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Fit To Be Tied

Learn the right way (and the wrong way) to lace your shoes.

STEP 1 You can tie the starting knot by passing the left lace over the right (shown at left), or by wrapping right over left. Either method can yield a balanced knot or a granny knot—it depends on what you do afterward.   

  
STEP 2 Next you make a loop with the right lace (shown at left) or the left. Either choice can yield a balanced knot or a granny knot—independent of which starting knot you made. It comes down to what you do next.   

  
STEP 3 Then you circle the other lace around the loop you just made—either in front or in back of the loop. The right choice depends upon how you did steps 1 and 2. (In the knot shown at left, back is correct.) To see the proper last step that matches your technique, consult the chart at right.   


Fit To Be Tied

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Geesh, I didn't know lacing up my running shoes is also a science. Did you get it correctly?

During these times of not running, my fingers are making a mad dash to earning online.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11121568@N06/2638883650


It’s been three weeks since I have run. It was only thirty minutes but it was precious. I learned that my knees are already well.

But then, I felt my lower back ached. It took two days for the pain to be gone. Moreover, I felt pins and needles up to my feet.

So sadly, here I am, contemplating on another possible injury. I have already set a schedule to see my doctor.

Scary thoughts have started to lord over my brains: What if the injury is worse than my first bout? What procedures will I have to undergo? How many months do I need to wait until I can finally start running again?

What if I will never get to run for the rest of the year?

What if I will never get back to running forever?

As I was about to succumb to loss, I checked my e-mail. I have received lots of e-mails from Freelancer.com, an outsourcing website. It was then I realized that I do have an account there. I started to scroll down the possible outsourcing projects that I could do.

Then I thought of something: Since I can’t run for now, why not give this a shot? Making money through the Internet - especially blogging - has been possible for a few years now.

I have come to think that making money blogging and running are mostly the same. If someone wants to start making money through blogging, he/she has to set aside time for learning.

It is the same for running – a runner reads running stuff, does research, joins running clinics, and even keeps a log diary.

If someone is dedicated to earn money through blogging, he/she must be equipped of the necessary tools.

It is the same for running – a correct pair of running shoes, comfortable running attire, and a safe road is what you need.

If someone wants to make money through blogging, he/she must have the right attitude, discipline, motivation, and faith.

Guess what? It is the same with running.

So even if I have not been running, my fingers are making a mad dash to earning online.

Besides, it is hard to invest on running gears if I do not have the moolah.

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Want to know how to make money blogging? Click the link for some blog tips.

I hope you find inspiration from Serena Burla's story.

Serena Burla

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Serena Burla's story in an inspiration for runners to continue what they love despite of obstacles.

Born This Way

Honestly, I haven't been able to listen to the full version of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." I was able to listen first to the little Fil-Canadian girl's version.

People are saying that this song was Lady Gaga's ode to Madonna's "Express Yourself." But for us runners, "Born This Way" may directly mean a solid stand on what we love - WE WERE BORN TO RUN.

Recommended for your running playlist.


How To Prevent Running Injuries–By Running

by Matt Fitzgerald

In 2002, Michael Muller, a professor of physical therapy at Washington University, presented a new theory of tissue adaptation to physical stress that provides a helpful conceptual framework for runners seeking to stay healthy without sacrificing performance.  Physical stress theory, as it is called, is based on the simple premise that body tissues adapt in a predictable way in response to changes in the relative level of physical stress they are exposed to.

When tissues are exposed to an accustomed level of stress, they maintain their current structure and function—a state that is often referred to as homeostasis.  When these same tissues are exposed to a slight or gradual increase in stress, they modify their structure and function—after an initial period of breakdown—to become more tolerant of that type of stress.  They achieve a new homeostasis at a greater level of durability.

For example, a recent animal study found that when rats were exposed to a running program, fingerlike branches of new tissue grew in the attachment between the tendons and muscles of their legs, strengthening these important junctions.  But if a stress is increased too quickly or abruptly, the tissues never recover from the initial period of breakdown.  They lose their homeostatic balance and progressively degenerate.  All running overuse injuries follow this pattern.

On the other hand, if the level of stress is reduced, the tissues adapt in the other direction, finding a new homeostasis at a lower level of durability and function.

The physical stress theory reminds us that running does not only cause overuse injuries—it also protects us against them.  When you increase your running volume at a sensible rate and then maintain your mileage at a sensible upper limit, the tissues of your lower body become significantly better able to tolerate the stress of running without losing homeostasis.

Several studies have shown that experienced runners who have been training for several years are significantly less likely to become injured than beginning runners.  While this may be the case in part because some of the most injury-prone novice runners quit, leaving less injury-prone runners to become more experienced, it is undoubtedly also a consequence of the durability-increasing tissue adaptations that more experienced runners have earned.  Another factor is the much greater relative increases in physical stress that beginning runners typically experience relative to veteran runners.  The bones, muscles and joint tissues of the person who’s going from zero to 20 miles a week in training for his or her first 5K are more likely to lose their homeostatic balance than those of a veteran runner who’s working from 40 to 60 miles per week in training to set a 10K PR.

It seems to be a Catch-22: You need to run more to increase the injury resistance of your legs, but the relative increase in physical stress that comes with running more is often greater than the resulting increase in durability, so you wind up getting injured more often.

It may be possible, however, to get the fitness and durability benefits of running more miles without increasing your injury risk as much as high mileage does for the typical runner.  Just follow these three guidelines:

Ramp up slowly.  As the physical stress theory shows, whether an increase in physical stress makes a tissue stronger or breaks it down is determined by the magnitude of that increase.  In running, that translates into the rate at which you increase your weekly mileage.  By ramping up very slowly—the often-cited rule is 10 percent per week—you expose your leg tissues to manageable amounts of damage that they can repair and adapt to before the next time you run.  When your tissues are given the opportunity to fully restore their prior homeostasis between runs, then you can’t get injured—by definition—because an injury is a loss of homeostasis.

Obey your pain.  No numerical rule can predict how your body will respond to your training.  While in the long run using the 10-percent rule will certainly keep you healthier than you would be if you included abrupt mileage spikes in your training, it still doesn’t make any sense to continue increasing your running mileage at a rate of 10 percent per week if you’ve developed a sore spot that gets a little worse every time you run.  You must never ignore pain.  When you develop a sore spot, reduce your running just enough to make the pain go away and then begin increasing your mileage cautiously.  Sometimes it’s necessary to stop running completely for a few days, but that is more than worth it when you consider that the possible consequences of ignoring the pain and continuing to run might be many weeks off with a far more serious injury later.

Be consistent.  Research suggests that injuries are more likely to occur during periods of increasing running mileage than they are during periods of steady mileage, even if that steady mileage level is high.  According to the physical stress model, simple repetition of a familiar stress is unlikely to cause a loss of homeostasis, and in running that means that you’re unlikely to break down by maintaining your mileage at a consistently high level once you’ve safely brought it up to a high level initially.

Naturally, “high mileage” is relative.  As a general rule, avoid letting your weekly mileage dip below 50 percent of your peak weekly mileage.  So if your heaviest training week during the year is 50 miles, try to avoid running fewer than 25 miles at any other time of the year, except perhaps during a brief (one- or two-week) off-season break.



How To Prevent Running Injuries–By Running
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Correct and proper training really prevents injuries. I hope this will help me as I come back from my layoff.

Love Your Knees

by Frank Claps

Whether running, cycling or romping around the yard with the dog, your knees take the brunt of all your fun. But they were hardly built for such rude treatment.

Just take a closer look--a hinge joint with four bones connected by five ligaments, two that cross, two on each side and one up front. Add some cartilage and a tendon or two, and you have all sorts of areas ripe for pain and suffering, given how active you are.

However, with the right combination of tender loving care and tough love, there's plenty you can do to avoid injury and keep striding and spinning for the long haul.

