As mentioned in Running Warehouse’s preview of the coming World Marathon Majors, Shalane Flanagan is waging an assault on Deena Kastor’s American record this Sunday at the Berlin Marathon. Shalane’s resume suggests that she has the talent necessary to attempt the feat, with her 10,000m record and medals at the Olympics and World Cross Country Championships. That said, the marathon record might be Deena’s greatest accomplishment in a spectacular career. Shalane may be the next in line of spectacular women holding the top spot on the list of American marathoners, but it is going to take a truly special performance. Deena reminded us last Sunday of the phenomenal athlete that she is the best way she knows how, by tearing up the roads.
After over a month of hibernation, Americans hit the track again at yesterday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet. In virtually every event of the meet, we got to see whether our American stars came in rested and ready to go or possibly stale from the time off. How they might fair against the rest of the world, many of whom were coming off of continental championships, added to the intrigue.
All told, USA won 6 of the 16 marquee events contested in the meet. These wins covered the whole range of track and field with Americans victories in the shot put, long jump, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, and 1500m. American women stole the show with four wins while men took the other two.
The shot put victory went to one of the elder statesmen of USA track and field: Reese Hoffa. Reese has been hurling heavy objects around the world for over a decade now and it is wonderful to see the former orphan still winning on some of the worlds biggest stages and continuing to build his legacy.
Tianna Bartoletta proved again that she is an incredible athlete with her win in the long jump. Formerly known as Tianna Madison, she was a world indoor and outdoor champion jumper but recently has seen more success in the 100 meters with her fourth place showing at the Olympics and the lead off leg on the world-record setting 4 X 100m in London. Her win in the long jump proves that she can still be a threat at multiple disciplines. Furthering her athletic resume, she also has international success in the bobsled.
Allyson Felix has been setting tracks around the world on fire since she was a high school student. She got another win in the Stockholm 200m to add to her endless collection and put her in the driver’s seat for the overall diamond league title in that event with the remaining competition.
Queen Harrison led a trio of Americans in the 100m hurdles. The Virginia Tech graduate was the youngest of the American winners in Stockholm and is truly finding her own this year with a big lead in the diamond league chase for the event four years after winning the Bowerman award (Heisman for track) in her senior year of college.
Michael Tinsley has been running on the international circuit for a long time now but the late-bloomer hadn’t made a World Championships team until he was selected to run for USA in London in 2012. He made the most of his first global championship with a silver medal in London and clearly isn’t slowing down two years later with this win in Stockholm.
Rounding out the 6 American victors is Jenny Simpson. Furthering the notion that she may never run over steeple barriers again like she did in college at Colorado, she beat a stout field in the 1500m in Stockholm and is proving that her world championship success from Daegu, a race that seemed to come out of nowhere, was no fluke and she is one of the most talented runners in the world.
With these wins and some other solid performances in other events, Americans proved that for the most part, they were more rested than rusty after the break. With three Diamond League events left and then the Continental Cup, that break may pay off for many of our favorites.
I’m not sure who struck first, but I have a contentious relationship with bees. Generally, we try to avoid each other, but sometimes things get ugly. I suppose we have some overlapping interests: sweet things, summer, and parks. I’m not sure where everything got out of hand, but I’m prepared to call a truce.
Apparently bees are dying at alarming rates and that I should be concerned. I do like to eat many things that require bees’ pollination, but why must they pull a kamikaze on me once or twice a year? I suppose a few bee stings is a small price to pay given my yearly nectarine intake. Since I’m not allergic, my angst may be a touch over-dramatic. Still, I’d prefer to avoid the hours of pain followed by days of itching that the stings induce. Apparently, there are 10 things that I (we) can do to avoid this fate:
- Don’t wear perfume or cologne. I find it very hard to imagine that I could ever be accused of smelling like a flower on a run.
- Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, especially floral prints. The running apparel trends of late are not helping me avoid bright clothing and this doesn’t look to change soon. Fortunately my closet is lacking floral prints though.
- Be careful what you eat outdoors, sugary foods attract bees and wasps. My short easy runs are pretty safe but those gels and electrolyte drinks may be making my long runs and track workouts dangerous, especially when I spill all over myself.
- Don’t run barefoot. My feet are safe here, sorry Born to Run fans.
- Try not to wear loose-fitting clothes (bees may accidentally end up mixed in the fabric). There’s not a lot of bee-trapping fabric in my life.
- Stay Still. That one may be a problem while running.
- Keep your car windows rolled up. I am a proponent for air conditioning but if my car was parked in the sun and I just finished a run… the windows are down while the AC catches up.
