Routes and Photos

Sat 9 July
Chestertown, Md

Sun 17 July
Piney Orchard

July 24 July

Sat 30 July
Ft Meade, Md

Sat 6 Aug

Sat 10 Sep
Crumpton, Md

Sat 10 Sep
Lanyard, Md

Sat 10 Sep
Great Mills, Md

Sun 11 Sep
Balt. Md

Sat 17 Sep
Solomon's Island, Md

Sat 17 Sep
Rockbridge, Md

Sat 24 Sep
Glen Burnie, Md

Sat 24 Sep
Millersville, Md

Sun 25 Sep
KTS 5k
Kent Island

Sun 25 Sep
Quiet Waters

Sat 1 Oct
Crownsville, Md

Sun 16 Oct
Millersville, Md

Sat 22 Oct
Millersville, Md

The KENT ISLAND RUNNING GROUP now has our own website; check it out


Rosaryville logo
Come join us for a 'day in the woods with friends'.  Your choice of 10K, 10M, 25K,or 50K at the Rosaryville State Park
Sunday 24 July

To benefit


 Believe it or not, Lynn pointed out this article to me......not need to elaborate on her comment to it.

As far back as the Greeks and Romans, humans have documented the belief that there is a strong link between exercise and intelligence. But in the last two decades, neuroscience has begun to catch up with Thales and Juvenal's idea that a sound mind flourishes in a healthy body. While the studies unite in telling us that running will makes us smarter, it is only partly true. The process is more complicated and reveals more about the wonderful complexities of both the human body and its evolution. Although the science might be helping us to understand how the mechanisms work, an important question remains: why does running make us smarter?
Two studies, one published by Finnish researchers in February and the other in Cell Metabolism inJune, have expanded our understanding of the mechanisms involved in running and the ways that it enhances memory and cognition. Before these, it was understood that exercise induced a process called neurogenesis (where new brain cells are created) in a part of the brain involved in memory formation and spatial navigation, known as the hippocampus. brain
While intense exercise will create brain cells, they are basically stem cells waiting to be put to use. Exercise doesn't create new knowledge; rather, it gives you the mental equivalent of a sharpened pencil and clean sheet of paper. It prepares you for learning, but you have to actively do some learning yourself, too. Integrating exercise into your working or studying day would seem like a sensible option, if this particular benefit is of interest to you.
What the new research tells us is that it is not just any exercise that will create new brain cells for you. In the study by Finnish researchers, they discovered that only certain kinds of exercise are likely to result in the growth of new brain cells in adults.

According to the researchers, the exercise needs to be "aerobic and sustained". But they also looked at the neurobiological effects of the currently popular "high intensity interval training" (HIT), as well as resistance training (weightlifting). While the team discovered a minor response after HIT there was no response at all after the resistance training. So HIT will have a small impact on cognitive abilities, while weightlifting, it seems, will definitely not make you smarter. 

(The weightlifters have Arnold Schwarzenegger in their camp. Runners have the mathematical genius capable of running a marathon in 2.4 hours, Alan Turing, in theirs. As a committed distance runner, I'm saying nothing ...)

Brain's Miracle-Gro
Since the 1990s, it has been understood that exercise also assists in learning because the activity produces a protein calledbrain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF promotes the growth of new neurons and supports existing ones. John Ratey, a Harvard professor of psychiatry, called it "Miracle-Gro for the brain".
The Cell Metabolism study examined Cathepsin B (CTSB) protein secretion during running. By assisting in the expression of BDNF, this protein had beneficial effects on cognition, specifically enhanced adult brain cell growth in the hippocampus and spatial memory function.
The science is just settling into its pace and I am sure that in the next few years more and more research will appear to make sense of our deep love for this most simple and natural form of exercise. But there's still that question: why does the body need to reward us with greater cognitive function and more effective spatial memory and awareness just because we run?
I think the answer is to be found in natural selection. We have not evolved to be healthy, or to have a nice experience on this earth. Evolution is only really interested in the human body staying alive long enough to procreate. From that point on, natural selection is more or less disinterested in our well-being. When we look at these cognitive rewards in this way what do they tell us about ourselves and the human body?

