Marion Rotary For Shoes Marathon & Hot Weather Running Tips

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Marathon #21 was in the great state of Iowa, in Marion, just north of Cedar Rapids.  It was the Marion Rotary For Shoes Marathon.  And it was hot.  And hilly.  But I had a great group of friends who made the trip with me.  From left, meet Lindsay (Glitter Girl on the Run), Judy F, Amanda W (Get to Goal), Derek, Julie M & myself.

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We also met Kim from Running on the Fly and her friend, Barb (not pictured). 

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The 2015 Marathon for Shoes was held in June for the first time.  The first two years were held the third week in April and apparently the weather both years was crazy cold with either snow or wind/rain/sleet.  So the 2015 edition was pushed out til June and cold it was not.  In fact it was hot.  So hot that most of us would have done a choreographed rain dance had we thought it would produce a cloud or drop of rain from that beautiful blue but steamy sky.  But alas, no rain.

Packet pickup was at a local school gymnasium and there were a handful of vendors.  Nice, friendly people.  Easy packet pick up.  Free parking.  Nike tech shirt as the SWAG.  You could have been in and out with your shirt & number in less than 10 minutes.  But you had to get your packet the night before the race or there was a late pickup fee the morning of the race.

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The race started in front of a local high school at 7am.  Easy, free parking.  A handful of port-o-potties.  Chip timing.  Beautiful blue skies.  The race started on time without much of a production.  We were across the timing mat in less than 30 seconds, along with the half marathoners and a handful of relay runners.  Not a huge race, less than 500 people at the start. 

Then came the hills.  One right after another.  Then a few more. And the never really stopped.  The temps that were in the mid 70s at the start climbed to mid 80s by the finish.  The course was mainly on country roads with some neighborhoods.   There were a couple sections where we ran along busy highways separated from the zooming cars by orange cones.  Highlights were an old cemetery and a small park.   The coolest thing we saw was a piece of art in the form of corn stalks just before mile 7.

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Around mile 7, the half marathoners turned off and it got pretty lonely.  I’ll be honest, I was so thankful to have friends running this race!  We mostly stuck together and just dealt with the hills heat as it came.  Very slowly.  With lots of walking.  Aid stations were every 1.5 miles or so apart.  They offered warm water & watermelon AdvoCare Rehydrate (tasty and way better than traditional sugar laden sport drinks for your body!).  There were lots of people on bikes offering bike support, asking us if we were okay, calling SAG for those who needed a ride and calling 911 for those who dropped.   There were a handful of spectators scattered throughout the 26.2 miles.  The best spectator award goes to a nice couple who put out their sprinkler as we ran thru one of the last neighborhoods.  We were super thankful for that sprinkler and ran thru it like a bunch of 5 year olds.  I think I even squealed with delight!  Winking smile 

Running in high heat and 100% humidity is pretty dangerous.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  However, weather for pre-registered events is an absolute unknown.  There is no way to predict what the day will bring but only what we can do to make our chances to survive the elements a bit better.

Tips for running in the heat:

  • Wear a hat or visor
  • Wear sunscreen to keep your skin from frying
  • Dump water on your head and body to keep yourself as cool as possible
  • Wear light colored clothing
  • Use ice or cold water to increase the rate of cooling
  • Run thru sprinklers or open hydrants, if available
  • Use sponges or cooling towels if the event offers these things
  • Take your time, decrease your pace, and WALK to keep your body temp as even as possible
  • Replace lost salt with salt tablets, electrolyte drinks/gels or by eating salty foods

Bottom line, even if you do all of the above, your rate of success will depend on how your body can ultimately deal with the heat.  Some people handle it much better than others.  Some people can’t handle it at all.  One of my friends still has a headache from the heat and dehydration suffered on Sunday.  Another friend had no idea why we struggled so much because she “loves running in the heat”.   It’s all about your body and how it can adapt to the conditions and that is super hard to predict.

Ultimately, everyone in my group finished, most of us with bragging rights over our new “personal worst” time.  But we finished under our own power because we did what was necessary for us and that meant slowing WAY down to endure the weather.  Here is Judy and I running around the track toward the finish line.  We were two happy campers to have finished another marathon in yet another new state. 

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Being safe always trumps running fast.  It’s certainly not fun but something we all learn over time.  If you ran in Marion on Sunday and are feeling bad about your race, know that only 124 people FINISHED the full, only 243 FINISHED the half and there were only 9 relay teams that crossed that finish line.  Finishing really was winning in Marion IA on Sunday.  Be proud.

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Favorite Training Items Giveaway

This giveaway is from me to you as a way to say THANK YOU for your continued support.  Thank you for “liking” me on Facebook.  Thank you for “following” me on Twitter.  Thank you for following this blog.    If you aren’t a blogger then you may not understand how important it is to actually click on the follow button, or “like” me on Facebook but it is actually really important.  Each time I send out a request for a giveaway or a sponsor they come right here to look at my numbers to determine if it is worth their time to be part of this venture.  So thanks for helping!

