Wednesday, January 12, 2011


By: Stan Popovich

Sometimes, fear and anxiety can get the best of us in running. The key is to know how to manage that fear and anxiety. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a runner can use to help manage their fears and every day anxieties.

Occasionally, you may become stressed when you have to run in an important event. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have to run in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself doing the event in your mind. By doing this, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could read the newspaper, listen to some music or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This is a great technique to use right before your next event.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that you can carry around with you. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you. Whenever you feel stressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking before your running event.

In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a small walk before your running event to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to:

Race Reviews

by Rick Platt

9th Annual
Governor’s Land 5K Run for the Brain
Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steve Chantry Breaks All-Time CRR Record and Virginia State Record for Men 55-59
Lee Wingo and Karen Terry are Overall Race Winners at Governor’s Land

Perfect weather, the fastest 5K course on the Peninsula, and an exceptionally strong field led to great times at the ninth annual The Governor’s Land 5K Run for the Brain Saturday morning, Nov. 20, at the Park East Clubhouse in the beautiful neighborhood off Route 5, with 264 finishing the 5K and 14 completing the one mile fun run.

The 16th event in the 17-race 2010 Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix series has become a championship-caliber race, attracting runners from varied groups, from high school runners in top shape after their cross-country season (Lafayette, Bruton, Jamestown, Walsingham), William and Mary students from “Team Blitz,” top open runners from Richmond down to the Southside, and most of the CRR’s age-group and Grand Prix standouts.

There was one Virginia state age-group record broken, one all-time CRR age-group record broken (and two more almost broken), and four race age-group records set on Saturday. The weather was great, with sunny skies, race-time temperatures around 50 degrees, and a light headwind for the opening mile. The course is certified an exact distance to USATF standards (VA-07030-RT), and therefore eligible for state records and national rankings.

Winning the race in 15:42 was Lee Wingo, 22, of Mechanicsville, a VCU grad who had also won October’s William and Mary Homecoming Run 5K in a similar 15:49. Second overall was Bruton High cross-country coach Mark Tompkins, 35, of Williamsburg in 16:02. Tompkins has won two CRR Grand Prix overall titles (2005 and 2009), and is still in contention for a third. With just one CRR Grand Prix race remaining (the Sentara Sleighbell 5K on Dec. 18), the top three men are Greg Dawson (75 points), Steve Chantry (70) and Tompkins (66), but those scores are a bit deceiving, as only the top 10 Grand Prix races score, and Dawson and Chantry have both run more than 10 CRR races this year. If Tompkins runs in and wins the Sleighbell race, he will probably win the Grand Prix title. If Tompkins doesn’t run, and Dawson beats Chantry at Sleighbell (Dawson leads 4-2 this fall in head-to-head competition with Chantry), then Dawson wins his first Grand Prix title, but Chantry still has a chance to win his second.

On Saturday, although Chantry was only 10th overall (Dawson was 11th with a lifetime best by three seconds of 17:04), Chantry’s performance was the race of the day, as he age-graded a world-class 90.66%. Chantry ran a 16:57, his first 5K under 17 minutes this year, and his first under 17 since running 16:45 last year at Governor’s Land, at age 54. Chantry’s time broke both the Virginia state record for men 55-59 and the all-time CRR record for men 55-59, the previous marks 17:06 by Chantry at the 2010 Queens Lake 5K Run in May (for which Tompkins was race director). Governor’s Land has by far the most all-time CRR five-year age-group records, with Chantry’s record being the 11th.

Third-place overall John Lomogda, 41, of Norfolk came close to one of those all-time mark with his 16:05, just ten seconds off Rob Hinkle’s CRR mark of 15:55 from the 2004 Governor’s Land race. Also just missing an all-time CRR age-group record was Rick Platt, 60, of Williamsburg, whose 19:02 to win the 60-64 age group (his fastest 5K since May, 2008) was just five seconds off the CRR record of 18:57 (by two runners, Dan Murray of Keswick, VA at the 2005 W&M Homecoming Run 5K and Richie Geisel, then of Williamsburg, at the 2007 Mental Health 5K).

