Welcome To The Streaking Runner!

The Streaking RunnerHi!  My name is Judy Mick, also known as The Streaking Runner.  More about my name later!  I am passionate about running and helping runners to stay runners for life.  So many runners start a running program and quit for some reason or another – I want to help them get started correctly and keep running for life!

Throughout the years I’ve run numerous races at all distances.  As I’ve grown older, though, I find myself running the longer distances - marathons and half-marathons.  And, I always plan a race in Florida during January or February to get out of the cold!

I started running in college (around 1978) to basically try to stay in shape (you know, beer and pizza at all hours).  There was also a secondary reason.  My best friend and roommate was trying to catch the eye of a member of the cross country team.  Well, it worked on all counts, she married the runner and I’m still running!

My main claim to fame is that I have not missed a day of running since November 20 1985!   Thus the name:  The Streaking Runner.  I absolutely love running and I know that it has kept me healthy all these years – and probably more sane!

In this blog, we’ll be talking about many different aspects of running – from staying overall fit, proper clothes, shoes, fun races, continuing to run as you get older, etc.  Feel free to comment to let me know anything you’d like to see.

I’m also a firm believer in positive attitude and motivation.  Positive attitude can make all the difference in all area of life – including running!

If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, I’d love for you to connect with me there!  Just click on the link to get to my Facebook Fan Page (and please “like” me while you’re there) and to follow me on Twitter!  I’d love to keep in touch!

I also am a published author on Amazon.  You can view my author page at: http://judyruns.com/authorpage

Another thing that I’m extremely excited about is that I’m an RRCA Certified Running Coach.  I want to help new runners get started correctly and help them to achieve their goals.

You can also email me at:  judy@thestreakingrunner.com

Run Happy!


Running Gear – Review of R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle

Hand held hydration for runnersThis summer has been a quest to find the perfect hand held water bottle.  I don’t like the wear things around my waist when I run and I don’t want a back pack.  I also want a hand held that keeps me with aa natural arm swing.  Yes, I’m a little picky, but that’s what I’ve been looking for.

I really liked the FuelBelt Spring 10-Ounce Palm Holder - but for longer runs, I was needing to refill it often. This has been especially true this summer as it’s been really hot and humid.  I still like this bottle and use it on my mid-length runs or when I’m doing fartleks.

I tried a 20 ounce bottle that I really liked – but, after my first 2+ hour run with it – it really didn’t make me happy.  I put ice and water in my bottle and freeze it for about an hour before I head out for my long run. The bigger bottle that I was using seemed to sweat a lot – which in turn made my hand wrinkly.  It also didn’t seem to keep my water cold for very long.

So, the hunt continued!

Then, I ordered another 20-ouncer (actually it’s 21 ounce) – the R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle.  I’ve used this bottle on 2 different 2+ hour runs and I love it!   The first time I used it – I did my usual routine.  Filled it with ice cubes, put in water and put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes.

Headed out for my run.

Immediately I noticed that my hand was not frozen and getting wrinkly from my bottle.  This is due to the “Cool-It Bottle which is BPA-Free with insulated, double wall construction, keeping beverages cold twice as long”.   Usually hype when buying something – but, this time it’s true.  The insulation rocks!  Could be because it’s made by Camelbak for Road Runner Sports.

And, I was out on the road for over 2 hours and my water was cold the whole time!

Another thing that I really liked with this bottle over the other hand helds is how you drink.  The other bottles that I’ve tried have the pop up valve.  The R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle has a nice little valve that you twist to drink out of.  No more accidents from not getting the valve completely closed.

The R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle features an adjustable cinch strap that fits to your hand.  I do need to wrap the strap a few times to keep it from slipping – but, once I do – it’s good for the whole run.

The bottle also features a zippered pocket that is good for keys or gels for those long runs.

Overall, I am perfectly thrilled with the R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle.  I believe that I’ve found a hand held that makes me truly happy!

Run Happy!


P.S.  If you’ve been looking for a good hand held hydration bottle – I highly recommend you try it.  You can find it at http://judyruns.com/rrshandheld




Another Important Thing To Have For Summer Running

RoadIDI’ll admit it – I love Summer Running!  Yes, I know that I’m weird - but, I do love it.  Besides the fact that I just love warmer weather than cold weather – running in the summer is just easier logistically. There’s no major calculations that you have to do before you head out.  How long am I planning to be gone?  What’s the temperature now?   What’s the temperature going to be at the end of my run?  Add 10 degrees to the temp to make sure I’m not over dressed…………… You see what I mean.

