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The Running Thread

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  • The Running Thread

    We had an awesome running thread over at ttips and I'm keeping it alive here.

    What has everyone been up to running-wise?

    I've been running a lot, actually. Started a small side business taking people's canines for runs. Been doing 50 mile weeks pretty regularly.

    I'd love to discuss hydration gear. What do you long runners use? I picked up a GoLite HydroSwfit double bottle waist pack and I'm not sure how much I love it. It moves around a bit. Hasn't been a problem yet, but it is weird getting used to.

    Thought about one of those Nathans. I've used them and like them a lot. What else is out there?

  • #2
    Like I said in the other ("conspicuously absent") thread, I've had a tough running season. It was ramping up but then the smoke hit (Rim Fire near Yosemite) and staying indoors and traveling to escape it became the thing. Since the smoke cleared I've had trouble with repetitive calf cramping. It's a bummer because (of course) it often happens when you're pretty far from home/trailhead... Any advice would be appreciated, though I'm not sure I'm ready for the moon shoes (Hoka Heys which Cesare enjoyed in the past...) Normally I wear a 4mm drop "minimalist style" shoe. My style isn't perfect but I've been landing forefoot first for a looonnng time so it's actually a little hard to change. On my last run I was good until the first little descent, about a mile out...

    I bought a Nathan waist pack on Steep and Cheap a few years back and it was perfect for my needs. Here in the Sierra I "trust" the drinking water (at least up high...) so having just a 10oz bottle is plenty. I used the other little bottle for a bulk gel and the little pack for carrying essentials--toilet paper, moleskin, etc. My longest runs, however, were only approx. 20 miles/4 hours...

    Anyhow, CH, thanks for starting the thread... (and very cool about running for more than fun...) I'm ready (when you or anybody else is...) for the espresso/coffee thread...


    • #3
      Did a half marathon along the streets of Boston today (up and down the Fenway). Clear skies, cheering spectators, a slight breeze and 55F made for a great day of running. Have a 15M trail race up in NH in 2 weeks and full weekend of orienteering next (also NH) so should be a great October.

      I'm now using a semi-cushioned 4mm and my feet/knees have never felt better. Metatarsal issues cleared right up. I have a few different waist packs depending on whether water/gu is going be available during the race. Nothing is ideal. I don't like the bounce of water bottles, even the smaller ones but the Nathan waist band for that isn't bad. The ultralight water packs look interesting but I really don't run that long to justify it.


      • #4
        I picked up a Camelbak Ultra LR vest last year and have been much happier with it than I ever was with any of the fuelbelts I have ever owned. It carries the volume of two standard bike bottles with less jostling than half that volume with a fuelbelt. its not a traditional Camelbak design in that the bladder sits wrapped around you hips. also has descent storage for a windbreaker top. I've never done any substantial off-road unsupported runs, but if I did this would be number one of my gar list.

        As for actual running I haven't been doing much this year. Last year I did the inaugural ironman mont-tremblant and have been a little bunt out on serous training for a while so this summer its been paddleboarding, mountain biking and running when dogs get too wound up. However that s about to change as the wife has been talked into signing up for a half marathon this spring and has no running background fro the past 10 years. So I have some training to do with her.


        • #5
          Here's the Valdez scene on April 15, last spring during a citizens 5K. Record snowpack depth for that late. Mile High Mt behind town got skinned a few times in February. Tabitha runs a bunch of events while I stand around and take pics.

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          • #6

            Calf issues can be so many things so I can only suggest from my own experience. Mine started manifesting as achilles pain, but has turned out to be a mischievous ailment that has little to do with my actual calf.

            I've found my core/hips/spine to be the culprit. I only know from several seasons of dealing with these and lots of trial and error. When I stretch my lumbar region (NOT my hammies) and keep my core strong, run with good form and a straight back, keep my glutes strong (check this out then I am good. When I slack on keeping the lumbar stretched and relaxed and let my core muscles go a day or two I start getting calf cramps that eventually turn into achilles pain. If I do my fitness stuffs then I'm good. Works for me.

