Stay Visible While Running

Thank you to Cendy Moliere for submitting the following post. Club members are also invited to share stories and articles for the Indy Runners Blog throughout the year. To do so, please email president@indyrunners.org. Material may be edited for space and grammar.

Running is a great way to stay fit and burn off stress but when you’re running whether you’re training for a marathon or just running for fun in parks and trails, there are things that you should do to make yourself as visible as possible. There’s no way to be completely safe when you’re running but there are some things that you can do to make yourself more visible and lower the risk of getting into an accident like:

Use A Trail Map

GPS is just no substitute for a paper trail map. You should always have a copy of the paper trail map with you when you’re running on trails. If your GPS fails, the paper map will be a backup to keep you headed in the right direction. It’s important to stay on the trail at all times so that you don’t damage the natural world and staying on the trail will be easier if you have a trail map with you.

Change Your Run Time

One way to make your run safer is to change the time of the day that you run. If you usually run in the morning or at night when there is poor visibility try to run during the day instead. During the summer you can run later in the evening because it stays light longer, but in the winter consider squeezing in a run during your lunch hour instead of waiting until the evening to run.

Run in Pairs

Another way that you can be more visible when you’re running is to run with a friend or loved one. Two people running are a lot easier to see than just one. If you are both wearing reflective gear and practicing other good safety tips then you will be doubly visible when you’re out running. Running in pairs will make you more visible and make your run more fun. You might even want to try starting a running club at work to see if others want to join you for a lunch time run.

Wear A Safety Vest

Whether you’re running alone or with someone else you should wear a safety vest. Safety vests designed for running are made from high tech reflective fabric that is very lightweight but also very reflective so that when car lights or streetlights hit the fabric it will shine brightly. Some safety vests even have LED lights that flash so that you are always visible in the dark or in the low light. And they have pockets for your cell phone and keys so that you have a convenient way to carry the items that you need to bring with you on a run.

Don’t Litter

Shockingly one of the biggest environmental wrongdoings that some runners commit is littering. Leaving behind food wrappers, water bottles, and other trash contributes to the destruction of natural habitats, causes problems for local wildlife, and can ruin the environment in a particular area. Always pack up your trash and take it out of the park or trail area with you so that you can dispose of it the right way.

Wear A Head Lamp

A head lamp is a great piece of safety equipment for runners as well as cyclists. It will make you much more visible on the trails and it will also give you better visibility so that you will be able to see if there is an obstruction in your path, or other rough ground in front of you.

This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

My First…

This weekend, runners and walkers from across our city, state and country should have come together on Washington Street – stretching from the JW Marriott to the Arts Garden, all awaiting their moment to run under the giant American flag and begin their journey on foot the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and back.

Although the Mini didn’t take place as planned this weekend, many still hit the pavement to log their miles. Many took a moment – as we often do on race day – to think about how far they’ve come since their race and some chose to write about it on a friend’s social media thread prompting the reflection.

Below is what came to mind. I’d love to hear memories from your first Indy Mini…

I signed up for the 2003 Mini with the hope that the idea of running alongside 35,000 people would motivate me to run regularly and lose a few pounds. I was doing step aerobics classes and, somehow figured if I could do two hours of step, I could do two hours of running and gently put off “real” training for a little closer to the race – running a few miles here and a few there, one 8-miler along the way.

I remember the people and the sights more than anything on race day – the elephants at the Zoo watching us go by, the belly dancers on White River Parkway, the cloggers before Allison Transmission… and the track! Why the **** do people think it’s FUN to run around that thing? But as a lover of experiences, it was pretty cool. And who drinks beer during something as long as a half marathon (I’d soon learn that it, too, was fun).

I remember barely being able to lift my feet off the ground and stumbling across the railroad tracks on 10th Street. The smell of popcorn ready to pop brings me back to race day and the stretch down White River Parkway. And I’ll never not know that it’s a mile from the turn onto New York to West Street. In fact, that’s where I got passed by a speed-walker – man, did she look fresh and did I feel humbled!

