* Has cheating/blood doping reared its ugly head in professional running? Boston Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo’s reported failed drug test in October (since confirmed by the positive result of her “B sample”) might suggest so. Her agent doesn’t seem to be defending her.
* Meanwhile, Shalene Flanagan talks to Running Times Magazine about how blood doping, if that’s what happened here, is a “stealer of dreams.” There’s some fascinating discussion in there about how Flanagan had planned her Boston Marathon strategy around trying to beat Jeptoo, and being made to look “silly” (in the words of her husband).
* In case you are wondering what blood doping feels like (but you aren’t a cheater), you can simulate the effect, according to Runner’s World columnist Alex Hutchison. If you donate blood, you’re basically doing the opposite of doping. Hutchison writes, “take note of how you feel while running or biking in the week after the donation and pretend it’s your baseline. Then compare that feeling to the same effort a few weeks later – and you’ll have first-hand experience of what it feels like to cheat in the Tour de France.“
* “Why Running Hurts Every Part of Your Body“; Answer: I don’t know, maybe because you’re going too fast? In all seriousness, this column might make sense if you understand it as addressing why, when you start a new exercise regime, it’s going to be hard at first no matter how you approach it. But there’s no reason to think this is unique to running. I mean, if you haven’t been lifting weights, and you go start with light dumbbells, you’re probably going to feel quite a bit of DOMS….
* Is it wimpy to adjust (i.e., downgrade) a hard workout? Here’s some advice on when to push through when you want to give up or ease up, and when to take a break.
* Exploring Hong Kong by running trails. I sort of do this too. I keep a list of States that I’ve been running in, and one factor for whether to go on conferences is whether they place in a State that I haven’t gone running in yet. So far, I’ve marked off Alaska*, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. (And British Columbia, if you want to count Canadian provinces.) Alaska carries an asterisk because while I was technically inside Alaskan boundaries, I was on a cruise ship along the inside passage, so it kind of feels like cheating.
* The Eight Nights of Hanukkah for runners: “On the first night of Hanukkah/My true love sent to me/A link to this column to stay injury-free….”
* I’m guessing that most readers already use a smartphone + GPS tracking app like RunKeeper, or a GPS watch, but in case you are wondering what else is out there in the world of tracking apps, here’s a slideshow with comments about 11 different ones. I used to use RunKeeper but I got a Forerunner got my birthday recently, and it appears that the Forerunner is more accurate than my smartphone (by about 1-2%) based on testing readings at the track.
* “Will My Lungs Freeze on a Cold Run?“: Apparently not, but if you need to ask that, maybe you should think about putting up with the treadmill.
* Speaking of treadmills, I was at Costco the other day and saw a Proform treadmill for $900. (I think it must be this one.) It was somewhat tempting, but I thought of this column that advises against sub-$1000 treadmills:
If you want a quality indoor ride, be prepared to shell out the big bucks. “When you spend less than $500, or even $1,000, you’re really just buying a disposable treadmill,” says Jon Stevenson, the co-owner of Treadmill Doctor, who has spent 30 years installing and repairing ‘mills for individuals, gyms, and hotels worldwide. “If you use it consistently, you’ll be lucky to get a year out of it.”
I’ll admit, I have thought about following up on some of the ridiculously cheap treadmills for sale on Craig’s List, figuring that a year’s use would more than justify the cost, but then there’s the burden of checking them out, moving them, and disposing of them when they die.