Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Dawg Days of Summer part II…

In my last post on the Dawgs Days of Summer we learned about the hazards of heat stress, this post we will look at how you can protect yourself from the heat.

1.Understand thirst lags the biological need for fluid.

2.Drink 4‑8 ounces of water 10‑15 minutes before a strenuous workout.

3.When possible, schedule runs with high heat stress potential for cooler periods of the day.

4.Wear light colored, moisture wicking and light weight performance exercise clothing.

5.Avoid strenuous workouts after recent alcohol intake.

6.Certain medicines such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, anticholinergic drugs and some heart and blood pressure medicines, consult your doctor.

7.While on your run, seek out the shady areas along the path.

8.Meals prior to your run should be light and cool. 

9.Plan heavier meals for the evening after your run.

10.Best NATURAL DEFENSE against heat illness is ACCLIMATIZATION, give yourself some time to adjust to the heat. 

The effects of heat stress range from discomfort to heat stroke and even death.  Direct heat stress related illnesses include heat exhaustion, cramps, stroke, fainting, rashes, and heat fatigue.  Heat can also cause injuries indirectly heat stress conditions may cause you to become weak, faint or dizzy, fall, use poor judgment, or become distracted or irritable. 

If you think you’re being overcome by a heart stress condition, stop your run, cool down and if conditions persist, consult your doctor.

Keep cool people…Run on…

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day

We interrupt our running blog to give THANKS to all those who Have, Are and Will serve!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Dawg Days of Summer…

What a great winter we had, or lack of a winter.  For the most part, the east coast was spared a cold and snowy winter.  Heck we had some of the nicest days of the year in Jan, Feb and March.  I did not consult the National Weather Offices but I feel confident in saying we only had a few weeks of seasonal weather all year and I am Thankful…all my marathon training long runs were run in great conditions and the Shamrock Marathon was a near perfect day.  But boy are we going to pay for it this summer.

The Dawg Days of summer are right around the corner…and this is the time of the year you have got to pay attention to your body.  One of the harmful effects of the summer sun/heat is heat stress.  

Heat stress is the physiological reaction that occurs when the body accumulates heat faster than it can be dissipated.

Heat Fatigue – Caused by, prolonged heat exposure for those who are unaccustomed to heat.   Symptoms,  temporary state of discomfort or mental or psychological strain.  Treatment, provide cool liquids and breaks in a cool location.   

Heat Exhaustion – Caused by, loss of large amounts of body fluids by sweating, sometimes with excessive salt loss.  Symptoms, continued sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, giddiness, nausea, or headache, skin clammy and moist, complexion pale or flushed, body temperature normal or slightly elevated.  Possibly vomiting or loss of consciousness.  Treatment, Summon medical help immediately.  Move victim to a cool location, remove excess clothing , cool by fanning or by pouring ambient temperature water on the body.  Give cool drinks if conscious.

Heart Stroke – Caused by, failure of the body’s temperature control mechanism.  Symptoms, hot, usually dry red or spotted skin without sweat.  Body temperature =103o F. Victim confused, delirious, convulsing, or unconscious.  Treatment, Life threatening - Summon medical help immediately.  Move victim to a cool location; remove excess clothing, cool by fanning or by pouring ambient temperature water on the body.  Treat for shock by raising feet if there are no head, neck, or back injuries.

Take care of yourself, because of the importance of personal factors in heat stress, the individual employee is in the best position to understand and should take responsibility for detecting his/her personal heat stress limitations.

Part II , How to prevent heat stress on Monday.

Keep cool people…Run on...Run Strong!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A 20 Mile Half Marathon......What?

Yesterday (20 May) I ran the "Run For The Dream" Half Marathon in Colonial Williamsbug and it equaled 20 miles. Say in the name of Garmin was the course that far off?  Well there is some question how accurate the course was, but no it was not that far off.

One of my yearly goals is to run a 20 miler every month to stay in marathon shape.  Needing a 20 miler for May, and at the persuasion of a friend, I decided to run the half +7 miles as a supported long run.  Two friends (Susan, and Lloyd) and I arrived at the break of dawn and banged out 7 miles before race start.  We timed our 7 mile run so well we reached the starting line with about two minutes to spare.

Not wanting to bore you with the mile by mile details I will share my goal was to complete the half in under 2 hours.  I had not run a sub 2 hour half in nearly 5 years.  With 7 miles already on my lungs and legs I knew this might be a bit of a challenge, but I also knew that it would be a good test of my ability to run hard during the closing stages of a long run.  I was really surprised that I felt strong during the run, on a very hilly course, I was able to keep up a good pace and never felt weak.

