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TRY YOGA — DOGGIE STYLE!

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If you have a dog and practice yoga at home, you may be regularly interrupted by a lick on the face or other shenanigans from your pet. (Anything in this video look familiar?)

You know that your furry friend just wants to be with you all the time, whether as a running buddy or on the mat. So why not involve Fido in your routine?

We previously introduced you to cat yoga. Now see how you can practice with the natural masters of the downward dog!

“Doga” is dog yoga that incorporates a combination of poses, massage and bonding time with your usual yoga exercises.

Doga can be a great bonding experience and carries many of the same benefits for your dog as yoga does for you, such as improving range of motion and promoting relaxation. If done in a class environment, it can also be a great socialization and training opportunity.

Want to find out if your dog can become your dogini? Get started with some free doga videos or check out your local scene to see if any nearby studios offer classes.

Your pup will probably agree — it’s a paws-down great idea!

See more from Lindsay at Fit Mix Mom and on Facebook and Instagram.

Does your pet join you for yoga? Share below!

WHICH BUG REPELLENT WORKS BEST? NOW WHAT YOU THINK.

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Bzzz. Slap. Bzzz. Slap. Slap.

Ugh — the misery of summer running with mosquitoes.

So what works best against these relentless bloodsuckers? The results of one test may surprise you.

Consumer Reports recently found that repellents with non-traditional ingredients were more effective than products with high concentrations of DEET, which can cause skin irritation and rashes.

In a laboratory test of 15 products, Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent were the top performers.

The Sawyer’s product contains 20 percent picaridin, a synthetic chemical similar to the natural compound that is used to make black pepper. The Repel has 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus.

“It marked the first time since we’ve been testing these products that the ones made with safer chemicals were the most effective,” Consumer Reports’ spokeswoman Sue Byrne told RunHaven. “The takeaway is that you don’t need to douse yourself with high concentrations of DEET to keep mosquitoes and ticks away for at least eight hours.”

In the consumer group’s test, Repel’s 15 percent DEET spray scored better than Off! Deepwoods VIII, a spray with 25 percent DEET.

Time to chuck these?

Wristbands with natural plant oils were a big bust, testers said, noting that the mosquitoes started biting immediately when they wore the Coleman Naturals Insect Repellent Snap Band with citronella oil or the Super Band Wristband with geraniol oil.

Products that relied on rosemary, citronella and lemongrass, such as All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor and EcoSmart Organic Insect Repellent, also performed poorly.

So did Off! FamilyCare II Clean Feel, which contains only 5 percent picaridin.

“The concentration of picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus is important,” Byrne said. Higher concentrations were shown to work best.

The full review of products is in this month’s print issue of Consumer Reports and available online.

Don’t dismiss DEET

Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic, said he still considers DEET the best line of defense, especially for runners who travel overseas, where they are vulnerable to mosquito-born diseases such as malaria.

“If you are running a race in Tanzania, it’s a different story than if you are in Columbus, Ohio,” he said, adding that the runner in Tanzania should be wearing a product with 25 percent DEET.

Tick danger

Runners who enjoy a trot through the woods need to look out for ticks, said Dr. Ronald Nahass, a triathlete and president of ID Care, an infectious disease specialist group in New Jersey. A tick that latches onto a human can cause Lyme disease and a host of other illnesses.

“Insect repellent is one part of a three-prong approach, which includes proper use of clothing and vigorous tick checks,” he said. Runners should reapply insect repellent every hour or so while they are outside because sweat dilutes it, he added.

The physicians also suggest wearing clothes treated with permethrin, a tick-killing agent.

(Featured image via Flickr: U.S. Department of Agriculture, license)

A FRIEND ONCE TOLD ME: ‘RUNNING IS A F’ING PRIVILEGE’

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Written by: Abby Poeske

In the affluent suburban enclave of New England where I grew up, running is the norm. Every morning, often before the sun rises, people are out pounding the pavement of quiet streets in colorful shoes, spandex and sweat-wicking tanks.

Old railways and waterfronts have been converted into smooth jogging paths. Expensive shoes are routinely replaced every 400 miles. Runners begin their careers as babies when fit mothers push their strollers through neighborhoods. There are fun runs for children, cross-country teams for high schoolers, 5Ks funding every cause imaginable for college students, running clubs for adults and races with 65+ age brackets for senior citizens. It is a life cycle of running.