Outrunning Your Knowledge
The human body has been around for about 2m years, and only in the last few thousand of these have we become literate - map-makers that can walk, make notes, and record journeys. For most of our history we have not had the technology that allows us to outsource this heavy cognitive work to a piece of paper, or a GPS.
As a child, the 19th-century poet, John Clare, desired to walk to the edge of the horizon to find new worlds beyond. He wanted, he said, to walk all the way out of his knowledge. I think that what these discoveries about running and improving cognitive abilities tell us is that the hunter-gatherers of prehistory had to have the ability to outrun theirs.

John Clare outwalked his knowledge. Wikimedia
The many tweaks to the human body that make it possible for us to run for 10km on a hot day (standing on two feet, with the ability to sweat to keep cool) mean that even though we are slow in a sprint, we can chase down almost any animal on the planet to the point of exhaustion over longer distances. This is called persistence hunting, and it was a risky activity because it required hunters to leave behind the places they knew in the determined pursuit of prey. With no map-making technologies, the navigational skills of the brain had to step up and do all the work. So those people who adapted this brain cell growth response to distance running were more likely to find their way back to their tribe, and consequently, to survive.

The growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus and the enhancement of spatial memory that is brought on by endurance running is basically an evolutionary safety net for when you have outrun your knowledge, when you have run so far that you no longer know where you are and you need to learn, fast. It is a mechanism that makes information uptake easiest when historically you might have been tired, lost, and at your most vulnerable.

So lace up, step out the door, and prepare yourself for the rewards of an out of knowledge experience.

Advice often given regarding improvement is, "Work on your weaknesses, not your strengths." It's good advice, which can be applied to running on trails, especially the downhills. For new or even experienced runners, dealing with downhills can be the most difficult aspect of trail running to master. If you are one those runners who usually passes competitors on the uphills, only to have them fly by on the downhills, here are a few tips to help you maintain that hard-earned lead, or simply to enjoy running on the trails without worrying about ending up face-first on the trail

Relax-and don't forget to breathe
Like anything else in life, learning to be a proficient downhill runner takes practice. Perhaps the most important aspect of downhill running on technical trails is to learn to run with ease and confidence, which results from letting go of unnecessary fear and tension and allowing your body relax. At first you will need to remind yourself to keep your body from tensing, by shaking out your arms, legs, and shoulders. With time, it will happen more naturally.
The focus, concentration and anxiety experienced by those new to trail downhills can also cause one to forget to maintain proper breathing-and it is awfully tough run well if you aren't breathing! Remind yourself to take deep, regular breathes. It will help your maintain a steady stride, conserve precious energy, and relax your body.

Assess the conditions
Weather affects everything, including downhill trail running. Dry trails are usually the easiest on which to run, but not always. Smooth rocks covered with slick, dry leaves can be as slippery as an ice skating rink. Similarly, humidity can make for very challenging conditions, adding a thin layer of slickness to roots and rocks. Conversely, pouring rain can be better than a light rain, as it can wash the humidity and slickness off the trail, roots, and rocks. If you are sure everything will be wet, it can make for easier negotiation, as illogical as it sounds. Of course, rain can turn a trail of pure dirt into a quagmire of shoe-sucking mud, which can make for very slow going, even on the downhills. And for those who traverse the trails in winter conditions, snow can be the biggest challenge of all, since it is slippery and obscures what lies beneath-often a layer of ice.

