Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Product Review – Tegaderm

After my failed attempt at flying during the Kelly St. Patrick’s Day 5k the other week, I was left digging dirt and UA fibers out my sizable road rash and figuring out how to best protect it. I’ve never had road rash before, so this was completely new territory for me. Like I would with any cut, I cleaned it out (and nearly fainted more than a dozen times from the pain), slathered it with enough Neosporin to cover a small child from head to toe, and put a giant BandAid on top.

If you’ve ever had a large wound on a moving joint, you probably know this – BandAids hurt! Every time you move that joint, the bandage moves across the wound, rubbing and poking that sensitive spot all the live long day. Umm, not fun!

I also tried using a sterile gauze pad with Neosporin and Rocktape as an adhesive – while that was better, it still wasn’t great. Every time I straightened my leg, the gauze would bunch up against the wound; when I bent my leg, the gauze would pull taught against the wound.

Being the nerd that I am, I spent an embarrassing amount of time researching road burn – what it should look like, what it shouldn’t look like, how to best clean it and protect it, and how to make sure I don’t end up with a giant scar (I know chicks apparently dig scars, but do guys dig scars on chicks?). I read medical journals (I told you, I’m a nerd – with access to loads of academic databases), medical-advise websites (legit ones, not Dr. Google), and athlete forums (fyi – cyclists compare road rash war stories the way runners compare chafing, blistering, and missing toenail war stories) and the common thread among all of them was this thing called Tegaderm. It’s supposed to be way better than a BandAid and not require gobs and gobs of Neosporin or any other product.

Tegaderm is a thin film that is waterproof yet highly breathable – it keeps out water, dirt, germs, and other nastiness you don’t want in a fresh wound, but allows moisture to escape and oxygen through, to help the healing process. It doesn’t come off or get nasty in the shower or while you’re working out and can be worn for up to 7 days.

This is what the consumer packaging looks like

This is what the consumer packaging looks like

So while I was laying in bed contemplating chopping off my leg (can you tell I don’t like pain?), my mom stopped at the pharmacy and picked up a box of Tegaderm for me. After taking off my BandAid, I mopped up the Neosporin, cleaned the wound with saline solution, and cleaned the surrounding skin with baby oil followed by rubbing alcohol to remove the residual gunk that BandAid tough strips tend to leave behind. Word to the wise – be extra careful with that rubbing alcohol, because it helped me find loads of teeny tiny nicks I didn’t know I had.

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Choose a patch size that will leave at least 1″ of film on all sides of your would. Yes, it will likely be ridiculously huge, but it is necessary. When you take the Tegaderm patch out of it’s sterile package, and it will look like this: IMG_9570

The backing peels off and you’re left with a window-frame application – meaning the thin, clear film will have a white perimeter, which is what you hold on to in order to place the film. Start by gently tapping/pressing the film down on the wound itself, making sure to avoid air bubbles, moving outward from the center in order to get a nice airtight seal over the wound itself.

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It may freak you out a bit to put a sticky film right on the the wound, but trust me – it all works out 🙂 It takes a little bit longer than slapping on a BandAid, but it’s totally worth it. When you get the film completely adhered, you peel off the white window-frame and are left with an nearly-invisible wound dressing.

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If you’ve never used on of these before it can feel a little weird at first, but there’s no pain or discomfort – the film is so thin you barely even feel it on the wound, and it’s super flexible, so it moves with you rather than pulling on the skin. The nice thing about it is you can easily observe the health and progress of your wound without having to constantly stick and unstick a BandAid, and it offers a thoroughly-sealed dressing to keep dirt and germs out without suffocating the wound or your skin.

The only down side to Tegaderm is this – if you use it on a wet wound, the liquid will collect under the film. You and everyone else can see the liquid collecting; if you let it go too long it can feel like a teeny tiny colostomy bag attached to you. The film may need to be changed more frequently in the first few days because of this, but once the wound stops expelling liquid, one patch will easily last up to a week.

