The Plus Side of Running Injuries

I smugly claimed in a past post that I rarely fall down while running, even in icy conditions. But last month, I took a spill and gave myself a bright and colorful scrape.Arm burn

I was on a trail with Diana Crabtree during a Manito Runners Club run, and as she was telling me about the scar on her knee, suffered in a fall on the trails we were on, I tripped and went down. Diana rushed to assist me, but I was able to get right up and continue my run.

When I got home I poured hydrogen peroxide over my wound. It never got infected, but over the next couple weeks the hydrogen peroxide provided an unexpectedly wonderful experience.

After the injury scabbed over, as with previous scrapes, I was tempted to pick. Oddly, I also find that giving my picked scabs a thorough look-over is very interesting. So, I abandoned self-discipline and restraint and picked away.

Then I discovered something great and took things up a notch.scab pieces are tiny

scab pieces-small2

Scab-picking provides entertainment during those times of the day when not much is going on and you’re bored. I really liked it when I could peel off a large, unbroken piece of scab. Plus, having a delicious treat at the end was a super fringe benefit.

As I ate the scabs, I was delighted to find they had pleasant hints of hydrogen peroxide. I didn’t know an external-use-only medication could impart such wonderful flavor.scab-big piece

The scab has nearly healed, and I’m facing an end to my self-produced tasty snacks, I’m considering falling once more, intentionally. If I run at a very fast pace on rough terrain, I can get a much larger scab which would mean a big supply of enjoyable treats.

Perhaps you think it’s strange that I eat my scabs. I do, too. What I’m really eating is pictured below.Scabs really b. jerky

Hopefully, next time you eat beef jerky, this post won’t cause you to associate it with scab-eating. I apologize in advance if that happens.


How not to die while running

We’ve had very hot weather in Spokane lately. A local airport, Felts Field, recorded ten straight days of highs over 90 degrees, and one day it was 107 degrees (42 C.). This raises an important safety question for runners: When running in very hot weather, what is the most common way that runners end up dead?

If you answered heat stroke, good guess, but you’re wrong. The correct answer is heavy sweating stings the eyes so badly that runners can’t see very well, they go off course and plunge thousands of feet off a sheer cliff.

I lived in southern Japan for a couple years, which has a summer climate similar to the Midwest. The hot and very humid weather causes heavy sweating, and the evaporation rate is so slow. Here’s a photo in which I re-created a finish to one of my runs in Japan.Sweaty JimHonestly, after finishing a run, I was so soaked, you’d think I jumped into a pool. Fortunately, my adversely affected eyes caused me to plunge over a cliff only twice, and both times I got snagged by a branch just below the ledge.

Though I don’t get totally soaked in Spokane’s dry climate, high temps cause me to sweat heavily. I often use sunscreen, and that makes it even worse on the eyes.

For those of you at high risk of heavy sweating and cliff-plunging, here’s a solution I pioneered that keeps perspiration out of the eyes.Jim's headband sponge

Sponges are cheap, but you can do like me and utilize the one you use to wash your car. And they’re great at cushioning the blow whenever you run into something.

So, don’t let the summer heat stop you from getting in a run!

I dominate running group photo

Last week the Flying Irish did its annual group photo portrait in Riverfront Park. Even though a lot of people were going to be in the photo, I wanted to make myself stand out with a perfect pose in the perfect spot. So, a few days beforehand, I went to the site of the photo shoot and scoped things out.

The Flying Irish group photo site at Riverfront Park.

The Flying Irish group photo site at Riverfront Park.

Since being in the right spot is paramount, I analyzed the scene and divided it into quadrants to evaluate for optimal positioning.SONY DSC

Distance from camera is also a crucial factor. Most people may think being in the front row is the best place. Not necessarily so! I used a tape measure to arrive at the ideal camera-to-subject distance. I found out the best place to stand would be toward the back of the group.SONY DSC

Afterward, I spent a few hours practicing a variety of poses, each conveying one of my many different moods and attributes. Below are the ones that made the final cut. I spent the evening before the shoot evaluating them before making my final choice.

Happy and friendly Jim.

Happy, friendly and jolly – that’s me.

I'm one tough running hombre.

I’m one tough running hombre.

I'm having a great time.

I’m having a great time.

I salute you, Mr Photographer

I salute runners everywhere.

Hi! How are you? Let's play.

Hi! How are you? Let’s play.

I'm a proud soldier of the Flying Irish Army.

I’m a proud soldier of the Flying Irish Army.

Below is the 2015 official Flying Irish group portrait. It turned out great, and I think I look just dandy.flying irish group portrait

I’m in the middle back. Email this to a movie theatre and have them project it onto the screen to see me.

Running for pleasure

A fellow member of the Flying Irish, Speed Fitzhugh, recently described the long run he did. He’s not training for a marathon or any race in particular, and he’s not a high-mileage runner during the week, but he enjoys a long, easy run on the weekend that’s 20-30 miles long.

He once invited me to join him on a 30-miler. Unfortunately, I don’t have the stamina and durability to run that far, even at a slow pace without feeling wiped out for a couple days, or getting injured, or both.

But I like the concept of running purely for pleasure with no thought of maintaining a sustained brisk pace or preparing for a race.

I used to live in Ventura, California, and on Saturday mornings I’d run down to the pier near my apartment and get on a trail that ran north along the shore. It was only two miles out and two miles back, but the turnaround point overlooked a popular surfing area, and I sat on a rock and watched the surfers. Sometimes I spent more time sitting on the rock than I did running.surfing


In Spokane, there was a basalt outcropping that used to overlook downtown until it was developed into an office building. It was the turnaround point for a five-miler that also involved sitting on a rock. The tall buildings, with windows lit in the early evening, the passenger jets flying over on their final approach to the airport, and the dull roar from the bustle of an urban environment made a great scene depicting the excitement of city living.

