Ruminations by CtCloser

“Ruminations” is a feature of Shawmont Running Club‘s Weekly Run Report.

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I started running with SRC in 2012 and became a Ruminations contributor in 2019.

 

Wissahickon pedestrian-bridge renovation!

What Took You So Long? (#109: RUN REPORT)

READ and COLLAPSE

Tall Dave is a traditionally pretty mild-mannered guy, but we all have our limits: Rude road users (cyclists and cars) are one of his, but apparently failed project deadlines are, two [sic]. Take the pedestrian bridge renovation project. Please! (Thanks to old-time comedian Rodney Dangerfield.)

It was originally supposed to take nine months to finish, which seemed long to most all of us. Then it was supposed to be done at the beginning of summer. After 2-and-a-half years, it reopened on 09’16’F and we finally got to run on it last week (09’17’S. See pic.)

Tall Dave’s verdict: It should have been done in one season! And if supply chain problems were going to be an issue, they should have opened them back up! People use this path! (Emphasis his!)

I’m a little more sanguine about the whole thing. Nothing takes so long that it couldn’t have been a whole heck of a lot worse. Take the Blue Route.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (RUN REPORT), Shawmont Running Club (incidental), Ruminations by CtCloser.

Selfie of me (CtCloser) on the pedestrian bridge with other Shawmonters over my shoulder in the distance.
(L-R, back: BB Betsy, Jimmy Dee, Ying1, Desi. L-R, front: CtCloser. Ahead: Tall Dave)
Breaking in the 1-day old renovation
(Rumination #109)

 

I couldn’t say

You Don’t Say (#108: 9/10/22 RUN REPORT)

READ and COLLAPSE

I’ve chosen not to focus on politics in my Ruminations for various reasons, not least which I’ve heard intimated, “If you want politics, check out the op-ed pages.” It turns out that at least one other adjudicator doesn’t want me talking about politics, either. Even when I’m not talking about politics.

The editor of this illustration publication, zen yanni, gave me my first heads up when he said that Facebook wouldn’t accept my Rumination in the intended 08’27’S Run Report, 2 weeks ago, even though he himself had no problem with it. Teddio, who caught it as I published it on my webpage (presumably, simultaneously: Ruminations by CtCloser), didn’t have a problem with it, either. In fact, he says he loved it so much that he bookmarked it to read again. Facebook apparently decided that my using the name of a certain international media outlet and the name of a certain columnist were simply too much and rejected The Zenster’s publication effort. His attempt to publish the Run Report without my clever, purely social, Very non-political piece went fine.

Then zen yanni tried to publish it again last week for the 09’03’S Run Report. Even without the offensive columnist’s name, Facebook rejected again. Well, our clever editor went ahead and just published it on SRC’s own webpage.

If you didn’t see it last week, click here to decide for yourself. Maybe this is a reason for me not to get into political commentary. Getting political about Facebook criticizing political commentary? Me? We’ll know how I come across if Facebook rejects this post, too.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (9/10/22 RUN REPORT), Ruminations by CtCloser.

 

Beyond mere socializing

Communitizing (#107: Referenced in 9/3/22 RUN REPORT)

READ and COLLAPSE

I’ve been experimenting with running and socializing pretty much since I started running in 2011. What I learned is that it’s a gateway drug, because now I do it even when I’m not running. That makes me an even stranger stranger. How many people go around saying hi to everyone they pass? (Okay, not everyone. There are lines that even I draw, if not many.)

The New York Times columnist David Brooks recently opined about socializing with strangers. Brooks’ big idea is that we, both introverts and extroverts, consistently underestimate how much we’ll enjoy talking to strangers. And we fail to understand how much strangers will appreciate being engaged. (In the spirit of academic writing, he cites academics and the research they do throughout his piece. Also suits me very well.)

I’m fine engaging strangers, but in places where I’m likely to meet people again, I go through a progression: I look to see if I recognize the person from another instance. I move from acknowledging familiar people to introducing myself, particularly when I’m with the person for longer than a moment or I’ve seen them a lot within a short period of time. Then I work on learning and remembering their name. Finally, I work on learning about them and sharing about myself. My end goal is to contribute to an atmosphere of community wherever I happen to frequent. I call that “communitizing.”

