Central Maine Striders – Resurrection

Central Maine Striders’ Facebook page

The Central Maine Striders have a long and great tradition of being a big part of the running community in Central Maine, but the same as many other organizations and clubs in today’s world, membership and interest levels have waned and it has fallen on difficult times.

Last night I attended my first Central Maine Striders Running Club meeting, which was the first one that they have had since I became a member in February. While the club still is active and does a few races, it has become in the words of one long-time club member a Newsletter club, instead of the vibrant running club it once was.

This is really unfortunate and not the reason that I wanted to join. I joined because I wanted to meet other runners, develop friendships that go beyond running and give back to the local running community.

During the meeting we discussed ideas and strategies to resurrect the club and bring it back to being more than a Newsletter club. I enjoyed listening to the long-time club members talk about how it used to be and thought about how great it would be for it to be that way again. It will take a lot of work, to be sure, but I believe that it is something that would be so great for the Central Maine Running Community.

We decided that the first step would be to start group runs again and use the new Central Maine Striders’ Facebook page, to help Central Maine Runners connect with one another!

Our first Group run is scheduled for:

  • DATE: Sunday, October 28th

  • Time: 9:00 A.M.

  • Where: Colby’s Lower Parking Lot

  • Distance/Pace: TBD

We will figure the routes and paces that morning. Personally, I really hope that this group run idea is successful, that other runners from Central Maine start to show up and have some fun running with other local runners. We plan to keep up this group run schedule for the foreseeable future.

Do you have any ideas or other days that would be more convenient or better for running a group run? Please let us know or comment below.

Also do you have any memories or great stories about the Central Maine Striders that you would like to share. Eventually, we  are looking at setting up a Central Maine Striders’ blog and website and would love to include positive or funny stories about the club there.

I would love to meet some new runners or some veteran runnahs on Sunday to re-start the Central Maine Striders’ Group run :-).

See you Sunday Morning!!!

Stay Connected to Running-Even When Injured

Mike W over at Just a Little Run wrote a post Just a Little Run…: Making It Count., about what to do when injured and he offered a lot of great advice on things you can do while you are injured to stay active.

I added one more thing and I think it is an important one.

Stay Connected

(online or face-to-face)

Many runners when they are injured (whether it is running related or not) have the tendency to isolate themselves away from other runners and stop participating in a community that they were so active in before they were injured. Especially if the injury will mean a long period of not running.

Unfortunately, when they are injured many runners are thinking only about how their injury affects them (been there done that), not how they will be missed by the people they have become friends with and not how they can still contribute to the community they have been such a part of, even while they are injured.

Why

  • many are jealous of those who can run, when they can’t run and don’t want to be around people who can
  • no one “understands” how they feel about not being able to run (like nobody else has ever been injured)
  • don’t want to be a “burden” on others (you’re not)
  • don’t want to continually answer the question “When are you going to start running again?”
  • that people will get tired of hearing them whine about our injury (we understand – believe me we understand)
  • they no longer feel that we are part of the “group” if we can’t run (b.s.)

That is unfortunate, because when runners have an injury there is a process that we all seem to work through and a good blog post on those stages of injury is over at Shut up Run – Stages of Injury. Runners do need support (whether they want to admit it or not) in getting through those stages and getting back to the sport they loved so much.

Isolation

When a runner isolates themselves from their online or real life running support network:

  • it deprives the injured runner of one their natural running support networks that help them stay engaged with others who have the same interests
  • they lose contact with those who would stay positive about their return to running, even when the person doesn’t believe it will happen
  • they tend to be more pessimistic about whether/when and how they will get back to the sport
  • develop bad habits, i.e. eating, drinking, not doing anything at all to remain active, instead of what they can. Then find themselves completely out of shape in a relatively short time
  • they let go of the great friendships they have developed in that community
  • it takes them longer to return to the sport they loved so much
  • or worse the injured runner just completely leaves running
  • I am sure there are more, but this is a start to that list

These are all things that I have done and so have many other injured runners.

What can you do

You can sit back and become a couch potato, get fat, lazy and pessimistic about the future or you can make the best of a bad situation, pick yourself up, dust yourself and stay involved your running community.

