When Memories are Made

This sunday, part of the iCan Running Group got together to go on a 70 minute training run. As I pulled into the meeting area, it started to drizzle, and as we stretched it started to rain. We had our training discussion and took off away; no rain was going to deter us from our morning run!

My dear friends Stephanie and Kara joined me, and it was like old times, laughing and joking along the way. The weather started getting worse, but thankfully there was no lightning, so we kept running. Stephanie laughingly mentioned that she was soaked, to which I replied “This is when memories are made.”

That statement got me thinking; that really is when memories are made. I had some sunny runs this week, but I don’t really remember them. But being with close friends, getting soaked, those runs I’ll remember. It seems that friendship or adverse weather strikes a chord that makes you remember the event. When you add the two together, the memory can last a lifetime.

Don’t get me wrong; Kara, Stephanie, and I have had many wonderful runs where the weather was perfect, and wonderful memories were made. But it seems that the worse the conditions are, and the more we laugh and smile our way through them, the better the memory.

I guess it just shows that we love our lifestyle, and each other. We support and encourage each other, and it’s great to feel and share that love. I didn’t have to run today as it was supposed to be a rest day. But I knew that I hadn’t ran with Stephanie and Kara since the Market to Market Relay, so I was not going to let a “rest day” or rainy weather stop me.

So think about it: what are your happy memories from? Are they from acquiring things, or being with people you love? Are they from times when you pushed yourself whether it be a mental or physical challenge, or where you ran in the pouring rain, like we did?

I hope you all build happy memories as you transform your lives.

Live healthy, be happy!



Stretching for Runners

I was never one to waste a lot of time stretching, that is, until I got injured. I discovered that I wasn’t doing enough stretches and I wasn’t doing enough proper stretches to aid my running and to avoid injury. Here are some websites with some simple stretches to incorporate into your pre and post run routine.




Live healthy, be happy!


Market to Market Relay

Friday I received great news. I was cleared by a specialist to resume running. The tear in my calf would heal on its own, and that even if they were to stitch it back together, there has been no proven benefit to even consider going that route. That bit of good news came at no better time, as the next day was the Market to Market relay.

For those that are not familiar with this race, it’s a relay race where teams of 6,7, or 8 members cover 72 miles of bike trails and sometimes city streets, making their way from Jefferson to the Court Ave. Bridge in Des Moines. Teams shuttle from checkpoint to checkpoint in vehicles (we rented a van, actually one of the largest vans I have ever seen) and drop off, pick up, and cheers their teams on.

This was my first Market to Market, and I am thankful for the invitation to go, even though I was nervous on how the leg would hold up. We started off a little bit of chilly weather, and a guy in a pink ape suit and a trombone leading the official start. That alone should tell you what a day this was going to be.

I had the fourth and twelfth legs of the run. I missed a very cold rainstorm on my first leg, and was running on wet pavement that was slowly drying due to the heat. It felt good and the 4.8 miles went by quickly in the scenic farm country. I finished that leg in 41:16, not to bad for all the worrying about the right calf.

The weather was all over the board. From bone chilling rain, to clear skies, calm soft winds to 25mph crosswinds, from heat to a torrential downpour (poor Kara had that leg), the weather was everything and anything that day.

My next leg was 4.6 miles and just a straight shot. That would have been a piece of cake, except for the brutal wind that made me almost constantly hold on to my hat for fear that it would blow away! I finished in 42:40, and wondered why it took so long, even with the wind. Stephanie reminded me that we have been walking a lot between relay legs, and she had been measuring it. We had the distance for a half marathon each already. Maybe that’s the reason I was tired!

When Kara emerged from the rainstorm on the last long leg, we ran as a team for the last .3 miles to the finish line. We started off as friends and strangers, united by one member or another, all with one common goal. We crossed the finish line as a team, united by a day and a bond that will remain with us forever!

Live healthy, be happy!


Injuries and Recovery

A couple of weeks ago, I felt a pull in my right calf while out on a run. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but before the run was over it felt as if I had a major muscle cramp. The pain continued the next day, so I used ice, heat, and Motrin to try and calm it down. After a few days, it felt better, so I resumed my running regimen.

I ran a 12 mile pre half-marathon training run on Friday, followed by a 40 mile bike ride on Saturday. Sunday was a rest day, but Monday was to be a 5 miler in honor of the Boston Marathon bombing. I was 1.5 miles into that run when it felt as if I had been shot in the right calf. The pain was intense, and I ended up limping home. I went back to the ice/heat/Motrin routine, but the pain would not completely go away. I decided that since this is becoming a continual issue, I made an appointment to see my doctor.

My doctor diagnosed a torn or ruptured inner calf muscle and prescribed physical therapy and an MRI (just to rule out a major rupture). At PT, I found out that although I stretch, I do not stretch enough and I do not do the necessary stretches to prepare for the day, much less a run. So I was shown how to stretch each muscle group, and I am supposed to do these every morning and evening even if I don’t run that day. On days that I do run, I am to do these stretches before and after the run. That’s a total of 4 stretching routines a day! Much more than I have ever done!

I have only had a couple of PT sessions, and the therapist has cleared me to run, as long as I don’t feel any twinges in the right calf. If I do, I stop. I am to tell the therapist how it went on Monday, and then I have the MRI that evening.

This evening I went on my ‘inaugural’ run since the injury. I took it easy on a relatively flat course, and only went 1.5 miles. The run went well, finishing in 13:04 with an average of 8:43 per mile. It felt so good to be back out there, and I am looking forward to a longer group run tomorrow.

So a friendly word of advice: stretch, stretch, stretch. You will be glad you did!

Live healthy, be happy!