Shawmont Running Club: As much about the community as the competition.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Referenced: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (9/3/22 RUN REPORT). Published: Ruminations by CtCloser.

 

An opportunity to cultivate contentment during a pacing effort

How About Making a Little Pace for Me, Here? (#106: Published in 8/6/22 RUN REPORT)

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A young endurance runner that I know needed some help pacing the 24-hour Loopy Looper in Pennsauken NJ on 08’07’S, beginning 7:00a.

I met him at hour 12 in the evening with the plan to do 2 hours together. Given that another friend was visiting SRC for the first time the same morning, I decided to do a 5-mile To-the-Inn-and-Back run. The thought for pacing the Loopy Looper was to do 12 miles (3 4-mile loops) at a 10-ish minute-per-mile pace. This would give me 17 miles for the entire day; a bit of a long stretch for me, but achievable.

When I arrived in Pennsauken at the Cooper River Stadium at the race tent, I learned that Loopy-Looper running friend had reached the walking stage after doing 41 miles in 12 hours. The 2-hour run that I planned to do became a 3-mph walk for an hour and 20 minutes. And my 17-mile day ended up being a 9.

The goal was to help my friend even at my own expense: That’s what a pacer does isn’t it? In the process of “pacing” I learned Friend had settled on 62 miles for a tidy 100-km 24-hour effort. He achieved that in 20 hours at 3a, well after I left. He finished content. And so did I.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (8/6/22 RUN REPORT), Ruminations by CtCloser.

 

High regard for one long-time Shawmonter

A Salute to the Professor (#105: Published in 7/23/22 RUN REPORT)

READ and COLLAPSE

Prof. Sandy has been a mainstay of Shawmont Running Company for just a few years. Like a certain other SRC runner who also keeps achieving through their running (looking at JustGene), PS not only manages to keep running, but also manages to keep accomplishing great things while doing it.

PS was one of a few runners featured in a 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer article entitled The Spirit of Broad Street. In it, she received all the kudos she deserves for being a breast cancer overcomer and for placing first or second in her division at the Broad Street Run for years on end. And that excludes mention of her record times in competitions other than BSR.

She and JG were also 2 of 4 runners receiving kudos in a June Inquirer article for their staying power at BSR. That article talks about age grading running times for the sake of comparison to 20-something-aged runners. PS is in the top 10 of all female runners based on the grading algorithm.

All that, plus the Rumination that she just wrote a couple of weeks ago in the 7/9 Run Report, plus the fact that she’s an all around sensational person, and we can consider ourselves mighty blessed to be Shawmont Running Club members with her. Yay, Prof. Sandy!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (7/23/22 RUN REPORT), Ruminations by CtCloser.

 

Don’t argue with me about the run you want to do

It’s Time for You to Get Out of This Car (#104: Published in 7/16/22 RUN REPORT)

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I just returned from my annual Independence-Day-week trip to south-central Alaska where I did my occasional “It’s time for you to get out of this car” run. That’s when I jump out of the car the appropriate number of miles from my destination and then meet the driver there a little later. It’s efficient. It’s good for a laugh because of the non-argument that’s always preceded my “ejection.” And this year it was remarkably fatiguing.

The ITFYTGOOTC run has generally been during marathon-training season. For an event like a service trip to AK, it’s well suited because there’s always a lot to do and minimizing my time away from the service team just makes sense. This year, though, I haven’t been marathon training, so my mileage has been low and I hadn’t run in a week and a half.

Well, either I lost fitness super fast or I was feeling super energized and overdid it. Either way, I was starting to feel fatigued barely midway through what should have been an easy 07’02’S 8-mile run. I had as much trouble walking as if I’d run a marathon.

A look at the running log says that it was my fastest effort (at 8:36 min/mile) since November when I did the Rocky Run 10-miler (at 8:24 pace). Super! And I managed to negative split. But, for all the soreness, could I please get back in the car again?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Facebook Shawmont Running Club (7/16/22 RUN REPORT), Ruminations by CtCloser.

