Friday, May 8, 2015

Thanks to my ulra-marathon running crew!

Many ultra-runners have a race crew that goes along to the races and meets the runner at various points to provide support, encouragement, nutrition, and sometimes a pacer on the long run.

I do, but my crew is a virtual crew. My crew helps me get to the race start, prepares for the long run, and helps me recuperate afterward.
I want to thank my crew for their hard work and dedication to helping me achieve my 50 mile ultra-marathon goal this year.

Let me start with my trainer, Jon Tobey of The Fitness Factory ( Jon and I started working together a few years ago when I first started running and my first goal was to be able to run a half marathon in Ireland without dying of pain. I did! Now, Jon and I work together each week and each week we work toward a combined mission of making me more fit and achieving an annual running goal. This year’s was to run a 50-miler. Mission accomplished! But it’s not the last.
Jon Tobey will tell you my main weak spots are my hamstrings and IT bands. There are others, of course, but when it comes to running, especially up hills, these are my “you need work” zones. By the end of too many races and long runs my upper legs want to give up. Not so in my 50-miler last weekend. A 50-miler that consisted of 7500 feet of elevation gain and loss. As a matter of fact, at mile 30 my legs felt so good I was running the descents like I hadn’t a care in the world. And loving it!

After a long run the discomfort and pain in my legs is usually so uncomfortable that I spend half the night awake and whimpering. Not so on this run! This achievement is a direct correlation to the hard work with my fabulous, can’t say enough about him, my trainer, Jon Tobey. If you want to reach a fitness goal, I highly recommend Jon Tobey of The Fitness Factory ( Tell him Denise sent you.
Another great team member in this long-term goal of running and fitness is my chiropractor, Mark Stagnone of Stagnone Chiropractic ( I found Mark about a year and a half ago, maybe more when I woke up one day in excruciating pain in my lower back. Thank goodness I found Mark! He made the pain go away almost immediately. Turns out I have a problem with my SI joint. Basically, it just doesn’t like to stay where it should. Unless, of course, when I’m running. No joke! My body likes to run, but it doesn’t like to sit. Unfortunately, for my job and my commute I do a lot of walking.

Mark has been an amazing asset to my crew in that he keeps me upright and without pain. We discuss my insane running schedule while he manipulates my spine to help me achieve my goals. If you want someone who knows about athletes, who cares about his patients, and wants to help you achieve a health goal then I recommend you contact Stagnone Chiropractic (, ask for Phyllis and have her get you an appointment with Mark Stagnone.
The third member of my race crew is my massage therapist, Amie Anderson of Cassandra Salon and Spa ( Amie has the magic touch when it comes to working the kinks out of sore, tight, and often obstinate muscles. What I like about Amie is that she will try different techniques to get those muscles to loosen up. A little elbow here, a knucle there, or a heated stone in that muscle. Amie has seen me crawl onto the massage table, seen my calf muscles so tight she probably wanted to weep, but she has been there for every pre-race massage and every post-race ‘please help me I can’t move’ massage.

After I did my first half marathon a few years ago I think both Amie and I wept as she kneaded every muscle in my legs. HA! She has helped my poor calf muscles go from being tight as a pulled bow to being somewhat pliable. And after this 50-miler, Amie was pleasantly surprised that I not only walked in to the salon, but I didn’t yelp in agony when she dug in.
Amie Anderson, massage therapist is the best! She will talk you through the pain and get you to that relaxation zone. She will remind you to hydrate, which is good because who doesn’t need a little reminder. She will ask you if there are any zones you want her to concentrate on. For me, always the legs, especially calves and then the back. Thanks to Amie my recuperation time has shortened to days instead of weeks.

If you need a massage whether to relax or recuperate, please contact Cassandra Salon and Spa ( and schedule an appointment with Amie Anderson.
To these three professionals, I cannot thank you all enough for your effort on my behalf to help me reach an unbelievable goal. A year ago I would never have attempted an ultra-marathon, let alone a 50 mile ultra-marathon. But with you all as part of my team and your encouragement, I was destined to succeed.



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