Platt however was one of four runners to break Governor’s Land age-group records that go back to 1993. His 19:02 erased Bob Spencer’s 2002 Governor’s Land 60-64 mark of 19:26. Chantry’s 16:57 easily took down Platt’s 18:14 from the 2006 Governor’s Land. Ken Mitchell won the 65-and-over age-group in 21:37, breaking by seven seconds the previous Governor’s Land 65-69 record of 21:44 by Andrew Polansky at the 1995 race.

The final Governor’s Land age-group record was set by women’s winner Karen Terry, whose 18:56 bettered the women’s 20-24 record of 19:38 by former W&M runner Kristin Halizak Eddy from 1994. Second and third overall for the women were Connie Glueck, 46, of Williamsburg (20:50) and Mary Beth Bird, 43, of Williamsburg (a PR 21:14). Glueck clinched second overall in the CRR women’s Grand Prix with 76 points (Jen Quarles has 90 points, and will win her sixth overall title), with Amber Lewis third (66 points). Bird will be the CRR Masters (ages 40+) champion.

The best women’s age-group performance however was turned in by Ann Hirn, 65 of Portsmouth, who won the 65-and-over division in 24:14, age-grading 85.9%. Others age-grading above 80%, considered national-class, were Lomogda (85.51%), Platt (84.27%), Steve Menzies (83.48%), Tom Purcell (83.17%), Dawson (83.07%), Kurtis Steck (82.38%), Wingo (82.2%), Tompkins (82.2%), Scott Gemmell-Davis (81.6%), and Jason Menzies (81.24%).

Steve Menzies, age 47, ran 17:15, while his son, Jason, 14, a Lafayette High freshman, ran an outstanding 17:28 to win the 14-and-under category. Only Lafayette sophomore Kurtis Steck (a Virginia state and CRR record of 16:42 for 14-and-under boys at the 2009 Governor’s Land race) has ever run faster in a CRR race for the 14-and-under division.

Steck ran 16:54 this year, with Lafayette teammate Scott Gemmell-Davis winning the 15-19 division in 16:47. For men 20-24 W&M grad Skeeter Morris won in 16:08, just ahead of Team Blitz’s Andrew Budiansky (16:13), for fourth and fifth overall. Gregor Kranjc, 36, of Wiliamsburg (16:50) and Tom Purcell, 44, of Chesapeake (16:55) were the other two runners under 17 minutes.

Walkers under 40 minutes were Scott Stakes (30:50), George Fenigsohn (33:12), Jeff Fry (34:46), Richard Luzinski (36:06) and Mike Derrig (36:32) for the men, and Sally Derrig (36:09), Robin Land (37:05), Sylvia Garcia (37:15) and Sandy Conte (38:02) for the women. The top age-graded race walkers were George Fenigsohn (69.68%), Richard Luzinski (65.47%), Sylvia Garcia (64.88%) and Scott Stakes (64.86%).

Sentara Sleighbell 5K Run
Saturday, December 18, 2010

There were 17 races in the 2010 Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix series, but the men’s overall title and the men’s Masters title came down to the final event, the second annual Sentara Sleighbell 5K Run, Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Sentara Regional Medical Center.

There were 486 finishers in the 5K, an increase from 446 in 2009, and the second most finishers ever for a single CRR event, trailing only last June’s 2010 Icelandic Seafood Fest 8K, which had 573 finishers. Adding in the 89 finishers in the one mile fun run, Sleighbell had 575 combined finishers, trailing only Icelandic (781, including 208 in the 1 mile fun run) and Vineyards ’09 (590) on the all-time CRR list for total finishers. Five CRR races have now exceeded that 500-finisher standard, and two of them are Sleighbell races (’09 and ’10). Vineyards ’08 had 542 finishers (415 in the 5K and 127 in the 1 mile), and Sleighbell ’09 had 540 finishers (446 in the 5K and 94 in the 1 mile).