 

It means “thick skin” and sometimes it’s helpful to have it

Pachyderm (#103: Published in 7/2/22 RUN REPORT)

In what might best be interpret as a backhanded compliment, Quietman Tom said to me after a marathon, “Why are you so slow?! Your race times should be faster.” I’ve run with him and Tall Dave at the end of a Shawmont Manor 16-miler, so he knows that I can manage a compatible pace to them in the last miles of a long run (even faster on hills). The reason might go back to me being a negative splitter, I start off slower and pick up the pace in the second half of a long SRC run. The only way I can ever finish with them is that they consistently wait at Roxy for the rest of us who are behind. That means the time they spend waiting for me compensates for my early slowness. I might not be able to match them pace for pace, but I do well enough for me. I’m happy to impress him with my finishes, though, even if it takes a thick skin to accept the praise.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Cross-published: Ruminations by CtCloser ¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Co-published with caption.]

 

Intentional or not

Walking Is Good for Running (#102: Published in 6/18/22 RUN REPORT)

During my last marathon (05’15’U), I started developing a cramp in my right calf and hamstring. It might have been the warmth of the day or inadequate strength work. Or both. The hamstring didn’t continue to be a problem over the next 2 workouts, but the calf did. A trip to my physical therapist a week later localized the problem to my tibularfibular joint, not to the muscle. Some specific exercises would address the problem.

Before I could get to the point of complete resolution, I did an extra long run with Tall Dave: Shawmont Manor for 16. Although my SRC running coach gave me a concerned side eye, I ignored them. I argue that my joint would have acted up anyway, because it started yelling at me descending the cobblestone on the way to River Road before the 13-mile mark (A standard Shawmont is 14). Walking helped but not enough to get me fully functional again; the joint just hurt too much whenever I started back up.

So Tall Dave and I started walking. To be fair, I suggested he run back solo, but we hadn’t caught up during a run in so long and he felt like his running has been underwhelming, anyway. So we just kept talking and walking until we got to the head of Andorra Rd where he started running home, a good 25 minutes after we started.

You can find articles that defend walking as good cross-training and injury-recovery therapy for runners. It’s also a good way to get back to your car when Uber isn’t much of an option (River Road to Manor? Not happening with that motor-vehicle gate in the way) and it’s a great way to keep conversation going; ‘cuz isn’t group running at least as much about the community as the competition?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission. ¶Find all Ruminations by CtCloser

[Original version in Facebook. Co-published with caption.]

 

I’m glad you’re enjoying my show

Sparing No Expense (CtCloser’s 101th Rumination.* Really.) (Published in 6/11/22 RUN REPORT)

Pulling into the very first parallel parking spot on Northwestern Avenue, I had to do a little adjusting. I didn’t do so well. My potential 2-point park required 8 more adjustments to get me off and fully away from the curb. I was vaguely aware of the assembled group members watching who let me know moments later what they collectively thought of my efforts: “Are you sure you don’t want to adjust a little more?”

I don’t know what they were complaining about. Where does the idea of hitting your goal plus or minus a little come in if not parallel parking? I turns out Ying was in her car parked in a spot directly across from me also watching: “I was wondering how long it was going to take for you to finish.” The next time the club enjoys a spectacle at my expense, I’m charging an admission fee.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*Find all Ruminations by CtCloser ¶Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Co-published with caption and embedded Fine Print link to Ruminations by CtCloser.]

 

The worst at sharing the running trail

I Couldn’t Say (#100: Published in 5/28/22 RUN REPORT)

Do you mind?!

The worst part of running with SRC is sharing the trail. Them, not us. We can be a big group at times, but even we have to contend with road hogs: individuals who just don’t know how to make room for others on the trail. During last week’s run, Maya and I had to jostle for space on the towpath with 2 Canadian geese families and a sizable snapping turtle. They were both nearly as testy as the bikers and other runners. For our part, I will testify that we have never been accused of being testy about hogging the trail. And if I ever heard someone grouse, I will plead the 5th amendment against self-incrimination.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission[: the turtle’s, too. I have their signature].