I remember laying on the grass in Military Park, exhausted, swearing off any future runs longer than a lap around my neighborhood. And then, the next day, signing up for 2004 where I took a similar approach to training.

Transitioning to Running in a Time of Corona…

With gyms and other workouts on hold during this time of responsible social distancing, many people are taking up Running as a way to get in some fitness (and sanity). Maybe you are one of them, maybe you know someone who is starting to Run more.

As a Running Club we certainly want to encourage folks to enjoy the benefits of our beloved sport like we do. But, we also want to encourage a responsible transition to help avoid injury and build up in a smart way to capitalize on this new adventure.

Attached are two progressions for transitioning to being a runner.

  1. Intermediate – For relative newcomers starting from walking 20-30 minutes several times per week.
  2. Advanced – For those who usually workout in other fashions (weights, high intensity intervals, spin class, etc.) that have a good base of fitness but can’t do those things right now.
  3. We also have our Beginner Program that we started last year – starting with Walking then to Running 40-minutes over a 12-week span (maybe up to a 5k race?)

Where ever you are on your journey, please let us know how it’s going. And once we can gather again for group Club Runs, we’d love to see you join us!

Any questions, please feel free to write to our Medical Liaison, Brian Schuetter, PT with St. Vincent Sports Performance at medical@indyrunners.org.

Thanks so much and be safe out there!

Let’s Run :: River House Edition

Have you noticed that nearly every Friday, an email magically arrives in your inbox noting a prescribed distance and a recommended route for the next day’s Indy Runners club run?

We know that running with the club isn’t always possible, so we mapped out four of of our favorites starting and finishing at the River House Apartments, 6311 Westfield Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46220:

THE MONON:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926031149
The Monon Trail is now over 27 miles long, a little over a marathon, from Indianapolis north through Carmel and Westfield. From River House in Broad Ripple, head north to 75th Street (3mi), to 86th Street (6mi), 96th (8mi) or even up to 146th Street (18) round trip.

WILLIAM’S CREEK / PENN LOOP:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926015297
This route is ideal for adding a couple miles of hills to your workout and will cover 8-8.5 miles. Run north on the Monon, turn left (west) on 86th Street, then left (south) on Pennsylvania just before you reach Meridian Street. Run on Penn until it Ts at Arden. Turn left (east) on Arden and run along the river until the road nearly dead-ends. Turn left (north) and then right (east) on 70th Street.

You can get back on the Monon near the Art Center at 67th Street or may choose to extend the route a bit and run south along College to Fresh Thyme Market.

This route can be run in either direction. If you’re looking for additional hills, you’ll find them around Washington & 70th.

Watch for cars along Penn and at intersections throughout the run.

BUTLER UNIVERSITY & TOWPATH LOOP:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926026451
From River House, head south on the Monon to 52nd Street. Turn right (west) running on the sidewalk. Cross with the lights at College Avenue and again at Meridian Street before you reach the north side of Butler’s campus. Turn left (south) onto Boulevard Place. Hinkle Fieldhouse will be on your right. Stop in there or the Health & Recreation Complex (HRC) for a drink of water or a restroom.

Continue past the HRC, turning right (west) before the campus parking garage and pass through Holcomb Gardens. Cross the pedestrian bridge onto the crushed-limestone towpath. Turn right and head northeast. The towpath will bring you back to Broad Ripple.

This route is a total of 6.5 miles and may be shortened by continuing along 52nd Street directly to the towpath.

Near 52nd and the towpath, you’ll soon find the Indy Runners-sponsored drinking fountain.

DOWNTOWN LONG RUN: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926045174
Don’t let the name fool you. This 19-mile run, too, begins and ends at River House Apartments. Head south-ish on the towpath past Butler and Newfields/Indianapolis Museum of Art. At 30th Street, jog to your right and catch the light just past Riverside High School. Head south along White River Trail through Riverside Park and past the former Bush Stadium until you reach a large pedestrian bridge near 10th Street.