A large percentage of the participants came from the Williamsburg/James City County school system—students, family and staff. The race was again directed by Janice Kailos, the Wellness Integration Specialist for SHIP (the School Health Initiative Program), with timing and race coordination by the CRR and Colonial Sports Timing.

This year’s 5K race was certified an exact distance, to USATF standards. The course is relatively flat, starting and finishing at the Geddy Outpatient Center, with a clockwise loop of the Sentara perimeter road to start and counterclockwise to finish, and a counterclockwise loop of the nearby Curry Drive/Clark Lane neighborhood, in between.

Appropriate for the race name, winter weather was a factor on race day. Two days earlier, a snowstorm forced cancellation of school, and the day before the race Kailos hired a snowplow to remove patches of ice and snow from the back portion of the course. Race morning was cold, with temps in the mid-30s and overcast conditions.

Four runners vied for the lead—Mark Tompkins and Greg Dawson, the two runners contending for the overall Grand Prix title, and teenagers D.J. Moniak (age 16, Jamestown High) and Patrick Cunningham (age 18, 2010 Lafayette grad, now running for Christopher Newport University). In the final mile, it was Tompkins and Dawson by themselves. Whoever finished first would win the Grand Prix title. Tompkins had twice won the Grand Prix, in 2005 and ’09. Going into Sleighbell, he had 66 Grand Prix points (in just seven races), trailing Dawson’s 71 points (Dawson actually had accumulated 75 points in 14 CRR races, but only the top 10 count, decreasing his total).

Tompkins won Sleighbell by just five seconds, 16:55 to 17:00, scoring ten Grand Prix points, and increasing his final total to 76. Dawson’s nine Grand Prix points improved his scoring total by five, to the same 76 points as Tompkins. The tiebreaker was head-to-head competition, and Tompkins has never lost to Dawson, thereby winning his third Grand Prix title.

Dawson wasn’t disappointed, though, as his official time of 17:00 was a lifetime PR, bettering the 17:04 he had run at Governor’s Land, and he has PR’d in every race this fall in his best year ever. In addition, Dawson’s times on the printing timer tapes showed Dawson’s times as 16:59.42 and 16:59.46, so technically he finished under 17 minutes. Times on certified courses are rounded up to the nearest second, according to USATF policy. And to add to his impressive finish, Dawson’s “chip time”, the time he took from crossing the starting time to crossing the finish line was 16:57. Those chip times for all runners are listed on the CRR website at

If Dawson had finished one place higher in any of his scoring races, he would have won the Grand Prix. And if he had run just six seconds faster at Sleighbell, he would have won the Grand Prix. But as long-time William and Mary track and cross country coach Roy Chernock was fond of saying, “Would’ves, could’ves and should’ves don’t count.” But look for the rapidly improving Dawson to make some more waves in 2011. He started out 2010 running an 18:53 at the Jamestown Swamp Run 5K, and finished the year running 17:04 and 17:00.

D.J. Moniak (17:15) and Patrick Cunningham (17:18) were third and fourth.

Steve Chantry, the 2006 Grand Prix champion, also in contention for the Grand Prix title, was in Florida with his family, so couldn’t run Sleighbell, and took third with 69 points for the Grand Prix overall category.

The men’s Masters title (ages 40-and-over) was a three-way battle among Daniel Shaye (24 points), Steve Menzies (23) and Paul Pelletier (22), going into Sleighbell. Shaye was primed to win until a hamstring pull around two miles (see Shaye’s medical column in this issue for more details) forced him to run the final mile backwards. Menzies took advantage of that to run 17:49 to Pelletier’s 18:24, winning the Masters title with 27 points, to Pelletier’s 25 and Shaye’s 24.

