Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tasha Does Tulsa Run: The Advice Column

Since I announced the birth of the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run 5k team, I've had several questions about how to properly train to run 3.1 miles without suffering shin splints, exercise-induced asthma (EIA) or, worse, Dorky Running Gear Syndrome (just say no to DRGS).

For the edification of all, I'd like to post here a few of what I feel are the questions most pertinent to you fledgling runners out there.

Dear Tasha,
With so many options for running trails in Tulsa, where do you usually train?
-Curious George

Dear George,
LaFortune Park at 51st and Yale is my favorite close-to-home running spot, but once a week or so I like to head to Tulsa's RiverParks. Now that the splash pad at 41st Street is open, I like to start and end there so I can let my kid loose in the water after being tethered for 30-45 minutes in an ergonomically-challenged stroller.

Plus, the new, expanded trail system at RiverParks is lovely. It rocks. I love it.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

I get run over by cyclists much less often these days. Share the trail, cyclists. Share the trail.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Ah, the Pedestrian bRRidge. It's so exhilarating to run.

One problem, though:

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Every time I run across it, I get this intense craving for Ovaltine. Weird, huh?

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Mmm. And only 170 calories per 8-ounce serving.

Dear Tasha,
As a fellow running mom, what jogging stroller would you recommend?

Dear Maurine,
I have two tips for you.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Choose the stroller on the right if you plan to run on a track that's straight as an arrow, since the front wheel doesn't pivot and it's next to impossible to turn without lifting up the front wheel and risking dumping your kid in the track gravel in front of God and everybody in town who owns a dog pretty enough to take promenading at RiverParks.

Choose the stroller on the left if you enjoy being thrown over the handle when you break a run for the first time in six months and the front wheel flies off, nearly decapitating a frisbee golfer.

Or, spend more than $80 on a stroller. The choice is yours.

Dear Tasha,
What stretching exercises do you think are best for the new runner?
-Splinting Down Sheridan

Dear Sheridan Splinter,
I'm no stretching expert (if you don't believe me, just ask my old cheerleading coach; how I made the squad without being able to do the splits or a cartwheel, I'll never know), but I'll give you the gist of my personal routine.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

I begin each training session by attempting to climb on public art. This practice challenges the limbs at the same time that it tests the durability of the seams of your new running pants. It's also a great way to make contact with local law enforcement.

Or, you can stretch the Holly Wall way.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Either way, you'll be stretched and set for the best training session of your life. I think.

There's still time to sign up for the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run 5k team. Send me your contact info by the end of the month to receive encouraging e-mails, invitations to "official" TDT training sessions and, most important, a cool t-shirt.

Even if you don't join the team, I wish you happy training out there. Even though it'll be totally useless because every member of the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run team is gonna slap you on the butt as they pass you on their way to the finish line come this year's Halloween race day.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

If I sign up, can I change my mind later?

Also, I made the cheerleading squad without being able to do the splits either. I guess we're both just that cheery. ;)

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