I have had my Sole F85 treadmill for a couple years now. And after about 1700 miles of running, the bearings on the rear roller were starting to make some really scary noises. I called Sole, and they sent me a new roller under warranty. I replaced the roller and made a how-to video in the process.

But since I had the old roller, I decided to have some fun, and replace the bad bearings in that, and make a new video. The bearings in the rollers were labelled at 6203Z. I did some research on bearings and found many cheap Chinese bearings, but many reviews said they were junk. I found some Nachi brand bears that were made in Japan, and these had very good reviews. So I bought these off of eBay for under $6 each and free shipping. I installed these bearings in the old roller and installed it on my treadmill making another how-to video in the process.

I enjoy fixing things. And I also enjoying making videos. I hope these videos help people with treadmills. Enjoy!

The Wakely Dam Ultra is a 32.6 mile race along the Northville-Placid Trail in the Adirondacks. The trail is very rough and includes a variety of terrain including rocks, roots, mud, creek and stream crossings, bogs, blowdown, etc. And there is no support. There are no aid stations. You bring your own food and water, and refill out of streams. There aren’t even any crossroads. There is nothing but trail from the start almost to the finish. And there are no DNFs unless you make your own way out or are rescued.
My week preceding Wakely Dam was spent camping in a tent with my wife and dog in several locations around the Adirondacks. It was a hot and humid week, and the weather was very wearing. Fortunately, the hot nights on an air mattress in a tent hadn’t beat me up as much as I thought it might.
We arrived at Wakely Dam on Friday morning. I had run Wakely three times previously, but we had stayed at the Irondequoit Inn near the start line. This was going to be our first time staying at the finish line, and my taking the bus to the start. But this allowed us to bring our dog Issa which was great.
Due to the dam being rebuilt, many of the camping spots were not useable. I wasn’t sure exactly where we were allowed to set up the tent. We found a spot under some tree cover tucked back behind another tent, and set up there. We hoped it would be okay. We unloaded some of our stuff, and then headed off to the nearby Barton Garnet Mine to collect garnets. It wasn’t that far away. We stopped at a small store on the way back, and picked up a sub sandwich for me to eat in the morning.
When we got back more people had shown up. I found Kim and Doug, the race directors and said hi. My wife and I had planned to go into Indian Lake to find dinner, but found that as part of the race, we were getting a nice pasta dinner. Sweet! We spent the rest of the day and evening talking with people and enjoying the excellent dinner. I also got all my race stuff ready for the morning. My friend Steve showed up late in the evening. He went to get his stuff set up. He said he’d be back, but then I felt exhausted. The heat and all of the travelling (and rock collecting) really takes it’s toll. I headed off to bed. I set the alarm clock on my cell phone to 3:50am. There was no cell service here, but I figured the alarm clock would work. I woke up at 12:30am needing to go the bathroom, but I thought I could hold it. I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 1am and decided to hit the outhouse. I got dressed and walked to the outhouse and was surprised to find someone was already in there. So I waited. Afterwards, I felt much better. I went back to tent and fell asleep quickly. I woke occasionally, checked the time, and went back to sleep. I woke up and the phone said it was 3:58am. So much for the phone’s alarm feature. (the alarm did eventually go off…on Monday morning.)
I drank some Diet Pepsi, and started getting dressed. I ate some of my sub sandwich. I wasn’t very hungry, but knew I needed to eat. I maybe ate 3 inches of the 12 inch sub. I wrapped up the remaining 3 inches and tucked it into my lumbar pack for the race. At Wakely Dam 2009, I enjoyed half a sub at around the 16 mile mark. I filled my two bottles with Gatorade and stuff them into my lumbar pack. I sprayed myself liberally with Deep Woods Off bug repellent. I said goodbye to my wife, and headed for the bus. I think they were serving breakfast, but I missed this. We found out there was a headlight issue with regular bus, so we had two replacement buses. I rode on the bus talking with my friend Steve, but eventually need to snooze for a few. I managed to sleep for a few minutes, and that helped a little. As we were leaving the bus, I found I only had one of my 16 oz water bottles in my pack. I searched around the bus to see if it had fallen out, but couldn’t find it. (I found out later it had fallen out just outside our tent.) Oh well, I guess I would have to make do with a single bottle. I would just need to stop more frequently. But with my Steripen, I could have drinkable water within a minute of refilling my bottle. I made a couple last minute trips to the woods empty my bladder. We lined up for photos. I asked RD Doug if maybe he had a spare bottle. He found a half empty 20oz bottled water. He topped it off for me. Cool! This would come in handy later!