I assumed this running culture was a universal norm until I moved to Chernivtsi, Ukraine, last year for a teaching fellowship. Even though it’s the familiar motion of running that makes me feel most at home, nothing else I do in this city makes me feel further away. Chernivtsi, a city of 240,000 people, is tucked into an obscure corner of Eastern Europe and has belonged to Moldavia, Austria-Hungary, Romania and the Soviet Union before Ukraine. Although the city is bursting with culture, running culture is not included.

I quickly learned that being a runner here — especially a female runner — is hard. To run through these streets, one must face crumbling infrastructure and deeply-embedded cultural norms. Additionally, in a country where young men are being sent to the eastern border to battle separatists and Russian forces every day and where the national GDP is expected to drop another 10% in 2015, who has the luxury of a morning jog? When I asked my Ukrainian friend why there aren’t more runners in the city, her answer was simple: “Ukrainian people have to think about what they need. And running is not a necessity.”

Lately, however, I’ve seen small but noticeable movement here — development of the running culture parallels the development of the country as a whole. Overall, Ukrainians are frustrated by the lack of tangible improvement since the Revolution of Dignity began brewing in November 2013. With its current financial problems and military conflict, quick fixes and dramatic progress are impossible for Ukraine. However, the drive and desire to become a less corrupt, more developed nation is present. The country is still a long way from EU acceptance and inclusion — and a long way from being a runner-friendly place. Changes are happening at an infuriatingly slow pace, but what I have seen makes me hopeful. Ukraine is a country beginning to move itself forward.

For now, the city is fairly inhospitable to runners. Traffic is always heavy. Exhaust spews out of the old Lada cars, buses and marshrutkas (shared passenger vans), making me sputter, burning my lungs and shortening my breaths. The sidewalks are perpetually crowded, and I sidestep baby carriages, couples linked arm in arm and teenagers meandering four abreast. We play “chicken” until I surrender and drop into the street. I still don’t understand sidewalk etiquette here, other than that the highest heels get right of way. Uneven Austro-Hungarian cobblestones transition to loose Romanian bricks, which turn into cracked Soviet pavement. The changes are abrupt and jarring to a pedestrian, just as the historical hand-off of authority must have been to citizens of Chernivtsi. The irregular sidewalks, gaping potholes and uncovered manholes force me to keep both eyes on the ground to avoid ankle injuries. I hear too many frightening stories about the hospitals, which have plenty of corruption but do not always have running water.

I was told to carry an umbrella to fend off the stray dogs. On average, I see four per kilometer. But the strays don’t bother me. They’re too busy cracking chicken bones left for them by benevolent grannies or scratching the fleas out of their nappy fur. It’s the “tame” dogs whom I warily give a wide berth. More than once, unleashed dogs have chased me down, causing me to tumble on the patchy pavement. Their owners have coolly watched with a raised eyebrow as if to say, “Your fault for jogging near my dog.” So despite the risk of rabies, which is rampant in these parts, I choose to pass the strays.

The actual running part, through oppressive air pollution, on hazardous sidewalks and past threatening dogs, is not what exhausts me. It’s the people — spectators, rather — and their reactions that wear me out. Some days I have to muster more emotional than physical energy to get myself on the pavement to face them. People yell and point me in the direction of the park, as if one is not allowed to run anywhere else. Women stop me in my shorts to tell me I’m cold while I sweat profusely (as I’m certain they do as well, excessively bundled in their thick coats and scarves). Gangs of adolescent boys snicker as they loiter and smoke cigarettes near the park entrance. I bitterly calculate the longevity of my lungs versus theirs.

But not everyone is like that. On one long run, I sprinted up a steep bonus hill. At the top was a stooped old man pumping his fist, grinning sincerely with a gold-toothed smile and shouting, “Molodets! Molodets!” which translates to something like, “Well done!”

After several months of training here, I finally have the courage to look up as I jog. With my eyes not constantly on the ground, I can appreciate the Old World architecture. It is beautiful in the shabby-chic, rusted and faded way of Chernivtsi. I see the shimmery gold-domed Orthodox churches, the mansions in the old Jewish neighborhood, the bold and imposing Soviet structures. I notice my fellow exercisers, trotting in tracksuits or walking with ski poles.

