Whew! The beginning of January has been bitterly cold – a true test of hardiness for the wooly syrup chuggers! We’ve got a bunch of articles this month ranging from race reports to injury advice to our classic sections like UVRC runner profile. Enjoy, and don’t forget to send submissions for next month to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Table of Contents
- Letter from a Board Member by Dave Sullivan
- UVRC Tidbits: Hartford Track
- The First Annual Calvin Coolidge 5K and 1-Mile Walk! by Jared Rhoads
- Things I See While I am Running by Lori Bliss Hill
- Kicking Plantar Fasciitis by Travis Peters
- Ask the Coaches
- Runner Profile: Rob Daniels by Lorna Young
- Running The WDW Half Marathon For St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital by Judy Phillips
- Winter Running by Karen Kiepert
Letter from a Board Member
by Dave Sullivan
Letter From a Board Member Dave Sullivan
Many of you in the club have probably heard that I have left the Upper Valley and now live in western Vermont, on the shores of Lake Champlain in a small town called Panton. My partner and I moved out here from Woodstock to start a larger farm amid a very supportive agricultural community nestled in what’s referred to as “the banana belt” of Vermont. (A very relative term given that it got down to -24 degrees here a few weeks ago!) . We will continue to raise goats, chickens and bees and expand what we grow given the (hopefully longer) growing season here.
I enjoyed all the time I spent with the members of the Upper Valley Running Club immensely over the five years I belonged to the club. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly–now that I have belonged to a few running clubs, one thing I can count on is that I will meet great and interesting people with whom my only regret is that I don’t get to know each of you even better outside of the time we spend together running. Running makes you happy and allows you to put the cares of your non-running life aside, if only for a short time, and that happiness is infectious.
So to all of you, thank you very much for your welcome and friendship. Please shoot me an email at email@example.com if you will ever be out our way for a visit.
Friends of Hartford Track
You may have seen headlines in the Valley News about the plight of the proposed Hartford Track, and the organization Friends of Hartford Track. They are looking for interested people to help out. Contact me (Geoff Dunbar) or the newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can get you in touch with the right people.
The First Annual Calvin Coolidge 5K & 1-Mile Walk!
by Jared Rhoads
For UVRC members interested in venturing westward to experience a new
race, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation will be holding its
first annual “Coolidge 5K” in Plymouth Notch, VT, on Saturday, October
6th, 2018 at 10am. Mark your calendars!
The mixed-surface 5K course explores the delightful grounds and
surrounding areas of the historic Coolidge homestead. Runners will cover
the gently rolling terrain partly on road and partly on mowed grass paths.
The event will be professionally timed.
After the race, runners and non-runners alike are invited take part in the
“‘I Do Not Choose to Run’ 1-Mile Walk,” so named for Coolidge’s famous and
concise declaration about his intention not to seek re-election for
president in 1928.
The 5K and 1-mile walk are part of a fun, family-friendly day at the
President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site that also includes the
Plymouth Notch Antique Apple Fest. More details, including how to
register, will be posted as the event date approaches. In the meantime, if
you have any questions or would like to volunteer, contact Jared Rhoads,
race chairman, at email@example.com.
Things I See While I am Running
by Lori Bliss Hill
Run all the miles. Find all the change.
A fruitful run today. Do you stop and pick up change? How much have you found?
Kicking Plantar Fasciitis
I think I have Plantar Fasciitis…
What’s The Problem?
In fact, I’m fairly confident I have (or am developing) a bad case of plantar fasciitis in both of my feet! I admit that this is a self diagnosis but I’ve arrived at this after a lot of discomfort and pain, reading, watching videos, and talking with fellow runners in our club team. I’ve had tightness in my heels and arches before, but never to the extent that I do now.
So what makes this different? Why do I now think I’ve got this plantar fasciitis thing? I feel really uncomfortable (sometimes even painful) tightness in my heels and into the arches of my feet. This is particularly noticeable in the morning when I wake up and first get out of bed, which I’ve heard is a reliable “tell” of Plantar Fasciitis. I feel noticeable tightness during running, mostly when I push off during my stride. I also experience painful tightness after running (e.g., when getting up after sitting down for a little bit).
