Blog Post: September

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Sharing the Burden

I don’t sleep. This fact goes back for years and years but I have never been a person who can get their head down for seven hours of peaceful and necessary rest. I am almost always awake between 2:00-3:00am and sometimes, if I am lucky, I can get back to sleep relatively easy. But some nights I end up going downstairs and staring at the wall for a few hours. I relate this restlessness to stress and anxiety. I used to justify my insomnia by bragging that staying awake provided me the time to work out my daily problems, or prepare myself for possible pitfalls. Lately, I have been trying to alleviate some of the factors that prevent my nightly rest, but I have come to the realization that at the crux of my problem is a simple explanation – I don’t know how to ask for help.

As long as I can remember, I have struggled sharing the burden on helping with tasks for fear of putting out a subpar product. I often think that’s why I got into running to begin with. I have the control to achieve exactly what I want from running, it all depends on the amount of effort I put in. There is no nepotism, favoritism or shortcuts. If I put in the work and train correctly, I can push through any obstacle, and see a positive outcome. I don’t need to worry at night how to get better at running; I just need to run more. The amount of work that comes from operating a business is overwhelming, but unlike running I cannot just power through on my own. After years of living this way I am lately starting to show the cracks in my armor. It is almost as if I can no longer carry all this weight on my shoulders. My sleepless nights and additional stress are affecting my family, my running and the business. So, what can I do to fix this? I need to learn to ask for help.

This is not the easiest thing to practice, but I am willing to try.  To take some of the weight off my shoulders I am learning to share my responsibilities. Today, I am having my new intern from McDaniel College make a post for me and I am not going to even double check it. I have another new hire that will be here later today, and he will be putting inventory away and checking on stock and I have to trust that he will do it to the best of his ability. If I can’t allow people that are here to be my support, which is what that they were hired brought here to do than I might as well just work alone and continue to stay up all night.  After all, despite all of my training, sometimes what makes the difference in a race is the unexpected support of a fellow competitor or a cheer from a spectator.

I bring this up as we prepare for a big race this Friday night. The Chase the Light 5k is a race in honor of my friend’s son who took his own life in early 2015. I only met Chase once or twice but I’ve been friends with the family for several years. They are some of my favorite people, and I don’t know, or can’t begin to know, what it is like to be in their position.  But, I do think that on a personal perspective that I will be thinking of them this week as we organize the race, and I will try to avoid finding myself becoming overwhelmed in any of life’s challenges.

I don’t know why we have such a stigma over mental health and openly discussing it. I had Chase’s family on my radio show two weeks ago and it was still very difficult for them to talk about it. Mental health disease should be recognized and talked about in the same way as any other disease. No one should feel guilty or ashamed for having depression the same way as no one should feel ashamed for having Lyme’s disease.  Both diseases need treatment, support, love and attention, which is why this event on Friday is so important.

For anyone looking for a great event raising money for a great cause then I invite you to join us Friday for the race. A link to the register is below, and all funds will stay in Carroll County, going toward suicide prevention. There is live music, free beer and all the Fall Fest activities following the race. Bring your whole family and come run/walk or cheer everyone on.

Changing Landscape

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                 It’s been a weird summer. I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like this has been one of the stranger seasons and it’s caused us to change how we do things around here. Let me try to explain and as usual, my ramblings will most likely end up going somewhere.

                Last month a running shop a half an hour away from us closed its doors. While they were not close in proximity, they were still technically our competition. I had known the owner from a charity race I put on and he always seemed like a very nice guy so I was sorry to hear he was closing. I went up on his last day to wish him well and try to get a sense of what he felt happened over the past few years to his business. A lot of what he felt was interfering with his growth were things that we deal with here. I left feeling pretty darn freaked out and I vowed that I would not let us fall into the same pitfalls.

                Since then we’ve have been out and about in the community pretty much weekly. This week I was in Mt Airy, the week before Hanover, and before that Gettysburg. We have been really trying to get out and say hello to fellow runners and make sure everyone knows that there is a place in Westminster that is a friend to all runners. Just because stores like Dick’s are much larger than ours, current shoe models cost the same as dictated by the manufacturer.  But, with us, you get a shoe recommendation based on injury history, goals, gait, and the other pieces of information that we try to take into consideration when helping you choose a shoe.