We made our way to the start. After a few words and a countdown, we were off. I planned to take it easy and run this as a fun run. I was going to run 3 minutes, and walk 2 minutes, and repeat for the duration. I started my mp3 player and listened to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows audiobook. Last time I ran this, my mp3 player battery ran out short of the finish. I turned the volume down a little hoping to make it last the whole way.
I passed some slower runners, and let the faster runners go. I was in no hurry. I was just going to enjoy the trail and my audiobook. Within a few miles, I was mostly running alone. I would occasionally have someone pass me, or I would pass someone. I didn’t spend much time talking with other runners this year, preferring to just listen to Harry Potter and run in my own little bubble.
The deer flies were awful!! They started biting me almost immediately. I was wearing a hit, and they were biting me through the hat. I had sprayed myself with Deep Woods Off, but maybe this had won off already.
The creeks and streams were running low or non existent this year. Where there were water sources in previous years, were now dry stream beds. I was thankful to have two bottles! It was a hot day and I was drinking lots. When I needed water, I would stop and fill the widemouth 16oz bottle from a stream or lake. Then I would use my Steripen for 45 seconds to sterilize the water. I carried iodine tablets as backup, but never needed them. I would drop in some Gatorade powder which I packed in 35mm film canisters. I took Carb Boom gels ever 5 miles or so along with some water. I occasionally munched on some Fig Newtons or cookies that I packed.
I had run this trail three times before. The terrain was the same mix of rocks, roots, stream crossings, overgrown trail sections, mud, swamp, board walks, etc. The mud was less nasty than previous years, but still there. I took a nasty fall at one point where my shoe snagged a root. I landed on a bush, and narrowly missed my head crashing into a small boulder.
Around the 10 mile mark, I was getting tired of warm water and warm Gatorade. Even directly from the streams, the water wasn’t that cold. I started craving an ice cold Diet Pepsi. I kept looking at my watch and counting down the time until I could drink an ice cold pop! I was even debating whether to stop by our tent and grab one before I hit the finish line. Ice cold Diet Pepsi. It became almost a fantasy. These cravings got stronger throughout the day.
There were a couple bridges out. At the West Canada Creek, which is shortly before the halfway point, the bridge was out. They had ropes out to help people cross, but the water was so low, you could just walk across the rocks. In previous weeks, you would have had to wade through thigh deep water. There was a ranger waiting here to make sure everyone was okay. There was another bridge out a few miles later. But they had a temporary bridge just off to the right. I heard that some people didn’t see that bridge, and waded through the water.
The course always seems a little different every time I have run it. Some parts are very familiar, but then other parts seem completely new, like I had never seen them before. I could have sworn the course leveled out sooner at towards the end. Maybe that was just wishful thinking.
I took some pictures along the way. Afterwards, I have always wished I had taken more. Maybe if I run it next year, I will take my time, and take lots more pictures.
It was very warm, even under the tree cover. At one point, the trail parallels a river. I don’t know what river, but I have passed it every year. I stopped at the river to refill my water bottles. Then I took a minute to dunk my head in the water. It wasn’t really very cold, but it felt nice anyway. I considered climbing in and soaking for a bit to cool myself off, but I didn’t.
While running I caught up with a girl, and was running behind her. After a bit, I wanted to get around her. I quietly said “boo” to let her know I was there, and she jumped about a foot. I apologized for scaring her so much. She let me by.
About 4.5 miles from the finish, I came to a turn in the course, and there was a ranger there. I stopped and talked to him for a bit. I asked him if he had any bug repellent I could use. He did. I sprayed it on my head and neck. The girl I had passed caught up. I asked her to take a photo of me with the ranger which she did. She took off running, and I was soon behind her again. Again I quiet said “boo” and again she jumped. I laughed and told her that she had to have known I was right behind her as we had just left the ranger. I passed her, and then another runner or two.