In the women’s race, Jami Brayton won her first CRR race ever with a time of 20:08, followed by Connie Glueck (21:14), Elizabeth Ransom (21:28) and sister Mary Ransom (21:52).

In the women’s Grand Prix, Jennifer Quarles had already won her sixth title (2003-06 and ’09-10) with 90 points, with Glueck second (76) and Amber Lewis third (65). Mary Beth Bird had already clinched the women’s Masters title with 28 points.

There were 10 men’s and four women’s Sleighbell age-group records broken—Joe Parfitt (14-and-under, 21:33), D.J. Moniak (15-19, 17:15), Paul Smartschan (30-34, 17:39), Mark Tompkins (35-39, 16:55), Kevin Kilkenny (40-44, 22:28), Dawson (45-49, 17:00), Jim Thornton (55-59, 19:28), Rick Platt (60-64, 19:38), Kenneth Mitchell (65-69, 21:55), Tom Gerhardt (walk, 29:37), Emily Honeycutt (women 15-19, 22:30), Rachel Swift (30-34, 24:52), Mary Ransom (40-44, 21:52), and Ann Hirn (65-69, 25:17).

The leading race walkers were Tom Gerhardt (29:37), Scott Stakes (30:29), Rich Higgins (31:52), George Fenigsohn (33:30), Jeff Fry (36:42) and Richard Luzinski (38:31) for the men. Leading the women were Robin Land (37:27), Sylvia Garcia (37:38), Sandy Conte (38:45) and Kelly Crumpler (39:55). On an age-graded basis the top walkers were Tom Gerhardt (75.01%), George Fenigsohn (69.05%), Rich Higgins (68.41%), Scott Stakes (65.61%) and Sylvia Garcia (64.22%).

Confessions of a Hamstring Strategist

by Dr. Daniel Shaye, Chiropractic Physician

They say confession is good for the soul. By confessing, we not only cleanse our own soul, but also may help others who suffer. So, I confess: I AM A HAMSTRING STRATEGIST. I may always be a hamstring strategist; and thus I must be ever mindful, ever wary. My disease may or may not be curable, yet it can be managed. I can live, and run, despite it.

What is this terrible flaw, this condition so dark you may never have heard of it? You see, when some runners run, we straighten out our back knee on push-off as we over-use our hamstrings to extend the thigh. In my case, my hip flexors are happy to let the hamstrings do the hard work until, overloaded and overworked, a hamstring says: I quit! It's not that my hamstrings are weak (though they are weaker than I'd prefer); it's that my form tends to overuse them, until one or the other suddenly and painfully gives out.

I first learned of my non-fatal flaw over the Summer of 2010, and immediately began implementing the mantra of the hamstring strategist: 1. Stop stretching the quads and hip flexors (an overstretched muscle is an inhibited, underactive muscle); and 2. Practice activating the hip flexors. Stopping the stretching was harder than it seemed-- I do it constantly, and actually had built some pride in having an area of exceptional flexibility (as opposed to many other areas of my frame). Activating the hip flexors was easier: I had a myriad of exercises at the gym to accomplish that, and it was something I could focus on with every step I ran-- though initially it felt very odd, stiff, and counter-productive to lift my knees rather than attempting to bound forward with long, distance-devouring strides. If I hadn't seen a picture of marathon world-record-holder Paula Radcliffe, I might have dismissed the new form altogether. What I saw Paula doing caught my attention: Her back (push-off) knee doesn't straighten like mine prefers to, yet she manages a very quick and efficient cadence; and her 2:15:25 marathon clearly says, "Doing it this way works." I decided that until I'm running 16:02 5K's for the full marathon, perhaps what Paula does might be the better path. I immersed myself in the life of the Recovering Hamstring Strategist.

Over time, I actually came to embrace my new form... began running well... and then I did what addicts, sinners, and hamstring strategists alike will do: I got sloppy. I stopped doing my exercises. I took for granted that I was meant to be a runner-- a good, competitive runner even. I paid the logical price of pride and inattention: A late December relapse (see "Author's addendum" below).

