Episode 168 Dogs for Runners

The RunRunLive Podcast Episode 168 –  Dogs for Runners

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi168.mp3|titles=epi168 – Carrie Monster Dogs]


Show intro by:

Mary McManus


Hello and welcome to the RunRunLive podcast.  I know, that’s what I always say isn’t it?  What if I just went nuts one of these weeks and said “Hello and asl;kdhjas;elifqh’qasdkhf’!” Would that wake you up? Well ok then, this is episode 168 of the RunRUnLive podcast and it is I Chris your host.

We’ve got a great show for you today.  I talk with Carrie who is a super-nice person.  She owns a dog-walking business in Philly and has become locally famous for coming up with the idea of matching shelter-dogs with runners.  It’s one of those Peanut butter and chocolate ideas that you wonder why it took someone this long to think of.

Well this week has flown by and I’ve been busy.

As busy as a beaver
As busy as a bee
As busy as a one armed paper hanger
As busy as a one legged butt- kicker  – Yeah that busy.

Last weekend we executed the 20th anniversary rendition of the Groton Road Race.  It went flawlessly.  It rocked.  We got great weather.  Everyone knew what they were doing.  It rocked and rocked hard.  I’m very proud to be associated with these people and this event.

Let me tell you a great story from race day… Our tradition is to get up early and run the course before things get going.  As the sun rose over the ports-johns few of us went off to run the 10k.  A made a deal that since I can’t run the race during the day I would still register, buy a bib and submit my time so I can be in the results and keep my 20-year streak going.

Our 10k course follows classic New England country roads.  (this is kind of like the twine story)  In a wooded section around the 3 mile mark we come across a queen-size box-spring, mattress and rug off the side of the road.  And we’re thinking, “What is wrong with people?”  Someone had dumped their old mattress and box-spring on our course.

We joked that we could have flipped it over and made a rest stop, but when I got back from running the course I grabbed Anthony and the rental van and we dragged it out of the woods.  Of course once we get it in the van Anthony starts making jokes about bed bugs and wouldn’t it be funny if a raccoon came out of it right now…

Other than that the day was fantastic!  From the first registration to the cast party everything went well!

Training-wise I’m in my taper for Boston.  I did some targeted hill training over the last couple weeks and this week some shorter tempo workouts with a lot of rest.  I feel like I’m in pretty good shape – we’ll see, right?

Tuesday night I met Eddie Marathon, Dirtdawg and Kevin from Just Finish in Detroit for dinner.  Ironically, with the schedules we all keep none of us had any energy to put into the meetup.  We should have gone for a run instead! But it was good to see these guys.  They are all nuts.

Well my friends, let’s taper our way out of the intro and get On with the show!

Audio clips in this episode:

JFK “Moon Speech” Rice University

Letter to the SqRR about the Groton Road Race.

HBR Ideacast – Ricky Gervais Interview.

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

Story time:


Guest Blog Reading

Equipment Check:

Equipment Check – Carbo-loading…

Back in the old days marathoners made up the concept of carbo-loading.  I don’t know if there is any truth to any of this, actually I’m sure there isn’t, but I’ll tell you how I approach pre-marathon nutrition.

By pre-marathon I mean the two weeks leading up to my marathon where I’m usually in my taper.  The challenge here is that you are running less and you’re starting to worry about your race.  You are burning fewer calories but have more time on your hands to worry about being hungry.

Right or wrong, and I freely admit it’s probably more wrong than right, here’s how I deal with it.  The week before the week before the marathon – so two weeks out I try to cut down my carb intake so I don’t put on weight and actually tone up a little.  Specifically I cut out all dairy, pasta, bread, rice and any other white carbohydrate food.  I eat salads, nuts and select lower carb fruits like pears.  I drink soy milk with protein powder for dinner.

By doing this I actually lose a few pounds.

Then the week before I start putting the carbs back in.  Fruit, pasta, bread in moderate amounts.  Starting 2-3 days before the race I cut the total calories and the volume of food I’m eating so I can go into the race with a relatively non-crowded gastro-intestinal system.  This means very small meals high in carbs – like pastas, energy drinks, power-bars.  I get the carbs without the volume.

Race morning I’ll have a banana or a power bar with coffee.  I’ll sip on energy drink.

And then I’m ready to go!

My goal is to go into the race as light as possible, but charged up to the brim with fast-burning, easily-accessible calories.

Like I said, I probably succeed in spite of myself, but that’s my routine.

Injury series

Mastering Injuries Series Part Seven – Managing Short-term pre-race injuries.

There are times, many times in fact, where we find it necessary to run injured.

There are times, many times, when we find it necessary to race injured.

How do we come to this point?  Why do we make this decision?  How do we then prepare to manage and implement this running injured process?