                We recently have had a few people that have stopped in and asked us to give them our help and have had us record them walking, running, and suggest shoes only to pull their phone out and go online to shop for older models on discount in front of us.  It truly is a changing landscape and I could not imagine going into a small business and treating people that way. It would be like going to a restaurant and asking what the special was for the night, the recipe, directions on how to prepare it from the chef and then going home and trying to mimic it using ingredients from McDonalds. I just don’t think I could ever do it to a small business. When we sell a pair of shoes for $120 I think people think we made $120 on the sale. Unfortunately, the jerks that manufacture them want a lot of that. In fact, they want most of that $120.

 I feel that what sets us apart is the service and knowledge. It’s always touching when people take the time to review us and give us feedback on their progress after we work with them. It feels like too often in life people want to go online when they have a bad experience somewhere and voice their feelings. We are fortunate enough to have a tremendously positive rating on all social media and review platforms. We don’t take that for granted and if anything, we want to continue to improve on it.

So, to my point – we want your vote. We try so hard here to differentiate ourselves from big box stores out there and if you appreciate the time and energy we give to our customers, please take a minute and vote for us for Best Shoe Store and Best Sporting Goods Store in Carroll County. We won Best Shoe Store last year and finished just behind a major chain store for Best Sporting Goods Store. We want to win both this year. “Shop Local” is not a phrase we take lightly here and I really try my best to buy from one of my neighboring business as much as I can. In fact, last year I can almost guarantee Run Moore donated more to local charities than the box stores in the area that are 10X our size. We give back as much as we can to the community that supports us. Now I want your help to win an award that has no prize other than bragging rights. It’s also more proof that as larger chains continue to expand their reach in smaller communities that at the root of every good business is good customer service and even better knowledge and that we can go toe to toe with the big guy. Thank you for your support!

 

Click HERE to vote for Run Moore!

On My Road To Find Out

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I admit it, I am one of those guys. A guy who runs with music. I don’t know why there is such a stigma with running with tunes but I know two of my favorite running buddies openly mock me for going for the MP3 player on solo runs (I am looking at you Dave and Steve). My relationship with tunes and running go back to the Sony Sport Walkman in the early 90’s and have has included stops along the way with portable CD players that skipped every nine seconds, the original Ipod that was more valuable than anything else I owned and thus brought terror on every run, Ipod shuffles that broke once they got wet to now a little MP3 player I found on a running message board. Adding new songs on my running playlists is a delightful pleasure that is almost as enjoyable as picking up a new pair of shoes. On a run a few weeks ago I had one of those running moments that make my decision to run with music on solo runs so amazing and also verifies my belief that my friends that won’t run with music are in fact aliens.

I am once again attempting to run a fall marathon and am slowly building my base back up. On a rainy Wednesday I hit the road for an easy 5 mile run. I was feeling tired and sore from some of the recent miles I had put in and within a few minutes was in a crappy mood because I had managed to leave all my running caps at the house and I was leaving from the shop. It was also a very humid day so I was sweating and struggling to breath despite the rain and I had no hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. I did a loop around downtown and headed to the track to do a few boring laps around the track to help freshen up the legs a bit. I was pretty miserable and just was putting in the miles when that perfect song came on at that exact perfect moment. The second I hit the track On the Road to Find Out by Cat Stevens came on the headphones and I was instantaneously transformed.

There are so many great lines in that song that are so relatable to running and even though I have heard the song a thousand times it hit right when I needed it and before I knew it I was running hard. The soreness in my legs was gone and I found myself zipping around the track while smiling like an idiot. My millionth comeback attempt from my latest injury is essentially just leading me On a Road to Find Out. Find out if I still can do it, if I still want to do it, find out how hard I can push and find out what I will find on the journey. As the song came to an end and I thought about slowing down AC/DC Thunderstuck came on and I ended up pounding the last bit of the run with no intention of slowing down. Nothing could stop me at that point.

I am not saying you should race with tunes or even in areas you don’t know. I’m just saying that there are times that I think music can take you to a different mental state and maybe give you the kick in the butt when you need it, or even slow you down when you need it. If you are already a music runner you don’t need to be ashamed anymore. Listen loud and be proud!

Music to my Ears by Michele Pearson

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           I am a big fan of music at all times, but especially on a run. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when silence is best, but nothing beats some great music on a run. How do you choose some great music? There are programs that match your race / run goal to the beats per minute (BPM) in a song. What this means is you can listen to songs with a higher BPM and your cadence (foot to ground turnover rate) could actually speed up to match that rate.

