Thursday, March 27, 2014

Support Glam Runners! And Girls on the Run!

This broke across my Facebook page this afternoon.  I was pretty cheesed off about it:


Photo: Excited to see our tutus in SELF Magazine ... but shocked to see that running tutus are classified as lame. Especially considering the fact that this picture is from last year's LA Marathon when Glam Runner founders Tara and Monika ran together as superheroes ...  because Monika was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and was running a marathon in the middle of a year of chemo.ll

"A San Diego runner and cancer survivor says she was snubbed by a popular women's magazine that used a photo of her wearing a tutu to make fun of the fitness fashion trend. 
Monika Allen says she was excited to receive an email from SELF magazine asking for permission to use a photo that showed her running the LA marathon dressed as Wonder Woman and wearing a tutu in an upcoming issue.
But when the April issue came out, Allen said she was “stunned and offended.”
The picture appears in a section of the magazine called “The BS Meter," with a caption that refers to a "tutu epidemic" and basically makes fun of the women's outfits, she said.

Allen said the photo was "really offensive for a couple of reasons." The marathon came right in the middle of chemotherapy, and she says the outfit gave her motivation.

“The reason we were wearing those outfits is because this was my first marathon running with brain cancer,” Allen explained.

Another reason was that she made the tutu herself. Her company Glam Runners makes them and donates the money to Girls on the Run, a charity that sponsors exercise and confidence-building programs for young girls. She said she's raised about $5,600 for the nonprofit by making about 2,000 tutus over the past three years.

SELF did apologize.

In a statement to NBC 7, SELF apologized "for the association of her picture in any way other than to support her efforts to be healthy."
"Of course if tutus make you run with a smile on your face or with a sense of purpose or community, then they are indeed worth wearing, for any race," the statement read.

My thoughts?

FUCK YOU SELF Magazine.  I wonder if whatever lame-oo  that is in charge of the "BS  Meter" has ever run a marathon.

I haven't bought your magazine in years, let alone read one edition. It's all regurgiated bullshit with photo shopped women, with impossibly long torsos, telling us women that we can look like them if we just follow the simple workouts and diet plans-that repeat, ad nauseum, issue after issue.

If a woman (OR A MAN) wants to run in a tutu, more power to them. We don't know anybody's back story on why they are wearing what they are wearing.    Monika was in the middle of chemotherapy for brain cancer.  And running her first marathon!  SHE IS WONDER WOMAN!!

Anyways, if you are a subscriber of Self magazine, well, good for you. But after you read 4-6 issues of the magazine, it all just repeats back on itself.

I'm not saying boycott Self magazine, cuz I haven't read it in years.

But what you should do?  Go check out Glam Runner.  Give them a LIKE on Facebook.

Go Support Girls on the Run.  You don't know what that is?  Well, google it, I don't have time to write a blog post about what an awesome organization I think it is.

Edited to Add: This was just posted to FB also this afternoon:

On behalf of SELF, we sincerely apologize for our inadvertent insensitivity. I have personally reached out to Monika and her supporters online to apologize for the misstep and tell them we are trying to remedy the situation. At SELF we support women such as Monika; she is an inspiration and embodies the qualities we admire. We have donated to her charity and have offered to cover her good work in a future issue. We wish her all the best on her road to good health.

Most sincerely,

Lucy Danziger

Monday, March 24, 2014


Acclimatize: to adapt or become accustomed to a new climate or environment

Are you kidding me?

It's a good thing I am going to Utah a few days early, hopefully that will be enough to acclimate to what I would call HEAT.

My next few days of "SPRING" Training:

Weather toward the end of the week, home on the left, Utah on the right:

Today's run was in the balmy sunshine of 31 degrees.

Forecast for Today

Why yes, yes it did feel like 21.  Unrelentess wind chill.  I was so ready to be done with the run.
I ventured down a new road.  Wow! What a hill!  I found a nice new really hilly route!
Some buzzards waiting for me to pass

I also found this chimney stack, and then the rubble of the house. I can't wait to wander on back by here, and see if there are any daffodils in need of rescue.

