SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

August 1, 2013

On The Run: Putting on the brakes

By Jay Kumar
Correspondent

---- — Sometimes the hardest part of running is when you’re not able to actually do it.

But in these instances, less really is more.

When it comes down to it, runners just want to run. Which is fine until you sustain an injury; then common sense has to enter into the equation.

Unfortunately, taking the common sense route isn’t always the most fun option.

Serious running injuries tend to be ones that only get worse when you try to run through them. Long-distance races present these situations often, where you get more than halfway through before encountering a side stitch or a muscle strain. Sometimes you can power through or focus on your breathing, and the pain subsides enough for you to keep going. Or you may choose to walk or stretch and find that you can carry on.

Dealing with longer-term injuries is a little trickier. In addition to following medical advice, whether it’s from a physician, a physical therapist or another expert, you’ve also got to deal with the toughest foe of all: yourself.

It’s a workout in itself to simply resist the urge to get out there when you see others out running on beautiful summer days or read friends’ reports on social media about road races that you usually do. Rushing back too soon could only make things worse, but the temptation is there. This is where the discipline that you developed over the years of training for races can come in handy.

Because having an injury isn’t just an excuse to sit back, relax and put on 10-15 pounds. If you’re able, you can still go to the gym and do low-impact cardio machines like exercise bikes or elliptical; sure, they’re boring, but they still allow you to work out. Working out with weights is another good option, as is swimming or getting out and riding a bike.

You may prefer running to all of these alternatives, but the fact remains that if running is out of the question for a while, you should take advantage of other ways to stay fit. Your fitness level may not be where you want it to be, but at least you’re doing something. It’s also important not to let your dietary choices get out of hand, because it’s much easier to put on pounds if you’re not running.

Mentally, keep in mind that everything you’re doing is for a purpose: to get back to running pain-free. That goes for not running as well. Essentially, you’re dealing with short-term disappointment (and for really dedicated runners, a little depression) for long-term gains. It’s no fun, but down the road, it’ll be worth it.

Starts and stops

A North Shore road race blast from past will take place on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m. when the HOOMPA Nickel Road Race returns to Nahant for the first time since the mid-1980s. The 5-mile race originally ran from 1978-86, but the Nahant American Legion Post 215 has revived the event. The race will start at the Legion’s new headquarters located in the Nahant Life Saving Station on Nahant Road in Nahant. The race entry fee is $25; $30 after Aug. 20. The post-race festivities include a beach party with a live reggae band. Visit http://youtu.be/1Qol2EHvKmc to get a guided tour of the race course. Visit the race website at www.hoompanickel.com for more information and to register online. For more information on the race, sponsorships and volunteer participation contact Jon Lazar at swimboss@comcast.net.

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The Derby Street Mile returns on Friday, Aug. 16 for runners looking to test their short-distance ability. There are two races: a competitive run at 7 p.m. and a family run at 7:15. Both start on Fort Avenue and finish at Pickering Wharf. Visit http://derbystreetmile.com for more information and to register online.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

Upcoming races

Saturday, Aug. 3

Cape Ann Half Marathon & Triple Threat Challenge, Rockport High School, 24 Jerdens Lane, Rockport, 9 a.m. Half Marathon, 5K and 1-Mile Races back-to-back. Contact: YuKan Sports LLC at 1-978-879-9007 or email info@yukanrun.com.

Sunday, Aug. 4

The Bridge & Back 10K, Front Street, Salem, 8 a.m. 10K run over the Salem/Beverly Bridge and back. Contact: Doug Bollen (Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem) at 1-978-810-8866 or email dougbollen12@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, Aug. 6

Lynn Woods 5.75M Trail Race, Lynn Woods Reservation, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. Contact: Rene Lavoie (North Medford Club) at 1-508-380-6268 or rainman52@verizon.net.

Wednesday, Aug. 7

Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

44th Annual Lynn Woods Summer Cross Country, Lynn Woods, Great Woods Road, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. Every Wednesday from May 29-Sept. 25. Free. Three races. Contact: Bill Mullen (Lynn Woods Summer XC) at 1-978-535-3905 or email bill@lwrun.org.

Thursday, Aug. 8

No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Saturday, Aug. 10

Ladies Night Out 5K Run, Wine and Chocolate, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St., Salem, 4 p.m. Women Only, Female cut shirts, wine, chocolate, hors d’oeuvres, handsome men. Contact: Ashley Steeves (BNS EVENT MANAGEMENT) at 1-978-836-0271 or bnsfitnessevents@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, Aug. 14

Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

44th Annual Lynn Woods Summer Cross Country, Lynn Woods, Great Woods Road, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. Every Wednesday from May 29-Sept. 25. Free. Three races. Contact: Bill Mullen (Lynn Woods Summer XC) at 1-978-535-3905 or email bill@lwrun.org.

Thursday, Aug. 15

No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

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Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.