Summer running is great.  A limited amount of clothes and you’re off.  No brain boggling plans.  (And, we won’t even go into how much easier it is to pack for a trip!)

Anyway, you get the idea.  I’m a summer runner.

But, I do know that you also have to be smart with running in the summer.  A few posts ago – we discussed how important staying properly hydrated is to running in the warmer weather.  Here’s a link to that post, in case you missed it:  http://www.thestreakingrunner.com/tips-summer-running-dont-forget-hydration/


Also, important is carrying a form of identification with you.  I’m a minimalist runner – so, I don’t carry a fanny pack, a phone, etc. when I run.  However, I do know the importance of having ID on me.  So, for years, I’ve used RoadID.  My first RoadID was one that fastened by Velcro onto my running shoe.  It worked great – and made my hubby feel much better about me being out on the roads for 2-3 hours at a time.

I love the story of how RoadID was founded.  Here’s the story – in case you’ve never heard it.

The founder of RoadID  was in college and training for his first marathon.  His Dad was worried about his safety and said that he should carry ID (Sound familiar – sounds like my hubby) so that he could be notified if there was an accident.  He totally dismissed his suggestion.

A few days later he was almost hit by a truck and ended up standing in a roadside ditch on a country road.  That made him think twice about what his dad had to say.

Later that year, he and his dad launched RoadID from their basement.  Since, then, there have been many people who have said that their RoadID has saved their lives.


I still have my shoe ID.  But, the one that I wear most of the time is a slim band for my wrist.  (Oh, yeah – it’s a pretty pink!)   The personal identification that you carry should include:  your name, your emergency contact, their phone number (depending on what time you usually run – you many include their work number, cell, etc), any medical conditions you have, any allergies you have and possibly your primary care physician.  On my ID is my name, my husband’s name and his cell phone number and our address.

You can even personalize it more by adding new “badges” that they have to clip onto the band beside your main ID info.

RoadID keeps up with the times.  They have an interactive app now that your loved one can be alerted if you stop moving for a certain period of time.

I highly suggest that you check out RoadID.  It’s a great way to carry your ID with you – easily and conveniently!  It’s great to have for running in all seasons – and even in races.  Whenever I head out to run – my RoadID is with me.  And, it makes my hubby a happy camper!  Check them out at: http://judyruns.com/RoadID.

Run Happy!







First Time Races Can Be A Challenge – But, Fun!

The GreenbrierOn Monday, I ran a first time race.  My Mom still lives in the town where I grew up and as most of you know, I go there 2-3 days a week to take care of things for her.

Well, Monday morning kicked off the PGA tournament at The Greenbrier – which is 10 miles away from our house.  It was a 5K and was a benefit run for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  The race was to run around the grounds of the resort.  I’m in no way or form in 5K shape – but, I thought – why not run it!

It is a first time race (always fun to say that you race the first time race somewhere) and I knew that the course would be scenic – so I signed up.

During the PGA Tournament, you are not allowed to go directly to the Greenbrier.  You have to park elsewhere and be bussed onto the grounds.  So, the packet pick up/registration was in the parking lot where you had to park.  (Only race day packet pick up)  No problems.

There are port-a-potties at the parking lot – but, registration was an hour and a half before race start.  I asked the person in charge if there were bathrooms at the start.  “Good question.  I don’t know”.  OK, first problem.

Is there a gear check at the start?  “I don’t know.”  This is from the supposed person in charge.

Decided not to chance a gear check and just got on the bus.

After the bus dropped us off – we meandered to where we thought the start was.  The race started at the Springhouse (pictured above).  The start was on the path “between the 2 cones”.  We did find a bathroom in the building that houses the indoor tennis courts.  So, no problem there.  Plus, there was a water fountain in this building – which was good since there was none at the start.

The race started on time precisely at 9:00.  The path that the race started on was a little jumbled – good thing there was only about 100 runners.  They want to double the runners next year – if so, the start will probably need to change.

The Greenbrier


The race course itself was beautiful.  We ran by the front and then out around the paths of the golf course. We ran down a path by the creek and by some of the grand houses there.  It really was a beautiful place to run.