Soon I came to the stop sign, and was on the final road (Moose River Recreation Area road?) to the finish. The course description says this is less than a mile. But that is an evil lie written by bad people. It is longer than a mile. And when you run it, you keep thinking that Wakely Dam will be visible around the next turn, or over the next hill. But then there is just another turn or hill. (According to Google Maps, it’s about 1.4 miles from getting onto the road until you cross the dam). I kept looking behind me on this road when I took my walk breaks to see if someone was coming up from behind to pass me. While I wasn’t too concerned about placing, I didn’t really want to be passed in the last mile either. My Garmin 305 started flashing low battery. What the heck? After only a little over 8 hours?
Finally I was coming to the finish. There was someone taking pictures at the gate. And there was the finishing chute. I was running towards that when my dog came out to run with me. She ran with me the last 50 feet or so to the finish. I petted her. I crossed the line in 8:23:32. I had hoped to finished under 8 hours. Maybe on a cooler day.
RD Doug offered me a bottle of water. No thank you! DIET PEPSI!!! I got a can of Diet Pepsi from the cooler and it was gone almost immediately. Probably within 30 minutes of my crossing the finish, I drank three Diet Pepsis and a root beer.
I was tired, so I went and took a short 30 or 45 minute nap in the tent.
When I got up again, I grabbed a towel, and headed to the lake and scrubbed off the mud and even swam around a little bit. Then I headed back to the camp and sat, ate, drank, talked, and cheered on more finishers. I even got a short video clip of my friend Steve crossing the finish line. We heard one runner suffered from heat exhaustion and was be brought out by canoe. Another runner got 5 miles in, and wasn’t feeling well, and returned to the start. And yet another runner rolled his ankle only a couple miles in, yet finished the remaining 30 miles. His ankle looked nasty and swollen.
We spent the rest of the day just relaxing. We went to bed early and crashed.
We got up the next morning and a few tents were already gone. We started packing up our stuff, said our goodbyes, and made our way home. After a week of camping in a tent, it was nice to be home.

The Wakely Dam Ultra is a 32.6 mile race along the Northville-Placid Trail in the Adirondacks. The trail is very rough and includes a variety of terrain including rocks, roots, mud, creek and stream crossings, bogs, blowdown, etc. And there is no support. There are no aid stations. You bring your own food and water, and refill out of streams. There aren’t even any crossroads. There is nothing but trail from the start almost to the finish. And there are no DNFs unless you make your own way out or are rescued.
My week preceding Wakely Dam was spent camping in a tent with my wife and dog in several locations around the Adirondacks. It was a hot and humid week, and the weather was very wearing. Fortunately, the hot nights on an air mattress in a tent hadn’t beat me up as much as I thought it might.
We arrived at Wakely Dam on Friday morning. I had run Wakely three times previously, but we had stayed at the Irondequoit Inn near the start line. This was going to be our first time staying at the finish line, and my taking the bus to the start. But this allowed us to bring our dog Issa which was great.
Due to the dam being rebuilt, many of the camping spots were not useable. I wasn’t sure exactly where we were allowed to set up the tent. We found a spot under some tree cover tucked back behind another tent, and set up there. We hoped it would be okay. We unloaded some of our stuff, and then headed off to the nearby Barton Garnet Mine to collect garnets. It wasn’t that far away. We stopped at a small store on the way back, and picked up a sub sandwich for me to eat in the morning.
When we got back more people had shown up. I found Kim and Doug, the race directors and said hi. My wife and I had planned to go into Indian Lake to find dinner, but found that as part of the race, we were getting a nice pasta dinner. Sweet! We spent the rest of the day and evening talking with people and enjoying the excellent dinner. I also got all my race stuff ready for the morning. My friend Steve showed up late in the evening. He went to get his stuff set up. He said he’d be back, but then I felt exhausted. The heat and all of the travelling (and rock collecting) really takes it’s toll. I headed off to bed. I set the alarm clock on my cell phone to 3:50am. There was no cell service here, but I figured the alarm clock would work. I woke up at 12:30am needing to go the bathroom, but I thought I could hold it. I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 1am and decided to hit the outhouse. I got dressed and walked to the outhouse and was surprised to find someone was already in there. So I waited. Afterwards, I felt much better. I went back to tent and fell asleep quickly. I woke occasionally, checked the time, and went back to sleep. I woke up and the phone said it was 3:58am. So much for the phone’s alarm feature. (the alarm did eventually go off…on Monday morning.)
