53 Marathons in 53 Days.

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Amy Hughes, a 26-year-old sports therapist from West Felton (Shropshire, England), recently completed her 53rd marathon in 53 days! In doing so, she broke the women’s record of 17 consecutive marathons, set by American Parvaneh Moayedi, and she surpassed the men’s record of 52.

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Amy Hughes has been raising money for the Isabelle Lottie Foundation – a charity set up in 2014 to support children and their families following the diagnosis of a brain tumor.

Click here for a list of the cities Amy ran in. Her goal is to raise a total of £53,000.00. She is currently at £31,529.74, but she has until March 27, 2015, to reach her goal. Click here if you are interested in donating. Amy was also trying to raise awareness about staying fit and keeping active.

In case you are curious, Amy is a sub-four hour marathoner. And her inspiration for this amazing feat? None other than Dean Karnazes. Check out Dean’s book here.

Amy’s mom wins the quote of the day:

“I didn’t speak to her for a week after she told me what she was planning because I thought she was completely mental. When she got to five and said she was okay, that’s when I thought she could do it.”

Amy covered nearly 1400 miles in less than two months!! How far do you think you could run in two months?

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Time For Some S&M.

It’s been ten days since my 50-miler and I’m still a bit sore. Nothing in particular – just a little bit of everything. I’ve started running again and it’s been… challenging. I’ve even had to resort to some S&M.

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No, not that! Stretching and massage!

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Umm…

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Hmm…

Anyhow, I don’t regularly stretch. I haven’t been injured in a while *knock on wood* and this falls into the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp. With that being said, I’m feeling it the last few days. My calves. My quads. My hips. My back. So, I’ve been doing some basic stretching. Hopefully, in a few more days, I’ll be as good as new!

I could probably use a massage. Well, I definitely could. I always could. Most elite athletes agree. When discussing recovery tips, massage is a common theme. While it can be pricey, it is definitely cheaper than numerous trips to the orthopedist.

Hopefully, this stuff works! My next race is a month from tomorrow. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t work, I have a backup plan.

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A World Record!! Actually, Two of Them.

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Two world records fell in Berlin on Sunday. The first – the biggie – was the marathon world record. Dennis Kimetto ran 2:02:57. He took 26 seconds off the old world record. He became the first person ever to run under 2:03. Also, he ran faster than Geoffrey Mutai’s [wind-aided and downhill] 2:03:02, which was not official, but was the fastest marathon ever.

The conditions were perfect for Kimetto. There were clear skies and temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees.

The world record went under 2:10 in 1967. In 1988, it went under 2:07. Paul Tergat brought it under 2:05 in 2003, and Haile Gebrselassie took it under 2:04 exactly five years later on the same Berlin course. Now, six years later to the day, the record has dropped under 2:03.

Fun Fact: In the last 11 years, three marathon world records have been set on September 28th. The Berlin course is fast – apparently, it’s extra fast on September 28th!

The other world record was set by Emmanuel Mutai. He covered the first 30 kilometers of the race in 1:27:37 – a world record! Mutai also broke the old world record and finished in 2:03:13.

That's my kind of celebration!

That’s my kind of celebration!

Tirfi Tsegaye won the women’s race in 2:20:18. Shalane Flanagan was third in 2:21:14. Deena Kastor’s American record is safe for now.

Full results of the Berlin Marathon are available here.

All eyes now turn to Chicago. In particular, Kenenisa Bekele is the focus. On October 12, he will take a shot at 2:03:23 2:02:57. The script was perfect in Berlin. Ideal weather and a very game Emmanuel Mutai pushing the pace. Who will be willing to go with Bekele? Kipchoge? Bernard Koech? Maybe even Wesley Korir?

Once again, we are left to wonder:

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Mendon Trail Run.

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My next race is a little over a month away. The Mendon Trail Run is the last race in the USATF Niagra Ultra Series. Last year, Cole Crosby won in a course record 3:41:55.

This year, the race includes local celebrity Jason Mcelwain. If you recall, Jason was involved in one of the greatest sports stories you will ever see:

While Jason’s fame came on the basketball court, he has turned into a very successful runner. Just this year, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2:57:05. As far as I can tell, the Mendon 50k will be his first ultra.

The full participant list is available here.

I am still recovering from the Virgil Crest 50-Miler. I ran three miles yesterday and a few more today. I’m hoping to increase my training by the start of October. That way, I’ll be able to get in a couple of good weeks of training before tapering.

When is your next race? Are you ready for it?

Happy Running!!

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RE2PECT.

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A while back, I did a post called 40 Is The New 30. It was about runners who are 40+ and still at the top of their game. I mentioned Deena Kastor, Colleen de Reuck, Haile Gebrselassie, Mike Wardian, Mike Morton and Marco Olmo.

