As I entered mile five or so of my run this morning, I started thinking time had sped up and it was July because no way could I have been wearing a jacket and gloves last week and now sweat poured out of me in just a t-shirt. Lawrence went from winter to summer seemingly overnight and though I wouldn’t be surprised if it snowed one more time, I’m switching gears to my summer running mode. Heat can make running more challenging, but it’s not a reason to stop doing what you love (or are trying to tell yourself you love).
Here are 10 tips I follow for hot weather running:
- Go early or late. You’ve got more daylight now than any other time of the year – use that by getting out a couple hours earlier or later than normal. Ideally, never go out between 10am-4pm.
- Stay in the shade. I’m a trailrunner the majority of the time and shade comes naturally with the local trails. If you run pavement, try to find tall buildings or shaded parks to run through.
- Bare minimum. Wear enough clothing so that you don’t cause a car accident while running down neighborhood streets, but don’t overdo it because you’re self-conscious. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is ideal.
- Protect your feet. Wear synthetic fiber socks to wick away the excessive foot sweat that comes with hot weather running. Extra sweat means blisters and blisters mean less time running later. Fun phrase to remember: Cotton is rotten.
- Chill. Soak a bandana in cold water and wear it around your neck or tie a couple around your wrists. A small amount of cool goes a long way.
- Drink as you go. Carry a hydration device with you no matter how far you’re going. Hand held bottles, waistpacks or backpacks can be found locally at Garry Gribbles or Sunflower Bike on Mass Street. You need approximately six ounces of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise. Having a little extra to pour over your head has a great cooling effect as well.
- Salt up. Sweating more means losing more salt and that can be replaced by adding some to your diet. Be reasonable - an afternoon pretzel snack or shaking some salt on dinner is good with most runs.
- Slow down. Give your normal pace a break and take it easier, even walk periodically.
- Tell a friend. As with any time of year and any weather conditions, tell someone where you are going and for approximately how long.
- Know when to say when. If you begin feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated – stop, rest and drink. There is no reason to cause yourself harm just to get a run in – be smart.
I don't go to church. I run. I don't go to therapy. I run. I don't diet. I run. I don't drink. I run. I don't own a scale. I run. I don't go to a gym. I run. I don't wear a watch. I run.
Running isn't just exercise for me, its a way of life. When I run, I'm a better person.
I have co-workers, friends and family that shake their heads when I talk about an easy 10 miles or getting up on Saturday morning to get muddy on a trail. Nothing beats the feeling of finishing a run. Pure exhaustion, blessed relief, a quieter mind. Your only immediate desire is a drink of water and maybe a sandwich. The hardest moments in my life have been more bearable with running. My mind solves problems it couldn't while sitting at a desk all day.
I prefer outdoors running. You can run on a treadmill - sure - but you're missing the best part. Sun, rain, dirt, trees - they're all a part of our most basic human existence and the closer you get to them, the better you feel. And mud? Make it your friend. I have a pair of running shoes I won't bring in the house because they're so repeatedly caked in mud. They are my favorite shoes. I look at them and know how strong I am. I wish I could wear them to work.
Running isn't pretty. Midway through a run on a hot July day, sweating in buckets, my water pack nearly empty, bug bites all over... or 15 degrees in winter, three pairs of gloves and socks, snot frozen on my face, cheeks red with windburn. No, running isn't pretty, its beautiful.
If you want to see humanity at its finest, sign up for a race. Don't do it for the time, t-shirt or medal. Do it for the experience. The feeling of complete strangers handing you water or bandaging a sore foot. Strangers cheering for you on like you're the oldest of friends. At a finish line, when you get high fives and hugs from more strangers. People offering their own phone to make a call or helping you to the sideline. You don't know their names, but they're not really strangers. They too are runners, or the family of runners, and in those moments they are your family.
I have made friends in the middle of marathons. People that you start encouraging because you see their pain. You know that wince. You know that cramp. People that turn and encourage you. Before you know it, you know their children's names and all the mess of their lives. In a shared span of five miles along a wooded trail or crowded city street.
