Routes and Photos

Sat 29 Apr
Sandy Hook

Sun 30 Apr
Quiet Waters Park

Sat 6 May
DMV 5k
Bowie, Md

Sat 13 May
Hughesville, Md

Sat 13 May
Pasadena, Md

Sat 20 May
METAvivor Adventure Race
Hillsmere Community Beach

Sat 20 May
Kent Island H.S.

Sat 20 May
Millersville, Md

Sun 21 May
WIN the DAY 5k
Kent Island, Md

Sat 27 May
Leonardtown, Md

Sat 27 May
Piney Orchard

Sun 28 May
Prospect Bay, Md

Sun 4 June
Quiet Waters Park

Sat 10 June
Grasonville, Md

Sat 10 June
Leonardtown, Md

Sat 10 Jun
Rock Hall, Md

Sat 10 Jun
Quiet Waters

Sat 17 June
Kent Island

Sun 18 Jun
Truxton Park

Sun 16 July
Mckenzie Beach, Md

Sun 23 July
10K, 10M, 25K, 50K
Upper Marlboro, Md

Sun 30 July
Ft Meade, Md

Sat 6 Aug
Truman Pkwy
The KENT ISLAND RUNNING GROUP now has our own website; check it out


Sound training can take you only so far. To fully express every last bit of fitness on race day, you must push past perceived barriers and keep going when your body is telling you to stop. Talk to world-class endurance athletes about how they manage this, and many will tell you they listen to the voice inside their heads. That may sound a little crazy, but there's fascinating new research being done on self-talk-the act of repeating a mantra to yourself-that backs it up.
A 2014 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, aptly titled "Talking Yourself Out of Exhaustion," found that simply repeating a mantra reduced perceived effort and increased performance in a time-to-exhaustion cycling test. Self-talk was also cited as a strategy with strong evidence in a 2015 Sports Medicine review paper on the "psychological determinants of whole-body performance."
Zach Miller, a Colorado-based ultrarunner who won The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championship in December 2016 and is known for his no-holds-barred approach to racing, says he uses self-talk to push through particularly tough patches. Miller will repeat, "It ain't so bad," a quote he got from Rocky, as well as, "Rough and tough and used to hardships," an expression Miller's grandfather would say to him when he was young.
Caroline Boller, a top American ultrarunner who holds the national best 50-mile trail time (5:48), also finds that having a mantra helps her power through rough patches. Boller will repeat, "It's vast, it's vast," to remind herself that there's a massive gap between the point at which her mind tells her to stop and what her body can actually tolerate. "This reminds me that the pain is only temporary," she says. "It's my body trying to protect itself, but my body is overly protective and lying to me."
Self-talk is an effective strategy because it forces an athlete to take control of her thoughts, says Alister McCormick, a sport and exercise psychologist at the University of St. Mark and St. John in the U.K. and lead author of the 2014 review. "This is especially important when things get tough or go wrong," he adds.
Having a mantra to call upon occupies an athlete's mind with something constructive instead of destructive and "helps an athlete see a situation as a challenge instead of a threat." Such an appraisal is both psychologically and biologically advantageous. Research published in 2013 in the journal Personality and Social Psychology shows that those who react to stressful situations with a challenge response release less cortisol-a hormone associated with inflammation, impaired immune function, and depression-compared to those who perceive stressful situations as a threat.
McCormick says mantras should be short and to the point: something you can easily remember and call upon without effort. Personally, I repeat, "Focus on form," which kills two birds with one stone-a trick I learned from triathlete Mirinda Carfrae. Crafting a mantra that is meaningful to you and hitting play when you're in the pain cave is a practical way to more fully realize your potential.

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

Hip Flexors: Untapped Power Source or Your Worst Enemy?

For many runners, hip flexors are a source of chronic tightness and pain, but this muscle group doesn't have to be a bugaboo. Learning how to utilize these muscles correctly can allow you to harness their power and improve both speed and economy.