Learn to fall the right way
At one time or another, we are all bound to go from vertical to horizontal on the trail. Not all downhill falls on the trail are equal, however; some are more painful than others. Those resulting in broken bones and/or loss of consciousness are obviously to be avoided at all costs. So what should you do if you feel yourself careening out of control on a steep, rocky downhill? First, try to remain upright, and try not to panic. You might stagger forward for several strides, but will still be able to gain a solid foot placement that will keep you from tumbling onto the ground. Using a tree to arrest your forward momentum can work if you are not moving too quickly, but can result in injury if you are. At best, you will learn what it is like to be tackled a 250-pound linebacker!
If you feel you are going to fall and nothing you can do will keep you upright, there are two things you can do to limit the damage. 
-First, try your best not to tense your entire body. Of course, that is easier said than done, when everything in your brain is preparing your body for the pain of crashing into the ground. But a tense body will almost always absorb more damage than a relaxed one. 
-Second, try to roll into the fall if you can manage it. Let your body fall forward, landing with your shoulder and rolling onto your back, while protecting your head and arms. Of course, if you should land on a pointed rock, it will still be pretty painful. Trying to break your fall with your hands, knees, hips, or worst of all-your head, is an invitation to serious injury.

Better balance-it's not all in your legs
In all kinds of running, even on flat roads, the arms help balance the body, in order to allow for proper posture and a comfortable stride. Try running without your arms sometime to see just how much you use your upper body for balancing. This is especially true on the trail. Learn to use your arms and upper body in maintaining balance on downhill trails; it can add to greatly to your expertise.

Learn to feel the trail with your feet
Even if your eyes can't see exactly where or what you are landing on, your feet can. Practice and experience will help you learn to "feel" the trail with your feet. You will get to know by feel how solid or tenuous your foot placement is, and whether you can push off strongly with your next stride, if you need to chop it to regain your balance, or if you need to stop completely. Experienced trail runners know that feel is at least, if not more important than actually seeing where you are landing. Visually assessing the viability of each foot placement will make for slow going on the trail.

Let momentum be your friend
A key aspect of mastering any kind of downhill running is learning to run without the "brakes" on. This is especially true on roads, where there are no impediments to your forward progress, but is also important on trails. Leaning backwards can seem like the safest way to avoid falling, but in actuality it only makes negotiating the terrain more difficult. A far better running style is to lean slightly forward-not so much that your center of gravity is too far forward and you are out of control, but enough to let gravity help you. This, combined with improved footwork, will greatly enhance your speed on the downhill trails. Of course, it takes time to gain confidence in this kind of technique, so be patient and make small, incremental improvements in your downhill posture.
Obviously, gravity makes running downhills easier then going uphill. On those trails that feature switchbacks, maximizing your forward momentum can be a real energy saver. Maintain your pace right up until the turn on a switchback, and then plant your foot strongly as you pivot into the turn, without coming to a stop. On many switchbacks it is unnecessary to stop or even interrupt your pace in order to keep going.

All rocks are not created equal
There is a saying that the difference between trail running in the Eastern part of the USA, as opposed to the West, is that when you kick the rocks in the East, they don't move. Anyone who has felt the stinging pain of stubbing his or her toe on a sharp rock embedded in the ground knows how true this can be. The point is that you should know the general layout of the terrain on which you arc running; it can and should affect your approach to downhill running. Scrambling down a pitch of loose rock and dirt is a lot different than hopping from big boulder to big boulder. Optimal technique will vary on each surface. Don't forget too, that just because you can't see it docs not mean its not there. On some trails, rocks and other impediments are very will hidden in the underbrush and under trees and roots.

Getting to the root of the matter
In addition to rocks, many trails feature pesky tree roots, which as we all know, definitely do not move when you kick them. Sometimes they seem to be strategically placed to trip up an unsuspecting runner. Obviously, lifting the feet up and over roots will prevent such trips, but that is easier said than done.
With practice, a combination of sighting and feel for the trail will allow you to avoid being tripped up by tree roots, without slowing your stride to "high jump" every root on the trail. In addition, roots can be as slick as rocks when wet with rain and/ or humidity, so be careful when attempting to plant your foot on a root to push off.

