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Running with other people will improve your performance and it may even improve your running experience (it has for me).
The Tuesday Night Race League, an informal weekly “race” league that is free and open to anyone & everyone of any ability (walkers welcome, too) has a Facebook page now. “Like” it to stay informed about all the group’s happenings and each week’s location and distance options. Not on FB? TNRL news is also posted on Jim Lang’s Big White Trailer website.
This coming Tuesday (June 3), TNRL is at Lake Erie Speedway at 7 p.m. Meet in the parking lot. There is always a longer & a shorter run option.
The Monday beginners trail run group at Penn State Behrend is going to be moving from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Park in the Junker Center parking lot and look for the folks gathering in the corner near the soccer fields. It’s “real” trail running with a mostly single-track course and plenty of mud if there’s been a recent rain. Plan accordingly! If you’re on Facebook, join the Erie Trail Runners group to stay up-to-date. More info on the trail run here.
If you’re looking for a group to run with…or you have a group that you’d like to invite more runners to, request to join the Erie Runners Club Running Groups Facebook group.
Once again, Harborcreek Township is sponsoring a FREE 6-week Beginner’s Running Clinic. Learn how to start running, choose proper equipment, warm up & stretching, diet, and follow a training plan to help you reach your running goals.
The clinic will be held every Thursday starting on May 15th at 6 PM. Meet at the picnic pavilion next to the Firman Road concession stand at Harborcreek Community Park.
The running clinic is FREE andYou do NOT need to be a Harborcreek resident to attend.
Here’s a Q&A I did with Sandie Sweet, the runner who leads the clinic.
Need some inspiration? This Harborcreek blogger attended Sandie’s clinic and started running (she had not run prior to attending the clinic) and she just completed her first half marathon! Read all about it here.
You can do it. You are so much stronger than you can possible imagine.
Go! DO IT. Try it. It
can will change your life.
Questions? Call (814) 899-3171 or email Sandie Sweet at email@example.com
Star Tribune: She found running and left troubles in the dust
How to pick the right running partner (Tip: If your goal is to get faster, your best running partners are those slightly faster than you. This means you may curse them while running because they will push you, but…that’s how you improve).
Because we can: Why we all need to run
Undies for running women (cute concept, but…pricey — 3 pairs for $48. Ouch).
Forget Fitbit - This T-shirt embeds fitness sensors into fabric (interesting)
When you’re just getting started in a sport, it’s hard to learn 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.
A “recovery run” is a run that you’d do the day after a hard or long (or long and hard) run or race. It’s meant to speed recovery by getting the blood flowing to the legs to flush out all the toxins, lactate etc. Recovery runs are always short, but… most importantly, they’re done very, very slowly.
* Protein is key to satiating meals and, therefore, key to weight loss (you eat much less when you eat protein). Here are 9 Portable Protein Sources for Athletes (though I disagree with peanut butter…it’s full of sugar and peanuts are legumes, not nuts).
* Can’t figure out what your next race should be? Take the pop quiz to find out what your next challenge should be.
* Dogs don’t sweat, so be cautious about taking your favorite four-legged partner on a run on a hot, humid day (no matter how much they WANT to go). Heed these 12 safety tips for running with your dog in the heat.
Gear of the week (I’m getting bored with T-shirts)
Check out these cool MantraBands! Mantras can get you through a tough race. I’ve got several mantras and they’ve changed over the years. The one I relied on in the PA Grand Canyon marathon was “Relentless Forward Progression.” I don’t see that one here, but I’m thinking I won’t need that one again anyway. “Carpe Diem” or “Enjoy the Journey” might be better choices for me now.
Wanna be a Poser?
Also…don’t forget about Pose-method classes that are now available in Erie. Here are the details:
By Tom Madura
Hi, my name is Tom and I haven’t run in months.
Well, not quite true. I’ve run. A little.
But this is a story about what happens when you lose the drive, and how hard it is to get it back. See, I’ve been a runner for about 30 years, give or take, and I’ve had my ups and downs. But never like this.
I started running in my 20s, and now, in my 50s, my PR’s are all behind me. My 1:44 in the Clarion River Half Marathon seems like a lifetime ago. (That’s the fore-runner of the Cook’s Forest Half for you young ‘uns). But that’s OK. I don’t mind getting older and slower – as long as I can still run and enjoy it.