All of this finally motivated me to stop running for a little while. I bet you didn’t think I’d say that, right? Motivated me to stop running. But something needed to change. Plus, I don’t have any races in the immediate future, so a little R&R might be just what I need!
During this time I set out to learn more about what the problem is and what I can do about it. My goal in writing this article is to share some of my findings with other club members in the hope that it would benefit others.
What I’m Reading & Watching…
I’ve found some particularly insightful videos and articles. Web searches turn up many, many results, but there is a lot of redundancy out there (as well as a lot of unhelpful stuff). Here are a couple of my findings that I’ve bookmarked in my web browser so I can re-read/re-watch them:
- Plantar Fasciitis – An article from Runner’s World.
- Arch Enemy – Five simple stretches and exercises that can cure & prevent plantar fasciitis – Another article from Runner’s World.
The exercises and stretches I describe next are largely a summary of information that I’ve obtained from reading these articles and watching the videos on their respective websites.
What I’m Doing…
I try to ice and heat the bottoms of my feet at least once a day. We have a rice bag which I’ll heat up for a couple of minutes and then just put my feet on top of it (plus it is a nice way to warm up your feet in the winter time!) We also have an icepack which I’ll roll up and put under my feet (not as nice for warming up in the winter time…).
In addition to icing and heating to reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow, respectively, I do some other stuff.
For instance, there are a number of exercises that I’m trying to do most days, up to 3 sets of 10 reps:
- Calf Raises. (Strengthens the tendons in your heels and calf muscles, which support your arch). Raise up on the balls of your feet as high as possible. Slowly lower down. Progress to doing the raises on stairs with heels hanging off, and then to single-leg raises. Most mornings I do these in the shower.
- Step Stretch. (Improves flexibility in your Achilles tendon and calf—when these areas become tight, the arch gets painfully overloaded). Stand at the edge of a step, toes on step, heels hanging off. Lower your heels down, past the step, then raise back up to the start position.
- Doming. (Works the arch muscles and the tibialis posterior (in the calf and foot) to control excess pronation). While standing, press your toes downward into the ground while keeping the heel planted, so that your foot forms an arch or dome. Hold for one or two seconds, then release.
- Towel Curls. (Works the toe-flexor muscles that run along your arch to increase overall foot strength). Lay a small hand towel on the floor, and place one foot on the towel. Using just your toes, scrunch the towel toward you, hold, then slowly push the towel away from you back to the start position.
There are also a couple of specific stretches that I’m doing:
- Achilles Tendon Stretch. Stand with your affected foot behind your healthy one. Point the toes of the back foot toward the heel of the front foot, and lean into a wall. Bend the front knee and keep the back knee straight, heel firmly planted on the floor. Hold for a count of 10.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch. Sit down, and place the foot with heel pain across your knee. Using the hand on the side affected by plantar fasciitis, pull your toes back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Run your thumb along your foot—you should feel tension. Hold for a count of 10. I really feel this one!
For a more casual stretch, as I’m sitting and working or reading, I put a lacrosse ball under my foot and roll the ball around to massage my arches and heel.
I’m not better yet but things aren’t getting worse. That’s good right?
I started writing this article two or three weeks into my time off. Surprisingly, none of the advice I read instructed runners to take time off—most everything I’ve read/watched is oriented around the exercises, stretches, and icing and heating. But if you can afford to take some time off, I don’t see how that could hurt.
After a little over three weeks of no running I was itching to see how things felt. The tightness was still there but it wasn’t as sharp. The key, I think, is that my “time off” wasn’t just sitting around. I was started back into a spin class, I’ve been doing yoga with Mary, I’ve been doing a fair amount of walking, and off course I’ve been doing all of the stretches and exercises I mentioned above. Thus, my time off was more of an “active recovery,” if you will.