Next glitch was no food at the finish.  Nothing but water.  Someone asked one of the race officials and they said that The Greenbrier was supposed to supply some snacks.  The ball was dropped somewhere because there was nothing.  During the awards, someone dropped off some boxes of granola bars (in the boxes in the case).  Nobody really knew if we should dig into them or not.  Plus, many people had already left.

This was a nice race overall – with a few little things that need to be tweaked.  Mile markers along the course, food at the finish and awards.  Age groups went only 2 deep and 50+ was the highest it went.  But, these things can be worked out.

Hopefully, this race will be back – and the glitches worked out.  It was a beautiful course – not everyone gets to run around The Greenbrier!

Run Happy!






Our Next Awesome Runner Interview – Lauren Estilow

Lauren EstilowIt’s time for another interview with a totally awesome runner.  Today we get to learn more about Lauren Estilow.  Lauren is a fellow streaker and has been running as long as I have.  As I read about her – I found that we also have much in common!

Here’s Lauren!

1. How long have you been running?  I’ve been running since May, 1975. My Running Streak started on October 15, 1999.

2. How many days per week do you run?  I run everyday, I’m a Streaker!

3.  How many hours do you work each week?  I don’t have a job outside of taking care of my family, which is round the clock! I have a Special Needs daughter still living at home, I must be home when she is at home.

4. What time of day do you run?  I run in the mornings as soon as my daughter gets on the school bus. I’ve always been a morning person, anyway. It’s the best time of the day to run, before life gets in the way and possibly interferes with your run! When she is not in school I run before she’s up, starting at 5 am if it’s a long run day.

5. How many miles each week do you typically run?  If I don’t run at least 60 miles per week, I’m cranky!

6. Do you ever have problems fitting your running in with your schedule? How do you deal with any problems?  No. No matter what my plans are, I get up early enough to get my run completed. I’m always training for the next race, and I am very serious and competitive in my racing. If I have to get up in the middle of the night, then that’s what I’ll do. Training is high on my priority list.

7. How did you start running?  My planned career as a professional ballet dancer was sidetracked when I required knee surgery, and the prestigious ballet school that had awarded me a full scholarship rescinded the scholarship when I had my surgery. A month later, all healed up, I needed  to find a replacement for the intense six days a week I spent at ballet, which at that level is similar to running a hard half marathon every class. My mom suggested I take our rambunctious, young Labrador Retriever out running, and I was hooked.

8. What was your best run ever?  So many great runs, but my most successful race was a Broad Street Run 10 mile race, which I ran in 1:06:10. Many years ago! Can’t run that pace anymore, but I still am competitive in my age group, so I’m happy.

9. Do you have any running quirks?  What are they?  Only one- my running shoes must be lined up perfectly, all in a row.

10. Do you have a favorite place to run?  Where is it?  Living near Philadelphia, I am lucky to have many options. On Sundays, you can usually find me running on Kelly Drive, one of the most beautiful places in the city. It’s along the Schuylkill River, with artwork, bridges, and rowers to watch.

11. Do you have a favorite race?  What is it?  Philadelphia Marathon and Rock and Roll Philly!

12. If you could run anywhere in the world – where would it be?   It’s not so much where I’m running, but who I’m with. I ran alone for 36 years, now I have a fantastic group of friends that I run with, and as long as I’m having fun with them, I don’t care where we run! We run throughout Philadelphia every Sunday, it’s always an adventure!

13. Do you have a dream race that you’d like to run?  Chicago or London Marathons or Half’s.

14.  Have you ever been injured?  What was it?  How did you deal with it?  I’ve had many over 39 years. ITB, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring issues, probably some more that I’ve forgotten about! Luckily, I’ve been able to run through every injury. There may come a day when I have an injury serious enough to end my Streak, but I will try to be thankful that my Streak lasted as long as it did. And then I’ll be back at it! I am an eternal optimist!

15. Do you have any running goals?  What are they?  (If you don’t mind sharing)  Two goals – to BQ again, I qualified when I was younger, but had to skip Boston due to raising a medically fragile child. Also, to keep training hard, and having fun. Because that’s what’s important!

16. Do you prefer to run alone or with others?  I run alone 5-6 days a week, and I enjoy my time alone with my thoughts, listening to great music. But whenever I can, I love to run with friends, it’s like having a running party! We make it fun!

