The Child of a Runner.

Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had Cross Country. I trained a guy.
Me: You did what?
11 yr old son: I was Jack’s personal trainer.
Me: Tell me more.
11 yr old son: Well, we had to do laps around the school. He went out way too fast and had to walk. I caught up to him and told him he had to pace himself and told him to run with me. So he did. We ran together. And we finished 2nd. John beat us but not by much.

Day 2
Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had cross country again. This time I got a whole bunch of guys to run with me. I told them the key was to pace themselves. I was *this* close to beating my record yesterday but the teacher blew the whistle when I was 5 ft away from the end so we had to stop. I finished second again. John won again.
Me: You should have ditched the guys and sprinted. You could have been first.
11 yr old son: Whaa?? No way man. And leave my friends? That’s cheap.
Me: No, that’s competition.

Apparently the training that my kid did for his 5K race 18 months ago stuck. That’s cool. While I’m slightly disappointed that my progeny doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body right now, I think that in today’s environment where competition -> greed -> shareholder value is ripping apart our economy/the fabric of our society, his desire to help others instead of helping himself is a good thing. The fact that he wants to help others succeed at running? That’s AMAZING.

My Marathon Story

Step back in the way-back time machine with me and let’s take a ride back to May. It’s the end of the month and we’re in Ottawa for Race Weekend. Specifically, we’re there for the Marathon.

Training had progressed fairly well. I was enjoying the long runs, feeling strong and really amazed at the distances that I was able to cover. Two weeks before the race, I felt a little twinge on the outside of my right knee. It felt suspiciously like my IT band. I had issues with that many moons ago and all had been well ever since I acquired a foam roller. By the end of this training run, I could barely walk up the stairs. My knee was t-i-g-h-t tight.

I had committed to a 5K mother-daughter race on the following day. I managed to pull it off but I don’t know how and in hindsight (isn’t hindsight awesome?) it was probably the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. After the race I took advantage of the free massage/phys. therapy and let someone work the crap out of my leg.

Training was fine for the week. I was tapering off. I headed out for a 16K run and at 13 I had to pull the plug. I had shooting pain down my leg with every step. Did I mention the race was 7 days away? I started hunting like crazy for an RMT/athletic therapist who could see me. I found one but only managed to be seen once before the race. He confirmed my issue was my ITB. He worked it a bit and pronounced me fit for the race. I rested a lot during the week. I was nervous.

Fast forward to race day. The start was gloomy but dry. The weather forecast had waffled between “it will/won’t rain for the race” and there was still no clear indication of what we were in store for. The energy was great and the pre-race scene was exciting. And then, we’re off! Looking good, feeling good!

Run, run, run. Rain, rain, rain. Rain? Buckets of rain. Rain dripping off the brim of my hat. Rain being wrung out of my shirt. Rain running down my body. I don’t mind a little rain. This was not a little rain.

At the 26k mark I couldn’t ignore my ITB any more. I had felt it earlier and convinced myself it was whispering to me and not singing loudly. I stopped at a medic table and asked for ibuprofen (yes, I know, you’re not supposed to take ibuprofen while you run but I was desperate). The kind woman replied that they had acetaminophen only. She handed me two. I said “Extra strength?” She said “No, I’ll give you 3”. There was a much younger, very fit looking guy there who was obviously experiencing pain in his calf. At the mention of 3 pills for me, he stood up and said “3? You only gave me 2!” and stuck out his hand. It was pretty funny at the time.

At the 36K mark I had to stop unexpectedly. My veil of anonymity on this blog has been removed and in the interest of being able to look co-workers in the eye, I’ve censored this part. Suffice to say that everyone I’ve told about this incident has stated that if this happened to them, they would have called it quits at this point. So you know whatever it was, it was unpleasant and added to the existing challenges I was facing.

When I was able to start moving again, the stop had damn near crippled me. Trying to get my legs to move was impossible without incurring screeching pain. I never doubted that I would finish the race. At this point I realized it was just a matter of how long it was going to take to make it through that last 6k. I wound up walking with sporadic attempts to run that ended almost as quickly as they started. 45 mins longer than my estimated “worst finish time”, I finished. It was done. It had stopped raining. Go figure.