Wish me luck! If you are reading this and you have any other tips or tricks (UVRC coaches? Those formerly encumbered with Plantar Fasciitis?), I’d love to hear them! You can drop me a line personally (firstname.lastname@example.org) or maybe writing something to share with the whole group in the next newsletter! 🙂 If you are reading this and some of what I’ve described is resonating with you (i.e., you think you might have Plantar Fasciitis), I hope this was helpful and gave you some things to try out.
Did you know we have some awesome coaches associated with the UVRC? Here, look:
- Carly Wynn is a personal coach at EnduranceEfficacy.com, and can be reached at email@example.com.
Laura Hagley, DPT, CSCS, EP-C runs competitively for Millennium Running Club. She placed 25th at 2016 Olympic Trials, and competed in the Elite Women’s Wave of the 2016 Boston Marathon. Professionally, Laura is the Director of Ancillary Services and Physical Therapist at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mary Peters ran cross country and track at Western Washington University, was an assistant coach for Hanover High School track, and coaches our own Couch 2 5K program in the fall.
- Kim Sheffield is a former master mile national champion, coaches our summer TNT workouts, and is a founding member of the UVRC. She has 20 years of experience as a high school track and cross-country coach, and is USATF Level II Coach Certified.
- Brandon Baker, a.k.a. Brando, organizes Winter Wild and trail runs as part of Team AMP, is a sales rep for Salming Running, and coaches UVRC’s own Couch to 5K program.
So, I have to assume that all of you already know everything about running. Because every month, I ask for questions to ask these excellent coaches, and for months now, I’ve gotten no questions! Well, I’m tired of making up the questions myself, so unless this shameless plea for questions goes answered, we’ll just have to do without “Ask the Coaches” for awhile.
If, on the other hand, it occurs to you that you don’t know everything about running, and begging for questions works on you, please send along your questions for the coaches to email@example.com.
by Lorna Young
Town: Canaan, NH
Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area? I’m a local by accident of birth.
How long have you been running? Since 2012
If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why? I like 10 milers and half marathons. Not so intense as shorter races.
Favorite local running route? Around Canaan St. Lake gives you hills, flats, views, woods, and the occasional bear.
Favorite post run treat? Blueberry waffles with maple syrup!
Why did you join UVRC? The community aspect!
Ever run in a costume? Some of my running gear might qualify.
The only running shoe for me is? Brooks because they should sponsor me.
Hot or cold weather runner? After the frigid temps earlier this winter I won’t complain about the heat again.
Morning or evening runner? I can’t figure out how to make coffee before 7.
What is your favorite race? I’ll give a shout out to the half marathon at the NH Marathon. Not too big or competitive is the way I like it.
What does your daily workout consist of? Unless I’m running anything else is hit or miss.
Additional input or comments? People to mention? There are so many role models in the UVRC. They are a great motivator!
What else should the club know about you? My most notable recent accomplishments are replacing my garage door opener and the starter motor on my snow blower. Photo’s available upon request.
Running The WDW Half Marathon For St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
by Judy Phillips
Amidst Christmas festivities, extreme cold causing freeze ups, fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the snow storm and flight cancellations, we flew down to Florida, running through the Airport in Philadelphia to make our connection (that last bit of training came in handy). We were joining my husband’s son, Michael, and his bride, Amanda, for the WDW Marathon Weekend. We arrived late Thursday night before the half on Saturday, January 6th. It’s all a bit of a jumble now.
We met Michael and Amanda at breakfast the next morning in the Animal Kingdom. The food was delicious and well-seasoned; a buffet. Always dangerous, but I limited myself to the turkey omelet with African spices, grilled asparagus and tomatoes. Then we went to the Expo. Registration was seamless as Run Disney sends many email updates, including the waiver to sign when you collect your bib. We spent the day taking in a few attractions, including a couple of my favorites, the Haunted Mansion and the Tower of Terror. We had an early dinner and stopped at the shop in our hotel to buy water, yogurt, peanut butter and raisin bagels for our early race day breakfast.