During the Leadville Marathon last June, as I was starting mile 11, feeling I'd gotten in a bit over my head, beginning the dreaded 3,000 foot ascent... a woman next to me started talking to me. I know she could sense my fear. She was local so the altitude wasn't really a factor for her. I was immediately dubbed "Kansas" and she encouraged me all the way up that mountain. I lost her on the way back down, as she was acclimated and my legs far too shaky, but as soon as I crossed the finish line that afternoon, she came running up to me, hugged me and congratulated me.
Never have I fallen in a race without someone there to pick me up. Never have I finished a race without full, screaming support - whether I got first place or almost last. Running is a family. A family that will always watch out for one another. The greatest support system I've ever known. Lawrence is lucky enough to have several running clubs - all of whom have wonderful members that offer the same amazing support on everyday runs. If you've thought about taking up running, you're in the perfect place to do it. And don't worry about how far you can go, just that you go. Or how fast, just that you keep going.
I volunteer at races because runners give back. All of them. Giving aid to those that have done it for you is part of the circle. I don't know a runner that hasn't handed out water, clipped shoe timers, marked courses or a dozen other things. Running is very personally spiritual and therapeutic and running is also about family and giving.
Then there are the actual families of runners. Those that don't run, but support that wife, husband, sister... they all deserve the highest of praise for their patience and undying support from daily runs to standing around waiting on us for hours at finish lines. Talk about deserving a medal! We runners understand that as well, and fully appreciate it.
I'll be running this weekend on my own as well as volunteering for the Free State Trail Runs taking place at Clinton Lake. The 2013 event is being dedicated to the victims in Boston.
Mrs. Robinson's Romp 5k & 10k trail races originally scheduled for this Saturday, March 2, have been postponed until Saturday, March 16, due to the snowstorm related closure of Wyandotte County Lake Park. Start time remains at 9:00 am at Shelter #14, Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, KS.
For further information and updates, see http://www.psychowyco.com/id99.html
Need a break from KU basketball? A night at the movies gotten too routine? The Kansas City Roller Warriors roller derby league is back March 2 for their 2013 season opener and if you've never tasted derby, now is the time.
The KCRW came about in the spring of 2004 after Brooke Leavitt and Mandy Durham, both public library employees, went from joking about forming a league to seriously pursuing it. With a little help from existing leagues in Texas and Arizona, the Warriors were rolling by June of the same year. “We started skating in a parking lot in the middle of the summer,” says Leavitt. “There was broken glass and crap all over the place, and we’d just go out there and skate in circles until I thought we were gonna die from heatstroke.”
By 2005, the Warriors were gaining popularity and battling in front of thousands. The league currently has about 80 members and four teams. And lest you think these ladies are only about getting rough and bloody (they really do follow a strict set of rules in bouts), let me tell you how charitable they are.
On January 26th of this year they participated in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Coming up they have the Brew to Brew Relay Race for Cystic Fibrosis, Walk MS for the National MS Society and Aids Walk Kansas City. Each season they also donate a percentage of profits to a local charity. Donations have been made over the years to the American Cancer Society, Young Survivors Coalition and the YWCA to name just a few.
Home bouts will take place March 2, April 6, June 1 and July 13 at Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th, in downtown Kansas City. Doors open at 5pm, events begins at 6pm. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at http://kcrollerwarriors.myshopify.com/products/adult-rumble-pack.
Derby has a reputation of theatrics – even scares some according to those I’ve spoken with – but I assure you this is a fun, even family friendly, sport. These women train hard and compete hard – they just dress it up a bit and have fun. I saw my first bout several years ago on Valentine’s Day (what better day for women to bash each other?!) and was hooked.
And remember, if you’re not into theatrics or derby names (I like Gray Skies for myself), you can still try skating on your own for exercise. It provides a good cardio workout as well as working all major muscle groups. And assuming you’re not bashing into people or the ground, it’s pretty low impact and easy on the joints.
For more on the KCRW, check out kcrollerwarriors.com.