The terrible toos

Perhaps the most frequent warning of experts is beware of the "terrible toos"--too much, too soon, too often--without adequate preparation and recovery.

Part of the problem is that athletes often have "less than optimal lower leg, hip and core strength," says Diane Vives, president and director of training for Austin-based Vives Training System.

Couple that with increasing mileage or training hours too quickly and not allowing enough recovery time, and you can wind up with overuse injuries, the major preventable source of knee pain for activities like running and cycling.

In tandem with overuse, the repetitive nature of these sports--knees bending and straightening again and again--can result in injuries both outside and inside the knee joint. For starters, the illiotibial (IT) band, a tendon that runs from the hip down the outside of the thigh to the outside of the knee cap (patella) can become inflamed through overuse, causing pain on the outside of the thigh and knee.

In addition, any inflammation of the IT band can cause the patella to "track inappropriately and can result in anterior (front) knee pain," explains Emil J. DiIorio, orthopedic surgeon and director of Coordinated Health, a Bethlehem, Pa., orthopedic clinic.

Another source of pain from outside the knee is inflammation of the tendon that connects the patella to the tibia, or shin bone. Called patella tendonitis, you'll feel this pain on the knee cap or possibly just below. Repetitive activities can also wear down the cartilage under the patella, resulting in "chrondomalacia," or runner's knee, which causes pain on the kneecap.

Female anatomy

Unfortunately, just being a woman can also contribute to your knee pain. A woman's typically wider hips create what medical specialists refer to as a wider "Q angle," which is measured from the hip to the center of the kneecap and the top of the lower leg.

The wider angle may contribute to patellar tendonitis or illiotibial band friction syndrome, explains Alecia Good, an athletic trainer with the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado. The thigh muscles can pull the patella from a wider angle, outside its normal track.

A wider "Q" angle may also be why women suffer more injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of two crossing ligaments behind the kneecap. Women may also be more susceptible to ACL injury because the area where the ligament attaches onto the thigh bone is narrower than that of men.

Another potential problem for women is an apparently lower hamstrings-to-quadriceps strength ratio. If your hamstring strength is not at least 60 percent of your quadriceps strength, you may be susceptible to knee injury, says Good.

"A weakness in the hamstrings may decrease the body's ability to stabilize unwanted motion, maintain functional joint stiffness, and reduce force at the knee joint," Vives adds.

To keep your knees in shape, do the following exercises at least twice a week, with three sets of 10 repetitions. Use dumbbells where appropriate:

Squats
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out and keeping your back straight and head up, slowly bend at the hips as if sitting down, allowing some of your weight to shift to your heels. Begin with shallow squats and gradually progress to where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your knees should pass over your feet but not extend beyond your toes.

Lunges
Standing straight, bring one foot forward and bend your knee until your upper and lower leg create a 90-degree angle. The knee of the rear leg should be almost touching the floor. Bring the outstretched foot back and switch positions or perform walking lunges. For variety, add backward or sideways lunges.

Step-ups
Standing in front of a stair or bench, step onto that surface with one foot, straightening that leg so that your trail leg is brought up to but not touching the surface, then slowly lower the foot.

Bridges on a stability ball
Lying on your back with your heels on a stability ball, contract your stomach and back muscles to create a "bridge." In that position, use your hamstrings to roll the ball back toward your body. When proficient, perform with one leg at a time.

Side-lying leg raises
Lying on your side with leg weights on your ankles, lift your upper leg upward as high as possible, pause, and return slowly. Then bend the upper leg slightly and lift the lower leg.

Planks
Lying on the floor and resting your upper body on your forearms, use your abs to lift your body so you are supported by your toes and forearms.



How much do you love your knees?
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With my knee sprained last month, I think I really need to take care of it more. I hope the exercises will help strengthen my knees so that it won't happen again.

Of rain and running

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66208256@N00/3533194777




With the rains all around us, I remembered a famous nursery rhyme back when I was a kid. I tried putting a twist to it this time, though, to make myself sane:

Rain, rain go away!
Come again another day!
PeñaRUNzi wants to play.

It’s been four days since I saw the sun. I miss it.

It is in this time that I realized something: I really do not like rainy days (especially if there are lots of it).

I would always like to see myself in a beach – my eyes feasting on the view of the sea – with my running shoes hanging on my left hand’s fingers.

My feet, just finished a run, enjoying the heat of the sand and the pristine calmness of the water.

What will I be wearing? I’ll let you think of that to make you sane (wink).

I have experienced running in a drizzle once and it was fun (and cold). But maybe it’s going to take me some time to decide to run in the rain again (especially if there are lots of it).

For now, I’m going to recite the rhyme again and again, until the sun sees its own light shine.

And I can start running.

The truth about being a King (or Queen) - at the Adidas King of the Road

All the running royalties will be coming together on October 23, 2011 at the Bonifacio Global City. Will you be one of them?


Aside from the known fact that RunRio’s is this year’s organizer of the Adidas King of the Road, what are the others FYIs that you need to know as early as now?

Here are the answers to your Adidas KOTR questions. The event is still on October 2011, but the buzz about this is big in the Philippine running community.

So here it is, all you need to know – so that all you have to do is start training.

Special thanks to Ms. Isa of Green Bulb PR.

Hail to the kings - and queens - of the road!

When and where will the 2011 adidas King of the Road Philippines be held?
The adidas King of the Road Philippines will be held on 23 October 2011 (Sunday) at the Bonifacio Global City.

How do I register?
Registration can be done online on www.adidaskingoftheroad.com. The registration will close on 31 August 2011 or upon reaching maximum number of slots. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis.

When is the starting and closing date for the regular registration?
Regular registration starts June 21 and will close on August 31, or while race slots last. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis.

What is the age limit for KOTR 2011 participants?
The minimum age to participate in this event will be 12 years old and the maximum age is 65 years old. 12-17 year-old participants need a parent’s or guardian’s consent to participate.

How do I register if I’m under the age of 18?
Participants below the age of 18 are required to seek parental/guardian consent as deemed necessary by the organizer upon online registration. Failing which, the organizer reserves the right to refuse entry to any participant.

Can I register offline / manually and pay cash?
For regular registration, all registrations are made online and payments are charged via credit card at www.adidaskingoftheroad.com. Only payment via Credit Card is accepted. We do not accept Cash, Check, Debit Card, and Online Transfer via Internet Banking.

How much is the Race Entry Fee?
The entry fees are as follows:
5km – 1,050PHP
16.8km– 1,300PHP
21k– 1,050PHP

How will I know if my entry has been accepted?
Registrants will receive a confirmation email upon successful registration. The system will automatically allocate a unique Registration Number as shown in their confirmation email. Please note that Hivelocity Pte Ltd’ will be listed in your credit card bank statement for this transaction. It is necessary to bring a copy of the confirmation e-mail from the organizer and a valid ID upon collecting the Race Kit.

What are the possible reasons I did not receive my Race Confirmation details after registration and Payment?
It could be due to any of the following reasons:
The transaction did not go through.
The e-mail address provided is invalid.
The e-mail server blocked the email.

What should I do if I do not receive my race confirmation slip after registration and payment?
Please contact us immediately at info@hivelocity.com.sg.

Do I get a refund if I choose not to participate after registration?
Registration fee is strictly non-refundable.

Can I make changes to my personal particulars after registration?
Yes. Registrants can make changes to their personal particulars by sending an email to service@hivelocity.com.sg. However changes to race category, date of birth, NRIC, gender and event running vest sizes are NOT considered as changes of personal particulars.

Can I change my race category after I have registered?
No. Race categories are non-transferable.

Why am I unable to select a given size of the running singlet?
The size that you have selected is out of stock. Please select your next preferred size.