When a competent health care professional helps you spot a flaw or impediment to your performance, it behooves you to listen and take action. It's amazing to me how much I've learned from my formal training as a doctor of chiropractic with advanced certification in sports, plus all my clinical experience, plus all my athletic experience-- and yet I still manage to get sloppy, to overlook the obvious, and to return to old patterns if I am not vigilant. I suspect that I'm not alone in failing to convincingly learn from each mistake. I hope that I can inspire not only by doing and teaching and embodying good habits, but also by sharing my failures and errors; for though one's own painful mistakes offer potent lessons, sometimes-- just sometimes-- we can and do learn from someone else's mistakes. Life is a process and a journey, much like running. Perhaps we'll never fully "learn" all the lessons, whether on the run or in relationships or in business and the many paths of our years; yet as we age, we may also mature and grow stronger, better, wiser-- together. Perhaps we might also grow more peaceful, happy, or both. These would seem to be steps in the right direction-- regardless of whether the hamstrings or hip flexors predominate.

I'll see you on the roads and trails, my friends.

-Dr. Daniel A. Shaye
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician
Fellow, International Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Author's addendum: The photo is not a picture of the author running away; it is instead a picture of him finishing the Sentara Sleighbell 5K backwards, after pulling a hamstring at mile 2 1/4 made forward running impossible.

Do you have a question you'd like answered? Mail your questions c/o Performance Chiropractic1307 Jamestown Road, Ste. 103, Williamsburg, VA 23185; e-mail; or visit

What's The Big Idea?

by Sally Young


Finally. After a year of struggling with sleep, getting far fewer hours than I needed, I dragged my exhausted, volatile self to a sleep specialist. When I heard his plan, to restrict my sleep to even less, I experienced asensation that I imagine is what a werewolf feels on the night of a full moon.

If werewolves are a metaphor for a loss of identity, running restores it. The focus and mindfulness of running ablates stress as it re-energizes, and muscle contractile properties aren't affected by lost sleep. Paradoxically, sleep flunkies aren¹t sleepy; they're in a state of hyperarousal - as long as there are distractions. The default condition is slack-jawed stupor.

I was diagnosed with primary insomnia. It's not a physical or mental condition, like apnea or depression. It's a disorganization of the processes intrinsic to sleep, eg, melatonin, body temperature, cortisol. And while sleep restriction works for some, I found myself losing the will to live. What helped was converting my bedroom to hibernation cold and dark, and establishing consistent, calming, evening activities that would trigger Pavlonian cues for bedtime. No computers, television or eating before bed. Meditation classes showed me how to relax and quiet mental chatter.

The University of Virginia has designed an "Internet intervention for adults with insomnia" called Sleep Healthy Using the Internet. Not yet available to the public, you can stay informed about upcoming trials. Go to


Side stitches are the painful cramps runners get under the ribs, usually during final miles. It's reasonable to think that the jostling of major organs against the diaphragm is the cause, but swimmers get them too. In fact, "exercise related transient abdominal pain" occurs in all sports, and in pregnancy.

The inconsistency of occurrence precludes most advice about food, fluids, stretching, posture, breathing, and core strengthening. "Cecal slap" whereby the cecum, the lower part of the ascending colon, bruises against the abdominal wall with each right foot strike as the runner exhales is also incongruent with an otherwise routine rhythm of running without incident.
The only certainty about side stitches is that they occur less often as we age.

The diaphragm is a flat muscular membrane that is part of respiration. It may be that the hard, amplified strain of breathing near the finish is coupled with added mental stressors, causes the diaphragm to spasm.

Regardless of the cause, to alleviate the pain, try cupping the hand on the side that hurts, and push the fingers deep under the ribs into the spot that hurts. Breathe all the way out. Still hurts? Try laughing, which relaxes and loosens the diaphragm.