WBEZ | running http://www.wbez.org/tags/running Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Music and the Marathon http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-09/music-and-marathon-113260 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/marathon flickr soozed.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About 45,000 runners are expected to pound the pavement this Sunday for the Chicago Marathon. As they bound through Bronzeville, lope through Lakeview, and try to keep pace in Pilsen, what&rsquo;ll they be listening to? The sounds of the crowd, of course. And for many racers with earbuds in, they&rsquo;ll also be hearing whatever they&rsquo;ve lined up on their phones or iPods.</p><p>We check with one serious runner to find out what he&rsquo;ll be listening to when he takes to the streets for his 6th Chicago Marathon on Sunday. Nico Bernal is co-founder of <a href="http://www.threeruntwo.com/">Three-Run-Two</a>, a running group based on the Northwest Side.</p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-09/music-and-marathon-113260 What I See: Katie Prout http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/what-i-see-katie-prout-108221 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/katie thumbnail.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Katie Prout is a writer, runner and storyteller living in Humboldt Park. Here, she documents one of her late afternoon runs on Chicago&#39;s West Side.</p><p>&quot;In every town and every city I&#39;ve ever lived in, I&#39;ve ran,&quot; she says. &quot;I think it&#39;s a wonderful way to get to know the area and the people and it takes me down a lot of unexpected side streets and roads. It shows me a lot of beautiful and, sometimes, sad things that I wouldn&#39;t have necessarily seen otherwise.&quot;</p><p>You can read Katie&#39;s personal blog, including a post called <a href="http://inmyspiralringnotebook.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-i-run.html" target="_blank">Why I Run,</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://inmyspiralringnotebook.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">right here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KycOUPigWDU?rel=0" width="640"></iframe></p><p><strong>More from the What I See project</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-dmitry-samarov-107924" target="_blank">Painting, sketching and coffee-roasting with Dmitry Samarov</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/what-i-see-trainers-day-shedd-aquarium-107766" target="_blank">A trainer&#39;s day at the Shedd Aquarium with&nbsp;Jessica Whiton</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/what-i-see-bike-bee-107686" target="_blank">Bike-a-Bee with Jana Kinsman</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-early-morning-edition-107362" target="_blank">Early Morning Edition with Lauren Chooljian</a></p><p><em>Show us what your Chicago looks like! Email web producer Logan Jaffe ljaffe@wbez.org or tweet @loganjaffe to find out more about how to make a What I See slideshow for WBEZ.</em></p></p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 09:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/what-i-see-katie-prout-108221 Running for my life http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/running-my-life-107317 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--58c1691-ce11-60a4-2f06-213d24709f93"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bg-header.png" style="height: 173px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="" />Saturday I&rsquo;m running the <a href="http://soldierfield10.com/">Soldier Field 10 Mile</a> race and there is a chance I may cry at the end of it. I mean, there is a good chance my bones and feet and various chafed bits will cry both figuratively and literally but there are other things going on as well.</p><p dir="ltr">This is my first big race since I had the baby in August. When I signed up for the run in January, I envisioned the race being the cap on my post-baby physical transformation&mdash;all the baby weight would be lost and I would be in shape again. I&rsquo;d be back to normal.</p><p dir="ltr">Having run eight pretty undramatic miles on Saturday, I feel physically ready for the race. I can envision crossing the finish line and (let&rsquo;s just be honest) posting my triumphant photo on Facebook and then wearing my finisher&rsquo;s medal as I drink my lone complimentary beer. Barring any dramatic weather or broken legs, worst case scenario, I will run/walk this thing and that will be that.</p><p dir="ltr">As for the other stuff, the weight, the shape, the normal? We&rsquo;ll see. Depending on the day, I&rsquo;m six to eight pounds away from being back to my pre-baby weight. I gained 45 to 50 pounds with this kid (believe it or not towards the end I didn&rsquo;t feel like getting on the scale that much), which I know is making my former boss&mdash;who used to pinch her forefingers and thumbs together to show me how tiny my fetus&rsquo; stomach was to caution me against thinking I had to &quot;eat for two&quot;&mdash;probably weep. I have no regrets about this though. My doctors were happy with me and while I enjoyed some treats, I didn&rsquo;t go all Jessica Simpson with <a href="http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-03-14/jessica-simpson-is-craving-slutty-brownies/">the slutty brownies</a>, either. I ate like a pregnant lady, not a normal lady and not like two pregnant ladies, either.