Sunday, June 10, 2012

They just can't see you

I've noticed something as a runner, since moving here from central PA last year.  When running, apparently I am unknowingly wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.  It's not something I throw over my head as heading out the door for a run, but sometime during the dressing process that cloak finds itself on my person and darned if I don't become completely invisible to drivers waiting at stop signs.

Doesn't matter what time of day it is, what the weather conditions happen to be, or even what town I am running through on that particular day---people behind the wheel are clueless to my existance.  Now I'm sure I'm not the only runner who has noticed this.  There are lot's of folks out running---that's a lot of invisibility cloaks.  Are we all transparent?

Here are my observations so far:
1.  Drivers talk on their phones, while really concentrating hard on making a left or right-hand turn at a stop sign.
2.  Just because drivers are at a stop sign does not mean they will stop.  Rolling is a very popular form of stopping.
3.  Drivers eat chocolate covered doughnuts while talking on their phones and attempting to navigate an intersection.  
4.  Drivers are really busy THINKING while stopped.  Perhaps they are thinking about what they will do once they get to where they are going, or maybe they are thinking about what they just did at their last stop.  I do get the impression however that they are not thinking that they are about the run over the pedestrian who is about to cross the street in front of their vehicle.

Runners, please take extra precautions when approaching and crossing at intersections---especially those rinky dinky small cross roads in little neighborhoods.  That's where drivers live and the feel as if they know those roads the best!  They are just not expecting you and you are not a part of their thought process.

Things you can do to be more visible:
1.  Donning reflective arm, wrist or leg bands
2.  Wear shirts in bright neon colors
3. Attach at blinky light before or after dark
4.  Don't cross until you have gained the attention of the person behind the wheel (not the passenger) and exchanged a quick wave.

Stay safe!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Open for Business

Not sure if this photo captures my true emotions that I was expressing yesterday at 10 am BUT as you can see I don't have a great vertical jump.  What I do have is a local, homey, downtown Specialty Run/Walk store called Charles River Running, now open for business.  Did the customers roll in?  Yes.  Did my wonderful staff members arrive spiffy and full of energy?  Yes.  Did the cash register work?  Yes.  Did local runners drop in just to say hello, chat about tomorrow's 5K at St. Catherine's of Sienna, banter back and forth about training plans, the love of big toe boxes, and tomorrow's forecast for heavy rain? Yes, yes and yes.  I'm telling you, I could not have written a better script! 

None of this, of course, never would have happened without a whole lot of people (many of them complete strangers) believing in the idea of running, better health, honest to goodness customer service, shopping local, adding value to today's downtown landscape, and the American dream of SMALL BUSINESS.  So thanks to all of those people, especially my own family and friends for standing behind this long list of intangibles that really do add up to something very real.  

Need to find the store?  679 Washington St., Norwood MA 02062  ph. 781 349-8341

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weekend Races

It's going to be a gorgeous weekend people---how about signing up for a local fun run with a friend or family member?  Come on---it takes  less that 1 hour from start to finish and you will feel great for the rest of the day.  Don't know where to start?  Let me help by suggesting the Marathon Physical Therapy 5K Run/Walk on Saturday morning.  The registration opens at 9 am at the Norwood High School and the race begins at 10 sharp!  Look for the Charles River Running table and register to win some great running swag!  Thristy?  I will be serving up Nuun electrolyte replacement drink.   If Saturday doesn't work out, never fear---drop by Westwood Senior Center at 60 Nahatan Street on Sunday 11 am for the the Thurston 2 Mile Fun Run.  Just click here to download the registration form.  Again, great prizes and give aways for all participants.

Get up and get moving--you will be glad you did!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Charles River Running Debuts at the James Joyce Ramble

I had a busy day at today's James Joyce Ramble at Dedham's Endicott Estate.  This 10K race is in its 28th year and is a quirky marriage of literature and running.  Over 2000 runners stayed to enjoy the post race music, food, free Harpoon beer.  I had many folks stop by the Charles River Running tent to sample Nuun hydration drink, enter to win a Mizuno backpack and chat about the soon to open running store.  My peeps from Great Norwood Running Club were on hand to spread the buzz and bring me beers :) 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Be Safe--Be Seen

I feel pretty passionate about after-dark visibility.  It's part of my safety campaign.  I'm amazed at how many runners, walkers, cyclists, communters, dog walkers are walking, running and riding on our community's streets in the dark and I WORRY about them.  How well can a driver see?  Is the driver distracted by a cell phone or fellow passenger?  Charles River Running will carry lots of products to make you visible to cars after dark.  To kick off this safety campaign, we now have these cool and reflective arm/leg bands.
Stop by the Charles River Running tent at this Sunday's James Joyce Ramble and enter to win one of these flashy numbers!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Why chickens will make Charles River Running a better place to shop

Stick with me on this one cause it's gonna take me a bit to get around to making this point.  First, meet half of the flock--Oprah, Daisy and Sunny.  One week old and fully engaged in newborn activities; eating, pooping, standing under a light bulb, and falling asleep while standing up.  We brought them home, along with their sisters, in a cardboard box from an excellent feed mill down in Taunton along with a 50 lb. bag of feed.  That's right--50 lbs of feed that will be consumed in their first 10 weeks of life.  Good thing I don't have to buy them shoes as well.  If all goes well, we will be enjoying fresh eggs in 6-7 months.