Can I choose the color of my running singlet? Can I change the color of my running singlet?
No, issuance of running singlet is on a first-come-first-served basis. When a particular color is unavailable the next available color will be issued. No requests for exchange of running vests will be entertained.

When and where can I collect my Race Kit?
Registered participants are invited to gather at the KOTR 2011 Kick-Off Assembly from Oct 10-12 at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City, where race kits containing singlet, timing device, and other race paraphernalia will be distributed and a variety of activities await everyone. Those who have availed of the Free Run Promo get their race kits shipped to their mailing address for free.

Do I get a medal upon finishing the race?
ALL participants who complete the run will be awarded a Finisher Medal at the finishing line. Medals will not be given to non-participants nor non-finishers of the race. A non-participant is a person who did not take part in the race on the date of the event and a non-finisher is a participant who retires from the race before finishing it.

Are rollerbladers and cyclists allowed on the race route?
No. For the safety of the runners, any person rollerblading or cycling on the race route will be requested to exit the course immediately by the marshals.

Can I bring along my pets?
Pets are strictly not allowed on the race route.

In life. On a path. On the road.

I saw this poem from Inquirer columnist Cathy Babao-Guballa last Sunday. The poem speaks about life as a whole.

May this also inspire you to continue running. Believe that in every run, you get to finish something that is making a big impact on you.

In life. On a path. On the road. We are never really lost but merely finding our way. There is no need to stress about where you are or where you are going. Your way will be found. Trust that, and meanwhile enjoy your path… This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you. - Hafiz

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41754875@N00/3551386206

Sports and Fitness Expo takes place in August 2011

I saw this event announcement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. A lot of expositions have been done every now and then and we go to them. It is about time to have a sports and fitness expo to promote health and wellness.

And here it is!

Sports and Fitness Expo 2011 will be from August 12 to 14, 2011 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. The said expo will be open to the public for FREE.

Sport and Fitness Expo 2011, will bear the theme, “Get Active. Get Fit. Get Healthy.” It is the first event in the Philippines that will host a wide selection of local and international sports, fitness, health and wellness products and services.

What’s in store for sports and fitness enthusiasts and professionals? Over 100 booths for fitness equipment suppliers; sporting goods, apparel and accessories; nutritional product and supplements; fitness and gym equipment; health, fitness and wellness clubs; national sports associations; sports educational institutions and a lot more.

There will also be group exercises, yoga sessions, try out the latest fitness equipment, pick-up valuable health and fitness tips, fitness fashion shows, product presentations, and special deals and discounts from different sporting brands.

For other details, sponsorship and exhibition inquiries:

Call Ms. Abbie Torres
Telephone numbers: 622-2621, 850-6479 (local 116), 0917-8319977
E-mail:  abbie.torres@animo.ph
Website: sfexpo.animo.ph

I am determined to be injury-free. Really.

My eyes are ready to run!

I also want to continue to be a book nerd. I think running, writing and reading are very good (not to be done at the same time, though).

That's why the day I went to the doctor, I bought two books that I plan to read while studying my subject in my Master's class.

Call me nuts. This might mean I'll be totally out of the road.

But as I need to know what's wrong with my running, I would need to dive my nose (and my eyes) to these books until I find the answers.

I have already started one chapter for the two books (with the Master's class subject way ahead in the chapters so that I could answer my professor's questions).

Cross train has never been this good.

Let's read!

Jose Rizal @ 150 Fun Run - September 18, 2011 | Pinoy Fitness UPDATE

Here are the details on the Jose Rizal @ 150 Fun Run on September 18, 2011. This was taken from Pinoyfitness.com.

On Facebook, you may click 'Like' on Run Philippines.

Let's run for Rizal!

Jose Rizal @ 150 Fun Run - September 18, 2011 | Pinoy Fitness

Three-day weekend has come and gone.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59309871@N00/2919420574
 
For runners who work five days a week, a three-day weekend means freedom to run. It doesn’t matter where or if you’ve got company or not. It is an opportune time to lace up and make a dash.

What I did was to lie down or read books.

Don’t get me wrong. I love reading. I now wish that I have another set of eyes so that I could read and grasp more learning in one sitting (Remember, I got three books to finish!).

I had to sit down this long weekend to rest from another suspecting injury that I have.

Last Sunday (the day after my last thirty-minute run), I felt something was squeezing my lower back. The squeezing is painful that it went down to behind my legs up to my feet.

The leg and feet pains lasted for two days. But as of this writing, whenever I sit down, I experience frequent pins and needles. At least I don’t feel pain whenever I sit down, as compared to my experience last November 2010. During that time, I sometimes wished I could stand up inside the jeepney.

So here I am doing the same thing all over: I’m resting. I’m resting as if I have run a marathon.

When in fact, what I have logged in for the last two weeks was a mind-blowing, earth-shaking, and embarrassing two kilometers.

I wanted to go back to the doctor one week after he saw me (in the previous blog, I told him about the pins and needles. I chose the medication part first; he told me to come back after two weeks.). Early in the week when I was feeling the pain, I was agog to go. I need to be healed; it’s already June and I can’t even run for an hour!

But when the three-day weekend arrived, I just told myself that I’ll stay at home.

I got a lot of reasons for not going.

It’s hard to travel when it rains.

I need to catch up on my reading.

My next schedule to the doctor’s really next week. I hate doing surprise visits.

I know that if I go to the doctor, I’ll hear the same thing again: “You’re injured. It’s caused by… You need to undergo therapy for X weeks. You can’t run.”

Hail to the three-day weekend.

I was surprised to have received an envelope from RunRio weeks weeks weeks ago.

I got mail!

It took me a while to understand the reason why I got it - I remembered I registered for Run United 1, but didn't get to run it (Remember?)

I opened it and saw the certificate of participation and a baller ID.




Even though I failed to start the year by running the first RunRio leg, I'm optimistic in being able to join Run United 2 and 3.


I'd get to keep the baller ID, at least.

Keep your Run United baller IDs, guys. You'll be in for something good at the end of the year!

Here's to wishing that injuries won't come knocking at my door - ever.

Piolo Runs with the Sun - It's Time!

I was trying to find out some details about Sun Life Financial when I heard a voice from their website.

Then I saw this:




My world stopped. I told myself I have to post this. First reason: he's running in the commercial. Second reason: i REALLY love this guy (Should I place this as my first reason?)

Now, what was I looking for again? :)

One of my officemates brought some of her hubby's finisher's medals.

The one thing that I wanted since I started running: a finisher's medal. Imagine my happiness when I placed these medals on my office table.

My officemate, whom we shall call Marathoner's Proud Wife, learned about my frustrations and aspirations about running.

She told me that her husband, a lawyer in profession, is a runner. In fact, he belongs in a running club and has few marathon finishes under his belt.

Wow. Cool.

And so she brought some of the medals in the office. I felt my work clock stopped.

She said that the 2011 Condura Skyway Marathon medal is currently at lost in the midst of her kids' toys.

I proudly wore the medals that she brought - as if I ran each kilometer of each run.


Heavy if you ask me - but I didn't mind.

Marathoner's Proud Wife laughed, "Those are heavy!"

I replied with a wide smile (with my braces showing, as always).

I didn't mind their heaviness.


Marathoner's Proud Wife and PeñaRUNzi with the finisher's medals. Don't worry, we went back to work shortly after this. :)

ChiRunning for Beginners - 2

Week 2: Engage Your Lean

The next phase of learning ChiRunning is learning to engage your lean.

Start with Week One’s Lesson, moving along in your one-legged posture stance down the road. Then add in the lean with this simple three-step process:

    Step 1: While moving down the road, check in with your posture line (making sure your pelvis is level).
    Step 2: Drop your focus to the bottoms of your feet.
    Step 3: Keep your feet hitting where they are while you let your entire posture line tilt in front of where your feet are hitting.