Many times while traveling or visiting out-of-town friends or relatives, I’ve enjoyed running just to explore. Sometimes these turn into long runs because I’ll come to a neat area or road, and I want to explore more instead of turning back.

Maybe, my fellow runners, it’s the same for you – sometimes the highlight of my day is the run I did.

Lantern Tap House heads-up

Earlier this month I went to the Lantern Tap House where a running group meets every Tuesday. I had no plans to write about it, but my buddy, Kevin, took a bunch of photos with his phone, giving me an opportunity. But the biggest benefit is that should you attend, you’ll be aware of the obnoxious and inappropriate amorous advances of one guy in this group.Outside Lantern Tap House

Though I’ve never run with this group before, I knew most of the members because there’s lots of intermingling among the Spokane running clubs. To call it a group or club isn’t entirely accurate. Like the other Spokane running clubs, it’s more of a gathering. Anyone can join just by showing up at 6:00 pm on Tuesday.

About sixty runners attended which is a nice change from the few hundred that typically join Flying Irish runs on Thursdays.

The Lantern Tap House is in the Perry district, a somewhat trendy area where a lot of new, locally-owned, retail businesses have opened in the last several years. It’s surrounded by an older neighborhood with lots of trees and many homes that have been renovated and updated. It makes for pretty running routes.

There’s no charge to participate, however, a post-run microbrew is a $2.50 adjustment to your financial situation. This pricing causes me to wonder about the Lantern’s owner’s business acumen.

One of the group’s organizers passed out treats. Not often do I combine beer and Snickers, but it worked out okay.Beer and  SnickersI also had a few pieces of licorice, another great pairing with beer.jim eating twizzler

After several beers, I tried to initiate romantic encounters by suggesting the eating of a stick of licorice from opposite ends. My request was turned down by many.

I decided to disguise my intentions by framing it as a cutesy photo opportunity. As multiple shots are taken, I would quickly eat the licorice and attain the romantic moment I wanted.

My buddy, Kevin, agreed to be in a photo, but only if we had our own piece of licorice.jim and kevinI was able to convince Tina, a regular at the Manito Runners Club and the Flying Irish, to do it, however, she stipulated absolutely no licorice sticks be present.Jim and TinaSo I went home thwarted and unfulfilled, but I plan to join this group again soon. Hopefully, I can come up with a better strategy to lure someone into a drunken, sloppy, face-against-face romantic moment in front of dozens of Lantern customers.


Ohh, I want to get my hands on Clif

When you go to the nutrition/energy bar section at the store, which brand and flavor do you reach for?energy bar set

I’ve tried many brands, but I buy Clif bars most often. I support the company’s ethos as well. Chocolate brownie is my favorite flavor. No surprise for someone who likes chocolate.clif bar

I know you’re supposed to use energy bars in conjunction with a workout or training, but I most often buy them for a snack or treat. They’ve become a substitute for candy bars.

I used to buy Luna bars a lot, and I was very worried that I’d be stopped at the check stand or told to take my business elsewhere.

However, not once was I caught, and I often gave myself a fist pump after walking out because I’d gotten away with something. As you can see in the below photo, the phrase under LemonZest tells you what I got away with.image

On a few occasions when I know I’m going to be in the company of someone I don’t care for, like, say, Sprint McDowell, I choose the berry-flavored Power Bar, which can be shaped to look amazingly similar to a tongue. It makes it easy to show my displeasure.Energy bar tongue

Turning to another topic, after today, my post schedule will change. I’ve been doing a new post once a week, published on Sunday evening. From now on, I’m going to do them intermittently, without a sticking to a schedule. I Must Run Everywhere has been on-line for over two years now, and though I like writing posts, I’m getting a little tired.

As I’ve done before, I will offer refunds if you feel you’re being short-changed. Mail your request to me, and if you act now, I will double your refund. This is a limited time offer, so hurry, hurry, hurry.

Running Partner Wanted

So…okay…here’s the deal; I’m looking for someone to run with. It’s not race related or intense training. Just everyday running for exercise. You, my fine reader, might be just the person.

However, there’s one big issue I must raise first off. If we’re about to head out on a run and you say, “I think I”d rather walk today,” we’re gonna have problems. When it’s time to run, we must run.

There are other requirements, but first, let me make clear that I’ve got an equal opportunity running partner policy. I will not discriminate against any applicant based on gender, race, religion and all those other things except one. If you happen to look like Petra, or are Petra, you’re hired on the spot.

My running partner must be able to run three to eight miles a few times per week. You should run at the same pace as me, but if you pull ahead for a short time, that’s okay. If you get way ahead of me, I get really mad, and I won’t talk to you the rest of the day.

Now, about myself: I’m an excellent running partner. I’ve won many awards for being a nice guy and an unbelievably thoughtful individual. I’m very good at staying on the right side of the street, and I have an uncanny ability to see cars coming.

Also, I’m really friendly. Just look at me smiling. It’s not a fake smile either.Mr smiles

Please take a moment to fill out the below four-question application. Perhaps soon, you and I will be running together through the streets of Spokane.

1)  Do you like running?     A___     B___     C___     D___

2)  Are you a girl or a boy?     Yes___     No___

3)  Do you conversationalize well?     None___     All of the above___

4)  I’m scared of dogs. If one chases us, will you take care of the situation and comfort me afterward?