Posts in the category

You asked, I answered: snot rockets

By | November 26, 2014 2:40 am | 0 Comments

snot rocket

Q. How do you perfect the art of the snot rocket. I always end up with it all over me. — R.A.

OK, truth be told, I’m with you, R.A. I’ve never figured this one out, so I had to turn to the experts at Runner’s World who have a VIDEO with 5 Steps to the Perfect Snot Rocket. How awesome is that?

Just be sure there’s nobody around you when you blast off because while runners have a high tolerance for gross bodily functions while running, covering someone with snot is unforgivable.

Friday question: Best running advice

By | October 24, 2014 1:54 am | 0 Comments

Veteran runners love to dole out advice to newbies. I asked some area runners (some long-time runners, some fairly new to the scene) to share with us the best running-related advice they’ve ever received. Here’s what they had to say:

You can run too fast. But you can never run too slow. — Benjamin Reitz

Ditch the shoes and start running barefoot! I would have given up running years ago had I not taken that advice. — Tom Madura
Trust the Gear. When I doubted that a thin looking wicking shirt could work better than a heavy sweatshirt. —Christine Vassen (editor’s note: Good running clothes are worth EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR..and items usually last for years.)
Don’t do anything in the race you didn’t do in training. — Susan Ellsworth
Lean into the run. Don’t fight it. — Theresa Konzel
The first mile always sucks. This doesn’t mean the whole run is going to suck. Just keep going. (I had no idea!) — Rhonda Berlin
You can do it! — LeAnn Morton
Find a group of friends to run with & do fun runs. — Lisa Meyer
Put your sneakers on & go! — Renee York
Train in all weather conditions…never know what the weather will be on race day. — Megs Shearman
Small achievements lead to big goals. Run small increments set small goals and work your way up. Each step is one more step towards a better finish. This has helped me to not be discouraged at my limitations from being unable to do it. Instead each new achievement has motivated me to do more. It’s been an awesome journey… only regret is not doing it sooner in life. —Dawnmarie Dumond
From a trail sage friend of mine: If you fall down, the best thing you can do is just get up and get moving. — Sean Donachy
Get the miles in don’t worry about time! — Laurie Bruce
Vary the pace. Run slow runs very slow so you can recover and be fresh for the hard workouts. Too many people just run everything at “medium” pace and remain stagnant. — Pat Krott
When running, stay hydrated. I learned that  lesson the hard way when I did my first half. If you don’t stay hydrated, there is a lot of pain that comes after. — Mary Krysiak
Know your body. Know how you breathe. Know how your body moves. Don’t listen to anyone else – listen to your body. — Jim Lang
You will feel better. — Tim May
Even bad runs are good runs. Learn from them and move on! — Leslie Cooksey
Good running shoes are vital. — Amy Morrow
The first mile is a liar. Keep going, it will get better. — Bri Hodges
Give yourself permission to go as slow as you need to…miles are miles. (I often repeat this in my head while wanting to stop) — Karen Forcht
Starting is half the battle. Just go. — Debbie Humphreys
Spend the cash on good shoes. Get fitted. Don’t cheap out. Get new ones by the recommended guidelines for miles. Invest in your feet! — Eloise Hawking
Don’t run every day or you’re more prone to injury. And cross train on non-run days. — Karen Beebe
As for me, I’d have to say the best running advice I ever received was from my father, a former runner, who told me to not to go out to fast in a race & to hold back in a race for the first half mile or mile because it’s easy to get caught up with the excitement and run too hard…and then you’ll flame out in the middle. It’s solid advice that has served me pretty well over the years.
A few other bits of advice from friends that have helped me over the years:
* Don’t put sunscreen above your cheeks (it always runs into your eyes)…put it on from cheeks down & wear a hat & sunglasses to protect the rest of your face.
* Don’t bother carrying water on a long run…drop it in advance (or plan a route with water stops/fountains along the way).
* Everyone occasionally has a really crappy run. No big deal.
* Runners make ugly hood ornaments (i.e. wear reflective gear).


