Category Archives: fail

Kara Goucher…again, a massive hurdle pileup and an ethical dilemma

It’s getting a little old (in a good way) to write about Kara Goucher every week. This week, she, Nick Symmonds and Alysia Montano all signed with Soleus, which is a watch and GPS company. I actually checked their product line out after the announcement and am really interested in trying them out. They have a nicer aesthetic than Garmin and since mine is totally and utterly broken, maybe now’s the time. This most recent announcement is another awesome example of the quiet shakeup occurring in professional running. Goucher, Symmonds and Montano were all Nike runners at one point but all now run for shoe companies that allow them more latitude in other apparel and gear contracts. It’s also interesting to me that Goucher has a young child and is currently injured while Montano is pregnant and not competing this year, but Soleus was still happy to sign them. In the world of professional running, non-performance punishments are part of the business, but it seems that some of the smaller companies are starting to realize that elite runners are human too.

In more local news, an amazing story about a Vermont runner who had Guillain-Barre this winter and came back to be able to run half of VCM. We just did GB in a case study this week, so this story was about as timely as possible. My only objection to the story was the mention that the flu vaccine was a plausible cause of his GB. While the influenza vaccine can cause GB, it is FAR more common for a diarrheal or upper respiratory virus to cause GB (although GB is not at all common).

In another collision of my worlds, an interesting editorial was published on KevinMD this week, written by a resident who was running Boston and taking pictures for the Boston Globe to commemorate the experience. When a medical emergency occurred, she stopped to help and took a picture of the first responders. She also inadvertently got a picture of the victim and took considerable criticism. Her situation is somewhat unique but brings up both the interesting experience of the physician-runner and of social media rules for physicians. Every year at VCM, there are medical issues along the course and friends/colleagues of mine have to stop their races to provide medical care. It’s part of our job; whether we’re on duty or not, we have an obligation to help. I’m still getting used to that responsibility/requirement.

Rogue Running posted another great training article this week, this time on de-training and re-training. I know way too many people who go from marathon to marathon to marathon, only to have results stagnate or even get worse. This article is a simple explanation of why this happens.

Finally in “newsy news,” one of the most epic hurdle crashes I’ve seen in a long time. Hurdles and Steeple make for fantastic spectator fodder, but this almost takes the cake. I was never a great hurdler, but it seems like the guy in the lead fouled a few times, kicking through his hurdle instead of over it. You can clip a hurdle without a DQ, but not if it is intentional or impedes the progress of others. I don’t know about the former, but the ramifications of his clip clearly impeded (impressively) the entire heat.

What new equipment/gear companies are you loving? Do you use periodization in training or are you guilty of jumping from cycle to cycle? Best race related wipeout you’ve been a part of or witnessed?

I’m off to pick up our bibs at the Expo. Seems strange to have it be VCM weekend and not be preparing for a big race but also nice to know that I get to stop at Oakledge Park tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!


I see odd things at the gym every day. Sometimes it’s clothing choices. For example, can someone explain the cutup cotton tee shirt that shows off the sports bra? More often, I see people doing exercises that make little physiological sense. I recently said to Will that I wanted two “red cards” per workout, where I could ask a stranger what body part they thought they were working out. Nevertheless, this article cracked me up. It still doesn’t explain backwards Stairclimber, however.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at the gym lately?

That Awkward Moment When…

I’ve had my share of awkward gym moments over the years. Most recently, I’ve work see-through capris (unbeknown to me), fallen trying to get up off the exercise ball (my boot is a decent excuse) and today, realized that I didn’t quite manage to get my sports bra on correctly. 45 minutes into my workout in a white tank top.

As my friend John would say what had happened was I hardly ever wear this sports bra because it’s not good for running. It was a gift from a friend who competes in fitness competitions but definitely more for her sport than mine. Nevertheless, it’s fine for the elliptical and lifting and it was on the top of the pile this morning. It has double straps on the shoulder, definitely more pretty than functional and somehow I didn’t manage to get both double straps on my right side over my shoulder. I also managed to not notice this through my time on the elliptical or the first few exercises. As I started overhead press, however, I realized something was very wrong. A black strap was cutting across my armpit, under my shoulder. Not my best moment. I finished my workout quickly then walked with my arms at my side to get to my coat.

What awkward wardrobe malfunctions have you suffered while running? Do you fix them or just keep going?

Freaky Friday

Today in weird running and fitness news…

You can’t make this stuff up. Happy weekend everyone. Get out there and move the old-fashioned way.

Snapshots of a Busy Runner

Anyone who knows me knows that my house is always neat as a pin. I can’t study if there are dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor. I can’t sleep if everything isn’t in its place. So, you know I’m busy when this is what my front door area looked like this morning: an actual explosion of my gym bag post-tempo run last night. I was so tired when I got home that I did enough so that the wet clothes didn’t mold in my bag…but not much else. I did manage this pile this morning, but not before I had a chance to grab evidence that my house isn’t always perfect.

And then there was breakfast this morning. In my rush to get out the door to the library, I decided to make breakfast in a red Solo cup. It’s not the first time I’ve done this and it won’t be the last. I threw together oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate syrup and almond protein powder and BAM, Reese’s Oatmeal to-go. The funny looks I get toting food around in a cup normally reserved for kegs is worth it.

And now back to studying…

Ground 1, Sarah 0

I was visiting friends this weekend and headed out for a run on Sunday, planning to do an easy hour. As soon as I hit the door, it started to pour, which should have been a harbinger of things to come. I plodded along and was feeling pretty good when I came upon a little urban park with trails. I ventured in, found a trail map and was excited to explore trails in a new place. I made it about 400 yards from the map and BAM. I found a rock with my foot and crashed. Hard.

I laid there in the pouring rain, just trying to assess the damage. I was dizzy, my ears were ringing and I’m pretty sure I was saying out loud “owwwwwwwwwww.” Although I didn’t feel like anything was broken, I was so dizzy, I didn’t dare try to walk, so I sat for a while. Finally, I was able to hobble home.

While I don’t remember hitting my head, my mouth had dirt in it and my head was bright red and muddy. I tore clean through my tights and the sleeves of my shirt. My belly button ring was gone and I have a big bruise on my right side. My elbows and knees are grim at best. Stupid runner…

I woke up stiff, sore and bruised yesterday, but not completely immobilized and ran a tentative 3 miles to see how things feel. While my knees are stiff and don’t want to bend, nothing feels broken. I’m going to take it easy this week regardless, focusing on my quality work on Wednesday and 20-miler on Saturday. And try to stay upright.