All posts by rclements

Easy Way to Prevent Blisters: Surgical Tape

Pretty interesting article…………

By: Maggie Fox

“Is there anything worse than getting a blister on the 25th mile?

OK, maybe not everyone is an ultramarathoner. But doctors who got sick and tired of treating runners’ blisters say they have a cheap and easy solution for them — and for those of us stupid enough to wear new shoes to work without socks: paper tape.

It’s the stuff sold in drugstores to hold on gauze, and it’s as thin and flimsy as the name implies.

It turns out this thin, easy-to-tear tape works better to prevent blisters than powders, antiperspirants, lubricants, Band-Aids or adhesive pads, said Dr. Grant Lipman, an emergency medicine physician at Stanford Health Care in California.

Lipman helps endurance athletes who run 25 to 50 miles a day in all sorts of climates, from the high desert of Chile to Antarctica.

They are, unsurprisingly, plagued by blisters.

“What I kept hearing was, ‘Doctor, I’d be doing so well, if only for my feet,'” Lipman said in a statement.

“Their feet were getting decimated.”

But he had heard rumors that paper tape helped. So he and colleagues tested the idea using 128 runners participating in the 155-mile, seven-day RacingThePlanet ultramarathon event that crosses terrain from Jordan’s rock-strewn wastes to the Gobi Desert.

They had trained medical technicians put paper tape on just one of each runner’s feet.

No blisters formed on the feet of 98 of the runners where the tape had been applied, they reported in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. But 81 runners did get blisters in untaped areas.

“It’s kind of a ridiculously cheap, easy method of blister prevention,” Lipman said. “You can get it anywhere. A little roll costs about 69 cents, and that should last a year or two.”

The stuff is thin enough so that it doesn’t interfere with the shoe’s fit and it’s comfortable, he added.”

Loudon Heights Hiking

My wife and I packed up the gear and loaded the two dogs into the car early on Saturday morning.  We were headed out to do a 6 mile hike from Harpers Ferry up to Loudon Heights and back down.

We arrived at the parking lot on Shenandoah St around 8am and were one of the first few cars to grab a spot (this parking lot does fill up later in the morning, especially on a nice day).

Take a left out of the parking lot and follow the bridge, crossing the Shenandoah River on US340.  Once across the bridge, you work your way down and under before starting the hike upwards.  From here, you will climb around 800 ft to one of the first great views of the trip as you look down on the Potomac River at the power-line clear cut.  From here, you will descend before working back up to the summit of Loudon Heights.

The total gain is around 1,644 ft, but the views are worth it!!

Loudon Heights Elevation
Loudon Heights Elevation
Summit of Loudon Heights



January Blues?

I can’t say that January is one of my favorite months of the year, but there are ways to make the most of it.  Here in Maryland, its cold, bleak, and sometimes snowy.  The holiday highs are over and the long trek to warmer months begins.

January is a time that many try to get back on track with their fitness, but motivation can be tough when its dark and cold, and the dreadful treadmill is the only thing calling your name.  Here are some suggestions (other than the treadmill) that help me get through the dreaded winter months while building my base of fitness for the upcoming months of running

  • Explore new trails:  The winter months are a great chance to explore new areas in preparation for longer runs in the warmer months.  You will find much less trail traffic and the decreased foliage provides you with better vantage points for exploration.
  • Hike it out:  Take some time during the cold days to get outside but focus on shorter hiking.
  • Test out new gear:  The winter months are a great time to dial in the gear you will be using for the races or adventures you may have planned in the spring and summer.
  • Sign up for a winter/early spring race:  There is no better motivation than having a race looming in the near future.
  • Cross-Train: Take your mind off running for a while and move your body in different ways. Find your weaknesses but work on your strengths, and always keep an eye toward your future goals.



Stone Mill 50 Mile Race Recap

On Saturday November 14, 2015 I ran my first 50 Mile Ultra-marathon.  The race was a culmination of hundreds of miles of training but in reality meant so much more.  I have been dreaming and thinking about running a 50 mile race for years and on Saturday I made that goal a reality.

As with most ultras, it was an early start to the day.  I luckily had the ability to sleep in my own bed the night before the race (not that it helped with sleep).  When the alarm sounded at 3:45 I was already awake and ready to get moving.  I arrived at the start with plenty of time to get the gear together and go through the pre-race routines.