I'll brag just a little to say, I ran the "Run For The Dream" in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 38 seconds, placing 382 out of 1441 runners.

"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting Older and Running…

Other then the occasional run for fun and sport, I did not pick up a real love for running until I was 36.  And it was not love at first step, but over time what started off as a chore to rid a few extra pounds turned into a hobby then into a life-style.  Getting and feeling old…well that came along for the ride.

This past fall I turned middle aged, and although both my parents are still around, it hit me that any unexpected phone call from my home town area code could be bad, bad news.  And what also hit me was that in the normal course of life…that meant, TAG, I (our generation) was next.  Good Grief, Charlie Brown I don’t feel old enough to be the “next” generation on the Grim Reaper’s Rolodex.

But I refuse to be old.  I refuse to feel old.  Heck I refuse and double dog dare myself NOT to live old.  The calendar may tell a different story but my life will be youthful.   

For the aches and pains of getting out of bed…I will run farther.  For the new found hair growing out of my back…I will run faster.  And for all the short term memory loss…I’ll run another marathon.  Yes, I will take on old age and if I can not win the war, I’ll win each battle, each engagement by engagement.

At 45+ I’m really in the best shape of my life.  I eat better today then I ever have.  My aerobic capacity is better today then at any point in my life. But I do need a few extra steps to get rolling after sitting for a long time…So I’ll go for a 20 plus mile run once a month just to remind myself I can.

In the past year I have logged some of the best “quality” running miles of my career.  I’ve run longer races, run more long runs over shorter periods of time and really came into my own as a endurance runner.  But yet, the first few steps in the morning my bones are telling me just how old I am…So I’ll do another 24 hour run!

This year I ran my 6th full marathon, and although my finishing time was not what I wanted, I was in control of the run the entire race.  My body performed as it was trained, and then I capped off last year with my first 50K race.  I could not have imagined doing this 25 years ago.  Yet my feet hurt when walking during the cold hours of a winter morning…So I’ll run 3 marathons this year, running only two in a year is for old people!

Getting old sucks…and I plan to fight it every step of the way.  I’ve got to fight it…the songs says so “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys-R-US Marathon Running kid.”

Really I’m okay with growing old, God has a plan for my life, and I’m running to be with him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Help Wanted:

Let me introduce Susan C.

I met Susan little over a year ago when she wanted to start long distance running.  If you follow my blog you know she has overcome many challenges (Breast Cancer, and RA) on the road to running her first Half marathon, Full marathon and Ultra marathon (52.5 miles).

Now Susan is taking on another challenge…

We both live in a very military centered community, and I served in the US Air Force for 20 years.  During my career, the USO was always there, supporting me while I traveled to my next duty assignment, the next deployment or my remote tour.  The USO is also there for the countless troops who are serving away from home.

NOW Susan’s next big challenge is to raise money to support the USO who in turn supports YOUR United States Military.

Susan's second marathon will be the Marine Corp Marathon in Oct, she will be running for the USO charity team.  

Pls visit her site and donate

Thank you

P.S. I believe I can speak for the deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and US Marines who are far away from home tonight, THANK YOU!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Red, white and Air Pegasus!

For the new runner (or vet) finding the perfect shoe can seam a bit daunting.  In a sea of manufactures, colors and styles it is easy to forget what is important. Not only do you have to select the correct size, you also have to ensure your fitted with the right shoe for your foot, it's a very personal quest. 

The right shoe is key to avoiding injuries.

The right shoe is key to comfort

And the right shoe is key to performance.

The right shoe can ALSO be the key to style...

My perfect shoe is the NIKE Air Pegasus, I've been running in Air Pegs for all 12 years/9500 miles of my running career...and they never let me down.  The Air Pegs fit my foot, they cushion my ride and they protect my feet.  But they do lack some in pizazz.  My Air Pegs have come in "white and blue," "white and red," "white and another shade of blue" and "white with some black and yellow."  Although I'm a happy Air pegs wearer, I've always longed for a shoe with a bit of POP!

For this years Shamrock Marathon I took styling my Pegs into my own hands...and turned out my "Lucky Air Pegs."

They were a big hit.

Not wanting to leave a good idea alone, For the Run for the Dream Half Marathon in Colonial Williamsburg this weekend, where I will be running in our patriotic forefathers footsteps, I thought my Air Pegs should display a patriotic theme.

I might not run any faster, but my Air Pegs, will feature a unique style all my own.

Run on people.....RUN STRONG!

In JESUS name, I run!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Favorite Running Tools/Sites…

The community of runners is a great part of being a runner.  After all how much fun is it to just bang away the miles if I do not have some place to chat about the miles, some place to track your miles or some place to map the run.  This edition on my blog will feature my five favorite runner support sites/applications.