            I also roll my legs a lot. I use The Stick, which was a big swallow this spring for me in terms of cost, but it works really well. It's sitting next to me on the couch now.

            The best way I can explain it is that it's a balance issue. When my core is weak and tight then my calves have to make up for the dynamic forces on my body. When I'm strong and limber then my calves can relax...I'm more balanced over my feet right.

            Oh, one other thing. I read an in-depth analysis on Mo Farrah's running form, and one thing that stuck with me was what they called "shortened stance time." However you want to think of it, basically he leaves his feet on the ground for less time than other runners-as little a duration as possible. Ken Bob Saxton, who has made more of an impression on me when it comes to form than anyone else, always explained that he felt like he was lifting his feet back up before they even touched the ground in the first place. That makes sense to me. When I let my feet stay on the ground and trail I feel like I "push off" more, even if it's extremely subtle and hard to notice. When I pick my feet up well and quickly then I feel like my ass muscles are doing the work, maybe a bit of hammies. My quads do the work as I come in for a landing, but my butt and hammies are the propulsion muscles. I don't so much push off as pull myself my feet are crawling over the ground.

            Through judicious use of intervals and some LDS I've been able to get much faster using this form. I ran a 1hr 8 miler and a 2hr 16 miler this summer. That's fast for me. I never got that fast when I was "pushing off."

            I know words are pretty weak, but I hope that helps some.


            • #7
              I am fighting the impending reality that my running days may be over. When I run, I feel great while I'm running. But the next day, my medial hamstring tendon and medial tibial plateau get extremely inflamed. It takes weeks for them to settle down and even with several additional weeks of rest, the first run back--even a very easy run--results in debilitating pain. Walking, hiking, and skiing do not have this effect. I am not going to run again for a while.. maybe months, and see what happens if I go back to a very easy buildup wearing the Hokas. But I also admit that it's possible I will decide before then not even to try. There is just too much wear and tear to keep doing something that hurts so much for so long after. I'm strong and fit, though not running fit. My muscles are in decent shape from hiking a lot and being on my feet hustling but not running around the shop all day every day (though I haven't skied since the end of June). My back feels better than it's felt in years. My hips are flexible and pain free. My surgically repaired left knee is pretty damn good. But the right leg is screaming at me to stop putting it through this torture. I'm having a hard time accepting this, but if it will interfere with skiing, it has to go.

              But I'll always be a runner at heart. If I come back later and say I'm running pain free and with no lingering symptoms you can rightly say I pulled a cesare. I can still run pretty fast for my age but it just isn't worth the recovery time. If the Hokas don't fix it next time I try, it will be over.

              Edit to add: I have been running in LaSportiva Helios, which fit really well and are super comfortable. My calves don't give me any trouble and my left leg is as good as it has been in over 30 years. The Helios are probably too minimal for me somehow. It's not heel striking or pronation or anything like that. I run smooth in them. I haven't been running in them enough to have a stress fracture but I have a pain profile that sounds a lot like tendonitis and tibial plateau stress fracture.
              Last edited by cesare; 13 October 2013, 10:36 PM.


              • #8

                I know you know my rap by know, but I always wonder in instances like yours if you're simply not running gently enough because your shoes let you get away with running rough.

                Regardless, that sucks, hombre, and I feel for you. I would go insane if I couldn't run. I feel for you and hope you can at least have a kick ass enough ski season to not be too bothered by it!


                • #9
                  CH: I have used one of those Nathan hydration packs for years now. I am a big fan. Carries 70 oz of water and a good bit of food very well. When I do long, non-event runs (i.e., no aid stations) I find it indispensable. I vastly prefer it to any waist belt pack I have tried, or any camelback/cycling type of backpack.

                  It was been a disappointing summer of not much running for me. Way too busy at work; bad bike crash in June; kidney donation in August. The kidney donation was a good thing (my sister needed a transplant and she is doing great with it), but it occurred 2 days before the Leadville 100, for which I was registered. The Leadville folks graciously rolled over my entry to next year, so I better get back on the trail.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by climbhoser
                    We had an awesome running thread over at ttips and I'm keeping it alive here.