Strengthening and lengthening this muscle group can turn a weakness into an overwhelming strength.
As the term implies, "hip flexors" refers to a group of muscles-known as the Iliopsoas-whose primary function is to create flexion of the leg at the hip joint. This is the motion necessary to run or to kick something.
Ask most runners where their hip flexors are located and they'll point to a web of soft tissue over the top of their femur and just lateral to the pubic bone. The primary hip flexors do pass through this area in a narrow band of connective tissue, but the majority of the muscle mass is located much higher and deeper than you'd think.
Thanks to hours and hours spent sitting every day, the hip flexor is a source of tightness and pain.
The psoas major originates along the five vertebrae of the lumbar spine. That means this muscle stretches all the way from the bottom of your rib cage, to the inside of your femur, an inch or two below the hip joint. The muscle is wing-shaped, and starts out relatively wide at the top, then tapers to a thin cord once it reaches the femoral region.
The other part of the iliopsoas is the Iliacus.

 Do this: 
Hold your hands up in front of you, palms facing you with your pinky fingers an inch apart from one another, and cup your hands slightly. Your hands represent your pelvic bones and within the entirety of that cupped space lies your iliacus. That puts the iliacus on par with the gluteus maximus in terms of muscle volume, so you can see why the iliopsoas has the potential to be a massive power source.

Tight Muscles Are Not Strong Muscles

Unfortunately, for most runners, the hip flexors are not a powerhouse. Instead, thanks to hours and hours spent sitting every day, they're the source of a lot of tightness and pain.

Try this:
 Stand with your back and your heels against a wall or closed door. Now, keeping your tailbone and your shoulder blades in contact with the wall, slowly raise one leg as high as you can without bending your knee. Did you get to 90 degrees? If you did, then try it again, but this time, slide a hand behind your lower back and try to maintain the natural curve there, keeping the space between your lower back and the wall intact. Can you flex your hip to 90 degrees without flattening your lumbar spine? Probably not-and you're not alone.

When you sit in a chair, your legs are passively flexed to around 90 degrees at both the hip and knee joints. Doing so for prolonged periods of time sets this flexed condition as the muscles' new "default" position, causing the muscle fibers to shorten. Then, when you stand, walk and run, those muscles naturally feel tight because they're being stretched beyond their new normal. Tight hamstrings inhibit normal function of the hip flexors and vice versa. Adding insult to injury, because the flexion of sitting is passive, the hip flexors and hamstrings also become weaker, and a tight, weak muscle is very prone to injury.
What's more, that muscle dysfunction puts your body into poor alignment, creating strain on some muscles, and shifting the workload onto others that are now forced to overcompensate. This creates a cascading effect of dysfunction, asymmetry and injury throughout the body.

Strong Hip Flexors Make a Strong Runner
By contrast, those individuals who don't ignore and abuse their hip flexors can enjoy both better running economy and faster finishes. Strong hip flexors contribute to a higher stride angle-which was associated with better running economy in a 2014 study published in the National Strength & Conditioning Association's Journal of Strength and Conditioning. This evidence came roughly a decade after researchers writing for the same publication demonstrated that an 8-week program aimed at strengthening hip flexors resulted in faster running speeds. There are a lot of things you can do to run more efficiently or to run faster, but strengthening the hip flexors represents one of the few opportunities to do both at once.
None of us likes pain or injury, and we all want to run faster and more efficiently, so how can we both strengthen and lengthen these oft overlooked muscles?

Hip Flexor Strengtheners
Some of the best exercises for strengthening the hip flexors require no equipment at all and are intuitively simple, if muscularly challenging. In order of increasing difficulty, here are a few of my favorite exercises to use with clients who have weak hip flexors:

Straight-Legged Sitting: 
Grab a broomstick and sit on the floor with your legs together and extended straight out in front of you. Run the broomstick along your spine from your tailbone to the back of your head, making sure to keep a bit of space between your lower back and the stick. As you keep that space there, pull hard with your hip flexors until you are sitting up tall at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat up to five times.

Straight-Leg Raise:
 Start by lying on the floor on your back. Place a hand in the space between your lower back and the floor and keep it there throughout the exercise. Keeping your knee straight, slowly raise one leg as close to 90 degrees as you can without your lower back flattening toward the floor. When you feel your back start to flatten, hold that position for 10 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat up to five times on each side. If you can't get beyond 30 degrees, use a yoga strap to assist you with the pull for the first one or two repetitions. This will stretch your hamstrings so that they don't inhibit your hip flexors so much. If you can reach 90 degrees easily from the floor, then do the same exercise standing, with your back against a wall or a door.