Few of them are women. It’s so rare to spot a female runner that for my first couple of months here, I thought I was the only one. Already frustrated by the gender inequality and blatant objectification of women I had been observing, I went crazy during one run. I had had enough of the jeers, stares, scowls, fingers pointing, cameras clicking and drivers hollering. This particular morning, after witnessing a string of women tottering to work in stilettos, I passed a male jogger in the park. He didn’t seem to like this and sped up to race ahead of me. Crazed in a fury of feminism, I refused to let him win. I thought, “He needs to know what it’s like to be beaten by a girl.” As Martina McBride belted “This One’s For the Girls” in my earbuds, I maniacally sprinted the last lap, satisfied to put him in his place.

I may have been overreacting then, the result of adjusting to very different societal norms from which I’d come. Now I know I’m not the only female athlete out there. There is an elderly woman dressed in a terrycloth tracksuit and cap who practices badminton by herself every day. She tosses up the birdie and hits it twice or maybe three times in a row before losing it. She’s not very good, but she’s out there trying. Within a few weeks, she began to smile as I waved to her, warming up to me as I lapped her each day. After several months of our understood amity, she broke the silence by flexing a bicep and cheering, “How you run!”

Even with cheerleaders like the Molodets Man and Badminton Lady, I sometimes feel defeated after my runs, no matter how many kilometers I have conquered. I return to my apartment complex, a set of concrete-block chicken coops where laundry airs outside each balcony, where children play in the green patches between the imposing buildings, and where the bathrobed old women and shirtless old men gossip on porch stoops. After a jog, neighbors take in my abnormal athletic gear, shake their heads at my shorts and mutter, “sportswoman” as I cool down. After one particularly demoralizing run, the gaggle of kids who have taken an interest in me (either because I am “The Americanka” or for the Jolly Ranchers I share with them) saw me and trotted over. One of the older girls, the ringleader of this lot, was bursting to tell me that she too is a runner. She proudly informed me that she jogs in the park each Saturday. I beamed at her, hope restored. You go, girl.

Unlike my little neighbor, because of where I come from, I always have (before Ukraine) had it easy as a runner. I’m lucky to have grown up where running does not seem like a luxury. I’m lucky because I have a dad who never told me I shouldn’t run. I’m lucky because I have a mom who never skips a morning run before work. A friend once told me, “Abs, running is a f******g privilege.” I run in my clean New Balance shoes past folks in worn boots, digging through dumpsters. I run by countless smokers because I know that endorphins are better, cheaper stress relievers than nicotine. I run freely by the bus station where newly drafted soldiers heading east hug their brave-faced mothers. I run with strong legs as the crippled beggar sits outside the church. I run to train for a half marathon with fees that are twice the monthly pension in Ukraine. I run privileged.

At the park and on the stadium track, there are more runners than there are on the streets. In the mornings, the coaches and their athletes control the ring. The track-suited, potbellied trainers are old-timers — the oligarchs of the sport. They watch their athletes and click their stopwatches. Their athletes are serious runners, carefully selected and well-groomed. I smile earnestly and try to make eye contact with them, hoping the camaraderie shared by us pavement pounders will override the unwritten Ukrainian rule that one does not smile at strangers. No luck. They sprint by, stone-faced, eyes locked on their trainers.

It’s different in the evenings. As the sun sets and the work day winds down, the less serious joggers emerge. Some wear jeans, while others are in sandals. Some only make it once or twice around at a slow shuffle. Some won’t break a sweat. But they’re there, and the track is buzzing with energy.

Most of them are young. Other than the Badminton Lady and occasional Ski-Pole Walker, I hadn’t witnessed any older athletes. I didn’t expect there to be many — the life expectancy in Ukraine is 71 years (66 for men). So when I saw a group of 30 pensioners lined up military-style, all sporting matching bright orange T-shirts, my jaw dropped. They looked like softer, rounder versions of my dad’s blue-haired gym buddies or the aqua aerobics class retirees at the YMCA. These exercisers listened attentively as their coach, who threateningly smacked a large whip against his hand, paced in front of their line-up and explained proper technique. His troops were complete opposites of most elderly Ukrainians, the fellow scarfed babushkas who scowl at me as they sell produce on the sidewalks.

While this Brigade in Orange may be the exception in the elderly crowd, many young adults have shown an openness or eagerness to run. Some students once caught me mid-run and initially seemed mortified (understandably, because who wants to see their teacher exercising?), but later in class they voiced their approval. One of my Ukrainian friends asked me to teach her how to run. She’ll take my expired pair of running shoes, and we’ll start a couch-to-5K plan this week. I have one student who decided to run the Kyiv Half Marathon last year. She rode the 12-hour overnight train the evening before, arrived the morning of the race, cranked out 13.1 and took the same train back that very night. She showed up for class the next day after a “modified wipe-down shower.” Talk about grit. This generation is different than their parents and grandparents. They are willing to learn something new and foreign. They are open-minded. They are determined.