I'm sure you are asking why would I take on such a project with the opening of Charles River Running just 5 weeks away.  Well, I did think hard but not too long.  This is how I see it---running a business could consume me.  It could take over my life.  It could take me away from the the rituals and rhythms and beauty that ground me to my family and the earth.  We all want to follow our passions, provide a sustainable income for our families and achieve success but these desires should not be all consuming.  I am a big believer in balance and moderation and stopping to enjoy the moments of grace in each day.  Guess what--these chickens are going to help me with that.  Yup.  Who needs a gallon of fresh water each day?  Who needs food, ventilation, bugs and grass?  Who needs to be brought in to the coop each night for a safe roost?  That's right---my girls.  They will remind me that while the store is very important---they will need me too.  Spending time with them, watching my children laugh at their crazy pecking games, and holding them to our hands will make us better, more balanced individuals.  We will face each business day with a bit of grace and calm and peace.  "Welcome to our store, how can we help you?"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bringing Cotton Back (just like sexy)

I'm testing out a new and exciting "technical" cotton fabric this month from KinisiAthletik ---sounds Euro I know, but the garments are assembled right here in the great North America of all natural 100% cotton.  Runners discarded cotton years ago as heavy, sticky, and blister inducing as the cool and cutting edge technical fibers took over.  While tech is lighter and does wick, there remains a major down side for those athletes who care what they smell like (yes, we know the runners who don't care what they smell like...).  Body odor tends to linger on the technical fabrics.  Oh, they pass the sniff test as they come out of the washer or dryer, but as soon as we put the laundered clothes back on and begin to perspire.....the smell comes back but now mixed with aroma of Tide.  Yuck.  No matter how nice my $130.00 gorgeous zip hoodie running jacket from Brooks looks after I wash it time after time,  it just plain reeks after 15 minutes of exertion. 

Welcome back natural fibers!!  Merino wool and technical cotton are now being crafted in to running gear.  The cotton tops I tried (photos above) are from KinisiAthletik and are light, not sticky and my sweat wicks to the outside of the garment.  So far, so good!  Currently, you can get KinisiAthletik only in two retail locations (Paragon Sports in NYC and Running Free in Ontario).  I'm taking a close look at this product to see if it's something Charles River Running should carry!  So stay tuned and keep smelling like roses....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

magic socks

The quest for the perfect sock continues...Here is the new Balega Soft Tread in this year's color: PURPLE.  News flash----purple is the "it" color for the coming seasons (who decides this stuff anyways?).  My awesome Balega rep Jordan Kinley hooked me up with a pair of these yesterday during his visit to the new store.  The socks are minimal but with cushion in the important places--heel and forefoot.  They have some nice arch support and are left and right foot specific---notice the perfect fit around my toe box.  But that's not all---what sets this sock apart from the others is a special cotton that has more spring, more bounce, more rebound and thus gives the wearer a bit of something back after hitting the ground.  So multiply that by a thousand times for each foot strike and you have a sock with magic.

How magical were they this morning at 5:00 am during my hill repeats with the Greater Norwood Running Club crazies?   Well, these socks definitely made me lose count of my hills, they made me feel pretty (purple does that) and I really felt connected to my shoes (thin and breathable).  Bounce, rebound, spring---too soon to tell.  I will need to take them for a nice long run on a sunny day.

Look for Balega Soft Tread on the sock wall at Charles River Running this June!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Looking for cool product for fill the store...

I found this company (where else but Twitter) last week.  Oiselle is a women's running clothing vendor from Seattle and they have some really fresh, retro and different apparel.  I will be meeting with the sales rep this week to do some touching and feeling.  Who knows...perhaps you will see it in the window at Charles River Running come June!

What's your favorite brand of running clothes?  Are you loyal to one company or do you buy an assortment?  Post a comment and let me know!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Running in F. Gilbert Hill State Park

Nice trails, although many are more technical than this one.
Sunday was the perfect day for running in the woods.  Take a look at some of these photos from F. Gilbert Hills State Park which is only a 15 minute drive from Norwood.    Click here for a trail map and here for the park website.
Aptly named High Rock
map at the trail head

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Where do you find your sparkle?

Yes, I am a sucker for a tag line.  The folks at Sparkly Soul ask me this question when I open up their web page.  Well, it makes me want to order a gross of these non slip, super fun sparkle unicorn cotton candy girl power headbands in every color and then wear them for every run that I go on from now on.  And THAT is the power of a great tag line... Also adding to the appeal is the fact that the company was founded by a marathoner and triathlete who wanted to keep her hair out of her eyes.  We gotta support that!

Btw, you can also buy one or two or fifteen at Charles River Running this June.  Sparkle-on!