Looking over my week of runs, it appears 3 out the 6 runs sucked.  But that is fine, that has nothing to do with my race here in a week or so.  I would guess I would be in a taper now??

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting Stuff Done

Today was my day off. Since I did not have to drive to Columbus and back (five hours out of the day) I was able to get some items accomplished:

1) Some seeds start.  "Biker Billy" Jalapeno,  "Ristra" Cayenne Peppers.  I found the seed starting medium, the pots, and managed to make it happen.  The pots are now sealed into plastic bags, on the heating pad.  They will take 10-21 days to germinate.  No, the plant room did not get cleaned up, I just cleaned off one shelf and made do.

2) Running stuff-washed out six water bottles.  I wash these with bleach and detergent, no they don't reek to me.  Now that there is a utility tub (with water) in the plant room, it's a great place to toss bottles until they build up.

3) 11 Mile Run Done-should have been twelve, but I didn't do the little "out and back" needed when I got to the top of my 1.5 mile hill climb.  I also have to say, I run all these hills these days-no need to walk. Very happy with how far I have come in the last two years with running.  I know it is both running consistency with body improvement and also more mental attitude training.  I had a good night of sleep (that has been way lacking lately) and the run was very good, good energy throughout.

4) Got the dogs out for their walk. Check.

4) Packed for the Zion 100 Race

I have two days off, from work, until I leave for Zion on March 31. One of those days is tomorrow, Sunday; the next will be Thursday.  I will spend six hours on Thursday driving to Columbus and back-hence, not really a day off.

So today was my day to plan, organize, and actually pack.

Snacks for the drop bags
After successfully completing my run, I got the kitchen table cleaned off with room to assemble my drop bags.  There are plenty of aid stations on the course, but I also always plan on my own nutrition.

I am flying to Utah (via Las Vegas) so I need to bring everything with me.  I have my lists writtened; my drop bags, my clothes for not running, my shoes, my recovery-flying home clothes.

I will carry on my race clothes (and wear my running shoes) in my carry on bag.  Actually, with flying in three days prior to the race, even if the airline totally loses my bag, I do have enough time to shop and re-supply myself.  But at least I would have my race day clothes and shoes.

So I've got the suitcase packed with almost everything. I have some running clothes still drying; I will still need to use my hydration pack and shoes this week.  Almost everything has been crossed off the list.

5) Packed my Aid Station Tote for the "Forget the PR" Trifecta Weekend

I will fly home Sunday, after the Zion 100, and immediately jump back into my work schedule. My day off this week will be Tuesday.  While I don't have to worry about my running schedule-the coach tells me to take it easy, what ever I like, I do need to be prepared for two days of volunteering at "Forget the PR" weekend, which will be April 12 & 13!

Whew! And that was just Saturday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Prep for the Zion 100 Race

This will be the third year of the Zion 100 Race.  The first year it was held in May, last year was in April.  The race course has also changed every year.

The 2014 race is on the same trails as 2013, but the order of the loops have changed.  For example, the Flying Monkey Trail is now one of the first climbs encountered, rather than being late in the race.

This makes it rather interesting to try and predict a race finish time, along with where a runner might be on the course to pick up a headlamp and any other night time running gear.

For example, last year at Massanutten, I looked at the average time and splits for runners finishing around  29 and 30 hours.  That made it very easy to conjure up aid station target times.

I consulted the Coach, who gave me a few good points and also said the Zion race would be far more runnable than MMT.

I looked at the elevation chart, and noted where each aid station was.
Sloppy yet effective

I read over the course description carefully. There is not much verbiage there, but cobbled together with the elevation profile, I started to get the basic overview of the race course.

Another cool thing about the interwebs is info out there.  Most of the Zion 100 race course is on mountain bike trails, there is beta from the biking community! Mountain bikers like to use their action camera and record these trails-check out You Tube videos on all these trails!