Where to find races in Erie

By | August 13, 2014 2:34 am | 0 Comments

I received the following email & after I answered him, I thought it might be useful info to post here for any other runners new to the Erie scene:

Hi Heather,

I got your email from your blog on  You seem like a great person to provide me some information.  I’m getting back into running after many years off, and haven’t ever run a race since living in the Erie area.  Is there a list of runs nearby Erie that you can point me to?
Thanks for your help.
~ J.L.
Hi Jason. Welcome back into the running family. You’ll find that Erie has a very active, supportive & friendly running community. I know of lots of groups who run together around Erie county at a variety of paces, so if & when you want to join others, let me know & I’ll see if I can’t find you some folks to run with.

Tonight is Tuesday Night Race League which is an informal racing league that gets together on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the summer months to run in places all over Erie county. Some race (I don’t) and there are usually two distances given…a shorter & a longer. People of all abilities show up and are welcome at TNRL. It is free and informal (no bibs or shirts or anything…there are times you’ll need to write your own time down). More info on TNRL and the schedule can be found here. Tonight TNRL is at Highmyer park in Harborcreek

Information on local races can be found here.  As you’ll see…there is no shortage of events to chose from. I don’t know that every single race is listed here (it’s up to organizers to send to the Erie runners club to get their event listed), but…the bigger ones are on the list. The official Erie Runners Club events are typically the most well attended and best run (managed).

If you have questions about any of the races, let me know, I’ve been running here in Erie for nearly 20 years. There’s probably not a race course or area of the county that I’m not familiar with (OK, maybe far west county — I’m an east county girl, born and raised).

See you at the races!


Friday question: chafing prevention & remedies

By | June 20, 2014 7:48 am | 0 Comments

The summer heat & humidity = painful showers and chafing scars for many runners. I asked: How do you deal with chafing? Share any prevention tips and/or remedies!

Body glide, no issues. But, if you already have chafing, aquaphor or diaper cream works well.  — Pat Krott

I also use body glide. It’s the best! No issues when using that! — Jessie Zahner

Body Glide ….  and compression shorts ….. that’s all you need. — Ramon Patron Jr.

Calluses. Develop calluses and chafing is no longer a problem. — Jim Lang

Aquafor…..helps prevent chafing, and works magic on fixing things if you missed an are. — Christine Vassen

Glide, glide, glide. And don’t wear cotton clothes. — Leslie Cooksey

Chamois Butt’r or Body Glide.  Chamois Butt’r is the “balm.”  ;D — Mike Lawrence

I use baby powder. I have not chafed since I started using before races and long runs.  — Jameel Gavin

Copious amounts of baby powder in the boxer briefs!! For a cooling effect the medicated Goldbond is awesome. Speaking of briefs, I love Under Armour Heat Gear boxer briefs — goood support, moisture wicking, and durable. One of the pairs I have have been through 4 tough mudders, 2 muddy vikings, a beast on the bay, and a bunch of runs. I have a bunch of other brands too, but UA nailed it with their style. Also…band aids on the nips — depending on how much running (and sweating) I do, my shirts (and kind) chafe my nipples. In winter, I use a compression base gear, but in summer,  just use a with old Band-Aids. — Matt Kleck

Aquaphor rules, hands down, even in rain. Lube up! — Sean Donachy

Old school: Vaseline for the arms/sides, Band-aids for the nipples for my marathon on Saturday. (For clarity, as a guy, I don’t wear a sports bra). And I have bloodied singlets on long runs without Band-aids (not to mention the discomfort that gave me a new appreciation for the difficulties that half of the human race deals with). — Michael Morris

More advice from the gurus at Runner’s World.

Things I found — 2/27/14

By | February 27, 2014 1:44 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* You don’t need a gym membership or weights so strength train. Use your own body weight.  Check out these exercises that will  challenge your whole body (and there are links to more, too).

* The Art of Running Shoe Maintenance has some interesting tips (some I’ve never heard before) to keep your running shoes in top form.

* Beware of signing up for any races directed by The Shadiest Man in the Racing Business.  (Can you imagine signing up for a marathon, doing all the training, booking the hotel, and then find on race morning that there is no race???)

* Runners are often Type-A people who don’t love to sleep know, it’s just not that productive and they’d much rather be doing 10,000 other things and maybe go for another run, but making time for serious Zs is just as important as your weekly long run (maybe more). Need more convincing? Here are 25 things that happen if you don’t get enough sleep. (and having made an effort to increase my own sleep time, I can tell you it makes a world of difference).

