Here are some images of the foam roller exercises :) Taken from Runners' World, May 2010, p58.
You can buy a foam roller from physiotherapy centres here. If you are in the States, it is worth checking it out at Target. It's about USD$20+ compared to SGD$80 here. Or order it online from Amazon.
Some asked about the other foam roller that I used - this is it.
Sorry, it took awhile to search for it as it was a birthday gift! This version is especially great for massaging the calves, shins, and glutes. I even roll my feet on top of it. If you are serious about running, consider investing in both. It's not that expensive too.
Also, you can check out the video demo at Runners' World here.
I have a slot in this year's Shape Run for the 10KM. On that day, I am supposed to run for 18 miles -_- So I think the Shape Run race will just be part of my training i.e. I will unlikely be running at usual race speed and will run from my house to the event, do the 10K, run home and continue till I hit 18 miles. Yesterday, I ran 15 miles (24km). I am not aching.. as yet. Glutes are slightly sore but for now, it's okay. I am expecting the aches to hit fully tomorrow morning. 18 miles equates to 28.8KM. H-E-L-P. I guess it's better that I track in miles instead of kilometers. It's somehow.. easier. 15 miles seems less daunting as 24KM.
Speaking of races, I read
about an unfortunate incident that happened in a recent race. I've also read a number of negative feedback regarding this event and it's sad that insufficient support was provided for the runners. I think the races in Singapore in general are reasonably organized, there are definitely rooms for improvement but at least most of the races are of acceptable standards.
I once did a race overseas and it was quite disappointing. There weren't any race chips so your timing and tracking were all guesstimates. I pitied the half-Ironman participants who were trying their best to finish the race with no water support, no volunteers around - just them racing in the dark. Because they were deemed 'too slow'. I personally feel that races should wait for the last runner because it is quite demoralizing for the person to run with no one at the finishing line if that is even still there. At least have a cut-off time to set the expectations.
The race experience for me is very important. When I did my first 10K at the Standard Chartered Marathon, it was a great experience. Sufficient water at every 2km, cleared roads etc. I think it makes a difference. I would say this over and over again but NYC was one word phenomenal. I couldn't find a single fault in the race honestly. And I am sure those who have participated in it will agree with me. Although there were over 30,000 marathoners, I collected my race pack in FIVE minutes. Instructions were clear - no confusion, the baggage drop off was a breeze - UPS was used! Collection of my baggage took just 5 minutes, I was given bottles of water, isotonic, fruits and granola bars to recover the moment I crossed the finishing line.
Whether the race is well organized will definitely affect my decision on whether I decide to run in it. I can deal with congestion but I cannot accept insufficient water support or medical support.
I have high hopes and expectations of Chicago. Hopefully, it wouldn't disappoint. If it was the Disney race for example which is meant to be fun, I would in some ways expect less of it because it is after all, a 'fun race' although fun is a half or full! I know that the spectator support wouldn't match up to NYC, but for a professional serious race where many are using to qualify for Boston (Chicago is noted for its flat and smooth course and most participate to get a PR and qualify), I am expecting good organization including secure and easy baggage pick-ups, sufficient water, mile markers which are important in a marathon and a good post-race support.
Just some interesting titbits from Runners' World - yes, as you can see, I've been catching up on my reading!
For the Boston 2010 marathon -
* 1,300 medical professionals responsible for 26,500 runners. Staff were well prepared especially for any emergency pertaining from extreme weather (both heat and hypothermia!)
* More than 2 dozen advanced life-support monitors and defibrilators were on hand.
* There were 47 medical doctors, 110 registered nurses, 160 massage therapists, 65 physical therapists, 50 medical records personnel, etc etc
* Supplies wise? They had 7,200 1x3 inch-sized Band-Aids, 3,000 ice bags, 400 IV bags of normal saline, 314 rolls of transparent tape, 200 cots etc
Given that the race fees are a lot higher for these races, it is money well-spent because you can race with a peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen, you would be well taken care of.