Running in the Heat ….

I think summer has finally arrived.  The heat and humidity have been circling the CHI like a shark considering the most strategic plan of attack.  It’s swooped in a couple of times only to be abruptly scared off; however, it’s not leaving this time.  So how are we going to handle running in the heat?   I’m going to cry cut my run short and head for my car!  Okay, I admit that I did do that last night but that’s not my normal method of heat management.  Here is a fast and friendly list that anyone can use to try to keep cool while running cuz the bottom line is that if you run, you will be running in the heat sooner rather than later.

Running in the Heat Cartoon

  • Hydrate – I know this is a no brainer but it’s of utmost importance.  You need to be consuming good fluids which hydrate, all day, every day.  Not beer.  Not wine.  Water.  Remember that alcohol dehydrates you, for days if you go on a binder like I did last weekend and will cost you after the fact.  One day/night of drinking will take many more days to replenish what was lost.   The alcohol is a diuretic, gets into your muscles and flushes out all the good stuff that you’ve worked so hard to put into your body.  It causes you to lose excess water (and vitamins & minerals), slows the pumping of your blood which decreases the amount of oxygen to your already depleted muscles and inhibits your body from pumping enough blood to get to your skin which is one of your natural, self-cooling methods. Scientific, huh?  I know, go get the real info HERE, then go fill up your water bottle.
  • Dress appropriately – Once again, sounds easy, right?  Maybe, maybe not!  When Chicago heats up, it’s no joke.  Think people in the ghetto city busting open fire hydrants cuz it’s so hot they could die.  Yep, it’s THAT hot.  So don’t take it lightly, dress in lightweight, cooling, moisture wicking tops with as little material touching you as possible.  One of my favorite “hot weather” tops is the Saucony Ignite Singlet ($30) and the Saucony Hydralite Tank ($25) which is on Last Chance Clearance for $12 HERE if you are an XS.  It’s so light, you can barely feel it.  I have 4 of ignite singlets, see an older model below (with Susan D) in pink.  On the “bottom”, my favorite hot weather skirt is Race Belt Skirt ($45) from SkirtSports.  The black & pink Race Belt Skirts come in an airy light material that has a lot of tiny pinholes.  Super for cooling & they dry FAST when they get wet!  Try a skirt this summer!!

Me&Susan_Jelly Bean_4-4-12    image

  • Hat, Visor & Sunglasses – Although, I’m not necessarily a hat person, it will help keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes.  If you can double up with a visor & sunglasses, even better!  If you can get your hands one of the 180s Cooling Visors ($25), much, MUCH better!  I was totally kicking myself that I didn’t have it last night when I had to bail on my run cuz I thought I would pass out.  The 180s cooling visor is my go to visor when it’s hot.  And in case you were wondering on sunglasses, I’m still rocking the Ryder Shot Photochromic’s that I reviewed last year HERE which are the only glasses I’ve worn on the run more than once or twice.  I really like them!  They are lightweight and don’t move even when I have sweat water pouring down my face.

  me_8-11-12_180s Visor  image Kankakee River State Pk_me & Lib_11-11-12

  • Carry or drop water for your runs.  If  you don’t like to carry your own water, consider dropping some along your run route or circling a path with a fountain.  I need a lot of water when it’s warm.  I drink, then dump.  If I’m wearing a hat/visor then I’ll get that wet  too!  This keeps my head cool(er) and the wetness provides a barrier from the heat.   The easiest way for me to carry water is via a hydration belt.  I’m not good with handhelds because I don’t like to hold onto anything.  My favorite hydration belt is below, it even went to Ragnar FL Keys with me.  The Road Runner Sports R-Gear Double Duty 2 Bottle Belt ($26.99) is light, doesn’t move, fits well, has Fuel Bottle brand “bottles” but is an exclusive Road Runner Sports design.  I particularly like the reflective pouch at the front and the plastic casings for the bottles to keep them from falling out, plus I can still wear it with my FlipBelt.  Win, Win!image
  • Sunscreen – The one thing that most people forget.  It will not only provide protection from the sun but also offer an immediate cooling effect upon application.  I also personally think that if you can keep your skin from heating up and burning, your internal cooling systems have an easier go and can work at keeping you cool on the run.  No science behind that, just personal opinion.  Real science is below:

Sun block or sweat block?
While use of sunscreen can reduce radiant heat absorption, many athletes are concerned that sunscreen will also hamper sweating. However, data from a 2000 research study published in the Journal Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that use of sunscreen doesn’t affect thermoregulation — in fact, it may actually enhance overall body cooling. This data, while preliminary, should convince those who believe sunscreen will compromise their performance to start protecting their skin.

  • Schedule Your Run around the heat!  If you are able, try to avoid the hottest hours of the day when the sun is blazing.  Ideally speaking, its best to run before the sun rises or after it sets but I know that’s impossible difficult for many of us. 
  • Slow Your Roll – This is not a good time for a PR, or even a killer workout.  When the heat is high, run by effort.  Do not look at your watch and get discouraged, just run at a comfortable effort.  If you are feeling hot, faint, weak or just “off balance” then don’t be ashamed to back off or even walk.  Remember that a good day is a day that you get home safely under your own power.  Nobody checks your watch to see how fast you were running BEFORE you passed out and needed emergency assistance.  Take your time and get home safely!