17. Do you have a running hero?  Can be living or not?   Every runner to me is a hero, for getting out there. We all have different goals, and lifestyles, and whether you run 20 miles a week, or 100, you’re a hero to me.

18. What is the most extreme conditions that you’ve ever run in?  Running in Lake Placid in a blizzard. Minus 10 degrees, and falling snow so thick my eyelashes kept getting coated and I couldn’t see!

19.  What is one thing that you will absolutely not run without?   My running shoes, and a piece of Big Red gum for a mid run treat!

20.  What 3 words would you use to describe your running?  Running’s my passion!


Thanks, Lauren, for sharing!  I was in a business meeting in Philly several years ago.  A couple of guys that were with us also were runners.  We got up early one morning to run to the “Rocky steps”!  We did our best Rocky imitation when we got to the top!

I hope that everyone enjoyed learning about Lauren.  Remember, if you’d like to share your story – just drop me a line at judy@thestreakingrunner.com.  I’d love to have some more interviews – and everyone would love to read about you!

Run Happy!

Why I Love Running Alone

beach runningThere are many reasons to run with another person (or a group) and many reasons to run by yourself. There are pros and cons to both sides.  For many years, I ran with a group of friends.  We ran together 3-4 days a week and always had a great time.  Some days, we’d meet after work at my house or where I worked at the time – go for a hard run – then, call in a pizza or head out for burgers.  I still love those guys and miss our  camaraderie.

However, about the last 10 years or so, I’ve run completely solo.  And, I love it!  My life had become a little crazy busy – so, I started running first thing in the morning.  At first, it was because I needed to be sure that I got my run in – and you never knew what was going to happen by the end of the work day.

Then, I got to absolutely love my early morning runs.  It’s so peaceful that time of the morning.  I love the solitude of being out there by myself before most of the world is out of bed.  It must be the only child in me! I need to have my “me” time – and, my solitary runs gives me just that.

If there are any problems that I am trying to sort out and work through – running by myself gives me the chance to think.  I can let my mind wander without having to worry about keeping up with conversations with others.

In my opinion, running alone makes me a better runner.  In a race or many times with long runs – you need to have the mental strength to push through.  In a race – you will be probably be running by yourself.  There won’t be anyone to talk you through the tough times.  You need to have your “mental muscle” strong enough!

Another reason that I love running along is that I can go whatever time I want.  I can run as early or as late as I want without worrying about being late for meeting someone.  Also, if I’m feeling a little puny one day, I don’t have to worry about keeping up with everyone.  I can go as slowly as I want – or even cut off a mile or so if I need to.

I know that there are just as many reasons to run with a group.  But, as for me – I enjoy my solitary runs. Am I crazy?

Run Happy!



Am I The Crazy One?

running soapboxWarning – I’m on my soapbox again today.  So, in advance, I’m sorry if I step on anybody’s toes!  :-)

I love looking at other runner’s Facebook pages and reading some of the comments.  And, I like the ones where they pose a question and then get answers from runners of different levels.  It makes good reading – and you can sometimes get and share some good information.

Yesterday, though, I read one that really got me going.   This person said that they wear their hair back in a pony tail when they run road races.  They said that they were upset because they finish line photos were unflattering and made them look masculine.  And then, THE QUESTION – does anyone know of a hairstyle that would look good as I run?

For real?  I wear my hair in a pony tail out the back hole of my hat every day when I run and run races. Looking feminine and flattering during my photos is the last thing on my mind.  I run to run and to test myself – not to win a beauty pageant.

I also don’t wear make-up when I run.  I’ve always been amazed by the amount of women in the bathrooms before a race adjusting their lipstick and making sure their mascara is alright.  I just don’t get it!

When I run, I sweat.  I sometimes run water over my head during a hot and humid race.  I don’t think looking like a clown with makeup running down my face is quite the look that I want in my race photos.

I’m worried about making it to the finish line, pushing to beat that last person between me and the line.  The last thing that I want to worry about is how my hair and makeup looks.

But, maybe that’s just me.  I’d love to hear your comments!

Run Happy!

Judy – the hair pulled back without makeup runner!

Tips For Summer Running – Don’t Forget Hydration!

summer running tipsI love running in the warmer weather!  Yes, I know that I am a freak of nature – but, I love it!  Summer running makes me happy!  You don’t have to worry about what to wear and layering – just put on a top, shorts, sunglasses and you’re off!