Nothing like a race in honor of Anne Bancroft’s best role. Or is it in honor of the occasional reports of cougars in our area? I’m thinking a dehydrated trailrunner 15 miles into a Saturday workout may have hazily melded the two together… well, whatever happened, we now have Mrs. Robinson’s Romp 5k & 10k trail run also known affectionately as the Cougar Run.
The 4th annual event starts at 9:00 am, Saturday, March 9th at Shelter 14, Wyandotte County Lake Park, KC, KS. You can sign up race morning for $25, but if you do so by midnight Friday, February 15, its only $15. This includes a mug and sticker. Sign up at http://www.enter2run.com/search/event.aspx?id=18115. Dogs are also welcome to enter with their human for only $5 more. They may need some help with the registration process though..
The 5k is perfect for beginners as the trails aren’t too tricky – for a single track trail, in a rather hilly area, in winter. The 10k course is rumored to be a bit more challenging! And if the Trail Nerds say challenging, they really mean you’ll be cursing at yourself and the trail at least 90% of the time.
Packet pickup will be race morning so give yourself some extra time.
Free photos will be provided by Dick Ross and staff of SeeKCrun. I like to think of them as coaches because when you happen upon them along the trail, you have to perk up and pick up or risk looking completely defeated in a photo for all to see!
For questions and additional information on the event or the Trail Nerds, see http://www.psychowyco.com/id99.html.
The trails (and a healthier mind and body) are waiting!
--And a quick thank you to Mike Nichols and the rest of the cast and crew of The Graduate, without which we wouldn't have such an awesomely named event.
I’m not really one for receiving flowers or candy for Valentine’s Day. And jewelry? Just a waste of money that could go to a good cause. If you or a loved one feels the same way, consider giving the Sweetheart Run/Walk 5k as a gift this year.
The event will take place February 16 – perfect for those of you that forget until the last minute. The starting gun will fire at 9am on the levee behind Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. 2nd, just across the river in north Lawrence. You can sign up as an individual for $28 or a duo with your significant other for $50. Sign up online now at http://www.sportkc.org/sportkc.aspx?pgID=866&event_id=857. Prices will go up slightly on race day.
Included in the registration fee are a long sleeved t-shirt and finishers medal. Personally, that’s better than a box of candy for me any day. Best of all, the event benefits the Head for the Cure foundation. See more information about them at www.headforthecure.org.
Awards will be given to the top male, female and coed team finishers as well as the top three males and females in each five year age group. Packet pickup will take place Friday, February 15, 3-6 pm at Garry Gribbles, 839 Massachusetts in Lawrence. Race day registration and pickup will begin at 8:15 am.
You just never know what will happen at a run like this (see accompanying photo) so come on out for the fun.
Are you Psycho? Answer the following questions to find out: Do you like running? Do you like running outside? Do you like running outside in winter? Do you like trailrunning outside in winter? If you muttered yes at any point, you are on some level a Psycho and should sign up for the Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run trail run!
The event takes place Saturday, February 9 at Wyandotte County Lake Park, Shelter 2, in Kansas City, Kansas. You’ve got a choice of distance: 10 miler (9am start), 20 miler (8am start) and 50k (31 miles and 8am start).This is no sissy course so if you haven’t done much hill training I’ve got one word for you – beware. Still interested? Sign up online now at https://enter2run.com/Register/?event=14152. Packet pickup can be done race morning or on Friday, February 8, 3-9pm, in the Comfort Suites, 3000 N. 103rd Terrace, KC, KS.
All participants receive a long sleeve technical shirt, mug and what can only be described as a truly “heavy medal”. Hot meals and drinks will be available post-race in addition to the aid stations along the course. Carrying your own hydration device is highly recommended as trail distances can feel (and actually take) much longer than on a road.
The course itself is single track, rocky, rooty and as mentioned, hilly. Be polite in passing or being passed by fellow runners. The course will be marked out with flags and various signs so if you pay attention, you shouldn’t get lost. Race Director Ben Holmes, however, has pointed out at many an event that it really wouldn’t be a trail race unless, “Someone got lost, someone got hurt and someone had to (expletive) in the woods.” Quite honestly, in my experience, he’s right. So be alert and you can avoid at least the first two. You’re on your own for that last one.