It’s been years since I ran with the express purpose of beating anyone or trying to continually improve my pace. I started running barefoot to reduce the stress on my knees, and started to run just for the sheer fun of it and to stay fit. I love running and I was having a ball.
But last summer something changed – a long stretch of hot, humid weather led me to take a few weeks off. “What’s a few weeks?” I thought. It’s happened before. As soon as it cools off, I’ll start puttin’ in the miles again.
Only I didn’t. “Just a couple more days”, I thought, and I’ll jump right back in. I promise.
And then I twisted my ankle while out boating. A running injury when I wasn’t even running. Just great.
So then I decided, “Well, with that ankle all swollen and sore I’d better not start running again until it feels better.”
Weeks stretched into months, and then it was almost time for the Turkey Trot – one of my favorite races, and one I have only missed once in the last ten years. I hadn’t run at all since August, and it was early November. I did a few 2-mile runs and felt pretty good so I signed up for the 5K. Afterward I felt great, but there was still a little twinge in my ankle, and it was a little swollen the next day. No big deal, I’ll just take a few more days off (this train of thought was getting way too easy!)
Next up was the Snowflake Run – another favorite. I ran it and felt great.
Then I started to find every excuse imaginable not to run. What was wrong with me? All winter it was “I’m busy tonight”. “It’s raining – maybe it’ll be nicer tomorrow.” “It’s too cold”, or “I had a long day at work – I‘m tired”, or “Boy that couch and fireplace sure look more inviting than a run in the snow.”
Problem is, there are ALWAYS long days at work, or it’s ALWAYS too hot or too cold, or too rainy, and the couch is ALWAYS there. These things never stopped me from running before. I just didn’t have the motivation. I’d lost the drive. I was in a slump. My wife bought me a running motivational calendar for Christmas – it’s hanging in my office – I read it every day.
I read Heather’s blog every day for motivation and envied her drive to train for her Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania marathon.
It was just becoming easier and easier to NOT run.
Winter turned to Spring and I was really starting to miss running.
Oh, I finally started to go for an occasional 2 or 3 mile run, but getting back into a regular running routine was turning out to be harder than I thought. I did a few after-work runs at Presque Isle, and did 3 miles on International Barefoot Running Day in May. But by then it had been almost nine months (nine months!) since I had run on a regular schedule, and time I had previously set aside for running had now been taken up with other things – yard work; staying late at work; going out with friends. My schedule was full! Was this a permanent change in my life? Was I becoming an ex-runner?
N0. Damn it. I just need to focus on this and motivate myself – it’s for my own good and nobody else is going to do it for me. And I ENJOY IT! Why is this so hard??
As they say – it’s all in the mind. Just Do It.
So last week, on a cool rainy day, after a long day at work, I told my wife that dinner would have to wait a little bit tonight, and with only a passing glance at the couch as I headed out the front door, I did my first 3 mile run in weeks. And I’ve done 3 more since.
And most important of all, I finally WANT to keep doing it again! I’m looking forward to my next run.
I’m back! And it feels great!
I’ll see you on the road.
What one piece of advice, learned from your own experience, would you give a runner running his/her first race?
Do not go out too fast. To have your best race, you need to run evenly each mile in the race. Yes you will slow going uphill and speed up downhill. But as this is your 1st race, just complete the race and that will be your best race. — Mike Filutze
Have a running buddy. — Mark Dombrowski
Don’t get caught up in the electric excitement and start too fast/hard or you might lose steam way too soon! — Tracy Jenks
Have fun! — Dennis Albrewczynski
My mom always tells me…”don’t start out too fast”. It is so true! — Jessie Zahner
Run your own race. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing out there. — Rhonda Berlin
Don’t worry about your time. It’s your first race. What you get is your first PR – you will improve with more races you do. — Jennifer Bach
Don’t worry about your time. It’s your first race. What you get is your first PR – you will improve with more races you do. — Mike Caggeso
Don’t worry about your time; you ain’t goin’ to the Olympics. Have fun and wear the t-shirt proudly! — Michael Morris
Tie your shoes. Then check. There’s nothing like having to pull off to tie your shoes. — Jim Lang
Look around – not just down. You are creating a memory you will always remember. — Christine Vassen
Walk the water stop(s), and don’t worry about your time. — Lisa Shade
Pretend you are holding potato chips in your hands you don’t want to crush.. keeps you loose. — Ron Peterman
My advice is much of the same as has been said above, but I’d also add a few etiquette things:
* Line up in the back — when you’re new, better to pass people anyway (gives you a nice boost)
* Don’t stop dead in front of the water stops. Runners expect you to keep moving (slow jog). If you want to walk and drink your water (I ALWAYS do), step off to the side so that you’re not in the way of the runners who want to drink on the run.