But, the one thing that you do need to think about is how long you plan on running and getting some water along the way. You can lose between 6 and 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running.   If you are going to be running for over 75-90 minutes staying hydrated is so important!

First of all, you need to make sure that you are hydrating before you even head out the door.  Drink 16 ounces of water about an hour before you plan on heading out.  Then, don’t drink anything else until right before you take off.  Then, drink about 6 ounces.  This should keep you from having to take a potty break during your run.

You can lose between 6 and 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Therefore it is important to pre-hydrate (10–15 oz. of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running) and drink fluids every 20–30 minutes along your running route. To determine if you are hydrating properly, weigh yourself before and after running. You should have drunk one pint of fluid for every pound you’re missing. Indications that you are running while dehydrated are a persistent elevated pulse after finishing your run and dark yellow urine. Keep in mind that thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration.

A general rule of thumb is to drink 4-6 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes during your run.  If you are going to be out there for over 90 minutes, then some of your fluid intake should include a sports drink or consume a gel to replace the sodium and other minerals that you will lose as you sweat.  I usually take a gel with me to take with my water on longer runs.

It’s not always easy to find water on your running routes.  If you can’t, you will need to carry some sort of hand held fluid carrier with you.  I never used to do this – and was always trying to plan a route where I could get water.  That doesn’t always work!

Here are the 2 hand-helds that I use.  I personally don’t like anything around my waist when I run – so, I prefer there.  They fit right onto your hand – so you really aren’t even carrying them.

The one that I use the most is the FuelBelt Sprint.  It’s a 10 ounce bottle.  I usually will fill it with water and stick it in the freezer an hour or so before I head out.  That keeps my water from getting hot.

summer running hydration

When I’m running longer distances, I use the Nathan Torchlight Bottle.  It’s a 22 ounce bottle – so you don’t have to stop to refill as often – if, at all.  Another thing I like about this bottle is that the opening is big enough to put ice cubes into – in addition to putting in the freezer.  With more water in the bottle – it can go warmer faster.

summer running tips

Both bottles come with a little pouch that is great to carry your gels with you – or keys or anything else that you need to have.

I love both of my hand held hydration devices – both are useful to me in their own way.

Whether you carry water with you – or stop along your route – the important thing is to make sure that during these warmer weather runs you are staying properly hydrated!

Run Happy!


P.S.  Here is the links to both of these:



Interviews With Awesome Runners – Forrest Gill

Forrest Gill Here’s the next in our interviews with some incredible and awesome runners.  Today we’re going to learn more about Forrest Gill.  Forrest is a very busy person – but, still manages to get his workouts in.

Here’s Forrest!

I am 40 years old. I am a blessed father of two amazing children. Nine days out of 10 it is a genuine struggle to get out and walk or run. I have walked or ran a minimum of 2 miles for 713 days in a row. With a couple of marathons and other races thrown into the mix.

  1. How long have you been running?

I have been running for approximately seven years.

  1. How many days a week do you run?

I currently run or walk a minimum of 2 miles per day seven days a week. I walk at 15 minutes per mile pace and I run at a nine minute and 30 seconds per mile pace.

  1. How many hours a week do you work?

I manage a retail store, Pier 1 Imports, and work approximately 50 hours per week. My work commute is 45 minutes each way.

  1. What time of day do you prefer to run?

I definitely prefer to run in the morning, but more often than not I find myself getting it done in the evening due to my daily schedule and other choices.

  1. How many miles a week do you typically run?

My current average is approximately 20 miles per week.

  1. Do you ever have problems fitting your running in with your schedule? How do you deal with any problems?

This is a huge question. The answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

I have dealt with my struggles in three major ways.

The first way that I dealt with my struggles was to change my marathon brain that said I had to run a minimum of 5 miles at a time. I changed my expectations to a minimum of 2 miles at a time but increased my consistency. This helped me make it a habit and has played a pivotal role in my life.

The second way was to reach out to friends on Facebook publicly and ask for help. This resulted in the formation of a Facebook group that supports each other and is now 500 members strong. We praise and support each other no matter what we do on a daily basis knowing that we all struggle and none of us are delete athletes.

The third way was to put all my running clothes and shoes in one spot and leave them in that spot so it makes it as easy as possible to just throw on my gear and get out the door and take that life-changing first step.

  1. How did you get started running?

I started running to deal with the crushing stress of a devastating divorce.

