Hug a Runner!

G.O. H.A.R.D. is the clever acronym for Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day, which fell on Nov. 20 this year. The passionate runners at Run the Edge — which include Kara Goucher, her husband, Adam, and their long-time friend, Tim Catalano — built this concept from the idea that runners love each other almost as much as they love running. Running is one of the most supportive sports out there, and the mantra of this event is for runners and walkers to celebrate their fitness by embracing their challenge, embracing their journey and embracing each other. Running with heart. This is something I can get behind.

The event actually runs (pun intended) until Nov. 30, and participation is what you make it. It includes a virtual race, which has a real bib and medal! You pick the run you want to dedicate, then simply post a pic and spread the word. All proceeds from the virtual race fee go directly to Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to the social and emotional well-being of young girls through the positive effects of running. Total win/win, people.

Group hug!

Group hug!

It’s not too late to Hug a Runner! Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Join their Facebook group and follow along
  2. Register for the virtual race and go run
  3. Consider using a local race as your H.A.R.D. run (I’m doing the Thanksgiving Day 10K)
  4. Run your race and post a picture with your Hug a Runner bib and medal
  5. Spring for the T-shirt, it’s awesome
  6. Send virtual hugs to your runner friends — and don’t forget your supporters!

I’m excited to be a part of this celebration of running and camaraderie. One of the best parts of running is the sense of community it provides. We instantly connect with a total stranger if we see them struggling in a race. We hug each other when we record PR’s and hug a little harder when we don’t. And let’s not forget the hugs for the loved ones who drop us off at the start, rush like mad to see us on the course, and then meet us at the finish.

So, go! Run your virtual race, donate to Girls on the Run and give virtual and real hugs to the runners and supporters in your life that make it possible for you to chase your dreams. — Amie

 

 

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Trot in Style

How To Make a Turkey Trot Costume

I can find good, solid rationale to dress up in costume for almost any occasion. Halloween, holiday parties, birthday festivities, bachelorette parties, spirit week — you name it, I can find a costume for it. All you need is a theme and an event and voila! You’ve got a reason to dress up.

Well, my friends, such an occasion is just around the corner! It’s turkey trot time! Yahoo!

When it comes to running, costumes require special considerations:

  • Sweat wicking
  • Weather elements
  • Comfort
  • Chafing
  • And you know, like, RUNNING

So this Thursday, my husband and I will be embarking on our first ever Turkey Trot as a fun way to kick off Thanksgiving — and our holiday running streak. We’ll be tackling a hilly 5-mile course on the mean streets of Davenport, Iowa. The forecasted race temp: a balmy 19 degrees with wind.

Well, then.

So knowing we’ll need something warm, hill-worthy, comfortable and festive, we decided on (drumroll please) …

Pilgrims!

To bring our pace-breaking Puritans to life, all we needed were black base layers (a staple of any running wardrobe) and some white peel-and-stick felt.

Pilgrim Chick

Pilgrim Dude

Pilgrim Dude

And, as every costume devotee knows, the details make all the difference. Since we need to keep our giblets from freezing Thursday morning, I fashioned some Mayflower-worthy head gear. I cheated and purchased a lovely half-bonnet from Amazon for myself. I’ll attach it to my ear band. For my husband, I sewed a buckle on his fleece ear band.

Head Gear

Head Gear

We’ll wear white compression calf sleeves to complete the look, and we’ll eat copious amounts of turkey and stuffing afterward, just as our forefathers would have wanted.

Happy trotting, Angels. And happier Thanksgiving! — Aidz

We’re Going Streaking (Again)!

tumblr_mfyr3swKPg1qf5do9o1_400This holiday season, we’re embarking on a another running streak. It’s really simple. All you have to do is:

Run (at least) one mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. 

It’s just one mile. Only about 10 minutes of your day (OK fine, 15 minutes if you count the time it takes to change clothes).

Wherever you want. Whenever you want. Just sometime during the day, run a mile.

Why should you do it?

  1. It’s fun! We went streaking last year, and I don’t think any of us anticipated just how much we were going to enjoy it. In fact, I can’t wait to start streaking again. Squeee!
  1. You just might lose some weight – during Holiday Cookie Season, no less. Last year, our small test group lost or maintained weight during the streak, and it was not for lack of eating.
  1. You are guaranteed to be a happier, healthier, more ho-ho-holiday-tastic human being. And since it is the season to be jolly, this just makes good sense.