Choose the right shoes
There are all kinds of trail shoes out there, and they make all kinds of claims as to what they can do. It is important to have a sturdy shoe in order to ward off unwanted sharp objects and to cushion hard blows to the feet. On the other hand, lighter, more flexible shoes will provide a better feel for the trail. It comes down to an individual choice. 1 have yet to find a shoe that will offer a completely sure grip on the slickest of rocks and roots, but perhaps someday one will be invented.

Enjoy the experience!
Downhill running can be an exhilarating experience. The feeling of moving fast and covering a lot of ground quickly can provide a big mental boost in both training and racing. Mastering the skill of negotiating tricky terrain can provide a real sense of accomplishment and make trail running much more enjoyable. So get out there and let the good times roll!

Test Your Posture 
(from Peak Running Performance)
The running and rehab experts tell us that we have flat feet, that one leg is longer than the other, or that we have too much or not enough of an arch in our low back. You should be asking the following questions if you have heard any of the above: Why are my feet flat? Why is one leg longer than the other? Why is the arch in my back excessive? These are great questions that we all should be asking and, unfortunately, you will probably hear that you were born this way and there is nothing you can actively do to correct these deviations. This is simply not true. As for fixing the root cause of your pain, it is a matter of figuring out which of the many possible factors is ultimately responsible.
With an overwhelming majority of people suffering from lower back pain at one time or another, an athletic lifestyle offers no guarantee against the problem. These simple postural tests will give you a baseline of where your body ranks on the functional scale.
  1. Standing Relaxed Posture. Change into a pair of running shorts and no shirt (males), running bra (females). Stand in front of a full-length mirror and visually assess your standing relaxed posture. Ask yourself two simple questions: 1. Are your shoulders level with each other? 2. Are your feet pointing straight ahead? (5 points for both feet pointed straight ahead; 5 points for shoulders being level.) If you scored a 10, your deviations are minor. If not, you can be assured that these postural deviations will eventually lead you down a path to pain.
  2. Balance Relative to Hip Stability. Stand on one leg with your eyes open and try to hold the balanced position for 20 seconds. Any gross arm movements away from the side of your body demonstrate hip instability. This hip instability will eventually cause an improper strike of your foot during running and lead to muscle and joint pain.
  3. Flexibility. How far can you reach when trying to touch your toes from a standing position? Try not to bounce or bend your knees. This test will give you a baseline of your low back, hip and hamstring flexibility. More importantly, it is a test of how your pelvis moves during the forward bending flexion demand. Remember the old sit-n-reach test from junior high school? You could either touch your toes or you couldn't. How is your range of motion now? "Low back and abdominal work must be accompanied with specific upper back and specific lower extremity leg work in order to b effective." 
REMEMBER - You are an experiment of one :-) 

7th Annual Harvest Festival is Saturday, September 10th from 11 am to 6 pm  
The day starts with the Vineyard Dash 5k is a scenic trail-run through the vineyards at Layton's Chance. ! Hosted by Layton's Chance Vineyard & Winery and the Iron Club of Maryland. You can register for the race at
It will be a day-long celebration of the end of our Harvest season! There are plenty things to do for the adults and kids a like.
Food and craft vendors, hayrides,grap-stomping competition, agricultural demonstrations, grape stomping, moon bounce, fishing in our pond, and so much more! Live concert with Barren Creek who plays all your favorite oldies and classic rock favorites from 3 pm to 6 pm.

$7/person 21+ with advance tickets sales
$10/person 21+ at the door
4225 New Bridge Road
Vienna, MD 21869

Registration is NOW open for the  10K ACROSS the BAY


Bay Bridge Run Entry
January 2nd

CLICK HERE to register

bluepoint cat

SPRING/SUMMER Moore's Marines Long Distance Training
Kent Island Running CLUB
Peninsula Pacers Running CLUB
Anne Arundel County STRIDERS
 Week #233, 9 JULY 2016


30 Years of MOORE'S MARINES 

Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that

 the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. 

