Runners Notes
By Heather Cass Erie Times-News staff blogger
If you want to know anything about the local running scene, ask Heather Cass. A member of the Erie Runners Club for 10-plus years, she is immersed in the local fitness culture, and she's taking your questions.   Read more about this blog.
Archive for the ‘Questions’ category
Posted: March 28th, 2014

Finish this sentence: I Run to_______________.

…maintain my ability to run. — Pat Krott

…get away. — Jodi Herman

…stay fit and have fun. — Tom Madura

…challenge myself! — Christine Kalie

…my car when it’s pouring down rain. — Rob Engelhardt

…stay in shape. Lose weight. Be able to keep up in soccer game. Feel a sense of accomplishment. To explore unknown territories. And finally EAT ICE CREAM!!! — Jessie Zahner

…counteract criticism, to feel comfortable with myself, to be able to keep up with others, to not have my ass kicked by running girls. — Tom Twohig

…get the last chicken wing. — Doug Oathout

….fit into my clothes. — Lisa Shade

…socialize and check something off my to do list. — Renee Uht

….socialize (beer, ice cream and pancake runs rock!), Destress and challenge myself! — Leslie Cooksey

…think, pray, gain perspective, develop perseverance, de-stress, feel strong, express joy, relax, focus, and to just be me. — Karen Beebe

…feel strong. — Carol Crandall

….drink more wine!  — Tracy Jenks

…get my daily high. — Barb Armour

…reduce the stress that build up from the aggravation of work. The run clears my head & gets me ready for “what next?” — Jim Lang

…feel better about everything. —Kristen Currier

…because I’m a parent!!!  — Jenn Bauer-Pinzok

…stay sane. — Michael Morris

…beat the clock. — Jack Byers

…relax. — Amy Cronk

…stay healthy, have some me time, and model a healthy lifestyle for all the children in my life both at home and at school. — LeAnne Morton

…train, get in shape, spend time with my hubby, de-stress, & socialize. — Lisa Meyer

…relieve stress, catch up with friends and burn enough calories to eat ice cream and drink beer :) — Stacey Hammer

…stay healthy and also because my dad, who is no longer with us can’t run anymore! — Kristen Carpenedo

… go to the bar and the coffee shop and to hang out with with friends. Also to consume, coffee, food, and/or beer. — Matt Kleck

…feel a sense of accomplishment. — Lauren Kelly

….relieve stress. —Melissa Bessetti

….hang out with friends and to decompress. —Debbie Humphreys

…stay sane. —Bri Hodges

…collect my thoughts, relieve stress, and to socialize with friends!!! — Brenda Carr

…socialize. That is all. —Jen Kelly

 

Posted: March 21st, 2014

I asked: Are you training for any big spring races? What’s on your schedule?

Boston!!!! — Amy Cronk

I’m training for the women’s half in Niagara Falls on June 1st. Looking forward to running with a great group of friends! — Stacey Hammer

Tough Mudder, the Presque Isle half marathon and Beast on the Bay! — Lisa Meyer

Pittsburgh marathon relay and the Marine Corps historical half marathon. — Jameel Gavin

I’m excited to say I’m training for the Tough Mudder, a half marathon this summer and Beast on the Bay. Every time I see a 13.1 sticker I think ” I need to earn that ASAP!” And I will probably wear the orange headband from the Mudder to bed every night. — Erin Ryan

Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC and the Hot Chocolate 15k in Philadelphia! — Jessie Zahner

What Stacey Hammer said….and I’m also training for Wineglass Marathon in Oct. — Jen Kelly

Wild Trail Half Marathon on April 19th, the zombie run in which I’ll be running the morning extreme race and converted into a zombie for the Black Ops event, and the Buffalo Marathon on May 25th. — Carolyn Michael

Tough Mudder, Niagara Falls Half, PI Half, Beast on the Bay, and the Wine Glass Marathon! — Bri Hodges

Tough mudder in May, Beast on the Bay in September, and that stupid Presque Isle full marathon in September. — Matt Kleck (who totally got talked into the marathon by a friend)

