The Ultimate Runner’s Guide to Achilles Tendinitis

About two-thirds of Achilles tendonitis cases occur at the “midpoint” of the tendon, a few inches above the heel. The rest are mostly cases of “insertional” Achilles tendonitis, which occurs within an inch or so of the heelbone. Insertional Achilles tendonitis tends to be more difficult to get rid of, often because the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac right behind the tendon, can become irritated as well…

Much like a bungee cord is made up of tiny strands of rubber aligned together, tendons are comprised of small fiber-like proteins called collagen. Pain in the Achilles tendon is a result of damage to the collagen. Because of this, treatment options should start with ways to address this.

For a long time, researchers and doctors muddled about trying to address factors like calf strength & tightness, ankle range of motion, and pronation, assuming that the Achilles tendon would heal itself once these factors were corrected.

Unfortunately, it seems that the thick tendons of the body do not heal as rapidly or completely as we’d like.

The cause of this seems to be the collagen fibers:

When a tendon is damaged, collagen fibers are ruptured. The body is able to lay down new fibers to replace the damaged ones, but it does so in a rather disorganized way. The new collagen fibers look much like a mess of spaghetti when viewed on a microscope, in contrast to the smooth, aligned appearance that healthy tendon fibers have.

Unfortunately, it gets worse:

While we might propose that runners do calf stretching to loosen up their calf muscles and increase their ankle range of motion, this often does more harm than good—tugging aggressively on the damaged tendon fibers is much like pulling on either end of a knotted rope…

While calf tightness and ankle range of motion are legitimate concerns, I still don’t think that aggressive calf stretching is an ideal solution, because of the tugging action on the tendon. Instead, try foam rolling your calves and applying a warm water bag to the muscle (but avoid heating the tendon!). Foam rolling your calf muscles can loosen them up without tugging too much on the Achilles tendon…

If you have been wearing low-heeled “minimal” shoes, racing flats, or spikes, you ought to stick to more traditional shoes with a higher heel until your tendon is healthy again. Once you’ve healed up, you can gradually do some running in low-heeled shoes or even barefoot (on grass) to help accustom your Achilles to moving through its full range of motion…

Doctors and podiatrist may be keen to have you try out a custom orthotic to treat your Achilles problems. While it might be worth a shot, there isn’t a whole lot of scientific evidence backing their use in this case. Orthotics don’t reliably alter pronation, and even if they do, it’s uncertain as to whether this will increase or decrease stress on the Achilles…

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Airpower May Not Win Wars (Alone), But It Does Not Lose Them

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Image: Time.com

After back-to-back land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is time to reflect on the U.S. approach to ISIS. To this day, arguments stubbornly envision a kind of victory that only landpower can deliver — with decisive battles, military capitulation, and a unified adversary who accepts “defeat.” It is certainly true that airpower cannot “hold ground” and act as an occupying force. Neither can naval power. But not all conflicts have to be resolved by the seizure of land, and not all political solutions require armed occupations to enforce. For the United States, isolated by two great oceans, air and naval power are the critical elements of national power, and, used correctly, they have been and can be decisive.

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North and South Korea Hold High Level Talks on Recent Crisis

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE):

South Korea data that up to 70% of the North Korean submarines fleet (about 50) are on the move and have not been detected in days. Both sides are maneuvering troops around the DMZ. The U.S. and South Korea are continuing the bombing simulation exercise that occurs each August. This may be the most volatile I have seen the Korean situation since the 1980s.

Originally posted on TIME:

(PYONGYANG, North Korea)SouthKorea and North Korea were holding their first high-level talks in nearly a year at a border village on Saturday to defuse mounting tensions that have pushed the rivals to the brink of a possible military confrontation.

The closed-door meeting at Panmunjom, where the armistice ending fighting in the Korean War was agreed to in 1953, began Saturday evening, shortly after a deadline set by North Korea for the South to dismantle loudspeakers broadcasting anti-North Korean propaganda at their border, said an official from SouthKorea’s Unification Ministry. North Korea had declared that its front-line troops were in full war readiness and prepared to go to battle if Seoul did not back down.

At the meeting, SouthKorea’s presidential national security director, Kim Kwan-jin, and Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo sat down with Hwang Pyong So, the top political officer for the Korean People’s Army, and…

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Defeating Terror on a Train: What the U.S. Heroes Proved

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE):

The U.S. military has forgotten that warfare is about people, not technology. When technology fails or is not available, it is the warrior ethos that wins the battle, all things being equal.

Originally posted on TIME:

What does it tell us that three unarmed men—including a pair of U.S. military personnel—won the latest battle in 21st Century’s warfare?

The heroics of three California buddies may offer an insight into the evolution of war. No one is arguing that state-on-state warfare has gone the way of the cavalry, but Friday’s clash aboard a train in Belgium should lead to some questions about continuing investments in high-tech, high-cost weapons and counter-terrorism efforts.