If your posture stance is solid, you will feel your speed pick up with just a slight lean. Feel the effect of the lean by running for 15 seconds or so. Then bring yourself back to your original upright position, but keep moving forward. Then stop running and walk for a bit. Then do it again.

Over time, you will find your comfort zone with your lean, so play with it. If you begin to feel any tension in your calves or shins, you're leaning to far forward. Back off a bit.
Week 3: Continue Practicing Lessons One and Two

For week three, you can continue to practice lessons one and two. We suggest going back and picking out individual parts of posture and lean and having them as your focus. So spend this week getting really solid with your posture and lean by having specific focuses, like leveling your pelvis or feeling your feet touch the ground or tucking your chin.

ChiRunning is based on the principle of gradual progress. When you learn to run slowly and carefully, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy running. Take it step by step.

*It is always advised to check in with your health practitioner about starting any kind of exercise program.


ChiRunning for Beginners 2

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I hope to really learn from Danny Dreyer's ChiRunning. I don't want to stop running anymore because of running-related injuries that I could have avoided.

ChiRunning for Beginners 1

by Danny Dreyer

Whether you're just starting to run, or coming back from a long break, there can be a mixture of excitement, anxiety and anticipation going through your body. Once you’ve decided to get in shape and reclaim your health, there is a real sense of purpose: "I’m going to do this. I’m going to get myself out there and run three or four times a week!" The sense that we get from many beginning runners is one of determination and purpose…combined with some fear.

Well, you can put your fears to rest by knowing that for most people, running is a safe and effective way to get some great exercise…at any age.* Humans are meant to run. We’re built for it. And when you learn to run with sound biomechanics combined with a sensible program, you can significantly reduce the chance of hurting yourself. Getting started doesn't have to be hard, but it is wise to do so carefully and with a plan.

To begin your program, we highly recommend spending 20 to 30 minutes every other day to get yourself started. You won’t be running for the entire time at first, but including transitional activities like the Body Looseners or practice drills as seen on the DVD (starting on page 195 of the book) will take some time. We suggest starting every workout with Body Looseners.

The best way to get into a good fitness habit is to set aside a half hour of time for your program in your appointment calendar, just as you would any other important event. By practicing the ChiRunning form every other day, you will get a clear body memory of what you’re learning. If you wait too long between practice sessions, your body will forget and need to be retrained.

One last tip: when you're beginning a running program, run for minutes, not miles. This approach takes all the comparative notions out of the picture.


Week 1: Practicing Posture

For every runner, the most important element of running that you should work on is your posture.

Watch the DVD and practice along with Lesson One: Posture Alignment (or read pages 64 to 79 in the book) in your living room. The most important piece of this lesson is to memorize how the One-legged Posture Stance feels. Notice the difference between when your pelvis is level and when it’s not. Practice all of Lesson One at least two or three times before you go out running for the first time.

When you’re ready to go out for your first run, focus on one thing—feeling that one-legged posture stance. Move from one foot to the other, feeling the straight line from your head to your toe.

Then, as you start running, the first thing you should do is pretend you're not running. That's right. Instead, just imagine that every time your foot hits the ground, you're doing a one-legged posture stance.

The first time you head out for a run, you'll be taking tiny steps…not really running, but moving forward. Every time your foot lands, your weight is supported by that foot, and you are in a one-legged posture stance. Just go for as long as you're comfortable, whether it's 30 seconds or five minutes. If you feel out of breath, stop and walk until your breath recovers. Then get “running” again in the same way.

The first time you go out you should practice this walk/run method for 10 to 15 minutes. If, at the end of this time, you feel you can handle more, wonderful! But in ChiRunning, form comes first, so only run for as long as you can keep your focus on the one-legged posture stance.

The ChiRunning progression is form, distance, speed. You should only increase your distance for as long as you can hold your form. As a new runner, you have the opportunity to learn good habits right from the start, so take your time.


ChiRunning for Beginners

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I just bought Danny Dreyer's ChiRunning. I hope I would be able to do running without injuries.

"Just slowly increase your mileage," Dr. Sarmiento said.

This was what he said after he listened to my project run report. I told him that I did thirty-minute runs for three days (June 1, June 4, and June 11).

Before that, he checked both my knees.

As he was writing the results on my record, I dared to ask the pins and needles that I'm experiencing.

He asked me to choose between medication and therapy. I told him that I'll try medication first, so he gave me his prescription: the ultimate thing that has been my savior - Vitamin B.

He told me though, to be back after two weeks.

Well, I was expecting a "Congratulations-PenaRUNzi-you-may-start-running-again" line from my doctor. I never got that.

But that line just kept playing on my brains as I left the building.

And I never bothered hearing it again and again.

They sounded like "RUN!" to me.

Rehab Door by PeñaRUNzi

I'm Proudly Green today.

Live Jesus in our hearts - FOREVER. Animo La Salle!

 Today marks the 100th year of La Sallian Education in the Philippines.

I finished my bachelor's degree in DLSU-Dasmariñas. I am proud to have been formed by La Sallian Education.

Saint JBDLS taught me that perseverance, commitment and faith are all that you need in life - if you want your dream to be a reality.

The same qualities that I try to apply in all areas of my life - including running.

ANIMO LA SALLE!

Anxious - and hopeful

Last Friday, I anxiously watched the runners doing their rounds in CCP. It was only fifteen minutes before seven o' clock in the morning, so the few runners are still having the time of their lives in terms of space.


Runners from the bus window by PeñaRUNzi

I was also nervous as I watched them, sitting on the bus on my way to work.

Tomorrow, I am scheduled to go back to Dr. Sarmiento to report on my project run.

I'm anxious and I'm nervous.

I know that based on the thirty-minute runs that I did for the project, my left knee didn't hurt anymore.

But I'm still scared of what will happen next.

What if on my way to increasing mileage, I will get injured again?

Nah.

Let tomorrow worry by itself.

Runrio's Timing Card will be launched this Saturday!

The event will take place on June 18, 2011 at BGC. It's open to the public.

I got the details of the Timing Card through my e-mail. I gotta tell you: it's another good reason to lace up.

For more details, click here.

PeñaRUNzi is now on Twitter!

This is my third account on Twitter. I deleted the first two accounts because I got tired of following people.


PeñaRUNzi's now Tweeting! :)


Now, I opened a new account as PeñaRUNzi. You may officially call me as Twitter's Prodigal Daughter and I won't mind.

I decided to try it for the third time so that I could follow runners, athletes, Olympians - even magazines or sports brands.

I hope it would motivate me as I continue to do running (for a fact, Running Quotes has been doing its job.

Never mind the hash tags (which I don't know how to use until now).


PeñaRUNzi's profile

A day after I opened my account, there was already one follower.

I don't mind not having a lot of followers. Honestly, I don't mind if no one follows me.

As long as I can describe my feelings as a runner in one hundred forty characters (or less), I'll be fine.

PenaRUNzi's shoes now has bird wings.

Care to follow the runner?

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Run with me! http://twitter.com/#!/penarunzi

Are We Built to Run Barefoot?

by Gretchen Reynolds

At a recent symposium of the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Denver, cutely titled “Barefoot Running: So Easy, a Caveman Did It!,” a standing-room-only crowd waited expectantly as a slide flashed up posing this question: Does barefoot running increase or decrease skeletal injury risk?

“The answer,” said Dr. Stuart J. Warden, an associate professor of physical therapy at Indiana University, “is that it probably does both.”

Barefoot running remains as popular and contentious a topic among exercise scientists as it is among athletes, even though it is practiced by only a tiny subset of American runners. These early-adopter runners, however, tend to be disproportionately enthusiastic and evangelical. Many cite the best seller “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall, which touts barefoot running, and claim that barefoot running cured them of various running-related injuries and will do so for their fellow athletes. “There are people who are convinced that barefoot runners never get injured,” said Daniel E. Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard who runs barefoot himself and spoke on the topic during last week’s symposium.