[Original version in Facebook. Co-published with caption, image, and additional comment in brackets.]

 

Another marathon deed done

The Running Life (#99: Published in 5/14/22 RUN REPORT)

Jim Thorpe Marathon is now in the books as of 05’15’U [with anticipated publication date of this run report on 05’20’F]. It had so much potential, given that the Lehigh Gorge (rail) Trail has a 2% down grade. Personal record? nope. 3:45 Boston qualifying time? nope. Negative split? Positive splat. Sub-4:00? ding, ding, ding. 3:57:08. Not the best, but not the worst.

I did have a late training start because of Achilles tendinopathy. And my mind still isn’t fully in the training game after last spring’s PR. Then there was the unexpected, if seasonal (70°), warmth.

For context, someone I ran with from my W night group killed it by coming in 2 minutes under her fantasy goal of my elusive 3:45. She trained extremely hard and well. The guy from my W group who thought he would do 3:40 came in at 4:00. And finally, the 3:40 pacer admitted to struggling. That’s life, running.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and amended text in brackets: 2022’06’16’R.]

 

How one runner buddy outdid me, at least

I Am Unworthy (#98: Published in 5/7/22 RUN REPORT)

There are some real runner buddies out there and I needed mine last Saturday. I wasn’t doing SRC because I wanted to do a desperation, marathon-taper, interval workout, so I texted Buddy to say I wouldn’t be at SRC. Buddy was bailing from SRC themself because of wind concerns on Forbidden Drive and managed to read lack of motivation in my messaging. The light rain was not helpful. Buddy suggested the track at the local school district and tossed out the time we could start out. The moment they got to my house, the light rainfall increased to steady and there we were. Buddy didn’t need the speed of the workout. They didn’t need the timing. But that runner buddy did see the need to get this rudder bunny motivated to start it. So they and I completed an entire 8-mile interval workout in the rain. That very I ditched that very they for our traditional Monday run on an equally soggy evening 2 weeks before. I. Am. Unworthy. Jim Thorpe Marathon: 05’15’U.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’16’R.]

 

Talk and run. New and old.

A Little of This. A Little of That. (#97: Published in 4/30/22 RUN REPORT)

I’ve been more scarce from SRC than I would really care, which feels kind of sad because I love the group so much. Two weeks ago when I ran, though, I had a chance to chat with one of the newer runners. Being the sociable guy that I am, we talked a lot both about running and about lives outside of running. I like meeting new folks. That same week a pre-pandemic runner returned. We talked a lot about running and about lives outside of running. I like seeing old folks. With my ins and outs, I guess I might just be a version of new and old to someone else when I am around. Yeah. Talk and run. New and old. Sounds like a good SRC outing.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’16’R.]

 

One runner’s numbers for the books

Age is Just Another Number (#96: Published in 4/23/22 RUN REPORT)

My fave running publication, The New York Times, just featured someone not so unlike our JustGene with his prodigious accomplishments. Mariko Yugeta is 63 years old and just became the first women over 60 to break 3 hours in the marathon (2019: 2:59:15).* Last year she did it in 2:52:13. Her oldest son is the same age as Eliud Kipchoge, 37. She finished Boston on the 18th in 3:06:27. Talent is important, but how about the conviction that one’s best days are not in the past?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
*Minsberg, Talya. “She Set Marathon Records in Her Sixties. Then Came the Fans.” The New York Times, 18 Apr. 2022.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with amended title (from “Age is Just a Number”), caption, and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’16’R.]

 

[#95] (Published in 4/16/22 RUN REPORT)

Yay to RunAnon who offers his haiku cameos every now and again to break up my succession of Ruminations as he did 2 weeks ago. Until I started my string of submissions (9/7/2019 RUN REPORT), [RunAnon] was the author to match. I haven’t gone back far enough or thoroughly enough to tally all the contributions from all the different people, but KayCee is definitely among them (9/19/20 RUN REPORT) to represent the lasses. And at some time in the more distant mists of time zen yanni (the editor of this illustrious publication) was the regular author.

