Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where's that Extra Hour of Sleep?

"The most valuable function performed by the Federal Government is entertainment" - Dave Barry

Hi guys - Before I forget, be sure to set your clocks back one hour tonight. If you forget, I'm not sure if you'll get to the run an hour early or an hour late, but I guess you'll be able to tell by the number of cars and runners in the Brownell parking lot. If the parking lot is packed and nobody's there, you're late - wait a little bit, the crowd is coming back to the parking lot. If you get there and there is not a soul to be seen and there are NO cars, you're early - once again, wait a little bit and on-time folks will be arriving. I THINK it'll be lighter in the morning, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The good things are that we'll get an extra hour's sleep, we'll get to start at a time when the cars on Lakeshore Drive can see us, and it'll warm up faster.

That last one is the bad thing - how the heck do you dress when the temperature is 30 something when you start and 50 something when you finish? The answer is NOT to overdress! When ol' Coach AL is out there before we start, complaining about the cold and threatening to cancel the training run, think about how you feel. If you're comfortable standing around listening to my whining, then you're overdressed. Dress like it's 10-20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. I guarantee you'll warm up before we go a full mile. The best method is to dress in layers with the top one being one that you can take off and tie around your waist. Just be aware that if I see any guy out there with a jacket tied around his waist, he MAY be subject to some constructive coaching comments he may not want to subject himself to again! IN no case, wear a thick cotton top. Cotton can absorb up to 17X it's weight in sweat (or rain). You just don't know the joys of running until you're out there on a cold morning, completely soaked, and your butt is so freezing that you're close to crying. I think a good technical wicking shirt is one of the most important things you can invest in for running, especially for the cooler (or as I call it...COLD!!) weather. Others items at the top of the list would be shoes and windbriefs (Ok, jogbras for you girls). Yes, these come ahead of shorts - as a matter of fact, there have been some mornings where I would have rather forgotten my shoes than my windbriefs! If it's cold, you have to protect your head (toboggan hat) and hands (gloves). There are a couple of "Thermostats" I've learned along the way to try to control your body heat as it gets warmer during the run. The first two is that something like 60% of your body heat is given off by your hands and your head, so by removing your gloves and/or hat as you run will lower your over-heating. Also, wearing a tech shirt with a zipper works like an air-conditioner. Get hot, zip it down...getting cooler, zip it back up. How simple is that? Finally, these Mobean Sleeves are getting pretty popular. They instantly make a short sleeve shirt into long sleeves. When you warm up, pull 'em up or down. I really haven't figured it out yet. They're too bulky to stick in your shorts. Years ago, when I would run a cold marathon or Ultra, I would wear long tube socks on my arms and trash them when I would warm up, but these fancy sleeves are way too expensive to throw in the dumpster, so I'm still not sold on them. One of the few inventions that rank higher than the wheel are HotHands. For about a buck, you get two disposable chemically heated bags that slip into your gloves to keep you toasty. They last for about 8 hours, so after the run, you put them in your jacket pocket, and you're set for the rest of the day.

One other quick clothes item. I was asked about a good rain jacket. If you 've looked for one, I'm sure the prices made you gasp the same way the first time you saw gas for $3/gallon. But, about two years ago, I found a waterproof, breathable (essential for running) jacket at for $32!! It works great. It's actually a cycling jacket so it's cut a little tight, therefore order at least one size larger than you think you need. They have a few different styles so it's worth checking out! I think the price is about $35 now.

We have finalized our Trak Shak Shoe Clinic Run. It will be in two weeks on Nov 21st. On that Sunday, we will leave from the Trak Shak in Homewood instead of Brownell @ 6:30AM. We will put in our scheduled mileage and return to the TS and gobble up their shoe deals just in time for the Thanksgiving runs. A big thank you to Valarie, Jeff and the whole TS staff for opening up for us on a Sunday morning.

Ok guys, that's about it from RWA Central for this week. The NY City Marathon is tomorrow and I'd like to wish one of our Sunday trainees, Cathy P., a big GOOD LUCK and hopes she dresses warmly. You can see the marathon recap Sunday on NBC from 1-3 CST. Also, this weekend, Coach Prince Whatley is somewhere in the Alabama woods running the Pinhoti 100 Mile Run. I've done that distance several times, but it still flabbergasts me when somebody I know does it. I worked the 60 Mile aid station at that race once and was amazed to see ultrarunners from a different perspective. In reference to last week's blog, Prince said as much as he likes the sunrise too, he didn't want to be lapped by the sun and see TWO sunrises, so he's hoping for sub 24 hours!

OK, now I'm really gone - I'll see you on the roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

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