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.Read more Getting Down to Business.
As long as I have been a distance athlete I can remember doing a long run once a week. It started out as six grueling miles on the country roads of Bloomington as a cross country athlete, and has progressed to up to 30 miles if I’m training for an ultra event. It’s practically a distance running cliche, but I believe it is the most important run of the week.Read more Why the Long Run (or Walk)? Or a distance athlete walks into a bar…
I vividly remember the moment I started to appreciate the relationship between food and running. It was my freshman year of high school (Go Panthers!) when I discovered both distance running and gyros at the exact same time. I thought gyros were the perfect lunch–until I ate one on the same day as a track workout. Let’s just say that after that day my relationship with gyros changed forever. And my understanding of how to properly eat before a workout (and why) got a little better. Read more Running & Walking Nutrition Basics
Indy Runners and Walkers is a volunteer, not-for-profit club that serves to promote running and walking as a healthy life-style activity and as a competitive sport.Read more About Indy Runners & Walkers
Greetings everyone from the Indy Runners Medical Desk. Thanks to Jesse for getting our Blog going as a good forum to share thoughts and ideas for our Club. I’ll aim to get out some good medical thoughts as often as possible – and you can always write to me with any issues or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s start with a bit of a discussion about Recovery. As our mileage and workloads increase towards Fall racing, how we Recover from this workload becomes more and more important. Remember, it’s not the runs or the workouts that make us stronger – it is our ability to Recover from them that allow that Adaptations that make us stronger.
By far, the Number 1 way to allow our bodies to Recover from the work is to get a consistent good night’s sleep. At least 7-hours, hopefully more like 8-hours.
Let’s break that down. What does a “good” night’s sleep look like, and how can we facilitate it? Simple things like darkness of the room (trickier with daylight savings time in the summer), limiting screens 30-minutes before bed (trickier with phones, social media, TV shows, etc.), and cooler/reasonable temperatures (also trickier in the summer). These are all things we somewhat inherently know – but, are we good about following them?
And watch our caffeine intake in the afternoon (2:30pm diet coke to get us kick started to finish the day?). And be mindful about how alcohol affects our sleep patterns (one glass or one beer might not affect us, but a second or more might wake us up on the middle of the night?). Some of us travel quite often for work – how are we managing our sleep hygiene when we get in late or are crossing multiple time zones? And are we realistic with our Training expectations on those weeks that are the most stressful
Also, what does “consistent” look like? It might sound obvious, but consistent means consistent – 7-8 hours every single night. Not 5-6 during the week, then 9-10 on the weekend; or 5.5 one night, then 8.5 the next to “catch up”.
Each of us are different between being more “morning people” or more “evening people”. Usually, it’s easier to get more sleep by going to bed a little earlier. Let’s do some Math – if we can start by getting 10-minutes extra sleep for 6-nights per week, that is a whole Hour of extra sleep each week! That would certainly serve as a meaningful boost in our Training!
So our Homework for the month of August is to take an honest look at our Sleep Hygiene and thoughtfully discern what habits are helpful and what habits we might tweak to get the most out of this important time for our bodies to regenerate from the workload they’ve been handling. We don’t need large changes to make a difference. A few small changes at a time could pay big dividends over the coming weeks as we build towards good Racing.
Please let us know if you have any insights or tips you might like to share. And any questions, please send them along.
Thanks and see you out there.
Brian Schuetter, PT, DPT, OCS – St. Vincent Sports Performance
You might recognize Carole Miller, (standing in the center of the featured photo above), as one of the smiling faces serving breakfast burritos and pancakes at our cheer zone tent after the Monumental Marathon. Or, perhaps you know her from our Spring Training Program where she takes new walkers under her wing and keeps them coming back week after week with her encouragement and wonderful sense of humor. Carole has also served the past two years on the Indy Runners board as the co-walking director. Her self proclaimed mission has been “to give a face to walkers, because they are just as passionate about walking as runners are about running–it just takes us longer.”
Having served on the board with Carole the past two years, I can honestly say she is the perfect representation of what makes our club special. She is always looking out for others and making sure everyone feels welcome and appreciated. I couldn’t think of anyone better to do our very first member spotlight blog post with than Carole, who truly makes Indy Runners and Walkers a place for every pace!
Below are a series of questions Carole took the time to answer for us.
When and why did you join Indy Walkers?
I joined Indy Runners in 2013. I was looking for a training program for the 500 Mini. The last year I attempted to do the Mini was 2003. To put it mildly, it was the most miserable and painful experience of my life and it took me 10 years to try it again. I knew my training in 2003 was insufficient and I had to do better, so I went on the internet and Indy Runners popped up as a local running club.