Yay also to OKhen, last week, who threw his hat into the ring. He had the right idea by taking his first ‘riting steps, even as he had to take his first running steps to begin that other journey.

This is Rumination [#95] for me. Even though I would be tallying them at a slower rate, I’m happy to do so in order to make room for the creativity waiting to be expressed by ‘riting Ruminators rushing to come out of repose.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with amended information (including from miscounted #93) in brackets, caption, and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

Jump in and participate. You’ll never be readier.

Really, Not a Spectator Sport (#94: Published in 3/26/22 RUN REPORT)

I’ve been writing what I call “Cerebruns” for Jenkintown Running Company’s Wednesday night group for longer than I’ve been writing Ruminations for this space. Between the 2 groups, that’s around 250 entertaining and enlightening entries. In both places, I’ve noticed how many people say, “This such-and-such would make a great Cerebrun” or “…Rumination.” Sometimes I agree. Other times I’ve challenged them to write it. The fact that the response has always been, “Oh, I can’t write,” sounds suspiciously like someone who’s never run saying, “You should try X race. It sounds great!” Given that everyone who’s commenting to me actually is wearing running shoes compels me to point out that there’s also a place for putting fingers to keyboard. A Rumination isn’t an essay, right? That’s the Broad Street Run. These shorties are really more like literary 5K’s and I know we’ve all done a kajillion of them. So Rumination spectators, “Get in the race! YOU CAN DO THIS!” Couch to 5K? How about couch to keyboard? Add your voice to the Rumination mix, peeps. It’s time for you to stop watching me run this race by myself. (Or mostly. Thanks RunAnon [2/12/22 RUN REPORT] and KC [9/19/20 RUN REPORT].)

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption, additional information in brackets, and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

Your perspective depends on your position

The Bigger Picture (#93: Published in 3/19/22 RUN REPORT)

I’m definitely a big picture person who likes to look across partitions and perspectives. But as far back as I think I’m standing, I’m regularly amazed at how much further back I can still go. As a marathoner, I know the value of competing in 5K races for developing speed early, otherwise I’m barely getting warmed up until mile 5.

Talk to high school runners and everything changes. Cross-country runners cap out at a 5K. That means every other event is shorter; much shorter.

I was running with a new SRCer who is a former high-school runner. Their event was the 100m, a distance I ran in high school phys ed and watch on televised competitions. But that new SRCer was telling me about some of the subtleties of actually running that race. For the 200m, you have to pace yourself and not go out too fast so that you have enough for the entire distance. (Rather like a marathon effort?) For the 100, you have to go out fast early. (More like a 5K, relatively?) But wait, for a race of that length, every single one of maybe 15 steps is vital. Wow. Numbers of that magnitude normally represent miles for a long distance runner. Individual steps are effectively meaningless. Aside from the 100m race, there’s the 400m, the 800m, the mile, and Then the 5K. My respect for folks like that new SRCer who transition effectively to distances like miles over meters just went through the roof.

Maybe one day when I can no longer do marathons, I’ll benefit more from the perspective around shorter distances. Maybe not 100m, but who knows: 105-year-old Runner Breaks 100m record.*

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
¶Based on true events.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

How much are we shaped by our information sources?

NYT and Me (#92: Published in 2/26/22 RUN REPORT)

I admit that I like The New York Times. And I’m impressed with their running writing. Does that make me a bad person? As far as bias, though, it is a little left of center, so maybe watch out for fringier views on things like training strategies.

As someone in the information business, I should mind my sources. I should be reading from across the spectrum. I should be challenging my baseline convictions. No echo chambers. Extreme expressions of misguided conviction manifested in egregious behavior against innocents? Wait, we’re talking about running here, not international affairs. NYT does happen to cover those kinds of issues, too, though. Well, I would be doing broad information-gathering on running but monitoring multiple sources consumes energy and I’m not exactly getting paid to do it.