Jen Rhines, a Central New York native, just turned 40 as well. She will be in town next weekend trying to set the American Masters 5k record – the time to beat is 15:48 (Colleen de Reuck). The race is just a few blocks from my house and I will be there cheering her on (unless I decide to race that day).

Runners are able to compete at a high level through their 40s. Beyond that, we can compete for age-group awards. A few years back, Henry Sypniewski ran 33:46 for 5k (in Syracuse) at the age of 90!

In other sports, it’s not so easy. In baseball, most players are in decline by their mid-30s and the few players that go beyond 40 are usually hanging on (Mariano Rivera was a rare exception). Derek Jeter isn’t having his best year. Then again, nobody expected him to. However, he is still Derek Jeter. He is still Captain Clutch with a game on the line. Am I sad to see him go? Absolutely. But not all sports are as kind as running.

I am sad that the baseball season is nearly over – it’s my second favorite sport (after running, of course). I am truly sad that the game is losing one of its greatest ambassadors. With that being said, I am thankful for the memories. And maybe, just maybe, the end of Derek’s baseball career will coincide with the beginning of his running career.

Have a great weekend!

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Bia GPS Sport Watch with SOS Alert – Full Review

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A few weeks ago, I spotted a cool, new product, and I wrote a quick post on it. After that, I was contacted by Bia and they asked me to write a full review. Of course, I was happy to oblige!

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I have been wearing this watch for about two weeks and I have recorded about 87 miles with it, including a 50-mile race.

Overview

The Bia watch is tiny (it weighs just over an ounce), but at the same time, it is easy to read. A quick glance down gives you all the information you need. The watch pairs with a “GoStick” that you clip on (see last picture below). The two-piece design keeps the watch simple, small and lightweight. There is only one button on the watch – but that’s all you need! There is also a touchscreen that allows you to perform all necessary functions.

The watch has an SOS feature – I think this is what makes it truly unique!! If you hold down the button on the watch for three seconds, it sends out an SOS! The SOS text message looks like this:

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You cancel the SOS by holding down the button a second time.

Bia says the watch has a 17-hour battery life. I did not test the watch that long. However, I glanced down after 8.5 hours during my 50-mile race, and the battery indicator was already below the halfway mark (it started the race with a full charge). Does that mean the watch wouldn’t have lasted 17 hours? Not necessarily, but possibly.

Another great feature is you can set up the watch to automatically transfer your workout data to MapMyFitness or Strava.

Finally, the watch is waterproof and it comes in a variety of great colors!

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Pros:

  • small, lightweight and comfortable
  • easy to read
  • QuickConnect GPS – about 10 seconds at my house and a little longer from downtown
  • accurate GPS – my race, which measured 50.8 miles, showed up as exactly 50.8 miles
  • long battery life – 17 hours according to Bia, but possibly a little less
  • waterproof
  • compatible with existing ANT+ based heart rate straps or monitors
  • you only need to charge the GoStick – you never need to charge the watch!

    Cons:

  • no backlight
  • an underwhelming velcro wrist strap – I understand that it is easily adjustable and compatible with any wrist size, but I didn’t like it
  • the watch is tracking elevation, but the info is not available right on the watch, only when the data is transferred to MapMyFitness, Strava, etc.

    The top arrow points to the GoStick; the bottom arrow points to the watch

    The top arrow points to the GoStick; the bottom arrow points to the watch

    Here are some other reviews of the Bia GPS Sport Watch with SOS Alert:

    DC Rainmaker

    Racing Tales

    Just Keep Running

    Happy Fit Mama

    Jedi Mama

    Interested in Bia? Check out the online store. Through the end of September, you can save $25 with promo code BIALOVE2002.

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    Gait Analysis: The Serious Runner’s Salvation (via the Wall Street Journal)

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    Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on gait analysis. The full article can be found here.

    I encourage you to read the whole article, but some key points include:

  • Gait analysis seeks to identify the root of an injury, or a bad habit that may lead to one
  • Gait analysis starts with an evaluation of strength and flexibility that includes some manipulation on an examination table and a series of exercises. That is followed by a running session on a treadmill in front of a video camera
  • Gait analysis has become a more accepted part of sports medicine, as traditionally trained orthopedists and surgeons have started to embrace the holistic approach of chiropractors, osteopaths and physical therapists
  • According to the article, if you are mechanically correct and there is still pain, then a gait analysis can help, since running shouldn’t lead to joint injuries
  • There is a high degree of correlation between certain running patterns and certain injuries
  • Gait examinations generally cost between $200 and $500, depending on the location and the sophistication of the equipment

    Have you ever had your gait analyzed?

    Is this something you would do if given the opportunity?

    Also, be sure to check out my post on runScribe, a new product that allows you to collect your own data.

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