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Murray Beats Federer in 2013 Australian Open Semi Final

Murray Beats Federer in 2013 Australian Open Semi Final

Andy Murray took down Roger Federer in five sets at the 2013 Australian Open. Murray has faced Federer three times in major tournaments: the finals in the 2008 U.S. Open, 2010 Australian Open and 2012 Wimbledon.

In the past year Murray has become an even bigger force to be reckoned with. He won the gold at the Olympics and the 2012 U.S. Open. Whether or not he triumphs over Djokovic in the finals, Murray looks like he'll be near the top of the tennis world for quite a while. So as many ponder over whether Federer is starting to slide down, no one is questioning Murray's rise to the top.

Even four-time Australian Open champion Andre Agassi said that he was glad he didn't have to play against the Big Four of men's tennis: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

While everyone is buzzing about the upcoming match between Djokovic (#1) and Murray (#3) don't miss the American Bryan Brothers as they play their fifth Australian Open doubles final in a bid to win a record 13th Grand Slam doubles championship.

Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching... Running?

Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching... Running?

Are you too sick to run?

You feel like crap. All you want to do is put on your most comfy sweats and curl up in front of the TV. But a little voice inside your head is urging you to get up, get out and get going.

So how do you know when you're too sick to run? And will running help you or hurt you?

People who exercise are generally healthier than people who don't, so it should be no surprise that they tend to catch fewer colds and get sick less. But what if you’re already sick? The American College of Sports Medicine believes that moderate exercise when you're sick can help. In fact, many experts agree that moderate exercise can cut the time you spend suffering from a cold in half!

So how do you know if you're too sick to run?

It's easy: use the "neck rule." Mentally divide your body into two parts: above neck and below neck. If your symptoms are all above neck (stuffy head, runny nose, scratchy throat) then it's generally safe to run. If your symptoms are below neck (chest congestion, achy body, fever) you need to hang up your shoes and rest. Especially if you have a fever, exercise can dehydrate you, which won't help you get any better.

Even if you are only experiencing above the neck symptoms you still need to watch for signs that something is wrong: dizziness, nausea and profuse sweating are the top three. And, if your head hurts so bad you're seeing stars, it's probably a good idea to take a day, or two, off. Even if it's only above your neck, you still need to use your head.

When you’re sick make sure that you stay hydrated. Medications such as antihistamines, or anything that promotes nasal drainage, can add to dehydration. If you do need to take one of these medications wait until after you run or drink extra fluids.

Don’t add extra stress

If your body is fighting off a cold or virus then running is often better than going to the gym, your body is already under stress, therefore more susceptible to new illnesses. Public gyms are notorious for spreading “gym germs.” If you can’t run on your own outside make sure that you wipe down any equipment before and after you use it, especially during cold and flu season. It's hard to remember but try not to touch your face after using equipment (it's easier for germs to get in that way). Whatever you do, don’t use the water fountain at the gym; use a cup instead of drinking from the faucet. You can ask your gym to supply paper cups if they don’t already.

No matter what, take it easy. Listen to your body and only do as much as you can. As with most other things, moderation is the name of the game. Start slow or less intense and only increase your intensity as your symptoms decrease. If you start feeling better, that’s great. If you don’t, pull back, going too far can weaken your immune system and keep you sick longer.

Baltimore Ravens are Going to the Superbowl

Baltimore Ravens are Going to the Superbowl

Baltimore Ravens 2012 AFC Champion Tees

We're so proud of our Baltimore Ravens! These commemorative 2012 AFC Champs tee shirts can only be sold in the store and over the phone but we just had to show them off. Hopefully we'll be featuring our Superbowl shirts next!

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Australian Open Goes Crazy for Yellow

Australian Open Goes Crazy for Yellow

While we are here freezing on the East Coast, it's easy to forget that it's summer in Australia... which makes all of the yellow much more sensible. We saw a lot of yellow, especially from adidas and Nike. So much so, that anyone not wearing yellow, white or blue, really stood out. While last year's outfits were sunglasses bright, this year bordered on boring. The question should be: Who does yellow better: adidas or Nike? And when are these designers going to find a happy medium?

