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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Am Impressed

posted on June 17, 2011 by Ann Brennan

I am impressed. I am not being facetious or sarcastic when I say this. I am impressed with people who don’t exercise. I am impressed that they get through their days without screaming at the cars that are moving too slowly in front of them. That they are still walking around with heads full of hair because they haven’t pulled it out from the stress of life. I am impressed that they get from one day to the next without worrying about when they will be able to get in the next workout.

I am impressed because I can’t imagine doing it. I can’t imagine the kind of person I would be without my workouts. This is especially so this morning as I am still fuming over having to have cut my swim workout short.

This has been a light week. Two 30 minute runs, two weights workouts, and two 22 mile rides. To be honest I have been feeling the stress of a lighter week and was looking forward to this mornings swim. Finally, something hard. Finally a workout that would leave me gasping for breath and needing a nap. Finally something to relieve the stress I have been under while trying to write three weeks worth of articles in one week so I can actually enjoy my vacation this year.

To be fair, the aggravation set in early in the swim. I knew I was short on time. I knew I had to complete 4500 yards and rush back out to pick my daughter up from her strength and conditioning class.

Heading into a workout rushed doesn’t generally work for me. Today was no exception. To make matters worse, my goggles leaked all the way through my 500 yard warm up and the stress that I was trying to relieve with the swim, just built.

Eventually I found a rhythm. I completed my 600 yards of drills and moved into the 500 repeats feeling loose and de-stressed. And then, after my second set, as I was really beginning to feel good, I looked up, saw the clock and knew there was no way to get it all in, unless I wanted to be 30 minutes late for collecting Meg.

So, I had to compromise. I cut 2 sets of 500 and the 500 cool down. I cut 1500 yards from my 4500 yard swim. I still completed the 400 yards of kicks but it was what I didn’t do that nags at me.

I know what you are going to say. It is the same thing I would say to you if you had to cut a swim, run or bike short.

“Something is better than nothing,” you would say, “Three thousand yards is nothing to sneeze at.”
And it is true. But I am still annoyed. I still wish I had more hours in my day. I still wish I had planned better and as I was trying to rush to my daughter’s gym to collect her and bring her home, I still found myself wanting to scream at the mom who was driving 25 miles an hour down the road.

So, I am impressed. I am impressed with people who don’t remember the last time they walked, much less ran, swam or rode a bike. I don’t envy them. I don’t want to be them and I wouldn’t give up my workouts at all. But I am impressed that people can function without exercise while a light week is enough to send me into a bit of a tailspin

ps I love Annes writing, impressiver

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Running with the Wolves

Running with the Wolves 10k race

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 9:10am

The Highland City Striders had their third annual 10 kilometer running race last night on the Assabet River Trail. This was was my first race with the Striders as a new member and I marshalled the course at Lincoln ST. We had a blast! Congratualations to Steve Chaves the Race director, and his crew for a well run and awesome race!

It was a perfect night for 6.2 miles; 66 degrees , dry and clear. There were 180 runners leaving the start at Kelleher field at 6:30 sharp . The runners entered the trail at Lincoln Street, cross Fitchburg street through the 290 tunnel, and then they turned around at 3.1 miles and returned the same route to the finish in the Stadium!

Thanks to the Marlborough Police and DPW for all of their help and assistance !

The winning time and first male was Andy Green of Liecester, MA in 35:23; and the first female was Claudia Shultz of Somerville, MA in 41:28. Great Job!

Congratulations to all trophy winners and all 175 finishers !

See all results at


Next race by the HCS is the Laborious 10 Miler on labor day, a Charity for the local food bank!