- Cover your trash. My aforementioned fondness for post-run air conditioning makes this mostly a non-issue when running from home. But, for the record, the trash is covered.
- Don’t hang out in the flower garden. Well, technically none of my current runs specifically include flower gardens, but I would certainly be kidding myself to think that my typical routes are devoid of flowering plants. Citrus trees and California Poppies are two prolific potential points of conflict.
- Call a professional to have unwanted bees, wasps, or hornets removed. Probably does not apply to the whole of Montana De Oro State Park.
With only 4 out of 10 of these recommendations accomplished, it looks like I have some work to do if I am ever going to fully mitigate my bee-sting risk. Considering a reported 1/3 of our food and 8 to 12 billion dollars worth of economic value depend bees, I should probably work to change my habits rather than wish ill upon bees (with one notable exception, Africanized bees are definitely worthy of our disdain.)
If you or people in your group are allergic or unsure, following the advice from this list a long with having an EpiPen available in emergency is important whenever participating in outdoor activities. Hopefully soon, bees will no longer be in the news for their decline and we can all enjoy the summer without conflict.
“Our job is improving the quality of life, not just delaying death” (Patch Adams).
Robin Williams was a favorite of many, and like too many that give the world so much, he reached his own end too soon. Robin learned that sharing his authentic personality was the most valuable gift he could share. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
Surely us runners relate to this: our hobby (lifestyle, passion, obsession) often starts before the sun rises, our toenails have been forsaken, and we will be perpetually sore and semi-injured for the rest of our lives. Williams said, “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” Surely we can all relate to the never-doing-that-race-again-but-if-I-paced-myself-hydrated-trained-better-was-healthy…dialogue in our heads. But when the weariness has passed, we will pick ourselves up and let the madness resume.
Robin had troubles and his death is an extreme and unfortunate reminder of the “bad times” he may have been battling. He leaves behind a devastated family and a few unanswered questions, but more enduring, he gave us some of the favorite characters of our lifetime. From the man that taught us to love poetry in Dead Poet’s Society, the cross dressing dad-nanny that fooled everyone in Mrs. Doubtfire, the genuine mentor that worked to tame the insecure genius in Good Will Hunting, a voice of happiness for our troops in Good Morning, Vietnam (and in life, traveling to military bases around the world to entertain), a blue-opaque genie that demonstrated how putting others needs before your own is a far greater wish than personal wealth and fame in Aladdin, and the adult-ish version of Peter Pan who in saving his children rediscovers his own youth lost in Hook.
In his passing, we look back at his life and enjoy the gifts he shared even more deeply. Traveling farther back in time before any of these characters lived, Robin was a high school track runner. He was good too! With a sub 2 minute half mile to his credit, his skills extended beyond acting. While this is certainly only a tiny footnote in his biography, it highlights the diversity that the running world can call its own. If one can draw some unfounded causation from a correlation, it may show that the same patience it takes to weather his personal ups and downs translated into breaking barriers with his feet.
So while we all wish that our favorite Genie might have waited a touch longer to take his own Magic Carpet for a ride, we can certainly be grateful for what he did give us and that he too wore shorts too short at one point.
Trailed by long blond hair and many of the best steeplechasers in the world, Evan Jager and Emma Coburn have set the standard for Americans. With no big global championships available this year, it is the perfect time for Americans to run all-out with nothing to lose. Our barrier jumping compatriots have taken advantage of the opportunity to build on their legacy, fearless of the world’s best.
While the steeplechase may not garner equivalent attention to some other track events, its unique nature and potential for disaster makes for some loyal fans. When the best from each gender in the country’s history are reaching their peak at the same time, the event is doubly exciting.
Jack’s Helping Hand is the inspiration behind the Running Warehouse’s Pozo 5k (held every Fourth of July at the historic Pozo Saloon, this year’s race recap can be found here). While gathering for some holiday morning sweat has its benefits, doing so for Jack’s Helping Hand make the efforts to organize the event each year particularly rewarding.
Jack Ready, like many kids, learned to love watching cartoons and playing games. Unlike most kids, Jack needed assistance to do these things while he also waged a battle with a rare form of brain cancer.
In memory of their son, Paul and Bridget Ready started Jack’s helping hand in an attempt to make sure San Luis Obispo County’s children and their families, who are inflicted with the life’s unexpected circumstances, get the support they need to maintain a semblance of normalcy.
Jack’s Helping Hand helps these families with support from all angles. From support for treatment related equipment, technology, travel and other unique needs to community development and networking between families facing similar difficulties, Jack’s Helping Hand brings hope to those where hope might be otherwise lost.