What do you think of Club Yellow?

Ana Ivanovic looked beautiful in a solid adidas yellow tennis dress.

Caroline Wozniacki wore Stella McCartney’s adidas Barricade line. I love Stella McCartney and think that this dress really worked for Wozniacki.

Laura Robson was lovely in adidas, her kit was all white with flashes of neon yellow; her wristbands, headbands and shoelaces broke up her outfit, swinging it from incredibly boring to works pretty damn well.

Nike's Sabine Lisicki went with yellow and grey stripes. This wasn't my favorite, I thought the shades were a bit drab, especially when they were together.

Maria Sharapova's weird mustard between the boobs look was not my cup of tea.

Now, let's take a look at the woman who took a chance on color.

Asics put Samantha Stosur in a very flattering, bold blue dress. It wasn't thrilling but it looked really good on her.

Julia Goerges looked like Fila dressed her to match the Open itself. In the same shade of aqua, she matched the courts pretty well. I would have preferred to see her stand out a bit. All in all, this one didn't wow me.

No matter what else they do, you can count on the Williams sisters to make a fashion splash. Venus wore a watercolor Eleven dress with matching hair extensions. I know that many people didn't like it but, after all those solid colors, I found myself nodding in approval.

The best and worst at the 2013 Australian Open.

There are good reasons to go against the grain, anyone in a bold color jumped out. Take Serena's purple and orange Nike dress, it was bold and it was beautiful. In fact, while I did enjoy the yellow, Serena gets my nod for best outfit of this year's first Grand Slam.

My pick for worst outfit of the 2013 Australian Open? Mona Barthel. Too short, too lacey, and too, what the hell were you thinking?

Then there were the guys...

The men were kind of blah this year. My favorite was Novak Djokovic. Now wearing Uniglo, he looked good in a green and white day kit.

Andy Murray committed a major Grand Slam faux pas by wearing the same exact outfit he wore for the ATP World Tour Finals. Boo, adidas!

Federer looked like he stepped out of one of his Rolex ads, wearing the same old blue and white that I, for one, am kind of sick of.

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Serena Breaks Her Racquet!

Serena Breaks Her Racquet!

At the 2013 Australian Open Serena Williams displayed some serious prowess (as well as some serious unsportsmanlike conduct) as she smashes her tennis racquet after losing to Sloane Stephens.

Cool Runnings: Winter Running Necessities

Cool Runnings: Winter Running Necessities

Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn’t mean you hang up your running shoes and hibernate for the winter.

Many runners choose to brave the cold and put sole to pavement anyway.

When it comes to running in frigid conditions, there are a couple of things people should keep in mind:

Hydro Flask 24 oz Narrow Mouth Orange1. Hydration. The air may be crisp but that doesn’t mean you can skip the water bottle. In a 2005 University of New Hampshire study, researchers found that, “We lose a great deal of water from our bodies in the winter due to respiratory fluid loss through breathing. Our bodies also are working harder under the weight of extra clothing, and sweat evaporates quickly in cold, dry air.”

If there’s an extra chill to the air take advice from and drink warm water or green tea, which will also keep your body warm.

Vapur Reflex 18 ozFor more convenient, hands-free running, try the iFitness Neoprene Hydration Belt. Or if you just want someplace to put your water bottle when it’s empty, check out the Vapur Reflex 18oz. flexible bottle that you can fold up neatly and put in your jacket or pants pocket.

2. Visibility. In winter months, it starts getting darker earlier. Therefore, runners also need to think about what time of day is best to hit the road. Many people prefer the peace and quiet of the morning. There is also less traffic and smog. However, later afternoon or evening running is also beneficial because, according to, “your body is already warmed up from participating in daily activities, giving you a performance advantage.”