What kept you coming back?
The reason I kept coming back was because of Kay King and Sue Murry. Both of these wonderful women took me under their wing in 2013 and walked with me. Although their pace was much faster than mine, they made sure that I was never alone. They are part of the reason that I always tell the new walkers our motto: “No one is left behind.” The training is fine and the seminars are helpful, but you can pull down a training schedule from the web and get what you need. The most important thing for me was the camaraderie of our walking group. Sue and Kay and anyone who walks with me has heard about my WONDERFUL grandson, my crazy sister, my stressful job, and my cancer. These wonderful people are always there to listen. That’s why I get up on Saturdays and go across town to Broad Ripple to walk 6 miles. I could walk in Eagle Creek, but Eagle Creek would not have the wonderful people I’ve met training with Indy Walkers.
When were you diagnosed with cancer and what is your current status?
I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer in January 2018. The first people I told were my walking buddies. First, because it was the start of the 2018 training for the Mini and I would not be able to continue as a pacer, and second, because they were my walking buddies and after five years I told them everything. When I was diagnosed I had grand plans; I wasn’t going to let cancer dictate to me how I was going to live my life. I was determined to keep my walking routine. I received so much love and support from everyone in the Club, and not just my close walking buddies, but runners that I only knew in passing. I don’t think I would have had such a successful recovery without my buddies at Indy Walkers. They laughed with me about my bald head and the side effects of chemo, and when it came time for “slice and dice” also known as surgery, Kay and Sue provided me with meals so that I would not have to cook. I will never be able to thank them enough. I truly believe that one of the main factors in my successful recovery is that I was in good health. I contribute that to walking three times a week: 3 to 4 miles on two days and 6 miles on Saturdays.
What is your most memorable Indy Walkers moment?
Believe it or not my most memorable moment with Indy Walkers is walking up Holcomb Hill without stopping! I complain a lot and on that first attempt at Holcomb I was complaining at the top of my lungs. The first time, I had to stop 3 times and at the end, my lungs were burning, my heart was beating so fast I thought I would die, and the words coming out of my mouth would put anyone to shame–but at the time, I didn’t care. Five years later, I can make it in one try! I still breath hard, but I don’t stop. I still complain, but not as robustly. And I really don’t have that much time to complain because it doesn’t take that long for me to do it. That just tells you how successful my time with Indy Walkers has been in improving my health.
What does Indy Walkers mean to you?
Indy Walkers and walking are part of my life. Want to make me mad? Tell me I have to work on Tuesday or Thursday evenings or Saturday morning. Want to get on my bad side? Keep me from making a race that I paid for in January. I spend more money on shoes for walking then casual or dress shoes. Sometimes I feel like the Post Office: nothing–and I mean nothing–keeps me from my Saturday morning walks. If I don’t make it on Saturday, my entire weekend is messed up.
What would you tell someone thinking about joining Indy Walkers?
I really think Indy Runners/Walkers is a great club for anyone wanting to train for races or just get in shape. I’ve tried training on my own and it was not a good choice for me. I’ve tried walking by myself and it doesn’t work. The accountability, camaraderie, and sheer fun of seeing myself improve keep me getting up every Saturday morning. On top of that, talking with my buddies beats spending money on a shrink. Without Indy Walkers, I never would have met Pam or Natasha, or Sharon and her brother, Karen and Kathy, or Chris and Laura. And without Sue and Kay, I never would have survived that first year. Throw in the facts that my health has improved, I can walk Holcomb in one attempt, and I’ve seen parts of Indianapolis I never would have seen without Indy Walkers, and you have the reasons I continue to come back and would recommend it to anyone.
What are some of your proudest walking accomplishments?
My proudest walking accomplishment is going to sound insane. One year it was bitter cold. Elizabeth, Sue, and I decided that we were going to walk that Thursday. It was 5 degrees outside. Our vow was that if we could walk 1 mile we would reward ourselves with dinner at 317 Burger. That night I wore 2 pairs of socks, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 1 jacket, 2 pairs of gloves, and a hat and scarf. At the .5 mile mark, we looked at each other and said, “Let’s keep walking.” At the 1 mile mark, we kept going, all the way to 75th street. That night, I knew I was crazy but had accomplished something special. I walked 3 miles in 5 degree weather with two of my crazy walking buddies. I’ll never forget that night. So regardless of how wet, hot, or cold it is, I try to walk. Ice is the one element that I’ll say no to: broken bones aren’t any fun. Also, any time I finish a race and I’m not the last walker crossing the finish line is great.
