Monday, October 26, 2015

On The Run With UNR - Running The Hills Of Kentucky!

Running the Hills of Kentucky!

Notes From The Foot Whisperer

Anyone for a bit of Bourbon? The Bourbon Chase in Central Kentucky, that is. And now that I’ve had time to digest everything (Figuratively), it made for another wonderful weekend with some great running buddies! Our little team (Named after one of our favorite beverages), and by extension, part of the Saturday morning run group, made our way to Louisville, Kentucky to start our sojourn. For anyone who didn’t hear of our Washington DC Ragnar run last year, our twelve person team ran a 200 mile relay race through some of the prettiest land in this country. Each person had three legs to run. By the time we finished in Lexington, 200 miles and 29-1/2 hours later, our team was all ready for the bourbon (Literally, not figuratively!). And every person had a story to tell!

My favorite was in the little town of Stanford. It was my first of two night-time runs. Our van (We called it the “Adult Van” as opposed to the “Kids Van”) pulled in to Stanford around 8:30 pm. We were met by a very polite and generous fire police man who directed us not only to the parking lot, but also to bathrooms with running water (a luxury on this race), and some great hot chocolate for all of the Chasers. At the exchange zone, the townspeople met us and kept all of the runners at ease as we waited for our exchange, telling us stories about prior Chases and their total commitment to making it one of the best 200-milers out there! All with a very contagious Southern drawl! As my team mate approached, my team number was called out. The hand-off was made, and I ran into the darkness of rural Kentucky to the next exchange zone.

By the end of the race in Lexington, all of the pains, sore muscles, and tired bones were a thing of the past. We had dinner as a team and reminisced about a most enjoyable race! If you and 11 other friends ever get the chance, try a Ragnar or one of many other two hundred mile team relays. Memories that you can share with the grand kids!

The evening runs were cold. And it just gets me pumped up for cold weather running! Check out some of our new cold weather gear. As well as some great standards out there that are currently on sale!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On The Run with UNR - Hello From Ebensburg!

I’m spending some time today working out of the Ebensburg Up-N-Running. It gives me time to see what the running community is like in other parts of the state. And Pennsylvania has a rich heritage of good runners as well as running events. In the Central PA region, there’s loads of great little races to attend.

Two very active running clubs in the community are: The Ebensburg Area Running Club (EARC), and the Indiana Road Runners Club (IRRC). They host a variety of different distance events. The big event every year for the EARC is the annual Turkey Trot, held on Thanksgiving. It runs through the streets of downtown Ebensburg, ending at the Fire Hall. Proceeds of the event go to one of several charities in the area. They get around 700 plus runners. Everyone has a great time. And there’s plenty of post-race refreshments. To see a really cool video of the race, go to

The big event for the Indiana Road Runners Club is the annual Indiana First Bank Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay. It is held on November 8 on the Ghost Town Trail. A very inexpensive event for those looking to run a November marathon. Visit for more information.

Some other neat events occurring in Central PA are: Saturday, October 7, 2015 The Vampire 5K in Johnstown PA. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross. I really like the race entry fee categories! It has a $30 Race day entry fee. However, if you donate blood or platelets, the fee is waived. (The donation period has passed as they don’t want someone fainting on the course. But keep it in mind for next year!)

Saturday, October 24. Color Me Pink Run/Walk in Windber, PA (Yep, the home of Tarzan, Johnny Weissmueller!). What a great way of raising funds to advance patient care and breast cancer research during the month of October! Proceeds benefit the Joyce Murtha Breast Cancer Center.

Saturday, November 14. Shanksville Fire Department Station 627 - 6.27 Ladder Run Challenge. It’s three races for the price of one! It’s 6.27 miles . And you advance from the first race, to the second, to the third by covering the distances over a set period of time. Contact for more information. And while you’re there, visit the awe-inspiring Flight 93 Memorial.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

On The Run with UNR - Here Comes Autumn!

Hey, we made it to Autumn. It has always been such a great time to go out running! And there are some really great little races out there. It seems more races have themes. And what better themes in the Fall than Halloween, scary races, apple cider, amazing post-race food, and maybe a couple PR’s! For all of you training for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon, with the new course finish, we are seeing some spectacular races to the end. I would suspect if the weather turns out well, we may see some course records broken. Tell your friends and family come on out and cheer you on, as the last quarter mile is great for viewing.

One thing to start keeping in mind is how quickly it gets dark now. I like to wear a safety light on my head with at least a 20-lumen power. My two biggest problems running at night are mail boxes, and pot holes! And yours truly have run into both on occasion. Another nice piece of equipment for evening running are Knuckle Lights. Very easy to run with. And they really light up your surroundings. I also will start to wear a reflective vest. And I’ll top it off with the flashing safety lights. It’s a little early for Christmas. But when I’m decked out with all of my lights and reflective bands, if I get a few more strings of lights, I’ll be ready for the Holidays!!

Congratulations to all who ran in the City of Pittsburgh Great Race! And especially to that gang out there (You know who you are!) who ran every single Great Race including the Great Replacement Race. Also, a big congrats to the SFU alums who won the Reach the Beach Ragnar in New Hampshire back in September. That’s four years in a row for those guys!

Happy Running!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

On the RUN with UNR - Our new and improved blog!

