Welcome to the wonderful world of summer running here in Central Texas. We had a wet, cool winter and spring, but I can guarantee will have another extremely warm summer. Hopefully, not the record-breaking kind we endured a few years ago, but it will be disgustingly hot nonetheless.
Just the other morning, I finished the first of what promises to be plenty of hot, humid long runs with my training group and while we were trying to rehydrate, a relative newbie came by and asked me the best to treat a sore calf muscle. He was diligently stretching the calf after every run, followed later by dipping his legs in a Jacuzzi and then placing a heating pad on the calf for another 10 minutes. The calf hadn't been responding at all to his treatment and he was worried.
As runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run through the Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating. There is simply no doubt about it, if you are running in the summer, your skin will feel the effects of one or all of the following: sunburn, chafing, wind burn, sweat-induced acne) or just plain, post-run itchiness caused by dry skin.
Granted, it's still technically winter but the high in Austin today is 91 and it sure feels a lot like summer. That means a lot of things to different people, but it also means it's high time to get some new running shorts for the spring and summer heat.
Since I began running back and forth to elementary school when nobody else did, I've always felt a little different. That feeling continued throughout high school when instead of sneaking cigarettes, I was out running and getting mocked for doing so. Even in college when everybody was drinking themselves under the table, I ran. And—of course--continue to do so.
How many times have you heard this one? Typically, it’s from some non-runner who offers this well-intentioned piece of advice: “If you keep up with all that running, it’s going to ruin your knees.” If I had a breakfast taco for every single time I’ve heard that, I could compete with Taco Deli.
Those who have been around the Austin running scene for a few years remember the Summer Stampede events. The last one - which we wrote about here - was August 2013. And while it hasn't yet brought out Stampede icons Leslie Barclay and Frank Livaudais - Luke's Locker and Cadence Sports are on their way to returning a low-key, low-entry fee event to the market.
A couple of Saturdays ago, a bunch of us were sweating our way through yet another long run and, as marathoners do, the general topic of the morning was which marathons we were doing in the fall and winter and why we were running them. The reasons why who was running which were the usual: Course, logistics, race goodies, tradition, cost, proximity and 100 other rationalizations for choosing a particular marathon. As we cruised along, one of the newbies asked innocently enough: “Which marathon is the easiest?”
Athlete’s foot doesn’t rank up there with cancer and heart disease for its tragic effects, but it is an ugly, irritating skin infection that bothers countless runners. Once your feet begin to itch between the toes you know something is developing that isn’t good. Next, your feet get very dry and the skin cracks between your toes. Yuck. Welcome to the wonderful world of athlete’s foot.
Far be it from me to interject politics into this, but the remaining statues of the four Confederates on the South Mall of UT don't belong there. Statues are symbols and all these statues do is symbolize our racist past which is offensive to so many Texans.
After years of study, it's my educated belief that runners are just about the most generous, selfless subspecies out there. We are known for our positive spirit and almost all of us do what we can to help our fellow runners and try to encourage newbies to join our ranks. That's just who we are.
Yeah, I know it's hot and humid (it always is this time of year)but now is a good time to start doing speed training for the upcoming fall season and Austin Distance Challenge Races. Very few runners don’t want to run faster. Regardless of your level of ability and fitness, nearly everyone would like somehow to run faster. The desire to improve is part of human nature.
We all probably remember the old maxim that our mothers told us: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. If you’re a runner—especially a newbie--that should be amended to include bananas. Without a doubt, eating a banana every day is one of the best fruits for your general health and success in racing and training.
Do you travel for business or pleasure? Plenty of us do, especially in the summer when so many of us hit the road. Here are some suggestions for squeezing that run in while traveling.
Injuries are a fact of the running life. Especially for a newbie. Nearly every runner will get injured at some point, but fortunately most of the common running injuries that plague runners are minor—and avoidable. Obviously, prevention is the best way to go either by eliminating the causes or by listening to the body’s warning signs and taking a break.