KT Tape.

So many colors!

So many colors!

My quads are an ongoing nuisance but I’ve been throwing everything at them and hoping that something helps. Lucky for me, I’ve found a few things that have allowed me to keep training (sadly, not for the duration or at the intensity I would like).

KT Tape was one of the first things I tried because it’s easy, quick and relatively cheap. I swung by Fleet Feet and picked up a few strips to try it out.

Next, I watched this handy, dandy YouTube video on how to apply it:

There are helpful videos for just about every body part!

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I used it for my race and it definitely helped. I’ve pretty much been using it ever since. Not only that, you can keep it on for up to a week – although I’ve been keeping it on for a little bit less because it gets a funk.

Modeling some KT Tape at my race last weekend

Modeling some KT Tape at my race last weekend

Have you ever tried KT Tape or a different kind of tape? How did you like it?

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Finding Traction Movie Review

Full Disclosure: I love running movies. I rarely watch one that I don’t like. In fact, Unbreakable is one of my favorite movies ever.

With that being said, I recently purchased Finding Traction. This is the story of ultrarunning star Nikki Kimball trying to become the fastest person in history (male or female) to run the 273-mile Long Trail in Vermont.

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My favorite aspect of the movie is Nikki’s feminist take on running/ultrarunning. She recognizes that women are getting the short end of the stick, and she isn’t shy about discussing it. For example, she noted that when she won UTMB, the men were front and center in the news, and her victory was merely a blurb in the paper. At the same time, she is both encouraging and motivational to the next generation of runners.

  

I wish the movie included more about Nikki’s history of depression. I knew from other sources that it was a major part of her life. Since this afflicts so many runners/ultrarunners, it was something I wanted to hear more about (if you are interested in reading more about Nikki’s history of depression, Meghan Hicks wrote a great article last year called The Hope Seekers).

To watch the trailer, click here.

Here are the good folks that brought you this movie:

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If you are interested in purchasing the movie, it is available through Montana PBS. Check back regularly, as video-on-demand options are coming soon.

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Boston, Breakneck and more.

The News

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The Boston Marathon was on Monday and it was a good one. Late in the race, two Americans were leading. While neither hung on for a podium spot, it made for some exciting moments. Also, Meb showed that he can be a huge inspiration whether he finishes first or eighth. He is a role model for all of us whether it be in running or simply the way he treats others.

The women’s finish couldn’t have been any better. A 26-mile warmp-up followed by a 385-yard sprint. It doesn’t get any better than that. Caroline Rotich took the win, followed immediately by Mare Dibaba (Des Linden was 4th and Shalane Flanagan was 9th). In the men’s race, Lelisa Desisa took the win (Ritz was 7th and Meb was 8th).

For another inspirational Boston Marathon story, click here.

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There was another race in Boston that didn’t get quite as much press. On Saturday, Molly Huddle and Ben True set American records in the road 5k. True ran 13:22, which broke a nineteen-year-old record, and Huddle ran 14:50, which broke a thirteen-year-old record. In fact, Huddle came within four seconds of the world record, which is held by Meseret Defar.

A very different type of marathon led to a wild finish. This was the first year of the Breakneck Point Trail Marathon and it was a good one – check out the finish:

Race Results

I’m still basking in the glory of my fourth place finish at the Springtime 10k… just kidding :) The Mountain Goat is 11 days away. I’m looking forward to it, as it will be a good test of my fitness and health.

My Training

My training is okay. I’ve fallen behind last year’s mileage and I’ve had a series of aches, pains and strains. Hopefully, none of them plan on sticking around for too long!

What is your favorite memory from this year’s Boston Marathon?

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Springtime 10k (Spoiler Alert: I Survived)

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The Springtime 10k was held Saturday morning. It was my first race in ages! I knew the course was difficult for a road 10k, but I still managed to underestimate it. There was nearly 500 feet of climbing, including a 250-foot climb just prior to the halfway mark. Since this was an out-and-back course, my splits were 18:25 (first 5k) and 17:05 (second 5k).

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It felt nice to race again. While I would have preferred a faster time, I’m satisfied with 35:30 given the difficult nature of the course. Also, my splits were on point (5:36, 5:33, 6:24, 5:34, 5:43, 5:31), so I am definitely encouraged by that. My next race is the Mountain Goat – it is 13 days away. I’ve run it the last few years so I will be able to make a better apples-to-apples assessment of my fitness level.