I drank some Diet Pepsi, and started getting dressed. I ate some of my sub sandwich. I wasn’t very hungry, but knew I needed to eat. I maybe ate 3 inches of the 12 inch sub. I wrapped up the remaining 3 inches and tucked it into my lumbar pack for the race. At Wakely Dam 2009, I enjoyed half a sub at around the 16 mile mark. I filled my two bottles with Gatorade and stuff them into my lumbar pack. I sprayed myself liberally with Deep Woods Off bug repellent. I said goodbye to my wife, and headed for the bus. I think they were serving breakfast, but I missed this. We found out there was a headlight issue with regular bus, so we had two replacement buses. I rode on the bus talking with my friend Steve, but eventually need to snooze for a few. I managed to sleep for a few minutes, and that helped a little. As we were leaving the bus, I found I only had one of my 16 oz water bottles in my pack. I searched around the bus to see if it had fallen out, but couldn’t find it. (I found out later it had fallen out just outside our tent.) Oh well, I guess I would have to make do with a single bottle. I would just need to stop more frequently. But with my Steripen, I could have drinkable water within a minute of refilling my bottle. I made a couple last minute trips to the woods empty my bladder. We lined up for photos. I asked RD Doug if maybe he had a spare bottle. He found a half empty 20oz bottled water. He topped it off for me. Cool! This would come in handy later!
We made our way to the start. After a few words and a countdown, we were off. I planned to take it easy and run this as a fun run. I was going to run 3 minutes, and walk 2 minutes, and repeat for the duration. I started my mp3 player and listened to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows audiobook. Last time I ran this, my mp3 player battery ran out short of the finish. I turned the volume down a little hoping to make it last the whole way.
I passed some slower runners, and let the faster runners go. I was in no hurry. I was just going to enjoy the trail and my audiobook. Within a few miles, I was mostly running alone. I would occasionally have someone pass me, or I would pass someone. I didn’t spend much time talking with other runners this year, preferring to just listen to Harry Potter and run in my own little bubble.
The deer flies were awful!! They started biting me almost immediately. I was wearing a hit, and they were biting me through the hat. I had sprayed myself with Deep Woods Off, but maybe this had won off already.
The creeks and streams were running low or non existent this year. Where there were water sources in previous years, were now dry stream beds. I was thankful to have two bottles! It was a hot day and I was drinking lots. When I needed water, I would stop and fill the widemouth 16oz bottle from a stream or lake. Then I would use my Steripen for 45 seconds to sterilize the water. I carried iodine tablets as backup, but never needed them. I would drop in some Gatorade powder which I packed in 35mm film canisters. I took Carb Boom gels ever 5 miles or so along with some water. I occasionally munched on some Fig Newtons or cookies that I packed.
I had run this trail three times before. The terrain was the same mix of rocks, roots, stream crossings, overgrown trail sections, mud, swamp, board walks, etc. The mud was less nasty than previous years, but still there. I took a nasty fall at one point where my shoe snagged a root. I landed on a bush, and narrowly missed my head crashing into a small boulder.
Around the 10 mile mark, I was getting tired of warm water and warm Gatorade. Even directly from the streams, the water wasn’t that cold. I started craving an ice cold Diet Pepsi. I kept looking at my watch and counting down the time until I could drink an ice cold pop! I was even debating whether to stop by our tent and grab one before I hit the finish line. Ice cold Diet Pepsi. It became almost a fantasy. These cravings got stronger throughout the day.
