Category Archives: Running Nuggets
Famed football coach Lou Holtz was quoted as saying that “no one has ever drowned in sweat.” Although I think I’ve come close. You see when I exercise I’m a bit of a sweater… okay, calling me a bit of a sweater is like calling the shark from Jaws a “bit of a fish.”
After a race or a training run I look like I just jumped into a pool with my clothes on. My buddies have joked that sweat is “fat crying.” If that’s the case, when I run it seems like my fat is having a full-on nervous breakdown.
This past Sunday almost 20,000 runners tore it up along Pacific Coast Highway as they ran the Surf City Half & Full Marathon. And I couldn’t help but notice as I motored along with my running brothers and sisters that literally thousands of them were committing a huge fashion faux pas.
They were wearing the 2014 Surf City Marathon tech shirts given to them for the race.
That’s a no-no!
Now, the Surf City shirts were pretty sweet this year… yellow for the guys and pink for the ladies. That said, those are the only two shirts in the world that should NOT have been worn during the race.
You may think I’m crazy and wondering “Why shouldn’t someone wear the shirt given to them specifically for that race?”
On Saturday I wrote a “Running Nugget” about re-using a Mylar blanket as a way to stay warm before a race. Given last week’s winter storm that blanketed a good portion of the country (and the deep freeze this week that stopped the South in its tracks), I realized there’s plenty more to cover on the subject of dealing with cold weather (before and during a race). So I decided to quickly re-visit the subject. This is a bit of a follow-up or epilogue to the “Friend of Foil” post.
Back on Thanksgiving Day I ran the Atlanta Half Marathon (earning my Turkey). Unfortunately, the weather in the Big Peach can be a crapshoot that time of year. In 2012, I ran the race in shorts and a T-shirt as the temperature was well into the 60s.
For 2013, winter decided to come early to the South. Predictions for race morning were for 20 degrees with a wind chill in the low teens. It would be the coldest race I had ever run (previous coldest for me was the Chicago Marathon in 2009 when the weather was a “tropical” 28 degrees).
So, how do you deal with the cold weather on race day?
Every person has their own tolerance for cold conditions and having grown up on the East Coast and Midwest (Wisconsin winters can be brutal) I’m no stranger to frigid conditions. You need to decide (probably through trial and error) what your limits truly are.
For those of you out there who haven’t noticed (or are living in SoCal where it’s beach weather in January), it’s still winter out there people. That means cold mornings before the sun comes up (and sometimes after). And while we all know the downside of wearing too much clothing for a race, it can be downright nippy waiting an hour for your race to start… especially when it’s 48 degrees and you’re standing around in shorts and a T-shirt.
There are many ways to keep warm prior to a race, from wearing “toss away” thrift store clothes to the ever-stylish garbage bag. Well, here’s a little tidbit that will keep you warm and not looking like a garbage bag with legs. And better yet… it’s FREE.
As runners we all know about sprains, strains and sore muscles far too well. And at some point we’ve all had to have a heaping helping of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Well, today’s nugget is brought to you by the letter “I.”
I’m going to give you a little insight to help you in a post-race pinch and probably piss off the manufacturers of sports ice packs in the process. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve used many types of ice packs and they all basically work… it is pretty hard to get cold wrong, isn’t it?
I’m here to tell you about the best ice pack value for your buck and it’s not at the sporting goods store, running specialty shop or on-line.
It’s in your grocer’s freezer.
Let me tell you a story. After a recent race, I was driving a friend home and she was in pain. After limping the final mile of the race, her knee was sore as hell. She said she either needed some Advil ASAP or a samurai sword to commit Hara-kiri.
“You learn by doing it wrong.” –Anonymous
Well, in the spirit of paying it forward, I’m going to start an ongoing series of “Running Nuggets,” little helpful hints that might make your races or runs a little bit easier.
Today’s hint has to do with gear check. Most larger races give you a plastic bag or drawstring backpack at the expo that doubles as you gear check bag. It’s awesome… don’t use it!
I’m not saying don’t use gear check; I’m saying don’t use the bag they give you. Why, you ask? A simple analogy will make things clear. Think about the baggage carousel at the airport. You get off a flight and wait along with 150 other cranky passengers at the carousel. After what seems like eternity, bags start coming out… and about every other one seems to be a black bag. Don’t they all look alike? How many times have you wondered which bag is yours or started grabbing one only to realize it belongs to someone else. Oops.