In running such long and taxing distances they answer 

a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are ..."

- David Blaikie 

ALERT - WE now have 6 months of Port A Pot coverage left. (see below).
NOTE:  The 2016 MARATHON, HALF MARATHON, and ULTRA Training Plans are posted - ta da.

A SPECIAL THANKS to Derek Ammons for his donation to our Port A Pot!!!
The ROSARYVILLE TRAIL RUNS are coming up - Sunday 24 July at Rosaryville State Park near Upper Marlboro, MD.(about 30 minutes from here).  Distances of 50k, 25k, 10M, and 10k.  Start is 7 am. This is a great way to get introduced to trail running or to get in a good training run for the JFK 50 -or- volunteer and help make it a great day for the beginners and novice trail runners.  If you can help out, let me know.
The days are getting longer which means more time to get a TRACK SESSION in before it turns dark.  We should start looking at getting our speed work session done. 
Note: If you have an article, link, tip, race accomplishment or milestone to pass on to the group, please let me know. Use Annapolis Trail Runners Facebook Group to share tips and questions directly with everyone in the group.
      Tom Nelson has diligently collected GPS maps of the many routes we use from Truman.  Here is a link to his excellent Runningahead routes: 
 Click here for:  


Play and exercise might be the safest and most effective means of treating or even preventing ADHD, at least that's the hope behind a fledgling research partnership between Stanford University scientists and Specialized Bikes.

With increasing rates of ADHD diagnoses in the U.S. and growing aversion to chemical treatments, the prospect of a natural remedy for hyperactivity and poor academic performance in children would be welcomed by parents and educators alike.
The Specialized Foundation, launched in 2015 by Specialized founder Mike Sinyard, who also copes with ADHD, announced this month it would provide a "gift" to Stanford University researchers to formally study the observed links between cycling-focused exercise and improved cognition among children with the disorder.
The amount of the gift was not immediately disclosed.
"As a company of passionate riders, we intuitively recognize the benefits of exercise and cycling on our own abilities to focus and wanted to learn more about using cycling and exercise as a potential new symptom management tool for children and their families to consider," Sinyard said in a statement.
According to Dr. Allan Reiss, a Stanford researcher with a background in brain development and disorders that affect children, this particular study will be among the first to investigate the potential link between cycling and brain function among children.
"Right now there is a gap in the scientific community around ADHD," he said. "Physicians and families have observed the benefits that physical activities can have for some children with ADHD, but the formal research to quantify and explain those benefits are lacking."

Could exercise like cycling be a non-chemical solution to ADHD? A new study aims to find out; photo by Ethan Hickerson
"We are excited about what this research can uncover, possibly identifying which children will most benefit from using physical activities like cycling to treat their ADHD, and how we can structure their activities to be the most impactful on their cognitive functions," he added.
Bruce Martens, a student of psychotherapy and coach with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), which works to provide youth and adolescents and alternative to competitive team sports, has been extolling the cognitive, physical, and social benefits cycling among kids for a long time.
"Not only is cycling creating healthy bodies by providing sustained physical exercise, it also helps sustain kids' level of activity and confidence. No one rides the bench in a bike race, so no one quits. They stick with it and even if they don't win the race, they're out there the whole time, having fun."



If you're like me, you hate taking tests. They can be a source of great anxiety. However, some exams help us learn more about a certain subject, like running, for instance. Since so many of us here love running, these tests can help us enjoy our sport more and perform better in it. Here are six simple tests that, when routinely performed, will give you more data on how your body is reacting to your training and/or racing load.