Kneeling Foot to Hand: 
Kneel on a mat in an all-fours position. Without using momentum, very slowly pull your right foot as far forward as you can. The goal is to place your foot flat on the floor next to your right hand, but don't be surprised if you get nowhere close at first. Again, it's critical that you don't use momentum to swing your leg forward. Don't arc it wide to swing it around, either. Instead, use a steady, strong contraction of the hip flexors to pull your foot forward. Think of your leg as dead weight, where only the hip flexors are functional. If you find this impossible, start with your hands up on a step or bench. Do 5 to 10 repetitions with each leg.

Hip Flexor Lengtheners
To rid yourself of the chronic tightness that results from too much sitting, it's important to stretch your hip flexors gently and progress slowly. Although the iliopsoas is a relatively massive muscle group, the muscles narrow into thin bands where they attach at the femur, and so they can be prone to tearing if they are stretched too far too quickly. With that in mind, here's a progression of stretches you can use to lengthen your hip flexors safely.
Stand, Don't Sit: 
Probably the best thing you can do to lengthen the hip flexors is to stop sitting for hours every day. If you can arrange a stand-up work station, you should absolutely do so. Also, look for other opportunities to eschew sitting: stand or pace while you talk on the phone; stand up while you ride the bus or subway; stand or walk at a slow pace on a treadmill while you watch television in the evening.
Hip flexors get a bad rap among runners, but it doesn't have to be that way.
 The natural motion of walking, when done properly, is great for both lengthening and strengthening the hip flexors. To get the most out of the stretch phase, after you've warmed up a bit, give your hips a very slight anterior tilt as your back leg reaches its maximum length behind you. Squeezing the glutes on that leg will help accentuate the stretch.

Straight-Legged Lunge: 
Take a medium step forward, and keep your back leg straight. Slightly bend the front knee, stretching the back leg even more. Try to keep the back toes facing more forward than out to the side. Stretch the length of the stride out only to the point where you feel a pleasant stretch. Now, to accentuate that stretch, raise the arm that is on the same side as your back leg, and slightly bend sideways to the opposite side. You should feel a stretch all the way down your side and through the hip flexor.

Hip flexors get a bad rap among runners, but it doesn't have to be that way. By giving yours the attention they deserve, you can not only keep them healthy, but also tap into their hidden power and boost your running performance.


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:



Winter/Spring Moore's Marines Long Distance Training
Kent Island Running CLUB
Peninsula Pacers Running CLUB
Anne Arundel County STRIDERS
 Week #271, 29 April 2017


30 Years of MOORE'S MARINES 




WE now have 3 months of Port A Pot coverage left. (see below).

Long time Moore's Marine, Marcy Riciarrdi, is looking for someone who might have an interest in doing a bike trip she and her dad.  It is the mountain to sea bike route in North Carolina. Check it out at : NC Coast to Coast Bike 
If you think you might be interested, let me know and I will put you in touch with Marcy for details.
Looking for a Destination Adventure Run a little closer to home?  Here is one for you.

A 25k "adventure". They ask for a 7 hour cut-off and that is not being generous.  You will be walking/climbing enough to have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery -and- the flora/fauna 6 ft in front of you.  It has a 200 runner limit and DOES close out.  We have four or us going now so Let me know if you are interested.
Today's quote was from an interview on Good Morning America of a woman who had lost her husband.  It was easy to associate that quote - concept - to a sign i suspect we have all seen at some point in our running.  I vividly recall seeing "EMBRACE THE SUCK" at the 8 mile mark of the half marathon of the SILVERMAN IRONMAN TRIATHLON in Las Vegas.  It also dovetails into the other article in this newsletter - Should you listen to the Voices in your Head and last week's article - There Comes a Moment.
   When that "moment" comes, we all make a choice.  I always fall back to my Naval Academy training; make the choice that will give you pride, even when no one else is looking - the one you can tell your mother/father.   It is not always easy - usually painfully so.  We have talked about the list of excuses when faced with the "suck".
   Simply put - embrace it, lean into it, accept it ; remember YOU made the choice to do this, and you KNEW this moment was going to come.  Besides, what are you going to do - quit?  There are TOO MANY people, not to mention the memories of my mother and father, I could not look in the face if I did that -  so  -   I lean into the 'suck' and push on. 
Here is a somewhat similar application of that concept.  Here is an this article from anecdotes from 
BOSTON  Running Poopie    
When that 'urge' comes in the middle of a run, there comes a moment when you think "Can I make it to the next port a pot - I think I can" - and sometimes you can't :-(   There is a photo of Grete Waitz nearing the finish of one of her New York Marathon wins and it is obvious she "didn't make it".  She was rinsed off and a towel put around her.  When she was gently asked about it, she said "Well; I said to myself, do I want to win this race or not".   She won the race and a new Mercedes Benz..

