Saturday, April 17, 2010

Picked up my Boston Marathon Number

My daughter Hannah accompanied me down to Boston to pick up my Boston Marathon number and to go the the marathon expo. My number is 9600, but I am not running it this year, so it ended up being a very expensive t-shirt that I received for my entry fee. When I told I told the BAA officials that I was not going to run, they wanted my number and chip back. I had been told I could keep them earlier. I wanted to show my class on Monday, plus I paid for them, why should I give them back? The BAA will not use the chips next year, so they are letting people keep them after the race this year. I remember the first year that they were introduced into the race, I had volunteered for the expo and had received the job of showing people how to use the chips and to screen them for the correct info. It was a lot of fun as it was brand new to everyone at the time. Anyhow, they  finally said I could keep my number and chip as long as I didn't give them to someone else to use during the race. That is the last thing I would do! I have been asked by a few people if they could use my number, but if I did so I could be banished from the race forever. Not only that, but the race is very public in Nashua and the results in the paper would say that I finished, even when everyone knew I didn't run.

I always enjoy going to the expo, although nowadays I have seen just about everything that someone is trying to sell and the shoe displays just don't interest me anymore. I did catch up with a few people and Hannah likes getting autographs and free food and stuff. I did pick up a some Illuminite shirts, tights, and gloves that were really cheap for next winter and found another massage trigger point tool that is new to the market. It is a really strange looking tool called the Muscle Angel. It looks like it dropped in from another planet, but I checked it out and particularly liked the foot massage that it gave. I have tried just about everything else on the market so why not try this out, too? It works like a tennis ball, or even a tennis ball in a sock (if you get the sleeve that goes with it) but has a much firmer and targeted massage. When I used it on the bottom of my feet, it easily hit the right muscles with the right amount of control and pressure. It was not too soft like the TP Massage ball and rollers can sometimes be. I will have to test it out on other muscles to see how well if does. Aw, what's another tool? My house is full of stuff like this. The Muscle Angel -- Combo-Pack Bundleis also sold on Amazon, but I don't see any reviews up just yet. It might go well with books like Muscle Medicine: The Revolutionary Approach to Maintaining, Strengthening, and Repairing Your Muscles and Joints and The Permanent Pain Cure: The Breakthrough Way to Heal Your Muscle and Joint Pain for Good that tell you how to use a tennis ball of other objects to do ART (active release) type work on your muscles. I did reviews of these books in previous posts: Facilitated Active Stretch Technique: FAST Self Massage , Stretching Your Fascia Using "The Permanent Pain Cure, and How to Release Your Hamstrings with a Tennis Ball.
At the Boston Marathon expo, I felt the tuggings to just jump in and run the marathon on Monday. I think for the first time in my life, I am getting smart enough not to rush into races just to do them. Things are going well on the running front and I am sure I could pace my way through Boston, but I think it is better to keep building than to risk another injury. The good marathon will come in the fall! I'll be ready. Plus, I have to be in school teaching on Monday!
I have found my muscles and some joints to be getting really tight as I push up the mileage. I started reviewing all the things I have tried through the years to see what I should add back into my routine. 10-15 years ago I was doing active-isolated stretching just about daily. I had a video put out by Runner's World and the Whartons, that was lent out and never returned, but I still know the stretches. They can also be found in their book The Whartons' Stretch Book I had found the stretches really loosened up my muscles back when I did them, but they did not help my hip problems and muscles asymmetries. Now that I am doing the Postural Restoration routines to deal with my imbalances, I think it should be the best stretching routine to help my tight muscles and I started doing them again mid-week. Here is a Runnng Times article on some of the stretches.
I would like to give best wishes to all my friends who did qualify, train, and remained injury free for the Marathon. I hope you all have a great race. I will be enthusiastically following you all on Monday. So to all my old running friends, the Gate City Striders, and internet running friends, be smart and have a great race!
Speaking about Boston Marathon numbers, I really enjoyed this video from that has an MIT student giving improbable answers to strange number questions about the Boston Marathon.

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