There were a couple bridges out. At the West Canada Creek, which is shortly before the halfway point, the bridge was out. They had ropes out to help people cross, but the water was so low, you could just walk across the rocks. In previous weeks, you would have had to wade through thigh deep water. There was a ranger waiting here to make sure everyone was okay. There was another bridge out a few miles later. But they had a temporary bridge just off to the right. I heard that some people didn’t see that bridge, and waded through the water.
The course always seems a little different every time I have run it. Some parts are very familiar, but then other parts seem completely new, like I had never seen them before. I could have sworn the course leveled out sooner at towards the end. Maybe that was just wishful thinking.
I took some pictures along the way. Afterwards, I have always wished I had taken more. Maybe if I run it next year, I will take my time, and take lots more pictures.
It was very warm, even under the tree cover. At one point, the trail parallels a river. I don’t know what river, but I have passed it every year. I stopped at the river to refill my water bottles. Then I took a minute to dunk my head in the water. It wasn’t really very cold, but it felt nice anyway. I considered climbing in and soaking for a bit to cool myself off, but I didn’t.
While running I caught up with a girl, and was running behind her. After a bit, I wanted to get around her. I quietly said “boo” to let her know I was there, and she jumped about a foot. I apologized for scaring her so much. She let me by.
About 4.5 miles from the finish, I came to a turn in the course, and there was a ranger there. I stopped and talked to him for a bit. I asked him if he had any bug repellent I could use. He did. I sprayed it on my head and neck. The girl I had passed caught up. I asked her to take a photo of me with the ranger which she did. She took off running, and I was soon behind her again. Again I quiet said “boo” and again she jumped. I laughed and told her that she had to have known I was right behind her as we had just left the ranger. I passed her, and then another runner or two.
Soon I came to the stop sign, and was on the final road (Moose River Recreation Area road?) to the finish. The course description says this is less than a mile. But that is an evil lie written by bad people. It is longer than a mile. And when you run it, you keep thinking that Wakely Dam will be visible around the next turn, or over the next hill. But then there is just another turn or hill. (According to Google Maps, it’s about 1.4 miles from getting onto the road until you cross the dam). I kept looking behind me on this road when I took my walk breaks to see if someone was coming up from behind to pass me. While I wasn’t too concerned about placing, I didn’t really want to be passed in the last mile either. My Garmin 305 started flashing low battery. What the heck? After only a little over 8 hours?
Finally I was coming to the finish. There was someone taking pictures at the gate. And there was the finishing chute. I was running towards that when my dog came out to run with me. She ran with me the last 50 feet or so to the finish. I petted her. I crossed the line in 8:23:32. I had hoped to finished under 8 hours. Maybe on a cooler day.
RD Doug offered me a bottle of water. No thank you! DIET PEPSI!!! I got a can of Diet Pepsi from the cooler and it was gone almost immediately. Probably within 30 minutes of my crossing the finish, I drank three Diet Pepsis and a root beer.
I was tired, so I went and took a short 30 or 45 minute nap in the tent.
When I got up again, I grabbed a towel, and headed to the lake and scrubbed off the mud and even swam around a little bit. Then I headed back to the camp and sat, ate, drank, talked, and cheered on more finishers. I even got a short video clip of my friend Steve crossing the finish line. We heard one runner suffered from heat exhaustion and was be brought out by canoe. Another runner got 5 miles in, and wasn’t feeling well, and returned to the start. And yet another runner rolled his ankle only a couple miles in, yet finished the remaining 30 miles. His ankle looked nasty and swollen.
We spent the rest of the day just relaxing. We went to bed early and crashed.
We got up the next morning and a few tents were already gone. We started packing up our stuff, said our goodbyes, and made our way home. After a week of camping in a tent, it was nice to be home.

I hadn’t planned on running this marathon. But a friend of mine emailed me a little over a month before the race, and said they were looking for pacers. He knew I was an experienced pacer. I told him to go ahead and pass on my name. But I didn’t hear anything back. I thought about emailing the guy directly, but decided that it wasn’t a big deal if I ran it or not. It actually conflicted with my training if I ran it too hard. But I have a warm place in my heart for the Buffalo Marathon. It was the second marathon I ran, and my first decent performance for a marathon. And they also used my picture in their magazine ad which appeared in Runner’s World and Running Times. And as of this writing, they are still using my picture on their website.
