaging the affected area both before and after you exercise.
Once most of the pain has been reduced, it is time to move onto the rehabilitation phase of your shin splints treatment. The main aims of this phase is to regain and improve the strength, power, endurance and flexibility of the muscles and tendons that have been compromised.