July 2016

River City Running Club



July Newsletter

Upcoming Races

July 2 Remembering Jesse Parker 5M, 5K Tomah, WI
July 2 Firecracker 4 Miler
4M, 1M La Crosse, WI
July 9 Dances with Dirt 50M, 50K, Full, 10K Merrimac, WI
July 17 Will Run 28 furlong Winona, MN
July 10 Catfish Days
10K, 5K Trempealeau, WI
 July 30 SMU Trail Scamper 5K Winona, MN 
August 6 Home Run for CCA 10K, 5K La Crosse, WI
August 13 MPC Stampede 5k La Crosse, WI
August 13 Paavo Nurmi Full, Half Hurley, WI
August 20 Holmen Kornfest 10k, 2 mile Holmen, WI
August 20 Goodview Gallop 10k, 5k Goodview, MN
August 27 Lions Club 5k 5k La Crosse, WI

A Good Run


Congratulations to all who ran the recent Grandma's Marathon. RCRC and the
LaCrosse area were very well represented. I have one brief story I would
like to share. Saturday evening a few of us wandered down the boardwalk to
the ice cream shop. Waiting in line there were RJ & Linda Miller and the
rest of the Onalaska running crew. We chatted for a little bit about how
the marathon went. What struck me most was not anyone's time. It was that
they had some marathon rookies in their group and they had at least one
veteran assigned to each to help get them through the day. Such a great
idea, especially under those conditions.

Thanks to Eric VanOsdol for taking over the aid station for Got Energy.
Thanks to: Dennis, Emma and Alex, along with volunteers from Grand Bluff Running: Matt and Tera, Len and Michelle, and Tess for manning the aid

Thanks to Cheryl Franta for her article this month on life after running.

Please continue to send me any clever or funny signs you see along your
marathons and other races. I have received a few and there were some good
ones at Grandma's.

We will begin planning for the annual banquet soon. Please feel free to
send suggestions for improvements or changes you would like to see.

Jim Stenulson, President
River City Running Club



When Running Shoes Become Walking Shoes

By:  Cheryl Franta


Jim’s article two newsletters ago where he talked about the blues some runners experience after completing a race/achieving a goal and Dave’s article last week about the aging runner slowing down, sparked a conversation that most runners never want to have.  You see I started running marathons the week before I was married.  It started as a goal to achieve, but it lit a larger fire.  Grandma’s Marathon and our subsequent wedding in 1985 was the beginning of my running career.   

Jump ahead from the birth of four children and returning to the La Crosse area, to finding myself ready to run and train for another marathon.  Insert the running club and I was not only on my way to achieving all sorts of running related goals, but doing it with people I enjoyed being around.  I called it “my thing” because I was a stay-at-home mom and this was my social outlet.  I had success with it as well so it served as a healthy confidence builder.  Injuries were never much of a problem and people used to comment on my “perfect form”.  I thought I was going to be a grandma running at Grandma’s Marathon!  Unfortunately, that is not how the story ends.  After 21 marathons, my running career came to a complete stop.  Classic Achilles Tendonitis that turned in to Insertional Achilles Tendonitis after running the Fox Cities Marathon in 2007 ended that phase of my life.  Of course I didn’t believe at the time that it would, but after all sorts of treatment/therapies and finally finding success with PRP (my own platelet rich plasma injected in to my heel), I had to find a way to let it go and move on.  Believe me it was not easy!  My heel pain was gone, but when I would try to start to run again, it would either start to come back or something else in my body would cry out.  I finally had to accept that I did not want to limp the rest of my life and that I needed to find a new “my thing”.  It was a grieving process because not only was I losing the running I so loved to do, but I was losing my social outlet/network.  I had to come to terms with all of this and figure out my new path.  It isn’t like I had a devastating illness, but, as all of you know, there is nothing like the high you get from running.  Finding what would give me that same feeling was my next goal.

I am writing this not to depress you, but to prepare you.   Heaven forbid that you should ever have to stop running, but in case you do, here are some tips that helped me:

  1.  My husband and I organize the Applefest Scenic 5K (go to for information and to register).  I am also on the committee for the Grandad Bluff Half Marathon and 5K as well as assisting with high school cross country and track meets.  Seeing the other side of our sport has kept me involved with running and has given me an appreciation for the work that goes in to putting on a successful event.  Volunteer!
  2. Diversify yourself!  Do your body a favor and participate in a variety of activities.  I did bike and do some lifting with an occasional yoga class thrown in, but running was mostly it for me.  It is okay to go out for a walk (time is the biggest one with this because running is so much faster, but it forces you to slow down).  I have found a huge benefit from taking yoga classes.  Flexibility, strength and balance are all things that we lose as we get older.  Yoga helps the mind and body!  Swimming is a great overall body workout and it doesn’t involve pounding the pavement.  Go biking on any of the beautiful trails we have in this area.  Try something new to keep you motivated.
  3. Keep a positive attitude.  This is easier said than done when faced with an injury.  Life is full of “game changers” and if you can roll with the punches and make lemonade out of lemons, you and the people around you will be happier.