Photos will be taken this year by Dick Ross and staff with SeeKCrun. It’s great to have proof of your pain to show off to family and friends.
For more information and updates on the event see http://www.psychowyco.com/id7.html.
Gain a few pounds over the holidays? Been thinking about running in the new year? Maybe thinking about running, but not sure how much or little you can handle?
Come out this Saturday, January 5, to Coleen's Frozen Fat A## Run. If you're new to this, a Fat A## run is a low-key, training-style event that covers a variable amount of miles. No shirts, no medals, just fun and exercise. This event is unique in that it follows a three mile loop so you’re good if you’re a 5k’er and want to do just a loop or a 50k’er that wants to run all night.
The event takes place 7pm-7am at the Olathe Prairie Center, W. 135th in Olathe. From 135th, turn on S. Cedar Niles Road - the event will be headquartered out of the stone house just a short distance off 135th. Yes, that is pm to am. This is a nighttime event so bring a headlamp/flashlight. Feel free to join in after 7pm as well. There is no starting gun so you may begin anytime you’d like.
The Lawrence Trailhawks will have basic supplies at the house – which also has a restroom and heat! The event is free, but donations to the Prairie Center are accepted as well as food for yourself and fellow runners if you’re the type that might want to whip up a delicious chili or soup! Most participants will run awhile then partake of the fun indoors before returning to the cold darkness.
This is an entirely trail course, but nothing technical. Even beginners should be fine. Just remember that no dogs are allowed.
Last year was cold, the water crossings were icy, my headlamp batteries went out about six miles in, but I pulled 15 miles and had a wonderful time. There is nothing quite as beautiful as the bobbing glow of headlamps across a field late into the night.
The Trailhawks are supportive of every runner so join them Saturday!
Need a reason to escape your family for a couple hours Thursday morning? Or have family coming in from out of town and want to show them something great about Lawrence? The runLawrence Thanksgiving Day 5k run/walk is still looking for volunteers.
The event is headquartered at Woodlawn School, 508 Elm, North Lawrence. Both indoor and outdoor assistance is needed so don’t let cold temperatures deter you. The race itself kicks off at 8:30am. Volunteer arrival times will depend on assigned duty.
Keep in mind, this event is one of the largest and most diverse running events of the year in Lawrence. Currently a dozen states are represented. Come and be part of the fun.
All volunteers receive a Woodlawn student designed t-shirt and are eligible for a drawing for two gift certificates from Johnny's Tavern.
If interested, contact Dee Boeck, Race Director at (785)841-3587 or email@example.com.
The runners and walkers of Lawrence (and many other places) will be thankful!
For more information on the race, see runlawrence.org.
Toys for Tots is raising awareness this season by teaming up with another holiday favorite – the ugly sweater. The streets of Downtown Lawrence will host the Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday, December 1 at 2:00 pm. You’ll already be downtown for the 20th Anniversary of the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade at 11 am so you might as well stick around for this!
The 5k event welcomes both runners and walkers. In fact, it’s meant to be in good fun so don’t expect any records to be set that day - unless its fastest hot chocolate chug during a 5k. Ouch.
The course will offer holiday music, snow machines, sledding and themed aide stations flowing with the aforementioned hot chocolate. It is suggested you wear an ugly holiday sweater and bring a new toy for donation to Toys for Tots.
Post “race” festivities include beverages (even the adult kind), awards such as best mustache, beard – and obviously sweater. All festivities, pre and post, will be located in Watson Park at 7th & Tennessee Street.
You can register online at http://www.active.com/5k-race/lawrence-ks/the-ugly-sweater-run---lawrence-2012?int=29-12. Solo and team sign-ups are welcome. Every participant gets a custom pint glass, Santa hat/reindeer hat, two free Winter Lagers courtesy of sponsor Sam Adams (21 and over, with ID) and a mustache. I guess it goes with the ugly sweater?!
If you’re interested in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll still get drinks and a snazzy mustache.
For more information on the Toys for Tots program, see www.toysfortots.org/.