When I am in the thick of a training program, especially now that I am getting a little older, something always hurts.

I’m guessing that you too find yourselves creaking, groaning and limping a bit after a few months of intensified load, effort and miles on your journey towards your goal.

It is perfectly ok to manage these small creaks and cracks that we get as our body reacts, adjusted and protests the process of a good, solid training program.

In fact, many of us would say that if we only ran when nothing hurt, we would never run.

Sometimes we make that decision easily.  As we gain experience we can tell the difference between shin splints and stress fractures, between muscle cramps and muscle tears, between tendonitis and a torn tendon.  It is this difference that really determines whether you can continue and run your race on that injury.

You can theoretically; if you have a high enough pain tolerance, run and race on any injury.  But, for the majority of us who live on this side of the insanity boundary there is a simple and basic rule.  That rule is this: “I can run and race if a) I’m not going to do permanent damage to myself and b) I’m not going to make the injury significantly worse.

A quick codicil of the basic do’s and don’ts…

–        You should not run on a broken bone if that bone is in your legs, hips or back.

–        You should not run on a torn tendon or other connective tissue.

–        You should not run on a torn muscle.

–        You can run on tendonitis – which is a swelling and irritation of the tendons.

–        You can run on muscle bruises, strains and cramps.

–        You can run with broken bones that are not directly used in the running process…ribs, arms, fingers etc.

I know it sounds ridiculous to someone who is not involved in endurance sports, but sometimes towards the end of a training cycle you have invested so much into the process that it would hurt more to skip your event than to soldier on.

How you make this decision is ultimately up to you.  Make it wisely.  Don’t sacrifice your long term health for short term glory.  Make a brave decision, and a that you can live with.

Once you have decided to run that marathon with your limp and struggle, what can you do to manage the injury?

First, do not chemically mask the pain.  It is my opinion, and there is some medical support for this, that you should not take drugs to mask the pain.  My reasoning is that I do not want chemicals masking the pain.  That pain is valid feedback from your body and you should not mask it because you can then cause further damage without knowing it.  These various pain relief drugs, like ibuprofen, also do other things to your liver and body chemistry that, when mixed with the physical deprivation and stress of a long endurance event can cause serious damage.

Second, support the injury.  Compression socks, calf sleeves, knee braces, KT Tape and wrapping are all examples of mechanically supporting a weakness.  It’s perfectly ok to run your event with one of these crutches to keep a specific stress of a specific weak point in your body.

Third, warm it up.  Most of the injuries that it is ok to run with, like tendonitis, will warm up and function much better as you go.  You have to give them a chance to warm up before you drop the hammer in your race.  Specifically go out slow and let the race come to you.  If you jump on it when you’re cold it significantly increase the chance of turning that pull into a tear.

I also use warm up gel or cream, like tiger balm, Ben Gay, and FlexAll to pre-heat my muscles.  I’ll rub the warm up into my legs on race morning to help loosen up.  It brings blood into the muscles and is a bit of a massage as well.

Fourth, try to stay loose.  Don’t fight the injury or focus on the injury as you compete.  Try to maintain clean form.  Don’t limp because this will cause something else in the system to breakdown over the long run.  You can deal with discomfort.  What you will find is that it will come and go in waves.  You will find yourself at a point where you don’t think you can stand it, but then five minutes later the pain will be gone.  Give it a chance and relax.  You body has natural mechanisms to deal with pain.  Let it work.

Fifth and finally, ice it when you are done.  This is very important for your recovery.  Within 20 minutes of finishing get ice on that pain and don’t take the ice off for 20 minutes.  It should ice until it is numb.

My friends if you decide that you want to run injured, you won’t be the first person to do so.  It is neither an act of bravery or idiocy, it is a calculated method for managing your injuries on the way to your goals.

Make the right decisions and manage them so we can see you out there.


Featured Interview:


Carrie Maria

The Monster Minders Dog Walking & Pet Sitting – http://www.facebook.com/TheMonsterMinders

Welcome to PAWS!

PAWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. PAWS is the city’s largest rescue organization and only no-kill shelter, and is working to make Philadelphia a place where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Through its adoption locations, special events, and foster care network, PAWS finds loving homes for thousands of animals each year


News & Events

Adopt a running buddy


Adoptable PAWS dogs get much-needed exercise, love, and fun all thanks to the Monster Milers! The Monster Milers connect Philadelphia runners with adoptable dogs as jogging companions. In the process, they give PAWS dogs the workout they need to stay calm and happy in the shelter while they await adoption.



“Rain or shine, winter or summer, you’ll see runners blasting through Philadelphia’s Old City area, escorted by happy PAWS dogs wearing “adopt me” vests.”


2/22/11: USA Today published this wonderful article about how the Monster Milers bring runners and shelter dogs together.



