Routes and Photos

Sun 12 Mar
Casey Jones SHAMROCK 5k
La Plata, Md

Sun 19 Mar
Anne Arundel STRIDERS
Piney Orchard, Md

Sat 25 Mar
Bowie, Md

Sat 1 Apr
5M, 10M
LaPlata, Md

Sat 8 Apr
Adkins Arboreteum, KI

Sat 22 Apr
Cape St Claire

Sun 23 Apr
Glen Burnie

Sat 29 Apr
Sandy Hook

Sun 30 Apr
Quiet Waters Park

Sat 20 May
METAvivor Adventure Race
Hillsmere Community Beach

Sat 10 Jun
Rock Hall, Md

Sat 10 Jun
Quiet Waters

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

FOR ME, THE ANSWER IS -  "Define 'Healthy'

f you're a long-distance runner -  ultrarunner, you have probably noticed that our sport has become a little more mainstream in the past few years - certified courses, championships, prize money, etc. Not 100% mainstream, yet, but definitely more like "normal" sports. Among runners, the idea of pushing past the marathon is no longer that insane, and many have embraced the idea or added it to their bucket list.
With that new acceptance comes studies and examinations from the rest of the world:
"Is ultrarunning healthy?"
"Are these runners going to live long?"
Ironically, many of the studies takes a turn many runners wouldn't have expected.  Instead of doom and gloom, they are saying,  it's not that bad for your health.  Others tell us we are shortening our lives.  Personally,  I do not, in fact, think that 100 miles is particularly good for anyone's physical health. For me, I don't care too much one way or the other.  Good or bad for your health is not the point of why I do it.
 You see, anyone who has actually run a solid stretch of more than a few hours, much less 100 miles straight  -and felt the resulting pains, aches, and damages to the body- can tell you outright that it isn't the optimum form of healthy exercise.
    In fact, most of us have shouted to anyone within ear-shot, "I'm never doing this ever again" 90 miles into the crazy thing. And who could blame us? That sh...t hurts, .....a LOT!
   During one of my 21 JFK 50's, a fellow runner, a mother of two, told me running ultra's was similar to giving birth.  She confided that every time she and her husband started talking about having another 'bundle of joy'; she would sign up for a 100 mile run.  Any idea of having another child went out the window about mile 85!  
Running for an entire day, and often longer, is horrible on the body. Not only are we killing off brain cells when we go over 36 hours of wakefulness, but we're also completely overusing and cannibalizing our muscles, placing intense stress on our skeletal systems, and singlehandedly destroying our endocrine system.  This isn't from a study, people, this is from gathered personal experience. Not only do I feel sore and injured after a long run, but my systems are completely out of sync for as much as a month. No one is a picture of health post 100.
But here's the REAL surprise: We like that!!! We LIKE that it feels terrible. We know we are destroying our bodies, and we are perfectly okay with it!  The pain is our Badge of Honor.
WHY? How could you possibly be okay with that?!!
I'll tell you why! It's because running 100 miles is NOT about pursuing optimum health!
Let's get real, here. If we were running for health related purposes, we would have stopped 5 miles in! We would have gone to park, walked our dog, maybe cranked out some pushups and pullups, and gone back home.
So why are we doing it? Why are we out there destroying ourselves for fun? 
The answer is hidden somewhere in that bodily destruction the 'studies' analyze to death. It's in the beat down. It's in the last miles of that awful race when we experience the rawest forms of human experience and emotion. 
We do this because it feels good not to quit at something. Humankind was made to suffer, and deep down we know that. We KNOW that long suffering produces the discipline and character we strive for.
The reward isn't a healthier body! We aren't looking for 6 pack abs and better cardio here! The reward is The After! It's the person who comes out of that race. A newer, stronger, person refined by fire and pain. A runner who refuses to accept no for an answer-just to make it to that finish line- is a tougher person. A fighter in life. We know this-we know this because we've felt it.
Running 100 miles straight is a huge life lesson rolled into a day of running. It teaches you things you never thought you'd learn about yourself. It forces you to face situations and ideas you need to overcome in life. It allows you to work out kinks and weaknesses in your own personally flawed character.  It carves out a deep lasting well of patience, self control, and long suffering. When balanced and prioritized appropriately in life, it helps create a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, happiness, and well being. The benefits of running long ultramarathons extend far beyond running, and well into the entire spectrum of life.
While I'm sure there are some physical health benefits to be gained in there somewhere, the truth is that no one doing these things really gives a damn. Spend a day running in the mountains alone, or with your friends, and you'll see that no one is concerned about their Vo2 Max or threshold level.
The world will never stop analyzing the physical, because we are a world obsessed with outward image and prolonging life.
"Will this make me fitter?"
"Will this help me live longer?"
"Will this cure disease?"
I don't know, and I don't care. I just really like how incredible my body feels during a run. And I bet any runner would tell you the same thing. I love the amazing sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing something as stupid as running 100 miles straight.
So no, it's probably not that healthy for me- but all of that is simply irrelevant.
I am here, and I am now, and I am present. I enjoy the miles, and I enjoy the benefits of the pain.
So if you're looking to analyze the health benefits of a runner tackling ultra miles, don't examine their heart muscle. Don't analyze their body fat, or compare their longevity to others - because you would be missing the essence of the lifestyle.  Better yet,  lace up your teenies, and run a few miles with us on a beautiful blue sky day.
You'll learn all you ever need to know.