But in the past year, anecdotal evidence has mounted that some runners, after kicking off their shoes, have wound up hobbled by newly acquired injuries. These maladies, instead of being prevented by barefoot running, seem to have been induced by it.

So what really happens to a modern runner when he or she trains without shoes or in the lightweight, amusingly named “barefoot running shoes” that are designed to mimic the experience of running with naked feet? That question, although pressing, cannot, as the newest science makes clear, easily be answered.

Most of us, after all, grew up wearing shoes. Shoes alter how we move. An interesting review article published this year in The Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that if you put young children in shoes, their steps become longer than when they are barefoot, and they land with more force on their heels.

Similarly, when Dr. Lieberman traveled recently to Kenya for a study published last year in Nature, he found that Kenyan schoolchildren who lived in the city and habitually wore shoes ran differently from those who lived in the country and were almost always barefoot. Asked to run over a force platform that measured how their feet struck the ground, a majority of the urban youngsters landed on their heels and generated significant ground reaction forces or, in layman’s terms, pounding. The barefoot runners typically landed closer to the front of their feet and lightly, without generating as much apparent force.

Based on such findings, it would seem as if running barefoot should certainly be better for the body, because less pounding should mean less wear and tear. But there are problems with that theory. The first is that the body stubbornly clings to what it knows. Just taking off your shoes does not mean you’ll immediately attain proper barefoot running form, Dr. Lieberman told me. Many newbie barefoot runners continue to stride as if they were in shoes, landing heavily on their heels.

The result can be an uptick in the forces moving through the leg, Dr. Warren pointed out, since you’re creating as much force with each stride as before, but no longer have the cushioning of the shoe to help dissipate it. Most barefoot runners eventually adjust their stride, he and the other presenters agreed, landing closer to the front of their feet — since landing hard on a bare heel hurts — but in the interim, he said, “barefoot running might increase injury risk.”

Even when a barefoot runner has developed what would seem to be ideal form, the force generated may be unfamiliar to the body and potentially injurious, as another study presented at last week’s conference suggests. For the study, conducted at the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, runners strode across a force plate, deliberately landing either on the forefoot or on the heel. When heel striking, the volunteers generated the expected thudding ground reaction forces; when they landed near the front of the foot, the force was still there, though it generally had a lower frequency, or hertz.

Earlier research has shown that high-frequency forces tend to move up the body through a person’s bones. Lower-frequency forces typically move through muscles and soft tissue. So shifting to a forefoot running style, as people do when running barefoot, may lessen your risk for a stress fracture, and up your chances of developing a muscle strain or tendinitis.

So where does all of this new science leave the runner who’s been considering whether to ditch the shoes? The “evidence is not concrete for or against barefoot or shod running,” said Allison H. Gruber, a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts and lead author of the hertz study. “If one is not experiencing any injuries, it is probably best to not change what you’re doing.”

On the other hand, if you do have a history of running-related injuries or simply want to see what it feels like to run as most humans have over the millenniums, then “start slowly,” said Dr. Lieberman. Remove your shoes for the last mile of your usual run and ease into barefoot running over a period of weeks, he suggests, and take care to scan the pavement or wear barefoot running shoes or inexpensive moccasins to prevent lacerations.

And pay attention to form. “Don’t overstride,” he said. Your stride should be shorter when you are running barefoot than when you are in shoes. “Don’t lean forward. Land lightly.”

On this point, he and all of the scientists agree. Humans may have been built to run barefoot, “but we did not evolve to run barefoot with bad form.”


 Are We Built to Run Barefoot?

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Are humans really built to run barefoot? Are you an advocate of barefoot running or you think this is just a fad? Please feel free to share your thoughts, runners.

Survivor Ethan Zohn talks about Running 2

Didn't your father do the New York City Marathon, too?
Yes, and that was a big deal for me as well--another reason why the event was so huge. Ever since my dad passed away from colon cancer when I was 14, I wanted to run the New York City Marathon. He did it twice, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. When I crossed the finish, I'm sure he was there in spirit somehow, so that was really cool.

Your family must have been so proud of you.
Yes. It was totally awesome and one of the pictures that I have of my dad is from him running the New York City Marathon. He had passed the person who was taking the picture and he was running backward to look back so it looks like he is in front of everyone running the race since he is running backward. I have memories of that picture in my head for my whole life.

How much work goes into your fund-raising efforts?
I like running for myself, but to be able to run for something greater than yourself is a great feeling. It brings a sense of teamwork and community, camaraderie with the team all working toward a common goal. You are not just trying to cross the finish line but also raising money to help save people's lives at the same time. I really enjoy that. It is a lot of work--not only just the fund-raising part, but with a team that size, it's finding hotel rooms, getting food, signing them up, making sure they are fund-raising on time, sending out newsletters. There's that whole side of the process, but the actual fund-raising is tough because it's tough to raise money and there are so many people doing it. It starts to be very tricky with walk-a-thons, marathons, and bike-a-thons. A lot of people do it, and there are so many great people and so many great charities, but it makes it more worth it for me knowing that every step I take out there is for that. But it's a strategy. You have to write letters and get people to buy whatever you are trying to sell, and I keep going back to the same people year in and year out.

You're also an ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer, right?
I am. Obviously I am in a position where I have been on TV, so it's nice to be able to sort of use my face or fame to help other organizations. I am on this global convoy team. There are like six of us, and I got to go to a big Stand Up to Cancer live broadcast and it was amazing. They raised more than $80 million. I love the fact that there are so many celebrities out there doing good things, especially the New York City Marathon. They always get a handful of well-known people who are running for a cause.

Didn't you recently become a vegetarian?
Well, I am on and off. I eat fish now, but for 14 years after my dad died, I was vegetarian for far too long and the only thing I wanted to eat was Buffalo wings when I got back. Now I am still kind of weaning myself back on. I eat some fish and dairy, but I stay away from red meat and chicken. Sometimes I'll have a little bit of turkey.

How has that diet impacted your running?
It really hasn't, to tell you the truth.

The Buffalo wings didn't hurt?
They always hurt a little bit, but they are worth it. I have never really focused on my diet in terms of the way to be a better runner or athlete, but I always eat well. I am a healthy eater. I don't drink sodas or do any of that stuff, but when I am seriously running, I definitely do look at my diet. It hasn't hurt me at all, but I think it could help me if I put the time into it.

Do you have a favorite area where you love to run?
Well I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, so whenever I go back home to visit my family, I always go back there and run the streets because that's where I grew up and its fun.

What do you like about it?
My favorite time of year to run is September/ October because that's usually when I would go back to school for the preseason of soccer. It's always the smell of the air, the grass. It's a little bit cooler, so I love running that time of year, especially in Lexington. It's getting into fall and you just run and the trees are changing color and it's just such a cute Revolutionary town and it's awesome. This bike path that leads through Lexington all the way into Cambridge is nice to run because there are no cars and it's completely engulfed with trees and it's so quiet and nice.

Do you do anything to pysch yourself up for a great run?
I don't listen to music. I never have while I run. If I have to do a long run, I definitely take care of myself. I'll go to bed early, I'll prepare mentally, but nothing else, really. Usually the start of the run is a little bit slow for me, but once I get going, I get pumped up and kind of get excited about how I feel when I am running. When the going gets tough, there are places that I go and mantras that I recite.

You travel a lot. Have you done any great runs out of town?
Yes, and I'm very fortunate that I am able to travel both for work and for pleasure. I take my GPS watch and my running shoes everywhere I go. That's one way that I get to know a new area. That's how I get to know the town. I'll run through the town and get the lay of the land. I have literally run everywhere that I have ever been. I just went to Bora Bora and I ran there. It's a small island. From end to end, it's maybe a mile, so I ran around the island a couple of times like a track. People think I'm crazy because, in some of the areas, people don't run, but I love running in Bora Bora. We went to the place, the St. Regis Resort. Have you seen the movie Couple's Retreat? Well, that's where they filmed it and, when I was sick, I said that's where we were going to go when I was better. It's ridiculously hot, and it's so nice to go for a jog there.

