Foot Notes: Reach your dreams, and your running goals, by closing your eyes

Andy Sandrik
Foot Notes

For nearly an hour I was fully locked on the TV, almost unaware that I was even running on the treadmill.

The only time I looked down at the machine was to bump up the speed every half-kilometer. My legs felt aggressive, my breathing was under control, and when the workout hit its toughest stages, I was still able to talk about the show's plot points with my 8-year-old son, Paxton.

When I stepped off, I didn't desperately run to the fridge to grab a Gatorade, nor did I feel the need to find a private corner to die. Nope. I felt fresh this time, and proud, because my effort had just produced a treadmill 10K PR.

It's amazing the things you can accomplish on a full night of sleep.

I've spent almost all of my running career looking for ways to become better and faster. Training is important, as is technique and diet, but I've never really put enough stock into sleep. As a father of two, freelance writer, and aspiring handyman/lawn care specialist, late nights and early mornings are the norm. I'd be lying if I told you I was getting at least six hours of sleep a night.

Andy Sandrik, Foot Notes columnist

My running times haven't necessarily been slow following those sleep-deprived nights, but I've noticed they take a bigger toll on my body. Before I even hit the road, I'm lacking in motivation and enthusiasm. And when I finish, I end up with tired legs and heavy eyelids, instead of a runner's high.

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It should be common sense that better sleep can lead to increased performance, in just about anything, but after a hard day at the office and putting the wife and kids to bed, I want to enjoy my "me time" and watch TV and play video games. Before I know it, I'll see the time on my phone and try to hold a shred of optimism when I tell myself I can get a solid five hours and 15 minutes of sleep if I fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

I'm almost always awake for as long as I can keep my eyes open. But there are some days — like a nine-hour shift working outdoors under a 98-degree heat index earlier this week — where you just can't make it that deep into the night.

After this particular work day, I kept my running streak going with a quick one-miler, and found my bed shortly after. I slept like a rock for more than nine uninterrupted hours before my daughter, Vivienne, finally woke me up in the morning to make breakfast and get her ready for daycare.

Bright eyed and clear headed, I remembered to pack her swimming clothes for water day, and we sang together as I worked on her hair. After dropping her off, I took care of a few chores around the house and then told Paxton, "Let's do two episodes today," before turning on the treadmill and having one of my best workouts of the year.

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As runners, we relish those rare days where our bodies do exactly what we ask of them, without turbulence or complaints. It's like that perfect golf stroke. Even the worst golfers amongst us (raises hand) have their bright moments on the course, and it's those moments that keep us coming back, even if the golfers playing behind us wish we wouldn't.

We want to hit those shots, or have those perfect workouts, every time we put out the effort, but instead we're usually just trying to figure how we are able to have such success in the first place.

My advice as you begin to reminisce and overanalyze those great runs of yesteryear: Sleep on it. For more than a few hours. You might find that your wildest dreams are more in reach than you might believe.

Results: Triathlon still going strong 

More than five years after the race launched in 2015 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Waynesboro YMCA, the Strokes, Spokes, & Strides Triathlon is still going strong.

Nearly 70 combined individual athletes and relay teams showed up for the event, and Sharpsburg's Christopher Young put on a show in the main event, winning the triathlon in 1:06:37 over Hagerstown's Will Marquiss (1:08:23). Young and Marquiss were chased by Greencastle's Ryan Barnhart (1:11:34), Waynesboro's Yvonne Grigg (1:19:50), Wynn Fertig (1:23:17), Meghan Neumann (2:01:02), and Deb Swope (2:08:07), Hagerstown's Allison Burkey (1:23:40), Amy Byard (1:30:35), and John Commander (1:56:02), and Shippensburg's Nicole Albright (1:32:21).

Chambersburg’s mother-son team of Jill and Bryton Hazelton brought home some hardware from the Laurel Festival 10K. Bryton finished third in the 19U AG with a 47:21, while Jill finished as third female in 52:48.

The duathlon saw finishes from Chambersburg's Lance Mitchell (1:28:48) and Greencastle's John Economos (1:40:51).