What can an injured runner do to stay involved in running, even though they might be injured:

  • Volunteer to help out at local races, events, fun run or your local running club (help with registration at races or whatever you can do)
  • There are always online chats/hastags: #fitfluential #runchat #fitblog #runners #running and all the other online running forums to participate in.
  • help organize things for other runners, be part of the clean-up detail
  • if you have computer skills, blogging, know how to put together a webpage, use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to  publicize the club and to attract new members, can help write a newsletter, etc. your local running club should be very interested in your help and you will be considered a very valuable asset to the club
  • figure out what other skills that you have, that can be a huge asset – carpentry, photography, writing, etc.
  • be part of a support team, I know of many times at local fun runs (back in the day), that injured runners would drive the “I’m done vehicle” for the other runners who couldn’t/didn’t complete a run. I have used that vehicle as a runner a couple of times during fun runs and it was a welcome sight. Just have some plastic bags to cover your seats – those damn sweaty runners.
  • if your friends are at a race and you haven’t volunteered to help, cheer your friends on in different parts of the race course (if possible) and be there at the end to help them out. You would appreciate it if the roles were reversed.
  • take lots of pictures of your friends running, races, fun runs, events, etc., they will tell you how horrible they look, but will still be thankful that you took the pictures of them in action and add them to their albums, blogs or however, they keep track of their photos.  Runners usually don’t have too many pictures of us running or at running events.
  • most of all stay our friend
  • An injured runner still has all that experience and knowledge that they gained while they were running and can continue to pass that knowledge on to other runners.

There are so many things that an injured runner can do to remain active in the running community and I am sure that you have more ideas to help injured runners stay active in the running community.

The reality is that

JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE INJURED DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU CANNOT REMAIN INVOLVED IN YOUR RUNNING COMMUNITY.

It totally sucks, to be injured and not be able to run whatever the reason (I was gone for almost 18 months this last time and it wasn’t even running related), but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to give to your fellow runners while you are injured.

You can exchange the word “runner” for any other activity you enjoy and continue to participate – this is not just about about running.

What do you think?

What do you think, should injured runners just fade away from the running community or should they continue to be active and vibrant members of that community, even if they can’t run?

Finally

If you are injured look closely at the things that Mike at Just a Little Run…: Making It Count says in his post – it is all great advice! But remember, it is also important to stay connected to others who share your interests, even when you can’t actively participate. You still have a lot to offer other runners even while you are injured.

Answering 20 Questions About Me

Since I recently changed blog hosts and have also met a lot of new people on social media sites over the past couple of months – I thought that some people might want to know a little more about me.

The “20 Questions” survey that Brittany posted at GOtheXtraMile Thursday’s Things post was where I got these questions.

More to let people know that I am a real person, not just a “bot” ;-).

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?

Other than going for a run and spending time outside. I love to go on walks and hikes with TheWife and my dog Bennie

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.

Actually I don’t really watch that much TV, we ditched all but basic cable last year. Probably watching NFL Football, Person of Interest and Grimm would be my top 3 and I don’t do that very regularly. I tend to like sports, but without the cable stations I haven’t been able to watch much NBA (the Celtics) this year and I know that I will miss being able to sit and watch/listen to the Red Sox this summer.

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?

I would rather take the pictures, I don’t like breaking cameras too often. But really I do enjoy being able to look back at myself and see the changes (good and bad) from then to now.  So a little of both.

4) Why do you blog?

To leave behind a bit of myself – a legacy of who I am for my grand children and others who think they know me or would like to know me.

Anther reason is that I enjoy writing and sharing things I have learned over my life.

Finally, when I decided to write a blog that focuses on running, I have to walk-the-walk, I can’t sit on the sidelines and not run and still write about it. By blogging about running I have felt like running more, more willing to try new running ideas/equipment, get back into racing and join a running club.

The support from the online running community since I started being active in it and publicly writing about my running has been phenomenal.

5) Share five websites you visit regularly…

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress.com

along with: gReader/gMail/gCal/gDocs/YouTube

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?

Kelly Olexa – CEO of FitFluential, I have learned much from her over the past 2 months.

There are so many people who I have met through social media that I would love to me face-to-face and hope to have lunch with someday.

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.

TheWife’s homemade muffins, Apples, Grapes, Cherries, Potato Chips (I have to really, really limit myself on these) and coffee ice cream. I eat good most of the time, but there are some comfort foods that just come around and make me go “mmmmmm”

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?

We have a Jack Russell Terrier who has been described with words like ADHD on crack, headstrong, stubborn and a mind of his own. He is a 5.0 mile a day dog, if he doesn’t have a least five miles of activity, he will drive you absolutely bonkers.

We also have 4 cats down from a high of 6 that we had for several years.

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?

  • Vehicle – we live in a rural area without any public transportation
  • MacBook Pro Laptop – My connection to outside world
  • Running Shoes – I love to try different running shoes and until recently had a closet full of them.

10) What’s your favorite drink?

I have 4

  • Coffee
  • Green Tea
  • Merlot Wine
  • Samuel Adams OctoberFest (goes great with pizza)

However, one cup or glass (not a bottle of the wine) is usually my limit.