Pittsburgh Half Marathon… the first time I ran it in 2011, I was 30 pounds heavier and had just quit smoking. So, I figured I can’t run it any slower than I did in then–the pressure’s off! Plus, I’m running for a charity for the first time ever (a retired racing greyhound adoption group!) It’s been a fun opportunity to meet fellow the dog owners before I fill out the application to adopt one this summer. I told myself no dog before the 13.1, but… after meeting these great people and some great dogs … I might break my own rule. — Abby Badach

Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon! And Tough Mudder Ohio! — Leslie Cooksey

Citifield Spartan Sprint April 12th then More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon through Central Park April 13th, TM Ohio with Run Hard Finish Wet… Tough Mudder Ohio 2014 group, Glow Run, and more through the summer! — Amy Fuchs

Tough Mudder Ohio! — Crystal Nicholson

I’m training for 3 – Boston in April, Pittsburgh Marathon in May and in June the Cayuga Trails 50! — Karen Manganaro

Mudder in May, 1/2 in Niagara Falls, Bay Swim, Tri in June. — Kristen Currier

I’m training for the Miller Mile Run at Christmas. Yep, just one mile. — Jeff Seevers (LOL)

Tough Mudder and the Presque Isle Half Marathon. — Brenda Carr

Well…my physical therapist just informed me that I’m out for the Wild Trail Half in April… :( But I’ll be back on track for Tough Mudder in May, Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June, then a triathlon in the summer and more throughout summer and fall. — Karen Beebe

Tough Mudder, Niagara Falls half, PI Tri, Beast on the Bay, & Wine Glass half. And, as a note, I’m doing all of it with an amazing group of friends! — Debbie Humphreys

Posted: February 28th, 2014

In honor of Sunday’s Oscars and because the well is running dry on winter running topics, I went off-topic again this week. I asked area runners to tell me: Which movie do you think should win the Oscar for Best Picture?

Definitely “Gravity.” I am a huge Sandra Bullock fan. — Chuck Orton

“Her” was absolutely TERRIBLE! But I liked “Philomena.” — Theresa Konzel

I didn’t see any of them either. But I’m going to randomly choose…. “Philomena.” Just because it’s fun to say aloud. — Rhonda Berlin

I can’t pick! I haven’t seen all of them, but there was a good article in Runner’s World with Bruce Dern from Nebraska. He has run some serious miles! — Leslie Cooksey

I’ve seen 6 of the 9. I liked Nebraska the best. 12 Years a Slave will probably win, though I haven’t seen it yet. — John Guerriero

“Captain Philips.” Rented it from Redbox. Great movie! — Rob Dever

I’m with you – I know they were playing, but family, work, friends/working out took priority over movies. Maybe I’ll catch them on Netflix? — Kristen Currier

I didn’t see any of them because I have kids and so I never see anything without talking animals in it. Also, I have trouble sitting still for 2 hours …or more. :)   I did READ “12 Years a Slave” and I would highly recommend it — very well written.

Posted: February 21st, 2014

Olympics are on my mind…probably because they are on my TV every night…so I asked area runners:

What is your favorite winter Olympic sport to follow/watch/cheer? Which one would YOU totally rock at???

Bobsled and bobsled — Pat Krott

Speed skating!!! — Jodi Herman

Snow boarding!! And I wish I could do that! — Karen Groshek

I would rock the athalon — the shooting part of the biathlon. — Doug Oathout

I look forward to watching the “downhill.” I’m sure that would be the event I’d fly with. — Rob Engelhardt

I LOVE the snowboard cross! I don’t know if I would rock at it, but I’d love to give it a go! — Kristen Currier

I don’t watch…but I’m pretty sure I’d get gold in talking. LOL.  — Jen Kelly

I think I want to pick up cross country skiing and start competing in biathlons! — Bethany Kelley

I agree with Bethany–biathlon. I’d love to compete in that. When I voiced interest in the sport my entire family laughed at me. I wasn’t kidding. Favorite to watch is something with interpretive results, like figure skating or the ski/snowboard tricks. Races with winners and times are too clear. I like the argument of subjectivity–points for artistry, etc. — Eloise Hawking