The Talk Test


Sometimes it's just best to put away the watch and run by feel. Weather, altitude, terrain, and our own emotional and physical states affect the paces of our runs. Instead of straining to maintain a speed driven by a device, try implementing the 'talk test.' This tool will ensure our efforts fall appropriately in line with the workout's purpose.
Greg McMillan, who has a master's degree in exercise science and is the founder of McMillan Running, discusses the importance of the talk test in a recent Competitor piece. "The talk test is a way for all runners to connect with pace, heart rate, and effort," says McMillan. "It's a great tool to use during adverse conditions like when it's hot, humid, or windy. In these conditions, it's easy for pace to lag but that doesn't mean you aren't getting in a good workout. The talk test removes the pressure to hit a pace and keeps your training dialed in so you get in your best workout no matter the conditions."
How does it work? "You simply use your ability to talk to gauge your effort," explains McMillan. During easy, recovery, or relaxed long runs you should be able to hold a regular conversation. Hills may make this difficult at times, but for the majority of an endurance-based workout you should be able to chat it up with your training partner or sing your favorite song. When you can only get out one or two short sentences at a time, you've moved into the stamina-based training zone. These tempo-like workouts are tough but not as difficult as when effort is ratcheted up once again. When you can only utter one or two words at a time you are now in the speed-based training zone. "These efforts do involve lots of huffing and puffing so phrases like 'too fast' or 'pick it up' are about all you can get out during speed workouts," continues McMillan. "By the final training zone, the sprint zone, all you can muster are grunts, moans, and the occasional 'aack.'"
The Talk Test
Endurance zone: Conversational pace
Stamina zone: Speaking in one or two sentences
Speed zone: Speech is relegated to one or two words
Sprint zone: Grunts, moans, "Aack!"

The Single-Leg Hop Test


Though we use both our legs to run, only a single limb does all the work at any one time. Running is the act of jumping from one leg to another. The 'single-leg hop test' is a functional self-screening exam that allows an athlete to determine if an ache or pain (in the knee, hip, calf, or plantar, for example) is reason or not to cease running. The test is also a good indicator as to when it may be appropriate to resume running when returning from injury. "If an athlete cannot hop on a single leg due to significant pain, they have some tissue that is sensitive to the loading demands," says Dr. AJ Gregg, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at HYPO2 High Performance Sport Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. "If this is the case, it's unlikely the runner will be able to run as well without risking further or continuation of injury. If you can't pass the 'single-leg hop test,' you shouldn't run."
How do we perform the test? There are three steps to the single-leg hop test. Complete the three steps for each leg. Start by hopping up and down a dozen times in place on one leg. If pain remains below a 2-3 out of a 0-10 scale (where 0 = no pain and 10 = excruciating pain), then you may advance to step two of the test. On the same leg, hop forward at a comfortable distance and then back to your starting spot 6-12 times. Again, if the pain remains below a 2-3, you may progress to the final step. Finally, test your lateral movement. Hop to your left on the same leg at a comfortable distance and then back to your right 6-12 times. If you're still under a 3 on your 10-point pain scale you may proceed with your run. If you question your results, seek the advice of a specialist.
Single Leg Hop Test
Step 1: Hop up and down on one leg 12 times
Step 2: Hop forward and back on same leg 6-12 times
Step 3: Hop left and right on same leg 6-12 times
None to negligible pain? Go for a run, but stop if the pain ever exceeds a 3 on the 10-point pain scale. If not, take the day off.