I have a rough draft of my splits through the various aid stations.  We hit a few aid stations multiple times, which makes it easier to know where to seed the main light and the back up light.

Sunrise is 714 am, sunset is 758 pm I was pleasantly happy to see. I will be in Utah a few days early to both recce the course and to finish Zion National  Park, so I will get a better idea of  sunrise/sunsets.  For example, a sunset in flatlike Ohio is different than when the sun dips down behind a mountain of Virginia.

I am planning on going pretty minimal for aid station bags.  I plan on having drop bags at four locations-Virgin Dam Aid, mile 23,  Goosebump-Miles 31.43,75; Grafton Mesa-Miles 49,54,68; and Gaucamole Miles 82 & 91.

Virgin Dam Aid Mile 23-four gels, a handwipe, maybe a fresh Buff band, some duct tape

Goosebump-miles 31,43,75-back up light.  I should not need to pick this up at Mile 43, but it might be handy at mile 74.
I will also bring a spare pair of shoes (and socks) for this AS.  I never change shoes.  But I do have a precautionary story from Reverse Ring why you should have the spares!

Grafton Mesa-miles 49, 54, 68-I hit this at mile 49, run a  loop, back to AS at mile 54, run a different loop, back at mile 68.  One of the three stops through here I imagine I will need to pick up my light.
I will also have a long sleeved shirt, gloves, headband/or hat here. Maybe tights or capris.  That will be a decision closer to race time.  I've garnered from reading that there could be a temperature differential from 10-20 degrees from the top of a mesa to the bottom.

Guacamole-miles 82, 91-I hit the AS at mile 82, run a loop, back at mile 91, then run for home. I will have some gels, sweet tea, perhaps a "surprise" candy bar of some kind-the item when you are rummaging in your drop bag you are pleasantly surprised to come across.  It will also be good to have a drop bag here to dump off items not needed any more.

This is my preliminary puzzle out the pieces for the unknown race.  More planning to follow!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Not So Long Long Run

I was looking forward to my 20 miler.  I was a bit envious of all the Saturday FB posts and twitters about everyone's 50K and 100K races.

Then Sunday arrived.  And I was 100% unmotivated for my run.

Originally I was going to run to town and back. As the morning wore on, I decided I really didn't want to run to town.   So I cobbled together Plan B, run a 10 mile loop, then divert down another side road for 10 more miles.

I finally dragged myself out the door at noon. It was thirty degrees and windy. I felt like I gritted my teeth and went.

The run sucked. I was coaxing myself along, mile by mile, trying to focus on my podcasts.  I had already made the decision to not run to town, and turned on the side road.

The wind hit me straight on.  Oh GOOD.  Not only was I in the valley, on the road that steadily went uphill, now I am fighting into the wind.

I run on, hunched over.  I can feel how stressed and tight I am, my upper body is still tense and sore hours later.

I take another gel, this time a Salted Caramel GU.  I listen to a podcast where David Horton is interviewed.  But that is still not enough to motivate me. I think about having to report the shorter distance to the Coach. That still doesn't help.

At mile ten, where I could either run another 10, I decide to head on home. 13.1 miles will have to do.  Not a very satisfying run.  At least I got to 13 miles.

Tomorrow is a new week.  It appears that we might be having slightly warmer weather.  I appear to be finally over my head cold.  How many days until spring?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Athletes and Blood Clots: March is National Blood Clot Awareness Month

I believe the  official title is DVT Awareness Month.  Which is short for deep vein thrombosis, commonly known as a blood clot.

Yet, most Americans (74 percent) have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

I bet most runners have forgotten about this also.

I've blogged on this topic before, due to several runner friends developing these.  Some of them went as far as pulmonary embolism.  All my friends were lucky, they have recovered and are back to running.

Excerpt from that blog post:

Yes, I want to scare you. A bit. OR actually, I just want you to be aware.

You think of blood clots in ..old people. You don't think about ultra runners, or triathletes, being the ones who who develop these blood clots.