Cross the bridge and cross 10th Street at the light. Turn right (west) and run a couple blocks to the west side of the VA hospital. Turn left (south) before the bridge over White River and follow the path across New York and into White River State Park. From here, you can find your way onto the Canal Walk. Exit the Canal Walk at the USS Indianapolis Memorial and onto Walnut Street.

You’ll see the brown pavers of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Follow the Cultural Trail past the library, south through American Legion Mall, west on North Street, along Mass Ave to 10th Street. Turn right on 10th and look for the Monon Trail on your left. Run on the Monon until you return to Broad Ripple.

More than Miles: A Member Profile of Alison Brown.

If you’re like me, you might find yourself going out for a run or walk just to balance out the weight of the news headlines. You may even wonder if there’s anything one person can do to counter them, even just a bit.

Indy Runners & Walkers member and volunteer Alison Brown was inspired to try.

This coming weekend, she’ll join women around the world in walking or running 21.1K (13.1 miles) and donating 21.1 Euros to support the International Alliance of Women (IAW) and Project 21.1. Look for her at North Central High School’s Great North Run.

Through the project, the IAW encouraged participants to share their running or walking stories “through the lens of Peace, Climate Change, Human Rights, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Education, etc.” We’d love to hear your running story in the comments below.  

Alison has had an impact locally though Indy Runners as a member and volunteer, as well as globally though IAW as a delegate to the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights and as Secretary General of the IAW, among many other roles.

She came to Indianapolis with her husband Siegmund, who joined Indy Runners in 2009. Alison soon discovered that waiting at the finish line for someone doing a half or full marathon was pretty boring and quickly decided to join the club. She could often be found doing 5- and 8-Ks as he raced longer.

Although Siegmund is no longer with us, you can still find Alison serving and empowering others at races and at Butler Basketball games.

Be an A+ Spectator

Spectators can be game-changers for runners chasing a PR or finish line. Their energy is contagious, as is their confidence in us. Their shouts of encouragement propel us forward and their creative signs make us laugh, taking our focus off our legs and lungs.

The smaller ones offer high fives and the adult ones occasionally offer a PBR.

With the Monumental Marathon just around the corner, we wanted to share a few tips that will help you ace your spectating experience.

  1. Runners don’t stop for red lights and we don’t stop for spectators trying to cross the street. When you cross, make sure there’s enough time and space to get across in one go. Stopping, playing Frogger or weaving will almost certainly end poorly for you and a runner. It may even end his race.

    Be extra cautious if you’re crossing with kiddos or doggos in tow. 

  2. Speaking of doggos, keep them on a reasonably short leash. A dog wondering even a couple feet into the street can be problematic for a runner. Same for little people. Make sure, too, that you have a hold on doggo’s leash. You know he wants to go all-out toward the finish line.
  3. It can often be hard to breathe and run, so please keep the cigarettes, cigars and vapes away from the course, starting corrals and post-race festivities.
  4. Lie to us. Tell us we look great; we look strong; we can do it. Don’t, though, tell us that we’re almost there unless you can see the finish line.
  5. Please please please enjoy yourself. It can be a long day, so consider dressing in layers if the weather is cool. Bring snacks. Get out the Cornhole boards. Whoop it up. Pull up your favorite camp chair and pour your favorite morning cocktail. Call us by name on our bib or the team name on our singlets. If you’re having fun, we will, too.
  6. Don’t quit on us! The front-runners are exciting to watch and the mid-packers give you a lot to watch and cheer for, but don’t forget there are more people who could use your support.  

Ok, grab your cow bells, poster board and markers and get out there. Oh, and please forgive us if we throw a snot rocket in your general direction. It’s… ummm… a sign of affection. 

Getting Down to Business.

There are few things worse than finding yourself still in line for a port-a-potty when the gun goes off at the start of your race. Here are a few tips to help keep the lines moving so you can get moving.

