Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Day to Run with Team Tiara

While the weather still feels like winter, sunny skies added a touch of spring to this morning's run with Team Tiara. We persevered through 11 miles of very hilly neighborhoods near West Stride running store. There are only 5 short weeks left to the ING Georgia Half-Marathon. I'm hoping to have a couple of good 13-mile runs before race day.

Since West Stride won't be hosting group runs during the next 2 weekends, I'll shift my training back to familar routes in Decatur and Druid Hills. It will also be a good time to check out Saturday runs hosted at Decatur's running stores.

Fundraising through Facebook

As part of my participation in this year’s ING Georgia Half-Marathon, I decided to join Team Tiara to raise money for Girls on the Run Atlanta (GOTR). Through its running programs, GOTR fosters self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle among young girls. Girls ages 8 to 13 are eligible to participate. Programs are offered at local schools, YMCAs, and Girls, Inc. sites. As a mother of a young girl, I can really relate to the ideals of this organization.

By joining Team Tiara, I’m committed to raising at least $262 for Girls on the Run. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had to solicit money for a race. In the past, I would have pleaded for donations from family members or co-workers through phone calls or posters displayed in my office. This time, I’m going to turn to Facebook. Since joining the social networking site last year, I’ve re-connected with college and high school friends to grow my personal network to over 100 people. If just half of my Facebook friends contribute $10 each, I’ll raise $500. The Facebook e-mail is going out today. Wish me luck.

If you like this blog, please consider helping me support Girls on the Run by donating at my fundraising page.

This week’s route is the 11-mile route I ran this morning from West Stride. You can find the route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

· Start from West Stride and run south (toward I-75) on Northside Pkwy.
· Turn right on West Paces Ferry and cross the street at the crosswalk
· Turn left on Nancy Creek Rd.
· Head straight on Nancy Creek and cross W. Wesley Rd.
· Turn right on Ridgewood Rd.
· Cross W. Wesley Rd (the road is a loop)
· Turn left on W. Wesley Rd
· Turn right on Rivermeade Ln
· Turn left on Rivermeade Dr.
· Turn left on Rivermead Way
· Turn right on Nancy Creek Rd.
· Turn left on Ridgewood Rd.
· Turn right on Nancy Creek Rd
· Turn left on Ridgewood Rd
· Turn left on Ridgewood Terr
· Turn left on Moores Mill
· Turn left on Peachtree Battle
· Turn right on Margaret Mitchell Dr.
· Turn left on Ridge Valley Rd.
· Turn left on Sequoyah Dr
· Turn right on W. Wesley Rd.
· Turn left into Westminster complex
· Turn right at first road (no street name) and follow through complex
· Turn right on W. Paces Ferry
· Turn left on Northside Pkwy.
· End at West Stride

Monday, February 16, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation

Last night, I watched the Science Discovery show “Connected Power of Six Degrees”. It talked about the science of networks and how mathematicians are discovering that we’re all linked through “hubs” which connect us – essentially six degrees from each other. The internet is a great example of this phenomenon, where sites like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter serve as hubs that link people to both content and each other on the web.

So, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with running. Well, it got me thinking about how I’ve become connected with runners across the country through my blog and Twitter account. Runners tend to be social people and enjoy sharing their passion for the sport with others. I’ve agonized with women runners at through our stories about dealing with injuries. I’ve laughed at the adventures that runners chronicle on their blogs. And I’ve followed the daily observations and activities of runners at Twitter. Last week, I connected with a former Atlanta resident who recently moved to Baltimore and started his own running blog Meep Meep. We used to rely on running groups and road races to meet other runners. Now, with the wide use of online sites and applications, you don’t have to slip your shoes on for an early morning meet-up to connect with people who share a passion for running.

If you’re training for the ING Georgia, here’s a great, scenic to run. You’ll find a map for the route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Decatur to Little Five Points – 8.16 miles

· Start at Fellini’s at Commerce St. and Sycamore Place
· Turn right at Howard Ave.
· Stay on Howard/Dekalb Ave. for approximately 2 miles. Pass the East Lake Marta Station
· Turn right on Ridgecrest Rd.
· Turn left on McClendon Ave.
· Stay on McClendon for approximately 2 miles. Pass Flying Biscuit CafĂ© and Candler Park.
· Turn right on Moreland Ave.
· Turn right on Ponce de Leon Ave.
· Take Ponce de Leon Ave. through Druid Hills to Downtown Decatur
· Once in Downtown Decatur, turn right on Church St.
· Turn left on Sycamore St.
· Turn right on Sycamore Place
· Cross Commerce St. and return to Fellini’s parking lot

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

On Saturday, West Stride hosted Dr. Thomas Myers with Myers Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. Having recently recovered from runner’s knee, I was anxious to get his advice on injury prevention.

Dr. Myers’ key tip for runners is that you can’t limit your physical activity to running. Core body strength is essential. It provides stability that helps prevent strain and overuse of muscles. This month’s issue of Runner’s World has a section dedicated to exercises for developing core body strength.

Along with core body strength, weight training is also important. Strong quad muscles help support the knees. Keep in mind that if you’re experiencing cartilage damage or arthritis, exercises such as leg extensions can be hard on the knees. Consider exercises that work the quad muscles while keeping the leg straight to minimize stress on the knee such as using elastic bands while lifting the leg up.

Rather than post a running route this week, I want to give another plug to You'll find 30 running routes in Metro Atlanta posted at the site. It's a great resource for local runners.