Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis By Wendi Pearson

Plantar Fasciitis can strike anyone whether you’re active or sedentary, young or old, in the best shape of your life or the worst, and it can be relentless. Plantar Fasciitis is an injury that classically feels like a badly bruised heel or pain just in front of the heel, but can also be felt as a strain in the arch or a pull just behind the ball of the foot. The pain is usually worse in the morning when you take those first couple of steps out of bed or after you’ve been on your feet for an extended period of time. The pain is made worse by running and walking fast, especially when they require quick starts, speedwork, jumping, or hills.

What are the traditional treatments? Ice, stretch, rest, orthotics, heel lifts, heel cushions, massage, Ibuprofen, and rolling your foot on a ball or frozen can. How many of these treatments have you tried? How many times has your Plantar Fasciitis come back? How many years have you had it while trying these very things? Well I’m here to tell you that many of these things are the EXACT OPPOSITE of what really gets rid of Plantar Fasciitis for good and/or improves it a lot sooner. Why? Because what causes Plantar Fasciitis is the plantar tendons that run from the ball of the foot, underneath the arch, connect to the front of the heel, the fascia runs under the heel and around to where it connects to the Achilles tendon and when the arch gets stressed from overload (excess weight, workouts, standing on feet lengthy amounts of time, age, change, pregnancy, wrong shoes, etc…) it can start to get weaker and fall. Tendons are not meant to have much stretch, and the tendons in the arch are mainly our shock absorbers that stretch just enough to buffer each foot landing so when they are asked to stretch more than that they start to pull apart causing micro tears in the tissue. These micro tears are what you feel as a heal bruise or soreness in the foot or arch. Plantar Fasciitis is not caused by impact and that’s important to know in understanding the healing process. Heel cushions don’t help it heal nor does raising the heal with heel lifts, they only take the stress off and heal the tendons in a shortened position making them more susceptible to other problems.

The plantar tendons are made up of white tendons (low blood supply), whereas other areas of the body have red tendons (high blood supply) so icing and Ibuprofen will only take more blood supply away from the area and make it slower to heal. Massage and rolling the foot on a ball relaxes the tendons into a lengthened position and allow the arch to further fall and tear. Orthotics are an option that helps some people as long as their fitted in a manner that keeps the whole body aligned not just bracing the feet.

What REALLY helps heel Plantar Fasciitis?
#1 The most important thing is to strengthen the arch so it comes back up into the proper position. Use a sock or a golf ball (if you have longer toes) and sit with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. Pick up the sock with all five toes curled around it and hold two to three inches high for a slow count of three. Set down and repeat. Do at least 25 reps on each foot (always do both feet). The more you do the faster you will heal.

#2 Wear a Strasburg Sock at night, this will help the tissues heal in the lengthened position and stop the cycle of tearing the fascia when you step on the floor each morning. Otherwise, you heal in a shortened, relaxed position and have to start over with the healing process each morning.
#3 Soak in a really warm Epsom Salt bath for 20 minutes each night. This will take away the excess swelling without taking away the blood supply that you need to heal the tissues.

#4 Cross-train. Exercise brings blood flow and helps heal injuries and using a stationary bike gives the plantar fascia a break.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

USATF City of Lakes 25K at Lakes Harriet Race Summary

On Sunday, the Gear West Racing Team competed in their final USATF Team Circuit race of the season, the City of Lakes 25K at Lakes Harriet and Calhoun in Minneapolis. With a couple of injuries, the team was down to only 3 runners but all of them competed well and helped the team to a 4th place finish out of 9 teams. Chad Ernst again led the way, finishing 9th in 1:25:45, a pace of 5:31 per mile. Kyle Donovan ran a great race as well coming in 22nd overall in a time of 1:31:02, a pace of 5:52 per mile. Brandon Heebink rounded out the team coming in 53rd place in a time of 1:40:19, a 6:28 pace. With the team racing season winding down, one big event for the fall remains in Minnesota road racing and that is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and TC 10 Mile on Sunday, October 3rd. Gear West will be well represented as Kyle and Brandon will be competing in the full marathon, both looking for new personal best times, while Jason Quarford will be joining in on the fun for the weekend by running the 10 Mile. Be sure to check out the Gear West booth and Barth at the Twin Cities Marathon Expo at the St. Paul Rivercentre on Friday, Oct. 1st and Saturday, Oct. 2nd!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pig Out Sale Events

The Gear West Ski & Run Pig Out Sale is fast approaching and it is the place to be for first hand knowledge and equipment. For 9 DAYS Gear West will be offering store wide sale pricing. Expect to see team pricing on all skis, boots, and poles. In addition to extremely great pricing, Gear West will be hosting a number wax clinics, industry meet and greets, fit clinics, and a book signing. Everyone here is excited about the lineup of events that are schedule and are looking forward to kicking off the ski season the right way.