#1  #runchat on Twitter, even with a very supportive wife, who’s always takes an interest in my runs/races and performance, it’s nice to share the trails of running with “other runners.”  Twitter and the hashtag group #runchat are a great bunch of folks who offer encouragement, friendship, race reports and tips on getting what you want out of the sport lifestyle of running.  #RunChat Twitter Chat is held the second and fourth Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The chat is 60 minutes of interaction with others about running. You can join and chat live easily at www.therunchat.com

#2  Mapmyrun.com, although some runners enjoy the carefree approach to running, jumping out on unknown roads or trails and take on the unexpected.  Myself, I like to know where I’m going before I get there.  Mapmyrun.com offers an easy to use application where you can lay out our run, with the application measuring the distance, and hill profiles.  This FREE application offers the runner an advance screening before you ever set foot out on a new road or trail.

#3  Microsoft Excel, I’ve been tracking my running miles with this software since 2000.  I have built spread sheets/workbooks for each year and a combined workbook with totals for all years.  Excel makes it easy to use a couple simple formulas to not only keep a running total, but also view and tracks averages, calories and performance.

#4  Marathon and Beyond, A glossy magazine published 12 times a year (bimonthly) tailored specifically for marathoners and ultra-runners.  Their web site could be bit more modern, but I love, love the magazine content.   

#5  Marathon Calendar by Marathon Maniacs, I have spent a lot of time trying to find my next race, I bounced from one web site to another trying to find the best and closet race to my location.  The calendar offered by the Maniacs is the most complete marathon calendar I could find, listing both the 26.2 mile races and those longer in distance.

#5a Race Calendar by Running in the USA, my second stop when looking for a race is runningintheusa.com  A nicely organized web site with races, results, club information, photos, a forum and a lot more.

The Almost Top Five:
 - 26.2 Medals, See the bling from marathons across the US...and submit pictures of those not yet listed.

 - Marathon Pace Calculator by coolrunnings.com, my mind does not handle numbers very well, so this is a page I use often.  Getting headaches from trying to figure out whether you ran a 7:18 or 7:21 pace? Leave the math to cool running’s easy to use pace calculator. Plan your race pace and splits, figure out how far you ran based on your estimated pace, or calculate the pace of your last training run. 

The time pounding the pavement is only one part of the running lifestyle, the people, the races, the courses and how you keep up with your performance are all part of the fun.

What are some of your favorite running tools?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Racin on…

Almost before you know it half the year is just about over.  Where does time go?  Thought I would look ahead and see what my race calendar looks like.

- Run for the Dream Half Marathon, (going to make this a long run 20 miler by adding 7 miles before the start, crazy I know!) (Info here)

- Nothing yet…

Yorktown Independence day 8k, Va,  An 8K loop on the scenic roads and trails of the Yorktown battlefield.(Info here)  

- Nothing yet…

- Dam Hard Trail Race 25k, Tn, Norris Dam, the trails in and around the Norris Municipal Watershed and Norris Dam State Park offer a challenging and rewarding array of single-track and jeep roads.(Info here)  

- Colonial 200 Mile Relay, Va,  A unique, overnight relay adventure through the heart of Virginia, beginning in Albemarle County in central Virginia and finishes in historic Jamestown.(Info here)  

- Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, Va, The innaugural Peroni Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon starts at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.  All runners will "crawl" past the beautiful waterfront.(Info here)  

- Marine Corp Marathon, Va, The Peoples Marathon and one of the “Must Do” running events. 26.2 miles run in and around our Nations Capital. (Info here)  

- Norfolk Freedom Marathon, Va, mission is to raise awareness and enlist support for the needs of Veterans and their families. Run thu Norfolk, Va this may be consider my home course, but I’ve never run downtown Norfolk…until this year! (Info here)  

- Turkey Trot 10K, Pa, May be considered my “Home Town Run,” I’ve logged tons of miles on the Peninsula both before moving away and after during family visits. (Info here)
- Sea Shore Nature Trail 50K, Va, This race kicked my butt last year….run on the trails of First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, the course is lined with trees and follows hard-packed dirt trails through a variety of ecosystems.  The main trail is mostly flat, while side trails are slightly hilly with some tree roots to negotiate in certain sections. Wooden bridges are also found on several trails. (Info here) 

Well that about some up my running calendar for now…thing may change some, you just never know.  If your close to the 757 come on out and join me.