Get Down to Business. When you arrive at the race site, scope out the port-a-potty situation. Often times, you’ll find more than one bank of pots with varying wait times. Cue up and do your business before everyone else has the same idea.

Line Up
. You’ve likely seen a wide variety of lines form outside a row of port-a-potties. Some with one line per porta. Some separated by gender. Some with a single line feeding dozens of stalls. Some with just a blob of people waiting with no real order.

One of the more efficient options is to create one line for every 

4-5 potties. Think zones or sections. This will reduce the steps (and time) needed to get to the next available porta, yet prevent you from getting stuck in line behind ‘that guy’.

Get ready. Get set. Go. 
When you’re nearing the front of the line, pay attention. Get to a stopping place in your conversation, scan your section of potties and be ready to move when you see a door beginning to open.

The person before you will be polite and hold the door open for you, saving valuable seconds. Repay the favor and hold the door as you exit.

They’re made for one thing: pottying. 
Port-a-potties are not changing rooms, phone booths or … well, whatever othere use just popped in your mind. Really, who wants to hang out in there any longer than necessary!?

Although lines are more common before a race, there are often runners and spectators in need of the facilities after the race – often urgently. As a side note, if the units aren’t in constant use (i.e., no line), put the seat down. This will help ventilate the unit and minimize the odor.

Participants Get Priority. 
It takes a lot of people to put on a race, including volunteers and spectators and we get that they’ve all been drinking coffee since way before dawn. As much as possible, please allow runners and walkers to take priority in the line, especially if you can hear the National Anthem playing in the distance.

Lock the Door Behind You. Yes, this may cost you a few seconds, but the fright resulting from facing a stranger with your running tights around your ankles will cost you much more time.

If you find yourself in need of a pit stop during the race, look for port-a-potties along the course – often located near aid stations. Please avoid using lawns or alleyways, as tempting as they may seem.

 It’s rude, not to mention unsanitary.

flanagan-shalanetoilet-boston18-1523927399

As Shalane has shown, it is possible to go fast…

View Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t131MwydJlc 

Author’s Note: the porta does NOT double as a trash receptacle. Banana peels, gel packs, and car keys should not find their way into the bowl. Think about the poor person who has to fish those items out before the bio waste can be dealt with.

I Didn’t Need a Running Club.

The reason I joined Indy Runners nearly a decade ago is the reason I’ve remained a member.

It’s the same reason I’ve committed to renewing my membership year after year, the same reason I volunteered for my first club event, and why I went after for a seat on the club’s board.

The reason: to ensure that runners and walkers in Indianapolis have a thriving club and community to be a part of. 

When I joined, though, I thought Indy Runners was just a running club. I didn’t need a running club. I could log miles from my front door whenever I wanted. But, I wanted to make sure that others had access, should they want it. $25 seemed like a small investment in something so many others found so valuable. (That should have been enough to make me take notice and join in, right!?)

Then I volunteered for the 35K-ish Relay, met a few members (now dear friends), let myself get talked into joining a Saturday run and realized just how shortsighted I had been. Indy Runners was far more than just a time and place to log miles on a common route.

Indy Runners was a place for creating connections and forming friendships that existed beyond the hours together on the road. It was about working together and pushing one another to be better in our sport and in our lives. The club expanded my professional network and exposed me to people I may never have met otherwise. It’s helped me develop skills that have nothing to do with pounding pavement. Oh, sure – Indy Runners provided accountability, knowledge and resources that helped me train harder and smarter.

Sure, I can do all of my training by simply stepping outside my door, but why? Indy Runners has made me faster, stronger, tougher, more connected and more inspired.

Whatever your reason for joining, I hope you’ve also found your reason for sticking around, renewing your membership, volunteering with club members and recruiting new runners and walkers to be part of Indy Runners. Help me make sure that Indy Runners continues to be the Place for Every Pace in Central Indiana, won’t you?