What races do you currently have lined up?
In 2019 I have only one goal: to finish the races I’ve signed up for. I’ve done the Mini and received my medal. I’ve signed up for all five 317-Series races: that’s 5 medals. I’m making plans to complete the Wright Patterson Air Force Half (1 medal), Fort Ben 5K (another medal) and the Women’s 5K (yet another medal). The goal this year is to get as many medals as I can and not be asked to leave a course. So far, I’m on track. I will start to improve my time and pace next year, but right now I’m just glad to be alive and glad I have my walking buddies to help me along the way.
Thank you Carole for letting us all get to know you better! You are truly inspiring and represent the club so well.
If you know someone that you think should be featured in a future blog post, email Jesse at email@example.com.
It’s time to continue our journey of the best and worst places to hydrate and/or evacuate on the Monon Trail! This time we head north from Broad Ripple Village up to 96th St. My previous blog post on this topic covered Broad Ripple Village to 42nd St. I’m not going to rehash stops previously mentioned, so you can refer back to that post for two spots–The Runners Forum and The Loft–where you can pop in and take care of business in the Village.
Special Note: I was going to include the Annex Club House in the Village but saw on social media that they are closing down that location. So please don’t blast me in the comments when you don’t see it!
Now that we have covered all the pleasantries, let’s get down to where you can handle the unpleasantries while traveling north on the Monon Trail!
Stop 1: The Rock water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet west of the Monon Trail, about a half mile south of 75th St.
Pro Tips: Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? The way this fountain has been leaking lately chances are you do. If you look closely at the picture above you can see the mini-swamp that is forming on the fountain side. If you do manage to get around all the water without soaking your feet, you will be rewarded with a very low drizzle of water. To drink from this location you practically need to do your best Andy Dwyer impression and put your whole mouth on the nozzle. I can’t remember the last time I attempted to drink here, but I’m fairly certain this fountain is seasonal and is shut down for the winter.
Recommendation: Unless you are on death’s door, skip it. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
Stop 2: The School for the Blind water fountain, located approximately 20-25 feet west of the Monon trail just about a quarter mile north of 75th St.
Pro Tips: This fountain is currently leaking too. Good news though, the water pressure is a lot better than the rock and you can easily get a drink without soaking your feet. This fountain is also seasonal, so it shuts down in the winter.
Recommendation: This is a common place for runners and bikers alike to stop for a break, so make sure you have your gossips ready!
Stop 3:Jordan YMCA water fountain, located approximately 100 feet east of the Monon Trail. When you are getting close to 86th St. look for the Jordan Y sign and start heading that way. You will see the fountain on your left right before you get to the parking lot.
Pro Tips: This is a pretty reliable fountain with good water pressure. On the other side of the fence is a Port A Potty. That fence is locked a majority of the time and I’m guessing not meant for the general population. Do with that information what you will. This fountain is also seasonal and shut down during the winter.
Stop 4: Kroger located just south of 86th St. approximentely 200-300 feet west of the Monon Trail.
Pro Tips: This isn’t a RRCA runner friendly location or anything, but it can save you in an emergency. I can’t speak for the women’s room, but Guys: be ready for the stall to look like a WWE cage match just took place and for some rando to be camped out in there for long periods of time. Other than that it’s pretty great! It also has the added benefit of being open in the winter, and the water fountain is pretty solid.
Stop 5: Big Lug water cooler, sponsored by the Carmel Marathon, located approximately 10-15 feet east of the Monon Trail just south of 86th St.
Pro Tips: This is the second hydration post in a row where I have mentioned a Carmel Marathon sponsored stop. Kudos to them and their brewery partners for helping us stay refreshed during these hot summer days! If anyone from their marketing team is reading this, I have three words for you: Logo. Urinal. Cakes. Run with that. Big Lug fills the cooler daily. I’m not 100 percent certain, but I’m guessing this is only a seasonal location as well.
Stop 6:Athletic Annex, located approximately a quarter to a half mile west of the Monon Trail in Nora Plaza Shopping Center on 86th St. The exact address is 1300 East 86th St. Ste 29A. Best way to get there on foot: once you are north of 86th St. run west around Huddles into Nora Plaza and head north in the parking lot by the Whole Foods. You should be able to see it from a distance.
Pro Tips: Admittedly, I have never been in this location. It is relatively new and looks pretty nice from the outside. I’m guessing though, being a running shop, that they would be cool with you stopping in for a pit stop and a drink. Not sure about fresh dance moves though? Try it and let me know in the comments.