The U.S. military increasingly finds itself battling poorly-trained, barely-equipped militants armed with little more than will and ideology. Too often, it seems, will and ideology trump GPS smart bombs and laser-guided missiles fired from fleets of unmanned drones and fifth-generation warplanes.

As Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler detailed how they took down Moroccan native Ayoub El Khazzani on Sunday at the U.S. embassy in Paris, the Pentagon…

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24 things that definitely happen to you when you move to LA

Now that I have lived in Los Angeles for three year, I should compare this list of Los Angeles happenings to my experiences so far:

1. You will not go to the beach nearly as much as you think you will. Sorry.
True. Summer if almost over, and I have not spent a full day at the beach yet. Maybe some evenings.
2. You will finally understand a century’s worth of songs about California.
False. Old California is dead and gone. Get over it.
3. You will relax. Though it could be all that medical marijuana you’re smoking (or inhaling second-hand).
False. Quite the opposite. The frenetic pace of work, the stagnant traffic, and expensive cost of living make it hard to relax about anything.
4. You will learn that not all apartments come with refrigerators and/or stoves. It’s weird.
True. It is weird.
5. You will probably not become a vegan, but you’ll eat vegan regularly.
False. Vegan food is too expensive to eat regularly unless you grew up eating miniature portions of vegan.
6. You will quickly learn to say “the” before the name of every freeway, lest you be shunned. 
False. You are an idiot if you preface a highway with some honorific title. Traffic on the highways is insane 99% of the day, 80% when school is not in session.
7. You will recognize your neighborhood barista in a Mentos/Progressive/Verizon commercial and claim to be friends with them. Hey, they know your coffee order.
False. My barista barely graduated kindergarten and had his last movie audition five years ago. This is a stupid myth spread around to make it look as if any ass hat has an opportunity to make it big. Sorry, losers, unless you have good genetics and lots of patience, you are not going to get a gig in a commercial. You took a job as a barista or waiter to pay for acting classes, but you are now a loser barista or a waiter. Get over it. Wait another year and your minimum wage will be $15 and hour.
8. You will wonder where the mountains went, then realize it’s just a smoggy day.
True. That shit was not on the brochure.
9. You will consider driving down to Mexico just because you can. 
False. Mexico is already here in Los Angeles, and it takes me an hour to drive through it. Why the hell would I drive another three hours just to get malaria, tuberculosis, and syphilis when I can get it here?
10. You will stop to smell the flowers, because you’re not rushing around as much, and flowers are literally everywhere.
True. Los Angeles is the only fucking city with flowers, right? Why is this on the list?
11. You will feel guilty about buying produce at the grocery store instead of the farmers market.
True.
12. You will watch Clueless again, and like, totally get it. 
False. I got it the first time when I lived in not California. The plot is that simple, guys.
13. You will develop strong feelings about parking, tacos and “actors” that weren’t there before.
Partially true. I have strong feelings about parking. L.A. has a strong hatred of parking, and probably makes bazillions of dollars in parking fines.
14. You will be annoyed at the lack of good food delivery options. This feeling never goes away.
True.
15. You will slowly turn into one of those people who puts a sweater on when it drops below 65 degrees. 
False.
16. You will start to think 45 minutes is an acceptable amount of time to get from place to place.
False. One hour. One. Fucking. Hour. That is how long it takes to get any where!
17. You will learn to avoid Hollywood Boulevard at all costs.
True.
18. You will order something animal style and love/hate yourself for it. 
True. I have to cover up the nasty ass taste of In N’ Out with something. That something might as well be the nasty animal sauce that I waited in line for an hour to consume.
19. You will get a tan sunburn in February, and learn to buy sunscreen year round.
False. I am smart enough to know when to wear sunscreen. That is impressive, considering I graduated from a public school in the South. Why is it that the supposedly smarter left coasters cannot figure this out?
20. You will walk less, realize it, and either accept your car-bound fate or become an avid walker/biker.
? This declarative statement is not in the form of a declarative statement and could be true and false no matter how the reader interprets the statement.
21. You will get used to coyote sightings in your neighborhood. You (or someone you know) will lose a small pet. These things will be related. 
True.
22. You will have no idea what month it is for about a year, until you get used to the region’s subtle seasons.
False. There are seasons, but they are not like seasons in Buffalo or Green Bay. Anyone with half a brain can figure out the seasons.
23. You will bond with someone who lives on the opposite side of town, hang out once and then never see them again.
True.
24. You will insist the West Coast is the best coast. And you’ll be right. 
False. This is a poor generalization based on limited data using a population that seemingly has little experience outside the area. Los Angeles is a nice place to live, but it is not as magical as it perhaps once was.

Only 10.5 of these were true for me.

