« June 2009 | Main | September 2009 »

August 2009 Archives

August 1, 2009

Hello Injuries

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television or the internet.

So I am not here to tell you what to do if you have an injury but give you some advice as to how to avoid injuring yourself while training for a big race. When in doubt, always consult a medical professional.

As a jock from way back I have sustained many an injury...the most serious happened while playing basketball....an exploded anterior cruciate ligament which was never repaired and from time to time will remind me to train smartly.

One of the lessons I have learned over the years is to stretch before and after a run. I usually do not start off fast...my first mile is often one minute slower than my last mile of the run. My first mile is certainly part of my stretching routine.

Another lesson I've learned is to vary how I run along the road. That is, when I go on my runs, which are usually early in the morning, I try to mix it up by running on the left, crown, and right portion of the road.

This is important to note if you are prone (no pun intended) to pronation. If you run on either the left or right side of the road for your entire run then you may open yourself to some pronation and possible some uneven wear on your shoes.

It's best to run on the crown of the road but then again there are vehicles to contend with so try and mix it up...perhaps every five minutes make a change.

A few years ago I also discovered that even though I am capable of running faster than my usual pace that if I do so I will pay for it later on. For some reason if I run faster than I should my legs will let me know after the run I did a "no no".

My guess is that this is true for everyone so try to listen to your body and recognize your limits.

Recently on a trip to Walt Disney World I zigged when I should have zagged and had some real issues with the knee. It is slowly healing but each day I think about lacing up and running and I keep reminding myself not to rush it.

Here's the point, if you rush back too soon after an injury you may re-injure and have another setback.

Give yourself and your injury time to recover and then gradually get back into the swing of things.

I should also mention that avoiding injuries goes hand in hand with making sure your running gear, specifically your running shoes, are in good shape.

Everyone is different and so I may change running shoes more often than co-captain Michelle because of my running gait, my weight, etc.

I usually suggest checking out your shoes right around the 300 mile mark and consider replacing them if you feel they are worn down too much or if they do not feel comfortable any more.

I like to alternate between two and three pairs of running shoes....that way I do not wear them out too fast and I have better conditioned shoes for the long run. Basically I can get by one year of training with just three pairs of shoes.

It's good to run in shoes that have stabilizing features. Run in proper shoes.

Overtraining is another way of injuring yourself.

Many people try to tweak their training as they get closer to a big race. Sometimes that training involves more running than necessary and faster running than is necessary. Be careful and just keep your training steady.

Somewhere down the line we'll talk about runner's nutrition. Nutrition can play a part in keeping healthy and avoiding injuries. I'll tell you what vitamins I feel work for me and why.

I take a multi-vitamin each day...to make sure I get at least the minium amount of nutrients to keep me healthy.

My doctor told me that Magnesium is good for joints and knowing how much I run he suggested I make that part of my daily routine.

I also take a baby aspirin each day....should help the blood circulation.

I also take either fish oil or an omega-3 capsule...again to keep things running smoothly.

Finally, and this is probably the most important supplement I take...I make sure I get some Glucosamine Chondroitin in me every day to help me battle osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue, and chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water.

This supplement works for me.

Remember, check with your doctor before you go out and start taking supplements.

Remember to listen to your body, not overdo it, and be proactive and hopefully you will escape injury.

August 26, 2009

Work That by Michelle Scribner-MacLean

Music and sports have always had a close relationship for me. For years I did step aerobics and the beat of a good song pushed me to go a bit further or to challenge myself to go faster. A carefully constructed playlist for walking or running also has the same effect…it helps you pick up your pace and can motivate you to do a little bit more.

Another interesting aspect of the music and sports connection is the way people adopt “anthems.” I’m sure you’ve been to a sports event where Queen’s We Will Rock You has had you jump out of your seat, clapping with thousands of other fans. At a Red Sox game, singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline with 32,000 of your closest friends is a cultural phenomenon not to be missed (unless you're a Yankees fan, of course).

People have their own personal sports anthems, as well. These are those songs that have personal meaning, whose words motivate you to go on when your legs are tired, when you feel that you’ve given all you have.

Team AllEars has adopted the Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow as a team anthem. It started when I heard my co-captain, Mike Scopa, singing this song that I had put onto his playlist. I got quite a chuckle (as Mike tends to be more of a Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé type of fellow), shared it with the group, and before we knew it, we were all loading the song onto our MP3 players and greeting each other with an enthusiastic “Boom Boom Pow!” It’s become sort of our secret handshake (not so secret any more!).

My personal anthem lately is a song from the wonderful Mary J. Blige: Work That. This song speaks to me and when it pops into my iPod, I just want to do a little more.

Runners come in many shapes and sizes and have many ability levels. When I was lucky enough to be on the grandstand at the finish line of the Boston Marathon a few years ago, I was astounded by the variety of people crossing the line. There were the elite athletes, of course, but there were skinny runners, roundish sort of runners, young runners, old runners, runners pushing others in wheel chairs, runners helping others to the finish, runners in many types of clothing, from different countries around the world. It occurred to me for the first time that runners come in all shapes and sizes….but one similarity was, in the words of Mary J., workin’ what they got!

I hear these words….

Work your thing out
‘Cause so many you girls, I hear you been running
From the beautiful queen that you can be becoming
You can look in my palm and see the storm coming
Just because the length of your hair ain't long
And they often criticize you for your skin tone
Wanna hold your head high, ‘cause you’re a pretty woman
Get your runway stride home and keep it going

…and it reminds me that I don’t necessarily have a runner’s body, that I can’t always fit the running in when I want to, that I can’t always go as fast as I want to or for as long as I want to. The lyrics remind me of my TeamAllears running mates: we’re not perfect, we’re not professional runners, but we’re out there, and doing the best we can every day.

I just wanna be myself
Don't sweat, girl, be yourself
Follow me, follow me, follow me
Guess what, I'll be myself
(And I grew to love it)

I think of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet this year. People who are adding training to their busy schedule to be prepared to run the Disney races in January... people who are different shapes and sizes, ability levels. These are special people who are running for a great cause… breast cancer research.

So to my teammates -- and to everyone else who is training for Disney races -- I say it doesn’t matter how you do it. You need to do it your way. Go out and Work That.

Return to Blog Central

About August 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Team AllEars® Running Blog in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

September 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.