Full results of the Springtime 10k are available here.

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In the meantime, I’ve heard there is a little run going on in Boston today…

Check back Wednesday for:

– Boston
– a crazy sprint finish at the Breakneck Point Trail Marathon
– a review of Finding Traction

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Back To Basics.

It has been a long time since I’ve raced – a really long time!

It has been 180 days since I’ve started a race.
It has been 209 days since I’ve finished a race.
It has been 287 days since I’ve done a road race.

Tomorrow is the CNY Springtime 10k. Woo hoo!

To prepare for the race, I’ve given myself a few simple reminders:

1. Work out really hard the day before the race.

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2. Eat lots of fettucine alfredo.

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3. Wear lots of cotton.

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4. Perform a thorough warm-up.

5. Go out fast. Being in front at the beginning is more important than a good finish.

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6. As soon as the finish line is in sight, start to celebrate.

7. Rehydrate after the race.

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8. Ignore other runners and post results to social media as soon as possible.

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Are you racing this weekend?

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La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 GTX Review

   

These shoes are awesome. The last few winters, I have trained in the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX. Next winter, I will be using the Wildcat 2.0 GTX – that’s how much I liked this shoe.

The Wildcat 2.0 GTX is extremely comfortable – it has a soft, seamless upper and a decent toebox. I would have preferred it a little bit wider in the toebox, but it was certainly adequate.

  

The shoe has a 12mm drop and the size 10.5/43.5 weighed 15.6 ounces on my scale.

  

I prefer GTX in the winter because it’s a mess here, but the shoe has a hard rubber toecap that is trail-ready any time of year. In addition, there are some decent lugs on the bottom. They are the perfect height for most types of trail (see picture). In addition, the outsole is sticky and has excellent grip.

  

These shoes have the La Sportiva Impact Brake System. This means the lugs on the soles are oriented in opposing slanted directions. According to La Sportiva, this opposition increases braking power by an average of 20% and decreases impact forces by and average of 20%.

 

Pros:

– comfortable
– GTX
– excellent traction
– seamless
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– design – these shoes are very stylish – trail chic

Cons:

– weight – even for a heavy-duty trail shoe, they’re pretty heavy
– cost

This shoe is available on the La Sportiva site for $155. It is available at Backcountry for $154.95. It is available at REI for $155.

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A Busy Weekend

The News

Stephanie Howe and Alex Varner photo credit: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

Stephanie Howe and Alex Varner
photo credit: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

There were several big events going on over the weekend. Two events really captured my attention. First, the Lake Sonoma 50 was on Saturday. Last year, the race was a thriller that came down to the wire. This year, it was a romp. Alex Varner raced to a course record in 6:09:39 and Stephanie Howe snagged a record of her own in 7:08:23.

*** There was one finisher before Alex, as seen below. However, he missed several checkpoints along the course and was disqualified.

   

Full results of Lake Sonoma are available here.

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Meanwhile, nearly 6,000 miles away, the 24-Hour World Championships were taking place in Turin, Italy. You would think that running in circles (the course included a track and the total loop distance was 1700m) for twenty-four hours would be boring, but the race was marred by an electrical outage and an unrelated fire – no worries, everything was fine.

The American women dominated. They took 1st, 2nd and 4th overall.

  

The team scoring is based on the top three runners from a country – therefore, the American women won the team competition handily.

  

The American men came in 8th, 9th and 41st.

  

They came in 4th in the team competition.

  

The overall female champion, Katalin Nagy, managed about 152 miles in twenty-four hours, while the male champion, Florian Reus, took down about 164 miles.

Robbie Britton, the third place finisher, climbed on the podium and covered up the Nike swooshes on his uniform in protest of them sponsoring repeat drug offender Justin Gatlin. For more on that, click here.

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Race Results

I might be racing this weekend. I’m not sure. I’ve been battling an injury over the last week. I’ll probably decide by Wednesday. It’s been forever since I’ve raced, and I would definitely like to get back out there, especially since the weather has finally improved!

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My Training

My training was going well until Monday when my right quad decided to call it quits on me. I’ve never had a quad strain before (and hopefully I’ll never have one again). I took three days off. Unfortunately, that turned an 80-mile training week into a 40-mile training week. However, now that I’m older and wiser, I knew to rest it. After all, a 40-mile week is still better than numerous 0-mile weeks.

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When is your next race?

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