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.




Things I found — 8/29/13

By | August 29, 2013 1:54 am | 0 Comments

Worth reading

Western States Winner Pam Smith on Training with Kids.

NPR: ‘Why this Compulsion to Run long distances?’ A Runners’ Beautiful Confession (“…but when I run the world goes quiet.” Me, too, Oatmeal)

“Widespread” doping in Track & Field? *gasp* But, seriously, does this news really shock anyone? I hate to be jaded, but it’s seriously a matter of time before they bust Bolt or one of the other running superheros.

4 easy post-workout snacks that aid recovery.

Cool stuff

Make your own marathon brag board (below). Step by step instructions here.


Fun stuff

I don’t think that “Sunny Orange Creamsicle” would fit on a race bib though. :-)


 T-shirt of the Week


Available here in various styles..and various prices.



Just Write 26 ~ Freedom

By | August 6, 2013 1:06 am | 0 Comments

I slept through our Saturday morning group run, mostly because I could. Plus, I was tired and I had all morning to get a run in. In fact, I didn’t “have” to run anything at all.  With the marathon done, I’m training-plan free now.  I have a half marathon in a couple weeks, but…pfft…13.1 flat miles feels like a freakin’ cake right now.

Dan wakes me at 7:45 a.m. to ask where the grooming shop is. Sam needs dropped off by 8:15 a.m.

“It’s in Lawrence Park, right on Main,” I say, rolling onto my side and pulling the covers back up over my shoulder. It’s chilly in the bedroom, but I don’t mind. A cool summer makes for good sleeping…and running.

Lauren’s awake and I can her her playing Mario Kart on the Wii. The living room TV is on the other side of our bedroom wall. I yell at her to turn it down, but she doesn’t hear me (because the TV is too loud, of course). May as well just get up and run.

Hmmm….it’s going to be boring to run alone now. That’s what I get for sleeping in.

Wait. Lawrence Park is probably about 6 miles away. I visualize a route in my head. Yep, about 6ish.

“Dan, wait for me,” I say. “I’m going to ride down with you & run home.”

I run North toward Route 5 and decide to run down through the Lawrence Park Golf Club to look at the lake, in hopes G.E. has removed the fences that took away our favorite sunset viewing spot.

I leap over the speed bumps for fun. I wave at the golfers. I stop to look at the lake for a few minutes. The fence is still intact.

I run back out and head up Water Street to Wesleyville and then up Shannon. It’s all up. I didn’t think about that.  Whatever. It’s a hill; get over it, right?

It’s a gorgeous, blessedly-cool morning for a run. I’ve got hours to get home and no time or mile goals to meet.

I have many running friends who say they feel lost without a training plan to follow. They get a little depressed when the marathon is over. They lack motivation to get out there and run when there’s no big race on the horizon.

Not me. I’m energized and excited about running now that I don’t “have” to do it. The possibilities are endless. I can run any day I want. I can run five days in a row or take three days off. I can go anywhere I want. Run as far, as fast, or as slow as I want.  It’s all up to me and whatever I feel like doing that day.

Free at last.

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

Things I found — 7/25/13

By | July 25, 2013 1:05 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* Are you familiar with the hilarious website Did you know the author of Oatmeal is a distance runner? Here’s why.

* Fortunately, I’ve never had this problem, but…I know many runners do, so…here are 8 Tips for runners and GI Distress.

* There’s a new marathon in the tri-state ‘hood. Canton, OH, will be hosting the Pro Football Hall of Fame marathon in April. There’s a 1/2, too, which is perfectly timed to be a training run for anyone planning to run Cleveland in May.

Funny Stuff

* Uh….well, we runners are creatures of habit: Runner repeatedly poops in yard.


T-shirt of the Week

Entry Fee(3)

Available for $27 here.


Things I found — 7/18/13

By | July 18, 2013 1:47 am | 0 Comments

Worth reading

* 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.)

Funny stuff

For the non-runner in your life ($5.25 at


T-shirt of the Week


Available here in various styles for $25+

Looking for running buddies?

By | July 17, 2013 1:04 am | 0 Comments


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.



Things I found — 6/20/13

By | June 20, 2013 1:18 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* Are you big on post-recovery aids, such as ice baths and ibuprofen? You may want to rethink that.

* 5 good reasons to add some speed to your  life (and…a few easy ways to do so).

* Peak Performance and the Selfish Brain. This is fascinating insight into what’s going on with your brain and body in an endurance event.  Your brain will have the last word as its job is to regulate everything to keep itself..and your body alive, but there are a few ways you can trick it to avoid having it pull the plug on your efforts at the 20th mile (or 40th mile or 60th mile).

Funny stuff

* Runner’s World’s Mark Remy has revealed the scientific reason that some runners are total jackwads don’t wave. Read all about it.

Group runs — for safety

In America, we gather in large running groups for fun, but in Venezuala, they run in large groups for safety.
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T-shirt of the Week


Available here in various styles.

Just Write 20 ~ Color fun

By | June 18, 2013 1:49 am | 0 Comments

We are about 7 miles into a planned 15-miler early Saturday morning when Heather D. says, “What time do you need to be at that color run?”

“9 a.m.” I say, running along. “In Fairview.”

Heather looks at her watch and says, “Uh…I don’t think you’re going to be able to make it.” (We were in Waterford at this point).

“What? Really? How did I figure that wrong?” I say as I try to calculate the math in my head. Distance+speed+shower & drive time.  “Crap!”

We end up deciding to cut the run slightly short, shaving off less than 2 miles. I’ll make it up at the color run.  I apologize profusely to Heather D. for at least three miles.

