Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Group Run of 2008!

Running Tuesday at 5:00 at Lapham Peak.
Last run of 2008! Don't miss it, will be a two for one beer
night to help out the economy. Party hats are a must!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Next Group Run: Sunday, December 28th

Hi everyone,

We're running at Lapham tomorrow.  Evergreen lot:  8:00 a.m.

So why am I sending out the email?  Todd is at a wedding.  In fact, we've
acquired some exclusive video footage from said event.  Guess which one is


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Next Group Run: Tuesday, December 23rd

Running Tuesday at 5:00pm at Lapham Peak.
Will be running the IAT unless all the snow melts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hellgate 100K - Race Report

Think of those old NFL films with the music. It was a frigid, cloudy day on the field of the Frozen Tun----. O.K. really.

Leaving Wisconsin with a foot of snow and temperatures in the teens, I figured I’d be ready for any weather Hellgate would have to offer. This
being my forth trip to Hellgate, every year the weather has been different.  Snow and ice the first year, frigid cold the next, and then the third year,
just about perfect, even the stream crossings were low enough to cross without getting wet. 

 Now for this year. With rain from Kentucky all the way to Camp Bethel, the race headquarters in Virginia, it seemed like it was going to be a cold wet one. No worries, I brought just about all the running gear that I have expecting anything.  

After a restless Thursday night Friday comes along and it turns into a long wait around until we leave for the start at 11pm with a race start of 12:01 a.m.  We were able to fill the day trading stories with runners filing in throughout the day and helping David Horton mark the last 3 mile stretch of the course to the finish.  

Friday night came with the pre-race dinner and meeting afterward.  One of the things that makes this race different than others is getting to the start. The course is a point to point and because we can’t keep cars at the start all day, everyone needs to find a ride from the people that are there but not doing the race. Kind of interesting to watch, first getting people to drive paired up with people doing the race. Almost forgot to raise my to get a ride because I was to busy watching this whole thing.  

Info given out, ride taken care of, it was time to get my gear together, lie down in a bunk and relax for the race. (Camp Bethel offers rooms with bunk beds in them if we wanted to stay, which is where we stayed for the weekend). Time get up and finish getting ready to go. Getting ready was like getting ready for a WWE  cage match. Ankle support and duct tape on the left ankle, knee strap on the right knee, Vaseline in unmentionable areas, gloves, hat, etc.  

The convoy to the start is something fun to watch as
well. 100 racers carpooling to the same race.  34 degrees at race start, definitely shorts weather. 

12:01a.m. and the
race begins. Into the darkness we go with headlights on. The first 3 miles are fairly casual but because of the rain we brought with us the stream
crossings were deep and moving. The biggest of the streams being calf high.
Mighty chilly on bare legs. Through the woods onto some Jeep roads. These road sections can be 1 to 3 miles, sometimes up sometimes down and because the full moon was the biggest and brightest it’s been in years (so they say) we were able to do these sections without the use of lights, which was pretty cool. And cool it got the higher we went. Probably in the 20s and colder, which made me wish I had used a different clothing selection. Ever try to use a tree and you can’t move your fingers because there frozen?

 The first couple of aid stations were kind just a quick walk through, water only. The dark hours went well. Was climbing well and was with a group or
close to someone the whole time. Was even with some of the same people in the same areas as last year. Kinda weird. Thankfully the trail isn’t real
technical, and that let me check out some of the city lights and the bright night sky in the higher areas.  Daylight comes and it’s at the same aid station as last year. Weird again.  Resupply and off we go. Up, up, up, cold, cold, freezing, some single track,
and down, down, down we go again. Some of the course gets technical with rocks, leaves, leaves on top of rocks, and more water. 

Everything was going well until aid station 7 (52ish miles).  Maybe from the cold but the legs didn’t want to move much any more. Was still able to eat without stomach issues, just no legs. The section between aid 8 and 9 is called the Never Ending section, with good reason. They say its 6 miles, must be Horton miles. Took forever to get through it. Long grinds up with painful downs, some big rocky areas thrown in.  

Finally to aid station 9 and the last one before the finish. Another 6ish miles, 3 mile up with a long 3 miles down into Camp Bethel. As much as I wanted to run those last 3 miles the legs just weren’t doing it. Had 4-5 people pass me in that last part. Less than a mile to go and I look back to see if anyone else is coming up on me. Damn, 2 guys coming in the distance.  

With one last effort not to get past I pick up the pace and get to the finish with Horton coming out yelling and screaming, egging me on to the
line. I really like that guy. Finally, I’m done, 16 hrs 54 mins. I find Robert and talk about his 14:34:04 finish. He didn’t have any major issues
and was happy with his 21st overall finish. He even got a nice trophy for his 5 completed Hellgates.  Congratulations all around. 

Time to find a chair before I attempt to clean up and get some food. It’s not long before I’m falling asleep eating a sandwich. Not even going to worry about packing up. I’m going to bed.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Next Group Run: Wednesday, December 17th

This Wed. we are having the "Uncanceled Canceled Run"
This will make up for the canceled run of last week.
You can show early or stay late to get the extra miles in.
No extra charge for LPTR members. (If not a member
please e-mail Jeff M. with your yearly fee of $0, half off the
2nd year if you sign up for two years.)
I don't recommend trying to catch up on the beer you
missed out on but that is up to you.
Will be running at 5:00, screws in the shoes maybe needed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hellgate 100K

This Saturday Brad B. will be heading out for this year's Hellgate 100K - another David Horton nightmare of run ... By all accounts its a long version of Mountain Masochist with inclement weather... I'm planning on playing scrabble with my grandma...
Good Luck Brad!!!!  Not sure if Julie  is running, but I wouldn't be surprised...