                    What has everyone been up to running-wise?

                    I've been running a lot, actually. Started a small side business taking people's canines for runs. Been doing 50 mile weeks pretty regularly.
                    Hey all!! Dr. T. Elemark with a new handle checking in.

                    I've been thinking of doing a dog running business actually, but I kind of hate running with a leash on the dogs. I got to do something for extra cash though.

                    OTHERWISE...I did 4 triathlons this year: 3 Sprints and 1 International Distance. Usually placing very well in my AGs and even finished a "first overall". Did a Half Marathon, a 4 mi., and a few 5Ks.

                    Triathlon training kept me busy, and I was usually running at night after the kids went to bed. The wife was not impressed.

                    I just had to skip a hill climb that would have been my 4th year entering. The combination of a two week illness and a high entry fee caused me to pass on it.

                    I am going to try and keep the momentum going this Winter and do a Half Iron distance tri and a 25mi trail race next year.
                    Training for Vermont


                    • #11
                      I am new to running. I have mountain biked for a long time but started travelling for work a lot and running was appealing since all I needed to pack was some shoes and light clothes. I like it, but worry about long term impacts to my knees etc. For those of you that have been running a long time do you find this is an issue? How long have you been running Cesare? I am in the same camp that skiing is my true passion and I don't want running to reduce the number of years I can comfortably ski. I read conflicting reports of the impacts from running and am not sure what to make of it. Another reason I like running is that my dog can participate, but biking has become a bit more than I want to push her these days.


                      • #12
                        Wife being un-stoked is exactly why I don't race. I fit running in where I can, which often means I'm not on a plan.

                        Dog running biz is fun, and starting to get enough clients to actually call it a job. Honestly, so far 90% of what I do is letting dogs out while their owners are at work, not running. What I found out pretty quickly is that people are total grinches when it comes to their pets. They have the fanciest cars, TVs, smartphones, and food for themselves, but their pooches spend 10 hours a day locked up and the owners can barely be bothered to spend a few bucks so they can be let out to use the restroom, let alone go for a nice run.

                        The owners who want their dogs run come from 2 camps thus far: 1) destructive, young dogs and the owners are at the end of their rope. Next step is giving them up. 2) Owners who can't be active with their dogs due to disability, like MS or parapalegia.

                        Dr. T aka Heel Razor, what else do you do for work? Or do you do nothing?

                        My move was spurred on by my taking leave from my fulltime gig. I was not meshing with the organization, so I incorporated, built a website and started marketing and parted ways with my boss. Costs are low, so it's easy to make money, but it is not yet a replacement for what I was making before.


                        • #13
                          Started trying to run again after fifteen years off this summer. Took it VERY slow, two months to work up to three miles. My problematic knee held up, more or less, but I'm having lots of problems with my hip. Currently taking some time off; I see a doc on Thursday and hope to get a referral to a PT to figure out what's going on.

                          But when I can do it I love it. And, speaking as an embarrassingly slow cyclist and a terminal-beginner skier, it feels good to be OK at something physical



                          • #14
                            CH, I think I have had this conversation with you before. I've been a runner for 49 years, since I was 8. I am one of the smoother runners you will see. Consider the possibility that parts can just reach the end of their ability to make certain movements and absorb impacts borne over 50 years.


                            • #15
                              3PinGrin: I have been lucky that I have not had knee issues from running. I have run for a long time (I am 53); but while I run an ultra or two a year - very slowly - I do not log excessive mileage otherwise. (That might explain my slow ultra times.) I have started using Hoka shoes for long runs, and I find they help keep my feet from getting sore. I am not a very smooth or good-form runner. So, I think the lack of knee or other joint issues is just luck. I am finding at 53 that there are parts of the body that just are not up to the tasks that they used to perform comfortably. I am trying to accept this gracefully, although my natural reaction is to "Fight. Fight, the dying of the light."