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....

Additional trails available at BACON RIDGE!

Here is the latest on the Bacon Ridge trail network: We are working feverishly to get phase 3 flagged for Bacon Ridge. You'll see some new pin flags in the woods. Feel free to follow them but please don't move them! We hope to submit a final (!) proposal to utilize all of the remaining Bacon Ridge land. We are hoping to add another 6-10 miles of trail in this last phase. We also have received some preliminary news that there *MAY* be permanent access to Bacon Ridge via Farm Rd (Crownsville Hospital side) which would help us build the additional miles AND solve our constant parking issue. Bacon Ridge has a ton of momentum right now and we ask that you keep using the trails responsibly, be nice to your fellow trail users and prepare to get back in the dirt by the end of summer. As always, we'll keep you informed about what's going on.  Thanks.  

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:  

More than one million runners, 217 million miles, and five years of study reveal runners influence each other's habits. And they're competitive about it.

In a study titled "Exercise contagion in a global social network,"Scientists from MIT tracked runners' exercise habits with fitness-tracking devices.
 They compared daily distance, duration and pace, calories burned, and frequency of runs, within runners' social networks.
As expected, some of the results, published in the Journal Nature, were more obvious than others. For one, people run more when their peers run. And for the competitive, when friends run faster and farther, peers do as well.

However, other results from the study illuminated gender-specific findings. Men strongly influence men, women moderately influence both men and women, and women are not as influenced by men.
The study found people are more influenced by those performing worse than themselves. Put another way, our less-fit friends motivate us to stay in shape and ahead of the competition more than elite athletes do.
Of course, the findings derive from statistical datasets, where majorities inform results.

 There are outliers in each group, and these are sweeping generalizations. The research team did not state which fitness tracking devices were used.
Contagious Running Published April 18, 2017, scientists used a mountain of data available from fitness-tracking wearables. More than one in five Americans own a wearable fitness-tracking device. And more than 100 million people use fitness trackers worldwide.
Runners did not self-report data. According to the study, "When a run was completed, it was immediately digitally shared with a runner's friends."

The study looked at the correlation between an individual's running behavior and that of their friends. For example, when an individual's peers ran an additional kilometer, the individual ran an additional 6/10ths of a kilometer. An additional 10 minutes of running by one's peers led to an additional 5.3 minutes running of their own.

The next time you're running, think about why you're running and if some of these findings align with your experience. As shown in the study, chances are they do.

Here is an article from Trail Runner Magazine by Paul Roche 
If life were a TV commercial, the fine print might say, "May cause anxiety and depression." According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million Americans experience anxiety, while millions more suffer from major depressive disorder.