There are just a few of my favorite hot weather running tips.  If you know of more good tips or have a good article in mind, please link it up! 

** Always Run Safely ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Devil Dash 5K – Peotone – Race Review

This was another jam packed weekend.  Friday included an intense session with Alexis L, the Chiro/Muscle Manipulator/Miracle Worker.  I left feeling excited but sore.  Let’s hope a couple sessions with her leave me repaired and ready to kick some butt!

I also managed a 30 mile bike ride despite several mishaps, including a badly broken bike that led to dirty hands an emergency trip to a trailside bike shop.  Huge thanks to Plank Road Cyclery in Frankfort for reattaching the derailleur.


Saturday brought the Devil Dash 5K in Peotone which was a fundraiser for Aby’s school district.  Last year this race was a week earlier so we were able to participate in this and some of the other local races; however, this year, the local races all fell on the same day.  Poor planning on everyone’s part, in my opinion,  but certainly easier on the checkbook and my body.

Devil Dash 2012

The Peotone race is one that I will participate in, as long as I am able, and as long as my kids are in the school district but it’s not one that’s going to draw a big crowd even if they don’t do it on the same day as everyone else.   We had 68 finishers this year and I was 13th, the 3rd woman overall.   Aby was 27th.  She was the youngest runner but did not receive an award because they did not have an age division for her.  The age groups started at age 13 and they were a bit skewed compared to other races.  My normal age group would be 35-39 or 30-39 if it’s a small race.  However, my age group was 33-45 on Saturday. 

The race was very family friendly and we took the entire family & a few extras!  Aby, Michael & Jackie are below in the first photo.  Me, Aby & Nicki & Michael are in the second photo.  Aby & I were rocking our Team Tough Chik singlets although neither of us were feeling too tough after this race!

Devil Dash_2012_kids & jackie Devil Dash_group

Out of the 68 finishers, there were lots of run/walkers, mom’s with jogging strollers, etc.  We all came out to help raise money for our kids school district.  I doubt we had many participants out of the district but this was about our kids and that’s why we at the start line.

My time wasn’t in the normal range, not even for a less than ideal day but I ran, and I finished in 26:41.  Always consider a run and a finish a success because there are so many people who would love to be able to do what YOU do, each and every day.  Try not to beat yourself up when you don’t perform as you want/expect.  We are very fortunate for our health, even with a few aches & pains, and our desire to get out and be active, feel the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces! 

The course was a bit shy of the 5K distance last year and I ran a 22:17….huge difference, I know, but we had two different days and two different courses.  The 2011 race was cool, overcast and seemed to be the perfect race.  I was feeling good and strong the entire time and I remember thinking the course was great.  I think I was #6 overall last year, 2nd female and I won my age group.

This year it was hot, the course was slightly long (3.3 miles) and it seemed like we made a million turns.   I felt lost in a town that I am in several times a day.  I know it’s all perception but this was quite possibly the longest 5K ever both literally and figuratively.  I also was having trouble and couldn’t get a full stretch on my stride.  This started when I tripped over the crack in the sidewalk, see that recap HERE, and has progressed into something of its own.  I feel as if I have bricks hanging off each side of my bum!  When I stride out to run fast, it’s like my leg catches and its just too tight to hit full stride.  How the heck do I explain that to the chiro?  She’s gonna think I’m crazy!!  So the fact that I was struggling physically quite possibly attributed to my less than ideal race.  You can see in the photos that it doesn’t look as if I was picking my feet up at all.  Going to talk to Ms. Alexis about this on Friday.

devil dash 2012_me devil dash 2012_me2 devil dash 2012_me3

Aby was apparently having no trouble getting her feet off the ground.  🙂

devil dash 2012_aby  devil dash 2012_aby3 devil dash 2012_aby4

There was 1 water stop at the half way point, volunteers or police at every turn, except the turn into/thru the Jr. High parking lot and park district area.  We ran thru this area last year and we ran thru it again this year although I have no idea if this was part of the new route.  If we had cut this area and ran straight into the water stop, I’m pretty sure that we would have been right on the 3.1 mark but we all did the same thing and ran the same route regardless of if it was right or wrong so that’s all that matters. 

No chip timing and the start commenced by the sounding of a horn, which left us all looking around wondering if we should start…..which we eventually did take off.  Kinda funny really.  We received a nice technical tee that was a men’s size.  There were lots of post race snacks/drinks and the awards were given out as soon as people realized they had won something.  The race was overall much smoother than last year but I’m holding out for the 3rd time is the charm and hoping that the 2013 route will be more runner friendly, have fewer turns and is on the money distance wise.  Not a bad race for the price it’s 2nd year but I know they will do better in the future. 

After the race, hubby took us out on the boat so we could lick our wounds for some  R&R!  Yay, thanks honey!  Aby and Michael love the boat and being on the water. 