But about a week before the marathon, I was contacted about being a pacer. He asked what paces I would be interested in running. I told him I could pace a 1:45 or slower half, or maybe a 4:15 or slower full. He gave me several options, and I went with leading the 4:30 pace group.
On race day morning, I got up at 3am, finished getting my stuff together, and drove from Rochester to Buffalo. I parked in a parking garage, and walked to the expo building. I picked up my pacer’s bag, and also the bag with my race shirt, and the various freebees. Then I went back to my car. I was going to pin my bib # to my shirt, but I didn’t get a bib. Hmmm. And no timing chip. I did get a nice Buffalo Marathon Volunteer shirt with PACER printed on the back. I guessed the pacers here didn’t get bibs or chips. Weird, since the other three marathons I have paced, I got bibs and chips. I did pin my pace chart to the front of my shirt. Hmmm. I still have some time to kill, so I took a nap in my car.
After waking from my nap, I changed into the rest of my running gear, and headed towards the start area. I used the porta-potties. Then I entered the coral, found my spot, and held up my 2:15/4:30 pace sign. Slowly people migrated towards me, and some asked questions about my pacing plan. I told them I was going to try to run even paced. I said that at the aid stations, I would grab Gatorade and or water, and just passed the aid station, walk while I drank. It was going to be a warm day, so I encouraged them to drink lots. While we were waiting to start, my buddy Al found me and said hi, before heading further forward in line. He was going to try to run a 4:10 marathon. Go Al!
They sang the national anthems of Canada and the USA, and then we were off. It was a slow walk towards the start line, I started my Garmin as we crossed, and then we were off. My Garmin 305 was giving me funky numbers while surrounded by all the buildings. There was no way were running near 4:00 minute/miles! LOL! I ran at what I estimated to be about 10:00 minute/miles. One of the people with a foot pod, said we were right on pace. Shortly after the start, after the crowd started spreading out a little, I chucked the sign. As we passed the first mile marker, we were a five or ten seconds ahead of pace. I said we would slow to a walk for a few. That’s what we ended up doing the whole way. If we were ahead of pace at the mile marker, we would walk for however many seconds we were ahead of pace. The course was pretty crowded at first, but slowly spread out. I had a good group of people for the first half. Along the way, I told jokes, or recounted funny stories, or talked about races I had done. Just before the halfway point, the half marathoners split off to run to their finish, and the full marathoners turned right followed by a couple more quick turns. Most of my group disappeared at the halfway point, but I still had a four five people with me for the full. But most of these people slowed in the next few miles. I held pace, slowing to walk at the mile markers and aid stations. Eventually I had just one guy running with me. Around the 18 mile mark, he said he needed to slow down, and was going to try for 5 hours. I wished him luck and kept running. It was really getting hot. I drank more than usual at each aid station, and was pouring water over my head. People had hoses out in front of their houses, and were spraying runners, or they had their sprinklers out. I took advantage of these, and tried to cool down, while trying to keep my feet dry. The fire department also had some hoses set up to spray runners. My clothes were soaked, but that was okay. It was more from the hoses than from sweat.
The last quarter of the race, got pretty tough due to the heat. The heat and humidity were just draining on me. But I had a job to do. Even though I didn’t have any runners running with me, didn’t mean I could come off pace. People were still asking me what my pace was. I had a woman with the Team In Training group run with me for a bit. She would fall back some, or go ahead some. I had to tell her and another lady that she was running with for a bit, to move to the left side of the road, where the road was in the shade of the trees lining the road. Seemed pretty obvious to me, but they had been running along in the full heat of the sun, on the right side of the road.
As I approached the finish line, I slowed to a walk, and then jumped up and clicked my heels as I crossed the line. It felt very awkward, and lame, and spastic. I got some cheers and applause. But I saw pictures of my jump later, and it looked awesome. It looks like I am four or five feet off the ground. I stopped my Garmin at 4:29:11. Pretty close to my 4:30 goal time. I would rather be a little under, than over.