Trail running can be an outlet, but no amount of singletrack can get around the simple fact reflected in these statistics. Life, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand-in-hand for many people-including trail runners.
Based on anecdotal evidence, the running community seems to deal with anxiety and depression as much if not more than the general population. Running breeds introspection and often involves social isolation, which could attract personality types prone to anxiety and depression. Regardless of the reason, for many trail runners, anxiety and depression play an important role in training, racing and simply living.
In my coaching group, I aim to get runners more comfortable talking about anxiety and depression without labels that may be attached to preconceived notions. To avoid the stigmas attached to the words "anxiety" and "depression," we use the phrase "brain sparkles." That silly term has helped some people understand that there is no judgment involved in talking about mental-health struggles.
So let's talk about it.
Over the years, I have asked dozens of runners living with anxiety and depression what they think are the most important points for sparkly runners to remember. While there are countless great options, here are five that stand out.
1. Don't be shy about asking for help.
A recent study indicated that 13 percent of Americans are on anti-depressants, and millions see a therapist routinely. While it's OK to have your own opinions on the use of anti-depressants, it's not OK to fault the opinions or actions of others on such an important topic.
Through coaching, I have learned that so many incredible human beings take a little pill before bed each night so they can be themselves the next day.
It doesn't make you weak. In fact, your willingness to ask for help is a testament to your strength. The same goes for seeking therapy. What is trail running besides muddy group therapy, anyway?
Talk to people, engage with fellow runners, search for resources that can help (including professionals who are experts in anxiety and depression) and don't be afraid to own your sparkles, because without your sparkles, you would be boring indeed.
2. Love yourself unconditionally.
While they may seem corny, self-affirmations-or positive statements made about a topic or task-can work wonders for people dealing with stress. A 2013 study in the open-access journal Public Libraries of Science (PLOS) found that self-affirmations could be an effective stress-management tool and potentially have positive effects on self image as well.
As always, it is easy to talk about self love, but often hard to implement. I ask my athletes to start simply, with a morning affirmation designed to put the day in context: "I love my brain sparkles, because they are a byproduct of my awesomeness."
That often feels ridiculous at first, but over the course of many runs spent practicing self-love, it may start to make more sense.
When you are struggling, try to slow down your brain. Stop, close your eyes and smile (meditation is a great option as well). As football legend Terrell Owens said, "I am me, and I love me some me."
Practice patient self love, even when it's unnatural and even when you feel like you are lying.
 3. Be mindful of your ambitions.
A 2014 study in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice found that conditions like bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety and depression were linked to inflated or deflated feelings of self worth. Ambition and failure are but two sides of the same coin: those who are ambitious will, at some point, fail to live up to their own expectations.
As a result, brain sparkles can be associated with the way a person relates to success.
Running is subject to the ambition trap just like jobs. The sport provides ample opportunity to judge yourself and compare yourself to others. A runner may fail-or get stressed about potential failure-and judge him or herself for that failure. That runner's brain may stay on edge long after the perceived failure.
To combat this, before every race, I encourage my athletes to adopt the Zen technique of dropping ambition in the traditional sense altogether. It's OK to want to win a race, but it's usually not a great approach for long-term contentedness to determine self worth based on race outcomes.
On the flip side, eliminating self judgment from training and racing can help athletes that cope with fear of failure. What happens before, during and after the race is what matters, not the outcome of the race. In other words, there is nothing to fear about losing when there can be no such thing as losing no matter how the race goes.
Win a race (or finish last)? It doesn't really matter. Get promoted and make a million bucks? Past a certain point, money only makes things more complicated.
Rather than putting running performance up on a pedestal, or participating in the rat race for its own sake, opt out as much as possible. Find reward in the act of running, rather than seeking reward only from the achievement of winning races or setting PRs.
4. High performance does not lead to contentedness.
Awards, accolades and achievements won't change your internal reality. Just because you reach your running goals doesn't mean you'll suddenly be happier or less anxious.
It's OK to train and race your butt off, but the process of training or racing should be an end in and of itself. Instead of striving for first place, strive for things like: "lights up a room," "good person," "works hard" and "not sure if a person or a puppy."
5. Practice positivity.
Numerous studies discuss the role that positive thinking can play in reducing brain sparkles. This method, called positivity-activity interventions (PAIs), doesn't work for everyone, but over the long haul it can play a role in helping some people deal with life's stressful side effects.
Practice smiling when you don't want to, being enthusiastic when you want to be boring and making bad jokes when you're not sure you should. Most importantly, try to exude love to people that deserve it (and even those who don't). You'll eventually receive all those good spirits back ten-fold.
Intentional positivity is not easy. Your kids will be jerks sometimes. You will get trolled on Twitter. You will not have the perfect job. You will lose a race you should have won, or get injured when you deserve to be healthy. However, if you resolve to smile through the stuff that life throws at you, that stuff will start to smell like roses.
My goal here isn't to tell you how to feel or act, but simply to let you know you are not alone and that whatever your perspective is, it is OK. Life is a lot like trail running-sometimes you are going up a brutal, sparkly climb that seems like it will never end, and sometimes you are cruising down a beautiful trail without a care in the world.
By honestly talking about how we feel-with friends, fellow runners and medical professionals-we can make the rocky trail feel a lot smoother, not just for ourselves but for the entire trail-running community.
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!

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 Stay Healthy;   


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