* A friend and I were just talking about the latest FitBit craze and we both agree, we won’t be getting one…pretty much for the reason this woman dumped her Nike Fuel Band.




Dead legs (answers)

By | February 11, 2014 1:06 am | 0 Comments


I recently received this question from a reader:

I just started a jogging program, fast walk for 1.5 minutes and then run/jog for 1 min. It is a total 30 minute workout. My legs feel like dead weights from the knees down. I run every other day. What is causing this and how do I correct it?

I’ve had this problem from time to time and it’s usually the result of overtraining or nutrition (or likely a combination of both), but I reached out to the Erie area running community to see if they had any other ides for our reader.

Here’s what they had to say:

Her questions raise a lot more questions. How long has this person been walking/running? What is their body type, age and what kind of shoes are they wearing? Need the right shoe to for sure. Maybe start there. — Ginny Sackett

Editor’s note: Good point on the shoes! If you’re not wearing proper running shoes, get thee to Achille’s Running Shop in Erie to get professionally fitted.

When is she running? Maybe she should have a banana before she starts. Has she just started? We all know you have to work up to any distance, even a couple city blocks. — Linda Huegel

Honestly, I used to have that problem big time and found out I was anemic. Maybe ask her to get her iron checked. It literally got so bad in high school that I went from running the mile in like 6 minutes to struggling to run 10 minute miles. I had no idea what was wrong but they told me because I went to have surgery but my iron was low. She should def go get checked out. — Jessie Zahner

The beauty of time intervals is we don’t have to go a set distance, but for a beginner sometimes people think 1 minute on means all out. Maybe they could go a little easier in the jogging. — Greg Cooper

I agree with Greg Cooper. He or she may be doing too much too fast. She may want to decrease her training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Ice her legs to reduce any inflammation. She also may want to try an exercise of standing on the edge of curb or slightly elevated place and while holding on to something sturdy, gently lift herself up on her toes and come down far enough where her toes are pointing up (not too far) and do several repetitions a day and gradually increase her training. Leg wraps and compression sleeves may help as well. — Dave Lesher

Things I found While Looking Around — 1/16/14

By | January 16, 2014 1:56 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective Runners and Eaters

* Don’t be fooled by the claims on the front of the package. Check the nutrition facts. Here are 16 supposedly healthy foods with more sugar than a Snickers bar

* Tight shoulders are common among runners, particularly among runners who have desk jobs. Here are some tips to help you loosen up.

* Completely unrelated to running, but Outside online wrote a fascinating piece on Iditerod racer Lance Mackey: The world’s toughest athlete.

* Again, not running related, but…cycling is good cross-training and I stumbled upon this offer for a free e-book from Vello Mom — Road Biking for Beginners. You have to join their mailing list to get a link to the book (a 22-page PDF). I haven’t read it all the way through, yet, but it looks worth reading.


Video of the Week

T-shirt of the Week

back to the gym

Available here for $12.



Time to detox (You can do anything for six weeks)

By | December 31, 2013 1:43 am | Comments Off

One of the most surprising things I learned when I experimented with a paleo-like diet a year ago was how my cravings for carbohydrates and sweets completely went away after abstaining for them for a few weeks.  I could sit in front of a plate of cookies or a basket of bread and have zero desire to eat them. I just didn’t want them anymore.

I was amazed at how long I stayed full when I ate meat and veggies (yep, with oil and butter).  And… I didn’t have any trouble keeping weight off even when I reduced my mileage substantially.

I felt like I won the lottery. I could eat steak and broccoli with butter (and stay satiated for hours…no need or craving to snack), run half the miles I used to, and fit into the smallest size I’d worn since my 20s.

Then I got talked into a marathon (still not sure how that happened). The increased mileage (and the resulting cramps and fatigue) forced me to add some recovery carbs back into my diet. It started with “good carbs” like sweet potatoes, but soon veered off into the land of sweets, crackers, chocolate and diet soda again.