Do you run on sand?
Yes. There was one path and then I ran on the sand around the island as well. Another run that I did was in Sonoma wine country outside of San Francisco. It was awesome. It was last summer. My sister was getting married, and we went out there for the wedding and I went out for a run. Coming from New York City, the air was so fresh and clean and it was cool. It was one of those runs that felt great.

Any pet peeves while you're running?
In New York City, I get frustrated with the crowds and people that kind of run and stop and run and stop--they will just stop out of nowhere. Or people that take up the entire sidewalk. It's very self-centered New Yorker. I don't have too many pet peeves, but I'm really obsessive-compulsive about my running socks. I would wear a new pair of socks every day of my life because I love them. When I go with my girlfriend, Jenna, and we go to the running store, I am always looking at the socks. And I don't really like them washed and dried. I like them washed and dried halfway and then air-dried. I am obsessed with socks. I am always on the quest to find the perfect pair of socks!

What are your favorite running socks?
My favorite socks right now are Asics Kayanos. They are black and yellow. They are designed specifically for the right and left foot with arch support. They don't slide around when you sweat too much.

What's next?
Grassroot Soccer and the team for the marathon. I wrote and published three children's books. They are for ages 6 to 9 years old, so I am actively getting those out there. They are called Soccer World about a cartoon version of myself who travels the world and learns all about the cultures and traditions and people and landmarks through soccer. I have Soccer World: Mexico, Soccer World: South Africa, and Soccer World: Spain. Spain actually got translated into Spanish, which is exciting.

I'm a Runner: Ethan Zohn

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This is the second part of the interview with Sole Survivor Ethan Zohn. Ethan Zohn has tested himself to his limits in Survivor. Now he's stretching it more by running. This soccer player-turned-runner is amazing!

Survivor Ethan Zohn talks about Running

by Dana Meltzer Zepeda

How long have you been a runner?
I've run at various stages in my life. My father was a runner, so I have vivid memories of being asleep on Saturday mornings and then the running group would come over and be all loud talking outside my window, and then they would take off for the run. Ever since I was a little kid, running has been in my life, and I ran with my father. He helped me with my first race when I was about 9 years old. It was only two miles, but it felt like 100 miles back in the day. I have always kind of been athletic. I ended up kind of going more toward soccer and lacrosse back in grade school and high school rather than straight-up running, but I did run track in high school.

How were you at track?
I wasn't great because I basically just ran to stay in shape for my other sports, so I didn't put a lot of like energy into it. I hit puberty early, so I was 10 times bigger than all of the other kids out there, so it always helped me with my speed and endurance.

What did you run when you ran track?
I ran indoor track so I ran...was it the 220 or the 240? It was just a short sprint twice around the indoor track--that was my race. I also did the 440 relays and the high jump. But I did the 220 or the 240--whatever it was--before the high jump, so I always ended up sucking at the high jump because I was so dead from those. I hated it.

When did you start running to stay in shape?
I really hit my groove after college. I played soccer and lacrosse all through college. I did professional soccer for six years, so once I started playing pro, I really started to look at the way I was working out and the way that I was treating certain things. I did a lot of short-type motions up and down, that type of stuff. So distance running, we didn't focus on it. That was something I had to do on my own. It was important to be able to run more mile-to-mile without being winded, so I started training on my own and I really started to like it and it helped my endurance during workouts and matches. My natural frame and my natural body weight I think is more geared toward running and endurance-type sports because I feel like I am getting good at running, short sprinting-type stuff. I was complementing my training with distance and I loved it. I was away from everyone else for about an hour, and I could think about other things besides soccer. By the end, six or seven miles are gone and I feel good.

Rise & Run
Want to do more to help fight cancer? Then visit crowdrise.com/runnersworld, where we've compiled a comprehensive list of cancer charities with a running connection—be it a race or a marathon training team—and made it easy to support any of them. Runner's World and its parent company, Rodale Inc., have taken the first step by donating $5,000. Join us!

Have you had any great ideas come to you on a run?
Oh god, yes. One of my hobbies is inventing things like stupid household products or things like that. I sit around and I think up this stuff all of the time. One of my jobs while I played soccer was freelance work for a bunch of advertising and branding companies in New York for products that would go out on the market. So I would go out for an hour run and would come back with 50 or 100 names for whatever product I was working on.

What was the best idea you had on a run?
One of my best ones is the EZ Crunch Bowl, which is a product that keeps your cereal crunchy for an awfully long time.

How does it work?
Imagine a swimming pool with a shallow end and a deep end. You have your cereal on the shallow end and your milk on the deep end and, when you want a little crunch, you just tap it over the edge. So, I have ezcrunchbowl.com which you can go check out, but it came to fruition on a run.

That's awesome!
I don't know if it's awesome, but it's interesting. The things that come to you when you have all of that time on your hands...

And you just ran the Disney's Princess Half-Marathon?
Yes, in terms of distance running, I guess you could say once I stopped playing professional soccer and did the Survivor television show, I really started to push my body, soul, mind, and spirit to the edge and I liked it. I got back and I started doing all of these endurance races like the Eco Challenge. I did 24-hour races. They were multisport races, but running is involved in that you have to train and be able to be on your feet for extended periods of time. So I could walk for hours or jog for hours at a time. I started loving it. I had never done a half-marathon or a marathon, but I signed up for the Two Oceans Marathon in South Africa in 2007 and it's a 34.8-mile race. I was like, "Why start with a half-marathon or a marathon?"

What was your time?
It was 5:54:20. For that length and the race, in terms of elevation, it's one of the hardest races in the world. Starting at mile 26, the last miles are basically all uphill and downhill with giant peaks and valleys, but I went for it! The crazy thing about the race is that it closes in seven hours, so you have these people that have been training forever and are running this race. One of the most watched television minutes on South African TV is the minute before the marathon closes because you have these people that have been running for six hours and 59 minutes, and if they don't make it before the referee closes the tape on the line, you are done. Your name's not even written on the paper, and you don't even get a medal! That's how crazy it is. I felt a little bad, but when we watched the people finish, its incredible with them sprinting the last minute, some people making it and some people not.

How did you feel afterward?
I didn't feel great. I was 34 and feeling invincible, so I didn't train properly for it. My longest training run, I think, was 21 miles. I couldn't walk for about a week afterward.

What did you do to celebrate?
We went to a bunch of wineries.

And then you were down for the week?
Exactly. But my real job is that I work for a charity. Well, I cofounded a charity called Grassroot Soccer for HIV/AIDS education in Africa, which is nice because I was running for Grassroot Soccer in South Africa. It was good to be able to run for something personal.

Who ran with you?
It was tough to recruit people for a 35-mile race, but I took two people. One of my roommates came and another guy who was actually on Survivor, Ian Rosenberger.

How much money did you guys raise?
It wasn't a lot. It was hovering around $3,000 bucks. It wasn't an official charity marathon. It was just us racing. But then I started getting attention for the charity, and now Grassroot Soccer actually has a team in the New York City Marathon that started in 2009. Then it was a team of 30, and in 2010, we had 40. In 2011, we're shooting for 50. Last year we raised $160,000 for Grassroot Soccer.