“Fish got to swim, birds got to fly, and dogs got to run!”

WHYY talked to PAWS and the Monster Milers about the incredible benefits of the program to shelter dogs. Click here to listen to the interview, and click here to read a transcript.


WHYY’s story also features Emerson, an adoptable PAWS dog around 2 years old who found as a stray. She’s looking for a home where she can continue to go for runs! Emerson is waiting at PAWS’ Adoption Center at 2nd and Arch Streets. Contact adoptions@phillypaws.org to meet her!



Quick Tip:


Ok my friends, that is it you and I have Walked your dog to the end of yet another RunRunLive Podcast – Episode 168 in the can.

Next week we talk to a community member Ashby who’s got some weight loss and health wisdom to share from his journey.  And we’ll keep the content coming as long as I can shoe-horn a couple hours a week into my schedule.

I’m leaning towards the Do-it-all answer to my question about what I should do this summer.  Short term I’ve got the Poco-loco up her in Boston after the marathon and then the Mojo-StLoco in June.

A couple people wanted me to go back to the Wilderness 101 ultra mountain bike event – but I think it’s just because you get a kick out of listening to me suffer!

Well, my friends, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.  I have a marathon next week.  It will be my 13th Boston.  Now, you and I have been through this for a couple years now and you know that it’s my thing and I need a little space for it.  You may have noticed that when I’m in ‘race mode’ not too much else fits into my attention span.

I don’t record during the race because it’s just a big pain and I really need to focus.  I’ll be bib number 9014 if you want to track me.  I’ll skip the part where I bore you with my “I don’t know if I’m ready’ act.  It looks like the weather will be good so I’ll shoot to break 3:20.  Which puts me 10 minutes ahead of the qualifying standard for my age group.

I’m a little heavy and I don’t have an overabundance of miles under my belt so anything can happen, but I know the course and I know my machine, so we will see.

On the Chicago Marathon Diabetes donation front I’m up to 17 team members now.   Still some miles left for you if you want to get in on it go to www.runrunlive.com and click on the picture of me on the right.

This week’s team member heroes are:

–        Peter – you are an excellent human being – thank you

–        Tim  thanks and we’ll see you at the poco-loco

–        Jane – thanks for your support – hugs and kisses.

–        And finally our old friend and co-conspirator Joe Bears!

Great stuff – thanks and Buddy Hugs.  That’s one of Buddy’s best tricks the unsolicited hug.  He’ll just wander over and lean into you, like “hey, have a hug.”  He does what he can.

Want to hear another travel story?  One time I was in Sydney Australia.  I went to the front desk of the hotel I was staying in and inquired about my dry cleaning.  They said “what dry cleaning?”

At first they thought I was shining them on because I was a bit of a rabble rouser in those days.  And if you are going rouse some rabble, Sydney is the place to do it.  I produced for them the ticket for the suit and dress shirts that I had remanded to their custody for fumigation and pressing.

After some investigation it was determined that my suit and shirts had gone missing.  Then the hotel manager surprises me.  He says, “Well what do you think they were worth?”  I think for a second and respond “$300”.  He then peels off 3 crisp $100 dollar US bills for me.

Well my friends, the punch line to this story is that my next stop on this trip was Hong Kong.  I got the most beautifully fitted hand sown suit and set of shirts with my crispy currency.  That’s how the world works some times.

Well, folks, as you know I’ve been training hard since August of last year.  I’ve had some victories and some not-so-victories and I’ve enjoyed learning again what this tired old bag of water and bones can be coaxed into doing with sufficient focus and effort.

It’s been fun.  No we are on the brink of transition.  I’ve got one more battle to wage.

This week as I walked into my last taper week for Boston I found myself remembering why I do this.  Or at least one of the reasons why I do this.  As I walk across the parking lot to my car I feel good.  I feel lean and strong and full of pure physical energy like a coiled spring.

And I’m here to tell you that feels good.  That feels like you are worthy, like you are truly alive.

As I walk around with that spring in my step I feel my machine.  I feel the great strength in me at idle.  I feel the potential and I can’t wait to let it go.  That is why thee training is worth it.  To feel like this if only for a fleeting moment once or twice a year – it makes it all worthwhile.  It set’s the human standard for me to strive for.

So my friends, wish me luck and And I’ll see you out there,

Music tonight is by bad_religion-sorrow.



From Podsafe




About the RunRunLive Podcast

Each Podcast we’re going to have a full agenda.  We’ve got some inspiration and tips to keep you moving forward.  And In our featured segment we will be speaking with interesting members of our sport to share their accumulated knowledge with us.

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There are millions of normal, everyday folks like us who use running as a way to lead a balanced, happy and challenging lifestyle.  Would you like to learn from them?

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Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com

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