The Morning Heart-Rate Test


Our heart is truly a window into our running. Specifically, monitoring our morning heart rate (HR) can reveal gains in fitness and, alternatively, act as a reliable indicator of overtraining. "The American Heart Association defines a normal resting heart rate as 60-100, but athletes typically run 40-60," says Dr. Jeffrey Brettler, who has practiced medicine for more than 20 years at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center in California and has completed nearly 50 ultramarathons, including Western States and Angeles Crest. "As a runner's conditioning improves, resting heart rate will decrease and then eventually plateau (in the above range). You can use resting heart rate to assess both short-term recovery after a strenuous workout or monitor it for long-term trends. An increase of 5-10 beats/minute is often an early sign that more recovery is needed."
What's the ideal protocol? "Begin by checking your morning heart rate daily for at least a few weeks to establish a baseline," suggests Brettler. "It's then reasonable to check it periodically (at least weekly) throughout your training season." Get your heart-rate reading as soon as you wake in the morning and record it. Electronic heart-rate monitors come in all shapes and sizes, but you can just as easily check your pulse on your neck or wrist. Keep in mind that our pulse rate can be influenced by many elements. "Other than conditioning or overtraining," warns Brettler, "heart rate will be affected by illness, especially when fever is present, hydration status, and certain medications."
Morning HR Test
Step 1: Collect two weeks of baseline morning heart-rate data.
Step 2: Revisit morning heart rate once a week.
Step 3: Note any changes in morning heart rate. A lower heart rate = possible fitness gains. A raise in heart rate of 5-10 beats/minute = you need more recovery due to overtraining, outside-of-running stress, dehydration, illness, etc.

The Urine Test


The color of a runner's urine can be used to reveal details about their current health. "Urine color is a reasonable indicator of hydration status," says Brettler. "However, it can be affected by certain foods (e.g., beets) or medication, including vitamins."
Normal urine color is pale to darker yellow depending on our hydration level. "Hydration status, especially during an ultra, can be a more complicated topic," explains Brettler. "For example, exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH), although rare, is a well described and very serious phenomenon and is usually associated with overly aggressive hydration. Drinking according to thirst has become a reasonable approach to help minimize EAH."
The test is easy: observe the color of your urine the next time you have to go.
The Urine Test
Clear: You're drinking too much water: cut back or increase your sodium intake.
Pale or transparent yellow: You're normal.
Dark yellow: You're still okay, but drink some water soon.
Amber: You're not getting enough water. Hydrate now.
Pink or red: This may indicate internal bleeding (often from bladder trauma in ultrarunners). Transient bleeding is common in ultrarunning. However, contact your doctor if it persists.
Brown: May be a sign of rhabdomyolysis or muscle breakdown that can cause kidney failure. Contact your doctor if this persists.
Cloudy: This usually indicates an infection. Contact your doctor if it persists.
Foamy: Possibly a sign of the kidneys leaking protein. Contact your doctor if it persists.

The Mood Test


I don't know about you, but some of my worst runs can be blamed exclusively on my state of mind. In fact, the majority of my DNFs are the result of a poor mental outlook and not a physical injury. "Our moods are rarely governed by reason, yet they can be overwhelming and can color our experiences," says Shannon Thompson who has a master's degree in applied positive psychology and works as a Mental Performance Consultant in Flagstaff, Arizona. "Moods are wild, unpredictable, and often not to be trusted as accurate representations of reality."
Mood directly impacts our running performance and overall well-being. For example, Thompson discusses how emotions impact race-specific decision-making. "When we are in a positive mood we work constructively toward a goal," explains Thompson. "During an ultra, a positive mood will lead us to adhere to our fueling and race plans, we'll respond better to unexpected struggles (a fall or wrong turn), and view adversity (hills or competitors) as welcome challenges as opposed to threats. We're also more creative, which enables us to develop solutions to problems that pop up. Negative moods can predispose us to feelings of helplessness. We are more likely to give up or drop out after a fall, getting off course, or interpreting a low-energy stretch as a lack of fitness rather than a fueling issue. Negative thoughts leave us unmotivated during tough moments."
How do we foster a positive outlook? "The most useful tool for an athlete is to determine who they are at their best," says Thompson. "By identifying these 'at-their-best' thoughts and actions and tracking them in a log, this will help the runner be that athlete consistently." Start by identifying 'who' you want to be as an athlete. (This can be someone you admire.) Write down a three-word summary of this 'best' athlete. Next, reflect on your best races or workouts. Record 3-5 words that describe you during these performances. (They may overlap with the words in the previous step.) Finally, create an outline of what you need to do daily-prior to, during, and after training-to become the best you can be. "This exercise is maximally effective when practiced daily, or prior to hard workouts and races," recommends Thompson. "Just like any skill, when we practice something regularly, we're more likely to be able to count on it during crucial moments, like a race."
The Mood Test
Step 1: Determine who you are at your best.
Step 2: Identify and record the actions you need to take and elements you need to think about in order to better your mood.
Step 3: Do this before tough workouts and races.
Step 4: Practice this exercise frequently.

