Saturday, December 20, 2014

Note From The Foot Whisperer - Helping The Roger's Family

The Holidays are a time for family. We like to get together with all of our loved ones, which is sometimes difficult, since our one child lives in California. But we manage to all get together periodically and enjoy each other’s company. Running is often involved in our family get-togethers. And often running gear is exchanged as gifts.
There is a huge gift, I think, that we can all provide. It is a gift to our community, of our time as volunteers, our resources to help those in need, and our love to comfort those people emotionally distraught. The Holiday season can be full of stress. Complicate that with any tragic event, and you’ve got people in need.
My little three mile running loop goes through some beautiful farmland, as well as some cute little three and four house neighborhoods. One house I always pass belongs to the Rogers family. On some occasions, I’d see the kids waiting for the school bus, or the dog outside playing. Or even the father leaving for work. Any normal family in any normal neighborhood.
A few weeks ago, their world was torn apart, as they experienced a devastating house fire that destroyed everything. Thankfully, all of the family survived without injury (Although, they did lose their pets). We all witnessed the outpouring of so much love and monetary support from the community. What a beautiful act of kindness!
The Rogers have a long road ahead to rebuild their lives and their house. We can all help them out this Holiday Season. If you have anything to offer in the form of monetary donations, or other forms, contact Judy Geist ( She is helping with this gargantuan task of seeing to the family’s needs. You’ll not only feel good about what you’ve done. But more important, it will help to make the Rogers’ Holiday the best!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Notes From The Very Slow Foot Whisperer - Winter Chill is Upon Us

Hi all! This little Arctic blast in November gives us all a little hint to what’s in store in another month and a half. All I have to say is; Make sure the snow blower is ready, break out the shovels, get out the winter gear. And attack that winter running with a vengeance!

I think I’m pretty well set:

Shoes: I’m in the Asics Nimbus right now. It’s a little softer of a strike for my old, slow bones. Traction: I wear the YakTrax. They really grip the road when there’s ice and snow. Other manufacturers offer similar product. They all do a great job!

Socks: I’ve found the Feetures Elite Merino Wool works great on those really cold days. Another lighter sock is of course, the Mizuno Breath Thermo. Both are great for those cold “dawgs.”

Legs: I’m the old fashioned baggy pant person! I like the Asics Storm Shelter pants, even though they make that annoying “swoosh” sound while running. They keep the elements out. On a really cold day, a pair of tights goes underneath!

Shirt: I make no bones about it. I like the Mizuno Breath Thermo as a base layer. Usually, that and a jacket for the elements are all I need. But again, on a frigid day, I’ll put a second layer on. I’m a wimp!

Hands: For those not-so-cold days (@ 40 degrees), I just wear the Up-N-Running gloves (Find out more about them later in this blog), As it gets colder, I go to the Mizuno Breath Thermo, and usually a shell over that (10 degrees to 5 below). Any colder? And I’m indoors!

Neck: I recently got turned on to neck gaiters. It works far better than the towel!

Face: I’m one of those people who can’t wear the balaclava hood. When I breath through my nose, it fogs up my glasses. Instead, I use this great topical called SportSlick. It keeps the wind off your skin, while also moisturizing. Fantastic for dry skin, chaffing, and the cold!

Head: I’ve got a couple favorites. Beanies are really in right now. I prefer one that has ear coverings. And my all-time favorite is still what I call the “Elmer Fudd” running hat. It is water-proof, covers the ears, and has a nice big bill.

(My own little secret for beating the hills? You know which ones. They’re the hills that give you that sick feeling when you see them. At the base of the hill, I drop the bill of my hat, so I can’t see the top of the hill. Psychologically, there is no hill! Not until I get to the top.)

And that, my friends, should get me through the winter!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Buffalo Creek Half Marathon

Hi all. I hope everyone who ran in the recent Buffalo Creek Half Marathon, had an enjoyable time and ran their PR! It was a little cold, windy and rainy. And this year, the Winfield Fire Hall was closed. So that presented a challenge to not only the runners, but also to those of us who helped put this great event on.

I think in the end, almost all enjoyed the scenery, camaraderie, and especially the pizza and hot apple cider afterwards! As your humble master of ceremonies, I hope I didn’t butcher your names up too bad as you were crossing the finish line. And I’m hoping next year to hand off the microphone to some new person so that yours truly can finally run in the tenth annual Buffalo Creek Half Marathon! And we promise some great new things for next year’s Half!