"Only those who test the distance will know how far they can go."   

PORT  A   POT  Donation
Join us! We will get you on a training plan to run a 5K in March, a 10K in April, or a Half Marathon in May! And we'll do it TOGETHER! Click on "Training" on the Kent Island Running Group website for all the details! ALL LEVELS, ALL AGES!!! Starts Saturday!


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:




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.     


bluepoint cat

Winter/Spring Moore's Marines Long Distance Training
Kent Island Running CLUB
Peninsula Pacers Running CLUB
Anne Arundel County STRIDERS
 Week #259, 4 FEBRUARY 2017


30 Years of MOORE'S MARINES 

"Mental toughness is not defined as the toughest, meanest, loudest person in the arena of sport. 

Mental toughness is being able to summon your emotional strength at the right time and using it with grace and dignity - win or lose. 

Knowing that we will be defined not by the fight but how we fought.

What we overcame to get to the starting line
and cross the finish line.  
ALERT -   Thanks to Leslie Kreiwald for her contribution to the pot a pot

WE now have 5 months of Port A Pot coverage left. (see below).



Get faster?  Go longer? Do that 'special destination run? Stay injury free?

I have also heard a lot of interest in going out to Kanab UT for the GRAND CIRCLE TRAILFEST  5 - 7 October.  Three days, three trail runs, three National Parks.  If there is sufficient interest, I will check into a group condo. Right now, we have 3 from the Anne Arundel County STRIDERS, and 2 others.  If interested, let me know....

Molly proposed a Destination Run for us all to consider. 
on 2 September in Teton Wyoming looks terrific!  Check it out and let us know if you are interested. 
Additional trails available at BACON RIDGE!

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:  

Older Ultrarunner's - Somewhat slower, but wiser.

Actually, much of the recent science about high impact exercise by "older people" like me - I prefer the term "seasoned," by the way - reaches the opposite conclusion, suggesting that in many cases high-impact exercise can be beneficial for those middle aged and beyond. A  2003 study of people aged 30 to past 70, for instance, found that while sedentary adults lost about 10 percent of their maximal endurance capacity every decade, young and middle-aged athletes who regularly engaged in intense and high-impact exercise, such as running intervals, experienced a much slower decline, losing only about 5 percent of their capacity per decade until age 70, when the loss of capacity accelerated for everyone.
There is also little evidence to support the widespread belief that high-impact exercise speeds the onset of arthritis. In a 2013 study, adult runners, including many aged 45 or older, had a lower incidence of knee osteoarthritis and hip replacement than age-matched walkers, with the adults who accumulated the most mileage over the course of seven years having the lowest risk, possibly, the study's author speculated, because running improved the health of joint cartilage and kept them lean as they aged. Similarly, a 2006 review of studies about jogging and joints concluded that "long-distance running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and hips for healthy people who have no other counter-indications for this kind of physical activity," and "might even have a protective effect against joint degeneration."
Running and similar high-impact activities likewise have a salutary effect on bone density, said Dr. Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and an expert on aging athletes, of whom he is one. Over all, he continued, he is "skeptical" of the idea that older people should avoid high-impact activities. "A lot of concerns about age-appropriate exercise modalities have turned out to be more speculative than real over the years," he said, adding that during his research and personal workouts, he's seen many seasoned adults pounding the pavement without ill effects.