Some highlights:
– running in the rain for 5+ hours makes clothing that is normally comfortable, uncomfortable. A step into the shower revealed undiscovered chafing (heart rate strap (front and back), waistband) and drew out one loud yelp.
– the crowd at the 30K cheering station were AMAZING! The MC called out my name and the whole crowd called out my name. I was still running strongly at this point and the crowd’s energy rolled off me. It was really terrific.
– Best signage includes: “Worst Parade EVER!”, “You’re not even CLOSE to being finished” which was posted at the 5K mark and one sign addressed to someone’s wife stating “That’s not rain, that’s the clouds crying because you’re kicking so much ass” actually made me tear up. I’m such a wuss.

Would I do this again? Part of me doesn’t hesitate in answering. Yes, yes I would. How could I not? That finishing time was horrible! Plus, just imagine the PR I could set. How often can you knock an hour+ off your time? And there’s no way everything that went wrong could possibly happen again. That was the perfect storm of challenges. I faced that and survived; I can face anything now. The other part says, um, I don’t know. It was either the training or the race or the injury or some combination thereof but I’ve had a hell of a time getting back into running since then. I signed up for a half at the end of Sept. I’m on track training-wise to finish it but don’t anticipate setting any speed records. Let’s see how that turns out and then I’ll make decisions about trying this again.

App Review: RunKeeper Pro (Get it Free while you can!)

RunKeeper Pro is an iPhone app that tracks your activities, mileage, coaches you and provides reports. The app bills itself as having similar functionality to a GPS training device such as a Garmin. Since I don’t have a Garmin but I do have an iPhone, I’ve been putting this app to good use.

Features include:

  • Distance tracking (included)
  • Activity tracking (included)
  • Fitness Classes (plans have to be purchased; bummer!)
  • Coaching (included)
  • Graphs (included; makes our inner excel geek happy!)
  • Street Team (included)

My favourite feature to date is the coaching feature.  I choose my options for audio cues: distance and average pace. Options include time, average speed, current pace, current speed, current split pace and current split speed.  I do love options. This really is a user’s dream. You are presented with choices for almost every setting.

A few screen shots to salivate over, including Audio Cue Settings, Interval Coaching Options and the Activity Log.

Activity LogSettingsInterval Coaching

I love this app for it’s simplicity.  I have multiple activities that I can choose from.  The audio cues are easy to hear  and the battery life on my phone isn’t rapidly drained by the GPS.  Have I mentioned that you can also set up a playlist to listen to while you’re running/exercising?  Even with your iPod running, the battery meter only drops by approximately 10% over an hour long run which means I could easily get through a marathon with this app.  There is also an option to manually record activities.   You can share your workouts via Twitter and/or Facebook.  One option I particularly like is that you can turn off the map display.  You friends/followers will know you ran and how far you went but they won’t know where you were if you don’t want them to.  All of your workouts are synchronized between your phone and your online account so you have your complete history at your fingertips.  If you’re the spreadsheet type (aren’t all runners number crunchers at heart?), fitness reports detailing your mileage highs (and lows) are available online.

So, what’s not to love?  For starters, only basic reporting options are available to you.  If you want to compare anything but the defaults, you have to become an Elite member and pay the Elite fee ($20/yr or $5/month).  I love the audio cues but after a while, listening to a voice say “you are X seconds behind your target pace” after stating what my pace is, is a little annoying and there is no option to turn this part of the cue off, without silencing the entire pace cue.  At the same time that I complain about this though, I should say that it’s nearly impossible to do math when you’re running.*   So, maybe on those long runs I will come to appreciate the gentle prodding and the +/- pace cues.  Additionally, the GPS doesn’t work indoors.  This is the first winter that I’m attempting to run through without the use of a treadmill.  That means indoor tracks and outdoor ice/snow.  If you forget that the GPS doesn’t work indoors and you have your social network settings turned on, be prepared for lots of ribbing from friends when they see you’ve run 0.00 km in 60 minutes.  Not that I’m speaking from experience… 😳  It’s my understanding that all GPS devices normally don’t work indoors, even Garmin devices so I don’t believe this to be a fault of the app but if you’re counting on training indoors, you should be aware of this.