So come on, and join us! Here is the fine print of the rules:

  • This is a running streak, so you must spend your mile RUNNING*.
  • Don’t go too crazy. The point of the streak is to stay active and healthy during the holiday season — and NOT to get injured. I recommend keeping with whatever your current comfortable running schedule/mileage is, and only running one mile on your off days.
  • Get social with it. Tell people you’re streaking, and invite them to join you. The more, the merrier.
  • Got more questions? Runner’s World has answers.

Happy streaking! — Aidz

 

* Unless you are injured, and in that case, we’ll write you a pass. Just spend some time doing an exercise that you are physically capable of that feels like a running-mile worth of effort, and keep plugging daily until you’re cleared to run again.

Bad Angel Rule #188

Take a Snow Day.

When people tell me it’s nuts to run in the snow, I say, “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!” Running in a winter wonderland can be a great adventure. To help you navigate it properly, here are the pros and cons of running in the white stuff — and when you should avoid it all together.

Just a couple of crazy runners enjoying the snow!

Just a couple of crazy runners enjoying the snow!

Here are the pros:

  • It’s quiet. The snow blankets everything, muffling the noise of everyday life. Leave your headphones at home and enjoy the silence. And if you’ll be on the roads, you need to be able to hear cars anyway.
  • It’s beautiful. Forget about the inconvenience of the snowfall and just enjoy the scenery. Take it all in.
  • It’s a great workout, albeit slow. You can’t really do speed-work in the snow, because it’s like running on the beach. You’re strengthening your ankles, lower legs, feet and core in a whole new way.
    If the snow is at least a few inches deep, you can wear Yak Trax for stability.
  • You’ll feel amazing when it’s over. Running on a treadmill tends to make me feel insane, but running outside always lifts my spirits.
    You’ll also feel brave. You just confronted the elements head-on, and won.

 

Here are the cons:

  • Your feet will get wet. Wear Smartwool socks and get into dry, warm slippers when you get home.
  • If the snow is coming down while you’re running, your face will get wet. Not great. If you can, wear a billed hat.
  • You have to run on the roads. The streets will be clearer and more compacted than the sidewalks. But if there are cars out, it can be difficult to maneuver and you’ll end up in the snow bank anyway. Be careful.

 

Here’s when you should abort the mission:

I’ve been running in the winter for a long time. I spent many of those years running in Canada, where the winter drags on far too long. The only time I would avoid running in the snow is when there is ice involved. Nothing can stop you from slipping on ice, so make sure it’s ONLY snow before you head out the door.

Now get out there and enjoy that fresh powder. –Amie

The Mental Side of Physical Therapy

It’s been a little more than a month since I injured my left hip while running the Chicago Marathon. The diagnosis: Bursitis.

Bursitis is a (painful) condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs — or bursae — that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed, and it often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.

bursitis memeSo, I guess months of intense training capped by running faster than I ever had for 26.2 miles could be considered frequent repetitive motion.

The pain isn’t sharp or searing. It’s more of a dull, radiating sensation that, at its worst, spreads from my hip joint to my butt, lower back and down my IT band. It basically feels like I covered the outside of my left hip with Icy Hot. Sitting makes it worse, so as a desk jockey, that’s not great.

My physical therapist has forbidden me from running. Other things on my to-not-do list: crossing my legs, sleeping on my left side and sitting for more than an hour at a time. I sleep (on my right side) with a pillow between my legs and set a timer at my desk to make sure I’m getting up often to walk around and stretch. I go to physical therapy twice a week, do exercises, stretch and foam roll at home on the off days, ice before bed, and go to my weekly yoga for runners class. My doctor prescribed me anti-inflammatory meds, which I take sparingly.

But my hip doesn’t seem to be getting any better — and I’m starting to get worried.

I only logged about 15 miles total in the three weeks between the marathon and when PT began. Only once was my hip really in pain during any of those short runs, so I stopped. My physical fitness is dwindling rapidly, but at this point, I don’t even want to try the stationary bike or the elliptical for fear of making things worse.

Logically, I know it’s better to rest and make sure I heal properly before I get back at it. Emotionally, it’s not that easy. Anyone who’s dealt with an injury probably knows what I’m talking about. I’m at the place mentally where I want to trip every person I see out running and post a giant middle finger on every running-related Facebook status. I’ve gained weight. Honestly, I’m borderline depressed. (The suddenly-cold weather and lack of daylight ain’t helping things, either.)

But I’ll keep plugging away at physical therapy and try to stay positive. I have another marathon in April, but if I can’t race it the way I want to, that’s OK. Getting healthy is much more important. Logically, I know this. — Mags