I have worn these through several runs and workouts and never had any issues with it. I barely noticed it and aside from some sweat collecting under it (yes, my knees sweat…welcome to my personal hell), haven’t had any issues with it peeling up or shifting.

When it’s time to remove it, it comes off super easily. I use a tiny bit of medical tape, which, when stuck on the corner of the patch, will gently remove it. Just gently work your way around the patch, peeling the film off in the direction of hair growth.

IMG_9567That’s it! I highly, highly recommend these for road rash or any other larger cuts, abrasions, incisions, or wounds you may get and need to protect. I’ve also heard they’re great for using over top of fresh tattoos. The patches can be a bit hard to find (only one pharmacy by me carries them), and a little expensive, but they are totally worth their weight in gold. They are also available with an absorbent pad for use on wet wounds. I restocked via amazon and got them for a much, much more reasonable price.

I am still wearing one on the road rash on my knee, but have been without it on my elbow, where I got a much smaller, more superficial spot of road rash, for a few days now. That spot is looking really great and doesn’t seem like it’s going to scar up or anything. Hopefully you never need these, but if you do, they’re really great.


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Race Report: Dreaded Druid Hills

The Dreaded Druid Hills 10k is tagged as a “torturous race by runners for runners” that’s run on/around the summer solstice every year. I volunteered as a course marshal last year and loved the atmosphere of it.

I’ve had my eye on this race for years but have never felt prepared for it. And because it’s a small race, and I’ve never been the fastest runner, I’ve always been afraid of finishing last. As runners we frequently deal with the self doubt of wondering whether or not we’re prepared for the challenges we face, so I just decided there was really no point in waiting and wondering any longer. I sucked it up and signed up for the race a few weeks ago. Either I’d be ready or I wouldn’t – three’s only one way to find out.

if you never try youll never know

It was weird. I’ve been nervous before races before, but for some reason I had no nerves going into this one. Two other friends of mine, Steph and Lauren, signed up for this race as well and they both said the same thing.

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Usually race day is ungodly hot and humid but the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for us this year – low to mid 70s with low humidity. The course runs through Druid Hill Park, just outside of downtown Baltimore, which has tons of trees, so there’s lots of shade on the course, especially on the hills.

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The course it notoriously brutal. It starts out with about 2 miles of rolling hills before you settle into a flat section before the monster hills in the back of the park. On the easy part we actually passed the house where my grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s this past December, used to live, which I wasn’t prepared for. It was weird, but I imagined her sitting on her porch (in an oh-so-Baltimore way) cheering me on, which helped immensely.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, so I just pushed whenever I could. It was great hearing encouragement from Lauren and Steph as I was entering the hills and they were working their way out. I’m not used to hearing people cheering for me on the course, so it was a huge pick-me-up. I actually did really well until about mile 4.5 – then the hills got really tough. I pushed as hard as I could, but even walking up the hills was brutal. With it being in the back of the park, where basically no one goes, there wasn’t much course support, but the volunteers and course marshals were awesome in their support of us. Mile 4 – 5.5 was the hardest for me, both physically and mentally, but I met another woman, Lisa, out on the course at mile 4.5 and we paced each other through much of the remainder of the race. The awesomeness of the running community never ceases to amaze me.

When I saw the sign for mile 5, I knew I was in the clear. We had fared the worst of the hills. I remembered that when I ran the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler a few years ago, my dad bet me $1000 if I ran it in under an hour – I came up just short that year. Even with the brutal hills of the Dreaded Druid Hills, I hit 5 miles in under an hour – that made me feel amazing. I lost a bit of steam just after that point, so I downed half a Gu, and pushed all the way to the end. As I got closer, I realized that my 10k PR was actually in danger – on the Dreaded Druid Hills!! I kept pushing through the discomfort of the heat, knowing that it was a downhill finish. Although I didn’t set a new PR, I missed it by only 51 seconds.

DDH 2014 Splits

51 seconds. Think about that. They advertise this race as “NOT a PR course!” and I missed a PR by less than a minute. It’s amazing to think of how far I’ve come in just two short years of running. For the kid who always finished last in the mile in gym class to come this far is just mind boggling. I honestly could not have been more proud of my performance yesterday.