There is a half marathon and 5K event scheduled for Chernivtsi in two weeks. I was shocked when I heard about it — I have no idea who is organizing it, where it will be run or if anybody will participate. The description of the event is “spreading healthy lifestyle among Ukrainians.” The desire to be healthy and active is here. Currently, there’s little infrastructure to support this desire because Ukraine does not have the time or money to invest in running right now. But anybody who is already a runner knows it’s not about new shoes or smooth sidewalks or sweat-wicking tanks. It’s about willpower and the ability to believe that you can and you will move yourself forward. And that is something that this country does have. Ukraine is a nation that is about to be on the run.

WORST SMELLS ENCOUNTERED WHILE RUNNING

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We have all been there. You are standing amongst hundreds of runners at the starting line of a race, waiting for the signal to begin, and somehow you find yourself placed next to a woman who not only decided to adorn herself with full makeup and jewelry for the race, but she also decided to pile on the perfume. Perfect.

When we run, we breathe in so deeply that smells affect us twice as much than if we were to encounter them out of the context of exercising.

These are some of the worst smells that I find personally offensive while out on a run:

  1. Body Odor. No one enjoys body odor at any time, but when I’m racing and get behind someone that has forgotten their deodorant that morning, it sometimes makes me want to gag.
  2. Perfume. As I stated before, perfume really bothers me while I’m racing. I am a fan of perfume on a normal day, but running through a thick cloud of it can almost stop me dead in my tracks.
  3. Smoke. When I’m running down a rural road, and people are burning yard debris or the leaves in their ditches, I try to hold my breath and sprint past the giant gray cloud. This also goes for smokers that pass me in their car. It’s hard to believe that one cigarette can create so much odor when you are out in the open air, but it seems to hang in the air forever.
  4. Dead animals. During the summer, when the ditches don’t get mowed down on a regular basis, dead animals can be completely hidden in the tall grasses and you don’t know they are there until you run right up on them. On a hot and humid day, the odor from one of these rascals can be enough to knock you down!
  5. Manure. Living in a country setting, it is a commonplace to have farmers spread manure on their fields several times a year to help the crops grow. Smelling it when I’m in my yard is not bad, but while running it can completely be overpowering at times. I have grown used to it, but there are those really hot days where it brings tears to your eyes.

I’ve learned a trick to keeping some of these smells at bay when I’m out running. A small layer of Vicks Vapor rub right under the nostrils can make everything smell minty and help omit the odors encountered in the country.

11 REASONS WE DON’T CARE THAT YOU HATE OUR RACE STICKERS

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These days, there have been a lot of haters with regard to those innocent black and white oval race stickers runners put on their cars. It’s funny, isn’t it, that people really care that much about what you and I put on our cars. Jealous, maybe? Here are some reasons we really don’t care that you hate on our stickers.

  1. We are too naturally high on running to care. You should try it sometime. It’s free and legal. And, it makes you not focus so much on things like stickers.
  2. We earned them. Even if you thought you’d never put a race sticker on your car, you might feel differently after you cross that 13.1 or 26.2 finish line. Trust me.
  3. My car, my choice.
  4. Did you ever think that maybe those stickers serve an extreme purpose? When we are going to a race, it keeps us from getting lost because all we have to do is look at all the other cars with race stickers on them and we know we are going the right way.
  5. We don’t complain about your My Child Is an Honor Student and family stick-figure stickers. Well, maybe we do complain, but if you can have those, we can have these. They kind of cancel each other out.
  6. We won’t make fun of you if you put a 0.0 sticker on your car. If you want to be out of shape and brag about it, be our guest.
  7. 13.1 or 26.2 represent more to us than you will ever understand. It’s not about bragging (well, maybe a tad), and more about owning and accomplishment that was hard-won and required discipline, determination, grit and guts.
  8. It’s like show-and-tell for adults. When did it become a bad thing to be proud of something? In first grade, you’d bring your swim team ribbon, and the kids and teachers would clap and cheer. Think of our stickers as your first grade swim team ribbon.
  9. While some people enjoy their accomplishments quietly and privately, some people relish in sharing. Who’s to say this is right or wrong? Honestly, no one should give a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves when it comes to stickers. Remember: IT IS A STICKER, not a machete or a syringe full of heroin or a vial of smallpox.
  10. Maybe, just maybe, our distance sticker is seen by someone, and it motivates them. Good deed done for the day.
  11. Final bonus: It can only be a good thing if you get pulled over by a cop who is also a runner and he/she sees your sticker. Instant bonding and perhaps a warning instead of a ticket. Ever think of that?