The start of summer was celebrated with the Frederick Summer Solstice 8K and the Solstice 5K in Shippensburg. We'll begin in Frederick, where Hagerstown's Shane Miller set the bar for locals with a 32:43. He was followed by Waynesboro's Hannah Coyle (48:11) and Deann Deihl (54:54), Hagerstown's Bruce Attavian (48:56) and Emily Sottile (56:12), and Boonsboro's Leslie Gordon (49:51), Crista Noyes (49:52), and Emily Bannon (1:08:56).

The Solstice 5K in Shippensburg saw Carlisle's Christopher Diaz earn a win 17:57 over Shippensburg's Kyle Buchheister, who clocked an 18:08. Walker Mason, a 13-year-old from Hagerstown, took third in 19:47. Mont Alto's Angie Fuss was the top female in the race with a 25:28, while Chambersburg's Amy Angle finished second in 27:39.

Chambersburg’s Chris Anne Beardslee-Myers flexes for the camera after taking third in her age group with a 1:01:32 at the Spartan Sprint in Bethel (N.Y.).

Other top runners were Waynesboro's Noah Bockstie (20:45) and Nicholas Piechocki (21:26), Chambersburg's Stan Vaughn (22:08), Jeremy Hawk (22:17), David Dymond (22:22), John Gow (24:15), Shelby White (24:47), and Craig Leisher (25:09), and Shippensburg's Rylan Asper (24:03) and Ron Slozat (27:38).

The Spirit of Gettysburg 5K featured finishes from Chambersburg's Josiah Fisler (19:51) and Tim Fisler (21:03), while the Outrun ALS 5 Mile Run in Cumberland, Md. saw Hagerstown's Seth Dodson (43:11) and Stephen Dodson (49:05) cross the finish line.

A handful of locals spent a lot of time in the woods at the Laurel Highlands Ultra in Ohiopyle and the Ghost Town Trail Challenge 50K in Ebensburg. At Laurel Highlands, Stephen Xereas posted a 20:08:05 in the 70.5-mile race, while fellow Fayetteville runner Philip Samotus finished the 50K in 6:21:55. The Ghost Town saw Chambersburg's Sara Grove finish in 6:43:07.

Another laurel-themed race, the Laurel Festival 10K, saw the mother-son team of Jill and Bryton Hazelton earn AG hardware. Jill was the third female in 52:48, while Bryton finished third in the 19U AG with a 47:21.

Chambersburg's Eric Guyer (51:38) and Chris Anne Beardslee-Myers (1:01:32) each earned third-place AG finishes at the Spartan Sprint in Bethel (N.Y.), while Steve Myers, also from Chambersburg, finished in 56:19.

Waynesboro's Justin Bonner was a machine at Swim Fest Luray, collecting finishes in the 750 meters (10:33), 1,500 meters (21:40), and 2,250 meter (34:48). Hagerstown's Jamie Wisz finished the 1,500 meters in 34:11.

Waynesboro's Luke Manning clocked a 10:50 at the two-mile race in the Pete Wright Memorial All-Comers Track & Field Series, while Hagerstown's Jeremiah Clemmer (4:34:47) was the top local competing at the Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon in Philadelphia.

Upcoming running events in the area

Firecracker 5K: Saturday, July 3, 7:45 a.m., in Waynesboro. Come for the race, stay for the fireworks. This 20th-year race also includes a one-mile kids' race. Find the race on

Shoe House 5-Miler: Saturday, July 3, 7 a.m., in York. Spots are still available for this event, which is in its ninth year. Register for the race at

Greg Shank Memorial 5K: Sunday, July 4, 8:30 a.m., in Williamsport, Md. This inaugural race, put on by the Greencastle Flyers, will benefit the Greg Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund. Register or the race on

Also: Pete Wright Memorial All-Comers Track Series (Tuesday, in Hagerstown, Md.); FSRC Independence 5000 (Saturday, July 3, in Frederick, Md.); Love INC 5K (Saturday, July 3, in Hummelstown); Pottstown Patriotic 5K (Saturday, July 3, in Pottstown); Ephrata Firecracker 5 Miler (Saturday, July 3, in Ephrata); Mifflinburg 5K (Saturday, July 3, in Mifflinburg); Greg Hodnett Foundation 5K (Saturday, July 3, in Port Royal); Firecracker 5K (Sunday, July 4, in Williamsport); Paxtang Lions Patriot Dash 5K (Sunday, July 4, in Harrisburg).