After the race I stretched out my hip a bit (those hills did it no favors) and then attacked the fruit trays they had waiting for us. The watermelon and strawberries were so deep red and amazingly sweet… I swear I could have devoured an entire tray of strawberries if given half a chance.

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Steph had to run off as soon as she finished to take her daughter to swim lessons, but Lauren and I hung around a bit longer to enjoy the post-race festivities. This race really is unlike any other race I’ve ever done, and although I was intimidated by that before I found it to be absolutely amazing. I truly can’t wait to sign up again next year.

On our way back to our cars, Lauren helped me take a picture for the #RunChatHunt. One of the photos is supposed to be of roadkill. Ew. Totally not going on my phone or my twitter feed. So I got creative instead 😉

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I ended up napping for almost an hour an a half yesterday afternoon, but then finished out a great day with a glass of wine in front of the fire pit.

Photo Jun 28, 8 58 05 PM Photo Jun 28, 9 03 40 PM


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Race Report: Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k 2014

After last year’s debacle with the course being .2 short, I honestly hadn’t planned on running BWC this year. I enjoy the race, but the organization last year left a bit to be desired. But, when my mom expressed interest in doing the BWC training group this year, I decided to give them another go.

The race has been taken over by Charm City Run this year and they usually put on awesome races. After 8 weeks of training, yesterday was race day. We really could not have asked for a more perfect day. It was  in the low 70s, overcast during the race, and the humidity was low. The only snag in the day was that the highway into the city was closed for construction, so we took the “scenic” tour into the city. To allow for potential delays, we left super early, which meant we ended up with lots of time to kill in the race village.

The village seemed a bit smaller this year than normal, but then we walked across the grass and think we figured out why – it was a giant mud pit (impromptu mud run!). As always, the portapots were plentiful and smelled like roses. Okay, not really. But for portapots they were damn nice and there was basically no wait.

Before the race began they had the usual ceremonial stuff, including the National Anthem (great singer this year) and the group jazzercise warm-up (thanks but no thanks – the music was great though). I got in a quick warm-up, running up and down Key Highway, then made sure my mom was situated for her first 5k, took my place, and we were off. It really did all happen that quickly. Odd, but nice to not have to stand around forevvvvvvvvver waiting to start.

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Like last week, I decided to run with the metronome set to 170 bpm. It was a bit hard to hear, especially with all the noise and commotion of the beginning, so I ended up running with the phone in the water bottle up to my ear a bit. I’m sure I looked bizarre, but I’m okay with that.

The first half to three quarters of a mile runs along a road with raised medians and curbs made out of cobblestone (hello, twisted ankle) – because it was so crowded I ended up running on the sidewalk a bit until I could safely get back into the pack. About 3/4 of a mile in, though, there’s a hill that lasts about 2 blocks – guaranteed to thin the pack out every time. I take no guilt in enjoying that because when I ran BWC two years ago, I was one of the flies dropping early on that hill; last year and this year, however, I powered on up it past everyone else. At this point it became a lot easier to hear the metronome and I settled into a pretty good rhythm for the rest of the race.

The course support was fantastic, and before I knew it, I had passed mile 1 and then mile 2. The last mile-ish repeats the starting line area and then veers off onto the Promenade, a (mostly) brick-paved walking path that encircles the entire Inner Harbor. I love running along the Promenade, but my legs hate how hard brick is. Just as I was about to turn off of Key Highway to enter the Promenade, I saw a woman who had tripped on the curb – a few other women and I stopped to help her up, and when she got back to her feet she looked really wobbly and seemed to have trouble getting her balance and moving again, so a few of us tried to get up upright and stable before moving on with our race. I didn’t see her in the race village afterwards, so hopefully she’s okay.