Bobsled always seemed fun. — Steve Krauza

Love watching the snowboarding cross. In my dreams, I world rock the half pipe on a snowboard! — Amy Cronk

Love to watch figure skating. And I would totally rock at falling/tripping/overall clumsiness…if that were a real sport. — Karen Beebe

Cross Country Skiing, Downhill Skiing, and bobsledding! Oh and I almost forgot Hockey! I like Biathlon because it looks fun and it’s like a little bit of an obstacle course with the skiing and the shooting! — Adam Rowe

I’m up for bobsledding. I think I can go fast down a hill in a sled. — LeAnne Morton

I love watching the skiing/snowboarding, but curling has always been fun to watch. I think I could be good at that. — Leslie Cooksey

Hockey is the best! But the snowboarding is pretty cool also! — Brenda Carr

Hard question because there are so many way-cool winter Olympic sports, but I’d have to say my favorites are the Alpine skiing events – Downhill, Slalom, Super-G. My own downhill skiing experience is mostly on the green trails at Peek-n-Peak, and a few spectacular wipeouts on blue trails, so I have tremendous respect for anyone that can go 80 MPH down an icy hill and stay in control!”  — Tom Madura

 

 

 

Posted: February 14th, 2014

love

In honor of today being the big V-day (yep, it’s Valentine’s Day, guys! No worries, there’s time to stop for chocolates on your way home), I asked area runners: What do you love about running?

“I love the great feeling of accomplishment after I’m done,” — Jameel Gavin

“What I love most about running is the fellowship of runners. The camaraderie, the support network, and the positive, healthy, optimistic spirit of the running community,” — Mike Lawrence

“‘I am running for my life’ is my mantra, and I love life.  I see running as a way to let me enjoy an active lifestyle as I age,” Patrick Dwyer

“The constant challenge, the camaraderie of group runs, and the freedom to do it whenever I feel like lacing up,” — Lesley Cooksey

“Camaraderie as well! The time and distance flies by as well. The other day when we went out for 5 miles and ended up doing 7 like it was no big deal,” — Matt Kleck

“The friendships I’ve made,” — Jen Kelly

“The alone time, away from the house and stress. And, the runner’s high that gets me through the day,” — Jennifer Bach

“One of the things I love is how I feel after a run. I’ve taken my “me” time and filled my tank so I have more to give my family and those around me. Aren’t endorphins just awesome?!” — Julie Watts

“The freedom and the camraderie. I LOVE being outside and seeing everything that’s happening around me, no matter if it’s the sting of snowflakes, cool raindrops on a humid summer afternoon, or listening to the birds wake up with me on a crisp early morning spring run. I also LOVE sharing it with my running friends,” — Kristen Currier

“The PEOPLE I run with!,” — Carol Crandall

“I love that it is a cheap activity that anyone can do. All you need is a good pair of shoes! When I run by myself, I love to clear my mind, plan new things, and talk to God. When I am with my friends, I love that I feel like I could run forever because I am enjoying the conversations and hardly thinking about running,”  — LeAnn Morton

“How alive I feel after running,” — Barb Gingenbach

“I love that it doesn’t take a whole lot of thought. So I can “escape” while running. And I love the energy and drive it gives me both mentally and physically in all aspects of life,” Bethany Kelley

“I love that I can run when I feel happy…but I can also run when it feels like the worst day of my life. Running develops the strength and perseverance that becomes part of who you are in every other area of your life,” — Karen Beebe

“I love my running friends! I also love how it has pushed me further than I ever thought possible. There’s always further to run or a faster way to get there.” — Stacey Hammer

“I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. Also the time to just ‘be’,” — Erin Dever

“The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual euphoria!” — Ginny Sackett

“Spandex!” —Anonymous (but he knows who he is ;-0)

“The calorie burn and feeling less stressed. And all the wonderful friends I’ve made,” — Karen Groshek

“I love being outdoors and having the time to think or pray or plan. It is my ME time,” — Jean LaFuria

“The sense of accomplishment and the feeling of increased energy and invigoration I always feel after a good run!,” Tom Madura

“The opportunity to let my mind wander while releasing the days stresses, challenging your core, and being left overall renewed.” — Rob Dever

 

 

 

 

Posted: February 6th, 2014

I received this question from a reader and I’m kinda stumped. Anyone have any advice?