Yet we are prime candidates for these.


Okay, Athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate. This results in blood flowing slower through the body.

Dehydration-this plays a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehydration leads to thicker blood.

 Falls, bruises? Nah, this never happens in an ultra. (Non runners would call this "trauma") Ultra runners? Well, we took a face plant eight hours ago. No big deal, right? I got a little banged up. Got some bruises on my quads, knee, arm. No big deal.  That huge bruise on my quad? That's no thang.

Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wall. This is your body functioning normally.

After the race is over, we get into our car, or onto an airplane, and travel hours back to where we came from. We spend hours in a cramped position.
Meanwhile, the thickened blood is pooling.The body is still dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body again. This is where the start of a clot in the legs (in the deep veins) can begin.

There are many more articles and resources on blood clots than when I wrote my original post in 2009.
Runner's World: Runners and Blood Clots: What You Need to Know

Endurance Corner: DVT and Thee
 Stop the Clot Alliance: Athletes and Blood Clots

There is also a group on Facebook, called "Running after a Pulmonary Embolism".  It is a closed group, but if interested just ask to be added to the group.

What can you do to prevent a blood clot or DVT?

First, be aware!

  Blood Clot Symptoms

Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT
  • Swelling, usually in your leg (can also occur in your arm especially in weight-lifters, gymnasts, rowers, etc)
  • Leg (or arm) pain or tenderness, usually described as a cramp or Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg warm to touch
Pulmonary Embolism – PE
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fainting or passing out
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus
                         -From Stop the Clot Alliance

How to Prevent Blood Clots?  Listen up, ultra runners!

  • Take breaks and stretch legs when traveling long distances;
  • Stay well hydrated (during and after a strenuous sporting event and travel);
  • Know the symptoms of DVT and PE and seek early medical attention if they occur;
  • Realize that DVT and PE can occur in the athlete;
  • Know the risk factors for blood clot;
  • Know whether you have a family history of blood clots;
  • In case of major surgery, trauma, prolonged immobility, or when in a cast: ask your doctor whether you should receive DVT prophylaxis and, if yes, for how long.
                            -From Stop the Clot Alliance

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cincinnati Run Around

The schedule called for a 10 miler on Sunday..but I knew I was going to be busy all day Sunday so I changed it over to Saturday.

We were also in Cincinnati for the   Wine Festival.  It's always a bit of a challenge to run after a night of indulging.

I asked for some feedback on the inter web for a route in the downtown area for a run.  I decided to mimic the first ten miles of the Flying Pig Marathon.

(I had a bit of FOMO going on. While perusing the Pig web site, I idly thought about signing  up for the Pig again, as it is not sold out yet.  Then I resisted that urge.I think part of it is I need to be around runners soon.)

I left the Hyatt Regency and followed some random runners down toward Sawyer's  Point.  In fact, I just kept following them and ended up running down on Riverside Drive, on the bike path designated on the road.  As a country mouse runner, I was a bit nervous about running in a city.

After 3 miles, I turned around and ran back.  I then took the Purple People Bridge over to Newport.

I was using the  Map My Run app on the phone, as my Garmin had died.  On  Friday, I thought I had downloaded the first 10 miles of the Flying Pig marathon route on my phone, but did not see it.  Now, all of a sudden, I saw the purple line of the marathon route on my map route! Sweet!

A view from the Purple People Bridge back at the Serpentine Wall.

Obligatory selfie on the bridge

In Newport, I was able to use the Map My Run app to jump back onto the Flying Pig route.  This takes the runners over the Licking River.

Nice view of the Natti from Kentucky

At first, when I glanced into the river, I saw this bunch of trash floating on a platform.  But when I looked further, I saw paddles, and realized this was gear from a rowing club.