For any of you age-group award winners, who didn’t stick around for the post-race festivities, give us a call at 724-898-2525 to arrange to pick up your medals. Also, if you happened to shed any added clothing on the trail, the trail council retrieved everything. It is washed and bundled. And its here at Up-N-Running. We have three big garbage bags full of apparel. And some quite nice! We’ll keep everything at the store until the first week of November. Then any leftover will be given a new home at Good Will. So there’s some really nice Holiday Themed runs coming up:
The 34th Annual Butler YMCA Turkey Trot will take place on November 1 at 10:00 AM – Begins and ends at the Butler “Y”. Entry forms available at Up-N-Running
The Operation Troop Appreciation Veteran’s Day 5K Race will take place on November 9, 9:00 AM at the Hampton Community Park. Proceeds go towards holiday packages to our heros, the active duty troops,
The 16th Annual American Cancer Society’s Fight for Life 5K will take place on November 15th in Apollo, PA 9:00 AM. Starts at the 1st Lutheran Church on Pennsylvania Avenue.

For any of you who have never visited Ebensburg, PA, you’re in for a treat on Thanksgiving day as nearly 700 runners, including a turkey, race the streets and boulevards of Ebensburg’s Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Enjoy great post-race refreshments! Starts at the Ebensburg Fire Hall at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 27.

*****And just a little note to our Military Veterans; A sincere thanks to all of you for your service, vigilance and sacrifice. Without you, we would not enjoy the freedoms that so many take for granted. Please be our guests on Veterans Day, November 11th, for some free coffee, goodies, and some free socks! Just a little way of giving a big THANKS!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Thanking Those Who Help Us Along The Way

As we approach the completion of our eleventh year in operation, its nice to reflect on just how Up-N-Running got started. Its true,we were influenced and aided by Kevin and Keith Hanson of Hanson's Running Shop fame. Their help and advice was invaluable! And we had the assistance of some pretty good runners along the way.

It is also good to acknowledge some of the non-runners who helped Up-N-Running get to our current status.

Larry and Jean Benton owned the plaza where UNR makes it's home. Their main business was Costumes, Etc. and the associated Christmas shops. Larry's special gift was his unique way of conjuring up creative ideas to promote his business as well as our own. On any given day, Larry would pop in and ask, "What do you think of this idea?" And with his jovial sense of humor and sincere thoughtfulness, he'd always end our discussions with, "Peace." A true throwback from the 60's.

Jean Benton always knew what to tell you to make you feel at ease. A cancer survivor, she had a contagious smile on her face, having vanquished that terrible disease. Over the past couple of years, we lost Larry to the debilitating ALS. And although keeping Costumes, Etc. open and in business was a prime objective of Jean's, she eventually decided to close the store. In the midst of the closing and store liquidation, Jean tragically died from an apparent heart attack. She and Larry are dearly missed by all who have known them.

We mourn the passing of two dear friends. I personally will always remember the wonderful expression of hope in Jean's words when I lost my sister earlier this year, "She's not gone. Just gone ahead!" I truly believe that is the case with Larry and Jean.

If you get the opportunity to stop by Costumes, Etc., check out their closing sale. And offer some kind words to their extended family.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Go The Distance

For the past few years, I’ve been reading and hearing about these long distance team challenges throughout the country. Known as the Ragnar, they are, for the most part 200 mile races, with each team having a 12-runner roster (The Sixpack teams are insane!). My son and his college buddies have run the “Reach the Beach” Ragnar in New Hampshire the last three years, taking first place every year. So yours truly was more than intrigued when a member of our Saturday morning group run (And also a member of a loosely tied beverage/running organization running out of our store) asked me to join his Ragnar team. The challenge? Our twelve person team had to run from Cumberland Maryland to Washington DC. The time period was roughly two days for each team to finish.

After 30 hours of living out of a van, using porta-potties, running insane mountainous legs, night-time running, driving and running dusty back mountain roads, and sleep depravation, you’d think we’d all swear “no more!” To the contrary, the camaraderie, challenges to record a “kill” (when you pass someone from another team), elation after the hand-off, van “decoration”, meeting and joking with others at the exchange zones, running through beautiful areas of Maryland, and overall satisfaction with the finish, blew away any negative thoughts about the Ragnar!

Am I ready to sign up for next year? Give me a couple of months to think about it. But seriously, check out the website, to start your Ragnar team. And we’ll see you at the finish line!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Gearing Up (and Drinking Up) for the Marathon

Are you ready for the Pittsburgh Marathon? Yours Truly has been running and I will be doing the Half for my favorite charity, The Alzheimer’s Association (We call ourselves the AlzStars). It’s easy to be a part of the marathon; either as a runner in the Full, Half, Relay, or 5K. Or you can participate as a observer and cheering fan. Believe me, I couldn’t have made it without the support of all of the people along the course!