I heard that Jenna from Survivor ran the Disney race with you.
So now I have regressed in my marathon. I started with the 35-mile, and now I am doing a half-marathon. Obviously I am out on the road all of the time, and I wanted to be able to have fun together and bond and support her running. She is my girlfriend, and I have always wanted her to run with me in New York, and she has always said no. The only way she said that she would do it with me is if it was Disney because she loves Disney, so we decided to enter the half-marathon there. So she signed us up, and I started to get all excited and she asked, "What's your favorite Disney princess?" I was like, "I don't know." And she asked, "What size do you think you'd be in women's?" And I didn't know. I found out that she signed me up for the Disney's Princess Half-Marathon, where its 1,300 women and like 400 guys. The women run in tutus and tiaras, but it ends up being an incredible time. The marathon itself benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is personal because it's something I went through. We finished around two hours and five minutes. She hates running, but for her first half-marathon, she loved it because it's so distracting. You're running with characters, jumping around. You stop for photos, you stop for water. So it ended up being a nice, easy first race.

How did you motivate each other? Did you train together?
Yes, we trained together pretty much the whole time, and she was motivated because she got to get new clothes to go running...shoes and socks and shorts. That was a big motivation for her, but what motivated us obviously was that it was for a greater cause, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which was wonderful. And then she was nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year, which was exciting. But also, I think for her she liked seeing herself get stronger and better. She couldn't even run a mile without a struggle before--not that she's not fit--but she had never really trained for anything along these lines, so it was nice to sort of look at the schedule and go out there one mile, two miles. Week by week, we started to build and that was exciting for her. It was a great self-motivator.

What did she buy you to wear for the race?
We were pretty traditional. We didn't dress up or anything like that.

No pink tutu?
Everyone was saying, "Oh, you're running the half-marathon? It's all women?" And, I thought about it--1,300 women, there could be worse races to run as a guy! I wasn't super upset.

Would you ever run together again?
Yes. I like running and being able to run with Jenna. I don't think she'll ever do a full marathon, but I think she is definitely excited.

Was the first time you ran the NYC marathon in 2010?
Yes, so there is a back story. I did a big campaign for my charity Grassroot Soccer in 2008, where I dribbled a soccer ball from Boston to Washington, D.C., which is 550 miles. And I was in the middle of the campaign and I ended up tearing my ACL. So I made it 260 miles, and then I was supposed to run the New York City Marathon in 2008, but I couldn't do it. I came back from my ACL surgery and I was feeling great. Then in 2009 I was training for the '09 New York City Marathon because Grassroot Soccer had a team in it and I was the captain. And that's when I found out I had Hodgkin's lymphoma. Even during my whole chemotherapy treatment and all of that stuff at the time, I tried to run as much as I could and be outside. I said that it was the one thing that gave me confidence, even during such a horrible time in my life. The team would come with me to run in Central Park.

Then I had a stem-cell transplant and was in isolation for 21 days in December 2009. So I would be in the hospital, looking out the window, and I knew that the New York City Marathon route went right past. I knew that I would run down that road eventually. It was such a huge motivation for me while I was sick. I had a visualization board, pictures of myself, and shots of people crossing the finish line at the New York City Marathon. It was something that I looked at every single day, and it gave me the strength to get out there. It kept me going. The nurses and doctors thought I was crazy because I knew that 30 laps around the hospital was a mile, so I would get out there with my chemo pump and my IV bags and my bald head and I would walk laps and laps and laps while I was in the hospital. So, anyway, that was December 2009 and January 2010. I ran the 2010 New York City Marathon 10 months after my last chemotherapy treatment.

Congratulations! Did it live up to your expectations?
It was more. I just wanted to finish. It wasn't about the time. I had put the training in, and I was healthy and I was just so happy.

That's amazing.
You keep your name on your chest and everyone screams for you and you think you are the most popular person in the world running around and there is a little bit of press around. It's exciting to share your story, and it was just a really exciting day. My whole family was there--my mom and my brothers--and they saw me cross the finish line. It was totally awesome.

What was your time?
I wanted to finish under 4:20, and I finished at 4:16. I couldn't even breathe. I had to hold myself back a little bit because I didn't want to crawl across the finish line. In 2011, I want to break four hours. That's my goal for myself.

Are you training again?
Yes. I ran the Disney's Princess on March 7, and I was supposed to run the New York City half on March 20, but it didn't work out because I got back late. I am not training full-on because it's so far in advance, but I am always running.

How often do you run?
Not every day. I'll start gearing up really training in July, but until then, I do a lot of cross-training. I'll play soccer, I'll lift weights, and I'll do some speedwork. I take a mixed martial arts class with squatting and jumping and plyometrics, and then, once I'm ready, I'll start training. I have to play with it but, at Disney, I met Jeff Galloway. He kind of invented the whole run/walk strategy for marathons. He is a very interesting guy and an interesting model for it. He says to run four minutes and walk 30 seconds, run four minutes, walk 30 seconds for the whole race. He's obviously studied it and a bunch of different runners and says that it's a viable way to run a marathon even for time. So I might play with that a little bit for this next marathon.

I'm a Runner: Ethan Zohn

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I saw Ethan win in the Survivor show. I knew he is a soccer player. Glad to know he's now also into running - and making a difference!

Jose Rizal @ 150 Fun Run - September 18, 2011 | Pinoy Fitness

I'm not that sure about this, but our National Hero, Jose P. Rizal, was never documented as a runner (but he's a doctor, writer, traveler, linguist, and I could go on and on and on).

But this year being his 150th birthday, I'm sure he's going to be happy knowing that will be running as we celebrate his life!

Jose Rizal @ 150 Fun Run - September 18, 2011 | Pinoy Fitness

Time to Rest?

by Jayme Otto

After disappointing performances in a couple of key tune-up races last fall, a depleted Ryan Hall made the hard decision to withdraw from the Chicago Marathon. Too many grinding 15-mile tempo runs at a five-minute-per-mile pace at 7,000 feet with too little rest afterward had finally caught up with him. "I love to push my body," he says. "Recovery is the hardest part of training for me."

Problem is, if you don't take time for proper R&R, your body won't adapt to the stress of your training—you won't get stronger or faster, explains Stacy Sims, Ph.D., at the Stanford Prevention-Research Center, School of Medicine. Neglect recovery for too long, and you will start to lose strength and speed. You'll sink into the black hole known as overtraining.

First, your sleep patterns and energy levels will feel the effects. Eventually, your immune system crashes, and you lose your appetite. It's like burning out your engine. And you don't have to be logging 100-mile weeks to suffer. Recreational runners can overtrain, too. "With deadlines, chores, bills, kids, and lack of sleep, it's more challenging to recover properly from your runs," says Sims.

So in preparation for the 2011 Boston Marathon, Hall used an online recovery-tracking program called Restwise, which looks at simple biological markers input by the athlete first thing each morning, calculates a daily recovery score from 1 to 100, then trends it over time. (Rest-wise subscriptions start at $119 for six months; go to restwise.com.)

Pay attention to the following 10 markers. If three or more of these indicators raise a red flag, you should consider a few easy sessions or off days so you can return to running strong (see box, right). Says Hall, "Now I'm learning to love to rest."

1 BODY MASS: You lost weight from yesterday
A two percent drop in weight from one day to the next indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. Most likely, you didn't hydrate enough during or after your last workout. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance, and could compromise the quality of your next workout.

2 RESTING HEART RATE: Your resting heart rate is elevated
Take your pulse each morning before you get out of bed to find what's normal for you. An elevated resting heart rate is one sign of stress. It means your nervous system prepared for fight or flight by releasing hormones that sped up your heart to move more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body won't know the difference between physical and psychological stress. A hard run and a hard day at work both require extra recovery.

3 SLEEP: You didn't sleep well or enough
A pattern of consistently good sleep will give you a boost of growth hormones, which are great for rebuilding muscle fibers. Several nights in a row of bad sleep will decrease reaction time along with immune, motor, and cognitive functions—not a good combination for a workout.

4 HYDRATION: Your pee is dark yellow
This can be an indicator of dehydration, barring the consumption of vitamins, supplements, or certain foods the evening before. The darker the color, the more you're struggling to retain fluids, because there's not enough to go around. You need H2O to operate (and recover).