I ran by this big ass bell.  I didn't know what it was at the time,but figured I could just google it:

The Newport, Kentucky, World Peace Bell is one of more than twenty Peace Bells around the world. It weighs 33,285 kg (73,381 lb) and is 3.7 m (12 feet) wide. From 2000 until 2006, it was the largest swinging bell in the world. It was dedicated on December 31, 1999, and was first swung as the year 2000 opened. In keeping with its theme of world peace, the bell features an inscription commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and engravings marking important events from the past 1,000 years.

Nice view of the Covington Courthouse. In Covington, I pretty much kept hitting the red lights at the wrong time, so my pace per mile (as the woman announced on my App) went from a 10-something mile, to a 12-something mile.  Besides, I had to stop and take photos.

Pretty cool views of Cincinnati from Kentucky.

Once back in Ohio, I was about mile 9, so I just ran around downtown, found Jean-Robert's Table, where we had dinner Saturday night.  There was alot of traffic (for a country mouse) so I  had taken out my single ear-bud at this time.

A pretty nice run, but I feel for you city runners. It has to tough to live in a city and constantly watch for traffic, both pedestrian and vehicles.  I'm back in the country where I might encounter one vehicle on my run around the block today!

                    Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

Friday, March 7, 2014

Today's Run

Today's run did NOT suck.  That makes it stand out a bit, lately.

I've been getting in some treadmill runs. But yesterday, for some reason, I thought the Great Guernsey Trail (an asphalt bike trail) would be clear.

So after work, I don my clothes, my road shoes, and get over to the parking lot.  The bike path is covered in snow. Well, okay, maybe my road shoes can deal with that.  But then, when the trail is clear from snow, the sun has melted the snow-and refroze-so it is totally slick.

My fault. I could have grabbed the screwed shoes. But I didn't.  I bailed after one mile, and just got back to the vehicle. I tried to talk myself into 4 miles on the treadmill, to make my six miles of running scheduled but *couldn't*.

Fast forward to today.  It was a predicted high of 40 degrees. I swore early I was not going for a run until the temperature hit 35 F.  It hit 35  right about noon.

I was still struggling with the runner's mojo.  So I had a bowel of Ramen noodles about 1130, with an egg and some peanut butter thrown in.  While it got my blood sugar engaged, the first four or six miles were pretty sluggish due to my body trying to digest all those calories..

 I had to pause and take a pic. This is just past the Amish lumberyard and Eli's house.  This is truly picturesque in warm weather months.

Just past here, the road winds down and I hop back on the state route. It leads me past Peoli Cemetery, so I stop to look at several gravestones

and to see what has been left by Cy Young's grave lately:

There are usually quarters and baseballs left.  That is a Cleveland Indians ballcap and a veteran's cap also left there today.

It's a beautiful cemetery. The deceased have the best view of the valley.

I continue on up SR 258.  These haystacks have been reaped in the traditional Amish fashion (this is Amish community I am running through).  Cy Young's house is on this road.   I wanted to snap a pic, but the farmhouse has really deteriorated.  Amish folks own it now, and they don't even live in it. It's become a storage facility and maybe chicken coop.

It was a good run. If it had been a little less windy, it might have even been warm!  I ran all the hills (which means I ran the entire time).  I've had a bit of a mini break through in fitness I think, being able to run up all my local  hills.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fall Race Plans!

Flashback to last post..

"I would not mind finding a long run in the East for October, November, December.  But if it a race I have to travel a long distance to, it has to engage me.  It has to be...hard...or a beautiful course, and not an out and back."

Luckily someone  posted on the VHTRC Facebook page about the Uwharrie 100 Race, being held on Oct 18& four day weekend from, no vacation days needed..

It's on the Uwharrie Trail, a hard and difficult course.  This is where the Uwharrie 40 Mile Race is, held in February, which sells out in minutes these days.

So I am IN!  I've got my fall 100!  Challenging and tough! Whoop! Right up my alley!

The Ring is a definite go.  Uwharrie has similiar terrain from what I have read via 40 miler race reports.

I am not sure of the Barkley Fall Classic at this time, but that is a long time off right now.

Okay, back to concentrating on my SPRING 100 race, the Zion 100 coming up rather soon!!