Go to http://www.highlandcitystriders.org/index.html for more information


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day

Posted on June 1, 2011 by pegmckie

By Karen Borsari
Shape Magazine

1. Sign Up for a Race

Nothing gets you motivated like a deadline. Some favorite races: Skirt Chasers, in which women get a 3-minute head start before the men are let loose; New York’s Fun Run and Happy Hour, which features post-race drink specials; and the Zooma Half Marathon ; 10K series, featuring post-race shopping, massages and wine. Find a race near you.
2. Hit the Bars
Pre-run: Grab an energy bar (we’ve picked the tastiest so you have the fuel to run your best).
Post-run: Toss back a beer. Research conducted at Granada University in Spain shows that a pint of beer, post-workout, rehydrates the body better than water. The carbs replace lost calories and researchers believe the sugars and salts may help the body absorb fluids more quickly.
3. Get Your Perfect Training Plan
Try a 10K training plan, to feel ready at the starting line and finish strong.
4. Ease Your Knees
Runners have a decreased risk of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, according to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Running increases oxygen flow and flushes out toxins resulting in healthier cartilage and stronger ligaments around the knee. Already have knee pain? Find out how to nix it with these three moves.
5. Get New Shoes
Over time (as little as 6 months) running shoes lose traction and their cushioning breaks down, making you more prone to aches. Which to choose? Check out our top picks (narrowed down from 44 shoes tested by 275 women). Still some life in your old pair? Donate them to soles4souls.org, which provides shoes, free of charge, to those in need.
6. Live Longer and Better
Beyond helping you manage your weight, running has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health – all of which helps you live longer and better. Running is also a weight-bearing exercise, which can help prevent disabling osteoporosis.
7. Think About Potato Chips
Good form makes you more efficient, which means you can go longer and stronger without using up more energy. Aim to maintain an even stride, with your feet under your body as you run, and keep your shoulders loose. Our favorite form tip: Nix the tension in your arms and hands by pretending you’re holding a potato chip in each hand.
8. Join the 6-Legged Race
When you run with your four-legged friend, he gets just as many health benefits as you do. What’s more, running with your dog is a great way for you to bond and an easy way to stay safe on the road.
9. Lose Track of Time
If you’re a data fanatic, try leaving the watch at home. “Training without a watch lets you run with a greater sense of comfort,” says Frank Webbe, Ph.D., a sports psychologist who works with runners at the Florida Institute of Technology. “It helps your performance because you’re paying attention to your body rather than to the watch itself.”
10. Eat Dessert
The average women can burn 345 calories in just 30 minutes of running. That means you can have a 16-oz. milkshake, a 2-inch brownie with 2 tablespoons of real whipped cream, a ½-cup of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, or (that’s “or,” not “and”!) 3 Godiva truffles, guilt-free. Find out how many calories you can torch with our Calorie Burn Tool.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Insanity / P90X Hybrid

 Blog: "Insanity / P90X Hybrid
May 8, 2011 8:06 AM
by Mike Wetzel

'To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain--not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it.' George Sheehan

I ran a bunch of races back in the late 80's and 90 when I was a bit younger and thinner, haha!
Getting back to the old form physically and mentally, and George was a big inspiration with his wriitng and his actions.
We all have challenges and busy lives, but we will not acheive the status of 'winner' without looking for the pain, line with the pain and learn from it. Hope you all have sucess with your programs and fitness!

Day 87 Insanity/P90X Hybrid-Legs and Back Done !
This Hybrid is just what I needed. I was able to achieve some unbelievable fitness gains with Insanity but I need the burn ( and good pain!) of more pushups, chinups, curls, hammers and wall sqauts!
This week is recovery week, time for some good focus on core and the soul!
I have been running 10-12 miles a week so my Cardio is improving immensely! I also joined the local running club the Highland Striders, and we gave a race that we are sponsoring next Wednesday ( June 15th)in Marlborough ; the "Run with the Wolves" be there!
Contact me for more information.
Bring it everyone and you will be a winner just like George Sheehan and me!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Predawn Runs

by Anne Brennan

My friend Greg is a predawn runner. He enjoys his early morning runs so much that he has created a blog around the joys of predawn running. Though my husband does not profess a love of predawn running, he does admit that he enjoys being out before the sunrises, greeting the same people along the trail each morning and knowing that his coffee will be brewing when he arrives back at the house happy and covered in sweat.

I, on the other hand, am not a believer. When my daughter entered school fulltime ten years ago leaving me at home alone twiddling my thumbs, I embraced the joys of the post drop-off run. I fell in love with waking up with the kids, having breakfast, drinking my coffee and walking the kids to school before heading out for my run. I developed a routine that has worked well for me for a decade.

But in the past few months I have come to realize that there is no shop, either at the mall or online, where I can buy a couple of extra hours for my day and I am coming to accept that I need to make the move to predawn running.

Unfortunately, accepting it and liking it isn’t necessarily the same thing. I truly hate predawn runs and though I am sure there will come a time when there is a joy that comes with being out before the birds begin their songs, I have a hard time picturing it.

This hate is embarrassing really. Like ballet and poetry, I want to love predawn running. I want to find a peace in the quiet of the morning. I want come home feeling like I can check that off my list. I want to feel more productive because I have accomplished more in the predawn hours than most people will accomplish all day.

But so far that has not been my experience. So far, though I did see four herons on my run this morning, I haven’t appreciated a moment of the early runs. Instead, I spend the entire time trying to get through an hour and twenty minute run a little quicker so that I can be home with the kids, making breakfast, reading the paper and drinking my coffee. So far, I spend more time wondering why my legs don’t move as fast at five a.m. as they do at ten. I spend the run worrying about fueling and how wrong I seem to have gotten it, what is not getting done while I am out of the house in the morning and what will have to be done when I get home.

To make matters worse I spend the rest of the day trying to figure out a way to get in another workout because the predawn run never seems to stick around through the day. I always feel like I need another workout and usually find a way to sneak one in, thus losing the hour and a half I bought in the morning.

But I was reminded this morning of something I tell new runners all the time. “You have to build a habit.” I was reminded that when I first started running, I didn’t love it. After my first run, I never wanted to run again, but I did. I did because I needed to.

So, tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off at the ungodly hour of five a.m., I will get up, lace up my shoes and build the habit. And I will remain hopeful that one day I will have built a habit that brings me the same joys my runs have brought me for twenty years.