Stop 7: 96th St. Rest Stop, located just north of 96th St. approximately 5 feet on the east side of the Monon Trail.
Pro Tips: When you arrive at this location you are officially in Carmel, IN. That means a couple things. First: Unisex bathrooms open year round! Second: A water fountain that, at first push, will squirt water into your face if you’re not careful. This is actually quite comical when you see an unsuspecting victim of these H2O shenanigans. The water fountain, unlike the restrooms, is shut down during the winter.
Special Tribute: Seen in the picture above is Pirate Cat. I’m not going to get completely into his story, but you should check him out on Facebook or Google him. One of my favorite memories of Pirate Cat is during a pit stop, on a 5 AM run, at this exact location, I saw him come out of nowhere to pounce on a mouse and swallow it whole. The things I find amusing while exercising half asleep could fill another entire blog post. Anyway, enough digression, the day after I took this picture I heard Pirate Cat is sick and not expected to make it much longer. Just wanted to give him a special shoutout and say thank you for bringing me joy on countless runs on the Monon.
Please leave a comment on this article if you know a stop I missed between Broad Ripple Village and 96th St. I promise to head even further north on the Monon in a future post!
It is mid-July here in Indianapolis and, as I am writing this post, we are dealing with high humidity and temperatures in the triple digits! Insane, right? Going outside for a run or walk right now can feel like you are eating scorpion peppers in the middle of Death Valley. The good news is that with the right preparation, you can survive the heat and train like a rock star this summer!
Before you even go out for a run or walk you must have properly hydrated beforehand. A good rule of thumb for knowing how much water to drink during the day is to multiply your body weight in pounds by .55. That gives you a rough estimate of how many ounces you should consume in a day. For example, a 150 pound person should consume approximately 82 to 83 ounces of water a day to stay well hydrated (150 x 0.55 = 82.5).
Hot Tip 3: K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple Silly! There is a lot of research out there suggesting that you should drink only when you are thirsty while running. I personally have found this to be a great strategy. Anytime I have tried to follow a set hydration strategy (where I force myself to take in fluid at specific times) it has backfired on me by causing GI distress. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to be proactive in your hydration plan: drink early and often. But make sure to listen to your stomach and body. Also, make sure you have access to fluids on your run or walk. That could mean picking a route with plenty of water stops or carrying your own fluids via a handheld water bottle, water belt, or hydration bladder. Unlike the proverbial horse, if you lead yourself to water, I’m betting you will drink.
Hot Tip 4: Mix it Up
Don’t just rely on water alone. Gatorade commercials are not wrong when they tell you that you are losing key electrolytes when you sweat. Besides cramping, other side effects of electrolyte imbalance include dizziness, fatigue, foul breath, and more. So incorporate some electrolytes into your run. There are many ways to do this (e.g. consuming sports drinks, gels, gummies, etc.). Everyone is different in what they prefer and what their body can tolerate, so I recommend experimenting to see what works best for you. This is especially important if you are running or walking for more than 45 minutes at a time.
Hot Tip 5: Lower your Expectations
It’s a simple fact: increased heat results in decreased performance. So don’t beat yourself up when you are unable to run or walk at the pace you were when it was 50 degrees outside. A running temperature calculator is a useful tool for making a rough estimate of how much to slow down. Just keep putting the work in during the hot days and trust me, you will reap the rewards come fall when it *finally* cools down.
Hot Tip 6: Know When to Fold ‘Em
Training in the extreme heat is something that should not be taken lightly. My first marathon was in hot weather and at the end I had full body cramping and thought I had lost my hearing. It took a trip to the medical tent, two IV’s, and a lot of curse words before I was ready to celebrate my first finish with friends. I’m not trying to scare you! Rest assured that if you prepare properly and know when to back off, this most likely will not happen to you. But you should absolutely stop running if you feel dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease sweating.
Have a hot tip of your own that you feel like I missed? Let me know in the comments. Hopefully this article will help with your training this summer and get you to your chosen start line ready to run like a Rock Star!
Scenario 1: It’s summertime and it’s hot and humid outside. I’m not talking about “I’ll just get a splash of water before my run or walk and be fine” hot and humid. I’m talking about 70-plus-dew-point-sweat-everywhere-sticky-wet-need-water-every-step hot and humid. What are you going to do? You can’t just take the day off. You’re training for your next big running or walking adventure and a day off is not an option.