</p><p dir="ltr">The weight loss process has been...interesting. The first 20 pounds came off in the hospital (thank you, water weight.) The next 10 came off with a modicum of effort. The next 10 with even more effort, and so on. Each bit has required more and more fight, though, and now I&rsquo;m at the place where I&rsquo;m really working at it, to the tune of getting up at 6 a.m. every morning to work out, missing the best time with the baby when he&rsquo;s well-rested and cute and happy. I just wanted to put that out there for the moms who are struggling with losing the baby weight: it&rsquo;s not just a matter of trying a little harder or putting some baby carrots in your purse to snack on.</p><p dir="ltr">It means spending time working out that could be spent with your partner or baby or resting or working and all of that is precious time. Instead of taking the easy, delicious route of ordering in or the nutritious, family-style route of cooking with the family, I often prepare my own, separate, lower-calorie dinner. I&rsquo;m not saying this is the right way for anyone. It&rsquo;s just what I&rsquo;m doing. I&rsquo;m being transparent about this as a salvo against the magazines and trainers who say you can be a yummy mummy or a hottie mommy or a bodacious breastfeeder or whatever the hell it is if you just prioritize yourself and whatnot. It&rsquo;s a drag, especially those last few pounds that nobody knows about but you but you suspect if you hold onto them will replicate over and over again and then you&rsquo;re on <em>What Not To Wear</em> crying about how you used to care about how you looked before you had kids.</p><p dir="ltr">For the normal, well, whatever. There is no normal anymore and what is normal to me now is only going to be that way for a short amount of time. I laugh at what I thought I knew six months ago just as I know that the me in five years will wet my pants in hilarity over the ignorance of the me now.</p><p dir="ltr">For a while I thought that my life is a shelf that can only hold so much stuff and that I need to remove a few things like cooking or a social life in order to include items like exercise and time with the baby. But a doctor I just saw this week who specializes in moms who struggle with normal and work and babies and stuff implied that maybe such compartmentalization is not ideal. I have to wait for my next appointment to find out what household feature my attitude towards life should more ideally resemble. Perhaps a soothing koi pond?</p><p dir="ltr">Finishing the race will not be the thing that brings my pre-baby body back (and the post-race pancakes won&rsquo;t help) but in a new world where a lot less feels in my control, having set a long-term goal and accomplishing it&mdash;and getting a medal for it, no less&mdash;it will make me feel better about all those early mornings.</p><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 08:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/running-my-life-107317 Questions for the woman jogging with a party-hat-wearing dog http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/questions-woman-jogging-party-hat-wearing-dog-107162 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/doghat.jpg" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="(Flickr/zheem)" /></div>Was is the dog&#39;s birthday or was this commemorating another occasion?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">How did you manage to keep the dog&#39;s hat on its head?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">How could you just keep running without looking around to enjoy everyone&#39;s reaction, as if it was not a big deal?<br />&nbsp;</div><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 08:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/questions-woman-jogging-party-hat-wearing-dog-107162 Chicago Marathon registration opens today http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-marathon-registration-opens-today-105602 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS3685_Chicago Marathon 2008_Flickr_Pannecko.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Registration for the 36th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon opened today.</p><p>Last year it only took a record breaking six days to fill the 45,000 spots.</p><p>The event is scheduled for October 13, starting and finishing in Chicago&rsquo;s Grant Park.</p><p>Will Bridge manages Universal Sole, a local runner&rsquo;s specialty shop.</p><p>He says the popularity of the Chicago marathon is pushing first time runners to commit early.</p><p>&ldquo;Every year we see people that are spectators that get excited and think &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going to do that next year&rsquo;,&rdquo; Bridge said. &ldquo;In years past they didn&rsquo;t really have to face that issue until June... now you&rsquo;re forced in February.&rdquo;</p><p>Bridge says he&rsquo;s betting registration will close out within a couple of days this year.</p><p>People registering today experienced problems on the website. The organizers of the marathon released this statement:</p><p>&ldquo;Some people have been experiencing error messages in the process of registering for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We are working with our registration partners at Active.com to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;Registration for U.S. participants costs $175, and $200 for those outside of the U.S.