  1. What was your best run ever?

My best run ever was to Eugene Marathon in April 2008 where, with the help of my trainer, I was able to meet my goal of a sub four hour marathon. Praise the Lord.

  1. Do you have any running quirks? What are they?

While I am running long-distance, I chant to myself over and over and over and over and over four hours on end.

Never give up. Never surrender. Never give up. Never surrender. Never give up. Never surrender. Ever give up. Never surrender. I feel good. I feel great. I feel good. I feel great. I feel good. I feel great. Left. Left. Left, right, left. Left. Left. Left, right, left.

This is not a joke, I do that stuff for mile after mile after mile after mile after mile.

10.  Do you have a favorite place to run? Where is it?

My favorite place to run is where I am at. I don’t allow myself to choose favorites. It just messes with my head.

11.  Do you have a favorite race? What race is it?

My favorite race is any race put on by the amazing people of run wild adventures. If they are putting on a race, I want to be there.

12.  If you could run anywhere in the world where would it be?

If I could run anywhere in the world, I would definitely love to run alongside or on top of the Great Wall of China. I cannot even express what an experience that would be.

13.  Do you have a dream race that you’d like to run?

The dream race that I would like to run is a marathon that qualifies me to submit an entry for the Boston Marathon. I do not feel the urge to run in Boston. But it would be an incredible honor to qualify.

14.  Have you ever been injured? What was it? How did you deal with it?

I have dealt with two injuries. Planter fasciitis and pain behind my knee on separate incidents. With the planter fasciitis I bought super feet inserts for my shoes and slowed down my pace for one month while my arches recovered. For the pain behind my knee I spoke with a physical trainer about stretching exercises and became more diligent in my stretching. Especially after the run.

15.  Do you have any running goals? What are they? (If you don’t mind sharing)

My goal is to run or walk a minimum of 2 miles per day for 1000 days. I have 287 days to go.

16.  Do you prefer to run with others or do you prefer to run alone?

I most definitely prefer to run with others but due to my schedule the vast majority of my runs are solo.

17.  Do you have a running hero? Can be living or not.

Steve Prefontaine.

18.  What is the most extreme conditions that you’ve ever run in?

I ran the 2010 Portland Marathon in a torrential downpour wearing a garbage bag the entire time. I have ran 3 miles in a foot of snow. I have run at 20° and I have run in 100°.

19.  What one thing will you absolutely not run without?

I absolutely will not run without spandex undershorts. Without them, my thighs chafe like a mother.

20.  What 3 words would you use to describe your running?

Never give up.


Thanks, Forrest!  I loved learning more about you!  And, I really enjoyed the way that you have worked through the problems with scheduling your run and motivation.  Good advice for all of us!

I am SO loving reading about all these awesome runners!  I hope that you are, also!

Run Happy!


The Wonderful Furry Counselors And Their Work!

Comfort-DogsFirst of all, in addition to my love of running – I am a major lover of animals!  My hubby and I don’t have children, so our animals have always been our children.  And, they have probably been more spoiled than regular children would have been!  :-)

I was reading another great book about the Boston Marathon – If Not For the Perfect Stranger.

This is a great book where 40 people tell their 2013 Boston Marathon stories.  Included are runners, spectators, and first responders.  They talk about how people who were complete strangers to them before now share a special bond with them.  It’s another great Boston book.


One thing that really moved me was the chapters near the end.  These chapters were about the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs.



These dogs, called “Furry Counselors” are such a tremendous help to those that have been through a trauma.  You mostly hear about the wonderful work that they do in storm areas.  They go into an area after a major tornado or other disaster and help to comfort those in need.  These wonderful dogs have even gone to schools, such as Sandy Hook, after shootings in the school.


As Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs mission statement says, “A dog is a friend who brings a calming influence, allowing people to open up their hearts and receive help for what is affecting them.”  According to their company over view regarding the dogs – these are trained Comfort Dogs for Lutheran Church Charities. They interact with people at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.


People who may not open up to a “person” counselor seem to have no trouble talking with one of the “furry counselors”.  Dogs are non-judgmental and great listeners.  Sometimes someone may be even embarrassed to admit that they are hurting – but, will happily talk and be comforted by one of the dogs.


I know that when things have happened in my life – the one “person” that I could always talk to – and still do – are my pets.  They sense when someone is hurting and needs their support.  It’s as simple as their look or a paw or head in your lap.