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Preview of the 2015 Florida Gators

Florida Gators football schedule 2015

The 2014 Florida Gators finished a disappointing 7-4* (4-4). Those losses occurred at the hands of the SEC West champ (21-42, #3 Alabama), the SEC East champs (13-42, #23 Missouri), a CFP final four team (19-24, #8 FSU), and two SEC bowl teams by a total of six points (27-30, #13 LSU and 20-23 (OT) South Carolina).

Key Losses:

  • DL Dante Fowler, (Round 1, Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • OT D.J. Humphries (Round 1, Arizona Cardinals)
  • OT Chaz Green (Round 3, Dallas Cowboys)
  • RB Matt Jones (Round 3, Washington Redskins)
  • Max Garcia (Round 4, Denver Broncos)
  • LB Neiron Ball (Round 5, Oakland Raiders)
  • WR Andre Debose (Round 7, Oakland Raiders)
  • OG Trenton Brown (Round 7, San Francisco 49ers)
  • WR Quinton Dunbar (UDFA, Washington Redskins)
  • TE Clay Burton (UDFA, Buffalo Bills)
  • DT Darious Cummings (UDFA, Carolina Panthers)
  • DT Leon Orr (UDFA, Oakland Raiders)

Key Returning Starters:

  • CB Vernon Hargreaves
  • LB Antonio Morrison
  • WR Demarcus Robinson
  • DE Jonathan Bullard
  • RB Kelvin Taylor
  • CB Brian Poole
  • S Keanu Neal
  • WR Ahmad Fulwood.

Newcomers to Watch:

  • Head Coach Jim McElwain
  • OC Doug Nussmeier
  • OT Martez Ivey (Apopka, FL)
  • DE CeCe Jefferson (Glen Saint Mary, FL)
  • RB Jordan Scarlett (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • RB Jordan Cronkrite (Miami, FL)
  • WR Antonio Callaway (Miami, FL)
  • C T.J. McCoy (NC State transfer, eligible this fall)
  • LT Mason Halter (grad-transfer from Fordham, two-time FCS All-American).

Predictions:

2015 Schedule:

  • Sept. 5 New Mexico State – W
    • Florida is favored by 38 and is 7-5 ATS. O/U is currently at 57.5. Florida should easily cover the spread. Prediction: Florida Gators 63, New Mexico State Aggies 3.
  • Sept. 12 East Carolina – W
    • The Pirates have a chance to get revenge from nine months ago. Neither of these teams is the same as the last time they met, but the results will be similar. I predict a 36-10 victory for the Gators.
  • Sept. 19 at Kentucky – W
    • Kentucky will probably bust out some new, sexy uniforms, as if they were dressing up for a funeral. I predict a massacre, 42-14 Gators. Coach Mac’s offense will pick up before the real SEC showdown next week.
  • Sept. 26 Tennessee – L
    • Tennessee is the favorite here by 2.5 in the Swamp. The Gators will need to stay healthy on the offensive line in order to keep the TBD starting QB upright, and hope that a couple Gator receivers and tight ends can step up to mount some offense against the rising Vols. This will be the first gut check for Coach Mac. I predict a 27-30 loss to the Vols.
  • Oct. 3 Ole Miss – L
    • The Rebels are favored by 6 at home. I predict a spanking, 14-32, Ole Miss.
  • Oct. 10 at Missouri – L
    • The Gators have not figured out how to beat any team nicknamed the Tigers ever since Urban Meyer left. If Coach Mac does not figure out how to keep this game close, I will probably light my house on fire. Missouri is favored by 10. Prediction: 21-27, Missouri.
  • Oct. 17 at LSU – L
    • See above. LSU is favored by two touchdowns. Gators lose, 9-10.
  • Oct. 24 off BYE
  • Oct. 31 Georgia * – L
    • It was nice for the Gators to beat the Bulldogs last year, but it will not happen again this year. UGA is favored by 12, but they will not cover the spread. 33-42, Bulldogs.
  • Nov. 5 Vanderbilt – W
    • Now that Muschamp is gone, perhaps we can get back to slaughtering Vanderbilt. I call this one 45-10, Gators.
  • Nov. 14 at South Carolina – W
    • I think Coach Mac will start to pull away from the legend of Steve Spurrier by beating him more often than not, starting this year with a 32-13 win at Williams-Bryce Stadium. The Gamecocks are favored by 2.5 at home, but this team is not built as well as previous teams.
  • Nov. 21 Florida Atlantic – W
    • With the Gators sitting at 6-5, this 52-14 blowout will be a good warmup for FSU next week.
  • Nov. 28 Florida State – L
    • FSU has gained too much steam under Will Muschamp’s butt buddy, Jimbo Fisher. The Gators should barely be bowl eligible after losing this one. FSU is favored by 4, but I expect this betting line to move as we get closer to game time.