</p><p>For more information, or to register, visit <a href="http://chicagomarathon.com" target="_blank">chicagomarathon.com</a>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-marathon-registration-opens-today-105602 The Hal Higdon interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-01/hal-higton-interview-105258 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Hal-Portrait.jpg" style="float: right; height: 386px; width: 300px;" title="Hal Higdon" /><span id="internal-source-marker_0.6083719501964003">I began running a few years ago and was quickly turned on to the training regimens of today&rsquo;s interviewee, who has maintained careers in both running and writing that are impressive for their quality, output and longevity. &nbsp;He has contributed to </span><em>Runner&#39;s World </em>for longer than any other writer, an article by him having appeared in that publication&#39;s second issue in 1966.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Author of 36 books, including the best-selling <em>Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide</em>, now in its 4th edition, Higdon also has written books on many subjects and for different age groups. His children&#39;s book, <em>The Horse That Played Center Field,</em> was made into an animated feature by ABC-TV. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. At the American Society of Journalist and Author&#39;s annual meeting in 2003, the Society gave Higdon its Career Achievement Award, the highest honor given to writer members. You can learn much more about him and his programs <a href="http://www.halhigdon.com/">here</a>.<br />&nbsp;</div><p><strong>What have been some of the most beautiful runs you&rsquo;ve ever been on?</strong><br /><a href="http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm">Indiana Dunes State Park</a> remains at the top of my list. There&#39;s a bit of everything: flat and fast to steep with scenery, on clear days the Chicago skyline. In second place, maybe the <a href="http://www.redwoods.co.nz/">Redwood Forest in Rotarua, New Zealand</a>. Bermuda has probably the most scenic marathon among the 111 I have run.<br /><br /><strong>What do you find are some of the silliest trends in running, either in terms of training or gear?</strong><br />I&#39;m not sure silly trends exist in running. At least I&#39;m not arrogant enough to brand so-called trends as &quot;silly.&quot; As long as you are a runner, and love the sport as much as I do, I&#39;m comfortable with whatever silliness you carry in your running baggage.<br /><br /><strong>What do you do (or did you do, knowing you don&rsquo;t run quite as much as you used to) when a run is just a slog? Was there a physical or mental way that typically made the run go by faster, or do you just suck it up (or just abort?)</strong><br />Run being a slog? Does that ever happen? Maybe to mere mortals. If there is a physical reason why any run is a slog, then you need to bail out and hope you are not more than 10 miles from your parked car.<br /><br /><strong>You&rsquo;ve published so many different kinds of writing; what&rsquo;s one style &nbsp;that you never tried that you&rsquo;d like to (or that you wished you were more proficient at)?</strong><br />If you had asked me that question 3 or 4 years ago, I would have answered that I would like to write a novel. But since that time, I fulfilled that desire to write a work of fiction. Titled simply <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Marathon-A-Novel-Hal-Higdon/dp/0963634607/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3">Marathon</a></em>, it describes the 72 hours leading up to a major marathon that strongly resembles Chicago.<br /><br /><strong>What was your reaction to the New York marathon being canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy?</strong><br />I don&#39;t want to second-guess <a href="https://twitter.com/nyrrmaryruns">Mary Wittenberg</a>, director of the New York City Marathon, or the Mayor who in their earliest pronouncements in the middle of the week immediately after the hurricane wanted the marathon to proceed as planned. I thought then it was a bad decision, but they corrected themselves and cancelled the race. That was the right decision, even if it came at a late hour. It did not make sense to me to have runners frolicking through the streets of New York while people were suffering, their homes destroyed, without power. Many runners decided to run anyway in Central Park without worry about time and distance. Others went to near the starting line in Staten Island to help in the cleanup. I applaud them all. I also applaud all those who told the marathon organizers, no, this is not something we want happening in our back yards during this critical time for New York City.<br /><br /><strong>Running seems so incredibly basic yet it continues to be a topic of much conversation and publication. Why does such a simple activity generate so much discussion, reflection and advice?</strong><br />It&#39;s a self-help topic, certainly. Back when I first got into running, nobody cared much about the sport, except at the Olympic level and, in the case of the marathon, once a year at Boston. But now we have marathons that attract tens of thousands of runners. We are an attractive demographic, so our foibles attract a certain amount of interest.