The Shoe Test


There is little evidence that confirms normal shoe wear causes injury. However, after almost five years in the running-shoe industry, I've observed that training on worn-out shoes certainly will not improve your chances of remaining injury-free. "Why take the chance?" asks Las Vegas' Red Rock Running Company owner Josh Brimhall. "Shoes do wear out. The cushioning and support they were designed to provide will degrade with each use. The risk of an overuse injury increases when the shoe breaks down."

Shoe companies use the word 'resiliency' when referring to the life span of the materials that make up your footwear. "Most running shoes will carry you 300-500 miles safely. After that they'll lose their resiliency," says Brimhall. "If your feet are starting to feel beat up or you see wear and tear (holes in the upper or an exposed midsole), it's time to think about getting a new pair."
What's the best way to track the use of your running shoes? Technology abounds. Apps like Garmin and Strava provide 'shoe trackers' that enable you to track the mileage on each pair of shoes you wear. Or track shoe use in a spreadsheet or paper log. Once you near 300 miles, inspect your shoes for excessive wear.
The Shoe Test
Step 1: Track the miles run in each pair of shoes.
Step 2: When you near 300 miles, inspect the shoe for wear and tear. Also consider how your feet and legs feel after each run.
Step 3: Holes in the upper, peeling of the outsole, the disappearance of the outsole (a visible midsole), and degradation of general support and cushioning are indications that you're in need of new shoes. Sore feet, knee twinges, or calf tightness could also warrant a shoe replacement.
It's not rocket science. Start today and take a brief moment to evaluate your current physical well-being, mental status, and gear. These simple tests might just save you injury downtime and let you know if you need to modify your training and/or recovery regimen.
  • Do you have any 'tests' you perform on yourself to help you measure your running health and well-being?
  • Do you conduct any of these six tests or something similar to them on a regular basis?
  • How do you otherwise keep tabs on yourself and your running health? 


coming soon  HERE 


This Weeks WORKOUTS 


 Tuesdays/Wednesday AHS Track is back on 'track'.


-   START 6:30pm   

 Our HILL and aTRACK sessions will take on a more maintenance focus.  Unless you have a GOAL Race coming up; it is important to continue doing a high intensity workout (HILL and/or TRACK) once a week.  It will make you faster for next years races.

Alternate 4 to 6 x 800 YASSO's  with 10 TRUMAN PAPA BEAR type HILL REPEATS - be sure to do these safely with plenty of light.


Be sure to work hard to stay consistent and steady. Always do 1 Mile EASY Cool Down. Steady - Steady - Steady - Relax


During the Warm up do some Knee lifts on one curve and Butt-kicks on the other curve, and jog the straight-aways. THIS is IMPORTANT. 


Saturday Run 

***START AT 7:00am 


Like keeping up with high intensity workouts, it is important to keep up with the long runs once a week.  Like track and hills will make you faster - keeping up the Long Slow runs will make you stronger.  You do not need to log 20 mile runs every week.  10 mile runs, with a bump to 15 miles every three weeks.  This will keep your BASE Building going and put you at a higher fitness level when you start the next Phase of Periodization Training.

 Remember to Record time, distance, HR, how you felt, humidity, temp for comparison later.


Hope to see you at the track.     



Tom Nelson has constructed a site to show our routes and water stop locations for the long run coming up each week.  You can indicate your intention to run and see who else is planning on showing up - one more incentive for getting there. Check back to the following website later in the week for the latest info on water support:



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 Stay Healthy;   


   c: 410-570-0003