Finally my biggest issue with the app isn’t really with the app at all, but rather with the iPhone.  Carrying a phone with you while you run can be tricky.  Adjusting gloves and opening jackets to access inner pockets when it’s -25°C, just to start an app so you can an accurate distance/time isn’t the most convenient.  To add to the inconvenience, when I’m taking my phone with me on a run, I keep it in a resealable plastic bag to keep moisture out so I have to get into that too.  Because it is winter I’m running with clothing that allows me to stash my phone on my person.  When summer/spring hits, I am not sure where I’m going to put my phone.  I’ve tried a few belts/armbands but not found any of them to be particularly comfortable when running long distances.  That is definitely something to think about, if you haven’t already.  If you have thought about it and you have the perfect solution, please share!

Is this a replacement for a Garmin?  Not when you add the aforementioned accessibility issue.  Other than that, I think it’s pretty close.

As noted in the title of this post, the app is currently free; the regular price is $9.99.  Get it while you can folks; I have no idea when the price is going back up and for free, this is definitely a great deal!

Happy running!

* A note about running and math..

If you’ve ever tried performing mental math while running,  you know that your abilities can easily be reduced to those of a Grade 2 student.  Those endorphins get flowing, your brain goes to La La Land and suddenly subtracting 6:16 from 6:44 becomes a monumental challenge, especially when you start multiplying times and distances and trying to convert pace (min/km) to speed (km/hr).  Suddenly you’re freaking out, thinking your 10K race is going to take you 90 minutes only to come home, plug your data into a calculator and see you’re actually going to finish in 57 mins, right where you want to.  Whew!

App Review: MapMyRun iPhone App

If I haven’t mentioned it before, it’s worth noting that I like gadgets.  I especially like gadgets that involve running.

I’ve always used MapMyRun (MMR) to map out my runs either before or after I hit the pavement.  I’m numbers-oriented and really like to track my distance.  In addition to tracking distance, MMR  provides you with your pace based on your distance and your time.  You can track your heart rate per session, gear usage (time to replace those shoes!) and your workouts don’t have to involve running in order to be recorded.  This is really just a snapshot of what the site can do.  If you haven’t visited, check it out!

The site is free to join and you know what that means: adverstisements. Everytime I logged into the site an ad would appear,  prompting me to take MMR with me (ie. use it on your smartphone).  I would think “Who could possibly need that?” and bypass the ad.

It turns out, I needed that.  Okay, I didn’t need it.  But once I got my new iPhone and installed the app, I realized how much fun I had been missing.  It’s AWESOME.  The app uses your phone’s GPS to record your run in real time.  That’s nothing new and not a big deal for Garmin owners.  I, however, am a lowly Polar HR owner and so this is a huge deal for me.  The app displays your current pace and has optional voice prompts that tell you your time/distance/pace/any combination thereof at user-specified intervals.  The MMR app also has a feature that allows for recording your heart rate.  That would essentially turn your phone into the equivalent of a  Garmin HR/GPS, plus, well, it’s a phone (such an understatement for the iPhone 4) so it has more functionality than a Garmin.  To use this HR feature you do need to purchase a wireless chip (Ant+) that will receive the feedback from your transmitter.  To cap things off, the app also has social media settings so you can post your runs (complete with maps) to Facebook or Twitter.

Cons:

– Carrying your phone.  Let’s be frank.  The iPhone 4 is heavy.  It’s not a brick but the heft is noticeable and it can bounce around if it’s in a pocket.  Where are you going to carry it?  You need to have a pocket (put it in a ziploc bag to keep moisture/sweat out) or some kind of belt/arm strap that you can pop it into. Don’t drop your phone.  That would be bad.  If you’re used to carrying a phone when you run, this may not be a con for you.

– This app chews through the battery.  I think I had determined at one point that if I had everything else turned off I could use this app for 2 hours max and then my phone would be dead.

– Preliminary investigations show that the Ant+ Heart Rate feature may not be compatible with a Polar transmitter.  Since Polar is the most widely used HR monitor on the market, that’s surprising and possibly a drawback.

Pros:

– If you are like me and feel a need to know how far you’ll be running before you start out, you’ll save time because you won’t be plotting out your run distances before/after your runs.  In that regard, I can return to losing myself and not thinking about street names or where to turn as I’m moseying along.

– You’ve got real time distance right in the palm of your hand.  I’ve come home from a number of runs thinking I achieved a certain distance only to find out that I missed and was short by 0.5 km.  (Frustrating!)  Knowing my exact distance holds a lot of value to me.

Check out the app here!

Check out the Map My Run website here!

Want a raise? Get off the couch and go for a run!