Scenario 2: You’re out for a run or walk and feeling great. Nothing can stop you. Today is your day. Then all of a sudden your stomach starts to get a little uneasy. You think back to last night and remember the spicy Pad Thai you had for dinner… A sudden panic sets in and you immediately start weighing your options.
Sound familiar? If you have run or walked long enough, chances are you’ve been in both of these scenarios. You’ve also probably made a pit stop or two that you’re not proud of. No judgement–we’ve all been there. This post is the first in a series where I’m hoping to help you the next time you need liquid relief (or relief of another kind). Here are some places to make a pit stop that you won’t be embarrassed to tell your friends about later:
Stop 1: The Runners Forum in Broad Ripple Village, located approximately 100 feet west of the Monon Trail at 902 E. Westfield Blvd.
Pro Tips: When you see a blue snow cone shack look to the West for a big red awning on the north side of Westfield Blvd. The Runners Forum is a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Runner Friendly Business. That means they are cool with you just popping in to get some water or take care of that “other” business. Unlike a lot of the other spots I will list, they don’t close down in the winter. This is also where I work so feel free to pop in, say Hi!, and share blog ideas, fresh dance moves, or whatever.
Hours: Weekdays 11-7, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
Stop 2: The Loft, located approximately 100-200 feet west of the Monon Trail at 6201 Winthrop Ave.
Pro Tips: Just like The Runners Forum, The Loft is a RRCA Runner Friendly Business and is open year-round. You will have to go around the building (if you’re coming from the Monon) to enter. They usually have a sign on the Monon about a quarter mile south of Broad Ripple Ave. If you stop at The Loft for a bathroom break you can check out the creative paper towel/toilet paper holder they rigged up!
Hours: Non-standard. It’s a fitness studio so the best times to catch owners Doug or Heather are in the morning or evening.
Stop 3: Canterbury Park, located just over a mile south of The Loft on the east side of the Monon. The water fountain and bathroom are approximately 50 feet off the trail and super easy to spot.
Pro Tips: This is a city park and only open seasonally (spring to fall) from 8am-9pm. I will warn you that I have been in dire need of a pit stop on a run or two and been burned by a locked door at a time when it should be open at this stop. Typically though, it is pretty dependable. It also has a pretty unique hand dryer that gives me the chills when I think about it.
Hours: Seasonal, 8am-9pm
The next two locations are hydration only and are located between 54th & 52nd streets.
Stop 4: Good Dog water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet off the Monon at 5345 Winthrop Ave., on the west side of the trail just south of 54th street. Just look for the Good Dog sign!
Pro Tips: This is also a seasonal stop: the fountain is turned off during the winter. On a personal note, I’m not sure I have ever used this fountain without first pushing the dog bowl water button first.
Stop 5: Half Liter water cooler, located 5-10 feet west of the Monon just south of the The Good Dog. If you missed the fountain at Good Dog, you don’t have to go much farther for your next chance for some good old fashioned H20 relief.
Pro Tips: This water cooler is brought to you by the nice folks at Half Liter and the Carmel Marathon! It is a relatively new spot so I haven’t had a chance to join in on any water cooler talk with passers-by. I have been told by a reliable source, however, that Half Liter does fill and put out water daily, so I’m saving up gossips for my next pit stop.
Stop 6: Porta-pots off 46th street. This is the hidden gem of all the stops featured in this post. It’s bathroom only AND seasonal, but if you absolutely cannot make it to a respectable place for “evacuation”, these porta-pots are here to save the day!
Pro Tips: They are not the easiest to find (hence the “hidden” part of hidden gem). When you come to 46th St. on the Monon, head east on 46th for about a quarter mile and look for the baseball complex on the south side of the street (If you hit Indianola Avenue, you’ve gone too far.). As you can see in the picture, the pots are located in the complex. I promise that there are no fences to jump or anything! They are unlocked–just don’t tell anyone who let you in on the secret if asked.
Pro Tips: This is not only our final stop, but also your last chance for water if you are continuing south on the Monon for quite a while… (The only place that I can think of that might have a bathroom and/or water fountain is a soccer park just south of 16th St.–but I cannot make any guarantees there.) This fountain is pretty easy to spot. Big thank you to the Indiana School for the Deaf Class of 2006 for giving us this nice oasis on our fitness journeys!
Hours: This fountain is also seasonal and shuts down in the winter.
Please leave a comment on this article if you know of a stop between Broad Ripple Village and 42nd St. that I may have missed. Also make sure to check out my next post, where I will go north on the Monon from Broad Ripple Village to 96th St. I hope that if you took the time to read this article that it will bring you relief on a future run or walk!
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?