More to come on NYT and our fave past-time.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

From the right sort of professional for runners

Getting Professional Help (#91: Published in 2/19/22 RUN REPORT)

Why is “professional help” a euphemism for psychiatric help? We’re runners and help for us comes in the form of a visit to a PCP, physical therapist, or ultrasound technician; or all 3. I’ll tell you, though, the PT is really worth the money. Better yet, get a free consultation. That’s what I did for my left Achilles tendon. It started as tendinopathy in December and I injured it badly at the end of January (Rumination in 1/20/22 Run Report). Since then I’ve been taking it very easy under the advice of PT assistant BB Betsy.

Last week (2’17’R) I went to my regular PT at Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute on Easton Road in Glenside for a consultation. Some simple advice on freeing up the tender nerves trapped in my bulgy ankle (active stretching) made all the difference and I was walking limp free within a couple of days. Then some advice on heeding the whispers of discomfort and not getting above it talking to the point of yelling allowed me to start running again. And finally I got the recommendation for running on an elliptical to work on cardiovascular strengthening. All that was before I ever even got to the formal assessment. (The ultrasound is still to come.)

I’m well on track now for training to do the Jim Thorpe Marathon in May. What a relief. A much longer delay would have necessitated a visit to a mental health professional.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

How much and to what?

Are You Paying Attention? (#90 Published in 2/5/21 RUN REPORT)

A New York Times article recently featured an article on the best way to improve your running.* Do I need to say that it caught my attention? It seems that a bunch of researchers determined that the way to improve your running is…to not think about your running when you’re doing it. It says a lot about the value of running groups like Shawmont because we know that talking and running is a great way to make the running seem effortless.

This news is an odd counterpoint, though, to a research article on running that I also found recently.^ That one says that those who hit the runner’s wall during a marathon were more likely to have dissociated during the run. In other words, not thinking about your body while marathon running was more likely to cause bonking than paying attention to your body. So don’t pay attention or do pay attention?

I guess that paying too much attention to your body can cause you to overthink, instead of just run naturally, but that paying enough attention so that you can recognize warning signs of over-exertion protects you from exceeding your limits. Maybe that’s the problem with research, you have to pay so much attention to the details to figure out how they apply to you. As one wise Shawmonter said to me about their running, “I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*Reynolds, Gretchen. “The Secret to Better Running? Try Distraction.” The New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021.
^Stevinson, Clare D., and Stuart J. H. Biddle. “Cognitive Orientations in Marathon Running and ‘Hitting The Wall’.” British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 32, 1998, pp. 229-235.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’15’W.]

 

I’m joining good company

I Feel So Much Better (#89: Published in 1/29/22 RUN REPORT)

Depending on how much you’re following what I’ve written recently¹ you might be wishing that I was talking about my [moderately] injured left Achilles tendon. I’m not. The issue is still my Achilles, though. Others of you deal with plantar fasciitis, overworked piriformis, tender hamstrings.² My Achilles tendon is my Achilles tendon.

My right was a problem a bunch of years ago and PT put me right. My left was a problem last May (5/22/21 and 5/29/21 Run Reports) and transferring the activity from the earlier PT put my left right. Now I have a scheduled visit to my PCP because of a possible tear after 3 successive injuries [with the last possibly being a potentially catastrophic problem].[³]

I did a search on ‘Achilles tendon’ using my favorite information source, The New York Times. This decent article came up from 2003.⁴ The writer is nearly as entertaining and informative as I am;) But I had to go through 19 other article titles to find it; past all the athletes who got injured or rehabbed or sometimes went under the knife: football players, footballers, baseball players, basketball players…and [celebrated Olympic marathon runner] Paavo Nurmi in 1932.[⁵] I compare to Paavo Nurmi! I feel so much better!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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¹[DELETED: Facebook: Jenkintown-Running-Company Growlers Group Run.] Strava. [ADDED: Wang, Calvin. “SRC Aborted Shawmont Ave.” Strava, 15 Jan. 2022. “Shawmont Running Club: That left Achilles’ tendon turned a Shawmont into a bust”]
²Reread 12/29/19 RUN REPORT’s classic Rumination.
³[ADDED: Wang, Calvin. “Running with Maarten II.” Strava, 26 Jan. 2022. “St. Martin’s French border: Missed it by that much when I partially ruptured my injured left Achilles tripping over a stone on grassy terrain. The end of running for an indeterminate period. Thanks for the recovery well wishes Chris Goodwin. Didn’t work. Sorry Caitlin Rosemary. We’ll keep discussing Jim Thorpe prep”]
⁴Gorman, James. “Aches and Pain; It Hurt Achilles, and Now It’s Hurting Me.” The New York Times, 21 June 2004.
⁵Daley, Arthur J. “Nurmi Is Ordered to Rest His Leg.” The New York Times, 20 July 1932.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption, bracketed revisions, additional Paavo Nurmi article, and hyperlinks: 2022’06’15’W. Seems I passed this one on for publication too hastily.]

