Listener Q&A December 2016

Tis the season for some questions!

Fa la la la la la la la la!

Today, I am ending the year by putting on my coaching hat and answering your questions on “running, life, and everything in between.”

If you’re new to my world, the process is simple.

Every month, I put up a post in the Facebook group asking for questions to answer for this episode, and then the ball is in your court.

A couple of weeks later, I fire off the answers on the podcast. Pretty simple, eh?

To hear each question and answer in their full glory, be sure to click the play button at the top of this post.

Just want a taste? Here ya go!

I’m feeling a little “meh” about running at the moment. Any suggestions to spice things up?

When things get a little stale for me, just taking a few days off can be all I need to get jazzed up for running again.

Also, having a race to actually train for can help, so if you don’t have something on your calendar to act as a carrot on the days that you’re really not feeling it, give that a shot.

I’m having some random pains since coming back from injury in my calves/Achilles. But it seems to go back and forth from one side to the other. Any ideas what’s going on?

Any chance you’re doing too much too quickly coming back from a long-term injury? Maybe dial back the intensity a bit?

Also, keep stretching not only your calves but everything else in your legs, and hitting the foam roller.

But the fact that it comes and goes, and isn’t always in the same leg, makes me thing there’s no reason to be TOO concerned.

I wear compression socks/sleeves to try and minimize some shin pain while running. But it seems like the compression gear is making my legs heavy and actually making my runs more difficult! Help!

I’m going to attack this answer under the supposition that the shin pain you’re feeling is along the inner side of your shin–aka shin splint type of pain.

In that case, look to your feet to provide relief instead of the calf/shin itself.

Shin splints almost always originate in your feet, and if you want to kick the issue that’s where you need to focus your attention.

Check out these posts from back in the day looking at the causes/symptoms of shin splints, how to treat your shin splints, and how to prevent them from ever coming back again.

If you’re dealing with something that doesn’t sound at all like shin splints, let me know and we can attack this issue from a different direction.

Two of us are running a St. Patrick’s Day race in a running kilt. Any chance we can talk you into donning a kilt and running with us in spirit at least?

I’m definitely a “never say never” kind of guy.

That said, odds are you’ll see me running Soggy Bottom before you see me running in a kilt!

As a follow up, should runners wear something under the kilt for “support”?


I know that goes against all kilt tradition/lore, but you’ve gotta protect the boys at all cost right?

What are some “under the radar” races that you recommend?

Oh boy!

This is a great question, and one I could probably go on and on about for days/weeks/months!

I’ll stick with three that I’ve run in the past that are varying degrees of small/under the radar, but I would definitely recommend. And all have options of various distances, though be aware that I’ve only gone the full 26.2 at each of them.

  • The Blue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke, VA: The self-proclaimed “toughest road marathon in America”, and I’m not going to argue. This race starts with about a 4-5 mile climb up the side of a mountain, and that is just an appetizer of what you’ll experience during the rest of the race. It’s up and down and up and down and that doesn’t stop until you finish the race. And it’s glorious. Here’s my recap from 2014.
  • The Celebration Marathon, Celebration, FL: This race is literally located across the street (read: interstate) from Walt Disney World at takes place in late January. The race is pancake flat, perhaps the flattest race in the history of flat races, and the weather is typically pretty darn good. The only negative is that there are a couple of spots where the path gets pretty congested (it’s a two lap course, 13.1 each lap) with both half and full runners. Here’s my recap from running there in it’s inaugural year.
  • Running With the Bears, Greenville, CA: While I had a rough day battling the heat and a serious case of dehydration/salt imbalance, I would run this race again tomorrow. Super small field (capped at 600 runners across the 10k, half, full), but super friendly people, beautiful location, amazing aid stations, and supporting a great cause. And with a little luck, I’ll be speaking there again in another couple of years. Here are 10 reasons you need to run RWTB at some point in your career.

And that’s it for this month!

Fewer questions that usual, but probably to be expected with the hustle and the bustle of the holidays and the end of the year.

I’ll be doing this again at the end of January, so you can always get your questions answered then. And be on the lookout for the free live Q&A/coaching webinar that will be happening mid-month as well if you don’t want to wait for the end of the month!

Answering listener questions on feeling meh, under the radar races, #running kilts, and more! #runchat Share on X

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3 replies
  1. Russ
    Russ says:

    A couple of races to add to the mix.

    1) The Flying Pig (Cincinnati, OH) the first weekend of May. Full, half, 10k, 5K and a GREAT race w/ lots of spectator support. I’ve done the 10K twice and the half twice.

    2) The AirForce Marathon (Dayton, OH) held in September each year. Full, half, 10K, 5K. Good support and some places for spectators to watch…although you’re running through Wright-Patterson Air Force Base so there are some lonely sections. This has been my one and only full so far. Smaller than the Flying Pig – lots of pace groups if you want them.

    3) Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon (Mississippi Gulf Coast) – held in December. 2016 was the first one and I found out about it AFTER so I haven’t run it but heard good things and it had about 4,000 people or so. Full, Half, 5K. It’s a straight point-to-point run along the beach (but run on the highway – eastbound lanes are shut down for the race). This would be a very flat race and one I’m giving serious consideration to in December. You’d be an hour and a half from New Orleans and an hour and a half from Mobile, Alabama.

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Nice list Russ! I’ve heard good things about both Flying Pig and Air Force. Hadn’t heard of MS before, but it definitely sounds like it should be flat and fast! And a good excuse to go to Nawlins for sure!

  2. Ben
    Ben says:

    Kick ass race I like that has a 5k through ultra is Running for the Bay in Aplachicola, Fl. For a really nice half, Myakka River nesr Sarasota, Fl.


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