And as if I don’t have enough challenges, my daughter gave me a new challenge; I have to drink 97 ounces of water a day this week to hydrate properly for the race! If it were coffee, that’d be easy! But in all seriousness, hydrating is so important as every organ in the body requires water. And when you stress your body in one of these races, the outcomes could be bad if not properly hydrated. My own experience in my second marathon was great!. The reason? Because one of my associates at the expo that year insisted (Nagged!!!) that I drink plenty of fluids days prior to the marathon. And she brought a huge bag of bottled water. At the time, I was annoyed, but cooperated. A big Thank You to Wendy!!! I had absolutely no problems running the marathon. And to the contrary, it was the most enjoyable race I had ever done!

Come pay us a visit at the Expo this year! We are offering some of our new L.A.B. apparel. And I think you’ll love the themes! And if you can’t make it to the expo, stop by the store for great Expo Weekend discounts! Friday and Saturday, take advantage of expo discounts. Anything at the store will be 20% off!!!

Happy Running!!!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - One of the Gifts that Running Gives

I went for a run the other day. It was a beautiful, sunny morning around 50 degrees, with little wind. And I found out it was just the prescription for yours truly! It seems I had a lot on my mind. Some good. And others quite tragic. But I’ve found, through my running, peace, solace, and direction. What a great way to clear the clutter that periodically builds up in one’s head! While out there with the road under my feet, and the blue sky overhead, I was not annoyed by phone calls, the Morning News, or the thought of the day’s responsibilities. Instead I concentrated on the rhythm of my breathing and foot strikes. And I focused on the task at hand: how to say good bye to my sister. Denise was tragically taken from us in an auto-related accident while on vacation. And I had the unenviable task of providing a post-funeral eulogy to friends and family. How do I put into words, the feelings about a person I have known literally my entire life?

I decided to go for a run. It all came together! What a tremendous gift we all share as runners! I will always cherish the time I spent with my siblings. And I will likewise take pleasure in every one of my runs. Both solitary and with others!

Thank you all for that gift!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Wow! Tens Years!!!

As many of you may know, and if you’ve heard me bellyaching enough about it, I am not a fan of the winter. Something about the cold, and the darkness, and the gray skies, and…..did I mention the cold? So how is it that ten years ago, in the middle of February, I had this crazy idea to open a specialty running store????

Ever since my days running track and cross country for Penn Hills, I had an affinity toward running. And mind you, I am a protégé of John “The Penguin” Bingham – SLOW is my middle name. The interest in running was always there, sparked by those incomparable contemporaries; Bill Rogers, Frank Shorter, Don Kardong, and of course, Steve Prefontaine. So imagine my surprise and elation to see many of my own children growing up with a talent for running. I’ve always wanted to see the local kids (including my own) do well in their track and field endeavors. But my real true interest was helping my contemporaries now. You know those in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and up! The Baby Boomers. It is refreshing and exciting to see a relatively new, just retired runner cutting seconds off his or her time. I feel privileged to be able to help them, in some way , achieve their goals.

Our Mission was a simple one: To help create a running-friendly environment in Western Pennsylvania, while giving back to the community. And in the process, making a living at it. I hope in the first ten years we, at some level, achieved our goals. And I reaffirm our commitment to make the next ten years of Up-N-Running even better for you, the runner.

Please join us on Saturday, February 15, 2014, as we start our next ten years! We will be celebrating our anniversary the entire day, starting with our Saturday morning group run (All ages and running abilities welcome). There will be snacks and goodies all day. And we will have drawings (10 – 1 for each year) throughout the day starting before the group run.

And now for the unabashed profit-making promo (tic): On any purchase of $20.00 or more, take $1.00 off for every year that Up-N-Running has been open ($10.00!). Any current promotions, discounts, or Customer Appreciation coupons included! We are making room for the new Spring apparel, so winter clothing prices will be cut drastically. Adrenaline 13’s, GT-2000’s, GT-1000’s, DS-Trainer 18’s, 860 V3, Inspire 9’s, Ravenna 4’s, Rider 16’s, Prophecy 2’s and many more are 20% off (In Stock only)! And on our anniversary day, you can take an additional $10.00 off those prices! So your final cost for say the Adrenaline 13 will be $78.00!

Lazlo will be at Up-N-Running the entire day to meet and greet everyone. And he will get a chance to show off the latest Lazlo Running Tee! See you there!!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Notes From the Foot Whisperer: New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2014! It is the time for resolutions. AND the time for us to evaluate if we met our 2013 running resolutions. For those of you who participated in UNR’s 2013 Running Resolution Challenge, we will be opening your sealed envelopes in the new year. Stop on over anytime to collect your gift certificate (If you kept your resolution.). And while you’re at the store, why not set your 2014 running resolution for our New Year Challenge. As with 2013, it has to be challenging. And running-related. That’s it!

Yours truly has a couple of resolutions, both running-related, and for personal development, And let’s just say every time I break it, the St. Jude’s Children’s Research gets a little richer.

From Up-N-Running, everyone have a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year!