 

It’s baaaack

Pain?! My Foot, It Is. (#88: Published in 1/15/22 RUN REPORT)

Here we go again: Achilles tendinopathy (Last mention: 5/22/21 RUN REPORT). It’s not a tendinitis because it doesn’t embrace all the qualifications of a true inflammatory injury*, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a pain. Take last week on the Stone Bridge path up to the Orange Trail when I toed off a rock unexpectedly with my left foot: WOWHOWHOW! OW!

I did know this was developing, though, since I was 3 weeks into track workouts in prep for marathon training. Sudden changes have a way of doing that to a body. I’ve been back to eccentric-ankle-drop rehabbing. I need to be ready to start formal training for Jim Thorpe Marathon (05’16) beginning February.

While tendinopathy isn’t a chronic problem for me, it has been recurrent in both ankles. The fact that I had to dial in an aborted effort to Wife for the first time (who came down to fetch me from Main Street after 8 miles) means I have to be even more careful. None of us is getting younger. And while I got a good omelet and some coffee while waiting for her (Winnie’s! Recommended!), I don’t need to make a habit of abandoning Greg to finish a solo Shawmont. His hill-climbing misery loves company and deserves it. My injury-tending misery does not.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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*Maughan KL, Boggess R. Achilles tendinopathy and tendon rupture. UpToDate, n.d. Updated July 15 2021. Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’15’W]

 

Where are these wire rings coming from that I keep tripping on?

Huge Pain (#87: Published in 1/8/22 RUN REPORT)

A bunch of years ago I was doing a neighborhood run with BB Betsy. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the metal ring on the ground that sent me sprawling when my foot stepped on a section of it flipping up the rest just so. Wotta pain.

Since then I’ve been more successful noticing and avoiding tripping hazards, many of which happen also to be wire rings. They’re always about 12” in diameter and on a sidewalk or roadside right where a hapless runner like me happens to run. Where exactly do they come from?

I passed one last 3 weeks ago. “That’s from a hub cap,” said the guy I was with. !!!

For a professional information person like this university librarian, elusive answers are exasperating. But they can’t come unless you ask questions the right way of the right information sources. Np. In cases like these, the pain of it isn’t anyone’s grade. That’s good because knees heal; grades are forever.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’15’W]

 

A status report on the pedestrian bridge renovations

Project Progress (#86: Published in 1/1/22 RUN REPORT)

So about those pedestrian bridges. People seem to remember that the reno’s were supposed to be done by now. But I point to the article Waterbottle’s 2/19/2021 message referenced in this here group: “lasting at least into fall.” This wasn’t wrong. Winter has only just started and a gander from Lincoln Drive zipping by at an only-slightly-above-the-limit speed says the second bridge down from Ten Box is still very enveloped in scaffolding.

I don’t see any updates around and a friend with the Friends of the Wissahickon is still waiting to hear from their sources. In the meantime, Shawmonters are starting to give up on doing Shawmont Ave runs because it requires running up on the Orange Trail which harbors too many trail hazards for road runners with spring race goals.  Keep a good attitude people. “This short-term closure will deliver long-term enjoyment for generations of commuters, hikers, and cyclists” (CtC).

Runners; runners, too. Happy 2022, all!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’15’W]

 

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