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?

Posted in: Questions
Posted: December 6th, 2013

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We asked area runners: What running (or fitness) related items are on your holiday wish list?

Running gloves and a hat…and knee socks! — Karen Beebee

Knee socks…Love them! And any cold weather gear.  — Brenda Carr

Warm hat w/ ponytail hole. — Colleen Triana

Running pants (polartec from Land’s End) or muscle enhancing tights (like the CW-X Endurance generators) – I thought tights, but then one of my runner friends from WI suggested pants…all because apparently when I hit 34 I realized my legs get cold when i run in the snow in shorts!   — Greg Cooper

Yak Tracks! — Kristen Currier

A new hip. — Tom Toale  

More base-layer gear. — Matt Kleck

Cookies and beer. — Pat Krott

Socks from pro compression and a running jacket. — Carolyn Michael

Hat with a pony tail hole and cold weather running gear. — Stacey Hammer

Compression calf sleeves, ear warmers, Hat with ponytail hole, and highlighter yellow jacket or cold weather shirt. — Leslie Cooksey

Brooks Ghost 5. — Jameel Gavin

Hats…matching hats. — Barb Armour

Yak trax or anything like it. Running gloves. New headband/ear warmers. A bright lightweight reflective jacket for night runs. Sweatpants to wear to the gym. — Bethany Kelley

It was a new gps watch. But since I just bought myself one I’m going to say arm sleeves. — Kim

Knee socks, Yak Trax, warm gloves. — Jen Kelly

A Garmin, hat with a pony tail hole, and cold weather running gear. — Bri Hodges

Warm, bright running gear, Yak Trax, and funky compression socks. — Leann Morton

New vertebrae. — Michelle Hetrick

Hydration vest to make training for some 50 milers easier. — Karen Manganaro

Cold weather running tights and a few more reflective tops. — Tracy Jenks

Smartwool above ankle socks, cold weather bottoms, road shoes, wick gloves, extra money, my bunion fixed and a new brain — Tom Twhoig

 

 

 

 

Posted: September 20th, 2013

Well, well, well…I learned something this week — if you ask an easy question, you get a BIG response!

This week’s question was a fill in the blank: I started running at age _____.

I got some quite interesting and inspiring responses!  (The notes in parentheses after their names are mine…because, you know me, and I cannot chiming in).

* 40 after two teenage kids made fun of me for walking during a race pushing a stroller. I was almost 300lbs. I now go to every race looking for them. — Jameel Gavin (Living well is the BEST revenge, right? Congrats, Jameel!)

* On my 50th birthday – on a bet — Frank Combopiano

* I started running in 1976…now into my 37th consecutive year of running. — Tom Toale

* 17 when I joined the Marine Corps. —Sunupmiles (email)

* 22…when I joined the Army. —Hermeanness (email)

* I started running 8 years ago when I was 46. I ran my 1st marathon 4 years later at 50 and will be running a 100k trail run in less than 3 weeks.  — Karen Manganaro (You Rock, Karen!!!)

* Age 15 ( p.s. Email really needs a “like” button!!  Really great, inspiring responses!) —Shannon

* I Quit smoking 3 years ago and started running. I’m 49 and have been running half marathons. — Ron Church (I, too, started running after quitting smoking…15+ years ago now. Congrats to you, Ron, and welcome!)

* 29 — Tracy Jenks

* Started running at 40. My first 5K was the Her Times 5K 7 years ago and just ran my first 1/2 marathon this year:) — Lina Straub (Congrats, Linda!!!)

* I started running at age 29 in May 1976. I’ve logged my miles since then. Today I logged in 5 miles.  I haven’t totaled them yet for 2012/2013 but my total miles run from 1976 thru 2011 is 82,709 miles. — Mike Filutze  (THAT is awesome, Mike!)