Mizuno Breath Thermo Windshell Gloves3. Clothing. It’s important to keep warm. You may want to dress in layers so you can easily shed clothing as your body warms up. Arm sleeves are perfect; you can pull them up when you begin and roll them down or slip them off as you become warmer. Most of our body heat is lost through your head, so wearing a hat, headband, or hood can sometimes be all that you need. For cold weather sensitive hands, wear gloves for protection.

 By Kandice Wilson

How to Start Your Own Running Concierge Business

How to Start Your Own Running Concierge Business

A running concierge could also be called a running tour operator. Basically, you take visitors on guided runs.

The type of people who make great concierge runners are outgoing, they talk easily to strangers, and they love to run. You should take the time to find out as much about your city as possible, to find the fun facts, the little trivia, all of the things that make your city unique.

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Running Concierge

1. You need a name. This can be anything, it can say what you do “Cara’s Running Concierge” or it can be more abstract “Run Don’t Walk”. Today we’re going to start “Charm City Run Tours”—this lets people know what we do and where we are (as long as people know that Baltimore is called Charm City, even if they don’t know if can still work as a name).

2. Form a company. It’s a good idea to keep your business and personal things separate. It offers you more protection. In Maryland, once you are a business, it costs $300 a year in personal property taxes. We are now Charm City Run Tours, LLC.

3. Get a logo. A logo is important for branding. Your logo will be on any printed materials you create, t-shirts, your website, make sure that it’s something you really like because you are going to work hard to build up your brand recognition and you don’t want to do all of that just to change it a few months later.

4. Printed materials. Make business cards and postcards or flyers which explain your services. You will also need a website. Making a website isn't too difficult; you can use a Wordpress template and make a quick site that gets your basic information across. Make sure you include a bit about you, your company, services you offer, your rates and contact information.

5. Make t-shirts. This may feel like an extra expense but it is also free advertising. You can include these with your fee and then every time someone wears one, they are advertising for you.

6. Plan a few runs of varying lengths that go past interesting parts of your city. For example, Charm City Run Tours offers a Fells Point Ghost Run, Harbor Fleet Feet Run, the Historical Mount Vernon Run and The Wire Run.

7. Hotels. Go to every hotel in your city and offer your services. Explain that you are professional running concierge. You will take their guests out on runs, show them your information. It may be extremely beneficial to make partnerships with hotels, you may have to pay them a percent but the steady flow of customers could guarantee that you’re working every day, not just once in a while.

8. Conventions and conferences. Target conventions and conferences that are coming to town, ask if the organizers will pass out your flyers in their welcome packages. You never know what people might be willing to do for you if you don’t ask. Again, you may have to pay convention operators

9. Merchandise. See if you can team up with a local store who may offer you and your runners discounts on all sorts of merchandise.

10. Find Friends. Team up with other tour operators who do different types of tours.

TIP: Get insurance. You don’t want someone tripping over a pothole and suing you for everything you’ve got.

Minimalist Running Shoes

Minimalist Running Shoes

If you’re a runner it would be hard to miss the barefoot running craze that’s been going on. For those people who want the benefits of running barefoot but still want to wear shoes, there are minimalist running shoes.

It’s imperative that you ease into wearing minimalist running shoes. Even the tiniest change can really impact your joints, muscles, and tendons—going too quickly from shoes to minimalist shoes or barefoot running can increase your chance of injury.

What are minimalist running shoes?

For starters, they don’t have a thick or heavily cushioned heel. Look at a “normal” pair of running shoes, most likely they have a difference in the height of the sole at the heel compared to the forefoot, minimalist shoes will not have a heel-toe drop or they will have much less of one.

Minimalist running shoes must be lightweight. Many minimalist runners won’t run in anything that weighs more than 10 ounces. Some run in shoes that weigh much less. Part of what makes minimalist shoes lightweight is the lack of structure in the upper. Many of these shoes will simply have a light layer of fabric, or even a piece of mesh, something simple and easy to hold the shoe on the foot. The toebox will be roomy, allowing the toes to expand as they strike the ground. The upper is not the only thing missing. Minimalist shoes should not have any arch support or motion control or stability devices; basically, they won’t have support elements.

