Running Meme Friday: Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris #runningmeme

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Running Meme Friday: Batman & Robin

#runningmeme batman & robin

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Running Meme Friday: Muscular Guys

Yay for skinny-fat runners! This week’s running meme comes from Bust A Gut Running, who posts a new running meme every Monday. Now you can start and end your week with some well-deserved running humor!

muscular guys

 

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Running Meme Friday: Room for Dessert

Just a reminder of why you really run.

More Room for Dessert

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Running Meme Friday: Ridiculously Good Looking Guy

I can’t believe he hasn’t shown up on a running meme Friday yet. Here’s Ridiculously Good Looking Guy for your viewing pleasure:

Ridiculously Good Looking Guy

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5 Tips for Avoiding Injury During Marathon Training

graphic by OpenClips (via Pixabay)

graphic by OpenClips (via Pixabay)

Today’s guest post comes from the folks at Integrative Spine & Sports, a medical and physical therapy group in New York City.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is running marathons and half marathons. Facebook newsfeeds are getting filled with Map My Run stats, marathon photos, and PRs.

Marathon training is a true test of endurance, motivation, and physical strength. As anyone who has trained knows that it is a test that challenges the body both mentally and physically.

Now that more people are running, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how to best take care of yourself to avoid injury during the running season. Below are the top five tips expert runners and trainers suggest.

  1. Hydration – drink water before, after, and during the race and all training sessions. Water is important for muscle healing and overall well-being. It will help minimize soreness after the race as well.
  2. Stretching – So many people don’t stretch nearly enough! Factoring in a stretching only day in your training schedule will help to reduce injury and muscle strains.
  3. Carbo-load appropriately – While it important that you’re appropriately nourished and have enough carbs in your system before the big day, it is equally as important that you’re not filling your system with fats that will slow you down. Stick to whole-wheat pastas and bread and make sure not to over do it to the point that you’ll feel sluggish on race day.
  4. Pace yourself – Yes, everyone has a goal finishing time. But this is a long run! Starting slow will help you to save your energy for later in the race when you really need it.
  5. Warm up – Jog in place, go for a quick brisk walk, and do a nice stretch before you start your run. Starting when your muscles are stretched and warmed up will help you avoid injury during – and pain after – your race.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, consulting a doctor or medical center before beginning your training could make a huge difference in your physical well-being and your experience on race day.

Medical offices like New York-based Integrative Spine & Sports offers physical therapy, help for those with acute injuries, and education for patients to use in order to live a pain and injury-free, yet physically active life.

Happy running!

Note: While I think these tips are super helpful, I have never actually used the services at Integrative Spine & Sports, so cannot speak to the quality of their services.

Running Meme Friday: Go For a Run

Mixing it up a little bit. Here’s a poem, brought to you by Mara-Mon.

go for a run

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Race Recap: San Luis Obispo Marathon

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Really, there are two words that sum up the San Luis Obispo Marathon: beautiful and hills.

And hills.

And HILLS.

This race was even smaller that the Anthem Richmond Marathon. The field was about 3,000 runners, with around 1,000 running the marathon (the rest ran the half-marathon). Here’s a more thorough recap (don’t worry, the hills will make another appearance).

Entry fee: $120

This seems like a pretty typical marathon entry fee from what I’ve seen around. Actually, if you read this and are interested in registering, early bird registration is only $100 right now!

Lodging & location

The race ends at the Madonna Inn, which is a beautiful old hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my act together in time, so it was all booked up by the time I registered … so I ended up staying at a two-star hotel next door called The Vagabond Inn, which was a nice (and convenient) motel option. Bottom line, there are plenty of hotel options from cheap to fancy. The fact that the race is so small (3,000 runners) means that most of the non-historically-significant hotels don’t fill up.

Expo

Conveniently located on the front lawn of the Madonna Inn (and at the race finish line) the expo is essentially a big tent. It’s a small expo, but there are plenty of products squeezed in there. It was a little difficult to figure out where to get my bib, bag and shirt, since these stations seemed to be on opposite sides of the tent, but the tent’s not that big, so it’s hard to get lost for long.