6:00pm Toko Wax Clinic

Mike Lundeen will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Toko and Madshus brands.
Mike will also be holding a Toko Wax Clinic Friday evening.

Mike Lundeen - For the past 7 years, Mike has been the Midwest Sales Representative for Toko, as well as a Toko Tech Team Member. As a tech team member, Mike has conducted race services and Toko Wax Clinics throughout the Midwest. Mike is also the Madshus Midwest sales Representative.



7:00am - 8:00am Start

Train for the upcoming marathon season with runners just like you! Bring friends!

The out and back course starts at Gear West and goes down the Luce line. You can start anytime between 7-8:00a.m.

Run as far as you want (6 - 20 miles)
There will be support along the trail (water, energy drinks, etc.) and Aid Stations will be set-up along the course every three miles (bandaids, vaseline, etc.).

Join us for treats afterward at Gear West

If you have any questions about the Gear West Marathon Training Runs contact Speedy:

speedy@gearwest.com 952-473-0377


Peter Ashley and Chris Hall will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Fischer brand. They will also be on hand to fit Fischer ski and boots. As you can tell, both are very capable of fitting world class skis. We hope to see everyone here for this event.

Peter Ashley
- VP of Nordic Division, Fischer Skis USA
Peter is in charge of the Nordic Division for Fischer Skis USA. Peter's responsibilities include sales, marketi
ng, product and brand management for Fischer cross country skis, boots, bindings and poles through out the US. He has been with Fischer since 1995.

Before coming to Fischer, Peter was with the US Ski Team, serving as the Head Women's Coach for the USST and was on the US Ski Team coaching staff for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Peter was instrumental in organizing the first cross country Junior Olympics held in Jackson in the late 1970's.

Chris Hall - Nordic Race Director, Fischer Skis USA
Chris is in charge of Nordic race management for Fischer Skis USA. Chris works with US Ski Team and other top US athletes in ski selection and management to equip these skiers with the best possible skis for their racing. He has been with Fischer since 2005.

Prior to working at Fischer, Chris was with the US Ski Team, employed as the Head Service Technician for the USST. He worked at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics for the team and spent 6 years on the World Cup with the USST. Originally from Sun Valley, Idaho, Chris worked for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation as a coach before joining the USST.


1:00-3:00pm Chris Cook: sign posters visit with customers

Robert will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Rossignol brand. He will also be on hand to fit the new Rossignol WCS skis and boots. If you have any questions about the new Rossignol WC Skate Ski Package, he's the one to ask.


Van Brinkerhoff will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Madshus brand.

Van Brinkerhoff - For the past 4 years, Van has been the national sales manager for Madshus USA, K2 Outdoor. For over 30 years, Van has been involved in the industry as a Nordic skier, retailer, sales rep. and manager for over 30 years.



10:00am – 4:00pm Roman Toferer: The Gold Metal Slide Show presentation at 1:00 pm with ski fitting before and after

Roman Toferer will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Atomic brand. He will also be on hand to fit Atomic skis and boot. Roman is well known for picking top World Cup skis for the “Thin Red Line.”

Roman Toferer - The 2010 Olympics served as concrete proof that Roman Toferer of Atomic is unequalled when it comes to picking skis and making them go fast. The man from the little village of Eben, Austria proved to be a virtual miracle worker on the trails at Whister. If you watched Claudia Nystad take Gold it was obvious her skis were running at speeds far greater than her competition. The Teutonic blonde looked like something out of a Wagnerian opera as she pulled away from the competition. Anna Haag of Sweden had the best races of her career as she dropped the pack on virtual rockets picked and tuned by Roman. And of course, Roman’s close work with Billy Demong, Johnny Spillane and Todd Lodwick led to Gold and Silver medals for America’s best Nordic skiers.



5:00pm Run from the Bookcase in Wayzata
6:30pm Meet and greet with Chris Mcdougall at Gear West

Meet Christopher McDougall at The Bookcase at 5:00 p.m. for a fun
run (barefoot or not) to the "Born to Run" event at Gear West in
Long Lake. We'll be leaving at 5:15 sharp, following the Dakota Trail
and the Luce Line into Long Lake. Call (952) 473-8341 or (952)
473-0377 with questions or to purchase tickets.

*No day of ticket sales



Leena Peltonen and Silvano Barco will be at Gear West to answer any technical question you might have about the Rex brand. They will also be offering a Rex Wax clinic. Interesting note. Silvano is the assistant coach to the Swiss Ski Team and won the 1996 Birkie.



2010 brings with it the second year of the CXC/SALOMON SUPER FIT PROGRAM. We want to bring you the latest and greatest technology, knowledge, and skis we can. With Salomon and your local retailer behind us, we are committed to sharing the knowledge we gained. The CXC 3D Flex Mat and Salomon Flex Table will be on hand to help show you how pressure is being distributed to the snow under your skis. Knowledgeable industry partners will be able to answer any specific questions you have, and our CXC TEAM VERTICAL LIMIT athletes and coaches will be around to answer questions and sign autographs.

