so i'm obviously not a big-time professional sponsored runner. but i wouldn't be a runner at all if it weren't for these amazing companies--so here is a listing of those whom I proudly sponsor, and thank profusely for their role in making my thing happen. and anyway, isn't it nice to know i really mean it?
Stretch to Win
this amazing place isn't open to therapy customers anymore, but they still train therapists and can recommend someone trained in their method. and it is *their* method- ann and chris developed their incredibly effective myofascial stretch technique themselves, and served a whole roster of professional athletes (and little ole me, lucky!) before closing the center to focus exclusively on training therapists. they even got a mention in Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Body, even though Tim isn't local. that's word-of-mouth. every session i had cured whatever i came in for, and i was always amazed. i reccommend them to everyone, and you can buy their book on amazon if you can't find a therapist near you.
Rockwood Natural Medicine
though i'm not in treatment for anything anymore, i still consider dr. kruzel my go-to doc. it's a long story how i came to homeopathic and naturopathic medicine originally, but dr. k was the turning point in regaining my health. it can be a leap of faith to try something outside the norm in the realm of medicine, but (luckily- weird!) i wound up with little choice-- and it wound up being the best thing possible. apart from being a past president of the american association of naturopathic physicians, dr. k teaches at SCNM and literally wrote the book (well, several books, but who's counting). i can't say this enough: when i first went, i couldn't walk for five minutes without getting sick; 16 half marathons later, i'd say i owe a big debt of gratitude to RNM!
Eastern Medicine Center
acupuncture, herbal and chinese medicine
dr. liu is another miracle worker i spent a lot of time with on my path to wellness and world domination and i can't recommend her center highly enough. trained in the chinese army, dr. liu is a bona-fide badass, and this acupuncture *works*. i also saw a lot of another doctor who studied under her, and Park was also an amazing practitioner. if you're not local, try and find yourself some other ex-acupuncturist-to-the-chinese-government, i really recommend it; if you are local, just *go here*. she's treated some pretty famous people too, she'll probably tell you about it if you go...
The Healing Joint
active release therapy, chiropractic
for some reason, it seems patients don't often take the time to learn to pronounce "derakhshani", so the man behind the healing joint usually goes by dr. d. i met this guy one day while getting coffee at d'lish, where he was solving a neck thing for the guy behind the counter. how cool is that? active release is a lot like myofascial release, but it works on a muscle that's actively working--hence, "active". dr. d branched into ART from his chiropractic practice, and the two make a great cohesive therapy. this is another place where i've experienced miracle results, most recently with a sprained ankle where he was able to reduce the swelling by 75% in one hour. (i really have to find those pictures...) of course, manipulations like that are not for the faint of heart, but if you love results more than you hate pain, this is your kind of place.
Garmin Forerunner 310XT
ok no lie, this is a big thing to have on your wrist. but you can hardly begrudge it its size while you're loving what it does-- which is everything. heart rate, virtual pace partner, route mapping, and customizable screens are why i love it, and a whole host of other features make me feel like a very nerdy kid in a data-crunching candy store. with a free online account (or software on the computer, but why not be mobile?), all my workouts get stored in all their crazy exactitude, so i can analyze my average monthly altitude one day if i want, or look at my minute-by-minute paces on a single run from last october. need i say: also waterproof. i know other runners who have other garmins and love them to varying degrees, but i haven't had a moment's regret since i bought the 310 and i'd be sad if someone forced me to switch. actually, i'm wrong- i wouldn't be sad, i'd be mad, and i'd get revenge.
*literally* everywhere i go, people ask me about these shoes. (okay, not *everywhere*, bc i'm partial to flip flops in everyday life, but whatever.) do i run in them, do i hike in them, do i like them, is it hard to get used to? yes yes YES and not really. i came to fivefingers from too many issues with regular shoes, and eye-opening Born to Run, which convinced me that my foot should get a chance to do what it was made to do. once i switched to fivefingers, my previous issues (anterior tibialis and super weak prone-to-rolling ankles) went away. never to return. they say when you switch to go slow, and i'd second that; 20 mintues a day, then 40, then running a bit. you do have to relearn how to run somewhat-- i heard someone say "run like you're sneaking up on someone!"-- but are you really convinced you're doing it right in the first place? it's worth the experiement, imo, and i have lots of local converts i can refer you to as proof! (how's that for free advertising, vibram? how about a little return sponsorship? :) ) at last count i think i owned six pairs of these awesome shoes, but the ones i use the most are the bikila ls for running, and the treksport for hiking- both in the men's version bc i find the women's too narrow now that my feet have relaxed and spread a bit. i've also owned the flow (would be awesome for winter or water but we have neither here), classic (great all-around shoe, quick to slap on and git), kso (these were great before there were other options but i prefer the more specialized versions now; nT still runs in these bc they keep pebbles out), sprint (they used to have a ton of cute colors in this style, think they're phasing them out. wasn't crazy about a heel thing mine did), and regular bikila (their first foray into a running-specific shoe and let me tell you it was a HUGE improvement, i loved these shoes till they came out with a lace version then i loved those even more). and i'm thinking now i need a whole separate vibram page, bc this is crazy how much i have to say...one last piece of advice: NEVER buy a pair in black- they look like gorilla feet.
this is the first store i ever bought vibrams at, and it's still my go-to place. these guys were selling minimalist shoes before that was even a thing, and they were the first ones in the valley to carry vibrams; they still know more about them than anyone else. go to rei and ask some questions if you want, just for a laugh, and then come here and see what i mean: they actually *know* something about them. because they actually run in them. they're tucked away in a back building off baseline, but it's worth the little search to find them--and when you go, check out the amazing floors they did themselves! it's not, but you'd swear it was! ;)