Kids on Boat_5-19-12

I am making an effort this year to cover up more and protect my sunspots face from the sun.  I have always been a sunscreen nazi but am also going to try to wear a hat and glasses this year for added protection.  I opted for the Ryder Shots sunglasses because of the photchromic property which lightens and darkens the shade of the lens to the conditions.  I have been wearing these non-stop on the run and bike for over about a month so knew they were light weight and wouldn’t bother me and I was right, I didn’t have to take them off once the entire day.  Big win for me!  I think I’m going to add a pair of the polarized Ryders to my “collection” for our boat outings. 


Did you race this weekend?  How did you perform in the heat wave?  Tell us how you did!  Do you like to boat and spend time on the water or is it all pool time for you?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Ryder Shot Eyewear Review

I was a lucky girl and put in some nice miles this weekend while still managing to have lots of fun!  The weekend kicked off mid afternoon Friday with a 29 mile bike ride.  This was an important ride because I just had my bike readjusted and needed the miles was testing a new pair of sunglasses, the Ryder Shot Photochromic, which had already passed the run test x10.  I’ve been running in these glasses for almost a month and we all know from the I Wear My Sunglasses Almost Never post, sunglasses and I normally do not get along.  I want to wear them, need them to protect my eyes but usually pitch them due to poor fit, lighting, or the irritation factor.

I have quite the collection of those which remain but never get worn:


Therefore, I didn’t want to be hasty on writing up a review on the Ryder Shot’s prior to really wearing them, thinking about the fit, coverage, functionality, and using them on both the run and the bike.  As a triathlete, the sunglasses are one of the most important pieces of gear on the transition mat.  They can make or break the bike/run legs if you don’t own a good pair that fit, perform well and protect your eyes.

First, how do they look?  The most important aspect, right?  Okay, not really but….

Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey3 

The above photo is not the best, it’s a direct result of Aby’s photo session at the bike shop on Thursday night, but it gave me giggles after a quick WTF moment of seeing the color “splashes”.  The before/after photos below are a bit better.  I’m a “little” disheveled “after” but still smiling!  Yes, that is the Team Tough Chik bike jersey if you were wondering.

Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey  Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey2

The Ryder Shot’s that I received are the photochromic type which retail for $69.  I’m wearing the silver frame with light grey lenses.  I probably wouldn’t have picked a silver frame myself, not that I don’t like it, I’m just very boring and tend to stick in the black/brown family.  However, these look good and more importantly fit really well.  They are not tight on my face but they hug and do NOT move. 

The Ryder Shot Photochromic incorporates the photochromic technology that automatically lightens and darkens the tint of the lenses according to the weather and lighting conditions.  For somebody like me, who is blind doesn’t see well, this is a huge selling factor because I can’t change my lenses while I’m on the road.  I need the glasses to accommodate whatever the weather throws at me.

Ryder Shots

The Shot’s come in various colors and styles.  The non-photochromic & non-polarized models start at $39, that’s a steal!

Ryder Shots_colors

I also love the nose piece which is soft and rubbery but doesn’t get stuck in my hair.  If I’m talking with someone or taking a photo, I tend to put the glasses in my hair.  The nose piece can be a big issue if the rubber piece get stuck in my hair.  That’s an immediate fail in my opinion but not an issue with the Ryder Shot’s.   You can see in these photos from yesterday’s run at Schubert Woods with Cindy & the Pancakers that I have my glasses in my hair and it’s a win.  It’s a win that they fit nicely on my face when I run, and a win that they don’t stick to my hair when they are resting for a photo op.  🙂

Me&Cindy_SchubertWoods_5-13-12 Me_Schubert Woods_bridge_5-13-12

Initially, upon receipt of these glasses, I was planning to do a list of pros & cons.  However, I have put this review off for this long because I can’t find any cons.  I wanted to make sure that I was really behind these glasses for the long term before I actually recommend something.  I didn’t buy these, that’s a first, so didn’t want to just get all crazy excited over some freebies before I really knew what I thought.  I actually like them, really like them, and you will see me wearing them exclusively on the bike and run this season and for many more to come.  Thanks, Ryder!

According to the Ryder website, these are one of our smallest, most lightweight models. A favorite amongst runners for its minimalist designI absolutely agree that they are light and certainly not only “a” favorite of mine but the only pair I have used for the last month.  They offer UV protection and are shatter proof.  As a triathlete and cyclist, the shatter proof quality is a necessity because things happen and we crash.  Although I have never crashed badly enough to crack my glasses, I have seen others who weren’t as lucky.  Protective eyewear is not a luxury but a necessity.

Please find something to protect your eyes from the UV rays, rain/sleet, bugs and debris.  I was wearing these on the bike on Friday and was amazed at the clarity.  It was absolutely crystal clear that a yellow jacket would have flown into my right eye had it not bounced off my right lens instead.  Scary.  Protect your eyes!

If you are interested in Ryder products, check out the website HERE. The prices are very reasonable in comparison to other sport brands so enjoy the savings!

Happy Running, Riding and TRIing!  ** Amanda – TooTallFritz  **