“SUPER FIT” is a weekend sale program filled with seminars, presentations and store specials. Get your equipment fit by CXC Team Vertical Limit professional athletes and coaches using state of the art 3D ski pressure mat. Bring your old skis to test if they have a good fit for you, and get an independent opinion.

10:00AM to 6:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat Testing
5:00PM to 6:00PM - Glide and Kick Waxing Seminar (Jason Cork)
8:00AM to 9:30 AM - "Tast of Nordic" Free Dryland and Rollerski
Technique Clinic (Garrott Kuzzy & Jessie Diggins)
8:00AM to 9:30AM - USSA Level 100 Coaches Certification Technique Clinic (Jason Cork)
10:00AM to 5:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat Testing
4:00PM to 5:00PM - Optimal Training for Maximum Results Seminar (Brian Gregg)

12:00PM to 4:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat TestingSee More

Excitement Development Team (CXC Team Vertical Limit): Jessie Diggins, Brian Gregg, Garrott Kuzzy, Matt Liebsch, Yuriy Gusev, Jason Cork

10:00AM to 6:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat Testing
5:00PM to 6:00PM - Glide and Kick Waxing Seminar (Jason Cork)
8:00AM to 9:30 AM - "Tast of Nordic" Free Dryland and Rollerski
Technique Clinic (Garrott Kuzzy & Jessie Diggins)
8:00AM to 9:30AM - USSA Level 100 Coaches Certification Technique Clinic (Jason Cork)
10:00AM to 5:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat Testing
4:00PM to 5:00PM - Optimal Training for Maximum Results Seminar (Brian Gregg)

12:00PM to 4:00PM - 3D Ski Flex Mat TestingSee More

Anders "Employee of the Moment"

Full Name: Anders Bowman
Age(optional): 20yrs
GW Position: Mail Order Help
Weight(optional): 200lbs.
Height(optional): 6’ 4”
Athletic Ability: Ummmm, yes? I don’t really know how to answer that… 8.5?

Where did you grow up? Hometown?
Wayzata, MN

What childhood sports did you or didn’t you do?
Baseball, Nordic Skiing, Soccer, Running, Football, Basketball (Did)
Cricket, Rugby, Curling, Figure Skating, Chess (Didn’t)

Some say he's Norwegian, other say Swedish...Anders prefers Norwedish

Did you have to sacrifice any sports for Nordic Skiing or running?
Not really, I obviously don’t do the sports that I did when I was a little kid, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a sacrifice because skiing and running is what I love.

Any sweet sports achievements or personal victories?
A few Nordic wins, and a fun trip out to Nike Team Nationals for the National High School Cross Country Championships.

Nike Cross Country Nationals: "That's going to stain..."

Are there any goals for the upcoming season?
I want to run pretty fast this fall hopefully faster than 26:30 (for 8k). This winter, there’s an outside shot at NCAA’s for skiing always in the back of my mind, but if that doesn’t pan out then I will be hoping to ski a fast Birkie.

College/Secondary Education/Degrees/Philosophies?
Gustavus Adolphus College

What are you studying at Gustavus Adolphus College?
I’m very excited to be starting the Nursing Program in the next couple of weeks!

Through your life experiences, how did you find your way to Gear West?
I like skiing and running so it turned out to be a really good fit.

"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

How long have you been working at Gear West?
3 years

Why did you choose to apply at Gear West?
Right before the move I contacted Jan because I figured there would be plenty of work to go around, and also it just seemed like the perfect job for a young Nordic fanatic!

"Hello, my name is Anders Bowman and I am a junior, and a skier for Wayzata. I have been skiing for most of my life, and am involved in the skiing community. I am aware that you will be moving soon, and if you need any help during the move, after the move, or anytime really, I would love to work for Gear West."
- Anders Bowman, March 9, 2007

What is the most interesting aspect of working at Gear West?
The people interactions are always fun!

Can you expound on that?
It is a lot of fun being able to explain different technologies to people, to explain to them what the advantages are for product X in comparison to those of product Y. The Ski and Run world are constantly evolving, and it’s hard to keep up, so having a shop like Gear West to bring your questions to can be incredibly beneficial. So I guess basically I like helping people.
What drives you in this business? On top of helping people, learning about new products and technologies is really interesting.

Are there any products that you are excited about or like?
Obviously the entire Fischer “Hole Ski” lineup, but on top of that I would have to say the BARTH!!!!

Interestingly, The Barth is stocked with the Fischer Hole Skis

What do you do at Gear West?
I work on the web page and data base while attempting to keep everything up to date which is a CONTINUOUS process!