<br /><br /><strong>Related, running is an incredibly intimidating activity for many people. Why do you think it&rsquo;s so much more daunting to many people than, say, bike riding?</strong><br />Daunting? I probably put more miles in biking these days than I do running, and whether the word &quot;daunting&quot; should be attached to running, I don&#39;t know. I also hate the word &quot;grueling&quot; being attached to our endurance events. I&#39;m going to suggest that biking is a lot more dangerous an activity than running, particularly in areas where we share the roads with four-wheeled or four-legged creatures. Cars can&#39;t hit you and dogs can&#39;t chase you when you&#39;re running cross-country.<br /><br /><strong>What do you typically think about when you run?</strong><br />Anything and everything. One of the great pleasures of running is to allow your mind to freewheel while you run. Anything can attract my attention from a seagull pitter-pattering on the beach to a sunset to an attractive female runner who says, &quot;Hi&quot; as we pass, even though we may never see each other again.<br /><br /><strong>I had lunch with some friends last year who were in town to run the Chicago Marathon and I said that marathon running/training didn&rsquo;t seem very fun to me. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not,&rdquo; they confirmed. Do you agree?</strong><br />No, but I don&#39;t really care whether anyone--particularly non-runners--considers what we do as being &quot;fun.&quot; Just please get out of our way, but it would be nice if you kept your dog on the leash and didn&#39;t text while driving past us in your overpriced cars. But, hey, hasn&#39;t the focus of this interview been rather negative so far. I would rather focus on running as a positive, rather than a negative. If running were that difficult, you wouldn&#39;t find so many people doing it these days.<br /><br /><strong>Throughout your life you&rsquo;ve accomplished so much as both a writer and a runner. In the last couple of decades, which was more difficult to generate, running goals or writing goals?</strong><br />Running goals were easy. At the start of the year, you simply asked yourself, what do I want to accomplish in the next 12 months? For me, it might have been successful participation in an Olympic Trial. It might have been trying to win a world masters championship. Or it might be simply getting through the year healthy and uninjured. Writing goals? I&#39;m not sure I had any writing goals. Each article assignment, each book contract, provided a goal of some sort. The goal was to finish the assignment, to get paid, then to move onto the next assignment.<br /><br /><strong>You&rsquo;ve mentioned in <a href="http://www.ujenafitclub.com/ninter.php/14">other interviews that you&rsquo;re an incredibly organized writer</a>. What are some of your methods for staying so organized?</strong><br />Did I use the word &quot;incredibly?&quot; That seems to be a bit of an overreach. If Hemingway had ever used &quot;incredibly&quot; in a first draft, that would have been the first word scratched out in draft two. Organization? It&#39;s part of a person&#39;s mindset. It&#39;s not being afraid of doing what you&#39;re good at doing. I&#39;ve always been able to get up in the morning, go for a run (or more often now a bike ride), have breakfast, then sit down at the typewriter (or more often now a computer) and begin the job of the day. I&#39;ve never suffered writer&#39;s block. I don&#39;t know what it is. Starting each assignment, I usually had a clear path down the road to finishing the job. Because I was a good researcher and interviewer, I usually knew the ending before I knew the beginning. One editor once told me that she loved my articles, because they had a beginning, a middle and an end. Made her job much easier. She could concentrate on commas rather than paragraphs. I took whatever time it took to do produce as perfect a product as possible. It might be an hour&#39;s worth of work for a 600-word column. It might be a year or more for a 100,000-word book. I&#39;ve never felt I had a &quot;method&quot; for writing. Nothing that would make the cover of a magazine aimed at embryo writers. I just wrote. Organization enabled me to write swiftly, because I never had to pause to think of what to say next.<br /><br /><strong>You originally got your start as an aspiring comics writer. Do you still enjoy comics? Which do you read?</strong><br />Actually my aspiration was not to be a comics writer; it was more to be a comics artist. But in creating the art, I also created the words that accompanied the art. My goal in high school was to someday create a comic strip the near equal of <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_and_the_Pirates_%28comic_strip%29">Terry and the Pirates</a> </em>by the most accomplished writer/artist of the era when I was in high school, maybe of any era. Milton Caniff, and he was considered the Rembrandt of the Comic Strips. I drew comic strips in high school, but also wrote them. Eventually, I realized I was a much better writer than runner and shifted careers. I rarely read comic books any more. They cost too much vs. the 10 cents I paid when I was a kid. They also drag the stories out too long. Too much