5 ENERGY LEVEL: You're run down
If your energy level is low, there's something amiss. The key is honesty. Athletes can block out signs of fatigue to push through it, thinking it will make them stronger. It won't always work that way.

6 MOOD STATE: You're cranky
When your body is overwhelmed by training (or other stressors), it produces hormones like cortisol that can cause irritability or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness probably means not enough recovery.

7 WELLNESS: You're sick
Any illness, or even a woman's menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This means fewer resources available for recovering from training.

8 PAIN: You're sore or nursing an injury
Whether you're sore from overworked muscles or an injury, your body needs more energy to put toward repair, lengthening total recovery time.

9 PERFORMANCE: Your workout went poorly
This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you felt great on yesterday's run, you'd evaluate that as good. If you felt sluggish on that same run, you'd count it as poor. Trending workout quality—multiple poors in a row—is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.

10 OXYGEN SATURATION: Your oxygen level has dipped
The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured by placing your fingertip in a portable pulse oximeter, a gadget available online for about $40. The higher the percentage, the better: Above 95 percent is the norm at sea level or for an athlete who is fully acclimated to a given altitude. This is a new area in recovery science, requiring more research, but there may be a link between low oxygen saturation and the need for more recovery.

Count Your Red Flags

The restwise algorithm assigns more weight to some markers (e.g., performance) than others (e.g., mood), along with other factors to generate a precise recovery score. But you can get a sense for your ballpark recovery quality by tallying the red flags (left) you average per day in a week.

0-1 GREEN LIGHT
You are clear to train hard.

2-4 CAUTION
You can go ahead with a hard workout if your training plan calls for it, but cut it short if it feels too hard. Better yet, take an easy day, or a day off.

5-6 WARNING
You're entering the danger zone, which could be intentional according to your periodization or peaking protocol. If not, back off.

7-10 DANGER
You require mandatory time off, ranging from a day to a week, depending on the severity of your fatigue and what you've seen over the previous few days and weeks. You may need to visit your doctor.

FEEL Better: Too much rest has its own problems: Your performance stalls. On your recovery days, do something active; go for a bike ride, walk, or do yoga.

MUSCLES NEED 48 HOURS TO RECOVER AFTER AN INTENSE RUN. DURING THIS TIME, CELLS ARE REPROGRAMMED TO BE STRONGER.

Ten signs you need to hang the shoes - for the meantime

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Remember runners (newbies to elites): no run is worth it for an injury. Listen to your body. :)

Here's a wonderful thought from Olympian Jeff Galloway

I got this from Jeff Galloway's newsletter (I'm really saving up for one of his books). May this inspire you on this bed weather day (in the Philippines).

You determine how much you run and how much you walk.

One of the wonderful aspects of running is that there is no definition of a "runner" that you must live up to. There are no rules as you do your daily runs. You are the captain of your running ship, and it is you who determines how far, how fast, how much you will run, walk, etc. While you will hear many opinions on this, running has always been a freestyle type of activity where each individual is empowered to mix and match the many variables and come out with the running experience that he or she chooses. Walk breaks can keep the first-time runner away from injury and burnout and can help veterans to improve their time. 
 - From Mental Training for Runners, How to Stay Motivated

While I was out from running, the running gods smiled at these two new runners.

They are both my friends from the school where I worked before. I’ll call them Streetboy and Miss Wonderama.

I think they never got to meet; Streetboy left the school years before Miss Wonderama got hired.

Their only common denominator is Me (imagine me doing a Tyra Banks smize).

Believe me, I never imagined that they would get to run. I know that Streetboy (a fantastic video editor and a father of two girls) is a good basketball player – and is crazy about it.


Here's a snapshot of Streetboy's status after his first 5K run. I think his necxt target is Mizuno Run.


On the other hand, Miss Wonderama, is a teacher who enjoys the madness of her students’ innocence. And uh, I consider her the Queen of Social Networks (she post Facebook status, tweets, and blogs at the same time – okay, I’m kidding).


Here's Miss Wonderama's piece of Facebook thread. Congrats, new runners!


But hey, look at me – I’m an employee who’s trying to be a future work-at-home boss with a lot dreams occupying her mind. Am I not different from them?

Because of the new converts of the mad dash, I was again a witness to how running gods can bite you like a vampire, suck out all the negativities that you know about running, and make you feel good about it by making you lace up and cross the finish line.

To Streetboy and Miss Wonderama, and to all who just got bitten by the running vampires: welcome to the mad mad world of running!

I hope you enjoy your stay.

REXONA RUN!

Runrio has released their latest newsletter. REXONA RUN!

I will never forget Rexona Run last year. It was there where I did my first 5K, and the first time I saw Afroman (man, everybody LOVES this guy).

I am praying to all the saints that I'll get that elusive RUN signal from the doctor so that I could register for this. Because, yes, with this project run that I'm doing to evaluate my knees, I'm starting to prepare for my real comeback! Woopee!

And my dad said his second bottle of Rexona (I got it from the freebies last year) is about to be disposed. I need to get him another one.

Never mind if I don't get to go to the Great Wall of China.

Details here: http://runrio.com/2011/06/rexona-run-2011/

I responded to Javy Olives’ appeal to help breast cancer patients.

Months ago, Olives, a triathlete, posted about his craziness in running through his blog. He is set to join Ironman in China come June 2010. This time, he made an appeal to run every kilometer for breast cancer patients – a cause close to his heart because she has a sister who was diagnosed with the said disease (and now cancer-free).

It’s like saying he might be exposing himself to a lot of dangers of the Ironman but with a good purpose. So it won’t look like craziness to others.

After seeing it through The BullRunner’s blog (and Olives’ blog, too), I pondered: hey, I’m not running yet, so I got spare money to give.

And so I scheduled a run in the bank to send my help. I immediately sent to his e-mail a copy of the deposit slip. Then I logged out from my e-mail.

Here’s the surprising reply that I got:

"Believe, and you will achieve." I'll never forget that, Javy! All the best!


Honestly, I never expected such a reply. Thanks, Javy, and goodluck to Ironman.

Wow, a triathlete answered my e-mail.

This is crazy!

I have logged in another day of running since June 1.

Last Saturday, I got out of the house gate at 7:10 AM (sun’s already giving the heat!), did a five-minute walk for warm up, then a 15:15 run-walk.

Then, I did two rounds of fartlek.

After the run, I checked my stats: I ran a total 2.45K, for twenty-five minutes.

Since this is still part of the run project that Dr. Sarmiento instructed me to do, I never focused on how fast I ran. I again focused on my running.

I realized that I am now more conscious of my posture.

I am now more conscious on how my feet landed on the ground.

I felt lighter as I told myself to run light.

I might have failed to go back to his clinic that day (I don’t want to get caught in the middle of last-minute-back-to-school frenzy), but I know that I have been gaining good feeling about my run project.

And I hope it would turn out to be way better than I expected.

First of June. I ran. FINALLY!

I was able to win over Something Inside Me.

Fifteen minutes after I arrived from work, I was out of the house and started a five-minute walk.

Then, I did fifteen seconds running and fifteen seconds walking for ten minutes.

I slowed down to finish by walking again for five minutes.

So officially, for the first day of June, I ran (and walk) for a total of thirty minutes.

BOY, IT FELT GOOD!

Although Dr. Sarmiento said that I need to check if my left would hurt, I just focused on the proper running form, how my feet landed on the ground, and my breathing (and yes, the view in front of me).

I think I was able to do seven rounds in our village (with a humble 350 meters per round, please just do the math. If you notice, this blog has too many numbers already.).

I was happy to have finally run on the first of June.

Never mind if I can't remember my password of my RunKeeper account.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16638697@N00/386762837