One of the most important components of a minimalist running shoe is the flexibility. Your foot must be able to move and flex naturally. They should also be close to the ground. Think of how it is to run barefoot. A truly minimalist running shoe is as close as you can get to being barefoot without actually being barefoot.

How to begin running in minimalist shoes

It’s important that you progress slowly to wearing minimalist running shoes. First, walk around barefoot as much as possible and get used to the way it feels. Second, strengthen your feet. If you do yoga then do what is known as the Tree Pose, or stand on one foot, place your other foot on the inside of your thigh so it forms a triangle and put your hands above your head and hold for a minute on each foot.

Finally, wear your minimalist running shoes as much as possible before you start running. Walk in them, run errands, clean your house, and get your feet as used to feeling them as possible.

Barefoot runners tend to land on the balls of their feet rather than their heels, causing less collision force to their feet. There is also evidence that barefoot runners experience fewer injuries.

How Should I Measure My Hand When Ordering a Tennis Racquet Online?

How Should I Measure My Hand When Ordering a Tennis Racquet Online?

Q: I want to order a tennis racquet online and I don’t know have access to a racquet now to figure out what size grip I need. How should I measure my hand?

A: Finding the proper grip size is very important. This can not only make the difference with performance and control, but also help to prevent injury.

Most adult racquet grips measure from 4” – 4 5/8”, and come in 1/8” intervals.

When you go to a store, an expert can help you to measure your grip. However, before ordering a racquet online, it is imperative that you measure your hand at home. Here is a simple way to measure your grip size: take a ruler and measure from the bottom crease of your palm to the tip of your ring finger on your racquet hand.

Don’t worry we aren’t all perfect! If you are in between sizes, it’s always best to go with the smaller size and add overgrip, which typically adds about 1/16”. Overgrip is something you can wrap around your racquet to get more cushion or a better fit. Some overgrip is absorbent which helps if you sweat a lot; other overgrip is sticky or tacky. Finally, some people use it simply to change the color of their racquet or make it stand out.

It’s a good idea to change your grip regularly to maintain control and performance.

By Barkley

My Foot Goes Numb When I Run. Why?

My Foot Goes Numb When I Run. Why?

Q: My foot is going numb whenever I run. Why is this happening? It’s scaring me!

A: First, you should really ask your doctor or podiatrist. Anytime something like this happens you should have it checked out. That said, you should also check your shoes. Are they too tight? What about your laces? Try loosening your laces or undoing the top hole. If it’s not your shoes then check your socks. What kind of socks are you wearing? Are they too tight? Are you sensing a theme? Make sure nothing that you’re wearing is too tight or cutting off circulation, which can cause numbness. You may want to try a pair of shoes one size bigger.

Many people wear running shoes that are a full size larger than their other shoes. Another idea is to try a shoe with a wider toe. Other people with this issue swear by New Balance running shoes as many of these have a wider width or wider toebox. If possible, try and remember what happens right before your foot goes numb: Does a part of your foot hurt? Do you have tingling and pain in the ball of your foot? How do your toes feel? Numbness can be a nerve issue. It could be Morton’s Neuroma, an enlarged nerve that usually occurs in between the third and fourth toes. No one is certain about the causes although flat feet, high heels and a tight toebox have all been considered to be culprits. Morton’s Neuroma can cause numbness, tingling and pain in the ball of your foot.

Another issue could be plantar fasciitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot — connecting your heel bone to your toes.” Plantar Fasciitis is more common in runners than non-runners. If you think that you might have either of these problems, you should go to the podiatrist. But, let’s go back to your shoes. Are your shoes in good shape? You should replace them every few months (depending how often you run) or 400 miles (on average). Are they feeling any different? Does the heel squish up easily? If so, it may be time to invest in a new pair. If you do need a new pair then it is vital that you get the right one for your foot. The wrong shoe, or the wrong fit, can cause numbness.

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