Within each of our cells is the recipe for who we are: our DNA. Our DNA connects us to each other, and to the web of life. You and I and everyone we know, everyone on Earth, are descendants of one person - Mitochondrial Eve - in an unbroken maternal line. Through our DNA, we're a link in a chain from a single-cell organism to our children and the future of humanity. It's an everyday miracle. A miracle that suits us, like other animals, for being outside in nature; that shapes us as the best endurance runners on the planet; and uniquely tailors us for cooking. These adaptations are part of our DNA, the hardware half of fitting our genes.
The same hardware, the same DNA, is used in every cell in your body. But your liver is nothing like your bones, and somehow your cells know. Gene expression is how the information in DNA is used to make the RNA and the proteins that are the macromolecular machinery of life. This is the software half of fitting our genes, and our behavior and our environment continuously reprogram our gene expression. We know that exercise, wholesome food, and de-stressing make gene expression healthy, and conversely, couch vegetating, junk food, and stress overload make gene expression sickly. Long term, it's serious as cancer - and other chronic diseases, the leading cause of disability and death.
Exercise and healthy nutrition strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood and cognitive function, reduce aging effects, and reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Spending time in nature lowers stress and boosts immunity. Why? For now, the mechanisms are poorly understood. Knowing why may someday give individualized prescriptions for diet, workouts, and de-stressing. And maybe knowing why can be monetized, something like a workout in a pill. I'm happy knowing what fits our genes - it's no accident they're my favorite things.
If you're a science fan, you're probably wondering: what about epigenetics? Broadly, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression, but epigenetics has come to mean how these changes are "written" into our genes, and are possibly passed on. There's cutting debate whether epigenetic changes cause or merely reflect physiological changes, and whether they can be passed on in humans. Skeptical geneticist Kat Arney sums up the discord: "Epigenetics... many people keep using that word, but it does not mean what they think it means." The meaning of epigenetics is murky, and it's clear epigenetics is suffering growing pains.
Epigenetics aside, let's focus on what we do know: gene expression gets an extreme makeover from exercise, diet, and being in nature, and it's rooted in our evolutionary past. Our genome used to be called our blueprint, but now we know it's like the menu at better restaurants - a starting point - and every day, what we order up makes it better or worse. We cannot not choose.
The cooking hypothesis and the endurance running hypothesis are recent propositions about our distant past. I hope they float your wonder boat. From 1.8 million years ago until about 50,000 years ago, running and cooking were our ancestor's everything: food, warmth, the tipping point for socialization and intellect, life and death.
Shinrin yoku is the Japanese practice of forest bathing: simply walking through wooded areas. Shinrin yoku is a medical stress management therapy in Japan with proven health benefits, all for just being outside in nature. Stress reduction is one of the three big lifestyle choices affecting gene expression, rounding out exercise and nutrition. And trail running may double de-stress.
Aesthetics is the study of the appreciation of art and beauty. Evolutionary aesthetics is the hypothesis that human aesthetic preferences evolved because of survival or reproduction success. Unlike the endurance running hypothesis and the cooking hypothesis, there isn't anthropological evidence to support evolutionary aesthetics. But the universality, high emotions, and deep commitment attached to aesthetic behaviors makes a statement about who we are and how we should live.

" Every run is different.   Every runner is different."


 Stay Healthy;   


   c: 410-570-0003