fighting and not enough thought. My son has a subscription to <em>The Amazing Spider-Man</em>, so I borrow his copies now and then and read them eight at a time. I more often read the comic strips that come with the papers. Sadly, they are shrunk to such tiny boxes that sometimes it&#39;s hard to read the word balloons. You almost need a magnifying glass for Doonesbury. With the shrunken sizes, all the well drawn adventure strips have disappeared. You don&#39;t see anything as well drawn or well written as <em>Prince Valiant</em>, <em>Tarzan</em> or <em>Flash Gordon</em> any more. Instead, we&#39;re stuck with gag-a-day. Among that genre, I like <a href="http://www.gocomics.com/frazz">Frazz</a>, because he&#39;s a runner and triathlete and <em>For Better or For Worse</em>, because there&#39;s some continuity to the story line. I might add that I collect original comic art and have a lot of it hanging on my office walls. I&#39;m staring at a <em>Daredevil</em> page by John Romita, Jr. right now.<br /><br /><strong>You&rsquo;ve said that when you were younger, running wasn&rsquo;t an acceptable activity for anyone over 17. Why do you think that was so, and what, broadly, do you think was the turning point for running becoming a more widespread hobby?</strong><br />There was no competitive opportunities: no track meets or road races, or at least very few opportunities for out-of-school athletes. When I first ran Boston in 1959, only about 100 others participated. Very few track or cross-country runners continued beyond high school and college, and most of them were fairly accomplished, capable of sub-3 marathon times. But the focus had begun to shift toward a fitness-based sport, prompted by best-selling books by Bill Bowerman (<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Jogging-William-J-Bowerman/dp/0448144433/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3">Jogging</a></em>) and Dr. Ken Cooper (<em><a href="http://www.cooperaerobics.com/About/Our-Leaders/Kenneth-H-Cooper,-MD,-MPH.aspx">Aerobics</a></em>), but also an article about the Boston Marathon titled &quot;<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1135211/index.htm">On the Run from Dogs and People</a>&quot; that I wrote for<em> Sports Illustrated</em> in 1963. By the end of the 1960s, a thousand runners entered Boston, and running was en route to becoming a mainstream sport, helped by Frank Shorter&#39;s gold medal in the Olympic Marathon in 1972.<br /><br /><strong>What do you like most about using social media as a tool for coaching?</strong><br />I can do it at home.<br /><br /><strong>How does it feel to be the 339th person interviewed for Zulkey.com?</strong><br />It depends on who you pick for # 340.</p></p> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 08:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-01/hal-higton-interview-105258 Chicago runners keep going despite 'unrelenting' heat http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-runners-keep-going-despite-unrelenting-heat-100645 <p><p>Meteorologists are calling this week&rsquo;s 90 degree temperatures an &ldquo;unrelenting heat wave.&rdquo;</p><p>But some relent<em>less</em> Chicago runners are unfazed.</p><p>Marge Garcia was training for the Chicago triathlon this week along the Lakeshore Drive path. WBEZ talked to her in the middle of a run at 1 p.m.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people here are training seriously,&quot; Garcia said. &quot;If you&rsquo;ve been doing it a bit, you know to just listen to your body.&rdquo;</p><p>Garcia says she learned that lesson the hard way.</p><p>&ldquo;I did a twenty miler, and I ended up in the hospital,&quot; Garcia said. &quot;I ended up needing three bags of IV&rsquo;s because I didn&rsquo;t have proper hydration.&rdquo;</p><p>Endurance athletes like Garcia say electrolytes, sodium tablets and plenty of water are critical to preventing dehydration.</p><p>But Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste warns that exercise enthusiasts should head outside earlier in the morning to avoid heat-related illnesses.</p><p>&quot;For those who are running in the late morning through the mid to late afternoon hours, you&#39;re really putting a lot of stress on your body,&quot; Sebenste said. &quot;Even if you&#39;re in great physical condition that doesn&#39;t mean that you&#39;re not hurting your body by running in such weather.&quot;</p><p>The term &quot;unrelenting heat wave&quot; refers to the high temperature and humidiy that put stress on our bodies and continue through the night, Sebenste said.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 17:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-runners-keep-going-despite-unrelenting-heat-100645 My demented deranged hip http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-07-18/my-demented-deranged-hip-89305 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-18/zulkeyrunner2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I started running a few years ago, thanks in part to a personal trainer who tricked me into liking it.&nbsp; I realized that it can be a relaxing, enjoyable exercise and not hell from start to finish. I ran my first 5K in June 2009 and realized that running is an ideal exercise for the goal-oriented. I never liked spinning on stationery bicycles going nowhere or watching the back of some lady’s head in a step class, but with running I could challenge myself to faster times and longer races. So this year I signed up for my first half-marathon.