But, back to Boston.  The comfort dogs were there a few days after the bombing and were a comfort to those there for a while.  In addition to the runners and their families, they provided comfort to the volunteers.  They had their world turned upside down, also.


The K-9 Comfort Dogs were back in Boston in October for a day of recognition for the first responders.  Many came back out to see them – and to further their healing processes.


The stories about the dogs moved me so much.  I read more about them and all the work that they do.  They travel around wherever they are needed.  In fact, they are out doing comfort work as I write this.  And, it takes money to get these dogs and their handlers to these disaster areas.


I’ve donated – and I hope that you will, too.  The “furry counselors” need our help to stay on the job.

Please check out http://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org and help them out!


Run Happy!


Interviews with Awesome Runners – Darrell Hill

Darrell HIllHere’s the next interview in our series of learning about awesome runners. Today, we learn more about Darrell Hill.  Darrell lives in Nova Scotia and I’m sure has very scenic running areas.

I enjoyed reading about him and I truly enjoyed reading about his running hero.  I’m sure that you will, also!

Here’s Darrell!

I am 60 years old and live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have taken part in dozens of races ranging from 3 klm to Half Marathons. I have run in every province between Nova Scotia on the east coast to British Columbia on the west coast as well as raced in Washington. 

  1. How long have you been running?

I started running 2 ½ years ago. During the summer of 2011 at the age of 58 I started thinking I should be more physically active. I was inspired by my older brother who was in his 70′s and running regularly and had been in several races as well as my nephew who had just completed the NYC Marathon. I started the Coach to 5K program and my the end of October 2011 I was able to run 5 klm.

  1. How many days a week do you run?

I try to run 3 to 4 days a week including a long run on Saturday,  last fall I added some cross training during my off days which included cycling, spin classes and weight lifting

  1. How many hours a week do you work?

I am semi retired and presently do handy man odd jobs as well as photography, working about 20 hours a week.

  1. What time of day do you prefer to run?

My favorite time of the day to run would be early morning and especially during cool temperatures.

  1. How many miles a week do you typically run?

I try to run about 30 klm a week, ( 19 mi.) last year I ran 1400 klm ( 868 mi )

  1. Do you ever have problems fitting your running in with your schedule? How do you deal with any problems?

I have a very busy schedule, even though I only work about 20 hours a week, I am involved with several outside activities as well as having 3 grandsons. I try as much as possible to work my commitments around the running rather than the running around the commitments. Just being flexible and creative helps. I often run to the local mall or meetings that I have to attend, I figure its better I show up wearing running tights than not to show up at all.

  1. How did you get started running?

As I mentioned earlier I started with the coach to 5k program that I found online, the first week was run a minute and walk 3 min for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Each week increasing the running time. My twin brother Don and I started this at the same time and we both had treadmills. Neither one of us wanted to run outside until we could run 5 klm which we did that October

  1. What was your best run ever?

My best run, as most enjoyable was a run that I did with my running partner ( my sister in law) Daphne. It was a competition held by one of our local running clubs, Heart & Sole Running Club. Once a month everyone starts out to run 1 hour, running at their own pace, and the distance is recorded than prizes awarded at the end of the year for most improved. This particular run took place during March of 2012, at this point we had never run for an hour, and when we had finished we had run 8.3 klm. Wow we were ecstatic !! Due to a back injury that I got in November and Daphne just starting to run we had only been running for 2 months ! We run much faster and longer now but that was a true milestone…

  1. Do you have any running quirks? What are they?

Wow yes I do, in fact Daphne and I are very similar in this area. As we started to run longer distances it became necessary to carry water, simple enough, buy a water bottle. Not so simple, bottle was too big to hold comfortably. Ok so I buy another bottle with a strap to wear around my waist. First it felt to heavy when it was full, so I tried it half full, no that swoosh of the water moving was so annoying I almost threw the bottle in the woods. So than Daphne suggested freezing the water so it will just thaw out slowly as we run. Great idea, well at least for 5 minutes, than we heard Thunk! Thunk! & Thunk! As the ice bounced in the bottle. We both burst out laughing, the bottle came off and I hid it in some bushes to be picked up when we returned. Daphne finally settled for a small hand held bottle and I got a hydration belt with small bottles. We have the same issue with car keys…

dd wine

10.  Do you have a favorite place to run? Where is it?

My favorite place to run is along the shores of Lake Banook in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This lake is in the middle of the city and has many boating and world class canoeing events. The route around the lake leads to a local park ( Shubie Park ) where the trails are even kept plowed during the winter .