I am currently searching for a new job and when I hopped on over to Workopolis, this article caught my attention.   Next time you’re thinking about putting off that run, think about the timing for your next salary review.  Hmmm, maybe I should add some extra mileage 😉

The skinny on salary: How your weight affects your paycheque | The Workopolis Career Blog.

Running in a Foreign Land

I’ve always been a firm believer that running outside gets you closer to your community. When I run, I see neighbours that I don’t otherwise see. I greet (and sometimes run from) dogs and bunnies, the odd fox, beaver and even a coyote and a skunk. To that end, whenever I travel I try to go for a local run to get a feel for the community and see parts of the community that I might otherwise miss.

I’ve just returned from Massachusetts where I was fortunate enough to be staying in a beach house on the Atlantic Ocean. The most earth shattering decision I had to make during the week was whether or not I should run on the beach or the road. (I chose road, in case you were wondering.) One of the best sights I saw on this trip was a real live garden gnome wonderland. It made me giggle. Giggling while you’re running is good.

I do like to know how far I’m going so I use MapMyRun to either plan a route ahead of time or log the route afterwords. If I’m in a big city (ie. New York), I’ll do a little online research to check for known/popular routes and check for safety. I’ll also ask the hotel concierge but have found that they don’t always have information about running.

Running in New York City had a huge cool factor associated with it. Of course I chose to run in Central Park. Not wanting to stick out (I’m a Canadian), I chose a running shirt that had the words “10 Miler” on it so I could try to blend in with the locals and the Imperial measures on their shirts. Yes, I know they hold 5Ks and 10Ks south of the border but hey, I didn’t want to stick out as a tourist. On the last leg of my run I saw a group of elites and my brain immediately shouted “The Kenyans! WOW”. I managed a blurry cell phone photo of the group and couldn’t tell you who any of them were but I was still impressed.

Running in Algonquin Park was good but scary. It was a short run because I was worried about bears and self conscious about singing out loud in an attempt to make lots of noise that would scare the aforementioned bears away. That’s just too much stress to make a run enjoyable.

I’m not going to run through all of my running travels; there aren’t that many and I’m not sure how exciting you would find them. I do recommend that if you’re headed somewhere, bring your shoes (leave your iPod at home) and hit the pavement. Greet the locals, see the scenery and get your workout all done at the same time.

To marathon or not to marathon, that is the question!

I recently completed my 10 miler and I’m pretty happy with my time. I managed to shave 1 min and 40 secs off my time. I was aiming for more but in hindsight, the temperature difference between this year and last year was significant enough that I believe it contributed to my speed. There was a 10 degree (Celsius) temp difference! It was 28 with the humidex this year vs 19 (zero humidity) last year. While it felt hot, I think the reason I didn’t feel like I was melting is because I’ve been playing soccer this year in much hotter conditions. Plus, it helped that the race organizers had AWESOME misting tents this year. I heart misting tents.

At this same race, I was speaking to a friend and she asked, “So, what’s your next race going to be?” I said, “I’m thinking about running the PEI Marathon.” Her response, “The whole thing?” I thought it was pretty classic and quite funny.

As I type tonight, I’ve got my laptop beside me, trying to rid my laptop of a virus. Can I just say, this is a major drag. I had hoped to be in bed early tonight and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

Sleep, or lack thereof, leads nicely into the reason for this post: should I train for and run a marathon? I was seriously considering it a few weeks ago. Then, as my mileage for the 10 miler got bigger, I started to ask myself “Why?” It’s probably a no-no for a runner to ask that but I did it anyway. Why would I run a marathon? (btw, I keep typing marathong and it’s completely throwing my concentration off) After some introspection, I concluded that the only reason I would run it would be for the sake of doing it. I wouldn’t be running it because I actually wanted to. Now here’s the thing: training for a marathon is akin to a second job. The last time I checked, no one takes a second job just for the sake of doing it. There’s a need for it. I have no need to complete a marathon. Not only is a lot of time required for the training, but you really need to watch what you’re eating for optimal performance and sleep is an integral part of training for a race of that distance. (See how I did that: linked my lack of sleep from this damn virus to the need for sleep when training. Ooooo, clever :))

I have decided, however, that I will run train and run a half marathon. That seems manageable to me and also, (and most importantly) I would like to do that.

Now the only question left is “Which one?”.

Remember: you’re running for you.

Chafing. How bad can it be? Really bad.