We get home at 8:20 a.m.  Dan helps get the girls ready while I shower. surprisingly, we’re in the car by 8:45 a.m.   It takes a good 30 minutes to get to Fairview.  I tell the girls to watch for cops (Mother of the Year, I know) as we speed over I-90. (Safely, I swear…we weren’t going that fast).

We pull into Camp Notre Dame at 9:10 a.m. and the race director — the Erie Day School’s Julie Kresge — sees us coming and has our packets out and ready to hand to us.  We run into the bathroom to change into our white shirts, which, thankfully, fit us all well. I grab my camera and we set off on the 3/4 mile loop course through the camp trails, in search of our first color station — yellow.

The trails are a wee bit muddy, but that just makes it more fun. We have every intention of getting dirty and stained anyway.

At the cabin area we find a volunteer with a spray bottle in each hand. One by one, we spread our arms out, present our chests, and she uses both bottles to spray us with ink. We turn and she sprays our backs, too.

We giggle and admire each others’ shirts as we run off to Fort Silver. This is going to be cool.

We find a volunteer at the fort with orange and hot pink ink bottles. He sprays us before we run to find red at the Ranger Post, then blue at the pool (of course), purple at the Nature Lodge and green back at the registration table.

We are a rainbow of colors after just one run through the course, but the girls want to do the loop again and get even more colorful. We take it slower this time and enjoy the scenery. We stop at the pond and take pictures, we walk a little more than we run. We laugh and talk. Kelly grows impatient with our pace and runs out ahead.

When we’re done with our three loops, we lounge around outside in the grass, drinking water while we wait for the hot dogs Julie’s husband is cooking over a charcoal fire.

I look at my GPS history and realize our long run that morning was one of the fastest we’ve done so far.  Who’d have ever thought my lousy math skills would actually benefit my pace?

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BTW — the Erie Day School’s Fun Color Run was not a race. It wasn’t timed, but it was an awesome family-friendly event. The girls loved it and ran most the way on each of the 3/4 mile loops. You were supposed to run it three times, but it didn’t really matter if you walked and did just one loop or ran and did all three. Even the youngest of kids could (and did) do the race.  And they offered a family-friendly price of $25 (total) for a group of three or more, so it didn’t cost us a fortune and we didn’t have to drive to Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Buffalo. We loved it! Put this one on your must-do-for-fun list for next year!

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

Friday Question: Aid for sore muscles

By | June 14, 2013 1:39 am | 0 Comments


This week’s question addresses something EVERY runner has dealt with — sore muscles!

I asked runners: What’s your favorite/go-to remedy for sore muscles?

* Epson salts/ foam roller and a beer. — Amy Cronk

* Between  golf balls and “the stick,” I rely on massaging to rub out and keep circulation moving. — Christine Vassen

* I like arnica gel for treating inflammation and comfrey ointment for muscle knots and pain. — Debbie DeAngelo

* Ice bath, it’s cold, but it works! After about 7 minutes you really can’t feel anything (but, yes, that first 7 minutes isn’t much fun) — Greg Cooper

* Tonic water (applied internally, not externally!). — Bill Cox

* Rest, massage, wine. — Pat Krott

* Dr. Teals Epsom salts–lavender—not the plain kind in the Pharmacy section of Wal-Mart—the lavender scented are by the nicer bath soaps down a few aisles. Foolproof (for the fools who overuse their muscles…LOL).  — Eloise Hawking

* Foam roller, stretching. Advil if necessary. — Ginny Sackett


Friday Question: What’s your “bucket list” race?

By | June 7, 2013 1:22 am | 0 Comments

What’s your “bucket list” race…the one you want to do before you die?

1.  Boston, 2. New York City, 3.  Disney marathon/ half  for the goofy combo  — Amy Cronk

Boston Marathon! No contest there. — Mary Connerty

Boston. — Paul Bressen

Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 marathon in Las Vegas. — Jameel Gavin

1. Boston 2. New York 3 . Disney. 4 . Runner’s World Half in Bethlehem, Pa. — Ramon Patron Jr.

Goofy Challenge at Disney World! — Tracy Jenks

Hatfield & McCoy Marathon on  June 14, 2014.  State number 50 for me. — Dale Werner

I really would like to run the Disney World Marathon and someday I will but it probably won’t be for another 8 or 9 years (after my kids graduate). — Sandie Sweet

Marine Corps Marathon. And the Leadman Ironman n Bend Oregon…starts with a 5k mountain lake swim…..eek! — Mary Kay Snyder-Migdal

Any race that pushes my limits to the point of breaking. — Eric Ellis

The 100K at Oil Creek 100. I will never be fast enough to consider the full 100 miler but the 100K is possible. — Christine Vassen

I HAVE to run the next Nike Women’s Half whether in DC or San Fran because they give away a Tiffany’s necklace at the end of the race instead of metals! I have to have one! Also, the Moab Half Marathon in Utah looks amazing because of the awesome scenery! — Jessie Zahner

Western States 100, Hardrock 100, Marathon des Sables. — Patrick Krott

Great Wall of China marathon. — Doug Oathout

I’ve been lucky enough to run most of my bucket list marathons. In October I’ll be knocking the Marine Corps marathon off my list. The remaining race(s) is the new Disney World Dopey – consisting of a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon, and the full marathon. Looking to run that in January 2015. — Karen Manganaro

I’ve completed my “bucket list”. All that is left is my “F_ _ _ it” list. Marathon #11 is on that list. That’s what happens when you get old. — Cyndie Zahner

The original marathon course in Greece. — Michael Morris

New York City marathon! — Lou Montefiori