Lastly, I would like to remind every single one of you to exercise with friends.  If you are going to be out on your own, make sure someone knows the route you are taking and approximately how long you will be gone.  My son had a 27-year-old friend from college (groomsman to be at his wedding in November) experience sudden death while on a casual run in Minneapolis two days ago.  He had completed Grandma’s Marathon with his fiancée who was running her first marathon.  He ran in college and had completed a couple of marathons less than 3 hours.  He appeared to be a perfectly healthy young man.  Look out for each other and exercise smart this summer.

First Ladies of Running


Dave Bange
I’m doing something a little different this month.  A book review.  Actually it’s more of a book recommendation, and I’m hoping that I can persuade you to locate a copy, even it means spending 10 or 12 dollars for it.
“First Ladies of Running” is the title of a new book by Amby Burfoot, the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and a long-time writer and editor for Runners’ World.  (Amby’s a very interesting fellow, and would be well worth a stand-alone essay.  Maybe another time.)  And to give credit where it’s due, I probably would not have learned of this book except for the thoughtfulness and generosity of Judy Schmidt.  She purchased it at this year’s Boston Marathon directly from Amby himself, and he autographed it -- to ME!.  A real collector’s item!!!  An interesting footnote:  Amby was running the 2013 Boston Marathon when he was halted by the bombings about three-fourths of a mile from the finish line -- Judy and Kristie Shappell were possibly running nearby him that day.
OK, let’s get to the book itself.  “First Ladies of Running” consists of 22 brief profiles of women runners, spanning a time period from the mid-60’s to to the late 70’s.  Judy correctly thought that I would find this book of special interest because my first wife, Mary, and I were running marathons during that time.  Mary was a very good runner, with a personal best of 2:42, and competed against several of the women profiled in the book.  It definitely bought back some memories of those days, but that’s not why I’m recommending this nice little book.  
What is striking about the book is how well it points up the incredible growth of women’s distance running in the past 30 or 40 years.  Anyone participating or watching this year’s Grandma’s marathon certainly noticed that half of runners were female.  In addition, over 63% of the runners in the half marathon were women!  Not that long ago, all distance runners were men.  The governing bodies of track and field, like the IOC and the AAU, banned women from racing at any distance longer than 800 meters, insisting that running was surely too stressful for delicate females, especially their reproductive capabilities.  Quick trivia question: when was the 1500-meter run added to the Olympic Games?  1972!  Inclusion of a woman’s marathon in the Olympics took yet another dozen years of determined effort, finally resulting Joan Benoit’s historic and inspiring 1984 performance in Los Angeles.
One of the things that I enjoyed most was reading how a handful of women scattered across the country discovered the pleasures of running, learned that women were banned from competing, but still managed to participate as unofficial runners in a few road races.  Almost without exception, these women found that once in a race, the male runners, the spectators, and even the police were hugely supportive and encouraging, even though the race officials did their best to keep them out of the events.  To get into road races, the women tell of hiding in the shrubbery, wearing hoodies, or beginning to run only after the men had left the starting line.


Not surprisingly I learned a lot of things, and was introduced to several women I had not heard of and what they accomplished in total anonymity.  A couple of examples.  In 1961 Julia Chase became the first woman to run in a road race (6.5 miles, in Massachusetts); in 1963 Merry Lepper became the first woman to run a marathon (3:37 in Culver City, California); and in 1966 Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:21 (and ahead of 2/3 of the men!).  The far better known Kathy Switzer ran the 1967 Boston Marathon, but actually finished as the second woman, an hour behind Bobbi Gibb’s 3:27.  Women were finally allowed to compete officially at Boston only in 1972.  This book is stuffed with many really cool details like these. 
My major criticism of “First Ladies of Running” is that no woman from the Midwest is included among the 22 profiles.  (A rather typical mindset found on America’s coasts.)  The most egregious omission is Kim Merrit of Racine, although her name pops up in the accounts some of the key races that are cited in the profiles.  I’m sure that she would have been unknown to all but a few of the 8700+ women who ran the marathon or half-marathon up in Duluth.  For the record, Kim was one of the very best in women’s running, winning the 1975 New York City Marathon, the 1976 Boston Marathon (the famously hot “run for the hoses”), and in 1977 set the American record with a 2:37:57.  Her omission is a significant oversight by Amby.
I’ve babbled on here longer than usual, but I hope I’ve piqued your interest enough to buy or find a copy of this worthwhile book.  I think you’ll enjoy it.