As we left the shop, we ran into Joan Benoit Samuelson in the lobby. Some of you may know “Joanie”, but I’d never met her. I’ve been running for nearly 40 years so was excited to meet this icon. I admit I gushed. She was lovely, very down-to-earth. I told her I’d run “her race” in ‘16; I was so excited I forgot the name of the race! (I won a spot in the “Beach to Beacon” lottery as part of my entry in the South Berwick, Maine Strawberry Festival 5 Mile Run that June). It turns out her husband’s from Hanover; she asked if Dan & Whit’s was still here. She ran the 10k that morning, and advised us to “wear everything we have”, as it was very cold and “she’s very fast”. Well, the Olympian is fast, and she’s accustomed to running in the cold back in Maine, so we took her words to heart.
I attempted the half in January 2011 so knew what to expect. The hardest part of the race is that you must get up at 2 AM and be at the start by 4 AM. There was coffee in the lobby which we enjoyed on the bus where we met Amanda. (Michael was doing the full the next day). If you’re further back in the corrals, as I am, you stand in the cold, dark morning for over an hour. My husband dropped back to wait with me which was sweet. I prepared our race gear in the months before, including an inexpensive blanket to sit on, hats, throwaway gloves in each of our stockings; in retrospect, I spent more time on outfitting us for comfort than training! It turned out there was no space to sit, we were jammed so close together.
In 2011, I ran the first 8.5 miles very well despite being sick the month before
through that Christmas, and no running at all for that month. However, fatigue set in and I decided to walk a half mile before resuming running. Although my pace was decent until that point, I got swept. My goal this year was to just finish. I felt off from the start, and prayed I’d get picked up! I made it to 8.3 miles; this time, it was severe pain rather than fatigue that affected my legs. I told myself that it was less than five miles to the finish, but a body check said it wasn’t doable. I got a ride to the finish and waited for my husband. I was so happy he met his goal, as long hours working up ‘til Christmas didn’t allow the training we’d planned and he had some health concerns. Amanda had a PR in the half at 1:40:08, and Michael finished 13th overall the next day at 2:47:26, his 15th marathon since graduating college. I promised myself and my
family I wouldn’t let disappointment affect the rest of our trip; we had lots of fun in the parks, and too much food as we celebrated their good races. We raised $2,000+ for St. Jude’s, so that goal was met!
I returned with resolve to resume a better regimen: more rest, consistent training, and a return to our healthy diet. We’re signed up for two half’s in the Spring and the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run; I also have another half in early March. My traditional Christmas present for my husband is a series of races involving travel, starting with the Cupid’s Chase for Valentine’s Day in NYC. My husband gave me a lovely, special purse decorated with Run Disney symbols.
One of my most important resolutions is to commit to training. I’ve been pulling rabbits out of hats for decades, running and finishing long races, including a marathon, on little training. I think that at this age/stage, that trick may not work as well. Of course, I know I run better with more consistent training.
I’m considering the WDW Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November. Perhaps the third time will be the charm. I want to carry that purse with pride!
By Karen Kiepert
I found a few ways to make running a little bit easier this winter.
One of them was putting Grip Studs on the bottoms of my running shoes. They are AMAZING! You barely know they’re there, but it completely prevents slipping. My loop in Sugar Hill is extremely hilly (mountainous) and running downhill especially is treacherous with any amount of snow or ice. These are the smallest available — for running shoes — and come in larger sizes for vehicles, bikes, equipment, etc. You don’t want to wear these indoors, keep your shoes near the door. http://www.gripstuds.com/running.php
I was lucky enough to visit my son in college in Miami this weekend and I ran the half marathon there. At the expo, I ran across these laces that eliminate the need to lace your shoes. I bought a pair and can’t wait to try them. While I’m not too lazy to tie my shoes, my hands are often too cold to untie them after the run, especially since I double knot them so that I don’t have to take my mittens off on a cold day to re-tie them if they come untied. And since I can’t put my studded shoes on in the house, it makes putting them on outside FAST.
Speaking of mittens, they are the ONLY thing that keep my hands warm in the winter, and I’ve tried everything! Gloves do not work for me at all. If it’s especially cold or windy outside, I tuck handwarmers (that I buy by the case on Amazon) into each one.
Let me know if you want any more information or have questions, and please share your own winter tips!