* Pin your bib to the FRONT of your shirt.
* If the bib is not chip timed (ask), you need to stay in order when you are in the finisher’s chute.
* Be kind to the volunteers at the race — they’re all volunteers. Express appreciation, if you can (smile, wave, “thanks”…whatever).
* Don’t be afraid to ask a veteran runner questions. 98% of runners are super friendly and they love to answer your questions — don’t be afraid to ask. (Avoid the serious-looking ones that are jumping up & down at the front of the start line.)
Also, check out 10 things to know before your first 5K.
* Ironman Andy Potts shares his best training advice. (I think we should all start eating like little kids. I truly think we all eat too often…that eat small meals all day thing is bunk, provided the meals you do eat have protein and fat in them..yes, FAT…don’t be afraid. Trust me on this.).
* Next time someone tells you that running is bad for your knees, hit them with these 9 Ways Running is Good For Your Body.
* Planning to celebrate your latest running achievement with some new ink? Check out these 41 Running-Inspired Tattoos.
* If you’ve taken some time off from running, whether by choice or by doctor’s orders, here are 16 comeback songs to inspire you when you’re ready to lace up again.
Video of the Week
T-shirt of the Week
* Here’s a cool resource: Different shoelace configurations designed to accommodate foot pain and fit issues.
* Women’s running: 20 Signs You Know You’re a Runner. (I definitely do 80% of these, including 20, 13, 12, 10 & 3).
* Top 10 Running Mistakes. (I’m guilty of at least two of these, but…I’ll say that a few years ago, I’d have been guilty of half of these. With running age, comes wisdom.)
* Tyson Gay tests positive. I tend not to put anyone, even elite athletes, on pedestals, so I can’t say I was all that disappointed in this news. I had to google him, frankly. Then I shrugged my shoulders & thought…Meh. Don’t most professional athletes dope now? Perhaps that’s a sad statement/assumption, but it seems to be a pretty accurate one.
* What You Can’t Tell About a Woman From Her Body Shape (I definitely learned this from racing — you can never judge a runner by their body. Stop comparing. Be amazed with what your body can do for you.)
For the non-runner in your life ($5.25 at Zazzle.com):
T-shirt of the Week
Available here in various styles for $25+
This is my circle of speed work running friends after a recent night of too many 400s to count (I totally lose track, so I need all of them to remind me what number we are on).
For many of us, running with other people gets us much faster and further than we ever would alone, but…how do you meet people to run with?
1. Join the club. A good place to start is by joining the Erie Runners Club and maybe attending a few membership meetings (2nd Monday of the month at 7 p.m., currently at Asbury Woods park…they move indoors in fall) and/or newsletter stuffings (1st Monday of the month at the Plymouth Tavern at 7 p.m.). The newsletter stuffing nights are actually a lot of fun, believe it or not, and the club provides free wings, pretzels & beer after! Admittedly, it tends to be the same people who show up at all the meetings and newsletter stuffings, but…trust me when I say, they know everyone in the area who runs. Ask around. Find out if they know anyone in your area who runs about your pace.
2. Friend the Erie Runners Club on Facebook. Then, request to join the Erie Runners Club Running Groups group (say that three times fast). This is where you can learn about some group runs in the area. Or post the time/distance/location you’re looking for someone to run with.
3. Chat up your competition. When you do a race (oh..and racing is a great way to meet other runners and make friends), make it a point to chat up the people in slightly in front of you (after the race, of course). Just simply say…hey, nice race…I was trying to catch you the whole time. They may just invite you to join them on training runs. They are the ones you want to run with. You’ll get the most out of running with other people if you run with those just slightly better than you.
4. Attend a 5K training program. Harborcreek Township offers a great learn-to-run program every summer (it’s over now, but look for it next May!) and there’s one for women that started Saturday. It’s not too late to join. Details here.
5. Ask me. I know tons of people who run in the Erie area. There’s a pretty good chance I can find someone that runs your pace that you may be able to meet up with for weekend long runs (or whatever). You need to tell me a few things: gender, age, pace-per-mile, what kind of distance you want to do (if you’re training for a race…tell me the distance). You can email me at zipdang22 at aol.