Get PT 1st


WHY: In recent years, Physical Therapists have been granted “direct access”. This means that you can see your Physical Therapist without going to your primary care physician first.  But this still does not answer why you should see your PT first. The answer for anyone involved with running or athletics of any kind is because PTs are the movement specialists. PTs are trained to treat a variety of running related injuries from that chronic nagging pain to a sprained ankle.


Ankle Sprains: Many runners may “tweak” their ankle, whether it be by stepping off of a curb or on a gnarly root in Hixon. Sometimes you take a few steps, shake it off, and keep going; other times it may swell up and sideline you for a few days. When that happens we often resort to the good old RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). This method is a great way to reduce swelling, but it has one word in it that haunts many runners, “Rest”. Getting sidelined from your training plan especially this time of year when racing season is in full swing can be difficult. Once the swelling goes down and you start to run again that ankle may never quite feel right.


What is going on: Typically when we “turn” our ankles, it is into an inverted position. This means that the bottom of your foot turns in and is facing the opposite foot. When this happens the structures on the outside of our ankle get stretched out. These structures include ligament and muscles. One of those structures is the most commonly sprained ligament in the human body, the Anterior Talofibular ligament (ATF). Ligaments, once sprained, take time to heal and are very susceptible to reinjury. The Fibularis muscle group, also known as the peroneals, is a group of three small muscles located on the outside of the lower leg. These muscles often will be stretched out or strained in the process of twisting an ankle. The damage to these structures, along with a few other processes, if not properly cared for create the perfect storm for long standing chronic ankle issues.


How can PT help: The RICE method can be very effective in the acute stages, but there are many aspects of healing and recovery that can be fast tracked by a Physical Therapist. In order to restore proper motion to the joint and surrounding tissue, a PT can use manual therapy techniques that not only facilitate healing in the early stages, but also prevent imbalances from developing due to the body compensating for the injured area. One big area that is not addressed through the RICE method is that of stability and balance re-education. When the ligaments are in a weakened state, they are susceptible to reinjury. It is important to train the surrounding muscles to pick up the slack to make your ankle feel stable and powerful so that you can get back into your running shoes pain-free.


Jake Hegge, DPT, CSCS


Services offered:

Dry Needling

Joint Mobilizations/Manipulations

Instrumented Soft Tissue Mobilization

Gait Analysis

Running Specific Exercises


Dynamic Physiotherapy located within Grand Bluff Running

Address: 509 Main Street La Crosse


Phone: 608-630-1006

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Race Results

June 11, Sparta Stampede 5-Mile Run, Sparta, WI

Dorothy Nicol 42:02 (1st 60+) Scott Nicol 42:24 (2nd 60+)

June 18, Grandma's Marathon, Duluth, MN

Brian Dahl 3:16:50 Amy Tischler 4:52:00
Scott Tyink 3:26:59 Melissa Nevala 4:52:28
Jim Stenulson 3:27:00 Jean Hougom 4:52:48
Brian Arneson 3:51:53 Teri Walensky 4:53:14
Christine Kortbein 4:01:10    
Kim Lovejoy 4:02:03 Laurie Enos 4:53:20
John Blanchar 4:04:05 Darick Bloom 5:06:34
Tom Gibbons 4:06:47 Kathy Moen 5:06:56
Kurt Brown 4:07:01 Karen Olson 5:06:56
Andy Nordeen 4:08:17 Deanna Verdon 5:18:29
Angie Puent 4:12:25 Larry Kirch 5:22:29
Naoko Aminaka 4:12:29 Maureen Kinney 5:25:43 (5th 65-69)
Kristie Shappell 4:12:34 Ron Benjamin 5:34:25
Jerry Reuteler 4:24:33 Randy Krainock 5:41:46
Julie Wiebke 4:33:32 Linda Miller 5:56:10
Dave Bange 4:45:45 R J Miller 5:59:55
Kristine Tibor 4:48:48 Theresa Riley 6:31:13
Half Marathon      
Mara Wiebke 1:50:15 Judy Schmidt 2:00:58

 June 25, Two Harted Trail Marathon, Paradise, MI

John Blanchar             4:36 (3rd Over   all)