I got my medal and some water, and headed for the massage area. I was looking around for my buddy Al thinking he might be waiting around for me. But I didn’t see him. I later learned he finished about 20 minutes after me. Apparently I passed him around the 18 mile mark, but never saw him. He said he saw me go by. There was a line for the massages, so I waited. They ended up closing down the massage tent, and I was the last person to get one. I made my way back to my car. I called my wife to let her know how I did. I changed into dry clothes in my car.
On my way home I stopped at McDonalds to get a milk shake and some food. I find a milk shake is really good after a long hot run. The first McDonalds said their shake machine was down. This was after they had already taken my order. It took 10 minutes to get my money refunded. I drove to another McDonalds and got my food and milk shake.
After I got home, I emailed the guy who contacted me about leading a pace group. I gave him a short synopsis of the day, and let him know my finishing time. I never heard back.

I got a brochure for this RUNSMART/Buffalo Rehab Group in my race bag from the Buffalo Marathon. It sounded intriguing. They take video of you from different angles and then using some software called Dartfish, they slow it down, and can analyze it frame by frame, moving forwards and backwards, etc, and mark it all up with commentary. These guys are experts on running form, and can pinpoint various problems and inefficiencies in a person’s running form and tell them how to fix it.
I had a $75 Wellness Reimbursement from my work that I could use. That would take a bite out the cost of the RUNSMART service, so I decided to give it a shot. I could either get my video taken at a local Fleet Feet store, or I could go right to the Buffalo Rehab Group location and have them take it. It cost $80 more to have them take the video, but I decided it would probably be worth it, so they know more where I am coming from in my running background.
I made an appointment for 6:45pm on a Wednesday. They apparently do the videoing after regular hours. I left work a little early, and made the hour and a half drive to Buffalo. When I arrived at Buffalo Rehab Group, they had me fill out a form which included questions about race distances I have run, and paces, etc. Also there was a space for goals. So I filled out the form, and then sat reading a Reader’s Digest.
After a bit, Scott came and brought me back to the treadmill. The place was warm due to the hot weather, and their air conditioning having been removed that morning. I showed him the two pairs of running shoes I brought. He had me run in the K-Swiss Ultra Natural Runs, which are the shoes I train in. It was warm, so I chose to run with no shirt. He had me get on the treadmill, and he started me off at about 8:30 pace to get warmed up. Then he bumped it up to 7:30 minute/mile pace, and then shot video from different angles (back, side, front, back feet, front angled up). He gave me instructions to lean forward with my chest, and to drive with the knees. So I ran like this and he videoed me again from the side. This felt awkward. Then he had me run barefoot and he shot video of my feet from the back. And then we were done. I hadn’t run long, but I was dripping with sweat due to the heat and humidity. I drank some cold water, and but my t-shirt back on. I also changed back into my every day shoes.
I downloaded the video clips from his digital camera into a laptop computer. He commented that my running form was better than many of the people that came into the place. He said like 80% of the people were heel strikers. I knew I still had lots of running form problems, and I was right. My running form is still better than it was a couple years ago. I am a reformed heel striker. I now land on the forefoot. But watching the video, I still land with the foot slightly out in front of me. I knew I was doing weird stuff with my feet. But it turns out, it is mostly my right foot that flicks out kind of strangely. The left foot looked halfway decent. The problem with my right foot Scott said, was due to a weakness in my left glute muscle. Since the muscle is weak, I am unstable, and am compensating. I could see in the video, the hip rise on one side, but then not the other. He gave me a couple exercises that are supposed to strengthen these muscles. He also showed me how to run like I was falling forward. I have seen this before on one of my running form DVDs, so I will play with this more.
Scott also said I should be rotating my upper body more, and winding up and running with my core muscles. That my arms should be held higher and not move as much.
In all, Scott spent about two hours with me shooting the video and going over it, and showing me some drills. I am looking forward to getting the DVD with the full analysis and all the drills. I am hoping that I can make these changes and make my running faster and more efficient. I should get my RUNSMART DVD in about a week.

They can be contacted at:
RUNSMART
2100 Union Road
West Seneca, NY 14224
(716) 656-8600
http://www.runsmartonline.com

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