Thank You

Since June kicks off training for the Chicago Marathon, I thought it would be a good time to concentrate on  a few of my favorite go to items for training.  Even if you are not a marathoner, you can still benefit from this goodie bag!  Promise!  Favorite Things GiveawayLet’s knock this out right now:  Yes, this goodie bag contains some AdvoCare products.  Yes, I’m an AdvoCare distributor.  Yes, I think AdvoCare has the best products for nutrition, energy & recovery.  Yes, if you click on one of these links and purchase something, I will profit. 

CONTENTS OF GOODIE BAG FOR GIVEAWAY ($75 Value):

  1. Personal Saver Pepper SpraySafety First, Second & Third…..right?!?!  I have several of these.  I prefer the Wrist Saverbut also have a Personal Saver like this to attach to my water belt or onto my skirt for immediate access while running.   I had a coupon code, not sure if it’s still active but if you purchase one, try the code:  TTF for $1.50 off.
  2. Toe Protectors (2 protectors) – I use these for EVERYrun.  I loose my toe nails regardless of the type or size of shoe I wear.  It’s just my thing and I’ve mentioned it previously.  Therefore, I always wear a gel toe protector on my second & third toe (right foot) and then use more if my other toe nails are sore.  These REALLY help!  You can find them at Walgreens or CVS in the foot care aisle.  
  3. AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink (3 packets) – I drink this before every long run.  I roll out of bed, drink this first, then go about my routine.  This not only helps me wake up but also gets the bodily functions moving BEFORE I hit the trail for my long run.   Sugar free, caffeine equivalent of 1 cup of coffee, 21 vitamins, minerals, nutrients.  45 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Strawberry!
  4. AdvoCare Rehydrate Drink (3 packets) – I keep these packets in my purse, in my gym bag and Aby carries them in her track/cross country bag.  We dump this in a bottle of water for an on the go rehydrate product with a 1:1 ratio of sodium to potassium and only 40 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Pineapple(Do you see a mango theme here?)
  5. AdvoCare  Rehydrate Gel (3 pouches) – I use these gels during long runs and long bike rides.  They are easy to carry and the gel is thinner than some of the leading brands.  The lemon flavor actually tastes good and I don’t cringe when it hits my mouth.  I must say that after years of using various products for refueling “on the run”, this is my favorite by far.  I’m VERY happy with this product!  Potassium, sodium & 21 grams carbs wrapped up in 80 calories.
  6. AdvoCare Post Workout Recovery Drink (3 packets) – I use this after every long run, long bike, and some random workouts that leave me zapped.  No exception.  I never use any other recovery product, ever.     This is the product that sold me on AdvoCare.  It works.  It takes the guess work out of recovery and what you need to eat to repair and recover.  I always knew that I needed a 4:1 carb to protein ratio for recovery but I’m not big on counting.  I just drink this on my ride home and then eat normal food the rest of the day.  I don’t need to worry about refrigerating it, just leave it in my shaker in the car and drink when I finish my run or bike.  It takes the thinking out of my recovery.
  7. AdvoCare Shaker/Blender Bottle – I mix everything in this.  If you use protein powders or any drink powders then you already know that chunks happen but this breaks up most of the chunks for a smoother drink content.  I keep one in my workout bag, one in my desk at work, one at the lake, two at home.  I almost always have one.
  8. Mission Athletecare Pomegranate Lip Balm with SPF +15 – This is by far my favorite lip balm for running, biking, workouts, life.  It’s the perfect consistency and stays on for a very long time.  It comes in lots of flavors but I prefer the pomegranate & mint.  It’s also Paraben Free and after reading Bridgett’s Beauty Blog, I’ve learned this a really big deal……although I can’t say I remember why.  🙂  You can buy certain Mission Athletecare items at CVS (in Illinois) but they are usually stuck in a corner somewhere, so you may have to ask where they are located.
  9. Mission Athletecare Max Muscle Rehab– Roll on gel for muscle soreness.  Feels good but since the scent vanishes quickly, everyone else doesn’t have to know you trashed your quads on the hills. 
  10. Mission Athletecare AntiFriction Cream  (2 sample packs) – I have used several Mission products in the anti-friction & anti-chafing line.  I like them, particularly for my feet and where my shoes (sandals too!) rub.

I have a ton of favorite products but these are things I use on a regular basis.  The total of this Goodie Bag is $75.  If you would like to enter the giveaway, please do one or all of the following and make a comment below as to what you have done: Make a comment below as to which of these products you are most excited to try (+1), Follow this blog (+2), Follow TooTallFritz on Facebook (+2), Follow @TooTallFritz on Twitter (+2), Share the giveaway via FB, Twitter, your blog, etc. (+2 for each share). 

The giveaway runs from now until 9am CST on July 3rd.  One winner will be selected via a random number generator. Good luck and spread the word!

** Happy Winning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com