            What is the benefit of upping your cadence? Research shows that increasing your cadence can help you avoid over striding; therefore, it can help prevent injuries. It can also help you to become a more efficient runner. So, how do you figure out your cadence? While there are more accurate ways, here’s a simple way to estimate your cadence. After a warm-up, go for a run and count the number of times your left foot hits the ground in thirty seconds. Multiply this number by four (to account for your right foot) and that number is your estimated cadence. Once you know your cadence number, you can find songs that have a higher BPM and start running to their beat. If you research this online, most sites recommend trying to reach a cadence of 180. I asked some of my running friends to share their favorite songs and I’ve included their BPM (according to songbpm.com).

 

Postal Service – Such Great Heights–  175 BPM

Carbon Leaf – The Boxer – 135 BPM

Survivor – Eye of the Tiger – 109 BPM

ColdPlay – Fix You – 139 BPM

Neon Trees – Animal – 148 BPM

Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench – 176 BPM

The Killers- Mr. Brightside – 148 BPM

Capital Cities – Safe and Sound – 118 BPM

Barenaked  Ladies – The Old Apartment – 160 BPM

Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire – 145 BPM

Rusted Root – Send Me on My Way – 119 BPM

Queen- Another One Bites the Dust – 110 BPM

Police – Every Little Thing She Does is Magic  (2003 Remastered) – 164 BPM

AC/DC – Thunderstruck – 134 BPM

Carbon Leaf – She’s Gone – 120 BPM

Use this information as an excuse to add some new tunes to your library and check out the BPM for your favorites. Whether you’re  Sweatin’ to the Oldies,  Runnin’ Down a Dream, or Born to Run,  make sure aren’t Running on Empty.

 

Lace up and Head out!

 

Happy Trails!

 

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The GOAT

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My buddy is a huge baseball fan. He is quick to pull out a statistic from a player that died well before he was born, and talk at length about why he is better than whatever current player is leading off SportsCenter these days. Statistics and numbers are so important in baseball and there is always talk about who is the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). Could The Babe hit off today’s pitchers or if Ty Cobb would make it out of today’s game without being booed like John Rocker? He’ll make mock GOAT fielders teams and hitters lineups at certain parks based on where the outfield is positioned. I am a baseball fan, but not at that level. One day he asked me if runners debate the same minutia about who is the best runner of all time. I explained that yes, we do talk at nausea about certain runners from certain eras and about how many gold metals Pre would have run and yada yada yada. However, when it comes to the GOAT, most everyone who is in the know doesn’t really need to debate it; It’s Emil Zatopec. What I think interesting is that most people have never even heard of him.

Zatopec was a Czechoslovakian born runner who turned the running world on its head during the late 1940’s to the mid-1950’s. During the height of his running he set world records in the 5k, 10k, 20k, Hour Run, 25k and 30k. He also had the greatest Olympics of all time (sorry to any swimmers reading this). At the 1952 games in Helsinki, Zatopec looked to improve on his 1948 Olympics where he won gold in the 10k and silver in the 5k. During the first 6 days of the games he won gold in both the 5k and 10k and setting Olympic records in both events. Instead of celebrating and watching his fiancé compete in the javelin, he decided to go ahead and jump in another race. Why not, right? So despite having never competed in a marathon in his entire life and only two days after setting an Olympic record in the 5k, he found himself on the starting line of the marathon. He ran next to Jim Peters, the current world record holder, through the first 10 miles as they ran at breakneck speed.

Having never run a marathon and not knowing the type of pace they should be running, Emil innocently asked Jim if they were in fact going too slow. Jim, in an effort to trick Zatopec into running too hard early and dying off, told him that they were indeed running too easy and that Emil should make a move. The good natured Czech did just that and ran the rest of the way alone, winning the gold and setting a third Olympic record. He is the only runner in history to win the 5k, 10k and marathon in a single game.

Emil was known not only for his loud breathing, unorthodox form, and pained facial expression (which garnered him the nickname the Czech Locomotive), but his intense and brutal training techniques. He competed while serving in the army and often did his training while running in place in his army boots. He would run up to three hours in a large laundry tub full of the army’s dirty clothes for resistance training. His favorite workout was 400’s and he would often do up to 100 before his bigger races. When it snowed, he would run while carrying his wife on his back up hills to build leg strength. The stories of his training are legendary and often amusing. He was always regarded as respectful, polite, upbeat, and hilarious. A classic example of his temperament and naiveté occurred during his gold medal debut in the marathon. Emil went past every aid station and water stop without indulging in anything from a sip of water to a quarter of an orange offered along the route. Asked after the race if that was a strategy, a confused Zatopec answered it was not a strategy – he did not run with his wallet and did not know those items were free for runners.