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Small and the Mighty...

(figure 1 to left...)

Thought I'd pass along an article entitled The Small and Mighty penned by our own "Small and Mighty" Cristine Crawford... 

Did you know that the iliopsoas muscle activates, allows and assists in all lower extremity movements?  Did you know that without it, we could not stand upright?  If you did not already know that then read on.  If you did, you are a smart cookie, but read on anyway.  The iliopsoas muscle is actually made up of two separate muscles located in the front of the hip area.  The first is the iliacus which originates from the hipbone and the second is the psoas major which originates from the lumbar (lower) spine.  The muscle fibers of these two muscles (considered the iliopsoas muscle) insert via a common tendon on the femur.  The muscle fibers originate from two different points threading their way in front of the pelvis and down toward the top of the thigh bone or femur where they merge on the femur.  It is the only muscle that links the spine to the legs.  It is a powerful muscle which works in conjunction with other muscles in actions such as raising the legs from the floor (hip flexion) as well as hip rotation, abduction and forward and lateral torso flexion.

 The iliopsoas requires adequate strength and length to perform its’ job properly.  If this powerful muscle is neglected and weak due to overuse injuries, tendonitis and even tears or ruptures may occur.  Symptoms of iliopsoas tendonitis can include general groin pain and tenderness including some low back pain.  Pain associate with iliopsoas syndrome is sharp and sudden and usually caused by a sudden contraction of the iliopsoas muscle.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here.  If you experience any of those symptoms, please seek the advice of a qualified professional.  Most likely, the standard soft tissue protocol should be followed….R.I.C.E.R. (the last R being referral to an appropriate professional).  I’m here to tell you that you can help prevent this by strengthening, lengthening and programming this muscle through coordination exercises.  Exercises designed to aid this muscle in doing its job and keep you running strong.  Think about how important this muscle is as it applies to running.  It connects your spine to your lower body!   Strengthening and stretching this muscle will make you a better runner guaranteed. 

Pilates, in general, will promote length, strength and coordination of specific muscles, as well as the muscles which aid and support the primary muscle at work (secondary muscles).  Pilates will help to correct imbalances in the body.  For example, a tight and weak iliopsoas can stress your lower back which affects the entire spine and your whole state of alignment causing muscular imbalances throughout the body which will in turn cause your iliopsoas to work harder at keeping you upright and stable which may lead to injury.   Improved precision, posture and alignment can be developed through the practice of Pilates.  A balanced body will help keep your knees, ankles, hips and hamstrings as injury-free as possible.  The synchronization of breathing with movement which is the primary Pilates theory will vastly improve your power as a runner.  It is a mind-body workout.  You will use your brain to activate specific muscles and get a strength training, stretching, cleansing (using specific breathing techniques) coordination workout all in one! 

 I always recommend seeking the advice of a certified Pilates instructor at least once or twice.  Take a class so you can be guided through the exercises appropriately since they involve precise movements and the cues which are given by the instructor are vital if the exercises are to be performed properly.  Most importantly, do not do these exercises if you are dealing with an injury.  See a doctor first!

Here is an exercise which you can do on your own to help lengthen and strengthen the iliopsoas.  Always warm up first.  An entire Pilates routine SHOULD be performed and you should understand the fundamental movement concepts.  However, you can’t really hurt yourself with this exercise so give it a try.

ROLL-UP (see Figure 1)

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended along a mat and your feet flexed (toes to the ceiling).  If you are just beginning, bend your knees and keep the feet flat on the mat or anchor your feet under something stable.  Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling.  Exhale and send them overhead to form one straight line.  Be sure you do not arch your back here.  Do not let the ribs pop up.  You must keep your abdominals contracted up and into the spine for the entire exercise.  Squeeze the inner thighs together by squeezing the heels together throughout the exercise.  So now you are extended on the mat with arms reaching one direction and legs reaching in the other direction.
  1. Inhale, slightly nod your chin (but don’t bring it to the chest) and raise your arms back to the ceiling.  As your arms pass over your chest, lift your head as you begin to roll up and forward one vertebra at a time continuing to inhale.  Imagine that your lower body is strapped to the mat.  Do not lift legs or heels off the mat.
  1. Exhale as you stretch forward from your hips making sure your abdominals are contracted and your navel is up and into your spine.  Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed; shoulder blades down.  Continue to exhale as you reach beyond your toes maintaining strong flexion in the feet (reach through your heels).  Keep your stomach from touching your thighs.  Imagine you are forming a “C” shape with your spine as you reach past your toes. 
  1. Inhale, draw your stomach in (keep those shoulders relaxed!) and come to a seated position.  Exhale (keep in mind your “C” curve!) as you roll down letting your spine crawl down the mat one vertebra at a time; arms follow the same pattern on the way down until you are lying flat again with arms by your ears.  Repeat 5-8 times. 

 TIPS!!  Keep your legs glued to the mat and squeeze the inner thighs together through the entire exercise.  Draw the navel to the spine when rolling up and down.  Do not use your arms to “wing” yourself up.  This is a slow controlled movement.  Keep your feet glued to the mat if you are doing the modified version.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Next Group Run: Wednesday, December 3rd

Next group run is Wed., Dec. 3rd at 5pm...


Angela wishes she could be where is isn't so hot...