Jack’s Helping Hand has also been instrumental in building an infrastructure within the county to support those with special needs. The organization has developed toy libraries so that families can find special toys for their kids while saving money for other essentials. They have advocated for expanded pediatric cancer treatment within the county so that less children have travel for their treatment. They are in the process of building The Jack Ready Imagination Park, a place for all kids to stay active with play structures, sports fields, and an equestrian center that is accessible to all.
If you are a San Luis Obispo County resident and your family or a family you know of can use Jack’s Helping Hand, applications are here.
If you can help support Jack’s Helping Hand in any way – information is found here.
World Champion has a nice ring to it.
By virtue of a running career that spans most of my living memory – My running resume includes some cool stuff. However, until this past weekend, World Champion was not on it.
On Sunday, I tied myself to 12 other runners and we ran faster than any other group of 13 runners tied together. The result: my 12 compadres and me became the victors of this year’s World Centipede Running Championships. The championships are held in conjunction with the Bay to Breakers Road Race in San Francisco, California.
As runners, we experience both highs and lows. Sometimes, in the midst of training and getting ready for a race, our health takes priority, and the race needs to take a back seat. Our footwear buyer, Erik, faced one of those times prior to his target race this past weekend. We took some time to check up with him and get his feedback on what happened and his future plans.
So we hear that race weekend did not go exactly as planned. What happened?
A: Two weeks out from my target race (Rio del Lago 100) I started showing symptoms of a cold (stuffy nose, cough, etc.). I had already started my taper, so my training was already cut back. I focused on resting a little more, hydrating, and taking different supplements to fight off the illness. After a couple bad days I started feeling better and thought I was in the clear. The Monday before my race, after a relaxing weekend, I thought I was going to be fine, but by mid-day I was feeling a little worse than the previous day. By Tuesday I realized that a trip to the doctor was definitely in order. A quick trip revealed a case of bronchitis and a dose of antibiotics, along with a warning to not attempt my upcoming race.
At what point did you decide it was best to not run in the race?
A: I think deep down I knew that once I went to the doctor on Tuesday and got a prescription, that the race was not going to happen. I talked to a couple friends with running/medical backgrounds to get additional input, and by Thursday I made the final decision to not race.
It was a tough decision since it was my first DNS (Did Not Start) in 15 years of ultra racing. Also, knowing that I was fit and that it was going to be a great day at the race (which it was) didn’t help make the decision any easier.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering doing a race while sick?
A: I think it really comes down to two factors, how sick are you and what are your performance goals. A stuffy nose may not prevent you from starting and may have no real performance impact. But, on the other end of things, if you are really sick and looking to race, you may compromise your future health and have no realistic chance of finishing. In between those two extremes you have to decide what your level of sickness may be and what the potential results could be from racing. If you toe the line when sick you have to ask yourself if you are okay with a decreased performance and are you okay with the potential for a longer recovery period.
Do you have any futures races planned yet?
A: I’m taking a couple weeks off and then looking ahead to the Carlsbad half marathon in January. It will be nice to hit the roads for a couple months. After that I’ll be looking ahead to a full Spring/Summer racing season on the trails. That season will get fully planned after the Western States 100 lottery on December 7th (keeping my fingers crossed).
All of us here at RW are wishing Erik a speedy recovery and good luck in his future races!
2 Days to Save
As we’ve done for the past few years now, we’ll have sales on Black Friday (November 29) and Cyber Monday (December 2). If you only have one day to shop our site, Monday’s definitely the day. Our Black Friday sale will be fairly limited and focused on a select list of products. The big deals will hit by 3:00 am Eastern on Cyber Monday, with all sale items priced at least 30% off MSRP. There should be something for every runner on your list!
How to Find the Sales
Links to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will be posted on our homepage (www.runningwarehouse.com) as soon as the sales are live. We’ll also announce them on Facebook and our other social channels. If you have any questions about the sale or need any help, you can reach out to us at 800-606-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still haven’t had your fill after these upcoming sales, keep an eye out for our annual 12 Days of Savings, starting this year on Friday, December 6 and running through December 18.
Zensah is a leading brand in compression and support running apparel. We’re giving you a chance to ‘dress to compress’ in some of the brand’s popular calf/leg sleeves – for free! Added bonus – check out all the great colors we stock:
This contest is now closed. Congrats to our Zensah Leg Sleeves winners!
- Ken in Missouri
- Matan in Illinois
- Jeff in Pennsylvania
- Amanda in Florida
- Noah in Michigan
- Kathy in Wisconsin
Thanks everyone for entering and look for our next contest soon!