Sugar is a slippery slope, my friends.  It’s insidious — it’s in nearly everything we eat. If not the real thing, then some form of it — honey, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, aspartame, sucrose, etc.  (By the way, your body metabolizes bread/pasta and alcohol much like sugar).

So here I am at the end of the holiday season, having scarfed down more than my share of Christmas cookies, candies and hot drinks full of delish (but sugar-filled) creamers, and I feel like hell.  I’ve gained 12 lbs. since my pre-marathon-training “eating clean” days and my runs suck. Whether that’s due to the extra weight or the “poison” I keep putting in my body, I don’t know. But, I know it’s over now.

Time to detox.

And you can join me — us, actually — a bunch of the Team Adrenaline gang are jumping on Doc’s Detox wagon and committing to give up sugar (in all forms), alcohol and caffeine for 6 weeks in an effort to “reset” our systems.

Yeah…caffeine. I’m giving up my beloved 6+ cups a day. Consider yourself warned, my friends. It won’t be pretty.

“Doc” is chiropractor Steve Krauza, owner of Krauza Family Chiropractic and founder/leader of Team Adrenaline.
He’s adamant that detoxes are not diets:

“Detoxes are not designed to be sustained over long periods of time. This particular detox is designed to eliminate cravings, increase energy, increase focus, and create an awareness of how your body reacts to certain chemicals.

This detox will not require you to purchase any pills, drinks, or gadgets. It doesn’t require you to deprive yourself of food or cause you to starve. This detox will cleanse your system from the holiday excesses. It will help your nervous system, digestive system, and immune system hit the Ctrl-Alt-Delete button as you start the new year.

Detoxes are not diets (see the recurring theme, here?). As a result, detoxes are not something you “dabble” in. Detoxes are all or nothing. Why? If you are trying to rid your body of certain chemicals, it means it has to be out of your system 100% to get the full desired effect. The degree of challenge is determined by your degree of dependency on the particular chemical you are detoxing.

The New Year Detox is not about weight loss. It’s about cleansing your body of the holiday excesses, eliminating chemical dependency, and improving the function of your nervous system. You will lose weight, but that’s not the purpose of this detox.

The New Year Detox starts January 1, 2014 and ends February 12, 2014.

You in?

You’ll be amazed at how wonderful you’ll feel come mid-February…and maybe you will have broken a few bad habits that you never need to pick up again (unless you get talked into a marathon or something).

Watch the video below for inspiration & all the details. Email Doc (or me) for a PDF handout with a list of which foods to avoid & tips for success.


Things I found while looking around — 12/12/13

By | December 12, 2013 2:31 am | 0 Comments

Worth reading

* Life advice from ultra happy ultrarunner Hal Koerner

* What’s for dinner? Need inspired?  11 athletes share their favorite meals.

* Car versus deer versus runner. (This is the kind of crap that would happen to me.)

* Did you know funny guy Will Ferrell is an avid runner & marathoner? Yep, Buddy Elf goes long.



Video of the Week

Next time you have to run on a treadmill, may you do so with the enthusiasm of Meatball, the Corgi on the playground carousel:

T-shirt of the Week

This is a DIY Santa shirt…perfect for Saturday morning’s ERC Snowflake 5K!


Instructions here.



Know the lingo: Tangent

By | December 4, 2013 1:09 am | 0 Comments

When you’re just getting started in a sport, it’s hard to learn all the lingo. Running and walking, like any sport, has it’s own special language and local phrases. Each week, I’ll define a term or phrase that will help you not only walk the walk (or run the run), but talk the talk.

Have you ever heard the phrase “run the tangent” and wondered what it meant? Mark Remy explains it best in his funny-but-true book, The Runner’s Rule Book (a great stocking stuffer, by the way):

Race courses are measured on the tangents—that is assuming the shortest line around corners and bends. This means that the best, fastest possible way for you to take a turn involves “running” or “cutting” the tangent: You start near the center of the road, then aim to hit the corner right on the corner before swinging back out.  (If you ever want to see this done beautifully and at incredible speeds watch the criterium bike race in downtown Erie.)

What this does not mean is that you should hop the curb, run on the sidewalk, or otherwise leave the course itself to shave a few seconds off your time, or avoid the rest of us suckers who are following the rules. In a race, hopping curbs is cheating and, it does matter.