I think chafing should be one of those words that when you say it or type it, a short blast of ominous music plays.  Otherwise it just seems like a dish you heat food in. There is one thing that running and chafing dishes have in common.  They both involve heat and moisture.  Ay, there’s the rub.  And that’s the last piece of the puzzle for running: friction.

Put more succinctly, rubbing (friction) + heat + moisture = chafing (pain).

You may or may not have seen pictures from a recent marathon of some poor guy who really didn’t know that it’s not a good idea to run 21 km (half marathon) or 42 km (marathon) in a cotton tshirt.  Missed that photo?  Let me show you what you’re missing:Don't Let This Happen To You! I’ve been reading the Sookie Stackhouse series of books (from which True Blood is based) and I can’t help but think this poor dude looks like gigantic vampiric fangs attacked him. He would probably be in less pain if that was the case.

Nipples on men are a common area for chafing.  Other areas to watch: around the band of your bra, inner thighs, under arms and feet.  Note that when chafing usually happens with feet, that turns into something completely different and equally crippling: blisters.

So, how do you avoid chafing? Here are my key rules that have kept me chafe-free for the most part:

  • Avoid cotton.  Invest in a technical style shirt that will wick away moisture.  This type of clothing doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Winners and Costco can usually be counted on to provide a good shirt at a reasonable price.  Same for shorts and socks, bra and undies – avoid cotton!  Cotton absorbs moisture and holds it against your skin.  The repetitive motion from running will cause the fabric to rub and voila: chafing.
  • If you’re blessed with quads like myself, once you find shorts that are comfy, buy more than one pair if you can.  Or at least take really good care of the ones you have (wash after every wearing either by hand or on a delicate cycle and hang to dry) so they’ll last.
  • If you’re a guy, consider putting something like Vaseline or Body Glide on your nipples before your run.  If you’re not too hairy and can stand it, consider applying Band Aids over your nippes to protect them.  Just make sure they’re waterproof so they stay put while you sweat.
  • If your inner thighs rub, consider putting some Vaseline or Body Glide on the affected area before you run.
  • If you’ve got a mole or anything that you need to cover, go for the Band Aid solution, again making sure the Band Aids are waterproof.
  • If you’re trying a new piece of clothing, test it out before you wind up in a situation where you’re half way through your run and your skin is burning.  If you have any doubts about the comfort of a piece of clothing, don’t wear it.  This was my mistake on a run last week.  (If anyone is looking for a Champion brand running skirt, size Medium, I’ve got one for you.)

Listen to your body.  If you feel a hotspot, adjust whatever you can to take the friction away.  My first experience with chafing was on a long run.  At the 12K mark of a 15K run, I finally stopped chatting with my running partner long enough to realize one of my legs of my shorts had ridden up and had been like that for who knows how long.  I know how long.  Long enough to do some real damage.  Even though I adjusted my shorts and they stayed put for the remainder of my run, my skin looked like this (note: not my skin; some other unlucky devil’s):Ouch.

The thing about chafing is that it repeatedly reminds you it’s there.  When the water from the shower hits – ouch.  If it’s in an area where you sweat: ouch.  If it’s in an area where clothing normally sits/hugs (think: bra band): ouch.    Hopefully by now, I’ve convinced you that there are a lot of reasons to try to avoid getting chafed.  And now you understand why I think the ominous music should play when chafing is mentioned.

Okay so you’ve done everything right and yet somehow, something went wrong.  What to do?

Clean the area.  Put an ointment like Polysporin or Vitamin E (ointment, not cream!) on it.  Dress it with a piece of gauze if it’s going to rub and it’s really bad.  If it’s in a place that will be aggravated by further running, hang up your shoes for a day or two unil the area heals.  Analyze what went wrong and make a note not to repeat it.

Happy trails!

What did you do today?

What are you training for?  What did you do today?  Use the comments section below and let me know what you’re up to, even if it’s just a rest day.  Rest days are just as valuable as training days.  Without them, you won’t see any improvement in your performance.

Shin Splints, IT Band Pain, Chafing, More Chafing and a Wolf Whistle

I started out rather innocently on a 10K run tonight, unaware of what lay in store for me.  If only I knew then what I know now.