Like most ultras, the start was pretty uneventful.  As runners gathered and chatted among friends, the countdown began and we were off.

I had a pre-race plan of letting the day come to me and taking things slowly.  I was very calculated in the risks I was willing to take.  The day could not have unfolded any better.  I have been in a world of hurt in other ultras and given the fact this was my first 50 mile race, I was very concerned about having similar issues.  Luckily, I did not.

For fueling I used a combination of Tailwind Nutrition and Ensure.  Over the last few races I have switched to almost all liquids for caloric intake during training and racing.  I have found that the liquids are much easier on my stomach.  I carried two 24 ounce bottles, one with water and one with Tailwind nutrition.  At each of the aid stations, I would swap out my bottles.  It was an easy routine and made it very simple to get in and out of aid stations without having to think about what I was going to eat or drink.  I had the luxury of having my wife help as my crew.  She would wait at the next aid station and have my bottles already set up.  It was an unmeasurable help!!  As a side note, for those who have not used Tailwind, you are missing the boat big time!!  Please go give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

The course set up had an aid station placed about every 6-8 miles.  Mentally, the focus was to take each section at a time and run to the next aid station.  I really tried not to think about the mileage as a big number, but rather broke it down into the mileage until the next aid station.  The miles clicked off much faster than I imagined they would and before I knew it I was less than a mile from the finish.

The best part of the day was the last mile.  Not only because I knew my goal of running 50 miles was almost complete, but I ran it with my wife.  I had asked her to come meet me for the last mile so we could run in together.  It was the perfect culmination of an amazing day.  We were able to share the last mile of an incredible journey together.

Looking back I had a few goal before coming into the race:

1: Finish

2: Feel good for as long as possible

3: Finish under 12 hours

I feel so lucky and am so thankful to have been able to achieve all three of my goals.   My finishing time was 10:30:40.



November Recap

Another months in the books.   Here is a recap of my mileage in November.


  • 86.00 Miles
  • 16:33:37 Hours


  • 50.20 Miles
  • 4:21:28 Hours


  • 6.08 Miles
  • 3:16:53 Hours


  • 245.19 Miles
  • 31:57:40 Hours

October Recap

Another months in the books.   October was a focus month for my first 50 Mile race attempt upcoming in November.  I worked on getting out on the trails for some longer mileage and time on my feet.  I feel ready to rock for the Stone Mill 50 Miler in November!!


  • 118.7 Miles
  • 22:01:46 Hours


  • 42.2 Miles
  • 2:31:07 Hours


  • 0.00 Miles
  • 0.00 Hours


  • 160.9 Miles
  • 24:32:53 Hours

September Recap

Another months in the books.   Here is a recap of my mileage in September.  After having raced in August, September was a month to unwind and relax before ramping up for my first 50 mile attempt in November.


  • 82.7 Miles
  • 15:39:33 Hours


  • 49.6 Miles
  • 3:16:56 Hours


  • 0.00 Miles
  • 0.00 Hours


  • 132.30 Miles
  • 18:56:29 Hours

August Recap

Another months in the books.   August was a hot one!!  Here is a recap of my mileage in August.


  • 137.45 Miles
  • 29:45:52 Hours


  • 0.00 Miles
  • 0.00 Hours


  • 0.46 Miles
  • 0:14:23 Hours


  • 137.91 Miles
  • 30:00:15 Hours

Where does the time go, July Recap

Another months in the books.   Here is a recap of my mileage in July.  With a few upcoming races in August (MD Heat Race 50k and the Megatransect) I tried to dial in my running mileage this month.    Although July was a scorcher in MD, with hot temps and high humilities, I was able to get in some really solid long runs.  I feel ready to rock for what will be a race-centric month of August.


  • 103.55 Miles
  • 19:03:24 Hours


  • 132.2 Miles
  • 8:05:42 Hours


  • 9.44 Miles
  • 4:48:34 Hours


  • 245.19 Miles
  • 31:57:40 Hours

June Recap

Monthly June Recap.  Although still working through some nagging tendentious from early in the year, I have begun to add back in some longer runs in preparation for two 50k’s in August.  The weather has been hot and humid in Maryland, but the longer days have provided some beautiful training conditions.


  • 80 Miles
  • 14:45:40 Hours


  • 229.80 Miles
  • 13:46:13 Hours


  • 7.39 Miles
  • 3:50:43 Hours


  • 317.19 Miles
  • 32:22:36 Hours