TAKING A STAND IN THIS “TAKE A SEAT” CULTURE

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It’s no secret that sitting for long periods of time is super awful for our hip flexors and overall health.

So let’s get on up — c’mon up, up, up — to read this nugget of news from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, who in a recent study reported by The Washington Post, backed up what we already knew with quantifiable numbers.

They now say you should start standing up at work for at least two hours day and work your way toward four. I think my feet hurt already.

I knew my cubicle-mate was on to something when he traded his desk for a stand-up table in the back rec room. Now, if only we could convince our CEO to opt for the motorized sit/stand desks that power up and down. In the name of health, right?

Today the average office worker sits 10 hours a day, which is not surprising in the world full of endless emails, meetings, phone calls. And even our spare time is spent sitting in front of the TV or aimlessly scrolling through our news feeds.

The benefits of getting off your rump during the day could alleviate the dangerous risks like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression in addition to muscle and joint problems. Dr. James Levine, a professor of medicine at the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic even says, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting.” EEK!

Looking for more ways to get up off your bum during the day check out On The Pulse video for tips!

THE 25 MOST KICK-ASS THINGS ABOUT RUNNING

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Have you ever been asked why you run? It appears that the non-running world simply does not understand why we are compelled to routinely tie up our shoes and head out for runs regardless of weather, time of day or how busy we are. The truth is, there are hundreds of reasons why people love to run. Here are 25 of the most kick-ass things about running.

  1. You can get high every day without hard drugs.
  2. Running gives you and your great aunt something to talk about. (“Sonny! Running is bad for your knees!”)
  3. You can regularly consume things liked salted caramel GU.
  4. You know exactly how far a marathon is (unlike the rest of the non-running world).
  5. You can eat more and (hopefully) not gain weight.
  6. You escape from home.
  7. Running helps you to know the exact distance from your house and any other location in your neighborhood.
  8. You can drink in the morning (since most races end before noon and there is beer).
  9. You can brag on social media.
  10. Running gives you the three D’s: determination, discipline, direction.
  11. You just might live longer.
  12. Friends make you signs that say things like, “If this race were any easier, it would be your mother.”
  13. You can go where cars and bikes can’t go.
  14. You get high-fives from little kids during races.
  15. Running solves constipation issues. C’mon! The runner’s trots are fun!
  16. You can wear knee-high socks (compression variety) and not look like a school girl.
  17. Farting is commonplace and totally acceptable.
  18. You can find all kinds of cool stuff, like spare change, empty liquor bottles and dead animals.
  19. Running is an excuse to own 10 pairs of shoes.
  20. Consuming carbs is not only encouraged, it’s necessary.
  21. You learn how to monitor the color of your pee to see if you are dehydrated (urine the color of lemon juice is the best!)
  22. You actually can run farther than most people can drive.
  23. It’s acceptable to shoot snot out of your nose and spit.
  24. You can do it anywhere and in any weather (if you are a BAMF).
  25. As they say, it’s cheaper than therapy!

RUNNING FUNDAMENTALS: PROPER BREATHING

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One thing that most runners don’t give much thought is their breathing. It comes fairly naturally to many runners, and it doesn’t require a ton of forethought. However, there are some tweaks that you can make to get the most out of your breathing patterns. And if you’re new to the sport, there’s no better time than now to get your breathing patterns ingrained.

To begin with, let’s dispel the rumor that you primarily want to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or vice versa. Running requires plenty of oxygen, so using your mouth to get your breaths in and out is the most efficient manner.

That said, however, there is one major move you can make to get the most out of your breathing while running: learn to be a belly breather. If you’ve ever taken a Pilates or yoga class, you probably already know what this means.

Essentially, you want your diaphragm to drive your breathing because your intake of oxygen will be much greater than if your breathing comes from your chest. How to do it? Practice!