* Ran my first 10K at age 10! — Amy Cronk

* Started running at 14 and I am 65 in three weeks. — Dan Franks

* 36. — Jennifer Bach

* 35. — Rhonda Berlin

* 24. — Ginny Sackett

* 14. — John Hutchison

* 37.  — Steph Bruce

* I’m not a “running peep” but here’s my input —-> 2. lol. I loved running when I was a kid, all the way through high school track, but poor genes (hereditary problem with my knees) put an end to all that. And now you know why I ride horses! — Debbie Peterson

* 19.  — Amy Morrow

* 12. — Michelle Griffith-Aresco

* 27. — Pat Krott

* 27. — Matt Madurski

* 14. — Linda Young

* 25. — Dan Young

* 53 — Janet Vieyra (I remember when…and now you’re HARD to keep up with!)

* 39. — Theresa Konzel

* 40. — Gina Klofft

* 24. — Jack Byers

* 40. — Renee Uht

* 40. — Eloise Hawking

* 35. — Karen Groshek

* 30 – I watched School House Rock “3 is a magic number” on my 30th birthday and went out in February and ran 3 miles. — Rick Sawtelle (who I could NOT catch at the Quad Run…nice race, my friend!).

As for me, I started when I was 27. I had recently quit smoking & was quite overweight. I was asked to be in a wedding…dreading the thought of ordering another plus-size bridesmaids dress ..and decided to start walking every day. Walking progressed to jogging, then running. And…voila…I’ve been running all over this town every since. I went from a size 20 to a size 9 in 9 months, but ….more importantly, I found inner strength, confidence, peace and…about 9,345 new best friends.

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Posted: September 6th, 2013

What’s your favorite running-related website …besides Runner’s World ?

The Daily Mile — Jameel Gavin

www.flotrack.org (See the latest running videos on track and field events around the US and the world. Watch running videos and interviews with the greatest coaches and athletes) — Greg Cooper

I visit the Facebook Warrior page often for trail running. I have the Burning River and Oil Creek websites bookmarked, too. — Christine Vassen

Runner’s Notes — Dennis Albrewczynski  (Editor’s Note: Awww….thanks, Dennis, and also Christine (above) who also included me on her list!).

Flotrack.org. — Ginny Sackett

sock-doc.com & irunfar.com. — Rob Kolodziejczak

T-Rex running blog — Karen Manganaro

The ERC page mostly. But I’m biased. — Jim Lang

irunfar.com — Pat Krott

Angry Jogger —Karen Groshek

 

 

 

Posted: July 16th, 2013

faster

Sometimes I have email exchanges with runners that I think would be helpful information to share with others, so in that spirit I share this:

A reader recently contacted me with questions about Couch to Her Times 5K training program and she said:

My first 5k was last October.  Terrible time. Trying to redeem myself :) I’m new at this.  Any tips from a seasoned runner?

Here was my response:

Hi, Nicole. When you say you had a terrible time, do you mean that you were unhappy with how long it took you to complete the race? It’s all sorta relative (my fast is another person’s slow), so…it really does only matter what YOU think. But if you feel like you could do better, then here are some things that helped me:

1. Run with other people. And, most importantly if you want to get faster, run with people slightly faster than you and soon you’ll be a their pace. What is your pace…do you know? If you tell me, I may know of some groups/people you might join. (I extend that offer to all blog readers…I know lots of runners at various paces who live in various areas of the city & county).  Join the Erie Runner Club and like their page on Facebook. Request to join the ERC’s running groups facebook page…that’s where you can learn about various group workouts.

2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is true ONLY for racing…you should not be running training runs like this, but, when racing, learn to accept that it’s hard and it hurts and tell your brain that it can handle it (because your “selfish brain” will keep telling you to slow down).  This article is fascinating and it will give you some insight into what’s happening in your mind/body. (This is written for an ultrarunner audience, but it applies to many of us. Again…it’s all relative…your “ultra” may be my “warm up,” you know?)

3. Start interval training/speedwork. It’s all explained pretty well in this article. Word to the wise: if you can talk any friends into doing speedwork/intervals with you, it’s way more fun with friends (or at least less miserable).

4. (to 29.) Here are 25 more ways to run  faster.

Good luck! You can do it! Let me know your pace and I may have a group for you to meet up with.

~ Heather

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