Tag Archives: marathons

10 Days Till Yonkers Marathon

IMG_199610 days to go until the Yonkers Marathon and I am very excited about it. And I got my first black toe. This is very common in distance runners, and it is rarely serious. It is no big deal and I hardly feel any pain around it. Other runners I’ve talked to tell me the best thing to do about it is to do nothing, unless it is very painful or blood starts coming out. It doesn’t interfere with my running at all.

This is what you can expect if you start running 30+ miles per week.

The best joggling site – Just Your Average Joggler

For those of you who really want to learn everything there is to know about joggling, the best site by far for this is Just Your Average Joggler. The “average” joggler who runs the site is Perry Romanowski, author and cosmetic chemist. He’s been joggling for over 2 decades, has the second longest joggling streak in the world, and holds the world record for the fastest time joggling a 50 mile ultra-marathon. He regularly joggles half-marathons and marathons, and is planning on doing a 100 mile ultra-marathon. That’s freaking amazing!

His inspirational site has great tips for beginner jogglers and as well as advanced jogglers. Also has lots of excellent, science-based general health and fitness advice, and product reviews. He closely follows the world of joggling, and his site includes interviews of many accomplished jogglers.

Although I have mentioned his site before, it deserves to be mentioned again, since his humorous site helped me get started in joggling more than any other(granted, there are very few joggling sites). Should joggling become much more popular, a lot of, if not most of the credit should go to Perry and his website. Make sure you stop by and say hello and read all you can!

Just Your Average Joggler

Prolotherapy and knee injuries

If you are a serious runner, it is inevitable that you will either get injured or at least experience soreness from time to time. It happens to even the best of us. The most important thing you can do about injuries is do what you can to prevent them in the first place. Basically, don’t overdo it. Pain is your body’s way of telling you you are overdoing it. Also, strength-train your legs twice a week with ankle weights or resistance bands. Weak muscles may increase your risk of injury, besides preventing you from performing at your best.

Gray348

The knee. Source – Wikipedia/Gray’s Anatomy

The knees of a runner are especially vulnerable to injury. After running a marathon, many if not most of the runners experience at least some knee soreness, and a significant number will injure or re-injure their knees.

Injuries to the knee may involve the cartilage(meniscii), ligaments, or both. The meniscii in the knees serve as cushioning to absorb shocks and allow for smooth motion within the joint. Ligament is tissue that connects bone to bone. ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are notoriously common among football players, as well as runners.

Minor ACL injuries can sometimes heal without surgery if physical therapy is undertaken. All too many athletes unfortunately can’t return to sport even after reconstructive ACL surgery.

Serious injuries to knee cartilage often require surgery too. These types of injuries seldom heal at all or may heal very slowly, depending on the age of the athlete. This is because knee cartilage receives very little blood flow to help it heal.

Prolotherapy is sometimes suggested as an “alternative” to surgery for knee and other injuries. At its most basic, it involves injecting an inflammatory agent(often dextrose, which is just another way to say glucose) into the injured area to bring about an inflammatory healing response. So if you hate needles, it may not be for you.

When it comes to prolotherapy and ACL injury, it shows some promise. According to the Department of Biometry, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, U.S:

In patients with symptomatic anterior cruciate ligament laxity, intermittent dextrose injection resulted in clinically and statistically significant improvement in ACL laxity, pain, swelling, and knee range of motion.

When it comes to prolotherapy and osteoarthritis(which is similar to “runner’s knee”), the¬†Bethany Medical Center, Kansas City, reports that:

Prolotherapy injection with 10% dextrose resulted in clinically and statistically significant improvements in knee osteoarthritis. Preliminary blinded radiographic readings (1-year films, with 3-year total follow-up period planned) demonstrated improvement in several measures of osteoarthritis severity. ACL laxity, when present in these osteoarthritic patients, improved.

Prolotherapy¬†still isn’t very widely available and is still getting investigated. Insurance providers seldom if ever cover this procedure. It has been studied for use in treating injuries in other parts of the body, with mixed to mostly negative results.

I’ve injured my knees in the past, but luckily they were all minor.

Is Marathon Running Bad for the Heart?

Some interesting articles:

Is Marathon Running Bad for the Heart?

Running marathons ‘could permanently damage the heart’

Every now and then we hear about people dropping dead during marathons, and our unfit friends and family point this out to show us how “dangerous” running is. It seems in most cases these people had a heart defect. In my non-expert opinion, it certainly is possible that marathon running or over-training can cause at least a little heart damage even in healthy people, but this damage is usually temporary.

In the articles above, they examined only a small number of marathoners. We need studies that examine larger numbers of marathon runners so we can see what is really going on here.

Still, it is important to know that contrary to what many people would have us believe, completing a marathon doesn’t necessarily represent the pinnacle of fitness. Indeed, in the days and weeks following a marathon, for many runners, it is more like the opposite of fitness due to the damage caused by the running and the long recovery period. Some may even suffer from permanent injuries that can lead to being less fit and healthy in the long run. There are diminishing returns when you exercise beyond what is necessary for being fit and healthy, especially if you’re focusing almost exclusively on cardio which is what marathon-training is. As a person who has run and joggled half-marathon distances many times over the years, I can attest to this.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t run marathons. I’m simply saying, and I realize I may sound like a heretic to some, you don’t have to run or joggle marathons to be truly fit. You don’t even have to run every day to be fit, so long as you run or exercise most days of the week. Fitness shouldn’t be a form of punishment. If you run on a regular basis, don’t feel bad if you are not capable of running a marathon – it’s not the only game in town or the sole measure for determining how fit you are.

If you have a heart defect or suspect you may have one, be extra careful. See your doctor before attempting even half-marathons if you think you may have something. Also see your doctor if you decide you just want to be a total couch potato, which we know is much worse for the body than running.

Running a very long distance is overrated as a measure of fitness; marathons aren’t for everyone, but if you have the right physique, no heart defect, train properly and recover quickly, then running marathons may not be a bad idea. We at Wild Juggling want you to be creative with your fitness program, we want you to challenge yourself. But this doesn’t necessarily mean punishing yourself or pushing yourself to extremes that have more drawbacks than rewards.