I should reiterate that the expo is literally a tent in the middle of a field, so expect to park on the grass and be walking on the grass for the expo. (i.e.  not the place to wear white canvas shoes)

By far the best thing about the expo is that it’s right at the finish line, so you can go right after the race. They convert the registration space to an icing/massage area, which was all kinds of awesome.

Swag

The race sent out a virtual swag bag with lots of discounts, and they included some more great discounts in the bag – including a 4 night hotel stay in Cancun, what?!?! –   as well as a unisex long sleeve tech shirt. Not bad for a swag bag. I was secretly hoping for some SLO Wine, though.

Bag check

The fact that the race was so small, made the bag check super quick and easy. You have to use the swag bag to check your items, so no need to bring a spare bag. It took me about 10 seconds to check my bag and 20 seconds to retrieve it. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Port-a-potties

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There were a TON of port-a-potties at the start of the race. I waited in a line that was two people deep. TWO PEOPLE. This has never happened to me at any race. Ever.

I didn’t use any of the port-a-potties along the course, but I vaguely recall seeing them around every other aid station, so about every four miles. There may have been fewer than that. Either way, there were never any lines of significance. Just another perk of running a smaller race.

 

Course

Did I mention this course is hilly? It is.

Did I mention that I didn’t look at the course map, so didn’t know about the hills until someone mentioned it about five minutes before the start? Oops.

So the course is flat/downhill for the first four miles as you run through downtown San Luis Obispo. Then you hit the first hill, which just goes up forever. I had flashbacks of the Nike Women’s Half-marathon in San Francisco. Yeah, that’s what I mean when I say hills.

After that doozy of a hill, it’s flat/slightly uphill until about mile 10. Then you enter the vineyards, where the hills are unrelenting. But you don’t mind, because the scenery is so friggin’ beautiful. Seriously, there are about three miles (full of hills) that I don’t remember running because I was looking at all the beauty around me.

There is actually a flat part among all these hills, but you’re running into a pretty strong headwind, so you get the running uphill experience. Then, just for good measure, you get to run through a bunch of hills into said headwind.

Remember, it’s friggin’ beautiful, though!

I believe it’s around mile 20, after you leave the vineyards and get back into the town, where you reach what I heard one runner call “the most annoying part of the course.” Essentially, you have to run up a wheelchair ramp with crazy switchbacks, over a short footbridge that runs over the railroad, and back down a similar ranch. The good news is that this is almost the last hill.

Almost.

While it’s not quite as mean as the uphill finish line of the New York City Marathon, there is a short, but annoyingly steep, hill at mile 26. Luckily, you get a gentle downhill slope for the last .2 miles, which you will still feel in your quads, because by now, they just hate you.

Most of the course is on a two-lane road with one lane open, but there’s almost no traffic, and I never felt like I was in any danger from the cars that did come by. The local police force and volunteers did an awesome job managing traffic. The last 4 miles are on a bike path, which was free of cyclists, but did have other people out for their morning walks/runs.

Water and fueling

There are water stations, all of which have Fuel sports drinks and most of which have Clif energy gels, about every two miles. The volunteers are really good about handing you what you need and directing you to the right place to get sports drink vs. water. I wore my Nathan sports vest and was glad I did, because it was a pretty warm day with very little shade. And also, hills. Warm day + hills = sweaty Michelle.

Cheering

There are a few cheer stations along the half-marathon route, which goes with the marathon route until about mile seven. After that, pretty much the only cheering you will get will be from aid station volunteers, and cows grazing in the nearby fields. The finish area has a pretty good crown, and the announcer calls out people’s name as they finish, which is pretty sweet.

Running Meme Friday: That Awkward Moment

Also known as that awkward moment when the race photographer just happens to take your picture. Yup.

that-awkward-moment

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Marathon #2 – Done and Done

#SLOMarathon

Marathon #2 is done! I’ll have a full recap up soon, but for now, here’s my recap in Haiku form:

Climb hill after hill.
Up and down through wine country.
Will feel this Monday.