Begin lying on the floor on your back. Breathe in deeply through your belly, which means making it expand as your diaphragm works to fill your lungs with air. Your chest should basically be a bystander in this practice. As you exhale, your stomach will contract.

Just as with anything you do related to running, the more you practice this diaphragmatic breathing, the better you will become. Practice enough and it will become second nature.

As stated above, Pilates and yoga practices are big proponents of diaphragmatic breathing. If you practice these regularly under the guidance of a teacher, you will improve even faster.

Is there a correct pattern or rhythm for breathing? Most likely, easier running will probably fall into a three-to-three pattern. That’s three steps (say left, right, left) for every inhale and three for every exhale. Faster running may require faster breathing, taking the rhythm up to a two-steps/two-breath pattern. More than likely, going all the way to a one-to-one pattern will be too shallow to maintain, so it’s best to avoid that.

Incorporate these breathing techniques into everyday walking along with some concentrated practice, and before you know it, you’ll automatically translate that over to running as well.

Related:

Running Fundamentals: Formfundamentals

Running Fundamentals: Building Mileagefundamentals

Running Fundamentals: Base BuildingRunning Fundamentals: Base BuildingFeatured Image via Flickr: Peter Mooney, license

IN NEED OF SPEED? TRY THIS WORKOUT!

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If you want to run faster, you need to run faster. It’s really just that simple. However, I recently discovered that if you add a little (or a lot) of incline to your speed drills, you may get the extra training boost you need to finally snag that PR!

The Warm-Up

Begin with some light running or jogging on a mostly flat road or the treadmill for 20-30 minutes. You want your legs warmed up and ready to go!

The Workout

8 x 20 second hill repeats

4–5% hill grade at 90% effort or 10K race pace effort

1-2 minute rest or easy run in between sets

Over time, you can increase the grade of the hill or number of sets. Do not increase both at once, and only increase hill grade or sets when you can easily complete the workout as is.

The Cool Down

Easy run back to your starting point for 20-30 minutes. Stretch hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, back and glutes!

The Benefits

Swap this for your traditional speedwork once a month. By running fast uphill, you will fully engage your gluteal muscles and gain more power in your speed. A lot of runners struggle on the hills, and this workout will have you blasting up them in shorter distance races.

RACES CANCELED, RUNNERS CONCERNED FOR SAFETY IN WAKE OF BALTIMORE RIOTS

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As TV screens around the country are dominated by the unrest in Baltimore, the streets of this beloved running city have become unsafe for local runners.

Organizers have had to cancel a number of races this weekend including events to raise funds for AIDS and ALS Research.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to CANCEL the 2015 Fiesta 5K for ALS Research that was to be held in downtown Baltimore on Saturday, May 2,” Organizers wrote in an email. “Given the civil unrest that has transpired in Baltimore City this week, and not wanting to divert the city’s resources during this challenging time, we believe that calling off the event is the smartest and best option to ensure the safety of our participants, sponsors, vendors and volunteers.”

“We closed our stores yesterday just for the safety of our staff,” Brian Nasuta, who is working at Charm City Run in downtown Baltimore, said on Wednesday. “I am working by myself right now. We sent employees home. We may close early this afternoon.”

On Monday, after the funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died in police custody from a severe spinal cord injury, protests turned to violent riots. Rioters smashed police cars, injured officers, looted, burned buildings and beat bystanders. Today, schools were closed, but fear is still palpable. 

Nasuta continued: “We are praying for Baltimore and making sure that everyone is safe. We are encouraging people to use some of the local gyms if they have memberships. Lay low and stay away from running in downtown right now.”

C25K/5K-10K Training Group will not be meeting tonight due to the current unrest. Please stay safe!” one user wrote in the Baltimore Road Runner’s Facebook group. 

“There will be no BRRC training this week at any location due to the current unrest,” another wrote. 

 The Baltimore Running Festival posted this on their Facebook page: “URGENT NOTICE: Due to security concerns at nearby Security Square Mall, today’s scheduled Frederick Running Festival packet pickup at the Sports Authority in Catonsville has been relocated to Corrigan Sports’ office in Elkridge.”

“This is what’s left of a family-owned sports store in #Baltimore,” NEWS4 I-Team wrote on Facebook with this photograph:

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“We are canceling our run for tonight,” says Kelly Maurer, Charm City Run director of training. “This is supposed to be their last run before a spring half marathon. It would be short — maybe only three miles, but safety-wise we just aren’t risking it by putting them out there. We want to protect their safety.”