Okay, so we’re now training for the Bourbon Chase in Kentucky. A nice 200 mile 12-person relay. And yours truly will be trying my best not to embarrass the team. My physical ailments are slowing me down. But I’m still enjoying the run. These late Summer/early Fall days are really nice for running. I’ve been switching my routes. And on occasion, doing some trails. As the farmers always tell me; Make Hay while the sun shines! So hopefully, we’ve got a lot more sun-shiny days ahead!

These 200-mile relay races are just one of the many races/runs coming this Fall. Lots of really neat events coming up:

In the North Pittsburgh area the races include:

PALS 5K Run/Walk for Education – Saturday, October 3, 2:00 pm in Saxonburg, PA - If you’ve ever run the Saxonburg Festival of the Arts 5K, you’ll love this race. It all takes place on the Saxony Farm. In my opinion, the prettiest place to hold a race! Hope you can make it! Contact: 412-793-5884

Highlands First Annual American Cancer Society 5K Race – Sunday, October 4, 8:30 am on the Heritage Trail – Tarentum Marina – Contact: 724-226-1803

Darlington Twp. VFD’s 2nd Annual Fire Prevention 5K – Saturday, October 10, 9:00 am. Proceeds benefit the Volunteer Fire Department. Contact: 724-730-5421

Freeport Girls’ Basketball First Annual Halloween Hustle 5K Run/Walk – Saturday, October 10, 9:00 am – Butler/Freeport Rails-to-Trails at Monroe Road. Costumes are encouraged!!!! Contact:

10th Annual Buffalo Creek Half Marathon! This is the one everyone seems to like running. An easy downhill point-to-point finishing in Freeport, PA. Saturday, October 17, 9:00 am. No race day registration. Shuttles to the start and back to the parking lot after the race. Lots of refreshments! And some really great locally crafted finisher’s medals! One of the fastest Half Marathons you’ll ever run! Visit website:


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Progress Report

Now that many of us are in marathon or half marathon training mode, and nearing the midway point in our training for Spring marathons it may be prudent to evaluate our progress, and keep the injuries at bay. If you have been putting miles in on our wintery cold, hard roads, you’re probably feeling the shock on the legs. Not to worry. As the temperatures rise, running on asphalt will provide some give to the constant pounding. The ruts in the rail/trails will soften. And your taper will be relaxing. I’m hearing the robins, which is a good sign that Spring will soon be here.

For those kids starting track and field, there’s snow still on the track, so training is limited. Try getting some miles in as the shock of starting from scratch often times will bring on shin splints. If you do feel onset of shin splints, try rolling one of RPI’s Sticks on the shins, or just use a rolling pin. It will hurt a little, but will help break up the damaged tissue to work it out of your system.

Good luck on your Spring training. We’ll be around to help you through any setbacks.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Let's Beat This Winter Weather

If the weather lately has you down, you’re definitely not alone. After all, It is Pennsylvania. And it is February. And I’ll tell you, those blue jays, grackles, cardinals, doves and assorted little birds are eating me out of house and home! I find myself filling the bird feeder every two days while our feathered friends impatiently wait in the bushes nearby. But there is some really good signs that Spring surely is on its way! First – We are getting plenty more daylight! I am finding myself less prone to hibernate. And more prepared to run! Second - My tomato seedlings have popped through the soil in my planters, and are growing like weeds! Third – Have you noticed more sunny days? There are times, while running, if the wind is died down and I close my eyes just for that split second, I think I’m running on a beach Fourth – I’ll let you all know shortly, as soon as I see the first robin. For me, it’s generally around the last week of February.

But if you’re having difficulty seeing Spring, I have some neat ways of cheating my way into the warmer seasons: - My workshop at home has full spectrum lights to ward away SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They really work! - I do take Vitamin D during the winter. It improves my outlook. - A brisk walk or run outside is definitely better than the couch! - When all else fails, I head over to Home Depot’s garden center, and check out the new things for Spring!

It will be here before you know it!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - Winter Weather and Wonderful News

How’re we all fairing through this winter? It doesn’t seem as bad as last winter. At least the Polar Vortexes aren’t as cold. Makes for some pretty decent running. Yours truly finally recovered from pneumonia. The doc put me on an inhaler, which will hopefully help. So it’s back on the roads and, healthy training. Been doing a lot of hiking in preparation.

We have a pretty good group of people training out of the store. If you’re training for the Pittsburgh Marathon, Half or even a Spring race, come and run with our Saturday group run. All paces and distances. Even a slow poke like me! 8:00 AM every Saturday. Nutrition and goodies provided by Up-N-Running.

Over the years, we have had many people asking if Up-N-Running is a franchise. We were flattered by the comments, but never really thought about doing it. Now, although it isn’t a franchise, we have decided to open another Up-N-Running in Central PA. Ebensburg to be exact. There are some really great running clubs in the area, and an avid running community. It is exciting. Julie will be the manager. She and her husband, Kevin, have been quite active in the central Pennsylvania running community. And with Julie’s added insight to women’s apparel, we hope to enhance our total apparel selection in both stores.

We hope to be up and running (pun intended!) by early Spring. So when you’re in Central PA, stop by Up-N-Running Ebensburg and say hi to Julie and the gang!