11) Do you enjoy cooking?

Not really, I can cook and follow directions, but have evolved into the clean-up detail. Although I make a mean Oatmeal for breakfast most days.

12) Do you have children?

Yes 2 daughters, 2 step-daughters, 3 grandsons and soon a granddaughter

13) What are your favorite hobbies?

Running isn’t really a hobby it is part of my lifestyle.  My favorite hobbies are: reading, archery, role-playing games like NeverWinter Nights 2 and when I find time flat water kayaking.

14) Would you consider yourself shy or outgoing?

In crowds I am pretty shy and quiet (I can hear some going “yeah right”), unless I know the group then I open up a little. As I have gotten older, I let others have center stage and I watch/listen a lot more than I used to.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

Improve my self-confidence. I am good at a lot of stuff, but sometimes I get to thinking too much and comparing myself to how others do something. This is something I have worked on for a long time, but every once in a while it bites me square in the butt.

16) Who is your favorite actor/ actress?

Actor: Johnny Depp
Actress: Goldie Hawn – Liked her even back in the “Laugh-In” days.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?

I am basically a pretty boring person and live a quiet life. On Monday I ran 8.0 miles and felt really good about it.

18) Do you live near your family or far from them?

I live about an hour from where I grew up and most of my family still lives up there. My daughters live in Minnesota and California, so I don’t get to see them much.

19) List three of your talents.

I can teach people who hate learning to learn (10 years as a very good Special Education teacher)

I can shoot a bow pretty well.

I am computer savvy – Mac or PC

20) What is your greatest attribute?

My quirky sense of humor, it has gotten me through a lot of tough situations – when I was in the military, as a behavior tech and special education teacher working with “troubled” teens and now as a blogger.  Looking at a situation through a different perspective, finding something good about it and being able to laugh at yourself, really can put people at ease, as well as diffuse an intense situation or make people smile.

I can be rather blunt and call things pretty much as I see them. However, I have learned how to be blunt tactfully thanks to one of my bosses in the military who didn’t appreciate non-tactful bluntness.

I tend to say what I mean and mean what I say – and yes damn-it the glass is half-full :-).

Finishing up

That gives you quick glimpse into who I am. I did decide to retire early to do things that interest me and explore new opportunities in those areas.  Eventually I would like to find something to supplement my income, but would like it to be something running/fitness/social media related :-).

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged and go ahead and answer the 20 questions then link back so I can see how you answered them. It does make you stop and think about things for a minute.

Life is Funny Sometimes

It is funny how life works sometimes.

In my Running to Run Isn’t Enough Anymore post, I talked about how we sent in our application and membership fees to the Central Maine Striders last week.

Last night I had some extra time on my hands so I did a Google search of the club to learn a bit more about the running club I was applying to join.

Unfortunately, the Central Maine Striders do not seem to have a webpage currently. So I just bounced around the web looking at different search results and I came across one about Rick Krause.

In that article I found out that the founder of the Central Maine Striders was Rick Krause, that name rang a bell, but I didn’t place who it was until I read this in the article:

It was while living in Newport, where he taught physical education and coached cross country, that Krause founded the Central Maine Striders on Dec. 5, 1975.

Thinking Back to High School

Rick if my memory serves me right must have been the “runner” that Coach Smith introduced us to my senior year at Nokomis and became the assistant cross country coach that year. I don’t really remember all that much about him other than he was some “old guy” that ran with us once in a while during practices and kicked our butts.

Back then I was one of those slower, classic underachievers that didn’t really like distance running all that much, see my Running High School Cross Country 1971-1974 post. He focused more on helping the better runners, who were more interested in getting better, the group I wasn’t really a part of and I got injured that year and didn’t finish out the season.

About the only thing that I really remember about Rick besides him being fast, is that I think he had a pair of big Elvis sunglasses that he wore a lot back then. Honestly, I was too busy being a senior in high school to remember to much about some “old guy” assistant cross country coach. 😉

How things change

Here I am applying to get into a Running Club – The Central Maine Striders that was founded by someone who was the assistant coach of my high school cross country team and were created the same year I graduated from high school. Now so many years later, I want to be a member of that club.

Seems kind of fitting to me – Maybe there is just a bit of Karma involved.

I wonder if Rick is still active in the club, I didn’t hear any mention of him while at the race or see his name on the results of the January Thaw Race that I ran in.  It will be interesting to find out more as I get involved with the Central Maine Striders.  If any members of the Central Maine Striders or other Maine Runners who read this blog know – It would be fun to hear how Rick is doing.

Do you have any stories like this where someone from your past, even though might not have known them very well, suddenly has an unexpected role in your life today, so many years later?

Funny how that happens sometimes