There are so many interesting and amazing stories about Emil Zatopec . I sometimes feel like not enough people study or appreciate the older generations of runners who paved the way for the Ritzes or Flannigans of today. Runner’s World used to do a great section on a historical runner or race but even they have stopped sharing those wonderful stories. Next time you are looking for a good book, pick up a copy of Running with the Legends, Duel in the Sun, or The Four-Minute Mile and learn about and appreciate some of the heroes in our sport.

Even Stephen

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Even Stephen

  By Steve Moore

              Next week I am turning the ripe old age of 36, and in my time here on Earth, I have been very consistent in my inability to keep an even keel. I have a very hard time not letting my emotions get the best of me and it’s something that I struggle with in everything from my family, running, and business. The past few weeks I have experienced some amazing highs and lows and I am trying my best to keep everything in perspective (especially with what is currently going on around the world). I swear this will get to a point, so just bear with me.

A few weeks back I was involved with a local race that, in my opinion, went very well. I spent way more time preparing for it than I’d care to mention and after the race we received a lot of great feedback from runners and the race director. The day after the race I received an email from one unhappy runner out of a thousand participants. He went into tremendous detail telling me what an awful job we did and called me some very harsh names and attacked my personal character. I received this email during a cookout that I put on for my staff as a thank you for the extra hours and work to make the race go so smoothly. I was beyond upset and I stayed up all night over it. I went from being on top of the world to down in the dumps despite all the positive feedback, I could not let the one negative comment go.

Just this past week I had a follow up appointment with a manufacturer who I have been trying to build a relationship with since April of 2014. I have been given every reason in the world as to why they will not allow us the chance to buy and sell their products, and despite knowing better, I had high hopes that this would be the day we would be granted permission to hand them thousands of dollars to represent their brand. Once again, I was told no and not to plan on it anytime soon. This brand is not interested in working with any more independently owned stores in the United States. They are only selling to newly opened chains stores like Dicks or Kohls. I was totally crestfallen afterwards and spent the whole day in a serious funk and since I am currently dealing with bronchitis, I could not take my frustration out on the track.

Then on Thursday night, I got to post something on Facebook that made me smile from ear to ear and it brought me back out of my malaise – I got to post a picture of a giant Peep display. Not just any Peep display, but a Peep display of my logo. I got the most flattering request from two customers to turn my logo into a submission for the world famous Peep Show. They did an amazing job and it reminded me that we have so much love and support here that if one out of a thousand racers does not like me, or if one brand hates small businesses, that I need to move on and enjoy the positive things. I need to look at all the good around me and let it carry me through the down times.

I have always done the same with my running as well. I tend to dwell way too long on the bad race and not enjoy the good ones. We should all try to enjoy each day that we can get out and run instead of beating ourselves up for missing that 5k PR by a mere five seconds. I hope in this coming year that I can slow down and appreciate all the little good things in my day and allow the bad stuff to roll off my back.

Be safe out there everyone and hopefully I’ll see you out pounding the town soon.

 

Nothing Says I Love You Like Running Accessories

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February is the month for love. Nothing says, “I love you” like running accessories. Below are my top five picks for the runner you love:

1. Flip Belt – This item has been a game changer for me. It can hold the things that you normally take with you on a run. It also has a reflective quality. This is a great alternative to the bulkier belts that stick out. The FlipBelt is very low profile and it stays in place for your entire run. One of the things I love about this product is the key clip. You can clip your keys and not worry about losing them. Money, iPhones, ID, and so much more can fit into a FlipBelt.

flipbelt

 2. Swiftwick Socks – I never thought socks mattered when you were running… until I wore these! These socks are thin, light, and leave your feet feeling amazing. These socks blow regular cotton socks out of the water and when you buy three, you get one free.

3. TomTom GPS Watch – I cannot say enough about these watches. I have tried various GPS watches and this one is still my very favorite. It is simple to use, uploads effortlessly to your phone, and it is very user friendly. This watch also has the lowest profile design that I’ve experienced, which makes it a great everyday watch.

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4. The Run Moore Under Armour shirt – This long-sleeved shirt is the perfect way to say, “I love you” to your sweetheart. The ladies’ shirt comes in a great pink color and the men’s is in gray. This shirt is great for running in cold or warm weather. It is functional and fashionable.

5. Mace – Nothing says I love you like mace. Run Moore has you covered with mace that fits comfortably in your hand while you run. Now you can give your loved one safety in the palm of their hand.

I hope your February is full of love! Don’t forget to lace up and head out!

Happy Trails!