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Thursday, November 27, 2008
If you’re an avid runner, keeping yourself well hydrated (summer or winter) should be an ongoing process. I’m bad about only thinking about hydration about an hour before I run when I gulp down a bottle of water. But if you’re doing long runs of more than 8 miles you should actually be thinking about hydration a few days before. If you’re well hydrated then your urine should be pale in color and you should be voiding around 6 times a day.
Christine Luff from About.com: Running and Jogging suggest drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid about an hour before running. That will give you time to void before you run. You can drink another 4 to 8 ounces right before running.
On long runs carrying water and/or sports drink along on the run is often a good idea. During the summer I like using the handheld bottles. I often run shirtless and the belts tend to irritate me. During the winter the handheld bottles are too cold to handle, so I wear a belt system. I’ve tried several brands of hydration systems, but I’ve found that Amphipod’s products work best for me. They have a handheld bottle that’s flat and is easier to hold than the round bottles. They also have belt systems where the bottles snap on and off, making it easier to use while in motion. What hydration systems have worked well for you?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Well it was inevitable. The first really cold run of the season hit last Saturday with the temp hovering around 20°. Actually wasn't too bad, once we got going. With the cold comes a whole different set of running concerns. Check out these cold weather running tips by Christine Luff from About.com: Running & Jogging
1. Watch for Frostbite
On really cold days, make sure you monitor your fingers, toes, ears, and nose. They may feel numb at first, but they should warm up a few minutes into your run. If you notice a patch of hard, pale, cold skin, you may have frostbite. Get out of the cold immediately and slowly warm the affected area. If numbness continues, seek emergency care.
2. Pay Attention to Temperature and Wind Chill
If the wind is strong, it penetrates your clothes and removes the insulating layer of warm air around you. Your movement also creates wind chill because it increases air movement past your body. If the temperature dips below zero or the wind chill is below minus 20, hit the treadmill instead.
3. Protect Your Hands and Feet
As much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. On mild days, wear gloves that wick moisture away. Mittens are a better choice on colder days because your fingers will share their body heat. You can also tuck disposable heat packets into your mittens. Add a wicking sock liner under a warm polar fleece or wool sock, but make sure you have enough room in your running shoes to accommodate these thicker socks.
4. Dress in Layers
Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat from your body. Stay away from cotton because it holds the moisture and will keep you wet. An outer, breathable layer of nylon or Gore-Tex will help protect you against wind and precipitation, while still letting out heat and moisture to prevent overheating and chilling. If it's really cold out, you'll need a middle layer, such as polar fleece, for added insulation.
5. Check With Your MD
Cold air can trigger chest pain or asthma attacks in some people. Before braving the elements, talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions or concerns about exercising outdoors.
6. Avoid Overdressing
You're going to warm up once you get moving, so you should feel a little bit chilly when you start your run. A good rule of thumb: Dress as if it's 20 degrees warmer outside than it really is.
7. Don't Forget Your Head
About 40% of your body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss, so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of the body. When it's really cold, wear a face mask or a scarf over your mouth to warm the air you breathe and protect your face.
8. Get Some Shades
The glare from snow can cause snow blindness, so wear sunglasses (polarized lenses are best) to avoid this problem.
9. Don't Stay in Wet Clothes
If you get wet from rain, snow, or sweat in cold temperatures, you're at an increased risk for hypothermia, a lowering of your body temperature. If you're wet, change your clothes and get to warm shelter as quickly as possible. If you suspect hypothermia -- characterized by intense shivering, loss of coordination, slurred speech, and fatigue -- get emergency treatment immediately.
10. Stay Hydrated
Despite the cold weather, you'll still heat up and lose fluids through sweat. Cold air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or a sports drink before, during, and after your run.
11. Remember Sunscreen
Sunburn is still possible in the winter because the snow reflects the sun's rays. Protect your lips with lip balm, too.
12. Take it Easy When It's Frigid
You're at greater risk for a pulled muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly and run easy on very cold days. Save your tough workouts for milder days or indoors.
13. Be Visible
It's best to avoid running in the dark but, if you have to run at night, wear reflective gear and light-colored clothing. Dress in bright colors if you're running in the snow.
14. Run Into the Wind
If you head out into the wind, it will be at your back at the end of your workout, when you're sweaty and could catch a chill.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
2.4 mile swim: 00:59:01
Transition 1: 00:13:48
112 mile bike: 06:22:44
Transition 2: 00:06:57
26.2 mile run: 04:30:37
Overall placement: 151/337
Age group: 11/31
The race went surprisingly well. Except for colder than expected air(39 degrees) and water (67 degrees) on race morning, the conditions were perfect. The swim started at the south end of Wrightsville Beach and ended at Sea Path Marina near the Wrigthsville Beach Town Hall. The cold water caused my legs to cramp up several times on the swim. It also left me a little loopy at the end of the swim. It was difficult to just stand up at first and very difficult to change into biking gear—hard to think—hard to use your hands. To make matters worse, the changing tent was packed—chairs around the side and other than that—standing-room only. Luckily, I was able to get a chair to sit on after several minutes. That transition took me almost 15 minutes. The bike was 99% flat and smooth with little to no wind. Temps for the bike started around 40 degrees but must have ended in the high 60's to 70. I stopped three times on the ride—first at about 40 miles to peel off some clothes; next at 60 to peel more clothes and mix up some more drinks (Accelerade), and one more with about 20 miles to go to call my family and give them a heads up that I would be in transition soon (use of electronic devices is prohibited, so please don't tell the refs!). My biggest fear was the run, but it went well too. None of my intermittent hamstring, knee, or hip issues cropped up. I kept a fairly consistent pace throughout. I walked only occasionally at aid stations at which I ate mostly gels, orange wedges, and/or pretzels. I carried my own drink. My parents were at the T2—the battleship—so I saw them at the start and halfway points of the run (it was two 13 miles laps). My wife, Janet and son, Dave were in downtown Wilmington at miles 3 and 16. Dave ran with me a few blocks each lap. All were at the finish. On the first lap, I was just looking forward to finishing it and figured that if I made it at least that far I could consider it a successful outing. Then, once I actually got a few miles into the second lap, I knew I would finish one way or another—I certainly wasn't going to turn around or backtrack! On the second lap, Dave met me near the 24 mile mark and ran over the bridge to finish with me at the battleship. I felt pretty good at the end. But the next morning it was hard to get out of bed or even roll over. I guess the 6 Ibuprofen I took the day before had worn off! I'm feeling pretty good now. It was fun, and although I wouldn't say "never", I currently have no plans to enter another.
Rich, I think I speak for all the Blueliners....awesome job and what an inspiration! You da man! Lucy and Ben do an amazing 40-mile ultra trail marathon. Andy sets a marathon PR. Kelly qualifies for Boston and then Rich completes a full IronMan! What's next for the Blueliners?
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Two other running buddies—Andy and Kelly—and I recently ran the Ridge to Bridge Marathon in Morganton, NC. This race was on the other side of the state in the mountains. The first 14 miles were down hill! Was a tough race. Kelly and Andy both set PRs. Kelly even qualified for Boston! Wasn't my day. I had to drop out of the race. But it was a beautiful course nonetheless. It's a small race (only 150 runners) and extremely well organized. I'm always looking for new races, especially marathons and half marathons. What are some of your favorites?
Monday, November 3, 2008
I don't know if either candidate—Obama or McCain—are runners, but even if they're not be sure to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 4th! The lines may be long, so be sure to pack your Gatorade and a Power Gel to aid in your endurance! :-)