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-18/zulkeyrunner1.jpg" title="" height="500" width="332"></p><p>To help with my training, for Christmas my dad gave me a <a href="https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142&amp;pID=83280" target="_blank">Garmin forerunner 210</a>, a nifty toy that tracks how far you’ve run, how fast you’re running and your heartbeat, amongst other things. Plug it into your computer and you can see that the satellites have tracked exactly where you’ve run too, which falls into that neat/creepy realm that describes most new things.</p><p>If I were a member of the Chicago White Sox, I’d be Paul Konerko, not because I’m awesome but because I’m slow. In a tight game, you’d put a pinch runner in for me for sure. I knocked out about a ten-minute mile on the treadmill, normally. With the Garmin, though, I could see exactly how fast I was running, which started to give me something of a complex, especially when I ran outside, on the lakefront, on January days. If I could run faster I’d be home in the hot shower sooner. I started trying to run faster and faster and, not surprisingly, I started enjoying running less.</p><p>I also eventually began noticing a slight ache in my right hip. Nothing major--just after I ran, but still, it bugged me because it didn’t go away, not even after I replaced my running shoes. My trainer suggested I take a month or so off from running, which I did this spring, but the second I returned to running, the ache came back too, only now I started feeling it when I was running. And after. And in the mornings. And walking around. It was no longer aching, it was grinding.</p><p>The annoying thing about a running injury is that it’s so minor in the big picture. I wasn’t visibly injured, I wasn’t on crutches or bleeding or had a diagnosis, but still, it was bringing me down, and less coolly, making running a drag again when I had successfully un-drag-ified it a few years previously. I realized there was no way I could handle the anxiety of training for a half-marathon and worrying about my hip, so based on the recommendation of a friend, I made an appointment at <a href="http://www.ric.org/conditions/sportsmed/index.aspx" target="_blank">RIC Spine and Sport</a>.</p><p>I’m currently four appointments deep in a six-appointment commitment and I’m very intrigued by the whole process. The facilities are stuffed with equipment: padded tables, treadmills, exercise balls, stuff I can’t even identify. It looks very official. But I felt kind of like a dope when, for my first appointment, I was asked to identify my pain on a scale of 1-10. Well, clearly, 10 is for people who are getting stabbed and giving birth at the same time. Um...a 2? I felt like I was wasting their time.</p><p>Fortunately my therapist at RIC hasn’t treated me that way thus far. I was hoping for a cool-sounding diagnosis so that I could tell people I had something that sounds very official, like bursitis or something. When I asked her last week though what the definition for what my hip problem was, she made it sound like my hip is insane.</p><p>“What did you say my hip problem was again?” I asked today. “It’s demented?”</p><p>“No, it’s deranged,” she said, and then put me on a table called the <a href="http://www.hilllabs.com/chiropractic/Hill-McKenzie-REPEX-Table.php" target="_blank">RePex</a> that bends you backwards like a delicious potato chip and makes squeaky noises like a ghost mouse. Long story made extremely short, my gait is wonky and my hip is weak and so I need to strengthen it and my various other muscles to get back in shape.</p><p>I like things that are effective (which, I know, makes me the specialist snowflake.) I tried acupuncture a few years ago for a different running issue and while it was relaxing, I hoped it worked more than I thought it was really working. Plus I had to pay out of pocket for it which I don’t have to do at RIC. So far at RIC though I feel like things are happening. I am given different stretches and exercises to perform which I do diligently (once again, goal-oriented, and a bit of a people-pleaser to boot). Per my therapist's recommendation, I ice my hip so frequently I uttered the phrase "I'm getting really sick of sticking bags of ice down my pants" to my husband last night. Today I ran both on the treadmill and the track so my therapist could figure out what’s wrong with my gait. I was told to imagine I was “running on clouds” next time, which is a delightful mental image. I also liked that I basically got my workout in today while at the doctor’s office.</p><p>I still have a few more appointments to go and at least 13.1 big miles to run before I’ve reached the end of this summer’s physical health journey. What have I learned? That if you have good insurance, you should milk every sweet cent out of it that you can if you’re not feeling well. That I am pretty sure that if running a half-marathon is causing me this much angst, a marathon is not in the cards for me. And that maybe running and simultaneously obsessively checking a computer strapped to your arm that’s talking to outer space isn’t the best idea ever.</p></p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 15:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-07-18/my-demented-deranged-hip-89305