11.Do you have a favorite race? What race is it?

My favorite race was our first Half Marathon Race, June 2013. The Johnny Miles Marathon held in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Daphne and I finished this race in 2 hrs and 12 minutes.

12.  If you could run anywhere in the world where would it be?

If I had the opportunity to run anywhere I think I would pick London or Paris. The thought of running past so many historical sights would be awe-inspiring!

13.  Do you have a dream race that you’d like to run?

I would love to run in one of the major marathons such as Toronto or Boston.

14.  Have you ever been injured? What was it? How did you deal with it?

During my first year of running I was plagued with Shin Splints !! I ran several races with this excruciating pain, being too stubborn to stop. It actually hurt much worse walking than running. With the use of compression sleeves and a elastic bandage wrapped around my calves I managed to keep running and it healed.

15.  Do you have any running goals? What are they? (If you don’t mind sharing)

I have 2 goals for 2014, my first Duathlon, in May, and my first Marathon in Oct.

16.  Do you prefer to run with others or do you prefer to run alone?

There are times I enjoy running alone but most of the time I prefer to run with my running partner Daphne. We have been running partners since Jan 2012, and we push and pull and encourage each other every step of the way. If it hadn’t been for Daphne’s encouragement I would not be the runner I am today. 

17.  Do you have a running hero? Can be living or not.

My running hero is Johnny Miles:

In 1926 Johnny’s neighbours in Sydney Nova Scotia raised a few hundred dollars to send him to the Boston Marathon by train. This would be Johnny’s debut marathon, having never run a race longer than 10 miles. The field at the 1926 Boston Marathon included four-time winner Clarence DeMar and 1924 Olympic champion, Albi Stenroos whom Miles idolized. Miles arrived at the marathon as an unknown, competing in a handmade singlet adorned with a maple leaf and the letters “NS” for Nova Scotia and a pair of 98-cent sneakers. Stenroos attempted to break away after the first few miles, leaving DeMar behind. Miles stayed with him until Heartbreak Hill, at which point he passed him. Miles won the race in a time of 2:25:40. His time was so fast that the course was remeasured and found to be 176 yards short.

1926 Won the Boston Marathon

1928 Came in 17th in the Olympics

1929 Won the Boston Marathon

1930 Won Bronze in the British Empire Games

1932 Came in 14th in the Olympics

Today we still celebrate Johnny Miles Accomplishments with the annual Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow.

18.  What is the most extreme conditions that you’ve ever run in?

Daphne and I met at the Marsh Trail, at about 9am. It was pouring rain and windy. We headed out and the weather deteriorated, but we kept going, after all once you are wet your wet. We met several runners along the way as this was the route used my several running clubs on Saturdays, all of them seemed to mutter the words crazy as we passed by. Around the 3k point my heart monitor strap ( I refer to it as my bra) started to slip down because I was soaked to the bone, when I touched it I got a shock from the batteries. Than because of the water the Garmin read my heart rate as too high and the watched started beeping at me. So I removed the strap but had to be careful how I held it because of the shocks, I decided to hide it under a tree. It was storming even harder now. By the time we had finished 12 klm we were cold and wet and I might add very happy. We both had issues with our IT bands the next day, we think this was from the rough trail and our muscles being stiff as we were afraid of slipping on the wet surface. It was still better than setting on the sofa watching Saturday morning cartoons..

19.  What one thing will you absolutely not run without?

I would have to say my Garmin, mind you there has been the odd occasion that I forgot it..

20.  What 3 words would you use to describe your running?

Awesome ! Dedication ! Determined ! Fun ! Exciting ! Rewarding ! Satisfying ! Gratifying ! Healthy ! Obsessive ! Addictive ! Social !

Oh you only wanted 3, well that is what happens when you ask a runner to talk about running!

dd wine


Thanks, Darrell!  And, thanks for answering these questions in detail!  It was great to learn about you and Daphne!  And, by the way – a race that serves wine at water stops – I’m there!

Here’s a link to Darrell’s blog and follow him as he trains for his marathon:


Visit him and leave him a comment!

Run Happy!