Before I knew it, I had reached the Rusty Scupper and was at the finish line! My primary goal for every race this year is to not get injured. Check! My secondary goal for this race was to PR. Check! My tertiary goal was the come in under 34:00. Check! My the-stars-are-all-aligned goal was under 32:00. Well, technically I didn’t hit this one, but that was only because I stopped to help a woman in need. If I possessed the ability to be a heartless bitch, I would have. I finished in 32:02, which is damn close enough for me! No matter how  you look at it, I PRed by 2 minutes and 31 seconds – just three months after my last PR – and am very proud of myself for this. Now I just have to find a good, flat fall 5k to sign up for to officially beat the 32:00 barrier. 😉

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In the finisher’s chute, all runners get water, a cold, wet towel, a medal, and a rose. Waiting for us just beyond that is the food trough – whole bagels from Panera (yum!), Nurti-grain bars, bags of pretzels, bananas, and cold watermelon. I got my share of these items (plus a bagel for my mom, in case the food was picked clean by the time she finished – I’ve been a back-of-the-packer, I know how it can be…) and then visited my training group’s tent, where they had MORE food for us! I got a smidgeon of a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera and some OJ – an odd combo, but really satisfying. Most of our coaches were there as well and all were eager to hear about how the race went for us.

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I scarfed down my bagel smidgeon, my OJ, and some water, and then my dad and I walked over to wait for my mom to cross the finish line. Her primary goal was to finish in under an hour, which she easily did! She finished in 52:28! The first time I “ran” a 5k  (at age 23, mind you) it took me over 45 minutes, so I think she had a great first showing.

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After the awards ceremony they had all of the mother-daughter teams come up on stage for a group shot, something I’ve always secretly wanted to be able to do. Somehow we ended up smack-dab in the middle of the group 🙂

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(my dad’s attempt at a selfie)

After the race I got on social media to brag about my accomplishment to the world (cuz you know if you don’t, it never happened. duh.) and I noticed I suddenly had a lot of notifications on twitter – so I investigated and OMG BART YASSO MENTIONED ME IN A TWEET!!

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Sorry, amazing PR, you’re now the second most awesome thing to happen to me yesterday.

This week is going to be another easy week – I’m going to let my legs recover and get my achy hip under control so I can be good and ready for the Dreaded Druid Hills on Saturday!! I fully admit I am undertrained for this one, but I’m going to go have an awesome time any way. I just found out my good friend Lauren is going to be running it with me, as well as other woman I know, so it’s going to be a blast regardless. I’m fully anticipating an ice bath in my future, but that’s okay. All the in the name of fun 🙂


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So many races, so little time….

I have my first 10k of the year this upcoming weekend, and rather than worrying about how under-trained I am for it, I’m choosing to focus on the fall racing season. I still need to pick a target race – 10 miler or half marathon – but there are too many choices and too little time money.

The key contenders are the Baltimore Half Marathon and the Army Ten Miler. Baltimore is expensive ($100! For a half!), and although ATM is on my must-do list (after DNSing twice), I need a hotel room for it. But if we’re talking hotel rooms, then Philly, Richmond, and Bird-in-Hand enter the discussion, among others… Too many choices!!

How do you decide which race(s) to do? Are there any must-do races you’d recommend? I’m usually pretty decisive, but for some reason I just can’t make a choice this year…


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Perspective from an elite

We all have bad runs. Even the elites have bad runs. We’ve all had to walk at some point. And who would have thought – sometimes even they have to stop and walk for a few minutes, too.

http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/250963-New-York-City-Marathon-2013/video/723689-Emotional-Meb-Keflezighi-after-NYC-Marathon-2013

Great perspective from Meb for the next time your run – whether it’s one mile or 50 – isn’t going according to plan.

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Race Etiquette Refresher

With fall racing season just around the corner, it’s always a good idea to remember – or pass along to new racers – the rules of the racing world.

http://www.rrca.org/education-advocacy/etiquette-for-runners/

Yes, there are a lot of bullet points. But when everyone follows the rules, it makes race day a lot nicer for everyone. We’re all in this together 🙂 

And let’s face it, at mile 22 of a marathon you’re probably on autopilot, so no time like now to incorporate these into your regular running routine so they become habit.

Plus a lot of them just make for better, nicer people in general 🙂

Happy Running!