You can follow me @cledawgs on twitter

What are your racing plans?  Post a comment below and tell us about them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

My First Guest Post…

One of the greatest aspects of running is the community of runners.  No matter where I run or where I chat on the internet I find a group of people who feel like I do, who think like I do and who understand why I run.

On Twitter I bumped into Katie Key, she was very encouraging and her blog is a good read.  While I followed her exploits during a 24 hour relay run I thought, “I bet my friends/followers would like to get to know her.”  Check out her "about me page," very inspiring!

Introducing: Katie Key from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

How did you start and how long have you been running?  I started running the summer after I graduated college, about 8 years.  I started because I found myself with too much mid-section and too much free time after work.  I decided to put that free time to good use! 

What is your favorite pair of shoes? For the road, I love, love, LOVE the Saucony Kinvara.  I have had 3 pairs of the Kinvara 1, 1 pair of the Kinvara 2, and I am anxiously awaiting the release of the Kinvara 3.  For trail shoes, I simply adore the Brooks Cascadia.  I currently have the Cascadia 7.  I feel like they offer enough support for my ankles without adding too much weight to the shoe.

What was your first race?  My first race ever was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Greenville, SC.  Though I registered in the untimed category, that race proved to the “gateway drug” for my “running habit.”

What were your thoughts when you crossed the finish line? I remember crossing the finish line and thinking, “Huh, that really wasn’t so bad! I bet I could do that again…and a little bit faster!”  That day, the race was not really about the race itself, but about supporting an organization that I really stand behind and support.  However, races that followed proved to be in pursuit of much more “selfish” goals.
What is your proudest running accomplishment?  I have run some really awesome races and had some really wonderful experiences.  However, I’ll never forget this one time my friend, Denise, and I went out for a run on a random Tuesday night.  We got to talking and ended up running 13.1 miles…almost exactly.  It was so easy and so effortless and SO fun.  After we finished, I remember saying to her, “Dude, who runs a half marathon on a random Tuesday night??  WE DO!”

Do you run alone or with a group?  Why?  I think running alone and with a group are important and I do both.  I usually hit up group “social” runs during the week and I do my long runs solo on the weekends.  Running shorter distances with a group seems to work better for me and most of the groups I like the most meet on week nights anyway.  I like doing my weekend long run alone because I can throw on my headphones, set my Garmin, and just go!  I don’t have to worry about keeping pace with anyone else, pacing a friend, or anything like that.  I can just focus on me and my goals for that day. 

What races do you have on your calendar for this year?  Not currently registered for any races, I am keeping an eye on the AJC Peachtree Road Race in July, Hood to Coast in August, Rock n Roll Savannah in November. 

What is the longest distance you have run?  The longest distance I have ever run is 28 miles.  That was a good day.

If you where an animal what kind would you be and why?  I am a shameless LSU Tigers fan (my alma mater!), so I would probably pick to be a tiger.  GEAUX TIGERS! 

What other forms of exercise do you do?  I love cycling.  Last summer, I dabbled in swimming in order to do a sprint triathlon.  I quickly learned that I am NOT a natural swimmer.  I recently ordered TurboFire (from the same distributor as P90X) and It seems to incorporate a lot of plyometrics, hoping that will help me strengthen my legs and help increase my running speed. 

Who would win in a marathon, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno?  I’m going to say…Lou Ferrigno!  I love The Incredible Hulk!  HULK SMASH! 

When Katie is not running (or working), you can find her blogging away at katieRUNSthis.com.  She loves helping new runners find their way in this sport and enjoys encouraging and motivating others. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MY Five Favorite Running Movies…

1. UNBREAKABLE, WESTERN STATES 100…If this movie does not inspire you to run an Ultra, nothing will.  The 100 mile barrier is still just a dream to me, but every time I watch this movie it gets a little bit closer.

2.  SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON…Call me a wuss, if you want to but every time I watch this movie I get choked up.  The marathon is more then 26.2 miles….there is a story inside everyone.

3.  RUNNING ON THE SUN, THE BADWATER 135...The believable story, unbelievable race, unbelievable movie.  I watched this movie about 3 years ago, and unfortunately the movie has turned into a cult following and it near impossible to find a copy to watch.

4.  RUN FAT BOY, RUN…A charming but oblivious overweight guy leaves his fiancee on their wedding day only to discover years later that he really loves her. To win her back, he must finish a marathon while making her love him in return.

5.  ULTRA MARATHON MAN…50 Marathons 50 States 50 Days, Documenting Dean Karnazes, attempt to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days to raise awareness for youth obesity and to get America active.  Inspirational movie on running, Great movie on the logistics of holding a marathon, let alone 50 of them and a great story every stop alone the way.

What is your favorite running movie and why?