Thanks for all the reads, shares, and comments on my Green Corridor Run Race report. They certainly made the start of what was an otherwise pretty normal/boring week considerably more interesting. After reading, sharing, re-commenting, discussing, I have three post- post-race observations:
1. My blog is a magnet for Singaporean dirt-lovers. Sweet! Everyone who stopped by commented something like, “It’s crazy how so many runners were concerned about getting their feet dirty. I ran right through the mud. Bring it on!!!” I will happily serve as a gathering spot for dirt-loving-trail-runners.
2. It’s pretty normal that an entire listing of results (competitors and times) is not posted. !!!! The top three finishers in each age group were posted (they received prizes), along with their times – but when the full list of times were released, the link led to a website where you enter your bib number, and get your personal results.
Short of entering in 6,000 bib numbers, I can’t see any way to get a full results list. This was corroborated when I searched (unsuccessfully) for the full results of other races. Weird. For this particular race, I don’t really mind. I was running for fun. But when I’m actually racing, and moderately fast, I like to know how close I finished to others in my age group (and yes, I like to know who they are!). I guess perhaps some people don’t like their times broadcast all over the internet – but public display of a complete finisher’s list is quite normal in the US, so this seems odd to me.
3. Perhaps paying a bit more for a race is worth it. Before the race, there was quite a bit of talk in the local running community about how the race was rather overpriced, particularly given the small amount of “swag”. After the race, the overwhelming sentiment here was that the run was one of the best executed races in Singapore. I hope that those who had reservations about the cost of entry start to see efficient race organization as a value add. Smooth shuttle buses, abundant (and beautiful!) port-a-potties, on-course support (hydration & medical), and flawless logistics all factor into the cost of the event. Maybe this will be something we come to expect – and are willing to pay for – in the future.
Now, for everyone who was bored with that part, but kept reading anyway (Why, I must ask you. Thank you, but WHY?), I shall now reward you by sharing my awesome Friday list: Top 3 Things To Do With a Tennis Ball. For the record, I did *all* of these on Monday, after the race.
Spoiler Alert: “Play tennis” is not included in this list. There is a reason that I run, bike, and swim. Bad things happen when I’m expected to hit/catch/throw/spot/dodge spherical objects flying through the air. You totally want me on your relay team, but I promise that we’ll both be happier if I sit out the dodgeball tournament.
1. Play “Find the Tennis Ball”! I keep 2 of these suckers around the apartment (for #2 & #3 on this list). One is supposed to live under my desk, the other under the kitchen table. But inevitably, when I go to sit down in either of these places, the tennis ball is MIA. This prompts at least 60 seconds of searching, poking, and whining, before the offender is corralled. Spheres have a mind of their own, I tell ya…
Once you’ve located the darned thing, you may proceed:
2. Roll out your foot, especially the arch. You can buy all sorts of doodads for this, but nothing beats the tennis ball (in my opinion). It’s the perfect diameter to do some good digging into your foot muscles – but not so small that you’re whimpering (unless your feet are very tight). Use it sitting down (under your desk at work), and stand if you want to apply a bit more pressure.
Most runners, from beginners to veterans, experience some tightness in their feet. Running means lots of compression/release on the arch of your foot. Furthermore, some of us tighten our feet in weird places when we run. Massage on the tennis ball helps work all those kinks out (this can also help prevent things like plantar fasciitis). I suggest focusing on the arch, but your foot isn’t that big – experiment, and see what makes you go, “*gasp*Uuuuhhhhaaaaahhhhh…..”.
[I did a LOT of this on Monday.]
3. Massage your hip. This is especially important for my female runner friends, who typically have very tight hips – although I invite anyone, regardless of gender/runner-status, to give this a shot. I love this trick because, unlike The Stick and the foam roller (which I do love), a tennis ball is small enough to really dig into the little muscles of the hip. Plus, it’s easy to relax the target leg while you’re doing this (I tend to get pretty tense on the foam roller), which will let you dig a little deeper. First, you need to find a wall. Then, you need to find your hipbone, and trace back to the meaty area behind your hipbone. Let me help:
Now, place the tennis ball between that spot and the wall. Lean into the wall to hold it there.
Now, lean your body weight into the wall and rub the tennis ball around. Hold most of your weight on the leg away from the wall, so that the hip you are massaging is nice and relaxed.
Rub the tennis ball around until you find a sore spot. Then focus your rubbing there (pretty hard) for 15-20 seconds. I also like to lean into the sore spot pretty hard for 5-10 seconds, then release. Continue until you’ve hit all the sore spots. Then, turn around and do the other leg!! I promise that your hips will thank you.
All right, folks, that’s all I’ve got for today. Now, I’m off to go buy some stock in tennis balls. This post is gonna go viral, I just know it.
Any unusual uses for a tennis ball I should add to my list?
Ever posted pictures of weird parts of your body all over the internet?
[No, no – nevermind. I actually don’t want to know the answer to that one, after all.]