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Active Destination: Smithfield

Few things get me as excited as stumbling across an area marked off with yellow tape. Not “Crime Scene” tape, but “Construction: Do Not Cross” tape, the kind that marks a greenway under construction. The kind Marcy and I found while exploring downtown Smithfield last month. “The tape!” Marcy reminded as I pretended I didn’t see it and tried to sneak onto an in-progress pedestrian bridge spanning Buffalo Creek just…

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Recommended reading: A good yarn about sticking with it

If you’re just beginning a exercise program — be it walking, swimming, cycling, whatever — and are having doubts, take a few minutes to read about the Yarn Harlot’s foray into running. She assures you you are not alone. If you’ve ever made anything out of two needles and a very long piece of string, you probably know about the Yarn Harlot. If you buy all your sweaters, socks and…

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Walk, don’t run

“Squeeze your butt and take full steps,” Kpop (a k a Karley Poplestein), 02 Fitness trainer by day/walking coach by early evening instructed as we began walking from The Athlete’s Foot in Cameron Village to the nearby Rose Garden. That’s a … curious request, I thought. Fortunately, before I could reach behind and grab my buns while taking full steps I noticed my cowalkers were clinching their gluteus maximus, not…

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Hamstrung: The recovery

Finally, the exciting conclusion to our hamstring injury! (Guilty of hyperbole. Let’s proceed.) OK, a hamstring injury isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t have the cache of, say, an ACL injury. But it’s common among weekend warriors. Don’t warm up, go out too fast — ping! — there’s a debilitating snap in the back of your leg. A muscle snap that if you ignore can hobble you for weeks. First, a look…

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Have a ball? Have a ball!

When I’d reached my self-imposed word limit yesterday I said I’d return today with recommendations for working through a hamstring injury and ways to prevent it from happening again. Which I’ll get to. But first I need to tell you about an orphaned ball. It was a good hour until dinner, the early evening was warm and sunny, the rush of kids coming home from school and parents from work…

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Hamstrung by a hamstring

It was the second inning and we were only down by two, but already I could feel the game slipping away. There was a short fly to the first base side, I started to sprint over and — Aiieee! — I felt a hamstring go. The semitendinosus, if my reading of the Full Body Anatomy chart was right. I one-hopped the fly, another run scored and I suddenly had visions…

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Frisky Frenchy

Feeling like age is catching up with you (a concern most prominent, based on personal observation, among folks in their 30s)? Then you need to check this video of Jaques “Frenchy” Houot.

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Six runners, six reasons to run

Ernie Parker talks strategy with coach Tim Clark. I’ve shared why I signed up for the Fit-tastic running program: to relive the glory days of my running youth and hopefully do sub 8-minute miles in the Halloween weekend Monster Dash 5K. Now here’s why some of my peers in the advanced runner category are in the program. Susan Jessup For Susan, it was either run a half marathon or buy…

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Coach, redefined

It’s been 35 years since I’ve been under the influence of a coach. Then, playing high school baseball, I listened only out of fascination over how this guy thought his berating and belittling was motivating us. He was a study in growth-stunted, ex-jock, why-didn’t-i-get-drafted psychology.

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The power of partners

“4.84?” I asked my running partner. “4.84 what?” “Miles,” she replied, double checking her wrist-mounted runners GPS. Awaiting direction before Thursday evening’s run. We’d been out just under an hour, we’d done a 12-minute warmup jog, did some hill work, did the 12 minutes back to the store. Two and a half miles, three tops, was my guess. “No, it’s a five-mile workout,” coach Tim Clark confirmed a few minutes…

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