It looked like it was going to rain before I left (and indeed, it had been raining intermittently all day) so I pulled out my old shoes.   I’m training for a 10 miler and have a heavy training schedule.  I didn’t want my “good” shoes to get wet because I wanted to wear them the following day.  Mistake #1.  I chose to wear a running skirt that I don’t normally wear.  Not only do I not normally wear it but I NEVER wear it for anything longer than 3k.  Mistake #2.

I fell into my normal routine: 5 minute or so warm-up and off I go. If you were inside my brain you would have heard this:

– Run, run, run, run, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.  Hey.  Shin splints?  Hunh.  Weird.  I haven’t had those for eons.
– Wait a sec.  That tightness over the side of my knee?  That’s my old IT band issue flaring up?  What the heck…???
– Okaaayyy.  Now my shorts (attached to the skirt) are riding up.  That’s not cool.  They’re really rubbing.  I’m really sweaty.  Like “sweat dripping off my elbows and the tops of my hands are wet” sweating.  This isn’t feeling good.  They’re still rubbing.  Yank shorts down. That’s better.
– Keep running.
– Man, my shins hurt.
– Wolf whistle from passing car.  Oh hey.  I look good at least.  Or was that my neighbour?
– Oh my gosh these shorts are really rubbing!

And that was it.  The perfect storm had come to a chaotic focal point and I stopped running.  Let’s dissect the drama and see what went wrong so the same thing doesn’t happen to you.

Shoes and Shin Splints

I should have stuck with my newer shoes.  Even though my new shoes are a month old and even though they’re the latest version of my old shoes, I swear Saucony changed the model enough that I’m still getting used to them.  I think the switch back (plus a general muscular tightness) brought on the shin splints.  So, let’s say this happens to you – what do you do?

You can try a couple of things.  First of all, try running a little more slowly.  A lot of time shin splints are a result of starting out too quickly.  The muscles just aren’t warm enough to perform.  If that doesn’t work, try stopping and stretching.  Shin splints may be a result of a muscle imbalance.  Most people have stronger calf muscles than shin muscles.  Also, if you’re a girly girl like I sometimes am and you’ve just spent the entire day in heels, your calf muscles have shortened and your shin muscles have been lengthened all day long.  Stop and stretch your calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).  Try to stretch your shin muscles (tibialis anterior).  The latter can be tricky because it’s just a tough muscle to stretch.  Resume running and take it easy.  When you get home, ensure that you stretch and if you’re shins are sore or continue to hurt throughout your run, make ice your friend and introduce it to your shins.

If you suspect that a muscle imbalance may be the root of your shin splints (stronger calves than shins), you can try this little exercise to strengthen them.

Take off your socks (assuming you’re wearing any).
Place a towel, all spread out, on the floor in front of you.
Place your feet flat on the towel.
Keeping your feet as flat as possible, use your toes to scrunch the towel up, gradually pulling it towards you.
You should feel the muscles in your shin working.
Keep going until all the towel has been pulled forward. Stop. Spread the towel out again and repeat.
This is much easier on a tile or wood floor than it is on carpet.
Some people find it convenient to put the toilet lid down, park themselves on the toilet and do this in the bathroom. Whatever does it for you.

IT Band Pain

I dealt with some iliotibial band pain for a while.  I’ve been diligent about stretching for the past year and a half and as a results have almost forgotten that little bit of fascia that messes so many of us up.  I get classic IT pain.  It feels less like pain (I stop before it gets that bad) and more like a tightening around the outside of my knee.  It’s almost an uncomfortable tingling.  In hindsight the tight calf/shin muscles and shoe mix-up probably contributed to that reappearance of pain.  Also, I haven’t been very diligent about stretching this week and after the weekend’s activities (a 5k race, a 15K long run and a 90 minute soccer game), I should have been (and should be now) stretching in every free minute I have. In my opinion, stretching is the best preventative measure you can take to prevent issues with your iliotibial band. If that doesn’t work, try massage or a foam roller.

Chafing.  Chafing deserves a post of its own.  It seems rather innocuous and then blammo…after running for 3 years, you’re chafed and you have a lot more sympathy for the dudes with bloody nipple streaks down their shirts.

The moral of the story is, sometimes runs don’t go as planned.  It happens.  What’s that saying — “Why do we fall down? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again another day.  Do not keep going if the pain/discomfort is going to cause you to miss more training.  I pulled the plug on this run because I knew from recent experience that chafing, depending on where it is, can stop you from running for a few days.  My philosophy is that it’s better to miss one day than it is to miss one week.

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